AuthorTopic: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature  (Read 6772 times)

Offline knarf

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The natural world is the only world, theoretical physicist Sean Carroll argues in a new book

It is time to face reality, California Institute of Technology theoretical physicist Sean Carroll says: There is just no such thing as God, or ghosts, or human souls that reside outside of the body. Everything in existence belongs to the natural world and is accessible to science, he argues. In his new book “The Big Picture: On the Origin of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself,” out this week from Dutton, Carroll describes a guiding philosophy along these lines that he calls poetic naturalism. It excludes a supernatural or spiritual realm but still allows plenty of room for life to have a purpose.
“I think we can bring ideas like meaning and morality into our discussions of the natural world,” Carroll says. “The ways that we talk about the universe are what make it meaningful.” He eloquently argues that point in his far-ranging book, which takes on the origins of consciousness, the likeliness of God based on a rigorous application of Bayesian probability statistics, and many other “big” questions that scientists are often loath to tackle.
Scientific American spoke with Carroll about his philosophy and how we can all take a closer look at just what we truly, deeply believe.
[An edited transcript of the conversation follows.]


Naturalism is the viewpoint that everything arises from natural causes and that there is no supernatural realm. You coin the term “poetic naturalism” for your own particular brand of this guiding philosophy. Why the need for a new term?

Naturalism has been certainly been around for a very long time, but as more people become naturalists and talk to each other, their disagreements within naturalism are interesting. I thought there was a judicious middle ground, which I call poetic, between “the world is just a bunch of particles,” and “science can be used to discover meaning and morality.”
To me the connotations of “poetic” are that there’s some human choice that comes into how we talk about the world. In particular, when it comes to questions of morality and meaning, the way we go about deciding what is right and wrong, and meaningful or not, is not the same as the way we discover what is true and false.

Just because we have no evidence of another realm of reality beyond the physical world, how can we conclude it doesn’t exist?

It’s not a matter of certainty, ever. I would make the argument that if there were a supernatural element that played a role in our everyday life in some noticeable way, it’s very, very likely we would have noticed it. It just seems weird that this kind of thing would be so crucial and yet so difficult to notice in any controlled scientific way. I would make the case that it is sufficiently unlikely in a fair Bayesian accounting that we don’t need to spend any time thinking about it anymore. Five hundred years ago it would have been a possibility. I think these days we’re ready to move on.
All I can say at the end of the day is we should all be trying as hard as we can to guard against our individual cognitive biases, the things we want to be true. The existence of life after death, for example, I would love that to be true. My cognitive bias is in favor of that. And yet I don’t think it is true. The best we can do is try to be honest.

So do you think it’s impossible for a religious person to believe in poetic naturalism?

Of course that depends on what you mean by religious. There’s actually a movement called religious naturalism. Religion involves a whole bunch of things—practices, casts of mind, morals, etc., so you can certainly imagine calling yourself religious, reading the Bible, going to church and just not believing in God. I suspect the number of people who do that is much larger than the number of people who admit to it.
The mistake comes when we try to pretend that it doesn’t matter what our view of the ontology of the world is. I think it does matter. But having made those decisions [about your worldview], there are many ways you can live a life that’s meaningful and socially relevant and familial. I think we have a misunderstanding of meaning because we relate it to something outside the natural world, when it doesn’t have to be that.

This argument for naturalism feels particularly timely, when politicians and many in society are increasingly hostile to science and evidence-based thinking. How receptive to the approach of naturalism do you think most people are?

I think that scientists have a sort of professional level of understanding of the universe, and scientists are overwhelmingly naturalists. Whereas people on the street, or in Washington, D.C., still don’t admit to this. There aren’t a lot of naturalists in Congress. The way we talk about these things in the public sphere has not caught up with the way we understand the universe as it really is.

As a physicist, what inspired you to write a book essentially on philosophy?

It evolved over a very long time. I’ve always been interested in not only physics directly, but also the wider consequences. I was a philosophy minor as an undergraduate. I always have thought that doing physics was part of a larger intellectual project of trying to understand the whole world in different ways.
What do you hope readers take away from this book?
I think there’s a bunch of people who still, because they just haven’t thought about it that much, have the informal idea that science can explain what happens when two atoms bump into each other, but it can’t explain how the universe started or how life began. I hope people get the idea that we’re well on our way to answering those questions. There’s no obstacle in our way that says we’re just not going to be able to.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/godless-universe-a-physicist-searches-for-meaning-in-nature/
« Last Edit: May 11, 2016, 06:41:04 AM by knarf »
Everything, I mean EVERYTHING, is a BIG FUCKING MESS!!

Offline Ashvin

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2016, 04:26:08 AM »
The natural world is the only world, theoretical physicist Sean Carroll argues in a new book

It is time to face reality, California Institute of Technology theoretical physicist Sean Carroll says: There is just no such thing as God, or ghosts, or human souls that reside outside of the body. Everything in existence belongs to the natural world and is accessible to science, he argues. In his new book “The Big Picture: On the Origin of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself,” out this week from Dutton, Carroll describes a guiding philosophy along these lines that he calls poetic naturalism. It excludes a supernatural or spiritual realm but still allows plenty of room for life to have a purpose.
“I think we can bring ideas like meaning and morality into our discussions of the natural world,” Carroll says. “The ways that we talk about the universe are what make it meaningful.” He eloquently argues that point in his far-ranging book, which takes on the origins of consciousness, the likeliness of God based on a rigorous application of Bayesian probability statistics, and many other “big” questions that scientists are often loath to tackle.
Scientific American spoke with Carroll about his philosophy and how we can all take a closer look at just what we truly, deeply believe.
[An edited transcript of the conversation follows.]

People like Carroll will always leave out a key word when talking about "meaning" or "morality" - OBJECTIVE. Of course we can find subjective meanings and moral values in any philosophical or metaphysical worldview, but we CAN'T figure out why our meanings and moral values are superior to those of anyone else's. Then it just becomes a situation when the most influential and powerful can impose their meanings and moral values on to the rest of us, and we can't object because our meaning and morality "lost out" to theirs.

How can we ground objective meaning or morality in mindless and purposeless interactions between matter and energy? Naturalists need to tackle THAT question in their books, but they won't, because neither they nor anyone else can. Millions, billions or trillions of years cannot bridge that gap.

I also find it amusing that missionary atheists/naturalists will quickly object to the existence of God by claiming that the Universe is a hostile, cruel, ugly and brutish place, that a truly good and powerful God would never create. BUT, when it comes to promoting naturalism, they will call the Universe beautiful, full of meaning and purpose and "poetic". Why does their view of the Universe change so radically depending on whether they are bashing a supernatural worldview or defending a naturalistic one?
« Last Edit: June 20, 2016, 04:33:43 AM by Ashvin »

Offline azozeo

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2016, 12:33:10 PM »
The natural world is the only world, theoretical physicist Sean Carroll argues in a new book

It is time to face reality, California Institute of Technology theoretical physicist Sean Carroll says: There is just no such thing as God, or ghosts, or human souls that reside outside of the body. Everything in existence belongs to the natural world and is accessible to science, he argues. In his new book “The Big Picture: On the Origin of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself,” out this week from Dutton, Carroll describes a guiding philosophy along these lines that he calls poetic naturalism. It excludes a supernatural or spiritual realm but still allows plenty of room for life to have a purpose.
“I think we can bring ideas like meaning and morality into our discussions of the natural world,” Carroll says. “The ways that we talk about the universe are what make it meaningful.” He eloquently argues that point in his far-ranging book, which takes on the origins of consciousness, the likeliness of God based on a rigorous application of Bayesian probability statistics, and many other “big” questions that scientists are often loath to tackle.
Scientific American spoke with Carroll about his philosophy and how we can all take a closer look at just what we truly, deeply believe.
[An edited transcript of the conversation follows.]

People like Carroll will always leave out a key word when talking about "meaning" or "morality" - OBJECTIVE. Of course we can find subjective meanings and moral values in any philosophical or metaphysical worldview, but we CAN'T figure out why our meanings and moral values are superior to those of anyone else's. Then it just becomes a situation when the most influential and powerful can impose their meanings and moral values on to the rest of us, and we can't object because our meaning and morality "lost out" to theirs.

How can we ground objective meaning or morality in mindless and purposeless interactions between matter and energy? Naturalists need to tackle THAT question in their books, but they won't, because neither they nor anyone else can. Millions, billions or trillions of years cannot bridge that gap.

I also find it amusing that missionary atheists/naturalists will quickly object to the existence of God by claiming that the Universe is a hostile, cruel, ugly and brutish place, that a truly good and powerful God would never create. BUT, when it comes to promoting naturalism, they will call the Universe beautiful, full of meaning and purpose and "poetic". Why does their view of the Universe change so radically depending on whether they are bashing a supernatural worldview or defending a naturalistic one?


There's one set of rules, it's called physics.
Evangelista's such as yourself, are pissin' up a rope .....
Large group think doesn't make it correct Ashvin. Do your homework for a change !
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2016, 12:55:49 PM »
Ashvin,
That 2nd set of rules you've been chasing was created by your demiurge Jehovah being named Anu.
He's the head niggah' of the Annunaki.
I know this is a huge pill to swallow Ashvin, but your fair game on this turf. Deal with it.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline Ashvin

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2016, 01:03:42 PM »
Get back to me when you find an explanation in physics for the origin of the Universe, the fine tuning of physical constants, the origin of life, the origin of consciousness (not sure what Carroll's "breakthrough" explanation is on this), the existence of universal and objective moral values, or the uncanny accuracy of mathematics in describing physical reality. Physics itself cannot even explain why we are able to discover and rationally understand a set of physical laws.

Also keep in mind that unsupported and/or thoroughly debunked references to astro-theology or ancient astronaut theories do not count as evidence here. After you find some physical explanations for those things, we can start to talk about the countless historical and modern-day reports of supernatural occurrences.

Offline azozeo

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2016, 01:19:08 PM »
Get back to me when you find an explanation in physics for the origin of the Universe, the fine tuning of physical constants, the origin of life, the origin of consciousness (not sure what Carroll's "breakthrough" explanation is on this), the existence of universal and objective moral values, or the uncanny accuracy of mathematics in describing physical reality. Physics itself cannot even explain why we are able to discover and rationally understand a set of physical laws.

Also keep in mind that unsupported and/or thoroughly debunked references to astro-theology or ancient astronaut theories do not count as evidence here. After you find some physical explanations for those things, we can start to talk about the countless historical and modern-day reports of supernatural occurrences.


Not that you'll read it, but here ya' go amigo  :icon_sunny:
The Enuma Elish !
The Hopi Traditions.
They'll be a 100 question test tomorrow G E T    B U S Y     :icon_sunny:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/stc/index.htm

http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/hopi/toth/index.htm

I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2016, 01:25:29 PM »
Fair Warning Ashvin .....

I will blanket you like chem-trails to a Nibiru sunset    :evil4:

Bring a lunch bucket, it's game on. Feel free to bring Anu with you.

I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2016, 02:05:32 PM »
So you think physicists are incorrect ?

http://holzwellness.com/aboutus-2/dr-gary-holz/




Physician, heal thyself
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Physician, heal thyself (Greek: Ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν — Iatre, therapeuson seauton), sometimes quoted in the Latin form Cura te ipsum ("heal thyself"), is a proverb found in Luke 4:23.

    23 Then he said, “You will undoubtedly quote me this proverb: ‘Physician, heal yourself’—meaning, ‘Do miracles here in your home town like those you did in Capernaum.’

The usual interpretation of this passage is that, during the Rejection of Jesus, Jesus expected to hear natives of his home town of Nazareth use this phrase to criticize him.[1] Luke the Evangelist, to whom Christian tradition attributes the gospel, was himself a physician.[2]

The moral of the proverb is counsel to attend to one's own defects rather than criticizing defects in others,[3] a sentiment also expressed in the discourse on judgmentalism.

The Latin form of the proverb, Cura te ipsum, was made famous in the Latin translation of the Bible, the Vulgate, and is a shortening of the phrase medice, cura te ipsum.

Some commentators[who?] claim that the proverb is also an echo of the insults that he would hear while hanging on the cross, that is, the words may be interpreted as echoing the taunts to come down from the cross himself.[4]
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2016, 02:53:21 PM »
The Enuma Elish !
The Hopi Traditions.
They'll be a 100 question test tomorrow G E T    B U S Y     :icon_sunny:

http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/stc/index.htm

http://www.sacred-texts.com/nam/hopi/toth/index.htm
AZ!!!!

You are so Da Man!!

 :multiplespotting:

I have been looking for a GOOD source of Hopi prophecy ever since I saw Koyaanisqatsi, several decades ago....
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline RE

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2016, 02:59:07 PM »
Fair Warning Ashvin .....

I will blanket you like chem-trails to a Nibiru sunset    :evil4:

Bring a lunch bucket, it's game on. Feel free to bring Anu with you.

A Spiritual/Philosophical Debate!  We haven't had one of those in AGES!   :icon_sunny:

This could be fun!  Maybe Ka will emerge from Lurkerville!

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Ashvin

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2016, 03:10:21 PM »
Fair Warning Ashvin .....

I will blanket you like chem-trails to a Nibiru sunset    :evil4:

Bring a lunch bucket, it's game on. Feel free to bring Anu with you.

A Spiritual/Philosophical Debate!  We haven't had one of those in AGES!   :icon_sunny:

This could be fun!  Maybe Ka will emerge from Lurkerville!

RE

Well I already told AZ that I won't entertain unsupported or thoroughly debunked speculation as evidence, so sorry to let you down :-\ ... nothing to debate here. The Annunaki and Nibiru fall into the thoroughly debunked category, pretty sure I have posted on this a few times before.

And I know Ka would have nothing to do with that nonsense either...

Offline RE

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2016, 03:22:05 PM »
Fair Warning Ashvin .....

I will blanket you like chem-trails to a Nibiru sunset    :evil4:

Bring a lunch bucket, it's game on. Feel free to bring Anu with you.

A Spiritual/Philosophical Debate!  We haven't had one of those in AGES!   :icon_sunny:

This could be fun!  Maybe Ka will emerge from Lurkerville!

RE

Well I already told AZ that I won't entertain unsupported or thoroughly debunked speculation as evidence, so sorry to let you down :-\ ... nothing to debate here. The Annunaki and Nibiru fall into the thoroughly debunked category, pretty sure I have posted on this a few times before.

And I know Ka would have nothing to do with that nonsense either...

I got the impression he would be debating Hopi traditions.  Are they unsupported and/or debunked?

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline azozeo

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2016, 03:29:35 PM »
41 + pages & 14,000 + hits & here we go again .

Note to self.... I had to go & run my mouth about being the Maytag guy at the cosmo table.




Ashvin,
You are not ready for prime time yet, go back asleep. We'll wake your delusional ass up when it's time
to board the last train out of dodge.
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline azozeo

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2016, 04:00:04 PM »
. The Annunaki and Nibiru fall into the thoroughly debunked category, pretty sure I have posted on this a few times before.

And I know Ka would have nothing to do with that nonsense either...
[/quote]

Let the record be noted that "I Think" I've posted material that little green men have been thoroughly PROVEN to be non-existent.

WE ARE IT & THAT'S That ! Is that right counselor ? Oh & you've mention an entity named God .... explain !
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

Offline g

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Re: Godless Universe: A Physicist Searches for Meaning in Nature
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2016, 04:23:51 PM »
Fair Warning Ashvin .....

I will blanket you like chem-trails to a Nibiru sunset    :evil4:

Bring a lunch bucket, it's game on. Feel free to bring Anu with you.

A Spiritual/Philosophical Debate!  We haven't had one of those in AGES!   :icon_sunny:

This could be fun!  Maybe Ka will emerge from Lurkerville!

RE

Well I already told AZ that I won't entertain unsupported or thoroughly debunked speculation as evidence, so sorry to let you down :-\ ... nothing to debate here. The Annunaki and Nibiru fall into the thoroughly debunked category, pretty sure I have posted on this a few times before.

And I know Ka would have nothing to do with that nonsense either...

I got the impression he would be debating Hopi traditions.  Are they unsupported and/or debunked?

RE

Out of my league, but I do collect Native American Indian Jewelry.

Navajo and Hopi, both are beautiful and made of sterling silver, with one strange, to me at least exception, the Navajo jewelry has turquoise while the Hopi does not. It always puzzled me and never could get an answer that made sense.

What is more puzzling is the Indians consider turquoise a sacred stone with all sorts of spiritual properties. Perhaps this will come up in the thread somewhere if it becomes active.

                                                       

                                                       

                                            2 Hopi jewelry images


                                                   


                                                 

                                              Navajo jewelry.     What a bracelet   ::)

 

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