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August 28, 2012

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"Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist…..”

“In the beginning, God created…...”

I don't think people from the staff of Stand to Reason take most claims of extra-terrestrials very seriously, even though lot of people claim to have seen them and lot of these claims might be seem to be made in good faith. I don't think one can quite this easily shed the notion of material evidence.

There is no material evidence for the cause of the existence of material. It seems to have come from some other dimension. What that dimension is has quite a lot of disagreement going around. But that the material within this dimension lacks the necessary substrate of self-explanation seems more and more commonplace. The end of ad infinitum remains troublesome for some, though not for others.

Bayes's theorem.

It seems unlikely that Energy is eternal.

It seems unlikely that this universe is eternal.

It seems unlikely that Something came from No-Thing.


P (A/B) = Materialism = ([Energy]/[No-Thing]) = 0


It is interesting that in order to justify "Something from No-Thing" (which is increasingly more necessary) many stretch the word No-Thing into some sort of Non-Thing-Something, such as "radiation". But, of course, that too is "some-thing" (and quite a lot of something).



A brief paraphrase from a blog demonstrates this awareness of the need to go to No-Thing juxtaposed with the unawareness of how to get there. The utility of these arguments is not the point; rather, the only point of this is that this is the extent to which some will go to get Some-Thing transformed into No-Thing:




".....does energy need a source or has it always been? how does this fit in with the big bang theory? does it assume that energy always has existed?"



"Excellent question. The Big Bang was most likely caused by a false vacuum collapse.....This means that ex nilho is possible. ......... There is no such thing as 'nothing' in physics, space-time.... is filled with radiation and fluctuations. That it just began with a quantum tunneling into space-time making quantum fluctuations possible. In fluctuations, particles and energy come in and out of existence. However, it is suggested that the net energy of the universe is 0. That the potential energy stored in gravitational fields cancels out the other energy…… given that, this fluctuation could last indefinitely.”


We must not allow nonsense to go unnoticed here. This is what was just asserted:



Positive "exists" and Negative "exists" but they each (don't miss this) cancel out the existence of each other, so, really, neither "exists" and there is in fact "No-Thing" in existence. Remember, the reach is to say that Some-Thing comes out of “No-Thing” in the real sense of the word.

This universe exists, but, really, it does not because the balance of Energy in this Universe (which exists) is Zero, thus, as in any system in which the Net Balance is Zero, No-Thing actually exists. So, one could argue, should THIS universe give birth to another universe, then THAT universe can be said to have been birthed out of No-Thing, which is THIS universe which exists, but does not exist since its Net Balance is Zero.

??



To continue:



".....Well...basically correct, except that if it's not 'nothing' then it's not 'ex nihilo' (from nothing)..."






"Not exactly, zero point energy seems to be a property of space-time itself...."



"Personally, I would not call a false vacuum space devoid of particles, or a quantum field "nothing" - at least not in the terms implied via the phrase ex nihlo. As you hinted at, the concept of "nothing" doesn't make much sense in physics - and personally I don't think it makes much sense logically....."



"Personally, I think the BB is best looked at as a transitional, rather than creational (especially creation ex nihlo) event. I.E. there was something before the BB, we simply have no proper way of describing it."



"Something never comes from literally nothing.....fundamental laws of science tend to support such."



Energy is not eternal and we are reaching quite hard to explain its existence at all, never mind all its forms. Extraordinary evidence is needed should one make an extraordinary claim. The end of ad infinitum continues to trouble many.


scbrownlhrm,

Why not wait until there is a post about the Big Bang?

RonH

RonH,

I do agree with you....I did mention that the utility of that arguement isn't the real point, the point was only to demonstrate the reach with which some reach to achieve the level of "extraordinary evidence" etc......

I think it's quite extra-ordinary for quite an extra-ordinary claim......

Basically nothing is something. Does Faith require evidence? Can it be faith with evidence? Do we ever really have evidence?

Hi Melinda -- I've written a partial reply to your post here; I'd be most interested in your response.

It seems the prefix “extra” in extraordinary is unveiled as inconsequential where knowing God is concerned, yet remains a troublesome impediment where materialism is concerned.


Given that:

1) the probability (P) of energy being eternal is exactly 0
2) the probability (P) that [any] universe is eternal is exactly 0
3) the probability (P) of Some-Thing coming from No-Thing is exactly 0

The probability of Materialism is exactly 0.


The odd thing here is that pure mathematics is one form of knowledge, and, in fact, settles various questions with respect to what that particular form of knowledge helps us to [Know], such as the probability of Materialism. We live in a physical dimension, or, in a dimension of which wave-particle is a part. Our mathematics helps us to see that the energy (wave-particle) component of this dimension we exist inside of cannot self-account, yet exists.


There are other modes of Know-ing.


Where pure Mathematics fails, both Logic and Love, though not knowing infinitely, succeed in glimpsing the end of ad infinitum. In this it becomes apparent that no extra-ordinary evidence is required, as the most ordinary modes of Knowing make necessary ends immediately accessible. Faith is not Not-Knowing. Faith is rather a kind of acquiescence into what one knows after all.

Pure Mathematics will not allow us to see the God Who Is-Love; it can only tell us that our Materialism is illogical. My mathematics cannot permit me access to my wife unless I reduce both her and myself to the illusion which determinism necessitates, and with that move Thinking too must be enslaved, and fatally so. If we insist on embracing the illogical at the expense of those ends which our Logic and our Love speak of then we cannot know Love Himself, in Whom we find those most ordinary ends of which Logic and Love testify of. The one-dimensional mode of knowing called mathematics is swallowed up whole inside the Multi-Dimensional expansiveness of Uncreated Personhood.

Jeff,

I read your post, and it appears accurate in as far as it goes. What was not discussed is the appropriate interpretation or use of the calculated probabilities. For example, let's say that the probability of someone going into cancer remission using a cancer treatment Z P(R) is 0.2. Thus, the probability of P(~R) is 0.8. So when my neighbor uses the new treatment and goes into remission, how should that specific event be interpreted? Should the remission be attributed to the treatment. That would be an extraordinary claim (P<0.5), yet their he/she stands. Even taking his/her response into account, P(T) remains very low, given a reasonably large sample space. So should we dismiss the claim that the treatment led to remission and make the claim that the remission was due to some other factor, for which we may not be able to even calculate a probability?

So while the mathematics is fairly straight forward, the use and interpretation is not always as clear.

Should the remission be attributed to the treatment.

I guess that's supposed to have a question mark.

If it is a question, it's not a question that Bayes's Theorem answers anyway.

And, to answer that question, if it is a question, you'll need to say how likely remission is without the treatment.

RonH

brianehunt -- You ask, "How should that specific event be interpreted? Should the remission be attributed to the treatment?" We don't have enough information yet to answer your question. I agree with RonH: we need to know how likely remission is without the treatment. Another way to say this is this: we need to know the base rate of cancer remission. See here for a related discussion.

FWIW, I probably wouldn't classify the cancer remission as an extraordinary claim, since I define an extraordinary claim as P<<<0.5, not P<0.5. But this ultimately doesn't matter, since I would use the same formula--Bayes's Theorem--to calculate final probabilities for all claims, extraordinary and ordinary.

Given that:


1) the probability (P) of energy being eternal is exactly 0

2) the probability (P) that [any] universe is eternal is exactly 0

3) the probability (P) of Some-Thing coming from No-Thing is exactly 0

The probability of Materialism is exactly 0.


Thanks RonH and Jeffery for replying.

I understand your point regarding baseline or spontaneous remission. However, this number is impossible to calculate due to the fact that nearly everyone who is diagnosed with cancer undergoes some form of treatment. So, from my example we are left with what evidence we actually have regarding this particular cancer and treatment. From this data, even if we calculate the probabilities and they do not cluster around 0.5, the inference is not always clear. Again, my broader point is that while statistics like Baye's Theorem, are useful tools in guiding our decision process, they cannot always be relied upon to provide clear, unambiguous direction.

Statistical analysis frequently leaves us entirely mistaken. Real world events and human events too often run against such one-dimensional analysis. They are helpful, but not exact.

Anyone who questions this would reveal bias.

There is one place in which statistics are exactly correct, and that is in events which have exactly 0 probability, such as in Materialism being true, given what we know already of physics.

brianehunt,

nearly everyone who is diagnosed with cancer undergoes some form of treatment

Most FDA approved treatments (for example) have been through controlled studies.

The control group in such a study is not given the treatment because the very purpose is of a controlled study is to determine if the treatment is effective.

Suppose 50% of those treated in such a study get better. Is the drug effective? You can only answer if I tell you how many of the controls got better.

OK?

RonH

Given that the probability of eternal energy is zero I'm not sure the finer nuances of Bayes's theorem can help us with materialism. There are multiple data points, thousands in fact, all of which suggest energy is not eternal. There comes a point when a belief which remains intact in the face of such a zero probability becomes, well, extra-ordinary...........

scbrownlhrm,

Perhaps we could discuss materialism when there is a post about materialism?

RonH

Extra-ordinary evidence.... you are the one that intro'd Bayes.....it seems unable to tackle the task.....What I mean is that Bayes cant help us in extra-ordinary claims perhaps, with materialism simply as an example.....

Koukl writes (see link in the OP)...

First, there needs to be a clarification. The nature of the “extraordinary evidence” required can be understood in two ways: extraordinary with respect to quality or extraordinary with respect to quantity.

If the former (quality), then the evidence produced is itself extraordinary, and it will also need to meet the requirement of having extraordinary evidence, and a vicious regress ensues. If the quality of evidence for an extraordinary claim must be also be extraordinary in quality, then it will also have to have extraordinary evidence.

Wow. I would not call that a clarification!

Maybe it will help to rephrase...

Extraordinarily improbable claims require extraordinarily strong evidence.

The claim is extraordinary because its prior probability is low. The evidence for the claim (by Bayes's Theorem) must then be extraordinary in its strength.

There is nothing, in Bayes's Theorem or elsewhere, requiring evidence for an improbable claim to be improbable - only strong.

There is nothing inherent in the improbability of an improbable claim that makes finding evidence for that claim improbable.

RonH

Your discussion DOES show that it IS often helpful.... quite helpful. But it just does not help us in the extra-ordinary.....

RonH,

The thousands of data points we have on Energy do not show improbable, they show no data at all in the eternal direction. Now, if you wish to cling to materialism in-spite of Bayes then why this long discussion on Bayes? It obviously is not helpful.... .as its a case of extra-ordinary .....

scbrownlhrm,

Your discussion DOES show that it IS often helpful.... quite helpful. But it just does not help us in the extra-ordinary.....

I've said what I mean by extraordinary: An extraordinary claim has very low prior probability. Here, 'prior' means prior to looking at any evidence or, maybe, prior to looking some particular piece of evidence.

That is a very reasonable understanding of extraordinary. And it locks you into Bayes's theorem. Reverend Bayes's theorem says: the lower the prior probability of the claim the stronger (the more extraordinary) the evidence supporting the claim must be.

Maybe you want to propose a different understanding of extraordinary?

In any case, why not leave materialism and energy and the eternal direction for another time?

RonH

RonH,


"why not leave materialism and energy and the eternal direction for another time"

I agree with your definitions here. In every way.

The only reason I comment here is to show that we only care what the P value is when it comes to ordinary things, and, when it comes to extra-ordinary things, with a denominator which approaches infinity, we are still inclined to believe what we believe, and so Bayes is not helpful *given that we don’t’ apply* the P value in extra-ordinary events *anyway*.


An unused formula is *not* helpful. Thus I am here making the case that this formula, or any formula, is not at all helpful in any extra-ordinary events, and in fact such things are *only* useful in ordinary events, and thus we have no way of approaching, with pure mathematics, extra-ordinary events. Thus the question becomes one of "evidence" which is in line with the OP.


A Proof that we do not apply the P value in extra-ordinary events:


With ID there are, we will grant, say, zero data points which show Energy either eternal or otherwise. Thus, we can say that we do not know what our denominator is. However, now comes something else. We have, say, 1000 data points which tell us that Energy is not Eternal. We have zero data points which show us that it is. Therefore, the denominator of ID becomes, say, plus-one. Put another way: 1000 “Not Eternal” red-lights from our data points *also* reads as 1000 “Eternal” red-lights flashing on our instrument panel.


(If we come up with any data points that Energy is eternal perhaps a N. Prize is in our future)


Now, with materialism, those same 1000 data points move the denominator to, say, plus-one-thousand. But we must *multiply* them and not just add them, so, it actually becomes exceedingly large (the denominator). And, because there are Zero data points which lend toward eternal energy, there is nothing we can put in the numerator which will matter at all when we *only* consider Energy. The Numerator becomes infinitely small, even Zero (which it is) and the Denominator becomes exceedingly large.


Now, with Zero Energy, there are no Multi-Verses, no Uni-verses, no Matter, and no Any-Thing. Added to this denominator, which approaches infinity, the P of A-biogenesis, the P of Materialism is insulted even more, though, not much more as A-Biogenesis, though highly improbable, is no comparison to the insult of No-Thing at all.


Now, with ID, the denominator is not No-Thing (Zero, or, infinity), but is, say, some number since the P of Energy being derived from Some-Thing Non-Material / Non-Energy is high given the massive number of data points which lead us to believe this. Those same 1000 data points which tell us it is not eternal *also* tell us it is from some “supra” natural place/source, thus the denominator moves in the other direction (probabilistically), and by the very same order of magnitude. The denominator gets exceedingly small and the probability of the supra-natural gets exceedingly large.


Lastly, with a denominator of No-Thing, or Near-Infinity, it simply does not matter how may little bone fragments we dig up and place in the Numerator, and, added to this, given that there is not, anywhere, a String-Of-Fragments showing the “history” of Amino Acid to Man’s Consciousness, the Numerator becomes even smaller, though the missing gaps in the chain of the Numerator do not really matter much with No-Thing in the Denominator. But it is worth mentioning.


ID (or rather, Supra-Natural) is more probable, in fact, much more probable, than Materialism given the many, many, many data points and given that the very same data run through Bayes moves the Denominator *just as far* in the opposite direction.


Yet, we believe what we believe in spite of the data and in spite of the P values.


This brings in the point of our mistake in calling Science a Mind-Independent process somehow untouched by the Self who is actually doing the science.


A formula that is to be *useful* in extra-ordinary events *cannot* be useful if it is not applied in extra-ordinary events. It seems that when it comes to extra-ordinary events no amount of data points plugged into any formula whatsoever will move the Self who is actually doing the science. Science is not Mind-Independent. In fact, nothing is………. ultimately speaking, that is.


“Give me Genesis 1:1 and the rest of the Bible poses no problem….” (A.W. Tozer?)


scbrownlhrm,

Exactly what do you mean when you say extraordinary?

By the way, you cannot rationally ignore Bayes's theorem just because you can't actually perform a numerical calculation.

RonH

Prior / before data is agreed on.


Unfortunately, *after* the data is pluggged in, it seems, or, materialism seems, yet extra-ordinary (very unlikely) still......


We CAN perform calculations. I am not ignoring the theorem, rather, I am stating that the materialist is ignoring the results of the theorem.


So I echo you: we can't ignore the theorem just b/c we don't like the results.


There are *lots* of data points on the nature of energy. I have not seen *any* evidence that energy is eternal, and, if materialism is to be true, it must be.

Once we do apply Bayes / we still will ignore it.


The theorem seems to be of high utility. If used.

Now, "supra" natural does not necessarily imply ID. It only makes theism more *reasonable* and more *mathematically sound* than materialism given what we know now and given what "supra" natural entails.


Perhaps M-Theory will be sound philosophy after all and the fabric of all things real will turn out to be, in fact, Multiple Distinct Eternals.



If I may borrow from WL:

The trinity consists of seven claims:

1) There is exactly one God.
2) The Father is God.
3) The Son is God.
4) The Holy Spirit is God.
5) The Father is not the Son, and vice versa.
6) The Father is not the Holy Spirit, and vice versa
7) The Son is not the Holy Spirit, and vice versa.


If I may add:

Love is I. Love is You. Love is the Singular We which these first two eternally Beget. Love Triune. God is Love.

Hi Brianehunt

I understand your point regarding baseline or spontaneous remission. However, this number is impossible to calculate due to the fact that nearly everyone who is diagnosed with cancer undergoes some form of treatment. So, from my example we are left with what evidence we actually have regarding this particular cancer and treatment. From this data, even if we calculate the probabilities and they do not cluster around 0.5, the inference is not always clear. Again, my broader point is that while statistics like Baye's Theorem, are useful tools in guiding our decision process, they cannot always be relied upon to provide clear, unambiguous direction.

If we have literally no idea what the prior probability or base rate is, then we have no way to know what the final probability is. So, in answer to your original question, if the base rate for cancer remission is/were unknown, then we are/would be unable to determine if cancer treatment Z caused the remission.

Hi Melinda -- The second part of my reply to you and Greg Koukl has now been published here. Again, I would be most interested in your thoughts.

Melinda,

There is an interpretive question about whether Greg's comments in the broadcast about "evidence requiring the same adjective" were meant in jest or as a serious argument. No one wants to misrepresent anyone here, so could you possibly contact him and ask? Thanks.

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