skeptiko-krauss-upcoming

#2
http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/02/forgetting-nothing-learning-nothing.html
... space governed by quantum mechanics (or any other laws of physics, or even just the laws of physics by themselves) is not nothing, and not even an “example” of nothing (whatever an “example of nothing” means), but something. And it remains something rather than nothing even if it is a “good first approximation” to nothing (which is what Krauss presumably meant by “good first example”). When people ask how something could arise from nothing, they don’t mean “How could something arise from almost nothing?” They mean “How could something arise from nothing?” That is to say, from the absence of anything whatsoever -- including the absence of space (empty or otherwise), laws of physics, or anything else. And Krauss has absolutely nothing to say about that, despite it’s being, you know, the question he was asked, and the question he pretended to be answering in his book. (Krauss has the brass later in the show to accuse a fellow panelist of a “bait and switch”!)
...

http://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/06/not-understanding-nothing
...
But Krauss simply can’t see the “difference between arguing in favor of an eternally existing creator versus an eternally existing universe without one.” The difference, as the reader of Aristotle or Aquinas knows, is that the universe changes while the unmoved mover does not, or, as the Neoplatonist can tell you, that the universe is made up of parts while its source is absolutely one; or, as Leibniz could tell you, that the universe is contingent and God absolutely necessary. There is thus a principled reason for regarding God rather than the universe as the terminus of explanation.
...
Krauss’ aim is to answer the question “Why is there something rather than nothing?” without resorting to God”and also without bothering to study what previous thinkers of genius have said about the matter. Like Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Leonard Mlodinow, and Peter Atkins, Krauss evidently thinks that actually knowing something about philosophy and theology is no prerequisite for pontificating on these subjects.
...
Nor is it merely the traditional theological answer to the question at hand that Krauss does not understand. Krauss doesn’t understand the question itself. There is a lot of farcical chin-pulling in the book over various “possible candidates for nothingness” and “what ‘nothing’ might actually comprise,” along with an earnest insistence that any “definition” of nothingness must ultimately be “based on empirical evidence” and that “‘nothing’ is every bit as physical as ‘something’””as if “nothingness” were a highly unusual kind of stuff that is more difficult to observe or measure than other things are.

Of course, “nothing” is not any kind of thing in the first place but merely the absence of anything.
...
http://www.evolutionnews.org/2012/02/what_part_of_no056761.html
The latest in a series of book trumpeting a supposed solution to the mystery of existence, Lawrence Krauss's A Universe from Nothing (Free Press, 2012) is basically a superior and accessible rehashing of the concept of the "landscape." Also known as the "multiverse," that is the idea that our universe is embedded within an ensemble of other universes.

Though according to this hypothesis our universe is a "part" of the landscape in some sense, it has no spacetime connection with any of the other universes. This means that they can have no causal influence on us, or we on them.

That makes it tough to gather evidence that these other universes actually exist -- but let that pass.

I won't go into the details of the arguments for and against the landscape hypothesis here. There is no lack of popular books covering this material.1

The point of greatest interest is the extent to which the proposal is ad hoc speculation -- as opposed to a genuine inference from hard facts -- and on this point, expert opinion is divided.
....
In a nutshell, it's this: There is no contradiction involved in supposing that the universe never existed.

In other words, while I cannot consistently imagine a square circle, I can consistently imagine that nothing at all ever existed.

This means the universe is what philosophers call "contingent" (meaning not logically necessary).

This means that, since the universe apparently did not have to exist, we are entitled to ask why it does in fact exist.
...
As an aside, one might well wonder: How is God an improvement over the laws of nature, in this respect?

Theologians speak of God's mode of being as "necessary," unlike the world's, which is contingent, as we have seen. So, it is a crude mistake simply to ask, as atheists are wont to do: "Who made God?"
...
The late-antique and medieval Christian and Islamic thinkers who first clearly saw all this liked to express the point slightly differently: Creator and creation are two radically distinct things.
...
Here are some background articles from my blog:
Multiverse Theories Fail to Explain Our Finely Tuned Universe. Intelligent Design is a Better Explanation.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/08/multiverse-theories-fail-to-explain-our.html

The Fine-Tuning of the Universe to one part in 10^10^123 is best explained by an intelligent designer and creator, aka. God.
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-fine-tuning-of-universe-to-one-part.html

More cosmology background:
http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/p/62014-...-afterlife.html#articles_by_subject_cosmology
 
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#4
Alex,

It might be worth reading some of what Peter Woit has to say about string theory. For example, his book, "Not Even Wrong", or this:

http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/talks/lisbontalk.pdf

which was written before the LHC started working. Woit considers that the LHC results have given no support for String Theory.

Maybe you should ask him how a universe that is governed by an equation - however complex - can give rise to sentience - get him talking about qualia if you can :)

Also see the views of Lee Smolin.

David
 
#7
You'll probably need to brush up on the philosophy of definitions and meanings etc. Maybe even do a little Wittgenstein. Because I have a sneaking feeling the interview will end up something like ... what the definition of "Is Is". Or what is Nothingness? What is Somethingness? I'm not sure how circuitous reasoning will be avoided. Similar to how the new neo-physicalists are now redefining materialism. Definitions are going to have to be agreed upon here to have any kind of logical discussion in my opinion.

Question: how far can you take materialism before you really can't call it materialism anymore? When you've entered into models, definitions and the well known linguistic landscape of transcendental philosophy? The materialists keep on wanting to call the elephant in the room a kangeroo to prove their materialism. When in actuality it is an elephant by any other name.

Should be an interesting interview Alex. I'll be interested on how you approach it. 0.0 Probably will have far more patience than I would ever have. Thank goodness you're doing the interview. heh

My Best,
Bertha
 
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AlexT

Administrator
#8
You'll probably need to brush up on the philosophy of definitions and meanings etc. Maybe even do a little Wittgenstein. Because I have a feeling the interview will end up something like ... what the definition of "Is Is". Or what is Nothingness? What is Somethingness? I'm not sure how circuitous reasoning will be avoided. Similar to how the new neo-physicalists are now redefining materialism. Definitions are going to have to be agreed upon here to have any kind of logical discussion in my opinion.

Question: how far can you take materialism before you really can't call it materialism anymore? When you've entered into models, definitions and the well known linguistic landscape of transcendental philosophy? The materialists keep on wanting to call the elephant in the room a kangeroo to prove their materialism. When in actuality it is an elephant by any other name.

Should be an interesting interview Alex. I'll be interested on how you approach it. 0.0 Probably will have far more patience than I would ever have. Thank goodness you're doing the interview. heh

My Best,
Bertha
I watched The Unbelievers... it's very well done. I get where these guys are coming from... they can't get past religious craziness... I get that. I think Krauss come off as very intelligent and likable. I agree with some of his points. I'm looking forward to it.
 
#9
I watched The Unbelievers... it's very well done. I get where these guys are coming from... they can't get past religious craziness... I get that. I think Krauss come off as very intelligent and likable. I agree with some of his points. I'm looking forward to it.
Yeah, you can't ding them too much for religious "craziness". Most institutional religion is badly outdated now, and is intellectually repugnant in many areas, anthropomorphism for example.

So it will be an interesting discussion. What is fascinating I find is this slow creep of science into areas of thought that have indeed, been traditionally transcendental in nature. Questions like non-locality, things always existing, multi-dimensions, etc. What I think is flawed in materialistic reasoning is the mechanistic, nihilistic underpinnings they often insist upon regarding existence. How does indeed, complex meaningful order come from non-order? How does love come from selfishness? How does consciousness arise from inert matter?

My Best,
Bertha
 
#11
I watched The Unbelievers... it's very well done. I get where these guys are coming from... they can't get past religious craziness... I get that. I think Krauss come off as very intelligent and likable. I agree with some of his points. I'm looking forward to it.

Getting stuck on religion is a failure of intellect. What if physicists rejected all of science when relativity or quantum mechanics proved Newton was wrong? In science it is normal to refine theories over time, so why do atheist scientists vehemently reject all of spirituality (fine tuning implies a creator, NDEs, parapsychology) because they disagree with some aspects of religion? Why do atheist scientists focus on the straw man of organized religion when some scientists and philosophers are looking at spiritual phenomena as an empirical field of study?

You could ask Krauss about that.

Or ask about why naturalism, where spiritual phenomenon are rejected a priori, is scientific and not itself a religion? You could ask him: if it was true, if there was empirical evidence, that the universe was designed and that humans had a soul, would it be within the realm of science to study those subjects. If he says no, ask how can science ignore the truth? If he says yes then you go into the evidence and find out why he ignores the evidence.
 
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#12
On atheist scientists being stuck on religion and allowing that to interfere with their scientific objectivity:

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/08/multiverse-theories-fail-to-explain-our.html

Gordon next asks why materialists persist in believing in multiverses? To answer that question Gordon give a series of quotes:
Leonard Susskind, professor of theoretical physics, Stanford university:
... If, for some unforeseen reason, the landscape turns out to be inconsistent - maybe for mathematical reasons, or because it disagrees with observation ... then as things stand now we will be in a very awkward position. Without any explanation of nature’s fine-tunings we will be hard pressed to answer the ID critics.
Bernard Carr, University of London
To the hard-line physicist, the multiverse may not be entirely respectable, but it is at least preferable to invoking a Creator. Indeed, anthropically inclined physicists like Susskind and Weinberg are attracted to the multiverse precisely because it sees to dispense with God as the explanation of cosmic design.
Richard Lewontin, evolutionary biologist, Harvard University.
Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door
.
Atheists scientists complain that when scientists take an empirical approach to investigating spiritual phenomena, they are motivated by religious beliefs, but it is clear that some atheist scientists are motivated by atheism. What does Krauss think about that? Does atheist motivation discredit scientific work?

Materialists admit they believe in absurd things because they do not want to believe an intelligence designed and created the universe. It is ironic because believing in a multiverse requires believing in many much more absurd things than believing in a transcendent creator does. Gordon Closes with a slide that explains the absurdity of materialism:

  • In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
  • In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as an explanatory principle.
  • In a theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and thus are expressions of rational purpose.
  • Scientific materialism is epistemically self-defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.
Many scientists believe the evidence that the universe was designed. These scientists include Nobel prize winners such as Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Guglielmo Marconi, Brian Josephson, William Phillips, Richard Smalley, Arno Penzias, Charles Townes Arthur Compton, Antony Hewish, Christian Anfinsen, Walter Kohn, Arthur Schawlow, and other scientists, Charles Darwin, Sir Fred Hoyle, John von Neumann, Wernher von Braun, and Louis Pasteur.
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/eminent_researchers
 
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#14
mind > brain ...

https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/eminent_researchers#researchers_plank

Max Planck
(Nobel Prize for Physics)

As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter.

Das Wesen der Materie [The Nature of Matter], speech at Florence, Italy (1944) (from Archiv zur Geschichte der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft, Abt. Va, Rep. 11 Planck, Nr. 1797)
Erwin Schrödinger
(Nobel Prize for Physics)

"Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else."
John von Neumann
Von Neumann also believed that in quantum mechanics, consciousness was necessary for wave function collapse.
In his treatise The Mathematical Foundations of Quantum Mechanics, John von Neumann deeply analyzed the so-called measurement problem. He concluded that the entire physical universe could be made subject to the Schrödinger equation (the universal wave function). Since something "outside the calculation" was needed to collapse the wave function, von Neumann concluded that the collapse was caused by the consciousness of the experimenter.[22]
Wikipedia



https://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/summary_of_evidence#summary_evidence_quantum

When physicists study matter at the subatomic level, they find that matter does not exist until it is observed by a conscious being. Double-slit experiments demonstrate that a conscious observer is required to collapse a probability wave into a particle. Quantum entanglement experiments demonstrate that certain properties of matter are not determined until they are observed by a conscious observer. Therefore consciousness is necessary first before matter can exist, so it is impossible for consciousness to have been produced by matter. Therefore the it is impossible that the brain, which is composed of matter, could produce consciousness. Founders of quantum mechanics, including Nobel Prize winners in physics such as Max Planck and Erwin Schrödinger, believed this. You can find more information on these scientists in the chapter on Eminent Researchers.

Furthermore, if something in an unstable quantum state is observed continuously by a conscious observer, it will not decay. This is called the quantum Zeno effect. The effect cannot be produced by matter alone which indicates that consciousness cannot be produced by any physical process.​


You might ask Krauss about the interpretation of quantum mechanics that consciousness is fundamental. He might say that there are other interpretations, but you can ask if those interpretations are motivated empirical evidence or materialism/atheism/naturalism. The quotes from Planck, Schrödinger, and von Neumann ought to be enough to show the interpretation of QM that consciousness is fundamental is scientifically justifiable and is not simply motivated by religious faith.
 
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#15
Ay caramba... sorry to be the party pooper, but I don't see how one can dialogue with an apologist. Ever tried to have a discussion with a jehovah's witness? :D

He might be a decent physicist but he's no Christopher Hitchens and without his wingman Dawkins, his intellectual stature isn't that thrilling ... prepare not to be amazed.

Also he seems to be spending more time being an atheist activist/apologist than anything else. His "Universe from nothing" idea is terribly flawed and won't become a classic of physics in the years to come. Sure, it has an appeal for the restricted circle of other apologists in search for "sacred books" to add to their libraries...

I am sorry, I am not looking forward to this. I think it's wasted time. This guy is in it for winning the argument, and proselytizing the many...

Anyways... on a more superficial level this is one of those events where a comfy chair, slippers and a big bowl of popcorns are in order :D

Good luck Alex! Prepare your best sword!
 
#16
I'm starting to watch this video to see if any questions come to mind.

He's the equivalent polar opposite of the kind of mentality he's teasing with continuous jokes in his talk, that of obtuse creationists. Unfortunately he's spent most of his energies for the book in finding an argument to definitely "disprove" that a creator God is required to give birth to the universe.

How ironic that at ~50':00" in his talk he addresses the listeners by reminding them how irrelevant we're in the cosmos and how this should give us a sense of humility in science,
"The recognition that we don't understand everything", he says. After 45 minutes of rant about how he knows for sure how the universe got booted up :D

Man, this guy is another great stand up comedian.

More to the point of his scientific idea ... spoiler alert: 99% of his theory revolves around the fact that quantum field theory allows the ocean of virtual particles pervading the vacuum of space to give raise to any amount of matter. For some reason he has decided that scalar fields of virtual particles can be defined as "nothing" and there is your explanation.... a "universe from nothing". Or more correctly ... "how matter might have arisen from quantum fields fluctuations which neither explains the origin of those fields, nor that of space, time and the law of physics"

Of course you can imagine the amount of face palms that this sort of thinking have caused to most experts... but there have you it. That's probably the best intellectual level you can get to oppose a bible thumping creationist.

David Albert did an eloquent review and critique on the NYT:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/b...y-lawrence-m-krauss.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all&
 
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AlexT

Administrator
#17
Yeah, you can't ding them too much for religious "craziness". Most institutional religion is badly outdated now, and is intellectually repugnant in many areas, anthropomorphism for example.

So it will be an interesting discussion. What is fascinating I find is this slow creep of science into areas of thought that have indeed, been traditionally transcendental in nature. Questions like non-locality, things always existing, multi-dimensions, etc. What I think is flawed in materialistic reasoning is the mechanistic, nihilistic underpinnings they often insist upon regarding existence. How does indeed, complex meaningful order come from non-order? How does love come from selfishness? How does consciousness arise from inert matter?

My Best,
Bertha
yep... the creeping is the prob :)
 

AlexT

Administrator
#18
On atheist scientists being stuck on religion and allowing that to interfere with their scientific objectivity:

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/08/multiverse-theories-fail-to-explain-our.html

Gordon next asks why materialists persist in believing in multiverses? To answer that question Gordon give a series of quotes:
Leonard Susskind, professor of theoretical physics, Stanford university:

Bernard Carr, University of London

Richard Lewontin, evolutionary biologist, Harvard University.
.
Atheists scientists complain that when scientists take an empirical approach to investigating spiritual phenomena, they are motivated by religious beliefs, but it is clear that some atheist scientists are motivated by atheism. What does Krauss think about that? Does atheist motivation discredit scientific work?

Materialists admit they believe in absurd things because they do not want to believe an intelligence designed and created the universe. It is ironic because believing in a multiverse requires believing in many much more absurd things than believing in a transcendent creator does. Gordon Closes with a slide that explains the absurdity of materialism:

  • In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
  • In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as an explanatory principle.
  • In a theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and thus are expressions of rational purpose.
  • Scientific materialism is epistemically self-defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.
Many scientists believe the evidence that the universe was designed. These scientists include Nobel prize winners such as Albert Einstein, Werner Heisenberg, Guglielmo Marconi, Brian Josephson, William Phillips, Richard Smalley, Arno Penzias, Charles Townes Arthur Compton, Antony Hewish, Christian Anfinsen, Walter Kohn, Arthur Schawlow, and other scientists, Charles Darwin, Sir Fred Hoyle, John von Neumann, Wernher von Braun, and Louis Pasteur.
http://sites.google.com/site/chs4o8pt/eminent_researchers
good stuff... mutliple shows here... too much to cover with Dr. Krauss.

what do you make of the Lewontin quote?
 

AlexT

Administrator
#19
He's the equivalent polar opposite of the kind of mentality he's teasing with continuous jokes in his talk, that of obtuse creationists. Unfortunately he's spent most of his energies for the book in finding an argument to definitely "disprove" that a creator God is required to give birth to the universe.

How ironic that at ~50':00" in his talk he addresses the listeners by reminding them how irrelevant we're in the cosmos and how this should give us a sense of humility in science,
"The recognition that we don't understand everything", he says. After 45 minutes of rant about how he knows for sure how the universe got booted up :D

Man, this guy is another great stand up comedian.

More to the point of his scientific idea ... spoiler alert: 99% of his theory revolves around the fact that quantum field theory allows the ocean of virtual particles pervading the vacuum of space to give raise to any amount of matter. For some reason he has decided that scalar fields of virtual particles can be defined as "nothing" and there is your explanation.... a "universe from nothing". Or more correctly ... "how matter might have arisen from quantum fields fluctuations which neither explains the origin of those fields, nor that of space, time and the law of physics"

Of course you can imagine the amount of face palms that this sort of thinking have caused to most experts... but there have you it. That's probably the best intellectual level you can get to oppose a bible thumping creationist.

David Albert did an eloquent review and critique on the NY:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/b...y-lawrence-m-krauss.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all&
great stuff... we'll see how much I can get to.
 
#20
I can't stand Krauss and his arrogant pronouncements. Can't stand his endless desire for publicity and attention seeking, cocky arrogant prick. Sorry but this guy really winds me up so much I'd like to see Alex "deck him" literally and that's a terrible thing to say, sorry ;-)
 
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