The most massive distant object known

Apr 11, 2011
The most massive known object in the young universe, a galaxy cluster dubbed SPT-CLJ2106-5844, is also a probe of conditions in the young universe. This image combines optical and infrared images with intensity contours from the Chandra X-ray Observatory.

(PhysOrg.com) -- Galaxies often occur in groups. Our own Milky Way galaxy, for example, and its local neighborhood with about fifty galaxies are at the edge of the Virgo Cluster, a collection of somewhere between 1200 and 2000 galaxies. Galaxy clusters are the most massive objects in the universe, and their formation is thought to have begun from small spatial variations in the density of matter in the early universe. Clusters are therefore powerful probes of the growth of structure in the early universe, and their numbers and masses help astronomers test cosmological models including galaxy formation.

CfA astronomers Ryan Foley, Matt Ashby, Mark Brodwin, Giovanni Fazio, Bill Forman, Christine Jones, Steve Murray, Brian Stalder, Tony Stark, and Chris Stubbs, along with a large team of colleagues, have just published the discovery paper of the most massive distant cluster known, SPT-CLJ2106-5844, weighing in at 1.3 thousand trillion solar masses (more than about a thousand times the Milky Way's mass). This makes it the most massive object currently known in the distant universe. (A few larger ones exist nearby, but they have had billions of years longer to accumulate matter.)

Their detection relied on the property that most of the normal matter in clusters (that is, not considering dark matter) appears not to be in the galaxies themselves, but rather in the vast, intergalactic spaces between in a cluster. This intergalactic gas is very hot and its atoms are ionized, the result of the matter accreting into the cluster. The hot gas emits X-rays, and also distorts the millimeter radiation as it interacts with the light of the .

The scientists used the to survey about 3% of the whole sky at millimeter wavelengths, searching for the characteristic brightness dips produced by these clusters. This particular, massive cluster was relatively easily spotted in the millimeter survey data. X-ray images from the Chandra X-ray Observatory were then used to determine the character of the hot gas, and X-ray spectra measured the cluster's distance from its velocity. Sensitive optical and infrared velocity observations were also obtained to confirm the its redshift distance: it is so far away that its light has been traveling for over 7.5 billion years. One of the most interesting results of this discovery is that, if current models of how the universe evolved are accurate, clusters of this size are very rare in the young universe. In fact, this cluster could even be unique.

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kevinrtrs
1.6 / 5 (27) Apr 11, 2011
And when finally viewed as a regular image, it will look remarkably just like galaxies and clusters closer to home.....which will be a huge surprise to the scientists expecting younger looking items.
Quantum_Conundrum
Apr 11, 2011
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Quasi_Intellectual
5 / 5 (15) Apr 11, 2011

They are incapable of comprehending the fact that God actually created "light" before the stars themselves.


Fact? It'd have to be proven first, QC...

And did I just see the name Tony Stark among the astronomers?
TheChamp
2.7 / 5 (11) Apr 11, 2011
They are incapable of comprehending the fact that God actually created "light" before the stars themselves. So the universe was essentially created "As is". The light has only been traveling for a very short period of time compared to what scientists think.

but even if 'God' was to create light before stars, the light emitting from far places in the universe has still been travelling for about 13.75 billion years, still allowing us to view these as 'young' galaxies
danman5000
4.8 / 5 (25) Apr 11, 2011
It must be comforting for you both to have all the answers already. It's nice how reading one book makes you smarter than all these other scientists that have spent their entire lives studying and writing their own books, while all you've done is sit at your computer and hurl accusations with absolutely no evidence whatsoever. Keep on posting, your anti-science rhetoric is a great contribution to this science site.
CHollman82
4.1 / 5 (13) Apr 11, 2011
Are you insane?
Shootist
4.5 / 5 (16) Apr 11, 2011
It is obvious that EM radiation existed before stars.

Not that this changes the fact that QC is a troll.

CMB, anyone?
CHollman82
3.9 / 5 (7) Apr 11, 2011
Sorry, that was directed to kevintrs and QC...
J-n
5 / 5 (4) Apr 11, 2011
QC Cite your proof.
Mahal_Kita
5 / 5 (12) Apr 11, 2011
They are incapable of comprehending the fact that God actually created "light" before the stars themselves ..


First there was the Earth and the heavens. The Earth was barren and all water. It was dark. The light was created and God divided darkness and light into night and day. That was the creation moment of Stars.

You really believe that, huh? Not as metaphore but as Truth Undivided..
MarcAntony
5 / 5 (21) Apr 11, 2011
My fav line of the 'good book' is the one that ends with:

"....and he also created the stars"

Its hilarious. He spent 6 days building Earth and then just snapped his fingers to bring the other 99.999999999999999999999999999% of the universe into existence, as if it were just a smattering of paint on a canvas for us humans to look at and think it "pretty".

Give me a break. Its a book of ancient folklore, written by goat-herders. Nothing more.
jamesrm
5 / 5 (5) Apr 11, 2011
Those that have reached a CONCULSION are incapable of generating new ideas

rgds
james
Donutz
5 / 5 (11) Apr 11, 2011
Please provide evidence - anything at all, anything will do - of the existance of a deity or deities. Then provide evidence - anything, however insignificant - that said deities are the slightest bit interested in us. Then provide evidence - anything, even the smallest thing - that said deities are *your* deities, rather than some other competing set of deities. Then provide evidence - anything, something more than nothing - that said deities had anything to do with the writing of the bible. Then provide evidence - even the smallest shred - that said deities intended the contents to be taken literally. Remember that the majority of xians don't believe that to be the case. Then provide evidence - anything, anything - that the people who took dictation actually managed to get it right, given that they would be trying to explain a complex process using stone-age language that probably didn't include a word for 'one hundred'.

Good luck with all that.
FrankHerbert
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 11, 2011
Quantum_Conundrum
4 hours ago

Rank: 1.1/5 after 16 votes
Tuxford
1 / 5 (3) Apr 11, 2011
Another uniquely massive early cluster? Galaxies often occur in groups (with a giant elliptical typically near the center)? Just another example why the Big Bang is a math model gone wild, in my view. Galaxies grow from within, over very long periods, from new matter nucleated deep with the core and ejected as we see in M82, and even in our own Fermi Bubbles. With 10-20% of galaxies in the active state ejecting matter and energy, should not this model finally be considered? Or must we wait for a galactic core cosmic ray storm to hit the Earth in order for us to wake up?
Paljor
5 / 5 (3) Apr 11, 2011
First, MArcAntony i think you need to add a few more 9's to that. and guys i don't think we'll be hearing from Quantum again...(prove me wrong quantum) also for you quantum please explain dark matter, dark energy and the purpose of the other 99.9999999999999999999999999999999999999999% (yes i need more 9's) of the universe.
J-n
5 / 5 (1) Apr 11, 2011
and guys i don't think we'll be hearing from Quantum again...


I dont think we'll get rid of QC that easily. lol.
FrankHerbert
3.4 / 5 (17) Apr 11, 2011
I can see having a deist sort of bent (even though I personally think it's ignorant of what science tell us), but to simultaneously have a fairly good grasp of physics and believe the bible literally (like QC) just boggles my mind. They are totally antithetical to each other. Just because you are able to find a few passages across thousands of pages that vaguely mesh with scientific fact says nothing about the scientific credibility of the bible.

The fact is there is no amount of evidence that will stop QC from believing in his god. His mind is closed to information that contradicts his worldview. He would claim I am the same but this is absolutely not true. If Jehova suddenly popped up out of no where and started bitching me out, sure I'd believe him. However, I still wouldn't worship him because he's an asshole by all accounts.
Caliban
5 / 5 (9) Apr 11, 2011
I can see having a deist sort of bent (even though I personally think it's ignorant of what science tell us), but to simultaneously have a fairly good grasp of physics and believe the bible literally (like QC) just boggles my mind.


That's just it, FrankH-

QC has only a facile grasp of Astro/Physics. In other words, he only "knows" enough to attempt its use proving his Creationist flimflam, and in just the same way as he uses his limited, selective "knowledge" of the xian bible to promulgate his literalist creation fantasy.

Proselytizing from both sides of his mouth, so to speak.

Vargoose
2.3 / 5 (3) Apr 12, 2011
In absence of Quantum's response, I'll step in against my better judgement 'cuz I love me a good discussion.

Agree with me or not, not one of you should really take the premise of saying that the creation story--as depicted from the Bible--is unrealistic or not true. If there is a God, which not one of you could disprove the existence of, and this God claims to be all-powerful, He can do what we wants to, how he wants to, so as long as he does not contradict his own existence.

I can understand those who say 'I don't have enough information to decide on the existence of God'

But to say that 'There is no God' is completely foolish.
El_Nose
not rated yet Apr 12, 2011
Is the author impleing that this is bigger than the Sloan Great Wall ( SCl 126 ) ??? or farther away???

This makes it the most massive object currently known in the distant universe. (A few larger ones exist nearby, but they have had billions of years longer to accumulate matter.)


what a cop out statement -- well we have the biggest pig ever, well technically its older brother is bigger, but it had more time to gain weight. ???
Donutz
5 / 5 (8) Apr 12, 2011
If there is a God, which not one of you could disprove the existence of, and this God ...


First, we don't have to "disprove" God. QC and his fellow creotards are making claims about universal origins using the existance of their magical sky fairy as a base premise. It's up to them to establish their supporting facts.

Second, and more important, proving/disproving a deity and proving/disproving literal creationism are two entirely different things. Most xians DO NOT believe in literal creationism. Notwithstanding claims by Falwell et al, it is NOT a precondition for being a christian.

Third, and most important, while we may not be able in principle to disprove the existance of some kind of a deity, we CAN disprove the existance of the christian version. The bible and christians make more than enough falsifiable claims about god's behaviour and the logical results of same. And they fail on all counts.
Vargoose
1 / 5 (7) Apr 12, 2011
First, we don't have to "disprove" God. QC and his fellow creotards are making claims about universal origins using the existance of their magical sky fairy as a base premise. It's up to them to establish their supporting facts.


First off, 'creotards', is this an attempt at calling creationists retards? If so, it's pretty petty of you.

To your first point, I ask, why do we (creotards) own the burden of proof, when non-creotards (NC) never disproved that the earth was created by a powerful being, even when creationism was a reigning belief at a time. Yes, perhaps NC may have explained methods of creation or vehicles of creation, but never disproved that the powerful being had no part to play in it.

To your third point, I would like to see you try and disprove the christian version of it. Most preferably by PM (so this doesn't turn into a creotard, non-creotard flame war), but if you want we can make it public :-)
Thrasymachus
4.6 / 5 (9) Apr 12, 2011
If you want to establish the existence or non-existence of your deity, you need to be able to make predictions from the supposition of his existence and predictions from the supposition of his non-existence, and those predictions need to be incompatible with one another. Further, those predictions must actually follow from the assumption of existence/non-existence.

However, if we are talking about your theological omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient god, extrapolated from a figurative interpretation of an ancient text, we have no way of making predictions one way or the other. We don't know what the universe would be like with such an entity present, and we don't know what the universe would be like without such an entity present. But this means that there is literally no reason to inject such a being into an explanation for anything. Until we can tell the difference between a universe with a god, and a universe without one, supposing there is one won't make any difference.
Donutz
4.6 / 5 (9) Apr 12, 2011
@Vargoose

First, when kevinrts (a bit) and QC (mostly) apologize for their ongoing cheapshots and snide remarks, I'll consider apologizing for 'creotard'. But don't hold your breath.

Second, when Evolutionism a la Darwin first came out, it *did* own the burden of proof, being the 'new guy'. And it successfully delivered. Sorry, I know creationists like to pretend there are no transitional forms, etc, but the simple fact is that science has come up with an explanation that is in far better accordance with actual empirical observations, that agrees with established science, and that doesn't require postulating an invisible sky fairy for which no objective evidence exists or has ever existed. It is possible for the burden of proof to shift as the underdog theory establishes credibility. In this case, Evolution has 150 years of gathering evidence in its favour, while creationism has done nothing whatsover except continue to point to the bible and howl.
Donutz
4.3 / 5 (8) Apr 12, 2011
(cont'd)

As to the last item, I'll just give you a capsule overview. In a universe with a 'personal' god, i.e. a god which intercedes on behalf of its followers (which the xian god definitely is), there will be what I'd have to call 'statistical anomalies'. Since xians presumably only pray for favorable outcomes (duh), they would be luckier, healthier, etc than non-xians. Also, since they are presumably able to 'be healed', they would again be heatlthier, and be the beneficiaries of more unexplained spontaneous cures.

In fact, if you compare xians with non-xians of a similar lifestyle (this last detail very important) you find not one whit of difference. Where you DO find benefits to being religious, they are all (A) easily explained by psychology, and (B) found in all religious ppl, not just xians. You can go on and on, testing claims made by xians in general and the bible in particular, and you'll find no evidence of divine intervention.
Donutz
4.3 / 5 (9) Apr 12, 2011
(cont'd)

Goddammit I hate this character limit!

Anyway, this doesn't disprove a hands-off, disinterested deity, but it directly contradicts xian claims of a personal god. So they are at best dead wrong on their characterization of their god (thereby nuking most of the basis for xianity) or at worst wrong about there being a god at all. I'm good either way, thanks.

Then we can get into the 'infallible bible' fallacy (this is moving more towards discrediting creationism rather than theism) where the whole basis of creationism is that the bible is inerrant and literally true. That's an indivisible pairing, btw, both logically and according to fundamentalists. Trouble is of course that you can find an almost infinite list of biblical errors on the interwebz, including factual, logical, and internal consistency. So, inerrant? Sorry, no.
Donutz
5 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2011
(cont'd)

Did I mention I hate this character limit?

Then there's the 'abrupt creation' fallacy. Back when the evo/creo wars were first raging, some creo apologist got the idea (not a bad one actually) that the moment of creation had to create a 'work in progress', i.e. the hippos would be created with their teeth already showing wear, Adam and Eve would be created with belly buttons, rocks would be created with pre-existing weathering, etc. Supply your own examples. Essentially, god created a 'work in progress', which like the reflection in a mirror, looks like it has depth that isn't really there. Trouble is, since god presumably created a consistent, logical, rational universe (supported by observations), he would have had to create virtual parents for the hippos, virtual grandparents, etc etc to explain the genetics. He would have had to create virtual dinosaurs to explain the fossils, etc. Anyway, you can probably see where this is going.
Donutz
4.3 / 5 (8) Apr 12, 2011
(cont'd)

By the time god's finished creating a virtual past with enough detail to consistently explain all the actual observations we have, he ends up with a virtual universe that is indistinguishable from the one that scientists think we have. This now raises two interesting questions: 1) Why wouldn't god just make the real universe that way instead of bothering with the virtual one, and 2)since we have the identical observations with or without god, there's no logical need for god at all.

And since, as mentioned many times, there's no actual evidence for the existance of a deity, who needs him/her/it/them?
FrankHerbert
2.9 / 5 (12) Apr 12, 2011
who needs him/her/it/them?


The weak.
Vargoose
1 / 5 (2) Apr 12, 2011
Well, this is going to be interesting...

@Thrasymachus
... and we don't know what the universe would be like without such an entity present. But this means that there is literally no reason to inject such a being into an explanation for anything.


But couldn't we say the same thing except the converse, there is no reason to take God out of the explanation? If you're a non-creotard then your god is chance. It is something that is intangible and immeasurable. We don't know what the universe would be like with such chance present, and we don't know what the universe would be like without chance present. Yet this is the very thing that is responsible for the universe and it's inner workings.
Vargoose
1 / 5 (7) Apr 12, 2011
@Donuts

As far as your understanding about who the christian God is, I would argue and say that the bible doesn't guarantee us
favorable outcomes (duh), they would be luckier, healthier, etc than non-xians.

Although, some are led to believe such things, It is not what the Bible says. We are more concerned with a happy ending (to see God face-to-face) then a sad ending (being away from a God that loves you, yeah... even you)

The Bible, with respect to factual, logical, and internal consistency is pristine. Yeah you may find several articles in the intertubes about the errors here and there, but you're gonna find answers to those apparent errors as well. So innerant? Sorry, yes.

As far as 'abrubt creation' is concerned, when believing in a God that is all powerful, the absence of virtual parents shouldn't concern you. What if those parents were beamed up, what if those parents ceased to exist, there are so many explanations? If he's God, he could do what he wants.
frajo
5 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2011
But couldn't we say the same thing except the converse, there is no reason to take God out of the explanation?
I prefer the term "motivation" instead of "reason" because "motivation" associates with individual divergence while "reason" associates with a claim of objectivity.
Yes, there is a motivation to take gods out of the equation. In fact, it is the strongest of all motivations; so strong they coined a special term for it: theodicy. More precise: the failure of theodicy.
IF the totality of human suffering is the responsibility of one or more "higher" beings THEN these beings are enemies of humanity.
IF they are not THEN they are no "higher" beings. Hence, humanity is responsible for itself.
In either case, humanity ought to care for itself.
Thrasymachus
4.3 / 5 (9) Apr 12, 2011
"entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem" -William d'Occam.

In essence, the reason to take god, or indeed anything not necessary to an explanation of a thing, out of the explanation, is that it's not necessary to the explanation. It clutters things up and makes it hard to see where the real value of the explanation lies.

In the end, it's about your purposes. If you seek explanations of things to help you figure out how things really work, so you can exploit that knowledge and better achieve your other purposes, then you have no reason to include an entity such as god in your explanations. If you seek explanations of things to help you feel better about yourself and the world before you die, you may prefer to keep your god at the center of your explanations of things. But it's important to realize that while in the first case, you're really seeking explanations, i.e. knowledge. In the second, you're not, you're looking for a comforting story.
Vargoose
1 / 5 (8) Apr 12, 2011
@ donutz

Your example of virtual realities is an exercise in futility, since it is just a sample idea of How God created the earth and caused things to make sense to a puny mind such as ours.

As far as having identical observations with or without God, I would say we DONT have identical observations, because since there is a God, there is no possible way of knowing, or even understanding a universe where there is no God (probably because you wouldn't exist).

As far as who needs God, just because there is no evidence (as you say) for the existence of the deity, doesn't mean you don't need him. A baby who has no evidence for itself that parents birthed him, still is in need of his parents. Just the same, the created have need of the Creator for their eternal well being. (poor metaphor.. but all that I can think of on the spot...) talk to you tomorrow!
Vargoose
1 / 5 (5) Apr 12, 2011
@Thrasymachus

I almost agree with you totally. Thanks for the quote, Occam's razor, if you didn't know is the colloquial name for it.

The only thing I have trouble with is this.
It clutters things up and makes it hard to see where the real value of the explanation lies.


It all depends on what you value. If it's just fact finding, then great, no reason to look for a God. But if it to acknowledge and worship (a concept you probably don't revere), the one responsible for the truth then "look up".
Skultch
5 / 5 (6) Apr 12, 2011
Vargoose,
, because since there is a God,


... is begging the question.

It all depends on what you value. .... But if it to acknowledge and worship...


Why would anyone worship something BEFORE the knowledge of its existence? In that statement, you show that you value the path of faith above the true reason for the faith. You are basically admitting that faith is the means AND the end. It seems you have no need for an actual god with that particular explination. Perhaps the char limit truncated your argument too simply. Perhaps you are exploring your faith here. That's cool. I'm just trying to figure out your logic.
Thrasymachus
4.6 / 5 (9) Apr 12, 2011
If your purpose is worship, then you are not interested in explanations. An explanation has a very clear role to play in the search for knowledge and the practical execution of plans. It is not an object, or end unto itself, it is a tool, a means by which one can successfully navigate from one specified state of affairs to another. To acknowledge an explanation for the existence of a thing as an object worthy of reverence as an example of a creator who's existence is not questioned is to use it for a purpose for which is was never intended, and is ill suited.

At the end of the day, science is about offering practical explanations, even if they are only practical in theory given some technological leap. The very nature of your deity is such that it can never play a necessary role in any practical explanation. No matter how much you believe in your deity, it can be factored out of any necessary role you would have it play in the real world.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (7) Apr 12, 2011

To your first point, I ask, why do we (creotards) own the burden of proof, when non-creotards (NC) never disproved that the earth was created by a powerful being, even when creationism was a reigning belief at a time.
Because creationism is not, nor has it ever been scientific.

You never put creationism before a burden of proof. Instead you assume that anything that may stand in contrast to known science is automatically proof of your invisible best friend.

If you know it, you have to be able to show it. If you can't show it, you don't know it, and it isn't a fact. So show us your god.

And FYI: the concept of evolution from lesser beings predates Christianity by about 700 years. Google Thales and Anaximander
FrankHerbert
1.6 / 5 (7) Apr 12, 2011
Vargoose, Member since: April 12, 2011, 8:12 am

So yeah, this is an alt account for one of our resident creationists. Which one? Or are they all the same person?
frajo
5 / 5 (1) Apr 13, 2011
No matter how much you believe in your deity, it can be factored out of any necessary role you would have it play in the real world.
Let's assume the "real world" to equal roughly the last three million years on the local planet. Isn't it a bit strange that virtually all known cultures exhibit some kind of spiritualism? And, after the event of the Neolithic Revolution, some kind of religionism?
While it would be an invalid conclusion to imply any necessity just from the omnipresence of a social phenomenon, the alternative explanation of a stochastical feature is not satisfying.

I suspect a dialectic interdependence between an innate urge to understand "the world" and an internal "placeholder" whose (psychologically stabilizing) function it is to "explain the unexplained": The anticipation module.
Maybe we humans could not have given rise to civilization without a mental subroutine which enables the removal of discontinuities in the internal representation of the "real world".
frajo
5 / 5 (2) Apr 13, 2011
Thanks for the quote, Occam's razor, if you didn't know is the colloquial name for it.
And if he does know?
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 13, 2011
Vargoose, Member since: April 12, 2011, 8:12 am

So yeah, this is an alt account for one of our resident creationists. Which one? Or are they all the same person?

I'm fairly sure Kevinrtrs is a Turing machine at this point in time. He posted some nonsense on an article, then one of the spam bots that posts the idiotic discount clothing ads from Chinese website repeated the exact statement. Could be coincidence, but it's reason enough to downrank, report and move on rather than get into the 400 post wars on ideology that is irrelevant to the article.
Thrasymachus
4.3 / 5 (6) Apr 13, 2011
When I can quote you the latin, it's probably a safe bet that I know what it's called.

There is a simple reason all human cultures have a history that revolves around a deity or group of deities who's personalities, if not their physical forms, were distinctly human. It's because the human being is a social creature and understands his world in social terms. Forces of nature and the unknown in general are initially represented as social participants, largely because we don't know enough about them to adequately represent them as mere objects. We still revert to that tendency of representing the unknown as a "person" of some variety, particularly when that unknown is frightening or frustrating. Think of how you swear at or plead with your car when it breaks down, as if that would do any good.
Donutz
5 / 5 (5) Apr 13, 2011
The Bible, with respect to factual, logical, and internal consistency is pristine. Yeah you may find several articles in the intertubes about the errors here and there, but you're gonna find answers to those apparent errors as well. So innerant? Sorry, yes.


If you actually believe that, rather than just being devil's advocate right now, then 'creotard' is appropriate. There are craptons of lists of biblical inconsistencies on the net, just as there are craptons of intermediate fossil forms. But as with most creotards, you'll think that if you just refuse to look, they won't exist.
CHollman82
4 / 5 (8) Apr 13, 2011
To your first point, I ask, why do we (creotards) own the burden of proof, when non-creotards (NC) never disproved that the earth was created by a powerful being


This is simple, it's because of a concept called the null hypothesis.

The null hypothesis is basically the assumed truth based on the LEAST number of assumptions. The null hypothesis must also be falsifiable. The purpose of the null hypothesis is to form a basis of understanding that can be incrementally DISPROVEN as evidence is amassed and understanding progresses.

For example... a good null hypothesis for the origin of the Earth might be that the Earth has always existed in it's present state. This is a good null hypothesis because it is falsifiable and it makes the least assumptions. We know the Earth exists, and we know exists in it's present state, and we know that it did so yesterday as well, and the day before... naturally the most reasonable belief, absent of all other evidence, is that it always has.
CHollman82
3.9 / 5 (7) Apr 13, 2011
cont'd.

A good null hypothesis for the origin of anything is that it has always existed as it does currently.

The idea that some all powerful being willed everything into existence in an instant (or 6 days, or whatever) is a TERRIBLE null hypothesis. First, it makes TONS of assumptions, and second, it is not falsifiable. When you invoke an omnipotent entity you can explain away ANY evidence to the contrary using that trait of omnipotence (and Christians in particular often attempt to do just that)
Skultch
not rated yet Apr 13, 2011
..., the alternative explanation of a stochastical feature is not satisfying.


Why? For me, it's very satisfying, and is at the heart of my worldview. It enables me to enjoy life more than before I embraced the idea. I don't have to understand an 'unnatural' creator's intentions. The purpose or 'meaning' of life is whatever I want it to be. I only have to discover myself and other humans' behavior probabilities to decide what to do.

Maybe we humans could not have given rise to civilization without a mental subroutine which enables the removal of discontinuities in the internal representation of the "real world."


This makes sense to me. Without this, how would an early human plan for the future? The anxiety of uncertainty seems like a reaction that could easily be selected out of a gene pool.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2011
In essence, the reason to take god, or indeed anything not necessary to an explanation of a thing, out of the explanation, is that it's not necessary to the explanation. It clutters things up and makes it hard to see where the real value of the explanation lies.
-Ditto with any other thing metaphysical, as that in its entirety does not exist except in the minds of wishful thinkers and reality-deniers.
To acknowledge an explanation for the existence of a thing as an object worthy of reverence as an example of a creator who's existence is not questioned is to use it for a purpose for which is was never intended, and is ill suited.
Uh, to correct your pontification, an object created for worshipping, as an icon for instance, does not fit into your edict.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2011
dude,
We still revert to that tendency of representing the unknown as a "person" of some variety, particularly when that unknown is frightening or frustrating.
Ask an animist.
No matter how much you believe in your deity, it can be factored out of any necessary role you would have it play in the real world.
You are discounting the impact it has had in the sociopolitical realm, which is a very real world indeed. The concocted and tailored religions have played a crucial part in the spread of civilization. So has the war and revolution which they have engendered. Not unlike your own belief system, whatever that is exactly. What kind of an -ist did you say you were? Or are you an adlibber? A 'free spirit' so to speak?
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Apr 14, 2011
When I can quote you the latin, it's probably a safe bet that I know what it's called.
Ah, so thats why my shoes were sticking to the floor. "Du hast keine ahnung, meine hirnlosen Pimmelkopf."
that_guy
5 / 5 (1) Apr 16, 2011
In absence of Quantum's response, I'll step in against my better judgement 'cuz I love me a good discussion.

Agree with me or not, not one of you should really take the premise of saying that the creation story--as depicted from the Bible--is unrealistic or not true. If there is a God, which not one of you could disprove the existence of, and this God claims to be all-powerful, He can do what we wants to, how he wants to, so as long as he does not contradict his own existence.

I can understand those who say 'I don't have enough information to decide on the existence of God'

But to say that 'There is no God' is completely foolish.


You probably won't read this, but I gave you a 2 for the last line, otherwise I thought your line of reasoning was good. It is a perfectly valid opinion to say you don't believe in something that you have no evidence for. You don't believe in Shiva do you?
Thex1138
not rated yet Apr 18, 2011

What if those parents were beamed up, what if those parents ceased to exist, there are so many explanations? If he's God, he could do what he wants.

Your whole current and future arguments failed utterly when you write this crap as a reflection of how you and the cohort creotards epitomize 'creation'... Beam us up Scotty.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (3) Apr 18, 2011
Agree with me or not, not one of you should really take the premise of saying that the creation story--as depicted from the Bible--is unrealistic or not true.
False. The Bible has a different universe than the one we live in. Thus it is fantasy.

If there is a God, which not one of you could disprove the existence of
I just disproved the Jehovah of Genesis. I cannot disprove a sufficiently vaguely defined god but the god of Genesis is sufficiently defined to disprove.

, and this God claims to be all-powerful
False again. HUMANS claim that Jehovah is all powerful. Most also claim that Jehovah cannot contradict Jehovah.

so as long as he does not contradict his own existence.
You are one of those. The Bible contradicts reality. Thus you should give up Jehovah since it is a fantasy.

More
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2011
so as long as he does not contradict his own existence.
No. It may be over the top but in most cases the people are going on the odds. No fully defined god has any evidence supporting their existence and many, such as Jehovah and Odin, have evidence showing they don't exist.

Some people like QC claim their god created the Universe to look exactly like it is old. That would be a VERY nasty evil god since it is claimed the Jehovah will torture unbelievers for all eternity simply for going on the physical evidence instead of an ancient book written by ignorant men. Keep in mind that it is QC that believes in this evil doer not me. I make no accusations against any real god. Just the fantasy of Jehovah.

Ethelred
frajo
not rated yet Apr 18, 2011
If there is a God, which not one of you could disprove the existence of
I just disproved the Jehovah of Genesis. I cannot disprove a sufficiently vaguely defined god but the god of Genesis is sufficiently defined to disprove.
This is rhetorical trickery by misusing the term "definition". The only ancient textbook using definitions has been the "Elements" by Euclid. The ancient text known as "Bible" is no scientific textbook. Nothing of its material is defined.

and this God claims to be all-powerful
False again. HUMANS claim that Jehovah is all powerful.
Yes.
Most also claim that Jehovah cannot contradict Jehovah.
I doubt your "most". A true believer doesn't care for consistency.

so as long as he does not contradict his own existence.
You are one of those. The Bible contradicts reality. Thus you should give up Jehovah since it is a fantasy.
You sound like a missionary.

The crime of torture is more important than unscientific religion.
Ethelred
5 / 5 (1) Apr 18, 2011
This is rhetorical trickery by misusing the term "definition"
It is based on what is in the Bible. Jehovah is the god of Genesis and Genesis in full of nonsense. Thus Jehovah does not exist since that is the the god that people call Jehovah.

The only ancient textbook using definitions has been the "Elements" by Euclid.
I am not interested in word games when discussing pretty much anything except for games that involve words. Scrabble for instance.

The ancient text known as "Bible" is no scientific textbook. Nothing of its material is defined.
You know perfectly well what I was saying. The god that is DEFINED by Genesis is Jehovah. I can't help it if you don't understand all the varied meanings of the word DEFINED in English.

I doubt your "most". A true believer doesn't care for consistency.
Then why do they lie and claim the Bible IS consistent? It doesn't even manage first two chapters without contradictions. Catholics usually don't go that way.

More
Ethelred
5 / 5 (2) Apr 18, 2011
You sound like a missionary.
You sound like you are pissed off again. Don't take it out on me.

The crime of torture is more important than unscientific religion.
Where did that remark come from? You really get upset to the point of irrationality when you see people pointing out that crap is crap when the crap is religion. Even things you don't believe in yourself. Bringing in torture out of nowhere is a sign you are not rational when you wrote that.

Stop posting when you are angry. Take a break instead.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 18, 2011
I doubt your "most". A true believer doesn't care for consistency.
Then why do they lie and claim the Bible IS consistent? It doesn't even manage first two chapters without contradictions. Catholics usually don't go that way.
The majority of Christians are Catholics. Technically you two are dancing around a foolish point.
Ethelred
not rated yet Apr 18, 2011
Technically you two are dancing around a foolish point.
No. I am not dancing around any point. I came right out and said it. I am willing to discuss the particulars of words when the area under discussion has a language problem. Time or the Universe for instance.

Arguing from definition instead of facts annoys me.

The majority of Christians are Catholics.
Not here. I don't see many posters from South America for instance and THAT is where most of those more than a billion Catholics live. In the US its about 25 percent last I heard.

I mentioned Catholics because I seem to recall that Frajo was or is one and I was one myself. Yet those aren't the people that are posting the Creationist crap around here are.

Timeline in general.

Creationist posts crap.

Atheists posts insults. - None of which are from this Agnostic.

Frajo goes ballistic. - This time aimed at me. Where the heck did that torture remark come from anyway?

That is what I was going on about.

Ethelred
Skeptic_Heretic
not rated yet Apr 18, 2011
Not here. I don't see many posters from South America for instance and THAT is where most of those more than a billion Catholics live
The internet is a global phenominon, the readership of this page is certainly international. Hence why people like Marjon and freethinking are so embarassing
In the US its about 25 percent last I heard.
Even lower, closer to 18 percent, that is, unless you go by the figures the church itself touts.

I agree with your synopsis. I still hold the opinion that you two are dueling with feathers at the moment.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (3) Apr 18, 2011
The crime of torture is more important than unscientific religion.
Religion often creates conditions which result in torture among other horrors:
http
://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/2011/04/16/italian-peace-activist-found-hanged-on-gaza-strip-after-being-tortured-86908-23065124/

-And let us not forget Daniel pearl.