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Bernard

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one of your website links leads to a recording of the debate between christopher and peter hithchens.At one point someone asks from the audience in terms of the origin of the universe the basic question.How do you get something from nothing?This question appears almost impossible to answer and yet it seems a logical contradiction to the human mind to say the universe or whatever process laid the basis for its origin(big bang etc) came from nothing. Science seems to avoid answering this basic of all questions in much the same way his royal highness christopher hitchens does.If the universe came from the big bang there must have been something before it or a process that laid the basis for the big bang. How do you answer this basic question because christopher hitchens did not appear to have a clue.  (take as long as you like to answer this question even if it is a year from the date of this posting.....if I was attending a debate between science/secularism/atheism and yes even good old time religion this is a question I would like to answer and very rarely comes up).


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soloman

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Science does not avoid the pre big bang question. C Hitchens was not royalty. It has taken mankind since we first appeared on earth to get to the big bang and science may never get beyond it. We can only keep trying. What we must never do is plug the gaps with the supernatural, which is what you seem to be heading for. As you should know we are faced with an infinite regression if we push for a divine creator, so we should stick to what we can in the natural world because at least we are pretty certain that exists. 
Soloman
PS Your last sentence suggests you have the answer so perhaps you can help. 

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BJBrown
soloman

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Reply with quote  #3 
Science does not avoid the pre big bang question. C Hitchens was not royalty. It has taken mankind since we first appeared on earth to get to the big bang and science may never get beyond it. We can only keep trying. What we must never do is plug the gaps with the supernatural, which is what you seem to be heading for. As you should know we are faced with an infinite regression if we push for a divine creator, so we should stick to what we can in the natural world because at least we are pretty certain that exists. 
Soloman
PS Your last sentence suggests you have the answer so perhaps you can help. 

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BJBrown
wheels5894

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Reply with quote  #4 
I don't know, but I rather think people need to know a bit more science before starting debates like this one. really, in an ideal world, people would listen to this before discussing this topic. (Sorry, its about an hour long but very enlightening!) The facts are simple, though, science has yet no complete picture of the birth of the universe or what came before or even if there are, really, multiverses. Contrast that with religion that has no idea about any of it! 

Whilst religions are stuck with Iron Age or Dark Ages texts, the period since these texts were written has been filled by intense research from the base that the stars are embedding in a  dome with heaven on top to what we know and understand about a 13.7 billion years old universe. 

Science has moved ahead in leaps and bounds with vast resources used to train each generation of researchers. religion spends huge amounts training its generation of leaders - the SAME STUFF as before as the thinking is located way in the past and cannot be changed as it is somehow the word of a non-existent god. 
Bernard

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I appreciate both your replies.I simply wanted to draw your attention to the fact that their are far more people in this country who are agnostic and their agnosticism is based on the fact that something exists rather than the brain-numbing concept of nothingness;also the average person who has given it some thought have logical problems with something existing without end or that the concept of nothingness is somehow related to the giving birth of something........atheist"s don"t seem to have a problem with the universe emerging from nothingness or that it has always existed and had no beginning. I can see you  smiling! Yes this is the sort of question and answer session a dad or mum might have with their six year old.In my opinion I don"t see an answer any time soon to these philosophical questions.I just feel you should allow a small dose of doubt on the odd occasion. 


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soloman

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Reply with quote  #6 
Dear Bernard
It is encouraging to learn that you are still interested in communicating on the Cam Sec. Something does exist. I am writing this to you so I must exist. How we came about is the scientific problem. Because, like you I have a human brain I do have a problem with the origins. I have more than a small doubt and if something comes up to show that present science is on the wrong track GREAT, however unlikely it seems at present. I go back to my original communication. It is not very sensible to 'plug the gaps' with the supernatural because there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever, for that.
Enjoyed you reply.
Soloman

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BJBrown
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Reply with quote  #7 
I'm not sure I see what problem you are raising, Bernard. That there are lots of people in the UK who have various or no views on this topic doesn't make it harder or easier to understand. The fact is that we can either use science to probe our origins - leaving gaps where our knowledge has so far not penetrated or we can use philosophy / religion.

If we go with religion, we are to be using documents written a long, long time ago to understand the way the world was created and, maybe, how it will end. We will have to manage with considerable uncertainties and no detail at all. We will not even know if what we read is true as there is simply no way of knowing and we have to take these texts on trust. 

We have less to take on trust if we ask science so solve these problems for us. If you listen to the link I put earlier you will see that science has lots of answers to our beginnings - some fairly specific and some more general. Given that this stuff is based on mathematics and has been checked against the facts we have found out - the pattern of microwave radiation was predicted by theorists before it was discovered - we may put a reasonable degree of certainty on it. Indeed, we could go and check the work for ourselves if we had the knowledge but note that scientists are always keen to show where other scientists have gone wrong and the ideas in Lawrence Krauss' video are not challenged. 

We have no complete picture yet or how everything came to be but we are getting there and religion / philosophy have had no part in helping find this out and they are certainly unsuitable to fill the gaps that are left - especially as science is likely to fill them with facts. 
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