A Universe from nothing and Qur'an
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18-06-2014, 11:27 AM (This post was last modified: 18-06-2014 01:20 PM by therealJim.)
RE: A Universe from nothing and Qur'an
It's a bunch of bullshit. Whoever made this piece is either an ignorant idiot or a liar. I mean, my knowledge of physics is on the level of an interested layman, and even I can see the misreprensentations in it. And at the end of the video Surah 34:31 is quoted, implying that nonbelievers are arrogant or weak. This is an ad hominem and therefore a worthless argument.

Plus the maker of this cherry-picks Qu'ran verses and takes them out of context. Also at least one quote in there (I am refering to the one at 7m 44s) has been cut, meaning half of the passage has been left out, to make it suitable to the argument. Just look up the passages and check the sorrounding text. You will find that the quotes offered actually have a totally different meaning, due to the context in which you will find them. So I won't deal with them here.
Also I recommend that you get a basic idea on how predictions in science are used and what criteria they have to fulfill. For ressources to start with check my post here. Or ask me, or Mathilda, or somebody else around here with an education on it.

I will just handle the three most important misrepresentations:
a. This "summary" of Krauss position starting at 1m 29s:
To 1) The "old" theory refers to the so-called steady state model of the universe. And indeed it seems plausible that, if the universe had been around forever and will always exist, then the would be no need for any amount of deities.
To 2) This is bullshit. Yes as far as we know the universe had a beginning around 13,75 billion years ago. But we don't know if it will end. The most plausible explanation currently is, that the universe will expand forever. But we don't know.
UPDATE: John (see next post) is right. The term beginning is problematic. I mean that about 13,75 billion years ago the entire known universe, matter and space, was concentrated in a very, very, ... very small point. Then all of this started to expand in what is called the Big Bang. So far we don't know what was before that. In fact, because time and space as we think of them came into existence during in the Big Bang, there wasn't even a before that or outside the universe.
Yes very strange, but the best grasp of this "affair" we have so far.
To 3) Watch the lecture by Krauss again. The point is that, according to the best data available, it is possible and plausible that the universe began from absolutely nothing. I know this seems very strange, yet it is the conclusion from our best available understanding of the universe.

b. The stuff about how the universe will end starting at 3m 24s:
Again bullshit. The idea that the universe will eventually contract again was a credible idea about how it might end. However, in 1998 we learned that the expansion of the universe is not slowing down, which would be necessary for the collapse - which requires a negative expansion / contraction -, but speeding up. In 2011 the leading scientists of the two teams that independently made this discovery, Brian Schmidt, Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for it.
UPDATE: So if you want to call an eternal expansion of the universe "the end", do so. But this is something entirely different than the idea that universe will eventually shrink to a infinitesimally minuscule point (Note: I use both adjectives in an additive manner, because the universe originally was unimaginably tiny.).

c. The stuff about time starting at 5m 41s:
Again bullshit. The maker takes some stuff from the Theory of Relativity, and then makes wild implications that somehow the relativity of time also applies to God when compared to humans. Yet no evidence of this claim or even for the existence of God is presented.

Think that should help you dig up for answers (Hint: Most of them are in the world outside your brain Wink ).

"Newton's third law: The only way humans have ever figured out of getting somewhere is to leave something behind." - TARS, Interstellar
"Newtons drittes Gesetz: Der einzige Weg wie Menschen irgendwo hin kommen, ist der dass sie etwas zurücklassen." - TARS, Interstellar
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18-06-2014, 12:25 PM (This post was last modified: 18-06-2014 12:31 PM by John.)
RE: A Universe from nothing and Qur'an
(18-06-2014 07:39 AM)Anna Wrote:  Can someone clear up the claims in this video? I like reading stuff that claims it was mentioned in Quran before anyone knew it, like how the Earth is round, or the light of moon is reflected, etc but then I researched into it and found out it was already discovered even before Quran ever came into existence. But I don't know about the arguments presented here, will anyone more informed be much kind to clear this up for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv7lCR-7AKQ

Given that you're culturally muslim, you're probably quite familiar with the content of the Qur'an, and like all non-muslims who've read it to any degree, find it utterly uncompelling as a source of wisdom, nevermind as a veiled harbinger of scientific truths. The whole video made 14 scriptural references, many of them merely with the intention of calling non-believers stupid for not believing the message, a message that conveniently predicts others not to believe it, which in turn results in one fulfilled prophesy playing for it and obviously makes it all the more true and believable. *Sigh*

The connection between the scientific facts and the provided verses, which supposedly talk about them, is just utterly laughable. Here's the first verse (21:104) highlighted in context and the five (5) factoids that the verse is apparently linked to:


Quran 21:101-105 (Sahih International) Wrote:Indeed, those for whom the best [reward] has preceded from Us - they are from it far removed.
They will not hear its sound, while they are, in that which their souls desire, abiding eternally.
They will not be grieved by the greatest terror, and the angels will meet them, [saying], "This is your Day which you have been promised" -
The Day when We will fold the heaven like the folding of a [written] sheet for the records. As We began the first creation, We will repeat it. [That is] a promise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will do it.
And We have already written in the book [of Psalms] after the [previous] mention that the land [of Paradise] is inherited by My righteous servants.

So, any guesses as to what five scientific facts lie behind this single verse? I have trouble coming up with one, but here's the list verbatim from the video:


1) Universe had a beginning.
2) It almost matches NASA's description of a flat sheet of paper.
3) It added that this sheet (our universe) will be folded in the end. Have you heard about the folding or curving of space before?
4) The universe will end.
5) The same way this universe started, a new one will be repeated.

I could keep facepalming on this for days. Without having a peek on what exegetes have said about this verse, I'd guess that the folding of the heaven literally means just that. They thought that the sky above their head was literally like a piece of fabric spanned across the globe, like a tent, so when it's time for the apocalypse and the swarming of angels -- just fold it to give more room to fly down!

As for the factoids themselves, and their proposed connections:

1) Yes and no, it depends on what you mean by 'beginning'. It is not clear what, if anything, there was before the event termed 'the Big Bang' ocurred, or whether it's even meaningful to say 'before the Big Bang'. What the Qur'an's idea of 'creation' has to do with this is not exactly clear.
2) Yes, apparently the universe is 'flat', in the sense that the angles of arbitrary triangles sum up to 180 degrees, not more or less. The notion of a sheet of paper in this context is just an illustration of 2-dimensional 'flatness' (not 3-dimensional, as in the case of the universe), which is just that, an illustration, an aid to comprehend. The technicalities don't match up, the contexts don't have anything to do with each other.
3) The folding and curving of space is something that happens due to mass (or its equivalences) in space every moment, not just when the world 'comes to an end', by which time, as far as I am to understand, the curving of the universe should be at its minimum due to extremely low average density. This is, once again, more of punch in one's own face as an argument for the Qur'an being backed up by science.
4) Yes and no, just like point 1), it depends on what you mean by 'end'. If heat death is what you consider an ending, sure. If not, then no, or at least we have no basis to make such claims.
5) Conjecture. These types of questions are without answers at present, and this one in particular used to be a more current idea when it wasn't yet known that the universe was increasingly expanding, so it was conjectured that the whole universe would eventually collapse back to it's starting point and then, via lots of hand waving, go through another Big Bang. Nowadays you don't hear of this one, but you might encounter different ideas that give rise to a Big Bang, e.g. extremely rare quantum fluctuations giving rise to universes.


The rest of the arguments are equal in stature, so I won't go through all of them, but here's a particularily enjoyable one:

First he recognizes the fact that time goes by slower in strong gravitational fields, as per Einstein. Then he proceeds to ask "how slow must time go by in the presence of God?". Then he quote-mines the Qur'an for some verses that support the idea of God's perception of time being different of that of humans:

Quran 70:6-7 Wrote:Indeed, they see it [as] distant, but We see it [as] near.

Quran 20:47 Wrote:And they urge you to hasten the punishment. But Allah will never fail in His promise. And indeed, a day with your Lord is like a thousand years of those which you count.

Quran 30:55-56 Wrote:And the Day the Hour appears the criminals will swear they had remained but an hour. Thus they were deluded.
But those who were given knowledge and faith will say, "You remained the extent of Allah 's decree until the Day of Resurrection, and this is the Day of Resurrection, but you did not used to know."


So, in essence, his argument says that God is the ultimate Black Hole. And all this time I thought God was the ultimate A-hole. Gotta love learning.

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18-06-2014, 12:50 PM
RE: A Universe from nothing and Qur'an
You should should read the fourth book from god that I wrote when god spoke to me a long time ago when I was a teenager.

The entire book is one sentence long and covers everything you need to know in life.

"Get out of bed you lazy bum and go find a job"

It was right then that I became a believer.

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18-06-2014, 01:23 PM
RE: A Universe from nothing and Qur'an
(18-06-2014 10:46 AM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(18-06-2014 08:19 AM)Anna Wrote:  Maybe but I found it interesting that the idea of a flat universe was common at that time, but then again, they did thought the Earth was flat too, why not the universe. Also I found out that the Muslim scientist of older times did believe in the theory of evolution, before Darwin. It was called the Mohammeden theory of evolution, where as I always thought you just cant mix the two.

Even if they had a word to represent the 'universe' in ancient Arabic, it's certainly not meant in the same sense as modern cosmology; nor would the distinction between a flat, curved, or round one as per theoretical physics.

Do you want to know what would have actually help to improved the lives of billions throughout history? If god had bothered to inform anyone about the basics of hygiene and germs. Seriously, pondering the stars can wait until after we stop people from dying of dysentery and plague.

Some earlier Greek philosophers had pondered the idea of evolution, and certainly had a concept of, one animal changing into another over time. It lacked however the explanatory power of Darwin's work, because they (so far as we know) didn't have a natural explanation to make it work. I could imagine some of them entertaining the idea of we would now call theistic evolution, where the gods were the driving force of change. However Darwin still has to get credit for formalizing it and coming up with the naturalistic explanation to drive that change, his idea of natural selection.

True that, I actually have a very funny picture related to germs and hygiene which I will post in another thread just for amusement. And yes, even today if you talk to more educated Muslims they try to fit the theory of evolution according to their religion, like God's divine assistance kept interfering with the mutations and stuff. However I cant say the same for the historical Muslim scientists since they believed that environment and habitat has a major part to play than God, but one can never be too sure.

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18-06-2014, 01:25 PM
RE: A Universe from nothing and Qur'an
(18-06-2014 11:17 AM)Leo Wrote:  The idea of the universe popping out from nothing is bullshit. And the koran is bullshit.

Define nothing.

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18-06-2014, 01:28 PM
RE: A Universe from nothing and Qur'an
(18-06-2014 11:25 AM)Mr. Slave Wrote:  When I left Islam I made quite a few papers refuting particular claims in the Qur'an but the Qur'an like the Bible uses the firmament concept but it is heavily modified.
The ayat given is irrelevant and nonsensical. The Qur'an makes many vague statements about the earth.

I will dig up my documents and give you some background on Arabic words.

You're an ex-Muslim? I would really appreciate your views then cuz I come from the same religion and I want to see Qur'an from an atheist's point of view and since you're from the same religion you might be able to dig deeper than ex-Christians would bother to. I find many of it's verses against science, humanity and just down-right hurtful.

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18-06-2014, 01:44 PM
RE: A Universe from nothing and Qur'an
(18-06-2014 11:27 AM)therealJim Wrote:  It's a bunch of bullshit. Whoever made this piece is either an ignorant idiot or a liar. I mean, my knowledge of physics is on the level of an interested layman, and even I can see the misreprensentations in it. And at the end of the video Surah 34:31 is quoted, implying that nonbelievers are arrogant or weak. This is an ad hominem and therefore a worthless argument.

Plus the maker of this cherry-picks Qu'ran verses and takes them out of context. Also at least one quote in there (I am refering to the one at 7m 44s) has been cut, meaning half of the passage has been left out, to make it suitable to the argument. Just look up the passages and check the sorrounding text. You will find that the quotes offered actually have a totally different meaning, due to the context in which you will find them. So I won't deal with them here.
Also I recommend that you get a basic idea on how predictions in science are used and what criteria they have to fulfill. For ressources to start with check my post here. Or ask me, or Mathilda, or somebody else around here with an education on it.

I will just handle the three most important misrepresentations:
a. This "summary" of Krauss position starting at 1m 29s:
To 1) The "old" theory refers to the so-called steady state model of the universe. And indeed it seems plausible that, if the universe had been around forever and will always exist, then the would be no need for any amount of deities.
To 2) This is bullshit. Yes as far as we know the universe had a beginning around 13,75 billion years ago. But we don't know if it will end. The most plausible explanation currently is, that the universe will expand forever. But we don't know.
UPDATE: John (see next post) is right. The term beginning is problematic. I mean that about 13,75 billion years ago the entire known universe, matter and space, was concentrated in a very, very, ... very small point. Then all of this started to expand in what is called the Big Bang. So far we don't know what was before that. In fact, because time and space as we think of them came into existence during in the Big Bang, there wasn't even a before that or outside the universe.
Yes very strange, but the best grasp of this "affair" we have so far.
To 3) Watch the lecture by Krauss again. The point is that, according to the best data available, it is possible and plausible that the universe began from absolutely nothing. I know this seems very strange, yet it is the conclusion from our best available understanding of the universe.

b. The stuff about how the universe will end starting at 3m 24s:
Again bullshit. The idea that the universe will eventually contract again was a credible idea about how it might end. However, in 1998 we learned that the expansion of the universe is not slowing down, which would be necessary for the collapse - which requires a negative expansion / contraction -, but speeding up. In 2011 the leading scientists of the two teams that independently made this discovery, Brian Schmidt, Adam Riess and Saul Perlmutter, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for it.
UPDATE: So if you want to call an eternal expansion of the universe "the end", do so. But this is something entirely different than the idea that universe will eventually shrink to a infinitesimally minuscule point (Note: I use both adjectives in an additive manner, because the universe originally was unimaginably tiny.).

c. The stuff about time starting at 5m 41s:
Again bullshit. The maker takes some stuff from the Theory of Relativity, and then makes wild implications that somehow the relativity of time also applies to God when compared to humans. Yet no evidence of this claim or even for the existence of God is presented.

Think that should help you dig up for answers (Hint: Most of them are in the world outside your brain Wink ).

Oh don't be offended on the 'arrogant and weak' part, Muslims believe it's their birth-right to judge other people simply because they don't believe what Muslims believe. Maybe they're just jealous cuz atheist managed to break free.

Thanks alot for the resources, and keep them coming, I have a long way to go.

a. I understood the lecture completely, how there is still 'something' where we think there is nothing. Probably Higg's boson as he said they keep popping in and out of existence so I guess it was Higgs boson he was referring to and its responsible for all the mass in the universe so yes a universe from nothing is possible no arguments here.

b. Okay this one I didn't know. However, I read that after a billion years, the sun will burn up all of its hydrogen and it's size will increase and the Earth will be fried. And more confusingly, the Qur'an mentions this as well, that the oceans will boil up and the mountains would explode. Now it has given us both the scenarios of how the world might end, guess God wasn't so sure either. But its still confusing, why does it HAVE to end?

c. Yeah I didn't pay much attention to that one, I don't care what time is it in the heavens.

Seriously, I am always up till 4 A.M watching all these physics and religious videos and comparing them. My cousins have started thinking I am on drugs or something LOL.

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18-06-2014, 02:02 PM
RE: A Universe from nothing and Qur'an
(18-06-2014 12:25 PM)John Wrote:  
(18-06-2014 07:39 AM)Anna Wrote:  Can someone clear up the claims in this video? I like reading stuff that claims it was mentioned in Quran before anyone knew it, like how the Earth is round, or the light of moon is reflected, etc but then I researched into it and found out it was already discovered even before Quran ever came into existence. But I don't know about the arguments presented here, will anyone more informed be much kind to clear this up for me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv7lCR-7AKQ

Given that you're culturally muslim, you're probably quite familiar with the content of the Qur'an, and like all non-muslims who've read it to any degree, find it utterly uncompelling as a source of wisdom, nevermind as a veiled harbinger of scientific truths. The whole video made 14 scriptural references, many of them merely with the intention of calling non-believers stupid for not believing the message, a message that conveniently predicts others not to believe it, which in turn results in one fulfilled prophesy playing for it and obviously makes it all the more true and believable. *Sigh*

The connection between the scientific facts and the provided verses, which supposedly talk about them, is just utterly laughable. Here's the first verse (21:104) highlighted in context and the five (5) factoids that the verse is apparently linked to:


Quran 21:101-105 (Sahih International) Wrote:Indeed, those for whom the best [reward] has preceded from Us - they are from it far removed.
They will not hear its sound, while they are, in that which their souls desire, abiding eternally.
They will not be grieved by the greatest terror, and the angels will meet them, [saying], "This is your Day which you have been promised" -
The Day when We will fold the heaven like the folding of a [written] sheet for the records. As We began the first creation, We will repeat it. [That is] a promise binding upon Us. Indeed, We will do it.
And We have already written in the book [of Psalms] after the [previous] mention that the land [of Paradise] is inherited by My righteous servants.

So, any guesses as to what five scientific facts lie behind this single verse? I have trouble coming up with one, but here's the list verbatim from the video:


1) Universe had a beginning.
2) It almost matches NASA's description of a flat sheet of paper.
3) It added that this sheet (our universe) will be folded in the end. Have you heard about the folding or curving of space before?
4) The universe will end.
5) The same way this universe started, a new one will be repeated.

I could keep facepalming on this for days. Without having a peek on what exegetes have said about this verse, I'd guess that the folding of the heaven literally means just that. They thought that the sky above their head was literally like a piece of fabric spanned across the globe, like a tent, so when it's time for the apocalypse and the swarming of angels -- just fold it to give more room to fly down!

As for the factoids themselves, and their proposed connections:

1) Yes and no, it depends on what you mean by 'beginning'. It is not clear what, if anything, there was before the event termed 'the Big Bang' ocurred, or whether it's even meaningful to say 'before the Big Bang'. What the Qur'an's idea of 'creation' has to do with this is not exactly clear.
2) Yes, apparently the universe is 'flat', in the sense that the angles of arbitrary triangles sum up to 180 degrees, not more or less. The notion of a sheet of paper in this context is just an illustration of 2-dimensional 'flatness' (not 3-dimensional, as in the case of the universe), which is just that, an illustration, an aid to comprehend. The technicalities don't match up, the contexts don't have anything to do with each other.
3) The folding and curving of space is something that happens due to mass (or its equivalences) in space every moment, not just when the world 'comes to an end', by which time, as far as I am to understand, the curving of the universe should be at its minimum due to extremely low average density. This is, once again, more of punch in one's own face as an argument for the Qur'an being backed up by science.
4) Yes and no, just like point 1), it depends on what you mean by 'end'. If heat death is what you consider an ending, sure. If not, then no, or at least we have no basis to make such claims.
5) Conjecture. These types of questions are without answers at present, and this one in particular used to be a more current idea when it wasn't yet known that the universe was increasingly expanding, so it was conjectured that the whole universe would eventually collapse back to it's starting point and then, via lots of hand waving, go through another Big Bang. Nowadays you don't hear of this one, but you might encounter different ideas that give rise to a Big Bang, e.g. extremely rare quantum fluctuations giving rise to universes.


The rest of the arguments are equal in stature, so I won't go through all of them, but here's a particularily enjoyable one:

First he recognizes the fact that time goes by slower in strong gravitational fields, as per Einstein. Then he proceeds to ask "how slow must time go by in the presence of God?". Then he quote-mines the Qur'an for some verses that support the idea of God's perception of time being different of that of humans:

Quran 70:6-7 Wrote:Indeed, they see it [as] distant, but We see it [as] near.

Quran 20:47 Wrote:And they urge you to hasten the punishment. But Allah will never fail in His promise. And indeed, a day with your Lord is like a thousand years of those which you count.

Quran 30:55-56 Wrote:And the Day the Hour appears the criminals will swear they had remained but an hour. Thus they were deluded.
But those who were given knowledge and faith will say, "You remained the extent of Allah 's decree until the Day of Resurrection, and this is the Day of Resurrection, but you did not used to know."


So, in essence, his argument says that God is the ultimate Black Hole. And all this time I thought God was the ultimate A-hole. Gotta love learning.

You know, now that you described the whole time thingy in gravitational field to me it does seem like bullshit because I remember every RELIGIOUS SCHOLAR telling us from Hadith that 1000 days at Earth is equals to 1 day in heaven. Which opposes relativity cuz time moves faster in lower gravitational fields. Man I am so dumb for not having seen this loop hole earlier.
But I thank all of you for taking out the time to write your views and clearing my misconceptions, you guys are the most helpful people I have ever come across. Smile

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18-06-2014, 02:30 PM
RE: A Universe from nothing and Qur'an
Anna - when was the universe ever nothing ?

At what point back in time does everything simply disappear ?

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18-06-2014, 02:44 PM
RE: A Universe from nothing and Qur'an
(18-06-2014 02:30 PM)Rahn127 Wrote:  Anna - when was the universe ever nothing ?

At what point back in time does everything simply disappear ?

Isn't the concept of time man-made? It's hard to even mentally go so further back in time when the universe stops existing.
I don't really know. I tried believing that the universe was always there, but it didn't work too well because I have no evidence to support it and if I was going to accept something without evidence I might as well just accept God.

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