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III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God" 
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Quote:
Do you get the idea anywhere here that Carrier's beliefs aren't based on evidence? The man is all about the evidence. If there was evidence that supported a single universe, I think Carrier would change his mind. His belief in the multiverse is clearly expressed as an opinion based on evidence as the quote above well shows.


As I've already said, Carrier says one thing, but dresses his argument as scientific fact by the words he uses.
I've highlighted a couple of instances already.

And by the way, there is no evidence for a multiverse.
I posted a comment on that very claim uttered by a theoretical physicist that doesn't make his living selling books that promote his worldview.
Carrier's "opinion" is based on zero evidence.

You are welcomed to continue supporting Carriers's cheap double-talk as it relates to this.

There is no room for cheap double-speak when talking science.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:03 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Quote:
He's a curious character I think. He studies the bible more than most believers I would say,and some of his insights are good I think.


It's also worthy of note how he apparently grossly misrepresented and patronized Antony Flew's final rejection of atheism:


Quote:
When reports spread of Antony Flew's rejection of atheism in 2004, Carrier engaged in correspondence with Flew to find out what happened and published an extensive analysis of the situation on the Secular Web, finding among other things that Flew changed his belief into there being some sort of "minimal God" (as in Deism). Carrier also came away with the opinion that Flew's changed ideas were not accurately represented in the book Flew co-authored, There is a God.[14][15][16] It is however worth noting that Flew himself insisted 'the idea that somebody manipulated me because I'm old is exactly wrong. This is my book and it represents my thinking.'[17]
- Wiki (emphasis mine)

What reason would Carrier have to characterize Flew in the manner he did?
Flew was considering the concept of God long before Carrier was able to spoon feed himself.
Flew's rejection of atheism must have upset Carrier.
For Carrier, it is important that God not exist. So it seems.


I did like most of his political views though! :P



Last edited by ant on Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:14 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
ant wrote:
Quote:
Do you get the idea anywhere here that Carrier's beliefs aren't based on evidence? The man is all about the evidence. If there was evidence that supported a single universe, I think Carrier would change his mind. His belief in the multiverse is clearly expressed as an opinion based on evidence as the quote above well shows.


As I've already said, Carrier says one thing, but dresses his argument as scientific fact by the words he uses.
I've highlighted a couple of instances already.

And by the way, there is no evidence for a multiverse.
I posted a comment on that very claim uttered by a theoretical physicist that doesn't make his living selling books that promote his worldview.
Carrier's "opinion" is based on zero evidence.

You are welcomed to continue supporting Carriers's cheap double-talk as it relates to this.

There is no room for cheap double-speak when talking science.


I can see that you're angry, but I still don't know why. Are you saying that all of Carrier's opinions are based on zero evidence or just his opinion on the multiverse?

Multiverse theory is a scientific hypothesis. Carrier states it as such in precise, unambiguous language. I think a case can be made that there's little or no evidence for a multiverse. It doesn't bother me. About all even Carrier can say, as he does in a couple of places, is that there's no evidence against it. I'm just not seeing any "cheap double-talk." If anything, Carrier is very transparent and honest about his beliefs and goals.

Also, I can't say it enough, this is a book of philosophy. You seem to want Carrier to stop speculating about black holes and multiverses, but all science begins with philosophy. I don't think there's an out of bounds in science.


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Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:47 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
A scientific hypothesis is supposed to be, among other things, testable.

How is the idea of an infinite amount of universes testable?
How would you go about confirming the existence of an infinite amount?

Start with that, please.

When I wrote my the post you are responding to, I was actually drinking a strawberry banana smoothie while sitting on a bench under a tree.
Its hard to be angry with a strawberry smoothie in your hand.
I doubt you can "see" anything of me behind fiber optic cables.



Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:10 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Hypothesis
a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.

Most people understand that multiverses are a new and speculative area of science. A starting point for further investigation. If they don't, Carrier indicates as such in the text.


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Tue Sep 09, 2014 8:44 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Quote:
It's not honest of you to say he's not married to it when one reads how Carrier clearly tries to frame mutiverse hypotheses within assertions of scientific fact.

I never said he wasn't married to it, but I don't think he would hesitate to change his mind given new evidence. What I said was that the justification for it is at the bottom of the list.

Quote:
Saying he's enthusiastic about it to a point that he is presenting it as a scientific "fact" (in some of my quotes from the book) but "not wedded to it" is cheap political double-speak.

He was not presenting it as scientific fact. Check your quotes.

Quote:
Carrier's "opinion" is based on zero evidence.

Based on no evidence? Carrier: "Inflation itself, chaotic or random behavior at small scales, “freezing” at larger scales, collapsing regions jump-starting inflation again, inflated regions being much larger than any distance we could see, etc."

If it is based on those things, it for one doesn't mean it's a scientific fact, but it does mean it's based on evidence.

Quote:
But it was very clear to me he also tried to cleverly graft the authority of science on to his personal worldview.

Methodological naturalism supports metaphysical naturalism over any other worldview. If there is any authority to the method of science(epistemically speaking, there is), that authority supports metaphysical naturalism because the method is taken as a starting/guiding principle for formulating the worldview. You're speaking nonsense ant.


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Wed Sep 10, 2014 10:13 am
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Interbane wrote:
Going from simple to complex isn't a starting principle. It's a pattern we see in nature, and if it is a principle, it's one reached as a conclusion, rather than a starting condition. We know the elements start from simple and go to complex. We know life goes from simple to complex.

How do you square the second law of thermodynamics and entropy with patterns and principles we see in nature?
I'm not saying living biological systems can't or don't swim against this tide,as clearly they do.
Carrier though is asserting an overall principle and based on it concludes the universe must start with the single, simplest possible imaginable entity.
But doesn't this law indicate disintegration from complex order to simpler disorder? So when a leaf falls to the ground, over time it disintegrates from a complex ordered state to disordered and simpler chemical particles.
The same apples to abandoned cars etc.
I don't see how a universal principle of simple to complex can be maintained in the light of this law of nature.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Wed Sep 10, 2014 12:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Sep 10, 2014 11:41 am
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Quote:
How do you square the second law of thermodynamics and entropy with patterns and principles we see in nature?
I'm not saying living biological systems can't or don't swim against this tide,as clearly they do.


They are well squared. From the top hit of a google search: "the spontaneous formation of millions of far more complex compounds than their elements is energetically favored by the second law. This is true whether the new molecule is more or less complicated than its starting materials because the second law is concerned only with energy. All other requirements or consequences are not within the purview of the law."

I'm not an expert on Thermodynamics, so I could be wrong. It was a random website. But it meshes with what I've read before. The second law is in regards to energy. I wonder why you think there would be a law of physics that runs contrary to the rest of scientific understanding? A whimsical oversight? A few intelligent men being dumb? :tease:

Quote:
I don't see how a universal principle of simple to complex can be maintained in the light of this law of nature.


I've thought before that it's more of a bell curve. During the start of the universe, when the simplest of subatomic particles existed, is one of the lowest points on the bell curve. Complexity increases as time goes on. Gravity causes matter to coalesce, leading to stars and fusion, which creates more complex elements. The elements combine to form molecules, and molecules form more complex molecules. Water forms into snowflakes, other elements into crystals. Proteins into proto-life forms. The proto-life forms grow more complex, leading to life. Simple life to complex life. We're still on the upslope of the bell curve.

But in billions of years, our complex entropy-defying bubble will run out of energy to fuel complexity(the sun), and the downslope will be fast. Like climbing a cliff only to jump off. In the end, entropy will win, even if it is defied in local areas for long stretches of time due to local stars. The heat death cometh.

http://www.kortexplores.com/node/76


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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Hi, Flann!

I've tackled the second law of thermodynamics in pretty good depth over here:

evolution-and-the-2nd-law-of-thermodynamics-t14718.html

Put simply, the language of thermodynamics when speaking about things like order and chaos is not the same kind of language you would use.

For instance, a chess board that has been prepared for play is a far more disorderly object than the interior of the sun, which is a titanic nuclear explosion.

Check out the thread for more in depth coverage of these kinds of un-common sense conundrums.

But rest assured, there is no instance of anything going against the second law of thermodynamics. That includes evolution, formation of complex molecules, and planetary accretion.


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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Hi Interbane,
I see you have a bell curve view of things followed by falling off a cliff.
I'm sure energy does lots of useful things on it's way to disorder.
Carrier though is claiming a general principle of, from simple to complex in nature.I gave examples such as a leaf decomposing from complex order to simpler disorder and an abandoned car rusting away. Such examples of entropy are innumerable and the result of this law of thermodynamics.
So Carrier is wrong is his assertion on this,and this is a basis for his postulate of the simplest possible entity imaginable as creator.
I also mentioned losses of genetic information in certain animals,which I would maintain is a loss of informational complexity leading to a less complex genome which is nonetheless extremely complex.
So I take issue with his premise that all things go from simple to complex.



Last edited by Flann 5 on Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:38 pm
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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
all things go from concentrated to dilute.

The energy of the sun is dispersing through the solar system, it clumps up briefly on our little rock, just as leaves flowing down a stream might, but both the energy on our planet, and the leaves snagged on that jut of rock in the stream will both slide off and dissipate.

I haven't read the book, but it sounds to me that what he's saying is not that all things must go from simple to complex, but that if there IS anything complex, it arose from simplicity. And that really does seem to be the case.


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In the absence of God, I found Man.
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Have you tried that? Looking for answers?
Or have you been content to be terrified of a thing you know nothing about?

Are you pushing your own short comings on us and safely hating them from a distance?

Is this the virtue of faith? To never change your mind: especially when you should?

Young Earth Creationists take offense at the idea that we have a common heritage with other animals. Why is being the descendant of a mud golem any better?

Confidence being an expectation built on past experience, evidence and extrapolation to the future. Faith being an expectation held in defiance of past experience and evidence.


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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Hi Johnson,
Maybe you are correct and I would have to check, but it seemed like he was making a universal principle of it. I'll check it in his book.
I also don't agree with Interbane that Dawkin's "weasel "simulation is truly Darwinian as it had a preset target and was set up informationally to achieve that target. Evolution has no target or goal unless Dawkins wants to agree that it's not an unguided goal less process.
If you go with the standard model of cosmology,Johnson, where you have a starting point of infinite density and infinite just about everything,would you say this was a simple beginning?



Last edited by Flann 5 on Thu Sep 11, 2014 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Flann wrote:
I also don't agree with Interbane that Dawkin's "weasel "simulation is truly Darwinian as it had a preset target and was set up informationally to achieve that target. Evolution has no target or goal unless Dawkins wants to agree that it's not an unguided goal less process.


The simulation used the evolutionary algorithm. It was Darwinian. Formulating a preset target is the only way to simulate the environmental niches that species fill. In nature, the preset target is the niche. How would you suggest the environmental niches be simulated?

If we ever had a simulation powerful enough to process the evolution of a short necked animal in the giraffidae family, the simulation would not generate tall necked giraffes without tall trees. It must be set up, informationally if you will, to favor the outcome of tall giraffes.

Another way to think of it is to consider a blind man throwing darts at a wall. You tape a small target on the wall to simulate a niche. The blind man throws 1,000 darts. Simulating the selective process that occurs in nature, you remove all darts that haven't hit the target. All that is left are the darts that have hit the target. Evolution hits the target niches, and does so blindly, unguided.

Quote:
Maybe you are correct and I would have to check, but it seemed like he was making a universal principle of it. I'll check it in his book.


It's plain that many things go from complex to simple. But those complex things start off as their more simple building blocks. Let me know what you find in the book regarding him claiming that this is a universal principle, or how it was worded. I could see it as a principle with narrow conceptual scope, but not universal.


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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Quote:
If you go with the standard model of cosmology,Johnson, where you have a starting point of infinite density and infinite just about everything,would you say this was a simple beginning?


Quote:
No theory of physics should produce infinities.


I am reading Marcelo's ideas about infinities:
Quote:
When mathematics find a singularity they explore its neighborhood to see if there is a way out.


"Infinity" is not measurable - ever.
Nor can it ever be reconciled scientifically. That is why mathematics, from what I understand, needs to revamp its analysis. "Infinite density" is not a simple solution to anything. It is a conceptual fabrication.
It can not exist experientially.

"Infinity" is a place holder for mathematics that essentially means nothing. It is NOT an explanation of any sort a human being can wrap his mind around.

That was a good question, Flann.



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Post Re: III. What There Is - "Sense and Goodness Without God"
Quote:
"Infinity" is a place holder for mathematics that essentially means nothing. It is NOT an explanation of any sort a human being can wrap his mind around.


Just to play devil's advocate; what if there was in fact a singularity with infinite density? We wouldn't be able to wrap our heads around the real thing nor the mathematical term. But that doesn't mean we don't use the term to describe the real thing. The term would be meaningful.

Not that I buy the idea of infinite density. What of infinite time? Or infinite space? Infinite intelligence?


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