Where does it come from ?
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01-05-2017, 06:29 AM
Where does it come from ?
I was watching an episode of the Atheist Experience and a caller was asking "Where did the universe come from ?"

He asks this as if he expects an answer like
"The universe came from a pocket dimension in the area of space near the spider nebula."

A lot of people would accept this because it gives them a direct answer, even if it's a made up answer.
It's one of the reasons why some people like the god answer, even if it is made up.

When you ask "Where does a river come from ? Please tell me the exact location on the ground where a river starts."

Well, the answer isn't an exact location.
A river comes from rain fall. Small streams all flowing down hill, going to the same place.

If I answered "A river comes from rain." Some people wouldn't accept that because it's not what they were expecting. They wanted an exact location.

That's the thing about questions, you often don't get the answer you were expecting.
In science, we love the unexpected, because that means there is more to discover than we initially thought.
To a religious person, the unexpected is unacceptable.
And if they can't understand the answer then that's also unacceptable.

So to answer the initial question...
"Where does the universe come from ?"
I like to answer it this way.
"The energy of the universe all exists right now. If we travel back in time, the energy is still there. No matter how far we go back, it's still there. You won't see any galaxies or stars but at no time in the past does the amount of energy get smaller. There is no place for it to go."

My answer isn't 100% accurate, but it conveys the idea that the universe didn't come from anywhere. It's always been here, but it didn't always look the way it does now.

Insanity - doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
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01-05-2017, 06:42 AM
RE: Where does it come from ?
If an ant gets run over by an earthmover it may ask "where did that come from?" The answer won't be available. We would laugh at the ant for thinking he could know where it came from.

Remember that we're distantly related to the ant.

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01-05-2017, 06:55 AM
RE: Where does it come from ?
That's an accurate assessment.

That's why "God created man in his image".

It simply wouldn't satisfy the devout if the big kahunah looked like something else.....

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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01-05-2017, 06:59 AM
RE: Where does it come from ?
I'm often struck by the sense of entitlement and unreality of the person who expects a simple answer to such questions. Weird.

My own take on an answer to the original question is to note that we are not even in a position to be able to tell whether the phenomenon we call the big bang is unique or part of a wider process we don't understand. The scale is beyond us, leave it at that.

“Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly;
Man got to sit and wonder 'why, why, why?'
Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land;
Man got to tell himself he understand.”

― Kurt Vonnegut, Cat's Cradle
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01-05-2017, 08:10 AM
RE: Where does it come from ?
(01-05-2017 06:29 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  I was watching an episode of the Atheist Experience and a caller was asking "Where did the universe come from ?"

He asks this as if he expects an answer like
"The universe came from a pocket dimension in the area of space near the spider nebula."

A lot of people would accept this because it gives them a direct answer, even if it's a made up answer.
It's one of the reasons why some people like the god answer, even if it is made up.

When you ask "Where does a river come from ? Please tell me the exact location on the ground where a river starts."

Well, the answer isn't an exact location.
A river comes from rain fall. Small streams all flowing down hill, going to the same place.

If I answered "A river comes from rain." Some people wouldn't accept that because it's not what they were expecting. They wanted an exact location.

That's the thing about questions, you often don't get the answer you were expecting.
In science, we love the unexpected, because that means there is more to discover than we initially thought.
To a religious person, the unexpected is unacceptable.
And if they can't understand the answer then that's also unacceptable.

So to answer the initial question...
"Where does the universe come from ?"
I like to answer it this way.
"The energy of the universe all exists right now. If we travel back in time, the energy is still there. No matter how far we go back, it's still there. You won't see any galaxies or stars but at no time in the past does the amount of energy get smaller. There is no place for it to go."

My answer isn't 100% accurate, but it conveys the idea that the universe didn't come from anywhere. It's always been here, but it didn't always look the way it does now.

I think you make a very valid observation, people don't like unanswered questions. When an atheist says I don't know but I'm pretty sure a god isn't the answer the knee-jerk reaction is for them to demand, "Then what is?"

"I don't know" is very difficult for many people to accept.

“I am quite sure now that often, very often, in matters concerning religion and politics a man’s reasoning powers are not above the monkey’s.”~Mark Twain
“Ocean: A body of water occupying about two-thirds of a world made for man - who has no gills.”~ Ambrose Bierce
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01-05-2017, 08:12 AM
RE: Where does it come from ?
(01-05-2017 06:55 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  That's an accurate assessment.

That's why "God created man in his image".

It simply wouldn't satisfy the devout if the big kahunah looked like something else.....

If God created man in his own image he fucked up royally

I get to decide what my life looks like, not the other way around.
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01-05-2017, 08:42 AM
RE: Where does it come from ?
(01-05-2017 06:29 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  I was watching an episode of the Atheist Experience and a caller was asking "Where did the universe come from ?"

Without the universe you have no "where". The question is meaningless.

---
Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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02-05-2017, 04:19 PM
RE: Where does it come from ?
(01-05-2017 08:42 AM)Paleophyte Wrote:  
(01-05-2017 06:29 AM)Rahn127 Wrote:  I was watching an episode of the Atheist Experience and a caller was asking "Where did the universe come from ?"

Without the universe you have no "where". The question is meaningless.
Exactly.

A lot of people have trouble accepting that there may be some questions that are literally unanswerable, because it really made no sense to formulate them in the first place.

Even if you can get them to agree to certain examples, like "how high is green?" or "how fast is chocolate?" When the question seems to be about something profound -- like time or the universe -- there is much greater resistance to the idea that the question itself might actually be nonsense.

--
Dr H

"So, I became an anarchist, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."
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18-05-2017, 01:55 PM
RE: Where does it come from ?
(01-05-2017 06:55 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  That's an accurate assessment.

That's why "God created man in his image".

It simply wouldn't satisfy the devout if the big kahunah looked like something else.....

Frank Zappa - Dumb All Over

He wrote this book here
An' the book says:
He made us all to be just like him,"
So...
If we're dumb...
Then God is dumb...
(an' maybe even a little ugly on the side)

When I shake my ignore file, I can hear them buzzing!

Cheerful Charlie
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23-05-2017, 06:09 PM
RE: Where does it come from ?
My answer is just "we don't know". If they don't like it, too bad. That's life.

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