Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

String theory portal to another universe?

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Skeptical mathematician Peter Woit warns us, in jest, that 11/11/11, some date coming up on which you probably have some real-world crap due, could be a “Portal to Another Universe?”:

According to World News Forecast, 11:11am on 11/11/11 could, if Uri Geller is right, be a portal to another universe. This is from Geller’s web-page on the subject:

I find this to be interesting since this theory is supposed to explain the universe! The first eleven that was noticed is that string theory has to have 11 parallel universes (discussed in the beginning of the “11.11″ article) and without including these universes, the theory does not work.

The second is that Brian Greene has 11 letters in his name.

Well, it is hard to imagine anything more convincing. And what does that say about string theory in general now that nobody found the Higgs boson?

RH7: Pardon, but could you please cite for us what is on case d, and then identify the key distinction between a sufficient cluster of causal factors and a necessary causal factor? (The simple fire triangle should be enough for this.) We need not know a sufficient much less a necessary and sufficient cluster of causal factors, to know that something has causal factors and is not a-causal. In the case of a radioactive nucleus, it must first exist, in space and time, and perhaps must be in an excited state -- I think particularly of Gamma decay here -- for radioactive decay to happen. These are all necessary factors, even trivially so in some cases. So, I do not need to demonstrate a sufficient causal cluster for atom x, so that at t1, it will decay, not t2 etc. Nope, I have already shown that under certain prior conditions, we have a population X where each atom xi has a certain probability of decay such that dX/dt = - l*X. This is what of course leads to the classic exponential decay curve. Next, relatively speaking, there are but few things of importance that we can know with certainty, but there are many things we can and do know with high -- and open-minded -- confidence. On pain of immediate and palpable absurdity, 2 + 3 = 5. But, laws of science, historical explanations, or evidence that eh book keeper has been embezzling, etc etc cannot make that grade. However for many of these things we can have sufficient confidence that we would be irresponsible to treat them as false, i.e we have moral certainty. That is why I speak sometimes of strong-form knowledge as warranted, true belief, and contrast weak-form workaday knowledge: reasonably warranted, credibly true belief. The latter is provisional, but may be to moral certainty. If you object that I am using weak-form knowledge claims in my reasoning, of course. So are you, so is science. If we were to banish such weak form knowledge, science and civilisation would collapse. So would most businesses. In short, you have an incoherence in your view of knowledge that is leading you to selective hyperskepticism in what you will accept and what you want to demand an unreasonably high degree of warrant for. Remember, in talking about necessary causal factors, I have invited you and others to do the match exercise, a concrete, easily replicated experiment. (It is interesting onlookers, how evasive objectors have been on this exercise for months now.) As to your turnabout accusation that I have a priori decided as to how the universe MUST operate, the match exercise should show that I have instead practically investigated how it DOES reliably operate, and in so doing, I have asked a few further questions than are usual in such experiments. namely, I have explicitly used a frame of thought of inference to best abductive explanation, on factual adequacy, coherence and explanatory power; indeed it is what I have actually taught when I taught about the nature and limits of science, cf here. This happens to be the underlying logic of science, and it happens to be inherently open-ended, as there is a counter-flow between the direction of logical implication and that of empirical support. As I have explicitly said, taught, linked and even cited. In short, you have repeatedly set up and knocked over a strawman, in the teeth of easily accessible corrective evidence. When you go on to accuse me of taking an absolutist view, the problem with that claim is that it is so full of ambiguities. Do you mean by that that you reject my holding that something A cannot at the same time and in the same sense be NOT-A? Of course I hold that, as does any person who wishes to be coherent. When I wrote this sensence I do not at the same time mean its opposite. And if you want to highlight ambiguous cases like Scroedinger's poor cat with the vial of poison triggered by an alpha source, we do not know the cat's state until we open the box. All that means is that we are inherently limited and should not speak beyond our limits. Quantum states show superpositions that may resolve stochastically from a population, but these states are not acausal: you need cat, chamber, prussic acid vial [or on Einstein's variant, bag of gunpowder -- but then the bang would be an immediate observation!], GM counter tube, trigger mechanism and RA sample for the experiment. BTW, see how a simple substitution changes everything: no sustained superposition of uncertain states! So long as the tube is quiet the cat is alive. If there is a bang, it is dead, no ambiguity, because no ignorance. We could not predict when such a transition would occur, but we sure can detect that it occurs in the gunpowder variant case. (In short, the prussic acid vial mechanism is a key necessary causal factor in the case to get the superposition, precisely because it would be silent. And, precisely because we are facing a state detection problem as limited observers.) GEM of TKI kairosfocus
kairosfocus, Case d fails with respect to radioactive decay. Either there is no cause, or the cause is beyond the artificial limits you imposed upon it. To put it another way, using science, please demonstrate what it is that causes radioactive decay to occur at time t1 versus t2, t3, etc. Also, please demonstrate that backwards causation is definitively incorrect. Your view, no matter how you rationalize it, is built on assumption of things we can not know with absolute certainty. Thus repeating the same arguments ad nauseum will never resolve the dilemma. The problem is that you have decided a priori how the universe and beyond must work, and that any view that differs must be wrong. While I do agree that you could be correct, so could any number of other arguments which have as much validity as yours. Furthermore, you seem to think that the assumptive foundation of metaphysics is either a crack-pot idea of my own making or a fringe view within philosophy, when, if anything, the absolutist position you have taken is the problem. rhampton7
rham, "Any first cause is a self-referential (scientific) paradox, and if we presume that the first cause must be God, that introduces another metaphysical assumption, and another round of argumentation." There are no scientific paradoxes, which don't first begin with metaphysical paradoxes. Nothing from nothing is a metaphysical paradox. WLC states that it is intuitively absurd to believe that nothing can come from nothing because of what nothing is - it is an absolute - absolute nothingness would mean just that - no matter (a given), no energy, no mind, no elements, no information, no rationale from which anything can be conceived, no quantum mechanics, no science, no philosophy, no God, no beliefs, nothing. It's the absence of anything. That's what he means by nothing. If anything could come out of nothing, it wouldn't be nothing, but something. It's not an issue of a scientific paradox, but a metaphysical paradox. Science cannot violate what is metaphysically possible. Otherwise science itself would be absurd and we couldn't do it. A first cause is not a metaphysical paradox, but a metaphysical necessity. Science has nothing to do with establishing it, but science must adhere to what is metaphysically necessary. You can do science without believing that, but ultimately science is not a law unto itself. It must adhere to reason. Those who don't believe in God still believe that science must adhere to reason. They might not believe that God is metaphysically necessary, but I believe that given that God is metaphysically necessary and therefore the very beginning of reason, all reality must adhere to reason. As such, science, which investigates reality must adhere to reason. The theist of course goes a step further than the non-theist in insisting that science must adhere also to what is metaphysically necessary. Science, therefore cannot deny the existence of God. Most scientists would agree that you cannot prove that God does not exist scientifically, since the existence of God could be (and is) a metaphysical question that lies outside of and above science. A first cause is also not self-referential. It is referential to the existence of contingency. A first cause cannot be contingent; therefore it is necessary. So it's not self-referential, but referential to everything that exists other than itself. If there is contingency there must also be necessity. You cannot have an infinite chain of contingent causes. That is what is a metaphysical paracox, and therefor absurd. The claim that the first cause must be God is not at all an assumption, but stems logically from all that must be if we think logically about what would be the nature of a first cause given what we already know about what exists. When we piece together all that the first cause must be we find that the things pertaining to who God is are the same. CannuckianYankee
I was born on 11/11. My name is Steve Proulx (the shor, English translation anyway). There are eleven letters in this version of my name. OK, seriously now. Will I be transported to another universe that day? Will I need some kind of spiritual or other tether? Btw, I will be taking the day off on that day so I will report back if I experience anything unusual. Steve
RH7 (& Onlookers): Re:
that’s the problem. Not only can we not determine the outcome, we can not definitively know the cause . . . [highlights added]
Let us mark key distinctions:
a: Knowing that -- per identified necessary causal factors -- that something, X, is subject to causal influences, vs. b: Knowing a sufficient set of causal factors that WILL cause X, vs. c: Knowing the necessary and sufficient cluster of causal factors for X, vs. d: Knowing a sufficient set of causal circumstances in which a distribution of cases Y occurs, in which we may observe some y1, or y2, or y3, etc. That is, we have a sufficient causal framework for a stochastic process from population Y of possibilities, that will lead to some outcome from the population, and thus may lead to observed samples y1, y2, etc that in turn may help us model Y.
Case a is the necessary causal factor case, it identifies enabling factors that PERMIT or ENABLE but do not FORCE the occurrence of X. Cases b or c, by contrast, are sufficient to FORCE -- determine -- that an event X will occur. Case c is more stringent yet: it is a cluster that must be met in any situation that X occurs. Case d is sufficient, not for any given yk, but to set up a stochastic sampling from Y. In any of cases a - d, causes are at work, perhaps through mechanisms that we have not elucidated, and in some cases may not even be able to elucidate. In many quantum mechanical situations, what we have is case d. The possibilities a - d also point to the sharp distinction between knowing that an observed outcome is caused, and knowing the sufficient and/or the necessary and sufficient cluster of factors that force the outcome to occur. What is clear is that, RH7, you keep emphasising that for many quantum cases we do not -- and perhaps cannot -- know cases b or c, when all that is needed to demonstrate that causality is at work would be a or d. The quantum cases, in fact, typically are cases of d. All that is required for the main discussion to proceed is that we know that something is caused, and in particular that we are able to identify that there are observed or identifiable conditions under which X of yk do occur, and different ones under which they do or do not (explicitly including, that these have a beginning, or may come to an end), i.e. that they are contingent. That which is contingent -- and, please notice the empirical, observational focus. This is not assumption, it is empirically based. Now, we move to a different level: we live in an observed cosmos that credibly had a beginning, on the usual timeline some 13.7 BYA. Whether we are in cases a or d, we are in a situation of contingency and presence of cause. Going beyond, the observed cosmos is credibly locally exceedingly fine tuned (cf also here [kindly, watch the vids]), such that relatively minor variations in parameters and physical laws that we have no reason to believe are constrained, would make the cosmos radically inhospitable to C-Chemistry, cell based life. The Hoyle law-monkeying issue in particular arises in respect of the resonance responsible for the cluster of most common elements of the universe we observe: H, He, C, O. These elements turn out to be -- surprise -- the core elements of life, and to have astonishing properties reflected in the physics and chemistry of water, H2O, and the rich world of Carbon chemistry. See why Hoyle inferred a "put-up job" as best most plausible explanation? As he said:
From 1953 onward, Willy Fowler and I have always been intrigued by the remarkable relation of the 7.65 MeV energy level in the nucleus of 12 C to the 7.12 MeV level in 16 O. If you wanted to produce carbon and oxygen in roughly equal quantities by stellar nucleosynthesis, these are the two levels you would have to fix, and your fixing would have to be just where these levels are actually found to be. Another put-up job? . . . I am inclined to think so. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a super intellect has "monkeyed" with the physics as well as the chemistry and biology, and there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. [F. Hoyle, Annual Review of Astronomy and Astrophysics, 20 (1982): 16] I do not believe that any physicist who examined the evidence could fail to draw the inference that the laws of nuclear physics have been deliberately designed with regard to the consequences they produce within stars. [["The Universe: Past and Present Reflections." Engineering and Science, November, 1981. pp. 8–12]
And, here's the trick: even on case d, that obtains, as a multiverse set up so that the local cluster of possibilities at the "knee" where our observed cosmos happens to be, requires a "cosmic bakery" that itself would be fine tuned. (Leslie's isolated fly on the wall swatted by a bullet discussion here points out why this inference is highly reasonable.) This points onward to an alternative that is astonishing but perfectly logical: Case e. Let us observe, that which is under case a is contingent, and has possible conditions under which it may not be actualised. Now, let us ask: what of something, Z, that has no necessary causal factors, i.e no circumstances in possible worlds, in which it is not actual? Since Z has no beginning, it is not caused, it is a necessary being. A good first example is abstract, necessarily true propositions like the truth in the statement 2 + 3 = 5. But of course such is both mental -- truths are held in minds and are meaningful assertions -- and inert in itself. Is there another possible class? Not matter per observations in our world, as we know it is causally dependent. That is, we have reasons to infer to the possibility and credibility of a mental necessary being, which is present in all possible worlds. One with power, intent and knowledge to create a world such as the one we inhabit. Or, again, we see that there is a possible class of being that does not have a beginning, and cannot go out of existence; such are self-sufficient, have no external necessary causal factors, and as such cannot be blocked from existing. And it is commonly held that once there is a serious candidate to be such a necessary being, if the candidate is not contradictory in itself [i.e. if it is not impossible], it will be actual. Or, yet again, we could arrive at effectively the same point another way, one which brings out what it means to be a serious candidate to be a necessary being:
If a thing does not exist it is either that it could, but just doesn't happen to exist, or that it cannot exist because it is a conceptual contradiction, such as square circles, or round triangles and so on. Therefore, if it does exist, it is either that it exists contingently or that it is not contingent but exists necessarily (that is it could not fail to exist without contradiction). [--> The truth reported in "2 + 3 = 5" is a simple case in point; it could not fail without self-contradiction.] These are the four most basic modes of being and cannot be denied . . . the four modes are the basic logical deductions about the nature of existence.
That is, since there is no external necessary causal factor, such a being -- if it is so -- will exist without a beginning, and cannot cease from existing as one cannot "switch off" a sustaining external factor. Another possibility of course is that such a being is impossible: it cannot be so as there is the sort of contradiction involved in being a proposed square circle. So, we have candidates to be necessary beings that may not be possible on pain of contradiction, or else that may not be impossible, equally on pain of contradiction. In addition, since matter as we know it is contingent, such a being will not be material. The likely candidates are: abstract, necessarily true propositions and an eternal mind, often brought together by suggesting that such truths are held in such a mind. Strange thoughts, perhaps, but not absurd ones. So also, if we live in a cosmos that (as the cosmologists tell us) seems -- on the cumulative balance of evidence -- to have had a beginning, then it too is credibly caused. The sheer undeniable actuality of our cosmos then points to the principle that from a genuine nothing -- not matter, not energy, not space, not time, not mind etc. -- nothing will come. So then, if we can see things that credibly have had a beginning or may come to an end; in a cosmos of like character, we reasonably and even confidently infer that a necessary being is the ultimate, root-cause of our world; even through suggestions such as a multiverse (which would simply multiply the contingent beings). Of course, God is the main candidate to be such a necessary being. (As we saw, truths that are eternal in scope, i.e. true propositions, are another class of candidates, and are classically thought of as being eternally resident in the mind of God.) Once that is seriously on the table, it radically shifts the balance of our epistemological evaluations of best explanations of a great many things: origin of the observed cosmos, origin of life, origin of body plans, origin of humanity with mind and under moral governance. And, a prime line of evidence pointing to the credibility of this view, is the strong inductive evidence we have that here are signs of design that are reliable. Sings that appear in two relevant contexts: our world of human art, which allows us to see and analyse why such signs are credibly reliable and are tested and shown strongly reliable, and in the world around us, in cell based life and the credible fine tuning of the cosmos. In particular, we are looking at functionally specific complex organisation and information that often embeds irreducibly complex cores of co-matched parts that are necessary factors for he observed performance. In short, the updated design view of our world and ourselves, is anchored on an empirical basis, and has a wider context of worldviews analysis on cause that makes it inherently highly plausible. Even, on case d. GEM of TKI kairosfocus
we may not be able to determine or predict an qm outcome but we can identify the set of causal factors. the unity of the set of causal factors is the cause.
Well that's the problem. Not only can we not determine the outcome, we can not definitively know the cause. As an alternative, Bohm's quantum mechanics is deterministic and non-local - though I'm not sure you would find his idea of a universal wave function any better. rhampton7
rhampton7, It seems you want play the local causality of space time against the non-local causality of quantum mechanics to slip in some bizarre notions about causality that you have,,, But to call you bluff, Perhaps if you truly wish to play the 'space-time world' of General Relativity against the 'beyond space-time world' of Quantum Mechanics, so as to support your seemingly bizarre notions, you would do well to tell us how the two distinct theories are unified into a 'theory of everything';
Centrality of Each Individual Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Very Plausible Reconciliation Of General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics https://docs.google.com/document/d/17SDgYPHPcrl1XX39EXhaQzk7M0zmANKdYIetpZ-WB5Y/edit?hl=en_US
Further note:
"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." Max Planck - The Father Of Quantum Mechanics - Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944) 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 http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe? Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: "In the beginning was the Word." Anton Zeilinger - a leading expert in quantum teleportation: http://www.metanexus.net/Magazine/ArticleDetail/tabid/68/id/8638/Default.aspx
Music and verse:
U2 - Magnificent http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=7K6DDLNX ' "Woe to the rebellious children," says the LORD, "who take counsel, but not of Me, and who devise plans, but not of My Spirit, that they may add sin to sin." ' -- Isaiah 30:1
JDFL: You are right, once we see the significance of necessary causal factors, we decouple cause from determinism. G kairosfocus
And, BTW, the sun is 8 light minutes from earth and the light from the sun does have to stream to earth to have an effect
Unless one or more photons were entangled, in which case an effect could be instantaneous (be it from sun to earth or vice versa). Photo of entangled photons that was featured in PhysicsWorld, 2002. See Causality and the Wave Equation for a look at some of the math that drives physicists to consider a indeterministic reality - including retrocausality. rhampton7
20th century physics has called into question determinism. But determinism and causality are not necessarily the same thing. we may not be able to determine or predict an qm outcome but we can identify the set of causal factors. the unity of the set of causal factors is the cause. junkdnaforlife
F/N 2: Given the force of the necessary causal factor issue, we need to ask why there is so strong an attempt to dismiss causality, even under the sign of quantum effects -- effects! [Think about the causal implications of arranged bits and pieces in experiments that are so carefully set up to observe said effects and questions about interactions with entangled particles that yield coupled detections -- once you know the state of A, you know the state of B at that moment, but before observation, there was nothing but the premise of complementary states.] Answer: an imagined chaos in which it is plausible that anything happens anywhere, or from nowhere, for no reason, with no constraints, is what seems to now be needed to keep "scientific" materialism going. As in universes popping out of nothing in particular, with any particular pattern, and in infinite supply. Not to mention, complex, functionally specific information popping out of noise. All of course utterly unobserved. Materialist miracles and chaos-magick in short. Miracles/magick. And, if you object, then the fault has to be yours: you are ASSUMING that we do not live in a chaos. NOT. We observe a cosmos, an ordered, intelligible system of reality, never mind the puzzles we also face. It is reasonable to then hold that order and intelligibility should be guiding lights. And when, repeatedly, "causeless" events have necessary causal factors, that focal emphasis on necessary causal factors tends to be reinforced. Remember, these factors are what we look for for beginnings: if "off" no event is possible. Only when on does the event become possible. And so that which begins has a necessary cause,the issue is what. And, credibly, our cosmos began. kairosfocus
F/N: An almost predictable distraction from the core issue of the reality of necessary causal factors, which underlie even quantum results. And, BTW, the sun is 8 light minutes from earth and the light from the sun does have to stream to earth to have an effect. In addition, there are any number of on the ground and thought exercises on the significance of the observer in an IFR and cause-effect links as seen by yrs truly, observer. kairosfocus
2 –> For instance, in a relativistic context in macro-level space, that means that there is a speed of light temporal limit on causal influence. (E.g. how light from the sun propagates and carries energy that has effects on earth.) Cause and effect must at least be synchronous in the relevant inertial frame of reference. Often causes are antecedent to effects in relevant IFRs.
Again, an assumption -- attributable in part to the hypothesis of Cosmic Censorship and the Chronology protection conjecture. Yet, as Roger Penrose demonstrated - and this is just one example, mind you - naked singularities would mean quantum mechanics would affect the causality of macro-level space. See also Vlatko Vedral's Living in a Quantum World. rhampton7
Onlookers: If the matter were not so sadly revealing the above exchanges on causality would be funny. I write here, not for those who will not listen, but for those who will profit by some balancing and in part corrective remarks. Let's use Wiki, speaking against interest, as a point of departure on the pivotal issue of sufficient vs necessary causal factors:
Causality is the relationship between an event (the cause) and a second event (the effect), where the second event is understood as a consequence of the first.[1] In common usage Causality is also the relationship between a set of factors (causes) and a phenomenon (the effect). Anything that affects an effect is a factor of that effect. A direct factor is a factor that affects an effect directly, that is, without any intervening factors. (Intervening factors are sometimes called "intermediate factors.") Though the causes and effects are typically related to changes or events, candidates include objects, processes, properties, variables, facts, and states of affairs; characterizing the causal relationship can be the subject of much debate . . . . Causes are often distinguished into two types: Necessary and sufficient.[7] A third type of causation, which requires neither necessity nor sufficiency in and of itself, but which contributes to the effect, is called a "contributory cause."[8] Necessary causes: If x is a necessary cause of y, then the presence of y necessarily implies the presence of x. The presence of x, however, does not imply that y will occur. Sufficient causes: If x is a sufficient cause of y, then the presence of x necessarily implies the presence of y. However, another cause z may alternatively cause y. Thus the presence of y does not imply the presence of x. Contributory causes: A cause may be classified as a "contributory cause," if the presumed cause precedes the effect, and altering the cause alters the effect. It does not require that all those subjects which possess the contributory cause experience the effect. It does not require that all those subjects which are free of the contributory cause be free of the effect. In other words, a contributory cause may be neither necessary nor sufficient but it must be contributory.[9][10] J. L. Mackie argues that usual talk of "cause," in fact refers to INUS conditions (insufficient but non-redundant parts of a condition which is itself unnecessary but sufficient for the occurrence of the effect).[11] For example, a short circuit as a cause for a house burning down. Consider the collection of events: the short circuit, the proximity of flammable material, and the absence of firefighters. Together these are unnecessary but sufficient to the house's burning down (since many other collections of events certainly could have led to the house burning down, for example shooting the house with a flamethrower in the presence of oxygen etc. etc.). Within this collection, the short circuit is an insufficient (since the short circuit by itself would not have caused the fire, but the fire would not have happened without it, everything else being equal) but non-redundant part of a condition which is itself unnecessary (since something else could have also caused the house to burn down) but sufficient for the occurrence of the effect .
1 --> Notice how causes must be in a position to influence that on which they have effects, by various mechanisms which in many cases we may partially at least elucidate. 2 --> For instance, in a relativistic context in macro-level space, that means that there is a speed of light temporal limit on causal influence. (E.g. how light from the sun propagates and carries energy that has effects on earth.) Cause and effect must at least be synchronous in the relevant inertial frame of reference. Often causes are antecedent to effects in relevant IFRs. 3 --> From computer systems (think about typing on a keyboard and having letters appear in succession on a screen through internal processing) we know that INFORMATION as physically expressed may also have a causal effect, providing there is a mechanism for taking inputs, processing and generating outputs and related actions. Such informational causation requires the presence of processing systems that couple to it, often by responding to the pattern in the data structure of the symbols used. 3 --> You will notice the three-fold pattern of causes, sufficient, necessary and contributory. For our purposes the first two are pivotal: when a sufficient cluster of causal factors is present, their joint action is sufficient for the effect to occur, and unless necessary causal factors are present, an effect CANNOT occur. (This means that a sufficient causal factor cluster must contain all necessary factors.) 4 --> The burning matchstick exercise discussed here is helpful: each of fuel, heat and oxidiser are necessary, and together are jointly sufficient for a fire to begin and/or continue. The fire, having a beginning and having the possibility or reality of an end, is CONTINGENT. Clipping points 10 - 13:
9 –> That highlighted contingency then raises an implication in logic and epistemology — thence questions in worldview analysis, based on the issue of cause. Namely: THAT WHICH HAS A BEGINNING OR MAY CEASE FROM BEING HAS A CAUSE. 10 –> To see why, go fetch a match box. Pull a match, close the box, strike on the friction strip. Allow to burn about 1/2 way then tilt up the head. The flame will gutter down maybe even go out. The Fire Triangle 11 –> This is because heat, oxidiser and fuel [incorporating a chain reaction] are each necessary and together sufficient causal factors for a fire. (Cf on cause here.) 12 –> So, when you tilt up the match head, you are removing a necessary causal factor and the flame then ceases. It began when the sufficient cluster of necessary factors was brought together, and it ceases if one or more of such is/are removed. 13 –> A fire is an event with a beginning, and it may cease from being. Those factors that — once absent — can block its beginning or if removed can cause its cessation, are NECESSARY causal factors. And, for the flame to be, a SUFFICIENT cluster of factors that includes a cluster of the necessary factors, is required.
4 --> Point 14 addresses the suggestion that quantum effects are causeless, on the significance of the necessary causal factor as a causal factor:
14 –> Ironically, since science is so concerned with causal mechanisms, and cause-effect patterns, it is astonishing how rarely students are exposed nowadays to a reasonable 101 level discussion of the logic of cause and effect, and what it does to warrant our knowledge of mechanism claims etc!
(And BTW, once we recognise the reality of necessary causal factors the notion that quantum mechanical events are cause-less evaporates, as they have many necessary factors, and they follow patterns of behaviour constrained by those factors. E.g. no neutron outside a nucleus, and no 10 minute half life free neutron decay is possible, i.e. starting with the almost trivial — easily overlooked – requirements for (a) a neutron, and (b) a free neutron. Physical processes (quantum or not) ALWAYS begin with antecedent causal conditions. Physics, contrary to the common talking point, is not a field in which effects happen without antecedent causes, especially once we see the subtle but vital distinction between necessary and sufficient causal factors. Namely: (i) without a necessary factor present an effect cannot happen, but (ii) with a sufficient cluster of causal factors — including a cluster of the necessary ones — the effect will happen. We may not know the sufficient sets for a given case [though we may know what is sufficient for the possibility of a probabilistically occurring, contingent effect to occur -- drop a fair die and a 6 is POSSIBLE], but we usually can identify at least some of the necessary factors. )
5 --> It is generally the case that for a great many quantum phenomena, we only know some causal factors, perhaps amounting to a situation where we set up a stochastic process. However, we can as a rule identify certain necessary causal factors in the situation, indeed these are often the key to equations used in analysis. Of these the simple E = h*f - w expression for the photo emissive photoelectric effect, is a classical example: 6 --> For instance energy conservation is here a necessary causal factor -- adequate energy must be present and it may change form but not vanish or come from nowhere and nothing. Similarly, unless we have a photon sufficient to overcome the work function, there is no emission. And of course we need the material and its electrons to be liberated. (The effect is that light of a sufficiently high frequency will knock electrons out of the surface of a metal in a vacuum, even if very faint, but if the light is of too low a frequency, even quite strong light will not knock out electrons. This led Einstein to point to the quantisation of light, for which he won his Nobel Prize.) 7 --> It is also not without significance that the class of things we are describing is an EFFECT. Causality is a significant focus of even quantum physics. 8 --> next time someone tries to tell you that causality is outdated and inapplicable because of quantum physics, ask for examples; then ask, are there circumstances under which if something is missing, even something trivial, this will not happen? 9 --> Those things are of course necessary causal factors. (And we just saw some in action. Another "triviality" that is significant is that all of this is happening in space, which has certain measurable properties that have an influence. All of this happens in time too.) 10 --> What happens in quantum mechanics is that we typically do not know the SUFFICIENT cluster of factors acting that trigger events, and see stochastic processes and note that here are various possible paths that seem to superpose to yield the final result. The case of electron double slit experiments and entanglement is a good illustrative example. (This animation is a nice summary. Also cf Wiki here for more 101.) 11 --> Ask yourself about necessary conditions for this sort of case . . . GEM of TKI kairosfocus
But not all [are] metaphysical models of causality
Yes they are. To use an analogy: you are defending the position that time truly is absolute and that all this general relativity stuff is just a bunch of metaphysics. Sure there may be empirical evidence that supports the notion of time as a relative phenomena, but what of it? What you seem incapable of admitting (perhaps understanding?) is that both the classical ideas of time and causality were necessarily moved from scientific fact to metaphysical assumption as a consequence of 20th century physics. Yes, Scientific Realism is only one set of metaphysical assumptions used in the sciences - which is more than enough to support the claim which you did not even dispute. Furthermore, the article on Scientific Realism also discusses competing philosophies like Empiricism, Historicism and Social Constructivism and their sets of metaphysical assumptions. rhampton7
Of somewhat related interest:
Clarifying the Tubulin bit/qubit - Defending the Penrose-Hameroff Orch OR Model (Quantum Biology) - Stuart Hameroff - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXFFbxoHp3s
rhampton7, and exactly how do you know what anything you think can be 'true' without the metaphysical assumption that truth exists? Perhaps you need to look at your own assumptions!?! bornagain77
It shows that all prior scientific models of causality were inadequate, including the traditional/common view of cause and effect. But not all metaphysical models of causality. Should I take, similar to what BA77 says, the failure of 'all prior scientific models of causality' as scientific evidence against materialism? And science does involve a number of metaphysical commitments (see Scientific Realism), and hopefully some of those will be resolved scientifically as we progress. I agree that science involves a number of metaphysical commitments, absolutely. But you chose a poor example: Scientific realism is not necessary to conduct science. The 'hope' that some metaphysical commitments will be 'resolved scientifically' also seems out of place, but I'll leave that aside. nullasalus
RH7: Dismissing the challenge to show something coming out of nothing, nowhere, no-when, and no-why too, as a mere appeal to the logically plausible is a neat rhetorical trick. (And BTW, this includes the quantum examples you tried to cite before.) You are admitting and/or implying that your view is irrational and without factual merit, then defying anyone to differ with you. We can therefore confidently conclude that you are being irrational, and know it; absent showing what you were challenged to do. End of story, you just discredited your viewpoint. GEM of TKI kairosfocus
It shows that all prior scientific models of causality were inadequate, including the traditional/common view of cause and effect. And science does involve a number of metaphysical commitments (see Scientific Realism), and hopefully some of those will be resolved scientifically as we progress. rhampton7
bornagain77, I have no idea how you became so confused. I have not argued for atheism or against theism. I have not argued that indeterminism is reality and determinism is not. Instead I have argued that metaphysical assumptions about causality and determinism can not be said to be definitively true. Please take the time to re-read my comments from the beginning. rhampton7
rhampton7, indeterminism, as far as can be derived from the theistic theory of quantum mechanics, simply allows free will choice to be possible, the loss of determinism in your materialistic worldview is of no consequence to you since in your atheistic view you are merely a victim of whatever indeterminate brain state the quantum particles of your brain happen to reside in; Frankly, I find your argumentation that this 'indeterminism' helps your atheism, and compromises theism, severely stretched to the point of absurdity! bornagain77
If you haven’t misread Craig, then he is mistaken. If he can prove that Determinism is real and Indeterminism is not, then he may well win the next Nobel Prize for he would have done something on the order of Einstein’s theory of General Relativity. He'd be winning a greater prize than that, because the statement is metaphysical - not scientific. Further, Craig is not mistaken; you yourself go on to say that, alright, 'either view cannot be ruled out'. Nor will it ever be able to be ruled out, because the question goes beyond physics. The best you can get is 'this or that scientific model has the most utility'. But metaphysics goes beyond models - it deals with definite statements of reality. Higher stakes, different questions. A metaphysical interpretation I give to the findings of physics is not a "finding of physics". nullasalus
exactly how does materialism being falsified of causality for ‘non-local’, beyond space-time matter-energy, events refute the principle of causality for theism
They don't. Please read carefully: It would be more accurate to say that the findings of physics, to date, are more supportive of indeterminism but that either view can not be ruled out. Only someone ideologically committed to a particular metaphysical view would claim otherwise. Incidentally, William Dembksi makes a case for theistic indeterminism in The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World. rhampton7
Fair enough. It’s more accurate to say that the predictions made by classical causality have been tested and found wanting. Right, but that utterly defangs the previous claim. Now it's not that we've shown causality itself doesn't hold, but that a prior scientific model was inadequate. That just shows how extreme the move of denying causality entirely is. It is likewise a metaphysical argument to say “this specific event took place directly and utterly because of this specific cause as understood in a traditional cause-effect relationship.” So, science involves a lot of metaphysical commitments? nullasalus
rhampton7 you state: 'the predictions made by classical causality have been tested and found wanting.' And exactly how does materialism being falsified of causality for 'non-local', beyond space-time matter-energy, events refute the principle of causality for theism??? It is severely disingenuous of you to maintain that since materialism is falsified of causality then Theism is, to put it VERY mildly!!! bornagain77
He also, to his credit, points out that when people start asserting the existence of actual infinities or claiming that causality doesn't hold that these are not "findings of physics".
If you haven't misread Craig, then he is mistaken. If he can prove that Determinism is real and Indeterminism is not, then he may well win the next Nobel Prize for he would have done something on the order of Einstein's theory of General Relativity. It would be more accurate to say that the findings of physics, to date, are more supportive of indeterminism but that either view can not be ruled out. Only someone ideologically committed to a particular metaphysical view would claim otherwise. rhampton7
Fair enough. It's more accurate to say that the predictions made by classical causality have been tested and found wanting.
Bell's Theorem has been tested in numerous real EPR experiments over the years, by John Clauser, Alain Aspect, Michael Horne, Albert Shimony, and Richard Holt (in various CHSH-type experiments) and most recently by Nicolas Gisin and his colleagues in Geneva with entangled photons sent over miles of fiber optics.
It is likewise a metaphysical argument to say "this specific event took place directly and utterly because of this specific cause as understood in a traditional cause-effect relationship." rhampton7
It is also interesting to note that recent breakthroughs in quantum biology strongly support a transcendent soul of man that is able to make the transition to a higher dimension:
Does Quantum Biology Support A Quantum Soul? – Stuart Hameroff – video (notes in description) http://vimeo.com/29895068
Also, hypothetically traveling at the speed of light in this universe would be instantaneous travel for the person going at the speed of light. This is because time does not pass for them, yet, and this is a very big ‘yet’ to take note of; this ‘timeless’ travel is still not instantaneous and transcendent to our temporal framework of time, i.e. Speed of light travel, to our temporal frame of reference, is still not completely transcendent of our framework since light appears to take time to travel from our perspective. Yet, in quantum teleportation of information, the ‘time not passing’, i.e. ‘eternal’, framework is not only achieved in the speed of light framework/dimension, but is also ‘instantaneously’ achieved in our temporal framework. That is to say, the instantaneous teleportation/travel of information is instantaneous to both the temporal and speed of light frameworks, not just the speed of light framework. Information teleportation/travel is not limited by time, nor space, in any way, shape or form, in any frame of reference, as light is seemingly limited to us. Thus ‘pure transcendent information’ is shown to be timeless (eternal) and completely transcendent of all material frameworks. Moreover, concluding from all lines of evidence we have now examined; transcendent, eternal, infinite information is indeed real and the framework in which ‘It’ resides is the primary reality (highest dimension) that can exist, (in so far as our limited perception of a primary reality, highest dimension, can be discerned).
“An illusion can never go faster than the speed limit of reality” Akiane – Child Prodigy
Logic also dictates ‘a decision’ must have been made, by the ‘transcendent, eternal, infinite information’ from the primary timeless (eternal) reality ‘It’ inhabits, in order to purposely create a temporal reality with highly specified, irreducible complex, parameters from a infinite set of possibilities in the proper sequential order. Thus this infinite transcendent information, which is the primary reality of our reality, is shown to be alive by yet another line of evidence besides the necessity for a ‘first mover’ to explain quantum wave collapse.
The First Cause Must Be A Personal Being – William Lane Craig – video http://www.metacafe.com/w/4813914
As a side light to this, leading quantum physicist Anton Zeilinger has followed in John Archibald Wheeler’s footsteps (1911-2008) by insisting reality, at its most foundational level, is ‘information’.
“It from bit symbolizes the idea that every item of the physical world has at bottom – at a very deep bottom, in most instances – an immaterial source and explanation; that which we call reality arises in the last analysis from the posing of yes-no questions and the registering of equipment-evoked responses; in short, that things physical are information-theoretic in origin.” John Archibald Wheeler Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe? Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.” Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation: “Information is information, not matter or energy. No materialism which does not admit this can survive at the present day.” Norbert Weiner – MIT Mathematician – Father of Cybernetics
Verse and Music:
John 1:1-3 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. Casting Crowns – The Word Is Alive http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5197438/
It is also very interesting to note that we have two very different qualities of ‘eternality of time’ revealed by our time dilation experiments;
Time Dilation – General and Special Relativity – Chuck Missler – video http://www.metacafe.com/w/7013215/ Time dilation Excerpt: Time dilation: special vs. general theories of relativity: In Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity, time dilation in these two circumstances can be summarized: 1. –In special relativity (or, hypothetically far from all gravitational mass), clocks that are moving with respect to an inertial system of observation are measured to be running slower. (i.e. For any observer accelerating, hypothetically, to the speed of light, time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop). 2.–In general relativity, clocks at lower potentials in a gravitational field—such as in closer proximity to a planet—are found to be running slower. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation
i.e. As with any observer accelerating to the speed of light, it is found that for any observer falling into the event horizon of a black hole, that time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop for them. — But of particular interest to the ‘eternal framework’ found for General Relativity at black holes;… It is interesting to note that entropic decay, which is the primary reason why things grow old and eventually die in this universe, is found to be greatest at black holes. Thus the ‘eternality of time’ at black holes can rightly be called ‘eternalities of decay and/or eternalities of destruction’.
Entropy of the Universe – Hugh Ross – May 2010 Excerpt: Egan and Lineweaver found that supermassive black holes are the largest contributor to the observable universe’s entropy. They showed that these supermassive black holes contribute about 30 times more entropy than what the previous research teams estimated. http://www.reasons.org/entropy-universe
i.e. Black Holes are 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 (Penrose).
On the Mystery Of Space-Time https://docs.google.com/document/d/1FFKL3FeyebpNNyal1DQ64y20zlplVrjkaLXrM0P5ES4/edit?hl=en_US
It is very interesting to note that this strange higher dimensional, eternal, framework for time, found in special relativity, and general relativity, finds corroboration in Near Death Experience testimonies:
‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’ Mickey Robinson – Near Death Experience testimony ‘When you die, you enter eternity. It feels like you were always there, and you will always be there. You realize that existence on Earth is only just a brief instant.’ Dr. Ken Ring – has extensively studied Near Death Experiences ‘Earthly time has no meaning in the spirit realm. There is no concept of before or after. Everything – past, present, future – exists simultaneously.’ – Kimberly Clark Sharp – NDE Experiencer ‘There is no way to tell whether minutes, hours or years go by. Existence is the only reality and it is inseparable from the eternal now.’ – John Star – NDE Experiencer What Will Heaven be Like? by Rich Deem Excerpt: Since heaven is where God lives, it must contain more physical and temporal dimensions than those found in this physical universe that God created. We cannot imagine, nor can we experience in our current bodies, what these extra dimensions might be like. http://www.godandscience.org/doctrine/heaven.html
It is also very interesting to point out that the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, reported in many Near Death Experiences(NDEs), is also corroborated by Special Relativity when considering the optical effects for traveling at the speed of light. Please compare the similarity of the optical effect, noted at the 3:22 minute mark of the following video, when the 3-Dimensional world ‘folds and collapses’ into a tunnel shape around the direction of travel as a 'hypothetical' observer moves towards the ‘higher dimension’ of the speed of light, with the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ reported in very many Near Death Experiences: (Of note: This following video was made by two Australian University Physics Professors with a supercomputer.)
Traveling At The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/
Here is the interactive website, with link to the relativistic math at the bottom of the page, related to the preceding video;
Seeing Relativity http://www.anu.edu.au/Physics/Searle/
The collapsing and folding of space, into a higher dimension, is also, mysteriously, corroborated by NDE testimonies’
The NDE and the Tunnel – Kevin Williams’ research conclusions Excerpt: I started to move toward the light. The way I moved, the physics, was completely different than it is here on Earth. It was something I had never felt before and never felt since. It was a whole different sensation of motion. I obviously wasn’t walking or skipping or crawling. I was not floating. I was flowing. I was flowing toward the light. I was accelerating and I knew I was accelerating, but then again, I didn’t really feel the acceleration. I just knew I was accelerating toward the light. Again, the physics was different – the physics of motion of time, space, travel. It was completely different in that tunnel, than it is here on Earth. I came out into the light and when I came out into the light, I realized that I was in heaven.(Barbara Springer) Near Death Experience – The Tunnel, The Light, The Life Review – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200200/ Speed Of Light – Near Death Experience Tunnel – Turin Shroud – video http://www.vimeo.com/18371644
More supporting evidence for the transcendent nature of information, and how it interacts with energy, is found in these following studies:
Single photons to soak up data: Excerpt: the orbital angular momentum of a photon can take on an infinite number of values. Since a photon can also exist in a superposition of these states, it could – in principle – be encoded with an infinite amount of information. http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/7201 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.,,, Quantum mechanics dictates some strange things at that scale, so that bit of light could be thought of as both a particle and a wave. As a wave, it passed through all parts of the stencil at once, carrying the “shadow” of the UR with it. http://www.physorg.com/news88439430.html
This following experiment clearly shows information is not an ‘emergent property’ of any solid material basis as is dogmatically asserted by some materialists:
Converting Quantum Bits: Physicists Transfer Information Between Matter and Light Excerpt: A team of physicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology has taken a significant step toward the development of quantum communications systems by successfully transferring quantum information from two different groups of atoms onto a single photon. http://gtresearchnews.gatech.edu/newsrelease/quantumtrans.htm
The following articles show that even atoms (Ions) are subject to teleportation:
Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original (that was destroyed),,, http://www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/Issues/2004/October/beammeup.asp 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. http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2171769/posts
Further reflection on the quantum teleportation experiment: That a photon would actually be destroyed upon the teleportation (separation) of its ‘infinite’ information to another photon is a direct controlled violation of the first law of thermodynamics. (i.e. a photon ‘disappeared’ from the ‘material’ universe when the entire information content of a photon was ‘transcendently displaced’ from the material universe by the experiment, when photon “c” transcendently became transmitted photon “a”). Thus, Quantum teleportation is direct empirical validation for the primary tenet of the Law of Conservation of Information (i.e. ‘transcendent’ information cannot be created or destroyed). This conclusion is warranted because information exercises direct dominion of energy, telling energy exactly what to be and do in the experiment. Thus, this experiment provides a direct line of logic that transcendent information cannot be created or destroyed and, in information demonstrating transcendence, and dominion, of space-time and matter-energy, becomes the only known entity that can satisfactorily explain where all energy came from as far as the origination of the universe is concerned. That is transcendent information is the only known entity which can explain where all the energy came from in the Big Bang without leaving the bounds of empirical science as the postulated multiverse does. Clearly anything that exercises dominion of the fundamental entity of this physical universe, a photon of energy, as transcendent information does in teleportation, must of necessity possess the same, as well as greater, qualities as energy does possess in the first law of thermodynamics (i.e. Energy cannot be created or destroyed by any known material means according to the first law). To reiterate, since information exercises dominion of energy in quantum teleportation then all information that can exist, for all past, present and future events of energy, already must exist. Reflections on the ‘infinite transcendent information’ framework, as well as on the ‘eternal’ and ‘temporal’ frameworks: The weight of mass becomes infinite at the speed of light, thus mass will never go the speed of light. Yet, mass would disappear from our sight if it could go the speed of light, because, from our non-speed of light perspective, distance in direction of travel will shrink to zero for the mass going the speed of light. Whereas conversely, if mass could travel at the speed of light, its size will stay the same while all other frames of reference not traveling the speed of light will disappear from its sight.
Special Relativity – Time Dilation and Length Contraction – video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSRIyDfo_mY
Moreover time, as we understand it, would come to a complete stop at the speed of light. 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 http://www.metacafe.com/w/6545941/
,,,Yet, even though light has this ‘eternal’ attribute in regards to our temporal framework of time, for us to hypothetically travel at the speed of light, in this universe, will still only get us to first base as far as quantum entanglement, or teleportation, is concerned.
Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182
That is to say, traveling at the speed of light will only get us to the place where time, as we understand it, comes to complete stop for light, i.e. gets us to the eternal, ‘past and future folding into now’, framework of time. This higher dimension, ‘eternal’, inference for the time framework of light is warranted because light is not ‘frozen within time’ yet it is shown that time, as we understand it, does not pass for light.
“I’ve just developed a new theory of eternity.” Albert Einstein – The Einstein Factor – Reader’s Digest “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.” Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12
But there is a way to arrive at first cause (God) through the scientific method: ‘Pure transcendent information’ is now shown to be ‘conserved’. (i.e. it is shown that all transcendent quantum information which can possibly exist, for all possible physical/material events, past, present, and future, already must exist.) This is since transcendent information exercises direct dominion of the foundational ‘material’ entity of this universe, energy, which cannot be created or destroyed by any known ‘material’ means. i.e. First Law of Thermodynamics.
Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment. (This experiment provides experimental proof that the teleportation of quantum information in this universe must be complete and instantaneous.) http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-03-quantum-no-hiding-theorem-experimentally.html
These following studies verified the ‘controlled’ violation of the first law of thermodynamics that I had suspected in the quantum teleportation experiment:
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. http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/teleportation1.htm Quantum Teleportation – IBM Research Page Excerpt: “it would destroy the original (photon) in the process,,” http://www.research.ibm.com/quantuminfo/teleportation/ Researchers Succeed in Quantum Teleportation of Light Waves – April 2011 Excerpt: In this experiment, researchers in Australia and Japan were able to transfer quantum information from one place to another without having to physically move it. It was destroyed in one place and instantly resurrected in another, “alive” again and unchanged. This is a major advance, as previous teleportation experiments were either very slow or caused some information to be lost. http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2011-04/quantum-teleportation-breakthrough-could-lead-instantanous-computing Unconditional Quantum Teleportation – abstract Excerpt: This is the first realization of unconditional quantum teleportation where every state entering the device is actually teleported,, http://www.sciencemag.org/content/282/5389/706.abstract
It is also very interesting to note that the quantum state of a photon is actually defined as ‘infinite information’ in its uncollapsed/unobserved quantum wave state:
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),,, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qt-quantcomp/#2.1 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) — Concept 2. is used by Bennett, et al. Recall that they infer that since an infinite amount of information is required to specify a (photon) qubit, an infinite amount of information must be transferred to teleport. http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/faculty/duwell/DuwellPSA2K.pdf
It should be noted in the preceding paper that Duwell, though he never challenges the mathematical definition of a photon qubit as infinite information, tries to refute Bennett’s interpretation of instantaneous infinite information transfer in teleportation because of what he believes are ‘time constraints’ which would prohibit teleporting ‘backwards in time’. Yet Duwell fails to realize that information is its own completely unique transcendent entity, completely separate from any energy-matter, space-time, constraints in the first place. Moreover This following recent experiment, on top of the previously listed ‘conservation of quantum information’ papers, pretty much blew a hole in Duwell’s objection to Bennett, of teleporting infinite information ‘backwards in time’, simply because he believed there was no such path, or mechanism, to do so:
Physicists describe method to observe timelike entanglement – January 2011 Excerpt: In “ordinary” quantum entanglement, two particles possess properties that are inherently linked with each other, even though the particles may be spatially separated by a large distance. Now, physicists S. Jay Olson and Timothy C. Ralph from the University of Queensland have shown that it’s possible to create entanglement between regions of spacetime that are separated in time but not in space, and then to convert the timelike entanglement into normal spacelike entanglement. They also discuss the possibility of using this timelike entanglement from the quantum vacuum for a process they call “teleportation in time.” “To me, the exciting aspect of this result (that entanglement exists between the future and past) is that it is quite a general property of nature and opens the door to new creativity, since we know that entanglement can be viewed as a resource for quantum technology,” Olson told PhysOrg.com. http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-01-physicists-method-timelike-entanglement.html
It should also be noted that the preceding experiment pretty much dots all the i’s and crosses all the t’s as far as concretely establishing ‘transcendent information’ as its own unique entity. Its own unique entity that is completely separate from, and dominate of, space-time, matter and energy. bornagain77
Please note, nothing means literally that: no matter, energy, space, time, or mind etc. Do you see why something coming from nothing is generally rejected?
Yes I do. It's commonly referred to as the Cosmological Argument. But I also readily admit that what seems logically plausible to human thinking is not the same as proof that reality functions as such. Do you agree?
(As a rule those who argue to something from nothing actually have a something they are smuggling in.)
Any first cause is a self-referential (scientific) paradox, and if we presume that the first cause must be God, that introduces another metaphysical assumption, and another round of argumentation. (see Cosmology and Theology) Incidentally, metaphysical assumptions are not bad and my arguments should not be construed as a criticism thereof. After all, it's the basis for faith. However Science requires us to matter-of-factly acknowledge its limits, and that's the position I have been defending. Isn't that what you want from Science in regards to the origin of life and its subsequent evolution? rhampton7
Causality has be tested in a number of ways and been found wanting. No. What has been and can be tested are models. Scientists do not, and cannot, perform experiments to see if causality really holds in the relevant sense, or if something can come from absolute nothing. Now, you can have a result which defies current explanation given the models we're working with - even very well-tested models. This is not the same as testing causality itself. "This event took place utterly without cause" is metaphysics, even when a scientist says it. And if mingling metaphysics with science is okay, then the result is green-lighting not only ID and multiverses, but full-blown creationism. nullasalus
These are all just proposals, untested hypothesis. WLC is going with what has proven testable.
Causality has be tested in a number of ways and been found wanting. Thus Cosmology has to account for the problems uncovered by mathematical/scientific analysis, and that prompts scientists to consider these hypotheses. While general relativity, cosmic background radiation, et. al. confirm a big bang event, that should not be confused with confirmation a finite origin. As I mentioned previously, William Lane Craig prefered creation history is just as tentative (scientifically) as the objectionable hypotheses. Carl Hoefer's entry on Causal Determinism in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) is an excellent primer. rhampton7
He also cites the Big Bang theory as evidence for the second premise. Craig interprets the Big Bang as the temporal beginning of the universe, and discounts the Cyclic model, vacuum fluctuation models, and the Hartle-Hawking state model which suggest otherwise. Actually, Craig does speak about those, and other models. He does not "a priori" rule out other models - he points out what we're left with given certain arguments and axioms. Instead, he points out what has to be accepted to get some of these models off the ground: That actual infinities exist, or giving up causality, etc. He also, to his credit, points out that when people start asserting the existence of actual infinities or claiming that causality doesn't hold that these are not "findings of physics". They're metaphysical and philosophical speculations that often get passed off as physics. What seems to confuse people here is that Craig and others rely on multiple lines of evidence - some scientific, some philosophical. The Big Bang != the Kalam Cosmological argument, and Craig knows it and notes as much when he discusses these topics. Likewise, as BA77 points out, one problem with many people on the side opposite Craig is the habit of passing off as wholly 'scientific' that which is metaphysically and philosophically laced. nullasalus
RH7: Please note, nothing means literally that: no matter, energy, space, time, or mind etc. Do you see why something coming from nothing is generally rejected? (As a rule those who argue to something from nothing actually have a something they are smuggling in.) A much sounder approach is that if we live in a contingent cosmos, it points beyond itself to a necessary being that is its source. And BTW, quantum theory does not eliminate causality, especially when you look at NECESSARY causal factors. If you look carefully at real world quantum situations, you will see there are things that have to be in place for the phenomena to occur. Again, something does not come from nothing. Scientifically valid, and reasonable. If you wish to assert the contrary, do not merely say the opposed view is a priori, provide some actual evidence, where there is a case where something does come from nothing, nowhere, no-when. GEM of TKI kairosfocus
rhampton7 I have to correct this false statement of yours:
arguments like those made by those made by Lane Craig Neo-Darwinian materialists are built atop of metaphysical assumptions which, a priori, reject legitimate alternatives.
Now that is much better since it is truthful. And for prime example of atheists 'a priori' rejecting legitimate alternatives, I turn no further than the much ballyhooed atheistic position of methodological naturalism:
"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy." William Shakespeare - Hamlet
Materialism compared to Theism within the scientific method: The artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy onto the scientific method has blinded many scientists to the inference of God as a rational explanation in these questions of origins. In fact, the scientific method, by itself, makes absolutely no predictions as to what the best explanation will be prior to investigation in these question of origins. In the beginning of a investigation all answers are equally valid to the scientific method. Yet scientists have grown accustomed through the years to the artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy onto the scientific method. That is to say by limiting the answers one may conclude to only materialistic ones, the scientific method has been very effective at solving many puzzles very quickly. This imposition of the materialistic philosophy onto the scientific method has indeed led to many breakthroughs of technology which would not have been possible had the phenomena been presumed to be solely the work of a miracle. This imposition of materialism onto the scientific method is usually called methodological naturalism, methodological materialism, or scientific materialism etc... Yet today, due to the impressive success of methodological naturalism in our everyday lives, many scientists are unable to separate this artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy from the scientific method in this completely different question of origins. In fact, I've heard a dogmatic atheist actually say, "Science is materialism". Yet, science clearly is not materialism. Materialism is a philosophy which makes the dogmatic assertion that only blind material processes generated everything around us, including ourselves. Materialism is thus in direct opposition to Theism which holds that God purposely created us in His image. Furthermore science, or more particularly the scientific method, in reality, only cares to relentlessly pursue the truth and could care less if the answer is a materialistic one or not. This is especially true in these questions of origins, since we are indeed questioning the materialistic philosophy itself. i.e. We are asking the scientific method to answer this very specific question, "Did God create us or did blind material processes create us?" When we realize this is the actual question we are seeking an answer to within the scientific method, then of course it is readily apparent we cannot impose strict materialistic answers onto the scientific method prior to investigation. No less than leading "New Atheist" Richard Dawkins agrees:
"The presence of a creative deity in the universe is clearly a scientific hypothesis. Indeed, it is hard to imagine a more momentous hypothesis in all of science." Richard Dawkins
In fact when looking at the evidence in this light we find out many interesting things which scientists, who have been blinded by the philosophy of materialism, miss. This is because the materialistic and Theistic philosophy make, and have made, several natural contradictory predictions about what evidence we will find. These predictions, and the evidence we have found, can be tested against one another within the scientific method.
Steps of the Scientific Method http://www.sciencebuddies.org/science-fair-projects/project_scientific_method.shtml
For a quick overview, here are a few:
1. Materialism predicted an eternal universe, Theism predicted a created universe. - Big Bang points to a creation event. - 2. Materialism predicted time had an infinite past, Theism predicted time had a creation. - Time was created in the Big Bang. - 3. Materialism predicted space has always existed, Theism predicted space had a creation (Psalm 89:12) - Space was created in the Big Bang. - 4. Materialism predicted that material has always existed, Theism predicted 'material' was created. - 'Material' was created in the Big Bang. 5. Materialism predicted at the base of physical reality would be a solid indestructible material particle which rigidly obeyed the rules of time and space, Theism predicted the basis of this reality was created by a infinitely powerful and transcendent Being who is not limited by time and space - Quantum mechanics reveals a wave/particle duality for the basis of our reality which blatantly defies our concepts of time and space. - 6. Materialism predicted the rate at which time passed was constant everywhere in the universe, Theism predicted God is eternal and is outside of time - Special Relativity has shown that time, as we understand it, is relative and comes to a complete stop at the speed of light. (Psalm 90:4 - 2 Timothy 1:9)- 7. Materialism predicted the universe did not have life in mind and life was ultimately an accident of time and chance. Theism predicted this universe was purposely created by God with man in mind - Every transcendent universal constant scientists can measure is exquisitely fine-tuned for carbon-based life to exist in this universe. - 8. Materialism predicted complex life in this universe should be fairly common. Theism predicted the earth is extremely unique in this universe - Statistical analysis of the hundreds of required parameters which enable complex life to be possible on earth gives strong indication the earth is extremely unique in this universe. - 9. Materialism predicted much of the DNA code was junk. Theism predicted we are fearfully and wonderfully made - ENCODE research into the DNA has revealed a "biological jungle deeper, denser, and more difficult to penetrate than anyone imagined.". - 10. Materialism predicted a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA which was ultimately responsible for all the diversity and complexity of life we see on earth. Theism predicted only God created life on earth - The mutation rate to DNA is overwhelmingly detrimental. Detrimental to such a point that it is seriously questioned whether there are any truly beneficial mutations whatsoever. (M. Behe; JC Sanford) - 11. Materialism predicted a very simple first life form which accidentally came from "a warm little pond". Theism predicted God created life - The simplest life ever found on Earth is far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. (Michael Denton PhD) - 12. Materialism predicted it took a very long time for life to develop on earth. Theism predicted life to appear abruptly on earth after water appeared on earth (Genesis 1:10-11) - We find evidence for complex photo-synthetic life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth - 13. Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life to be self-evident in the fossil record. Theism predicted complex and diverse life to appear abruptly in the seas in God's fifth day of creation. - The Cambrian Explosion shows a sudden appearance of many different and completely unique fossils within a very short "geologic resolution time" in the Cambrian seas. - 14. Materialism predicted there should be numerous transitional fossils found in the fossil record, Theism predicted sudden appearance and rapid diversity within different kinds found in the fossil record - Fossils are consistently characterized by sudden appearance of a group/kind in the fossil record, then rapid diversity within the group/kind, and then long term stability and even deterioration of variety within the overall group/kind, and within the specific species of the kind, over long periods of time. Of the few dozen or so fossils claimed as transitional, not one is uncontested as a true example of transition between major animal forms out of millions of collected fossils. - 15. Materialism predicted animal speciation should happen on a somewhat constant basis on earth. Theism predicted man was the last species created on earth - Man himself is the last generally accepted major fossil form to have suddenly appeared in the fossil record. - references for each of the 15 predictions: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1ubha8aFKlJiljnuCa98QqLihFWFwZ_nnUNhEC6m6Cys
,,,for a far more detailed list of the consistent failed predictions of neo-Darwinism see Dr. Hunter’s site here:
Darwin’s Predictions http://www.darwinspredictions.com/
As you can see when we remove the artificial imposition of the materialistic philosophy, from the scientific method, and look carefully at the predictions of both the materialistic philosophy and the Theistic philosophy, side by side, we find the scientific method is very good at pointing us in the direction of Theism as the true explanation. - In fact science is even very good at pointing us to Christianity as the true explanation for how reality is unified into a 'theory of everything':
Centrality of Each Individual Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Very Plausible Reconciliation Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics https://docs.google.com/document/d/17SDgYPHPcrl1XX39EXhaQzk7M0zmANKdYIetpZ-WB5Y/edit?hl=en_US
Music, poem and verse:
Evanescence - "Bring Me To Life" - Video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YxaaGgTQYM Wake Me O Lord Wake me O Lord from this sleep of mine To the living wonders of creation that are so fine With a "Oh, that’s nice" I shall not content NO, only when You speak shall my heart be spent Others may suffice their cravings of Awe With an "Oh Well" shrug of the wonders they saw But I know You are in each piece of reality Yes, in the wind, the stars, and even the sea So this vow to You I make No rest in me my heart will take Till Your face and hands again I see In the many waters of reality For the truth be known to You indeed That if I see You not with my heart and head I’m not really born again, but instead am dead Revelation 3:20 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.'
referenced link:
Theism compared to Materialism within the scientific method: http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=dc8z67wz_5fwz42dg9
rham, "Cyclic model, vacuum fluctuation models, and the Hartle-Hawking state model which suggest otherwise." These are all just proposals, untested hypothesis. WLC is going with what has proven testable. General relativity along with the evidence from cosmic microwave background radiation. All of which support his argument that the universe began to exist. And the universe beginning to exist does not prove God, rather a moment of creation simply strengthens the argument that there is a creator. It just tips the scale. junkdnaforlife
As I mentioned in another thread, arguments like those made by Lane Craig are built atop of metaphysical assumptions which, a priori, reject legitimate alternatives.
Craig argues that the first premise is supported most strongly by intuition, but also by experience. He asserts that it is "intuitively obvious," based on the "metaphysical intuition that something cannot come into being from nothing," and doubts that anyone could sincerely deny it. Additionally, he claims it is affirmed by interaction with the physical world. If it were false, he states, it would be impossible to explain why things do not pop into existence uncaused. The second premise is often supported by philosophical arguments and scientific verification for the finitude of the past. Craig claims that the number of past events cannot be infinite, meaning that the universe must be finite and therefore must have begun to exist. He also cites the Big Bang theory as evidence for the second premise. Craig interprets the Big Bang as the temporal beginning of the universe, and discounts the Cyclic model, vacuum fluctuation models, and the Hartle-Hawking state model which suggest otherwise.
While he is correct to say we can not prove that something can come from nothing, he neglects and/or ignores the equally true counterfactual; that we can neither disprove it. I'm fond of Pope John Paul II's explanation that proofs of God's existence must be methaphysical and/or theological, and thus beyond the scope of Science. The Church is humble enough to admit that, ultimately, it's proofs of God are really an expression of faith.
However, this faith in a God who reveals himself, also finds support in the reasoning of our intelligence. When we reflect, we observe that proofs of God's existence are not lacking. These have been elaborated by thinkers under the form of philosophical demonstrations in the sense of rigorously logical deductions. But they can also take on a simpler form. As such, they are accessible to everyone who seeks to understand the meaning of the world around him. In speaking of the existence of God we should underline that we are not speaking of proofs in the sense implied by the experimental sciences. Scientific proofs in the modern sense of the word are valid only for things perceptible to the senses, since it is only on such things that scientific instruments of investigation can be used. To desire a scientific proof of God would be equivalent to lowering God to the level of the beings of our world, and we would therefore be mistaken methodologically in regard to what God is. Science must recognize its limits and its inability to reach the existence of God. It can neither affirm nor deny his existence.
And that's why basing arguments on the scientific fact rather than the metaphysical assumption of causality is doomed to fail (which doesn't even address the current uncertainty about causality's nature...) rhampton7
I always thought Uri Geller was already in another universe. Well when 11:11/11/11/11 comes around let's hope he thinks of going. I jest. He's probably a very nice man with some rather "mixed-up confusion." CannuckianYankee
OT: video report on last nights debate: Dr William Lane Craig Humiliates Professor Peter Atkins,, Again by Jason Burns http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eg4VofSlkX0 bornagain77

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