The Instigator
kenballer
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
CivilianName295
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The scientific method can apply to God

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
kenballer
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/11/2017 Category: Science
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 529 times Debate No: 100836
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

kenballer

Pro

In this debate, my approach will be of a scientist using the scientific method and not as philosopher like William Lane Craig. So its a little bit different. I am arguing that the scientific method can be applied to God .

My opponent will have to show how the God hypothesis I present does not conform to the scientific method. The Judeo-Christian God will be the one that I attempt to apply the scientific method on.
CivilianName295

Con

I will be arguing that the scientific method cannot be applied to God since science studies the natural world and since God is by definition outside of the natural world then we cannot do an expirament or show observational proof for God using science alone. I believe that if we use natural theology to see if God exist that would be more logical on a philosophical standpoint since science cannot be proved using science. Or in other words you cannot prove the scientific method using the scientific method it's nonsense.
Debate Round No. 1
kenballer

Pro

Observations


Origin of the Universe


Alan Guth along with Arvind Borde and Alexander Vilenken developed a singularity theorem and a inflationary theorem which mathematically 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 or singularity [1] [2]. It’s stronger than Roger Penrose’s and Stephen Hawking’s singularity theorem because it does not assume Einstein’s equations that breakdown at the quantum level. Vilenken went a step further to explain in a different article why other attempts to demonstrate a past eternal universe are unsuccessful under classical physics [3].

Now, even though the BGV theorem would only apply to general relativity and classical space-time, the law of entropy is a property of quantum physics along with classical physics, which means quantum physics requires a singularity theorem as well, as Aron C. Wall showed: “The generalized second law can be used to prove a singularity theorem, by generalizing the notion of a trapped surface to quantum situations...... If space is finite instead, the generalized second law requires that there only be a finite amount of entropy producing processes in the past" [4].


A Finely-tuned Universe

According to the Planck scale WMAP results, Researchers have demonstrated—to a spectacular degree far greater than what was possible just a few years ago—that the fundamental constants in physics remained fixed over the history of the universe. For the first time, astronomers have confirmed the constancy of the physical laws to the entire geographical extent of the universe [5]. This means that whatever caused the big bang also caused the finely tuned constants to come into being and maintained their values from the very beginning.


Question: "What caused the Big bang?"


The God Hypothesis


The law of causality states that every material effect must have an adequate antecedent or simultaneous cause. Since an antecedent material cause would not apply in this situation, the only known causal force or interaction capable of creating a simultaneous effect while being immaterial and outside of classical space-time is a mind. For example, experiments in neuroscience have demonstrated that humans do not experience only one interval of time, but a second space-time dimension [6].

Another reason why the mind is the only known candidate is found within quantum physics. For instance, abstract mathematical objects called wave functions are used to describe particles of energy, and each of these wave functions represents a different possible configuration of matter or a universe. The double-slit experiment demonstrated that a macroscopic observer (whether computer or human) is required to bring and sustain a particle from a quantum mechanical wave-function to a classical space-time dimension just by observing it. Moreover, when a precise measurement is performed on one particle, it can instantly affect the position and velocity of another particle or multiple particles at unlimited distances without a mechanism between the interactions [7]. Most importantly, further experiments demonstrate how the "conscious" observer plays a role in shaping physical reality within these processes [8].

All these experiments show how the human mind is capable of producing simultaneous effects and would explain the universe's origin. However, conscious observers ,ultimately, emerge from physical laws that impose limits on a person's power, knowledge and location. On the other hand, if mind is responsible for the universe's beginning, the physical laws would have to emerged from the conscious agent in question. Therefore, if my hypothesis is true, then we should find certain aspects of the universe that exemplify a being with unlimited capabilities, such as power and knowledge. Before I provide this evidence, let me define this cause.

The definition of a second space-time dimension is a moment of time without past or future, called the "now", where time and space either function much slower or are under a stationary mode of existence . Abstract objects (or digital information) are examples of entities that operate under a second space-time dimension. The mind, which would encompass “personhood” or “consciousness”, is also a second space-time dimension but has causal powers that can use abstract objects to manipulate matter and energy without any preexisting antecedent condition or cause. Thus, this cause would be a combination of these two examples.

Null hypothesis: "No cause for Big bang"




Omni-potent, Omniscient and Omnipresence



Eternal inflation suggests the expansion rate of the universe will continue to accelerate forever and create an endless amount of configured pocket universes within the black hole regions of our universe [9]. These small regions that are created by inflation have a background radiation that is nearly the exact same temperature as the background radiation of other regions where their space-time curvature is evolving lock-step with ours, but separating apart from each other in all directions [10]. This acceleration of the expansion from inflation is supposed to be produced from an explosion or collision of quantum particles called "dark energy" that permeate the entire universe where a billion (plus one) of positive particles and a billion of negative particles come into existence at once [11]. Then, they annihilate each other out of existence, and the leftover positive particle creates a smaller universe and accelerates the expansion of our universe in the process.

The many worlds interpretational view of quantum phenomena describes how particles emerge to eventually become universes. For instance, this model views wave-functions , which are abstract mathematical objects, as real existing objects rather than useful fictions or human inventions. More importantly, the model suggests that there is a universal wave-function representing the totality of existence where there is an "infinite number of wave-functions" and here is an article providing evidence for it [12]. Finally, Here is a model provided by scientists that merges both classical and quantum models of the universe into a "Theory of Everything" [13][14]. Thus, this suggests that the cause is all-knowing, all-powerful universal mind because it is measuring the precise position and velocity of every particle in the universe.


Eternal, Personal, and Necessary


Since dark energy is consistent with general relativity and affects the expansion of the universe, then the cosmologic constant would apply to the smaller universes created within the regions of our universe as well. For example, the cosmological constant is placed at a precise measurement of 10 to the 120th power , and when scientists trace the expansion back one second after the Planck scale of our universe, the degree of precision becomes an astounding value of 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power.

Hypothetically, this means that if our universe’s expansion rate had different values with larger amounts of dark energy, the sample size of those universes created in the expansion that try to clump together to form planets and stars ,where life of any kind might evolve on (or evolve at all), would have most likely blown the cosmic material apart instead. If our universe’s expansion rate had different values with smaller amounts of dark energy, the sample size of those universes created in the expansion would have most likely collapsed back into a singularity before it ever reached its present size.

Therefore, this suggests that the cause is "personal" because it chose the right values needed to allow life and was aware of the consequences of not doing so, which provides evidence for design. Moreover, it suggests that this cause must exist "necessarily" in all possible worlds to create and sustain universes and allow life to evolve. Lastly, since the law of cause and effect does not apply outside the universe, this law would not apply to this cause and ,thus, it would be "eternal".

In the next round, I will provide falsiable and verifiable predictions and showcase experiments that will test them. Then, I will provide an argument supporting the Omnibenevolence attribute.


[1] Arvind Borde, Alexander Vilenkin. Singularities in Inflationary Cosmology: A Review. Int.J.Mod.Phys. D5 (1996) 813-824

[2] Arvind Borde, Alan H. Guth, Alexander Vilenkin. Inflationary spacetimes are not pastcomplete. Phys.Rev.Lett. 90 (2003) 151301
[3] Audrey Mithani, Alexander Vilenkin. Did the universe have a beginning?. arXiv:1204.4658
[4] Aron C. Wall. The Generalized Second Law implies a Quantum Singularity Theorem. Class. Quantum Grav. 30, 165003 (2013)

[5] Jon O’Bryan et al., "Constraints on Spatial Variations in the Fine-Structure Constant from Planck,"


[6] Eagleman DM. Human time perception and its illusions. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2008; 18:131–136.
[7] Boris Braverman, and Christoph Simon. Proposal to Observe the Nonlocality of Bohmian Trajectories with Entangled Photons. Physical Review Letters, 2013

[8] https://www.newscientist.com...

[9] Alan H. Guth. Eternal inflation and its implications. J.Phys.A40:6811-6826, 2007
[10] https://www.forbes.com...

[11] Tim Schrabback et al. Evidence for the accelerated expansion of the Universe from weak lensing tomography with COSMOS. Astronomy & Astrophysics, 2010
[12] Margalef-Bentabol, Berta; Margalef-Bentabol, Juan; Cepa, Jordi (8 February 2013). "Evolution of the cosmological horizons in a universe with countably infinitely many state equations". Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics. 015 2013 (02).

[13] Ignacio J. Araya, Itzhak Bars. Generalized Dualities in 1T-Physics as Holographic Predictions from 2T-Physics. arXiv:1311.4205v2

[14] Itzhak Bars, Gauge Symmetry in Phase Space, Consequences for Physics and Spacetime, Int. J. Mod. Phys. A 25 (2010) 5235-5252.
CivilianName295

Con

My opponents case for the "God hypothesis" I can agree with. Everything he said in his last argument I can agree with since those are verified expiramnets and laws that are true. What I argue is that the God theory is philosophical rather than scientific. We may find scientific evidence that only the God theory can account for however the God theory itself is not scientific but philosophical since there are many philosophical arguments for God that are not exclusive to science. That's why most theist say that God is a philosophical theory however scientific evidence can be used to support the God theory.
Debate Round No. 2
kenballer

Pro


Experiments and Predictions

1. Prediction (verifying)


Eventhough my hypothesis highly suggests that gravity must be quantum in nature, we actually don't yet have any experimental evidence for it. However, "the LIGO's recent direct detection of gravitational waves hold the key to showing that gravity truly is a force that's quantum in nature.
For instance, gravitational waves are produced during cosmic inflation just prior to the Hot Big Bang where the origin is entirely quantum in nature. As space expands exponentially, quantum fluctuations in all the fields of the Universe are stretched across the cosmos, including fluctuations in the gravitational field. While some of these fluctuations (scalar fluctuations) lead to overdense and underdense regions of space, which grow into galaxies, groups and clusters over time, another class of fluctuations (tensor fluctuations) lead to the production of gravitational waves themselves.These fluctuations interact with the photons in the Universe in a very particular way, polarizing their light in a fashion that's detectable in principle. In fact, if the gravitational waves from inflation are above a certain magnitude, this polarization signal will be detectable in the leftover glow from the Big Bang -- the Cosmic Microwave Background -- at some point during the next 20 years or so. Experiments such as BICEP2, POLARBEAR, SPTPOL and SPIDER, have the potential to detect a positive signal for these gravitational waves from inflation. This would be very different than the gravitational waves that LIGO saw, since these gravitational waves are quantum in origin; they cannot be generated via classical general relativity alone".

https://www.forbes.com...


2. Prediction (falsifying)

If time is merely an emergent property of a second space-time dimension, then the laws of physics would be true everywhere. However, if time is real and the classical space-time we experience is fundamental, then the laws of physics would have most likely changed overtime as the universe has aged. For example, does light truly travel faster than the speed of light or does this physical law vary in certain regions of classical space-time. My hypothesis suggests that the fine-tuning constants were designed to be necessary for our very existence, which means the fine-tuning constants could not be constructed any other way and must be true everywhere.
Therefore, if we ever found any variations among the fine-tuning constants, more specifically the cosmological constant, from any part or time of the universe, then it would potentially suggest that there is no necessarily existing conscious force because a life-permitting universe would be concieveable without God. The experiment to test this would be the Fermi telescope where it records gamma ray bursts, which are strange blasts of energy from the farthest reaches of the universe. In additon, the Planck satellite results were not robust because do not yet rule out all models of string theory and dark energy quintessence but it is expected to do so in the future. The Fermi telescope and the Planck satellite are the experiments that would test it.





Omnibenevolence


More Observations



Digital information is composed of abstract objects and analog information is composed of concrete objects. DNA possesses

these types of information processes where the nucleotide sequence both specifies the digital information of the gene and the higher

order architectures of the genome, which have an impact on the expression of the digital information found in the gene [1]. More

importantly, both the digital and analog information present in DNA are imitation of our conscious agency. For example, the genome is

virtually identical to computer operating systems [2], and the genetic information in DNA is mathematically identical to that

in human language [3]. Of course, some scientists insist that these comparisons between DNA information and

human information are merely used in a metaphorical sense [4]. This contradicts the work done by biotechnologists

who store specified information within the nucleotide sequences of DNA or RNA. For instance, Church and

Kosuri were able to create a biotech version of an e-reader, with the highest storage capacity to date [5].

Furthermore, digital information has been shown to be unquestionably necessary for replication and for cells to have

instructions to build themselves into large body organisms. The digital code is required before any kind of evolution can occur. This

means that the same personal cause, which created and designed the universe, must have created and designed life to survive and

reproduce on earth. If this is true, we should find function or purpose from alleged designs that are labeled sinister because they

seem to only bring harm and degeneration upon that organism or to other organisms. If this is false,

then a pre-biotic condition could be found earth. This is could be tested with the Miller-Urey experiment.




[1] Muskhelishvili G, Travers A. Integration of Syntactic and Semantic Properties of the DNA Code Reveals 307

Chromosomes as Thermodynamic Machines Converting Energy into Information. Cell Mol Life Sci 2013; 70:4555–308

4567. 309

[2] Yan KK, Fanga G, Bhardwaja N, Alexandera RP, Gerstein M. Comparing Genomes to Computer Operating 310

Systems in Terms of the Topology and Evolution of Their Regulatory Control Networks. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 311

2010; 107:9186–9191. 312

[3] Yockey H. Self-organization origin of life scenarios and information theory. Theo. Bio. 1981; 91. 313

[4] Pigliucci M, Boudry M. Why Machine-Information Metaphors are Bad for Science and Science Education. Sci. 314

and Ed. 2011; 20: 453–471.

[5] Church, G. M., Gao, Y. & Kosuri, S. (2012). Next-generation digital information storage in DNA. Science 337,

6102.
CivilianName295

Con

This debate is not about the existence of God it's about if God can apply to the scientific method and I say no since God is a philosophical position not a scientific one mainly because there are philosophical arguments for Gods existence (Ex: Ontological argument)
Debate Round No. 3
kenballer

Pro

I just want to say that I use to feel the same way that my opponent felt about God potentially being a scientific hypothesis. However, this was back then when I was scientifically illiterate. After listening to why many atheists believe God can be tested and personal research, I have to admit that atheists are right at least on this point. It really comes down to one fundamental point my opponent alluded to. Although God's immaterial self obviously cannot be detected, but In theory, His actions could still be detectable. Remember, the scientific method is inherently inductive by nature where scientists evaulate the effects to find out what the cause is. Quantum phenomna are perfect examples of this because many of the particles can only be seen indirectly through their effects, such as neutrinos.


Since my opponent did not tackle the reasons I presented that demonstrate how the scientific method can apply to God, there is not much else I can respond to as a result. His only objection is that since thiests crafted philosopical arguments God's existence over the centuries, this somehow automatically renders all my scientific arguments ,that show how God can be tested, to be invalid.

This must be a non sequitur since it does not seem to follow at all why this is the case. Therefore, I am just going to finish this round with a summary of why God can be tested. Here is a powerpoint presentation I obtained from wikipedia that shows the steps of the scientific method, which I will be using to make my final case:


1. Make observations

A. Origin of the Universe

B. Fine-tuning constants


2. Define a Question

A. What caused the Big bang?


3. Formulate a Hypothesis

A. There is a eternally existing personal cause with unlimited abilities who created and sustains the universe to bring about life.


4. Develop testable predictions

A. If my hypothesis is true, we should find a polarizing light within these gravitational waves from inflation.

B. If my hypothesis is false, we find variations among the fine-tuning constants from any part or time of the universe.


5. Devise an experiment

A. Experiments such as BICEP2, POLARBEAR, SPTPOL and SPIDER, have the potential to detect a positive signal from these waves.

B. The Fermi telescope and the Planck satellite are the experiments that should reveal any variations among the constants.






CivilianName295

Con

I never said that the scientific arguments for God are invalid I said that you can argue for the existence of God without necessarily using scientific arguments. Now I agree that many scientific arguments can be better arguments than philosophical arguments however the question "Does God exist?" Is not a scientific question it's philosophical since God exist outside of nature and science only studies nature and not things outside of it. That's why God is not a scientific theory it's a philosophical theory since it stems from philosophy.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 10 months ago
FuzzyCatPotato
kenballerCivilianName295Tied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro used about 25 sources. Pro provided numerous arguments as to why God may be considered a scientific hypothesis; Con's only -- and recurring -- argument is that God isn't a part of the natural world, which Pro soundly rebutted.