Saturday, September 19, 2009

Debunking Anders' Primary Cause Fantasy

This entry deals with Anders’ Blog and his claims that he can prove a “Prime cause”. Let us examine his arguments in turn:

He writes:

The best that atheists can do, lacking legitimate scientific backing or support, is construct or seize upon some fantastic fable that, they conjecture, could possibly have preceded and caused the universe.

This is a total misrepresentation. In fact, what atheists do is point to already published papers in physics journals (such as Physical Review D) which present mathematical formulations for the spontaneous inception of the cosmos- based on treating space-time quantities as conformal quantum variables in conjunction with quantum gravity.

While this does not qualify as empirical “proof”, it does offer a scientific and mathematically validated basis to choose an alternative to an ethereal or supernatural “primary cause”.

In addition, as I noted in my earlier blog article on quantum causality, there are many cosmologists who take the accelerated expansion of the universe, deduced from type 1a supernova data, as indirect evidence for vacuum expansion and spontaneous inception.

Of course, that accomplishes nothing more than creating the need to explain their new fable ex nihilo. Well, one could just as well theorize that the universe was preceded by an assumed ladder; but that isn't an ex nihilo prime cause either.

Not so at all. In fact it terminates any need to “explain” anything more, since the false vacuum bubble is self contained in terms of a zero mass-density continuum defined by the Trace I showed at the end of the preceding blog entry on quantum causality. What this shows is that Anders has no clue, not one, of what he is talking about. Clearly he has not read the article ‘Universe Before Planck Time’ by T. Padmanabhan, and even if he did he likely doesn’t comprehend the serious role played by the variable alpha in connection with spontaneous fluctuation, inception.

Thus, it is absurd to invoke the ladder analogy. He also is probably too invested in Peggs’ Bayesian definitions of probability – which article he cited as attempting ton controvert acausal quantum determinism.

To fix ideas here: let p[S] be the unconditional probability there is a supernatural agent responsible for the creation of the universe. Let p(S-[BB]) be the conditional probability of the existence of a supernatural agent if the Big Bang has indeed occurred. Let p[B,B] be the unconditional probability the Big Bang occurred and p(BB-[S]) the conditional probability that the Big Bang occurred – provided a supernatural agent is responsible for the creation of the cosmos.

According to the principles of Bayesian probability theory (e.g. by Bayes’ theorem) we can write:

p(S-[BB])/ p[S] = p(BB-[S])/ p[B,B]

In terms of strict adherence to Bayes’ theorem, one can only have:

p(S-[BB]) >> p[S]

E.g. IF the Big Bang occurred, there is an enhanced probability of the Big Bang being its source.

However, this is not what they proffer, but instead arrive at:

p(BB-[S]) >> p{BB]

which inverts the prior Bayesian statement by asserting:

the existence of a supernatural being enhances the probability of the Big Bang

The fallacy of the approach inheres in the inequality given by:

p(BB-[S]) >> p{BB]

But this is an arbitrary assumption since we have no knowledge of how a supernatural agent might act and none of its proponents have given the necessary and sufficient conditions for such action.

The end result? If such n-s conditions were at least provided, we might have a better way of setting up the Bayesian probabilities to conform to what they should be and not include any arbitrary assumptions.

It simply adds another stage: explain the ex nihilo origin of the assumed ladder! It's amazing the length to which some pseudo-scientific atheists will go to create ever new diversions, none of which are even a pretense of an ex nihilo cause, to avoid pertinent information, all in the guise of science.

And clearly it is amazing the lengths to which some pseudo-scientist religious apologists will go to try to come up with a creator. But as I showed, this results from a failure in their use of probability theory (choosing a Bayesian version that it is inappropriate).

Further these are not “new diversions”. Nor is there any “pretense” of an “ex nihilo cause”. The cause is explicated mathematically in the paper I cited, and based on a specific treatment. That Anders is unable to understand this is no fault of mine, but he cannot use that lack of understanding to make lame statements and remarks about posturing in a “guise of science”.

It is instead, his job and duty to refute the mathematical underpinning or show its misapplication. This he has not done, and I seriously doubt he is able to.

So take a good scientific look around you, at everything, anything. Explain the existence of anything at all without a Prime Cause.

This, of course, is a specious and false analogy, because it assumes that a cosmic inception would be parallel, or precisely analogous to any process of human creation, or invention. This is the same error William Paley made in his “watch maker” comparison to the universe. However, the universe is not a mechanical contrivance so that mechanical analogies, including those based on human manufacture and invention do not apply.

To grasp this even elementally one need only see the new data from the Boomerang and other detectors (e.g. for Wilkinson Array) which show that the universe is 73% dark energy, and 22% dark matter. Within this darkness there is no scope for order.

I will show two different proofs that demonstrate, most simply, the existence of the Prime Cause, i.e. a Creator. The first logical proof is known as reductio ad absurdum.

In fact, no such reductio ad absurdum is feasible given that the assumptions required (in light of the Padmanabhan paper) commit the ignotum per ignotius fallacy ab initio. But let us see:

1. Assume: There is no Prime Cause

More realistically: assume there is a spontaneous inception via fluctuation from net zero mass-energy state to non-zero state as defined mathematically (by Padmanabhan, for example) and which conforms to mathematical consistency and proof – using conformal quantum variables.

2. There is nothing physical that exists without a cause

False: since the preceding mathematical underpinning shows not only:

a) that quantum mechanics, unlike classical mechanics, can create information out of nothing

b) information inception can occur acausally precisely because the Hilbert space states are different for a vacuum fluctuation than for ordinary QM

c) The outward acceleration of the universe indicates that the observed universe is the result of a fluctuation in the quantum gravity vacuum

d) A net zero cosmology is the most economical one that can emerge from the vacuum state (Ockham's Razor principle of hypothesis parsimony applied)

3. Therefore, nothing physical can exist

But the universe DOES exist, and the net zero vacuum state had to before it, so it exists now. Hence (3) is false. Anders’ problems inhere in adopting an incomplete and pseudo-causal continuum in ignoring the acausal state of the net zero vacuum while attributing the post-fluctuation cosmos - expanding as a result of the negative pressure within the original vacuum- to an unnamed or unexplicated entity (He has given no n-s conditions for it.)

This is exactly why “causal” proofs and efforts are inherently sterile, ambiguous and unproductive.

To obtain a faithfully more exact approach, we can consult Robert Baum’s textbook, LOGIC, pp. 469-70, wherein we see that explicating necessary and sufficient conditions are practical replacements (in logic) for causes. In other words, instead of saying or asserting x caused y, one stipulates that a, b are necessary conditions for x to exist at all, and c, d are sufficient conditions for y to have been the sole effect of cause x.

Baum’s reasoning is clear (ibid.): because “cause” (generic) can be interpreted as proximate or remote, or even as the “goal or aim of an action” and is therefore too open-ended, ambiguous and construed in too many different ways. Thus, “cause” is too embedded in most people’s minds with only one of several meanings, leaving most causality discussions unproductive and confused. If my “cause” and your “cause” in a given argument diverge, then we will not get very far.

Because of this one uses the more neutral term “condition” and specifies necessary and sufficient ones. The latter terms are specifically meaningful in the context of determining causal conditions, and hence, causes. If one eschews them, then one concedes he is incapable of logical argument.

Anders therefore has only to show the necessary and sufficient conditions for his Prime Cause to exist, and we might then take him seriously. Without them, all his efforts are vacuous and less than impressive.

Perhaps the reason he is unable to express such n-s conditions, is that in his heart of hearts he knows this phantasm of his simply can’t pass even basic logical muster. It also confuses chronology with causality ('post hoc, ergo propter hoc') and also commits ignotum per ignotius on a vast (cosmic scale). To remind readers, this fallacy was perhaps best expressed by David Hume:

"No testimony is sufficient to establish a miracle, unless the testimony be of such a kind that its falsehood would be more miraculous than the fact which it endeavors to establish."

In this case, the “miracle” Anders writes of is none other than the cosmos originating via a non-physical uncaused (primary) cause. The question is, would its falsehood be more or less miraculous? In truth, its falsehood would be LESS miraculous than the fact of non-physical uncaused cause it seeks to establish. Hence, Anders “proof” commits the Hume fallacy!

4. However, we see, and can touch, all manner of physical things around us that exist

True, but these do not exhaust the full physical set of entities that can exist, but which we cannot see or touch or otherwise detect. EM waves exist in the gamma spectrum but we cannot readily see or touch them without apparatus. One can also have advanced and retarded potentials associated with EM waves. Moreover, John G. Cramer has obtained preliminary evidence for “echo” waves – arriving from the future (the counterpart to his “offer waves”) – see:

5. Conclusion: There IS a Prime Cause

Yes, and it is a physical cause defined by the trace given earlier. Moreover the necessary condition for it to exist is a net zero mass-energy vacuum defined by the trace: Tr G(E) ~ Tr G_o(E) ~ d/ dE {ln Z (E)}

And the sufficient condition for it is that there be a quantity of N x Q-bits that exhibit Poisson statistics and allow for fluctuations , whereby:delta N = [N]^1/2 and delta V ~ G[V]^1/2

Such that:

delta E ~ h/ delta t

leads to an instantaneous local deviation in mass-energy and the explosive origin of a cosmic expansion predicated on negative pressure

6. Q.E.D. (quod erat demonstrandum; which was to be demonstrated)

Nyet, mate. You assumed that which you had to prove and built in a false (actually incomplete) assumption. Also, since causality is only limited here (by virtue of the arguments I provided earlier) it means you have to provide the necessary and sufficient conditions for your entity to exist in the first place. (Like I did). This you haven’t done!

There may be some (..) who argues that #2 isn't necessarily true because things may exist and we simply cannot explain how. (...) This person has gone from pseudo-scientific cultism (banning pertinent information) to logical fallacy: argumentum ad ignorantiam – claiming that ignorance/silence supports their position, thereby avoiding the burden of proof of demonstrating the logical validity of their position.

Not so. We don’t argue (2) isn’t necessarily true (How does one deliver the preliminary basis or QA for relative truth anyway? It is done via giving the n-s conditions for one thing). We say it is rather incomplete, and by Godel’s Incompleteness theorem (II), the logic cannot be complete. The reason is that you have omitted the vacuum-negative pressure basis for a spontaneous inception.

As for “pertinent information” – where is it? You are unable to even provide necessary and sufficient conditions for your claimed entity to exist, and you say WE are ignoring “pertinent information”. This loses the argument via red herring.

Also, the burden of proof is inapplicable for us since your “proof’ is ipso facto incomplete – by Godel’s Incompleteness theorems. Gödel's theorems state that in any consistent system which is strong enough to produce simple axioms (like Anders) there are formulae which cannot be proved-in-the-system, but which can “be seen to be true”. Essentially, we consider the ansatz which says, in effect, "This syllogism is unprovable-in-the-system".

If this syllogism were provable-in-the-system, we should have a contradiction: for if it were provable in-the-system, then it would not be unprovable-in-the-system, so that "This syllogism is unprovable-in-the-system" would be false: equally, if it were provable-in-the-system, then it would not be false, but would be true, since in any consistent system nothing false can be proved in-the-system, only truths.

So the Anders’ QED boils down to "This formula is unprovable-in-the-system" is not provable-in-the-system, but unprovable-in-the-system. His logic is incomplete, because his propositions and facts are incomplete.

If something can exist with no Prime Cause then they must explain how; the burden of proof is on them to demonstrate how or they're just assuming another ladder.

Again, the prime cause offering is irrelevant, since a plethora of definitions of cause exist. Thus, Baum’s (op. cit.) necessary and sufficient conditions- which I provided. Hence, not making any untoward assumptions.

WHERE are YOUR necessary and sufficient conditions for your “primary cause”? If you cannot deliver them you are simply assuming a regression of n-s conditions, which amounts to a regression of causes in the context.

Until they explain how, and no legitimate scientist even entertains that suggestion, their cultist argument is logically invalid by argumentum ad ignorantiam.

No, as with most objects of inquiry in quantum mechanics (especially in the Copenhagen interpretation context) “explanations” are not needed. What is required is that the mathematical prescription or formulation works, it delivers answers. Ours does, and is now finding application in applying negative pressure and its related equation of state to the accelerating cosmos. Where are yours?

By contrast, your “proof” is logically invalid because it is incomplete. It is the one invalidated by argumentum ad ignorantiam.

You expect us to accept some entity for which you cannot even provide the n-s conditions.

Though trivial, it may be needful to explain that the physical world cannot create itself. That would be circular reasoning.

Again, not. It is instead reasoning from quantum logic - see:

as opposed to binary logic, which is subject to Gödelian limits. Your logic is the one flawed since it is predicated on limited binary (either-or) logic so cannot reckon in the vacuum, negative pressure state (acausal) which is nevertheless in a nexus with the accelerating cosmos it spawned.

The only circular reasoning is your own, which asserts there must be a “non-physical primary cause” giving odd examples, and so there must be a non-physical primary cause. To break out of this loop, you need to give the necessary and sufficient conditions for your entity.

Until you do you are merely engaged in hollow, empty rhetoric, incomplete logic and supercilious diversions.


odrareg said...

You admit that there has always been something, yes? no?

That something for you is not God, but it is the source from which all things in existence come forth that are distinct from it (that thing that has always existed and is always existing.

So, all you have to do is to give that thing a name.

Theists give that thing the name of God, the creator of everything with a beginning, in addition to having always existed and is always existing.

Now, we just have to come to agree on what is the difference between your concept of that thing and theists' concept of God as the thing that has always existed and is always existing, and is the creator of everything with a beginning.

Text me,, when you have decided for us to determine what is that thing for you and how it is different from God among theists.

Marius de Jess

Copernicus said...

The difference between my concept and yours will actually be described at length in my upcoming book: 'Beyond Atheism, Beyond God'.

Basically, the difference is that my "always existing entity" is impersonal and predicated on physical energy - as opposed to unprovable supernaturalism.

In a matter of semantics, it is perhaps closest to David Bohm's Holomovement (which you can read more about in his 'Wholeness and the Implicate Order')

As I note in my upcoming book, I disdain the term 'God' because: 1) it already carries too much ideological and emotive baggage -so once one uses the term people automatically parse it in terms of THEIR "God".

Second, it has been misused too much in the personal sense, as well as over used that the term itself is hackneyed. Hence, I may refer to "Being" or "the ALL". Again, also emphasizing impersonality rather than personality.

If you'd like to see more where I am coming from, well, buy the book! It ought to be out by the fall!

Copernicus said...

P.S. I don't do texting - even to family and friends!