Young Earth Creationism & the minute universe (Saints & Simulators)

#1
Fifth in an ongoing series about the places where science and religion meet. The previous episode is here.

https://partiallyexaminedlife.com/2019/0...euniverse/

EXCERPT: . . . If we were able to perfect the amnesia-and-fake-memory combination, it would enable the deliberate realization of another favorite speculation of armchair philosophers, the idea that the entire world might have been created just five minutes ago, and that we came into it with all our memories intact but invented; that the history of the universe itself is a cleverly contrived fake.

As with solipsism, this philosophical conceit initially seems easy enough to debunk on grounds of sheer contrived implausibility. Any phenomenon powerful enough to create the entire universe at this particular moment in time would be powerful enough to create it from the beginning, so why start here? And would it take any less effort to fake an entire history than just to live it? Why do it?

But, as alluded to above, what is ludicrous on its face turns out once again to be a part of our standard nightly experience. Sometimes, true enough, we do dream of real people and real places with real histories. [...] In reality, that person we dreamt we were married to, that ancient cathedral, that charming seaside town, all were created on the spot, complete with their histories, just for the benefit of the dreamer.

Stranger still, they may not have been created at the start of the dream, nor yet even in the middle of the dream: Earlier, we considered the theory that our brain weaves the dream only after waking, as an attempt to make narrative sense of a jumble of random images. If that were true, the dream would only ever exist as a memory; it would not be possible to experience it as it happens.

As with solipsism, there is a video-game analog also to this scenario. In a video-game world, there is often some back story, some history going back, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of years, that explains the scenario the player finds himself or herself in. [...] Of course, despite the many signs and relics signaling the reality of that past within the game, it is all made up; it never happened. It is arguably not even real relative to the game reality, since no computer ever simulated the entire history of [..the game universe...]. It was written as a piece of fiction by the game designers, and then incorporated into the game, solely for atmosphere.

This is also a standard feature of books. The protagonist happens down an old road and meets a childhood friend he has not seen in years. [...] In reality, the friend only exists because the author needed a way to pass the information to the character. The old school days, the inside jokes, the shared memories of boyhood mischief, they were all made up on the spot, for realism, for verisimilitude. Most of that shared history never exists even on the page, it is implied in broad strokes, rather than lived in detail by the characters.

Oddly enough, modern science tells us that this very scenario, of being created with an invented past, is not just a feature of fiction, video games, and dreams. It actually describes an odd feature of our own real lives. It is known [...] that our memories ... are actually quite malleable and are altered and reformed each time they are recalled. So in a sense, for all of us, the person we are at any given moment is a potentially recent confabulation.

And as with the person, so with the world. If our memories can be manipulated and reformed, if our own past histories can be invented, then nothing stands in the way of the concept that the world itself might not have the history we perceive it to have. In an example of modern science bringing about uncanny echoes of ancient concepts, however, this idea of an invented past is also at the heart of one of the most controversial of all religious doctrines, creation science (also known as Young Earth Creationism, or YEC).

[...] it is the oft-mocked attempt to reconcile modern science with a strictly literal reading of the Bible ... that the world was created directly by God ... somewhere between six thousand and ten thousand years ago. This stands in direct contrast to the mainstream scientific consensus that the Earth is several billion years old, and formed naturally over an unimaginably vast span of time.

Creation science has been roundly rejected by the mainstream scientific establishment [...] Yet what makes it most fundamentally controversial is this very concept of an invented past. The area of the most internal conflict for creation science revolves around the fossil record. If the dinosaurs did not rule the earth millions of years before the evolution of humankind, then why does the fossil record seem to indicate that they did?

One scenario that would explain the evidence, while simultaneously endorsing many of the core doctrinal claims of creation science, is if the Earth itself were a part of some kind of cosmic video game, or something that can be conceptualized as like a video game. Only the Earth itself, and some of the surrounding space and nearer space objects would actually exist in the game, the rest would be what video game designers call a "skybox," a projected simulation of objects too distant to actually interact with. Similarly, only the recent history of the Earth would have actually taken place, the rest would be backstory added for atmosphere.

The idea that the world is God’s video game seems calculated to anger both scientists and true religious believers. And yet the overlap between these two superficially disparate conceptions of reality is difficult to dismiss. In the video-game paradigm, the video-game creator is clearly in the same role in relationship to the world as that traditionally held to be occupied by God. And if we follow creation science, it seems to imply that God created the world with the same artful deceptiveness as a video-game designer....

MORE (part 5): https://partiallyexaminedlife.com/2019/0...euniverse/

(Part 1) Did Bostrom Prove the Existence of God?
(Part 2) The Simulation Argument
(Part 3) What Is Simulation?
(Part 4) Alone In The Cyberverse
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#3
Quote:this idea of an invented past is also at the heart of one of the most controversial of all religious doctrines, creation science (also known as Young Earth Creationism, or YEC).

I don't see the point, wouldn't the YEC's be included in an invented past? Or do YEC members fall under another invention(?), being special?
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#4
(Mar 17, 2019 06:16 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote:
Quote:this idea of an invented past is also at the heart of one of the most controversial of all religious doctrines, creation science (also known as Young Earth Creationism, or YEC).

I don't see the point, wouldn't the YEC's be included in an invented past? Or do YEC members fall under another invention(?), being special?


It was non-theist philosophers like Russell who explored/reviewed the idea of the world coming into being "in progress" only one or five minutes ago. Whereas the Omphalos hypothesis and whatever offspring ideas from it hold that it was created "in progress" a few thousands of years ago rather than just minutes.

Presumedly, the evolving primates and humans of the "fake deep history" (before 6,000 or 10,000 years ago -- whatever the date is for their creation week commencing) didn't include descendants of Adam/Eve and knowledge of Genesis events or even God. So IOW, YEC members came after the point where the past ceases to be bogus and becomes real or "lived through" rather than merely being deceptive records which the environment contains.

Apparently many YECs don't actually embrace or feel that they need the Omphalos hypothesis (thus why simulation proposals also anger them). Their brand of Creation Science contends that there's no evidence of the world being billions of years old (geological features are misinterpreted) and thus no need of a fake history or its elevation to a simulation context (today's version).

Technically, YEC probably wasn't even coined until later in the 20th-century (there was no need for the distinction until theories/evidence of an older Earth arose). Although believers could be retrospectively classified as such going back to whenever Abrahamic creation myths were first formulated.

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#5
To invent a scenario where in 6000 years billions of galaxies would appear billions of light years away is suggesting that anything beyond 6000 light years away (galaxies of light’s origin) are not really there, n’est ce pas?
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#6
(Mar 17, 2019 07:23 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: To invent a scenario where in 6000 years billions of galaxies would appear billions of light years away is suggesting that anything beyond 6000 light years away (galaxies of light’s origin) are not really there, n’est ce pas?

They don't believe they "are not really there", so that is an ignorant straw man of their position.

Creation "in progress" would imply that a god could create a universe in any state of operation, even one in which light from distant stars is created already "on it's way" toward Earth...with that light's source also created and equally real.

If you'd practice steel manning positions you don't like, you won't expose your ignorance or bias.
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#7
(Mar 17, 2019 07:23 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote: To invent a scenario where in 6000 years billions of galaxies would appear billions of light years away is suggestive of anything beyond 6000 light years away (galaxies of light’s origin) are not really there, n’est ce pas?


Oh, the "galaxies could really be there" in something like the Omphalos hypothesis, where the light from distant objects could likewise be created "in progress".

But probably not in an outright simulation situation which depended upon computers rather than gods at a next-level reality to generate the impression of a world. Barring quantum computers pulling a rabbit out of the hat, an entire universe can't be simulated by digital hardware. Depends instead upon the solipsism tricks that the brain uses to "create environments on the fly" during dreams, to be implemented by technologies. But far more regulated by lawful rules rather than by the quirky emotions and memories of dreams.

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#8
Quote:But probably not in an outright simulation 

How can any simulation be valid if the simulator is not the same size? If one was to simulate the universe would not the simulator need to be the size of the universe?
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#9
(Mar 17, 2019 08:09 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote:
Quote:But probably not in an outright simulation 

How can any simulation be valid if the simulator is not the same size? If one was to simulate the universe would not the simulator need to be the size of the universe?

That's like asking if a video game console would have to be as big as the game world it simulates.
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#10
(Mar 17, 2019 08:11 PM)Syne Wrote:
(Mar 17, 2019 08:09 PM)Zinjanthropos Wrote:
Quote:But probably not in an outright simulation 

How can any simulation be valid if the simulator is not the same size? If one was to simulate the universe would not the simulator need to be the size of the universe?

That's like asking if a video game console would have to be as big as the game world it simulates.

Yeah, don't think I worded that right. Can't remember what I was thinking at that time. Simulation....pretend, right? Even if I was to have the exact copy of the universe, it still wouldn't be the same... or would it? 

Anyways I had another thought. Would not a simulation of the universe have to include the simulator. I mean the simulator would have to show up at some point in the simulation, no?
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