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

The God Hypothesis is a valid Scientific Theory

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Microsuck
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/24/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,336 times Debate No: 24857
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

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.

In principle, I technically have all the Burden of Proof, but for the purpose of winning and losing this debate, my opponent must successfully poke holes in my science based on the criteria I set out without appealing to pure philosophical arguments. This means unless my opponent can back it up with scientific evidence, NO philosophical arguments or claims.

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 an established 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]

The "God Hypothesis" is there exists a personal God who is the creator of the universe and who is interested in human affairs.

A "scientific explanation" therefore makes an unknown phenomenon comprehensible by relating it to known scientific facts and established theories.

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.
Microsuck

Con

First, I would like to thank you for challenging me to this debate. I accept and agree to the criteria used.
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. Now, what I mean by 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. 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 planet Earth. So the question before us is this, "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. Moreover, 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.

This round is probably not going to compel a challenge from CON ,especially based on the rules of the debate. However, 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...
Microsuck

Con

I want to thank you for challenging me to this debate. It is certainly a great pleasure. Note that my bibliography is in APA 6th Edition style.


Before I begin to discuss why pro is wrong, we need to first define a “theory.” A theory is “a well supported conceptual framework that encompasses a large body of scientific facts, inferences, observations, and experiments and explains them in a coherent way.” (Fairbanks, 2012)


Refutation of Pro’s Case


Pro has laid out several arguments showing why the God hypothesis to be a valid scientific theory. In the debate, pro defined “God” as “A personal God who is the creator of the universe and who is interested in human affairs.” I will start by refuting each of my opponent’s contentions.


I. The beginning of the Universe


My opponent begins by pointing out that the universe must have had a beginning and that God was the cause. To state this is an appeal to ignorance. Instead, let’s see if we can find a natural cause. First, we must note that “[i]n the everyday world, energy is always unalterably fixed; the laws of energy conservation is a cornerstone of classic physics. But in the quantum microworld, energy can appear and disappear out of nowhere in a spontaneous and unpredictable fashion.” (Davies, 1983) Moreover, there is no such thing as “nothing.” The reason is that even in a perfect vacuum; pairs of virtual particles are constantly being created and destroyed. “The existence of these particles is no mathematical fiction. The assumptions that they exist leads to predictions that have been confirmed by experiments to a high degree of accuracy.” (Morris, 1990)


So, the consequence is that the universe can indeed come into existence by itself. Moreover, I propose that the universe has always been here and have simply changed forms over time.


Finally, the argument cannot account for whether or not God is interested in human affairs or not. Consequently, my opponent fails to meet the burden of proof.



II. Finely Tuned Universe


Richard Carrier notes in his interview:


"Similarly the “fine tuning” of the universe’s physical constants: that would be a great proof—if it wasn’t exactly the same thing we’d see if a god didn’t exist. If there is no god, we will only ever find ourselves in a universe finely tuned (in that case, by random chance), because without a god, there is no other kind of universe that can produce us. Likewise, a universe that produced us by chance would have to be enormously vast in size and enormously old, so as to have all the room to mix countless chemicals countless times in countless places so as to have any chance of accidentally kicking up something as complex as life. And that’s exactly the universe we see: one enormously vast in size and age. A godless universe would also only produce life rarely and sparingly, and that’s also what we see: by far most of the universe is lethal to life (being a deadly radiation filled vacuum) and by far most of the matter in the universe is lethal to life (constituting stars and black holes on which no life can ever live). Again, all exactly what we’d expect of a godless universe. Not what we’d expect of a god-made one."


Thus, we have exactly the universe we’d expect to have if there is no god. Whereas a god does not need vast trillions of star systems and billions of years to make life. He doesn’t need vast quantities of lethal space and deadly matter. Only a godless universe needs that. I make a more detailed survey of this kind of evidence in “Neither Life Nor the Universe Appear Intelligently Designed” in John Loftus’s The End of Christianity. It also does no good to say such a random accidental universe is improbable, because the convenient existence of a marvelously “super-omni” god is just as improbable. Either way you are assuming some amazing luck. Which leaves the evidence. And the evidence is just way more probable if there’s no god. Thus, we’re forced to choose between which lucky accident it was, and the evidence confirms the one and not the other." (Carrier, 2012)



So, the universe is not finely tuned at all! Atheism makes better predictions as to what type of universe we see—and what do you know? It’s exactly that! Once again, the finely tuned universe fails a predicting whether or not God is interested in human affairs. Finally, Richard Dawkins notes in his book The God Delusion:


"The temptation [to attribute the appearance of a design to actual design itself] is a false one, because the designer hypothesis immediately raises the larger problem of who designed the designer. The whole problem we started out with was the problem of explaining statistical improbability. It is obviously no solution to postulate something even more improbable” (Dawkins, 2006)



III. The God Hypothesis


My opponent states, “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.


The problem is that science has not stumbled upon the same conclusion. The Big Bang Theory (BBT hereafter) is not about the origin of the universe; rather it is about its development with time. (Feuerbacher, 2006) Hence, we cannot say for absolute certainty that science has proved that the universe must have had a beginning.


Finally, my opponent states that it has been philosophically proved. Has he given any evidence for that assertion? No. Until he does, this point should be ignored completely.


IV. Predictions

For anything to be a valid scientific hypothesis (or a theory)[1], it must make scientific predictions. My opponent made an interesting prediction:


“If the God hypothesis is true, then the universe should exhibit divine attributes from a divine intelligence. Moreover, 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 (sic) 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.


First, what is “divine intelligence” and how can we measure whether or not the universe exhibits “divine intelligence”? Second, you state that it has to be similar to human beings, but without the limitations the universe possesses—yet why? Please elaborate on this contention in the next round please.


I’m out of room.





1. I note the difference between “hypothesis” and “theory” because they are two different things. A “hypothesis” is an educated guess whereas a “theory” has been something so well documented it can no longer be reasonably disputed. For more on this difference see http://evolution.berkeley.edu...;


Bibliography

Carrier, R. (2012, January 3). Richard Carrier Interview. (TheBestSchools, Interviewer) Retrieved from http://goo.gl...


Davies, P. (1983). God and the New Physics. London: J. M. Dent & Sons. Retrieved from http://goo.gl...


Dawkins, R. (2006). The God Delusion. London: Bantam Books.


Fairbanks, D. J. (2012). Evolving: The Human Effect and Why it Matters. New York: Prometheus Books.


Feuerbacher, B. (2006, January 25). Evidence for the Big Bang. Retrieved from Talk.Origin Archive: http://goo.gl...


Morris, R. (1990). The Edges of Science. New York: Prentice Hall.




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 (life as we know it) only arises from pre-existing life.

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 programmed the first self-replicating DNA molecule 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 , according to information theory, information only comes from minds. Thus, the properties of this cause would be omni-present, eternal, and immaterial as well as a personal.

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 are not 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 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 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). 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 could have occurred on the early earth under natural conditions without intelligence, but the experiment actually provided compelling evidence for exactly the opposite conclusion [3]. The reasons why creating life in a test tube turned out to be far more difficult than Miller or anyone else expected is because scientists now know that the complexity of life is far greater than Miller or anyone else in pre-DNA revolution 1953 ever imagined. 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 that MUST exist first before evolution can even take place.

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 as well.

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 [4]:

'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.'

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://arxiv.org...
[3] http://www.talkorigins.org...
[4] http://www.custance.org...
Microsuck

Con

I want to thank my opponent for his quick arguments. I want to point out that not only had he failed to respond to any of my arguments, but he also brought up new arguments in the last round. Hence, all the previous round’s arguments are thus dropped.

I. Omni-Present, Eternal, and Immaterial

My opponent begins by citing the Law of Cause and Effect and argues that there must have been a cause. Moreover, he states that the Law of Biogenesis states that life (as we know it) can only arise from pre-existing life. Let’s examine both of those claims.

When we speak of a cause we mean an explanation for an event. If that is so, surely at best it remains an assumption that every event must have a cause; for no-one has provided explanations for every event that has occurred.
B. The Law of Biogenesis

My opponent stated that life can only come from life. However, this comes from a dire misunderstanding of both abiogenesis and Pasture’s experiments. Indeed, what Louis Pasture demonstrated that life does not currently spontaneously arise in complex forms from nonlife in nature; he did not demonstrate the impossibility of life arising from simple forms from nonlife by way of long propitious series of chemical steps/selections. (Wilkins, 2004) In essence, he actually disproved a form of creationism; namely, the hypothesis that life forms can appear fully formed! (Isaak, 2000) Indeed, my opponent’s understanding of abiogenesis is so terrible; the first video gives a full explanation of what abiogenesis is and how it works! The second video gives in detail the difference between abiogenesis and spontaneous generation—obviously, they are two different things!

I apologize but I have been super busy these past few days and cannot refute any further. In the next round, I will refute the rest of my opponent’s arguments.

Bibliography

Isaak, M. (2000, April 24). Claim CB000. Retrieved from Talk.Origin Archive: http://tinyurl.com...

Wilkins, J. S. (2004, April 26). Spontaneous Generation and the Origin of Life. Retrieved from Talk.Origin Archive : http://www.talkorigins.org...

Debate Round No. 3
kenballer

Pro

kenballer forfeited this round.
Microsuck

Con

My opponent has forfeited this round. I will still argue to vote con for the following reasons:

1. My opponent has presented new arguments in the last round and has given me too many characters and arguments to fully refute in detail;
2. My opponent forfeited the last round; and
3. My opponent failed to respond to any of my rebuttals.
Debate Round No. 4
kenballer

Pro

kenballer forfeited this round.
Microsuck

Con

Vote con!
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 4 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
kenballerMicrosuckTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: FFFF This debate was easy to win. A hypothesis =/= a theory. An unfalsifiable hypothesis based on an old book =/= science.
Vote Placed by frozen_eclipse 4 years ago
frozen_eclipse
kenballerMicrosuckTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: My mind was made up around round one and then my decision was justified through the rounds. pro had a couple flaws in logic like assuming that since a theory is accepted then it must be true and cannot be disproven. I forget what this fallacy is called....but ultimately pro hasnt proven that god exists even scientifically nor that he is interested in humans etc....