Proof of Creationism?

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Benny the Bear
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Proof of Creationism?

Postby Benny the Bear » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:02 am UTC

Video Link

This person claims to have proof that *a creator* (not neccessarily the Christian god, 'God') must have created us, he is actually using science to try prove this.

In the comments he seems to get people universally agreeing with him, bar one person. His theory goes like this:

God is eternal and made us all, and time must have begun at some point because it is impossible for an infinite amount of time to preceed this moment. Watch the video and read its description for more details.

I think this is flawed, as, and we're assuming time exists, this moment would be a part of that infinite amount of time. Also, since when has time been infinite? The time passed until now is a finite amount that happens to be increasing.

What do you think?

I put a religious topic in a science forum, I did this because the argument uses (or at least tries to use) science and logic. I must emphasise that all he is trying to prove is that there is/was a creator, this isn't to imply the Christian god.

Hope I made the right choice of forum.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby The Reaper » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:21 am UTC

Who say's time isn't infinite? Assuming its another dimension, it achieves infiniteness on its own. Assuming its a construct, you come back to the question of what is there before time?

The people universally agreeing with him are more than likely other creationists.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Nath » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:21 am UTC

'Science', eh?

Let me paraphrase his argument before I describe why it is broken:
1. An infinite amount of time couldn't have already passed. Therefore, time is finite.
2. Matter couldn't have existed before time. Therefore, there was a void before time, space and matter came into existence.
3. Matter can't be created. Therefore, matter was created by a powerful, intelligent entity.
Is this a fair representation of his argument? Feel free to correct it, and I will update the counterargument.

Now, the problems with each step:
1. His reasoning is flawed. By his logic, there has to be a finite number of integers, because for any integer there's an infinite number of integers less than it. Let's let this slide, though, because I'm willing to assume for the sake of argument that time is finite. It might well be.
2. This does not make sense. The notion of 'before time' is meaningless.
3. The law of conservation of matter is an approximation, but let's ignore that for now. He's essentially saying that the law of conservation of matter violates our observation that the universe exists. If his previous two steps were correct -- they are not, but let's ignore that -- then he would have disproved the law of conservation of matter. No more, no less. Why does this necessarily imply the existence of an intelligent entity? Complexity can arise from simple systems.
Bonus problem: if there really was such a void, this intelligent entity couldn't have existed in it. If it did, the void wouldn't have been much of a void.

To summarize: three non sequiturs do not a scientific argument make.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Snoof » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:48 am UTC

I've been trying to think of an equivalent phrase to 'before time', to demonstrate its essential meaninglessness. The only thing I can think of is 'shorter than length'. Any thoughts?

Also, Youtube comments aren't an accurate statistical sampling of anything. Except maybe of 'people who post comments on Youtube'. Maybe.
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Bobber » Mon Jan 28, 2008 7:52 am UTC

These people always want to make me strangle someone.
You can use all the logical and scientific reasoning with them you want, but no matter how bullet proof your arguments are, they will always deny them as not true. This is really a problem, since if they "know" that they're right, and we know we're right, neither of us is ever going to accept the other side's theory as fact.
We won't give up on our own beliefs just because somebody uses arguments that in our eyes are completely retarded - and mind you, this goes for both sides.

Creationists (the hardcore ones, at least) will NEVER EVER AT ALL accept that they are wrong, and conclude that their own theories are false. Even if every single scientist on Earth were screaming actual facts with supporting proofs and evidence into the face of one single creationist, he wouldn't give up. Most creationists "know" that they are right just as much as we know we are right, and therefore cannot accept the fact that they are not.

If somebody is completely blind, then you cannot force him to see: he needs to open his eyes himself.

I think I repeated myself a few times but I hope that I made a point.
Also, I stereotyped a little. Most of this would only apply to hardcore creationists, say, Jesus him-fucking-self. Or something.


And yes, "before time" makes less sense than none. Was it Stephen Hawking, who when asked what were before time, answered: "What's north of the north pole?"
I think it's a pretty good analogy.
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby TomBot » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:06 am UTC

What does this have to do with science? Is this guy forming some sort of predictive model of the world and testing it? I think he's just calling it "Science" because it "Philosophy" does not have the same air of unassailability in the public mind.

Edit: The guy in the video doesn't mention science.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Ubik » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:22 am UTC

Snoof wrote:I've been trying to think of an equivalent phrase to 'before time', to demonstrate its essential meaninglessness. The only thing I can think of is 'shorter than length'. Any thoughts?


A good one I've read is that talking about "time before time" is like going north of the North Pole.

Edit: Stephen Hawking said it. From Wikipedia: "Asked in October 2005 on the British daytime chat show Richard & Judy, to explain his assertion that the question "What came before the Big Bang?" was meaningless, he compared it to asking "What lies north of the North Pole?""

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Zohar » Mon Jan 28, 2008 8:59 am UTC

Bobber wrote:Creationists (the hardcore ones, at least) will NEVER EVER AT ALL accept that they are wrong, and conclude that their own theories are false. Even if every single scientist on Earth were screaming actual facts with supporting proofs and evidence into the face of one single creationist, he wouldn't give up. Most creationists "know" that they are right just as much as we know we are right, and therefore cannot accept the fact that they are not.


I understand what you're saying and I'm also of a similar opinion. I also do not believe in Creationism. But still, there are things we believe in, as "logical people". For example, we believe in the scientific method, we believe the laws of logic, we believe the universe can be approximated by physics and math, we believe the laws of physics will be the same in the next five minutes (we also believe there are laws of physics). We believe there is no evil god (like Decartes') that distorts our senses and our minds.

I think that even though scientists have very founded arguments (an I also believe Occam's Razor is a good idea, and that when considering it evolution certainly beats Creationism, again), at the very basis of it they're founded on beliefs. And unless both the scientists and the creationists can't agree on the same set of beliefs, we'll never agree.

Just to clarify - I don't believe in Creationism, I think those people are blinding themselves against many things. I believe in the scientific method and everything I mentioned above. It's true that experience has shown us that some things are relatively constant in the universe (like laws of physics etc.). I'm just saying that I think our theories are still grounded in faith of some sort. Maybe it's more logical to believe in something that doesn't have a will (the universe, instead of a benevolent god), but it doesn't make it any more true.

Lastly, should this be moved to Serious Business? Or maybe just my post to the Creationism thread there?
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Syntax » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:26 am UTC

After reflecting on his argument for a few seconds I think I can present it with a syntax which makes it easier to demonstrate his use of circular logic without raising any straw men:

1)Time has a starting point
2)Thus, an infinite amount of time could not have elapsed between said starting point and the present(or the present could have never occurred)
3)Thus, time has a starting point. QED

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby The Reaper » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:34 am UTC

Ok wait a second, I finally got around to viewing the video.... His entire argument rests on him never giving us a chocolate bar? What does that have to do with time?
"if i promised to give you a chocolate bar after an infinite amount of time would i ever give u a chocolate bar?"

I don't see how this correlates at all to his next arguement. In his mind, matching the 2 up right there already proves existence of god. if god promised to give you this moment after an infinite amount of time, would god ever give you this moment? all he managed to do is say that if god exists, there can be only a finite amount of time.

"could there have been an infinite amount of time before right now because we never would have reached this moment in time?" Assuming there is no god, then yes, we can indeed have an infinite amount of time. well if we go halfway back in time, and then halfway back in time, and then halfway back in time, wait a second, so we can never reach the beginning of time because there IS an infinite amount of time?

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Nath » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:35 am UTC

Zohar wrote:I understand what you're saying and I'm also of a similar opinion. I also do not believe in Creationism. But still, there are things we believe in, as "logical people". For example, we believe in the scientific method, we believe the laws of logic, we believe the universe can be approximated by physics and math, we believe the laws of physics will be the same in the next five minutes (we also believe there are laws of physics). We believe there is no evil god (like Decartes') that distorts our senses and our minds.

Not necessarily. I (and probably you) are willing to admit the possibility that our system of logical inference is broken, or that the laws of physics will dramatically change over the next five minutes, or that some invisible guy in the sky controls everything that happens in the universe. It's just that the assumption that these things are not true seems to allow us to make pretty accurate predictions about the universe, so we make this assumption when we reason. The scientific method can never make any real guarantees, but it is still useful.

Most (exceptionally) illogical people do not accept the possibility that their assumptions may be false. This is the crucial difference.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Bobber » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:06 am UTC

Ubik wrote:
Snoof wrote:I've been trying to think of an equivalent phrase to 'before time', to demonstrate its essential meaninglessness. The only thing I can think of is 'shorter than length'. Any thoughts?


A good one I've read is that talking about "time before time" is like going north of the North Pole.

Edit: Stephen Hawking said it. From Wikipedia: "Asked in October 2005 on the British daytime chat show Richard & Judy, to explain his assertion that the question "What came before the Big Bang?" was meaningless, he compared it to asking "What lies north of the North Pole?""


Remember where you read it first :lol:

Thanks for finding exact source though.
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Benny the Bear » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:23 am UTC

Just to clarify guys, I don't support his views. The whole YouTube-commentators-supporting-him thing just took me by surprise because usually they're bickering.

Also, since I'm not a science guru, can someone explain to me how something can possible be infinite? In my opinion, something is made, and it is finite and coincidentally it hasn't been destroyed. Calling something infinite is just like saying 'I'm really really really sure it won't be destroyed', in my opinion.

That said, and yes this is another newbie theory, I find it hard to believe time exists. In my opinion the universe, as it was at the very start, has just been physically shifting around. Einstein says time does exist, so I'm assuming I'm wrong for 10,000 reasons.

But again, not a science guru.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby The Reaper » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:34 am UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:In my opinion the universe, as it was at the very start, has just been physically shifting around.

Time is a dimension. Moving through it is the same as moving in any other dimension. Right now you're physically shifting around in 3 dimensions you can easily see. In 3 seconds, you'll be physically shifting again in those same 3 dimensions, albeit a different manner. The difference between the 2 is your Time dimension. Imagine a 3D animation. You make your objects in 3 dimensions, and then move your timeline, and reposition your objects. That timeline is your 4th dimension.

I don't know if that helped at all?

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Nath » Mon Jan 28, 2008 11:02 am UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:Also, since I'm not a science guru, can someone explain to me how something can possible be infinite? In my opinion, something is made, and it is finite and coincidentally it hasn't been destroyed. Calling something infinite is just like saying 'I'm really really really sure it won't be destroyed', in my opinion.

That seems like an interesting way of looking at things, but I don't really understand it. Why does everything have to be made? Why can't some things just occur? Why can't some things just be names we make up for abstract concepts?

Integers, for instance. There's an infinite number of integers. Nobody made them. It doesn't make sense to talk about destroying an integer. They're just there.

Or time. What does it mean to destroy time?

Benny the Bear wrote:That said, and yes this is another newbie theory, I find it hard to believe time exists. In my opinion the universe, as it was at the very start, has just been physically shifting around. Einstein says time does exist, so I'm assuming I'm wrong for 10,000 reasons.

In a sense, you are right. The universe is just physically shifting around from state to state. We can only observe one particular state; we call it 'now'. There are some other states we collectively call 'the past', and some others that we call 'the future'. 'Time' is nothing more than the set of labels we apply to these states. It exists in the same sense that the number '4' exists; it is a name for an abstract concept.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Benny the Bear » Mon Jan 28, 2008 12:56 pm UTC

The Reaper wrote:
Benny the Bear wrote:In my opinion the universe, as it was at the very start, has just been physically shifting around.

Time is a dimension. Moving through it is the same as moving in any other dimension. Right now you're physically shifting around in 3 dimensions you can easily see. In 3 seconds, you'll be physically shifting again in those same 3 dimensions, albeit a different manner. The difference between the 2 is your Time dimension. Imagine a 3D animation. You make your objects in 3 dimensions, and then move your timeline, and reposition your objects. That timeline is your 4th dimension.

I don't know if that helped at all?


I see what you mean, but that timeline isn't actually time, in my opinion. I don't see some magical chronological process happening, just stuff moving. It seems so easy to convince a human being time exists.

Nath wrote:
Benny the Bear wrote:Also, since I'm not a science guru, can someone explain to me how something can possible be infinite? In my opinion, something is made, and it is finite and coincidentally it hasn't been destroyed. Calling something infinite is just like saying 'I'm really really really sure it won't be destroyed', in my opinion.

That seems like an interesting way of looking at things, but I don't really understand it. Why does everything have to be made? Why can't some things just occur? Why can't some things just be names we make up for abstract concepts?

Integers, for instance. There's an infinite number of integers. Nobody made them. It doesn't make sense to talk about destroying an integer. They're just there.

Or time. What does it mean to destroy time?


Well in my opinion integers are just memory cells in our brains. That's how I think integers physically exist. Nothing is abstract, everything at the very least resides in our minds - the raw data of what we think of something to be.

As for everything being made, you're right, time can exist as an abstract concept, I don't have a problem with that. However what I'm saying is it exists as a couple cells in our brain, an idea. Not as some magical power that is found everywhere.

Adding onto my complaint about calling things 'infinite', how do we know something lasts forever? We'd need to go to the end of time (...) and ask someone if it lasted forever. But if it lasts forever, how do we do it? Apart from something that has a 0% chance to be simply removed (law of conservation of mass, everybody), everything is finite.

Sorry if I repeated myself a bit too often.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby hyperion » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:00 pm UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:
The Reaper wrote:
Benny the Bear wrote:In my opinion the universe, as it was at the very start, has just been physically shifting around.

Time is a dimension. Moving through it is the same as moving in any other dimension. Right now you're physically shifting around in 3 dimensions you can easily see. In 3 seconds, you'll be physically shifting again in those same 3 dimensions, albeit a different manner. The difference between the 2 is your Time dimension. Imagine a 3D animation. You make your objects in 3 dimensions, and then move your timeline, and reposition your objects. That timeline is your 4th dimension.

I don't know if that helped at all?


I see what you mean, but that timeline isn't actually time, in my opinion. I don't see some magical chronological process happening, just stuff moving. It seems so easy to convince a human being time exists.

Define 'time'. According to me, time is the rate at which we perceive processes to occur. This rate exists.
.'. time exists.
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Benny the Bear » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:03 pm UTC

HYPERiON wrote:
Benny the Bear wrote:
The Reaper wrote:
Benny the Bear wrote:In my opinion the universe, as it was at the very start, has just been physically shifting around.

Time is a dimension. Moving through it is the same as moving in any other dimension. Right now you're physically shifting around in 3 dimensions you can easily see. In 3 seconds, you'll be physically shifting again in those same 3 dimensions, albeit a different manner. The difference between the 2 is your Time dimension. Imagine a 3D animation. You make your objects in 3 dimensions, and then move your timeline, and reposition your objects. That timeline is your 4th dimension.

I don't know if that helped at all?


I see what you mean, but that timeline isn't actually time, in my opinion. I don't see some magical chronological process happening, just stuff moving. It seems so easy to convince a human being time exists.

Define 'time'. According to me, time is the rate at which we perceive processes to occur. This rate exists.
.'. time exists.


Yes, but time doesn't just fly around in the air. What you perceive time to be only physically exists in your heard in a brain cell or two.

What I'm saying is I don't think time exists beyond some thought of ours.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Ranorith » Mon Jan 28, 2008 1:05 pm UTC

...

Summary: Yeah, sure, the big bang, but scientists don't know how that happened and I certainly can't think of how without a God => God.

Rebuttal: God of the Gaps.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Supergrunch » Mon Jan 28, 2008 2:48 pm UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:Well in my opinion integers are just memory cells in our brains. That's how I think integers physically exist. Nothing is abstract, everything at the very least resides in our minds - the raw data of what we think of something to be.

Well, there's really no such thing as a memory cell, just a load of linked neurones. And the way in which these hold memories isn't entirely clear, but it probably has more to do with synapses than anything else.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Clumpy » Mon Jan 28, 2008 6:54 pm UTC

This argument is flawed, and I tend to rebel against the overpowering smugness of creationists/evolutionists/atheists/intelligent design proponents who think that they can "prove" their point of view through some kind of flawed proof. C.S. Lewis did more sophisticated versions of the "prove Christianity" proof that relied on similar presumptions.

Trying to "prove" the existence of God (or time, or gravity, or multiple dimensions) seems outside of the scope of human abilities, though I'd certainly welcome any concrete, verifiable experiments. Heck, I'd settle for proving that this universe isn't a simulation being run from someone's cell phone.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Nath » Mon Jan 28, 2008 9:50 pm UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:Well in my opinion integers are just memory cells in our brains. That's how I think integers physically exist. Nothing is abstract, everything at the very least resides in our minds - the raw data of what we think of something to be.

The number '4' will continue to exist after we are all extinct. There may be no pattern of neurons corresponding to it. There may be no intelligent life forms thinking about it -- and if there are, they almost certainly won't call it '4'. But it'll still exist, in a sense. Abstract concepts are never created or destroyed. Names for them are created and destroyed all the time. Of the set of abstract concepts, we have discovered and named a small subset.

Benny the Bear wrote:As for everything being made, you're right, time can exist as an abstract concept, I don't have a problem with that. However what I'm saying is it exists as a couple cells in our brain, an idea. Not as some magical power that is found everywhere.

Nobody here is saying that time is a magical power. It is a label; a name in our brain for some phenomenon. It isn't a physical object that you can pick up and throw at people.

Benny the Bear wrote:Adding onto my complaint about calling things 'infinite', how do we know something lasts forever? We'd need to go to the end of time (...) and ask someone if it lasted forever. But if it lasts forever, how do we do it? Apart from something that has a 0% chance to be simply removed (law of conservation of mass, everybody), everything is finite.

'Lasting forever' is a concept deeply linked with both physical existence and time. 'Infinity' has nothing to do with either. Infinity is just a mathematical concept. It's a name for the size of a non-empty, ordered set with no largest element. Things can be infinite without ever existing as physical objects, let alone lasting forever.

Here's another way of looking at it. Let's go with your assumption that there are no truly abstract concepts; the only abstractions that can be said to exist are those that do so as patterns in somebody's brain. But assume a brain can only store a finite number of concepts at a time. That means that only a finite number of integers have ever been thought of. Let 'k' be the largest integer that anyone has ever thought of. Does that mean that all integers above 'k' do not exist? I would say no; it just means that numbers above 'k' have not been thought of and named individually. But ultimately, it comes down to how you define existence.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby gmalivuk » Mon Jan 28, 2008 10:02 pm UTC

Clumpy wrote:I'd settle for proving that this universe isn't a simulation being run from someone's cell phone.

That isn't provable, either. It's not even testable, I suspect. Any falsification criteria that you posit, someone else could just argue that those criteria would also be satisfied by a sufficiently advanced cell phone.

This is where positions like ignosticism start to make particular sense. If you can't even really say what it would *mean* for God or The All-Encompassing Cell Phone Simulator or the Flying Spaghetti Monster to exist, then your questions about it stop really making any kind of sense in the first place. And you can't very well prove or disprove claims that don't even really make sense.
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Benny the Bear » Tue Jan 29, 2008 1:03 am UTC

Nath wrote:
Benny the Bear wrote:Well in my opinion integers are just memory cells in our brains. That's how I think integers physically exist. Nothing is abstract, everything at the very least resides in our minds - the raw data of what we think of something to be.

The number '4' will continue to exist after we are all extinct. There may be no pattern of neurons corresponding to it. There may be no intelligent life forms thinking about it -- and if there are, they almost certainly won't call it '4'. But it'll still exist, in a sense. Abstract concepts are never created or destroyed. Names for them are created and destroyed all the time. Of the set of abstract concepts, we have discovered and named a small subset.

Benny the Bear wrote:As for everything being made, you're right, time can exist as an abstract concept, I don't have a problem with that. However what I'm saying is it exists as a couple cells in our brain, an idea. Not as some magical power that is found everywhere.

Nobody here is saying that time is a magical power. It is a label; a name in our brain for some phenomenon. It isn't a physical object that you can pick up and throw at people.

Benny the Bear wrote:Adding onto my complaint about calling things 'infinite', how do we know something lasts forever? We'd need to go to the end of time (...) and ask someone if it lasted forever. But if it lasts forever, how do we do it? Apart from something that has a 0% chance to be simply removed (law of conservation of mass, everybody), everything is finite.

'Lasting forever' is a concept deeply linked with both physical existence and time. 'Infinity' has nothing to do with either. Infinity is just a mathematical concept. It's a name for the size of a non-empty, ordered set with no largest element. Things can be infinite without ever existing as physical objects, let alone lasting forever.

Here's another way of looking at it. Let's go with your assumption that there are no truly abstract concepts; the only abstractions that can be said to exist are those that do so as patterns in somebody's brain. But assume a brain can only store a finite number of concepts at a time. That means that only a finite number of integers have ever been thought of. Let 'k' be the largest integer that anyone has ever thought of. Does that mean that all integers above 'k' do not exist? I would say no; it just means that numbers above 'k' have not been thought of and named individually. But ultimately, it comes down to how you define existence.


The number 4 will not exist once everyone has forgotten it.

As for number k, s = k*2. That number now exists, in some form.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby btbaron » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:01 am UTC

No numbers without brain cells? suppose there had never been any people, and instead our 1 planet was moving around our 1 solar system, without life, along with 7.5 other planets. now see, there are numbers without brain cells. even floats.

As for the video's argument, wikipedia gives it (the cosmological argument, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_argument ) as follows:
1. Every finite and contingent being has a cause.
2. Nothing finite and dependent (contingent) can cause itself.
3. A causal chain cannot be of infinite length.
4. Therefore, there must be a first cause; or, there must be something that is not an effect.

Number 3 is the sticking point for the video. How could we have ever gotten here if there had to be an infinite causal chain leading up to here? We'd never reach here!
Here's the reply (courtesy of Zeno, except he didn't know he was doing a reductio):
Suppose I want to walk 3 feet forwards (let's be specific--the 'front-most' part of my body, whatever it is, must have moved 3 exact, perfectly-ideal feet forwards). In order to do that I must cross half that distance, 1.5 feet. In order to do that I must cross half that distance, .75 feet. In order to do that, I must cross half that distance...and half that distance...etc. This goes on infinitely. Now, each movement causes me to be closer to the 3 foot goal. But there are an infinite number of movements. A causal chain cannot be infinitely long. So i cannot move 3 feet.
But that's false, I can move 3 feet. So a causal chain can be infinitely long. Qed.

One might protest: maybe space and time aren't infinitely divisible, which you seem to presuppose! Maybe there's some smallest unit of space. But that's tricky. How do I get across that miniscule chasm? I can't even get half-way! So maybe we can't move at all. Alas, that would be an unfortunate consequence for the view.
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Robin S » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:08 am UTC

Even the argument from Zeno's paradox and infinite divisibility isn't necessary. Take any integer. There is no integer which lies an infinite number of integers "later", but that integer is still preceded by an infinite number of other integers.

Appeals to common sense are rarely sound. Sometimes they're even self-contradictory.
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby btbaron » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:30 am UTC

Of course that's a damn good argument. I only think it's less attractive for rhetorical purposes here, because the video was discussing causation, and since we don't have the intuition that lower numbers cause higher ones (and people seem to believe that numbers are all made up anyway), an unthinking person would ignore it as something we've cleverly defined into existence, yet has no consequence for reality. So I appealed to Zeno and moving and so forth.

If by common sense you mean intuition, it's hard to avoid appeals to intuition because I've got the intuition that (say) the law of the excluded middle is right, along with all those other foundational things that I justify my beliefs against. If you just meant "poorly-thought-out homespun rhetoric" or the like, then I agree.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Strilanc » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:34 am UTC

About time existing:
http://casa.colorado.edu/~ajsh/sr/paradox.html

Read it. Think about it.

Why do you believe length/position exist, but not time? If there was no time nothing could change. Things seem to change.
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby brodieboy255 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:48 am UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:Just to clarify guys, I don't support his views. The whole YouTube-commentators-supporting-him thing just took me by surprise because usually they're bickering.


That's because this guy moderates his comments and rejects any that remotely disagree with what he says. I know because I posted some corrections about another video of his on evolution (which he had no understanding of), and it never showed

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby rflrob » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:54 am UTC

btbaron wrote:One might protest: maybe space and time aren't infinitely divisible, which you seem to presuppose! Maybe there's some smallest unit of space. But that's tricky. How do I get across that miniscule chasm? I can't even get half-way! So maybe we can't move at all. Alas, that would be an unfortunate consequence for the view.


Who says you need to go half way? Quantum tunneling sucks, and is responsible for several poor grades of mine, but it does exist as a phenomenon. I can go from here to there without ever having been seen in between.
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Nath » Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:32 am UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:The number 4 will not exist once everyone has forgotten it.

That name for the concept of '4' will not exist. The number '4' will still occur in nature.

Like I said, we are defining 'exist' differently. You seem to be defining 'existence' as 'currently assigned a name by some intelligent entity'. I define it as 'occurring in this universe'.

Benny the Bear wrote:As for number k, s = k*2. That number now exists, in some form.

OK. Define 'n' as 'the largest number anyone will ever think of'. Does 'n+1' exist?

To step back: are you really arguing that there's a finite number of integers? Because if so, our definitions for certain words are so far apart that I don't think we can communicate usefully.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby fourier404 » Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:00 am UTC

Benny the Bear wrote:Video Link
In the comments he seems to get people universally agreeing with him, bar one person.


He censors the comments. People have already blasted him for that, but he doesn't care.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Robin S » Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:04 am UTC

I often think of it as telling when people who believe something censor anyone who disagrees with them... but then I think, what would I do if I tried to post what I saw as a rational promotion of an atheistic lifestyle and was flooded with angry comments from believers?
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby gmalivuk » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:19 pm UTC

Robin S wrote:what would I do if I tried to post what I saw as a rational promotion of an atheistic lifestyle and was flooded with angry comments from believers?

Hopefully, you'd just leave those comments up to speak for their own stupidity.
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Kobayashi_Maru » Wed Jan 30, 2008 2:18 am UTC

Nath wrote:1. His reasoning is flawed. By his logic, there has to be a finite number of integers, because for any integer there's an infinite number of integers less than it. Let's let this slide, though, because I'm willing to assume for the sake of argument that time is finite. It might well be.

I don't think that's an accurate analogy. We can conceive of an infinite number of integers, just as we can conceive of an infinite amount of time. He's simply arguing that an infinite number of moments passing isn't physically realizable, just as an infinite amount of apples (even though there would be an integer for every one) can't physically exist.

EDIT: "infinite number of moments" above should read "infinite amount of time", as it does in the rest of the post
Syntax wrote:. . . demonstrate his use of circular logic without raising any straw men:

1)Time has a starting point
2)Thus, an infinite amount of time could not have elapsed between said starting point and the present(or the present could have never occurred)
3)Thus, time has a starting point. QED

I agree his argument is flawed, but I don't think it's circular. He doesn't start from #1, as you say, he starts from #2. His belief that an infinite amount of time cannot elapse between two events isn't based on the idea that time has a starting point; he just proposes it axiomatically.

The Reaper wrote:Ok wait a second, I finally got around to viewing the video.... His entire argument rests on him never giving us a chocolate bar? What does that have to do with time?
"if i promised to give you a chocolate bar after an infinite amount of time would i ever give u a chocolate bar?"

I don't see how this correlates at all to his next arguement. . .

His example: "We are at time A. An event will happen at time B, an infinite amount of time from now. We'll never get to time B, because it's infinitely far away."
His point: "The universe began at time A. We are in the present at time B. Because we got from A to B, the time between them couldn't have been infinite."

I think it's a pretty straightforward example that illustrates his point.

The Reaper wrote:. . . all he managed to do is say that if god exists, there can be only a finite amount of time.

I disagree. I think he's saying the exact opposite of that. He's stating that God exists because there can only be a finite amount of time.
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Tchebu » Wed Jan 30, 2008 4:10 am UTC

Last time I checked, time was continuous. Which means there's an "infinite number of moments" between any two points in time.

As for the chocolate bar:
If A is now and B is at +infinity, then B will never happen,
is not at all the same as
If B is now and A was at -infinity then B shouldn't have happened.

And if you ASSUME that A is not at minus infinity, then any reasoning that leads to "therefore A is not at minus infinity, but at some finite time" is indeed circular...


I won't even get into the fact that this "god" of his that he just proved is basically nothing more than a "one-time use universe creation package"...
Our universe is most certainly unique... it's the only one that string theory doesn't describe.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Kobayashi_Maru » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:58 am UTC

Tchebu wrote:Last time I checked, time was continuous. Which means there's an "infinite number of moments" between any two points in time.

Yes, you are correct. "Infinite number of moments" in my last post should have read "infinite amount of time." They are indeed different.

Tchebu wrote:As for the chocolate bar:
If A is now and B is at +infinity, then B will never happen,
is not at all the same as
If B is now and A was at -infinity then B shouldn't have happened.

They are both direct consequences of the same (debatable) postulate: that an infinite amount of time cannot pass between two events. I grant you that it is a matter of opinion whether one is a good example of the other. I disagree with your (pretty absolute) statement that they are "not at all the same".

Tchebu wrote:And if you ASSUME that A is not at minus infinity, then any reasoning that leads to "therefore A is not at minus infinity, but at some finite time" is indeed circular...

". . . if you ASSUME. . ." Is the key phrase there. As I said earlier, he's not assuming time has a starting point. He's assuming that there's not an infinite amount of time between any point in the past and now. Essentially: tpresent - tn = kn ≠ ∞, where n is any finite number, and kn is just the time elapsed from tn to the present. The infamous candy bar example is then: If I promise you a candy bar at a time tn such that kn = ∞ (strictly speaking, -∞ in this example), then that moment is not physically realizable and you'll go hungry.

From this assumption he says that there exists some value of n for which kn is at a maximum. That would correspond to your starting point.

Incidentally, he's apparently become something of a minor YouTube celebrity. There are numerous rebuttal videos and whatnot. He's now made an eight minute video that "proves" the existence of an eternal god. I couldn't even make it all the way through that one. I had to stop when he started in on the difference between Infinity and Eternity. I'm hereby advising everyone not to watch it.

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby The Reaper » Wed Jan 30, 2008 11:08 am UTC

Kobayashi_Maru wrote:I had to stop when he started in on the difference between Infinity and Eternity.

Hmm. That happens to be the same point that I stopped. He also spelled infinity wrong, spelling it as infinite. Different things, I think. One lasts forever and the former IS forever. -shrug- He seems to forget about the entire other side of the spectrum on his line too :\

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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Robin S » Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:07 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:
Robin S wrote:what would I do if I tried to post what I saw as a rational promotion of an atheistic lifestyle and was flooded with angry comments from believers?

Hopefully, you'd just leave those comments up to speak for their own stupidity.
And remove any possibility of intelligent discussion?

Tchebu wrote:Last time I checked, time was continuous.
The fact that it is also quantized complicates matters somewhat.
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Re: Proof of Creationism?

Postby Nath » Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:13 pm UTC

Kobayashi_Maru wrote:I don't think that's an accurate analogy. We can conceive of an infinite number of integers, just as we can conceive of an infinite amount of time. He's simply arguing that an infinite number of moments passing isn't physically realizable, just as an infinite amount of apples (even though there would be an integer for every one) can't physically exist.

EDIT: "infinite number of moments" above should read "infinite amount of time", as it does in the rest of the post

Arguing? He's asserting. Why isn't an infinite amount of time passing physically realizable? Other than the fact that it's counter-intuitive, I mean.

If the universe had a moment of origin, then a finite amount of time has to have passed. If not, I see no convincing argument that an infinite amount of time could not have passed. Of course, present day physics leans towards the former of the two possibilities. My argument is with the video's logic, not its conclusion. (The conclusion about time being finite, I mean. Not the one about the invisible guy.)

The Reaper wrote:Hmm. That happens to be the same point that I stopped. He also spelled infinity wrong, spelling it as infinite. Different things, I think. One lasts forever and the former IS forever.

No. I repeat:
'Lasting forever' is a concept deeply linked with both physical existence and time. 'Infinity' has nothing to do with either. Infinity is just a mathematical concept. It's a name for the size of a non-empty, ordered set with no largest element. Things can be infinite without ever existing as physical objects, let alone lasting forever.


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