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Does the scientific community treat materialism/physicalism as absolute truth?


Mallic
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12 hours ago, Mallic said:

I mean the chances of the universe we living being purely by accident are so astronomically low, that in my opinion to even suggest such a thing is an insult to science.

(emphasis added)

You need to define what this means. Without that, there's no point to having a discussion.

However, regardless, the probability of this universe existing is 1.

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In fairness to the OP, they need to wait until 24 hours has passed (from the time of account creation) due to the 5 post limit on new members. Their lack of response is not necessarily an act of avoidance... at least, not until tomorrow. :lol:

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Begin Exact Quote (Gould 1984, p. 11):

METHODOLOGICAL PRESUPPOSITIONS ACCEPTED BY ALL SCIENTISTS
 
1) The Uniformity of law - Natural laws are invariant in space and time.  John Stuart Mill (1881) argued that such a postulate of uniformity must be invoked if we are to have any confidence in the validity of inductive inference; for if laws change, then an hypothesis about cause and effect gains no support from repeated observations - the law may alter the next time and yield a different result.  We cannot "prove" the assumption of invariant laws; we cannot even venture forth into the world to gather empirical evidence for it.  It is an a priori methodological assumption made in order to practice science; it is a warrant for inductive inference (Gould, 1965).
 
End Exact Quote (Gould 1984, p. 11)
 
Gould, Stephen Jay. "Toward the vindication of punctuational change."Catastrophes and earth history (1984): 9-16. 
 
also see:
 
Gould, Stephen Jay. "Is uniformitarianism necessary?" American Journal of Science 263.3 (1965): 223-228. 
 
Gould, Stephen Jay. Time's arrow, time's cycle: Myth and metaphor in the discovery of geological time. Harvard University Press, 1987. 
 
Edited by MathGeek
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13 hours ago, swansont said:

(emphasis added)

You need to define what this means. Without that, there's no point to having a discussion.

However, regardless, the probability of this universe existing is 1.

Sigh Forum limit, Alright so my main reason isn't to argue about there being a creator but more how illogical the idea that we just came into existence with the exact conditions to allow life to form by accident. Though I'm starting to realize this mindset is likely adopted more by nihilistic people who think the world we live in is absolute garbage anyway.

I'm just trying to get answers from actual scientists as opposed to people who use science as a front to justify their resentment of religious people.

 

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6 hours ago, MathGeek said:

METHODOLOGICAL PRESUPPOSITIONS ACCEPTED BY ALL SCIENTISTS

They key word there is "methodological". In other words, this is description of the process of science, not the beliefs of scientists.

29 minutes ago, Mallic said:

Alright so my main reason isn't to argue about there being a creator but more how illogical the idea that we just came into existence with the exact conditions to allow life to form by accident.

Firstly, you are using "illogical" to mean "it doesn't make sense to me" rather than "not consistent with the laws of logic".

I don't know what you mean by "accident". But part of the reason that life seems to be a good fit to the universe we exist in is because the "rules" of that universe (ie the chemistry and physics) allowed life like ours to evolve. That is not really "by accident" any more than the existence of stars generating energy from fusion, or the presence of mountains and rivers on Earth are "accidents". They are all almost inevitable consequences of the way physics works. I don't think the "fine-tuned" argument makes much sense.

OK. One can ask "why is physics like that". There are all sorts of possible answers to that. Few, if any,  of them are answerable by science.

  • I suppose one answer is, "I don't know".
  • Another is that if it weren't like that, we wouldn't be here to discuss it.
  • Another is that a god or gods decided to make them like that.
  • Another is that the universe itself has evolved (perhaps over multiple iterations) to a state where 
  • Or there're multiple universes all with slightly different properties (so there might be another one where "people"are asking if life could be based on carbon)
  • Or maybe there is some fundamental reason why the laws of physics can't be any different 
  • Or we are living in a simulation created by aliens (who live in a universe with different properties .... but why is their universe like it is?)
  • Or ...

Take your pick. I'm not sure science can tell you the answer.

40 minutes ago, Mallic said:

I'm just trying to get answers from actual scientists as opposed to people who use science as a front to justify their resentment of religious people.

Some people ere are scientists. Some are just interested. (Some are students, some are retired.) Some are quite vehemently anti-religion and some are religious. So you will get a variety of answers. So of the questions you ask are unanswerable (by logic or by science).

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On 25/7/2018 at 4:30 AM, Mallic said:

I mean the chances of the universe we living being purely by accident are so astronomically low, that in my opinion to even suggest such a thing is an insult to science

We wouldn’t be here if the universe were any different. So simply on account of us being here and asking this question, there’s little surprise in the universe being what it is. Given the existence of human beings, it simply cannot be any different.

But there’s a more scientific issue at stake here - you say that the universe being the way it is comes with an astronomically low probability. How do you actually know this? In order to assign specific probability values to particular configurations of universes, you have to first know the space of all possible configurations. But we can’t really know this, because the question of just what fundamental laws govern the emergence of a universe is of yet unresolved (or at least there is no consensus on it yet). So actually, it is conceivable that, given the set of all possible (with respect to the fundamental governing laws, whatever they are) configurations, our particular outcome might be a highly probable one.

Basically what I am trying to say is that your initial supposition tacitly depends on three assumptions:

1. The space of all possible configurations of the universe is unconstrained, i.e. any arbitrary set of laws of nature is possible
2. All possible configurations are equally probable
3. Only one possible configuration has been realised

In my mind, each one of these assumptions is highly questionable, so saying that the probability of our universe is astronomically low is at best an unfounded speculation.

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At times like this I like to quote the great man himself. 

Quote

Imagine a puddle waking up one morning and thinking, ‘This is an interesting world I find myself in, an interesting hole I find myself in, fits me rather neatly, doesn’t it? In fact it fits me staggeringly well, must have been made to have me in it!’ This is such a powerful idea that as the sun rises in the sky and the air heats up and as, gradually, the puddle gets smaller and smaller, it’s still frantically hanging on to the notion that everything’s going to be alright, because this world was meant to have him in it, was built to have him in it; so the moment he disappears catches him rather by surprise. I think this may be something we need to be on the watch out for.’

- Douglas Adams

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4 hours ago, Mallic said:

Sigh Forum limit, Alright so my main reason isn't to argue about there being a creator but more how illogical the idea that we just came into existence with the exact conditions to allow life to form by accident. Though I'm starting to realize this mindset is likely adopted more by nihilistic people who think the world we live in is absolute garbage anyway.

I'm just trying to get answers from actual scientists as opposed to people who use science as a front to justify their resentment of religious people.

 

You still haven't said what exactly you mean "by accident"

Markus has summarized the issues with certain meanings of that phrase.

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1 hour ago, swansont said:

You still haven't said what exactly you mean "by accident"

Markus has summarized the issues with certain meanings of that phrase.

I mean 2 atoms just "happen" to collide with each other creating the big bang that just "happened" to have the exact elements needed for life, on top of us just happening to be sentient....I think this issue i have probably has a lot more to do with reductionism then anything else. Just this idea of taking this vast universe we live in, and bring it down to the most mundane level possible. It's dehumanizing among other things.

Oh and just so we're clear downvoting isn't gonna deter me, I'm simply trying to get a second opinion. Why am i saying this? Because i can already tell there are some here who clearly view me as an uneducated idiot.

Edited by Mallic
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4 minutes ago, Mallic said:

I mean 2 atoms just "happen" to collide with each other creating the big bang

That never happened.

Maybe you would be less confused by what scientific theories say if you actually found out what they say.

5 minutes ago, Mallic said:

that just "happened" to have the exact elements needed for life, on top of us just happening to be sentient

Read the Douglas Adams quote again. And again until you understand the point it is making.

The reason that they are "the elements needed for life" is because life developed from the elements that existed. If the elements were different and had different properties, then a different form of life might have evolved.

7 minutes ago, Mallic said:

Just this idea of taking this vast universe we live in, and bring it down to the most mundane level possible.

So you don't think we should try and understand anything. Fine. But that does mean that a science forum is not the best place for you.

7 minutes ago, Mallic said:

It's dehumanizing among other things.

I would say it is exactly the opposite: it is bringing the vast and unimaginable down to a humanly comprehensible level.

9 minutes ago, Mallic said:

I'm simply trying to get a second opinion.

I'm sure you'll get no shortage of opinions!

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10 minutes ago, Mallic said:

I mean 2 atoms just "happen" to collide with each other creating the big bang that just "happened" to have the exact elements needed for life, on top of us just happening to be sentient

That's not how it happened though. You can't believe it because you don't understand it. No-one knows what happened to set it off....  As for the elements needed for life - they didn't arrive until billions of years later - nothing to do with the big bang.

Edited by DrP
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8 minutes ago, Strange said:

That never happened.

Maybe you would be less confused by what scientific theories say if you actually found out what they say.

Read the Douglas Adams quote again. And again until you understand the point it is making.

The reason that they are "the elements needed for life" is because life developed from the elements that existed. If the elements were different and had different properties, then a different form of life might have evolved.

So you don't think we should try and understand anything. Fine. But that does mean that a science forum is not the best place for you.

I would say it is exactly the opposite: it is bringing the vast and unimaginable down to a humanly comprehensible level.

I'm sure you'll get no shortage of opinions!

You might be right about one thing. The answers i seek probably won't come from science. Is there something more to the universe then the physical? Or are we the result of some sick cosmic joke? Sticking around only long enough to know what we want, and then spontaneously cast back into the void.

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2 minutes ago, Mallic said:

You might be right about one thing. The answers i seek probably won't come from science.

They certainly won't if you refuse to learn anything about what science says, and just make it up instead. On the other hand, you might get some answers from science (which is all we can ever hope for).

3 minutes ago, Mallic said:

Is there something more to the universe then the physical?

I would be tempted to say, of course there is.  But it depends (as so often with questions like this) on definitions. What do you mean by "physical"? Is music "physical"? Is art? Is love?

 

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13 minutes ago, Strange said:

They certainly won't if you refuse to learn anything about what science says, and just make it up instead. On the other hand, you might get some answers from science (which is all we can ever hope for).

I would be tempted to say, of course there is.  But it depends (as so often with questions like this) on definitions. What do you mean by "physical"? Is music "physical"? Is art? Is love?

 

I mean in terms of life beyond the veil, what happens to our consciousness? Is it all limited to our brains like so many grimdark enthusiasts love to profess? or is there something more? The field of quantum mechanics brings a lot of hope for the idea that there is something past death and that it is merely an illusion. And there is evidence of such things being true for example ian stevensons research on reincarnation despite a lot of it not being concrete. But to so confidently say "Nope there's nothing, you just rot when you die" or "Yep they lost their one chance at life before it really began.....sucks to be them" I just don't understand how anyone can think like that.

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1 minute ago, Mallic said:

The field of quantum mechanics brings a lot of hope for the idea that there is something past death and that it is merely an illusion.

Quantum mechanics has nothing to say on the subject of reincarnation - that means it neither affirms nor denies the idea. It’s simply outside the scope of physics.
And Ian Stevenson is a psychiatrist, not a phycisist.

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Just now, Markus Hanke said:

Quantum mechanics has nothing to say on the subject of reincarnation - that means it neither affirms nor denies the idea. It’s simply outside the scope of physics.
And Ian Stevenson is a psychiatrist, not a phycisist.

So....is there like a hierarchy of scientific fields or something?

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40 minutes ago, Mallic said:

I mean 2 atoms just "happen" to collide with each other creating the big bang

I know of no legitimate scenario where this is proposed as the big bang. (Atoms came after the BB but atoms collide all the time, so how is that an issue with regards to things happening "by accident"?)

40 minutes ago, Mallic said:

that just "happened" to have the exact elements needed for life

There's no evidence that this is the case. Is Uranium actually required for life? In a certain isotopic ratio "required"? (I hope not, since these have changed over time)

40 minutes ago, Mallic said:

, on top of us just happening to be sentient

There's the anthropic principle. Any species could be sentient, and contemplate this issue. It didn't have to be humans. But since we're sentient, we have the ability to do so.

These are very vague and specious arguments.

40 minutes ago, Mallic said:

....I think this issue i have probably has a lot more to do with reductionism then anything else. Just this idea of taking this vast universe we live in, and bring it down to the most mundane level possible. It's dehumanizing among other things.

That's a problem for you, perhaps, but it's not a given that humans are (or should be) anything special

 

7 minutes ago, Mallic said:

So....is there like a hierarchy of scientific fields or something?

 

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5 minutes ago, swansont said:

I know of no legitimate scenario where this is proposed as the big bang. (Atoms came after the BB but atoms collide all the time, so how is that an issue with regards to things happening "by accident"?)

There's no evidence that this is the case. Is Uranium actually required for life? In a certain isotopic ratio "required"? (I hope not, since these have changed over time)

There's the anthropic principle. Any species could be sentient, and contemplate this issue. It didn't have to be humans. But since we're sentient, we have the ability to do so.

These are very vague and specious arguments.

That's a problem for you, perhaps, but it's not a given that humans are (or should be) anything special

 

Ok let me break this down. 

This 2 atoms thing, mostly come from people who wanna try and discredit religious people. 

and I'm not discrediting anything else being sentient. That's like me saying animals like dogs and what not aren't sentient. That would be foolish. Why would i be surprised if another creatrures ended up being capable of speech? I shouldn't

And you seem to assume that my belief is limited to only humans which again isn't the case. I'm talking in regards to all living sentient creatures. Be they Humans, Animals, or creatures we have even yet to see. I know i'm terrible at explaining stuff, but my thinking isn't as one dimensional as you seem to think it is.

Edited by Mallic
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12 minutes ago, Mallic said:

I mean in terms of life beyond the veil, what happens to our consciousness?

I see no reason to think of consciousness as a (possibly illusionary) emergent phenomenon of the activity of the brain. As such, it just ceases to exist. Other will have other opinions/beliefs. It is pretty much impossible to prove that consciousness doesn't continue but, on the other hand, no one has ever produced any compelling evidence that it does.

14 minutes ago, Mallic said:

The field of quantum mechanics brings a lot of hope for the idea that there is something past death and that it is merely an illusion.

Why? Quantum mechanics says nothing about that. There are all sorts of fake "thinkers" who claim there is some connection. But that seems to be on the bass that "quantum theory is mysterious" (in other words they know nothing about it) and "consciousness is mysterious" therefore they must be related. Which is a total failure of logical thinking.

16 minutes ago, Mallic said:

I just don't understand how anyone can think like that.

People are enormously varied and have very varied beliefs. 

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8 minutes ago, Mallic said:

So....is there like a hierarchy of scientific fields or something?

There is no hierarchy, but the different scientific disciplines deal with different domains of enquiry. Psychologists are not trained in quantum mechanics, and you wouldn’t want a phycisist attempting to treat you when you go into a mental hospital, would you?

Inter-disciplinary communication and cooperation is crucially important, but most scientists have in-depth knowledge in only one particular area.

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6 minutes ago, Mallic said:

This 2 atoms thing, mostly come from people who wanna try and discredit religious people. 

So someone made it up. And you are repeating it. Why?

Why don't you learn what the Big Bang model actually says. For example it says nothing about the "creation" of the universe.

 

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