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  1. #1
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    Stephen Hawking, The Big Bang, and God

    I read a transcript from an Lecture given in 1994


    It is here, through google cach (website is down for some reason)

    http://74.125.95.132/search?q=cache:...&ct=clnk&gl=ca


    First and foremost I wish to point out I am not discussing a Theist/Religious type of God in the concept many here think of when they hear the word "God"

    God, is another name for creator of the Universe, which is separate from a Human Creator. What is being discussed is the creation of the singularity.

    Two quotes from this article I would like to point out

    Hugh Ross, an astrophysicist, has written very persuasively on this topic. He again brings us into the philosophical implications. Ross says that, by definition,

    Time is that dimension in which cause and effect phenomena take place. . . . If time's beginning is concurrent with the beginning of the universe, as the space-time theorem says, then the cause of the universe must be some entity operating in a time dimension completely independent of and pre-existent to the time dimension of the cosmos. This conclusion is powerfully important to our understanding of who God is and who or what God isn't. It tells us that the creator is transcendent, operating beyond the dimensional limits of the universe. It tells us that God is not the universe itself, nor is God contained within the universe.
    He is a Christian creationist. He beliefs in the Big bang, but that the individual who orchestrated the big bang also created humans.


    The second is

    In the very beginning, there was a void, a curious form of vacuum, a nothingness containing no space, no time, no matter, no light, no sound. Yet the laws of nature were in place and this curious vacuum held potential. A story logically begins at the beginning, but this story is about the universe and unfortunately there are no data for the very beginnings--none, zero. We don't know anything about the universe until it reaches the mature age of a billion of a trillionth of a second. That is, some very short time after creation in the big bang. When you read or hear anything about the birth of the universe, someone is making it up--we are in the realm of philosophy. Only God knows what happened at the very beginning.
    This is from Leon Lederman Author of the "God Particle" and Nobel Prize winner, it is the only time he mentions god in his book, he is an atheist.



    With that foundation laid. The discussion centers around Point, or time zero and the creation of matter/energy. This conversation transcends even the "multiple universe" theory since the basic concept is the same, at some point we had an absolute point zero. It might be 1000 billion to the power of 1000 billion years ago, but we had a point zero. So for simplicity sake we will assume Time 0 of our universe as "point Zero" and the point where matter/energy was created.

    So the question is really directed to Atheists and Deists. Since I personally feel Deism is very close to Atheism as far as central arguments go, especially if you subscribe to such things as Existentialist Deism.

    So the question is, is it possible that due to time Zero being more or less impossible to answer. That since we have no laws for time zero, no insight into time zero, no evidence for or against what happened in time zero, is it possible for a "God" to have created what we call matter/energy. By God I mean an individual, or an entity if you will who created or started the process of what we describe as the universe. This entity does not necessarily have anything to do with humans, but this entity did start the process somehow of creating matter, energy, ect.



    One last quote

    Stephen Hawking has said, in his writings, "the actual point of creation lies outside the scope of presently known laws of physics," and a less well-known but very distinguished cosmologist, Professor Alan Guth from MIT, says the "instant of creation remains unexplained."
    Last edited by thorton; 07-30-2009 at 06:04 PM.
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    I'm sorry but I don't understand what the question is.
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    Originally Posted by thequestion View Post
    I'm sorry but I don't understand what the question is.
    You are thequestion...
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    Big T thorton's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thequestion View Post
    I'm sorry but I don't understand what the question is.
    Edited a bit, I made the question more of a statement.
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    I'm going to answer your question with a question. If the multiverse had a point zero, we must also come to the conclusion that any being that set into motion the events leading up to the big bang must also have had a point zero. What or who created this being that then created the multiverse? If this isn't a eternal paradox what is?
    Last edited by Harbinger; 07-30-2009 at 06:13 PM.
    "If you think your act of appeasement is going to phase Him you're wasting your time. The Harbinger is a pestilence; and an evil that must be vanquished. Instead of going away and relishing in His misery He chooses to frequent threads like these to corrupt other to their doom. These are the type that men and women of faith must be eternally vigilant to guard against. Lest their evil will overtake all of us." ~KRANE

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    Originally Posted by Forge3 View Post
    You are thequestion...
    Lulz
    "If you think your act of appeasement is going to phase Him you're wasting your time. The Harbinger is a pestilence; and an evil that must be vanquished. Instead of going away and relishing in His misery He chooses to frequent threads like these to corrupt other to their doom. These are the type that men and women of faith must be eternally vigilant to guard against. Lest their evil will overtake all of us." ~KRANE

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  7. #7
    Big T thorton's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post
    I'm going to answer your question with a question. If the multiverse had a point zero, we must also come to the conclusion that any being that set into motion the events leading up to the big bang must also have had a point zero. What or who created this being that then created the multivedse? If this isn't a eternal paradox what is?
    This is more or less the reason why Atheism and Theism (or even Deism) are circular.

    The answer I have come up with is the entity that set in motion our universe is not created of energy but something else that we currently cannot conceive of.The basis for this suggestion is in the simplicity of the Big Bang itself. It would stand to reason that the sheer forces acting upon an energy mass as dense and as focused as the material that we believe was present in the big bang could not be held or be condense by a material as we know it. This leads to the suggestion that only a "force" could have condensed this matter to what believe it was which leads me to believe the entity was not made of materials we currently understand to exist.

    Since this being would than be outside not just our laws, but our existence all together we cannot even begin to fathom the laws that are applicable in such a universe. Including the possibility that time itself does not exist. Since time does indeed exist in our universe we had to have a beginning.


    Now you try answering my question
    Last edited by thorton; 07-30-2009 at 06:16 PM.
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    Watch the triangle brah JAGERBOY's Avatar
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    The epitome of "God of the gaps".
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    There doesn't have to be a zero point where everything began. Not sure when that assumption came into play.

    The only time a zero point comes into play is at the Big Bang, and all we know so far is that the Big Bang was the event that created our observable universe.

    At this time, we do not have a theory of quantum gravity, and so this is why the time-zero of our observable universe is completely unknown.


    And it is possible that some entity created the beginning conditions, I never denied that. Whether that entity is the God of the Bible is seriously doubtful, in my opinion, and whether we can just assume that it is an entity that is an individual is meaningless. We can assume nothing. Anything is possible, but until we have reason to believe one way or another, the most rational position is to withhold judgment.
    Last edited by kingtego; 07-30-2009 at 06:31 PM.
    On the individual:

    His responses grow intelligent, or gain meaning, simply because he lives and acts in a medium of accepted meanings and values. Through social intercourse, through sharing in the activities embodying beliefs, he gradually acquires a mind of his own. The conception of mind as a purely isolated possession of the self is at the very antipodes of the truth.

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    Originally Posted by JAGERBOY View Post
    The epitome of "God of the gaps".
    That does not really apply since time travel has been disproved. The universe does not "store" information. We could theorectically see light if we travelled faster than it in a form of "past viewing" but time travel itself is not possible.

    With that said, and without the ability to time travel it is impossible to return to point Zero. This not just a "it will be explained eventually". Physics has always been about bridges. We build on what we had and continue to move forward, or backwards. There is no "bridge" here. The math works to a point than nothing. We can skip over point zero into big crunch theories, but we can't actually get to point zero. It's like saying we can eventually discover the laws pf physics in previous universes. The problem lies in the entire concept of point Zero. There is no information generated for us to discover. Without this information we have no bread crumbs to follow or find to solve the problem.

    This is also why the term "God of the gaps" is used in religious discussions, science is much more black and white.
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    Originally Posted by kingtego View Post
    There doesn't have to be a zero point where everything began. Not sure when that assumption came into play.

    The only time a zero point comes into play is at the Big Bang, and all we know so far is that the Big Bang was the event that created our observable universe.

    At this time, we do not have a theory of quantum gravity, and so this is why the time-zero of our observable universe is completely unknown.
    So would time just be a creation of our universe than and not applicable to past universes? The point zero is arbitrary, the question centers around where did matter and energy as we know it originate from. If we believe Time is a concept that is unique to our universe than I can understand the concept of "it has always been". Even than though while I believe it is very possible that the information regarding the "creation" of everything has been lost, it does not discount the likelihood that there was a beginning to everything. I understand the scenarior that the concept of timeless can be outside of our scope of understanding, and even attempting to think of it objectively the idea that "There has always been a big bang/been crunch" cycle seems preposterous, what seems more likely is that the information regarding this has been lost over the billions if not trillions of years it has been happening.



    Your ninja edits got me

    The Omega point theory is interesting and the math is also interesting, there are still major major problems with it and though and that is a reason it's been in limbo since the 60's. Specifically the problem of infinity within the theory would keep us from a finite answer, (IE time Zero).
    Last edited by thorton; 07-30-2009 at 06:37 PM.
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    True Atheist® Harbinger's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thorton View Post
    This is more or less the reason why Atheism and Theism (or even Deism) are circular.

    The answer I have come up with is the entity that set in motion our universe is not created of energy but something else that we currently cannot conceive of.The basis for this suggestion is in the simplicity of the Big Bang itself. It would stand to reason that the sheer forces acting upon an energy mass as dense and as focused as the material that we believe was present in the big bang could not be held or be condense by a material as we know it. This leads to the suggestion that only a "force" could have condensed this matter to what believe it was which leads me to believe the entity was not made of materials we currently understand to exist.

    Since this being would than be outside not just our laws, but our existence all together we cannot even begin to fathom the laws that are applicable in such a universe. Including the possibility that time itself does not exist. Since time does indeed exist in our universe we had to have a beginning.


    Now you try answering my question
    perhaps this force you speak of is nothing more than gravity. Even in a black hole all the energy required to compress an entire star into a singularity is nothing more than gravity. We know that as the density of matter increases that the gravitaional force it exerts on itself also increases. We also kbow that gravity is not a constant. Perhaps it was nothing more than random chance that gravity fluctuated enough that this mass could no longer hold itself together and..............BANG
    "If you think your act of appeasement is going to phase Him you're wasting your time. The Harbinger is a pestilence; and an evil that must be vanquished. Instead of going away and relishing in His misery He chooses to frequent threads like these to corrupt other to their doom. These are the type that men and women of faith must be eternally vigilant to guard against. Lest their evil will overtake all of us." ~KRANE

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    Originally Posted by thorton View Post
    That does not really apply since time travel has been disproved. The universe does not "store" information. We could theorectically see light if we travelled faster than it in a form of "past viewing" but time travel itself is not possible.
    No it hasn't. Faster than light travel is impossible, but there are other possible mechanisms for time travel, which would be far beyond what is currently technologically possible, but it certainly hasn't been disproved.

    With that said, and without the ability to time travel it is impossible to return to point Zero. This not just a "it will be explained eventually". Physics has always been about bridges. We build on what we had and continue to move forward, or backwards. There is no "bridge" here. The math works to a point than nothing. We can skip over point zero into big crunch theories, but we can't actually get to point zero. It's like saying we can eventually discover the laws pf physics in previous universes. The problem lies in the entire concept of point Zero. There is no information generated for us to discover. Without this information we have no bread crumbs to follow or find to solve the problem.
    Again, you assume there is a zero point. Just because our observable universe has a zero point doesn't mean that is the zero point of all that exists. Perhaps one of the current models of our universe being a microcosm of a greater multiverse is true and that greater universe is eternal. We don't know, and it is absurd to make any assumptions either way.
    On the individual:

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    Watch the triangle brah JAGERBOY's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by thorton View Post
    That does not really apply since time travel has been disproved. The universe does not "store" information. We could theorectically see light if we travelled faster than it in a form of "past viewing" but time travel itself is not possible.

    With that said, and without the ability to time travel it is impossible to return to point Zero. This not just a "it will be explained eventually". Physics has always been about bridges. We build on what we had and continue to move forward, or backwards. There is no "bridge" here. The math works to a point than nothing. We can skip over point zero into big crunch theories, but we can't actually get to point zero. It's like saying we can eventually discover the laws pf physics in previous universes. The problem lies in the entire concept of point Zero. There is no information generated for us to discover. Without this information we have no bread crumbs to follow or find to solve the problem.

    This is also why the term "God of the gaps" is used in religious discussions, science is much more black and white.
    Where did I say anything about time travel?

    The first two quotes were dripping with "god of the gaps" language.
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    Originally Posted by thorton View Post
    So would time just be a creation of our universe than and not applicable to past universes?
    OK, our observable universe exists, that is not controversial. There is a zero point of our observable universe, the Big Bang. Because space and time originated in our observable universe in the Big Bang does not meant that it had an origin in some other, greater universe, if such a thing exists.



    The point zero is arbitrary, the question centers around where did matter and energy as we know it originate from. If we believe Time is a concept that is unique to our universe than I can understand the concept of "it has always been". Even than though while I believe it is very possible that the information regarding the "creation" of everything has been lost, it does not discount the likelihood that there was a beginning to everything. I understand the scenarior that the concept of timeless can be outside of our scope of understanding, and even attempting to think of it objectively the idea that "There has always been a big bang/been crunch" cycle seems preposterous, what seems more likely is that the information regarding this has been lost over the billions if not trillions of years it has been happening.
    Here is an example of a model called the Fecund Theory formulated by Lee Smolin.

    Black holes form new universes, with varying fundamental constants. Each universe forms black holes that in turn forms new universes. If something like this is true, then each black hole sparks the creation of a new universe. The zero point of that universe would be at the point the black hole formed. For that universe, time and space would have begun with the zero point. However, being that the universe began with a black hole formed in an earlier universe, the fact that space-time had a beginning in Son Universe does not mean that space-time had that same beginning in Father universe.

    If that makes any sense.

    I can't stress enough, though, that I cannot make any assumptions, and I must withhold judgment until further evidence arises.
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    Originally Posted by thorton View Post
    The Omega point theory is interesting and the math is also interesting, there are still major major problems with it and though and that is a reason it's been in limbo since the 60's. Specifically the problem of infinity within the theory would keep us from a finite answer, (IE time Zero).
    As far as I have read, the only reason any singularities appear is because we do not have a theory of quantum gravity.
    On the individual:

    His responses grow intelligent, or gain meaning, simply because he lives and acts in a medium of accepted meanings and values. Through social intercourse, through sharing in the activities embodying beliefs, he gradually acquires a mind of his own. The conception of mind as a purely isolated possession of the self is at the very antipodes of the truth.

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    Originally Posted by Harbinger View Post
    perhaps this force you speak of is nothing more than gravity. Even in a black hole all the energy required to compress an entire star into a singularity is nothing more than gravity. We know that as the density of matter increases that the gravitaional force it exerts on itself also increases. We also kbow that gravity is not a constant. Perhaps it was nothing more than random chance that gravity fluctuated enough that this mass could no longer hold itself together and..............BANG
    That is always a possibility and the math does suggest that . The problem occurs with the initial creation of the gravity force which is not explained (though there is some work in here). I suppose the major intellectual problem is why the idea of "it's always been here" seems to be more viable than "an entity set it in motion". I can understand from a human phychological point of view why the first option would be more appealing, we could get into an awesome discussion about the need for humans to be self empowering ect ect, but, looking at it objectively, to believe in the first concept you have to begin to believe things such as "Time is an anomaly" "nothing ever had a beginning" which to me seems just as presposterous. It would seem rationally, that in order for our universe to develop as it has certain laws must be in place that dictate the progression of a universe, which means that more than likely previous universes had "time" especially if the big crunch/big bang theory is correct.

    If time is not an anomaly than there had to have been a point Zero to it all.
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    Originally Posted by kingtego View Post
    OK, our observable universe exists, that is not controversial. There is a zero point of our observable universe, the Big Bang. Because space and time originated in our observable universe in the Big Bang does not meant that it had an origin in some other, greater universe, if such a thing exists.



    Here is an example of a model called the Fecund Theory formulated by Lee Smolin.

    Black holes form new universes, with varying fundamental constants. Each universe forms black holes that in turn forms new universes. If something like this is true, then each black hole sparks the creation of a new universe. The zero point of that universe would be at the point the black hole formed. For that universe, time and space would have begun with the zero point. However, being that the universe began with a black hole formed in an earlier universe, the fact that space-time had a beginning in Son Universe does not mean that space-time had that same beginning in Father universe.

    If that makes any sense.

    I can't stress enough, though, that I cannot make any assumptions, and I must withhold judgment until further evidence arises.
    That theory is interesting. It would explain the information loss between Point A-Point B. I am not saying it's correct but the concept of its suggestion would explain certain things.

    But, let us say hypothetically that theory is correct.

    To that universe time and space would have begun at time zero. If say Kintego negative and Thorton negative were having this discussion in this universe they would be referring to as the theory suggests, the creation of the black hole.

    Now, You and I though, outside of there observable universe know that there matter did not spontaneously create itself out of nothing, to the contrary we know precisely where it came from, we could map it for them if they wanted within the realm of our universe. So there universe did have a "creation" of matter and energy, it came from us. This is my argument, it did in the end come from somewhere.


    Though, that theory would discount the active action of a god and raise a new suggestion. We are not necessarily the special project of some deity, but rather the consequence of great cosmological experiment filled with side effects (like the black hole) and really have no real contact to any "creator of energy/matter".
    Last edited by thorton; 07-30-2009 at 06:53 PM.
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    Originally Posted by kingtego View Post
    Each universe forms black holes that in turn forms new universes.
    Wait wut? is the new universe on the other side of the black hole? How does that work?
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    Thorton,

    What do you mean when you say that you feel Atheism and Deism are very close as far as central arguments go?

    Atheism and Deism are quite distinct, mutually exclusive even. Deists still believe in a creator, just not one of revelation, Atheists don't.
    John 3:16
    "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

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    "And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."
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    Originally Posted by Persecuted View Post
    Thorton,

    What do you mean when you say that you feel Atheism and Deism are very close as far as central arguments go?

    Atheism and Deism are quite distinct, mutually exclusive even. Deists still believe in a creator, just not one of revelation, Atheists don't.
    Atheism is more the rejection of Theism compounded with a belief that deities do not exist based on the scientific evidence at hand. It can obviously vary from individual to individual but most atheist ideologies fall within that category.

    Deist believe in a god. The role this god plays is up to the individual deist and his or her beliefs. A Deist who believes in a god who created the universe and thats it, is as much a deist as one who thinks he created humans and left. Most Deists though fall into the first category, a creator of the universe. Classical deism believed somewhat in the clockmaker theory, but modern deism has moved away from that.

    On the surface, you are correct, these two ideologies exist independently from one another. Where they do and can come full circle though is theoretical Sciences, which is what we were discussing. Deist and Atheists believe more or less in the same systems, evolution, chaos, chance, ect. The only real part where the disagree is the point of this thread, Point Zero. I think Kintego best summarized the atheist position on it, they need more evidence, where a deist assumes through a logical conclusion that an entity created the beginning of it.

    This is why I said, as far as central arguments go, evolution, scientific explanation, human nature, the concept of morality, the concept of consciousness ect ect Deism and Atheism are much alike. As someone who self identifies as a Existentialist Deist I have more in common with a nihilistic Atheist than I do a theist, even though I believe in a god. This is why I directed the thread at Deists and Atheists, because there beliefs are almost uniform except for the point of this thread.
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    Originally Posted by thorton View Post
    On the surface, you are correct, these two ideologies exist independently from one another. Where they do and can come full circle though is theoretical Sciences, which is what we were discussing. Deist and Atheists believe more or less in the same systems, evolution, chaos, chance, ect. The only real part where the disagree is the point of this thread, Point Zero. I think Kintego best summarized the atheist position on it, they need more evidence, where a deist assumes through a logical conclusion that an entity created the beginning of it.
    That's not a logical conclusion at all.
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    Originally Posted by thequestion View Post
    That's not a logical conclusion at all.
    It is, I've explained it in this thread already. Can you explain it isn't?
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    Originally Posted by thorton View Post
    It is, I've explained it in this thread already.
    Nothing that you have posted makes the leap from "we don't understand everything about the origin of the universe" to "an intelligence created the universe" logical.

    Originally Posted by thorton View Post
    Can you explain it isn't?
    Well, there's the fact that your entire argument is just yet more god-of-the-gaps nonsense. And the burden of proof is on you, not me.
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    Originally Posted by thequestion View Post
    Nothing that you have posted makes the leap from "we don't understand everything about the origin of the universe" to "an intelligence created the universe" logical.


    Well, there's the fact that your entire argument is just yet more god-of-the-gaps nonsense. And the burden of proof is on you, not me.

    "god of the gaps" is far more plausible then the current theoretical models that are right now imo
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    Originally Posted by ONtop888 View Post
    "god of the gaps" is far more plausible then the current theoretical models that are right now imo
    I don't see anything that can lead you to that conclusion other than anthropocentrism. Or retrofitting the facts to indoctrinated beliefs. But maybe there are other ways.
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    Originally Posted by ONtop888 View Post
    "god of the gaps" is far more plausible then the current theoretical models that are right now imo
    why don't we just gather evidence of the Creator's influence on the tribes of Israel as they allege that he made contact with them? There is evidence, I don't think saying there is none is a valid argument. For example, many if not most archeologists, and other scientists agree that the ten plagues did in fact befall Egypt, they just don't agree universally that the supreme being caused it. Some think it may have been a volcano, some think God did it, and some think God used a volcano or something.
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    Originally Posted by thequestion View Post
    I don't see anything that can lead you to that conclusion other than anthropocentrism. Or retrofitting the facts to indoctrinated beliefs. But maybe there are other ways.
    I don't see how blackholes birthing universes is a viable theory when all we know for sure is that our universe had a beginning and anything before that will likely never be known. And if our universe had a beginning and there was nothing before that, then there must be a First Cause or an Unmoved Mover (Aristotle + Aquinas), or else infinite regression persists.

    It's also how you view the universe, are universal laws the product of chance and life on earth is just a random result? Or were those laws fashioned by an intelligent Being in order to produce life?

    Then there's anecdotal evidence such as the improbability for the universe to have not collapsed on itself after the Big Bang or the universe never coming into being in the first place.
    Last edited by ONtop888; 07-30-2009 at 09:58 PM.
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    Originally Posted by ...Rousseau... View Post
    why don't we just gather evidence of the Creator's influence on the tribes of Israel as they allege that he made contact with them? There is evidence, I don't think saying there is none is a valid argument. For example, many if not most archeologists, and other scientists agree that the ten plagues did in fact befall Egypt, they just don't agree universally that the supreme being caused it. Some think it may have been a volcano, some think God did it, and some think God used a volcano or something.
    The fulfillment of OT prophecies by Jesus Christ is adequate, but I do love archaeology, particularly in relation to the Bible. BTW I've never heard that archaeologists had ever found something that confirmed the 10 plagues, where is that from?
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    Originally Posted by ONtop888 View Post
    I don't see how blackholes birthing universes is a viable theory when all we know for sure is that our universe had a beginning and anything before that will likely never be known. And if are universe had a beginning and there was nothing before that, then there must be a First Cause or an Unmoved Mover (Aristotle + Aquinas), or else infinite regression persists.
    I don't accept the cosmological argument. Reasoning inductively about the universal nature of cause and effect is really shaky ground. Shakier still are the leaps in reasoning from the (for the sake of argument) fact that there was an "unmoved mover" to "that mover was an intelligence that did so with intent" to "that mover was a deity" to "that deity is the one discussed in this set of myths" to "the reasonable conclusion is to worship this deity and serve it".

    Originally Posted by ONtop888 View Post
    It's also how you view the universe, are universal laws the product of chance
    I don't know what it's the product of.

    Originally Posted by ONtop888 View Post
    and life on earth is just a random result?
    That sounds eerily similar to the creationist canard that evolution is just "random".

    Originally Posted by ONtop888 View Post
    Or were those laws fashioned by an intelligent Being in order to produce life?
    I see no reason to believe that.

    Originally Posted by ONtop888 View Post
    Then there's anecdotal evidence such as the improbability for the universe to have not collapsed on itself after the Big Bang or the universe never coming into being in the first place.
    Anecdotal evidence is as interesting as personal revelation.
    Last edited by thequestion; 07-30-2009 at 10:10 PM.
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