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Post 100

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 8:54pmSanction this postReply
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What is the origin of the universe?
- From the study of physics, we've created a theory that energy/mass is always constant. So let us not even consider that there was once nothing, and that somehow something came into existence. Yet to say that things have always existed also seems unsatisfactory. I mean, it makes more sense to me to say that the laws of the universe have always existed, but I would think that at some point there were no atoms, no subatomic particles, but then what was? I do not know. Nor do I know the entire story of how things came to be from how they once were.

Seems to me this question presupposes answers to other questions:

What is existence?
- Everything that currently exists and the change that reality performs, the process that extants go through by the laws of reality.

Is it what man understands it to be?
- Depends on whether the man understands my definition.

What is the universe?
- The entirety of things that are currently interacting with each other, including us.

Is it what man understands it to be?
- Depends on whether the man understands my definition.

Is the universe a subset of existence ... or vice versa?
- Potentially there are separate universes that exist independently, that never did and never will interact. Hence our universe could be a subset of existence, but its not provable.

Is man capable of answering these questions?
- The only unsatisfactorily answered question is how the extants came to be in the first place. Potentially through the scientific method we will discover more of what reality's laws are, or correct flaws in existing laws. Surely we will not be able to perfectly describe the exact location and process of each and every individual extant came to be, but we may eventually be able to describe how extants can come to be in a case where we currently describe as from nothingness... answering the origin question.

If so, why?
- Why? Potentially we can use the scientific method to prove with high confidence that new hypothesis are laws of reality. Uh, why not? Potentially something like our incomplete knowledge of the current state of reality, and that we are incapable of knowing the current state of reality, would block us from gaining particular kinds of knowledge, and prevent us from verifying or rejecting a potentially correct theory on the origin of extants.



Post 101

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 6:42amSanction this postReply
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Hence our universe could be a subset of existence, but its not provable.
Yep.  Until humans are capable of knowing:  (1) the nature of what lies beyond that which we define as the 'universe' or that (2) nothing lies beyond it, discussion of its origin rises to the level of late-night bull session and not much higher.  JMHO, of course. 




Post 102

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 6:57amSanction this postReply
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"The universe" means the sum total of that which exists ...
Does it follow from the above that nothing exists beyond "the universe"?  If so, how do we know this?

It seems a bit arrogant of humans to assume they are capable of knowing this.  

Just my humble opinion as a mere human.

(Edited by Ken Bashford on 10/12, 7:24am)




Post 103

Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - 4:31pmSanction this postReply
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"It seems a bit arrogant of humans to assume they are capable of knowing this."

If not humans, then who else would be capable of knowing this? Weren't these concepts created by humans?
-----------

There is a difference between arrogance and ambition. Arrogance has a very negative connotation - as if only God can know some things and that we are too inferior to know them. While being overly ambitious would be a different kind of assessment - that it might not be knowable given our epistemology when applied to this issue (just as I can't "know" what someone else is feeling in a way that directly mirrors how they experience what they are feeling). I mention this because I really don't like the charge of arrogance. Ambition is a male flea crawling up the leg of a female elephant with sex on his mind... I smile at his misplaced confidence, his lofty ambition, but I wouldn't condemn him as arrogant.

Unless one believes in a God or gods that are superior to humans, then I'd never say "mere" humans. Man is superior to all that exists in the part of universe that we exist in. Humility is no virtue, contrary to what some might think.



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Post 104

Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 3:05amSanction this postReply
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William Dwyer (earlier):   "The universe" means the sum total of that which exists ...
 
Me (earlier):   Does it follow from the above that nothing exists beyond "the universe"?  If so, how do we know this?   It seems a bit arrogant of humans to assume they are capable of knowing this.

Steve Wolfer:  If not humans, then who else would be capable of knowing this?

Me (now):   Good question, to which I don't know the answer. Which is to say:  I don't know that there exists no other being capable of such knowledge.  

Steve Wolfer:  Weren't these concepts created by humans?
 
If by concepts it is meant notions/thoughts/ideas, then, yes, humans have created many concepts.  That a concept is created by a human does not necessarily vouch for its truth or validity.  

For example:  "The universe" means the sum total of that which exists.   I don't know this man-made concept to be valid.  I don't know that all that exists is circumscribed by the universe (as we humans conceptulaize it).

Steve Wolfer:   Unless one believes in a God or gods that are superior to humans, then I'd never say "mere" humans. ...  Humility is no virtue, contrary to what some might think.

Can no other being exist that's superior to humans without being "a God"?   I don't know the answer to this question.  I don't know that I'm capable of knowing the answer to this question. 

I remain humble in the face of such voids in my knowledge.  I claim no virtue in my humility. I erred earlier in characterizing others. I should remember to speak only for myself on such matters.


(Edited by Ken Bashford on 10/13, 4:24am)

(Edited by Ken Bashford on 10/13, 4:42am)




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Post 105

Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 8:16amSanction this postReply
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I wrote, "The universe" means the sum total of that which exists."

Ken replied, "Does it follow from the above that nothing exists beyond 'the universe'?"

Yes, by definition. If the universe is all that exists, then nothing else does. Hello! :-)

Ken replied, "If so, how do we know this?" By a simple process of logical inference.





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Post 106

Friday, October 28, 2011 - 1:04amSanction this postReply
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Ken existence simply exists whether you have the brainpower to understand the natural laws of the universe or not is irrelevant to its existence. The universe will go on with or without you pondering its nature.

However to the extent that you do grasp its nature will have a very real impact on how successful you are living within it.

Are there beings out there that are not god that are "smarter" than us?
It is with my limited understanding of the natural laws of the universe to answer "probably"
Why? Because most events that are improbable but not impossible not only will occur but when using the backdrop of time as an infinite will not only occur but will occur an infinite number of times.
Do I need to care about it? Only if they have really good stock tips!



Post 107

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 1:38pmSanction this postReply
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The point I'm trying to make with my series of posts here is this:

Existence is a concept formulated by the human intellect to identify the sum total of what the human senses are capable of knowing. This same intellect, in my view, is capable of *hypothesizing* other existences for which the human senses are incapable of producing evidence. The human intellect's inability to prove this hypothesis does not render the hypothesis unreasonable.





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Post 108

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 3:08pmSanction this postReply
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Ken,

You wrote, "Existence is a concept formulated by the human intellect to identify the sum total of what the human senses are capable of knowing. This same intellect, in my view, is capable of *hypothesizing* other existences for which the human senses are incapable of producing evidence. The human intellect's inability to prove this hypothesis does not render the hypothesis unreasonable."

There are things that exist that our senses are incapable of knowing - for example, "reason" isn't directly accessed via our senses, nor is justice. There are many things that are not at a perceptual level. So, I don't think that's a good definition of 'existence.'

But here is the key point. If something exists, it does so independent of the knowing of its existence. If all humans suddenly died and nothing could be 'known' or 'sensed' it would not do away with existence.

So, if something exists, and it has some properties that makes it impossible for us to learn of it (say it is only found in a location light years from here, doesn't emit or reflect enough light for us to detect with current technology, and will disappear from existence before we could ever conquer the problems of traveling that distance or detecting so little light), it exists, even though we won't ever know it.

And, there aren't, by definition, multiple existences - not in the way that the word is used when we mean 'all that exists.'

You wrote, "The human intellect's inability to prove this hypothesis does not render the hypothesis unreasonable." Well, the hypothesis that you refer to is the ability to imagine an existence our senses can't detect. But that is an equivocation on the word "existence" - to use it as something that exists, as opposed to all that exists. And it's dependent on your definition of existence as that which human senses can detect - and that isn't a good definition of existence.

A hypothesis is a proposed explanation of a phenomena. It has the property of claiming to be true, but the form of being potentially falsifiable. So, there is an additional question as to validity of proposing the existence of that which could never be validated or falsified. Cast like that, the claim that this imagined entity being 'hypothesized' might actually exist, is too like a premise requiring people to prove a negative. So, I'd say that on technical grounds such a hypothesis would be unreasonable.







Post 109

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 6:36pmSanction this postReply
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Ken if I were to walk up to you and state:
"There is an orc on my head" and you were to look and state " I can't see it"
Then of course I could state " of course not it is invisible!"
So then you reach up and feel around my head and state:
" but I can't feel it either"
My reply being " of course not it exists in an alternate form of existance that you have no way of detecting but its there!"

Now let us suppose you had every scientific measuring and detection device as well as the best scientists at your disposal and they too could not detect it how are we to know the validity of its existance?

2 answers..either our current scientific knowledge is unable to detect it at this time orrrrrr... ugly option B You will just have to have faith that it is there. That is what your arguement leads to ultimately and as I understand the natural laws of the universe faith is the belief in something even when the evidence leads to the contrary.

Every person that attempts to valididate plato's forms is doing exactly that. They are attempts to decieve us into believing that our senses cannot be trusted that a rational being has no way of accurately percieving reality. It is an attempt to destroy that which is the only means we have of survival our rational mind and our ability to act upon that which our senses tell us is true.



Post 110

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 3:22amSanction this postReply
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Steve:

If something exists, it does so independent of the knowing of its existence. If all humans suddenly died and nothing could be 'known' or 'sensed' it would not do away with existence.


Yes.  Thank you.

And you're right: 'hypothesize' was a poor choice of word.

(Edited by Ken Bashford on 11/03, 4:32am)




Post 111

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 4:27amSanction this postReply
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Jules:

Yes.  Faith is believing that something IS in the face of compelling evidence that it IS NOT.

This is not the same as thinking something is possible, absent compelling evidence that it must be impossible. 

The fact that human senses and intellect are incapable of discerning something is not compelling evidence that it does not or cannot exist.  Which is not the same as suggesting our senses and intellect cannot be trusted to accurately perceive reality.  But rather that our senses and intellect may not be up to the task of perceiving ALL of reality, accurately or otherwise.  We are a single species of being in the vastness of reality as we know it today.  But there is much of that vastness we know about today that we did not know about 4,000 years ago.   How much more of it do we still not know about?  And what do we not know about it?

I think it's irrational for a man to think existence is confined to that which is discernible to the human senses and intellect at any given moment.

(Edited by Ken Bashford on 11/03, 4:37am)




Post 112

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 5:23amSanction this postReply
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I agree with that ken.
My apologies what I thought you were alluding to was the possibility of supernatural existences outside of the known or as yet to be discovered universe that we live in.




Post 113

Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 10:08amSanction this postReply
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The cosmic background radiation tends to discredit plasma cosmology.

Please read the following for the details:

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

ruben



Post 114

Friday, March 9, 2012 - 4:48amSanction this postReply
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~Follow-on to #97~

The author Roger Penrose carefully explains all the technical concepts and their validation to prepare the reader for the following, from Cycles of Time:
    My Oxford colleague Paul Tod has made a detailed study of a . . . mathematically . . . satisfactory way of formulating a “WCH” [Weyl curvature hypothesis]. This is to say, more or less, that there is a Big Bang 3-surface B–, which acts as a smooth past boundary to the space-time [manifold] when M is considered as a conformal manifold* . . . . (134)

    In a conformal picture in which the Big Bang is stretched out . . . to become a completely smooth 3-surface B– which mathematically extends to a conformal “space-time” prior to the Big Bang, the physical activity would propagate backwards in time in a mathematically coherent way [i.e., the physical activity can be traced back in time in the equations], providing a physically sensible picture seemingly unperturbed by the enormous scale changes involved, into this hypothetical pre-Big-Bang region that is being provided for it in accordance with Tod’s proposal. (142)

    Cosmological event horizons occur when the model [of the universe, consistent with GR] possesses an I+ [future null-cone {conformal structure} infinity] which is spacelike [which is the case for all models with positive cosmological constant in Einstein’s field equations]. (119)
In the remote future of the universe, it appears that our ever-expanding universe (with eventual universe-entropy reduction by black holes ever-reducing degrees of freedom) will contain only massless particles such as photons and gravitons.
    To massless particles, the ultimate hypersurface I+ represents a region of their conformal space-time that seems to be just like anywhere else, and there appears to be no bar to entering a hypothetical extension of this conformal space-time on the “other side” of I+. Moreover, there are powerful mathematical results, mainly through the important work of Helmut Friedrich, that lend support to the actual conformal future-extendability of space-time, under the general circumstances being considered here, for which there must be a positive cosmological constant. (146)

    [Penrose proposes] that there is a physically real region of space-time prior to B– which is the remote future of some previous universe phase, and that there is also a physically real universe phase that extends beyond our I+ to become a big bang for a new universe phase. In accordance with this proposal, I shall refer to the phase beginning with our B– and extending to our I+ as the present aeon, and I am suggesting that the universe as a whole is to be seen as an extended conformal manifold consisting of a (possibly infinite) succession of aeons, each appearing to be an entire expanding universe history. (147)

    The reader might well worry about identifying a remote future, where the radiation cools down to zero temperature and expands out to zero density, with a big-bang-type of explosion, where the radiation had started at an infinite temperature and infinite density. But the conformal “stretching” at the big bang brings this infinite density and temperature down to finite values, and the conformal “squashing” at infinity brings the zero density and temperature up, to finite values. (148)
If I understand him correctly, Penrose is not offering an explanation of why the stretching and squashing occur. I presume that one eventually reaches a point in the advance of science where one finds root primitive facts that simply are facts for which no further reasons can be found because they are the last reasons. Be that as it may, I imagine physicists will not take the stretching and squashing to be such primitive facts.

Penrose takes time to comment on alternative current scientific cosmologies (all within GR framework) addressing the universe before the Big Bang. His own Conformal Cyclic Cosmology, by the way, is one in which there arises an explanation of the data explained by the early-inflationary model of the course of the Big Bang expansion; his eliminates early inflation.

Sorry about the turbidity, but I wanted to give a glimpse, a teaser, and it had to be quick.



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Post 115

Sunday, July 21 - 11:57amSanction this postReply
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Excerpts from my website:
http://www.theory-of-reciprocity.com

Either the phenomenon of existence is the result of cause and effect (creation) or it is not. 
 
"It is" implies Creation ex Nihilo

If everything that exists was created and nothing existed prior to creation, then space, itself, must once have been absent until some ancient incipient event precipitated the manifestation of the Universe and all of its inhabitants. Any causative progenitor must be ruled out since it would both violate the second requisite of the premise and require any precursor to be the descendent of an earlier predecessor similarly predated by an eternal procession of ancestry. The chicken-and-the-egg redundancy that results from any causative approach to the enigma of existence either implies no logical beginning or it implies an inexplicable spontaneous source not derived from causation - a source that would not only violate the first requisite but would also render the entire premise of cosmic genesis totally moot, for if anything could exist without creation, why couldn't everything else?
 
When the tenets of logic invalidate your argument, you should avoid them entirely, so there are those who would suggest whatever created the cosmos wasn't subject to logic or the laws of physics. Theologians profess an omnipotent deity created the Universe in a miraculous act of divine inspiration. Contemporary cosmologists tout the progressive red-shift of light from distant galaxies as proof that a Big Bang Universe is still spewing from the bowels of a spontaneously spawned singularity in a process not governed by the canons of physics as we know them today. Both hypotheses are equally specious. Once the laws of nature are repealed anything is possible, even the absurd; and if we permit even one exception to those laws, why should we expect the rest of the cosmos to abide by them? You may freely choose to suspend simple logic in favor of whichever belief system you might wish to embrace, but thereafter and forevermore don't try to pretend your argument is rational.

So, why does something exist rather than nothing?

AXIOM: Before something can change, before something can act or be acted upon, it must exist.

It's a rather simple axiom, intrinsically self-evident since any who might dissent must believe in things that don't exist. At first you might consider the premise to be obvious and inconsequential, but in reality, its deeper significance categorically refutes both the mythology of Genesis and the mathology of Big Bang.

If being is necessary in order for change to occur, then existence is the source of cause and effect and not the result of it. Cause and effect is derived from, thus subordinate to, the more basic phenomenon of being, and no phenomenon can be the product of its own subordinate derivative.

It doesn't take an Einstein or Hawking to recognize the obvious, all it takes is an unbiased perspective; thinking not outside the box nor inside the box, but discarding the box entirely. This isn't rocket science; it requires no esoteric equations, no orbiting telescopes or expensive particle accelerators; you don't need a degree in math, physics or cosmology, or even a high school education to understand it. It's simple basic common sense - something contempory scholars seem to shun when it threatens the funding of expensive research to determine the "size and age" of an infinite and eternal Universe. In the ivory tower of academia, multiverses, extra dimensions and cosmic expansion into entropy death are where the real money is (with some strings attached). Beautiful equations can describe fantasy as easily as fact, but without the capacity to parse differentials with any degree of integrity, no lowly layman would dare debate the sanity of such sophistocated branes.

"It is not" implies Existence ex Nihilo

If existence is the source of cause and effect and cause and effect is governed by fundamental laws of nature called principles, doesn't it logically follow that the key which unlocks the enigma of existence would be a principle instead of a process? If we examine the nature of change, one simple prevailing dynamic emerges; a ubiquitous paradigm found at the heart and soul of every equation, a familiar axiom universally known and accepted. Unfortunately, the significance of this principle has been ignored since the inception of scientific inquiry and, ironically, it continues to remain concealed - hidden in plain sight.

More later
THoR




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