Higgs Workshop in Princeton

Today I’m attending the first day of a short workshop of particle theorists and experimentalists at the Princeton Center for Theoretical Science, a sort of “Where are we now and where are we going?” meeting. It’s entitled “Higgs Physics After Discovery”, but discussion will surely range more widely.

What, indeed, are the big questions facing particle physics in the short-term, meaning the next few months? Well, here are a few key ones:

  • A Higgs particle of some type has been discovered by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at the Large Hadron Collider [LHC] (with some contributions from the Tevatron experiments DZero and CDF); is it the simplest possible type of Higgs particle (the “Standard Model Higgs“) or is it more complex? What data analysis can be done on the LHC’s data from 2011-2012 to shed more light on this question?
  • More generally, from the LHC’s huge data set from 2011-2012 — specifically, from the data analysis that has been done so far — what precisely have we learned? (It’s increasingly important to go beyond the rougher estimates that were appropriate last year when the data was still pouring in.) What types of new phenomena have been excluded, and to what extent?
  • What other types of data analysis should be done on the 2011-2012 data, in order to look for other new phenomena that could still be lurking there? (There’s still a lot to be done on this question!) And what types of work should theoretical particle physicists do to help the experimentalists address this issue?
  • Several experiments from the Tevatron and the LHC, notably the LHCb experiment, have learned that newly measured decays of  certain mesons (hadrons with equal numbers of quarks and anti-quarks) that contain heavy quarks are roughly consistent with the Standard Model (the equations we use to describe the known elementary particles and forces, and a simplest type of Higgs field and Higgs particle.) How do these findings constrain the possibility of other new phenomena?
  • Looking ahead to 2015, when the LHC will begin running again at a higher energy per proton-proton collision, what preparations need to be made? Especially, what needs to be done to refine the triggering systems at ATLAS, CMS and LHCb, so that the maximum information can be extracted from the new data, and no important information is unnecessarily discarded?
  • Which, if any, of the multiple (but mostly mutually inconsistent) experimental hints of dark matter should be taken seriously? Which possibilities do the various dark matter experiments, and the LHC’s data, actually exclude or favor?

That might be it for the very near term. There are lots of other questions in the medium- to long-term, among which is the big question of what types of experiments should be done over the next 10 – 20 years. One challenge is that the LHC’s data hasn’t yet given us a clear target other than the Higgs particle itself. An obvious possible experiment to do is to study the Higgs in more detail, using an electron/anti-electron collider — historically this has been a successful strategy that has been used on almost every new apparently-elementary particle. But there are a lot of other possibilities, including raising the LHC’s collisions to even higher energy than we’ll see in 2015, using more powerful magnets currently under development.

If there are other near-term questions I’ve forgotten about, I’m sure I’ll be reminded at the workshop, and I’ll add them in.

138 responses to “Higgs Workshop in Princeton

  1. Yes , there is one more question , does all LHC data allow for not only DM but a complete dark sector of particles , forces and interactions ?
    Can LHC exclude this with 5 sigma level ?

    • Do you mean, for instance, can these experiements disprove the existence of God with 5 sigma precision? What is this “complete dark sector of particles, forces and interactions”? Is this a scientific question? what exactly are you alluding to?

  2. The fact that that 1D void of space may well be constantly emerging could be worth considering. The result of which caused the BB in the first place in converting its emergent kinetic energy into matter

  3. I have similar thoughts to aa. sh., namely, I’ve heard some rumblings about the possibility that dark matter may be more complicated than just a single species of WIMP, which might lessen some of the tension between the hints coming from the various DM detection experiments, both indirect and direct: the 130 GeV gamma ray line, the CDMS low-mass WIMP hints, and the positron fraction from AMS-2, which if interpreted as DM annihilation (I know that that is far from the only interpretation!) would suggest a heavy particle above about 300 GeV or so. On the other hand, it would seem that it’s just as likely that one or more or all of these hints are spurious. What do you think of the possibility of a complex dark sector? Along these lines, I was wondering what your take on the newest CDMS results were. From my very untrained eye, they certainly look intriguing!

  4. @S.E.
    If you do not know the dark sector you might need some up-todate reading..
    What GOD has to do with my question ?
    If talking about the Dark Sector is not scientific , then all of SMoC is not scientific.
    The question is specifically directed to Professor Strassler to avoid such talk and say nothing comments.

    • I don’t exactly know what type of “up-to-date” reading you are referring to, but, as far as I am concered, that certainly does not include writings of “faith”. My current reading is unfortunately limited to solely particle and nuclear physics, cosmology, maths (calculus of variations, topology, number theory), chaos theory, ontology, epistemology, phenomenology, cognitive sciences, consciousness theories, neoroscience, evolution etc. I might perhaps benefit from whatever other suggestions you might have. My questions were basically aimed at trying to understand what you exact problem and discomfort with scientific endeour and methodology in general might be.

      Btw, I am a nuclear engineer of 57 years of age. I started taking earnest interest in science at around age 12… I am sure that would be several participants here who would be pleased to learn about your exact credentials and interest in science are.

      I’ve read each and every thread in this web site, including all the “comments” you posted. I’ve taken part directly in this site only recently hoping to benefit from Prof Strassler’s breathtaking scientific command and extremely elucidating nature and style of explication of sophisticated and complex scientific issues. My naive belief is that this is essentially the common bond between the participants here. For persons interested in other, e.g. political agendas, there are several other suitable sites on the net.

      Just go back to all your postings, read them again carefuly and than try to understand what is it that prompts a new participant like me to post these responses to you..

  5. Prof. Strassler :
    Here is one question you may find interesting :
    During cosmic inflation at the speed of light , SR length contraction made space size = zero , inflation duration due to time dilation= infinity !!
    Does inflation contradict SR ? or time dilation and length contraction are only from the perspective of conscious observer with no physical meaning , then how can MUON experiments be explained with ten times longer half life time ?

  6. I know the Standard Model doesn’t call for it, but I would like to know if there are any hints of a 4th spin 1/2 charged lepton at around 370 GeV (740 GeV for pair creation) with a short lifetime (less than the tau) and lacking any associated neutrino…

  7. @SE. : How could i possibly argue with an encyclopedia of knowledge ?so would you be kind enough to answer my last question so that every one gains a hint of your universal knowledge……..thanks
    NB : Would you please help me discovering my above mentioned agenda .

  8. @SE : As for my exact discomfort with scientific method , it is the FACT that many scientists proclaim their ” faith ” / opinion / interpretation as if it is the final ultimate fundamental absolute real fact…….remember D. Chalmers paper ( consciousness and its place IN NATURE ) where in a paper investigating consciousness he decided in advance the result ….that place of consciousness IS in nature , that is my discomfort with scientific method as practiced in scientism……….
    I really respect science as a raod to reality not as a crossing avenues to contradicting Fact Free Fantacies.
    regards with respect
    aa.sh.

    • Tienzen (Jeh-Tween) Gong

      aa. sh. ” As for my exact discomfort with scientific method , it is the FACT that many scientists proclaim their ” faith ” / opinion / interpretation as if it is the final ultimate fundamental absolute real fact…”

      What do you expect? Your idea of “science” lives in dictionary only. In the real world, science = “science community” which worships a “paradigm”. For two theories,
      a. Theory A (without any evidence, such as, the SUSY) but is fully supported by the paradigm.
      b. Theory B (with many evidences in the wide universe, such as the calculation of Alpha) but is running against the paradigm.

      Which theory above is science while the other is the crackpot?

      Science is not seeking for truth but is trying to promote a paradigm. A great physicist will often ignore the truths, while he knows them deep down in his heart, for two reasons.
      1. He will be excommunicated for against the paradigm.
      2. He alone is unable to redirect the huge paradigm torrent anyway.

      Fortunately, there is “always” someone willing to stick his neck out, and finally chipping the old paradigm away. Nature will not letdown the truth. Just be patient.

  9. David Chalmers is a philosopher who posits there may exist NONphysical phenomena–something not possible under the laws of physics. That is an assumption that leads one off the road of reality.

  10. I have to say I fear HEP is becoming dangerously fixated on the Higgs boson. Einstein solved the “mystery of mass” over a hundred years ago. Compton scattering points the way: you change the photon’s state of motion, and say that E=hf and p=hf/c applies and the massless photon conveys energy-momentum. Then you set the photon going round and round inside a gedanken mirror-box. When you open the box, it’s a radiating body that loses mass. If you then catch the photon in another box, the second box is the body that gains it. Hence radiation conveys inertia. Even though it’s massless, the photon increases the mass of a body, because “the inertia of a body depends upon its energy content”, not something else. The reason for this lies with the wave nature of matter. To move the box, you have to change the photon’s state of motion. And note that we can diffract electrons. And we can create them in gamma-gamma pair production. And that in atomic orbitals “electrons exist as standing waves”. And that we can annihilate the electrons with positrons, and we’re back to gamma photons. When you also note that Einstein referred to the electron as a body, the conclusion is inevitable: the electron is a photon in a “box” of its own making, and the Higgs mechanism contradicts E=mc². The only way out is to accept that the Higgs field is a “relativistic aether” responsible for both photon momentum and electron mass. Frank Close and John Ellis have referred to it as a relativistic aether, but I don’t know if they’ve referred to the underlying symmetry between energy-momentum and mass.

    • Tienzen (Jeh-Tween) Gong

      It is nice to know that there is still someone using reasons in addition to the gadget data.

      Mass is indeed an emergent of some emerging mechanism [for example, m (mass charge) = f (ħ/c), m is the emergent of ħ, c] which should give rise to all types of masses (quark, electron, neutrino, etc.). Yet, Higgs mechanism is only doing for selected types of particles. That is, it is obviously not the final truth.

      In the CERN news release of March 14, 2013, it stated, “… ‘indicates’ … that the new particle is looking more and more ‘like’ a Higgs boson, …”. Semantically, CERN is saying, “… not knowing what the heck this new particle truly is, …”. As the Higgs mechanism is only a partial and the shadow of the reality, it will be ruled out eventually, 10 to 100 years from now, but could be sooner.

  11. @Rharkn : This is exactly what i mean by scientism ; on what foundation can any one declare that physics = all of existence ? can we call this stand arrogance / prejudice ?
    Where in the laws of physics it is declared that non-physical is impossible ?
    If we to respect science , then never confirm as fact what science can never prove.

    • if ‘it’ exists, it has to be made of SOMETHING, right? NON-physical equates to not made of matter, which equates to nothing, which equates to nonexistent. the duality is not between physical and nonphysical (the popular notion), but between physical and nonexistent. Where is the flaw in this reasoning?

  12. @Rharkn : It is not to any one to say what could be on or off the road to reality.
    Reality is telling us , and we must listen ….or else it is F.F.F.

  13. Once you decide that X is OFF the road to reality , YOU are already OFF the road to reality………..logical axiom.

  14. OK. Gong ; i agree with you that it is mere PARADIGM WORSHIPING.

    • Tienzen (Jeh-Tween) Gong

      Advancement inside the scope of a paradigm is a great progress.

      Advancement outside the scope of a paradigm is called crackpot.

      Yet, the truth dynamics follows a special law, “The truth is immortal while the paradigm can only fight a mortal combat.”

      So, stay cool. Many big smiling faces will not last long, one or two generations the max.

  15. Jyri Tynkkynen

    Thank you so much for sharing your insight on such an interesting topic!
    I’ve got some details about the Higgs field I want to wrinkle out:
    A1) Particles can exist in an excited state. Is the added mass ONLY due to the exciting energy or does the excited particle also interact more strongly with the Higgs?
    A2) Is the following equation about the mass of a particle right?
    m(0)c^2 = E(Higgs) + E(binding) + E(excite) + E(unknown)
    where m(0) is the rest mass, E(Higgs) comes from the Higgs field, E(binding) is the inner binding energy of a combound particle, E(excite) is the extra energy from the excited state and E(unknown) is the yet unknown part of the picture.
    B) Is myon just a mere excited electron, i.e., an excited state in the electron field? If not, what exactly is their difference in the Higgsian context.

  16. @Rharkn : The flaw is in your dogma that to exist it must be matter while the reality of matter ( fields and particles as per now ) is a flux of no material foundation as you imagine it , cosmic reality is rules and principles not something you can hold……….i suggest that you read carefully all Dr. Strassler,s posts on this website.

  17. P.S. :
    Let me give you an example ; you are conscious..right ? is your consciousness MADE OF MATTER ??…. FIELDS.??…..PARTICLES ??
    So , to exist has nothing to do with the STUFF the thing is made of.
    Think……

    • Richard Harkness

      This is important enough for a follow-up.
      Hi aa.sh,

      I notice that you did not answer the key question I asked: What’s it MADE of? You imply that consciousness is *not* made of matter, but you avoid saying what you think it might be made of (if not matter). My reply is that consciousness IS made of matter–it’s a physical process generated by the brain. Moment-by-moment activation of certain brain areas *are* what we call “consciousness.” When we sleep, some of these brain areas shut down. We don’t have to decipher the exact process by which the brain constructs consciousness (the so-called “hard problem”) to know that it has to be physical.

      You write that “consciousness,” “rules,” and “principles” are “not something you can hold,” which indicates you are making a common error: mistaking the abstract for the nonphysical. This mistake is legion and appears to have no necessary correlation to intelligence. Such “terminology confusion” (a topic in a new book I’m working on) seems to be a prime driver of faulty thinking about reality. The vast majority of people just assume that our universe consists of both a physical realm and a nonphysical realm. Human brains seem to be evolutionarily wired to believe in the nonphysical/supernatural as a default mode. As a result, such beliefs are imbued in cultures worldwide.

      Back to your “consciousness,” “rules,” and “principles”: These are abstract words (as opposed to concrete words like, say, “book” that represent a physical object “you can hold.”). The key to correcting terminology confusion is to realize that abstract terms (and their understood definitions and processes) exist *physically* inside the brain as neural circuits. [An interesting note: A neuroscience journal article (which I can’t readily put my hands on) reported research that found that nouns and verbs are stored in different brain areas).] A “rule” or “principle” may *represent* a physical process that occurs outside the brain in external reality. To be exhaustively accurate (not cute), abstract terms such as “rule” *can* exist physically in the external world in this way: as letters (symbols)–for example, r-u-l-e (rule) written or printed on a piece of paper or on a computer screen (as pixels–dots of light consisting of photon particles), or as sound waves (propagated by air molecules) produced by speaking the word. (In this way, you can actually see and hold/touch “rule” and other abstract words).

      It’s important to repeat some of my prior post: Whatever exists in our universe has to be made of *something.* The only “something” in our universe is matter. The term “nonphysical” equates to not made of matter, which equates to nothing, which equates to nonexistent. the duality is not between physical and nonphysical (the popular notion), but between physical and nonexistent. “Nonphysical” is an oxymoron. This appears to be a basic pillar of reality, whether we like it or not.

      NOTE: I just noticed another post in which the term “energy” appears to be mistakenly used in the *nonphysical” sense. Energy is an abstract term that refers to the *physical* process of matter in motion and interacting with other other matter. Matter carries energy. Energy does not exist apart from matter.

      • Some question; a) where do you fit the dark energy then or, should I ask; do you believe that such does not exist? b) If energy exists only in matter, and some does, ie., potential energy, kinetic energy, nuclear energy, EM energy, nuclear weak energy; how are we to understand The Big Bang theory, in view of your statements?

  18. It is hard to visualize a condition where light and darkness do not exist. There is no contrast. But we can imagine this in terms of abstract ideas such as the zero in Mathematics or a condition or state where the entropy is unity (no chaos or no activity) on a Thermodynamics standpoint.
    If we view the process of creation in these manners, we find that our views are also parallel with the Biblical version.
    First, there must be and exciter or an action to cause the event. This is one of the basic principles of the scientific discipline. “NOTHING HAPPENS WITHOUT A CAUSE”.
    In Mathematics, if we are to create two entities out of zero, then we perform a mathematical operation (the cause).
    Thus:

    0 = (+1) + (-1) (1)

    Two distinct and different entities are thus created but when both are combined, the result will still be zero.
    On a Physics standpoint, the creation of the Universe would have been a process on a grand scale similar to that described by DIRAC, that “ When sufficient energy is imparted to matter in the negative
    state, the matter transcends unknown barriers and come to existence in the positive state, living a void in the negative state”. Here, the only difference is that matter already is assumed to exist in the negative state and that positive matter comes from something negative in form and not created from nothing. ” (Sort of a Big Bang creating two matters). But the Big Bang theory employs the idea of a primordial egg to start with. Yet if we start with a primordial egg we have to answer the question “What created it”?).
    But if we view creation in the light of the result of the Anderson Experiment, we can see the parallelism. In the experiment, where; when a 2MEV gamma (the cause,which in the experiment was more than the total energy equivalent of two electron-like particles) was aimed at an aluminum foil target, two particles were simultaneously created out of nothing; an electron and a positron.
    This in Physics is termed as pair production, and was taken as the
    proof of Dirac’s “HOLE THEORY”. However, the positron is not necessarily a void, as it manifests as mass just like its sister, the electron, but only opposite in charge. It is more likely then that the positron is also a mass but differs from the electron in charge because, maybe just plain maybe, it has a time direction or time dimension opposite that of the electron.
    When a positron is made to collide with an electron, both are annihilated, (completely vanished into nothingness) and
    releases the energy that created them, a 1.1MEV gamma.
    This is also the case of life. The breath of life was imparted to a ball of dust and man got his soul and lived. When he dies he gives up the soul and returns it to his Maker.
    The observed pair production in the Anderson Experiment however is not necessarily a case as described by DIRAC’S Hole Theory. Neither would it be a case of creation from nothing like that implied
    by Eq. (1).
    If we take a view that space is never empty, then the 2MEV gamma (which is way above the energy of two electron-like masses) would have imparted enough energy for matter in a lower energy level so that that matter gains enough energy to come out as an electron moving in the same time direction as our physical universe.
    But, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. So if an electron is created, a positron is also simultaneously created and that the positron is metrically identical to the electron except for the charge which is opposite that of the electron. Maybe, the positron is another type of matter which is moving at an opposite time direction from that of the electron. This is similar to a DIRAC phenomenon
    except that the matter in the negative state is not necessarily negative as the term implies.
    Zero matter does not have any logical meaning if used to refer to mass, how much more with negative matter?
    For vector quantities however, negative refers to locations or directions opposite those which are considered positive, but the structure of the mass in that region may not be negative.
    This is more likely the process of creation.
    Matter can be created from nothing provided a cause or exciter is applied.
    Matter emerging from something is transformation.
    When light (electromagnetic energy) was created out of zero, darkness was simultaneously created with it. This darkness actually is dark energy which is the opposite of light.
    When dark energy interacts with light, it does not result in annihilation to zero. A primary pair production therefore occurs and the products are virtual masses. These are the ZPE’s. ZPE being the
    lowest energy density becomes its own symmetrical counterpart. As mass cannot exist without velocity, ZPE must be at the lowest velocity possible, thus its volume is at maximum equivalent level. This is the definition of a vacuum. A vacuum is a condition where the energy density is minimal hence it occurs at the maximum equivalent volume.
    The difference between light and ZPE, and dark energy and ZPE are actually at extreme conditions. While light and dark energy have no volume metric structures, they have energy and velocity. On the other hand, the ZPE has volume metric structures but has almost zero velocity. It seems that space is a function of mass and velocity is a function of energy. It appears that as velocity increases, the volume of an object shrinks, while when velocity decreases, the
    volume of an object increases.
    Thus in the transformation of mass to energy, the spatial dimensions of an object is lost and conversely, when energy is transformed into mass, a major part of the velocity is lost, while space is gained.
    The creation of ZPE therefore is the second stage towards the creation of mass.
    The third stage of creation is when light or dark energy of sufficient quantity is imparted to ZPE. The result is another pair production where two similar but oppositely charged bodies are created for each type of interaction. Light interacts with ZPE to create matter and anti-matter.
    Dark energy interacts with ZPE to create dark matter and dark anti-matter.
    Since two bodies are created in pair production, an equivalent additional volume of space is gained. This accounts for the expansion of the Universe. As energies are converted to physical
    matter, the universe will keep on expanding until all energies have been converted to physical matter.

    • Richard Harkness

      Krystal wrote: “…When a positron is made to collide with an electron, both are annihilated, (completely vanished into nothingness) and
      releases the energy that created them, a 1.1MEV gamma.
      This is also the case of life. The breath of life was imparted to a ball of dust and man got his soul and lived. When he dies he gives up the soul and returns it to his Maker.”

      Krystal,
      In physics, the term “annihilation” does not mean “completely vanished into nothingness.” The collision between a subatomic particle and its antiparticle generates new particles–the colliding particles do not disappear into nothing. Blame the TV physicists and their flair for drama over accuracy in their explanations of annihilation (and other physics processes) for imparting the wrong impression to laypersons. I know that this is a sore spot for Prof. Strassler also.

      You also discuss energy in your post. Be careful that you do not have the wrong impression about “energy.” See my post above for an accurate definition of energy, which is a *physical* process that always involves matter.

      • Richard, I find your statement “Nonphysical” is an oxymoron. This appears to be a basic pillar of reality, whether we like it or not.’ most distasteful. Universe is made out of energy. You and I are made of energy. Something transforms
        energy into matter. Matter is never a rigid body. It assumes a solid form from interaction of four fundamental forces that happen to be four vectors of one and the same force, the super-force. No particle is made of matter alone. If it was, we would have to answer the question; where did the mass come from? Instead we ask; where did the energy that started the Big Bang, come from?

        I do like your explanation of physicality, though. You say: “I just noticed another post in which the term “energy” appears to be mistakenly used in the *nonphysical” sense. Energy is an abstract term that refers to the *physical* process of matter in motion and interacting with other other matter. Matter carries energy. Energy does not exist apart from matter.”

        Really? How do you know that? It is my understanding that energy creates matter. So, first there was energy then matter came to be.
        Quark has very minuscule amount of mass, yet its a pillar of all physical world. I can touch matter, but I can not touch energy. However, energy can touch me, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad outcome to my physicality. Perhaps, the word ‘matter’ doesn’t describe certain states of energy accurately enough?

        • Richard Harkness

          Krystal,

          Thanks for keeping an open mind. The best way to answer your comments is to embed my own in your text below using this style: **[[xxxx]]** to catch your eye. I will be as brief and factual as possible, and do not intend any disrespect. I hope this will be informative for the laypersons (and perhaps *some* physicists) who are fans of Prof. Strassler’s web site.

          Krystal wrote:

          Richard, I find your statement “‘Nonphysical is an oxymoron. This appears to be a basic pillar of reality, whether we like it or not” most distasteful.
          **[[ME: Reality just IS–impassive and unaffected by any value judgments we humans place on it.]]**

          Universe is made out of energy. You and I are made of energy. Something transforms energy into matter. Matter is never a rigid body. It assumes a solid form from interaction of four fundamental forces that happen to be four vectors of one and the same force, the super-force. No particle is made of matter alone. If it was, we would have to answer the question; where did the mass come from? Instead we ask; where did the energy that started the Big Bang, come from?
          **[[ME: The universe is made out of *matter*, period. Particles are made of matter alone. (Your other questions above are best answered at another time.) TV physicists confuse the issue when they proclaim dramatically that the universe consists of matter and energy, but don’t define the term “energy.” This sounds profound and leaves the impression that energy must be an “entity” apart from and independent of matter. Not factual. The physicists are referring to what is generally called “pure energy,” an inaccurate term by which they refer to photons (particles of light). There is no such thing as pure energy (ie, energy that exists apart from matter).]]**

          I do like your explanation of physicality, though. You say: “I just noticed another post in which the term “energy” appears to be mistakenly used in the *nonphysical” sense. Energy is an abstract term that refers to the *physical* process of matter in motion and interacting with other other matter. Matter carries energy. Energy does not exist apart from matter.”

          Really? How do you know that? It is my understanding that energy creates matter. So, first there was energy then matter came to be.
          Quark has very minuscule amount of mass, yet its a pillar of all physical world. I can touch matter, but I can not touch energy. However, energy can touch me, sometimes for good and sometimes for bad outcome to my physicality. Perhaps, the word ‘matter’ doesn’t describe certain states of energy accurately enough?
          **[[ME: Krystal, you have a basic misunderstanding here. The facts as best we know: Our universe consists of matter. A simple–but accurate–definition of *Energy* is matter (particles/objects) in motion and interacting with other matter. Energy is a process, not an independent entity (as is the popular notion, one which enables psychic con-artists and the like to use pseudoscientific prattle to mislead people). You can’t “touch” energy, because it exists only as the motion of matter. You can, however, touch (or be conked on the head) by, say, a thrown baseball. The blow to the head you feel is the *energy* of the moving baseball. If the ball meets your noggin flush, it gives up most of its energy of motion to your head (much to your dismay and pain). In this way, energy is never created or destroyed–it’s conserved (collectively throughout the universe). Just remember this: Matter can create energy, but energy cannot create matter. You cannot have energy without some form of matter to carry it. Krystal, I hope you’ll think about this and that it will help you get a more realistic understanding of our universe. It’s important is to expose yourself to reliable information sources (such as Prof. Strassler’s site–but be aware of the loose-thinking in some of the forum posts) rather than the “touchy-feely” sources that tell people just what they wish to hear. I think we all have a personal responsibility to get reality right, a theme of my new book-in-progress.]]**

          **[[P.S. Check out my post further up this page in which I discuss the very important issue I call “terminology confusion”–How easy it is to mistakenly confuse abstract with nonphysical, and how it leads to faulty thinking about reality. Most people have trouble wrapping their heads around this issue because they’ve never given it any critical thought, but ponder on it till the light bulb pops on and you’ll have it.]]**

          • Everything you said about matter, stuff, energy, I agree with. A learner has to create separation between the two concepts in order to learn these. Its just like learning the language. A child will break up a long word into sylabils and memorize its pronunciation and meaning that way. And since its almost impossible to define either one of the terms (matter or, energy), why worry about it. Or, a layperson might reach a wrong conclusion that physicist in general are afraid of the word ‘spirit’ (pure energy). I meant spirits, like God for example. Physicists may cringe but the truth is this ‘stuff’ falls into category all on it own and being ethereal it can not be detected, tested or, experimented on in LHC. There is also a big likelihood that this ‘stuff’ disapproves of humans splitting the atom and destroying something he created for the benefit of all humans_ the blue planet, third rock from the Sun.

  19. BTW, this is not my hypothesis, but so far, I like it.

  20. Can light and matter (particles) exist in the absence of space-time? No. Does space-time have dimension without fields? No. Is energy a consequence of discontinuties in space-time? Yes. (Analogous to surface tension found in fluids between phases). So many questions, it knots the imagination! Scholars make things so complex, fractally so… so that what is universal becomes most personal!

  21. @R.H………You are talking AS IF you are the ultimate source of knowledge !
    Listen my friend :
    If you cannot see that a feeling is a category of extra-material existence then you are in real trouble , let me explain ; you said that every MENTAL category is neural activity , right ? , OK…….now is your test :
    IF every thing mental is matter and its daughter energy then i hereby challenge you to provide the following :
    Describe / specify / state / whatever a chain of matter interactions among fields / particles / forces / whatever that have as input matter and as output a feeling of awe / satisfaction………please dont tell me that it is the neural networks activity …that is mere nonsense as the statement ( NNA = feeling ) IS THE ULTIMATE OXYMORON , why ? because they belong to 2 different realms ……..that is one.
    In addition , if the physical and the formal are identical then show us where in the physical a metal key is specified ? specification is a mental activity that is impossible to reduce to the physical……that is two.
    At last specify a physical mechanism that can in principle generate pain , pleasure , law , idea , feeling , ,,,, your urge to argue !!
    I am afraid you are in the delusion fantasy-land of materialistic naturalism.
    If non-physical is non-existence then why should i waste time ? you does not exist.
    PS.:
    Read Dr. David Abel book ( the first gene ) it is about ; the formal transcend the physical.

    • Richard Harkness

      This is not a coherent discussion, so here’s a final reply. I have no doubt that you are sincere in your beliefs, but this seems to be the wrong forum to continually expound on them in a proselytizing way.

      Everything I’ve said is backed by scientific findings and careful reasoning constrained by what I’ve learned about the natural world. On the other hand, you are given to making grandiose pronouncements that rest only on a soap bubble of wishful thinking. Your worldview is belief-based, not knowledge/fact-based. A belief, regardless of how firmly held, has no necessary correlation to objective reality. I have interviewed many individuals with similar worldviews, and the thing that jumps out is that they appear unable (not just unwilling) to critically evaluate their thinking process. Typically, only “fence-sitters” (those whose “magical” beliefs are less hardwired in the brain) have a shot at changing their belief systems to more closely conform to reality.

      You obviously believe there’s a nonphysical/supernatural realm. A humbling point that should not have to be made: Believing is not the same as knowing. Believing is never better than knowing, despite the elevation of believing over knowing in various religious traditions.

      Despite legions of claims of supernatural phenomena over millennia, the reality is that not a whit of meaningful evidence–much less proof–has ever been advanced to show that the supernatural exists in our universe. In every instance, whenever the actual explanation for a purported supernatural occurrence has been found, it has turned out to be mundane, natural. A key point: Mysterious is not the same as mystical; unexplained or inexplicable is not synonymous with supernatural. And some aspects of the natural world might well be beyond human ken–the ability of the brain to decipher.

      I appreciate feedback like yours up to a point. It helps me understand where to place the starting block and how far one has to go to promote critical thinking skills within the reality of this universe as best as humans can elucidate it.

      • You are very wrong Richard, but it just means you never had any encounters with the spirit world. Perhaps you also don’t believe that spirits (ghosts) roam some English and Scottish castles. that they show themselves in various forms to children (fairies, Mary – Jesus mother, aliens, animals that speak to them). Its scary to think that such things can and do exist because all our knowledge of universe pails behind behind the paranormal phenomena. Sorry, didn’t mean to frighten you, but one doesn’t need to have schizophrenia to have these experiences. Just check out the reports of these in books that talk about them and it will scare the pants off you, promise. That’s where belief in God comes handy because you know that these spirits are actually demons that fear God whom you deny. You need protection dear professor.

  22. You are not the one who decide where final reply is , i never mentioned what you call super-natural and you totally missed my point , ……
    What i am saying is clear enough , it is not a faith /dogma/wishful thinking…
    What i am saying is scientific to the roots…..WHAT WE SEE IS NOT ALL WHAT EXIST , as you desist to answer my points you are refusing to face reality , you are not better than Dr. d`espagnat –a respected man of science and philosophy —- in his books ( veiled reality ) and ( on physics and philosophy ) where he gave ample evidence that science would never claim full 100% knowledge , this is exactly my stand under which to prove consciousness as mere neural network activity is the highest absurdity of the absurd .
    As you declare that YOU only are on the right track , OK. advice me and many others willing to know how can you input physical , output mental….at least give us a hint of how your neuron firings is identical to your urge to argue and gain the upper hand……no more scape from facing reality is acceptable to any honest , sincere and true mind.
    To follow without your permission………

  23. Calm down aa.sh. All arguments come from beliefs and personal passions. To these we are all entitled to. Richard is at least an intelligent man. We don’t know why he gets this way. And why deny him a blissful ignorance of something so very, very scary that turns grown up men into little children. No one likes to be reduced to childhood uncertainty of what reality is. True? Some people are aware of these ethereal beings other are not. End of story.
    If thoughts and dreams are also of ethereal nature then thoughts exist in another dimension where physical bodies cannot exist. I see that as a possibility.

  24. Materialism is based on the most absurd of postulates with no shred of evidence :
    1- ( Matter is the only thing that exists )
    This means they investigated ALL of the unlimited landscape of ALL ranks of existence in ALL times !!!!!
    No stronger self-refutation can be imagined.
    2- ( Consciousness IS Matter )
    This is the ultimate Oxymoron of all ….if true then it does not care / able / has any power to declare / insist / argue / defend itself to attain victory
    upon opponents ……matter just does not ” care ” , …..in matter world there are no concepts of justice / beauty / goodness / awe…..etc……these are not matter interactions , these are a higher level of existence , ….denying them renders every thing mere hallucinations …….even this cannot exist in a matter world.
    3-( Science proved materialism )
    The only thing science proved is man`s need to worship , now science gave man things to worship ….networks , gene regulatory NW , protein interactome NW , neural NW , particles interaction NW……but , sir , NW are products of awareness and omniscience and omnipower and will , now man worship the NW as creators of every thing and thus he ignores the mighty GOD who created all what man worships.
    Here we are not talking about ghosts or spirits , we are talking about reason , logic and rationality , but some might insist that their distorted , ugly , purposeless worldview is reality perse , we can only feel pity for their petty ignoramus……period

  25. Jyri Tynkkynen

    What is this – a house of worship???!

    Don’t you religious trolls have enough streets to force-preach on?

    • And who are you to tell people off? Is this YOUR blog site? I read your post asking questions on Higgs. I gather you are a student of physics. Fantastic, but if you want same respect as other Western scientist have, learn to earn it. It will not come to you automatically, just because you suppose to have ‘more’ (?) brains. Prove that you are smart by bridling your tongue. I assume you moved to the West (1, 2 generations ago) so, get use to our ways. Democracy allows for freedom of speech. If any of the bloggers steps out of line, it would not be YOUR job to point that out by using a Soviet methods of shaming through mockery. this planet is large enough to accommodate both species. Yes?

      • Jyri Tynkkynen

        I have no more brain than the next guy, yet I do know this is hardly relevant in a discussion about particle physics…

        “The breath of life was imparted to a ball of dust and man got his soul and lived. When he dies he gives up the soul and returns it to his Maker.”

        …because science is about things you can observe and test.

        Faith and science are like water and oil; no matter how much you beat, they will not mix. That’s why there are houses of worship for religions.

        And this blog is not one of them.

        • Still, you or, I don’t set the rules here and whats more, you spoke to aa.sh. with no respect he deserves. A wise person refrains from making cutting remarks on another’s faith. Some put all their trust in science, but what we chose in this regard is a personal matter. Mutual respect is in order from all parties concern. Aa.sh. offered an argument based on a good reasoning. How is that different from physicists arguing who and what and how test should be interpreted. For all we know, today’s science might fade into background as some astonishing discovery shows up in a next decade or two. And what is reality and truth? To you it is collected data by scientists, to many others it is both. Yes, science can not disprove God’s existence and neither can you. Until such a day, you have to hold your horses at bay, and show older folk respect they deserve. Can you prove that faith of billions and billions of people is baseless? I can tell you right now, no you can not. We are not disturbed by your lack of faith. So, you can do the same. It is not like we are a threat to each other’s existence or happiness. Healthy discussions on matters of truth can sharpen each other’s wits and enrich one another’s appreciation for wonderful privilege of learning. Hope you can see that. We all tolerate things we disagree with. This can be done peaceably and respectfully.

          • Jyri Tynkkynen

            “Healthy discussions on matters of truth can sharpen each other’s wits and …”

            I guess we disagree on what is “heatlhy”.

            “And why deny him a blissful ignorance of something so very, very scary that turns grown up men into little children.”

            This is, actually, exactly how I feel about religious people. So we aren’t that different after all, I guess.

        • If there is God, than angels good and bad also exist. The bad angels are the ones we refer to as fallen angels, demons, bad spirits. I’m sure you know all that but I’m just saying it to refresh your mind. From these many man-made stories have been circulating throughout the ages and these are the ones that confuse the facts from colorful folklore. Not unlike what’s happening to sciences of physics nowadays, is it? Facts can be distorted by misinformation and someone has to stick its neck out to straighten these out before they become a
          culture. Neither you nor I can change the reality or truth whether it be scientific ones or the ones relating to faith. And since it is every man’s basic right to embrace any belief they wish, everyone is left in situation where they come across people of opposite beliefs. But there are differences in how people handle these encounters. Most ignore it, others over-react and start knocking down the person usually verbally, thus showing the amount of fear or personal unresolved emotions issuing from these topics. We get respect from others only when we handle adversities with grace, fairness, and dignity. A young man mocking an older man looks ‘bad’ and shows the lack of refinement and good manners. So, lets not forget a decorum of superb behavior towards each other, which is withing grasp of every intelligent person including yourself, leaving our cultural/ national difference that make us bold and rash, behind us. Ok-ey Dok?

          • Jyri Tynkkynen

            “We get respect from others only when we handle adversities with grace, fairness, and dignity.”

            I agree. So why don’t you stop trolling this science blog with your religious brouhaha?

  26. OK……LET ME STATE TO PEOPLE LIKE THIS ONE …THE MASTER POSTULATE OF MATERIALISM SO THEY KNOW ON WHAT QUICK SAND THEY STAND :
    WHAT SELF-CONSCIOUS RATIONAL MIND CANNOT PERCEIVE…….
    BLIND , MINDLESS , LIFELESS NATURE CAN ACHIEVE.
    NO STRONGER REFUTATION IS NEEDED TO DEMOLISH MATERIALISM.

    try , just try to have a neutral , honest arrogance-lessss mind…try

    • Jyri Tynkkynen

      For some one of your arrogance (like “If the atheist accepts the master postulate, then he admits that he is as his creator nature ; blind , mindless and lifeless”) it’s funny you should get this pissed off by my statement.

  27. The end :
    1- If the atheist accepts the master postulate , then he admits that he is as his creator nature ; blind , mindless and lifeless , then no argument is needed.
    2- If he rejects the postulate then he cannot remain atheist anymore.
    Let him who reflect pick his choice.
    THANKS for every one and no hard feelings.

  28. Thanks, aa.sh. Jolly good fight, full of common sense and excellent comprehension of reality!

  29. Thanks Krystal ; this is outside the former arguments , it is for you in person , just take note that atheists normally use all the logical fallacies as per the book of L.F. word by word , you have to understand their psychology ; they feel that they stand on no ground at all….only prejudice and mutiny against the mighty creator ..why ? they want to live according to their worldview…mindless , valueless , virtueless , respectless , XXXless…..that is their world , so you can never ask them to be honest , true , trustful , just , beautiful , ……they just cannot….their world does not include these concepts or realities.
    Let me assure you ; in the moment of death they will have the ultimate empirical proof of the fallacy they lived in a proof every one of all of us will grasp.

    • ‘Aa.sh’, my dear good man, I was only nine y. old when my father, who was an atheist and a communist, placed the heavy volume of Lenin’s autobiography in my skinny hands, and said to me; ‘Don’t come back until you’ve finished reading it.’ My parents were divorced and I lived with my mother. I did my best with the book, but it was way over my head. As you can see, I’m well versed in ‘psychology of an atheistic mind’. Yes, I was born under communism but since live in the Western country.
      We, whose eyes have opened, must treat our less fortunate brothers with kindness that Christ displayed to all, believers and those not having faith.

  30. P.S. :Let me assure you also that we never presented a religious argument , it is all from a higher level scientific perspective ….the level of why and meaning……a level they can never understand or grasp as their world does not include meaning…….meaning is utterly alien to their random , undirected , purposeless blind perspective.

    • Jyri Tynkkynen

      LOL! Could you contradict yourself more if you really tried to?

      “we never presented a religious argument […] meaning is utterly alien to their random , undirected , purposeless blind perspective.”

  31. Atheism is a worldview and as such it is a religion……
    Refuting the mirage of atheism dictates talking about meaning , purpose , goals , …….etc. , those concepts that contradict a blind , random , mindless , goal-less , purposeless atheistic worldview….
    Failure to accept / understand this is a sign of badly needed psychologist…..try one.

    • Jyri Tynkkynen

      Why do you religious zealots always try to present the non-religious point of view as a religion?

      Religion is made of dogmas that are not to be questioned but to be followed blindly.

      The non-religious science doubts everything. NOthing is to be taken by face value or to be followed blindly.

      Of course there may be (and probably are) people who have made science their faith, but it’s hardly science’s fault.

      • “Religion is made of dogmas that are not to be questioned but to be followed blindly.” True statement, that’s why buyers beware, and question everything. There are many discrepancies in religions and logic demands that all can’t be true. It is not beyond human ability to filter out the dross from pure metal when smelting ores in furnaces. The same approach has to be applied to seeking the truths relating to God.
        Pure science is based on facts. That pretty much rules out astronomy and astrophysics, string theory, wave duality, uncertainty principle and much more. Hence, we put faith in science of mathematics and scientists behind these theories. But faith is not always blind. It is selective collection of deductions and assumption based on some facts, with a probability factor of darting in this or, that direction.

        • Jyri Tynkkynen

          “The same approach has to be applied to seeking the truths relating to God.”

          Why stop there? The same approach has to be applied to seeking the truths relating to God, Allah, Jehova, Thor, Shiva, Ukko, fairies, hobgoblins, elfs, pixies, sprites, imps, trolls, gnomes, genies, gremlins and leprechauns…

        • Jyri Tynkkynen

          “Pure science is based on facts. That pretty much rules out astronomy and astrophysics, string theory, wave duality, uncertainty principle and much more.”

          Science can try to find mathematical/theoretical models — which may be extremely abstract by nature — to explain the ‘real’ nature. Yet, e.g., the uncertainty principle is totally unlike any religion, and the string theory is solidly based on reality, whereas the miscellaneous ideas of gods still remain mere products of imagination and have NO connection to the reality.

          BTW. There are millions of gods in different religions. Which one are you talking about?

          • You come on this site and attack me and aa.as. for no other reason than that you don’t like people who believe in God. Am I to conclude that you come from a long, long line of unbelievers. If not, some people in your family must have faith in god. Is this how you feel about them? How are you going to work with people one day with this kind of attitude? Are you for real? It’s nice to know that you are pursuing science studies, but don’t neglect your personality while you’re at it. You view religious people as lacking in a top department. (: because you lack heart and knowledge that builds spirituality. And you expect me to continue this discussion with you? May be later on when you lose your bite, hey?

    • Jyri Tynkkynen

      “Failure to accept / understand this is a sign of badly needed psychologist…..try one.”

      Did I already say that I find you most arrogant based on pompous statements like this?

  32. As every one can see , atheists never engage in a truth-finding discussion , they always change subject , insult , create irrelevant arguments…etc
    So again , as that atheist insists in his continuous babbling to ignore facts , i repeat a definite attack for him to answer :
    From the atheistic worldview that they adopt prove by any in-principle proof that a physical/naturalistic / materialistic mechanism that have input as fields /particles / forces and out put as Form , Feeling , Sensation of whatever kind they chose….
    The point is ; the physical can never generate the formal ( meaning , goal , intention , directing , guiding …..etc ) so the view that physics generates every thing ( generates not just explains ) is false as a simple logical conclusion , then there must exist some extra-physical mechanisms to generate laws , constants , principles , forms , feelings , sensations……etc.
    Answer this without any”” talking and saying nothing””…..before discussing religion and GOD they must first change view from closed universe without extra-cosmic effectors to open one which accepts those effectors.
    I PREDICT THAT THEY WILL SAY ANY THING …ANY BABBLING , VOID , MEANINGLESS , PURPOSELESS , BUT WILL NEVER GO DEEP INTO THE PROBLEM …….THEY CANNOT.
    prove me wrong.

    • Jyri Tynkkynen

      “As every one can see, atheists never engage in a truth-finding discussion, they always change subject, insult, create irrelevant arguments…etc”
      For some one who told me I need a psychologist it’s interesting how you can accuse others for being offensive… it’s a form of art to make oneself a martyr.

      “The point is ; the physical can never generate the formal ( meaning , goal , intention , directing , guiding …..etc )”
      This is a very typical case of circular reasoning that is but all you can come up with to support the idea of a god — “The world is too complicated to be not created by God, so there must be God.”
      I’m not impressed. Is it so hard to understand that faith and reason don’t mix?

      And no, I don’t come here “for no other reason than that you don’t like people who believe in God.” I have nothing against those who believe (or don’t believe) in *any* god.
      But I do resent of those who try to force their beliefs onto others – whether religious or political. And you (aa.sh. and Krystal) are trying to subvert this blog for serve your own religious purposes.

  33. TO KRYSTAL ; no use of talking with them , desist , if you agree contact me via email to have all dialogues we wish; aadotshami@yahoodotcom
    i respect very much peoples who seek truth.

  34. See what i mean !? they NEVER talk serious real science…..
    Have a nice time………

    • Jyri Tynkkynen

      How on earth can one talk “serious real science” with some one who throws serious real science out of the door and says “God did it”???

      With the GDI-factor in there’s room for neither science nor seriousness.

  35. Dont you understand !!?? here is a piece of real science where none of them answered : take the feeling of severe urge to defend your view ,
    i say ; to replace GDI you must be able to show in scientific details WHAT DID IT AND HOW…..neural activity will not help as here we find unbrigeable category gap.
    If you fail IN-PRINCIPLE then we must say GDI thru physical means..GDI by directing natural means.
    We need fair judge.

    • Jyri Tynkkynen

      How stupid are you?
      “If you fail IN-PRINCIPLE then we must say GDI..”
      I.e. “if we don’t know something for sure, it MUST be God’s work”.
      Like there are no other options, huh? Maybe it was The Giant Spaghetti Monster instead?
      Again, if you resort to GDI every time you’re unsure of the truth — WHERE’S THE SCIENCE?
      You’re pathetic.

  36. Correction ; ( unbridgeable)

  37. May I leave a reply to all of you who have been blogging back and forth so much off -opic of Professor Strassler’s website and post? First, the stuff you are posting is clogging up my inbox! Second, why are you wasting your time arguing with your own phantoms? Please stay on topic. The topics are based upon interpretations of scientific data available Good ideas to explain incomplete data or known-to-you-personally information are a dime-a-dozen, please keep your place in line! God or no god, language and its definitions are getting in the way of understanding!

    • Let me ask you something; would you apply the same advice to yourself if you were suddenly attacked, insulted and such without any attempt to defend your stand? Say that what you said was completely twisted, distorted? Would you just walk away? Let me tell you; sometimes it’s not as simple as it looks though, someone has to break the vicious circle. Thanks for reminder, though :).

      • I have been in that “boat” – if the person’s response is so off the mark, so off topic, battles with their own ignorance, is demeaning, or clearly not mature, scientific or analytical enough in thought processes, I just don’t respond to the post. I would feel worse if I were to continue to try to sway or intervene to correct their ways, or shine a light on their darkness. I’d rather leave the conversation in peace. “Peace sign and smiley face!”

  38. Well, something to ponder, over I’m sure. Unfortunately we are not all the same, and each individual reacts to a frontal attack in their own unique way. Who is to say which approach is wiser? Sometimes, its best to flee and other times one takes a stand. It takes a big man to admit an error, and even bigger one to know when to quit. That’s why I chose to quit adding fuel to an argument that has no purpose, but some things had to be said first. We have a young man here provoking, and insulting his elders by cutting remarks to their faith. Not exactly the time to turn one’s back on it, is it? My first instinct is always to give moral support to a more innocent party. Sometimes, it backfires on me, but I would feel bad about myself if I didn’t try to help. Just how I see things, that’s all. :)

    • Choose your battles wisely! This is a Dr. Strassler’s website on theoretical physics and current experimental happenings to allow the interested people to learn and to join the conversation. :)

      • Jyri Tynkkynen

        I apologize. I’m sorry, Elizabeth and others, for clogging your inboxes and if I insulted anybody’s feelings or beliefs. That was not my intention. I guess I shouldn’t have jumped in right after failing to reason with a Young Earth Creationist (who has an intriguingly unique notion of the meaning of the words like “fact”, “know” and “proof”).
        All I tried to do here was to argument against the claim “the world is too complicated not to be created by God, so there must be God” because it’s circular reasoning of the worst kind.
        I have nothing against religions or beliefs, but I want to keep religion out of science.
        Science does not need gods and religions should not infiltrate science.

        • Jyri, do not worry…. no harm was done to anyone. With time (another great mystery and most valuable commodity), you will find it easier and easier to recognize what is better left unspoken or unwritten (most sensible people don’t read it anyway)! :) I am not always sensible! Kindest regards….

  39. KRYSTAL : Never worry my friend , it is a law of this world that whenever the petty speaks it just exposes its petty-nessss , people are classified not according to beliefs but according to how honest , true , sincere and POLITE they express their beliefs or defend them……….man only exposes what is inside , beauty for beauty or dirt for dirt.

  40. ELIZABETH , KRYSTAL :both of you are really kind with tender hearts…..
    JYRI : no hard feelings , i only said what i thought in good will and good hope , may GOD fill your heart with light , just ask him sincerely with no preconceptions,
    See you in the GAMMA wonders.

    • I would appreciate it if all of you would stick to the science when commenting on science posts. Sometimes posts do discuss metascientific questions, and then this discussion becomes appropriate. I will probably delete all of this back and forth.

  41. I for one am glad that we came to some civil closure on this uncivil argument. One question; how can we edit our posts? I tried by clicking on my avatar, but nothing happened. All other sites I visit have this application. I don’t mind if you delete my posts, it’s your site. Oh, I do like the way you explain things. I would like to stick around and learn some more. I’m not here to proselyte my beliefs but since this world is made of believers and atheist alike, and not everyone has learnt the meaning of toleration, these episodes are bound to happen from time to time. The Law of probability; Pr (A) = Sigma Pr (A|B(n)Pr/B(n), but not Heisenberg’s Principe of Uncertainty, I think. I may of got the formula wrong. :)

  42. KRYSTAL : I suggest that you take a look in the website ( twinparadox.net ), i think you might find something interesting there .

    • Thanks aa.sh. (sorry for misspelling earlier, no editing app. here). Yeah, I’m
      aware of these new views on science, but I’m here to clarify some concepts I’m struggling with; like singularity, particle duality or, what some refer to as time displacement. So, basically in a mess of information available to us, I seek what appears to be the most likely or closest to the truth hypothesis or theory and try to concentrate on positives rather than negatives. However, in the interest of the truth, I do listen to both sides. We had that earlier discussion with Richard on energy being separate or, not separate from matter. He presented his stand, which is based on scientific point of view, but you and I know that God exists and that he is not made of matter. So, logical conclusion is that he is made of pure energy (photons are not the only ones) but perhaps not from the same form of energy fund in matter.

      Otherwise, I suggest that we keep up with the topic discussed, as Matt told us to do, and when and if we have to make a stand on our beliefs do it in a straightforward manner but refuse to engage with these people in a long argument type of discussions. BTW. do you know if Matt posted the second article on protons and neutrons?

        • Thanks Matt, you might be right about that. I’ve read your article (now for the second time), and see what you mean. energy is the work potential of matter and not something oozing through space vacuum. I see from your article that this is not the case so I accept the correction. I reasoned that if they are mass-less than they must be radiation, and radiation I thought was energy, EM energy in this case but there are other forms of radiation ie., nuclear energy, gravitational energy. I do understand that photons belong to a family of bosons, which are force carriers. What I find confusing is that they are mass-less yet have energy. Mass is always associated with energy and energy comes from matter that has mass. So I figured that if photons don’t have mass than energy they have is of another kind. Pure energy sounds so Eco-friendly that I had no trouble in subscribing to its usage in this context, since photons are pure of mass that correlates to matter (?). I understand that only mass-less particles can reach the speed of ‘c’ for the very reason that mass would slow them down
          according to Lorentz factoring. All being said, from now on, I will not talk about pure energy or, the energy as something separate from matter. I know, radiation can not exist without matter. Nuclear explosions inside the stars send constant flow of all sorts of radiation, EM being only one of them. Thanks again, I appreciate the correction and I’m looking forward to your next article on protons and neutrons. I think I’m ready for it

        • Yes thanks, I’ve read the article. So, photons have kinetic energy, not mass energy, and not potential energy since that requires mass. Because of kinetic energy they can travel forever if they don’t bump into matter, in which case they get absorbed by it. Why is it wrong to use term pure energy in physics, since in the case of photons the energy is independent of mass?
          N. Tesla said; “If you wish to understand Universe, think of energy, frequency and vibration.” Sorry to ask you, how does 528 Hz fit into it? There’s not much information on it and I’ve read somewhere that this is the frequency of our sun and that all vegetation on Earth vibrates at that frequency due to the process of photosynthesis. Thanks in advance.

          • “since in the case of photons the energy is independent of mass?”

            I fear this statement might be misleading. Photons are dependent on mass of the sun and nuclear explosions in there. What I meant is; since photons don’t have mass. You could say kinetic energy is a clean energy, therefore why not also pure? How is the term misleading?

  43. KRYSTAL : NO , NO , NO ,it is grave mistake to say that GOD is MADE of anything , ….
    this is not the place to discuss that , email me on ; aa.sh@yahoo.com
    to proceed with this ultimate kind of knowledge……

  44. Correction ; aadotshamiatyahoodotcom

    • aa.sh. I avoid giving out my email adress when blogging. God is the source of ALL energy, and He is not made out of matter so, He must be the purest of energies, but we often think that energy has no intelligence so, it may sound inappropriate to you. You don’t need to worry. God is not offended by it, I’m pretty sure of it. It is not a blasphemy of assigning him a body made of pure energy. what else can He be but the purest of energy? Remember what Jesus said? Where his father is there is no darkness at all though, this is not to say that he is made of photons from our Universe. God’s dwelling places are not part of our Universe. OK?

  45. Richard Harkness

    Krystal, a friendly last volley: To get your bearings, you’ll have to get past the popular notion that energy is an “entity” that exists apart from matter. The use of the term “pure energy” sounds dramatic, but is misleading. The term is used to refer to photon particles. Physicists assign a zero mass to the photon. Because photons are considered “massless” they are called “pure” energy, as opposed to the “regular” energy of particles and objects that have mass. The key point is that the term “pure energy” does not refer to some nebulous, nonphysical/immaterial force or entity, though that’s the picture people get when they hear this unfortunate term used. Lastly, it should be noted that the photon COULD have a mass. In fact, there have been a number of studies to try to determine an upper limit to the mass of the photon. A very, very tiny non-zero photon mass would not disrupt accepted physics precepts that plug in “zero” for photon mass. Take care and may the best be with you.

  46. Thank you very much Richard. Actually, I am not confused about the energy of this universe, and as you have kindly pointed out to me, even in the case of photons it is not wrong to assume that it has a negligible amount of mass. Yet, for now, it is a philosophical argument whether energy can exist on its own. Blue lights (not sprites) have been captured zooming in and out of the Earth’s atmosphere, which defy any scientific explanation, yet these are appearing as having a free will. I’ve seen a number of other phenomena that again defies laws of physics. I don’t speak out of religious biases, and even less out of superstition. I speak out of personal experience that argues in favor of Biblical accounts. That is why I said that pure energy may exist, that is; energy not yet discovered by scientist. I love science and don’t see how that contradicts with my belief in intelligent designer of this, therefore any other universe.

    • It’s very important to draw a clear line around science. Science, unlike truth, has a very clear border; science is things we know from the process of doing experiments and building a mathematical understanding of how they all fit together.

      Now certainly the world may have things in it that scientists cannot discover because they are not open to experimental study. Such would be true of an intelligent designer, or of the will of some unknown creature. There is no law of nature that says that all facts about the world can be determined through repeatable or quasi-repeatable experiment.

      However, Krystal, communication requires speaking the same language. When you say “pure energy”, you’re using “energy” as a term in the English language. The term “energy” in physics has a different meaning; it is something you can measure and it is something carried by stuff, not something that exists on its own.

      So in this case the problem is linguistic. It’s clear to me, reading what you are writing, that you mean by “pure energy” simply isn’t something that physicists would call “energy”. When talking to the average person, you can call it whatever you like; but when talking to physicists, or reading this website, you need to understand that “pure energy” isn’t “energy” as meant by an expert. It’s something else. Obviously when you are visiting another country you need to speak their language, not your own; and here you are visiting the world of physicists, and speaking your own language instead of ours. This will get you nowhere, much the same as asking “where’s the loo?” in the United States, or “where’s the line for tickets” in the UK.

  47. Matt, I really do understand a physicist’s point of view on energy. I also understand why a physicist may wish to block himself/herself from the subject of divine being. That’s ok and, it is also not ok, depending on how one sees things. Subject of God should not be a taboo in scientific circles, but it is. If anyone in the world can prove that there is an intelligent designer, it is without any reservation a scientist. Yet, most of them shy away from it. A big, big difference to a scientist of the past. One can falsely reason that this is because science had moved on in great bounds and leaps, and that so far, no-one was able to detect any anomaly that could even remotely attest to the presence of an omnipotent, intelligent being. Though this is very true, the evidence that there is a creator is visible in design of a DNA, convenient goldilock zone and, in the precise science behind the laws of nature. Faith and science to me are one. To omit the one out of equation would be to limit oneself in arriving to a true understanding of reality. We are spiritual beings. That is what separates us from a cave man. The state our world is in, shows the evidence of moral sickness. Technology and science are advancing, but we as humans are regressing in our behaviour. The two are a bad mix.

    I’m looking forward to your follow-up articles on protons and neutrons and quantum mechanics. I hope that you will consider compiling these article into a book.

    • No, Krystal, I feel you really don’t understand the point. Faith and science are two very different things. They are two very different ways to get at truth.

      Science MUST be subject to experimental test. Otherwise it isn’t science. The whole point about faith is that it is NOT subject to experimental test. I can’t prove your faith is wrong; there’s literally nothing I could do to show you that your point of view is false. By contrast you can (or could) prove my points about science are wrong; a single, simple experiment could be enough, if you could think of one.

      ” If anyone in the world can prove that there is an intelligent designer, it is without any reservation a scientist.”

      I completely disagree; this is outside the capabilities of science, overstating its power. It is logically impossible to prove that there is an intelligent designer, when the very foundation of science is the assumption of repeatable or quasi-repeatable experiments, which an intelligent designer, by definition, overthrows. Here’s a question: what, precisely, would be the experimentally-detectable difference between a world that was created by an intelligent designer and one that was not? Every answer I’ve ever heard to that question was logically flawed. But until there is an logically sensible answer, no experiment can be done to tell the difference. In particular, I do not know any experiment which could be done to prove that the world was *not* created by an intelligent designer…

      • Thanks Matt, and please know that I never meant to cause any unpleasant situation for you or, anyone else here by what I say. You are right of course, and I might be one of minority of people who thinks that science and faith mixes. And though faith is by its own definition a certain expectation of something not seen, a proof that a wise and loving creator exists is evident in nature. http://www.icr.org/article/7478/
        You say; ” It is logically impossible to prove that there is an intelligent designer, when the very foundation of science is the assumption of repeatable or quasi-repeatable experiments, which an intelligent designer, by definition, overthrows.”

        I got a bit confused here, then I realized what your line of thinking could be. Did you mean that god disapproves our studying of nature by means of scientific experiments? He made us in his image. Our need to learn and understand is a capacity he gave us so, no he doesn’t object with an exception to our usage of such a knowledge for making of ammunition to kill and maim. But that’s falls into a military department. (Rutherford didn’t think of atom bomb when he discovered how to split the atom) The establishment of scientific method as you are aware, was pioneered by an Irish physicist Robert Boyle who himself had strong religious convictions. Therefore, the idea that belief in science and scientific method is only a domain of people who believe in evolution is absurd. The reason as to why all can not see designer behind the nature or, accept it must therefore lay in personal perception of the cosmos, life and definition of reality. We live in times that will be remembered as times when majority of mankind chose not to aspire to higher spiritual goals, but to discard them as an unnecessary burden. Not because there was an overwhelming lack of evidence to support the notion of god, but because they aspired to a different type of future for themselves. The future where science can undo the process of ageing, may be even dying, and where man will master the laws of physics to a point where he will become a master of cosmos.
        When I consider how atom is made or, anything at all, I can’t help but wonder why nature blindly obeys laws that it can not understand. There is a complex code in DNA, but who wrote the code? Why we see nature obeying the golden ratio in geometry and, fibonacci series in algebra. Why Pi, why phi. Everything follows some unwritten or, may be preprogrammed code of rules in order to perpetuate existence of a puny man. I find that curious and worthy of contemplation, that’s all. (Am I banished from the site for saying this? I’d like to stay and learn physics from you and for the sake of peace and cordiality, I’m prepared to shut up about all this, and be as quiet as a mouse from now on :).

  48. Matt. I answered your Q many times challenging anyone to show the flaw- if ever- in it….
    The differences Matt. between the 2 worlds are many and crystal clear , just being a scientist try to find a physical bridging between the physical and the formal , just give us a system of equations with input particles / fields / forces and output specifications / morphology / form / sensation / feeling /principles / guidance / control / …..etc ,
    Once the physical is defeated then extra-physical is obligatory , ….
    You claim that ALL answers to your Q are flawed , maybe , but it is your prejudice which prevent you from seeing an answer….
    Well , Matt , just show your physical equations that result in formal solutions,
    What about the equations that result in your feeling of defending your view ?
    I never got any answer to show that the physical is closed and complete , it is necessary ,yes , but it is NOT sufficient …some extra affector is needed who is above and beyond the physical.
    This is a scientific problem and science CAN prove existence of GOD by failing to be THE necessary , sufficient and complete explanation of formal phenomenon.
    I am eagerly waiting for your SCIENTIFIC answer.

    • As I have said many times, there is no SCIENTIFIC answer to this question. It’s not a scientific question, open to experimental test, so it doesn’t have a scientific answer. Don’t ask for mathematical answers to literature questions; don’t ask for engineering answers to questions about child-rearing; and don’t ask for science answers to philosophy questions. That’s a silly thing to do.

      First, you’re suffering from a profound logical fallacy. You can’t prove something through failure. If I fail to climb a tree, that does not mean the tree cannot be climbed; it means either (a) the tree cannot be climbed, or (b) I haven’t figured out yet how to climb it. Honestly, take a good math and logic class… and learn what constitutes real proof.

      Second, you’re attacking a straw man. I have never, on this website or anywhere else, asserted that science can provide anyone with a complete understanding of what is true. Science cannot do that, because it can never logically prove that it is complete, nor can all questions that one can pose about the world be subjected to repeatable experiment. However, it does not follow logically that religion or faith of one form of another can provide a more complete or more accurate understanding than science can. Maybe it can. Maybe it cannot. There is no consensus, nor will there ever be, since there is no path to consensus on the matter.

  49. Experiments are the first level in scientific investigations , you yourself informed us about lots of exp. facts in you profession , what we found on that first level just flux of ghostly existence where nothing is permanent and all in a changing flux, but you did not tell us about the higher levels , whence stability of the world comes ? from rules /principles / laws , do you really think that ” matter” decided on and created the rules by which it behaves ?
    In my past Q i asked you ; are the bound neutron stable because of retrograde causality ?you said no , but because of Q.M. , WELL Matt. i may ask : why there are QM that dictate that particular behavior without which we would not exist ?…….THIS IS THE FORMAL , MATT. , and here science not only not capable to answer , but here the answer is in a totally higher category where science can never reach.
    Matt. my friend : just reflect on the fact that you can 30 years ago predict that there MUST exist a particle named the Higgs . whence came that MUST ?? here is the main point : science deals with the lowest rank of existence but without the higher ranks science would have been mere fairy-tales !!
    So tell the tales , perhaps they will reflect.

    • Regarding your first point: experiments are not just the first level. They are also the arbiter of what is and is not scientifically true at higher levels.

      You and I agree that there are questions at higher levels that are not answerable by science, but only through non-scientific questions. What are we disagreeing about here? [By the way, you are right that I never gave you a satisfactory answer to the bound neutron question; but that is not (as in my tree-climbing example) because no answer exists, but because I have not seen the best way to explain it… Failure is not a proof that success is impossible. Proofs must rely on stronger foundations than the mere (and possibly temporary) failure of the alternative.]

      Where comes the “must” in the Higgs and elsewhere? Consistency of mathematics that agrees with previous experiments. Yes, there are “higherlevels.” But only those “higher levels” that are subject to experimental test are scientific levels. The “MUST” for the Higgs was not “must” as in faith or as in logic; it was “must” if and only if our understanding of previous experiments, via the mathematics of the Standard Model and of quantum field theory, is correct. If experiment had disagreed thoroughly, then no matter how shocked theorists might have been, the scientific higher levels would have been modified, not the lower levels. Whereas in most other walks of life — poetry, art, religion — this is not the case… the higher levels are the ones that are most valued and supported, and the lower levels are adjusted to fit them.

  50. Your answer clarify my point , the whole materialistic naturalistic stand rests on the assumption that the cosmos is physically close , i am trying to show you that this is not true , you said science can not prove GOD , i am saying that it can , not by failure as you are escaping but by accepting that there are phenomenon beyond science not because of exp. lack but because of grave category mistake ( or prejudice )
    Now , if some phenomena is beyond science , i mean beyond ALL what science is physically dealing with , then refusing to accept this fact as indication of Veiled Reality is the ultimate real failure of all reasoning.
    aa.sh with respect

    • Your logic is: if we accept there are phenomena or at least features of the universe that lie beyond science, then we can prove GOD. What? How does that follow logically?

      Prove to me, using science, that your consciousness feels to you the same way mine feels to me. There, I have just posed you a non-scientific problem; there is no experiment that can be done, by you, me, or anyone else, to test whether your consciousness feels to you the same way mine feels to me. It is a real problem, a real question, in the real world — yet it is beyond the reach of science.

      Now from the existence of this question, you conclude something about “God”? That’s an extraordinary leap of logic. No, it’s not a leap of logic; it’s a leap over logic.

  51. Now I got you , why it is beyond the reach of science ? because it is beyond the building blocks of which science is dealing , it is beyond all kinds of forces /interactions / matter / energy / fields ….etc. now how can we ” transcend ” from this to GOD ?here is pure simple logic not over or under , ..
    IF features of the cosmos – including consciousness – cannot be grasped in principle within all resources of physics then it is simply NOT within that resources , then they logically belong to a kind of reality beyond the cosmos then to ignore it is to try proving a negative in the whole mega existence, which is impossible….
    Conclusion ? our cosmic existence is just a part of higher one then we can never claim that it is not designed by a being beyond whole existence.
    For me this is a postulate so obvious that just to grasp it is the proof of it.

    • Jyri Tynkkynen

      Come on! “IF features of the cosmos cannot be grasped in principle within all resources of physics then it is simply…” beyond our abilities to grasp it scientifically. Period. It does not substantiate any arbitrary leaps into assumptions of “higher existences” or “higher beings”.
      On the other hand, if you choose to believe in them — that’s perfectly OK. Just remember: it’s about your personal faith — not about science.
      PS. Dear prof. Strassler: what about my question n pages above?

  52. Richard Harkness

    One reason I’ve engaged Krystal and “aa. sh.” is to see how far they might go to preserve their belief systems. Such magical thinkers are in the majority. According to a 2009 Harris Poll on supernatural beliefs, 82% believed in God, 76% in miracles, 75% in Heaven, 72% in angels, and 71% in a “soul” that survives death. Witness the glut of TV programming that mirrors this fascination: Supernatural, Paranormal, Medium, Celebrity Ghost Stories, Ghost Hunters. Then there’s the various “psychic” con-artists who claim to communicate with the dead but who actually employ an old carny trick called cold reading–the best cons are very glib and use a binary yes-no scheme of having the victim answer their questions; if you listen carefully, you’ll see that it’s actually the willing and primed victim who provides the information that is attributed to the “beyond.”

    Such widespread human gullibility is alarming.

    Early humans would have embraced supernatural beliefs due to a combination of ignorance about the natural world and the way the brain had evolved to work. Belief in the magical may be, in part, an evolutionary byproduct of cause-and-effect thinking in prehistoric times. For example, it was safer to attribute the rustle of nearby brush to a lurking saber-toothed tiger (false in most cases) than to the wind (true in most cases). Erring on the side of caution was more adaptive than being eaten. In this way, evolution would favor false attribution over failure to act decisively.

    That initial wrong turn off the road of reality persists to this day and may even be gaining ground. This could be due in part to fearful push-back against the continuing advance of scientific explanations. Ambiguity–vagueness–provides a broad palette for imagining whatever we wish. As the landscape of the unknown recedes, the closer science comes to treading on people’s cherished beliefs.

    There’s a dire need for courses in critical/fact-based thinking to be introduced into schools early on, an idea that will be resisted because the majority of people are so highly invested in supernatural beliefs.

    I’m glad that Prof. Strassler decided to engage this “off-topic” thread a bit longer. It gives readers a telling glimpse into the brain of the magical believer as well as awareness of the need to promote reasoning skills that help people discern what’s real from what’s not. By the way, I enjoy a good Stephen King supernatural read as much as anyone–I knowingly suspend my disbelief. Temporarily.

    • “Such widespread human gullibility is alarming.” Is it? I find it more alarming that someone like talks such nonsense about this topic.
      A) “Early humans would have embraced supernatural beliefs due to a combination of ignorance about the natural world and the way the brain had evolved to work.” _ quoting you.

      You are saying that early humans were more on a level of an animal than of a human. Where is the proof of that? Evolution? You need just as much faith to believe in evolution as you need to believe in creation. Since there are no solid facts to prove either one, it comes down to our perception and faith, what school of thought we will subscribe to, doesn’t it? All we have available to us are assumptions. Worth mentioning, there is also a strong reason why we should question the carbon dating philosophy. Archaeologists go by artifacts and cave drawings to estimate how old things are, using questionable methods of determination. There is no way carbon dating or any other method of determination that can tell you when cave drawings were done. That’s why you hear a lot; “We think…”, when you really want to hear; “These are proven facts.”

      Even you say; “Belief in the magical may be…”. Why are you not sure that your assumption is the truth?

      Then you fortify your line of reasoning by saying; “There’s a dire need for courses in critical/fact-based thinking to be introduced into schools early on, an idea that will be resisted because the majority of people are so highly invested in supernatural beliefs.”
      I grew up in such an environment. Evolution was taught to us as a fact. Students whose families had a belief in God, were ridiculed by teachers. Hardly appropriate method to train one’s thinking abilities, don’t you think? How do you propose that this is done? Until evolution is ‘proven’, there is only a belief to go on by. Freedom of choice allows that. Dictatorship doesn’t work for very long, does it? Would you want to live under such a regime? May be the Western world needs to experience oppression to appreciate the freedom of democracy?

  53. R.H. : On what foundation you enthroned your self the mighty guardian of the public ?
    On what foundation you decreed that some persons are magic thinkers ?
    From your way it is clear that you are a psychologist …..maybe an expert in a kind of “science ” that is based on mere imaginations and huge inflation of the self to the degree that psychology itself badly in need of a psychologist !!
    Well doctor professor R.H. , as you are such mighty expert in the secrets of the minds , would you kindly tell us once and for all the remedy of magic thinking ? i mean tell us facts to guide us to return to the land of rationality , ….what facts ?
    Tell us doctor professor R.H. how the brain ( electro-chemical networks ) generates your urge to defend naturalism as the absolute fact…. then we , the magic thinkers , will be convinced that the world of reason and rationality is in reality a mirage and that the the world of the blind , dumb , dead , mindless matter …..mere matter is the ultimate fact , help us professor doctor to see the truth , lift the veil of sanity so that we can enter the wonderful world of the absurd.
    Thanks professor doctor R.H. as without your help the magic thinkers would have remained in the land of ultimate reality……thanks again.

  54. As for Matt.`s parable of the tree , it badly misrepresent my point , ….no one Matt. can climb the tree as it extends in a higher dimension reality , so how could a 3D person reach its top….this is the true metaphor my dear friend.

  55. Why every opponent refuse to give a clear clarification of any one of my points just to show that transcending the physical by the physical is possible ?
    Just one clear sound example will refute all my points that are concentrated on the impossibility of the physical to generate the formal , then as a logical step there must exist extra-physical effector to generate , guide , control , inform , direct the physical.
    Matt. bypassed my point of whence the MUST of the higgs came-from , or whence QM. came from , the point is : what generated all laws , rules and principles including QM. from the start ?….the physical does not have the means to generate its operating rules and laws ….that is the point…..
    Why desisting from any answer ?
    Can any computer generate its operating system ? they may say , yes an algorithm can generate it !!!! see what i mean ? any algorithm needs conscious generator , the point is ; can any physical system generates its formal operating rules . ??

    • Jyri Tynkkynen

      I have to admit I find it difficult to follow your logic sometimes. You seem to repeat a circular reasoning “there must be a transcendent explanation to the universe, so there is a transcendent explanation to the universe.”
      “Show that transcending the physical by the physical is possible.” Why does it have to be possible? Maybe it just isn’t?
      “The physical does not have the means to generate its operating rules and laws.” True, in a sense, but irrelevant. The physical just *IS*, and we may never get to know why it is like it is.
      “Can any computer generate its operating system?” No, yet the universe is *NOT* a computer, i.e. the idea of a computer implies a maker of it, since it only can exist if some one created it. You seem to think the sane way of the universe: It only can exist if some one created it.
      This is where you go wrong (logic wise). Theoretically, the universe can exist without some one designing it and setting the laws of physics etc.
      Whether this actually happened is another question.

  56. Really amazing , incredible to the highest degree !! , you agree with my main points then like drinking a coke just ignore its meaning…..
    Well , take your last point of a universe that can exist without a creator , for years now i am screaming : to believe in the physical generating the physical from NOTHING just prove it by showing -in principle–ANY kind of pure physical generator…..do not start from previous something , start from ultimate nothingness…..
    OK. , PROVE IT , no babbling will do.
    Atheism is based on such quick sand to the point of ultimate absurdity.
    As for your first point , you distorted what i claim, which is : If there is no physical generators of laws , principles , rules , ( STUFF from nothing ) then the ONLY explanation is the transcendental one….
    Prove me wrong by showing a reasonable such generator ( in principle )
    I will exit this circular argument unless one reasonable atheist will accept the challenge…….but it just impossible , dont say i am dogmatic bigot ; prove me wrong.
    The end.

  57. Jyri Tynkkynen

    What you say is “as we don’t fully understand A then B must be true”, “A” being the physical structure of the universe and “B” being the universe created by (presumably the Christian) God.
    Logically, it’s not true.
    1) We don’t understand A fully at the moment, therefore we can’t show you “a reasonable such generator” for all the laws of physics.
    2) If A is not true, there are other hypothetical solutions to the problem than B (i.e. The Christian God).
    Therefore, *logically* you can NOT say “as not A then B.” That’s all I’m saying.
    As when it comes to gods, I prefer the hypothesis of the Finnish main god Ukko to make the world to appear from the egg of a goldeneye (bird).

  58. No more of this babbling , but one final advice , take it or leave it :
    When ALL of A is known , B will be proved true beyond any shred of doubt ..
    PS :
    Talking of GOD like what you did is the lowest possible degree of petty imaginable…..no more talk with such low standard of a person.

    • Really, aa.sh. You say “when all of A is known, B will be proved true.” Is it impossible to imagine C, or D, or E might be true, and not B?

    • Jyri Tynkkynen

      Hey! Who are you to scoff my religion? I find it every bit as plausible that the universe came from an goldeneye egg as if it were created in six days by the Judeo-Christian God. And there are thousands of other religions with their unique stories of the genesis. How can you claim your notion is the right one?
      (I’m just trying to point out the shortcomings of your ‘logics’.)
      Yours,
      Jyri the Low Standard Person

  59. I ask, “What is to be gained for anyone who truly knows where everything came from in the beginning?” Answer: “Not much at all! In fact, nothing! ” However, the question continues to be asked. The myths of religion provide a shortcut to such answers. If someone asks me, I can answer with assurance via countless myths, and not feel compelled to pursue the question further while I attend to the mundane… perhaps pursuing my own path to enlightenment via controlled and uncontrolled observations. Myth serves its purpose well..

  60. Because when we know ALL of A , Matt, this will be the conclusive 100 sigma proof where C, D , E , …..etc. must be discarded as mere nonsense.
    IT is your turn Matt. to prove -NOW- that physics is complete which you previously decided that it is impossible to achieve .
    I hereby declare that B is true and challenge you personally to refute that by very simple refutation—which i mentioned many times — just write the impossible equation : input physics , output feelings …..
    This a solid proof that as creation cannot- in principle – be COMPLETELY reduced to physics then any tiny bit of reason will lead to simple conclusion ; there must exist extra-physical effector …..
    WHY every one decline to refute this very simple proof ? if atheists /agnostics are so dead sure of their stand why they desist ? just show me how physical interactions generate forms / sensations / feelings/guiding / control/purposeful pathways……etc. then i am defeated forever …..
    Why talk , talk , talk ??? prove me wrong , silent me forever …
    I tell you why , it is the stand of an previous atheist ; man stands alone…
    It is the apotheosis of man…..damn arrogance.

    • Electronic noise makers in the arrogant void. We all exist within the same arrogant void – it is not damned unless you say it is so… :) Let it be!

    • I’ve already proven you’re logically inconsistent, which isn’t the same as saying that you’re necessarily wrong (which can’t be proven), merely that your arguments for why you’re right are full of holes.

      You just don’t know how to listen to anyone other than yourself. In all this time, in months of conversation, I’ve never seen you consider the possibility that someone else’s point of view might be right, and yours might not be. Somehow you believe you’re the lucky guy who’s been told the truth, and all the rest of us are poor, lost souls whose opinions aren’t worth as much as yours.

    • Jyri Tynkkynen

      “Creation cannot be reduced to physics…”
      This is your weak point. You think “the universe is created, therefore there must be a creator”.
      No wonder you can’t see the shortcomings of your own logics.
      And your utterly arrogant self-righteousness may doom you to remain that way.

      • Well, this isn’t so helpful either. Are you sure that creation and/or existence *can* be reduced to physics? This is not an obvious point…

        • Jyri Tynkkynen

          Sorry, I wasn’t clear enough. I was just trying to make a *semantic* comment about the word “creation” only.
          If you talk about “creation”, it implies something was “being created” which implies there’s “a creator” that did it. And that may lead you to think there *must* be a creator — or some other transcendent explanation to the fact that we exist.
          I do *not* know what lies behind the physical (if anything) and I’m afraid we will never really know that (at least in my life time).

  61. Elizabeth : it is not void knowledge , it is to know reality perse including your destiny ….you as a human was given something above and beyond matter , and for this you are responsible to try to elevate your transcendental self to match a realm of perfection , beauty , truth , justice , goodness….light….
    Why are you escaping from light to darkness , i do not mean EMF light , i mean a kind of soul/mind light by which you grasp the beauty of creation…
    Be noted that failure to elevate your self will leave you in a kind of horrible darkness where you are blind to all what is good , perfect and beautiful.
    This is the ultimate failure a human can reach….
    This is the truth proved by your real category as a thinking , sensing , feeling being able to feel awe and admiration of all what is high and exalted.
    Any one wants to refuse that gift so it be , he is the looooser , so take it or leave it so it was written , so it will be done.

    • Please learn to read between the lines. AA.AH., you are pursuing your own tangent, while dismissing others ability to see from their own perch. Icarus is a wonderful myth for good reason and warning.

  62. Listen to others saying what Matt. ? take this particular post , read all comments , can you find just one single reasonable opinion whereby i should change my stand ? are you saying that talking about meaning of it all is just logical holes ? what is the value of all what you are doing unless there are a grand design and exalted meaning ?i will dye , you will dye , then what Matt. ? do you want me to adopt your nihilism ? no sir , i wont , so if you are fed with what i say , i do not need your lessons any more…..
    thank you for your hospitality.
    aa.sh.
    farewell…….really.

    • See you soon. I hope in the meantime you’ll learn something about understanding what other reasonable people are saying. You have a sensible internal logic; so do they. But the big difference is while some of them (and I) can see your point of view (and then reject it), you can’t even see their point of view before you reject it. That’s why you say there are no “reasonable opinions” here. And that is your weakness, not theirs.

      I am not asking you to change your stand. I am asking you to understand and respect other people’s stands, as some of them respect yours (even though they disagree with it). M

  63. Richard Harkness

    Krystal, it’s helpful to understand the difference between the theory of evolution and the process of evolution. A simplified explanation: The occurrence of the *process* of evolution is incontrovertible fact. On the other hand, the *theory* of evolution is an attempt to connect the dots of the disparate aspects of evolution the process. The theory of evolution will always have gaps because it’s not possible to uncover all of the fossil records. Unfortunately there are folks out there who know full well this difference, but who would deceive you into thinking that evolution (the process) is “only a theory.” When I hear someone make such a claim, and it’s possible to catch their ear, I’ll attempt to explain the difference to them. The Catholic Church, after much reluctance, finally admitted that, yes, evolution is proven fact. And before that, the Church, after much reluctance, finally admitted that, yes, the sun, not the earth, is the center of our solar system. As the Pope has said (though in different words), whenever religion bumps into reality, it is religion that must kneel.

    • What is wrong with the concept of evolution is that its a misnomer, a misleading label slapped on a package. Yes, all living things obey principles of genetic inheritance; the genes have certain properties of adaptability. Defective or macro-mutations are simply damaged chromosomes. Sometimes this is caused by natural occurrence such as in overexposure to UV rays or, isotopic radiation, human intervention, (as in cross breeding of animals and plants) or, genetic engineering. These large changes are almost never beneficial and do not describe the process of natural selection. Micro-mutations on the other hand are gradual. They come in small jumps that allow the living organism to adapt to a change. Such mutations do not contradict the concept of genetic pre-programming.
      So, to an evolutionist, this process of micro-mutation is a proof that life came into existence all on its own. To a creationist, the very ability of adaptation proves that cells were engineered by an intelligent person.
      Therefore, it is conclusive that mutations are happening, but it is not conclusive that this happens by some blind chance. If this was the case, we would have to ask; why, and how is this possible? A sleek sports car doesn’t secretly mutate into a more speed efficient car because it is revved beyond what it can take, so that is now pushed into modifying its capabilities. Why would anything, anything at all evolve? Why? Logic tells us that it shouldn’t. If it strives to better itself or possesses an instinct to survive then it possesses thinking ability and intelligence. To think that a simple cell has intelligence to do what you and I could never accomplish is completely insane. So, the other alternative is; someone with intelligent mind must have designed a cell with ability to modify itself in order to survive. Which points to this fact, that life is something very special, worthy of preservation.
      That is precisely why belief in God is not oxymoron, and why evolution is a mislabelled package. You can buy that package if it makes you happy, true but a person who is looking for a meaning in life and asking those difficult questions that science calls abomination, such a person will recognize that the package is mislabelled and misleading to its content.
      So, words like; natural selection are OK, but not in the context of supporting the idea of Evolution. Process of adaptability is a fact, but not the process of evolution, as you have stated to me in your post.

  64. I was accused of not listening to other views , OK., RH. i am willing to listen to yours , when you say theory of evolution , what do you exactly mean ? we creationists— but without young earth or global flood or distortion of GOD`s creation by Adam`s sin—understand TOE as the explanation of the undirected march from atoms to mind , are we right ? now as a scientific theory it must have a clear outline / concept of the kind of that explanation..
    We are eager to hear your scientific outline view of generation of genomes , epigenomes , interactomes , gene regulatory networks , intrinsic cell behavior ….etc BUT A SCIENTIFIC OUTLINE not just-so stories , might , perhaps , maybe , could have been…….
    Believe me RH i am really want to hear your view and i will listen but of course i am not obliged to accept what is NOT based on scientific evidence…
    Fair ? OK. , i am listening.

  65. I would never believe that the Pope said : it is religion that MUST kneel !!
    Religion never kneels to any thing or else it is false religion , so please RH state what was said by the letter………
    You owe an apology to religion.

  66. How would i calm down ? revelation and reality are impossible to contradict each other , so the above mentioned statement is false…..even if the Pope uttered it which i doubt very much.

  67. This a point for reflection whereby Matt. may kindly elaborate a little…..
    I read that Schrodinger`s equation was not derived by any math. analysis , as one great physicist said : it is all from the mind of schrodinger , it is really amazing that mind alone can “” see “” a mathematical relation as complicated as that ( just take a look at its solution just for hydrogen atom ) !! it remind me of idiot savages where knowing no math. whatsoever they can “”see “”the square root of 12 digits or 20 digits prime numbers……
    Reflect on our amazing mind.

  68. Here it is very good -and important- for neuro-science to try to understand the electro-chemical correlates of those aspects of the mind , but it is grave mistake to reduce them to the E-CH. correlates ….here they commit category mistake similar to molecular biologists when they reduce the flower to its molecules then FLOWERNESS disappears completely…
    We need to restore the feeling of wonder and awe ….this is an essential aspect of our human nature.
    Feel the wonders of our material world , never reduce it to its building blocks , do not miss the forest for some tiny trees….for me Schrodinger equation represent such mental beauty that almost fill my eyes with tears of wonder.

  69. Would some expert please answer my following Q :
    What is the physical proof – if any – that cosmic constants , laws , QM rules , principles are contingent not necessary ?
    This is not for argument , i really need the answer…..thanks.

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