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Friday, June 12th, 2009

Time Event
10:43a
Listen Up!
The television show which interviewed yours truly just posted their segments to the internet. Now find out what I really look and sound like (HINT: I look and sound exactly like Robert J. Sawyer, real science fiction writer! I am not the guy in the hat!)

Part 1 (Robert J. Sawyer's segment):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Vuj_eSqc0E&feature=channel_page
Part 2 (Gabriel McKee segment):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54GuZof1Kto&feature=channel_page
Part 3 (Guy in the Hat segment):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKRWaUJuTPI&feature=channel
Part 4: (Bob Wilson segment)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MrDZPvQeDtg&feature=channel_page

(Second Hint: Okay, honestly, I do not look and sound like Robert J. Sawyer. I look like Bob Wilson.) 

http://listenuptv.com/listenup/shows?show_id=153
1:58p
Nature Cannot Have a Natural Origin
In a recent discussion in this space, I made the argument that the Big Bang posed a particular problem for dogmatic naturalists.

A naturalist is someone who holds that all events in nature have a natural explanation.

A dogmatic naturalist is someone who holds that all events whatsoever, whether in nature or out, have a natural explanation, or, to put it another way, that even things which seem at first glance not to allow for a natural explanation must be assumed to have one, despite any evidence or common sense to the contrary.

‘All events in nature’ is a phrase that refers to the cosmos, or the universe. (Because the possibility of parallel timespace continuums was discussed, I was careful to define ‘universe’ for the purposes of this discussion to mean the one sum total of nature. All things that happen in timespace, this or any other, even if internal singularities or boundaries make them mutually unable to touch, are inside the universe. By this definition, the multiverse imagined by Roger Zelazny or Michael Moorcock is a universe: the shadows or particular worlds are merely parts, continuums, worlds, or areas within it. I introduced this terminology to avoid ambiguity. If you wish to use an equally unambiguous terminology, feel free.)

By the universe, I mean nature. I mean the realm of extension and duration, which an observer has or could gain empirical knowledge through the medium of sense impression, where effect follows cause, and natural laws define the external forces operating on bodies. I am not including those things which are arguably mental, a priori, noumenal, or, if you prefer, spiritual. I am not including the Platonic world of forms or the logical realm of pure mathematical ideas as part of nature, part of physics: they are not, strictly speaking, part of the universe or dependent on the Big Bang in terms of cause and effect. No event at one millionth of a picoseconds after the Big Bang went off makes twice two equal four or makes it so that “A is A.”

Unfortunately, in my argument, I used the word ‘supernatural’ which caused an ambiguity.

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