skeptiko-krauss-upcoming

#21
It is ironic because believing in a multiverse requires believing in many much more absurd things than believing in a transcendent creator does.
Apparently there are some who think that the knowledge of many universes is something that has to do with materialism. Of all the wonky things I've read that puzzles me the most. Such knowledge was around way before the advent of materialist science. Plus, it is interesting to see how disturbing it is to some people who claim to be pursuing truth outside of standard materialism. Here's the thing - anyone who thinks there is only one universe is by definition - a materialist.
 
#22
That is to say, from the absence of anything whatsoever -- including the absence of space (empty or otherwise)
Space is not a thing. Nothing means no thing. But it is almost impossible for people to conceptualize a "no thing" that has intelligence, intent and timbres. Yet that is close to a description of primary consciousness. And that "no thing" gives birth to a near infinite number and variety of things.
 
#23
good stuff... mutliple shows here... too much to cover with Dr. Krauss.

what do you make of the Lewontin quote?
He is saying the raison d'être of science is not to discover the truth but to support atheism and materialism even if they are false.

...we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated.
The implication is that pronouncements by atheist scientists on paranormal phenomenon are not reliable, and atheist scientists are not interested in objective truth, they are interested in maintaining their religious faith in materialism at any price. In that quote, Lewontin confesses that he is the Amazing Randi of cosmology.

The multiverse is the cosmological companion of Darwinism. A reason to allow atheists to reject belief in God and maintain faith in materialism ... despite empirical evidence to the contrary..

What do you make of it?
 
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#26
The full book review from which it's taken is available here:
http://www.drjbloom.com/Public files/Lewontin_Review.htm
Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door. The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that miracles may happen.
Anyone would could believe in a multiverse could believe in anything more easily than anyone who believed in God.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/08/multiverse-theories-fail-to-explain-our.html
  • In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
  • In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as an explanatory principle.
  • In a theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and thus are expressions of rational purpose.
  • Scientific materialism is epistemically self-defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.
Anyone who believes in the multiverse already believes in everything happening in an infinite subset of the infinitie universes within the mulitverse.

http://ncu9nc.blogspot.com/2014/08/multiverse-theories-fail-to-explain-our.html
Other absurd consequences of a multiverse theory include:
  • An infinite number of universes.
  • A subset of universes that are infinite in number and identical to ours.
  • An infinite subset of universes that are almost like ours but slightly different.
 
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S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#27
The biggest question to ask Krauss IMO is why he thinks the materialist paradigm can accommodate his humanist goals.

One already sees the problem when after the numerous gang rapes in India some people were trying to excuse it as "biological determinism". I realize the materialist evangelical movement is largely about the narcissistic need of upper class Western males to rid themselves of their Cosmic Authority problem, with women and minorities being a secondary concern at best, but you'd think this sort of thing might give these fundamentalist materialists pause.

Pragmatism as a Dead End for New Atheism

Indeed, science becomes counterproductive, because it exposes modernists to the existential conundrum. As Nietzsche put it, the question is how we should live after the death of God. Reason frees us from theistic dogma, but it also deprives us of any conviction in some worthwhile purpose to motivate us to freely direct our talents toward one end rather than another. The more we apply reason to model some phenomenon, the more we break it down into impersonal mechanisms, and thus the more illusory becomes our naïve self-image, according to which life is full of meaning, purpose, and moral value. What is the utility of Enlightenment and Liberty if the objectifying rationality that enlightens and liberates us forces on us a vision of universal undeadness, entailing not just the absurdity of theistic faith but the superficiality of the very concepts of morality, happiness, and personhood?

The pragmatic slogan in question betrays the new atheist’s narrow-minded scientism. In the wider view, science doesn’t work at all. Arguably, the costs of science’s efficacy outweigh the benefits. Granted, if all you care about is the cognitive domain in which science has prevailed, you won’t be concerned with the social implications of naturalism. But scientism doesn’t end there, since the naturalist must then reduce the concept of caring to some neurological mechanism. Moreover, she must interpret all concepts and thus all alleged symbols in scientific theories as being perfectly meaningless, since there’s no room for such a personal quality as intentionality in this exclusive version of the naturalist’s ontology, which consists only of more and more complex arrangements of causal relations between particles. Scientistic naturalism is thus the proverbial serpent that eats its tail.
 
#29
I can't stand Krauss and his arrogant pronouncements. Can't stand his endless desire for publicity and attention seeking, cocky arrogant prick. Sorry but this guy really winds me up so much I'd like to see Alex "deck him" literally and that's a terrible thing to say, sorry ;-)
Believe me I know exactly how you feel! Alex though does a good job as a kind of intermediary voice between the nihilistic materialism crowd and the rest of us, who actually believe in science (as opposed to a rigid faith in materialism) and have not left our brain at the door and brought only crayons.

My Best,
Bertha
 
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#31
Materialists think consciousness is an illusion and that the only things that exists are space, time, matter, and energy which arose from nothing.

They have it completely backwards. The only thing that exists is consciousness and space, time, matter, and energy are illusions.

How can you make something from nothing? Only with your imagination.

"... in a purely mental realm, imagination is reality."

How can non-physical consciousness interact with the physical? The physical is a thought in the mind of God, or in Mind as some might prefer. In the non-physical, mental realm, the only "things" that can exist are thoughts. If consciousness is fundamental, as QM shows, then nothing can exist that is not a thought. This is why natural laws are intelligible and follow simple mathematical rules - they are designed and enforced by intelligence not chance. This is why ESP (consciousness) is not limited by time and distance, time and distance are illusions that only pertain to the physical within the physical realm subject to natural law.
The problem of creating something from nothing, creating a physical space time continuum with natural laws and energy from nothing, exists whether you believe consciousness is fundamental or not. If consciousness is fundamental, how can Mind create a physical space time continuum with natural laws and energy from nothing? It creates it "only" in its imagination. But in a purely mental realm, imagination is reality. ...

http://www.swamij.com/swami-rama-what-god-is.htm
In some of the Upanishads, the word Īśa or Īśvara, which is roughly translated as God, appears. But the concept of God as preached by religion is not found in the Upanishads. In the Upanishads, the word Īśvara is used to denote a state of collective consciousness. Thus, God is not a being that sits on a high pedestal beyond the sun, moon, and stars; God is actually the state of Ultimate Reality. But due to the lack of direct experience, God has been personified and given various names and forms by religions throughout the ages. When one expands one's individual consciousness to the Universal Consciousness, it is called Self-realization, for the individual self has realized the unity of diversity, the very underlying principle, or Universal Self, beneath all forms and names. The great sages of the Upanishads avoid the confusions related to conceptions of God and encourage students to be honest and sincere in their quests for Self-realization. Upanishadic philosophy provides various methods for unfolding higher levels of truth and helps students to be able to unravel the mysteries of the individual and the universe.

Knowledge of Brahmavidyā, the direct experience of Supreme Consciousness, is the common theme of all Upanishadic literature. "I am Brahman; the whole universe is Brahman; Thou art That"—such statements are the foundations for all its theories, principles, and practices. All philosophical and psychological discussions are meant to make students aware of their true nature—Brahman, the Supreme Consciousness.
"Knowledge of Brahmavidyā, the direct experience of Supreme Consciousness, is the common theme of all Upanishadic literature. "I am Brahman; the whole universe is Brahman; Thou art That"—such statements are the foundations for all its theories, principles, and practices. All philosophical and psychological discussions are meant to make students aware of their true nature—Brahman, the Supreme Consciousness."
 
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#32
Materialists think consciousness is an illusion and that the only things that exists are space, time, matter, and energy which arose from nothing.

They have it completely backwards. The only thing that exists is consciousness and space, time, matter, and energy are illusions.

How can you make something from nothing? Only with your imagination.

"... in a purely mental realm, imagination is reality."
Not that I agree with materialism, obviously from my many posts here, I don't. And more and more I despise neo-materialist's persecutive activities and their reasoning.

But on the other hand, what do we mean when we say the only thing that exists is consciousness? If you can't make something from nothing, then where the hell did consciousness come from?

Part of the problem is our thinking is so linear that it's hard for us to think of something that just has always existed. But indeed, if you believe something can't come from nothing - and that is what I believe, then something must always have existed, and the idea of infinity is not just an idea, but an actuality. However, again labeling that idea of "infinity" as consciousness doesn't really give us much of a grasp on what that infinity actually is. And indeed, it can just as easily be given other labels by materialists and science: such as quantum wave fields, or quantum vacuum, or infinite multi-universes. Our religions have often called that infinity "God", and gave it all sorts of attributes, mostly anthropomorphic.

And when you say purely "mental" realm well what does that mean? Clearly my subjective experience is a far cry from the bedrock reality I wake up to. It may be as many do say (and it is probably most likely) the subjective ultimately is the same as the objective reality we experience, both coming from the same "infinity" that underlies all. But within this "infinity" obviously there is degrees of differentiation, of complexity, of operation and variety. And right now there are no definitive human answers to reality or "infinity". Our religions are infantile, our science today doesn't even know what gravity or consciousness is. We live in enormous mystery, and are like fish in a pond, attempting to imagine other lands or the universe beyond.

We must be careful to not replace one trope called "materialism" with another trope called "consciousness". I agree we are moving toward the realization that consciousness is a fundamental attribute of reality, and may even be the basis for reality. But what the hell does that mean? What do we not know yet about consciousness? It is foolish to make the assumption we know all there is about consciousness or that we have even barely scratched the surface of what consciousness actually is.

My Best,
Bertha
 
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#33
@AlexT I've given some extra thought on how to make a productive discussion with Krauss… not an easy task, imo :)

Honestly I think you could press him as hard as you want on the evidence coming from PSI / NDE research... it will have no effect, as usual with these people. I am sure Krauss is probably an honest guy and he will simply admit he's a physicist, not a neuroscientist so he's not familiar with the details of the studies you will bring to the table.

Next he will play the "appeal to authority" card, authority that, of course, comes strictly from his own team (the usual Blackmore, Harris, Woerlee, etc…). He will appeal to the "scientific consensus", not enough evidence, the usual "no evidence in 100 yeas of parapsychology" mantra etc... everything but engaging in the details.

As regards the "necessary and sufficient conditions" to have consciousness you'll get the usual promissory note… "we'll figure it out". No surprise there either.

I don't know… I would probably question his position of atheist apologist instead, which sounds pretty much incompatible with the open inquiry of science:

1) Atheism and science.

Atheists profess a universe that is driven by blind, mechanic principles… how can this be a scientific approach? Shouldn't a scientist avoid rigid mental filters to investigate reality? If one strongly professes an a priory view on the subject of his studies how can he be free from his own prejudices?

Also, in the name of the same modesty he appeals to in his video posted by Ian G, we should remind ourselves that "we don't know everything" (Krauss' own words). It's always good to remind us that the best physics we have is struggling to investigate the monumental proportions of a tiny slice of universe that is supposed to represnt 4% of the real deal.

But that 4% is a rough guestimate that could be entirely wrong as we have no way of knowing what exists beyond the limits of the visible (to us) universe. It could be 4%, it could be .00004%… it could be 4% of infinite :D

To claim that we have it all figured out and we know what Nature does or does not is not just silly, it is a crime of reason.
Which reminds me the title of the latest book of Stephen Braude, by the way :D
http://www.amazon.com/Crimes-Reason-Mind-Nature-Paranormal/dp/1442235756

There is even new solid evidence for a universe with no beginning:
http://earthsky.org/space/what-if-the-universe-had-no-beginning

and with computer code (error correcting codes), embedded in the the equations of supersymmetry that describe fundamental particles.
If we live in a simulation ... who is simulating it? :)

Bottom line… why should Atheists claim to have superior knowledge of these matters? If we remove the politics we remain empty handed.
Shouldn't be science free of political activism?


2) Nature of consciousness.
Atheists relegate the mind as an epiphenomenon arising from unconscious brain cells. There's no real intentionality, volition or free will… only complex chemical reactions that obey the laws of physics.

If that's the case why should science be relevant? If our agency in this world is purely illusory and dictated by mechanistic chemical processes science is as good as reading tarot cards or astrology. They all come from the illusory mind :)

How is not an extraordinary claim (requiring extraordinary proof) to assert that consciousness arises from inert bits of matter?

The neural correlates of consciousness are perfectly compatible with all philosophical positions on consciousness (idealism, panpsychism, physicalism etc…) So why should this be sufficient to give more merit to one position only?

Why should we discard evidence that doesn't fit the current paradigm, besides defending an ideological agenda?
Isn't science about discovering the world and ourselves for what it is? (Instead of what we think it is)?

cheers
 
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#34
As I understand it, the concept of dark matter was originally invented as a way to explain why galaxies have visible structure. If their rotation is simulated on the basis of the gravity of the visible stuff in the galaxy, all the spiral arms would smear out because the stars would not rotate with the same angular velocity (I wish EthanT was here to check this). My question would be to ask if it isn't an impossible coincidence that just enough dark matter is available to make galaxies retain their visible structure as they rotate!

More generally, I think it may be more useful to downplay the issue of consciousness in this interview (because you will just waste the time in argument), and just let him spin his ideas and see if you can pick out some holes. Stick to physics.

David
 
#36
As I understand it, the concept of dark matter was originally invented as a way to explain why galaxies have visible structure. If their rotation is simulated on the basis of the gravity of the visible stuff in the galaxy, all the spiral arms would smear out because the stars would not rotate with the same angular velocity (I wish EthanT was here to check this). My question would be to ask if it isn't an impossible coincidence that just enough dark matter is available to make galaxies retain their visible structure as they rotate!

More generally, I think it may be more useful to downplay the issue of consciousness in this interview (because you will just waste the time in argument), and just let him spin his ideas and see if you can pick out some holes. Stick to physics.

David
Yes, that is correct. The extrapolation of Kepler laws fails at galactic structure. Since the assumption that gravity is the dominate force in the universe despite being the weakest. It is a fudge factor of mammoth proportions. It should be very humbling that mainstream cosmology is built on the one force we cannot reconcile. We don't% know how gravity even works Despite using a theory of gravity that does not even explain it except through mathematical abstraction of space time That is circular to the explanation.

As you know I am a proponent of plasma cosmolology. I would have many scientific questions for Krauss within his own field. Especially concerning the hubble law and the many anomalous galactic and quasar systems cataloged by Halton Arp. The expanding universe and in turn big bang assumptions are and have been falsified. Then there is the issue of black holes where a much better model can explained within well known and tested physics without having to resort to mathematical fantasy. I wonder if he would be up to debating Stephen Crothers on the fact that the math itself refutes a black hole, never mind that no one has ever observed one, ever.

Why is there no gravitational lensing at the very place it is most likely to be expected, such as the centre of the milky way? How do quasars being at the furthest reaches of the universe account for there brightness? And why do they regularly appear asscociated or in front of lower redshift galactic structures?

Then there are other untestable and unquantifiable nonsense such as neutron stars that defy well founded principles of nuclear physics such as the island of stability. So they create a new element! Nuetronium or strange matter.

There is verifiable refutation of big bang cosmology. The main pillars have all collapsed. Red shift is not exclusively correlated to distance, we have empirical evidence. The CMB was more accurately predicted by non big bangers. The CMB is not of cosmological origin. More so than that, in our current state of technology it is physically impossible to extract the signal. Quite embarrasingly there is a strong case for terrestrial origin.

The universe is electro magnetic. We will just sit and spin the wheels until this is recognized. And be forever surprised and continue to invent patches for a model that is long dead through actual observation.

It was the pseudo scientific postulations of cosmology that really made me question the illusion of science as being this self correcting gold standard, then I started looking at neo darwinism. They both have a lot in common.

Krauss is a priest of the psuedo science that is mainstream cosmology. Thar be dragons in the heart of the milky way, fiction complete with equations.

How terribly ironic.
 
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#37
My question would be to ask if it isn't an impossible coincidence that just enough dark matter is available to make galaxies retain their visible structure as they rotate!
Only spiral galaxies can support life, but spiral arms are inhospitable to life. The safest place in the galaxy is outside a spiral arm and at a distance from the center of the galaxy such that the orbit of the star around the galaxy is "near the corotation radius, maximizing the interval between spiral-arm crossings." (Spiral arms are density waves that move through the galaxy.)

http://www.allaboutscience.org/cosmic-fine-tuning-and-life-faq.htm
Elliptical galaxies lack the heavy elements needed to support life. Irregular galaxies have too many supernova explosions. Only spiral galaxies can foster life.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galactic_habitable_zone#Galactic_morphology
Various morphological features of galaxies can affect their potential for habitability. Spiral arms, for example, are the location of star formation, but they contain numerous giant molecular clouds and a high density of stars that can perturb a star's Oort cloud, sending avalanches of comets and asteroids toward any planets further in.[25] In addition, the high density of stars and rate of massive star formation can expose any stars orbiting within the spiral arms for too long to supernova explosions, reducing their prospects for the survival and development of life.[25] Considering these factors, the Sun is advantageously placed within the galaxy because, in addition to being outside a spiral arm, it orbits near the corotation radius, maximizing the interval between spiral-arm crossings.[25][26]
Yes, dark matter is implicated in the formation of spiral (disk) galaxies.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galaxy_formation_and_evolution#Formation_of_disk_galaxies
Essentially early on in the universe galaxies were composed mostly of gas and dark matter, and thus, there were fewer stars. As a galaxy gained mass (by accreting smaller galaxies) the dark matter stays mostly on the outer parts of the galaxy. This is because the dark matter can only interact gravitationally, and thus will not dissipate. The gas, however, can quickly contract, and as it does so it rotates faster, until the final result is a very thin, very rapidly rotating disk.
 
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#38
One of the most stunning facets of intelligent design is that the vast majority of the data involved comes from mainstream science. It is staring them in the face but they don't want to see it.
 
#39
The significance is not "visible" structure it is that only spiral galaxies can support life, but spiral arms are inhospitable to life. The safest place in the galaxy is outside a spiral arm and at a distance from the center of the galaxy such that the orbit of the star around the galaxy is the same as the movement of the arms so that the star will not be engulfed into an arm. (Spiral arms are density waves that move through the galaxy.)
We can't know that. Which sort of reduces significance. The significance here is the massive 90+ percent fudge factor to maintain a model.

I agree there is fine tuning, even just for an atom to be, carbon and oxygen as well as hydrogen bonding appear to conspire to me. But many of the factors that do come up in the fine tuning thing are either because the math requires extreme fidelity or they are a product of the model, such as expansion, inflation etc...

Stars are born along fillaments of electrified plasma, beading as plasma does. The safest places for life is inside the double layer of a protective magnetic sheild such as our magnetosphere. Of course there are a multitude of varying factors but quite often this one is sometimes overlooked. Organism are bio electric after all.

It is quite lucky that we are actually in a position where we can see something like the hubble deep field, inside the denser regions we would be blinded to the immensity of the universe.
 
#40
Jim, just to clarify, my point is that if the stars in a galaxy rotated at different speeds at different distances from the centre, then after a few rotations of a galaxy all angular structure would have smeared out. For example, Wiki gives the time for the sun to make one orbit of the galaxy as 240 million years - so the galaxy must have rotated many times since its formation - indeed even since the formation of the Earth 4.5 billion years ago.

The presence of hypothetical dark matter would change the rotation speed, but you would require a very specific distribution of DM to make the galaxy rotate as it does!

Lone Shaman, the Electric Universe may well be closer to the mark, but Alex can't possibly question LK about that! So what he really needs is a list of glaring flaws in the current model.

David
 
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