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Author Topic:   A Simplified Proof That The Universe Cannot Be Explained
Percy
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Posts: 20957
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 4 of 342 (784256)
05-15-2016 9:06 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by nano
05-15-2016 6:35 AM


I think there's a problem in step 3:

nano writes:

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

a. Therefore it cannot be explained.

How does it follow that an event with no cause has no explanation? We can explain the Casimir effect and radioactivity, and we can at least describe quantum uncertainty. I guess you could claim that any event resulting from quantum uncertainty has no cause, but arguing against that is that even though quantum uncertainty has yet to give up all it's secrets we still know a great deal about it. Entire libraries of books describing various facets of something is the opposite of the absence of an explanation, even if we still have a long way to go.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by nano, posted 05-15-2016 6:35 AM nano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-15-2016 9:34 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 15 by nano, posted 05-15-2016 6:37 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied
 Message 338 by Christian7, posted 09-17-2021 10:39 PM Percy has not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20957
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 36 of 342 (784312)
05-16-2016 2:48 PM
Reply to: Message 35 by Dr Adequate
05-16-2016 2:25 PM


Dr Adequate writes:

If someone told you that unicorns must exist because the unreality of unicorns can't be real, would you buy it?

Maybe it would help if we drew a distinction between things that are tangible, real, have existence, etc., and things that are ideas or concepts, which can be true or false or anywhere in between. Then we could call the unreality of unicorns "true" rather than "real." This might avoid the difficulty of somehow incorporating into our worldview that existence includes all ideas that are false, including those not yet thought of, or even ever thought of.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 35 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-16-2016 2:25 PM Dr Adequate has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-16-2016 3:12 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20957
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 41 of 342 (784321)
05-16-2016 5:15 PM
Reply to: Message 39 by Dr Adequate
05-16-2016 4:17 PM


Dr Adequate writes:

Can the non-existence of unicorns exist?

It's hard to stay in sync in discussions like this. I thought we agreed when you said, "Things exist or don't exist, propositions are true or untrue," but if your question about "the non-existence of unicorns" implies it's a thing rather than a proposition then I probably misunderstood you.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 39 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-16-2016 4:17 PM Dr Adequate has replied

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 Message 43 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-16-2016 5:45 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20957
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 42 of 342 (784322)
05-16-2016 5:17 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by nano
05-16-2016 5:10 PM


nano writes:

There is only a first thing and it is uncaused.

But the lack of a cause doesn't imply a lack of an explanation.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by nano, posted 05-16-2016 5:10 PM nano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by nano, posted 05-17-2016 4:06 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20957
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 91 of 342 (784430)
05-18-2016 8:44 AM
Reply to: Message 60 by nano
05-17-2016 4:06 PM


nano writes:

As the proof shows,...

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

...when you consider the first thing in the universe being without cause then the origin of the universe cannot be explained.

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.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 60 by nano, posted 05-17-2016 4:06 PM nano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 97 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-18-2016 11:17 AM Percy has replied
 Message 122 by nano, posted 05-18-2016 6:32 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20957
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 107 of 342 (784469)
05-18-2016 2:45 PM
Reply to: Message 97 by Dr Adequate
05-18-2016 11:17 AM


Dr Adequate writes:

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

Well, in this context calling those things "uncaused" is at worst tendentious and at best misses the point.

I don't think it's either.

When (for example) a radioactive atom decays, there may be no reason why it did so at that point rather than some other, but there are reasons why it did so: there is the atom and its nature.

The spawning of universes may be the nature of reality.

This would not do for the origin of everything: if you had something that had a tendency to turn into everything, then you'd already have a thing.

Perhaps it's the nature of nothing to turn into something. That's what the Casimir effect tells us about empty space. And the expansion of space tells us that there's something ("dark energy") that makes more space-time out of nothing.

There are inherent terminological and conceptual problems in discussing the origin of the universe. We don't know what came before the universe. Was there really nothing, or was there something but we know nothing about it yet? If there was something before the universe, does that automatically push Nano's question back to what caused the something? And what does "before" mean anyway before time existed?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 97 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-18-2016 11:17 AM Dr Adequate has replied

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 Message 108 by Dr Adequate, posted 05-18-2016 3:12 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20957
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 151 of 342 (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 seen this message but not replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20957
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 298 of 342 (793381)
10-27-2016 7:29 AM
Reply to: Message 295 by nano
10-26-2016 4:43 PM


This has already been explained in this thread, but may as well do it again.

The history of science has been one of explaining the previously unexplained. Of all things currently unexplained, there is no way to tell which will one day be explained and which will never be explained. Experience hints strongly that the inexplicable portion must be very, very small.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 295 by nano, posted 10-26-2016 4:43 PM nano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 306 by nano, posted 10-28-2016 1:47 PM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20957
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 310 of 342 (793425)
10-28-2016 3:52 PM
Reply to: Message 306 by nano
10-28-2016 1:47 PM


nano writes:

Percy writes:

This has already been explained in this thread, but may as well do it again.


You are presenting an Argument from Ignorance and it is a logical fallacy. It is especially wrong in this case where I have shown an explanation to be logically impossible.

I don't think you know what Argument from Ignorance fallacy is. What you referred to as saying, "We don't know what we don't know" (I'd state it differently, but we'll use yours for now) is a statement concerning ignorance. It is not the Argument from Ignorance fallacy.

You are assuming that something cannot come from nothing. We already know this isn't true. Since your "proof" includes this incorrect assumption, it is wrong.

But something coming from nothing may not be the explanation for the origin of the universe. We cannot currently explain how the universe came to be, and we don't know whether or not we'll ever have an explanation.

I don't see the point of repeating, "I've proved it, I've proved it, I've proved it, can't you see I've proved it," instead of discussing the issues people have raised with your "proof".

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 306 by nano, posted 10-28-2016 1:47 PM nano has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 314 by nano, posted 10-29-2016 6:54 AM Percy has replied

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20957
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


(1)
Message 316 of 342 (793441)
10-29-2016 7:45 AM
Reply to: Message 314 by nano
10-29-2016 6:54 AM


nano writes:

False. You are presenting an unknown future discovery to make your argument. It is in fact an Argument from Ignorance.

You still don't seem to know what the Argument from Ignorance fallacy is. I wasn't claiming to have proved anything logically. I only described science's history as one of explaining the previously unexplained. Given that history, you're very unlikely to have found anything forever inexplicable.

False. Your nothing is a quantum nothing. If you have been paying attention you know I am referring to an absolute nothing. I have called it the null set.

Yes, I know, but you're simply assuming there was once an "absolute nothing". There's no evidence of this. Assumptions with no evidence make for poor proofs.

Beyond that, science doesn't prove things. It assembles evidence in support of hypotheses that might one day gather a consensus and become a theory.

False. I am discussing issues as they are raised and offering reminders of what has already been discussed.

Discussion like your series of one and two line responses from yesterday? And you were reminded of a good bit yourself, to which you responded by simply declaring your original assertion again.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 314 by nano, posted 10-29-2016 6:54 AM nano has not replied

  
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