September 2007

It seems a bit odd that you would speak of infinite universes as a good possibility, yet proudly proclaim you are an atheist. I do not know of any theory or mathematical theoretician offering any possibility of such a thing, yet you prefer that to the theory that there may be a creator of our own observable universe. If we are to deal in the totally abstract, let’s at least deal with whether or not there is causality or whether a endlessly complex functioning system like our universe happened by a ”roll of the dice”. If you can imagine parallel universes, why can’t you imagine intelligent creation? also you may give some thought as to what life is. how do thoughts occur? what forces exist at the lowest particulate level that create these things? where did Cro Magnon exist before he suddenly appeared 50 or so thousand years ago. if the ape and man shared a common ancestor, why is the ape still an ape while man is writing literature?

I would venture that most atheists are atheists for two reasons:

1. they are pissed off at God for some reason

2. through deductive reasoning they have decided that a supreme being cannot exist as religions depict him

This still leaves open the possibility the universe was created by a supreme intelligence or force long before the concept of God was invented by man.

I see no contradiction between the possibility of an infinite string of universes and atheism. I am not an expert in physics, but I do know that many possibilities for an infinite series of universes (or a single rebounding universe) have been proposed. I believe Einstein considered this a possibility. Look into the cyclic model of the universe — perhaps on Wikipedia — for information on one set of possibilities. Stephen Hawking’s recent work on universes without singularities seems to have implications in this area as well.

I prefer the possibility of an infinite series of universes to the possibility of a creator because the infinite series possibility doesn’t require imagining much that doesn’t already exist. We know that there must be an infinite something stretching out into the past, so that’s not anything new. We know that our universe exists so imagining other universes isn’t too much of a stretch. But the jump to the existence of a being with universe-creating power that exists outside of anything we can imagine calling space time seems pretty gigantic. For that reason, I save it for a last resort.

You want to deal with causality, and I think I have done that. An infinite series of universes satisfies the requirement of causality. Yes there is a seeming paradox involved in there being no first universe, but we don’t escape that paradox by positing God. (For example, if God exists eternally, we can ask why he waited an infinite amount of time to create our universe.)

I don’t think I’d call our universe “endlessly complex.” That is a very fuzzily defined term. Our universe is indeed very complex, but all of that complexity seems explainable within the laws of physics without having to resort to the supernatural.

I can imagine parallel universes; I can imagine intelligent creation; I can imagine that my parents have been replaced by robots. My imagining these things does not impact their likelihood (as I think I said before).

I have given thought to what life is. Life is a biological process. Thoughts are a function of the brain. There is no special force that exists to create life or thought, any more than there is a special “motion” force within a car that makes it move.

Cro-Magnons didn’t suddenly appear some 40k years ago; they evolved. Your “if some apes evolved into humans, why didn’t all of them” question is surprising in that it shows a pretty large misunderstanding of evolution, and I was under the impression that you had spent a lot of time on this issue. You might as well ask “if some fish evolved into humans, then why isn’t every fish a human?” Or “If a river made the Grand Canyon, why doesn’t every river make a Grand Canyon?” I can go into this in detail if you really think it’s necessary, but I’m hoping you understand my point.

Regarding your ideas about why people are atheists:

1) Nobody who is mad at God is an atheist. Atheists don’t believe in God.

2) You keep saying that atheism is a rejection of human religion, but that is just plain not the case. Many people become atheists because they realize the religion they were brought up with is incorrect, but an atheist doesn’t limit his or her lack of religion to the lack of organized religion. Atheists believe that deities — whether worshipped by humans, not worshipped by humans, or not even conceived of by humans — are at least vanishingly unlikely.

The concept of a universe created by a supreme intelligence that is not the human-described God is incompatible with atheism. Atheism does not accept this as a likely scenario, and many atheists say it’s downright impossible. You appear to be talking about deism. It’s not a religion that atheism has overlooked rejecting.

Posted on September 21, 2007 at 11:37 am by ideclare · Permalink
In: Evidence

2 Responses

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  1. Written by Anonymous
    on September 22, 2007 at 10:18 am
    Reply · Permalink

    Ancient Egyptians surmised that a dung beetle created the Earth. I accept that version of “intelligent design” as long as it is extended — the entire cosmos emerged from the collective wisdom of a committee. That they’re still in charge . . . and having some problems (as committees always do):

    ** The Arthropodic Principle — note from HQ **

    To: all
    From: CEO

    Subject: Causes and solutions of major anthropic screw-up

    It was the Corporate Committee on Systematic World Ordering which initiated an RFP, cost-plus basis. Failure to recognize that Hellaburton was an unreliable contractor, created certain problems with shoddy workmanship and substandard materials which quickly emerged.

    These however were plastered over for at least 4 billion years until the first multicellular creatures appeared in planet’s Precambrian oceans. By then it was too late to adjust any nucleotides. After all, it is a double blind test.

    The last 550 million years, however, have proved one unforeseen disaster after another, culminating in Nature’s Greatest Mistake, humanity. Currently, almost 7 billion cases of hypertrophy of the prefrontal cortex!

    Delicious irony though. The defect provides an illusion of having “free will.” Of course, homeostatic causes are still causes. But, as delusions go, this one is a sicko. Unfortunately, the trait is far too stable to be wiped out by laws of population genetics.

    Looks like human heads must roll. The Corporate Committee on Oort Cloud Exploitation hopes to find a suitably large comet in the next 65 million years, give or take 5 million years.

    However, let there be light. The standing Corporate Committee on Bio-organics has estimated that the average species lasts only about 2 million years. Patience hath its rewards.

    Personally, I want the testing to continue. I find myself inordinately fond of beetles. Let it be called the arthropodic principle.

    copyright asserted 2007

  2. Written by Benjamin
    on September 22, 2007 at 11:20 am
    Reply · Permalink

    All that stuff is very very interesting. But to know if wether our universe has been created by a conscious being or not, nobody can tell. Because we do not know anything about it. Why not a God then? The fact is that, atheist or not, nobody can assume reasonably that god exists or not. There is a complete lack of knowledge at this point from the point of view of the scientist. Scientists still try to find out why our universe has been created but no satisfactory reason has been ever discovered until now. So we should better shut our mouth and wait. If god exists, we would logically meet him when dead. But wether it exists or not, a great part of the humanity will know great deception at the moment of its death. And that sounds pretty funny ^^…

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