The Instigator
kenballer
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
TheElderScroll
Con (against)
Winning
6 Points

The God Hypothesis should be a Scientific theory

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
TheElderScroll
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2012 Category: Science
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,405 times Debate No: 26049
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
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 having a human affair.

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.

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

Con

I accept the challenge, and I will be arguing that the God hypothesis should not be a scientific theory.
Given the fact that the debate is scientific in nature, I feel that some arguments may perhaps involve statistical theories. (e.g., P-Value, Standard Deviations).
I accept all the rules & definitions proposed by Pro, and if it is necessary, I will be supplying some additional definitions as well.
One more thing, please state the Null Hypothesis and Alternative Hypothesis so that there would be no confusions.
May both of us enjoy this debate and Let's begin.
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, which means the aforementioned first law of thermodynamics would 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. In science, the meaning of the term "life" is not fully established or defined [6]. Moreover, there are experiments that show amino acids and RNA viruses ,which are two of the three essential components of life, can come from non-life. Thus, there could be other types of life forms besides human life we don't know or have not discovered yet we might call "life" now or in the future.

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. [7]

THE GOD (ALTERNATIVE) 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.

The initial singularity, which is a single point of infinite density and heatness, was a timeless thing that created most of the matter in the Universe. Thus, If this singularity was eternal, it would have never have created most of the matter in the universe and we would not have gotten at this point in time.

However, this was not just any bang from a simple beginning, but a great 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://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...
[7] http://en.wikipedia.org...
TheElderScroll

Con

I thank Pro for initiating this debate.

Given the fact that my opponent has yet finished his theory constructions, I believe that it would be inappropriate for me to start attacking his contentions. Without getting a complete view of pro"s positions, my responses can easily go astray thereby rendering my arguments utterly useless. Therefore I will not be putting forward my arguments until next round. In this round, I will be presenting my understanding of pro"s theory constructions. Please do correct me if I am wrong so that I could make valid counter-arguments.

Definitions of "The God Hypothesis"
There are two distinct yet similar definitions offered by Pro in this debate so far.
The first one appears in the first round:
The "God Hypothesis" is that there exists a personal God who is the creator of the universe and who is interested in having a human affair.

The second definition is revealed in this round:
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.

To my understanding, the first definition concerns about the personal God displaying both human and divine characters whereas the second definition involves only the energy force considered the cause for the fine-tuned universe. Under pro"s "Predictions" section, there is one sentence attempting to bridge the gap between these two definitions (If the God hypothesis is true..). Based my observations, I am under the impression that pro intends to build his case around the second definition of "The God Hypothesis." and then tries to transform it into the first one by incorporating the divine characters.

The Scope of the Debate
Null Hypothesis in this debate concerns about the cause for the fine-tuned universe/life:
"There is no cause for this finely-tuned universe and it just quantum fluctuated out of nothing."

Alternative Hypothesis (The God Hypothesis)
"There is cause for this finely-tuned universe and it not just quantum fluctuated out of nothing."

According to my understanding, this is a debate about
The beginning monument about the universe. In other word, the debates concerns about if there exists the Supreme Being (God) that initiates the "beginning moment" of the universe.
The process led to the eventual emergence of life. More clearly, the debate is about whether there is a force (God) that imposes order on the chaos of organic evolution.

Pursuant to the rule of debate articulated by Pro in the first round, the Burden of Proof is on Pro.
In order to win this debate, I must be able to show
"The God Hypothesis" fails to better explain the data compared to Null hypothesis.
"The God Hypothesis" could not make falsifiable predictions within the acceptable degree of accuracy
And/or "The God Hypothesis" fails to account for many independent strands of evidence.
And/or "The God Hypothesis" is incompatible with some pre-existing theories and other experimental results

Interpretations
Data: The word "data" means "the fine-tuned universe" which necessarily implies that I will be required to accept "the fine-tuned universe"observations while examining "The God Hypothesis".
Falsifiable predictions: The predictions will be introduced by Pro in next round.
Independent strands of evidence: If pro does not offer any evidence other than fine-tuned universe, I am assuming that I am free to offer more evidence in attempting to advance my arguments.
Pre-existing theories: I am assuming that any well articulated and widely accepted scientific theories would be admitted.

Thank you.
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 (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 dimensionless/immaterial not physical. Lastly, it must be a personal mind since the DNA contains information and ,according to information theory [1], information only comes from minds. Thus, the properties of this cause would be omni-present, eternal, and immaterial as well as a personal force.

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).

The first candidate are abstract objects. Abstract objects like mathematical entities are not found under rocks or grown out of trees nor are they understood to be contingent upon human minds. Our minds have simply been recognizing these necessary truths rather than create them, and lastly they can apply to virtually everything that exist. Nevertheless, these kind of abstract objects are still demonstrable because we can create physical manifestations of them in reality involving the fine-tuning constants.

The second candidate would be human minds. 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 [2].

However, abstract objects by definition are not suppose to stand in casual relationships with reality, 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 mind absolute force 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; this 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 [3], 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 attribute 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.

In conclusion, from the collection of divine attributes that were discovered it follows logically that a Divine intelligence in the form of a personal absolute mind is ultimately responsible for all the known phenomena and complexity within the universe. Now, we are at the analysis portion where we compare the predictions from the God (alternative) hypothesis to those of the null hypothesis, to determine which one better explains the data and observations.

ALTERNATIVE HYPOTHESIS

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, which would explain why we can observe a habitable planet within a life-permitting universe. Drawing from experience, this would be similar to human minds creating physical effects onto our brain 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.

Most importantly, 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 [4]. This is why its not accurate to say that a particular quantum outcome is "uncaused" nor is it consistent with the data implying the beginning of reality. Therefore, there is no reason to think that not every cause precedes an effect.

In summary, since the alternative hypothesis better explains and is consistent with existing data, we can reject the null hypothesis and fully accept the alternative hypothesis.

FALSIFICATION

All of my predictions about the Divine attributes of this cause is falsifiable. Two of these predictions have already been experimented on by scientists and they have failed to show the God hyposthesis to be wrong. Where they have failed CON can succeed by trying to show how intelligence arises entirely from natural processes.

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 [5]. However, 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

A famous scientist named Wilder Penfield conducted studies that attempted to explain the mind on the basis of brain-action "alone" [6]. However, he was unabled to find through eletrical stimulation a place in the cerebral cortex responsible for decision making.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://arxiv.org...
[4] Michael A. Corey, "The God Hypothesis" p. 14, 197
[5] http://www.talkorigins.org...
[6] http://www.custance.org...
TheElderScroll

Con

I thank pro for initiating this debate.

Rebuttals
There are essentially two parts in pro"s arguments. The first part concerns about the the origin of the singularity, and the second part deals with the "omnipresent, eternal, and immaterial." My rebuttals would be separated into two parts: Rebuttal Part I, and Rebuttal Part II with the latter one addressed in next round. By designing my rebuttals in this way, I believe it would provide myself and my opponent with sufficient time and space to make detailed counter-arguments. My primary focus in this round is to counter the arguments that pro has made about the beginning of the universe and fine-tuned universe/life.

Rebuttal Part I
THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE
Pro argued that space, time, and matter and energy all had a concrete beginning, and since matter and energy cannot exist without time, the singularity had to have come into being as well. The theory resembles the famous Paley"s Watchmaker argument which argued that since there has to be a designer for the watch, there has to be a creator for human as well.

A common way to rebut the theory is to ask the question: who creates the creator? And who creates the creator of the creator? The list can literally go on forever.

In this debate, in addition to the above philosophical rebuttal, I attempt to prove that there can be an infinite past.

Sequence
In mathematics, a sequence is an ordered list of objects. Perhaps the most famous sequence in mathematics is the Fibonacci Sequence (Fibonacci numbers). [2]

0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144...

The unique proper of the fibonacci sequence is that any subsequent number is the sum of the previous two.

Infinite Sequence (or Series)
A series is an infinite ordered set of terms combined together by the addition operator (+, -, x, /). The term infinite series is sometimes used to emphasize the fact that series contain an infinite number of terms. [3]

It has been proved that 0.999... = 1

For those who have the stomach for some technical details, please visit http://en.wikipedia.org......

Obviously, in a mathematical sense, an integer can be constructed or represented as a sum of an infinite series.

Applying the infinite series to the origin of time
It is debatable if the infinite series can be applied in the case of the origin of the singularity. One could certainly argue that there would be no infinite approximation for the beginning of the time, which is usually defined at time zero. Two possible solutions would be proposed to solve this problem:
S1. Re-define the beginning of the time. Number system itself is an artificial invention developed by Indian mathematicians. The primary object of number system is to address and simplify the natural phenomenal by converting it into mathematics. Number zero is invented to fulfills a central role in mathematics as the additive identity of the integers, real numbers, and many other algebraic structures. Given the fact that time is also a man-made concept, one can redefine the beginning of everything at time-scale 1 which, in theory, equals to 0.999...

S2. Shift Time Scale. Another way to solve the problem is to "shift" the time-scale forward by scale 1 and then shift the entire time-scale back to time zero. The main purpose of this shift is to derive an infinite series for time zero. For example, assuming that if the beginning of everything is defined at point zero, we can define a function

f(x) = 0 where f(x) represents the beginning of the time.

The second function, which is designed to shift the previously defined function, can be defined as f(x) = f(x) + 1 where f(x) = 0 and

The third function, defined as f(x) = f(x) -1 where f(x) = f(x) + 1 and f(x) = 0, will shift the time-scale back to its original state.

By shifting the system forward and the backward, we derive an infinite series (0.000...) that can represent the beginning of the time. And since 0.999... and 0.000... are both infinite series, it is not unreasonable to assume that there could be an infinite past.

THE FINELY-TUNED UNIVERSE
The finely-turned universe is another contentious topic in the field of theoretical physics. It is debatable whether the universe is indeed fine-tuned or the fine-tuned is nothing but a random variations. Numerous theories have been established to explain the fine-tuned universe phenomenal. For more details, please visit:
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://biologos.org...

In this debate, I will be briefly discussing Multiverse theory (since the theory has been mentioned by pro in his argument) and then I will proceed to discuss my own opinions on the topic.

Multiverse
The concept is built on the statistical probability theory. In statistics, suppose someone rolls a set of two dice (six faces, number ranges from 1 to 6). Assuming that he only rolls a set of two dice once, the probability that he gets double six is 1/36 (out of 36 different possibilities). In analogy, the fine-tune universe argument states that the odds of rolling the dice to get, by chance, a universe where life can exist, are extremely low, given the fact that there is only a finite number of choices for the physics constants that are considered essential for life. The multiverse hypothesis assumes the existence of many universe and suggests that there could be infinite number of universes and life just happens to be in one of them. Critics rebuked the arguments by suggesting that:
1. There is no evidence that other universes exist (or even if there exists other universes, one universe is deemed inaccessible to another).
2. There are no guarantees that all possible values of physical constants can be generated to ensure the existence of this universe at the beginning of the time.

My understandings of fine-tuned universe

There is no fine-tuned universe
The slightest change itself contains infinite number of possibilities. For example, there are infinite sets of numbers between natural number 1 and 2. The word "change" necessarily presupposes the measurements. In other word, "change" means the "change" that we can measure and perceive. The human technology can only measure "change" up to a certain degree of accuracy, which suggests that a change can be made without necessarily invalidating the entire natural system. Therefore, in a sense, it is not entirely reasonable to assume that there must be a narrowly constructed sets of values that permit life come into existence.

The Equilibrium State - Life exists in a state of balance
Equilibrium means a state of balance. The Equilibrium state is achieved when the reactants and products are in equilibrium with each other. According to the fine-tuning theory, there are many constants in the nature, and the slightest change in these values would prevent any kind of life from evolving or existing. Some of the most widely recognized physical constants are the speed of light in vacuum, the gravitational constant, and Planck"s constant.

The life is, however, formed in a equilibrium state whereas all constants exist in homogeneity. If one constant is changed, the equilibrium is shifted, as shown in the chemical reaction, and new equilibrium state is formed. Therefore, even if there is a slightest change in these constants, it does not necessarily mean the life we know cannot form in the new equilibrium state. Besides, all these so-called constants are either defined or measured on the basis of another constants, and I have yet found an example of absolute constant that bears no relation to other constants or equations. In other word, I believe that all these constants are derived from a formula which entails other constants. I would like pro to explain his theory in more details.

To be continued...

References
http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu...
http://mathworld.wolfram.com...
Debate Round No. 3
kenballer

Pro

THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE

"who creates the creator? And who creates the creator of the creator? The list can literally go on forever."

1. God would not require a cause himself because the law of cause and effect does not apply outside the Universe. Besides, even if it did apply outside, The Law of Cause and Effect does not require that every cause must have an explanation or cause for it. Instead, it states that for every "effect" there must be a cause for it.

"Given the fact that time is also a man-made concept"

2.Time is not just another man-made concept we use to measure reality as CON implies, but its an actual concrete thing in science. We know that time is a forth dimension and is a function of space woven together called space time; this has been demonstrated. The GPS unit in your car has been programmed to take into account the fact that time is passing more quickly for satellites in Earth orbit than it is for your car here on Earth.

Thus, My claim that time cannot be infinite is not just a valid philosophical argument as I showed in round 2. It has been demonstrated with extreme accuracy to be true by the Space-Time Theorem of General Relativity which clearly states that space, time, and matter and energy all had a concrete beginning.

THE FINELY-TUNED UNIVERSE

"Mulitverse"

1. Again, Even if we were just a tiny part of a so-called "multi-verse" with another version of space-time that follow different laws of nature, the BGV 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.

However, The fundamental problem with this argument has been basically revealed by my opponent himself. Answer this question for me, Can accidents happen when there's nothing there? Let me explain what I mean by this. If there is not evidence for one other overlapping universe, how can CON base his argument on something that is not even there in the first place? The fact is , NO, we don't know whether the fine-tuning constants could come from a random see of colliding universes.

In addition, whether there could be other universes that came before us (or are paralleled) would not be relevant to the argument in explaining how we got a finely tuned universe anyways; Most importantly, its unfalsifiable. Therefore, in a philosophical debate, I would be required to provide an argument against this explanation. However, in a scientific debate, an unfalsifiable hypothesis not based on empirical observation or experience has no place in science, which automatically disqualifies this as an explanation.

"There is no fine-tuned universe"

2. Contrary to what CON may believe, I have explained and answered both his contentions in round one already. I will have to briefly summarized and highlight the portions I said before so he won't forget to adequately respond to them .

How do we know the values are fine-tuned?

The phrase "finely tuned" universe is a scientific term scientist used to describe the measurement of the laws and constants. We know through 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, and 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.

"The Equilibrium State - Life exists in a state of balance"

3. I don't think CON's description of how the fine-tuning constants work is completely accurate. first off, There are indeed 25 freely adjusted parameters plus the cosmological constant that are independent of each other. "If, for example, the strong nuclear force were 2% stronger than it is (i.e., if the coupling constant representing its strength were 2% larger), while the other constants were left UNCHANGED, diprotons would be stable and hydrogen would fuse into them instead of deuterium and helium. This would drastically alter the physics of stars, and presumably preclude the existence of life similar to what we observe on Earth" [1].

Thus, even if we assume for the sake of argument that complex life came from non-life through random mutations and natural selection, these finely-tune parameters would be required for ANY kind of life to exist. Unless CON has evidence or can soundly argue that carbon based life forms are the only kind of life forms, the fine-tuning argument stands because there could be other types of life asides our own.

Besides, I have already showed and explained to CON that his opinion that about all the constants bearing some sort of relation can be shown to be true once we have a successful Grand Unified theory or theory of everything. However, This would only make the God hypothesis more qualified to be a theory than just a hypothesis because it means that the fine-tuning constants are falsifiable.

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

Con

I think pro for his rebuttals.
Counter-Arguments
"Who creates the creator? And who creates the creator of the creator? The list can literally go on forever."
In accordance with pro"s argument, it seems that the law of cause and effect is artificially restricted to the existing universe. I have some serious doubts about this assertion. It may perhaps be true that in space-time that is infinite, the laws of physics do not apply, but it does not necessarily imply that the law of cause and effect was also inapplicable. Besides, if the law of cause and effect is indeed inapplicable, how can we explain the creation itself? Isn"t the universe the effect of God"s creation at the singularity?

Pro also suggested that "even if it did apply outside,...be cause of it" my question remains: who is the creator of the creator? In a sense, "God" can be seen as a "effect" of an unknown "cause." Since every cause is the direct or indirect consequence of another cause, an individual event can be either treated as cause or effect, depending on how the observers incline to perceive it. If the law of Cause and Effect was genuine, it should be applicable in all cases. And if we had to make an exception to the law of cause and effect, it would be constituting begging the question: God is not subjected to the law of cause an effect because it is not.

"Given the fact that time is also a man-made concept"
It is not my contention to argue that Time is a man-made concept per se. The argument may perhaps be better perceived if I instead suggested that the number system used to label the beginning of time is a man-made system. And if that is the case, it is not unreasonable to conclude that we do not have to define the beginning of everything at time zero. The argument was not well constructed at the first place. I deeply apologized for any misunderstanding.

As regarding to to the Space-Time theory of General Relativity, it may perhaps be true that everything has to have a concrete beginning, the theory falls short of explaining if this beginning cannot be an approximation of infinite past. Mathematically speaking, it is not impossible to have an infinite series to express a single point. If the same principle is applicable in the case of time, the beginning of time does not have to be a single point, but rather it can encompass an infinite past and the point itself is merely a perfect approximation. In other word, if the beginning of the time is defined at time 1, a universe can exist forever on the time-scale 0.999...and eventually come to the beginning of everything.

Another way (although less obvious) to show that the infinite past is not impossible is to show that the function expanding of the universe can be constructed in terms of a function. One thing about BGV theorem is that it only stresses the expansion beyond time zero, and it leaves people to wonder what will happen when the time approaches to negative zero. Mathematicians usually separate positive zero from negative zero when they deal with limits and infinite. I am under the impression that the BGV theory may model the expansion of the universe as a logarithm function. If it is the case, then when the time approaches negative zero, the entire function approaches to negative infinite, another illustration why there could be an infinite past.

On the basis on the above analysis, I believe that there can be an infinite past and it is therefore not absolutely necessary to have a creator for the beginning of the universe.

The Finely-Tuned Universe
I agree with Pro"s analysis on the theory of Multiverse, albeit on a rather different ground.
As pro had suggested, the fine-tune events appear to be significant when one constant is altered while holding other constants unchanged. If this fine-tune theory, however, might be interpreted in terms of natural law e.g., The structure of DNA has to be double helix, the fine-tune theory may appear to be plausible. In this case, however, the fine-tune theory is really a description of natural phenomenon. I may need more time to explore this idea.

Rebuttal Part II
"Both these physical laws...and immaterial as well as personal force."
The word "must" suggests that this "enteral life force" can be the only logic implication of the observations and no other possibility shall be considered plausible. But one may ask: wouldn't it be possible that there is a god who creates the beginning of everything and then leaves everything else to its own fate? It is not out of absolute certainty that an eternal life force has to come to existence. There is a theory called Alien Creation Theory. It suggests that the creation of the entire universe is an alien experiment, and the fine-tuned theory can be explained by a pre-program mechanism (similar to computer programs). Just like human can stimulus reality (in military training), it is not impossible for any advanced race to impose certain order on the chaos of genetic evolutions. The alien creation theory is widely seen in both Video Games (Mass Effect) and Films (Prometheus & Matrix). It is not entirely clear to me why the god we are worshiping right now cannot be mortals or may perhaps even abandon us after the creations.

As for the personal mind, If we assumed that the Creator does exist, it is not unreasonable to conclude that every species on earth is the creation of the creator. If that was the case, every DNA (perhaps even RNA) that holds vital information can only from the Creator. It implies that this Creator not only possesses human mind, but may also encompasses all the minds that every ever existed organisms and the organism that yet come to live. Arguably, not all organisms share human minds. Some single-cells organisms may not have "minds" at all. It appears that this God possesses the capability to perceive both mind and non-mind (or absolute mind and all powerful as pro had suggested) . If it is the case, then a natural question would follow: Why this particular creator creates humans with mind whereas other organisms without human minds? What is so special about human races, and why human species come into exist only about three million years ago whereas the universe has existed about billions of years?

Absolute Mind & All Powerful and All Knowing
The validity of the assertions of absolute mind and all powerful and all knowing can be true only if the arguments concerned about omni-present, eternal and immaterial is true. But since there is no rational basis to support the above claim, the contentions may not be used to advance pro"s arguments.

Null Hypothesis & Falsification
One example that I am able to imagine is the mass extinction at the end of Cretaceous period. The God hypothesis, as proposed by con, necessarily defines a personal God. The mass extinction happened at the end of Cretaceous lead to the extinction of dinosaur and up to 70% of all species on the planets. Mammals such as humans made their first appearance after the extinction and dominate earth ever since. The mass extinction can be explained by natural forces such as asteroid impacts or continent shifts. The God hypothesis may not be very successful in explaining the mass extinction since it requires assumption that that God would need favor one particular specie over another. The fundamental perception of every human mind is the sense of justice. Supposedly we indeed inherit minds from the Creator, it follows that Creator should also appear to be fair minded. Then it leads to the conclusion that he shall treat all species equally. The mass extinction happened 65 million years ago emphatically suggests that the Supreme Being loves human species more than any others. If the God is truly unbiased, why does he decide to sacrifice other species in order for human species to prosper?

P.S. I may have to leave Null Hypothesis for the final round since I am still contemplating the idea of fine-tuned universe.
Debate Round No. 4
kenballer

Pro

What CON is saying does not make sense scientifically because as I said before the Law of Cause and Effect does not require that every cause must have an explanation or cause for it. That being said, I see what he is getting at with his point philosophically. The law of causality is also a metaphysical requirement called the principle of sufficient reason. Under these philosophical rules, God would indeed require an explanation. However, the topic of this debate is science not philosophy, so CON is asking me to explain where the cause came from is a purely philosophical question that I actually addressed in my hypothesis. There logically has to be a first cause and this cannot rationally be the universe itself. Maybe in the realm of mathematics but not reality.

Nevertheless, let's accept for the sake of argument that this scientific law did actually require that the explanation of the effect also required an explanation. As CON even alluded to, this would resort to an infinite regress. If this was a real scientific requirement, We would not be able to get the explanation of anything and everything. This would essentially destroy science in the process.

"Besides, if the law of cause and effect is indeed inapplicable, how can we explain the creation itself? Isn"t the universe the effect of God"s creation at the singularity?"

I explained this already in round 3:

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.....

A mind absolute force 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.

"wouldn't it be possible that there is a god who creates the beginning of everything and then leaves everything else to its own fate?"

Well again, CON's alien creation hypothesis is unfalsifiable and ,thus, unscientific. Most importantly, it implies that the laws and constants were fine-tuned through an unguided evolutionary process. For instance, there are people who believe that God started life and then allowed the molecules to evolve into a complex life form through natural selection and random mutations. As I explained to CON already, if he wants to argue and prove that the fine-tuning constants were established through the physical necessity of evolution, I provided CON the instructions of how to falsify this in the previous rounds regarding the Grand unified theory. He has yet to do this.

In CONCLUSION, What voters are here to decide on is three things that were established in round 1 regarding my hypothesis:

1. Does it make falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry (such as mechanics)?

Yes, and CON did not dispute this. In fact, CON agreed to this regarding the fine-tuning constants and the Grand unified theory. In addition, CON was unable to falsify my hypothesis. This does not mean that my hypothesis was unfalsiafiable; it just means he was not able to show it to be false. There is a difference. CON still has a chance in the last round to do this but it would have to be under the guidelines that I have set to falsify my hypothesis.

2. Is it well-supported by many independent strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation?

Yes, CON essentially conceded here and focused all of his attention on showing an eternal universe in order to invalidate all the other independent evidence for it. However, he failed to do so here as well because his arguments had no scientific backing for it and they were mainly theoretical and philosophical which violates the terms of the debate.

3. Is it consistent with pre-existing theories and other experimental results?

Yes, CON made no effort in this area as well.

4. Did CON's arguments successfully prevented my hypothesis from rejecting the Null hypothesis? No, He failed to show how quantum fluctuations better explains the data compared to my own. Its too late to do it the next round because I can't respond

Now, What voters are NOT here to decide on is whether or not I actually scientifically proved the existence of God. Science is not about proof or certainty as CON constantly mentions but its about evidence and falsifying a claim. Now, the rest of the questions CON made were just not aligned with the debate terms and topic, but I answered them anyways for FUN only.

"why human species come into exist only about three million years ago whereas the universe has existed about billions of years?"

Well, as I said before, this cause would have to be timeless and spaceless and therefore not bound by time. For this being time would probably not operate in the same way as human beings perceive, so its pure speculation as to whether or not it took a billion years to create the universe. For us, it would be a billions year since we are bound by time, and for this cause the time interval cannot be measured or known. Secondly, I don't agree with CON's notion that we came into being three million years ago. Where's your evidence for this? the fact is human recorded history has only been documented within 6-5 thousand years. I am sure CON has the evolutionary perspective on his assertion, but this evolutionary story is mathematically impossible for it to be true. The only evidence I am aware of that may suggest that humans came to be 3 million years ago is through radio metric dating, which is considered by some to be inaccurate and not reliable. Nevertheless, its obscure and indirect evidence while the evidence for 6 thousand years is direct and much more transparent. So CON's assertion is based mainly on belief or popular belief.

Why this particular creator creates humans with mind whereas other organisms without human minds?

I don't know

If the God is truly unbiased, why does he decide to sacrifice other species in order for human species to prosper?

this question is simple. its because humans have the capacity to have a real relationship with him since they possess a mind.

VOTE PRO
TheElderScroll

Con

I thank Pro for allowing me to join this debate. I myself greatly enjoyed this debate. Regardless of the eventual outcome, I would like to thank Pro for his elegant reasoning and insightful response.

I have devoted all my energy to debunking the Law of Cause and Effect since I believe the very theory is the foundation of all pro"s arguments. By destroying it, as what I have attempted to do, I may be able to completely destroy Pro"s argument without necessarily discussing the more abstract or even intrusive concepts.

I firmly believe the mathematical theory is applicable at the point of singularity. After all, all the theories in the field of theoretical physics such as Bing Bang or BGV theory are all constructed on the basis of mathematical formulas. I invoked a mathematical theory in attempting to prove that there could be an infinite past. As I have noticed, Pro did not spend much time on discussing the mathematical proof that I have proposed. For the reasons unknown, it may suggest that Pro had admitted that this particular mathematical theory should have some valid claim in dealing with the singularity. The philosophical discussion of the Law of Cause and Effect was primarily used to introduce the the idea of "Infinite series and sequences". Without discussing the infinite regress (cause of causes), it is very hard to conjure a image about how the universe can come into being without a beginning. The mathematical theory has patently suggested that the point of singularity can be an infinite collection of time.

With respect to the utter destruction of science, my response is: relax. Whenever we try to a establish a theory or intend to investigate a scientific problem, we always try to do it in a way that we can measure it. Clinic trials, for example, only involve measurable trails. The limitation of human knowledge necessarily confines us within the boundary of material world. Spirits worlds are used to educate people, but not for establishing a scientific theory. The beginning of the universe and the God hypothesis, however, inherently involves in imagery theory and countless conjurations. These theory can be neither proved nor disproved because it cannot be materialized. How is it possible to test a hypothesis like "God wills it.?" Therefore, the idea of infinite regress is not incompatible with the current practices.

Does it make falsifiable predictions with consistent accuracy across a broad area of scientific inquiry?
I believe that the mathematical theory I invoked should be sufficient to falsify pro"s hypothesis. Pro"s arguments are built upon a single assumption: There is no infinite past. By removing the underlying premise, his argument necessarily falls apart. Therefore, in a sense, by invaliding the central assumption, I did falsify his hypothesis, albeit not in a way that he had envisioned.

P.S. With respect to the fine-tuning theory and Grand unified theory, I sensed that it is not in my best interests to contend the theory. The reason is twofold
First, both theories are highly contentious. In fact, Grand unified theory was rejected by Mr. Hawking for its untenability. By attempting to defend Grand Unified theory, I essentially would argue against some eminent physicists and I have yet mastered the necessary skills to explore such a complicate question.

Second, the fine-tuning theory itself has yet been recognized in the science community. In other words, it may not be a valid natural observation. By attempting to utilize a hypothesis (the God hypothesis) to prove a controversial observation (fine-tuning theory), it may not be entirely scientific.

Is it well-supported by many independent strands of evidence, rather than a single foundation?
Perhaps and perhaps not. But it is not really support by a mathematical theory which suggests that there can be an infinite past. Besides, all pro"s arguments are necessarily based on a single assumption: there is no infinite past. Without this central piece of argument, his arguments will collapse.

Is it consistent with pre-existing theories and other experimental results?
No. First, It runs afoul of a particular branch of mathematics.

Second, as I have mentioned previously, the God hypothesis is not compatible with evolution theory: Why did mammals make their first appearance about 65 million years ago? And why does this personalized God decide to sacrifice other species in order for human species to prevail? What is so particular about the time? What is so special about the human races? If this God was all powerful, should he also contain the thoughts of these pre-historical organisms? It is hard to fathom why humans are the only species that can have a real relationship with him.

Third, If the God hypothesis can be considered an established theory, it should provide a plausible explanations to the mass extinction happened 65 million years ago. The God hypothesis would be explaining in the following way: God wills it. Perhaps everything we have been doing falls into the domain of "God wills it." The God hypothesis would devoid a range of disciplines which study human evolutions and commentary history all because of one phrase: "God wills it." It is a convenient theory, but perhaps not a scientific one.

Did Con"s arguments successfully prevent my hypothesis from rejecting the Null Hypothesis?
My answer is yes. As I have explained above, if there is an infinite past, pro"s argument would not survive. Now, even if the God hypothesis is a valid hypothesis, there is no reason to believe that the God hypothesis is a better hypothesis. Pro has established is that the God hypothesis is a convenient theory. The hypothesis can explain a vast number of seemly intricate questions with an easy answer: God wills it. Quantum fluctuations would not better explain the data because the quantum randomness is immeasurable in such a complicate and interactive system. There is no mathematical formula can model the world flawlessly. But as I have suggested, pro"s argument does not really establish that the God theory is a better one. All he has concluded is that the theory is a convenient one.

In conclusion, the God hypothesis should not be considered a scientific theory on the grounds that the very foundation of the theory is fallible thereby rendering the entire superstructure collapse. I have fully complied all the requirements set out by pro in the first round and I have strived to, within my capability, to address every point advanced by pro in the subsequent exchanges. I did refrained from confronting two contentious statements specifically: the fine-tuning theory and Grand unified theory. The fine-tuning theory is not falsifiable because of lack of man power and computer power to simulate another situations that may perhaps generate life forms. The Grand unified theory was abandoned on the grounds that the theory itself is unachievable, suggested by Mr. Hawking. I have successfully proved that there could be an infinite past. Hereby I affirm the alternative hypothesis: The God Hypothesis should not be a scientific theory.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by TheElderScroll 4 years ago
TheElderScroll
Thanks for voting! May everyone enjoy reading this debate.
Posted by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
Never mind that comment, now that someone else has taken the place.
Posted by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
Kenballer, I"ll debate you if you allow me to accept. As a Christian, I believe God exists, but I want to see if you can come up with a credible hypothesis for His existence.
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
lol
Posted by bencbartlett 4 years ago
bencbartlett
I'll debate this with you if you'll allow me to accept.
Posted by kenballer 4 years ago
kenballer
@ YYW

I beg to differ. I would not have created this resolution if I did not feel that the existence of God was not a scientific question

@ Davemark07

I promise I will not forfeit this. The last time was very much out of hands. I went to foreign country that did not allow these kind of websites to exist.

@ philochristos

I never said NO philosophy at all. If my opponent has evidence to back up his logical arguments like me, then philosophy is allowed.
Posted by YYW 4 years ago
YYW
A hypothesis is a testable statement that describes phenomena. A theory is a possible explanation of phenomena supported by a preponderance of evidence.* (Let's not be caviler with the definition of "evidence" in the scientific context either.) Incumbent to testability is falsifyability, meaning that given some evidence, the testable statement could be PROVEN not to be the case. Matters of the divine, however are at once neither falsifyable nor are they testable, because there is NO evidence for or against the existence or non-existance of any god. To believe in a god is an exercise of faith... but I digress. This is a remarkably absurd resolution. ANY scientist (of hard science or social science) will explain that statements of wether or not God may exist are necessarily normative, rather than positive, and that gap between the normative and positive is unbridgeable.
Posted by davemark07 4 years ago
davemark07
If I accept this debate then how do I know that you are not going to be intellectually dishonest and then flee before the end of the debate like you did on the debate by the same name on 7/24/2012?
Posted by CriticalThinkingMachine 4 years ago
CriticalThinkingMachine
muzebreak

Stop attacking a straw man.
Posted by RationalMadman 4 years ago
RationalMadman
Too easy to win. this is just ridiculous.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
kenballerTheElderScrollTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con has better arguments
Vote Placed by DeFool 4 years ago
DeFool
kenballerTheElderScrollTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: The arguments used by Pro were fallacious or nonsensical. The convincing arguments score goes to Con.