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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 9:30 am 
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TheEnigma wrote:


Thanks, Mod Miron, but I’m not sure about what you specifically intended to convey or impart by your statement above. Nevertheless, if we speak the language of empirical sciences, the “empty space” you’re referring to is not really empty at all. Modern physics tells us that this “empty space” is actually filled with some stuff such as wave functions and invisible quantum fields.


That is correct. But what you call "wave functions" and "invisible quantum fields" are just terminologies that cant really be explained by the brightest scientist. So for all intents and purposes they are really empty... right? for us to be more on 'facts' here rather than speculation.


Quote:
Now, if we connect this with our thread topic, we might be tempted to say that natural sciences are fully competent to account for the changes that occur in the natural world. However, this does not mean that "everything in nature" can be explained in terms of material causes.


as far as how i understand this...I'll say i agree.


Quote:
Thus, for now, let’s try applying this principle to a human being. What do you, guys, think also is going on?


You have interpreted and narrated of how you think on things ......of how they are.. but ultimately.... all MOLECULES are made of ATOMS... do you agree? Im sure you DO.
and if we dont rely on speculation ATOM's are 99.9999% emtpy space.... unless we tell the authorized scientits that we demand that they give us the details of this 99.9999% empty space... to tell us what are quantum fields...
but untill then they are empty space....

I keep on yapping about the atom because of the Double slit experiment. Have you encountered that before Enigma? pls give us your thoughts. Thanks.


Quote:
The truths of science cannot contradict the truths of faith. God is the author of all truth. Science can therefore be the ally of Christianity, not the enemy of it. Hence, we must be very careful when we try to condemn science.


1st we need to define faith.. If you define faith the same as other religious people then tapos na boxing sir.

but if you define it in the most logical way then perhaps we can continue beyond this point.

pls answer this question if you dont mind

automatically we all think that what we know/conclude is the truth...Do you think there's an ounce of chance that your 'faith' is not what you think it is?

Quote:
Final note:

Science cannot prove or disprove God's existence because God is outside the limits of empirical measurement. Therefore atheism is only a philosophy. Even with all the scientific quotes they use, atheism is not based on science. We must be very diligent in making sure human secularism based on atheism does not hijack science which is independent of any religious belief, including atheism.



This post of yours is ( in my humble and respectful interpretation ) very 'dualistic' in nature. It already has the assumption that science is outside of God or against it.

and it also assumed that God is in fact already in place as how 'God' is defined by the Judeo Christian religion.

what is defined now in the academia and what is being propagated in religion is almost identical in details except one thing... "WHEN and HOW it ALL BEGAN"


Sir how do you think Humans came to be?

I'll say it right here... for more or less 30 yrs the "Adam & Eve" story was my truth. but it bothers me a lot. so I research on it... reading the bible and other references.

now I conclude that the story is INACCURATE and was written to deceive... only "faith" can make anyone believe this story. that is my conclusion sir. how about you?

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PostPosted: Tue May 15, 2018 11:24 pm 
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miron_lang wrote:
TheEnigma wrote:


Thanks, Mod Miron, but I’m not sure about what you specifically intended to convey or impart by your statement above. Nevertheless, if we speak the language of empirical sciences, the “empty space” you’re referring to is not really empty at all. Modern physics tells us that this “empty space” is actually filled with some stuff such as wave functions and invisible quantum fields.


That is correct. But what you call "wave functions" and "invisible quantum fields" are just terminologies that cant really be explained by the brightest scientist. So for all intents and purposes they are really empty... right? for us to be more on 'facts' here rather than speculation.

Thanks, Mod Miron, for taking the time to respond to some portions of my posts. I think the difference in our usage of the word “empty” is just a question of semantics. For instance, if “it is filled with some stuff” as I have used it, then it is not empty in one sense of the word. On the other hand, if “wave functions and invisible quantum fields are just terminologies that can’t really be explained by the brightest scientist” as you have described it, then we must distinguish between our not being able to explain them and the other conclusion that in principle no such explanation is possible and that perhaps we must admit, for example, the role of an intelligent designer (or any special divine agency). I guess you might very well accept the former -- the epistemological claim, but you would reject the latter -- the ontological claim. Hence, if we recognize that there are sciences of nature, then such gaps can only be epistemological difficulties to be overcome.

miron_lang wrote:
TheEnigma wrote:
Now, if we connect this with our thread topic, we might be tempted to say that natural sciences are fully competent to account for the changes that occur in the natural world. However, this does not mean that "everything in nature" can be explained in terms of material causes.


as far as how i understand this...I'll say i agree.

Thanks for reaching that far in your understanding, and I also agree with you... :)

miron_lang wrote:
TheEnigma wrote:
Thus, for now, let’s try applying this principle to a human being. What do you, guys, think also is going on?


You have interpreted and narrated of how you think on things ......of how they are.. but ultimately.... all MOLECULES are made of ATOMS... do you agree? Im sure you DO.
and if we dont rely on speculation ATOM's are 99.9999% emtpy space.... unless we tell the authorized scientits that we demand that they give us the details of this 99.9999% empty space... to tell us what are quantum fields...
but untill then they are empty space....

I keep on yapping about the atom because of the Double slit experiment. Have you encountered that before Enigma? pls give us your thoughts. Thanks.

Yes, molecules are made up of atoms. Yes, at a pretty basic level, we’re all made of atoms, which are made of electrons, protons, and neutrons. And yes, at an even more basic, or perhaps the most basic level, those protons and neutrons, which hold the bulk of our mass, are made of a trio of fundamental particles called quarks. And yes, gluons (which hold these quarks together) are completely massless. So, where do you think all our mass comes from? Energy! A lot of scientists think that almost all the mass of our bodies comes from the kinetic energy of the quarks and the binding energy of the gluons.

So much for that, the point here once again is that an exclusively ‘material’ explanation of nature which relies only on the discovery of constituent parts, does not describe nature as it really is. As I have emphasized previously, we cannot account for the "more" of the whole in terms of the sum of the material parts. For example, why the living body is just such a body? Isn’t there a “unifying principle” that accounts for the life of all living things? How (do you think) the multiple parts that comprise a living being are able to act “from within” in a unified way and in accordance with its given nature – and for the good of the whole being?

Yes, I have read about the double-slit experiment (and its variations), but I would be very glad to hear it first from you as to how it connects with our present discussion.

miron_lang wrote:
TheEnigma wrote:
The truths of science cannot contradict the truths of faith. God is the author of all truth. Science can therefore be the ally of Christianity, not the enemy of it. Hence, we must be very careful when we try to condemn science.


1st we need to define faith.. If you define faith the same as other religious people then tapos na boxing sir.

but if you define it in the most logical way then perhaps we can continue beyond this point.

pls answer this question if you dont mind

automatically we all think that what we know/conclude is the truth...Do you think there's an ounce of chance that your 'faith' is not what you think it is?

‘Tapos na boxing’ is a sweeping statement, Mod Miron. But, perhaps the most fitting definition of faith is this: “Faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not”. (Hebrews 11:1)

That definition, I’m afraid, would certainly end the ‘boxing match’, as we might say that nothing is “more certain than the word of God”. :)

miron_lang wrote:
TheEnigma wrote:
Final note:

Science cannot prove or disprove God's existence because God is outside the limits of empirical measurement. Therefore atheism is only a philosophy. Even with all the scientific quotes they use, atheism is not based on science. We must be very diligent in making sure human secularism based on atheism does not hijack science which is independent of any religious belief, including atheism.



This post of yours is ( in my humble and respectful interpretation ) very 'dualistic' in nature. It already has the assumption that science is outside of God or against it.

and it also assumed that God is in fact already in place as how 'God' is defined by the Judeo Christian religion.

what is defined now in the academia and what is being propagated in religion is almost identical in details except one thing... "WHEN and HOW it ALL BEGAN"


Sir how do you think Humans came to be?

I'll say it right here... for more or less 30 yrs the "Adam & Eve" story was my truth. but it bothers me a lot. so I research on it... reading the bible and other references.

now I conclude that the story is INACCURATE and was written to deceive... only "faith" can make anyone believe this story. that is my conclusion sir. how about you?

I’m not sure (in my humble and respectful understanding) about what you inferred by “dualistic” in your comment. How can science be ‘outside of God or against it’ when I even mentioned that the truths of science cannot contradict the truths of faith? The point is that the natural sciences serve as a kind of veto in biblical interpretation. When discussing passages of the Bible that refer, or seem to refer, to natural phenomena one should defer to the authority of the sciences (when available) to show what the text cannot mean. For example, whether the light spoken of in the opening of Genesis (before the creation of the sun and the moon) is physical light, we say that if physicists show us that there cannot be physical light without a luminous source then we know that this particular passage does not refer to physical light. The Bible cannot authentically be understood as affirming as true what the natural sciences teach us is false.

Now, this brings us to your question of how I think “humans came to be”. Well, I have already proposed the idea of “theistic evolution”. So, you might say now that the story of “Adam and Eve” is indeed “inaccurate and was written to deceive”. NO. It’s in how you interpret the Genesis story. As I have said before, we need not fall into the trap of literalistic readings of the text. Of course, the literal meaning of the Bible is what God (its ultimate author) intends the words to mean. However, the literal sense of the text includes metaphors, similes, and other figures of speech useful to accommodate the truth of the Bible to the understanding of its readers. For example, when we read in the Bible that God stretches out His hand, we ought not to think that God has a hand. The literal meaning of such passages concerns God's power, not His anatomy. Similarly, we ought not to think that the six days at the beginning of Genesis literally refer to God's acting in time, for God's creative act is instantaneous and eternal.

Some believers would say that in the book of Genesis, God was using the language of Love, rather than the language of science. They say the number 7 in Scripture is often used to represent perfection, and that the 7 days of creation were not to be interpreted literally but rather to signify the perfection of God's creation. They say that the 3 days to create the forms, 3 days to fill them, and one day to rest, is a teaching mechanism. They believe these Scripture passages back up this position:

"a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when its past or like a watch in the night" (Ps 90:4)

"...all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!’ They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water... But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day" (2 Peter 3:18).

The Hebrew word for day, "Yom", is used in both Genesis 1 and 2. Genesis 2:4 is describing the same creation story as Genesis 1.

"...On the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens." (Genesis 2:4)

This contradicts a literal reading of the word "day" (yom) in Genesis 1, which spreads the creation over 6 days, not one. God cannot contradict Himself. Scripture is perfect. So, perhaps this discrepancy is an indication God was not intending Genesis to be understood literally as 24-hour periods.

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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2018 9:22 am 
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The name that you have chosen is perfect Enigma. :D

that is yet another post that i truly like.


--

pls excuse me if i just respond to one item as i conclude that this is the most productive way on interacting with each other.

Quote:
Yes, I have read about the double-slit experiment (and its variations), but I would be very glad to hear it first from you as to how it connects with our present discussion.


The double slit experiment is the experiment that truly explains our world/reality/ in my humble understanding.

what it reveals is...that sentient entities/ Observer (us) determines this reality. whatever we think to be true is actually true.

as per Rene Dercartes
"I think therefore I am"

That we are non physical beings. the most fitting word i would say is 'Soul'. we are souls and thru thought/ Through the quantum fields we create the physical world... collectively.


and yes we have a divine father (* Hi there Atheists pls be patient :D ) . Some groups might call him Yahweh, Jehovah, Enlil, Enki, Quatzalcoat, Osiris, Seth, Horus, Odin, Zeus..

but i dont think the father is any of them.... this is a huge topic so i'll stop here.


my point is : This is not a physical world but as evidenced by the composition of the atom. it truly implies that its a world of energy. or in other religious jargon.. Its a spiritual world.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 12:36 am 
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miron_lang wrote:

pls excuse me if i just respond to one item as i conclude that this is the most productive way on interacting with each other.

Quote:
Yes, I have read about the double-slit experiment (and its variations), but I would be very glad to hear it first from you as to how it connects with our present discussion.


The double slit experiment is the experiment that truly explains our world/reality/ in my humble understanding.

what it reveals is...that sentient entities/ Observer (us) determines this reality. whatever we think to be true is actually true.

as per Rene Dercartes
"I think therefore I am"

That we are non physical beings. the most fitting word i would say is 'Soul'. we are souls and thru thought/ Through the quantum fields we create the physical world... collectively.


and yes we have a divine father (* Hi there Atheists pls be patient :D ) . Some groups might call him Yahweh, Jehovah, Enlil, Enki, Quatzalcoat, Osiris, Seth, Horus, Odin, Zeus..

but i dont think the father is any of them.... this is a huge topic so i'll stop here.


my point is : This is not a physical world but as evidenced by the composition of the atom. it truly implies that its a world of energy. or in other religious jargon.. Its a spiritual world.

Thanks, Mod Miron, for reducing (or so it seems) the scope of our discussion. However, there are new questions that need to be asked as you seemed to have proposed overlapping concepts borrowed from the empirical sciences on the one hand, and from the radical skepticism of Rene Descartes on the other.

To the uninitiated, this problem of skepticism began in the 17th century by René Descartes. Though he intended it only as a method and never as genuine, he embarked on a course of radical doubt that questioned not only abstract metaphysical truths but absolutely everything that was ‘logically dubitable’. According to my notes, the resulting “indubitable truth” of his own existence came to shift all of philosophy to the ego that Descartes defined only as a res cogitans -- a “thinking thing”.

Take note, however, that this “thinking thing” is not a living body whose ‘form’ is a rational soul (as had been taught by the Aristotelian-Thomistic tradition). Hence, this ‘bifurcation’ (division) of the world of spirit and the world of bodies brought about the question of whether there exists anything outside of the knowing subject and, if so, whether there can be true knowledge of these things.

Now to the questions:

1. First, you mentioned about us (observers) as being ‘sentient entities’. Being ‘sentient’ implies being responsive to or conscious of sense impressions, thus a “physical being”. Secondly, you mentioned that we are non-physical beings (a soul), thus a “thinking thing”. So, which one is correct?

2. Do you agree that it is impossible to analyze the workings of empirical knowledge (knowledge of sensible objects) without having some kind of conception of the nature of the knower, man?

3. Can we insist that there is nothing in the intellect that was not first in the senses? In other words, anything that is received into the mind has arrived there through sense-perception?

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2018 1:36 pm 
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TheEnigma wrote:

Now to the questions:

1. First, you mentioned about us (observers) as being ‘sentient entities’. Being ‘sentient’ implies being responsive to or conscious of sense impressions, thus a “physical being”. Secondly, you mentioned that we are non-physical beings (a soul), thus a “thinking thing”. So, which one is correct?



I use the the word 'physical' for us to have a reference...We are not physical. we create the body on the fly . as we go to waking state...the fire in us ( soul) creates the body and its surrounding within its vision. everything is energy. that's why the atom is 99.9999% empty space. we spin and create the physical in this holographic reality. I hope that does not sound too crazy :) .




Quote:
2. Do you agree that it is impossible to analyze the workings of empirical knowledge (knowledge of sensible objects) without having some kind of conception of the nature of the knower, man?


I agree.

The man.. us .. I have described it above.

Quote:
3. Can we insist that there is nothing in the intellect that was not first in the senses? In other words, anything that is received into the mind has arrived there through sense-perception?


There are so many areas/terms that we might need to determine first. but my best answer at this point is.

The intellect is only measurable within this realm.

senses are not limited to 5

the mind is not the brain. the brain is some sort transmitter...


again the main factor how i arrived to these conclusions is the very obvious reality that the 'double slit experiment' provides....this is scientific evidence ( Quantum Physics).




Thanks

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2018 12:13 am 
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miron_lang wrote:
TheEnigma wrote:

Now to the questions:

1. First, you mentioned about us (observers) as being ‘sentient entities’. Being ‘sentient’ implies being responsive to or conscious of sense impressions, thus a “physical being”. Secondly, you mentioned that we are non-physical beings (a soul), thus a “thinking thing”. So, which one is correct?



I use the the word 'physical' for us to have a reference...We are not physical. we create the body on the fly . as we go to waking state...the fire in us ( soul) creates the body and its surrounding within its vision. everything is energy. that's why the atom is 99.9999% empty space. we spin and create the physical in this holographic reality. I hope that does not sound too crazy :) .

That doesn’t sound crazy, Mod Miron, because it sounds crazier. :D (just kidding)

The nature of man is the key to understanding knowledge. I don’t believe we are in a ‘non-real world’ and that we are ‘non-physical beings’ (souls, as you described them). Rather, man is a unified whole -- a body whose ‘form’ is the soul (the principle of intellectual operation). So, the senses are the only means through which we have contact with the real world. We can only know things as we know them -- but that is through the senses. This is why we can say that “sensation is a first principle of human knowledge.”

It is in and through the act of knowing something that the mind becomes aware of its capacity to know. Our experience supports this, and everyone can verify it for himself. First there is always knowledge of things (extra-mental being), and it is only after we have that, that we can reflect on the process of knowledge.

In other words, unless we first thought about things, we could not have reflective knowledge, since there would be nothing to reflect on. Unless you (Mod Miron) had knowledge of things, you couldn’t even begin to reason your way to the holographic theory of reality, because then you would not have the experience of knowledge.

As one philosopher puts it: “Realism is lived by the intellect before being recognized by it.”

miron_lang wrote:
TheEnigma wrote:
2. Do you agree that it is impossible to analyze the workings of empirical knowledge (knowledge of sensible objects) without having some kind of conception of the nature of the knower, man?


I agree.

The man.. us .. I have described it above.

I have presented my explanation also above... :)

miron_lang wrote:
TheEnigma wrote:
3. Can we insist that there is nothing in the intellect that was not first in the senses? In other words, anything that is received into the mind has arrived there through sense-perception?


There are so many areas/terms that we might need to determine first. but my best answer at this point is.

The intellect is only measurable within this realm.

senses are not limited to 5

the mind is not the brain. the brain is some sort transmitter...


again the main factor how i arrived to these conclusions is the very obvious reality that the 'double slit experiment' provides....this is scientific evidence ( Quantum Physics).




Thanks

For our present purposes, we will consider only empirical knowledge. Yes, empirical knowledge is necessarily obtained through perception, which, in turn, is based upon sensation. And yes, there is nothing in the intellect that was not first in the senses.

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 12:48 pm 
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TheEnigma wrote:
For our present purposes, we will consider only empirical knowledge. Yes, empirical knowledge is necessarily obtained through perception, which, in turn, is based upon sensation. And yes, there is nothing in the intellect that was not first in the senses.


If Empirical means it should be sensed via vision, hearing, touch, taste or smell only then biblical verses wont have much value either.


and i value some biblical verses dearly. like this one :

Quote:
Matthew 7/12-13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”


of course the meaning of this verse varies.

--

Please allow me to conclude our discussion by saying that by far... you are one if not the most pleasant dude to discuss with among the "“inerrancy of Scripture” group that dwells this forum, They should mimic your patience and wide perception

Thanks

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 12:27 am 
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miron_lang wrote:
TheEnigma wrote:
For our present purposes, we will consider only empirical knowledge. Yes, empirical knowledge is necessarily obtained through perception, which, in turn, is based upon sensation. And yes, there is nothing in the intellect that was not first in the senses.


If Empirical means it should be sensed via vision, hearing, touch, taste or smell only then biblical verses wont have much value either.


and i value some biblical verses dearly. like this one :

Quote:
Matthew 7/12-13 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”


of course the meaning of this verse varies.

--

Please allow me to conclude our discussion by saying that by far... you are one if not the most pleasant dude to discuss with among the "“inerrancy of Scripture” group that dwells this forum, They should mimic your patience and wide perception

Thanks

Thank you, too, Mod Miron, for your patience. You know, patience simply means adjusting your time to God’s time. :)

As to your first statement above, I’m not sure what you specifically intended to convey by that. You seemed to have shifted from a philosophical discussion to a theological one, without making distinctions. Take note that the former pertains to reason alone, whereas the latter pertains to divine revelation. So, we must be careful not to confuse the order of philosophical explanation (e.g., man’s “act or process of knowing”) and the order of biblical explanation (e.g., the “process of discovering meaning from the Bible”).

To examine how empirical knowledge works, it is expedient to examine the process of knowledge that moves from sensation via perception to intellection. However, empirical knowledge is not all there is. Due to lack of time and the limited scope of our discussion, we couldn’t touch on a priori knowledge (i.e., first epistemological principles and the like).

On the other hand, the ‘process of discovering meaning from the Bible’ is called hermeneutics. In all human communication, the receiver must create meaning from the symbols (the message) used by the communicator. So, all Christians must discover the meaning intended by the author(s) of the books of the Bible to understand what God is revealing.

Understanding what God would have us know from the Bible is made difficult by many factors. Here are some of them:
• The Bible contains some very ancient books;
• Sometimes it is not even known who the author of a book really was;
• Not knowing for certain who an author was is complicated by the period of time in which an author lived;
• Since many authors were ancient Semites, their way of thinking and manner of expressing themselves differ from our own;
• The fact of both a divine and a human author makes understanding a challenge.

The first principle of hermeneutics is the literal meaning of the text. So, the first sense for understanding the Bible is the literal sense. The literal sense of Scripture is the meaning which the human author directly intended and the author's words convey.

But the Bible has God, a divine author, besides the human author. So, there exists a more-than-literal meaning for understanding the Bible: a fuller sense. The fuller sense is the deeper meaning intended by God as divine author.

Then, following the lead of Paul himself there is another way for creating meaning in the Bible: the typical sense. The typical sense of Bible texts is the deeper meaning that some elements (persons, places, things and events) of the Bible have because God, the divine author of the Bible, intended that these elements foreshadow/shadow further things.

Thank you, Mod Miron, for sharing your ideas as you decide to conclude this discussion.

“Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.”

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 12:33 am 
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Enigma,

sorry i forgot to mention.

I didnt see your interpretation of the double slit. If you dont mind pls.

Thanks

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 12:20 am 
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Thanks, Mod Miron, but I thought our discussion was already over. It was “over” at one instant, but it’s not “over” actually – perhaps one of quantum paradoxes you created? :D

Well, the double-slit experiment is just one of several experiments that illustrate the strange behavior of the quantum world. We need not delve into the details of the experiment (and its variations), as we are already told that electrons can be both waves and particles (and perhaps both at once), and the more accurately we know their positions the less we know about their momentum. Right, Mod Miron? On a more technical description, we are told that quantum systems exist in a superposition of states represented by a wave function, and this collapses to a definite state only through the intervention of an observer.

Now, how can all this be reconciled with realism? I think this is a huge topic, Mod Miron. The question doesn’t require a short and simple answer. This requires some meeting point between science and philosophy.

With science, we might follow Einstein’s lead or view that the wave function describes only the average properties of a large number (or ensemble) of similar systems. The so-called quantum paradoxes only arise when we take statistical statements about the average behavior of a large number of systems to describe completely each individual system.

The very fact that quantum mechanics cannot tell us about the details of each individual system is a strong argument for supposing that it is an incomplete theory. So, this leaves open the possibility that in the future there will be a more detailed theory which will enable the quantum paradoxes to be resolved. By the way, Mod Miron, have you studied about stochastic electrodynamics?

With philosophy, on the other hand, the “devil” that needs to be exorcised from contemporary physics is the bifurcationism (I mentioned this in some previous post) that took its origin from Rene Descartes, and then was reinforced by a succession of other philosophers. This is the split between res extensa and res cogitans -- the first denuding the world of sensible qualities and the second creating the impression that all such qualities are projected into the universe by the observer.

Well, this is going to be a long philosophical discussion, so I’d better stop here. If we have more time, we can show how some philosophical concepts (Thomistic philosophy) can provide a “hidden key” to the solution of the quantum enigma. :)

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 9:10 am 
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Thanks :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:41 pm 
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For the meantime, allow me to share the following:

http://www.innerexplorations.com/philtext/adameve.htm


Searching for Adam and Eve
(Who were the first true humans?)

By the phrase “the first true humans” I mean human beings just like us, both physically and mentally, people we could readily accept as our direct ancestors and the founders of the human race.

A Paleoanthropological Hypothesis

Some paleoanthropologists have come up with a fascinating hypothesis. Around 50,000 years ago hominids anatomically identical to us but whose culture had remained static for thousands of years, underwent a profound and sudden mysterious change. They began an intense stage of creative innovation and migration that has lasted until today, and has been called, among other things, the great leap forward. But the details of this transformation is as yet unsure:

Time. Did this change take place 50,000 years ago, or sometime between 50,000 and 100,000 years ago, or even earlier?

Location. Where did it take place? Africa is the prime contender because studies point to greater genetic variation there than elsewhere. It would, of course, be exciting if we had a timeline that stretched back in orderly increments to Africa, and then in Africa a cluster of the locations of the earliest sites which we could triangulate, as it were, to arrive at a point of origin for these first true humans. Unfortunately, we don’t appear even close to such a picture.

Evidence. Just what can be accepted as evidence that a site was once inhabited by genuinely true humans, and not some earlier hominid? The kinds of evidence suggested is art, including jewelry, the burial of the dead with some ceremony, and advanced tool-making and the exploitation of the environment.

We may summarize the matter very tentatively like this:

1. 150,000 to 200,000 years ago anatomically modern humans appeared in Africa.

2. 45,000 to 55,000 years ago culturally modern humans were creating magnificent cave art and a wide range of tools in Europe.

3. Evidence has now accumulated that somewhere between 55,000 to 70,000 years ago there was a cultural transformation in Africa in which modern human behavior emerged. It is this transformed population that left Africa to settle in Europe and Asia.

4. Unfortunately this intriguing picture faces all sorts of serious challenges in terms of interpretation and chronology as we have been seeing. It is not easy to determine what evidence should be taken as definitive of modern cultural behavior. Nor is it clear where or when in Africa this cultural transformation took place, or even how long the process took. Nor is it easy to integrate in this picture certain Middle Eastern sites where modern cultural behavior seems indicated, but for which the dating is earlier than many African sites. The reasons for such a cultural transformation are hotly debated in terms of whether they are due to environmental forces like a climate shift, or to a genetic mutation. Was the possibility of such a cultural transformation long dormant, waiting for the right outer conditions, or did it represent a dramatic change within? Paleoanthropologists are deeply engaged in these issues, and more discoveries, no doubt, are on the way.

A Philosophical Hypothesis

Let’s take as our hypothesis that culturally modern humans emerged in Africa within a short period of time, perhaps some 70,000 to 100,000 years ago, and then spread throughout Europe and Asia. What does this hypothesis suggest to philosophy? We have to leave it to the scientists to decide if the hypothesis of the great leap forward is correct, and just when and where it may have taken place, but the very fact that such a hypothesis exists is philosophically stimulating, and we can ask just what, from a philosophical perspective, could have caused such a dramatic transformation. For a classical philosopher who still believes it is possible to be nourished by Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas, an intriguing possibility comes to mind: the human spiritual soul. Here is how this philosophical hypothesis unfolds. The hominids who existed before the first true humans were probably considerably smarter than the dolphins and the chimpanzees of today. Their intelligence, however, was still an animal intelligence focused on particular objects, and this might explain why their culture was a static and repetitive one.

The great leap forward philosophically came about when the offspring of these most advanced of the hominids received spiritual souls. The spiritual soul would have left in place all that existed before, including that advanced animal intelligence, but transformed it from within by a new kind of intelligence, an intellectual or spiritual intelligence that could abstract ideas from this or that concrete situation, and subject these ideas to reason. This kind of intelligence which springs from the very nature of the soul is the foundation of self-awareness and free choice. Because of it, these new hominids, now the first true humans, would have exhibited a never-ending creativity in regard to their material culture, developed genuine languages, pondered the question of the immortality of the soul and life after death, and expressed the depths of this spiritual soul in their art.

The spiritual soul of its very nature is not made up of parts. It can fold back upon itself, as it were, in self-consciousness, and if it is all of one piece, it cannot come into being piece by piece, but only all at once. There is an unbridgeable gap between the first true humans and even their most advanced hominid ancestors, including the very ones who gave birth to them. This is a gap which would have restrained the first true humans from trying to form one community with other hominids. They would have immediately seen that the eyes of their hominid ancestors and cousins did not sparkle with the light of self-awareness. This once and for all character of the spiritual soul also explains why there would not be a gradual transition, but a great leap forward taking place most probably at a particular point in time and in space.

Both the paleoanthropological and the philosophical hypothesis converge, and begin to look like two sides of the same picture. If this is true, new perspectives to explore open up. While it is possible to say that human beings in the wide sense of the term have been slowly evolving for millions of years, it is also possible to reflect on the possibility that the first true humans appeared quite recently. But in order to truly contemplate our paleoanthropological-philosophical hypothesis, we need to avoid the roadblocks that litter our cultural landscape. Such a hypothesis would avoid a scientific view that comes wrapped up in materialistic presuppositions by which scientists go out of their own fields and assert that spiritual realities don’t and can’t exist. Likewise, it has to avoid a certain literalism on the part of some Christians who want to read Genesis as science and history, and it even needs to avoid the ultra-progressivism of some Christian philosophers and theologians for whom talk of a spiritual soul is the archaic remnant of a superseded world view, and therefore an embarrassment, especially when talking with their scientific colleagues.

In actual fact it is entirely possible and reasonable to hold that the first true humans are the result of millions of years of evolution, and at the same time, in regard to their spiritual souls, are recent creations coming forth from the hand of God.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:05 am 
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From Newsweek :

Six Million-Year-Old Human Footprint Discovered in Crete Raises Major Questions About Our Evolution

http://www.newsweek.com/trachilos-footp ... ion-658287

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

The human foot is distinctive. Our five toes lack claws, we normally present the sole of our foot flat to the ground, and our first and second toes are longer than the smaller ones. In comparison to our fellow primates, our big toes are in line with the long axis of the foot—they don’t stick out to one side.

In fact, some would argue that one of the defining characteristics of being part of the human clade is the shape of our foot. So imagine our surprise when we discovered fossil footprints with remarkable, human-like characteristics at Trachilos, Crete, that are 5.7 million years old. This research, published in the Proceedings of the Geologist Association, is controversial as it suggests that the earliest human ancestors may have wandered around southern Europe as well as East Africa.


The period corresponds to a geological time interval known as the Miocene. The footprints are small tracks made by someone walking upright on two legs—there are 29 of them in total. They range in size from 94mm to 223mm, and have a shape and form very similar to human tracks. Non-human ape footprints look very different; the foot is shaped more like a human hand, with the big toe attached low on the side of the sole and sticking out sideways.

The footprints were dated using a combination of fossilised marine microorganisms called foraminifera and the character of the local sedimentary rocks. Foraminifera evolve very rapidly and marine sedimentary rocks can be dated quite precisely on the basis of the foraminifera they contain. These indicated an age somewhere in the span 8.5 million to 3.5 million years. However, at the very end of the Miocene, about 5.6 million years ago, an extraordinary thing happened: the entire Mediterranean sea dried out for some time. This event left a clear signature in the sediments of the surrounding areas. The sediments that contain the footprints suggest they probably date to the period immediately before this, at about 5.7 million years.
Cradle of humanity

The “cradle of humanity” has long been thought to lie in Africa, with most researchers suggesting that Ethiopia was where the human lineage originated. The earliest known body fossils that are accepted as hominins (members of the human lineage) by most researchers are Sahelanthropus tchadensis from Chad (about seven million years old), Orrorin tugenensis from Kenya (about six million years old) and Ardipithecus kadabba from Ethiopia (about 5.8-5.2 million years old).

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 6:57 pm 
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Biological Information

If physicists have shown us how fine-tuned the universe appears to be, biologists have discovered how marvelously intricate life is. It is the complexity of life, the depth of biological information that it contains, which is a challenge to a narrowly drawn Darwinian evolution.

Biological evolution starts with living organisms, but that leaves the question of the origin of life unanswered, and Darwin, himself, did not address it. Since that time there has been a long history of attempts to show how life emerged by way of chemical evolution. The Miller-Urey type experiments, for example, in which electricity was discharged in a soup of basic chemicals, and produced some amino acids, were heralded as major breakthroughs, but are now seen to be riddled with intractable difficulties. Other approaches to explaining the origin of life invoking random chance, phase changes leading to spontaneous order, other kinds of spontaneous self-organization, physical and chemical forces in nature, simple algorithms, or modern computer-based theories of complexity and self-organization, have all proved to be inadequate.

Indeed, it is hard to see how a transition from chemicals to life could take place in purely materialistic terms. And "even if it could be demonstrated," writes Stephen Meyer, "that the building blocks of essential molecules could arise in realistic pre-biotic conditions the problem of assembling those building blocks into functioning proteins or DNA chains would remain." And that problem is daunting given the immense amount of biological information at stake. Just where did it come from? The possibility that such an intricate structure could have arisen by chance is viewed as "vanishingly small." Theories that depend on chemical necessity do not fare well, either. In them, there is an inner necessity that certain chemicals, or molecules, assemble themselves in certain ways, a kind of chemically driven self-organization. But the biochemistry of DNA, itself, militates against such an approach. There is an inverse relationship between chemical necessity and biological information. The more necessity dominates, the less information can be encoded in the DNA. The analogy used is the difference between the material requirements of writing, that is, the ink and paper and formation of the letters, and the information that we wish to convey. If the ink or the letters dictated the content of the message, we would be severely limited in terms of the information we could communicate. Or as Meyer puts it, "the properties do not explain the origin of information." And he cites Polanyi to the effect that "as the arrangement of the printed page is extraneous to the chemistry of the printed page, so is the base sequence in a DNA molecule extraneous to the chemical forces that work in a DNA molecule." Norbert Wiener sums it up: "Information is information, neither energy nor matter."

Another facet of this picture of biological complexity, or information, was developed by Michael Behe, who speaks of irreducible complexity, by which he means, "a single system composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning." By way of example, he holds up a mouse trap, each of whose parts are essential for its function, but his primary examples are complex biological structures like the bacterial flagellum by which it propels itself, and which is an amazingly complex biological machine composed of many different proteins. The question he addresses to the Darwinian evolutionists is how such a structure could have gradually evolved by mutation and natural selection since it is irreducibly complex, that is, yields no selective advantage until it is complete, and therefore functioning. Behe is no inflexible foe of Darwinian evolution, and freely admits the value its explanations of mutation and natural selection have, and the probability of common descent. But he is at pains to point to its incompleteness, which is often masked by a certain biological dogmatism. To his mind biological systems look like they have been designed, that is, "separate, interacting components are ordered in such a way as to accomplish a function beyond individual components." And he counters objections that such design is not likely because it may appear to us to be faulty, and he concludes that life was designed by an intelligent agent.

Still another facet of this emergent picture of biological information deals with developmental genetics and comparative embryology. One issue revolves around the homeotic genes that determine bodily structures. Darwinian evolutionists welcomed their discovery because they seemed to show that new kinds of creatures could arise from a mutation in these genes that control development regulation, that is, a small mutation could have a large effect and help explain the origin of species and the absence of transitional forms in the fossil records. But Jonathan Wells argues that the very universality of these homeotic genes which are probably present in all multi-cellular animals poses a new challenge for Darwinian evolution. "If biological structures are determined by these genes, then different structures must be determined by different genes. If the same gene can "determine" structures as radically different as a fruit fly’s leg and a mouse’s brain or an insect’s eye or the eyes of human and squids then that gene is not determining much of anything."

Similar challenges arise in the field of comparative embryology. Darwin thought that vertebrate embryos in their early stages resemble each other, and thus point to a common ancestor. But this has turned out not to be true. Indeed, for some creatures like sea urchins, the embryos take different pathways to reach very similar adult forms. The Darwinians take this as an indication that such plasticity of the early embryo can help give rise to major differences, but Wells sees it "as deepening the mystery of how embryos attain their final form."

It is not enough, he believes, to say that the process is guided by DNA. By way of an analogy of building a house, he likens the DNA to specifying the materials to be used, but that still leaves us the question of where the floor plan comes from. And he cites Brian Goodwin to the effect that "the molecular composition of organisms does not, in general, determine their form." But if the form is not specified by DNA, where does it come from? And if sea urchin embryos can take different paths to similar adult forms, what directs them to this goal?

The gradual change of living beings and their slow transformations into new species is an element of Darwinian orthodoxy, but it does not appear to be borne out by the fossil record. Instead, we find immensely long periods of stability punctuated by the appearance of new species or the extinction of old ones. This suggests that species are something more than arbitrary snapshots of some long process of gradual change. Ian Tattersall puts it like this: "The more we learn of the fossil records, the sharper the image becomes of species as real, bounded units, with births, histories, and deaths… What we don’t often see, however, is compelling evidence of the gradual transition of one species into another." He, therefore, calls speciation, that is the emergence of species, the "black box of biology."

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:16 am 
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Another way of interpreting and I think is the correct one.
Earth is not that old after all!

No need to push back the age of humans, this findings prove that the datings are not correct. Rhinos in the island are as recent as the islanders.

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