The Instigator
kenballer
Pro (for)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
Jiess
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The God Hypothesis is a supported Scientific theory

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
kenballer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/2/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,192 times Debate No: 24535
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

kenballer

Pro

FIRST ROUND IS ACCEPTANCE AND RULES ONLY

Understand that my approach is suppose to be of a scientist using the scientific method not a philosopher like William Lane Craig and other debaters attempt to do, So its a little bit different. I am arguing that the God Hypothesis is a supported scientific theory.

The burden of proof is not all on me though I expect CON to debate and argue under this context. This means my opponent will have to try and show how my hypothesis fails to better explain the data compared to the Null hypothesis and how it does not reach the essential criteria of being a theory:

Essential criteria

"The defining characteristic of all scientific knowledge, including theories, is the ability to make falsifiable or testable predictions. The relevance and specificity of those predictions determine how potentially useful the theory is.......A body of descriptions of knowledge is usually only called a theory if it has fulfilled these criteria:

1. It makes falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry (such as mechanics).

2. It is well-supported by many independent strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation. This ensures that it is probably a good approximation, if not completely correct.

3. It is consistent with pre-existing theories and other experimental results. (Its predictions may differ slightly from pre-existing theories in cases where they are more accurate than before.)"[1]

Moreover, since my approach is scientific in nature, It needs to be five rounds for me to have enough ground to work under, and so I can adequately respond and address my opponents objections.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Jiess

Con

I accept.

Will I be posting rebuttals in round 2 or just arguments for why the god hypothesis is not a supported scientific theory?
Debate Round No. 1
kenballer

Pro

THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE

According to the Hartle-Hawking's model, The Space-Time Theorem of General Relativity clearly states that space, time, and matter and energy all had a concrete beginning. What I mean with the universe having a beginning is that one point in the past space, time, and matter/energy came into being. At this point, called the initial singularity, gravity, space-time curvature, density etc. becomes infinite. In a place where the curvature in space-time is infinite or near infinite the laws of physics break down and do not apply. This singularity occurs in black holes and of course, the Big Bang Singularity which created most of the matter in the Universe. The aforementioned first law of thermodynamics does not hold inside a singularity and matter may be created or destroyed, as the Big Bang theory suggest. Also, since matter and energy cannot exist without time, the singularity had to have come into being as well. [1]

Borde, Guth,Vilenken developed a theorem that proves inflationary models must contain singularities [2]. They also authored the BGV theorem which proves that ANY universe that is on average in a state of cosmic expansion greater than 0 throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past, but must have a past space time boundary [3]. This theorem does not assume Einsteins equations and holds even when we don't have a complete quantum theory of gravity of the early universe.

In addition, Even if we are just a tiny part of a so-called "multi-verse" with another version of space-time that follow different laws of nature, their theorem would STILL require an absolute beginning from this multi-verse as well. This is because the BGV theorem carries only one assumption: If the expansion rate of any universe is greater than 0, the universe began.

THE FINELY-TUNED UNIVERSE

The fundamental laws and constants of nature fall under an extraordinarily narrow range of life permitting values ,within an infinite set, in which the right value was chosen every time. The slightest change in these values would prevent any kind of life from evolving or existing. Moreover, these perfectly fine-tuned laws and constants came into being right after the big bang, error free and without change throughout this process.[4]

Let me explain what I mean by fine-tuned for life. I am talking about fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life of any kind requires [5]. In other words, If the constants were even altered just a little, You would not get chemistry or matter much less planets and stars that can serve as places where life might evolve. Thus, it does not necessarily have to be human life or life as we know it, but life that we don't know or have not discovered yet.

The phrase "finely tuned" universe is a scientific term scientist use to describe the measurement of the laws and constants. We know that present day particle physics have a whole lot of adjusted parameters like the mass of certain particles along with the strength of certain forces.

How do we know the values are fine-tuned? We know through math that most of the values in the parameters will not allow life to exist if these values were smaller or larger. This means we don't need to know what values don't produce life, just the relevant values of the constants that do produce a life permitting universe. [6]

THE GOD HYPOTHESIS

Philosophically, there cannot be an infinite amount of time because Time is by definition a series of "moments". The nature of a moment is "a beginning of the future and an end of the past." The assumption of an absolutely first moment would consequently carry with it the implication of a period of which is terminated by, and prior to, that first moment, and the prior time would itself contain moments. Thus, if time was eternal in the past, we would have never have arrived at this point, which means there has to be an absolute first cause. Science has essentially stumbled upon the same conclusion.

However, This was not just any bang from a simple beginning, but an expansion of exquisitely arranged magnitude containing galaxies, planets, stars and all other heavenly bodies. The other important aspect of this extraordinary order following the big bang was the creation of our habitable universe. So the question before us is, "If there is even a cause at all, What force is ultimately responsible for all the known phenomena and complexity within the universe?" .
If a great order arose from an expansion, then it should be understood that the intervention of an intelligence was involved in every moment of this expansion. I will call this force the God Hypothesis.

PREDICTIONS

If the God hypothesis is true, then the universe should exhibit divine attributes from a divine intelligence. This divine intelligence would have to be similar to human beings but without the limitations the universe possesses. The null hypothesis is that there is no cause for this finley-tuned universe and it just quantum fluctuated out of nothing. However, CON can falsify my hypothesis completely by showing that intelligence arises entirely from natural processes.

THE INDUCTIVE METHOD

Now, the space-time boundary prevents us from observing this entity directly to discover the properties of this cause. However, There are all kinds of things that we can't see or identify but yet we see there effects which led us to potential hypothesises about what they potentially were and how those things manifest using the inductive method of reasoning.

Inductive reasoning is a form of logic that is most characteristic of the scientific method itself, because it moves from the effects to causes which can yield the most likely conclusion for a certain body of data. This inductive method is important for physicist when observing the unobservable nature of subatomic particles or atoms, which can only be detected through indirect manners in order to learn about its nature.

In the next round, I will provide the experiments that prove my hypothesis and the experiments that potentially could falsify it.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://arxiv.org...
[3] http://arxiv.org...
[4] John D. Barrow and Frank J. Tipler, "The Anthropic Cosmological Principle" p. 288
[5] Paul Davies, "How bio-friendly is the universe?" International Journal of Astrobiology, vol. 2, no. 2 (2003): 115.
[6] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Jiess

Con

Jiess forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
kenballer

Pro

OMNI-PRESENT, ETERNAL, AND IMMATERIAL

The Law of Cause and Effect states that for every effect there must be a cause for it. In addition, The Law of Biogenesis, attributed to Louis Pasteur, states that life arises from pre-existing life, not from nonliving material (life as we know it).

Both these physical laws together indicate that whatever caused this beginning must have been an eternal life force that exist outside of space and time who intelligently designed carbon based life forms along with the universe itself. It must be eternal and therefore changeless without the universe because it created time. Since it also created space, it must transcend space as well and must therefore be immaterial not physical. Lastly, it must be a personal mind since it created other human minds. Thus, the properties of this cause would be omni-present, eternal, and immaterial as well as a personal being.

PERSONAL ABOSOLUTE MIND

There are only two possible candidates we are aware of that could possibly have the attributes of an immaterial, omnipresent, eternal and conscious entity : either an abstract object (like numbers) or a human mind (or consciousness).

Abstract objects like numbers or the logical absolutes cannot be found under rocks or grown out of trees nor are they contingent upon human minds. Our minds simply recognize these necessary truths not create them. Nevertheless, these kind of abstract objects are still demonstrable because we can create physical manifestations of them in reality.

Human minds are understood to have agent causality where a cause would be able to bring about new effects at will without any physical dimensions or determining conditions by virtue of its agency. This is called "substance dualism" where there are two fundamental kinds of substance: mental and material. The mental would not have extension in the spacial and temporal constraints with the universe but occupy an independent "realm" of existence distinct from that of the physical world [1].

However, abstract objects by definition do not stand in casual relationships, and human minds are understood to be intrinsically connected to material substances that naturally possess physical constraints on knowledge and power. Thus, if it cannot be an abstract object or a human mind, then maybe its a combination of the two which would involve an absolute mind where there would not be a brain or body attached.

A personal absolute mind would explain why you can get a temporal effect with a beginning from an eternal cause with unlimited abilities. We should find through attributes of an all-knowing and all-powerful being exhibited within the universe.

ALL-POWERFUL AND ALL-KNOWING

The expansion rate of the universe, which is called the cosmological constant [3], will continue to accelerate with increasing degrees of speeds forever. Eternal inflation is attributed to the cancellation effect between negative and positive energy which happen to be finely tuned to 120 decimal places making it the most well adjusted fine-tuning parameter of them all. Since this constant as well as the rest were present from the very beginning of the universe, it follows logically that the cause for this beginning was responsible for the fine-tuning of this constant as well.

Moreover, If this cause is all-powerful, then it would have to be all-knowing as well to know the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, the outcome of all future interactions of the particles, and be able to control each potential outcome from this future eternal inflation in a inconceivably precise manner. Thus, the attributes of this cause must be omni-potent and omniscient.

FALSIFICATION

Theory of Everything

Einstein's Theory of General Relativity explains large-scale forces and quantum mechanics explains small scale forces, but we have yet to create a theory that explains both General Relativity and quantum mechanics (called the Grand Unified Theory or GUT). Once scientists discover a successful Grand Unified Theory, there is still the remote possibility that the fine-tuning constants like the Cosmological constant are mere accidents given other laws of physics.

Experiment #1: Life from Non-life

The Miller Urey-experiment attempted to prove the origin of life (as we know it) could have occurred on the early earth under natural conditions without intelligence, but the experiment actually provided compelling evidence for exactly the opposite conclusion [4].

Experiment #2: Mind-Body Dualism

Let me provide some context first. Obviously, much of what happens in our minds is influenced by what happens in our bodies and I fully acknowledged this when I mentioned that human minds are intrinsically connected. However, not everything that goes on in our minds is causally determined by what goes on in our bodies. Sometimes what goes on in our bodies is a result of what goes on in our minds.

For example, the movements of my fingers as I type this response is ultimately produced by my mental events. Here we have mental-to-physical causation. What explains both this choice of mine and the physical events in my body that are ultimately produced by this choice? The explanation is the purpose that I provide a response to CON's objections. A purposeful explanation is a teleological explanation. In addition, free will is also a mental event. We can make decisions apart from what the brain and body tells us. For example, I have the choice to act upon my emotional desire to have sex after marriage and negate my basic biological desire to have sex before it. Here we have mental versus physical properties. This also would include things like self-identity overtime.

A famous scientist named Wilder Penfield conducted studies that are consistent with my point that choices can be undetermined events with a teleological explanation. In his fascinating book The Mystery of the Mind, he writes the following [5]:

'When I have caused a conscious patient to move his hand by applying an electrode to the motor cortex of one hemisphere, I have often asked him about it. Invariably his response was: "I didn't do that. You did". When I caused him to vocalize, he said:" I didn't make that sound". You pulled it out of me. When I caused the record of the stream of consciousness to run again and so presented to him the record of his past experience, he marveled that he should be conscious of the past as well as of the present. He was astonished that it should come back to him so completely, with more detail than he could possibly recall voluntarily. He assumed at once that, somehow, the surgeon was responsible for the phenomenon, but he recognized the details as those of his own past experience.

Penfield goes on to note that, "There is no place in the cerebral cortex where electrical stimulation will cause a patient . . . to decide . In light of his work as a neuroscientist, Penfield concludes the following: For my own part, after years of striving to explain the mind on the basis of brain-action alone, I have come to the conclusion that it is simpler (and far easier and logical) if one adopts the hypothesis that our being does consist of two fundamental elements.'

In the next round, I will show how my hypothesis has more explanatory scope compared to the null hypothesis and better explains the data. I will also address the other arguments made by CON.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4] http://scienceblogs.com...
Jiess

Con

Jiess forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
kenballer

Pro

ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESIS

let me explain the data based on the results. With a simple thought, this personal absolute mind must have freely created and manifested itself in reality with the intention of having a relationship with its human creation. This would explain why we observe a life-permitting universe with a habitable planet. Drawing from experience, this would be similar to human minds acting as agents and manifesting in the physical world through our bodies. Then, as humans, we have the emotional thought to have offspring and create a suitable house with the intention to also have a relationship with our offspring.

NULL HYPOTHESIS

Well first off, Quantum fluctuations would not explain how we as humans came to be or the fine-tuning of the universe since there is no evidence that the fine-tuning laws came into being by chance.

Second, Just because scientists cannot presently find a cause for some quantum events does not mean its evidence that some things don't have to have a cause. There are at least 10 different interpretations of quantum mechanics and some of them are fully deterministic. As physicist David Bohm, has pointed out, there are many "hidden variables" at the quantum level of reality, of which anyone could contain the sufficient reason for a certain quantum event [1]. We cannot make conclusions like this with any kind of confidence especially when we don't fully understand quantum mechanics in the first place since its still in its infancy.

Lastly, Quantum events do not take place in "absolute" nothingness. It actually takes place out of a larger quantum field ,which is a part of physical reality, that enables particles to come in and out of existence. Without this field there would be no quantum events [1]. This is another reason why its not accurate to say that a particular quantum outcome is "uncaused". Therefore, there is no reason to think that not every cause precedes an effect and , as such, we can reject the null hypothesis and accept the alternative hypothesis.
Jiess

Con

Jiess forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
kenballer

Pro

OMNI-PRESENT, ETERNAL, AND IMMATERIAL

The Law of Cause and Effect states that for every effect there must be a cause for it. In addition, The Law of Biogenesis, attributed to Louis Pasteur, states that life (life as we know it) arises from pre-existing life, not from nonliving material.

Both these physical laws together indicate that whatever is responsible for this complexity and beginning must have been an eternal life force without Spacial and Temporal properties who consciously designed carbon based life forms along with the universe itself. It must be eternal and therefore changeless without the universe because it created time. Since it also created space, it must transcend space as well and must therefore be immaterial not physical. Lastly, it must be a personal mind since the DNA contains information and information or language only comes from minds . Thus, the properties of this cause would be omni-present, eternal, and immaterial as well as a personal being.

PERSONAL ABOSOLUTE MIND

There are only two possible candidates we are aware of that could possibly have the attributes of an immaterial, omnipresent, eternal and conscious entity: either an abstract object (like numbers) or a human mind (or consciousness).

Abstract objects like numbers or the logical absolutes cannot be found under rocks or grown out of trees nor are they contingent upon human minds. Our minds simply recognize these necessary truths rather than create them. Nevertheless, these kind of abstract objects are still demonstrable because we can create physical manifestations of them in reality like mathematical models and the fine-tuning constants.

Human minds are understood to have agent causality where a cause would be able to bring about new effects at will without any physical dimensions or determining conditions by virtue of its agency. This is called "substance dualism" where there are two fundamental kinds of substance: mental and material. The mental would not have extension in the spacial and temporal constraints with the universe but occupy an independent "realm" of existence distinct from that of the physical world [1].

However, abstract objects by definition do not stand in casual relationships, and human minds are understood to be intrinsically connected to material substances that naturally possess physical constraints on knowledge and power. Thus, if it cannot be an abstract object or a human mind, then maybe its a combination of the two which would involve an absolute mind where there would not be a brain or body attached.

A personal absolute mind would explain why you can get a temporal effect with a beginning from an eternal cause with unlimited properties. We should find from more empirical observations attributes of an all-knowing and all-powerful being exhibited within the universe.

ALL-POWERFUL AND ALL-KNOWING

According to the BGV theorem, the expansion rate of the universe, which is called Eternal inflation , will continue to accelerate forever; it suggest that there's potentially an infinite degree of power being exerted to expand the universe. This is attributed to the cancellation effect between negative and positive energy ,called the cosmological constant [2], which happens to be finely tuned to 120 decimal places making it the most well adjusted fine-tuning parameter of them all. Since this constant as well as the rest were present from the very beginning of the universe, it follows logically that the cause for this beginning was responsible for the fine-tuning of the cosmological constant [3] as well. Thus, the attributes of this cause must be omni-potent

Moreover, If this cause is all-powerful, then it would have to be all-knowing as well to know the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, the potential outcome of all future interactions of the particles, and be able to control and anticipate each potential outcome from this future eternal inflation in a inconceivably precise manner. Thus, the attributes of this cause must be omniscient.

FALSIFICATION

All of my predictions about the Divine attributes of this cause is falsifiable and two of them we have already seen the experimental results.

1. Theory of Everything

We have yet to create a theory that explains both Einsteins General Relativity and quantum mechanics (called the Grand Unified Theory or GUT). Once scientists discover a successful Grand Unified Theory, there is still the remote possibility that the fine-tuning constants like the Cosmological constant are mere accidents given other laws of physics.

2. Life from Non-life

The Miller Urey-experiment attempted to prove the origin of life (as we know it) could have occurred on the early earth under natural conditions without intelligence, but the experiment actually provided compelling evidence for exactly the opposite conclusion [4]. The reasons why creating life in a test tube turned out to be far more difficult than Miller or anyone else expected are numerous and include the fact that scientists now know that the complexity of life is far greater than Miller or anyone else in pre-DNA revolution 1953 ever imagined. Actually life is far more complex and contains far more information than anyone in the 1980s believed possible. Therefore, the Urey/Miller experiments did not produce evidence for abiogenesis because, although amino acids are the building blocks of life, the key to life is information in the form of DNA.

3. Mind-Body Dualism

Let me provide some context first. Obviously, much of what happens in our minds is influenced by what happens in our bodies and I fully acknowledged this when I mentioned that human minds are intrinsically connected. However, not everything that goes on in our minds is causally determined by what goes on in our bodies. Sometimes what goes on in our bodies is a result of what goes on in our minds.

For example, the movements of my fingers as I type this response is ultimately produced by my mental events. Here we have mental-to-physical causation. What explains both this choice of mine and the physical events in my body that are ultimately produced by this choice? The explanation is the purpose that I provide a response to CON's objections. A purposeful explanation is a teleological explanation. In addition, free will is also a mental event. We can make decisions apart from what the brain and body tells us. For example, I have the choice to act upon my emotional desire to have sex after marriage and negate my basic biological desire to have sex before it. Here we have mental versus physical properties. This also would include things like self-identity overtime.

A famous scientist named Wilder Penfield conducted studies that are consistent with my point that choices can be undetermined events with a teleological explanation. In his fascinating book The Mystery of the Mind, he writes the following [5]:

'When I have caused a conscious patient to move his hand by applying an electrode to the motor cortex of one hemisphere, I have often asked him about it. Invariably his response was: "I didn't do that. You did". When I caused him to vocalize, he said:" I didn't make that sound". You pulled it out of me. When I caused the record of the stream of consciousness to run again and so presented to him the record of his past experience, he marveled that he should be conscious of the past as well as of the present.

Penfield goes on to note that, "There is no place in the cerebral cortex where electrical stimulation will cause a patient . . . to decide" . In light of his work as a neuroscientist, Penfield concludes the following: For my own part, after years of striving to explain the mind on the basis of brain-action alone, I have come to the conclusion that it is simpler (and far easier and logical) if one adopts the hypothesis that our being does consist of two fundamental elements.'
Jiess

Con

Jiess forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by kenballer 4 years ago
kenballer
@Jiess

Since the topic is science (not philosophy) and I am making the claim, You should be rebutting and falsifying just like a scientist would do. I already made this clear in round 1.
Posted by Jiess 4 years ago
Jiess
I ask my question because I am wondering if it is going to be more formal in nature or if it's going to be more of a back and forth between us.

Thanks
Posted by Magicr 4 years ago
Magicr
I'd be interested in taking this debate.
Posted by Numidious 4 years ago
Numidious
I'd love to debate you on the god question, only the debate rules do not permit this. If you can/want to change them I would be happy to, though.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 4 years ago
1dustpelt
kenballerJiessTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Con made no arguments, Pro win.