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Author Topic:   Time and Beginning to Exist
Straggler
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Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(3)
Message 64 of 268 (642296)
11-27-2011 10:59 AM
Reply to: Message 61 by designtheorist
11-27-2011 10:03 AM


Re: Reply to Percy
dt writes:

More accurately, theists, atheists and agnostics think the Big Bang "smacks of divine intervention" or "is compatible with or supportive of the idea of a Universe Designer or Creator God."

So apparently everyone agrees with you......

I don't think the Big Bang necessarily smacks of divine intervention. What does that make me?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 61 by designtheorist, posted 11-27-2011 10:03 AM designtheorist has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 66 by NoNukes, posted 11-27-2011 11:45 AM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 90 of 268 (642400)
11-28-2011 1:29 PM
Reply to: Message 87 by designtheorist
11-28-2011 1:08 PM


Re: Reply to Rahvin
I know what a fan of Hawking quotes you are. So here is one:

Hawking writes:

Does it require a Creator to decree how the universe began? Or is the initial state of the universe, determined by a law of science? In fact, this question would arise even if the histories of the universe went back to the infinite past. But it is more immediate if the universe began only 15 billion years ago. The problem of what happens at the beginning of time is a bit like the question of what happened at the edge of the world, when people thought the world was flat. Is the world a flat plate with the sea pouring over the edge? I have tested this experimentally. I have been round the world, and I have not fallen off. As we all know, the problem of what happens at the edge of the world was solved when people realized that the world was not a flat plate, but a curved surface. Time however, seemed to be different. It appeared to be separate from space, and to be like a model railway track. If it had a beginning, there would have to be someone to set the trains going. Einstein's General Theory of Relativity unified time and space as spacetime, but time was still different from space and was like a corridor, which either had a beginning and end, or went on forever. However, when one combines General Relativity with Quantum Theory, Jim Hartle and I realized that time can behave like another direction in space under extreme conditions. This means one can get rid of the problem of time having a beginning, in a similar way in which we got rid of the edge of the world. Suppose the beginning of the universe was like the South Pole of the earth, with degrees of latitude playing the role of time. The universe would start as a point at the South Pole. As one moves north, the circles of constant latitude, representing the size of the universe, would expand. To ask what happened before the beginning of the universe would become a meaningless question, because there is nothing south of the South Pole.

Link

Isn't the above saying what numerous others are trying to get through to you here?

dt writes:

Or perhaps you are committing the same logical fallacy that PaulK is committing?

Which logical fallacy would that be?

Is it a logical fallacy of refuse to assume that magical gnomes accidentally created the universe with a pixie dust spillage? Is it a logical fallacy to refuse to treat this proposition as some sort of 50/50 probability in the way that you seem to be suggesting towards your "binary" designer/creator argument in Message 84?

dt writes:

What word would you suggest I use to describe events in this timeless state "prior" to the big bang?

If we are going to consider colliding branes or timeless creators we need a basis for doing so don't we? Otherwise we are back to gnomes and pixie dust and the imaginations of men aren't we?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 87 by designtheorist, posted 11-28-2011 1:08 PM designtheorist has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 92 by designtheorist, posted 11-28-2011 1:32 PM Straggler has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 95 of 268 (642407)
11-28-2011 1:48 PM
Reply to: Message 91 by designtheorist
11-28-2011 1:30 PM


Re: Reply to PaulK
dt writes:

What is truly needed is a better definition is the timeless realm in which the Designer/Creator inhabits.

dt writes:

But that does not preclude the possibility time does not exist elsewhere. Even a timeless realm could have an arrow of time without beginning or end.

So you want to talk about a "timeless realm" in which there is time.

That doesn't really make any sense at all does it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 91 by designtheorist, posted 11-28-2011 1:30 PM designtheorist has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 113 of 268 (642470)
11-29-2011 7:12 AM
Reply to: Message 110 by GDR
11-29-2011 1:37 AM


Re: Reality of Time
Hello GDR

GDR writes:

Has anyone even seen an idea?

It depends what you mean. We've never seen quarks in the sense you seem to mean. But we have a very empirical basis for concluding both that quarks exist and that ideas have a physical basis. Are you aware of any ideas that occurred without brain activity of some sort?

GDR writes:

We see activity in the brain but with no way of discerning what is being thought about.

Isn't that a limitation of technology rather than some inherent barrier? It's primitive but consider the following:

Link writes:

For seven years the man lay in a hospital bed, showing no signs of consciousness since sustaining a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. His doctors were ­convinced he was in a vegetative state. Until now.

To the astonishment of his ­medical team, the patient has been able to ­communicate with the outside world after scientists worked out, in effect, a way to read his thoughts.

They devised a technique to enable the man, now 29, to answer yes and no to ­simple questions through the use of a hi-tech scanner, monitoring his brain ­activity.
Sarah Boseley explains the research Link to this audio

To answer yes, he was told to think of playing tennis, a motor activity. To answer no, he was told to think of wandering from room to room in his home, visualising everything he would expect to see there, creating activity in the part of the brain governing spatial awareness.

His doctors were amazed when the patient gave the correct answers to a series of questions about his family.

Link

In Japan they are experimenting with the control of robots through thought alone. Again - Currently it's primitive with EEG sensors strapped to a persons head. But the principle is there and it is thought that an MRI scanner that fits in your pocket is not that far away.

GDR writes:

Also does an idea have cause?

I would say that, like any physical process, it does have a cause.
Are you saying ideas are causeless and thus just utterly random?

GDR writes:

Can you measure an idea?

You can measure brain activity.

GDR writes:

Ideas may result in a physical change or they might not.

But no idea will ever occur without physical change in the form of brain activity will it?

GDR writes:

An idea is something, but in order for it to be physical it seems to me that you should able to phyically measure it.

We can measure the physical brain activity that produces ideas. What else are you suggesting is needed?

GDR writes:

As I try and get an idea of what to write it would be possible to observe brain patterns as I formulate ideas, but where are the ideas themselves that you can actually measure.?

If the ideas and the physical brain activity are not synonomous I am wondering why you think we need physical brains at all? What do you think the relationship between ideas and brain activity actually is?

Why do you think we have brains? What role do they play in the origin of ideas as far as you are concerned?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by GDR, posted 11-29-2011 1:37 AM GDR has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 117 of 268 (642480)
11-29-2011 9:42 AM
Reply to: Message 115 by NoNukes
11-29-2011 8:07 AM


Re: Reality of Time
NN writes:

Do you believe that ideas have a physical basis?

I would have thought that it was pretty indisputable that ideas have a physical basis. Did anyone lacking a physical brain ever have an idea?

NN writes:

Your argument appears to be directed towards showing that thoughts are physical. I didn't challenge that proposition.

NN writes:

But that's not the same thing as saying that ideas are physical.

You seem to be making a rather subtle distinction between thoughts and ideas.

Do you accept that thought has a physical basis?
Aren't ideas a form of thought?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 115 by NoNukes, posted 11-29-2011 8:07 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by 1.61803, posted 11-29-2011 10:43 AM Straggler has responded
 Message 135 by NoNukes, posted 11-29-2011 6:04 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 120 of 268 (642489)
11-29-2011 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 118 by 1.61803
11-29-2011 10:43 AM


Re: Reality of Time
Without any physical brains with which to have thoughts do ideas exist?

I have an idea. To my knowledge this idea is a wholly subjective idea. It isn't a mathematical objective property of our universe like pi or anything like that. It is just an idea about how I should go about tackling a personal issue.

On my way home my brains are beaten into pizza pulp by a wrench wielding psychopath.

Does the idea still exist? Or did the idea kick the bucket along with my physical brain?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 118 by 1.61803, posted 11-29-2011 10:43 AM 1.61803 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 121 by 1.61803, posted 11-29-2011 12:09 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 122 of 268 (642492)
11-29-2011 12:17 PM
Reply to: Message 121 by 1.61803
11-29-2011 12:09 PM


Re: Reality of Time
If you agree that subjective ideas cease to exist in the absence of any physical medium then I don't really see that there can be any disagreement between us about ideas having a physical basis.

Now if you want to get into the Platonic existence of mathematical concepts and suchlike we have a whole other branch of discussion.......

But probably one for another thread.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 121 by 1.61803, posted 11-29-2011 12:09 PM 1.61803 has responded

Replies to this message:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 137 of 268 (642562)
11-29-2011 6:14 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by NoNukes
11-29-2011 6:04 PM


Re: Reality of Time
I have an idea. To my knowledge this idea is a wholly subjective idea. It isn't a mathematical objective property of our universe like pi or anything like that. It is just an idea about how I should go about tackling a personal issue.

On my way home my brains are beaten into pizza pulp by a wrench wielding psychopath.

Does the idea still exist? Or did the idea kick the bucket along with my physical brain?

NN writes:

Four is an idea.

Mathematical concepts are arguably objective properties of our universe. You can argue that such things exist in a Platonic sense. But that isn't the same as your assertion that ideas lack a physical basis.

No-one ever had an idea that wasn't borne of a physical brain did they?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by NoNukes, posted 11-29-2011 6:04 PM NoNukes has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 157 of 268 (642611)
11-30-2011 6:48 AM
Reply to: Message 156 by NoNukes
11-30-2011 6:01 AM


Re: Reality of Time
I have an idea for a novel. An original story. Before I can write or otherwise express this idea to anyone else I am run over by a bus and my head crushed under a giant wheel.

Does my idea still exist?
Did the idea exist before I had thought of it?

NN writes:

What I believe ideas to be are abstract concepts that are separate from the thoughts, writings, and objects that express them.

As I said before - There are arguably objective aspects of reality (e.g. mathematical truths) which meet your criteria here. But whilst such things can be conceived of as ideas not all ideas qualify as objective aspects of reality (e.g. my now pavement splattered idea for a novel).

You seem to be conflating things.

NN writes:

For example, the story of Goldilocks and the three bears is independent from any medium or thought that contains that story.

Did the story of Goldilocks and the three bears exist before there were any people to think of it? Has Goldilocks and the three bears existed since the beginning of the universe?

Did we discover or invent the idea of Goldilocks?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 156 by NoNukes, posted 11-30-2011 6:01 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 198 by NoNukes, posted 12-01-2011 10:03 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 169 of 268 (642641)
11-30-2011 11:31 AM
Reply to: Message 167 by designtheorist
11-30-2011 11:12 AM


Planck Epoch
dt writes:

The mathematics of the BB model breaks down at the singularity because of infinity but the laws of physics do not necessarily break down. Heat rises and expands in our universe, correct? Like charges repel each other? The electromagnetic force is more powerful than gravity, yes?

What you seem to be alluding to here (unwittingly) is the Planck epoch. Without a quantum theory of gravity (a quantum theory of space-time itself) our existing theories are innately inadequate to describe this period.

dt writes:

There is no reason to believe any of these would be different when the universe was in its earliest moments.

There is every reason to think that things would be very different to the sort of naively ill informed "common sense" approach you are attempting to apply here.

Wiki on the Planck epoch writes:

In physical cosmology, the Planck epoch (or Planck era), named after Max Planck, is the earliest period of time in the history of the universe, from zero to approximately 10−43 seconds (Planck time), during which, it is believed, quantum effects of gravity were significant. One could also say that it is the earliest moment in time, as the Planck time is perhaps the shortest possible interval of time, and the Planck epoch lasted only this brief instant. At this point approximately 13.7 billion years ago the force of gravity is believed to have been as strong as the other fundamental forces, which hints at the possibility that all the forces were unified. Inconceivably hot and dense, the state of the universe during the Planck epoch was unstable or transitory, tending to evolve, giving rise to the familiar manifestations of the fundamental forces through a process known as symmetry breaking. Modern cosmology now suggests that the Planck epoch may have inaugurated a period of unification or Grand unification epoch, and that symmetry breaking then quickly led to the era of cosmic inflation, the Inflationary epoch, during which the universe greatly expanded in scale over a very short period of time.

Link

Seriously - If discerning the behaviour of the very early universe were as simple as "well it seems obvious and common sensical to me" we really wouldn't have to bother doing physics courses, building telescopes or spending billions on particle accelerators would we?

Instead we could all go down the pub and simply decide what happened over a few beers.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 167 by designtheorist, posted 11-30-2011 11:12 AM designtheorist has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 181 of 268 (642666)
11-30-2011 12:37 PM
Reply to: Message 173 by designtheorist
11-30-2011 11:38 AM


Re: Reply to PaulK #165
DT - Why do you think PaulK's argument is dependent on the non-existence of an "immaterial realm" (whatever the hell that means anyway)?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 173 by designtheorist, posted 11-30-2011 11:38 AM designtheorist has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 202 of 268 (642876)
12-02-2011 12:23 PM
Reply to: Message 198 by NoNukes
12-01-2011 10:03 PM


Re: Reality of Time
NN writes:

Is your idea boy meets girl?

No. It's an entirely original (to my knowledge) idea.
Will the idea still exist if my brain ends up under a bus this evening?

NN writes:

Yeah, it existed before you thought it up.

Does an idea exist before it has been thought of by anyone at all? Do you think the idea of hobbits or Goldilocks existed before people (or even brains) had evolved? This is not a rhetorical question.

NN writes:

You can write an infinite number of original stories based on that idea.

But how can the idea of 'boy meets girl' or Goldilocks (to use your previous example) have come into existence without someone thinking of it using a physical brain (or some equivalent)?

NN writes:

Again, you are simply trying to say that ideas and thoughts are the same thing.

Actually I am happy to accept some sort of distinction between the two. The issue at hand is whether or not these things have a physical basis or not.

NN writes:

They are not.

OK. But you keep asserting that ideas are devoid of a physical basis. And this, even based on your own examples, makes no real sense.

NN writes:

What I believe ideas to be are abstract concepts that are separate from the thoughts, writings, and objects that express them. For example, the story of Goldilocks and the three bears is independent from any medium or thought that contains that story.

Did the story of Goldilocks and the three bears exist before there were any people to think of it? Has Goldilocks and the three bears existed since the beginning of the universe?

Did we discover or invent the idea of Goldilocks?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 198 by NoNukes, posted 12-01-2011 10:03 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 207 by NoNukes, posted 12-02-2011 3:20 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 209 of 268 (642934)
12-02-2011 6:16 PM
Reply to: Message 207 by NoNukes
12-02-2011 3:20 PM


Ideas
NN writes:

Does the idea that all men are created equal exist?

It exists in the minds of men and the minds of men are the product of physical brains. No?

NN writes:

Does the idea of four exist?

The number four is arguably an objective aspect of reality and thus an idea which any intelligent being in our universe will eventually conceive of. Because of the objective nature of this concept it can arguably be said to "exist" in a Platonic sense.

NN writes:

Would four still exist if every human being were to die tomorrow?

Four as an aspect of objective reality? Or the human idea/concept of four? Are they the same thing? Arguably the number four would still exist in a Platonic sense. But is the concept of four comparable to the very human concept of Goldilocks? Or my wholly subjective idea for a novel? Are you conflating incomparable things under the terminological umbrella of "idea"....?

NN writes:

What I believe ideas to be are abstract concepts that are separate from the thoughts, writings, and objects that express them. For example, the story of Goldilocks and the three bears is independent from any medium or thought that contains that story.

  • Did the story of Goldilocks and the three bears exist before there were any people to think of it?
  • If all humans and all record of human civilisation is wiped out will the idea of Goldilocks still exist?
  • Has Goldilocks and the three bears existed since the beginning of the universe?
  • Did we discover or invent the idea of Goldilocks?

    How can the idea of Goldilocks have come into existence without someone thinking of it using a physical brain (or some equivalent)?

    NN writes:

    I don't believe that your questions are the least bit relevant.

    They are highly relevant to any understanding of how you think an idea can exist as distinct from thought and the physical brain basis of thought. Do you really think the story of Goldilocks exists independetly of human minds and thus physical human brians? If so you shouldn't have any trouble at all answering the questions above.

    Let's see........


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 207 by NoNukes, posted 12-02-2011 3:20 PM NoNukes has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 211 by Rahvin, posted 12-02-2011 8:02 PM Straggler has responded
     Message 216 by NoNukes, posted 12-04-2011 10:00 AM Straggler has responded

      
  • Straggler
    Member
    Posts: 10285
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 217 of 268 (643130)
    12-05-2011 7:35 AM
    Reply to: Message 216 by NoNukes
    12-04-2011 10:00 AM


    Re: Ideas
    You seem to have changed your position rather significantly. You started out saying this:

    NN Previously writes:

    What I believe ideas to be are abstract concepts that are separate from the thoughts, writings, and objects that express them. For example, the story of Goldilocks and the three bears is independent from any medium or thought that contains that story.

    Yet now you seem to be citing the act of physically recording an idea as relevant to your position.

    NN on Goldilocks writes:

    The story is recorded in countless forms. Do you think and idea for an invention exists only in the human mind regardless of the fact that it has a physical implementation?

    I think "physical implementation" whether it be in physical brains or some other material form is absolutely fundamental. That has been my position throughout. I thought it was you who was claiming that ideas (e.g. your example of the story of Goldilocks) exist independently to any physical medium.

    NN writes:

    You are suggesting that ideas do not exist separate from a material basis.

    Are you suggesting that (for example) the story of Goldilocks and the three bears does somehow exist indepdendently of any material basis? Or not? Have you changed your mind? It would really help clarity if you would just answer direct questions

  • Did the story of Goldilocks and the three bears exist before there were any people to think of it?
  • If all humans and all record of human civilisation is wiped out will the idea of Goldilocks still exist?
  • Has Goldilocks and the three bears existed since the beginning of the universe?
  • Did we discover or invent the idea of Goldilocks?
    This message is a reply to:
     Message 216 by NoNukes, posted 12-04-2011 10:00 AM NoNukes has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 219 by NoNukes, posted 12-05-2011 11:11 AM Straggler has responded

      
  • Straggler
    Member
    Posts: 10285
    From: London England
    Joined: 09-30-2006


    Message 218 of 268 (643133)
    12-05-2011 7:57 AM
    Reply to: Message 211 by Rahvin
    12-02-2011 8:02 PM


    Re: Ideas
    Rahvin writes:

    The number four is a conceptual representation that exists only within the human mind.

    Everything we experience is a conceptual representation within the human mind. But any intelligent beings in our universe (human or otherwise) are going to have conceived of the the number four aren't they? It is this objective "existence" of the number four that makes it arguably very different to human stories such as Goldilocks.

    Rahvin writes:

    If there are four apples in a basket, those apples exist regardless of whether you count them, or what number you think is really there.

    Sure. That number of apples will exist no matter how arithmetically challenged the being doing the counting is. Or even whether there is anyone to do the counting at all.

    Rahvin writes:

    "Four" is a concept, part of our internal map of the territory. "Four" exists within the human mind, but not outside of it; it's only a representation.

    Do you think any alien intelligence out there would also have the concept of 4? Does this level of objectivity qualify things like numbers as "existing" in a sense that is closer to empirical facts (e.g. evolution occurred) than wholly subjective ideas (e.g. my original novel) which exists nowhere but in my head?

    I don't really know the answers. But I sympathetic to the idea of mathematics specifically as having objective existence in some sense. But there are various schools of thought:

    Wiki on the philosophy of mathematics

    I spose it comes down to this - Is reality inherently logical? Or is logic itself a wholly human construction? If reality is logical then logic can be said to exist independently of minds and maths, as the language of logic, can also arguably claim existence in some sense that is independent of minds.

    Maybe......


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 211 by Rahvin, posted 12-02-2011 8:02 PM Rahvin has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 221 by Rahvin, posted 12-05-2011 2:33 PM Straggler has responded

      
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