The Limits of Science

Discussions on the philosophical foundations, assumptions, and implications of science, including the natural sciences.

Re: The Limits of Science

Postby Forest_Dump on January 5th, 2015, 8:52 pm 

Sounds to me like you are way beyond my level of expertise. For me it was just a who da thunk thing.
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Re: The Limits of Science

Postby wolfhnd on January 5th, 2015, 10:23 pm 

Ignore the most scientist part lol

Where did Earth’s water come from?

There are two dominant theories:

The inside-out model proposes that the Earth formed with trace amounts of water structurally bonded to the minerals in the mantle. This water makes its way to the Earth’s surface through volcanic processes.
The outside-in model proposes that the Earth formed without water, which came with other volatiles from the meteorites or comets that bombarded the young planet. This water was probably mixed into the upper layers of the Earth and was later brought to the surface through volcanism.
Neither model is completely satisfactory, but most scientists support the first. Comets may have given the Earth a little bit of its water, and possibly as much as 20%, but nowhere near enough to fill the oceans. Meteorites, on the other hand, appear to be the building blocks of our planet because they’ve been found to have a composition similar to that of the early Earth.

Studies of meteorites allow scientists to estimate that as much as 0.5% of the weight of the Earth is made up of water. That may not sound like a lot, but considering how big the planet is, it’s more than enough to fill the world’s oceans. The Earth’s mantle is estimated to contain between three to six times as much water as in the oceans, so it’s perfectly feasible that our surface water came from inside the Earth.


http://www.amnh.org/learn/ocean/Resource1
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Re: The Limits of Science

Postby skakos on January 10th, 2015, 7:56 pm 

Forest_Dump » January 3rd, 2015, 12:58 am wrote:
skakos wrote:But water is one thing, the beginning of existence of the cosmos is another.

Do you agree that something caused the universe to Be?


No, not necessarily. The universe might have always been there.

You see you seem to be arguing that there must be something first. On that we can probably agree but the question is what? We can agree that the universe exists. You want to posit that something must have created it but of course you then want to posit something we don't agree necessarily exists - a deity. If something has to have come first, I would bet that it most likely was something that we know exists, not something that we have no evidence of.


The word "God" is a highly emotionally "charged" word.
If you think of God as the Cause of Existence then you can investigate that scientifically.

Is there a Cause for the Universe?
You say that the cosmos could have existed without a first cause.

OK.

Does that mean that a First Cause COULD exist as well?
And what could that be?
I do not get the "something we know exists" argument.
If we are searching for it, how can we know it already?
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Re: The Limits of Science

Postby dlorde on January 11th, 2015, 10:41 am 

skakos » January 10th, 2015, 11:56 pm wrote:Does that mean that a First Cause COULD exist as well?
And what could that be?
I do not get the "something we know exists" argument.
If we are searching for it, how can we know it already?

Obviously we don't know, but what would the implications of positing a first cause?
Doesn't it mean something that has been around forever at some point triggered the causal chain that led to the universe as we know it appearing?

We don't know what preceded the big bang, but if we assume that time didn't start with the big bang, it seems reasonable to also assume that the stuff of the universe didn't come ex-nihilo (I don't mean empty spacetime, but literally nothing at all). Given those assumptions, I think it's also reasonable to suggest that there was some pre-existing stuff that changed state to give rise to the big bang. If you want to posit a first cause, then that stuff changing state was it. Personally, the idea of an infinite length of time with a single state change event seems illogical, so I'd suggest that in this model the stuff perpetually oscillates between states, and we're looking back to the start of one of those state changes. In this case, the first cause becomes meaningless, as there is no preferred beginning.

On the other hand, if we assume that time itself started at the big bang, there is no prior causal event because there is no prior time. In this model, the universe gives the appearance of having started at the big bang only because of our perspective; the universe as we see it just exists, and time is only relevant from the perspective of its occupants, so there is no meaningful first cause.

The same kind of arguments, on a grander scale, can be made about the various forms of multiverse that have been proposed.

So, the way I see it, questions about a first cause are meaningless. My most charitable view would be that they are, at best, premature. As far as I know, we simply don't have enough knowledge to do more than speculate about the ontology of the universe, let alone the dubious metaphysics of a first cause.
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Re: The Limits of Science

Postby skakos on February 10th, 2015, 6:15 pm 

A First Cause simply needs to exist without a cause.

The Universe and all the things we see around us existing for ever and without cause, have even more implications...

So what is the simplest solution to the riddle that we should choose?
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Re: The Limits of Science

Postby owleye on February 10th, 2015, 9:59 pm 

skakos » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:15 pm wrote:A First Cause simply needs to exist without a cause.


Just as the universe simply needs to exist without a cause. What's the difference in what you write and what I wrote. Your simplicity adds one more level of complexity. The first cause is totally unnecessary. Methinks it is a product of your imagination. After all you give no argument for it. You merely assert its truth. Not very philosophical of you.
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Re: The Limits of Science

Postby Dave_Oblad on February 10th, 2015, 11:17 pm 

Hi Skakos,

In searching for "First Cause", I discovered it to be a "Mathematical Question". I had to start by elimination of every aspect we use to define our Reality. No Space, No Distance, No Time, No Matter, No Energy, No Dimensions. In other words.. an absolute Void with no characteristics. The true NOTHING.

Now, how do we get from there to this Universe?

The one thing you can NOT eliminate from the absolute Void is Mathematical Truths. For example, the sums of the inside angles of a triangle on a flat surface will be 180'. Now we can play with alternate number systems and divisions, but the ratios are a fixed Truth. Geometrical Math is filled with these Truths. We did not create these Truths.. we can only discover them. We can't change them.

If one interconnects these Truths, an Equation can be formed. If one connects a Fractal Equation to a Cellular Automaton, a solution will be defined. There is no Fixed Limit on the number of Parts in such an Equation and no Fixed Limit on the extent of the solution. This also applies to the complexity of the Solution. It has no arbitrary limitation. Granted, a Universe based on a 4x4 Grid will not impress anyone. But an Equation that includes Growth has no such limitation. It can become near infinite in size.

If the Solution to an Equation is complex enough to define a working Universe, then you have your answer.

It will have a Beginning and Sequence and Geometrical Interactions. It will be totally Deterministic. For that specific Equation, only one Solution can exist, regardless of complexity. Because there is no fixed limit on the Types of Geometries involved nor the number of Rules on how they interact, there would obviously Exist an almost Infinite number of Universes, each different and none of them taking up any Real Space nor Real Time. After all, they are just mathematical solutions, taking up no more Space or Time than the value of PI.

In a few of them, Self Aware Intelligences will emerge. They will see a Working Interactive Universe surrounding themselves. They will question their Existence. They will question the "First Cause".

Their Universe is Pure Math, regardless of their resistance to all the logic. This is where we find our Existence, IMHO.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: The Limits of Science

Postby dlorde on February 15th, 2015, 8:48 pm 

Dave_Oblad » February 11th, 2015, 3:17 am wrote:Their Universe is Pure Math, regardless of their resistance to all the logic. This is where we find our Existence, IMHO.

This sounds like Max Tegmark's mathematical universe.
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Re: The Limits of Science

Postby Dave_Oblad on February 16th, 2015, 6:05 pm 

Hi dlorde...

Yep!

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: The Limits of Science

Postby skakos on March 15th, 2015, 8:10 am 

owleye » February 11th, 2015, 3:59 am wrote:
skakos » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:15 pm wrote:A First Cause simply needs to exist without a cause.


Just as the universe simply needs to exist without a cause. What's the difference in what you write and what I wrote. Your simplicity adds one more level of complexity. The first cause is totally unnecessary. Methinks it is a product of your imagination. After all you give no argument for it. You merely assert its truth. Not very philosophical of you.


The universe is a set of things which exist because of a cause. Such a set of things "with a cause" cannot be a cause of itself.
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Re: The Limits of Science

Postby skakos on September 9th, 2015, 3:44 am 

Dave_Oblad » February 11th, 2015, 5:17 am wrote:Hi Skakos,

In searching for "First Cause", I discovered it to be a "Mathematical Question". I had to start by elimination of every aspect we use to define our Reality. No Space, No Distance, No Time, No Matter, No Energy, No Dimensions. In other words.. an absolute Void with no characteristics. The true NOTHING.

Now, how do we get from there to this Universe?

The one thing you can NOT eliminate from the absolute Void is Mathematical Truths. For example, the sums of the inside angles of a triangle on a flat surface will be 180'. Now we can play with alternate number systems and divisions, but the ratios are a fixed Truth. Geometrical Math is filled with these Truths. We did not create these Truths.. we can only discover them. We can't change them.


What you say is purely platonic.
And metaphysical;y religious in many ways.
I am not saying that it is wrong, but it is something you must believe in.
There is not "proof" in the scientific way we define "proof" as such.
Having said this, I too believe that the universe is full of something. That "something" could be named whatever we want, but I believe existence as a notion is inherent in the universe the same way consciousness is.
In any way, exact sciences cannot explore these notions since as I said before thay are not things that can be proved or disproved with the usual scientific methods.
And this is one great and important limitation of science as we know it today.
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