Archive for May 30th, 2012

May 30th, 2012

Cosmological Argument PowerPoint

by Max Andrews

I have an old PPT I’ve been using in my lectures on the cosmological arguments and I thought I’d share it here for others to use since I’ll be revamping them in the meantime.  In this PPT document I discuss the Lebnizian cosmological argument, the Thomistic cosmological argument, and the Kalam cosmological argument.  This was delivered to an introductory level philosophy course so it’s certainly not exhaustive.  Feel free to use any of the material in your teaching opportunities or for your own edification.

Leibnizian Argument:

1.Anything that exists has an explanation of its existence, either in the necessity of its own nature or in an external cause.
2.If the universe has an explanation of its existence, that explanation is God.
3.The universe exists.
4.Therefore the universe has an explanation of its existence. (from 1, 3)
5.Therefore, the explanation of the existence of the universe is God. (from 2, 4)
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May 30th, 2012

Word of the Week Wednesday: Duhemian Science

by Max Andrews

Word of the Week: Duhemian Science

Definition: A methodological approach to science that strips data of all religious and metaphysical import.

More on the word:  When considering the criterion of observable evidence I make the distinction between observation and what is empirical.  Something may be observed and qualify as evidence even though it’s not related to material causes.  This is where the distinction between Duhemian science and Augustinian science must be made. I would deny the use of Duhemian science.  This method, or philosophy, has a goal of stripping science from all metaphysical imports.

May 30th, 2012

I’m Presenting a Paper at EPS on God and the Multiverse

by Max Andrews

This November (Wednesday 14 – Friday 16) The Evangelical Philosophical Society is hosting its annual meeting in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The conference theme is ‘Caring for Creation.’ David Beck and I have coauthored a paper together titled, “God and the Multiverse,” which has been accepted to be presented at the conference.  We requested to present on Friday but we’ll get that figured out in due time.  You can read the abstract of the paper below.  I hope you’re able to make it to the conference.

Recent developments in quantum physics postulate the existence of some form of multiverse.  We will argue that a cosmology of many worlds is not novel either to philosophy or to theism.  The multiverse is not a monolithic concept and we will refer to and use the four levels of categorization proposed by Max Tegmark.  We will trace the idea of a multiverse back to the pre-Socratics, Plato and Aristotle in order to initially demonstrate its fit with a concept of God. We then examine the argument for possible compatibility based on a principle of plenitude in three specifically Christian theists: Origen, Thomas Aquinas, and G. W. Leibniz. We conclude that this argument is sustainable so that if any level of the multiverse actually exists then it is harmonious with theism.

Liberty University
W. David Beck and Max Andrews

May 30th, 2012

The Lorentz Transformations

by Max Andrews

The fundamental question raised by these postulates of special relativity is how different coordinate systems (reference frames) are related, i.e., how one transforms between them. (x, y, z, t) denotes the coordinates of some event in frame S, what are the coordinates (x’, y’, z’, t’) in the frame S’ moving at the velocity v relative to S? But first, a clarification on proper time and coordinate time:

Proper time is time measured between events by use of a single clock, where these events occur at the same place as the clock.  It depends not only on the events but also on the motion of the clock between the events.  An accelerated clock will measure a shorter proper  time between two events than a non-accelerated (inertial) clock between the same events.

In standard special relativity, we often want to express results in terms of a spacetime coordinate system relative to an implied observer.  In this case, an event is specified by one time coordinate and three spatial coordinates.  The time measured by the time coordinate is referred to as coordinate time, to distinguish it from proper time.