Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
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15-05-2017, 06:16 AM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
Haha!

God fears science. He is forever scampering away from the edges of our increasing circle of knowledge.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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15-05-2017, 06:40 AM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
How do they calculate the probability of god, and what has changed to increase this probability?
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15-05-2017, 06:46 AM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(15-05-2017 06:16 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  He is forever scampering away from the edges of our increasing circle of knowledge.

Anansi, is that you?

And now I have this rather disconcerting image of a god-monster scuttling around, terrified...

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15-05-2017, 06:50 AM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
I was hoping this article would say something along the lines of "Science proves God exists ... as a specific zone in the prefrontal cortex which, from an evolutionary standpoint, helped early humans construct a model that would help them cope with their unexplainable environment and make sense of their brutishly short existence while they developed their logic, communication, altruistic and cooperation skills."

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15-05-2017, 08:20 AM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(14-05-2017 12:37 PM)unfogged Wrote:  
(14-05-2017 12:17 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  I look at physics, the philosophy of human consciousness, evolutionary biology, mathematics, the history of religion and theology to explore whether such a god exists. I should say that I am trained originally as an economist, but have been working at the intersection of economics, environmentalism and theology since the 1990s."

What huge steaming pile of argument from ignorance. An economist "looking at" physics, biology, etc ? What the fuck is "the philosophy of human consciousness"?

The "intersection of economics, environmentalism and theology" sounds like a null set to me.

The intersection of theology with pretty much anything is a null set.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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15-05-2017, 08:32 AM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(14-05-2017 06:55 PM)Rachel Wrote:  
(14-05-2017 12:17 PM)Cheerful Charlie Wrote:  Here's a little chew toy for everyone to play with.

http://www.newsweek.com/god-faith-religi...god-608897

DOES GOD EXIST? SOME SCIENTISTS THINK THEY HAVE PROOF

"Such trends have ironically been taking place even as, I would argue, the probability for the existence of a supernatural god have been rising. In my 2015 book, “God? Very Probably: Five Rational Ways to Think about the Question of a God,” I look at physics, the philosophy of human consciousness, evolutionary biology, mathematics, the history of religion and theology to explore whether such a god exists. I should say that I am trained originally as an economist, but have been working at the intersection of economics, environmentalism and theology since the 1990s."


Remarkably insipid which relies heavily on the argument from personal incredulity. "It's a mystery, therefore god" is poorly argued. The writer also ignores all contradictory evidence and differing opinions.

All of this ignores the impossibility of any god having created the universe. A cause is an event which always implies time. But special relativity is pretty clear that space and time are so intertwined that they should be referred to as "spacetime." If the matter/energy of the universe either didn't exist or did as a singularity, in either case, no time. Therefore any act of creation would have to precede the existence of time. Here's the reason:

The believer often makes the assumption that every event has a cause. We don't know this to be a truism. Certainly there are events which require no obvious cause, like radioactive decay. So there is no reason to assume that the origin of the universe requires a cause. There are also models which don't require a first cause for the universe.

Here is another problem with the First Cause argument. Since the arguers of a First Cause are defining a cause and effect relationship as the cause precedes the effect. Einstein showed that space and time are inextricably intertwined, so much so that cosmologists refer to space as "spacetime." Thus at the moment of the Big Bang, when the universe "began" or "re-began" time as well as space was created. This violates the cause and effect relationship, since the effect created time, therefore the cause cannot have preceded the effect. In other words, there was no "before" the Big Bang. Therefore there cannot have been a cause. The First Cause fails on the basis of both Einstein and logic.

Naturally, the First Cause argument is supposed to provide evidence for the existence of God. However, this also causes (!) problems. If the universe required a cause, then so does God. So what created the creator? The believer then invokes the bald assertion that "God is eternal." This, of course, has no evidence, but, worse for the true believer is the fact that this particular claim is the special pleading fallacy. "Everything requires a cause, except this one thing I claim created the universe." So remove the fallacy and state that since God needs no cause, then neither does the universe. An even better explanation is that there is no evidence for the existence of God, but there is abundant evidence that the universe exists. Therefore we can conclude that the universe is itself eternal.

So in the end, what can we conclude? There is no empirical evidence to support any claim made by ID, either through experimentation (there is no way to test ID, since it relies on the unproven existence and cooperation of a hypothetical supernatural creator) and there is no way to justify taking ID seriously on the basis of logic. The conclusion is that ID fails as a hypothesis and as a science. Thus it is easy to rule out the supernatural. Personal testimony is all the evidence that the supernatural can muster and ID relies solely on the argument from personal incredulity

I'm not impressed with the article either. Such is the authority given to the natural sciences as the only method of reliable knowledge that this author, and others, try to enlist it to reach proofs of God with it which it cannot do.

I don't think much of ID either and in my circles of the Christian world not many do.

But you misunderstand the arguments from a first cause:

1) Such arguments are not based on a sequence that involves time. Quite the contrary, in St. Thomas he famously denies that what he calls efficient causation can demonstrate whether the material universe had a temporal beginning or not.

2) Does all causation imply time as in 'put milk and ice cream in a blender you get a milkshake'? Many philosophers, atheists or not, do not think so. Thomas Nagel, an atheist, believes some sort of teleological view of causation is needed to explain evolution especially the evolution of consciousness. Thus the cause is simultaneous with the effect or the effect temporally precedes the cause. As in the child is father to the man.

3) You can of course argue that the material universe is eternal but then it merely remains a brute fact. Unexplainable by reason.

Cheers
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15-05-2017, 09:39 AM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(15-05-2017 08:32 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  I'm not impressed with the article either. Such is the authority given to the natural sciences as the only method of reliable knowledge that this author, and others, try to enlist it to reach proofs of God with it which it cannot do.
It is true that science cannot (dis)prove god but that is a pointless statement to make, because NO ONE can make a credible knowledge claim about invisible beings and realms. There is NO way to distinguish alleged divine revelation from the human imagination.
(15-05-2017 08:32 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  I don't think much of ID either and in my circles of the Christian world not many do.
Not formally, by those who understand the issues, but I rather suspect that ID has a lot of appeal to ordinary pew-warmers even outside of fundamentalism. It is after all just the standard subjective "there MUST be 'something more' because this just CAN'T be all there is" argument from incredulity.
(15-05-2017 08:32 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  But you misunderstand the arguments from a first cause:

1) Such arguments are not based on a sequence that involves time. Quite the contrary, in St. Thomas he famously denies that what he calls efficient causation can demonstrate whether the material universe had a temporal beginning or not.
Here again, I suspect that few Christians understand the distinction. We are creatures of time, and in my experience it is hard for most people to have non time-dependent thoughts.
(15-05-2017 08:32 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  2) Does all causation imply time as in 'put milk and ice cream in a blender you get a milkshake'? Many philosophers, atheists or not, do not think so. Thomas Nagel, an atheist, believes some sort of teleological view of causation is needed to explain evolution especially the evolution of consciousness. Thus the cause is simultaneous with the effect or the effect temporally precedes the cause. As in the child is father to the man.

3) You can of course argue that the material universe is eternal but then it merely remains a brute fact. Unexplainable by reason.
Well here again, it is not so brute as you make it out to be. Vast amounts of time are helpful and even necessary but we are not suggesting that a Boeing 747 will ever assemble out of a junkyard tornado, no matter how many billions of times you try. It is not just vast amounts of time, but also the fact that there are natural rhythms / cycles and other self-organizing impetuses that under certain conditions can form very simple life which can organize progressively from there. It isn't an attempt to get to a sophisticated endpoint without countless intermediate steps and dead-ends. That is a contrived argument.

So it is not just time in a blender. It is time, the presence of specific ingredients and conditions, and a slow progression of complexity. No one has ever suggested that if you put water, carbon, calcium, amino acids, vitamins and proteins in a giant blender that you'll eventually get a human. The suggestion is that you'll eventually get a prion or a virus or a single proto-celled organism, which probably dies immediately or after a few generations, and maybe the hundredth time it survives long-term and begins to evolve.
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15-05-2017, 09:51 AM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
Quote:DOES GOD EXIST? SOME SCIENTISTS THINK THEY HAVE PROOF

But they don't though, do they? Drinking Beverage

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15-05-2017, 09:53 AM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(14-05-2017 12:37 PM)unfogged Wrote:  What the fuck is "the philosophy of human consciousness"?

It's a subset of the philosophy of mind, which is a real thing, and has whole books written about it (I just finished reading one a few weeks ago) -- although some, such as our own Bucky Ball, pooh-pooh the entire enterprise. However, I find it interesting to ponder such questions as how brains give rise to consciousness, and whether or not this is limited to biological brains (e.g., could a computer ever be conscious?).

I do agree that using it to try to prove God is ludicrous.
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15-05-2017, 10:54 AM
RE: Newsweek - Scientists Prove God Exists?
(15-05-2017 09:39 AM)mordant Wrote:  
(15-05-2017 08:32 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  I'm not impressed with the article either. Such is the authority given to the natural sciences as the only method of reliable knowledge that this author, and others, try to enlist it to reach proofs of God with it which it cannot do.
It is true that science cannot (dis)prove god but that is a pointless statement to make, because NO ONE can make a credible knowledge claim about invisible beings and realms. There is NO way to distinguish alleged divine revelation from the human imagination.
(15-05-2017 08:32 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  I don't think much of ID either and in my circles of the Christian world not many do.
Not formally, by those who understand the issues, but I rather suspect that ID has a lot of appeal to ordinary pew-warmers even outside of fundamentalism. It is after all just the standard subjective "there MUST be 'something more' because this just CAN'T be all there is" argument from incredulity.
(15-05-2017 08:32 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  But you misunderstand the arguments from a first cause:

1) Such arguments are not based on a sequence that involves time. Quite the contrary, in St. Thomas he famously denies that what he calls efficient causation can demonstrate whether the material universe had a temporal beginning or not.
Here again, I suspect that few Christians understand the distinction. We are creatures of time, and in my experience it is hard for most people to have non time-dependent thoughts.
(15-05-2017 08:32 AM)ColdComfort Wrote:  2) Does all causation imply time as in 'put milk and ice cream in a blender you get a milkshake'? Many philosophers, atheists or not, do not think so. Thomas Nagel, an atheist, believes some sort of teleological view of causation is needed to explain evolution especially the evolution of consciousness. Thus the cause is simultaneous with the effect or the effect temporally precedes the cause. As in the child is father to the man.

3) You can of course argue that the material universe is eternal but then it merely remains a brute fact. Unexplainable by reason.
Well here again, it is not so brute as you make it out to be. Vast amounts of time are helpful and even necessary but we are not suggesting that a Boeing 747 will ever assemble out of a junkyard tornado, no matter how many billions of times you try. It is not just vast amounts of time, but also the fact that there are natural rhythms / cycles and other self-organizing impetuses that under certain conditions can form very simple life which can organize progressively from there. It isn't an attempt to get to a sophisticated endpoint without countless intermediate steps and dead-ends. That is a contrived argument.

So it is not just time in a blender. It is time, the presence of specific ingredients and conditions, and a slow progression of complexity. No one has ever suggested that if you put water, carbon, calcium, amino acids, vitamins and proteins in a giant blender that you'll eventually get a human. The suggestion is that you'll eventually get a prion or a virus or a single proto-celled organism, which probably dies immediately or after a few generations, and maybe the hundredth time it survives long-term and begins to evolve.

Thanks for the reply. I didn't say that the natural sciences cannot disprove the existence of God. I agree it would be a pointless statement.

I think the point of my post was to say that arguments from a First Cause do not depend on a view of causation where the cause always precedes the effect temporally. I think it is to misunderstand the argument.

That is all. Please carry on with your daily activities.
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