Channel: Abdullah al Andalusi
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The argument I'll be presenting in this video I originally developed in its current form for the DAO masterclass that I delivered for the crime Institute, a teaching and research institute dedicated to Islamic sciences and critical engagement with Western philosophies political ideologies and ethical systems. If you find any benefit in this video I urge you all is Ramadan to help me with the coin Institute's Baraka campaign. And please donate to support the coin Institute in its aim to develop robust, unapologetic and ideologically prepared Muslim scholars, leaders and resources to elevate the call to Islam and sharpen the critique of falsehoods encountered in western minds many critical
for please click on the link in the description donate as generously as you can and share the link with others to partake in the reward of continuing and expanding the work of the crown Institute for future generations in sha Allah. Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh everyone, welcome to my channel, I'm Abdullah andalusi. And today I'm going to be talking about the reason that science cannot ultimately explain reality. The reason I want to talk about this is because in my next video, I'll be discussing proving God's existence by rational argument. But if some people mistakenly think that rational thinking cannot prove God's existence, because it doesn't use scientific experiments,
then no arguments would ever convince those people otherwise. Now, it's pretty common for skeptics of the atheist variety to shun or sometimes outright disparage explanations of reality that use rational inference. Instead, they declare the faith that science alone is sufficient to discover truth about the world. So before they even hear arguments for God's existence, they've already rejected the possibility that these arguments can produce any truth at all. So this video is about smashing this assumption. This assumption not only disregards what rational thinking really is and can do but also ignores the basis and limits of science or physics if we're going to keep it simple
since all science is underpinned by physics, physics is the study of what is tangible to our external senses. Now, let's consider this question if there was a physicist and a simple, rational thinker, both on a boat studying a lake, the physicists interest might only be to drop an anchor attached to a rope to help determine how far to the bottom the lake was. But what if the lake had a bed that was so deep far down that there wasn't enough rope in the world to measure it? Would it be correct for the physicist to conclude that it is impossible for him to ever know if the lake even has a bottom? No, of course not his companion, the simple rational thinker on the other hand, could
help him by inferring that there must be a bottom of the lake because for the water to be held up and to be held up at the level it is at there must be something somewhere below holding it all up without need to do any experiments to verify this show, he wouldn't know the measurements or how deep the lake was. But the ultimate conclusion that the lake has a bottom would be the best explanation for what they both can observe. Like a lake that is too deep to be measured. The examination into the ultimate explanation behind reality is something physics will simply never be able to answer using his methods. To demonstrate this, let's consider a current mystery the origin
of quantum vacuum fluctuations. Now, for anyone unfamiliar with this phenomenon in our universe, there is no such thing as truly empty space, at least as far as we can tell. But what we call empty space consists of continuous fluctuations of energy. What causes these fluctuations of energy? Currently, we don't know do they come from another dimension underneath ours? Does each fluctuation come out of nothing? can go back into nothing? And if so, do they come out of nothing by themselves? Or are they caused by something else? If our technology we'll never be able to see the cause of these fluctuations, we will never be able to prove that they come from nothing. And likewise, if
something is actually causing these fluctuations, we will never be able to prove it or know what that something is. So while the study of physics uses observation of objects under controlled conditions, ie experimentation, it will never be able to tell us what is beyond the boundaries of our physical reality quite simply because it could never crossed them. And even if it reached the boundary, it wouldn't know for sure that it even was a boundary. Another example I could use is the question as to whether there is anything smaller than Planck space and Planck time to explain physicists generally consider that our reality consists of pixels, that is the smallest possible
unit of space and the smallest instant of time between any two points of the universe. There isn't the infinite amount of points that mathematics allows us to imagine, but actually, reality seems to have fixed indivisible legs between any two points. But how do physicists know this? Well, many claim to know all because of Max Planck the Nobel Prize winning German theoretical physicist Max Planck accidentally discovered that the equations he was using in his work on radiation from perfect absorbers of light was wrong because they wildly failed to accurately predict the results of his experiments. And by wild I mean the equations he originally used predicted infinite amounts of
radiation coming from his experiment which is hilariously titled the ultraviolet catastrophe.
Thankfully, the experiments produced only finite amounts of radiation. For anyone less familiar with the history of physics whenever an equation that claims to model how something works inside our universe predicts an infinity physicists know that's a telltale sign the equation is wrong. Planck was only able to predict correct results when he tweaked the equation he was using to stop treating energy as being something that was infinite the visible, but instead treat energy as coming in discrete packets, or quanta. Yes, you guessed it. This led to the discovery of quantum mechanics and the standard model of physics which predicts to an extreme degree of accuracy a large number of
phenomena in the universe except gravity. But that's not a story using the discovered Planck constant, an arbitrary number that is used to make the equations work. Physicists discovered that if they manipulated the equations used in quantum mechanics, they produced what appeared to be the smallest units of space and time to plant space and Planck time. Now, many physicists would tell you that at length and times smaller than those units, reality doesn't make sense or has no meaning. What they actually mean is that the equations they use to make very good accurate predictions about a large part of reality, simply don't go smaller than those lengths and times the point is, if those
units are actually as indivisible, as many physicists believed them to be, they would never be able to prove it for sure, equally, they would never know for sure if they couldn't go smaller than those units. And even if they ever could, they wouldn't know for sure if they could go smaller still. So what does this all mean? This means when dealing with what is beyond the boundaries of reality, it can never be solved by a physicist with an anchor tied to a longer rope.
You're gonna need a bigger boat.
Physics can only ever tell us how things work inside our bubble of physical reality, but what is ultimately behind physical reality and outside it, it could never venture into but don't fret where our instruments can't go or can't confirm our rational thinking can and by rational thinking, it just means thinking that avoids contradiction is based on evidence and avoid unwarranted assumptions. Or do anyone who knows that will tell you that the root ratio means thinking anyway. And so rational thinking is actually just a tautology. And even if we lived two and a half, 1000 years ago, we can still seek answers to the ultimate questions that physics simply can't answer. We
need only resort to rational thought. The truth is, it is rational thinking, not experiments, that tells us that from nothing, nothing comes because nothing is not a thing. And so quite obviously, it can't do any actions. rational thinking also tells us that contradictions are impossible, whereas all physics can tell us is it's never encountered any yet. So if we ever encounter something in physics that appears to look like it comes from nothing or comes from a place we don't know, we can infer that it must be produced by the action of something else that already exists, which brought about that something whether it's quantum vacuum fluctuations, or the entire universe itself.
rational thinking also tells us that the reality of space time can't be infinitely divisible. Because if it were infinitely divisible, then that would mean that all lengths in space are cuttable until there is no length of space at all. But this would mean that reality is made out of an infinite amount of building blocks of their length, and therefore reality is made out of nothing. But then where does length come from building blocks of no length, cannot produce length, no matter how many of them you have, the only way length in space can be explained is that it's made out of indivisible blocks, something that we cannot cut pixels of our reality. We don't know how small they
are just using rational thinking alone, but we know that they must exist. At some point in the makeup of our reality. This is something Greek philosophers posited two and a half 1000 years ago, the atomists, and most of them didn't even use experiments. Likewise, rationality also tells us that if time were made up of an infinitely divisible amount of time slices, there would be no time because if time were infinitely divisible, that would mean that time would be made up of an infinite amount of time units that have no duration, and therefore there would be no duration at all. No matter how many infinities of units you have, and therefore no time, the only way time can be
explained is that it is made up of blocks of something we can't cut, some indivisible pixels of time duration. We don't know how small or short these time durations are, but we know that they must exist at some level in the makeup of our reality. So whether or not Planck length, or Planck time are indeed the smallest units or pixels of our reality.
We'll never know for sure. But if they are, then just like that thinker on a boat, helping the physicist explain the water level in the lake rationally rational thinking detected something long before physicists were able to discover it themselves. Unfortunately, many people have been misled to believe that the truth of the nature of the universe is counterintuitive to what you can imagine or conceive. And they claim that the newest experiments that we have conducted, disprove or run counter to what intuition would lead us to believe that's not true, what they call the clash between intuition and the universe was actually in the past people going beyond rational thinking and making
speculations and assumptions, and so they weren't actually being rational.
When most of the ancient Greeks believed the planets sun and stars revolved around the earth, and the planet orbits must be perfect circles. This was because they assumed that for these objects to appear to be moving around our sky, the only possible explanation was that they revolve around us, which was an assumption, rationality would have only told them that the position of the earth relative to the sun, the moon and the stars, leads to the appearance of a revolution of some kind. Nothing more. It was because they speculated beyond the minimum that rationality could detect that led them to this error in the first place. Some people have explained that the results of quantum
mechanics and quantum field theory that we are encountering are inconceivable before they were discovered. Again, this is not only wrong, but it betrays an ignorance of history. 2500 years ago, Heraclitus described the working of reality similar to a wavefunction palm Anita has argued that time was a fourth dimension to space long before special relativity suggested it might be so new, simplest and democratise responding to the eleatic school of thought. And Zeno's paradox is argued for atomism, that reality can't be infinitely divisible, which comes from the Greek a Tomas, which means on cuttable and of course, many cultures had a concept of primordial chaos, even being likened
to acting like water long before the discovery of quantum vacuum fluctuations.
This quite obviously shows that thinking not only could already conceive of physical reality, as we now have discovered, but in many cases approximately anticipated it, as the renowned Werner Heisenberg observed in his book, one could hardly make progress in modern atomic physics, without a knowledge of Greek natural philosophy and as the eminent physicist and contributor to quantum theory are ensured Edgar, in his book, nature, and the Greeks and science and humanism, said,
the modern development, which those who have brought it to the fore are yet far from really understanding has intruded into the relatively simple scheme of physics, which towards the end of the 19th century, looks fairly stabilized. This intrusion has, in a way, overthrown what has been built on the foundations laid in the 17th century, mainly Galileo, Higgins and Newton, the very foundations were shaken up prejudice is more easily detected in the primitive ingenuous form in which at first arises then as the sophisticated ossified dogma, it is apt to become later science does appear to be baffled by ingrained habits of thought, some of which seem to be very difficult to
find out. This then is a third incentive for us to return once again, in an assiduous study of Greek thought, by the series attempt to put ourselves back into the intellectual situation of ancient thinkers, we may regain from them their freedom of thought.
And this shows that Schrodinger believed there was great utility in the thought of ancient Greek philosophers to modern quantum mechanics. Even though these philosophers didn't really do much experimentation, and certainly not on the level of reality that quantum mechanics examines today. In more recent years, many people have forgotten that many of the greatest discoveries in physics started out as thought experiments, not actual physical experiments, like the discovery of special relativity and general relativity, which started out as thought experiments conducted by Einstein himself. And of course, Who can forget that a theory for gravity was discovered by Newton's thought
experiment now thought experiments related to what happens in the material universe have to be confirmed with material experiments, but ultimate explanations that explain the entire universe can only be confirmed if they are demonstrated to be necessary and consistent according to rational thought and argument. And the power of rational thought to detect causes comes about by observing that finite effects cannot be the cause.
Have themselves and this will be going a bit more into in our next video that demonstrates the existence of God as a necessity and inevitability based on our observations and thoughts. Lastly, and perhaps obviously physics itself is based upon rational thinking or be it developed into a method applied to the narrow scope of the investigation of physical objects and the products of the study of physics are models based upon mathematics, which again itself is simply rational thinking applied to the abstract study of relative quantities and pluralities. Now this doesn't mean that rational thinking alone should be used to resolve problems and science. It clearly can't. It relies
on evidence, which is an integral part of the rational thinking process. The only point I wanted to make with this video was to show that the specialism of physics is concerned only with the physical world. But what if the physical world is incomplete as an explanation for itself, like girdles incompleteness theorem, which showed that mathematics wouldn't be able to, in essence, prove itself to use an analogy that's like if you had a bag that contained all bags, it would never contain itself and then you need another bag, but then that bag couldn't be a bag of all bags because it wouldn't contain itself and so on and so forth, causing an infinite regress, and so physics itself
will be similarly limited. Since we accept rational thinking to underpin physics, we should have no problem using it to investigate metaphysical cosmology, and cosmogony, both of which are the study of the underlying reality and origin of the entire physical world. In essence, what is the origin of the universe and what underlies the physical reality we see now we have understood what rational thinking is and how physics and mathematics are only specific applications of it, which are limited by their scope and methods. In my next video, we'll take a look at how the most fundamental aspects of observable reality itself, space and time inevitably, and invariably lead to the inference that
the ultimate explanation for reality is God, the elucidation of which I call the argument from space time. Until then, please like, subscribe and turn on notifications to make sure you don't miss the next video. Hope to see you all again soon. Our salaam aleikum wa rahmatullah wa barakato. If you find benefit in this video, I urge you all this Ramadan to help me with the Baraka campaign and please donate shed help the Quran Institute upon which I have to thank for the equipment I used to make this video click on the link in the description. Donate as generously as you can and share the link with others to partake in the reward of continuing and expanding the work of the coin Institute
for future generations in Sharla.