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Author Topic: The Cosmos?  (Read 7547 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #90 on: April 26, 2013, 03:13:55 PM »

Cosmas Indicopleustes writes that the four rivers of the Garden of Eden flow westward underground and resurface in the habitable parts of the world.


How do you think he learned that? Revelation?
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« Reply #91 on: April 26, 2013, 03:15:14 PM »

How do you think he learned that? Revelation?
Tradition.  He was not the first to hold that view.
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« Reply #92 on: April 26, 2013, 03:23:04 PM »

How do you think he learned that? Revelation?
Tradition.  He was not the first to hold that view.

Aha! But as an experienced traveler he must have known that the Nile and the Ganges, the Tiger and the Euphrates were too far apart to have a common source in the Garden of Eden (cf. Genesis 2:10), so - in order to avoid cognitive dissonance - he had to come up with that "traditional" explanation. For you his opinion apparently still holds water...  

Btw - wasn't Eden supposed to be west of India? Or was it somewhere in the Extreme Orient?
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« Reply #93 on: April 26, 2013, 03:47:33 PM »

Aha! But as an experienced traveler he must have known that the Nile and the Ganges, the Tiger and the Euphrates were too far apart to have a common source in the Garden of Eden (cf. Genesis 2:10)

Or was it somewhere in the Extreme Orient?
You need to do a little bit of research and get a few facts straight before you just post anything.
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« Reply #94 on: April 26, 2013, 03:54:12 PM »

You need to do a little bit of research and get a few facts straight before you just post anything.

Reminds me of this.
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« Reply #95 on: April 26, 2013, 03:56:53 PM »

Aha! But as an experienced traveler he must have known that the Nile and the Ganges, the Tiger and the Euphrates were too far apart to have a common source in the Garden of Eden (cf. Genesis 2:10)

Or was it somewhere in the Extreme Orient?
You need to do a little bit of research and get a few facts straight before you just post anything.

...says the guy who believes the earth is flat.  Grin
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« Reply #96 on: April 26, 2013, 04:12:06 PM »

A Church Father on the flat earth theory and Cosmas Indicopleustes:

"Read the book entitled the Book of Christians [i.e. Christian Topography], an interpretation of the Octateuch. The author, who flourished in the reign of Justin, dedicates the work to a certain Pamphilus, It begins with the defence of certain ecclesiastical dogmas by evidence drawn from the Scriptures. The style is poor, and the arrangement hardly up to the ordinary standard. He relates much that is incredible from an historical point of view, so that he may fairly be regarded as a fabulist rather than a trustworthy authority. The views on which he lays special stress are : that neither the sky nor the earth is spherical, but that the former is a kind of vault, and the lattera rectangular plane, [twice as long as broad], to the ends of which the ends of the sky are united; that all the stars, with the help of the angels, are kept in motion; and other things of the same kind."

-- St. Photius the Great, Bibliotheca 36
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« Reply #97 on: April 26, 2013, 04:15:32 PM »

How do you think he learned that? Revelation?
Tradition.  He was not the first to hold that view.

Aha! But as an experienced traveler he must have known that the Nile and the Ganges, the Tiger and the Euphrates were too far apart to have a common source in the Garden of Eden (cf. Genesis 2:10), so - in order to avoid cognitive dissonance - he had to come up with that "traditional" explanation. For you his opinion apparently still holds water...  

Btw - wasn't Eden supposed to be west of India? Or was it somewhere in the Extreme Orient?

There is plenty of information about Cosmas Indicopleustes online.
He believed the Garden of Eden was in the "Extreme Orient" as can be seen in this map:

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« Reply #98 on: April 26, 2013, 04:19:42 PM »

This thread makes the Gish Gallop look like a slow trot.
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« Reply #99 on: April 26, 2013, 04:26:45 PM »

A Church Father on the flat earth theory and Cosmas Indicopleustes:

"Read the book entitled the Book of Christians [i.e. Christian Topography], an interpretation of the Octateuch. The author, who flourished in the reign of Justin, dedicates the work to a certain Pamphilus, It begins with the defence of certain ecclesiastical dogmas by evidence drawn from the Scriptures. The style is poor, and the arrangement hardly up to the ordinary standard. He relates much that is incredible from an historical point of view, so that he may fairly be regarded as a fabulist rather than a trustworthy authority. The views on which he lays special stress are : that neither the sky nor the earth is spherical, but that the former is a kind of vault, and the lattera rectangular plane, [twice as long as broad], to the ends of which the ends of the sky are united; that all the stars, with the help of the angels, are kept in motion; and other things of the same kind."

-- St. Photius the Great, Bibliotheca 36

Some Church Fathers abandoned the flat earth view of the earlier Fathers during the eighth and ninth centuries.
Saint Photios is likely the most outspoken of these, but Saint Bede of England held a globular.

Saint John of Damscus was not so outspoken, but there are a couple of astronomical statements in his Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith that indicate an acceptance of contemporary views that are not to be found in Saint Basil's Hexameron or Cosmas's Christian Topography.

Of course, the theology of all of these Church Fathers was identical.  I am only speaking of degrees of difference in their views of the physical sciences.
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« Reply #100 on: April 26, 2013, 04:30:39 PM »

Even if St. Basil would have believed that the earth is flat you would still have to admit that there is no Patristic consensus on this issue.
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« Reply #101 on: April 26, 2013, 04:34:35 PM »

Some Church Fathers abandoned the flat earth view of the earlier Fathers during the eighth and ninth centuries.
The Ummayads revived the old pagan Greek along with their globular theories and other errors which even included Judaic occult sciences in many instances (see Hagarism by Patricia Crone).  The influence of Islamic science can be seen in Saint Bede's statements about the shape of the earth and in Saint Photios's views about Cosmas Indicopleustes.
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« Reply #102 on: April 26, 2013, 04:35:21 PM »

How do you think he learned that? Revelation?
Tradition.  He was not the first to hold that view.

Aha! But as an experienced traveler he must have known that the Nile and the Ganges, the Tiger and the Euphrates were too far apart to have a common source in the Garden of Eden (cf. Genesis 2:10), so - in order to avoid cognitive dissonance - he had to come up with that "traditional" explanation. For you his opinion apparently still holds water...  

Btw - wasn't Eden supposed to be west of India? Or was it somewhere in the Extreme Orient?

There is plenty of information about Cosmas Indicopleustes online.
He believed the Garden of Eden was in the "Extreme Orient" as can be seen in this map:

Ok, so you believe that Cosmas is the ultimate source on geography, ancient or otherwise. Therefore, the four great rivers  mentioned in Genesis spring from the more-or-less Extreme Orient (Indochina perhaps?) and flow westwards, popping up in India, Mesopotamia and Africa.

Do you suppose other mighty rivers flow underground for thousands of miles and pop out on different continents? If so, the Amazon may have its source in Europe, while the Danube could spring from Australia. Who would dare argue with such a theory?  
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« Reply #103 on: April 26, 2013, 04:36:03 PM »

Even if St. Basil would have believed that the earth is flat you would still have to admit that there is no Patristic consensus on this issue.
In the time of Saint Constantine the Great, there was indeed such a consensus.

I would think that the logical method of discerning the Patristic consensus advocated by Saint Vincent of Lerins is just as applicable to science as to Theology.
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« Reply #104 on: April 26, 2013, 04:38:57 PM »

Even if St. Basil would have believed that the earth is flat you would still have to admit that there is no Patristic consensus on this issue.
In the time of Saint Constantine the Great, there was indeed such a consensus.

So the 4th century AD is the golden standard to which every following and preceding era must must conform, somewhat in the same way that the liturgical practices of 15th century Russia are the golden standard of liturgical practices? Interesting theory...
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« Reply #105 on: April 26, 2013, 04:39:46 PM »

I think I'm going to re-read "Through The Looking Glass" and "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" again now.  angel
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« Reply #106 on: April 26, 2013, 04:42:22 PM »

Ok, so you believe that Cosmas is the ultimate source on geography, ancient or otherwise. Therefore, the four great rivers  mentioned in Genesis spring from the more-or-less Extreme Orient (Indochina perhaps?) and flow westwards, popping up in India, Mesopotamia and Africa.

Do you suppose other mighty rivers flow underground for thousands of miles and pop out on different continents? If so, the Amazon may have its source in Europe, while the Danube could spring from Australia. Who would dare argue with such a theory?
Why is it that I see order and beauty where you see confusion and evil?
You slander what you do not understand and make it out to be complicated and convoluted.  

As I see it, four major river heads flow westward from the far east.
If distributaries of these rivers were the origins of many mountain springs, it goes a long way to making sense out of underground aquifers.

I take the bible as an authority on science.
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« Reply #107 on: April 26, 2013, 04:46:14 PM »

So the 4th century AD is the golden standard to which every following and preceding era must must conform, somewhat in the same way that the liturgical practices of 15th century Russia are the golden standard of liturgical practices? Interesting theory...
I have found the views of Cosmas Indicopleustes and Saint Jerome on the cosmos to be truthful.

If you believe otherwise, then that's cool.  Smiley
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« Reply #108 on: April 26, 2013, 04:52:01 PM »

Why is it that I see order and beauty where you see confusion and evil?

Is the Nile more orderly and beautiful if it springs in Cosmas' Orient rather than in Africa?

You slander what you do not understand and make it out to be complicated and convoluted. 

Cosmas' Topography is not difficult to understand (I'd say quite the contrary). Modern geography is not "complicated or convoluted" either. The world is just as beautiful, regardless of people's understanding of it.

I take the bible as an authority on science.

I'm not so sure if that's wise or truthful, or whether it has any merit in the eyes of God.
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« Reply #109 on: April 26, 2013, 05:07:03 PM »

Is the Nile more orderly and beautiful if it springs in Cosmas' Orient rather than in Africa?
It flows through both.  The Garden of Eden is just more upstream.  
In 2006, I visited the spring by Gish Abay Mikael Church where the Blue Nile originates.

"The source of the Blue Nile is a spring called Gish Abay in Ethiopia.
This is the source of Gilgal Abay (meaning the little Abay), which is the most voluminous of the some sixty rivers flowing into Lake Tana.
Although the Nile Quest has attracted emperors and explorers alike since Antiquity, after the sources of the Nile were discovered the majority of studies have focused on hydrology and not on cultural and religious aspects of the river.
Gish Abay has been seen as the outlet of the river Gihon flowing directly from Paradise linking this world with Heaven.
The holiness of Abay and the source in particular have had and still have an important role in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church."
http://library.witpress.com/pages/PaperInfo.asp?PaperID=22906

"Gish Abay (formerly known as Sekela) is a town and the administrative  center of Sekela woreda (district) in West Gojjam. The name Gish Abay
 has always been associated with the source of Gilgel Abay ("Little Abay") River, the actual site of the stream-well is located on the southwest
corner of the town, a few step southwest of St. Michael's Church."
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZonY5CQv-ng

The spring is located approxiamtely 70 miles south of Barhar Dar which is on the southern shore of Lake Tana.
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« Reply #110 on: April 26, 2013, 05:09:47 PM »

Dionysii,

I am not sure if it was in this thread or the other, but I was wondering how did you come to these conclusions personally? I've truly never met anyone who has held such views. Strict creationists, sure. But those who would hold to a Biblically based cosmology, never.

I don't understand much of what you've posted in these threads or in the Old Believer thread, but I've found the spirit and content of your posts to be quite remarkable.

Thanks. Don't let the criticisms around here sour your mood too much. It's a rare case to "meet" someone who has a very antiquated (in the truest sense) understanding of things without it being seemingly motivated by a knee jerk and uninformed reactionarianism.
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« Reply #111 on: April 26, 2013, 05:16:37 PM »

Gish Abay has been seen as the outlet of the river Gihon flowing directly from Paradise linking this world with Heaven.

The holiness of Abay and the source in particular have had and still have an important role in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church."
http://library.witpress.com/pages/PaperInfo.asp?PaperID=22906

Now there's your Indo-Ethiopian connection.  laugh

Mythology can be so much more fun than science...

What I don't get is how "Christian" mythology is superior to pagan mythology. 
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« Reply #112 on: April 26, 2013, 05:28:19 PM »

Dionysii,

I am not sure if it was in this thread or the other, but I was wondering how did you come to these conclusions personally? I've truly never met anyone who has held such views. Strict creationists, sure. But those who would hold to a Biblically based cosmology, never.

I don't understand much of what you've posted in these threads or in the Old Believer thread, but I've found the spirit and content of your posts to be quite remarkable.

Thanks. Don't let the criticisms around here sour your mood too much. It's a rare case to "meet" someone who has a very antiquated (in the truest sense) understanding of things without it being seemingly motivated by a knee jerk and uninformed reactionarianism.
Appreciate that.  I posted it elsewhere, but I'll summarize.

A protestant gave me a bible commentary with a transparently effeminate explanation of a geocentric verse in Ecclesiastes.
I threw away the commentary and became a geocentrist within an hour.  
I searched for a geocentric organization and found none except Charles Johnson's Flat Earth Society.
I do know of spherical geocentric organizations now, but it's too late for that is mediocre compared to what I came to believe.
I wrote to him, and he sent me information about a book written in 1865 upon which his movement was based.  
I got the bok through interlibrary loan and photocopied it.  I was convinced by the second chapter.

I had earlier that same year (back in the mid-1990's) come across a reference to Cosmas Indicopleustes in Webster's Biographical dictionary as as one who had made a Byzantine Christian map of the world to refute the pagan view, but I didn't realize it was a flat earth book at that time.

I later made contact with Robert Schadewald who was himself an evolutionist, but a science writer who had written articles about the flat earth society since the 1970's and had become an expert on the history of the modern flat earth movement which originated in Britain in the nineteenth century.  Schadewald was a real laid back and likeable guy and also a friend of Charles Johnson whose theological views were that of a protestant fundamentalist, but he had been the head of the flat earth society since 1970.  From Schadewald's articles I found out that Cosmas Indicopleustes held a flat earth view.

Johnson and Schadewald both died within a year of each other in 2000/2001.

The Flat Earth Bible
by Robert Schadewald
http://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/febible.htm
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« Reply #113 on: April 26, 2013, 05:29:50 PM »

Gish Abay has been seen as the outlet of the river Gihon flowing directly from Paradise linking this world with Heaven.

The holiness of Abay and the source in particular have had and still have an important role in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church."
http://library.witpress.com/pages/PaperInfo.asp?PaperID=22906

Now there's your Indo-Ethiopian connection.  laugh

Mythology can be so much more fun than science...

What I don't get is how "Christian" mythology is superior to pagan mythology. 

I don't see any difference between listening to you and listening to an atheist.
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« Reply #114 on: April 26, 2013, 05:32:53 PM »

I take the bible as an authority on science.

I'm not so sure if that's wise or truthful, or whether it has any merit in the eyes of God.

You presume to speak for God.  Understand.
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« Reply #115 on: April 26, 2013, 05:40:49 PM »

Dionysii,
Don't let the criticisms around here sour your mood too much.

I would say my appraisal of this forum and quite a few individuals who use it has taken quite a beating. 
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« Reply #116 on: April 26, 2013, 05:41:14 PM »

This is a great read for anyone interested in another forgotten movement present throughout history:

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« Reply #117 on: April 26, 2013, 05:44:12 PM »

I don't see any difference between listening to you and listening to an atheist.

Just as I don't see much of a difference between listening to you talk about the source of the Nile and that video on youtube about Mother Ganga.

The way I see it, Christianity revolves around Christ, not a mythological worldview. Once they are blessed on Theophany, all waters are as sacred to us as those of the Jordan. Which became sacred to us only because he was baptized there.   

We no longer worship God in a Temple or on a sacred mountain, but in spirit and truth. The shadow of the Law and the old types have passed with the arrival of grace. There is no longer Jew or Gentile. Christianity is about God entering real history, not mythology.
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« Reply #118 on: April 26, 2013, 05:46:45 PM »

Speak for yourself.

As far as I am concerned, your God and my God are different.
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« Reply #119 on: April 26, 2013, 05:48:58 PM »

As far as I am concerned, your God and my God are different.

Why so? Isn't there one God, one Lord, one Spirit and one Baptism in the Orthodox Church?
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« Reply #120 on: April 26, 2013, 05:51:06 PM »

Dionysii,

Thanks. Don't let the criticisms around here sour your mood too much. It's a rare case to "meet" someone who has a very antiquated (in the truest sense) understanding of things without it being seemingly motivated by a knee jerk and uninformed reactionarianism.

I think my experience on this forum has been edifying since I have had a genuine experience of what the "Orthodox" are like.
The time is not wasted.
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« Reply #121 on: April 26, 2013, 05:52:40 PM »

As far as I am concerned, your God and my God are different.

Why so? Isn't there one God, one Lord, one Spirit and one Baptism in the Orthodox Church?

The conversation is not headed in a good direction, dude.  Peace, out.
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« Reply #122 on: April 26, 2013, 06:23:17 PM »

Today we have very powerful telescopes. If one points one of these towards the horizon on a stretch of land with no mountains and sees something way beyond what is expected,then there is a point. To get really far, one could use laser ranging. In fact, you should be able to signal Alaska from somewhere in Oceania.
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« Reply #123 on: April 26, 2013, 06:47:33 PM »

What would a "flat earth" look like from space?

From the Flat Earth Society's wiki:



That white ring around the edge is Antarctica, which they say is not a continent to the South but a wall of ice surrounding the entire earth.

"Beyond the ice wall is a topic of great interest to the Flat Earth Society. To our knowledge, no one has been very far past the ice wall and returned to tell of their journey. What we do know is that it encircles the earth and serves to hold in our oceans and helps protect us from whatever lies beyond."


The wall? Isn't that protected by the Night's Watch? ..... wrong fantasy...sorry.
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« Reply #124 on: April 26, 2013, 06:52:28 PM »

What would a "flat earth" look like from space?

From the Flat Earth Society's wiki:

That white ring around the edge is Antarctica, which they say is not a continent to the South but a wall of ice surrounding the entire earth.

"Beyond the ice wall is a topic of great interest to the Flat Earth Society. To our knowledge, no one has been very far past the ice wall and returned to tell of their journey. What we do know is that it encircles the earth and serves to hold in our oceans and helps protect us from whatever lies beyond."


The wall? Isn't that protected by the Night's Watch? ..... wrong fantasy...sorry.

You tell me. I half expected a 'the Others take the curious ones!' codicil or something.
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« Reply #125 on: April 26, 2013, 06:59:11 PM »

This is what earth looks like:

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« Reply #126 on: April 26, 2013, 08:38:33 PM »

This is what earth looks like:


I'm losing track. Would that be inside the hollow earth, on the surface of the flat earth, or on the other side of the flat earth?
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« Reply #127 on: April 27, 2013, 10:36:21 AM »

Dionysii, you may claim to be a submariner. I have to believe, at the least, that you were not assigned to any position that required knowledge of navigation. I've never done open water sailing, but I know the principles; moreover, my father worked on the Transit satellite navigation system, as well as on other satellites which have visited asteroids or are on their way out of the solar system. He also worked on Apollo and Skylab instruments.

All systems of open water navigation depend upon knowledge of the spherical form of the earth; Transit relied upon the orbital motion of the satellites for its operating principles. None of your stupid quibbles moves me. Beyond all the nonsense you've promulgated, you have in effect called my father a liar. He is a person of absolute integrity; you I would take to be either a troll or a crank, but in either case your claims are beyond the pale. If it were my forum, you would already be blocked.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2013, 10:38:24 AM by Keble » Logged
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« Reply #128 on: April 29, 2013, 03:51:54 AM »

Cosmas Indicopleustes writes that the four rivers of the Garden of Eden flow westward underground and resurface in the habitable parts of the world.

How do you think he learned that? Revelation?

A couple of my remarks likely came across as rather cruel - particularly to Romaios.
I just wanted to say that nothing malicious was intended, and I ask God and Romaios for forgiveness.
Peace, brother.
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« Reply #129 on: April 29, 2013, 08:25:23 AM »

A couple of my remarks likely came across as rather cruel - particularly to Romaios.
I just wanted to say that nothing malicious was intended, and I ask God and Romaios for forgiveness.
Peace, brother.

Forgive me, also. Most of the times malice is not what I have in mind, but it creeps into my posts. 

I wish you a blessed Holy Week and Pascha!  Smiley 
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« Reply #130 on: April 29, 2013, 12:24:49 PM »

Dionysii, you may claim to be a submariner. I have to believe, at the least, that you were not assigned to any position that required knowledge of navigation. I've never done open water sailing, but I know the principles; moreover, my father worked on the Transit satellite navigation system, as well as on other satellites which have visited asteroids or are on their way out of the solar system. He also worked on Apollo and Skylab instruments.

All systems of open water navigation depend upon knowledge of the spherical form of the earth; Transit relied upon the orbital motion of the satellites for its operating principles. None of your stupid quibbles moves me. Beyond all the nonsense you've promulgated, you have in effect called my father a liar. He is a person of absolute integrity; you I would take to be either a troll or a crank, but in either case your claims are beyond the pale. If it were my forum, you would already be blocked.

No doubt that your dad's very perceptive indeed.
Considering your reaction, did he ever find it necessary to have you assessed for paranoid schizophrenia?

EDIT:  Be safe. Smiley
 20 days of moderation for rough personal attack. All your posts will have to be approved by a moderator prior to publishing - MK.
« Last Edit: April 29, 2013, 12:26:46 PM by Dionysii » Logged
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« Reply #131 on: July 13, 2013, 02:38:05 PM »

What is so "fine-tuned" or "unique" about the state of our universe? "Fine-tuned" and "complexity" and all those other adjectives are merely manmade concepts which describe our perception of the universe. They have NO basis in science, nor are they objective like math. They are merely sentiments of our thoughts and feelings--our attempt to apply manmade, relative qualities to an objective, non-manmade object. It doesn't add up to me.

What really makes the state of our cosmos any more special than any of the other countless possibilities? We only see it as special merely because we feel that it is special--we cannot scientifically prove that it is special because concepts like "fine-tuning" are not scientific. Our universe had an equal chance of being different, what makes its present state special at all?
http://katachriston.wordpress.com/2010/12/27/fibonacci-fractals-and-inorganic-teleology/

Among the most philosophically challenging scientific data of the last half century are those relating to the physical constants  of the universe (listed below) which allow it to be a cosmos instead of utterly disordered chaos. These constants were “finely tuned” to their present values when the universe came into existence out of absolutely nothing roughly 13.7 billion years ago. You cannot derive their values from something more basic; they simply occurred as “givens” from the first second of our universe’s existence. These values did not develop but were present full-blown at singularity. They did not evolve: they simply were.

Cosmologists Barrow and Tipler wondered what would happen if they were slightly different. Tinker ever so slightly with the values of any of the basic physical constants, and life would have been impossible, not just life of our kind, but life of any kind that involves complexity.

Because of their highly ordered nature, random origin of the constants has been widely conceded to be effectively zero probability (cf. physicist Donald Page has calculated the odds as 1 in 10,000,000^124    By comparison, there are "only" 10^18 seconds since the creation of the universe and around 10^80 atoms in the observable universe).

Mathematician Emile Borel affirmed that anything with odds of happening less than one in 10^50 is impossible (Borel is best known for creating the the first effective theory of measuring sets of points beginning the modern theory of functions of a real variable). Random origin of the constants is well beyond this threshold -by orders of magnitude; selection by lottery would only overcome this statistical obstacle if there were an infinite number of unobservable universes from which ours was selected, yet a universe generating “machine” would also have to be exceptionally highly ordered too, and contemporary physicists have recently suggesting that multiple universes would be clones of one another rather than infinitely variable as the infinite unobservable multi-universes lottery selection theory requires.

Many physicists and philosophers have been attracted to similar arguments in the last thirty years (during which the ramifications of the delicately balanced physical constants first came to our attention; cf. the lecture by Dr. Francis Collins (PhD, & MD), first and long-time director of the Human Genome Project, here.  Collins’ PhD is in Quantum Mechanics, though his focus now is on genetics). It was this issue which former leading atheist and world famous philosopher Antony Flew cited as convincing him to abandon atheism for belief in God (many atheists claim it was rather because Flew must have become senile!).

Contemporary thinkers who remain atheists attempt to escape this conundrum in the only way left to them: they postulate a hypothetical infinite number of unobservable universes from which a highly ordered one could have been a random occurrence. Contemporary atheism is thus forced to argue for the actuality of an essentially zero-probability event by postulating something in principle unobservable (non-scientific/metaphysical).

    “‘I can’t believe that!’ said Alice. ‘Can’t you?’ the Queen said in a pitying tone. ‘Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.’ Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said: ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’ ‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice, said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’” -Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

The slightest alteration of the following physical constants would result in a universe incapable of supporting life -not just life of our kind, but life of any kind that involves complexity, and in a universe that would be chaos rather than cosmos:

Gravitational Coupling Constant
Strong Nuclear Force Coupling Constant
Weak Nuclear Force Coupling Constant
Electromagnetic Coupling Constant
Ratio of Protons to Electrons
Ratio of Electron to Proton Mass
Expansion Rate of the Universe
Entropy Level of the Universe
Mass of the Universe
Uniformity of the Universe
Stability of Protons
Fine Structure Constants
Velocity of Light
Distance Between Stars
Rate of Luminosity of Stars
8Be, 12C, and 4He Nuclear Energy Levels.

An infinite number of unobservable universes -even were it the case- would not, of course, necessarily “belong” to our atheist friends who need it so badly to account for zero probability of random origin of the universe’s physical constants  at singularity; in fact it would be a perfect case scenerio of the ancient Augustinian cosmological theodicy of pleroma, which posited all possible varieties and ranges of entities might actually exist; we will leave that subject for a  possible future post; let us now move along to consider the central topic of this essay.
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« Reply #132 on: July 13, 2013, 03:07:01 PM »

Contemporary thinkers who remain atheists attempt to escape this conundrum in the only way left to them: they postulate a hypothetical infinite number of unobservable universes from which a highly ordered one could have been a random occurrence. Contemporary atheism is thus forced to argue for the actuality of an essentially zero-probability event by postulating something in principle unobservable (non-scientific/metaphysical).

I was going to tell you to stop knocking down straw men, but maybe you are just unaware of what many atheists say. Something like: "The universe is here. Life is here. That's great. Problem solves itself. Who says we need to explain why we are lucky enough to be here? The universe is the way it is, who decided that there had to be some mystical reason that it was exactly this way? Because it's unlikely? So what? The universe makes our type of life possible, and perhaps probable, and voila, we're here. If it wasn't possible we wouldn't be here. No need to assume some magic reason for any of this."
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« Reply #133 on: July 13, 2013, 03:25:58 PM »

Contemporary thinkers who remain atheists attempt to escape this conundrum in the only way left to them: they postulate a hypothetical infinite number of unobservable universes from which a highly ordered one could have been a random occurrence. Contemporary atheism is thus forced to argue for the actuality of an essentially zero-probability event by postulating something in principle unobservable (non-scientific/metaphysical).

I was going to tell you to stop knocking down straw men, but maybe you are just unaware of what many atheists say. Something like: "The universe is here. Life is here. That's great. Problem solves itself. Who says we need to explain why we are lucky enough to be here? The universe is the way it is, who decided that there had to be some mystical reason that it was exactly this way? Because it's unlikely? So what? The universe makes our type of life possible, and perhaps probable, and voila, we're here. If it wasn't possible we wouldn't be here. No need to assume some magic reason for any of this."
The problem I see that that argument, and I've heard it many times, is that if I were to roll a 6 sided die 1000 times and it always came up 6, I could say "Well that is the way it happened, that is great, there is no need to explain why that happened and no further investigation is needed.  It was the way it was and there is no other explanation needed". Or, I could say: "I wonder if this die is weighted, or perhaps every side of the die has a 6 on it.  Perhaps, I should inspect this die a bit more closer".  Some atheists do this, and they resolve the problem by postulating a multi-verse in which there are an infinite number of universes and we just happen to be in one that was randomly good enough to sustain life and for the physical laws to work consistently.  I can respect that position; it is at least an attempt to explain even if it is just a hypothesis, but to put blinders on and say there is no reason to try and understand the "why" seems the very antithesis of the scientific method that they love to trumpet.
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Somebody just went all Jack Chick up in here.
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« Reply #134 on: July 13, 2013, 03:57:29 PM »

While I disagree, and frankly do so strongly, this is not the point. What I was responding to mostly was this idea that atheists were somehow painted into a corner and "the only way left to them" was to postulate multiple universes. A quick google search brings up a dozen or more different answers to the fine tuning argument. And most atheists don't even worry about it. Hence my reference to a straw man. My point is not that atheists are right, merely that they aren't being represented fairly.
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