Comment on God and Granite Cubes by Sean Pitman.
Here’s a quote that explains the problem I have with the multiverse idea (i.e., a “Theory of Anything” can be used to explain absolutely everything – and therefore nothing):
A pervasive idea in fundamental physics and cosmology that should be retired: the notion that we live in a multiverse in which the laws of physics and the properties of the cosmos vary randomly from one patch of space to another. According to this view, the laws and properties within our observable universe cannot be explained or predicted because they are set by chance. Different regions of space too distant to ever be observed have different laws and properties, according to this picture. Over the entire multiverse, there are infinitely many distinct patches. Among these patches, in the words of Alan Guth, “anything that can happen will happen—and it will happen infinitely many times”. Hence, I refer to this concept as a Theory of Anything. Any observation or combination of observations is consistent with a Theory of Anything. No observation or combination of observations can disprove it. Proponents seem to revel in the fact that the Theory cannot be falsified. The rest of the scientific community should be up in arms since an unfalsifiable idea lies beyond the bounds of normal science. Yet, except for a few voices, there has been surprising complacency and, in some cases, grudging acceptance of a Theory of Anything as a logical possibility. The scientific journals are full of papers treating the Theory of Anything seriously. What is going on?…
A Theory of Anything is useless because it does not rule out any possibility and worthless because it submits to no do-or-die tests. (Many papers discuss potential observable consequences, but these are only possibilities, not certainties, so the Theory is never really put at risk.)
Laura Mersini-Houghton’s observations have not demonstrated the existence of infinite universes – not even close. The concept of infinite universes beyond our own is simply not testable and could never be testable in a falsifiable manner from our very very limited Earth-bound perspective. Again, the modern use of the multiverse argument is equivalent to undermining the very basis of scientific discovery – predictive value. The multiverse argument completely undermines the entire concept of predictive value since it makes anything not only possible, but argues that anything and everything will happen somewhere an infinite number of times – by sheer chance alone. If I win at the craps table in Las Vegas 1000 times in a row, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m deliberately cheating somehow. Odds are pretty much 100% that I just happen to be in the right universe! After all, its bound to happen somewhere an infinite number of times – right?! Come on now! You just can’t do science starting with such a premise. Surely you can see that?
So, isn’t the hypothesis of intelligent design in the same boat? Well, no. It isn’t. Why not? Because, the argument that an intelligent mind and only an intelligent mind could have produced a given phenomenon can be tested and falsified quite easily – by simply showing how some mindless mechanism based on the mechanical laws of nature could do the job without any additional intelligent “direction” or “guidance” beyond these mindless mechanisms. You see, the ID-only argument isn’t being used to explain anything and everything. It is only being used to explain what cannot be explained by mindless mechanisms, but are at least approximated by what known intelligent minds can produce.
Sean Pitman Also Commented
How do you know that? How do you know it could ‘never’ be testable, if in fact certain cosmologists are know making observations that they say indicate the effect of other universes on our own? How do you know as time goes on that Man will not in fact unravel the mystery and provide more concrete evidence of a multiverse?
I’ve already explained this is some detail. And, I’ve explained why the use of the “multiverse argument” can be used to explain everything and therefore nothing… and how this is anti-science. It’s not real science if it undermines the ability to produce “predictive power” for the hypothesis and/or theory – the very basis of science.
Again, the multiverse concept is impossible to test, even in theory, because other bubble universes would be permanently out of reach and unobservable. “Literally, anything can happen and does happen infinitely many times,” Steinhardt says. “This makes the theory totally unpredictive or, equivalently, unfalsifiable.”
An untestable idea is by definition unscientific, because science relies on verifying predictions through experimentation. Proponents of the multiverse idea, however, say it is so inextricable with some theories, including inflation theories, that evidence for one is evidence for the other. However, this argument is self-defeating. It’s like saying that evidence that predicts a multiverse is evidence that would predict anything and everything… and therefor nothing again. It’s a circular argument…
Also, as far as Laura Mersini-Houghton’s arguments, they are based on the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) “cold spot” and “dark flow” data. However, since the initial WMAP data was obtained, a more thorough analysis of data from the WMAP and from the Planck satellite (which has a resolution 3 times higher than WMAP) failed to find any statistically significant evidence of such a bubble universe collision. In addition, there is no evidence of any gravitational pull of other universes on ours. (Link)
Here’s what the Planck team said about the WMAP data:
“The Planck team’s paper appears to rule out the claims of Kashlinsky and collaborators,” says David Spergel of Princeton University, who was not involved in the work. If there is no dark flow, there is no need for exotic explanations for it, such as other universes, says Planck team member Elena Pierpaoli at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. “You don’t have to think of alternatives.”
So, really, there is no solid evidence even for one other universe beyond our own – much less an infinite number of universes (which would make any “evidence” meaningless anyway because such a perspective makes any and all observations and predictions equally likely).
Yet, as Ron points out, God of the Gaps becomes your default mechanism for ‘ostensible’ design – that gets whittled down over time by science demonstrates how cause and effect mechanisms create phenomena. Again the glaring double standard.
Science itself is based on “gaps” between what various hypotheses can effectively explain and reliably predict. If there were no discoverable gaps like this, there would be no science. That is why pointing out the scientific ability to detect deliberate intelligent design behind various phenomena in nature is not a “double standard” at all – especially given that several modern scientific disciplines are based on the scientific ability to detect deliberate intelligent design behind various artifacts found in nature. How do you think forensic scientists, anthropologists, and SETI scientists hope to be able to detect true artifacts of intelligent design when they find them?
God and Granite Cubes
Oh please. A bacterium is not deliberately intelligent like humans are. This should be self evident to you. Also, human intelligence may be natural, but it is not the same thing as the mindless forces of nature (like meterological phenomena for instance). The existence of a highly symmetrical granite cube cannot be explained by any other “natural phenomena” besides that which also has access to at least human level intelligence. And, that’s the whole point. Different phenomena that are clearly “artificial” in nature require different levels of intelligence to explain…
God and Granite Cubes
That’s just it. The ID-only or “God-only” hypothesis is not being used to explain anything and everything… as already explained.
Recent Comments by Sean Pitman
Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
I’m just saying is that if you think that what you say on blog sites like this one doesn’t really affect people, especially when you present yourself as an MD, you’re mistaken. I know that people have been influenced against taking the mRNA vaccines by what you’ve said here in this forum. You’re not simply being neutral in what you’ve posted. You do, in fact, come across as being opposed to the mRNA vaccines – also noting that you didn’t get vaccinated yourself and chose to get infected by the live COVID-19 virus without pre-established vaccine-based immunity. You’ve also come across as being strongly against any response by me to the articles that you’ve referenced where I point out how these papers really do not actually undermine the efficacy and/or the relative safety of the mRNA vaccines. Clearly, you don’t come across as being neutral on the topic.
And, such comments have an effect on people – they really do. While that upsets me, again, it’s more important to me to allow for those who disagree with me to also post their comments rather than to only allow what I personally think is true to be posted.
Beyond this, no one is twisting your arm to post our comments here. You can post or not post as you wish. That’s entirely up to you. But, don’t expect that I won’t push back when you post comments that I think will increase the risk of those who read what you have to say…
Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
The difference between us is that I see people in the ICU, as does my brother-in-law Dr. Roger Seheult (a pulmonologist in S. Cal.). You might see the occasional person die from COVID-19, but those who work ICUs in larger medical centers see far too many people die from COVID-19 – to include young people (not just those in nursing homes). You might offer the vaccine to those whom you see, but if you present arguments to them like the ones you’ve presented here, such advice most certainly does result in increased injuries and even death. For me, that’s a big deal. You might call it “weird and overly dramatic” if you want, but for me the effort to save lives and reduce injuries is neither “weird” nor “overly dramatic”. I mean, that’s why I do what I do…
Now, you say, “The discussions that I have on blogs like this are my personal thoughts and concerns. They don’t reflect the way that I actually practice primary care medicine on a daily basis.”
That would be great if this were a private conversation, but it isn’t. It is a public conversation and your words have an impact on the hundreds who read this blog every day. I mean, in a very real sense, especially given that you include your title “MD” with your name, and often point out that you are a medical doctor when you post to this blog, you are, in fact, practicing medicine when you post public comments like you do. You cannot simply say, “I don’t actually follow my own advice that I post in blogs when I practice primary care medicine on a daily basis.” Your influence simply isn’t limited to what you do face-to-face with patients in your clinic. Your influence also extends to what you say and do in front of people outside of your daily medical practice.
Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
Well, I’m glad you go at least this far… although I still think that the kinds of arguments you present here really do put people’s lives and health at increased risk. I know you don’t agree, but that’s how I see things from my own perspective.
Now, I’m fine with you, and those who think like you, having the ability to freely share your opinions – despite how mistaken and damaging I personally think these opinions may be. That’s just the nature of living in a free society – which I think is far more important than restricting the freedom of speech.
Again, however, when it comes to active retrotransposons in normal human cells, naturally, the expression of LINE sequences is repressed in most cell types. Its RNA is mainly heritable during early embryogenesis because of its enrichment and high retrotransposition activity in early embryos (Grow et al., 2015). That’s why the Swedish research team used a tumor cell line where LINE-1 sequences where more strongly expressed.
On the other hand, it does seem to be true that cells infected by live SARS-COV-2 viruses do show enhancement of expression of retrotransposons:
In our study, we analyzed publicly available transcriptome data of human cells infected with coronavirus MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2, and observed enhanced expression of TEs including several retrotransposons, as well as inflammation, immunity, and apoptosis related genes. We further noticed potential fusion of SARS-CoV-2 RNA with retrotransposon transcripts especially LINEs and SINEs… One of the major mechanisms for LINE-1 silencing is DNA methylation, and we examined expression of genes encoding DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) and Ten-eleven translocation (TET) enzymes mediating active DNA demethylation. We observed that Tet genes were generally upregulated after coronavirus infection (Figure 2D), and upregulated DNA demethylation activity may lead to demethylation of retrotransposon promoters. This result supports that increased retrotransposon expression was caused by genome-wide DNA demethylation. We obtained similar results in MERS-CoV/SARS-CoV infected MRC5 cells which are noncancerous human lung fibroblast cells (Figures 2A–D)… SARS-CoV-2 infection also causes upregulation of TET gene expression (Figure 2D). Similarly, SARS-CoV-2 was identified to have the capability of infecting human intestinal organoids (Figure 2E) and increased retrotransposon expression can also be observed post infection in a time-dependent manner (Figure 2F)…
Coronaviruses are RNA viruses and are not supposed to integrate into host genome by themselves. However, it was reported that several RNA viruses have capacity to recombine with retrotransposons to invade host genome (Geuking et al., 2009)… This demonstrates high efficiency of LINE family especially LINE-1 in forming chimeric transcript with SARS-CoV-2 RNA. LINE-1 is autonomous retrotransposon with retrotransposition activity, and RNA-RNA ligation mediated by endogenous RNA ligase RtcB was previously reported for LINE-1 to carry other types of RNA for host genomic invasion (Moldovan et al., 2019), so similar mechanisms may apply for SARS-CoV-2 transcripts. Further examination of human genome from SARS-CoV-2 infected human cells or biopsies will be particularly important to identity existence of integration of coronavirus RNA into human genome.
So, you see, if anything, infection by live SARS-COV-2 viruses puts a person at higher risk of cellular genetic modification compared to the mRNA vaccines. This only adds to the reasons to get vaccinated against COVID-19 rather than to gain “natural immunity” the hard way – i.e., via a live SARS-COV-2 infection. Yet again, the risks are simply far higher here for the natural infection vs. vaccination.
Mandates vs. Religious Exemptions
I think everyone’s knowledge of retrotransposons is limited when it comes to how they might possibly pose any kind of real risk for the use of mRNA technology – for vaccines or any other use. If you think otherwise, by all means, do share with me how retrotransposons reasonably create such a risk? This paper from Sweden that you’ve most recently forwarded certainly does no such thing.
As far as what kind of “weight of evidence” it would take to change your mind about mRNA vaccines, you say that you don’t require “absolute knowledge”, but it certainly seems as though you’re raising the bar far far higher than is reasonable – to the point of preferring to get sick with a COVID-19 infection, putting yourself at a far higher risk of long-term injury and even death, rather than take an mRNA vaccine. Given the evidence that is currently in hand, I find that position to be rationally untenable – especially when it comes to trying to convince others to do the same thing during a time when those who are getting very sick and dying, still thousands every day, are almost all unvaccinated.
Now, I’m glad that you personally survived, but spreading misinformation like this has cost and is still costing many lives. I have a problem with that and I do not at all apologize for my strong recommendation that pretty much everyone who has access to the mRNA vaccines get vaccinated against COVID-19.