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  Topic: Physics was never my strong point, please help the rank amateur< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:25   

Ok, I got into a debate with a guy about religion (I know, I know) but he keeps insisting that thermodynamics (I know the first 2 laws, I get lost later on) prove the supernatural.

Bear with me.

He basically states either one of three things has happened.

1.Something supernatural created everything, and the universe is not infinate.

2. Something supernatural created everything and the universe is infinate.

3. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by something supernatural, while in the pre big bang state.

Essentially, he argues, the universe is a closed system, therefore everything (very slowly, I don't think he's a 6000 year old universe nut) is decending towards entropy, and all viable energy is being used up. Therefore either something created the universe a fixed time ago, and it's been going downhill ever since, or something held back the actions of thermo prior to it coming into effect.

Now, I argued what I hope is a point, that the universe is made up of lots of open systems, and therefore the energy released by one going entropy way feeds another. He wasn't having any of it, because as he keeps insisting in the single most patronising way ever, "the universe is a closed system".

Any help?

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:34   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,20:25)
Essentially, he argues, the universe is a closed system, therefore everything (very slowly, I don't think he's a 6000 year old universe nut) is decending towards entropy, and all viable energy is being used up. Therefore either something created the universe a fixed time ago, and it's been going downhill ever since, or something held back the actions of thermo prior to it coming into effect.

Even if that proves the universe had a beginning (and I'm not sure it does), it doesn't prove that the universe was created by something supernatural.

Unless, of course, his definition of supernatural is whatever accounts for the universe having a beginning.

  
"Rev Dr" Lenny Flank



Posts: 2560
Joined: Feb. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:35   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,20:25)
Ok, I got into a debate with a guy about religion (I know, I know) but he keeps insisting that thermodynamics (I know the first 2 laws, I get lost later on) prove the supernatural.

Bear with me.

He basically states either one of three things has happened.

1.Something supernatural created everything, and the universe is not infinate.

2. Something supernatural created everything and the universe is infinate.

3. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by something supernatural, while in the pre big bang state.

Essentially, he argues, the universe is a closed system, therefore everything (very slowly, I don't think he's a 6000 year old universe nut) is decending towards entropy, and all viable energy is being used up. Therefore either something created the universe a fixed time ago, and it's been going downhill ever since, or something held back the actions of thermo prior to it coming into effect.

Now, I argued what I hope is a point, that the universe is made up of lots of open systems, and therefore the energy released by one going entropy way feeds another. He wasn't having any of it, because as he keeps insisting in the single most patronising way ever, "the universe is a closed system".

Any help?

He's right -- the universe as a whole is a closed system.  And it is declining, in accordance with thermodynamic laws, into heat death.

The rest is just gibberish.

--------------
Editor, Red and Black Publishers
www.RedandBlackPublishers.com

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:35   

Quote (qetzal @ Aug. 09 2007,20:34)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,20:25)
Essentially, he argues, the universe is a closed system, therefore everything (very slowly, I don't think he's a 6000 year old universe nut) is decending towards entropy, and all viable energy is being used up. Therefore either something created the universe a fixed time ago, and it's been going downhill ever since, or something held back the actions of thermo prior to it coming into effect.

Even if that proves the universe had a beginning (and I'm not sure it does), it doesn't prove that the universe was created by something supernatural.

Unless, of course, his definition of supernatural is whatever accounts for the universe having a beginning.

Essentially he is saying that something supernatural must have created everything, because it's all really big, nad how was it around before everything and so on.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:36   

Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Aug. 09 2007,20:35)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,20:25)
Ok, I got into a debate with a guy about religion (I know, I know) but he keeps insisting that thermodynamics (I know the first 2 laws, I get lost later on) prove the supernatural.

Bear with me.

He basically states either one of three things has happened.

1.Something supernatural created everything, and the universe is not infinate.

2. Something supernatural created everything and the universe is infinate.

3. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by something supernatural, while in the pre big bang state.

Essentially, he argues, the universe is a closed system, therefore everything (very slowly, I don't think he's a 6000 year old universe nut) is decending towards entropy, and all viable energy is being used up. Therefore either something created the universe a fixed time ago, and it's been going downhill ever since, or something held back the actions of thermo prior to it coming into effect.

Now, I argued what I hope is a point, that the universe is made up of lots of open systems, and therefore the energy released by one going entropy way feeds another. He wasn't having any of it, because as he keeps insisting in the single most patronising way ever, "the universe is a closed system".

Any help?

He's right -- the universe as a whole is a closed system.  And it is declining, in accordance with thermodynamic laws, into heat death.

The rest is just gibberish.

The problem is Lenny, I was pretty sure it WAS gibberish, and I didn't disagree on the heat death thing, but I don't get why it's jibberish.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:47   

It's just the old "everything has to have a cause" BS.

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:49   

Quote (qetzal @ Aug. 09 2007,20:47)
It's just the old "everything has to have a cause" BS.

But if I try to post that he'll just go on for another million words about thermodynamics talking to me as if I were a child.

That is what bugs me the most, I told him not to get TOO technical as I'm no great shakes at physics (beyond electronics, I was always good at that) and he assumes I therefore don't understand things like "thermodynamics", "heat death" or "energy".

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
stevestory



Posts: 13407
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:54   

I would attack number 3. The 'laws' of physics go all screwy as you get closer and closer to the big bang. There's essentially nothing we can say about the 'pre big bang state'.

   
qetzal



Posts: 311
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:54   

The thermo is irrelevant.

He says, "the universe is a closed system. It must have had a beginning."

I say, "So what? 'The universe had a beginning' does not prove 'the universe was created by something supernatural.'"

Unless, as I said above, his definition of 'supernatural' makes it true by tautology.

  
stevestory



Posts: 13407
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,20:56   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,21:49)
Quote (qetzal @ Aug. 09 2007,20:47)
It's just the old "everything has to have a cause" BS.

But if I try to post that he'll just go on for another million words about thermodynamics talking to me as if I were a child.

invite him here.

:D

   
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,21:02   

Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 09 2007,20:56)
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 09 2007,21:49)
Quote (qetzal @ Aug. 09 2007,20:47)
It's just the old "everything has to have a cause" BS.

But if I try to post that he'll just go on for another million words about thermodynamics talking to me as if I were a child.

invite him here.

:D

I have just done.

I may have done it before, but after I told them about how people who advocate Creationism get a fairly frosty reception, and that the people here are pretty much (with a few exceptions) conviced evolution and various other things are solid science and are, as far as science can tell, correct, he called you all "prideful".

That may have been someone else, however.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 11177
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,22:56   

The universe is a closed system, so net entropy for that system goes up, but that does not mean that in localized areas (the earth for example) entropy can't go down. He's using Fundy-SLoT which is basically "all particles must rush away from each other so nothing interesting can happen"

I did dun an editation.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Occam's Aftershave



Posts: 5286
Joined: Feb. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,23:43   

As others have pointed out, as long as you have an energy source there is nothing that prevents or prohibits a local decrease in entropy.  Ask him how he thinks a refrigerator cools things, or an acorn manages to grow into an oak tree.

To paraphrase a classic YEC quote from FSTDT:

"If there were a giant outside source supplying the Earth with huge amounts of energy, scientists would certainly know about it."  :p  :p  :p

--------------
"CO2 can't re-emit any trapped heat unless all the molecules point the right way"
"All the evidence supports Creation baraminology"
"If it required a mind, planning and design, it isn't materialistic."
"Jews and Christians are Muslims."

- Joke "Sharon" Gallien, world's dumbest YEC.

  
Henry J



Posts: 5758
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 09 2007,23:56   

Does the 2nd law even apply to the entirety of an expanding space? Esp. if it does happen to be infinite?

I'm supposing it does, at least in some sense, but I could be wrong. Or maybe it only applies to fixed regions?

Anyway, they do think useful energy will continuosly decline, so eventually there won't be stars, or much of any chemical reactions. But afaik that's expected to take several times the current age of our space.

As for something holding back the 2nd law "before" (if "before" means anything in this context), something just occurred to me - at zero (or nearly zero) volume, the number of possible states of everything in this space would be very low, for an entropy near zero, I would think. But with expanding volume, the number of possible states would go up quite rapidly.

Another thought is that the laws of thermodynamics do refer to behavior expected under current conditions in this space-time, in which particles can generally travel some distance before hitting another particle. Conditions would have been extremely different from those within a few Planck times (10 ^ -43 seconds or so?) of the "big bang"; at that time it may not have even been possible for distinct particles to exist, except perhaps momentarily. I'm not sure if the laws of T.D. would even apply in that situation, since those laws are based on statistical properties of particles interacting with each other.

Henry

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,03:41   

Ok, I invited him, and he's on his way.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,05:54   

Just to add to the fun, cosmologists are looking at possible causes of the big bang.  These include collisions of Branes, which are some kind of great big extra- this universe higher dimensional thingies.  The difficulty is in showing what is likely.  And of course it still leaves plenty of room for a deity somewhere.

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,06:06   

Quote (guthrie @ Aug. 10 2007,05:54)
Just to add to the fun, cosmologists are looking at possible causes of the big bang.  These include collisions of Branes, which are some kind of great big extra- this universe higher dimensional thingies.  The difficulty is in showing what is likely.  And of course it still leaves plenty of room for a deity somewhere.

Oh, I don't doubt that a god COULD have done it, not my arguement. He was arguing god MUST have done it.


His claim is that god is needed in a similar way to air. He even used the "you can't see air" argument on me.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 11177
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:11   

Yes, you can see air.



You can also see glass.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:14   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 10 2007,11:11)
Yes, you can see air.



You can also see glass.

But...but...NUH UH!!!!!1!11

The guy got an invite, anyway, but I don't know if he'll venture over. He might think we, or even just I, am a really mean, angry person (like FtK does) or that we're all beyond help or something.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Richardthughes



Posts: 11177
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:16   

Mirages and bubbles are other examples of you seeing air.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1208
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:32   

Quote (stevestory @ Aug. 09 2007,20:54)
There's essentially nothing we can say about the 'pre big bang state'.

By this you're referring to Texas, I assume.

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
Jim_Wynne



Posts: 1208
Joined: June 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:35   

I think the answer is fairly simple, and all of the physics stuff is just smokescreen. If you allow that something can have infinite existence, it might just as well be the universe as jeebus. There's nothing wrong with saying "I have no effing idea what happened prior to the BB or just after it, but at least I'm not making up stories to explain it."

--------------
Evolution is not about laws but about randomness on happanchance.--Robert Byers, at PT

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,11:41   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 10 2007,11:16)
Mirages and bubbles are other examples of you seeing air.

I myself am quite aware of the ability to see air thanks Rich.

Although I didn't know mirages were air related....

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
skeptic



Posts: 1163
Joined: May 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,12:00   

Two points that may help, Ian.  The assumption is that the Universe is a closed system but we do not know for sure.  There may be a flux but hand-waving arguments actually degenerate into definitions of "universe."  Secondly, the appeal to the supernatural is actually just a statement of ignorance.  We have no real idea what pre-big bang means, as Steve pointed out, our theories break down as we approach the big bang and we end up with nothing meaningful.  To immediately insert a supernatual cause really just is the same thing as saying "We can't describe what happened, but we know something did."  Ask for evidence of an empirical nature and this discussion pretty much ends there.

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1776
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,12:13   

Quote (Richardthughes @ Aug. 10 2007,11:11)
Yes, you can see air.



You can also see glass.

Depends how you look at the question doesn't it? Surely an argument could be made that you can't see anything except photons.

Can't see air, can't see walls, skyscrapers or aircraft. Can't see anything except things that are too small to see.

  
Henry J



Posts: 5758
Joined: Mar. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,14:36   

Quote
Depends how you look at the question doesn't it? Surely an argument could be made that you can't see anything except photons.


Ah ha! I hath see the light!

:p

  
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,17:02   

The problem with your discussant's position isn't so much that his conclusion is incorrect ("therefore, logically, GOD"). The problem is that, from the perspective of further progress within cosmology, and particularly with respect to modeling the early universe, his conclusion can't be made to do any further scientific work. Concluding that God held the big bang at bay (and then released it), or that God created either finite or infinite universes gets us NOWHERE with respect to further modeling the big bang, precursors to same (if it is even possible to give meaning to "before time") or the nature of the physical reality that followed. Postulating a creator-god feels like a solution, but really solves NOTHING, as that conclusion gives no guidance vis the solution of outstanding theoretical and mathematical problems in the field. I suspect that means that his is an empty proposition.

At a much more basic level, your friend's options are incomplete. He states that one of three things happened:

1.Something supernatural created everything, and the universe is not infinite.

2. Something supernatural created everything and the universe is infinite.

3. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by something supernatural, while in the pre big bang state.

OK. But what about:

4. The universe was not created by a supernatural being and is finite.

5. The universe was not created by a supernatural being and is infinite.

6. The universe was held still, away from those pesky thermodynamic laws by natural processes unknown to us.

7. We don't know. More scientific investigation may or may not disclose answers.

8. These questions are no better formed than the question, "what is north of the north pole?"

Don't let him trap you into a finite set of alternatives. This is the same slight of hand that is employed by the ID movement: Either chance, necessity, or design is responsible for biological complexity. Who says? Howzabout "chance, necessity, other natural processes we haven't discovered as yet, we don't know."

Same sophistry.

With respect to making his conclusion do NON scientific work in the service of his religious convictions: "Hey, knock yourself out. Not my cup of tea."

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
IanBrown_101



Posts: 927
Joined: April 2007

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,17:15   

He just can't seem to grasp the idea that natural forces, as of yet unknown, can do anything.

--------------
I'm not the fastest or the baddest or the fatest.

You NEVER seem to address the fact that the grand majority of people supporting Darwinism in these on line forums and blogs are atheists. That doesn't seem to bother you guys in the least. - FtK

Roddenberry is my God.

   
Reciprocating Bill



Posts: 4265
Joined: Oct. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,17:24   

Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Aug. 10 2007,18:15)
He just can't seem to grasp the idea that natural forces, as of yet unknown, can do anything.

Seems to me that is his problem, not yours.

Really, his position is a hugely dressed up form of the question, "Why is there something instead of nothing?" His response is "something supernatural is why."

OK. How's the weather? (picks nose).

--------------
Myth: Something that never was true, and always will be.

"The truth will set you free. But not until it is finished with you."
- David Foster Wallace

"Here’s a clue. Snarky banalities are not a substitute for saying something intelligent. Write that down."
- Barry Arrington

  
Stephen Elliott



Posts: 1776
Joined: Oct. 2005

(Permalink) Posted: Aug. 10 2007,21:13   

Quote (Henry J @ Aug. 10 2007,14:36)
Quote
Depends how you look at the question doesn't it? Surely an argument could be made that you can't see anything except photons.


Ah ha! I hath see the light!

:p

lol. Funny.

  
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