Intelligent Design

The Multiverse Gods, part 1

Spread the love

G-d, the failed hypothesisThe Fallacy of Fine-TuningVictor Stenger, a retired physics prof from the University of Hawaii, has given us two books that explain both atheism and “multiverses”, and behold, they are one. Few other proponents of multiverses are quite as forthcoming with their logic, but clearly something besides data must motivate the science of multiverses, because by definition multiverses are not observable. Stenger makes the connection explicit, whereas Hawking or Susskind is a little more coy with their metaphysics. Multiverse-theory is designed for one purpose, and one purpose only, and that is to defend atheism. It makes no predictions, it gives no insight, it provides no control, it produces no technology, it advances no mathematics, it is a science in name only, because it is really metaphysics.

In Stenger’s first book, G-d: the failed hypothesis, he argues that Science is an independent and more reliable way to truth than metaphysics. And in his second book, The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning, he argues that metaphysics (multiverse theory) is a more reliable guide than science (design-detection). With these two books then, we can get anything we want, except ethics. And metaphysics. And science.

Read more…

127 Replies to “The Multiverse Gods, part 1

  1. 1
    tsmith says:

    multiverse = evolution = atheism.

    interesting how the ‘reality based’ community doesn’t heed reality when it comes to their faith…

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    A very enjoyable read Dr. Sheldon;

  3. 3
    Mung says:

    hahaha. I knew a comparison of the two would be fruitful. It’s just that after buying the first I really didn’t want to spend the bucks on another of his books.

  4. 4
    nullasalus says:

    And here I was hoping to write about this. Looks like Rob’s beaten me to the punch, and possibly with the same conclusions.

    Looking forward to the next installment.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Perhaps Stenger, being a retired Physicist, should stick to empirical evidence instead of philosophy to prove his theory???

    ===========

    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.c.....ation1.htm

    Quantum Teleportation – IBM Research Page
    Excerpt: “it would destroy the original (photon) in the process,,”
    http://www.research.ibm.com/qu.....portation/

    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/technolo.....-computing

    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/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    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.
    http://www.physorg.com/news88439430.html

    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.e.....mtrans.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/chemistrywo.....ammeup.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/fo.....1769/posts

    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/20.....tally.html

    “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

    ======================

    John 1:1-3
    In the beginning, the Word existed. 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.

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    Perhaps Stenger, being a retired Physicist, should stick to empirical evidence instead of philosophy to prove his theory???

    ===========

    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.c.....ation1.htm

    Quantum Teleportation – IBM Research Page
    Excerpt: “it would destroy the original (photon) in the process,,”
    http://www.research.ibm.com/qu.....portation/

    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/technolo.....-computing

    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/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

    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.
    http://www.physorg.com/news88439430.html

    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.e.....mtrans.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),,,

    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/fo.....1769/posts

    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/20.....tally.html

    “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

    ======================

    John 1:1-3
    In the beginning, the Word existed. 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.

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  7. 7
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Multiverse-theory is designed for one purpose, and one purpose only, and that is to defend atheism. It makes no predictions, it gives no insight, it provides no control, it produces no technology, it advances no mathematics, it is a science in name only, because it is really metaphysics.

    This isn’t true.

    The purpose of multiverse theory is to explain observed data. It does make predictions, and some of those predictions are currently being tested in the LHC.

    It may well give us profound insight into the nature of the universe (but will tell us nothing about whether or not there is a God).

    All experiments must be controlled, and experiments to test predictions arising from multiverse theories are no exception.

    It may not provide a useful technological spin-off; on the other hand it may.

    It certainly advances mathematics; indeed it arises from advances in mathematics.

    My own view is that it is as silly to regard multiverse theory as a proof that there is no God as it is to regard Big Bang as support for the existence of God.

    It’s an interesting theory. It tells us absolutely nothing about God.

  8. 8
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    PS: I should have said: “they are interesting theories”.

    There is more than one multiverse theory.

  9. 9
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth, you state:

    ‘The purpose of multiverse theory is to explain observed data.’

    Please do tell us of this ‘observed data’;

    ====================

    ‘What is referred to as M-theory isn’t even a theory. It’s a collection of ideas, hopes, aspirations. It’s not even a theory and I think the book is a bit misleading in that respect. It gives you the impression that here is this new theory which is going to explain everything. It is nothing of the sort. It is not even a theory and certainly has no observational (evidence),,, I think the book suffers rather more strongly than many (other books). It’s not a uncommon thing in popular descriptions of science to latch onto some idea, particularly things to do with string theory, which have absolutely no support from observations.,,, They are very far from any kind of observational (testability). Yes, they (the ideas of M-theory) are hardly science.” – Roger Penrose – former close colleague of Stephen Hawking – in critique of Hawking’s new book ‘The Grand Design’ the exact quote in the following video clip:

    Roger Penrose Debunks Stephen Hawking’s New Book ‘The Grand Design’ – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5278793/

    String Theory Fails Another Test, the “Supertest”
    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~.....ss/?p=3338

    Parallel Universe Gravity Test Fails above 50 microns

    Ted Cook fails test to detect gravity leakage into a parallel universe at greater then 50 microns distance in the lab. This disproves many string theories mathematical predictions that predicted a parallel universe exists larger then 50 microns. Obviously the planck scale is so much smaller then the size scale ranges their technology is currently capable of analyzing, that detection might be next to impossible, even if they have the correct theory. They hope a parallel universe is physically larger to us then the planck scale, and might be detected in the future when they refine their techniques. — HAH yeah right.
    http://quantauniverse.com/id14.html

    ===========

    GRBs Expand Astronomers’ Toolbox – Nov. 2009
    Excerpt: a detailed analysis of the GRB (Gamma Ray Burst) in question demonstrated that photons of all energies arrived at essentially the same time. Consequently, these results falsify any quantum gravity models requiring the simplest form of a frothy space.
    http://www.reasons.org/GRBsExp.....ersToolbox

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    And actually Elizabeth, even if the Theists concedes the philosophical premise of the multiverse, though the materialist has no persuasive observational evidence for his conjecture, it still ends up undermining the materialistic worldview from within and thus proves the necessity for the existence of God to explain why physical reality exists;

    the ‘infinite multiverse’ conjecture suffers from some very serious flaws of logic. For instance exactly which laws of physics, arising from which material basis, are telling all the other natural laws in physics what, how and when, to do the many precise unchanging things they do in these other universes? Plus, if an infinite number of other possible universes must exist in order to explain the fine tuning of this one, then why is it not also infinitely possible for a infinitely powerful and transcendent Creator to exist? Using the materialist same line of reasoning for an infinity of multiverses to explain the extreme fine-tuning of this one we can surmise; If it is infinitely possible for God to exist then He, of 100% certainty, must exist no matter how small the probability is of His existence in one of these other infinity of universes, and since He certainly must exist, then all possibilities in all universes automatically become subject to Him since He is, by definition, All Powerful. To clearly illustrate the absurdity of what the materialists now consider their cutting edge science: The materialistic conjecture of an infinity of universes to explain the fine tuning of this one also insures the 100% probability of the existence of Pink Unicorns no matter how small the probability is of them existing. In fact a infinity of universes insures the existence of an infinity of Pink Unicorns an infinite number of times. Thus it is self-evident the materialists have painted themselves into a inescapable corner of logical absurdities in trying to find an escape from the Theistic implications we are finding for the fine-tuning of this universe.

    The preceding argument has actually been made into a formal philosophical proof:

    Ontological Argument For God From The Many Worlds Hypothesis – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4784641

    God Is Not Dead Yet – William Lane Craig – Page 4
    The ontological argument. Anselm’s famous argument has been reformulated and defended by Alvin Plantinga, Robert Maydole, Brian Leftow, and others. God, Anselm observes, is by definition the greatest being conceivable. If you could conceive of anything greater than God, then that would be God. Thus, God is the greatest conceivable being, a maximally great being. So what would such a being be like? He would be all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, and he would exist in every logically possible world. But then we can argue:

    1. It is possible that a maximally great being (God) exists.
    2. If it is possible that a maximally great being exists, then a maximally great being exists in some possible world.
    3. If a maximally great being exists in some possible world, then it exists in every possible world.
    4. If a maximally great being exists in every possible world, then it exists in the actual world.
    5. Therefore, a maximally great being exists in the actual world.
    6. Therefore, a maximally great being exists.
    7. Therefore, God exists.

    Now it might be a surprise to learn that steps 2–7 of this argument are relatively uncontroversial. Most philosophers would agree that if God’s existence is even possible, then he must exist. So the whole question is: Is God’s existence possible? The atheist has to maintain that it’s impossible that God exists. He has to say that the concept of God is incoherent, like the concept of a married bachelor or a round square. But the problem is that the concept of God just doesn’t appear to be incoherent in that way. The idea of a being which is all-powerful, all knowing, and all-good in every possible world seems perfectly coherent. And so long as God’s existence is even possible, it follows that God must exist.
    http://www.christianitytoday.c.....ml?start=4

    I like the following concluding comment about the ontological argument from the Dr. Plantinga video:

    “God then is the Being that couldn’t possibly not exit.”

    Ontological Argument – Dr. Plantinga (3:50 minute mark)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCXvVcWFrGQ

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    i.e. by materialists positing the multiverse they in fact end up conceding the necessary premise to make the ontological argument valid!!!

  12. 12
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    ba77:

    Elizabeth, you state:

    ‘The purpose of multiverse theory is to explain observed data.’

    Please do tell us of this ‘observed data’

    Data that tell us about the early universe, for example, e.g. from WMAP, about cosmic inflation and expansion, the distribution of matter, etc.

    Data that tell support Einstein’s theories, and tell us that we are at the centre of our own observable universe, and that that must be a small subset of the entire universe.

    All cosmological data, essentially.

  13. 13
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    bA77:

    And actually Elizabeth, even if the Theists concedes the philosophical premise of the multiverse, though the materialist has no persuasive observational evidence for his conjecture, it still ends up undermining the materialistic worldview from within and thus proves the necessity for the existence of God to explain why physical reality exists;

    I don’t think it either undermines it or supports it ba77. I think it is entirely irrelevant. That’s why I think Stenger is wrong (although he does specify that what he considers falsified is a specific Abrahamic God)

    If we posit God as the reason why anything exists, it doesn’t matter how many universes there are.

    And if we regard that as a non-hypothesis (as many do) then again, it doesn’t matter how many universes there are. Science in general, and cosmology in particular, simply don’t shed light on the question.

    On the other hand, if we posit a specific God who, for example, created the world in 6 days, a few thousand years ago, then all of cosmology disconfirms that.

    But I assume that isn’t what we are talking about.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth Liddle, EXACTLY where is your evidence besides just in your imagination??? Give me the knockdown experiment that says ‘This is concrete proof of a multiverse!!! Everything you listed falls under fine-tuning and is far more parsimonious to Theism than materialism!!! As to our ‘centrality’, that is Theistic to the core in its implications also!!!,,,

    notes

    ,,, First I noticed that the earth demonstrates centrality in the universe in this video Dr. Dembski posted a while back;

    The Known Universe – Dec. 2009 – a very cool video (please note the centrality of the earth in the universe)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U

    ,,, for a while I tried to see if the 4-D space-time of General Relativity was sufficient to explain centrality we witness for the earth in the universe,,,

    4-Dimensional Space-Time Of General Relativity – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3991873/

    ,,, yet I kept running into the same problem for establishing the sufficiency of General Relativity to explain our centrality in this universe, in that every time I would perform a ‘mental experiment’ of trying radically different points of observation in the universe, General Relativity would fail to maintain centrality for the radically different point of observation in the universe. The primary reason for this failure of General Relativity to maintain centrality, for different points of observation in the universe, is due to the fact that there are limited (10^80) material particles to work with. Though this failure of General Relativity was obvious to me, I needed more proof so as to establish it more rigorously, so i dug around a bit and found this;

    The Cauchy Problem In General Relativity – Igor Rodnianski
    Excerpt: 2.2 Large Data Problem In General Relativity – While the result of Choquet-Bruhat and its subsequent refinements guarantee the existence and uniqueness of a (maximal) Cauchy development, they provide no information about its geodesic completeness and thus, in the language of partial differential equations, constitutes a local existence. ,,, More generally, there are a number of conditions that will guarantee the space-time will be geodesically incomplete.,,, In the language of partial differential equations this means an impossibility of a large data global existence result for all initial data in General Relativity.
    http://www.icm2006.org/proceed.....l_3_22.pdf

    and also ‘serendipitously’ found this,,,

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: Gödel’s personal God is under no obligation to behave in a predictable orderly fashion, and Gödel produced what may be the most damaging critique of general relativity. In a Festschrift, (a book honoring Einstein), for Einstein’s seventieth birthday in 1949, Gödel demonstrated the possibility of a special case in which, as Palle Yourgrau described the result, “the large-scale geometry of the world is so warped that there exist space-time curves that bend back on themselves so far that they close; that is, they return to their starting point.” This means that “a highly accelerated spaceship journey along such a closed path, or world line, could only be described as time travel.” In fact, “Gödel worked out the length and time for the journey, as well as the exact speed and fuel requirements.” Gödel, of course, did not actually believe in time travel, but he understood his paper to undermine the Einsteinian worldview from within.
    http://www.faqs.org/periodical.....27241.html

    But if General Relativity is insufficient to explain the centrality we witness for ourselves in the universe, what else is? Universal Quantum wave collapse to each unique point of observation! To prove this point I dug around a bit and found this experiment,,,

    This following experiment extended the double slit experiment to show that the ‘spooky actions’, for instantaneous quantum wave collapse, happen regardless of any considerations for time or distance i.e. The following experiment shows that quantum actions are ‘universal and instantaneous’:

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment
    was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    ,, and to make universal quantum Wave collapse much more ‘personal’ I found this,,,

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.
    http://eugene-wigner.co.tv/

    Here is the key experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries:

    Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
    http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_.....io/wb1.htm

    i.e. In the experiment the ‘world’ (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a ‘privileged center’. This is since the ‘matrix’, which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is ‘observer-centric’ in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or
    anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    ================================

  15. 15
    bornagain77 says:

    All Of Creation – Mercyme – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkdniYsUrM8

  16. 16
    nullasalus says:

    All cosmological data, essentially.

    So how about explaining what it is about this data that leads us to conclude the multiverse? Assuring us that the people inferring a multiverse have cosmological data in mind doesn’t do much.

    As for multiverse predictions being tested at the LHC, Peter Woit has some views on that:

    “They promote the idea that such a thing would be a “Messenger From the Multiverse”, the idea being that if supersymmetry doesn’t explain the hierarchy problem, the explanation must be the anthropic landscape:

    That powerful piece of evidence would have dizzying implications. “It would be a strong indication that there is a string landscape or a multiverse,” says Dimopoulos. “I think the majority of opinion would come around to that point of view.”

    One aspect of this argument is that it also works if no gluino is seen. If no superpartners at all are found at the LHC, and thus supersymmetry can’t explain the hierarchy problem, by the Arkani-Hamed/Dimopoulos logic this is strong evidence for the anthropic string theory landscape. Putting this together with Lykken’s argument, the LHC is guaranteed to provide evidence for string theory no matter what, since it will either see or not see weak-scale supersymmetry.”

    http://www.math.columbia.edu/~.....ess/?p=717

    Likewise, George Ellis in a January 2011 edition of Nature had this to say (Article: The Untestable Multiverse):

    So one can motivate multiverse hypotheses as plausible, but they are not observationally or experimentally testable — and never will be. It is easy to support your favourite model over others because no one can prove you wrong — you can simply adjust its parameters to fit the latest information. If the Universe is a simulation (option eight), then anything is possible. However, the existence of a computer allowing such a simulation is not remotely feasible. Scientists are beginning to confuse science with science fiction.

    Greene, to his credit, devotes a chapter to the question of whether the multiverse idea is a scientific theory or not. He believes it is, and even supports the extravagant claim that infinities exist — infinite numbers of universes hosting countless galaxies. This leads to well-known paradoxes, such as the infinite repetition of everything because of the finiteness of possibilities. But again, there is no way to test it, because infinity is always beyond reach — and so will not plausibly exist in physical reality, as mathematician David Hilbert argued.

    The gap in current theories that warrants pursuing such untestable theories is our inability to predict firmly why physical constants have the values they do. If a fundamental theory were to be proposed that explained them, the drive for a multiverse explanation would fall away. But the puzzle of why these values allow life would remain.

    The multiverse argument is a well-founded philosophical proposal but, as it cannot be tested, it does not belong fully in the scientific fold. Read The Hidden Reality with enjoyment, but beware its misleading title. Greene is not presenting aspects of a known reality; he is telling of unproven theoretical possibilities.

  17. 17
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth, this ain’t ‘Science according to Elizabeth’; there are to posibble explanation, and only two possible explanations. Either the universe was designed or it was not. That you would be so biased as to try to worm your preconceived conclusion into plausibility, with absolutely no empirical support, has lowered what was already my low respect for your integrity towards empirical science!!!

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    correction; there are two possible explanation

  19. 19
    nullasalus says:

    Incidentally, saying effectively ‘the multiverse theory isn’t motivated by a desire to avoid God, it’s motivated by a desire to explain some of what’s been observed in cosmology’ is a bit of a dodge. Well, of course a multiverse is proposed to explain what’s observed in cosmology – and so too would be, in this case, God.

    Clearly at least some scientists and science writers think this competition is, in fact, in play. “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory
    Our universe is perfectly tailored for life. That may be the work of God or the result of our universe being one of many.”

  20. 20
    bornagain77 says:

    Once again, I point out that materialists do not have any persuasive evidence for their multiverse conjectures, whereas the Theist does have solid empirical evidence for his posited ‘higher dimensional origination’ of the universe;

    notes;

    Sean Carrol’s quote here:

    ‘When cosmologists talk about “the multiverse,” it’s a slightly poetic term. We really just mean different regions of spacetime, far away so that we can’t observe them, but nevertheless still part of what one might reasonably want to call “the universe.”‘

    (By this comment, ‘different regions of spacetime’, I take Carrol to mean different regions of the temporal spacetime of General Relativity)

    Yet, despite the materialists not having any evidence for ‘different regions of spacetime’, Theists actually do have evidence for ‘higher dimensions of space and time,,

    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

    Experimental confirmation of Time Dilation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....nfirmation

    It is very interesting to note that this strange higher dimensional, eternal, framework for time, found in special 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

    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 an 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:

    Traveling At The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/

    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/

    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:

  21. 21
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Elizabeth, this ain’t ‘Science according to Elizabeth’; there are to posibble explanation, and only two possible explanations. Either the universe was designed or it was not. That you would be so biased as to try to worm your preconceived conclusion into plausibility, with absolutely no empirical support, has lowered what was already my low respect for your integrity towards empirical science!!!

    I do wish you wouldn’t do this, ba77!

    You must know by now that I have no “preconceived conclusion”. I’ve made it really really clear that what I am saying is that I I do not think we can conclude anything, one way or the other, about God from science

    How can that possibly be “worm[ing my] preconceived conclusion into plausibility”?

    And what is this about “low respect for [my] integrity?”

    It seems to me that you are forming a very odd impression of me from reading into my posts stuff that I don’t actually put there! And don’t even think!

    Oh well. Communication is an odd thing.

    But, FWIW, though I may (and do) have my faults, lack of honesty (or integrity) isn’t notably one of them.

    Perhaps one day I might convince you of that 🙂

    Peace

    Lizzie

  22. 22
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Nullasalus

    Incidentally, saying effectively ‘the multiverse theory isn’t motivated by a desire to avoid God, it’s motivated by a desire to explain some of what’s been observed in cosmology’ is a bit of a dodge. Well, of course a multiverse is proposed to explain what’s observed in cosmology – and so too would be, in this case, God.

    Clearly at least some scientists and science writers think this competition is, in fact, in play. “Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory
    Our universe is perfectly tailored for life. That may be the work of God or the result of our universe being one of many.”

    I don’t see it as a dodge at all. Your last (quoted) sentence doesn’t present exclusive alternatives. A multiverse could be the work of God, presumably, just as much as a universe could.

    No?

  23. 23
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth, I’ve seen enough of you ‘methodology of science’ to know that evidence is of very low priority, whereas your non-theistic view is of very high priority.

  24. 24
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Well, I submit, ba77, that you haven’t taken due account of the evidence before you 🙂

    I place no priority at all on a “non-theistic view” as should have been really clear to you by now. I don’t even readily call myself an atheist now, and was a happy theist for 50 years. As for evidence – well I’m a scientist, and I give evidence a very high priority, both by temperament and by training.

    I agree that we seem to have a very different way of evaluating evidence, but I do not impugn your integrity – I know that it is possible for honest people to come to different views, given different samplings of evidence and/or different evaluations of that evidence.

    I suggest that you at least give that possibility some thought. People can disagree without either being dishonest, even about evidence.

    Cheers

    Lizzie

  25. 25
    Mung says:

    I don’t see it as a dodge at all. Your last (quoted) sentence doesn’t present exclusive alternatives. A multiverse could be the work of God, presumably, just as much as a universe could.

    1. It is the characteristics of this universe that demand an explanation.

    2. As Sheldon points out, the cure may be worse than the disease.

  26. 26
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth, I look at your actions and not your words. You have ignored, or superficially rationalized away, all evidence presented to you not only on this thread but practically every thread you have commented on! You HAVE NOT EVER honestly addressed the evidence as far as I can tell!!! Though you find offense that I would call you on such ‘shallowness of science’ really matters not one iota to me as far as the empirical evidence itself is concerned. I am strictly concerned with what the evidence is actually indicating to us, certainly not in any shallow philosophy of science that you, or any other person who is adverse to theism, might present!!!

    As Sargent Joe Friday would say:

    Just The Facts Ma’am!!

  27. 27
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Well, I don’t agree, ba77. To be honest, it seems to me that you have ignored most of the points I have made.

    We do seem to be talking past each other.

    It happens.

    All I ask is that you do me the honour of assuming that I am posting in good faith. I do make that assumption of you.

  28. 28
    Driver says:

    The multiverse is a prediction of chaotic inflation theory. The tiny fluctuations predicted by chaotic inflation theory are evidenced in the Wmap data.

  29. 29
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth, when you actually make a coherent argument backed by solid empirics, then you will earn my respect that you are posting in good faith, and not before.

  30. 30
    bornagain77 says:

    As to tiny fluctuations in the Cosmic Background Radiation (CMBR), once again this is evidence of extreme fine tuning for the transcendent origin of the universe;

    ,,,1992: Nasa’s COBE satellite team discovered the predicted “ripples” in the cosmic background radiation. The Big Bang theory had predicted that the background radiation should be very slightly “rippled” (showing fluctuations of atCosmic background radiation supports intelligent design least one part in 100,000) if it is to account for the slight inhomogeneity that had to be present at the beginning of the universe. Rationale: given that galaxies today are organized in clusters rather than evenly distributed throughout the universe, this same sort of unevenness had to be present at the beginning as well. View the left over background radiation images from the COBE satellite at: http://aether.lbl.gov/www/proj.....mages.html

    On April 24, 1992, astrophysicist George Smoot announced that the COBE satellite had measured the expected “ripples” in the microwave background radiation. Fluctuations measured were about 1 part in 90,000; or to be precise, 11 +/- 3 parts per million. They were clearly distinguishable from noise, and newspapers all over the world carried Smoot’s quote: “If you’re religious, it’s like looking at God.”
    http://www.evidencetobelieve.n.....design.htm

    Quotes of Note as to CMBR;

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

    “Certainly there was something that set it all off,,, I can’t think of a better theory of the origin of the universe to match Genesis”
    Robert Wilson – Nobel laureate – co-discover Cosmic Background Radiation
    http://www.evidenceforchristia.....38;id=3594

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

    “,,,the astronomical evidence leads to a biblical view of the origin of the world,,, the essential element in the astronomical and biblical accounts of Genesis is the same.”
    Robert Jastrow – Founder of NASA’s Goddard Institute – Pg.15 ‘God and the Astronomers’

    ,,, ‘And if your curious about how Genesis 1, in particular, fairs. Hey, we look at the Days in Genesis as being long time periods, which is what they must be if you read the Bible consistently, and the Bible scores 4 for 4 in Initial Conditions and 10 for 10 on the Creation Events’
    Hugh Ross – Evidence For Intelligent Design Is Everywhere; video

    Prof. Henry F. Schaefer cites several interesting quotes, from leading scientists in the field of Big Bang cosmology, about the Theological implications of the Big Bang in the following video:

    The Big Bang and the God of the Bible – Henry Schaefer PhD. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5222493
    Entire video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSThtmA1J_U

    “The Big Bang represents an immensely powerful, yet carefully planned and controlled release of matter, energy, space and time. All this is accomplished within the strict confines of very carefully fine-tuned physical constants and laws. The power and care this explosion reveals exceeds human mental capacity by multiple orders of magnitude.”
    Prof. Henry F. Schaefer – closing statement of part 5 of preceding video

    further notes:

    Beyond The Big Bang: William Lane Craig Templeton Foundation Lecture (HQ) 1/6 – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esqGaLSWgNc

    The Scientific Evidence For The Big Bang – Michael Strauss PhD. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4323668

    Evidence Supporting the Big Bang
    http://www.astronomynotes.com/cosmolgy/s7.htm

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    Moreover, even granting the multiverse to materialists, which they have no persuasive evidence for, there is another line of evidence(proof actually), besides the ontological argument, which undermines the materialistic worldview from within:

    Refutation Of The Many World’s Hypothesis – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4784630/

    “The prediction of the standard model that the universe began to exist remains today as secure as ever—indeed, more secure, in light of the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem and that prediction’s corroboration by the repeated and often imaginative attempts to falsify it. The person who believes that the universe began to exist remains solidly and comfortably within mainstream science.” – William Lane Craig
    http://www.reasonablefaith.org.....38;id=6115

    Inflationary spacetimes are not past-complete – Borde-Guth-Vilenkin – 2003
    Excerpt: inflationary models require physics other than inflation to describe the past boundary of the inflating region of spacetime.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0110012

    “It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can long longer hide behind the possibility of a past eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” Alexander Vilenkin – Many Worlds In One – Pg. 176

    “The conclusion is that past-eternal inflation is impossible without a beginning.”
    Alexander Vilenkin – from pg. 35 ‘New Proofs for the Existence of God’ by Robert J. Spitzer (of note: A elegant thought experiment of a space traveler traveling to another galaxy, that Borde, Guth, and Vilenkin, used to illustrate the validity of the proof, is on pg. 35 of the book as well.)

    Formal Proof For The Transcendent Origin Of the Universe – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4170233

    Genesis 1:1-3
    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

    Carrie Underwood with Vince Gill How Great thou Art – 720P HD – Standing Ovation!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLLMzr3PFgk

  32. 32
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    ba77:

    Elizabeth, when you actually make a coherent argument backed by solid empirics, then you will earn my respect that you are posting in good faith, and not before.

    You mean that if you find an argument incoherent you assume that the poster is not arguing in good faith?

    ba77, I confess, I find your argument incoherent, some of your sources suspect, and others unsupportive of your position.

    And yet I assume you are posting in good faith.

    It’s possible.

  33. 33
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth, you state:

    ‘I find your argument incoherent, some of your sources suspect, and others unsupportive of your position.’

    And yet you still don’t present any knockdown evidence for your multiverse position, whereas I have laid out many evidences. In fact the post directly preceding your post, on my ‘suspect sources’, lists the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin proof for a absolute beginning. ,,, Do you find their proof suspect, or do you simply ignore it because it disagrees with your preferred worldview??? And that is just one example out of countless examples of how i’ve seen you handle evidence contrary to your worldview. No Elizabeth, if you want my respect you have to earn it.

  34. 34
    ScottAndrews says:

    It’s curious how the most intelligent, educated people can get caught up in such silly speculation. It’s like arguing who would win between Spiderman and Batman except with advanced mathematics.
    It reminds me of Plato, a respected advocate of the immortality of the soul. Wise as he may have been, how could he or anyone else think he was in a position to know what he claimed to, or that they could figure it out by thinking real hard?
    This is very similar. Smart people have come to believe that their calculations and theories on top of theories lead to some unobservable truth, and the more they talk about it the more credible it seems. But there’s nothing there. It’s pointless.

  35. 35
    bornagain77 says:

    Actually Scott, there actually are experiments to the spidy-batman conflict

    Batman vs Spiderman Stop Motion
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h8C9B5798XY

  36. 36
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    ba77L

    Elizabeth, you state:

    ‘I find your argument incoherent, some of your sources suspect, and others unsupportive of your position.’

    And yet you still don’t present any knockdown evidence for your multiverse position, whereas I have laid out many evidences. In fact the post directly preceding your post, on my ‘suspect sources’, lists the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin proof for a absolute beginning. ,,, Do you find their proof suspect, or do you simply ignore it because it disagrees with your preferred worldview??? And that is just one example out of countless examples of how i’ve seen you handle evidence contrary to your worldview. No Elizabeth, if you want my respect you have to earn it.

    ba77: I sometimes wonder whether you even read my posts!

    I don’t have “a multiverse position”.

    I’m not a physicist, I wouldn’t be able to argue one way or the other.

    My point was that arguing that atheism is the sole motivation for multiverse hypotheses is just silly. It’s almost certainly not a motivation at all, and, even if it were, it would be sillier still, because there’s no reason to assume that God made only one universe.

    So far from clinging to an unevidenced hypothesis to support an atheistic worldview, I don’t cling to any such thing, and it wouldn’t support an atheistic worldview if I did, whether or not I wanted one, which I don’t!

  37. 37
    nullasalus says:

    It’s almost certainly not a motivation at all, and, even if it were, it would be sillier still, because there’s no reason to assume that God made only one universe.

    The evidence that it’s a motive for some prominent atheists is considerable, and ‘no reason to assume’ is a theological claim. People with different theological views will see it differently – which is of course the point. Your “almost certainly” is almost certainly unsupported.

    Really, this is as ridiculous as the claim that no atheists wish to promote atheism, because if we twist definitions and bend over backwards enough atheism is mere lack of belief (such that pickles and rocks are atheists), and no one has a motivation to spread a lack of belief. Whereby groups like American Atheists become some inexplicable enigma.

  38. 38
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth you accused me of having ‘suspect sources’, yet you still did not address the fact that the sources I listed preceding your post were crushing to the ‘eternal’ multiverse conjecture; What should i care what you believe the implications are to the evidence when you refuse to even address evidence in the first place???

  39. 39
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Well, ba77, I don’t think your sources are “crushing to the ‘eternal’ multiverse conjecture”, and even if they were, it wouldn’t bother me one way or the other.

    And nullasalus: I’m not saying that some atheists don’t make hay over the idea of multiverses, but if they do, they are silly, because multiverses are no threat to theism.

    What I’m saying is that the desire to refute theism almost certainly plays no part in the motivation of the people who pursue research in that domain.

  40. 40
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth, it does not matter one iota that you ‘think’ that the sources are not crushing to the eternal multiverse conjecture. What matters is that you have not formally refuted the formal proof of Borde-Guth-Vilenkin. Once again why should I even care what you think when you refuse to honestly address the evidence presented to you??? Like I said before Elizabeth, THIS AIN”T ‘Science by Elizabeth’ i.e. this is not a rabbit hole world where you are free to make up the rules as you go!!

  41. 41
    nullasalus says:

    What I’m saying is that the desire to refute theism almost certainly plays no part in the motivation of the people who pursue research in that domain.

    Wonderful. And you know this how, this ‘almost certainly’ claim? I cited an article which explicitly pitted God and the multiverse against each other, complete with a quote to the effect of ‘If you don’t want God, then you better have a multiverse’. We have Victor Stenger, and outspoken atheist and (apparently retired) physicist, writing a book using the multiverse as a means to beat back God (and better yet, to argue that science proves God doesn’t exist.) I could go on.

    You, so far, have just repeated that ‘almost certainly’ the desire to avoid inferences to God play no role. (As for people ‘pursuing research in that domain’ – what research? I quoted Ellis to the effect that research is not possible, unless you radically redefine what counts as research. Which, I suppose, is always one option – if multiverse speculations don’t count as science, well then, maybe the definition of science needs to be changed, eh?)

  42. 42
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Ba77: I simply am not qualified to refute or endorse the formal proof of Borde-Guth-Vilenkin, especially as I have no access to it, and most of your links are videos. On the other hand I am capable of reading the arguments of those who make a convincing argument that multiverses may be possible.

    So I have no choice but to remain open-minded on the subject.

    And I remain perplexed as to what you can possibly think my position actually is, given your tone.

    What on earth do you think I think?

  43. 43
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Nullasalus: I guess because I meet cosmologists from time to time, and I read books about their theories (have you read Steinhart and Turok’s book?), and it seems clear to me that what motivates them is a burning curiosity to find more about the world, not some desire to avoid a theistic conclusion.

    Which multiverses wouldn’t satisfy anyway.

  44. 44
    bornagain77 says:

    Inflationary spacetimes are not past-complete – Borde-Guth-Vilenkin – 2003
    Excerpt: inflationary models require physics other than inflation to describe the past boundary of the inflating region of spacetime.
    http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0110012

  45. 45
    nullasalus says:

    On the other hand I am capable of reading the arguments of those who make a convincing argument that multiverses may be possible.

    Ah, possibility. Lowest of the low bars.

  46. 46
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth you state:

    ‘On the other hand I am capable of reading the arguments of those who make a convincing argument that multiverses may be possible’

    Again I ask for the knockdown experiment which makes the multiverse convincing for you;,, Whereas I have already presented evidence against such;

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-386192

    as did nullasalus here;

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-386203

    and I can present much more;

  47. 47
    nullasalus says:

    I guess because I meet cosmologists from time to time, and I read books about their theories (have you read Steinhart and Turok’s book?), and it seems clear to me that what motivates them is a burning curiosity to find more about the world, not some desire to avoid a theistic conclusion.

    So, you’ve met a few cosmologists and read a couple of books, and on that basis you’re almost certain that atheism or a desire to avoid inferences to God plays no role?

    So, if I’ve met a few cosmologists and read a couple of books, and picked up from those experiences that there’s a desire to avoid any inference to God, I’d be justified in saying it’s “almost certain” that atheism is a motivator behind multiverse speculations?

    Which multiverses wouldn’t satisfy anyway.

    Stenger disagrees. Weinberg disagrees. Numerous atheists and physicists disagree, insofar as they think that multiverses – if nothing else – knock down an argument or a reason to infer God.

    So I take it you’d agree that if an atheist or atheist physicist thinks that the multiverse does away for an argument or inference for God, that would be grounds to question their motivations, eh?

  48. 48
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth here is a song for you that reflects your tendency to choose imaginary conjectures over evidence:

    Cornflake Girl (UK Version) – Tori Amos
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXVjWTxvYVQ

    and perhaps this:

    Strong Enough ” HQ. Sheryl Crow
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bxE3W1RTz8

    verse of note:

    Lie to me, I promise I’ll believe,,,

  49. 49
    ScottAndrews says:

    If this were my bargaining table, I would gladly concede multiverse theory as science in return for general acceptance of ID as science. And that would be generous. The false claim against ID (that it looks for answers beyond the boundaries of observable reality) is entirely true of multiverse theory.
    Why doesn’t anyone get fired or denied tenure for suggesting that we may be surrounded by parallel universes? Why isn’t anyone ridiculed for implying that there might actually be a Bizarro world? What is the standard?
    For what very, very little it is worth, Elizabeth, I understand what you’re saying.

  50. 50
    Mung says:

    Elizabeth, if you want my respect you have to earn it.

    Double standard! He let me pay for it.

  51. 51
    Mung says:

    Elizabeth Liddle:

    My point was that arguing that atheism is the sole motivation for multiverse hypotheses is just silly. It’s almost certainly not a motivation at all…

    Then how do you explain people like Stenger? It almost certainly is a motivation.

  52. 52
    Mung says:

    Sorry Elizabeth. Feel free to ignore that last post. I see that the subject has already been raised by others.

  53. 53
    bornagain77 says:

    Mung you state:

    ‘Double standard! He let me pay for it.’

    And where exactly have I practiced a ‘double standard’ as far as evidence is concerned??? I take very seriously any evidence that purports to compromise ID and expect the same type of respect for evidence presented against neo-Darwinism and its subordinate theories such as multiverses etc.. i.e. Why should I give respect for a position without any evidence when none is given for a position with evidence???,,, and please do not confuse my lack of respect for Elizabeth’s ‘scientific’ views with her personally, for I do indeed respect how clever she is trying to make ‘imagination’ plausible.

    C.S. Lewis: creationist and anti-evolutionist
    Excerpt: “In 1951 C S Lewis wrote that evolution was “the central and radical lie in the whole web of falsehood that now governs our lives” and modern civilization. Evolution, Lewis explained, is a picture of reality that has resulted from imagination and is “not the logical result of what is vaguely called ‘modern science’.”
    http://creation.com/c-s-lewis

  54. 54
    Mung says:

    BA77,

    I’m choosing to bite my tongue. 🙂

  55. 55
    bornagain77 says:

    Mung, apparently your tongue was loose enough to insinuate I’ve been less that forthright with the evidence towards Elizabeth and was using a ‘double standard’ in all this. Just look at this thread mung!!! Note how evidence after evidence has been presented to Elizabeth all to be ignored, never was any addressed directly, save for a passing ‘sniff’ that it was ‘suspect’. Please note this particular quote from Elizabeth:

    ‘On the other hand I am capable of reading the arguments of those who make a convincing argument that multiverses may be possible.’

    Exactly who is using a double standard in all this mung???

  56. 56
    Mung says:

    Exactly who is using a double standard in all this mung???

    Not you, Ba77.

    A double standard would require standard, right?

    peace

  57. 57
    bornagain77 says:

    Mung, perhaps you would care to take the knife out of my back once you put it in???

  58. 58
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Nullsalus:

    On the other hand I am capable of reading the arguments of those who make a convincing argument that multiverses may be possible.

    Ah, possibility. Lowest of the low bars.

    Absolutely. We do not reject the possibility of things that are possible 🙂 We test them. That’s how science works.

    So, you’ve met a few cosmologists and read a couple of books, and on that basis you’re almost certain that atheism or a desire to avoid inferences to God plays no role?

    Yes, fairly certain.

    So, if I’ve met a few cosmologists and read a couple of books, and picked up from those experiences that there’s a desire to avoid any inference to God, I’d be justified in saying it’s “almost certain” that atheism is a motivator behind multiverse speculations?

    I’m not talking about “speculations”, Nullasalus. I’m talking about people whose life’s work is figuring out the math, deriving testable hypotheses, and testing them.

    If someone like Hawking or Stenger want to make theological inferences, they are welcome. I think they are theologically inept. Paul Davies is an example of someone who at least brings some theological and philosophical insight to the table.

    Anyway, obviously we will have to agree to differ on this. Perhaps the cosmologists you have met and read are indeed motivated by a desire to avoid a theological inference. It seems a pretty flimsy motivation for such hard work to me, but perhaps you are right.

    Nevertheless, the important part about science is not what motivates it, but what it actually demonstrates. We should not decide on whether multiverses are likely or not on the basis of whether we like the conclusion – whether it suits our theological or atheological position, but whether it is well supported by argument and evidence. I assume you agree with that at least.

    Which multiverses wouldn’t satisfy anyway.

    Stenger disagrees. Weinberg disagrees. Numerous atheists and physicists disagree, insofar as they think that multiverses – if nothing else – knock down an argument or a reason to infer God.

    Well, they are silly, then. Aren’t they? If someone demonstrated to you tomorrow that multiverse theory explained cosmological data better than universe theory, would you cease to believe in God?

    It certainly wouldn’t make one iota of difference to me.

    So I take it you’d agree that if an atheist or atheist physicist thinks that the multiverse does away for an argument or inference for God, that would be grounds to question their motivations, eh?

    Not really. The great thing about science is that the criteria for hypothesis is not whether the conclusion is one you like, but whether it makes sense – provides us with a model that better fits our data.

    You don’t get a paper into Nature because it supports atheism. You get a paper into nature because it makes sense, or has the potential to make sense, of the data.

    What private, or even public, theological conclusions you draw are irrelevant to the criteria by which we judge the model as science.

  59. 59
    kairosfocus says:

    H’mm:

    We do not reject the possibility of things that are possible 🙂 We test them. That’s how science works.

    And, how can a multiverse be tested, especially given the problem of independent manifolds?

    Wat was that again about ideas that are out of the realm of empirical test and criteria for being scientific?

    GEM of TKI

  60. 60
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth states:

    ‘You don’t get a paper into Nature because it supports atheism. You get a paper into nature because it makes sense, or has the potential to make sense, of the data.

    What private, or even public, theological conclusions you draw are irrelevant to the criteria by which we judge the model as science.’

    ,,,And the ‘Theological concerns’ of Nature are above reproach???

    ‘Many of the early editions of Nature consisted of articles written by members of a group that called itself the X Club, a group of scientists known for having liberal, progressive, and somewhat controversial scientific beliefs relative to the time period.[9] Initiated by Thomas Henry Huxley, the group consisted of such important scientists as Joseph Dalton Hooker, Herbert Spencer, and John Tyndall, along with another five scientists and mathematicians; these scientists were all avid supporters of Darwin’s theory of evolution as common descent, a theory which, during the latter-half of the 19th century, received a great deal of criticism among more conservative groups of scientists’
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nature_%28journal%29

    Not to mention the theological concerns of Charles Darwin himself???

    Charles Darwin, Theologian: Major New Article on Darwin’s Use of Theology in the Origin of Species – May 2011
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....46391.html

    From Philosopher to Science Writer: The Dissemination of Evolutionary Thought – May 2011
    Excerpt: The powerful theory of evolution hangs on this framework of thought that mandates naturalism. The science is weak but the metaphysics are strong. This is the key to understanding evolutionary thought. The weak arguments are scientific and the strong arguments, though filled with empirical observation and scientific jargon, are metaphysical. The stronger the argument, the more theological or philosophical.
    http://darwins-god.blogspot.co.....riter.html

    Nor the ‘theological concerns’ of present day Darwinists???

    Refuting The Myth Of ‘Bad Design’ vs. Intelligent Design – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uIzdieauxZg

    Francis Collins, Darwin of the Gaps, and the Fallacy Of Junk DNA – video
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....40361.html

  61. 61
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    ba77: thank you for the direct link to the Borde et al (2003) paper.

    However, I’m not sure why you think it supports the case against multiple universes.

    What do you understand their conclusion to be?

    Also, the authors themselves don’t seem to think so, nor other cosmologists, judging from their later papers, and citing papers:

    http://prd.aps.org/abstract/PRD/v76/i12/e123512

    http://iopscience.iop.org/1475-7516/2009/01/021

    http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/arxi.....4141v5.pdf

    But my main point is that I don’t see what the big deal is. Why would multiverses be incompatible with God?

  62. 62
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth, your papers skirt the proof laid out by Borde-Guth-Vilenkin. The paper shows that ANY UNIVERSE which is experiencing ‘inflating space-time’ must have an absolute beginning, thus once again bringing us to a transcendent (above space and time) origin of the multiverse;

    ‘When cosmologists talk about “the multiverse,” it’s a slightly poetic term. We really just mean different regions of spacetime, far away so that we can’t observe them, but nevertheless still part of what one might reasonably want to call “the universe.”‘ – Sean Carroll – CalTech physicist
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....retations/

    You then ask;

    ‘But my main point is that I don’t see what the big deal is. Why would multiverses be incompatible with God?’

    Actually, if multiverses were real, which my main point is that atheists have no evidence whatsoever that they are real, it would, as I pointed out here,,,

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-386194

    ,,, concede the necessary premise to the ontological argument, and thus undermine the atheistic worldview from within,,, Conclusion of Ontological argument;

    “God then is the Being that couldn’t possibly not exit.”

    Ontological Argument – Dr. Plantinga (3:50 minute mark)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCXvVcWFrGQ

  63. 63
    bornagain77 says:

    And once again Elizabeth, I point out that the multiverse has no evidence for its reality;

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-386192

    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-386203

  64. 64
    bornagain77 says:

    Whereas, Theists actually do have evidence for ‘higher dimensions of space and time,,

    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

    Experimental confirmation of Time Dilation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....nfirmation

    It is very interesting to note that this strange higher dimensional, eternal, framework for time, found in special 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

    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 an 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:

    Traveling At The Speed Of Light – Optical Effects – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5733303/

    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/

    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:

  65. 65
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Lizzie,

    “But my main point is that I don’t see what the big deal is. Why would multiverses be incompatible with God?”

    Multiverses, if they exist aren’t incompatible with God. Where did you get that idea? They just aren’t needed if God exists. If God does not exist, they are apparently needed. I think it has something to do with increasing the probabilistic resources for a chance/necessity scenario for the genesis of life, coupled with a need to explain away the uniqueness of finely tuned habitable zones. I doubt if we would have any multiverse theories if there were not first a Darwinian theory, and increased genuine doubts about it’s probabilistic resources.

  66. 66
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    ba77, I am neither a theoretical physicist nor a cosmologist, so I am simply not equipped to evaluate the arguments for and against multiverse theories for myself.

    If you are, and you are convinced that the evidence does not support multiverse theories, then fine. I simply do not know – I am not ignoring the evidence it is simply outside my domain of expertise (by a long way!)

    I have no axe to grind for either universes or multiverses. I’m happy to accept whatever turns out to be the best supported model.

    As far as the ontological argument for God goes, I don’t think it works.

    And because I don’t think it works, I don’t think multiverses or anything else can demonstrate or not, the existence of God.

    I think God is a perfectly viable proposition, as the answer to the question “why is there anything rather than nothing?” The big question to me, as I tried to explain to PaV on another thread, is whether the answer to that question has anything to do with the way we live our lives. Myself, I think the answer drops out of the math and leaves us with love.

    I’m happy with that. I’m happy even to call it God.

  67. 67
    bornagain77 says:

    Elizabeth; And should not a infinite, personal, God who is, according to your own reasoning, best expressed as love, not save us from death???

    ==================

    First to note the ‘irreconcilable problem’ that mathematicians have in unifying General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics;

    Quantum Mechanics and Relativity – The Collapse Of Physics? – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6597379/

    ,,,Though the physicists/mathematicians, in the preceding video, feel they are at a dead end in reconciling General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics, I would like to put forth the case that Jesus Christ, Himself, as strange as it may sound, is the most parsimonious solution to the number one problem in science today. The problem of the unification of Quantum Mechanics(QM) and General Relativity(GR)into a ‘theory of everything’.
    As noted in the video, the unification of QM and GR, into a ‘theory of everything’, has been a notoriously difficult problem for physicists and mathematicians to solve. In fact, Einstein himself spent many of the last years of his life on earth vainly searching for a solution to the QM-GR split. Moreover, the subsequent years of persistent search, by many leading, brilliant, physicists and mathematicians in the world, have not yielded any plausible solution to the problem that has not involved highly speculative, ‘verification-less’, appeals to string theoretic multiverses, M-Theories, Quantum Gravity etc.. etc.. The problem shows no experimental support of ever abating,,,

    Quantum Mechanics Not In Jeopardy: Physicists Confirm Decades-Old Key Principle Experimentally – July 2010
    Excerpt: the research group led by Prof. Gregor Weihs from the University of Innsbruck and the University of Waterloo has confirmed the accuracy of Born’s law in a triple-slit experiment (as opposed to the double slit experiment). “The existence of third-order interference terms would have tremendous theoretical repercussions – it would shake quantum mechanics to the core,” says Weihs. The impetus for this experiment was the suggestion made by physicists to generalize either quantum mechanics or gravitation – the two pillars of modern physics – to achieve unification, thereby arriving at a one all-encompassing theory. “Our experiment thwarts these efforts once again,” explains Gregor Weihs. (of note: Born’s Law is an axiom that dictates that quantum interference can only occur between pairs of probabilities, not triplet or higher order probabilities. If they would have detected higher order interference patterns this would have
    potentially allowed a reformulation of quantum mechanics that is compatible with, or even incorporates, gravitation.)
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142640.htm

    Not Even Wrong: The Failure of String Theory and the Search for Unity in Physical Law:
    Peter Woit, a PhD. in theoretical physics and a lecturer in mathematics at Columbia, points out—again and again—that string theory, despite its two decades of dominance, is just a hunch aspiring to be a theory. It hasn’t predicted anything, as theories are required to do, and its practitioners have become so desperate, says Woit, that they’re willing to redefine what doing science means in order to justify their labors.
    http://www.amazon.com/Not-Even.....0465092756

    ‘What is referred to as M-theory isn’t even a theory. It’s a collection of ideas, hopes, aspirations. It’s not even a theory and I think the book is a bit misleading in that respect. It gives you the impression that here is this new theory which is going to explain everything. It is nothing of the sort. It is not even a theory and certainly has no observational (evidence),,, I think the book suffers rather more strongly than many (other books). It’s not a uncommon thing in popular descriptions of science to latch onto some idea, particularly things to do with string theory, which have absolutely no support from observations.,,, They are very far from any kind of observational (testability). Yes, they (the ideas of M-theory) are hardly science.” – Roger Penrose – former close colleague of Stephen Hawking – in critique of Hawking’s new book ‘The Grand Design’ the exact quote in the following video clip:

    Roger Penrose Debunks Stephen Hawking’s New Book ‘The Grand Design’ – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5278793/

    ,,,The main problem, mathematically, for the split, between GR and QM, seems to arise from the inability of either theory to successfully deal with the ‘zero/infinity’ conflict that arises in different places of each framework;,,,

    THE MYSTERIOUS ZERO/INFINITY
    Excerpt: What the two theories have in common – and what they clash over – is zero.”,, “The infinite zero of a black hole — mass crammed into zero space, curving space infinitely — punches a hole in the smooth rubber sheet. The equations of general relativity cannot deal with the sharpness of zero. In a black hole, space and time are meaningless.”,, “Quantum mechanics has a similar problem, a problem related to the zero-point energy. The laws of quantum mechanics treat particles such as the electron as points; that is, they take up no space at all. The electron is a zero-dimensional object,,, According to the rules of quantum mechanics, the zero-dimensional electron has infinite mass and infinite charge.
    http://www.fmbr.org/editoral/e....._mar02.htm

    ,,,One of the things I find interesting about the preceding zero/infinity mystery, of QM and GR, is that the ‘infinity’ of the 4-Dimensional space-time of General Relativity is related to black holes in the universe. The reason this is interesting for me is because black holes are now verified to be, by far, the largest contributors of ‘entropic decay’ in the universe;,,,,

    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

    Moreover, Black Hole singularities are completely opposite the singularity of the Big Bang in terms of the ordered physics of entropic thermodynamics. In other words, Black Holes are singularities of destruction and disorder rather than singularities of creation and order.

    Roger Penrose – How Special Was The Big Bang?
    “But why was the big bang so precisely organized, whereas the big crunch (or the singularities in black holes) would be expected to be totally chaotic? It would appear that this question can be phrased in terms of the behaviour of the WEYL part of the space-time curvature at space-time singularities. What we appear to find is that there is a constraint WEYL = 0 (or something very like this) at initial space-time singularities-but not at final singularities-and this seems to be what confines the Creator’s choice to this very tiny region of phase space.”

    ,,,Moreover, besides entropy being the primary reason why the universe, without ‘supernatural intervention, is steadfastly heading for ‘entropic heat death’,,,

    The Future of the Universe
    Excerpt: After all the black holes have evaporated, (and after all the ordinary matter made of protons has disintegrated, if protons are unstable), the universe will be nearly empty. Photons, neutrinos, electrons and positrons will fly from place to place, hardly ever encountering each other. It will be cold, and dark, and there is no known process which will ever change things. — Not a happy ending.
    http://spiff.rit.edu/classes/p.....uture.html

    ,,,entropy is also the primary reason why we will all grow old and eventually die,,,

    80 years in 40 seconds – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i9wToWdXaQg

    ,,,Thus ‘Death’, itself, of the universe and of us, seems to semi-directly linked to the fact that this ‘inaccessible infinity of destruction’ is found in black holes. At least it seems readily apparent that black holes are forever an ‘inaccessible infinity of destruction’ as far as the endeavors of mortal man are to be concerned. Yet Quantum Mechanic offers its own unique infinity that can, in principle, counterbalance the ‘destructive infinity’ of Black holes (as they tried to accomplish in the video). Yet the problem that QM has in overcoming the entropic decay of the universe, besides the problem mentioned by Michio Kaku in the video of at about the 7:00 minute mark of a ‘repeating infinity’, is, as mentioned previously, this,,,

    “Quantum mechanics has a similar problem, a problem related to the zero-point energy. The laws of quantum mechanics treat particles such as the electron as points; that is, they take up no space at all. The electron is a zero-dimensional object,,, According to the rules of quantum mechanics, the zero-dimensional electron has infinite mass and infinite charge.”

    ,,,thus it seems readily apparent that QM requires a ‘space’ within the 4-D space-time of General Relativity, separate from the zero point infinity of Black holes, in which to ‘pour its infinity’. That is QM needs this space separate from the Black Holes if the destructive, ‘Death Causing’, entropic infinities of Black Holes were ever to be successfully overcome by Quantum Mechanics. And if physics were ever to be ‘unified’ into a ‘theory of everything’. And indeed, subtle, yet strong, hints that this ‘unification’ is possible are now available,,,,

    Scientific Evidence That Mind Effects Matter – Random Number Generators – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4198007

    ,,,I once asked a evolutionist, after showing him the preceding experiment, “Since you ultimately believe that the ‘god of random chance’ produced everything we see around us, what in the world is my mind doing pushing your god around?”,,,

  68. 68
    bornagain77 says:

    ,,,The following is particularly interesting,,,

    “Most people think that the matter is empty, but for internal self consistency of quantum mechanics and relativity theory, there is required to be the equivalent of 10 to 94 grams of mass energy, each gram being E=MC2 kind of energy. Now, that’s a huge number, but what does it mean practically? Practically, if I can assume that the universe is flat, and more and more astronomical data is showing that it’s pretty darn flat, if I can assume that, then if I take the volume or take the vacuum within a single hydrogen atom, that’s about 10 to the minus 23 cubic centimeters. If I take that amount of vacuum and I take the latent energy in that, there is a trillion times more energy there than in all of the mass of all of the stars and all of the planets out to 20 billion light-years. That’s big, that’s big. And if consciousness allows you to control even a small fraction of that, creating a big bang is no problem.” – Dr. William Tiller – has
    been a professor at Stanford U. in the Department of materials science & Engineering

    ,,,The following offers a ‘hint’ as well,,,, though Dr. Dembski, in the following quote, does not directly address the zero/infinity conflict of QM and GR, he does offer interesting insight that, ‘serendipitously’, parallels the problem we find for reconciling QM and GR;

    The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31
    William Dembski PhD. Mathematics
    Excerpt: “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

    ,,,Moreover, unlike Quantum Gravity, String Theory and M-Theory, there actually is physical evidence that lends strong support to the position that the ‘Zero/Infinity conflict’, we find between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, was successfully dealt with by Jesus Christ:,,,

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/5070355

    Turin Shroud Enters 3D Age – Pictures, Articles and Videos
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1gDY4CJkoFedewMG94gdUk1Z1jexestdy5fh87RwWAfg

    A Quantum Hologram of Christ’s Resurrection? by Chuck Missler
    Excerpt: “You can read the science of the Shroud, such as total lack of gravity, lack of entropy (without gravitational collapse), no time, no space—it conforms to no known law of physics.” The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically. Dame Piczek created a one-fourth size sculpture of the man in the Shroud. When viewed from the side, it appears as if the man is suspended in mid air (see graphic, below), indicating that the image defies previously accepted science. The phenomenon of the image brings us to a true event horizon, a moment when all of the laws of physics change drastically.
    http://www.khouse.org/articles/2008/847

    ,,,Thus I firmly believe that the evidence we have in hand clearly indicates that God’s crowning achievement for this universe was not when He created this universe, but that God’s crowning achievement for this universe was when He Himself inhabited the human body He had purposely created the whole universe for, to sanctify human beings unto Himself through the death and resurrection of his “Son” Jesus Christ. This is truly something which should fill anyone who reads this with awe. The wonder that science and ‘religion’ would intersect so dramatically is of no small consequence.

    ================

    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.”

    Matthew 28:18
    And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and upon earth.”

    further note:

    If scientists want to find the source for the supernatural light which made the “3D – photographic negative” image on the Shroud of Turin, I suggest they look to the thousands of documented Near-Death Experiences (NDE’s) in Judeo-Christian cultures. It is in their testimonies that you will find mention of an indescribably bright ‘Light’ or ‘Being of Light’ who is always described as being of a much brighter intensity of light than the people had ever seen before. All people who have been in the presence of ‘The Being of Light’ while having a deep NDE have no doubt whatsoever that the ‘The Being of Light’ they were in the presence of is none other than ‘The Lord God Almighty’ of heaven and earth.

    In The Presence Of Almighty God – The NDE of Mickey Robinson – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045544

    The Scientific Evidence for Near Death Experiences – Dr Jeffery Long – Melvin Morse M.D. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4454627

    The Extremely Monitored NDE of Pam Reynolds – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4045560

    There are a few more detailed notes, in first part of this following site, on the spiritual/material split between GR and QM and Jesus Christ’s reconciliation of the two frameworks:

    Intelligent Design – The Anthropic Hypothesis
    http://lettherebelight-77.blog.....is_19.html

  69. 69
    bornagain77 says:

    And Elizabeth, to solidify that God cares ‘personally’ for each of us, I, once again, point out that reality itself reflects this ‘caring’ attribute of God;

    ==================

    ,,, First I noticed that the earth demonstrates centrality in the universe in this video Dr. Dembski posted a while back;

    The Known Universe – Dec. 2009 – a very cool video (please note the centrality of the earth in the universe)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U

    ,,, for a while I tried to see if the 4-D space-time of General Relativity was sufficient to explain centrality we witness for the earth in the universe,,,

    4-Dimensional Space-Time Of General Relativity – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/3991873/

    ,,, yet I kept running into the same problem for establishing the sufficiency of General Relativity to explain our centrality in this universe, in that every time I would perform a ‘mental experiment’ of trying radically different points of observation in the universe, General Relativity would fail to maintain centrality for the radically different point of observation in the universe. The primary reason for this failure of General Relativity to maintain centrality, for different points of observation in the universe, is due to the fact that there are limited (10^80) material particles to work with. Though this failure of General Relativity was obvious to me, I needed more proof so as to establish it more rigorously, so i dug around a bit and found this;

    The Cauchy Problem In General Relativity – Igor Rodnianski
    Excerpt: 2.2 Large Data Problem In General Relativity – While the result of Choquet-Bruhat and its subsequent refinements guarantee the existence and uniqueness of a (maximal) Cauchy development, they provide no information about its geodesic completeness and thus, in the language of partial differential equations, constitutes a local existence. ,,, More generally, there are a number of conditions that will guarantee the space-time will be geodesically incomplete.,,, In the language of partial differential equations this means an impossibility of a large data global existence result for all initial data in General Relativity.
    http://www.icm2006.org/proceed.....l_3_22.pdf

    and also ‘serendipitously’ found this,,,

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: Gödel’s personal God is under no obligation to behave in a predictable orderly fashion, and Gödel produced what may be the most damaging critique of general relativity. In a Festschrift, (a book honoring Einstein), for Einstein’s seventieth birthday in 1949, Gödel demonstrated the possibility of a special case in which, as Palle Yourgrau described the result, “the large-scale geometry of the world is so warped that there exist space-time curves that bend back on themselves so far that they close; that is, they return to their starting point.” This means that “a highly accelerated spaceship journey along such a closed path, or world line, could only be described as time travel.” In fact, “Gödel worked out the length and time for the journey, as well as the exact speed and fuel requirements.” Gödel, of course, did not actually believe in time travel, but he understood his paper to undermine the Einsteinian worldview from within.
    http://www.faqs.org/periodical.....27241.html

    But if General Relativity is insufficient to explain the centrality we witness for ourselves in the universe, what else is? Universal Quantum wave collapse to each unique point of observation! To prove this point I dug around a bit and found this experiment,,,

    This following experiment extended the double slit experiment to show that the ‘spooky actions’, for instantaneous quantum wave collapse, happen regardless of any considerations for time or distance i.e. The following experiment shows that quantum actions are ‘universal and instantaneous’:

    Wheeler’s Classic Delayed Choice Experiment:
    Excerpt: Now, for many billions of years the photon is in transit in region 3. Yet we can choose (many billions of years later) which experimental set up to employ – the single wide-focus, or the two narrowly focused instruments. We have chosen whether to know which side of the galaxy the photon passed by (by choosing whether to use the two-telescope set up or not, which are the instruments that would give us the information about which side of the galaxy the photon passed). We have delayed this choice until a time long after the particles “have passed by one side of the galaxy, or the other side of the galaxy, or both sides of the galaxy,” so to speak. Yet, it seems paradoxically that our later choice of whether to obtain this information determines which side of the galaxy the light passed, so to speak, billions of years ago. So it seems that time has nothing to do with effects of quantum mechanics. And, indeed, the original thought experiment
    was not based on any analysis of how particles evolve and behave over time – it was based on the mathematics. This is what the mathematics predicted for a result, and this is exactly the result obtained in the laboratory.
    http://www.bottomlayer.com/bot.....choice.htm

    ,, and to make universal quantum Wave collapse much more ‘personal’ I found this,,,

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.” Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.
    http://eugene-wigner.co.tv/

    Here is the key experiment that led Wigner to his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum symmetries:

    Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
    http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_.....io/wb1.htm

    i.e. In the experiment the ‘world’ (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a ‘privileged center’. This is since the ‘matrix’, which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is ‘observer-centric’ in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or
    anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

  70. 70
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    CannuckianYankee:

    Lizzie,

    “But my main point is that I don’t see what the big deal is. Why would multiverses be incompatible with God?”

    Multiverses, if they exist aren’t incompatible with God. Where did you get that idea?

    !

    I didn’t! I don’t think they are. That’s why I think that Stenger’s argument (as I understand it) is silly. But I haven’t read his book, so he may be making a different point to the one he is regarded here as making.

    They just aren’t needed if God exists. If God does not exist, they are apparently needed. I think it has something to do with increasing the probabilistic resources for a chance/necessity scenario for the genesis of life, coupled with a need to explain away the uniqueness of finely tuned habitable zones. I doubt if we would have any multiverse theories if there were not first a Darwinian theory, and increased genuine doubts about it’s probabilistic resources.

    Ah. OK. Thanks for spelling this out.

    I don’t think the reasoning is correct, but I now see the argument 🙂

    There are several reasons why I don’t think the reasoning is correct:

    1) I don’t think a Darwinian account of the evolution of life depends on a highly improbable event. This is where I disagree with IDists, and perhaps may demonstrate in my proposed simulation. We’ll see. But we can agree to differ on this for now, I hope 🙂

    2) Even if it were found to be the case that our universe were as “finely tuned” for life (essentially, to have the initial conditions that made the emergence of heavy elements possible), I think the argument for God from fine-tuning suffers from a logical flaw, which is, ironically, the flaw of drawing the target round the arrow instead of the arrow round the target. Let’s say that the universe might have hit any value, including the fine-tuning value, with equal probability, but the fine-tuning value was in fact the value it hit. Now if it had hit any other value, there would have been nobody in that universe to ask why the values were what they were. But, given that it hit the value it did, there were in fact people to ask why it hit that value. So it is not valid to sat “how extraordinary that our universe happened to have the values that allow us to ask the question!” because had it any other values we would not be here to ask it!

    A better analogy than the arrow-target analogy is the problem of self-selection in statistics: For example, an internet questionnaire about computer knowledge in the population may show very high mean levels of expertise, whereas a random direct dialing poll does not. Is it an extraordinary coincidence that those polled by internet just happened to be computer nerds? Of course not. Without some degree of computer literacy you don’t even get as far as responding to the poll. So with the universe – the fact that we are here to ask the question indicates that we are necessarily in a universe in which that question can be asked. It doesn’t matter how improbable any one set of initial values were, only if the set was that which allowed the question could be asked could the question be asked!

    3) Some evidence suggests that the fine tuning isn’t all that fine

    4) It is already clear that the observable universe is a tiny subset of the entire universe, and we have no way of knowing whether the conditions that obtain in our region (the region at which we are the centre) obtain elsewhere, and every reason to suppose (see above) that the fact that the tuning values we observe in our region is compatible with the emergence of life and intelligence had to be that way if there was to be an us capable of asking the question about the spherical region of which we are the centre.

    5) Independently of all the above problems above, there remain copious questions to be asked about the nature of the early universe that are perfectly investigatable by science, and some of these simply lead to multiverse theories. There are at least two reasons for this that I know of: one is that inflation remains a bit of a kludge (and that seemed to be the subject of the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin paper) and the second is that the big challenge in theoretical physics is unifying Relativity with Quantum theory, and, as ba77 often says, Quantum theory can lead to some weird ontological conclusions! Much of the interest in multiverses (horrible word) has been motivated, AFAICT, by the desire to unify these two theories. They can’t both be right, and, indeed, in some senses, they must both be wrong.

  71. 71
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Elizabeth; And should not a infinite, personal, God who is, according to your own reasoning, best expressed as love, not save us from death???

    Why, ba77? What is so bad about death?

    Hatred is far worse IMO.

  72. 72
    bornagain77 says:

    Why, ba77? What is so bad about death?

    Actually, I’m kind of with you on that one;

    WADE HAWTHORNE – THE OLD MAN IS DEAD – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HQ-eJpdwNY

    ,,,but none-the-less, many people find death quite ‘unnatural’ and spend their entire life savings trying to avoid it,,, In fact I’ve heard it lamented, by those in favor of hospice care for terminal illnesses, that modern hospitals are geared solely to prevent death at all costs, and have lost complete sight of the essential ‘process of dying’ that each of us must go through;

    Glimpses Of Heaven – A Hospice Worker Tells Of End Of Life Experiences – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4198022/

    ,,, Thus your ‘what’s so bad about death?’ remark seems to miss the point.

    Moreover, I hold that since Jesus Christ actually did die on the cross to save us from not only death, but from what awaited us beyond death if we died without reconciliation afforded by Christ to God, then death is not a simple ‘turning out of the lights’,,

    Bill Wiese – 23 Minutes In Hell – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5391398/

    =================

    The Scientific Evidence for Near Death Experiences – Dr Jeffery Long – Melvin Morse M.D. – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4454627

    =======================

    Quantum Information/Entanglement In DNA & Protein Folding – short video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5936605/

    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/20.....tally.html

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  73. 73
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Well, I’m glad we are together on something, ba77 🙂

    Let’s build on that, eh?

    Cheers

    Lizzie

  74. 74
    vjtorley says:

    Elizabeth,

    Just a quick question. Have you read this paper by Robin Collins?


    The Teleological Argument: An Exploration of the Fine-Tuning of the Universe

    It’s the most up-to-date refinement of the fine-tuning argument that I’ve seen, and it’s impressively comprehensive in its scope and very rigorously argued.

  75. 75
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    No, I haven’t, thanks for the link 🙂

  76. 76
    Mung says:

    What is so bad about death?

    It’s to be eternally separated from love. I’d call that a very bad thing.

  77. 77
    nullasalus says:

    Absolutely. We do not reject the possibility of things that are possible We test them. That’s how science works.

    And you won’t be going out and observing, or testing, the multiverse. Ellis recognizes that. Even many proponents of multiverse theories recognize that. Maybe you should consider that as well.

    Now, notice that Ellis is not arguing that people are not free to infer a multiverse if they so choose. He grants it. He just calls it exactly what it is: Philosophy. Metaphysics. Science, it ain’t.

    Unless we’re changing the definition of science. And if making inferences about what cannot be observed or experimented on, and what is largely rooted in metaphysical and philosophical assumption and speculation, can not qualify as science… then few things can’t. And that includes ID.

    As another said here – want to call multiverse speculations science? You do that. It will make it all the more obvious that ID is science as well.

    I’m not talking about “speculations”, Nullasalus. I’m talking about people whose life’s work is figuring out the math, deriving testable hypotheses, and testing them.

    No, you are talking about speculations. Once again: There are no observations of universes other than our own. There are no experiments done on them. Even your own references are not of experiments on these things, but of observations which particular people – some scientists, some not – interpret so as to speculate about multiverses. And Ellis explains some of the problems with that in his article, as does Woit.

    Believe it or not, scientists can and do speculate at times. In fact, sometimes scientists engage in philosophy and metaphysics rather than science. Maybe you should devote more time and thought to recognizing the differences, rather than making broad claims about your ‘almost certainty’ of motivations based on having read a couple of books and talked to a couple of people in the field.

    Well, they are silly, then. Aren’t they? If someone demonstrated to you tomorrow that multiverse theory explained cosmological data better than universe theory, would you cease to believe in God?

    It certainly wouldn’t make one iota of difference to me.

    I don’t care what would ‘make a difference’ to you emotionally. What I do care about is when what are philosophical and theological speculations are bandied about as science – and that is exactly what’s happening in the case of multiverses. I do care when theological and philosophical commitments are driving science, and this isn’t recognized, or is actively downplayed.

    Point of comparison: If a person walks up to a body covered with a tarp and shoots 3 bullets into the head – thinking a living person was under there, rather than a dead body – a reply of ‘Well golly, they didn’t kill anyone. This is nothing to be concerned about.’ would be naive. Saying ‘Well, even if some prominent scientists are seemingly motivated in their multiverse speculations by atheism or anti-theism, God can still exist even if a multiverse is true – so there’s nothing to see here’ is equally naive. Moreso, really, since even numerous atheists see the multiverse as removing an argument for God’s existence. “Well, God’s existence is still logically possible so it’s all okay! :)” is inane.

    You don’t get a paper into Nature because it supports atheism. You get a paper into nature because it makes sense, or has the potential to make sense, of the data.

    Or your friends with some of the people at Nature who are in charge of selecting the papers. Or they happen to like your idea. Or they want to generate a discussion whether or not your idea is good. Or…

    Scientists are subject to bias, even groupthink, as much as anyone else. I know you’ve met some fellow scientists and consider yourself to be able to talk about the motivations of whole fields of people with almost-certainty, but do pardon me if I’m skeptical based on other data.

  78. 78
    nullasalus says:

    So it is not valid to sat “how extraordinary that our universe happened to have the values that allow us to ask the question!” because had it any other values we would not be here to ask it!

    1) First, the idea that ‘there would have been nobody in the universe to ask the question’ is false. Boltzmann Brains could be possible, for example. (They’re certain, given a multiverse, or enough time.)

    2) The analogy doesn’t work. If A) There’s only one universe with one fixed set of values (and as near as we can tell – sans metaphysical and philosophical speculation – this is the case), B) The range to support life is in a vanishingly small array of values, and C) that range happens to be the values fall, we’re left with a situation in need of an explanation.

    Notice a few things. 1) ‘Gosh, this isn’t very surprising at all! If the values were anything else we wouldn’t be here, so there’s no need to explain the values’ isn’t flying – even with many multiverse proponents. The fine-tuning of the values is treated as one reason to infer a multiverse. In other words, the fine-tuning is taken as something which needs to be explained, and not just by people who are inferring a designer.

    2) This old example is worth considering: If a person is lined up for execution and 50 men take aim at him with rifles, all 50 aim and shoot, and he remains unharmed – is it really reasonable for him to say, “Well, there’s nothing unusual about this situation. Granted, apparently the odds of my still being alive are vanishingly small – but if I didn’t meet those odds, I wouldn’t be here to ask that question, so the whole thing is moot!”? Or does he have a reason to explain his current situation?

    It is already clear that the observable universe is a tiny subset of the entire universe

    No, it’s already clear that there is a limit to our observable universe, and that what is beyond it is an open question – and possibly an unanswerable one, as far as science is concerned. That our observable universe comprises a ‘tiny subset’ is speculation. Maybe we comprise a large subset. Maybe ‘tiny’ means ‘1/10th the size’.

    That some scientists are willing to speculate about what lies beyond the observable universe – even if this speculation were popular – would not change speculation into certain knowledge.

  79. 79
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    It’s to be eternally separated from love. I’d call that a very bad thing.

    What does that mean? I still love my mother, even though she is dead. She doesn’t know that she is separated from my love, she knows she had it right up to the moment she died.

    Your answer only makes sense if you assume that you remain conscious after death, yet unable to know you are loved.

    I don’t think that is a given.

  80. 80
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Nullasalus: as I’ve said I’m neither a cosmologist nor a theoretical physicist, so bear that in mind, but I think we have gleaned different ideas about what “multiverse theory” is.

    As I understand it, multiverse theory leads to potentially testable predictions. If I am wrong, and it doesn’t, then I agree, it is, at least at present, Philosophy rather than Science.

    But if it does, then I take it you would agree that it is science?

    And I also take it that you would agree that the knowable universe is a small subset of the entire universe (in other words that there may be quite different regions elsewhere in the universe that resulted from Big Bang)?

    This is, as I understand it, one variant of “multiverse theory”. Others concern “bubble universes” either generated within our own, or a kind of bubbling set potential Big Bangs. Yet others posit cyclical universes.

    Yes, all these are no more than philosophical speculation unless they can generate testable hypotheses, but that’s just part of the scientific process – going from an idea to a theory to a testable hypothesis to an actual experiment.

    Wouldn’t you agree?

  81. 81
    kairosfocus says:

    Dr Liddle:

    It is much more complex than that, pardon. On a few points:

    1: The observed cosmos — notice my frequent usage — issue is that at the horizon where the recessional velocity relative to us is c, it marks the limit of physical interaction with us per Relativity.

    2: Oscillating cosmi models, run into accumulation of entropy, and so bounces will run out of steam, these have been largely abandoned.

    3: Bubbles forming sub cosmi in a wider manifold run into the problem of infinite time meaning that once probability is nonzero, expansions should overlap considerably. (Infinite past time is also very problematic.)

    4: Independent manifolds are inherently non-interactive.

    5: A population of bubbling up cosmi, faces the problem of LOCAL fine tuning, i.e. the cosmos we inhabit is so fine tuned that the degree of sampling to hit on it by chance is maximally implausible, and intent is a much better explanation.

    6: Super-laws that force cosmi like ours, simply put the fine tuning up to the next level.

    In short, we are looking at a situation of speculation beyond what is reasonably observable, and in service largely to an a priori metaphysical agenda of materialism, as the alternative is perceived to be incredible.

    Multiverse speculation is metaphysics, not science but by presenting itself in scientific garb, it is enabled to exclude otherwise credible alternatives from the comparative difficulties process.

    Worldview level question begging, in short.

    GEM of TKI

  82. 82
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Well, kairosfocus, as I keep saying I am neither a theoretical physicist nor a cosmologist, so I am not equipped to evaluate your own assessments, nor, indeed the work of theoretical physicists and cosmologists.

    But I note that many disagree with your assessment 🙂 I also note that some present testable hypotheses (i.e. testable against observation) arising from their theories.

    So I must remain agnostic, as my only alternative is to make an arbitrary subjective decision about whose math to trust.

    You may be right. I just can’t know that 🙂

    But, regarding (1) above – yes. But isn’t that the point? That the “fine tuning” argument no longer works if we have reason to believe that we can only characterise that tuning in the part of the universe we happen to inhabit?

    Obviously the one we inhabit must be the right tuning for us, or we wouldn’t be able to figure out the tuning. But why should we assume it is the same in the parts of the universe we cannot observe?

  83. 83
    CannuckianYankee says:

    Lizzie,

    EL: “I didn’t! I don’t think they are. That’s why I think that Stenger’s argument (as I understand it) is silly. But I haven’t read his book, so he may be making a different point to the one he is regarded here as making.”

    Most of Rob’s (Dr. Sheldon’s) post in the OP is not actually posted. He links to his article from “The Procrustean.” I’m not sure if you read the entire article, but I think one particular passage calls for a mention here:

    RS: “And precisely because I think good physics requires good metaphysics, I believe in critiquing metaphysics to understand what it is saying about reality and our interaction with reality. For example, a Gnostic metaphysics that considers reality to be only spiritual will not endeavor to find the causes of disease or the medicines that cure it. This is why we didn’t get our penicillin from Mary Baker Eddy, our Hippocratic oath from India, or our physiology from China. Am I saying that acupuncture doesn’t work? No, I’m saying that focussing on the pain doesn’t really solve the underlying cancer, so that there is a world of difference between defining disease as the perception of pain or the cause of pain. Likewise there is a world of difference between defining science as the perception of order or the cause of order. Multiverse-theory, like acupuncture, focuses on perception as reality, whereas theism focuses on perception as a result of reality.”

    Easing the pain does not cure the cancer in the same way that positing a multiverse does not solve a major metaphysical problem; that of the absurdity of infinite regresses, and it doesn’t matter if your hypothetical multiverse is an infinite set or a finite set. Actually the infinite set is more immediately absurd than the finite, but the finite only gives you exponentially more universes to explain; particularly when it comes to the genesis of a universe.

    At one time in my past I was involved in a lot of discussion with atheists on interfaith forums. At that time I was less understanding of the implications of a multiverse. It wasn’t until I started reading more on philosophy and metaphysics that I began to understand why actual infinities are absurd. They are not so absurd in an abstract sense, but once you try to tie them to time and space, logic pretty much goes out the door. There are some who disagree with this, but I keep sensing that they are allowing some unknowns into the equation that are not warranted; such as some of the unknown properties hypothetically attributed in string theory, etc. I’m not an expert on this by any means, but I believe my doubts are rightly placed.

    CY: “They just aren’t needed if God exists. If God does not exist, they are apparently needed. I think it has something to do with increasing the probabilistic resources for a chance/necessity scenario for the genesis of life, coupled with a need to explain away the uniqueness of finely tuned habitable zones. I doubt if we would have any multiverse theories if there were not first a Darwinian theory, and increased genuine doubts about it’s probabilistic resources.”

    EL: “Ah. OK. Thanks for spelling this out.

    I don’t think the reasoning is correct, but I now see the argument

    There are several reasons why I don’t think the reasoning is correct:

    1) I don’t think a Darwinian account of the evolution of life depends on a highly improbable event.”

    We keep suggesting books for you to read. I hope you have something like a Kindle. It could save you a lot of money in the long run.

    Anyway, when you get through with Chapter 10 in SITC, see if you still feel the same way. And if you do, I would highly recommend that you also read Dr. Dembski’s “No Free Lunch” if you haven’t already.

    EL: “This is where I disagree with IDists, and perhaps may demonstrate in my proposed simulation. We’ll see. But we can agree to differ on this for now, I hope”

    I think if you were to come up with a new simulation akin to EV, there are some people on here who would be very interested in your work. Expect some constructive criticisms. In fact, this might be a very good place to get some sort of peer review; because not everyone here is going to be gung-ho with the methodology and with what you’re attempting to demonstrate. I’m not at all suggesting me; I’m not qualified. 🙂

    EL: “2) Even if it were found to be the case that our universe were as “finely tuned” for life (essentially, to have the initial conditions that made the emergence of heavy elements possible), I think the argument for God from fine-tuning suffers from a logical flaw, which is, ironically, the flaw of drawing the target round the arrow instead of the arrow round the target.”

    I don’t think this is a legitimate comparison. Again, I highly urge you to consider both Dr. Dembski’s and Dr. Meyer’s arguments.

    EL: “Let’s say that the universe might have hit any value, including the fine-tuning value, with equal probability, but the fine-tuning value was in fact the value it hit. Now if it had hit any other value, there would have been nobody in that universe to ask why the values were what they were. But, given that it hit the value it did, there were in fact people to ask why it hit that value. So it is not valid to sat “how extraordinary that our universe happened to have the values that allow us to ask the question!” because had it any other values we would not be here to ask it!”

    Your argument is similar to a much more simplistic non-argument that Dr. Dawkins makes (I think he made it in “The Blind Watchmaker”) that we shouldn’t be at all surprised at the improbability factor in the genesis of life, because; low and behold, here we are. That is hardly intellectually satisfying. It says nothing. It’s like saying: “We shouldn’t at all be surprised that Boston won the Stanley Cup, because, low and behold, they did. This does not take into account that Boston could have lost the Stanley Cup, and that it took some effort on their part to do so. So no, we shouldn’t be surprised when we consider the conditions (the work) that led to their win. Your argument ignores the conditions (the work) that are (is) necessary for life, and says, we still shouldn’t be surprised. Well, yes we should be surprised that mere chance and necessity led to life, and your argument does not at all address those necessary conditions (work). It merely tautologizes that the conditions were met. You discount the work that is involved. If there is no work, you don’t get anywhere. Fine tuning is the work that you discount. Your argument is also similar to a common Darwinist fallacy about emergence. Nobody really has a mechanism for “emergence,” it just magically happens.

    EL: “A better analogy than the arrow-target analogy is the problem of self-selection in statistics: For example, an internet questionnaire about computer knowledge in the population may show very high mean levels of expertise, whereas a random direct dialing poll does not. Is it an extraordinary coincidence that those polled by internet just happened to be computer nerds? Of course not. Without some degree of computer literacy you don’t even get as far as responding to the poll. So with the universe – the fact that we are here to ask the question indicates that we are necessarily in a universe in which that question can be asked. It doesn’t matter how improbable any one set of initial values were, only if the set was that which allowed the question could be asked could the question be asked!

    I’m afraid this argument isn’t any better than the first. It may be a bit more sophisticated, but it too discounts the work. If probabilities as factors are not important, we should expect that anything is possible and in fact should be a reality, and this is simply not a scientific way of looking at things. Things don’t just magically happen in defiance of the probabilities and the work involved – and I find it interesting that a theist can recognize this, but a naturalist who claims to be careful about the laws of physics, thinks magical things happening are nothing special.

    EL: “3) Some evidence suggests that the fine tuning isn’t all that fine”

    Nullasalus has addressed this quite sufficiently, as well as given some more insight into the former issue at 73, 76 and 77.

    EL: “4) It is already clear that the observable universe is a tiny subset of the entire universe, and we have no way of knowing whether the conditions that obtain in our region (the region at which we are the centre) obtain elsewhere, and every reason to suppose (see above) that the fact that the tuning values we observe in our region is compatible with the emergence of life and intelligence had to be that way if there was to be an us capable of asking the question about the spherical region of which we are the centre.”

    KF addresses this at: 80.

    EL: “5) Independently of all the above problems above, there remain copious questions to be asked about the nature of the early universe that are perfectly investigatable by science, and some of these simply lead to multiverse theories.”

    They don’t have to lead to multiverse theories. People choose to have multiverse theories because they are satisfying on a plane that is quite beyond science. Do they answer some questions? Perhaps; but those questions can also be answered elsewhere. A multiverse is not necessary to answer them. Pay attention to Dr. Sheldon’s quote again.

    EL: “There are at least two reasons for this that I know of: one is that inflation remains a bit of a kludge (and that seemed to be the subject of the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin paper) and the second is that the big challenge in theoretical physics is unifying Relativity with Quantum theory, and, as ba77 often says, Quantum theory can lead to some weird ontological conclusions! Much of the interest in multiverses (horrible word) has been motivated, AFAICT, by the desire to unify these two theories. They can’t both be right, and, indeed, in some senses, they must both be wrong.”

    Well I’m not anywhere even close to being an expert on cosmology, although it interests me greatly. I have read Dr. Guth’s “The Inflationary Universe,” and I’m not certain I understand it completely.

  84. 84
    nullasalus says:

    As I understand it, multiverse theory leads to potentially testable predictions. If I am wrong, and it doesn’t, then I agree, it is, at least at present, Philosophy rather than Science.

    But if it does, then I take it you would agree that it is science?

    No, because it would depend on what the “testable predictions” entail. No other universe but our own will ever be observable, no tests are suggested which would lead to us experimenting on these multiverses.

    If I argued that the existence of God ‘leads to testable predictions’ – let’s say fine-tuning – and lo and behold, we discover fine tuning, has God’s existence become scientific on that basis? And if not, why not? I suppose “because God remains unobservable within the realm of science and not open to being experimented on” would be one reason.

    And I also take it that you would agree that the knowable universe is a small subset of the entire universe (in other words that there may be quite different regions elsewhere in the universe that resulted from Big Bang)?

    And I take it you would agree that approximately 742 angels can dance on the head of a pin? After all, that’s what the best science of our day tells us.

    Really, you know the size of the unknowable universe? Think about what you’re writing here.

    I can – and already did – grant that there is a limit to our observable universe. I can grant the logical possibility of something (perhaps ‘more universe’) existing beyond our observable universe. On what grounds does speculation about the size and makeup of that unobservable universe become scientific? The vague hopes that perhaps someday maybe someone will kinda-sorta develop a test they’ll think maybe infers something about it? Or better yet, the suggestion that if the fact that something is unobservable and unable to be experimented on makes something unscientific, then potentially many things are beyond science’s reach, and therefore we have to alter the definition of science?

    I’ll supply your own reasoning for this case: Just because we’re unable to ever observe universes other than our own or perform experiments on them does not mean they don’t exist. Why, the existence of a multiverse remains logically possible and consistent with all evidence we have in science – and all evidence we could ever get. So you are free to believe in it if you wish. Just don’t call it science.

  85. 85
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    OK, well, thank you for that clarification, Nullasalus.

    But as I see it, it just doesn’t reflect the way that science actually works.

    Most of what we study in science is “unobservable” – we measure the effects of things, not the things themselves. No-one has ever seen an electron, or a photon, or an exo-planet, and it was only recently that anyone had directly observed that the earth was (roughly) spherical. In my field we observe neural activity, but it is far from direct. But that does not stop us making good inferences about what underlies the effect we see. So when I say that a multiverse theory makes testable predictions about observable data, I do not mean we will observe another universe. I mean that we will observe what is predicted to be observable should another universe exist.

    Just as, it is clear, from what we know about the speed of light, that our own “observable universe” can only be a subset of the entire universe, which, by definition, we can’t observe. But we can deduce that it must be there.

    We can even have a shot at calcuating its size – 10^(10^30) times the size of the observable universe according to this (quite interesting) blog post, but I haven’t checked the sources:]]http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2010/10/how_big_is_the_unobservable_un.php

    But I expect that’s subject to revision every time we get new data about inflation in the early universe. Until we are more confident of the size of the Bang, it’s going to be difficult to figure out how far the bits we can no longer see have got to.

    And to answer your question: all estimates of the size of the unobservable universe are “scientific”, it’s just that we may be wildly out until we get more data.

    But that isn’t the same as saying that no more data is obtainable – it is. Now that we can actually see “back in time” to the early stages of the Big Bang (using Hubble and other satellites) we have ever more data to tell us how far and how fast we have come since then.

  86. 86
    CannuckianYankee says:

    “Nullasalus has addressed this quite sufficiently, as well as given some more insight into the former issue at 73, 76 and 77.”

    Correction: That was Dr. Torley at 73 and Nullasalus at 76 and 77. BTW, I’ve gotten through much of the work cited by Dr. Torley, and it really is well done. Very significant.

  87. 87
    nullasalus says:

    No-one has ever seen an electron, or a photon, or an exo-planet, and it was only recently that anyone had directly observed that the earth was (roughly) spherical. In my field we observe neural activity, but it is far from direct. But that does not stop us making good inferences about what underlies the effect we see.

    Nor does it stop you from making bad inferences, or non-scientific inferences – “the ability to make an inference” is not what’s under question here. Not all inferences are scientific – and they aren’t magically made such just because you refer to empirical data in your inference.

    That seems to be a problem you can’t appreciate: The fact that you’re referring to empirical data in the course of your speculations does not suffice to make your speculations scientific. Just as my for-example statement about fine-tuning does not make God’s existence or activity scientific. Unless you agree that, actually, it does – I mean, given a multiverse, it’s possible we live in a universe that was created by an intelligent being. So clearly it’s scientific to infer that our universe was designed after all, right?

    Likewise, photons and electrons help my case rather than yours. These are things ‘within our observable universe’, and yet how to treat them is a debate itself (see scientific realism versus anti-realism). In the case of multiverses, we’re not even dealing with something within our observable universe but defying direct observation. It’s outside our scope.

    So when I say that a multiverse theory makes testable predictions about observable data, I do not mean we will observe another universe. I mean that we will observe what is predicted to be observable should another universe exist.

    And we know this how? Because we’ve gone beyond the observable universe, tallied up the data, and now know what some of the signs are? Well, clearly it can’t be that.

    Or maybe it’s that if we don’t see certain things in our universe, then we know we don’t exist in a multiverse? Oops, wait a moment – it can’t be that either. The multiverse remains possible regardless of any data we encounter.

    Or maybe it’s that someone makes a grand metaphysical model partly inspired by some observations within our universe, and tries to connect those observations to that which is unobservable and untestable even in principle. But the standard response to that until recently was “well, then only the inferences about our observable universe have any hope of being scientific – the rest is beyond science”.

    I’ll say again: Would you like for me to make a prediction that’s consistent with a multiverse model? Here it is: “All observation and experiment will be consistent with the observable universe being the only universe.”

    We can even have a shot at calcuating its size – 10^(10^30) times the size of the observable universe according to this (quite interesting) blog post, but I haven’t checked the sources:

    Yes, I too can google “how big is the unobservable universe” and paste one of the first links I see. Can you realize the problem of saying “We can estimate the size of the thing that is not observable, even in principle, and also this estimate can be completely wrong”?

    762 angels can dance on the head of a pin. This is scientific, but…

    it’s just that we may be wildly out until we get more data.

    ..Right?

    At no point will we ever have the data to check whether our estimates are correct, because there is no saying ‘Alright, time to go look at the unobservable universe and compare our notes’. Just as at no point do we get to say ‘Alright, time to go check out God and see if our universe is really fine-tuned after all’.

    But that isn’t the same as saying that no more data is obtainable – it is. Now that we can actually see “back in time” to the early stages of the Big Bang (using Hubble and other satellites) we have ever more data to tell us how far and how fast we have come since then.

    Of course we do, because that’s actually part of our observable universe! No, the unobservable universe is not about to become observable – by your own admission. At best – at our absolute finest – we’ll have wildly incomplete data that some people, scientists and not, use to make conjectures about that which is unobservable and untestable in principle. And insofar as that which they are conjecturing about is untestable and unobservable, their conjectures will remain exactly that: Conjectures. Extra-scientific assumptions and extrapolations from very limited data.

    It’s possible for some things to be possible, even true, and for science to be helpless to demonstrate such. It’s a limited tool, and the fact that some people really, really would like to call their every thought and inference ‘scientific’ should not give them license to abuse and warp science.

  88. 88
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Nullusalus:

    No-one has ever seen an electron, or a photon, or an exo-planet, and it was only recently that anyone had directly observed that the earth was (roughly) spherical. In my field we observe neural activity, but it is far from direct. But that does not stop us making good inferences about what underlies the effect we see.

    Nor does it stop you from making bad inferences, or non-scientific inferences – “the ability to make an inference” is not what’s under question here. Not all inferences are scientific – and they aren’t magically made such just because you refer to empirical data in your inference.

    Of course they aren’t. What stops us making bad inferences is the requirement that our data support our hypotheses. That’s what a testable hypothesis is – one that generates a prediction that can be verified (or falsified) by data. Obviously if the data don’t support your hypothesis then you can’t make the inference.

    That seems to be a problem you can’t appreciate: The fact that you’re referring to empirical data in the course of your speculations does not suffice to make your speculations scientific. Just as my for-example statement about fine-tuning does not make God’s existence or activity scientific. Unless you agree that, actually, it does – I mean, given a multiverse, it’s possible we live in a universe that was created by an intelligent being. So clearly it’s scientific to infer that our universe was designed after all, right?

    Well, you can’t infer anything from a hypothesis that doesn’t make a differential prediction. If two different hypotheses make the same prediction, you can’t use data from that prediction to decide between one or the other.

    To make a scientific decision, you’d have to devise a hypothesis that differentiated between the two.

    Likewise, photons and electrons help my case rather than yours. These are things ‘within our observable universe’, and yet how to treat them is a debate itself (see scientific realism versus anti-realism). In the case of multiverses, we’re not even dealing with something within our observable universe but defying direct observation. It’s outside our scope.

    I don’t see why. As I said, often we observe effects of unobservables, not the thing itself. If multiverses leave observable traces within our universe, then we can study them.

    So when I say that a multiverse theory makes testable predictions about observable data, I do not mean we will observe another universe. I mean that we will observe what is predicted to be observable should another universe exist.

    And we know this how? Because we’ve gone beyond the observable universe, tallied up the data, and now know what some of the signs are? Well, clearly it can’t be that.

    Well sort of. Did you read my post? We can, in effect, observe the remnants of the Big Bang. That tells us a heck of a lot about what it spawned, and may tell us something, eventually about how it was itself spawned. If it was.

    Or maybe it’s that if we don’t see certain things in our universe, then we know we don’t exist in a multiverse? Oops, wait a moment – it can’t be that either. The multiverse remains possible regardless of any data we encounter.

    No, I don’t think so. Well, not reasonably. Postulating something in the absence of any evidence or argument for it would be in the category of teapots orbiting Mars. We can’t know there isn’t one there, but there’s no good reason to think there is.

    Or maybe it’s that someone makes a grand metaphysical model partly inspired by some observations within our universe, and tries to connect those observations to that which is unobservable and untestable even in principle. But the standard response to that until recently was “well, then only the inferences about our observable universe have any hope of being scientific – the rest is beyond science”.

    I’ll say again: Would you like for me to make a prediction that’s consistent with a multiverse model? Here it is: “All observation and experiment will be consistent with the observable universe being the only universe.”

    We can even have a shot at calcuating its size – 10^(10^30) times the size of the observable universe according to this (quite interesting) blog post, but I haven’t checked the sources:

    Yes, I too can google “how big is the unobservable universe” and paste one of the first links I see. Can you realize the problem of saying “We can estimate the size of the thing that is not observable, even in principle, and also this estimate can be completely wrong”?

    Well, I gave you the first link because it seemed to be reasonably informative. Obviously you could check out some scholarly sources. My point is that if you know (as we do) something about the way the universe inflated shortly after the Big Bang, then it isn’t actually very difficult to figure out that a lot of it must already be beyond our sight, and, indeed, approximately how much.

    I mean, I couldn’t do it, but it doesn’t seem to be intrinsically difficult.

    762 angels can dance on the head of a pin. This is scientific, but…

    it’s just that we may be wildly out until we get more data.

    ..Right?

    At no point will we ever have the data to check whether our estimates are correct, because there is no saying ‘Alright, time to go look at the unobservable universe and compare our notes’. Just as at no point do we get to say ‘Alright, time to go check out God and see if our universe is really fine-tuned after all’.

    But that isn’t the same as saying that no more data is obtainable – it is. Now that we can actually see “back in time” to the early stages of the Big Bang (using Hubble and other satellites) we have ever more data to tell us how far and how fast we have come since then.

    Of course we do, because that’s actually part of our observable universe! No, the unobservable universe is not about to become observable – by your own admission. At best – at our absolute finest – we’ll have wildly incomplete data that some people, scientists and not, use to make conjectures about that which is unobservable and untestable in principle. And insofar as that which they are conjecturing about is untestable and unobservable, their conjectures will remain exactly that: Conjectures. Extra-scientific assumptions and extrapolations from very limited data.

    It’s possible for some things to be possible, even true, and for science to be helpless to demonstrate such. It’s a limited tool, and the fact that some people really, really would like to call their every thought and inference ‘scientific’ should not give them license to abuse and warp science.

    Well, Nullasalus, as I said, I’m no cosmologist or theoretical physicist, and I assume you aren’t either, so we’d have to ask others to weigh in here.

    But from what I’ve read (and I’m interested in cosmology, as you probably are, and I’ve read a few books on the subject – Paul Davies’ book, and the Steinhardt and Turok one, and Hawking of course, as well as the odd article in Nature and the Science press, including bulletins from the LHC, and it seems to me that you maybe aren’t giving cosmologists quite the credit they deserve.

    They don’t seem to just sit around thinking “hey, maybe there are multiple universes, that would get us out of this fine-tuning business”. They do lots of math and chunk lots of data, and set up experiments to test hypothesis arising from their theories. That’s how science works.

    So I’d say it was science 🙂

    Cheers

    Lizzie

  89. 89
    PaV says:

    There’s a new book out entitled: “New Proofs for God’s Existence”. It’s by Robert Spitzer. He’s a Jesuit priest.

    He has a section on “multi-verses”, and has Dr. Bruce Gordon evaluate the problems with thee “multiverse” hypotheses. I’m reading it now.

    Here’s the link.

    They don’t stand up to scrutiny, it seems.

  90. 90
  91. 91
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Thanks, PaV. I also need to read vjtorley’s link too.

    And The Signature in the Cell 🙂

  92. 92
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Thanks Driver. That’s a nice essay!

  93. 93
    nullasalus says:

    Of course they aren’t. What stops us making bad inferences is the requirement that our data support our hypotheses. That’s what a testable hypothesis is – one that generates a prediction that can be verified (or falsified) by data. Obviously if the data don’t support your hypothesis then you can’t make the inference.

    First, no data can falsify the multiverse – that’s part of the problem here. Any and all data is in principle consistent with a multiverse’s existence.

    I point out again that simply making reference to data does not make an inference scientific. Likewise, a ‘bad’ inference is not necessarily unscientific.

    Well, you can’t infer anything from a hypothesis that doesn’t make a differential prediction. If two different hypotheses make the same prediction, you can’t use data from that prediction to decide between one or the other.

    And if a given hypothetical entity – the multiverse – is consistent with all possible empirical data, it does not become scientific merely by tacking on a stipulation.

    Can you provide an example of empirical data that would falsify the existence of a multiverse? Let’s see it.

    Well sort of. Did you read my post? We can, in effect, observe the remnants of the Big Bang. That tells us a heck of a lot about what it spawned, and may tell us something, eventually about how it was itself spawned. If it was.

    Did you read my response? The “big bang” in question was part of our observable universe. At no point did I deny we can make inferences about our universe, given data within our universe. It’s these things that are outside of our universe, unobservable and unexperimentable in principle that the problem comes in.

    No, I don’t think so. Well, not reasonably. Postulating something in the absence of any evidence or argument for it would be in the category of teapots orbiting Mars. We can’t know there isn’t one there, but there’s no good reason to think there is.

    And once again: The mere existence of argument and evidence for something is not sufficient to make assertions of that something’s existence or non-existence ‘scientific’. Ellis does not say “There is no evidence nor argument for the multiverse” – in fact, he treats it as a respectable philosophical position. But it’s philosophical, not scientific.

    A multiverse is unfalsifiable. Any data we get is consistent with the existence of a multiverse. This doesn’t strike you as problematic?

    My point is that if you know (as we do) something about the way the universe inflated shortly after the Big Bang, then it isn’t actually very difficult to figure out that a lot of it must already be beyond our sight, and, indeed, approximately how much.

    Yeah, ‘a lot of it and approximately how much’, it’s just that our conclusions can be wildly wrong, and there’s no way to check our approximations and extrapolations. One of the selling points of science was supposed to be the reliance on observation and experimentation in order to make inferences and reach conclusions. That requirement seems to be relaxed, dramatically relaxed, more and more nowadays. But apparently in some fields, it’s now considered alright to take some observations and a whole lot of unempirical assumptions and make inferences based on those.

    I’ll just call it what it is: Philosophy. Metaphysics. Even (a)theology. Science, it ain’t.

    They don’t seem to just sit around thinking “hey, maybe there are multiple universes, that would get us out of this fine-tuning business”. They do lots of math and chunk lots of data, and set up experiments to test hypothesis arising from their theories. That’s how science works.

    They do say ‘the multiverse would explain away the apparent fine-tuning’. And yes, some go further with obvious motivations – look at Stenger and others.

    Further, Dembski and Behe do a lot of math and chunk lots of data. What they do is, by many, argued not to be science. Rupert Sheldrake likewise performs experiments and makes inferences. People who believe in telekinesis and psychic powers perform experiments and make inferences based on them. That does not save them from the pseudoscience label, nor does it automatically make what they do science.

    There’s more to science than doing math, or even making some, any, hypothesis. It’s possible for a hypothesis to be an unscientific one. It’s possible to engage in doing a lot of math, and for the motivation to be wrongheaded, to say nothing of the inference.

    If I come up with a hypothesis about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, and refer to some empirical data (say, the average size of the head of a pin), the question of “Is this science or not?” is not contingent on the answer to the question “Well, how much math have you done, how much data have you gone over?”

    Believe in the multiverse if you like. Heck, believe in Tegmark’s Ultimate Ensemble if you wish. You’re welcome to whatever theology, philosophy, and metaphysics you wish – you just won’t be doing science anymore.

  94. 94
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Nullasalus, at this point, I suggest you read the essay linked in Driver’s post. It says all that I was trying to say, much more clearly than I could, and with far more specifics.

    All I will say myself is to repeat what I have said before that I think that any inference made about God on the basis of science is fallacious. I don’t think that science can either prove or disprove God. Or, at least, not an omnipotent creator of all that is – the reason there is something rather than nothing. Atheist arguments on those lines seem to me to be straw men, or at least attacks on what is already bad theology.

    I’m not going to “believe in” multiverse theory or any other theory. Which is correct interests me, but I have no vested interest in the matter, and I’m curious to see where the current thinking seems to be leading. I’m certainly watching the results of the LHC with interest.

    But I don’t “believe” in scientific propositions anyway. I “evaluate” them. Perhaps that’s because I’m a scientist 🙂

  95. 95
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Oh, but you mentioned Sheldrake – now that really is “pseudo science”. Not because it concerns psi effects (you can do perfectly good science on psi effects) but because his methodology is appalling.

    Really, it is.

  96. 96
    nullasalus says:

    Science and unobservable things

    From the article:

    The next thing to understand is that all of these crazy speculations about multiverses and extra dimensions originate in the attempt to understand phenomena that we observe right here in the nearby world.

    The same can be said of any number of philosophical views and metaphysical systems. And therein lies the problem.

    I get the impression that some people are going through this chain of thought: A) I want to learn about reality, or at least be able to pontificate about it with authority, B) But philosophy and metaphysics is unpopular and lacks authority, therefore C) I’ll just call the speculations I like science, even if they involve that which is unobservable and untestable even in principle.

    Though I have to admit, it’s pretty amusing to see defenders and admirers of science trying to defend gross speculations about the unobservable and untestable as science. In fact, when Dover II rolls around, I’d love to see a multiverse proponent called to the stand to testify that just because something is unobservable or untestable does not mean inferences about its existence or nature are unscientific.

  97. 97
    Driver says:

    no data can falsify the multiverse

    Premature. There are hints at testability already. Again from Sean Carroll’s blog: Observing the multiverse

    You will find few scientists who believe in the multiverse. It’s a hypothesis. If you read the first link I posted you will see Sean Caroll saying IF “we do manage to construct a theory that makes a set of specific and unambiguous testable predictions, and those predictions are tested and the theory comes through with flying colors, and that theory also predicts unambiguously that inflation happened or there are multiple universes or extra dimensions, I will be very happy to believe in the reality of those ideas.”

    You see, it is not necessary to believe in an idea in order to explore an idea.

  98. 98
    nullasalus says:

    Driver,

    Premature. There are hints at testability already.

    Driver, spell out for me explicitly what would falsify the multiverse. As in, showing “The multiverse exists” is false.

    If you read the first link I posted you will see Sean Caroll saying

    I read it and commented on part of it already. That Carroll will happily believe in that which is unobservable and untestable in a hypothetical scenario where a tangentially related test allows him to extrapolate the data, perhaps unto infinity, says it all.

    As for your current link, even the prospect of another universe ‘bouncing’ against ours and leaving its mark is faint stuff to say the least. And likewise, failing to find those signatures won’t falsify the existence of the multiverse – that much is strongly suggested by the article alone.

  99. 99
    Driver says:

    Driver, spell out for me explicitly what would falsify the multiverse. As in, showing “The multiverse exists” is false.

    As I said, you are being premature.

    Since I don’t believe the multiverse idea is true, you don’t believe the multiverse idea is true, and Sean Carroll doesn’t believe the multiverse idea is true, there’s not much more to say.

    Certainly there is no a priori reason to think it false, so
    cosmologists like Sean will continue to explore the idea for now, because it is potentially fruitful. Hopefully to where it leads them to be able to make predictions.

  100. 100
    nullasalus says:

    Driver,

    As I said, you are being premature.

    As I asked, please spell out for me explicitly what would falsify the multiverse. As in, showing “The multiverse exists” is false.

    Or is this a roundabout way of telling me that you can’t think of anything that could falsify the multiverse?

  101. 101
    PaV says:

    To whom it may concern:

    The “multivers” hypothesis, per Widipedia, comes from Wm James in 1895—well before Einstein and QM.

    Inflation was invented to explain the uniformity of the cosmic background radiation.

    Multiverse theory was invented to refute the ‘fine-tuning’ argument, or, better known as the Anthropic Principle. IOW, it was invented to keep atheists happy.

    Brian Greene says that the LHC may give us some signature of the existence of multiverses. I’m not sure what he’s talking about. But multiverses, almost per definition, are cut off from us.

    So, isn’t ‘design’ a more powerful ‘signature’ in our universe of the presence of another otherwise invisible reality than anything the LHC will turn up?

    Lizzie, I wouldn’t defend multiverse much. It appears like religion, not science.

  102. 102
    Driver says:

    Nullasalus, I don’t know what would falsify the existence of a multiverse, because there is not yet any multiverse theory which makes firm predictions.

    If there are no predictions there can be no falsification.

    It would be premature to say that the multiverse hypothesis is in principle unfalsifiable.

  103. 103
    Driver says:

    Multiverse theory was invented to refute the ‘fine-tuning’ argument, or, better known as the Anthropic Principle. IOW, it was invented to keep atheists happy.

    Fine tuning and the anthropic principle are not the same thing. Nor is the multiverse and the anthropic principle the same thing.

    Anyway, you raise an issue that harks back to the discussion on science and the supernatural.

    Science looks for explanations of what is seen in nature. While the multiverse is actually more than simply an explanation of fine tuning, it is true that scientific theories attempt to explain what is seen in nature. There are several possibilities to explain apparent fine tuning. This is how science proceeds – by coming up with hypotheses.

    It would not be scientific to infer the supernatural from apparent fine tuning as that is to preclude the natural possibilities which have not been ruled out.

    It is a simple fact that the cause of the physical constants of our universe is at present unknown, whatever anyone wants to believe.

  104. 104
    nullasalus says:

    Nullasalus, I don’t know what would falsify the existence of a multiverse, because there is not yet any multiverse theory which makes firm predictions.

    What is it about ‘the multiverse’ which makes you think it can be a thing for which firm predictions are made about it regardless?

    It would be premature to say that the multiverse hypothesis is in principle unfalsifiable.

    At what point wouldn’t it be premature? Or is it just that we can never say that anything is unfalsifiable because gosh, who knows what tomorrow will bring? In which case, apparently scientists should be working on hypotheses that our universe is intelligently designed, eh? And before you play the card you played with PaV, I’ll note that nothing about that hypothesis would necessitate ‘the supernatural’ – not that that word has much meaning anymore, given the contortions done to ‘natural’.

    Let’s see where we stand: You can’t think of anything that could falsify the multiverse. The one example you gave in a link wouldn’t do the trick, because the existence of the multiverse, even of bubble universes, would still be consistent with the lack of a CMB signature – and any presence of one could have alternate explanations. Why, in the face of all this and on top of the issues of these other universes being intrinsically unobservable and unable to be experimented on, should multiverse speculations be regarded as scientific? Bonus question: Considering some multiverse speculations entail or vastly raise the likelihood that some universes are designed, why shouldn’t ID with regards to our universe be entertained as a scientific hypothesis? That is, assuming you don’t agree that ID is science.

  105. 105
    Driver says:

    What is it about ‘the multiverse’ which makes you think it can be a thing for which firm predictions are made about it regardless?

    Science’s track record of making firm predictions about things. Either way, there is no a priori reason to assume that the multiverse is outside the scope of science.

    At what point wouldn’t it be premature? Or is it just that we can never say that anything is unfalsifiable because gosh, who knows what tomorrow will bring?

    Correct. We should not just assume that a hypothesis is unfalsifiable.

    In which case, apparently scientists should be working on hypotheses that our universe is intelligently designed, eh?

    I don’t know why you are being sarcastic about that on this site.

    before you play the card you played with PaV, I’ll note that nothing about that hypothesis would necessitate ‘the supernatural’

    It was PaV who posited the idea that the multiverse was an idea “to keep atheists happy.” It was his inference to the supernatural, not mine.

    Why, in the face of all this and on top of the issues of these other universes being intrinsically unobservable and unable to be experimented on, should multiverse speculations be regarded as scientific?

    Because the actual scientists working on cosmology problems take the idea seriously. Really, it doesn’t matter if you or I regard the multiverse as scientific. It only matters to the degree that you want to rule OUT the multiverse hypothesis. I have no theological or philosophical issue with the concept, so I have no desire to rule it out on principle.

  106. 106
    Driver says:

    Considering some multiverse speculations entail or vastly raise the likelihood that some universes are designed, why shouldn’t ID with regards to our universe be entertained as a scientific hypothesis?

    In principle, why not? Until we have an answer, the more hypotheses the merrier. I think there are practical difficulties in design detection. Otherwise I assume Dembski or someone would have calculated the CSI of the universe.

  107. 107
    nullasalus says:

    Driver,

    Science’s track record of making firm predictions about things. Either way, there is no a priori reason to assume that the multiverse is outside the scope of science.

    Science’s “track record” was far and away built upon that which is A) observable, B) open to experimentation, and C) within our observable universe, to give a few limitations. Not to mention this little thing D) avoiding unfalsifiable claims.

    And I’d think the fact that universes other than our own are unobservable and not subject to being experimented upon, even in principle, would be a good reason to consider multiverses outside the scope of science.

    Correct. We should not just assume that a hypothesis is unfalsifiable.

    It’s not “assumed”, it falls out of what a multiverse is. Either way, great – so ‘unfalsifiability’ has now evaporated as a reason to exclude ID from science. Down goes one argument. The complaints that the designer is unobservable and not open to experimentation also fall.

    Because the actual scientists working on cosmology problems take the idea seriously.

    Wow. So, science is whatever scientists say it is. What they’re actually saying, the reasoning behind it – all this hardly matters. You can know what is and isn’t science by taking a head count.

    I’m not sure what’s worse – this, or the idea that a courtroom judge can decide what is or isn’t science with a ruling.

    Really, it doesn’t matter if you or I regard the multiverse as scientific. It only matters to the degree that you want to rule OUT the multiverse hypothesis.

    Who said I wanted to rule out the multiverse hypothesis? I said you can rule it in if you like – it just isn’t science. It’s philosophy, metaphysics, and (a)theology.

    But apparently science is decided by popular vote now, so, hey.

    In principle, why not? Until we have an answer, the more hypotheses the merrier.

    Wonderful. Go tell Sean Carroll your thoughts on science, and what accepting the multiverse as a valid scientific endeavor is leading you to as far as conclusions about science goes. I’m sure he’ll be ecstatic.

  108. 108
    Driver says:

    so ‘unfalsifiability’ has now evaporated as a reason to exclude ID from science. Down goes one argument. The complaints that the designer is unobservable and not open to experimentation also fall.

    I actually agree. Falsifiability is a retrodiction of Popper’s. It’s very useful, but I don’t think it’s the be all and end all.

    The important thing with science is constructing an explanatory framework that incorporates testable predictions.

    The problem with ID research as it stands is not that it fails one criterion for scientific theories.

    Wow. So, science is whatever scientists say it is.

    In terms of the hypotheses they discuss, absolutely, yes.

    This doesn’t make the multiverse idea true, of course, but I think it’s churlish to say it isn’t scientific. Many scientific papers have been written about multiverses and published in established scientific journals.

    Wonderful. Go tell Sean Carroll your thoughts on science, and what accepting the multiverse as a valid scientific endeavor is leading you to as far as conclusions about science goes.

    I’m sure Sean Carroll isn’t against any scientific hypothesis in principle. He even thinks the purportedly supernatural can be studied by science. Well, as far as it interacts with the natural world.

    If someone comes up with a way to test whether the universe is designed, I’m sure scientists would be all for it. Scientists, even ones who are prepared to entertain the idea of the multiverse, are all for empirical test!

  109. 109
    nullasalus says:

    Driver,

    The important thing with science is constructing an explanatory framework that incorporates testable predictions.

    By a revised, hackneyed definition of science I suppose. But really, that much has been established by saying in effect ‘science is whatever gets written about in journals, or whatever a scientist writes a paper about if he calls it science’.

    I’m sure Sean Carroll isn’t against any scientific hypothesis in principle. He even thinks the purportedly supernatural can be studied by science. Well, as far as it interacts with the natural world.

    Nice and evasive. No, Sean Carroll wouldn’t be against any ‘scientific hypothesis’. But he’d damn well regard some hypotheses as unscientific. It’s whether the hypotheses are scientific to begin with that’s under discussion.

    If someone comes up with a way to test whether the universe is designed, I’m sure scientists would be all for it. Scientists, even ones who are prepared to entertain the idea of the multiverse, are all for empirical test!

    But apparently we don’t need an empirical test for whether the universe is or isn’t designed anyway. All we need is to infer it from a hypothesis that has some empirical basis, and from which design would be an inference.

    Further, plenty of scientists don’t regard multiverse speculations as science. Peter Woit, for example. George Ellis for another. So apparently, the multiverse both is and is not science, because scientists both do and do not regard it as scientific.

    Glad we cleared that up. So much for science’s clarity and objectivity. Now we need polls of subjective opinion to determine if something is scientific or not. This is making Post-Modernism look organized by comparison.

  110. 110
    Driver says:

    the fact that universes other than our own are unobservable and not subject to being experimented upon, even in principle

    Not true. Who says other universes don’t leave an imprint on our universe? Remember this?

  111. 111
    nullasalus says:

    Not true. Who says other universes don’t leave an imprint on our universe? Remember this?

    Yes – a vague circular formation in CMB data which someone argues maybe possibly could have in theory been made by a bubble universe, and which even the proponents regard as weak and speculative at best. And of course, if there was no imprint, that wouldn’t falsify the existence of the multiverse – remember that time when I repeatedly asked you what would falsify the multiverse, and you conceded that nothing could, but gosh, maybe someday something can and unfalsifiability is not a barrier to a claim being scientific anymore?

    Also possible: The Thumb of Thor dented our universe. Get some scientists researching that, Driver. By your definition, if all they do is publish some papers about it, the Thumb of Thor hypothesis will be science upon the instant. 😉

  112. 112
    Driver says:

    The Thumb of Thor dented our universe. Get some scientists researching that, Driver. By your definition, if all they do is publish some papers about it, the Thumb of Thor hypothesis will be science upon the instant.

    Yes, but they won’t. 😉

    I was making the observation that cosmologists are competent to define what cosmology is. If anyone could give scientific reasons for the Thumb of Thor hypothesis, or any design hypothesis, that would be great.

    Incidentally, I did not say unfalsifiability was not a barrier. I said it was not the be all and end all.

  113. 113
    Driver says:

    and which even the proponents regard as weak and speculative at best

    The point is that you cannot then say that other universes are undetectable in principle.

  114. 114
    Driver says:

    The important thing with science is constructing an explanatory framework that incorporates testable predictions.

    By a revised, hackneyed definition of science I suppose.

    Well that’s from the cosmologist’s blog article on Science and Unobservable Things. In all things, if his article doesn’t persuade you, then I can’t.

  115. 115
    nullasalus says:

    Yes, but they won’t.

    But if they did, it’d be science, period. Because that’s your standard – science is whatever scientists say it is at any time. Splendid.

    Incidentally, I did not say unfalsifiability was not a barrier. I said it was not the be all and end all.

    So, you didn’t say unfalsifiability was not a barrier. Just that it’s, apparently, not a good reason to reject something as being scientific. So… not a barrier after all.

    The point is that you cannot then say that other universes are undetectable in principle.

    Sure, just like God or the supernatural can’t be said to be undetectable in principle. Or anything else. Because, for all we know, maybe one day…

    Well that’s from the cosmologist’s blog article on Science and Unobservable Things. In all things, if his article doesn’t persuade you, then I can’t.

    Do you think I walked in here thinking that no scientists thought multiverse speculations were science? Unlike you, I don’t consider a scientist’s whim to determine what is or is not science.

    Maybe the reason you can’t persuade me on this is because your standards for what qualifies as science are pretty ad hoc and leave a lot to be desired. That which is unobservable or cannot be experimented on can now be scientific. Unfalsifiable? Hey, it can still be scientific. Because science is just ‘what guys who call themselves scientists say is science’.

    Hey, next time you need medical help, I have a suggestion: Homeopathy. It’s recognized as legitimate, at least in India. So, travel to India, and it will magically become science. It may be pseudoscience elsewhere though, where other scientists disagree more vehemently. 😉

  116. 116
    Driver says:

    But if they did

    When they do, get back to me.

    On unfalsifiability – it’s one criterion of a scientific theory. Not an essential criterion of all facets of a scientific theory.

    Sure, just like God or the supernatural can’t be said to be undetectable in principle. Or anything else. Because, for all we know, maybe one day…

    Bubble collisions are one way in which other universes could leave an imprint on our universe. So you cannot say that in principle other universes are undetectable. The principle has been established. The challenge then is to provide a mechanism that makes further predictions.

    The problem with the supernatural is NOT in principle detecting a natural effect. The problem is the inference to the supernatural. For how, based on natural effects, do you conclude that the origin is supernatural? Especially if the supernatural is not in principle limited in its effects. There is no mechanism for the supernatural by which you can make further predictions.

    Because science is just ‘what guys who call themselves scientists say is science’.

    No. Science is not “just” anything.

    I am not presenting the fact that cosmologists take multiverses seriously as a “standard of science”. In some ways I admire your skepticism of cosmologists. It is not of a form that my own skepticism takes. The only problem with it is that to make an informed decision is you have to know as much about cosmology as a cosmologist. I love your comparison of cosmologists to homeopaths in India!

    Sean Carroll presents plenty of standards and explanations in his article. If you want to discuss any of that then perhaps we can have a useful conversation.

  117. 117
    nullasalus says:

    When they do, get back to me.

    I don’t need to. I’m pointing out the flaw in your standard, now. If your standard is ‘If they do, then it’s not science, I’ll change my definition’ then – lo and behold – science isn’t whatever scientists say it is. It’s an improvement, but it’d mean you’re being disingenuous here. 😉

    On unfalsifiability – it’s one criterion of a scientific theory. Not an essential criterion of all facets of a scientific theory.

    Right. First, your prime ‘criterion’ here so far is ‘whether scientists think it’s science’. And I like that – unfalsifiability is not an essential criterion. Not anymore, anyway. 😉

    Bubble collisions are one way in which other universes could leave an imprint on our universe. So you cannot say that in principle other universes are undetectable.

    I said in principle unobservable, and that they cannot be experimented on. You added in ‘undetectable’. If you’re going to reduce detectability to ‘asserting that this or that feature could have maybe possibly been the result of a multiverse somehow’, go for it. It’s a nice way to make detectability nigh-meaningless.

    For how, based on natural effects, do you conclude that the origin is supernatural? Especially if the supernatural is not in principle limited in its effects. There is no mechanism for the supernatural by which you can make further predictions.

    Oh really? And here I thought that saying things like that was somehow an affront to science. We had to say ‘no mechanism – so far!’, and that scientists could, if they wanted, devote themselves to theories about the supernatural and trying to find ways to test and detect the supernatural. And that this endeavor would be scientific.

    And we don’t need to ‘conclude’. We just need to infer, remember? We don’t even need to directly observe anything supernatural existing – it’s enough if our theory lets us infer it was responsible for this or that. Like, say, CMB signatures. 😉

    I am not presenting the fact that cosmologists take multiverses seriously as a “standard of science”. In some ways I admire your skepticism of cosmologists.

    I’m not skeptical of cosmologists. I’m skeptical of ‘theories’ about the unobservable, that which cannot be experimented on, and the unfalsifiable being called ‘science’. That some cosmologists are caught up in that is a minor issue.

    I asked you why, in the face of various problems, we should regard multiverse speculations as science. Your reply: “Because the actual scientists working on cosmology problems take the idea seriously.”

    You’re the one who brought that up as the standard for science, not me. If you want to back off on it, you go right ahead.

    The only problem with it is that to make an informed decision is you have to know as much about cosmology as a cosmologist.

    So, you’re saying that by your own standards you’re making uninformed decisions about science by taking a position on the multiverse, and that we should be agnostic on the question? Or is it that making an uninformed decision is okay in this case?

    My comparison to homeopaths in India was to illustrate the glaring problem with your “You can tell something is scientific if scientists think it is” standard. Saying that I was comparing cosmologists to homeopaths is flat out dishonest.

    As for having a useful conversation, I’m still waiting for that to happen with far more basic topics. As it is, you’re all over the map – and letting off a strong whiff of “I just want to consider multiverses as science, having to justify that actually sorta sucks.”

  118. 118
    Clive Hayden says:

    Driver,

    On unfalsifiability – it’s one criterion of a scientific theory. Not an essential criterion of all facets of a scientific theory.

    The problem with the supernatural is NOT in principle detecting a natural effect. The problem is the inference to the supernatural. For how, based on natural effects, do you conclude that the origin is supernatural? Especially if the supernatural is not in principle limited in its effects. There is no mechanism for the supernatural by which you can make further predictions.

    On predictions – it’s one criterion of a scientific theory. Not an essential criterion of all facets of a scientific theory. Consistency, it’s tough for some.

  119. 119
    Driver says:

    And we don’t need to ‘conclude’. We just need to infer, remember? We don’t even need to directly observe anything supernatural existing – it’s enough if our theory lets us infer it was responsible for this or that. Like, say, CMB signatures.

    To start with you need a mechanism for producing the evidence in the CMB signatures. That’s what Matt Johnson and his teams were working on. With the Planck data they hope to find evidence of bubble collisions. The problem with the supernatural is there is no mechanism – it’s beyond natural regularities, by definition.

    I asked you why, in the face of various problems, we should regard multiverse speculations as science. Your reply: “Because the actual scientists working on cosmology problems take the idea seriously.”

    You’re the one who brought that up as the standard for science, not me.

    There’s the misunderstanding. I did not bring it up as a standard for science, but as an indicator for the non-suspicious layman. I concede the point though. I do not have the inclination to argue against your skepticism.

    So, you’re saying that by your own standards you’re making uninformed decisions about science by taking a position on the multiverse, and that we should be agnostic on the question? Or is it that making an uninformed decision is okay in this case?

    I consider a trust of the consensus of experts to be an informed decision, especially on a matter which does not require a belief. Of course, there are arguments and conspiracy theories against trusting experts in certain circumstances. I will in this instance respect your skepticism.

    letting off a strong whiff of “I just want to consider multiverses as science, having to justify that actually sorta sucks.”

    I agree with everything Sean Carroll says in his article. I do not see the need to reparse an eloquent speaker. If there is anything you want to raise about what he actually says about science in his article then that would be interesting. For example, we could discuss David Deutsch’s critique of “hard boiled” instrumentalism, or the case of Boltzmann and his unobservable “atoms”.

  120. 120
    Driver says:

    Clive – So if not predictions, how do you incorporate the supernatural into a scientific theory?

    It’s one thing not meeting all the criteria of a scientific theory, it’s quite another not meeting any.

  121. 121
    nullasalus says:

    The problem with the supernatural is there is no mechanism – it’s beyond natural regularities, by definition.

    The laws of the universe are also beyond natural regularities – hence the talk of ‘meta-laws’. I guess the multiverse is supernatural, eh?

    Ah, but then it looks like the supernatural can be tested. Admittedly, that changes the definition you were going by, but changing definitions seems to be the name of the game with you.

    (Keep in mind, if you say that meta-natural laws are natural all the same, nothing’s stopping me from suggesting the supernatural is just a meta-case of natural law. Because the definitions are that fluid.)

    I did not bring it up as a standard for science, but as an indicator for the non-suspicious layman.

    Non-suspicious. What’s wrong with ‘credulous’? That seems more apt.

    I consider a trust of the consensus of experts to be an informed decision, especially on a matter which does not require a belief. Of course, there are arguments and conspiracy theories against trusting experts in certain circumstances.

    What ‘conspiracy theory’ did I offer here, which you’re implying? And how do you know who is or is not an expert in a given field – particular in a case like this, which even Carroll, in your very own article, admits departs from what is typically considered science in the majority of cases?

    Does this mean that you trust parapsychologists over physicists when it comes to determining how to interpret purported displays of – or research about – parapsychology?

    As for Carroll, by all means defend David Deutsch’s take on the Omega Point if you like. And regarding the observability of atoms: perhaps this will be of some help.

  122. 122
    nullasalus says:

    Clive,

    On predictions – it’s one criterion of a scientific theory. Not an essential criterion of all facets of a scientific theory. Consistency, it’s tough for some.

    The funny thing is, in that Carroll article referenced, one of the key points of it is downplaying the importance of predictions such that “at not every prediction of every theory needs to be testable; what needs to be testable is the framework as a whole”.

    So, testable predictions aren’t essential. Falsifiability is not essential. Apparently, what’s really essential is if scientists tell you ‘this is scientific, darnit’.

  123. 123
    Driver says:

    The laws of the universe are also beyond natural regularities – hence the talk of ‘meta-laws’.

    The key point however is that the meta-laws are regularities, i.e law-like. I say that if they are natural processes they are part of nature, even if not in this universe.

    Ah, but then it looks like the supernatural can be tested.

    Does it? The problem is regularities (law-like behaviour) that are detectable by us as supernatural.

    nothing’s stopping me from suggesting the supernatural is just a meta-case of natural law. Because the definitions are that fluid

    If you define the supernatural as conforming to laws, then I suppose it would be in principle detectable. I would have thought that that was not an acceptable definition of the supernatural, however.

    how do you know who is or is not an expert in a given field

    Good question.

    particular in a case like this, which even Carroll, in your very own article, admits departs from what is typically considered science in the majority of cases?

    Carroll is a theoretical cosmologist in the Department of Physics at the California Institute of Technology. Of course, the most famous proponent of the multiverse is Leonard Susskind, Felix Bloch professor of Theoretical Physics at Stanford.

    I am prepared to listen to what they say and take it seriously. I find their ideas interesting. Of course, the multiverse idea may be wrong, but if they say it is scientific, I am credulous enough to believe them.

    Does this mean that you trust parapsychologists

    No. 😀

    by all means defend David Deutsch’s take on the Omega Point if you like

    We’re not talking about the Omega Point. What about Deutsch’s take on “hard boiled” instrumentalism. Or would you like to talk about the Omega Point instead?

    Regarding the observability of atoms, they were unobservable in Boltzmann’s time. That is the point. Other unobservables are quarks and dark matter. Do you concede that these are science?

  124. 124
    nullasalus says:

    The key point however is that the meta-laws are regularities, i.e law-like. I say that if they are natural processes they are part of nature, even if not in this universe.

    And this is a pretty recent turn of events for ‘natural’. What makes the processes ‘natural processes’ anyway? That they’re observable? Ah, but then we see the problem in this case.

    If you define the supernatural as conforming to laws, then I suppose it would be in principle detectable. I would have thought that that was not an acceptable definition of the supernatural, however.

    Would the laws themselves be supernatural? Or do the laws have to conform to laws also?

    I am prepared to listen to what they say and take it seriously. I find their ideas interesting. Of course, the multiverse idea may be wrong, but if they say it is scientific, I am credulous enough to believe them.

    And why won’t you believe George Ellis, himself a cosmologist, when he says that multiverses are philosophy, not science? I quoted what he had to say above – he’s not exactly fringe. Or do you just let your heart decide or somesuch?

    No.

    Why not? I mean, they’d be the experts in their field, right? They’re the ones who study the stuff for a living – such as it is – and get the appropriate education – again, such as it is.

    Now you’ve switched from saying you should be credulous enough to trust the consensus of scientists in a field to, well… ditching the consensus. Why is that?

    We’re not talking about the Omega Point.

    We’re talking about what is and is not considered science. Carroll brought up Deutsch, I’m bringing up something else Deutsch considered to follow from the physics – the Omega Point.

    You tell me if the Omega Point – aka, ‘God’, according to Frank Tipler – is scientific speculation. And if it’s not, then it seems Deutsch’s idea of what is and is not scientific is problematic.

    Regarding the observability of atoms, they were unobservable in Boltzmann’s time. That is the point.

    And now, they’re observable.

    Ah, but it gets better. According to the wikipedia: Boltzmann’s kinetic theory of gases seemed to presuppose the reality of atoms and molecules, but almost all German philosophers and many scientists like Ernst Mach and the physical chemist Wilhelm Ostwald opposed their existence.

    So tell me, Driver. Should the common man have believed in atoms at the time? After all, many – and according to other sources, most – scientists did not believe in the reality of atoms at the time. And I’d suggest that one reason acceptance of atoms right now is not controversial is because they’re observable.

    The funny thing is, you’ve got yourself a dilemma. If we should let the consensus of scientists determine what is and isn’t science, then apparently it would have been right to reject Boltzmann’s ideas of atoms. But if Boltzmann’s ideas of atoms should have been accepted well in advance of actual detection and observation, then it seems that the consensus of scientists doesn’t determine what we should believe or accept as science, and we can have good reason to reject what most scientists determine is and is not science.

    Which one will you go for?

  125. 125
    Driver says:

    Nullasalus,

    According to the wikipedia: Boltzmann’s kinetic theory of gases seemed to presuppose the reality of atoms and molecules, but almost all German philosophers and many scientists like Ernst Mach and the physical chemist Wilhelm Ostwald opposed their existence.

    So tell me, Driver. Should the common man have believed in atoms at the time? After all, many – and according to other sources, most – scientists did not believe in the reality of atoms at the time. And I’d suggest that one reason acceptance of atoms right now is not controversial is because they’re observable.

    The funny thing is, you’ve got yourself a dilemma. If we should let the consensus of scientists determine what is and isn’t science, then apparently it would have been right to reject Boltzmann’s ideas of atoms.

    Scientists can be wrong, for sure. I’ve never been arguing that they couldn’t. There’s never been any doubt in my mind that Carroll and Susskind could be wrong about multiverses.

    We would have justification for our belief that atoms probably didn’t exist. We would still have made an informed decision, but it would have been wrong. A belief can be justified but wrong. We would have been “right” (justified) to believe, but our belief would have been wrong (false). There are many false beliefs that we would have been justified believing in the past. Once, it would have seemed entirely sensible that the world was flat. Or that the sun went round the Earth. Or that man could never fly.

    Now, from our current perspective we would be able to correct Mach et al, since we now know that atoms exist. Yes, because they are observable, but the key point is that they were once thought to be unscientific because they were unobservable. In fact, many thought they were in principle unobservable. We now know that idea to be wrong.

    We have further reason to believe that unobservables are part of science, since we have quarks and dark matter now.

    So what we would have been justified believing in 1904 is very different from what we would be justified in believing now.

    But if Boltzmann’s ideas of atoms should have been accepted well in advance of actual detection and observation, then it seems that the consensus of scientists doesn’t determine what we should believe or accept as science, and we can have good reason to reject what most scientists determine is and is not science.

    Boltzmann’s model was a good one whether atoms actually existed or not. So in a sense it should have been accepted well in advance of detection of atoms. However, it was accepted as established science once the consensus of scientists accepted the reality of atoms, mainly I think thanks to Einstein’s 1905 paper which statistically inferred them from Brownian motion.

    In the same way, if the multiverse theory gains evidential support, albeit indirectly, it will be accepted by the consensus of cosmologists.

    It often takes a theory a while to be established. That doesn’t mean that I as a layman should believe in all new ideas. Nor does it mean that I shouldn’t accept established science. Your dilemma is of course false. Simply put, belief, justification for belief, knowledge, and truth and are all slightly different things. Considering that would see you past the apparent dilemma.

  126. 126
    Elizabeth Liddle says:

    Nullasalus: can you give a definition of “supernatural” in the sense that you are using the term.

    I think it would be helpful.

  127. 127
    Clive Hayden says:

    Driver,

    Clive – So if not predictions, how do you incorporate the supernatural into a scientific theory?

    It’s one thing not meeting all the criteria of a scientific theory, it’s quite another not meeting any.

    How do you keep “predictions” as the golden rule but not “falsifiability”? Why do you draw this line? it seems rather too convenient. This sounds like philosophy of science, in which my philosophy of science is that we do not know the difference between natural and supernatural to begin with, but have arbitrary criteria such as repeatability, but repeatability is not an explanation in logic, it is only an observation. it would not be logically impossible, like 2+2=0, for a bird to give live birth like a mammal, we just observe that that doesn’t happen in our experience. All observations and connections between any two things connected physically are not explanations as to why they are connected philosophically as ideas, therefore our determinations of natural and supernatural can only hinge on repeated observation, but why is this valid? It appeals only to our sense of pragmatism, but isn’t itself a sound logical determination as an explanation of why two things are connected philosophically.

Leave a Reply