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Thread: Impossibility of Singularity?

  1. #1 Impossibility of Singularity? 
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    Hello there!


    I heard some philosophers stating that the Singularity (which is outside of time) cannot produce naturalistically a temporally finite Universe, for according to them:

    1)outside of time,
    there is no delay between cause and effect,
    2) thus effect exists as long as its cause exists.
    3)but in atemporal state (where singularity is), a natural cause is timelessly present, atemporal and beginningless.
    4)so, from 1) and 2), naturally its effect must be beginningless and timelessly present as well.
    5)So, if the atemporal cause (singularity) of universe is naturalistic, one expects a changeless, beginningless and timelessy present and atemporal Universe.
    6)However, we have discovered it's finite in time and has a beginning.
    7)So, the cause of our Universe isn't the singularity but is supernatural.

    In a cosmological viewpoint, could you tell me why their reasoning is wrong?


    Thank you


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  3. #2  
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    It reads like gibberish to me.


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  4. #3 Re: Impossibility of Singularity? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by termina
    Hello there!


    I heard some philosophers stating that the Singularity (which is outside of time) cannot produce naturalistically a temporally finite Universe, for according to them:

    1)outside of time,
    there is no delay between cause and effect,
    2) thus effect exists as long as its cause exists.
    3)but in atemporal state (where singularity is), a natural cause is timelessly present, atemporal and beginningless.
    4)so, from 1) and 2), naturally its effect must be beginningless and timelessly present as well.
    5)So, if the atemporal cause (singularity) of universe is naturalistic, one expects a changeless, beginningless and timelessy present and atemporal Universe.
    6)However, we have discovered it's finite in time and has a beginning.
    7)So, the cause of our Universe isn't the singularity but is supernatural.

    In a cosmological viewpoint, could you tell me why their reasoning is wrong?


    Thank you
    The initial statement 1 is a speculative assumption, hence all the other conclusions have no validity as long as it remains unproven. This is a typical philosophical tract based on speculations and unjustified conclusions.

    Nobody knows what happens in a singularity. It is nonsense to assume that cause and effect coexist. Alternatives are a) cause and effect are meaningless, just as they seem to be in quantum physics, or b) there is neither cause and effect, because without time nothing happens at all. The conclusion from 2) to 3) is a so called "non sequitur", i.e. there is no logical connection, because the coexistence of cause and effect is not the same as an atemporal situation. So, altogether, it is a linguistic trick to get to the desired final statement. And as such, it is worthless.
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  5. #4  
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    A singularity is outside of space/time or the universe if you will. It actually creates an event horizon around itself that separate it from the rest of space/time.
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    A singularity is a fancy name for a black hole. You crush matter sufficiently and despite whatever crazy claims you may want to make about it, it stays in black hole form forever. Hawking gave up on them.
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  7. #6  
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    Thank you all for your answer.



    The initial statement 1 is a speculative assumption, hence all the other conclusions have no validity as long as it remains unproven. This is a typical philosophical tract based on speculations and unjustified conclusions.

    Nobody knows what happens in a singularity. It is nonsense to assume that cause and effect coexist. Alternatives are a) cause and effect are meaningless, just as they seem to be in quantum physics, or b) there is neither cause and effect, because without time nothing happens at all. The conclusion from 2) to 3) is a so called "non sequitur", i.e. there is no logical connection, because the coexistence of cause and effect is not the same as an atemporal situation. So, altogether, it is a linguistic trick to get to the desired final statement. And as such, it is worthless.




    I discussed with a theistic philosopher about this.
    He replied it's possible for cause and effect to coexist without delay between them both, for example let's suppose I sit on a sofa for infinte past,
    then the hollow on the surface of this sofa (which the effect of my stting) would have an infinite past too;
    or imagine a changeless thing in a changeless dimension (where beginning and end wouldn't exist), this thing can have a condition for it's existence which is changeless too.


    As for quantum flucutation dismissing causality, he quoted the philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig saying that virtual particules don't constitue exceptions to causality principle:

    "even on the traditional, indeterministic interpretation, particles do not come into being out of nothing. They arise as spontaneous fluctuations of the energy contained in the sub-atomic vacuum; they do not come from nothing.... Popular magazine articles touting such theories as getting 'something from nothing' simply do not understand that the vacuum is not nothing, but is a sea of fluctuating energy endowed with a rich structure and subject to physical laws"
    "The motions of elementary particles described by statistical quantum mechanical laws, even if uncaused, do not constitute an exception to this principle. As Smith himself admits, these considerations at most tend to show that acausal laws govern the change of condition of particles, such as the change of particle xs position from q1 to q2. They state nothing about the causality or acausality of absolute beginnings, of beginnings of the existence of particles. http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billc...ocs/smith.html "
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  8. #7  
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    Quote Originally Posted by termina
    I discussed with a theistic philosopher about this.
    He replied it's possible for cause and effect to coexist without delay between them both, for example let's suppose I sit on a sofa for infinte past,
    then the hollow on the surface of this sofa (which the effect of my stting) would have an infinite past too;
    or imagine a changeless thing in a changeless dimension (where beginning and end wouldn't exist), this thing can have a condition for it's existence which is changeless too.
    No, this example does not work. It assumes that there must have been time working "before" the infinite past in order for the force of gravity to take effect. Moving a possible effect into an indefinite past, or extending its realisation into an infinite duration does not help. You should have asked a physicist. He would have told you, just as I do, that work (the physical term) needs time for the force to cause an effect, because the force is a quantity of changing momentum in time. Hence, no time, no force, no effect.
    Quote Originally Posted by termina
    As for quantum flucutation dismissing causality, he quoted the philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig saying that virtual particules don't constitue exceptions to causality principle:

    "even on the traditional, indeterministic interpretation, particles do not come into being out of nothing. They arise as spontaneous fluctuations of the energy contained in the sub-atomic vacuum; they do not come from nothing.... Popular magazine articles touting such theories as getting 'something from nothing' simply do not understand that the vacuum is not nothing, but is a sea of fluctuating energy endowed with a rich structure and subject to physical laws"
    "The motions of elementary particles described by statistical quantum mechanical laws, even if uncaused, do not constitute an exception to this principle. As Smith himself admits, these considerations at most tend to show that acausal laws govern the change of condition of particles, such as the change of particle xs position from q1 to q2. They state nothing about the causality or acausality of absolute beginnings, of beginnings of the existence of particles. http://www.leaderu.com/offices/billc...ocs/smith.html "
    I am not referring to popular magazines, and I even doubt that the polemic statement is true. Of course, every physics student in his second year (the latest) knows that particles arise from an energy excess. But the existence of virtual particle is a different thing. They are the result of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtual_particle
    Therefore, they can violate the laws of conservation of energy for a short while, which in classical, macroscopic processes is impossible.

    I don't know why your source comes up this example, but there are numerous phenomena that are based on the statistical nature of quantum physics. I would emphasise the example of radioactive decay or the scattering of photons or electrons at a slit. You cannot predict the moment when a neutron decays, but you can very well predict, how many of a big amount of neutrons decay after a certain amount of time. This is clearly a statistical property.

    Look, I don't care who this Smith guy is, so I cannot comment on whatever statement he gave. I am just talking about the fundamentals of physics, and I don't need a philosopher to explain quantum physics.

    But I agree that some aspects of QM reach into the realm of philosophy, just because it seems to touch fundamental questions about reality. Yet, that does not change the fact that the first assumption of the initial list of statements is invalid.

    Some additional remarks: What is the reason to talk about the beginning of the universe as if it was a singularity? Why should a singularity imply the non-existence of time? Time is not an absolute reference, as we all should know by know. It depends on the relation between the phenomenon and the observer. And finally and most illogically: The list of statements arbitrarily picks some aspects of modern research as given results, while others are dismissed. This again indicates to me that the original source only tries to "prove" the idea, he already has anyway. So, nothing is gained. The correct scientific approach would be to start from one or some assumptions that can be tested and falsified (K. Popper) by experiments. And then put up a chain of logical arguments without knowing where they lead.
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