The Instigator
kenballer
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
RoyLatham
Con (against)
Winning
9 Points

The God Hypothesis is the best scientific explanation for the origins of existence

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/7/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,849 times Debate No: 21799
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

kenballer

Pro

First Round is for acceptance only
RoyLatham

Con

I accept. Please present the Pro case.
Debate Round No. 1
kenballer

Pro

The God Hypothesis indeed qualifies as a scientific explanation as well as the best one for several reasons. It is a rationally conceived hypothesis, it does not violate occam's razor, there is enough evidence that would describe the nature of this cause from connecting the data points, and most importantly its falsifiable:

FIRST CAUSE ARGUMENT

1. Philosophically, its one thing to concieve of an infinite regress of causes, but its another thing to translate it into reality. For instance, a perfect circle is mathematically possible but actually drawing a perfect circle in general is impossible. This means an infinite set only exist in the mind not in reality, and there cannot be an infinite regress or set of causes. There has to be an uncaused first cause that is limitless by nature.

However, this first cause could not be the universe because if there was an infinite number of past events, we would of never of gotten here. For example, if I told someone that before I go to bed to sleep I will flip the light switch for an infinite amount of times, would I be able to go to bed still? the answer is NO. Since Time is part of the universe, then it follows that if time was infinite we would have never of gotten here in the first place.
Thus, since the first cause cannot be the universe, it must be some transcendent entity apart from the Universe ,which is the First cause. I will call this first cause the God Hypothesis .

2. Now, its time to connect the data points to the divine attributes of the God Hypothesis (i.e. First cause):

METAPHYSICAL

A. The Space-Time Theorem of General Relativity clearly states that space, time, and matter and energy all had a concrete beginning. This means whatever caused this must have been a changeless, timeless, and immaterial being that created the universe. It must be timeless 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. Thus, the attribute of this cause would be omni-present, eternal, and immaterial.

DISEMBODIED MIND

B. There are only two possible candidates that can possibly fit such a description of an immaterial, omnipresent, and eternal entity: either an abstract object (like a number) or a disembodied mind (or consciousness). However, abstract objects do not stand in casual relationships. For instance, the number 9 cannot do anything.

Only an unembodied mind would stand in causality since minds are metaphysical and have free will. Otherwise, it would be impossible to explain how you can get a temporal effect with a beginning from an eternal cause. If the cause is there, then the effect would have to be there once the initial conditions of the effect are given.

Therefore, it follows logically that the transcended cause of the universe is a personal disembodied mind for it to have the intrinsic desire and then freely choose to act upon that desire to create a universe that allows the existence of intelligent life.

ALL-KNOWING

C. The fundamental laws and constants of nature came into being immediately after the big bang perfectly calibrated within an infinite set of values, to allow the existence of intelligent life. This is evidence of intelligent design as the possible explanation.

Moreover, the Principle of Universality states, that the same general scientific principles are probably true throughout the cosmos.This principle can bring us to the conclusion that by extracting from the unknown amount of intelligence in the natural sciences to the most likely degree of intelligence that is applicable throughout the cosmos.

Since the universe is semi-infinite in the future, there's potentially an infinite number of mathematical relations out there to be discovered. Each of these relations by definition represents a small amount of cosmic intelligence waiting to be understood, so it follows that the universe must necessarily possess an infinite degree of mathematical intelligence.
This not only suggest that the cause is intelligent but the degree of intelligence and knowledge would be infinite. Thus, the attribute of this cause must have omniscience.

ALL-POWERFUL

D. Our universe was created out of nothing perfectly fine-tuned to support life from the very beginning. This is the definition of a miracle which is something that defies the laws of physics. Thus, the attribute of this cause must be omni-potent.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORTING EVIDENCE

E. Since this creator had to have been eternal and intelligent for creating an inconceivably complex universe, we have reason to believe that its the same source that created life and complex life forms as well.

Life could not and did not exist around the time the singularity expanded and "life comes from life" , according to existing data. In addition, all our empirical oberservations showing only intelligent life creating other intelligent life. There is empirical evidence showing simple life forms becoming or creating complex life forms. Thus, there had to have been an eternal life force that exist outside of space and time who freely chose to infuse life and intelligently design life forms from simple to complex on Earth.

OCCAM'S RAZOR

3. The God Hypothesis does not violate Occam's Razor, which is the simplest explanation should always be favored over the complex ones or needlessly multiplying causes is unnecessary. The reason why the God Hypothesis is the simplest explanation is because its a rational hypothesis that is also supported by many points of data as I demonstrated earlier. It postulates only one cause and its falsifiable, which leads me to my last segment here.

FALSIFICATION

4. If my opponent could demonstrate how the cause of the universe could still be natural or could not be a cause at all, then it would completely negate and falsify the God hypothesis entirely. He can either do this or do it the hard way and falsify each of my claims I made about the universe.
RoyLatham

Con

What is scientific explanation?

The "God Hypothesis" is "There exists a personal God who is the creator of the universe, who is interested in human affairs, and who should be worshipped." [1. http://en.wikipedia.org... ]

An "explanation" is "1: a statement that makes something comprehensible by describing the relevant structure or operation or circumstances etc.; ... 2: thought that makes something comprehensible" [2. http://definitions.dictionary.net...] "Scientific" means "conforming with the principles or methods used in science" [3. http://dictionary.reference.com...] A "scientific explanation" therefore makes an unknown phenomenon comprehensible by relating it to known scientific facts and established theories.

Consider two explanations for why Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans: (a) meteorological conditions in the Caribbean, as described in a computer model, dictated the specific path, and (b) God willed it. Explanation (a) is the scientific explanation because it explains the phenomenon in terms of temperatures, winds, landforms, and other elements known to science and it shows how the path was related to them. Explanation (b) is not a scientific explanation because it does not relate the path to scientifically described elements. (b) might still be true, because God might have used (a) as part of a grand plan unknown to science. If the grand plan were known, it still wouldn't be a scientific explanation, because science only operates at the mundane level of scientific knowledge.

If the God Hypothesis is true, it is still not a scientific explanation because the explanation is not in scientific terms. Consequently, the resolution is negated at the outset. I will consider the hypothesis in more detail regardless.

Multiverse Theory

It might be the case that no scientific explanation of existence is possible, but now, it seems that science will provide an explanation. The best theory, called M-theory, is given in "The Grand Design"
by Hawking and Mlodinow. A review [4. http://articles.latimes.com...] summaries:

We now live in a world in which many physicists have come to believe there are not merely three dimensions (plus time) but 10 or possibly 11. ... it seems we need a number of overlapping theories with factors in common to describe what we are beginning to call the multiverse. In an environment that includes black holes, super black holes, dark matter, dark energy , string theory, M-theory, alternate pasts and alternate futures, we can no longer assume there is one universe or even a set of universes, with a single group of natural laws applicable to everything from the domain of atoms to that of astronomy.

Hawking concludes, "Spontaneous creation is the reason why there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist,... It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper [fuse] and set the universe going," [4]


The First Cause Argument

I'm not sure why it's relevant, but infinite sets do exist in reality. Suppose a car is being overtaken by a faster one. They start a distance D apart. While the overtaking car travels D, the other car moves ahead by D1. When D1 is traversed by the overtaking car, and so forth. This is Zeno's Paradox, c. 450 B.C. [6. http://www.mathacademy.com...] The resolution is that infinite series really do exist,

The idea that "infinity" cannot exist in reality is thoroughly rejected by science. Science accepts as possible any concept that can be mathematically described that is consistent with physical observation.

That time is part of the universe does imply that time is linear and absolute for all of existence. In M-theory time indeed starts in our observable universe, but that is incidental to the existence of the multiverse in which there are an infinity of universes in which time starts. The multiverse always exists in dimensions higher than time.

The metaphysical argument

The claim is that something must exist outside of existence in order to explain existence. That is a logical contradiction, because if God exists, then God is part of existence by definition. The claim therefore asserts that there is one part of existence exempt from being caused as an event in time. It is simpler to use the exemption for the physical universe than for an agent creating the universe.

Pro gives no scientific reference for his claims for the implications of General Relativity. In any case, M-theory subsumes General Relativity.

Fine Tuning

Our universe is fine-tuned for our existence. M-theory explains that by there being an infinite number of universes with an infinite number of tunings. We do not know how many of them are tuned to be sustainable. Of necessity we are in one that is sustainable.

Occam's Razor

If God is all-knowing and all-powerful, then God must know the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, know the outcome of all future interactions of the particles, and be able to control each outcome. Therefore God must be far more complex than the universe itself. The simplicity is only that a single word, "God", is used to describe the complexity.

One of the important goals of multiverse theory is to explain how quantum theory is related to General Relativity. the God Hypothesis does not explain that, or any other of relationships among the observed physical properties of the universe. A simple theory that explains virtually nothing is not challenged by complexity, so it has no claim to elegant simplicity.

Other Pro "Evidence"

A magical explanation is not a scientific one. Scientific theories of abiogenesis are sought to meet the criteria of science.

The God Hypothesis is not falsifiable

A theory is falsifiable in the scientific sense only if there is an experiment that can be performed or an observation made that will prove the theory true or false. Physicist Brian Greene explains one test for the multiverse theory:

"If we are living on one of these giant membranes, then the following can happen: When you slam particles together — which is what happens at the LHC — some debris from those collisions can be ejected off of our membrane and be ejected into the greater cosmos in which our membrane floats," he says. "If that happens, that debris will take away some energy. So if we measure the amount of energy just before the protons collide and compare it with the amount of energy just after they collide, if there's a little less after — and it's less in just the right way — it would indicate that some had flown off, indicating that this membrane picture is correct." [7. http://www.npr.org...]

The God Hypothesis is not falsifiable as a scientific theory because there is no experiment or observation that can prove the theory false. Pro says that it could be proved false by proving an alternative theory true, but that's the case with every hypothesis, scientific or not. All observations are consistent with God having made the universe in a way consistent with whatever is observed.

Modern physics has proved beyond doubt that things occur in nature which are beyond ordinary experience. For example, "Quantum fluctuation is the temporary appearance of energetic particles out of nothing, ..." [8. http://universe-review.ca...] We understand such facts of nature only through the mathematics that describes them. If the math accurately describes the phenomenon is terms relative to other established scientific theories, we have a scientific explanation. Pro cases is made without an attempt to relate the God Hypothesis to science, save one shaky reference to General Relativity. He completely ignores modern cosmology.

Because the God Hypothesis is neither scientific nor an explanation, the resolution is negated. This does not disprove religion, It only means religion is not science.



Debate Round No. 2
kenballer

Pro

Multiverse Theory

1. "It might be the case that no scientific explanation of existence is possible, but now, it seems that science will provide an explanation. The best theory, called M-theory, is given in "The Grand Design" by Hawking and Mlodinow"

Well first off, M-theory or string theory are definitely not theories at all but just a collection of ideas without any real empirical observation.

Second, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of its absence", just because scientists cannot find a cause for some quantum events does not mean its evidence that some things don't have to have a cause. 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.

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. This is another reason why its not accurate to say that a particular quantum outcome is "uncaused". Therefore, the Principle of Sufficient reason still stands strong and the burden of proof is still on CON to convince the rest of us to think otherwise.

Now, If CON is going to say that nothing is not nothing anymore and refer to the quantum field as nothing�, then CON would not only be highly illogical but arbritrary in doing so. It is true that you cannot be purely philosophical when making any kind of argument in the scientific field, but it goes both ways. Without some type of reasonable standard of logic, Science becomes blind and ,in the process, unscientific.

The First Cause Argument

2. "I'm not sure why it's relevant, but infinite sets do exist in reality. Suppose a car is being overtaken by a faster one. They start a distance D apart. While the overtaking car travels D, the other car moves ahead by D1. When D1 is traversed by the overtaking car, and so forth.

The idea that "infinity" cannot exist in reality is thoroughly rejected by science. Science accepts as possible any concept that can be mathematically described that is consistent with physical observation. "

Well first off, To clarify CON's quote, the idea of infinity is not and cannot be rejected by science.Where is the evidence in science from CON that rejects the non-existence of infinities? What he is actually claiming is that its rejected by scientists. There is a difference. This claim is not necessarily true either.

George Ellis , who is considered one of the World's leading theorists in cosmology, was asked if there can be an infinite set of existing universes. He actually reiterates what I have been arguing and saying before:

"When speaking of multiverses or ensembles of universes as possible or realised, the issue of infinity inevitably crops up. Researchers often envision an infinite set of universes, in which all possibilities are realised. Can there be an infinite set of really existing universes? We suggest that the answer may very well be , "No"�. The common perception that this is possible arises from not appreciating the precisions in meaning and the restrictions in application associated with this profoundly difficult concept. Because we can assign a symbol to represent infinity and can manipulate that symbol according to specified rules, we assume corresponding infinite� entities can exist in practice. This is questionable. Furthermore, as we have already indicated, such infinities lead to severe calculational problems in the mathematical modelling of ensembles of universes or universe domains, blocking any meaningful application of probability calculus.

There is no conceptual problem with an infinite set " countable or uncountable " of possible or conceivable universes. However, as David Hilbert (1964) points out, the presumed existence of the actually infinite directly or indirectly leads to well-recognised unresolvable contradictions in set theory (e. g., the Russell paradox, involving the set of all sets which do not contain themselves, which by definition must both be a member of itself and not a member of itself!), and thus in the definitions and deductive foundations of mathematics itself (Hilbert, pp.141-142).

http://arxiv.org...

Also, I have explained why this first cause argument is relevant on a scientific level. In science, you start with a hypothesis, then work towards turning it into a theory where there is some sort of empirical observations.

The Metaphysical argument

3. "The claim is that something must exist outside of existence in order to explain existence. That is a logical contradiction, because if God exists, then God is part of existence by definition. The claim therefore asserts that there is one part of existence exempt from being caused as an event in time. It is simpler to use the exemption for the physical universe than for an agent creating the universe. "

In order to recognize that an explanation (x) is the best, you don't need an explanation of explanation (x). For example, We know that gravity accounts for planetary orbits, why masses fall to the ground on earth, etc... But, we cannot explain why gravity "is" or where it "comes from". We just have to take it as a brute fact.

If the best explanation always required an explanation in science, we would be left with an infinite regress. In other words, if this was a real scientific requirement, We would not get the explanation of anything. Therefore, the God hypothesis would be a brute fact and the explanation for the universe to come out of nothing.

Occam's Razor

4. "One of the important goals of multiverse theory is to explain how quantum theory is related to General Relativity. the God Hypothesis does not explain that, or any other of relationships among the observed physical properties of the universe. A simple theory that explains virtually nothing is not challenged by complexity, so it has no claim to elegant simplicity."

How can CON constantly mention the multi-verse as if its true� when there is not even evidence for ONE other universe let alone an infinite number of them. The space time theorem clearly implies that nature and the natural laws and constants did not always exist. As I explained before, nothing cannot create something and Nothing cannot be considered something. This means if there were other universes, they could not have been operating under the same principles of nature. Therefore, this multi-verse cannot be considered a natural cause.

If CON is arguing that these universes had different laws of nature and constants, then he would end up just making another metaphysical claim only his would be done to an infinite degree. By invoking an infinite number of universes with different laws of nature just to explain our universe, it would not only be unfalsifiable but violate Occam's razor to the highest degree.

The God Hypothesis is falsifiable

5. "A theory is falsifiable in the scientific sense only if there is an experiment that can be performed or an observation made that will prove the theory true or false."

The God hypothesis is experimental because we see the effects of this first cause. The universe coming into existence out of nothing would be the effect, while God would be the cause just like I explained with Gravity.
Also, I never said CON has to prove another theory to be true. What I actually said was if CON can show that this cause could still be made up of the physical universe at least IN PRINCIPLE (like the multi-verse), then he would successfully falsify the God hypothesis.

6. OTHER "PRO" evidence

CON never demonstrates how life can come from non-life or provided evidence that shows simple life forms can produce complex ones. All he does is call my explanation "Magical" without explaining how and why.

7. Fine Tuning

See item 1 and 4
RoyLatham

Con

The God Hypothesis is not a scientific explanation

I claim Pro's failure to address this point concedes the debate. A scientific explanation explains phenomena in scientific terms. Newton's laws explain action and reaction in terms of mass and acceleration. Mass and acceleration are scientific terms with meaning in the physical world. Saying "God did it." is not an explanation in scientific terms, so it is not a scientific explanation.

Thus far Pro has provided a grand total of one linked reference, the paper by W. R. Stoeger et al [P1]. That paper states clearly:

"One can introduce a “Creator” who intentionally sets their values to assure the eventual development of complexity. But this move takes us beyond science."

Pro suggests that God doesn't need to be explained for the same reason that gravity can be described by Newton's Laws without further explanation of why the laws are the way they are. The analogy is wrong because Newton describes gravity in scientific terms: force, mass, and distance. The God Hypothesis does not explain in terms of sciene. Newton's Laws are subject to further scientific inquiry. One of the objectives of M-theory is to provide the next level of scientific explanation on the relationship of General Relativity, which is about gravity, with quantum physics.

Pro claims the God Hypothesis is simple. If that claim is scientific, then it is fair to question how simple God could be. God must be far more complex than the universe in order to be all knowing and all powerful. Pro then claims that such discussion is off limits. It cannot be off limits because Pro must defend a claim of simplicity. Science does not place explanations of explanations off limits. Science pushes explanations are far as possible.

Multiverse Theory

We have Stephen Hawking, the greatest living cosmologist, asserting that M-theory is a properly formulated theory. Papers are published, including Pro's only cited reference in the debate, discussing M-theory as a theory, Pro then declares on his own authority that M-theory is not a theory. What are Pro's credentials as a scientist that should convince us that he is right and Hawking is wrong?

M-theory is not proved, it is a hypothesis. The God Hypothesis is certainly not proved, so they equal in that regard. However, M-theory has two advantages over the God Hypothesis. M-theory agrees with observed physical laws, and in particular unifies gravity with the other three forces (strong, weak, and electromagnetic) of the universe in a common theory. The God Hypothesis explains nothing about any observation of science. Second, M-theory can be tested experimentally. I cited one test in the previous round, and a series of short videos explains more of the proposed tests [13. http://science.discovery.com... ] The tests are to be conducted at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Since the God hypothesis makes no predictions, it cannot be tested experimentally.

There might be a cause for quantum fluctuation that's currently unknown. Since quantum fluctuation occur in a vacuum, the cause would have to derive from a higher dimension, which would confirm one aspect of M-theory. Pro has the burden to prove that there is definitely a cause, since he is claiming that everything is caused. What is important is that science does not demand a cause. This is a debate about scientific explanations, and uncaused events are admissible to science, just not to Pro's argument.

Pro claims that whatever science claims must be subordinate to logic, and logic demands causes. The error in Pro's argument is that it confuses logic with incredulity. Consider that light is both a wave and a particle at the same time. Is that logically possible? Consider the Heisenberg Uncertainty principle, which state that a particle does not actually have a position, but rather exists only as a probability distribution. It is not the case that the particle is really at some location and we can't measure where; rather it exists only as a probability distribution. Is that logically possible? It's not only logical, it's a fact. What makes something logical is not whether we can relate it to our everyday existence. What makes it logical is whether the mathematical description conforms to observed behavior.

The First Cause Argument

I cannot understand exactly what Pro is trying to say about the scientific treatment of infinity. The example taken from Xeno's Paradox shows that infinite series do exist in the real world and that an infinite number of terms in a series can be traversed in practice. A faster car can in fact overtake a slower one. No scientist to my knowledge rejects the possibility.

Pro quotes George Ellis but doesn't say where the quote came from. I need to know the source to evaluate the context. The quote says " Can there be an infinite set of really existing universes? We suggest that the answer may very well be , 'No'" He's not asserting that he knows the answer and that it is "No." Separately, Ellis said, "As skeptical as I am, I think the contemplation of the multiverse is an excellent opportunity to reflect on the nature of science and on the ultimate nature of existence: why we are here…... Parallel universes may or may not exist; the case is unproved." [14. http://en.wikipedia.org...] Recall that Einstein was skeptical of quantum physics -- But he wisely did not rule it out. Skepticism is fine.

Pro cites Stoeger who says associated with an infinite number of universes can be solved: "any adequate cosmological account of the origin of our universe as one of a collection of many universes – or even as a single realised universe – must include a process whereby the realised ensemble is selected from the space of all possible universes and physically generated." [p1] M-theory does not necessarily demand that an infinite number of universes be realized, only that any possible universe can be realized. One claim is that 10^10^16. [15. http://www.physorg.com...] suffice.

Physicist Tegmark claims that an infinite number of universes may be a simpler solution that a finite number. "... an entire ensemble is often much simpler than one of its members. This principle can be stated more formally using the notion of algorithmic information content. The algorithmic information content in a number is, roughly speaking, the length of the shortest computer program that will produce that number as output. For example, consider the set of all integers. Which is simpler, the whole set or just one number? Naively, you might think that a single number is simpler, but the entire set can be generated by quite a trivial computer program, whereas a single number can be hugely long. Therefore, the whole set is actually simpler. Similarly, the set of all solutions to Einstein's field equations is simpler than a specific solution. ..." [14]

The Metaphysical Argument

Pro claimed that something must exist outside of existence in order to explain existence. I pointed out the logical contradiction, that anything that exists must be part of existence, not outside it. Pro responded that he doesn't need to explain the explanation. He does need to explain it, because an explanation that contradicts itself s not an explanation.

This type of contradiction also occurs in "If God is omnipotent, can he make a stone so big He can't lift it." The answer to this classic question is "No." Omnipotence is power over objects, not the ability to perform a logical contradiction. If God exists, then all the properties of existence apply. If causes predicate existence, then God must have a cause. The only way out is if a cause is not required. In that case, the universe might as well be the thing uncaused.

Debate

Pro must provide references for all his quotations and claims about what science says.

The resolution is affirmed.

Debate Round No. 3
kenballer

Pro

kenballer forfeited this round.
RoyLatham

Con

Pro was on line before the time expired. I think he should have passed rather that forfeited so as to avoid the conduct penalty.

In any case, five round debates are too long! I'll show readers some mercy by not piling on arguments. My present arguments are continued.

Pro challenged me directly on this topic. It was not an open challenge.

The resolution has been negated. The God Hypothesis is not scientific and it is does not provide a scientific explanation.
Debate Round No. 4
kenballer

Pro

The Metaphysical Argument

1."Pro claimed that something must exist outside of existence in order to explain existence. I pointed out the logical contradiction, that anything that exists must be part of existence, not outside it. Pro responded that he doesn't need to explain the explanation. He does need to explain it, because an explanation that contradicts itself s not an explanation. "

I never argued this. CON has created a false premise. When I said every explanation not requiring an explaination itself, What I was actually saying was that an explanation for the effect was demanded in science. If the explanation of the effect was also required an explanation, then you would not get the explanation of anything and it would essentially destroy science.
CON earlier explained that Gravity ,which is the cause, can be explained through its effects, but he does not explain where Gravity itself came from nor can we see Gravity. However, we know that gravity still exists because we see the effects, which is INDIRECT evidence. Direct evidence is not required in science. As I explained before, If the cause is there, then the effect would have to be there once the initial conditions of the effect are given (i.e. gravity). CON does not even clearly define what gravity is. "force, mass, distance"

The same rules of science can be applied with the God hypothesis. We know that this explanation exist because we see the effects of it, which is the universe coming into existence out of nothing perfectly fine-tuned to allow the existence of life.

lets summarize this now:

A. Even though its hard to define gravity, we can't see it, and have no direct evidence of it, we still know it exists because This force called gravity manifests itself in reality (planetary orbits, masses falling to ground, etc) there by providing indirect evidence of its existence

Same situation applies to God. Its hard to define it and we can't see it directly, but we still know it exists because we see this entity/force manifest itself by creating a finely tune universe out of nothing.

B. By explaining the effects of gravity, we end up explaining gravity itself without being required to ask where Gravity itself came from. By explaining the coming into existence of our finely tune universe, we explain the first cause (i.e. God)

C. Lastly, CON already accepts that there is a cause for the finely tuned universe in the form of the quantum field regarding M-theory , which he calls nothing and ends up not addressing himself. I am just calling this cause God because the evidence suggests this as I showed in response 2. So CON can't say I am making no explanation for God when he acknowledges the explanation already exists.

2. "The analogy is wrong because Newton describes gravity in scientific terms: force, mass, and distance. The God Hypothesis does not explain in terms of sciene. Newton's Laws are subject to further scientific inquiry. One of the objectives of M-theory is to provide the next level of scientific explanation on the relationship of General Relativity, which is about gravity, with quantum physics."

CON is implying that in science you are somehow explaining a theory by choosing one of the competing models over the other. But this isn't true. Once scientists select a single theory, they still haven't explained anything about why the theory is true, or where it "comes from". But that's okay, since that isn't demanded in science.

Multiverse Theory

3. "We have Stephen Hawking, the greatest living cosmologist, asserting that M-theory is a properly formulated theory. Papers are published, including Pro's only cited reference in the debate, discussing M-theory as a theory, Pro then declares on his own authority that M-theory is not a theory. What are Pro's credentials as a scientist that should convince us that he is right and Hawking is wrong?"

Not at all. I am not the one who actually said this about M_theory but it was Roger Penrose who co-authored the Space-time theorem of general relativity with Stephen Hawking one of the greatest findings in science:

4."M-theory is not proved, it is a hypothesis. The God Hypothesis is certainly not proved, so they equal in that regard. However, M-theory has two advantages over the God Hypothesis. M-theory agrees with observed physical laws, and in particular unifies gravity with the other three forces (strong, weak, and electromagnetic) of the universe in a common theory."

We can make testable predictions for this hypothesis. Determining gravity predicted the existence and location of Neptune. If the God hypothesis is true, it would predict that the universe would exhibit characteristics that support the existence of life. You can falsify this by showing that there could be other universes or show evidence of one. In addition, if the God hypothesis is true, it would show that the universe had an absolute beginning in the past and that it came from nothing. You can falsify this by showing that the universe had no cause at all or that the cause of the effect was still a natural cause.

Unlike M-theory ,which has no empirical obeservation whatsoever according to Roger Penrose, we have many empircal evidence that conclude the God hypothesis to be true as I demonstrated in Response 2 ( the Space time theorem and Guth theorem, Finely tune laws, etc)

5." Pro has the burden to prove that there is definitely a cause, since he is claiming that everything is caused. What is important is that science does not demand a cause. This is a debate about scientific explanations, and uncaused events are admissible to science, just not to Pro's argument."

Well like I said before, I did not nor was I trying to argue that everything is caused but that every effect was had to have been caused and we have zero examples showing that some effects do not have causes. Therefore, the burden of proof is on CON to show otherwise. Besides, I have said already that the Quantum field ,CON is reluctant to address, can be considered the cause for the fluctuations.

6. "Pro quotes George Ellis but doesn't say where the quote came from. I need to know the source to evaluate the context."

Well first off, I have already provided the source of my George Ellis quote. Second, I fail to see how the "A faster car can in fact overtake a slower one" example is describing an actual infinity in reality. Don't allow CON to manipulate you into thinking this is an successful example of a real infinity.

7. Pro cites Stoeger who says associated with an infinite number of universes can be solved: "any adequate cosmological account of the origin of our universe as one of a collection of many universes" or even as a single realised universe" must include a process whereby the realised ensemble is selected from the space of all possible universes and physically generated." [p1] M-theory does not necessarily demand that an infinite number of universes be realized, only that any possible universe can be realized.

In 2003, Borde, Guth,Valenken in their theorem were able to prove that ANY universe which 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. This theorem holds even when we don't have a quantum theory of gravity of the early universe. In addition, even if we are just a tiny part of a so-called "multi-verse", their theorem would STILL require an absolute beginning from this multi-verse as well. Since there has to be an absolute beginning when its all said and done anyways, CON can deposit as many universes or versions of the multi-verse as he wants. It still would not weed out the God hypothesis as the actual explanation for these universes AND for the fine-tuning of the universes.

Thus, CON has failed to falsify the God hypothesis let alone show it to not be a scientific explanation. So its a clean sweep, VOTE PRO.
RoyLatham

Con

Religion is Not Science

It should not be shocking that God is not part of science. That's why religion is the domain of faith, and not subject to experimental verification, equations describing physical laws, and requirements for consistency with other laws of nature.

I challenged Pro to tell us why a God hypothesis should not be accepted as the explanation for everything that science cannot perfectly explain. Scientists are working on hundreds of thousands of unsolved scientific problems. So why don't they accept a God Hypothesis as the best scientific solution to everyone of them? If someone does not know why it rains or what path a hurricane will take, should a God Hypothesis be taken as the best available scientific explanation? Pro did not answer my challenge. To my knowledge, not a single scientist follows the practice of citing a God hypothesis as the best scientific explanation of every thing not explained. That's because a God Hypothesis is not science. Pro's only linked reference affirms that a God Hypothesis is not part of science.

Metaphysical Arguments

Pro argues that God is part of science and as such the God Hypothesis is a scientific explanation. But then Pro claims all sots of exemptions from scientific examination of the God Hypothesis as science. Pro claims that God is a simple explanation. I ask how the ability to know, predict, and control every particle in the universe can be a simple mechanism. Pro claims the metaphysical exemption. Pro claims God exists. I ask if, as Pro says, everything that exists has a cause, then what is the cause of God's existence. Pro claims the metaphysical exemption.

My point is that metaphysical exemptions are only valid if God is not part of science. If the exemptions are allowed as part of science, then the exemptions can be used as part of any scientific theory, not just for creation, but for whatever one wishes to explain. That's not science, because science is confined to explaining laws of nature in terms of observables, no metaphysical abstractions.

Pro claimed an example of gravity being observed in terms of physical laws, summarized by Newton's laws, while the mechanism of gravity was unknown. The key difference from the God hypothesis is that gravity is a subject to further scientific explanation while God is not. General relativity provided a further explanation of gravity in terms of warping space, and that was subsequently proved. Physicists hypothesize the graviton as the particle that communicates the force, and they search for it experimentally. Now M-theory hypothesizes the relationships between gravity and other three observed forces. The God hypothesis is by contrast a guaranteed dead end. Testable questions are not allowed.

Testability

Pro claims that the God hypothesis can be disproved by proving an alternate scientific theory. That's true of any theory, including theories of voodoo spells, magical demigods, and mystical incantations. disproof in that sense does not make every theory a scientific theory. Scientific theories can only rely on testable laws of nature. Experiments can disprove M-theory. Experiments cannot disprove the God hypothesis.

Pro also argues that the God hypothesis is confirmed by observing the fine tuning of the universe. However, since the universe exists as it is, any theory of the universe, including M-theory, has to agree with that observation. Pro's claim is akin to noting that the fact of sunset confirms the theory that a god carries the sun across the sky in a chariot. Being consistent with a theory does not prove the theory, it is the starting point for any number of theories.


Infinities

Pro answer to Zeno's Paradox, in which an infinite series clearly exists and converges, is that he didn't understand it. I gave a short explanation in the debate and referenced a full explanation. the reason that Zeno's Paradox appears as a paradox is that it seems incredible that an infinity of elements in a set could be traversed. Every time the speedy approaching player reaches the point where the slower player was, the slower player has advanced beyond that point. It seems impossible that the faster one could make the infinite number of advances required. The resolution is that intuition cannot be trusted when it comes to dealing with infinities. You have to trust the math to get n answer that describes how the world really works.

Pro makes arguments from incredulity throughout, and they are all wrong for the same reason. An inability to imagine an infinity or that something can never arise from nothing is not a scientific reason to believe those things impossible. The only reliable scientific method is testing whether the mathematics is consistent with real world observation. M-theory is built upon that foundation.

Pro repeats the argument that some scientists believe that an infinity of universes is impossible. I presented evidence that M-theory works if the number is very large rather than infinite. Therefore Pro's argument is moot.

Conduct

Pro forfeited the forth round. That is a conduct violation.

Sources

The Wikipedia biography of Penrose gives the only connection to Hawking as a co-authored paper in 1965 and later sharing a prize for apparently unconnected work contributing to cosmology. I said that Penrose and others are skeptical of M-theory, which is perfectly appropriate, but none claim that M-theory is disproved. I cited Einstein's skepticism of quantum physics. Quantum physics is now proved. Penrose claimed that no tests of -theory exist, but I cited specific tests for the validity of M-theory in designed for the LHD in CERN. Denying that tests can exist does not show familiarity with the status of M-theory.

Penrose is among a very few who claim M-theory is not a theory. His complaint is that it ties diverse theories of quantum mechanics, gravity, and cosmology at a high level, and to him that makes it not a theory unto itself. That's semantics not physics. But how does the God hypothesis tie together all the theories together? How does the God Hypothesis relate, say, gravity to quantum physics? The answer is that the God Hypothesis says nothing about how the laws of nature are related. That's because the God Hypothesis does not deal in scientific theories or equations; it does not because it is not a scientific theory.

I asked Pro to provide references for all his quotations and all his claims about science. I explained that the quotation reference are important so I can see what else the person said. In Pro's one linked reference, Pro's source said that a God hypothesis is not science. Pro never provided references for his quotations from Ellis or Hibert. He provided no source for his claims of the implication o general relativity nor of his notions of the necessity of a quantum field. Pro continued to claim that M-theory requires the existence of an infinite number of universes after I gave a source saying that it does not require an infinite number, but rather only a very large number. Pro consistently interpreted science to suit his desires without sources for his interpretations.

The best scientific explanation

M-theory is not proved, and it may not be the final answer, but it is the best scientific explanation available. It is scientific because in relates unexplained observable properties of the universe to known physical laws. It is testable through proposed experiments at CERN and elsewhere. The God Hypothesis is not a scientific explanation because it does not explain in the terms of science, and unlike all other physical it is not subject to experimental verification.

I have not claimed that God does not exist. My argument is solely that if the God Hypothesis is true, it is outside of science.

The resolution is negated.

Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Be prepared for me to argue that a religious explanation is not a scientific explanation.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
I'll accept if you increase the voting period from 3 days to one month. I think four rounds would be better, but I'll go five if you are set on that.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 5 years ago
Maikuru
kenballerRoyLathamTied
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Reasons for voting decision: By failing to establish how God meets scientific standards while maintaining metaphysical exceptions, Pro could not win this debate. In any case, Con showed that God fails Occam's Razor (it is more complex than that which it explains) and is attributed to phenomena currently explained (or in the process of being explained) by theories adhering to scientific expectations (i.e. falsafiability, real-world evidence). Pro's own source supported Con's stance and the forfeit loses conduct.
Vote Placed by SuburbiaSurvivor 5 years ago
SuburbiaSurvivor
kenballerRoyLathamTied
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Total points awarded:43 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a really close debate. I'd say that overall, God is a question better left to philosophy. Not science. However, Con gave good arguments. Con countered most, but not all. Pro did forfeit a round though and Con had more and better sources.