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Old 07-31-2013, 07:01 PM   #1
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Science and Religion

Figured we should take it out the Fox thread if we want anyone else to find our discussions and join in.
This thread is to discuss science that is directly intertwined with religion in some sense (evolution, cosmology, theoretical physics, morality, free will, etc).

Post papers, videos, blogs, whatever. Hopefully people on both sides of the fence chime in. I think it will be fun.

I'll start with the Krauss video from the other thread. I really need to watch it again/read the book again before responding to Aeon. It's one of those things that I kinda get most of (some of... a bit of) when I'm involved, but that evapourates from my brain the less I think about it.

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Old 07-31-2013, 07:49 PM   #2
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I will re-post my summary from the other thread...

Summary of video: I liked his review of how we came to our present cosmological view. I've seen it from many other presenters and TV shows but he got right to the point and tied it all together very well.

I LOVED his slides on the view of the expanding universe - "Everywhere is the center of the universe"

I think he made my point accidentally when he talked about the priest Lemaitre and the Pope - and to not mix science and religion. Dr. Krauss states that either side of the Does God Exist argument can take science to validate their beliefs. A great point. Strange he doesn't seem to follow his own point.

"Quantum fluctuations can produce a universe" - I did not see how he proved that. Perhaps it's too big of a discussion for his lecture here, but I would like to see how he came to this conclusion. In his own short proof - he does seem to infer pre-existing energy.

There seems to be assumption in this talk that only matter "exists" - that energy somehow does not count. Am I correct? If so, how would this tie into another Quantum Physicist's view, Dr. Susskind (I posted a video from him a few weeks back) - that almost all of the universe is energy, and that all of the actual matter would fit into the size of a pea.

I loved the point that the static of the TV when it went off the air was 1 percent background radiation from the Big Bang. Makes the movie Poltergeist even that much more creepy.

He's covering dark matter and dark energy fairly well - would love to hear more of it.

At about the 49 minute mark, he concedes that the God created view of the universe is repugnant, but may be true. He just kind of tosses it away and moves on, although it is a major concession in my point of view.

Overall, a great way to spend and hour or so. I love these topics. I think we live in a wonderfully mysterious universe and appreciate that minds like Dr. Krauss can reveal a little more of that to us.

In the end, science will never disprove God - nor will it ever prove God. So, when a theorical physicists tries to do it, it comes across more as vindictive. I would rather they just continue to expand our shared understanding of what the universe is and how it works. That's cool.
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Old 07-31-2013, 09:24 PM   #3
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This has potential to be a good thread. I'll be reading it.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:00 PM   #4
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I posted this video a few weeks back, but I think it adds to this discussion

Leonard Susskind on The World As Hologram - YouTube

It gets very interesting around the 35 minute mark.

Around 37:00 "Your brain creates a three dimensional fiction"

52:25 "There is a region of the world(universe), maybe most of the the world, which out beyond all possible observation"

52:38 "the universe at least a thousand times larger in volume than the region we can ever see"

52:55 "There's stuff out there and that stuff is simply beyond observation science. Period. Or maybe not." LOL

53:20 "What is the meaning? I mean this raises both philosophical questions, scientific questions...puzzling questions that really do bother people who think about this"

I think that the puzzling and amazing world of Quantum Mechanics/Cosmology is where science, philosophy, and theology can still have an intelligent discussion. Notice - I did not say religion, but theology.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:46 PM   #5
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I posted this video a few weeks back, but I think it adds to this discussion

It gets very interesting around the 35 minute mark.

Around 37:00 "Your brain creates a three dimensional fiction"

52:25 "There is a region of the world(universe), maybe most of the the world, which out beyond all possible observation"

52:38 "the universe at least a thousand times larger in volume than the region we can ever see"

52:55 "There's stuff out there and that stuff is simply beyond observation science. Period. Or maybe not." LOL

53:20 "What is the meaning? I mean this raises both philosophical questions, scientific questions...puzzling questions that really do bother people who think about this"

I think that the puzzling and amazing world of Quantum Mechanics/Cosmology is where science, philosophy, and theology can still have an intelligent discussion. Notice - I did not say religion, but theology.
General comment, don't know where to begin.

This is all very fascinating and makes the head almost explode with a convergence of what we don't know and just how...BIG everything is.

That said, I think there needs to be a healthy respect for 'God of the Gaps' arguments in both directions. When we don't know something - we don't know it. *Nothing dictates a supernatural explanation and nothing says that we know so much we can rule out all supernatural explanations*.

This is why I love this particular kind of science so much. The scientists in this field are (mostly) so comfortable with the phrase "I don't know". It seems quaint and almost meaningless, but to me - it means a lot. Think about how many people we all know that have a lot of trouble uttering the simple phrase "I don't know". We don't have to answer the question if we don't know the answer. This, to me, indicates someone in genuine search of truth, with little to no 'confirmation bias' (there you go, deep.). I refer back to this*.
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Old 07-31-2013, 11:56 PM   #6
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Susskind is great. If String Theory could ever be proved (is it even possible?) he'd be a household name.

But anyway...what is it? 90% or more (?) of the OBSERVABLE Universe is unknown. And that's just what is observable. And that's just our single Universe. Dark matter, dark energy...holographic principle. Love thinking about it.

It's a fascinating mystery. THE best mystery of all time. And I don't need any supernatural answers. I just want them. I'm like Fox Mulder. I want to believe. But more than that, I want the truth. And I am content with a perfectly natural answer. Just gimme some truth.

Anyway, sorry for my generic comments, didn't know where to begin. I just hope we can have a good back and forth on all these topics and steer away from all the typical pitfalls.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:07 AM   #7
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General comment, don't know where to begin.

This is all very fascinating and makes the head almost explode with a convergence of what we don't know and just how...BIG everything is.

That said, I think there needs to be a healthy respect for 'God of the Gaps' arguments in both directions. When we don't know something - we don't know it. *Nothing dictates a supernatural explanation and nothing says that we know so much we can rule out all supernatural explanations*.

This is why I love this particular kind of science so much. The scientists in this field are (mostly) so comfortable with the phrase "I don't know". It seems quaint and almost meaningless, but to me - it means a lot. Think about how many people we all know that have a lot of trouble uttering the simple phrase "I don't know". We don't have to answer the question if we don't know the answer. This, to me, indicates someone in genuine search of truth, with little to no 'confirmation bias' (there you go, deep.). I refer back to this*.
I can appreciate this line of thinking. I will flat out admit I am guilty of confirmation bias on this subject - inasmuch that I have faith in the notion that God is playing a part in all of this. But I don't know much or how little and what that part really is and how much I can "interact" with it - and to me, that is the joy of science and especially mind-bending science like QM. Each time I read about new breakthrough, I feel like I know the transcendent God just a little bit more.

As I said before - I don't think any of this proves God, it just proves the more we seem to learn about the universe - the more wacky it gets. Yet, in some unseen way - we find a hint of order, even though the math says we shouldn't.

To me - there is no gap for God to fill. There is God - and then everything else. The more we learn about everything else, I slide the scale a bit closer to God.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:18 AM   #8
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Susskind is great. If String Theory could ever be proved (is it even possible?) he'd be a household name.
He is awesome. I took (or should I say watched) his Stanford Class on Quantum Mechanics. It won't turn you into the next Sheldon Cooper, but it's still a good way to catch what he's all about.

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But anyway...what is it? 90% or more (?) of the OBSERVABLE Universe is unknown. And that's just what is observable. And that's just our single Universe. Dark matter, dark energy...holographic principle. Love thinking about it.
Absolutely there with you. I think we'll start to see some major breakthroughs in the next decade or two - especially if they can harness the power of quantum computing.

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It's a fascinating mystery. THE best mystery of all time. And I don't need any supernatural answers. I just want them. I'm like Fox Mulder. I want to believe. But more than that, I want the truth. And I am content with a perfectly natural answer. Just gimme some truth.
I'm in between on this. My faith tell me there is such a thing as Truth, but it does not give me all of it. It's like I'm looking at a multi-faceted diamond - only catching flickers of light here and there as light shines through it into our "non-observable" darkness. And Mystery is my favorite word in both science and theology.

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I just hope we can have a good back and forth on all these topics and steer away from all the typical pitfalls.
I think we're off to a good start.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:44 AM   #9
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BTW - Dr. Krauss was on tonight's episode of "How the Universe Works" - pretty cool.

And Dr. Kaku said "moment of Creation" instead of Big Bang - interesting slip
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:54 AM   #10
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my listings say the episode is about Solar Flares
Through the Wormhole's episode is titled Did God Create Evolution?

I like Dr Kaku, when I can't sleep, I find a podcast of his Exploration program and put it on.
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:06 AM   #11
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And Dr. Kaku said "moment of Creation" instead of Big Bang - interesting slip
lower case c
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:10 AM   #12
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To me - there is no gap for God to fill. There is God - and then everything else. The more we learn about everything else, I slide the scale a bit closer to God.
How does the Many Worlds Interpretation or Theory affect your belief or does it at all? If all possible outcomes are...well, possible, then does that negate our choices as moral or immoral?
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:28 AM   #13
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lower case c
still...I got it on the record for the jury
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:34 AM   #14
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How does the Many Worlds Interpretation or Theory affect your belief or does it at all? If all possible outcomes are...well, possible, then does that negate our choices as moral or immoral?
Interesting question. The Many World Theory is something I am personally leaning toward - I think, perhaps ironically, is the only theory that allows true free will.

I'm a bit of a universalist (meaning that most people will be "saved" over the course of time) - but that is only possible in a Ground Hog Day type of scenario. Does that make sense even if you don't agree?
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Old 08-01-2013, 01:37 AM   #15
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my listings say the episode is about Solar Flares
Through the Wormhole's episode is titled Did God Create Evolution?
Both shows were very cool. My son got a bit scared on the Solar Flares (especially the part about Gamma Flares)

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I like Dr Kaku, when I can't sleep, I find a podcast of his Exploration program and put it on.
He's like an awesome, cute, teddy bear of physics. I love him and his optimism.
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