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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 4:08 pm 
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Could there be an intelligent designer who designs all and only those things, entitites, etc. that don't design themselves?

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 15, 2005 6:18 pm 
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Oldfist wrote:
Could there be an intelligent designer who designs all and only those things, entities, etc. that don't design themselves?


I've often thought about just that subject, except I'm not certain I understand the last part of "that don't design themselves"

As I've said before, the Universe is an unimaginably vast place, and what is beyond that? (If it is an open system, because if it is a closed system,..well, I don't even want to think about it.) and if so, what's beyond that, and that, and that to infinity.

I mean, think about that word for one moment.

"Infinity...."

That concept, is a little scary to many folks, (myself included) and at the same time perhaps comforting.

If truly there is no end, and no beginning, and there is an intelligent designer, then that makes us so insignificant in the unreachable scope of infinity as to not even register.
How could a mere human even begin to postulate and as such claim to know of such things even *if* there IS an "intelligent designer".
It would be so far beyond us to even conceive.
So, what we are left with, is our primitive little brains, and the tools of observation from our senses.
To me, the concept of current faith based explanations are too limited in scope. To cut-and-dried, too matter-of-fact, too convenient, and often contrary to what can be observed and measured.
No, rather if there is a god, or a supreme being, or grand purpose for it all, it is something so astoundingly beyond anything the human mind can conceive (or had evolved to conceive) that any attempt to convey it would be beyond the language and mental function of our species. (at this juncture.)
In other words, against whatever supreme truth there is (or isn't) the mere concept of "God" itself even if "God" *was* God, ......would pale in cognitive miniscule-ness.

Such a truth would go well beyond the trivial concepts of human morality, good vs evil, pious vs heretic, dogma vs secularism. When placed against the concept of the infinite, these human constructs only exist to serve our insignificant (and highly limited) perceptions of the world around us.

I liken it to the futile attempt to describe a 4 dimensional world. We can make analogies until the cows come home, but physically, we lack the cognitive apparatus to envision such a concept. It is beyond us.

We are left with using our 5 senses to distill the world as best as we can.

So yes, there very well could be an intelligent designer.
However if there is, it would be of at *least* the order of designing a system where evolution could take place under the conditions necessarily to create life, such as in auto replication, and with "bettering" the system in mind. (at least that's the way I would do it)
Hey, If I'm god, I am a pretty busy fellow.

To summarize,

With regards to the question of humankind solving the ultimate mysteries of the grand scope of things in the eternal, infinite scheme of existence,
We yet have not a freaking clue, and that means that NOBODY on the planet does.
If all is natural according to physical laws, how did they get that way? and Why? to what end?
If someone does know the answer, I want to hear it, see it, smell it, taste it, play with it, and make it shorten the lines at the DMV.You say you're God? Fine. prove it.
Zap a lightning bolt right here, right now, and then make me a sammich.

Stewie Griffin: "Hmm yes. Omnipotence!! Gotta get me some of that!"

I've always mused that If I were a deity, I'd have to be a sick monkey to create some beings, place them on an "earth" and tell them nothing of their true nature, why there are there, and what I'm doing with them. Instead, I'll just mess with their heads, make 'em suffer, watch them squirm in their futile attempts to figure it all out. That's not exactly my idea of a all powerful loving entity. But that is but one of the myriad of issues with the concept as a whole. ( I could argue all day on why humans have a higher capacity for good than any deities described in scriptures.)

One thing I think I know is, regarding the macrocosm, no one is yet smart enough to answer the question of existence, and *especially* no one could answer this question thousands of years ago.
I firmly feel that our best chance as a species of answering these ultimate questions lies ahead of us, not behind us. But for now, by using logic, and scientific method, we have at least been able to unravel but the tiniest portions of our condition. That is at least something.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 12:12 am 
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I thought the 4D universe was like a 3D one that's changing with motion on the axis of "time." We're stuck going forward (we have freedom on x, y, and z, in contrast), but it otherwise works for me. 5D is where i get totally lost and resort to unsatisfying analogy: like infinite 4D universes, all in the same "place" and you can click between em like channels on a TV). I wonder if it's our tiny noodles or the fact that the world stops at 4D that we can't envision more?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 4:03 am 
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IJ wrote:
I thought the 4D universe was like a 3D one that's changing with motion on the axis of "time."


Meta:Indeed, the 4th dimension, as with any other Hyperspacial or higher Tetraspacial dimensions may indeed be time, or interact with time, or they may be something else, altogether. We can prove that 4D space exists through mathematical expressions, but we still cannot even begin to imagine what it might look like.

IJ wrote:
We're stuck going forward (we have freedom on x, y, and z, in contrast), but it otherwise works for me. 5D is where i get totally lost and resort to unsatisfying analogy: like infinite 4D universes, all in the same "place" and you can click between em like channels on a TV). I wonder if it's our tiny noodles or the fact that the world stops at 4D that we can't envision more?


Meta: It's even more bizarre than that, I'm afraid.
There is compelling mathematical evidence to suggest that there may be as many as 26 dimensions (Probably more since I checked last) in Hyperspace, however many of them appear in the maths as curled up so tightly in 3D space as to be on the plank scale of infinitesimal-ness.
There was an excellent book that was written by Edwin A. Abbott in the late 19th century called "Flatland" (Perhaps you know of it) which describes life in a two dimensional world and and interaction with a higher "3D" being.
The analogies are excellent for trying to understand and visualize (As much as is physically possible) the concept of what higher dimensional space would "look" like.

Here is the book online and for free, if you have not already read it.
http://www.alcyone.com/max/lit/flatland/

Truly, the universe is the more a strange place than we can ever conceive.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 2:53 pm 
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Oldfist wrote:
Could there be an intelligent designer who designs all and only those things, entitites, etc. that don't design themselves?


A. Suppose there is such a designer called ID, i.e.
ID designs x if and only if x does not design itself
(himself, herself),

equivalently, ID designs x <--> x does not design itself (himself,
herself)

Now by classical logic and the law of the excluded middle, it must also
be the case that either 1. ID designs himself or 2. it is not the case
that ID designs himself.

Suppose 1. that ID designs himself. Then with x = ID in supposition A.
(using direction -->), if ID designs himself, it is also the case that
ID does not design himself.

Suppose 2. that ID does not designs himself. Then with x = ID in
supposition A. (using direction <--) if it is not the case that ID
designs himself, it is also the case that ID designs himself.

So, under assumption A. we have shown that the existence of such an
intelligent designer ID, implies that ID designs himself if and only if
it is not the case that ID designs himself, which means that both ID
designs himself and ID does not design himself, which is contradiction
and hence impossible.

Therefore we must reject the false assumption A., and hence there can't
be such an intelligent designer ID.


As you may have noticed by now this is a variation of the barber
paradox, i.e "can there be a barber who shaves all and only those who do
not shave themselves?" or "can there be a set of all sets that are not
members of themselves?"

These types of statements are called "veredical paradoxes," in that the
impossibility of the existence of such designers, barbers, or sets is
not really a paradox, but rather something that is strange but true.

The Goedel phenomenon is a species of the same type of contradiction only in
formal logic theory. It (Goedel's 2nd Incompleteness Theorem) says
essentially that in a specific formal logical system, say NT, that is
powerful enough to represent number theory, if NT is consistent then it
cannot prove it's own consistency within itself. However, if Con(NT) is the
statement representing the consistency of NT within itself (note the difference
between representing and proving here
), then we can always form a stronger
theory, say NT+, by adding this statement as an axiom Con(NT) to NT.

The issue has to do with the "proof program" in NT, which if NT is consistent
can't prove Con(NT). However, the proof program in NT+ is more powerful.

By now I've probably said way more than you wanted to hear about this. :D

The point is that for reasoning in ordinary language, we can always be careful to
avoid definitions, like the intelligent designer above, that produce veredical
paradoxes, and we can always extend our unformalized language as needed
to include what we want. The Goedel phenomenon is about provability in a fixed
formal logical system
, and is really no barrier other than something that is "strange but true"
that we need to be aware of.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 3:38 pm 
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Good stuff.
I am reminded of the classic logic befuddler Zeno.

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/paradox-zeno/

Alan Watts once spoke about:
Existence and Non -existence.
Non existence being still a form of existence.
"Nothingness" is an object and therefore a "something"
(which has the attributes of "nothing".)
Boolean logic would argue while this indicates two states,
both of which are still "states" and therefore both exist, which would seem to nullify the common concept of true "nothingness."

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 5:07 pm 
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Simply awesome.

Must read!:

http://beliefnet.com/story/178/story_17889.html

Also, check out the links on the page which present counter-arguements.

(Although not very good ones.....)
:P

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 5:35 pm 
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I read flatland many years ago... semi-interesting at the time.

I think I *do* envision a 4D world comfortably, it's a world with x,y,z and it's being shown changing with time. It's like a flipbook but it shows a 3D world not a 2D world. While the stacked flipbook is the 3rd dimension and might be incomprehensible to the main character from flatland, he would perhaps try to explain it was a 2D world repeating itself, but reoccupying the same space (x,y) because he can't conceive of z. Our 3D flipbook stacks up images in the 4th dimension, we too say our 4D universe is like a 3D flipbook in which the subsequent pages occupy the same space (x,y,z) because we can't understand the fourth dimension well enough to "see it all at once" the way we can see an infinite array of 1D worlds making a 2D world and an infinite array of 2D worlds making a 3D world.

The sphere in flatland had to "snap" the main character out of 2D to show him 3D, and the closest we can come is imagining the 3D world moving freely on the time axis like it'd been shuffled back and forth much as a rewound and fastforwarded 3D video.

I caught a special (Nova?) on string theory and the short version is the MATH works out nicely such that any of 5 theories (later harmonized by some math the narrator described as showing the apparently different theories were all different versions or reflections of 1), each with a different and unexpected number of dimensions, explains the world pretty well and also ties together the randomness of the tiny quantum world and the giant expanse of space and relativity, into a decent theory of everything. Those strings however are infinitely smaller than all he subatomic particles we can barely see and they vibrate on a few or something like >20 dimensions so good luck proving it.

That stuff and the ID logic is, however, well over my head. Enjoy, philosophers!

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 7:03 pm 
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Meta

Here is another thought problem for the ID'ers.

One that most ID folks try very hard NOT to think about.

Once you have established that things as complex as people etc MUST have a "designer."

Then its begs the question of whom "designed" the "designer?"

Nasty little logically problem--if you insist that all such things MUST be delibratly designed--then you HAVE to have someone that "made" the designer itself--whatever that might be.

It gets worse--

If no "ultimate desgner" is needed--then that imples that NO "designer" is needed at all.

Hey, if an "ultimate designer" can just "appear" out of no-where--why can't people??

Either way you cut it---it gets really ugly for the ID crowd.

Thanks for the link BTW--excellent article.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:17 pm 
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I wrote:
I caught a special (Nova?) on string theory and the short version is the MATH works out nicely such that any of 5 theories (later harmonized by some math the narrator described as showing the apparently different theories were all different versions or reflections of 1), each with a different and unexpected number of dimensions, explains the world pretty well and also ties together the randomness of the tiny quantum world and the giant expanse of space and relativity, into a decent theory of everything. Those strings however are infinitely smaller than all he subatomic particles we can barely see and they vibrate on a few or something like >20 dimensions so good luck proving it.
!


Quite right,.
However, the problem is remains the unification of the strong and weak nuclear forces with gravity.

(And more strangeness)
When we examine things in the macro scale, clearly gravity does not want to unify. And it's surprisingly super weak but persistant.

But....!
At the string level (or near)

They *are* unified.......(at least, mathematically)
8O

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Last edited by -Metablade- on Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2005 9:27 pm 
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cxt wrote:
Meta

If no "ultimate designer" is needed--then that implies that NO "designer" is needed at all.

Hey, if an "ultimate designer" can just "appear" out of no-where--why can't people??

Either way you cut it---it gets really ugly for the ID crowd.


I was going to make that same argument, but you put it much more brilliantly than I could.
:D

Here's a strange idea:
What if there is a god of this universe.
And he's a sub-god of another god? (You know, our God just rules this part of the "sector".)
And then there a hierarchy of "Gods" each lording over lower spheres.
And the ladder goes up and up more spheres give way to larger and larger spheres...
Forever...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 2:53 am 
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Remembering the schtick with gravity on the program: it's much weaker than the other forces, and this bothers physicists. They hypothesized our universe is in one dimension and grvity, but not the other forces, can bleed out of our universe into nowhere we can see. They further supposed the big band may have begun when two of these universes bumped into each other. Another one of those might ****** more than a meteor eh? I'm no good with the math but sounds wildly creative to me...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 6:29 am 
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IJ wrote:
Remembering the schtick with gravity on the program: it's much weaker than the other forces, and this bothers physicists. They hypothesized our universe is in one dimension and gravity, but not the other forces, can bleed out of our universe into nowhere we can see.


Exactly.
Therein lies the one of the main issues with "M" and Superstring theories.

I should also mention that light is also a candidate for bleed over, in that "light" may be actually the residue from vibrations in higher dimensional space.

Some may even go so far as to postulate that all matter shares a connection with hyperspace.
including the matter which makes up you and me.
(Although this opens the floodgates for New Agers to say something like "See? See? We are connected to Higher planes, man....Like..we are out there, dude..in the ether...!
:roll: :lol:

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:37 pm 
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At the most basic level it seems to me that all these arguments boil doing to the fact that we can't explain change. And change, at this point, is understood as something reacting to a stimulus in the environment. Whether you look at that at the micro or macro level.

Motion = change = inexplicable = life

If you can find what made the first motion - you'll find what, for now, our little blobs of brain are trying to grasp at as a definition of G-d.

That's why Douglas Adams' books were/are so wonderful. They turned the conventional answers on their heads and did it in a lighthearted way.

That the creater of our earth was a junior designer in a firm that created planets and universes for clients who needed complex machine to solve their problems. In our case the Earth was a computer built by design (kinda like a Dell) for the mice who wanted to find the question to the answer "42" which had been given by the previous machine as "the answer the life the universe and everything."

So time and gravity and light are wonderful to study - because without our reasoning mind we never would have "seen" those concepts. It would have been like asking fish to define water. So we've made a great leap.

Light and gravity are the most fun to play with right now because they are things we can manipulate readily. Time's still a bother for us because we haven't yet found a way to manipulate it. We are starting to conceive of how to manipulate it though - and that's good. And we're starting to figure out just how closely gravity and time are related. Which is what folks suspected all along (if you can manipulate yourself within the temporal plane then spatial movement will be easy as pie.)

A Wrinkle in time talks about folding the universe together in place and stepping across the divide as a means of achieving teleportation. It is basically the ability to move from a to b by staying in the same place.

So, personally, I think that's the nut to crack. Once we learn how to manipulate the temporal dimension I'm sure we'll be over the mountain again and like the bear will be able to see further.

Anyone know how are we doing on that front?

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2005 12:50 pm 
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Back in March of 2000...
Quote:
http://www.cerncourier.com/main/article/40/2/8

Photon teleportation achieved

Teleportation - the instantaneous transportation of an object (like Captain Kirk in Star Trek) across space - may seem to be solely the stuff of science fiction. However, at the quantum level, the dream has already become a reality.
Experiments in Austria and Italy pioneered "teleported" information about photon polarization (not the photon itself) from a sender to a receiver using the trick of "entanglement" - a deep quantum mechanical connection between particles that was first pointed out by Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen.
For example, with two entangled photons (A and B), determining the polarization of one of them (say, 0°) automatically defines the polarization of the other _ the second photon must "collapse" into the complementary state (90°). Therefore to teleport the information "45° polarization", a messenger photon of 45° polarization is made to entangle with photon A, thus obliging A then to be in the complementary polarization state. This in turn means that photon B now has the same polarization as the messenger photon, which is complementary to that of A. Then measuring the 45° polarization of B means "message received".
Experimenting with entangled photons is quite difficult, however. Now UK researchers are proposing a much simpler technique of conveying information - by teleporting the quantum state of an atom trapped in a cavity to a second atom in a distant cavity.

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