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Author Topic:   Is String Theory Supernatural?
onifre
Member (Idle past 812 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 31 of 181 (697446)
04-25-2013 12:57 PM
Reply to: Message 30 by GDR
04-25-2013 11:50 AM


Re: What is supernatural?
That sounds good to me, as does what Ringo suggested.

So then, string theory doesn't qualify as a theory about the supernatural, since it's a theory about the nature of the laws of physics.

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by GDR, posted 04-25-2013 11:50 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 32 by GDR, posted 04-25-2013 1:41 PM onifre has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4477
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 32 of 181 (697448)
04-25-2013 1:41 PM
Reply to: Message 31 by onifre
04-25-2013 12:57 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
onifre writes:

So then, string theory doesn't qualify as a theory about the supernatural, since it's a theory about the nature of the laws of physics.

I think so. If sting theory is about uni-dimensional particles then absolutely. String theory, (from a virtually zero knowledge base so go easy on me if I get this wrong), mathematically requires additional time and space dimensions. I would be inclined to think that what is meant by that is that those dimensions would be part of this physical universe and as a result they to would be natural.

I think that when we talk about other universes with a different sets of dimensions they would be called supernatural. I would consider that statement agnostic. I'm not sure that the term supernatural requires any statements about god(s).


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 31 by onifre, posted 04-25-2013 12:57 PM onifre has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 33 by onifre, posted 04-25-2013 2:10 PM GDR has responded

    
onifre
Member (Idle past 812 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 33 of 181 (697451)
04-25-2013 2:10 PM
Reply to: Message 32 by GDR
04-25-2013 1:41 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
I would be inclined to think that what is meant by that is that those dimensions would be part of this physical universe and as a result they to would be natural.

A part of this universe and all universes that spring up in a multi-verse system. So string, or better yet, m-theory explains the multi-verse and the variations of physical laws that each individual universe can have.

I think that when we talk about other universes with a different sets of dimensions they would be called supernatural.

All the dimensions are still part of a set of physical laws. None of this is supernatural unless someone misunderstood what string/m-theory was actually saying.

Just a minor quibble:

mathematically requires additional time and space dimensions.

No additional time dimension is require. So for an 11 dimenion string theory, there's 10 space and 1 time. But cavediver has explained, and this is beyond my knowledge, that he has worked on higher dimensional string theories of upto 26 dimensions. I don't know what all that math even looks like so I could explain further.

- Oni


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 Message 32 by GDR, posted 04-25-2013 1:41 PM GDR has responded

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Straggler
Member (Idle past 245 days)
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 34 of 181 (697452)
04-25-2013 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by ringo
04-25-2013 11:41 AM


Re: Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Ringo writes:

If the multiverse laws were distinct from our laws, I think it would be permissible to label them as "supernatural".

But the laws of our universe would be a direct consequence of the laws in the multiverse and the types of universe that can arise in it.

Ringo writes:

I might prefer "extranatural".

Our ancient ancestors considered the Sun, moon and stars (AKA "the heavens") a supernatural realm as distinct from the Earthly realm in which we reside.

If there is anything to this multiverse malarky (i.e. it makes testable predictions which are confirmed) then your distinction between the physical laws within our universe and those of the wider multiverse will probably seem equally parochial as the notion of Earth alone as the natural realm seems to us now.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by ringo, posted 04-25-2013 11:41 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by ringo, posted 04-26-2013 11:59 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 245 days)
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 35 of 181 (697453)
04-25-2013 4:01 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by GDR
04-25-2013 11:47 AM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

Frankly I was just questioning the definition of the word supernatural without the definition necessarily involving god(s).

ALL the gods related to theism are supernatural are they not? (although not all supernatural beings are necessarily gods)

GDR writes:

It seems to me that if you decide that string theory is supernatural it doesn't make any assumptions about whether there is god or not.

If you decide string theory is supernatural then you are advocating the idea that physicists are putting forward supernatural explanations to observable phenomena.

This is how the whole issue arose in Can science say anything about a Creator God?

GDR writes:

So you tell me. "Do things flip from being supernatural to natural depending on our technological ability to detect them as far as you are concerned?"

No. I think that is a silly way of defining supernatural. But in the other thread that was exactly what you were doing. According to you in the other thread whether one is supernatural or not (specifically whether one is a supernatural god or not) is just a question of technological ability and perspective. Thus I could be a god if I had life and universe creating technologies and the resulting beings in my created universe deem me to be their godly creator.

But I'm not supernatural. And anyone/anything that believes I am is simply mistaken.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by GDR, posted 04-25-2013 11:47 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by GDR, posted 04-26-2013 2:08 AM Straggler has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4477
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 36 of 181 (697480)
04-26-2013 2:08 AM
Reply to: Message 35 by Straggler
04-25-2013 4:01 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
Straggler writes:

ALL the gods related to theism are supernatural are they not? (although not all supernatural beings are necessarily gods)

That would be the current understanding but the more our knowledge advances less and less seems supernatural, but I'm still not clear on what you would use as a definition of supernatural. By the Webster's definition that I quoted earlier dark matter would be considered supernatural.

In one sense a thought or an idea is supernatural. Sure we can observe what goes on in the brain but we can't see the thought or idea. An idea is real but it isn't physical and it isn't directly perceivable except for the individual who has the thought.

Straggler writes:

If you decide string theory is supernatural then you are advocating the idea that physicists are putting forward supernatural explanations to observable phenomena.

Well even Einstein called QM "spooky action at a distance".

Straggler writes:

No. I think that is a silly way of defining supernatural. But in the other thread that was exactly what you were doing. According to you in the other thread whether one is supernatural or not (specifically whether one is a supernatural god or not) is just a question of technological ability and perspective. Thus I could be a god if I had life and universe creating technologies and the resulting beings in my created universe deem me to be their godly creator.

I think I answered that with Message 490 in the other thread. However, I'm not saying that it is a matter of technological ability, but I don't completely discount the idea that possibly we might somehow connect with God's universe through science in the centuries to come. No, I don't think it likely but why say it's impossible.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Straggler, posted 04-25-2013 4:01 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Straggler, posted 04-26-2013 7:28 PM GDR has responded

    
GDR
Member
Posts: 4477
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 37 of 181 (697481)
04-26-2013 2:10 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by onifre
04-25-2013 2:10 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
onifre writes:

But cavediver has explained, and this is beyond my knowledge, that he has worked on higher dimensional string theories of upto 26 dimensions. I don't know what all that math even looks like so I could explain further.

Not to worry, because if you could I wouldn't understand it anyway.


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by onifre, posted 04-25-2013 2:10 PM onifre has not yet responded

    
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1767
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 38 of 181 (697486)
04-26-2013 7:56 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by Straggler
04-25-2013 8:37 AM


Re: It is all natural
Ah I see that we are mostly in agreement. I would make this point though,

Straggler writes:

Prototypical writes:

Is the existence of the universe an example of something like that?(something that defies explanation)

It depends doesn't it? If the universe was migically poofed into existence by an omniscient, omnipotent creator of all that is seen and unseen - Then yes the creation and existence of the universe would be an example of something like that.

Magic is the perception that something impossible has happened. It is not actually something happening that is impossible (obviously). I would say that supernatural is a concept that is equivalent to the concept of magic.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by Straggler, posted 04-25-2013 8:37 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by Straggler, posted 04-26-2013 9:09 AM ProtoTypical has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 245 days)
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 39 of 181 (697489)
04-26-2013 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by ProtoTypical
04-26-2013 7:56 AM


Re: It is all natural
Pro writes:

Magic is the perception that something impossible has happened.

Those who believe in the supernatural obviously don't believe it is impossible. They may well believe that it defies the physical laws that govern everything else.

Pro writes:

It is not actually something happening that is impossible (obviously).

That would be contradictory.

Pro writes:

I would say that supernatural is a concept that is equivalent to the concept of magic.

Voldermort is a supernatural concept. As is Jesus. And so on. If any of these entities were to actually exist with the abilities and powers they are defined as having - They would be supernatural.

Thus far there is no evidence of such entities actually existing.

But all of this digresses somewhat from the question of whether string theory is a supernatural theory or not.......


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 Message 38 by ProtoTypical, posted 04-26-2013 7:56 AM ProtoTypical has acknowledged this reply

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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2763
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004


Message 40 of 181 (697493)
04-26-2013 9:40 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Straggler
04-25-2013 10:51 AM


The limit of size
Straggler writes:

Nor can quarks be directly observed. So what?

Well subatomic particles like quarks are observable even if indirectly.
Technically everything that we see is being observed indirectly.

In order to observe something you must have something to bounce off the object. ie: photons, electrons, fingers on brail.

My point about strings is that they are at the limit of how small something can be. They can never be observed. Ever. So any prediction based on them will always be theorectical and speculative. I am not saying that is a problem, we managed to work in the probablistic anomalies of QM into our science with accurate and predictable confidence.


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Straggler, posted 04-25-2013 10:51 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by Straggler, posted 04-26-2013 1:36 PM 1.61803 has responded

  
GDR
Member
Posts: 4477
From: Sidney, BC, Canada
Joined: 05-22-2005
Member Rating: 1.7


Message 41 of 181 (697497)
04-26-2013 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 39 by Straggler
04-26-2013 9:09 AM


Re: It is all natural
Straggler writes:

Voldermort is a supernatural concept. As is Jesus. And so on. If any of these entities were to actually exist with the abilities and powers they are defined as having - They would be supernatural.

I thought in terms of what is supernatural maybe a discussion about Jesus would be interesting in light of our previous discussion.

Let’s assume that God lives in a parallel universe that somehow interlocks with our universe in a way that is not directly perceivable to us. God is responsible for the existence of life in our universe and has a long term plan for us. Part of that plan is that we are to have hearts that are genuinely kind, merciful, loving and fair. Another part of the plan is that our universe is not going to last forever and so that at the end of time there will be a resurrection into new bodily form for life in a renewed universe where the two parallel universes come together as one, where the hearts of all will be kind, merciful, loving and fair.

Because these two universes are interconnected God is able to subtly speak to the hearts, minds and imaginations of humans, but again however we are able to reject His influence. However, in the middle of time He chooses one man, namely Jesus, to perfectly embody His heart for us. Through Him He is able to bring about miracles that foreshadow the renewed world that He has planned for us, by bringing His healing and love directly to the world through the man Jesus. Mankind rejects God and His messenger and puts Him to death. However, God demonstrates that death is not the last word and does for Jesus what is planned for all of this creation at the end of time and resurrects Him.

So then, is Jesus supernatural? From God’s perspective it is all natural, and if we had perfect knowledge of God and His parallel universe it would all appear natural to us as well. On the assumption that all of that is true would Jesus be supernatural?


He has told you, O man, what is good ; And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Straggler, posted 04-26-2013 9:09 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by onifre, posted 04-26-2013 12:47 PM GDR has responded
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ringo
Member
Posts: 14915
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.2


Message 42 of 181 (697501)
04-26-2013 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by Straggler
04-25-2013 3:47 PM


Re: Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Straggler writes:

But the laws of our universe would be a direct consequence of the laws in the multiverse and the types of universe that can arise in it.


If the laws of our universe were a subset of the multiversal laws, then the multiversal laws that do not apply to our universe would be "super" or "extra". It might be possible for some entity to use those multiuniversal laws in our universe.

However, if the laws of another universe were just different from ours with no overlap, it seems unlikely that an entity from that universe could use them in our universe.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by Straggler, posted 04-25-2013 3:47 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by Straggler, posted 04-26-2013 1:45 PM ringo has responded

  
onifre
Member (Idle past 812 days)
Posts: 4854
From: Dark Side of the Moon
Joined: 02-20-2008


Message 43 of 181 (697505)
04-26-2013 12:47 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by GDR
04-26-2013 11:04 AM


Re: It is all natural
There are so many holes in your scenario from what I see.

God is responsible for the existence of life in our universe and has a long term plan for us.

This being in a parallel universe, it is also governed by the laws of physics that establish his universe, right?

Did this being ONLY create the living things on a single planet in our universe or did the being create the entire universe (e.g. planets, galaxies, blackholes, etc.)...? In other words, did it create everything or just the living organisms on one planet?

Because these two universes are interconnected God is able to subtly speak to the hearts, minds and imaginations of humans

How? How did this being communicate all of that information about Jesus? Through some kind of magical ability to communicate or does the being have some super technology that it is able to do it with? - because if it's a technological ability and this being is also bound by a set of physcial laws, then none of this is supernatural.

However, in the middle of time He chooses one man, namely Jesus, to perfectly embody His heart for us.

We would need to know how this is done. Again, if it's just technology then it's probably super cool but not supernatural.

From God’s perspective it is all natural, and if we had perfect knowledge of God and His parallel universe it would all appear natural to us as well.

One last question. Is this being that you are calling a god, living in this other universe, is it just another evolved biological organism that has reached a level of super technology that is able to create universes and set in motion the laws of physics? Because if it is, it's super cool but not supernatural.

- Oni


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by GDR, posted 04-26-2013 11:04 AM GDR has responded

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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 181 (697512)
04-26-2013 1:29 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Straggler
04-25-2013 6:40 AM


Then how can you claim to believe in the supernatural?

It usually works in getting the point across when you're talking about gods n'stuff. But if we're looking to see what does and doesn't fit within the description, then I'm afraid we're awfully short on data to be making any determinations.

If there is a multiverse why is "nature" limited to our universe?

Its just semantics. It wasn't meant to be proscriptive.

People talk of "natural" as being a part of our universe, so if they want to talk about a multiverse that is above our outside of our universe, then I can see how the word "supernatural" would work. But that wouldn't necessarily be prescribing it as magic.

Do you know what "magic" is? Do you believe in magic?

Don't know, don't care.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Straggler, posted 04-25-2013 6:40 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Straggler, posted 04-26-2013 1:52 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 245 days)
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 45 of 181 (697514)
04-26-2013 1:36 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by 1.61803
04-26-2013 9:40 AM


Re: The limit of size
Numbers writes:

Well subatomic particles like quarks are observable even if indirectly.

Due to colour confinement quarks cannot exist in isolation. So we can only observe the hadrons (e.g. the neutron) they collectively form. The way we “detect” the existence of quarks is by comparing the predictions of Quantum Chromo Dynamics with experimental results of how hadrons behave in high energy collisions and suchlike.

Numbers writes:

In order to observe something you must have something to bounce off the object. ie: photons, electrons, fingers on brail.

So how do we detect the existence of black holes?

Numbers writes:

My point about strings is that they are at the limit of how small something can be. They can never be observed. Ever.

We can’t observe the Big Bang either. And as I have pointed out above – Nor can you observe a quark. What we can do is observe the predicted effects of their existence.

Numbers writes:

So any prediction based on them will always be theoretical and speculative.

No. Not necessarily. If string theory is able to make verifiable specific measurable predictions (e.g. predict the existence of a new particle which is subsequently discovered) which are subsequently verified then to all practical intents and purposes we will have “detected” strings in the same way that we have “detected” quarks and “detected” the occurrence of the Big Bang.

Numbers writes:

Technically everything that we see is being observed indirectly.

Then it seems silly to distinguish between things like the Big Bang, quarks and black holes which are indirectly detected via specific measurable predictions and strings if string theory can make equally successful verifiable predictions.

The question that remains is whether string theory is able to make such verifiable predictions. That will be the test of the theory.

Numbers writes:

The limit of size

It's not about size. It's all about verifiable predictions.

But none of this has any real bearing on whether string theory is a theory of the supernatural or not. Obviously it isn’t.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by 1.61803, posted 04-26-2013 9:40 AM 1.61803 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by 1.61803, posted 04-29-2013 12:35 PM Straggler has responded

  
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