Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 66 (9078 total)
838 online now:
Dredge, dwise1, nwr, Parasomnium, PaulK, Percy (Admin), Stile (7 members, 831 visitors)
Newest Member: harveyspecter
Post Volume: Total: 895,240 Year: 6,352/6,534 Month: 545/650 Week: 83/232 Day: 22/38 Hour: 0/2


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Author Topic:   Chance as a sole-product of the Universe
iano
Member (Idle past 1260 days)
Posts: 6165
From: Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Joined: 07-27-2005


Message 31 of 263 (318243)
06-06-2006 9:13 AM
Reply to: Message 19 by cavediver
06-05-2006 7:17 PM


I'd love to know who started this rumour as it is completely untrue...

Probabilities play a role in *observations* of the universe, but the universe itself is totally deterministic (as in our current understanding of the laws of phsyics show them to be completely deterministic)

Could you elaborate on this Cavediver? It would seem that if the universe was completely deterministic in fact, then the knowledge that it is deterministic would have been been the only knowledge that could have been arrived at. Which doesn't necessarily make it true - just knowledge which was unavoidable


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by cavediver, posted 06-05-2006 7:17 PM cavediver has not replied

  
cavediver
Member (Idle past 2963 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 32 of 263 (318245)
06-06-2006 9:16 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by ramoss
06-06-2006 8:07 AM


Karl Popper for one

I can believe that some would think that Popper suggested that, but I wouldn't have thought Popper sufficiently ignorant of physics to actually think it. It's a typical layman science book misinterpretation, most usually of quantum mechanics.

As far as we are aware, the universe evolves deterministically.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by ramoss, posted 06-06-2006 8:07 AM ramoss has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 37 by ramoss, posted 06-06-2006 10:20 AM cavediver has replied

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4721
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 33 of 263 (318252)
06-06-2006 9:52 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by PaulK
06-06-2006 9:01 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
And I've yet to see a good philosphical argument for the existence of a God

I haven't seen a good philosophical argument for the none existence of God, but let's not change the topic.

All that is necessary is that God is a good answer to the problem that makes philosophical sense.

He is simply put, the best answer, unless you care to enlighten us on some other answer that doesn't involve chance/randomness.

I tell you what, we can call it the magic ingredient that makes atheism work.

The closest I can think of is the idea of a space of zero volume inflating to become a universe like ours - but even then we have something that is not "nothing" in the absolute sense that your argument would require.

What causes that? And if it's not nothing, then has there always been something, and if so why? This is philosophy remember.

All I require is that chance doesn't exist outside of this reality, therefore multiple big bangs couldn't have caused the universe. i.e. hinderance of the popular atheist position.

Without chance, there can be no atheistic scenario worth a damn. I don't see any valid reason to assume chance exists outside of the universe.

Clearly tell us all how the universe came about without chance, and how that is possible, naturalistically. Yet isn't that what every natural explanation depends on? Otherwise just admitt I have a good point; that a none-believing position would surely depend on chance.

That's the first definition I offered.

I mentioned randomness on my first reply to you.

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by PaulK, posted 06-06-2006 9:01 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 34 by PaulK, posted 06-06-2006 10:05 AM mike the wiz has replied
 Message 36 by ikabod, posted 06-06-2006 10:19 AM mike the wiz has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17179
Joined: 01-10-2003


Message 34 of 263 (318257)
06-06-2006 10:05 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by mike the wiz
06-06-2006 9:52 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
No, God is a very bad answer to the question of why our universe exists, because it assumes more than it is trying to explain.

On a purely philosophical level I'd go for a simple impersonal cause on the basis of parsimony. On a scientific level, I'd have to trust the cosmologists to produce ideas which at least fit well with what we know and have to make fewer assumptions.

So far as I am concerned I do not know if it is chance or necessity that produced this universe. However, since I see no good way of knowing which is the case and so it is not a great concern to me.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 9:52 AM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 10:30 AM PaulK has replied

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4721
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 35 of 263 (318259)
06-06-2006 10:11 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by ikabod
06-06-2006 3:51 AM


Aren't you talking more about probability?

for all we know "nothing" is very unstable and the chance of a " big bang " event is 0.000000000000000000001%
But as we do not know the physical laws that govern nothing we can not predict .
But given that we are here we can say that the universe did start and the chance of the universe starting and producing us is 100% .. cos its happened

But us knowing the Big Bang happened doesn't mean that chance allowed it to happen.

For all you know, there is 0% chance of the Big Bang event happening by chance/randomness alone. That we are here, doesn't prove that it did happen by chance. It proves that we are here.

It is interesting though, to ponder the possibility of chance always being there. One must ask, why? Why would anything be there?

The fact is that that any philosophical evaluation leads us to conclude that if there is no reason for it to be there, then it wouldn't be there. This is because the nature of all things show purpose. I mentioned this in the O.P.

Think about formal causes. Is there not a reason for time, a potential? For things to happen in! Is there a reason for friction? To hold things together! Is there a reason for a vacuum? To radiate heat! And so on. One can see that the nature of all things has a good reasoning behind it that can be voiced in the deducing of the formal cause.

If there is no reason for chance then why would it exist? The reason for this universe can be seen in all things and in all potential things.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by ikabod, posted 06-06-2006 3:51 AM ikabod has not replied

  
ikabod
Member (Idle past 3813 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 36 of 263 (318262)
06-06-2006 10:19 AM
Reply to: Message 33 by mike the wiz
06-06-2006 9:52 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
sorry but no philosophical the best answer is the universe exsist because thats what it does .. the reason that the universe is here is to allow exsistance .. not of us , but of everything , including chance .

if you insist on a god , then answer the following ,philosophical of course.

...why did god create the universe ?

...was there a chance that god might not have created the universe ?

...what is the chance of god creating other universes?

...where did this god come from ?

...is this god inside or outside the universe ?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 33 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 9:52 AM mike the wiz has not replied

  
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3228
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 37 of 263 (318263)
06-06-2006 10:20 AM
Reply to: Message 32 by cavediver
06-06-2006 9:16 AM


Even Hawkings hedges his bet on that one. It seems to me that there is different definintions of 'scientific determination' that is being used.

Popper, for example, in his book 'he Open Universe: An Argument For Indeterminism', defines determination as "any event can be rationally predicted, with any desired degree of precision, if we are given a sufficiently precise description of past events, together with all the laws of nature". This is a 'strong' definiiton for determinism.

Hawkings defines "scientific determinism" as meaning: "something that will happen in the future can be predicted." This is a much weaker version.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 32 by cavediver, posted 06-06-2006 9:16 AM cavediver has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 39 by ikabod, posted 06-06-2006 10:39 AM ramoss has not replied
 Message 40 by cavediver, posted 06-06-2006 10:48 AM ramoss has not replied

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4721
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 38 of 263 (318268)
06-06-2006 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 34 by PaulK
06-06-2006 10:05 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
No, God is a very bad answer to the question of why our universe exists, because it assumes more than it is trying to explain.

In what way? You're stating a lot but not showing much.

If you look at my previous post, you'll see that God infact is the best parsimonious answer to all things, from an OVERALL perspective.

He is one entity. Any atheistic explanation I have seen, depends on big numbers.i.e. many more entities. How can you claim to observe parsimony? I don't think anybody I have argued with has actually understood the principle.

I think parsimony doesn't actually favour the atheist position because you must argue from the fallacy of composition.

That is, because things are answered individually, as scientific and natural, then THE WHOLE is explained thus, similarly. AGAIN ANY ATHEIST POSITION must then rely on chance otherwise there could be no atheist position because it depends on a being not being involved.

To highlight the mistake, I shall give an example of the problem;

I don't need Paul K to wash my underwear, therefore he doesn't exist.

As you can see, the parsimony in the situation, bares no relevance to the existence of the entity but only to it's requirement in regards to the matter.

That is; you are not required in order for me to wash my underwear, but that by no means means that your actual existence is somehow conflated with this matter. For all we know, the washing of my underwear merely isn't important to you.

Likewise, any parsimonious explanation in regards to the universe, cannot be conflated with the matter of God's existence.

If anything, my preceding post shows how God is very necessary anyway, unless chance exists independent of the universe.

God is a brilliant answer. A conscious entity will always be an excellent answer because it answers all the questions. This doesn't mean it is true, but I think you underestimate it's genuine philosophical credence, because you conflate God with religion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 34 by PaulK, posted 06-06-2006 10:05 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 41 by ikabod, posted 06-06-2006 10:50 AM mike the wiz has not replied
 Message 42 by PaulK, posted 06-06-2006 10:54 AM mike the wiz has replied
 Message 43 by sidelined, posted 06-06-2006 11:12 AM mike the wiz has not replied

  
ikabod
Member (Idle past 3813 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 39 of 263 (318269)
06-06-2006 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by ramoss
06-06-2006 10:20 AM


does Popper's definition run into the problem of infomation .. to make the prediction with the highest degree of precision for a event .. ie which make of car will be the next to drive past my window .. the amout of infomation needed to apply the laws of nature and to describe the past leading to the event becomes so great as to be the sum of the universe plus its self ...?

This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by ramoss, posted 06-06-2006 10:20 AM ramoss has not replied

  
cavediver
Member (Idle past 2963 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 40 of 263 (318270)
06-06-2006 10:48 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by ramoss
06-06-2006 10:20 AM


Even Hawkings hedges his bet on that one

Well, Hawking (no s) used to adamantly insist that even weak determinism was untrue (in a reverse kind of way). He has since recanted, though not before making a lot of enemies :D (look up "black hole information problem" for more details)

any event can be rationally predicted

Here we run into difficulties with what we are calling an "event". An event is actually usually an observation. Where the distinction is blurred at classical levels, we have no problems anyway. But the prediction of a particular state of a wave-function is indeed stongly deterministic, with the following caveat:

Popper's definition is also problematic in the use of "desired" and "sufficient". Mathematically, there is no "sufficent" accuracy in a chaotic system that will necessarily reveal a non-chaotic sub-region. However, we do not usually consider chaos a barrier to determinism. It is a limitation of measurement and/or calculation. It does not constitute a property of the universe per se.

The universe being deterministic is not about what *we* can say/predict, but is concerned with future events being determined *solely* by past events - it is a point of causality. Which of course has major implications for choice and free-will...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by ramoss, posted 06-06-2006 10:20 AM ramoss has not replied

  
ikabod
Member (Idle past 3813 days)
Posts: 365
From: UK
Joined: 03-13-2006


Message 41 of 263 (318271)
06-06-2006 10:50 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by mike the wiz
06-06-2006 10:30 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
your are using a false statement , if you are , as you claim looking philosophical at a whole ..

"I don't need Paul K to wash my underwear, therefore he doesn't exist."

you need the universe to exsist for your underpants to washed , Paul K is part of that universe , therefore you need Paul K , otherwise you do not have the universe in which your underpants can be washed in.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 10:30 AM mike the wiz has not replied

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 17179
Joined: 01-10-2003


Message 42 of 263 (318273)
06-06-2006 10:54 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by mike the wiz
06-06-2006 10:30 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
It seems simple enough. A God is a very specific, very complex entity, that is assumed to exist without explanation. If the universe requires an explanation then so does God for the same reasons. And just saying that God necessarily exists is a cop-out. YOu might as well say that our universe necessarily exists and dispose of the unnecessary God-assumptions.

quote:

If you look at my previous post, you'll see that God infact is the best parsimonious answer to all things, from an OVERALL perspective.

No, I don't see any such thing.

quote:

That is, because things are answered individually, as scientific and natural, then THE WHOLE is explained thus, similarly. AGAIN ANY ATHEIST POSITION must then rely on chance otherwise there could be no atheist position because it depends on a being not being involved.

That's only true if you take the second definition of chance that I offered, but we've already agreed that you really meant the first. There's nothing in atheism that requires that the universe has a non-determinisitic cause.

quote:

That is; you are not required in order for me to wash my underwear, but that by no means means that your actual existence is somehow conflated with this matter. For all we know, the washing of my underwear merely isn't important to you.

There's too big problems with your argument. Firstly the best explanation need not be true, and parsimony is a criterion for determining the best explanation. Secondly the question of your laundry is extraneous and therefore not even relevant to the question of the best explanation. I would assert, however that a human using the handle PaulK" is the best explanation for the existence of this post - but your laundry has nothing to do with that.

quote:

Likewise, any parsimonious explanation in regards to the universe, cannot be conflated with the matter of God's existence.


It seems to me that you are saying that we should beleive the "best explanation" if it is the one we like, but not otherwise.

quote:

God is a brilliant answer. A conscious entity will always be an excellent answer because it answers all the questions

That's another reason why it's a very bad answer. It can "explain" anything. So it can only "explain" things we already know.

quote:

...I think you underestimate it's genuine philosophical credence, because you conflate God with religion.

On the other hand it could be that I mentioned the fact that other philosphers conclude that there is no God because I've read some of their work. Like Mackey's The Miracle of Theism.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 10:30 AM mike the wiz has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 45 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 11:55 AM PaulK has replied

  
sidelined
Member (Idle past 5228 days)
Posts: 3435
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Joined: 08-30-2003


Message 43 of 263 (318280)
06-06-2006 11:12 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by mike the wiz
06-06-2006 10:30 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
mike the wiz

God is a brilliant answer.

Really? Answer this then. If all things have a cause {a requisite you have imposed} What was the cause of God?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 10:30 AM mike the wiz has not replied

  
sidelined
Member (Idle past 5228 days)
Posts: 3435
From: Edmonton Alberta Canada
Joined: 08-30-2003


Message 44 of 263 (318287)
06-06-2006 11:28 AM
Reply to: Message 25 by GDR
06-06-2006 2:08 AM


GDR

The question of this thread is how can the universe have begun by random chance and then natural selection. How can the possibility of the chance of anything exist without something creating the opportunity for any chance to be a possibility?

You have completely missed the point. Mike the wiz has stated that

mike the wiz writes:

The formal causes of these major laws, could only be present in a designer.

I am trying to show how this notion falls apart as a consequence of the very strictures he has put in place. Since the cotention he makes is that God is the formal cause then we must apply the same consideration to God, namely what caused God?

I then showed how the process of application of this" philosophical" discussion to the "explanation" of God leads to an absurdity. This absurdity is the ad infinitum I mentioned.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 25 by GDR, posted 06-06-2006 2:08 AM GDR has not replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 47 by mike the wiz, posted 06-06-2006 12:08 PM sidelined has replied

  
mike the wiz
Member
Posts: 4721
From: u.k
Joined: 05-24-2003


Message 45 of 263 (318295)
06-06-2006 11:55 AM
Reply to: Message 42 by PaulK
06-06-2006 10:54 AM


Re: What do you mean by chance ?
Google "The principle of Parsimony", and the emphasis on extra entities.

Any atheistic explanation of the universe requires more entities than the entity, God.

No, I don't see any such thing.

From reading your post, I would say that you don't see many things, including all of the points I was making.

. If the universe requires an explanation then so does God for the same reasons.

Fallacious. Only atheism shifts the cause. God is the eternal prime mover.

If I need to know why my plumming is playing up, that doesn't mean I need an explanation for why the bad plummer exists. The error is to assume equivalent circumstances.

Atheism= The universe exists, via natural means, natural means exist, via some other inexplicable or natural means add infinity.

Let's say the big bangs happen in a place that has chance.

chance -> place of BBs -> chance -> universe -> chance, and so on. All you do is shift the problem and find no ultimate cause. God infact answers the problem because he doesn't need a cause.

The problem in hand is the universe, BECAUSE it hasn't always existed.

Something that has always existed (God), by definition, requires no explanatory causes.

I see no point in continuing this debate with you. I'd rather have a productive discussion with someone else.

Edited by mike the wiz, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 42 by PaulK, posted 06-06-2006 10:54 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 46 by sidelined, posted 06-06-2006 12:02 PM mike the wiz has not replied
 Message 48 by PaulK, posted 06-06-2006 12:20 PM mike the wiz has replied
 Message 49 by cavediver, posted 06-06-2006 12:22 PM mike the wiz has replied

  
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2018 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.1
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2022