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The Logic that Suggests all Serious Physicists Believe in God

  1. May 18, 2005 #1

    Les Sleeth

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    Most of the physicalness we observe in our universe is the result of the presence of mass. No mass, no observed gravity or relativity. No mass, no observable quantum effects. No mass, no stars or planets. No mass, no biology. No mass, no human beings.

    No energy, no mass.

    Mass and energy are equivalent. Mass can be converted to pure energy, and so if mass has an “essence,” energy is it.

    I’ve quoted science writer Paul Davies before writing in his book Superforce about energy, “When an abstract concept becomes so successful that it permeates through to the general public, the distinction between real and imaginary becomes blurred. . . . This is what happened in the case of energy. . . . Energy is . . . an imaginary, abstract concept which nevertheless has become so much a part of our everyday vocabulary that we imbue it with concrete existence.”

    Energy is a concept. No existential properties are allowed to be assigned to it.

    If energy is an imaginary concept, the essence of mass is an imaginary concept.

    A concept is a thought.

    If energy is a thought, mass is a thought. A thought requires a thinker. The thinker proposed powerful enough to manifest the universe is God.

    No serious physicist doubts E=mc^2.

    Therefore, all physicists who believe mass and energy are equivalent, and who believe energy is only a concept also are stating, intentionally or not, that mass is a thought. And if mass is a thought, that suggests God thought it (Lifegazer was right afterall).

    Physicists believe in God! :surprised

    Anyone see a problem with my logic?
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  3. May 18, 2005 #2


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    The physicist ...? :uhh:

    Nope.You lost the objectivity with this sentence.

  4. May 18, 2005 #3

    Les Sleeth

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    Nope back atcha. :smile: If the massive universe is a thought, nothing I've ever heard suggested that could think things into existence has been other than God.
  5. May 18, 2005 #4


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    Being part of a Universe you can not define what the Universe is

    so this whole conversation, in fact, never took place.
  6. May 18, 2005 #5

    Les Sleeth

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    Well, maybe occasionally I get to be part of God when he/she/it sucks me into that realm . . . and from that purely objective standpoint, I have formulated this question.
  7. May 18, 2005 #6
    This proof seems to rely on the fact that matter equals energy which is a thought of God. Without matter then there is no energy and no God. There is always the question of where did the matter come from in the first place?
  8. May 18, 2005 #7

    Les Sleeth

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    No, I don't claim my reasoning rises to the level of a proof. I said "suggests."

    But, what I said was that since physcists themselves claim that energy is only a concept, and matter is composed of energy, then matter too must be a concept. Who/what could think a concept with such force that it creates a universe?
  9. May 18, 2005 #8
    "The thinker proposed powerful enough to manifest the universe is God"
    How do you come to claim this statement? As humans we have looked towards the stretches of our universe...and if we can do that...doesn't that imply that humans are the most powerful thinkers?
  10. May 18, 2005 #9

    Les Sleeth

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    Looking, observing, admiring, analyzing, figuring out . . . that ain't creating is it? Do you equate art critics with Picasso? It's one thing to see, and another to create.
  11. May 18, 2005 #10
    Just for clarification, according to the suggestion the existence of God is not reliant on the existence of matter and energy? These are just concepts that he created and he exists seperately from them?
  12. May 18, 2005 #11

    Les Sleeth

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    I can't say. I am not trying to say anything about God, I am trying to focus on the logic of energy and it's equivalency to mass. I think it's a mistake to move this to metaphysics, I am not trying to make a metaphysical statement at all. Just because I try to make the point tongue in cheek doesn't mean there isn't something worthwhile to consider. :cry:
  13. May 19, 2005 #12
    Not saying anything about God will make any discussion difficult because it is included in your conclusion. Is there a more complicated term we should refer to other than God? It may be better if a longer term is used because people can form an immediate opinion upon seeing the word God and have difficulty being objective to logic. Maybe supreme thinker would be more appropriate?

    By the logic of your argument are mass and energy required for the existence of a supreme thinker, or just as evidence of one?

    I believe that I can think(some would argue this point :wink: ), and yet I cannot create energy or mass.
  14. May 19, 2005 #13

    Les Sleeth

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    Not really. I was trying to tease. If you read Paul Davies explanation of energy that I quoted, that pretty well sums up the physicist's theory. My logical sense is majorly disturbed by the fact that energy is said to be only a concept, yet without energy there is no mass, and we know that no mass, no universe. So how can it be that a concept is foundation of the universe?

    Physicists generally deny the need for God to explain the existence of the universe. So I am teasing them with this thread by suggesting that if the entire foundation of the universe is just a concept ... well who/what else has been said to be powerful enough to conceptualize things into existence but God?

    This is a logic question, and not anything about God (which is why I don't understand why it's been moved to metaphysics).

    No. Again, I am just questioning the logic of energy.

    Well, that's tempting to answer, but if I do then I admit this topic into the realm of metaphysics. As I said, I am on a different track.
  15. May 19, 2005 #14


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    I think I see a problem: the conservation of energy. If "Mass can be converted to pure energy", and energy is an abstract object or property, where did the energy go? It would seem to have vanished. So how are you using "energy"? By "pure energy" do you mean kinetic energy or another form of energy? Also, isn't mass a form of energy? (I don't know much about physics.)

    I would add though that I think mass and energy are concepts in the sense that they are mathematical objects which are eventually applied to physical observations. But mass and energy being concepts doesn't imply that the things to which they're applied are also concepts.
    In a stronger sense, you could hold that mass and energy are measurable properties of physical objects. Is this the relationship you mean to bring out? Also, your argument seems to amount to mass being ontologically dependent upon energy. Do you think so, or am I misreading things?
  16. May 19, 2005 #15

    Les Sleeth

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    It doesn't matter what form energy takes as long as it isn't mass. It's interesting that mass is sometimes called a "form" of energy. That suggests, as I've proposed, that energy is commonly thought of as the "essence" of mass.

    True. But try to see my point. All that we think about is done by conceptualizing. We understand that our concepts represent something with substance in reality, and we understand that the concept itself isn't the aspect of reality it stands for.

    Some things we conceptualize are calculating tools, as energy is said to be. But calculating tools are not then said to compose anything substantial. So how can energy be both merely a conceptual calculating tool AND be the essence of matter? If it is only a concept, then it can't be what constitutes matter.

    My argument is that ultimately there is no concept for the constitution of things. That makes no sense to me.
  17. May 19, 2005 #16


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    I don't know that mass is considered a form of energy; I just think it might be- which makes sense to me. My point about energy conservation is that it seems your argument is fallacious because you're using "energy" in different ways. In one sense, energy and mass are both concepts. In another sense, they are things that can actually be measured. Is it wrong to think of energy as the ability to do work? When one form of energy is converted to another form of energy, doesn't it just mean such and such measurements were taken and such and such values resulted? In that case, energy is not merely a concept but a measurable property. Just as, in a similar way, mass is not merely a concept but a measurable property. Say mass is a form of energy and the mass of some object can be completely converted to "pure energy". If "pure energy" is not a measurable property, then energy may not have been conserved in the process, right? I think scientists would be quite concerned about this. Does it ever happen? When it's said that mass can be converted to energy, isn't energy, in this sense, a measurable property? Where are the physicists when you need them? :yuck:
    I think I see your point, and I agree with the implication. But I don't think energy is only a concept. At least, not in the sense you're using it. It seems you're thinking of mass as a measure of how much matter some object contains. I could see a problem then in thinking that matter can sort of disappear or change into something else ("pure energy") which isn't matter. Is that it? (I don't know that pure energy wouldn't also be considered matter though.)

    BTW, nice to see you again- it's been a while. :smile:
  18. May 19, 2005 #17

    Les Sleeth

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    They are both concepts, but mass is considered substantial, while energy is, as Davies put it, an "imaginary concept" used to measure the amount of work done . . . energy is assigned no substantial or existential qualities.

    I asked Hypnagogue to leave this in the Logic area because it seems illogical to me that mass is what makes the universe substantial, but mass is composed of nothing but a measurement concept. Let me see if I can explain this more clearly. It seems simple to me, but then I’m simple minded. :uhh:

    Whatever is substantial has mass, and I’ve argued (in another thread) that you really can’t find much in the way of a physical effect that isn’t related to mass somehow. When something becomes less massive, it surrenders energy. How do we know energy? By it’s capacity to do work, to move things, so we gauge the amount of energy by how much change and movement takes place. We are told by physicists that energy is therefore merely a measuring concept, it is not real. Yet something is causing movement and change because we can see at least that much even if we can’t see what’s doing it.

    So here’s what I don’t understand about the energy idea. Why aren’t there theories about what is actually doing the moving? If we see leaves blowing across the yard from inside our house, even though we can’t see the wind, do we believe the movement is being caused by an idea? No, we believe there is an energized substance (the atmosphere) which is invisible to us that is pushing the leaves around.

    But in the case of energy, no one seems to want to hypothesize that there is some substance present causing the movement. Instead, theorists are content with just describing the behavior of mass-energy transitions. How hard is it to inductively postulate something?

    For example, there are a few things about the behavior of energy that gives us clues. The most important of these IMO is the fact that energy disperses. As P.W. Atkins explains in his book The 2nd Law, Energy, Chaos, and Form, “The natural tendency of energy to disperse—that is, to spread through space, to spread the particles that are storing it, and to lose the coherence with which the particles are storing it—establishes the direction of natural events.”

    If something were to surrender all its energy, there would be no mass left at that spot where the object was. If you could return the energy now dispersing to that spot, mass would appear again. So, isn’t it clear that energy potential is the result of compression? Could it possibly be anything else?

    The concept is supported by several important facts, and contradicted by none. Looking at atoms we see that the elemental chart, beginning with hydrogen, is one of more energy concentrated into the next element up (i.e., increasing mass). Decompression not only explains energy dispersion, it accounts for the Big Bang and the expansion of the universe now. Another supportive fact is that the higher the energy of electromagnetic radiation the shorter its wavelength; if energy is the result of compression, then we’d expect the wavelength of EM to lengthen as it loses energy, which is exactly what it does.

    But compression is only part of the deal because there has to be “something” to compress. Now, isn’t that exactly what physicists resist hypothesizing about? Is it because of the Michelson-Morely experiment? If that’s it, there is an explanation for that. If all mass is the result of the compression of some unseen substance, call it xx, if no aether is detectable, and if mass is what produces physical effects, then it suggests that xx is a massless substance which only manifests what we term “physicalmess” when it’s compressed.

    In such a theory, energy then actually does become “nothing” since it stands for the degree of compression at a particular point (potential energy, that is). Yet it wouldn’t be quite correct to say energy is doing work because decompression alone isn’t all that’s present, it is decompressing xx, or xxE, that explains the complete situation. It gives us a substantial basis for mass instead of a conceptual basis, and thereby saves physicists from having to admit they believe in a grand thinker. :tongue2:
    Last edited: May 19, 2005
  19. May 19, 2005 #18
    Les, I think you are making a basic mistake here. It's not mass that is considered substantial, it's matter. Matter has mass and energy, but both mass and energy are "imaginary concepts", to use your description. Mass, as you may well know but somehow didn't mention, is as much a product of measurement as energy is, and that was true even before Einstein discovered their equivalence.

    I may be wrong, but I think what makes matter substantial is the fact that two bodies of matter cannot occupy the same position in space. It's that exclusive property which gives matter the character of "substance". It's certainly not "resistance to acceleration", the classical definition of mass and the mere result of a measurement.

    I can't really understand how you got so confused, unless I'm missing something, for which I apologize in advance if it turns out to be the case.
  20. May 19, 2005 #19

    Les Sleeth

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    It doesn't solve the problem to say mass and energy are both measurements (which is true) because matter is nothing but mass and energy. You've merely pushed the problem away one step. In other words, is matter merely two types of measurements?

    What is massing, and what is causing mass to move and change? In neither case do you have a substance that composes matter.

    You aren't wrong about two bodies occupying the same space, but that has nothing to do with the question. The only reason two bodies of matter cannot occupy the same space is because it possesses mass/energy in the first place. The inability to occupy the same space doesn't tell us anything about the composition of what mass and energy are measuring. "It" weighs, "it" moves . . . but what is "it."

    I'm not confused (yet). I have been trying to ask this question here for a long time and have never gotten a logical defence of a substance-less energy/mass concept yet (at least, that's my opinion). It a logic thing that really bugs me.

    My view is that the mass/energy concept works well enough for the practical purposes of applied physics, so nobody is very concerned that the universe, theoretically speaking, has no foundation. That's half the reason why you are always seeing that question "can something come from nothing" come up in threads. The universe arose out of nothing, and after you break it all down, there's still nothing there! Does that make sense to you?

    It makes more sense that mass and energy are conditions of "something" so subtle we can't see it until it compresses, and then it shows itself. Virtual particles are like that, popping in and out of existence almost like there's an ocean of "something" there whose ebb and flow causes that.
  21. May 19, 2005 #20
    so your saying that the concept of "thought" or "thinking of the universe" is a creation by god...not an evolutionary or experience/learning creation?

    oh yeah and could you believe that "substance"(i don't like to use the word matter cuz its associated with mass) or "time"(the dimension of motion)
    could have existed forever?
    Last edited: May 19, 2005
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