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Author Topic:   How Darwin caused atheism
subbie
Member (Idle past 1342 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 61 of 122 (601508)
01-20-2011 10:10 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by ApostateAbe
01-20-2011 10:08 PM


Since you've refuted your own thesis, I'd expect you are done with everyone. But I guess I can live with the fact that you have no real response to what I'm saying.

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson
We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat
It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate
...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist

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 Message 59 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 10:08 PM ApostateAbe has not replied

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 4714 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 62 of 122 (601509)
01-20-2011 10:15 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by Taq
01-20-2011 9:31 PM


Re: claims are nice.
Taq writes:
If I had to prove that the sharp increase in atheists were at the exact year of 1860, then my position would be a lot tougher, because it would be impossible.
It would be impossible to get any good estimates from that time period to begin with. Atheism was not tolerated like it is today. You might as well try to estimate the prevalence of homosexuality in the early 1900's by citing polls where people openly admitted that they were gay.
That's a good point. The emergence of atheism and the disappearance of deism could be explained by the emerging social tolerance for atheism. The main weakness, in my opinion, would be a lack of powerful explanations for both a difference in tolerance between atheism and deism and the emerging social tolerance for atheism in the late 19th century.

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 Message 51 by Taq, posted 01-20-2011 9:31 PM Taq has not replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 63 of 122 (601510)
01-20-2011 10:16 PM
Reply to: Message 58 by ApostateAbe
01-20-2011 10:05 PM


There are some skeptics who absolutely cannot be convinced, . . .
Then they are not skeptical. They are dogmatic. There is a huge difference between the two, at least in my view.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 58 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 10:05 PM ApostateAbe has not replied

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 4714 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 64 of 122 (601512)
01-20-2011 10:41 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Blue Jay
01-20-2011 12:55 AM


Re: good for the goose
Bluejay writes:
Hi, Abe.
If you'll permit me to take a side trip for this post, I'd like to make a couple simple observations.
ApostateAbe writes:
The only event separating abiogenesis from Darwinian evolution is the chemical synthesis of the first self-replicating molecule...
I agree that there's a lot of connection between evolution and abiogenesis. Mechanistically, they don't differ all that much: whatever caused the transition between "non-life" and "life" almost certainly happened via what could arguably be called a "random mutation," so it would seem to fit the mechanistic definition of "evolution" just fine.
Where they diverge is in the fact that one of them (evolution) could happen even if the other (abiogenesis) didn't. Thus, they're not dependent on each other. However, proponents of abiogenesis are, without exception, also proponents of evolution. So I'm sure that at least some proponents have philosophically or ideologically linked the two such that they rather are dependent on each other. Still, I doubt it's the typical case, so I'm not sure that it's particularly relevant.
Yes, I agree completely. Skeptics have an interest in linking the two ideas primarily because they want the theory of evolution to be dependent on abiogenesis, and one of their arguments is that abiogenesis would be at the origin and root of the entire tree of life. They sometimes claim that abiogenesis is the "foundation" of the theory of evolution. The opposite reaction--completely separating abiogenesis from the theory of evolution--would be another misleading extreme. There is no doubt that abiogenesis has a strong relation to the theory of evolution--it really is the best explanation for the beginning of the root of the tree--but it would not be the essential foundation of the ToE.
Bluejay writes:
ApostateAbe writes:
There seems to be so much bone-headed groupthink that goes on in the activist defenses of the ToE that the side of me who is arrogant prick really shows whenever I talk about it.
Yeah, I know I've personally taken part in "ToE activism" on multiple occasions. I think it's more an artifact of having a lot of evolutionists on this site, so the posts against evolution tend to get better coverage.
-----
Also, I don't think you're arguing that Darwin caused atheism: you're arguing that Darwin enabled atheism.
Intuitively, it makes perfect sense. Man's status as a special creation of God being arguably the most important dogma of most religions, it seems perfectly reasonable to think that a theory that challenges the specialness of man would be the most important reason for people to reject most religions.
But, beyond simple intuitiveness, I don't have much to suggest that it is the actuality of things. I think it would make an interesting volunteer survey: "what is the most common reason why atheists decided to become atheists"? Does anyone know if this has been done?
My main background is being an activist for atheism (I really have the credentials, if that matters). Based on my experiences of reading and hearing the stories of so many atheists, the most common motivation for accepting the position of atheism is that there is generally no evidence for God, and God is an extraordinary claim of myth on the same level as Santa Claus, unicorns or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. The theory of evolution is seldom the direct argument, though of course it would be essential to the reality that there is seemingly no good evidence left for God.
Edited by ApostateAbe, : left out words

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 Message 16 by Blue Jay, posted 01-20-2011 12:55 AM Blue Jay has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 65 by Coyote, posted 01-20-2011 10:58 PM ApostateAbe has replied
 Message 67 by Taq, posted 01-20-2011 11:26 PM ApostateAbe has replied
 Message 79 by Blue Jay, posted 01-22-2011 6:20 PM ApostateAbe has seen this message but not replied

  
Coyote
Member (Idle past 2193 days)
Posts: 6117
Joined: 01-12-2008


Message 65 of 122 (601515)
01-20-2011 10:58 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by ApostateAbe
01-20-2011 10:41 PM


Re: good for the goose
Yes, I agree completely. Skeptics have an interest in linking the two ideas primarily because they want the theory of evolution to be dependent on abiogenesis, and one of their arguments is that abiogenesis would be at the origin and root of the entire tree of life. They sometimes claim that abiogenesis is the "foundation" of the theory of evolution. The opposite reaction--completely separating abiogenesis from the theory of evolution--would be another misleading extreme. There is no doubt that abiogenesis has a strong relation to the theory of evolution--it really is the best explanation for the beginning of the root of the tree--but it would not be the essential foundation of the ToE.
The theory of evolution is not dependent on abiogenesis! NOT! NEVER HAS BEEN! ISN'T! NO HOW!
The theory of evolution works equally well if abiogenesis occurred, some deity (Loki maybe) created life, life was started from outer space, or life was transferred back from the future. In any of these cases the theory of evolution works the same.
Given that there is no evidence whatsoever for deities, that explanation might be discounted, but at present we don't have any firm evidence for or against the other alternatives.
But that doesn't matter! Evolution works just fine in any case.

Religious belief does not constitute scientific evidence, nor does it convey scientific knowledge.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 10:41 PM ApostateAbe has replied

Replies to this message:
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ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 4714 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 66 of 122 (601517)
01-20-2011 11:16 PM
Reply to: Message 65 by Coyote
01-20-2011 10:58 PM


Re: good for the goose
Coyote writes:
Yes, I agree completely. Skeptics have an interest in linking the two ideas primarily because they want the theory of evolution to be dependent on abiogenesis, and one of their arguments is that abiogenesis would be at the origin and root of the entire tree of life. They sometimes claim that abiogenesis is the "foundation" of the theory of evolution. The opposite reaction--completely separating abiogenesis from the theory of evolution--would be another misleading extreme. There is no doubt that abiogenesis has a strong relation to the theory of evolution--it really is the best explanation for the beginning of the root of the tree--but it would not be the essential foundation of the ToE.
The theory of evolution is not dependent on abiogenesis! NOT! NEVER HAS BEEN! ISN'T! NO HOW!
The theory of evolution works equally well if abiogenesis occurred, some deity (Loki maybe) created life, life was started from outer space, or life was transferred back from the future. In any of these cases the theory of evolution works the same.
Given that there is no evidence whatsoever for deities, that explanation might be discounted, but at present we don't have any firm evidence for or against the other alternatives.
But that doesn't matter! Evolution works just fine in any case.
Everything you have said is correct. I didn't mean to claim that the theory of evolution is dependent on abiogenesis, and I kinda thought I made that clear. When we get stuck in the mode of arguing with creationists, it is easy to mislead ourselves when discussing points that are merely related within the same topic.
I may take at least some difference of opinion with the claim that "the theory of evolution works equally well if abiogenesis occurred." Since Loki would be a very relatively improbable cause for the beginning of life, it would actually be very improbable that evolution could have ever occurred without abiogenesis. The two ideas are very intimately linked. Abiogenesis is not the foundation of the theory of evolution, but most certainly the theory of evolution is the foundation of abiogenesis.
If the position still does not seem reasonable, then maybe an analogy would help. According to historians of Christianity, Jesus was a follower of John the Baptist. John the Baptist is at the origins of Christianity, so the two figures are very closely linked. If you rightly claim, "John the Baptist is not the foundation of Christianity," or (more precariously) "Christianity would have been the same regardless of who Jesus initially followed," then that does not affect the claim that John the Baptist relates very strongly to Jesus.

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Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.5


(1)
Message 67 of 122 (601518)
01-20-2011 11:26 PM
Reply to: Message 64 by ApostateAbe
01-20-2011 10:41 PM


Re: good for the goose
Skeptics have an interest in linking the two ideas primarily because they want the theory of evolution to be dependent on abiogenesis, and one of their arguments is that abiogenesis would be at the origin and root of the entire tree of life.
The reason that scientists tend to separate them is pragmatism. How life started and how life changed are different questions that require different answers, different models, and different mechanisms.
The theory of evolution is seldom the direct argument, though of course it would be essential to the reality that there is seemingly no good evidence left for God.
Although this is easier to say in hindsight,the existence of life was never evidence of God. The claim that there is a creator God may have been more compelling without our current knowledge of biology, but it was never evidence.
The metaphor I often picture is sight. If your knowledge is related to how far we can see then we could describe pre-historic humanity as a myopic man stumbling around in a fog. We couldn't see past the food in our hands. We began to wonder about the world beyond that fog. We started to believe that there were deities just out of reach producing the small things that came into view in our fog laden world. We believed that gods were creating rivers of water for us to consume as they magically appeared from the fog. As we gained more knowledge that fog began to clear to the point that we could see the horizon. We could see the mountains where the rivers came from. As it turns out, those deities were not just out of reach. They were nowhere to be found clear out to the horizon. Well, maybe they are just over the horizon, we thought. The ocean disappears just over the horizon, surely the gods are making this water for us. We gained more and more knowledge and found whole new territories across those oceans, but still no gods. Now we began to grow doubtful of our first impressions. Why did we propose that those gods existed in the first place with so little knowledge to go on? Are we on a fool's errand of our own making?
Now the universe is open to our probing eyes with the horizon of our forefather's in our rear view mirror. We have come to a new horizon, the start of the universe itself. Are we really to believe that the gods lie just on the other side of this horizon?
Edited by Taq, : No reason given.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 64 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-20-2011 10:41 PM ApostateAbe has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 68 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-21-2011 12:01 AM Taq has replied

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 4714 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 68 of 122 (601521)
01-21-2011 12:01 AM
Reply to: Message 67 by Taq
01-20-2011 11:26 PM


Re: good for the goose
Taq writes:
Skeptics have an interest in linking the two ideas primarily because they want the theory of evolution to be dependent on abiogenesis, and one of their arguments is that abiogenesis would be at the origin and root of the entire tree of life.
The reason that scientists tend to separate them is pragmatism. How life started and how life changed are different questions that require different answers, different models, and different mechanisms.
I can't discount the conclusions that follow from your experiences, though it differs from my own. Years ago, I attended a lecture by a microbiology professor at the University of Washington about abiogenesis. It wasn't so much about the very first chemical system. It was about exploring possibilities that lie in between the first simple self-replicating molecular system and the DNA-laden cells at the root of the tree of life. The existing tree of life would play an essential role in the evidence and the leads to abiogenesis, and it would be all about working backward along the steps of Darwinian evolution. All clues to the question of abiogenesis would have to tie in very much to Darwinism, even if the very first event is a chemical thing.
Taq writes:
The theory of evolution is seldom the direct argument, though of course it would be essential to the reality that there is seemingly no good evidence left for God.
Although this is easier to say in hindsight,the existence of life was never evidence of God. The claim that there is a creator God may have been more compelling without our current knowledge of biology, but it was never evidence.
The metaphor I often picture is sight. If your knowledge is related to how far we can see then we could describe pre-historic humanity as a myopic man stumbling around in a fog. We couldn't see past the food in our hands. We began to wonder about the world beyond that fog. We started to believe that there were deities just out of reach producing the small things that came into view in our fog laden world. We believed that gods were creating rivers of water for us to consume as they magically appeared from the fog. As we gained more knowledge that fog began to clear to the point that we could see the horizon. We could see the mountains where the rivers came from. As it turns out, those deities were not just out of reach. They were nowhere to be found clear out to the horizon. Well, maybe they are just over the horizon, we thought. The ocean disappears just over the horizon, surely the gods are making this water for us. We gained more and more knowledge and found whole new territories across those oceans, but still no gods. Now we began to grow doubtful of our first impressions. Why did we propose that those gods existed in the first place with so little knowledge to go on? Are we on a fool's errand of our own making?
Now the universe is open to our probing eyes with the horizon of our forefather's in our rear view mirror. We have come to a new horizon, the start of the universe itself. Are we really to believe that the gods lie just on the other side of this horizon?
Yeah, I do have a different perspective. Without concern for my own philosophy, I have used "evidence" and "true explanations" interchangeably, as though it would fit your perspective that any piece of evidence is evidence for only the correct explanation and nothing else. I think such a view would follow from the belief that any scientific explanation can be judged as either correct or incorrect based solely on the evidence and independent from all competing explanations.
I believe that such a perspective is strongly misleading, because it is not actually the way science is done, neither in the present nor the past. The way explanations are chosen is that there are many explanations, there could be many such propositions that explain the evidence to varying degrees of quality, and the best explanation is the explanation that is accepted, until an even better explanation comes along to take its place. For example, that is what happened when the punctuated equilibrium theory of Gould replaced the classical gradualistic theory of evolution of Darwin's early proponents. The fossil evidence served both explanations, but one explanation was better than another. It wasn't that the gradualists were completely wrong, only that their theory was inferior to a better explanation that was put on the table.
There was a very interesting and thought-provoking article written by Isaac Asimov titled, "The Relativity of Wrong." It illustrates that principle very well.
Edited by ApostateAbe, : left out a word
Edited by ApostateAbe, : left out another word

This message is a reply to:
 Message 67 by Taq, posted 01-20-2011 11:26 PM Taq has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 69 by Taq, posted 01-21-2011 11:26 AM ApostateAbe has replied

  
Taq
Member
Posts: 10158
Joined: 03-06-2009
Member Rating: 3.5


Message 69 of 122 (601546)
01-21-2011 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 68 by ApostateAbe
01-21-2011 12:01 AM


Re: good for the goose
I can't discount the conclusions that follow from your experiences, though it differs from my own. Years ago, I attended a lecture by a microbiology professor at the University of Washington about abiogenesis. It wasn't so much about the very first chemical system. It was about exploring possibilities that lie in between the first simple self-replicating molecular system and the DNA-laden cells at the root of the tree of life. The existing tree of life would play an essential role in the evidence and the leads to abiogenesis, and it would be all about working backward along the steps of Darwinian evolution. All clues to the question of abiogenesis would have to tie in very much to Darwinism, even if the very first event is a chemical thing.
The lines do get blurred a bit in between the first replicator and the last universal common ancestor. I will agree with you there. However, the question of how that first, simple replicator came about can not be answered through the mechanisms of mutation and selection. It had to be non-Darwinian by the very definition of how the first life came about (assuming abiogenesis for the moment).
There is also a blurry line between a replicator and life. We often describe life in terms other than just replication. We also include active homeostasis and metabolism as characteristics that life has. The first replicators more than likely did not have all of these characteristics. In fact, there is debate within the abiogenesis community as to whether metabolism or replication came first (at least from my scant reading on the subject).
So I will agree that abiogenesis and evolution do meet in a grey area. However, there are still questions in biology that need one or the other, but not both. That was the point I was trying to make.
I believe that such a perspective is strongly misleading, because it is not actually the way science is done, neither in the present nor the past. The way explanations are chosen is that there are many explanations, there could be many such propositions that explain the evidence to varying degrees of quality, and the best explanation is the explanation that is accepted, until an even better explanation comes along to take its place.
The best explanation in science is always the one that is testable, falsifiable, and is backed by evidence. This differs from a compelling belief where no tests can be done, no avenue of falsification, and no evidence to back it up. The important quality of a compelling belief is the emotions it produces.
Occam's Razor also plays a part. The best explanation is usually the one that doesn't have to be strained to explain the evidence. I used to read a few physics forums here and there and read some discussions with skeptics of the Big Bang who argued for a non-inflating universe. The non-inflationists proposed theories that could only produce the observed cosmic microwave background if very specific conditions were met whereas the Big Bang model requires that the CMB be present. In this case the BB model is the best explanation because it requires the observations observed while in other models it is only one possible outcome of many. IOW, the best explanation has a round peg for the round hole while the lesser explanations require a hammer to get the square peg through.
For example, that is what happened when the punctuated equilibrium theory of Gould replaced the classical gradualistic theory of evolution of Darwin's early proponents.
Punk eek never replaced gradualism. Both are viable mechanisms within the theory of evolution just as sexual selection and selection through predation are both viable mechanisms. The question is which mechanism is most prominent in each lineage.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 68 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-21-2011 12:01 AM ApostateAbe has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 70 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-21-2011 9:57 PM Taq has not replied
 Message 80 by Blue Jay, posted 01-22-2011 6:37 PM Taq has replied

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 4714 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 70 of 122 (601601)
01-21-2011 9:57 PM
Reply to: Message 69 by Taq
01-21-2011 11:26 AM


Re: good for the goose
Taq writes:
The lines do get blurred a bit in between the first replicator and the last universal common ancestor. I will agree with you there. However, the question of how that first, simple replicator came about can not be answered through the mechanisms of mutation and selection. It had to be non-Darwinian by the very definition of how the first life came about (assuming abiogenesis for the moment).
There is also a blurry line between a replicator and life. We often describe life in terms other than just replication. We also include active homeostasis and metabolism as characteristics that life has. The first replicators more than likely did not have all of these characteristics. In fact, there is debate within the abiogenesis community as to whether metabolism or replication came first (at least from my scant reading on the subject).
So I will agree that abiogenesis and evolution do meet in a grey area. However, there are still questions in biology that need one or the other, but not both. That was the point I was trying to make.
Yeah, that is well argued, and I think I can respect that position.
Taq writes:
The best explanation in science is always the one that is testable, falsifiable, and is backed by evidence. This differs from a compelling belief where no tests can be done, no avenue of falsification, and no evidence to back it up. The important quality of a compelling belief is the emotions it produces.
Occam's Razor also plays a part. The best explanation is usually the one that doesn't have to be strained to explain the evidence. I used to read a few physics forums here and there and read some discussions with skeptics of the Big Bang who argued for a non-inflating universe. The non-inflationists proposed theories that could only produce the observed cosmic microwave background if very specific conditions were met whereas the Big Bang model requires that the CMB be present. In this case the BB model is the best explanation because it requires the observations observed while in other models it is only one possible outcome of many. IOW, the best explanation has a round peg for the round hole while the lesser explanations require a hammer to get the square peg through.
You listed four criteria of a best explanation: testable, falsifiable, is backed by evidence, and Occam's razor. You may take those criteria to be a minimum, and a theory that is lacking in any one of them should not be accepted.
When I researched and argued topics of the New Testament, I found a methodology of decision-making. It was proposed for the subject of history, but I found that it could be applied to all subjects, and it is the reason I have used the phrase, "best explanation." The name of it is "argument to the best explanation," by C. Behan McCullagh, who simply compiled and formalized the methods that historians have always used. The subject of history, especially the history of Christianity, has so much ambiguity, uncertainty, doubt, and fiercely competing theories that such a method was needed to cover the whole range of problems and debates.
The messy set of methods you listed would roughly correspond to the methodology of the "argument to the best explanation." Since each different method was developed and is promoted in isolation from other methods, they are often each individually touted as being a minimum requirement for all worthy theories. All theories must be falsifiable. And all theories must be testable. The problem is that not all of the best theories have those minimum requirements. The best explanation for how the universe started is with a singularity much like a black hole. But, that theory is by no means testable, except with a very big stretch in the definition--it is simply the best out of all explanations that we have. I am strongly considering starting another thread on the McCullagh's argument to the best explanation. I think it really should be formally accepted by all of the sciences. Scientific work is already done as though they are following such a methodology, one way or the other.
Taq writes:
Punk eek never replaced gradualism. Both are viable mechanisms within the theory of evolution just as sexual selection and selection through predation are both viable mechanisms. The question is which mechanism is most prominent in each lineage.
Yeah, come to think of it, punk eek did not exactly replace gradualism. Maybe a better analogy is between the geological theory of gradualism and the current geological model that incorporates both gradualism and catastrophism.

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 Message 69 by Taq, posted 01-21-2011 11:26 AM Taq has not replied

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 Message 71 by Iblis, posted 01-21-2011 10:26 PM ApostateAbe has replied

  
Iblis
Member (Idle past 3982 days)
Posts: 663
Joined: 11-17-2005


Message 71 of 122 (601603)
01-21-2011 10:26 PM
Reply to: Message 70 by ApostateAbe
01-21-2011 9:57 PM


Re: good for the goose
The best explanation for how the universe started is with a singularity much like a black hole.
Not at all, that conception of the Big Bang is about thirty years obsolete. Inflation requires no matter singularity, and indeed such a singularity was the biggest flaw in the BB theory before Guth, as nothing comes out of a black hole. Other flaws included missing strange particles like monopoles, consistency in areas causally unconnected, and the appearance of fine tuning. Inflation resolves these problems.
But, that theory is by no means testable, except with a very big stretch in the definition--it is simply the best out of all explanations that we have.
Sorry, no. The singularity version of the Big Bang was falsifiable, clearly, as it has been falsified. Inflation is also falsifiable, in that it makes predictions. One of these predictions was the consistency of the CMB, which has since been found, its a black body temperature of 4 Kelvin for the whole shebang. Its consistency is within the bounds of the prediction, the minor variations within these bounds have given us a lot of info about the early universe. So the test has supported the current theory.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 70 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-21-2011 9:57 PM ApostateAbe has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 72 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-21-2011 10:34 PM Iblis has replied
 Message 78 by cavediver, posted 01-22-2011 3:45 PM Iblis has replied

  
ApostateAbe
Member (Idle past 4714 days)
Posts: 175
From: Klamath Falls, OR
Joined: 02-02-2005


Message 72 of 122 (601604)
01-21-2011 10:34 PM
Reply to: Message 71 by Iblis
01-21-2011 10:26 PM


Re: good for the goose
Iblis writes:
The best explanation for how the universe started is with a singularity much like a black hole.
Not at all, that conception of the Big Bang is about thirty years obsolete. Inflation requires no matter singularity, and indeed such a singularity was the biggest flaw in the BB theory before Guth, as nothing comes out of a black hole. Other flaws included missing strange particles like monopoles, consistency in areas causally unconnected, and the appearance of fine tuning. Inflation resolves these problems.
But, that theory is by no means testable, except with a very big stretch in the definition--it is simply the best out of all explanations that we have.
Sorry, no. The singularity version of the Big Bang was falsifiable, clearly, as it has been falsified. Inflation is also falsifiable, in that it makes predictions. One of these predictions was the consistency of the CMB, which has since been found, its a black body temperature of 4 Kelvin for the whole shebang. Its consistency is within the bounds of the prediction, the minor variations within these bounds have given us a lot of info about the early universe. So the test has supported the current theory.
Iblis, it seems like you have some valuable insider knowledge on astrophysics. I had no idea that the big bang singularity is out of date, and it would mean that many popular sources out there are behind the times. Can you direct me to a source where I can learn of the more modern theories?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 71 by Iblis, posted 01-21-2011 10:26 PM Iblis has replied

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 Message 73 by Iblis, posted 01-21-2011 11:09 PM ApostateAbe has replied

  
Iblis
Member (Idle past 3982 days)
Posts: 663
Joined: 11-17-2005


(1)
Message 73 of 122 (601605)
01-21-2011 11:09 PM
Reply to: Message 72 by ApostateAbe
01-21-2011 10:34 PM


Inflation links
Alan Guth writes:
During inflation, while the energy of matter increases by a factor of 1075 or more, the energy of the gravitational field becomes more and more negative to compensate. The total energy - matter plus gravitational - remains constant and very small, and could even be exactly zero. Conservation of energy places no limit on how much the Universe can inflate, as there is no limit to the amount of negative energy that can be stored in the gravitational field.
This borrowing of energy from the gravitational field gives the inflationary paradigm an entirely different perspective from the classical Big Bang theory, in which all the particles in the Universe (or at least their precursors) were assumed to be in place from the start. Inflation provides a mechanism by which the entire Universe can develop from just a few ounces of primordial matter. Inflation is radically at odds with the old dictum of Democritus and Lucretius, "Nothing can be created from nothing" If inflation is right, everything can be created from nothing, or at least from very little. If inflation is right, the Universe can properly be called the ultimate free lunch.
http://nedwww.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Guth/Guth_contents.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inflation_(cosmology)
Message 27 et al
My cosmology is definitely not "insider knowledge" though; I take correction regularly here from the actual insiders. As for example
Message 71

This message is a reply to:
 Message 72 by ApostateAbe, posted 01-21-2011 10:34 PM ApostateAbe has replied

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Dr Adequate
Member (Idle past 371 days)
Posts: 16113
Joined: 07-20-2006


Message 74 of 122 (601606)
01-21-2011 11:49 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by subbie
01-19-2011 10:27 PM


The ToE is exactly as important to atheism as are astronomy, geology, medicine, seismology, meteorology, psychiatry, and any other science that explained phenomena that were attributed to gods.
I guess the difference is that while you can imagine anthropomorphic reasons for earthquakes or lightning, there's no particular reason why anyone should except a general human tendency to be dumb; whereas adaptation does look superficially like the sort of thing a mind like our own might have thought up.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by subbie, posted 01-19-2011 10:27 PM subbie has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 75 by subbie, posted 01-22-2011 12:01 AM Dr Adequate has replied

  
subbie
Member (Idle past 1342 days)
Posts: 3509
Joined: 02-26-2006


Message 75 of 122 (601607)
01-22-2011 12:01 AM
Reply to: Message 74 by Dr Adequate
01-21-2011 11:49 PM


Sorry, not following you. Can you expand or clarify?

Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. -- Thomas Jefferson
We see monsters where science shows us windmills. -- Phat
It has always struck me as odd that fundies devote so much time and effort into trying to find a naturalistic explanation for their mythical flood, while looking for magical explanations for things that actually happened. -- Dr. Adequate
...creationists have a great way to detect fraud and it doesn't take 8 or 40 years or even a scientific degree to spot the fraud--'if it disagrees with the bible then it is wrong'.... -- archaeologist

This message is a reply to:
 Message 74 by Dr Adequate, posted 01-21-2011 11:49 PM Dr Adequate has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 76 by Dr Adequate, posted 01-22-2011 12:13 AM subbie has seen this message but not replied

  
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