November 2007

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Determinism may be defined as the thesis that there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future.

there are too many variables, many of which we are unaware, for this statement to be true. accidents of all kinds come to mind. illnesses also.

”This is why not knowing what caused our universe is not evidence for any kind of deity. As you say, there are many things we cannot yet scientifically describe or do not understand, and we continue to learn more about the causes of arcane occurrences — so it seems hasty to me to try and fill those gaps of knowledge with magic.” no one is claiming magic, but I think anyone would agree that the BB is a supernatural event, and if caused , the cause was supernatural. notice i do not use the word ”diety” which concept is man made and which you seem hung up on.

”It is possible that the workings of reality are such that the laws of our universe are not as random as some might think. It is also possible that we only observe “fine tuned” laws because without them we wouldn’t be here to observe them”

if physical laws were random, the universe would not exist. how could these laws be constant if they came from chaos?

”How DNA works is pretty well understood, considering how young a science it is. Defining life is difficult because there are some things on the border of the definition (like viruses), but I don’t see how this impacts our discussion. I think there are false assumptions built into the question of at what particle level life exists, since life does not appear to exist on the particle level.”

the particulate level of the action of life or DNA is not understood at all, only the macroscopic results of sub-atomic processes. we don’t even know what the most basic particle is.

”Humans and modern apes are both evolved from a common ancestor. Modern apes are not identical to humanity’s ancestors. ” do you not see your own contradiction? man did not occur until maybe 8 or nine million years ago. if man and the ape had a common ancestor, why in the ensuing years has man evolved into a being who can split the atom and the ape has to struggle to split a nut?

I do believe the universe was created by a supernatural cause. Supernatural because it was only done once and never again. Supernatural because this force had the power and intelligence and ability to perform an act that only this force alone could effect. Supernatural because this force created the physical means to make it all work. This does not mean the force has human traits or acts like a man, or cares about mankind, or cares whether or not you believe.

We are apparently having a serious problem with definition of terms here.

I’ll accept your definition of determinism as quoted from Wikipedia. The problem is, in your next sentence you refute your own definition (unless you believe that accidents and illnesses are uncaused, which I’m assuming you don’t). Determinism has nothing to do with whether or not we know all variables, and everything to do with the assumption that everything is caused and could therefore be predicted if we did know the variables.

You say that nobody is claiming magic. If magic is a supernatural power over natural forces, why would you still say that the Big Bang was not the result of magic?

When I use the word “supernatural,” I refer to things that are outside the laws of nature. There are plenty of people who would say that the Big Bang does not fit this definition of supernatural. You seem to be defining the Big Bang as supernatural because it was a unique occurrence in our universe with a cause that occurred before the universe existed. This is also a viable definition, but it is not one that — in my experience — is in common usage. The situation is complicated by your final paragraph in which you say that the Big Bang’s cause was supernatural because (in part) it had intelligence, and again there are plenty of people who would say that the Big Bang’s cause was not supernatural in this way.

I am not “hung up” on the word deity. I use this word, in the context of our discussion, to refer to any entity that could have willfully created the universe. I do not, by using this term, mean to imply anything more than that. A deist god would still be a deity. Would you still argue against the use of “deity” in this sense to refer to what you believe caused the Big Bang?

You ask, “if physical laws were random, the universe would not exist. how could these laws be constant if they came from chaos?” I disagree with your premise that the universe would necessarily not exist if physical laws were produced at random (I think it’s an overbroad statement). However, if reality is such that universes cannot be created without physical laws that fall within certain parameters, then constant laws could come from chaos in the same way that pebbles in a churning pool of water can end up sorted by size.

You say, “the particulate level of the action of life or DNA is not understood at all.” In this phrase it sounds like you are repeating your statement that there is something at the particulate level that could be called “life.” If so, I continue to disagree with this statement. You are correct that science is still theorizing on what the most basic particle is, but I don’t see how that impacts the question at hand.

You imply that I am contradicting myself when I say that humans and apes come from a common ancestor and then ask, “if man and the ape had a common ancestor, why in the ensuing years has man evolved into a being who can split the atom and the ape has to struggle to split a nut?” I don’t know how many different ways I can say this, but there is no contradiction here at all. If a single species couldn’t evolve into multiple species, then the entire planet would only have one species on it. Our primate ancestors didn’t have a “goal” of evolving into humans, they just evolved as circumstances dictated. Some populations evolved into apes, another evolved into humans. The question “If some apes evolved into humans, then why didn’t all of them?” is like asking “If Bob moved to California, then why didn’t everyone?”

You finish by saying that whatever created the universe was supernatural, does not have human traits, does not care about mankind, and does not care what we believe. That’s fine. I would still refer to such a being as a deity, but we can avoid that term if it bothers you. In any case, I still see no compelling reason to believe such a thing exists or existed.

Looking into the concept of this creator, why do you think that this creator was intelligent? Could the being have had the power and ability to create the universe but no intelligence, in the same way that a cow can create another cow without having the slightest idea of how the process works? If not, then why?

Posted on November 4, 2007 at 1:01 pm by ideclare · Permalink
In: Discussion, Evidence

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