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Author Topic:

The gaps

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Description: Merry New Year one and all
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Skeptically yours
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Carpe diem

« on: January 05, 2015, 07:56:44 AM »

I am reposting Mefiante's link from the chatbox here:

filling the gaps

because for me, personally, there remains but a very few gaps where god(s) can hide.

One is about the origins of existence (kinda pre-big bang question), the other consciousness (which I think we have under control with neuroscience despite blather about 'hard' problems  Roll Eyes) and abiogenesis.

This puts another pebble in the hole of last mentioned, barring results and review of course  Cheesy  But it is one to keep an eye on.

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In solidarity with rwenzori: Κοπρος φανεται

« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2015, 09:13:50 AM »

Yup, assuming that this result receives experimental validation (and I expect that it will), you can be sure of one thing:  Reality-deniers of assorted stripes will downplay it and/or spin it into something else entirely.

While there’s still at least one crucial piece missing concerning the capabilities and properties of matter, energy and space-time, I think that consciousness will eventually be properly understood as an emergent phenomenon.  And don’t be taken in by armchair philosophers’ arguments concerning what materialism can and can’t in principle do.  Such arguments have been wrong too often to be taken very seriously.

As far as the ontology of the universe (or multiverse) is concerned, I hold with the ideas of people like Lawrence Krauss and Sean Carroll in that it’s an inapt question at best.  Apart from severe difficulties concerning causality when “making” a universe, it is based on an implicit assumption that “nothing” is somehow a preferred or more natural state than “something”.  That is, we presuppose that there was a default condition where there was nothing which somehow turned into something, and that that needs explaining.  I think this approach is actually an artefact of our intuitions and thinking, rather than a genuine mystery.  Clearly, there is something (whatever it may be), and therefore one is faced with the daunting prior task of needing to demonstrate that “nothing” is indeed the default before the question can be meaningfully asked.

In a nutshell, if one starts from “something” as the default position, existence per se no longer baffles.

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