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Many universes: Or many fairies?

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Casey Luskin noted a while back at Evolution News that a recent article in Nature noted that many universes theory is not testable:

Since the early 1980s, some cosmologists have argued that multiple universes could have formed during a period of cosmic inflation that preceded the Big Bang. More recently, string theorists have calculated that there could be 10 [to the]500 universes, which is more than the number of atoms in our observable Universe. Under these circumstances, it becomes more reasonable to assume that several would turn out like ours. It’s like getting zillions and zillions of darts to throw at the dart board, Susskind says. “Surely, a large number of them are going to wind up in the target zone.” And of course, we exist in our particular Universe because we couldn’t exist anywhere else. It’s an intriguing idea with just one problem, says Gross: “It’s impossible to disprove.” Because our Universe is, almost by definition, everything we can observe, there are no apparent measurements that would confirm whether we exist within a cosmic landscape of multiple universes, or if ours is the only one. And because we can’t falsify the idea, Gross says, it isn’t science. (Geoff Brumfiel, “Outrageous Fortune,” Nature, Vol 439:10-12 (January 5, 2006).)

But, Luskin writes, “National Academy of Sciences member and Nobel Laureate Leonard Susskind was given print-space–in fact he had a highlighted box-quote–saying that we should not reject the multi-verse hypothesis on the grounds that it isn’t testable.”

Nature reports:

Susskind, too, finds it “deeply, deeply troubling” that there’s no way to test the principle. But he is not yet ready to rule it out completely. “It would be very foolish to throw away the right answer on the basis that it doesn’t conform to some criteria for what is or isn’t science,” he says. (Geoff Brumfiel, “Outrageous Fortune,” Nature, Vol 439:10-12 (January 5, 2006)

I love it! “It would be very foolish to throw away the right answer on the basis that it doesn’t conform to some criteria for what is or isn’t science …” Why so foolish? Because, while it doesn’t conform to science, it does conform to materialism?

(That said, it is nice to run into Susskind who feels as strongly as I do that “zillions” really IS a number, albeit an indefinite number that was created precisely for math-challenged persons such as me.)

Similarly, in Max Tegmark’s 2003 Scientific American article on the four levels of multi verses, we are told that

Cosmologists infer the presence of Level II parallel universes by scrutinizing the properties of our universe. These properties, including the strength of the forces of nature and the number of observable space and time dimensions, were established by random processes during the birth of our universe. Yet they have exactly the values that sustain life. That suggests the existence of other universes with other values.

So the only reason for the Level II universes’ supposed very existence is to avoid the obvious implications of observable fine-tuning in this one.

Now, of course there is no problem in principle with untestable theories being discussed.

The problem is that  the many-universes hypothesis is used as a discussion-stopper – a way to avoid the fine-tuning of the universe.

Here’s what it reminds me of: A small child claiming that “the fairies” broke the vase or stole the cookies. I used to deal with that kind of thing as a childminder and later a young mother on a regular basis.

The real problem isn’t whether fairies exist or act – only a naif or a fool would try discussing that with the child – but whether “the fairies” are used to avoid addressing difficult sets of facts. So with many universes.

When dealing with such data sets from children decades ago, I usually resorted to the following judgement: “Well, if you know so much about the fairies, you must be part of their deplorable gang. You and they can spend the afternoon in your room, and I hope you enjoy each other’s company.”

I suppose if I were going to apply similar reasoning to claims about multiverses, I might say: “Well, you must know a lot about them. Can you arrange a tour of some of the better ones? No need  to bother with the complete flops, of course. Moderate flops, we might possibly consider for educational reasons… “

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Just in case anyone looks (this is sort of a message in a bottle) Wallace Thornhill has responded to the "discovery" of dark matter in this essay: http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=stb9s0ye As I wrote previously, I believe even if the results of experiments do result in "proof" or evidence contradicting Darwin, it will be ignored. Thornhill explains why. The science and mathematics are difficult, but pay attention to the Einstein Cross and gravitational lensing. Thornhill writes: # # # # # From the New York Times: ''This is really exciting,'' said University of Chicago physicist Sean Carroll, adding that the observations demonstrate the existence of dark matter ''beyond a reasonable doubt.'' Physorg.com confidently headlined: "A Matter of Fact: NASA Finds Direct Proof of Dark Matter." This echoes the remark by Doug Clowe of the University of Arizona at Tucson, and leader of the study: "These results are direct proof that dark matter exists." "Direct" means "having no intervening conditions or agencies" — implying that dark matter has been observed. But it hasn't. The pretty image above gives the impression that dark matter radiates blue light. It doesn't. The mass of dark matter that astronomers "find" is fabricated from assumptions and calculations. The telescope images have had an artefact superimposed—a blue "lensing map" that paints in what NASA scientists believe should be there. They’ve done this before: They painted hot lava fountains onto images of Io where the camera pixels were inexplicably overexposed by intense light. Digitally superimposing some imagined thing or mathematical virtual reality over an image is an artistic activity. It isn't science. Positing unobserved matter to account for physical phenomena is tantamount to a belief in fairies. If a theorist is unable to discover real objects, which cause the observed effects, it is unscientific—indeed, it is fraudulent science—to invent unreal objects and present them as a "factual" discovery of the cause of those effects. "Criticism and dissent are the indispensable antidote to major delusions." – Alan Barth, Professor of Political Science, University Of California, Berkeley. When a crowd—a consensus—believes something, any doubt appears unreasonable. A crowd of scientists is not exempt from having "major delusions." This spurs my criticism and dissent. What follows is, I hope, the outline of a remedy for some of the most obstinate delusions of modern science. The Real Science Behind the Bullet Galaxy Cluster The description of the Bullet galaxy cluster as "the collision of two large clusters of galaxies, the most energetic event known in the universe since the Big Bang," introduces two hypothetical events as if they were facts. But the Big Bang is contradicted by many direct observations, and the observations that are called "galaxy cluster collisions" are more consistently explained by contrary ideas. If there were no big bang and no galaxy cluster collision, there would be no need for dark matter, and the energy estimate would be wildly inflated. How would that fit the picture? As it turns out, it fits perfectly. And it doesn't require any added blue fuzz. Hubble wrote, "If the redshifts are a Doppler shift ... the observations as they stand lead to the anomaly of a closed universe, curiously small and dense, and, it may be added, suspiciously young. On the other hand, if redshifts are not Doppler effects, these anomalies disappear and the region observed appears as a small, homogeneous, but insignificant portion of a universe extended indefinitely both in space and time." —(Royal Astronomical Society Monthly Notices, 17, 506, 1937). Arp has shown empirically, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that founding assumptions of the Big Bang and Expanding Universe theories are wrong. Redshift is not an exclusive indicator of velocity, expansion, or distance. In other words, we cannot project backwards a redshift/expansion to a hypothetical "big bang." The universe is of unknown age and extent. In our current state of ignorance we cannot even frame a sensible question about the origin of the universe. We should not meekly submit to the conceit of big bang cosmology, with its belief in a miraculous creation event documented in abstract mathematical scripture. Arp demonstrates that we need to humbly look at the universe without the distortion of the redshift = distance lens... Arp's perspective of the universe must be investigated before cosmology can claim to be a science. Just like biological systems, the energy source to "grow" galaxies cannot be internal. It must be supplied from outside. Here, Arp's universe meets plasma cosmology. Plasma cosmology shows empirically and experimentally that the energy required to form galaxies and light the stars comes from intergalactic power transmission lines in the form of cosmic Birkeland current filaments. That is why the universe has a "stringy" appearance, with galaxies arranged like beads on a necklace. And the engine at the center of galaxies is a simple "plasma focus" or "plasma gun" effect. No incredible black holes are required. As for quantized galactic redshifts, it shows that our understanding of one or both of those two incompatible pillars of big bang cosmology—quantum physics and relativity theory—is flawed. The Electric Universe has offered a simple solution. When empirical observation is combined with experimental plasma cosmology and the Electric Universe, we may begin to see our small corner of the universe clearly for the first time. Is there Intelligent Life Down Here on Earth? If there were a modest degree of intelligent life on Earth you might think that a theory that rests upon empirical observation, without resorting to invisible dark matter and other abstract inventions and beliefs, would be the focus of attention. Alas, Eric Idle's forlorn assessment seems to be accurate. Evidently a PhD and a large number of published papers do not signify an individual's intelligence. The techniques we use to judge intelligence are skewed toward cleverness, conformity and a good memory. But there is one important facet that is never considered—emotional intelligence. Yet it requires a high degree of emotional intelligence to respond rationally to information that threatens our sense of personal power or of how things are. Judging from the rejection of Halton Arp's discoveries, it is a crucial lesson we are missing. Irritation or dismissal in response to a well-argued case is a signal that emotion has overruled reason. P. Phillips
On other posts on this topic, I addressed an alternative theory of the universe, Plasma Cosmology that does not contemplate a gravity based universe, i.e., the big bang, black holes, dark energy, dark matter. Tom English cited the open letter, and stated if the theory describes a potentially infinite universe, all the calculations that Dr. Dembski did would become irrelevant; perhaps he is correct. I suspect that is not so, nor the assumption of "infinity", bringing in unverifiable assumptions, as opposed to observations of real phenomenon. I look at ID as a scientific issue; I understand the motives of many are to help find evidence of an "Unembodied Intelligence", as Dr. Dembski describes it. I don't think the nature of that intelligence, and the existence of that intelligence, is ultimately amenable to science. I believe the Creator may not want to reveal himself to allow choices, for good or ill, to continue. Should a scientific method be constructed that allows human beings direct communication with another intelligence, and that intelligence is willing to respond, I believe that would result in conclusive evidence. If the Universe if 15 billion years old, it is possible there are others. Nevertheless, I think it is not reasonable to imagine the "Designer" is the God of any faith. My personal hope is that indeed such an intelligence in fact exists. Yet if the evidence mounts that discredits Big Bang cosmology, despite the arrogance of the dominant "faith" (see below) and in a generation or so there is verification of the more "protoscientific" concept of the Electric Universe, what would be the result? Don't be fooled by today's "dark energy" news: I have offered in other posts links to essays detailing how incorrect assumptions force incorrect conclusions. I understand that the principal Electrical Theorists do not think much of Darwin; however, their work implies an interconnected universe in real time (again, I shall provide links). Intelligence then exists when matter "learns" and organizes itself. Yet there is also this -- in another thread I posted on Sheldrake's work which the several electrical theorists respect. Sheldrake wrote in his review of Dennett's book: http://www.sheldrake.org/articlesnew/Dennett_bright.html # # # # # 'Both Dennett and I admire William James, one of the pioneers of psychology, and author of the classic book The Varieties of Religious Experience. James made a serious study of people's accounts of religious experiences, as did Hardy. But Dennett rules all such evidence out of court. Powerful personal experiences "can't be used as contributions to the communal discussion that we are now conducting." He assumes that religious experiences are generated inside the brain, and that they are illusory. 'How can Dennett be so sure? In the end, it all comes down to his own beliefs. Bright memes have infected him and taken over his brain. Those memes are now trying to leap from his brain into yours through the medium of Breaking the Spell.' # # # # # I suppose my point that the quest for a Designer should be a quest but do not expect an answer that is satisfactory in the language of mathematics and science or that will ever be acceptable to opponents. I also think that the Big Bang and Superstring theories are in serious trouble; I believe that there is an intelligence responsible and integrated with the universe itself causing the immense electrical fields. Can I prove it? Of course not; I don't think anyone can or will. However, humility is important, and that is something the "materialists" lack to at least 10 to the 250th power. Note as well that in NDEs whatever faith one has, it is respected; Jews, Christian, Hindus (note children's testimony) describe a "life review", the light, and what is sacred to them. I suspect there is a Mind who has reverence for the Tao, as C.S. Lewis put it, the commonality seeking the Good, which all faiths share. Whatever the ultimate truth is it shall be so, irrespective of our desires. How can something superior to the human mind not exist given the age of the universe, whether 15 billions years or five billion or one trillion? Finally, is it possible the intelligence takes a different form than what many expect? I suppose so; again, I do not see how in this life we shall find satisfactory answers. Archaeology and biblical scholarship prove problematic, perhaps more so than Darwinism. And on the character of Satan being "sympathetic" or "heroic" in Milton's work, I advise some of the individual who posted to read C.S. Lewis' book A Preface to Paradise Lost. I don't think science is necessary to faith; and if science contradicts what you believe, i.e., plasma cosmology, then what? I suppose keep searching for dark energy, dark matter -- more "fairies", to use Denyse's terminology. I respect all those whose view differs from mine; I think mounting evidence discredits gravity based cosmology. Would not a Creator want us to learn the truth, with humility? On the speed of gravity: http://www.metaresearch.org/cosmology/speed_of_gravity.asp # # # # # http://www.holoscience.com/synopsis.php 'The Big Bang is already dead! The unheralded "Galileo of the 20th century", Halton Arp, has proven that the universe is not expanding. The Big Bang theory is based on a misinterpretation of redshift. The redshift of a distant galaxy is measured in the light coming from that galaxy. Lines in the spectrum of that galaxy show a shift toward the red compared with the same lines from our Sun. Arp discovered that high and low redshift objects are sometimes connected by a bridge or jet of matter. So redshift cannot be a measure of distance. Most of the redshift is intrinsic to the object. But there is more: Arp found that the intrinsic redshift of a quasar or galaxy took discrete values, which decreased with distance from a central active galaxy. In Arp's new view of the cosmos, active galaxies "give birth" to high redshift quasars and companion galaxies. Redshift becomes a measure of the relative ages of nearby quasars and galaxies, not their distance. As a quasar or galaxy ages, the redshift decreases in discrete steps, or quanta. 'The huge puzzle for astrophysicists is why a galaxy should exhibit an atomic phenomenon. So we turn to particle physics. This difficulty highlights the fact that quantum "mechanics" applied to atoms is a theory without physical reality. The weirdness of quantum theory has been attributed to the subatomic scale to which it applies. But now that we have quantum effects in something the size of a galaxy, this convenient nonsense is exposed. If Arp is right many experts are going to look very silly. His discovery sounded the alarm in some halls of Academe and since nobody likes a loud noise - particularly if they are asleep - the knee-jerk response was to attack the guy with his finger on the alarm button. Arp's telescope time was denied, papers rejected, and he was forced to leave the US to pursue his work.' http://www.holoscience.com/news.php?article=0auycyew P. Phillips
http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/313/5788/750 http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/313/5788/752 Amazing how science is greatly affected by people who don't like the metaphysical implications. Patrick
Jerry: "Your answer is a proof in point. You had a chance to bark and you deflected." From a false premise, conclude anything. Not all posts show up in the thread. I tried to reply to you last night. Incidentally, I responded merely out of politeness. Post 21 was a response to the article, and not at all you. I mention Denyse and Casey, not Jerry. Tom English
Tom English, You are obviously well read and provide some very interesting quotes. My reading has mostly been at a lower level but one of my favorite quotes is the one from Silver Blase by Conan Doyle. Namely, "the dog barking in the night." Of course, the dog never barked and that was the point of the story. My whole experience reading about evolution is that those who support the Darwinian approach never bark. They are always like the saleman telling his customer how good it is going to be but never delivers a working product. Your answer is a proof in point. You had a chance to bark and you deflected. Instead of looking into the barn where Silver Blase was housed you went to a different stable and started talking about a different horse. So are we just in one of the infinite oscillations that makes everything work. If we are and I don't know enough about this theory yet to say anything intelligent, it still leaves the problem of how life developed during this oscillation and how it should be presented to students and the general public. jerry
The cyclic universe model of Steinhardt and Turok, in which the universe alternates between Big Crunches and Big Bangs, makes all the successful predictions of the standard Big Bang / expansion model, and also explains why the cosmological constant is 120 orders of magnitude smaller than predicted by the standard model. Each cycle lasts about a trillion years. The cycling does not continue indefinitely. The cosmological constant generally decreases over time, and when it becomes negative the universe ends. Contrary to what Casey and Denyse indicate, this model is falsifiable. There is a three-year project underway to detect gravitational waves. The cyclic model predicts that the waves are too small to be detected, so if they are detected the model is falsified. Incidentally, Steinhardt is the Albert Einstein Professor in Science at Princeton University, and Turok is the Chair of Mathematical Physics at Cambridge University. We are talking top-drawer scientists here. Tom English
Jerry, read https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/index.php/archives/1387 (post 19) https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/index.php/archives/1453 (posts 5 and 7) https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/index.php/archives/1419 (post 24) https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/index.php/archives/1356 (post 11) "I believe the infinite universe hypothesis gets a free pass for one reason only." There are many theories, not just one, and they arise from various fundamental considerations in physics. Have a look at the Wiki article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiverse_%28science%29 Tom English
Tom English, I think you are missing the point of this discussion. Let me spell it out again. I believe the infinite universe hypothesis gets a free pass for one reason only. The current universe is so fine-tuned that it is an embarrassment for the materialists. How do you claim everything is an accident when they have to answer these two questions. Why does anything exist? And since stuff does exist, why is it so well fine-tuned to support life? The first question is a philosophical question and is probably out of the domain of science. But it should be part of the education curriculum some place. Pick a place but it should be something high school kids could contemplate with interest. There are no specific religious implications other than there may be something that does have to be created. Think of some other reasons why anything exists and include it in the discussion. The second question is definitely part of science and should be exposed to kids in high school. They would have no trouble understanding it. Whether you want to make the judgment that the hypothetical designer/creator left the world alone afterwards or had a plan for this creation could then be left up to the individual either in high school or later to decided on his or her own. They may still make the judgment that there is no God but at least they were exposed to the question and the findings. But they should be exposed to the idea of this finely tuned universe in science classes but not necessarily to its implications. They will have no trouble seeing its implications and can make whatever judgments they want. Right now they are not exposed to all the information. To counter the finely tuned universe along comes the infinite universe fairy tale (my opinion) which says we just happen to be one of the few universes that lets life develop. Expose the kids to this too but not in science and with the caveat that there is no proof. But this multi-verse concept has problems of its own for materialist even if it is true. If life cannot develop on its own without some help in our corner of the multi-verse then that has implications. This should also be part of the science curriculum, namely that life would have extreme difficulty developing on its own. The complexity of even the simplest cell is staggering. Leave the implications out but the complexity issue is fair game for the science class. Instead of the complexity issue the students are presented with the concept that the problem of life's origins will probably be solved in the short term because there is currently lots of progress when in truth there is none. There is no honesty in the educational system about these issues. I am sorry if you don't see it this way and believe it has to be corrected. But most of here see this double standard and want to set it straight. Now we can discuss why this is so but I don't think pretending that the current science community is honest about this is likely to persuade many here. If that is an ad hominen attack on the current science community in your eyes then so be it. I believe it is an accurate description and can point to lots of misinformation which is disseminated. jerry
Denyse, I was composing when you made your post. Tom English
Jerry, "I must have hit home." No. The fact that I pointed out your ad hominem attack does not imply that I am someone you attacked. Not that you deserve to know, but to avoid a tedious exchange, I'll mention that I am not a philosophical materialist. "Why bring out the cliché “ad hominem” attack when I did not mention anyone in particular." Because your attack was closely analogous to attacks on IDists (i.e., "They are people whose religious beliefs don't jibe with science, and who therefore cannot be trusted to do legitimate science"). The attacks on IDists often do not mention anyone in particular. They are nonetheless wrong. The point I want to impress on you boils down to the Golden Rule. By the way, Google says "ad hominem" appears in 92 UD threads other than this one. I took a quick sample, and it appears that IDists frequently complain about ad hominem attacks leveled against them. "If the universe is designed or life did not happen by chance then each had to have a creator." I appreciate your honesty. "Creator" is the right word, not "designer." And your theism, as opposed to deism, is also evident. For a deist god would simply create the universe, and life would later pan out as a consequence of the way he or she set things in motion. That is, there would be no need for repeated divine interventions. No, I am not a deist. But I think that theistic IDists need to give more thought to how their theistic assumptions slip into what is supposedly religion-free science. "Please tell me where in the science curriculums of Western Civilization there is mentioned the possibility that part of our existence is most likely designed." We teach science in science classes, where science is the current beliefs and practices of an elite community of scientists. The way to change science is to persuade scientists to change, not to rally the masses to redefine the science curriculum by fiat. For ID to make its way into science, its proponents will have to persuade scientists in all disciplines that methodological materialism is more a hindrance to scientific explanation than an aid. In my opinion, scientists will retain methodological materialism for a number of years to come. "Where are those scientists who are not philosophical materialists pushing for a more fair treatment of the findings." I can only speak for myself (I study complex artifacts scientifically). I see science as a tool. I do not expect to get metaphysical truth out of it. The discordance of scientific beliefs and my personal beliefs is no problem for me. I live my life by my personal beliefs, and I pursue science for practical ends. Science seems to me to be serving well in its present form, and I am reluctant to open it up to the "unembodied" intelligences (i.e., fairies, succubi, angels) that were banished a couple centuries ago. In my opinion, there used to be more scientists giving Bill Dembski's ideas a fair hearing than there are now. Trying to push your version of science into the public schools through sociopolitical action is not the way to "win friends and influence people" in the scientific community. Tom English
From moderator Denyse: Hey guys, let's get back to the "multiverses as testable" question or move on to another blog entry to comment on. Otherwise, there is a whole multiverse of might-have-beens waiting to swallow up posts about what materialists or IDists are supposedly like in their personal lives. We don't know much about each others' personal lives, and if we did, we would probably know too much to comment in public. That, in my view, is the best reason to avoid ad hominems. O'Leary
Tom English, I must have hit home. Why bring out the cliché "ad hominem" attack when I did not mention anyone in particular. If the universe is designed or life did not happen by chance then each had to have a creator. If they had a creator then why cannot not this be admitted even as a possibility? Instead science leans over backwards to indoctrinate the opposite. Please tell me where in the science curriculums of Western Civilization there is mentioned the possibility that part of our existence is most likely designed. Where are those scientists who are not philosophical materialists pushing for a more fair treatment of the findings. There is a reason the dog did not bark in the night. jerry
I would agree that lack of accountability is a huge motivator for materialism. Your average theist will also defang their God to remove the accountability as well. Maybe the materialists just have a more rigorous and consistent subconscious. Whatever the case, this multiverse postulation is all the evidence needed to see motivation. If you look at recent popular literature, the admission of trying to avoid God is there (I'm thinking of the Newsweek article from three years ago or so). We all know the famous "intellectually fulfilled atheist" quote. There is a desire to be an atheist and then certain beliefs help satisfy that main desire. geoffrobinson
Jerry: "The whole fairy tale (I give credit to John D. for that phrase) requires both the multi-verses and abiogenisis otherwise materialists are leading empty lives." This is an ad hominem attack. IDists argue that their religious beliefs should not be used to impugn their claims regarding science. Here you use the personal beliefs of some scientists to impugn the motives of all scientists advancing cosmological theories you don't like. And you don't even bother to check to see if the "bad" cosmologists are philosophical materialists. Virtually all scientists embrace methodological materialism in their work. Most scientists do not embrace philosophical materialism in their lives. Your suggestion that science is dominated by the need of philosophical materialists to prop up their personal belief systems is bogus. If this were so, how could the Big Bang model, compatible with various creation accounts, have supplanted the steady-state model of the cosmos? Tom English
Jerry: “You have to wonder what would drive people so desperately to defend materialism.” Barry: "I don’t wonder about this. Just as in Dante Satan would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven, materialists would rather believe their existence is empty and ultimately meaningless than acknowledge that there is a God to whom they must bow." Of course it was Milton's Paradise Lost and not Dante's Inferno. If you have studied Paradise Lost, then you know that a major problem in the work is that Satan comes across as much more attractive than God. For a more balanced perspective, see William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In the meantime, consider what Shakespeare's Hamlet says about welcoming strangeness in the cosmos. HORATIO O day and night, but this is wondrous strange! HAMLET And therefore as a stranger give it welcome. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. Tom English
Sophophile, Most of us know what drives many materialists is "the illogic and inconsistencies they see in conventional religious belief systems." Many of those who are religious make the same comments about other religions. I think that has been going on for centuries. What is interesting is that the materialists pursue an even more "illogic and inconsistent belief system" and in the process distort the scientific process to support this belief system. What drives them? Truth? Your cannot believe that. No, as you said it is a reaction against something they find distasteful. I find it ironic that to support their positions they use fairy tales. I am willing to admit part of my belief system is based on faith. Are the materialist? I doubt it. Who is more illogical? jerry
BarryA wrote:
...materialists would rather believe their existence is empty and ultimately meaningless than acknowledge that there is a God to whom they must bow.
Barry, You need to get out and meet more materialists. You'll find that we don't consider our existence "empty and ultimately meaningless", and that our disbelief has nothing to do with rebellion and everything to do with the illogic and inconsistencies we see in conventional religious belief systems. Let me know the next time you're in the SF Bay area. I'll treat you to a beer or two, and you can learn firsthand what the world really looks like from a materialist perspective. sophophile
OK, OK, it was Milton, not Dante. BarryA
Jerry writes: “You have to wonder what would drive people so desperately to defend materialism.” I don’t wonder about this. Just as in Dante Satan would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven, materialists would rather believe their existence is empty and ultimately meaningless than acknowledge that there is a God to whom they must bow. BarryA
IMO, Denyse, there are two infinities, big & small. Infinity "big" is plus. Infinity "small" is minus. That's why the 'sign' for infinity is symmetrical and 'crosses' in the middle at zero. Every thing is measured from the one reference point. Isa 40:12 ¶ Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, and meted out heaven with the span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in a measure, and weighed the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance? me..................a speck on earth earth...............a speck in the milky way milky way.........a speck in the universe universe...........a speck in God's pocket From my perspective: Anything smaller than me is small. Anything bigger than me is big. Zero Zero
Obviously the multi-universes exist for one reason only. Namely, to get around the fine tuning for life problem with its implications of a creator. That is why the origin of life is so important to them because even with this almost infinite number of universes, it would all go to waste if life could not originate by materialistic means in our universe. The whole fairy tale (I give credit to John D. for that phrase) requires both the multi-verses and abiogenisis otherwise materialists are leading empty lives. Come to think of it, isn't their metaphysics empty either way? If they are right they are leading empty lives. We are just the product of chance and molecular interactions alone. If they are wrong they are just intellectually bankrupt as they reject the obvious. You have to wonder what would drive people so desperately to defend materialism. It must be in the name of science. jerry
Can we ask for the same grace to be given to ID, that it not be discarded "on the basis that it doesn’t conform to some criteria for what is or isn’t science …"? (Answer: Gong, you're out of here! ID does not imply materialism, thus it doesn't get any of the same breaks.) TomG
date Jessica Alba. I envy that me. But Barry, in that one Jessica Alba looks like Helen Thomas! tribune7
Not only does "infinite" universes solve the fine-tuning problem for science, it also solves the problem of the will and hell for theology. Whether or not man has free will becomes irrelevant because in the infinite universe scenario we make all possible decisions. Universalism also becomes true. At the end of all things, God "collapses" the infinite universes and what ends up in hell is the part of me that I want gone anyway. Unfortunately, having desirable properties doesn't make something true. wrf3
And from my understanding of the strong anthropic principle, 10 ^ 500 universes is not nearly enough to rescue science from this scourge. bFast
On the other hand Trib, if there are infinite universes, in at least one of them I have six pack abs and date Jessica Alba. I envy that me. BarryA
And in some of those universes Superman was raised by Nazi parents and things are very, very bad. tribune7

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