May 3rd, 2014
Philosophical Fragments is a blog with Patheos and there was a guest post (don’t hold it against he actual blog owner, it’s a guest) named Mark Goldblatt (I’m not certain that’s the author but notice his employer and notice what he’s writing on… I’m just saying…) titled “Bad Epistemology.” Let me begin by telling you what I really think… I think this post is full of bad science, bad philosophy, bad semantics, quibbling over spilled milk, and botches the multiverse is an embarrassingly bad way. Aaaand, yes, there are some good things and I won’t forget to highlight them either.
If you want to argue against the multiverse [or quantum issues], fine, but do so in an informed and more educated manner than this.
Goldblatt begins his epic rant by discussing contemporary science’s search and desire to discover the truth about the cosmos and the origin of life. Quoting Neil deGrasse Tyson from the reinstatement of Cosmos:
“If you take the universe all the way back to the Big Bang, well, the entire universe was really small. So now you take the shotgun wedding – quantum physics and general relativity. In that shotgun wedding, if you follow through with all the predictions quantum physics gives you, it allows multiple bubbles to form – one of which is our universe. These are sorts of fluctuations in the quantum foam. Quantum physics fluctuates all the time. But now the fluctuations are not just particles coming into and out of existence, which happens all the time. It’s whole universes coming into and out of existence.”
read more »
November 17th, 2013
The odds against an event is a ratio of the probability that the event will fail to occur (failure) to the probability that the event will occur (success).
Most of the time you hear about “odds”, they are referring to the odds against.
read more »
July 17th, 2013
The non-fine-tuning hypothesis, non-design, or even, dare I say, Darwinism have several different forms but, broadly speaking, is anything other than fine-tuning (or the design hypothesis). There are three primary non-fine-tuning (non-design) versions: chance, necessity, and chance and necessity. Each one has different explanatory strengths and weaknesses.
read more »
April 27th, 2013
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.
read more »
October 8th, 2012
When considered in the range possible explanans for the origin of information in the universe/multiverse the options must meet the conditions of causal efficacy and specificity. The first condition states that origin of information must be causal. Information does not arbitrarily pop in and out of existence but requires a source. The second condition states that the origin must sufficiently explain the specificity in information and must provide more than mere Shannon information.
Consider a computer as an example for information relay (a phenomenal entity). The computer is and can be used as a channel, it can be a receiver, and it can be a source of information. However, to say that the information in the computer no longer needs an explanation for its origin would suffer the problem of information displacement. What begs the question is from where did the information in the computer come? The answer would inevitably become a software engineer or a programmer. Undirected material processes have not demonstrated the capacity to generate significant amounts of specified information. Information can be changed via materialistic means. The computer can change the initial coding from the programmer and introduce noise on the sending and receiving ends.
read more »
August 27th, 2012
In our experience, intentions get actualized any number of ways: A sculptor by chiseling at stone, musicians by writing notes, engineers by drawing up blueprints. In general, all actualizations of intentions can be realized in language. Precise enough sets of instructions in a natural language can tell the sculptor how to form the statue, musician how to record the notes, and engineer how to draw up blueprints.
Why should an act of speech be God’s mode of creation? Language is the universal medium for actualizing intentions. The language that proceeds from God’s mouth in the act of creation is the divine Logos (Jn. 1.1-5). In the act of creation God the Father speaks the divine Logos in the power of the Holy Spirit. The divine Logos is not just language in the ordinary sense (utterances that convey information), but the very ground and possibility of language. Words need power to accomplish their end and God’s Word has that power (Is. 55.11).
Given that we are made in God’s image, the Trinitarian structure of creation is reflected in human speech.
“The word [goes] out of the mouth of God in such a manner that it likewise ‘[goes] out of the mouth’ of men; for God does not speak openly from heaven, but employs men as his instruments, that by their agency he may make known his will.”
read more »
June 26th, 2012
Whenever probability is being considered there must be some type of relevant or total background information (usually depicted as k). The immediate objection when applying a probability rule or calculus to the fine-tuning of the universe in a multiverse scenario would be to say that this is universe is not an appropriate random sampling. In other words, if we know of [at least] only one universe with these values the random sample size is precisely 1; thus, no random sample can be used to assess the probability of certain values of physics in the argument. In statistics a random sample drawn must have the same chance of being sampled as all the other samples. Since we know of only one universe we do not know what the range of values for the constants and physics could be. Additionally, since we don’t know how narrow or broad these ranges could be there’s no way of drawing out any probability based argument for fine-tuning. However, we can know what other universes would be like if the values were different. If our natural laws have counterfactuals that are in any way incoherent then this is an appropriate sampling. Also, to make this objection and advocate that we just so happen to live in a life permitting universe in the multiverse then this objection cannot be made since the claim that we happen to life in a life-permitting one amongst countless others suggest we can know what the other samplings are.
read more »