Response to PGA.2.0

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  • Sum1hugme
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    RESPONSE TO PGA2.0

     This post is the promised response to the questions PGA2.0 asked me in the comments section of "The Universe is Older than 10,000 years." Sorry it took me like a month.


    PGA2.0:
    "How do you justify not use an exclusively natural as opposed to a supernatural view (thus, the presuppositions nature of your argument) in interpreting the evidence? What was faulty thinking on either Wesley's or my part regarding the speed of light argument, and I am interested in your view on how the expansion (fast or slow) of the Universe could adversely affect its age. I am also interested in how you would answer the Thomas Aquinas issue?"

    PHILOSOPHY

      Methodological Naturalism is not the same as Ontological Naturalism. Ontological Naturalism is the presupposition that all that exists in spacetime is physical. Whereas Methodological Naturalism is simply A Posteriori investigation, in an attempt to create/acquire synthetic knowledge about the natural world.

    LAWYERS VS SCIENTISTS

      Often people will say that "we are looking at the same evidence and coming to different conclusions." In theory, two lawyers could walk into a courtroom and flip a coin to see who takes what side of a case to argue. Their presupposition is assigned to them, and regardless of what the reality of who did what in the case, their job is to convince you of their side. 

      Scientists do not operate this way. A scientist's job is to construct a model of reality that best incorporates all the known data and makes testable predictions. They have to synthesize a model that most accurately describes reality. They don't come to the table with their conclusions assigned to them.
    __________

    QUALITIES OF A SCIENTIFIC THEORY

      A scientific theory is an attempt to construct a model of some aspect of reality. A scientific theory must have three qualities. 

    1. It must be independently verifiable, preferably by making novel predictions about future data.
    2. It must be potentially falsifiable, otherwise it can be discarded into the category of pseudoscience.
    3. It must make as few assumptions as possible, the idea of Parsimony.

      If a theory is not verifiable, or it's predictions fail, that is indicative that it is not a reliable model of reality. If a theory is not falsifiable, then it cannot be tested with the scientific method, and therefore is probably pseudoscience. And a theory that is not parsimonious will contain extraneous elements that limit the scope of its explanatory power, liable to be disregarded in favor of a model with less assumptions (Occam's Razor).
    ___________

    THE SPEED OF LIGHT

      The speed of light in a vacuum is constant [1]. A lightyear is a measure of distance. If we can measure light that is 10 million light years away, then that light necessarily had to travel 10 million years to get to us. 

      PGA2.0, you made a couple of critical errors with the following statements:

    " We 1) see the stars out there and 2) measure the speed of light to and back from the stars for accuracy. You can't measure it accurately from one direction is the point here."

    Response:
    1. We see the stars as they were when their light was emitted, not as they are right now. That is a consequence of light having a finite speed.
    2.  We do not measure the speed of light to and back from the stars; we measure the speed of light in a vacuum experimentally, such as the experiment I provided.

      We can measure the distance to galaxies far away by determining their recessional velocity. Their recessional velocity is Hubble's Law. According to my debate source [2]:

    "Radial velocities are relatively easy to measure. Once we measure v for a galaxy, we can compute
    d = v / H0 .
    For instance, suppose a galaxy is moving away from us at 14,000 km/sec. Its distance, using the Hubble Law, is thus
    d = (14,000 km/sec) / (70 km/sec/Mpc) = 200 Mpc.
    The galaxy is 200 megaparsecs away (652 million light years), beyond the region where Cepheids can be used to compute distances."

    PGA2.0:
     "On top of that, it is assumed that the speed of light we witness now from an expanding Universe (matter in motion) is the same it was at the beginning of the Universe, or at least calculable (always the same constant - no miracles allowed, which creation week was said to be), AND that the current supposed rate accurately calculates the rate of/from expansion at the BB."
      Science is inductive, and therefore will never deal in epistemic certainty. However, it does construct hypotheses to test, which can either be vindicated into a working theory, or falsified and discarded in favor of a more explanatory model. 

      That’s really the point, to construct models that can make predictions about reality as we experience it. The best inductive model for lights speed, that has been verified without exception, in innumerable tests, is the speed of light in a vacuum is approx. 300,000 km/sec. As for the Big Bang model, see this debate for my constructive.

      The speed of light is so well known in fact that the standard unit of length (Metre) is based on light's speed [3]: "Since 1983, the metre has been internationally defined as the length of the path travelled by light in vacuum during a time interval of 1/299 792 458 of a second. This definition can be realised simply and accurately using modern techniques and the speed of light is regarded to be a universal constant, making it ideal as the basis for a length standard."

      The speed of light is not assumed, it is experimentally confirmed. The expansion rate of the Universe has been experimentally confirmed. These go into calculating cosmic distances. If you are going to suggest that laws of physics were different in the past, then you need to predicate that on something other than conjecture.

      Miracles aren't unnecessarily interjected into the model, because that would necessarily make it less parsimonious, by virtue of the many assumptions that claiming a "miracle" makes. Sure, technically they can be allowed, but you have to establish that this happened with some kind of verifiability, or else the explanation that works better and makes less assumptions (that light travels at a constant speed in a vacuum) will always be accepted instead. Side note, cosmic distances are adjusted for the effects of gravity on the light.

    " With all the paradigm shifts in thinking will the currently thought of age of the Universe remain what it is now?" 
      The accepted age of the Universe has been getting nailed down as the error bars become smaller and smaller, but the age has always been calculated within a margin of error. So the accepted age will probably change a little as we zero down, but the answer is just getting more accurate.

      Like here in 1998 [4], the age was calculated to be (tU ≥ 9.5Gyr). Gyr stands for gigayears, or, one billion years.

      And in 2020, we get even more accurate measurements [5]: "We find that the average age of the oldest globular clusters is tGC=13.32  0.1  (stat.)  0.5  (sys.), at 68% confidence level, including systematic uncertainties from stellar modeling. These measurements can be used to infer the age of the Universe, largely independently of the cosmological parameters: we find an age of the Universe tU=13.5+0.16−0.14  (stat.)  0.5 (sys.) at 68% confidence level, accounting for the formation time of globular clusters and its uncertainty. This value is compatible with 13.8±0.02 Gyr, the cosmological model-dependent value inferred by the Planck mission assuming the ΛCDM model."

      Notice how the older calculation is also correct, it's just less precise than the newer one.
    __________

    AQUINAS

      As for the Aquinas arguments, please see this debate for objections I have to his argument from motion. But I'll throw some objections out there to all of them: they have no evidence, and assume what nobody actually knows. I can go more in depth If you'd like

    __________

      I hope that covers everything and there aren't too many spelling errors.

  • Sum1hugme
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    fzzbzzork
  • PGA2.0
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    Thank you for your trouble. I will peruse and ponder this over the coming week or two and get back to you as I formulate my response. 
  • Sum1hugme
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    Take your lime. I did 
  • PGA2.0
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    I decided to break up your posts and not respond to everything at once. In this way, I can make the time available little by little. 

    I will call this Section A for future reference. 

    Section A:
    PGA2.0:
    "How do you justify not usi[ng] an exclusively natural as opposed to a supernatural view (thus, the presuppositions nature of your argument) in interpreting the evidence? What was faulty thinking on either Wesley's or my part regarding the speed of light argument, and I am interested in your view on how the expansion (fast or slow) of the Universe could adversely affect its age. I am also interested in how you would answer the Thomas Aquinas issue?"

    PHILOSOPHY

      Methodological Naturalism is not the same as Ontological Naturalism. Ontological Naturalism is the presupposition that all that exists in spacetime is physical. Whereas Methodological Naturalism is simply A Posteriori investigation, in an attempt to create/acquire synthetic knowledge about the natural world.
    Scientism is the belief that science is the answer to all things, among other definitions. In the investigation of origins, we work on theories or models that best fit our reasonable explanation ideas. Thus the BB is the currently held best explanation, although of late, it is coming into question by other theories. Scientists start with philosophical underpinnings of the existing universe and "man as the measure" as their foundation and look for evidence supporting those natural underpinnings. Christians start with God as our foundation. The point I am making is that there is enough doubt as to what is the true model that scientific theory is divided on the subject of origins. Whether you start from the empirical nature of science or the philosophical aspect of origins, neither is sufficient in explaining the Universe. Science is based on the factual nature of existing THINGS. But the concept of oneness, the concept of the laws of logic, the concept of God is not shown to exist by empiricism.

    Empiricism undermines itself in that it takes more than empiricism to demonstrate the empirical. Thus, it does not rest on its own foundation but requires another one. 

    Philosophical naturalism can only speculate so far about anything. Then it runs out of explanations for the reason why things are the way things are. Not only this, as Aquinas said, there cannot be an infinite regression of causes, at least in practice. You can think of anything and theory and practice are separated in some cases. An effect must have a cause capable of producing it (agency).  When we look at reasons for things, we can trace the causal tree down to origins, but no further. Other things depend on the existence of us, of our parents, of humanity, of the earth. What of the Universe? We can get to the root cause of anything that begins to exist if God exists since He transcends the natural order. You can give sufficient reason or explanation only to a point and no further unless God exists. Thus, there is a sufficient explanation. Without God, some things have no suitable explanation. For instance, what caused the BB? How does something devoid of consciousness develop into something conscious? There is speculation, but no one can demonstrate such things scientifically. 

    The Argument from Efficient Cause:
    1. There is an efficient cause for everything; nothing can be the efficient cause of itself.
    2. It is not possible to regress to infinity in efficient causes.
    3. To take away the cause is to take away the effect.
    4. If there be no first cause then there will be no others.
    5. Therefore, a First Cause exists (and this is God).
    The same goes for you as a necessary being in determining the truth regarding origins or in the causal chain of things. Does it (origins and the causal chain) depend on you, a contingent being, or is it true regardless of you? You discover things such as the natural laws, but they do not depend on you for their existence. You are not necessary for their existence. You assume that the natural is sufficient in explaining them, but the natural realm explains nothing (personification takes place); only conscious, intelligent beings do. Again, you are not the necessary being in explaining origins. Neither is Einstein, another contingent being, whether or not he correctly identified the means or causal agency for aspects of origins. God as necessary would be sufficient in explaining why the Universe exists; God, the greatest conceivable being. God would also be sufficient in explaining why things are sustainable, whereas I argue chance happenstance is not. God gives reason to existence. 



    The Argument from Necessity:
    1. Since objects in the universe come into being and pass away, it is possible for those objects to exist or for those objects not to exist at any given time.
    2. Since objects are countable, the objects in the universe are finite in number.
    3. If, for all existent objects, they do not exist at some time, then, given infinite time, there would be nothing in existence. (Nothing can come from nothing—there is no creation ex nihilo) for individual existent objects.
    4. But, in fact, many objects exist in the universe.
    5. Therefore, a Necessary Being (i.e., a Being of which it is impossible that it should not exist) exists.

    We could also get into the argument from contingency.
    1. Every contingent fact has an explanation.
    2. There is a contingent fact that includes all other contingent facts.
    3. Therefore, there is an explanation of this fact.
    4. This explanation must involve a necessary being.
    5. This necessary being is God. Argument From Contingency (slife.org)

    LAWYERS VS SCIENTISTS

      Often people will say that "we are looking at the same evidence and coming to different conclusions." In theory, two lawyers could walk into a courtroom and flip a coin to see who takes what side of a case to argue. Their presupposition is assigned to them, and regardless of what the reality of who did what in the case, their job is to convince you of their side. 
    Nevertheless, a good legal case rests on facts, on what really happened. The lawyer must try to determine and develop those facts. If the argument fails to do that, why would it be believed, or more to the point, how would justice be served? A good cross-examination will test the factuality of the case as it relates to what is just. It is the same with science. Science depends on facts, on what really happens.

      Scientists do not operate this way. A scientist's job is to construct a model of reality that best incorporates all the known data and makes testable predictions. They have to synthesize a model that most accurately describes reality. They don't come to the table with their conclusions assigned to them.
    A model is only as good as the thinking behind it, and with most models, as you point out later in your OP, they are falsifiable. They can be proven wrong. Most accurately describes reality in whose mind? And their conclusions are based on where they start, with naturalism. They start by presupposing. Plus, science investigates the natural realm, the empirical. 


  • FLRW
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    A flaw in the cosmological argument is in giving special exclusive status to a deity that would need no creator or origin outside of itself- a necessary being--without acknowledging that such status could be given to the basic stuff, physics, of the universe, its energy, that can take different forms.. What the western thinkers omitted as a possibility was the alternative that there is energy that has always existed and undergoes changes that are time and it can expand and contract and generate multiple dimensions.  The Hindus and Buddhists have this sort of idea and so to the Taoists.


  • PGA2.0
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    --> @FLRW
    A flaw in the cosmological argument is in giving special exclusive status to a deity that would need no creator or origin outside of itself- a necessary being--without acknowledging that such status could be given to the basic stuff, physics, of the universe, its energy, that can take different forms.. What the western thinkers omitted as a possibility was the alternative that there is energy that has always existed and undergoes changes that are time and it can expand and contract and generate multiple dimensions.  The Hindus and Buddhists have this sort of idea and so to the Taoists.
    You give special exclusive status to Energy.

    The Laws of Thermodynamics suggest that energy is running out. Are you saying Energy always existed but may not in the future? And do you think that energy is a sufficient cause for ALL things? What intelligence does energy possess? Are you saying that given enough time anything is possible without intent or purpose? Poof!!! And when you look back in time what sustains the uniformity of nature; you know, the reason we are able to do science in the first place (consistency)? Why should things remain constant? No reason, right? Or are you thinking perhaps there is a reason? (^8

    How come you keep finding reasons?

    So, supply the agency why things are uniform (why natural laws?). Are you talking in circles, with energy again being the unreason for everything? "Things just happen!!!" And in the practical sense, chance happenstance can do nothing.

    Energy = Why anything? Why everything? = Energy.

    Before time, Energy. Then, Once upon a time, Energy produced...Now Energy sustains all things without reasoning, thus unintentionally!

    Ah, yes, most reasonable!

    ***

    I love the analogy of the dice. For the dice to repeatedly roll six, six, six... they need to be fixed and there needs to be some agency that causes the rolling, and something first needs to cause the dice. That would be us, human beings who are capable of making the dice and giving the dice the agency to roll six repeatedly. Would you expect to constantly roll the six without first fixing the dice or having sufficient agency? How long would it take to roll one million sixes in a row? In theory, it is possible, but try doing so in practice. That is why the practical application does not always jive with the theoretical possibility. 

    Are you saying that energy is the best, most reasonable explanation? How does energy produce consciousness? Can you go through the steps?

    I say that the best, most reasonable explanation is God, and not just any god but the God of Christianity.  
  • PGA2.0
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    --> @FLRW
    "...that such status could be given to the basic stuff, physics, of the universe, its energy, that can take different forms..." 
    You are giving energy the ability to take things and make things, presuming that everything comes from energy and that undirected energy can do things and sustain things. Energy, taking itself and making other things, such as matter, space, and time! Things begin with Energy! A big assumption on your part. But is it reasonable to believe this? It is definitely where you seem to be putting your faith in.

    Now, what do you have that backs this up as science, rather than scientism/wishful thinking? Perhaps you have some genius to proclaim to you, some genius who cannot be wrong?

    The absurdity of it all. Keep making it up.
  • PGA2.0
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    PS. Did you give your own post the thumbs up?
    I.e.,
    fzzbzzork
  • Sum1hugme
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    Did you give your own post the thumbs up?
    I.e.,
    Lol no
  • FLRW
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    The Laws of Thermodynamics suggest that energy is running out
    What do you mean?  The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only change form or be transferred from one object to another. Most laypeople think of the laws of physics as something like the Ten Commandments—rules governing the behavior of matter imposed by some great
    lawgiver in the sky. However, no stone tablet has ever been found upon which such laws were either naturally or supernaturally inscribed. On the contrary, the laws of
    physics are human inventions—mathematical formulas that quantitatively describe the results of observations and measurements. These formulas are first inferred from and
    then tested against observations. If they hold up, they are eventually reformulated as part of general and universal theories that are derived from a minimum number of
    assumed fundamental principles. Very often, a "law" will turn out to be nothing more
    than a circular definition, such as Ohm's law which says that the voltage is proportional to the current in a resistor, where a resistor is defined as a device that obeys Ohm's law.
    Since the time of Copernicus and Galileo it has been realized that the laws of physics should not single out any particular space-time reference frame, although a
    distinction between inertial and noninertial frames was maintained in Newtonian physics. That distinction was removed in 1916 by Einstein who formulated his general
    theory of relativity in a covariant way. That is, the form of Einstein's equations is the same in all reference frames, inertial or noninertial.



  • FLRW
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    You need to spend some time learning about string theory. String theory is one of the proposed methods for producing a theory of everything, a model that describes all known particles and forces and that would supersede the Standard Model of physics, which can explain everything except gravity. Many scientists believe in string theory because of its mathematical beauty. The equations of string theory are described as elegant, and its descriptions of the physical world are considered extremely satisfying.
    The theory explains gravity via a particular vibrating string whose properties correspond to that of the hypothetical graviton, a quantum mechanical particle that would carry the gravitational force. That the theory bizarrely requires 11 dimensions to work — rather than the three of space and one of time we normally experience — has not dissuaded physicists who advocate it. They've simply described how the extra dimensions are all curled up in an extremely tiny space, on the order of 10^-33 centimeters, which is small enough that we can't normally detect them, according to NASA.
    Researchers have used string theory to try to answer fundamental questions about the universe, such as what goes on inside a black hole, or to simulate cosmic processes like the Big Bang. Some scientists have even attempted to use string theory to get a handle on Dark Energy, the mysterious force accelerating the expansion of space and time.




  • PGA2.0
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    --> @FLRW
    The Laws of Thermodynamics suggest that energy is running out
    What do you mean?  The First Law of Thermodynamics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only change form or be transferred from one object to another. 
    "The first law of thermodynamics applies the conservation of energy principle to systems where heat transfer and doing work are the methods of transferring energy into and out of the system. The first law of thermodynamics states that the change in internal energy of a system equals the net heat transfer into the system minus the net work done by the system. In equation form, the first law of thermodynamics is ΔU = Q − W." The First Law of Thermodynamics | Physics (lumenlearning.com)

    What transfers the energy into the system to start with? The Universe is a closed system if the Universe is all that exists - the system's energy. Are you proposing something besides the Universe, and if so, what? If the Universe is all that exists and is running down, a heat death (usable energy to unusable energy), then there must have been a began (time) or the beginning of time. An infinite Universe would be TIMELESS. Are you suggesting the BB is not true? What of the expansion? Is it really happening? Or are you suggesting Multiverses? If the latter, what scientific evidence supports this?   

    Lastly, why would you expect to find reasons for a Universe devoid of reason? It goes back to the previous argument, 

    1. Every contingent fact has an explanation.
    Premise 1 is a form of the principle of sufficient reason stating that all contingently true propositions are explained. Argument From Contingency (slife.org)
    Are you saying that the Universe is not contingent, thus eternal? If so, you go against the majority of scientific opinion.

    Most laypeople think of the laws of physics as something like the Ten Commandments—rules governing the behavior of matter imposed by some great
    lawgiver in the sky. [1] However, no stone tablet has ever been found upon which such laws were either naturally or supernaturally inscribed. [2] On the contrary, the laws of
    physics are human inventions—mathematical formulas that quantitatively describe the results of observations and measurements. [3] These formulas are first inferred from and
    then tested against observations. [4] If they hold up, they are eventually reformulated as part of general and universal theories that are derived from a minimum number of
    assumed fundamental principles. [5] Very often, a "law" will turn out to be nothing more
    than a circular definition, such as Ohm's law which says that the voltage is proportional to the current in a resistor, where a resistor is defined as a device that obeys Ohm's law.
    [1] It does make more sense that laws come from lawgivers. Laws or principles we find/discover seem to suggest a lawgiver is more likely. If there is no reason for the universe or energy, why would you expect to (and do) find it? You can express energy and the laws of thermodynamics as equations, sometimes very concise and simple equations. Mathematics is impossible without mindfulness, and we seem to find mathematical principles at work in the Universe. Agree or disagree?

    You expect to find sufficient reason for all things that have a beginning. In tracing your existence's causal tree to the root cause, you have an explanation for each step of the journey. What happens when you get to the first cause, in your case, Energy? What causes energy within a closed system? Or are you saying there is something outside the Universe? What would be the proof? Is it all supposition? If so, how reasonable do you think it is? More reasonable is God. He has what is necessary. Can you show me that energy does have what is necessary?  

    [2] Yet, you work only in the natural in the field of science.

    [3] We discover these laws; we do not invent them. They exist whether or not we contingent beings exist. We would not know about them if we did not exist. But if no Being existed, would they? That is the big question.

    They are not necessary for their existence. They would still exist even if you do not. What are we measuring, if not something that related to what actually is? Only if something is can we physically measure or observe it. What you perceive to observe is the effects of the BB. The initial BB cannot be measured or observed. It happened once if that is how the Universe began. You can't duplicate or repeat it with the scientific method.
     
    What you do is presuppose that there is no lawgiver behind these natural laws. That is where you begin, not me. 

    [4] So what? We discover principles that guide the natural world that we did not invent. Get the notion out of your mind that we invented them. Discover is the correct word. 

    [5] We build on principle after principle. What connects them? Chance happenstance? Or is there an INTENT behind them that we did not put there?

    Since the time of Copernicus and Galileo it has been realized that the laws of physics should not single out any particular space-time reference frame, although a
    distinction between inertial and noninertial frames was maintained in Newtonian physics. That distinction was removed in 1916 by Einstein who formulated his general
    theory of relativity in a covariant way. That is, the form of Einstein's equations is the same in all reference frames, inertial or noninertial.
    Once again, Einstein is working from the relative present, looking back on the distant past. The assumption is that the present is the key to determining the past because we can infer how things were only in and from the relative present (recorded history). Whether we are right or not is another big question. The initial expansion at the time of the BB, if that is the cause of the Universe, could have produced a bigger gap than what we now measure. That means that the distance we now measure between stars and planets and the earth in determining the age of the Universe may not be so, especially if God spoke, and it was so, per the six days of creation. People just assume other than God because they choose to look at everything through naturalistic eyes. Where they start (with naturalism) is where they finish if you want to speak of circular reasoning. You are inside the box looking at everything from there, from within. Is what is inside the box sufficient to determine what made the box? 
  • FLRW
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    Because you believe in the six days of creation, I will not be responding  anymore as I do not want to hijack this thread.

  • PGA2.0
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    You need to spend some time learning about string theory. [1] String theory is one of the proposed methods for producing a theory of everything, a model that describes all known particles and forces and that would supersede the Standard Model of physics, which can explain everything except gravity. Many scientists believe in string theory because of its mathematical beauty. The equations of string theory are described as elegant, and its descriptions of the physical world are considered extremely satisfying.
    The theory explains gravity via a particular vibrating string whose properties correspond to that of the hypothetical graviton, a quantum mechanical particle that would carry the gravitational force. [1] That the theory bizarrely requires 11 dimensions to work — rather than the three of space and one of time we normally experience — has not dissuaded physicists who advocate it. [2] They've simply described how the extra dimensions are all curled up in an extremely tiny space, on the order of 10^-33 centimeters, which is small enough that we can't normally detect them, according to NASA. [3] 
    Researchers have used string theory to try to answer fundamental questions about the universe, such as what goes on inside a black hole, or to simulate cosmic processes like the Big Bang. [4] Some scientists have even attempted to use string theory to get a handle on Dark Energy, the mysterious force accelerating the expansion of space and time. [5]
    String theory is just that - theory. Show me it is real. You take it as a possible explanation, not reality. 

    [1] Why would it? 

    [2] Just another possibility in the maze of possibilities. Ten or eleven? dimensions, of which how many we can prove? Finite minds can specular all they like, but that does not make it science fact. 

    [3] [4] If we can't detect them, it is an assumption they exist, based on clues from a particular philosophical position, not a reality. Hence, theory. Werner Karl Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist. No one has yet proved "the swampland conjecturesa set of conjectures criteria for theories in the string theory landscape." You work at this from within the realm of science, and it is not science by philosophical naturalism. That is your Bible, not mine. 

    [5] That Dark Energy interests me from a biblical perspective. It could perhaps explain how the Universe expanded after God spoke it into existence (one such theory - the BB) because speaking it into existence would create the initial distance (it was there immediately on day one without any expanse having taken place), but not how the Universe started expanding. That Dark Energy causing expansion could have happened at the Fall where God imposed curses on the natural world/Universe, but I too speculate.  
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    Because you believe in the six days of creation, I will not be responding  anymore as I do not want to hijack this thread.
    It is okay by me if it is alright with Sum1hughim. (^8

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    Did you give your own post the thumbs up?
    I.e.,
    Lol no
    (^8 

    Someone really liked your expression, whatever it meant!
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      Methodological Naturalism doesn't exclude the possibility of a supernatural, It's just a method of investigating the natural. There has been proposed no way in history of investigating or confirming the existence of the supernatural so an inductive enterprise like science just can't investigate the supernatural because there's nothing that has been shown to exist that can be investigated. Nobody is accepting scientism here. But an inductive enterprise like science doesn't need a foundation outside of itself like you claim it does, simply because it is inductive. 


      The question what caused the big bang, is evidently an incoherent question because time didn't exist before the Big Bang. You might as well be asking what's the north of the north pole, The question has no meaning. And shoehorning God in as an "explanation" really just begs the question of the supernatural's existence, which has no evidence. I could replace the word God in any of the aquinal arguments with FSM, and you would have to consider that a valid argument for the flying spaghetti monster's existence. I on the other hand would reject that argument as being not evidenced. In other words if your argument can be used for any God then it is not actually an argument for your God.

      Lawyers don't have to have the truth on their side, they're only job is to construct a convincing case, and that doesn't mean truth has to be involved. Look at the OJ trial. 

      A scientific model starts with an investigation into the natural. That is not the same as presupposing the natural is all that exist which would be conflating ontological naturalism and methodological naturalism. The scientific method is methodological naturalism. They're falsifiability is a testament to their honesty, and allows them to be extended to incorporate new data or replaced with a new model that incorporates all the known data better. Most importantly though, because science is inductive, models have to make novel future testable predictions. 
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    Methodological Naturalism doesn't exclude the possibility of a supernatural, It's just a method of investigating the natural. There has been proposed no way in history of investigating or confirming the existence of the supernatural so an inductive enterprise like science just can't investigate the supernatural because there's nothing that has been shown to exist that can be investigated. Nobody is accepting scientism here. But an inductive enterprise like science doesn't need a foundation outside of itself like you claim it does, simply because it is inductive. 
    While methodological naturalism may include the supernatural possibility, it embraces a godless pure naturalism as an explanation. It is the sole perspective of higher education unless philosophy or religion is the subject matter of specialization or an elective. Scientists, in the battle for origins, usually take a philosophical view.  The reason; they are in the present, looking back at the past with the present as the key to the past (it is all they have to work with). The assumption here is that the conditions of the past can be determined with 'relative' certainty (talk about an oxymoron). There is a dichotomy between science and religion, science and values, or science and God, taking place whereas the Christian believes that science is a way of investigating God's Universe. Naturalists have made such a division. 

    From a biblical perspective, we also use inductive as well as deductive reasoning, just like science. So, it is no different from what you call science which I believe is scientism that you seem to be offering, your cureall for everything. In speaking of origins, there is a lot of philosophy involved. 

    IM(raw)O, you are part of the growing secular, atheistic, naturalistic movement through indoctrination, and you funnel origins through such a worldview that denies God as the reasonable explanation. There is a conflict of values and beliefs when you and I speak of such things, but understand this, you nor I am neutral. The question is which worldview is better able to justify origins and make sense of them, or which is true? Generally speaking, as an atheist, you tend to look at the physical universe as the only reality. Thus everything happens within the box, a closed system. You believe everything can be explained by the scientific method or science using physicism or empiricism (materialism) within the box. Everything is explained through natural processes.

    When naturalism realizes its bankruptcy and its inability to explain some aspects of the Universe, God's possibility is brought into the equation. Then the non-physical is pondered.

    The question what caused the big bang, is evidently an incoherent question because [1] time didn't exist before the Big Bang. You might as well be asking what's the north of the north pole, The question has no meaning. And shoehorning God in as an "explanation" really just begs the question of the supernatural's existence, [2] which has no evidence.  [3] I could replace the word God in any of the aquinal arguments with FSM, and you would have to consider that a valid argument for the flying spaghetti monster's existence. I on the other hand would reject that argument as being not evidenced. In other words if your argument can be used for any God then it is not actually an argument for your God.
    [1] If the Universe had no cause, it is self-created, an impossibility. What you are saying is the universe caused itself. Nothingness caused the Universe, for you are saying there is no cause until the Universe began to exist. I ask you, how can nothing create something? How does nothing materialize something? While time has a beginning and the BB is a beginning, how is nothing capable of doing anything??? Then, on top of this, you are implying there is no intent or purpose to the Universe. As a human being, you just make meaning up, deluding yourself that anything actually means anything in the long run. Thus, your worldview is inconsistent, and where there is inconsistency, something is dreadfully wrong.

    [2] That is blatantly false. No evidence? There is a series of writing. They are codified into 66 different "books" that speak of matters that are reasonable to believe. Every writing claims to be a revelation from God speaking with words like God said, or the Lord spoke... These writings are backed by prophecies that are more reasonable to believe were written before the events described (be glad to debate that point). Then the internal unity of these writings is amazing in that the promised Messiah is seen on most pages of the OT in typology and word pictures. Every OT writing points forward to a point in time. Finally, what is said/applied of God in the OT is spoken/applied of Jesus/Yeshua in the NT.

    [3] The problem is the Bible is not about the FSM, but about a specific God revealed therein. So, I suggest you give it a try, fit in the FSM and see where it gets you. Nowhere does the Bible claim to be a revelation from such a being, so you are making it up, reading into it (eisegesis) things not disclosed. To read in this fictitious FSM would show your ignorance of what is being said. 

    The biblical argument cannot be used for any god but a specific Being who is the only God. God is an exclusive God. 

    Lawyers don't have to have the truth on their side, they're only job is to construct a convincing case, and that doesn't mean truth has to be involved. Look at the OJ trial. 
    The trial's whole point is to present what is more reasonable to believe and expose that which is not.

    [1] A scientific model starts with an investigation into the natural. [2] That is not the same as presupposing the natural is all that exist which would be conflating ontological naturalism and methodological naturalism. [3] The scientific method is methodological naturalism. They're falsifiability is a testament to their honesty, and allows them to be extended to incorporate new data or replaced with a new model that incorporates all the known data better. [4] Most importantly though, because science is inductive, models have to make novel future testable predictions. 
    [1] A scientific model starts with the natural and continues with the natural. Thus, it has its own bias driven right into the starting presuppositions.

    [2] Science looks at the natural world from a metaphysical or ontological position, the position of one thing --> everything is reduced or explained through nature. The Universe is what is the 'being' or exists. Everything is eventually broken down to matter, which is untrue. Not everything fits into the natural.

    You expressed yourself above that there was nothing before time, and the BB started the process of time. Thus, nothing happened, and from that nothing something became — the absurdity and insanity of the whole house of cards. Everything comes from nothing!!!! (^8

    Now, if you have nothing, no money, nothing, in your bank account - what do you have?

    [3] Science uses the empirical method of observing that which is, then repeats the process as a confirmation (observable and repeatable). How do you do that with origins? Answer: Scientists make lots of assumptions on what is likely to happen based on their starting point, what they observe in the present as it relates to the past, or so they believe. That is why it is falsifiable. They/you could be wrong. Once the model has too many anomalies, the paradigm changes. Once again, science is your (used in the generic sense to include both you and scientists from this point onward) god, your construct as to what is reasonable and the only thing able to answer the problem of origins. BUT, you can't demonstrate or observe origins. You can only observe what might have been the after-effects, providing you are correctly interpreting them since they do not come already interpreted as fact. You take the data and presuppose many things from it. Everything is hunky-dory until the anomalies start building up. Then, another explanation is required. And the problem with the philosophical underpinnings of origins is that one view grabs hold of the scientific community until a "better" one presents itself. 

    [4] Again, it is not unreasonable to believe that what happens in the present is not always what happened in the past. Scientists work from the relative presence, thousands of years of recorded or documented history, not millions or billions. Let me remind you of the working presupposition again --> the presence is the KEY to the past. Is it? Big assumption.