Guest Post: The Grand Unified Theory of Physics and Economics

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Bo Peng

The Grand Unified Theory of Physics and Economics

This is too interesting to pass.

Roger Penrose, knighted prof of Oxford, and co-workers have just found evidence supporting his theory
that the inflationary Universe, a term used to describe the rapid
expansion of space-time, is not a one-time catastrophe originating from
the Big Bang, but rather a cyclic phenomena.

Economists are known
as those who can't make it in math and physics. Well take this you
mathists and physicists. Not to mention PhD economists from decent
departments, but even econobloggers, and EVEN people who read
econobloggers have known for a long time that inflation is cyclic.

There, we now have a Grand Unified Theory of Physics and Econmics. This is just too beautiful to be wrong.

how assuring to know that life will somehow reincarnate after the
coming hyper-inflation. Could gold be only thing surviving the Big Bang,
and thus the only medium carrying some shreds of survivors from the old

But what if the space-time doesn't like this whole
inflation business and somehow evolves a strategy to moderate it (yes,
evolution of the laws of physics or The Space-time Itself)? Even more
intriguing, what if such strategy is dictated by one being? What if that
one being is The Big Ben...I mean Big Bang Itself? What if It screws up
-- would the entire Universe just go *poof* for good in one last
spectacular inflationary bubble?

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ThroxxOfVron's picture

Not that I don't like a good Bang on a regular basis; but, all of the Data I have seen seems to clearly support Pushing On A String Theory.

sushi's picture

Bernanke is clearly pushing on a string; doesn't that lend credence to the Penrose hypothesis?

MeTarzanUjane's picture

Agreed. But also agree that theories are just theories.

DavidC's picture

Ah, beautiful, just beautiful...


Oh regional Indian's picture

In the new, post big whimper world, 2+2 can be whatever you want it to be and inflation is what you would do to make sure your cyclical tires are at the correct pressure.



Azannoth's picture

Is this finally Proof that there are no gods?!


"This "conformal cyclic cosmology" (CCC) that Professor Penrose advocates allows that the laws of nature may evolve with time, but precludes the need to institute a theoretical beginning to the Universe."

- Owned religious Bithzes!

DarkAgeAhead's picture

A true believer in science and its method would never ask that question, knowing science is fundamentally unable to answer it.

For a better physics centric view of economics, anyone interested should check out BioPhysical Economics (Charlie Hall, SUNY ESF), or Tainter, or Thomas Homer Dixon for that matter.


MachoMan's picture

Sort of.  Science is still very capable of painting the theory of god into an unreasonable to believe in corner, which is all that is necessary.  Further, science is perfectly capable of disproving the world views and theories presented by various religious groups who presume these views and theories from their ancient dogma.  Obviously, the entire jesus industry is capable of doing a bout face and retreat and retrenchment that god is the source of all these scientifically discovered phenomenon (e.g. evolution), but they do so at the expense of consistency and, ultimately, credibility. [or, they can ignore it altogether, e.g. "god planted these dinosaur bones to test us"].

Yes, we will always have to make a leap of faith in our reasoning...  but that leap is far easier for some than others.

DarkAgeAhead's picture

Well I disagree with how you phrased the point, but think we'd agree on the underlying assumptions and conclusions.

Science is very capable of proving certain beliefs to be verifiably, observably, reproducibly and measurably incoherent, i.e., crazier than a shit house rat.  Like the belief the world's only 6,000 years old, as we define time.  Or that evolution doesn't exist.  Science (thankfully) powerfully dispels the rants of blind faith.

But at least where my mind lies, I can accept all that Science is and offers in a way that enrichs my metaphysical or spiritual belief in a God.  Same with interrelates in ways that strengthen my belief in science, i.e., well-done science that follows its basic tenets, processes and methodologies. 

I guess I'd take issue with your conclusion regarding the about face, retreat and retrenchment of Faith when it places God as the source of observable natural laws.  I don't think any crediblity need, necessarily, be lost in doing so.  Many times consistency is lost, as the Jesus industry tends to selectively accept and reject scientific truths to suit its particular self-interest (i.e., making money and perpetuating itself), but that's not inevitably or necessarily true.

Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK), an emerging but long existing field within Ecology, is just now cross-pollinating with what most define as "Science", i.e., scientific ecological knowledge (SEK).  And much of the research is fascinating, in that it bears out the deep "scientific" knowledge of these ancient cultures.  Not as quaint sociological antiquities to be studied in a warm touchy feely way, but rather as evolved adaptive solutions to the same challenges of survival that we now (and always have, always will) face.

EDIT - by the way, I didn't junk you.  Not that it matters really.

Red Neck Repugnicant's picture

Science is very capable of proving certain beliefs to be verifiably, observably, reproducibly and measurably incoherent, i.e., crazier than a shit house rat.  Like the belief the world's only 6,000 years old, as we define time.  Or that evolution doesn't exist.  Science (thankfully) powerfully dispels the rants of blind faith.


Listen to me for a second, because this is a matter of heaven and hell.  Do you want to burn in hell forever?  I didn't think so, so you better listen up, buddy.

Kirk Cameron (the former child star of the 1980's hit Growing Pains) converted to Christianity at the age of 17.  Prior to that, he was an atheist, which places him in the unique position of having studied both sides of the God/no God coin.  Cameron has done some extensive work on evolution and has basically been able to prove Darwin wrong - an argument that has been slow to find credibility in the biology departments of academia, but is quickly gaining momentum along with the rising popularity of Sarah Palin.   

I'm not nearly as smart as Kirk, so I won't try to reproduce his thoughts, but I would encourage you to watch his videos on YouTube and save your soul from its path toward the eternal inferno. 

Kirk Cameron/Sarah Palin/Fossils are divine tricks/Conservatives 2012

DarkAgeAhead's picture

Holy crap, as one who remembers that show, if "Kirkles" says it's so, then so it is.  Thanks for creating a crisis of faith just as I head into the Christmas season and the Black Friday faith!

MachoMan's picture

In other words, you're a theist for theists sake and religious dogma need not apply.  That's fine...  but, it's really hard to hit a moving target.  Meaning, what is the point of believing in something that, admittedly, can never be completely falsified or changes as our understanding in science changes?  Seems more like an emotional necessity than anything to do with science and, in the end, I can't find much difference in this concept than that of a scientist...  I'd say we're both scientists, you just choose to play around moreso in that area outside its sphere of influence.  Fine by me.

DarkAgeAhead's picture

Well, I'm not sure what bundle of beliefs that "theist for theist's sake" would believe in.

I believe in underlying absolutes that don't change based on advances or setbacks in our perspective.

I believe in a relational reality (as contrasted against Relativism, which to me must devolve into anarchy and a simple state of nature), in which our beliefs and culture are a way to mediate, adapt, and live in a mysterious but largely scientifically describable universe.  I believe that change may be one of the only constant forces in both belief, science and the material world, but that this fundamental force of change operates on a stored template of evolutionary experience.  For the science of that, I'd refer you to Resilience Theory and CS Holling's seminal paper on Complexity in Economic, Ecological and Social Systems.  As far as Science reaches, though, I believe there will always be a deeper mystery that's inherently unexplained by science, a cosmology that derives from faith in a universe that's either too fundamentally complex for us to fully perceive, isolate and reduce through Science, or that's inherently mysterious, a place of spirit that's intrinsically untestable.  It's where our sense of kindness, unity, and belief in the validity of certain emotions, hate, love or whatever...inheres.  It's not a relative's one of absolute standards, of which we are instantly, remorselessly and relentlessly measured against (e.g., Evolution).  Maybe the closest ready example I can provide there is how Plato describes his Platonic Forms.  A circle is still a circle, even if we only perceive a flickering shadow in a darkened cave.

Oh, and by the way, I'm Catholic.  If I had to point to a few writers that more compellingly sum up my rough framework of beliefs, I'd refer to Wendell Berry, GK Chesterton, Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, etc...

I put my faith in the interface of science and faith, where the two meet, both to fight it out but also to reveal the deeper absolute truths of existence.  Where faith treads into matters of science, it should be deservedly beat back.  And where science treads into matters of faith, it too must be called out as overreaching and beyond its design.

Best I can do with a few deadlines looming this morning.

EDIT - and that Science will always be creating new questions that challenges our current scientific beliefs and theories, as well as confronts claims of faith (and perhaps even provides some scientific support for some...).  All part of Change being a constant of the universe.

MachoMan's picture

I'll just fashion you as a scientist.  It's neat that you supplement it with religion (so long as you can keep the two separated and you know religion's place), but ultimately you're just a scientist.  In the event there is a conflict between god and scientific understanding, you will turn your back on god.  As it should be.

Why must there necessarily be a complete divide between our understanding of the world and our guesses at celestial desires?  I suspect that as humans progress many of the areas of emotions, how and why we developed the way we have, and even how and why we have the moral compasses (or lack thereof) we have will all be, at the very least, substantially more understood.  Presently, in your world, the sphere of influence not occupied by science is occupied by god, but there are a great many areas presently outside of our understanding that will be brought into it.  These areas previously represented by god will naturally give way to a better organic and repeatable understanding of our world.  In this sense, what is the trend, and where do you picture someone holding your same belief system 2000 years from now?  10,000?  Can he exist the same?

It just seems to me that, on a long enough time line, the concept of god would be painted into a corner and be exposed as nothing more than an emotional need.  Yes, for purposes of our argument, I can concede that it may not be "irrational" to believe in god even if painted in a corner.  The question though is, if belief in god is unnecessary, why do we continue to choose to do it?  If we can call a spade a spade, I have no problem with it.  I only have a problem with supplanting "knowledge" and "laws" with our guesses of celestial desires.  If you are a conduit for celestial desires, then please accept my apologies.


Red Neck Repugnicant's picture

Perhaps you should approach the science vs. God dilemma from a different angle.  We all know and can define science.  But we don't agree on what God is, and I think that is where the God vs. Science breakdown really begins. Is God some grandfatherly figure in the sky marking the sins of your life in a black book?  Is it Allah, who encourages war against all those who think differently than you?  Is it the flying spaghetti monster as Dawkins would ask?  Or is it an energy in Nature that ensures life and growth always arises from death and decay - the same force that turns sunflowers toward the sun, convinces salmon to swim upstream to their deaths so their eggs are in more fertile and oxygenated waters? There are as many examples of this as there are species of life on Earth. 

There are many definitions of God, and it seems to me that the jealous grandfatherly figure in the sky who wants a portion of your income is the least viable. That definition seems too human. Whenever ones tries to superimpose that image onto the template of science, it is a bit like sticking a square peg through a round hole. 

Perhaps if our views on God were more reasonable, more logical and better removed from archaic dogmas, we could make a better connection between It and science.  We have evolved enough to know that thunder is not the work of Jesus and bowling balls, and I have the confidence that our perception of God will become more reasonable and logical as time moves on.  



MachoMan's picture

Right.  You can believe in some mystical figure without the requirement of any dogma or associated beliefs... ok.  God doesn't exist (in a vacuum).  Generally, you make ancillary falsifiable hypotheses associated with your faith.  Those will ultimately meet their demise.  You can have the rest.

If you want to create your own religion, cool, but those established religions that actually make falsifiable hypotheses all do backpeddling sooner or later...  whether it's thunder or whatever other example you want.  As far as I'm concerned, it's the same rudimentary faith, just at a different point in history (more explained through science), and thus more refined from inception. 

Whatever floats your boat.  But it would help add some type of foundation to your belief system with the incorporation of some falsifiable hypotheses...  instead of "god is wherever science ends".

DarkAgeAhead's picture

I agree but take a different direction.  Cultures will almost inevitably see their likeness in and as God.  But that's a false conflict, as you say, it "seems too human" - because it is too human.  We're destroying the living world based on the same fallacy. 

Deeper though are the principles of any religion, which can be measured and analyzed for consistency of claim, belief, cause and effect, etc...

An easy example...Hitler may have claimed Justice, Kindness and All the Great Traits underlie his vision of cultural purity, etc...  But any arm-chair shrink almost immediately sees the internal contradictions and inherent conflict in his stated beliefs and the actions of his Third Reich.

Lawyers do this all the time...designing and operating complex systems of belief, expressed as laws, codes, constititions, ways that preserve or manifest specific beliefs in concepts such as Justice, Peace, Fairness, etc... 

It's possible to apply the same to religions, preachers and churches.  If for example, a church proclaims a deeply held belief in protecting and valuing children, but simultaneously allows institutionalized abuse to go unpunished, then a conflict between a professed belief in one element of a Faith arises.  The same analysis can be applied to Science, to define exactly where and how Dawkins overreaches, for example, from scientist to douchebag shill for an unintelligent and unintelligible atheism.

I believe there's a Unity of principles underlying and shaping the World's religions, both those focused on Life and those focused on Death. 

From there, it's just a simple choice which way to go.



DarkAgeAhead's picture

Well, other than perhaps offering a different descriptor than "celestial desires", I don't believe, necessarily or inevitably, there must exist a complete divide between our understanding of the biophysical world and our celestial/spiritual ecology.  In fact, I believe the opposite...that all is interconnected, that it's impossible to separate or divide the spirit from the ecological, the mind from the material...all by design.

In my world, Spirit and Science meet in adaptive cycles, of growth, conservation, release (collapse) and renewal.  CS Holling's book, Panarchy, is excellent here for the biology.  For the Spiritual side, Thomas Berry et. al does a fantastic job, of describing an intimate, even placental, universe. Another great book with tenets I agree with is - Sacred Ecology by Filet Berkes. 

There is no bright line for me between belief and science...but rather a Sacred Ecology.  When one takes stock of where the World's ecology, i.e., the Panarchy, currently sits relative to adaptive cycles, it's clear that our current belief systems have created an Ecology of Death, literally.  We are the proximate cause of the World's 6th Great Extinction event - the first since the dinosaurs 65 million years ago; the world's leading biodiversity ecologist calls it the "Death of Birth", due to its severity and likelihood that we'll lose entire ecological niches.  A recent survey of world ecosystems found that future generations of humans can no longer rely on natural systems to provide the same free services as in the past - water & air purification, food production, soil fertility, climate regulation, etc...  There is a standardization of spirit in the Ethnosphere (Wade Davis, Harvard) - we are losing the world's stored adaptive memory of 6,000 cultures.

All this because we as a species have grown into a geological force (google the Anthropocene, fascinating but scary shit).  If we are in fact a force of nature, driving key cycles of life, causing the 6th Great Extinction, etc...., then a simple deduction is that human emotion is now also a global force.  Greed is literally geological.  Kindness, as a force of nature, no different than a hurricane or tsnami.

Where's the line between belief and the material world, when belief is reshaping all life on earth, on such fictions as Keynesian economics, the Clean Water Act, etc...  So to any New Age or false prophets believing the Universe to be malleable to human thought (bending spoons was an early take), they can go shit in their hat, so says the laws of physics...which I agree with.  But when a belief in unlimited growth as a means to human prosperity, a mythology of the corporate and the industrial, literally reshapes, reconfigures and reconvenes the living world based on greed and base human emotion, an Ecology of Death results.

I believe the celestial desires, as you call them, are absolutes.  What is Kindness?  Can it change?  The potential hypotheticals here are endless and easy to imagine.  If it can't change, why?  If it does change, is it still kindness, or is there a better linguistic construct that already exists to define it?  The worst of Men redefine words (see George Orwell or the Bush Adminstration), to convince the masses to believe that kindness is actually ethnic cleansing, etc.  But if you don't believe in absolutes, such redefinition is not only okay, but invited.  Based on God, I believe it is literally impossible to redefine the concept of Kindness, no matter the word.

Where if you place your faith solely in the material world, can you draw your line in the sand and oppose something, anything?  If you exist in a world of moral relativism, your beliefs sit on sand, always shifting, with no absolute framework, no relational way to analytically measure your action against your belief.  What is justice?  Certainly most here would define it differently than does Geithner or Summers.  But why, and how can you or I be right, and they be wrong...if biology is the basis for your beliefs?

To answer your question, to me, in 2,000 years or 200,000 years, Kindness will still be Kindness, defined no differently than we do today.  It may be applied differently, with the inevitable advances in technology and biophysical changes now unfolding.  But Justice, and all's eternal, but only because I place my faith in a living and intimate God.  Same with Gravity...though, as the Universe continues to unfold along its curvature (see Thomas Berry and Brian Swimme for more), gravity may express differently at different points in the Universe's history and future, it by its nature is still Gravity.

I would take the opposite view...on a long enough timeline, the universe shall be painted as a Sacred Ecology, with ever ramifying and deepening mysteries of both Spirit and Science.  Death is the ultimate change - an event horizon where each of us will intimately discover the accuracy of our beliefs, held in this time and space.

If I turn my back on God, I commit what most would refer to as Sin.  I believe, if I turn my back on God, I also disregard the order and flow of the living universe, and Life itself.

If it appears I turn my back on God, I can only trust that I'm turning my back only on false prophets, not the true living God.

Your question fascinates me, as my impression of your view was either/or.  Either a deist or scientist, but not both.  A theist for a theist's sake, but not a scientist for theist's sake, or a theist for science's sake.

Sorry for the somewhat disconnected points - early here but wanted to respond to your good thoughts.

MachoMan's picture

I guess the overarching question I keep coming back to after reading your post is how do you objectively determine you have correctly found god's desire or the true original emotion/feeling/concept (e.g. kindness).  In other words, our ape brains, at this juncture, are completely incapable of making that determination.  As a result, we guess as to god's desire and, ultimately, it shapes our actions...  the problem of course is that our guesses are more of convenience than a real attempt at uncovering the truth...  hence the discrepancies between hitler's talk and actions of the third reich.

This leads me to my main point...  if we want to believe in universals, fine.  I am inclined to agree with you and, certainly, relativism devolves quickly into anarchism and hedonism.  My problem is why must we invoke god's desire to determine universals?  If we are incapable of determining god's will, invoking god to determine universal morality will never yield legitimacy, as it is subject to the whims of madmen, opportunists, and charlatains (who all seem to be incredibly drawn to the jesus industry, although I see little difference between selling a cds and a "spot" in heaven).  If we do stumble upon universal morals, then it will be by chance and not simple reason.  As a result, a reasonable doubt always exists as to our moral discoveries.

Also, as to the scientist issue.  They're not necessarily mutually exclusive (although I think it is practically very difficult to put on the science hat one minute and the faith hat the other).  However, I think, for accuracy's sake, if you follow the scientific method and accept that it is the higher power, then simply speaking, you're a scientist.  In other words, if we are left with but a single word to describe your dual world view, the most accurate is "scientist" and not theist...  I just think we're trying to split hairs if we say "I believe in god, who is wherever science isn't." 

DarkAgeAhead's picture

Faith.  That's the only honest answer to your question.  And with that answer, I know...from your perspective, I've lost the way.

But from that first leap of faith, there are systems, scientific even in nature, to analyze systems of faith, churches, codes, laws, etc. for veracity, from different vantage points.  The entire US legal system is an example.  Of what principles we belief and hold inviolate, or which are allowed to evolve to suit changed circumstances...  Of which when violated, communities such as ZeroHedge rage against, rightfully.  We apply analytical frameworks to legislate human action.  So what makes those "right"?

There's a good book out, written by two neuroscientists that examine brain structure in response to prayer - How God Changes Your Brain, Newberg.  It comes to interesting, and scientific, conclusions about our ape brains.

About the incapability, I make that determination 1,000 times a day in my mind.  So do billion of other higher order primates.

There is only one logical, rational and reasonable consequence as soon as one denounces relativism. That's a Universe of Absolutes, to which we can relate, through Science and Faith.

I would say that Science is a Gift from God, an evolved & evolving algorithm for us apes to utilize as tool to mediate and adapt to a harsh, relentless, mostly remorseless, and inherently dangerous world.  Of a way to discern absolutes amid a world that exists as dynamic non-equilibrium.  Any differentiation or division between Spirit and Science, I'd argue is a false one.  They both emanate from the same source.

I would agree with your point about madmen, opportunists, and charlatans - but their existence does not necessarily negate the possibility of a true absolute, relational faith.  It just proves our ape brains are wired for self-interest, self-gratification, and sometimes, self-aggrandizement.  My faith would immediately, so long as I stay diligent in it, weed out the hacks, quacks, and purveyors of indulgences.  Why?  Because my faith is in an Absolute God, with Absolute Laws, applied relationally to the circumstances through the veil of morality.

So, as the other poster wrote, Hitler was quite scientific.  Why, assuming you agree that he should have been stopped,...should we have stopped him?  He was applying Science and theories in direct ways.  In a world of no absolutes, why sacrifice what we did to stop him?

My question to you that keeps arising is - if not God, and if you may agree Absolutes exist, who or what holds the authority or power to create them?

There is always doubt.  No faith is doubt-free.  Or more accurately, any doubt-free faith is a sure sign of a madman evolving.  Faith should survive the most withering of scrutiny, and only grow stronger and more bright in the darkest of ages (which another is now settling in).

MachoMan's picture

Again, why invoke faith when vastly simpler and more practical reasons abound.  You ask why a system of laws is created...  well, a myriad of reasons, e.g. to protect the present group in power, to implement rudimentary property laws necessary for trade to occur, or even to protect the safety of the citizenry.  I do not need to invoke a higher power to know that I do not want someone else shooting me, driving drunk on the same streets, or taking a shit on my face.  Further, without a rudimentary system protecting property rights, production becomes stifled and the political portion cannot sustain itself without an economic engine.  All of these things are very basic, obvious, and practical.  None of these things require invocation of a higher power.  I suppose objectivism has taken a stab at these questions...  although I'm not sure it found paydirt.

I guess my point is that faith is the handmaiden of the lazy thinker.  Whenever we come to a maze, just dispense with it through faith rather than reason our way through it.  Rather than attribute secular reasons to earthly endeavors, we feel the necessity to invoke faith to describe them...  it's simply easier.  [this also ties in my point that people do not believe god exists in a vacuum...  rather, he brings with him a significant amount of baggage].  I don't need a celestial moral system when I know what things I like, dislike, and that harm me.  I don't need god to tell me this.  I already know it.  The neatest part is, that these things are largely universal.  You don't like to get raped?  You don't say!  It makes you feel bad?  Whoa!  Me too!  Obviously the boundary of the individual and the rest of society is a morphing and evolving border.  But, that is not to say that we necessarily have to invoke any god to dispose of the issue.

Science isn't a gift from god.  Science is something man made through, blood, sweat, tears, and a few souls who were strong enough to not be afraid to be lonely voices.  I don't know why people have to feel guilty for having a better understanding of the world.  We're alone in the universe and it's ok to accept credit (vicariously) for your accomplishments.  When I bake cookies, I do not thank god for his creation...  they're my damn cookies.  And, if god preordained my cookies, then he needs more shit to do.  (see generally, africa).

DarkAgeAhead's picture

To me Faith is the more complex choice (if only because I have to navigate both the realm of Science and the ecosystem of Belief, to arrive at some unified theory that trusts both as true and forms Unity of both).  I do agree that many of Faith do simplify and end up thinking oversimplistically.  That's intellectual and spiritual laziness for sure. 

Not believing, or putting trust in some ever-evolving, relativistic framework is the easy way, i.e., that means I'm always right no matter what.  Such a system of relativism means that what's right for you is right for you (and may change at any moment on a whim), and what's right for me is right for me (and can change).  So long as we don't infringe upon each other's "freedom", i.e., lack of responsibility or fidelity to a deeper Absolute, then that passes for democracy these days.  I'd add, in ZeroHedge parlance, that creates a system of Sheeple, depending on such things as the Fed and Industrial-Military complex, rather than a true democracy of people understanding their deep responsibilities to the underlying absolutes of the Constitution.

To me the lazy thinker is the one who says, "I feel x, and so x it is thus.  But maybe tomorrow, I'll feel y, and so y shall be."  Example - well I promised to not shit on faces, but boy that'd feel great to, so today I think face-shitting is just great."  The one based in an internally consistent faith comprised of transparent laws and beliefs (as contrasted against the charlatan or televangelist that paradoxically himself a relativist, saying, "I believe x, and therefore should prosper on the back of the people to achieve x") is the hard path, requiring discipline and honoring of "natural" laws, rather than as you say, celestial desires.

What if I, taking your example, like to shit on faces, and even believe it's a higher calling that creates a higher good, say humility.  Well my faith would call bullshit.  And perhaps your relativist framework would as well - but only for those who believe it's bullshit.  Your prohibition against face-shitting can't by definition extend to prohibit the face-shitting crowd.  And what if there's a group that enjoys being shat upon?  Would you stop that?  And what if I assembled a coalition of face-shitters and face-shattees to change the laws, to allow for random face shitting based on the principle of humility is good for you?

All that you cite for reasons why systems of law are created are simultaneously true and inadequate.  None form the basis of an Absolute, but rather a situational rule that can shift at whim.  Nature's production capacity dwarfs humans, or at least it did before we destroyed it - the whole idea of an economic engine is a human fiction.

How do you already "know" what you describe?  My faith would say the "law is written on your heart."

I have no guilt in saying Science is a gift from God.  I don't believe we're alone in the universe either.  And your cookies are yours, but what I might give thanks for is given the immensely improbable chance that I'd ever exist, that I did come to exist, and happened to enjoy the freedom to eat cookies.

MachoMan's picture

For the theist academics, theism, as previously stated, will never pass occam's razor and is always the more complex system given it piggy backs on science to its extent and then invokes god as an additional measure.  So yes, in this sense it is more complex...  but theist academics are not to be confused with the masses...  

I don't advocate a relativistic framework.  I too believe in absolutes or at the very least a core of absolutes.  I think this is largely the way our legal system is situated as well.  There are some items that have not evolved much in hundreds of years, e.g. murder, rape, battery, negligence, etc., but there are some things that change daily, e.g. taxes, right to privacy, freedom of speech, etc.  Even though the basis for my belief system is a strong understanding of myself, I think this generally translates to most all humans...  as I am not a unique snowflake.  Obviously, there are many items I am aware are my own subjective whims...  clearly, these would be outside the boundaries I would seek to impose through draconian regulation on others.  Again, I don't need to invoke god to have a pretty good idea my neighbor doesn't want to be raped by a syphilitic donkey.  Although our emotions are our own, we still share a great many.  I think these are largely the underpinning to our daily lives...  whether it be the legal system or a moral code.  But, I see no reason why I should invoke god to describe my emotions.

And no, generally speaking, consent is an exception to the law/emotional baggage...  meaning, in general murder is not permitted, but if you step foot in someone else's home in the dark brandishing a weapon and wearing a ski mask, you have consented to whatever the homeowner may do to reasonably protect himself.  Further, I am not implying that the law is some panacea for morality...  it's just the law, not necessary a system that promotes doing right for right's sake.  It certainly has its limitations.

Also, I will not thank god for putting me on this mudball...  for all I know, purgatory, the ether, or wherever is a far better place...  obviously, given risk aversion, once here, it's best to stay here as long as possible so long as it's going swell...  Why do I owe thanks to something that forced me to be here?  That makes no sense.  That's like telling captured africans, YOU MADE IT TO AMERICA!  Now get to picking cotton (performing god's will)...  fuck that.  In this sense, the only time I could ever appreciate god is if he made me his peer.  Until that day, I will hold him in contempt for keeping me shackled.  I'll collect the bounty of my moral labor as my own (so much as my neighbors/countrymen don't steal that is).

Apocalypse Now's picture

Appeal to authority, false dichotomy, personal incredulity, confusing association with causation, non-sequitur, tautology, and strawman can be used equally by theists and athiests as you demonstrated above.  People believe what is often most advantageous (least pain most pleasure) for their current situation regardless of logic and material or spiritual truth.  Some can't see the forest for the trees, and I can assure you I see both.

Most people are surprised that Charles Darwin used spirit guides, as this does not sound too scientific. Welsh naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace shared many of Darwin’s beliefs and encouraged him to publish his book. Wallace believed in spirit guides, participated in séances and was intrigued by the paranormal. The doctrine Darwin propagated has been used to undermine Christianity.

The world does not want to believe in a Creator because if He is real, then He has ultimate authority over creation. On the flip side, man has no moral responsibility if he crawled out of a primordial soup, grew fins, then legs, and then became a talking ape.

If you came across a full functioning Boeing 747, you would probably believe that somebody designed it and manufactured it (created it).  What are the chances of a tornado going through a junk yard and creating a fully functioning boeing 747?  What if I added billions and billions of years?  No?  I would have to suspend all the laws of the universe?  Well let's just deal with that problem by adding billions of years shall we.
Apocalypse Now's picture

Some people feel if you left monkeys with typewriters in a room for millions of years you would also get the full works of shakespeare. With knowledge of probability and common sense, we can reject that hypothesis.

A Boeing 747 is a piece of cake compared to a human being with 100 trillion cells perfectly functioning with multiple systems. We are living in a paradise that supports life relative to the rest of the universe we have explored, perhaps just having experienced Thanksgiving we should give thanks for that. A little closer to the sun, we would all burn, a little farther away we would freeze - just look at the dessert and the south pole on our very own globe. How about the symbiosis of plants and humans exchanging CO2 and Oxygen. How about the distance between planets in our solar system and the ubiquitous golden mean ratio that also highlights beauty - 1:1.618.

We have just learned something that should intrigue people - we just learned that the chicken came first, as it turns out a compound in an adult chicken is required to create the shell of the egg. Do you even see the ramifications of this? How about applying this to human beings? How many human babies have you noticed that have the ability to feed themselves and survive without an adult?

DNA itself is a language by definition, a blue print, and indicates intelligence. We have much scientific evidence of what changes can occur within cells deviating from a blue print and it is called cancer, it's not pretty. Just because science is beginning to understand how things actually work, does not make it supreme. Something is bigger than our most powerful microscopes and telescopes, just look around your eyes.

This is a spiritual battle, and always has been. We are facing the same forces of evil in the international banking sphere - Soros also uses spirit guides. I have no problem with using our minds to understand the world around us, and perhaps a microscope and telescope are too small to see the big picture and it requires common sense.

Question authority. Question what you were taught. You were also made to believe the federal reserve was federal and had reserves. It helps the elites to have the common man believing in fairy tales that you are just a material being, a beast on two legs without a bill of rights from the Creator.

Adolf Hitler was big on science, the so called "science" of eugenics...beware putting all your faith in science. We just resisted a huge political movement to redistribute wealth masquerading as "global warming science" which was built from manipulated data. They have since changed the name to climate change.

Do not believe what they told you, think for yourself in spheres of both religion and science. Use logic. Life has a purpose and is meaningful...if we aren't just "fooled by randomness". Religion might tell why while science might tell how, but as for ancient history I agree we will always have to make a leap of faith in our reasoning.

Red Neck Repugnicant's picture

That is probably my favorite post I've ever encountered at ZeroHedge.


MachoMan's picture

If you have no idea how humans got here, it seems a substantial leap to invoke a creator absent any additional information or falsifiable inquiry.  Theists bear the burden of proof; nothing until proven something.  And, even if not, I cannot fathom the concept of god could pass occam's razor given it would necessarily invoke an additional step after describing the process of god's interaction with the world (which we cannot know, hence faith).  Not that the razor is dispositive of the issue... 

Further, people do not view god as a mere "theory".  If so, then you're simply a fence sitter agnostic.  Which is fine and dandy, so long as that's how you describe yourself.

If your vision of god solely applies to god as an initial creator/mover, then you're about as close to an atheist as possible on the theism spectrum.  Also, practically speaking, why would you even want to believe in something that was a simple first mover if it has no present interaction with the world?

And yes, science is not and end all be all.  In fact, it is much like a religion itself...  certainly requiring faith in certain departments.  But, it is the process of science that is so vastly dissimilar from the capitulation that is pure faith...  and which is so desirable.  I think we're all aware science, or its masquarading self (e.g. economics), does not have all the answers.  That its conclusions can be bought and sold like credit default swaps.  But, by and large, it should produce something repeatable and tangible...  which is vastly more than I can say for the invocation of god.  In other words, the argument you're making is like our administration calling what it's doing keynesianism while ignoring the whole set back money during the boom years for the rainy day part.  Stuffing feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken, just like making up numbers does not make climate change caused by man.  We get the limitations of science...  or, I think more importantly, the world's inhabitants and political systems...  we get it.  What I don't understand is why people feel the need to invoke a creator when it is unnecessary.

Apocalypse Now's picture

MachoMan -

Fishermen are pulling up fish from the deep that were thought to have been extinct 50 million years ago but somehow did not evolve over eons.  We have found human foot prints next to dinosaur tracks in the fossil record.  We have surprisingly uniform universal temperature for the big bang, surprisingly little moon dust, and we have planets and moons that should not be where they are based on gravity, elipses, and the motion from the big bang.

These are problems for the big bang/evolution theory as it would appear many systems are operating like clockwork.  These issues can not currently be explained by science, but I support continuing to look for answers.  If we suspend the laws of the universe and add billions of years to try and make evolution "reasonable" to come up with one single organism - what did that organism breath and eat?  Why not just accept spontaneous creation/evolution all at one time - like a big bang evolution, say over 7 days.

A woodpecker exists from a systems perspective with a shock absorber behind its brain, a super sharpened beak and "talons" for penetrating wood, along with a super long tongue that would make Gene Simmons jealous and a special retractor so that it does not choke to death on its tongue.  Survival of the fittest would indicate that this creature should have died if it only had one or two of these features, but taken together as a system it thrives.  The point I am making is again about systems working perfectly together to support life.  

They key most important point here is intelligent design.  Currently human beings are the most intelligent being in the universe from a scientific perspective based on measured IQ.  The argument is that the "program" (all the laws of the universe including mathematics, physics, genetics, and all the other fields of study you would like to include) struggle to even identify/codify/express (formulas, etc.) fields within the natural world we live in that is perfect for supporting life.  If you saw a motor vehicle or the Boeing 747 I described earlier, you would naturally believe that a human being created it.  I doubt that you would attribute the creation to a lesser being like a dog or a cat. 

The logic is that where there is order, organization, language, and design there is always a creator/designer.  If the smartest humans can only struggle to grasp the mysteries within individual fields and principles and laws work across fields (E=MC^2) perfectly, then an intelligent individual using inductive and deductive logic must come to the conclusion based on the above that there is an intelligence above mankind.  Surely you don't think the supreme order with programmed universal laws is a result of a lesser intelligence?  Like a pet in my previous question designing a Boeing 747, or even lower, no intelligence at all - in fact totally random???  Something with less intelligence, created a system with more intelligence??? OOH-YEAH!!

The repeatable portion of your demands for scientific inquiry are only repeatable because of these programmed laws.  It is as simple as comparing random events, explosions, and chaos and their results to the established order and natural law in place today.  Big Bang/evolutionists bear just as much burden of proof if you want to be a true intellectual with an open mind to understand TRUTH not just what you were told to believe.  As you said, there is a leap of faith...but I would argue it is the same between evolution (we created ourselves) and intelligent design.  What do you put your trust in?  I would recommend trusting your heart and your head at the same time in equal parts. 

Experiment (scientific) with one or more of the following: consciousness, will power of intent, spirituality (christianity or occult/luciferianism as one would lead you to the conclusion the other exists), the impact of positive emotions, and ask yourself if it is real.  If those can exist based on your feelings despite the difficulty of trying to measure it in science under the microscope, then there might be more to life than just the physical and life has meaning.

Obviously, once one accepts a higher power there are many other ramifications that should be considered - that is why people create absurd theories to come up with an alternative to the God shaped vacuum in the heart of every person.  One counter to a conscience is to argue that we don't in fact have one and it is our own creation (we created ourselves and our conscience).  Think about this site, why are people filled with righteous indignation over stealing and lies in the financial industry?  Could it be that it is morally wrong?  From a survival of the fittest perspective, the only law would be do what thou will in a world without God.  Where do we get morals, where do we get our ideals?

The greeks believed that for something to be good, it had to fulfill its purpose.  A good saw was good if it performed well at cutting.  What makes a good person?

The first recorded "sin" was rebellion of lucifer stating, I will exhault my throne above God's.  The second recorded "sin" was very similar in mankind wanting to be like God and knowing both good and evil.  I guess pride goes before a fall with both angels and mankind.

As for present interaction, I would assume that a creator would leave both clues and allow anyone searching for the truth to find it.  In fact, a creator would most likely outline things that should and should not be done for the benefit of mankind from its superior intelligence and implant that in all people (conscience - you would like that word it has science in it).  As for interaction, I believe in free will as we are free to believe or not and free to choose good/God, evil/luciferianism, or believe in nothing.  Without free will we would be slave robots. 

People sincerely looking for the Truth will find it.

MachoMan's picture

I already conceded that science does not have all the answers.  The question is why must we invoke a power, that is admittedly incapable of being understood by humans, as the answer?  It's one thing to say scientific theories are not laws of the universe (i'm pretty sure even scientists would agree); it's another to claim to have all the answers, god! (whatever the fuck he/she/it is - does god have sexual organs?).  I think the difference between the two is that science understands its shortcomings and admits the simple fact that it has yet to falsify theories...  which is substantially short of proving them.  However, theists presume the truth of their concept of god...  and this concept is incapable of academic divestment and, thus, a closed system.

When you find the objective "Truth" (why the shit are you capitalizing this nonsense), you let me know.  I would love to stand in the presence of a diety...  or at least someone who has transcended the human condition.  Then I'll get mad at god and wonder why he told you all this shit instead of me...  what an asshole!

clickjaw's picture

Follow me in this gestalt.

If the laws of physics are "evolving", which may possibly mean this would apply to Newton's 3rd law of motion (ie. for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction), then it is theoretically possible for cause to precede effect or no cause to follow any effect, after all anything is possible.

If it is at least theoretically possible for cause to precede effect or something more illogical, all logic is lost, and thus, the thought and subsequent statement "finally proof that there are no gods" is indecipherable.

clickjaw's picture

Be careful where you take solace, you may cut off your legs in order to win a foot race.

TeamAmerica's picture

Gestalt?  Step away from the bong, sir.

Your deep thoughts on the possibility of cause preceding effect are highly disturbing to everyone on ZH who believes in metaphysics and conspiracy.   If that were to be proven true, then such bizarre concepts as objective reality might be proven true...and what fun is that?

DarkAgeAhead's picture

Yep, good thinking.

As with these recent articles summarizing the research:

I don't buy into all of it, but it's interesting shit to say the least. 

the grateful unemployed's picture

Don't you mean effect to precede cause? That's the Carroll line from Alice, "first the sentence and then the evidence.." That became the mantra of the Bush administration on WMDs. but more to the point, it is also possible for highly linear structure to run ahead of the operators controls, for wars and famines and depression to occur, and we have no conscious control over these events. No fancy metaphysics required here, western man has achieved many technological advances, by separating thought from action. Modern man is able to do complex and dangerous things, like dropping an atom bomb, or rebuilding a human heart, and to do these things with the impartiality of a machine. So it happens that action, can also precede thought. We create things which have a life of their own.

The chicken is the eggs idea of a way to get more eggs..


see McLuhan Medium is the Massage

Rogerwilco's picture

Not quite Azzanoth. This theory just eliminates the need to explain a weird singularity that makes no sense to physicists or theologists. Penrose's earlier work indicates our current universe started from a state of almost perfect (1/(e^10^123)) uniformity. This is hard to reconcile with the super-hot "big bang" which is a state of complete disorder.

The new theory says our universe will wind down of trillions of years until it is a dark, featureless, uniform void. In this timeless state, all that is needed for creation (the next cycle's beginning) is a distinction in the void. How that distinction occurs is anyone's guess, God, a quantum fluctuation, etc., you get the point.

It's a beautiful theory on many levels.

Xibalba's picture

If G-d 'spoke' all things into existence, then the expansion of space-time should be at the speed of sound in all directions.  Bang!

snowball777's picture

God has exahertz transducers, tune your fillings!

Jason T's picture

OT: bloomberg radio guys flustered as to why Euro  just tanked...  bunch of idiots.  They ahave practically no advertising.  United Way and themslves only.  

the not so mighty maximiza's picture

Inflation is cyclic do to the fact humans are cyclic.  Is it not obvious we are still primitives.  We create a money system and still go broke.  What more proof is needed.




stoneman sacked's picture

God inflates, Bernanke inflates. Does that mean

Bernanke = God or God = Bernanke ?

sureseam's picture

And here is why most economists are wrong: they think economics is a branch of chemistry, physics or mathematics; whereas it is more akin to a branch of biology or sociology.

A high population of lemmings would be taken as a sign of impending future population growth on the basis of recent insights. **sigh**


DarkAgeAhead's picture

Sociology maybe, but definitely not biology.  We just don't understand the living world sufficiently, to describe the laws and patterns as we do in physics.  But that doesn't make biology any less complex than physics - in many ways, it's more so.

Sociology on the other hand, is right there with economics as bullshit wrapped up in PhD form.

BobPaulson's picture

What I like about astophysicists is that they are gutsy enough to make up theories regularly about how things work. The rest of us must keep in mind that these things are works in progress and evolve rapidly. 

Economics,  in my opinion, does not merit the same high place in the sciences. It is terminally politically biased I'm afraid. Economics is the rich kid who didn't have a Nobel prize so he went out and bought one.

Irwin Fletcher's picture

That's exactly what happened, where the rich kid was the Swedish Central Bank. They established the economics prize in 1968 in memory of Alfred Nobel. What a way honor his memory - the guy felt bad for giving the world the destructive power of dynamite, and now his prize rewards people like Krugman.

BobPaulson's picture

Exactly, the annoying part is the Nobel Society calls it a "Nobel Prize"

Clint Liquor's picture

From the birth and death of Galaxies to sub-atomic particles, every thing is cyclic. Pre-modern humans embraced it. Modern humans dismiss it because they would have to admit they control virtually nothing.

The laws of Physics do not allow for a 'Perpetual Motion Machine'. Keynesian Economics demand it.

Azannoth's picture

Good example, the Keynsian Perpetum Mobile :)

clickjaw's picture

And, the laws of physics don't allow for a perpetual motion machine for cyclical universes either. Just sayin'.