What's up with cosmologists who don't believe in God?

I don’t mean cosmologists on these forums…I don’t know if there are any. :wink:

I was watching a TV show the other night - I think it was “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman”, because I’m a huge science nerd. The topic was: What’s at the edge of the Universe? Some of the answers given by the scientists they interviewed were pretty mind-blowing…we could all be living inside a “hologram” universe where reality only exists in two dimensions at the edge of expanding spacetime, or we could be living in one of an infinite number of universes, all connected in a “multiverse”. Apparently theoretical physics has moved beyond the Big Bang as the great unknown, and now there are branches of cosmology that speculate on what came before.

Don’t ask me how the theories work, math is definitely not my subject. But what I was wondering as I watched this show was, “What’s the point of studying all this?” I mean, it’s very cool, and of course there’s the innate human desire to learn as much as we can about the world we live in…but what do these guys really expect to find when it’s all said and done?

Suppose they can eventually discover the “theory” that explains the way everything works (which I don’t think is possible). But just suppose they can. What does that really prove? Many in the scientific community would say that it somehow proves that God doesn’t exist. Aren’t scientists out there smart enough to realize that you can’t EVER find out what the ultimate beginning of existence is through scientific measurements or theory? I think many non-scientists were happy enough to admit that the Big Band happened, but that it must have been God who made it go “Bang”.

It seems to make no difference whether the limits of our understanding is the Big Bang or the multiverse, or something else…doesn’t an honest, logical person have to admit eventually that there’s no way to see beyond THE beginning? We can’t measure God, and we can’t measure anything that came before time began…so what’s the ultimate payoff for cosmology?

Maybe I’m just rambling to myself…

I didn’t see the Morgan Freeman program but there was a series on the history channel that mentioned the hologram theory.
Another episode talked about the mathmatical theory of the miltiverse. Some scientists reject the miltiverse theory because there is not and never can be any way to prove it.

What all these speculative theories fail to do is explain how it could all begin.
There could not be an infinite past, and anything in the natural realm must exist in time. Therefore, the natural realm could not have existed through an infinite past. It had to start from nothing.

Therefore, there had to be an eternal God to start it all.

The devil’s playground. :shrug:

God bless,
jd

My personal favorite are Steven Hawkings immutable laws of nature that replace the need for good. His laws have always been, always are, and always will be and exist outside of time…sound familiar?:wink:

Dudes…I literally just saw a commercial for this and of course I was like “oh dang…this one is gonna stump those guys on the old catholic.com”…was GONNA start a thread on this…and yet here we are…Catholics, universal:) facing these questions without fear. I think they’re following the light within them…they want to find answers, they could just look to God, but nope…as long as they keep searching I think God smiles, it’s when they start to say “aha! I’ve got it! There is no god! Follow ME instead!”…I think that’s when God shakes his head and is like…no. Haha.

But seriously, it’s for people like you guys who make me happy to be a catholic.

Keep it up!

:extrahappy: Sounds alot like GOD!!! :bowdown2:

Ugh, I do not agree with, or except, the context or format of the question.

It’s exactly like “talking” to a shrink or a police officer. ( Yes, it is. )

I am , prima facie, placed in the position of defendant. ( Hey, wait a minute. Who came to that determination ? )

THEY get to ask ME this , that, or the other thing, or anything at all. For any reason at all, or no reason at all.

But the same privilege does NOT apply in REVERSE. I do NOT get to ask them the same things, or anything at all.

And this strikes me as absolutely incredible.
Anywhere I look, in any part of the globe, any culture, any era, I see some kind of theism , good, bad, or indifferent, but some kind of theism.

So some guy comes along and asserts that he doesn’t believe in a God, Gods, spirits, an intelligent positive motive behind and beyond things ?

And I’m just supposed to buy that from the get-go ?

Who made that rule ?

I must , prima facie, except , " …don’t believe … " …Why ?

Exactly. What’s so strange is that they think were afraid of the question “why?”…but were not. We love that question:)…or at least I do…

This is an idea that seems to have been short lived: We May Not Live in a Hologram After All (from Discovery, a very popular secular science publication).

I had my doubts about it from the get go. Physics in the past half century or so has become so convoluted and impractical, it’s ridiculous. Like another poster said, even if any of these theories were eventually proven, so what? Though in the case of the holographic universe, if anything I would say that it would be even more suggestive of a creator. The multiverse “movement”, on the other hand, is already known to be, by the admission of many of its most prominent proponents, a desperate search for an alternative to God to explain the inexplicable fine-tuning of our universe.

As for Stephen Hawking, I think he’s losing his intellectual edge in his old age. As Fr. Robert Spitzer rightly noted in his critique of Hawking’s “Grand Design,” he begins the book by claiming that science has rendered philosophy obsolete, then proceeds to fill his book with completely unscientific, philosophical assertions. It is comical that so many atheists fail to recognize or acknowledge that any interpretation that extends beyond numbers and physical data is beyond the realm of science. “God is not necessary,” is not a scientific proposition; it is metaphysical and dependent upon philosophical syllogisms. Unfortunately for many of these scientists, their philosophical teeth aren’t very sharp. :o

Government funding? :smiley:

Indeed:
“Reason is the greatest enemy that faith has; it never comes to the aid of spiritual things, but - more frequently than not - struggles against the divine Word, treating with contempt all that emanates from God” --Martin Luther

The Catholic Church has never said the creatio ex nihilo event is necessarily synonymous with the Big Bang:
“If anyone does not confess that the world and all things which are contained in it, both spiritual and material, as regards their whole substance, have been produced by God out of nothing; or shall have said that God created not by a volition free of all necessity, but as necessarily as He necessarily loves Himself; or, shall have denied that the world was created to the glory of God: let him be anathema” (First Vatican Ecumenical Council, Session III, Dogmatic Constitution [of 24 April 1870] on the Catholic Faith Dei Filius, Canon 5).
Although cosmologists would likely find the aforecited distinction irrelevant, this still allows for theoretical speculation (subject to scientific validation) on the existing models of brane cosmology that incorporate the latest insights from superstring/M-theory. Nevertheless, those cosmologists who formulate multiverse theories often fail to acknowledge they are: (1) non-scientific since they lack any empirical verification; and (2) fail to resolve the self-contradictory conundrum of the infinite regress of physical causation.

I saw an episode of “Curiosity” with Steven Hawking once - the theme was: Is there a God? :eek: I thought, “No way they’re actually going to debate this on TV.” Imagine my surprise when at the end of the hour, Dr. Hawking proclaims that no, there just isn’t enough proof for God, therefore he doesn’t exist…:(:(:frowning: And that was the end of the show. Case closed, the professor has spoken. I just sat there stunned for a few minutes…

Nice. :smiley: I was thinking something similar after I posed that question…

How are the suggestions of a “hologram universe” or a “multiverse” any more “mind-blowing” than the claim that the universe was created by an all-powerful being for apparently nothing more than “testing” a handful of creatures on one single planet in the middle of nowhere among billions of stars that took billions of years to even begin to develop?

Objectively speaking, it’s the last of these claims that strikes the mind as most outlandish.

But what I was wondering as I watched this show was, “What’s the point of studying all this?” I mean, it’s very cool, and of course there’s the innate human desire to learn as much as we can about the world we live in…but what do these guys really expect to find when it’s all said and done?

You just said it yourself: humans have a natural curiosity about these things.

Suppose they can eventually discover the “theory” that explains the way everything works (which I don’t think is possible). But just suppose they can. What does that really prove?

The way everything works. The answer was in your question.

Incidentally, it may not be until after we discover something that the practical applications – if there are any – become apparent. Finding out the answers to some of these questions might just be something that’s neat to know OR it could be the basis of some amazing, life-changing innovation in the future. That’s part of the reason we pursue these questions.

Many in the scientific community would say that it somehow proves that God doesn’t exist.

I doubt that many scientists would claim that discovering answers to these questions “proves” that God doesn’t exist, but I do think that most scientists – and most people, in fact – would have to admit that it would make God largely irrelevant and belief in such a God entirely superfluous.

If we understand exactly how the universe came about, and it’s a completely natural process, then we don’t need to postulate a “god” or “gods” to explain anything. The concept of Gods would be entirely superfluous.

Aren’t scientists out there smart enough to realize that you can’t EVER find out what the ultimate beginning of existence is through scientific measurements or theory?

And how did you come to that conclusion, Mr. I’m-smarter-than-the-people-who-study-this-stuff-for-a-living? If you could actually demonstrate that it’s impossible, you could win yourself a Nobel Prize (not to mention save everybody else a lot of time).

I think many non-scientists were happy enough to admit that the Big Band happened, but that it must have been God who made it go “Bang”.

You gotta watch those “musts” – it’s the sound of a leap in logic, also known as an argument from ignorance.

“I don’t know how the universe came to be…therefore, God must have done it!” Did you hear the whoosh that time?

Maybe I’m just rambling to myself…

There are worse things you could do with your time.

This is a timely subject for me after catching a show on the discovery channel last week with Stephen Hawking. The show was called “Into the Universe”. Some of the subject matter on these posts deals with a theory of a holographic reality but on this particular show they talked about us being just “brains” in a jar being manipulated by some outside force alien or other. The brain is just being stimulated in such a way as to cause all our senses to produce an illusion that we are alive in a body but in reality we’re just brains contained inside of a jar.
This idea that was on the show has been troubling me and I’m trying to figure out why this theory would be faulty. The only conclusion I can come to about this theory is: why? for what purpose would there be to cause millions of brains to be stimulated to have an illusion of life? What would be the gain for whatever is controlling such an endeavor.
If any of you could contribute your own thoughts about this and if you saw the show what did you think of this one particular “theory”?

Thanks,
Debbie

The A-team again! :hey_bud: :whackadoo:

How are the suggestions of a “hologram universe” or a “multiverse” any more “mind-blowing” than the claim that the universe was created by an all-powerful being for apparently nothing more than “testing” a handful of creatures on one single planet in the middle of nowhere among billions of stars that took billions of years to even begin to develop?

Objectively speaking, it’s the last of these claims that strikes the mind as most outlandish.

  1. The God “theory” explains everything. The cosmological theories don’t.

  2. Since God could create a universe of a trillion galaxies as easily as one, why not? :smiley:

  3. God lets nature do things contingently which manifests the wonder of his omnipotence more than if he ‘stacked the deck’ by creating the Earth and its living creatures with a deliverate miracle.
    When your consider the large number of unlikely situations which must exist in one place at the same time in order to support higher life and human beings:

-----tectonic plate activity with its volcanoes to recycle carbon every four hundred million years
----the right amount of carbon in the first place
----a rare sun whose radiation is remarkably stable compared to most stars
----temperatures that permit liquid water
----a large close moon that keeps the Earth from flipping over pole to pole every few thousand years in a physical phenomenon called precession that would make the development of higher life impossible ( Uranus currently has a pole to pole orientation along its orbital plane :eek: )
----the presence of oceans with enormous amounts of water derived apparently from trillions and trillions of distance comets which were drawn into the inner solar system by the system of four gas giant planets, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, that just happened to be in the neighborhood too
----the right amount of oxygen to support higher life
----the right amount of nitrogen to keep the oxygen from burning us up
----many other factors

then you realize Earth could very well be the only planet in the universe that supports higher life without a direct ‘stack the deck’ miracle, and this is why God created such a large universe.

Some of the subject matter on these posts deals with a theory of a holographic reality but on this particular show they talked about us being just “brains” in a jar being manipulated by some outside force alien or other. The brain is just being stimulated in such a way as to cause all our senses to produce an illusion that we are alive in a body but in reality we’re just brains contained inside of a jar.

The outside force alien or other would have to have all that the “brains” it’s manipulating have including intelligence, consciousness, feelings, empathy and all the rest.

Since non-living natural things acting only by the laws of physics could not do any of these things let alone all of them, never mind causing them all to happen in something else,
this theory is nonsense. :rotfl::kiss4you::whackadoo::takethat:

Debbie:

Perhaps the dynamic fecundity and omnipotence of an infinite Being? (Just a thought.) Remember, there is no gain from all of this for God. God has no “need” for any of it. He does it because it pleases Him to behave as Pure Act acting, besides, He loves His produce.

God bless,
jd

How are the suggestions of a “hologram universe” or a “multiverse” any more “mind-blowing” than the claim that the universe was created by an all-powerful being for apparently nothing more than “testing” a handful of creatures on one single planet in the middle of nowhere among billions of stars that took billions of years to even begin to develop?

Objectively speaking, it’s the last of these claims that strikes the mind as most outlandish.

I never said that the argument for God’s existence isn’t mind-blowing. It is. Of course, the way you describe it…as being “tested”…that doesn’t begin to understand the beauty of God’s gift to us. You portray God as a little kid poking ants with a stick to see what they’ll do. That’s sad and inaccurate.

You just said it yourself: humans have a natural curiosity about these things.
The way everything works. The answer was in your question.

I also have a curiosity about these things, but I realize that the ultimate question of “what started it all” is not knowable through scientific means. That’s what I was asking about cosmologists.

Incidentally, it may not be until after we discover something that the practical applications – if there are any – become apparent. Finding out the answers to some of these questions might just be something that’s neat to know OR it could be the basis of some amazing, life-changing innovation in the future. That’s part of the reason we pursue these questions.

I’m sure there would be lots of amazing toys we could create with this knowledge…but again, what’s the point of having amazing toys?

I doubt that many scientists would claim that discovering answers to these questions “proves” that God doesn’t exist, but I do think that most scientists – and most people, in fact – would have to admit that it would make God largely irrelevant and belief in such a God entirely superfluous.

If we understand exactly how the universe came about, and it’s a completely natural process, then we don’t need to postulate a “god” or “gods” to explain anything. The concept of Gods would be entirely superfluous.

Now we’re getting somewhere…how exactly could everything come about from nothing, by a completely natural process? To me, the idea of God acting as the intelligent prime mover is much simpler than the idea of an infinite chain of universes. We face an infinity either way…but one is an explained infinity, the other is like the old joke about the world resting on the back of a giant turtle. When someone asks what that giant turtle rests on, the answer is: another giant turtle. When they ask again the punchline is: It’s turtles all the way down.

How could an infinite string of universes exist? Where did energy come from? If we’re talking about the “zero energy” universe, where did the fluctuation come from that caused it to leave the zero energy state?

And how did you come to that conclusion, Mr. I’m-smarter-than-the-people-who-study-this-stuff-for-a-living? If you could actually demonstrate that it’s impossible, you could win yourself a Nobel Prize (not to mention save everybody else a lot of time).

I’m glad you asked. God showed me as my faith developed. I’m not smarter than a cosmologist…the things they do with math are beyond me. But I don’t have to be smarter in that regard…many of them simply don’t see the forest for the trees. Apples and oranges really. To answer your question though…it’s already been demonstrated to be impossible for science to fully explain the system in which it operates. Godel’s Incompleteness theorems shows that no coherent system can prove it’s own consistency.

You gotta watch those “musts” – it’s the sound of a leap in logic, also known as an argument from ignorance.

Of course there has to be a “leap in logic”…it’s called faith. When the human ability to understand things (like the beginning of all space and time) hits a wall, it’s only wise to admit our limitations.

“I don’t know how the universe came to be…therefore, God must have done it!” Did you hear the whoosh that time?

Again, you missed the point… It’s not that I (or anyone else) doesn’t know how the universe began. That would simply imply that we need to try harder, or wait longer, and in that case it would be silly to say it MUST be God. The issue is that we can’t know, not in scientific terms. If you disagree with that, you must unravel Godel’s Incompleteness theorems and show us where his error lies.

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