Re: What's the Problem?
- From: Cheezits <Cheezits32@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 08 Aug 2006 16:26:31 GMT
"Jim Spaza" <spaza9@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
"Jim Spaza" <spaza9@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
What I should have said is that the universe happened (by whatever
means). We know that the universe happened. So what's to prevent
it from happening more than once?
You're asking me?
Why not? I can't think of anything, maybe you can.
Nothing, I suppose.
Whether we can ever find evidence for it is a different matter.
If it turns out that the universe is the result of some sort
of fluctuation, then we could have universes coming out the wazoo.
It wouldn't surprise me a bit.
Must be one powerful, complex universal generator out there, creating
all of these universes.
Must it? I wouldn't know. It suggests a whole other universe, which may
or may not be complex or powerful (whatever that means). Then we have to
wonder where *that* came from, and so on and on... Eternal job security
includes the specifics of just the right gravity, earth's
rotation, earth's "wobble" along its poles, earth's
revolution around the sun, and earth's distance from the sun.
Change any by, say, 1% and life beyond that of a microbe
becomes highly, highly improbable.
Yes, sort of like the conditions that probably exist on
millions of other planets. So what?
As astronomy get better, we discover more planets without life. You'd
think it would be the other way around.
I'd think that would happen only when we have the means to detect life on
planets in other solar systems, whch we haven't yet. So we don't know
how many planets actually do have life.
Now, if it turned out that there were significantly *more* planets with
earth-like conditions than should be expected by chance, I might suspect
In fact, we're having a hard time finding ANY
planets out there with conditions like ours.
The reason has more to do with our current limitations than anything
else. Of course we have a hard time. They're very very far away.
I was trying to anticipate a reply which considers the possibility
that life is on other planets, but in a different form suitable for
that planet's environment.
Is there any reason to rule out that possibility?
Yes, we have no scientific evidence that such life is even possible,
much less exists.
That doesn't sound like a reason to rule it out. A better reason would
be one that shows that self-replicating molecules can only exist under
the very narrow conditions you defined.
Now, as far as God is concern, I suppose He is like
No, I can't see any such effect of God on the world.
I don't even know what that is supposed to mean. By no one, I meant
*NO ONE*, not just "no members of religion X".
It exists because we have inferred that it exists given gravity's
affect on testable objects.
Same deal with Christians and God.
<sigh> No, that is not the "same deal with Christians". Christians
believe in God for a lot of reasons that mostly have to do with someone
else believing. They don't infer any such thing on the basis of
unambiguous, testable effects.
That people do
have different conclusions is a testament to the fact that
we're dealing with the Supreme Being who is a living being,
as least as far as Christianity is concerned, and not a
scientifically testable object or natural process.
Then it isn't anything like gravity! Sheesh!
It is in how some people demand objective, verifiable, testable
evidence in controlled conditions and subject to independent
review before acknowledging that something exists.
And it is completely different in how that evidence exists for
gravity and doesn't exist for God. HTH.
Millions of Christians can testify that they have experienced God's
influence on their lives.
Sorry, I meant "objective, verifiable, testable evidence in
controlled conditions and subject to independent review" as mentioned
above, not rumors of millions of testimonies.
You mean, testimonies by scientists who alone have access to the
equipment, knowledge, and procedures that supposedly do the testing?
No, I meant testable, verifiable evidence. Like I said, no one disagrees
that gravity exists. No matter what their religion. No one at all. Not
even high school dropouts. Not even fundies. Not even you. I don't see
how I can make that much clearer.
Is that what you mean by objective?
No, I meant that anyone can see it, regardless of religious belief. That
it does not need to be accepted on faith. I don't know if you are really
this dense or just pretending, but I'm willing to keep pointing out the
obvious over and over again if it helps show the uninitiated the
intellectual poverty of the fundamentalist mindset.
Gravity is felt automatically for just
existing, that is true.
And you don't have to ask anyone for it, or believe any particular
Which is why belief in God is not "just like gravity". Not even for
But, anyone, even an atheist, can experience
some kind of encounter with God...if you ask Him.
I can't ask someone for something if he doesn't even exist! What
part of "atheist" don't you understand? :-D
Then you have voluntarily kept a closed mind and won't even try...just
in case you're wrong.
"Just in case I'm wrong", what a stupid reason to try to believe
something. You've been spending weeks posting crap arguments like the
previous one and I'm supposed to believe you "just in case I'm wrong". I
don't believe there is a God, but I'm supposed to go ahead and believe it
anyway because people with no crediblity say I should. Belief isn't
something I can just turn on and off.
Sorry. I just find it weird that someone can accept Jesus as Lord and
Savior, hear God's "voice" to the point that they repent and ask
forgiveness, walk in obedience, but then decide the whole thing was
Oh for pete's sake. Don't tell me this is the first you've ever heard of
someone giving up the faith. No, I didn't hear God's voice. I believed,
or should I say accepted, the whole premise mainly because my friends
did. They were smart enough people, and here they were saying that the
resurrection actually happened. I thought that if they believed, then
there must be something to it. I'm sure you can see the problem with
In case you don't, I'll spell it out: they believed because someone
*else* did. Most of the people I knew who were Christians did not see an
angel or whatever, or if they did, I never heard about it. Most of them
came from Christian families. They were taught to believe in it. Others
may have just come on board because they had something missing in their
lives, like I did. But no one that I know of ever presented solid
evidence for it. When anyone tried to, it turned out to be the same
rubbish we get here.
[etc.]It all depends on what you are willing to accept as evidence.
Well, obviously. What fundies accept as evidence is hearsay from
unreliable sources, as long as it confirms what they want to
I tend to trust my Christian neighbor as opposed to some scientist
in a cubicle somewhere who is telling me what the universe was like
14 billion years ago.
Uh, doesn't that kind of depend what you are trusting him for?
No, it doesn't depend on the subject matter.
It depends on the
content of the character of the person that I am trusting.
From what I have seen, that is a *very* bad guide to trust in matters ofevidence. And a lot of other matters too.
My Christian neighbor would not try to perform surgery on me even if I
asked and trusted him completely. His admitting his weakness is why I
can trust him implicitly.
What if he wasn't a Christian?
You seem to have a high level of skepticism, even for a best friend
telling you about being supernaturally healed.
Hell YES I would be skeptical about that! I don't care how nice and
upstanding and Christian someone is, if they think they were healed by a
miracle, they were probably wrong. One friend of mine swears by
homeopathic allergy medicine. The only way that stuff can work is by the
placebo effect. Fortunately I don't think she would rely on it for a
serious ailment. But the point is, when it comes to medical matters,
personal testimony is *extremely* unreliable, no matter how much I may
like the person. This is why the medical industry has to do double-blind
tests to verify whether a given remedy is effective.
Anecdotal evidence has its place, but it's not compelling or
verifiable. Scientifically, it's only good as a starting point.
You do know that there is more ways to discover the cosmos than
I keep hearing rumors to that effect, but no one has shown any other way
that gives us any real knowledge.
How much will it take for some people to acknowledge that there
are real aspects of this universe which they don't understand?
You tell me - what will it take for YOU?
Show me the evidence and I'll consider it with an open mind.
Evidence for what, that there are aspects of the universe that you
don't understand? I should think you knew that already.
Multiple universes, abiogenesis, evolution from proto-bacteria to
human in 2 billion years.
There is plenty of evidence for evolution which I absolutely do not
expect you to "consider with an open mind". (I'm not going to try to
type it up here, you know where to find it.) To do that you would have
to accept the possibility that some things in the Bible did not happen as
written, and I don't think you can.
No, non-scientific means an analysis which is not done in an
entirely objective sense in controlled conditions and subject to
independent, peer review.
In other words, unreliable means. How can you separate truth from
bullshit without independent peer review or controlled conditions?
One tends not to concern oneself with controlled conditions and peer
review when an angel appears to you, predicts the future, and it all
I'm sure that is certainly true for oneself, granting the highly unlikely
possibility that this really did happen just as described. But one can't
help but notice the relative shortage of people, even in churches, who
can make this claim. If it were happening all the time I could see one's
Screw the peer review and testing. I am placing my trust
in such things.
That is certainly your choice. If you see something you are naturally
going to believe it. I place no trust whatsoever in your visions. If I
ever see a similar one, I hope I get medical attention.
I want you to believe that there is a Being who answers prayer, in
His own unique way, and sometimes people are healed by this Being,
not the prayer itself.
I'm sure you do, but you don't have a good reason for me to believe
it. Not to say that such experiences don't matter a great to deal to
people who think they experienced such healing, only that they're
Forget the verification for a while. You cannot verify love,
abiogenesis, and a universe beyond the visual range of the Hubble
telescope. You just take what evidence that you have and go with it.
That is pretty much what verification is all about.
What's the harm in postulating a Supreme Being and calling out to that
God in an attempt to discover Him?
I think there is plenty of harm in trying to believe something *that I
don't think is true*.
Anyway, you don't verify ANYTHING on an airplane before you fly[yada yada yada]
I can see the damn thing in front of me! Sheesh! You've tried this
pathetic argument before. It was crap then and it still is. In fact, I
could in principle verify *anything* connected with an airline flight. I
use airlines that have a track record. If I flew Acme Airlines and
didn't end up where I expected to, but just got the same sort of endless
excuses that fundies make for God, I wouldn't fly them again. And I sure
as heck wouldn't follow someone on board an invisible plane that only he
can see. :-D
It's this kind of sophistry that makes me think that fundamentalism is
based at its very core on a load of crap, and that fundies can't be
trusted to tell me anything about reality. Maybe this stuff works on 5-
year-olds but I have yet to see someone in this forum find it convincing.
Try asking God for yourself. If there is no God, then no one will
ever answer your prayer.
Back when I used to pray no one ever answered me, so I'm not inclined
to try just once more.
You do realize that God usually doesn't answer in an audible way.
You do realize I just said that no one ever answered me.
How much will it take for some people to
acknowledge that the supernatural just might be real?
Something more than can be expected *by chance*, as a minimum.
This was in reference to the claim of supernatural healing of terminal
illness, just as a reminder.
Maybe it will take an angel appearing (wings, halo, music in
background) and talk to you while bathing the whole room in light
which seemingly doesn't have a source.
Is this one of those things that "millions of Christians" claim to
have seen? Or even a handful?
A handful, yes. Millions? No.
I would find it a little more interesting if it actually were more than a
handful. As it is it can more reasonably be attributed to hallucination.
[etc.]If the universal generator isn't finely tuned and
churns out unstable universes as well as functioning
ones, then we again won the cosmic lottery by
luckily existing in a rare stable universe.
[etc.]You still didn't answer the question. It's hypothetical. Whether
there is evidence is irrelevant.
The argument proves nothing. Do yourself a favor
and don't try to use it as evidence for God.
Actually, it is excellent evidence for the existence of some
Actually, as I have shown, it is no such thing because for one thing you
STILL HAVEN'T SAID WHAT THE PROBLEM IS. Perhaps I misread your meaning
but you posted the above comment as if it proved that if such a universal
generator exists then it must be "finely tuned". And it doesn't prove
Otherwise, why would atheistic scientists be bending
over backwards to postulate the theory of multiple universes?
Who says they're bending over backwards? You're bending every which way
to avoid giving a reasonable defense of any of your arguments.
A bad idea, in my opinion. If such evidence does come to light then
your case for God loses a big piece of its foundation. Then all you
have left is hoping for angels to appear.
True. Although, I don't have to hope. Angels do appear from time to
I am not going to hold my breath waiting for one.
And it just happened to win the 1 in a billion lottery. If you
the only one to buy a ticket and you won, would you not think
that something was amiss?
I obviously wasn't thinking when I wrote my reply. If the odds are given
as one in a billion, then those are the odds regardless of whether anyone
else buys a ticket.
You were the one who brought it into the discussion. You said "If
the universal generator isn't finely tuned and churns out unstable
universes as well as functioning ones, then we again won the cosmic
lottery by luckily existing in a rare stable universe. Again, the
odds would be stacked against our existence at all."
This argument is rubbish independently of whether or not there is
physical evidence for multiple universes. You have not shown what is
so "lucky" about it. If life arises by natural processes, and if
stable universes are rare (no matter HOW rare), then life would have
to arise in such a universe. You can dispute the "if's" in this
statement if you want, but the conclusion still follows.
No, you have assumed a randomness to this hypothetical universal
generator when no such randomness has to be.
Actually, the argument *you* posted assumes it, as if that assumption led
to an unreasonable conclusion. You have not shown it to be unreasonable,
or that it violates probability, or anything else.
This generator may be
"programmed" to pump out only certain types of universes in decidely
Maybe. Who knows? No good reason has been put forth to suggest that is
the case. Your angel hasn't even bothered telling us.
You also said "Without design and given the number of cosmological
constants which would have to be set up just right, any universal
generator would churn but trillions of unstable blobs and only a few
functioning universes." And never showed the problem with that
I am just speculating if multiple universes do exist.
So am I. If they do, then it's possible that most such universes are
unstable, as you said. And I see no problem with that conclusion.
By analogy, look at the universe as a sort of planet generator.
Millions (potentially) of uninhabitable planets, and only a subset
that can support life. So, if life arises by natural means, of
course it arises on one of the rarer planets. This does not violate
any laws of probability either.
But, no one in the non-creationist community, that I know of, has ever
shown why life must be rare in the universe.
Life (as we know it, at least) can only exist on planets, to begin with.
I could have sworn you said the same thing yourself. And while there may
be billions of planets, they come in many different configurations.
There seems to be an
aspect of life that has not been discerned by science yet.
What aspect, that it can only exist in certain environments? I think
that possibility may have presented itself to the scientific community.
[etc.]I'm saying you based part of your case for God on
the non-evidence for other universes. In spite of the fact that we
know of no way to detect them if they are there.
Sorry. I'll try to do better.
You might as well not bother, since there is no such evidence,
scientifically speaking. If there was, then scientists would be *more*
likely than most of us to believe in God. That doesn't mean there won't
ever be any. It doesn't even mean there is no God. But relying on the
non-existence of evidence for something else as evidence *for* God won't
carry any weight.
But, this assumes that the natural processes created life
without any evidence to support it, other than an inference that
there is no other naturally-based explanation.
So what? If natural processes created life, then life would have
developed on a planet with the right conditions, by chance.
Please point out the problem with this logic.
Obviously there is no problem with that logic. So the fact that life
evolved on a planet with favorable conditions can not be taken as
evidence for planning.
Can anyone show the evidence that natural processes did indeed
create the first life form?
In principle they probably can. I for one don't know much about the
process, timing, chances, and everything else about original,From what I have learned about the subject, scientists admit that the
speculated abiogenesis event are unknown. There are only guesses.
Not completely unknown. Whatever guesses they can make will hopefully
lead to some testable theories.
I suspect the time aspect is the biggest barrier. If the earliest
life forms came about via a kind of natural selection, then it may
have taken millions of years to get started. And there may not be
any short cut.
It's just that I figured scientists could cut out a few hundred
million years by placing every precursor to life right next to each
other and trying to get them to join.
You probably figured wrong in that case. Life is a process, as is the
sequence of events leading up to it.
There is nothing in the fact that we
evolved on this planet, rather than another one, that can't be
explained by random chance.
I'm just leaving that up there as a reminder.
There is a post of mine somewhere in this forum where I finally had
the time to do some number crunching concerning abiogenesis and DNA.
Yes, I saw that. I think it is based on a number of wrong assumptions.
[etc.]How many sand castles have you seen on the beach?
If you are seeing sand castles somewhere else besides the Earth
just say so, and tell us where to point the telescope.
No, I've only seen them on a beach. I've never seen them where
there aren't people. I've never seen nature create one either.
So it's all irrelevant.
Well, it's a pretty good guess that the existence of sand castles
indicates intelligent life nearby.
And still irrelevant.
If there is anything in this
universe that was statistically next to impossible to come about
through natural processes, then that would indicate intelligent life
You have not shown that life is statistically next to impossible,
although you get credit for doing some homework.
[etc.]So, an angel showing up in your kitchen one day will do it, huh?
I don't know, what does an angel look like?
Well, you read the Bible, right? It talks about angels and how they
appeared. Of course, the culture and society was different then.
Society may have been different but one would think God and angels were
still the same. Angels seemed to appear fairly regularly then.
OK, try looking for thin, tall gentlemen above 60 years old. Look for
coincidences like their wearing an item of clothing that you were
thinking about earlier.
Looking for coincidences seems kind of pointless to me as they happen all
the time. Certainly tall thin guys aren't uncommon around these parts.
I could look for some particular coincidence but what should I conclude
if it doesn't occur?
Once someone has committed himself to a belief, especially if he
has put some emotional or financial stock in it, counterevidence
isn't likely to make them give it up.
Actually, being a Christian has taken money out of my pocket and
has not been emotionally pleasurable.
Ah, but that's what I mean by putting emotional or financial stock in
It would be economically beneficial for me if God didn't exist. Also,
I'd get a lot more sleep on Sunday mornings than I do now.
Like I said! You have invested something in it. Once you do that, you
are committed to it, and it is that much harder to give it up, even if
you *don't* get a return on the investment. It is a very common
phenomenon, but not as well known as it should be.
I am assuming that there aren't any other universes because none
have been shown to exist.
But one universe *has* been shown to exist. Unlike supreme beings.
Which is the primary point I wish to make on that subject.
[etc.]I said so because, from an analysis of the universe, the
more complex the item, the rarer it is, right?
Not that I know of. Is there a study you can point to?
Sorry, I thought we were talking about objective stuff like
complexity, random chance, etc. as it applies to the origin of the
universe. Did I lose track of the thread somewhere?
This is getting to be a very long thread.
That statement back there re: analysis was what I was referring to.
This planet is designed for life, not the whole universe.
A matter of belief, as we have seen.
universe does have the requisite constants; but, allows for life only
with a much needed and tweaked planet.
What makes you think it was tweaked? Not a great design for a universe
in that case, is it?
"It's not smart or correct, but it's one of the things that
make us what we are." - Red Green
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