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An eternal universe and the 'special plead' of God [cosmology]

Discussion in 'Physical & Life Sciences' started by theoneandonlypencil, Jan 9, 2020.

  1. Michael

    Michael Contributor Supporter

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    I agree. :)
     
  2. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Pretty much everything past love your neighbor, at first. :) (I'm going all the way back to early 20s for that attitude, a very long time ago), though I was eventually intrigued more than just casually about "love your neighbor as yourself (maybe about age 26 or later) -- and then finally willing to test love your neighbor as yourself, as a very interesting proposition (see below for why) --

    I thought in some moment something like: What if the Beatles had it right about how to have peace between nations? == Beatles lyric: 'all you need is love'.

    Get that: what if the simplistic, naive, childish idea was....more than just a simple, naive, childish idea...?

    So, of course, I could see that Christ was a main source of that idea, the seeming possibly naive, but....maybe not...Beatles lyric that love is one of the key things that could help humanity for peace (instead of self-destruction). That attitude of I know better was maybe around age 20-25 or so. Ok? Don't try to paint it onto me now, plz. :)

    So, at first my idea was to test that isolated proposition. And soon there was one other, which I'd picked up from the local culture of the self-help moment in Austin (way back, early 90s) -- of forgiving people in order to let it go and be free of them. So I next became interested in that "forgive not just 7 times, but seventy times seven." idea. Proposition. To be tested.

    To test and see if it really was such a good idea.

    I did not want to have any other stuff be right, because that would be a lot of trouble for me, as I saw it. But again, this was youthful stuff, which I slowly grew out of, and especially after I tested these 2 propositions (to see if they worked a lot better than the dozens of other things I tried out about how to live and be in the best state of being).
     
  3. Michael

    Michael Contributor Supporter

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    I can't speak for anyone else, but during my "stint" as an atheist, it would have been a lot more "comfortable" (intellectually) to be able to find fault in Christ's teachings in terms of a moral conflict with humanism or some other issue that made me "certain" it was logical to reject Christ as being "enlightened"/divinely inspired.

    That isn't to say one couldn't come to the conclusion that "doing unto others as you'd have done to you" sense of morality, or a humanistic sense of morality without religion, but it still would have been easier had I found fault with his teachings or his lifestyle that made it easier to write off his statements.

    For instance, I found it pretty easy to find fault with many of the actions and statements of many of the characters in the Bible, the Qur'an, etc. It made it intellectually easier to reject religion and embrace atheism. When it came to the teachings/statements of Jesus however, it wasn't as easy for me to find fault in them. That was a bit "disconcerting", but there obviously were other ways to interpret that issue that did bring psychological "comfort".
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  4. FrumiousBandersnatch

    FrumiousBandersnatch Well-Known Member

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    I suspect both are small subsets of all atheists; just as old-fashioned, well-read believers, and fundamentalist creationists, are small subsets of believers.
     
  5. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    Big Bang - Wikipedia
    You can look into the details if you want.

    The scientific community was once divided between supporters of two different models, the Big Bang and the steady state, but a wide range of empirical evidence has strongly favored the Big Bang which is now universally accepted.

    All scientific theories make untestable predictions?

    They're all interesting. I think some are less susceptible to Occam's Razor than others.
     
  6. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Well, in physics, a boatload of theories make entirely just testable predictions only. Though at times the needed test could involve a technical ability yet to be accomplished, it is always doable in principle, for most theories. The exceptions are the minority. One notable and prominent exception now are multiverse theories, which might possibly be forever untestable. This has caused some controversy, as you could imagine.

    Here's one site that came to prominence because of that controversy (well, not only for that reason, but also because of its high quality):
    Not Even Wrong
    which has the clever moniker "Not Even Wrong" heh heh :)
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  7. Chesterton

    Chesterton Whats So Funny bout Peace Love and Understanding Supporter

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    I skimmed through the article which is about HEP. I don't know what HEP is and the article doesn't explain. Neither does Google. It would be hepful to know.
     
  8. FrumiousBandersnatch

    FrumiousBandersnatch Well-Known Member

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    I was talking with a Quaker woman last week, in a philosophy group, about her idea that it would be wonderful if everyone was just friendly and loving to each other. We came to the conclusion that it was an appealing but rather naive aspiration that, in practice, was inevitably frustrated by the vagaries of human nature - as was so effectively demonstrated by the supposed followers of Christ himself, in the Christian rampage of destruction across the classical world from around 300 A.D. onwards.
     
  9. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    High Energy Physics.

    As the quotation read:
    "...In HEP no significant experimental findings were reported, old ideas concerning Beyond the Standard Model (BSM) physics hit dead-ends one after another and were not replaced by novel ideas. Hopes for key discoveries at the LHC (such as superpartners) which I mentioned in 2012 are fading away. Some may even say that these hopes are already dead. Low energy supersymmetry is ruled out, and gone with it is the concept of naturalness, a basic principle which theorists cherished and followed for decades. Nothing has replaced it so far…"
    --Misha Shifman, via Musings on the Current Status of HEP | Not Even Wrong


    This reminded me that Natalie W. has covered this in Quantamagazine, so there's the place to go to read more (I can guarantee, having read this article I'm linking) --

    The 2nd article is the one that is addressing the same thing as the quote above, but the first link is to the initial article of that series. They are both talking about the crisis in HEP/physics about the seeming (so far to date) collapse of the expected theories of everything that the souped-up high energy collider CERN LHC (Large Hadron Collider) in Europe has helped bring about recently.

    Naturalness in physics seeming to fail: Initial article: Complications in Physics Lend Support to Multiverse Hypothesis | Quanta Magazine

    Update about lack of the expected particles and the so-far seeming failure of the leading theory (supersymmetry):
    What No New Particles Means for Physics | Quanta Magazine

    (one can look up more layman level wording, but Natalie is pretty darn good at explaining and I'd encourage trying out her articles, but...one can find additional good articles:
    Why Supersymmetry May Be The Greatest Failed Prediction In Particle Physics History
     
  10. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    That's just what I thought was likely -- that I'd get inevitably frustrated by the vagaries of human nature -- good wording!

    That was what I thought.

    I thought I'd put myself out there, loving neighbors, and get condescendingly patronized or such....

    And that is not what happened. Instead, it was more akin to buying just one lottery ticket and winning $100,000, really. That's a closer analog than any other, for how it was to me then.

    My best guess: only a minority of Christians through the centuries ever tried doing it, possibly a small minority, though I cannot say if that's 5% or 50%.
     
  11. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    Regarding the last....consider an analog: did Mao represent socialism, or did Stalin? It's a question to ask about just how Rome related with Christianity politically at that century. After all, have a look at some of the details here:

    During the reign of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great (AD 306–337), Christianity began to transition to the dominant religion of the Roman Empire. Historians remain uncertain about Constantine's reasons for favoring Christianity, and theologians and historians have often argued about which form of early Christianity he subscribed to. There is no consensus among scholars as to whether he adopted his mother Helena's Christianity in his youth, or, as claimed by Eusebius of Caesarea, encouraged her to convert to the faith he had adopted himself.

    Constantine ruled the Roman Empire as sole emperor for much of his reign. Some scholars allege that his main objective was to gain unanimous approval and submission to his authority from all classes, and therefore chose Christianity to conduct his political propaganda, believing that it was the most appropriate religion that could fit with the Imperial cult (see also Sol Invictus). Regardless, under the Constantinian dynasty Christianity expanded throughout the Empire, launching the era of State church of the Roman Empire.[1] Whether Constantine sincerely converted to Christianity or remained loyal to Paganism is still a matter of debate among historians (see also Constantine's religious policy).[2] His formal conversion in 312 is almost universally acknowledged among historians,[1][3] despite that he was baptized only on his deathbed by the Arian bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia in 337;[4][5][6] the real reasons behind it remain unknown and are debated also.[2][3] According to Hans Pohlsander, Professor Emeritus of History at the University at Albany, SUNY, Constantine's conversion was just another instrument of realpolitik in his hands meant to serve his political interest in keeping the Empire united under his control:

    The prevailing spirit of Constantine's government was one of conservatorism. His conversion to and support of Christianity produced fewer innovations than one might have expected; indeed they served an entirely conservative end, the preservation and continuation of the Empire.

    — Hans Pohlsander, The Emperor Constantine[7]
    Constantine's decision to cease the persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire was a turning point for early Christianity, sometimes referred to as the Triumph of the Church, the Peace of the Church or the Constantinian shift. In 313, Constantine and Licinius issued the Edict of Milan decriminalizing Christian worship. The emperor became a great patron of the Church and set a precedent for the position of the Christian emperor within the Church and raised the notions of orthodoxy, Christendom, ecumenical councils, and the state church of the Roman Empire declared by edict in 380. He is revered as a saint and isapostolos in the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodox Church, and various Eastern Catholic Churches for his example as a "Christian monarch".

    Constantine the Great and Christianity - Wikipedia

    A nasty combination in my view.

    Consider even just "Christian monarch".
    Now, compare:

    25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    As echoed in the epistles:
    1 Peter 5:3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.


    So, if Constantine truly converted...... then how should he have acted then?

    More from the wiki:
    Christian emperorship
    The reign of Constantine established a precedent for the position of the Christian emperor in the Church. Emperors considered themselves responsible to the gods for the spiritual health of their subjects, and after Constantine they had a duty to help the Church define orthodoxy and maintain orthodoxy.[32] The Church generally regarded the definition of doctrine as the responsibility of the bishops; the emperor's role was to enforce doctrine, root out heresy, and uphold ecclesiastical unity.[33] The emperor ensured that God was properly worshiped in his empire; what proper worship (orthodoxy) and doctrines and dogma consisted of was for the Church to determine.[34]

    [My comment: Got power, and ready to use it much to force people? Not a part of Christianity!]

    Constantine had become a worshiper of the Christian God, but he found that there were many opinions on that worship and indeed on who and what that God was. In 316, Constantine was asked to adjudicate in a North African dispute of the Donatist sect (who began by refusing obedience to any bishops who had yielded in any way to persecution, later regarding all bishops but their own sect as utterly contaminated). ....

    ...
    Just before his death in May 337, Constantine was baptised into Christianity. Up until this time he had been a catechumen for most of his adult life. He believed that if he waited to get baptized on his death bed he was in less danger of polluting his soul with sin and not getting to heaven. He was baptized by his distant relative Arian Bishop Eusebius of Nicomedia. During Eusebius of Nicomedia's time in the Imperial court, the Eastern court and the major positions in the Eastern Church were held by Arians or Arian sympathizers.[36] With the exception of a short period of eclipse, Eusebius enjoyed the complete confidence both of Constantine and Constantius II and was the tutor of Emperor Julian the Apostate.[37] After Constantine's death, his son and successor Constantius II was an Arian, as was Emperor Valens.

    Suppression of other religions

    Constantine's position on the religions traditionally practiced in Rome evolved during his reign. In fact, his coinage and other official motifs, until 325, had affiliated him with the pagan cult of Sol Invictus. At first, Constantine encouraged the construction of new temples[38] and tolerated traditional sacrifices;[15] by the end of his reign, he had begun to order the pillaging and tearing down of Roman temples.[39][40][41]

    Persian relations
    Beyond the limes, east of the Euphrates, the Sasanian rulers of the Persian Empire, perennially at war with Rome, had usually tolerated Christianity. Constantine is said to have written to Shapur II in 324 and urged him to protect Christians under his rule.[42] With the establishment of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire, Christians in Persia would be regarded as allies of Persia's ancient enemy. According to an anonymous Christian account, Shapur II wrote to his generals:[43][44]

    "You will arrest Simon, chief of the Christians. You will keep him until he signs this document and consents to collect for us a double tax and double tribute from the Christians … for we Gods [45] have all the trials of war and they have nothing but repose and pleasure. They inhabit our territory and agree with Caesar, our enemy."


    — Shapur II, A History of Christianity in Asia: Beginnings to 1500
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  12. FrumiousBandersnatch

    FrumiousBandersnatch Well-Known Member

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    HEP = High Energy Physics.

    It's fair to say that there is quite a debate about the 'scientific' qualifier and testability & falsifiability. Popper himself knew that falsifiability was an ideal, not always possible. Theories cannot be tested in isolation, they depend on a network of related assumptions and other theories, which themselves are dependent on a network of related assumptions and theories...

    Most scientific theories make untestable as well as testable predictions, and most of the debatably scientific ideas (hypotheses?) are contingent predictions of well-tested scientific theories - contingent on a few more - or less - plausible assumptions. Like many human categories under close examination, the edges of the 'scientific' are fuzzier than they appear from a casual glance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2020
  13. FrumiousBandersnatch

    FrumiousBandersnatch Well-Known Member

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    That's the point - it may be fine and dandy for those individuals prepared to try it, but how many are both willing and able?
     
  14. FrumiousBandersnatch

    FrumiousBandersnatch Well-Known Member

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    I'm familiar with that evidence and the opinions of leading cosmologists about it - that we cannot say what preceded the big bang (or inflation if that's your preferred model) because we don't have a theory (e.g. quantum gravity) that can manage the relevant conditions. Many cosmologists have been working on models for pre-big bang (or inflation) cosmologies, which suggests, to me at least, that they don't consider the big bang (or inflation) to be an absolute beginning, but only the beginning of the universe as we know it.

    Pretty much, yep - of course, they also make testable predictions, or they wouldn't have become scientific theories...

    Indeed - there are some that claim whole untestable non-physical ontologies... Occam must be spinning in his grave ;)
     
  15. Michael

    Michael Contributor Supporter

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    Would you consider M-theory to be a "scientific theory"? I would argue that a lot of theories have never actually been based on "prediction", but rather on "postdiction".

    :oldthumbsup:
     
  16. muichimotsu

    muichimotsu I Spit On Perfection

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    The thing becomes, what alternative model do you have? If you're positing something that's so scientific, then either you're claiming a conspiracy against your model, which is an unfalsifiable crackpot idea in itself, or it's more likely you're using faulty methodology to even claim that your theory is more falsifiable and doesn't rely on some nebulous idea, which dark energy doesn't necessarily fall into if you grasped science (which from others' explanations, you don't appear to)

    We can't falsify the big bang model in the sequential aspect before it happened, until we get to a point we can observe beyond the Planck time, but we can reasonably conclude particular aspects from observations we've made that the big bang occurred. You're putting the cart before the horse in terms of falsifiability, because science isn't making an absolute claim in regards to big bang, it's saying it's the best explanation we have and you've failed to present a valid alternative, or any, not unlike creationists.
     
  17. Halbhh

    Halbhh Everything You say is Life to me Supporter

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    "Whosoever"
     
  18. Michael

    Michael Contributor Supporter

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    Well, I personally prefer a static universe model that is based on EU/PC (electric universe/plasma cosmology) theory and/or tired light models. Plasma redshift has actually been documented in the lab, and correlated to the number of free electrons in the plasma (Chen).

    I certainly wouldn't call it conspiracy since astronomers keep poking holes in their own models, and EU/PC theory is not "my model". :) I'm sure Ptolemaic proponents didn't necessarily 'conspire" against Aristarchus of Samos' heliocentric solar model for 1800 years, but they certainly did get it all wrong for 18 centuries.

    Ah, the ever handy "crackpot" label. Yawn. It's a good thing I didn't claim it was a conspiracy eh? :)

    Well, EU/PC models actually work in the lab, including the generation of a "hot" and full sphere solar corona. They also work in the lab with respect to the cause of photon redshift. It's not really a nebulous idea either since it's based on the same principles that make your computer and cellphone function.

    The only reason "dark energy" was even proposed to start with is because no "natural" form of energy would work to save the expansion model from falsification. Two very recent SN1A studies have also demonstrated that the larger set of SN1A data doesn't automatically support an acceleration process to start with.

    I'm not sure i understand what you mean by 'sequential aspect before it happened'. Can it be falsified at all?

    I suppose that depends on how one defines "reasonable". Is it really "reasonable" to introduce three unfalsifiable and unsupported (in the lab) causes of redshift when one documented cause of redshift would do the trick?

    I suggest you read the book "Physics of the Plasma universe". It's certainly a valid scientific alternative to a big bang theory of cosmology. You might also study a few "tired light" models. Chen even demonstrated that plasma redshift occurs in controlled experimentation and the amount of redshift can be correlated to the number of free electrons in the plasma.
     
  19. muichimotsu

    muichimotsu I Spit On Perfection

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    I'm not remotely an expert, but the static model doesn't seem to account for things like entropy or even the mechanics behind what strongly suggests the universe was not remotely in the state it is now billions of years ago. How do you even remotely start to determine the universe's age?


    Science doesn't claim perfection, that's your unrealistic standard


    Except the scale is massively different, so, like with gravity, I can't imagine it's going to function the same way or that the model would make sense when we're talking stuff on the level that dwarfs our sun and solar system entirely, the Milky Way alone such that we're a speck

    Not sure how you propose to falsify a model that would require observing the universe as a whole: also you can't really put such events in a lab: are we going to just observe an accretion disc forming or a star coming into being in a lab?


    Once we understand more about black holes, we could figure out whether the hypothesis that they're wormholes might accurate and could be applied in terms of understanding what happens temporally and spatially within the event horizon, etc.


    The single cause may be insufficient in explaining other observations we have from measurements that I cannot say I'm aware of. The scale is one of the biggest aspects you seem to oversimplify, as if the universe is just a giant sphere and there's no sense of change, entropy, etc, involved that would bring a static universe into question


    You keep saying that, but I don't claim expertise in that respect at all and your use of valid is also questionable as to whether it actually applies in any sense beyond that it fits particular experiments you can quote rather than something that actually would be more substantiated and thus fit a theory rather than a mere hypothesis.[/QUOTE]
     
  20. FrumiousBandersnatch

    FrumiousBandersnatch Well-Known Member

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    Not by the strict definition of 'scientific theory' as a well-established and well-tested model for observed phenomena. It's more a mathematical theory grounded in physics, i.e. it's theoretical physics - it's a theory in that sense.
     
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