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IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:25   

Ok, I got into a debate with a guy about religion (I know, I know) but he keeps insisting that thermodynamics (I know the first 2 laws, I get lost later on) prove the supernatural.

Bear with me.

He basically states either one of three things has happened.

1.Something supernatural created everything, and the universe is not infinate.

2. Something supernatural created everything and the universe is infinate.

3. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by something supernatural, while in the pre big bang state.

Essentially, he argues, the universe is a closed system, therefore everything (very slowly, I don't think he's a 6000 year old universe nut) is decending towards entropy, and all viable energy is being used up. Therefore either something created the universe a fixed time ago, and it's been going downhill ever since, or something held back the actions of thermo prior to it coming into effect.

Now, I argued what I hope is a point, that the universe is made up of lots of open systems, and therefore the energy released by one going entropy way feeds another. He wasn't having any of it, because as he keeps insisting in the single most patronising way ever, "the universe is a closed system".

Any help?

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:34   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,20:25)
Essentially, he argues, the universe is a closed system, therefore everything (very slowly, I don't think he's a 6000 year old universe nut) is decending towards entropy, and all viable energy is being used up. Therefore either something created the universe a fixed time ago, and it's been going downhill ever since, or something held back the actions of thermo prior to it coming into effect.

Even if that proves the universe had a beginning (and I'm not sure it does), it doesn't prove that the universe was created by something supernatural.

Unless, of course, his definition of supernatural is whatever accounts for the universe having a beginning.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:35   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,20:25)
Ok, I got into a debate with a guy about religion (I know, I know) but he keeps insisting that thermodynamics (I know the first 2 laws, I get lost later on) prove the supernatural.

Bear with me.

He basically states either one of three things has happened.

1.Something supernatural created everything, and the universe is not infinate.

2. Something supernatural created everything and the universe is infinate.

3. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by something supernatural, while in the pre big bang state.

Essentially, he argues, the universe is a closed system, therefore everything (very slowly, I don't think he's a 6000 year old universe nut) is decending towards entropy, and all viable energy is being used up. Therefore either something created the universe a fixed time ago, and it's been going downhill ever since, or something held back the actions of thermo prior to it coming into effect.

Now, I argued what I hope is a point, that the universe is made up of lots of open systems, and therefore the energy released by one going entropy way feeds another. He wasn't having any of it, because as he keeps insisting in the single most patronising way ever, "the universe is a closed system".

Any help?

He's right -- the universe as a whole is a closed system.  And it is declining, in accordance with thermodynamic laws, into heat death.

The rest is just gibberish.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:35   

Quote (qetzal @ Aug. 09 2007,20:34)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,20:25)
Essentially, he argues, the universe is a closed system, therefore everything (very slowly, I don't think he's a 6000 year old universe nut) is decending towards entropy, and all viable energy is being used up. Therefore either something created the universe a fixed time ago, and it's been going downhill ever since, or something held back the actions of thermo prior to it coming into effect.

Even if that proves the universe had a beginning (and I'm not sure it does), it doesn't prove that the universe was created by something supernatural.

Unless, of course, his definition of supernatural is whatever accounts for the universe having a beginning.

Essentially he is saying that something supernatural must have created everything, because it's all really big, nad how was it around before everything and so on.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:36   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Aug. 09 2007,20:35)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,20:25)
Ok, I got into a debate with a guy about religion (I know, I know) but he keeps insisting that thermodynamics (I know the first 2 laws, I get lost later on) prove the supernatural.

Bear with me.

He basically states either one of three things has happened.

1.Something supernatural created everything, and the universe is not infinate.

2. Something supernatural created everything and the universe is infinate.

3. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by something supernatural, while in the pre big bang state.

Essentially, he argues, the universe is a closed system, therefore everything (very slowly, I don't think he's a 6000 year old universe nut) is decending towards entropy, and all viable energy is being used up. Therefore either something created the universe a fixed time ago, and it's been going downhill ever since, or something held back the actions of thermo prior to it coming into effect.

Now, I argued what I hope is a point, that the universe is made up of lots of open systems, and therefore the energy released by one going entropy way feeds another. He wasn't having any of it, because as he keeps insisting in the single most patronising way ever, "the universe is a closed system".

Any help?

He's right -- the universe as a whole is a closed system.  And it is declining, in accordance with thermodynamic laws, into heat death.

The rest is just gibberish.

The problem is Lenny, I was pretty sure it WAS gibberish, and I didn't disagree on the heat death thing, but I don't get why it's jibberish.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:47   

It's just the old "everything has to have a cause" BS.

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:49   

Quote (qetzal @ Aug. 09 2007,20:47)
It's just the old "everything has to have a cause" BS.

But if I try to post that he'll just go on for another million words about thermodynamics talking to me as if I were a child.

That is what bugs me the most, I told him not to get TOO technical as I'm no great shakes at physics (beyond electronics, I was always good at that) and he assumes I therefore don't understand things like "thermodynamics", "heat death" or "energy".

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:54   

I would attack number 3. The 'laws' of physics go all screwy as you get closer and closer to the big bang. There's essentially nothing we can say about the 'pre big bang state'.

   
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:54   

The thermo is irrelevant.

He says, "the universe is a closed system. It must have had a beginning."

I say, "So what? 'The universe had a beginning' does not prove 'the universe was created by something supernatural.'"

Unless, as I said above, his definition of 'supernatural' makes it true by tautology.

  
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:56   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,21:49)
Quote (qetzal @ Aug. 09 2007,20:47)
It's just the old "everything has to have a cause" BS.

But if I try to post that he'll just go on for another million words about thermodynamics talking to me as if I were a child.

invite him here.

:D

   
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,21:02   

Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 09 2007,20:56)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,21:49)
Quote (qetzal @ Aug. 09 2007,20:47)
It's just the old "everything has to have a cause" BS.

But if I try to post that he'll just go on for another million words about thermodynamics talking to me as if I were a child.

invite him here.

:D

I have just done.

I may have done it before, but after I told them about how people who advocate Creationism get a fairly frosty reception, and that the people here are pretty much (with a few exceptions) conviced evolution and various other things are solid science and are, as far as science can tell, correct, he called you all "prideful".

That may have been someone else, however.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,22:56   

The universe is a closed system, so net entropy for that system goes up, but that does not mean that in localized areas (the earth for example) entropy can't go down. He's using Fundy-SLoT which is basically "all particles must rush away from each other so nothing interesting can happen"

I did dun an editation.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 1773
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,23:43   

As others have pointed out, as long as you have an energy source there is nothing that prevents or prohibits a local decrease in entropy.  Ask him how he thinks a refrigerator cools things, or an acorn manages to grow into an oak tree.

To paraphrase a classic YEC quote from FSTDT:

"If there were a giant outside source supplying the Earth with huge amounts of energy, scientists would certainly know about it."  :p  :p  :p

--------------
"Science is what got us to the humble place we’re at, and what hard-won progress we might realize comes from science, with ID completely flaccid, religious apologetics bitching from the sidelines." - Eigenstate at UD

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,23:56   

Does the 2nd law even apply to the entirety of an expanding space? Esp. if it does happen to be infinite?

I'm supposing it does, at least in some sense, but I could be wrong. Or maybe it only applies to fixed regions?

Anyway, they do think useful energy will continuosly decline, so eventually there won't be stars, or much of any chemical reactions. But afaik that's expected to take several times the current age of our space.

As for something holding back the 2nd law "before" (if "before" means anything in this context), something just occurred to me - at zero (or nearly zero) volume, the number of possible states of everything in this space would be very low, for an entropy near zero, I would think. But with expanding volume, the number of possible states would go up quite rapidly.

Another thought is that the laws of thermodynamics do refer to behavior expected under current conditions in this space-time, in which particles can generally travel some distance before hitting another particle. Conditions would have been extremely different from those within a few Planck times (10 ^ -43 seconds or so?) of the "big bang"; at that time it may not have even been possible for distinct particles to exist, except perhaps momentarily. I'm not sure if the laws of T.D. would even apply in that situation, since those laws are based on statistical properties of particles interacting with each other.

Henry

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,03:41   

Ok, I invited him, and he's on his way.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,05:54   

Just to add to the fun, cosmologists are looking at possible causes of the big bang.  These include collisions of Branes, which are some kind of great big extra- this universe higher dimensional thingies.  The difficulty is in showing what is likely.  And of course it still leaves plenty of room for a deity somewhere.

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,06:06   

Quote (guthrie @ Aug. 10 2007,05:54)
Just to add to the fun, cosmologists are looking at possible causes of the big bang.  These include collisions of Branes, which are some kind of great big extra- this universe higher dimensional thingies.  The difficulty is in showing what is likely.  And of course it still leaves plenty of room for a deity somewhere.

Oh, I don't doubt that a god COULD have done it, not my arguement. He was arguing god MUST have done it.


His claim is that god is needed in a similar way to air. He even used the "you can't see air" argument on me.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:11   

Yes, you can see air.



You can also see glass.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:14   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 10 2007,11:11)
Yes, you can see air.



You can also see glass.

But...but...NUH UH!!!!!1!11

The guy got an invite, anyway, but I don't know if he'll venture over. He might think we, or even just I, am a really mean, angry person (like FtK does) or that we're all beyond help or something.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:16   

Mirages and bubbles are other examples of you seeing air.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:32   

Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 09 2007,20:54)
There's essentially nothing we can say about the 'pre big bang state'.

By this you're referring to Texas, I assume.

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1191
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:35   

I think the answer is fairly simple, and all of the physics stuff is just smokescreen. If you allow that something can have infinite existence, it might just as well be the universe as jeebus. There's nothing wrong with saying "I have no effing idea what happened prior to the BB or just after it, but at least I'm not making up stories to explain it."

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:41   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 10 2007,11:16)
Mirages and bubbles are other examples of you seeing air.

I myself am quite aware of the ability to see air thanks Rich.

Although I didn't know mirages were air related....

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,12:00   

Two points that may help, Ian.  The assumption is that the Universe is a closed system but we do not know for sure.  There may be a flux but hand-waving arguments actually degenerate into definitions of "universe."  Secondly, the appeal to the supernatural is actually just a statement of ignorance.  We have no real idea what pre-big bang means, as Steve pointed out, our theories break down as we approach the big bang and we end up with nothing meaningful.  To immediately insert a supernatual cause really just is the same thing as saying "We can't describe what happened, but we know something did."  Ask for evidence of an empirical nature and this discussion pretty much ends there.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,12:13   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 10 2007,11:11)
Yes, you can see air.



You can also see glass.

Depends how you look at the question doesn't it? Surely an argument could be made that you can't see anything except photons.

Can't see air, can't see walls, skyscrapers or aircraft. Can't see anything except things that are too small to see.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,14:36   

Quote
Depends how you look at the question doesn't it? Surely an argument could be made that you can't see anything except photons.


Ah ha! I hath see the light!

:p

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,17:02   

The problem with your discussant's position isn't so much that his conclusion is incorrect ("therefore, logically, GOD"). The problem is that, from the perspective of further progress within cosmology, and particularly with respect to modeling the early universe, his conclusion can't be made to do any further scientific work. Concluding that God held the big bang at bay (and then released it), or that God created either finite or infinite universes gets us NOWHERE with respect to further modeling the big bang, precursors to same (if it is even possible to give meaning to "before time") or the nature of the physical reality that followed. Postulating a creator-god feels like a solution, but really solves NOTHING, as that conclusion gives no guidance vis the solution of outstanding theoretical and mathematical problems in the field. I suspect that means that his is an empty proposition.

At a much more basic level, your friend's options are incomplete.  He states that one of three things happened:

1.Something supernatural created everything, and the universe is not infinite.

2. Something supernatural created everything and the universe is infinite.

3. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by something supernatural, while in the pre big bang state.

OK. But what about:

4. The universe was not created by a supernatural being and is finite.

5. The universe was not created by a supernatural being and is infinite.

6. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by natural processes unknown to us.

7. We don't know. More scientific investigation may or may not disclose answers.

8. These questions are no better formed than the question, "what is north of the north pole?"

Don't let him trap you into a finite set of alternatives.  This is the same slight of hand that is employed by the ID movement:  Either chance, necessity, or design is responsible for biological complexity.  Who says?  Howzabout "chance, necessity, other natural processes we haven't discovered as yet, we don't know."

Same sophistry.

With respect to making his conclusion do NON scientific work in the service of his religious convictions: "Hey, knock yourself out. Not my cup of tea."

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,17:15   

He just can't seem to grasp the idea that natural forces, as of yet unknown, can do anything.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,17:24   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 10 2007,18:15)
He just can't seem to grasp the idea that natural forces, as of yet unknown, can do anything.

Seems to me that is his problem, not yours.  

Really, his position is a hugely dressed up form of the question, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" His response is "something supernatural is why."  

OK. How's the weather? (picks nose).

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,21:13   

Quote (Henry J @ Aug. 10 2007,14:36)
Quote
Depends how you look at the question doesn't it? Surely an argument could be made that you can't see anything except photons.


Ah ha! I hath see the light!

:p

lol. Funny.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 11 2007,00:10   

Quote
At a much more basic level, your friend's options are incomplete.  He states that one of three things happened:

1. Something supernatural created everything, and the universe is not infinite.

2. Something supernatural created everything and the universe is infinite.

3. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by something supernatural, while in the pre big bang state.


But 3 in that list is not mutually exclusive from 1 or 2.

Quote
6. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by natural processes unknown to us.


Alternate 6a: The laws of thermodynamics don't apply to whatever the heck it was that initiated the big bang, whether it was collisions of a couple of four dimensional branes or something else. (Or would the branes need more than 4 dimensions for that?)

Quote
8. These questions are no better formed than the question, "what is north of the north pole?"


Guesses: Santa Claus? Flying reindeer? Flying spaghetti monsters?

Henry

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 11 2007,04:06   

As with all these types of creationist comments and claims, it's not the downstream use of science/maths/reason/logic etc that is at fault. It's the initial axiom, or claim, or starting error.

The classic example if the "probability calculation". I can calculate that the probability of X is highly unlikely but the result I get is highly dependant on the initial set of data I use. Creationists regularly use poor input data in excellent equations!

Oh well, same shit, different day.

Louis

P.S. Added in edit. I forgot what the point of this was! Here it is: usually one doesn't need "specialist knowledge" to deal with creationists, usually a decent ability to spot logical fallacies is sufficient. It's not always the case of course, but it is often the case.

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Bye.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1754
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 11 2007,09:21   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,20:25)
Ok, I got into a debate with a guy about religion (I know, I know) but he keeps insisting that thermodynamics (I know the first 2 laws, I get lost later on) prove the supernatural.

Bear with me.

He basically states either one of three things has happened.

1.Something supernatural created everything, and the universe is not infinate.

2. Something supernatural created everything and the universe is infinate.

3. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by something supernatural, while in the pre big bang state.

Essentially, he argues, the universe is a closed system, therefore everything (very slowly, I don't think he's a 6000 year old universe nut) is decending towards entropy, and all viable energy is being used up. Therefore either something created the universe a fixed time ago, and it's been going downhill ever since, or something held back the actions of thermo prior to it coming into effect.

Now, I argued what I hope is a point, that the universe is made up of lots of open systems, and therefore the energy released by one going entropy way feeds another. He wasn't having any of it, because as he keeps insisting in the single most patronising way ever, "the universe is a closed system".

Any help?

It is very unlikely that he is a YEC if he is using those arguments.

SLOT is a bit weird as far as I know. Apparently it should work the same way regardless of the direction of time. It doesn't. Upon Earth that doesn't matter much as we receive energy from the Sun. In the Universe as a whole it does matter. But in the Universe SLOT is not violated (but only in the direction of time we experience). This is a puzzle for physicists and it is edge of science stuff and not established yet (as far as I know).

By any normally accepted use of "Universe", it must be a closed system.

It sounds as though you are in a God of the gaps argument there. It looks like you are arguing over points that are yet to be established science. In that sense he is completely wrong to infer that his arguments "prove" God. They prove nothing other than the limit (ATM) of human knowledge.

Caveat: My understanding only comes from the pop-science books of Hawking and Greene. Definately worth a read though.

By the way. The fact that he acknowledges that we don't know if the Universe is infinite or not might be likely line of attack to get him to acknowledge that you are in the "gaps" area of argument.

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 11 2007,10:02   

Quote (Stephen Elliott @ Aug. 11 2007,09:21)
...
By the way. The fact that he acknowledges that we don't know if the Universe is infinite or not might be likely line of attack to get him to acknowledge that you are in the "gaps" area of argument.

No, don't go there. As Louis pointed out again, and I have been saying from the second comment, the cosmology and thermodynamics are irrelevant. They're smokescreens, diversions.

This guy wants to get into a big argument over whether the universe is infinite, and what SLOT implies about entropy if we extrapolate backward to some beginning. He wants to draw your attention away from his central logical fallacy, which is this:

The universe has certain properties, therefore it was created by something supernatural.

It's a non sequitur. The conclusion doesn't follow from the premise. So of course he wants to argue over the truth of the premise. If you're busy doing that, he hopes you won't notice that true or false, his premise doesn't support his conclusion.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 11 2007,12:16   

Quote (qetzal @ Aug. 11 2007,11:02)
The universe has certain properties, therefore it was created by something supernatural.

It's a non sequitur.

Exactly - another version of "There is something rather than nothing. Therefore the supernatural."

"Looks like she'll turn cold tomorrow."

"Oh, yah. Got a front comin' in."
                 
"Yah, you got that right."

(works on other nostril)

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 11 2007,16:27   

His latest is telling me that for something to break the natural laws, it must be supernatural, and if the laws didn't apply pre big bang, the laws governing the state must be supernatural, since today's natural laws didn't hold sway (I'm paraphrasing).

That was in reply to me telling him that they didn't have to be supernatural.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 11 2007,18:11   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 11 2007,16:27)
His latest is telling me that for something to break the natural laws, it must be supernatural, and if the laws didn't apply pre big bang, the laws governing the state must be supernatural, since today's natural laws didn't hold sway (I'm paraphrasing).

Why?

How the heck does he get from A to B?

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 11 2007,20:30   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Aug. 11 2007,18:11)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 11 2007,16:27)
His latest is telling me that for something to break the natural laws, it must be supernatural, and if the laws didn't apply pre big bang, the laws governing the state must be supernatural, since today's natural laws didn't hold sway (I'm paraphrasing).

Why?

How the heck does he get from A to B?

Effectively he sees it like this.

You have law A.

Someone suggests that Law A either didn't apply, or was broken.

Since law A is a constant effect, the thing that broke it (B) must be beyond the natural.

Therefore B is SUPERnatural.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 11 2007,20:45   

Wikipedia:

Thermodynamics is a theory of macroscopic systems at equilibrium and therefore the second law applies only to macroscopic systems with well-defined temperatures.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki....systems

If you want to try to jam him up, tell him in the early stages of the big bang, the universe was microscopic, therefore in light of the above, SLOT doesn't apply, rendering his arguments null and void.

Caveat: there are several huge problems with what I just said. It's actually pretty specious. But given the pretty unsophisticated knowledge of physics your opponent has, it might shut him up.

   
stevestory



Posts: 10127
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 11 2007,20:53   

One problem here is the guy seems to have a 19th century notion of scientific 'law' as something that is perfectly true, everywhere, now and forever. In reality, a law is a special case of a theory, and theories have limited areas of applicability.

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 11 2007,21:27   

These discussions - both this thread and IanBrown's with the mystery man ("He said for a nominal service charge I could reach nirvana tonight...") have the whiff of futility about them.

Ian, why not simply concede to your discussant that you don't know enough physics to either assent to or refute his argument from SLoT and leave it at that? You aren't likely to get far by bringing to him fragments of argument gleaned from comments here. Particularly when we, in turn, have to rely upon brief paraphrases of his argument.  

I say bring him here. Or, alternatively, unless you are observing a scruple or have otherwise promised not to do so, why not post extensive, fair and representative excerpts of his arguments here? That might be fun.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
dhogaza



Posts: 525
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,01:27   

Quote
Ian, why not simply concede to your discussant that you don't know enough physics to either assent to or refute his argument from SLoT and leave it at that?

Or, better, point out that not enough is known about physics by physicists to tell us precisely what happened early in the Big Bang, so any argument about causation is pure speculation.

  
dhogaza



Posts: 525
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,01:28   

And be sure to tell him that the Big Bang is just a theory, and please spend a lot of time teaching him the controversy!

  
creeky belly



Posts: 205
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,01:30   

Quote
His latest is telling me that for something to break the natural laws, it must be supernatural, and if the laws didn't apply pre big bang, the laws governing the state must be supernatural, since today's natural laws didn't hold sway (I'm paraphrasing).

There are a lot of places already where our natural laws don't work, black holes for instance. That doesn't make them supernatural, just not well described. We know how they form, we know how they die, we know how they interact with stars, just not what happens at the singularity. Hope that gives you a better idea (we call them theories these days).

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,05:02   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Aug. 12 2007,03:27)
These discussions - both this thread and IanBrown's with the mystery man ("He said for a nominal service charge I could reach nirvana tonight...") have the whiff of futility about them.

{snip}

{OFF TOPIC TANGENT WARNING}

Bill,

ANOTHER ZAPPA FAN!!! WOOHOO!!

Cosmic Debris is one of many personal favourites. I'm edging about 60% of the Zappa catalogue which is about 40 CDs at the moment. The best bit of that song (as I'm sure you can guess) IMO is:

""I've got troubles of my own" I said, "and you can't help me out,
So, take your preparations and medications and ram it up your snout",
"But, I got a crystal ball", he said, and held it to the light,
So I snatched it, all away from him, and I showed him how to do it right,
I wrapped a newspaper round my head so it looked like I was deep,
I said some mumbo jumbo then, I told him he was going to sleep,
I robbed his rings, and pocket watch, and everything else around,
I had that sucker hypnotised, he couldn't even make a sound,
I proceeded to tell him his future then, as long as he was hanging around,
"The price of meat has just gone up and your old lady has just gone down"

"Look here brother, who you jiving with that Cosmic Debris?"

"Now is that a real poncho, or is that a Sears poncho? Don't you know you could make more money as a butcher, so don't you waste your time on me.""


Zappa was a genius, and much missed.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,08:10   

Quote (Louis @ Aug. 12 2007,06:02)
ANOTHER ZAPPA FAN!!! WOOHOO!!...

Zappa was a genius, and much missed.

Louis

Aw, Louis, now you got me feeling all misty, 'cause he died an' all.

Dweezil's tour "Zappa Plays Zappa" passed through town two weeks ago. He is an astounding guitarist in his own right and the band he has assembled is absolutely top flight, capable of, well, the supernatural accuracy and drive required to play FZ's music properly (some performances so awesome that it struck me that recordings can't really capture what FZ was up to). A few compositions, including Cosmik Debris, were performed with Frank on screen above the band singing the lead and/or soloing. Quite moving.  

Zappa plays Zappa is touring Europe, first stop London on 9/25.  

Tour dates here.

Site for the tour here.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
ofro



Posts: 19
Joined: Jan. 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,08:46   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 10 2007,17:15)
He just can't seem to grasp the idea that natural forces, as of yet unknown, can do anything.

Until not too long ago, nobody knew about dark energy, and before that, dark matter.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,09:09   

Quote (ofro @ Aug. 12 2007,09:46)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 10 2007,17:15)
He just can't seem to grasp the idea that natural forces, as of yet unknown, can do anything.

Until not too long ago, nobody knew about dark energy, and before that, dark matter.

Or dark water.

(Enough FZ. Sorry.)

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,09:11   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 11 2007,16:27)
His latest is telling me that for something to break the natural laws, it must be supernatural, and if the laws didn't apply pre big bang, the laws governing the state must be supernatural, since today's natural laws didn't hold sway (I'm paraphrasing).

That was in reply to me telling him that they didn't have to be supernatural.

Now he's just begging the question (i.e. assuming the conclusion):

1.  Supernatural is defined (by him) as anything that is unexplainable by physical laws as we currently understand them.

2.  The beginning of the universe is unexplainable by physical laws as we currently understand them.

3.  Therefore, the beginning of the universe was supernatural.


To which I say, sure! So what?

If he wants to define supernatural that way, then I agree the beginning of the universe was supernatural - according to that definition. However, that does not support taking a further step to claim the universe was created by some intelligent, purposeful God.

From what you've posted, I'm not even sure that's where he's headed. He sound more like a smart but immature high school kid who gets his kicks arguing with empy rhetoric.

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,09:30   

Quote (qetzal @ Aug. 12 2007,10:11)
If he wants to define supernatural that way, then I agree the beginning of the universe was supernatural - according to that definition. However, that does not support taking a further step to claim the universe was created by some intelligent, purposeful God.

Stand back, and it all becomes more than a little ridiculous:

Contemporary cosmology, physics, astronomy, and mathematics, having traversed almost unimaginable landscapes of strangeness and scale, reach their astounding contemporary limits, with every promise of moving forward. Behind that, Ian's guy postulates, essentially, a supernatural person, characterized by a capacity for agency that (what a conincidence!) mimics our own, taking that as an explanation rather than a projection.  

Silly stuff.

(small edit for clarity)

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
k.e



Posts: 1948
Joined: Mar. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,10:37   

Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Aug. 12 2007,17:09)
Quote (ofro @ Aug. 12 2007,09:46)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 10 2007,17:15)
He just can't seem to grasp the idea that natural forces, as of yet unknown, can do anything.

Until not too long ago, nobody knew about dark energy, and before that, dark matter.

Or dark water.

(Enough FZ. Sorry.)

Until not too long ago, in Victorian England it was believed having sex with a virgin cured one of Syphilis.

Nowadays that type of idiocy allows it's boosters to post to a Blog and think they can change the age of the Earth into less than 10,000 years or heck, claim a Man could be fashioned from dirt by a comic book god.

NO ONE WAS CURED FROM SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED STUPIDITY BY BELIEVING IN AN INTELLIGENT DESIGNER. d.t.

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The conservative has but little to fear from the man whose reason is the servant of his passions, but let him beware of him in whom reason has become the greatest and most terrible of the passions.These are the wreckers of outworn empires and civilisations, doubters, disintegrators, deicides.Haldane

   
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,11:06   

Bill,

I was thinking about getting tickets, but I get back from holiday that day, so I might not be able to make the concert. I was tempted by the Amsterdam date, I've seen a few bands in the Melkweg before and it is a stunningly good place for a gig. However, any trip to the Dam requires a week off work. {ahem} ;)

Gotsta live up to that atheist hedonist life style cliche now haven't I.

Louis

P.S. Dark water. Ha ha! Next we'll be discussing the ethological attributes of the mud shark.

P.P.S. K.E. as I'm sure you already know, some of our darling chums in Africa think that sex with a virgin cures AIDS. It's a pervasive little myth that one. I wonder why.

--------------
Bye.

  
Henry J



Posts: 4565
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,16:26   

Re "Mirages and bubbles are other examples of you seeing air."

To air is human, after all.

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,16:35   

Quote (Henry J @ Aug. 12 2007,16:26)
Re "Mirages and bubbles are other examples of you seeing air."

To air is human, after all.

Badum Tsccchhhh.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,17:19   

Quote (Louis @ Aug. 12 2007,12:06)
P.S. Dark water. Ha ha! Next we'll be discussing the ethological attributes of the mud shark.

Surely the circular motion was present at the moment of the big bang.

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Louis



Posts: 6436
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 12 2007,18:03   

But of course. Just ask Dinah Mo.

Louis

--------------
Bye.

  
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