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Deeman2
11-12-2004, 10:30 AM
I am an engineer by education, a curious human by nature and a pool player by addiction.

I want to pose a question as a man of faith who respects an healthy agnostic view. Knowing me as you do, I will have something to preface this to frame the discussion. My beliefs are my own and not dictated by strict dogma. I am open to science as I see it demonstrated daily in my life. I don't take any relious teachings at fully face value. That is why God or nature (if you are so inclined) lets me think freely and independently.

Science gives us new theories every few decades. Only a few years ago we were taught that there was a universal theory that would tie together quantum physics and the behavior of objects in the known universe. Now, we know (believe) that they just dont jive. Particles don't have an exact place in space/time and violate laws we once thought definitive. We have now come up with string theory to help explain this. "M" theory even goes so far as to say there many be millions of alternative dimemsion and relaities out there, that, for instance, the South may have won the war in on reality (other than the recent election) and that all our knowledge breaks down at or beyond an event horizon (a singlarity).

Now these are not mad scientist I am talking about here but the mainstream particle theorists, now in the final death arguments between 10 and 11 strings. In other words, the math makes sense, so it may be valid.

Science has never been able to address the event before the "Big Bang" (see Archer's Nine Ball Break for reference). The standard answer has always been "you have to talk to the phylosophers about that". While most of us non-"Brief History of Time" sized brains have difficulty comprehending every present particle of matter in the universe (Mountains, stars, planets, quasars and Elephant Beautiful Billiard Balls) all emminating from a pinpoint smaller than Bill Clinton's cigar, science seems loath to even consider <font color="blue"> Something greater than ourselves may have created all this wonder! </font color>

Is this reasonable? Not the fact it may of may not be right bt by the simple fact they can't see it so it must not be so. We will form theory on evidence that is less than .005% in favor of observable data and .02% or indirectly observable data. Yet, we have seen very strictly controlled experiments that give evidence in much higher percentages that there is life after death (The studies with five mediums conducted under double, double blind conditions where readings were hunderds of times more accurate than chance). I'm not advocating we all go to John Edward (The medium, not the politician/ would be healer of Chris Reeves) and try to bring back Aunt Martha. I didn't like her fruit cake anyway. Why is it so hard to believe that this great system may be more than a complex set of accidents that put us here, hurling through space at untold speeds on a planet that should be all calculations not stay in the small zone allowing our life to be sustained. The scientists for centuries have explained the physics based not on the fact it should stay in near perfect orbit but on the observation that it does!

Why is God less believable than math? Especially math made up to agree with wonders we observe?

Why can't black holes be the "fingertips" of a divine being? Why can't we believe in something we can't see? Does that make us all candidates for Jerry Springer? (sorry for the reference West Virginia)

I can't see gravity, although the math says (in quantum mechanics) it should be 11 times stronger than it is!

Don't feel obligated to pat me on the head and say, "you poor silly tribal nut, we all know how things work." That's the same arrogance our own science has given us for centuries and how many times has it been wrong? Why would we ever think they are right now?

I know, if you find a pile of stones on the ground, the Druids will show up and start claiming it as their 15,000 year old worship site. However, if you reject a supreme being out of that same ignorance, are you not just as pagan?


Deeman
just a speck hurling through insanity.....

Mr Ingrate
11-12-2004, 11:52 AM
Deeman,

I think you will find that many people, well at least me, will agree that there must be some overriding intelligence in the Universe. I just don't believe that God is who, or what, religions describe. As I've said before, prostituion may be the oldest profession, but religion (imho) has got to be the oldest con game, preying on man's fear of death by promising eternal life (which may, or may not, include your own harem of virgins).

hondo
11-12-2004, 12:18 PM
I am kind of a heretical Christian. I believe
that Jesus Christ was the living manifestation
of God and rose from the dead. BUT, I also believe
there is truth in many religions. When Christ said,
'I am the way, the truth and the light and no one
comes to the Father except through me" Christians
took this as an endorsement that their religion
was right and all others wrong.
God is a living God, not a religion.
Science and religion feel they have to be at odds
with each other and this is nuts. God gave us
the ability to discover. Unfortunately, when it
comes into conflict with our pre-conceived notions
we panic and go into denial.

Wally_in_Cincy
11-12-2004, 12:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote hondo:</font><hr> I am kind of a heretical Christian. I believe
that Jesus Christ was the living manifestation
of God and rose from the dead. BUT, I also believe
there is truth in many religions. When Christ said,
'I am the way, the truth and the light and no one
comes to the Father except through me" Christians
took this as an endorsement that their religion
was right and all others wrong.
God is a living God, not a religion.
Science and religion feel they have to be at odds
with each other and this is nuts. God gave us
the ability to discover. Unfortunately, when it
comes into conflict with our pre-conceived notions
we panic and go into denial. <hr /></blockquote>

good post hondo. we agree on something

highsea
11-12-2004, 12:34 PM
Deeman, I don't think that Science and Religion consider themselves mutually exclusive. The very fact that there are boundaries to Science just means that beyond those boundaries lies the realm of Philosophy. Throughout history, each has had an influence of the other. Copernicus, Gallileo, Newton, Darwin, all introduced theories that directly or indirectly challenged the official Church position. Darwin waited until he was on his death bed before publishing "Origin", for fear of Church retribution.

Without getting specific, QM doesn't make statements about gravity, because there is no Quantum Theory of Gravity. To expect answers from Cosmologists about pre-BB conditions is asking a little much, because there is no scientific way to investigate the question. So physicists tend to hand the ball to the philosophers, because problems that cannot be investigated don't tend to interest them very much. A serious physicist will not spend a lot of time on "afterlife" questions, because the study is unlikely to yield much in the way of useful data.

The various unified theories (such as superstrings) are just mathematical models. They are not intended to represent the actual physical universe in a literal way. Topologists say "A donut is a coffee cup". It doesn't mean it's literally true, just mathematically accurate in one narrow definition. Scientific knowledge builds on what came before. Copernicus built on Ptolomy, Newton built on Copernicus, Einstein built on Newton. And so on.

You can call a black hole "the fingertips of a Divine Being" if you like. But it doesn't satisfy the requirements of a scientific explanation, because it makes an assumption that is not required to reach an understanding of the phenomenon.

Physicists and Cosmologists search for a "GUT" or "Theory of Everything". Religion claims to already have the explanation. For some people it's a lot easier to say "God made it that way", when they don't understand something. The scientist says, "Well, let's try to figure it out". If the question happens to be in a realm outside of Science, they say "Go ask a priest. We don't have those answers."

SteveEllis
11-12-2004, 01:29 PM
"The gods did not reveal, from the beginning,
All things to us, but in the course of time
Through seeking we may learn and know things better.
But as for certain truth, no man has known it,
Nor shall he know it, neither of the gods
Nor yet of all things of which I speak.
For even if by chance he were to utter
The final truth, he would himself not know it:
For all is but a woven web of guesses."
Xenophanes - sometime BC

wolfdancer
11-12-2004, 01:31 PM
"but religion (imho) has got to be the oldest con game, preying on man's fear of death by promising eternal life"...
Dave, I'm sure that George Carlin agrees with you 100 %...he has a somewhat irreverent comedy bit on religion.
Me, I'm hedging my bets...If I make it up there, and you don't, I'll try to toss you a couple of virgins....I don't see how I could possibly handle more then 50 anyway

hondo
11-12-2004, 01:39 PM
Your post reminded me of a class I once took in
behaviour modification. When I attempted to discuss
archetypes and intuitive knowledge, the professor's
stock answer was if we can't measure it there's
no profit in discussing it. " there are more things
on Heaven and earth, Horatio".

Mr Ingrate
11-12-2004, 01:42 PM
Jack,

I guess it all depends on how you look at things. For instance, an airplane crashes and there is a single survivor. You might say "God was looking out for him" while I would say "God missed one."

SnakebyteXX
11-12-2004, 01:46 PM
[ QUOTE ]
don't think that Science and Religion consider themselves mutually exclusive. The very fact that there are boundaries to Science just means that beyond those boundaries lies the realm of Philosophy. Throughout history, each has had an influence of the other. Copernicus, Gallileo, Newton, Darwin, all introduced theories that directly or indirectly challenged the official Church position. Darwin waited until he was on his death bed before publishing "Origin", for fear of Church retribution.
<hr /></blockquote>

It is well-known that the Catholic and Protestant churches opposed the scientific theories of Galileo and Copernicus, but did you know they also opposed Benjamin Franklin's lightning rod?

Franklin's Unholy Lightning Rod (http://www.evolvefish.com/freewrite/franklgt.htm)

Deeman2
11-12-2004, 01:48 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote highsea:</font><hr> Deeman, I don't think that Science and Religion consider themselves mutually exclusive. The very fact that there are boundaries to Science just means that beyond those boundaries lies the realm of Philosophy. Throughout history, each has had an influence of the other. Copernicus, Gallileo, Newton, Darwin, all introduced theories that directly or indirectly challenged the official Church position. Darwin waited until he was on his death bed before publishing "Origin", for fear of Church retribution.

<font color="blue"> Probably sometimes negative influences. Understand, I don't claim to be Christian, only believing in a power higher than us. </font color>

Without getting specific, QM doesn't make statements about gravity, because there is no Quantum Theory of Gravity.

<font color="blue"> Agreed, but QM, assumed correct, mean that we can't account for the actions of other physical laws ie. gravity, SOL limits, etc. by applying the math to those other forces/limits, right? If not, there would be no need for a string or superstring theory. Hey, I'm only struggling with a basic understanding of QM here, but while QM does not address gravity in itself the math/laws have to work in each environment, hence, the need for theory unification. Or do we not need to have a universal theory that explains it all? Are they wasting time looking for something we don't need? I'm not argueing that I know the answer, just curious. </font color>

To expect answers from Cosmologists about pre-BB conditions is asking a little much, because there is no scientific way to investigate the question. So physicists tend to hand the ball to the philosophers, because problems that cannot be investigated don't tend to interest them very much.

<font color="blue">Not completely true as serious scientists are now making predictions of what is "inside" an event horizon when that, by any measure of physical science can never be observed. However, I do see the limitations of "life after death" questions as it may be unproveable (well, Arofat knows now). </font color>

A serious physicist will not spend a lot of time on "afterlife" questions, because the study is unlikely to yield much in the way of useful data.

<font color="blue"> However, while I don't believe crop circles and drunk Floridians being gang raped by "greys" are for real, I think we don't, for sure, know certain things taken on faith are not eventually proveable. Again, I'm not smart enough to know how but believe we shouldn't reject a few valid attempts. </font color>

The various unified theories (such as superstrings) are just mathematical models. They are not intended to represent the actual physical universe in a literal way. Topologists say "A donut is a coffee cup".


<font color="blue">I think string theory is a little more than mathmatical models as, while they can't describe something we can imagine, 3D touchable objects, they might describe dark matter, faster than SOL particle travel, why Micheal Jackson is becoming white. I don't know. </font color>

It doesn't mean it's literally true, just mathematically accurate in one narrow definition. Scientific knowledge builds on what came before. Copernicus built on Ptolomy, Newton built on Copernicus, Einstein built on Newton. And so on.

<font color="blue"> What Einstein knew and proved, would not be believed by Copernicus. There was a whole world of physical and particular matter he could not imagine, forces he could not comprehend. There may be more we can't comprehand, not because a 2000 year old book says so and not because it would comfort the masses, because we are prejudiced that if we can't see, measure and quantify it now, it does not exist. </font color>

You can call a black hole "the fingertips of a Divine Being" if you like. But it doesn't satisfy the requirements of a scientific explanation, because it makes an assumption that is not required to reach an understanding of the phenomenon.

<font color="blue"> While I don't think black holes are the Fingerprints of God (I used that as a whatif) I know we are making logical assumptions and theory about that phenomenom as if our miserly tools and minds can imagine what is really out there, where it came from and why. I know the why is a phylosophical point but it seems as plausable that there is a purpose as all the other wonders around us. </font color>

Physicists and Cosmologists search for a "GUT" or "Theory of Everything". Religion claims to already have the explanation. For some people it's a lot easier to say "God made it that way", when they don't understand something. The scientist says, "Well, let's try to figure it out". If the question happens to be in a realm outside of Science, they say "Go ask a priest. We don't have those answers." <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> What I have said here in my pitiful attempt, is that maybe it is within the realm of science, not too far off in time (if we believe in time) that broader possibilities can be observed. </font color>


Highseas, thanks for your answer to me. I sense you have great knowledge in this area as you do in most and appreciate your respectful answer. In the end, it won't make any difference. If I die and lose my conscienceness forever, I'll never know. If I wake up in the afterlife, you will too and I'll play your a game of one pocket for Alpha Proxima. Hey, they name 'em after you for $49.95!

Deeman

wolfdancer
11-12-2004, 02:19 PM
actually Dave, while I might invoke the name of a Deity, it would be more like "Jesus Christ!!!"...or "Holy S**t!!"
But the thread has me scanning the web for info..
the only string theory that I knew of involved strapless bras...no strings attached ( never did figger out what held em up)
and then I ran across Perturbation theory, which sounds like sumthin that would happen at MJ's Never-Never land...or would that be called pedurbation?
M-theories, black holes...so that's what they teach now. too bad Patrick ain't around, so's I could pick his brain..
I knew I shudda stayed in school, past the 8th grade, but first I had to get to the 8th grade...but God, in the form of Pres. Eisenhower, said "your country needs you" so I joined the Navy. too bad Bush was too old to do the same, when God told him the country needed him

silverbullet
11-12-2004, 02:59 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Mr Ingrate:</font><hr> Deeman,

I think you will find that many people, well at least me, will agree that there must be some overriding intelligence in the Universe. I just don't believe that God is who, or what, religions describe. As I've said before, prostituion may be the oldest profession, but religion (imho) has got to be the oldest con game, preying on man's fear of death by promising eternal life (which may, or may not, include your own harem of virgins). <hr /></blockquote>

Dave,

IMO, you are closer to the truth than many would entertain or consider. I do believe in 'God', which you might as well call a universal intelligence, because What I believe are only my own beliefs and I will be the first to tell you that, at best I have an inkling of what God is. I know enough to know that what I do not know about 'God' far exceeds what I do know. I also know that in much if not all that I believe, I may be wrong, and if god is 'spirit' or intangible intelligence, I do not understand why a person would think that they can fully understand something that does not reside in their dimension and operates under different physical laws and more likely no physical laws.

I find it helpful for myself to have a 'faith', and sometimes talk to this 'god', I believe in, but that is a personal choice, not a dogma, and some of it gets into metaphysics, which is I am sure, not Christian. I do choose to believe that this being is good, but also, do not see this 'god' doing lots of the things that people attribute to him, her, it. From my human perspective of being in a totally different dimension, I do not see this 'god' as interfering much with us at all.

Personally I think that science is important. It helps us to fill in some of the gaps. It does not give us all of the answers, but then nothing else does either, including religion. There are a couple of big reasons I left the Christian church and other reasons I stay away. My ideas are very strange to most of them and having the kind of mind that does not discount anything that may or may not be 'out there', does not fit in.

Oh, if you want to push the buttons of a 'fundamental', tell them that humans are inferior in intelligence to 'humpback whales'. LOL

Laura

Ross
11-12-2004, 02:59 PM
Don't bother trying to understand String Theory. It makes imagining Einstein's theory of relativity look like childs play. Trying to understand it will make your head explode.

highsea
11-12-2004, 03:01 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman2:</font><hr> <font color="blue"> Agreed, but QM, assumed correct, mean that we can't account for the actions of other physical laws ie. gravity, SOL limits, etc. by applying the math to those other forces/limits, right? If not, there would be no need for a string or superstring theory. </font color><hr /></blockquote>Unifying the 4 forces within Quantum Theory has been the holy grail of physics for some time. QM is just a part of QT as a whole, but the problem that annoys people is that when a particle is considered as a euclidean point, it introduces infinity into the equations. Mathematically this is annoying. We get around the problem with a technique called "renormalization". In essence you divide each side of the equation by infinity. The resulting answer will be experimentally correct. But it's a messy technique. That's where string theory came in. By eliminating the point particle and making it a string, the infinities were removed. Particles (now strings) were given discreet lengths based on the "planck length". The problem with string theories is that they require a minimum of something like 11 dimensions to work. So they are not perfect either.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman2:</font><hr>...<font color="blue">Not completely true as serious scientists are now making predictions of what is "inside" an event horizon when that, by any measure of physical science can never be observed. </font color> <hr /></blockquote>What is being measured is the event horizon itself. Hawking recanted on his prediction that no information can come out of a black hole. At the event horizon itself, there is some give and take. Particles enter and some particles do escape. Form those particles, we get information about what's inside.

<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman2:</font><hr>...<font color="blue"> What Einstein knew and proved, would not be believed by Copernicus. ...because we are prejudiced that if we can't see, measure and quantify it now, it does not exist. </font color> <hr /></blockquote>Copernicus didn't have the math to understand relativity. Newton had to invent calculus because euclidean geometry couldn't process the calculations for gravity. Einstein couldn't have come up with GR if he didn't have calculus. To advance string theory new math had to be devised in set theory and topology.

Einstein saw that GR inplied black holes, but he thought that the concept was absurd in real life. So he committed his biggest mistake. He invented the "cosmological constant". GR didn't need it, but it cleaned up the problem of singularities. Later on he would regret it, and today we understand that black holes really exist. and the cosmological constant has been removed from the GR equations.

I don't think just because we can't see or measure something that the scientific community automatically discards it. The theories point to the experiments. We build particle accellerators and colliders to test our theories. When the theory makes the right predictions, and the experiment is properly designed, we get new forms of matter that we have never seen or measured before.

And if we play one pocket, I'm gonna need a big time spot. /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Deeman2
11-12-2004, 03:30 PM
Highseas:

I wish I had you sitting next to me in physics class!!!
/ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Deeman

highsea
11-12-2004, 03:53 PM
Lol. When Einstein was first trying to get people to accept GR, he had to go around to various universities and give lectures. At one of these lectures was a young Wolfgang Pauli. I don't think he was more than about 19 or 20. After Einstein was finished, Pauli stood up and proclaimed, "What Mr. Einstein just said is not all that stupid".

Pauli went on to lay the basics for Quantum Field Theory, and won the Nobel Prize in Physics for the Exclusionary Principle. Interesting that Einstein never won the prize for GR, his Nobel was for Special Relativity.

wolfdancer
11-12-2004, 04:21 PM
Thanks for the good advice Ross, been reading for over an hour now, and the more I learn, the less I know. It must have been so much simpler back when the earth was flat, and apples just fell off of trees, without the need for someone to figure out why.
Maybe I jes need more brain.....

wolfdancer
11-12-2004, 07:51 PM
AP
Evolution Trial Lawyers Make Final Pleas

Fri Nov 12, 4:18 PM ET

Add to My Yahoo! U.S. National - AP

By DOUG GROSS, Associated Press Writer

ATLANTA - Lawyers fighting a court challenge of evolution disclaimers on textbooks defended the warning stickers in final arguments Friday as a show of tolerance, not religious activism as some parents claimed.



U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper said he plans to rule "as quickly as possible" following the weeklong trial in the suburban Cobb County case. Attorneys are still filing paperwork and said any ruling was probably at least a month away.

The suit by parents and the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites) claims that school officials violated the constitutional separation of church and state in 2002 when they placed disclaimer stickers calling evolution "a theory, not a fact" on high school biology texts.

"The Cobb County school board is doing more than accommodating religion," Michael Manely, an attorney for the parents, argued Friday. "They are promoting religious dogma to all students."

Lawyers for Cobb County disagreed, saying the school board had made a good-faith effort to address questions that inevitably arise during the teaching of evolution.

"Science and religion are related and they're not mutually exclusive," Linwood Gunn said. "This sticker was an effort to get past that conflict and to teach good science."

The schools placed the stickers after more than 2,000 parents complained the textbooks presented evolution as fact, without mentioning rival ideas about the beginnings of life.

The stickers read, "This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered."

Manely argued that scientists officially consider all of their ideas theories.

"Maybe we need some more stickers," he said, showing the judge tongue-in-cheek versions questioning gravity and Earth's rotation around the sun.

"Of all the theories in all the world that are taught in Cobb County classrooms, only evolution is disclaimed," he said.

Gunn said religious beliefs make the teaching of evolution different from other science lessons.

"I will grant you there are some people that (a sticker) may create some doubt in their mind," Gunn said. "The fact that it promulgates doubt, if that's true, does not mean that it promotes religion."

The case is one of several battles waged in recent years in the Bible Belt over what role evolution should play in science books. Earlier this year, teachers howled when Georgia's education chief proposed a science curriculum that dropped the word "evolution" in favor of "changes over time." That plan was soon dropped.

RedHell
11-15-2004, 12:14 PM
Laura,

Dave's and your oppinion are interesting. But for science as well as for religion, it sometimes amazes me that people don't realise the reason of their existence, imho!

Religion and science (when wrongly used) are there for one big and similar reason. We need to explain things.

We need a God, because we need to explain where we are from. Because we need to have a reason for what happends. Because we need to know what will happend next !

Science, when used as a religion, is pretty much the same. Why do we need to know what was before the big bang ?

IMHO, science is a tool to help us create. By understanding things, we are able to control and create other things.

But what happend when you stop asking question, when you stop having the need for an answer, when you need not to believe you are here for a reason to know the reason you are here ? Then what is religion/science for ? Why do we need it ?

For one thing, religion brings in a lesson of moral, but thruly do we need a superior being and an evil to understand what's good and bad ?

The same teaching can be used for the good or the bad, look at what terrorist are doing of Islam ! Look at what the crusaders did with Christianism !

It was funny when I read in this thread about infinity, and it was mentionned it was pretty anoying. Of course it is, human need a begining and an end. But if you accept infinity, you can skip a lot of question that are currently unanswered !

highsea
11-15-2004, 01:13 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote wolfdancer:</font><hr> The suit by parents and the American Civil Liberties Union (news - web sites) claims that school officials violated the constitutional separation of church and state in 2002 when they placed disclaimer stickers calling evolution "a theory, not a fact" on high school biology texts.<hr /></blockquote>These people really crack me up. In the same breath they discount evolution as a theory, and then they call creationism a science. /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

The use of the word "theory" in the context of science does not imply uncertainty. A theory is nothing more than a collection of general propositions that explain an observed set of facts. To start disclaimimg everything in science simply on the grounds that they are called "theories" is absurd. What should we do with theory of gravity, atomic theory, the germ theory of disease, and the theory of limits on which calculus is based? I suppose we could go back to a flat earth, 4 elements, letting blood to get rid of evil spirits, and Euclidean geometry as our highest math, but that's not very attractive to me.

The theory of evolution has proved itself in practice. It has useful applications in epidemiology, pest control, and in development of new drug therapies. Besides the theory, there is the fact of evolution, the observation that life has changed greatly over time. The fact of evolution was recognized even before Darwin's theory. The theory of evolution explains the fact.

These people want creationism to be taught as a science, but only if it's their version of creationism. Should we include the Buddhist version of creationism also? How about the Hindu version? I understand there is a tribe in Africa that believes God made the world from the vomit of an ant.

Hey, that sounds good to me...

RedHell
11-15-2004, 01:25 PM
[ QUOTE ]
I understand there is a tribe in Africa that believes God made the world from the vomit of an ant.
<hr /></blockquote>

That had to be the biggest hangover ever recorded !