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Cosmologists: why the acceptance of any weird theory but god?

  1. Apr 5, 2012 #1
    Parallel universes....Multiverses....Something created out of Nothing.....etc......A case could be made that all these theories are weird, if not lunatic, & unprovable. Why then cosmologists readily accept to discuss them, but reject the concept of a "superior will" behind all existence - God - as if it was the plague??
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 5, 2012 #2
    Those ideas are not pure speculation, nor are they 'lunatic'. They are all based on modern cosmology, and have mathematical backing. If inflation is true, as is highly expected, then it is very likely the universe came from an empty de Sitter space.

    The multiverse is such a general term, it can apply to many things. Eternal inflation, an infinite universe, many-worlds interpretation, braneworld scenarios, etc. It's not like someone came out of the blue and said "Hey, what if there were other universes?". All multiverse scenarios arise out of other theories, they aren't just added in for no reason.

    As I said, all of these ideas have theoretical backing from other areas of cosmology.
  4. Apr 5, 2012 #3
    I don't understand the question... What is this "god" you speak of?
  5. Apr 5, 2012 #4
    Because scientist are curious beings which are more concerned with how it is done than they are with who is doing it. The question is can they find a way to do it themselves and control it?
  6. Apr 5, 2012 #5
    A broad creationist concept. A unified will behind all creation. Well, God...
  7. Apr 5, 2012 #6


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    Who's to say at this time? Many of the "theories" you mention (multiverses and the origin of the universe) are not theories, but more correctly identified as conjectures or hypotheses. They are as yet unsupported by physical evidence, and so cosmologists cannot, based solely on empirical data, advance any statement regarding their relative validity or reality.

    However, as Mark points out, they do differ in important ways from a "broad creationist concept". First, they can be built from the extension of currently accepted physical theories, and are arguably required for the self-consistency of some of them. In some cases, these conjectures are predictive, so that they are in principle testable. Does your broad creationist concept offer testable predictions? If not, than it is not scientific. And, granted, if any of the conjectures entertained by cosmologists are not predictive (or falsifiable), then they too are not scientific.

    In summary, until you offer a more detailed conception of the creationist theory or what God is and what his role in the universe is, any such proposal will not pass scientific muster.
  8. Apr 5, 2012 #7
    If someone wanted to test the "theory of God", he/she might postulate that the creation model would have to look something like the Big Bang. THe Big Bang has a lot of that "will-instantly-creating" to it. It's just there. I am not saying that a god theory can be scientific or tested. But science - that has refuted a lot of religious stupidity - has a strangely convergent theory wit hthe Big Bang. Convergent to what everybody's imagines as a "godly" creation of the universe..
  9. Apr 5, 2012 #8
    I read from somewhere that the universe was sneezed out of the nose of the Great Green Arkleseizure. There is something very sneezelike in big bang, therefore I take it to be affirmation to this.
  10. Apr 5, 2012 #9


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    Nonsense. Unless, of course, you take the sneeze to have occurred everywhere at once ;)
  11. Apr 5, 2012 #10


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    When I sneeze, I do it homogeneously and isotropically. Don't you? :confused:
  12. Apr 5, 2012 #11
    and with a small tilt in the power spectrum of perturbations and definitely r<0.2
  13. Apr 5, 2012 #12


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    I think you are talking about a small minority that gets a lot of attention. You are giving an inaccurate picture of the cosmology community as a whole.

    Would you like to get a more reality-based picture of what they do and do not "readily accept to discuss"?
    It's interesting, and I believe you would find it quite different from the impression you may have gotten from the words of a few popularizers/celebrities/professional attention-getters.

    If you aren't interested, that's fine. If you are, one thing to check out would be the list of invited talks at the big international triennial conferences on general relativity and gravitation.

    There surely must be small conferences where people discuss multiverses and something from nothing, and you can find individual determined believers eager to discuss such (here and elsewhere), but scan the programmes of big international conferences like GR18 (Sydney). MG12 (Paris). The upcoming MG13 (this year in Stockholm). If you honestly want to get a real basis for this sort of question and not just see what you want to see, then several people here could easily provide links. I'll dig up a few. Others here may provide different or better ones. And my impression of the community could be wrong!
  14. Apr 5, 2012 #13
    I think bapowell's response really cuts to the core answer.

    But some additional thoughts:
    The idea of 'god', in addition to all purely religious concepts (i.e. concepts based on 'faith'), lack an empirical basis and further, generally lack empirical repercussions. This means they are not compatible* with science. There is evidence for a 'big bang'/inflation (e.g. Hubble's law and homogeneity), but there is no evidence for a god. Similarly, theories like 'big bang + inflation' have testable predictions (e.g. primordial particle abundances or structure formation scales), where-as god does not. These characteristics are fundamental to science. Even some 'scientific' theories are set aside as a grey-area, because they might not be testable (e.g. multiverses, string theories, etc).

    Finally, the motivation for science is to better understand the physical world and its processes; similarly, scientific progress is based on being able to better explain those processes. The proposition of god adds only agency, with no explanatory benefits. For example, if you say that 'god created the big bang', it gives you no additional information. Similarly, if one complains that the big bang doesn't make sense as something is made from nothing (lets ignore the scientific validity of the statement), adding a god beforehand doesn't solve the problem.

    *Just because I say science is incompatible with religious beliefs (which is, in itself, my own belief---based on logic), doesn't mean they can't get along. They simply must be delegated their respective roles and places.
  15. Apr 5, 2012 #14


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    I think this is the response you meant. It does do the job, if only Homesick takes the trouble to think it through.
    My point was that Homesick's original premise is wrong. The community of professional cosmologists (not the popularizers and attention getter minority) is actually NOT very interested in discussing the stuff he was talking about. I'll try to make that point with some conference links.

    Just for thoroughness I'll go back to GR18 (Sydney) which was in 2007. this is not the best---the links should get better.
    http://www.oakland.edu/upload/templates/physics/mog30/node15.html [Broken]
    Here's a blogger reporting from conference, day by day:
    http://kea-monad.blogspot.com/2007_07_01_archive.html scroll down to July 09 which is day one of the conference.
    If I could find the programme my guess would be zero multiverse.

    I should be able...Yes! Here is the program for GR19 (Mexico)!
    http://hyperspace.aei.mpg.de/2010/03/08/gr19-scientific-program-update/ [Broken]
    I see lots of cosmology talks but no "parallel--multiverse--nothingverse" whatchacallit.
    Nothing wrong with yakking about that on your own time, but at a big triennial conference with 600-plus experts together for just one week, time is at a premium and you don't waste it on unnecessary speculative stuff. That's my impression. The next GR is GR20, in 2013 in Warsaw.

    The triennial MarcelGrossmann meeting is an alternative to the GR, roughly the same topics and nearly as big. I'll look for programs for MG12 (Paris 2009) and MG13(Stockholm 2012).
    It's interesting to see what these experts DO want to hear about and discuss when they get together. It certainly isn't parallel-multi-nothing stuff, as far as I can see. I have to go but will get back later with some links for MG12 and or MG13.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  16. Apr 5, 2012 #15


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