SUNDAY, ah …

selfieor not. Your call. The Godless among us roll over; the Godly are already up, washed/brushed and twitching to nip along to God’s house to face their Lord—always in a spirit of contrition (a semi-terrified self-loathing, vaguely resembling the Humility they claim).

OTHERS OF US

moiself included fill the unforgiving minute with mundane chores, one of which is to force the failing mind to revisit old readings—

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—written apparently by experts in their fields. Make of ’em what you will—I have to go for a nice long walk now to blow the spiders away. I still don’t see why God in all His infinite compassion made spiders—I think it’s one of those Godly things, and the spider-priests must be coining it hand over fist fielding prayers for clemency from entangled flies.

Now try—

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—and sadly Ive forgotten the sources of those gems, but that’s science for you.

I said it before, and say it again—

 

THERE AIN’T NO DIFFERENCE

BETWEEN GOD CREATING THE UNIVERSE

OUT OF NOTHING, AND

SCIENCE CREATING THE UNIVERSE

OUT OF NOTHING.

 

If I have it right, the entirety of all Creation was squelched down into a nothing so small it didn’t exist; it was not existing in a timeless nowhere anyway; yet—

—after uncountable eternities something within shifted and with a very very (to the Nth power very) loud POP! it exploded into the cosmos we have around us today.

 

ABSOLUTE EMPTINESS

PERFECT STILLNESS,

YET THEREIN SOMETHING MOVES

FOLLOWING ITS OWN COURSE

 

From Lao Tse (I think) … or some other silly old Eastern poop quietly making his buck cranking out sagacities.

If he lived today he’d have made a mint …

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… a smiling sage. Infinite wisdom is a bull terrier’s cheery grin …

 

6 thoughts on “SUNDAY, ah …

  1. There is a difference. Science does not create something out of nothing; that ‘nothing’ is what you just imported. There is nothing for the method we call science to work with ‘before’ the Big Bang because time itself didn’t begin until after the Big Bang. But there is no difference making shit up and plugging it into our ignorance whether than be something called ‘god’ or musings about ‘before’ time. In either case, there is no coherent evidence-adduced thought. But don’t pretend it’s science doing the ‘creating’ here; it’s strictly you.

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    1. Okaaaayyy … if there’s no nothing, including (actually, especially ‘time’ … I still don’t see how anything could ‘change’ to create anything (espcially out of nothing).

      Change is movement (of one kind or another—even paint fading, no?) but motion is change of position with respect to time. Without time no change is possible … unless, of course, one is God. God apparently can do anything … brrrr …

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      1. Why do you import this ‘creation’ idea? It’s akin to assuming each breath undergoes a ‘creation event’ in order to divide the exhale from the inhale. It’s unhelpful understanding the process of breathing. It’s an unhelpful framing of the Big Bang that equates a ‘before’ with ‘nothing’ and then assigns these incoherent notions causation for what then ‘follows’. All of this is of your own making because you assume it to be accurate. It’s not. For example, cause followed by effect requires the arrow of time. What can it possibly mean, then, to suggest a ‘before’? What can it possibly mean, then, to assume a prior state that contains ‘nothing’? Your language reveals a deep befuddlement of your mind.

        It is my experience that how we think determines what we think. When I am deeply baffled about something or encounter a paradox, I assume how I am thinking about the issue is in all likelihood the problem and not the what that follows. The what is useless. How you think about the Big Bang here is in all likelihood the problem and not the false equivalency you assume roots both religion and science derived from it. The fact of the matter is that there is compelling evidence for the explanatory model called the Big Bang and zero evidence for the explanatory model regarding an agency of Oogity Boogity poofing shit into existence and zero evidence that there is a guiding agency fiddling with the dials and setting of fields and forces caused by the physical properties of mass to direct unfolding specific results. When the ‘what’ is this reliant on woo, the ‘how’ is in all likelihood the culprit.

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  2. TILDE:

    Wow~! I can see we may be in for a long (hopefully productive) relationship. You are quite right in that I am a befuddled thinker. Too much input to sift, too few facts to use as tools; and (dammit) nothing firm underfoot.

    Religion at least can be a constant—always comforting in a world of change; but it’s not for me.
    Science too can be constant, for a brief transitory while. As I said before, often yesterday’s scientific ‘facts’ are today’s embarrassing scientific giggles. Science, more than any other art, is a product of time and place.

    I discount divinities because of the contradictions yet they are often both comfort, explanation, and raison d’etre for billions of people. To each his own and I only take arms against intrusion—if they leave me alone I can tolerate their presence.

    I imagine that you are up with the latest scientific theories and explanations—might even be a Top Gun in some/several scientific fields—whereas I am not. I am a layman, self-educated from unfocussed readings and experiences. As far as Reality goes, I accept that the universe is here … and for all I know, always has been, and always shall be. It’s a viewpoint quite in vogue in science too, not so long ago.

    But I also like the idea of an oscillating universe—one that starts from nothing, goes bang and then spends zillions of years expanding, stops expanding, gravitationally/electrically reverses itself and attracts itself back into a primordial atom that collapses back into the Nothing it was to start with … and eventually, in that timeless Nothing, something changes that makes it explode into a Big Bang all over again.

    To my simple mind this is the most elegant theory. Sadly, no room for any gods though—they all get sucked in too when it collapses.

    Another that I looked at but didn’t like was the ever expanding universe that opens into a heat-deathy sort of thing with distances too vast for any form of intercourse … brrrr, too final; as an optimist I prefer being recycled even if there’s no possibility of any communication between stages.

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    1. Once one really grasps what science is, one stops mistaking it for a product. Science is a method. As a method it is very useful. You use it to find your car keys. You use it to cook food. You use it to organize your life. You use it all the time not because ‘facts change’ – like your house keys might be put down in different spots and therefore ‘science’ changes – but because it works: you know the keys are somewhere because you can operate for the moment as if no agency of Oogity Boogity is playing hide-and-seek with them – so you can use the method of science and – Gasp! go look for them in a reasonable and productive and consistent way. Oh look: you found the keys. The method remains constant and productive because going to look actually works and not because it is substituted for ‘another kind’ of burnt offerings to the god of house keys.

      One can extend the assumption that reality itself is not full of agencies playing hide-and-seek on some peek-a-boo realm of existence because science continues to work. It doesn’t stop. It faithfully produces all kinds of very handy applications, therapies, and technologies that work. Not as a substitute for something else but a method of figuring out how things work. By presuming properties of all materials are fixed until acted upon by other physical properties, we can figure out how changes – what you earlier called motion in place of changes – occur. This modeling is then tested in reality and we produce all kinds of explanations… from the ridiculous to the beautiful. This is all part of the method of science. The testing whittles away explanations that encounter contradictory evidence until finally an explanation comes about that seems to work for everyone everywhere all the time and accounts or addresses all the evidence in a coherent fashion. We call this ‘knowledge’ because it seems to be the case independent of any of us and then we use it to inform our applications, therapies, and technologies that produce consistent and reliable stuff that works… again, apparently for everyone everywhere all the time. Such ‘knowledge’ is hard earned and so it is valuable.. valuable enough for you to be willing to put your life and lives of your loved ones on the line so great is the confidence you have that this ‘knowledge’ accurately describes how reality works.

      This is why any notion that stands contrary to or in conflict with how we understand reality to operate should be so far down the confidence level that it hardly warrants a second glance. And the reason for that is because if the notion is, in fact, the case, then that means every bit of knowledge we have that counters the idea is now incorrect. And that means the explanation is incorrect. And that means all the applications, therapies, and technologies that work do so for reasons other than what the explanation uses. That means we DO NOT understand and so the knowledge we use is not trustworthy. And so it. It reverses the entire scientific process an undoes all that precedes it. So what does the person who ‘believes’ in this alternate notion have to do to justify it? Well, come up with a better explanation that does everything the previous explanation provided: produce knowledge.

      But that’s not what believers do. They don’t do the hard work necessary to produce new knowledge. They hand wave and cast aspersions and pretend the universe is so mysterious that we cannot possibly trust knowledge that works for everyone everywhere all the time but should pay equal respect to notions that stand contrary to our hard earned knowledge, contrary to our understanding of how reality works, contrary to all the applications, therapies, and technologies that work BASED on this knowledge, these explanations the believer wishes to doubt.

      The same method is used in all kinds of areas of pursuing knowledge. The method is used to produce the theory of evolution as optics as particle physics as real medicine as theoretical physics. The Big Bang is not just some idea a few people kick about: it is an explanation filled and fueled by compelling evidence in its favour. It deserves a high degree of confidence because it has EARNED a high degree of confidence by doing good science. Believing something contrary means coming up with an alternative explanatory model that accounts for the same evidence AND produces equivalently applicable knowledge. Again, that’s what armchair believers utterly fail to do and so any ideas produced by those unwilling to do the equivalent work and produce an equivalent explanatory model should assign a much lower level of confidence to these other ideas in comparison. That’s what someone who understands science will do: assign very low levels of confidence to any ideas contrary to what currently know and utterly disregard claims of woo as what they really are: ‘other ways of remaining ignorant but feeling that it’s okay to stay that way’.

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  3. Okaaaaay. First, thank you for your time; trust me that it is very much appreciated—the time, and the thoughts expressed.

    We are not at cross purposes here although I understand that one of the ‘things’ of science is for some thinker to fly a new balloon and others to try to shoot it down. If nobody can shoot it down, the balloon is either whole-heartedly accepted or tentatively accepted with reservations ‘for now’.

    “Science is not a product but a method”; yet conclusions are offered—no, sold, sometimes imposed—as rock-solid products (which we call facts).

    Are facts eternal? I personally think that facts have limited lifespans. I’ve said before that “yesterday’s fact is often todays big giggle” and I’ll stand by that. As facts are tested and the knowledge base increases facts can be and are often de-based. The atom, too, was once unsplitable. In fact that was one of the common man’s working definitions of an atom, keep splitting your sample until you get to the tiniest wee bit which can’t be further split and there you have your atom … state of the art science, no? At that time, yes—but today such a statement invokes incredulous disbelief … how could you, how could anyone possibly be so ignorant? But we were, though, up-to-the-minute science told us so. So one might (I certainly do) conclude that science is to a large degree fashion—as an uneducated layman I’d say it also meets many of the criteria for religion.

    As an armchair believer I cannot come up with anything better than the Big Bang, but much better minds than mine opted for the Oscillating Universe. I believe it means that the scattering parts of the BB will run eventually out of oomph, slow down, stop, then attract and accelerate towards each other until they meet, scrunch down under immeasurable gravities getting smaller and smaller until the whole thing happens again. For eternity.

    You were talking ‘confidence’. Given that archeology is considered by some to be a science, then I have selective confidence. As a layman I run what I’m told by experts through the filters of my own uneducated credibility and this is where the ‘WTF?’ factor kicks in. When much younger science told us that the pyramids were built by slaves shoving large blocks of stone along using log rollers. Then opinion changed and those slaves morphed into volunteers and the whips were retired—but the rollers remained.
    But archeologists are experts whose livelihoods depend on harvesting their expensive educations, which also means a vested interest in preserving the status quo — see where I’m going with this?

    So take time out to wwweb the ‘Temple Of Jupiter’ at Baalbeck in Lebanon … 400 ton blocks of stone on the ground floor, shoved over from a quarry a fair distance away. How? But wait, it gets worse—look more closely and you’ll see blocks that are eight hundred tons mass. Each. Okaaaaayyy, give me a stout rock as a fulcrum plus a long enough lever and I’ll move the Earth (Archimedes? I forget …) but wait, it gets even better yet—in the quarry (but too broken to bother hauling out because it split) an unfinished obelisk estimated at one thousand two hundred tons. How the hell were they planning moving that one? And only very recently discovered, another hidden under the soil, guesstimated to be two thousand tons …

    I don’t go along with ‘space aliens’ doing it for them (but can’t rule it out—remember the old ‘black swan’ notion?). So we have to have confidence in that which can be replicated or demonstrated. I doubt very much that the Great Pyramid could be replicated today, or that even our state of the art could demonstrate cutting a thousand ton shaped stone from the living rock and moving it half a mile or more across desert.

    Yes, we do have some very good science; and yes, science has lifted us out of the primordial slime to face the stars. And science has also sat right on the face of progressive thinkers. Look at what the medical science of the time did to Dr Semmelweiss—

    “… reduced mortality to below 1%, Semmelweis’s observations conflicted with the established scientific and medical opinions of the time and his ideas were rejected by the medical community. Semmelweis could offer no acceptable scientific explanation …”

    —sourced Wikipedia. I think it often boils down to whom do we trust, no? The Establishment always, or the Semmelweisses sometimes? Sadly ‘facts’ often do change, and sometimes with best will in the world science is opinion; vested interest.

    You mentioned the Big Bang as if you believe in it. I don’t know enough about it to give it credence—I simply don’t trust it enough to accept it as fact. Sure, everything appears to be flying away from everything so if you run the film backwards you’ll come to a point of common origin, no? But the unscientific niggle keeps niggling … where did all that mass/matter/energy in the Primordial Atom come from? (And the first person to say ‘GOD~!’ deserves a damn’ good thumping)(not because I’m an atheist but because it begs the question; and screams for “And where did God come from, hey?” … and off we go again. (It may be possible to logically blow God out of the water … but can it be done scientifically?)

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