Do supernatural forces exist?

One-on-one debates

Moderator: Moderators

User avatar
Defender of Truth
Scholar
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:07 pm
Location: United States

Do supernatural forces exist?

Post #1

Post by Defender of Truth »

Tired of the Nonsense and I decided to debate the above topic.

Resolved: A preternatural agent exists

I will be arguing the affirmative, Tired of the Nonsense will be arguing the negative.

User avatar
Tired of the Nonsense
Site Supporter
Posts: 5680
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:01 pm
Location: USA

Post #21

Post by Tired of the Nonsense »

This seemed curiously timely to our discussion, so I am posting it exactly as I found it.


Religious leaders hit back at Hawking
September 3, 2010 3:25 p.m. EDT

London, England (CNN) -- Religious leaders in Britain on Friday hit back at claims by leading physicist Stephen Hawking that God had no role in the creation of the universe.

In his new book "The Grand Design," Britain's most famous scientist says that given the existence of gravity, "the universe can and will create itself from nothing," according to an excerpt published in The Times of London.

"Spontaneous creation is the reason why there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist," he wrote.

"It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper [fuse] and set the universe going."

But the head of the Church of England, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams, told the Times that "physics on its own will not settle the question of why there is something rather than nothing."

He added: "Belief in God is not about plugging a gap in explaining how one thing relates to another within the Universe. It is the belief that there is an intelligent, living agent on whose activity everything ultimately depends for its existence."

Williams' comments were supported by leaders from across the religious spectrum in Britain. Writing in the Times, Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks said: "Science is about explanation. Religion is about interpretation ... The Bible simply isn't interested in how the Universe came into being."
Physics on its own will not settle the question of why there is something rather than nothing.

The Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichols, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales, added: "I would totally endorse what the Chief Rabbi said so eloquently about the relationship between religion and science."

Ibrahim Mogra, an imam and committee chairman at the Muslim Council of Britain, was also quoted by the Times as saying: "If we look at the Universe and all that has been created, it indicates that somebody has been here to bring it into existence. That somebody is the almighty conqueror."

Hawking was also accused of "missing the point" by colleagues at the University of Cambridge in England.

"The 'god' that Stephen Hawking is trying to debunk is not the creator God of the Abrahamic faiths who really is the ultimate explanation for why there is something rather than nothing," said Denis Alexander, director of The Faraday Institute for Science and Religion.

"Hawking's god is a god-of-the-gaps used to plug present gaps in our scientific knowledge.

"Science provides us with a wonderful narrative as to how [existence] may happen, but theology addresses the meaning of the narrative," he added.

Read why Hawking says God didn't create the universe

Fraser Watts, an Anglican priest and Cambridge expert in the history of science, said that it's not the existence of the universe that proves the existence of God.

"A creator God provides a reasonable and credible explanation of why there is a universe, and ... it is somewhat more likely that there is a God than that there is not. That view is not undermined by what Hawking has said."

Hawking's book -- as the title suggests -- is an attempt to answer "the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything," he wrote, quoting Douglas Adams' cult science fiction romp, "The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy."

Read CNN's Belief Blog

His answer is "M-theory," which, he says, posits 11 space-time dimensions, "vibrating strings, ... point particles, two-dimensional membranes, three-dimensional blobs and other objects that are more difficult to picture and occupy even more dimensions of space."

He doesn't explain much of that in the excerpt, which is the introduction to the book.

But he says he understands the feeling of the great English scientist Isaac Newton that God did "create" and "conserve" order in the universe.

It was the discovery of other solar systems outside our own in 1992 that undercut a key idea of Newton's -- that our world was so uniquely designed to be comfortable for human life that some divine creator must have been responsible.

But, Hawking argues, if there are untold numbers of planets in the galaxy, it's less remarkable that there's one with conditions for human life. And, indeed, he argues, any form of intelligent life that evolves anywhere will automatically find that it lives somewhere suitable for it.

User avatar
Defender of Truth
Scholar
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:07 pm
Location: United States

Post #22

Post by Defender of Truth »

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:It's everything that we can observe to exist. Note that the dictionary definition uses the word "known." The current model shows the "known" universe shaped like a football, with visible matter, the galaxies, non-uniformly clumped throughout. The term "cosmos" refers to everything that could possibly exists anywhere, past, present and future. If the observable universe is truly all that exists, then the terms universe and cosmos are interchangeable. However, if more exists then we can observe, then the term cosmos incorporates the unseen parts as well.
Thanks for the clarification, because the definition I was getting from the dictionary means what you're calling cosmos, so I was wondering why you were differentiating between the terms.
Tired of the Nonsense wrote:the most immediate and obvious explanation for the accelerating expansion of the universe is the addition of energy from somewhere
This "somewhere" cannot be observed, so why do you think it is more obvious to believe in this "somewhere" then it is to believe in the supernatural?
Tired of the Nonsense wrote:this additional energy would necessarily have to be coming from outside of the observable universe.
What makes you think this "outside" is another cosmos over something supernatural?
Tired of the Nonsense wrote:Not an "other world," but other entire universes.
Okay, so according to this model, there is at least one other universe that we can't observe. It consists of matter|energy, and is therefore bound by the laws of physics.

The problem with this is that the same question that was applied to this universe must be applied to that universe: Because of the Second law, we know that matter|energy, if left to itself, will eventually reach a state of heat death. Which means the universe must have had a beginning or else we would be experiencing this heat death. You countered the argument, however, by saying that the condition (closed system; left to itself) was not met because of interference from another universe.

However, if this is true, we must ask why that universe isn't experiencing heat death. Since it is bound by the laws of physics, the law of entropy applies to it also. If that universe existed forever, it would be in a state of heat death by now. Unless of course, you would propose that universe B isn't a closed system either, since a third universe is interfering. But then the same question must be asked of universe C, and if you say universe D interefered with C, then what about D? It cannot go back infinitely, or else it'll run into the infinite regress problem.

This means that some universe (even if it is Z+119) is a closed system. And finally, the question must be asked of that universe, why is it not experiencing "heat death"? Unless of course, it had a beginning.
Tighten the belt of truth about your loins, wear integrity as your coat of mail.

-- Ephesians 6:14b



Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

-- Doyle, Arthur

User avatar
Tired of the Nonsense
Site Supporter
Posts: 5680
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:01 pm
Location: USA

Post #23

Post by Tired of the Nonsense »

Defender of Truth wrote: However, if this is true, we must ask why that universe isn't experiencing heat death.
Because the cosmos would be a closed system, never gaining in energy and never losing any, simply twisting around itself like a torus knot with no beginning and no end.
Defender of Truth wrote: This "somewhere" cannot be observed, so why do you think it is more obvious to believe in this "somewhere" then it is to believe in the supernatural?

There's nothing supernatural about energy, is there? I said this earlier, and I will say it again now, everything that we observe works on the principle of positive and negative attraction and repulsion, a binary system. Positive and negatively charged particles are entirely natural. You might of course claim that energy entering into our universe from an unknown source is evidence that God Himself is breathing energy into the universe to increase it. But you might as well claim that Popeye is doing it by blowing through his pipe. A cartoon character is no more or less likely to be effecting the universe than a deity made up by our ancient ancestor thousands of years ago to explain what they couldn't understand, is.


Tired of the Nonsense wrote:"This additional energy would necessarily have to be coming from outside of the observable universe.

Defender of Truth wrote: What makes you think this "outside" is another cosmos over something supernatural?
Ok, now that I have built up the whole black hole/mother universe idea, and I personally really like the thought of it because it is fun to think about, let me throw one possible monkey wrench into the whole notion. The idea that there could be energy being imparted into our universe from some outside source stems from the observation that the expansion of the universe seems to be actually accelerating when it should be slowing down due to the force of gravity. This observation is based almost entirely on the Doppler shift, and the fact that the further away objects are from us, the more they are red shifted. In other words, the further they are from us, the faster they are moving away from us. This "assumes" that the Doppler effect is consistent over extremely long distances. You are probably aware of what assuming sometimes does to u and me. It may well be that gravitational lensing, which is the effect large masses of matter have on light as it passes by, may have a stretching effect on the Doppler shift. The greater the distance from us, the greater the effect. So what we think we are seeing is not what is really occurring at all. If that is the case, then the universe may not be accelerating in it's expansion, and in fact may well be slowing down due to gravitational force as predicted. And if THAT is the case, then there should be more than enough matter in the universe to change the expansion to a collapse, ending in the Big Crunch, and returning matter and energy to a state of perfect equilibrium, essentially a state of nothingness awaiting the next quantum hiccup. This scenario is probably more likely, but isn't the possibility of a nearly endless amount of other universes exciting?

User avatar
Defender of Truth
Scholar
Posts: 441
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 6:07 pm
Location: United States

Post #24

Post by Defender of Truth »

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:Because the cosmos would be a closed system, never gaining in energy and never losing any,
Since the cosmos is a closed system, the second law of thermodynamics applies to it. Which means (if the cosmos existed forever as you claim) there is a constant of energy, which tends toward maximum randomness. Over the course of eternity past, it would have reached that state of maximum randomness by now. Why didn't it?

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:everything that we observe works on the principle of positive and negative attraction and repulsion, a binary system
You're using the inductive logic method. Everything that we observe does this, therefore we can safely assume that the stuff we don't observe does this as well. But how do you know that what we observe is not the exception? If there are billions of supernatural entities, then matter|energy is the exception, not the rule. You can't use inductive reasoning when you don't know how large your sample is.

But right now the question at hand is, "since the cosmos is a closed system, and it did not have a beginning (as you claim), why is it not in a state of maximum randomness? It had eternity to get to this point in time, and eternity is definitely long enough to reach a state of heat death."
Tighten the belt of truth about your loins, wear integrity as your coat of mail.

-- Ephesians 6:14b



Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

-- Doyle, Arthur

User avatar
Tired of the Nonsense
Site Supporter
Posts: 5680
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:01 pm
Location: USA

Post #25

Post by Tired of the Nonsense »

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
"Because the cosmos would be a closed system, never gaining in energy and never losing any."
Defender of Truth wrote: Since the cosmos is a closed system, the second law of thermodynamics applies to it. Which means (if the cosmos existed forever as you claim) there is a constant of energy, which tends toward maximum randomness. Over the course of eternity past, it would have reached that state of maximum randomness by now. Why didn't it?
By definition the cosmos is all there is or can be. Since there is nowhere for energy to be lost TO, it is at maximum entropy. At the quantum level, quantum bits are an endlessly roiling churning mass due to positive and negative repulsion/attraction. They don't get tired and quit. There DOES exist the presence of random variation within the system as a whole, which accounts for constant change. Notice that the galaxies tend to clump together randomly, leaving large areas with little or no visible galactic matter, only very diffuse amounts of dark matter. We observe that there are areas where the heat energy is very high, and areas where heat energy is nearly non existent. Random variation within the system as a whole. But the whole is already at maximum entropy because there is nowhere for energy to leak TO, so the total amount is fixed, yet endless transforming itself due to variation and change. I am presenting the multiple universe/multiple dimensional cosmos model here required by brane and string theory.

You have latched on to the flat universe model, by which the observable universe expands forever, ultimately reaching a state of widely diffuse protons and leptons and total heat death. This projection is only one possible model and is based on certain assumptions including the expansion ultimately overpowering gravity and continuing on forever. This is merely one of many possibilities.

Tired of the Nonsense wrote:
"Everything that we observe works on the principle of positive and negative attraction and repulsion, a binary system."
Defender of Truth wrote: You're using the inductive logic method. Everything that we observe does this, therefore we can safely assume that the stuff we observe does this as well. But how do you know that what we observe is not the exception? If there are billions of supernatural entities, then matter|energy is the exception, not the rule. You can't use inductive reasoning when you don't know how large your sample is.
Actually I am using the empirical method by which we observe, experiment and then follow the evidence wherever it leads without prejudice, preconception, or interference from the superstitious minded. Rather than concern ourselves with what might be true or what we might even prefer to be true we attempt to determine what can be SHOWN to be true and move methodically on from that point. This is referred to as the acquisition of knowledge and is the scientific method of learning things. It's a method which has been used for the last four hundred years or so with some reasonable success and has led to our modern technological age. You are using the "make stuff up that appeals to you and then declare it to be true to the exclusion of all other possibility because it fits in to your personal preconceptions and emotional preferences to do so" method. "Truth" by popular declaration. Your method led to the dark ages.
Defender of Truth wrote: But right now the question at hand is, "since the cosmos is a closed system, and it did not have a beginning (as you claim), why is it not in a state of maximum randomness? It had eternity to get to this point in time, and eternity is definitely long enough to reach a state of heat death."
You're stammering.

User avatar
Tired of the Nonsense
Site Supporter
Posts: 5680
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:01 pm
Location: USA

Post #26

Post by Tired of the Nonsense »

Given the difference in our ages DoT of nearly fifty years, now that you have revealed yours, I am going to declare this debate to be at an end. Good luck to you. TotN

Post Reply