Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Irreducible Complexity of the Standard Model of Particle Physics

Irreducible complexity is a notion introduced by Creationists in an attempt to undercut the theory of evolution by natural selection, essentially by proposing that some features found in nature are so complex even at their most fundamental levels that they could not have been arrived at through evolution.

This is a debunkable notion, especially given recent molecular evidence pointing to a Universal Common Ancestor. But interestingly, because of the Creationist focus on nonevolved life, the idea has not been much applied to nonbiological fields. And yet, there is one field to which this idea truly does belong, and that is particle physics. Within particle physics an equation has been developed, a very long and complex and powerful equation describing the intricate balance of relationships between all of the particles and forces of our Universe which combine to give it its perceivable physical characteristics.

To the right is the Standard Model of Particle Physics (and here, to be especially exact, the Standard Model Lagrangian -- a Lagrangian being an especial sort of comprehensive description of a system). 

Now, here's the thing, the equation is an equation of the whole; it is complete, and inseparably so. No part of the equation may be taken out without the function of the whole collapsing -- and that function is the sustainment of our Universe itself!! Every constant needed to insure our existence is there, and not only to insure that our Universe exists and continues to exist, but that it grows instead of collapsing on itself.

And, even more, that this growth is steadily paced and will happen to yield expressions of fundamental forces such as the strong nuclear force and electromagnetism, which happen to contribute to the progressive diversity of chemical elements. One of the fundamental questions of science and philosophy is, why is there something, instead of nothing at all? Well, now we know that the mechanisms set forth in the Standard Model require there to be something, force 'something' to come seemingly from nothing. But the Standard Model is a something which necessarily precedes every other something which otherwise comes from nothing. And therein lies the rub, for this complex and massive balance of equations is asserted to exist of its own accord, despite the centuries man has had to progress, and the decades mathematicians have had to labor, in bringing to light the glory of its elegant complexity.

And this, the atheist contends, is a raw fact, a Universe from nothing. And for the theist, this is no aid either, as a Universe arising evolutionarily from such a formula would contradict theistic accounts of wholesale Creation of living organisms and living planets and star systems. And so, the simple, raw and brutal fact of the existence of this formula evidences, at last, Pandeism.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Pandeism in Asian Philosophy

Some weeks ago I posted the current state of Wikipedia's Pandeism page. Since then, a bunch of newly added material has popped up, focusing on Pandeism in Asian philsophy, especially as to India, China, and Japan. And here is Wiki's continuing story:

As has been noted, Max Bernhard Weinstein asserted the presence of of pandeism in China,[14] including in Lao-Tze's Taoism,[15] and in India.[16] Weinstein likewise found the views of 17th century Japanese Neo-Confucian philosopher Yamazaki Ansai, who espoused a cosmology of universal mutual interconnectedness, to be especially consonant with pandeism as well.[25] Other philosophers have also pointed to pandeism as having a presence in those cultures. In 1833, religionist Godfrey Higgins theorized in his Anacalypsis that "Pandeism was a doctrine, which had been received both by Buddhists and Brahmins."[42] In 1896, historian Gustavo Uzielli described the world's population as influenced "by a superhuman idealism in Christianity, by an anti-human nihilism in Buddhism, and by an incipient but growing pandeism in Indian Brahmanism."[43] But the following year, the Reverend Henry Grattan Guinness wrote critically that in India, "God is everything, and everything is God, and, therefore, everything may be adored. ... Her pan-deism is a pandemonium."[44] Likewise, twenty years earlier, in 1877, Peruvian scholar and historian Carlos Wiesse Portocarrero had written in an essay titled Philosophical Systems of India that in that country, "Metaphysics is pandeistic and degenerates into idealism."[45]
Pandeism (in Chinese泛自然神论)[46] was described by Wen Chi, in a Peking University lecture, as embodying "a major feature of Chinese philosophical thought," in that "there is a harmony between man and the divine, and they are equal."[47] Zhang Dao Kui (张道葵) of the China Three Gorges University proposed that the art of China's Three Gorges area is influenced by "a representation of the romantic essence that is created when integrating rugged simplicity with the natural beauty spoken about by pandeism."[48] Literary critic Wang Junkang (王俊康) has written that, in Chinese folk religion as conveyed in the early novels of noted folk writer Ye Mei (叶梅),[49] "the romantic spirit of Pandeism can be seen everywhere."[50] Wang Junkang additionally writes of Ye Mei's descriptions of "the worship of reproduction under Pandeism, as demonstrated in romantic songs sung by village people to show the strong impulse of vitality and humanity and the beauty of wildness."[51]