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disillusioned last won the day on March 31

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About disillusioned

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    Holy Prophet of the FSM

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    Still trying to find my way, mostly making it up as I go along.
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    Chess, literature, science, philosophy, entertainment, food and drink.
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    "Using words to talk of words is like using a pencil to draw a picture of itself, on itself."
    ~Patrick Rothfuss~

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  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    I have looked deep into the sauce and cheese.

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  1. FWIW, I tend to agree that there are problems with the big bang theory, and I tend to be suspicious (as I alluded to in my previous post) of inflationary theories and theories of dark matter. But the thing is, a theory being falsifiable doesn't mean that it gets thrown out wholesale if there are some surprises. Often it means it just gets amended. I think inflation and dark matter are attempts at doing this for the big bang theory. The problem is, they aren't exactly testable (yet). This means that we should be open to alternatives. Some people aren't, and I think they should take a long hard look at their biases. But. Any proposed replacement would need to explain all of the evidence (and there's quite a bit) that supports the big bang theory. It would also need to make quite a few testable predictions of its own. If it could do this, then eventually it would win prominence. It might take time, and it might go through a variety of iterations along the way, but if it made strong enough predictions that were confirmed, it would emerge as the dominant theory eventually. That's how science works. And, incidentally, that's why I think string theory/M- theory will eventually fade away: they don't do this. When another theory that does comes along, we'll move on.
  2. The singularity as such is not necessarily a literal point. It's just the result of an extrapolation backwards in time. Plenty of physicists maintain that there may not have been a literal singularity in the way you describe. If there was, through, then the laws of physics would break down at that point. There wouldn't be any physics. The question of there being something "outside" the singularity I think is an example of natural language and modes of thought not lending themselves to this topic. It's a bit like asking what came before the universe. If time is a facet of the universe, then unless there is a universe, there is no before. Similarly, you can make the universe arbitrarily small, but if it is all that exists, then there is literally nothing outside of it. So even if there was a literal singularity, it wouldn't be a point in space. Space only exists in the universe. There are other possible answers to this as well, including various multiverse models. Personally, I think that these tend to push against the bounds of science, but that's neither here nor there. Literal singularity aside, the big bang model has made testable predictions, and been confirmed. Probably the most significant of these is the CMB. So the big bang model fits the definition of a scientific theory quite well.
  3. "Big bang" cosmology takes a number of forms nowadays. Some of these push the bounds, in my view, of what may properly be called science. But the big bang theory itself is well-established, proper science, based in observation and making many testable predictions.
  4. I was indoctrinated as a child. Now I'm an atheist, and I have a child. I'm specifically making a point of not indoctrinating her. That's the difference. This idea that atheism is a religion needs to die. It isnt, by definition.
  5. The entire story is one of us existing only for his pleasure. He made us in his image. He created us to satisfy his love for himself. To put it crudely, we are an act of celestial masturbation. Or so the story goes.
  6. Yes, if we want to be doing science, the theory needs to be rooted in observation. Without empirical evidence, what you have may be logically consistent, elegant, even beautiful, but it isn't science. I don't personally think that a theory of everything is actually possible. It actually seems to me to be fairly silly to think that it should be. Why should we think that human evolution had equipped us to accurately describe how the universe actually is in its entirety? This seems to me to be asking me to believe a bit too much. Now, that doesn't mean that we can't say anything about the universe, it just means that we shouldn't expect to be able to say everything. Where string theorists went wrong, in my opinion, is that they set out specifically trying to build a theory of everything. Then they tried to apply it to the universe in an explanatory fashion. That's fine, but unless it is based on observation (it isn't) or makes testable predictions (it doesn't) it's really just a guess. Now, this doesn't mean that string theory is entirely useless. It has led to some developments in mathematics. And that's great. I don't think it should necessarily be done away with, but it isn't really correct to call it physics, in my view.
  7. No it has not. String theory is a purely mathematical/conceptual description of how things might be. It proposes, as pantheory noted, that matter at the most fundamental level is composed of one dimensional strings, as opposed to particles. This is just an idea. There is zero observational evidence to back it up. That, in itself, would not be that big of a problem, though, if string theory made actual, testable predictions. But it doesn't. What it does have is a certain explanatory power. But that's not good enough for it to be science! The God hypothesis also has some explanatory power. Science needs to do more than that. Keep reading. By the end of the article, you'll see that string theory also leads to quite a few non-trivial problems which are not easy to resolve.
  8. I'm not sure this is the correct subforum for this topic. Not my call, but all things being equal, I'd prefer to maintain the "sanctity" of the Science section.
  9. Please see my post here. To me, this topic seemed worthy of its own thread.
  10. I posted the topic. The problem seems to be related to me trying to tag a member (hyperholiday) in my post. It's up now though, so no worries. Thanks Dave!
  11. hyperholiday: You indicated in the other thread that you were interested in M-theory, and I promised to explain why I don't consider it to properly be science. I'm hoping this thread will examine that topic in some detail. Other participants are welcome, of course. The more perspectives the better. To get us started, I'd like to suggest that participants read the following article by Jim Holt. https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2006/10/02/unstrung-2/amp There are a lot of salient points in the article, some of which are tangential to the topic at hand. But it does describe string theory and M-theory fairly well in layman's terms, which is why I suggest reading it first. I should say at the outset that I'm not an expert here. I know a thing or two about physics, but that's about it. I'm looking forward to this discussion. Hopefully we can all learn something.
  12. Done. The problem persists.
  13. I just tried again. Same problem. I've tried on mobile and pc. Don't know what's going on.
  14. I'm getting the error code EX0 when trying to post a thread in Science vs Religion. This hasn't happened before.
  15. Yeah, that's M-theory. If you want, I can go into more detail about why I don't think it's really science. But I don't have time at the moment. Let me know if you're interested, and I'll get back to you in a day or two.
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