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Author Topic:   Is String Theory Supernatural?
Straggler
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Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 1 of 181 (697352)
04-24-2013 5:24 AM


It has been suggested over in the topic Can science say anything about a Creator God? that anything which exists outside the physical laws of our universe is supernatural. On this basis the multiverse and any other universes within the multiverse which have different physical laws to our own universe would be supernatural.

String theory, from which I understand notions of the multi-verse are derived, would thus be a theory of the supernatural.

Is this wrong? (I am convinced it is entirely wrong - but I'll come to that)
Why is it wrong?
Is this a common perspective amongst theists/supernaturalists?


Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-24-2013 3:10 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 10 by Taq, posted 04-24-2013 5:37 PM Straggler has not yet responded
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AdminPhat
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Message 2 of 181 (697354)
04-24-2013 7:01 AM


Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Thread copied here from the Is String Theory Supernatural? thread in the Proposed New Topics forum.
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 3 of 181 (697356)
04-24-2013 7:10 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by AdminPhat
04-24-2013 7:01 AM


Re: Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
What do you think Phat?

Would technologically advanced intelligent beings from another universe who created our universe and designed life as we know it by utilising the natural laws of their own universe qualify as "God" as far as you are concerned...?

Would they qualify as "supernatural".....?


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Replies to this message:
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1.61803
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From: Lone Star State USA
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Message 4 of 181 (697363)
04-24-2013 11:53 AM
Reply to: Message 3 by Straggler
04-24-2013 7:10 AM


Re: Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
Hi Straggler,

I believe it would be a distiction without a difference in that case.


"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

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Phat
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Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 5 of 181 (697364)
04-24-2013 12:08 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Straggler
04-24-2013 7:10 AM


Re: Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
well... if the definition of the word being that there is no measurable evidence i suppose so...but how would we know? The supernatural itself would have to inform us and the only evidence we would have would be subjective.
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GDR
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From: Sidney, BC, Canada
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Message 6 of 181 (697365)
04-24-2013 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Straggler
04-24-2013 7:10 AM


What is supernatural?
Straggler writes:

Would technologically advanced intelligent beings from another universe who created our universe and designed life as we know it by utilising the natural laws of their own universe qualify as "God" as far as you are concerned...?

I agree with 1.61803. However you then can argue, as you did in that other thread, that if God is constrained at all then it begs the question of who created God. But, as 1.61803 is basically saying, if God has given us life, and has certain hopes for us, then that is who we are answerable to.

Straggler writes:

Would they qualify as "supernatural".....?

I would say yes as they are outside the physical laws of the universe that we are able to directly perceive.

Edited by GDR, : typos


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


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ringo
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Message 7 of 181 (697367)
04-24-2013 12:40 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Straggler
04-24-2013 7:10 AM


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

Would technologically advanced intelligent beings from another universe who created our universe and designed life as we know it by utilising the natural laws of their own universe qualify as "God" as far as you are concerned...?

Would they qualify as "supernatural".....?


If the inhabitants of a different universe with different physical laws could apply their laws in our universe, that would be "super".
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New Cat's Eye
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From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 1.6


(1)
Message 8 of 181 (697375)
04-24-2013 3:10 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
04-24-2013 5:24 AM


Is String Theory Supernatural?

I don't know because I don't know what supernatural is.

If you mean "above" or "outside" of nature (i.e. our universe), then I can see how it could work as a description.

But if you mean "magic", then no, I wouldn't say string theory is supernatural.


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Taq
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Posts: 7196
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 9 of 181 (697378)
04-24-2013 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
04-24-2013 12:08 PM


Re: Thread Copied from Proposed New Topics Forum
well... if the definition of the word being that there is no measurable evidence i suppose so...but how would we know? The supernatural itself would have to inform us and the only evidence we would have would be subjective.

That is part of the problem.

First, there is the "innocent" definition of supernatural that includes deities and spirits of one kind or another. This is the definition that is usually produced first before the implications of the definition are fully brought to light. Why is that? People want to claim that supernatural deities/spirits manifest themselves in the natural world. This would mean that the supernatural is actually part of the natural world, and their effect on the natural world can fall under the purview of the scientific method. This is a problem. Since this definition of the supernatural would produce evidence, and there isn't any evidence, you have painted yourself into a corner.

Hence, the second definition for supernatural. It is now redefined as something that can never be evidenced because . . . well, you really want to believe in the supernatural and you don't want anyone questioning that belief. The supernatural is purposefully made to be unfalsifiable and incapable of being evidenced. The supernatural doesn't need to be defined in such a way, but to maintain a belief in the supernatural this definition must be used. Carl Sagan's essay about the dragon in his garage is a good description of what I am talking about:

http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/Dragon.htm

When the supernatural is defined in such a way that it is equivalent to the non-existent, then why claim that the supernatural exists in the first place?


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Taq
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Posts: 7196
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 10 of 181 (697379)
04-24-2013 5:37 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
04-24-2013 5:24 AM


It has been suggested over in the topic Can science say anything about a Creator God? that anything which exists outside the physical laws of our universe is supernatural. On this basis the multiverse and any other universes within the multiverse which have different physical laws to our own universe would be supernatural.
String theory, from which I understand notions of the multi-verse are derived, would thus be a theory of the supernatural.

Is this wrong? (I am convinced it is entirely wrong - but I'll come to that)
Why is it wrong?
Is this a common perspective amongst theists/supernaturalists?

The processes that produced our universe would fall under the definition of natural because they are a part of the natural world.

Think of it this way. Could we decide that the natural world is limited by the Earth and it's atmosphere, beginning with its creation? Would this make the Sun and the Sun's gravity a supernatural force that moves the Earth about in a circular path through a supernatural realm? If not, then why limit the natural to our universe, and the start of our universe?

We would rightly say that the forces and objects that exist outside of the Earth are also natural, and their effects on the Earth can be understood as natural. So why not the same with the forces and processes that exist outside of our universe that governed its creation, and may very well be effecting it right now?


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ProtoTypical
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Posts: 1754
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 3.1


(1)
Message 11 of 181 (697387)
04-24-2013 8:34 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Straggler
04-24-2013 5:24 AM


It is all natural
String theory, from which I understand notions of the multi-verse are derived, would thus be a theory of the supernatural.

I guess my point is much the same as Taq's but I was going to say that if string theory is logically derived from evidence that exists in this universe then it wouldn't be supernatural even if it describes processes that don't happen in this universe. Othernatural perhaps. Just like geometry is not the same here on earth as it is elsewhere in our universe.

If the multiverse theory is correct then maybe our universe just got a lot bigger. Anything that can be known will be incorporated into the realm of the natural.


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 12 of 181 (697406)
04-25-2013 6:05 AM
Reply to: Message 4 by 1.61803
04-24-2013 11:53 AM


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

I believe it would be a distiction without a difference in that case.

It's the difference between magic and the physical laws in another universe.


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 13 of 181 (697407)
04-25-2013 6:08 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by Phat
04-24-2013 12:08 PM


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

...if the definition of the word being that there is no measurable evidence

Who is defining "supernatural" that way? Not I.

Phat writes:

The supernatural itself would have to inform us and the only evidence we would have would be subjective.

Science is a method of investigation. If it possible to expereince something it is possible to scientifically study it.

See Studying the supernatural


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 14 of 181 (697408)
04-25-2013 6:34 AM
Reply to: Message 6 by GDR
04-24-2013 12:11 PM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

But, as 1.61803 is basically saying, if God has given us life, and has certain hopes for us, then that is who we are answerable to.

So if we are the science project of an alien in another universe that alien is God.....

GDR writes:

I would say yes as they are outside the physical laws of the universe that we are able to directly perceive.

There are all sorts of things we cannot directly perceive but instead logically infer based on physical evidence. E.g. dark matter.

I fail to see why the multi-verse is any different in terms of qualifying as 'natural'.


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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10198
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 15 of 181 (697409)
04-25-2013 6:37 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by ringo
04-24-2013 12:40 PM


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

If the inhabitants of a different universe with different physical laws could apply their laws in our universe, that would be "super".

Even if that ability were the result of technology based on utilising the natural laws under which the multiverse itself operates.......?

(**Trans-universe alien explorer gets out his kPod and opens up the 'swapuniverselaws' app**)


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