Re: [asa] Musing on entropy, chaos, and omniscience

From: dfsiemensjr <dfsiemensjr@juno.com>
Date: Sun May 24 2009 - 19:28:57 EDT

The problem noted parallels one from Jaegwon Kim, a philosopher, who
argued that there cannot be a God because he would have to interact with
the world and it would show up in mass-energy calculations. The guy did
not realize that a Creator, not being physical, would not be bound by
physical restrictions.

This leads me to a couple questions: Would Kim's argument not run afoul
of the mass-energy needs of the Big Bang? How would the perpetual need
for more energy for new universes impact the multiverse notion?
Dave (ASA)

On Sun, 24 May 2009 09:15:08 -0400 "Alexanian, Moorad"
<alexanian@uncw.edu> writes:
> Indeterminacy in quantum mechanics means that one cannot know without
> disturbing the system to be known by means of measurements. If God
> is spirit, how do we know if spirit cannot know without disturbing a
> purely physical system? It seems that when we deal with the God of
> Scripture, one is dealing with a nature that we know hardly
> anything. Why constantly speculate without ever hoping to settle
> anything?
>
> Moorad
> ________________________________________
> From: asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu [asa-owner@lists.calvin.edu] On
> Behalf Of Merv Bitikofer [mrb22667@kansas.net]
> Sent: Sunday, May 24, 2009 8:09 AM
> To: Randy Isaac; asa
> Subject: Re: [asa] Musing on entropy, chaos, and omniscience
>
> Another follow up response: And are you suggesting, Randy, that
> modern
> thinkers are packing too much into the label "omniscience" --beyond
> what is Biblically warranted? Could there be such a thing as
> partial
> or limited omniscience? I know that not all Christians subscribe to
> the
> same notion, but I'm wondering if omniscience ranks anywhere close
> to
> being "doctrinal" among orthodox thinkers. I'm not asking these
> things
> rhetorically; I'm really interested in answers.
>
> B.T.W. We have an occasionally outspoken professor here at K-State
> who
> (I have heard) argued that there can't be a God -- or at least not
> an
> omniscient one, because if He existed, then He would have knowledge
> that
> it is impossible to have ---or that the "having of it" would wreak
> havoc
> in the quantum world. (I don't know --it was probably about wave
> function collapses with observer knowledge or the like; I only heard
> about this second hand and so can't articulate his arguments well.)
> But anyway, would this be related to your hesitance over the notion
> of
> exact tracking of a world that has inherent uncertainty?
>
> I'm not sure why faith couldn't include the assumption that God is
> simply not subject to the same limitation that is inherent to
> creatures.
>
> --Merv
>
> Randy Isaac wrote:
> > Are you implying that God's omniscience means he can distinguish
> > between (i.e. identify) two water molecules? Or two protons? Or
> two
> > quarks?
> >
> > Randy
> >
> > ----- Original Message ----- From: "Merv Bitikofer"
> <mrb22667@kansas.net>
> > To: "asa" <asa@calvin.edu>
> > Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 9:07 PM
> > Subject: [asa] Musing on entropy, chaos, and omniscience
> >
> >
> >> If any of you have time for some light mental meandering, read
> this
> >> and tell me if I'm off my rocker. (Bernie, if you don't count
> this
> >> intro, three paragraphs will get you almost all of the way
> through
> >> this! ---long paragraphs are the key strategy for you!)
> >>
> >> Many of us will be familiar with the same types of stories and
> >> examples that teachers used to describe the concept of entropy:
> the
> >> shattered vase ---that can only appear to fly back together again
> if
> >> you play a movie backwards; or the messy bedroom that only gets
> >> elevated to a neater (or lower entropy) state by the input of
> work.
> >> And we’re told that this is one of those one-way temporal arrows
> of
> >> physics that, unlike momentum and collision scenarios ---this one
> >> won’t go backwards.
> >>
> >>
> >> Yet it is fun to attempt this little thought ‘experiment’ to see
> >> where it might lead. Take an ordinary collection of molecules ---
> >> say, the water in your drinking glass. And now in your mind, run
> the
> >> clock backward --not just moments, but hours and days. And we
> ‘see’
> >> these molecules rushing back up the same pipe up into the same
> city
> >> water tower, and from there we witness what must look like
> ordinary
> >> diffusion. Various molecules bump into others, becoming more and
> more
> >> widely dispersed as they move farther back away from their joint
> trip
> >> down the pipe to join their buddies in your water glass. And as
> we
> >> follow their history back further down along the aquifers from
> which
> >> they were pumped, we might observe some that had been trapped
> >> underground for years, and others were relatively recent comers
> from
> >> a global whirlwind tour before they were rained into some river
> and
> >> seeped down to their appointment with your city well. We may
> wonder
> >> if some found one or two of their present buddies early on and
> >> managed to stay together all the way to your glass, but chaos
> theory
> >> makes this seem a virtual impossibility (short of temporary
> >> micro-crystallization) – but we’ll assume a chaotic liquid state
> >> here. So our historical molecules are bumping elbows with current
> >> companions that they will never see again –in your future drink
> or
> >> otherwise. I don’t imagine we would have to go too far back
> before
> >> your present glass of water is completely ‘atomized’ into
> individual
> >> molecules and quite widely, even globally dispersed.
> >>
> >>
> >> Now –with the omniscience of God Himself, we look in on all these
> >> molecules in their historical locations and we KNOW that they
> will
> >> ALL be keeping a future appointment in your drinking glass in the
> >> evening of May 22, 2009. This time, though, let’s watch the clock
> go
> >> forward. And as it plays we see something like the un-shattering
> vase
> >> flying together –and in ordinary forward time, no less! To the
> less
> >> omniscient inhabitants of our drama, it is totally unremarkable,
> >> indeed invisible. But to us, it looks like diffusion in perfect
> >> reverse. These not-so-omniscient, but otherwise savvy inhabitants
> >> would be quite amazed if we identified the disjoint pieces for
> them
> >> ahead of time and then let them observe as they came together,
> >> because they know the infinitesimal probability of such a thing
> >> happening. But for us, the probability of occurrence is 1 since
> we’ve
> >> seen its future state. (Of course our mere act of informing them
> &
> >> any interactions at all will have to have been part of the
> original
> >> history of your present thirst episode since the slightest
> >> modification throws everything off with chaotic amplification.)
> It
> >> must look all quite amazing from a “God’s eye” perspective. And
> >> contrary to our unidirectional arrow –there would seem to be a
> >> striking symmetry about these events; i.e. any temporary
> collection
> >> of molecules whether in a cloud, a drinking glass, or the
> molecule
> >> collective called ‘you.’ For after your ingestion of it, our
> drinking
> >> glass bunch all eventually go their separate ways again, never to
> be
> >> re-united. As they came, so they went. So the ‘asymmetry’ of such
> >> events may be in part only an asymmetry based on ignorance or due
> to
> >> a lack of prior specification.
> >>
> >>
> >> Tangentially, (speaking of the butterfly effect) it is rather
> >> sobering & simultaneously useless for us to ponder whether or not
> to
> >> suppress that next sneeze or just let’er rip – the outcome of
> this
> >> choice will, by next year, make a difference on the level of
> where a
> >> hurricane hits the U.S. coast, or whether it even forms at all.
> >>
> >>
> >> And now; who still wonders where the potential points of Divine
> >> influence can enter the causal chains in our reality? A more apt
> >> question might be: where aren’t they?
> >>
> >> --Merv Bitikofer
>
>
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Received on Sun May 24 19:38:04 2009

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