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Hey Russel don't take my word for it go to Scientific American website and learn what the Casimir Effect IS , and what it indicates , and how it is inconclusive . You would also learn that it has nothing to do with anti-matter as you indicated in an earlier post .

 

I would put more confidence in their ability to explain what you gleened from a revisable , editable source such as wikepedia . Which you obviously misunderstand .

 

And again , I'll repeat , the term " Event Horizon " , as far as anything I've read from 1965 to present has never referred to anything but Black Holes . Which were not even discovered yet when I started studying Astronomy and Cosmology .

 

Indeed ! "who knows what he 's talking about " seems to have been your main argument because it certainly isn't present day scientific knowledge in which you are confusing yourself with terms you are throwing about , but not understanding .

 

As for " maximium entropy " in the way you are using it , and another term which is a bit bizarre referring to the Big bang . I can only guess why and where you pulled that up from .

As far as the estimated size of the Universe, they START at 47 billion light years and go as high as 65 billion , and they are both speculative . And that may change radically with the newly discovered gravitational waves , which may take the speed limit off the speed of light , since an hypothesis has risen that INFLATION was much faster . What you fail to recognize s that all these estimates and hypotheses are based in several assumed astronomical constants , and as we've seen those constants are subject to change and adjustment .

 

But at the end of the day , the issue is not who knows what they're talking about and who does not - that is highly subjective . Your issue seems to be who is best suited to make the better GUESS as to the origin of the Universe . That's right Russel ...GUESS .

 

Your position is that an atheist is better suited , rather than a spiritualist . many scientists dare not venture a First Cause or Purpose because that would be intellectual suicide , others , not unlike you seem to suffer from the Galileo persecution complex ....get over it . There are many who believe in God who understand quite well the sciences involved , like Fr. George Lemaitre who was also a Roman Catholic BTW , and his peers got over it and joined the present . True there are the dogmatic religionists and fundamentalists who reject science , and there are also Buddhists and Hindus who have totally different ideas of what the Universe is , some ridiculous and some very ridiculous .

What I like about agnostics is that they are objective , they don't know , they admit it and are not assuming , and what I like about Occam's Razor is , that in essence it too is objective . For where there is a lack of information the easiest explanation is a good bet whether scientific or philosophical . That's called open mindedness .

But your position is narrow minded and subjective , yet you don't know anymore than the philosopher or the agnostic , indeed no more than the spiritualist . AND you KNOW there is no purpose , and no God . And the only basis you have for that position is .....the atheist is better suited ..lol...to know what he doesn't know .

Good luck with that Russel , and do yourself a favor and visit the Scientific American website , I think thry know a bit more than you or I regardless of any degree you may have . Atleast you'll KNOW why I questioned the terms you used in this discussion .

Edited by Aligarr

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what I like about Occam's Razor is , that in essence it too is objective . For where there is a lack of information the easiest explanation is a good bet whether scientific or philosophical .

Just to throw my 10 cents hat into the pot, I think that Occam's Razor is best described as the explanation that makes the fewest unsupported assertions is most likely.

"God did it" is the easiest explanation of them all, but it is just one big unsupported assertion.

 

And BTW, I hope you both realise that non-believers disagreeing about cosmology is proof that god exists, in some circles!

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No more than what science asserts QED . Since Science has no answer , it is no more logical or illogical to categorically state there is no purpose / ID / God etc. than to state that there is .

 

Don't quite understand the meaning of your last sentence , whether it was satirical or rhetorical . I think Russel's point was to show his "educated guess" on the origins of the Universe is superior to one who believes in a Purpose or Creator .

Obviously I am of the belief that the Universe has a prime mover / First Cause / ID and or a Creator . I do not consider my position superior to the agnostic position nor that of the atheist .

I do however think an atheists position takes just as much of a "leap of faith " in his belief , as does mine . The atheist states there is no God , why ? has he looked ? Where has he looked ? has he looked everywhere possible ? Does he know all there is to know of the Universe ? The answer to all of those is a resounding ...NO . I have looked for God , I have not yet looked everywhere possible ,and have not yet found any tangible evidence . Many Scientists regardless of their view on the existence of God look at the Universe , some see order , some see chaos , and both can hypothesize favoring their position .

 

And finally , yes indeed , it is a circular argument , whose only result can be stalemate .I find the agnostic a bit more honest in his evaluation of the situation we find ourselves in , and I find the position of an atheist a bit arrogant in their presumption that their " I don't know " is more credible than anyone else's " I don't know " .

 

To put simply, the atheist can not prove his argument nor can I.

 

If you know of or looked up the terms we have been using , you will see that many of the astronomical constants are not really constant , many are based on assumption . We do not fully understand the processes going on right in our neighborhood , and that of course is our star , the Sun . Yet we base our hypotheses on the observable processes we assume are going on in the Sun . We are regularly surprised by a new Measurement or unpredicted activity , that is displayed by the Sun . In a sense , our theories are based on a house of cards , each part held up by another . Should one fail , it's back to the drawing boards , and that has been done countless times since the first theories were arrived at .

I've been down this road before , in fact for the past 40 years or more , and I'm rather suspicious of Russel's misuse of terms and the types of examples he chose to make his point . I do not diminish him in any manner , for he knows no more than what he gleans from ever breaking news of scientific discovery , nor do I or you .

 

Upon my first subscription to Scientific American , they sent as a gift a book ' The Encyclopedia of Ignorance ' , and in it some amazing things that we do not know and STILL do not know . It gets highly technical but the import can be understood by the layman .

 

 

BTW like your moustache :)

Edited by Aligarr

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Hi Aligarr

 

Yes I’ve read what the Scientific American website says about the Casimir effect and I’ve read what the scientists involved and the theoretical physicists say about it, lets just say some dumbing down appears to be involved in the Scientific American view.  Yes the quote I gave was just the first hit on Google for this and Wikipedia is hardly a totally reliable source but it does have the bonus that anyone who knows better can update it to correctly reflect the best view available and the view expressed does correlate with the views expressed by many of the theoretical physicists involved.  I can dig for more of their work directly if you’d like.

 

Here’s a scientific paper from NASA (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20010091016.pdf) where they discuss, at the bottom of page 7 for instance, the creation of particle/antiparticle pairs using the Casimir effect.  Their aim was to create antimatter for space propulsion.  You’ll note in the details above that the energy levels have to exceed E+moc 2.  The explanation you gave, apparently from Scientific American, applies at lower energy levels but not at higher levels at which point the energy is sufficient to create matter in pairs, particle / antiparticle pairs.  As far as I know they’ve never actually managed to produce antimatter this way but theoretically it is possible at least according to the best minds in the business.

 

If you are familiar with Hawking you must be aware of his idea of Hawking Radiation, named after him.  This radiation is formed at the event horizon of a black hole by the gravitational differential tearing the matter and anti-matter particles of the vacuum apart before they can get back together and annihilate each other.  Yes that’s the same particles that can form in a sufficiently large Casimir effect experiment.  Maybe you are not aware of this but you claim to know Hawking and it’s clear that he is aware of it.

 

A slightly more precise, but still much simplified, view of the process is that vacuum fluctuations cause a particle-antiparticle pair to appear close to the event horizon of a black hole. One of the pair falls into the black hole while the other escapes. In order to preserve total energy, the particle that fell into the black hole must have had a negative energy (with respect to an observer far away from the black hole). By this process, the black hole loses mass, and, to an outside observer, it would appear that the black hole has just emitted a particle. (from the Wikipedia article on Hawking Radiation)

 

The second quote I gave was directly from a physicist, Victor J Stenger, who’s also a philosophy professor so he seems well equipped to tackle these sorts of questions.  Maybe you don’t like his use of the idea of “maximum entropy” but that is how he characterized the universe at the very beginning.  To have less that maximum entropy there must have been some structure, some order in universe at that time but that’s certainly ruled out by every description of the pre inflation universe that I’ve ever heard of so his characterization seems accurate.  If you don’t like it, especially based on the words of a lay magazine, then that’s up to you.  I’m not sure that view changes much here.

 

From the reading I’ve done gravitational waves are subject to the same restrictions on the speed of light as any other waves, have you seen any scientific papers that dispute this?  Inflation was well above the speed of light but matter/energy never travelled at those speeds it was space itself that expanded at those speeds and Einstein’s equations don’t limit space itself only things within space so this is not a breach of the rules at least as Einstein explained and understood them.

 

Yes the constants are not known for certain but they are based on the best measurements we have yet been able to arrange.  They may well change in the future. As for the size of the universe it’s an interesting question and, given what little I know if it, I suspect that the smaller end of the range is likely to be close to the truth but I wouldn’t be surprized to learn that it’s far larger than the largest current estimates either.  I’ve never looked deeply into the evidence behind those calculations.

 

To characterize these ideas as Guesses seems to be seeling those involved short. Sure they don’t know for certain, they may well be wrong even very wrong, but a guess is a stab in the dark without evidence but these ideas are formulated using all the best evidence and theory that we have at this time.  That’s far from a guess even understanding its limitations.

 

No I don’t believe that an atheist is ‘best suited’, a small percentage of scientist but not an insignificant group, are believers but that is, in my humble opinion, irrelevant. To be a good scientist you have to dispassionately look at the evidence available and weigh it up.  If you let your personal god beliefs stand in the way of that then you are not a good scientist but having a god belief does not prevent you from being a good scientist so no you don’t have to be an atheist to do this well.  The critical thing is to be a good scientist not an atheist or a believer.

 

Maybe you don’t know me, maybe you haven’t read much of what I’ve written here, but I’m not a hard atheist, I don’t believe we can know for sure that there is no god, I don’t have enough evidence for that and I suspect that I never will.  I’m an agnostic atheist.  I have never seen a god idea that makes sense so I don’t believe in any of them and I suspect that all are unfounded but something like Einstein’s god may well be real for instance.  Einstein suggested a god who kick-started things before the big bang then left and never returned.  I think such an idea is implausible but it is compatible with what we know of the universe at the moment.  It’s not ruled out by the evidence even if, to me, it makes no sense.

 

Russell

 

P.S. if you want to get to the nub of these questions try subscribing to the likes of Science or Nature where the actual scientists present their findings.  These articles may take some considerable effort to read and understand, they are straight from the horse’s mouth to other scientists in the fields, but they are truly informative if you want to understand just what scientists actually know.  Go to the source and avoid the dumbed down, lay magazines.  No matter how well written Scientific American is it is still written down to a lay audience, it is a simplification it does not present what scientists actually say, what they actually understand.

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Well Russel I see your ego has been bruised .So let's cut to the chase . I argued on this subject with much smarter people than you .
You threw out terms you thought sounded intelligent as you assumed would strengthen your position , but all you accomplished was to show me you didn't know what you were4 talking about or misapplying it to the basic point of your argument . Yes I've read hawking , and there are points he makes where he questions our very perception of reality . In fact as I'm typing I'm looking at one his works sitting on the shelf " Mind Underlies Spacetime ". His hypotheses on the event horizon of Black Holes , in which he believes no information can be retrieved has been challenged by other theoretical physicists , so Hawking too , does not have the final or definitive word on Event Horizons , as the challenging view states equations that information is not in fact lost . I don't pretend to understand the mathematical equations but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand the implications of the issue . I know you're trying hard to prove you're a Phd , but you've already convinced me that you're not .
If indeed you clicked on Casimir Effect and did in fact choose to go to Scientific American , the " dumbed down " explanation is quite sufficient to glean an understanding of what the experiment and effects pertain to . In the 40 years that I've been a subscriber to Scientific American , and Science News [ a weekly digest ] I've seen theories in the May issue get shot down in the June issue , and this by more intelligent scientists than you pretend to be . And the same over greater periods of time such as decades . The Big Bang to this moment is only understood from a few planck seconds after the initial expansion or explosion or inflation [ take your pick ] beyond that, no one knows ANYTHING about it's origin , nor is there anything tangible that has been learned as to it's origin . Yes the newly discovered gravitational waves offers better insights into the nature of the expansion , even questioning another cosmological constant .the speed of light .
At that point , one man's guess is good as another's . Your arrogance and presumptuousness is evident , in that you feel your position on the existence of a purpose [ and it's implications ] give you a superiority of understanding better than the opposing position , but that is your delusion . You are in no better position to make your guess than anyone else who can read and has at
least a high school education . Indeed even simpler men with less education like Hubble have offered insights that took Einstein endless calculation to arrive at . I'm sure you must know his story .
And FYI , Scientific American , is not a magazine that dumbs down the issues , that's just your ego trying to impress and recover from whence it was bruised . I would guess by your reference to " the lay person " you are referring to me , and I would imagine that to be your expected reaction when challenged . You may get away with that act when dealing with Fundamentalist and Dogmatic religionists or those who are truly ignorant to the sciences , I am neither .
Your problem is that the sum total of your information comes from the internet where there is a hefty mix of opinion , and a predisposed bias towards the metaphysical in the websites you are no doubt revisiting to retrieve your rebuttal material .

So be it , you can not escape the fact , that you yourself indicated the use of Occam's Razor in such situations ,and by doing so , the scientific can not diminish the philosophical nor vice versa when there is a lack of information . In this discussion our information is the same and the lack thereof the same, in answering the ultimate questions of Where did the singularity come from , How did it get there , and WHY . No scientist knows if the Universe is open or closed , nor what it is expanding into or creating as it expands . At that point science does not preclude the philosophical , nor does your arrogant and condescending attitude .

Edited by Aligarr

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Hi Aligarr

 

Having read Hawking you therefor must understand what he was talking about when he described how the vacuum created those matched particle / antiparticle pairs that were torn apart at the event horizon of a black hole to produce Hawking Radiation.  Yes I understand that this idea has never been proven but Hawking himself spelled out the idea I’m presenting here the idea that you are ridiculing.  I’ll leave it to others here to decide who better to believe, you or Hawking.

 

I agree that Hawking, as great as he is, does not have the final word on ‘event horizons’ but if he presents this idea it seems implausible that it’s completely foolish.  Are you claiming to be greater than Hawking?

 

I don’t remember ever even hinting at my educational background.  Do you?  Is it relevant?

 

The Scientific American article does explain the Casimir Effect experiments but it glosses over the totality of the vacuum fluctuations that underlie it.  The experiments focus on a very small area of imperfect vacuum but in more perfect and larger environments the total energy is larger, large enough according the E=mc2 to produce matter as I said.  To maintain the average zero energy, of course, that created matter must come in balanced and opposite forms so that the ‘virtual particles’ created cancel each other out when they come back together.  Only a particle and its antiparticle can completely cancel each other out leaving us with that perceived zero energy vacuum of our everyday experience.  It was these particles that Hawking predicted would be torn apart by gravity at the event horizon of the black hole.  Now maybe you don’t believe they exist but some very well-credentialed scientists disagree.  To call me foolish for agreeing with the likes of Hawking seems irrational I’d have to suggest.

 

LOL now I’m pretending to be a scientist!  You have a very interesting take on this.

 

You have observed one theory get overturned by another which is science working as it should.  That is science’s self-correcting nature, something that is seriously lacking in the alternatives.  It is that self-correcting nature that, from where I sit, places science correctly applied well ahead of all of the alternatives you’d rather us follow, alternatives such as religion and philosophy.

 

Yes we can only model the ‘Big Bang’ from a tiny fraction of a second after it’s initiation but not before.  That is well understood but it has been worked out that if it were created by a vacuum fluctuation that it would have to have one distinguishing characteristic today a characteristic we can detect, zero total energy, and of course that is what we see when we measure the energy in our universe with the positive energy of matter etc canceling out the negative energy of gravity.  Einstein proved that gravity was a negative energy field so that’s not new.  That obviously falls short of proof but it is the only signature we would so far expect to find if the universe was created thus.  Yes Gravitational waves may well give us further insights into this fascinating field and who knows what we’ll learn.  Some even claim that this signature on the cosmic microwave background is support for the Multiverse idea though I can’t say that that rings true to me with the evidence presented so far.

 

Yes the ‘big bang’ was neither bit nor a bang, it was tiny and it was a smooth, very very smooth, expansion unlike any explosion I’ve ever heard of.

 

I disagree that one man’s guess is as good as another’s.  Would you say that the guesses of Fred the milk man were as good as those of Einstein when thinking about the photoelectric effect all those years ago?  Not having all the answers does not mean that any fool’s ideas are as good as anyone else’s.  There are still people, well trained intelligent people, scientists, who know more about it than the rest of us.  I suspect that it is these people who are in the best position to work out what’s really going on here.

 

You may be a lay person, you may be a PhD’d scientist for all I know, I make no presumptions until you tell me.  The magazine “Scientific American” is aimed at an intelligent lay audience not at scientists.  Nature, Science and other refereed journals are aimed at scientists.

 

I’ve snipped the Ad Hom’s.  Not interested.  If you have evidence to present in support of your conclusions please present it.

 

Russell

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Well Russel atleast 50 of the country's most renowned theoretical physicists seem to know less than you . How is that so ?  The fact that you make form statements regarding these concepts which are being argued heatedly at this moment proves you have no understanding of what you are talking about . Maybe you should get a bus ticket to Caltech and illuminate those who are arguing of the paradox found in the very thing you seem to think is resolved .

 

 I made no claim to being a PHD or an MA in theoretical physics or any other of the disciplines involved , I made it quite clear the extent and sources of what I know . Nor do I assume the authority of such .

 Your insistence that scientific American is a publication for the laymen is abjectly incorrect , and if you bothered , you can easily google Black  Holes  or Theoretical Physics of Black Holes and I'm sure you will be well over your head as was I after the 2nd or third paragraph . But even the layman can detect the discord and disagreement regarding the quantum mechanics involved . The key word in your above reply is  "some claim " ....INDEED ! The issue is in no way resolved and more than one paradox  exists . And they have yet to be resolved .

 Your failure to detect the uncertainty expressed amongst the top theoretical Physicists , indicates to me that you have in fact not bothered .

 p.s. you are very coy this time with you ad homs , that you allegedly "snipped " . Do yourself a favor and read the upto date present state of the theoretical physic involving black holes , their even horizons , and the big bang .

 Then come back and tell me which have been resolved .

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Hi Aligarr

 

You’ll have to illuminate me on which theory it is that I am expounding on here that the physicists are still arguing about.  Maybe your first statement will make more sense then.  Actually I’m not the least bit surprized that the theories I’ve been putting forwards are still open to discussion, that’s the way of science, but then I didn’t present ‘the truth’ just the views of a group of physicists on it.  If you are unaware of it that’s fine but don’t think me a fool because I’ve studied the works of physicists you are unaware of.

 

Which brings me to another interesting point, in your last post you suggested that my ego was hurt because of your earlier statements but lets look rationally at that.  You had pointed out that your sources of information were “Scientific American” and a few books from Stephen Hawking and not much else while I was giving you information from physicists on the cutting edge of this research, physicists you were apparently unaware of and ideas you were equally unaware of.  Given that why would my ego be hurt?  You admit ignorance and I’m supposed to be personally upset about it. Sorry but that makes no sense from where I’m sitting.

 

No you didn’t claim to be a PhD or an MA etc, you’ll have to show me where I suggested otherwise.

 

There are paradox’s in many fields of science not the least of which is quantum physics and the wave particle duality of matter.  I suspect that the solution to this paradox is quite simply that quantum objects are neither waves nor particles but some exotic matter that has characteristics of both. I don’t believe this paradox can be resolved because we don’t have anything in our macro world that is equivalent.  Richard Feynman is said to have quipped "If you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics" and Neils Bohr once said "Anyone who is not shocked by quantum theory has not understood it."  I think that is because, in the macro world, there are no objects which behave the way quantum objects do so we simply can’t ‘understand’ them as we do larger objects around us.  Our “common sense” is out of its depth here.  Obviously this issue goes far deeper into quantum theory than just particle duality with quantum uncertainty, similarly, being a property that simply does not exist in the macro world and so our minds are not equipped to deal with it except by formal, mathematical, understanding.

 

You’ll have to show me where I said that theoretical physicists are certain of any of this?  Such a statement is counter to the entire idea of science and it’s certainly not one I’d ever consciously make no matter how well settled the subject was.

 

So not much content to that really, you seem to have slipped away from actually talking about what is understood or suspected through science into just complaining about the way I present information here.  Please if you have a problem in how I present it then bring your counter evidence into the discussion and let’s talk about that, to me the rest is largely irrelevant.  It was Margret thatcher who once said “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”  Particularly apt don’t you think?

 

Russell

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P.S.  This from "Scientific American's" description of themselves in About "Scientific American":-

 

 

"The leading source and authority for science, technology information and polity for a general audience"

 

Compare that to Science :-

 

 

Founded in 1880 on $10,000 of seed money from the American inventor Thomas Edison, Science has grown to become the world's leading outlet for scientific news, commentary and cutting-edge research, with the largest paid circulation of any peer reviewed general-science journal.

 

Science publishes, every week, cutting edge, peer reviewed research papers from the scientists involved in many fields.  It's just one journal but it is the sort of journal you need to read if you want to keep up with what the scientists themselves are thinking without dumbing down etc, straight from the horses mouth.  There are many other similar publications specific to virtually any field of endeavour you might be interested in and many other ways to engage with the people at the coal face so that you can understand what really is in their heads.

 

Don't get me wrong, I love Scientific American but you have to understand what it is.

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Russel , please it is far too late for you to deny a condescending attitude in this discussion . Yes , your ego has been bruised .And that is evident by your replies and the words they contain . You have done that so many times and in subtle and not so subtle ways . First of all no one called you a fool regarding Hawking , nor did I ridicule his theory . I did say Hawking does not have the final definitive word in his hypotheses .WHERE do you interpret that as calling you a fool ? You use of the terms "dumbed down" or "dumbing down" is a phrase used exclusively by you in your replies . Your vain attempt to prove that your use of the term " event horizon " was correct , for reference to the Big Bang and the edge of the observable , multiple times shows me also that you are a man who can not admit it when proven wrong . Your interpretation of the Casimir Experiment and Effect is indicative of the same . Your arrogant and condescending notion that those who believe a purpose , are inferior to those like yourself and less likely to understand the science is another indication of the same . If the Casimir effect proves anything it proves that the vacuum of space is not really a vacuum ,there is always something [photons at short or longer wavelegnths etc.] it makes no novel statement regarding anti- matter .

 

It seems to me scientific notions are not the only things you pull out of the air .

 

You stated earlier with the use of another bizarre term "Extreme Entropy" , that that must have been the state of the Singularity which preceeded the Big Bang . You somehow tried to tie in that ,to show an issue that was more or less resolved ergo Extreme entropy was the state of the Universe before the Big Bang . If you did not mean to imply that , then you had better learn how to express your ideas more clearly .

As for the theories being tossed around by atleast 50 theoretical physicists at Cal Tech , Hawking's is in the mix equally and nothing has been resolved .

 

And finally , you have made my point with your own words and quotes by Feynman and Bohr .Indeed ! Please show me how a scientific approach is better suited than a philosophical approach to making a guess the origin of the Universe , explain your rationale other than " we are better equipped ".

 

Don't get me wrong I'm not knocking science , it is great at attempting to describe what it sees [observation ] and make predictions based on those observations . But you should take note , that in most all cases the observation comes first then the math to ascribe a particular physical law which may be in play . From there predictions are made based on the math which should be able to make those predictions . In the case of Big Bang theory , the math came after the observation that the Universe was expanding , and then extrapolated backwards [ with the aid of discovered astronomical and then cosmological constants ] to a point where the math simply broke down , and it broke down because the physical laws to describe anything like that [ pre -bang singularity ] are at present unknown . And that is the paradox facing the theorists regarding the event horizon of Black holes , whether it be Quantum mechanics { or quantum electrodynamics} or classical astrophysics which are applied to the macrocosm . There are slam-dunks in Science , but not in the fields of Cosmology and theoretical physics . In fact the most important and significant factor to all of us - TIME , is not understood in any small or large way at all . The only two statements that can be made about time are it is slowed /warped by gravity , and we perceive it's passage and describe that as The Arrow of Time .

So for all that science doesn't know , for all the paradoxes and unknowns in quantum theory , tell me . exactly how does one arrive at a conclusion that, as to The Cause or The Origin of the Universe , science and a position of atheism is better /suited/equipped than the philosophical to make speculation regarding that ?

 

BTW-the wave / particle duality refers to light not matter . But you are half right in that the components of light , photons are in effect matter. But the experiment exposing this duality was with light waves behaving as both wave and particle .

Edited by Aligarr

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Hi Aligarr

 

[snip ad homonym]

 

Observational event horizons. :- http://www.mso.anu.edu.au/~charley/papers/DavisLineweaver04.pdf this is a scientific paper discussing in some detail the observational event horizons I was talking about earlier.  Sorry if you were previously unaware of this usage of the term but as you can see it is standard language among scientists in this field.

 

Vacuum Fluctuations:- I presented a paper last time from NASA (http://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20010091016.pdf) in which the scientists were attempting to use the Casimir effect to generate and separate anti matter to create fuel for space craft.  Again you may not be aware of this research or this usage of the concepts but they are real none the less.

 

Sorry but if it makes you feel better I’ll keep my attitude to people who accept concepts without evidence to myself from now on.  I don’t intend to upset anyone but if you want to understand my views you’ll have to accept that they conflict with yours at times.  I understand that you don’t think much of atheists but that doesn’t bother me at all.

 

I searched for the term “Extreme Entropy” but only found it, twice, in your last post.  Who’s pulling things from thin air here?  Please go back and search our previous posts if you don’t believe me.  I did mention “maximum entropy” which was the term used by a physicist, Victor J Stenger Emeritus Professor of Physics and Cosmology at the University of Hawaii and Adjunct Professor of Philosophy at the University of Colorado when I described the state of the pre inflation universe but you’ll have to argue with Victor if you disagree with that characterization.

 

There are many theories as to how the universe got started and yes “god did it” is one of them but there’s no evidence for that one.  If you want to read Victor Stenger’s thoughts on it have a look at this article http://infidels.org/images/media/library/modern/vic_stenger/stealth.pdf in which he goes through a number of plausible scenarios including the burrowing of a particle from nothing into De Sitter space which triggered inflation which I mentioned earlier.

 

Yes in many cases the observation comes first then the theories to describe it but that’s far from universally the case.  Many of Einsteins predictions were ridiculed and people invented test after test to disprove this obvious rubbish and time and again Einstein was proven correct by those tests.  The microwave background radiation is another example of something unexpected which was predicted by those scientific theories before it was observed.  That’s not exactly uncommon in science in fact theories which don’t extend our knowledge beyond the simple observations already made are not worth much.  To really test a theory you have to extrapolate beyond what is already know, you have to make a risky prediction based on your theory, the go out there and look to test if you have it right.

 

Yes some of the mathematical formations around the big bang model came after the observation that the universe was expanding but many other things have sprung from those mathematical models, the cosmic microwave background for example, things that would not have been expected except that the theory predicted them.

 

Yes we simply don’t have the models to describe how matter behaves in the sorts of conditions that must have existed before inflation.

 

I agree that we can’t ‘know’ there wasn’t a creator behind the big bang. As has been pointed out we have shown that, in all probability, he could not have influenced the universe that came from inflation due to the inability of any information from before to pass through that event into the universe that we now see around us but we certainly can’t know for certain that he’s not back there.  Of course we can’t know that there isn’t a teapot orbiting Pluto but it’s not rational to give the teapot position any serious credence without evidence.  Yes I’m afraid to say I’m an afairyist, an a teapotist and many others as well as an agnostic atheist.  Until some evidence for any position can be found I'll not buy it.

 

Still the conclusion is that we can’t know for certain that there isn’t a cause for the universe rather it’s simply that given the complete lack of evidence for such a cause we should not believe in it pending, of course, the arrival of evidence.

 

No the wave particle duality question has been shown to occur for matter, electrons, protons and neutrons specifically, as well as for photons.  All of these objects show both wave and particle like properties not just photons.  The first of the Neutron and Proton experiments were conducted in 1929 by Estermann and Otto Stern.  In the 1970’s an experiment was conducted measuring the effects of gravity on the wave particle duality question in Neutrons so this is an ongoing field but it’s long been know that photons are not the only particles that display this behaviour.

 

Russell

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Occam's Razor Russel , that's the deal . You got no proof that there is no purpose , I got no proof there is . And as far as the wave /particle paradox , it was first discovered with light .

 Science has NOTHING that is even close to plausible as to the origins of the Universe , it's actual size or it's ultimate fate .

 

And  I'm SORRY you were correct " Maximum Entropy " is the term you used , and it still remains to be a bizarre term describing the conditions that must have been present preceeding the Big bang .

 

Btw , it doesn't make me feel better as you put it , regarding your attitude , it only makes you look arrogant and condescending when you have an equal lack of evidence .

 

 After all , neither of us need be phd's or astro-physicists to  glean the latest information , and conclude that Science just doesn't know and can only venture a guess , as to the origins of the Universe . I simply take exception to attitudes such as yours , where you entertain the notion that science and your claimed atheism , is in a better position to make a guess based on the same lack of information , the same unknowns faced  by the philosophical .

 

 And please explain to me how " a particle burrowing   from  nothing into De  Sitter space triggering inflation " is any more plausible than God did it ?  Where did the particle come from ? And if I understand it correctly doesn't De Sitter space come into play AFTER the Big Bang ? It's formula /equation is 

 T = 10 - 33 seconds after the Big bang , that would eliminate the notion of a particle burrowing into de Sitter space triggering inflation , would it not ?

 

And include in your answer if you choose to answer, your understanding of that scenario , in your own words .

Edited by Aligarr

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Re: Origin of the Universe.

Science = Educated Guess

Religion = Uneducated Guess.

 

Everyone happy?

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I see you missed the point QED.

Religion was not mentioned .Religion is a system of belief created by men , replete with dogma, rules, and restrictions. based on the notions and opinions of men , inspite of and often in contradiction to scientific facts .

 

Origin of the Universe

science = assumed educated guess ,yet based on intuition, speculation and mathematics in the face of unknowns .

 

philosophical = guess based in logic and intuition in the face of unknowns .

 

Contradiction in science at this point , is the touting of Occam's Razor ,which in the face of an utter lack of information the scientific and/or philosophical hold equal weight . Yet folks like you and Russel abandon it .

 

Science is a great thing . It describes what it observes , and makes predictions based on those observations, and ingeniously devises mathematics to describe the physical laws which do in fact predict in many cases what they will find or attempt to find next .And also in many cases lead to a paradox .

 

But when it comes to what can not be observed  ie: pre big bang physics / ultimate fate of the Universe ,and there is no math or physical laws to describe or predict , they are in the same position as the philosopher . If you think that statement is false , I refer you to Russel's example of a particle [coming from nothing ] burrowing into De Sitter Space Time and thus triggering inflation &quo , or try Entanglement of particles , where two particles interact with one another and possess the same information even if at great distances " and that is an hypothesis devised with out any proof whatsoever , an educated guess in either instance I have just mentioned is just as baseless as the Buddhist belief that we are all living on the back of a gigantic turtle . It is a stab in the dark , except instead of being made by so-called laymen , it is made by PHDs Each sharing the same illusion of superiority of point of view .

Hawking , one of the great minds of our time comes to the same dead end as would Russel , you or  I , and at that point engages in wild speculation .Any one who has read his work . Mind Underlies Spacetime , would quickly realize this half way through the book .

If you choose to call what science offers as to the origin of the Universe an educated guess then that is simply a matter of opinion , when there is a lack of information .

 

And this of course is the bottom line of all the bantering and back and forths between Russel and I . Russel's opinion is that science and it's guesses and speculation,in the face of the same lack of information as the philosophical , is superior to the same uninformed speculation. That is the illusion of Scientists and yes , the illusion of Religionists .

 

Origin of the Universe

Science = A /0

Philosophical = A/0

A/0+ A/ = A/0

 

Everyone's still perplexed and that looks like Stalemate . And there are factions on both sides which can not admit it . Ergo Atheists are in fact Agnostics but can't admit it . I'm sure there is a formula in mathematics for I just don't know which both sides of the issue must abide.

 

God did it / There is no God - hold equal weight .

Edited by Aligarr

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I see you missed the point QED..

I wasn't looking for one.

philosophical = guess based in logic and intuition in the face of unknowns .

The First Law of Philosophy: For every philosopher, there exists an equal and opposite philosopher.

The Second Law of Philosophy: They're both wrong.

 

How about this

Re: Origin of the Universe.

Science = Educated Guess

Religion = Uneducated Guess

Philosphy = Anyone's guess.

Edited by QED

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LOL....your 1st and 2nd laws are rhetorical B.S. ...but hey they're good for a laugh.

 

As for your listed definitions ?  If they make you feel good . You're no closer to reality . However I 'd accept it if you can explain the logic in " a particle [from nothing] burrowing into  De Sitter Spacetime triggering Inflation  ", and explain how you consider that educated . In reality it is blatant speculation , nothing more , just using scientific jargon .

 

 Neither you, science nor Russel can , and this relegates the educated guess to the same class as Anyone's guess . Otherwise known as opinion , and I don't think I have to repeat that old common axiom about opinion do I ?

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I know atheists find it hard to accept , that at the end of the day , they are of equal footing with the philosophers . Scientifically and logically the atheist has no reason other than opinion to consider his view superior . When it comes to the origin of the  Universe both know NOTHING .

 

Now if you want to try and sell the notion , that your  nothing is more credible than someone else's nothing .....good luck with that . Sure you can run rings around religious fundamentalists of all stripes , but when you encounter those who embrace logic and critical thinking, the playing field becomes level .

 

btw - notice you've changed your profile display .lololol

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Firstly, I have no firm opinion on the origin of the universe. As you point out, all the hypotheses are just different types of guessing and we may never know, but I will continue to follow the guesswork with interest. However, the more I look at other issues, the less I favour the religious version. (Another thing to bear in mind when weighing up these guesses is the track record of the guesser. In this respect, science comes out some way ahead of philosophy with religion a poor third)

 

That brings me on to the second point. I have finally accepted that I am really an atheist (rather that an agnostically vague deist), in the strict sense of the word. The lack of evidence for, and all the circumstantial evidence against, any of the posited deities leads me inexorably to that position. In light of this, I find it virtually impossible to accept that something that most likely does not exist is responsible for something that may well not have happened! Sort of.

 

In part I have Andalusi to thank for this revelation. Spending so much time challenging his unsupported assumptions made me address some of my own and I found them unsupportable. So he has managed at least one convert with his "miracles". Just probably not the way he intended!

Edited by QED

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Hi Aligarr

 

You are correct, I have no proof but then I never claimed to so that’s not exactly a complaint about my position.  What I have presented is some details of a number of extrapolations from the current scientific view that could explain the beginnings of the universe, that’s it.

 

Yes you are now correct, the wave particle duality paradox was first discovered in light but it was known to apply to matter as well, as I stated, at least since 1929 so you were just a little out of date when you told me off for pointing that out.

 

Yes I presented the words of a well-credentialed physicist when I explained that the universe at the start of inflation was in a state of maximum entropy.  As I said if you have a problem with that characterization you need to take it up with “Victor J Stenger” Emeritus Professor of physics etc who can be reached at his mailing list which is available on his website.  He has answered a number of my questions directly so he’s very approachable if you want to take him to task on this question.  He’s not the only one to point out that precondition to inflation by the way he’s just the first hit I found on Google when you asked about it.

 

I think I explained before that to characterize what science can tell us about the beginning of the universe as a guess is to misunderstand how science works.  No one ever said they knew what happened but the ideas presented are based on a great deal of knowledge about how this universe works, knowledge gained from experiments, from observations and from the theories that predict so much about this universe very very accurately.  Sure they are extrapolating beyond the current observations but that is what science does then it looks for ways to test its hypothesis.  Show me an equivalent, self-correcting system in philosophy or religion?  Unless you can show me that any of the alternatives have the mechanisms, the systems in place to produce and test hypothesis about the universe you are coming from a very weak position.

 

You ask one very specific questions that I can answer off the top of my head (I’m on the train heading home so I don’t have access to the internet to lookup the specific details), “where did the particle come from”.  That’s the particle which burrowed through into De Sitter space to trigger the big bang.  According to this theory it came from the same place as those virtual particles created in vacuum fluctuations, it came from borrowing energy from the uncertainly of the vacuum as described by quantum physics.  According to this theory, which is disputed by some physicists and accepted by others, the first event in that chain of causation was the burrowing event, burrowing from nothing at all into De Sitter space just as particles burrow all the time in our experiments though not from nothing at all but the maths for both situations is identical.

 

Now another important question here is, why is that explanation superior to the “god did it” answer given by believers.  And this one comes back to Occam’s Razor.  Consider the complexity of the prerequisites of each idea.  A single particle alone jumping the potential barrier into De Sitter space is a very simple thing you’d have to admit but a god who is complex, powerful and intelligent enough to create and control entire universes to his whim, that is a very complex thing indeed.  Science answers the question “where did complexity come from” based only on simplicity while religious people push the answer beyond our reach into realms we can never examine and call it god.  Science’s explanations are simple and they explain the whole process in terms of simplicity while religions simply don’t examine the true underlying problems.  That’s true for evolution and it’s true for the beginnings of the universe.  Science certainly does not have all the answers but it at least attempts to tackle these questions rather than just sweeping them under the rug.  It was Dawkins who suggested that religions should be condemned for one thing above all else, they should be condemned for teaching people to happily accept non answers to these really big questions.  I don’t think we should ever dumb our society down like that so I have to agree with Dawkins on this.  Religion was wrong when it told us that lightning was thrown by gods, it is wrong when it tells us that the stars are hung in the sky to be used as weapons against daemons. How many times does religion have to be wrong before people start to think clearly about it?

 

For a full account of how a single quantum physical burrowing event could trigger inflation and the initiation of the ‘big bang’ you should read

 

The Universe: the ultimate free lunch

V J Stenger

Dept. of Phys. & Astron., Hawaii Univ., Honolulu, HI, USA

V J Stenger 1990 Eur. J. Phys. 11 236. doi:10.1088/0143-0807/11/4/008

 

I gave you the gist of it earlier but here’s a few more details as I, rather imperfectly, understand it.  It starts when a particle burrows from nothing into de sitter space triggering inflation.  Burrowing events are often seen in quantum physics so that’s nothing new, particles cross potential barriers that they don’t have the energy to cross all the time, but in this case the particle (actually just a burst of energy but with enough energy via E=mc2 to create a particle) warps space time.  In a flat space geometry nothing happens, as per the vacuum fluctuations which are examples of the same sort of event, the energy is only borrowed from the vacuum and disappears almost instantly.  This is a special case because, in the absence of anything warping space time creates a non-zero cosmological constant.  It is that shift in the cosmological constant which causes space to expand exponentially in what we call inflation.  Thermodynamics is not breached because no work, in total, is done.  The expansion is driven by the negative pressure of the positive cosmological constant and the expansion creates the energy that will become matter and energy in our universe as it evolves but totaling zero.  The negative energy of that cosmological constant cancels positive energy or matter etc.

 

Now the only signature you’d expect to see if the above were true was that zero total energy which is true of our universe as far as we can tell with the positive energy of matter and radiation that we observe cancelled out by the negative energy of gravity as Einstein proved many years ago.  That one signature is insufficient to prove this theory because it is also compatible with a number of other scenarios. It’s not necessarily true if a god created the universe because he is claimed to be all powerful so he would not need to create a universe with zero energy but it is necessarily true if the universe was created naturally unless there is some other realm, a multiverse for instance, which could supply the energy required though zero energy is also compatible with the idea of a multiverse so that finding doesn’t advance our knowledge in that area.

 

The above is more plausible that “God did it” because we understand what a curved space-time is in considerable detail.  There’s even evidence now that the cosmological constant of our universe is currently not zero so we are still living in a slightly curved space time.  “God did it” doesn’t tell us anything but the maths of this does even if we are uncertain of it.  It is testable, it makes predictions, “God did it” is not and does not.

 

You asked where the particle came from but here you are thinking outside quantum physics, you are using common sense which is clearly out of its depth in this question, in quantum physics the particle didn’t have to come from anywhere just as the particles in vacuum fluctuations don’t come from anywhere.  That sort of appearance from nowhere is common in the quantum realm.

 

A De Sitter Space describes the space we live in but it’s more than that.  The De Sitter solution is a sphere of n-dimensional space time.  It’s a symmetric vacuum solution to Einstein’s field equations with a positive cosmological constant.  That means that the cosmological constant is repulsive which is obviously required for inflation, that replusivity corresponds to the negative energy required to offset the positive energy of matter and radiation that we see around us.  If n=4 then a De Sitter space describes the universe we inhabit with three spacial dimensions and one time but more dimensions are allowed for.  A De Sitter space time does not have a zero cosmological constant, it must be positive.

 

You may well be correct that this is impossible but greater minds that mine have shown mathematically how it could have occurred this way.  Only time will tell if it stacks up to evidence.  That’s where science lives.

 

Russell

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Hey QED , you contradicted yourself , but hey , circular argument again . As far as using Andalusi as any kind of example for an intelligent discussion on such a subject ? Well all I can say is ...surely you jest  ! 

   You like shooting ducks in a barrel ? There's really no sport in that you know . Andalusi is bound by his religions dogma , literally by every word , you know that , so what did you really expect of him ?

 So you favor this or that , well atleast that's a more honest position , because favor is based in opinion and most opinions based in subjectivity , but that's ok .

  I do however disagree with , and will correct you on  parts of your statement ...there is no circumstantial evidence against any posited deists . That's simply rhetoric and has no better chance of possibility than a Universe appearing out of nothing .

 Personally I'm open to whatever discoveries come about and I rule out neither categorically . I simply don't consider one view superior to the other when neither has proof .

Subjectively though , I cast my lot with Intelligent design , or if you will a deity , of which we have no real knowledge of other than the act of creation , of which no one knows by what mechanism . But even IF I were to declare myself an atheist , there's no way I would buy a particle from nothing triggering and creating a Universe like the one we see , or any other for that matter .  But that is by no means the wildest of guesses coming from science . Hawking has proved that with his Mind Underlies Space-Time , where our perception of reality itself is brought into question .

  It is easy to mock Andalusi's views and his woefully inadequate defences of them .  Just like Christians who believe creation took 6 days and the Earth's age being  less than 10,000 years old - ducks in a barrel .

 

 btw just what is an agnostically vague deist ????     That's gotta be a new edition for the English language Lexicon . Good Luck in your new found faith , but I don't think Andalusi is on the scene any more to have his nose rubbed in your recent conversion .

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Hey Russel , first let me thank you for taking the time and the effort to explain the DeSitter view . I will not pretend to understand all that you have just stated . But if I am understanding just a little of it , then it seems someone will have to find a way to detect Dark Matter , because then the explanation would become atleast , more plausible . Equations call for it's existence , theories indeed rely on its existence , the Universe as we presently know and observe , behaves as if exists , yet it is only inferred , but not yet detected . Perhaps aother great mind will make another great leap like Einstein or Hawking .

  I can look objectively at science as it postulates , hypothesizes , theorizes and establishes Physical Laws involving Quantum Mechanics .  At the moment these are only partially understood and no one knows to what degree .

  I Understand where your coming from and appreciate your position .  We view these things differently , after all Hoyle went to his grave firmly believing that the Universe was not expanding , it was a in a Steady State . He believed the redshift to be tired light , and any expansion to be an illusion of light or gravity . Obviously he was wrong , and he had the advantage of Hubble's discoveries ,  and Einsteins Theory and the effect of gravity on light  tested by observation of an Eclipse .And so it goes with Theoretical Physics . Objectively , I will wait on the discoveries keeping an open mind , but in the meantime  subjectively , philosophically and intuitively I favor purpose .

 

 If you consider that lesser , so be it , I accept your view ,and bear you no animus .  We will wait and see

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you contradicted yourself , but hey , circular argument again

Where was this? I try to avoid doing it so would appreciate the heads up.

 

I simply don't consider one view superior to the other when neither has proof . Subjectively though , I cast my lot with Intelligent design, or if you will a deity

Now that is contradictory (casting lots is to make a definite decision)

 

there is no circumstantial evidence against any posited deities. That's simply rhetoric

There is much. Most applies to all gods, some only to specific ones. I'll start you with the real evidence of the inefficacy of prayer.

btw just what is an agnostically vague deist ???? .

I believe that they have recently become extinct, so our last chance to determine that has gone. I think they were genetically similar to the Vaguely Agnostic Deist.

Edited by QED

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QED , you contradict yourself in that " now you are a confirmed atheist , and WHO was responsible ? LOL....Andalusi ?

The contradiction is that you pretemd to be intelligent yet you are influenced by one such as Andalusi ? Really ?

 

What is the evidence against a Universe with purpose or intelligent design ? Yes , I';; agree that the universe does not exist on the back of a giant turtle ,and monkeys , cobras ,elephants are not gods .

 

"agnostically vague deist " ? Hmmmm .....I imagine you are applying your new term in a comabacker . Well looking at the big picture from a scientific point of view objectively that may be a plausible description of many scientists , after all , they are not all exclusively confirmed atheists such as yourself , lol...and I'm sure none could have been converted by Andalusi .

But before you extoll any more effort in your endeavor here , let me advise you , that I don't care what you believe , nor who's view you favor .

The jist of the exchange between us has been whether one who states there is no god , has a leg up on on who does , in making the cosmic guess as to the origin of the Universe .

Both you and Russel have raised Occam's Razor , and if you actually read Occam's reasoning rather than just repeating it out of rote , then you would realize regarding that one Question ....it applies , and the philosophical and the scientific bear equal weight in the face of an UNKNOWN .

Whether you favor this or that is a matter of opinion . So go for it QED . Your opinion is your own and accept the fact that there exists other opinions .. After all I'll bet you everything in my wallet that if you took any 25 cosmologists , maybe only a third of them would ascribe to the DeSitter model ,

Or consider Olber's paradox and then tell me which Universe you ascribe to - Finite or Infinite . It's pick and choose man .

 

So if you feel comfortable being a now "confirmed atheist " good for you QED . I am not . I have no problem with atheists , in fact one of m best friends [ really ] whom I also served in Vietnam with [ we both got drafted within a week of one another ] , is an avowed atheist . Those views are usually held throughout one's lifetime starting from the age of one's cognizance of the physical world , I can remember Al [ that friend ] holding the exact same view when we were both in school , so one does not really convert to anything , it is a lifetime world view in most people . We both have almost identical backgrounds and upbringing, he had 6yrs of College and myself 4, both abbreviated by the Draft , so go figure QED . Just be satisfied with your choice , I am .

Edited by Aligarr

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QED , you contradict yourself in that " now you are a confirmed atheist , and WHO was responsible ? LOL....Andalusi ?

The contradiction is that you pretemd to be intelligent yet you are influenced by one such as Andalusi ? Really ?.

There is no contradiction there.

1. I don't claim to be intelligent, you obviously just infer that I am.

2. I did not claim that his reasoning influenced my decision, merely that his lack of it made me examine my own more closely. This requires no comparison of relative intellects.

 

Whether you favor this or that is a matter of opinion . So go for it QED. Your opinion is your own and accept the fact that there exists other opinions .

You seem to be confusing me with Russell. I have already stated that I have no firm opinions on this subject other than considering "god did it" as less reasonable than other explanations.

 

After all I'll bet you everything in my wallet that if you took any 25 cosmologists , maybe only a third of them would ascribe to the DeSitter model

Possibly, but only one of them would say "god did it" (using the results of the survey of Royal Society fellows - 3.3% believe in god). But then, you think that scientists are no better than philosophers and theologians at solving the problems of the physical world. 

 

the philosophical and the scientific bear equal weight in the face of an UNKNOWN

Simply not true! On the one hand you could have a Professor of Cosmology, with a lifetime of successful, cutting edge research and a history of positively tested hypotheses. On the other you have a philosopher with no scientific training and no record of real-world problem solving. You seriously think that on questions of quantum physics they both carry equal weight?

Here's a little test you can do. Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. On one side make a list of all the new discoveries in physics, cosmology, chemistry, medicine, biology and engineering achieved by scientists. On the other side, all the breakthroughs in those fields by philosophers. Then add each list up. Then compare the difference. That number is the extra weight that science carries.

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I see you like playing word games QED . Ok .... I should no longer take verbatim whatever you say . You said you are NOW a confirmed Atheist thanks to Andalusi .

 

 I never implied you were not intelligent . If you feel that I overestimated you by inferring you were intelligent ...oh well I can't be responsible for your personal perceptions in that respect .

 

 I said that a third of Cosmologists would not buy the De Sitter Model , no mention of God did it .  See how many agree on Global Warming due to anthropomorphic causes . And THAT is right in our back yard ,and dealing with known finite elements . 

 

I specified the ONE ultimate question in applying Occam's Razor , and you can make all the lists on a blank paper you wish , it would be blank on both sides as to what is actually KNOWN as fact . [ or even theorized and accepted ] Beside that there is no comparison to  cosmology and the other disciplines mentioned . In addition Occam was not implying Philosophy and Science were the same but only accentuated  that in a vacuum of information their guesses have equal weight . And guess what ? Before the Big Bang , there is indeed a vacuum of information .

 

 BTW , you added Theologians I didn't . There is a difference between Philosophers and Theologians ....but you knew that right ?

 

You are slowly exposing your predisposed bias against religion , which is ok , everyone has biases but they should be kept in a closet when attempting to present yourself as purely objective and logical .

 

 I am perefectly happy that you give more weight to the scientific GUESS rather than the Philosophical  THAT is your OPINION .

 

As far as how many cosmologists there are who believe "God did it " , I accept your statistic skeptically , because many in that field would be ostracized . Yet many have no trouble saying - 

 

  " if you can understand quantum mechanics  then you don't know quanuim mechanics "  [ it's  true , look it up ]

 

And that from the most prominent theoretical physicists who are on the leading edge of Cosmology .

 

Sure sounds like a NON-SEQUITUR to me .

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      Wait !


      http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v496/n7446/full/496419a.html

      Philip Ball’s opinion piece in this week’s Nature, the most popular science magazine in the world, is news not because he stated that we don’t fully understand how evolution works at the molecular level, but because he urged his fellow evolutionists to admit it. On this 60th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA double helix, Ball reviews a few of the recent findings that have rebuked the evolution narrative that random mutations created the biological world.
       
      But it’s a Fact Anyway ?!
    • By Saracen21stC
      Gitmo Prison Guard Converts From Atheism To Islam After Seeing Detainees ‘Wake Each Day And Smile’




       
      CNN has an amazing story out of Guantanamo Bay about an American atheist prison camp guard that converted to Islam after spending extensive time talking to with some of the English speaking prisoners there.

      Army Specialist Terry Holdbrooks arrived at Gitmo 2003 as “an angry, nearly atheistic 19-year-old MP and by the time he left a year later he was a practicing Muslim. Holdbrooks was amazed at how the detainees “could wake up each day and smile” even though they were locked away in a prison camp with little hope of freedom.

      So all of this got him thinking: “Obviously there’s something more to Islam than I had been told.”

      Like anybody curious about faith he started to inquire about it. Holdbrooks, a bit disenfranchised with his superiors and fellow soldiers, started speaking for hours with detainees about Islam. One even gave him a copy of the Islamic holy book, the Quran, to study and it led him to change his way of life.

      When he approached one of the prisoners about converting he was met with a warning that it would forever change his life. “You understand that if you become a Muslim your unit is going to look at you differently, your family, your country…you understand…your country is going to look at you in a way that isn’t going to be good. It’s going to make things difficult for you,” he was told.

      Since he converted Holdbrooks has left military service and become an outspoken opponent of the camp at Guantanamo Bay.

      Listen to the clip below via CNN.

      http://www.mediaite.com/online/gitmo-prison-guard-converts-from-atheism-to-Islam-after-seeing-detainees-wake-each-day-and-smile/
    • By Saracen21stC
      Richard Dawkins’ anti-Islam/anti-Muslim propaganda exposed: The facts


      Original Guest Post

      by Jai Singh

      There is currently increasing journalistic scrutiny of the atheist
      British scientist Richard Dawkins and his ally Sam Harris’ statements
      about Islam and Muslims. In December 2012, the Guardian published an excellent article
      highlighting the acclaimed physicist Professor Peter Higgs’ accurate
      observations about Dawkins’ pattern of behaviour when it comes to
      religion in general; Professor Higgs (of “Higgs Boson particle” fame)
      has forcefully criticised Dawkins. More recently, superb articles by Nathan Lean in Salon (focusing on Dawkins), Murtaza Hussain for Al Jazeera (focusing on Dawkins, Harris etc) and Glenn Greenwald in the Guardian (mentions Dawkins but focuses predominantly on Harris; also see here)
      have received considerable publicity. Readers are strongly advised to
      familiarise themselves with the information in all of these articles.

      Before I address the issue of Richard Dawkins, it is worthwhile
      highlighting some key information about his ally Sam Harris. As
      mentioned in Glenn Greenwald’s extensively-researched Guardian
      article, Harris is on record as a) claiming that fascists are “the
      people who speak most sensibly about the threat that Islam poses to
      Europe”, and b) stating “We should profile Muslims, or anyone who looks
      like he or she could conceivably be Muslim”. Furthermore, bear in mind
      the following paragraph from a previous Guardian article
      about Harris: “…..But it tips over into something much more sinister in
      Harris’ latest book. He suggests that Islamic states may be politically
      unreformable because so many Muslims are “utterly deranged by their
      religious faith”. In another passage Harris goes even further, and
      reaches a disturbing conclusion that “some propositions are so dangerous
      that it may even be ethical to kill people for believing them”.”

      Richard Dawkins’ “atheist anti-religion” agenda has noticeably become
      increasingly focused on Islam & Muslims; his online statements
      (recently including his Twitter account )
      have now become so extreme that a great deal of them are essentially
      indistinguishable from the bigoted, ignorant nonsense pushed by the
      English Defence League leadership and the main US-based anti-Muslim
      propagandists such as Robert Spencer etc.

      In fact, as Nathan Lean’s Salon article mentioned, the following very revealing information recently surfaced: It turns out that Dawkins has publicly admitted
      that he hasn’t even read the Quran even though (in his own words) he
      “often says Islam is the greatest force for evil today”. Mainstream
      Islamic theology (including the associated impact on Muslim history) is
      not based solely on the Quran, of course, but Dawkins’ admission is
      indicative of a number of major problems on his part. So much for the
      credibility of Richard Dawkins’ “scientific method” in this particular
      subject. It goes without saying that this also raised questions about
      exactly which dubious second-hand sources Dawkins has been getting his
      information on Islam and Muslims from, if he hasn’t even taken the
      normal professional academic steps of reading the primary sacred text of
      the religion he has also described as “an unmitigated evil”. Not to mention the question of Dawkins’ real motivations for his current fixation with Islam and Muslims.

      Well, it appears that some answers are available. It certainly
      explains a great deal about Richard Dawkins’ behaviour. In the main part
      of this article beneath the “Summary” section below, I have listed 54
      anti-Islam/anti-Muslim statements posted by Richard Dawkins on the
      discussion forum of one of his own websites. (The list of quotes also
      includes embedded URL links directly to the original statements on
      Dawkins’ website).

      Summary of Richard Dawkins’ actions

      1. There is a direct connection to Robert Spencer’s inner circle. As
      confirmed by the URL link supplied by Richard Dawkins in quote #11,
      Dawkins has definitely been using that cabal’s anti-Muslim propaganda as
      a source of “information” for his own statements; Dawkins specifically
      links to the “Islam-Watch” website, which is a viciously anti-Muslim
      site in the same vein as JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna
      (both of which were the most heavily cited sources in the terrorist
      Anders Breivik’s manifesto). More pertinently, as confirmed by this affiliated webpage,
      the core founders & members of that website include the
      currently-unidentified individual who uses the online alias “Ali Sina”.
      This is the same fake “atheist Iranian ex-Muslim” who is a senior board
      member of “SIOA”/“SION”,
      an extremely anti-Muslim organisation whose leadership is formally
      allied with racist white supremacists & European neo-Nazis and has
      even organised joint public demonstrations with them. “Ali Sina” himself
      was also cited by Breivik in his manifesto.

      Note that the SIOA/SION leadership inner circle includes: a) AFDI and JihadWatch’s Robert Spencer, an ordained Catholic deacon
      who has been proven to have repeatedly made false statements about
      Islam & Muslims and has publicly admitted that his actions are
      heavily motivated by his (unilateral) agenda for the dominance of the
      Catholic Church; b) AFDI and Atlas Shrugs’ Pamela Geller,
      who is now on record as advocating what is effectively a “Final
      Solution” targeting British Muslims, including mass-murder; c) the
      English Defence League leadership; and d) David Yerushalmi,
      the head of an organisation whose mission statement explicitly declares
      that its members are “dedicated to the rejection of democracy” in the
      United States. Furthermore, Yerushalmi believes that American women
      shouldn’t even have the right to vote.

      Extensive details on “Ali Sina” are available here.
      Quite a few of the quotes in that article are horrifying. Bear in mind
      that this is the person whose website Richard Dawkins has publicly cited
      and promoted. “Ali Sina” is on record as making statements such as the
      following:


      “Muhammad was not a prophet of God. He was an instrument
      of Satan to divide mankind so we destroy each other. It is a demonic
      plot to end humanity.”

      “I don’t see Muslims as innocent people. They are all guilty as sin.
      It is not necessary to be part of al Qaida to be guilty. If you are a
      Muslim you agree with Muhammad and that is enough evidence against you.”

      “Muslims, under the influence of Islam lose their humanity. They
      become beasts. Once a person’s mind is overtaken by Islam, every trace
      of humanity disappears from him. Islam reduces good humans into beasts.”

      [Addressing all Muslims] “We will do everything to save you, to make
      you see your folly, and to make you understand that you are victims of a
      gigantic lie, so you leave this lie, stop hating mankind and plotting
      for its destruction and it [sic] domination. But if all efforts fail and
      you become a threat to our lives and the lives of our children, we must
      amputate you. This will happen, not because I say so, but I say so
      because this is human response. We humans are dictated by our survival
      instinct. If you threaten me and my survival depends on killing you, I
      must kill you.”

      “Muslims are part of humanity, but they are the diseased limb of
      mankind. We must strive to rescue them. We must do everything possible
      to restore their health. That is the mission of FFI [“Faith Freedom
      International”, “Ali Sina’s” primary website]. However, if a limb
      becomes gangrenous; if it is infected by necrotizing fasciitis
      (flesh-eating disease), that limb must be amputated.”

      [Addressing all Muslims] “But you are diseased. You are infected by a
      deadly cult that threatens our lives. Your humanity is destroyed. Like a
      limb infected by flesh eating disease, you are now a threat to the rest
      of mankind…..Islam is disease. What does moderate Muslim mean anyway?
      Does it mean you are moderately diseased?”

      “But there was another element in shaping his [Muhammad’s] character:
      The influence of Rabbis. Islam and Judaism have a lot in common. They
      have basically the same eschatology and very similar teachings…..These
      are all secondary influences of Judaism on Islam. The main common
      feature between these two faiths is their intolerance. This intolerance
      in Judaic texts gave the narcissist Muhammad the power to do as he
      pleased…..How could he get away with that? Why would people believed
      [sic] in his unproven and often irrational claims? The answer to this
      question is in Judaism. The Rabbis in Arabia had laid the psychological
      foundations for Islam among the tolerant pagans…..The reasons Arabs fell
      into his [Muhammad’s] trap was because of the groundwork laid by the
      Rabbis in Arabia.”

      “Muhammad copied his religion from what he learned from the Jews. The
      similarity between Islamic thinking and Judaic thinking is not a
      coincidence.”

      “By seeing these self-proclaimed moderate Muslims, I can understand
      the anger that Jesus felt against those hypocrites whom he called
      addressed, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will
      spit you out of my mouth.”

      “In Christianity, it wasn’t the religion that needed to be reformed but the church. What Jesus preached was good.”

      “The image portrays the words of Jesus, “the truth will set you
      free.” That is my motto…..After listening to this rabbi, I somehow felt
      sympathy for Jesus. I can now see what kind of people he had to deal
      with.”

      2. After Nathan Lean and Glenn Greenwald published the aforementioned Salon and Guardian
      articles, both “Ali Sina” and Robert Spencer rapidly wrote lengthy
      articles on their respective websites defending Richard Dawkins and Sam
      Harris. It would therefore be constructive for Richard Dawkins and Sam
      Harris to publicly clarify if they welcome or reject “Ali Sina” &
      Robert Spencer’s support. It would also be constructive for Dawkins and
      Harris to publicly clarify the nature and extent of their involvement
      with “Ali Sina” & Robert Spencer.

      3. Richard Dawkins’ anti-Islam/anti-Muslim narrative (including the
      stereotyped caricature and his own convoluted strawman arguments) is
      essentially identical to the hatred-inciting, theologically-,
      historically- & factually-distorted/falsified propaganda promoted by
      Far-Right groups such as the English Defence League and especially the
      owners of JihadWatch and Gates of Vienna. This is clearly not just a coincidence, considering Dawkins’ online sources of [mis]information.

      4. Richard Dawkins is now on record as making a series of extremely
      derogatory statements in which he bizarrely refers to Islam (a religious
      belief system) as though it were a conscious, sentient entity (see #5,
      #32, #36, #49). The nature of those statements suggests that Dawkins is
      actually referring to Muslims. (Also see #7).

      5. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly defending Sam
      Harris, including Harris’ claims about Muslims and Islam (see #42, #43).

      6. Richard Dawkins is now on record as enthusiastically praising the Dutch Far-Right politician Geert Wilders (see #50).

      7. Richard Dawkins is now on record as publicly claiming that
      “communities” has become code for “Muslims” (see #18) and that
      “multiculturalism” in Europe is code for “Islam” (see #19).

      8. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly praising &
      defending Ayaan Hirsi Ali (see #20, #26, #50). Hirsi Ali has been proven
      to have fabricated aspects of her background/experiences (as confirmed by the BBC). Hirsi Ali is also on record as
      revealing the full scale of her horrific beliefs, including the fact
      that she sympathises with Anders Breivik and blames so-called “advocates
      of silence” for Breivik’s mass-murdering terrorist attack.

      9. Richard Dawkins is now on record as repeatedly promoting the
      Far-Right conspiracy theory that British police avoid prosecuting
      Muslims due to fears of being labelled “racist” or “Islamophobic” (see
      #1, #24, #28, #45). Robert Spencer & Pamela Geller’s closest
      European allies, the English Defence League leadership, are amongst the
      most vocal advocates of this ridiculous conspiracy theory.

      10. Richard Dawkins is now on record as explicitly describing himself as “a cultural Christian” (see #54).

      11. Richard Dawkins is now on record as proposing what is basically
      an “enemy of my enemy is my friend” strategy, specifically in terms of
      Christians vs. Muslims (see here and here.
      Also see #16). This raises questions about exactly how much support
      Dawkins has secretly been giving to certain extremist anti-Muslim
      individuals/groups, or at least how much he is personally aware that
      these groups are explicitly recycling Dawkins’ own rhetoric when
      demonising Islam & Muslims.

      12. Richard Dawkins is now on record as exhibiting very disturbing attitudes towards the British Muslim Member of Parliament Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and the British Muslim Independent journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown,
      including repeatedly making highly offensive claims that they are
      “tokens” with zero qualifications for their respective jobs and are in
      positions of seniority/influence solely because they are “female, Muslim
      and brown/non-white” (See #25, #29, #30, #31, #35, #53). Dawkins
      clearly shares the EDL leadership’s noticeable hostility towards
      Baroness Warsi in particular; furthermore, note Dawkins’ sneering “open
      letter” to Baroness Warsi (see #29), and also note the fact that the EDL
      leadership recently published a similar “open letter” to Baroness Warsi on their main website, written by an unidentified anonymous author.

      13. Richard Dawkins has published a lengthy diatribe by Robert Spencer/Pamela Geller/EDL ally/SIOE co-founder Stephen Gash.

      14. Richard Dawkins has enthusiastically republished a large number of viciously anti-Muslim comments originally posted on the discussion thread of a Telegraph
      article written by Baroness Warsi. Dawkins claimed that the only reason
      he was reproducing these comments on his own website was “because the Telegraph is apparently censoring them”.

      15. Despite the claims of Richard Dawkins’ defenders that he is an
      “equal opportunity offender” in terms of his criticisms of various
      organised religions, the aforementioned 54 quotes speak for themselves
      and Dawkins’ real pattern of behaviour is self-evident. Amongst other
      things, it raises the question of whether Dawkins was already perfectly
      aware that the anti-Islam/anti-Muslim propaganda he is basing his
      statements on originates in members of Robert Spencer’s extremist inner
      circle and their respective hate websites (which would have very nasty
      implications about Dawkins himself), or whether Dawkins has been
      astonishingly incompetent about researching his sources of
      “information”.

      16. Further information on Richard Dawkins’ other activities targeting Islam & Muslims is available here, here, here, here, here, and here.

      Examples of statements by Richard Dawkins:

      #1: [Quoting: “No
      I don’t think it was racist to feel that way. If you saw a European
      mistreating his wife in public wouldn’t you feel the same? “] “Of
      course. In that case I might have called a policeman. If you see a
      Muslim beating his wife, there would be little point in calling a
      policeman because so many of the British police are terrified of being
      accused of racism or ‘Islamophobia’.”

      #2: “Religion poisons everything. But Islam has its own unmatched level of toxicity.”

      #3: “Religion poisons everything, but Islam is in a toxic league of its own.”

      #4:
      “…..But let’s keep things in proportion. Christianity may be pretty
      bad, but isn’t Islam in a league of its own when it comes to sheer
      vicious nastiness?”

      #5: [Quoting: “He blamed ‘radical stupid people who don't know what Islam is,’”]
      “They are certainly stupid, but they know exactly what Islam is. Islam
      is the religion that wins arguments by killing its opponents and crying
      ‘Islamophobia’ at anyone who objects.”

      #6:
      “This horrible film deserves to go viral. What a pathetic religion: how
      ignominious to need such aggressively crazed defenders.”

      #7:
      “Muslims seem to suffer from an active HUNGER to be offended. If
      there’s nothing obvious to be offended by, or ‘hurt’ by, they’ll go out
      looking for something. Are there any other similar examples we could
      think of, I wonder, not necessarily among religious groups?”

      #8:
      “Paula’s letter in today’s Independent (see above) will doubtless
      provoke lots of fatuous bleats of “Oh but Islam is a peaceful
      religion.””

      #9: [Quoting: “But it has nothing to do with Islam.”]
      “Oh no? Then why do the perpetrators, and the mullahs and imams and
      ayatollahs and ‘scholars’, continually SAY it has everything to do with
      Islam? You may not think it has anything to do with Islam, but I prefer
      to listen to what the people responsible actually say. I would also love
      it if decent, ‘moderate’ Muslims would stand up and condemn the
      barbarisms that are carried out, or threatened, in their name.”

      #10: “What is there left to say about Sharia Law? Who will defend it? Who can find something, anything, good to say about Islam?”

      #11: [Quoting: “needed to respect other religions”]
      “That word ‘other’ worries me and so does ‘respect’. ‘Other’ than what?
      What is the default religion which makes the word ‘other’ appropriate?
      What is this ‘other’ religion, which is being invoked in this
      high-handed, peremptory way. It isn’t hard to guess the answer. Islam.
      Yet again, Islam, the religion of peace, the religion that imposes the
      death penalty for apostasy, the religion whose legal arm treats women
      officially as second class citizens, the religion that sentences women
      to multiple lashes for the crime of being raped, the religion whose
      ‘scholars’ have been known to encourage women to suckle male colleagues
      so that they can be deemed ‘family’ and hence allowed to work in the
      same room; the religion that the rest of us are called upon to ‘respect’
      for fear of being thought racist or ‘Islamophobic’. Respect? RESPECT?”

      #12: “All three of the Abrahamic religions are deeply evil if they take their teachings seriously. Islam is the only one that does.”

      #13: “Yes, Christians are much much better. Their sacred texts may be just as bad, but they don’t act on them.”

      #14:
      “Quite the contrary. I think the problem [with Islam] is with the
      MAJORITY of Muslims, who either condone violence or fail to speak out
      against it. I am now praising the MINORITY who have finally decided to
      stand up for peace and nonviolence.”

      #15: [Quoting: “Actually
      I think linking to every video this bigot releases does look like an
      endorsement, even if it's unintentional. Why not link to some news items
      by some other right wing bigots the BNP or the EDL, they're always
      banging on about Islam so it should qualify.”] “I support Pat
      [Condell]’s stance on Islam. It is NOT based on racism like that of the
      BNP, and he is properly scathing about so-called ‘Islamophobia’.”

      #16:
      “After the last census, Christianity in Britain benefited, in terms of
      political influence, from the approximately 70% who ticked the Christian
      box, whether or not they were really believers. With the menacing rise
      of Islam, some might even be tempted to tick the Christian box, for fear
      of doing anything to boost the influence of the religion of “peace””.

      #17: [Quoting: “What
      sort of justice is this? My daughter has been beaten to death in the
      name of justice,” Mosammet's father, Dorbesh Khan, 60, told the BBC.] “What sort of justice? Islamic justice of course.”

      #18:
      “Just as ‘communities’ has become code for ‘Muslims’,
      ‘multiculturalism’ is code for a systematic policy of sucking up to
      their often loathsome ‘community leaders’: imams, mullahs, ‘clerics’,
      and the ill-named ‘scholars’.”

      #19:
      “Forgive me for not welcoming this judgment with unalloyed joy. If I
      thought the motive was secularist I would indeed welcome it. But are we
      sure it is not pandering to ‘multiculturalism’, which in Europe is code
      for Islam? And if you think Catholicism is evil . . .”

      #20:
      “I don’t think this is a matter for levity. Think of it as a foretaste
      of more serious things to come. They’ve already hounded Ayaan Hirsi Ali
      out of Holland and their confidence is growing with their population
      numbers, encouraged by the craven accommodationist mentality of nice,
      decent Europeans. This particular move to outlaw dogs will fail, but
      Muslim numbers will continue to grow unless we can somehow break the
      memetic link between generations: break the assumption that children
      automatically adopt the religion of their parents.”

      #21:
      “I said that Islam is evil. I did NOT say Muslims are evil. Indeed,
      most of the victims of Islam are Muslims. Especially female ones.”

      #22:
      “Whenever I read an article like this, I end up shaking my head in
      bafflement. Why would anyone want to CONVERT to Islam? I can see why,
      having been born into it, you might be reluctant to leave, perhaps when
      you reflect on the penalty for doing to. But for a woman (especially a
      woman) voluntarily to JOIN such a revolting and misogynistic institution
      when she doesn’t have to always suggests to me massive stupidity. And
      then I remember our own very intelligent Layla Nasreddin / Lisa Bauer
      and retreat again to sheer, head-shaking bafflement.”

      #23:
      “Apologists for Islam would carry more conviction if so-called
      ‘community’ leaders would ever go to the police and report the culprits.
      That would solve, at a stroke, the problem that has been exercising
      posters here. ‘Community’ leaders are best placed to know what is going
      on on their ‘communities’. Why don’t they report the perpetrators to the
      police and have them jailed?”

      #24:
      “Presumably we shall hear all the usual accommodationist bleats about
      “Nothing to do with Islam”, and “It’s cultural, not religious” and
      “Islam doesn’t approve the practice”. Whether or not Islam approves the
      practice depends – as with the death penalty for apostasy – on which
      ‘scholar’ you talk to. Islamic ‘scholar’? What a joke. What a sick,
      oxymoronic joke. Islamic ‘scholar’!

      It is of course true that not all Muslims mutilate their daughters, or
      approve it. But I conjecture that it is true that virtually all, if not
      literally all, the 24,000 girls referred to come from Muslim families.
      And all, or virtually all those who wield the razor blade (or the broken
      glass or whatever it is) are devout Muslims. And above all, the reason
      the police turn a blind eye to this disgusting practice is that they
      THINK it is sanctioned by Islam, or they think it is no business of
      anybody outside the ‘community’, and they are TERRIFIED of being called
      ‘Islamophobic’ or racist.”

      #25:
      “Apologies if this has already been said here, but “Baroness” Warsi has
      no sensible qualifications for high office whatever. She has never won
      an election and never distinguished herself in any of the ways that
      normally lead to a peerage. All she has achieved in life is to FAIL to
      be elected a Member of Parliament, twice (on one occasion ignominiously
      bucking the swing towards her party). She was, nevertheless, elevated to
      the peerage and rather promptly put in the Cabinet and the Privy
      Council. The only reasonable explanation for her rapid elevation is
      tokenism. She is female, Muslim, and non-white – a bundle of three
      tokens in one, and therefore a precious rarity in her party. You might
      have suspected her lack of proper qualifications from the fatuous things
      she says, of which her speech in Rome is a prime example.”

      #26: [Quoting: “Muslim
      extremists have called for Aan to be beheaded but fellow atheists have
      rallied round, and urged him to stand by his convictions despite the
      pressure.”] “For one sadly short moment I thought the ‘but’ was
      going to be followed by ‘moderate Muslims have rallied round . . .’ Once
      again, where are the decent, moderate Muslims? Why do they not stand up
      in outrage against their co-religionists? Maybe Ayaan Hirsi Ali is
      right and “moderate Muslim” is something close to an oxymoron. How can
      they not see that, if you need to kill to protect your faith, that is a
      powerful indication that you have lost the argument? It is impossible to
      exaggerate how deeply I despise them.”

      #27:
      “There are moves afoot to introduce sharia law into Britain, Canada and
      various other countries. I hope it is not too “islamophobic” of me to
      hope that the “interpretation” of sharia favoured by our local Muslim
      “scholars” will be different from the “interpretation” favoured by
      Iranian “scholars”. Oh but of course: “That’s not my kind of Islam.””

      #28: [Quoting: “Richard,
      I really dislike disagreeing with you. However, female genital
      mutilation is not really based on Islam. My wife is from Indonesia and I
      have asked around and none of them know of anyone who does that in
      their country. From all that I have read and seen, it seems like it
      predates Islam and is mostly found in Africa and to a lesser extent the
      Middle East.”] “Even if you are right (and I am not necessarily
      conceding the point) that FGM itself is not based on Islam, I strongly
      suspect that the British police turning a blind eye to it is very
      strongly based on Islamophobophobia – the abject terror of being thought
      islamophobic.”

      #29: “Dear Lady Warsi

      Is it true that the Islamic penalty for apostasy is death? Please answer
      the question, yes or no. I have asked many leading Muslims, often in
      public, and have yet to receive a straight answer. The best answer I
      heard was from “Sir” Iqbal Sacranie, who said “Oh well, it is seldom
      enforced.”

      Will you please stand up in the House of Lords and publicly denounce the
      very idea that, however seldom enforced, a religion has the right to
      kill those who leave it? And will you stand up and agree that, since a
      phobia is an irrational fear, “Islamophobic” is not an appropriate
      description of anybody who objects to it. And will you stand up and
      issue a public apology, on behalf of your gentle, peaceful religion, to
      Salman Rushdie? And to Theo van Gogh? And to all the women and girls who
      have been genitally mutilated? And to . . . I’m sure you know the list
      better than I do.

      Richard Dawkins”

      #30: [Quoting: “Blimey
      Richard! This really has got up your nose, hasn't it? Your comments are
      usually a great deal more measured. It's not exactly uncommon for a
      Minister to “rise without trace”. I think we can all agree that our
      political system is “sub-optimal” to put it politely. Tokensim is one
      possibility (though if the Tories were really just after the muslim vote
      its interesting that they opted for a female muslim token).”] “I
      didn’t mean to suggest that the Tories were after the Muslim vote. I
      think they know that is a lost cause. I suspect that they were trying to
      live down their reputation as the nasty party, the party of racists,
      the party of sexists, the Church of England at prayer. More
      particularly, the ceaseless propaganda campaign against “Islamophobia”
      corrupts them just as it corrupts so many others. I suspect that the
      Tory leadership saw an opportunity to kill two, or possibly three, birds
      with one stone, by elevating this woman to the House of Lords and
      putting her in the Cabinet.

      I repeat, her [baroness Sayeeda Warsi’s] qualifications for such a
      meteoric rise, as the youngest member of the House of Lords, are
      tantamount to zero. As far as I can see, her only distinction is to have
      stood for election to the House of Commons and lost. That’s it.

      Apart, of course, from being female, Muslim, and brown. Like I said, killing three birds with one stone.”

      #31:
      “Baroness Warsi has never been elected to Parliament. What are her
      qualifications to be in the Cabinet? Does anyone seriously think she
      would be in the Cabinet, or in the House of Lords, if she was not a
      Muslim woman? Is her elevation to high office (a meteoric rise, for she
      is the youngest member of the House of Lords) any more than a deplorable
      example of tokenism?”

      #32:
      “I too heard Paul Foot speak at the Oxford Union, and he was a
      mesmerising orator, even as an undergraduate. Once again, Christopher
      Hitchens nails it. It is the nauseating presumption of Islam that
      marks it out for special contempt. I remain baffled at the number of
      otherwise decent people who can be seduced by such an unappealing
      religion. I suppose it must be childhood indoctrination, but it is still
      hard to credit. If you imagine setting up an experiment to see how far
      you could go with childhood indoctrination – a challenge to see just how
      nasty a belief system you could instil into a human mind if you catch
      it early enough – it is hard to imagine succeeding with a belief system
      half as nasty as Islam. And yet succeed they do.”

      #33:
      “Orthodox political opinion would have it that the great majority of
      Muslims are good people, and there is just a small minority of
      extremists who give the religion a bad name. Poll evidence has long made
      me sceptical. Now – it is perhaps a minor point, but could it be
      telling? – Salman Taseer is murdered by one of his own bodyguard. If
      ‘moderate’ Muslims are the great majority that we are asked to credit,
      wouldn’t you think it should have been easy enough to find enough
      ‘moderate’ Muslims, in the entire state of Pakistan, to form the
      bodyguard of a prominent politician? Are ‘moderate’ Muslims so thin on
      the ground?”

      #34:
      “It is almost a cliché that people of student age often experiment with
      a variety of belief systems, which they subsequently, and usually quite
      rapidly, give up. These young people have voluntarily adopted a belief
      system which has the unique distinction of prescribing execution as the
      official penalty for leaving it. I have enormous sympathy for those
      people unfortunate enough to be born into Islam. It is hard to muster
      much sympathy for those idiotic enough to convert to it.”

      #35:
      [Quoting: “Why do any media outlets keep repeatedly inviting her
      [Yasmin Alibhai-Brown] (excluding more capable, intelligent, qualified
      guests) as if she is some kind of authority or expert on anything at
      all?”] “Do you really need to ask that question? Media people are
      petrified of being thought racist, Islamophobic or sexist. The
      temptation to kill three birds with one stone must be irresistible.”

      #36: [Quoting: “I'm
      surprised nobody has acknowledged the elephant in the room -- namely,
      multicultural appeasement of Islam. The fact that (a) the paper was
      accepted, and (b) it took only five days to get accepted, suggests that
      there's something funny going on here. Could it be that the referee of
      the paper was a subscriber to the popular opinion in Britain that
      anything associated with Muslims short of murder in broad daylight is
      somehow praiseworthy and something to be encouraged?”] “Yes, I’m sorry to say that is all too plausible. Perhaps the Editor decided it would be “Islamophobic” to reject it.”

      #37: [Quoting: “I seem to remember a very bright young muslim lad”] You mean a bright young child of muslim parents.

      #38:
      “Oh, small as it is, this is the most heartening news I have heard for a
      long time. What can we do to help these excellent young Pakistanis,
      without endangering them? If, by any chance, any of them reads this web
      site, please get in touch to let us know how we might help. If anybody
      here has friends in Pakistan, or elsewhere afflicted by the ‘religion of
      peace’ (it isn’t even funny any more, is it?), or facebook friends,
      please encourage them to join and support these brave young people.”

      #39: [Quoting: “The obvious question is: who cares, are we saying when it was a catholic school it was ok and a Muslim school is worse.”] “Yes. It is worse. MUCH worse”

      #40: [Quoting:
      “I was even accused of having converted and married into another
      religion. But I wasn't worried as I'm a true Muslim," says the feisty
      young woman.”] If only she were a bit more feisty she would cease to
      be a Muslim altogether – except that would make her an apostate, for
      which the Religion of Peace demands stoning. Indeed, you’ll probably
      find she’d be sentenced to 99 lashes just for the crime of being
      feisty.”

      #41: [Quoting: “Disgusting
      and hideous as this practice is, I think the article makes it quite
      clear that it's not limited to any one religion or community. It's
      common to Christians, Muslims, Hindus, yezidis and many others.”] I just did a rough count (I may have missed one or two) of the named victims Robert Fisk mentioned. As follows:

      Muslim 52

      Hindu 3

      Sikh 1

      Christian 0

      But of course, Islam is the religion of peace. To suggest otherwise would be racist Islamophobia.”

      #42:

      “Whatever else you may say about Sam Harris’s article quoted above, and
      whether or not he is right about the NY Masjid, the following two
      paragraphs, about Islam more generally, seem to me well worth repeating.

      Richard”


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