Explanations for the origin of the Universe without God?

Discussion about scientific issues as they relate to God and Christianity including archaeology, origins of life, the universe, intelligent design, evolution, etc.
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Phoenix
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Explanations for the origin of the Universe without God?

#1

Post by Phoenix » Tue Jun 28, 2005 11:58 am

I saw this debate on another website, and though it would make a great discussion here. The atheist posted the paragraph below. Tell me your thoughts.


"Inflationary theory, M-theory, string theory, to name but a few. All provide good explanations for the origin of the universe without having to resort to a deity. They don't discount such a deity from existing, but he is not necessary for such theories to work. In such theories, the universe is neither created nor destroyed- it just is. Any deity becmes an extra variable that must be accounted for (i.e. explained).

To those who would object to this, I would submit that this is the very description of a deity. You have no problem with a deity "just exisiting" but you seem to have loads of problems with existence "just existing"- even though QM points us to just that possibility."

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Kurieuo
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#2

Post by Kurieuo » Tue Jun 28, 2005 4:46 pm

I'd disagree, and believe such things point to God. The inflationary theory for example points to God seeing as it says all space and time had a beginning. It sounds as though the person is just beginning to expand his knowledge on such issues since the inflationary big bang theory does indeed predict the universe had a beginning about 14 billion years ago, and not that the universe has just always existed (something believed before mid-20th century). I also see no threat from strings, which are still governed by certain laws of physics that have to exist.

Now if it is assumed something has to have always existed (which I'd agree with), and we know the universe had a beginning, then there are problems with the universe "just existing" since science seems to say otherwise. Therefore it is most reasonable to conclude something, or someone, exists apart from our universe, which caused our own universe to begin.

Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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Alien
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#3

Post by Alien » Wed Jul 06, 2005 2:56 am

Kurieuo wrote:I'd disagree, and believe such things point to God. The inflationary theory for example points to God seeing as it says all space and time had a beginning. It sounds as though the person is just beginning to expand his knowledge on such issues since the inflationary big bang theory does indeed predict the universe had a beginning about 14 billion years ago, and not that the universe has just always existed (something believed before mid-20th century). I also see no threat from strings, which are still governed by certain laws of physics that have to exist.

Now if it is assumed something has to have always existed (which I'd agree with), and we know the universe had a beginning, then there are problems with the universe "just existing" since science seems to say otherwise. Therefore it is most reasonable to conclude something, or someone, exists apart from our universe, which caused our own universe to begin.

Kurieuo.
Actually, the quoted post from the Atheist does not say that "the universe always existed", but that "the universe just is".

I can see a huge difference.

Scientific theories can explain the evolution of the universe, but no scientific theory can state whether or not time had a beginning. Both cases, "time always existed" and "time had a beginning" are philosophical speculations on the border between science and metaphysics.
And, however, both these cases are not in contradiction with current scientific theories. Both cases are scientifically possible in the light of our present knowledge. Time might have had a beginning, or not. My personal opinion is that there is no philosophical difference between the two cases, but this is a separate and large topic.

We simply don't know what happened. But, again, these scientific theories do not need any deity to work.

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origin of the universe

#4

Post by ray » Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:09 am

Without God an athiest must believe one of two things, either matter always existed and was always just there, or somehow matter came into existance from nothing. Both of these require a great leap of 'faith'. What happens after matter 'existed' can always be interpreted in many different, both athiestic and theistic ways. Any belief in the beginning of the universe always boils down to where did the matter to make the universe come from.

Ray

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Alien
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Re: origin of the universe

#5

Post by Alien » Wed Jul 06, 2005 4:48 am

ray wrote:Without God an athiest must believe one of two things, either matter always existed and was always just there, or somehow matter came into existance from nothing. Both of these require a great leap of 'faith'. What happens after matter 'existed' can always be interpreted in many different, both athiestic and theistic ways. Any belief in the beginning of the universe always boils down to where did the matter to make the universe come from.

Ray


I think here the topic belongs more to philosophy than to faith (either faith of an Atheist or faith of a Theist). In saying this, I support my agnostic position (no "atheistic faith", no "theistic faith").

As I said before, my personal opinion is that the two options are not really distinct. Or, better, we cannot philosophically distinguish each other. Even better, it is a nonsense trying to distinguish them.

Please follow me:
If we say that time never had a beginning, we can also say that there was no "before". Nothing existed before time because time always existed in the past.
If we say that time had a beginning (a sort of t = 0), we can also say that there was no "before" because the actual concept of "before" is relative to something that moves along time. Therefore, it is a nonsense to talk about before (or after) when time did not exist.

My conclusion is that we simply cannot talk about a "beginning" for time. We cannot talk about two separate options because these options are only apparently different; actually, there is only one option: we cannot talk about anything "before time", independently on the fact that we want or not to give a value time = zero.

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#6

Post by Darwin_Rocks » Mon Jul 11, 2005 6:01 pm

We also must take into account that we dont know much about the nature of time as an entity. The same can be said about our universe. Just because we do not understand how 'something' comes into 'existence' does not mean that there is a scientific answer.

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#7

Post by Alien » Mon Aug 01, 2005 6:43 am

Darwin_Rocks wrote:We also must take into account that we dont know much about the nature of time as an entity. The same can be said about our universe. Just because we do not understand how 'something' comes into 'existence' does not mean that there is a scientific answer.
Here the point is "how everything came into existence", not only "how something came into existence".

Time is synonimous of existence, by definition. And existence implies evolution. We cannot imagine any object that exists only statically, without evolving. In that case, the concept of time would not get any sense.

Answers to the question "what happened?" always exist, provided that the question deals with something with a time extension. Any answer that does not contemplate a phenomenon with a proper time extension is non-scientific.

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