Where did the laws of physics come from?

(Matthew Pevarnik) #268

Oops, I misspoke. This part was actually only about the density of stars. The actual density of matter and radiation was in a post of mine a few up and that one is actually going down over time.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #269

Ahhh — very good. My cosmological understandings [such as they are] were popping up and down there for a moment.

(Richard Wright) #270

Hello John,

I’ll stick to what I see are the important points.

That was not the point I was making. Paul’s declaration that that there is no excuse not to believe in God was written for Hebrew Christian believers, who already knew the true God. But the belief that there is no excuse not to believe in the divine is shared by the vast majority of history.

What people? In the America’s and certain counties in Europe most people would say the bible is true, even if they don’t live like it.

It’s not invalidating my original point, which, again, is that the vast majority in history have recognized the divine.

The case I’m making is that having faith in a divine power makes more sense than the alternatives. Who is the right God is a different question, but theism, not that it proves anything, is the biggest part of those who believe in the divine and make the majority of the world.

I still don’t see where or how you expect God to show up. Can you give me an example?

That doesn’t describe the reality of theism at all. Am I wishing that Jesus calls me to deny myself daily? You claim to be unaware of what New Atheists leaders say, but at the same time seem quite affected by their views.

Yes, I can see why you wouldn’t want to go down that road, since neither yourself nor any of of the skeptics here have any explanation for it.

Any belief that isn’t based on empirical evidence is a faith conviction (you seemed to agree with @Jon_Garvey on that), so we all have faith in something, as @MarkD also pointed out. My view is that faith in an intelligent God/power/force, based on all the data, is more reasonable than holding that nothing outside of the physical exists.

(John Dalton) #271

That’s what you originally said. Then when I questioned you about it, you started talking about the Bible. You haven’t made the connection between the two arguments clear, to me at least.

Paul’s declaration that that there is no excuse not to believe in God was written for Hebrew Christian believers, who already knew the true God. But the belief that there is no excuse not to believe in the divine is shared by the vast majority of history.

I doubt it. I’ll accept that the majority have believed in the divine in some form. It would be hard to say vast or not–for most of history certainly if you’ve doubted or not believed it has vastly made sense to keep your mouth shut about it (something still true today in many places).

Most of the people in the world, again, what you seemingly were talking about originally.

What I’m saying is that I don’t see the point of referring to the Bible if that’s your argument. Most people in the world don’t even accept that the Bible is true, so what does it have to do with the idea that that most people recognize the divine?

Why do you say that? I’m not seeing how you’ve made the case, except by asserting that most people have believed in the divine. That’s not a strong argument IMO.

Theism is all the part of those who believe in the divine, isn’t it?

I don’t expect anything. I’m saying that I don’t perceive the existence of gods in any way.

Since you haven’t responded yet, I’ll expand a bit. Since I don’t perceive gods, I don’t know how to answer the question. I have no idea in what way I might perceive that gods exist. If I can presume that you do perceive that God exists in some way, can I ask you in what way that is?

I wasn’t talking about “the reality of theism”; I was referring to your statement “You can believe what you like and I’m not here to ridicule it, only to offer that objectively speaking it’s not a very coherent explanation and one that even the leaders of your movement would agree is, in the least, not very complete.” You seem to be saying that I have some responsibility to offer an explanation. I think it’s valid to say “I don’t know”, whether or not it may be appealing, if that best fits the circumstances. I never said I was unaware of what prominent New Atheists say, but I don’t see why this statement makes you think I have been affected by them.

I don’t want to because we’ve been down it and we didn’t get anywhere. Suffice it to say that I don’t think it needs an “explanation”.

I don’t believe that our conversation even touched on that, much less did we agree. I don’t think “faith” has anything to do with my lack of belief in gods, certainly.

I’ve said many times I don’t hold that. You’re making a false dichotomy.

(Mark D.) #272

Well I think that is true so long as faith is looked at in that way. But no one is required to look at faith that way and it doesn’t justify religious faith over any number other things people believe in no matter how surprising or unpopular.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #273

I question your statement that it is w3hat w3e observe that matters and what we observe is the mass warping of spacetime.

I am not doubting the validity of science and esp. Einstein, Who is this we that you are referring to? Before Einstein it is fair to say that no one observed the mass warping of space time.

Einstein had the3 genius to look beyond the apparent to discover the secrets of the universe and discover that time, space, mass, and energy are all related in a way that few people seem to understand even now. This means that we know that these things are related but we really do not see it with our eyes, but with our minds.

The primary experiment that verified the ability of mass or gravity to bend space meant using the light of a star to see if it was bent while passing near the sun during a solar eclipse, which for me is not the some as mass warping or a general observation.

It is the uniting of thought, rationality, and observation which gives science the power that it has. My problem with some is that they want to deny the power of rationality in science and others want to deny the need for observation.

The problem with Darwinian evolution and the New Atheism is that it is not relational. It is a narrow linear understanding of Reality as materialistic, when Einstein it is much more than that. Ecology is much more Einsteinian than traditional evolution.

The point that I have been making is that based on both scientific observation and theory the universe has been expanding from a point from the Big Bang. Philosophical evidence and theory confirm this as does theological theory and evidence.

Matthew @pevaquark posted an article above saying the fact that scientists were saying that the universe appeared as a point infinitely small and was expanding to a universe which was infinitely large was corrupting our understanding of the universe. I agreed that infinites, small and large, do not belong in science, they belong in theology.

The universe was created out of Nothing by the Infinite. The universe might well expand until it will die, or it will expand until it reaches a limit and then it will collapse like a black hole. In either case it will have an end as well ae an ending as all finite entities must.

The evidence of expansion indicates that the universe began with a point, so what was logically before this was Nothing, which we know from Einstein is no mass, no energy, no space, and no time. Observation also indicates that there was Nothing before the Big Bang. Whether God is the Source of the universe is a matter of faith, but that does not mean that there is no evidence that there is a Source of the universe.

Time and space are not physical entities. They are rational constructs. One can measure time and mass, but that does not make them physical and certainly does not make them absolute. Newton’s science was based on absolute facts. Einstein’s understanding of science and Reality is based on relational facts and Reality.

If we are truly doing to have a scientific understanding of Reality we must move from the Newtonian and Darwinian point of view to Einstein’s, which we haven’t done yet…


We can certainly see gravitational lensing

What you see is a galaxy contorted into a ring due to the warping of spacetime.

It is strange that you are not doubtin gthe validity of science and Einstein’s theory in particular when Einstein’s theory says that mass warps spacetime.

The problem is that you freely switch between definitions of rational in a way that makes your posts incomprehensible. I am waiting for you to say that the number pi needs to see a psychiatrist because it is an irrational number.

That’s not logical at all. A singluarity doesn’t have to come from nothing as black holes have already shown us. Black holes are also singularities and they come from the collapse of massive stars.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #275

Apples and oranges or in other words B S

I am not doubting the validity of space/time, but your very selective use and abuse of this concept.

In mathematics, an irrational number is a real number that cannot be expressed as a ratio of integers, i.e. as a fraction. Therefore, irrational numbers, when written as decimal numbers, do not terminate, nor do they repeat.” from the internet.


Well, that is exactly what you are doing in your posts, switching between meanings of “rational”.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #277

There is only one basic meaning to the word “rational” and that is based on thought as opposed to emotion or chance. A rational person is one who thinks. A rational plan is one based on sound thinking. A rational number is a technical mathematical which has no direct connection to this general definition.

You should know this and I expect you do. Stop making lame excuses.


When I do a Google search, this is the first definition that comes up:

“based on or in accordance with reason or logic.”

When I say that the universe is rational I mean that the universe obeys physical laws so that we can use human reason and logic to investigate it. Is this the definition you are using?

Then explain what you mean when you wrote this:

You claimed that the universe is not rational in that it cannot think. You seem to be using the wrong definition.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #279

[quote=“T_aquaticus, post:278, topic:39114”]
When I say that the universe is rational I mean that the universe obeys physical laws so that we can use human reason and logic to investigate it. Is this the definition you are using?


@T_aquaticus, thank you for your response.

I think that I made clear that we agreed on this fact. 1) that the universe is rational in that it follows rational physical laws, and 2) that the evidence of this rationality is that we can use human reason and logic to study and understand it.[/quote]

The question that I am endeavoring to answer is: What caused these rational physical laws? One answer would be simple and obvious, and that is that nature or the universe created its own physical laws. however we know that rational laws require thinking to produce and the physical universe cannot think in order to produce its own laws.

The argument that the physical universe cannot think and therefore could not produce the laws of physics is not my argument, but the argument of Jacques Monod, the Nobel Prize-winning biologist and avowed atheist as found in his acclaimed book, Chance and Necessity.

Monod was disputing the claim that the universe has a meaning and purpose. He simply pointed out that purpose and meaning come through rationality and since the universe was no0tn rational. that in it could not think, the universe has no purpose or meaning.

He did point out that however that humans can give things purpose and meaning and do so when they create them, whether it be a house, a book, a meal or whatever. Minds give meaning to things, but his point was that human minds find meaning in the universe that is not there., because nature is not rational, but objective.

If human minds can give their creations meani8ng and purpose not naturally present, then certainly God’s Mind could have given God’s created universe the meaning and purpose God intended for us and I think that it is quite evident that has is what happened.

The rationality of the universe could have come from 1) a thinking universe per Monod which is not the case, 2) thinking humans which is not the case, because we objectively observe rationality, not subjectively read rationality into the universe, or 3) the rational thinking God YHWH Who was available, able and willing to do the job.

I apologize if I did not make all of my thinking clear in this discussion, but we have talked about this topic many times. Thank you for the opportunity to clarify Once more.


So are we using yet another definition for “rational”? Are you now saying that something is rational if it is capable of producing meaning and purpose?

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #281

NO. We agree that the universe is rational, which means that it can be understood by thought. The question is from where does this rationality come?

There are three viable possibilities, from nature itself, from humankind, and from the Creator. Using the process of elimination, we can reject humanity because we are the product of the rationality of nature, and we can reject nature because it cannot think and is not eternal so it did not produce itself. So we are left with God.

Since God (YHWH) had the power, the wisdom, the opportunity, and the motivation to create a rational universe, we can more than reasonably accept that YHWH God is the Creator of the Universe. You do not have to agree with this statement , but it does logically hold together.


Clouds don’t think and they can not produce themselves, so from these features do you conclude that clouds do not come about through natural processes?

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #283

First of all the rational universe was produced by rational processes, which is the reason it is rational, explicable. Clouds are also produced by a rational process, which is the reason they are rational, explicable. Clouds are rational because they are a part of the universe created rationally by the rational Creator God, YHWH.

The Big Bang is a rational, national process. The Big Bang developed from an e3vent is called a singularity. This formed the boundary between Nothing and the universe, this marks the beginning of time, space, mass, and energy.

We cannot say scientifically what happened before the Beginning of the universe, but the evidence indicates that only the Trinitarian God exists beyond the time and space.


So why couldn’t our universe be part of a larger rational process that is just as natural as the process that makes clouds? Why isn’t that an option?

What evidence is that?

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #285

You produce the evidence for this and we will consider it.

All that we have just discussed.


But why isn’t it an option?

You didn’t discuss any evidence.

(Matthew Pevarnik) #287

I’m with @T_aquaticus here in my confusion over what evidence you are looking at that helps you conclude that only the Trinitarian God exists beyond space and time? I’m assuming you are not looking at particular Scriptures to come to your conclusion or is that part of what you mean?