Natural Order

Use this forum to discuss the philosophy of science. Philosophy of science deals with the assumptions, foundations, and implications of science.
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Atreyu
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Re: Natural Order

Post by Atreyu » October 24th, 2017, 6:32 pm

Present awareness wrote:The difficulty with the concept of time, is that it could NOT have a beginning or ending, because just like with the concept of numbers, we could always add one more digit or one more second. If time were infinite though, an eternity of time would have to pass, before we could even be born. I believe that is why it makes sense to say that time started about 13.7 billion years ago, but if time had a start point, does that mean it also has an end point?
I've already explained how to resolve this in other threads.

Time could have a beginning and ending, because there is no reason to assume that just because we can imagine "more digits", that that actually reflects the real world. Just because we can imagine the Universe existing for another quadrillion years, does not make it so. And just because we can "subtract digits", i.e. imagine a Universe that always existed, that does mean that that is the way it is.

However, time could also have always existed, and could always exist. That is also a definite possibility. And that is what your analogy shows --- because we can imagine "adding or subtracting digits" the possibility exists. But only the possibility.

The resolution is to understand that both are true! And here is how to resolve that:

Time indeed began around 13.7 billion yrs ago. But when this is stated, ordinarily the unit of measurement is assumed to be constant. As if the 1 billion years after the BB (0-1mil) were the exact same as the last 1 billion years (12.7mil-13.7mil). But this is not so.

The conditions of the Universe were far different during the first billion years. The Universe was smaller, for example. Space-time was smaller. Total mass was less (science would dispute this). And the point is that "one second" then wasn't the same as "one second" now, although the actual number and unit of measurement is the same.

To give an analogy, it would be the same as if you measured an object here on the Earth, and say it was 12" long. Then, the entire Earth grows bigger. Let's suppose it doubles in size and mass. Not just the Earth itself, but also each individual object on it. So now your ruler, which still says 12 inches, is actually twice as long, but there will be no way for you to know that. Since everything is bigger, there will be no reference points to notice that it is all bigger. So when you measure the same object, although it has grown to twice its former size, it will still measure 12 inches long.

The same applies to the Universe as a whole. It's getting bigger and bigger, but since it is Everything, i.e. Everything is getting bigger, there is no way to know it by reference, i.e. there's no way to know it. And that is also applicable in the space-time paradigm. Time is getting "bigger" too.

The practical effect of this would be that if you took off in a time-machine, with the intention of going back to the big bang, you would notice something unusual. Although the speed of the ship is supposed to be constant, say you go back 1000 years every second, you would find that it isn't. At first, each second you would notice that you went back in time another 1000 years. But after some time, you'd start to notice that it was taking longer and longer to go back in time the same amount. You'd notice that it took 1.2 secs, then 1.5, then a whole minute, until finally, as you got closer and closer to the primordial big bang, you'd find it would take an inordinately long time to travel another 1000 yrs back in time. Eventually it would take years, until it appeared that your time-machine was at a virtual standstill. And this decrease in the apparent 'rate of speed of time travel' would correspond exactly with the change in the relative size (in terms of mass) that the Universe was in at any particular moment in time.

The underlying math behind all this is quite complex, but after a lifetime I'm convinced that that would be our experience if we ever invented a time-machine that could really go back in time.

So yes, the Universe indeed did begin 13.7 billion years ago, but since the measurement of time is relative, we can also say that the Universe always existed. It actually began, but from our perspective and for all practical purposes it always was....

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Harris
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Re: Natural Order

Post by Harris » October 25th, 2017, 2:20 am

Present awareness wrote:This will be my last comment on natural order.

We are both saying the same thing Harris, something was there that was uncaused. You are saying there is an uncaused being, which created everything and I’m saying there is an uncaused universe, which is constantly changing form. Neither one of us has proof, it is merely opinion.
You are saying Universe is uncaused whereas I am saying that universe has a cause. Therefore, we are not saying the same thing.

If Universe is uncaused then:

1. Big Bang Theory (the most stable scientific theory) is false.
2. Everything from quantum level up to the level of Galaxies (including humans) are uncaused.
3. Or everything falls in the trap of infinite regress.

Do you see any logic here?
Present awareness wrote:There is no proof this is our only life, but you will find out in due time. In the meantime, enjoy!
Do you know something that I do not know which I will find out in due time? In place of spreading riddles, better you say something intelligible.

-- Updated October 25th, 2017, 2:23 am to add the following --
Present awareness wrote:Philosophy is not about who’s right and who’s wrong, it’s about a way of looking at things. Everyone has opinions and opinions vary.
Philosophy is the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline
Oxford Dictionary

Philosophy is the study or creation of theories about basic things such as the nature of existence, knowledge, and thought, or about how people should live.
CollinsCobuild Dictionary

“Philosophy (from Greek φιλοσοφία, philosophia, literally ‘love of wisdom’) is the study of general and fundamental problems concerning matters such as existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.”
Wikipedia

Above interpretations, evidently exhibit that philosophy is an academic discipline and cannot be taken as mere opinions. All those great philosophers (greater thinkers) were not the people who merely avow their opinions. Thanks to their philosophical endeavours that have bestowed us logic, maths, inductive and reductive reasoning that have physically taken us to space, in the depths of oceans and made us able to look into quantum world and in the most remote parts of the Universe.

Steve3007
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Re: Natural Order

Post by Steve3007 » October 25th, 2017, 2:28 am

Me:
It almost sounds as if the universe is both eternal and started a finite amount of time ago.
I broadly agree with Atreyu's conclusion. It seems to be what observations of the development of the universe, and theories based on those observations, suggest. But I'm not sure about the meaningfulness of the time-machine thought experiment. The trouble with time is that just like other concepts that we've created as a result of our observations of the real world, it's deeply tied to our actual experience of it here and now. As with everything else, we make little observations in our little world and use our confidence in the uniformity of Nature to extrapolate. But we then sometimes try to go further and (in our minds) place ourselves into a situation that, by our very nature, we couldn't possibly be in and say "what would it be like to experience that?"

As Atreyu's expanding Earth analogy suggests, time, like space, is defined by how we measure it. It's defined by the presences of numerous natural and artificial "clocks" all around us. Just as space, in that expanding Earth analogy, is defined by the presences of "rulers". So it possibly doesn't make much sense for us to try to imagine ourselves somehow travelling back to a point in time when the universe was utterly different to the way it is now and experiencing it directly.

But, on the other hand, perhaps that time-machine thought experiment, imperfect though it is, is necessary to illustrate the point.

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Harris
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Re: Natural Order

Post by Harris » October 25th, 2017, 2:32 am

Albert Tatlock wrote: The demands you put on science for an explanation are not very fairly balanced with the demands you put on yourself for one. Science can explain a lot about the universe but not everything, whereas, you can explain nothing. You seem to think it is enough just to say that God created the Universe but unless you are going to explain how he created it you are not making an argument, you are just expressing an opinion with nothing to support it.
I am only trying to draw your attention towards logic. Science is 100% based on logic. Contemporary scientists are aware of things, which were not known to scientists only 100 years in the past. All that is thanks to logic.

I had given you a simple logic. If there is a cause behind the existence of everything in the Universe then the Universe, which is made up of everything, has a cause.

That cause is Conscious Intelligent Being. I call that Being God. You may say Natural Selection.

How God created Universe is something, which is beyond the scope of Universe and so beyond the scope of interpretation.

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Albert Tatlock
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Re: Natural Order

Post by Albert Tatlock » October 25th, 2017, 1:26 pm

Harris wrote: How God created Universe is something, which is beyond the scope of Universe and so beyond the scope of interpretation.
How convenient for you.

Chili
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Re: Natural Order

Post by Chili » October 25th, 2017, 2:19 pm

Harris wrote:
Albert Tatlock wrote: The demands you put on science for an explanation are not very fairly balanced with the demands you put on yourself for one. Science can explain a lot about the universe but not everything, whereas, you can explain nothing. You seem to think it is enough just to say that God created the Universe but unless you are going to explain how he created it you are not making an argument, you are just expressing an opinion with nothing to support it.
I am only trying to draw your attention towards logic. Science is 100% based on logic. Contemporary scientists are aware of things, which were not known to scientists only 100 years in the past. All that is thanks to logic.
Perhaps the major difference between modern science and Aristotle is *measurement*. Aristotle had plenty of well-reasoned and false ideas. Nobody would have used pure logic to come up with Quantum physics - people were forced into a weird "illogical" corner by the bizarre measurements they were finding.

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Consul
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Re: Natural Order

Post by Consul » October 25th, 2017, 6:24 pm

Chili wrote:Whether or not it makes sense to speak of the universe before the big bang, the question of why is there something rather than nothing remains intriguing, and stuff about "because a quantum fluctuation did this or that" doesn't answer it. Why is there a quantum fluctuation rather than nothing?
My answer is the same as Bede Rundle's:

"There is just no alternative to being."

(Rundle, Bede. Why there is Something rather than Nothing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. p. 112)

Being is because it must be, and nonbeing is not because it cannot be.
"We may philosophize well or ill, but we must philosophize." – Wilfrid Sellars

Dark Matter
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Re: Natural Order

Post by Dark Matter » October 27th, 2017, 1:43 am

Consul wrote:
Chili wrote:Whether or not it makes sense to speak of the universe before the big bang, the question of why is there something rather than nothing remains intriguing, and stuff about "because a quantum fluctuation did this or that" doesn't answer it. Why is there a quantum fluctuation rather than nothing?
My answer is the same as Bede Rundle's:

"There is just no alternative to being."

(Rundle, Bede. Why there is Something rather than Nothing. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. p. 112)

Being is because it must be, and nonbeing is not because it cannot be.
Now that scientists have concluded that the universe should not exist, that answer is elusive at best.

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Atreyu
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Re: Natural Order

Post by Atreyu » November 6th, 2017, 4:25 pm

Steve3007 wrote:But, on the other hand, perhaps that time-machine thought experiment, imperfect though it is, is necessary to illustrate the point.
Yes, I admit it may not be the best analogy, but I was just quickly trying to illustrate my point.

And that point is that science is assuming a certain uniformity and constancy in relation to the measurement of time when calculating the amount of time which has passed since the supposed big bang.

So the 13.7 billion year is not exactly incorrect. It's the interpretation and the conclusions drawn from it which are incorrect.

For example, its usually imagined, when considering this 13.7 billion year figure, that if we could go back to the big bang, and sort of be outside of it so to speak, watching it unfold somehow from the outside, that a minute passing on a watch we were wearing would exactly correspond with the series of events science said happened during the first minute after the big bang. But what would actually happen, if such a scenario were possible (it isn't), is that it might take 1 billion years, based on the time of our watches, for all of those events to unfold which science said occurred "during the first minute after the big bang". And this would be so because our watches would not really be measuring the "time of the big bang" (for our watches in this example are completely outside of its boundaries), but rather the time of the time and place from which they came from (planet Earth, 2017).

What is true about what science says about the first minute after the bb, is that what occurred during this time would correspond to a minute as measured here on planet Earth, in the present time, if such a measurement could be made.

But, of course, it could not.....

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Present awareness
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Re: Natural Order

Post by Present awareness » November 7th, 2017, 1:51 pm

As Atreyu correctly says, everything is relative. Size depends on what a thing is compared to and time is relative to the speed of light.

God, what is a million dollars like for you?
A million dollars to me, is like one penny to you.
God, what is a million years like for you?
A million years for me, is like one second to you.
God, could you give me one penny?
Sure, just give me one second.

The above joke illustrates that everything depends on a point of view and is relative to that point of view.
Even though you can see me, I might not be here.

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Kathyd
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Re: Natural Order

Post by Kathyd » November 8th, 2017, 3:01 pm

Present awareness wrote:As Atreyu correctly says, everything is relative. Size depends on what a thing is compared to and time is relative to the speed of light.

God, what is a million dollars like for you?
A million dollars to me, is like one penny to you.
God, what is a million years like for you?
A million years for me, is like one second to you.
God, could you give me one penny?
Sure, just give me one second.

The above joke illustrates that everything depends on a point of view and is relative to that point of view.
lol. What a great analogy! And so true.

Indeed, if size is relative in a three dimensional universe, then certainly time is also relative in a universe of higher dimensions of space-time. After all, in the space-time paradigm, time is merely an extension of space beyond the 3 known dimensions of space.

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Count Lucanor
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Re: Natural Order

Post by Count Lucanor » November 14th, 2017, 10:18 pm

Intelligent Design went to court to be proven/disproven as science. It lost. Read the Dover case and there's a full documentary:

https://ncse.com/library-resource/kitzm ... sign-trial

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