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God vs the Neutrino

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God vs the Neutrino
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AnticitizenXUser avatarPosts: 12Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:45 pmLocation: Utah Gender: Male

Post God vs the Neutrino

Hey guys, I have a video idea batting around in my head that I'd like to bounce off you all for some feedback. If it pans out into something interesting, I want to make a video out of it (or at least a podcast). The basic idea is understanding why the existence of the neutrino is a matter of indisputable fact, while the existence of God is hotly contested, despite the fact that both of these things share an eerie set of similarities.

God vs the Neutrino

Consider for a moment the fundamental properties of the neutrino. The neutrino is a very weak, very tiny sub-atomic particle. The neutrino has almost no mass to speak of, coming in at about 1-millionth the mass of an electron. The neutrino has no charge, no magnetic moment, and only interacts with other objects through gravity and the weak nuclear force. In fact, the average neutrino can literally pass through the entire Earth with a very low probability of actually running into anything. Because neutrinos are so exceptionally inert, neutrinos are therefore intrinsically very difficult to detect.

It is also said that neutrinos are a by-product of nuclear reactions. As we speak, vast numbers of neutrinos are generated by the ongoing reactions in our sun. In fact, so many neutrinos are being generated that, on average, as many as 50 trillion neutrinos are passing through your body every second. Every star in the universe is spewing forth such great stores of neutrinos that they may be accurately described as virtually permeating through all of space.

Next, consider the human effort to understand neutrinos. Universities are spilling over with experts who devote their lives to studying the neutrino. Experts gather on a regular basis to share information. Vast neutrino telescopes, such as the Super-Kamiokande, have even been constructed to elicit the rare occurrence of a neutrino manifestation. Events are rare, but manifestations do appear to occur on a regular basis.

Finally, compare these features to God.

1) God is very difficult to detect or manifest on demand.
2) God is omnipresent (permeates all of space).
3) Vast legions of "experts" regularly gather to discuss the things they believe about God.
4) Giant facilities have been constructed (ie, cathedrals, churches, synagogues) to elicit the rare manifestation of God.
5) Miracles are rare, but apparently do seem to occur on a regular basis.

So the question for you all is, what is the fundamental difference between the neutrino and God? Why are we so happy to accept the existence of the neutrino with very little scrutiny, but God gets all this fuss?

While you all stew on that question, I will offer what I think is a resolution, but I really want to know what your thoughts are.

To me, the resolution is a matter of several converging factors. For example, every data point indicative of the existence of a neutrino is redeemable on demand, and requires no psychological conditioning to generate. God, on the other hand, frequently seems to require a priori assumptions of his existence before one can ever experience his presence. In other words, neutrino data is objective, while God data is clouded by subjectivity.

Neutrino events are certainly all very rare, but every last one shares a distinct level of repeatability with all the others. Events are all governed by the same laws of particle physics, and so every detector worldwide produces identical results that are consistent within that framework. God, on the other hand, seems to have subtle variations in his nature that depend on which groups you ask from which part of the world. Thus, neutrinos are consistent; God isn't.

Neutrinos possess a mathematical framework that describes their behavior on a very precise level. Experimental observation is also consistent with this framework. God has no mathematical formalism and no causal relation to anything with any mathematical certainty. Ergo, neutrinos are quantifiable, while God is not.

Neutrino events are reproduced on a regular basis in particle colliders. Neutrino detection is also a regular event for anyone with the right telescope. God seems to pop in whenever the hell he feels like it and is very picky and choosy about whom he shows himself to. Neutrinos are therefore demonstrable on demand, while God is not.

The people involved with neutrino events only came up with the idea because was the only thing that seemed to fit the experimental data. If a better idea ever comes along, the entire physics community will be more than happy to reject the neutrino theory and rectify their understanding. Conversely, those who espouse God are terrified of the prospect of being wrong, and make no efforts to rectify any errors in their understanding through experimental data. Thus, physicists are unbiased; theologians are not.

Finally, no other theoretical framework is able to predict the events we typically ascribe to neutrinos. Every manifestation of God, however, possesses a reproducible and quantifiable basis in human psychology. In short, neutrino events are only explained by neutrinos, while God events possess every theoretical indication of having been made up from human imagination.


That is basically my take, but if anyone has a more simplified perspective, I would love to hear it.
Last edited by AnticitizenX on Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:00 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:34 am
Lurking_LogicUser avatarPosts: 103Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:25 am Gender: Male

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

I would think that one fundamental difference that would be claimed would be sentience (Assuming we are talking Monotheistic for my answer)
God is a sentient being while a Neutrino is not and so God has other characteristics that the Neutrino lacks
Omniscience, Omnibenevolence and free will to do whatever it pleases

So this sets it apart from the Neutrino and the extra distinction is between a Physics book and that of a Theologians book (Also a Philosophers)
"What a book a devil's chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering, low and horribly cruel works of nature."
Charles Darwin
Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:13 am
BaranduinPosts: 260Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:17 pm

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

Also:
- Neutrinos were predicted from a mathematical framework that had already proven to have some accuracy. God is because the Bible says so.
- Neutrino events can be predicted with some accuracy. Miracles cannot.
Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:54 am
MRaverzPosts: 1838Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:00 am Gender: Pinecone

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

I think you're stretching for a comparison here, for example Churches aren't places which search for gods - they're places where people meet up to talk to/hear about gods.

That said, the Neutrino fits directly into our knowledge of the universe. We know that conservation of lepton number occurs in interaction of particles, and as such could determine the properties of the Neutrino without having detecting it first. Once the Neutrino was detected, the case was closed.

[E.g. Proton decay. Proton -> Neutron + Positron + (something with positive lepton number, very little mass and no charge - ie. Neutrino)]

Gods on the other hand do not have one definite description, and have not been detected. (Excluding people who have heard a gods voice and thus murdered people because of it)
Tue Jun 08, 2010 11:20 am
PABUser avatarPosts: 382Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 10:34 pmLocation: UK Gender: Male

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

5) Miracles are rare, but apparently do seem to occur on a regular basis.

this is slightly askew , in terms of god and the neutrino . should it not be in direct comparison 'gods are rare, but apparently do seem to occur on a regualr basis' ??

and if so, there's part of the difference, (unless the occurence of the neutrino is only evident via its effect, and so can be compared to the effect of a god/s via the miracle ?
"The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil...there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy." Albert Einstein
Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:53 pm
CaseUser avatarPosts: 1080Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2010 9:40 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

Actually, "5) Miracles are rare, but apparently do seem to occur on a regular basis." is just nonsense.
I am determined that my children shall be brought up in their father's religion, if they can find out what it is.
Charles Lamb (1775 - 1834)

Atheism is a non-prophet organization.
Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:58 pm
AnticitizenXUser avatarPosts: 12Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:45 pmLocation: Utah Gender: Male

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

PAB wrote:5) Miracles are rare, but apparently do seem to occur on a regular basis.

this is slightly askew , in terms of god and the neutrino . should it not be in direct comparison 'gods are rare, but apparently do seem to occur on a regualr basis' ??

and if so, there's part of the difference, (unless the occurence of the neutrino is only evident via its effect, and so can be compared to the effect of a god/s via the miracle ?


Let me clarify. I meant to imply that reports of miracles are apparently common, but not something that happens on a daily basis for people.
Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:12 pm
Anachronous RexLeague LegendUser avatarPosts: 2008Joined: Mon Jun 07, 2010 4:07 pmLocation: Kansas City, MO Gender: Male

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

This stirkes me as remarkably similar to a theory I had once that the Persian god Ahriman was actually just a misunderstanding of the second law of thermodynamics.

A fun mental exercise to be sure, but frivolous and ultimately pointless.
Our prefrontal lobes are too small. Much too small. That's a problem of the birth canal, I'm very sorry to say for those that like their birth canals... tight.
-C. Hitchens.
Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:56 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2411Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

AnticitizenX wrote: neutrinos are therefore intrinsically very difficult to detect.


1) God is very difficult to detect or manifest on demand.


Correction. God has never been detected. The neutrino has.

[/thread]
Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:51 pm
AnticitizenXUser avatarPosts: 12Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:45 pmLocation: Utah Gender: Male

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino


Correction. God has never been detected. The neutrino has.



I disagree. Talk to any sincere believer and they will tell you all sorts of events where God interfered in their lives. I'm not saying these events have any validity, but I am saying that they do apparently occur, and they do share the neutrino trait of being difficult to reproduce on demand.

This is something you have to remember when dealing with the believer. In his/her mind, God as definitely been "detected." But to give you an analogy, it is like measuring voltage with a thermometer. They think they are "detecting" God, but don't realize they are using the wrong tools. Nevertheless, God "detections" are very common.
Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:40 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2411Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

AnticitizenX wrote:I disagree.


Whether you agree or not is of no consequence.

Talk to any sincere believer and they will tell you all sorts of events where God interfered in their lives. I'm not saying these events have any validity, but I am saying that they do apparently occur, and they do share the neutrino trait of being difficult to reproduce on demand.


No, unless your definition of 'apparent' is radically different from that in common usage. It is nothing like apparent that they occur. The simple fact is that neutrinos have been detected by pragmatic means, while all the alleged detections of god are almost certainly delusional.

This is something you have to remember when dealing with the believer.


And for your next trick, you can teach your granny to suck eggs. My experience in dealing with the believer is substantial. I stand by my assessment. No deity has ever been detected.

In his/her mind, God as definitely been "detected." But to give you an analogy, it is like measuring voltage with a thermometer. They think they are "detecting" God, but don't realize they are using the wrong tools. Nevertheless, God "detections" are very common.


The operative bit of your statement there is 'in his/her mind'. Knowing what we do about the brain and its ability to construct very real-seeming simulations of the world, such as the one that it constructs all the time, and given that no pragmatic means have ever detected anything remotely resembling a deity, I am confident in stating that no deity has ever been detected. If you wish to counter this, you will need to provide critically robust supporting evidence to support your claim.
Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:24 pm
BaranduinPosts: 260Joined: Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:17 pm

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

AnticitizenX wrote:This is something you have to remember when dealing with the believer. In his/her mind, God as definitely been "detected."
And you'll be feeding such a delusion by using that analogy. They'll equate God with neutrinos, Science accepts neutrinos, Science doesn't accept God, Science is just another religion, you have to give up Christ to accept Science.... You see what I'm getting, don't you? Others will jump quicker: neutrinos are analogous to God, thus Science is just a Religion, thus all the points you're going to do after that are just like when muslims speak why Mahoma is the true prophet or Jews explain why Jesus was an impostor. Even if they don't express themselves this way, and no matter how much you could insist that it's just an analogy, that's the idea they're going to peg at (for some of them, it's the idea they already have or have heard, indeed, and for most it's the idea they'll feel more comfortable). Add Quantum Mysticism to the salad of preconceptions and you have the full dinner.

Either way, they're not going to reject God with that argument, nor to question theology as a valid branch of knowledge.

It could be an interesting game or initiate a curious thought experiment, but it's in no way an argument you want to present to them in a serious fashion.

Anachronous Rex wrote:A fun mental exercise to be sure, but frivolous and ultimately pointless.
Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:50 pm
AnticitizenXUser avatarPosts: 12Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:45 pmLocation: Utah Gender: Male

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

The operative bit of your statement there is 'in his/her mind'. Knowing what we do about the brain and its ability to construct very real-seeming simulations of the world, such as the one that it constructs all the time, and given that no pragmatic means have ever detected anything remotely resembling a deity, I am confident in stating that no deity has ever been detected. If you wish to counter this, you will need to provide critically robust supporting evidence to support your claim.


Hackenslash,

Settle down, buddy. You are trying to argue my own point. Re-read the OP. I am trying to draw an analogy between the two events and develop a simplified description for why neutrino detectors are reliable while "feeling the spirit" is not. I am well-aware that no deity has ever been genuinely detected, but that's not why we're here. Believers have testimonial stories by the truckload about all the times God has done stuff for them. This is what I mean by "God has been detected." I am not trying to say that any of it was a reliable detection, but the onus is still on us to explain why all those vast stores of data points are merely false positives induced by other phenomena.

So again, I ask you for your thoughts are for why we readily trust the validity of the neutrino but not in whatever spiritual mumbo-jumbo people use to rationalize God. Is there a specific reason that trumps all others? Or is it a convergence of several factors?
Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:58 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2411Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

I'm perfectly settled, thanks. As for your question, the reason is extremely simple. Neutrinos have been detected by pragmatic means while deities have not. Neutrino detectors are not prone to hallucination, delusion, angels and demons dancing on the heads of pins. They are entirely without emotional or psychological investment in the existence of neutrinos. If we ever develop deity detectors and they provide robust evidence for the existence of deities, we'll be happy to accept that they exist.

Of course, I would remain an atheist, but that's just me.
Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:55 pm
AnticitizenXUser avatarPosts: 12Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:45 pmLocation: Utah Gender: Male

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

hackenslash wrote:I'm perfectly settled, thanks. As for your question, the reason is extremely simple. Neutrinos have been detected by pragmatic means while deities have not. Neutrino detectors are not prone to hallucination, delusion, angels and demons dancing on the heads of pins. They are entirely without emotional or psychological investment in the existence of neutrinos. If we ever develop deity detectors and they provide robust evidence for the existence of deities, we'll be happy to accept that they exist.

Of course, I would remain an atheist, but that's just me.



Okay, that sounds a lot like what I was driving at. You can't really point to "one thing" and use that as the key difference. It sounds like you are saying it is a convergence of several factors like objectivity, proneness to hallucination (ie, false positives), psychological conditioning, and bias.
Wed Jun 09, 2010 11:08 pm
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2411Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

Not really. I'm saying that there IS one very clear distinction, namely that one can be detected using entirely pragmatic means, while the other cannot.
Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:46 am
ShydrowUser avatarPosts: 39Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 12:00 amLocation: USA, MA Gender: Male

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

I'm not a scientest but it seems like you are trying to compare something that is "super natural" [which has to be utter bull] and something that exsists. I mean god can be whatever whenever and everthing. The small little bugger of a Neutrino can only be a Neutrino. I'm not sure what the point would be comparing the two. Its like saying that a picture of a green one eyed monster is similar to a Greed one legged monster. They arn't in the whole only in the details and though details are to be looked at when comparing things we should first look at the whole then the details as we go into the comparison.

Just my take on it don't shoot me please!
"Defy Reality, It's just a mental state to hold you back" - Kyle H. Thorne

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Fri Jun 11, 2010 5:21 am
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AnticitizenXUser avatarPosts: 12Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:45 pmLocation: Utah Gender: Male

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

Shydrow wrote:I'm not a scientest but it seems like you are trying to compare something that is "super natural" [which has to be utter bull] and something that exsists. I mean god can be whatever whenever and everthing. The small little bugger of a Neutrino can only be a Neutrino. I'm not sure what the point would be comparing the two. Its like saying that a picture of a green one eyed monster is similar to a Greed one legged monster. They arn't in the whole only in the details and though details are to be looked at when comparing things we should first look at the whole then the details as we go into the comparison.

Just my take on it don't shoot me please!



We all know that neutrinos are "natural" while God is "super-natural." But that is not the point I am trying to drive at. I am trying to make a comparison between two ideas that share many of the same extraordinary properties. Yet the existence of neutrinos is not a matter of debate, while God is a hotly contested issue. So it is worth asking yourself why we accept the existence of the neutrino but not God. hackenslash has the right idea by saying that God is never detected by pragmatic means. Though I agree, I think this is over-simplified, and it is a worthwhile asking ourselves why we accept neutrinos but not God. That is to say, what is it about all the "God detections" that fail to be compelling or pragmatic? And what is it about neutrino detections that really are compelling and pragmatic? I think we all know the answer intuitively, but I want to see it spelled out an elegant and articulate way.
Sun Jun 13, 2010 7:01 am
hackenslashLime TordUser avatarPosts: 2411Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2009 3:43 pm Gender: Cake

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

Oversimplified? What the holy fuck are you talking about. That is the sum total of the reason for accepting the existence of neutrinos while not accepting the existence of god. What is overtsimplified about explaining rigorously the difference?

Compelling and pragmatic? What makes acceptance of neutrino detection compelling is that it is done by pragmatic means. As for god, no detections have ever taken place. What the terminally credulous believe is of no consequence in this regard. It still boils down to this:

Neutrinos have been detected. God has not.

I think you're talking shit.
Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:56 am
Dockar03User avatarPosts: 56Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:58 pmLocation: Sydney Gender: Male

Post Re: God vs the Neutrino

AnticitizenX wrote: it is a worthwhile asking ourselves why we accept neutrinos but not God.


Eh... really?
:geek:

Okay...
You have stated already that Neutrino's can be detected.
You have stated already that god/s cannot be detected.
ergo you have removed the worth of the above statement, and by extension this entire thread, that is more specifically, we live in an ever growing scientific world, if the vox populi chooses to decide whether somthing has worth or credit, they can logically decide so; all it takes is for a person to realise "cheese exists", however "cheese does not transform into giraffes", no matter how much you want it to...
What im trying to say is, god is as credible as; Santa, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, the genie from Aladdin, and the devious fluro pink armarda of space unicorns that are hovering outside my doorstep.

People want quantifiable, and or tangible proof if somthing exists, you stated that Neutrino's can be detected, and thats good knowledge within the scientific community, however, world-wide, anyone who is scientifically literate understands that there is no way god can be detected (yet?), there is no reasonable evidence to suggest that he even exists, there is only faith that he/she/it does.
Ergo... as i posited earlier, you removed the worth from your own statement.

Idea's are a byproduct of the minds ability to think of things; god fits into this category.
Evidence is a byproduct of scientific endeavour's to discover truth; neutrino's fit into this category.

Idea's = belief
Evidence = knowledge

I hope you know the difference.
Vi Veri Veniversum Vivus Vici


Beyond a doubt truth bears the same relation to falsehood as light to darkness.
Leonardo da Vinci
Sun Jun 13, 2010 10:18 am
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