Friday, November 24, 2017

Refuted: Sacerdotus Is (Even More) Stupid (Than Previously Thought) Part 5


Again, we see atheismnthecity engage is more sophism and ad hominem. 
His/her replies consist of "you are wrong, I am right, you are stupid, I know more than a doctoral degree holder."  My readers have noted their amusement about this person's fallacies. I will once again refute his/her nonsense here.  My replies will be bold and blue followed after "Sacerdotus."


<<Author's note: I know I just wrote that I'd be spending more time writing about social issues and lay off atheism for a bit, but a recent attempt to rebut my blog post on why I'm an atheist got my attention and prompted me to make a response. I'll get back to social issues when this is done.



Happy Thanksgiving!

A supposed "philosopher" who challenged me on my post Why I'm An Atheist, wrote a follow up to my follow up, and in it he claims again, that's he's refuted me and that I'm ignorant of science and philosophy. The exact opposite is true and I can easily show why. His arguments are so bad, they are laughable. And I don't mean this to be facetious, I mean this with all seriousness. He makes so many common argumentative mistakes and factual errors that I cannot take him seriously that he has a degree in philosophy and science. If he does have a degree, he should get a refund, because he apparently learned no serious critical thinking skills because of it. His arguments are on the caliber of the same old tired internet apologist, like the many wannabe William Lane Craig clones out there. Only he's at the low end of the spectrum.

If you're wondering why my posts denigrate him so harshly it's because he mocks atheists and calls atheism stupid. Here I'm just giving him a taste of his own medicine.


I continue with part 5 covering arguments 12 and 13. Starting with his response to argument 12, his words are in block quotes.


12) All the arguments for god fail


Continuing on with this sad excuse for rebuttal we come to some demographics on atheism. He writes,

Atheism is declining. The author is not up-to-date and relies on an old 2014 study.  According to the Pew Research, atheism is on the decline (see: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/07/why-people-with-no-religion-are-projected-to-decline-as-a-share-of-the-worlds-population/). Previous studies claiming that the "nones" is on the rise clearly specify that these "nones" are not atheists, but those who are indifferent to religion. In other words, they are people who simply do not adhere to organized religion but still believe in God.  Atheism or atheists who completely reject God and religion are in fact on the decline. It is nearly extinct in Russia (see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2017/07/atheism-declining-in-russia.html).

Many mistakes here. First, taken at face value, that article doesn't say atheism or the unaffiliated is declining. It says the unaffiliated will decline as a percentage of the world's population only due to the rising number of Muslim births in third world countries. (And by this metric Christianity is also declining). It doesn't say the raw number of atheists or unaffiliated will decline. In fact, the number of unaffiliated is actually expected to grow from 1.1 billion to 1.2 billion. He'd know that if he actually read the article instead of reading the headline.


Secondly, I've already written a critique on my blog about the faulty methodology of PEW's projection methods. Read: Did Pew Project The Future Of Religion Accurately? I wrote that "It seems that they're not taking into account conversions and deconversions. Many theists are leaving their religions and becoming unaffiliated (which includes all deists, agnostics, and atheists) and this is especially true in the West, where the number of Christians is dropping precipitously. Their future projection of the percentage of the unaffiliated in the US by 2050 seems deeply suspect, and indeed, out of whack with their other data."

In other words PEW is just assuming that if 2 Christians have a baby, that baby will be a Christian its whole life and if two Muslims have a baby, that baby will be a Muslim its whole life. Their predictions are even out of line with their own actual data that shows the unaffiliated for the US has already grown passed their projection. This shows their methodology is faulty, so I don't trust these results at all. This new article is just a rehashing of the old one I critiqued using the same data and making the same predictions.

Here's what PEW predicts with be the number of unaffiliated in the US to 2050. They predict it will grow just 9 points in 40 years from 16% to 25%.


But here's Pew's own numbers showing the rise of the unaffiliated growing much faster. In just the 7 years between 2007 to 2014, the unaffiliated grow by 6.7 points. (Christianity also dropped 7 points during that time, showing US Christians are leaving the religion to have no religion.)


This shows PEW's long term predictions for the decline of the unaffiliated as a percentage of population are incorrectly underestimating the number due to a flawed methodology. Pew doesn't seriously think that the number of unaffiliated Americans will rise just 3 percentage points from now until 2050 after they just grew nearly 7 percentage points in 7 years do they? No. Rather, there is a flaw in their methodology in projecting future religious growth, which, I suspect, relies almost entirely on fertility rates.

The number of atheists in the US according to one study is much higher than previously thought, and is as high as 26%. In the UK the number of people with no religion has hit a majority for the first time at 53% and atheism is rising throughout virtually every country in the West. In Russia, Putin has made the Orthodox Church front and center because he's using to prop up his power. He's appointed religious extremists into positions that allow them to pass laws that forbid publicly criticizing the Orthodox Church. In other words, Putin is turning Russia into a theocracy where the freedom of atheists is being curtailed. One single data point from a single country doesn't show a trend. And Sacerdotus's source if taken at face value shows an increase in actual numbers, not a decrease. He just doesn't understand how to use graphs.

I am not surprised that this author seems to be allergic to facts. His/her arguments are void of them.

Ha! The one allergic to facts is of course Sacerdotus. He cites one country as proof atheism is declining, and he cites another survey with flawed methods that only says atheists will decline as a percentage of the population because Muslim births will grow enormously. It doesn't mean the number of atheists will shrink, they predict it will actually grow. But he's to stupid to know this because he can't read.

Moreover, science does not negate the principle of causality. It is a principle studied in physics and cosmology.  The quote from Sean Carroll does not address what the author thinks it does. I demonstrated that in my previous reply.  I refuted each point the author made using solely science, theology, philosophy, psychology and scripture where appropriate in order to correct the author's misconception on sin and suffering from a Christian perspective. This author did not bother to read my post it seems. 

Science does refute the principle of causality. Scientists use the word "cause" because it's convenient. The problem is language. We have words that mean different things in different contexts, just like how "theory" in science means one thing, and colloquially it means another. Sean Carroll's point is exactly the point I'm making. Only Sacerdotus is confused on this because he doesn't know the subject matter. To further prove my point, here is Sean Carroll's latest talk at the Royal Institute in England on how modern physics has shown cause and effect are not fundamental to reality.


You can't refute anything by quoting the Bible. Sorry, logic doesn't work that way. His explanation of suffering from a Christian perspective just asserts (on faith!) Genesis as literal history, while at the same time he seems to affirm evolution. This shows he's contradicting himself because he doesn't have a coherent view on human origins. Once you accept evolution, there is no Adam and Eve who brought "sin" or suffering into the world. Death and suffering predate humankind by millions of years. Death and suffering are built into how evolution work. They are features, not bugs.

He/she claims that I never showed the KCA does not negate free will.  I did, in the previous responses. I even stated this. I wrote,
"The premise of KCA does not negate free will.  I have DEMONSTRATED THIS UNISING PHYSICS AND PHILOSOPHY IN MY PREVIOUS REFUTATIONS."

This isn't showing, it's asserting.

As stated before, this author is an academic sloth. He/she is so quick to play contrarian that he/she does not bother to read an opponent's rebuttals. In a formal debate, he/she would lose a lot of points.  Paying attention is key to a debate. If the author simply skims through an opponent's rebuttals and is triggered to resort to ad hominem and strawman, then the author is simply asserting the contrary as factual. 

That's exactly what this author has done. He's so quick to "refute" me he ignores words I wrote and then attacks a strawman. I'd whoop his ass in a formal debate. Anytime he wants one all he has to do is say so. He's welcome on my site to debate me any time.

I mention this in my book "Atheism Is Stupid." It is a defense mechanism used by alleged atheists when cornered with facts. They refuse to tackle them so their only option is to play contrarian.  This tells us that this author is either not a real atheist or is extremely uneducated in the fields he/she pretends to hold mastery in.  

Oh please. I'm as real an atheist as you will ever get. And I am educated in these fields. This guy's reasoning skills are so bad he cannot possibly have an actual degree in anything let alone philosophy. I've easily shown again and again why his argument skills completely fail. At this point I can't take him seriously anymore. He actually wrote this on his blog:


No one can be this stupid and have a degree in philosophy. No one. God can't have "absolute" power if he can't lift that rock he created that's too heavy to lift. (A rock too heavy to lift is by definitionunliftable). Otherwise he can't create a rock too heavy for him to lift. This is a paradox showing that god cannot do the logically impossible. He's more stupid than Ray Comfort at this point and even Prof. Pigliucci called him out on it.


I’m not sure why I’m being copied on this, but that sentence is, in fact, problematic. Even God cannot do things that entail logical contradictions. Many theologians agree, though they don’t see it as a limitation on God’s powers

Moving on to the fine tuning argument, he writes,

Lastly, the fine-tuning argument does not entail that God can only create humans in one manner.  That is just silly. If this were so, why would male and female exist, or different colors, shapes, and sizes among the species?  We see the silliness of this author's claims. 

He's again not understanding the argument. The fine tuning argument implies god can only create us one way because if god could create us 100 trillion different physical ways, then there are 100 trillion different physical ways we could have also existed naturally. The point I'm making hits upon the fundamental physical make up of all life: quarks and electrons. It's not about whether god could create different kind of animals.

The fact that God can create in many physical ways does not disprove fine tuning. It just shows God can choose any design. The author makes absolutely no sense in his/her comment.  He/she is wrong on the merit of his/her own claims, not because I state so. What the author fails to grasp is the fine-tuning argument entails the ontological state of life now, not in the hypothetical.  Things are fine-tuned now. If God created life in a different matter (IE water-based life instead of carbon), that too would be fine-tuned. 

Yes it does show the fine tuning argument is problematic, because again, if god could create us 100 trillion different physical ways, then there are 100 trillion different physical ways we could also exist naturally. Therefore to say, via the fine tuning argument, that we can only exist one specific way (ie., being fine tuned), fails to take this into account. (See The Short Rebuttal To The Fine Tuning Argument). It's like this guy is purposely trying to be as dumb as possible. Add the multiverse hypothesis to the mix, and that takes care of the chance solution, just like how having many planets explains why our earth is just the right distance from the sun. Hitchens made a great point on the fine tuning argument in one of his debateswith Rabbi Wolpe,

98.9 percent of every species has ever been on earth has already become extinct. So if there's a creator or designer—and I can't prove there isn't—who wanted that, this designer must be either very capricious, very cruel, very incompetent, or very indifferent. Grant him and you must grant all that. You can't say "Ah, what a welcome. What a table was spread for us to dine on."

Some tuner!

Verdict: In addition to not understanding science and philosophy, Sacerdotus doesn't know how to read surveys and graphs. His source showing a "decline" in atheists or unaffiliated actually shows an increase in raw numbers. It's obvious he didn't read the link, he just read the headline. His other source relies on a single country: Russia. And today to is well known that Putin is using the Orthodox Church to solidify his power and he's allowing them to persecute atheist critics of the church to get their blessing. This is creating a hostile atmosphere for atheists in Russia, which is quickly resembling a theocracy. Sacerdotus fails to make his point. He also doesn't understand the fine tuning argument enough to know what he's talking about. As usual. And he fails at basic logic on what it means to do the logically impossible. His degree is fake because no one can be as stupid as he is and have one. His own supposed professor called him out on that.>>


Sacerdotus:

It seems like we have come to the conclusion of atheismnthecity's poor rebuttals. I have refuted each of them with ease. Notice how fast I was able to refute his/her nonsense and post it on my site. Immediately, thousands have flocked to read my replies because they know I have been winning here. Atheismnthecity describes my reply as a "sad excuse for a rebuttal" regarding atheism, but I will show why his/her conclusion is what is sad.

Atheismnthecity claims that atheism is not on the decline. The article atheismnthecity is referring to is the one linked above which relied on previous statistics.

http://www.pewforum.org/2012/12/18/global-religious-landscape-unaffiliated/
http://www.pewforum.org/2015/04/02/religious-projections-2010-2050/

Atheismnthecity writes and shows his/her poor understanding of statistics:

" It says the unaffiliated will decline as a percentage of the world's population only due to the rising number of Muslim births in third world countries. (And by this metric Christianity is also declining). It doesn't say the raw number of atheists or unaffiliated will decline. In fact, the number of unaffiliated is actually expected to grow from 1.1 billion to 1.2 billion. He'd know that if he actually read the article instead of reading the headline."

He/she does not understand that that the religiously unaffiliated include atheists. The 2012 Pew study states this:


"The religiously unaffiliated include atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion in surveys."

What atheismnthecity is referring to in his/her poor assessment of the statistic is what the 2015 study states:

"By 2050, the unaffiliated population is expected to exceed 1.2 billion. But, as a share of all the people in the world, those with no religious affiliation are projected to decline from 16% in 2010 to 13% by the middle of this century."

Note how atheismnthecity does not understand the above statement. The unaffiliated population is expected to exceed 1.2 billion in relation to the census of 2010 which claims there are "1.1 billion atheists, agnostics and people who do not identify with any particular religion." This means that from the 1.1 billion, the number will increase to 1.2 billion; however, atheists etc will decrease. The 2015 study states:

"...by 2050, the global numbers of Christians may be higher than projected, and the decline in the percentage of the world’s population that is religiously unaffiliated may be even sharper."

Context is everything. In his/her rush to cherry pick, atheismnthecity has demonstrated his/her inability to interpret data. A more recent study done this year shows that people with no religion are projected to be on the decline, see: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/07/why-people-with-no-religion-are-projected-to-decline-as-a-share-of-the-worlds-population/.

The facts are clear. Atheism is on the decline. The decline will be even greater if conversions projected in China come to fruition. The study of 2017 states:

"Some experts believe the Christian population in China is rising while the religiously unaffiliated population is falling. If this is true – and the trend continues – religious “nones” could decline as a share of the world’s population even more than the Pew Research Center study projects."

Atheismnthecity relies on his/her inferences on his/her blog to believe otherwise, but the facts have spoken and contradict the posts he/she has provided. There is no way around this. He/she claims that I cited one country, but this is not true. The links I provided entail a worldwide decline. I assume he/she is mentioning my post on Russia. This post was just a supplement to the Pew Study data that shows the statistics are accurate and measurable. Atheism is dying and dying fast. Even the "Friendly Atheist" has shown concern over the failure of rallies and conventions.

Recently, an atheist group in Australia had to cancel the "Reason to Hope" Global Atheist Convention due to lack of interests. Ticket sales were so abysmal that organizers had to cancel the even and issue refunds. Previously, this convention had thousands of participants. At one point, about 4,000 attended! However, things have changed. Atheism has declined so much that no interest was given to the convention scheduled for February 2018, see more here: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2017/11/atheism-is-dying-global-atheist.html

So no matter what atheismnthecity claims, the facts are the facts. He/she can close his/her eyes and shout that atheism is growing, but the facts show him/her to be delusional.

Next, atheismnthecity claims that science refutes the principle of causality. This is impossible because the principle is a science principle!
The very idea of the light cone in the theory of special relativity requires the principle of causality. There is no problem with the language as atheismnthecity claims. It seems that atheismnthecity gets his/her facts from a Cracker Jack box. I am not sure how this person comes about with his/her conclusions. It is clear that he/she is ignorant of physics and is inferring things Sean Carroll did not posit. He/she presents a video presentation by Carroll claiming that Carroll supports his/her point. The truth is that Carroll does not even address causality in the video. Here is the transcript:


[Music]
00:08
[Applause]
00:14
thanks Pat thanks to the Royal
00:16
Institution for having me back this is
00:18
one of my favourite places to come visit
00:20
and I thought that I would in the
00:23
tradition of Michael Faraday and
00:25
Humphrey Davy and all the greats who've
00:27
stood more or less in this place begin
00:30
the lecture by doing an experiment now
00:33
I'm a theoretical physicist I'm not an
00:35
experimenter so don't get your hopes up
00:37
too high but I would like to do an
00:39
experiment that illuminates the
00:41
fundamental nature of motion ok so you
00:45
see here we have an object it's a book
00:47
you can buy it and the finest book
00:49
stores everywhere and we're going to
00:52
observe what happens to the object
00:55
nothing much happens to the object is
00:57
the short answer to it it just sits
00:58
there but I can if I push on the object
01:02
get it moving and then if I stop pushing
01:05
it stops moving the nature of motion
01:09
there being demonstrated to you right
01:10
there so if you were the kind of
01:13
systematic thinker that lets say
01:15
Aristotle was you would go from a
01:18
demonstration like that to a very deep
01:20
picture of how the world works at a
01:23
fundamental level you would say that
01:25
there is something called the natural
01:27
state for the book to be in which is
01:29
just sitting there motionless you would
01:32
say that if you don't do anything an
01:34
object stays in its natural state but if
01:37
you apply a force to it in impetus you
01:41
can change its natural state you can
01:43
cause it to start moving and you notice
01:45
when I then stopped pushing it stopped
01:48
it returns to its natural state so you
01:51
invent what at what philosophers would
01:54
call an ontology or a metaphysics of
01:56
fundamental view of what the world is
01:58
made of it's made of things that have
02:01
natural States and if they're not
02:02
staying stationary and unchanging in
02:05
their natural States it is because
02:07
something is changing them when there is
02:09
motion there is a mover and you can go
02:12
from this simple
02:13
idea - a theory of physics as Aristotle
02:16
did and you can in fact go beyond that
02:18
to a theory of metaphysics that explains
02:20
not just the motion of things but more
02:23
or less how everything changes and
02:25
transforms at all you can even go all
02:27
the way back you can say well okay this
02:29
thing is moving because this other thing
02:31
is pushing it but what causes that other
02:33
thing to be moving if you trace the
02:36
chain of motion and movers backward you
02:39
eventually would need to reach an
02:40
unmoved mover and thereby prove the
02:43
existence of God without ever leaving
02:45
the lecture hall right here this way of
02:49
thinking is not only a systematize ation
02:52
of some very simple physics experiments
02:54
you can do it also sort of accords well
02:56
with our everyday experience when you
02:59
see something moving or not moving it's
03:01
because something is moving it or not
03:03
moving it so there became a
03:05
philosophical tradition which tried to
03:07
go from the physics of it to a deeper
03:11
understanding claiming that everything
03:13
that happens whether it's motion or
03:15
otherwise happens for a reason this is
03:18
not just a bumper sticker you can buy
03:20
this is a very venerable philosophical
03:23
maxim known as the principle of
03:25
sufficient reason so here you have
03:27
Aristotle Spinoza followed up with his
03:30
version of the principle of sufficient
03:32
reason and then live nets on the right
03:34
german philosopher who also invented
03:36
calculus they all put forward this idea
03:39
that we can understand how the world
03:42
works at a deep level by providing
03:44
explanations for everything we see in it
03:47
nothing happens randomly nothing just
03:49
happens there's always a purpose a cause
03:50
a reason why things happen you might be
03:54
forgiven for thinking that the ultimate
03:56
purpose was ever more grandiose
03:58
hairstyles for professional philosophers
04:00
even if live Nets sort of had some
04:03
artificial help there in in in his
04:06
coffer the problem is that this is not
04:10
right
04:11
the problem is that the world does not
04:13
work this way at a fundamental level
04:16
there's two problems one is it's not
04:17
right the other is despite the fact that
04:20
it's not right we haven't abandoned it
04:22
yet so we have learned a lot about how
04:25
the world works because of the progress
04:27
science and philosophy but we still talk
04:30
a language that is handed down to us by
04:32
Aristotle Spinoza and Leibniz now people
04:35
have tried to fix the language here is a
04:38
Bertrand Russell a more modern
04:39
philosopher trying to point out that the
04:42
very idea of cause and effect is no
04:45
longer fundamental in our understanding
04:47
of the world he says the law of
04:48
causality I believe like much that
04:51
passes muster among philosophers is a
04:53
relic of a bygone age surviving like the
04:56
monarchy he couldn't resist right like
04:58
I'm just the messenger here this is not
05:00
I'm not saying this surviving like the
05:03
monarchy only because it is erroneously
05:05
supposed to do no harm
05:08
now many people would be surprised to
05:10
hear the news that science has done away
05:12
with the principle of cause and effect
05:14
but I'm not gonna undo that it's
05:16
actually true it's not that there is no
05:19
such thing as causing effect it's that
05:21
it is not a fundamental principle of how
05:24
reality works it is a very useful
05:26
helpful way of thinking it about things
05:28
at a macroscopic what we will call an
05:30
emergent level of reality but it is
05:33
nowhere to be found in the most
05:34
fundamental laws of physics and that
05:37
difference puts us in the position of
05:39
Wiley coyote
05:40
a famous American cartoon character I
05:42
don't know how popular the roadrunner is
05:45
in uh in the UK good so wily coyote you
05:48
will remember if you're of the right age
05:50
had this thing that he did every single
05:53
episode where he would run off a cliff
05:55
and because it's cartoon physics not
05:58
either Aristotelian or Newtonian physics
06:00
he would not fall down until he noticed
06:03
that he was not standing on anything he
06:05
would look around and then oh and then
06:07
he would fall down okay we are all Wiley
06:11
coyote in some sense and in the
06:13
following sense
06:14
this cliff this solid surface that we
06:17
used to be walking on is our old
06:20
fashioned Aristotelian at all notion of
06:23
causes and effects and purposes and
06:25
meanings in the world we have left that
06:28
behind the fundamental rules of nature
06:31
according to our best scientific
06:32
understanding don't work that way but we
06:35
haven't adapted we still speak a
06:38
language as if cause and effect purpose
06:40
and goals and reasons why are the
06:44
fundamental way the world works so one
06:46
of our challenges should be to reconcile
06:49
the deep down vocabulary of the world
06:52
given to us by physics and modern
06:54
science with what philosophers call the
06:57
manifest image the immediately
06:59
accessible view of the world we have
07:01
after all physicists love to make fun of
07:04
Aristotle and say how wrong he was but
07:06
look the book does stop moving right
07:10
that's not a mistake that is an accurate
07:12
way of talking about the world cause and
07:14
effect are accurate useful ways of
07:16
talking about the world you can be
07:18
accurate without being fundamental our
07:21
goal is to show how at different levels
07:23
of analysis different levels of
07:25
squinting at the world reveal different
07:27
rules regularities and even vocabularies
07:30
for speaking so I like to trace the
07:33
origin of this shift from Aristotle to
07:36
Bertrand Russell for example it's
07:39
actually a long series of very very
07:41
interesting thoughts and experiments
07:44
over hundreds of years between Aristotle
07:46
and let's say Isaac Newton I like to
07:48
give some credit to this guy even Cena
07:50
who sometimes romanized or latinized as
07:54
Avicenna
07:54
he was a persian polymath in the Islamic
07:57
Golden Age and around the Year 1000 and
08:00
as a modern day theoretical physicist I
08:03
find even Cina extremely annoying
08:05
because his day job was he was a doctor
08:08
he was his interests were in health and
08:11
human anatomy and he wrote many books
08:12
about the human body and on weekends he
08:15
invented new fundamental laws of physics
08:18
we can't do that anymore it's more work
08:21
now the low-hanging fruit has been
08:22
picked so even Xena was thinking about
08:26
Aristotelian notions of motion and so
08:28
forth and what he pointed out for the
08:30
very first time was that this idea that
08:32
the book stops moving shouldn't be
08:35
thought of as the book returning to its
08:38
natural state of motion because if the
08:41
book was not on the table here in a room
08:43
but rather out in space like the
08:45
spacecraft if it were in the vacuum the
08:48
book would just keep moving at a
08:50
constant velocity what we now call
08:52
conservation of momentum or
08:54
servation of inertia now even Sina
08:56
didn't like this idea he didn't even
08:58
like the idea of a vacuum in the year
08:59
1000 we weren't sure whether there were
09:01
any vacuum vacuums so he put forward
09:04
this idea but it was seized upon by
09:06
later thinkers there's no such thing as
09:08
natural motion versus being pushed the
09:11
natural motion of things is just to keep
09:13
moving you don't need to keep things
09:15
pushed and of course Galileo helped
09:19
develop this idea he pointed out that if
09:21
you think of the fundamental starting
09:23
point of motion as constant motion with
09:26
the uniform velocity and then put in
09:29
things like friction and dissipation and
09:31
air resistance afterward you get a much
09:33
more accurate precise quantitative
09:35
feeling for what happens in the world so
09:38
the secret thing that sneaks in is not
09:41
just a new way to torture first-year
09:44
physics students with inclined planes
09:45
and pulleys and so forth there's a
09:48
fundamentally new way of looking at the
09:50
world the world is not made of motions
09:53
that have a mover effects that have
09:55
causes there are things that are doing
09:58
their thing according to some rigorous
10:00
mathematical laws of physics some
10:02
conservation laws very often such as
10:05
conservation of momentum and of course
10:08
once Isaac Newton came along and put
10:10
together his theory of physics and
10:12
motion and mechanics we had a much
10:15
deeper version of conservation but you
10:18
could call conservation of information
10:21
and even though it's sort of in some
10:23
implicit sense due to Isaac Newton it
10:25
was really Pierre Simone Laplace who
10:27
stuck his neck out and really understood
10:29
the implications of Newtonian mechanics
10:32
Laplace points out the following thing
10:34
let's imagine that we believed Newton's
10:37
laws of motion which they did at the
10:39
time and in fact I'll point out we
10:40
updated them since then but it's not in
10:42
a fundamentally another way that really
10:45
changes this particular analysis Laplace
10:47
says look think of two billiard balls
10:49
bouncing into each other and scattering
10:50
off now he think takes these in the
10:53
tradition of even Cena and Galileo and
10:55
so forth to be physicists billiard balls
10:57
they make no noise they have no air
10:59
resistance or on a frictionless surface
11:01
so they scatter off and they go their
11:03
own way the traditional question we
11:05
would ask of our students is if you
11:08
gave me the information at the start of
11:11
the experiment so where the balls were
11:13
and how they were moving I could tell
11:15
you I could solve the equations and tell
11:17
you how they would evolve thereafter but
11:20
what Laplace points out is that in fact
11:23
you could give me the information about
11:24
what the billiard balls are doing at any
11:26
moment in time you could not only tell
11:29
what's going to happen next according to
11:31
Newton's laws you could say what did
11:33
happen before that the information
11:37
necessary to tell you what's happening
11:39
in those billiard balls is contained
11:40
equally well in every moment of their
11:43
existence so he says imagine a vast
11:46
intellect later commentators thought
11:49
that vast intellect was insufficiently
11:50
sexy so they said imagine a demon which
11:53
we now call Laplace's demon and of
11:55
course if we had been at 20 if a 21st
11:57
century commentator would have been
11:58
imagine a really big computer that knew
12:01
the position and the velocity of
12:03
everything in the universe and all the
12:05
laws of physics and had apparently
12:07
infinite calculational abilities
12:09
computational capacity to this vast
12:12
intellect Laplace says there is no
12:15
difference between the present the past
12:17
and the future the future in the past or
12:19
equally transparent and known as the
12:21
present is because they are determined
12:23
by the laws of nature so this sets up a
12:27
whole long centuries long debate about
12:29
determinism and freewill and etc but
12:32
there's something deeper that gets
12:35
glossed over sometimes it is worth
12:37
bringing out it's not that anything goes
12:40
but the vocabulary has changed Aristotle
12:45
would have said if things are moving
12:46
there's something moving them there's a
12:47
cause or a reason why they are moving
12:49
Laplace as they just obey equations what
12:53
that means is that rather than a
12:54
cause-and-effect relationship we had
12:57
patterns in the universe
12:59
think about the integers write the
13:02
number zero one two three and also
13:03
negative minus one minus two minus three
13:05
there's a pattern there if you tell me
13:08
any one number if you say three I know
13:11
what the number before that was was two
13:13
I know the number after that's gonna be
13:15
it's gonna be four but I don't think
13:17
that three is the cause of four or
13:20
vice-versa there's just a pattern
13:22
that relates all those numbers to each
13:24
other Laplace is saying the laws of
13:26
physics are like that it's not that
13:29
there is an impulse an enchantment a
13:31
guiding force it's just there's a
13:33
pattern that says if this then that and
13:35
vice versa and this way of thinking
13:38
about how the world works at a deep
13:39
level is something we have yet to truly
13:42
absorb of course Laplace was not right
13:44
he didn't know about the true laws of
13:47
physics he thought that Newton's laws
13:48
were more or less correct it every
13:50
reason to believe that was true but
13:52
since then we have relativity and
13:53
quantum mechanics and so forth so we
13:56
have a better idea now of what the law
13:57
is fundamentally are in fact one of the
13:59
bold claims I want to make and you're
14:01
willing to disbelieve me if you want but
14:04
you would be incorrect is that the laws
14:07
of physics underlying everyday life are
14:11
today completely known here I put on a
14:14
slide just in case this sounds very much
14:18
like one of those incredibly dopey
14:21
pretentious statements that scientists
14:23
have made for hundreds of years right
14:25
scientists especially physicists my
14:27
tribe are very very famous for saying
14:30
you know any day now we'll have it all
14:32
figured out we'll have the theory of
14:34
everything this is especially common in
14:36
the late 19th century people were saying
14:39
yes we have you know mechanics and
14:40
thermodynamics and electromagnetism any
14:43
day now we'll have all the physics
14:45
figured out and then of course it all
14:47
went to hell because they invented
14:48
relativity and quantum mechanics and so
14:50
forth I'm not saying that I'm not making
14:53
any statement whatsoever about how close
14:56
we are to understanding all of the laws
14:58
of physics or everything we are made of
15:00
what I'm saying is we know some of the
15:02
laws of physics some of the things that
15:04
we are made of and more importantly the
15:07
regime that we do understand the domain
15:09
of validity of our current knowledge
15:12
includes everything in this room
15:14
includes everything that you experience
15:17
in the everyday regime of your life as
15:19
long as your everyday regime is not that
15:21
of an experimental particle physicist
15:23
but you you are made of atoms you are
15:27
made of particles electrons protons
15:29
neutrons those protons and neutrons are
15:31
made of quarks up and down quarks
15:34
and these particles feel forces and
15:36
there's basically four forces that are
15:38
relevant here gravity pulling everything
15:40
together electromagnetism pulling
15:43
together unlike charges and pushing away
15:45
like charges there's a strong nuclear
15:48
force that binds those quarks together
15:50
to make the proton in the neutron and
15:52
there's a weak nuclear force which is
15:54
almost dil rel almost irrelevant except
15:56
it helps the sunshine so that's kind of
15:57
important the weak nuclear force
15:59
converts protons to neutrons and vice
16:01
versa by spitting out a particle called
16:03
a neutrino okay so for particles
16:06
electron up quark down quark neutrino
16:09
four forces gravity electromagnetism
16:12
strong and weak and that's it we know
16:15
there are other particles there are
16:16
muons there are top quarks etc you can
16:19
argue over the exact cutoff for everyday
16:23
life okay but you're made of these
16:25
particles and everything you see with
16:28
your eyes touch with your fingers taste
16:30
with your tongue made of these particles
16:32
and the statement I want to make is that
16:35
understanding of what you're made of the
16:38
particles and the forces the laws that
16:39
they obey is true it's not gonna go away
16:43
it's not like epicycles or phlogiston or
16:48
caloric these ideas that we had in the
16:50
past that we showed later were
16:52
completely wrong it's an idea that a
16:54
thousand years from now or a million
16:56
years from now we're still going to
16:57
believe that these particles exist that
17:00
the rules that we now know are accurate
17:02
ways of talking about how they behave
17:04
inside you we might get a deeper
17:06
understanding you might realize that
17:08
space and time themselves aren't
17:10
fundamental we certainly don't know how
17:13
to take these laws and build them up to
17:14
make biology in chemistry and economics
17:16
or anything like that but at this
17:19
particular level what are the particles
17:22
and forces that you and I are made out
17:23
of what are the equations that tell us
17:25
how they behave we know that and I know
17:29
that you don't believe me because I'm
17:30
just showing you a cartoon you're
17:32
thinking to yourself I'm not gonna
17:34
believe this until I see the equation so
17:36
here you go
17:38
this is the equation I'm very grateful
17:41
to the Royal Institution for giving me
17:42
these six hours so I can explain all of
17:45
the terms in this equation in great
17:48
detail but that's okay you don't need to
17:49
know all the details as you see from the
17:51
labels on the equation this is a single
17:54
equation that more or less is the
17:57
information that the modern-day version
17:58
of Laplace's daemon would need to tell
18:02
you what happens in the world this is
18:04
the answer to the question you tell me
18:06
what the configuration of stuff in the
18:08
world is right now this equation tells
18:10
you what it will be a little bit in the
18:12
future what it was a little bit in the
18:14
past it's a quantum mechanical equation
18:17
so if you observe the system one of the
18:20
things about quantum mechanics is you
18:21
can only predict probabilities not
18:23
certainties but this is the equation
18:25
that tells you what those probabilities
18:27
are it includes quantum mechanics
18:29
space-time all the matter particles that
18:31
were made of as well as all the forces
18:33
that we know about and of course the
18:35
Higgs field lurking in the background
18:36
that we finally had evidence for back in
18:39
2012 what you don't see in this picture
18:43
is anything that Aristotle would
18:45
recognize as a final cause or anything
18:49
that Leibniz would recognize as the
18:51
reason why a certain event is happening
18:53
the language being spoken here is that
18:56
of patterns and differential equations
18:58
not of causes purposes meanings and
19:02
there's no values here there's no
19:04
judgments this equation what we call the
19:07
core theory of physics which has all the
19:09
particle physics and also all the
19:11
gravity that we know about the core
19:13
theory doesn't pass judgment on you or
19:15
me it doesn't tell us what is right from
19:17
wrong it just tells you what is going to
19:18
happen now even though I show you the
19:21
equation you might still not be happy
19:22
because you say well I only trust
19:24
equations that can fit on a t-shirt so I
19:26
had the experimental evidence that the
19:29
core theory can fit on a t-shirt we're
19:31
in good shape now I know what you're
19:34
thinking I've given this talk before
19:36
different forms you're thinking fine you
19:39
guys you physicists you have your
19:41
particles and your forces but it's just
19:44
the same kind of hubris to say that
19:46
we're not going to discover new
19:48
particles and forces that you don't know
19:49
about yet how do you know that there's
19:51
not new
19:52
particles mr. smartypants physicist and
19:55
of course there's two answers for that
19:56
one is it's almost certainly true that
19:59
there are new particles and forces that
20:01
we've not yet discovered remember all
20:04
I'm claiming is that we've discovered
20:05
the particles and forces relevant to our
20:07
everyday lives as a working theoretical
20:11
physicist I certainly hope there are new
20:12
particles and forces in understanding
20:14
I'm I'm just saying that whatever we
20:16
discover along those lines is not going
20:19
to affect your biology it's not gonna
20:22
affect your psychology it's not gonna
20:24
affect the motion of the particles that
20:26
do make up you that we know about right
20:29
now so how do we know that that's a very
20:31
grandiose claim it's one that we really
20:33
could not have made in years past it
20:36
turns out to be a very specific feature
20:38
of the way that this equation works it
20:42
is based on the principles of what we
20:43
call quantum field theory field theory
20:47
is the idea that what you think is a
20:48
particle like an electron or a photon is
20:51
really a vibration in a field filling
20:54
all of space why does it look like a
20:57
particle instead of looking like a field
20:59
that's where the quantum comes in
21:00
quantum says that when you look at these
21:03
things that make up the world they come
21:05
to you in discrete packets of stuff we
21:08
call those packets of stuff particles so
21:11
quantum field theory says the world is
21:12
made of fields but quantum mechanics
21:14
gives us the rules for observing them so
21:16
we can talk about them in terms of
21:18
particles and then it goes on to draw
21:21
implications from that idea so here's
21:24
one simple implication of quantum field
21:26
theory called crossing symmetries that
21:28
usually taught is a little technical
21:30
tool in quantum field theory but it
21:33
actually has extremely profound
21:34
implications so let's say we imagine
21:38
that there is a particle or a force or a
21:40
field that we haven't yet found in our
21:42
experiments that might in fact play an
21:45
important role in human biology or
21:48
neuroscience how would that work well
21:51
the first thing that a physicists would
21:52
do given the proposition that there's a
21:54
new particle is started drawing these
21:56
pictures what are called Fineman
21:58
diagrams named after richard fineman my
22:00
predecessor at Caltech my most famous
22:02
accomplishment as a physicist is I sit
22:04
at the desk at Richard
22:06
iemon used to sit at it is the desk
22:08
given to the most senior theoretical
22:10
physicist at Caltech who is not senior
22:13
enough to get a brand new desk when they
22:14
get there so I got that one
22:17
these fireman diagrams do two things the
22:20
number one show us what can happen they
22:23
are pictures of actual processes so the
22:25
diagram on the left you have an ordinary
22:27
particle at the bottom let's say a
22:29
proton at the top the red line is some
22:32
new particles some particle that we've
22:34
hypothesized and we're imagining there's
22:36
some new interaction or some old
22:38
interaction maybe electromagnetism or
22:40
the weak nuclear force via which this
22:43
new particle can interact with the
22:44
particle that we know about the proton
22:46
so you read the diagram from left to
22:49
right it says that the new particle
22:51
comes in a proton comes in and they
22:53
scatter off of each other by exchanging
22:55
some bows on some photon or some new
22:58
boson that we haven't heard about okay
23:00
number one the diet the diagram tells
23:03
you that can happen but number two there
23:05
are rules for attaching numbers to these
23:07
diagrams so if you're a graduate student
23:10
in physics this diagram will strike fear
23:12
into your heart because you go oh no I
23:14
have to calculate a scattering amplitude
23:16
and the diagram lets you do that it
23:18
tells you the probability the two
23:20
particles will come in and scatter off
23:22
now crossing symmetry is a feature of
23:25
quantum field theory that says given
23:27
this diagram given some new particle
23:30
they could in principle interact with an
23:31
old particle that I know I have inside
23:33
me I can rotate the diagram by 90
23:37
degrees and I get a new diagram that is
23:41
a little bit different when I rotate it
23:43
you know time goes from left to right in
23:45
these diagrams there's this there's a
23:46
little technical rule that if a line
23:49
gets flipped from going left to right
23:50
from to going right to left I exchange a
23:53
particle with an anti particle we're not
23:55
at that level of detail here but the
23:57
point is that rotated diagram gives me a
24:00
new process with the same probability
24:02
the same quantum amplitude as the old
24:06
process has in other words if the thing
24:08
on the Left can happen where the new
24:11
particle and the old particles scatter
24:12
off each other
24:13
then the thing on the right can happen
24:15
where to existing particles two protons
24:18
or two electron
24:19
or something like that can annihilate
24:21
into each other and create this new
24:25
particle you can produce the new
24:27
particle it can't hide from you and this
24:30
idea that we smash particles together
24:32
and look to see what comes out and hope
24:34
that new particles comes out that is
24:37
what particle physicists do
24:39
we've been smashing particles together
24:41
for decades electrons and other
24:43
electrons electrons and positrons
24:45
protons and protons protons and
24:47
antiprotons neutrons we've smashed
24:49
everything together that we have in the
24:51
core theory of particle physics we've
24:53
seen what comes out that's how we
24:55
discovered the Higgs boson at the Large
24:57
Hadron Collider in 2012 is it possible
25:01
that there are particles that exist that
25:04
haven't yet been produced in this way
25:05
sure but we know what that would mean
25:08
either they interact with ordinary
25:12
matters so weakly that you can't make
25:14
them then you smash literally billions
25:17
of particles together and no none of
25:19
these new particles are created that's
25:21
possible but if that's possible then
25:23
they're not gonna play an important role
25:25
in you there you can't make them they're
25:28
just irrelevant to the processes that
25:29
describe the atoms and the molecules
25:31
inside you the other possibility is that
25:34
you do make them but then they quickly
25:35
decay away that's what happens with the
25:38
Higgs boson for example the Higgs boson
25:40
you make it then it decays away in one
25:43
Zepto second Zepto second is a very
25:46
short period of time 10 to the minus 21
25:51
seconds so we say we've discovered the
25:53
Higgs boson at CERN we've never seen a
25:56
Higgs boson we've seen the thing the
25:58
Higgs bosons decay into and if that's
26:00
the way that these particles have
26:02
avoided being seen then again they're
26:04
not relevant to you and me if you did
26:07
have any in your brain they would decay
26:08
away in a Zepto second or less this is
26:11
why we can make this kind of statement
26:13
about our knowledge of the laws of
26:14
physics underlying everyday life it's
26:16
certainly you're welcome to imagine
26:19
other new particles and forces but if
26:21
they were there and they were strongly
26:23
interacting enough with you and me to be
26:26
relevant to our everyday lives we would
26:27
have seen them already and we do not so
26:31
we know what you and I are made out
26:33
what is remaining to do is to match this
26:37
underlying core theory equation to the
26:39
everyday life that we see and that's
26:42
where this principle called emergence
26:44
comes in that we have different
26:46
vocabularies different stories we can
26:49
tell about the world at different levels
26:51
of detail the story of the core theory
26:54
with the particles the electrons and the
26:55
quantum fields bumping into each other
26:57
that's the microscopic version of
27:00
reality our best current microscopic
27:02
description we may in the future do get
27:04
even deeper layers but the layer that we
27:06
have right now won't go away and that
27:08
microscopic description is a story of
27:11
particles fields differential equations
27:13
the macroscopic world that we are
27:17
familiar with in our everyday lives that
27:18
Aristotle knew about speaks a completely
27:21
different language there is dissipation
27:24
there's cause and effect there's a
27:25
natural state for things to move in
27:27
there are reasons why things happen
27:30
rather than not happen and much of this
27:33
is due to this first item on the list
27:36
here the arrow of time the difference
27:38
between past and future the arrow of
27:41
time is something that is absolutely
27:42
central to how we think about the world
27:44
it is so central that you don't notice
27:46
it is a thing Aristotle who wrote books
27:49
on absolutely everything from
27:51
metaphysics to drama never talked about
27:53
the arrow of time of course the past is
27:56
different from the future that's just an
27:57
obvious thing what is it what are you
27:59
even asking that question about but
28:02
there's no arrow of time in the core
28:04
theory equation there was no arrow of
28:07
time in Newton's equations for
28:09
describing the world the best since the
28:12
time of Isaac Newton the best ways we
28:14
have of describing the world at the most
28:15
fundamental microscopic level do not
28:17
distinguish between past and future in
28:20
any way
28:21
despite that the world in which we live
28:23
obviously does just doing distinguish
28:26
between the past and future in many ways
28:27
we remember what happened yesterday we
28:30
don't remember the future I hope nobody
28:31
here remembers the future you can make
28:35
choices right so like right now you
28:37
could decide that you think this is the
28:41
most boring lecture you've ever heard
28:42
you can leave you don't need to be here
28:44
for the next half of the lecture but you
28:46
cannot right now
28:47
decide not to have come to the lecture
28:49
you cannot make a decision that affects
28:51
the past right there's an asymmetry of
28:54
influence where does that come from if
28:56
the underlying law is to treat the past
28:58
and future symmetrically well it's all
29:01
comes down to this egg breaking if you
29:03
understand the egg breaking you
29:04
understand why all these things are true
29:07
this egg breaking illustrates the
29:08
increase of entropy or disorderliness
29:11
the second law of thermodynamics which
29:13
is going to be a theme of the Royal
29:15
Institution advent calendar entropy
29:18
increases you clean your room
29:21
you leave it to its own devices your
29:23
room gets Messier over time that's a
29:24
fundamental law of physics of course you
29:27
can clean it again but that's because
29:29
your room is not a closed system in an
29:31
isolated system or in the universe as a
29:33
whole
29:33
entropy increases the universe becomes
29:36
more disorderly the reason why is
29:39
because there are more ways to be low
29:42
and more ways to be high entropy than to
29:44
be low entropy you give me an orderly
29:46
arrangement like an unbroken egg it is
29:48
easy to break it there's a lot more ways
29:50
to arrange the molecules in the egg in
29:51
the form of a broken egg or scrambled
29:53
eggs then there are in a very delicately
29:55
chosen arrangement of the unbroken egg
29:58
that's half of the reason why there is
30:01
an arrow of time there's more ways to be
30:03
high entropy to be low entropy but the
30:04
other half is the universe was low
30:07
entropy in the past that's more of a
30:11
puzzle why was the universe lower
30:13
entropy more orderly yesterday than it
30:15
is today I can tell you the answer it's
30:18
because it was even lower entropy the
30:20
day before yesterday and the reason why
30:23
that's true is because it was even lower
30:24
entropy the day before that and this
30:26
logic goes back 13.8 billion years to
30:29
the Big Bang there's no fundamental
30:32
arrow of time or just like there's no
30:35
fundamental arrow of space in the laws
30:37
of physics if you were an astronaut
30:39
doing experiments there'd be no
30:40
difference being up down left right
30:41
forward backward in front of you you
30:43
could rotate yourself out there in space
30:45
it wouldn't make any difference here in
30:47
this room there's an arrow of space if I
30:49
let go the book it falls I could predict
30:52
what direction it's gonna fall in it
30:53
goes down we don't think that's built
30:55
into the nature of reality we think it's
30:57
because we live in the vicinity of an
30:59
influential object
31:01
namely the earth what I'm telling you is
31:03
that the arrow of time is exactly the
31:05
same way it's tempting it's natural to
31:07
think that the difference between past
31:09
and future is somehow inherent in the
31:11
net in the nature of reality but it's
31:14
not it's because we live in the
31:16
aftermath of an influential event the
31:18
Big Bang that had a very low entropy was
31:21
a very organised system we don't know
31:24
why if you want to know why well no one
31:27
knows why if you want to think about why
31:29
I wrote a book that was the first book I
31:32
wrote from eternity here you can buy
31:33
that that's where this figure is from so
31:36
what this is revealing to us is that
31:38
unlike an Aristotelian view which was
31:40
teleological things were directed toward
31:43
a future goal they were headed toward
31:45
going back to their natural state of
31:47
being
31:47
if anything the macroscopic world is
31:50
economical which is from the greek words
31:53
start or beginning the special state of
31:55
the universe was where it began we don't
31:58
know why it began in such a special
31:59
state but since then it's just been
32:02
winding down that's all it's been doing
32:04
there is no future goal or place toward
32:06
which we're going that increase of
32:08
entropy is sufficient to explain all the
32:12
differences between past and future and
32:15
we can't go through all of them that
32:16
would require another book or another
32:18
lecture but let's think about the idea
32:20
of a memory or a record some artifact
32:24
some feature of the present day that
32:27
gives us knowledge of the past in a
32:29
reliable way
32:30
so maybe that's literally a memory in
32:32
your head maybe it's a photograph maybe
32:34
you're walking down the street on the
32:36
sidewalk you see a broken egg I claim
32:39
that the evidence that you have there's
32:41
an egg broken on the sidewalk gives you
32:43
different leverage over the past than
32:46
over the future you can ask yourself
32:48
what is the future of the egg hold well
32:51
many things are possible right it could
32:53
just sit there someone could clean it up
32:55
but dog could come by and eat it it
32:57
could be washed away there's many
32:58
different possible futures what was the
33:00
past of the egg probably like well with
33:03
very large probability there was an
33:05
unbroken egg and somebody dropped it
33:07
right we can say something much more
33:09
specific and informative about the past
33:11
given this evidence of the egg right now
33:13
then we can about the future
33:14
why is that again if all you knew were
33:18
the deepest laws of physics that
33:19
equation I showed you or Newton's laws
33:21
or whatever your ability to extrapolate
33:24
toward the past and future would be
33:25
identical you have some knowledge of the
33:28
worlds present state but it is
33:29
incomplete you have this macroscopic
33:32
configuration of the egg but you don't
33:33
know what all the atoms and molecules
33:34
are doing the number of things the egg
33:37
could possibly do toward the future is
33:39
exactly equal to the number of things
33:42
that could have been doing in the past
33:43
if all you know is the fundamental laws
33:45
of physics but you know something else
33:47
you know that the early universe had a
33:49
low entropy you know that our past
33:51
something that philosophers have sadly
33:53
labelled the past hypothesis is most
33:56
boring label I've ever heard but the
33:58
past I pathi says the universe started
34:00
with low entropy and that provides an
34:02
anchor that provides an asymmetry
34:04
between what we know about the past and
34:06
what we know about the future so you
34:08
have not only the present information
34:09
but also that past anchor and that lets
34:13
you infer features of what actually
34:15
happened in the past if you have an egg
34:17
broken on the sidewalk there used to be
34:19
an unbroken egg if you have a photograph
34:21
of you ten years old wearing a red
34:23
sweater you probably were wearing a red
34:25
sweater that day we all know that we've
34:28
all heard right that there's this
34:30
general tendency of the universe to wind
34:32
down and evolve toward its heat death
34:34
over time and there is in my country
34:37
there's a controversy over what is
34:41
called creationism some people think
34:44
that if you think that there's a
34:44
fundamental feature of the world where
34:47
things just go to more more disorderly
34:49
states that is incompatible with the
34:52
appearance over a cosmological history
34:54
of things like you and me because we're
34:58
not low entropy how is it possible that
35:00
such highly organized things like you
35:02
and me could just pop into existence in
35:05
a world that is generally becoming more
35:07
and more disorganized and scientists
35:10
have an immediate glib answer to this
35:11
the earth and its biosphere is not a
35:14
closed system it's not isolated you can
35:17
clean your room there are things called
35:19
refrigerators if you put your bottle of
35:21
champagne in the refrigerator its
35:22
entropy will go down as it cools okay so
35:26
therefore there's no contradiction with
35:27
the second law of thermodynamics
35:28
that low entropy things like you and me
35:31
came to be as the universe expanded and
35:33
cooled on the other hand just because
35:36
you can clean your room doesn't mean you
35:38
will clean your room some of you may
35:40
have experienced this with children or
35:42
even yourselves so the fact that the
35:46
earth is not a closed system allows for
35:48
the appearance of organized systems like
35:50
you and me but it doesn't explain why it
35:52
happened
35:52
the explanation is of course incomplete
35:55
we don't know the full answer but it
35:57
relies on the fact that there's a
35:58
difference between simplicity and
36:01
complexity there's an axis if you like
36:04
between simple systems and complex
36:06
systems another axis between low entropy
36:09
organized things and high entropy
36:11
disorganized things being disorganized
36:14
does not mean being simple or being
36:17
complex think about one of my favorite
36:19
examples mixing cream into coffee on the
36:22
left you have a low entropy situation
36:24
all the creams on the top all the
36:25
coffee's on the bottom as time goes on
36:28
the cream mixes into the coffee on the
36:30
right you have a high entropy situation
36:33
everything is mixed together
36:34
that's a natural flow of time from past
36:37
to future but think about the system on
36:40
the left it is very simple here the
36:43
technical definition of simplicity vs.
36:45
complexity is how long do you have to
36:47
talk to me to describe the system in
36:50
full detail how many bytes of
36:52
information do you need on the Left all
36:54
the creams on the top all the coffees on
36:57
the bottom it's very simple on the right
36:59
everything is mixed together it's also
37:02
very simple it's in between
37:05
it's where those tendrils of cream and
37:07
coffee are mixing together in some
37:09
intricate fractal pattern that's when
37:11
things look complex so there's a natural
37:14
tendency as the universe ages for
37:16
entropy to increase but at the same time
37:20
complexity first increases and then
37:23
decreases it's not only that complex
37:26
complex systems are allowed to come into
37:28
existence when entropy is increasing in
37:31
a very real sense they do come into
37:34
existence because entropy is increasing
37:37
or at least they can maintain themselves
37:39
they can maintain structure in order and
37:42
self-repair because we're in a very low
37:45
entropy universe that is only gradually
37:47
becoming more and more disorderly and
37:50
it's not just cups of coffee and cream
37:52
that this is true for this is true for
37:54
the universe so here is the history of
37:57
our observable universe and a very brief
37:58
presentation it started out we don't
38:01
know what happened at the Big Bang but
38:02
one second after the Big Bang we know
38:04
what the universe was like it was hot
38:06
dense and smooth that's it that's a very
38:09
simple explanation a very simple
38:11
description I didn't take that many
38:13
bites to give it to you as the universe
38:16
expands and cools it becomes
38:18
increasingly lumpier because gravity
38:21
pulls things together so a few hundred
38:23
thousand years after the Big Bang we get
38:25
the cosmic background radiation a
38:27
snapshot of what the universe looked
38:28
like when it first became transparent
38:30
tiny variations in density from place to
38:33
place but still pretty smooth now
38:36
fourteen billion years after the Big
38:38
Bang the universe is very complicated
38:39
we've formed galaxies and stars and
38:41
planets and biospheres and lecture halls
38:44
it's a very complicated part of the
38:46
universe but we can keep going
38:49
we discovered in 1998 of the universe is
38:51
not only expanding but accelerating it's
38:53
expanding faster and faster which means
38:55
it's never gonna stop according to our
38:57
best current theories what will happen
38:59
is the stars will burn out 10 to the 15
39:02
years 1 quadrillion years from now the
39:04
last star will stop shining sorry all
39:09
those stars are gonna fall into black
39:11
holes and Stephen Hawking taught us in
39:14
1970s that even black holes don't last
39:16
forever they give off radiation so 10 to
39:18
the 100 years from now what used to be
39:21
called a Google before the search engine
39:23
took over the term 10 to 100 years from
39:26
now there'll be nothing left in the
39:28
observable universe it will literally be
39:29
nothing but empty space nothing but
39:32
empty space is very simple but it is
39:35
very high entropy everything's very far
39:37
apart so there's lots of different
39:37
arrangements for the things that do
39:39
exist in the universe so the entropy of
39:41
this universe just increases but the
39:43
complexity first increases and then
39:45
decreases this is a natural robust
39:48
generic way that complexity can come
39:51
into being well we want to do that's the
39:53
easy part well we want to do is take
39:55
that natural
39:56
bust simple story and apply to the real
39:58
evolution of complicated structures like
40:01
life here on earth so for me the
40:06
Epiphany was one day I was taking a
40:08
plane ride to a conference and I was
40:10
actually interested in the origin of
40:12
life I was reading a paper a technical
40:14
paper on the relationship between
40:16
physics and the origin of life so I'm
40:18
sitting there reading my paper the guy
40:19
in the plane seat next to me starts
40:23
talking and you know as a theoretical
40:24
physicists and cosmologists you need a
40:26
lot of people who have furies about the
40:29
universe that they would like to explain
40:31
to you so this guy looks at my paper and
40:35
he says oh yes I'm familiar with that
40:36
work in fact I can tell you the purpose
40:39
of life like okay long plane ride ahead
40:43
lay it on me he said the purpose of life
40:46
is to hydrogenate carbon dioxide not
40:49
what I expected his theory to be turns
40:53
out the guy sitting next to me was dr.
40:55
Michael Russell the Jet Propulsion
40:56
Laboratory in Pasadena one of the
40:58
world's leading researchers on the
41:00
origin of life what are the odds we
41:05
turns out we're going to the same
41:06
conference so it's not completely a
41:08
coincidence everything happens for a
41:09
reason remember
41:11
so Mike Russell's theory which is not
41:14
universally accepted we don't know how
41:16
life began there are different competing
41:18
ideas he has one of the good ideas his
41:21
idea is that in certain environments of
41:23
the early Earth were in a low entropy
41:25
configuration in particular all the
41:28
carbon atoms were in the form of carbon
41:31
dioxide which happens to be relatively
41:33
low entropy given all the water and
41:36
hydrogen around them they could be in
41:38
the form of methane ch4 that would be a
41:40
higher entropy configuration in some
41:43
sense to be a little bit poetic about it
41:46
it wants to be in the form of methane
41:48
that would be higher entropy but there
41:50
is no simple chemical reaction that goes
41:53
from carbon dioxide to methane while
41:56
increasing the entropy all along there's
41:59
a barrier in between you need to first
42:01
lower the entropy to get to the higher
42:04
entropy state so Mike Russell's idea is
42:06
that even though there's no simple
42:08
chemical reaction there is a network
42:10
of complex chemical reactions that could
42:12
do the trick and that in the right
42:14
circumstances that could happen and be
42:16
self-sustaining and that self-sustaining
42:19
metabolism could then break free of its
42:22
original environment and become the
42:24
precursor to life so it's more than just
42:26
a pretty story he actually made a
42:28
prediction he's a geologist by training
42:30
and he said you know if this is true
42:32
there must exist under the ocean floor
42:34
certain kind of geological formations
42:36
warm alkaline hydrothermal event
42:39
hydrothermal vents where this kind of
42:42
chemistry is going on and after he made
42:45
the prediction they found them this is
42:47
what you live for in science this is a
42:48
picture of the lost city
42:50
hydrothermal formation deep underneath
42:53
the Atlantic Ocean in the mid-atlantic
42:54
ridge it's been it lasts for tens of
42:58
thousands of years so Mike Russell and
43:00
other people think that maybe this is
43:02
the kind of place where life began we
43:04
don't know I'm not pushing this theory
43:06
necessarily what I'm pointing out is
43:07
that rather than saying but entropy
43:10
increases why should something as
43:12
complex as life ever come to be the it's
43:16
very very plausible that the appearance
43:18
of life depended on the fact that
43:21
entropy tends to increase so you
43:23
actually find the complexity depends on
43:25
entropy increasing and vice versa the
43:28
reason why entropy could increase in
43:29
this system is only because you had a
43:31
complex network of reactions and that of
43:35
course continues to the present day we
43:37
live in an open system we live here on
43:39
earth you ask yourself what good is the
43:42
Sun what does the Sun do for us here on
43:45
earth you might think well we get energy
43:47
from the Sun but that's not quite right
43:49
it's true that we get energy from the
43:51
Sun go we give the same amount of energy
43:52
back to the universe we radiate back
43:55
into the universe the same amount of
43:57
energy that we get from solar radiation
43:59
the difference is that for every one
44:01
photon of light we get from the Sun
44:03
visible light we radiate twenty photons
44:07
of infrared light back to the universe
44:09
with on average one twentieth of the
44:11
energy each but twenty times the entropy
44:16
the thing that the Sun gives us is not
44:18
just energy but energy in a concentrated
44:21
low entropy form
44:23
and we then photosynthesize chew our cod
44:26
eat our cows give lectures write books
44:30
all of that all those processes increase
44:33
the entropy of the universe along the
44:35
way then we give it back to the universe
44:37
in the form of infrared radiation so we
44:40
are sustained by increasing entropy back
44:42
in the 1800s it was a reasonable
44:45
hypothesis that life was a thing we
44:49
thought for instance that heat was a
44:50
thing if you put a hot object next to a
44:53
cold object they equilibrates they come
44:55
to the same temperature so people said
44:56
well that's kind of like putting two
44:58
vessels with a fluid in it the fluid
45:01
comes to the same level there must be a
45:02
heat fluid that flows from the hot thing
45:05
to the cold thing not true don't believe
45:08
anything I just said
45:09
heat is not a fluid heat is a feature it
45:11
is a way of talking about the motions of
45:14
the atoms and molecules life is the same
45:16
way life is not a force or a substance
45:19
that is in your body and then leaves it
45:22
is a feature it is a way of talking
45:24
about what is happening inside you the
45:27
bad news is that that means it will end
45:28
someday but we'll get to that in a
45:30
second
45:31
I have lots of bad news don't don't
45:32
worry the good news is that once this
45:37
happens once you get life once you get
45:40
this chemical reaction that sustains
45:42
itself and reproduces and wants to keep
45:45
going there's this wonderful thing that
45:46
kicks in called evolution if there's
45:50
different ways the chemical reaction
45:51
could arrange itself and some of them
45:53
will more robust and more likely to
45:54
survive professor Darwin would tell you
45:56
that's what's going to happen those more
45:58
robust ones are likely to dominate the
46:00
future ecosystem in that particular
46:02
environment and what that means is that
46:05
we can once again change our
46:07
vocabularies just as we change our
46:09
vocabulary - going from particles and
46:12
atoms to eggs and entropy and and time
46:15
we can change our vocabulary when we
46:18
start talking about biology and
46:19
evolution because the new words that
46:22
creep into our vocabulary are words of
46:24
purpose and reasons why why is it that a
46:28
giraffe has a very long neck you could
46:31
say if you want to be annoying about it
46:33
well because of the laws of physics and
46:35
the initial conditions of the universe
46:37
that's why giraffe has its long necks
46:39
that's the answer to every question why
46:40
is something true laws of physics and
46:42
the initial conditions of the universe
46:44
but it's not the only possible answer in
46:47
fact it's not a very sensible answer
46:49
right there's another answer that says
46:51
well giraffes had mutations in their
46:54
genes and some of them got longer necks
46:56
and those were able to reach sources of
46:59
food up on trees that other animals with
47:01
which they were competing were not able
47:03
to reach and therefore over successive
47:05
generations the longer and longer necks
47:07
survived and flourished and they were
47:09
naturally selected to be like that so in
47:12
a very real sense the purpose of the
47:14
giraffes long neck is to help it reach
47:17
food sources that it couldn't otherwise
47:18
reach where did that purpose come in did
47:22
it did someone put it there
47:23
no it evolved naturally but that doesn't
47:26
mean it's fake it doesn't mean it's an
47:27
illusion it is a useful emergent
47:30
vocabulary for talking about what
47:32
happens at the macroscopic level and
47:35
you're probably willing to believe that
47:37
if I'm just talking about life and
47:38
biology it's where it comes to thinking
47:41
and neuroscience and consciousness that
47:44
people tend to get off the bus and of
47:46
course just like with the origin of life
47:48
we don't understand the origin of
47:49
consciousness or what it really is well
47:52
we can do is suggest occasional steps in
47:56
the history of life which might help us
47:58
understand why consciousness became an
48:01
interesting part of biology this guy up
48:04
here the C elegans nematode kind of flat
48:08
worm is a little model organism that
48:10
biologists like to study in your brain
48:13
the cells doing the thinking are the
48:14
neurons there's something like 85
48:17
billion neurons in your brain and
48:19
different neurons are connected to each
48:21
other and a big project for modern
48:23
neuroscience is studying the connectome
48:25
the way that all the neurons in your
48:27
brain are connected to each other we're
48:29
gonna start with a simpler system we're
48:31
going to start with C elegans we have
48:33
its connect on we've mapped it out C
48:35
elegans flatworm has exactly 302 neurons
48:38
so you can actually count them and then
48:41
now you counted them and see how they
48:42
connect to each other we're trying to
48:44
figure out what they're for what they do
48:46
in the flatworm there is a paper that
48:49
came out I'm not sure if it's
48:51
wrecked or not theoretical physicists
48:52
remember but there's a claim that is
48:54
very interesting one that says they can
48:56
identify one of those neurons whose job
49:00
it is to tell the nematode whether it's
49:03
looking at itself or the rest of the
49:04
world is this thing in front of me is
49:07
this dirt does this water or is this
49:08
just my tail right this this one part of
49:12
one neuron its job is to sort of have a
49:16
little bit of self-awareness a little
49:18
bit of well this is me not the rest of
49:20
the world and you can see why if that
49:22
developed just through the natural
49:24
fluctuations and mutations of evolution
49:26
it would be an advantageous thing to
49:29
keep around we have much more highly
49:31
developed self-awareness and you can
49:33
imagine other steps along the way
49:35
Malcolm McIver who is a mechanical
49:37
engineer at Northwestern he studies fish
49:40
and how in particular fish sense their
49:44
surroundings so he points out that a
49:46
fish with its eyes eyes are very
49:48
ubiquitous in life they developed
49:50
multiple independent times in the course
49:52
of evolution but eyes aren't that great
49:54
if you're underwater you know you can
49:56
see tens of meters at most the
49:58
attenuation length of light is just not
50:00
that far and you're swimming at meters
50:03
per second so if you're a fish every
50:05
time you see something new you have
50:08
seconds to react to it maybe a second
50:10
right so the evolutionary pressure is to
50:13
make a decision really quickly is this
50:15
food is this friendly or is this foe and
50:18
I should run away so you don't need to
50:20
think too much if you're a fish but when
50:22
you hop onto land
50:23
now the attenuation length of photons is
50:26
kilometers you can see off to the
50:27
horizon you can see essentially forever
50:29
it's possible that you now see something
50:32
coming long before you need to react so
50:35
there's a new evolutionary pressure that
50:38
starts exerting itself that if you just
50:40
threw the randomness of evolution
50:42
develop the ability to contemplate
50:45
different hypothetical scenarios then
50:49
you have a new way of winning the
50:50
struggle for survival
50:52
that is to say up on land it pays to
50:54
develop an imagination not just an
50:57
awareness of yourself but the ability to
50:59
put yourself hypothetically into
51:01
different situations and say what is the
51:03
right thing
51:03
to do we don't know if any of this is
51:05
right okay we don't know how
51:07
consciousness evolved or even we don't
51:09
even know the right definition of
51:11
consciousness but you can imagine
51:13
stories like this will be put together
51:15
by the progress of biology and
51:18
neuroscience over the years the only
51:20
thing that I really care about I really
51:21
want to stress is that there's nothing
51:23
that we know about consciousness that is
51:25
incompatible with the idea that we are
51:28
made of the particles and fields of the
51:29
core theory obeying that equation here I
51:32
have a picture of my brain this is
51:35
actually my it's not my brain it's the
51:37
skull so I was in it's not to scale
51:40
either but I was in a machine M eg
51:45
Magneto and cephalo gram machine and
51:47
there were sensors placed on my skull
51:51
that looked for magnetic fields you've
51:54
seen fMRI pictures which are able very
51:56
very good at locating things spatially
51:58
in the brain but their time resolution
52:00
is not very good an M eg has great time
52:02
resolution because what happens is your
52:05
brain is made of particles in the core
52:07
theory in that includes your neurons so
52:09
when your neurons talk to each other
52:11
electrically charged particles race down
52:13
the neurons and as people who stood at
52:16
this desk long before me could tell you
52:18
when charged particles start moving you
52:20
create a magnetic field so this sense is
52:23
the magnetic field that those blue and
52:25
red splotches are the magnetic fields
52:27
the south and north poles coming in and
52:29
out of my skull when I think a thought
52:33
this is just a reminder of something you
52:35
already know which is that thoughts are
52:37
associated with real physical things
52:39
happening in your brain they're not
52:41
abstract things outside our physical
52:43
bodies there used to be a theory that
52:46
they were right Rene Descartes very
52:48
famously promulgated a theory of
52:50
mind-body dualism he was a skeptic and
52:53
he came up with a Co Cheeto ergo sum
52:55
argument I think therefore I am I cannot
52:58
doubt the existence of my mind because
53:00
it is the thing doing the doubting but
53:02
he says it's very easy for me to doubt
53:04
the existence of my body so if I can
53:06
doubt the existence of my body but not
53:08
the existence of my mind
53:09
they must be two separate things he
53:11
wrote books about this became very
53:13
famous died a tragic death in the cold
53:15
but that's a whole nother story so
53:17
there weren't a lot of tenured faculty
53:19
positions at the time of Descartes in
53:21
the 1600s so one had to be nice to
53:24
potential patrons so he got to know this
53:27
young lady
53:28
Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia his his
53:30
aim wasn't very good they were in exile
53:32
and didn't have a lot of money Princess
53:34
Elizabeth and her family but fortunately
53:36
Princess Elizabeth was a genius she was
53:38
a wonderful thinker very highly educated
53:40
she devoured de cartes books and she
53:43
didn't agree with what he said and they
53:45
struck up a correspondence which is a
53:47
wonderful thing to read I encourage you
53:48
to go look up princess Elizabeth's
53:50
correspondence with Descartes and
53:52
Elizabeth says look this mind-body stuff
53:54
I just don't know you're saying that
53:56
there's a mind that is literally
53:58
immaterial that has no location in space
54:02
and yet it clearly influences what our
54:05
bodies do when I talk presumably my mind
54:08
has something to do with the words I'm
54:09
saying
54:09
so Elizabeth wants to know how does the
54:12
immaterial mind causally affect the
54:16
material body and Descartes in response
54:19
drew pictures like this this is yeah it
54:21
was back in the days they were just
54:22
begin to open people up right so they
54:25
knew that your brain came in two
54:26
different hemispheres there seemed to be
54:28
one organ in the brain that there's only
54:30
one of them it was not broken into that
54:32
was the pineal gland that little
54:34
teardrop shaped thing right there so
54:36
Descartes says well you only have one
54:38
mind one soul so I bet that the soul
54:40
talks to your body via the pineal gland
54:43
yeah no one else believed that either in
54:45
the 1600s it was not a very effective
54:49
hypothesis for understanding what was
54:51
going on and so Elizabeth kept pushing
54:53
on him and he never really gave a very
54:55
good answer today we would have a much
54:58
sharper version of Elizabeth's question
55:01
remember this I know you love this
55:03
equation right
55:04
if Princess Elizabeth were here today
55:06
she would say Renee tell me how the
55:09
immaterial mind pushes around the
55:11
quantum fields of the core theory this
55:14
equation tells me what's going to happen
55:15
in the quantum fields of the core theory
55:18
without any reference to an immaterial
55:19
mind so you must be saying this equation
55:21
is wrong in some way tell me how and
55:25
there's still no answer to that
55:27
so the conclusion that I want to draw is
55:29
not that I understand what consciousness
55:30
is or how it came about but that we
55:32
should be able to understand it without
55:34
invoking violations of the physical laws
55:37
that make up you and me does that mean
55:41
that we are non autonomous robots well I
55:46
don't think so
55:47
so the philosophy that I try to
55:48
elucidate in the book is called poetic
55:50
naturalism the idea is that there's
55:52
naturalism says there's only one world
55:54
the natural world but poetic means
55:56
there's many ways of talking about the
55:58
world there's many different levels of
55:59
description whether it's atoms versus
56:01
gas in a room or emergent purpose for
56:05
the neck of the giraffe or even things
56:08
like making choices you can describe
56:11
yourself as a set of particles and
56:12
forces obeying the core theory or you
56:15
can describe yourself as a person and
56:17
people make choices if you choose to
56:20
describe yourself using only atoms and
56:23
molecules then there is no such thing as
56:25
free will and there's no such thing as
56:27
the ability to make a choice but if as
56:29
real actual people do you describe
56:32
yourself as a person then you can't help
56:34
but attribute to yourself the ability to
56:36
make choices so if you want to say can
56:39
free will the ability to make choices be
56:41
real and true even though we are made of
56:43
atoms yes of course it can in the same
56:45
way that any emergent property can be
56:48
real the different vocabularies work
56:51
within themselves you can't start a
56:53
sentence in one language and then end it
56:55
in another one and once you accept that
56:58
then the same thing goes true for more
57:01
judgmental value-laden propositions is
57:04
there right and wrong is there a way to
57:07
live in the world with meaning and
57:09
compassion well yes it's nowhere to be
57:12
found in the fundamental atoms but
57:14
nowhere to be found in funda madam's or
57:16
tables either or water right these are
57:19
higher level emergent properties and
57:20
caring and meaning and purpose or the
57:23
same kind of thing now that bothers
57:25
people because they want things like
57:28
right and wrong to be objective right
57:30
even the most hardcore scientifically
57:33
minded person wants to say well I will
57:34
someday do so much science that I will
57:37
tell you right from wrong I will
57:39
discover how to live as a human being
57:40
I'm here to say that it's never going to
57:42
happen more bad news
57:44
sorry the good news is that you can
57:46
choose what to label right and wrong and
57:50
no one can stop you you construct your
57:53
own morality the analogy I like to use
57:55
is think of the rules of chess the rules
57:58
of chess are not fixed by the laws of
58:00
physics we made them up we all agree on
58:03
that but that doesn't mean they're
58:05
arbitrary that doesn't mean you could
58:06
make up any old rules and they'd be just
58:08
as good when we made up the rules of
58:10
chess we had goals in mind and when we
58:13
make up the rules of right and wrong and
58:15
living together in the world we likewise
58:17
have goals in mind we will not always
58:20
agree there will always be people who
58:21
would rather play go than play chess we
58:24
might have to sort of come to an
58:26
understanding of what our overlap is but
58:29
that doesn't mean that we're adrift it
58:31
doesn't mean that just because the
58:32
universe doesn't tell us how to behave
58:34
there is no way to behave all right the
58:37
final piece of bad news I already sort
58:39
of foreshadowed this but you are all
58:41
going to die
58:43
so biologists like to study these
58:46
scaling relations how one biological
58:48
property depends on another one so it
58:50
turns out that larger animals live
58:52
longer but their hearts beat slower and
58:55
it is particulars for example these
58:59
effects cancel out in mammals very
59:01
roughly speaking every mammal is granted
59:04
one and a half billion heartbeats for
59:07
their lifetime on this axis you can
59:10
figure out you tell me how heavy an
59:12
object is a mammal is I will tell you
59:14
how fast its heart beats and how long
59:15
it's gonna live now we human beings
59:17
heart beats and you know once per second
59:19
right 60 or 70 times a minute so that
59:22
puts us at about 40 years and that's
59:25
about right that's how long we used to
59:27
live back in the state of nature of
59:29
course these days we have Obamacare and
59:31
the National Health and pasteurized milk
59:32
so we have increased our lifespan we
59:36
live twice as long as we should so that
59:38
gives us three billion heartbeats to our
59:41
lives before we die and if you believe
59:43
in the core theory do you believe that
59:45
we are made of particles obeying the
59:46
laws of physics then there is no life
59:48
after death there's no place for the
59:50
information that is contained in your
59:52
neurons to go when you die because I
59:54
think
59:54
neurons and the atoms that are there
59:56
they stay in your body even when you you
59:59
die and that can be sad you you might
60:02
want to be I would have liked to live
60:03
not maybe forever forever is a long time
60:05
but I think I could keep things
60:07
interesting for a few hundred thousand
60:08
years before they got boring I only get
60:11
three billion heartbeats and three
60:12
billion is an interesting number it's
60:14
sort of a big number but it's not that
60:15
big
60:16
I mean you've squandered a couple
60:18
thousand heartbeats just over the course
60:20
of this lecture knowing that you have
60:22
about 3 billion heartbeats allocated to
60:25
you makes every heartbeat seem precious
60:28
right it's not just like a little thing
60:30
that will grow into something after we
60:32
die because this is it every one of
60:34
those heartbeats is meaningful to you
60:36
because you only have a finite number so
60:40
the good news this is not going to sound
60:42
like good news after all that bad news
60:44
but the good news is on the one hand we
60:47
are very very small ok this is the
60:49
famous Hubble Ultra Deep Field an image
60:52
of galaxies if you take us telescope and
60:55
point it at the sky and you click the
60:58
shutter on the camera and you just leave
60:59
it open this is what you will see if
61:02
your telescope is the Hubble Space
61:03
Telescope this is what you will see our
61:06
universe is alive with galaxies our our
61:09
galaxy the Milky Way has about a hundred
61:11
billion stars before last week I was
61:15
able to say there's about a hundred
61:16
billion galaxies in the observable
61:18
universe I don't know if you following
61:19
the news but they discovered that the
61:21
density of galaxies is actually 20 times
61:23
higher than we thought it was there's
61:25
about two trillion galaxies in the
61:27
observable universe every one of these
61:29
dots even tiny dots that's a galaxy with
61:32
a hundred billion stars who knows how
61:34
many royal institutions they have where
61:35
there's a lecture going on there with a
61:37
picture of us up there we seem very
61:39
small that's the that's the last piece
61:42
of bad news the good news is we took
61:45
this picture right we're exactly there
61:49
you go
61:50
appreciate the good news we are very
61:52
very tiny insignificant the universe is
61:54
not about us if the universe was about
61:55
us there was some purpose to the world
61:58
that was for our greater glory we would
62:00
not be around a medium sized planet
62:03
around a medium sized star in a galaxy
62:05
with 100 billion stars in a universe
62:07
with two trillion galaxies
62:08
we'd be more central and if you look at
62:11
the ancient pictures of the world
62:12
we were always much more central than
62:14
the modern view had it despite that we
62:17
are the little part of the universe in
62:19
this age when things are complex and
62:21
interesting that has developed the
62:22
capacity for self-awareness and
62:24
reflection and thinking and rational
62:27
thought and writing books and buying
62:28
books by the way and that should make us
62:35
feel pretty good we don't always do very
62:36
well at it
62:37
I think both in my country in yours
62:39
there are examples in recent political
62:41
history where things have gone not right
62:45
but we have the ability to be rational
62:48
to think to invent to discover to create
62:50
new things to care about each other in
62:52
ways that other parts of the universe
62:54
just don't care about each other and
62:56
that's that capacity that we have as
62:58
fleeting as life is it's up to us what
63:02
to make of it the fact that we are made
63:04
of atoms and particles obeying the laws
63:05
of physics doesn't stop us from caring
63:08
about ourselves the rest of the world
63:10
our legacies the people next to us right
63:12
now so that's a choice that we can make
63:15
completely compatible with the laws of
63:17
physics I urge you all to choose very
63:19
wisely thank you
63:26
you



We can see the dishonesty of atheismnthecity by claiming the Carroll stated things that support him when Carroll does not. What we see here is the splicing of googling that atheismnthecity engages in. He/she clearly has no grasp of physics and his/her own words show this. If there were no such thing as causes, then nothing could happen. We would all be stuck in a universal pattern that is determined. Each one of us would be doing, saying and thinking the same thing. The idea has many problems. Even patterns have a cause and effect. What started the pattern? Why is the pattern set in such a pace? Can the pattern change? If all is set set in a pattern, then how is choice even possible? The ideeas of Carroll and atheismnthecity can only support an existence like that of the Matrix in the 1999 hit movie. Concepts such as Global warming would not make sense because there is no cause or effect. Do you see the absurdity in Carroll's and atheismnthecity's thinking?

One can refute something using the Bible if the ideologies being criticized come from the Bible. Atheismnthecity does not seem to understand this. If he/she criticizes suffering and God's relation to it, then the BIble has to be used because it describes the reason why suffering exists in a universe created by a benevolent God. Atheismnthecity claims that there was no Adam and Eve, but in my reply to part 3, I have showed that this is not true. We all originate from a set of two parents. This is genetically proven. I have provided the evidence for this and atheismnthecity has not addressed it. Similarly, I have provided evidence using physics and philosophy and atheismnthecity has ignored it. Nothing was asserted. I explained and supported those explanations. It is clear that atheismnthecity is not reading or understanding my replies. I have quoted all of his/her content to show readers what I am responding to. In return, he/she just cherry picks what he/she wants to address. Moreover, he/she does not even address them. Instead, he/she resorts to name calling and claiming that I did not refute his/her posts. This is a sign that he/she has become desperate.

Atheismnthecity claims that he/she is educated, but when asked if he/she had a degree, he/she did not answer directly and simply stated that one does not need a degree:




I personally do not believe that atheismnthecity is a real atheist. To date, I have not engaged with an alleged atheist who has demonstrated so much stupidity and poor understanding. In fact, I am starting to think that this person may be a teenager. The inability to admit that he/she is wrong in light of the facts may be an indication. Only teens seem themselves and invulnerable or invincible. This is a psychological defense mechanism. I have demonstrated my academic credentials to him/her. To date, he/she has not offered his/her's. This is because he/she does not have any academic credentials. In a state of delusion, he/she claims that he/she showed my arguments to fail completely. On the contrary, his/her own arguments are self-refuting. I simply pointed the disaster out. The fire and smoke was already there, I just showed it to everyone else. This is why I was able to respond so quickly to his/her posts. They are child's play and offer no challenge whatsoever.

Next, he/she shows his/she ignorance of the attributes of God. I explained why it is possible for God to create a rock He cannot lift. There are many ways to address this paradox. God by definition can do anything. If He created the universe from nothing with the laws of physics that allow for mass, weight, matter and gravity to exist. then it is illogical to assume that this God has no control of them. How can the God who created gravity be unable to control it? Truth be told, anyone in outer space or in zero-g can lift a rock that on earth is too heavy to lift. Also, Christians believe that God became man in the person of Jesus Christ. This would be logically impossible by human standards. How can God be man at the same time? Yet, He is! God is not subject to a man-made social constructs. According to PhilosophyBasics.com, it defines logic as:

Logic (from the Greek "logos", which has a variety of meanings including word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason or principle) is the study of reasoning, or the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. It attempts to distinguish good reasoning from bad reasoning.

Notice how logic exists only to provide good reasoning from bad reasoning. It is not meant to describe ontological realities. Atheismnthecity and those who think God is stuck in a logic box created by man do not understand what logic really is. What they engage in is what is called in psychology as representativeness heuristics. Like is not always unto like, so to speak. Next, atheismnthecity erroneously think that one of my former professors supports him. This is not the case. Pigliucci simply gave his opinion that some believe God is subject to logic and do not see an issue with this in regards to God's omnipotence. This is all he stated. Look at the tweet yourself and see. No one was "called out" on anything by him. Notice how he wrote, "many theologians agree," and not all theologians.


Next, atheismnthecity goes on with his/her strawman. He/she claims that I did not understand his/her argument, well you be the judge, he/she wrote:

"The fine tuning argument does indeed suggest God can only create humans one way. If God could create humans a trillion physical ways, then there's a trillion ways humans could physically exist, and the fine tuning argument is rendered false."

As you can see, he/she claims that the fine-tuning arguments demonstrate that God can only create humans in one manner. This, of course, makes no sense. The fine tuning argument does not even posit this. Atheismnthecity continues with his/her strawman:

"The fine-tuning argument implies god can only create us one way because if god could create us 100 trillion different physical ways, then there are 100 trillion different physical ways we could have also existed naturally. The point I'm making hits upon the fundamental physical make up of all life: quarks and electrons. It's not about whether god could create different kind of animals."

This is just absurd. Nothing in the fine-tuning argument suggests that God can only create in one way. To my knowledge, atheismnthecity is the only alleged atheist who has ever made this claim. We can see here that he/she lacks formal education in philosophy. He/she simply does not understand at all. Philosopher Dennis Bonnette called atheismnthecity out on this stupidity:





Bonnette showed that atheismnthecity simply is not educated and is working with straw man argumentation. Next, atheismnthecity quotes Hitchens on God as a "very capricious, very cruel, very incompetent.." I addressed this in my part 3 where I wrote:

"No evolutionary biologist claims that the evolutionary process is cruel. That would be a human judgment based on social constructs and not sicence. Evolution is US. We are a part of it. To say that it is cruel is ridiculous. Evolution does not have to answer to us or any rganism. It is a blind and random process. As Dr. Neil Degrasse Tyson ofen states, 'The Universe does not owe us an explanation.' Similarly, volution does not owe us an explanation or excuse. It just is and we have to live through it. It is neither clumsy, perfect or imperfect. Evolution works based on variables and factors that affect those variables."

Hitchens and atheismnthecity are extremely silly in this regard. They are applying social constructs and emotion to a blind and random process. We can see that atheismnthecity has no formal academic training. Atheismncity claims that I do not understand science or philosophy, yet we see that he/she is the one who has no understanding. I provided evidence from top scientists and even gave mathematical equations which he/she did not even address. This is possibly because he/she did not understand them. Next, I showed that atheismnthecity did not understand the graphs and surveys regarding the decline of atheism. I explained here that the news on Russia was presented simply as a supplement. He/she does not seem to understand this. This is exactly like when he links Youtube videos. I do not protest them because I see that he/she trying to use them to support his/her point. Why he is attacking the Russia news is beyond me. He/she then claims that my degree is fake while claiming that my former professor called me out. I have demonstrated my degrees via the CunyFirst system. To date, atheismnthecity has not provided any documentation of his/her accredited degrees. We have seen nothing at all. Moreover, Pigliucci's comment was an opinion and was not even sent to me.

Catholic philosopher Catholicgadfly has even asked atheismnthecity questions which he/she is unable to answer. The reason why he/she cannot answer is because the questions will show his/her reasoning to be off:




Next, Pigluicci "liked" a tweet where Catholicgadfly describes atheismnthecity as a troll. This shows Pigliucci agrees.







<<13) All religions appear man made


His responses to the points I made here are perhaps the most laughable. He writes,

Not all religions describe themselves as revealed. The majority of religions understand themselves as part of a culture or a philosophy. We see this among African tribes, Asian religions and even among Native Americans. The author never showed that archeology contradicts the Bible because no such thing exists. If the author is privy to information that universities in Israel are not, he/she should share it. Note how the author relies on a YouTube video instead of peer review journals to make his/her claim. It is laughable. The video itself has a misleading title which tells me that it is just propaganda that someone is trying to push to others. 

Almost all religions have a prophet or a spiritual leader who gets insights from the spirit world. The Shaman in South America, for example, drink Ayahuasca which they think has magical powers that allows them to see into the spirit world where revelations occur. African tribes do similar things. I did show that archeology contradicted the Bible and we know this is true. He has a nasty habit of declaring I didn't show X when I clearly did. The video I linked to is a documentary by Israel Finklestein, who's a famous Israeli archaeologist and who's written numerous best sellers that have rewritten Isaraeli history, his most famous work being The Bible Unearthed, Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of its Sacred Texts, which shows many (not all) of the Bible's stories are not historical. That he laughs at the documentary indicates he didn't even watch it.

Here is a video showing study abroad MA program for those looking to study the archaeology of the Bible.  If the Bible was false and there was no archaeology to back up the stories, no reputable university would have such a program.

Interestingly, Israel Finkelstein is in the video he linked to! This shows he cannot dismiss such a person. Also I never said there was no archeology backing up the Bible. I clearly stated, "My position is not that everything in the Bible is historically false. My view is that many of the Bible's historical claims are false. The Jewish enslavement in Egypt, the exodus, wandering Sinai for 40 years, the military conquest of Canaan — the central stories in the books of Moses (who didn't exist), none of them have been shown to be archaeological by science (and this includes a historical Adam and Eve)."

I even emphasized "many" in my original response so that he'd understand the nuance and as usual he completely missed it. This guy is a complete dotard. Even when I emphasize nuance it goes right through him. I guess it's pointless. I have to write to him as if he's a baby.

I provided more than one line regarding the accuracy of the Bible. The author apparently did not bother to view all of them.  Many ancient societies have recorded astrological events, however, a recent study showed the biblical accounts were more accurate. The author could read the studies which I linked to the posts.  Moreover, the author is running into a strawman again. I refuted his/her claim that archeology contradicts the Bible and never made the claim that astrological events say religion is true.  The Bible is not religion. Can you see how silly this author is and how bad he/she is at reasoning?  Defending the accuracy of accounts of the Bible in relation to archeology is not an endorsement of any religion.  So the author's comment about Chinese religions being true is extremely stupid and reflective of the cognitive lethargy the author engages in.  

He never provided any archaeological evidence to show that the Jewish enslavement in Egypt, the exodus, wandering Sinai for 40 years, and the military conquest of Canaan were real. Archeology has shown that there's either no evidence of those things ever happening, or there is positive evidence telling a different story. This is one of the main things Israel Finkelstein has shown who is in the video Sacerdotus linked! And is he saying eclipse accuracy shows that the all of the Bible's stories are true? What kind of nonsense is that? He never even showed evidence it was more accurate, and if so, it doesn't prove the Bible's stories are true. Only bad reasoning could assert such a thing. And if it isn't supposed to show the Bible's stories are true, why even mention it? It's completely irrelevant to whether archeology supports all of the Bible's historical claims which is Sacerdotus's view. He has yet to show that.

Then he links to some popular articles from news sources that claim archeology confirms some the Bible's accounts. I've never denied that some of the Bible is true. I've denied that all of it is true. So linking to an article that a few stories took place in cities that actually existed, does nothing to refute my point. He's too stupid to get that. so he has to waste his time attacking a strawman.

Next, the author claims that my response is the "stupidest response ever." This is typical of someone who has run out of answers.  The author claims that humanity could have handled knowledge of evolution, DNA and germs centuries ago. He/she is speculating here. History shows that the unknown scares people. As stated in my previous reply, natives did not take well to the appearance of white men. During the plague, citizens believed it was a curse or a demon who was at fault. Even today, some have trouble accepting evolution. Does this author deny this?  Moreover, some even have trouble with climate change facts!  The idea that people cannot handle hard facts is not fictitious. We see it today. The author demonstrates it as well by relying on sophism rather than facts on his/her website. Acknowledging history, physics, theology as I presented them will harm his/her cognitive bias.  This is why he/she became very defensive in his/her replies.  

And what do we do when someone can't handle the facts? Do we lie to them instead? No. We tell the truth anyway. We show them the evidence whether they like it or not. I'm not speculating here (which is exactly what Sacerdotus does when he says a primate will run into a predator if they falsely think one is in the bushes — but hey, he's ok with double standards as we've established). If people can't handle evolution now, or when Darwin discovered it, then why did god use evolution to create us in the first place? Why not just create us as we are now? You see, if you're going to argue that something like evolution is too hard to handle now, then it was too hard to handle 2000 years ago, and might be too hard to handle 2000 years from now, and so we're never going to be prepared for it. Why use evolution at all? Sacerdotus's answer fails.

The unknown scares people, yet we're all faced with it everyday. If god revealed that the punishment for witchcraft or working on the Sabbath was death, I'm sure that scared a lot of people a whole lot more than DNA or heliocentricism would. His argument is so paltry. And there's no sophism on my website. My arguments are just too complex for Sacerdotus to handle. He's welcome on my site to debate me on anything any time he wants.

Furthermore, the suggestion that religion contained scientific ignorance is just absurd. It was the Catholic Church that gave us science. Friar Roger Baco formulated the scientific method that we use today. Priest Copernicus gave us heliocentrism. I can go on and on showing how the Catholic Church created and contributed to the modern understanding of science that we have today. Even hospitals and psychology have their origin in the Catholic Church; not to mention, schools and universities. Again, this author simply does not research anything and runs with his/her fallacious narratives.  This is why the title of volume 1 of my book is "Atheism Is Stupid." It really is when you vet it against the facts.  The content found on this author's website is demonstrative of the stupidity atheism is.    

Nothing can be further from the truth. Religion didn't give us science, religious people gave us science, and that was because 500 years ago you had to be religious or you could go to jail or be executed. There was no freedom of belief back then, because of religion. I just wrote about that here: "But Many Great Scientists Believed In God!" There were laws on the books in many European countries that prescribed the death penalty for not believing. So everyone had to be religious then, at least publicly. And religions had a monopoly on institutions. There was no separation of church and state until 1776, and that was only in the US. And once it became legal and socially acceptable to be an atheist, what did we see? We saw the floodgates open up to atheists in science and ever since the time of Einstein, atheists have dominated the sciences in the Western world.

That Sacerdotus can't tell the difference between religion and religious people, and is ignorant about the fact that everyone had to be religious prior to the mid 1800s or face jail, death, or career suicide, shows how pathetic his reasoning skills are. I can't believe I'm even spending time on him. He is indeed high school level apologetics.

Notice how the author ignores the birth of Christ as a direct revelation from God. Christ is God, the second person of the Holy Trinity who became incarnate and walked among men, women, and children. Jesus is and was a historical figure. There is no dispute here. One can claim that He was just a man, but we have to see the logic regarding why His Church survived. If Jesus was just a mere man, no one would risk his/her life for Him. No Christian would risk being thrown into the lions or face persecution for a mere mortal. Remember, other "messiahs" were around before, during and after Christ claiming to be the "chosen one." These cults died away when their leaders passed. However, Christ's Church lived on with Peter as the first pope up to now with Pope Francis at the helm. We can see that this person of Christ was so impactful and "walked the walked," so to speak, that followers continued His mission even after He ascended to Heaven. The author fails to take into account this impactful revelation. No other religion can claim the success Catholicism has.  

Notice how I ignore the birth of Christ as a direct revelation from god? Um, excuse me? It is not a fact that Jesus was a revelation from god, nor that his birth was immaculate, nor that he even existed. This guy ignorantly seems to think that the Bible is a history book, and that we can take it as truth at face value. This is Ray Comfort level apologetics. You know Islam spread faster than Christianity did in its first century. It went from a small tribe in Mecca all the way into Spain in less than a hundred years. Does that prove Mohammad was a real prophet? Of course not.

In response to my asking for proof knowledge comes from god, he writes,

If God created all things, then only He can know everything about it. It is logically sound that God would be the source of knowledge. If you want to know about Ford vehicles, will you go to Kia?  It would not make sense to do so because Kia is a different company and designs vehicles differently.  One would logically go to the source of the product to learn more about it. Hence, God can only be the one source of knowledge. 

Yes — IF. Big if there. That's like saying IF Christianity is true, then Christianity is true. A tautology! His "proof" literally relies on a conditional "if" statement that asks us to assume the very thing I asked him to prove! That is not proof, it's presupposing. There is absolutely no way he has a degree in philosophy given the utter absurdity of his arguments. I asked him to prove knowledge comes from god, and he assumes knowledge comes from god to do so! Epic failure at logic proving he can't have a degree.

It makes perfect sense since we are called to preach the Good News to all the world (Matthew 28:19). This is a Christian's job. We are to go out and share the news of Jesus Christ to all the world and provide a reason for our hope (1 Peter 3:15). As a former atheist who holds degrees in the sciences and philosophy, I do exactly this. I refute atheist nonsense wherever it is found and show Catholics and other religious people how stupid atheism really is and that they can easily refute it.  Look how fast I refuted this author's nonsense; not once, but twice!  It is child's play to me. I have been there and done that, so to speak. No atheist can present an argument that I have not used myself during my years as an atheist.  To me, it would be like someone teaching me the multiplication table after I earned several college degrees.  There is no such thing as "high school level apologetics," by the way.  This shows how ignorant this author is.   

Well then it makes perfect sense for atheists to spend time refuting religion. Religious people are always trying to convince us they are right, some of them through force and violence. Look at what's going on in Russia now with atheists being discriminated against from the new law that makes it illegal to “insult the feelings of religious believers.” One atheist blogger in Russia was arrested for playing Pokemon Go in a church, and was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison. It makes perfect sense that people like me who want to live free from religion's authority fight against the inanity of religious belief — demonstrated by Sacerdotus in perfect clarity. I can't possibly believe he has a degree in science and philosophy given how stupid he is on the subjects. Religious belief seems to have rotted his brain's ability to be reasonable. Just look at how he assumed god existed when I asked him for proof. If that's not indicative of his complete inability to be logical, I don't know what is. He didn't refute anything. He made the most facile arguments plagued with obvious ignorance which makes him think that he's refuted my arguments.

The author then claims that he/she focuses on religion because of discrimination against others or because of killing. This is just unfounded. In fact, atheist leaders such as Stalin hold the record for the most mass murders. A study from Case Western Reserve University and Babson College even found that atheists are psychopaths. It seems that we should be more worried about atheists, than religious people. May I remind the author of the recent attack in Texas by an atheist. He gunned down 27 people without concerned, many of them children. How about Hicks who gunned down Muslims?  The author's hate for religious people must have a psychological root. Perhaps he/she was offended or hurt by a religious person and is holding a grudge. His/her opinion is based on prejudice, not facts. The author claims to want to "destroy religious belief," but he/she clearly has failed in that endeavor. 

We have a Right wing party in the US that wants to turn the US into a Christian theocracy. Just look at what vice president Mike Pence and senate candidate Roy Moore want to do. Listen to what they stand for. If it wasn't for the hard work of secularists keeping them at bay, they'd take over and legalize discrimination against not only atheists, but many non-Christians. As far as Stalin, he didn't kill in the name of atheism. He killed in the name of communism. They are not the same thing. Countries with high numbers of atheists have some of the lowest crime rates in the world. The least religious countries are among the safest and happiest worldwide.


Phil Zuckerman, a sociologist, writes,

Take homicide. According to the United Nations' 2011 Global Study on Homicide, of the 10 nations with the highest homicide rates, all are very religious, and many — such as Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador and Brazil — are among the most theistic nations in the world. Of the nations with the lowest homicide rates, nearly all are very secular, with seven ranking among the least theistic nations, such as Sweden, Japan, Norway and the Netherlands.

The rate of prisoners who are atheist is far below the percentage of the population. So no, you don't have to worry about atheists. You have to worry about theists. Theists kill much more than atheists do today, just look at terrorism. One atheist mass shooter who actually appears to have killed because of his wife doesn't show a trend.

Verdict: Sacerdotus fails to understand that my argument is that many of the Bible's historical claims are not backed up by evidence or there is evidence that contradicts it. I don't need to show all the stories aren't true to make my point. The main stories are not historical: The Jewish enslavement in Egypt, the exodus, wandering Sinai for 40 years, the military conquest of Canaan — all shown false or inconsistent with evidence by prominent Israeli archaeologist Israel Finkelstein, whom Sacerdotus even links to! Also the most atheist and secular a countries are associated with less crime, and the most religious countries are associated with more crime. This refutes any claim that atheism leads to violence. Sacerdotus has failed to refute this argument that all religions are man made.>>


Sacerdotus:


We can see more argumentum ad infinitum here. Atheismnthecity continues to restate already refuted points. It is beyond me what he/she hopes to accomplish by reposting what was already refuted by science and philosophy.

Atheismnthecity writes something that is completely stupid and shows that he/she does not understand the difference between a "revealed religion" and "revelations." A revealed religion is a religion that is allegedly revealed by God or is founded by God. A revelation is just a vision or external information given. By atheismnthecity's logic, the book of Revelation would be a revealed religion. The mentioning of Shamans and Ayahuasca is a false conflation. A Google search shows this:


re·vealed re·li·gion
noun
noun: revealed religion; plural noun: revealed religions
religion based on divine revelation rather than reason.
- https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=pLcYWvyFKori_AaIobzoAg&btnG=Search&q=revealed+religion



rev·e·la·tion
ˌrevəˈlāSH(ə)n/Submit
noun
noun: revelation; plural noun: revelations
1.
a surprising and previously unknown fact, especially one that is made known in a dramatic way.
"revelations about his personal life"
synonyms: disclosure, surprising fact, announcement, report; More
the making known of something that was previously secret or unknown.
"the revelation of an alleged plot to assassinate the king"
synonyms: divulging, divulgence, disclosure, disclosing, letting slip, letting drop, giving away, giving out, leaking, leak, betrayal, unveiling, making known, making public, broadcasting, publicizing, dissemination, reporting, report, declaring, declaration
"the revelation of a secret"
used to emphasize the surprising or remarkable quality of someone or something.
"seeing them play at international level was a revelation"
2.
the divine or supernatural disclosure to humans of something relating to human existence or the world.
"an attempt to reconcile Darwinian theories with biblical revelation"
the last book of the New Testament, recounting a divine revelation of the future to St. John.
singular proper noun: Revelation; singular proper noun: Revelations; noun: Revelation

- https://www.google.com/search?source=hp&ei=pLcYWvyFKori_AaIobzoAg&btnG=Search&q=revealed+religion#dobs=revelation


We can see that atheismnthecity is allergic to the facts and does not own a dictionary. If he/she did own a dictionary, he/she would not have made this stupid mistake by conflation two distinct words. Again, he/she is arguing from a straw man.

Moreover, atheismnthecity either has selective memory or is a liar. He/she claims:

"Also I never said there was no archeology backing up the Bible. I clearly stated, My position is not that everything in the Bible is historically false. My view is that many of the Bible's historical claims are false."

This is actually what he/she stated:


"Um, virtually all religions describe themselves as revealed religions. nothinga bout Judaism or Christianity is special. I already showed archeology contradicts the bibe.." -http://www.atheismandthecity.com/2017/11/sacerdotus-is-stupid.html

Can we say cognitive dissonance? Atheismnthecity cannot keep a point. He/she has contradicted him/herself numerous times and has demonstrated a poor grasp of the facts. Again, I believe this person may be a teenager and not an adult. The puerile behavior, lack of college-level knowledge and Dunning-Kruger tendencies seem to indicate this. Even my former professor stated that atheismnthecity's reliance on calling me stupid shows he/she is not intelligent.



Dr. Pigliucci and other professors have taught me how to keep my composure during a debate and how to argue using reason and not emotional outbursts. Atheismnthecity clearly is not intelligent and relies on emotional outbursts of anger in order to get attention when he/she has been unable to refute a point. In regards to biblical studies and archeology, I have already provided proof that many of the events of the Bible are supported by archeology from scholarly sites and the university of Tel Aviv. To believe otherwise is delusional and anti-semitic. This makes sense since bigots are typically cognitively deficient. Atheismnthecity has shown us nothing to the contrary. As expected, atheismnthecity engages in the fallacy apriorism. He/she refuses to accept any facts presented because they disagree with his/her bias.

On numerous occasions, atheismnthecity has demonstrated that he/she is allergic to the facts. He/she has engaged in word salads, pigeon chess, ad hominem, the fallacy of apriorism and so on. It is no wonder why he/she is scared to formally debate me on You Tube.





To date, atheismnthecity has avoided my challenged to formally debate me on You Tube. All he/she has to do is send proof of his/her academic credentials and identification. He/she has yet to follow through. Instead, he/she hides behind Twitter and his/her poorly written blog playing "keyboard warrior." If he/she thinks that I am stupid, uneducated and so on, then a formal debate on You Tube would be a breeze. However, we know this is not the reality. He/she bit off more than he/she can chew when he/she messaged me and I was made aware of his/her disastrous 13 reasons post. I have demonstrated that I know way more than he/she can possibly know. There is no way that he/she can win a debate against me. This is why he/she is afraid to accept my challenge. Atheismnthecity is no threat to me and has demonstrated this reality with his/her fallacious replies which exhibit an reluctance to adopt the facts. The rest of his/her reply is already addressed in my previous posts. I am now sure why atheismnthecity insists on argumentum ad infinitum. Repeating lies do not make them into truths. Hitler learned this and atheismntheciy is learning it now. Facts are facts and cannot be contradicted. You can either ignore them or distort them as atheismnthecity does. If one does this, then one by default has lost a debate. Asking why did not God make us with knowledge of evolution or provided this knowledge is a non-sequitur. I already explained to atheismnthecity the concept of divine pedagogy. God has guided man throughout his existence by revealing things that man can process. There is some truth to the statement atheismnthecity made about the unknown scaring people. This is perhaps why atheists are afraid to process the concept of God without bias or filters. In fact, the Myrna Brind study has demonstrated that atheists intentional block concepts on God when presented to them. This is an indication of sophophobia.

Furthermore, we see atheismnthecity's lack of knowledge on the history of science. Religion has played a big role in science. The Catholic Church elevated it from a trade to an academic field. Had atheismnthecity gone to college, he/she would have learned these facts. Moreover, he/she persists in ignorance by echoing common misconceptions about the Catholic Church and science. The Church never executed anyone. Local municipalities did. These took upon themselves that role of judge, jury and executioner. The Catholic Church in many instances had tried to prevent these executions with no success. I address this in my book and provide historical documentation. However, since atheismnthecity is allergic to facts, he/she will continue to live in ignorance. Separation of Church and State has existed in primitive forms prior to 1776. We see it in the case of King Henry VIII and King Ferdinand who often ignored the pope to do their own things. I am not sure how atheismnthecity thinks otherwise. We can see his/her lack of formal college education in this regard. Moreover, the idea that atheists dominate the sciences is unfounded. A study by Rice University has shown that the majority of scientists are not atheist. Einstein himself was not an atheist. He believed in God.

Next, atheismnthecity again rejects the Bible while at the same time bringing it up in his/her criticism. What does he/she expect me to use to address a criticism of the Bible? If he/she claims a biblical verse is a myth do I respond with math? It is clear that atheismnthecity does not understand how a discussion works. If one brings up a topic as a point of discussion, the response to that topic must be the same topic. This is why when atheismnthecity brings up physics, I respond with physics. When he/she brings up philosophy, I respond with philosophy and so on. Next, we see h athesmnthecity fails to understand what a tautology is. Stating if God exists is not a tautology. It is a statement that is being used to connect another point. If God created all things, then it follows that only He can know everything about what was created. Again, we see atheismnthecity's poor grasp of philosophy and logic. This shows us that atheismnthecity has difficulty following what he/she reads. The paragraph that he/she quotes from me is making the point that the designer is the only one who can know the specs of his/her creation/invention. If atheismnthecity fails to understand this simply paragraph, then this speaks volumes of his/her reading comprehension level as non-conforming with higher education standards.

Atheists can spend time "refuting" religion, but from my experience as a former atheist, they simply show their misconceptions. I have yet to find an atheistic argument that is strong. Notice how I easily refuted atheismnthecity's 13 reasons and his/her follow up commentary. Atheism is the absence of reason. It posits claims that cannot be proven. Atheismnthecity has demonstrated this inability to prove his/her claims and the inability to prove that atheism is a valid supposition. In reality, it is not. Atheism is void of fact and reason. It is simply a choice not to believe in God. This choice is often made out of emotional distress and not proper rational reflection. This is why I and countless other atheists have abandoned atheism.

Among them are Leah Libresco who was an avid atheist who participated at atheist events. She was received into the Catholic Church a few years ago. Atheism robs the mind of reason and intelligence. Notice how atheismnthecity lacks any foundation in science and philosophy. He/she can attack me all he/she wants, but my academic record speaks for itself. I also have professors who can attest to my academic abilities. He/she does not. The fact that he/she denies that big bang theory, believes special relativity posits an eternal universe when Hawking explained that it does not, shows that atheismnthecity has no clue or understanding about science. Moreover, the fact that atheismnthecity believes that philosophical axioms are scientific proof shows his/her poor understanding of what philosophy is. It is clear that atheismnthecity has to file a police report. Atheism has robbed him/her of any intellectual capacity and ability to reason. Again, his/her own posts show this. All people are bullied or harassed, not just atheists. Christians are killed worldwide. In fact, studies show that they are the most persecuted group. Atheists have it easy in comparison.

Atheismnthecity then uses the old false correlation fallacy by claiming that theists commit more crimes than atheists. This is simply not true. Atheismnthecity and other atheists who rely on this false correlation are not aware that correlation is not causation. This is a fundamental rule of thumb in science. We can see how atheismnthecity does not have any understanding of science. There are statistics that show atheist countries have high murder rates:




Moreover, the suggestion that the atheist population in prison is less than theist population and this shows theism breeds criminals is poor reasoning and a poor understanding of statistic. Atheismnthecity is obviously unaware of the law of numbers. A sample size will aways reflect the overall population size. In other words, if there are more theists in prison and less atheists, this is because there are more theists in the general population than there are atheists. The statistic would then reflect that there would be more theists in prison than atheists. Similarly, if there are 100 people in a town and 90 are white while 10 are black, the statistics will show that the white will be the majority in any statistic. This is because the pool of whites is much larger and more representative of the population. This is statistics. We can see that atheismnthecity has no college-level education. If he/she did, he/she would not make the faulty argument regarding theists, atheists and prison.


Verdict: Atheismnthecity has simply restated the points that were already refuted by me. He/she has engaged in straw man argumentation, argumentum ad infinitum, the fallacy of apriorism and special pleading. By doing this, he/she has shown no grasp of science, philosophy, history or statistics. I have provided evidence related to the topic he/she has brought up and he/she has simply ignored it. This is done because he/she is not able to directly address my refutation. With each statement, atheismnthecity has demonstrated poor reading comprehension which leads to his/her strawman argumentation as well as a distortion of my words and the words of others such as Carroll. On more than one occasion, I have shown how the content atheismnthecity presented as evidence did not support his/her claims. His/her claims that I did not refute his/her post is self-refuting. If I did not refute it, then why did he/she take the time to write replies?




<<In summary

He actually writes,

I do not think I refuted this author's post, I actually did. This is why it is one of the most popular posts on my site.  Over 5,000 views already!  It rose in popularity within an hour of being posted. I have gotten praise from both theists and atheists on it.  It seems that the author is "anally injured" and is attempting to save face after I destroyed his/he poor reasons to be an atheist. Even others have criticized his/her poor post:

No he did not. It was very easy for me to show that he didn't. My original post is really supposed to summarize my reasons for being an atheist. It isn't supposed to give the full explanation for each of them, otherwise it would have been a book. That's why I included so many hyperlinks in it, and it seems he read not a single one of them. There's no injury on my part. I will debate Sacerdotus anytime he wants. His low level of apologetics is truly high school level. I've given dozens of examples in this rebuttal of why that is the case. He has no idea what he's talking about and I've debated far more sophisticated people than him. The fact that he refuses to come to my site to debate me is evidence he's too scared.

And he has a reputation among atheists of using fake accounts to comment on his tweets. This would be the saddest behavior if true. If he was so confident he refuted me he'd come to my site like hundreds of theists have before. I'm not going to waste money on his silly book because I can easily tell his arguments are really bad. The reviews are horrible. Don't waste your time with this charlatan. His degree is fake and it's obvious to anyone with in depth knowledge of modern science and philosophy.

Final verdict: Sacerdotus is definitely more stupid than previously thought. And that brings me to this meme:


This meme is so true and it's emblematic of what's going on here in the debate. Saying things like "causality doesn't exist" or that "all moments of time exist" sounds like nonsense to people ignorant of science. Understanding these things relies on deeper knowledge of science and philosophy, beyond the popular level understanding Sacerdotus has. Semantics is also a problem. The word "cause" is useful in everyday life, but fundamentally, things are not caused in the way we typically think of them. That means physicists use the word cause all the time, but it doesn't mean they mean it in the colloquial sense. This is a major reason why these kinds of deep philosophical discussions are so hard to have.

Sacerdotus just doesn't have the knowledge capable of having such an adult discussion. His reasoning is infantile, as a recent comment on my blog stated. He shoots himself in the foot so regularly that he has no feet anymore. For example, the claim that there is no suffering because it's a social construct is itself a social construct, which negates the claim. No one with a degree in philosophy could make such an elementary mistake. I will debate him anytime on any platform, but I will not agree to his ridiculous rules. He cannot have the sole rights to the material. I get to reproduce it on my blog so as to ensure he doesn't edit it in a way that manipulates what I said or wrote. And he doesn't get to ask for credentials because he's not capable of demonstrating he has an actual degree. His arguments are too infantile to allow that.

His recent reviews of me just assert the same bulls**t nonsense that I already refuted and really are him just ranting falsely about how ignorant I am in science and philosophy, which of course is absurd since I know way more than he does. He'd get an F in any philosophy course for sure, his lack of critical analysis ensures that. As I just tweeted,



And professor Massimo Pigliucci liked the tweet! He recognizes the truth of it.>>



Sacerdotus:

In summary:

The exchange between myself and alleged atheist atheismnthecity has been fun. Atheismnthecity made my job easier by posting arguments I have already heard of as an atheist which led to me easily refuting them. As a former atheist, there is no argument out there in favor of atheism that I have not already used myself. This is why atheism is on the way out. Atheism seems fun and exciting at first. One feels the thrill of being a "rebel." However, after a while and further education, one realizes that atheism is just a lot of hot air. Like flatulence, it spreads around strongly and engulfs everyone, but after a while, it dissipates into nothing. The same can be said of atheismnthecity's "arguments." He/she believes them to be strong, but they are not. I have demonstrated that when vetted against science and philosophy, atheismnthecity's "arguments" dissipate into nothing. He/she gives us a lot of words, but no thought or logic behind them. They are void of any intelligentia and substance. In a formal debate, atheismnthecity would not last. I, William Lane Craig or even another atheist who accepts mainstream science can easily destroy his/her arguments. 


Atheismnthecity claims that I did not refute his/her arguments. This is said out of an attempt to save face as he/she has failed miserably in his/her "arguments."  We can see atheismnthecity's lack of confidence when he/she states:



"My original post is really supposed to summarize my reasons for being an atheist.  It isn't supposed to give the full explanation for each of them..."


By stating this, atheismnthecity is excusing the bad arguments presented in the post. Summary or not, those 13 reasons were reasons for not becoming an atheist. Anyone who loves philosophy and science would run away from atheism if those 13 reasons were used to sell atheism to others. They are so bad that I have decided to include them in a future book on atheism. I believe that this book will be very instrumental in assisting theists with those alleged atheists who push the nonsense that atheismnthecity pushes. 


Atheismnthecity claims that he will debate me whenever I want, but I have shown above in my embedded tweets that I have invited him/her to a formal debate and he/she has not responded.  Is he/she scared as in the case of alleged atheist William Hounslow who blogs as the fake "Rosa Rubicondior" and has been slandering me since he ran away from debating me?  Is he/she scared to debate me like atheist authors Dan Arel or Michael Sherlocke? Is he/she afraid to debate me like the alleged atheist Artie who blogs as Freeatheism?  Is he/she afraid to debate me like America Atheists advocate David Viviano who hosted the now defunct "Atheist Hangouts" podcast?  It seems clear to me that this is the case. 


Atheismnthecity is afraid to debate me formally. All I request is proof of his/her identity, proof of academic credentials and abidance to proper conduct in a formal debate. This is not difficult to do.  I have high standards when it comes to formal debates. I will not debate just any loud barking dog on the street. Atheismnthecity has demonstrated that he/she is all bark and no bite. He/she has demonstrated no formal college-level education and has projected this on me by claiming that I engage in low-level apologetics. He/she has demonstrated a lack of respect for academia and has even claimed to be more knowledgeable than Dr. Kaku, Dr. Krauss and others who have doctoral degrees. This claim is completely absurd. His/her own replies have demonstrated that he/she has an elementary level understanding of philosophy and science. Countless times I have demonstrated how his/her replies are erroneous when compared to science and philosophy. This is why he/she resorts to slander. 

Remember what Socrates stated about losers in a debate resorting to slander.  We see this in his/her lie about me using fake accounts. As expected, he/she is relying on lies propagated by William Hounslow. After running away from debating me, Hounslow resorted to slandering me even to the point of claiming that I was expelled from seminary, have a different name, and use different accounts. This harassment led to Twitter banning him for life from their network. More recently, he was banned from Google Plus.See:

http://www.sacerdotus.com/2013/08/rosa-rubicondior-suspended-again.html?m=1
http://www.sacerdotus.com/2017/11/fake-atheist-troll-rosa-rubicondior.html





The claims that I use fake accounts are unfounded. Notice how atheismnthecity does not show proof. All he/she does is rely on conjecture. A real atheist would demand hard evidence. Clearly, he/she is a fake atheist who believes anything that engages in harassing theists. He/she has no class or decency.  Atheist Alexander wrote blog posts providing documentation which shows the claims on the link atheismnthecity provided as fabricated:

https://studiousatheist.wordpress.com/category/rosa-rubicondior/

Atheismnthecity claims that I use fake accounts to comment on my own tweets. This is a complete falsehood. Note how he/she does not provide evidence. There is no information regarding IP address or location which would show me and the alleged accounts belonging to me.  They are just lies meant to distract from his/her inability to engage me in honest debate. If he/she cannot beat me, he/she will slander me.  This is typical behavior of a sore loser. Moreover, he/she claims that my degree is fake. This is another falsehood and is another deflection from the fact that he/she has no degrees. The screen shot I share shows the link to the CunyFirst website. Any IT person at CUNY can confirm its existence on their servers. Moreover, atheismnthecity lies about the reviews of my book. If he/she were smart, he/she would realize that the bad reviews were posted within an hour after my book appear on Amazon. Alleged atheist trolls vowed to downrate my book.  I even posted their photos on my Twitter account. The real reviews are here. Notice the verified purchases showing that these readers actually own my book.




As you can see, my book is extremely popular and highly rated. Atheismnthecity seems to be envious that he/she is not published.  If his/her blog is what he/she is capable of, then any book published by him/her will be used to light fire places or for the restroom. Atheismnthecity simply does not understand science and believes that philosophical axioms are science. They are not. Ideas such as "causality does not exist," "all moments of time exist" and so on are not scientific theories. They are philosophical axioms and hypothesis in the world of physics. Mainstream science has not adopted them. One can search on Google Scholar and find very little papers on the topics. I have quoted from renown physicist Stephen Hawking where he explains that the theory of relativity can only allow for the universe to be created from a singularity. This means that the universe is not eternal. Moreover, I have demonstrated that physicists believe that the universe will come to an end when it runs out of usable energy and how others believe that it will contract back into a singularity. These ideas contradict eternalism and the ideas that atheismnthecity posit. Again, atheismnthecity is allergic to the facts and thinks that philosophical axioms are scientific theories.

Readers have pointed out to me the silliness in the replies made by atheismnthecity. As stated in previous posts, even atheists have called out the errors and nonsense posited by atheismnthecity. On his/her blog, a commentator named The Apatheist even corrected his/her errors. Atheismnthecity's response was to delete his/her comments. Atheismnthecity did so because the comments directly refuted his/her arguments. Allowing the comments would hurt the reputation of atheismnthecity. It is no wonder why he/she would remove it. We have to remind ourselves that atheismnthecity has no formal philosophical training or accreditation. His/her content is not worthy of publication or worthy of receiving a passing grade. Finally, atheismnthecity posts a tweet where my former professor Massimo Pigliucci "liked" his/her comment. I cannot speculate why Dr. Pigliucci would "like" the comment. I assume that he was just agreeing with the tweet because it came from an alleged atheist. Atheists will often stick together like a pack of wolves. Because of this, of course Pigliucci will "like" tweets posted in the name of atheism. This means nothing at all. In fact, Dr. Pigliucci "liked" a tweet where a Catholic philosopher described atheismnthecity as a troll. It is clear that Pigliucci liked that description and added his endorsement. Here is the tweet again:





We then see atheismnthecity removing Pigliucci from the thread afterwards:




He/she did this to avoid further embarrassment from Pigliucci who had tweeted earlier that those who rely on calling other stupid do so because they lack intelligence, see the tweet again:




I was hoping atheismnthecity would have been a challenge. Unfortunately, he/she disappointed me. Instead of presenting rigorous arguments that are supported by facts, he/she provided sophism embellished with nonsense. His/her conclusions are to the extreme of what is considered stupid. It is because bloggers like him/her that atheism is dying. No intelligent and educated person would take his/her content seriously. I have showed how when vetted against the facts, they fell extremely short. Atheismnthecity's is the reason why I wrote Atheism Is Stupid. It really is and atheismnthecity has demonstrated this. It is no surprised why he/she had to resort to ad hominem. Instead of attacking my content, he/she began to attack me. This tells us that he/she lacks the inability to address my refutation. I do not blame him/her. My refutations are heavily supported by philosophy and science. There is no other way to engage them without resorting to personal attacks. His/her claims to knowledge superior to that of scientists with doctoral degrees exhibits the Dunning-Kruger effect.  There is no doubt about this. Atheismnthecity made a nice attempt to refute my refutation but failed miserably. His/she arguments are facile and transparent since they lack substance. I would love to formally debate him/her live on You Tube; however, I know he/she is too pusillanimous to accept. A formal debate with him/her would prove extremely easy. He/she would not last past the opening statement. 
I surmise that he/she will resort to emotional outbursts out of frustration just as he/she has demonstrated in his/her replies. Calling someone stupid is not an argument. It only shows him/her to be the stupid one as Pigliucci pointed out.  There is nothing factual in the 13 reasons that atheismnthecity posited. His/her supplementary posts are nothing more than restatements of his/her errors and the engagement of pigeon chess.  Hopefully, atheismnthecity will learn from his/her mistakes and will actually earn a philosophy degree. This will prevent him/her from the sophism he/she has posted on his/her blog. No serious scholar would take him/her seriously. In his/her arrogance, atheismnthecity refuses to acknowledge his/her defeat. Dr. Bonnette, Dr. Pigluicci and other atheists have pointed out to him his/her errors; yet he/she believes that he/she was winning all along. Perhaps this was his/her safety blanket or attempt at self-soothing. I hope my readers have enjoyed this exchange and will learn from it. They will see that atheismnthecity has presented the fact that Atheism Is Stupid.  

It is clear that atheismnthecity is not interested in honest debate.  He/she is incapable of it. I believe he/she is using my popularity to attract visitors to his/her unknown blog.  I am renown on and offline by parties in the Catholic Church, the atheist community and academia.  My content is viewed by millions.


Atheismnthecity was unknown to me until one of my followers replied to his/her tweet that he/she sent me here:








I had no idea this alleged atheist existed. Clearly, his/her account and site are so insignificant that they do not show up on search engines.  He/she clearly knew of me and that is why he/she messaged me.  When I saw his/her link to his/her 13 reasons, I laughed at the stupidity in it and decided to refute it to break the ego of the author. He/she seems to think that he/she has a gem of a post.  In reality, I have demonstrated that the post is worthless and void of facts.  After I sent the refutation, others including atheists began to mock atheismnthecity for his/her poor writing:




















I joined in and reminded atheismnthecity who is the boss here:








As you can see, atheismnthecity has been the laughing stock of Catholics, apatheists, atheists, gays and so on.  He/she has presented him/herself as a clown.  He/she cannot take defeat and that is sad. One has to know his/her weaknesses in order to improve in life.  Atheismnthecity has proven him/herself incapable of being an apologist for atheism. His/her content shows that Atheism Is Stupid. 


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