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Greater Houston Skeptic Society Message Board › Discussion of skepticism and application of scientific thought in regards to God

Discussion of skepticism and application of scientific thought in regards to God

Chiang Mai, TH
Post #: 1
Mr.Wilson, please, feel free to call me "J.P."

Now, you start by admitting that you hold a belief in God because it comforts you. OK, at that point, I don't have anything to say about it. You've admitted that you have made a decision (or constructed a belief) based on your emotions and not your intellect.

But you go on:
"The truth is we don’t have an adequate explanation for the origin of the universe. I mean by that we invent other realities, brames, and imagine them bumping together to create our reality, a new brame. All this accomplishes is to push our creation point down the line, to some other area that we can never investigate."

Sir, I take issue with your description of "adequate," "invent other realities," what is "brame?", "down the line"?, and "can never investigate"?

In what way are the theories of the origin of the Universe that address or answer most questions back to Planck time not adequate?

Those who invent other realities are usually called "nuts," "quacks," "charlatans," "messiah," or "insane." However, those who search for evidence that the reality we know is broader, more subtle, more intricate and more understandable are called "genius," "revolutionary," or "scientist." There is not a thin line between insanity and genius; there is a wide chasm that separates willingness the find evidence and making unsupported assertions. You are attempting to put scientific theory on-par with b.s.

I can't find "brame" referenced anywhere. I'm agnostic as to "brames." ;)

Down the line? Like looking back up the line of time? The time line? Like eons and "since forever?" How can "we" push "our" creation point? Please, clarify?

"Never investigate?" Yeah, and we'll never beat the bubonic plague or smallpox either. (Sorry for the sarcasm, but it seemed appropriate. No offense intended.)


You say, "Now it is true God could be some kid running a science fair experiment that we are all part of. Or God could be whatever I imagined him to be. Or he could be any of the things that are listed such as the tooth fairy with an experimental bent. But I prefer to perceive God in a way that gives me comfort. I also prefer to view science as the process in which God, the tooth fairy or the kid in a science class created this reality in which we live."

So, "God" is either something definite or something, whatever you imagine him to be... I couldn't agree more. Let's write a hypothesis and test it! Oh, by the way, did you attended the Evolution of Creationism talk from Dr. Eugenie Scott last week? It was brilliant, don't you think?

I think what you're writing about is fine because you are expressing and opinion. However, think you're trying to sway me into saying it's alright. No, sir, I won't say that it is. It's not alright. Your assertions fly in the face of science, knowledge, reality and reason. They may comfort you, but that does not make them true.

Then you say, "So I chose to believe. I chose because it is more comforting to believe. It’s not that I don’t know that the possibility equally exists that there isn’t one or that if there is one has just as much a chance of being evil as good.

Since there is no way to conclusively prove that there is a supreme being just as there is no way to prove there is one both are equally skeptic."

Your logical fallacies pile up from bottom to top in this order: 1, personal incredulity; 2, universal incredulity; 3, fallacy of the law of the excluded middle; 4, misuse or the principle of bivalence. But your inference that "evil" and "good" absolutely exist is most troublesome, in that it appears you have not studied question of morality, ethics, cultural relativism, and that you instead simply follow your perception of what someone tells you is "good" or "evil."

And a further complication is an apparent semantics speed bump... let's clarify:

Christian : statement of belief; also a claim of knowledge; sometimes a claim of personal revelation

Theist: anyone who holds a belief in any deity or deities, however non-anthropomorphic; can extend to a claim of knowledge, revelation, etc.

Agnostic (as applied to theism): one who asserts no claim of knowledge; one who asserts knowledge is unknowable in a certain field

Atheist: one who holds no general or particular belief in a deity or deities, religion or superstition

Skeptic: one who employs a method of intellectual caution and suspended judgment; a doubter, an incredulous person

So which of these tinker toys do you claim as your own? I can take the last three, but can you take the last adjective and still take either of the first two?

I assure you, I only mock in that I do not expect you to believe absurdities! Of course, you don't! But you misunderstand again if you think I have to explain the Universe! That would be absurd. If I was forced to give an answer to some point I could not explain, and knew no one else could either... I might just say, "Magi Man done it." But I think you know what I'm getting at there, don't you? (I'm calling that the worst explanation, and pointing out that it obviously false. And I am also saying that anyone who believed me is an utter fool.) However, those who assert he existence of God, gods, a god, deities, demons, angels (not angles) carry the heavy burden of proof. And in the absence of any such evidence, they "create realities" and play the audience for a fool.

"You see if I took your definition to heart then we could all truly know nothing and be unable to meet for beers."

No, sir, you are wrong.

The following paragraph is patently untrue:
"Is belief in something based on evidence that eventually turns out to have been based anymore noble? I think not. Some of mans greatest concepts/scientific principals have come in the absence of any as you say evidence. They came from the mind. Read Aquinces work on how many angles can sit on the head of a pin and then compare that to Quantum mechanics. The similarities are remarkable. It is amazing that different intelligent folks could reach the same conclusions when it comes to separate forms of energy existing in the same place and time."

Scientific principles do NOT spontaneously appear without evidence. Prove me wrong ONCE, I will get the beers.
Plato used his mind and made false observations, ridiculous assertions and wrong calculations. Those who went out into the real world and created models based on observation defined the state of reality, not by their hopes and wishes but by their eyes and intellect.

Thomas Aquinas was talking about fairy tales. Quantum mechanics talks about reality. Again, that is the point. Aquinas didn't know anything about Newtonian physics, let alone thermodynamics, Brownian motion, atoms, electrons, quarks... there is no evidence he was talking about q.m. I think you are quite mistaken.

Mr.Wilson, you say many things that you obviously believe in strongly, and I commend you for your conviction. But I would like to know, what would it take for you to change you mind? What evidence could be presented to make you not believe? Is there even any such evidence? By what standard should everyone else judge?

Let's do beers!
A former member
Post #: 1

That is way to much for me to type. I am running an oil company here. So let's do have beers.

What is your background, may I ask? I would think if you were a physicist you would know what a brane is. I was shorting the term membrane. Also, I can not spell. I should have shorted the term to brane, not brame. Here is a book link;­

Here is a Hawkins quote; “To me there are only two things worth remembering about cosmology. The first is that cosmologists are often in error, but never in doubt. The second is that there are lies, damn lies ... and cosmology.”

This is not me writing;
When scientist began to experiment using the Eleventh Dimension, something very odd began to happen. When physicists began to recreate their experiments using the additional dimension, they began to discover that the 'strings' of previous theoretical assumptions, were turning out to be distinctly 'unstringy'. The stuff which all matter was composed, in this new theory seemed much more lumpy, more elastic than a string. Now, with the addition of the eleventh dimension, the tiny invisible strings were changing. They stretched and they combined. The astonishing conclusion was that all the matter in the Universe was connected to one vast structure: a membrane. In effect, our entire Universe is a membrane. The quest to explain everything in the Universe could begin again and at its heart would be this new theory. Membrane Theory, or M-Theory for short.

In short all string theories turn out to be specific condition solutions of membrane theory. Membrane theory is a way of pushing our problems to another dimension, (that way we don’t have to deal with them!) For instance, we can say Gravity waves aren’t generated in this dimension, it is generated in another so we only feel weak effects.

This is not me writing;

( While all of this took place a rock-climbing physicist from Harvard University - Lisa Randall - had been greatly troubled by one of our physical forces: gravity. Why was it that gravitational force was so comparatively weak, when compared with other physical forces? Though intuitively gravity seems rather strong - it fixes us to the planet, for instance - it is in fact surprisingly weak. Despite the force of the sum of the Earth's gravitation pull on us, we are still able to move, for instance. Gravity's force can be overcome extremely simply, by using a weak magnet. A metallic object such as a pin can be lifted out of gravity's pull very simply using such a magnet. Why is this? Could it be that its force is being dissipated in some way? Could gravity be somehow 'leaking' into, for instance, the Eleventh Dimension? When Lisa Randall carried out experiments to check the validity of this hypothesis, her calculations wouldn't compute. Then, she started to consider a bizarre proposition. Instead of gravity leaking from our universe into one of our more unusual dimensions, could gravity be instead originate from a different membrane, elsewhere, and be leaking into our universe? In effect, could gravity come from a parallel universe? When Lisa Randall redid her calculations using an alternative membrane as a point of origin for gravity, she resolved her equations. The weakness of gravity could at last be explained, but only by introducing the idea of a parallel universe

M Theory was getting stranger and stranger, but could it really be a theory which explained everything in our Universe? To have any chance of that it would have to do something no other rival theory had ever been able to do. It would have to make sense of the baffling singularity at the beginning of the Big Bang.
In 2002, Neil Turok, Paul Steinhardt and Burt Ovrut had a crazy conversation in a train on the way to London. They wondered if the Big Bang might be the aftermath of some encounter between two parallel worlds. Membranes which behaved as waves do, membranes which ripple, would, in a collision create clumps of energy, some of which could form into matter.
The singularity had disappeared and it had taken them just under an hour. If it computed it later experiments, M Theory may really be able to explain everything in the Universe.
Later experiments and calculations seem to have borne out the train chat. It seems indeed that our universe could be just one bubble floating in an ocean of other bubbles.
• M-theory, the theory formerly known as Strings: The Standard Model Cambridge­
• Burt Ovrut Dept Physics, University of Pennsylvania http://dept.physics.u...­
• The Endless Universe: A Brief Introduction to the Cyclic Universe by Paul J. Steinhardt
• Joseph Henry Laboratories, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA http://feynman.prince...­
• Brane-Storm' Challenges Part of Big Bang Theory By Robert Roy Britt­
• Connecting Fundamental Physics and Cosmology­
• Big Bang's New Rival Debuts With a Splash by Charles Seife http://www.phy.pku.ed...­
• transcript of BBC interview with Ovrut, Turok and co.­
more (or less related) notes­
Category Physics


Sorry for the cut and past. Let’s do beers and I would be more than happy to argue religion, God, or the universe.
I am not a cosmologist, but I do have a MS in Geophysics, and I am well versed in all of these subjects. Name the time and place. (if you are in town, Mucky duck? Ginger man?)
I live in the Woodlands so if you are up north we can pick Molly’s or something.
Also, if you are a disciple of man made global warming, I would love to hear your informed views on that subject! I also have math and Geology degrees. My masters had a two year exchange at Rice were I speciliced in sae level changes, i.e. Sequence Stratigraphic.


Russell E. Wilson
Manager Geophysics
Century Exploration Houston, Inc.
10210 Grogan's Mill Road, Suite 300
The Woodlands, Texas 77380

user 7881900
Spring, TX
Post #: 48
I hope to see you both at a future meeting...
A former member
Post #: 6
branes, membranes, multidimensional the things that strings hold on to, or penitrate. string theory gives me a brain cloud!
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