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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Question that destroys #Atheism

I(X) = Ex 1/n E/LOG SI  S/T (G)

There is one heavy question that destroys #atheism:

A) Matter is information 
B) Matter cannot produce it on its own- needs sentient sender.  
C) Sentient Sender must be intelligent and Causal/Mover Agent in order to code matter.  

Who/What is this sentient sender?  


  1. Replies
    1. Idiot for posting Physics? Really? I think you're projecting your self assessment. Why haven't you answered the question?

      The idiot is one who falls for the sophistry of Sam Harris which I replied to on your Google+

      My reply to Harris' stupidity:
      Harris as usual misrepresents God and Catholicism. He is judging God based on human experience and definitions of behavior/acts. To us, the death of children and people in general is something bad - an evil. However, to God it is not as such. God created them. He takes their lives back. This is the big difference that Harris does not comprehend. Take DaVinci for example. He painted the Mona Lisa. If he were alive today and painted a mustache over her face would he be vandalizing the painting? No, of course not. Why? Because the painting was made by him - he is the owner. To him, he is just altering his work. Can God do evil? No, because everything belongs to Him - He created everything. To us who are finite creatures, loss seems permanent from our point of view. However, to God it is not. In regards to hell and others believing in "different god" the Church is clear on this. Hell is the state of the soul when separated from the love of God. Imagery of "fire and brimstone" is used to describe how horrible it is to lose the love of God. The Church also teaches that even though others might not be Christian, this does not mean they are going to hell or are damned. The belief in other deities if they promote morals are what the catechism describes as the "shadows" of God. There is only One God hearing any prayers offered, even if those prayers are offered to a Hindu, Muslim, Pagan etc god. God will not judge those people based on what designation they give Him. He will judge them on their actions. Even an Atheist who is good, helps others can go to heaven if he/she never heard of God or never had the opportunity to be evangelized. Lastly, in regards to the Eucharist. There is nothing wrong with believing in transubstantiation. Harris misrepresents this Sacrament. The Church teaches that the bread and wine remain as such but the essence of them changes. This happens in nature all the time, but in the inverse. Take a leaf for example. During the summer it is green and during Fall it changes into different colors and its texture changes. Does it cease to be a leaf when the change happens? No, the accidents changed (or the outside changed), but the essence (or what it truly is) remains the same - a leaf. Harris presents the typical ignorance atheists promote. He destroyed nothing but his ability to comprehend concepts that he applies intellectual sloth to. 

    2. So would it be ok to kill my children since, technically, I gave them life. Moron.

    3. I think what has happened here that the sheer magnitude of utter dishonesty, arrogance (destroys atheism?) and incoherence in your premise overwhelmed this poor chap's rational thought process and he wrote the first cogent thought that came to his mind. I know it was mine, and then this was my second.

  2. I don't know. Who is the "sentient sender"?

  3. Is it your claim that all information must have a sentient sender? Information can't exist without a sentient sender?

    Sorry, I just need that clarified as your syllogism is somewhat sloppy.

    1. There is no claim, only a question.

    2. No. There's only one question above and that is "who/what is the sentient sender?"

      The question itself relies on a premise that there must be a sentient sender of information. That premise, in turn, relies on your premises A and B. I'm asking you to clarify A and B please.

    3. The question reflects the predicament between ABC which seeks a resolution.

    4. ABC only needs resolution if premises AB are true and lead to conclusion C. I'm asking you to clarify the premises so that I can validate (or otherwise) conclusion C. Thanks.

    5. In fact, I was totally wrong. A, B and C aren't a badly constructed argument after all. They're not even an argument. They are three indepdendent BARE ASSERTIONS.

      Please support A B and C so that the discussion can move forward.

    6. Physics is now a "bare assertion?" You will post anything to to post. :) I'm surprised at the amount of Atheists who are not educated in physics.

    7. Are you going to support your claims or not? You are saying that Premises A-C are scientifically correct (physics). Support that claim. Also, define information.

    8. The information can be found in any physics textbook. Basically everything that exists is information. The way they are formed is called information by physicists. The material pattern and composition of YOU, your kids, the Earth is information. In physics we know that information cannot be destroyed, only transferred. Physics also informs us that matter cannot produce information on its own without an intelligent sender. The question is: who put the information there? I use the word 'who' because only a person can have intelligence.

      In other words: imagine there is nothing. All of a sudden a blu ray disc appears with a movie burned on it. Can that happen? Can a blu ray with burned information appear out of thin air?

      The answer is no.

      The blu ray needs an intelligent sender to create it and burn the data of the movie on it. This universe is the blu ray and what's in it is the galaxies, planets, life forms etc.

    9. This isn't physics. The parameters of the question are wrong, and assert there must be a sentient sender of information, which depends on matter. A lot of information depends on energy, not matter, and the two are interchangeable. The question is malformed, because it assumes its parameters. But, even if the parameters were correct, we would still require evidence to support any answer.

    10. You're also making an analogy between artificial constructs and the natural world. This is a fallacy.

    11. It is physics. This deals with information theory. I posed a thought experiment based on it. Regardless of what information is dependent on, it still needs to be created in such a way that allows it to form into something that is distinct.

      To what artificial constructs are you referring to?

    12. If what you are saying is truly mainstream accepted physics it should realistically only take you a couple of minutes to find and provide links to peer reviewed scientific journals that can show what you say to be true and then move on any debate that would otherwise be stalled by people (whether it be you or someone else) that is incorrect in their understanding of physics.

    13. If what you are saying is truly mainstream accepted physics it should realistically only take you a couple of minutes to find and provide links to peer reviewed scientific journals that can show what you say to be true and then move on any debate that would otherwise be stalled by people (whether it be you or someone else) that is incorrect in their understanding of physics.

    14. If what you say is truly mainstream accepted physics then it should only take you a few moments to provide everyone with links to peer reviewed journals (seen as you are attempting to use physics to debate you should always give your sources and should have provided this information in the original post). This would show if your claims on the nature of physics are indeed correct or if you either made them up, misrepresented some science or simply failed to understand something correctly.

    15. This post deals with a Philosophical thought experiment using Physics. Peer review journals are not the be all end all of science. A peer reviewed journal simply means that others read it. It does not guarantee the information in a journal to be accurate. Remember, data in any journal is valid at the point it was tested. Eventually as with every part of science, that data can change or new methods of acquiring it can develop. The purpose of science and philosophy is to not be stuck on a specific discovery and end all inquiries thereafter. Thinking and re-thinking things must be part of science and philosophy. If you read the comments, I did provide cites for those curious to know more. May I note that a year after this post was published, physicists posted a study showing that this universe might be a computer program. Had I had this data then, I would have included that study here as well.

  4. Please support your claim that matter is information. Please start by defining "information". Please demonstrate how this is a principle known to the science of Physics.

    Please support your claim that matter needs a sentient sender. Please demonstrate how this is a principle known to the science of Physics.

    Please suppor that Sentient Sender must be intelligent and Causal/Mover Agent in order to code matter. Please demonstrate that this is a prinicple known to the science of Physics.

    Thank you in advance.

    1. This post is not meant to be a debate but a question for Atheists to answer - or attempt to answer. The information you request can be found in any physics text and even the writings of Hawkings.

  5. Save us all the trouble and tell me what pages In Hawkings writings support premise A and B. I think you understand that you have stated two points as fact when they are not in order to ask a question which would require A and B to be true. This pseudo science babble is meant to confuse the lay person.

    1. If you posit they are not fact, then why are you asking for pages? Go make the effort to actually do research.

    2. Wait, are you asking this person to go and read the writings of Hawkings to find out where he DIDN'T say this? I'm not sure if its possible to be more intellectually dishonest than that.

    3. Wait a minute, are you really asking this person to go and read the writings of Hawkings to find out where he DUDN'T say this? I can't think of anything that is anymore intellectually dishonest than that proposition.

    4. Just because you are not familiar with Hawking's work on information theory does not mean I am intellectually dishonest. Why would I invite all to research the matter if I was not sure it was correct? Thank about this.

    5. YOU made the claim that Hawking's writings support the claim A & B. There is a rule of debate, or logic anywhere in the intellectual world that places the burden of proof anywhere except upon the person making the claim.

      You say this information can be found in any physics textbook, or that Hawking's writings support all of this. When asked to provide this information, you asked other people to find it themselves, even asking the person to prove it was not fact.

      If it you are so sure that it is correct, why don't you simply post the information instead of doing the mental gymnastics you have become so adept at in order to avoid providing any actual proof for your claim. Since I am unfamiliar with Hawking's work on information theory, why not educate me? You are right, I am not well versed in his work and would love for someone to point me to his support of "we don't know where information comes from, therefore the Catholic God did it" theory.

      Telling me that I should do the research in order to prove YOUR claim, is extremely intellectually dishonest.

    6. YOU made the claim that Hawking's writings support the claim A & B. There is a rule of debate, or logic anywhere in the intellectual world that places the burden of proof anywhere except upon the person making the claim.

      You say this information can be found in any physics textbook, or that Hawking's writings support all of this. When asked to provide this information, you asked other people to find it themselves, even asking the person to prove it was not fact.

      If it you are so sure that it is correct, why don't you simply post the information instead of doing the mental gymnastics you have become so adept at in order to avoid providing any actual proof for your claim. Since I am unfamiliar with Hawking's work on information theory, why not educate me? You are right, I am not well versed in his work and would love for someone to point me to his support of "we don't know where information comes from, therefore the Catholic God did it" theory.

      Telling me that I should do the research in order to prove YOUR claim, is extremely intellectually dishonest.

    7. You seemed confused. I merely replied to allocutus that his inquiry regarding information theory can be found in Hawking's writings. He seemed to think I made this theory up.

      This blog is intended to start a dialog - a discussion. It does not exist as a reference source nor makes any claims as you can see from other posts where I question if God is good or not. I am not here to direct people on where to find information. A simple search on amazon for information theory will bring about thousands of book hits. The space on comments is limited and I cannot quote every journal or text out there on the issue.

      On my other blog, I do go more in depth by citing etc. This topic will come up in a future blog and will have the references for all to see and made up their minds. Again, this blog is what is called a "thought experiment." It proposes an idea based on the science of information theory in order to start a discussion.

    8. First of all, I do appreciate your posting differing opinions - you can delete the first of each of my last two posts if you like. I'm not sure why the second pair was double posted, the first pair was on my phone.

      Secondly, nice gymnastics.

    9. I left them up because I did not know if both were identical or not. I just read the last one posted. Unfortunately, blogger doesn't allow an editing feature where people can edit their comments.

      What gymnastics? This is a debate blog. My other blog goes into details on specific views.

    10. First you said that this is not a 'debate', but a question for Atheists to answer. But then you say it is 'intended to started a dialog' and 'this is a debate blog'

      If you want anyone to actually answer the question, support your starting premises or at least provide a source reference (as a scientist would).

      Do you want atheists to answer the question, or do you want a debate?

      Also, the title of this particular blog is not conducive to scientific debate, but is specifically designed to try to annoy atheists so they don't question your premises too closely.

    11. It is a question. This is a thought experiment using physics and philosophy seeking to answer the question of information in matter. This blog is a discussion blog that hosts formal debates as well.

      I already supported my premises which stem from the law of thermodynamics and information theory. If you have not studies physics, naturally, you would be lost in the question as you have demonstrated.

      The question annoys atheists because they cannot answer it making atheism impossible to defend.

  6. Evidently Cliffsnotes on fallacious arguments and Wiki physics won't do the trick for the atheist. I am going to guess that you will not receive a direct answer to the question

    1. Hence it is the question that destroys atheism.

  7. Of course, the only logical answer to this is "an imaginary dude on a cloud." Of course.

    Silly Christians.

    1. If that were true, then you and I are imaginary as well.

  8. Your question has "destroyed" NOTHING. If your so called all powerful sky daddy didn't want there to be atheists. Then he'd have actually done something about instead of some arrogant theist doing his dirty work for him. Everyone on the planet will be so much better off when they come to the simple rational conclusion that there is NO god

  9. The only theory that refers to the basic building block as "information" is Seth Lloyd's 2006 one whereby the universe is actually a quantum computer.

    Your "one heavy question" makes absolutely no sense in relation to that (or any other) theory.

    1. No, actually there are older theories than the one Llloyd proposed.

  10. As a physicist, I can pretty conclusively say there is nowhere that says that all information requires a sentient sender.
    The argument that you are making (that I'm assuming is a thermodynamic argument, cf. energy/mass conservation) is a construct describing the universe as it is, not the formation of the universe itself.

    It should also be noted that in the writings of Stephen Hawking (no s at the end) he proposes, not only that the universe is finite but without boundary (meaning it does not necessarily need to be created in the classical sense) but he also says that he is a proponent of the theory that particle/antiparticle pairs spontaneously form and annihilate in a vacuum, provided they do so within the planck time.

    This implies that matter spontaneously can come into being and out of being without the need for an external agent to control the process, which is in complete disagreement with your statement that the second and third points are scientific fact.

    That being said, I'm glad that you are trying to interact with people on the other side of the theist/atheist debate, and wish you well!

    1. Any physicist would be aware of this. The question is designed to make the atheist think. See my comment on: October 13, 2012 2:16 AM

      Hawking's conclusions are not widely accepted in the physics community. The no boundary model has many problems. For example, if the universe has no boundaries, then where is it expanding to? From where is it expanding to? Expansion begins at a certain point. Try to picture a balloon that has no boundaries but is expanding. Is that possible?

      Let's say the universe does not have boundaries, the question still remains regarding the laws that govern it. Where did they come from?

      There is no evidence that matter can spontaneously come into being without causality - whether intelligent/unconscious external or internal.

    2. At the same time, there is no evidence that matter can be created by a divine being.

    3. I should point out that I read your earlier comment, and it is quite simply untrue or at the very tamest misleading.

      I am a physicist. In no physics textbook or course would anyone ever say that matter information requires an intelligent sender. That is completely false.
      We do refer to matter/energy conservation and information being contained in matter, but you are twisting what we are talking about to a completely unrelated point.

      There has been a straw-man physical argument made here, that is inaccurate and unscientific.

      Also, why do the laws (which are descriptive, not prescriptive) need to come from somewhere?

      And while I'm at it, the particle/antiparticle explanation of vacuum energy whilst not 100% verified, DOES have evidence supporting it (Hawking Radiation for instance) and calls into question your underlying assumption that matter cannot spontaneously come into being.

      Essentially, your point is extremely flawed on a logical and physical basis.

    4. No, you are falling into a strawman fallacy. There is nothing misleading about my post or comment. As stated, the question is meant for atheists to think. It is not meant to be a lesson in physics, but a sort of thought experiment, if you will.

      There are some scientists who have made the
      suggestion such as Lisle,Gitt, Kaku,Filippenko, etc.
      As a physicist you would know that matter cannot produce information or code on its own. Information/code can only be traced back to a conscious mind. This is where
      you seem to be confused.

      My question is a mix of physics with philosophy.
      Furthermore, Hawking's radition deals with blackholes, not the entire universe. Are you suggesting that the entire universe is a black hole?

      In regards to the laws, well let me quote from Filippenko:

      "The question, then, is, 'Why are there laws of physics?'And you could say, 'Well, that required a divine creator, who created these laws of physics and the spark that led from the laws of physics to these universes, maybe more than one.' The 'divine spark' was whatever produced the laws of physics." - SETICon 2 conference June 2012

      There is nothing flawed in the post. What is flawed is the interpretation you are implying to it.

      Again, this is not a discussion of physics, but a philosophical question proposed using physics. Please answer the question to the best of your ability. If not, then please leave the discussion of theories of physics
      for another blog. I don't want the post to get cluttered with irrelevant comments.

      I'm only seeking an answer to the question from atheists.

    5. Justin, what evidence do you have to make such a claim?

    6. From this article it looks like you misrepresented Filippenko at the very conference you referred to in your text.

      If you finished his quote, he said "But that answer just continues to kick the can down the road, because you still need to explain where the divine creator came from. The process leads to a never-ending chain that always leaves you short of the ultimate answer"


      Other panelists stated that quantum mechanical fluctuations lead to universes much as I hinted earlier, though you disregarded it.

      My mention of physics is because in the comments you flat out state on several occasions that your three axioms are scientific fact, which they are not.
      You did not propose it using physics but using physics-like jargon.

      If you want an earnest answer to the question I say "There is no sentient sender" because your axioms are not based in science and are derived from a well-understood logical fallacy Re: The Ultimate Boeing 747 argument, which Filippenko himself references in the above quoted text.

    7. No I did not misrepresent him. I quoted the exact words that connected to the previous comment. You have to watch the entire conference and not rely on an article.
      In the link you posted, notice Filippenko does not rule out God which is what you seem to be
      suggesting without providing evidence for such a claim. Quantum mechanical fluctuations can lead to universes
      yes, - I never disregarded it- but you fail to understand the causality of them. I know of no physicist that believes this
      universe to be eternal. It will eventually have its end. Logically it follows that if something
      has an end, then it must have had a beginning. The rest of your comment is a strawman.
      I already explained to you the purpose of the question. As I stated before:

      "As a physicist you would know that matter cannot produce information or code on its own. Information/code can only be traced back to a conscious mind. This is where
      you seem to be confused."

      I do not understand why you reject this which is taught in physics. Either you are ignoring it or never learned it. It seems you are just taking a contrarian position, not a scientific one. Dr. Lisle even mentions it in a documentary I believe. Also, another physicist whose name escapes me at the moment, but he is a Mennonite if I recall correctly.

      Thank you for your answer, now can you provide evidence to support it? Since matter cannot produce code/information on its own, where did it (info/code) come from? Since information/code is complex and its origin has only been traced to a conscious intelligent mind, then how is it possible that matter - an unconscious unintelligent - substance can produce this complexity?

      An analogy that can describe your answer is the universe is a dvd that appeared burned with information unassisted by anything outside itself.

    8. You keep saying that I'm rejecting that which is taught in physics, but I am not.
      I am trying to clarify for you that which is actually taught in physics, rather than potentially the opinions of some people who happen to be physicists which is a different matter.
      For instance if a physicist were misogynistic or were racist then that would not be taught by physics.
      Also you misrepresent me and the point of my text- I never said the universe was eternal, and was trying to give evidence to show that the axioms that you are portraying as scientific fact are far from it, and there is evidence to demonstrate that matter ±(or information) can be produced spontaneously out of nothing.
      You say that the rest of my argument is a strawman, without justifying it or backing it up one jot- but for the sake of discussion I will humor you and assume (incorrectly) that your three axioms are sound.

      If matter cannot code on its own, and all matter is information, then surely anything with intelligence must be unable to code itself. All information requires a sentient sender.
      We humans have sentience, and need to be created by a greater intelligence.
      But any creator must contain more information than that which he is coding, therefore he must require a more complicated sentient sender.
      Who needs another sentient sender, etc.
      So the only way to terminate this sort of infinite chain is to invent a new type of information or matter (God for instance) which is immune to the creating itself axiom somehow.

      So this implies that your three axioms do not necessarily hold in all cases, and since there is evidence to support the spontaneous generation of matter in the universe (scientifically) then there is no reason why we should assume the universe is not immune to the same logic.

      I honestly ask that if you are going to address this point that you do not merely brush this aside as all of the last information I've given to you, but clearly explain why you think my reasoning is false.
      And as always, I wish you well.

    9. You are rejecting it. Notice how you completely ignored my points.

      You seem to think that this blog posting is a lesson in physics, it is not.

      It is a thought experiment directed at atheists based on what we know from Information theory, "There can be no information without a sender." as Gitt stated. I do not understand where you are going with "if a physicis were misogynistic.." that is irrelevant to the question. The question is a simple question based on information theory. I do not understand why you are having difficulty with it. The axioms are all part of the laws of information, anyone can do the research - as a matter of fact, I advised those who commented to do so. Whether matter/info can be produced out of nothing has no bearing on the question because the question deals with the "programming" of the information, if you will. The only thing here that you are humoring is your own strawman and scientism.

      Look at the question more from a philosophical view and you will understand it better. I invite you to contact Dr. Lisle and ask for his take. Please let us know his response.

      I appreciate your comments and never said your reasoning is false. However, as I stated, I don't want the blog post to get cluttered with comments that do not directly address the question.

  11. Equivocation of the word information is a common tactic of theists. This is why many have asked you to define information. It's also why this can be reduced to absurdity by asking,if god is the sender, who is the receiver? What is the message? Are we just the medium through which this message is transmitted? Do we all carry a different message?


    1. There is no equivocation. There is actually a study of information in physics. Your comment shows a strawman. You did not understand the question because you have no prior exposure to the content. The term "sender" means the one who programs. In other words, the question is: Since we know matter is information and it cannot instill information in itself; and we know that information can enter matter only by means of someone intelligent, then who or what instilled the code of information into matter?

    2. From what I can see, you've made an argument based on physics, but when people refute the physics, you tell them the physics isn't the point. That makes no sense. Then, when people ask you to provide a source for where you got your physics from (which I think is a fair request to make of someone offering a debate)you refuse, telling them to go find it. Surely it'd be better if you just posted your source?

      Anyway, in answer to your question (assuming your physics is correct) all it suggests is that there had to be a sentient being to start off the universe. I guess as that being is able to create a universe, calling it a God is fair enough. But, that only gets you as far as deism. It says nothing about whether that God is Zeus or Yahweh. A God starting the universe is as good a hypothesis as any for the start of the universe, but that doesn't explain why that same God expects us to follow certain rules which are hazy at best, without clarifying them in person.

    3. I used a blend of physics and philosophy. No one has refuted the physics, how can they? They can only attempt to refute whether the origin of information is a sentient being or not. This was not done.

      I tell people to go search because then if I do everything, they will not learn. They will get caught up believing the content is mine and will not bother to research it themselves.

      It could be deism, it could be pantheism. The universe could be god, who knows? This is what the post is about, to get a discussion going. Some theologians believe the universe are the thoughts of God. In other words, we are in God's mind - His dream or imagination

    4. But they can refute the physics- from what I've seen of the other comments, the hypothesis you've quoted (i.e. everything is information, information has to be sent) isn't as widely accepted and proven as you seem to be insisting. I certainly have never heard of it. This means you've based an argument on a point that isn't accepted, almost as if I said "If chocolate tastes like strawberry, and strawberry is better than banana, Chocolate is better than banana." Not everyone will accept chocolate tastes like strawberry, so they can't logically carry on with the argument. I hope that makes sense, and I hope it doesn't come across as if I'm attacking you, because that is not my intention.

      Also, you say that the origin of information has to be sentient- does that mean that a computer is sentient? Computers regularly send information.

      Personally, If I wanted to discuss the idea like you say you do, I'd offer the source as readily as possible so that half the discussion isn't people saying "Show us!"

      I can see the logic for their being a being that created a universe, but I don't think it's possible to attribute any thing else to that being at this moment, and that instead of just accepting it, our species should do as much as possible to find out as much as possible about this being.

    5. What are you talking about? This is taught in 200 level physic courses throughout the United States of America! Hawkings developed his Information paradox idea using this knowledge. The people who comment on here obviously never too physics and are aloof to the knowledge it possesses.
      Where is your evidence that this is not accepted?

      Computers send information, but can they create it on their own without assistance from a human being? Obviously, computers are not part of the equation because they lack this ability.

      Why isn't it possible to attribute any thing to that being?

    6. I think where you use the word 'information' the word 'energy' is normally used. This is where I, and it seems, others are confused.
      My evidence it isn't accepted is mainly in the comments above due to the misinterpretation of wording. (incidently, if I told you to go find the evidence as it's easy to find, how would you feel?!)

      So would a computer consider a human as a God?

      Well because your point only says that the being exists. Until you have more data, you don't know anything else about the being.

    7. Not at all. "Energy and information are related but
      independent, so the dynamical restrictions for one cannot be derived from those for the other." Duncan/Semura - Portland State University

      Energy and information relate with each other, but are not the same. Energy is more like the organization tool for information.

      Don't rely on comments made here. Most atheists are contrarians and will say anything for the sake of having an opposite argument.

      I understand your concern, but I don't have the time to quote every textbook, journal out there when one can use Kindle, Ipad or whatever to purchase texts regarding the information; or better yet, can use the library. If I see there is a lot of confusion, then I will try my best to cite sources that are easy enough for all to understand.

      If a computer is sentient, it might consider human as God. If my memory serves me well, this idea is touched upon in Schneider's Sci Fiction and Philosophy.

      Well if this being exists, there is only but so much data we can collect. We have to rely on the data we have not in order to make conclusions. It would be nice to have a dinosaur around to experiment on, but we only have fossil records. So if there is a God or being that controls all, then we have to rely on whatever data we have even if it may not be tangible.

  12. As someone with little interest in a "creator", and who completed an A level in Physics many moons ago and have since forgotten most of what I learned, I've approached this as an outsider. Firstly, I have never heard the term "Information" used to describe matter, Energy is the term I and most Brits use as "Information" implies that matter has been created by intelligence. Whilst Energy is unbiased on both sides of the creation argument. But your question itself, from a non-physics viewpoint is in itself a question for believers in a creator. If all Matter is "information", as you put it, then surely a "creator" who has the power to create, interact and force will upon matter must surely be made of matter or energy themselves. In that case, who is the creator of the creator, an so you end up with the "It's turtles all the way down" predicament. You can argue that I haven't answered the question, the answer is I don't know. But surely the lack of an answer from the average human being with a brief understanding of physics doesn't mean that the question is absolute proof that atheism or the belief there is no god is flawed. Just as asking the average Christian how many days did Jesus spend in Jerusalem between the ages of 12 and 25. A scholar of the bible may be able to answer the question but 99% of Christians cannot. Your question would receive ridicule in most scientific circles as is shown from the comments above because of the vague nature of the question of which their can be many separate answers depending on your belief. Whether that be as an oscillatory universe (big bang, big crunch, big bang) whereby after each big crunch the "laws" could change and so matter may be formed by nature in a completely different set-up to what is currently known. To simply use the rubber stamp of a "creator" whenever a question is difficult to answer, though not from people with more understanding of Physics it would seem (again see above comments), is like living alone in a house 100's of miles from the nearest living person, miss placing your keys frequently and believing that it was a ghost or that the keys came to life. An yet if you set up an experiment such as video cameras to actually search for the answer, you find that you keys have been falling behind the table. When you take a spirit level to the table you find that it is not flat but slopes. As such the keys fall off the table and you can't find them afterwards. Do you ignore the spirit level and the camera footage simply to save face from admitting you believed it was a ghost? Or do you accept that you were mistaken and learn to research and test something before jumping to and UNPROVEN ideal?

    I'd suggest if you want a proper discussion using Physics and Science to prove the existence of a creator: you don't quote Physicists out of context simply to attempt to prove your point, an you speak with specialists in the field of discussion instead of seeking the average person to try and answer the question when you know they cannot. Making idiots follow a cause because they cannot answer the questions they are asked, and are given an "answer" by the leader, are what causes religions to begin in the first place. But I'm sure you already knew that!

    1. I understand. We have to constantly study what we have learned or the memories will become extinct. Information theory has been around since the 40s/50s. As computers started to appear, physicists and others began to wonder what information was. As they learned more regarding physics, they realized that this universe is information. Recently, some physicists such as Silas Beane say that the universe is a program or a simulation. If this is true, then it would prove philosopher's Chalmer's thought experiment.

      This is why I posted this to see what people thought. Since the universe is information and some physicists believe the universe is a code or program and we know that matter cannot produce information on its own, then the logical conclusion is that there is an intelligence behind it. This isn't stuff I made up. This is in the scientific community being debated. More research has to be done of course. Atheists will ridicule it because that is their nature. The ones who post here obviously are ignorant on the subject matter and give the same response a creationist would give to a statement on evolution. That is reflection on their ignorance, not on the content posted.

      I use the term 'creator' because that is the word appropriate for an intelligent sentient being who develops something. Developer could be another word I could have used, but it would sound too "techie." The bottom line is, who put the information there? We know it cannot put itself there. This is what physics shows.

      Regarding your idea, the problem is that when the "big bang" took place, the laws and everything exploded into existence. The conditions were there already in order for the universe to form.

      This blog is intended for discussions. I did not quote physicists out of contexts. I provided their actual words.

  13. This is just a really bad tautology, not physics at all.

    1. Explain. Your comment would have more value if you expound on it instead of saying, "it's just bad." Why is it bad? What doesn't make sense?

    2. It puts 3 postulations to us as axioms, and concludes without firstly analysing the axioms to ensure they're True, then neglects to work the process between axiom and conclusion, and finally posts it as the Destruction of Atheism.
      It is a stunningly poorly-constructed attack for someone trying so hard to be taken seriously.

    3. And neither does matter = information.

      Information is a man-made abstract concept, whilst matter is tangible.

  14. A) Matter is information - OK I'll accept this though unsure of your exact meaning.
    B) Matter cannot produce it on its own- needs sentient sender.

    What is 'it'? I assume you mean information.

    However you have already stated that matter is information therefore you do not have to produce it.

    1. It is Information.

      Matter is information, it exists; but it can only exist due to a sentient sender. The question is. How did the information get here?

    2. This is the part that simply isn't true.
      Matter is. We know it is because it is here. We see it, measure it. We are made of it.
      There is nothing anywhere intellectually, physically or philosophically that states that matter must be created.
      Physically it is entirely sound to think that matter ALWAYS was.

  15. There are definitely two logical fallacies committed in your argument, but a case could be made for two others. You claim the following:

    "A) Matter is information
    B) Matter cannot produce it on its own- needs sentient sender.
    C) Sentient Sender must be intelligent and Causal/Mover Agent in order to code matter."

    This is fallacious reasoning, specifically the "begging the question" fallacy:

    "Begging the Question is a fallacy in which the premises include the claim that the conclusion is true or (directly or indirectly) assume that the conclusion is true. This sort of "reasoning" typically has the following form.

    1. Premises in which the truth of the conclusion is claimed or the truth of the conclusion is assumed (either directly or indirectly).
    2. Claim C (the conclusion) is true.

    This sort of "reasoning" is fallacious because simply assuming that the conclusion is true (directly or indirectly) in the premises does not constitute evidence for that conclusion. Obviously, simply assuming a claim is true does not serve as evidence for that claim. This is especially clear in particularly blatant cases: "X is true. The evidence for this claim is that X is true."

    See; Begging the Question fallacy: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/begging-the-question.html

    Specifically, in your premise (B) you claim your conclusion (C) is true when you say, "Matter cannot produce it on its own- needs sentient sender. (Key phrase being "needs sentient sender.") By definition then, the conclusion cannot be claimed to be true if the only the evidence for it being true is that it's stated to be true in the premise.

    Note: You do not provide evidence or sources for any of this, instead stating on multiple occasions that this can be found in Hawking's writings or any physics textbooks without stating which type of physics textbooks or which of Hawking's writings. It should go without saying that there are hundreds of different types of physics textbooks for the hundreds of different branches of physics, and Hawking does not write on the same topic all the time. This is also fallacious, and it is known as the "burden of proof" fallacy. The burden of proof is on the side of the party making a claim.

    Since you did not provide sources, one could, based on the nature of your claim, make a case for an "appeal to belief" fallacy and possibly a "biased sample" fallacy since there are no reliable physics textbooks which would claim that a sentient being is required to create information, and Hawking has certainly said nothing of the sort as Hawking doesn't believe in the supernatural leading one to believe that your source is both biased and appealing to belief.

    P.S. I only used the Anonymous tag as I do not wish to create an account on any of the provided websites. I can be found on Twitter @jakejwest.

    1. You obviously do not know the difference between an argument and a thought experiment. I am not arguing a point here. I am presenting a question to atheists that they would need to answer in order to present atheism as a valid position.

      In order to answer this question, one must understand physics - information theory in particular. Without this knowledge, you will not be able to fully comprehend the question nor even have the possibility to answer it. There is no fallacy here because this is a question, not a statement. The fallacy is in your strawman. You did not understand the question and presumed it to be fallacious in order to distract from your inability to answer it.

      The question is simple to understand.

      A) Matter has information
      B) The law of thermodynamics stats that matter cannot produce information on its own
      C) Information as we know it derives from an intelligent conscious agent capable of organization and critical thinking.

      Now, since information exists in matter and matter cannot produce it on its own and information can only be produced by intelligence, then who or what programmed matter with information?

      If you cannot answer this, then atheism is a premise that cannot be defended logically.

      So what is your answer?

    2. No, you obviously do no understand the difference between a thought experiment and an argument. It's plainly apparent as your title is argumentative by nature: "Question that destroys #Atheism." You have an argument (the question) and you have a target (Atheists).

      Not enough? Let's take a look at what Wikipedia says about argumentation:

      "Argumentation theory, or argumentation, is the interdisciplinary study of how conclusions can be reached through logical reasoning; that is, claims based, soundly or not, on premises. It includes the arts and sciences of civil debate, dialogue, conversation, and persuasion. It studies rules of inference, logic, and procedural rules in both artificial and real world settings.

      Argumentation includes debate and negotiation which are concerned with reaching mutually acceptable conclusions. It also encompasses eristic dialog, the branch of social debate in which victory over an opponent is the primary goal. This art and science is often the means by which people protect their beliefs or self-interests in rational dialogue, in common parlance, and during the process of arguing.

      Argumentation is used in law, for example in trials, in preparing an argument to be presented to a court, and in testing the validity of certain kinds of evidence. Also, argumentation scholars study the post hoc rationalizations by which organizational actors try to justify decisions they have made irrationally."

      Read the first line again: "Argumentation theory, or argumentation, is the interdisciplinary study of how conclusions can be reached through logical reasoning; that is, claims based, soundly or not, on premises."

      (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentation_theory)

      This is exactly what you did.

      Apparently my post was too long, so I've cut it in half. @jakejwest

    3. Next, your new argument relies on the "law [sic] of thermodynamics,"

      1. There is no "law [sic] of thermodynamics." There are FOUR laws of thermodynamics.

      2. None of the four laws of thermodynamics says anything related to matter being able to or not being able to "produce information on its own."

      3. Entropy has two VERY different meanings in regards to thermodynamics and information theory. I suggest you learn the difference.

      Now, don't believe me? Here are the four laws of thermodynamics:

      Zeroth law of thermodynamics: If two systems are both in thermal equilibrium with a third system then they are in thermal equilibrium with each other. This law helps to define the notion of temperature.

      "First law of thermodynamics: Heat and work are forms of energy transfer. Energy is invariably conserved, however the internal energy of a closed system may change as heat is transferred into or out of the system or work is done on or by the system. In real systems work does not always leave the system. For example, changes in molecular energy (potential energy), are generally considered to remain within the system. Similarly, the rotational and vibrational energies of polyatomic molecules remain within the system.

      From the above, all the energy associated with a system must be accounted for as heat, work, chemical energy etc., thus perpetual motion machines of the first kind, which would do work without using the energy resources of a system, are impossible.

      Second law of thermodynamics: An isolated system, if not already in its state of thermodynamic equilibrium, spontaneously evolves towards it. Thermodynamic equilibrium has the greatest entropy amongst the states accessible to the system. Perpetual motion machines of the second kind are thus impossible.

      Third law of thermodynamics: The entropy of a system approaches a constant value as the temperature approaches zero. The entropy of a system at absolute zero is typically zero, and in all cases is determined only by the number of different ground states it has. Specifically, the entropy of a pure crystalline substance at absolute zero temperature is zero."

      (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laws_of_thermodynamics)

      Where oh where did you get the idea that the laws of thermodynamics "stats [sic] that matter cannot produce information on its own?" It says nothing of the sort. All the laws of thermodynamics discuss are heat and entropy...

      Lastly, you still haven't given a source regarding your premise that "matter is information," or your new premise "matter has information." I'd never heard this before, so I've been scouring Google looking for any source which states such; I've yet to find one. In fact, "matter" isn't mentioned even once on Wikipedia's page on Information Theory. This is quite telling, really.

      Until you can actually prove that your premises are true, you don't have an argument.

      (Note: I don't normally use Wikipedia as a source, but this is hardly an academic discussion...)

      Twitter - @jakejwest

    4. Jake, you obviously are confused. I can tell by the way you are splicing up your comment by quoting from Wikipedia. You cannot do this without absorbing the material first. I never suggested that there was only ONE law of thermodynamics. I do not understand where you got this idea from.
      Moreover, physics deals with the study of what is matter, energy - in other words, what makes every thing up in this universe. Physicists apply particular terms in order to describe in jargon form the functions of the universe to the smallest particle. Words such as "information" are used to describe this construction. For all intent and purposes, matter is information. Every thing that exists is information. It is ordered and maintains itself via a "code" found within the construction and charges of each particle. Again, I use the word "code" to give a better image of what I am talking about.
      I am sure you have seen the movie "The Matrix." Do you remember the people in the ship looking at the monitors? All they looked at were green characters flowing downward. These characters composed the universe which the "Matrix" constructed. Our universe is pretty much the same. All matter is information. This idea is relatively new dating about 30-40 years.
      With the development of computers, physicists are able to test the ideas found in information theory. The laws you quoted describe this ordering or information. Energy and matter interact is such a way that it forms what we observe and experience, ie temperature, motion, gas, liquid, solid, plasma and so on.
      Now, the thought experiment I proposed takes into account this information as well as ontology which is a field in philosophy. You do not understand the difference between a thought experiment and an argument. Notice that I pose a question : "Who is this sender?" I ask this question after providing some known facts. Had I been arguing, I would not be asking now would I? An argument would be some thing like this:
      Matter is information, information needs a sentient sender; therefore, this sender is God. I did not do this. I gave the information and posed the question. Readers then have to answer it. See the difference? This is not some thing difficult. I do not understand why you are having issue understanding this basic thought/English exercise.
      Notice you have not answered the question. Instead you quoted from wikipedia and presented an embarrassing straw man argument.

  16. Hi Michael,

    Let's do this slowly. Let's start with premise A. "Matter is information". How do you define information for our purposes?

    I will not move further until we get that question clarified.



    1. Our dialog in Oct of 2012 already covers this.

  17. And this was your response:

    "This post is not meant to be a debate but a question for Atheists to answer - or attempt to answer. The information you request can be found in any physics text and even the writings of Hawkings."

    That is NOT a reply to my question: how do you define "information" for our purposes?


    1. I answered this a few posts above yours.

  18. I'm not a physicist, I am a writer in a technical field that is not physics. But my understanding is that this information was encoded due to quantum fluctuations during the first trillionth of a second after the Big Bang. But I'll ask Brian Greene and get back yo tou on that.

    But here are the problems I see. First, I do not see any particular reason to accept A/B/C as true. So the rest is meaningless without that. You would have to establish their truth to proceed, and you do not.

    Second, if you succeed in establishing A/B/C as true, then the real answer is "I don't know." That does not prove that there is a God, and certainly does not convince me that there is one. So what's the point?

    Third, you seem to be implying and/or assuming that if there is some "sentient sender," that this implies or establishes God. Now, I haven't read every response yet, and it looked to my skimming that you deny asserting that, but really. Let's say you're not. There could be 1 million possible "sentient senders," only one of whom would correspond to God. Seems like confirmation bias to me. When Brian gets back to me I will let you know.

    1. I think what you are referring to is a prototype processor for computers. What this post deals with is information in matter. Why do you not accept a/b/c as true? Simply rejecting it does not disprove it if you do not provide a refutation of each. Each point is based on logic and physics. Matter contains information, but it cannot produce it on its own. We know from experience that information can only be created via thought processed applied to space and time via writing, equations etc. This requires an intelligent brain. i.e computer programmer programming an app. The post is asking who is the "intelligent sender" if proposition a/b are the current source of knowledge we have? C is the reasoning based on human experience as I have described.

      "I don't know" does not help and is merely a cop out. We have brains and can reason. "I don't know" is not an answer.

      I am not implying anything. I am merely putting forth some reasoning based on physics, philosophy and human experience in order to get a discussion going. The "sentient sender" can be an extraterrestrial or inter-dimensional being testing us in a lab, who knows? There are studies showing that the universe may be a computer simulation, so the possibility exists that all of this may be someone's sims game.

    2. > There are studies showing that the universe may be a computer simulation

      Surely you mean, 'There are studies attempting to find out that the universe may be a computer simulation'.

      If studies could already show we were a computer simulation, I somehow think this would be plastered across all our TV screens & other media, don't you!

    3. I was correct the first time. Not every scientific study or research is published on television. Unfortunately, the media does not see money in these kinds of things, so they do not give it air time. Cosmos with Dr. Degrasse seems to be breaking this, so let's see what happens.

    4. You were not correct first time. The media would MOST DEFINITELY love to hear the evidence we're a simulation.

      You just make stuff up for your own political/religious purposes!

    5. The research speaks for itself and is ongoing. As a graduate in the sciences and member of honor societies, I keep up with the latest information. I do not have access to global media, but in my area in the northeast part of the United States, no reports were ever made. Perhaps on youtube you may find something? If you are interested, see http://arxiv.org/abs/1210.1847

      If more evidence is gathered regarding this hypothesis, then atheism will go out the window. If we are indeed a simulation, then it follows that this simulation has a programmer. Atheism will be put in the cemetery. Your accusations only show that you have run out of defenses for atheism. This is understandable. However, I will not post anymore accusations, I want evidence, opinions grounded in reason and evidence. This blog is not meant to be a pointing fingers thing.

  19. BTW, this is a silly thing. Atheism is a position that "I have not been convinced by the evidence. To which you offer a philosophical proposition and/or possibly a lesson on physics which may or may not be well-grounded in the accepted theory and practice. If you want to convince an atheist, present the evidence. And I mean in a straightforward way. Looks to me a bit like the God of the gaps, where what was presented in earlier generations has been thoroughly debunked so today's theists try to find more and more obscure justifications. If God is what the theists say it is, then the proof should be dead easy. The fact that it's not is telling.

    1. That is not atheism, but apisteuo. Atheism is the rejection of the God hypothesis. Nothing has been debunked. Where did you get this idea from. To date, no atheist has been able to disprove God with evidence. They argue from ignorance instead. The problem here is that some atheist expect evidence to be more than it should. No theist can present a bearded man on a throne before an atheist as proof. Reason and logic are the main tools to provide evidence for God just like they are used to formulate hypothesis and theories in physics, for example "worm holes." No one has ever seen one or been to one, yet most physicists claim they exists. How do they know this? They use reason, logic and mathematics to come to this conclusion. Similarly, theists us reason, logic and sometimes even mathematics to show that there has to be a God or external being that created and maintains what we call existence. I think it is hypocritical that an atheist would adopt ideas from physicists without hard proof, yet reject a theist's arguments and evidence when both are pretty much the same thing.

    2. > Atheism is the rejection of the God hypothesis

      No it isn't. It is the lack of belief in any Gods.

      Stop trying to re-define the word for your own political/religious/argumentative purposes.

    3. I only rely on the academic definition of this work and the culture surrounding it. I do not rely on the internet amateur atheist definition to it which ignores the roots of the word. Atheism literally means "without god" or "no god." It has nothing to do with belief or disbelief. Apisteuo is the work that deals with "disbelief." Most atheists on the internet are frauds using the label "atheist" to ride on the wave of disruptive and mischievous online behavior. They repeat whatever they have read on Twitter or blogs and do not understand what atheism really is.

  20. > ...theists use reason, logic and sometimes even mathematics to show that there has to be a God or external being that created and maintains what we call existence.

    Cool. Let's this then please!

    1. Have you had studies in mathematics, physics and logic? If not, then this will be a futile attempt because you will not understand. Moreover, blogger does not allow special characters so it will be difficult to write out an equation. I will have to improvise.


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