Date: Mar 19, 2014 2:39 PM
Author: Robert Hansen
Subject: Re: How science  shaped modern 'rejection of religion'

On Mar 19, 2014, at 1:35 PM, Joe Niederberger <> wrote:

> When you said "that's just the way things are".
> Davies addressed that very response in his article. You reject his assessment of it. So what. As I said you are shut down before you even understand the question he poses.

How is disagreeing with his assessment shutting down? I told you of my thought experiments as a kid. Those were actually prompted by the origins of life in the beginning, but later I found support from them for the origins of logic and the universe. Yes, I believe that this universe exists because it works, and no other universe exists, not because it wouldn?t work, but because we couldn?t even think about it. There would be no frame of reference. Do you get that?Maybe

You wrote this...

"It is not obvious that the world is governed by immutable, universal, mathematical laws. It took a long time and lots of work to come to that view. The people who advanced that view had certain beliefs, belief's they couldn't prove deductively but sought and found evidence for. They were very successful, except for explaining the origin and precise form of those laws that were discovered.?

You say that our breakthroughs in our ?view? of the universe started as ?beliefs?. But the usage of the word ?belief? in that context is very different than the usage in ?I believe I will win the lottery.? or ?I believe there is a god.? These were not beliefs. They were mental feelings motivated by data and evidence. They didn?t just dream this shit up and then the next day exclaim ?Wow! I was right.? And these paradigm shifts took place over hundreds of years and involved the combined efforts of many minds. This all happened because in this universe there is a pattern to things, there is reason. And our brains, well some of our brains, are able to decipher that reason directly through observation. And it is a long and tedious process.

You don?t see it, but you and Davies are starting with the premise you are trying to prove. It?s foolish, and you can tell Davies I said that. I am dead serious about the notion of ?things just work? and it is a very important premise in my AI research, unless you think reasoning and sentient machines will not function unless I inject a god into their ethos. We don?t need an ultimate reason. Give us axioms and some undefined labels and we are hunky-dory. You still don?t understand the trick.

The real issue here is why is the god notion so deeply embedded in our ethos. That is what caused Davies to fumble. I do know that it has something to do with the (cognitive) origins of our humanity. But not the origins of our science. The origins of science is that fascinating interaction between our massive neural nets and our senses. In evolution something went either remarkably right or remarkably wrong when our brains broke through that plane.

Does this still look like shutting down?

Bob Hansen