God?

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Re: God?

Postby Kes » Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:30 pm

Curiously, I recently got Stephen Hawking's Universe on blu-ray, and spent three hours learning stuff that would have previously just been complete "Radiohead OK Computer" styled gobbledy-gook, this then sped me onto to stuff "like" infinite regression, as it happens.

A chicken and an egg are laying in bed, the chicken is smiling and smoking a cigarette, and the egg is looking pretty pissed off with the chicken.

...The egg looks up and says... "I guess THAT answers the age-old question, then!"
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Re: God?

Postby WeeMann » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:54 pm

it refused to post earlier, but I wanted to say that the quote didn't come from where I thought it did. Kes is right saying it came from Hawking. Ian, I suspect you may think the same as me as you laughed at it. There's one other person on here I think will get the reference as I originally intended it.
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Re: God?

Postby Ian-Highlander » Thu Oct 27, 2011 4:59 pm

I did actually get it as a Stephen Hawkins reference and was laughing because it was quite a strange quote to come out with, but I'm a geek so I would. Although it does sound like something that should be in a Terry Pratchet novel lol
 
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Re: God?

Postby WeeMann » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:14 pm

Precisely. That's where I first heard it.
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Re: God?

Postby Kes » Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:18 pm

Looks like I was somehow barking up the right tree (against the odds), but the person I was meant to be barking at, was sitting in the wrong tree. :oops:
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Re: God?

Postby Dusty » Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:43 pm

fairydandy wrote:Remove humans from the equation and does anything care? We just got lucky, or possibly unlucky in that our brains developed and we became conscious of ourselves. Without that lucky break, would God exist?


Certain of those experiments I mentioned earlier were also conducted on animals, to see if their thought patterns could change the probability curve of anything happening.

One such experiment involved a small robot, designed to move about completely randomly so that the probability of it being anywhere was entirely random. It was placed in an enclosure with freshly hatched chicks, so that they would 'bond' with it and identify it as their mother. it was then set on its' random course, and over time it spent increasingly more time closer to the chicks than further away, when its' programming was set so that it would only be near them for around 50% of the time. By the end of the experiment, it was closer to the chicks for an average of 55% of the time- a small margin maybe, but big enough for the scientists to conclude that the thought patterns of the chicks crying out for 'mother' somehow influenced the actions of the robot. According to calculations, for the probability curve to have been influenced by that 5% was several million to one- conclusive enough for the researchers.

it's not just humans that have this interconnectedness, it seems- every sentient conscious being has this trait, which grows stronger the more complex the organism is. take humans out of the equation and there is plenty of evidence to indicate that the various lifeforms of the universe do care very much. When I said that we are all interconnected in ways we never thought possible, I was including every other animal, and not just we humans. :cool:
 
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Re: God?

Postby Roger » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:30 pm

Kes wrote:What's a miracle, and what is pure fluke?

The Sun, just the right size and power to support our solar system. The earth, just the right size, distance and orbit from the sun to maintain a survivable temperature range. Just the right balance of chemicals minerals and gases, gravitational effect, and rotational speed for things to evolve over hundreds of thousands of years.

Yes, it seems like far too many coincidences for it to be a fluke, BUT, as space is just about infinite, it's like playing the lottery, if you buy a ticket every week for the next 45 million years, then by the laws of chance, you "should" win a jackpot, at least once.


Not only that, but OF COURSE our solar system has a sun that just so happens to be the correct size and distance from us to support human life. That has to be true, because we're here discussing it. If the parameters changed, perhaps there'd be nothing, or perhaps there'd be a different kind of life. Rather than it being a case of us being lucky that it's our planet that can support life, it's a case of it being our planet BECAUSE it can support life. We haven't won the cosmic lottery by being on Earth; we exist because of Earth. If there was only one sun, it would be far easier to assume that the solar system must have been designed. But as there are billions, that assumption is very strange. Why bother designing billions of inorganic planets? Or does God work by trial and error? Surely he knows the rules of his own universe?

Incidentally my home planet is much better than Earth.
 
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Re: God?

Postby Roger » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:37 pm

As for the infinite regression argument, there's a subtlety about it that I didn't get until relatively recently.

"If God created the universe, who created God?" seems like a bit of a facetious question to ask, similar to questions like, "If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?". The fact that the universe was created doesn't mean that the creator had a creator.

The subtlety is that by definition a creator (or more accurately a designer) must be at least as complex as the thing it is designing, otherwise it wouldn't be able to design it. I couldn't design anything more complicated than a slightly dysmorphic and strangely proportioned alien; in fact I couldn't design anything even close. The iPhone doesn't come close to the human brain in terms of complexity, and I bet there's not one person on Earth who could design the iPhone from absolute raw materials.

So if the universe had a creator, the creator MUST be as complex (or, more likely, more complex) than the universe itself. Now that doesn't mean it can't be true, but in the absence of any evidence, it's a logically implausible idea, because it means that we are explaining something complicated by inventing something even more complicated. Big Bang Theory, on the other hand (as well as evolution which can be seen as the biological equivalent) explains something complicated with a series of increasingly simple concepts - THAT is infinite regression: The principles get infinitely simpler until they reach a point of absolute simplicity - a single point of infinite mass and energy; or a self-replicating molecule with a tiny error rate.
 
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Re: God?

Postby JLP » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:37 pm

Roger wrote:
Kes wrote:What's a miracle, and what is pure fluke?

The Sun, just the right size and power to support our solar system. The earth, just the right size, distance and orbit from the sun to maintain a survivable temperature range. Just the right balance of chemicals minerals and gases, gravitational effect, and rotational speed for things to evolve over hundreds of thousands of years.

Yes, it seems like far too many coincidences for it to be a fluke, BUT, as space is just about infinite, it's like playing the lottery, if you buy a ticket every week for the next 45 million years, then by the laws of chance, you "should" win a jackpot, at least once.


Not only that, but OF COURSE our solar system has a sun that just so happens to be the correct size and distance from us to support human life. That has to be true, because we're here discussing it. If the parameters changed, perhaps there'd be nothing, or perhaps there'd be a different kind of life. Rather than it being a case of us being lucky that it's our planet that can support life, it's a case of it being our planet BECAUSE it can support life. We haven't won the cosmic lottery by being on Earth; we exist because of Earth. If there was only one sun, it would be far easier to assume that the solar system must have been designed. But as there are billions, that assumption is very strange. Why bother designing billions of inorganic planets? Or does God work by trial and error? Surely he knows the rules of his own universe?

Incidentally my home planet is much better than Earth.


Hah. you are Ming the Merciless and I claim my million pounds. Otherwise, as Flash Gordon is getting old, I will send Weemann to exterminate you. :lol:
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Re: God?

Postby Roger » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:41 pm

JLP wrote:Hah. you are Ming the Merciless and I claim my million pounds. Otherwise, as Flash Gordon is getting old, I will send Weemann to exterminate you. :lol:


Back in ye olden days, some people thought I was Ming. Funny old world!
 
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Re: God?

Postby JLP » Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:45 pm

Roger wrote:
JLP wrote:Hah. you are Ming the Merciless and I claim my million pounds. Otherwise, as Flash Gordon is getting old, I will send Weemann to exterminate you. :lol:


Back in ye olden days, some people thought I was Ming. Funny old world!


vague memories of that. Must be my age. Or the little fellah using his influence to wane my powers.

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Re: God?

Postby Dusty » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:13 pm

He's more likely to be the king of Gondor than ruler of the universe. :cool:
 
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Re: God?

Postby JLP » Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:19 pm

Dusty wrote:He's more likely to be the king of Gondor than ruler of the universe. :cool:



I don't care, I need my beauty sleep.

See you all in 2020. :lol:
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Re: God?

Postby fairydandy » Fri Oct 28, 2011 5:48 am

Dusty wrote:
fairydandy wrote:Remove humans from the equation and does anything care? We just got lucky, or possibly unlucky in that our brains developed and we became conscious of ourselves. Without that lucky break, would God exist?


Certain of those experiments I mentioned earlier were also conducted on animals, to see if their thought patterns could change the probability curve of anything happening.

One such experiment involved a small robot, designed to move about completely randomly so that the probability of it being anywhere was entirely random. It was placed in an enclosure with freshly hatched chicks, so that they would 'bond' with it and identify it as their mother. it was then set on its' random course, and over time it spent increasingly more time closer to the chicks than further away, when its' programming was set so that it would only be near them for around 50% of the time. By the end of the experiment, it was closer to the chicks for an average of 55% of the time- a small margin maybe, but big enough for the scientists to conclude that the thought patterns of the chicks crying out for 'mother' somehow influenced the actions of the robot. According to calculations, for the probability curve to have been influenced by that 5% was several million to one- conclusive enough for the researchers.


That's just horseshit Dusty. ;-)
 
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Re: God?

Postby WeeMann » Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:28 am

Roger wrote:"If God created the universe, who created God?" seems like a bit of a facetious question to ask, similar to questions like, "If we evolved from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?".


I wouldn't say that the monkey question is necessarily facetious, more one asked by people who don't understand evolution: monkeys and us both evolved from a common ancestor, we didn't evolve from monkeys as we see them today.
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