Unstable Creation of the Universe is as reasonable a theory as Theistic Creation
Debate Rounds (3)
This is not a debate against the possibility of a God, only that a non-theistic approach is no less reasonable from a standpoint of intuitive understanding. Since it's difficult to offer quantitative data supporting or refuting any kind of God-induced creation due to that being a non-repeatable event, I won't necessarily be using any specific numbers in my argument, although my opponent is free to do so if it helps his or her case.
I will be supporting the idea of an unstable void, where the idea of what we would consider "Nothing" is infact just a balance of opposing forces giving the appearance of nothingness, which spontaneously breaks down and recombines into the matter and energy which gave form to our known Universe. I will elaborate more in the next round. My opponent will argue that a Theistic approach offers a more valid and understandable theory which would allow humanity a conceptual understanding of how the universe began.
First round is acceptance, as well as asking for clarifications if necessary. I look forward to discussing this with whoever chooses to engage me.
Per your suggestion, I will indeed defend theistic creation, and especially the _idea_ of theistic creation. As you have astutely pointed out: "this is not a debate against the possibility of a God." Therefore, I will NOT try to defend that such a creation actually occurred, but that the idea of theistic creation is "more valid and understandable" from the "standpoint of intuitive understanding" than "the universe starting purely by the phenomenon of physics." I also agree that our models must be able to "allow humanity a conceptual understanding of how the universe began."
Therefore, I accept that the criterion of this round is whichever side's model/position that successfully (1) "allow[s] humanity a conceptual understanding of how the universe began" and (2) is found to be "more valid and understandable" from the "standpoint of intuitive understanding." I propose that as a penalty if a model fails (1) we ought to regard that model as wholly invalid, since it does not accomplish its intended purpose. If both models succeed in (1), we ought to then use (2) as our measure of success in the debate.
I will contend with the notion that the winning model ought to be a "theory." Since theistic models are not usually based off of scientific analysis, I would have an unfair burden in having to prove that my model is "a valid and understandable theory," especially since we will probably not use statistics. Might I recommend that instead of "theory" we use the word "model," which has a less scientific association?
Thanks again for your post! I'm looking forward to this debate.
Thank you Kbub, I wish you luck.
Now, the main contention I have against theistic creation is that while most theories are potentially valid, most if not all I have seen are particularly understandable. To be valid, I would expect that a theory either fits in with our current understanding or proposes some distinction between two events that causes the universe to behave differently in the latter case, and offers some rationale behind the anomolous behavior. To be understandable, I would expect our knowledge of an event to be sufficient to at least hazard a guess at the outcome of hypothetical situation at the fundamental level.
II. CONTENTION WITH THE ALTERNATIVE
Here is where I have found difficulty with theistic explanations. For most explanations I have heard, a god's interference is implied but never explained. There is a certain amount of handwaving such that a creator created the Universe because he inherently has the ability to do so, but the method by which it accomplishes this is unknown or unknowable. This, I believe, prevents such theories from achieving understandability. We can't apply the knowledge that somehow, something happened to any hypothetical or real situation. Typical Genesis type stories also involve an instantaneous creation of EVERYTHING at once, which would seem to prevent validity. Such a massive influx of matter and energy seems to go against the laws of conservation that we see currently apply to the universe. This does not necessarily bar the theory from being true, but there is a clear gap there when no explanation is given as to why in this case such laws that otherwise hold true are allowed to differ. It is my hope that my opponent will provide a more elaborated answer that will fill these gaps, but as I have yet to allow him to speak, Ill await round three to speak more on this. Instead I now present my own option.
As this is not necessarily a real scientific theory I have no empirical evidence to back up this, but I will try to show how it could reasonably fit in with current accepted laws and theories of physics. All I must do here is present an alternative that can MATCH a deistic theory in feasibility and reasonability. The current need for a "start" of the Universe comes from the evident expansion of known space all from a single point, where the supposed "Big Bang" occured. I will try to offer a way this starting point may have come about and triggered, without external stimulation.
III. UNSTABLE UNIVERSE
An unstable universe proposal hinges on the idea that "nothing" is simply lack of perception, but not necessarily a complete lack of existence. An example of this is seen in wave interference, such as in diffraction, or active noise cancellation. What occurs in destructive wave interference is that two equal waves out of phase with one another cancel out and sum to zero. While the original wave does exist, effectively it is invisible and intangible to us, because it doesn't affect our senses. As we only detect things on a basis of change, when something remains constant, our brains naturally filter it out.
This picture may help demonstrate
Studies of particle physics already know that matter such as leptons and quarks all have respective antimatter which can eliminate them, leaving behind an equivalent amount of energy, according to Einstein's E = Gamma*m*c^2. By this, we can theoretically have a "pre-Universe" before the supposed Big Bang, where there is no matter, only travelling waves of the 4 fundamental forces of physics. All the force carrying boson particles such as photons are subject to particle wave duality, meaning when we look at them we see they behave similarly to waves as well as particles. Since they act as waves, this means they can undergo interference, which would appear then, to be a void of nothingness, where there would be no matter and no apparent energy.
An analogy that could be used is a house of cards. Clearly there is potential energy stored in a house of cards, at any moment you could expect a collapse that would be considered an act, a "something". But for the moment, when all the forces balance out to equilibrium, it appears that nothing is happening. This is not to say, however, that absolutely nothing would be occuring. Even in this static balanced state, there would be continuous minor fluctuations going on everywhere. We could explain this by looking at Heisenburg's Uncertainty Principle. Most people are familiar with this idea from electrons, and how they more erratically and you cannot be certain of where they are going. But there is another application of it: Time Energy indeterminency. Because base units of energy are neither particles nor waves, they do not have the specific boundaries and exact measurements you could do with a particle. For bits of time you can "borrow" extra energy than you actually have, so long as you pay it back, so energy yo-yos up and down to some degree.
What this means is that in our house of cards, there is a constant nudging on all sides in incredibly small amounts on our structure. Of course even a flimsy stack of cards has enough stability to weather tiny puffs of wind, and time-energy indeterminency occurs at very low energies, so this isn't typically an issue. Our null-void should stabilize when the energy borrowed is "paid back". However, there isn't an exact limit on how much energy you can steal, only that with more energy it becomes less likely and holds for less time. But all that is needed is that highly unlikely probability to hit once, and suddenly that balancing force is unbalanced, and a wave propogation can occur. The house of cards starts to fall.
Again, like our house, that initial break on its own is a minor issue, but sets off a domino effect(Gosh I'm using a lot of toy metaphors here) to turn other virtual particles into real ones. As that initial wave knocks into adjacent pairs of opposing forces, it unbalances them, causing another wave to form there, which in turn forms another. After a sufficient amount of energy is unbalanced in this way, there is an amount of free energy that outweighs the initially "borrowed" energy that must be paid back. When a decent amount of energy is gathered, it can combine into matter, according to Einstein's aforementioned equation. In this newly forming universe, there continues to exist these balanced force/antiforce or matter/antimatter particles, but with constant matter and energy moving around them, they quickly are unsettled and break into pairs of measurable affecting particles, continuing to add to the mass and energy of the universe. This can be seen today where pairs of "color charges"(A type of energy in the strong force) seems to pop out of nowhere, when really they are just a pair of opposites that are merely separating.
This action accelerates with more and more energy waves, leading to a rapid expansion of matter and energy. This would be our "Big Bang". Now of course this explanation is mostly unfounded and has no data to back it up, but it can be seen that it doesn't contradict our current understanding of the world, but still allows us to answer basic questions by using the theory. How did the big bang happen? Energy indeterminency because of particle wave duality. Why hasnt there been another big bang? Because we are no longer in a quasistable balancing state.
That said, I'm sure there must be problems with this theory, there usually is in science. I leave it to my opponent to offer a better alternative. I look forward to reading your thoughts Kbub.
1) Because you have not responded to my suggestion in the first round, I assume that you are conceding the one's position ought to provide the best "model" and not necessarily "theory."
2) "Now, the main contention I have against theistic creation is that while most theories are potentially valid, most if not all I have seen are particularly understandable." --I have no idea what you are trying to say here. Are you attacking theistic creation or defending it?
3) It is true that validity can be measured by one's "fitting" into our "current understanding;" however, you cannot assume that scientific theories match one's "current understanding," especially from the "standpoint of intuitive understanding." It would be highly abusive to assume that the Big Bang and Evolution and Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle can be taken for granted in our "current understanding," especially when we are comparing this model to theistic creation, which traditionally does not appeal to science for its validity. Although you do give some analysis and cite some websites, none of these citations offer any actual data for these other scientific theories. This is fine if these other theories are interesting asides, but you have used them as the core of your evidence for the validity of your position, so you must give me reason to believe these theories. You so far have not done so, so they cannot be used as positive evidence.
4) You have also neglected the possibility of one model explaining more than another model. My counter-model will be successful in this regard.
5) To "hazard a guess" for "hypothetical situation[s] at the fundamental level" does not an understanding make. I could hazard a guess at what would happen if the world were ruled by three-legged zombies, but that does not mean that I understand such a situation. "To understand" means "to have a thorough conceptualization of a concept."
6) You criticize theistic creation stories as using too much "handwaving," and having not enough analysis on the methods involved in creation. This criticism however, bites your argument. You have pointed out that you "have no empirical evidence to back [your argument] up." The thing is, SCIENCE WITHOUT EMPIRICISM IS NOT SCIENCE. Despite the fact that you appeal to scientific theories, YOUR ARGUMENT IS A CREATION MYTH. Science is based on empirical patterns, but your "theory" does not even pretend to use evidence. Thus, my opponent's criticism applies directly to his/her argument, rendering either the alternative criticism or the argument invalid. I will also outline later how my opponent's alternative especially applies to this "theory," since the "theory" is very vague.
7) Because my opponent have abandoned empiricism, (s)he cannot say that her/his model "agrees" or "disagrees" with the Big Bang Theory, the Laws of Thermodynamics, or wave theory. These theories are based on mathematics and evidence, while my opponent's model is the product of her/his ingenuity, a kind of science fiction if you will. There is absolutely no way to know if my opponent's model actually "agrees" or "disagrees" with the Big Bang Theory since there is no evidence available to measure their compatibility.
8) In terms of its conceptually agreeing with other scientific theories, s(he) only need use her/his imagination to come up with some sort of way to explain the Big Bang. I'm sure my opponent's imagination is adequate, but I could with just as much scientific validity suggest that Barney the Dinosaur's belch caused the Big Bang and Global Climate Change. Judge, please do not allow my opponent to trick you into thinking that (s)he can use scientific theories to validate his/her imaginary model.
9) My opponent's model does not actually provide "a conceptual understanding of how the universe began," and in fact muddles at times what a beginning actually is. My opponent called the Big Bang the universe's "starting point," but then talks about what comes before this event. My opponent's case is contradictory in terms of what the "beginning" actually is, but nevertheless pretends to give evidence for the "start" of the universe. Because my opponent has not established what the "start" actually is, (s)he must be stricken down since (s)he does not actually provide any conceptualization for how the universe began, and fails to even have consistency in terms of what a beginning actually entails.
10) Additionally, even though my opponent claims to provide an explanation of the "beginning" so as to be compatible with the laws of thermodynamics, (s)he actually dodges the true beginning of the universe. My opponent says that there was seemingly "nothing" due to the fact that potential energy was in balance, which changed as it shifted out of balance. However, my opponent still does not explain the origins of energy. Therefore, my opponent has failed to explain how the universe has begun or how energy came to be, and fails 1. A theistic explanation provides answers to these, or are at least honest about the mysteries involved in creation, but my opponent only pretends to explain the universe's origin and dodges its first step.
11) Even if you buy her/his model, all it says is that a potential (energy) changed into an actual (energy). Of course the beginning occurred as an potential moving into an actual. This statement simply notes the necessity of an effect having a cause. All of the other "analysis" that (s)he provides are unfounded and simply detract one from the underlying simple model. These complexities only serve to distract and confuse. Therefore, far from providing a "conceptualization" of the beginning of the universe, my opponent's model has done the opposite and made it more confusing "from the standpoint of intuitive understanding." Therefore, EVEN IF I PROVIDE NO COUNTER-MODEL WHATSOEVER, my opponent's model still fails not only because it is uninformative and confusing, but because it pretends to be informative.
I will provide a theistic creation story that explains more phenomenon, more simply, and with less internal contradictions, distractions, and confusion. According to Occham's Razor (http://math.ucr.edu...), even if our models are exactly the same in all other respects, the fact that mine is simpler automatically makes it preferable. As evidence for its ability to explain the universe in terms of "intuitive understanding," my creation story has been retold for thousands of years by captive audiences, and is a sacred text for Hinduism, unlike my opponent's model that has not been able to give anyone a conceptual model for creation yet.
My model 1) makes the universe seem more beautiful, 2) admits that creation is paradoxical, 3) gives the same model of balance, 3) Allows Big Bang 4) Considers existence
Non-being then existed not nor being: There was no air, nor sky that is beyond it.
What was concealed? Wherein? In whose protection?
And was there deep unfathomable water?
Death then existed not nor life immortal....
By its inherent force the One breathed windless:
No other thing than that beyond existed....
Desire entered the One in the beginning:
It was the earliest seed, of thought the product.
The sages searching in their hearts with wisdom,
Found out the bond of being in non-being.
Their ray extended light across the darkness:
But was the One above or was it under?
Creative force was there, and fertile power:
Below was energy, above was impulse.
Who knows for certain? Who shall here declare it?...
None knoweth whence creation has arisen;
And whether he has or has not produced it:
He who surveys it in the highest heaven,
He only knows, or haply he may know not
I thank my opponent for his timely response. Ill do my best to address his points:
I.Addressing the Above
1) I do indeed agree with your suggestion.
2) My mistake, I should have typed "All I have seen are NOT particularly understandable." My apologies.
3) All I am asking for in terms of "fitting" is that what a proposal says either A. Follows from what we would expect based on what we see in the rest
of the world, or B. Gives an adequate reason why generally we would expect that and why in this case that doesn't apply.
4)Ill allow this. If your model achieves more than mine without incurring more issues, its superior.
5) What I am asking for is the ability to apply your model in such a way that you can make a prediction of how something would work. It doesn't have to be correct, just A prediction based off your theory. What a theistic argument offers is a what, not a how. It's like asking your friend what's wrong when your internet goes out, and he responds "Don't worry, I took care of it". The next time your internet breaks, we're still clueless what broke or how to fix it. God is your friend in that scenario. Something happened that explains everything, but we don't know what it was, only that he did it. But at the end of the day we still don't know a thing about wireless network connections.
6) I admit to my model not being scientific, it is simply atheistic. As we agreed, this is purely speculative modelling, since that puts us on even ground. But I still hold that my myth makes more sense than yours because mine is thorough. It starts at a very small scale of two energy waves opposing each other and builds up from there what happens next. There's a clear step by step progression where you see what happens and what it leads to. Theistic explanations start the same but at some point have a jump where they say "God decided to make something" and jumps to "Then there was something".Theres a step in between on what happens to MAKE something thats left out. There's the lack of thoroughness.
7) Ill agree that nothing I say can be proven to mathematically agree, but it DOES agree with their implications. The Big Bang Theory says that we should see a universe that eminates from a point. So does mine. Second Law of Thermodynamics says we should see a world where Matter/Energy is never created or destroyed. So does mine. When I say "agrees", I mean "doesn't contradict". A god who should have built the Earth as the center of the universe doesnt fit with the Big Bang and one who spontaneously generates massive amounts of energy without explanation doesnt fit with Thermodynamics.
8) Thats true, you could say that. Im not barring you from it. But saying Barney's Belch caused all of creation doesn't make alot of sense does it? Because Barney didn't exist yet. And a belch is a force, which doesn't have a way of becoming matter. If you could answer those questions, then yeah, the Barney Belch model of the Universe is perfectly ok. Just make sure you are detailed enough to help someone understand it.
9) This is a mistake. I don't support the Big Bang theory here. The Big Bang was proposed to explain why the known universe expands away from a given point. My explanation does the same; consider it a replacement. The place where I mention the Big Bang is where my myth starts explaining that phenomenon. Your story doesn't explain why Earth, which by most religions seems to be the most significant part of the universe, is off in some corner of space when you'd expect it to have a more relevant location. By point 4), I'd say that gives my model an extra point right there in terms of explaining more.
10) My position is that there was no "cause" for initial energy, because energy cannot be created as far as we know, only changed. The energy was there because it was always there. I don't believe we are arguing "everything needs a cause" because your story also involves a being who existed before anything else could exist to cause it. Both our explanations REQUIRE that time regress infinitely. It is only the universe as we know it that we are trying to explain, which is what both our models do. If you want to change that, fine, but go ahead and say where the "One" came from first, and what caused his initial Desire.
11)I wholeheartedly disagree with your conclusion here. You seem to be saying that a complex solution is worse than no solution at all. This is false. Its one thing to say we don't know something, its another to say we don't know, so lets forget about it. You may not agree with what Ive offered, and thats reasonable, but if you have nothing better to replace it with, then you still have less.
I wish that my opponent had given more interpretation of his story, because I'm having some trouble reading it. Ill answer to it based on my understanding, but unfortunately it may differ in some respects to what kbub takes it as. I won't have time to correct myself if im mistaken, as this is round 3 already.
Lines 1-4 - Sounds good so far. A base state where there is no air, no water, no stars or sun. No matter. This agrees with my suggestion.
Lines 5-8 - Here the "One", our diety, was initially all that was, and it seems its thoughts are the trigger to start creation. This brings up at least 1 issue which is not explained here: Why doesn't creation occur all the time? What we see in the world today reflects what we refer to as Conservation of Matter Energy etc, but if there is a being which triggers existence, why has nothing we know of spontaneously generated in modern history?
Lines 9-11- This seems to refer to rishis, who have apparently been created in the last section. Also, light enters the darkness, presumably created by the rishis. Ill note here though, that while we now have electromagnetic energy and Spirit, this story hasn't explained where matter came from. It is clearly stated that there is no matter in the universe at this point, and as I see it, there continues not to be.
Lines 12-14- Tricky here, but I think its a philosophical question of if the One was in control of this creation or if he was the source. I might be wrong.
Lines 15-20- And THIS is the main problem that we must address. When we ask how thoughts somehow manifested into reality, or how compartmentalized parts of the One called Rishis invented light, or what mechanism decides which "desire" of the One becomes reality or how of these work at a individual scale, we are met with, to paraphrase, "God only knows". This is the preventative barrier that makes this an unreasonable model. It is contingent on taking as fact that we don't and can't know the answer to these questions. What is the point of an explanation where a major component of it is : "I couldn't tell you, sorry."?
I am not saying that this or any other model presented from a theistic viewpoint can't work or isnt as it is plausible. What I am saying is they are all incomplete. They all have a hole where no one seems to know anything further, and we are expected to accept that. All this model gives is something else to look up, passing the question on to someone else. It doesn't answer it. All I'm asking is that you skip to that part of the story.
To conclude, I am not arguing from a scientific perspective. I am not saying that modern science invalidates God. I am saying the concept of a Diety offers us nothing so far as the creation of the universe. It is a middle man that supposedly brings us creation but does nothing to explain how creation works. My argument is simply that a theistic argument would make just as much sense if you remove god and put in anything else. The alternative he presented not only brings up at least 3 more issues than we started with, but still fails to answer the basic question: "How exactly did we go from not having "stuff" to having it?". My only challenge is to come up with a better way than the one I gave.
I thank my opponent for a wonderful job analyzing my argument, and look forward to his final thoughts.
My opponent concedes points 1, 2, and 4.
Number 5: My opponent says that theistic models do not take care of the problem. They don't claim to all the way, but they at least address the problem. My opponent, in trying to keep with the laws of thermodynamics, does not offer any analysis on a "beginning." While he suggests that his model starts from "nothing," this is not true, since in his model energy existed, which apparently is also potential matter, so the problem of where that came from is in his argument too. Only his argument does not even address where is came from. I ask, is the electronic problem fixed? His model answers, "What problem? The Giants are on." Nevertheless, my opponent claims that it does address the problem of beginnings, which makes his model not only invalid but causing more confusing than the basic notion that "something happened," and thus spawns even less understanding than no model.
7-10) The models my opponent suggests "agree" to his theories are all based on evidence. How do we know that a Big Bang occurred? Mathematics. Why isn't Earth the center of the explosion? This argument could only be made through evidence. My opponent brings no evidence, so even in conceptual terms these scientific theories cannot be said to agree or disagree with his model. Barney could easily have caused it. Belches also contain energy. Barney could have been the first being, and put his image on TV because he thought it was funny. The point is that I could come up with any crazy justification for why Barney creation and these scientific models agree.
6, 11) My opponent does not seem to understand how Occham's Razor works. Here is a link: http://math.ucr.edu.... If two models explain the same evidence equally well, the one that is simpler is to be preferred. My model is simpler: The One was in balance, and then fell out of balance as thought began. This is super simple, agrees with all of the scientific theories as well as my opponent's argument, is less confusing, and (unlike my opponent) addresses being out of non-being instead of avoiding the issue by saying that energy was around. My model points out that the difference between existing and non-existing is one of balance vs. intention. Which holds true, the only things we comprehend are behaviors; we never see essences. Thus, my model demonstrates more, better, simpler, and in a less confusing way. Please also note that my opponent admits to his model being too complicated. I point out that within the rules of science and philosophy, complication that does not explain more is unnecessary and bad through Occham's Razor.
Creation does occur all the time; we are recreating the world through our imbalances, which are our actions and desires. I am creating a new thoughts in the reader's head through this debate. The original cause however was when drive and intention began. If you look closely, intention is the creator as we think of it, by the way, and not the One.
My model ultimately claims that it is extraordinarily difficult to conceive of a first cause, but that it is true. My opponent believed that it is not difficult at all, that his model can explain it. If you look closely, judge, please recognize that my opponent's model never explains even once being out of non-being. He only says that the energy doesn't look like it exists, but what does that matter since no one was alive to perceive it anyway? The energy obviously existed, so it is no creation. The "One" did not exist or not exist, since that distinction wasn't around. "Matter" is not something my model talks about specifically, but "change" which is even more basic and gets to the philosophical heart of the matter (since you conceded to giving up science, so to speak).
My model is not talking about light or other specific matter, really. After an imbalance is made, there is a chain reaction, since that's what imbalances do--cause more change and imbalance. I will turn this point: this is another example of things that my model explains that my opponent's doesn't.
My opponent is correct that one must answer, or at least allow one to better understand how we went from not having "stuff" to having it. If we replace "stuff" with energy (which is matter in another form, according to him), his model doesn't address it. My model claims that consciousness is the original creator, and this explains incredibly clearly and understandably and simply how imbalance came as a result. This makes sense to our internal notion of thought, especially concerning how it is connected to will (See Schopenhaur's _The World As Will And Representation_, any page). This is another way my model is clearer. It is also not self-contradictory, and even points out that the differences being and non-being are hard to understand, but may be considered in the abstract as a world without consciousness (no world at all).
(I don't really even need to add this argument, but I will just to solidify that my model explains more. My model makes consciousness sacred and beautiful. This also allows us to realize we come from the same source, since we all share parts of consciousness. This is what I mean by giving an advantage in being able to explain ethics and aesthetics. It is BETTER to believe in my model, which gives an extra nudge for validity if you believe that we search for truth because it's good).
I think I have pointed out some major flaws in my opponent's arguments that hold true at the end of the debate round, several of which make his entire case invalid and one that makes it worse than no case (which would make me win without having to provide a counter-model). But just in case you don't but that one, I have provided a counter-model which I have demonstrated is superior in its explaining ability, in its simplicity, in it relevance (my opponent doesn't even address the beginning, though he claims to), in its clarity, and even in its morality. Thanks to my opponent for a truly wonderful debate, and thank you to the voter for hanging in there.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This is a really tough debate to judge. With respect to all points such as grammar/conduct/sources I would assign a tie. In effect the whole debates rest on arguments made by the opponents and this is where I am having a difficulty. In my opinion Bannanwamajama had stronger arguments, as they were clearer and easier to read. I also believe that his arguments show that both unstable creation and theistic creation are ludicrous which is what he was trying to do. Great debate, and it could ave gone either way.
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