Social Question

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

If man can reason,why use irrational precepts to explain the nature of the universe?

Asked by lucillelucillelucille (34310points) May 28th, 2010

The powers,ancient Gods,flat earth,Big Bang,dark matter….
why can’t man just say,“I don’t know yet”...
Hubris??
Here’s an inspirational tune to ponder this…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWnmCu3U09w

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216 Answers

Rarebear's avatar

I can’t watch your video from work, but I don’t understand how you can lump the Big Bang and dark matter in with flat earth and ancient gods. Both the Big Bang and dark matter have extensive theoretical and experimental evidence to show their reality (although I will grant that they are somewhat silly names). .

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Rarebear -All the previous concepts at the time,flat earth, etc,were given the same credibility you’ve just attributed to your examples;)

marinelife's avatar

Because man could reason (thus wanting to explain the origin of the universe, etc.), but didn’t have the scientific knowledge when religions took hold in the culture.

Because man has the capacity for faith, belief continues to this day.

CMaz's avatar

“irrational” is subjective.
Because we can and it causes us to stand upright.

Reaching for that universe.

plethora's avatar

It is not in the nature of man to say “I don’t know yet”. Did Gallileo say I don’t know yet?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@marinelife -Agreed,but is our science really that much more evolved?Aren’t we still just using theory as fact?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@ChazMaz -I’ll fill my pen with dark matter and cut you a check! Love your answer!:)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Nature abhors a vacuum. Mankind is part of nature.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@plethora -Neither did my mother-in-law ;)

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe -So,we are mucking it up with a bunch of irrational theory?

Facade's avatar

Because some believe there are beings higher than man, making man’s reasoning skills sub par in comparison.

Response moderated
Rarebear's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I’m still not getting it—perhaps I’m taking this quesiton too literally. I’m not seeing how dark matter and the Big Bang are irrational?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@plethora has a very good point – people want to explain away matters but they don’t all care to do so in a rational manner.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Rarebear – There is no evidence to support either,yet the word “theory” is seldom used in describing these concepts and are often peddled as fact.The evidence used to support these theories is dissolving quickly.Just as “Flat Earth” had “factual” support,our perception was not reality ;)

Cruiser's avatar

The only irrationality left in this debate are the ones still clinging to these old theories you posited. Since the discovery of the cosmic microwave background, cosmology and the “nature of the Universe” is pretty well defined already and just a few lingering Q’s to go. But people will protect and preserve their myths and religious icons to keep their hopes up for that big family reunion in heaven. and for some the 21 virgins they were promised

jfos's avatar

It seems like you’re trying to trivialize modern science by comparing modern widely accepted theories to unscientific claims from the past. There was no evidence that the earth was flat, it just seemed to make sense.

You mention the credibility of historic theories… the geocentric solar system, the flat earth, etc. were not just theories, they were enforced “truths”. Scientists were persecuted for theorizing otherwise. Today, theories are popularly believed for different reasons. Tests, calculations, and exploration yield much more credible results.

Rarebear's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Just to be crystal clear in my mind before I jump on this. Are you saying that you believe there is no evidence for either dark matter or the Big Bang? If so, would you be interested in my correcting this misperception of yours?

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille so is your comment! ;D

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@ifos-Just as you say these false premises were enforced truths,the same is happening today with scietific theory-Global warming,Big Bang,etc.Not to trivialize scientific advancement.on the contrary.I wish to have science based in fact and not consensus nor political expediency.Man has not changed ;)

Coloma's avatar

I am able to say with conviction that I really know nothing for certain.

I am comfortable living with that uncertainty.

It is egoic as hell to claim absolute knowledge.

Everything can be relatively true, nothing is absolutely true.

Sure, big bang theory, all sorts of other science that ‘proves’ certain certainties, but still…no absolutes. This is where faith and mystery come in, it has always been this way and so it will remain.

There is no way to know what exactly existed or did not exist prior to any evolutionary theories we accept to date.

I adhere to no absolutes, I choose to embrace what is not known over what is known.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Rarebear -You are welcome to post anything you wish. I am not quick to accept theory as fact.:)

ucme's avatar

Because man loves to talk out of their arse.Why break the habit of generations of second guesser’s & bullshit artists?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser-Hubris?? Just trying to keep ‘em honest…don’t piss down my neck and tell me it’s raining ;)

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I would never do such a thing. Where are you having the difficulty with the science behind and known facts of the big bang and our known Universe?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Coloma -I was with you until you stated that there are no absolutes.Do you realize you’ve just stated an absolute?:)
A is A.A thing is what it is .A cannot be A and B at the same time.-Aristotle-the father of reason and logic

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I have one problem with the Big Bang theory:What was there before the bang?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@ucme-Yeeeeessssss…without that,we would have nothng to believe in…lol

Coloma's avatar

Before the big bang there was space. ( As in SPACE, as in spaciousness, ROOM for expansion. )

Space has always been and will always be.

There could be no universe without the pre-existing space for the big bang to occur, therefore I am co-sympatico with @Adirondackwannabe

This is THE mystery, and I say, let it be, as in LET-IT-BE…meaning…accept and just live in the mystery. ;-)

The mystery of space still pre-exists the big bang.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe -That is the fatal flaw isn’t it!!??

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Yeah, thats where I come up doubting. Something has to be there to form the universe, or maybe its a collective imaginary existence we are all living.

Coloma's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille

I got’cha…semantics…just go with the principle of what our limited words can allow for.

Judging judgement is still a judgement, but, alas…language is limited when it comes to attempting to express the unexpressable.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Coloma -Existence exists,whether we are capable of perceiving it or not…I say let’s just keep looking and don’t go down any dark alleys of mysticism and scientific consensus.:))

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser -Reason and logic don’t bear them out.

Coloma's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille

I agree.. it is ALL in the looking.

Just looking from a still mind shows us that we too are nothing but emptiness dancing! ;-)

Vunessuh's avatar

Just because man has the ability to reason, doesn’t mean they will.
And sometimes, what you consider irrational is solely opinion rather than fact. As @ChazMaz said, it’s subjective.
Not to mention controlling emotion through the use of logic is harder than it looks and a lot of the time our brain uses logic to solve problems in order to achieve our emotional desires. This plays a part in that fact that a lot of people can’t stand uncertainty. Just like death, I think there are a lot of unknowns about the universe and it drives some people crazy. Most people I know don’t like the feeling of being ‘left in the dark’ so to say, ”I don’t know yet” about anything is unacceptable to them.
There are a lot of different pieces to the puzzle that make someone think and feel a certain way whether it be their upbringing, their current environment, their religion and/or the people they surround themselves with. Some people are just little sheep and conform just because everyone else around them is conforming which can cause someone to not really know what they’re arguing for or against, which to most is considered pretty irrational. Unfortunately, for some, it’s easier to jump on the bandwagon than to think for yourself.

Other than that, I don’t know much about the nature of the universe, other than the fact that I think the shape of Texas is just redonkulous. Something seriously needs to be done about that.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Vunessuh-Well said! :)
Michigan is the hand that slaps the flat ass of earth…did you know that??

Qingu's avatar

What’s more amazing is that there are still people who still don’t know the difference between “just a theory” and a scientific theory.

Despite numerous discussions on Fluther enumerating those differences.

Really, if you don’t know anything about science, you probably shouldn’t criticize it.

Qingu's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe, nothing was before the big bang.

Asking what came before the big bang makes no logical sense. It’s like asking what is north of the north pole.

I know, it’s trippy. I’d suggest reading A Brief History of Time if you’re interested.

Qingu's avatar

Also: for those of you “skeptics” who claim that we don’t really know anything and therefore you doubt anything science says about anything…

How do you think your computers work? How do you think we built them?

There seems to be a lot of confusion on Fluther about how skepticism works. Hint: skepticism doesn’t mean “knee-jerk doubting everything you hear.” That’s just another kind of gullibility. Some things really do make sense. We can tell what makes sense by looking at what works.

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Reason and logic gave birth the the theories of the Universe that drove the research that made the discoveries that allow man to prove the size shape and existence of the universe so the facts of the universe are just that….facts. The science behind the universe is extensive, quite defined and both rational and logical. IMO it is this reason and logic that I believe cripples ones ability to accept these facts and continue to want to or even need to believe in their Gods and life ever after.

Vunessuh's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Unfortunately, (nsfw) this is all I know.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Qingu -The problem with science today is that hypothesis is often passed as theory and theory is presented as fact.Science is not a consensus.It is supposed to be objective.When the scientific process becomes subjugated to political whim,it becomes a State-sponsered religion….and…..you can quote me on that ;)

Coloma's avatar

@Qingu

” Before the big bang there was nothing ”

Yes, but that nothing ( no-THING ) was space.

What makes a room…the space between the walls, not the walls.

No-thingness, means no-THING in that space, just space.

That nothingness is the core of the mystery, regardless of anything thats been proven.

There is NO answer for the origin of the original spaceiousness that gave birth to the big bang.

This is the mystery, and the basis for speculating on the who or the what that is responsable for the space that has always been.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I don’t believe in god and I question the big bang theory, even though it is what the scientific community tells us to believe. Four and a half billion years ago there was nothing and the next day (recognizing day is a relative thing) there’s a universe?
(Only three GQ’s?)

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I think you should take a peek and introduce yourself the the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and see for yourself the “consensus” over the nature of the universe achieved from the questions that were answered by this amazing space probe…

http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Qingu's avatar

@Coloma, incorrect. Space is something. There was no space before the big bang. And since space and time are the same thing, there was also no time before the big bang.

Which, incidentally, makes the phrase “before the big bang” logically nonsensical.

Think of it this way: there is no such thing as nothing, and the universe has always existed.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser -The nature of the universe pre-existed reason and logic.
Reason and logic are the tools we use to define our universe.
When we don’t use reason and logic,we revert to chaos and mysticism.All control of one’s existence is then handed over to the mob.

Qingu's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe, again, the way you phrased your question means you simply don’t understand big bang theory.

Big Bang theory does not say:

1:00 am: Nothing
2:00 am: Nothing
3:00 am: Still nothing
3:35 am: BOOM the big bang

Notice how this assumes the existence of time? There’s the problem.

ragingloli's avatar

@Coloma
Actually, that is not quite correct. The Big Bang theory states that space and time itself were the result of the Big Bang.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser-I’m sure it’s a very nice probe!lol

ucme's avatar

@Vunessuh Hitler’s secret invasion plan.Notice Britain is left unmolested by the nazi prick.Don’t fuck with us fella.

vampmoore's avatar

the big bang theory has flaws. but thats why its a theory. i believe it because i think science is on the right track, but not quite there yet. do you disbelieve everything scientists say about the universe or just the big bang theory?

Qingu's avatar

I’m going to try to explain about the big bang and time.

Let’s look at the surface of the earth. The north pole is the “northernmost point” of Earth, right? You can’t go any further north than the north pole. There’s nothing “north” of the north pole.

But then, the north pole isn’t an “edge.” It’s not a boundary. It’s a point on a smooth surface. And that surface is curved.

Spacetime works the same way. Einstein showed that space and time are part of the same fabric, and that this fabric is curved. So, the big bang is sort of like the north pole. It’s the “earliest” point in the universe, just like the north pole is the “northernmost” point on Earth’s surface. But there’s nothing “earlier” than the Big Bang—for the same reason. It’s smooth, not an edge.

Qingu's avatar

@vampmoore, you said, “the big bang theory has flaws. but thats why its a theory”

Actually, no. The word “theory” means something different in science than in common language. It doesn’t mean “guesswork” or that it’s flawed.

A theory, in science, is an explanation that is basically considered proven fact.

bongo's avatar

I love the big bang theory, it makes the most sense to me, its unbelievably complex but completely simple at the same time. I studied cosmology for a term in 6th form and loved every minute of it. (I didnt fully understand all ins and outs but definately thought that it was the closest to understanding our universe we have at this time). It will be built apon and adjusted in the future as our understanding of everything around us increases but i definately think its not far off.

vampmoore's avatar

@Qingu no its not. a theory canbe proven wrong

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Now you have me confused??

“Reason and logic don’t bear them out”
“Reason and logic are the tools we use to define our universe.”

Which is it? Again reason and logic motivated the science which now has the facts and lots of them. And this doesn’t mean you have to learn them or believe in them either. ;)

Qingu's avatar

@vampmoore, anything can be proven wrong. That doesn’t mean something is flawed or is just guesswork.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@vampmoore I believe the proven scientific facts. It’s a theory, it does have holes.

bongo's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe yeah black holes lol

vampmoore's avatar

@Qingu facts cant be proven wrong. like the north pole is the northenmost point on earth is a proven FACT

Qingu's avatar

Look. You guys really need to learn what the word “theory” means in scientific language.

http://wilstar.com/theories.htm

Seriously. Constantly repeating “it’s just a theory, not a fact,” makes you sound ignorant. It’s simply not how science works.

Qingu's avatar

@vampmoore, whether or not that fact can be proven wrong is a philosophical question.

And it doesn’t really matter what you personally think the words “fact” and “scientific theory” mean. It’s not how they are used by scientists. I don’t know how to make this any clearer.

Coloma's avatar

Time is a man made construct, a concept, not a truth.

Once again, just because a theory ‘states’ something, a probability, that does not make it an absolute.

Bottom line if no one was there to witness ( perceive ) the somethingness or the nothingness there can be no absolute truths.

We can wander around the back 40 as much as we want, but..we always return to the porch of not knowing.

It’s been fun…I do enjoy the ramblings but now it is ‘time’ to go forth into the spaciousness of life and participate in the what isness as I we all know it. lol

Qingu's avatar

This is from the webpage I just linked:

In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole. Both are used to make predictions of events. Both are used to advance technology.

In fact, some laws, such as the law of gravity, can also be theories when taken more generally. The law of gravity is expressed as a single mathematical expression and is presumed to be true all over the universe and all through time. Without such an assumption, we can do no science based on gravity’s effects. But from the law, we derived the theory of gravity which describes how gravity works,what causes it, and how it behaves. We also use that to develop another theory, Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, in which gravity plays a crucial role. The basic law is intact, but the theory expands it to include various and complex situations involving space and time.

The biggest difference between a law and a theory is that a theory is much more complex and dynamic. A law describes a single action, whereas a theory explains an entire group of related phenomena.

Qingu's avatar

@Coloma, the fact that something is “falsifiable”—that it may be proven wrong—doesn’t mean it’s not true.

In science, everything is treated as falsifiable. Does that mean there is no such thing as truth? Obviously not, unless you insist on using a completely impractical definition of the word “truth.”

ragingloli's avatar

Well, a lot of theories have flaws. Newton’s theory of universal gravity assumed that the force of gravity is transmitted instantly over any distance. For example, according to Newton’s theory of gravity, if the sun suddenly disappeared, Earth would leave its orbit at the precise moment the sun ceased to exist.
Einstein’s theory of relativity corrected this, revealing that gravity is transmitted at the speed of light, so earth would only leave its orbit after 8 minutes, the same time we would be able to see the sun’s disappearance. Apart from that, Newtons theory is correct. Nasa only needed Newton to successfully plot courses to the moon, mars and other planets.
But Einsteins theory of relativity also has a flaw. While it works perfectly at large scales, it does not work at the quantum level and the theory of quantum mechanics, while working perfectly on small scales, can not account for gravity, because it is extremely weak to the point at irrelevance at small scales, which is why theoretical physicists are still searching for a theory that unfies relativity and quantum mechanics.

That is the beauty of science. It always moves forward, searching for new knowledge, correcting itself constantly through the process. And that is the difference between science and superstition/religion. Science is self correcting. Superstition/religion is stagnant. If it is wrong, it will always be wrong, because it never changes. And it is wrong a lot.

Qingu's avatar

@ragingloli, I wouldn’t call those “flaws” so much as being limited in scope.

The theory of evolution doesn’t apply to, for example, cultural evolution, or the emergence of cells from organic material. That’s not a “flaw” in the theory of evolution.

That said, parts of theories may need to be tweaked to better fit evidence, and theories can be superseded.

Nevertheless, a scientific theory is generally considered to be the opposite of guesswork. When people on this thread express doubt about things because they’re “theories,” they are clearly confused about what the word means in scientific language.

eden2eve's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I see a lot of Hubris on this board. I think that we all need to learn to say “I don’t know”, and “I am not sure” a little bit more frequently.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser-Theories passed on as fact.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@eden2eve -YES! THE BEST ANSWER YET!!!! :)

Coloma's avatar

@Qingu

That statement is an oxymoron. lol

Something that is falsifiable, ‘proven’ wrong, would, by default, be untrue.

Process of elimination and all that. lol

The only real ‘truth’ is we know no-thing for certain and that space is infinite, try as it might science will never unravel all the mysteries of the ages.

Oh, and the absolute ‘truth’ that mankind will never stop seeking answers to the unanswerable. Now thats a fact! lol

Gotta go….it’s a beautfiul day in the neighborhood! ;-)

Qingu's avatar

@Coloma, you said several incorrect things.

• Saying something is “falsifiable” is very different from saying it’s “false.” I think this is the main source of your confusion.

• Space is not infinite, actually. (If it were, the night sky would be pure white with infinite starlight.)

As for hubris, I think insisting that true things are actually unknown is itself a form of hubris.

ragingloli's avatar

@Qingu
Nevertheless, a scientific theory is generally considered to be the opposite of guesswork.
Exactly.
If you were accused of murder and the prosecutor presented his case with a logically consistent retelling of the events, all of it supported by a mountain of evidence, like your finger prints, foot prints, and your DNA found at the crime scene, etc, with you having no alibi whatsoever but a strong motive, would your defence really be that it is just ” a bunch of guesswork”?

@Coloma
falsifiable does not mean “proven wrong”. falsifiable means that a claim can be tested for its validity, either by experiment, observation, or both.

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille In general discussions, yes people passing off theories as facts is indeed both unfun and frustrating. But we are talking the known Universe here and that is in a league of it’s own and both theories and the facts of the science are treated with much greater respect. And as@Qingu has pointed out “In general, both a scientific theory and a scientific law are accepted to be true by the scientific community as a whole.” something I concur with. The simple reality here is as it is nearly impossible to disprove many current theories about the remaining unknowns of the Universe so it is to disprove the existence of God. Have a cold beer with me sometime and we can share our thoughts on this more!

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Qingu -Theory is not necessarily ture or factual.That is why it is called THEORY.A is A.A thing is what it is.A cannot be A and B at the same time.Science is not shades of grey.

ragingloli's avatar

“A cannot be A and B at the same time”

Of course it can. If A=2 and B=2X/X, then A=B

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser -Science is NOT consensus!No matter what the community thinks! The burden of proof is on those who purport a theory.Theory is not fact.
Witness flat earth and Al Gore’s man-made global warming.

Cruiser's avatar

Gee @lucillelucillelucille I can lead you to water but I can’t make you drink. If you refuse to learn yourself to the known facts of the universe we could then debate who has the better golf swing…(I do) Btw it’s the universe that is flat and not the earth and that is a Fact mam! ;)

TooBlue's avatar

I wish people would listen to @Qingu, and actually read his answers, unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be getting through. :(

Qingu's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille, that’s not why it’s called a theory. For the fourth time.

Again. I don’t know how to make this any clearer. It’s not what the word means in scientific language. Stop saying it is.

Rarebear's avatar

Oy. I’m getting drowned in the postmodern new age babble on this thread. When someone is actually and honestly learning about the evidence for the Big Bang and dark matter, PM me.

ragingloli's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille
Here are the facts about man made climate change:
We know that CO2 is a greenhouse gas. Verified by experiments
We know that we have been pumping the gas into the atmosphere en masse for over a century now and that at the same time we have been destroying massive areas of forests and rainforests which help reduce CO2, because we know that green plants use photosynthesis, which we know converts CO2 to oxygen.
We know that since 1900 CO2 levels have increased by almost 30 percent.
We know that we also have released massive amounts of the even more potent methane into the atmosphere.
We know that atmospheric methane levels have doubled since 1850.
We know that global temperatures have been increasing dramatically over, and beginning with, the same period.

The only logical conclusion is that humans are at least partially responsible for this temperature increase. It is not a guess.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Qingu -Theory is not fact and fact is not theory.A is A.I don’t know how to make this any clearer to you.

Qingu's avatar

So, I have a theory:

Ignorant people have a psychological tendency to believe that knowledge is difficult/impossible to achieve, because this: (1) makes them feel better about being ignorant and (2) justifies their laziness re: not bothering to educate themselves.

That’s just a theory though. Not a scientific theory, like relativity or evolution.

CMaz's avatar

“How do you think your computers work? How do you think we built them?”

That’s a superficial question/example. Assembling the final product is only part of the equation.

Go back to the beginning. Not just the mining of the minerals but where dd the minerals themselves come from?

Follow the breadcrumbs and we are stonewalled at something coming from nothing. That contradicting all we know about causality. Bringing us back to pot luck theory.

For now. ;-)

bob_'s avatar

Now that the question has been moved to Social…

You guys know you’re not going to convince each other of anything, right? Right? ‘Cause, if not, I’m sorry, but you’re just wasting your time.

* waves at Simone * that wasn’t for you this time XD

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, we can take it back pretty far.

The minerals came from rocks, which go through a rock cycle as they melt, resolidify, break down through weathering, and are buried and pressurized (and then, melted again).

The minerals themselves come from chemical elements present in the Earth’s crust, which combine together through known chemical and physical laws.

Those elements are present in Earth’s crust because they were present in the solar nebula as the sun was forming due to extreme gravity. Also, comets may have brought some elements to Earth after the planet formed.

Many of those elements were present in the solar nebula because older stars created them in fusion reactions and threw them off in supernovae.

Stars fuse together elements and throw them off in supernovae because of known physical laws.

The earlier elements were present in space, before the formation of stars, because known forces—the weak, the strong, and the electromagnetic forces—bind together fundamental particles of matter.

Those forces differentiated and took shape after the big bang.

We know there was a big bang because of the cosmic background radiation still present from the initial expansion it caused.

As to where the earliest matter/forces (it would all have been the same, a singularity) at the time of the big bang came from—don’t know for sure, but they appear to have always existed. Personally, I’m sympathetic that physical reality, as we know it, emerges from more fundamental “mathematical” phenomena (since at a quantum level, everything works probabalistically), though this is very difficult to wrap one’s head around.

But yeah. We don’t know everything. There are probably always going to be fundamental limits to our knowledge. We’ve done a lot to expand our limits, though, and we know a lot within those limits.

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I want to add science is indeed a consensus. Science is just that a consensus achieved through the application of the Scientific Method whereas the Scientific Method is a logical and rational order of steps by which scientists come to conclusions about the world around them. The Scientific Method helps to organize thoughts and procedures so that scientists can be confident in the answers they find. Scientists use observations, hypotheses, and deductions to make these conclusions which are then subjected to a peer review which then will achieve a consensus that the science at hand is correct and hence then a known “fact”.

Furthermore a theory is by definition indeed really part of a fact. Merriam defines theory as…“the general or abstract principles of a body of fact, a science, or an art”

CMaz's avatar

“don’t know for sure, but they appear to have always existed.”

Something from nothing. Right.

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, how is that something from nothing?

Do you believe in God? Do you believe God has always existed? Would you therefore say “God is something that came from nothing?”

Qingu's avatar

A natural health magazine reporting the big bang was disproved… I’m done

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Sorry dear that is just a theory not one fact in the entire story! ;)

CMaz's avatar

Everything in general, comes from something previous.

There is nothing in our possession or applies to our current state of understanding that comes from nothing or always existed. Tree comes from seed, rain comes from clouds.

Do I believe God has always existed? Your concept of God and mine are probably much different. I do believe there is a logical explanation to everything. I also believe there is a logic outside the current realm of reason and understanding that we are operating under.
But, compliments it. The seed to our tree.

I like to call that “God.”

And whose to say how many layers there is to that onion.

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, you just contradicted yourself. First you said everything needs to be preceded by a cause. Then you arbitrarily made an exception (the “seed”)

CMaz's avatar

@Qingu – No I didn’t. Read, my friend. Read. :-)

That “seed” being “a logic outside the current realm of reason and understanding that we are operating under.”

eden2eve's avatar

Einsein, whom most of us apparently admire, had this to say about one such theory:

“Quantum mechanics is very impressive. But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory produces a good deal but hardly brings us closer to the secret of the Old One. ”

Qingu's avatar

@ChazMaz, okay, the “seed” is not an uncaused cause?

Here’s where science gets out of it: “cause” is a time-concept. But the universe encompasses all of time.

CMaz's avatar

@Qingu – This is where the pot luck logic comes. ;-)

What I am saying is we do not have the knowledge or logic to comprehend what “something coming from nothing” means.

But there is a logical explanation to it. It just does not work with the information and mechanics we currently work with.

There is a piece to the puzzle that is missing.

Coloma's avatar

My plans have been delayed briefly..so, to jump back into the brackish undertow.

I stand by my original statement of being comfortable in the not knowing.

The biggest issue mankind faces is not about the origin of life and the universe, it is about reining in egos that rival the geography of the north american continent in their enormity. lol

Everyone is right and wrong in one way or another, and no one source holds the monopoly for absolute truth.

Not god not science, and certainly not little old you or me.

IF, everyone was able to accept this as a truth, this discussion would cease to exist.

C’mon gang…just admit, you really don’t give a rats ass about universal truth, you just like the egoic sparring. hahahaha

These discussions are thinly veiled under the guise of ‘knowledge’ when, in fact, they are no-thing more than an egoic battle to trump one another in a showdown of superiority.

Thats when the fun evaporates for me.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser -A consensus based on a false premise is not the scientific method.Consensus is Democracy….that can also be called Mob Rule ;) When 9 scientifc cannibals form a consensus to eat the 10th one…it doesn’t makle it ok…and it sure doesn’t make it science!!!!
LMAO! WOOOOOO-LA!

ragingloli's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille
Yes, Theories are not facts. But, theories explain facts.
The Theory of Evolution explains the fact of Evolution. Why is evolution a fact? Because we have an extremely extensive fossil record showing just that, a progression from simple organisms in the past, to complex organisms in the present and species slowly changing into other species, evolution.
The Theory of Gravity explains the fact of gravity. Why is gravity a fact? Because things fall down and we stand firmly on earth instead of being catapulted into space.
The Theory of Electromagnetism explainst the fact of electromagnetism. Why is electromagnetism a fact? Because magnets work, because electricity works, and because electric currents create a measurable magnetic field.
The Atomic Theory explains atoms. Why are Atoms a fact? Because we can see them under electron microscopes.
etc.

About your link about climate change:
You see, that is the problem with climate change deniers. They assume that the global climate system that leads from cause to effect is simplistic. For them, it means, if we are increasing temperature, then temperatures will always rise, with no interspersed freak occurences whatsoever. But Climate is not that simplistic. They also fail to separate weather from climate.
For example, during the end of the last ice age 12000 years ago, a massive amount of molten ice, fresh water, collected on the north american continent, a massive continental fresh water lake on top of the receding glacier. At some point, the glacier could not bear the strain of the water anymore and ruptured on the east side, resulting in a massive influx of cold fresh water into the atlantic, interrupting the north atlantic thermohaline circulation, resulting in another hefty cooling period.
Climate change includes weather abberations and such macro events, which the deniers conveniently ignore.

The other link was a 5 line paragraph based on a Hypothesis from the sixties which has been largely disproven since then due to more advanced observational technology.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I agree with ChazMaz. I think we’re missing part of the puzzle that is outside our grasp at present.

(And I can’t believe you cheap bastards only gave her 3 GQ’s)

Qingu's avatar

@Coloma, nevertheless, certain things are true.

True things are interesting. They expand our horizons. They also reveal new mysteries.

Consider: in the 1400’s, people thought the sun and stars were little balls of light that revolved around the earth. Now, we know that this isn’t true. But the truth of heliocentrism has opened up all kinds of mysteries that the ancients never even considered: how do black holes work? how far is the nearest extraterrestrial life? why is there more matter than antimatter? And so on.

If you don’t think the process of discussion—and disagreement—is important and useful, you might as well bury your head in the sand. We’ll probably never have all the answers, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find some answers.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Thank you all for your responses:)
This has been very gratifying…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11ILXmuwYhM

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@eden2eve That just speaks to him being a man of his time – it is debatable as to his religious affiliation but I’m sure he had to make statements that aligned with the general spirit of things such as the deeply religious society he was in.

ragingloli's avatar

@ChazMaz
“There is nothing in our possession or applies to our current state of understanding that comes from nothing or always existed.”
We also can not imagine the dimension into which space warps to cause gravity, so we have to create an inaccurate facsimile of 3d space being a 2d plane and the warping dimension being the third. Yet we know it to be true because of experimental verification.

ragingloli's avatar

@eden2eve
Well, duh. Of course he calls it a theory. His own works on Special and General relativity were theories. Newton’s works on gravity were theories.
Theory in science means an explanatory framework that is supported by a large body of evidence.

plethora's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille Ok…it’s ok to say “we don’t know yet.” But does that mean we haven’t a clue? I think not. There is substantial scientific support both for the Big Bang theory and for dark matter. Doesn’t mean it’s an article of faith. Does mean that this is what our best efforts have produced and it could change in the future.

And along with this, I would posit that our reasoning ability is far, far from infaliible

eden2eve's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

The religious reference wasn’t what I was focusing upon, as you might observe by the word I bolded. I was showing evidence that Einstein considered a theory to be fluid, and susceptible to change.

Qingu's avatar

@eden2eve, in science, everything is susceptible to change. Everything is falsifiable. Nothing is sacred.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@eden2eve I have no clue how you get that implication/meaning out of the very quote you posted – he said it produces many good things, he didn’t say it is fluid or anything – the next statement about the ‘old one’ is irrelevant to the discussion about theories.

eden2eve's avatar

Thank you @Qingu.

I must have misunderstood your posts, which seemed to suggest to me that you found all theories to be proven and therefore incontrovertible.

Qingu's avatar

Something can be proven without being eternally incontrovertible.

eden2eve's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir

”... But an inner voice tells me that it is not yet the real thing. The theory produces a good deal but hardly brings us closer to the secret…. ” Therefore , I suppose he felt that it was not complete, or did not fully explain the phenomenon. That being said, he saw a theory as a work in progress. That was my only point.

I think, or I tried to, make that post clear by bolding the relevant terms. I get a kick out of how quickly people jump on the whole religion thing. Not everything is about religion, nor the lack thereof.

Coloma's avatar

I happen to believe that science and god are not mutually exclusive.

I agree there are pointers that may contain degrees of truth, but to me, the not knowing is something I am comfortable with.
My ego does not need to trump the mysteries of God & the universe and pound them into others so that I may feel more secure and stalwart in my frightened egoic place of not knowing.

Learning to live with uncertainty is part of ones healthy psychic and non-neurotic development.

The more one ‘needs’ to know, the more fear that is present in not knowing.

Knowing or not won’t spare anyone from the inevitsble…a return movement to nothingness or, perhaps, somethingness. lol

Egos great fear of annilihation that fuels all egoic debate be it about what kind of dog food to feed one’s dog ( the right/ wrong polarities that ego loves! ) or the mysteries of the universe. haha

With egos obscene need to be right and trounce others, the fate of this exisitance is already, undeniably, precarious.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@eden2eve Right the ‘real thing’ he’s talking about is ‘truth about the old one’ which has nothing to do with whether or not his theories are fluid – they just don’t answer, for him, some fundamental questions all people have. I didn’t jump on anything, just saying that the statement you provided is irrelevant to whether or not theories are necessary, what they are or how they’re made. Sorry if it’s coming out as argumentative.

ragingloli's avatar

@eden2eve
Einstein’s main gripe with quantum mechanics was of a spiritual nature. In Einstein’s spriritual beliefs, the Universe was an orderly place, harmonic, predictable, calculable. Quantum mechanics however introduced quantum randomness, the inherent unpredictability of quantum events, a profound chaos at the very basis of the universe. That is why Einstein rejected quantum mechanics. This rejection is also the reason why during the rest of his life he was never able to unify electromagnetism with his theory of relativity, precisely because he did not consider quantum mechanics in his efforts. This is another example of how letting your spirituality/religion interfere with your scientific activity will lead to failure.

eden2eve's avatar

@ragingloli

I find it humorous that you see Einstein as a failure.

ragingloli's avatar

@eden2eve
Nobody is perfect. Everyone is fallible, including even the greatest minds. Geniuses like Einstein and Newton are no exception. After Newton reliably calculated the gravitational relation between 2 objects, he tried to do for more than two objects. The problem was that with each new body, the calculations became exponentially difficult. This frustrated him so much that at some point he threw the towel and said that these interactions between many bodies must be guided by an intelligent mind, e.g. God. That is where Newton failed and surrendered to religion.
Today we can easily compute these multi body relations with our computers.

Qingu's avatar

Newton also believed in alchemy.

And was a pretty huge dick.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Qingu Ha, I love how I found out all about that through Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I don’t know the answer—I doubt if there is a satisfactory one—but it’s a fantastic Q. Maybe the best one I’ve seen on Fluther so far.

eden2eve's avatar

@ragingloli, “Nobody is perfect. Everyone is fallible, including even the greatest minds.” Does that even include the posters on this question?

Qingu's avatar

He also may have been gay with/for a Swedish (? Finnish? Danish? forgot) natural philosopher, according to The Last Sorcerer

<3 Newton

except for the fact that he was a huge dick

ragingloli's avatar

@eden2eve
Yes.
Except me of course. I am perfect.

Cruiser's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I have one final theory on the Universe to share with you and everyone here… ROFLMAO!!!
http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/6668973/

El_Cadejo's avatar

I really hate scientists for deciding to use the word theory as they do. Couldn’t they just pick a different word? Far to many people in this thread cant seem to grasp what a scientific theory is it seems.

CMaz's avatar

I’m with @uberbatman. Theory bad. Clam Dip good.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Holy christ, is this thing ever going to die?

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Cruiser.ChazMaz,Adirondackwannabe and so on and so on-LOL!

bubbacg's avatar

Other than simple tautologies, there are no useful absolute truths or laws. For example, you can safely state that all triangles have three sides. So, if you are looking for truth, you don’t have to look far, but there is not much to find…

The difference between science and religion tends to be the starting assumption. In both science and religion, we come up with a statement about the way we think things are. This statement may derive from current observation, historical claims, or personal revelation (Eureka!). “The world is flat”, “there is only one universe”, and “we each have an immortal soul” are all examples of these statements. In science, the starting assumption is that the statement is false, and we immediately begin to try and prove it wrong. If a hypothesis can be tested and survives long enough, it becomes a theory. If it continues to survive, a fine tuned, narrowly focused version of it might eventually be considered a law. Religion takes the opposite approach, assuming the statement is true and any evidence to the contrary should be ignored. I don’t mean this in a negative way. Faith plays an important role in my life, and I am very happy with it.

This is all a generalization, but I think the point is solid. Science and religion are fundamentally different in the way they search for and recognize truth.

Though the Big Bang, and all that it implies, like the non-existence of space and time “before” the Big Bang (I know, poorly stated), is still a theory. One of it’s biggest weakness is its failure to explain the first fraction of a second. The theory works very well as long as we join the Big Bang already in progress, but during that initial fraction, the universe is not likely to be as we see it now, and understanding what it really was like will explain many things. The generally accepted version of reality, with a single curved universe, is currently being challenged by more complex possibilities that involve other universes. In fact, though I know I am oversimplifying this to the point of silliness, our universe may have actually resulted from some kind of collision between two other universes. Or more specifically, the singularity that became the Big Bang may have been the result of interference patterns emanating from the interaction of two other universes.

Of course, the metaphor defies understanding by us right now, because if multiple universes exist, “what do they exist in?” Years from now, though, this same question may seem as silly to us as the question flat earth people asked about the theory of a spherical planet, “why don’t we fall off?” With no clear concept of space and gravity, they missed the point entirely. Odds are, we are suffering from the same limitations.

So, in religion, have faith. It’s all true. We’re not just a random chemical reaction gotten out of hand, doomed to be born, live and die with no real consequence to the universe(s). With whatever spiritual path that feels right for you, trust that there is a point to all this.

And in science, be skeptical of all answers, because we certainly don’t understand it all, not yet. Maybe we never will.

Don’t confuse them by believing anything in science without skepticism, or feeling the need to prove a religious belief.

Coloma's avatar

It all boils down to open mindedness, and, once again…the ability to say ” I don’t know.”

It is not about what we do know, or THINK we know, it IS about what we don’t know.

What we don’t know is still the larger slice of the pie IMO.

To imply that one is irrational for having spiritual beliefs is just as irrational as a religious person denying the contributions of the science community.

Beneath our beliefs ( that are nothing more than programmed conditioning ) lies the ‘truth’ that regardless of all the scientific therories, religious claims of an omni being, beyond all the brainiac intellectualism lies a ‘truth’ that cannot be explained or catagorised or measured by a scientific yardstick.
It is the truth that everyone is free to experience their own truth.

To experience the truth of being requires one to get out of their head and actually feel the experience of their existence and come to their own realizations independant of mind stuff, textbooks, theororzing or hypothosis, more mind stuff.

The truth of our existence can only be known in the expereince and no amount of scientific or religious material can substitute for the ‘truth’ of this.

Truth does not need to be marketed, it is all in the discovery.

@bubbacq

Well said, bravo! ( clapping )

eden2eve's avatar

@bubbacg

Well said!

I would give you FIVE stars, if I could.

eden2eve's avatar

And @bubbacg , WELCOME TO FLUTHER.

I hope we see many more reasoned responses of this calabre from you in the future!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@bubbacg So, in religion, have faith. It’s all true -lol.
@eden2eve – I think you mean ‘caliber’

eden2eve's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir – yes I mean that. Thank you for the correction.

whatthefluther's avatar

This from an all-too-infrequent-fluther-visitor-of-late: this is the best fluther discussion I have had the privilege of enjoying ever. How much the canabis and much-too-loud Moody Blues are effecting this opinion is anyone’s guess. Thank you all for your participation in what I like to call “the small world of wtf..” Carry on. See ya…Gary/wtf
Ps: @bubbacg…....Welcome to fluther!
@ragingloli…well, as close to perfection as one could reasonably hope!

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Those whose religious preconceptions lead them both to remain ignorant of the scientific method and the philosophy of science that underlies it (see the work of Carl Popper) reject the process and the products of scientific research and the label them as irrational or speculative.

When they group scientific theories that are increasingly well supported with notions that have no support and cannot be falsified, they undermine intelligent, rational discourse.

A discussion with such people about science is an often futile enterprise. They are determined to resist any understanding and they persist in equating “revealed truth” with the products of centuries of scientific research.

eden2eve's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence

I am not sure what your post has to do with the question, nor the posts that were provoked by it. This discussion was about irrational precepts, no matter what their origin.

But it seems to be a pretty common thing to do on Fluther, seeking opportunities to judge and belittle people who have religious “preconceptions”. I find it quite interesting that nobody seems at all concerned about this, when many are quick to jump on any hint of negativity towards non-mainstream sexuality, or racism.

I concede that either is wrong, but why is it not wrong to be so condescending towards those who have different opinions about “first cause”? Some, see above, even felt it necessary to jump all over Einstein about this.

This is exactly why I would never choose to share my opinions about religion on this board. Kind of pathetic, don’t you think?

ragingloli's avatar

@eden2eve
No one “jumped all over” Einstein. We pointed out his shortcomings. The man was brilliant, probably the most brilliant man to ever walk on the surface of this planet, but that does not make him flawless. We used him as an example, together with newton, that no one ever should believe everything a person says, just because that person said it. We should never turn a human into an infallible idol, because everyone is wrong about something.

eden2eve's avatar

@ragingloli

Who are you to say that they are shortcomings? Many would disagree with you. I’d be much more comfortable with people who state their “opinions” without feeling the need to be ” infallible” themselves. Not everybody agrees with you, and that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are wrong. Just saying…...

ragingloli's avatar

@eden2eve
It were shortcomings because they prevented them from completing their work.
Newton’s surrender to intelligent design prevented him to invent the mathematics with which would have allowed him to calculate n-body problems, mathematics that were invented in 1912 by Karl Fritiof Sundman from finland. Newton was mathematically brilliant enough to do that himself with ease. Remember that he invented differential calculus independently from Leibniz. But his resignation to intelligent design prevented him from even trying it.
In the same way, Einsteins rejection of quantum mechanics because of purely spiritual bias set him up to fail in his ultimate quest to unify relativity with electromagnetism. Had he incorporated QM into his efforts, I am quite confident he would have succeeded.
You can certainly use your religious or spiritual beliefs to inspire you to consider something, as a motivator to research something, but you should never let them make you reject something out of hand, or to stop you from pursuing a line of thought, because that is when science dies. Religion and spirituality, when used as a positive motivator, is a strength, no doubt. But when religion and spirituality become stopping stones, it becomes a weakness.

eden2eve's avatar

@ragingloli

In an earlier thread I posted several quotes made by Einstein, who happens to be someone I’ve studied quite extensively, and what was interesting, was the replies there, from some of the people who seem to thrive on this “religion bashing”, seemed to center around the concept that he didn’t mean the things he said, that he was trying to be acceptable to others, or that he was “just” a Deist, as if that was somehow acceptable, if just barely. You must admit that this becomes somewhat laughable. You are saying that his religion prevented him from fully manifesting his potential. Perhaps the truth might be that his “religion” or concept of first cause, caused him to be much more aware of the possibilities that would be invisible to someone who had a more closed, or more finite, mind.

As you said, he was one the most brilliant minds of the century, so maybe… just maybe, his mind might be capable of comprehending things that your, or my, minds can not.

ragingloli's avatar

@eden2eve
Perhaps the truth might be that his “religion” or concept of first cause, caused him to be much more aware of the possibilities that would be invisible to someone who had a more closed, or more finite, mind.
You did not really read what I wrote, did you? His spirituality in that instance closed his mind toward quantum mechanics, it made his mind finite.
His successors took off where he stopped, fully considered QM and finally came up with Superstring Theory which split into 5 different versions and then were unified into M-Theory, which elegantly unifies QM and Relativity. Mind you, M-Theory is quite counterintuitive, it requires the existence of 11 dimensions (3 spatial, 1 time, and 7 others) and essentially establishes an 11 dimensional hyperverse in which our 4 dimensional universe kinda “floats”. That is something Einstein could have discovered himself had he not closed his mind to QM.

eden2eve's avatar

Yes, I read what you posted, but what is to say you were RIGHT? How did you become the authority on how finite or infinite his mind was? All that you posted above is based upon something you were told, and others equally informed and intelligent would see it in an entirely different way. I know for a fact that some brilliant minds would differ with your assessments of him, because I have talked to one great mind who KNEW him personally.

I spent many years working with scientists, some of the most brilliant minds of our time. To a man (or occasionally woman) they were humble and open to the thoughts of others. Some of them were also “men of God”. Naturally, that subject didn’t always come up, but due to the fact that I lived in the community where this laboratory was situated, many of them became friends, or associates. Science and belief in “intelligent design” are not at all mutually exclusive, nor does one necessarily prevent an individual from appreciating and participating in the other.

I never attempt to ell anyone on Fluther how they should believe, and I don’t intend to start now. But I also don’t take everything people say here as “gospel” just because they said it. I have a problem with people who claim to have “all the answers”. Because NOBODY does! And when you believe that, you will be crippled by that belief.

ragingloli's avatar

I do not believe that someone has all the answers. Never claimed that, never will.
What I can claim, however, with a lot of evidential support, is that Einstein and Newton could have done better. Why? Because others succeeded where they did not.
You really should watch this video.
Neil Degrasse Tyson, astrophycist, describes the very issue I was talking about.
Really, watch the video.

eden2eve's avatar

“Others succeeded where they did not”… we still don’t know how much success these others had. May not know for generations.

If we live for another 20 years, these theories might well be succeeded by others. Coming from a scientific environment, and being exposed to many of the greatest minds and ideas, I love learning about these things. But, I’m also well aware that tomorrow I might be taught another, very different thing,and that’s ok too.

I could probably tell you some things I’ve learned that would fascinate you. Unfortunately, some of them are still classified. : >

I am just careful not to preach my “pet” theories, because I’m aware that they are just that! I just wish that others on here would be less concerned with “knowing” and more concerned with “learning”. Then I’d have a lot more respect for them.

ragingloli's avatar

@eden2eve
By ‘success’ I do not necessarily mean coming up with a theory that ends up being correct, but coming up with a consistent theory at all. Einstein tried, until his life’s end, to come up with one, but he never did.
Could you imagine Einstein coming up with theory of everything, like M-Theory, in addition to Relativity? He would be heralded as the man who unlocked the secrets of the very basis of the universe in one single life time, after millennia of blindness. He would probably be more famous than Jesus right now, rightfully. And it makes me sad, that he could not do it.

nikipedia's avatar

I find it amusing that the people who value science the least also understand it the least.

Coloma's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence

And the opposite holds true as well does it not?

I am not fiundementally religious, again, religion is a manmade construct.

There was no Christianity before Christ, and, many say if Jesus was here today he certainly would not be a Christian, lol

Reverse discrimination doesn’t fly either my friend.

Attempting to convey spiritual experience to a scientist often has the same result.

Again….the middle path is where it’s at in my humble opinion.

Coloma's avatar

@nikipedia

Do the turn around on that statement.

Always a turn around, can’t be any other way.

Why can’t BOTH science and spirituality have a place at the table of this mystery?

The answer is they CAN!

The ‘truth’ is…there are MANY great truths.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Many of you seem to have assumed that I denigrated those who have relgious beliefs.

I referred to those who actively remain ignorant of the methods and priciples of scientific research.

I have religious preconceptions. I am a scientist. I never let my beliefs prevent me from seeking knowledge wherever I may find it, including books written by those whose religious beliefs differ greatly from mine.

I am open to your criticism, but please be sure you have read what I actually wrote. I think that is a reasonable request.

I recently read and enjoyed “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young. Despite my own rejection of the notion of the “Trinity”, I was inspired and enlightened by many things in this book. I recommend it highly.

Coloma's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence

Touche!

I appriciate your clarification. My point exactly. There are many paths that lead to truth and knowledge.

Case in point, I am seeing a brilliant medical hypnotherapist right now to drop an on again/off again smoking habit. ( I am smoke free now! and have 4 sessions to go. :-) )

This man is phenomonel and quite possibly the most diverse human being I have ever met.

He is degreed in medical hypnpotherpy, a PhD in psychology, a neuro-linguistic programmer AND a Chaplain!

He combines the best of science, metaphysics and spirituality to form what I think is sheer genius in his practice.

Polarities slam the door on growth, there is room at the inn so to speak for a myriad of thought and approach to this mystery.

The true definition of ignorance is being closed minded.

I happen to embrace all possibility over probability.

plethora's avatar

@eden2eve Your post shown below is absolutely, unequivocally dead on target re Fluther. I’ve never seen it said better.

But it seems to be a pretty common thing to do on Fluther, seeking opportunities to judge and belittle people who have religious “preconceptions”. I find it quite interesting that nobody seems at all concerned about this, when many are quick to jump on any hint of negativity towards non-mainstream sexuality, or racism.

I concede that either is wrong, but why is it not wrong to be so condescending towards those who have different opinions about “first cause”?

This is exactly why I would never choose to share my opinions about religion on this board. Kind of pathetic, don’t you think?

While unreasoned preconceptions of any type are limiting, irreligious (or non-religious) preconceptions are an article of faith among most flutherites, especially the more vocal ones. No criticism here. Just calling it like it is.

Silhouette's avatar

Man can reason, but not all men are reasonable. They can’t admit they just don’t know.

Qingu's avatar

I really object to equating science and religion.

People used to think lightning was a weapon used by storm gods. Thanks to science, we now have an entire civilization powered by electricity, a force now well-understood.

But I guess that understanding is just the same as people’s old religious beliefs about lightning, right?

Coloma's avatar

@Qingu

No.

There is abig. dif. bewteen mythology and spirituality…( not religion, which is another man made construct )

Science may take some of the mystery out of some of the mysterious but spirituality honors the mysterious and eternal nature of things.

Revisit Bubbacq

The wisest of men embrace both the known and the unknown and honor the mysteries.

Qingu's avatar

I have no idea what you mean by spirituality.

Chances are, you mean a sense of awe and wonder. I utterly fail to see how science diminishes that. In fact, the opposite has been true in my experience.

For example, do you think lightning is amazing? I do. Watching thunderstorms is a “spiritual” experience for me. The fact that I know how lightning works—that it’s not a mystery—doesn’t make it less spiritual.

And, as I pointed out before—science may answer a lot of questions and solve mysteries, but it also uncovers new questions and mysteries that people never even thought to ask about.

I really feel like your attitude is essentially “Know-nothing-ism.” Ignorance isn’t spiritual for me.

plethora's avatar

@Qingu I would refer you to @Silhouette ‘s post just above yours. Which group are you in?

Qingu's avatar

I don’t know what you’re implying. There’s tons of shit I don’t know. There’s also tons of shit in the universe that I find sublimely amazing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=al4bnyucFhg&feature=related

There’s a video of Jupiter’s red spot, a 300-year old storm (at least). It is, I think, one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. I know that the storm emerges from fluid dynamics. I don’t know how long it’s been going, or if there are other factors that sustain the system. I’d like to know, though.

plethora's avatar

@Qingu I would agree totally. But then I also have to wonder how and why all those amazing things got there. I completely buy into the scientific explanation as to how, but must go beyond science to answer why.

Qingu's avatar

I fail to see the distinction between how and why.

I also fail to see how something “beyond science” can answer those questions.

Probably because I don’t see “God did it” as a valid or fulfilling answer to the “why” question.

ragingloli's avatar

@Qingu
I suppose by “why” he means a purpose, an intent, which ultimately requires the existencce of an intelligent agent to have the intent, to create the purpose.
That is another problem. Does there have to be a purpose, an intent, an answer to “why”?
The answer to why could just as well be “there is no purpose”.

plethora's avatar

@Qingu I keep getting the feeling I am encountering closed minds on this site. Could that be possible? Are there really people on here who completely close off options of thought without a rational reason for doing so? Maybe its just me.

@ragingloli If you can buy “there is no purpose”, have at it.

Qingu's avatar

But “God did it” doesn’t actually answer the question of purpose. It just pushes it back—what is God’s purpose for doing it?

“God did it, but he works in mysterious ways so we can’t understand why” is every bit as much of a non-answer.

@plethora, perhaps you are labeling people who disagree with you as “close-minded” as a way to avoid having to defend or support your own beliefs?

plethora's avatar

@Qingu Thanks for formulating an argument for me, but it’s not one I would have chosen. I would not even begin to try to convince you of anything because “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still”. I have seen no indication that you are willing to listen to any opinions but your own..and that’s ok. It’s not only your privilege, it’s the privilege of everyone on this site, and one that is exercised by quite a few. You’re not alone. Be well.

eden2eve's avatar

@Qingu

Are the question criteria different based upon whom one is attempting to “one-up”?

If I were to ask you “why did the Big Bang happen?” Would you have a logical and viable answer?

If a person said that the “why” to intelligent design was so that there was a habitation place for the creations of the intelligent creator? Would you call that a non-answer?

It’s simple, folks, the Designer even created you, and allows you the freedom to express your illogical ideas. And never calls you “ignorant” or “inconsistent”, even when/if you are. That’s infinitely more open-minded than some of the Designer’s creations, is it not?

Your flaunting of your “religious education” does not an expert make, in the estimation of everyone on this board. Just so you know my criteria, I consider the education only as good as it’s source. And from some of the posts I’ve seen you make on Fluther, your education was obviously sorely lacking in providing you understanding of “religion” and it’s derivatives.

Perhaps you and those of your kind are baiting those who don’t agree with you? Just a thought….

plethora's avatar

@eden2eve Exactly…and well said!!!

ragingloli's avatar

@plethora
Sure I can ‘buy’ it. Let us say I walk by an apple tree and one of the apples falls down. Why did that apple fall from the tree? What is the purpose, the grand meaning of the apple falling down? Is there a supernatural being that made it fall to tell me something? That is when speculation starts. I could imagine all kinds of beings, and reasons these beings could have had to make the apple fall, one more convoluted than the other. (that is basically how religion starts, except scientology, which is a money making scam) But at the end of the day I have not moved one nanometre from the actual first question, one which I overlooked the moment I posed the “Why” question: Is there a ‘Why’? The fact is that I do not know, you do not know, no one knows, if there is a “why”. Let me tell you why “there is probably no purpose” is preferable.
I shall demonstrate it with a simple diagram.
As you can see, “there is probably no purpose” is simply more probable a solution than “there is a purpose”. Even worse, once you start speculating what that purpose is, you have to split the 0.25 probability of “there is a purpose” into as many parts as there are possible purposes. For example, some of the possible options are
– he tried to hurt me with the apple.
– he tried to kill me with the apple.
– he tried to alert me to my low level of vitamine C by dropping the apple.
– he tried to inspire me to create the theory of universal gravity.
– he tried to inspire me to search for the origin of species and to create the theory of evolution
– he tried to alert me to the starving children in the streets by dropping a nutritious apple
– he tried to inspire me to create ballistic weapons so I can wage a war against the neighbouring country that kills our apple trees all the time.
– and so on.
In this case alone, you would have to split the 0.25 into 7 parts with a probability of p = 0.0357 each. You can see how each of those possible purposes is extremely tiny compared to the 0.75 probability of “there is probably no purpose”. And with each possible detail you add to those options, the more they split and the less likely they become.

Qingu's avatar

@eden2eve, asking why the Big Bang “happened” is a nonsensical question. I suppose it’s sort of like asking “Why did God come into existence?”

By the way, which “designer” are you guys talking about? Yahweh, the deity who supposedly made a solid dome for a sky, couldn’t defeat a tribe with iron chariots, and commanded his chosen people to enslave people and commit genocide?

eden2eve's avatar

@ragingloli

So… you state a hypothesis, posit an nonsensical question, offer a bunch of uninspired answers of your choice, and somehow call that a scientific statement because you add some math at the end? Nice!

ragingloli's avatar

@eden2eve
It is just as nonsensical as asking “Why did the big bang happen”. In fact, you can substitute the apple scenario with your question, and the numbers would be identical.

eden2eve's avatar

@Qingu

So one may only offer a “nonsensical question” when one is basing their position from a position of “science”?

Your meager offensive postures regarding the “designer” I mentioned above are perfect examples of your poor education. When you can ask me some meaningful questions, please feel welcome.

An example of your fallicious statements:
Jahweh, the deity who supposedly made a solid dome for a sky…”
The word used in my scriptures is firmament, not dome. Nowhere in my scriptures does the word dome appear. Please look up the definition of firmament. One of the most common ones is sky. That is what the “designer” made.

You continue to create your own context for what appears in the texts. It becomes laughable and not worthy of defense.

eden2eve's avatar

@ragingloli

I can only chuckle. Your numbers are completely off the top of your head, and if I were you I’d be embarrassed.

ragingloli's avatar

@eden2eve
The numbers are not “off the top of my head”. They result from basic probability theory. You might want to pay more attention in math classes.

eden2eve's avatar

When you make up the criteria? What if you only came up with one answer. Would your little math problem be different?

Qingu's avatar

@eden2eve,

I’ll note that out of the two of us in this discussion, you’re the one making personal attacks.

The Hebrew word translated variously as firmament, dome, expanse, etc is “raqiya,” meaning “that which is hammered out.” God makes the raqiya to separate the waters below it from the waters above it. He then calls the raqiya “sky.” The raqiya is obviously solid (firmament, by the way, means solid, so I’m not sure why you’re confused here). It has windows that let in the above-sky ocean. God opens these windows in the flood story.

But just to be clear, this is the designer you’re talking about? Yahweh? Because he is similar to other Mesopotamian deities; I’m curious as to how you picked him as your designer over, for example, Marduk or Sin.

Also (again, to be clear), are you disagreeing that Yahweh couldn’t defeat a tribe with iron chariots? Or that he ordered slavery and genocide? I’m more than happy to discuss those verses as well.

ragingloli's avatar

@eden2eve
If I only came up with one answer I would be willfully ignoring all the other possible options, of which there is an endless amount.
If I wanted to calculate the probability of the possible outcomes of rolling a die and then say that only 6 is possible, yes my math would be different. It would also be wrong.
If, to the question “is there a god?” i would only accept “yes” as an answer, I would be willfully ignoring the equally possible answer “no”. Here is the basic rule of probability: When there is no data available to modify the probability of available possible outcomes, each outcome has the same probability. That is why both “yes” and “no” have a probability of 0.5, they would add up to 1, which is 100%. That is why 1 through 6 on a die all have the same probability of 1/6 of occuring.

eden2eve's avatar

@Qingu

Personal attacks are endemic in your writings.

“asking why the Big Bang “happened” is a nonsensical question”
“perhaps you are labeling people who disagree with you as “close-minded” as a way to avoid having to defend or support your own beliefs?”
“I really feel like your attitude is essentially “Know-nothing-ism.” Ignorance isn’t spiritual for me.”
_“Ignorant people have a psychological tendency to believe that knowledge is difficult/impossible to achieve, because this: (1) makes them feel better about being ignorant and (2) justifies their laziness re: not bothering to educate themselves.”

Would you like me to go on? I assumed, based upon your observed communication methods, that this was the language you understand. If not, please let me know and we can go on to some intelligent and meaningful dialogue. So far, I’ve seen precious little of that in your work.

I’m not confused, you are. It’s obviously solid, because you say it is? Your sources speak one way, mine speak another. WHO decides who is right? Just so you know, a member of my family is fluent in Aramaic, Hebrew and several other middle-eastern languages. Her degree is in Middle Eastern Studies, and she studied abroad in those countries for two years. She translated Isaiah from the source code, and co-wrote a book about it. She’s my source on archaic languages. Don’t try to dazzle me, it’s not that easy.

I am not discussing my PERSONAL beliefs, because I don’t cast pearls before swine. Not that I think you’re a pig, but you know the saying.

Qingu's avatar

@ragingloli, part of the problem with religious arguments is that whatever specific deity they’re advocating is no more likely than any of the other hundreds of deities put forth by other religions.

I mean, our friends here believe that the creator deity is a cosmic Jewish zombie who is his own father, who had to have himself killed, as a sacrifice (to himself) in order to avoid punishing people who don’t follow his laws—which strongly resemble other ancient Babylonian laws—which we’re incapable of following anyway because our mythical ancestor ate an apple at the behest of a talking snake.

That certainly seems about as probable as, for example, Gaia and Ouronos arising from the primordial chaos, or Marduk crafting the earth out of the defeated corpse of his mother, Tiamat the ocean goddess.

ragingloli's avatar

@Qingu
I intentionally kept out the issue of the 3000+ possible gods from the scenario, to keep it as simple an example as possible.

Qingu's avatar

@eden2eve, feel free to ask your relative about the raqiya, I am sure she will corroborate what I said.

And pointing out that nonsensical questions are nonsensical, or that people who are misinformed are ignorant, are not actually personal attacks. I’m sorry you took them personally. In any case, I certainly wasn’t making such statements in place of putting forth arguments and defending my claims. I notice that in your last three posts, you haven’t really advocated or defended any sort of position. Are you going to?

eden2eve's avatar

I did, she did not say that the translation suggests that a Creator constructed a DOME over the earth. That is a construct of those who would discredit what they do not understand.

And you can decide what constitutes personal attacks? Calling someone ignorant certainly applies, IMHO. Of course, I won’t deign to suggest that I know everything, but if it feels that way to me, who is to disagree?

I am not here to advocate a position, @Qingu . I am just attempting to level the playing field a little bit, and keep people from suggesting that their position is endemically superior to another position. I want people to feel confident to express their opinions without feeling intimidated by someone who appears to be better informed. That isn’t the way a democratic cite which encourages the exchange of ideas should be managed, IMHO. It feels like bullying, to me.

eden2eve's avatar

@Qingu

“I mean, our friends here believe that the creator deity is a cosmic Jewish zombie who is his own father, who had to have himself killed, as a sacrifice (to himself) in order to avoid punishing people who don’t follow his laws—which strongly resemble other ancient Babylonian laws—which we’re incapable of following anyway because our mythical ancestor ate an apple at the behest of a talking snake.

Those are the exact ignorant statements which I referred to above. If you do not understand something, please do not try to discuss it. Intelligent people do not make statements like those above. They are provocative and insulting, and not worth of defense.

eden2eve's avatar

I’m done here until you can come up with some intelligent conversation.

Qingu's avatar

@eden2eve, really? I’d love to hear her explanation, then. The word has a pretty clear meaning and context, which is why most scholars translate it as something solid (a firmament or a dome, in most translations).

Is she, by any chance, a believer who thinks the Bible is infallible? That may influence her understanding of the word.

Also, it doesn’t really seem like you’re trying to even the playing field. It seems like you don’t like that your own beliefs are being criticized and, instead of defending them, you’re making a lot of personal attacks and feigning offense.

Again: feel free to join the discussion, advocate a position, explain why you think I’m wrong. The conversation ball is in your court.

eden2eve's avatar

No, she is not someone who believes that the Bible is infallible. Quite the contrary.

I don’t like it that you are acting like a “bully”. If you would observe my earlier posts, you would see that this is not at all my methodology. I was attempting to show you what your methods look like to someone else. And you didn’t like it much, I guess.

As I stated above, I am not in this argument/discussion to state my position. I just want the discussion to be reasoned and respectful. Don’t know if you can do that without resorting to name calling and disrespectful rhetoric. But I’ll we watching to see, and sincerely hope that I am wrong.

plethora's avatar

@Qingu @ragingloli Wow….just stunning. I’m overwhelmed by the theological notions erupting from two people have obviously dreamed it up on their own. Have fun you two.

Coloma's avatar

@plethora & @eden2eve

Wow X 47….notions is an understatement.

Where’s the grownups table?

Save a seat for me.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Coloma-Why do you think I left my own question??LMAO!

Coloma's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille

LOL

Nothing like opening the proverbial can of worms ey?;-)

Axemusica's avatar

yes, I’m quite late. I just discovered this excellent question.

Well, now that I’m done reading quite a bit & I’ll also be avoiding the park where people seem to be walking their angry pitbulls. I have a theory to present.

If it were Law of my theory to present that I have A Big Bang, would you let me stick it in your Dark Matter? This possibly might be illogical, but it’s up for debate. ;D

lloydbird's avatar

Because we can only work with what we have.

And we are each only at where we are on this.

plethora's avatar

Is this a nonsense question or do I just not understand this particular association of words?

HungryGuy's avatar

Because most men can’t reason (some women can’t reason either). Also, the universe itself is rather inexplicable. How is it possible that the universe, and the matter in it, has always existed (in one form or another—depending on whether or not you believe in the Big Bang) infinitely into the past without a beginning? That actually makes no sense…

plethora's avatar

Because “reason” is not omnipotence

Ladymia69's avatar

None of you people know anything at all. You’re all just walking, talking animals who are incidentally inhabiting this planet. Did you forget that?

plethora's avatar

@ladymia69 Is that your own theology or did you dig it up somewhere?

Ladymia69's avatar

@plethora Think whatever you want…you will anyway.

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