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  1. Forum
  2. Off-Topic Discussion
  3. Creation vs. Atheism

Thank you for your opinion @kaynight1 .
I'm am starting a forum to discuss the problems with Catholicism.

@BlackBishop9319 The problems with such internet discussions about religion is that people usually don't like to listen others' opinion for the reason that it relies on sources that they consider untrustworthy. And first of all, YOU as a topic starter should look at the reasons behind the other point of view, and try to find some unbiased sources that explain it and then others should also do so, then we can have some constructive discussion.

But I don't see your own work of mind, I see, for example, the video in #32 which is clearly biased.

As for the concrete question:
> I mean, we have carbon dating, potassium dating and a couple of stupid ways, how do we PROOF that it's 60,000,000 yrs old?
First of all, PROOF is only the notion in math, and in natural science there is only EVIDENCE. Having evidence means that "you can't be 100% sure", but arguing that this is enough to question something is flawed, as this can be applied to pretty anything, including actual math proofs, because we only have some evidence that math works, although we can't be 100% sure.
So, biologists, geologists and astronomers have an overwhelming amount of EVIDENCE that the Universe is billions of years old and not thousands. This includes not only stupid dating methods, but also such things as distant starlight from millions of light-years combined with the fact that nothing can travel faster than light, and also biologic diversity of species that would be WAY lower if every one would have two common ancestors from 6000 years ago. You can ask the questions "How do you measure the distance to those stars?", "How do you measure biologic diversity?" and these are indeed good questions, but asking them should be the drive to make your own research on the Internet and not the way to avoid accepting the fact that a lot of scientists who truly understand the answers (unlike you, that you probably don't deny) have a good reason to believe that.

@ADCKOE_3APEBO
> First of all, PROOF is only the notion in math, and in natural science there is only
> EVIDENCE. Having evidence means that "you can't be 100% sure", but arguing that this
> is enough to question something is flawed, as this can be applied to pretty anything,
> including actual math proofs, because we only have some evidence that math works,
> although we can't be 100% sure.

While i agree with many of your points you are wrong aout this one: mathematical proof is a "real" proof in the sense that it proves what it purports to prove 100%. Mathematics deals with objects which are defined within the mathematical realm and uses equally strictly defined rules to manipulate them. The question is, though, if these mathematical objects and these rules have any applicabiity outside of "pure" mathematics, especially in reality. I.e. a "real number" as it is defined (by a Dedekind cut) is nothing you will find when looking at the universe or some of its parts.

So, the question is: are we allowed to conclude that reality is such and such because the mathematical object(s) we use to describe it can be manipulated in this or that way. If we measure an object to have a length of 5 units and another one to have 3 units we have done that by comparing the object to some other (the "unit") and then counted. Since we know that 5+3=8 when we deal with natural numbers in mathematics we conclude that if we combine the two objects they will have a combined length of 8. But this conclusion is based on the assertion that since we can express the length by natural numbers, we can also use them (and their mathematical rules of manipulation) to calculate a result. Now we know that in this example (and many others where we do the same on a higher level - modern theoretical physics is mostly mathematical conjecture) but we can only say that up to now that worked every time. We will only approximate these 100% proof as soon as we leave the realm of pure mathematics and apply its results - by extension, because it worked so far - to reality.

krasnaya

/PS: if you are interested in such topics the book i can recommend most is Bertrand Russells "Introduction to Mathematical Philosophy".

@krasnaya Well, it is true that when we try to apply some mathematical model in practice, it is a duty of the natural science that uses math as a tool to get enough evidence that this model is really applicable. However, by the phrase "math works" I mean the meta-statement that widely used systems of axioms such as ZF together with the underlying inference rules are consistent, and by that I mean that you cannot prove anything using the formal system (and in most common logical systems this is equivalent to saying that you cannot simultaneously prove a statement aand its negation).

While you can also blame a natural science for using an inconsistent set of axioms in the model whose consistence was nevertheless proven in ZF and getting wrong results because of little gathered evidence, it'd mean that ZF itself is inconsistent, and the scale of the problem in this hypothetical case is much larger than that of this concrete natural scientific problem. And we can't really be 100% sure that ZF is consistent as this alleged "fact" is purely observational and not mathematical: you can get a lot of "beautiful" and "useful" theories basing on ZF, and no contradiction was ever found in any of them. This is, however, only the finite amount of evidence of its consistence. Of course, this amount of evidence is so overwhelming that it is quite safe to talk about "math working" as a proven fact, but the same can be said about the deep time concept, which is questioned here. (Naturally, ZF in this paragraph can be replaced by any fundamental system one likes.)

@ADCKOE_3APEBO said:
> Well, it is true that when we try to apply some mathematical model in practice, it is a duty
> of the natural science that uses math as a tool to get enough evidence that this model is
> really applicable.

Yes, this is exactly what i meant: you may find a "proof" (that is: a set of sentences proving something to 100%) within mathematics but as soon as you leave the pure mathematical realm and give the numbers, vectors, tensors or whatever you are working with an actual meaning you are back to "evidence" instead of "proof" - that is, from the "100%" to something like "99+sum(9/10^^i)% which equals 100, but only in infinity.

i.e. when "SU(3)" stands not only for some elaborate property of a mathematical object "Lie-group" but describes the interactions of quarks within hadrons it is no longer possible to instead of carrying out a carefully designed experiment just point to some mathematical proof about whatever and conclude from this that reality is such and such. I mean, this still would be an *indication* but not carry the same weight as such a proof carries within pure math where there nothing else the elements of said Lie-group "stand for".

Of course, since Gödel we know that mathematics in itself is not consistent (regardless of adopting the original set definition by Cantor and Dedekind or its revision by Zermelo and Fraenkel, regardless of accepting or rejecting the axiom of choice as any of these mathematical variations are equally affected by the incompleteness theorem) and can't be, given its complexity, but at least this we know with 100% assurance because Gödels proof works within the confines of pure mathematics.

> Of course, this amount of evidence is so overwhelming that it is quite safe to talk about
> "math working" as a proven fact, but the same can be said about the deep time concept,
> which is questioned here.

Absolutely. The problem with religion - any religion - is that it purports to deal with infinities only. God is "infinitely mighty", "infintely wise" or whatever just fits the interests of its priesthood, but "infinitely" so in each case. But every mathematician knows that you have to be careful with transfinite cardinals otherwise you get rubbish instead of results. And since priests (or disciples) usually lack the rigorous amount of care they need to creaate all sorts of bullshit stories to fill exactly these rubbish gaps their own premises created. "Can god create a stone so heavy he can't lift it?" "Can he pose himself a problem he is unable to solve?" Shouldn't these be valid questions for people telling us aout an "allmighty" and "allknowing" and "all-whatever" god? Go a few pages back and you will find something like that:

The universe has to be created, so who created it, if not god?
Well, if god created the universe then who created god?
No, god is not created because he is infinite in time.

Is it only me or is that really the bullshit that i think it is? If we - obviously - need to assert some exception form the "every thing was created by something else" principle wouldn't it be much more convincing to make that exception for the universe (which, after all, i can SEE - that helps the credibility a lot) than for some nebulous construct like "god"?

And speaking of "god", which usually is interpreted as the judeo-christian-muslimic god nowadays: there were lots of gods before which created the world: Teutates for the celts, Okeanos for the greeks, ... But all these gods vanished into obscurity as their believers left. But of course the god most of us, who live right now, believe in - this god must be real. Yes, sure. Whatever you say.

krasnaya

> Of course, since Gödel we know that mathematics in itself is not consistent (regardless of adopting the original set definition by Cantor and Dedekind or its revision by Zermelo and Fraenkel, regardless of accepting or rejecting the axiom of choice as any of these mathematical variations are equally affected by the incompleteness theorem) and can't be, given its complexity, but at least this we know with 100% assurance because Gödels proof works within the confines of pure mathematics.
Well, you mix up inconsistence and incompleteness here. Inconsistence is when you, say, can both prove and refute Riemann hypothesis, and incompleteness is when you can neither prove nor refute it. Math is known to be incomplete, so there are statements about which we shall never know whether they are true (often despite the fact that if they are false, there is an algorithm that generates counterexample sooner or later), but it is actually widely believed to be consistent after Zermelo-Fraenkel revision. However, people also saw nothing wrong with the set theory in its infancy, but it turned out to be badly inconsistent. It will not be very surprising if the inconsistency is found soon, but for this case see mathoverflow.net/a/41030

As for the God existence reasoning, there is really not much to say. These are the "proofs" that try to fit the system of thought in such a way that the God existence becomes provable. And they also usually don't prove that God as defined is an alive thing rather than, say, Big Bang or Randomness, let alone that this is an omnipotent and omniscient God of *insert religion name*.

@ADCKOE_3APEBO said:
> Well, you mix up inconsistence and incompleteness here. Inconsistence is when you, say,
> can both prove and refute Riemann hypothesis, and incompleteness is when you can
> neither prove nor refute it.

Point taken although the practical difference seems to be neglectable IMHO: if i remember Gödels proof correctly the starting point was Hilberts program. Gödel argued that the program couldn't work because it would be possible to construct a Quine number so that the sentence proves itself to be not provable. This, in fact would be an inconsistency. It would be possible to amend this inconsistency by adding some axiom but for the resulting axiomatic system another Quine number could be calculated with the same effect - and so on infinitely. This is why it is called the "incompleteness" theorem, because any axiomatic system complex enough (like i.e. math) will always remain incomplete in the sense of one not being able to "completely patch" it into being consistent. But the proof basically works by identifying inconstencies.

I think we are leaving the topic of this thread. If you are interested (i definitely am) we should continue in another thread. Actually i would greatly prefer this because discussing religious topics and the "nature of god" always makes me feel like trying to create curls on a bald head. There is also a team "That's Mathematics!!!!" you might consider joining. The discussion would fit quite nicely in their forum.

krasnaya

I'm a protestant and I believe in the big bang theory to an EXTENT, but I believe that God created it. I think that two particles colliding out of nothing(?!) can create something is just not believeable. It's more a theory than anything else.

@StormBaron3 said:
> I think that two particles colliding out of nothing(?!) can create something is just
> not believeable.

And (for the umpteenth time now in this thread) where do you have this "nothing" from? You are erecting a straw man and fighting that instead of actually researching what modern physics says.

> It's more a theory than anything else.

Yes, you shouldn't believe in mere theories. And since "gravitation" is also just a theory you might - as a protestant - adopt "intelligent falling" instead: www.theonion.com/evangelical-scientists-refute-gravity-with-new-intellig-1819567984

You may also observe that the "theory of relativity" is also just a theory, and, heck, even simple addition relies on - the horror(!) - number theory! So maybe 2 plus 2 doesn't really equal 4 but maybe - "Jesus"?

krasnaya

I thought this was pretty intersting.
I came up with the idea that maybe god can create a rock too heavy for him to lift, AND he can lift it. But we just can't understand how that works.
Kind of a joke but it's worth mentioning.