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Exactly What Do We "know"?

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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on April 16, 2002 15:27:50 UTC

Hi Paul,

It is always a delight to hear from you. I am only sorry that I will probably have to wait till next week to see your response as it is Tuesday morning already.

***** Paul:
Thanks for your concern, but don't worry. I am always very careful.
*****

Yeh, I know! But there have been times in my life when I have wished I were more careful. Things happen, especially as we get older!

***** Paul:
I think I understand what you mean by "so "explained"". It means that every collection of numbers must obey the constraints expressed by your fundamental equation.
*****

I think that right here you have missed a very subtle fundamental step. Not that you haven't seen it but rather that you have overlooked the real impact of a very large "IF" central to all that follows. This concerns the mental machinations which constitute the creation of hypothetical "facts" (what I have called "unknowable" data: creations of my mind, the truth of which explain everything). If all of this can be represented by a set of numbers (which I hold communicability requires) then, what I show is that if, the "Law" of the Universe is taken to be a very specific function (defined in my paper), then I can prove two very specific things: first, I can prove that I can create a set of hypothetical "facts" (what I have called "unknowable" data: creations of my mind, the truth of which explain everything) for absolutely any set of numbers (any set of "real" facts) conceivable; and second, I can prove that the "complete" set of facts so conceived (the totality of those numbers representing both "real" and imagined concepts) must obey my "fundamental" equation.

If you hold this "unknowable" data to be "true" (which is in fact exactly isomorphic to what scientists all around the world expect of you when ever they tell you electrons exist, bosons exist, DNA exists, gravity exists, etc., etc., etc.-- yes, even when they tell you God exists) then what my proof shows is that if you hold these truths (the set I propose) to be self evident then there exists nothing which cannot be explained. Now that is not actually very remarkable at all. What is remarkable is the proof that it must obey my fundamental equation.

***** Paul:
I think what we need is for a competent mathematician to read your paper, not a physicist.

Yes, just as (some 40 years ago) I thought I needed a competent physicist to look at it. And, some have proposed that what I really needed was a competent philosopher to look at it. Perhaps it is reasonable for a competent computer programmer to look at it (Aurino seems to have seen things overlooked by others). My point is that what is clearly needed is someone competent at logic who will believe what logic dictates. What my work requires is competent thought; a careful analysis of what I have actually said (with a little assistance in interpreting my dialect).

Don't be insulted Paul, as you are among the closest to rational I have seen in my life and Aurino, you are pretty good too. Alan, I will leave communicating with you to someone else as your dialect is outside my ken.

***** Paul:
It seems to me that there is another component missing from this picture, and that is the sentience to whom the explanation is to explain "Something A".
*****

Oh yes, I would not argue with that at all. I know I am sentient so maybe I am just explaining this to myself. My subconscious mental machinations appear to require the existence of you and others also; however, to present a conscious explanation of this phenomena is currently beyond my comprehension. Until otherwise demonstrated, I place it within the category of that Great Original Dilemma! Something which is currently beyond explanation.

What I will say is that, if any explanation is ever found to any part of what is currently part of that dilemma, that explanation will be bound by the relationships I show.

This brings up an interesting phenomena. Apparently "I do not know" is the single most difficult concept for human beings to comprehend. From my experience, it appears that they would rather be wrong than not "know".

***** Paul:
In other words, I think sentience is a necessary component of any explanation, and thus must be part of your picture.
*****

It is indeed part of my picture, I just do not propose to explain it. In fact, I find it quite astonishing that I can dream up an explanation of anything at all. "I do not know" slips very easily from my lips! Oh, I have a lot of opinions; but I "know" very little. Harv has it all over me there.

***** Paul:
I don't know if you have read Chris Langan's CTMU paper yet, but I wish you would. I think the two of you should share ideas.
*****

I have read his stuff and am of the opinion that he thinks he knows a lot more than can be well defended.

***** Paul:
Chris has concluded that the universe itself is sentient and that it comes to understand itself in a reflexive way. In his picture, this understanding adds information back into the universe enlarging it. The thus enlarged universe again comes to understand itself.
*****

Think about that for a while! Is it not completely equivalent to the presumption that he is the universe! Until otherwise demonstrated, I place it within the category of that Great Original Dilemma! Something which is currently beyond explanation.

What I have shown is that it matters not. Physics is true and cannot be false. God himself is bound by exactly those rules as strongly as you and I; no alternative is possible. Having established that fact, let us build on it and see what else may be said with honest faith.

Have fun -- Dick

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