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Evidence for the Big Bang fifty years old this year

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Universe Fate-1 Accelerating Universe
universe shortly after the Big Bang

As New Scientist points out, it’s been fifty years since two Bell Labs engineers in New Jersey accidentally discovered the cosmic microwave background of the Big Bang, while investigating problems with antennae.  (The theory dates back several decades earlier.) As noted earlier the Big Bang was not a popular discovery, principally because it was consistent with a theistic interpretation of the universe. The sheer number of crackpot cosmologies developed to get around it is voluble testimony to the human imagination.

The mag offers a look at six continuing questions about the origin of our universe, including,

3. Could ancient life have emerged in the big bang’s glow?

The CMB’s light comes from superheated gas, or plasma, that filled the early universe. This matter cooled with time to give rise to stars and galaxies, and today space is too frigid to host life as we know it on worlds far from their stars. But temperature readings of the CMB hint that a mere 15 million years after the big bang, the glow would have been warm enough to make the whole universe one large life-friendly zone. This epoch would have lasted a few million years, enough time for microbes to emerge but not complex life, Loeb suggests.

The idea that life might have got started around the time of the Big Bang has been floated recently (space was warmer then), mainly by Loeb. But some say it wasn’t warm enough soon enough. Sharov argues for 9.7 billion years ago (yes, well before Earth).

Note: There are, of course, respectable arguments against Big Bang cosmology. They tend to get all but drowned these days in “What if the universe is a  hologram, or maybe a donut?”

See also: Big Bang exterminator wanted, will train

The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (cosmology).

The Science Fictions series fingertips (origin of life)

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28 Replies to “Evidence for the Big Bang fifty years old this year

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    Assuming the chemical and physical conditions for the most elementary cell would have been present right from the Big Bang (yes, right away), would there have been enough time for that first cell to form by now, i.e. 14 billion years later? I mean, really?

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    yes, no, maybe…?

  3. 3
    Joe says:

    Form by now from purely materialistic processes? No amount of time is enough.

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    Of note:

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins (Paper delivered at Greer-Heard Point/Counterpoint Forum on Cosmology and Existence of God, March 22, 2014.)
    Excerpt: Examples of fine – tuning for discoverability.
    ,,A small increase in ? (fine structure constant) would have resulted in all open wood fires going out; yet harnessing fire was essential to the development of civilization, technology, and science – e.g., the forging of metals.,,,
    Going in the other direction, if ? (fine structure constant) were decreased, light microscopes would have proportionality less resolving power without the size of living cells or other microscopic objects changing.,,,
    Thus, it is quite amazing that the resolving power of light microscopes goes down to that of the smallest cell (0.2 microns), but no further. If it had less resolving power, some cells could not be observed alive. The fine – structure constant, therefore, is just small enough to allow for open wood fires and just large enough for the light microscope to be able to see all living cells.
    Predictive and Explanatory Power of Discoverability – Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation
    Prediction: DLO: Within the range of values of a given parameter p that yield near – optimal livability, p will fall into that subrange of values that maximize discoverability (given constraints of elegance are not violated).
    In every case that I was able to make calculations regarding whether the fundamental parameters of physics are optimized in this way, they appear to pass the test.[iv] This alone is significant since this hypothesis is falsifiable in the sense that one could find data that potentially disconfirms it – namely, cases in which as best as we can determining, such as a case in which changing the value of a fundamental parameter – such as the fine – structure constant – increases discoverability while not negatively affecting livability.[v] Below, I will look at a case from cosmology where this thesis could have been disconfirmed but was not.,,,
    The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,,
    …the intensity of CMB depends on the photon to baryon ratio, (??b), which is the ratio of the average number of photons per unit volume of space to the average number of baryons (protons plus neutrons) per unit volume. At present this ratio is approximately a billion to one (10^9) , but it could beanywhere from one to infinity; it traces back to the degree of asymmetry in matter and anti – matter right after the beginning of the universe – for approximately every billion particles of antimatter, there was a billion and one particles of matter.,,,
    The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near – optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.
    According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists — to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13)
    It is easy to see that this prediction could have been disconfirmed. In fact, when I first made the calculations in the fall of 2011, I made a mistake and thought I had refuted this thesis since those calculations showed the intensity of the CMB maximizes at a value different than the photon – baryon ratio in our universe. So, not only does the DLO lead us to expect this ratio, but it provides an ultimate explanation for why it has this value,,, This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,,

    Robin Collins – Homepage

  5. 5
    Dionisio says:

    Therefore the more one pushes back the appearance of that first cell, the less time one has left from the BB to the first cell, which means kinda like shooting oneself on the foot? if one wants to have more time available for that first OOL magic moment to happen, then logic seems to whisper that one better writes that event in the recent past, so there’s more time available from the BB to the magic moment, then try to figure out how to get from there to here (more magic). Does this make sense?
    Has anyone described how that OOL process might have occurred? not talking general ideas, but kinda step-by-step? can someone point me to where I can access that description? thanks. Ok, past 11pm here, good night.

  6. 6
    Dionisio says:

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins (Paper delivered at Greer-Heard Point/Counterpoint Forum on Cosmology and Existence of God, March 22, 2014.)

    March 22, 2014?
    A future event?

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    The paper was delivered this morning at the Greer-Heard conference in New Orleans

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is another gem I picked up from the conference (per Sinclair)

    “Einstein’s equation predict that, as the astronaut reaches the singularity (of the black-hole), the tidal forces grow infinitely strong, and their chaotic oscillations become infinitely rapid. The astronaut dies and the atoms which his body is made become infinitely and chaotically distorted and mixed-and then, at the moment when everything becomes infinite (the tidal strengths, the oscillation frequencies, the distortions, and the mixing), spacetime ceases to exist.”
    Kip S. Thorne – “Black Holes and Time Warps: Einstein’s Outrageous Legacy” pg. 476;f=false

    i.e. Black Holes are found to be ‘timeless’ singularities of destruction and disorder rather than singularities of creation and order such as the extreme order we see at the creation event of the Big Bang. Needless to say, the implications of this ‘eternality of destruction’ should be fairly disturbing for those of us who are of the ‘spiritually minded’ persuasion!

    Two very different ‘eternities’ revealed by physics:

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    I find the evidence that the universe had a transcendent beginning in the past and that that transcendent beginning was/is Theistic in nature to be compelling.,,,,

    The Scientific Evidence For The Big Bang – Michael Strauss PhD. – video

    1. The galaxies (or galaxy clusters) are systematically moving away from us such that the farther away galaxies are moving faster away from us. As a result of General Relativity this means that space itself is expanding carrying the galaxies with it.

    2. The cosmic microwave background radiation can be explained only by the Big Bang theory. The background radiation is the relic of an early hot universe. The Steady State theory could not explain the background radiation, and so fell into disfavor.

    3. The observed abundance of hydrogen, helium, deuterium, lithium agrees with that predicted by the Big Bang theory.

    “Every solution to the equations of general relativity guarantees the existence of a singular boundary for space and time in the past.”(Hawking, Penrose, Ellis) – 1970

    Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time. In 1968 and 1970, they published papers in which they extended Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space.1, 2 According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy.”3
    Steven W. Hawking, George F.R. Ellis, “The Cosmic Black-Body Radiation and the Existence of Singularities in our Universe,” Astrophysical Journal, 152, (1968) pp. 25-36.
    Steven W. Hawking, Roger Penrose, “The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series A, 314 (1970) pp. 529-548.

    The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the bible as a whole.
    Dr. Arno Penzias, Nobel Laureate in Physics – co-discoverer of the Cosmic Background Radiation – as stated to the New York Times on March 12, 1978

    “Certainly there was something that set it all off,,, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match Genesis”
    Robert Wilson – Nobel laureate – co-discover Cosmic Background Radiation

    “There is no doubt that a parallel exists between the big bang as an event and the Christian notion of creation from nothing.”
    George Smoot – Nobel laureate in 2006 for his work on COBE

    “Now we see how the astronomical evidence supports the biblical view of the origin of the world. The details differ, but the essential elements in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis are the same: the chain of events leading to man commenced suddenly and sharply at a definite moment in time, in a flash of light and energy.”
    Robert Jastrow – Founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute – Pg.15 ‘God and the Astronomers’

    I watched much of the Craig-Carrol debate last night and the follow up this morning. Everyone in the forum, from the parts I watched was pretty much agreed that general relativity, by itself, indicated a beginning for the universe. Where the atheists tried to find wiggle room for a eternal universe was in ‘quantum speculations’ before space and time began. But far from speculations about quantum mechanics, I find looking at the evidence directly from quantum mechanics gives us further confirmation for a theistic origin of the universe.,,, First it is important to note that Energy/Light preceded matter in the big bang:

    Big Bang
    After its (The Big Bangs) initial expansion from a singularity, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles, including protons, neutrons, and electrons.

    Thus to the question of ‘where did the universe come from?’ I can, since matter comes from energy, greatly simplify my search by asking ‘where does a single photon come from?’ And to this question, ‘where does a single photon come from?’, quantum mechanics offers much empirical evidence that bypasses much of the unconstrained speculation of atheists who use quantum mechanics to try to get around a definite beginning in the past for the universe. In this regards we find that a photon is ‘outside of time’:

    To grasp the whole ‘time coming to a complete stop at the speed of light’ concept a little more easily, imagine moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light. Would not the hands on the clock stay stationary as you moved away from the face of the clock at the speed of light? Moving away from the face of a clock at the speed of light happens to be the same ‘thought experiment’ that gave Einstein his breakthrough insight into e=mc2.

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video

    “I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.”
    Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest – 2005

    Virtual Particles, Anthropic Principle and Special Relativity – Michael Strauss PhD. Particle Physics – video

    Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God – video

    Science vs God: Bryan Enderle at TEDxUCDavis – video

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, photons (and atoms), in their ‘quantum wave state’, are found to be defined as, and to reduce to, ‘infinite’ quantum information:

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (photon) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1)

    How Teleportation Will Work –
    Excerpt: In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made.

    Unconditional Quantum Teleportation – abstract
    Excerpt: This is the first realization of unconditional quantum teleportation where every state entering the device is actually teleported,,

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.

    Atheists objected that the quantum wave state was merely abstract, yet the following experiment actually encoded information into a photon while it was in its quantum wave state, thus destroying the notion, held by atheists, that the infinite dimensional wave function was not ‘physically real’ but was merely ‘abstract’. i.e. How can information possibly be encoded into something that is not physically real but was merely abstract?

    Ultra-Dense Optical Storage – on One Photon
    Excerpt: Researchers at the University of Rochester have made an optics breakthrough that allows them to encode an entire image’s worth of data into a photon, slow the image down for storage, and then retrieve the image intact.,,, As a wave, it passed through all parts of the stencil at once,,,

    “By its conventional definition, a photon is one unit of excitation of a mode of the electromagnetic field. The modes of the electromagnetic field constitute a countably infinite set of basis functions, and in this sense the amount of information that can be impressed onto an individual photon is unlimited.”
    Robert W. Boyd – The Enabling Technology for Quantum Information Science 2013 – University of Rochester, Rochester, NY – lead researcher of the experiment which encoded information in a photon in 2010

    Moreover, Leggett’s inequality has now established (by 80 orders of magnitude) that ‘we create reality by looking at it’:

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007 (Leggett’s Inequality: Verified to 80 orders of magnitude)

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Now, I find the preceding set of articles, videos and such, to be absolutely fascinating! A photon, in its ‘real’ quantum wave state, is found to be mathematically defined as a ‘infinite-dimensional’ state, which requires an ‘infinite amount of information’ to describe it properly, and this infinite dimensional quantum wave can be encoded with information while it is in its ‘infinite dimensional’ state, and this ‘infinite dimensional’ photon is found to collapse, upon observation, instantaneously, and thus ‘non-locally’, to just a ‘single bit’ state, out of a infinite number of possibilities that the photon could have collapsed to instead! Moreover, consciousness is found to precede the collapse of the infinite dimensional photon to its particle state. Now my question to materialistic atheists is this, “Exactly what ’cause’ has been postulated throughout history to be completely independent of any space-time constraints, as well as possessing infinite knowledge, so as to be the ‘sufficient cause’ to explain what we see in the quantum wave collapse of a photon?

    Job 38:19-20
    “What is the way to the abode of light? And where does darkness reside?
    Can you take them to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?

    Psalm 118:27
    God is the LORD, who hath shown us light:,,,

    John 1:1-5
    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.


    Evanescence – My Heart Is Broken

    ,,,In my personal opinion, even though not hashed out in exhaustive detail for this post, all this evidence is about as sweet as it can get in experimental science as to providing proof that Almighty God created and sustains this universe.,,,

    Of relate note, the following facts and video are very suggestive as to providing almost tangible proof for God ‘speaking’ reality into existence:

    Excerpt: In physics, a phonon,, represents an excited state in the quantum mechanical quantization of the modes of vibrations,,
    The name phonon,, translates as sound or voice because long-wavelength phonons give rise to sound.

    Photons and Phonons
    Excerpt: You see, the primary Planck-Law (E=hf) is metaphysical and independent on the inertia distribution of the solid states.,,,
    Both, photon and phonon carry massequivalent energy m=E/c2=hf/c2.
    The matter-light interaction so is rendered electromagnetically noninertial for the photon and becomes acoustically inertial for the phonons; both however subject to Bose-Einstein stochastic wave mechanics incorporative the Planck-Law.,,
    Where, how and why does E=hf correctly and experimentally verifiably describe the quantum mechanics of energy propagation?,,,

    The Deep Connection Between Sound & Reality – Evan Grant – Allosphere – video

  12. 12
    selvaRajan says:

    Favorable temperature is just one condition of many required for life to form (abiogenesis is still largely unsolved) , so I don’t agree that life – even simple one- could have formed 15 million yr post BigBang.

  13. 13
    udat says:

    The Oldest Star in the Known Universe

    The ancient star is around 6,000 light years from Earth, which Dr Keller says is relatively close in astronomical terms. It is one of the 60 million stars photographed by SkyMapper in its first year.

  14. 14
    Axel says:

    ‘I find the evidence that the universe had a transcendent beginning in the past and that that transcendent beginning was/is Theistic in nature to be compelling.,,,,.’

    And the fact of our universe’s being, an observer-based phantasm, as far as naive realism goes, is even more indicative of a divine origin.

    Marvelous how today’s relative journeymen, including Nobel laureates, continue to deem themselves brighter in the matter of the ultimate reality of our universe, the immeasurably-vindicated, earliest findings of quantum physics notwithstanding, than its founders, Planck and Bohr, who spoke with such unequivocal conviction early in the last century, about mind’s causative role in the creation and sustaining of matter, ergo, of the latter’s deceptively factitious nature.

    Max Planck:

    ‘As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.’

    Niels Bohr:

    ‘The great extension of our experience in recent years has brought light to the insufficiency of our simple mechanical conceptions and, as a consequence, has shaken the foundation on which the customary interpretation of observation was based.’

    ‘We must be clear that when it comes to atoms, language can be used only as in poetry. The poet, too, is not nearly so concerned with describing facts as with creating images and establishing mental connections.’

    Than you, journeymen. That will be all. We’ll let you know.

  15. 15
    JGuy says:

    If/when space expands… Does that mean our eyeballs are become bigger? And distances between objects become greater…But how could we tell if it means the yardsticks are becoming bigger?

  16. 16
    Mapou says:

    If space exists, what is it made of? And if everything exists in space and space also exists, where is space?

    Space (distance) is one of the most powerful perceptual illusion there is. It’s too bad everybody believes in it.

  17. 17
    JGuy says:


    If space exists, what is it made of? And if everything exists in space and space also exists, where is space?

    Does wetness not exist because wetness requires wetness?

    Space (distance) is one of the most powerful perceptual illusion there is.

    Distance is an illusion [and doesn’t exist]…?

    Prove it.

  18. 18
    Mapou says:


    Distance is an illusion [and doesn’t exist]…?

    Prove it.

    I just did. There is nothing else to add. I’m sorry it was so easy for you to dismiss but I stand by it.

  19. 19
    JGuy says:


    Funny. Is this your proof:
    “If space exists, what is it made of? And if everything exists in space and space also exists, where is space?”

    Ifso. You didn’t prove anything at all. You merely asked two questions which beg the question of proof. Even worse, they have loaded presuppositions that need their own inspection. For example, if one were to follow the rabbit in the first question, he or she would have to keep asking it and conclude that all is an illusion…and of course, you’d end up with something like solipsism. And one of the interesting things I’ve heard about solipsists, is that they still look both ways before crossing the road.

  20. 20
    tjguy says:

    Evidence for the Big Bang may be 50 years old, but evidence for a young universe from our solar system keeps growing.

    Article Title: Saving the ‘billions of years’ age of Titan

    Sub-title: Saturn’s moon Titan is sinking old-age ideas, despite rescue attempts

  21. 21
    CentralScrutinizer says:

    Mapou: Distance is an illusion

    JGuy: Prove it.

    One could say that empirical data quantum experiments with regards to intangled photons, photon erasers, etc, does prove it, given that certain events occur instantly at what we perceive to be “distance.” (No violation of General Relativity because the information does not travel within space, but travels instantly, as if the objects in question are “right next to each other” regardless of how far apart they are in our normal way of perceiving them.)

    This all makes sense if this is a computed universe, where the all events are being “processed” by a unified computing system underlying all quantum events.

    This would mean, yes, space is an illusion of sorts. And everything else too. You could say it’s a virtual theater for consciousness.

  22. 22
    Mapou says:

    I don’t have the time right now to argue my points. So I’ll just paste a quote from a blog post I wrote in 2010:

    Why Is Space an Illusion?

    The short answer it that the existence of space leads to an infinite regress. Over the years, I have found that almost everything that is fundamentally wrong with classical physics has to do with infinite regress. Note that physical space is defined as a collection of positions existing apart from particles. The idea is that, in order for any physical entity or property to exist, it must exist at a specific position in space. But if a position is a physical entity that exists, it too, must exist at a specific position. In other words, if space exists, where is it? One can posit a meta-space for space, and a meta-meta-space for the meta-space, but this quickly turns into an infinite regress. The only possible conclusion is that there is no such thing as space. It is an illusion of perception. That is, it is the way the brain organizes its sensory universe.

    If you’re interested, you can read the rest at Why Space (Distance) Is an Illusion.

    PS. CentralScrutinizer, you are right. Entanglement is empirical proof of nonspatiality.

  23. 23
    CentralScrutinizer says:


    Leaving theological biases aside, maybe Titan is younger than Earth.

  24. 24
    JGuy says:


    I’m not really with a dog in this fight. If it could be proven, that is fine, and I’m not saying you’ve demonstrated that space actually does not exist. But Mapou is making claims without any clear proof, much less with any of his work. And being that it’s a bold claim to essentially say some phenomena we observe directly doesn’t exist in reality other than as an illusion.

    That said, one could say a lot of things that don’t boil down to actual proofs, but are based on what at first seems to make sense at a superficial level (to him, her or a few). But if you ask a person, say, to state something about the sum of all positive integers, I doubt they would say -1/12 was anywhere near a reasonable answer. Yet, that has apparently being proven to be the case (at least in some respect). I still find it difficult. Go figure… but the proof is extensive.

    Anyway, one can say regarding your example, you may simply be demonstrating a case of our ignorance about the universe or about an even larger reality. And it opens up a lot of questions that keep it from being a proof…such as if you say distance is then only an illusion and doesn’t actually exist, then what is the meaning of the speed of light? If c is then something based on an illusion of something that doesn’t exist, then who cares if general relativity is violated or not.. you’d probably have a host of bigger issues to deal with.


    All that said. Since the way we perceive things is fully in the mind. What one means by an illusion almost seems rhetorical if your boiling it down that far anyway. Space may exist, but how we perceive it may be an illusion in that sense. But using that approach, everything is an illusion.. even the coffee on your desk… but that doesn’t mean the construct you have in mind isn’t consistent in responding to some corresponding reality outside of your mind.

    Nevermind, I’m losing track of my thoughts. 😛

  25. 25

    Has anyone described how that OOL process might have occurred? not talking general ideas, but kinda step-by-step? can someone point me to where I can access that description?

    No. There is no such detailed description.

    There is no reasonably-laid out account.

    There is not even a close approximation.

    There is nothing that even passes the laugh test.

  26. 26
    drc466 says:

    “Space [and distance] don’t exist”. My question is not whether this is true, but why Mapou thinks it is “too bad everyone believes in [them]”.

    We need to come up with a shorthand way to identify Propositions that:
    1) Might be true
    2) Cannot be empirically proven/falsified
    3) If we behaved as if we honestly believed them to be true, we would be classified as insane.

    1) Space doesn’t exist
    2) Time doesn’t exist
    3) All morality is relative/there is no such thing as “objective evil”
    4) There is no reality except matter and energy
    5) The universe is just a simulation
    6) There is no free will
    7) Life has no meaning
    8) All actions are a result of pure self-interest
    9) Schrodinger’s cat is both alive and dead until we look at it, and the tree makes no sound when it falls if no-one is there to hear it – reality requires an observer.
    10) There is no way to tell, by looking at an object/event, whether or not it is the product of random chance or intelligence
    Any suggestions? Insanity Theorems? Cognitive Dissonance Hypotheses (CDH)? Idiotology?

  27. 27
    Mapou says:

    drc466 @26,

    I’m sure you had a powerful counterargument to my argument for nonspatiality but you must have misplaced it somewhere. Too bad.

  28. 28
    drc466 says:


    Not sure how you got that out of what I wrote. I wasn’t trying to make an argument one way or the other on nonspatiality. As I pointed out,

    1) Might be true
    2) Cannot be empirically proven/falsified

    I apologize if I offended you – the point I was trying to make was not aimed specifically at you. I was simply stating that nonspatiality would appear to me to be one of those issues where, regardless of the validity of the proposition, we have to behave as if space and distance exist. When we travel, we have to refer to how far we are going, and how long it will take to get there, etc.
    Similarly, UD has recently had multiple posts that reference similar types of propositions, of which I listed several. Does reality exist only if it is observed? I don’t know, but I have to act as if things no human can see do exist, and follow the laws of physics (e.g. is the earth’s core in a definable state?). Does morality exist? Anyone who behaves as if they honestly don’t believe so would be flagged as psychotic. And so on.
    Given the number of these types of can’t be proven or falsified but nobody acts like they’re true propositions we’ve seen on UD, I thought some type of referential shorthand might be beneficial (and amusing). Ah well, nvm.

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