Thursday, November 10, 2011

Proving Atheism...With SCIENCE!

A bloke named James Jordan asked me to prove god doesn't exist. Well, see, I already did that in a previous post, but I've a better argument up my sleeve. One that actually uses science, and is much more conclusive than my previous disproof of god.

The scientific method involves formulating a falsifiable hypothesis, then attempting to falsify it. Now, of course, the Christian god is unfalsifiable (as are all gods that have not been outright falsified) so we could stop there, but I'll be exceedingly generous to my opposition here.

Anyway, the null hypothesis (general default position) is tested against the hypothesis. This works for the existence of any biological species, natural phenomenon, causal or statistical relationship, etc. For example, if the hypothesis is that blueberries increase sexual potency, the null hypothesis would be that they don't. The null hypothesis is always a negative, the hypothesis is a positive, & the burden of proof is on the one making the positive claim. If the positive claim cannot be proven, the null hypothesis is the better one.

So, theism, the positive claim, is the hypothesis, and atheism is the null hypothesis. We could word the hypothesis in such a way to allow for any god or gods to exist. As an example: "The universe, and all energy in it, was created from nothing by an intelligent agent." Note that "energy" here includes all forms of matter. The null hypothesis would be something along the lines of "the universe and all energy in it always have existed".

OK, so now that that's set up, you, the one pushing the god hypothesis, have to prove there is a god of some sort. You can't. You've been trying for all of human history, and the best you can do is "well, something has to have caused everything, why not my god?" You even had to invent the concept of faith (believing what you don't have compelling evidence for, otherwise known as "the stupidest idea ever") then make it a virtue in order to preserve theism as a widespread phenomenon. And since you can't do this basic thing, atheism, the null hypothesis, stands as the dominant theory.

There. Atheism has been proved, at least until you bring some real powerful evidence to disprove it.

11 comments:

  1. This reminds me of a great article I read this week about neutrinos and how they may have found something faster than the speed of light and how it may change the beliefs of physics all together.

    Because we couldn't measure it or produce it. The better theory was faster than light just wasn't possible. Didn't make it true

    Lack of evidence isn't evidence it never has been.


    "The Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe. Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after that moment there was something: our universe. The big bang theory is an effort to explain what happened during and after that moment. "

    Above is the actual science

    An explanation for people like Ben:
    The Big ban theory ….. There was nothing……. Then something…



    So the opposite of "energy always existed". Your fundamental null hypothesis is wrong.

    So sorry you haven't proved shit.


    I guess you missed those physics classes in grade 5 that explained this.

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  2. You are so right Ben from Canada!
    We need to get this message to everyone!

    -You need to amass groups of people so they can hear this message. So we will need a building to put them all.

    -You will need to host this event on the weekend because most people work Monday-Friday. The influential ones anyway. We better make it Sunday.

    -You don't want to wear those same grubby cloths you always wear, it may lost credibility. So we better get you some sort of uniform.

    -As soon an this meetings take off and more people are needed to deliver the message you will need to write down what they should say. Maybe store these messages in a big book so it is easier to share.

    -There needs to be a hierarchy so that people will know who understands the messages on a great scale and who was just been trained in the message. You would be at the top of course.

    Oh and music, people like music.

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  3. 2 anonymous comments, neither of which have any substance. Hmmm...

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  4. Right… Because the post shoots holes in using the hull hypothesis and your whole write up it has no substance….

    I will say it again lack of evidence isn't evidence.

    The null hypothesis just leads to wild theories with lack of proof of the opposite and causes people just to believe the easiest answer instead of trying to use actual science.

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  5. You've poked holes in nothing.

    Lack of evidence for your case is evidence for the other side. That's how it's always been, that's how it always will be.

    You clearly don't understand null hypothesis, or science in general. Please read up on both before commenting again. Also, I recommend you get a real account so I can tell you from the other anonymous people who may comment.

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  6. Excellent Ben. Simply, perfectly excellent, my friend.

    Hitchens quote, being more of a linguist than scientist, is the only point I would add:

    "That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence".

    Until theists comprehend this basic fact and own that the burden of proof lies on their moronic shoulders...

    This should be a guide to idiocy--a handout to the failing theist's arguement!

    Kudos, Ben.

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  7. G'day Ben, I read your "proof" with interest. But I think I disagree with your understanding of science.

    Many (most?) scientific hypotheses are dealt with statistically. For example, you are testing whether the water quality in a river is worse after a factory was built compared to before, so you do an analysis of variance (ANOVA) test to show whether there is a difference (the hypothesis) or no difference (the null hypothesis). The answer you get will be statistical (e.g. to a certain level of confidence), not certain and not "proof", but only more or less probable.

    So, in the God case, we look at the evidence and decide which has the greater probability - neither the hypothesis nor the null hypothesis has ever been successfully proven in a philosophical sense, and different people assess the probabilities differently.

    Your "proof" seems to me to be very unscientific, I'm sorry. We are both still where we were before you wrote it - having to assess the evidence for ourselves and decide. But nice try! : )

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  8. Sorry for the late reply.
    Not all hypotheses are dealt with statistically. Under most current religions and interpretations of those religions (ones that have progressed with science) there would be literally no difference regarding the origin of the universe if there is or is not a god. The point is that:
    a) the burden of proof lies on the theistic side.
    b) the theistic side has not proven their case (note that I'm using "prove" in the scientific sense, since most things can't be proven with 100% certainty but can be proven with a degree of certainty nearing that)and in fact, cannot do so.
    Therefore
    c) atheism is the logical alternative.

    You're right, this is not a scientific paper. However, it utilizes science and I believe I've used the scientific terms and method properly

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  9. G'day Ben,

    1. You say "Not all hypotheses are dealt with statistically", which becomes irrelevant when you also say "most things can't be proven with 100% certainty" which is my point - we are dealing with probability, not proof.

    2. So you have this three step 'proof', but it isn't actually logical. Let's take a parallel - the scientific mechanism for abiogenesis. Imagine someone constructing this argument:
    (a) The burden of proof is on the proponent of a particular hypothesis for the mechanism of abiogenesis.
    (b) No mechanism (last I checked) has been proven (and many have been rejected).
    (c) Therefore abiogenesis didn't happen.

    The structure is the same as your argument, but I bet you wouldn't buy it. Because the conclusion doesn't logically follow from the premises - and neither does yours.

    3. One could also contest your premise 2 as well, when you say "there would be literally no difference regarding the origin of the universe if there is or is not a god". How so? The atheistic view has no explanation for the universe, it just says something must have occurred out of nothing without a cause, a proposition that would be laughable if it was proposed in any other area of life, and this uncaused something must somehow have had exactly the right properties to an amazing degree to allow the universe to survive, take form and allow life to form. There is no explanation here, scientific or otherwise. At least theism offers an explanation, though not a scientific (process) one, but a causal one.

    So if there was no God, the overwhelming probability would be that there would be no universe, and certainly not a long-lasting, structured, life-supporting universe, whereas if there was a God, these things at least become a possibility. And we do have such a universe, which makes the atheistic conclusion highly problematic.

    To sum up, we are left with your argument which isn't scientific, based on no explanation and somehow we can draw the conclusion that this viewpoint is 'proven'? Like I said, nice try, but no cigar! : )

    Thanks for letting me comment.

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  10. atheism doesn't state that the universe came from nothing, nor that it happened without a cause. atheism only claims there is no proof that any gods exists, and therefore that they didn't do it.

    I don't think abiogenesis claims everything comes from nothing either. Personally, I have always thought that science has assumed that something existed before the big bang, we just don't know what or in what form it was. My personal hypothesis is that the universe expands and contracts like a balloon that expands as far as it can, then pops, instantly shrinking to its original dimensions, although not exactly, of course.

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  11. "atheism doesn't state that the universe came from nothing, nor that it happened without a cause"

    You are right of course, but I wasn't talking about the definition of atheism, but its ability to explain the universe (or not).

    "I don't think abiogenesis claims everything comes from nothing either"

    Again I agree, but again that wasn't what I was saying. I was simply showing using abiogenesis that the argument Ben was using wasn't logical, not that there were any other parallels.

    "My personal hypothesis is ...."

    I gather from your profile that you are an atheist and a rationalist, so I find this comment interesting. The theistic view on the origin of the universe is based on the best scientific evidence, but it doesn't seem to me that your view is. How would you support this by logical argument and evidence?

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