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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Christianity & Science  > Laws of Physics vary...new study suggests

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  #1  
Old 09-16-2010, 08:06 AM
Linsinbigler's Avatar
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Default Laws of Physics vary...new study suggests

As many of you may already know, Stephen Hawking came out recently and made an announcement that he finally feels comfortable in saying that there is no need for God, since we have located a planet in another solar system and the laws of physics remain constant throughout the universe. However, a new study has shown quite the opposite, that the laws of physics vary in different parts of the universe:

Quote:
The report describes how one of the supposed fundamental constants of Nature appears not to be constant after all. Instead, this 'magic number' known as the fine-structure constant -- 'alpha' for short -- appears to vary throughout the universe.

"After measuring alpha in around 300 distant galaxies, a consistency emerged: this magic number, which tells us the strength of electromagnetism, is not the same everywhere as it is here on Earth, and seems to vary continuously along a preferred axis through the universe," Professor John Webb from the University of New South Wales said.

"The implications for our current understanding of science are profound. If the laws of physics turn out to be merely 'local by-laws', it might be that whilst our observable part of the universe favours the existence of life and human beings, other far more distant regions may exist where different laws preclude the formation of life, at least as we know it."

"If our results are correct, clearly we shall need new physical theories to satisfactorily describe them."
Laws of physics vary throughout the universe, new study suggests
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  #2  
Old 09-16-2010, 10:40 AM
Josiah
 
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Default Re: Laws of Physics vary...new study suggests

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Originally Posted by Linsinbigler View Post
As many of you may already know, Stephen Hawking came out recently and made an announcement that he finally feels comfortable in saying that there is no need for God

I may well be wrong about this, but I THINK what he said is that there is no need IN PHYSICS for God in understanding the big bang.... If I recall his statement correctly, it was in reference to physics and specifically to the big bang....

My degree is in physics, and from THAT perspective, I tend to agree with him. This, of course, has no bearing whatsoever on whether God exists or even whether God is the cause of the Big Bang, only that "explanations" for such can probably be found within the frameworks of physics; there is no NEED for the physicist to declare, "God did it purely by divine, immediate fiat."

I have no idea of Dr. Hawkings theological beliefs. MY experience in the sciences is that physicists tend to embrace metaphysics more than in the biological sciences (where there seems to be a bitterness, probably resulting from the evolution condemnations of some Christians). But the theology may well not be Christian. Theoretical physicists can seem to express something more akin to the monism of certain types of Hinduism. In any case, there's no hostility toward the concept of "God" - although such may not be what you and I mean by God. In all my classes, no where was I asked about my traditional Christian views more and with more openness than I was in my physics classes and among my fellow physics majors.

My OWN perspective is that God is the Creator, but that He rarely works by pure, immediate, fiat. He typically uses means and processes. The Big Bang, now understood in view of string theory, is not the moment of Creation but rather a new beginning; at MOST perhaps an opening from a different dimension but perhaps just the starting point of what is now OUR reality or a new beginning to what we are now experiencing (yup, Hinduism DOES have some stunning things about that). No one embraces that there was no reality before this (in fact, BIG experiments are in the works to try to discover what realities may have existed before this event). IMHO, none of this in any sense whatsoever suggests that God is not the Creator.

Let me use this example. My sister has a 2 year old daughter. I was at the hospital and saw my niece when she was only a few miniutes old. I passionately believe that GOD created that girl and that she is a gift from God. Do I thus deny the biology and biochemistry that God used to perform His creation? No. Is trying to understand the tools of God a denial of God? No.

IMHO, physics in the past generation or so has actually OPENED the door to theology - even as we understand it. And IMHO, Christians should not fear Truth. God is Truth, it does not deny Him. What MAY happen is that our misconceptions could be revealed as such. The Earth for example likely is not square, small and flat - and the center of the universe. But correcting misconceptions is a good thing?

With that, I'm outta here! I learned LONG ago to not mix my two passions in discussion forums!



Pax


- Josiah





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  #3  
Old 09-16-2010, 05:07 PM
Mark's Avatar
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Default Re: Laws of Physics vary...new study suggests

I've heard Hawking make many references to God... as far as I know he is not an atheist (not that it matters one way or the other).

I see the Universe as a working mechanism... science is the tool we use to understand "how" it works. This understanding should never remove the need for a Creator - it should confirm it.
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Old 09-16-2010, 05:07 PM
Linsinbigler's Avatar
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Default Re: Laws of Physics vary...new study suggests

Dr. Hawking says that not God, but rather "spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

BBC News - Stephen Hawking: God did not create Universe

Yes, as an undergrad, I too was a Physics major for a while. I wound up switching majors, but at least I got two minors out of it (including Mathematics). I was a big Hawking fan in the 90's. I must say, that over the past decade, that has dwindled. Just a year ago Hawking made the comment that the Big Bang is a "problem" because it necessitates a beginning, and was hoping to prove a curved cone rather than a singularity at the big bang to finally eliminate the need for a creator.
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Old 09-16-2010, 08:04 PM
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Default Re: Laws of Physics vary...new study suggests

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linsinbigler View Post
Dr. Hawking says that not God, but rather "spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."

BBC News - Stephen Hawking: God did not create Universe

Yes, as an undergrad, I too was a Physics major for a while. I wound up switching majors, but at least I got two minors out of it (including Mathematics). I was a big Hawking fan in the 90's. I must say, that over the past decade, that has dwindled. Just a year ago Hawking made the comment that the Big Bang is a "problem" because it necessitates a beginning, and was hoping to prove a curved cone rather than a singularity at the big bang to finally eliminate the need for a creator.
Oh come on Hawking! Don't give up on God yet!

I think it's amazing that Hawking's mind is the exact opposite of his body - I don't think it's a coincidence either.... I think it was God's way of humbling such a brilliant man. And I still have a little faith in old Hawking... the devil may be winning battles with his mind but I truly believe the man belongs on our side - he could be a very inspirational Christian and we should pray for him.
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Old 09-18-2010, 12:51 PM
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Default Re: Laws of Physics vary...new study suggests

I used to be glad that a major scientist with serious credentials believed that their was God in all that exists and said so.

I think that he may have lost faith for the same reasons as anyone might when faced with their life situations. He may be angry and embittered about his life. I can't believe it occurred because of scientific analysis.

And as proof for "no requirement for God" he offers, "because there is more than one star with another planet similar to earth"? This only proves that the physical universe has universally applicable laws, not "no requirement for God". A weak argument for sure.

God, being infinite and spirit, creating the universe, a physical finite construction, means there is a difference. What applies to one may not apply to the other. How can a finite mind understand the infinite?
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Help Thou my unbelief!
Let me see in Him that Thou would have me see in my fellow man.
Let me see in my brother that I see in Him whom I worship.

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Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law?

Remember, always, the Angels wish...Selah!
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2010, 08:27 AM
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Default Re: Laws of Physics vary...new study suggests

Never forget:

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God..." Ps.14.1

" Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools..." Ro 1:22

"This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being."

— The greatest scientist of them all, Sir Isaac Newton
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  #8  
Old 11-04-2010, 10:36 AM
AFI
 
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Default Re: Laws of Physics vary...new study suggests

Really whether the laws of physics remain constant throughout the universe, or whether they vary doesn’t prove or disprove the need for God in the creation process. Correct scientific discoveries can never disprove God nor as Mark said should our understanding of it remove the need for a Creator.

The implications of this study on Physics its self will be very interesting.

oh and these more problems with the curent laws of phisics as we know them
"Physicists working with a Fermilab neutrino experiment may have found a new elementary particle whose behavior breaks the known laws of physics. If correct, their results poke holes in the accepted Standard Model of particles and forces, and raise some interesting questions for the Large Hadron Collider and Tevatron experiments. The new particle could even explain the existence of dark matter."Fermilab Experiment Hints At Existence of Brand-New Elementary Particle | Popular Science

Last edited by AFI : 11-04-2010 at 10:46 AM.
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2010, 09:34 AM
LillianGrace
 
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Default Re: Laws of Physics vary...new study suggests

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Originally Posted by AFI View Post
Really whether the laws of physics remain constant throughout the universe, or whether they vary doesn’t prove or disprove the need for God in the creation process. Correct scientific discoveries can never disprove God nor as Mark said should our understanding of it remove the need for a Creator.
I agree, also would like to add that the scientist say the world is much older than it really is. If they cannot get that right then why should we believe much of anything "they" say.
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  #10  
Old 11-14-2010, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Laws of Physics vary...new study suggests

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Originally Posted by LillianGrace View Post
I agree, also would like to add that the scientist say the world is much older than it really is. If they cannot get that right then why should we believe much of anything "they" say.
How old do you think the Earth is?
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