Natural and supernatural

What evidence, at all, demonstrates the supernatural? Let’s start there. If you can demonstrate the supernatural, then we can add it into the realm of possibilities for the few remaining ‘god of the gaps’ arguments.

We need to first define what does natural and supernatural mean.

Here’s the definition for natural that I propose: things in our universe that are empirically detectable and/or obeys the laws of physics.

Supernatural would be things outside our universe or things inside our universe that do not obey the laws of physics.

nd yet, ‘science’ still makes inferences to suggest the universe may very well be eternal.

All I’ve seen so far is an assertion that it can be eternal. Again, what evidential support is there for it?

Negative. “Wiki” can be edited at will. Hence, I ignore it.

And what you are also ignoring is my request for you to provide the definition of the laws of thermo. Or do you agree with the definition I’ve provided, even though you don’t like Wikipedia?

Well, does “naturalism” empirically exist? Yes.

Don’t know what you’re asking. “Naturalism” does not exist. Things in nature exist. Also, not all things in nature are empirically detectable or measurable.

Let’s point out things in our universe that are not empirically detectable. One is singularities in our universe. They cannot be directly measured or observed. So scientists infer their existence.

“Supernaturalism’ cannot be demonstrated on its own, unless you can demonstrate it here and now? In which case, we can then, and only then, add it to the list of possibilities for the remaining unknowns.

There are multiple arguments for the supernatural. This origin of the universe is just one argument. Prior to this we covered morality. And we’ve spend extensive time covering the resurrection of Jesus. Also I touched on the fine-tuning of the universe.

So something can be outside our universe and still be considered natural?

I’m not sure I understand your question here?

Is the multiverse natural?

otseng wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 9:10 am What about a singularity? It doesn’t follow any natural laws.

Then it must be ‘supernatural’ :)

According to your definition, yes.

“Anything which a) breaks known natural law and b) breaks yet-to-be-known natural law would be defined as ‘supernatural’.”

otseng wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 9:10 am What about the laws of thermo? Do you accept it? How can the universe be eternal if we are not in the heat death?

I accept that I’m out of my depth, in relation to folks like Sean Carrol and Alan Guth, who have dedicated their lives in the study of these topics and who postulate an eternal universe, based upon following the evidence wherever it leads.

An eternal universe position is held in the extreme minority of scientists. Further, I have yet to see any evidence, rather than just assertions, to support it.

Since I have provided evidence the universe is finite, provided physical laws of the universe, and provided logical argumentation, it supports my position the universe was created supernaturally.

Think about all the prior unknowns, which became later knowns through ‘science’.

It’s not relevant because I’m not technically making a god of the gaps argument. It’s not, “I don’t know, so it’s god.” I’m providing evidence and logical argumentation and also falsification.

Great. Is there <A> standard to determine WHO exactly is doing the spinning of the presented “evidence”?

In the case of Wikipedia, there is a record of all edits. So, this history of edits is the evidence of bad changes.

You would first have to demonstrate this God. Thus far, all you’ve got for demonstration, is linking this asserted god to ‘we do not know yet.’

I have, through the laws of thermo.

Do you trust ‘science’, regarding this topic?

Science is a tool. Yes, I trust it as a tool. Is it totally reliable? No. Should we believe everything a scientist says? No. Do I value science? Yes. Do I have an undergraduate and graduate degree in science fields? Yes.

The “supernatural” has not been demonstrated at all.

You just admitted a singularity is supernatural. Also violating the laws of thermo would be supernatural.

‘Science’ has never thought of this otseng. They just (deny deny deny) to avoid the ‘godidit’ conclusion.

Exactly. They presuppose the supernatural does not exist so they reject all supernatural conclusions.

otseng wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2024 9:10 am There’s a difference in my proposal of God in this instance than all other god of the gaps in the past (god causing rain and thunder, god causing acts that insurance companies won’t cover). God of the gaps arguments retreat when a naturalistic answer is found. Here, there is no retreat, but rather a falsifiable position of theism (and in my case Christianity).

I see them as the same otseng. Your god is apparently only hiding behind the remaining concepts in which have not yet been resolved. The ones that have been resolved, which are many, have not yet revealed anything “supernatural”. So. like I said already, fingers crossed. :thanks:

What concept hasn’t been resolved? That the supernatural can exist? I’ve already provided multiple arguments for the existence of the supernatural.

POI wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2024 3:01 pm No. I provided a source, which was spun. My prior point is that public figures and arenas, like Sean Carroll, Alan Guth, and NASA, are aware of the laws of thermo and still infer an eternal universe.

I’m asking for what evidence do they present the universe is eternal. If you cannot produce it, it is simply the argument from authority. Not only is it fallacious, but it is placing your faith in what someone else believes.

Seems you are suggesting they all get there based upon ‘godidit’ denial? This would be quite the conspiracy. Again, “we-do-not-know-yet” does not equal ‘supernatural’ causation. I’ve made no assertion that we know the ‘origin’, if any. So far, all scientific discoveries lead to “naturalism” alone. The time to assume ‘supernaturalism’ is when ‘supernaturalism’ has actually been demonstrated. Take Santa Claus for instance. Such a claim defies physics, making him ‘supernatural’. How might one go about demonstrating the existence of Santa Claus? Not by merely referencing “not-yet-knowns”, right? Well, as I’ve been saying all along, ‘origins’ of the universe, if any, is one of the last bastions for you to slap ‘godidit’ upon. The time to assert ‘god’ is when ‘god’ is actually demonstrated. Thousands of years ago, a similar discussion may be had regarding assertion(s) of Thor. We did not yet know the origin of lightening. And not until relatively “recently”, did we know.

Sounds more like ranting and a repetition of things you’ve already said.

otseng wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2024 7:55 am And what you are also ignoring is my request for you to provide the definition of the laws of thermo. Or do you agree with the definition I’ve provided, even though you don’t like Wikipedia?

You are still missing my point. Part of the scientific community infers an eternal universe, and I’m quite confident any/all laws are already taken into account.

So what if part of the scientific community believes something? One can find many different claims from the scientific community.

What if I simply argued by presenting beliefs from part of the Christian community? Who cares really. What is important instead is their justification for their belief and is it based on evidence and logical reasoning. This is what I’m asking for.

Seems you’ve missed my point again. I’ve been asking for any demonstration of any ‘supernaturalism’.

That is why I keep going back to if making an inference is allowable in “demonstrating” something to be true. Do you agree or disagree that inferences are allowed to demonstrate something to actually exist?

The ‘origin’, if any, is still unknown. Hence, science must be in denial, according to otseng. The readers can read the other aforementioned topics you listed.

With the origin of the universe, we see another dead end that science has reached. Modern science can only reach so far in its methodology.

otseng wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2024 7:55 am Is the multiverse natural?

What a minute, we have actual ‘evidence’ to infer a multiverse? Isn’t the postulation of a “multiverse” from models, and the like, as well? Hmm? Isn’t this still under investigation too, just like the (finite/eternal) investigation of the universe?

You’re the one who brought by Alan Guth. He believes in other universes…

otseng wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2024 7:55 am According to your definition, yes. “Anything which a) breaks known natural law and b) breaks yet-to-be-known natural law would be defined as ‘supernatural’.”

We know everything there is to know about ‘singularities’? “God” must be hiding out here too.

With your definition of natural, we have things that are not natural. Thus the supernatural exists. Yes, God can be included in the supernatural since it also fits your definition.

otseng wrote: Wed Jun 05, 2024 7:55 am An eternal universe position is held in the extreme minority of scientists. Further, I have yet to see any evidence, rather than just assertions, to support it.

Then you just shot yourself in the proverbial foot. Evolution denial is among the extreme minority of scientists. Scientists claim the evidence is overwhelming that evolution is a thing. They must either be lying, or, maybe it’s instead you who are spinning the evidence?

Actually, with your logic, it’s the reverse. Since you brought up a minority position among scientists that the universe is eternal, then it’s inconsistent to bring up a majority position among evolutionary scientists.

But the number of scientists believing something should not be the basis for what is plausible. Again, it goes back to the evidence and logical reasoning.

Evolution is a theory, while the origin, if any, of the universe is not. No one knows yet.

We can add the origin of life also to no one knows yet.

Your “epistemology” has been exposed.

I’ve been consistently stating my epistemology. A justified true belief should be based on rational argumentation and evidence. Do you agree or disagree with this? Or should a belief just be based on what an authority believes?

You just demonstrated that “wiki’ is not a reliable source. Thanks. Hence, I ignore them.

The way I see it is you ignore anything that is contrary to what you want to believe. Again, if you do not accept the definitions of the laws of thermo that I’ve presented, please present your own source on what they are.

Right, so institutions like NASA, Allen Guth, and Sean Carroll are completely irrational and/or in complete denial.

Appeal to authority fallacy.

Do you trust NASA, Sean Carroll, and Alan Guth, when they infer an eternal universe, based upon their inference of evidence?

I’m all for inference (which you seem to be against). But an inference must be based on actual evidence. So, again, what is the evidence that they have for an eternal universe?

Then you are in “science” denial. Which is one of the two reasons you infer god.

1) Reject theory which conflicts with (your) specific Biblical beliefs
2) Rubberstamp a god upon the not-yet-known.

No, it’s not me that is in science denial. I completely understand what is science. I’ve also explained the philosophy of science and the underpinning assumptions and the limitations of science.

At the end of the day, we trust science all the time without extensively testing how and/or why what it says, actually works. This is why I repeatedly speak of ‘faith’.

I’ll let readers assess who is the one appealing to faith and who is the one appealing to evidential reasoning.

POI wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 12:02 pm Please change the title of this exchange. I’m not advocating for or against ‘steady state’.

Don’t have to ask me to change it, you can change the title for your own posts.

I have, but you spun it, and also mentioned ‘models’. If the ‘evidence’ was “hard hitting,” in either direction – (finite/eternal), it would no longer be continued to be a) a real great debate, and it would also b) be theoretical – like germ, cell, gravity, and evolution.

I’m correcting, not spinning. I explained presenting a model is not presenting evidence. And who’s the one spinning if I’ve asked a basic request to provide definitions for the laws of thermo but then you respond by saying you’re done explaining?

And what “hard hitting” evidence have you presented? Hypothetical models? Assertions from scientists? YouTube videos on obsolete theories?

otseng wrote: Fri Jun 07, 2024 7:01 am It is special pleading if scientists can use inference, but Christians cannot use inference to demonstrate God exists.

I’ve explained why it is not. Demonstrate anything under ‘supernaturalism’ at all, and you can then infer ‘supernaturalism’. All inferences to a conclusion, by science’, are under the umbrella of ‘naturalism’ alone.

This is hiding behind “science” again because it assumes naturalism is true. Your argument is thus circular.

My point here though is not emphasizing the supernatural, but emphasizing the use of inference to come to a conclusion. It should not matter what the result is, if the evidence and inference leads to a conclusion, it is a valid argument by itself, regardless if it is contrary to what one wants to believe.

Skeptics appeal to “science” because it by default excludes any supernaturalistic explanation. But even with this, as we’ve seen with your definition of natural/supernatural, scientists are already violating this assumption. We see this with singularities in our universe and with other universes outside our universe. This is just the beginning of things postulated that we cannot empirically measure and have no idea how they work. They are all just a bunch of ad hoc ideas that are presented to hold up their ideas. But with the breakdown of violation of the basic definitions and assumptions, we see it cannot logically hold together.

Many videos, especially nowadays, are “clickbait.”

And yet you critique me of citing Wikipedia?

The overarching point is that there is still much work to do. If you watch until near the end, new discoveries are still being explored.

I’m not going to waste my time watching an entire video that is clickbait and discussing obsolete theories. If there’s a relevant thing in the video, quote what it says instead of just posting the video and expect me to watch the entire thing.

‘Science’ is not even close to solving all of the world’s problems or unanswered questions. And maybe it will not be able to ever solve all of them? But this does not then mean you get to shoehorn ‘god’ in there, as an unproven placeholder. ‘God’ needs to be demonstrated on its own merit(s).

Nobody is claiming science is even close to solving all things. As a matter of fact, it solves very little. Even basic things as gravity scientists have no idea how it works. We don’t even know what exactly is light. Sure, we can describe those things, but we don’t really know what those things are.

I’m not “shoehorning” God as an explanation. I’m not even presenting a god of the gaps argument. What I am doing is presenting the laws of physics and logically arguing for a supernatural causation. Do I claim I’m doing “science”? No. Because the tool of science automatically rejects any supernatural explanation (which I argue scientists are already violating this). What I am doing is using logical reasoning and deduction. And the only way to counter my argument is to assume the supernatural does not exist.

And stating that ‘Science’ comes to a dead-end. even if this were true, does not demonstrate the ‘supernatural’.

That’s why I’m not claiming I’m making a scientific argument, but a logical argument. It’s not like science is the only game in town to arrive at truth. As a matter of fact, as you say, “‘Science’ is not even close to solving all of the world’s problems or unanswered questions.” Fundamentally, we have to use logic (which science itself is based on) to arrive at truth.

It just means we either do not know (yet) and/or do not have the proper tool(s) to test any further. Not ever knowing what is on the other side of the fence does not then ever mean ‘god’.

It just means “science” cannot arrive at all truth (whether it means a naturalistic explanation and especially a supernaturalistic explanation).

The over-arching point(s) I’m making, outside this video, is that (eternal vs finite) is not settled and placed into the category of theoretical, like germ, cell, gravity, and evolution.

Nothing in science is settled. In principle, everything in science should be falsifiable. So, nobody, including me, is saying anything in science is settled. Even our understanding of germs, cells, gravity, and evolution are not settled either.

You again missed my point. Allow me to draw a parallel.

— I already assume Dr. Craig is aware of all of the Bible before some atheist debater comes along to pose a contradiction/other. The question then becomes, is Dr. Craig spinning/deflecting/rationalizing to protect the Bible or not?

(Verses this):

— I already assume NASA, Alan Guth, and Sean Carroll are aware of the laws of thermo. before some Christian comes along to pose a contradiction/other. The question then becomes, is/are NASA, Guth, and Carroll ‘spinning/deflecting/rationalizing‘ to protect science or not?

How can one tell if one is spinning/deflecting/rationalizing? Bottom line, it should be based on logical reasoning and evidence. If one side fails to provide these, but instead just use fallacious arguments and no evidential support, then they are spinning it.

Yet again, the time to entertain the ‘supernatural’ is exactly when anything ‘supernatural’ has been demonstrated. I’ve already explained ad nauseum.

Yes, you’ve stated this ad nauseum. And as I’ve explained as well, I’ve demonstrated it through inference and evidence.

I again ask, please demonstrate that all scientists who state ‘I don’t know‘ is actually secret code for “godidit, and I can’t say that out loud“. Can you do that?

Why do I need to do that if science cannot use the supernatural as an explanation? It’s a meaningless request.

Which then means we do not yet know if a ‘singularity’ does or does not break “naturalism” at all.

Actually, we do know. The known laws of physics do not apply with singularities.

“A singularity is a point where gravity is so intense that space, time, and the laws of physics, break down.” … elativity/

“Singularities are points that when mathematically described give an infinite value and suggest areas of the universe where the laws of physics would cease to exist — i.e. points at the beginning of the universe and at the center of black holes.” … y-problem/

Could it be we later have a naturalistic explanation in the future for singularities? Could be. But at the moment, we don’t. They are beyond the ability for our current physics to explain them.

To be clear, I’m not arguing god-did-it with singularities. I’m simply pointing out the definition of naturalism is also breaking down and pointing to the supernatural.

The big hangup I see is the baggage the word “supernatural” has. All I mean is it is not natural. Supernatural conjures up ghosts and goblins, angels and demons, etc. Though the supernatural could contain these things, all I’m claiming is there exists things beyond our natural world or things in our natural world beyond our physical laws.

The Bible is not well defined, at all.

Why this standard the Bible has to be “well defined”? Not even science is well defined since it violates its own definition of naturalism.

If we at least knew, for sure, when/if a local/global flood was supposed to take place, that would be an EXCELLENT start to at least reconcile whether or not the Bible’s claim comport with ‘scientific’ discovery or not?

Actually, I’ve spent considerable time on a global flood and presenting evidence and logical arguments to support it. See Start discussing flood.

A) Is “science” in cahoots to deny ‘godidit’? Or..
B) is it instead more likely your epistemology is shining through here, and any ‘scientific’ propositions which challenges your direct beliefs about the Bible are to be spun accordingly?

False dichotomy. Again, science assumes naturalism to be true, therefore it cannot allow God to be an explanation.

Meaning, where exactly IS this absent god? Can you please produce him for me?

Nobody is claiming God can be “produced”. Are you saying something needs to be produced in front of your eyes in order for you to believe something could exist?

So far, all you’ve given us is –> Current dead end = “god”. Sorry, that ain’t gonna fly.

This would be an example of spinning. What I have given is evidence and logical arguments for a positive case of a supernatural creator. And I’ll be summarizing it soon. And I hope you’ll likewise give your summary argument and evidence for an eternal universe.

The field itself has to currently admit no answer yet. It’s still up for debate. And (your position) is because ‘science’ wants to deny ‘godidit.’ :shock: You want to offer your “conclusion” before the problem has actually been solved.

If I gave the Christian version of this to Biblical claims, I’m sure skeptics would not accept it.

Christianity itself has to currently admit no answer yet. It’s still up for debate. And (your position) is because ‘theology’ wants to say ‘godidit.’ :shock: You want to offer your “conclusion” before the problem has actually been solved.

This forum will do nothing to change the world, I’m afraid. No one here will change their minds or positions.

My goals are not that ambitious.

POI wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 12:59 pm I see this conversation going sideways because you are addressing apples, where-as I’m addressing oranges. Allow me to try to pull our two conversations together below. Please remember the title of this thread, why trust the Bible?

And what I’m doing is trying to focus on is the current subtopic – is the universe created or eternal? – instead of going off on all these tangents. So, we should be addressing the apples, not the oranges.

otseng wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:03 am

POI wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 11:36 am Does ‘I don’t know‘ have a HARD EXCLUDE for ‘god’?

You tell me since you’re the one with the “I don’t know” position.

I genuinely do not know. But I sincerely doubt the Bible God exists nowadays. But it’s still not a “hard exclude” either.

I have looked into all the major arguments for God existing and not existing. And the preponderance of the evidence is in favor of the existence of God.

otseng wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:03 am Why does God need to convince everyone? Does God provide evidence? Yes. Does God need to prove things? No.

Point missed here. Seems like the Bible God wants personal relationships with his creation. Does he not?

You keep on saying I’m missing your point. It’s because I’m trying to discuss apples and see no relevance to all these assertions you bring up with the current topic. Yes, God wants a personal relationship with us, but it has nothing to do with the argument either the universe is created or eternal.

We have ‘solved’ topics and ‘unsolved’ topics in science. This sub-topic is addressing an unsolved one.

The position the universe is eternal is extremely small among cosmologists and the standard position is the universe has a finite age. Really appealing to it as being “unsolved” is a meaningless assertion. Technically, science can’t “solve” anything because all scientific hypothesis are falsifiable. But what we have to go by is what we currently know and not just throw up our hands in the air because a position might be falsified in the future.

I’m basically the only one engaging here. Likely for two reasons:

1) Very few subscribers, if any at all, have extensive backgrounds in this particular topic, (including me).
2) The field of ‘science’ itself has not ‘resolved’ the question of (finite vs eternal).

Remember you were the one who made the initial claim, so I decided to address that claim. And per the rules on this forum, if someone makes a claim, anyone can ask that person to support that claim:

5. Support your assertions/arguments with evidence. Do not persist in making a claim without supporting it. All unsupported claims can be challenged for supporting evidence. Opinions require no support, but they should not be considered as valid to any argument, nor will they be considered as legitimate support for any claim.

It is likely true few have taken classes on thermodynamics and cannot engage in this debate. But if one is going to debate this topic, shouldn’t they at least try to understand it instead of just completely dismiss it and ignore it?

As it stands, I reckon there are devoted and focused people, much more involved than you and I, working on this stuff day and night, and still do not have an answer. Call it ‘faith:)

I find it so ironic that I’m the fundamentalist Christian here who is presenting logical arguments and evidence to support my position, but you as a skeptic is relying on faith.

First, I would like to even further address this continued ‘Wiki’ concern, because you continue to bring it up. In the past, I would also sometimes use “Wiki”, but then when I would later go back to the same ‘Wike’ topic I just addressed, I would see the description would completely change. I now just ignore it. There’s plenty of other placed to address info. So when you send me a ‘Wiki”, I’m just going to ignore it.

And that’s why I’ve kept asking you to provide definitions of the laws of thermo. If you go through this exercise, then you’ll discover there is no disagreement with what wikipedia says compared to any other source.

Second, I’m not appealing to authority here. As I’ve stated, ad nauseam, I’m pretty dang sure that any/all “Cosmologists”, who are worth their weight in salt, know about the laws of thermo. when still inferring to an ‘eternal universe’.

By definition you are appealing to authority:

“The appeal to authority fallacy is the logical fallacy of saying a claim is true simply because an authority figure made it.” … y-fallacy/

“Insisting that a claim is true simply because a valid authority or expert on the issue said it was true, without any other supporting evidence offered.” … -Authority

Fallacious appeals to authority take the general form of:

1. Person (or people) P makes claim X. Therefore, X is true.

A fundamental reason why the Appeal to Authority can be a fallacy is that a proposition can be well supported only by facts and logically valid inferences … ity-250336

God wants to be detected.

How do you know what God wants? And just because God might not conform to what you think God wants doesn’t mean the universe was not created.

When I say the universe was created, I’m not necessarily saying it’s any particular god that did it. It can be a deist God or a theist God. It can either be Allah or Yahweh. Or it can even be The Creator Mind.

If you wish to instead argue that God does NOT want a relationship with his creation, and remain ‘hidden’, like “Multiverses” and “singularities”, then I guess we are DONE here. God has succeeded in playing hide-and-go-seek. ‘God’ is the ultimate master in hiding. But please do not argue FOR the Bible.

Red herring argument.

But we can appeal to the past, ala the “god of the gaps“. Has God been produced anywhere, where ‘god(s)’ were previously asserted to be? I think not.

Likewise I can also bring up all the scientific hypotheses in the past that have been proven they were wrong.

Maybe there is no way for you and I <to agree> on what ‘supernatural’ actually means?

I’m just going by your definition, unless now you say you reject your own definition.

1a) Falls outside understanding of (not-yet-‘concluded’) natural law.
1b) Falls outside understanding of (‘concluded’) natural law.

What exactly is a “natural” law? Also, this would be circular logic since what we’re defining is natural and supernatural.

At the end of the day, the theist argues that we all operate under faith. Which is exactly what you are doing.

No, I’ve been presenting logical arguments and evidence, specifically with the laws of thermo. Just because you don’t understand it doesn’t mean I’m arguing by faith.

‘Science’ inferring ‘multiverses’, without demonstrable evidence, is somehow EQUAL to a theist inferring ‘god’. But I explained above why they are not one-in-the-same.

Never claimed they are “equal”. But what they do share is the use of inference. So it would be special pleading if inference is not allowable for God, but allowable for a multiverse.

otseng wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2024 8:03 am The fundamental assumption of science is a statement of faith. It assumes the supernatural does not exist. Can you provide anything to back up this assumption? If not, then it’s purely a faith statement.


Science assumes naturalism is true:

Methodological naturalism is the label for the required assumption of philosophical naturalism when working with the scientific method. Methodological naturalists limit their scientific research to the study of natural causes, because any attempts to define causal relationships with the supernatural are never fruitful, and result in the creation of scientific “dead ends” and God of the gaps-type hypotheses. To avoid these traps, scientists assume that all causes are empirical and naturalistic, which means they can be measured, quantified and studied methodically.

Can anyone provide logical arguments and evidence naturalism is true? No. I would even go so far as to say there are no inferences naturalism is true.

Could there ever actually ever be enough ‘evidence’ to cause you to infer there exists no Bible God?

We can take that up in the next discussion and you can go ahead and present your evidence.

This is why I’m asking you to look at my other thread (viewtopic.php?t=41274).

I’ve taken a peek at it and it’s not really relevant to whether God exists or not. At most, it only might explain why people might believe or not believe in God.