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June 23, 2024


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"Maybe, he suggests, spooky action at a distance is the norm and the world of particles is non-local by default. In which case, perhaps space isn’t fundamental but arises out of entanglement as an emergent phenomenon."

Wow. Hadn't come across that idea before. ...No wonder, it seems a new development, ongoing and cutting-edge. ...Not that it is any more than just a conjecture so far, apparently, not even quite a hypothesis. ...But fascinating, completely fascinating.


Heh, quite right, it's super amusing, how the woo types start getting all excited about things like these, except for the wrong reasons, imagining for instance that this might be where they get to shoehorn in an immaterial consciousness. As you say, they know just about enough about these things to misunderstand completely what this measurement problem, for instance, is actually about.

NOTE: this comment was plagiarized by sant64. I was going to delete it for that reason, but decided to leave it up with this note. Don't do this again, sant64. I have very little sympathy for people who put forward other people's writing as their own. Here's the source for this comment, Stephen Meyer. Thanks to another commenter for pointing this out.

Since 2006 popular “new atheist” writers — Richard Dawkins, Victor Stenger, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, Stephen Hawking, Bill Nye, and Lawrence Krauss — have published a series of best-selling books arguing that science renders religious belief implausible. According to Dawkins and others, Darwinian evolution, in particular, establishes that “The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose … nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.”

But does science actually support this strictly materialistic vision of reality? In fact, three major scientific discoveries during the last century contradict the expectations of scientific atheists (or materialists) and point instead in a distinctly theistic direction.

First, cosmologists have discovered that the physical universe likely had a beginning, contrary to the expectations of scientific materialists who had long portrayed the material universe as eternal and self-existent (and, therefore, in no need of an external creator).

The first evidence of a cosmic beginning came in the 1920s when astronomers discovered that light coming from distant galaxies was being stretched out or “red-shifted” as if the galaxies were moving away from us. Soon after, Belgian priest and physicist Georges Lemaître and Caltech astronomer Edwin Hubble independently showed that galaxies farther away from Earth were receding faster than those close at hand. That suggested a spherical expansion of the universe (and space) like a balloon inflating from a singular explosive beginning — from a “big bang.”

Lemaître also showed that Einstein’s equations describing gravity most naturally implied a dynamic, evolving universe, despite Einstein’s initial attempt to gerrymander his own equations to depict the universe as eternally existing and static — i.e., neither contracting nor expanding. In 1931, Einstein visited Hubble at the Mt. Wilson observatory in California to view the red-shift evidence for himself. He later announced that denying the evidence of a beginning was “the greatest blunder” of his scientific career.

This evidence of a beginning, later reinforced by other developments in observational astronomy and theoretical physics, not only contradicted the expectations of scientific materialists, it confirmed those of traditional theists. As physicist and Nobel Laureate Arno Penzias observed, “The best data we have [concerning a beginning] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the first five books of Moses, the Psalms, and the Bible as a whole.”

Second, physicists have discovered that we live in a kind of “Goldilocks universe.” Indeed, since the 1960s, physicists have determined that the fundamental physical laws and parameters of our universe have been finely tuned, against all odds, to make our universe capable of hosting life. Even slight alterations in the values of many independent factors — such as the strength of gravitational and electromagnetic attraction, the masses of elementary particles, and the initial arrangement of matter and energy in the universe — would have rendered life impossible.

Not surprisingly many physicists have concluded that this improbable fine-tuning for life points to a cosmic “fine-tuner.” As former Cambridge astrophysicist, Sir Fred Hoyle argued: “A common-sense interpretation of the data suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics” to make life possible.

To avoid this conclusion, some physicists have postulated a vast number of other universes. This “multiverse” idea portrays our universe as the outcome of a grand lottery in which some universe-generating mechanism spits out billions and billions of universes — so many that our universe with its improbable combination of life-conducive factors would eventually have to arise.

Yet, advocates of the multiverse overlook an obvious problem. All such proposals — whether based on “inflationary cosmology” or “string theory” — postulate universe generating mechanisms that themselves require prior unexplained fine-tuning — thus, taking us back to where we started and the need for an ultimate fine-tuner.

Finally, discoveries in molecular biology have revealed the presence of digital code at the foundation of life, suggesting the work of a master programmer. After James Watson and Francis Crick elucidated the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953, Crick developed his famed “sequence hypothesis.” In it, Crick proposed that the chemical constituents in DNA function like letters in a written language or digital symbols in a computer code.

Functioning computer code depends upon a precise sequence of zeros and ones. Similarly, the DNA molecule’s ability to direct the assembly of crucial protein molecules in cells depends upon specific arrangements of chemical constituents called “bases” along the spine of its double helix structure. Thus, even Richard Dawkins has acknowledged, “the machine code of the genes is uncannily computer-like.” Or as Bill Gates explains, “DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created.”

No theory of undirected chemical evolution has explained the origin of the information in DNA (or RNA) needed to build the first living cell from simpler non-living chemicals. Instead, our uniform and repeated experience — the basis of all scientific reasoning — shows that systems possessing functional or digital information invariably arise from intelligent causes.

We know from experience that software comes from programmers. We know generally that information — whether inscribed in hieroglyphics, written in a book, or encoded in radio signals — always arises from an intelligent source.

So the discovery of information — and a complex information transmission and processing system — in every living cell, provides strong grounds for inferring that intelligence played a role in life’s origin. As information theorist Henry Quastler observed, “information habitually arises from conscious activity.”

Historian of science Fredrick Burnham notes: “the idea that God created the universe [is] a more respectable hypothesis today than at any time in the last 100 years.”

That the universe might have begun in no way shape or form is an argument for theism. The one has nothing to do with the other, nor does it explain God, nor is it supported by evidence; and nor does it make any, like ANY, sense at all. And in any case, the universe did not begin de novo (hint: quantum fluctuations, pocket universes, et al.)

The goldilocks thing is adequately addressed by the anthropic principle (hint: Douglas Adams' puddle.)

To argue for intelligent design basis DNA is to fundamentally misunderstand how Darwinism actually explains evolution of complexity. (Hint: the genetic code also is something that evolved into being.). ...And again, not to forget that to posit a God-creator does not explain God, nor is it based on evidence, nor does the whole DNA argument as presented here even attempt anything more than a God of the Gaps.


Haha, the thing about knowing just enough about a thing to misinterpret it completely. Hilarious, how the woo thought process works. The chief ingredient in that recipe is a complete lack of intellectual integrity, combined with a complete lack of embarrassment or shame over it; so that this kind of mentality is, first and foremost, completely unteachable, no matter their level of intellect and erudition. Which renders an honest discussion with such impossible, again regardless of their intellect and erudition. An honest person with blurry vision might perhaps be able to correctly understand the terrain, whether by their own efforts or with others' assistance; but not the man who wilfully plugs his ears and shuts his eyes. Wisest to save one's breath, other than maybe to point out this amusing phenomenon to others.

No wonder this kind of thinking is able to carry off such seemingly impossible intellectual and moral feats, like being able to support Trump and everything he stands for.

Housekeeping request:

Brian, would you please separate out the portion that begins with "To argue for intelligent design", in the second paragraph of my comment, into a separate, third paragraph?

(As it stands, the two points --- my second and third substantial responses --- get mashed together, and don't make for easy comprehension.)

Thanks, and sorry for the bother!

Gosh, sant. Don't you think you should put your last comment in quotes and credit the source? Unless you're none other than Dr Stephen C. Meyer!

Good catch, umami.

And it was you again who caught on to the infantile AI trick, to produce those rhyming comments. I was on the verge of applauding heartily that talent, despite disagreeing completely with the sentiment and opinion they conveyed. Which is when I saw your comment. Those verses, if honestly composed, would have bespoken real talent, no matter their philosophical and political bent. But if they're just AI --- as I'm 99℅ sure they are --- then those comments are only an exercise in trolling; and far from being elevated by a poetic talent, they plumb even further depths by virtue of the dishonesty inherent in non-attribution and plagiarism.

(sant64, in the very unlikely case that you actually wrote those verses, not AI-generated them, then I'm happy to offer my unqualified apologies over that last, and further to applaud your rhyming. It's certainly much better than I could have produced ex tempore.)

swami umami: "Good artists borrow, great artists steal."

Hehe, you guys are funny. Our dear old Sant64 has been posting unattributed comments for a while now, think I first pointed it out a year or so ago to absolutely nobody's notice, so I've actually grown quite fond of the gumption. My personal favourite was the ongoing discussion a few of you including Brian "had with" Sant64 where he was copying and pasting fairly well known arguments from fairly well known online sources/persons.... brought a genuine chuckle to my face that one did.

All that said, you're sll lucky to have somebody around here challenging your assumptions and beliefs, even if not always with his own original assumptions and beliefs...

*ongoing discussion about free will... apologies for the double post.

Blessed Be!

Oh really? I never realized that. How weird, that someone should keep doing that repeatedly. I mean, why on earth? …And nor did I see that message of yours message, manjit, at least I don’t recall it now.

I agree, having one’s views challenged is a good thing. An echo chamber’s not much fun, truth to tell. …On the other hand, contrarianism for the sake of contrarianism is even less fun. A sensible challenge of one’s views should be presented honestly, that is to say with sincere engagement, and with the willingness, on both sides, to acknowledge when one’s arguments are found wanting. If done insincerely and dishonestly --- and I don’t even mean the plagiarism thing here --- then it is little more than trolling.

As far as challenging views, Stephen Meyers’ “challenge”, that Sant64 channeled, although it was presented impressively enough, and with an air of erudition; but I’m afraid I found it wanting. I think my brief comment --- the substantial portion of it, which is to say the first section, the first three paragraphs --- dealt with his ideas adequately, if briefly. I wonder what he (Stephen Meyers) would have said in response to my comment. If he were doing this honestly, then I suspect he’d capitulate, and admit that he was mistaken. (I’d be happy to do the same if he could have clearly shown me I was mistaken. …I’ve never understood why people sometimes/often keep on latching on to their views regardless of whether they hold up to scrutiny. Makes no sense to me, that kind of an attitude.)

The presence of information in even the simplest living cells suggests that intelligent design played a role in life’s origin. After all, we know computer programs come from programmers and information generally — in a book or newspaper, for example — always arises from an intelligent source.

Perhaps for this reason, famed atheist scientist Richard Dawkins once acknowledged the cell might contain a “signature of intelligence” — and attributed the source of that intelligence to alien intervention. As he mused, “it could be that somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved . . . [a] high level of technology and designed a form of life that they seeded onto this planet.”

But invoking an alien intelligence as the source of life on Earth does nothing to explain how life, and the information needed to produce it, first arose elsewhere. “Panspermia” just kicks that ultimate question out into space.

Who or what created the aliens?

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