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Author Topic:   A Simplified Proof That The Universe Cannot Be Explained
Percy
Member
Posts: 17744
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 151 of 330 (784541)
05-19-2016 10:29 AM
Reply to: Message 122 by nano
05-18-2016 6:32 PM


nano writes:

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).

But now you're assuming that things we can't explain today can never be explained.

You still haven't explained this jump of illogic from your Message 1:

  1. This first thing has no cause since there was nothing before it.

    1. Therefore it cannot be explained.

My examples of radioactivity, the Casimir effect and the expansion of space weren't intended to hint at the origin of the laws of the universe. They were intended as examples of things that have no cause but do have explanations. These counterexamples disprove your "proof," for a couple reasons. In our universe "nothing" can serve as an explanation (empty space gives rise to particles, "dark energy" gives rise to more space/time), and events can have no particular cause (radioactive decay).

It's a bit difficult to follow discussions about nothing, but Kbertsche posted some clarifications of what you mean in Message 145. If his understanding is correct then the problem becomes a different one, namely the assumption that nothing preceded the universe. When there's no space/time then the concept of order of events (including what came first) becomes extremely fuzzy and nebulous.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by nano, posted 05-18-2016 6:32 PM nano has acknowledged this reply

    
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 55 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


(1)
Message 152 of 330 (784542)
05-19-2016 11:03 AM
Reply to: Message 146 by ProtoTypical
05-18-2016 10:59 PM


ProtoTypical writes:


kbertsche writes:


His challenge is to explain how/why any of these began to exist.


He assumes that they had a beginning. Things that have always been do not require an initial cause.

But nano addressed this possibility in the OP as well:
quote:
Corollary - Alternately, the first thing might have always been there.

a. This to cannot be explained since the first thing still has no cause.


P.S. I should have reworded my statement above to be more consistent with nano. Instead of "His challenge is to explain how/why any of these began to exist" I should have said, "His challenge is to provide a causal explanation for the first thing to exist in the universe."


"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein

I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 146 by ProtoTypical, posted 05-18-2016 10:59 PM ProtoTypical has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 156 by NoNukes, posted 05-19-2016 3:10 PM kbertsche has responded

    
1.61803
Member
Posts: 2784
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 2.9


Message 153 of 330 (784546)
05-19-2016 12:24 PM
Reply to: Message 86 by nano
05-18-2016 8:09 AM


If no logical explanation can be found then maybe the explanation is not logical.

There are quantum entanglement experiments that show effects before causes. That is not logical but just another weird way reality can manifest.

Retro-causality may not be the answer to explain how come there is something rather than nothing, it is just another example how reality can find a way to escape being pigeonholed.


"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 86 by nano, posted 05-18-2016 8:09 AM nano has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 15404
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 1.8


Message 154 of 330 (784548)
05-19-2016 12:36 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by nano
05-15-2016 6:35 AM


nano writes:

Cannot be Explained


I think you're just setting the bar too high. An explanation doesn't have to be perfect or even complete. It only needs to be useful.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by nano, posted 05-15-2016 6:35 AM nano has acknowledged this reply

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 400 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 155 of 330 (784555)
05-19-2016 3:02 PM
Reply to: Message 149 by Dr Adequate
05-19-2016 8:57 AM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
Dr. Adequate writes:

Can the non-reality of unicorns be real?

No. They could be absent from many possible worlds.

Adequate writes:

Surely what you mean to say is that reality is real in all possible worlds?

I'm meaning to say that reality and existence necessitate each other. If we accept that a world like ours is real, we must accept that it exists, and if we accept that it exists, it must be real. A world without them cannot be and isn't real.

Dr. Adequate writes:

Why would it be a first cause? For example, suppose the reality was that there were no things. Why would that give rise to things, such as the universe?

It wouldn't. Time and existence would be required to put anything "before" the universe, and a no-thing can't be real, anyway. Reality and existence abhor a true vacuum and they necessitate at least one other thing. Nothingness can only exist as a concept. The notorious "why is there something rather than nothing" question is really "why is there a reality rather than not" or "why existence". The O.P. assumes the existence of a reality in which its reasoning works, which is why I'm putting forward the case for necessary entities, knowing full well that you will try to claim that there's no contradiction in what is defined as not existing (nothingness) existing (presumably nowhere).

The O.P. is claiming a proof, and so has the burden of proof. The relevant part is at the end, when nano claims that something that always exists can't be explained because it has no cause.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 149 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-19-2016 8:57 AM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 157 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-19-2016 3:20 PM bluegenes has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 156 of 330 (784556)
05-19-2016 3:10 PM
Reply to: Message 152 by kbertsche
05-19-2016 11:03 AM


His challenge is to provide a causal explanation for the first thing to exist in the universe."

Almost but not quite. Because apparently the word universe means everything including things that might be causes of the universe. So the challenge is to find a causal explanation for the first thing to exist even if that first thing is not typically considered part of the universe or even the multiverse. Of course if the challenge had been worded as such, nobody would have bothered with the challenge.

And of course all non-causal explanation, ones which would be perfectly acceptable are ruled out both by fiat and by some questionable logic in the OP.

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 152 by kbertsche, posted 05-19-2016 11:03 AM kbertsche has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 160 by kbertsche, posted 05-19-2016 5:37 PM NoNukes has responded
 Message 166 by nano, posted 05-19-2016 10:02 PM NoNukes has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16035
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 157 of 330 (784558)
05-19-2016 3:20 PM
Reply to: Message 155 by bluegenes
05-19-2016 3:02 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
No.

So where are all the unicorns?

The O.P. assumes the existence of a reality in which its reasoning works, which is why I'm putting forward the case for necessary entities, knowing full well that you will try to claim that there's no contradiction in what is defined as not existing (nothingness) existing (presumably nowhere).

I will also claim that there's no contradiction in the phrase "no unicorn exists"; and that anyone who claims to have found one is trying much too hard to be confused by what is not even nearly the most difficult aspect of the English language.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 155 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 3:02 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 158 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 4:33 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 400 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 158 of 330 (784563)
05-19-2016 4:33 PM
Reply to: Message 157 by Dr Adequate
05-19-2016 3:20 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
Dr. Adequate writes:

So where are all the unicorns?

If unicorns aren't real, they are presumably inhabiting the nowhere land described at the beginning of the O.P., along with all the other no-things.

Adequate writes:

I will also claim that there's no contradiction in the phrase "no unicorn exists"; and that anyone who claims to have found one is trying much too hard to be confused by what is not even nearly the most difficult aspect of the English language.

Then there's no contradiction in the phrases "no statements exist" and "no logic exists" and "nowhere exists". Indeed, the O.P. seems to depend on nowhere being able to exist, because otherwise it can't claim that somewhere cannot be a necessary entity requiring no causal explanation.

And if nowhere, we can definitely have the land of Oz and Middle-Earth. So, perhaps you should stop treating unicorns with such disdain.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 157 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-19-2016 3:20 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 159 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-19-2016 4:47 PM bluegenes has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16035
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 159 of 330 (784564)
05-19-2016 4:47 PM
Reply to: Message 158 by bluegenes
05-19-2016 4:33 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
Your argument has become somewhat hard to follow.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 158 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 4:33 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 161 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 5:39 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
kbertsche
Member (Idle past 55 days)
Posts: 1427
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Joined: 05-10-2007


Message 160 of 330 (784569)
05-19-2016 5:37 PM
Reply to: Message 156 by NoNukes
05-19-2016 3:10 PM


NoNukes writes:

Because apparently the word universe means everything including things that might be causes of the universe. So the challenge is to find a causal explanation for the first thing to exist even if that first thing is not typically considered part of the universe or even the multiverse.


Exactly. Nano has been clear that by "universe" he includes anything and everything that exists. His challenge is to provide a causal explanation for the first thing that existed.

"Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind." Albert Einstein

I am very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world around me is very deficient. It gives us a lot of factual information, puts all of our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight; it knows nothing of beautiful and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. Erwin Schroedinger


This message is a reply to:
 Message 156 by NoNukes, posted 05-19-2016 3:10 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 167 by NoNukes, posted 05-19-2016 11:16 PM kbertsche has not yet responded

    
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 400 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 161 of 330 (784570)
05-19-2016 5:39 PM
Reply to: Message 159 by Dr Adequate
05-19-2016 4:47 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
Dr. Adequate writes:

Your argument has become somewhat hard to follow.

I agree. It must be for anyone else, because I'm having enough trouble with it. So I'll try to take it step by step.

In order to make a proof like the one in the O.P., which requires there to be no necessary self-explanatory entity, the proof defeats itself if its argument relies on assuming any such entity to be necessary.

Would you agree?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 159 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-19-2016 4:47 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 162 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-19-2016 6:07 PM bluegenes has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16035
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 162 of 330 (784574)
05-19-2016 6:07 PM
Reply to: Message 161 by bluegenes
05-19-2016 5:39 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
In order to make a proof like the one in the O.P., which requires there to be no necessary self-explanatory entity, the proof defeats itself if its argument relies on assuming any such entity to be necessary.

Would you agree?

Seems reasonable.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 161 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 5:39 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 163 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 8:04 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 400 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 163 of 330 (784582)
05-19-2016 8:04 PM
Reply to: Message 162 by Dr Adequate
05-19-2016 6:07 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
Dr. A writes:

bluegenes writes:

In order to make a proof like the one in the O.P., which requires there to be no necessary self-explanatory entity, the proof defeats itself if its argument relies on assuming any such entity to be necessary.

Would you agree?

Seems reasonable.

Then, the O.P., in informing us that because the first thing doesn't have a cause, it can't be explained, assumes a reality in which things can't be self-explanatory. If such a reality is considered a self-explanatory thing, the proof fails, and if it isn't, the proof is unfounded.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 162 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-19-2016 6:07 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 164 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-19-2016 8:13 PM bluegenes has responded

  
Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16035
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 164 of 330 (784583)
05-19-2016 8:13 PM
Reply to: Message 163 by bluegenes
05-19-2016 8:04 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
Then, the O.P., in informing us that because the first thing doesn't have a cause, it can't be explained, assumes a reality in which things can't be self-explanatory. If such a reality is considered a self-explanatory thing, the proof fails, and if it isn't, the proof is unfounded.

Er ... no?

There's a lot of leaps there.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 163 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 8:04 PM bluegenes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 165 by bluegenes, posted 05-19-2016 9:37 PM Dr Adequate has responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 400 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 165 of 330 (784587)
05-19-2016 9:37 PM
Reply to: Message 164 by Dr Adequate
05-19-2016 8:13 PM


Re: A Simplified Proof That the Universe Can Be Explained.
In 3 and 3a and 5 and 5a the O.P. tells us that the reason the first thing can't be explained is that it can't have a prior cause. So it gives us a universal law that things can't be explained if they don't have prior causes.

Do you agree that the law is necessary to nano's proof and that he has made it clear that it would apply to any first thing (including laws themselves, which are suggested as possible first things)?

Edited by bluegenes, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 164 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-19-2016 8:13 PM Dr Adequate has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 169 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-19-2016 11:41 PM bluegenes has responded

  
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