pantheory

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About pantheory

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    Skeptic
  • Birthday 06/04/1943

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    http://pantheory.org

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    Male
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    Los Angeles
  • Interests
    all sciences, cosmology, physics, philosophy, languages
  • More About Me
    Am a retired electro-mechanical engineer, and an active theoretical cosmologist and theoretical physicist for more than 40 years. Travel a lot

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    became an atheist about age 15

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  1. Series of causes

    Howdy ficino, glad you followed through by coming back on your thread. I will comment point for point of the parts of your new querry, that I think error of thinking may lie, concerning Mr. Green. " First, Aquinas defines change as the actualization of a potentiality." I think Thomas Aquinas (TA) hits the nail on the head with this quote, but maybe its not the entire story of change. More modern ideas might state that "change" is the alteration of relative position that involves motion and defines time. But its initiation certainly involves the actualization of potential energy, potential energy being a concept of classical physics, after TA's time. So let's give TA an 'A' for his logic on this one. His next (ideas) quote may be where the problem of logic fails. This possible error of thinking was also noted by Disillusioned above. "Second, Aquinas follows Aristotle in holding that something potential cannot actualize itself (or anything). Things cannot cause themselves. Something potential can only be brought to actuality by something that is actual in the relevant respect." Something that has potential must already exist to start with, so its potential would not be actualizing itself, it's potential could change the nature of itself or the nature of something else by the actualization of part of its potential, but, or course, it could not create itself in the first place. I will have to give TA and Aristotle a 'C' grade on this conclusion, although the statement is logical, the conclusion is not necessary valid and the logic can lead one astray. Although both were super-intellects of their time, neither had the background of observational and experimental evidence, as we do today, to have a firm foundation for their logic. Next TA follows his logic by this......................."since an actual infinite (causal series) is impossible in A-T metaphysics, there has to be a first cause that itself is not caused. It's wholly actual. It's the First Uncaused Cause, Unmoved Mover, etc. i.e. God." Putting TA's "God" conclusion aside, I would have to give him an 'A-" for this logic. I think many in modern physics do not truly understand the logical concept the TA was trying to convey. In the original version of the Big Bang (BB), which many still adhere to, the Big Bang beginning entity had a finite size having 3 dimensions, and the potential to change which upon actualization of this potential created a forth dimension which we call change and define its extension as "time." I believe this is very good logic for a beginning entity of some kind, even though I don't adhere to the BB theory in general. In this logic there is a beginning entity, but there was no such thing as time before that entity. No need for a God to explain the beginning. It would be impossible for a beginning entity, or the prime mover of the universe to have had an ultimate cause itself. The logic follows: If it were possible for time to exist before the beginning of the known universe, then what would be the meaning of time? If time is change then there would have been a cause before the first cause which is a logical contradiction. If the cause of this universe was physical, in our dimensions or not, the result would be an infinite series of cause-and-effect occurrences backward in time. By definition an infinite universe(s) backward in time would have had no beginning. On the other hand, if the prime mover were a god of some kind, such a god could have had no cause, otherwise there would be an infinite series going backward it time. So bottom line is that it would be logically impossible for a beginning entity of any kind to have had a cause, since an infinite series backward it time, by definition could have no cause. I think my paraphrased quote came from St Thomas but I couldn't find it in summaries of his quotes. If not from him but from somebody else, I think that it is appropriate for this thread. Paraphrased "Ive often wondered what God did in the infinite time he had before creating the heavens and the Earth." P.S. Maybe this quote from Augustine of Hippus, is where I got the supposed quote above. It was about 800 years before St, Thomas. Augustine was asked “What was God doing before he made heaven and earth?” He answered, shrugging off the force of the question, “he was preparing hell for those who pry too deep.”
  2. These kind of predictions have continuously been made since the 1960's, by alternative theorists such as myself, contending that at the farthest distances we will always see large old appearing galaxies, contrary to the Big Bang model, and that instead the universe is far older than any Big Bang model could allow. These same kinds of things I expect the James Webb space telescope will discover when it is up, properly located, and fully functional. Within a few years following that I expect the Big Bang model will be either modified again to explain new anomalous observations, or it could be replaced by a far better cosmic model. The James Webb is supposed to go up now near the middle of 2019. I and a number of other theorists will be writing papers telling their predictions concerning what the James Webb will see.
  3. Climate & Environmental Warnings

    These are some contrary ideas about global warming possibilities. Why should the world climate today by compared to the time period 1850-1879? It appears that this was the coolest period in modern history based upon the graph shown in the link below, that seemed to be the basis for the OP link study. Why would one of the coldest periods in modern history be a good comparison for global warming studies? Maybe I’m missing something. Of course there is a generally large agreement in meteorology today concerning the reality of global warming. Also we know that what man is doing adds to green house gases such as CO2 and methane. But how much do these atmospheric changes effect global warming? That is where the debate exists. The question being: is it worth greatly increased costs of utilities, meats and other commodities to try to curb human input to the environment if that input could be generally inconsequential concerning the long-term effects on global warming? http://www.climatedepot.com/2017/08/03/german-scientists-find-climate-change-is-cyclical-global-cooling-coming-soon/ Cherry picking data, is what the link below asserts concerning this and some other global warming studies. http://mobile.wnd.com/2017/08/stunner-did-global-cooling-impact-hurricane-harvey/
  4. The end is nigh

    I am generally not very fond of what Stephen Hawking has to say because most of the time I disagree with both his statements and theory. In this case, however, Hawking may be using psychology in a way that I might agree with. Let's say that in this case what he is saying is 100% BS and he knows it. Still, if important people believe it, these statements of impending doom could motivate positive action concerning the development of colonies of humans living off the Earth, to save humanity in the event of a catastrophe, natural or otherwise. For this kind of reasoning the Earth burning up in less than a thousand years, would just be the ploy to motivate humanity into action, to save itself sooner than it otherwise would have happened.
  5. Scientists discover huge planet... or a small star

    Yeah, as the article explains the planet could be of three similar sorts. First, it could be a proto-star that never quite got big enough for hydrogen fusion. Second, it could be a brown dwarf star that has too little fusion for us to observe. And third, it could be a brown dwarf star that lost its fusion processes because of it burned away its marginal excess of hydrogen. Pretty amazing since just a few decades ago we only could observe planets within our solar system.
  6. Please test this. Thank you.

    I do not have to know what Christian apologetics says about Inflation. and if my interest continues I can just read your postings and those of others if this thread continues in my absence. I will not further participate in this thread if it is that important to you, but please do not use this tactic again on me to stay out of other threads that you have started, or are participating in.
  7. Please test this. Thank you.

    "You've just displayed your ignorance of what this thread is about, Pantheory. We Ex-Christians are NOT the ones who are promoting Inflation theory. It is the Christian apologists like William Lane Craig and the Christian visitors to this forum like OrdinaryClay who are doing that. Inflation is their choice, not ours. In this thread we Ex-Christians are seeking to discover just how the likes of Craig and OrdinaryClay misuse and abuse Inflation for their own ends. How they bend it and distort to further their own religious agenda." If I were a Christian and wanted to argue religion, I too would jump on Inflation as a source of vulnerability concerning cosmology, and of science in general Christians apologists like Craig do not do that, Pantheory. They do the opposite. They consider Inflation to be a source of reliability, not vulnerability. They look to Inflation to support their beliefs. They are not looking to debunk it. Once again, you are displaying your ignorance of these matters. More about that below. "Therefore, your suggestion of using other and better arguments against them is not just irrelevant - it is off-topic. Because Inflation is the Christians argument of choice, that is the ONLY one that is under discussion here. No other arguments. No alternative theories. ONLY inflation. So, if you are not prepared to discuss only inflation and only in the context of how the Christians misuse it, then there is nothing you can contribute to this thread." What suggestion? I said there are far better arguments in science than Inflation, not that I wished to discuss any other argument since there are so many of them. If you are not suggesting any other arguments and since you are also dead set against Inflation, then I see little point in you participating in this thread. For years in the Science vs Religion sub-forum you've consistently and persistently argued against Inflation. But today you're suddenly very interested in it. I find your new-found interest in Inflation (particularly in a religious context that you are ignorant of) very difficult to square with your long-standing opposition to it. "Now, please confirm that you understand that in this thread we Ex-Christians are RESPONDING to the Christian apologetic (mis)usage of Inflationary theory. Please also confirm that you understand that Inflationary theory is therefore the only one under discussion here. Please confirm that you understand that alternative theories and arguments have no place here, because Christian apologists do not use them. Lastly, please confirm that you now understand that this thread is not for you and that you will be quitting it forthwith." I too am interested in how Christian apologetics have misused Inflation to either justify religion, or to denigrate or discredit science. I don't believe you. I consider your sudden interest in the way Christians misuse Inflation to be a pretext for you to try and muscle your way into this thread. A thread where you don't belong, where you have nothing to contribute and where you are ignorant of too much concerning Born-Again Christian theology. Furthermore, your many years of arguing against Inflationary theory in the Science sub-forum have been marked by your many attempts to distort and manipulate science articles and reports to your own ends - to disparage and discredit Inflation in favor of your alternative theory. I've stepped in many times and corrected your 'fake news', for the benefit of those members who are interested in understanding what these reports and articles were really about. Now, giving you the benefit of the doubt... Even in the unlikely event that you are genuinely interested in how William Lane Craig misuses Inflation, it's simply not practical for me to 'bring you up to speed' on the basics. So that you can participate in this thread on an equal footing with Disillusioned, LogicalFallacy and myself. It's already difficult enough for me to try and convey the complex scientific concepts involved to them. Having to nursemaid you through the basics of Christian apologetics as well is simply too great a burden for me. I won't do it. So, here's the deal Pantheory. I don't trust you. Not one inch. If you do not quit this thread today, I'll ask the Mods to lock it down and I'll proceed in my dialog with Disillusioned and LogicalFallacy privately, via e-mail. They deserve to have their interest and their questions answered properly and I intend to do right by them. Now it's over to you. Are you going to quit this thread? Y / N ? Please inform me of what you think I do not know, concerning present Christian apologetics and Inflation. I do not follow the arguments of Christianity very closely because IMO most all that I have read have been uninformed concerning science, and generally ridiculous as to their composition. IMO I could knock most of these arguments down with little effort.
  8. Please test this. Thank you.

    "You've just displayed your ignorance of what this thread is about, Pantheory. We Ex-Christians are NOT the ones who are promoting Inflation theory. It is the Christian apologists like William Lane Craig and the Christian visitors to this forum like OrdinaryClay who are doing that. Inflation is their choice, not ours. In this thread we Ex-Christians are seeking to discover just how the likes of Craig and OrdinaryClay misuse and abuse Inflation for their own ends. How they bend it and distort to further their own religious agenda." If I were a Christian and wanted to argue religion, I too would jump on Inflation as a source of vulnerability concerning cosmology, and of science in general "Therefore, your suggestion of using other and better arguments against them is not just irrelevant - it is off-topic. Because Inflation is the Christians argument of choice, that is the ONLY one that is under discussion here. No other arguments. No alternative theories. ONLY inflation. So, if you are not prepared to discuss only inflation and only in the context of how the Christians misuse it, then there is nothing you can contribute to this thread." What suggestion? I said there are far better arguments in science than Inflation which are observation based, not that I wished to discuss any other argument since there are so many of them. "Now, please confirm that you understand that in this thread we Ex-Christians are RESPONDING to the Christian apologetic (mis)usage of Inflationary theory. Please also confirm that you understand that Inflationary theory is therefore the only one under discussion here. Please confirm that you understand that alternative theories and arguments have no place here, because Christian apologists do not use them. Lastly, please confirm that you now understand that this thread is not for you and that you will be quitting it forthwith." I too am interested to learn how Christian apologetics have misused Inflation to justify religion, or to denigrate or discredit science.
  9. Please test this. Thank you.

    As a confirmed atheist, I am also not fond of Christian arguments against science. But IMO Inflation is not a theory, not a hypothesis, and not even science at the present time. It is only speculation. I understand why it was proposed and I commend those that have been able to make such difficult ad hoc proposals. As you know there are a great number of different Inflation proposals made by a number of different individuals in cosmology https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eternal_inflation https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=Z_sFWvKDMoSWmQHZuKCwBA&q=define+science+&oq=define+science+&gs_l=psy-ab.13..35i39k1j0i20i263k1j0l8.676.5617.0.12444.16.15.0.0.0.0.378.2513.0j13j1j1.15.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..1.15.2506.0..46j0i46k1j0i131k1j0i67k1j0i20i264k1.0.qco1tG-vw48 But IMO speculations of this kind are not good arguments to counter Christian apologetics. There are too many other excellent arguments based upon observations, that cannot validly be countered by Christians, again IMO. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/victor-stenger/how-to-debate-religion_b_4876997.html
  10. Please test this. Thank you.

    I respectfully disagree. Any member can partake in any thread as long as their postings and statements follow the rules of the forum. Although I was still a teenager when I decided religions in general were false, it seems somewhat presumptuous of you to say that before that time I was never a committed Christian. Since becoming an atheist I still sometimes go to various churches to meet old friends, sing the songs and socialize, contribute to good works etc. Imagine that!.
  11. Bart Ehrman

    yes, it seems to me that one cannot ask, do you know this or that, if an answer either way is either unknowable, or an answer would convey the wrong intended meaning -- such as knowledge that there is no God of any kind. Of course some say that they know for sure that there is a God by their statement that "he has made his presence known to me." OK, I say. One cannot argue with that statement. But how could one prove the contrary statement with certainty, that you know that God does not exist? One could not know that a god of some kind does not exist anywhere in the universe. But you might be able to provide strong evidence to support the assertion that the God of the Bible does not exist. And yes, I expect our answers would be the same to these questions if you also believe that there is no God and call yourself an atheist.
  12. Please test this. Thank you.

    BAA, Is Inflation cosmology a scientific hypothesis or just science speculation? Is Inflation an ad hoc addendum to the Big Bang theory? Does the Big Bang model need Inflation to support or salvage its validity? Is Inflation either an ad hoc hypothesis or ad hoc speculation? Are both dark matter and dark energy ad hoc addendums to the Big Bang model, collectively called the Lambda Cold Dark Matter model, or the Concordance model of the Big Bang? These are rhetorical questions for consideration by any interested party. None need to be addressed. Ad hod defined: In science and philosophy, an ad hoc hypothesis is a hypothesis added to a theory in order to save it from being falsified. Often, ad hoc hypothesizing is employed to compensate for anomalies not anticipated by the theory in its unmodified form. https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=UQIFWoi5DIHGmQHy17CADA&q=ad+hoc+science+definition&oq=ad+hoc+science+&gs_l=psy-ab.1.1.0i22i30k1l7j0i22i10i30k1j0i22i30k1l2.2456.11539.0.15195.16.15.0.0.0.0.270.2354.0j13j2.15.0....0...1.1.64.psy-ab..1.15.2348.0..0j35i39k1j0i131k1j0i67k1j0i20i264k1.0.dGnbjiEzu8M Scientific Hypothesis defined: “In science, a hypothesis is an idea or explanation that you then test through study and experimentation. Outside of science, a theory or guess can also be called a hypothesis. A hypothesis is something more than a wild guess but less than a well-established theory.” https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/hypothesis A scientific hypothesis is a suggested solution for an unexplained occurrence that does not fit into current accepted scientific theory. The basic idea of a hypothesis is that there is no pre-determined outcome. For a hypothesis to be termed a scientific hypothesis, it has to be something that can be supported or refuted through carefully crafted experimentation or observation. This is called falsifiability and testability, an idea that was advanced in the mid-20th century by the well-respected British philosopher Karl Popper. Encyclopedia Britannica. https://www.livescience.com/21490-what-is-a-scientific-hypothesis-definition-of-hypothesis.html Scientific speculations defined: A proposal, conclusion, opinion, or guess reached by such contemplation. Speculations are generally impossible to verify. Speculations are a type of conjectural consideration or surmise of a matter. A speculative proposal is one based upon what is considered to be possible rather than demonstrable facts. http://www.dictionary.com/browse/speculation Scientific Speculation is a legitimate part of the scientific process that develops early ideas that are not yet robust enough to be a testable, falsifiable or worthy of being a more formal "hypothesis". Scientific speculations are grounded in established knowledge in a field, but generally go beyond what is defensible. Speculations are not permitted in peer review literature, or are severely limited by editors and peer reviewers. However, speculations can point the way to future research in an area. Definition from Professor Don Macdonald, Grant MacEwan College Alberta, Canada http://www.answers.com/Q/What_is_scientific_speculation?#slide=1
  13. Bart Ehrman

    OK, here is what I have to say. These are the two choices you have given. (1) Do you know there is no god, and (2) do you not know if there is no god? In the first choice "do you know there is no god?" one cannot have knowledge one way or the other about something that is invisible and does not exist in fact. The logical fallacy is called a statement having an implied false premise. We all can realize that upon describing a certain kind of god in detail, either that kind of god exists or it doesn't in reality. But something invisible cannot necessarily be proved one way or the other, so one cannot have certain knowledge one way or the other. Therefore the false premise is that: "it can be known that god exists or that he doesn't exist" This is a false implied premise of the question. If one said, yes, I know, he could be proven wrong. If one said, no I don't know, then you are an agnostic by definition, not an atheist, since an agnostic says "I do not know." On the other hand if one would choose choice #2, do you not know if there is no god? you again would be saying that you do not know, also defining yourself as an agnostic. The false premise again is "" that it can be known that god exists or that he doesn't exist." In reality it cannot be known, even though In this case the person answering the questions, namely me, is a confirmed atheist. Atheist defined: a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods: one who subscribes to or advocates atheism. (not a person who knows (for certain) there is no god(s), since there is no such person). https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/atheist The logical fallacy is called "Arguments from false premises." In this case the false premise is implied. https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_false_premises Regardless of how one might answer these questions, valid logic might be presented that the person is an agnostic rather than an atheist, regardless of which answer he gives. Your questions could be corrected by asking: (1) Do you believe that god exists, or that he doesn't exist? or (2) are you unsure whether god exists or not? -- or similar wordings. Answering no to the fist question above, one is an atheist. Answering yes to the second question, one is an agnostic.
  14. Bart Ehrman

    I am almost certain logically that there is no such thing as god, as I logically can be almost certain there is no Santa Claus. "....or do you not know if there is no god?" I believe I know to a high degree of certainty (again, my life against a six pack) that there is no such thing as a god the creator, or a god(s) that intervenes in the affairs of mankind or the Earth, as believed by almost all modern religions. In the same way no one can know for certain that invisible pink unicorns do not exist, but you could place your bets that none will be discovered in your lifetime. For these reasons the wordings of each of your two choices contain a logical fallacy. I will explain the fallacy of logic formally to you if you would like me to, LogicalFalacy
  15. Missing Original Star Trek episode...just found.

    Star Trek Lost Episode 1966, fits well into that decade of drug experimentation with hallucinogenics: "Turn on, tune in, drop out" was a counterculture phrase of the times popularized by Timothy Leary in 1966. Instead I was a young adult trying to find young women wanting to experiment with free love soon after the approval of birth control pills.