Reality…what reality?

What I’ve learned from my experience with atheists and their skepticism against the claims of the Bible is an a priori bias against the supernatural. They consider it pure fantasy, being stuck in ignorant superstition,  believing in magic, and my favorite, “POOFism.” Their naturalist paradigm must reject the claims about Jesus’ miracles and resurrection. 

This post is part of a continuing conversation I had in my post, “Apologetics and deconverting from atheism.” You can read the comments there if you like.

Before I continue, I should probably define what is meant by “supernatural” or “miraculous.” It’s simply any phenomenon that appears to act contrary to the laws of natural physics or biology. For instance, Jesus walking through walls or rising from the dead would be two classic examples. People just don’t normally do that and it’s very hard to prove after the fact.

But my question today is, is it possible? Is it reasonable from what we already know?

One of the bloggers named “tildeb” gave this anti-supernatural sentiment in the post I mentioned:

“Until I see compelling evidence in favour of something more likely than local units obeying local rules, I have no cause to doubt the value of methodological naturalism in describing our universe and everything it contains and the explanatory models it regularly produces towards this end.”

I smile whenever I get these kinds of responses. While this is a reasonable argument, my question is in my response…

“…it’s also interesting that you said “local units obeying local rules.” That has particular reference to physics, but what about non-local realities that don’t obey local rules, that operate outside of time and space?”

The reason I said this is because there’s nothing that behaves rationally in the non-local quantum world! There is no such thing as time in the non-local world. And the more we understand about the mathematically proven but perplexing principles of Entanglement and Quantum tunneling,  the more we have to agree with Einstein that it’s “Spooky action at a distance.”

And let me make one more point. This post is not meant to prove the existence of God, per se, but the possibility of what we call “supernatural” or miraculous. And, with this point, to challenge the idea that theology has no place in informing reality for us.

One more quote along these lines from tildeb…

Theology presumes its explanatory model is not just accurate but necessary to make sense of reality, to ‘explain’ the natural using the supernatural as the cause. This is why it’s an incompatible method with naturalism that requires nature itself to substantiate claims made about it.

This is precisely the logic I am challenging.  We must ask, what do you mean by “natural?” Because, apparently we only have the ability to perceive what is but a subset of the greater reality around us (and in us). And this is not some crazy theological postulation but science. For instance, here’s what Paul Davies, theoretical physicist, cosmologist and astrobiologist at Arizona State University said about Quantum Tunneling:

“Imagine throwing a stone softly at a window. You expect the stone to bounce back again. Suppose that, instead of the stone rebounding from the window, it passed right through and appeared on the far side, leaving the window intact! Anyone seeing a stone penetrating a window without breaking it would conclude a miracle had happened, but this particular miracle occurs all the time in the subatomic domain, where quantum rules defy common sense.” (Davies, About Time: Einstein’s Unfinished Revolution,” [1995], p. 164)

Sounds like Jesus walking through walls to me. Sounds like…POOFism!

This is the “real” world that naturalism cannot explain, where three-dimensional Euclidean physics simply fails us. As Davies put it, where miracles happen all the time.  If you’re interested, you might want to check Paul Davies’s fascinating interview titled, “What Exists?”

And that’s a good point. Is there such a thing as objective material existence? We now know that this “spooky” quantum world is the basic foundation to the world we see. And in this world, atoms are 99.999% space, which means the material world we take as “real” is 99.999% space. Yes, you and I are 99.999% space! And, in this “space,” there’s a whole lot of other-dimensional things going on!

If you’re not a quantum science wannabe geek like me, here’s a very simple video explaining my point that challenges our understanding of what is “real.” Full disclosure: this person has a Christian bias. While the points he makes are valid in quantum science, his conclusions are theological.

So, if it’s possible there is a “cosmic consciousness” that defines reality, I postulate that this is theological. According to Scripture, this universal mindset is found in Christ and we all have been put there! For there is no such thing as “outside” of Christ, as an ancient Christian hymn familiar to us says about the Cosmic Christ:

15 … Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of  all creation, 16 because all things were created by Him in the heavens and on the earth, the visible things and the invisible things— whether thrones or lordships or rulers or authorities. All things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 And He Himself is before all things, and all things have existence in Him. (Col.1:15-17 DLNT -emphasis added)

Here’s another video arguing that our “reality” is actually virtual, in the mind of someone outside of our world. While some of its content is overlap from the first video, it’s making a different comparison.

NOTE: No knee-jerk reactions please. I ask that you don’t comment unless you’ve read the whole thing and watched the videos. Then, keep your comments relevant to this specific subject and refrain from ad hominem attacks. Thank you.

About Mel Wild

God's favorite (and so are you), a son and a father, happily married to the same beautiful woman for 41 years. We have three incredible adult children. My passion is pursuing the Father's heart in Christ and giving it away to others. My favorite pastime is being iconoclastic and trailblazing the depths of God's grace. I'm also senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in Wisconsin.
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114 Responses to Reality…what reality?

  1. Arkenaten says:

    I watched them both. Interesting that Morgan Freeman, the known voice artist in the second one as he is not a Christian and does not support such a view.
    Be that as it may …..

    So, if it’s possible there is a “cosmic consciousness” that defines reality, I will postulate that this is theological.

    If is the question of course.Unfortunately, to base this belief on the content of the bible is only the beginning of your problems. Furthermore you have grounds to make the leap from deist to theist.
    And this of course would have to include the doctrine of the Trinity … which we know is a church construct and to which a number of Christian sects do not recognise..

    So,assuming there is a cosmic consciousness, please explain how you make the leap from deism to theism and include a fully detailed explanation of the Trinity (which we know is a church construct..
    And please, I implore you not to simply quote scripture as this just goes over my head.

    • Arkenaten says:

      Typo. no grounds.
      Oh, for an edit facility.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Most of the people in the quantum field are not Christians. That was not my point. My point is, is it possible to explain supernatural phenomenon using science. And the answer is, yes. Whether this is “god” or not is another question. But it does make it a valid question and cannot be simply dismissed as superstition.

      Your assertion that the “Trinity” is a church construct is another popular myth, but I will have to deal with that on a separate post. That is not the subject here.
      And thanks for actually watching the videos before responding. 🙂

      • Arkenaten says:

        If it can be explained, as in show how it can be achieved, then it is no longer supernatural.
        And if a natural reason is found then it defeats the object of the miraculous and this makes your god moot.
        Very much like when people try to give geological reasons why the parting of the Red(sic) Sea could have been possible.
        it just makes the whole miracle thing silly and pointless.

        Of course the Trinity is a church construct and was, in part, developed to counter Arianism.
        And yes it is a valid point as you still have to make the leap from deism to theism and specifically your god, Jesus.
        And you did not even bother to try!

        • Mel Wild says:

          I think I already answered your question in my other comment, but if phenomenon can be explained non-locally it only describes what we call “supernatural.” It still doesn’t negate the existence of God because it doesn’t answer the question about the initiator or programmer of the construct. All we are doing is defining the phenomenon itself. But the construct does logically infer that there is an intelligence keeping the construct running. It’s unreasonable to say it programmed itself. These are some of the arguments refuted on the videos.

          Your conspiracy theory on the Trinity is pure mythology, Ark. That may work on the gullible, uninformed Christian, but not with people who actually have studied it out. Not only was it being fully developed as a doctrine from the first century on, hidden in the Hebrew texts from Genesis on, we can show it from Jewish and Rabbinic teachings, which I can show at another time. So, all of your taunts to go down that rabbit trail are a waste of time. Stick to the subject.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Here is an excellent article on the historical origins of the Trinity.
          So don’t shoot the messenger, Mel.
          There are many Christian who realise how ist was simply a church construct.
          The Christadelphians are another sect who reject the Trinity.
          Not a taunt in the least and I would appreciate it if you at least allowed this to pass your moderator so that if you are not prepared to engage then maybe another Christian reading this will be able to offer an explanation that vindicates your position.
          Thanks.

          https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/is-god-a-trinity/the-surprising-origins-of-the-trinity-doctrine

        • Mel Wild says:

          Thanks, Ark. I read the article. The history is mostly accurate with a few notable flaws and conclusions I would disagree with. I have actually read all the church fathers mentioned. But all this article is giving is the history of the debate over the doctrine, which there were many of these kinds of debates with most doctrines. And, as you mentioned, there are still Christian sects who follow Arianism. But this article does not deal with the reason for the doctrine itself, and why others like Arianism or Sabellianism were overwhelmingly rejected. Like with the eventual canonization of Scripture, that was held as inspired long before it was “official,” the concept of the Trinity goes back to the beginning of the church, and can be found in the Old Testament.

          Again, I will look at this in a different post. You will just have to be patient. 🙂

        • Arkenaten says:

          Thanks, Ark. I read the article. The history is mostly accurate with a few notable flaws and conclusions I would disagree with.

          Of course you would disagree. That’s why you are a Trinitarian.

          It explains where the doctrine originated and for what reason.
          It does not feature in the bible and is most definitely a church construct and you can hand wave all you like …
          Of course it deals with the reason … largely Arianism. The church had to establish a single god head otherwise it would be regarded as a form of polytheism.
          Marcion tried biut hs version was kicked out as there would be no Original Sin and no Prophecies. But the church has seen its backside hasn’t it as they didn’t reckon on people working it out for themselves.
          Flipping heck, I am not a christian and even I can see this!
          The Trinity, as ridiculous as it is, was Constantine’s ( and the church’s ) escape route, and they took it and then set about liquidating all other beliefs.
          But the Arians struck back for a while didn’t they, and all because of an Iota?
          The history gives us the evidence and the evidence tells us it was a church construct.
          That is simply the fact of the matter.
          Not my problem if you want to jump through more hoops.
          Go tell the Christadelphians.

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, it does not explain where the doctrine of the Trinity came from at all! It only explains the debate to make it the official doctrine. You know, there is a reason these people were called heretics. It’s because their innovations were found faulty by the vast majority of leaders! And if anyone had political power, it was the Arians, with succeeding emperors.
          Like today, there were false teachers with bad theology. Period.

          Ark, if you continue with your anti-Trinity propaganda when I told you I would deal with it another time, I will moderate the comments.

  2. Really well said, Mel. Somewhat funny, we as people struggle even to define things like “reality” and “consciousness.” We don’t know, we just aren’t sure, even to this day. Heck, we can’t even fully define “time.” There is so much mystery around our own existence, it really is the height of all hubris to suddenly leap forward and declare ourselves worthy to now define God’s existence or non existence. I sometimes imagine someone asking God to prove His existence and He simply asks us to prove our own first.

    CS Lewis once pondered this same thing. In Him we have our being. Outside of Him we have no being, so the question than becomes mute. We can prove our own non existence long before we can prove God’s, which is somewhat funny. Who’s mountain do we think we are running around in circles on?

    • Mel Wild says:

      “There is so much mystery around our own existence, it really is the height of all hubris to suddenly leap forward and declare ourselves worthy to now define God’s existence or non existence.”

      Exactly, IB. It’s like the flat two-dimensional “paper people” arguing over the flat line they see in front of them.

  3. tildeb says:

    Mel, you say, “What I’ve learned from my experience with atheists and their skepticism against the claims of the Bible is an a priori bias against the supernatural.”

    You haven’t learned this. You’ve decided to believe this. It is false. It is not an a priori assumption; it is a post hoc conclusion. And this is very easy to verify. Because you have introduced the supernatural as if it is somehow knowable, the right is to ask yourself how can you –
    existing as you do in the natural world – know anything about it?

    You can’t. You ahve no means All you can do is import stuff and assign it to be ‘supernatural’. That’s not evidence for the supernatural; that’s evidence that you can’t know anything about it without importing stuff!

    So the only reasonable conclusion is that claims by people who say they think they know stuff about the supernatural are not taken from the supernatural. They are equivalent claims to any other superstitious belief and so I award them no merit of any truth value until someone can explain how they deduce knowledge from beyond the natural.

    Not what.

    How.
    What I’m asking for is an epistemological method to know about the supernatural independent of any beliefs you or I import to it. The, and only then, will the claims merit any increase in likelihood or probability.

    As to quantum mechanics, we’re dealing wither with either very large bodies of quantities – quanta – about the very large or the very small and then calculating probabilities, which we can do to extraordinary degrees of accuracy. At the extreme ends of this physics, we encounter very strange phenomena that we do not fully understand.

    Now, this is where woo-meisters of all stripes LOVE to refer to, as if this is where the mystical resides in the natural world, where classical physics begins to unravel and the supernatural meet. And this is almost true. Of course, the woo-meisters will then jump to all kinds of woo-laden explanations as if this physics grants license to do so. Mel, you don’t disappoint!

    Let’s return to my point above: HOW do you know anything about the supernatural in quantum mechanics? At these infinitesimal and almost infinite levels, what method can we use to actually begin to explore these possibilities… possibilities the theist has already granted to be the domain of the supernatural divine agencies of their brand of Woo!

    Well, sorry to say, we once again have to develop the tools of inquiry that reside way back here in the mundane world of classic physics we call ‘reality’. And we are developing them! Hadron Collider anyone? We are creating and testing explanatory models all the time and we have had startling breakthroughs into the nature of what was once unknown and unseen. We are in the process of building an explanatory framework of what exists at these extreme levels and developing ways and means to figure out not just what’s there but how these particles and energy fields operate.

    But, please note, none of this includes woo, none includes explanations of divine critters altering the physics to suit personality whims and moods, none of which includes references to the supernatural. To do so is to introduce some imported belief about which we can know nothing. As physicist Sean Carroll patiently explains to those who presume it might be possible to have a life after all cellular death has occurred becuase – Quntum Physics and Deepak Chopra!, there is no excess energy signature at all, anywhere, to indicate anything more. All energy is accounted for. Yet we know enough to know there must be an energy signature if you’re dealing with anything that possesses any physical, chemical, or electrical property here in the world of classical physics as well as the mysterious world of quantum mechanics! In other words, anything – any THING – in the natural world that we can know anything about MUST have an energy signature. Without that, we have absolutely nothing to work with, nothing with which to extract information, nothing to manipulate for any operation, nothing to work with to figure out constituent parts, nothing to examine for any states of being.

    But the Woo-meisters don’t want you knowing any of this. No. They want to import their beliefs and sell it to the credulous under the name of the weirdness of quantum mechanics. That’s why you hear this reference so many times by so many woo-meisters; they need it to be mysterious first so that they can hide their lack of knowledge about the woo they are claiming by substituting woo-laden beliefs in this gaping hole of ignorance and then pretending the latter magically alters the former! People like Mel call upon quantum mechanics to serve their faith-based beliefs in order to try to sell this woo as if reasonable because it might be possible (remember, quantum mechanics is all about calculating probabilities captured at a single moment.. what is called the collapse of the wave function) and then intentionally confusing what might be possible(meaning anything greater than P=0.0) to be equivalently to probable (meaning P=.5+) so that one can begin talking about the woo using the quantum physics term ‘probabilities’ as if the woo claim is in fact reasonable! It’s a shell game from the get go when anyone other than a quantum physicist is trying to utilize quantum mechanics to make room in this natural world for some kind of woo. Don’t buy into it.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Tildeb, thanks for the response that’s as long as my post. You obviously are not responding to the actual content on the videos but giving me your pat dismissals. Talk about hand waving! But go ahead, stay in your classic 18th century Enlightenment denials, where they also didn’t believe in germs because they couldn’t see them and died of all kinds of infections, but I don’t buy your particular line of baloney for a minute.

  4. john zande says:

    Do you believe Mohummad flew on a winged horse?

    • Mel Wild says:

      What does that have to do with anything, John? Do you believe in the tooth fairy? You’re being ridiculous and irrelevant. My point is, can there be supernatural phenomenon that cannot be answered by classical naturalism.

      • john zande says:

        Mel, are you censoring?

        • Mel Wild says:

          I’m moderating, John, which is sometimes necessarily with people who are hostile or simply promoting their own agenda instead of talking about the subject at hand.

        • john zande says:

          The “subject at hand” was having an a priori bias, was it not?

        • Mel Wild says:

          No, it wasn’t, John. It was about a specific bias against the supernatural. And the subject of discussion is on what is said on the videos about the non-local quantum world. Whether Mohammad flew on a winged horse or not is totally irrelevant. Did you even watch the videos or are you just trying to be argumentative?

  5. Scottie says:

    Hello Mel. I disagree with two of your points. I disagree that atheist do not believe in magic or the supernatural. I know many pagans who do not believe in a deity but believe in the supernatural. So that point has some questions. On the stone through the window you sort of moved the goalposts a bunch when you compared what happens in the quantum level, where some of the rules and known actions of the rest of reality function a bit weirdly. A stone won’t go easily through a window, it would break it instead. A person’s body won’t go through walls. The items talked about in the quantum level are not the same acting particles in the non-quantum levels. Be well. Hugs

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks Scottie. Let me correct that by saying that this is the argument I’m getting from atheists I have been dialoging with. The assumption is that the supernatural is not real.

      But, actually, it’s been proven false to say that the quantum world is different than the macro world (rock, window) because both the rock and the window are made up of quantum particles. So, it is theoretically possible for the “rock” to reappear on the other side of the window without going through it. The non-quantum level is simply the quantum level scaled back millions of times.

      • Arkenaten says:

        And how exactly is this now supernatural rather than natural and where exactly does your god come into play?
        And I mean specifically.

        • Mel Wild says:

          First, supernatural is defined as “…any phenomenon that appears to act contrary to the laws of natural physics or biology.” So, using the video’s analogy, what we three-dimensional avatars, if you will, call supernatural is, from the “Mind’s” point of view, “natural.” “Supernatural” is one phenomenological expression about how we experience reality from our point of view.

          And how would God come into play? If “God” is indeed the “cosmic consciousness,” or the Mind running the virtual construct, then our interaction with Him could possibly explain how miracles and other unexplainable phenomenon come into play. Of course, there are always other “natural” factors, too. And these interactions would certainly be infinitely more complex than a video game because we are sentient beings with free will. But again, I am not making the “God” argument here. For instance, you could still be a Deist and say He exists but does not interact with us directly. That’s another argument for another day. I’m simply stating that the “supernatural” is possible and, therefore, needs to be included in the conversation about reality.

        • Arkenaten says:

          First, supernatural is defined as “…any phenomenon that appears to act contrary to the laws of natural physics or biology.”

          Exactly! But to understand that something is acting in this manner immediately brings into question our understanding /perception of what we have in the past termed ”against the laws of physics etc”.
          And once it has been postulated and then theorized and then eventually observed we are no longer dealing with supernatural but merely a phenomenon that we did not fully understand .
          No god required …. period. This you have to understand.
          As Tyson once remarked about your god is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller …:
          Furthermore, it is highly relevant that we are fully open and honest about this and you state up front that your agenda here is fully-inclined toward identifying your god as the character in the bible, Jesus of Nazareth.
          And this is where the lines begin to blur and why openness and honesty are crucial.
          If you are not prepared to state how you arrive at this conclusion then I am afraid you simply come across as disingenuous, Mel.

          But again, I am not making the “God” argument here.

          The title of the video expressly alludes to your a god and by that one can reasonably presume you and the video are not inferring Hanaman.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ark, your “no god required…” reply will eventually become a blind act of faith, just closing your eyes to the truth in front of your face. Advances in quantum science is having the opposite effect of Tyson’s atheistic predictions. If we are looking at something so infinitely complex, going far beyond our ability to fully comprehend, and if “reality” truly is a virtual construct, then to continue to say there’s no programmer becomes blind stubborn denial of the obvious.

          And my POINT was, is what we call the “supernatural” possible? We’re finding the answer to be yes. So, theoretically, if someone were to walk through a wall, appear, disappear, and appear somewhere else, or anything else that seems to suspend the natural laws of physics as we know it, we now have a theoretically explanatory model for this possibility. So, your point is irrelevant. I would say, from God’s perspective, nothing is supernatural. It’s all the natural laws He put into place. From our limited perspective, looking at from our subset of reality, it’s supernatural (at this time).

        • Arkenaten says:

          So, as I stated. the supernatural becomes natural, and another mystery is solved in a manner of speaking.
          There is nothing irrelevant in any discussion about gods.
          And in effect you are back to square one.
          And you STILL refuse to address the issue of your god and how we get from deism to theism, how you know that the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is the creator of the universe.
          Until you can do that with any degree of honesty then, I’m sorry, you are merely grasping at anything to try and explain your god.
          And this still does not explain the Trinity nor the claimed need for salvation nor ”Sin” or any other aspect of your rather dubious doctrine.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Yes, the supernatural becomes viable, which means, miracles are possible. The irony is, not believing in the possibility of miracles (supernatural) goes into the ash heap of ignorant narrow-mindedness. That’s what YOU stubbornly refuse to see.

          “And you STILL refuse to address the issue of your god and how we get from deism to theism, how you know that the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth is the creator of the universe.”

          And you STILL refuse to stay on topic. I don’t have 24 a day to answer every related rabbit trail you want to bring up.

        • Arkenaten says:

          No, what was once regarded as supernatural becomes understandable and is simply now part of the natural.
          End of the claim of miracles. No god required.
          I don’t have a problem with this at all. Why do you?

          Hey, it’s your blog, man. Do what the Gehenna you want.
          But if you also want to cherry pick your topics and indulge in narrow-minded ignorance than so be it.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You’re still not getting the point. So, tell me, since we have this theoretical framework. Suppose it’s reported that a person was seen by several witnesses walking though a wall and then teleported to another place. How would you explain how he or she was able to do that? Let’s assume that we only have today’s technology (no teleportation machines available).

          And whatever, Ark…I think you need to look someplace else for narrow-minded ignorance. And I’m not cherry picking. I’m using my limited time to go through subjects one at a time. Your taunts become banal after awhile.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Suppose it’s reported that a person was seen by several witnesses walking though a wall and then teleported to another place. How would you explain how he or she was able to do that? Let’s assume that we only have today’s technology (no teleportation machines available).

          If it could be established that they had in fact de-materialized in one spot then materialized in another we would have the person involved as a basis to begin our investigations, would we not?
          So I don’t see a problem here either. We are merely witnessing/experiencing unfamiliar technology.
          But once it is revealed – as in this case – the ”mystery” is already not that mysterious any more, is it?

          What taunts? I am asking you to explain how you arrive at your god being responsible for everything merely from a theoretical postulation on a damn video, that’s all!

        • Mel Wild says:

          But HOW did they do it, Ark? And imagine this happened in the first century. How would you explain it?
          And the taunts I’m talking about are you trying to get me to comment on a totally different subject with you. You do this all the time. If I were to
          respond to all of these diversions, my life would be consumed with responding to Ark’s endless rabbit trails. You still can’t deal with the fact that not only are miracles feasible, the math proves that we are only living in a subset of our perceivable reality. Brings to mind the Hamlet-Shakespeare analogy. So, why should we proceed further?

          You know in an actual debate, you would get two rebuttals, not 40! And you would actually have to stay on topic. I think I’m being more than fair here.

        • Arkenaten says:

          But HOW did they do it, Ark? And imagine this happened in the first century. How would you explain it?

          I wouldn’t explain it, as I am not a physicist and no more than I could explain the Hadron Collider or how a virus works or the process that turns and egg into an omelette,or the principles of how an aircraft flies.
          But there are people who can explain, and thus, the mystery is removed.
          You cannot squeeze your god into this , Mel,no matter how hard you try.

          You know in an actual debate, you would get two rebuttals, not 40! And you would actually have to stay on topic. I think I’m being more than fair here.

          In an actual debate ”Chris Hitchens” would not have to wait to be moderated before replying and ”William Lane Craig” would be obliged to display some damned integrity and deal with the realities and be honest about what they are trying to push. Oh, sorry, WLC has no damned integrity.

          As I said before, I have been banned from commenting because some bloggers just have not got the frakking balls to answer honestly, so do your worst, it won’t be the first or the last time and others have already sussed out your agenda.
          Seriously I really don’t give a toss.

        • Mel Wild says:

          But how would a first century person describe it, Ark? Remember, there are multiple witnesses.

          And, Ark, please stop with the persecution complex…you know why you’re moderated. You’re just not being honest with yourself. And I could understand why you were banned on other blogs. Perhaps torture would be preferable to answering your endless rabbit trails and disrespectful rants. Again, most people leave things be after 5 or even 10 comments. As I said, debates allow two rebuttals. They don’t go on endlessly and they are always respectful. But you never stop. So don’t mistake stubbornness with superior knowledge.

          btw, I will be away from my computer for the rest of the day (national holiday), so I’m not avoiding you if I don’t answer right away.

        • Arkenaten says:

          A first century witness would be (in all likelihood) unable to describe it any more than they would be able to describe electricity, so the point is moot.

          What persecution complex? RFLMAO. I am not a Christian, Mel.

          As I said, debates allow two rebuttals. They don’t go on endlessly and they are always respectful. But you never stop. So don’t mistake stubbornness with superior knowledge.

          Oh, I don’t profess superior knowledge, I merely relay from those that do and i turn expose the nonsense that people like yourself try to push, that’s all.

        • Mel Wild says:

          But it’s hard to expose nonsense when you’re constantly expressing nonsense, Ark. See, two can play that game. My point is, there’s time to just let things drop, especially after making 40 or so comments. You would come across less obnoxious that way.

        • Arkenaten says:

          Are you whining?
          lol ….
          As opposed to you who is definitely not obnoxious of course by replying to over 40 comments, hey Mel?

          You have a chance to really put Jesus Followers on the map and all you do is piddle you pants!

        • Mel Wild says:

          Add delusional to obnoxious and arrogant. Just a case in point why people block you from their blogs. You ought to get honest with yourself for once. Since you won’t stop, I will stop here.

      • Scottie says:

        Hey Mel. It is true some atheist do not believe in the supernatural. But then some atheists don’t believe in signing off things with hugs. 🙂 I don’t mind being the guy with goofy friends. I felt life had to have just one kind of person as you probably figured out. But I do have to say I do not know much of the quantum level stuff, right up front I have nothing but a youtube education in it. But my reasoning say the way particles act at the quantum level are not the way they act at our level or the stone would go through the window. Saying theoretically is sort of like saying if we fudge a few things we know for sure with things we don’t know then we should get this result. But that is my take. I could be wrong. Believe it or not, it has happened a few time in 54 years. Ask Tildeb and he will say it happened quite recently on a talk we both decided the other was wrong on , wouldn’t admit it, both proclaimed the win and we went home. Good luck. 😉 Hugs

        • Mel Wild says:

          Scottie, we all need wacky friends to make life interesting. 🙂
          I’ve been studying the concepts of quantum physics for several years as a laymen (I have an engineering background so I tend to gravitate to this stuff). As the experts will tell you, the more you understand about it, the weirder it gets!

          “…we both decided the other was wrong on , wouldn’t admit it, both proclaimed the win and we went home.”

          Lol! That’s so true! You may not believe this but I’m really not trying to win any argument here. As I said a while back when I first went on Nan’s blog, I’m trying to understand and be understood. People have to make up their own mind about what they believe or don’t believe. So our dialogue here does help to clarify each other’s point of view, even if we do end up disagreeing on particulars. And, as long as it’s respectful, it’s helpful. The “other side” actually becomes human. Imagine that! The subject of God ultimately comes down to faith, but my point is always that it’s not blind faith. It does have it’s own logic if one is open to it.

          And I do appreciate that you sign off with hugs! May we all be more like that, remembering that we’re in this thing called “life” together. 🙂
          Blessings to you, too.

  6. Scottie says:

    I just realized what I wrote here made no sense. I felt life had to have just one kind of person as you probably figured out. What I meant to say was, I feel life doesn’t have to have one kind of person. Basically saying I am generally easy going. Hugs

  7. Scottie says:

    Mel you have been asking everyone to comment on the videos. I did not because I frankly don’t feel I have a good enough grasp on the material. Anything I offer on them has to be taken in that context and will be simply reasoned conjecture. However I went back and watched them. and I will offer what I can.

    On the second video I can offer two thoughts. One is the idea of mixing causation and effect. Which is the idea that just because a thing happens and then something else happens doesn’t mean that one is related to the other, as I understand it. That could be happening here. Also I think in the end it really doesn’t matter. We have to live our life like we are real in a real environment. We can not live it any other way. So to me this is a simple thought exercise that makes no difference. it is similar to the free will debate. I don’t care if we do or do not have free will, we have to live like we decide what we are going to do or do. There is no other way to live. So this also is a thought exercise for people who have more time and brains than things to do and get done.
    Oh just thought of something. One of the Silicon Valley tech billionaires ( I think it might be Peter Thiel but not sure ) recently started a fund and a project to prove we were not a simulation as he thinks we are one.

    I will sent this one off while I go finish the second one again. I did not get much out of it the first time, let’s see if a second can jog some brain cells. Hugs

  8. Scottie says:

    OK, sorry the second watching of the first video did not help any and left me with a slight headache. Seriously to me is sounds like goobly gook. I just don’t understand it well enough to even buy into the premises. To me it sounds as though every time someone goes somewhere totally alone, they would cease to exist. Trust me if it was that easy I would have done it in childhood right away. So that is my best wrap up of that first video. I am sure others out there can dispute it but not me. One thing I am interested in. The video and Tildeb disagreed on one important point, one I had thought myself. The video said that the micro and macro worlds act the same because they are made of the same stuff. You mentioned that also. But I know I read somewhere that was not true. I can’t remember where or why. Tildeb said the same thing basically, that it has been proven false. That I would love to explore. IF anyone out there knows the subject and can tell me which is true and why, I would love to hear it. Thanks. Hugs

    • Mel Wild says:

      Scottie, if your head doesn’t hurt after studying quantum mechanics, you’re just not really trying. 🙂 The problem we have is what the late Carl Sagan said many years ago, that we can’t put our limited three-dimensional minds around something that is outside of three-dimensions. But the math is absolutely accurate, so we know it exists. We just don’t know what to do with it yet.

      Just to be clear, it’s not saying that the quantum world is acting like the macro world because they behave very differently. What it’s saying is that the quantum world IS our world drilled down thousands if not millions of levels smaller than the atomic level. So, the quantum world is our world (just like individual pixels to a TV screen), but they act differently at that level. I hope that makes sense.

      • Scottie says:

        Hey Mel. Thanks . I understand the fact our world is made up of smaller things, and smaller things still. I lose understanding when we get smaller than atoms. The whole particle and wave thing might as well be part of dungeons and dragons for all I understand it. ( I can’t play that game either ) So like for things that I don’t need to understand to navigate my life, I will read, hear, watch information on the subject, bits and pieces of it until I understand it better. Striving to slowly get a handle on it. that comes slowly and with many mistakes and missteps of understandings. So there will be some burning of brain cells for me in the future. Thanks again. Till the next adventure. Hugs

    • Mel Wild says:

      Another simple analogy you might already know, to help understand why the quantum world works differently than the macro world yet they’re the same world, is with the light bulb. You and I turn on a light and it appears to be on all the time. But, in reality, it’s turning off and on at a fast rate (60 times per second). Our mind only perceives that it’s on. So, while our world is doing all kinds of crazy multi-dimensional stuff at the quantum level, it’s looks like solid matter to us in our subset of reality we call time and space.

      Another analogy, think of our universe as an extremely high resolution hologram. It’s the ultimate virtual reality, yet it’s still interactive data at the lowest level. That was the point of the second video. But like all analogies, it’s still inadequate because we can only give comparisons in the three-dimensional plane of existence. This “construct” we call the cosmos is much more robust, with possibly 12 dimensions! (they keep finding more). I hope that didn’t make your headache worse! 🙂

      • Scottie says:

        The idea of different dimensions are great for science fiction / fantasy stories. As I just replied to Tildeb, in the practical world the “language” of quantum physics makes no difference. Probabilities of particles are great for scientist and theoreticians and layman thought experimenters. For the everyday person, me, the regular old language of the macro physics works great in navigating our lives. But thanks for trying ,and for getting me to think on school stuff again. 🙂 Hugs

        • Mel Wild says:

          The idea of different dimensions are great for science fiction / fantasy stories.

          But that is the one thing we cannot do, Scottie. These non-local dimensions have been proven mathematically. There is no serious disagreement among cosmologists and physicists about their reality. And just because we can’t observe it from our three-dimensional viewpoint, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. As Swedish-American cosmologist, Max Tegmark said, the same math used to prove what we can observe is also used to predict what we cannot directly observe. You cannot simply hand-wave it away. If we accept the math for the one, we have to accept it for the other.

          In 2004, Austrian researchers successfully teleported photons (particles of light) across the Danube River in Vienna. They proved that these particles didn’t simply travel through space but instantly appeared on the other side. We know this because it happened at about a thousand times faster than the speed of light. Since then there have been successful teleportations up to 10 miles (16 Km).

          And my point was not for us to become quantum theorists, but to dispel the myth that there is no “supernatural” world or that miracles can’t happen. We no longer have that luxury. The cat, as they say, is out of the bag. And if people are going to use science to disprove God (or ignore Him), then they must deal with ALL the sciences. And this crazy stuff will be probably BE the everyday language 100 year from now (or less).

          As far as everyday people, in the end we will believe what we choose to believe. And the beauty of faith is that a child can just accept it, believe it, and not have to be subjected to our complicated arguments. 🙂

        • Scottie says:

          Hi Mel. I know you have gone to enjoy your 4th celebrations so I will just leave this here till you get back. When I said about the dimensions was not meant to dismiss them. I agree the math shows them. Some argue more, some argue less, but everyone seems to think they are there. Some call it the multiverse. I also read about the teleport experiments and was fascinated by them, again I am not disputing that. I think we have a lot yet to learn. What I am not convinced on yet is it is supernatural. It may turn out to hold the secret to precognition or telepathy. However so far no one has been able to test those talents. And even if this is a gateway to what we now call supernatural, once we learn enough to test it and to understand it, we may see it is part of the natural world. So with all due respect I am not convinced this gets us closer to a god. I think it just shows we have a lot to learn about quantum’s stuff. We have thought things were in the supernatural world before that once we understood them, they became part of the normal natural world. Thanks. I am off to read all the back comments i missed and maybe comment on them. Have fun. Hugs

        • Mel Wild says:

          Hi Scottie. When we say that science makes the supernatural the natural, I would agree with that. And that’s exactly my point. Miracles are not magic. Never were. Something outside of our dimensional understanding is interacting with our perceived “world” which quantum science theoretically provides explanation. While it doesn’t necessarily prove God, it does provide science for the “supernatural.” And we’re still left with the elephant in the room, who or what is interacting, and who or what is the programmer of this infinitely complex structure that we are only able to perceived but a very small subset?

          Btw, there’s a big debate on the multiverse idea. It solves one problem and creates several others….two related problems are infinite regress and over complication when a much simpler explanation is possible (Occam’s Razor). You would literally need hundreds of billions of universes generated from the subatomic interactions within one human body! The idea gets a bit ridiculous after a while. A much more elegant explanation is that it’s all part of one single multi-dimensional virtual reality.

        • Scottie says:

          Hello Mel. How was your celebration? Did you do it as a family affair or have the whole church community with you? I am not ready to buy into the whole life is not really life, it is just a virtual reality on someone’s computer or something. In order for us to live and act / react properly we must deal with what we perceive as reality as what we think it is. Even if we are a brain in a vat we can’t live like that. Talk later. Hugs

        • Mel Wild says:

          Thanks for asking, Scottie. We went to an annual birthday party for a friend of ours and my wife’s (his is on 4th-July, hers on the 6th) and I also played croquet! It was a hoot! 🙂
          I understand about having to live according to our perception. I must do that, too. But if I’m going to talk about the “supernatural,” which is what you guys have been saying we must dismiss as “reality,” then we must go outside our normal perception to show that it’s possible. This is where the “spiritual” world would reside, not in what we call the natural world.

        • tildeb says:

          Mel, you say, “This is where the “spiritual” world would resides, not in what we call the natural world.”

          So, again, my ongoing unanswered question to you is, “And you know this how?” It’s the ‘how’ that is important and not the ‘what’.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I’m saying that IF what we call the “spiritual world” is theoretically possible, it would not be material (by definition), hence not defined by any naturalistic means, keeping in mind that all these terms are only relevant from our perspective.
          Otherwise, we can have no conversation because we cannot observe anything outside of our time-space continuum. It’s like trying to show a six-dimensional shape in our three-dimensional world. It’s impossible. We can only infer and show that it’s there mathematically. But the same math that proves what we can observe is the same math used to show a world we cannot observe, so it’s not just some fantasy that we can just dismiss.

        • tildeb says:

          If this spiritual world exists but doesn’t exist in this world, then suggesting that math given particular axioms indicate other dimensions must be where it ‘exists’ doesn’t alter the question I raise: HOW do you know anything about this spiritual ‘world’? Existence of other dimensions that contains ‘stuff’ you want to believe in by imposing an inference the math does not imply doesn’t do the job!

        • Mel Wild says:

          I was only giving you the mathematical possibility. I personally “know” it a thousand different ways experientially, besides intuitively, through events that cannot be explained any other way. So do millions of other people in the world. But we can’t even prove that the conscious mind is in the material “world.” We still don’t know why it is, yet we think all day long. But even if God Himself came up to you said “Boo” I doubt you would accept it as evidence. So I seriously doubt if any amount of proof is going to dislodge you from your hardened disbelief. I will state what I believe and why I believe it. You can take it or leave it. I’m not trying to win an argument here. The truth doesn’t depend on our opinions.

        • tildeb says:

          I’m not asking for proof. I’m not even questioning what you think you know. I simply asking, yet again, HOW you know. I want to know HOW you link whatever experiences you have had here (and I’m not asking what those are) with this spiritual realm. And I want to see if you can do it without relying – utterly and absolutely – on your faith-based belief that this is linked. I want the link.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I “know” because what happens often defies a naturalist interpretation. I link it by abductive reasoning.

        • tildeb says:

          Well, an experience defies a natural explanation only when one rules out a natural explanation, right? I mean, any time a natural explanation comes along, say, a brain injury for bizarre behaviour versus demonic possession, then we discard the supernatural when we find out that the injury is linked to the behaviour. So, using abductive reasoning, what links your inexplicable experiences to abduct that something from the spiritual other-worldly dimension is responsible rather than an unknown natural source? In other words what separates and differentiates your experiential hypothesis from what I might say, such as admitting that I do NOT know? The method of abductive reasoning is not an explanation in itself for linking the experiences you say you’ve had – and I have no reason to doubt you – to someone or something or some element housed this other-worldly dimension. There must be some means available to you that differentiates what you claim is knowledge from what it appears to me to be simply an assertion based on a faith-based belief alone. It is this linking means I am after.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I’m sure many things that happen like a brain injury can be explained by hallucinations. I’m not really considering that as strong evidence for an experience. I’m talking about things like when someone who had an incurable disease is suddenly healed. My sister in law, for instance. She had rheumatoid arthritis so bad that even narcotic drugs were not helping with the pain. Her feet were so swollen she couldn’t wear her shoes. She was prayed for several times with no evidence of change. One night she was instantly healed, no pain, no swelling. She could wear her shoes the next day. That was five years ago. She’s been pain free and arthritis free ever since. The doctors had no explanation for it. They actually thought it was a miracle. I’ve had many such experiences or have known others with them. You just can’t dismiss them. Especially, when you look at them accumulatively.

          But the linking means is faith. We won’t really see it until we believe. It’s just as tangible as sight, though not in a physical way. And even then, we only see in part. So, I’m not going to satisfy your questions completely. But, also keep in mind, with abductive reasoning, you don’t need to remove all doubt (which is rarely possible even in court cases), just remove a reasonable doubt.

        • tildeb says:

          So by believing it is so, you can say you ‘know’ it is so, correct?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Not quite. Believing doesn’t make anything so. The truth doesn’t care about what we think. It means first being open to what you cannot see and withholding judgment. Faith is also trust. Following Christ is not theological, but relational. Then we begin to get insight for our lives and understanding. There’s a real connection although it’s not tangible to an outside observer, They may see a sudden behavioral change. Again, this isn’t necessarily conclusive proof by itself. It’s proof to the individual in the relationship with God. So, intangible things like insight and intuition are divinely available but not necessarily scientifically provable. Things like the physical healing I mentioned are more tangible and provable but also more rare.

        • tildeb says:

          Hang on. Not quite, you say?

          I’m going to start a wider comment and question downthread.

    • tildeb says:

      The video makes a very typical mistake assigning ‘reality’ to come into being only by our attention, that something doesn’t exist – isn’t ‘real’ until we observe it. This is an absolutely typical misunderstanding of what the wave function describes – probabilities – and so it misleads people into thinking the collapse of the wave function somehow POOF!s stuff into existence. This is why quantum physics is a difficult subject to grasp, and why it is used by woo-meisters to insert all kinds of idiocy into the spooky action at a distance framework.

      So let’s back up a second and try to get a better grasp on what these terms mean so that we can understand what is being described. One of the best explanations I have encountered is from someone who teaches this stuff at Cal Tech, physicist Sean Carroll:

      “In classic mechanics, we can think of every different piece of the world as having its own state. The Earth is moving around the sun with a particular position and velocity, and Mars has a position and velocity of its own. Quantum mechanics tells a different story. There is not a wave function for the Earth, another one for Mars, and so on through all of space. There is only one wave function for the entire universe at once – what we call, with no hint of modesty, the “wave function of the universe.”

      A wave function is simply a number we assign to every possible measurement outcome, like the position of a particle, such that the number tells us the probability of obtaining that outcome. The probability is given by the wave function squared; that’s the famous Born rule, after German physicist Max Born. So the wave function of the universe assigns a number to every possible way that objects in the universe could be distributed through space. There’s one number for “the Earth is her, and Mars is over there,” and another number for “the Earth is at this other place, and Mars is yet somewhere else,” and so on.

      The state of the Earth can therefore be entangled with the state of Mars (emphasis mine… we’re talking about potential states of location and calculating by probability what these states are when ‘captured’ at a particular point in time). For big macroscopic things like planets this possibility isn’t realized in a demonstrable way, but for tiny things like elementary particle it happens all the time, Say we have two particles, Alice and Bob, each of which could be spinning either clockwise or counterclockwise. The wave function of the universe could assign a 50 percent probability to Alice spinning clockwise and Bob counterclockwise, and another 50 percent probability to Alice spinning counterclockwise and Bob clockwise. We have no idea what answer we would get were we to measure the spin of either particle; but we know that once we measure one of them, the other is definitely spinning the other way. They are entangled with each other.

      (snip)

      At last, then, we have a candidate for a final answer to the critical ontological question “What is the world, really?” It is a quantum wave function.”

      This is what I mean when I talk about how we understand physics. We use classical physics almost all the time and this suffices for us to successfully navigate our environments. But when we begin to describe how reality operates at the very large and very small levels, then we need to talk about it differently. This is why we use the language not of things but of states, not of particles but of fields, not of properties but of probabilities.

      Why does this difference matter?

      Well, it is easy to confuse which language we’re using, which framework we’re bringing to bear here when talking about stuff. For example, where is Mars right now? Well, using the language of classical physics, we ‘know’ where Mars is. We use words like ‘mass’ and ‘orbit’ and ‘velocity’ and, applying classical physics formulas that deal with these considerations, we can calculate its position and, voila!, there it is when we look though an optical instrument at where our calculations have predicted it to be. It hasn’t POOF!ed into and out of existence simply by raising the question about it current location. That’s not how reality operates. There is an overwhelming amount of evidence that in the world of classical physics objects have permanence. And we learn that at very young age!

      But using the language of quantum physics, the framework of a universal wave function to calculate location, where is Mars right now? Using this language, this framework, we don’t know! All we have are probabilities about either location or velocity (the uncertainty principle) because we cannot know both at the same time (the Observer Effect)! If we capture the location, we lose any means using this language to capture velocity; if we capture velocity, we lose any means to capture location. We are uncertain but using quantum physics we can calculate the probabilities to predict to remarkable degree of accuracy either. But we cannot know either until we collapse the probability wave function – by altering the state of Mars to either location or velocity. That doesn’t mean we bring the planet to a screeching halt or that it doesn’t exist with properties we associate to classical physics. That doesn;t mean we POOF it into existence only when we capture specific information about it. It means we frame our knowledge about it to fit our probability calculation. So the state of our knowledge about the location and speed of Mars is uncertain using the language and framework of quantum mechanics. As far as we ‘know’ Mars does not have object permanence (Shrodinger’s cat) and when we try to find out, we lose any ability to ‘know’ certain properties of it.

      The point of this huge comment of mine is to try to explain why we can’t arbitrarily utilize one framework, one language, one way to describe something, and then insert it willy nilly into the language and framework of the other to create space for woo. This is what woo-meisters do. This is what is being done here in this post. Sure, it suits the religious to try to use physics this way to make space for a divine creator agency, but it works just as well for a Deepak Chopra to make a lot of money selling people on the idea that they control the universe (using the Observer Effect).

      But we need to use the language, the framework, of quantum mechanics to better understand how the very large and the very small actually work because the language, the framework, of classical physics does not suffice. And the key has to do with understanding fields out of which properties of what we call ‘matter’ arise. Again, this has nothing to do with woo and everything to do with trying to understand how such properties emerge. Suffice to say, there is no energy signature to indicate any additional input by any external agency like a god or gods and no evidence that physics – classical or quantum – supports the kind of woo pedaled by so many with an agenda other than understanding how reality operates.

      • Scottie says:

        Thanks Tildeb. Language. Words. Words have meanings tied to them. I know the words used in the comment. I can say individually I can tell you what the single words means were. However put together in sentences the way they were was hard to follow. I got the main points by context I think, even while the finer points went over my head like a space shuttle docking with the space station. Way up high and really fast.
        The thing I take away from this is that the language of quantum physics has little to do with the average person’s life. Classical physics is how we navigate in our daily life.
        Scientist and theritions can play with quantum things all they like, I leave it to them. I concede I don’t understand it and I really don’t need to to function fine in the world. I am not convinced that this quantum stuff sets the stage for any “naturalistic laws” to be broken. But it is not my play ground in any case. Be well. Hugs

        • tildeb says:

          Scottie, you say, “The thing I take away from this is that the language of quantum physics has little to do with the average person’s life. Classical physics is how we navigate in our daily life.”

          Right. So when someone tries to use quantum physics to explain that woo happens, or can happen, or might possibly happen, or could conceivably happen in daily life – like walking through walls is somehow reasonable because, you know, quantum physics – what they’re really doing is trying to sell you some superstitious nonsense under the guise of inappropriate and misunderstood and misrepresented science.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Your answer here is otherwise known as hand-waving, tildeb. Let’s just ignore anything that disagrees with our presuppositions. And we especially do this when our fallacious arguments, calling anything not understood in the macro-world “superstitious nonsense” becomes plausible. We just close our eyes and stay in our narrow-minded ignorance, proving that we don’t actually base our worldview on evidence but on what we choose to believe.

          As I told Scottie in another comment, you cannot ignore the math. The same math used to prove what can be observed is the same math used to prove what we cannot observe. To reject the latter, you must also reject the former, which would be ridiculous.

          And to stubbornly deny non-local realities, ironically, becomes the new superstitious nonsense.

        • Scottie says:

          @ Mel & Tildeb. As I said I am going to try to pick this stuff up as best I can as we go along. What are local realities Versus non-local realities? Is the the multi dimensions we were talking about? I thought there was only one reality, that was everything. Or Mel are you using it like naturalistic reality and supernatural reality. Sorry to ask what maybe simple questions to you guys but if I am going to pick this up I have to follow your conversation. Hugs

        • Mel Wild says:

          Scottie, briefly, there is only one reality. To say “local” or “non-local” reality simply means to differentiate how WE perceive them in reality, “Non-local” is a term quantum physicists use to describe phenomenon outside the time-space continuum. We know this is real because of quantum entanglement, tunneling, and teleportation. As I said before, these were proven mathematically and tested.

          Btw, I will be away from my computer the rest of the day. Happy fourth of July!

        • Scottie says:

          Happy 4th. be well. Hugs

        • tildeb says:

          Sorry for the length, Scottie, but your questions are not easy to answer.

          Keeping in mind that we are talking about frameworks, it is very difficult (really, really hard) to get one’s head out of classical physics to consider this kind of stuff. A prime example is when one is speaking of ‘space’. To us, that means distance between things. But in quantum mechanics, we now have to bring in a different framework, and this framework is called quantum field theory. As hard as it is to wrap one’s head around this little gem, there is no such thing as ‘space’. (I know… it’s whacked.) Reality is made up of fields – sort of like a bunch of different meshes. In our world using classical physics, we think of fields not at all. We don’t look across some distance and think to ourselves, this distance I see is a mirage, that everything I see is in fact particles emerging in all kinds of different fields. Nobody thinks this way. Yet this is how we have to think when studying quantum mechanics.

          Locality describes the relationship between two or more point on these meshes or fields. Think of ‘gravity’ as a mesh, a field that is everywhere all the time. Using the term ‘distance’ to talk about gravity doesn’t make any sense in this regard; what we talk about is the effect of gravity.. greater or lesser effect. We can deduce when we withdraw back into classical physics that the greater the effect of gravity, the lower the distance; the less the effect, the greater the distance. Right? Makes sense?

          But doing this constantly to try to make sense of quantum field theory by applying it back into classical physics with which we interact all the time is like trying to operate in metric by constantly doing all the calculations necessary to convert all this stuff into Imperial. It’s a lot of work and presumes that only the one framework has the ‘right’ meaning. But this assumption doesn’t really help explain how much something weighs or how fast something is going because every framework uses a different metric. The trick is to stop doing the converting from quantum back into classical and just get familiar with the quantum framework itself. Once you do this, you ‘see’ the assumption; starting with classical physics that may be exactly backwards, exactly the wrong way, to gaining insight into the reality we share!

          So, to your question about locality, you need to put aside this idea of ‘location’. That is hard.

          Locality has to do with a relationship of effects in fields. Something non local doesn’t necessarily mean a vast distance in space or time in reference to each other physically but about the state of its effects. So, altering how you think about ‘space’ in this context really means that when we consider space/time, what we’re really talking about is just time (space being another term for the strength of relationships in fields). So the reference to locality means a reference to time. And this is where the brain must twist even further: non-locality means at exactly the same time. So although interactions between fields can occur at the same place (what is referred to as ‘ local interactions in a Lagrangian density’) they cannot do so at the same time and still fall into this cause and effect relationship with each other (allowing us to measure entropy to determine how much time). If you really grasp this, you’re a much bigger brained person than I am.
          .

          You see the problem when people use quantum field theory to suggest some event contrary to our understanding of physics in our macro world is supported by quantum mechanics…. usually because of the axiomatic maths used to model stuff that allow for the woo-laden idea to be possible after altering what we call space and time fails to take into consideration what this suggestion actually means in practice: our universe must also be both equally axiomatic (for the maths to work) yet not axiomatic at all (for the woo to occur). That’s why this kind of thinking that takes bits and pieces of quantum mechanics and quantum field theory that seems favourable to them and their ideas is so attractive to the woo-meister. I mean, seriously, who understands all this stuff? A better understanding that denies these possibilities suggested by the woo-meisters is then dismissed or glossed over because, well… because who is going to argue? It’s hard to understand what is meant but it sounds really sciencey!

          That’s why I keep saying the move to use quantum physics by theologians and New Age gurus as if it provides ‘evidence’ for some woo-laden idea should always be understood to be a kind of cherry picking to sell something other than a better understanding of quantum physics, which is really hard to understand when one thinks and lives in a world dictated by understanding classical physics. Quantum physicists are the right people for this job, and we should not be surprised to learn that the vast majority are down-to-earth realists and atheists because they know just how distorted and maligned their science is to support the ludicrous claims of the woo-meisters.

        • Scottie says:

          I must be asking the right questions then. 🙂 well I took some time to try to understand fields today. I watched a bunch of stuff on the higgs field. SO I get that. The only thing about the explanation and yours I am not sure about is the dimensions. They describe the higgs field as a mesh that is everywhere. It is not flat, nor circular, or any shape. It is like the air around us, we are in it all the time. Question: if there are all these different fields are they also all around us and interwoven with each other, or are they separate shapes and maybe layered like cakes, stacked on each other? Not that it makes a difference in our practical way we go about our lives, we can’t see or interact with the fields in a way that we can observe without test equipment? I did see you mentioned energy and that got me thinking. Lawrence Krauss likes to talk of the energy state of the universe. Zero or one. I know that is not what you are talking about but I remember how much importance he puts on the information of energy. So you are that mathematically / scientifically they have established that anything coming to our existing universe would cause an energy they can see, measure and put into their calculations? That is important, because it would be big news if anyone could show that energy, it would prove other universes. Now does anything leaving our universe also lose us energy or do we still gain it?

          I caught something when Mel was talking to me, and I tried to explain it but Ark did it much better. If something happens and we can’t explain it, it doesn’t default to God did it or miracle happened. That still has to be proved, well to me. Believers I guess have a right to not need the the proof. Then we we study and learn the event how it happened and why, then it becomes a natural thing not a supernatural. It is a jump into the I don’t know so god of the gap thing, if I understood correctly?

          So I guess while we could say we don’t understand it so while there is the possibility for a supernatural cause, it doesn’t mean it is likely a supernatural cause. In other words we can’t rule it out, but it has not been shown to be true. It has not been disproved but not proved either? Somehow I feel like I am missing something, some step here, but I can’t see it. So in this case wouldn’t Mel be sort of correct and also You and Ark sort of correct? Because we don’t know we can’t say it has to be this, but we can say it “may be” this?

          I heard a saying that any technology superior enough would look like magic to those who do not understand it. Is this a case of that? Thanks all. I am learning whether I want to or not. 😉 Hugs

        • tildeb says:

          I was going to leave the whole multi-verse thing aside because it doesn’t pertain. Sure there could be an infinite number. The math works. But I don’t know and don’t much care about that aspect when it’s this reality we’re talking about. You’re the one trying to make the multi-verse somehow linked with this one in order to create a sciencey-sounding possibility that somewhere beyond this universe is where some divine critter lives and appealing to the maths to make it so. Because I understand the maths, I know you don’t know what you’re talking about and I don;t appreciate you assuming this means I am in any way against the math! That’s patently untrue.

          You’ve got nothing to support this thesis that miracles are reasonable by appealing to science generally and quantum mechanics specifically. If something were to cross the dimensional border to cause effect in this one as you try to make it seem, then the maths you so flippantly raise as if to support your thesis would in fact demonstrate a surplus of energy. And this has never been found. We can account for all energy. That, too, is what the maths ‘prove’.

          I have done anything but hand wave. I have taken your thesis seriously and spent the time and effort to explain in detail why your hypothesis doesn’t work. Your appeal to quantum mechanics is the hand waving because you obviously don’t grasp its what it says, what it means. I have explained why this is so, and furthermore have explained why you don’t cross the language of the frameworks between classical and quantum physics… unless you’re trying to sell something. They are two different languages and most assuredly do not create the wiggle space you need to make in order to suggest that the ‘miracles’ attributed to Jesus are somehow compatible with both physics. They’re not. Quantum mechanics is not your friend and ally in this matter.

        • Scottie says:

          Thanks. Be well. Hugs

        • Mel Wild says:

          Same to you. 😊

  9. crossroman says:

    It only has to be put as a question of comparative intelligence. If there IS a God then he is not going to be outsmarted by men. The bible as a theory is confirmed by its practise.

  10. crossroman says:

    Sent that before I finished – There are many people who can tell of specific answers to prayers, just as there are many who can tell of things like ESP, divination of various kinds, healings, ghosts, and etc. While it may be a valid defense to say that these things are simply a part of some as yet unknown science, to dismiss them because one hasn’t bothered to commit sufficiently to the investigation of the subject is simply a choice one makes. Where the bible is taken seriously, guess what, IT WORKS.

    • Mel Wild says:

      Exactly, crossroman. I have personally witnessed hundreds of healings over my 30 years of ministry, many of which defy medical or scientific explanation (including incurable diseases). I’ve also had answers to specific prayers and confirmations from people who had no idea what I was praying for. What troubles skeptics now is that science is actually beginning to advance to the level of plausible explanation, which throws their stubborn denials on the ash heap of ignorant unbelief.

      The beauty of faith is that you can just believe and not have to go through all these convoluted hoops. That’s why Jesus said we must receive the kingdom like a child. But it doesn’t mean that there’s no plausible explanation for what we don’t yet understand.

      Thanks for stopping by and chiming in. Blessings.

  11. tildeb says:

    Okay. This is the comment to Mel’s ‘Not quite’ answer to me.

    If your ‘knowing’ about this spiritual dimension – the object about which you claim to abduce knowledge in this dimension about that one – is not predicated entirely on your believing it is there, entirely on the assertion that it really does house or contain spiritual ‘stuff’ that can interact with this dimension in ways that convince you by abduction that it is as ‘real’ as anything with properties in this dimension – then there should be an equivalent space here for an ‘I do NOT know” in order to create that ‘not quite’ you’ve granted in the previous comment.

    I don’t see this ‘I don’t know’ appearing anywhere in any of these comments concerning the level of trust and confidence you have granted to your beliefs in its existence. Quite the opposite. You say you DO know of its existence by abductive reasoning. But do you?

    You offer zero uncertainty about the accuracy of your beliefs in the existence of the supernatural. You offer zero uncertainty about the cause of the experiences you use as evidence for making it into a knowledge claim. You have shown no path from how someone goes from ‘I do NOT know’ to ‘I DO know’ other than framing these experiences as if evidence for the supernatural. You offer zero uncertainty about the insights you say we can know something about into the existence of the supernatural and zero uncertainty about the relationship you have with agencies you say are within it… especially this agency you call ‘Jesus’. And when I ask how you determine which bits you do know are attributable to the supernatural from which bits you don’t know, and by what means you are able to differentiate between them, you claim your knowledgeable insight is determined through and by the quality of the relationship you have with this supernatural agency called ‘Jesus’, a relationship you have no uncertainty about having!

    To sum up, you say the supernatural exists, and you know something about it because you have a relationship with a supernatural agency called ‘Jesus’, which then allows you to understand how certain experiences are best explained by effects here that you know are caused there. This is not abductive reasoning, Mel. This is circular reasoning. You believe first, then export that belief to describe the ‘evidence’ you claim for it. You then justify the original belief by calling it informed by some level of knowledge!

    I’ve got to say and without any intention to demean that this reasoning you offer here appears no different to me in practice than what I have experienced with those deep in thrall of a schizophrenic event, utterly and absolutely convinced that their experiences are not self-created by how their brain interprets reality but are simply reflective of it, accurately describing using experiences of a shifting reality, a shifted reality where interpreted experiences about ‘it’ are then used to produce ‘evidence’ for its shifting… a shifted reality that now contains agencies and dimensions hidden from others, a reality now full of agencies and dimensions the schizophrenic experiences but to which others seem not just oblivious but immune… presumably because they do not share the same experiences!

    It doesn’t matter to the schizophrenic that these agencies remain hidden to everyone around them but in fact this ‘hiddenness’ itself is interpreted by the schizophrenic to be a kind of special status, possessing special insights, producing special knowledge, granting only to them access to this hidden realm, a place where special relationships with special agencies can be developed. And this seems fine even if unwanted and unasked for to the schizophrenic – although often quite scary at first that reality can be so shifted and so suddenly to some but not made manifest to others and, to make matters worse, not to many people including health care providers who seem blissfully unaware of reality’s fickle nature. It must be because they are stuck in presuming that reality is not fickle when, by the schizophrenic’s experiences, it is! And the problem isn’t acute until these agencies with whom the schizophrenic has a special relationship start to direct behaviour in harmful ways that to the rest of us appear to be malignant and dangerous and deluded. But try telling that to the schizophrenic! Those who do not understand, who are blind to, the fickle nature of reality are being mass controlled, you see… evidence of the power of these unseen agencies!

    So the next question I have – and always the most difficult to honestly answer – is standard operating procedure using the scientific method: how might you know if your explanatory model from which you claim to have knowledge about the supernatural is wrong?

  12. Pingback: When people start walking through walls | In My Father's House

  13. To keep this short, your post made me thing, “Beam me up Scotty.” Man is still trying to trying to learn to transport.”

  14. Pingback: The spiritual realm(?) | In My Father's House

  15. Well, unlike some commenters who seem to like to argue with you, I just enjoyed reading this but have no questions. Some of the scientific terms went over my head, but I have thought a lot about all that empty space between atoms. What keeps it there? I also understand your point about not being able to disprove the existence of the supernatural. But then, I’m not an atheist. I am a Christian and a Trinitarian, and I believe all scripture is inspired by God. I hate debate though, which is why I prefer to simply enjoy the Bible and imagine myself in the stories. After all, what is life without a little imagination to take up some of that 99.999 percent empty space?

    • Mel Wild says:

      Thanks wingandprayer. That’s the beauty of trusting in God. We can both enjoy what we don’t understand without having to understand and we can fully explore the world around us without violating our faith in God. There’s so much of “reality” we still don’t understand, it seems a bit arrogant to me for skeptics to say there is no such thing as the “supernatural.” Anyway, thanks again for your comments.

      • tildeb says:

        No, that’s not what skeptics say, so no, it’s not being arrogant. It’s saying what is TRUE, that we can’t know anything about it… including theists who seem unconcerned about that little aspect but go merrily along making all kinds of claims about it and then expecting no push-back when they try to impose it on others. Do you want to try again suggesting who is the arrogant one here, Mel?

        arrogant: Having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one’s own importance or abilities.

        It ain’t the skeptics who think they know stuff they don’t know. That’s a clue…

        • Mel Wild says:

          It’s saying what is TRUE, that we can’t know anything about it…

          Okay, fair enough, Tildeb. But then why do you conclude we can’t know anything about it? Says who? To say the only “truth” we can know is what science can demonstrate is not a statement based on science. You cannot empirically demonstrate that this is true. You must smuggle in your scientistic worldview based on and limited to your naturalistic paradigm. It’s an epistemology that concludes that science gives us the only real knowledge there is (called “scientism”) when it clearly doesn’t. There are lots of things we can “know” that science cannot prove. You pretend it’s honest to just say you don’t know but we’re arrogant to believe there’s something more, something that science cannot and never will explain. But the only “truth” in your statement is that you don’t know, which is fine. But to mock and dismiss what we believe and say we can’t know is arrogance because it’s saying that your narrow definition of truth is the only one that matters.

        • tildeb says:

          I’ve tried to correct this framing you continue to project that I insist that everything requires scientific validation. That’s not it all. I point out time after time after time that how we know matters. And in the case of the supernatural, there is a blockage you are not recognizing. That blockage is about our ability – anyone’s ability – to link some effect here with some cause there. We – anyone – will encounter this blockage when they look at how we can make that link. And without that link, that – not me – stops our ability to connect the effect with the cause if it assigned to some supernatural source. Without that connection, we give up any ability to claim to know. We do not know. Not me. Not you. Not anyone. That’s not a problem contained in the scientific method; it’s a problem all of us have when we try to assign causation to a supernatural source and claim it to be knowable. That is not true. And it’s not true independent of thee and me; it’s not true because we have no means to remove the methodological blockage.

          You can believe whatever you want but as soon as you claim to know, then it is you who have made the error, confusing belief with knowledge. You may have reasons for your belief, and you may think yourself perceptive in ways that see through this blockage, but what you do not have is knowledge. You have belief in the religious sense of the term, a subjective belief not empowered by or in debt to independent knowledge. That’s not arrogance on my part; it is disciplined critical thinking, which is the root for appropriate skepticism.

        • Mel Wild says:

          I’ve tried to correct this framing you continue to project that I insist that everything requires scientific validation.

          Okay then, two questions for you:
          1) Do you believe there is knowledge about our existence and/or reality that science will never be able to answer?
          2) If yes, then what “knowledge” would you consider to be on par with scientific knowledge?

          Got to go. Will look for your answers later.

        • tildeb says:

          Your questions contain the same problematic framing, Mel. And this is the point I continue to raise when you try to vilify science’s methodological robustness about the natural world in order to get through the methodological blockage: a blockage between 1) us gaining knowledge about this hypothetical supernatural realm of existence where you intentionally place what you believe is a causal divine agency here in the natural realm, and 2) the means by which you attempt to insert your belief and call it knowledge.

          This blockage is not the ‘fault’ of science. Science is not ‘inadequate’ for producing a robust method to connect selected effects with their causes. The problem is that you claim it is inadequate doing so for connecting the selected effects you arbitrarily classify as either from the natural world or with the hypothetical supernatural cause you believe exists. This framing is of your own construction. You’re the one arbitrarily choosing this supernatural home for the supernatural causes you believe is responsible for the natural effects you select but… and this is huge methodological error you make…. then wave away any and all natural explanations for them no matter how compelling or overwhelming the evidence we CAN know something about may be. Evolution is an excellent example of just how easily you wave away the ‘natural’ explanations it produces, wave away all the knowledge we have accrued from it and successfully apply in a veritable host of related fields, and then continue to insist that this does not rule out the supernatural cause you believe is the case but one you admit remains completely hidden from any compelling compilation of “facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education.” That means ‘knowledge’, by the way. You replace this component with ‘hints’ you select from various metaphysical means! (Metaphysical means, it is important to note, that have never produced one jot or tittle of equivalent knowledge as the method of science. Brute fact. Inconvenient as hell but unequivocally true nevertheless.) The supernatural is immune from our efforts to gain knowledge about it… not because science is inadequate but because you have defined the supernatural to be immune from our investigation of it!

          So, you can’t have it both ways, Mel, and continue to call your beliefs another kind of knowledge. This is like wanting to have your cake – the supernatural realm – and eating it, too – producing knowledge about the natural world. Blaming the baker, blaming science, that you can’t have it both ways is an unreasonable conclusion, Mel. It’s not science that is the problem; it the way your beliefs have been used to frame an insurmountable problem of appropriate methodology. Put another way – and something you should have learned in math at a tender age – you can measure at your leisure if your units stay the same. You can gain knowledge at your leisure as long as you keep the natural units the same. Introducing the super natural is like adding and subtracting fish from faeries. It’s incoherent and does not produce knowledge about either fish or faeries when artificially connected simply by your belief.

          Don’t believe me? Fine. Move away from methodological naturalism if you feel you must continue to vilify science as somehow inadequate to justify your beliefs but then go study how central to the theory of knowledge is epistemology, the ‘how we know anything’ aspect is to its philosophy. It will bring right back to where you don’t want to be, which is understanding why you and your beliefs are being assumed by you to have knowledge value independent of you when they do not.

        • Mel Wild says:

          So you can’t answer my questions. I see.

        • tildeb says:

          So when did you stop beating your wife?

        • Mel Wild says:

          Ha ha. More avoidance. These questions are very straightforward and valid, Tildeb. These are not trying to “vilify” science at all.They are about what are the limits of science. The first one requires just a simple yes or no answer. The second conditional question clarifies what you mean by valid non-scientific knowledge.

          1) Do you believe there is knowledge about our existence and/or reality that science will never be able to answer?
          2) If yes, then what “knowledge” would you consider to be on par with scientific knowledge?

          Again, I will be gone most of the day so you have a lot of time to answer. But please, not another 600 word cop-out. Just answer the questions as concisely as possible. They’re not that hard.

        • tildeb says:

          So you can’t answer my question. I see.

        • Mel Wild says:

          My wife would probably beat me up if I tried, so I never got started.

          Now, you can answer my questions. They are valid and have been asked of philosophers and scientists in these types of discussions before. They’re not trick questions.

        • tildeb says:

          Your repeated questions are leading questions that are improperly framed. That’s why I took the words necessary to explain why they are misleading questions… to which you summarily waved away, which was my central criticism. In effect, Mel, you have not bothered to understand yet again why what you’re doing is deceitful but continue merrily down the path of assuming your beliefs imposed on reality are to be taken as another kind of knowledge you have gleaned from reality. They are not, and so you continue to spread your misrepresentation of how we know anything by deceit and think yourself pious for doing so. Well, that may be pious in the eyes of the devout but it is underhanded and dishonest of you. All this tactic does is reveal you to be a deceiver, not just to others but more importantly to yourself. You have deceived yourself into believing these questions framed to assume the conclusion are important to ‘discovering’ the truth when, in fact, they are designed to do one thing only: produce exactly the answer you already believe to be true.

          You do the same in the next post where you blithely state you, “would like to lay out the vision of the Church from Scripture and show how this relates to God’s ultimate purpose for creating humankind. You assume the conclusion, that humankind was created to suit your God’s ‘ultimate’ purpose and pretend you not only know this to be true but that you have access to this knowledge. That’s not true. You cannot demonstrate this to be true. But you continue to misrepresent your beliefs only by waving away the accumulated knowledge of human development and the point that you substitute whatever you want to believe and then misrepresent it to be another kind of knowledge. The problem, as I have explained, is that cannot know any such thing.

          You wave away the charge of hubris and arrogance I level against you that you must exercise to presume you DO have access to the necessary information and facts to connect your conclusion about supernatural cause with natural effects found in humankind. You continue to wave away the problems that I and others point out accompany your statements of belief misrepresented by you to be statements of knowledge. You just weave them away by claiming you are ‘neutral’ about their knowledge value, as if you have actually considered them and found them to be meh. But you trust your life to them in the meantime while pretending you’re really not sure if they possess knowledge value. You then away away the charge of hypocrisy raised against this intentional dishonesty you exercise. You are guilty again and again and again of using this religiously motivated apologetic hand waving tactic of deceit and misrepresentation and logical fallacies to promote your religious beliefs and you attack science, misrepresent the method of science that demonstrates your approach to be without knowledge, to be the problem when it’s not: it is you. Again and again and again it is you. You are exercising dishonesty. And by waving away why you are exercising dishonesty, you cross the border into intentionally lying.

        • Nan says:

          Mel … I hope you will forgive me for stepping in here, but I’d like to comment on a couple of things that I think some individuals are either ignoring or fail to understand. To wit …

          Mel is a Christian (and all that entails). But more importantly, he is the pastor of a church. Thus, his blog is ultimately directed to his congregation and/or other believers. While several of the points presented may (or may not) be valid, he is never going to divert from his core beliefs on this blog … for obvious reasons.

          Now if the discussion were to take place face-to-face, it would most likely be a very stimulating exchange of ideas. One or both parties might even change their thinking! But it will never happen on this blog. So I guess I have to ask … is it really worth bringing up the same points over and over again?

        • Scottie says:

          Grandly thought out and well said Nan. I tend to agree with you. That is the reason that I stopped trying to engage Mel here. It is not really fair. You can not convince a man of something his paycheck requires him to deny. Nor can you expect him to lose face in front of those he is said to lead. While it would be nice to talk to him without those pressures on him, for me I doubt such would ever happen. It does tend to lead to a lot of one way conversations in my head. 🤔😃😉😎 Hugs

        • Nan says:

          Thanks for your support, Scottie. I have a hunch there may some others that won’t agree. Oh well.

        • Mel Wild says:

          You can not convince a man of something his paycheck requires him to deny. Nor can you expect him to lose face in front of those he is said to lead.

          Hi Scottie. Just one comment on what you said. While I would love the opportunity to talk to you in another setting, what I say here is not limited by my position. I didn’t become a pastor for a paycheck and I’m not motivated that way. I became a pastor (taking over a 50% pay reduction from my previous corporate position) because I felt it was what I was supposed to do. I don’t need to defend “God” for money or any other reason than that it’s my deep conviction. If this were not so, I would not be writing here. I was actually much more about the money when I was in the corporate world. I’m not now. Hugs back at you. 🙂

        • Scottie says:

          Hello Mel. While you may not have your position based on your paycheck, which is honorable of you, many in religion and politics do. Case in point for religion is Answers In Genesis & Ken Ham’s other ventures like the Ark thing. The employees must sign a mission statement that no matter what they will have a belief that the organization pushes or they will lose their jobs. The same for politicians. Ever see a sunday show where the person from the white house or the administration says anything different than the line pushed by the party / president even when shown facts that are opposite. Both these situations lead to weird bending and twisting by the person to avoid doing what will lose them their job and their pay check. It is futile to have a conversation with them in public that is an attempt to change their mind or disprove what they said because they simply can not agree. The can’t for their own good. As for not insulting and belittling people not doing that is simple courtesy and being a civil person. Hey have a great holiday season. Hugs

        • Mel Wild says:

          I would agree with what your saying here, Scottie. And that’s also why I don’t like politics. No meaningful communication going on.
          You have a wonderful holiday season, too.

        • tildeb says:

          The point isn’t to convince or to win or to force anyone to change their views, Nan. It’s to get people to think for themselves, to offer opinions and ideas and criticisms that some people may not have thought about or don;t understand. It’s an opportunity Mel’s readers now have from these these contributions that they otherwise might otherwise never encounter, night never think about.

          For you to presume that some commentators who have repeated their ideas but expressed them in various ways are either ignoring or failing to understand Mel’s commitment to stay the course in his journey through faith is an observation that itself ignores or fails to understand both the motivation for and the means to demonstrate critical and independent thinking of Mel’s posts.

          This presumption by faitheists that they speak for and in defense of the somewhat deluded religionists by ‘gently’ criticizing the atheists who confront Bad Ideas of the religious kind where they encounter them is actually quite condescending to everyone because it’s valid only if your presumption is correct. The problem is, it’s not correct.

        • Nan says:

          “The point isn’t to convince or to win or to force anyone to change their views”

          I would tend to disagree. Of course, to “force” someone to change their views is pretty much impossible (via a blog anyway), but in discussions between believers and non-believers, the natural tendency is to “convince” and/or “win” over the other side. You say it’s to get people to “think” — and I agree that’s a worthy cause — but after awhile, the core purpose gets lost in the flood of words, opinions, and debates.

        • Mel Wild says:

          Your repeated questions are leading questions that are improperly framed. That’s why I took the words necessary to explain why they are misleading questions…

          Who says these questions are improperly framed? You? These are the same questions that have been asked in interviews with philosophers and scientists before, and unlike you they’ve answered them. The only thing you’re showing me here is your inability to answer a simple question.

          Tildeb, I’ve been honestly trying to ascertain whether you believe there are limits to science in explaining our existence and if you consider that there’s non-scientific knowledge that’s on par with scientific knowledge. Maybe you can just answer it that way. It’s a simple question. Either way, if you keep avoiding the question, I will just assume you don’t want to tell me because of the implications of your answer.

          And please keep you answer brief. Thank you.

  16. Scottie says:

    Hello Mel. I know you are deep in a discussion with Tildeb, but I wanted to give my view of the science question you asked. I do think there are limits to our scientific knowledge on some things right now, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t be able to scientifically answer those questions in the future. That doesn’t mean we can insert a supernatural cause just because we don’t have the right tools / understanding yet. I am aware that many things we did not understand just decades or less ago we now do because we invented new tools and people thought of new approaches to a subject. Science doesn’t have any tools to measure or show supernatural causes, and therefore I am of the view if you can’t show it, you don’t know it. You many believe it, but that is not showing it, it is a feeling. Hey that is what faith is. Faith is a real thing which can be shown and I don’t have to tell you it is real. But while faith is real, what the person has faith in may not be. Anyway hope this adds to the conversation in a positive way. Hugs

    • Mel Wild says:

      I do think there are limits to our scientific knowledge on some things right now, but that doesn’t mean that we won’t be able to scientifically answer those questions in the future.

      Thanks for your input, Scottie. While I agree we still know very little now that science has yet to discover (and probably will discover), and I’m not promoting a “god of the gaps” argument. Nonetheless, I agree with what Sir Peter Medawar said, that there are “questions that science cannot answer and that no conceivable advance of science would empower it to answer.” (“The Limits of Science,” p.66)

      Medawar’s statement is a refreshingly honest perspective on the nature of reality coming from a scientist.

      What makes science so effective is its limitation. It’s perfectly suited for what can be observed and tested. But the problem with relying totally on science is what philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein, said about the laws of nature:

      “The great delusion of modernity is that the laws of nature explain the universe for us. The laws of nature describe the regularities. But they explain nothing.”

      The problem is, if we have a worldview that believes science will eventually explain everything (called scientism), we will tend to pigeonhole everything into a scientific explanation, when in fact it may not be a satisfactory answer at all. It would be better to recognize the limits and develop a more fully-orbed model that better explains things. I’m not saying this to insert the supernatural, but to say that we must be honest and admit that there’s a lot that science probably will never answer for us.

      • tildeb says:

        I have said repeatedly that the method of science, that connects effects involving properties of matter with causes for them, produces explanations that work for everyone everywhere all the time. We call this ‘knowledge’. What you might believe about them is irrelevant. As soon as anyone makes a causal statement that involves anything with physical properties, one is making a knowledge statement.This is the language of science and absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with one’s beliefs about it.

        When one confuses the term ‘explanation’ about causal effects involving properties of matter with the term ‘answer’ to questions that do not involve properties of matter, then one is changing the units of measurement. This is an error of thinking. This is what you do, Mel, trying to get away with making causal statements that involve properties of matter but then claiming you shouldn’t have to use the method of science.

        So, people challenge you to demonstrate what you claim is knowable independent of your belief.

        You fail. What you claim to ‘know’ is identical to the beliefs you import. This is a clue…

        So, you try to get around this obstacle, this failure by you to link your claimed effects involving properties of matter with the cause you believe in, by then pretending the problem is some other belief system, some other ideological position (scientism), some other intolerant philosophical position. This is all untrue.

        The problem remains with your failure to link the effects you select that involve properties of matter with causes you claim are supernatural. You argue the supernatural by definition is beyond our means to examine using the method of science, in which case I quite rightly point out you cannot know anything about it using the causal effect language of science, of linking selected effects with causes that involve properties of matter.

        You wave this criticism away. But it’s still absolutely fatal to the truth value of your causal claims.

        But of course you pretend you do know something about these casual effects that involve properties of matter… by using whatever appears to support your belief, namely, metaphysics (meaning ‘beyond natural’), which is an abstract approach that by definition does not involve the properties of matter! How handy, eh?

        You are not succeeding at avoiding the obstacle that prevents you or me or anyone from knowing about causal effects that involve properties of matter when we move outside the method of science.

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