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Proponent of multiverses and “our universe as possible simulation” wins this year’s Templeton Prize

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Martin Rees Proponent of the multiverse and the universe as simulation wins this year’s Templeton Prize
The Prize has been awarded to Martin Rees. As Daniel Cressey tells it in Nature (6 April 2011),

Controversial ‘spirituality’ award goes to a scientist for fourth year in a row.

Martin Rees, an astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge, UK, and former head of the Royal Society in London, today received the 2011 prize, worth £1 million (US$1.62 million), which rewards “a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension”.

The prize and the foundation have both attracted attacks from high-profile atheist scientists, who accuse them of attempting to insert religion needlessly into science. Rees says that he has no problem with accepting the prize, and he refuses to be drawn on the controversy, saying, “I have no comment on the views other people have.”


He also says he has no religious beliefs but sometimes attends Church of England services.

In 2004 Rees speculated controversially that we are living in a giant computer simulation:

Sir Martin Rees, Royal Society professor of astronomy at Cambridge University, said in a Channel 4 television documentary that on current trends that computers would be able to simulate worlds as complicated as the one we inhabit — or think we do.

“This raises the philosophical question: could we ourselves be in such a simulation and could what we think is the universe be some sort of vault of heaven rather than the real thing?” he asked.


At the Guardian, Mark Vernon thinks that Rees is an atheist, though a polite one:

Dawkins and Rees differ markedly on the tone with which the debate between science and religion should be conducted. Dawkins devotes his talents and resources to challenging, questioning and mocking faith. Rees, on the other hand, though an atheist, values the legacy sustained by the church and other faith traditions. He confesses a liking for choral evensong in the chapel of Trinity College. It seems a modest indulgence. The ethereal voices of rehearsing choristers can literally be heard from his front door. But for Dawkins this makes the man a “fervent believer in belief”. And that is a foul betrayal of science.

Rees dislikes that sort of thing, and when Hawking declared that philosophy is dead last year, he responded , “I know Stephen Hawking well enough to know that he has read very little philosophy and even less theology, so I don’t think we should attach any weight to his views on this topic,” he said.

"He also says he has no religious beliefs but sometimes attends Church of England services." I laughed out loud when I read that. From what I read, I suppose that if one has no religious beliefs, the Church of England is probably the best place to express them. Barry Arrington
Martin Rees is one of our most eminent and intelligent scientists. I have always found his thoughtful respect for religious belief very heartening, when the shrill (and shallow) denunciations of atheistic and creationist hardliners, tediously exchanging their custard pies, sometimes seems to be the only discussion. This man may or not be right (and on many things he has the wisdom not to claim to have the answer) but he THINKS and is courteous. Capt. Haddock
How do we know he actually won the prize, and that it's not some elaborate simulation? CannuckianYankee
its so easy for folks to imagine a universe not really like it looks. Yet so hard to imagine a greater reality of heaven and hell and the universe just some kind of special place. In other words the bibles ideas on reality are not impossible as these folks used to say. They seem to be able to imagine anything they want. So i guess Heaven ain't that hard to imagine either. Robert Byers
correction; Indeed the atheist can provide no evidence for infinite parallel universes, bornagain77
continued; 4-Dimensional Quarter Power Scaling In Biology – video http://www.metacafe.com/w/5964041/ Though Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini rightly find it inexplicable for ‘random’ Natural Selection to be the rational explanation for the scaling of the physiology, and anatomy, of living things to four-dimensional parameters, they do not seem to fully realize the implications this ‘four dimensional scaling’ of living things presents. This 4-D scaling is something we should rightly expect from a Intelligent Design perspective. This is because Intelligent Design holds that ‘higher dimensional transcendent information’ is more foundational to life, and even to the universe itself, than either matter or energy are. This higher dimensional ‘expectation’ for life, from a Intelligent Design perspective, is directly opposed to the expectation of the Darwinian framework, which holds that information, and indeed even the essence of life itself, is merely an ‘emergent’ property of the 3-D material realm. As well, please note the uniqueness of this 3-Dimensional image on this 2-Dimensional surface: Shroud Of Turin’s Unique 3 Dimensionality – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041182 Turin Shroud Enters 3D Age – Pictures, Articles and Videos https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1gDY4CJkoFedewMG94gdUk1Z1jexestdy5fh87RwWAfg So the atheist states ‘imaginary’ to denote what he believes is a non-conformity to reality, but the evidence actually indicates that it is their very own belief in a ‘absolute 3-D material frame of reference’ that is what is truly ‘imaginary’ in the first place? Indeed the atheist can provide no evidence for his infinite parallel, and I have just presented, in non-exhaustive form, many lines of evidence for the 'higher dimensionality' predicted by Theism; I hope that this evidence would give any atheist who is reading this enough reason so as to perhaps look up in hope to that ‘higher dimension’, which is much more real than this 3-D dimension, and to ask Christ, who has conquered death, into their life. Hebrews 2:14-15 "Since we, God's children, are human beings - made of flesh and blood - He became flesh and blood too by being born in human form; for only as a human being could He die and in dying break the power of the devil who had the power of death. Only in that way could He deliver those who through fear of death have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread." The Center Of The Universe Is Life! - General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin - video http://www.metacafe.com/w/5070355 Turin Shroud Hologram Reveals The Words 'The Lamb' - short video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4041205 bornagain77
nullasus, I think I dislike the word 'simulation', used by Rees to describe this 3-D reality, much more than I dislike the word 'illusion', used by quantum physicists, to describe this 3-D reality.,,, Struggling with day to day living, and facing pain and death, makes this reality all too real for average people not enshrined in Ivory towers.,,, And even though this 3-D reality is shown to issue forth from the 'highest transcendent dimension' of God, and is also shown to be of a lesser dimension than the '4-D eternal dimension' of energy, this 3-D reality is none-the-less real in its ramifications and importance to us personally. Indeed I firmly believe that our actions and decisions here have 'eternal' consequences that no mere 'simulation' or 'illusion' can come near in conveying the importance of! --------------- Many people think that life after death itself is 'imaginary'. Yet to suggest ‘imaginary’ denotes that someone thinks that life after death is somehow a 'non-conformity' to reality. Yet, there are several lines of evidence that point to the reality of a ‘higher eternal dimension’ above this 3-Dimensional (3-D) reality; Please note how 3-D reality folds and collapses into a tunnel shape, in direction of travel, as the constant for the speed of light is approached, in this following video. Please pay particular attention to the full relativistic effect at the 3:22 minute mark; Traveling At The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/ Note how the full relativistic effect at the 3:22 mark matches the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ effect noted in many Near Death Experiences; 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/ As well, please note that 3-D 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 As well, please note how special relativity also confirms the reality of a higher ‘eternal’ dimension for time, which is also noted in very many Near Death Experiences; ,,, when traveling at the speed of light time, as we understand it, comes to complete stop for light, i.e. speed of light travel 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 ‘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 In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544 ‘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 At the 8:30 mark of this following video, a description of the work of Bernhard Riemann, the son of a Christian minister, whose work on the geometry of ‘higher dimensionality’ opened the door for Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity; BBC The Story of Maths Ep3: The Frontiers of Space http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6ZdqHMHtoA As well, please note how quantum entanglement cannot be reduced to any explanation within this 3-D material framework; Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God – video http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182 The Failure Of Local Realism - Materialism - Alain Aspect - video http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145 And please note, how quantum entanglement, which cannot be reduced to any constraints of this 3-D material realm, is found to be integral and foundational to molecular biology on a massive scale; Quantum Information In DNA & Protein Folding http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/ As well, please note the ’4-Dimensionality’ that pervades every measurement for ‘power scaling’ in biology; The predominance of quarter-power (4-D) scaling in biology Excerpt: Many fundamental characteristics of organisms scale with body size as power laws of the form: Y = Yo M^b, where Y is some characteristic such as metabolic rate, stride length or life span, Yo is a normalization constant, M is body mass and b is the allometric scaling exponent. A longstanding puzzle in biology is why the exponent b is usually some simple multiple of 1/4 (4-Dimensional scaling) rather than a multiple of 1/3, as would be expected from Euclidean (3-Dimensional) scaling. http://www.nceas.ucsb.edu/~drewa/pubs/savage_v_2004_f18_257.pdf “Although living things occupy a three-dimensional space, their internal physiology and anatomy operate as if they were four-dimensional. Quarter-power scaling laws are perhaps as universal and as uniquely biological as the biochemical pathways of metabolism, the structure and function of the genetic code and the process of natural selection.,,, The conclusion here is inescapable, that the driving force for these invariant scaling laws cannot have been natural selection.” Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piatelli-Palmarini, What Darwin Got Wrong (London: Profile Books, 2010), p. 78-79 bornagain77
Actually, it seems to me that if it's possible we're living in a simulation, then it's possible some form of ID is true. I may not like Martin Rees' metaphysics, but to his credit he at least realizes (or seems to realize) the difference between metaphysics and science. nullasalus
If he lives in a simulation, did he really win £1 million (US$1.62 million) or does he just have the illusion that he won £1 million (US$1.62 million)? Or if he lives in a multiverse, did he both win and not win £1 million (US$1.62 million) a infinite number of times?,,,, Seems like the Templeton foundation has finally succeeded in joining a 'meta-physics' to science, only it is the absurd meta-physics of atheists that they have succeeded in joining to science, too bad that the atheistic meta-physics was never separated from science in the first place. And indeed was part of the problem of why the Templeton endowment was set up in the first place. bornagain77
Concerning the multiverse hypothesis: It is argued that we find ourselves in a life-permitting universe because (duh!) in any other we wouldn't exist to note that we don't exist in a life-excluding universe. I like the following analogy (not mine): You have been condemned to death by firing squad. You are blindfolded and 10 sharpshooters stand 10 feet away with their rifles raised. They fire on command. Amazingly, you discover that you are still alive, and when the blindfold is removed you notice that the bullets have made a perfect outline of your body on the wall behind you. You declare, "They missed me on purpose (by design, not by chance)!" But you are told no, it was an accident, an exceedingly rare but purely chance event, because if the bullets had found their mark, you wouldn't be here to notice that you are still alive. I think this pretty much encapsulates multiverse reasoning and logic. GilDodgen

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