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Thread: Cosmology

  1. #1081
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    I can see how that would be the case because the divine is "one", but other cultures may use other names and practices to approach the one divine. Although I don't think Christianity is the "only" way to the divine Christianity is still "a" way to the divine and there is no need to convert to something better.

  2. #1082
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    I have been re-reading John Moffat's "Reinventing Gravity". I am at the part about his theory of the variable speed of light at the beginning of the universe. He rejects the various inflation theories and adjusts Einstein's special relativity so that the speed of light is not a constant. This allows for the universe to be homogeneous without invoking inflation.

    One of the ideas that I found interesting is the idea of a "bimetric" separating the speed of light from the speed of gravitational waves. These two would vary between themselves to avoid inflation in a different way from the variable speed of light theory he originated above. Generally it is believed that there is one metric, the speed of light, which is constant and gravitational waves travel at the speed of light.

  3. #1083
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    Moffat mentioned that he is not the only one who has promoted the variable speed of light in a vacuum as an alternative to inflation to get the universe into a homogeneous state. More generally the variable speed of light in a vacuum has been considered by others. Here is a survey of these ideas: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Variable_speed_of_light

  4. #1084
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    I just came across another survey article at a deeper level than the Wikipedia article by Jo˜ao Magueijo who Moffat mentioned. It was written in 2003, older than the Moffat summary I am reading written in 2009: http://cds.cern.ch/record/618057/files/0305457.pdf

    Also it looks like a test of this may be underway perhaps to complete in the next five years with improved measurements of the "spectral index" for which they made a prediction based on their theory: https://www.theguardian.com/science/...soon-be-tested This article is less than a year old.

  5. #1085
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    I have nearly completed a second reading of Moffit's book. I've come to realize that there are many people who are looking for modified gravity theories because dark matter has so far not been found. One has to do one or the other: modify the gravity theory or find dark stuff.

    One blog I found interesting was Sabine Hossenfelder's http://backreaction.blogspot.de/2015...ith-black.html Here is the archive header for the paper she references: https://arxiv.org/abs/1502.01677 The Event Horizon Telescope may be a way to falsify either Einstein's general relativity or Moffit's MOG. Here is an update of the project: http://eventhorizontelescope.org/blog/eht-update

  6. #1086
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    I found out that John Moffat has a more recent book (2014) on the Higgs boson and it is in a local library. He writes very well. Maybe he'll help me figure out what that boson is.

  7. #1087
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    If there is a God, and if God knows our future, does not his knowing then preclude our having free will? For if God knows, then it is predestined, is it not? And if it is predestined, our sense of free will and choice is illusory, is it not?

    Would God then have made a universe whose future he could not read? Or could he read it if he chose to but simply has the will power and the character never to peek?

    Isn't it the position of several major world religions that God knows everything, including the future? I think it is safe to say this was/is the position of many Christians I have known quite well. I cannot remember any scriptual support for the position right now. Maybe there is some.

    Anyway, several of the world's major religions believe God is ubiquitous and all-knowing. But it seems to me this idea might be inimical to the idea of free will. Am I wrong?

  8. #1088
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    If you assume God knows our future exactly, then you have assumed we have no free will.

    However, if we do have some free will, then he doesn’t exactly know our future.

    Can one reconcile an omniscient God with one who does not know more than probabilistically what we will do in the future? I think one can. If one defines “omniscient” to be knowing everything there is to know, then God would be omniscient and still not know exactly what we will do. We have our free will and God has his omniscience.

    I don’t speak for any religion. I am sure some religious people think we have no free will because God knows everything (more than what there is to know). However, I think that leads to a contradiction. Not that it really matters since a religion is about establishing a relationship to God, not obtaining philosophic knowledge.

  9. #1089
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    The phrase Some free will is curious. My belief is leaning differently. I believe we may have no free will but are asymptotically close to it, so close we cannot tell if we are free or puppets of fate.

    The two phrases Some free will[ and Asymptotically close to free will may be trying to express approximately the same idea. But either leaves me with no idea what God is allowed know so that I may still have free will. Very tricky of God, I must say.

    God may have built the discoveries of Godel into the universe. Free will is one of those questions of which we cannot even decide if it has an actual answer or does not.

    One question to ask ourselves is whether we ourselves could build something whose future would necessarily remain shrouded in mystery to us? If we can do that, it is easy to assume God can too.

    One might naturally argue that we built this country and its future is unknown to us. God made the dirt, we cultivated it and gave our patch its own name.
    Last edited by desiresjab; 12-12-2017 at 01:02 AM.

  10. #1090
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    If you assume God knows our future exactly, then you have assumed we have no free will.

    However, if we do have some free will, then he doesn’t exactly know our future.

    Can one reconcile an omniscient God with one who does not know more than probabilistically what we will do in the future? I think one can. If one defines “omniscient” to be knowing everything there is to know, then God would be omniscient and still not know exactly what we will do. We have our free will and God has his omniscience.

    I don’t speak for any religion. I am sure some religious people think we have no free will because God knows everything (more than what there is to know). However, I think that leads to a contradiction. Not that it really matters since a religion is about establishing a relationship to God, not obtaining philosophic knowledge.
    Sounds like an opinion to me. The opinion of some would be that religion is about controlling the populace and always has been. The belief you expressed would be exactly what the controllers want the controlled to say.

    Besides, how many of the major religions are about having a personal relationship with God? Buddhism is not about that, and I am not sure Hinduism is either. I have never heard any Moslem speak about achieving a personal relationship with God.

    It seems this idea of religion being about a personal, loving relationship may simply be because you are a westerner raised in a religion where that happens to be the rare case.

    I do not know this for sure. I would like to know what others with more experience and reading in religion have to say about this. Is religion in general really about a personal relationship with God, or is just ours?

    Let us not play the silly game of calling any interaction whatsoever a personal relationship. The phrase means more than that. It means something specific. I am not sure that applies to all other religions or even a majority of them. There are probably some people with strong ideas on this on here. I would like to hear their opinions. Not likely that I will, I have found, but I would like to anyway.

  11. #1091
    I consider myself to be a cosmologist as well, as everything that is happening in the world has an impact and depends on the Universe. Everything which is around us, and we ourselves, cosist of energetic particles, every little thing in the Universe has the same inner structure, that is why you cannot deny the idea of reincarnation, as energy never comes from nowhere and never goes anywhere, it can only transform into a different object.

  12. #1092
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    Dwell on a picture and you may start to see things within it you had not noticed before. Some pictures are made that way purposely, some just contain that potential by accident. You can do the same thing with philosophical concepts. If I dwell on the idea of death long enough it seems not to be the end. I can almost see more. The vision is so murky I cannot be sure what I see, yet the impression is quite strong. It averages out to more an intuition of something, rather than a clear picture. A strong intuition says there is more after death. Can't prove it, cannot even convince you. Near impossible to describe. Still, something is trying to become clear. Not sure how to let it, or if there is a way to improve the image.

  13. #1093
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    That reminds me of the "contemplation" Plotinus wrote about. It's a different way of seeing reality. Shimon Malin discusses him and Whitehead in "Nature Loves to Hide" as well as this other way of seeing.

  14. #1094
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    That reminds me of the "contemplation" Plotinus wrote about. It's a different way of seeing reality. Shimon Malin discusses him and Whitehead in "Nature Loves to Hide" as well as this other way of seeing.
    At first, the surprising thing seems to be that human beings are still here. Of all the ill-equipped who would not be likely to survive--but here we are anyway. Before this, no single man had the power to destroy mankind, or at least civilization, in total. That was our saving grace. Ninety wiped out here but ten survived scattered elsewhere. Those were the kind of odds we kept beating. For what? A miserable and a short life, buried in our own feces until the last century. We endured millennia of discomfort for this we call life now.

    I first find it surprising that we ended up here. I next find it surprising that we survived, and even seemed to flourish. The compound probability of this trio of surprises together nods toward the belief that the universe is not pointless after all, that unlikely things may be happening because there is a will for them to happen.
    Last edited by desiresjab; 02-10-2018 at 07:15 AM.

  15. #1095
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    It does seem unlikely that we are here at all.

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