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March 27, 2007

Scientific proof of god's non-existence

There were a couple of interesting (anonymous) comments in response to my post on what constitute rational and irrational beliefs. The writer said that I was overstepping the line that divided science from philosophy when I argued that religious beliefs were irrational. The arguments took a familiar form and went something like this:

1. We cannot prove that god does not exist.
2. Hence it is rational to believe that god exists.
3. Scientists should stick to the world of data and not venture to question god's existence since that enters the realm of philosophy, not science. The author states that if a scientist is asked: 'In your scientific opinion, does God exist?' the proper answer should always be, 'I don't know. I don't have any data on the subject.'

I will readily concede the first point, and in fact have done so previously (See here, here, and here.)

But the other two statements do not follow from the first. Just because we cannot prove, using data, the negation of some entity does not mean that it is reasonable to believe in that entity. Scientists constantly make judgments in the absence of data and act on those judgments. In fact, it is essential that they do so, as science could not proceed otherwise.

The only time that you can prove a negative is if you have the ability to do an exhaustive examination of every possible situation. As an example, I can prove to everyone's satisfaction that no unicorns exist in my office because I can search every nook and cranny and show that none are there. But I cannot similarly prove that no unicorns exist anywhere on the Earth or elsewhere in the universe.

I also cannot prove the non-existence of magic unicorns in my office, that only materialize when I am not present and are capable of hiding all evidence of their visits before they disappear again. It seems to me that arguments for the existence of god are of this nature.

But there is another point about the word 'proof' that needs to be emphasized. When scientists use the word 'proof' they use it in a slightly differently way from the way mathematicians use it. In mathematics, a proof is a construct based on an agreed set of axioms and rules of logic. If someone challenges the validity of any of the axioms or one of the rules, then the proof is also called into question. But since the axioms are usually few in number and do not necessarily have to be based on data, mathematicians can agree on the validity of more things as working hypotheses than scientists can.

Scientific 'proofs' do not have the same level of rigor as a mathematical proofs because the axioms themselves are not simply assumptions but are also expected to justified based on evidence. Also there are far more explicit assumptions that go into scientific conclusions than go into mathematical proofs, thus opening them up to far more challenges. This greater degree of challenge that scientific assumptions receive makes scientific 'proofs' different from mathematical proofs. So although I and other scientists use the word proof frequently, we do understand that it is being used in a slightly different sense than a mathematical proof. The word proof is used to signify a reasoned judgment based on the merits of the evidence.

But just because scientific proofs do not have the same status as mathematical proofs does not mean that scientific conclusions cannot be extremely robust. Let me give an example. Most people readily accept that there are just two kinds of electric charge, positive and negative. This is about as well-established a 'fact' as one is likely to find in science. This is one of the most firmly held beliefs in all of science and the entire modern world is constructed on the basis of this two-charge model. No one even thinks of questioning this fact. (Note that 'positive' and 'negative' are just labels and the charges could just as well have been called things like 'green' and 'blue'.)

The interesting question is how it is that we are so certain that there are just two kinds of charges that we base our entire society on it. Do we have certain proof that there are only two kinds of charges? Do we have direct data that no more charges exist? Have we looked everywhere and convinced ourselves of this? The answer to all three questions is no. So how is it that we are so sure that only two kinds of charges exist? It is because of the absence of certain kinds of data.

Here's how that argument works. Suppose you have three charged objects A, B, and C. What scientists find is that if the charges are such that A and B attract each other and A and C attract each other, then it is always found that B and C repel each other. This set of three observations can be explained by (1) postulating that there exist just two kinds of charges, and (2) adopting a rule that says that like charges repel and unlike charges attract. No data has ever been seen that contradicts the consequences of these two assumptions.

Because of the absence of any data that contradicts any predictions based on those two statements , scientists will say that they are extremely confident that there are only two kinds of charges and this is all the 'proof' they need. But note that haven't actually proved it in a mathematical sense. It is just a powerful inference based on the absence of certain kinds of data, but it is sufficient proof to convince scientists.

Notice though that even this 'proof' can be challenged. After all, we have done such experiments with just a few sets of charges. We have not exhaustively repeated them with every single charge that exists in the universe because it would be impossible to do so. As a result, someone can come along and say that scientists are wrong, that there does exist a third kind of charge but that either it has not been found yet or that it does not interfere with the experiments that scientists do. There is no way that scientists can prove this person wrong. How could they? But what they will do is ignore this argument as not worth responding to because that kind of argument has the same standing as magical unicorns in my office or a god who is determined to avoid leaving evidence of his/her existence.

A belief that has no observable consequences is of no use to scientists and they will work on the assumption that this third charge does not exist and that would be perfectly rational behavior. A person who clings to the belief in a mysterious third charge that has no observable consequences will be treated as somewhat eccentric.

Historians and philosophers of science have long pointed out that there is no proposition in science, however idiotic, that cannot be made immune from refutation by the addition of a protective belt of auxiliary hypotheses to shield its weaknesses. But if you want to convince scientists that something like a third kind of charge exists, you will have to provide positive evidence, some actual data that cannot be explained by a two-charge theory. For scientists, the absence of such evidence or data is taken as evidence of absence.

It seems to me that the arguments put forward by believers for the existence of god are of the same kind as those that might be put forward for a third charge: It exists but its effects cannot be observed. But just as scientists are perfectly justified in rejecting as irrational that kind of hypothesis when applied to a third charge and confidently proceeding on the basis that it is false, so it is that we can confidently reject the arguments currently given for the existence of god.

So although you may not be able to prove exhaustively that god does not exist, you cannot obtain a stronger scientific proof than what we currently have.

So if someone should ask me 'In your scientific opinion, does God exist?', I would answer 'No' with the same degree of confidence that I would say 'No' to the question as to whether a third type of electric charge exists.

POST SCRIPT: More lists of famous atheists

Some more lists of well-known atheists and agnostics, along with quotations from them justifying their inclusion in these lists, can be found here and here.

Although it should be obvious, I should add that the mere fact that someone famous is an atheist is not being offered as an argument in favor of atheism. Lists of this kind are simply to identify the members of an affinity group. One could do the same thing with lists of vegetarians or Bassett hound owners.

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Comments

What you describe with charges (which seems a very good analogy, by the way) is basically the problem of induction, no? It still seems to me to be a very hard/interesting problem, not just scientifically but regarding human reasoning generally. It's clear that human cognition does not follow formal logical rules here (and that's a good thing).

Posted by Erin on March 27, 2007 08:47 AM

Yes, it is an example of the problem of induction. Inductive reasoning is a good example of how people can arrive at conclusions that cannot be justified by pure logic.

Posted by Mano Singham on March 27, 2007 09:28 AM

I disagree. I think your description of the charges is a bad analogy. Charges are everywhere. Everything has some level of electical charge that could be measured.

When discussing God, at least the monotheistic Christian God, we are talking about a single, sentient entity. Creating tests to determine the existence of a unique, unpredictable entity are more problematic. than measuring an electrical charge.

I think a better analogy would be if I took a solitary man and dropped him into an arctic wasteland. How could a test or series of tests be conducted to even confirm the man's existence? This happens constantly - people get lost in the wilderness all the time and at our current level of technology they are still very difficult to find. If we have to hunt for 4 days to find a boy scout in the North Carolina Mountains how can we possibly expect to create a test that proves or disproves the existence of God.

Posted by Bob on March 27, 2007 03:10 PM

Bob, your view interests and puzzles me. I grew up Roman Catholic, and I never got the sense that God was the kind of entity that had a place. I was pretty sure he was supposed to be omnipresent, like charge. I didn't even think it was a controversial issue in Christianity. I assume from your writings that you are Christian -- what kind, specifically?

Posted by Erin on March 27, 2007 04:03 PM

As an undergrad in the arts whose knowledge of scientific theories and facts is below paltry I will not attempt to engage the charge analogy. However, it seems to me that non existence of positive proof can never be proof of non existence. This may be in a mathematical sense or otherwise, but merely through the use of logic, it is difficult to conceive of the non existence of proof proves non existence of the object. Thus all we have is a sort of scale of probabilities, scientific or otherwise. The question of God's existence must be taken thus as a question of balancing probabilities, not as a question of determining logical proof, given the lack of data. I fear you are playing word games when you assert that there exists 'scientific' proof of god's non existence merely because mathematical proof of existence does not exist. The argument for the existence of God you have noted at the top of your post, you must be aware, is not the classical Christian apologists clinching argument for the arguing for the probability that God exists. You may have reasons for believing that the probabilities for the existence of God's existence are slim. Yet your manipulation of that simple idea to assert that proof exists in scientific terms of God's non existence seems to me to be an argument does not hold water. While I'm not sure how the scientist as opposed to the mathematician determines what constitutes proof, suffice it to be said that your idea of 'scientific proof' cannot satisfy a logical standard.

Posted by niran on March 28, 2007 04:53 AM

Bob,

I share Erin's puzzlement. All the standard representations of god suggest the qualities of omnipresence, ominipotence, and omniscience. The idea of a localized god, limited by time or space or the laws of nature would be quite novel.

Posted by Mano Singham on March 28, 2007 08:47 AM

Niran,

I quite agree with your basic point that the non-existence of god cannot be proven as a purely logical proposition. I conceded as much right at the beginning of the essay.

But what I was saying is that scientific 'proofs' of the non-existence of something use different arguments from logical proofs and using those, the evidence for the non-existence of god is at least as strong as the evidence for the absence of a third kind of charge.

The challenge to believers is really this: What kind of evidence would you need to prove to you that god does not exist?

Posted by Mano Singham on March 28, 2007 08:53 AM

Erin, I attend a non-denominational Christian church. I'm not sure what you mean about God having a place, wasn't really the point I was trying to get across.

The point I was attempting to get across is that God is a being with thoughts, motivations and activities that are, at best, difficult for us to know. Electricity is a force that is visible everywhere and always acts the same way. God, while omnipresent, isn't something that can be tested for. The only way to 'prove' that He exists would be, in theory, to measure the impact He has on the universe. Like a man lost in the wilderness, the only evidence are his activites. To create a test for Him, like you can for electricity, would require that God for Him to generate some type of response to a given stimulus. Being a living entity, His activities add difficulty to creating any kind of measurement.

Like a person in the wilderness, the only way to find Him is to either predict what He is going to do next or look for evidence of His activities.

Posted by Bob on March 28, 2007 10:00 AM

I'm glad we can settle that the question of the existence of God, in philosophical terms, is one of probabilities and not that of conclusive proof. Your question to the believer may be posed back to you. What standard we adopt to accept one or the other position on the question of the existence of a supernatural being is necessarily one that will depend on the individuals receptivity to either of the two ideas, since it's a question of probability.

I hope you're not assuming that the only argument for the existence of God is the non existence of positive proof negating the existence of God. That seems to be the argument you have responded to. The charge analogy may be apt if that were the case. The fact is that whether you accept the arguments or not, the arguments adduced by theists for the existence of God are generally a little more advanced than the mere reliance on the absence of proof that God does not exist. Thus, it seems to me that your claim that there exists scientific proof for the non existence of God is contingent on your being able to set up a straw man theist apologist.

Posted by niran on March 28, 2007 04:26 PM

Hi -- Maybe I've overlooked a comment, but no one has said the obvious (to me) thing...Of course, religious belief is irrational. At least, it's clearly non-rational. Isn't that the reason it's a "belief," and it's called "faith"? Reason is a good thing, but it's not everything...

Posted by Kathy Ewing on March 28, 2007 07:07 PM

Niran,

Actially, I think it is not productive to compare probablities when evaluating theories because there is no operationally unambiguous way of doing so.

What I am saying is that the arguments for god are of the same kind as the arguments given for the existence of magic invisible unicorns in my office, and thus should evoke similar responses. I am also saying that science has provided all the possible proof that it can against the existence of god. I cannot see what more proof could be asked.

As for theistic argments, all the ones that I have seen either (a) make god superfluous and irrelevant or (b) at some point invoke an action that violates scientific laws in unknowable ways.

Posted by Mano Singham on March 29, 2007 09:19 AM

Kathy,

I totally agree with you. And we all do believe irrational things. I think the important thing is to know when we are believing something irrational and when we are believing something based on persuasive evidence.

Posted by Mano Singham on March 29, 2007 09:22 AM

It is impossible to prove God exists unless you are given exact characteristics, or at least one or two characteristics.
Since there have been over 3400 different Gods that man has spoke about, we can conclude that man created at least all but one of them, so it is also easy to conclude that all Gods most likely are man made concepts.
If I say there is an invisible man that lives under my bed, it would be up to me to provide evidence that he exists. The same goes for anyone who states God exists. I don't see any reason believe such an assertion when there is not one shred of evidence that God exists.

Posted by The Atheist Jew on March 29, 2007 10:07 AM

How is the kalam cosmological argument akin to the assertion that there are magical unicorns in your room. Is this a mere assertion based on some faith based idea, or do you not think that the whole question of the existence of an uncaused cause to explain the existence of a finite universe involves a little more philosophically sophisticated argumentation than arguing about magical objects in your room.

And if arguments for the existence of God involve assertions that violate scientific principles in 'unknowable ways', how do you suppose you got to know about them?

Posted by niran on March 29, 2007 01:41 PM

I think that is one of the great things about science and logic. An "uncaused cause to explain the existence of a finite universe" may be more sophisticated or complex than "magical objects" or "unicorns," but that in no way implies that a test to find such an entity be more complex as well.

Posted by Heidi Cool on March 29, 2007 02:08 PM

Heidi, what is your test to determine the existence of magical unicorns in your office? Look around? I can't think of any alternative. The cosmological argument however seeks to argue that a finite world must necessarily have has an uncaused initial cause, since the alternative would be a infinite regression of causes- an alternative that cannot sit with well with the idea of a finite universe. Logic is beautiful.

Posted by on March 30, 2007 01:03 AM

Well I guess I've just been hoping that the little figurine of Ganesha and the stuffed manatee in my office serve to intimidate the unicorns into staying away. I'd hate to accidently set upon one after all.

But seriously, the notion of infinity--whether spatially or in terms of the regression you describe--has frustrated me since I was less than three years old, and four years studying philosophy didn't give me any additional insight into that particular issue. Yet neither can I wrap my head around the idea of an "uncaused cause." It just defies the laws of physics logic as we currently know them--though I do expect that our understanding of these laws--and those yet to be discovered--will grow significantly over the course of time.

To have always been, or to have come into being without some force or causation--whether we are discussing a supreme being, an energy force or something else--is a notion beyond my reach. Since I can't process the concept of such a thing existing, neither can I put forth the idea that such a thing would be the cause of that which does exist.

To me the first cause (whether it were the big bang or a god) would still have to have some cause of its own. As frustrating as the infinite regression may be, I don't know how we can work around it unless we discover a way for something to be "uncaused."

Posted by Heidi Cool on March 30, 2007 05:46 PM

All this talk of uncaused causes and infinite regressions reminds me of what I understand to be Godel's Incompleteness Theorem. I have yet to finish the book "Godel, Escher, & Bach" but what I read was fascinating.

Posted by Aaron Shaffer on March 31, 2007 04:45 PM

A purely reasoned answer to the question must be.
I do not know. On either side of the question you have belief.

I love the authors statement:

"A belief that has no observable consequences is of no use to scientists and they will work on the assumption that this third charge does not exist and that would be perfectly rational behavior. A person who clings to the belief in a mysterious third charge that has no observable consequences will be treated as somewhat eccentric."

The term mysterious simply means unknown. The use of Mysterious and eccentric are keys word indicating the personal predisposition of the author.

And this:

"So although you may not be able to prove exhaustively that god does not exist, you cannot obtain a stronger scientific proof than what we currently have."

We currently have no proof that addresses the question in any manner. It simply remains a question. There are many questions of this nature.

Posted by Jim Stark on April 2, 2007 12:15 PM

Heidi, sorry for the delay in replying. Was away on holiday for the long weekend on account of a religious holiday (in Sri Lanka) and hope that this thread is still alive. Your rejection of an uncaused cause is based not on science or on philosophy, but on faith and assumption. What we know of the universe is that it is finite and expanding and thus, cannot be adduced to an infinite regression of cause and affect. I think it becomes clearer now that a worldview that rejects outright the notion of an uncaused cause is not as scientifically sophisticated as it may seem, and that positing an uncaused cause is not as silly as arguing for the existence of a third charge or unicorns scared off by Ganesha.

Posted by niran on April 2, 2007 03:32 PM

Dear Mr. Singham,

your article is provocative. As footnote, you gave two links to "famous atheists". My question is: in these cases, being atheist is a [non-scientific] choice or a [scientific] consequence?

My main question is: God's existence or non-existence has to be scientifically proved? The science, as result of our particular way of understanding of our existence, is not the creation's result?

With respect,
Respiro

Posted by Respiro, the logo designer on April 11, 2007 01:45 AM

Respiro,

God's non-existence, like the non-existence of anything, is not capable of logical proof. But, just like the non-existence of Santa Claus and invisible unicorns, it is not something for which we have any reason to believe.

One could say that god created the laws of science and immediately retired. Such a deist position is unassailable. But it is not what most religious people believe

Posted by Mano Singham on April 11, 2007 11:45 AM

Mano Singham-

All the standard representations of god suggest the qualities of omnipresence, ominipotence, and omniscience. The idea of a localized god, limited by time or space or the laws of nature would be quite novel.

Omnipotence and omniscience present unique problems when used together. Quite frankly, they can't work together. Omnipotence is power withiout limits, so, it must even be able to overpower omniscience, knowledge without limits. (a god should be able to surprise itself or doing something that it didn't know it would do.) However, if a god can overpower its omniscience, then it isn't omniscience. If it cannot, it isn't omnipotent.

Who needs scientific proof when you can invalidate a concept with internal contradiction.

The Atheist Jew makes and excellent point, definition first rebuttal after. ^_^

Posted by Mesoforte on April 23, 2007 01:11 AM

Mesoforte,

Yes, there is an inherent contradiction between omniscience and omnipotence. Some have tried to get around it by placing various limits on both of those, but most people just ignore the contradictions or are unaware of it.

Posted by Mano Singham on April 23, 2007 10:03 AM

belief in god is MORE than irrational, there are so many flaws in the proof its never-ending... i mean, why would god create us to live? surely he would know our pasts and futures already?... so why would we be created to live, say: 'for his entertainment'? surely an all knowing all see-ing perfect entity would not need entertained or anything to keep him buzy? religion was only formed to keep the masses under control, and they are doing a VERY good job of it. i dont know any christian who questions theyre faith, and that to me is the ultimate man-made controlling device, what better to keep people under control than the thought of eternal pain and suffering? its like santa claus for adults... for kids its "if your not good santa wnot come" for adults its "if your not good you'll be flung in to the lake of fire for eternity"... dunno about you people but thats kinda childish to me...

well, i'll leave u with a bill hicks quote:-
"The whole image is that eternal suffering awaits anyone who questions God's infinite love. That's the message we're brought up with, isn't it? Believe or die! "Thank you, forgiving Lord, for all those options."

Posted by Gavin Mills on April 25, 2007 10:49 AM

Gavin, part of Christianity *is* questioning your faith; as St Augustine said "I believe, in order to understand; and I understand, the better to believe." Blind belief is not the same as faith; although belief and faith have come to mean the same thing in the dictionary, they are not in religious terms.

In regard to the charge analogy; Newton did not know about quarks. This does not mean that quarks did not exist when Newton was alive; scientists just did not have the data available to them. We do not know how to test for God, therefore saying we haven't found Him yet is irrelevant. You wouldn't try to measure voltage with a tape measure.

The trouble is that most of the 'evidence' that suggests God exists is dismissed by scientists, which is why they say there is no reason to believe in God (although some scientists do believe in God - does that make them bad scientists?)

In my opinion, science is a necessary part of religion; it helps us to understand how to the universe works, and our role in creation.

Posted by Beatrice Smith on May 4, 2007 09:01 AM

This talk about charges and the uncaused cause had made me realize that the Big Bang could have occurred at the point where NOTHING became SOMETHING...or the instant when matter and anti-matter separated from each other. As matter and anti-matter annihillates each other when they join together (zero charge or NOTHING), then separating anti-matter and matter creates SOMETHING (e.g.the universe) from NOTHING (e.g. the void).

The notion of infinite chain of causality has brought to bear the similarities with the infinite size of the universe problem. If one goes to the edge of the expanding universe, then sticks his hand thru the threshold, what does he find? Did he just expand the universe a tad more? Or, did he just touch another reality?

Similar question arises with Einsteins idea that the universe is a curve. What do you call the expanse oustside of this curve?

The answer could simply be... NOTHING. But this NOTHING is as potent as the NOTHING that was the beginning of the BIG BANG.

To say that god is NOTHING (the uncaused cause) is to say that god is EVERTHING.

Posted by Vic Libranda on May 11, 2007 09:49 AM


Vic: to produce matter and antimatter, you would need to have energy to start with. Energy can be converted to matter and antimatter, but that is different from creating them from nothing whatsoever. Also, as I understand it, in the initial moments of the Universe after the big bang, there was only energy, not yet matter or antimatter. So production of matter and antimatter isn't really relevant to the moment of the big bang.

There's also some misunderstanding underlying your idea of the expanding universe. There is no edge to touch. (Or, from another point of view, the edge is everywhere.) Imagine a one-dimensional line. Now let it be wrapped into a loop so it is embedded in two dimensions. Now let it expand over time. Or imagine a two-dimensional surface, wrapped into the shape of a sphere embedded in three dimensions, also expanding over time. The residents of the one-dimension or two-dimensional world could travel all around the circle, or over the entire surface of the sphere, and would never run up against a boundary. Their space, their universe, is the boundary everwhere, when viewed with the extra dimension that their space is curved through. It's the same with our universe - it's curved through a fourth dimension (which is not itself part of our universe), and wraps around to meet itself, so there is no boundary.

Posted by Paul Jarc on May 11, 2007 01:08 PM

The expansion of the universe has to be from the point of explosion outwards in all directions, more or less, spherically and perhaps at a steady rate speed and not accelerated. The initial deceleration noted earlier by our scientists may be due initially to gravitational attractions but as great distances are reached, the effect of gravitation wanes and thus the acceleration of expansion. That is expansion in 3d.

If the Big Bang occurred as a 2 dimensional explosion, we would only have a expanding circle created by matter ejected in more likely than not, straight lines from the point of explosion. As everything goes outwards in a straight line a planar circle is thus created. No need to curve anything into a 3 dimensional spehere. The edge of the universe is thus delineated in 2d was well as in 3d (more or less).

If a 2d universe curves and intersects itself at one point or another, there is the danger of collissions of galaxies and that would be a big mess, indeed. A 3d universe, that is curving around itself into a 4th dimension, the same danger might exist. Suppose an outer edge of the expansion that is going one way, is interacting with the outer edge of the expansion going the opposite way because the "curving" edges got "too close" to each other. Would the galaxies near the edges get gravitational pull from the galaxies on opposing edge of the curve that got too close?

This could be a possible reason why the expansion of the universe (on 3d) is now accelerating.

But question still remains, what does one call the expanse around this 3d universe that is curved into a 4th D?. Perhaps we may call it as the VOID and until it is populated by a galaxy or an anti matter or dark matter or even by someones poking finger ..it will remain as such.

Posted by Vic Libranda on May 12, 2007 10:22 AM

Back to the uncaused cause. Many physicists propose that at the nearest point in time immediately after the instant of the Big Bang, was energy (in plasma state) which then led to matter and anti-matter exploding in all directions, hence the name BIG BANG.

Based on that, at least chronologically, energy preceeded matter so we may say that the nearest candidate for the uncaused cause must be made of, or is, plasma energy.

A radical thought comes up into view. If matter was able to evolve into a self aware entity, could an entity made up of energy evolve to be self aware as well?

Posted by Vic Libranda on May 14, 2007 10:14 AM

Vic,

The big bang expansion is not an "explosion" in the everyday sense of the term, in which thing radiate from a central point into the surrounding space, which is presumed to already exist.

The expansion is better analogized as the dough of raisin bread growing under the influence of yeast and heat. Space is the space occupied by the dough. There is no space outside the dough. As the dough expands, every raisin is moving away from every other raisin and there is no danger of collions between the raisins.

The reason there is no space outside the space of the dough is what Paul was explaining, that the space closes in on itself into 4D space. This is not easy for us to visualize given our limited 3D experiences. That is why Paul invoked a 2D analog, a 2D space closing by folding into 3D space, like the surface of the balloon.

As the balloon expands, dots painted on it will each move farther away from each other with increasing speed but will not collide with each other. The 2D space is closed and curved in 3D but there is no space outside the space of the balloon surface, in this 2D analog of the universe.

So when we say that the 3D space closes in on itself in 4D, it is not encapsulating a void.

Posted by Mano Singham on May 15, 2007 11:12 AM

I prove I am GOD.

www.geocities.com/cdbowman1

Posted by charles bowman on May 21, 2007 02:38 PM

Won't the uncaused cause ask the very same questions we are asking??? e.g.

What am I here for?
Where did I come from?
What is the meaning/purpose of life?

I think therefore I am...then what?

Posted by Vic Libranda on June 5, 2007 02:35 PM

My expectations of god..at the very least are as follows:

1. It must have created mankind or the immediate beginnings of it.
2. If it did not or could not create the universe that we know of.. perhaps it should at least have created our solar system.(this could be too much too).
3. Because of its seniority... being the first...it should have accumulated a lot of knowledge .... and of course wisdom.

I came up with this list because of certain things that bother me... a lot.
1. If god is so powerful...then he could do anything he wants with us..

2. If god is all knowing...then he could spare us the pain of seeing other peoples suffering... and send us all to that perfect place...right away.

3. if god is omnipresent...then where is he?

Perhaps, i am over estimating god. Yes, it might be mankind's creator but it may just be limited to doing just that...create humans.


Besides, do we really want to be beside god? Remember, he will be always right.

Posted by Vic Libranda on June 5, 2007 02:53 PM

As reagrds the balloon (or raisin bread) theory of the expansion of the universe, some theoretical physicist (Discover channel) forecast the Big Rip. In this Big Rip scenario, the end of universe (billions of years from no) will be matter ripping itself apart disintegrating into nothingness (void??) as if it has reached its limit of being stretched as it expands and thus pops like a ballon.

Some would say, then what is the point of life when universe will simply wink out anyway. Well, my answer is ...we are simply lucky to be here talking about it... and I am simply glad I got a chance to enjoy existence with a lot of entities just like me to talk and converse with....

I guess, if I could see from the uncaused cause's point of view...when he was just by himself, I would also be hard pressed to do some creating of entities as similar to himself as possible itself ...to talk perhaps as a fellow of similar thought patterns as close to his own. Perhaps he would give it or them freedom of thought so they could converse with or argue with him about everything conceivable just for the sake of argument (just to pass the time???).


Posted by Vic Libranda on June 25, 2007 05:00 PM

But all is not lost because however grim the future of the universe is from the point of view Big Rip scenario, the scenerio of the Big Chill is more likely. The Big Chill (or Big Cool/Cold) seems to be more applicable as the distances between galaxies increase. But to me, as long as my own galaxy (with its billions of stars), the Milky Way, keeps its resident stars and planets (that's us) within constant distance, mankind would be okay. We should be able to find new habitable planets within the galaxy, should our own sun turn nova. If we chose to relocate to any of the nearby galaxies we will have to solve the necessary equations for folding time/space first and then find the necessary source of energy to implement it. Mind you, it will be a one way ticket.

So for the universe, there is great hope. How about locally, here in our own planet... is there hope? The answer to this depends on a mankind's maturity... and luck. This planet has been lucky so far, an to the benefit of us mankind...at least the least, twice hit by big ones and still here.

When it pertains to hope for the individual's continuity...hopefuly even after death...we still have to find proof that there is something that remains self aware after the body has passed away.

Hope of continuity after death is the product that religions provide. Without that hope, most people would loose direction and purpose. Great chaos could ensure...and civilizations could go astray and violent. The lack of accountability for what you did during your life could encourage Hitler types and genocidal maniacs. This is because mankind has not achieved the maturity level required for stable society/ies that abide by the rule of law that is for the people and by the people. Few countries are leading in the endeavor to achieve the rule of human law for the entire humanity but it seems that the cost will be great.

For those that do not wish to accept death, great effort is exerted to please the entity that could hopefully provide this continuity (eternity or life eternal).

This is why it is so important for god to exist.
Without god, there is no hope for continuity after death.

Until technology comes up with the cure for our mortality, people would cling to faith and religious hope. One important prerequisite before we can possibly allow this thought immortality (thru technology) ... we will need a bigger planet. Otherwise, wars will ensue for food and territory, again. Because there will be over population problems...and it could be a big mess.

The other option, is live your life to the fullest...when you can....enjoy this one...hopefully, after your death on this one..you get another chance....mind you..you probably got a previous life and don't even know about it....deja vu? To other people this very option, could be a another religios thougt...one that supports reincarnation.

If the universe started from the Big Bang...an event triggered by nothing (???) and if the size of universe is finite, then perhaps the Big Crunch could be possible...then in a cyclical way, another Big Bang will ensue... a rebirth of the universe....much like the reincarnation theories....

It is just that it is hard to imagine the universe coming from nothing. Our scientist have resisted with much vigor. It took another civilization, the Incas (?) to come up with the concept of zero....until then our knowledge was so limited. Zero state does not mean null...it simply means a balance between positive and negative.

Posted by Vic Libranda on June 30, 2007 09:23 PM

Your are not a scientist , how can you say that .
GOD exisit ..your arguments are absurds and have no logic .

Posted by free vbulletin themes on June 28, 2008 03:31 PM

About philosophy of physics & religion .

“ There is only one religion,
although there are a hundred versions of it.”
/ Bernard Shaw./
=======.
Big bang; Science and Religion.
===========
Once upon a time, 20 billions of years ago, all matter
(all elementary particles and all quarks and their
girlfriends- antiparticles and antiquarks, all kinds of
waves: electromagnetic, gravitational, muons…
gluons field ….. etc.) – was assembled in a “single point”.
And after there was a “Big Bang”.
The scientists wrote very thick books about this theory.
But nobody wrote the reason of the “Big Bang” because
nobody knows it. I know the reason.
The action, when the God compresses all Universe
into his palm, we have named " a singular point".
And action, when the God opens his palm,
we have named the "Big Bang".
============ ==============.
The Catholic Church adopted the theory of Big Bang
as a good proof of God existing. And Pope Pius XII
declared this in 1951.
http://discovermagazine.com/2004/feb/cover/
Now we have unity between Religion and Science.
Alleluia !!! Alleluia !!! Alleluia !!!
But it is strange,…… why cannot we hear the happy
sounds of Scenic’s /Church’s bells?
=============.
About philosophy of physics & religion ./ My opinion ./
=============..

FROM NON-BEING TO BEING.
FROM NOTHINGNESS TO NOT-NOTHINGNESS.
FROM VACUUM TO EARTH LIFE.

We live in modern scientific world and I think
the science will purify the religion of the “dross”.
I think the science will prove the truth
of the religion's base.
=================..
What give the Life to the formulas and equations?
What must be present in a body to make it alive?
===============
My answer:
Soul. quantum of light/electron.
Why quantum of light/electron?
1.
Because, from all particles, only the quantum of light
is a privileged particle.
Only Light quantum has the speed of an absolute quantity c = 1.
No other particle can travel with the speed c = 1.
2.
Because, the physicists say: Light quanta have dualistic behaviour.
I say: The dualism of light quanta connects with its ability
to be an electron. (according to the law of conservation/transformation
of energy and the Lorentz transformations)…….. etc.
3.
Because.
Today scientists think that everything begins from “ Big Bang.”
And according to " big bang" our Universe exist 13 (+ ) billion years.
My question :
Is it possible to create a child from cell [ zigota] only in 280 days
according to Probability theory? If " yes "it will be take time not
280 days but will take time more than our Universe exist.
So, maybe the pregnancy woman was before “ big bang”.
If " no " so the process must have aim.
It means somebody /something must manage this process.
My opinion :
It is impossible, according to Probability theory , only in 280 days
to create a physical body, who we named " child ", from billions
and billions different cells. It means the Probability theory
doesn’t work in cell theory, doesn’t work in biophysics.
It means the Probability theory doesn’t work in period of woman's
pregnancy. It means somebody /something must manage
the creating of child . The religion says : " it is soul".
I say: " The privileged particle Quantum of light / Electron must
manage this process. (According my interpretation SRT + QED) "
And if you look back in history of physics you can see that
until the time of Newton/ Leipzig most scientists were
sure, that two kinds of matter existed: vital (animate) and
inanimate. But after the French revolution ( Laplace, ...etc)
this point of view changed. It seemed that the vitalism idea
died. ( H. Driesch....etc) So, I only go back to this old religion/
scientific idea and try to explain it by Quantum theory ( SRT+QED).
4.
Because, some people that survived clinical death, claim that they saw light.
They saw their material body and everything happening around as from aside,
that in this moment they were not a material body.
Who were they?
Somebody wrote me:
I’m trying to understand what you are saying here. Are you saying that
there is a single electron (or photon?), the spiritual particle, somewhere
in each of our brains that is an antenna-like receiver for divine
transmissions? And we can acquire new forces and abilities
by listening to it?
I say: Yes, exactly so.
1.
The brain of a man approximately consists of sixteen or more
billions neurons. All of them form the system that manages human body.
2.
According to the Pauli exclusion principle,
only one single electron can be in the atom.
This electron reanimates the atom. This electron manages the atom.
If the atom contains more than one electron (for example - two),
this atom represents a "Siamese twin".
Save us, Great God, of having such atoms, such children!
3.
So usually, electron action is almost completely disguised
by the other forces (mechanical, electromagnetic, nuclear, chemical ……etc).
That is why, it is no wonder, that with the work of all the sixteen billion
neutrons of the brain, a man cannot catch a single impulse of an electron/
quantum of light, his own God:
(mass of electron is equal 10^-31 kg., charge of electron is equal 10^-19 k.)
It remains unnoticed in ordinary processes.
The situation is: (electron power) hw kT.
The small energy of Electron is higher than the common
electric field of the brain, and we can acquire new forces
and abilities by listening to it.
Once again.
An electron's mass is 10^-28gr . The size is 10^-13sm. A charge is 10^-19k .
With these characteristics it is hard for IT to appear.
Therefore it is clear, why we don't know IT in our ordinary life.
ITS cognition is achieved by a very hard, thin and laborious work.
This work (meditation) demands a person to be devoted to it.
All of us have the personal God/Soul and it is a light quanta/electron.
==============..
Maybe somebody thinks that the power of the light quanta/electron
is so weak that it is possible to scorn it. This is a mistake.
In meditation, the imperceptible power of the light quanta/electron
unusually increases.
I want to give two examples.
1.
It was during the Second World war.
A young soldier was badly wounded. The doctors said he would not live
and refused to operate on him. But only the soldier's body was wounded.
He did not lose consciousness and heard the conversation of the doctors.
He was young and wanted to live very much, but what could he do
if the body was wounded? And suddenly and unexpectedly he saw
the quantum of light which began to rotate around his body.
And the soldier became fanatic. He imagined himself as the quantum
of light that rotated round his body. Some days passed.
The doctors were surprised, seeing, that he had not died yet,
and decided to operate. And then they made a second operation,
third, ….. tenth ….
50 years have passed and the strong,
well built man told his story on Russian T.V.
2.
The doctor unsuccessfully jumped from a ski springboard,
fell and at once he understood that the backbone was broken.
It a was 100% physical inability. People with such an injury cannot move.
In this difficult time the doctor recollected the books about yoga
and eastern practices. He has imagined himself a quantum of light
and began to twist it around his body and backbone.
It was fanatical work.
After three years of this work, the doctor could move; at first on crutches,
then with a stick, and then freely. This is the story from one of the Soviet
magazines.
==============…
Maybe somebody will say that I mixed together physics, religion,
mystic, parapsychology, the theory of knowledge ………etc.
I think that all these subjects naturally enter into the theory:

THE GENESIS.
1.
T = 0K.
There is only one Absolute Reference Frame
and it is Vacuum : T=0K .
And Quantum Theory says that T=0K is not dead space.
2.
QT says the " virtual particles " exist in Vacuum: T=0K.
These " virtual particles " have following parameters.
Geometrical form = C/D=pi ,
Potential energy = E=Mc^2,
Potential mass = R/N=k ,
Inner impulse = h = 0 ,
Mathematical formula = i^2=-1 .
Their condition is rest.
3.
Then these " virtual particles " have Planck's impulse (h=1)
(or Einstein's impulse h=kb=1) they move with constant speed c=1.
We call these particle " Quantum of Light".
h = 1, c=1. ( light quanta).
4.
Then these " virtual particles " have impulse
Goudsmit / Uhlenbeck (h=h/2pi) they became electrons
(E = hw, e^2 = hca ).
This situation described with " The Lorentz transformations."

h = h /2pi , c>1.
E = hw, e^2 = hca ( electron).
The Lorentz transformations.
So.
If these " virtual particles " have three conditions:
rest ( h=0), strait constant moving (c=1) and it can
rotate around its axis ( h=h/2pi) they are special particles.
And no other particles can reach their speed it means they
cannot have such ability as Light Quanta/ Electron has.
Therefore I say " Light Quanta/ Electron is privileged particle",
and it is possible to name Light Quanta/ Electron
as a " Spiritual, Conscious particle – Soul "
There is another question.
The " virtual particles " exist in Vacuum : T=0K.
The Vacuum created these "virtual, spiritual, conscious particles ".
So.
What is Vacuum? Who is Vacuum?
Silence. Amazement.
It is something Infinitely, Eternally, Consciously…..
……something higher our understatement.
" The DAO that can be expressed is not eternal DAO. "
5.
Here I explain the process of " Star formation".
Star formation:
e- -> k -> He II -> He I -> rotating He –> plasma reaction -
- -> thermonuclear reaction: ( P. Kapitza , L. Landau,
E.L. Andronikashvili theories ),
( Theories of superconductivity and superfluidity.).
a) hw > kT
b) hw = kT
c) kT > hw
6.
As the result of star formation the Material particles
(protons) turn out well.
p ( Proton.)
7.
Here I explain the process of interaction between
Light Quanta/ Electron and Proton.
The process of evolution is one of main in Universe.
Evolution of interaction:
a) electromagnetic,
b) nuclear,
c) biological.
8.
The main laws in Universe.
Laws:
a) The Law of conservation and transformation energy.
b) The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle / law.
c) The Pauli Exclusion Principle/ law.
9.
Every theory must be testing logically and practically.
Testing.
a) Theory and practice.
=============
Best wishes.
Israel Sadovnik. / Socratus.
http://www.socratus.com
http://www.wbabin.net/
http://www.wbabin.net/physics/sadovnik.pdf
=========..
The secret of words 'God', 'soul ', 'religion', ‘ Existence’,
'dualism of consciousness', 'human being' hide
in the “Theory of Light Quanta”.
============.

Einstein : Science and Religion.

/ Book: “ Ideas and opinions by Albert Einstein”
Edited by Carl Seeling. 1996.
Part: About religion. /

Page 46.

“The situation may be expressed by an image:
Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.
Though I have asserted above that in truth a legitimate conflict
between religion and science cannot exist “

Page 47.

“The main source of the present-day conflicts between the spheres
of religion and of science lies in this concept of a personal God.”

Page 48

“ To be sure, the doctrine of a personal God interfering with
natural events could never be refuted, in the real sense, by science,
for this doctrine can always take refuge in those domains in which
scientific knowledge has not yet been able to set foot.”

Page 48.

“…. , teachers of religion must have the stature to give up
the doctrine of a personal God,… “

“ After religious teachers accomplish the refining process indicated
they will surely recognize with joy that true religion has been
ennobled and made more profound by scientific knowledge.”

Page 49.

“ And so it seems to me that science not only purifies the religious
impulse of the dross of its anthropomorphism but also contributes
to a religious spiritualization of our understanding of life.”

/Source: Science, Philosophy and Religion.
A Symposium, published by the Conference on
Science, Philosophy and Religion in Their
Relation to the Democratic Way of Life,
Inc., New York, 1941./
====================….
Was Einstein wrong ?

Posted by socratus on December 9, 2008 12:14 AM

I honestly just don't understand! Sure you're entitled to your own opinion, but how can you think that we were not created by a greater intelligence? It doesn't make sense that you believe that we are here by mere chance, or by accident. That we evolved from nothing and that there is absolutely NO purpose to life at all. Which makes more sense; that we evolved from a mud puddle billions of years ago? or that we have a creator? Even scientists have concluded that there is no way that we came along by chance or accident. There is far too much beauty and balance in this world for there not to be a greater One up above. It's unfortunate that you don't see that. Hopfully you will someday.

Posted by Mindy on December 17, 2008 02:58 AM

Mindy,

We are not here by chance or accident alone. They are factors but not the only ones. Natural selection is neither based on chance nor accident but is a powerful driver of evolution that has ruled out the necessity of a supernatural creator.

Posted by Mano on December 17, 2008 08:39 AM

I believe because it is absurd.
/ Tertullian. (ca.160 – ca.220 AD) /
=======..
‘I believe in Physics because it’s absurd’
Would you ever say such a thing to a modern man ?
I doubt it. Most of us would be asking God’s
forgiveness for even thinking it.
But.
=============…
The basis of the physics consists of:
1.
Abstract separated absolute space and time of Newton.
2.
Abstract ‘ideal gas’ and ‘ideal particles.’
3.
Abstract ‘black body.’
4.
Abstract SRT negative 4 - dimensional space,
abstract 5D, …….and 11 - dimensional spaces.
5.
Abstract ‘virtual particles’, ‘dark matter’, ‘dark energy’.
6.
Abstract ‘ inertial movement’.
7.
Abstract ‘big bang’.
8.
Abstract " method of renormalization".
9.
Etc.
=========..
And therefore we can read.
#
We don't know what we are talking about"
/ Nobel laureate David Gross referring to the
current state of string theory./
#
It is important to realize that in physics today,
we have no knowledge of what energy is.
We do not have a picture that energy comes in little
blobs of a definite amount. ”
( Feynman. 1987)
#
When asked which interpretation of QM he favored,
Feynman replied: "Shut up and calculate."
#
When I was first learning quantum mechanics as a graduate student
at Harvard, a mere 30 years after the birth of the subject.
"You'll never get a PhD if you allow yourself to be distracted
by such frivolities," they kept advising me, "so get back to serious
business and produce some results."
"Shut up," in other words, "and calculate."
And so I did, and probably turned out much the better for it.
/ N. David Mermin /
#
The problem of the exact description of vacuum, in my opinion,
is the basic problem now before physics. Really, if you can’t correctly
describe the vacuum, how it is possible to expect a correct description
of something more complex?
Paul Dirac .
#
“ Young man, in mathematics you don't understand things,
you just get used to them.”
/ John von Neumann ./
#
Since the mathematical physicists have taken over,
theoretical physics has gone to pot.
The bizarre concepts generated out of the over use and
misinterpretation of mathematics would be funny if it were not
for the tragedy of the waste in time,
manpower, money, and the resulting misdirection.
/ Richard Feynman./
#
" I feel that we do not have definite physical concepts at all
if we just apply working mathematical rules;
that's not what the physicist should be satisfied with."
/Dirac /
#
In his book ” The End of Certainty” Nobel Laureate
Ilya Prigogine wrote: "The more we know about our
universe, the more difficult it becomes to believe in determinism."
. . . and “ The quantum paradox is real nightmare for classic mind ”
#
In his book ” Quantum theory “ ( published in 2002 )
John Polkinghorne wrote:
“Quantum theory is certainly strange and surprising,…”
#
"It's an embarrassment to physicists to have such a conflict
between such well verified and accepted theories
(Quantum Electrodynamics and General Relativity).
In fact it is so painful, that most physicists don't even want
to think about it."
/ Prof. Jordan Maclay /.
#
Etc.
======================..
The physical education.

The more I study the more I know.
The more I know the more ideas I have.
The more ideas I have the more they abstract.
The more they abstract the less I know the truth.
=====.
Some years ago I told with young physicist (!!!).
He said very confidently: ” You cannot be physicist (!)
if you cannot understand the beauty of Minkowski
mathematics.(!!!)
======.
It seems that he is right, because physicists must know
mathematics very well. The problem is that nobody
knows what is real physical meaning of “ 4-D negative
space continuum.” in the Nature. SRT is correct theory
but Minkowski space continuum is abstract. And together
they are paradoxical. More than 100 years we live with
this paradox. Nobody confuses.
==========.
During our conversation I understand that this young physicist
is strong and clever man and he want to reach success. And
I think he will do it. So, in the future he will create new
D/ M-spaces or new symmetries or discover new particles.
And one day he will be a professor and will teach new
generation ( your son or your daughter) in order that they also
have possibility to create new D/ M-spaces or new symmetries
or discover new particles. But if in the beginning the abstract
ideas were put into the fundament of physics then ……..
we can create new and new theories for 1000 years but
the result will be the same - paradoxical.
=========..
#
Physicists do not dictate to Nature their laws.
Laws of nature are reality, which exists independently
from the researcher. The Nature cannot be arranged so
strange, as the physicists think of it. Their thoughts
are so strange, that they offer paradoxical ideas.
#
Conclusion from some article:
" One of the best kept secrets of science is
that physicists have lost their grip on reality."
#
What is our intellect ?
We can see this practically :
after “ big bang “ all Galaxies run away from us.
============..
Why Nature keeps secrets from physicists?
Because they try to understand the Nature only
using different tools. They don’t try to understand
the Nature using another method – meditation.
============ . .
Spirituality Spot Found in Brain.
http://www.livescience.com/health/081224-brain-spirit.html
========= . .
Neuroscience has found the EGO assuming group
of neurons in the Brain in the right parietal lobe!
It keeps track of self-centred notions as “my hand”,
“my cocktail”, “my witty intelligence” etc.
The greatest silencing of this ‘Me-Definer’ region
likely happens in deep states of meditation!
Meditation stills and stops the EGO! How wonderful indeed !
=============.
Best wishes.
Israel Sadovnik. / Socratus.

Posted by socratus on January 3, 2009 09:36 AM

Black hole and Big bang.
1.
A black hole is a theoretical region of space in which the
gravitational field is so powerful that nothing can escape.
2.
Hawking Radiation theorizes that black holes do not,
in fact, absorb all matter absolutely; they give off some
return matter.
3.
Once upon a time, 20 billions of years ago, all matter
(all elementary particles and all quarks and their
girlfriends- antiparticles and antiquarks, all kinds of
waves: electromagnetic, gravitational, muons…
gluons field ….. etc.) – was assembled in a ‘single point ‘

The reason of this unity is gravitational force.
4.
How does this ‘single point ‘ created if the matter
can escape from any strong gravitational force?
==========..
The Dark Energy and the Vacuum.

"Dark energy, this mysterious stuff in the vacuum of space
which makes the universe want to accelerate, is the basis
for standard cosmology today because it explains much
of what we see,"
/ Research by Dr David Wiltshire, from
New Zealand's University of Canterbury /.
============= . .
My opinion.

The Dark Energy is the Vacuum.
Vacuum is not a dead space.
Vacuum is some kind of Energetic Space as the
Quantum Theory says.
The Energetic Vacuum itself is ‘ The Dark Energy ‘.
The physicists only invent new word ‘Dark Energy ‘ instead of
to say ‘ ENERGETIC VACUUM ’.
#
Dark Energy may be Vacuum
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2007-01/uoc-dem011607.php
========== . .
Everything began from Infinite Energetic Vacuum: T=0K.
Somehow, the energy is extracted from the Vacuum
(the Energetic Dirac Soup) and turned into particles.
The Materialistic World gets its finite being
from an Infinite Energetic Being – Vacuum: T=0K.

To understand this ‘speculation’ we must know:
1. What is Vacuum: T=0K ?
2. Which virtual particles can exist in Vacuum?
3. How can virtual particles turn into real particles?
======== .
Until now the physicists ignore the Vacuum Energy T=0K
because it is the Zero Point Energy for our measuring devices.
Because the Absolute Zero Point Energy is border for our
measuring devices.
Can this fact be enough reason to stop our investigation?
==========..
Best wishes.
Israel Sadovnik. / Socratus.
#
When the next revolution rocks physics,
chances are it will be about nothing—the vacuum, that endless
infinite void.
http://discovermagazine.com/topics/space
http://discovermagazine.com/2008/aug/18-nothingness-of-space-theory-of-everything
================ . .
Please, have patience and wait “when the next revolution rocks physics.”
==========..

Posted by socratus on January 6, 2009 10:59 AM

Photons drive nanomachines.

Photonic circuit in which optical force is harnessed to drive nanomechanics. (c) H. Tang, Yale University
Science fiction writers have long envisioned sailing a spacecraft by the optical force of the sun's light. But, the forces of sunlight are too weak to fill even the oversized sails that have been tried. Now a team led by researchers at the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science has shown that the force of light indeed can be harnessed to drive machines - when the process is scaled to nano-proportions.
Their work opens the door to a new class of semiconductor devices that are operated by the force of light. They envision a future where this process powers quantum information processing and sensing devices, as well as telecommunications that run at ultra-high speed and consume little power.
The research, appearing in the 27 November issue of Nature, demonstrates a marriage of two emerging fields of research - nanophotonics and nanomechanics. - which makes possible the extreme miniaturisation of optics and mechanics on a silicon chip.
The energy of light has been harnessed and used in many ways. The 'force' of light is different - it is a push or a pull action that causes something to move.
'While the force of light is far too weak for us to feel in everyday life, we have found that it can be harnessed and used at the nanoscale,' said team leader Hong Tang, assistant professor at Yale. 'Our work demonstrates the advantage of using nano-objects as 'targets' for the force of light - using devices that are a billion-billion times smaller than a space sail, and that match the size of today's typical transistors.'
Until now light has only been used to manoeuvre single tiny objects with a focused laser beam - a technique called 'optical tweezers.' Postdoctoral scientist and lead author, Mo Li noted, 'Instead of moving particles with light, now we integrate everything on a chip and move a semiconductor device.'
'When researchers talk about optical forces, they are generally referring to the radiation pressure light applies in the direction of the flow of light,' said Tang. 'The new force we have investigated actually kicks out to the side of that light flow.'
While this new optical force was predicted by several theories, the proof required state-of-the-art nanophotonics to confine light with ultra-high intensity within nanoscale photonic wires. The researchers showed that when the concentrated light was guided through a nanoscale mechanical device, significant light force could be generated - enough, in fact, to operate nanoscale machinery on a silicon chip.
The light force was routed in much the same way electronic wires are laid out on today's large scale integrated circuits. Because light intensity is much higher when it is guided at the nanoscale, they were able to exploit the force. 'We calculate that the illumination we harness is a million times stronger than direct sunlight,' adds Wolfram Pernice, a Humboldt postdoctoral fellow with Tang.
'We create hundreds of devices on a single chip, and all of them work,' says Tang, who attributes this success to a great optical I/O device design provided by their collaborators at the University of Washington.
It took more than 60 years to progress from the first transistors to the speed and power of today's computers. Creating devices that run solely on light rather than electronics will now begin a similar process of development, according to the authors.
'While this development has brought us a new device concept and a giant step forward in speed, the next developments will be in improving the mechanical aspects of the system. But,' says Tang, 'the photon force is with us.'
Tang's team at Yale also included graduate student Chi Xiong. Collaborators at University of Washington were T. Baehr-Jones and M. Hochberg. Funding in support of the project came from the National Science Foundation, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the Alexander von Humboldt post-doctoral fellowship program.

Source: Yale University

Source: http://www.sciencecentric.com/news/article.php?q=08112701-photons-drive-nanomachines
=============== . .
Physics and Consciousness
Physics and Brain/Information/

P.S.
But,' says Tang, 'the photon force is with us.'
http://www.sciencecentric.com/news/article.php?q=08112701-photons-drive-nanomachines

#
Our brain works like a nanomachine- computer.
#
The secret of words 'God', 'soul ', 'religion', ‘ Existence’,
'dualism of consciousness', 'human being' is hiding
in the “Theory of Light quanta”.
============ . .
Best wishes.
Israel Sadovnik. / Socratus.
============= . .

Posted by socratus on January 9, 2009 01:08 PM

I am the monument to all your sins, repent or burn with your theories.

Posted by Regret on February 11, 2009 10:26 AM

The God is something Infinity and Eternal.
He exists in every place and in everything.
He is Absolute and Concrete.
#
What is God?
Can God create our world without physics laws and formulas ?
No.
If God can act only in such way, then what is the first law
( formula, system) from which He begins to create our world?

In my opinion ‘ The theory of Vacuum and Quantum of Light ‘
gives answer to this question.
========================== . . .
Best wishes.
Israel Sadovnik. / Socratus.
http://www.physforum.com/index.php?showtopic=2548
http://www.wbabin.net/comments/sadovnik.htm
http://www.worldnpa.org/php2/index.php?tab0=Scientists&tab1=Display&id=1372
===================== . .

Posted by socratus on May 23, 2009 06:02 AM

The belief in Creationism and Evolutionism go hand in hand for one cannot exist without the other.

Coexistence must occur because elements of each one both overlap and share underlying themes.

Therefore, we need to separate our prejudicial beliefs from our objective minds.

Posted by James Bohanon on February 7, 2010 03:50 PM

About whether or not God exists: Why don't we define our terms? What does the word, God, mean?In my opinion, the word, God, means the beginning and the end of the universe, which is infinite. The word, God, means a force that is the originator of the infinite universe by definition. Wecannot imagine what happens after we postulate what it is after we go as far as we can go into infinity, where time begins and ends, which we believe, it doesn't, because it can't. Rosemary Otto

Posted by rosemary Otto on June 3, 2010 02:32 PM

After reading more and more of your blog at various entry points, it seems clear, Dr. Singham, that our positions are not all that different on the question of God's existence and we differ merely on belief. As you have stated, a proof of God's non-existence cannot be given. However, I have argued that a proof of God's existence cannot be given either. I would concede that if God kept interfering, it is possible to find proof of God and that the atheistic premise is correct: belief in such a personal God is irrational and, even though non-belief in such a personal God is equally irrational, one should tip the scales against a God until evidence to the contrary can be established. However, going beyond this to attack a non-personal God cannot be held to the same level of evidence requirement since, by definition, such a non-personal God cannot be evaluated along scientific evidence lines at all. At this point, a person is free to believe or disbelieve in such a perspective just as we are free to believe or disbelieve in chocolate ice cream: it really is a matter of taste and preference and little else. To deny that such a position is a matter of personal preference but should be actively resisted is basically like saying, "I like chocolate, so, therefore, you ought to as well." In attempting to deny such a conception, strong atheists, such as Dr. Dawkins illegitimately redefine God so that it is not a personal choice, but that is a logical error: they are looking for a conception of God that they have personally created for themselves and anything that does not fit that pattern must not be God, no matter that their definition is not universally held. They have their hammer of arguments and they will beat the nails (belief in God) whether it makes sense or not.

Indeed, to understand why, we can see that the problem for the strong atheist is paralleled equally (if not more so) by the strong theist believer in a personal God. Such believers look everywhere for God and, therefore find Him, just as the strong atheists deny Him.

For example, there is a phrase in Genesis about "giants that walked the Earth" and there is discussion in Job about "the great Behemoth." When dragons were thought to have been real, it was assumed that these references were to these creatures. A scientist may scoff at these as mere myth--but were they?

Well, yes . . . and no. The notion that there were large reptilian creatures that walked the Earth would have been taken as fanciful before dinosaurs were found and for that a scientist who argued that such creatures did not exist would be proven wrong by their discovery. However, the theologian is even more suspect since what he does is take this discovery and adapt it to "See! This proves the Bible!" Actually, it does no such thing since the Great Behemoth and the giants in the Earth must be contemporaries to man in these accounts and, clearly, the evidence suggests that they were not.

But what does this do for the nature of God? Well, I would agree that a "personal God" is definitely something that a scientist can reject as irrational and the scientist would be on firm ground in doing so. This is because a personal God is given as a cause of various things happening. Everything that is not known is ascribed to God and thus the scientist can chip away at that concept by showing that, no, it does not have to be so. This does not prove God but it severely limits God's motion. In the end, once you eliminate the supernatural, all that is left is the natural, and thus you eliminate at least the need to have the personal God (although jumping from "do not need" to "does not exist" does require a leap of faith as one of my friends is fond of saying).

However, that leaves the problem of the God that does not interfere directly in this world. This God may still have some spiritual connection that can be felt in trances but it is not a God that interferes in the world. Such a conception of God could be anything from a Deus sive Natura (Spinoza's God) to one that provides transcendential experience (Karen Anderson's God) to one that creates a universe, creates a transcendential experience, and also looks over the afterlife through a punishment/reward system (the God-conception that I and some others hold) but any such conception cannot be denied by the scientist on any rational basis (or even on the basis that Dr. Singham has given--his rational thought experiment fails in this case) because the conception itself exists outside the universal construct that science inherently limits itself to examining.

The problem for strong atheists, such as Dr. Singham is that they have constructed a strawman argument and then see fit to denigrate the belief system of anyone who challenges it by denying Dr. Singham's version of God. This is the same error that diehard strong theists make towards committed strong agnostic/weak theists regarding their conception of a personal God. No one is allowed to define my theology and belief system but me, just as no one is allowed to define Dr. Singham's non-theology and belief system than Dr. Singham. However, the words that make up that definition must be defined by appealing to standard accepted definitions and the definition that God must be a personal one is not one that I accept.

When people differ on definitions, then the requirement to consider the definition hinges on what the person who is on the attack of a core belief believes. If you attack my conception of God in an attempt to convert me to your cause, you are not allowed to use some other conception of God to attack me. You may use that definition on someone else but to attack my belief system requires that you play by my rules, my definitions.

Thus, if you have a universal condemnation of God (or religion), such as is demonstrated by Strong Atheism, you are required to attack all such conceptions, not pick and choose. If you do pick and choose and choose to exclude my definition, then you are required to state, for the record, that you have no issues with my definition and stop attacking the concept writ large.

Thus, either you must attack God, even at the Spinoza's God level, or you must deliberately exclude it from consideration. The same is true of Karen Anderson's God and my conception of God.

Stating, as Dr. Singham has done, that "atheism has won" because Karen Anderson agrees that the conception of a personal God is nonsensical is, itself, nonsensical unless you define atheism as being specifically limited to only the personal God. The problem with this is that not all strong atheists subscribe to that definition and certainly not all theists do. Thus, the best that can be said is that atheism wins a partial victory on that debating point with that one weak theist but that was really a hollow victory since Karen Anderson never stated otherwise. Richard Dawkins' victory dance is premature because he never rebutted the actual concept of Karen Anderson. By declaring it irrelevant because most (and I question whether this is true but even if it is, the claim itself does not follow from the evidence) theists don't believe in it would be akin to arguing that the concept of God from a Jewish perspective does not matter (because they are so few in number anyway) in terms of rejection of the Abrahamic God so long as one can defeat the concept given by the Muslims and Christians. You must take on all three groups (and their thousands of subgroups) or you cannot declare universal victory.

"But that is too hard!" I can hear the claim. "I don't have time to debunk all their superstitions!" That is irrelevant. When you make a universal moral claim that ALL religion is bad and that ALL belief in God (including Deism, which is mere belief) is bad, you must attack all or else your claim is hollow and worse, it cannot be defended. We, the weak theists/strong atheists, have risen to the challenge and have provided you with examples. Please either accept that our personal mere belief is not evil and our personal conception of religion (even if our conception differs from that of the vast majority of other adherents) is not evil (and thus if you ever have the power to eliminate religion/god from being mentioned under severe penalty, perhaps even death, for example, you would grant us immunity from such a penalty and leave to continue in our beliefs for the rest of eternity) or else provide us with a counterargument that attacks us on our terms so that we might properly evaluate the claim.

After all, it seems as though strong atheists have something to fear from us strong agnostics/weak theists and I would wonder why. I can understand the fears of the strong theists because we deny that God can be proven and thus deny them the right to control our thought process by using religion as a tool of social control over us, but I cannot see what could possibly be the issue for strong atheists if they successfully eliminated all religious thought and conceptions of God but for ours.

Oh, and you cannot use Clifford's creedo against us because we deny it as irrational, although we can use it against you (since you believe it). Clifford's creedo is "It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence."

The challenge to strong atheists who seek the elimination of religion is to prove not only that religion has been used for harm but that it can never be used for anything other than harm. That, and only that, can be a sufficient reason for calling for any outright ban.

This is a legitimate reason for calling for the banning of child pornography since there is no good that can come from it. There is no legitimate reason for calling for the banning of all guns since there is good that can come from those. Instead, one must argue for banning guns selectively in such a way so as to eliminate (or significantly reduce) the harm, while preserving (or at least not significantly encroaching on) the good. Thus child pornography can be classified as evil. Guns cannot.

It is certain that there are sections of the Bible and the Koran that if they were taken literally are, well, evil. No good can come from them. However, this means that strong atheists should merely argue that such interpretations should be banned; they should not argue for the elimination of all religion.

In so doing, they would contain the harm that religions have done, while preserving the very good spiritual qualities that religion has conveyed over the years to millions of believers. The mere fact that Dr. Dawkins and Dr. Singham have never called (I believe) for a the destruction of the teaching of belief in the tooth fairy and Santa Claus suggests that there are some harmless belief systems that are categorically and absolutely fanciful.

Religion can be used for evil, no doubt, but it also provides bountiful cultural, social, and economic benefits to millions of adherents. The call from Strong Atheists ought to be for reform of religion as opposed to its elimination so that we might preserve that which is good and expunge that which is not good. Any call that goes beyond that, really, is actually a call for practicing evil, admittedly not at the same level as Hitler's call for the Final Solution, but nonetheless cut from the same cloth: a dogmatic and highly arrogant belief that what is good for the proponent is good for all and so it shall be shoved down the throat of all, whether they like it or not. Gee, doesn't that remind you of dogmatic Christians and Muslims?

The first person who says "your viewpoint is not in accordance with mine and thus I cannot accept it" and instead start saying "your viewpoint is not in accordance with mine and thus your viewpoint needs to be eliminated", you have lost, not won the battle. That is the true reason why dogmatic Christians and Muslims have lost the argument. Their perspectives are now a legitimate target for elimination since their perspectives are ones that are incompatible with allowing atheism to survive. It is mere "self-defense" for Dr. Singham and Dr. Dawkins to attack them. Militant Christians and Muslims must change their belief patterns and accept the legitimacy of the atheist position as being one that is an acceptable opinion to have. No compromise on this principle is possible.

However, the strong atheists need to reevaluate their "war on religion"/"war on God" with respect to those of us who do not take such a position, especially when our conception of God falls outside the sphere of discussion for science since we, who are Strong Agnostics/Weak Theists, state that it is perfectly acceptable to be an atheist. If instead you persist in stating (either explicitly or implicitly) that our conceptions of God and our religions (as reformed) must vanish, it is you who have lost the war.

Posted by Carolyn Wu on June 3, 2010 11:20 PM

True, the old age question - irregardless if there is scientific proof or not an argument that always shoots evangelists in the foot is.

In the beginning there was nothing - do we agree on that?

So, if there was nothing in the beginning---where was God? when there was nothing?

Posted by Mike on October 6, 2010 11:28 PM

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Posted by Kate Smith on October 12, 2010 11:38 AM

We should start with the definition of God. My own understanding requires God to be all knowing, so he can create existence itself, he must know everything it the entire universe and all the universes. By these we say that God is omniscient.

Also, to be able to create the universe and all the other universes, he must be all powerful. Because it requires tremendous amount of energy to create matter and energy at that, God must have had this power from within himself to let out at his whim. By this we assign Omnipotence to God, all powerful.

The third property of God is omnipresent. He is everywhere. Perhaps because he is all knowing and all powerful....and thus he has all the energy that is required to be everywhere and the knowledge to do this anytime.

So now we beg to ask.... should we assume that because of these properties of God, we can expect that he is just behind you or me.... watching our every move or action? That, if we talk to him anytime ,,, that he can hear each and everyone of us?

However, because he is everywhere, it probably sort of make him invisible to our primitive organ of sight. What instrument might we have that could be used to detect the presence of God?

Should we assume that God is a perfect being? By perfection, does that mean that he does not make mistakes? Mistake is a mistake from whose point of view? For example, in the biblical flood and Noah story, should we assume that because God started over with Noah and his family to repopulate the earth, that he wanted to correct his mistake? This story makes me wander whether the book describing God in this manner is accurate in depicting God this way. Is it possible that the story of Genesis is wrong....because it depicts a God that is not perfect. In the story of Sodom and Gomorrah where God was asked to change his requirement down to just one person who is worthy which will allow him to save Sodom from destruction. Such as story of negotiation with God, projects a God that could be swayed to change his mind.

In the latter depiction of God... as loving humans so much that he gave his only son to save mankind. Project God as capable of love as just is with a human.... and do not forget his ire when Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit....Are such emotions, human emotions available in a perfect entity such as our concept of God?

So if this jewish collection of books/bible is wrong in its depiction of God... would it be wrong elsewhere? How can we base our religious belief in the entirety of this book as the sole source of our eternal life?

The saying that the concept of a car does not make a car, is a good way of saying that perhaps our concept of a perfect God.... does not create God....no matter how hard we wish that God to exist based on our conception....perhaps there is no God.

Well, even if the jewish collection of books/bible is wrong....God may still exist...only described wrongly.

Just as three blind men saw the elephant three different ways....and assumed that that is how an elephant was. Our concept of God (theologically), is just one blind man's idea of God. Whereas, we may be assigning a behavior of a lesser than God entity as Godly, it could be just another kind of extra terrestrial being(s) that we may be giving the property of divinity.

The fact that the bible does not know anything about other galaxies, or dinosaurs, or germs is an indication that God is not really represented correctly and should be treated with more scrutiny.

Posted by Vic Libranda on September 24, 2011 10:25 AM