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Feb 21 2014

Sean Carroll vs William Lane Craig

Right now! They’re battling it out on the nature of the universe in a God and Cosmology Debate.

The preliminaries started at 7, my time. You missed the opening prayer in which the officiant begged god to lead everyone to a deeper understanding of the truth, concluding with the declaration that Jesus is the truth. I think the deck is stacked.

Well, sort of. I expect Carroll to mop the floor with Craig, because he has the understanding, Craig just has the rote rhetoric.


We’re at the intermission. Here’s the short summary of the debate so far:

Craig: I’m going to pretend to be a physicist and use sciencey words to retrofit modern cosmology to my primitive, crude, vague theistic sensibilities, and religion explains the universe better than physics because I can make up any ol’ shit I want.

Carroll: No, you get everything wrong, you’ve quote-mined and misinterpreted all these papers you cite, and cosmological theories must be rigorous and describe details of the universe beyond simply “it started”.

Carroll is speaking with authority — he knows this stuff, and it shows. This is why qualified scientists with expertise in public communication are so important — they can talk about the real science with depth, and recognize when their opponent is spouting bafflegab.

Really, I don’t know this stuff. Except now I’m learning a lot from listening to Sean Carroll. It would be nicer if Craig would shut up, sit down, and try to learn something too, since he is so far out of his depth.


They’ve locked the video down and made it private. I’m sorry to see that; Carroll was extremely edifying and did a terrific job of exposing Craig’s pretenses. Maybe it will be made available later, or we’ll just have to keep reading Sean Carroll’s blog to learn what physics really says.

209 comments

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  1. 1
    PZ Myers

    Good thing I skipped dinner. Craig is doing his usual smug schtick right now, and I’d be losing it.

  2. 2
    PZ Myers

    Jebus. He goes on and on about how THE UNIVERSE HAD A BEGINNING, and SCIENCE CONFIRMS WHAT THE BIBLE SAID. Good grief. He sure makes much of the most basic premise that people always assumed because anthropocentric experience is bounded by beginnings and ends. So?

  3. 3
    gmcard

    Oh, M-Theory/Multiverse vs. Christianity. Would be nice if there were a non-theist participating in the debate.

  4. 4
    PZ Myers

    The universe is either finite or infinite, the Bible guessed finite, so it’s true!

  5. 5
    PZ Myers

    Now his interpretation of the second law of thermodynamics means the universe will have an end, and because we haven’t run out of energy yet, it must have a finite age. So? Bible doesn’t contain any of the laws of thermodynamics.

  6. 6
    PZ Myers

    Craig is so cute when he pretends to be a physicist.

    Oh, wait. Cute? I meant annoying.

  7. 7
    PZ Myers

    Ah, Carroll is soothing my brain with clarity and lucidity.

  8. 8
    PZ Myers

    This is good. Craig made a big mistake going up against a real cosmologist: Carroll keeps telling the audience that Craig got everything wrong.

  9. 9
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    I knew I had several books by “Sean Carroll” on my reading list, but I finally stood back and looked—wait a minute! This guy’s a general relativist/cosmologist and an evolutionary biologist? Well, turns out there are two Sean Carrolls. Whoodathunkit? But maybe they could form a tag-team debating these idiots? It’d be more entertaining than on the old wrasslin’ shows from the black-and-white TV of my distant youth.

  10. 10
    PZ Myers

    Craig’s back, begins by announcing that Carroll was making extraneous arguments not relevant to cosmology. Madness. Carroll’s argument was all about the inadequacy of theism to make the same predictions that quantum physics does; that theism is incoherent and vague and fails to make any kind of useful description of the universe.

  11. 11
    Cuttlefish

    The good news is (re PZ’s comment #10), it’s Craig who is scrambling to narrow the focus, rather than to expand the field in which to gallop. Carroll should be happy enough in the smaller playing field.

  12. 12
    Cuttlefish

    continuing #11…

    Especially so long as Craig keeps making up shit as he goes along.

  13. 13
    Cuttlefish

    I must say, it is nice to see Craig arguing against Christian mainstream thought.

  14. 14
    PZ Myers

    Hey, Craig, if contemporary cosmology is strongly confirmatory of theism, how come contemporary cosmologists reject it?

  15. 15
    coralline

    Thanks for the live coverage, PZ. I know several people (including me!) are having problems finding working links to the debate. Lots of “Please Stand By” from YT. The sparsity of comments must be due, at least in part, to these technical difficulties.

  16. 16
    PZ Myers

    Carroll’s rebuttal is shredding Craig: Craig doesn’t understand modern physics, and he’s constantly misinterpreting the physics in the papers he has superficially read.

    Ooh, he brought on Guth to say that his models do not demand that the universe had a beginning.

  17. 17
    Cuttlefish

    intermission! Does Craig have a good cut man? Cos his eyes are nearly swollen shut…

  18. 18
    kosk11348

    Based on the loudness of the applause, it sounds like Craig’s supporters crowded the front rows while Carroll’s supporters are up in the bleacher seats.

  19. 19
    jefflowder

    I missed the opening statements, but based on the rebuttals it appears Carroll is dominating the debate.

  20. 20
    PZ Myers

    Does Craig really think telling Sean Carroll that he doesn’t understand Sean Carroll’s cosmological model is a fruitful line of argument?

  21. 21
    Cuttlefish

    No, no, no… Carroll is talking about why people believe in the real world! Craig doesn’t live in the real world!

  22. 22
    brianpansky

    @3
    gmcard

    Would be nice if there were a non-theist participating in the debate.

    that sounds like you are calling sean carrol a theist. maybe you meant you wish *both* debaters would be non-theists?

  23. 23
    PZ Myers

    If you must listen to anything, scroll to Carroll’s summary at about 2:30. Science undermines theism.

  24. 24
    Cuttlefish

    Maybe there is wisdom…. in all these contradictory texts….

  25. 25
    PZ Myers

    Interesting. He’s making an argument for religion…as long as you acknowledge that people got it wrong 2000 years ago, and that if you peel theism away from it, there are things in religion that are still of value to human beings.

  26. 26
    PZ Myers

    I don’t think I buy it. If you strip theism and the supernatural from religion, you’re left with philosophy and ethics and community. Why call that religion?

  27. 27
    Cuttlefish

    Why call that religion? Historical artifact.

    You *can* call it religion. Mind you, that doesn’t make it intelligible. I would argue that *all* of the important stuff of religion has better answers elsewhere.

  28. 28
    PZ Myers

    The Q&A is going to be awful. First question is loaded nonsense from a theist, that Carroll dispenses handily, and Craig just splutters out an argument from personal incredulity.

  29. 29
    kosk11348

    Why call that religion?

    Probably because that’s how many people in the audience have been trained to think about their own religion. It think it was a clever move, actually. He was saying that one doesn’t have to jettison all the “good” things in religion (like philosophy and ethics and community) just because the supernatural stuff us bunk. Old news to us. But for a lot of people, I think that will be the first time they’ve ever heard the issue framed that way before. Or maybe I’m just being optimistic.

  30. 30
    PZ Myers

    If Craig says that physicists assert that the universe popped into existence from nothing one more time, I’m gonna scream.

  31. 31
    Cuttlefish

    Oh, nice, Carroll addresses that for you, PZ!

  32. 32
    Cuttlefish

    Hmph. Finally, I disagree with Carroll. About free will.

  33. 33
    PZ Myers

    Yes! “Popped” is a word that implicitly asserts an arrow of time!

  34. 34
    kosk11348

    Craig says that both theists and naturalists are guilty of having their “biases.” This coming from a man who signed Biola University’s doctrinal statement averring that “All those who persistently reject Jesus Christ in the present life shall be raised from the dead and throughout eternity exist in the state of conscious, unutterable, endless torment of anguish.” …among other gems.

  35. 35
    Cuttlefish

    Yay, Craig is an idiot, and his view of free will is more wrong than Carroll’s.

  36. 36
    Rob Grigjanis

    PZ @30: Blame Lawrence Krauss, not Craig.

  37. 37
    davemullenix

    Carroll does not understand the Boltzmann Brain. Craig doesn’t either, but he’s got him floundering anyway.

    Boltzmann considered a Universe that poofs into existence through a random fluctuation of some sort. He envisioned the entire universe, as it currently exists – stars, planets, galaxies, humans with brains, subatomic particles and Post Toasties – all poofing into existence AT ONCE from a single random fluctuation.

    This is actually a form of Last Tuesdayism, the theory that the entire universe, including us, poofed into existence last Tuesday complete with us and our memories of things that happened last Monday and before. Nobody argues that this happened.

    Boltzmann also pointed out that it would be much easier for a single human brain to poof out of nowhere. You wouldn’t have to also poof the human being surrounding that brain, all the other humans and their brains, the planets, stars, galaxies etc. A single Boltzmann Brain would be much more likely than a Boltzmann Last Tuesdayist Universe because it doesn’t have to do as much poofing.

    But the real situation is that our universe appears to have “poofed” out of something billions of years ago in an extremely simple low information state. We had a ton of energy, a few (probably somewhat random) laws of physics and that was about it. The sub-atomic particles formed through the action of those laws of physics and they in turned joined to form atoms, molecules, suns, planets, galaxies, humans and human brains over the course of time using the few laws and processes that are known to exist.

    Generating a simple universe like our early universe in one random fluctuation is astronomically more likely than producing a Boltzmann Brain which in turn is even more astronomically likely than producing a Boltzmann Universe.

    This is not ancient wisdom hidden from man by the Ancients. It’s the last line in paragraph 2 of the Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boltzmann_brain

    “The usual resolution of the Boltzmann brain paradox is that we and our environment are the products of a long process of natural selection, which can produce complex and improbable outcomes without violating the laws of thermodynamics.”

  38. 38
    PZ Myers

    Craig is an idiot

    You should have told me that two hours ago, so I’d have the primary conclusion of this debate without having to sit through it all.

  39. 39
    Cuttlefish

    At about the three hour mark… does Craig open the door for multiple gods? outside of time and space, potentially mucking around with our universe, but equipotent with the abrahamic god? Does his argument allow for a potentially infinite number of gods? It seems that way to me…

  40. 40
    Cuttlefish

    Oh, P-Zed, you knew it years ago….

  41. 41
    Cuttlefish

    Models of God! Yay!

    How big is his … trunk?

    It’s tested! By… coherence. Or something. So, how big is god’s trunk?

    Answer coherently.

  42. 42
    PZ Myers

    He’s giving lip service to the idea of multiple gods, but you know he really thinks Jebus. It’s one of his aggravating traits, that he’s dishonest in the service of rhetoric.

  43. 43
    robertwilson

    The sheer amount of times WLC said he’s astonished or so on at something Sean points out might merit a montage or even a new unit of measurement.

  44. 44
    Cuttlefish

    WLC has been a wonderful advocate of non-Christian thought. Fortunately, so has Carroll.

  45. 45
    gmcard

    @22
    brianpansky

    Carrol’s arguments for string theory/M-Theory/SUSY/fine-tuning-via-Multiverse are straight out of religion’s playbook–testible predictions don’t matter, the theory is so beautiful it must be true. I’m glad Carrol’s pummelling Craig here, as Craig’s brand of theism has much more immediate negative impact on the world. But putting Carrol on the secular side of the debate creates a huge opening for a better informed god-botherer to get hits in on theoretical HEP’s current disregard for actual, falsefiable science.

  46. 46
    The Very Reverend Battleaxe of Knowledge

    davemullenix @ 37:

    Yeah, the whole Boltzmann Brain argument is the stupidest one I’ve ever heard seriously discussed—and I remember John Searle’s “Chinese Room” argument!

  47. 47
    PZ Myers

    You seem to be arguing with a straw-Carroll in your head. Did you listen to the whole thing? Especially the parts where he emphasizes the importance of data in distinguishing science and theism?

  48. 48
    jefflowder

    I think Carroll did an awesome job and I don’t make that statement lightly. I’m often critical of WLC’s opponents.

  49. 49
    hjhornbeck

    What? The video went private?! No fair.

  50. 50
    gmcard

    PZ @ 47

    No, I’m arguing with the Carroll who posted this nonsense: http://www.edge.org/response-detail/25322

    If in the debate he argued that data is critical in distinguishing science and theism, then great! Hopefully that means the pushback he received after publishing the above had him re-evaluate whether introducing theistique arguments into HEP is a good idea.

  51. 51
    Tuválkin

    At 03:20 (yes, after three hours and twenty minutes), the first women appears, to ask the next-to-last question. Okay, so you cannot magically fix sexism and patriarchy when your job is just organizing a debate… But even (same flavours of) sexism and patriarchy reccomend that a woman should be given precedence. Surely whenever she showed up the usher could have given her the slot at head of the queue, at least to save the organization’s face? I may be not making much sense here/now, but as I watched (rather listened to) the Q&A I was growing more and more annoyed with the all-male parade going on.

  52. 52
    anuran

    It doesn’t matter, PZ. Craig isn’t trying to debate. He’s throwing out the stuff his followers have been conditioned to accept as The Truth. They hear him. They believe him. They hear a gawdless “scientist” say something else. All their fears and beliefs are confirmed.

    Think of it as a medieval morality play where everyone on stage has a role.

  53. 53
    ahmad saku

    I would like to see PZ myerz VS Craig hahahahahaha he will lose

  54. 54
    anabasis
  55. 55
    artymorty

    Hm the video says it’s “private” now.

    Does anyone know where I can view it?

    (Oh man, I hope this isn’t another case where the “losing” side tries to bury the video.)

  56. 56
    Muz

    This sounds worth a look.
    Obviously anyone competent is going to come up with decent enough flaws in Craig’s arguments, but where people have fallen down before is on actual rigid lawschool debating. Both Harris and Hitchens, if I recall, just kind of put down the cards and went off script in the last third, almost throwing up their hands to the audience “Haven’t I done enough? Look to your better nature brothers and sisters. You can’t really believe that can you? After everything?”. Where Craig stuck to the points and stuck to them again and again and again and then summed them up by repeating them.

    That’s usually the undoing of his opponents. Hopefully Carroll doesn’t make that mistake.

  57. 57
    markd555

    I can’t believe that idiots actually try and explain “Bible Cosmology”. The Bible is a FLAT EARTH document FFS.

    Bible cosmology is four pillars holding up a flat circle of land, a dome on top of that holding up water that god lets thru little window/floodgates, and the sun and moon attached to the inside.

    I dare say it’s is worse than creationism. Of course very few take this part seriously, it’s “poetic license” in the “inerrant document” full of “facts and truth”. Of course, these lines are right in with the creationism. Same as gays bad, but shrimp is ok, because, um, it just is.

    Would like to shove their own specific flat earth verses back in their faces every time the “Bible full of science” line is used. Love to see somebody out-crazy em in an ironic way. Would be a room full of Xitans wincing and 3 flat earthers cheering “He gets it!”

    (Eh who am I kidding, there would be no wincing when lying for jeebus is a profession.)

  58. 58
    Charly

    (Oh man, I hope this isn’t another case where the “losing” side tries to bury the video.)

    Exactly my thoughts when I tried to watch the vid now with the intent to skip anything WLC says and listening only to the scientist.

    And much as I do not like it, it is possibly spot-on. WLC got his ass handed to him and now his friends are trying to hide the evidence.

  59. 59
    Charly

    Oh shit, bokred quote. Only the first line is quoted.

  60. 60
    David Marjanović

    “This video is private.” :-( :-( :-( YouTube doesn’t even tell me how long it is.

    But maybe they could form a tag-team debating these idiots? It’d be more entertaining than on the old wrasslin’ shows from the black-and-white TV of my distant youth.

    Yesssssssssssssssssssssss.

    I must say, it is nice to see Craig arguing against Christian mainstream thought.

    Details, please! :-)

    No, I’m arguing with the Carroll who posted this nonsense: http://www.edge.org/response-detail/25322

    What’s nonsensical about it? It very vaguely hints at parsimony, failing to ever mention it; but otherwise, where’s the problem?

  61. 61
    archi

    You can watch it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIMFhPH3m0g

  62. 62
    tomfrog

    @archi, #61:

    This video seems private too right now…

    I’d really like to see this, it’s a shame if it doesn’t pop-out somewhere at some point…

  63. 63
    anteprepro

    This video seems private too right now…

    I’d really like to see this, it’s a shame if it doesn’t pop-out somewhere at some point…

    If stays disapparated, I think we’ve got to make a big stink about Billy Lane bravely running away…

  64. 64
    PitS

    Nope. Still says “private”.

  65. 65
    archi

    Sorry, when I posted it was still availbile.

  66. 66
    Holms

    They’ve locked the video down and made it private.

    I hear this is a sure sign of intellectual honesty… right guys?

  67. 67
    Travis

    What account was the video posted on? I cannot even see that when I visit it.

  68. 68
    craigmcgillivary

    Sean Carroll has confirmed on twitter that video will eventually be available on youtube.

  69. 69
    kosk11348

    At the end of the debate, the moderator said something about being happy it went so well because it ensured brisk DVD sales. So the most likely reason the video is no longer available is that they intend to sell copies.

    What, you didn’t expect Christians to value discourse for it’s own sake, did you?

  70. 70
    Rey Fox

    Would like to shove their own specific flat earth verses back in their faces every time the “Bible full of science” line is used.

    Those parts are poetry. The Bible is all poetry, except where it’s not.

  71. 71
    Chris Nonimus

    @ #69

    The late Alexander Scourby and heirs might have had some agreement with you, at least in relation to sales.

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

  72. 72
    trae norsworthy

    it’s always interesting reading different viewpoints. one thing I noticed was that carroll continually chided WLC about science but, then said that cosmological models can explain the universe without a singular beginning point. those cosmological models are not science. they’re metaphysical speculations using science like language. they’re mostly based on mathematics, like string theory. they are not based on empirical confirmations like the big bang that WLC defended. in the earliest conditions, the laws of physics aren’t applicable and carroll acknowledged this multiple times. for example, the 4 fundamental forces we use to describe phenomena were undifferentiated. he iterated that the laws of physics aren’t going to work at all times in all places of the universe. in that regard, WLC stuck to methodological naturalism more than carroll did.

    besides, in a formal debate, carroll would have lost handily because he didn’t even defend the position he was speaking for – that science does not provide good reason for belief in God. his position was that a beginning or a cause is the wrong kind of question to ask. that wasn’t the point of the debate. the debate wasn’t about the efficacy of cosmological models to obviate a quantum singularity. heck, he even granted during the q&a that there was still room for God to work outside of a multiverse.

    none of this is surprising though because he’s a cosmologist, not a philosopher/theologian. he probably should stick to math. he’s great at that.

  73. 73
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    hey’re mostly based on mathematics, like string theory. they are not based on empirical confirmations like the big bang that WLC defended.

    Since they show reality, they are confirmed as much as any model that conforms to reality. WLC is full of presuppositional shit, and that was exposed during the debate. The only way out is for the presuppositional shit to dismissed by both WLC and his defenders….

  74. 74
    andrsib

    @72
    Sean did everything right. Craig repeatedly tried to push classical notions of space-time to the QM domain at the “beginning” of the universe where they simply don’t work. Sean pointed out, that the complete QM description is not there yet, the best we can do is to construct *models*, and see which one of them fits the data best. Which one of them is better equipped to answer questions like what mass of the Higgs boson should be, or what’s the density of dark matter. He even provided a long list of the questions. Unfortunately, none of those 17+ models we currently have gives satisfactory answers to all of those questions, so we have a lot of hard work ahead of us to work this out. On the other hand, whatever model finally wins in the science, will be perfectly compatible with theism, because theism is so ill-defined. And, of course, no amount of theism can help us to answer any of those questions.

    Theism is simply being reduced to some sort of mental gymnastics to fit God into whatever model science comes up with. The debate clearly showed that, and especially follow ups with 4 more guys today. All the theistic side could do is to cherry pick quotes from cosmologists, pretending that they somehow “prove” God, but without clear understanding what they are talking about. In this sense, the “cosmological” theologians look even more pathetic that creationists, at least the creationists were able come up with some original ideas (irreducible complexity, etc). No such luck in cosmology — the theologians are totally dependent on what cosmologists (mostly atheistic) have to say about the universe and its beginnings.

  75. 75
    knowknot

    #74 andrsib

    Theism is simply being reduced to some sort of mental gymnastics to fit God into whatever model science comes up with.

    - It hasn’t been reduced. It’s ALWAYS been that, except the “model generator” hasn’t always been science. God didn’t do the hunting, then he didn’t do the cooking, then he didn’t plant the crops, then he didn’t raise the stones, then he didn’t do the smelting, then he didn’t make the medicine, then he didn’t drop the bomb…
    - The problem is that “theism” is bound to “religious experience,” which is (if it means anything good) akin to the “experience of the numinous,” as Sagan put it. Every time whatever model pushes God further toward the end of the couch, the nightmare inducing fears are either loss of that, or loss of power/authority. The latter can go lick itself, but I’ve NEVER heard nor read a theistic argument that depended on its internal merits, (certainly not its testable merits) as opposed to falling to the speaker’s or author’s “feeling.”

  76. 76
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The funny thing is that if WLC and his sycophants don’t presuppose the existence of a creator, and the babble being something other than a book of mythology/fiction, they simply can’t forward any argument where their creator is necessary. Without the presupposition their imaginary deity exist, nothing can be said, so it all comes to down to presupposition.

  77. 77
    trae norsworthy

    “Since they show reality, they are confirmed as much as any model that conforms to reality”
    except that they don’t show reality. no one has ever seen a string from string theory and no one has ever seen the nature of the universe prior to the beginning of this one. it’s pretty much 100% mathematics. the big bang model actually has real world verification. heck, even quantum physics has more confirmation than cosmological models.

    “exposed during the debate”
    I don’t get it. WLC sticks to actual methodological naturalism (big bang cosmology) and people complain that he didn’t utilize science. whereas carroll talked about flights of fancy such as cosmological models and some people love it. I wonder if that’s because of a bias against the quantum singularity.

  78. 78
    andrsib

    In the closing statements Robin Collins tried to argue that the beauty of the universe and our ability to understand cosmology is because God made the universe that way. Sean said that we’re actually bad at understanding due to personal biases, preconceptions, etc. Science is wonderful because it allowed us to develop techniques such as double-blind studies to correct our biases, etc. We need to be especially skeptical about things that we hold as true just because we want them to be true.

    So much for God’s design and fine-tuning. :)

  79. 79
    andrsib

    @77:
    Where did Sean said that string theories “conform to reality”? String theories were mentioned by Craig, when he said that “contemporary theories” predict 10^500 different universes.

    Sean was not talking about string theories at all, he was talking about inflational models by A.Guth, Vilenkin, etc. They do explain a lot of things that “standard” Big Bang cosmology does not, you know. They just don’t explain everything, and we don’t have enough data to disprove all but one. More work to do, that’s it.

  80. 80
    anteprepro

    WLC sticks to actual methodological naturalism (big bang cosmology) and people complain that he didn’t utilize science. whereas carroll talked about flights of fancy such as cosmological models and some people love it.

    How does the claim that Billy Lane is sticking to methodological naturalism more than Carroll mesh with your statement:

    in the earliest conditions, the laws of physics aren’t applicable and carroll acknowledged this multiple times.

  81. 81
    trae norsworthy

    “Sean did everything right.”
    1. missed the point of the debate
    2. hypocritically chastised WLC for not referring to science when carroll himself didn’t refer to science, i.e. cosmological models
    3. went on an irrelevant rant about naturalism vs theism

    we’ll agree to disagree there.

    “Craig repeatedly tried to push classical notions of space-time to the QM domain at the “beginning” of the universe where they simply don’t work.”
    I didn’t get that at all. he acknowledged their existence back to the appropriate planck boundary. prior to that, he referred to the relatively uncontroversial expansion from a singularity. carroll, on the other hand, talked out of both sides of his mouth. he conveniently invoked immutable physical laws and then said that those laws don’t work everywhere. it seems to me it was carroll who was inconsistent with his usage of space-time behavior.

    “Sean pointed out, that the complete QM description is not there yet, the best we can do is to construct *models*, and see which one of them fits the data best.”
    I think you’re referring to cosmological models, not qm. and as far as cosmology, we only have ONE model that actually works in accordance with observed phenomena. guess which one that is?

    “And, of course, no amount of theism can help us to answer any of those questions.”
    this is definitely provocative. there are still plenty of theists in science and some of them contribute at high levels. they also have no problem reconciling their beliefs with their scientific work. moreover, it has been well documented by multiple people that the scientific revolution was almost completely initiated by Christians for Christianity.

    “All the theistic side could do is to cherry pick quotes from cosmologists”
    we’ll agree to disagree on that. theists are capable of much more than that and WLC didn’t do anything to diminish that.

    “pretending that they somehow “prove” God”
    WLC said repeatedly that he was not using big bang cosmology as a rigorous mathematical, scientific proof of God’s existence.

    “No such luck in cosmology — the theologians are totally dependent on what cosmologists (mostly atheistic) have to say about the universe and its beginnings.”
    I invite you to revisit the history of the big bang model. particularly who Georges Lemaître, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were and what they were doing.

  82. 82
    trae norsworthy

    “they simply can’t forward any argument where their creator is necessary.”
    that’s not entirely true. for one, there is the question of why there is something rather than nothing. science will never be able to answer that question because it’s beyond the purview of science. it’s one of the sad outcomes of modernism; that metaphysics has been relegated to an inferior status. here, metaphysics provides the reasonable argument that the natural universe can’t pull itself up by it’s own bootstraps so, there must be something supernatural that’s responsible. second, the nature of the universe is contingent which presupposes something necessary. the contingent can’t exist without the necessary. of course, these are metaphysical matters which is perfectly acceptable. they are beyond the purview of science.

    “Without the presupposition their imaginary deity exist, nothing can be said, so it all comes to down to presupposition.”
    the problem here is the deception that all things can be reduced to the language of science. science most certainly cannot answer all questions. it never will be able to. science arises from people making observations about the environment. unfortunately, all observation is theory laden. moreover, scientists can’t reach consensus about everything. carroll even acknowledged this plainly. this is the lie foisted upon the west by modernism; that science is some sort of authoritative truth that exists independent of any bias or presupposition. science changes all the time because people’s sensibilities change. what was scientifically true yesterday does not always remain so. something has to provide explanations when science has reached its demarcation.

  83. 83
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    WLC said repeatedly that he was not using big bang cosmology as a rigorous mathematical, scientific proof of God’s existence.

    *snicker*, if the liar and bullshitter wasn’t trying for that idiocy, why was is mentioned so much. When a Truth Teller™ would have shut the fuck about it with the first challenge…,Only a delusional fool can’t put up and won’t shut up. Which is the problem WLC has….

  84. 84
    raven

    but, then said that cosmological models can explain the universe without a singular beginning point. those cosmological models are not science.

    Yeah they are. They are scientific theories or more likely scientific hypotheses.

    1. Science doesn’t know everything. This is good. If we did, science would be over with, our civilization would stall out, and we would all have to go out and get other jobs.

    2. So the Multiverse isn’t proven. So what. Lots and lots of things aren’t yet proven.

    3. So what came before the Big Bang? We don’t know. All we have is theories and hypotheses. Craig is just playing god of the gaps. Just because we don’t know what came before the Big Bang doesn’t prove god exists. Lack of knowledge does not = god.

    Lack of knowledge = Lack of knowledge!!!

    4. Most current cosmological models point to a Multiverse of some kind. There is one data point that we don’t quite know what it means but it has to mean something. The net energy of the universe is…zero. It could be any number but it ended up being zero.

  85. 85
    Ted Cikowski

    Uh the big bang model? The big bang is the expansion not the beginning. Craig tired to argue that the big bang was the beginning. He incorrectly used the BGV (as Guth himself had said) to argue that point. We don’t know the answer but Craig asserts it as true yet there are ongoing studies into loop quantum gravity. Funny how that works! This is typical….the scientists are not impressed with Craig but those that presuppose a god thought he did a good job. By the way…Craig still believes in the A theory of time (snicker).

  86. 86
    trae norsworthy

    “Science is wonderful because it allowed us to develop techniques such as double-blind studies to correct our biases, etc.”
    no such thing has ever happened. science has never eliminated all presupposition or bias. the very studies you cite were created by flawed people and are themselves less than perfect. western society has such a horrible blind spot in regards to the limitations of science.

    “We need to be especially skeptical about things that we hold as true just because we want them to be true.”
    like half baked cosmological models or that science is somehow authoritative? the former flies in the face of a perfectly good scientific model and the latter has caused some modern westerners to shut off part of their brain.

  87. 87
    andrsib

    @81:

    he acknowledged their existence back to the appropriate planck boundary. prior to that

    You see, this is the problem. “Prior, before, after” are all classical notions. If you want a QM description, you will have to use wave functions that describe space-time itself. They are not “before” or “after”, they span across all time.

    WLC said repeatedly that he was not using big bang cosmology as a rigorous mathematical, scientific proof of God’s existence.

    Instead he said that universe having a beginning of time requires a “transcendent” cause, ergo God.

    I invite you to revisit the history of the big bang model. particularly who Georges Lemaître

    Don’t confuse scientists with theologians. Lemaitre et all did not advance science by bringing God into it, quite the contrary — remember, what Lemaitre said to the pope about Big Bang being proof of God.

    we only have ONE model that actually works in accordance with observed phenomena. guess which one that is?

    So, what does it say about the extreme uniformity of the early Universe, which did not have enough time to “thermalize”? What does it say about photon to barion ratios? Why there is matter but not antimatter?

  88. 88
    anteprepro

    this is definitely provocative. there are still plenty of theists in science and some of them contribute at high levels

    face-fucking-palm

    moreover, it has been well documented by multiple people that the scientific revolution was almost completely initiated by Christians for Christianity.

    How’d that one work out?

    theists are capable of much more than that and WLC didn’t do anything to diminish that.

    [Citation needed]

    WLC said repeatedly that he was not using big bang cosmology as a rigorous mathematical, scientific proof of God’s existence.

    Excellent, then that entire argument is an admitted non-sequitur.

  89. 89
    trae norsworthy

    “Where did Sean said that string theories “conform to reality”?”
    I didn’t say he did. I said he supports cosmological models as explaining the universe without a beginning or a cause. he’s wrong. they don’t show anything at all. they’re just mathematical exercises.

    “he was talking about inflational models by A.Guth, Vilenkin, etc. They do explain a lot of things that “standard” Big Bang cosmology does not, you know”
    like what? again, they don’t “explain” anything. they POTENTIALLY explain something but, you can’t even get cosmologists to agree on a model. moreover, they are problematic in that they use this-world scientific language and laws to describe conditions in the universe where this-world language and laws aren’t applicable. it’s anachronistic retrojection.

  90. 90
    Ted Cikowski

    What is this big bang model? That the Universe just poofed into existence like Craig said wasn’t possible? Bang!

  91. 91
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    the former flies in the face of a perfectly good scientific model and the latter has caused some modern westerners to shut off part of their brain.

    And your ALTERNITIVE IS WHAT???
    That is the problem with those who ignore the science. They offer no alternitive that is scientific, but rather is presuppositional, in the existence of an imaginary deity, and the innerancy of a book of mythology/fiction. Funny how such evidence to demonstrate either of those presuppositions is ever referenced…..

  92. 92
    andrsib

    @86:

    science has never eliminated all presupposition or bias.

    Of course, it has not eliminated *all*. The “design” of human mind is so poor… However it has eliminated *enough* of that stuff as to allow us to make great advances in science.

  93. 93
    raven

    scientists can’t reach consensus about everything. carroll even acknowledged this plainly. this is the lie foisted upon the west by modernism; that science is some sort of authoritative truth that exists independent of any bias or presupposition. science changes all the time because people’s sensibilities change. what was scientifically true yesterday does not always remain so. something has to provide explanations when science has reached its demarcation.

    This is all wrong.

    1. Science gets things wrong. It is also self correcting. Science eventually corrects itself.

    2. What other ways of knowing. Religion?

    Religion gets everything wrong at the beginning because they just guess. When it is pointed out to them, they kill the heretics if they can. Eventually no one cares.

    3. this is the lie foisted upon the west by modernism; that science is some sort of authoritative truth that exists independent of any bias or presupposition.

    This is the lie of theists. That science isn’t independent of bias or presupposition. In the long run, it is exactly that. Science is pan cultural. Scientists everywhere in the world will converge on the truth.

    4. FYI here are the presuppositions of science.

    The universe is understandable.
    Using cognitive methods we can understand it.
    We proceed to use cognitive methods to understand it.

    This is BTW, simply a statement of Methodological Naturalism.

    PS Trae is just pulling out the old “Science is a Religion” fallacy. Trae, we’ve heard that one hundreds of times. If that is all you have, stop wasting our time.

  94. 94
    trae norsworthy

    “How does the claim that Billy Lane is sticking to methodological naturalism more than Carroll mesh with your statement”
    because WLC invoked a well supported model that is confirmed by testable, observable phenomena. carroll cited models that are little more than science fiction. they are ingenious, brilliant, creative and perhaps even helpful. observable, no. testable, no. predictive, who knows? applicable, who knows? they basically fail every single philosophy of science question available. they are science-like and they certainly don’t provide any sort of reason to not believe in God.

  95. 95
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The “design” of human mind is so poor… However it has eliminated *enough* of that stuff as to allow us to make great advances in science.

    Your evidence is WHERE?, if you aren’t trying to troll us¿¿¿¿

  96. 96
    trae norsworthy

    “if the liar and bullshitter wasn’t trying for that idiocy, why was is mentioned so much”
    the language seems plain to me. he wasn’t trying to use it as an empirical proof. I don’t get your problem with that.

  97. 97
    Ted Cikowski

    Trae please explain this big bang model that you keep speaking of. I have already asked twice now. You don’t seem to understand it.

  98. 98
    anteprepro

    here, metaphysics provides the reasonable argument that the natural universe can’t pull itself up by it’s own bootstraps so, there must be something supernatural that’s responsible.

    Here, metaphysics is just a way to bullshit everybody by saying “hey, I don’t know what happened, so it must have been magic!”. First establish that the supernatural actually even exists. Then talk about what it is and is not responsible for, m’kay.

    second, the nature of the universe is contingent which presupposes something necessary.

    The nature of the universe is contingent? Missed the pressing evidence for that one. Why do I somehow doubt that it is rigorously proven fact, and is instead just a flatly assumed item with which someone can play word games?

    they are beyond the purview of science.

    Translation: “Untethered to your petty mortal ‘reality’, as you call it”

    science changes all the time because people’s sensibilities change.

    So what was the point of you mentioning the fact that the scientists around the time of the scientific revolution were Christian, again?

    something has to provide explanations when science has reached its demarcation.

    And that would be…what? What is your superior, alternative method? What is the magical “other way of knowing” that religious goons are always quacking about when they are rambling on about science ain’t so great?

    no such thing has ever happened. science has never eliminated all presupposition or bias.

    Daft. The point that person you were responding was making is that we have scientific procedures that help to control for such bias, etc. Not that scientific knowledge, scientists, or whatever have found a way to magically become perfectly objective human beings.

  99. 99
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    because WLC invoked a well supported model that is confirmed by testable, observable phenomena. carroll cited models that are little more than science fiction. they are ingenious, brilliant, creative and perhaps even helpful. observable, no. testable, no. predictive, who knows? applicable, who knows? they basically fail every single philosophy of science question available. they are science-like and they certainly don’t provide any sort of reason to not believe in God.

    If one doesn’t believe in imaginary deities, nothing WLC says makes sense. I is all predicated on presuppositiional arguments. Toss out the presuppositions as non-parimonious, his arguments make no sense….

  100. 100
    Ted Cikowski

    Trae the Turock Steinhart model and the Hawking Hartel state are possible ways the universe can be here by natural means. You saying the universe seems to require a supernatural expansion is without evidence. You literally just made that up like Craig does.

  101. 101
    anteprepro

    because WLC invoked a well supported model that is confirmed by testable, observable phenomena. carroll cited models that are little more than science fiction.

    The models are alternative explanations about the state before (or in the period after in which we don’t have information regarding) the Big Bang. WLC and Carroll share that well supported model that is confirmed by testable observable phenomena (The Big Bang). It’s just that WLC presumes time is linear and independent of space/matter and scientists don’t agree with him. But you keep on gibbering about the unscientificness of models or whatever.

  102. 102
    trae norsworthy

    “Yeah they are. They are scientific theories or more likely scientific hypotheses.”
    observable, no. empirically testable, no. predictive, who knows? get a room full of cosmologists together and they can’t even agree on a model, much less it’s efficacy. applicable to all multiverse conditions? even carroll wouldn’t agree to that in the debate. you and I must have different definitions of what constitutes as science.

    “So the Multiverse isn’t proven. So what. Lots and lots of things aren’t yet proven.”
    so let’s trot out science fiction and pretend it’s as reliable as a time honored model just because we don’t like the implication. makes sense.

    “So what came before the Big Bang? We don’t know.”
    at least transcendent cause has a reasonable philosophical case that can be made for it. cosmological models aren’t any more valuable than a high school science fiction short story.

    “Craig is just playing god of the gaps. Just because we don’t know what came before the Big Bang doesn’t prove god exists. Lack of knowledge does not = god.”
    it’s not a lack of knowledge. thinking that a lack of empirical proof equals a metaphysical disproof is a category mistake. again, a transcendent cause is a logically, philosophically reasonable conclusion. the only reason to reject it in favor of science fiction is because of an antisupernatural bias.

  103. 103
    anteprepro

    at least transcendent cause has a reasonable philosophical case that can be made for it. cosmological models aren’t any more valuable than a high school science fiction short story.

    Absolute fucking bullshit. “Supernatural of the Gaps” doesn’t trump cosmological models. Even on a philosophical level. Science fiction is still more grounded in reality than outright Fantasy.

    thinking that a lack of empirical proof equals a metaphysical disproof is a category mistake. again, a transcendent cause is a logically, philosophically reasonable conclusion. the only reason to reject it in favor of science fiction is because of an antisupernatural bias.

    Just because you keep saying it doesn’t make it so.

  104. 104
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Trae norswothy, try : <blockquoteI>material to be quoted<blockquote> to show the equivalent of:

    material to be quoted

  105. 105
    trae norsworthy

    “The big bang is the expansion not the beginning. Craig tired to argue that the big bang was the beginning.”
    no, he said it explained the expansion. it implies a singularity. he wasn’t unclear about that.

    “He incorrectly used the BGV (as Guth himself had said) to argue that point.”
    guth’s inconsistency isn’t WLC’s fault. he talked to vilenkin himself about it and it was confirmed by the author that he wasn’t misusing the theory.

    “This is typical….the scientists are not impressed with Craig”
    and herein lies a major misconception; that the issue is about science. it isn’t. it’s about the implications of science. the data isn’t in question. the interpretation of the data is in question. conditions and causes prior to the physical laws being instantiated is beyond the purview of science. even though cosmological models aren’t science per se, all they do is kick the can down the road.

  106. 106
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    And traenorsworrthy, your linked evidence is found where????? No linked evidence, no support for your fuckwittery…..

  107. 107
    Ted Cikowski

    Saying that supernatural explanations for our universe being here is logical is silly. How many supernatural events have been witnessed? And calling various cosmology models “science fiction” is a bald assertion. Please debunk the Turock-Steinhart model please since you just asserted it is fiction.

  108. 108
    andrsib

    @102:

    a transcendent cause is a logically, philosophically reasonable conclusion.

    …and completely unnecessary. A transcendent cause does not add to our understanding of the universe even a tiny little bit. That was Sean’s point all along, and he actually said that if this was not the case, he would seriously consider it.

    P.s. Now let’s talk about personal biases. :)

  109. 109
    anteprepro

    I’m sorry, but if your best, stellar philosophical case for the existence of God, the argument that people most brag about being so consistent with cutting edge science and what not, involves:

    1. Pointing to an area that science acknowledges as a blind spot.
    2. Completely ignoring alternative hypotheses regarding that blind spot.

    Then you have an incredibly fucking shitty case for the existence of God.

  110. 110
    raven

    Trae Norseworthy:

    moreover, it has been well documented by multiple people that the scientific revolution was almost completely initiated by Christians for Christianity.

    It is true that the western scientific revolution was started by mostly xians. Roughly half of all scientists in the USA today are some sort of theist. I was one myself for 3 decades.

    It’s also completely irrelevant.

    Science is both religion and cultural neutral. Anyone anywhere using science comes up with the same answers. A giant squid swimming in methane seas on Jupiter would do so.

    Well OK, we now know that Trae is some sort of religious kook and doesn’t know much about anything. No surprise. Have fun, and don’t break the troll!!! They are very fragile and we’ve broken most of them which is why there aren”t many around any more.

  111. 111
    Ted Cikowski

    So Trae you agree with Vilenkin? Vilenkin did not say Craig was using it right Vilemkins own Arxiv says there are ways around the theorem

  112. 112
    anteprepro

    Wank off to the holy name of “metaphysics” all you want, but you ain’t got jack shit to support the God Hypothesis. No evidence, no logic, nothing. It all boils down to bullshit and bafflegab.

  113. 113
    Ted Cikowski

    By the way I like how you consider vilenkin the author but not guth. Nice! Liar 4 Jesus!

  114. 114
    raven

    1. Pointing to an area that science acknowledges as a blind spot.
    2. Completely ignoring alternative hypotheses regarding that blind spot.

    It’s god of the gaps.

    Lack of knowledge does not = god.

    Lack of knowledge = Lack of knowledge

  115. 115
    Ted Cikowski

    By the way if this is not about the data but the interpretation of it (even though wlc clearly doesn’t understand the data) why does Craig only accept the interpretation that favors his god story? For example he is in the minority on the issue of the philosophy of time, free will, lorentz ether theory, special relativity and more. Read the philpapers survey…most philosophers disagree with Craig as do most scientists. Then again Craig even admitted that of the evidence and his faith were at odds, he would side with his faith. Er saw that last night.

  116. 116
    anteprepro

    Ted Cikowski:

    By the way I like how you consider vilenkin the author but not guth. Nice! Liar 4 Jesus!

    Wow, good catch. I didn’t even notice that at first. What a dishonest little shitweasel.

    raven:

    Lack of knowledge does not = god.

    Actually, I’m pretty sure it does for most people! /obligatory joke

  117. 117
    anteprepro

    . Read the philpapers survey…most philosophers disagree with Craig as do most scientists. Then again Craig even admitted that of the evidence and his faith were at odds, he would side with his faith. Er saw that last night.

    And we also know that Billy Lane spouts out absurdities that fly in the face of logic and science like this , likes to show us his utter amorality like this , and do will occasionally do both simultaneously like this .

    He’s well known as a Master Debater and not well known for his philosophy cred for good reason.

  118. 118
    trae norsworthy

    ““Prior, before, after” are all classical notions. If you want a QM description, you will have to use wave functions that describe space-time itself. They are not “before” or “after”, they span across all time.”
    cosmology doesn’t work exclusively within the quantum level. classical physics has to be accounted for as well. in that regard, the big bang model does appropriately use those space time notions. this is relatively uncontroversial, unless you’re a cosmologist who hates quantum singularities.

    “Don’t confuse scientists with theologians. Lemaitre et all did not advance science by bringing God into it, quite the contrary — remember, what Lemaitre said to the pope about Big Bang being proof of God.”
    the point I was making was that much of scientific discovery is accidental. it wasn’t like there was a room full of cosmologists theorizing the big bang model. the idea that cosmologists are the highest authority in regards to the nature of the universe is just ludicrous and impoverished philosophers and theologians are just waiting around hoping for some bread crumbs to fall to the floor.

    “So, what does it say about the extreme uniformity of the early Universe, which did not have enough time to “thermalize”? What does it say about photon to barion ratios? Why there is matter but not antimatter?”
    the main difference is between empirically attested and not empirically attested. big bang falls in the former. the models carroll cited fall in the latter.

  119. 119
    anteprepro

    big bang falls in the former. the models carroll cited fall in the latter.

    Did you ever ponder the possibility that you might just be stupid and speaking with an amount of authority on the subject that is completely unwarranted?

  120. 120
    anteprepro

    the idea that cosmologists are the highest authority in regards to the nature of the universe is just ludicrous and impoverished philosophers and theologians are just waiting around hoping for some bread crumbs to fall to the floor.

    Nah, the philosophers and theologians are usually squabbling amongst themselves, and if they see a scientist wielding a good loaf of bread, they will easy go towards it and ask for a few pieces, or, in the case of theologians and “philosophers” like Craig, will just go berserk and try to tear the bread to smithereens. No one will be subsisting off of anything but horse turds on Billy Lane’s watch.

  121. 121
    trae norsworthy

    “How’d that one work out?”
    well, since science is still around, is healthy and theists are even still contributing, it must have worked out pretty good. the Christian enlightenment and modernist scientists must have laid a pretty good foundation.

    “[Citation needed]”
    transcendent cause is a reasonable philosophical, logical argument. crack open any decent philosophy book.

    “Excellent, then that entire argument is an admitted non-sequitur.”
    perhaps you missed the title of the debate.

  122. 122
    trae norsworthy

    “What is this big bang model? That the Universe just poofed into existence like Craig said wasn’t possible? Bang!”
    not possible without a transcendent cause was his point. and if that model is the case, then that circumstance calls for an explanation, a cause if you will. such a thing can’t happen on it’s own. ex nihilo, nihil fit.

  123. 123
    trae norsworthy

    “And your ALTERNITIVE IS WHAT???”
    to search for answers beyond the purview of science using something other than science? does that sound unreasonable to you?

    “That is the problem with those who ignore the science.”
    who’s ignoring science? I love science. I study it frequently. It just doesn’t answer all the questions of the universe. all things can’t be reduced to the language of science. science will never be able to disprove God’s existence.

    “but rather is presuppositional”
    you may not be aware of this but, science is presuppositional too. it is absolutely not free from bias or subjectivity. so many people have been brainwashed into thinking science is the only objective, empirical authority.

    “in the existence of an imaginary deity”
    the vast majority of people who have ever existed believe in something like that. it’s not imaginary to them. the problem may be that you’re expecting empirical proof of something that’s not empirically provable.

    “and the innerancy of a book of mythology/fiction”
    how do you know it’s not true?

  124. 124
    andrsib

    @118:

    the main difference is between empirically attested and not empirically attested. big bang falls in the former. the models carroll cited fall in the latter.

    Standard Big Bang does not even try to address these questions. It just postulates that at some moment the universe was in that state: inexplicably uniform, with the right photon to barion ratio, and such. It has absolutely nothing to tell what happened before that moment, and please don’t confuse this moment with the “birth” of the universe — it is not.

    At the moment Big Bang was proposed, it was not “empirically attested” either. That happened later. Let’s wait and see what will happen with the inflational theories. Science works this way, by making a lot of hypotheses, and then trying to disprove them all. The single survivor will become a new mainstream scientific theory. Theologians can just sit back and relax, because at the moment they don’t even know which one of the models they’ll have to reconcile with their “transcendent causes”.

  125. 125
    anteprepro

    transcendent cause is a reasonable philosophical, logical argument. crack open any decent philosophy book.

    Transcendent’s uses in philosophy are:
    -Bafflegab about an attribute of God being “outside of the world”
    -Bafflegab being outside of Aristotlean categories.
    -Bafflegab about something that is above consciousness but is objective
    -Metacognition

    And the transcendental argument for God….is an argument by Kant claiming that God exists because otherwise knowledge is not possible.

    Googling the specific term “transcendent cause” seems to lead predominantly to sites for churches, apologetics, and some theology sites.

    “Any decent philosophy book” indeed.

  126. 126
    anteprepro

    perhaps you missed the title of the debate.

    God and Cosmology? No, I didn’t miss it. Are you trying to give me an example of another non-sequitur? I mean, if you and Craig are both legitimately against using “models” to estimate what happened in the period that we can’t measure, very close in time to the Big Bang, then Craig’s entire debate strategy should have been saying “we don’t know, so yay, you can’t disprove our Space Ghost!”. But no, he went further and presented a “model” of linearity. And suggested that God is THE origin of that line. Perhaps you missed the point of logic?

    so many people have been brainwashed into thinking science is the only objective, empirical authority.

    Give us an alternative, you disingenuous twerp.

    The vast majority of people who have ever existed believe in something like that. it’s not imaginary to them.

    Good for them. They are wrong. Argumentum ad populum and argument from tradition, Philosophy Master.

    the problem may be that you’re expecting empirical proof of something that’s not empirically provable.

    Don’t pretend that suddenly Christians are deists. Theists claim God is active, did miracles, and still does miracles. You can prove that shit empirically. If it were actually happening. Which it isn’t. Hence, the null hypothesis, the parsiminious conclusion: There is no God hiding behind the scenes, pulling the strings.

    how do you know it’s not true?

    Are you fucking serious right now?

  127. 127
    trae norsworthy

    “Science eventually corrects itself.”
    1. science is never static enough for there to be a “correction” because at any point, there is not scientific consensus on all matters. I don’t agree with your underlying definition of what science is. scientists can’t even agree on the demarcation problem which is a philosophical problem, much less actual scientific issues. this definitely raises the question of why we have the perception that science is “progressing”. but, we have no idea of the ratio of observed phenomena:explanations because we don’t know the former quantity. thus, we certainly can’t know if the ratio is improving.
    2. all things cannot be reduced to the language of science.

    “What other ways of knowing. Religion?”
    how else do you propose to know things beyond the purview of science?

    “Religion gets everything wrong at the beginning because they just guess.”
    I don’t care much for institutional religion either. but I know some really wonderful religious people and they have great perspectives on things that are not scientific such as morality, purpose, origins, destiny, etc.

    “When it is pointed out to them, they kill the heretics if they can.”
    there are countless numbers of religious individuals who have done incalculable good. and there has been suffering on account of secularism. none of that disproves anything about religious beliefs.

    “This is the lie of theists.”
    no, it’s a fact. science is not completely objective or free from bias.

    “Science is pan cultural.”
    and yet still not completely objective nor universally authoritative.

    “Scientists everywhere in the world will converge on the truth.”
    name one discipline where there is complete accord on all matters.

    “This is BTW, simply a statement of Methodological Naturalism.”
    methodological naturalism, as powerful as it is, can’t even explain a simple dilemma like the mind body dynamic; intentionality, perception, identity, qualia, libertarian freedom, etc.

    “If that is all you have, stop wasting our time.”
    since you have the answers to the above rebuttals, I am ready to be enlightened.

  128. 128
    anteprepro

    What other ways of knowing. Religion?”
    how else do you propose to know things beyond the purview of science?

    Oh. My. Fucking. Christ. You seriously are proposing “religion” as your alternative “way of knowing”? It is to laugh!

    but I know some really wonderful religious people and they have great perspectives on things that are not scientific such as morality, purpose, origins, destiny, etc

    Great perspectives =/= Knowledge
    They have no method to their madness. They are just guessing, as was already mentioned. And, bonus, they are usually WRONG about “origins”. And talk out of both sides of their mouth on morality and purpose. But hey, if you trust them for some arbitrary reason, because you enjoy some of the conclusions reached by some religious people, well, how can we compete with that logic? That’s just knowledge overload right there.

    methodological naturalism, as powerful as it is, can’t even explain a simple dilemma like the mind body dynamic; intentionality, perception, identity, qualia, libertarian freedom,

    It’s getting there. Especially in regards to perception. And things like “libertarian freedom” might just be, ya know, wrong (you know, since most philosophers are compatibilists anyway).

  129. 129
    anteprepro

    Most of the problem is that philosophers and philosophy fanboiz and fangirlz aren’t keeping up with science and the way that it is undermining some of the assumptions made in their logical dilemmas. So they will continue to bleat on about how science hasn’t answered their question yet without really grasping how science is making their question look less relevant to how the world actually behaves. “The mind-body dynamic” is the key example of this. But, of course, scientists could also benefit from delving into philosophy more. I honestly wish the two parties would collaborate with each other more. Science without the guiding in philosophy will stumble blindly. Philosophy without grounding in science will ramble mindlessly.

  130. 130
    Ted Cikowski

    This is getting comical now.

    <>

    Not possible without a “Transcendent cause” eh? And how does he know this? Because he thinks there was a “beginning”, right? So of course it is transcendent, of course! Anything else is science fiction!

    William Lane Craig used to quote the Hawking-Penrose theorem deep into the 2000′s that said the Universe had a singularity. Victor Stenger told him during their debate that both Hawking and Penrose abandoned the theorem over 20 years ago. Did that make Craig admit he was wrong? NOPE! He actually kept quoting the theorem.

    And since Hawking and Penrose both wrote public papers that they do not believe in a singularity anymore right around 2007 (and previously, but somehow slipped the keen scientific radar of William Lane Craig) he latched onto the Borde, Guth, Vilenkin theorem because he desperately needs a beginning to make his special Kalam Cosmological Argument work.

    Alan Guth said this though:

    “”There is of course no conclusion that an eternally inflating model must have a unique beginning, and no conclusion that there is an upper bound on the length of all backwards-going geodesics from a given point. There may be models with regions of contraction embedded within the expanding region that could evade our theorem.” Source: http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0702178v1.pdf and then gives two examples potential examples of a Universe without a beginning: 1. http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0111191 and 2. http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0301042

    Now our friend here claims that Guth is inconsistent and that Vilenkin assured him he is right. Now let’s stop here for a second…do you think Trae Norsworthy has actually read any version of the Borde, Guth, Vilenkin Theorem? Honestly, does anyone here think he has read or is he just taking Craig’s word for it?

    The paper (http://arxiv.org/abs/gr-qc/0110012) actually says there is and I quote “a point in which the physics stop working”. It says “spacetimes are not past-complete” not that there was an absolute beginning because the authors actually disagree with each other to some degree.

    Craig was told this so then Craig started quoting a different paper altogether
    (http://arxiv.org/abs/arXiv:1204.4658) which Vilenkin says “Did the universe have a beginning? At this point, it seems that the answer to this question is probably yes”. Did Craig say that Vilenkin used the words “seems” and “probably”. Nope. He just ran with it and it shows the Universe has a beginning.

    Of course this is the same Vilenkin who writes books about the multiverse, and Craig has a problem with Vilenkin when he talks about the multiverse. Apparently it is ok to accept non peer reviewed papers from Vilenkin when it supports his presupposition but not when it goes against his presupposition.

    By the way…Trae calls the multiverse Sciene Fiction and String Theory is science fiction because it is mathematics.

    Guess what the BGV theorem is? Mathematics. And Vilenkin has even said he had to use some assumptions in the theorem. But Craig never mentons that and people like Trae get their cosmology from William Lane Craig and not actual cosmologists so he didn’t know that.

    Instead he disregards the math (by the way, the math is actually based on observation) and instead invokes the supernatural even though we have less evidence for anything supernatural than we do for a multiverse (and yes there is some evidence for a multiverse which we can go into if you like).

    By the way, I asked Trae to debunk the ekpyrotic model – which is fully compatible with the BGV theorem since he called it fiction. I am not arguing that it is correct, but he did make the positive assertion that it is fiction so I would like to hear. Thanks.

    By the way, I would LOVE to get into the Kalam “Cosmological” Argument, which is loaded with assumptions and quote mines but this doesn’t seem to be the place. But we can do that if you want.

  131. 131
    trae norsworthy

    “Here, metaphysics is just a way to bullshit everybody by saying “hey, I don’t know what happened, so it must have been magic!”.”
    I take it you’ve never taken a metaphysics or philosophy course.

    “First establish that the supernatural actually even exists.”
    and how would one go about that? you’re not expecting empirical proof of something not empirical, are you?

    “The nature of the universe is contingent? Missed the pressing evidence for that one.”
    yes, contingent. as in, didn’t and couldn’t have caused itself.

    “is instead just a flatly assumed item with which someone can play word games?”
    it’s a valid philosophical conclusion.

    “Untethered to your petty mortal ‘reality’, as you call it”
    ok, so prove that everything can eventually be described in the language of science. in other words, that there is nothing beyond the purview of science.

    “So what was the point of you mentioning the fact that the scientists around the time of the scientific revolution were Christian, again?”
    to show that science isn’t just for agnostics and atheists. there are to this day respected theists in science.

    “And that would be…what?”
    logic, philosophy, metaphysics. these are all viable methods of reasoning to people who haven’t unnecessarily shut that part of their brain off.

    “What is your superior, alternative method?”
    it’s not an alternative to science. gould describes it as non overlapping magisterial authority, if you agree with his description.

    “when they are rambling on about science ain’t so great?”
    at no point have I said science isn’t great. I just recognize it’s limitations and that there are non scientific things that need non scientific explanations. what’s with the mischaracterization?

    “The point that person you were responding was making is that we have scientific procedures that help to control for such bias, etc.”
    help to control, sure. control, no. scientific consensus is thoroughly illusive, despite 200 years of scientific “progress.”

  132. 132
    trae norsworthy

    “If one doesn’t believe in imaginary deities, nothing WLC says makes sense. I is all predicated on presuppositiional arguments. Toss out the presuppositions as non-parimonious, his arguments make no sense”
    if what you are saying is the case, then why do atheists and agnostics sometimes become deists or theists?

  133. 133
    anteprepro

    By the way, I would LOVE to get into the Kalam “Cosmological” Argument, which is loaded with assumptions and quote mines but this doesn’t seem to be the place. But we can do that if you want.

    If trae walks into the punch, might as well deliver it. It is more or less the perfect place, since that is what this debate was all about.

  134. 134
    anteprepro

    I take it you’ve never taken a metaphysics or philosophy course.

    You have been wrong about soooo much philosophy so far, that this is just so delightfully ironic.

    and how would one go about that? you’re not expecting empirical proof of something not empirical, are you?

    That’s a nice way to admit that it can’t be done and you are just assuming that the supernatural exists and assuming what it looks like and what it can do.

    yes, contingent. as in, didn’t and couldn’t have caused itself.

    We know that how? We don’t. We know that the supernatural is not contingent how? We don’t.
    Congratulations on coming up with arguments that are soooooo much better than “science fiction”.

    ok, so prove that everything can eventually be described in the language of science. in other words, that there is nothing beyond the purview of science.

    I don’t need to because that is not my argument. Prove that you have a reliable method of obtaining knowledge that rivals science. Prove that you can know what science can’t. Or admit that you are bullshitting. I’m waiting.

    to show that science isn’t just for agnostics and atheists. there are to this day respected theists in science.

    You are absolute fucking moron. Science, as it is today, undermines theism. That doesn’t mean that theists aren’t scientists and theists don’t use science. It just means that if they were intellectually honest, they would see a conflict. In data and methods. But they aren’t, so they don’t.

    gould describes it as non overlapping magisterial authority

    NOMA is bullshit because gods supposedly interact with the observable, physical world. Try again.

    And we end with compare and contrast!

    First:

    at no point have I said science isn’t great. I just recognize it’s limitations…what’s with the mischaracterization?

    Second:

    scientific consensus is thoroughly illusive, despite 200 years of scientific “progress.”

    Gee, I don’t know how I could have possibly come to the clearly mistaken conclusion that you were dismissive of science. My bad.

  135. 135
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    . I don’t agree with your underlying definition of what science is.

    Who is a real scientist, like myself should give a shit what you say after that presuppositional bullshit. I don’t. Nothing you say beyond that point is rational…..

  136. 136
    anteprepro

    if what you are saying is the case, then why do atheists and agnostics sometimes become deists or theists?

    Emotional manipulation, social dynamics, not being as logical as they were cracked up to be.

  137. 137
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    he vast majority of people who have ever existed believe in something like that. it’s not imaginary to them. t

    Actually fuckwit it is. Ask them for physical evidence that would pass muster with scientists, magicians, and professional debunkers as being of divine, and not natural (scientifically explained), origin. As I am of you. Put up or shut the fuck up. Lairs and bullshitters like you can’t evidence their imaginary deity, but can’t shut the fuck up about either. Both those options require honesty and integrity. Those who can’t put up, and can’t shut up, are prima facie liars and bullshiters. Your excuse is….

  138. 138
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    if what you are saying is the case, then why do atheists and agnostics sometimes become deists or theists?

    And this non-sequitur has what to do with what bullshit WLC spews?

  139. 139
    trae norsworthy

    “the Turock Steinhart model and the Hawking Hartel state are possible ways the universe can be here by natural means.”
    possible, yes. without problems, no. better empirical confirmation than big bang, no. scientific consensus, no. again, they push the question further back. what caused that system to come into being? hawking can say it comes into being uncaused but, that’s nonsensical, unreasonable, unscientific language and when you remove the imaginary time numbers, the same singularity problem arises. is speculative imaginary time more explanatory than a bgv implied singularity? as far as ekpyrotic models, where do the branes come from? why do they behave the way they do? why does their collision spark an inflationary event as opposed to some other outcome?

    “You saying the universe seems to require a supernatural expansion is without evidence.”
    it’s not a matter of empirical evidence. it’s a logical question that many people would like an answer to if there is a singularity. the debate was whether or not contemporary cosmology gives good reason for belief in God’s existence. carroll was inconsistent in his position.

  140. 140
    anteprepro

    “the Turock Steinhart model and the Hawking Hartel state are possible ways the universe can be here by natural means.”
    possible, yes. without problems, no. better empirical confirmation than big bang, no.

    Turock Steinhart model: Big Crunch before Big Bang
    Hawking Hartel: Time began with Big Bang

    BOTH ARE MODELS OF WHAT HAPPENED BEFORE THE BIG BANG! Of course they don’t have “better empirical confirmation than big bang” you ignorant fucking sophist. They are models that explain a gap in our knowledge. Handwave all you like, they are both a hell of lot better than “Jesus did it”.

  141. 141
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    the debate was whether or not contemporary cosmology gives good reason for belief in God’s existence. carroll was inconsistent in his position.

    Whereas WLC was nothing but presuppositional in his. With a presup that his imaginary deity exists, there is absolutely no need to invoke it, and we can require the equivalent of the eternally burning bush for evidence. Why aren’t you presenting that evidence??? It doesn’t exist, we both know that, but you are too dishonest to say so….

  142. 142
    trae norsworthy

    It’s just that WLC presumes time is linear and independent of space/matter and scientists don’t agree with him.

    I don’t think that’s the main point of contention. the main point of contention is whether or not a “beginning” begs for an ultimate causal explanation. theists answer in the affirmative. how the beginning is described or characterized is really somewhat irrelevant. carroll said it was the wrong kind of question to ask but, then why are scientists looking for that very answer, including carroll himself? so he turns to cosmological models that perhaps explain conditions prior to this universe but, don’t answer the MAIN POINT of the debate, ultimate origins.

    on the matter of time, he did acknowledge that a cause and its effect could be simultaneous. I don’t think he’s as concerned with the arrow of time as he is with causality.

  143. 143
    anteprepro

    Also, shit like this:

    it’s a valid philosophical conclusion.

    Basically just a flat-out argument from authority. Just to let know, Master of Fillosofee

  144. 144
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    The imaginary of the babble has descriptions of it interacting the with the real world performing miracles. Those miracles are in very short supply except with presuppitional believers like the RCC, but those alleged miracles not supported by scientific/skeptic/magician evidence….

    Now, where is the physical evidence for the deity in the babble……

  145. 145
    anteprepro

    I don’t think that’s the main point of contention. the main point of contention is whether or not a “beginning” begs for an ultimate causal explanation

    Bullshit. Those alternative models mean that there basically wasn’t a beginning to speak of.

    so he turns to cosmological models that perhaps explain conditions prior to this universe but, don’t answer the MAIN POINT of the debate, ultimate origins.

    The MAIN POINT is God and Cosmology. The MAIN POINT is that based on what we actually KNOW, Craig has no basis in saying that there is evidence or logical proof of God’s existence. The MAIN POINT is that there is no reason to believe that God exists, because the intuitive imagining of the Big Bang is not necessarily true. Craig failed, and you fail.

    I don’t think he’s as concerned with the arrow of time as he is with causality.

    And that is exactly his problem. He just simply assumes that and doesn’t concern himself with how changing his assumptions might affect his result.

  146. 146
    anteprepro

    I notice the fuckwit elided this part of the comment of mine they responded to:

    The models are alternative explanations about the state before (or in the period after in which we don’t have information regarding) the Big Bang. WLC and Carroll share that well supported model that is confirmed by testable observable phenomena (The Big Bang)

    So, trae, not gonna argue that point? Are you going to admit that the shit you have been spewing about Carroll’s models being in conflict with the Big Bang was in error? Because you were too lazy to just google some of this shit before you barged in here pretending to be expert in both cosmology and philosophy? Or you are just going to try to silently squirm your way onward?

  147. 147
    trae norsworthy

    “Supernatural of the Gaps” doesn’t trump cosmological models.

    I’m not arguing for a “god of the gaps” reasoning. I have simply connoted a philosophical, logical and epistemological causality.

    Even on a philosophical level.

    respectfully, I feel like if your philosophical understanding were robust enough, you would know that this statement is false. first, you mischaracterized what I was describing. second, my actual position is not philosophically or epistemologically controversial.

    Science fiction is still more grounded in reality than outright Fantasy.

    now you’re just getting silly. science fiction is fiction. as in not true or real. and the position I described is not fantasy. as I said, check any decent philosophy or epistemology book. a supra scientific effect could most certainly warrant a transcendent or “supernatural” cause. empirical phenomena are not all there is to life. I’ve listed several phenomena already.

  148. 148
    trae norsworthy

    Saying that supernatural explanations for our universe being here is logical is silly.

    of course a nontheist would say that. theists disagree with you. an effect that is beyond the purview of science can very well warrant a transcendent cause. it’s quite facile actually. everything cannot be reduced to the language of science. some things require a nonscientific explanation. it’s just not as threatening or controversial as some people are making it out to be.

    And calling various cosmology models “science fiction” is a bald assertion. Please debunk the Turock-Steinhart model please since you just asserted it is fiction.

    I didn’t say they were fiction. I said they were akin to fiction. they are science like. I asked some questions about t-s in another post. i’ll let you respond to them there.

  149. 149
    anteprepro

    I’m not arguing for a “god of the gaps” reasoning. I have simply connoted a philosophical, logical and epistemological causality.

    Oh god, the laughter. Continuing the long trend of theists insisting, for serious, that they aren’t using “god of the gaps” arguments and then illustrating that they are either liars or have no idea what “god of the gaps” IS.

    respectfully, I feel like if your philosophical understanding were robust enough, you would know that this statement is false.

    respectfully, you are talking out of your ass. You have said something like this several times and every time that there was even something minimally fact-checkable, you’ve been wrong. I’m not taking your word on this, because your impression of An Expert is not very convincing.

    now you’re just getting silly. science fiction is fiction. as in not true or real. and the position I described is not fantasy.

    Fantasy is fiction too. As in not true or real. And let me get this straight: you get to decide that cosmological models presented by actual scientists are “science fiction” but I can’t call your “I dunno, so SPACE GHOST DUNNIT!!!” arguments “fantasy”? In addition to being an expert in cosmology and philosophy, are you also the grand dictator of genres as well?

    as I said, check any decent philosophy or epistemology book.

    One, that hardly counts as a citation.
    Two, I am not going to do the homework needed to make your arguments for you, you lazy fuck.

  150. 150
    trae norsworthy

    and completely unnecessary.

    you might not want an answer but, some people do. to them, it’s a necessary question to try to answer. and they understand that it’s not a scientific question. therefore, using science to try to get around it is unsatisfying. using science to supplant it is just a category mistake.

    A transcendent cause does not add to our understanding of the universe even a tiny little bit.

    some people will completely disagree with you because they understand that everything can’t be reduced to the language of science. not all matters are scientific matters. moreover, there are theists who are completely comfortable that science and their beliefs are perfectly compatible.

  151. 151
    anteprepro

    of course a nontheist would say that. theists disagree with you. an effect that is beyond the purview of science can very well warrant a transcendent cause. it’s quite facile actually. everything cannot be reduced to the language of science. some things require a nonscientific explanation. it’s just not as threatening or controversial as some people are making it out to be.

    Of course you would think it is uncontroversial, you are a theist. And of course other people think it is uncontroversial, most of them are theists too. Maybe they should check their biases? Just because everything can’t be reduced to “the language of science” doesn’t mean you can say “anything goes!” as soon as you cross over beyond science’s borders.

    I didn’t say they were fiction. I said they were akin to fiction.

    ORLY?

    carroll cited models that are little more than science fiction…..

    so let’s trot out science fiction and pretend it’s as reliable as a time honored model…

    cosmological models aren’t any more valuable than a high school science fiction short story….

    the only reason to reject it in favor of science fiction is because of an antisupernatural bias….

    Could have fooled me. Theists really do suck when it comes to metaphors, I guess.

  152. 152
    anteprepro

    Why do I get the feeling that we have another broken record troll on our hands?

  153. 153
    robertwilson

    Shorter trae norsworthy: Making shit up is just as valid as finding things out.

    I fail to see the difference between a valid philosophical conclusion in trae’s eyes and an internally consistent fiction. It’s a level of sophisticated philosophy indistinguishable from arguing cannon in any number of fictional universes.

  154. 154
    trae norsworthy

    Science is both religion and cultural neutral.

    absolutely false. this is just head in the sand behavior. I know well respected scientists who don’t even pretend that this is the case. there seems to be a complete lack of understanding of philosophy of science around here. scientific method is not a step by step flowchart that everyone follows mindlessly. scientific method is a cluster of practices that vary between the disciplines. these practices are not even agreed upon by all in the scientific community.

    Anyone anywhere using science comes up with the same answers

    absolutely false. otherwise, there would be 100% accord on all observable phenomena. there would be no need for science to “progress” because no one would question the method at all. there would be no need for refinement of processes, theories, conclusions, etc.

  155. 155
    trae norsworthy

    So Trae you agree with Vilenkin?

    the reasoning is sound.

    Vilenkin did not say Craig was using it right

    he didn’t say that wlc was employing it incorrectly that I’m aware of. it’s not like wlc is the only person who invokes bgv in that way. if they were all getting it wrong, you would think one of the 3 would be in an uproar.

  156. 156
    anteprepro

    there seems to be a complete lack of understanding of philosophy of science around here.

    Excellent self diagnosis, though it should “ or science”. A for effort, though.

  157. 157
    anteprepro

    he didn’t say that wlc was employing it incorrectly that I’m aware of. it’s not like wlc is the only person who invokes bgv in that way. if they were all getting it wrong, you would think one of the 3 would be in an uproar.

    GUTH WAS CALLED INTO THIS VERY FUCKING DEBATE TO SAY HE WAS USING IT WRONG!

    What the fuck is wrong with you?

  158. 158
    trae norsworthy

    Wank off to the holy name of “metaphysics” all you want,

    I don’t worship metaphysics. I accept it for what it is and for what it explains. you seem really threatened by it. I feel the same way with science. it’s incredibly cool and I really enjoy studying it. however, I’m perfectly comfortable in acknowledging that it can’t explain everything.

    but you ain’t got jack shit to support the God Hypothesis. No evidence, no logic, nothing

    interesting. so all the brilliant atheists who became theists what, got stupid all the sudden? they were convinced of something right? clearly, most everyone who has ever lived feels like there actually is something to support the existence of God. like evidence and logic. now, I’m sure you’re going to protest that there isn’t evidence but, you’re probably expecting empirical evidence of something not empirical. as far as logic, it is there. you might disagree with it or misunderstand it but, it’s there.

  159. 159
    anteprepro

    I suggest you might want to examine your biases. Because they are clearly, blatantly, dramatically, ridiculously affecting your reasoning, norsy.

  160. 160
    trae norsworthy

    By the way I like how you consider vilenkin the author but not guth.

    I never said he was the only author. I’ve made multiple references to bgv. this isn’t really a big deal for you is it? it just seems kind of paltry in the overall scheme of the discussion

  161. 161
    anteprepro

    so all the brilliant atheists who became theists what, got stupid all the sudden?

    And what of the religious people who became atheists? I’m not going to defend the logic of other atheists. Unlike you, I am not a mindless apologist for any and every argument that might support my current position. I have standards.

    clearly, most everyone who has ever lived feels like there actually is something to support the existence of God. like evidence and logic.

    More like gut feelings, illogic, and a dash of groupthink.

    now, I’m sure you’re going to protest that there isn’t evidence but, you’re probably expecting empirical evidence of something not empirical. as far as logic, it is there. you might disagree with it or misunderstand it but, it’s there.

    Again, too lazy to actually make your own arguments. Just gonna make vague allusions and pretend that some expert out there somewhere has made the conclusive argument. I mean, sure, you are here, defending the ridiculous apologetics of Billy Lane, but I am sure that there is logic and evidence out there. Elsewhere. That is WAAAAAY too important and too difficult to understand for you to actually discuss. So instead you are just going to continue to defend Billy Lane and babble about cosmology. Because we gotta keep things simple, when dealing with the tangential subjects that in no way is meant to prove God’s existence. Priorities.

  162. 162
    anteprepro

    this isn’t really a big deal for you is it? it just seems kind of paltry in the overall scheme of the discussion

    You bring up WLC talking to one author and allegedly getting that author to say that he doesn’t misunderstand it, in order to completely ignore the other author who, in this very debate, came in to say that WLC doesn’t understand it. Yes, your dishonesty on the subject is kind of a big deal.

  163. 163
    trae norsworthy

    By the way if this is not about the data but the interpretation of it (even though wlc clearly doesn’t understand the data) why does Craig only accept the interpretation that favors his god story? For example he is in the minority on the issue of the philosophy of time, free will, lorentz ether theory, special relativity and more.

    my comment was in the context of empirical data (i.e. the scientific method), not the issues you then subsequently listed. as for your list, I’m not interested in whether or not he’s in the minority on those issues. he’s got a good reason for his stance on time; Newtonian vs einsteinian. that goes for relativity as well. good for him. free will, not an issue for me. etc. none of this is really pertinent to the debate though.

  164. 164
    trae norsworthy

    Nah, the philosophers and theologians are usually squabbling amongst themselves

    yeah because this never happens among scientists or cosmologists.

  165. 165
    anteprepro

    as for your list, I’m not interested in whether or not he’s in the minority on those issues. he’s got a good reason for his stance on time; Newtonian vs einsteinian. that goes for relativity as well. good for him. free will, not an issue for me. etc. none of this is really pertinent to the debate though

    Wait…did you just say Craig is using Newtonian physics, and that he has GOOD REASON for this? And that it isn’t relevant to the debate? You are fucking ridiculous.

  166. 166
    trae norsworthy

    please don’t confuse this moment with the “birth” of the universe — it is not.

    but it most certainly implies a birth.

    At the moment Big Bang was proposed, it was not “empirically attested” either. That happened later. Let’s wait and see what will happen with the inflational theories.

    as I have said, the difference is that big bang cosmology doesn’t kick the can down the road like inflationary models do. I’m fine with inflationary theories being true. the same question is hanging out there. I’d like to know an answer and I know it’s not coming from science. again, even carroll admitted that the language of science is not ubiquitously applicable.

  167. 167
    anteprepro

    yeah because this never happens among scientists or cosmologists.

    Usually at least they can find a way to resolve it. Usually. If a squabble arises in philosophy, it is much harder. If a squabble arises in theology…it is virtually unresolvable. Because at least philosophy cares about logic, unlike theology (as you are making abundantly clear for any poor soul who happens to bother reading all of this shit).

  168. 168
    brianpansky

    @166
    trae norsworthy

    but it most certainly implies a birth.

    if it’s so certain i guess you can back that up somehow?

  169. 169
    brianpansky

    @166

    the difference is that big bang cosmology doesn’t kick the can down the road like inflationary models do.

    not sure what you are getting at here.

    I’d like to know an answer and I know it’s not coming from science.

    this is vague, answer to what?

  170. 170
    trae norsworthy

    if you and Craig are both legitimately against using “models” to estimate what happened in the period that we can’t measure, very close in time to the Big Bang

    neither I nor wlc have said that we are against that. wlc’s point was that the current model is significantly more explanatory and confirmed. moreover, that model implies a beginning. a beginning begs an ultimate cause. perhaps if you wouldn’t misrepresent what you are critiquing, you would understand it.

    Give us an alternative, you disingenuous twerp.

    1. it’s not an alternative. different epistemological paradigms have their own spheres of influence and operation. you’re creating a false dilemma. they can coexist and even overlap.
    2. what’s with the childish name calling?
    3. you seem angry.

    They are wrong.

    somehow, I don’t think your retort is going to be persuasive to them. do you have any sort of substantive response other than nuh unh

    Argumentum ad populum and argument from tradition, Philosophy Master.

    1. you know that those are not necessarily fallacies, right? the beliefs of the majority and tradition can be true.
    2. I wasn’t arguing for the majority or tradition. I was saying that your blithe dismissal is not a robust or compelling objection to the innumerable people who disagree with you and can give many reasons why they are theists.

    You can prove that shit empirically.

    really? and what scientific test would you apply that could detect God’s activity? something seemingly miraculous could happen and no scientific test in the world could reproduce it or detect any sort of supernatural cause. this is because methodological naturalism isn’t designed for that. it has human imposed restrictions that the mind is not necessarily limited to. so, no. you can’t prove it empirically. all you could “prove” is the effect, not the cause.

    Are you fucking serious right now?

    so I asked for you to substantiate your position and you can’t. that’s all you had to say.

  171. 171
    brianpansky

    *@ my169 post where i ask “answer to what?”

    oh, right, answer to this part:

    “Craig is just playing god of the gaps. Just because we don’t know what came before the Big Bang doesn’t prove god exists. Lack of knowledge does not = god.”
    it’s not a lack of knowledge. thinking that a lack of empirical proof equals a metaphysical disproof is a category mistake. again, a transcendent cause is a logically, philosophically reasonable conclusion. the only reason to reject it in favor of science fiction is because of an antisupernatural bias.

    so here you say there isn’t a lack of knowledge.

    so please supply the knowledge.

  172. 172
    andrsib

    @166:

    but it most certainly implies a birth.

    No, it does not. Get over it. :)

  173. 173
    Rob Grigjanis

    Why anything Craig says about physics should be greeted with howls of laughter (my bolding);

    Most theorists resolve the [twin] “paradox” by adopting a four-dimensional view of reality, such as was proposed by Herrmann Minkowski, which does away with reference frames and enduring three-dimensional objects in favor of shifting perspectives on four-dimensional objects in spacetime. But such a view, if taken metaphysically seriously, entails a tenseless theory of time which comes with a very high and, I think, unacceptable, price philosophically and theologically.

    Reality will never come between Bill and his god.

  174. 174
    Al Dente

    I don’t worship metaphysics. I accept it for what it is and for what it explains

    What does metaphysics explain, besides “we don’t know the answer to a question so we’ll pull something out of our collective asses”? It’s like theology, which is a bunch of people guessing about what an imaginary being thinks, using mythology invented by bronze age goat herders.

  175. 175
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    trae norsworthy #170

    something seemingly miraculous could happen and no scientific test in the world could reproduce it or detect any sort of supernatural cause.

    If you can’t detect the cause, then all you can honestly say is that you don’t know what the cause was. An assertion that the cause was “supernatural” (whatever the fuck that word is supposed to mean) is just that—an assertion.

  176. 176
    anteprepro

    neither I nor wlc have said that we are against that. wlc’s point was that the current model is significantly more explanatory and confirmed.

    [citation needed]

    1. you know that those are not necessarily fallacies, right? the beliefs of the majority and tradition can be true.
    2. I wasn’t arguing for the majority or tradition. I was saying that your blithe dismissal is not a robust or compelling objection to the innumerable people who disagree with you

    One, fallacy doesn’t mean wrong, it means that the logic isn’t good enough to justify the conclusion.
    Two, you say you aren’t doing that, and immediately do it again.

    really? and what scientific test would you apply that could detect God’s activity? something seemingly miraculous could happen and no scientific test in the world could reproduce it or detect any sort of supernatural cause. this is because methodological naturalism isn’t designed for that.

    Hear that guys? Science can’t detect God “stopping the sun”. Science can’t detect a God Made Flesh walking on water, turning water into wine, multiplying food products, reviving the dead, curing leprosy, or unblinding the blind . Science can’t detect a woman turned to salt. Science can’t detect virgin births. Science can’t detect a plague of darkness. Science can’t detect the magical death of first born children. Science can’t detect talking burning bushes. Science can’t detect manna from Heaven. Science can’t detect the parting of the ocean. Science can’t detect talking animals. Nope, miracles are all very mysterious and subtle and completely fly under the radar.

    so I asked for you to substantiate your position and you can’t. that’s all you had to say.

    So our Sophisticated Theologian here is also under the impression that the Bible really is inerrant. Just fucking wow.

  177. 177
    raven

    eally? and what scientific test would you apply that could detect God’s activity?

    All of them and more. Detecting god would be like detecting your cat.

    1. If your xian god existed, he would be as common and taken for granted as trees and water. God would have his own Youtube channel, cable TV channel, radio program, and web site. These are tasks well within the abilities of an intelligent third grader.

    If god isn’t as powerful as a third grader, then why call him god?

    2. Which god? There are thousands at least. There could easily be herds of them, a popular idea still common in the world.

    3. Xianity fails on a many levels. The claim is that god is all powerful. What we see is that god is nowhere, does nothing, and requires humans to do anything.

  178. 178
    raven

    Glad I got bored and bailed. Tae is a typical low grade xian apologist, just stringing words together.

    FWIW, Tae is using a common xian trick. Flipping between the philosopher’s god and the fundie xian Sky Monster god.

    1. When asked to prove their claims, they retreat to the philosophers god, an unfalsifiable deity hiding behind the Big Bang.

    2. Among themselves, they flip back. Their god is an Invisible Sky Monster. The one who hates who they hate and wants them to have what they want. Which is to send money to their chosen prophets, hate gays, atheists, women, and Moslems, and vote for the Tea Party.

  179. 179
    Anri

    trae norsworthy @ 158:

    interesting. so all the brilliant atheists who became theists what, got stupid all the sudden? they were convinced of something right? clearly, most everyone who has ever lived feels like there actually is something to support the existence of God. like evidence and logic. now, I’m sure you’re going to protest that there isn’t evidence but, you’re probably expecting empirical evidence of something not empirical. as far as logic, it is there. you might disagree with it or misunderstand it but, it’s there.

    Did they all become the same flavor of theist?

    Because if not, that doesn’t really improve your argument.

    (If you don’t understand why, let me ask this question: of all of the different religions they ended up accepting, which one got it right? Or, to put it another way, has any atheist ever converted to an irrational religion?)

  180. 180
    raven

    interesting. so all the brilliant atheists who became theists what, got stupid all the sudden?

    Tae is a veritable fountain of fallacies. It’s amusing if you don’t mind playing simple games.

    1. Those brilliant atheists are very few who convert. I suspect he means Anthony Flew, who was senile and near death when he supposedly converted.

    2. The bigger story is that US xianity is losing 2 million members a year. People go both ways but US xianity is dying. People leave on the basis of best and brightest first.

    3. Most of us, including myself, are ex-xians. We know why people deconvert.

    4. The big story in religion is the rise of the Nones. In a century, we have gone from about zero to a billion people. If Nones were a religion, they would be the third largest.

    5. Tae makes the Argument from Popularity. It doesn’t work. Xians only make up 28% of the world. Most xians aren’t creationists world wide. And xians are split into 42,000 and growing sects that all disagree with each other.

    Instead of a consensus, theism is a constantly diverging collection of beliefs. Which is what you expect when it is not grounded in the real world, and has no way to reality check.

  181. 181
    Anri

    trae norsworthy @ 170:

    neither I nor wlc have said that we are against that. wlc’s point was that the current model is significantly more explanatory and confirmed. moreover, that model implies a beginning. a beginning begs an ultimate cause. perhaps if you wouldn’t misrepresent what you are critiquing, you would understand it.

    On the assumption that I have misunderstood and should therefore ask for clarification:
    Are you saying all things require causes?
    Or are you saying that some things require causes and some things don’t?

    Also-

    really? and what scientific test would you apply that could detect God’s activity?

    What specific activity are you positing for god? Correct me if I’m wrong, but you’re actually the one making the claim that god does anything at all, yes? So, ok, what does god do and what supports your claim?

  182. 182
    David Marjanović

    heck, he [Carroll] even granted during the q&a that there was still room for God to work outside of a multiverse.

    …That’s the most mocking version of Deism that’s theoretically conceivable. It allows a god that shuts up and sits in the invisible corner forever.

    “Granted”? “Granted” my ass.

    Theism is simply being reduced to some sort of mental gymnastics to fit God into whatever model science comes up with.

    Exactly.

    heck, even quantum physics has more confirmation than cosmological models.

    “Even”? Quantum electrodynamics is tied with general relativity as the best-confirmed theory ever (18 significant digits of congruence between prediction and observation)!

    I don’t get it. WLC sticks to actual methodological naturalism (big bang cosmology) and people complain that he didn’t utilize science.

    No. People complain, first of all Carroll, that WLC hasn’t understood the physics he’s talking about, and therefore misrepresents them.

    “And, of course, no amount of theism can help us to answer any of those questions.”
    this is definitely provocative. there are still plenty of theists in science and some of them contribute at high levels.

    They contribute. Their theism does not.

    WLC said repeatedly that he was not using big bang cosmology as a rigorous mathematical, scientific proof of God’s existence.

    Good, because there’s no such thing as a scientific proof.

    for one, there is the question of why there is something rather than nothing. science will never be able to answer that question because it’s beyond the purview of science.

    There is an answer, and it’s very similar to the 2nd law of thermodynamics: there are many more ways of there being something than of there being nothing. There’s no reason to expect there to be nothing – quite the opposite!

    here, metaphysics provides the reasonable argument that the natural universe can’t pull itself up by it’s own bootstraps

    It’s not reasonable. It’s intuitive; it appeals to common sense; but it’s not reasonable.

    second, the nature of the universe is contingent which presupposes something necessary.

    Looks like someone has overlooked Heisenberg’s uncertainty relation.

    Stuff doesn’t so much happen because it must; it happens because it can.

    the problem here is the deception that all things can be reduced to the language of science. science most certainly cannot answer all questions. it never will be able to.

    Fine, fine. But what makes you think, a priori no less, that this question in particular is one of those that “science most certainly cannot answer”?

    science arises from people making observations about the environment.

    …Depends on what you mean by “arise”. Observations are necessary for testing hypotheses, not for generating them.

    Faraday belonged to a sect that ascribed enormous metaphysical importance to circles. So Faraday assumed for religious reasons that electricity moves in circles, then he tested this hypothesis – and discovered electric circulation.

    science changes all the time because people’s sensibilities change. what was scientifically true yesterday does not always remain so.

    The Relativity of Wrong

    (1) something has to provide explanations (2) when science has reached its demarcation.

    (1) Something has to? Why? What makes you think so? What gives you this optimism?
    (2) Has science reached some kind of limit? Why do you think it has?

    Craig still believes in the A theory of time

    What is that?

    and they certainly don’t provide any sort of reason to not believe in God.

    Sure they do: they provide much more parsimonious alternatives to the god hypothesis.

    at least transcendent cause has a reasonable philosophical case that can be made for it.

    Namely?

    and herein lies a major misconception; that the issue is about science. it isn’t. it’s about the implications of science. the data isn’t in question.

    Carroll had to discuss that anyway, because Craig had misunderstood so, so much.

    cosmology doesn’t work exclusively within the quantum level. classical physics has to be accounted for as well.

    *eyeroll* Classical physics is accounted for automatically, because it’s a simplification of quantum physics that only holds for certain conditions.

    *facepalm*
    *headshake*

    “What is this big bang model? That the Universe just poofed into existence like Craig said wasn’t possible? Bang!”

    not possible without a transcendent cause was his point. and if that model is the case, then that circumstance calls for an explanation, a cause if you will. such a thing can’t happen on it’s own. ex nihilo, nihil fit.

    You’ve seriously never heard of virtual particles = quantum fluctuations?

    Seriously?

    How many decades have you been sleeping?

    science will never be able to disprove God’s existence.

    Not if the god is ineffable enough, meaning carefully designed to evade testability – no.

    you may not be aware of this but, science is presuppositional too. it is absolutely not free from bias or subjectivity.

    That’s not what “presuppositional” means.

    the vast majority of people who have ever existed believe in something like that. it’s not imaginary to them.

    Wow, that’s not even what “imaginary” means!

    How many more words have you redefined like this? :-)

    and the innerancy of a book of mythology/fiction

    how do you know it’s not true?

    Er, it contradicts both itself and observable reality, often both at the same time?

    Just saying…

    this definitely raises the question of why we have the perception that science is “progressing”. but, we have no idea of the ratio of observed phenomena:explanations because we don’t know the former quantity. thus, we certainly can’t know if the ratio is improving.

    GPS.
    Your argument is invalid.

    2. all things cannot be reduced to the language of science.

    What does that have to do with the ability of science to correct itself???

    I know some really wonderful religious people and they have great perspectives on things that are not scientific such as morality, purpose, origins, destiny, etc.

    Morality is for ethics, not for religion.
    Origin is for science.
    The question of whether such things as “purpose” and “destiny” exist is also for science: the principle of parsimony is part of the scientific method.

    Science is pan cultural.

    and yet still not completely objective nor universally authoritative.

    You’re trying to make the speculative perfect the enemy of the real good.

    Scientists everywhere in the world will converge on the truth.

    name one discipline where there is complete accord on all matters.

    Define “discipline”, “accord” and “matter”.

    Or let me turn it around. In 1968, plate tectonics was discovered. By 1975 there weren’t any geologists who still thought the continents and the ocean floors weren’t moving. Oh, sure, they immediately started disagreeing about the precise details of how this happens, so perhaps this doesn’t qualify as complete accord on all matters; but it’s a quite impressive example of a revolution in science that did not, like Kuhn apparently thought was inevitable, have to wait for an entire generation to die.

    methodological naturalism, as powerful as it is, can’t even explain a simple dilemma like the mind body dynamic; intentionality, perception, identity, qualia, libertarian freedom, etc.

    Mind is what the brain does.

    Here is a philosophical article called “Quining Qualia”, and here is one about free will… enjoy them!

    First establish that the supernatural actually even exists.

    and how would one go about that? you’re not expecting empirical proof of something not empirical, are you?

    *eyeroll* You always with your empirical proof! That’s not how science even works! How about some evidence that can be more parsimoniously explained if we assume something supernatural than if we don’t?

    what caused that system to come into being? hawking can say it comes into being uncaused but, that’s nonsensical, unreasonable, unscientific language

    See, this just shows you don’t know what you’re talking about.

    the main point of contention is whether or not a “beginning” begs for an ultimate causal explanation. theists answer in the affirmative.

    They do so because they still haven’t understood Heisenberg’s uncertainty relation, which was published in 1927.

    scientific method is a cluster of practices that vary between the disciplines. these practices are not even agreed upon by all in the scientific community.

    Falsification and parsimony. That’s the scientific method. Try to find me a scientist who doesn’t use it.

    interesting. so all the brilliant atheists who became theists

    …Please name one.

    a beginning begs an ultimate cause.

    False.

    1. you know that those are not necessarily fallacies, right? the beliefs of the majority and tradition can be true.

    There’s no point in bringing them up, because their conclusions aren’t any more likely to be true than those arrived at by any other method.

    Besides… they are fallacies. Whenever their conclusions are right, they are so for the wrong reason!

    Why anything Craig says about physics should be greeted with howls of laughter (my bolding);

    Yep, it’s Craig making an argument from consequences like he has no shame.

    1. Those brilliant atheists are very few who convert. I suspect he means Anthony Flew, who was senile and near death when he supposedly converted

    …to Deism, not any kind of theism.

  183. 183
    knowknot

    103 trae norsworthy

    antisupernatural bias

    Winner of the Frank Luntz Renaming Things prize for 2014. It’s done, folks

  184. 184
    brianpansky

    hey i missed this one:

    things that are not scientific such as morality

    richard carrier makes a good case for why morality is within the reach of science. (scroll down to the section that starts with “breaking it down into easier to follow units”)

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/carrier/archives/4498

  185. 185
    nick260682

    Anyone else think WLC sounds very much like Krang from Teenage Mutant Ninja (Hero if you were in the UK) Turtles? I mean, I struggle to take the guy seriously anyway, but now I keep imagining him as a pink brain in someone’s midriff.

  186. 186
    David Marjanović

    richard carrier makes a good case for why morality is within the reach of science.

    That’s if we define morality as Greater Hedonism, which is very much to my liking, but certainly not to everyone else’s.

  187. 187
    brianpansky

    @186

    That’s if we define morality as Greater Hedonism.

    no, actually.

    he defines morality as those imperatives which are more imperative than any other imperatives.

    which is very much to my liking, but certainly not to everyone else’s.

    his model actually works for all people’s “liking” (desire, satisfaction, etc).

    if you want to continue talking about this, i recommend his comment section where he responds (i searched for your name there and didn’t find it) because it may get quite off topic.

  188. 188
    David Marjanović

    he defines morality as those imperatives which are more imperative than any other imperatives.

    o_O

    if you want to continue talking about this

    No, thanks – I’d need to read the whole thing first, and that’d take hours.

  189. 189
    David Marjanović

    But thank you for bringing it to my attention!

  190. 190
    archi

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07QUPuZg05I
    I hope it will last this time.

  191. 191
    Sam Johnson

    Here’s the debate with all of the intermissions removed and youtube comments and ratings turned on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXdYtAwH33k

  192. 192
    trae norsworthy

    Because if not, that doesn’t really improve your argument.

    (If you don’t understand why, let me ask this question: of all of the different religions they ended up accepting, which one got it right? Or, to put it another way, has any atheist ever converted to an irrational religion?)

    which is of course, missing the point. the point is that people in this thread employ ad hominem against Christians with impunity. but, the atheists who have become theists completely undermine the presumption that once a person becomes “educated” they leave religion. those atheists were aware of the best arguments against theism and yet, were unconvinced by them. the mantra is that Christians are uneducated about science, et al. if they became educated, they would not be able to retain their religious beliefs. moreover, there are theists in science who actually contribute to peer reviewed journals, research, make discoveries, etc. this completely goes against the customary criticisms of Christians/theists.

    there are plenty of examples of critiques of wlc because he’s not a scientist. but, there have always been plenty of people who have a proficient understanding of science, even though they their vocation isn’t a scientific discipline. he turns to a certain belief when science reaches it’s limits whereas sean carroll turns to another. the notion that carroll’s belief is superior because it is allegedly scientific is spurious because that notion of science is flawed to begin with. science is not neutral, objective, purely realist, ubiquitously explanatory, infallible, unchanging, clearly demarcated, etc. therefore, carroll’s metaphysical speculations using science like language is prima facie no more reasonable than wlc’s rationale, even if carroll is ultimately right.

  193. 193
    trae norsworthy

    Those brilliant atheists are very few who convert.

    the quantity isn’t really relevant. it’s not supposed to happen according to atheists.

    I suspect he means Anthony Flew

    he’s one example

    who was senile and near death when he supposedly converted

    the obligatory ad hominem. and “supposedly” thrown in. as if it’s in doubt.

    The bigger story is that US xianity is losing 2 million members a year. People leave on the basis of best and brightest first.

    people are leaving organized religion but, America is as spiritual as ever. atheism is variously numbered anywhere from 1% to 4% of americans. the majority of americans consider religion an important part of their lives.

    Tae makes the Argument from Popularity

    1. I have explicitly said I’m not making that argument. 2. I’m not arguing for Christianity. these are quintessential examples of the misrepresentation that is typical in places like this.

    And xians are split into 42,000 and growing sects that all disagree with each other.

    I invite you to read about Melanchthon’s adiaphora or al mohler’s spiritual triage. the “disagreements” are almost always about peripheral matters unless you include pseudo Christian groups.

  194. 194
    trae norsworthy

    Are you saying all things require causes? Or are you saying that some things require causes and some things don’t?

    the question is where this universe came from. if it had a beginning, what caused it? even if this universe came from something prior, what caused the prior condition? an infinite regress is logically impossible nor is it necessary in and of itself. so, what is the cause that transcends everything else?

    What specific activity are you positing for god?

    my overall point was to differentiate empirical events vs things that lie beyond. methodological naturalism and/or science only goes so far. that’s why philosophers turn to metaphysics. everything can’t be reduced to the language of science.

  195. 195
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    trae norsworthy #192

    but, the atheists who have become theists completely undermine the presumption that once a person becomes “educated” they leave religion.

    Who has made that presumption?

    “Groups of better educated-people tend to contain more atheists” “All well-educated people are atheists.”

  196. 196
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    trae norsworthy #194

    my overall point was to differentiate empirical events vs things that lie beyond. methodological naturalism and/or science only goes so far. that’s why philosophers turn to metaphysics. everything can’t be reduced to the language of science.

    If you can’t test the validity of your idea by using some form of real-world observation, then all you have is an untested idea, no matter how attractive it seems, or how good the chain of logic which it depends on.

  197. 197
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    science is not neutral, objective, purely realist, ubiquitously explanatory, infallible, unchanging, clearly demarcated, etc. therefore, carroll’s metaphysical speculations using science like language is prima facie no more reasonable than wlc’s rationale, even if carroll is ultimately right.

    But, unlike WLC and other fuckwitted presuppositionalists, science does try to get it right. WLC doesn’t care about right, only that he doesn’t deny his imaginary deity, or his mythical/fictional babble.

    atheism is variously numbered anywhere from 1% to 4% of americans. the majority of americans consider religion an important part of their lives.

    The number is growing. Unlike religion is losing a million or so followers a years, typically younger people. and they aren’t going back.

    so, what is the cause that transcends everything else?

    There doesn’t need to be a cause. QM is probabilistic, not deterministic.

    my overall point was to differentiate empirical events vs things that lie beyond.

    There is no beyond until you show there is a beyond. Making an unevidenced claim there is a beyond will be dismissed without evidence.

  198. 198
    jste

    tae norsworthy, 194:

    What specific activity are you positing for god?

    my overall point was to differentiate empirical events vs things that lie beyond. methodological naturalism and/or science only goes so far. that’s why philosophers turn to metaphysics. everything can’t be reduced to the language of science.

    I see that you were asked a specific question. I notice you didn’t bother to answer that specific question. Why is that? What do you gain by dancing away from actual answers?

  199. 199
    trae norsworthy

    People complain, first of all Carroll, that WLC hasn’t understood the physics he’s talking about, and therefore misrepresents them.

    all while basing the criticism from a terribly flawed conception of science which makes the criticism suspect.

    They contribute. Their theism does not.

    we’ll agree to disagree because it should be evident that all things can’t be reduced to the language of science. if you were right, metaphysics would have died out during the scientific revolution. theism certainly resonates with people for explaining what science cannot.

    Good, because there’s no such thing as a scientific proof.

    if the others in this thread would recognize this, a lot of misunderstanding could be cleared up.

    There is an answer, and it’s very similar to the 2nd law of thermodynamics

    not sure how that’s relevant. that law is encompassed within the empirical. in other words, where did that law come from? we’re looking for a transcendent cause to explain those types of cosmological observations.

    there are many more ways of there being something than of there being nothing

    I’m not sure what you mean by this but, ex nihilo, nihil fit.

    It’s not reasonable. It’s intuitive; it appeals to common sense; but it’s not reasonable.

    seems like semantics. the multiverse not being self initiating is not a controversial statement.

    Looks like someone has overlooked Heisenberg’s uncertainty relation.

    uncertainty is about disturbing the conditions you’re trying to observe, therefore leading to uncertainty. were you referring to vacuum fluctuations and virtual particles?

    Stuff doesn’t so much happen because it must; it happens because it can.

    but there certainly needs to be a cause behind it. otherwise, nothing contingent would come into being.

    But what makes you think, a priori no less, that this question in particular is one of those that “science most certainly cannot answer”?

    science, or certainly methological naturalism, isn’t even applicable outside of this existence/universe. that’s why cosmological models are so fanciful. they try to explain something non scientific using the language of science. not dissimilar from identity, freewill vs determinism, perception, intentionality, qualia, etc.

    Something has to? Why? What makes you think so?

    I suppose some people are ok with not looking for answers or reasons. I prefer the alternative.

    Has science reached some kind of limit? Why do you think it has?

    science has never been without limits. hence the problem of demarcation, realism vs antirealism, theory ladenness, establishment of boundary conditions for testing, etc.

    Namely?

    1. all things can’t be reduced to the language of science. 2. the universe is contingent. something necessary and transcendent is needed to explain it. 3. this is why many people turn to theism for transcendent type questions.

    Classical physics is accounted for automatically, because it’s a simplification of quantum physics that only holds for certain conditions.

    physicists do not agree on this characterization. I’m not sure why you think it’s accurate. classical physicists and quantum physicists don’t agree on all matters, which is my point. there are things that happen at the quantum level that seemingly conflict with events at the cosmological level. the reason for my comment was in response to the nature of time. in that regard, the standard model acquits itself acceptably.

    in regards to the essay by Asimov, he’s espousing a realist view of science but, antirealism has challenged that view in several ways. one realist duplicity is prevalent in this thread: there is an acknowledgement that science attains approximation yet, there is an appeal to science as infallibly objective. in that sense, science is “true.” obviously, these are mutually exclusive.

    You’ve seriously never heard of virtual particles = quantum fluctuations?

    I’ve heard of that but, it’s technically not “nothing,” right? how did the virtual particles come into being in the vacuum? additionally, how did it come to be that they have the ability to move from one manifold to another?

    Not if the god is ineffable enough, meaning carefully designed to evade testability – no.

    the reason why is because science entails hypothesis and observation of the empirical, not the metaphysical. it has nothing to do with alleged ineffableness.

    Er, it contradicts both itself and observable reality, often both at the same time?

    this is a completely different debate with criticisms that have been debunked about a million times over. but, if you would like to rehash it, send me an email and I can refer you to some resources that provide clarifications on the matter.

    GPS.

    check out Thomas Kuhn. he would not agree that your gps example is evidence that science is “progressing.”

    What does that have to do with the ability of science to correct itself???

    there are some things science can’t even touch, much less “correct.”

    Morality is for ethics, not for religion.

    from this comment, I get the impression you don’t understand much about religion.

    Origin is for science.

    we can agree to disagree. science can’t even explain everything about this universe, much less anything numinous. therefore, the question of origin lies outside of science’s purview. it’s amazing how misunderstood science is from people who so passionately defend it as authoritative.

    The question of whether such things as “purpose” and “destiny” exist is also for science: the principle of parsimony is part of the scientific method.

    I think you’re confusing purpose with causal chain. purpose is about a person’s metaphysical motivation, not how they came to be in their current empirical circumstance. destiny isn’t about the ultimate fate of the empirical. it’s about where a proposed soul goes after this life. neither of those are remotely scientific.

    but it’s a quite impressive example of a revolution in science that did not, like Kuhn apparently thought was inevitable, have to wait for an entire generation to die.

    here’s another example of duplicity. on the one hand, a scientific observation has led to an explanation that has approximate value and this somehow makes science, as a whole, philosophically “true.” this could be post hoc, ergo, propter hoc. regardless, the debate is a good example of how science is without complete accord on all matters and therefore, it’s authority is illusory.

    Mind is what the brain does.

    brain follows mind in MANY cases, such as intentionality. physicalism is incomplete as metaphysical explanation.

    Here is a philosophical article called “Quining Qualia”, and here is one about free will… enjoy them!

    not even Dennett and harris can rescue physicalism.

    Falsification and parsimony. That’s the scientific method.

    I can tell you that not all philosophers of science agree that falsification is the default scientific method. the point of my comment is that there isn’t a “scientific method.” there are scientific methods.

    Please name one.

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

  200. 200
    trae norsworthy

    brianpansky, thanks for the link to the carrier article. my response is too long for this forum so here’s a link:

    http://thegdebate.blogspot.com/2014/03/can-morality-be-reduced-to-scientific.html

  201. 201
    twas brillig (stevem)
    Looks like someone has overlooked Heisenberg’s uncertainty relation.

    uncertainty is about disturbing the conditions you’re trying to observe, therefore leading to uncertainty. were you referring to vacuum fluctuations and virtual particles?

    “uncertainty is about disturbing the conditions…” WRONG. Heisenberg showed, mathematically, that Every measurement is inherently uncertain, that no matter how accurate and noise-free your measuring device is; the very nature of reality is that everything’s position and motion is uncertain. Even with a perfect measuring device that does NOT disturb the “measured” at all, the results will still display a slight variance from the predicted value. [] “…vacuum fluctuations and virtual particles”, are the _result_ of Uncertainty, not separate phenomena.
    -
    If you want to get mystical, I’ll argue that everything is energy, particles are just our delusion of packets of energy, matter is non-existent, only energy exists.

  202. 202
    trae norsworthy

    If you can’t test the validity of your idea by using some form of real-world observation, then all you have is an untested idea, no matter how attractive it seems, or how good the chain of logic which it depends on.

    non-empirical, metaphysical ideas have been tested for at least a couple of thousand years. they’re just tested philosohpically. just because it’s not empirical doesn’t mean it’s not true. and this is part of the misunderstanding that some people have with science, that science has somehow loosed itself from the philosphy of science and that it is some sort of objective, neutral, independent entity that scientists merely employ like a template. that is not at all what science or the scientific method is and science is very much still shaped by the philosophy of science.

  203. 203
    trae norsworthy

    WLC doesn’t care about right, only that he doesn’t deny his imaginary deity, or his mythical/fictional babble.

    if you think this is accurate, then you have NO IDEA what you are critiquing. you are criticizing a caricature, not any sort of real thing.

    The number is growing.

    debateable. even if that is the case, it is minscule, not anything significant at all and plenty of authoritative polls show this

    Unlike religion is losing a million or so followers a years, typically younger people. and they aren’t going back.

    people are leaving organized, traditional religion but, that doesn’t mean there are any fewer theists today.

    There doesn’t need to be a cause.

    you may be ok with this sort of intellectual surrender but, many people aren’t. what brought about the conditions that caused qm to come into being and operate the way it does? it didn’t just pull itself up by it’s own bootstraps.

    QM is probabilistic, not deterministic.

    qm doesn’t not explain everything about existsence.

    There is no beyond until you show there is a beyond.

    it’s been shown for a few thousand years. just because some people stick their head in the sand of methodological naturalism doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist

    Making an unevidenced claim there is a beyond will be dismissed without evidence

    empirical evidence is not the only kind of evidence

  204. 204
    Rob Grigjanis

    twas brillig (stevem) @201: Actually, Heisenberg got it wrong; he was also referring to the observer effect. Kennard was the first to derive the proper (inherent, observer-independent) formulation.

  205. 205
    trae norsworthy

    I see that you were asked a specific question. I notice you didn’t bother to answer that specific question. Why is that? What do you gain by dancing away from actual answers?

    you’re not really asking for reasons for theism are you? i have a feeling you’re already familiar with them but want to steer the conversation away from why some people have an incomplete worldview based on naturalism

  206. 206
    trae norsworthy

    WRONG. Heisenberg showed, mathematically, that Every measurement is inherently uncertain, that no matter how accurate and noise-free your measuring device is; the very nature of reality is that everything’s position and motion is uncertain.

    what i meant by my description is that when we bombard particles with other particles, we disturb the conditions we’re trying to observe. this is the aspect of h.u.p. i was referring to and that is still in practice today. there’s only so much we can learn about velocity and position.

    are the _result_ of Uncertainty, not separate phenomena.

    i haven’t heard your description used anywhere else. it seems to me you’re conflating uncertainty with quantum indeterminacy. uncertainty is about our ability to observe velocity and position simultaneously. indeterminacy is about the inability to completely describe a physical system. virtual particles are not an example of something arising from nothing. they neither arise from nothing nor are they nothing prior to entering the physical manifold. and they are in a sense a separate phenomenon. they actually become real particles but, they are transient. they exhibit qualities like energy and momentum

    If you want to get mystical, I’ll argue that everything is energy, particles are just our delusion of packets of energy, matter is non-existent, only energy exists.

    that’s certainly interesting and provocative. qm certainly changed the way we think about point particle physics. however, string theorists maintain that strings are not packets of energy. they are fundamental constituents that are irreducible.

  207. 207
    Rob Grigjanis

    trae @206:

    this is the aspect of h.u.p. i was referring to and that is still in practice today

    Today, the HUP is considered to describe the inherent uncertainty arising from the non-commutation of certain pairs of operators, like position and momentum. So;

    [x,p] = iħ

    You are confusing the HUP with the observer effect. Understandable, since Heisenberg was describing the observer effect. Most people in the field these days make a clear distinction between the two.

    See discussion here.

  208. 208
    consciousness razor
    There doesn’t need to be a cause.

    you may be ok with this sort of intellectual surrender but, many people aren’t.

    Doesn’t look like any kind of surrender to me. That’s rejecting your assumption that there needs to be a cause. I could just as easily say you want to “surrender” to your own assumptions. You’re giving up before you even get started.

    I don’t see any contradiction in claiming that existence itself wasn’t caused by anything, or in claiming that something has always existed. No contradictions there. None.

    what brought about the conditions that caused qm to come into being and operate the way it does?

    Again: we don’t know if there was anything or if there needs to be anything. I’ll not surrender that point until anyone can demonstrate otherwise (myself included: hasn’t worked so far). It may be that QM was always in effect. It may be that there’s some other physical mechanism “causes” QM to be. Whatever the case, that’s miles and miles away from the claim that supernatural being(s) purposefully “caused existence” with magical superpowers.

    it didn’t just pull itself up by it’s own bootstraps.

    Do you think something else pulled itself up by its own bootstraps? If nothing did, then what exactly is your problem?

    qm doesn’t not explain everything about existsence

    There is gravity, for one thing, and all sorts of emergent phenomena for another. Meanwhile, nonexistent beings explain nothing about existence.

    it’s been shown for a few thousand years. just because some people stick their head in the sand of methodological naturalism doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist

    Shown when and where? I don’t see anything except natural phenomena. You show me an organism (or even a non-organism) with a mind, and I’ll show you a brain or a computer, made of physical stuff and operating according to physical laws. Fuck, I don’t how bizarre you want to make it: find me a super-intelligent shade of the color blue hiding in the atmosphere of Neptune, and there will be a physical explanation for its intelligence and agency. (If not, how could it be blue and intelligent and interacting in any way with anything that exists?) Even more generally, it has been shown that no things, however complicated or inexplicable they may seem to be sometimes, ever do violate the physics: no gods, no miracles, no demons, no angels, no ghosts, no souls, no witches, no wizards, no magical powers, nothing of the sort. So what the fuck is left for anyone to have actually “shown” anybody else?

  209. 209
    Jacob Schmidt

    I think I preferred Kroos to this person.

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