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Author Topic:   A Simplified Proof That The Universe Cannot Be Explained
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16069
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 121 of 331 (784487)
05-18-2016 6:31 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by NoNukes
05-18-2016 6:09 PM


If that leaves anything to salvage from the OP, it is clear then that the OP defines 'explanation' as something that uniquely applies to the universe in a way that it would never apply to anything else.

No, it's just in the nature of the question being asked that when an explanation is being sought for everything, any proposed secondary cause is among the things being explained.

After all, a secondary cause is only acceptable as an explanation when it is in fact a cause of the thing being explained. If we ask "Why did Fred murder John?", then "Because the bullet penetrated John's heart" is not an answer, because that comes further down the causal chain. It would be no good protesting that secondary causes should be good enough as an explanation. That particular secondary cause is an explanation for something, but not for the thing you're being asked to explain.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 6:09 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 130 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 7:32 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
nano
Member
Posts: 108
Joined: 09-25-2012


Message 122 of 331 (784488)
05-18-2016 6:32 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by Percy
05-18-2016 8:44 AM


Percy writes:

But you don't have a proof. You have a leap of illogic lacking justification and opposed by real-world examples.


Saying my proof is illogical doesn't make it so. And I use a real-world example at the heart of it. Its simple straight-forward logic.

percy writes:

Since we have explanations for other uncaused things, like radioactivity and the Casimir effect, why not for the origin of the universe?

It would be nice to move the discussion forward, but repetitions of original assertions do not merit new arguments.

Surely radioactivity and the Casimir effect can be explained by the laws of physics. That makes radioactivity and the Casimir effect 2nd or greater things and can be explained by the things that came before. It's the laws of physics as a first thing that cannot be explained (in this example).

I to would like to move this discussion forward but we seem to be speaking different languages with all the concern over what certain words mean.

I will try to move it forward by quoting Son Goku from the original thread almost 3 years ago now. Here it is: http://www.evcforum.net/dm.php?control=page&t=16623&mpp=1...

Son Goku writes:

So you can have a scientific explanation for the origin of the universe from nothing, it's the presence of the laws you can't explain.


This is exactly what I am on about. Here, the laws are the first thing. They can't be explained. Therefore the origin of the universe cannot be explained.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by Percy, posted 05-18-2016 8:44 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 151 by Percy, posted 05-19-2016 10:29 AM nano has acknowledged this reply

    
nano
Member
Posts: 108
Joined: 09-25-2012


Message 123 of 331 (784489)
05-18-2016 6:42 PM
Reply to: Message 93 by AZPaul3
05-18-2016 8:53 AM


AZPaul3 writes:

A quantum fluctuation is not a "thing" but a process that happens on its own volition. It's not like you need a loaded quantum fluctuation ready to pop before it happens. I suppose, in a sense, one might argue a quantum fluctuation comes from the void, but, it's not like one was just sitting around waiting to go off.

The process, not the thing, could have produced the first thing in this universe and it could have done so from the void. In this way the first thing in our universe may very well have a cause and may very well be explainable.

I know, the next question is where did the process come from. Might as well ask where the void came from.

I am asking. And quantum fluctuations adhere to the laws of physics, yes? That puts the laws as the first thing in this example. Its the origin of the laws that can't be explained and thus the origin of the universe cannot be explained.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 93 by AZPaul3, posted 05-18-2016 8:53 AM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
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nano
Member
Posts: 108
Joined: 09-25-2012


Message 124 of 331 (784490)
05-18-2016 6:46 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by bluegenes
05-18-2016 10:20 AM


bluegenes writes:

Doesn't your O.P. assume reality as a necessary first thing without intending to?

I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. My proof is simple and straight forward. It should be understood that way.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by bluegenes, posted 05-18-2016 10:20 AM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 131 by bluegenes, posted 05-18-2016 7:33 PM nano has responded

    
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2804
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 125 of 331 (784491)
05-18-2016 6:48 PM



"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

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16069
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 126 of 331 (784494)
05-18-2016 7:01 PM
Reply to: Message 119 by NoNukes
05-18-2016 6:09 PM


If that leaves anything to salvage from the OP, it is clear then that the OP defines 'explanation' as something that uniquely applies to the universe in a way that it would never apply to anything else.

If we are asked the questions "What would we find ten miles due north of X" or "What non-negative integer immediately precedes the non-negative integer Y", then we require a whole different kind of answer when X is the North Pole or Y is 0. This isn't because the definitions of "north" or "precedes" changes in those cases. The definitions stay the same, but the cases are special.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 119 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 6:09 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 7:22 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 127 of 331 (784496)
05-18-2016 7:22 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by Dr Adequate
05-18-2016 7:01 PM


The definitions stay the same, but the cases are special.

So why is the case of explaining 'the universe' different? I agree in principle with your proposition, but absent some reason for 'explaining the universe' to be a different concept from 'explaining the solar system', it appears to me that you are just pleading for special treatment.

It still appears that the reason for the difference is simply imposed by the OP and relaxed to avoid the repercussion that the difference in application does not apply to any other explanation. If so, is there really anything to see here?

What if we could explain mathematically and physically how the universe was created by a collision of parallel branes and that such explanation also detailed how the universe evolved from that event to its current state again in terms understandable mathematically and physically. Why is that not an explanation of the universe in exactly the same since as we might explain how the sun came to condense from a pocket of gas and dust? And if those things are explanations in the same sense, why isn't that sense appropriate when speaking of the universe?


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-18-2016 7:01 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 128 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-18-2016 7:24 PM NoNukes has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16069
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.1


Message 128 of 331 (784497)
05-18-2016 7:24 PM
Reply to: Message 127 by NoNukes
05-18-2016 7:22 PM


So why is the case of explaining 'the universe' different? I agree in principle with your proposition, but absent some reason for 'explaining the universe' to be a different concept from 'explaining the solar system', it appears to me that you are just pleading for special treatment.

As I said, because any proposed secondary cause would in fact be part of the thing to be explained, and so would not constitute an explanation.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 127 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 7:22 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 132 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 7:40 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 3530
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.9


Message 129 of 331 (784498)
05-18-2016 7:30 PM
Reply to: Message 123 by nano
05-18-2016 6:42 PM


I am asking.

So take the ultimate step.

3. The void has no cause since it is nothing.

a. Therefore it cannot be explained.

4. Therefore anything that came out of it cannot be explained.

a. Therefore the universe cannot be explained.

Tautology complete.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 123 by nano, posted 05-18-2016 6:42 PM nano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 134 by nano, posted 05-18-2016 7:52 PM AZPaul3 has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 130 of 331 (784499)
05-18-2016 7:32 PM
Reply to: Message 121 by Dr Adequate
05-18-2016 6:31 PM


After all, a secondary cause is only acceptable as an explanation when it is in fact a cause of the thing being explained. If we ask "Why did Fred murder John?", then "Because the bullet penetrated John's heart" is not an answer, because that comes further down the causal chain.

I don't see how this really addresses the question at hand. If the universe was in fact created by a collision of branes, or by God waving his hand, then those things are causes.

Beyond that, answers to why questions are only one kind of explanation. Answers to how questions should also be considered explanations. I don't think your answer gets to the dispute between us.

If John were instead killed by a rock that happened to fall on him as he passed under an cliff, 'why' such a thing happened might not even be a part of the explanation of John's death. Instead the question would be how, and the answer might be a complete explanation.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-18-2016 6:31 PM Dr Adequate has not yet responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 456 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


(1)
Message 131 of 331 (784500)
05-18-2016 7:33 PM
Reply to: Message 124 by nano
05-18-2016 6:46 PM


bluegenes writes:

nano writes:

Doesn't your O.P. assume reality as a necessary first thing without intending to?

I honestly have no idea what you are talking about. My proof is simple and straight forward. It should be understood that way.

Your proof assumes a consistent reality in which laws of cause and effect work, and which allows your logic to work. It treats that reality as a necessary entity, a thing that must exist. That reality can be the "first thing" you describe. So, you are unintentionally assuming something to be necessary (must exist and therefore requires no explanation) in order to prove that the "first thing" cannot be explained.

So, your proof seems to have an inbuilt contradiction.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 124 by nano, posted 05-18-2016 6:46 PM nano has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 135 by nano, posted 05-18-2016 8:01 PM bluegenes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 132 of 331 (784501)
05-18-2016 7:40 PM
Reply to: Message 128 by Dr Adequate
05-18-2016 7:24 PM


As I said, because any proposed secondary cause would in fact be part of the thing to be explained, and so would not constitute an explanation.

I submit that we don't commonly require such a thing as part of explanations, and I repeat my question of why you do require that kind of 'completeness' when explaining the universe.

In that case of why Fred killed John, where would we stop our inquiry into why Fred killed John? Is the answer because Fred stole John's money an explanation? Does it add anything to say that Fred is unable to control is emotions and overreacted? Why does not the answer require us to examine the origin of whatever mental state Fred had when he pulled the trigger. Why don't we have to further inquire into the events that led up to the events that formed Fred?

It is because we cut off the explanation and back tracking at some suitable point and not because any one thing is not a cause. Some particular event is considered a proximate cause suitable for the circumstance, and no further cause seek is required.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Martin Luther King

If there are no stupid questions, then what kind of questions do stupid people ask? Do they get smart just in time to ask questions? Scott Adams


This message is a reply to:
 Message 128 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-18-2016 7:24 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 139 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-18-2016 8:18 PM NoNukes has responded

  
nano
Member
Posts: 108
Joined: 09-25-2012


Message 133 of 331 (784502)
05-18-2016 7:44 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by NoNukes
05-18-2016 5:55 PM


NoNukes writes:

If a corollary of your explanation leads to the conclusion that nothing is ever explained, but you then accept explanations for things other than the universe, you've actually disproven your own hypothesis using a classic reductio ad absurdum technique.

You seem very fixed on this "ultimate" corollary. Technically, you are the one that proposed it. It is not part of my proof. I merely said you had an interesting point and I would think about it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 5:55 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 136 by NoNukes, posted 05-18-2016 8:07 PM nano has not yet responded

    
nano
Member
Posts: 108
Joined: 09-25-2012


Message 134 of 331 (784503)
05-18-2016 7:52 PM
Reply to: Message 129 by AZPaul3
05-18-2016 7:30 PM


I'm not ready to take the ultimate step, but I like your thinking.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by AZPaul3, posted 05-18-2016 7:30 PM AZPaul3 has responded

Replies to this message:
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nano
Member
Posts: 108
Joined: 09-25-2012


Message 135 of 331 (784504)
05-18-2016 8:01 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by bluegenes
05-18-2016 7:33 PM


Logically, cause and effect could be considered to be part of the structure of physical laws of the universe. The laws of physics could have been the first thing and as such their origin is unexplainable. In turn, the origin of the universe is unexplainable.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by bluegenes, posted 05-18-2016 7:33 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 140 by bluegenes, posted 05-18-2016 8:44 PM nano has not yet responded

    
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