Jump to content

Could there be a God?


Recommended Posts

Then how can you make a scientific claim purporting that he exists? I can make all the claims I like, but if I can't devise a way to test those claims, they're not science.

 

 

''And some of the greatest minds of mathematics believed in Allah. So what?

Belief is evidence of nothing, so why does it matter what some of the greatest minds in science believed?''

 

You must have missed the OP about rejecting traditional theories of God...

 

That's ok, most of my words fall on deaf ears anyway.

Edited by Aethelwulf
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 170
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I'm frustrated that you're being so unnecessarily evasive and petulant, but I'm hardly angry.   I knew up front what you likely meant when referencing Einstein. You're not the first, nor will you

The lack of evidence is not evidence against. Something you will learn in science friend.

Sure, there "could" be a god. There "could" also be microscopic garden gnomes living in your armpits and singing songs accompanied by tiny fiddles.

And I can't answer questions like ''how do you test God''? This is not the nature of the OP to tackle that question. Especially of course for the fact that I can't.

 

 

You must have missed the OP about rejecting traditional theories of God...

 

That's ok, most of my words fall on deaf ears anyway.

 

It doesn't matter if you're discussing traditional theories or not. If matters not one whit if you're proposing that God is really Ralph from across the street - if you can't test it, it's not science, however hard you try and convince us it is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah I think I finally see what you're saying.

 

You're still arguing from 'lack of evidence' here but you've made a key error. In probability theory, absence of evidence IS evidence (though not proof) of absence. While its true that there are real causes which refuse to admit evidence of that cause, the probability of observing evidence of that cause is far less likely if that cause doesn't exist. Therefore, continued lack of observation makes it less likely that the cause doesn't exist.

 

In formal terms:

 

if

P(G|E) > P(G) (if the probability of God existing is greater given the condition of observing Evidence - which is true)

then

P(G|~E) < P(G)

The probability that god exists given absence of evidence decreases that probability.

 

In probability there's this little thing called 'conservation of probability.' Since observing evidence must increase our prior belief/estimate about the hypothesis (God exists) observing no evidence must equally cause us to downgrade that belief. The confusion arises, I think, because observing strong, powerful evidence increases that probability estimate swiftly and drastically, while observing no evidence decreases that estimate slowly and in smaller increments.

 

''Ah I think I finally see what you're saying. ''

 

Good. Then maybe we will be able to move forward. I was close to asking a mod to close this thread.

 

Listen you are a smart man. I've seen your posts in the mathematics area, which tells me you are quite adept to the rigor of mathematics. My area is mathematics as well but I traditionally deal with the physical nature of science.

 

Your point here:

 

''In probability theory, absence of evidence IS evidence (though not proof) of absence.''

 

Is a good point but in a sense I have given you the required conditions why we cannot observe God. I likened it to the unobservable ''parallel universes'' which many top-leading physicists today want us to believe in.

 

In quantum mechanics, an observable is something we can measure often given with a Hermitian Matrix. I won't go through the math, I will assume off-hand you know what that is. There are some things in science which cannot be described as ''observables'' - things we can directly measure. Indeed, many things inside this universe cannot be measured, like the beginning of time for instance. (Time can't be observed, its not an observable, here I just mean the physical things that come along with the very first instant we call Big Bang.)

 

Not being able to observe something should not mean a lack of evidence, in physics, as we understand theoretical models. A really good example would be string theory. Many scientists will argue today that string theory isn't even a science because it cannot be falsified. But you know, there are plenty scientists, (some of the top scientists in current mainstream today) who will argue blue in the face that there is string theory nature to the universe. Do we say their lack of evidence is evidence against?

 

The answer is no, and the reason why is because one day we expect to have the kind of technology that will provide these answers. We have just came out of the dark ages and into the revolution of technology. On the scale of intelligence, we are just young and in the scale of testing theories, loads of possibilities are being opened. Maybe one day, we will have some kind of solution in our equations which might involve the idea that there could be ''something'' or ''someone'' behind creation. A good example of such revelations, was that a computer code (a binary code which was an error correcting code, the kind you have which works your computer screen) was found embedded within the supersymmetry equations of string theory. That's the kind of revelation I am talking about. I can't give you all the answers you have wanted in this thread, but I am certain not to be naive enough to say a God is improbable, especially with a lack of evdidnce.

 

It doesn't matter if you're discussing traditional theories or not. If matters not one whit if you're proposing that God is really Ralph from across the street - if you can't test it, it's not science, however hard you try and convince us it is.

 

Ironically, the post above while you where posting this, actually speaks about ''the non-science of unfalsifiable theories.'' My point in the post above, is that theories of this nature are waiting until the technology or scientific breakthrough makes them at least measurable or falsifiable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Ironically, the post above while you where posting this, actually speaks about ''the non-science of unfalsifiable theories.'' My point in the post above, is that theories of this nature are waiting until the technology or scientific breakthrough makes them at least measurable or falsifiable.

 

I'll concede that point. There are areas of science that (at least to my knowledge, someone with more experience in the field may correct me) can't currently be tested with the technology we have. However, those theories still provide testable predictions, even if we currently cannot test those predictions. The theory itself is falsifiable, even if the means to refute or confirm it does not yet exist.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll concede that point. There are areas of science that (at least to my knowledge, someone with more experience in the field may correct me) can't currently be tested with the technology we have. However, those theories still provide testable predictions, even if we currently cannot test those predictions. The theory itself is falsifiable, even if the means to refute or confirm it does not yet exist.

 

I'd agree with that, but God isn't something without predictions. I could easily argue that our equations describing the universe will result in some kind of analogue of something or someone behind its creation, just as much as recently, we found binary error correction codes in supersymmetry.

 

It's all very premature to think that a God, in my eyes, is completely unthinkable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your point about physics theories are well taken (though I'm not versed in them enough to comment specifically) but I do take issue with this specific bit:

 

Not being able to observe something should not mean a lack of evidence

 

Evidence, by definition, comes through observation (either directly or through instruments). From how I understand it, theoretical physics can be supported by how closely the model can fit the available evidence. In other words, while something like string theory has been difficult to test experimentally, the models were not simply pulled out of thin air (or physicist asses). They have support in scientific literature precisely because the models can explain the available observational evidence. And they're falsifiable in the sense that, well one day maybe the technology exists to do an experiment or make observations we currently can't.

 

However, you claim that God is inherently impossible to observe. Therefore, your hypothesis or model of God is impossible to test, since there is no evidence which can confirm or deny the model. The model must be able to predict our observations and the best available evidence. It must both explain and rule out alternative explanations. I don't see how your original post does that.

 

I admit to not being a physicist, but I don't think that changes how basic science works.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your point about physics theories are well taken (though I'm not versed in them enough to comment specifically) but I do take issue with this specific bit:

 

Not being able to observe something should not mean a lack of evidence

 

Evidence, by definition, comes through observation (either directly or through instruments). From how I understand it, theoretical physics can be supported by how closely the model can fit the available evidence.

 

Yes this is true. We do indeed base our models as close to our reality will agree to them.This is indeed the way science works. However, and this is a big BUT, a theory is still a theory and a theory can never be proven with 100% accuracy.

 

You can have mathematical proofs, which may lead to mathematical certainties. Unfortunately, most of the time in physics, these kinds of certainties are extremely rare.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, but I'm also not asking for certainty. I'm asking what would you expect to observe under the assumption that your model is true that makes it different (and mutually exclusive) from prevailing physics.

 

The reason I ask is because for every piece of evidence that your model claims to exclusively expect, you must downgrade the probability that your God model is true if you should fail to see such evidence. That's really how science works.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd expect to observe, some kind of unification to physics. If there is any kind of intellect behind the universe, it surely would be wrapped up into a set of simple equations which explains everything.

However, a simple set of equations that explains everything is not evidence of some kind of intellect behind the Universe...

Link to post
Share on other sites

However, a simple set of equations that explains everything is not evidence of some kind of intellect behind the Universe...

 

Depends on the nature of the equations. And if a unification can be achieved, it also hints at some super-order behind the universe.

 

Think of it this way.. just entertain for a second there is a superintelligence in the universe. If we knew the equations which describe everything in the universe, then we would know the mind of God.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the nature of the equations. And if a unification can be achieved, it also hints at some super-order behind the universe.

 

Think of it this way.. just entertain for a second there is a superintelligence in the universe. If we knew the equations which describe everything in the universe, then we would know the mind of God.

 

That's something of a leap. If we can describe everything in the Universe, all we can say for sure is this is the Universe. There's no need to invoke a God of any sort, especially if that figure is indistinguishable from the Universe itself.

 

I'd agree with that, but God isn't something without predictions. I could easily argue that our equations describing the universe will result in some kind of analogue of something or someone behind its creation, just as much as recently, we found binary error correction codes in supersymmetry.

 

It's all very premature to think that a God, in my eyes, is completely unthinkable.

 

And if we find the equation that describes life the universe, and everything, and there's no room for God, what then?

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's something of a leap. If we can describe everything in the Universe, all we can say for sure is this is the Universe. There's no need to invoke a God of any sort, especially if that figure is indistinguishable from the Universe itself.

This, to me, is a key point rather often missed by the deist mindset. Adding the concept of god(s) on top of the universe or cosmos really does little but add unnecessary baggage and reduction in precision. It has no value, no utility, and no consistency. If we're talking about the universe, then call it the universe. Calling it god makes understanding and comprehension less likely, not more.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd expect to observe, some kind of unification to physics. If there is any kind of intellect behind the universe, it surely would be wrapped up into a set of simple equations which explains everything.

Right.. but you've failed to uphold the other requirement of a scientific model, which is that it has to rule out alternative hypotheses. This one doesn't rule out unified physics by a means other than a deity, thus making lack of direct evidence even more damning to the theory.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Could there be a god? (gods)

 

Of course it's possible. What is the evidence? Lots of personal testimony :) but not much else :(

 

The problem is that you can never disprove something does not exist if it is said that it cannot be observed at the present time, and/ or that it does not exist physically in our 3 or 4 dimensional reality. God and multiverses would seemingly fall into this category. Other things fall into the possibly-observable category with some disputable evidence, such as flying saucers for example. And then there are things that are logically impossible such as conventional Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Could there be a god? (gods)

 

Of course it's possible. What is the evidence? Lots of personal testimony :) but not much else :(

 

The problem is that you can never disprove something does not exist if it is said that it cannot be observed at the present time, and/ or that it does not exist physically in our 3 or 4 dimensional reality. God and multiverses would seemingly fall into this category. Other things fall into the possibly-observable category with some disputable evidence, such as flying saucers for example. And then there are things that are logically impossible such as conventional Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny.

 

Don`t forget DARK MATTER!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Don`t forget DARK MATTER!!

Yup, forgot that one :)

 

I think Dark matter probably falls into an unmentioned category of "theoretical/hypothetical entities" such as warped space, gravitons, and Higg's particles, etc. On the other hand I personally put dark energy into the flying saucer and aether category, where there is no indisputable evidence for their existence.

 

When betting a couple of six packs and my soul given the proper odds, I would bet against the existence of god, multiverses/ parallel universes, flying saucers that have visited us, dark matter, dark energy, warped space, Higg's particles, gravitons, anything physical that is infinite, etc.

 

I'm pretty much of a skeptic concerning most theoretical entities. The only theoretical entity/ exception that I can think of that I believe probably exists is a gravity-centered physical aether that might be as difficult to observe as dark energy if either were real :)

//

Edited by pantheory
Link to post
Share on other sites

Yawn!

 

When I was 14 I worked out for myself the non existance of an omnipotent being via the impossible task paradox.

I was quite proud of myself and it was only much later in life that I found out many had done this before me.

However that left me with the issue of the possibility of a being more powerful than I but not omnipotent.

I declined then and still do, to regard such a being as a god, any more than a human baby regards a human adult as a god. We expect a baby to develop into an adult after all.

 

I see no reason why humans should not aspire to be (one day) as powerful as any such being.

 

So my answer is a no there cannot be god.

 

Since that day I have regarded the question of the existence of god as irrelevant.

 

A more relevant question might be:

 

Would you act any differently if there definitely was or was not a god?

Edited by studiot
Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the nature of the equations. And if a unification can be achieved, it also hints at some super-order behind the universe.

No it doesn't and no it doesn't. Further more I'd wager you can't support any of these assertions with science.

Link to post
Share on other sites

God could even be some kind of ''supercomputer''...

...we found binary error correction codes in supersymmetry.

...some super-order behind the universe.

...entertain for a second there is a superintelligence in the universe. If we knew the equations which describe everything in the universe, then we would know the mind of God.

So... your argument is that a superman with super-intelligence would see the super-order of the universe as suggested by supersymmetry, and that super-ordered supercomputer would be God?

 

To quote Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word -- I do not think it means what you think it means.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So... your argument is that a superman with super-intelligence would see the super-order of the universe as suggested by supersymmetry, and that super-ordered supercomputer would be God?

 

To quote Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word -- I do not think it means what you think it means.

 

Super-Order; To me is the shadow of a superdeterminism. A deterministically-ruled universe which a type of overall order usually beyond observation evidence.

 

Superintelligence; an intelligence above all other types of intellects or measuring devices in the universe. Hoyle speculated on a ''superintelligence'' and wondered if the universe had it in the form of a supercomputer located in the future horizon of our universe which was sending messages back and shaping the universe today as we know it.

 

The thing about the supersymmetry was only a subject explaining how there can be hidden things within equations which make us ask the question ''is there some kind of design behind them?''

 

No it doesn't and no it doesn't. Further more I'd wager you can't support any of these assertions with science.

 

I've already demonstrated one kind of way to view it. The supersymmetry equations with the correction codes embedded within the equations raises a type of ''are we living in a computer generated world''?

 

This point has obviously flew over the heads with most of you.

Edited by Aethelwulf
Link to post
Share on other sites

 

The thing about the supersymmetry was only a subject explaining how there can be hidden things within equations which make us ask the question ''is there some kind of design behind them?''

 

I've already demonstrated one kind of way to view it. The supersymmetry equations with the correct codes embedded within the equations raises a type of ''are we living in a computer generated world''?

 

This point has obviously flew over the heads with most of you.

 

 

Maybe, maybe not, it is of course pure speculation with absolutely nothing to back it. I prefer the null hypothesis to inform my conclusions on the subject.

 

You are clearly an intelligent man with a strong mathematical/physics ability, but equally clear is your inability to communicate with humility and, to a lesser extent, clarity. This doesn’t mean you have to be nice to everyone, but assuming most others lack understanding is both arrogant and just plain wrong, many members here are your equal or better, I of course don’t include myself, but even I get your meaning, it’s not hard to follow, I just don’t agree with your conclusions.

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe, maybe not, it is of course pure speculation with absolutely nothing to back it. I prefer the null hypothesis to inform my conclusions on the subject.

 

You are clearly an intelligent man with a strong mathematical/physics ability, but equally clear is your inability to communicate with humility and, to a lesser extent, clarity. This doesn't mean you have to be nice to everyone, but assuming most others lack understanding is both arrogant and just plain wrong, many members here are your equal or better, I of course don't include myself, but even I get your meaning, it's not hard to follow, I just don't agree with your conclusions.

 

 

 

''with the correctION codes'' that should have been.

 

First, thank you... however, I have been somewhat persecuted for saying that I believe a God is not outside the realms of science. If I show a somewhat belligerent nature I think some of the posters here first need to evaluate how they have been themselves before they rush to judge me.

 

I certainly don't think others lack the ability to understand. I do believe however many people here are not trying hard enough to expand their minds to be able enough to understand.

 

There is a difference.

 

To add to the Super-Order, I think there are some interesting undertones to the Implicate Order by Bohm and the Holomovement in his interpretation of the causal aspects of the physical world. (Just thought I'd add this in).

Edited by Aethelwulf
Link to post
Share on other sites

My OP was not intended to question any orthodox science. I just wanted to show that if there was a God, he could not know everything. If he did, it would be catastrophic for the physical world as we know it in physics. Maybe because of this, God does play dice with certain things. Einstein believed that everything has a purpose and danced to a mysterious pipers tune. In a sense I believe everything does have a type of determinism about it, but perhaps God set the world up to go a certain way without wanting to know the shabby details in-between.

 

There is however one way a God could defy the uncertainty principle.

 

That is by making a measurement on the position of a particle in the past then making a measurement on the future momentum of a particle and then recollect that information in the present time frame - Thus God then has both the information of the particles position and momentum simultaneously without violating the uncertainty principle. Perhaps God is not bound by time in this sense and chooses when certain information is ever known. This solution to my OP actually comes from the work of three physicists, David Albert, Yakir Aharanov and Susan D'Amato.

 

Here is a ref to their work: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=1_uE3yWP1pwC&pg=PA48&lpg=PA48&dq=David+Albert,+Yakir+Aharonov+and+Susan+D%27amato+position+momentum+particle&source=bl&ots=5z19qi4L4q&sig=3bKasoZ96FCKdef4HSYOTUirJV8&hl=en&ei=1NieStjOL4Kz8Qb9sKy3Aw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=David%20Albert%2C%20Yakir%20Aharonov%20and%20Susan%20D'amato%20position%20momentum%20particle&f=false

 

Their paper was actually called ''curious new statistical predictions of theoretical physics''

 

http://prl.aps.org/a...PRL/v54/i1/p5_1

Edited by Aethelwulf
Link to post
Share on other sites

The superintelligence of a universe would be something which ''brought about'' the universe. Measurement in physics is usually quite a complicated business for those who are not acquainted in physics. It involves some matrices (depending on what you work with), including a collapse of the wave function (for those who don't understand statistical mechanics). But in its most elegant way, things don't really exist exactly unless they are measured - now, we don't usually think of absolute human observers nowadays since humans are not a requisite for collapsing the wave function. Observers nowadays involved also inanimate observers in the form of particles. A particle can observe another particle, for instance, by disturbing its wave function. This is a reason why positroniums exist. It's because an electron and a positron can stay in stable ''orbits'' because neither one has fully interacted with each wave function, otherwise, if they had completely cancelled out, it would have resulted in gamma radiation.

 

What about the first instants of time?

 

What about the very first conditions of Big Bang?

 

There is a relatively new doctrine in quantum mechanics called ''quantum cosmology''. My OP actually hit the sides of this topic, explaining how the universe ''as a macroscopic entity'' could still exhibit ''quantum effects'' like the smearing of possibilities due to a wave function. Now I will expand on it.

 

The reason why quantum effects still take place in this universe, is because its most earliest existence was below the size of a single proton. In fact, it arose from a dimensionless existence. This is because of adjustments we had to make on the time it required to let the background temperatures to settle in its uniform (irradiated) configuration --- which brought in a new topic called the inflationary phase.

 

Before this phase our universe existed with quantum effects, or at least, this is what we are led to by top leading physicists like Steven Hawking. This condition on our universe meant that if the quantum wave function ruled out microscopic universe, then our universe arose with many possible conditions, just like a photon jumping through a double slit experiment will not experience one path alone, but will travel through both slots simultaneously.

 

Our universe, according to quantum cosmology, therefore means, that it arose with every possible conditions before it.... and in terms of statistical mechanics means an infinite kind of possible states it could have arose in. Now, the question is,

 

''if that is the case, how and why did the universe arise in the specific condition it did to allow the exact kind of system we observe today?''

 

Indeed, if any specific measurement was out of a specific type of order, then the universe as we know it today would have been drastically different. This is what I speak of a ''Super-Order'' - an underlying deterministic universe with a specific path which has led to this wonderful construction which allows even humans today to speak about the things they have. If it had not, we would not be here today.

 

It could have been chance, but I can easily tell you those statistics... it would have been 1 in [math]\infty[/math], the infinity arising from all the possible states the universe could have been in. One way, physicists today try and escape this anomaly is by saying that every possibility does actually exist in the form of parallel universes, but you study those equations and one can still see that strange potential arising and you ask yourself ''why does any universe exist outside our own, just to play out every quantum effect?'' In our universe, that kind of existence does not agree to our measurements. When we measure a photon, we do not see it move from one location to another, and then another, or any more beyond this. When we disturb the wave function, our experiment truly says ''here it is''.... in the form of a single particle. It really is not shared among different places. the observer effect should be seen as a fundamental fact of ... tangible, ''here they are'' existences. Not to mention of course, that parallel universes would mean that the word ''universe'' no longer has its true definition, ''something which defined the everything''.

 

(Just to add)

 

Why should any other statistic exist in our universe (impelling those to think of parallel universes) when some matter in the universe will never be observed? If, (and this is a speculation), if parallel universes cost energy, then we can think twice about such a system existing, because of the least action principle.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.