The "Freethinking" Atheist

Paisley
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The "Freethinking" Atheist

The term "freethinking" presupposes a belief in "free will." However, in the deterministic worldview of atheistic materialism, there is no free will. In other words, every thought or belief that an atheist has or entertains was completely predetermined and could not have been otherwise. This hardly constitutes the idea of freethinking.

The bottom line is that if there is no free will, then there is no freethinking. Moreover, the term "freethinking atheist" is actually an oxymoron. That being said, I will kindly ask the atheists on this forum to refrain from describing themselves as freethinkers. Intellectually honesty demands this.

Thank you. Smiling  

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


nigelTheBold
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Paisley wrote:nigelTheBold

Paisley wrote:

nigelTheBold wrote:
Paisley wrote:
Clearly you do not have a basic understanding of QM. If you did, then you would know that quantum events have no physical cause and this would have prevented you from making such an ridiculous argument.

And where did you, o most enlightened one, study QM? From your understanding of it, I would say philosophy class, circa 1990-95. That's about right, since philosophy generally trails science by about 50 years, and your understanding is about what we had back in 1945, and more-or-less wrong in its conclusions, even for that, which is also par for the course in philosopohy classes.

Ad hominem attacks do not constitute a logical rebuttal. I do not have to have a Ph. D. in physics or mathematics  from MIT to grasp the basic idea that quantum events are probabilistic events and are therefore without physical cause. That you profess to have a degree in physics and have not been able to grasp this basic idea does not speak well of your college or university.

No, but ad hominems are the only thing to which you respond. You don't address valid points that disprove your position, which has happened at least six times in the last several dozen posts.

The fact that that you don't understand that indeterminacy doesn't mean "without cause" speaks extremely poorly of your entire education, not just your college education. This very fact is discussed in any physics class concerning QM. The fact that you refuse to grasp it indicates that you haven't studied QM in a physics context at all.

I hit a little close to home, didn't I? You're a philosophy student, or worse, an adjunct philosophy professor, probably working in some piss-poor midwest college. You think you understand physics, but have never even taken a basic physics class. Am I close?

So, in this case, the ad hominem is a rebuttal. Basically, I'm claiming you are wrong, and have presented precisely where you are wrong: indeterminacy in QM is a question of chaos theory, which is indistinguishable from pure randomness. That doesn't mean "without cause." It means, "without a way of prediction, outside of statistics."

The fact you don't grasp this simple point indicates you don't know what you are talking about. Ergo, it means you haven't studied it, outside of philosophy class.

[addendum]

In fact, you haven't responded to a single post concerning the physics of QM. Yet you go on stating your claims as if you had some certain knowledge. This is a sign of dogmatism. We have at least responded to you claims and counter-claims in a logical and intellectual manner. You have not.

It's too bad, really. You had promise for a while. Instead, it turns out that you are more close-minded than most of the fundamentalist Christians I've met, who at least respond to actual intellectual opposition. Sometimes it's a good response, and sometimes it's a standard sucky response, but at least they respond. You, however, are afraid to approach these subjects with any kind of intellectual honesty, as they would decimate your pre-supposed God.

Honestly, that's just sad.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Paisley wrote:Cpt_pineapple

Paisley wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Paisley wrote:
How does this negate quantum indeterminacy?

It shows you don't know what you're talking about. If you can't even answer a simple problem in QM how could you make statements about it?

I know that the standard interpretation of QM states that quantum events are probabilistic ones. And I also know that you cannot refute this.

It's a very easy question, Paisley, the answers are really simple sums of squares multiplied by a constant energy which you can probably find already derived for you on Wiki.

Anyhow, frivolity aside, try googling de Broglie-Bohm-Vigier Approach or Causal Schotastic Interpretation for a scientific argument that goes heavily against the grain of Bohr.

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BobSpence1 wrote:It wasn't

BobSpence1 wrote:
It wasn't meant to be a counter-argument, it was a comment on your demonstrated misunderstanding of Quantum Mechanics and indeterminacy. This should have been obvious.

It was at least partly sarcastic, so it obviously went straight over your head....

I suggest that you reflect a little more on Richard Feynman's statement "If you think you understand quantum mecahnics, you don't understand quantum mechanics." If you truly understood the meaning of quantum indeterminacy, then you would understand that it implies that nature is truly random and that there are physical phenomena (i.e quantum events) occurring without cause.

"Is anything in Nature truly random and without cause?" Reply by Don Pettibone (Ph. D. in Applied Physics, Quadlux Inc) MadSci Network: Physics

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Search?search=Quantum+determinacy&go=Go

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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I think Paisley fails to

I think Paisley fails to realize that QM indetermancy actually CAUSES certain events.

 

How's that for irony?


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I am not a scientist, but

I am not a scientist, but 'quantum indeterminacy' is largely a 'hypothesis', isn't it?  Why add a religious kind of dogma or philosophy to it, just because we don't understand it fully?

Scientific Hypothesis, Theory, Law Definitions

http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistry101/a/lawtheory.htm

  You link is broke P. I think you are over reaching that QM essay, if this is it,

Is anything in Nature truly random and without cause?

http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/1998-08/903836982.Ph.r.html

 ENDS,

Perhaps in time we will find a deeper 
theory that encompasses quantum mechanics and makes more “sense” to us, and 
quantum mechanics will fall out of this “super” theory in a natural way.  
Then we might be able to see why the indeterminacy of quantum mechanics 
that we observe is right and natural, rather than the strange and 
unsettling thing that it appears to be.

    P, Do you have a religious point you are trying to make?  I don't get you?  Why not say, in the spirit of atheism, something like,  "All is equally god, so NO religion? Why turn "AWE" into dogma? Geezzz, the word  "G O D"  is actually worthless ...... i god.

 

 

 


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Paisley wrote:I suggest that

Paisley wrote:

I suggest that you reflect a little more on Richard Feynman's statement "If you think you understand quantum mecahnics, you don't understand quantum mechanics." If you truly understood the meaning of quantum indeterminacy, then you would understand that it implies that nature is truly random and that there are physical phenomena (i.e quantum events) occurring without cause.

You are one funny, funny man. Someone who's never even studied QM, lecturing somebody who has. I gotta admit, you are either very, very stupid, or have great big sweaty balls and a vast (and extremely subtle) sense of humor.

Tell you what, Professor Paisley. Why don't you come back when you can devise an experiment that can distinguish between chaos and randomness? I'm not talkin' no thought experiment -- I mean the real deal, a reproducible, controlled-environment experiment that can distinguish between the two.

Then maybe you might be taken seriously.

Incidentally, there are scientists (including physicists in QM) who believe the universe is controlled by a God specifically because science has not discovered a truly uncaused phenomena. That is, exactly the opposite of what you claim. Which is damned funny.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Eloise wrote:Paisley wrote:I

Eloise wrote:
Paisley wrote:

I know that the standard interpretation of QM states that quantum events are probabilistic ones. And I also know that you cannot refute this.

It's a very easy question, Paisley, the answers are really simple sums of squares multiplied by a constant energy which you can probably find already derived for you on Wiki.

Anyhow, frivolity aside, try googling de Broglie-Bohm-Vigier Approach or Causal Schotastic Interpretation for a scientific argument that goes heavily against the grain of Bohr.

I am quite aware that there are several interpretations of QM. But the standard intepretation of QM (which is the one that is generally held by the scientific community) states that nature is fundamentally indeterminate. Deterministic interpretations of QM such as the Bohm interpretation have other implications. And if anyone here wants to discuss how the Bohm interpretation supports atheistic materialism, then I am more than happy to have this debate.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:Eloise

Paisley wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Paisley wrote:

I know that the standard interpretation of QM states that quantum events are probabilistic ones. And I also know that you cannot refute this.

It's a very easy question, Paisley, the answers are really simple sums of squares multiplied by a constant energy which you can probably find already derived for you on Wiki.

Anyhow, frivolity aside, try googling de Broglie-Bohm-Vigier Approach or Causal Schotastic Interpretation for a scientific argument that goes heavily against the grain of Bohr.

I am quite aware that there are several interpretations of QM. But the standard intepretation of QM (which is the one that is generally held by the scientific community) states that nature is fundamentally indeterminate. Deterministic interpretations of QM such as the Bohm interpretation have other implications. And if anyone here wants to discuss how the Bohm interpretation supports atheistic materialism, then I am more than happy to have this debate.

No one is disputing that nature is indeterminate according to QM. What is in dispute is your definition of indeterminate which, as others have told you, is not held by the scientific community.

I haven't studied it but those posting about it (except for you) seem to have studied it at some level.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:I am

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:
I am not a scientist, but 'quantum indeterminacy' is largely a 'hypothesis', isn't it?  Why add a religious kind of dogma or philosophy to it, just because we don't understand it fully?

No, there is a difference between a scientific hypotheis and a scientific theory. Theories make predictions that have been verified by scientific experiments. Quantum mechanics is a theory, not a hypothesis.

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:
P, Do you have a religious point you are trying to make?  I don't get you?  Why not say, in the spirit of atheism, something like,  "All is equally god, so NO religion? Why turn "AWE" into dogma? Geezzz, the word  "G O D"  is actually worthless ...... i god.

So you equate atheism with "all is equally God?" Interesting. Here's a suggestion: Take the advice of Nancy Reagan: "Just say no to drugs!"

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:I am quite

Paisley wrote:

I am quite aware that there are several interpretations of QM. But the standard intepretation of QM (which is the one that is generally held by the scientific community) states that nature is fundamentally indeterminate. Deterministic interpretations of QM such as the Bohm interpretation have other implications. And if anyone here wants to discuss how the Bohm interpretation supports atheistic materialism, then I am more than happy to have this debate.

No you're not. You don't debate, Paisley. You lecture. You lecture as if you actually knew what you were talking about, when in fact you have been presented with alternatives and rebuttals from day one -- alternatives and rebuttals that you ignore.

You keep repeating the same three disproven assertions, as if you can repeat them true.

And worse, you are lecturing from ignorance. And the pathetic thing is, you don't even realize you are ignorant, even though it's been pointed out at least a dozen times. Instead of actually engaging in conversation, you avoid any rebuttal with real substance, and instead focus on sophism and evasion, and act so smug when you say absolutely nothing relevant.

You fail to admit when you are wrong, even in the most trivial situations. You are arrogant and ignorant, a deadly combination. You are foolish and vain. You mistake ignorance for knowledge (both your own, and the ignorance of others).

And you don't reply to rebuttals with actual substance, except by repeating the assertions the rebuttals effectively eviscerate. Or have I mentioned that already?

Wanna prove me wrong? Then try engaging in an actual discussion. Stop the lecturing, stop the posturing, stop trying to impress us with how clever you are. Instead, answer the rebuttals posed to you. For instance, explain how to tell the  difference between chaos and randomness. (That's the least of them: also address BobSpence1's discussion of planck-scale energy fluctuations as a cause for QM events. Or, address any of BobSpence1's actual rebuttals, instead of using sophism and evasion.)

Wanna prove me wrong even more? Admit when you are wrong, or at least admit when the other side might have a valid point. I don't think you can do this. I believe you suffer from narcissistic personality disorder, and are incapable of admitting you are wrong, even in the most trivial situations.

C'mon, Paisley. Be a man. Actually discuss this stuff, instead of lecturing. Let go of your over-inflated ego for a minute and hold a discussion.

We'd all be better off for it.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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jcgadfly wrote:No one is

jcgadfly wrote:
No one is disputing that nature is indeterminate according to QM. What is in dispute is your definition of indeterminate which, as others have told you, is not held by the scientific community. I haven't studied it but those posting about it (except for you) seem to have studied it at some level.

No, this is not entirely true. Some here are actually disputing whether QM is indeterminate (e.g. the Bohm intepretation). However, there are many here who are apparently attempting to make the bogus argument that indeterminism does not mean that events happen without a cause. This is patently false. If quantum indeterminacy is true, then there are physical events occurring without cause. This is one of the reasons why physicists consider quantum mechanics to be "weird."

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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I must disagree. A lot of

I must disagree. A lot of what goes under the QM, QP titles, are still a guess, a hypothesis, with developing theorys in progress.

    I don't do "drugs", and only dabbled with coke and LSD nearly 30 yrs ago. I would say LSD did change me, as it revealed how wild and limited the mind is.

I am just naturally "retarded" like you .... and everyone. I am a drinker and a toker .....    "Wild man, bad boy, Allan Watts is one of my many hero's ..... see him in Youtube.

  LOL  P ..... you nut ! Save a Xain! Please don't pollute Pantheism with dogma .....

  "Weird" is your GOD ! INDEED ....    G AWE D  


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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley,

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley, can you get it into your head that 'probabilistic' does NOT, repeat NOT, mean without physical cause. In a chaotic regime, it means that the slightest variation in the actual parameters of the physical cause can lead to very different effect, therefore we can only assign a probability to any particular outcome for an input 'cause' within a certain range of values.

I am not a mathematician but I am fairly certain that quantum mechanics is based on probability theory, not chaos theory. Quantum mechanics (at least according to the Copenhagen interpretation) is probabilistic and therefore indeterminate. Chaos theory is deterministic. Here is documentation to support my argument. If you disagree, then I expect to see some documentation that support yours.

Based on QM, the physical universe is probabilistic, not deterministic.

Quote:
The Copenhagen interpretation, due largely to the Danish theoretical physicist Niels Bohr, is the interpretation of quantum mechanics most widely accepted amongst physicists. According to it, the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics predictions cannot be explained in terms of some other deterministic theory, and does not simply reflect our limited knowledge. Quantum mechanics provides probabilistic results because the physical universe is itself probabilistic rather than deterministic.

source: Wikipedia "Quantum mechanics"

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

Chaos theory is a deterministic theory.

Quote:
In mathematics, chaos theory describes the behavior of certain dynamical systems – that is, systems whose state evolves with time – that may exhibit dynamics that are highly sensitive to initial conditions (popularly referred to as the butterfly effect). As a result of this sensitivity, which manifests itself as an exponential growth of perturbations in the initial conditions, the behavior of chaotic systems appears to be random. This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future dynamics are fully defined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved. This behavior is known as deterministic chaos, or simply chaos.

source: Wikipedia "Chaos"
 

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

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All science in an incomplete

All science in an incomplete model. You surely know that , so why add dogma, and argue the way you do ????????????  Really friend,  you are freaking stupid me the fuck out.     


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Hence

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Hence the reason I asked you the question. You don't know how probablity in QM works.

 

If you did, you'd be able to answer the question and see how it's relivant

Okay. Show me how it works and explain to me why scientists say that nature is fundamentally indeterminate if probability in the context of QM does not really suggest that there are physical events that occur without cause.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote:Cpt_pineapple

Paisley wrote:

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Hence the reason I asked you the question. You don't know how probablity in QM works.

 

If you did, you'd be able to answer the question and see how it's relivant

Okay. Show me how it works and explain to me why scientists say that nature is fundamentally indeterminate if probability in the context of QM does not really suggest that there are physical events that occur without cause.

 

Holy fucking shit on a stick.

 

 

First the potiental is 0 inside the box therefore:

 

hbar/2m d2Y/dx2=EY

 

Y=eikx

 

Therefore

d2Y/dx2 =k2Y


ihbark2Y/2m=EY


E=ihbark2/2m

 

 

 

Now solve for k with Y

Euler's identity:

 

eikx=cos(kx)+isin(kx)

 

this must equal 0 at x=0 and x=L, since it has a 100% chance within 'L' i.e inside the box.

 

 

cos(0)+isin(0)=cos(kL)+isin(kL)

 

But:

Cos(0)=1 isin(0)=0

 

therefore

1+0=cos(kL)+isin(kL)

 

1=cos(kL)

 

Hence:

k=n(pi)/L

 

since cos (n(pi))=1

 

 

Therfore

 

E=hbar(pi)2n/2mL

 

Sub in

n=1 n=2 n=3 and there you go.

 

 

Why isn't the energy probalistic? It's constant for an energy level (n). I guess we can use QM to determine things.

 


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Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley, can you get it into your head that 'probabilistic' does NOT, repeat NOT, mean without physical cause. In a chaotic regime, it means that the slightest variation in the actual parameters of the physical cause can lead to very different effect, therefore we can only assign a probability to any particular outcome for an input 'cause' within a certain range of values.

I am not a mathematician but I am fairly certain that quantum mechanics is based on probability theory, not chaos theory.

Oh for heavens sake Paisley, this is not hard to grasp -

QM = probabilistic

Chaos = probabilistic (and caused!)

Probabilistic does not equal uncaused. You see?

 

Paisley wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:
No one is disputing that nature is indeterminate according to QM. What is in dispute is your definition of indeterminate which, as others have told you, is not held by the scientific community. I haven't studied it but those posting about it (except for you) seem to have studied it at some level.

No, this is not entirely true. Some here are actually disputing whether QM is indeterminate (e.g. the Bohm intepretation). However, there are many here who are apparently attempting to make the bogus argument that indeterminism does not mean that events happen without a cause. This is patently false. If quantum indeterminacy is true, then there are physical events occurring without cause. This is one of the reasons why physicists consider quantum mechanics to be "weird."

 

I was not disputing anything I was pointing to Bohm as an example of the fact that it is perfectly reasonable and scientific to consider a causal interpretation of Quantum mechanics, CI may be orthodox but it's not the last word on the subject, OK.

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Shit I forget 2 minus

Shit I forget 2 minus signs.

 

Cookie to who knows where I forgot them (:Smiling

 


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Shit I

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Shit I forget 2 minus signs.

 

Cookie to who knows where I forgot them (:Smiling

 

cos(pi) is -1 ; potential is 0 in the box so it's -hbar/2m d2Y/dx2=EY --  Hand over the cookies, Cpt! Sticking out tongue

 

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Wow Cpt, this could get

Wow Cpt, this could get interesting .... You got an equation for love?  btw, what flavor is the cookie? Random intermittent choice?   

Eloise, I am rooting for you .....

   Love = I + E .....   according to I -  See,  me knows important "math"    

E post #269 .... Umm, sexual equation,  2 = 69  

 

 


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nigelTheBold wrote:The fact

nigelTheBold wrote:
The fact that that you don't understand that indeterminacy doesn't mean "without cause" speaks extremely poorly of your entire education, not just your college education. This very fact is discussed in any physics class concerning QM. The fact that you refuse to grasp it indicates that you haven't studied QM in a physics context at all.

I have never professed to have a degree in physics. But I have a basic, qualitative understanding of QM. And when I do make a statement on the subject, I almost always cite a source to support my claim. This is why my posts hold more authority than yours. I make arguments supported by authoritative sources, not off-the-cuff comments spewing with ad hominem attacks. And contrary to your assessment, I do understand the meaning of indeterminacy.

Quote:
indeterminism : a theory that holds that not every event has a cause (source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indeterminism

This is your argument in a nutshell: "Indeterminism does not really mean indeterminism; it means determinism. And you're an idiot if you don't understand this."

If an event is indeterminate, then it means that it doesn't have a cause by definition. If it did have a cause, then it would be determinate, not indeterminate. If I am missing something here, then please correct my ignorance. However, I will demand that you provide me with something more authoritative than your ranting and raving. In other words, cite a source.

nigelTheBold wrote:
So, in this case, the ad hominem is a rebuttal.

Ad hominem attacks never qualify as a rebuttal. Personal insults are made because the perpetuator is incapable of making a counter-argument.

nigelTheBold wrote:
Basically, I'm claiming you are wrong, and have presented precisely where you are wrong: indeterminacy in QM is a question of chaos theory, which is indistinguishable from pure randomness. That doesn't mean "without cause." It means, "without a way of prediction, outside of statistics

The standard interpretation of QM states explicitly that nature (i.e. quantum fluctuations) is fundamentally indeterminate. Chaos theory is a deterministic theory and was developed in 1961 in the field of meteorology, not quantum physics.

I have already provided sources to support the foregoing claim. I will not repeat myself. However, I will leave you with this quote. Here, Paul Davies says in no uncertain terms that quantum events are not determined by preceding causes. 

Quote:
At the heart of quantum physics lies Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, which states that all measurable quantities (e.g. position, momentum, energy) are subject to unpredictable fluctuations in their values. This unpredictability implies that the microworld is indeterministic: to use Einstein's picturesque phraseology, God plays dice with the universe. Therefore, quantum events are not determined absolutely by preceding causes. Although the probability of a given event (e.g. the radioactive decay of an atomic nucleus) is fixed by the theory, the actual outcome of a particular quantum process is unknown and, even in principle, unknowable.

(source: pg. 61 "Mind of God: the Scientific Basis for a Rational World" by Paul Davies) 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/reader/0671797182/ref=sib_dp_ptu#reader-link 

Just FYI, Paul Davies is a professor of physics at Arizona State University.

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

 

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P - Isn't this more of a

P - Isn't this more of a linguistic and a Labeling communication problem?  The "unknowable" and in principal  unknowable", seems to me the "gray blur" between a hypothesis and a theory in progress, of our scientific incomplete modeling, as it may be always be, therefore the awe, therefore gawed, therefore silly dogma ...... sheezzzz, and Buddha said don't freak out .....

Much like the name/hypothesis/theory/ model we call the "Big Bang". Really is a lousy name .....


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Eloise wrote:Paisley wrote:I

Eloise wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I am not a mathematician but I am fairly certain that quantum mechanics is based on probability theory, not chaos theory.

Oh for heavens sake Paisley, this is not hard to grasp -

QM = probabilistic

Chaos = probabilistic (and caused!)

Probabilistic does not equal uncaused. You see?

No, you're wrong. Probabilistic ( "pure chance" ) events are without cause by definition. This is why they call it indeterminism. The standard interpretation of QM states that quantum events are probabilistic ones and therefore are without cause.

Also, chaos theory is not probabilistic; it's deterministic. "Appearing" to be random and truly being random are not the same thing.

Quote:
The behavior of chaotic systems appears to be random. This happens even though these systems are deterministic, meaning that their future dynamics are fully defined by their initial conditions, with no random elements involved. This behavior is known as deterministic chaos, or simply chaos

source: Wikipedia "Chaos theory"

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

 

Eloise wrote:
Paisley wrote:
No, this is not entirely true. Some here are actually disputing whether QM is indeterminate (e.g. the Bohm intepretation). However, there are many here who are apparently attempting to make the bogus argument that indeterminism does not mean that events happen without a cause. This is patently false. If quantum indeterminacy is true, then there are physical events occurring without cause. This is one of the reasons why physicists consider quantum mechanics to be "weird."
 

I was not disputing anything I was pointing to Bohm as an example of the fact that it is perfectly reasonable and scientific to consider a causal interpretation of Quantum mechanics, CI may be orthodox but it's not the last word on the subject, OK.

The Bohm interpretation may be perfectly reasonable and scientific but it is not compatible with atheistic materialism. And the fact of the matter, there is no interpretation of QM that is "perfectly reasonable and scientific" that is compatible with atheistic materialism. But if there are, then I am more than happy to discuss them.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Oh yeah, that's for a 1-D

Oh yeah, that's for a 1-D box.

 

The Energy in the 'Y' direction is the same except it's ny and nx instead of just 'n'

 

and E=Ey+Ex

 

 


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:P -

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:
P - Isn't this more of a linguistic and a Labeling communication problem?  The "unknowable" and in principal  unknowable", seems to me the "gray blur" between a hypothesis and a theory in progress, of our scientific incomplete modeling, as it may be always be, therefore the awe, therefore gawed, therefore silly dogma ...... sheezzzz, and Buddha said don't freak out .....

Semantics are concerned with the meaning of words and agreeing on the meaning of words is a prerequisite for verbal communication. If you know a better way, then please share it with us.

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nigelTheBold wrote:Tell you

nigelTheBold wrote:
Tell you what, Professor Paisley. Why don't you come back when you can devise an experiment that can distinguish between chaos and randomness? I'm not talkin' no thought experiment -- I mean the real deal, a reproducible, controlled-environment experiment that can distinguish between the two.

Then maybe you might be taken seriously.

Ah, sounds like you're jockeying for a new position because now you're making a straw-man argument. Did you come to the realization that chaos theory is a deterministic one?

I never argued that I could devise an experiment to distinguish between apparent randomness and true randomness. I simply argued that true randomness implies that there are events without causes.

Incidentally, that you continue to passionatley respond to my posts is proof-positive that you are taking me very seriously. The truth is that you actually love me. Unfortunately, you're not presently aware of this fact. Eye-wink

nigelTheBold wrote:
Incidentally, there are scientists (including physicists in QM) who believe the universe is controlled by a God specifically because science has not discovered a truly uncaused phenomena. That is, exactly the opposite of what you claim. Which is damned funny.

I never really argued for indeterminism (or determinism) in this thread. I simply made the argument in my OP that materialism is a deterministic worldview and therefore the idea of a "free thinking atheist" is actually an oxymoron. Apparently, you became so consumed with your inner animosity and hatred that you lost sight of this.

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I wish I could communicate

I wish I could communicate better too, and so is the evolution of everything we are. My main simple gripe is dogma, even as it exists in math. Thanks again for being here. We are all a bit nutty. Keep the awe .....

   An old fuck friend just answered me, "I am feeling like an 18 yr old today. Know where any are, girls that is?  .....

        .... nigelTheBold and me love you more !


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Paisley wrote:Eloise

Paisley wrote:

Eloise wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I am not a mathematician but I am fairly certain that quantum mechanics is based on probability theory, not chaos theory.

Oh for heavens sake Paisley, this is not hard to grasp -

QM = probabilistic

Chaos = probabilistic (and caused!)

Probabilistic does not equal uncaused. You see?

No, you're wrong. Probabilistic ( "pure chance" ) events are without cause by definition. This is why they call it indeterminism. The standard interpretation of QM states that quantum events are probabilistic ones and therefore are without cause.

Also, chaos theory is not probabilistic; it's deterministic. "Appearing" to be random and truly being random are not the same thing.

Then you are misusing the term probabilistic by not separating it from indeterminacy. Probability can be applied to deterministic systems, one can find no end of random distributions if the deterministic quality of a system is too distantly removed to identify, Chaos theory is one example of this principle in action. BobSpence is attempting to address this with you, I am only trying to help clarify it.

Now if we separate these terms better and focus just on quantum indeterminacy, then this is what NigeltheBold has been debating with you. Quantum indeterminacy does not necessarily point to a transcendent CcC observer, to get there you must leap some really obvious alternatives such as incompleteness of the theory or superposition states as real reality.

 

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nigelTheBold wrote:Paisley

nigelTheBold wrote:
Paisley wrote:

I am quite aware that there are several interpretations of QM. But the standard intepretation of QM (which is the one that is generally held by the scientific community) states that nature is fundamentally indeterminate. Deterministic interpretations of QM such as the Bohm interpretation have other implications. And if anyone here wants to discuss how the Bohm interpretation supports atheistic materialism, then I am more than happy to have this debate.

No you're not. You don't debate, Paisley. You lecture. You lecture as if you actually knew what you were talking about, when in fact you have been presented with alternatives and rebuttals from day one -- alternatives and rebuttals that you ignore.

I like to think of it as educating. I educate. But I am also open to learning. This is why I am able to educate. And if you can present a compelling argument and explain why I am wrong then I am humble enough to acknowledge my mistake and adjust my thinking. But to date, you have not made one compelling argument. 

nigelTheBold wrote:
You keep repeating the same three disproven assertions, as if you can repeat them true.

I think of it as "staying on message." I make an argument and then you have to refute it. Unless you can refute it, then I will continue to make the same argument.

Here's the argument: If indeterminism is true, then materialism is false. The prevailing scientific evidence suggests that indeterminism is true. Therefore, the good logical positivist is obligated by his own philosophical commitment to acknowledge that materialism appears to be false. That you refuse to do this clearly demonstrates that you are either in a state of denial or a bold-face hypocrite.

nigelTheBold wrote:
And worse, you are lecturing from ignorance. And the pathetic thing is, you don't even realize you are ignorant, even though it's been pointed out at least a dozen times. Instead of actually engaging in conversation, you avoid any rebuttal with real substance, and instead focus on sophism and evasion, and act so smug when you say absolutely nothing relevant.

You fail to admit when you are wrong, even in the most trivial situations. You are arrogant and ignorant, a deadly combination. You are foolish and vain. You mistake ignorance for knowledge (both your own, and the ignorance of others).

And you don't reply to rebuttals with actual substance, except by repeating the assertions the rebuttals effectively eviscerate. Or have I mentioned that already?

Wanna prove me wrong? Then try engaging in an actual discussion. Stop the lecturing, stop the posturing, stop trying to impress us with how clever you are. Instead, answer the rebuttals posed to you.

There have been rebuttals presented that effectively eviscerate my arguments? Surely you jest.

Just stop for a moment and reread your statements above. If you are honest with yourself, you will acknowledge that it's nothing but a litany of ad hominem attacks. I suggest that you take a deep breath, let go of your inner rage, and try to regain your composure. If you're successful in doing that, then perhaps you might be able to think clearly and actually contribute to this discussion. 

nigelTheBold wrote:
For instance, explain how to tell the  difference between chaos and randomness.

I have already cited sources that explain that chaos theory is a deterministic theory. It only has the appearance of randomness.

Now, if you are asking me what is the difference (in the conventional sense) between chaos and randomness, then I would say it depends on the context. Chaos usually suggests utter confusion. Randomness may imply this; it may not. But this is not really relevant to the discussion.

nigelTheBold wrote:
(That's the least of them: also address BobSpence1's discussion of planck-scale energy fluctuations as a cause for QM events. Or, address any of BobSpence1's actual rebuttals, instead of using sophism and evasion.)

The quantum vacuum is believed to be a sea of energy (electromagnetic waves). However, the quantum jumps themselves are believed to be (according to the standard interpration of QM) uncaused and unbidden.

nigelTheBold wrote:
Wanna prove me wrong even more? Admit when you are wrong, or at least admit when the other side might have a valid point. I don't think you can do this. I believe you suffer from narcissistic personality disorder, and are incapable of admitting you are wrong, even in the most trivial situations.

C'mon, Paisley. Be a man. Actually discuss this stuff, instead of lecturing. Let go of your over-inflated ego for a minute and hold a discussion.

We'd all be better off for it.

I will acknowledge that I am wrong when you have sufficiently demonstrated to me the errors in my thinking. Thus far, you haven't. This isn't arrogance on my part; it's simply stating how I perceive the present situation. If I were to say otherwise, then I would be intellectually dishonest.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Eloise wrote:Paisley

Eloise wrote:
Paisley wrote:
No, you're wrong. Probabilistic ( "pure chance" ) events are without cause by definition. This is why they call it indeterminism. The standard interpretation of QM states that quantum events are probabilistic ones and therefore are without cause.

Also, chaos theory is not probabilistic; it's deterministic. "Appearing" to be random and truly being random are not the same thing.

Then you are misusing the term probabilistic by not separating it from indeterminacy. Probability can be applied to deterministic systems, one can find no end of random distributions if the deterministic quality of a system is too distantly removed to identify, Chaos theory is one example of this principle in action. BobSpence is attempting to address this with you, I am only trying to help clarify it.

No, I am not misusing the term "probabilistic" in this context. This is why I qualified it as a "pure chance event." Pure chance events are without a cause by definition. In a truly deterministic world, there is no element  of pure chance. Everything that happens could not have been otherwise. In a non-deterministic world, there is an element of pure chance. Everything that happens could have been otherwise. That's the difference between determinism and indeterminism.

Eloise wrote:
Now if we separate these terms better and focus just on quantum indeterminacy, then this is what NigeltheBold has been debating with you. Quantum indeterminacy does not necessarily point to a transcendent CcC observer, to get there you must leap some really obvious alternatives such as incompleteness of the theory or superposition states as real reality.

I don't know what the acronym "CcC" stands for so I can't respond.

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You don't know what QM terms

You don't know what QM terms are but you claim to have a qualitative knowledge of the subject?

Sounds almost like you're using Wikipedia as a primary source.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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I think all this QM debate

I think all this QM debate comes down to basically either, a god creator done it, or there is no god creator ? Isn't this the root of this arguing?  The middle ??? ..... Yeah, okay,

 I am actually fine with "god done it", if zero dogma is attached .... Why can't we admit we know jack shit .... Seriously friends. Isn't all "higher" wisdom, science and philosophy a guess at the AWE ?  Surely all is ONE , and connected. And so a Buddha said "why worry about god" .....  

Defining god, or purpose is a waste of time .... Leave god alone , sheezzz .... Live in peace. War no more. Messing with "gawed" dogma is pointless, and stupid ..... Let's party .....

"Eat the Rich" ..... BBQ the POPE, deep fry BUSH .... I say elect Paisley the cook !  What's for desert ? Hey, I am all yours ... eat me, lick me, love me .... eat your heart out .... I is rum feed aged meat .... 

  


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Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:


BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley, can you get it into your head that 'probabilistic' does NOT, repeat NOT, mean without physical cause. In a chaotic regime, it means that the slightest variation in the actual parameters of the physical cause can lead to very different effect, therefore we can only assign a probability to any particular outcome for an input 'cause' within a certain range of values.


I am not a mathematician but I am fairly certain that quantum mechanics is based on probability theory, not chaos theory. Quantum mechanics (at least according to the Copenhagen interpretation) is probabilistic and therefore indeterminate. Chaos theory is deterministic. Here is documentation to support my argument. If you disagree, then I expect to see some documentation that support yours.

Based on QM, the physical universe is probabilistic, not deterministic.



Of course QM  is not 'based on' chaos theory, but chaos theory does suggest at least one plausible idea of what is the 'reality' governing the observations of Quantum Theory, as myself and Nigel pointed out. Actually chaos theory can't strictly be applied to a world governed by quantum theory at the base level, since QM implies that any attempt to approach the degree of precision of measurement required to predict the outcome of a chaotic process will hit the Planck limit and the uncertainty principle.

So, whether because of chaotic feed-back or quantum uncertainty or a combination, the Universe is indeterminate, the outcome of any process can only be expressed probabilistically, sometimes within very tight limits, sometimes only approximately, some cases with no useful limits at all, like  what will be the strength and path of the first major Hurricane in the North Atlantic in 2010. This is the wordview of science-literate people today, and does not necessarily imply Atheism. I think personally that it certainly does not imply a God, but there is no reason why some Theological  'rationalization' cannot be devised to be consistent with it, there are some God-believing scientists, but the relative numbers do tend to get smaller as you go up the professional hierarchy. so you are definitely mistaken if you think Atheists must believe in strictly deterministic versions of 'materialism'.

Of course Chaos Theory is deterministic, that was my point in bringing it up, and the passage you quote reinforces my point - chaos theory shows that a deterministic system can still display all the attributes of strict randomness to the degree that they are indistinguishable, thus making it virtually impossible to decide by any observation whether any system is 'truly' random, indeterminate, or actually deterministic.

Notice that your quote on QT did not equate indeterminacy to outcomes being un-caused, just unpredictable, so I don't need to provide any references to counter yours because they do not conflict with my position, thank you.

So are there any events that appear strictly un-caused? Off hand, I think the idea of virtual particles apparently spontaneously popping into existence could be prima facie an example of such, but it only occurs within the Planck scale, so is very much an aspect of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle: the amount of energy in a given volume of space cannot be defined with absolute precision,  so short term fluctuations about the average value can be manifest as appearance and disappearance of pairs of 'virtual' particles without violating any physical laws. These laws are, as you say, probabilistic in nature, but they still very accurately describe the statistics of the event.

Turning that around, these events are not predictable at the scale of individual event timing, but the probability of occurrence within any specified time interval is precisely calculable, which suggests they are not spiritual or mental events, rather something much more mechanistic, just a category of event that had to be added to classical physics to advance us into the latter part of the 20th century. You either have to advance the concept of 'materialism' to accommodate these advances in our understanding, or find a new label.

It is a gross example of a false dichotomy - not fitting into your assumed definition of 'materialism' does not prove something is supernatural, spiritual, non-physical, whatever -ism you see as in contradistinction to 'materialism'.

Quantum Theory is a theory of physics, so by definition does not violate any physical laws. The category of 'physical' in this sense is whatever has been consistently observed and accommodated into Physics - physical laws  are descriptive models of patterns of interaction between matter and energy that have been consistently observed, so just what do you mean by 'non-physical'?? Anything that can be shown to have occurred is input to science, not always appropriate to Physics, maybe some other discipline, like biology or neuroscience.

If something can be shown to consistently and definitely violate known physical laws, that excites scientists, because studying such things is how science grows, and physical laws are ultimately expanded to encompass the new phenomenon.

 EDIT: uncaused events at the Planck scale can trigger detectable events at a larger scale - Hawking's proposition about radiation from black holes due to virtual particle pairs forming near the event horizon with one particle falling in leaving the other particle to be manifest as radiation, which can trigger macro-scale events. This allows us to address 'first cause' arguments by demonstrating that any macro event needs nothing more significant than a Planck scale quantum fluctuation to fill the role of the uncaused first cause, entirely consistent with modern physics, no infinite regress, no spontaneous appearance of an infinite super being, no infinite existence of anything more than 'empty' space, etc.

I am not pretending this is a comprehensive explanation of ultimate origins, just that it does not grossly violate current physical laws, or make massive assumptions about the existence of a whole category of entities whose attributes can only be entirely speculative.

To repeat, probabilistitic does NOT mean uncaused.

Without ultimate knowledge of the reality behind any event, we have no way of discriminating a truly random event from one subject to extreme sensitivity to initial conditions, ie Chaotic effects. Without such knowledge, describing an event as truly uncaused is begging the question - we have no way to know by observation and measurement.

And finally, even if quantum events meet your criterion of uncaused, that in no way 'proves' the existence of some realm or entity beyond the reach of methodical investigation, ie, science. In fact they provide a scientific answer to the old 'First Cause' argument.

Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality

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The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me

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Wow Bob , again .... as

Wow Bob , again   .... as here is some of what this very wise man wrote. ( hey, btw, Bob is a Buddha ! )

" thus making it virtually impossible to decide by any observation whether any system is 'truly' random, indeterminate, or actually deterministic.

You either have to advance the concept of 'materialism' to accommodate these advances in our understanding, or find a new label.     [ igod. yeah LABELS]

It is a gross example of a false dichotomy - not fitting into your assumed definition of 'materialism' does not prove something is supernatural, spiritual, non-physical, whatever -ism you see as in contradistinction to 'materialism'. [ igod , all we can do is see as we barely do]

If something can be shown to consistently and definitely violate known physical laws, that excites scientists, because studying such things is how science grows, and physical laws are ultimately expanded to encompass the new phenomenon.

attributes can only be entirely speculative."

 [  igod , yeah Bob, all that we can guess and model, so fuck the god dogma shit, or just please call it a hypothesis.  Go Science, fuck religion,  Go Bob, and THANKS ]

 

 

 


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Paisley wrote:BMcD

Paisley wrote:

BMcD wrote:
Paisley wrote:

Yes, I defined "freethinking" to mean literally "free thinking." And as made evident by your foregoing statement, you were able to make that connection too - that the atheistic definition of "freethinking" does not actually mean free thinking. This is the whole point! The atheist is precluded by his worldview from literally identifying himself as a free thinker! Moreover, that there are atheists on this thread that are vainly attempting to argue that they have "free will" leads me to believe that my argument has struck a chord.

Please demonstrate how my position, which we have discussed many times, precludes me from such an identification. That people think you are wrong does not mean you are right.

My response was addressed to "BobSpence1," not you. I suggest that you allow BobSpence1 to defend his own position.

My making the point that your statement of "The atheist is precluded by his worldview from literally identifying himself as a free thinker!" is not just bullshit, but bullshit you've waved about unsuccessfully before, has nothing to do with Bob's point. Bob is free to defend his point however he sees fit.

Paisley wrote:

If the expression of profanity "is likely out of pain, not anger," then how does this support your counter-argument that "anger is not always directed at an agent?" I suggest you take a few minutes, think about it, and have another go at it later because right now you are failing miserably.

Nice try, but you've obviously let your reading comprehension skills decay.

A)the initial point that it 'is likely out of pain, not anger', is not in support of the directionality of anger, but directly rebutting your claim that such exclamations represent anger.

B)the counterargument that any anger that does result need not be directed at an agent is not harmed in any way by either the clarification that anger need not result, or the further clarification that were it to result, and were it to be directed, it would not be directed toward a deity, nor based on moral considerations.

Your conflation of those is akin to saying 'if the brakes on your car failed not out of manual brake line disconnection, but mechanical defect, then how does this support your counter-argument that brake line disconnection isn't always the result of malice?' That brakes fail doesn't have a damn thing to do with whether mechanics screw up when working on a car. They are seperate points.

Reading comprehension for the win.

Paisley wrote:

Clearly you do not have a basic understanding of QM. If you did, then you would know that quantum events have no physical cause and this would have prevented you from making such an ridiculous argument.

Clearly, you do not have a basic understanding of what could or could not prevent me from making ridiculous arguments. If you did, then you would know that I have in my time attempted to convince people that the apocalypse would be fomented by a seven foot tall purple chicken from Hawai'i with a penchant for cuban cigars, and that they could be saved for only $50. Moreover, I still try to treat you like a rational adult, and not a self-important prima donna. Talk about ridiculous, eh?

"You've got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know... morons." - The Waco Kid


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Paisley wrote:Here's the

Paisley wrote:

Here's the argument: If indeterminism is true, then materialism is false. The prevailing scientific evidence suggests that indeterminism is true. Therefore, the good logical positivist is obligated by his own philosophical commitment to acknowledge that materialism appears to be false. That you refuse to do this clearly demonstrates that you are either in a state of denial or a bold-face hypocrite.

Again, you mistake indeterminism for "uncaused." As has been stated (by people who have actually studied QM), that is a false assumption.

Read carefully through the Wikipedia entry on the Copenhagen Interpretation. You will note that it never once refers to "uncaused" events. In fact, it's interesting to study the five principles of the Copenhagen Interpretation:

Quote:

  1. A system is completely described by a wave function ψ, which represents an observer's knowledge of the system. (Heisenberg)  
  2. The description of nature is essentially probabilistic. The probability of an event is related to the square of the amplitude of the wave function related to it. (Max Born)
  3. Heisenberg's uncertainty principle states the observed fact that it is not possible to know the values of all of the properties of the system at the same time; those properties that are not known with precision must be described by probabilities.
  4. (Complementary Principle) Matter exhibits a wave-particle duality. An experiment can show the particle-like properties of matter, or wave-like properties, but not both at the same time.(Niels Bohr)
  5. Measuring devices are essentially classical devices, and measure classical properties such as position and momentum.
  6. The Correspondence Principle of Bohr and Heisenberg: the quantum mechanical description of large systems should closely approximate to the classical description.

What's interesting here is that there is nothing about cause at all. The Copenhagen interpretation is descriptive, not prescriptive. There is nothing stating the nature of ψ. This is why the Copenhagen Interpretation has been so successful -- because it doesn't try to state why things occur the way the do. It is the best known description (at least until about 1990) of QM.

In the entry on Quantum indeterminacy, you will note there is no reference to causal agents, or uncaused events. In fact, "Indeterminism" is essentially a statement about the inability to simultaneously know the unique full state of a system.

Quote:

Quantum indeterminacy is the assertion that the state of a system does not determine a unique collection of values for all its measurable properties. Indeed in the quantum mechanical formalism, for a given quantum state, each one of these measurable values will be obtained non-deterministically in accordance with a probability distribution which is uniquely determined by the system state. Note that the state is destroyed by measurement, so when we refer to a collection of values, each measured value in this collection must be obtained using a freshly prepared state.

Here, "non-deterministically" refers to the way the value is obtained, not to the value itself. This is in reference to the set of values determined by the wave function of the value.

In the Wikipedia entry on the philosophical aspects of indeterminacy, there is no mention of causality; however, chaos theory is mentioned in relation to both QM, and the Theory of Everything. (In the later case, the statement concerns the likely impotence of a Theory of Everything.)

Unfortunately, Information Philosopher tries to have it both ways:

Information Philosopher wrote:

Quantum indeterminacy produces uncaused causes. There is still a causal chain, but it does not permit complete predictability. Events are now merely probable, no longer certain, though the probability can be arbitrarily close to certainty.

First it says there are "uncaused causes," but then equivocates by saying there is still a causal chain, which is the same as saying, "They are caused, but some of the causes are based on probability." Which we already knew and agreed upon, at least the part about probability. We are disagreeing on the source of the probability -- pure randomness (your case), or chaos (a very possible source).

So, a philosophy source tries to have it both ways. Wikipedia (which you enjoy quoting) basically takes the same approach as me -- the Copenhagen Interpretation merely specifies behavior, not cause.

Of more interest is the general question of interpretation of QM. (Here's a nice Wikipedia entry for you.) This states simply: "The precise ontological status, of each one of the interpreting pictures, remains a matter of philosophical argument."

Which is what we have here: a philosophical argument.

The point of all of this is simple: we have a mathematical model of some of the features of QM. There's a lot of interesting speculation and research about the meaning of that model, but ultimately, we don't have any clue about the fundamental underpinnings of the statistical nature of QM. (Well, we have clues, but no conclusion.)

Since even the most advanced scientists in the field don't know the answer yet (as is especially demonstrated in the last Wikipedia link), your assertion of knowledge is astonishing. You have espoused a single philosophical (not scientific) interpretation of the Copenhagen Interpretation, and you claim it is True. This is in spite of the fact that nobody knows the nature of QM.

There have been many other interpretations and explanations presented (most consistent with the Copenhagen Interpretation), but you disregard them out-of-hand.

This is in spite of the fact that nobody knows the nature of QM.

We are ignorant of the true nature of QM. We're working on that ignorance. We hope one day to have an elegant model that describes the aspects of the universe that currently boggle us, and brings together the various aspects of physics and chemistry into a single holistic whole.

Here's what I learned this morning, going through all this: even if we find a Theory of Everything, it might be completely useless. If its descriptive power is below the Planck constant, then it's entirely likely that chaos will obfuscate any useful conclusions. That, to me, is kinda cool.

Quote:

I have already cited sources that explain that chaos theory is a deterministic theory. It only has the appearance of randomness.

Now, if you are asking me what is the difference (in the conventional sense) between chaos and randomness, then I would say it depends on the context. Chaos usually suggests utter confusion. Randomness may imply this; it may not. But this is not really relevant to the discussion.

Are you kidding? It's at the heart of the discussion.

My point is, there's no way to tell the difference between chaos and true randomness. None whatsoever, without knowing the rules and initial state of the chaotic system. This castrates your assertion that QM events are "uncaused," because as you said, chaos is also fundamentally deterministic.

Giving a single possible alternative to your "uncaused" assertion essentially demonstrates that there are other possibilities. Now it becomes a question of determination: how do you determine which possibility is right?

As there is no way to functionally distinguish between chaos and "true" randomness, the only thing you can do is remove sources of chaos from the system. This may prove to be impossible, as the chaos may be intrinsic to the system itself. (It is unlikely that the system is chaotic along a single parameter, though, as that would've been easy to detect.)

Until we have a better understanding of the system itself (perhaps a TOE?), it is outside our knowledge. That is, we are ignorant. We're working on it, but we're still ignorant. (No, I'm not working on it. I gave up physics after university for a cushy job in computer science. I use "we" in the inclusive sense.)

Quote:

The quantum vacuum is believed to be a sea of energy (electromagnetic waves). However, the quantum jumps themselves are believed to be (according to the standard interpration of QM) uncaused and unbidden.

Hardly.

They are probabilistic. This was explained above, and by others, in excruciating detail, and now with documentation equal to (or greater than) your own. Some may "believe [quantum jumps] to be uncaused and unbidden," but that is not the only (or even most-generally-held) interpretation of the Copenhagen Interpretation.

In fact, I can find no reference to "uncaused" events except in a philosophical context. The physicists I find generally are either neutral, or are deterministic (like Steven Weinberg).

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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Paisley wrote:If the


Paisley wrote:

If the expression of profanity "is likely out of pain, not anger," then how does this support your counter-argument that "anger is not always directed at an agent?" I suggest you take a few minutes, think about it, and have another go at it later because right now you are failing miserably.

BMcD wrote:

Nice try, but you've obviously let your reading comprehension skills decay.

A)the initial point that it 'is likely out of pain, not anger', is not in support of the directionality of anger, but directly rebutting your claim that such exclamations represent anger.

B)the counterargument that any anger that does result need not be directed at an agent is not harmed in any way by either the clarification that anger need not result, or the further clarification that were it to result, and were it to be directed, it would not be directed toward a deity, nor based on moral considerations.

Your conflation of those is akin to saying 'if the brakes on your car failed not out of manual brake line disconnection, but mechanical defect, then how does this support your counter-argument that brake line disconnection isn't always the result of malice?' That brakes fail doesn't have a damn thing to do with whether mechanics screw up when working on a car. They are seperate points.

Reading comprehension for the win.

I wonder what he thinks about people with tourette's syndrome.

Sounds made up...
Agnostic Atheist
No, I am not angry at your imaginary friends or enemies.


jcgadfly
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Magus wrote:Paisley wrote:If

Magus wrote:

Paisley wrote:

If the expression of profanity "is likely out of pain, not anger," then how does this support your counter-argument that "anger is not always directed at an agent?" I suggest you take a few minutes, think about it, and have another go at it later because right now you are failing miserably.

BMcD wrote:

Nice try, but you've obviously let your reading comprehension skills decay.

A)the initial point that it 'is likely out of pain, not anger', is not in support of the directionality of anger, but directly rebutting your claim that such exclamations represent anger.

B)the counterargument that any anger that does result need not be directed at an agent is not harmed in any way by either the clarification that anger need not result, or the further clarification that were it to result, and were it to be directed, it would not be directed toward a deity, nor based on moral considerations.

Your conflation of those is akin to saying 'if the brakes on your car failed not out of manual brake line disconnection, but mechanical defect, then how does this support your counter-argument that brake line disconnection isn't always the result of malice?' That brakes fail doesn't have a damn thing to do with whether mechanics screw up when working on a car. They are seperate points.

Reading comprehension for the win.

I wonder what he thinks about people with tourette's syndrome.

<wiseass mode ON>

They're angry at God also - they just don't know it.

<wiseass mode OFF>

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Paisley wrote:I like to

Paisley wrote:
I like to think of it as educating. I educate. But I am also open to learning. This is why I am able to educate.

You educate? Those poor grade schoolers...


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Paisley wrote:I don't know

Paisley wrote:

I don't know what the acronym "CcC" stands for so I can't respond.

It's shorthand for Consciousness causes Collapse as a theoretical solution to the measurement problem and it's in reference to your assertion that quantum indeterminacy implies the caprice of a conscious will.

I'm not saying that one cannot reasonably consider CCC, only that it is most assuredly debatable that it should be concluded per se.

 

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Paisley

Paisley wrote:

Quote:
indeterminism : a theory that holds that not every event has a cause (source: Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indeterminism

This is your argument in a nutshell: "Indeterminism does not really mean indeterminism; it means determinism. And you're an idiot if you don't understand this."

If an event is indeterminate, then it means that it doesn't have a cause by definition. If it did have a cause, then it would be determinate, not indeterminate. If I am missing something here, then please correct my ignorance. However, I will demand that you provide me with something more authoritative than your ranting and raving. In other words, cite a source.

Thanks, Professor.

You do realize this is a philosophical theory, and not one of physics, right?

Quote:
Indeterminism is the philosophical belief contradictory to determinism: that there are events which do not correspond with determinism (and therefore are uncaused in some sense).

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

Here's a definition of "indeterminate:"

Quote:

in·de·ter·mi·nate  (nd-tûrm-nt)

adj.

1. a. Not precisely determined, determinable, or established: a person of indeterminate age.

b. Not precisely fixed, as to extent, size, nature, or number: an indeterminate number of plant species in the jungle.

c. Lacking clarity or precision, as in meaning; vague: an indeterminate turn of phrase.

d. Not fixed or known in advance: an indeterminate future.

e. Not leading up to a definite result or ending: an indeterminate campaign.

2. Botany Not terminating in a flower and continuing to grow at the apex: an indeterminate inflorescence.

 

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/indeterminate

 Huh. That's funny. I don't see anything at all about "uncaused." So, no, "indeterminate" does not mean "without cause." By definition.

Note the "not precisely fixed..." part. In QM (according to the Wikipedia article on indeterminacy), "Indeterminacy" refers to the inability to know the full unique state of a quantum system. You can collapse a quantum waveform into either the position or the velocity, but not both at the same time. That is, the entire state of the system is not predictable or knowable.

Re-read your Paul Davies quote with that in mind, and you'll realize that interpretation of Paul Davies quote makes more sense than your, "Without cause" interpretation. Or not.

My argument is, "I do not think that word means what you think it means." And I think you're an idiot, for sure, but only partly because you are incapable of understanding a simple argument like, "Indeterminate has several meanings, and I don't think it's being used the way you use it in reference to QM," and partly because you can't tell the difference between philosophy and physics, and mostly because of the overwhelming evidence.

Now, all of what I just said is a half-truth.

(Not about indeterminism in QM, because that's what it means -- you can't "determine" the full state of the system. Even in principle, you cannot "determine" both velocity and position. That is, it is "indeterminate." )

There are some physicists who believe as you do, that these events are ultimately uncaused. When I was studying physics, this was a very minority view; things may have changed in physics over the last 15 years, but I don't see any evidence. This is part of the reason the philosophic theory of indeterminacy exists -- some do believe it.

That's a philosophical viewpoint, not one of physics. There may be hypothesis based on the philosophic viewpoint, but that's all they are. Until we get some compelling experimental evidence, that's all they'll be: hypothesis that compete against other (often deterministic) hypothesis.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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With particular reference

 

With particular reference to the dead link 

http://www.rationalresponders.com/fallacies_commonly_employed_against_materialism_refuted ,

and to posts of

kellym78 (RRS Core Member, Author, and Website Administrator) and

Hambydammit (RRS Author and Website Administrator).

 

 

RRS will no doubt put the label “theist” (which according to RRS equals “mind-disordered&rdquoEye-wink above my identifying information. Therefore, I will provide some background to let readers know what sort of theist I am.

 

Back in September, when Creation Science Evangelism was asserting bogus copyright claims to suppress videos debunking its materials, I offered a YouTuber named trebob27 portions of correspondence that I had carried on with Kent Hovind. In that correspondence, Hovind had waived copyright to his videos. I later sent trebob the link to a page on CSE’s website, which confirmed that Hovind had sent me an email waiving copyright.

 

Trebob made a video quoting that waiver (

www.youtube.com/watch?v=44nj-kmXMjs). His video also directed viewers to www.kent-hovind.com, which presents the correspondence in full along with an extensive rebuttal of Hovind’s materials that I wrote in 2001.

 

In addition, trebob mentioned that I am a regular contributor to the

guest book of www.kent-hovind.com. Therein, you will find over 4 years of entries in which I have maintained unwaveringly that Hovind is a liar, slanderer, criminal, and hate-monger, as well as a willfully ignorant incompetent. I have unfailingly defended atheists for combating Hovind and his followers, whom atheists rightly see as dangerous ideologues who believe they have a divine mandate to rule over nonbelievers.

 

Someone at RRS apparently considered my information useful enough make a link to trebob’s video. At least that’s how I interpret the presence of

www.rationalresponders.com/fuck_creationism_17_years_old  in the list of sites linking to it. (See the video’s Statistics & Data.)

 

You will also find that at the end of a discussion that will be mentioned shortly, I provided Kelly and Hambydammit with Hovind quotes that I have used to great effect in online debates with his supporters.

 

I hope that in view of my years of service to atheists, RRS members might spare me the sort of personal attacks that they have been directing at Paisley.

 

The subject Paisley raises —the contradiction inherent in believing oneself to be a free thinker, while simultaneously believing that every thought is the result of purely physical processes— reflects a well-known disconnect in the Western worldview. That disconnect has been noted by such authors as A. E. Burtt (in The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Science) and A. N. Whitehead (in Science and the Modern World). It has caused difficulties even for Kelly and Hambydammit.

 

For example, take their statements in a discussion that I initiated back in October. It took awhile for that discussion to get down to brass tacks, in part because a glitch caused my initial post to appear without any paragraph breaks. Also, I used the word “normative” in a way unfamiliar to at least one RRS member. At the end of this post, to avoid going down that road again, I cite Merriam Webster for the definition I used throughout the discussion. I also provide numbers of the posts from which I quote, so that readers may check contexts.

 

Despite its rough start, the October discussion eventually got on track. Kelly soon staked out a position on the materialistic origins of thought. For example, when I noted

 

If we believe that anyone has free will regarding anything, then we end up in … contradictions when we try to square that belief with a matter/energy-only Universe. Surely Kelly knows this; the paradox of Free Will in a matter/energy-only Universe is a common-enough topic of discussion among scientists and philosophers. Or does Kelly mean to say that she believes that nobody has free will regarding anything? If so, I hope she will state her belief explicitly, so that other Rational Responders may debate this point with her. (Post 12)

 

Kelly replied

 

I doubt that any other "Rational Responders" will be debating this point with me, since most of us are in agreement that we do, in fact, live in a completely materialistic universe and all observed phenomena arise as a result of physical processes. (Post 15)

 

This was not necessarily consistent with some of her earlier statements, so I sought clarification of RRS’s views by asking Kelly to respond to a list of characterizations I provided. I present the four most-relevant characterizations here, followed by Kelly’s responses.

 

Characterization 1. You believe in a Matter/energy-only (M/E-only) Universe.

Kelly’s response: True.

 

Characterization 2. Each [RRS member] believes that he or she individually is not merely a configuration of matter/energy.

Kelly’s response: False. Everything that comprises my being is a configuration of matter/energy and the interactions that arise within it.

 

Characterization 3. You believe your thoughts are meaningful. That is, that the difference between one thought and another is not merely a difference between configurations of M/E in your brains.

Kelly’s response: False. The difference lies in the configurations, patterns, and chemical constituents of my neurology. All of which are physical processes, but not the same physical process, and could have an infinite number of factors that have led up to the interaction occurring in a particular way.

 

Characterization 4. You believe that you have Free Will, at least regarding which thoughts you choose to express in this forum.

Kelly’s response: False. I do not believe in "free will" in the sense that you do. I already explained that. (Although I am starting to believe that you are "willfully" not reading my posts--must be predisposed to dishonesty.)

 

Please note that the list of characterizations is from Post 16, and Kelly’s responses are from 17.

 

It has long been known that views expressed in Kelly’s responses lead to stark contradictions. I found an opportunity to mention these in response to a later post by Hambydammit. I had said

 

I confess it is beyond my poor powers to communicate the inconsistency of Responders who in one post assert there is no Free Will, only cause and effect, and in the next express offence at symbols that appeared upon their monitors in reply. (Post 19)

 

Hambydammit responded by quoting this, and then asking

 

Have you actually read anyone's defense of the idea that there is no free will?

You know what a category error is, right? And a fallacy of composition/division?

You also know that a term must be defined before it can be defended, right?

Use your noggin a little bit and see if you can figure out why the statement I just quoted is so ridiculous. (Post 20)

 

I answered as follows:

 

Hambydammit wrote: [the above-quoted four sentences]. But "Hambydammit" does not exist. "Hambydammit" is just a label that lazy people apply, for their own convenience, to a bunch of subatomic particles that are simply going about their business. Just as they have for the last 12 billion years. Said bunch's "ideas" (perhaps one of them is that [it] is a Free Thinker) are nothing but configurations of the Universe's matter/energy that occur as those particles follow the Universe's impersonal laws. So are those of the bunch known as Kent Hovind. And who's to be arbiter between these two bunches, other than some other bunch of particles? (Post 21)

 

I expanded on this a bit in Post 25, telling Hambydammit

 

Both Hovind and RRS seem to think that [your] difference of opinion is cause for me to send a check to one or the other of you. But Materialism gives me no indication either of [to which of you I should send it], or why I should send one at all. [Such considerations are the reason why I, who used to be a Materialist] concluded that defenses of Materialism are … chains of impeccable logic leading to conclusions that are crippling nonsense. (Post 25)

 

Hambydammits’s lack of any substantive response to either of the last two quoted passages is remarkable. (See his posts 24 and 29, which were his last.). So is Kelly’s reticence: after responding in Post 17 to my list of characterizations, she had nothing to say until her last post. (30, which was a response to my 27).

 

Since I had left the discussion after giving Kelly and Hambydammit the last word in Posts 25 and 27, Sapient closed down the discussion soon afterward. As of that time, neither Kelly nor Hambydammit had attempted to address the last two quoted passages. Significantly, neither of these RRS authors had mentioned http://www.rationalresponders.com/fallacies_commonly_employed_against_materialism_refuted , although its title suggests that it should have contained something useful to them. Moreover, Magus had mentioned this link (which he may not have know was dead) in his Post 18.

 

In a letter that I wrote to an acquaintance a month later, I summed up those last several exchanges as follows:

 

[Kent] Hovind thinks it’s a good thing to massacre Muslim insurgents, then bury them in mass graves filled with pig guts. On the other hand, Materialists of my acquaintance maintain that we must not do this.

However, Materialists cannot avoid conceding that in a M/E-only Universe, Hovind’s opinion and their own must have exactly the same origin: in the workings of ultimately purposeless physical laws within ensembles of M/E. Here, those laws have produced ethical judgments that are diametrically opposed. And in a M/E-only Universe, it’s futile to ask which is “right”. That answer would have to come from some other ensemble of matter/energy, for whose ethical judgments the Materialists could claim no validity that Hovind could not claim for his own, and with equal justification.

I believe it’s significant that when I’ve presented this sort of argument in online forums [Note: this wasn’t the first time I’ve presented it. JS], no Ethical Atheist of the Materialist persuasion has attempted to refute it. One even said, “[I maintain that I’m right] because I am. Prove me wrong.”

 

That last quote is from Kelly (Post 17). She never responded to my offer to let her retract it (Post 22).

 

In closing, I’ll mention that I came upon the present discussion (Paisley’s) by accident. Although I stopped posting in RRS forums months ago, I still returned occasionally to find out how just how long http://www.rationalresponders.com/fallacies_commonly_employed_against_materialism_refuted would remain dead, and how often it was referenced in RRS forums.

 

When I checked up on it a few days ago, I google’d a few words that appear in its title, and found Paisley’s discussion. I noted with great interest that RRS members —some of whom had also participated in the October discussion— have chosen to insult Paisley rather than cite

fallacies_commonly_employed. A particularly instructive example is Kelly’s own first reply to Paisley:

 

Not all atheists are determinists. Determinism doesn't necessarily preclude free will. Intellectual honesty demands that you study more before making asinine assumptions and jumping to conclusions. (Post 144)

 

It speaks volumes when an RRS Core Member and Author thinks such an answer serves her purposes better than referring Paisley to whatever might be found in RRS’s own fallacies_commonly_employed. Or, it would seem, in any other RRS link.

 

 

I’ll give Kelly and Hambydammit the last word again.

 

 

Regarding the definition of “normative” that I used throughout my October discussion with Kelly and Hambydammit.

 

These were the relevant links as of October 2007:

 

Search google for "online dictionary".

Second on the list of hits will be Merriam Webster's online dictionary.

 

If you go to that webpage, and enter "normative" you will see that the third definition is

 

3: prescribing norms (normative rules of ethics, normative grammar).

 

Please note: "prescribing", not "describing".

 

If you then consult the same dictionary for "norm", you will find

 

2:  a principle of right action binding upon the members of a group and serving to guide, control, or regulate proper and acceptable behavior.


Paisley
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BobSpence1 wrote:Paisley

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I am not a mathematician but I am fairly certain that quantum mechanics is based on probability theory, not chaos theory. Quantum mechanics (at least according to the Copenhagen interpretation) is probabilistic and therefore indeterminate. Chaos theory is deterministic. Here is documentation to support my argument. If you disagree, then I expect to see some documentation that support yours.

Based on QM, the physical universe is probabilistic, not deterministic.


Of course QM is not 'based on' chaos theory, but chaos theory does suggest at least one plausible idea of what is the 'reality' governing the observations of Quantum Theory, as myself and Nigel pointed out.

This is mere speculation. And until this speculation is formed into some kind of theory and actually tested and verified, then quantum indeterminacy prevails as the present state of affairs.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Actually chaos theory can't strictly be applied to a world governed by quantum theory at the base level, since QM implies that any attempt to approach the degree of precision of measurement required to predict the outcome of a chaotic process will hit the Planck limit and the uncertainty principle.

Then I guess chaos theory cannot be a plausible explanation for quantum indeterminancy. Also, Bell's theorem states that there is no deterministic theory (i.e. there are no local hidden variables) that can effectively account for all the predictions of quantum mechanics. This includes chaos theory (which is a deterministic theory).

Quote:
Bell's theorem is a theory that shows that the predictions of quantum mechanics (QM) are not intuitive, and touches upon fundamental philosophical issues that relate to modern physics. It is the most famous legacy of the late physicist John S. Bell. Bell's theorem states:

"No physical theory of local hidden variables can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics."

source: Wikipedia "Bell's theorem"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell%27s_theorem

BobSpence1 wrote:
So, whether because of chaotic feed-back or quantum uncertainty or a combination, the Universe is indeterminate, the outcome of any process can only be expressed probabilistically, sometimes within very tight limits, sometimes only approximately, some cases with no useful limits at all, like what will be the strength and path of the first major Hurricane in the North Atlantic in 2010.

To be indeterminate is to be without cause by definition. If you say the universe is indeterminate, then it is indeterminate and not deterministic. It's one or the other. There's no middle ground here (not unless you are going to make an appeal to Buddhist thought).

Quote:
indeterminism : a theory that holds that not every event has a cause (source: Merriam-Webster Onlined Dictionary)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indeterminism

BobSpence1 wrote:
This is the wordview of science-literate people today, and does not necessarily imply Atheism. I think personally that it certainly does not imply a God, but there is no reason why some Theological 'rationalization' cannot be devised to be consistent with it, there are some God-believing scientists, but the relative numbers do tend to get smaller as you go up the professional hierarchy. so you are definitely mistaken if you think Atheists must believe in strictly deterministic versions of 'materialism'.

I know that there are atheistic materialists (e.g. atheist philosopher Quentin Smith) who believe that the universe is indeterminate and that it suddenly appeared uncaused ex nihilo (presumably by a quantum fluctuation). This is actually the tack that I expected many here to take. Instead, they denied that QM views the world as fundamentally indeterminate. And in so doing, they preclude themselves from making this argument which you now appear to be making - that uncaused events ex nihilo is a perfectly rational explanation. This is simply a case of devising an atheistic "rationalization" of materialism in order to make it compatible with today's science. See, it works both ways!

See the link below by atheist philosopher Quentin Smith who argues that the universe emerged uncaused.

http://www.qsmithwmu.com/the_uncaused_beginning_of_the_universe_(1988).htm

BobSpence1 wrote:
Of course Chaos Theory is deterministic, that was my point in bringing it up, and the passage you quote reinforces my point - chaos theory shows that a deterministic system can still display all the attributes of strict randomness to the degree that they are indistinguishable, thus making it virtually impossible to decide by any observation whether any system is 'truly' random, indeterminate, or actually deterministic.

Everything in science is tentative and subject to change. However, the fact is that the standard interpretation of QM views the world as fundamentally indeterminate.

By the way, the Wikipedia article on "Chaos theory" does define a method that can be employed to "distinguish random from chaotic data." See link below:

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

BobSpence1 wrote:
Notice that your quote on QT did not equate indeterminacy to outcomes being un-caused, just unpredictable, so I don't need to provide any references to counter yours because they do not conflict with my position, thank you.

According the standard interpretation of QM, the physical universe CANNOT be explained in terms of some other DETERMNISTIC theory.

Quote:
The Copenhagen interpretation, due largely to the Danish theoretical physicist Niels Bohr, is the interpretation of quantum mechanics most widely accepted amongst physicists. According to it, the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics predictions cannot be explained in terms of some other deterministic theory, and does not simply reflect our limited knowledge. Quantum mechanics provides probabilistic results because the physical universe is itself probabilistic rather than deterministic.

source: Wikipedia "Quantum mechanics"

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

Paul Davies (science writer and professor of physics at ASU) states and I quote "that the microworld is indeterministic" and "quantum events are not determined absolutely by preceding causes." (source: pg. 61 "Mind of God: the Scientific Basis of a Rational Worldview" by Paul Davies)

BobSpence1 wrote:
So are there any events that appear strictly un-caused? Off hand, I think the idea of virtual particles apparently spontaneously popping into existence could be prima facie an example of such, but it only occurs within the Planck scale, so is very much an aspect of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle: the amount of energy in a given volume of space cannot be defined with absolute precision, so short term fluctuations about the average value can be manifest as appearance and disappearance of pairs of 'virtual' particles without violating any physical laws. These laws are, as you say, probabilistic in nature, but they still very accurately describe the statistics of the event.

This is not entirely true. Quantum fluctuations (which are ubiquitous) temporarily violate the law of the conservation of energy.

See link below.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=are-virtual-particles-rea&topicID=13

BobSpence1 wrote:
Turning that around, these events are not predictable at the scale of individual event timing, but the probability of occurrence within any specified time interval is precisely calculable, which suggests they are not spiritual or mental events, rather something much more mechanistic, just a category of event that had to be added to classical physics to advance us into the latter part of the 20th century. You either have to advance the concept of 'materialism' to accommodate these advances in our understanding, or find a new label.

I call the new label "immaterialism" because that is what it is.

Bernaird Haisch (astrophysicist) sees it differently than you. He views the zero-point field of the quantum vacuum as the mechanism for ongoing creation (or what he calls the "ideation of God" ).

Quote:
I suggest that the universe, in its full temporal evolution, is the all-at-once ideation of God. I submit that the creation is not an over-and-done thing; the present and future existence of the universe is as much an act of creation as what we call the "beginning." Creation did not happen; it is. Moreover, I propose that the continuous flow of light energy in the form of the zero-point field of the quantum vacuum - in whose reference there is also no extension in space and time - may be the mechanism for this ongoing creation.

(source: pg. 120 "The God Theory: Universes, Zero-Point Fields, and What's Behind It All" by Bernard Haisch)

BobSpence1 wrote:
It is a gross example of a false dichotomy - not fitting into your assumed definition of 'materialism' does not prove something is supernatural, spiritual, non-physical, whatever -ism you see as in contradistinction to 'materialism'.

Evidence for "uncaused" events is definitely evidence against materialism. This is really indisputable.

That being said, quantum indeterminacy is not the only thing that undermines materialism. QM has many other aspects that cast serious doubt on it too - namely, quantum superposition, quantum duality, quantum entanglement, and nonlocality. And the fact that you do not have an open mind to this shows that you are a slave to the dogma of materialism and thus are not really a "freethinker" (as the atheist defines the term) - which is, by the way, the actual subject matter of this thread.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Quantum Theory is a theory of physics, so by definition does not violate any physical laws. The category of 'physical' in this sense is whatever has been consistently observed and accommodated into Physics - physical laws are descriptive models of patterns of interaction between matter and energy that have been consistently observed, so just what do you mean by 'non-physical'?? Anything that can be shown to have occurred is input to science, not always appropriate to Physics, maybe some other discipline, like biology or neuroscience.

Quantum physics is a theory of objective phenomena conventionally called the physical. The nature of ultimate reality is a metaphysical question, not a scientific one. And when we encounter "uncaused events," then we have left the purview of science and entered into the domain of metaphysics. And if nature is truly indeterministic as QM suggests, then logic dictates that materialism is no longer tenable as a metaphysical position.

I call the non-physical that which explains "uncaused causes." This is usually referred to as mind or spirit. Be that as it may, please explain to me what physicalists (a.k.a. materialists) mean by "non-material forces?" (See quote below.)

Quote:
Physicalism is also called "materialism", but the term "physicalism" is preferable because it has evolved with the physical sciences to incorporate far more sophisticated notions of physicality than matter, for example wave/particle relationships and non-material forces produced by particles

source: Wikipedia "Physicalism"

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

BobSpence1 wrote:
If something can be shown to consistently and definitely violate known physical laws, that excites scientists, because studying such things is how science grows, and physical laws are ultimately expanded to encompass the new phenomenon.

Quantum indeterminacy, quantum superposition, quantum duality, quantum entanglement (what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance" ), nonlocality (information exchange that happens simultaneously regardless of distance) are flagrant violations of deterministic materialism. There's no other way to characterize it.

BobSpence1 wrote:
EDIT: uncaused events at the Planck scale can trigger detectable events at a larger scale - Hawking's proposition about radiation from black holes due to virtual particle pairs forming near the event horizon with one particle falling in leaving the other particle to be manifest as radiation, which can trigger macro-scale events. This allows us to address 'first cause' arguments by demonstrating that any macro event needs nothing more significant than a Planck scale quantum fluctuation to fill the role of the uncaused first cause, entirely consistent with modern physics, no infinite regress, no spontaneous appearance of an infinite super being, no infinite existence of anything more than 'empty' space, etc.

I am not pretending this is a comprehensive explanation of ultimate origins

Yeah, there is no spontaneous appearance of an infinite super being although there is a spontaneous appearance of a universe out of nothing. LOL

You want to have it both ways. On the one hand, you argue that there are no "uncaused events" while on the other hand, you argue "the universe spontaneously appeared as an uncaused event ex nihlo." How convenient! However, I'm afraid this is not going to pass the test of rationality. The psychological term for this type of behavior is called denial. And what you are denying is rather obvious. This is why you're an atheist.

BobSpence1 wrote:
To repeat, probabilistitic does NOT mean uncaused

You're just teasing...right? Didn't you just argue in your previous paragraph that quantum fluctuations are uncaused and provide a perfectly rational explanation for what we call physical reality?

BobSpence1 wrote:
Without ultimate knowledge of the reality behind any event, we have no way of discriminating a truly random event from one subject to extreme sensitivity to initial conditions, ie Chaotic effects. Without such knowledge, describing an event as truly uncaused is begging the question - we have no way to know by observation and measurement.

And finally, even if quantum events meet your criterion of uncaused, that in no way 'proves' the existence of some realm or entity beyond the reach of methodical investigation, ie, science. In fact they provide a scientific answer to the old 'First Cause' argument.

I have already addressed these issues. The Wikipedia article on "Chaos theory" actually provides a method on how to distinguish random and chaotic data. And in regards to your double-talk on "uncaused events," you can't have it both ways. It's that simple.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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Paisley wrote: This is not

Paisley wrote:

 

This is not entirely true. Quantum fluctuations (which are ubiquitous) temporarily violate the law of the conservation of energy.

 

Not according to the uncertainty principle.

 

Quote:

Bernaird Haisch (astrophysicist) sees it differently than you. He views the zero-point field of the quantum vacuum as the mechanism for ongoing creation (or what he calls the "ideation of God" ).

 

Did you even read his book? The ZPF causes events.

 

He has an entire chapter about it.

 


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Paisley wrote:BobSpence1

Paisley wrote:

BobSpence1 wrote:
Paisley wrote:
I am not a mathematician but I am fairly certain that quantum mechanics is based on probability theory, not chaos theory. Quantum mechanics (at least according to the Copenhagen interpretation) is probabilistic and therefore indeterminate. Chaos theory is deterministic. Here is documentation to support my argument. If you disagree, then I expect to see some documentation that support yours.

Based on QM, the physical universe is probabilistic, not deterministic.


Of course QM is not 'based on' chaos theory, but chaos theory does suggest at least one plausible idea of what is the 'reality' governing the observations of Quantum Theory, as myself and Nigel pointed out.

This is mere speculation. And until this speculation is formed into some kind of theory and actually tested and verified, then quantum indeterminacy prevails as the present state of affairs.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Actually chaos theory can't strictly be applied to a world governed by quantum theory at the base level, since QM implies that any attempt to approach the degree of precision of measurement required to predict the outcome of a chaotic process will hit the Planck limit and the uncertainty principle.

Then I guess chaos theory cannot be a plausible explanation for quantum indeterminancy. Also, Bell's theorem states that there is no deterministic theory (i.e. there are no local hidden variables) that can effectively account for all the predictions of quantum mechanics. This includes chaos theory (which is a deterministic theory).

Quote:
Bell's theorem is a theory that shows that the predictions of quantum mechanics (QM) are not intuitive, and touches upon fundamental philosophical issues that relate to modern physics. It is the most famous legacy of the late physicist John S. Bell. Bell's theorem states:

"No physical theory of local hidden variables can ever reproduce all of the predictions of quantum mechanics."

source: Wikipedia "Bell's theorem"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bell%27s_theorem

BobSpence1 wrote:
So, whether because of chaotic feed-back or quantum uncertainty or a combination, the Universe is indeterminate, the outcome of any process can only be expressed probabilistically, sometimes within very tight limits, sometimes only approximately, some cases with no useful limits at all, like what will be the strength and path of the first major Hurricane in the North Atlantic in 2010.

To be indeterminate is to be without cause by definition. If you say the universe is indeterminate, then it is indeterminate and not deterministic. It's one or the other. There's no middle ground here (not unless you are going to make an appeal to Buddhist thought).

Quote:
indeterminism : a theory that holds that not every event has a cause (source: Merriam-Webster Onlined Dictionary)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/indeterminism

BobSpence1 wrote:
This is the wordview of science-literate people today, and does not necessarily imply Atheism. I think personally that it certainly does not imply a God, but there is no reason why some Theological 'rationalization' cannot be devised to be consistent with it, there are some God-believing scientists, but the relative numbers do tend to get smaller as you go up the professional hierarchy. so you are definitely mistaken if you think Atheists must believe in strictly deterministic versions of 'materialism'.

I know that there are atheistic materialists (e.g. atheist philosopher Quentin Smith) who believe that the universe is indeterminate and that it suddenly appeared uncaused ex nihilo (presumably by a quantum fluctuation). This is actually the tack that I expected many here to take. Instead, they denied that QM views the world as fundamentally indeterminate. And in so doing, they preclude themselves from making this argument which you now appear to be making - that uncaused events ex nihilo is a perfectly rational explanation. This is simply a case of devising an atheistic "rationalization" of materialism in order to make it compatible with today's science. See, it works both ways!

See the link below by atheist philosopher Quentin Smith who argues that the universe emerged uncaused.

http://www.qsmithwmu.com/the_uncaused_beginning_of_the_universe_(1988).htm

BobSpence1 wrote:
Of course Chaos Theory is deterministic, that was my point in bringing it up, and the passage you quote reinforces my point - chaos theory shows that a deterministic system can still display all the attributes of strict randomness to the degree that they are indistinguishable, thus making it virtually impossible to decide by any observation whether any system is 'truly' random, indeterminate, or actually deterministic.

Everything in science is tentative and subject to change. However, the fact is that the standard interpretation of QM views the world as fundamentally indeterminate.

By the way, the Wikipedia article on "Chaos theory" does define a method that can be employed to "distinguish random from chaotic data." See link below:

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

BobSpence1 wrote:
Notice that your quote on QT did not equate indeterminacy to outcomes being un-caused, just unpredictable, so I don't need to provide any references to counter yours because they do not conflict with my position, thank you.

According the standard interpretation of QM, the physical universe CANNOT be explained in terms of some other DETERMNISTIC theory.

Quote:
The Copenhagen interpretation, due largely to the Danish theoretical physicist Niels Bohr, is the interpretation of quantum mechanics most widely accepted amongst physicists. According to it, the probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics predictions cannot be explained in terms of some other deterministic theory, and does not simply reflect our limited knowledge. Quantum mechanics provides probabilistic results because the physical universe is itself probabilistic rather than deterministic.

source: Wikipedia "Quantum mechanics"

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

Paul Davies (science writer and professor of physics at ASU) states and I quote "that the microworld is indeterministic" and "quantum events are not determined absolutely by preceding causes." (source: pg. 61 "Mind of God: the Scientific Basis of a Rational Worldview" by Paul Davies)

BobSpence1 wrote:
So are there any events that appear strictly un-caused? Off hand, I think the idea of virtual particles apparently spontaneously popping into existence could be prima facie an example of such, but it only occurs within the Planck scale, so is very much an aspect of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle: the amount of energy in a given volume of space cannot be defined with absolute precision, so short term fluctuations about the average value can be manifest as appearance and disappearance of pairs of 'virtual' particles without violating any physical laws. These laws are, as you say, probabilistic in nature, but they still very accurately describe the statistics of the event.

This is not entirely true. Quantum fluctuations (which are ubiquitous) temporarily violate the law of the conservation of energy.

See link below.

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=are-virtual-particles-rea&topicID=13

BobSpence1 wrote:
Turning that around, these events are not predictable at the scale of individual event timing, but the probability of occurrence within any specified time interval is precisely calculable, which suggests they are not spiritual or mental events, rather something much more mechanistic, just a category of event that had to be added to classical physics to advance us into the latter part of the 20th century. You either have to advance the concept of 'materialism' to accommodate these advances in our understanding, or find a new label.

I call the new label "immaterialism" because that is what it is.

Bernaird Haisch (astrophysicist) sees it differently than you. He views the zero-point field of the quantum vacuum as the mechanism for ongoing creation (or what he calls the "ideation of God" ).

Quote:
I suggest that the universe, in its full temporal evolution, is the all-at-once ideation of God. I submit that the creation is not an over-and-done thing; the present and future existence of the universe is as much an act of creation as what we call the "beginning." Creation did not happen; it is. Moreover, I propose that the continuous flow of light energy in the form of the zero-point field of the quantum vacuum - in whose reference there is also no extension in space and time - may be the mechanism for this ongoing creation.

(source: pg. 120 "The God Theory: Universes, Zero-Point Fields, and What's Behind It All" by Bernard Haisch)

BobSpence1 wrote:
It is a gross example of a false dichotomy - not fitting into your assumed definition of 'materialism' does not prove something is supernatural, spiritual, non-physical, whatever -ism you see as in contradistinction to 'materialism'.

Evidence for "uncaused" events is definitely evidence against materialism. This is really indisputable.

That being said, quantum indeterminacy is not the only thing that undermines materialism. QM has many other aspects that cast serious doubt on it too - namely, quantum superposition, quantum duality, quantum entanglement, and nonlocality. And the fact that you do not have an open mind to this shows that you are a slave to the dogma of materialism and thus are not really a "freethinker" (as the atheist defines the term) - which is, by the way, the actual subject matter of this thread.

BobSpence1 wrote:
Quantum Theory is a theory of physics, so by definition does not violate any physical laws. The category of 'physical' in this sense is whatever has been consistently observed and accommodated into Physics - physical laws are descriptive models of patterns of interaction between matter and energy that have been consistently observed, so just what do you mean by 'non-physical'?? Anything that can be shown to have occurred is input to science, not always appropriate to Physics, maybe some other discipline, like biology or neuroscience.

Quantum physics is a theory of objective phenomena conventionally called the physical. The nature of ultimate reality is a metaphysical question, not a scientific one. And when we encounter "uncaused events," then we have left the purview of science and entered into the domain of metaphysics. And if nature is truly indeterministic as QM suggests, then logic dictates that materialism is no longer tenable as a metaphysical position.

I call the non-physical that which explains "uncaused causes." This is usually referred to as mind or spirit. Be that as it may, please explain to me what physicalists (a.k.a. materialists) mean by "non-material forces?" (See quote below.)

Quote:
Physicalism is also called "materialism", but the term "physicalism" is preferable because it has evolved with the physical sciences to incorporate far more sophisticated notions of physicality than matter, for example wave/particle relationships and non-material forces produced by particles

source: Wikipedia "Physicalism"

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

BobSpence1 wrote:
If something can be shown to consistently and definitely violate known physical laws, that excites scientists, because studying such things is how science grows, and physical laws are ultimately expanded to encompass the new phenomenon.

Quantum indeterminacy, quantum superposition, quantum duality, quantum entanglement (what Einstein called "spooky action at a distance" ), nonlocality (information exchange that happens simultaneously regardless of distance) are flagrant violations of deterministic materialism. There's no other way to characterize it.

BobSpence1 wrote:
EDIT: uncaused events at the Planck scale can trigger detectable events at a larger scale - Hawking's proposition about radiation from black holes due to virtual particle pairs forming near the event horizon with one particle falling in leaving the other particle to be manifest as radiation, which can trigger macro-scale events. This allows us to address 'first cause' arguments by demonstrating that any macro event needs nothing more significant than a Planck scale quantum fluctuation to fill the role of the uncaused first cause, entirely consistent with modern physics, no infinite regress, no spontaneous appearance of an infinite super being, no infinite existence of anything more than 'empty' space, etc.

I am not pretending this is a comprehensive explanation of ultimate origins

Yeah, there is no spontaneous appearance of an infinite super being although there is a spontaneous appearance of a universe out of nothing. LOL

You want to have it both ways. On the one hand, you argue that there are no "uncaused events" while on the other hand, you argue "the universe spontaneously appeared as an uncaused event ex nihlo." How convenient! However, I'm afraid this is not going to pass the test of rationality. The psychological term for this type of behavior is called denial. And what you are denying is rather obvious. This is why you're an atheist.

BobSpence1 wrote:
To repeat, probabilistitic does NOT mean uncaused

You're just teasing...right? Didn't you just argue in your previous paragraph that quantum fluctuations are uncaused and provide a perfectly rational explanation for what we call physical reality?

BobSpence1 wrote:
Without ultimate knowledge of the reality behind any event, we have no way of discriminating a truly random event from one subject to extreme sensitivity to initial conditions, ie Chaotic effects. Without such knowledge, describing an event as truly uncaused is begging the question - we have no way to know by observation and measurement.

And finally, even if quantum events meet your criterion of uncaused, that in no way 'proves' the existence of some realm or entity beyond the reach of methodical investigation, ie, science. In fact they provide a scientific answer to the old 'First Cause' argument.

I have already addressed these issues. The Wikipedia article on "Chaos theory" actually provides a method on how to distinguish random and chaotic data. And in regards to your double-talk on "uncaused events," you can't have it both ways. It's that simple.

So...

Nigel has studied QM, Cpt_pineapple studied QM, Eloise has studied QM and you...

have wikipedia.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


nigelTheBold
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jcgadfly wrote:So... Nigel

jcgadfly wrote:

So... Nigel has studied QM, Cpt_pineapple studied QM, Eloise has studied QM and you... have wikipedia.

To be fair, my study of QM was 17 years ago, and I haven't been keeping up like I used to. Yeah. Pay a bunch for an education I never really used.

I'm not in Cpt_pineapple's, Eloise's, or BobSpence1's class at all.

But, Paisley sounds just like my old philosophy professor, whom my physics professor said was "full of shit." Not that it means anything.

"Yes, I seriously believe that consciousness is a product of a natural process. I find that the neuroscientists, psychologists, and philosophers who proceed from that premise are the ones who are actually making useful contributions to our understanding of the mind." - PZ Myers


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nigelTheBold wrote:jcgadfly

nigelTheBold wrote:

jcgadfly wrote:

So... Nigel has studied QM, Cpt_pineapple studied QM, Eloise has studied QM and you... have wikipedia.

To be fair, my study of QM was 17 years ago, and I haven't been keeping up like I used to. Yeah. Pay a bunch for an education I never really used.

I'm not in Cpt_pineapple's, Eloise's, or BobSpence1's class at all.

But, Paisley sounds just like my old philosophy professor, whom my physics professor said was "full of shit." Not that it means anything.

But all of you have cracked open books at one time and aren't just doing cut and pastes from Wikipedia.

"I do this real moron thing, and it's called thinking. And apparently I'm not a very good American because I like to form my own opinions."
— George Carlin


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Thanks Paisley. That was an

Thanks Paisley. That was an interesting rebuttal with Nigel (293), and more helpful to understanding your philosophy. Thanks  

{Rant} When we discover new things we give them a name etc. To say uncaused and to then leap to say immaterial and assume this event is not somehow Energy/Matter seems to require "faith", another funny word ! Yes, my beliefs (faith) requires an atheist label, however that is because I reject religious god concepts of separation. Nothing I can imagine is not connected nor "uncaused". No beginning is my "faith" .....

So heck, just because we can't understand the suspected "other dimensions", why not just say it is an "E/M" action not understood? Why is a "special" god connection being implied? Is anything actually more amazing than anything else? God fundamentally means awe. Yeah "gawed done it, god is all". Now what, "worship" awe? Why even add a hint of dogma? I'd say all are guilty of this to varying degrees, and even science by our nature, as we interpret, communicate, and model, the awe. Basically dogma is the enemy of our "truth seeking". We could debate "dogma", but no thanks.

A side note, and general apology. Atheists, as myself, are really angry at God of Abe dogma, and any hint of religious leaning can turn the "Rage Against The (religion) Machine" on ! ....  (((  and a caring atheistic (pantheistic) Jesus barked, "satan, hypocrites, snakes, vipers, blind fools, sinners, purify the dogma temple/church", etc

BTW, I have no big gripes with Pantheism's awe .....

LOL P , mark    


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Cpt_pineapple wrote:Paisley

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Paisley wrote:
 

This is not entirely true. Quantum fluctuations (which are ubiquitous) temporarily violate the law of the conservation of energy.

 

Not according to the uncertainty principle.

I cited a source from a Scientific American article written by Gordon Kane (professor of physics at the University of Michigan) that says it does.

Cpt_pineapple wrote:
Paisley wrote:
 Bernaird Haisch (astrophysicist) sees it differently than you. He views the zero-point field of the quantum vacuum as the mechanism for ongoing creation (or what he calls the "ideation of God" ).

 

Did you even read his book? The ZPF causes events.

He has an entire chapter about it.

Yes, I have. That's why I said "he views the zero-point field of the quantum vacuum as the mechanism for ongoning creation" and provided a quote from the book. He entitled his book "The God Theory" for a reason.

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead


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jcgadfly wrote:You don't

jcgadfly wrote:
You don't know what QM terms are but you claim to have a qualitative knowledge of the subject? Sounds almost like you're using Wikipedia as a primary source.

I am familiar with the "consciousness collapses" the wave function interpretation. I was not sure what her acronym "CcC" stood for. This is why I asked. Evidently you have nothing better to do with your time than make lame criticisms. I guess this is why you identify yourself as a "gadfly." The name appears to fit.

 

 

"Scientists animated by the purpose of proving they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study." - Alfred North Whitehead