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Questions for Intelligent Design Fans


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In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 2:20:02 PM PDT
In the spirit of being excruciatingly picky (I'm an MSEE, amongst other things) you could certainly build a computer using just NAND gates, but it isn't true that "Modern computers are made of NOR or NAND gates." There are other gates, and other components besides gates. This is way, way too pedantic, I know, but what the heck...

A system is "effectively non-deterministic" if its complexity is such that its algorithmic complexity is such that the simplest description of the system is the very same system. In other words, any model you tried to create would be at least as complex as the system you were trying to simulate, such that the simulation would have it's own behavior, and diverge from the original system. Such a system's outpout can't be predicted, because any simulation or model would have its own behavior, rather than echo that of the system being simulated.

This is all part of a fairly new, and very complex way of looking at information and complexity. Google "Kolmogorov-Chaitin complexity" for more... and I've barely dipped my big toe into those very deep waters, so don't take my word for any of this.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 2:46:16 PM PDT
Michael,

I am also an MSEE, so it's nice to greet a fellow engineer. I worked in computer hardware design for nearly my entire career with a few years at the end in programming. I retired a year ago.

I was trying to be as simple as possible in my description of computer design as deterministic machines. I thought you were a Biologist. We all make assumptions. Of course, you're right, modern computers, depending on the technology used, are designed with everything available.

So we end on a note of agreement. Good luck with your career.

Don

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 3:19:50 PM PDT
intelligent design takes the intelligence out of life.
consider:
1. any known living god today is omniscient, knowing everything.
2. it is a known fact of life that humans have the concept of choice.

going with number 1, if the universe is in fact designed, then everything is an automation, we have no choice.
Why?
because our answers to the great test were known prior to us taking it. any god would've already known how the entire universe and every choice made in it would play out.

consider judas iscariot, and his role in christ's supposed crucifixion. the crucifixion was known prior to christ's birth. it could not have happened without judas's betrayal, and was required for the atonement of a couple thousand years of sin. no betrayal, no hope for mankind.

for evolution to be a reality, there cannot be intelligent design. "god" has nothing to change from. "he" already knows the whole play long before the actors show up. evolution places us back into the animal kingdom, and out of Nietzsche's super human theory that seems to be the goal of religion.
the bible itself explicitly tells how mankind was made, and it had nothing to do with evolution. the two theories are so incompatible, it's insane to even think of combining them.
to do so, god has to give up his theory that he knows everything and return to a state of allowing choice....and this requires man to think, instead of merely having faith in an semi-new book of fables.
i think alot of people misunderstand evolution, as in there is a goal to be achieved. evolution is not climbing the ladder to demi-god status. it is more along the lines of the body and mind adapting to it's environment in order to survive, and the more the body and mind adapt, the more problems it creates for future evolution in a never-ending story of change.
the alpha and the omega cannot change. that would mean it depends upon its subjects as its source of change.
but it doesn't work that way. in order to follow god, you have to ignore your own reason. why? you're not supposed to question god. you're not supposed to have a mind. you're supposed to allow some unseen, unheard entity tell you what to do, when to do it, etc. you're supposed to listen to your irrational emotions, and be happy about being a robot, a puppet.
that is essentially what has happened as a result of complete belief in the bible (oddly enough, it's impossible to comply with all of it as it contradicts itself frequently). people are told "this is the gospel truth" (pun intended), believe it, live it, don't question it. and oddly enough, people do it, and then disdain and ostracize unbelievers (contrary to their own teachings of "love thy enemy") for using their capacity to reason and finding fundamental flaws in the doctrine. if believers looked for things to NOT believe, they'd see an entirely different book.

assuming there is an intelligent designer, it probably has no active hand in the universe, making it a deistic god. it is probably the greatest scientist ever, as it studies its own creation. if it does have an active hand, it cares not what you or i do. more likely throwing problems in to see how its little men and women approach the solution.

since the theory of intelligent design has no empirical grounds for falsifying nor validating the theory, it should be dropped as an active theory at all. logic will lead to the understanding there is no god, emotions cannot be trusted, as the feeling of being drunk, a cocaine high, going to your favorite college football game and living the hysteria, or embracing some patriotic pride is along the same lines of the god experience. generally speaking, the emotion comes first, the explanation (reason) comes afterwards.

I challenge anyone to define, explain, etc (and therefore communicate) any concept without using your intellectual reasoning capacity, and relying solely on emotion. even things like charades are thought out (reasoned) actions, DESIGNED by the PERSON TRYING TO COMMUNICATE.

your personal evolution is as real as the sun. from birth, you learn to think, you learn you have a choice, you learn verbal symbols called words. the human capacity for logic alone has grown exponentially. look around yourself. people's logic is everywhere, from your computer monitor to the timing of street lights. we know where our logic comes from.
where does an intelligent designer get their reason? how did it learn a thing being the only thing in space for eons upon eons. no one to talk to, no way to learn words in order to construct sentences, no objects that required them to even invent words...no moons to differentiate from stars or black holes. no paper cups, nor glass that are required to learn what paper and glass are.
the only thing it could have known is "i think therefore i am" without the words, and the nothing that was not it. only a realization that it existed, with no means to justify its realization , let alone the capacity to create and entire universe.

evolution could die out as a theory tomorrow, but that does not mean you revert back to ignorance as an explanation for anything. by stating "god did it" that's all the believer is saying: "i don't know, i resort to ignorance and believe in some book i cannot prove was written by a god at all, that says to believe in itself, even though its full of miracles that defied the need for belief."
they were smart enough to warn that people would do the same thing they did....challenge existing religions, they even called them false prophets, exactly what they knew they were (they only say this will happen again, but don't believe the new, more intelligent prophets who aren't even claiming to be prophets.)

in essence, if you believe in intelligent design, you need to take a long look in the mirror and just ask yourself "how intelligent am i that i believe someone else over my own intellect? am i that lost that i need a guide, and then despise everyone who stands against that guide. are they not allowed the same freedom that i use in believing, only they wish to understand? am i to endorse thousands of years of bloody wars in the name of this stupid book? what does that say about my own understanding of it? it preaches love (and shows it frequently with stories about floods, destroying whole cities and tribes, stoning to death people who pick up sticks on sundays, and turning to ashes people who look at little boats), yet it seems i only love those like me, and tend to hate those unlike me."

i find it hard to believe that an almighty creator is even capable of human emotions, given the fact he knew in advance what would happen. that's like me yelling at my own characters in a my own novel, before i even write it.

but this is what we base morals on, governments on, personal relationships, etc
and then we deny our own impulses, our own natures, torture ourselves, and are happy about it because our great book says we'll live in supreme happiness forever (whatever forever means) as pre-programmed robots worshiping our creator.
I personally find the idea of anyone worshiping me appalling, let alone having to put up with someone sniveling for the next umpteen eons. maybe god's self-esteem is really that low, but mine isn't. i'd rather hold everyone as an equal, as opposed to looking up or down at anyone.
but that's me. my philosophical standpoint, and my political standpoint are the same. i most certainly do not want the responsibility of telling other people what they can or cannot think, do, or feel, especially in a country that's central preoccupation is that of freedom...something it preaches but steals more and more everyday.

let's say that Nietzsche's super human theory is so far away, you can't even make it out as the tiniest prick of light in hubble's lenses.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 4:49:36 PM PDT
Answer #1: There are no testable explanation for EITHER theory. That is why the are both unproven theories. What is unfortunate is the anti-scientific posture of may of the protagonists for both sides.

Answer #2: The theory of evolution cannot be disproven since it has never been proven correct in the first place. See answer #1. Concensus does not make good science. Just because your Mommy believes you does not make you right.

Answer #3: God is not at the center of the Intelligent Design debate. Whether the Prime Mover is God, gods, aliens or Mother Nature, ID merely says it did not all happen by mistake. Mathematics and physics show design in everything from the design of a seashell to the sunflower. It does not say anything about the validity of the "Theory" of evolution.

Neither theory explains why the Cambrian Explosion did not produce a single human ancestor..??..

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 5:19:34 PM PDT
any intelligence designing the universe has always and always will be referred to as a god. like it, don't like it. intelligent design, yes, does refer directly to a prime mover that comes creates everything out of seemingly nothing. it says intentional, yes.
now, something has to be intending. that means something had to exist before creation.
as anyone would want to know, who created the creator? there is no prime mover we will ever find. without intention, yes, life is a freak accident of nature. an accident without a purpose whatsoever, except that which we give it.
i'm perfectly fine with no prime mover.
of course things rarely happen by mistake. everything follows the easy course, like water that flows to the least resistance. you're given choices. stay here by this hot volcano or move the hell away from it. how many people are going to live inside the thing? most people will distance themselves from it.

and it is human nature to take a mistake, learn from it, and figure out how to use it to your advantage, thereby making it not a mistake.

besides the fact, that any prime mover, were it an alien, would have (obviously) migrated from elsewhere, and that elsewhere is possibly the source of life. that elsewhere would be what we would need to find, extending evolution to a designated place outside of earth.

the designer itself would have had to evolve.

couldn't it be feasible that the environment had yet to evolve to the point of sustaining human ancestors' life, or even in creating it at the time?
that is the whole point of evolution. life must be able to survive its surroundings in order to evolve.

if life did not originate here on earth, then our study of it ends at a certain point until space travel becomes as mundane as driving to work, at which point, debates such as this are utterly pointless.

J

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 5:28:41 PM PDT
Evolutionary theory is testable, and has been tested in a variety of ways over the years.

See: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/evolphil.html

Scientific theories are never proven, and cannot be even in principle. Hypotheses can be falsified, so theories can therefore be shown to be invalid. You should already know this.

See: http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/faq-misconceptions.html#proof

Intelligent Design proponents (e.g. Discovery Institute) aren't at all shy about referring to God when in front of suitably receptive audiences.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligent_design

Specifically,

"Intelligent design is the claim that "certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection."[1][2] It is a modern form of the traditional teleological argument for the existence of God, modified to avoid specifying the nature or identity of the designer.[3][4] Its primary proponents, all of whom are associated with the Discovery Institute,[5][6] believe the designer to be God[7]"

"Neither theory explains why the Cambrian Explosion did not produce a single human ancestor"

See: http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CC/CC300.html

You have made several assertions. It is my hope that you will now furnish the envidence necessary to substantiate them.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 6:02:17 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 10, 2007, 6:42:08 PM PDT
Outlaw says:
John D's answers:

I may not be a PhD but you don't have to go to a university to specialize in a certain subject, if you can read.

Question 1 is:

"One, how is it that in an (as currently proposed) open, expanding, non-cyclic, weak gravity, low mass universe, that you see the "Big Bang" in EVERY direction, i.e. that you see the microwave background radiation coming from every direction? Why should it be in every direction?"

Question 2 is:

"And further, please explain what is "extremely mechanically inefficient" about a cyclic quantum (and NOT classical) mechanical universe? "

Arnold Sikkema and Werner Israel grasped it, hypothesizing bizarre effects of merging black holes in that split second when all the matter and energy of the universe would still have been contained in a very tiny volume. These men honestly admitted that no consistent theory of quantum gravity yet exists. It must be noted, too, that the oscillation theory they proposed yields at most only a sharply limited number of bounces. It offers no escape from the notion of a beginning in the not-so-distant past. [7]

That slender straw grasped by Sikkema and Israel was crushed recently by Russian physicist Andre Linde. At a symposium on the large-scale structure of the universe, Linde demonstrated that the universe, with the characteristics we observe, cannot have arisen from a bounce in the quantum gravity era. Why? [8]

1) During the collapse phase toward a hypothetical bounce at least one region or volume (technically called a "domain") in the universe would utterly resist being crushed to the tiny volume necessary for the exotic effects of quantum gravity to take over.
2) The bounce, if it could take place, would not produce sufficient matter.

-Hugh Ross

[7] )Sikkema and Israel, "Black hole mergers and Mass Iflation in a bouncing Universe," Nature 349 (1991), Pages 45-47
[8] Linde, "Self Reproducing Universe"

In 1992 the COBE satellite was launched to measure the background radiation. The Big Bang models included exotic matter, and the found just what the theory would find in the Big Bang model. That the radiation exactly conforms with the Big Bang model. George Smoots team were elated to find that the background radiation exactly followed astrophysicist theory of the Big Bang.

"Thank you kindly for your answers."
Your welcome.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 6:19:52 PM PDT
I'm goin out on a limb and asks some (probably) odd questions. ignore it if you like. it's a habit of mine (in order to think outside the box) to elaborate or twist a theory for a new perspective (if indeed it is new at all.)

I understand the universe as cyclic, but not really because of science, more along the "universe is a bellows" theory of taoism, and the fact that nature is full of cycles to begin with, especially shown by water.
the big bang theory makes sense to me anyway.
but why does there have to be only 1 bang?
isn't it possible to conceive that, like there are many stars radiating in multiple directions, there are many bangs radiating in multiple directions?
not to say that the stars are the bangs, only the same concept? like 10 fireworks going off on the 4th of july either simultaneously, or in some kinda of sequence.

it just seems to me that nature loves to replicate itself, even if there are minor to major discrepancies. 2 roses are both roses, yet with individual differences. no 2 banzai trees look identical. there's always a variance, as the human genome shows, but the main idea is still the same.
add the butterfly affect, and bang a looks grossly different than bang z, yet are both still bangs.
is it possible the bang was replicated as well?

j

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 6:44:09 PM PDT
Jordan says:
Dear Daniel,
As a "fan" of intelligent design, I appreciate your candid questions and even more so appreciate the humble manner in which they were presented. Far too often the dialogue between the religious and non-religious is more of a fight than a discussion. With that said, however, I think that the primary misunderstanding is indeed in the deffinition of intelligent design. Now, I may not be qualified to say all that I am about to, but I'll do my best if that's okay with you.
It is probably fair to say that many adherents to intelligent design "theory" (although I hate to call it a theory because that makes it sound more like a scientific argument, which I really don't think it is) are indeed "creationsists in cheap tuxedos." As a Christian, I am all too familiar with how proud Christians can be of their "creation science." What pangs even me, especially me, since I have a vested interest in Christianity, is that this so called "creation science" is really no science at all. I am actually a student of the physical sciences myself as was my father before me, and I personally feel there is a great deal of room for if not evidence for believe in God - a creator. This is probably the best way to understand the principle of intelligent design.
Now, when I say "creator" I do not at all mean a big guy in the sky who said "abrakadabra" and "poof" there was the universe as it is today. However, even the Big Bang theory (presumably the most acceptable scientific theory on the origin of the universe and my favorite ground of discussion because of my tendancy towards the cosmological sciences) makes little to no attempt to explain why the universe suddenly went "bang" and then came into existence. Big bang theory simply says, "everything is moving apart now, so everything must have been closer together, much closer together, in the past. How and why things went from "very small" to "HOT and expanding rapidly!" in a cataclysmic instant, no one knows, but as a believer in God, it is my humble but firm belief that God was indeed responsible for the origin of the universe, and it certainly seems that God originated the universe in a massive explosion 15 some odd billion years ago.
Carl Sagan once said in his famous book and TV serios "The Cosmos", "If the attraction between electrons and protons was even one iota greater than it is (I don't remeber the exact fraction), then the universe as we know it could not exist. Electrons would collapse into their nuclei, and molecules and everything above elementry particles could not exist."
As for the biological sciences. Many scientists who also believe in God, do not deny the high probability of the evolutionary process. However, in cases such as the salmonella flagellum (irreducible complexity is what it's called I believe. Another example is that of the human eye: without a retina or a lense, the eye is useless), such scientists again see the "hand of God," that is, they appreciate the delicate and precise nature of the organism and do not merely chalk it up to chance but generally believe that some divine being was guiding the evolutionary process so that such complicated and delicate creatures could exist.
The obvious question at this point, then, is why believe in a God if you don't have to? In other words, if all of creation actually IS the result of chance, then why would you choose to believe in a God? The basic answer, it seems, is always the same: faith. When it comes down to it, you simply have to choose a side of the fence to sit on. Either you believe that life is the result of chance or that life is ultimately the result of a guiding creator. Intelligent Design sciencests, in the truest sense of the word, believe in a guiding creator, they simply aren't foolish enough to deny what seems to be accurate scientific theory.
There is much more to say regarding ancient semitic texts and the Genesis account, but that should be saved for elsewhere.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 6:47:00 PM PDT
Outlaw says:
Here is some good reading from the director of the Human Genome Project.

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2003/PSCF9-03Collins.pdf

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 8:08:05 PM PDT
yep and according to genesis 6, god has sons that took the daughters of man as their wives. either this means there are some immortals running around here, or some females went to heaven physically. i'm reminded of the movie stargate when i read this passage.

god makes the stars twice...the lights in the firmament...stars. the sun that he makes both after and before the lights....is a star, and not a very great one at that.

note, evening and morning occur before the planet is made. there is no evening and morning off the planet, and on the planet, it is always both day and night, simultaneously. obviously, the half the faces the sun is day, and the side that faces away from the sun is night.
according to things like plate tonics, the land used to be one mass, such as pangaea (not to mention the other supposed super continents before pangaea).
there should only be 1 sea at the creation according to the bible, but he calls them seaS. meaning, this was written long after pangaea, and the writers had no knowledge of it, given the cross shaped maps and a flat earth of their time.

the moon seems to light all by itself. it cannot be possible that there is only 1 great light working both night and day, and the moon merely reflects the light back to earth.
what exactly is meant by "so god created man in his own image."? does that mean god is a physical being from somewhere else? does that include his neural imaging, capacity for thought, etc....meaning, he made man as though man were himself? how are you supposed to take this literally when the entire thing is as ambiguous as the mona lisa? how are you supposed to interpret it when the thing itself says it's both good and bad to be intelligent or wise? on what criteria are you basing your assumptions. to know what's false, you generally have a guide...that which is true. billions of people are condemned to hell because they either hadn't heard of the bible, or because they couldn't decipher the greatest modern day enigma...which is just another mythology. better to believe in Brahman and its avatars.

when abel is killed, there are 4 people on the earth, 3 after abel dies. yet, somehow cain finds a wife, and makes a reference ala gen 4:14 "and it will happen that anyone who finds me will kill me", then miraculously knew a wife that one could only say is his sister that hasn't either been born or mentioned yet...or (god forbid) there are other people already living away from adam and family.
it's kinda odd how there is a land called the land of nod, as though kingdoms and political lines have already been drawn.
it's odd how a serpent speaks. i'll assume it's this lucifer fellow, who doesn't get booted til isaiah, which is the only mentioning of his name as lucifer, not to mention if god is so all knowing, he should have booted lucifer long before isaiah, unless it's part of his plan that man "falls from grace."

the flood is awfully funny, and overdone through most mythology. it's no big secret christianity/judaism borrowed heavily from almost every religion around at the time. from the hindu trinity to modeling god after zeus, to turning hades into hell, to the 5 different gods born on december (10th month at the time) 25th.
but everest is almost 2 1/2 miles high. that is tons of water. where did it go? why isn't all foliage torn from the earth? how is it koalas eat eucalyptus leaves when they're only found in australia. and i wonder how noah kept all the carnivores from eating the rest of the animals (or him and his kin) during this long trip in a boat.

note: Genesis 10:31 These were the sons of Shem, according to their families, according to their languages, in their lands, according to their nations.
note: Genesis 11:1 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. (this is the great tower of babel story, which the breaking of the languages occurs after there are already multiple languages...according to their tribes and nations.)

etc

this is exactly what i was talking about earlier. no christian read the bible in search of truth, fact, or anything resembling either one. they automatically assume every word is already true and infallible (god is infallible, yet manages to get so pissed he destroys the earth as he grieves for his mistake in creating man, gives him a 2nd chance, then plans to destroy it again with fire.)
if the religious believer approaches the source of his/her own perspective of the universe as critically as they approach ideas like the big bang and evolution, religion would have died out a long time ago.

and this only begins to prove my point. in a religion dominated world, any statements pertaining to intelligent design are almost automatically connected to a god. whether god is an alien or Gaea, the 2 terms "intelligent designer" and "god" are almost as interchangeable as scalding and hot.

the world according to the bible is nowhere near old enough to be close to the supposed age of the universe.

Lucy is older than the bible. but, as christians will always do because nothing can be proven, they'll change things as they go to fit the new paradigms of modern thought.

yes, i have a vendetta against godheaded religions. need to know why? look at history and all the blood its spilled, modern day iraq, the crusades, the holocaust (hitler's anti-semiticism was apparently because he saw the jews as christ killers), the salem witch burnings, etc. christians are just as extreme as their muslim counterparts, only not as kamikaze.
let's condone abortion, but condemn stem cell research. why? because they are afraid of what one might find in the trash can.

but this book is supposedly the result of some supreme intelligence passed onto man, regardless of how badly it defeats itself.
religion and science are about as compatible as humans and frogs are at mating with each other.
you're either one or the other. otherwise, you're only half doing either, and according to "god" you cannot have 2 masters (when he is one of them)

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 8:48:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 10, 2007, 9:09:27 PM PDT
Outlaw says:
"GAs a "fan" of intelligent design, I appreciate your candid questions and even more so appreciate the humble manner in which they were presented. Far too often the dialogue between the religious and non-religious is more of a fight than a discussion. With that said, however, I think that the primary misunderstanding is indeed in the deffinition of intelligent design. Now, I may not be qualified to say all that I am about to, but I'll do my best if that's okay with you."

Good copy and paste. The Bible is no more a book of science than the Atlas is a book of theology.

etc

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 10:36:58 PM PDT
TN says:
Good article. It goes into my personal collection. I was atheist turned theist myself, and consider myself "most fortunate" as Dr. Collins said.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 10:41:51 PM PDT
TN says:
Poor Jeromy. A little knowledge can be dangerous! Do you sleep well at night?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 11:04:56 PM PDT
amy g. says:
ARM,
"All of you atheists are full of crap. "
Is that would Jesus would say? I hope you don't call yourself a Christian.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 11:17:13 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on May 21, 2008, 10:57:47 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 11:48:16 PM PDT
"Here is some good reading from the director of the Human Genome Project.

http://www.asa3.org/ASA/PSCF/2003/PSCF9-03Collins.pdf"

Whatever one gets from this article, I hope no one will make the logical fallacy of thinking "Francis S. Collins says it, so it must be true."

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 10, 2007, 11:57:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 11, 2007, 12:08:50 AM PDT
John D says:
Hi Jeromy,

Here is what I understand of the Big Bang idea:

The Big Bang is NOT supposed to be the explosion of matter INTO an already independent pre-existing spacetime "framework", BUT RATHER the explosive expansion of spacetime ITSELF. I know that that is hard to conceive.

As example of the former (explosion of matter into spacetime), the fireworks that you mention (as are conventional and nuclear bombs) are examples of the explosion of matter into space on the human scale. Similarly, novae and supernovae are examples of the explosion of matter into space on an interstellar scale, yielding planetary and other types of nebulas.

However, the explosive expansion of spacetime itself is a much more difficult concept to grasp OR to explain. It requires extending the ideas of DENSITY of matter (for example, lead is more dense than water, that is, there is more matter in a given 3-D volume of lead than in the SAME volume of water). That idea of DENSITY is extended to the DENSITY of matter-energy in a unit of 4-D spacetime.

So, the USUAL but INADEQUATE ANALOGY for the explosive expansion of spacetime itself is the expansion of a balloon's surface as it is inflated. If the balloon's surface was all that existed period, then the analogy might be more precise. In any event, an uninflated balloon starts out very small, so the DENSITY of MATTER (in reality, the NUMBER of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen etc. atoms forming the isoprene polymer) per unit, say square centimeter, of its surface area is larger than when fully expanded. The number of atoms per square centimeter of the 2-D "space" of the <assume> spherical surface of the balloon is largest when the balloon is smallest (deflated). Then as the balloon is inflated, the rubber (isoprene polymer) stretches and the amount of matter or number of atoms in that SAME square centimeter of the larger surface is smaller (same amount of matter, since the surface of the balloon does not gain mass, but merely stretches). The DENSITY of atoms in a square centimeter of the balloon's surface reaches its minimum (smallest) when the balloon is maximally inflated. So, the matter density decreases as the balloon's 2-D surface space increases in size during its inflation.

Similarly, the Universe's spacetime used to be extremely small and the matter and energy which we see in all of the entire Universe TODAY was squeezed into that small spacetime. The spacetime of the Universe started to expand ADIABATICALLY (NOTHING LEAVES, NOTHING ENTERS) and the density fell as its dimensions have increased ever since. The matter-energy density is decreasing as we write on this forum. Hence, we should observe the matter-energy density increasing as we look back into time when the expansion of spacetime had just begun.

With a balloon, we know what causes the expansion of its surface. However, we do not know why the Universe started to expand or why it was in a super HIGH matter-energy DENSITY state to begin with.

You are correct that nature exhibits cyclic, or RATHER pseudo-cyclic phenomena. These phenomena are not closed cycles with fixed temporal periods and spatial boundaries. For example, the earths motion through space is NOT a closed elliptical orbit around our sun. That is a nice approximation for simplicity's sake. But, in reality it is a complex, unclosed, multiply superposed helical pathway through space as our sun and galaxy also move through space "dragging" the earth with them in their journeys.

An oscillating or cyclic universe would presumably imply that OUR "observable" Big Bang Universe be preceeded by a Big Crunch (or Collapse or Contraction) of a previously expanded Universe, of which we would not NOR could not have any knowledge, followed by another Big Crunch as OUR Universe would start to contract as the energy density reaches a critically small value. Then OUR Universe would end in a Big Crunch, destroying all information about us and all this that we see, presumably followed by yet another Big Bang to yield a new Universe of which we would never nor could ever know about or predict. This would be the "cycle" of the universe.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2007, 4:50:01 AM PDT
i didn't copy and paste anything...i typed it out. I have 2 bibles. I was a christian from basically birth til up to 2 years ago...i'll be 31 in about 18 days. forced church twice a week and everyday through bible school as a kid. I once won a knowledge of the bible type thing in church.
and you're right. The Bible is no more a book of science than the Atlas is a book of theology. that's exactly my point. the 2 main differences is science and theology is science is testable. theology is not. science studies what can be found before hand, the study comes after it's found.
there is nothing to study in regards to theology. at best, manmade objects and cave inscriptions.
to make statements such as "science is the study of god" puts theology in the realm of science.

my point is any intelligence could only have used what it knew, which means it learned it somewhere. it's along the lines of the objectivist theory of ayn rand, or psychology's tabula rasa theory.
it's assumed blind people don't dream or think in vision...without functioning eyes, they cannot record imaging to use or manipulate. someone deaf won't think in verbal words. i can pronounce obsequious because i've heard it pronounced, as well as every consonant and vowel sound the word uses.

any original intelligence had nothing to record from. any intelligence that has gone uncreated had no means to learn a thing. no vision of an apple, as opposed to 20 apples that would have been the beginning of math.
this means that the intelligence of the intelligent designer is unverifiable, because the knowledge has no basis for comparison. this makes all knowledge unverifiable, and is quite akin to human knowledge, as we create names, definitions, theories, etc as we go.
so what's the difference?
the human body is a natural machine, completely dependent upon the environment for sustaining itself. the human mind is no different, only it is dependent upon the body first, as it is the culmination of every synapse of every nerve throughout the body, and it's growth is dependent upon the environment as well, through those 5 wits we call the senses.
if man is modeled after a divine creator, then that creator has eyes, ears, etc....sensors for its environment.
so according to this line of thought, the intelligence came first, with no means for even growing in intelligence, then the creator created its own body using nothing but its intelligence (no physical material), then proceeded to create a universe out of nothing as well. it is contrary to the fact that we are born helpless, with no knowledge of anything, the body comes first, and knowledge is a result of experience and validation.
the idea of intelligent design makes no sense whatsoever, it puts too much emphasis on that which we cannot ever find...the soul (the essence of person, memories are not stored in the physical body to believers of a soul)...in which case, i am my soul, and not the result of experiences, i should not die because i don't eat enough or i get run over by a bus, because me, as my own lifeforce, does not want to leave the body. yet, psychology (and it's not technically a science)has shown how brain damage affects personality, etc.
the soul does not exist. the body is a flesh and blood machine, like a car, where vital things are imperative for its survival...heart, lungs, brain, etc much like gas is food for the car, the life is the stream of electricity of battery, alternator, etc

and yes, i sleep perfectly fine at night. i have a hard time accepting "a little knowledge can be a little dangerous." does that imply a lot of knowledge is fatal? what does that say about so called biblical knowledge? gee, that it's not knowledge but purely theoretical, and bad theory at that?
yes, i had a hard time letting go of the bible, and there's a little voice of "old habits die hard" that still plague's me. why? because i learned it at so young an age. that's why priests want children, because in regards to keeping them in church, you instill the fear of god when it is the most scary and most likely to stick....when you have no logical defense built yet. you essentially train them to think a certain way, always in defense of god, and anything contrary is a one way ticket to hell. blasphemy. and as far as heaven or hell goes, and how your life defines where you go, again you take away god's all knowing power. this depends upon god NOT knowing ahead of time where you'll end up. but because it is widely accepted as god as the all-knowing extreme, the first and the last, the alpha and omega (both are references to time..alpha and omega are 1st and last letters of the greek alphabet, so this is being redundant) nothing is unknown by god, he cannot be wrong at all, which means that i (and every other living thing on earth) has had their fate known before they were born, and there's nothing i can do about it at all. nothing i do can change his mind if already knew in advance. and if god is not all knowing, then any prophecy in the bible can be forgotten, as determinism comes back into affect. what if judas had refused to play his part? the entire prophecy of christ dying for the world's sins would be a lie. god was dependent upon judas playing his part...or rather, he knew in advance it would happen, which means all of life is preplanned and the only person god has to blame for anything is HIMSELF.
but, you go back to believing what you want. turn your mind off and dance on your strings to some unseen puppeteer, who did not go unseen in the bible, where belief was no different than it is today, really. to believe moses about burning bushes....if that happened today, moses would be committed, and endorsed by many christians as schizophrenic.
the road to heaven is a fine line indeed. you either believe it or you don't. you either walk the line or you don't. but what most of you christians do is walk with one foot on the line and one foot in logic, trying to justify the line and destroy anything contrary. to you, schizophrenia should not exist...it should be demons.
walk the line of get off it, because you cannot do both and hope to be one of the few that get into the most boring place ever, where everyone is the same...sounds like communism to me, only the goal isn't community, it's to worship the greatest fragile ego of all time for all eternity.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2007, 9:29:53 AM PDT
Outlaw says:
Ok, I will. And I mean that politely as a Christian should. Thanks for your input and I am sorry you are so jaded. I will pray to God for you. Sorry I brought back old memories, I just get tired of people using a book of theology as science, when it was not meant to be a science book. I wish the Evangelicals could figure this out.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2007, 9:37:43 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 11, 2007, 9:39:42 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2007, 9:44:15 AM PDT
Outlaw says:
"Then OUR Universe would end in a Big Crunch, destroying all information about us and all this that we see, presumably followed by yet another Big Bang to yield a new Universe of which we would never nor could ever know about or predict. This would be the "cycle" of the universe."

You were correct until you got here as I have shown above, this theory has been disposed of by modern science. But excellent job explaining the Big Bang.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2007, 9:49:29 AM PDT
Outlaw says:
"Poor Jeromy. A little knowledge can be dangerous! Do you sleep well at night?"

As Christians we Shouldn't be mean. I catch myself doing the same thing as we are fallen creatures, NGUYEN.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2007, 10:45:08 AM PDT
TN says:
Gregg,

A reasonable and logical would reject religions. I did too.

Yet people nowadays still celebrate Chrismas, Halloween and many religious days (holidays)

If you want to know, I don't observe any holiday. Yet I read the bible, not as much as I wish I could.

One can read it as a book of history, of wisdom, of parables, of story, of God.

Many reject the bible and have good reasons to do so, including evidence they see among the religious people and priests, just like Jeromy with his reasons. I respect their choice even I disagree.

I'd even say this: it's better to be moral atheist than to be a religious hypocrite. And we see many hypocrites.

The issue then become: what constitutes moral? (We know what a hypocrite is.)

Human has conscience. However conscience can be "trained" in different ways. For example, do terrorists have the right kind of conscience? They're sincere when they blow themselves up in killing others, in the name of Allah. That is an example of dangerous little knowledge. Terrorists don't see that the Quran basic teaching, although coated with goodies as in any religion, is hatred for infidels.

I wish every one on earth could just love their neighbors even if they deny God's existence. Actually John 1:8 says "one can't love God without loving neighbors"

How many on earth actually love their neighbors? "Survival of the fittest" and self-centered thinking direct most people's life.

Yes I'm "sinful" in the biblical sense but I do my darn best to hurt no one. And I sleep well at night.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 11, 2007, 11:01:36 AM PDT
Outlaw says:
Good, and I am glad you found God.
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