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Author Topic:   Is String Theory Supernatural?
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


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


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

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

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


Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-24-2013 3:10 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 10 by Taq, posted 04-24-2013 5:37 PM Straggler has not yet responded
 Message 11 by Dogmafood, posted 04-24-2013 8:34 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 20 by onifre, posted 04-25-2013 10:30 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


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


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

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

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by AdminPhat, posted 04-24-2013 7:01 AM AdminPhat has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by 1.61803, posted 04-24-2013 11:53 AM Straggler has responded
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 04-24-2013 12:08 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 6 by GDR, posted 04-24-2013 12:11 PM Straggler has responded
 Message 7 by ringo, posted 04-24-2013 12:40 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


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


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

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

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by 1.61803, posted 04-24-2013 11:53 AM 1.61803 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by 1.61803, posted 04-25-2013 10:48 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


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


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

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

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

Phat writes:

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

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

See Studying the supernatural


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by Phat, posted 04-24-2013 12:08 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


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


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

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

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

GDR writes:

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

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

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by GDR, posted 04-24-2013 12:11 PM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by GDR, posted 04-25-2013 10:36 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


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


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

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

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

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


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by ringo, posted 04-24-2013 12:40 PM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by ringo, posted 04-25-2013 11:41 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 16 of 181 (697410)
04-25-2013 6:40 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by New Cat's Eye
04-24-2013 3:10 PM


CS writes:

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

Then how can you claim to believe in the supernatural?

CS writes:

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

If there is a multiverse why is "nature" limited to our universe?

CS writes:

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

Do you know what "magic" is? Do you believe in magic?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-24-2013 3:10 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 44 by New Cat's Eye, posted 04-26-2013 1:29 PM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 17 of 181 (697411)
04-25-2013 6:43 AM
Reply to: Message 11 by Dogmafood
04-24-2013 8:34 PM


Re: It is all natural
Dogma writes:

Anything that can be known will be incorporated into the realm of the natural.

See Studying the supernatural


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by Dogmafood, posted 04-24-2013 8:34 PM Dogmafood has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Dogmafood, posted 04-25-2013 7:55 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


(2)
Message 19 of 181 (697420)
04-25-2013 8:37 AM
Reply to: Message 18 by Dogmafood
04-25-2013 7:55 AM


Re: It is all natural
Straggler writes:

Ultimately "supernatural" means those things which are defined as being inherently immune from physical explanation.

Pro writes:

Is the existence of the universe an example of something like that?

It depends doesn't it? If the universe was migically poofed into existence by an omniscient, omnipotent creator of all that is seen and unseen - Then yes the creation and existence of the universe would be an example of something like that.

Pro writes:

History tells us that the explanation is coming.

Sure. And the present state of theoretical physics suggests that the answers may well involve expanding our conceptual horizons to something even greater than the notion of our own single universe.

Pro writes:

Is string theory really equivalent to the by gosh and by golly ideas of ghosts and gods?

No. Because ghosts and gods are supernatural concepts whilst the notion of the multiverse isn't.

It was only because I was so taken aback by the assertion that anything involving natural laws that were not those of our own universe qualifies as "supernatural" that I wrote the OP to this thread.

Personally I think classifying string theory as a theory of the supernatural because it suggests universes other than our own to be a rather silly approach.........


This message is a reply to:
 Message 18 by Dogmafood, posted 04-25-2013 7:55 AM Dogmafood has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 38 by Dogmafood, posted 04-26-2013 7:56 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 23 of 181 (697435)
04-25-2013 10:48 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by GDR
04-25-2013 10:36 AM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

Why not if you want to look at it that way?

I don't. I think classifying anything outside of our physical universe as "supernatural" is a very silly way of looking at ideas in modern physics.

GDR writes:

Here is the first definition from Webster's:

Somneone should inform Websters that they have classified Dark Matter as supernatural. I think they might dispute that.

GDR writes:

A multi-verse is certainly outside the visible observable universe as is dark matter for that matter.

As was the Higgs Boson prior to the LHC being built.

Do things flip from being supernatural to natural depending on our technological ability to detect them as far as you are concerned?

GDR writes:

The line gets pretty blurred.

The fact it is being blurred doesn't mean it needs to be blurred or that any blurring is justified...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by GDR, posted 04-25-2013 10:36 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 29 by GDR, posted 04-25-2013 11:47 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 24 of 181 (697436)
04-25-2013 10:51 AM
Reply to: Message 22 by 1.61803
04-25-2013 10:48 AM


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

It always involves some naturalist scientific explanation.

Sounds like the X Files in reverse. There Scully relentlessly proclaimed "there must be a rational explanation here" but there rarely was....

Numbers writes:

The theory can never be tested/observed, since the strings are Plankes length and unobservable.

Nor can quarks be directly observed. So what?

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 22 by 1.61803, posted 04-25-2013 10:48 AM 1.61803 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by 1.61803, posted 04-26-2013 9:40 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 25 of 181 (697437)
04-25-2013 10:52 AM
Reply to: Message 20 by onifre
04-25-2013 10:30 AM


Oni writes:

This is a terrible argument.

I agree. But there are people here who are actually proposing this


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 Message 20 by onifre, posted 04-25-2013 10:30 AM onifre has acknowledged this reply

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 34 of 181 (697452)
04-25-2013 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 28 by ringo
04-25-2013 11:41 AM


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

If the multiverse laws were distinct from our laws, I think it would be permissible to label them as "supernatural".

But the laws of our universe would be a direct consequence of the laws in the multiverse and the types of universe that can arise in it.

Ringo writes:

I might prefer "extranatural".

Our ancient ancestors considered the Sun, moon and stars (AKA "the heavens") a supernatural realm as distinct from the Earthly realm in which we reside.

If there is anything to this multiverse malarky (i.e. it makes testable predictions which are confirmed) then your distinction between the physical laws within our universe and those of the wider multiverse will probably seem equally parochial as the notion of Earth alone as the natural realm seems to us now.

Edited by Straggler, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by ringo, posted 04-25-2013 11:41 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 42 by ringo, posted 04-26-2013 11:59 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 35 of 181 (697453)
04-25-2013 4:01 PM
Reply to: Message 29 by GDR
04-25-2013 11:47 AM


Re: What is supernatural?
GDR writes:

Frankly I was just questioning the definition of the word supernatural without the definition necessarily involving god(s).

ALL the gods related to theism are supernatural are they not? (although not all supernatural beings are necessarily gods)

GDR writes:

It seems to me that if you decide that string theory is supernatural it doesn't make any assumptions about whether there is god or not.

If you decide string theory is supernatural then you are advocating the idea that physicists are putting forward supernatural explanations to observable phenomena.

This is how the whole issue arose in Can science say anything about a Creator God?

GDR writes:

So you tell me. "Do things flip from being supernatural to natural depending on our technological ability to detect them as far as you are concerned?"

No. I think that is a silly way of defining supernatural. But in the other thread that was exactly what you were doing. According to you in the other thread whether one is supernatural or not (specifically whether one is a supernatural god or not) is just a question of technological ability and perspective. Thus I could be a god if I had life and universe creating technologies and the resulting beings in my created universe deem me to be their godly creator.

But I'm not supernatural. And anyone/anything that believes I am is simply mistaken.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 29 by GDR, posted 04-25-2013 11:47 AM GDR has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 36 by GDR, posted 04-26-2013 2:08 AM Straggler has responded

  
Straggler
Member (Idle past 87 days)
Posts: 10285
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006


Message 39 of 181 (697489)
04-26-2013 9:09 AM
Reply to: Message 38 by Dogmafood
04-26-2013 7:56 AM


Re: It is all natural
Pro writes:

Magic is the perception that something impossible has happened.

Those who believe in the supernatural obviously don't believe it is impossible. They may well believe that it defies the physical laws that govern everything else.

Pro writes:

It is not actually something happening that is impossible (obviously).

That would be contradictory.

Pro writes:

I would say that supernatural is a concept that is equivalent to the concept of magic.

Voldermort is a supernatural concept. As is Jesus. And so on. If any of these entities were to actually exist with the abilities and powers they are defined as having - They would be supernatural.

Thus far there is no evidence of such entities actually existing.

But all of this digresses somewhat from the question of whether string theory is a supernatural theory or not.......


This message is a reply to:
 Message 38 by Dogmafood, posted 04-26-2013 7:56 AM Dogmafood has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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