Worldview Principles

Visiting this site and participating in the discussions has caused me to extend my reading and explore how my faith interfaces with science. I have discovered that science and the Judeo-Christian Worldview share three unprovable but reasonable assumptions:

1. Reality
The world is real, and we can understand the nature of that reality. Objects are durable and continue to exist whether or not we think about them and whether or not we observe them. Other "commenters" on the site have supported this assumption.

2. Causality
Events in the universe follow the law of cause and effect. Every event has a preceeding cause. For example, a electron with negative charge is attracted by a proton with opposite charge and moves toward it. It doesn't move without a reason. Other "commenters" seem to lean too heavily on randomness theory of Modern Science and the belief that the universe is somehow self-created.

3. Unity
Nature is unified in two major ways. First, the forces between objects follows the same laws of physics whether the objects are large as galaxies or small as atomic nuclei. Second, the design and structure of atoms is the same everywhere in the universe. Hot hydrogen gas emits the same colors of light whether the light comes from a distant galaxy or from a laboratory on earth.

Although these assumptions of reality, causality and unity seem self-evident to many people, I have learnt that Modern Science is built upon some opposite assumptions of quantum reality, randomness, and multiplicity of force laws. I am enjoying the journey.

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Assumptions, that makes me

Assumptions, that makes me think on my tutor who told me never to assume anything because it makes an ass out of u and me. Perhaps it might help to define terms. An assumption is "something taken for granted as if it were true based on the presupposition without preponderance of facts". Assuming there is a personal god of some kind would indeed fall into that category, because there isn't the evidence to prove they exist any more than Russell's teapot circling the earth. Since we appear to be discussing epistemology here I'll introduce the concept of knowledge, which is facts, information and awareness gained from experience of a fact or information. In contrast a belief is some idea formed internally and for that to become knowledge it has to be both true and be justified in some way and/or be up for critical analysis. That justification can be using the scientific method, Occam's Razor (where we don't add in unnecessary entities as an explanation for a phenomena), probabilities and other things like using induction where you move from a set of facts to a conclusion. I operate on the knowledge side of things mostly, and don't think any of those three things are unprovable and that they are assumptions although sometimes it's necessary to assume some of the conditions that might apply in a given situation in order to make it explicable.

When we interact with reality we are experiencing something. That's what makes it reality and it's immutable. You stub your toe, you experience pain. You fall off a cliff, you experience gravity. No assumptions there, reality can be justified from experiencing it and is consistent. It doesn't change no matter how much you wish it was another way.

There such a thing as cause and effect but there doesn't necessarily have to be a 'reason' or an outside influence to have this happen. Using your attraction of positively charged proton attracting a neutron, it just happens that way due to the charges and nothing external is pushing them together. Things can simply be random or appear to be random, in other cases they can be directed by outside influences and in other cases chance applies. In biology mutation is random, natural selection is not. In physics you have systems that are under deterministic laws but can appear to behave randomly. The thing is that as a starting point you have a high degree of sensitivity to the initial conditions and then randomness occurs in the way they are set into motion. It's still all pretty predictable though, even though the end result cannot be predicted precisely. In other systems things might be more linear and thus very predictable. I thought I had suggested this, but perhaps didn't emphasise this enough. Again we can know this is true and that we have this knowledge. I could jump off a step a thousand times and I would inexorably fall down according to the force of gravity. The landing is the unpredictable part, I might end up twisting my ankle on the 500th go. It's still predictable I'd stuff up the landing badly at least once.

As for beliefs about the universe getting started, I could ask if we are talking a creator how they got started but in the meantime, we have theories and can investigate this and are getting nearer to perhaps having an answer. No sure if we can go back to the initial condition, the singularity, but experimentation using particle accelerators provides support for what happened after and it's simply not necessary to add in anything else to the explanations we've found. Such is a the nature of science, it's always investigating and doesn't settle on the easy answer. It would be easy just to say that a gods or gods did it but it doesn't leave us any better off in terms of understanding the universe of which we are just one small part.

I wouldn't call it unity, I'd just say the same deterministic laws apply everywhere. There is that sameness based on those laws that fits with the principle but as for unity itself that probably only existed just prior to the Big Bang when fundamental interactions may have been unified (stuff like electromagnetism). The universe may appear to act as one same as things can 'appear' to act randomly in physics, but there are a lots of different events happening all the time and as a whole it works as a coherent thing. We have weird stuff going on like black holes where the gravitational pull is so strong nothing that nothing, not even light can escape but we could could theoretically prove such a thing could exist and now we do know exists even though it's invisible. This can be inferred from tracking groups of stars or observing gas being pulled towards it. That's knowledge too.

Quantum physics?

I may be misreading your post there, but I don't think number 3 is correct...

The laws of physics that apply at the macro scale and the laws of physics that apply at the subatomic scale are very very different.

This is the very basis of the search for a unifying theory - a set of equations that link the laws of physics with the laws of quantum physics...


(It is possible that there are religions / religious people that beleive your number three... But I'd be surprised if there were any scientists / skeptics.)

Just to add my 2c (not to

Just to add my 2c (not to mention go off on a tangent) I used to flat with someone who studied physics (mmmm argument by authority) he said that there's physics for interactions between things that are very small (quantum mechanics) and physics for when things move very fast (relativity theory) but they disagreed when you apply them to very small very fast moving objects.