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About frgregory

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  • Birthday 06/19/1953

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  • Location
    Stockport UK (near Manchester)
  • Interests
    Science reading
  • College Major/Degree
    Bachelor of Theology
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Astronomy & Cosmology
  • Biography
    Passionare about Science. Not a creationist (in the usual sense of that word!)
  • Occupation
    Orthodox Christian Priest, former High School Teacher [Math(s} & Theology]
  1. Dear Lucaspa APOPHATIC refers to the unkowability of God's nature or being, (I DON'T mean what he is like, his character, his actions, his attributes). I mean God-in-Himself ... his substantive inner reality or essence. So he is IN ... INvisiible, INcomprehensible, INeffable etc... THEOPHANIC refers to God in his Love revealing Himself, coming amongst us in Christ, sending down upon us the Holy Spirit ... relating to us, guiding us, transforming us from one degree of glory to the next ... in short God-usward ... his energies. Like a Black Hole ... you can't see inside but you can measure the effects on the environment in an exterior manner.
  2. From the perspective of Orthodox Christianity (as in "Greek Orthodox etc. uppercase "O") there is much to agree on here but one or two clarifications are in order I think ... From our point of view, faith etc., God certainly of His own will and choice but also of out his own hypertranscendent NATURE (as consistent with that sovereign voluntarism) is absolutely unobservable and not subject to any natural causation. He is indeed unmeasurable, uncontainable, ineffable and all the other apophatic terms!) The distinction between "supernatural" and "paranormal" is useful, thank you. This, however, is slightly more problematic from our point of view ... we do not claim proof but there are more subtle but vital nuances. The Judaeo-Christian tradition (OT and OT/NT) is quite happy to affirm that God shows himself whilst in His own nature never being observable remains unmeasurable etc. The self manifestation of God (theophanies) is always allusive and not a knock down experience or proof in the usual empirical sense. In the Bush Unburning he appears to Moses (alone). His divine radiance is manifest to Peter, James and John (alone) at the Transfiguration of Christ. The Risen Lord appears to those chosen and called but not to everyone. Clearly, these theophanies lie outside natural causation as well. If they did not they would be repeatable, universal and falsifiable according to the usual methods of empirical testing. However, they are claimed to be objective manifestations of God NOT as to his nature (for that would be emanationist / pantheistic) but as to his energies ... accommodated to the creature but having a Source transcendent to the creature. Of course the alleged effects of such theophanies in the lives of the believers IS measurable even if God is denied as their true Source. For Orthodox Christians, this distinction between the apophatic, utterly transcendent, Unknowable, Unmeasurable, Unobservable nature and the selective theophanic manifestation of His energies is an abolutely vital aspect of our religious schema. The distinction was rarely if ever accepted in the west (by either Roman Catholic or Protestant traditions). It is one thing that distinguishes eastern and western Christianity to this day. I explain this not to argue for any change here on these boards ... I am merely concerned to clarify the issues from our point of view ... for which I thank you for reading!
  3. This is only now a semantic problem. "Supernatural" (at least as far as people tend to use the term in the UK) is all about ghosts, the paranormal etc. etc.) I don't see that we need such a euphemistic term anyway. God is God. Creation is creation, nature - nature. Tautology rules!
  4. Lucaspa I agree with the whole of your post but I think you have misunderstood mine about "supernature." I DISTINGUISH (but do not separate) God and Creation. This is an ontological matter ... God is Uncreated ... everything else is created. Supernature blurs this distinction and as a non-pantheist I think that the term is at best misleading and at worst wrongheaded.
  5. I suspect that we shall know everything about something, but only ever something about everything. In other words, we might exhaust the Universe (albeit asymtopically) but by definition not the Multiverse (if that can ever be a meaningful concept).
  6. Just in the same way that science does not need divine explanations (God-of-the-gaps) so theology does not need scientific wriggle room. Put another way, let's not divinise creation and (for those considering the matter) let's not naturalise the deity. Strictly speaking there is no such thing as the supernatural. There is the natural and and there is God (or not depending on one's point of view). I have seen some arguments for the existence of God based on the necessity of a Transcendent Observer to sustain existence over non-existence. That's theology though, not cosmology or quantum theory .... and, as someone here is bound to remind us pretty quickly ... this is a science forum. (Yes, I am a believer myself ... a priest in the Orthodox Church).
  7. Maybe we can trace the arrow of causation for the demise of the dinosaurs earlier than the Chicxulub creator. Fancy that! .... me and you are here on account of a crowded asteroid "lane." http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/6980468.stm
  8. Since many asteroids' internal structure is unknown and many appear to be conglomerates of rubble, "nuking" such an object would simply turn one Big Bomb into thousands of distributed Midi-Bombs ... which is not a good idea at all. Most envisioned solutions involve veering the object off course ... gravitationally by parking objects nearby or thermodynamically by altering the reflective surface of the object ... which is a lot of paint! Any solution involves taking action well in advance of arrival to optimise the effect (input-output). The real threat of NEO's is the one you don't see coming ... of which there are plenty in the sub-planet-killer class. We need better surveillance as well. (cross posted with insane_alien)
  9. The most significant KNOWN risk right now concerns asteroid Apophis (about 320 metres in diameter). It will fly by close (inside lunar orbit) in 2029 and make a second pass in 2036. Impact probability is low but not if it's orbit is gravitationally shifted dangerously in 2029 .... and we won't know that until then by which time we would have a hectic 7 years to try and do something about it. Impact would cause regional devastation but it's not a planet killer. It wouldn't be very pretty though if it landed in a densely populated area. It could certainly take out a large modern city and much of its hinterland. http://www.space.com/news/051103_asteroid_apophis.html
  10. Yes, pioneer; that's how conceptualising works and why it is vital. However, my question concerns putative limits to conceptualising based on our mental processing and whether or not machines that design machines might exceed those limits or indeed whether evolution (assisted or otherwise) could eventually transcend them.
  11. Snail I mean the math of which we know, not our version Oh dear. UK English: Maths. US English: Math. My question wasn't about maths ... it rather concerned possible limits in human mental processing when it comes to modelling obscure physical realities. I mean that those limits might be transcended if our brains continue to evolve in an appropriate direction.
  12. Perhaps OUR math. (I find it difficult as a Brit not to talk of maths!) Math is not of course static and new branches of mathematics have had to be invented to serve scientific development. If you mean the scope of ALL possible maths, then yes, that would be the limit. The limit of which I speak though is the possible inability of our brains to do some sort of math which might be necessary for scientific theorising. Of course, we are not static either. There are prodigies and there is the trajectory of evolution.
  13. I would go along with a lot of that 'foodchain' but I don't mean "naming" as such (which is arbitrary). Although giving quarks colour is simply a fun way of talking, in other cases it does indeed matter for the model can be integral to an account of those empirical observations. So, "strings" are said to "vibrate." Now I know that particles don't actually "spin" so, I suppose, superstrings might not actually vibrate (if they exist ... I am inclined to the Smolin view). What is the point, however, in letting very rough approximations to mundane reality at our scale determine in part how we model "extreme" realities if the match itself is partially fortuitous rather than rationally constructed. Might we better placed if we actually looked at the conceptualisations on grounds of fitness, factoring in the limitations in human mental processing? Machines might one day exceed us in this regard of course, but then we would simply not be even capable of understanding any outcomes .... which, admittedly, is rather self defeating .... (except for the machines, worryingly)
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