Just because the equations match what's happening does not mean they describe what's going on.
Yes and physics has operated very well for the last hundred years based on that method. All that counts is that it can predict what will happen, ie: can it be tested. The more phenomena it can be applied to the better.
Taubes presents a falsifiable hypothesis, and a thorough accounting for the history and literature since 1850. Moreover, he continually stresses the dangerous line that is trod by those pseudo-scientists who, in the name of their personal precautionary principle, take their passion and drive past reality regardless of confounding data.
One that was falsified long before he presented it. And it's a bit rich for Taubes to call the actual researchers embracing the actual data pseudo-scientists ignoring confounding data while he trots out his grand theory of obesity that ignores huge swathes of evidence.
You said that if the answer isn't "well, it's complicated", then it's wrong. Do you think calories in/calories out isn't simple enough to be wrong?
Surely you noticed that in the very next sentenced I explained why it was complicated and why it didn't serve as a useful explanation for obesity.
Isn't that direct support for the differential insulin hypothesis? Hunger is caused by the partitioning of calories into fat, rather than muscles (through the influence of insulin), and exercise only drives hunger further unless fat is released from fat cells (again, moderated by insulin).
Sure it supports the differential insulin hypothesis, it also supports the palatability hypotheses, and gut bacteria, and sleep schedules, and satiety, and lifestyle, etc.
But there's a lot of other evidence that contradicts the differential insulin hypothesis.
You haven't even read his book, but you think he has misled people?
I've heard multiple interviews with him, articles by him, and excerpts from his book. Frankly I don't feel it's worthwhile to read his book as I already know he's mislead people, fought strawmen, and I've cited multiple instances and sources (including the one from my previous comment) that show he's guilty of misrepresenting facts. Considering the fact you've failed to acknowledge any of the multiple clear instances of misrepresentation he's committed I'm skeptical of your partiality in deciding that he is trustworthy.
Honestly I'm reluctant to read his book because I'm worried about the knowledge he'll put in my head. Some of the stuff I know he's misrepresenting, but there's going to be a ton of background science that when I'll read I'll have to put a big mental flag around "Sounds plausible BUT DO NOT TRUST". For instance if he writes something about glucagon how will I know if I'm reading about the actual glucagon or the mythical glucagon that's required to back up Taubes theory?
Now you're going to argue that science is simply the output of the process of peer review, rather than the scientific method?
And how is cherrypicking data to come to a foregone conclusion the scientific method? For instance whether or not saturated fat is bad it's hard to take Taubes' evaluation of the evidence seriously when he misrepresents interview subjects.
Getting back to your original contention, that somehow any simple explanation is obviously false, but "calories in/calories out" is a less false(?) explanation than "differential insulin resistance" for obesity, seems to be a bit of cherry picking on your part. At the very least, if you're going to be consistent, you should be staking the claim that calories in/calories out doesn't capture the complexity of the biochemistry involved, and that differential insulin resistance doesn't capture the complexity of the biochemistry involved. Instead, it seems you've architected a complex rationale to buttress your belief system that you're afraid of letting go.
I never said "calories in/calories out" was false at all (no one considers lego calories). What I said was it wasn't necessarily useful. This is because reducing calories in as a matter of simply eating less is thwarted by hunger, and increasing calories out through exercise is difficult and potentially hamstrung by your resting metabolic rate.
The "differential insulin resistance" theory of obesity on the other hand is definitely false for the 10-20% of metabolically healthy obese, and probably false for the other 80-90% since the evidence suggests the insulin resistance is a symptom of obesity, not a cause (as covered in some of the review papers I linked to earlier).
Does it scare you to think that the past 40+ years of dietary advice and "common wisdom" of the researchers involved in the proposition might have been completely misguided?
Doesn't it scare you to think that you're basing your understanding of dietary science almost solely on a book by a man who's been shown numerous times to mislead his readers?
Yes indeed, he did. I challenge you to name any other book that comes close to doing such a thorough examination of the history and literature on obesity research over the past 150 years.
Science isn't done through books, public outreach is done through books. Science is done through papers. The only book I can think of that might have had a legitimate scientific impact is The Selfish Gene (and few others in evolutionary biology though always done by evolutionary biologists).
The key difference is peer review. It's easy to get a book published, and also easy to convince a bunch of non-experts that you are an expert. They don't know the conflicting evidence you ignored, or whether you've misrepresented you gave them, and they're not going to seriously punish you for misleading them like researchers would punish a colleague. All they have is your word and if you're a good story teller they'll probably be convinced. At the end you've invested the time and effort to read a book, been given what looks like privileged knowledge, and now have a huge incentive to buy in.
If Taubes' work was legit he wouldn't just be writing books and blog posts, he'd be publishing papers in obesity journals. But he won't do that because while his theory and evidence looks good at a glance he knows it won't stand up to the rigour of critical examination by people with a deep understanding of the subject.
Uncaused causes dont require an infinite regress. Believing that the universe itself is eternal would not run a foul of the infinite regress, it just creates other objections.
Therefore its reasonable to suggest that not all things need a cause.
That goes against the foundation of all scientific inquiry; the very reason people do tests is because there is an assumption that causality exists. And I would agree that not all things require a cause (thats pretty much the argument with God), but if the universe has a beginning, then it does.
This says nothing about it being limited to the universe we're in.
You havent changed the core question: now we're asking "where did whatever created the universe come from".
From the article you linked, there isnt evidence, and its not in a laboratory:
t is impossible to see the singularity or the actual Big Bang itself, as time and space did not exist inside the singularity and, therefore, there would be no way to transmit any radiation from before the Big Bang to the present day
We can get evidence from after the creation of the universe, but not from before.
When I used the term atheistic, I was using it in the sense of naturalistic, or "a position excluding the existence of a god". I would also object to the idea that "spirituality" has nothing to do with the world around us: the christian belief isnt that there is the real world, and then theres the spiritual wworld, and the two dont ever meet; its that there is a God who is behind the measurable physical processes.
I get what youre saying, I just want to be clear that to my mind the two do interact even if you cant testably prove the existence of God. Id also want to be clear that something doesnt have to be testable to be credible: history is not testable, but it does provide evidence which we use to make credible claims about it. Likewise, I think there is evidence which makes the existence of God credible, even if it is not testable.
I would almost agree with your statement about "believing something without proof", but I would amend it to be "something without evidence": I dont think anyone could go through their daily life if they required hard proof before accepting anything, rather than going on credible evidence.
. I'm judged for the actions of another and good deeds and intentions aren't enough to redeem me?
The Christian creed is that you are judged for YOUR actions, and for YOUR intentions (and I would challenge that your intentions are always above reproach). The other issue is, if you commit a wrong (not meeting the standard of the law, for example), you cannot pay the penalty simply by meeting that standard going forward: that is simply doing the "bare minimum", and does nothing to account for the prior deficit.
Why does God (an omnipotent, omniscient being) need to be acknowledged and honored by its creation
If God exists, and is responsible daily for your ability to take breath, it seems self-evident to me that it would be a terrible wrong to refuse to honor him for that. Im not sure I could make it more plain, as I have difficulty seeing how it is not already clear. Its not that God has some need to feel justified, noticed, or whatever; its that his station deserves it and his justice demands a response when you fail to do so.
To put it another way and use an imperfect analogy, if you were to refuse to acknowledge or pay deference to a visiting head of state, our society would consider that to be a gross faux pas. Regardless of whether said head of state was gracious about it, noticed, or cared, everyone else would see it as such, and you would still be guilty of said faux pas.
The objection to the punishment for all of that is really not to the point, either; once it is established that it is wrong to dishonor God, for God to be just he would have to enact a penalty for that wrong. So really the objection is with the idea that its wrong to dishonor God, and/or the idea that God is just. You object because you say a perfect being would not act that way, and I would argue that a being that doesnt enact justice isnt perfect.
It changes nothing since it's always been more probable that we're in a simulation than not.
Not in the least.
If there is only one real world and we can create a complete simulation of it
That's why. Parlor thoughts only. You cannot fit a complete description of reality in said reality. Recursion.
Do you seriously think what GP described is a Usian problem?
It's sounds like the AC's problem to me, if the "vast majority" of his bosses are 'vindictive arseholes' then either he's really unlucky, or there's something about him that brings out the 'vindictive arsehole' in people. My guess is that the AC is a young male and as such will generally have problems with any authority figure. OTOH he has a point, I'm not going to light up a joint in the bosses office any day soon.
AFAIK the term "random" refers to "non-deterministic"; that is, if you know you have a box here which you know will provide the same output as the box over there, neither one is "random".
According to wikipedia, [In quantum physics, a quantum vacuum fluctuation (or quantum fluctuation or vacuum fluctuation) is the temporary change in the amount of energy in a point in space.....[this] means that conservation of energy can appear to be violated, but only for small times.
Which is a far sight from "everything came into being by quantum fluctuations".
Also, theres about a million problems with what you seem to be suggesting:
1) You're fundamentally suggesting that "there was nothing, and then it created something" which is even more problematic than infinite regress.
2) Quantum fluctuation is a theory about something that happens WITHIN our universe. We're talking about how spacetime itself could come into existence, not random particles.
3) Theres no evidence (and as I said theres no chance of ever gathering evidence) for something like that, so you could throw it out as a "maybe this is how it happened" (if you ignore the other issues), but never actually hold it as a belief without ignoring the whole "extraordinary evidence" thing.
I think I must have misunderstood what you were going for there. The creation of the universe is a problem that we humans are unlikely to ever explain satisfactorily.
I am convinced from a logical standpoint that there can be no explanation that does not involve something having existed eternally (which I do not believe the universe could), that is apart from the universe and capable of acting on the universe. As I said there are other reasons for why I believe in the God of the bible, but there is a reason that I don't find the atheist position workable.
From a more humanistic standpoint, I reject the idea that living my life as a good person is not enough to win the approval of a just god. The idea that I could be punished eternally for doing all the good I can in the world, but not following arbitrary customs or worshiping some deity, is nonsensical and repulsive.
That's not quite the Christian position; the position is that you stand condemned because of the very substantial bad that you (and all others) do and have done. If the standard on a test is to get a 100% or fail, its no good to point at all of the questions you got right while ignoring the many you got wrong. And if in fact there is a Christian God who is responsible for your very existence, it stands to reason that your ignoring and refusal to acknowledge or honor that God would be a very serious thing indeed.