Atlantis Online

Space => the Universe => Topic started by: Paradox on June 29, 2012, 11:18:39 pm

Title: The Universe: No God Required
Post by: Paradox on June 29, 2012, 11:18:39 pm

    The Universe: No God Required

    Analysis by Ian O'Neill
    Tue Jun 26, 2012 02:13 PM ET


Those trouble-making physicists are at it again.

During a panel discussion at the SETIcon II conference in Santa Clara, Calif., over the weekend, scientists discussed the Big Bang and whether there was a requirement for some divine power to kick-start the Universe 13.75 billion years ago.

Unsurprisingly, the resounding answer was: No.

"The Big Bang could've occurred as a result of just the laws of physics being there," said astrophysicist Alex Filippenko of the University of California, Berkeley. "With the laws of physics, you can get universes."


ANALYSIS: What Does Stephen Hawking Think About God?

However, Filippenko, a speaker on the "Did the Big Bang Require a Divine Spark?" panel, stopped short of saying there is no god -- he's merely pointing out that the birth of the Universe didn't require an intervening omnipotent being to get the whole thing started. The laws of physics, pure and simple, sparked universal creation.

He then meandered into a classic chicken-and-egg argument: "The question, then, is, 'Why are there laws of physics?' And you could say, 'Well, that required a divine creator, who created these laws of physics and the spark that led from the laws of physics to these universes, maybe more than one.'

"The 'divine spark' was whatever produced the laws of physics. And I don't know what produced that divine spark. So let's just leave it at the laws of physics."

ANALYSIS: Hawking: Surprise! There's No Heaven

British astrophysicist and author Stephen Hawking, on the other hand, cares little for society's belief in supernatural beings (or subtlety for that matter). In his 2010 book, "The Grand Design," Hawking said, "Because there is a law such as gravity, the Universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist."

A "spontaneous Big Bang" is something SETI Institute astronomer Seth Shostak, also a speaker at the SETIcon II panel, agrees with.

"Quantum mechanical fluctuations can produce the cosmos," said Shostak. "If you would just, in this room, just twist time and space the right way, you might create an entirely new universe. It's not clear you could get into that universe, but you would create it.

"So it could be that this universe is merely the science fair project of a kid in another universe. I don't know how that affects your theological leanings, but it is something to consider."

HOWSTUFFWORKS: What existed before the Big Bang?

Whenever leading scientists get embroiled in the debate about the existence of God or a god's involvement in the Big Bang, I cringe. There's little doubt that there's a debate to be had, but until physicists stumble across a bona fide theory of everything, or theologists find physical proof of a god, discussions such as this get stuck in an infinite feedback loop.

Last year, Hawking went "all in" and sparked a wave of controversy when he said that there is no God and there is no heaven.

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Hawking didn't hold back: "I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its components fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken down computers; that is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark."

Filippenko is deliberately vague on whether or not god (or, indeed, heaven) exists. "I don't think you can use science to either prove or disprove the existence of God," he said.

Hawking would likely disagree.

ANALYSIS: LHC to Recreate Conditions Just After Big Bang

As humans, we naturally hold onto our instincts and beliefs to make sense of the universe we live in. Our capacity to do this no doubt helped us evolve, but in a modern age of incredible scientific discovery, science and faith are increasingly at odds.

The fact that we are gradually revealing the true complexity of the quantum world and the unfathomably huge scale of the cosmos tells me that science, not belief in an omnipotent being, will eventually give us the answers we are ultimately looking for. But that doesn't mean science has (or will have) all the answers, it just means that the Universe cares little for our faiths -- the Universe, as far as we can experience it, is powered by physical laws, not mythical gods.

So, for now, this is one philosophical debate that will keep generating headlines, but will remain stuck in that infinite feedback loop.


Title: Re: The Universe: No God Required
Post by: Paradox on June 29, 2012, 11:20:01 pm
Marissa Putri
And how about the living things inhabiting the universe, particularly planet earth? Pure coincidence too? 
First, What drives the evolution exactly. Why should prokaryotes evolve into more complex organism? Why should the reptiles turn themselves into mammals and birds? Just to get their selves killed? 
And then, after 3,5 billion years of evolution, we have 8,7 millions of species emerged from one single cell (made by dead-organic cells!), but why do we have only 2 (TWO) sexes for most species? How could the nature be extremely creative by creating 8.700.000 types of species, and so dumb when it comes to reproduction? Why nature creates limitation of maximum 2 types of sexes. Why not make it into three or thirty? Why do most species need their opposite sex counterparts to reproduce? Weird rule. 
Another question, what's wrong with the timeline? After 3,5 billion years, earth successfully created 8,700.000 species, but then here comes species, no older than 200.000 years,  yet  possessing the ability to destroy the entire earth and entire species (with nuclear bombs, war machine, global warming, pollution, etc). Earth biggest mistake? 
Why should the "mother nature" provide one species only (or few, if you want to add another “homonids”) with incremental intelligence, emotion, intuition, among other 8,7 millions of species? What’s the urgency? 
And what about the guilt and shame we human possess? If evolution is all about surviving and finding food, why do we get this guilt and shame thing? Isn’t it defying the purpose of evolution? 
All is coincidence. Yeah right.

Title: Re: The Universe: No God Required
Post by: Paradox on June 29, 2012, 11:20:29 pm
Is it just a coincidence that the universe is 13.71428571> billion years old and our 'visible' universe is 13.71428571> billion light years in radius from this point of observation? (Edwin Hubble) 
What happens if we shift our point of observation say 13.71428571 light years in any direction. our visible universe extends a further 13.71428571> billion light years in that direction. Extrapolate ad-infinitum in every direction and we have a universe that cannot possibly be only 13.71428571> billion years old, a mere cosmic blink! 
Methinks the 'Big Bang Theory' needs a serious rethink !
Today, 12:27:03 PM
– Flag – Reply
Aric Blunk
That's not how it works. Yes, the universe is about 13.75b years old. No, you can't just "extrapolate ad infinitum" and those words would make any scientist cringe. The true radius of the observable universe is closer to 46 billion lightyears. Read this: which mentions one group who claim to have established a lower bound on the diameter at about 85 billion lightyears as of right now in cosmological time. According to another method, it could be 10^23 times larger than the observable universe, and it's also possible that the whole universe is smaller than the observable universe due to unboundedness, so the actual answer is more like "we can't tell yet, not that it really matters anyway." It's kind of cute you think you've singlehandedly outsmarted decades of intensive scientific research, though. Ignorance is bliss, eh?
Today, 2:54:53 PM
– Flag – Reply

Title: Re: The Universe: No God Required
Post by: Volitzer on July 01, 2012, 01:23:33 pm
Some kind of Divine intervention had to first change the nuo-sphere type environment into the vaccuousphere (outer-space) environment.

Besides in the book Co-Evolution by Alec Newald, as the alien race of Havenites (think aliens from the movie Fire in the Sky) travel through time the literally see God at the gateway between the nuosphere and outerspace.  This is parallel to many religious teachings here on Earth.

Title: Re: The Universe: No God Required
Post by: Avenging Angel on July 01, 2012, 11:00:25 pm
So where did you hear of the Havenites from, Volitzer?

Title: Re: The Universe: No God Required
Post by: Volitzer on July 02, 2012, 12:38:40 pm
In the book Co-Evolution by Alec Newald,