REPLY #51 TO|
Boldfaced statements are parts of the original essay (or a subsequent reply) to which the respondent has directed his comments.
Italicized/emphasized comments prefaced by (R) are those of the respondent and are presented unedited.
My replies appear under the respondent's comments in blue text and are prefaced by my initials (MB).
(R) Since physicists cannot see beyond the Big Bang we are left with a
beginning which cannot be explained.
(MB) What we have, at present, is an absence of direct
evidence for what may have preceded the Big Bang (if, indeed, the concept of
"preceding the Big Bang" has any meaningful connotation since the dimension of
time itself would have been created in the Big Bang). We can describe the
process mathematically and produce a viable theory whose explanations can gain
general acceptance. However, science requires that theories be supported by
direct evidence before they can be raised to the level of proof.
It should be noted
that failure of a theory to gain 100% support or absolute proof does not mean
that it is 0% accurate. Since all theories are inherently probabilistic,
competing theories should be judged against each other by comparing the relative
levels of support for each. A theory that is, for example, 75% probable is more
worthy of adherence than is one for which the level of probability is near
(R) "I have read about the Many Worlds hypothesis (which can never be
detected - much like some concepts of God!),"
(MB) Again, this is a mathematical construction. It
should be noted that, in the Many Worlds hypothesis, no one universe either
causes the creation of, or is a part of, any other universe, so failure to
detect other universes is not required either to postulate their existence or to
accept the existence of our own under this model. Models postulating creation
by a Supreme Being require that such a being is the cause of the universe and
that he is a part of it. Therefore, such models are not equivalent to the Many
(R) "the Oscillating Universe theory (which has been disproved due to the
accumulation of entropy),"
(MB) Under an oscillating universe model, there would be
no "carry-over" of entropy from one incarnation of the universe to the next.
Universal entropy neither creates nor destroys energy, it is only a change in
the organization of the total amount of energy in the universe. Since that
total amount never changes, entropy cannot "accumulate" in the sense required to
debunk an oscillating universe theory.
(R) "Infinite Regression theories (thought to be absurd),"
(MB) This is true only if one posits that time is a
continuum that is independent of the universe(s) in which it exists.
(R) "and some concepts of a Creator."
(MB) There are many such concepts in the accumulated
mythology of Man. Since they can't all be correct, the only way to give any
particular concept any credence is to demonstrate why it should be preferred
over any competitor. This will require some form of evidence to support that
(R) "It seems to me that the "best" answer as to why the universe exists
must be attributed to a Creator because of the failure of its opponents. Thanks
(MB) Why is this the "best" answer? Why does the notion
of a Creator become the default answer if no theory of science is found to be
acceptable? Such a notion, if it is to be acceptable, must conform to the same
standards of evidence as any other idea.
In the absence of
success for any current scientific theory, there are alternative answers that
are better than abandoning one's intellect and simply declaring "God did it".
One is to acknowledge that, since our knowledge and understanding are always
increasing, the definitive answer may, as of yet, be unknown or even unconceived
and that our current course of inquiry will eventually lead us to it. This is a
reasonable admission that our science is not yet perfect, but that we are on the
right track and don't have to resort to fairy tales to fill the gaps.
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