Will atheists win the fight?

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#329 May 2, 2013
spudgun wrote:
<quoted text>
Hi Poly, in which subject/s?
I've been a professional mathematician for over 25 years.

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#330 May 2, 2013
spudgun wrote:
Seen on the other thread.. physics.
No, my PhD is in math. I was working toward another PhD in physics, but I had an advisor die, and another move away. Nobody is left at my university that is interested in astrophysics (which is what I prefer to study).
Imhotep

Gainesville, FL

#331 May 2, 2013
Thinking wrote:
I've driven that a few times. Takes around 3 hours from driving off the train at Calais to reach the Périphérique. Then things get slow.
If you're not driving, the train from London to Paris is now as quick as 2 hours 16 minutes.
<quoted text>

Thx will be in Bruges in 3 weeks. Then to Paris for two days so I wanted to see if R/T was doable
Thinking

London, UK

#332 May 2, 2013
Have a bottle of Kwak in Bruges for me.

If you're driving, Bruges to Paris is about 4 hours. Tolls apply.
Calais to Bruges is under 90 minutes. Roads are free.

Passenger train is going to be fastest. Northern France is some of the least interesting parts of France to drive through.
Imhotep wrote:
<quoted text>
Thx will be in Bruges in 3 weeks. Then to Paris for two days so I wanted to see if R/T was doable
Imhotep

Gainesville, FL

#333 May 2, 2013
Thinking wrote:
Have a bottle of Kwak in Bruges for me.
If you're driving, Bruges to Paris is about 4 hours. Tolls apply.
Calais to Bruges is under 90 minutes. Roads are free.
Passenger train is going to be fastest. Northern France is some of the least interesting parts of France to drive through.
<quoted text>
No it will be Rail too Paris, we have friends there and will rent car for London escapade. Just limited by the available time

The USA is a light year behind in high-speed rail
Paul WV

Beckley, WV

#334 May 2, 2013
spudgun wrote:
<quoted text>
That seems like a good argument. Except the universe and life has evolved over billions of years and there are billions of stars and planets in the universe. So seen in that context, life as we know it becomes more probable.
What we know hasnt happended for certain is the Bible/Quran proposition of spontaneous creation in 6 days 6000 years ago. This has been proved false, and only in the last 200 years have we begun to understand better out true origins.
The Boltzmann Brain Paradox says that there is a greater chance you are a disembodied brain and the entire universe is an illusion to you than there is for the 6 billion+ brains now said to be on this planet.
Amused

Pinehurst, MA

#335 May 2, 2013
Paul WV wrote:
<quoted text>
The Boltzmann Brain Paradox says that there is a greater chance you are a disembodied brain and the entire universe is an illusion to you than there is for the 6 billion+ brains now said to be on this planet.
If I am a disembodied brain, then the entire universe does not exist, except as a delusion within my brain. If the entire universe does not exist, it was never created. If the universe was never created, there is no creator. Therefore, there is no god. Welcome to the ranks of atheists, Paul.
Imhotep

Gainesville, FL

#336 May 2, 2013
Thinking wrote:
Have a bottle of Kwak in Bruges for me.
If you're driving, Bruges to Paris is about 4 hours. Tolls apply.
Calais to Bruges is under 90 minutes. Roads are free.
Passenger train is going to be fastest. Northern France is some of the least interesting parts of France to drive through.
<quoted text>
DUVEL !

Cheers

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#337 May 2, 2013
Thinking wrote:
Maybe "shattered" is more apposite. 41k+ fragments is a lot of shards.
<quoted text>
Indeed it is--

-- and the very fact that there ARE 41k+ shards of "christianity"?

That fact?

Is clear and overwhelming proof there is no god who GIVES a crap behind any of it.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#338 May 2, 2013
Thinking wrote:
Maybe "shattered" is more apposite. 41k+ fragments is a lot of shards.
<quoted text>
...

... and to forestall the "it's satan" bit?

If the 41k+ shards of christianity IS the result of this satan character?

The consequences of THAT are: satan is more powerful, by far, than the god character!

Seriously-- that god would permit (or be unable to stop) the satan character from creating the 41k+ shards in the first place?

Gives all the REAL power to the satan character...

...

..... so it's all clearly hogwash.
Paul WV

Beckley, WV

#339 May 2, 2013
Amused wrote:
<quoted text>
If I am a disembodied brain, then the entire universe does not exist, except as a delusion within my brain. If the entire universe does not exist, it was never created. If the universe was never created, there is no creator. Therefore, there is no god. Welcome to the ranks of atheists, Paul.
The Boltzmann Brain Pardox only shows how atheist's idea that the universe is here by accident is not a rational position.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#340 May 2, 2013
spudgun wrote:
<quoted text>
Informative post. Archaeology has disproved the Bible, esp. Genesis and Exodus which are completely fictitious.
Oh, yeah-- it has.

There is certainly no archeological evidence supporting a single Jew in Egypt, at any time, or in the numbers the bible claims.

And certainly nothing supporting such a large tribe wandering in the desert areas northwest of the read (reed) sea-- for ANY amount of time, let alone the Exodus claims.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#341 May 2, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
I do consider myself to be in a fight against ignorance and superstition. That's why I am a professor at a university. On the other hand, not all people who are religious are ignorant. Many are even good people. I see no reason to fight them.
I agree-- alas, none of those good people appear to frequent Topix, at least none come to the atheist portions.

I've run into a couple of theists who I interchange with some, and I respect and like.

None are christians, though... coincidence?

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#342 May 2, 2013
Imhotep wrote:
<quoted text>
No it will be Rail too Paris, we have friends there and will rent car for London escapade. Just limited by the available time
The USA is a light year behind in high-speed rail
The USA is a light year behind in a lot of things...

.... 99% of the reason is due to ignorant hicks clinging to stone-age superstitions.

And of course, due to the 1% not paying back into the system...

.... of course.

;)
Lincoln

United States

#343 May 2, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
I do consider myself to be in a fight against ignorance and superstition. That's why I am a professor at a university. On the other hand, not all people who are religious are ignorant. Many are even good people. I see no reason to fight them.
Yes!
My students range from atheist to all major religions.
Mutual respect is in place.
Peace
Imhotep

Gainesville, FL

#344 May 2, 2013
Bob of Quantum-Faith wrote:
<quoted text>
The USA is a light year behind in a lot of things...
.... 99% of the reason is due to ignorant hicks clinging to stone-age superstitions.
And of course, due to the 1% not paying back into the system...
.... of course.
;)
We have taken the high-speed rail all over Europe and it's excellent - the food is good - ride is smooth no Clickety-clack.

Trees are a blur from Centraal Station in Amsterdam to Koln, Germany

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#345 May 2, 2013
Paul WV wrote:
<quoted text>
The Boltzmann Brain Pardox only shows how atheist's idea that the universe is here by accident is not a rational position.
You have shown absolutely no understanding of the argument for, the context, or the paradox of Boltzmann Brains. If anything they would tend to *show* that our perceptions are here by accident.

First, the context: Let's imagine the future when the universe has expanded so much that galaxies are simply individual stars, then past that to when all stars have burned out, then past that to when all black holes have evaporated via Hawking radiation. The assumption is that the universe will exist forever, so that this will eventually come to pass.

Now, once this happens, many trillions of years in the future, the dominant dynamics of the universe will be quantum fluctuations. Now, these quantum fluctuations are random, with positron/electron pairs being most common, and the frequency of any given fluctuation decreasing rapidly with the mass of the fluctuation. But, so the argument goes, the universe will last forever, so even the least likely events will happen. More than that, they will happen infinitely often.

In particular, there is an exceedingly low probability that a conscious brain will be produced from such a fluctuation and an even lower probability that it will last for a few decades and be deluded in its senses so that it *imagines* that there is a universe around it that is expanding and obeys consistent laws.

Once again, this would happen at such an exceedingly low probability that it literally would take exponents upon exponents to describe the time it would take to happen. But, again, for a universe that lasts infinitely long, it will happen infinitely often.

So, we have a situation where there are some conscious brains very early on in the universe that see the universe correctly and infinitely many other delusional brains that *imagine* a similar universe but are actually quantum fluctuations.

Then the question arises: if you are a conscious brain, which is more likely: that you are one of the very few 'sane' brains at the beginning of the universe, or that you are one of the 'delusional' ones produced by quantum fluctuations? In a universe that lasts infinitely into the future, the latter is the more likely scenario. Or so the argument goes.

Of course, there are many problems with this whole argument: will the universe actually last long enough for delusional brains to be produced? Again, the length of time it would take dwarfs the total amount of time the universe has already existed as 1 is dwarfed by 10**(10**(10**(10**100))).

Another issue is whether new physics will arise and make the whole argument moot by producing new dynamics. In particular, if string theory is valid, one possibility is that whole universes will 'bud off' via quantum fluctuations. Because the information for a new universe would be small compared to the information for a delusional brain (new universes are low entropy items, brains are not), it is far more likely that a new universe will bud off that has actual, evolved brains inside of it than that a delusional brain will be produced. In this case, the probability that you are a delusional brain is minute.

Another possibility is that fluctuations actually cannot produce complicated structures like delusional brains that last long enough to have thoughts about the universe.

And, finally, in *no* scenario are the speculations along this line relevant to theism. Your claim that this argues against atheism is simply wrong.
Paul WV

Beckley, WV

#346 May 2, 2013
polymath257 wrote:
<quoted text>
You have shown absolutely no understanding of the argument for, the context, or the paradox of Boltzmann Brains. If anything they would tend to *show* that our perceptions are here by accident.
First, the context: Let's imagine the future when the universe has expanded so much that galaxies are simply individual stars, then past that to when all stars have burned out, then past that to when all black holes have evaporated via Hawking radiation. The assumption is that the universe will exist forever, so that this will eventually come to pass.
Now, once this happens, many trillions of years in the future, the dominant dynamics of the universe will be quantum fluctuations. Now, these quantum fluctuations are random, with positron/electron pairs being most common, and the frequency of any given fluctuation decreasing rapidly with the mass of the fluctuation. But, so the argument goes, the universe will last forever, so even the least likely events will happen. More than that, they will happen infinitely often.
In particular, there is an exceedingly low probability that a conscious brain will be produced from such a fluctuation and an even lower probability that it will last for a few decades and be deluded in its senses so that it *imagines* that there is a universe around it that is expanding and obeys consistent laws.
Once again, this would happen at such an exceedingly low probability that it literally would take exponents upon exponents to describe the time it would take to happen. But, again, for a universe that lasts infinitely long, it will happen infinitely often.
So, we have a situation where there are some conscious brains very early on in the universe that see the universe correctly and infinitely many other delusional brains that *imagine* a similar universe but are actually quantum fluctuations.
Then the question arises: if you are a conscious brain, which is more likely: that you are one of the very few 'sane' brains at the beginning of the universe, or that you are one of the 'delusional' ones produced by quantum fluctuations? In a universe that lasts infinitely into the future, the latter is the more likely scenario. Or so the argument goes.
Of course, there are many problems with this whole argument: will the universe actually last long enough for delusional brains to be produced? Again, the length of time it would take dwarfs the total amount of time the universe has already existed as 1 is dwarfed by 10**(10**(10**(10**100))).
Another issue is whether new physics will arise and make the whole argument moot by producing new dynamics. In particular, if string theory is valid, one possibility is that whole universes will 'bud off' via quantum fluctuations. Because the information for a new universe would be small compared to the information for a delusional brain (new universes are low entropy items, brains are not), it is far more likely that a new universe will bud off that has actual, evolved brains inside of it than that a delusional brain will be produced. In this case, the probability that you are a delusional brain is minute.
Another possibility is that fluctuations actually cannot produce complicated structures like delusional brains that last long enough to have thoughts about the universe.
And, finally, in *no* scenario are the speculations along this line relevant to theism. Your claim that this argues against atheism is simply wrong.
Give a link showing what you are saying is supported by physicists.
Is the world you are viewing an illusion or real? Are there 6 billion + brains on the planet earth at this monument in time? Is this low entropy found only on earth or are there similar pockets of low entropy throughout the universe?

“Think&Care”

Since: Oct 07

Location hidden

#347 May 2, 2013
Paul WV wrote:
<quoted text>
Give a link showing what you are saying is supported by physicists.
Is the world you are viewing an illusion or real? Are there 6 billion + brains on the planet earth at this monument in time? Is this low entropy found only on earth or are there similar pockets of low entropy throughout the universe?
Once again, the *context* of the whole argument is a time when the universe has expanded enough that quantum fluctuations dominate the dynamics. For an expanding universe like ours, that would be trillions upon trillions of years in the future, far past when the earth would be gone. And that is just the *beginning*. Did you even read what I said?

A popular treatment:
https://blogs.discovermagazine.com/crux/2012/...

A technical treatment:
http://iopscience.iop.org/1126-6708/2007/06/0...

A reply discussing probability sinks in a multiverse that avoids the paradox:
http://iopscience.iop.org/1475-7516/2007/01/0...

And the *paradox* is that there would be infinitely many such delusional brains if the universe lasts forever, so the probability of being one of those brains is supposedly high. As I pointed out, though, the probability of producing a new universe is higher than that of producing a brain and that makes the relative probabilities switch.

And once again, this has *nothing at all* to do with theism.

“Quantum Junctn: Use Both Lanes”

Since: Dec 06

Tulsa, Oklahoma USofA

#348 May 2, 2013
Imhotep wrote:
<quoted text>
We have taken the high-speed rail all over Europe and it's excellent - the food is good - ride is smooth no Clickety-clack.
Trees are a blur from Centraal Station in Amsterdam to Koln, Germany
You know why the ride is smooth?

The rails are welded, end-to-end. But that means that there must be some way to account for rail expansion and shrinkage, due to temperature fluctuations-- over the entire length, if the rails are welded end-to-end the whole way, the differences add up, and can cause the widths between the rails to change (the rails will tend to move side-to-side a bit, as they expand, rather than push past all the fasteners...). So some method of compensation has to be employed.

But it's all good-- do you know how they typically weld the rails together?

They use thermite-- a chemical that when ignited gets more than sufficiently hot to melt high-temp steel.

It's really cool to watch-- I've only seen a video of it going down, but it's spectacular-- huge sparks going up in the air from the process. After welding, they must grind the top smooth, naturally.

:)

Here? We typically have non-welded rail systems-- much of which is in a state of under-repair too...

... meh.

But that limits the max speed to 60mph or so. Limiting the efficiency.

Of course-- corporate greed wouldn't have anything to do with it, right?

.... meh.

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