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What if there is no theory of everything?

10 Answers
Scientists are trying to unify Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. Can they be unified into one theory? If, for example, there is a creator of the universe, why couldn't he have created two rules of physics that coexist - one for the micro universe and one for the macro universe?
B

I'm afraid you're mistaken -- on four points.

First, you're mischaracterizing the failure to discover a designer as a "presupposition" of there being no such entity. If scientists objectively follow the scientific method and find NOTHING to support the notion of an intelligent designer, that's not because they've "discounted" any possibilities, or that their minds are "closed" to them. And it's not because the idea has been "summarily dismissed." It's because they've found NOTHING to support the idea. It's that simple.

Second, you completely misunderstand the proper application of the burden of proof. You state that "there is no scientific proof that God or some cosmic creator doesn't exist." With this, you appear to be implying that, unless something is proven to NOT exist, it must, therefore, exist! This, BY DEFINITION, is a presupposition! Not only is this profoundly absurd and highly impractical, it is the exact OPPOSITE of the scientific method you claim to support.

Third, you suggest that, because some scientists believe in God, that is "evidence" that he exists. First, I must correct your suggestion that "fifty percent of scientists have a belief in God." According to a 2009 Pew Research Center Study, this simply is NOT the case.

Only 33% of the scientists in the study expressed a belief in god, while another 18% believed in a "universal spirit or higher power." The rest were either atheist, or failed to express an opinion. The most revealing demographic was that field of scientists who were the LEAST likely to believe in god -- physicists and astronomers. Given your comments regarding dark energy and dark matter, one would think this would be the group MOST likely to believe in God. But it's the other way around, and for good reason.

Of course, many scientists still believe in God because, like the vast majority of the population, they were raised to believe in God, and grew up in a culture where such belief is institutionalized. But I propose that they maintain their belief IN SPITE of their scientific training and investigation, not because of it.

It's a demonstration of the amazing human ability to mentally compartmentalize -- to set aside and insulate certain ideas and paradigms from critical examination, and it's how religion continues to manage to survive, even among progressively more sophisticated and knowledgeable cultures.

Fourth, you're suggesting that, because there are phenomena in nature we still don't understand, that this is the "evidence" that "points the other way," toward the existence of a God. This is the "god of the gaps" notion, and I'll leave my response in the capable hands -- and eloquent words -- of a noted astrophysicist, Neil DeGrasse Tyson:

"...If that's where you're going to put your god in this world, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance. If that's how you're going to invoke God, if God is the 'mystery of the universe,' we're tackling these mysteries, one by one. If you're going to stay religious at the end of the conversation, God has to be more to you than just where science has yet to tread.

So, to the person who says, 'maybe dark matter is God,' if the only reason you're saying it is because it's a mystery, then get ready to have that undone..."

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S

The cornerstone of the scientific method is not to discount any possibility just because we don't like the implications.

My question does not start with an ideological presupposition, but just the opposite. My proposal is not to have any ideological presupposition including the presupposition of there being no cosmic designer. The possibility of a creator was unscientifically and summarily dismissed in the previous comment.

All I am saying is don't discount any possibility, however elegant or ugly it may appear to be. We have discovered phenomena such as "Dark Energy " that goes totally opposite to our understanding of gravity and conservation of energy principles. This force seems to help to keep galaxies from colliding together. Dark matter keeps galaxies from disintegrating. These cosmic forces have been discovered recently and there is no way yet to explain them satisfactorily.

It is a circular argument to say "God doesn't exist because he doesn't exist." There is no scientific proof that God or some cosmic creator doesn't exist. In fact, the evidence points the other way. Some fifty percent of scientists have a belief in God. This percentage is higher for microbiologists who find complicated processes in cells that must be in place at the same time, and could not have developed sequentially for the cell to exist.

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B

The preceding answer asks "why not have two or more theories that elegantly join together something that looks as though it has been designed."

Ironically, the author answered his own question in the sentence that directly preceded it:

"...That is not the scientific method of carefully looking at all possibilities without prejudice."

EXACTLY! The objective of the scientific method is NOT to find answers that lend themselves to ANY ideological presupposition -- be it a "designer" or anything else. Nor is it to find the most "elegant" explanation. It is to find the CORRECT explanation, however inelegant or theologically discomfiting it may be.

If a proper examination of the evidence suggests a designer, THAT will shape a "theory of everything." If a proper examination of the evidence DOES NOT suggest a designer, then THAT will shape the theory.

Thus far, every step in the ongoing scientific search for a theory of everything lends itself to the second possibility. In fact, many scientific discoveries throughout history have come IN SPITE of -- or have been hindered or delayed by -- efforts to adapt new information to fit old, outdated ideas about a cosmic "designer."

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S

It seems to me that if we are trying to explain the existence of the universe as having no intelligent design behind it, then we are as scientists denying ourselves a field of exploration. Any creator has in mind the end product before he begins his creation. That would mean before he starts the creation process, he would assemble the tools he needed.

In this case the tools would be the frameworks or rules for the behavior of matter and energy. As most, if not all of human inventions need more than one tool in order to make them, why wouldn't the same be likely for the ultimate creator.

By stubbornly sticking to the mantra of only one "theory of everything", some scientists are in effect closing their minds to possible alternatives. That is not the scientific method of carefully looking at all possibilities without prejudice.

Why not have two or more theories that elegantly join together to produce something that looks as though it has been designed.

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P

There already is one from Thomas Campbell. It's already out there, it just isn't famous. There might be an equation that comes out that explains a lot of the physical universe, but because this physical universe is a subset of a larger reality, they will not find anything further.

A dude like Stephen Hawking will never find it cause hes more into himself honestly. Einstein couldn't find it because once he got to a certain point he could not see outside his own backyard. A lot of the dudes who do the math, or whatever have the idea that the physical universe is all there is.

They don't think for a second that there is something that this physical universe derived from. If you go with the assumption that physical is all there is, you can't have a theory of everything because everything includes normal and paranormal, not just one.

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A

If there is a sentient Creator then anything is possible, so that there would be little point in scientists trying to figure out the basic laws of the Universe, and how they can be derived from elegant and simple postulates. On the other hand, a truly benevolent and intelligent Creator would want to expend the least amount of effort to accomplish his/her aims. Sort of like setting up a large number of dominoes to make a great pattern when they fall.

Whether gravity falls into a category with the other forces of nature is still an open question. However, the Higgs boson and its field is supposed to carry the interaction which gives mass to all particles, and we have determined that gravitational and inertial mass are the same thing. So somehow the Standard Model and Einstein's General Relativity are connected, at least to this extent.

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B

Precisely. Science may, indeed, someday discover some evidence that supports the existence of an intelligent designer or deity. Or someday, someone may create a persuasive logical or philosophical argument that may make such an idea more compelling and believable.

But, as things are now -- after millenniums worth of effort by those inclined to believe, this simply hasn't happened yet.

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B

I don't believe this is truly a "what if" question. If our past history of uncovering the mysteries of the universe is any indicator, I suspect there already IS a single set of rules that governs everything, from the micro to the macro and far beyond. The only real question is, will we ever discover what those rules are?

My answer to that question is...I don't know.

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S

I don't see why there wouldn't be a theory of everything. I'm sure there are natural laws that underlie everything, even the laws of physics as we know them. It is probably based on laws of growth, geometry, and numbers. There is no creator, sorry.

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S

So I guess you are saying that we cannot discount the idea that God exists.

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