The Un-Random Universe

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A.Villarasaposted 7 years ago

According to the Poisson process( a standard mathematical model for counts which presumes a certain fixed rate at which observations/processes appear on average and otherwise they are random) with a long-run  fixed average of one observation/process per 24 hours, the chances/probability (thus random) of seeing 6 or more similar/identical observations/process in a 24 hour window is 22%. This was the conclusion of  Persi Diaconis, a Professor of Statistics and Mathematics at Stanford University.

Assuming that the professor is on target with the calculation, could we then logically or validly apply this formula to the process of the creation of the universe, which as some empiricists-atheists suggest is pure unadulterated random event.

I don't know about you, but if we go by probabilities  alone, I'd take my chances( no pun intended)  with the fixed rate, i.e  that the creation of the universe and the intelligent life on it was not random.... thus pre-planned (by a Creator=God)   down to its last perplexities and complexities.

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wildernessposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Are you assuming that anything with a fixed rate (radioactive emissions, maybe) or not random is the result of an intelligent creator?  Why?  Are you claiming that nothing happening at regular intervals is natural?  Things like the blast of radiation periodically seen from a pulsar has to be planned by a creator instead of being the result of rotation?

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A.Villarasaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

@Wilderness: Some  empiricists (but never atheists)  have long understood that there are hidden aims or intentions that explain everything perfectly well, and so no need to resort to the concept of chance (randomness). Victoria Stodden (assistant professor of statistics at Columbia University)  says as much, in her Essay titled: Fact, Fiction, and our Probabilistic World.
Stodden related the story of the English mathematician Karl Pearson who brought a statistical revolution in scientific thinking, in which Pearson suggested that NATURE presents data from an unknown distribution but   with some RANDOM  scatter; in other words NOT PURELY RANDOM.

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A Troubled Manposted 7 years agoin reply to this

It's nice that you're looking a math, but to use it to somehow justify your irrational religious beliefs is not very sound. Try physics, instead. That's how these things are observed.

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wildernessposted 7 years agoin reply to this

It is nice that you (and other theists) can make up pretend "aims or intentions" to explain things.  It is even nicer that you can dedicate your life to believing and living them.

For the rest of us, though, we prefer reality rather than living a dream or myth.  ATM is right - try using physics to find those "aims or intentions" and suddenly they aren't there.  Only in human imagination do we find such things.

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A.Villarasaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

@wilderness:
Physics takes a back seat to mathematics when it comes to understanding the intricacies of a non-random universe. Granted that physics deals with the sub-atomic/atomic structures on their own, it is mathemartics that explains how those structures function.

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wildernessposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Hmm.  Observation, testing and experimentation (Physics, in other words) takes a back seat to theoretical mathematics.

I do think I'll have to pass on that - even the concept of a changing time could not be totally accepted until observation/experimentation proved it true.  But I'm not sure what any of that has to do with making up pretend "aims or intentions" (along with an undetected intelligence for them) to explain the universe.  Can you elucidate here?

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A.Villarasaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

The creation of the Universe and  all the living entities(sentient/non-sentient) in it, is either random or non-random. Atheists argue that it was all random, from the Big Bang  when  time (as we know or interpret it)  started and space expanded rapidly from a "point",   the nature of which scientific/empirical formulation is vague about. Mathematically, as per  Prof. Stodden's  calculation, randomness in nature do occur but only 22% of the time. I am assuming that her calculation is empirically provable, so the probability that the Universe was created randomly (1/4)  is very much less than  the probability that it was created non-randomly, i.e purposely(3/4). Given that formulation, I'd go with the idea that indeed the creation was purposeful. Since we do not assign or expect  aim or intention coming from   a non-sentient entity, I would then conclude that there was intent and aim to the  creation of the universe... one that can only come from an entity most people would label "GOD".

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A.Villarasaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Edit: I meant to say. Prof. Diaconis

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wildernessposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Where in the world do you get the idea that atheists claim that the big bang was random?  From some theist trying to "prove" otherwise?

No one knows if there was a cause for the big bang or not, or whether it was random or not.  No one knows if there was a god involved or not and certainly no self respecting atheist would ever claim otherwise.

Random or not, though, the big bang did not necessarily have an intelligence behind it.  Non-random events happen all the time without an intelligence; the pine cone falling off the tree or the rock rolling down the mountainside are two such events.

I see that you are equating "random" with no intelligence and "non-random" with a requirement for intelligence.  Those words are not the same and do not mean the same thing: if your Prof. Diaconis is also using them that way Prof Diaconis is an idiot.  IF.  Because events happen all day long without having an intelligence beyond that of a microbe behind them.

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A.Villarasaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

@ wilderness:
You might want to check the multiple permutations synonym-wise of random  in Roget's International Thesaurus. You might be surprised to find out  that random is synonymous with purposelessness, causelessness,  aimlessness, designlessness. all of which  we associate with non-sentience. Thus non-random  means the opposite of all the synonyms of random mentioned above....all of which involves sentience.

The idea that the Big Bang and the ultimate creation of life in the universe (or on earth specifically)  is a random event came from all of the posts that atheist have made on various forums on HubPages.... and for you to deny that atheists have neither  implied nor  overtly  stated  that the creation of the universe is random... is again obfuscation of the highest order.

Now about that falling pine cone and rolling rock....obviously these events are just following the Laws of Physics, laws which humans neither  invented nor promulgated. The Laws of Physics were purposely  designed and implemented  by whoever created the Universe (call Him God) so that the  universe in its infancy, adolescence, adulthood and old age could and would exist for sentient beings to explore.

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A.Villarasaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

@wilderness:
Of course everyone  knows that the Big Bang was caused by someone/something. For you to say that "no one knows if there was a cause for the big bang or not" is totally nonsensical   unless of course we are all potted plants. "Nothing comes from nothing", as the song goes....logically.

The only question is: was the Big Bang caused randomly or non-randomly? If randomly, then all the subsequent events that followed it, were also random....including the formation of intelligent life. If so, why would one or any intelligent being start perceiving that life, to its last minutiae, is not random at all, because once intelligence is brought into the picture, all randomness evaporates into thin air, and what is left are the intentions and aim, and purposes of a non-random  sentient/intelligent being.

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A Troubled Manposted 7 years agoin reply to this

Sorry, but you've got it the wrong way round. Mathematics is simply the language used to explain the physical observations.

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A.Villarasaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

@ATM and Wilderness:
You might want to check the January 2014 issue of the Scientific American which excerpted a book by M.I.T. Professor Max Tegmark titled: Our Mathematical Universe: My quest for the Ultimate nature of Reality. In the book he argued that the universe isn't  just described by math, but that it is math in the sense that we are all parts of a giant mathematical object".

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A Troubled Manposted 7 years agoin reply to this

From a review of that book:

"Tegmark’s career is a rather unusual story, mixing reputable science with an increasingly strong taste for grandiose nonsense. In this book he indulges his inner crank, describing in detail an utterly empty vision of the “ultimate nature of reality.”

http://www.math.columbia.edu/~woit/wordpress/?p=6551

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A.Villarasaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

@ATM:
Now why am I not surprised that you'd quote someone who is not entirely enamored of what Tegmark was proposing re: the mathematical nature/structure of the universe.

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A.Villarasaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

@wilderness:
It turns out that the reality you are so enamored of are of and by themselves unreliably real unless inferred, interpreted and labeled by sentience. The question now is, is there a physical reality outside of human existence... absolutely, but only in mathematical terms, however/whenever/wherever our human minds may interpret those mathematical formulations, abstractly.

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wildernessposted 7 years agoin reply to this

But...it only turns out that way if you accept that creating a make believe sentience, with make believe goals and purposes, is there AND that it made the universe.  As that is imaginary only, it actually says nothing about reality.

And yes, we have pretty firm evidence reality (the universe) existed before humanity.  Or before earth itself, for that matter.

The difference, of course, is that the ramblings of philosophers and theologians are not physics.  They are seldom connected to reality, and were never meant to be.  Only to convince some people that they were connected, and that of course does not mean that those meanderings are real at all.

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A.Villarasaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

@wilderness:
If the common slug or the earthworm ( or even the dinosaurs) were the only living entities on earth , would they know ( or even care) that the universe existed way before them?

The reality is, that humans, amongst the life forms on earth, are the only ones to have the cerebration (thus they care) to even wonder if the universe ever existed before them.

But that is after the fact. If humans (or any sentient entities anywhere else in the universe or multiverse) have not developed sentience( and the appropriate intelligence that goes along with that sentience), then I suppose  they  would feel the same way as the common slug and earthworm and dinosaurs... so unimpressed about the beauty and grandeur, and the perplexities of the world/universe that  surround   them.

The ramblings of philosophers and theologians are what urged  and stimulated the scientists to connect human's reality  vis-à-vis the universe.... thus they are more connected to reality than what you would   give them credit for.

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janesixposted 7 years agoin reply to this

If the universe is a random event, we wouldn't know it, according to your terms. Statistically, it would eventually appear. We just notice it more easily because it IS here. Those random times it didn't appear wouldn't be noticeable to us. Maybe there are random universes popping into existence randomly all over the place.

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psycheskinnerposted 7 years ago

Random means random.  It is a null hypothesis from which both science and religion differ when it cones to explaining life the universe and everything.

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psycheskinnerposted 7 years ago

Tegmark has always had two side, serious science and weird 'meaning of life' theories.  Even he admits the two are largely unconnected right within the book.

To quote the New York Times review: "There is nothing wrong with contemplating speculative ideas, but the problem is that while pretending to stay in the realm of science"

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A.Villarasaposted 7 years agoin reply to this

@Psyche: Tegmark  did enumerate several instances when mathematics was crucial in discovering major understanding of the nature of the  universe, so to say that his theories or postulates are pretended scientific constructs are  misrepresentations to say the least.

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