Welcome to what is the first edition of what may become a series. Woos recklessly throw around "naysayer" and similar words, as if they were really that applicable to skeptics. I should probably make a Doggerel entry on that word, sometime.
Anyway, I'm going to spend posts like this explaining the cynical side of woos I encounter. Forgive me for not linking, but this example came from a JREF thread a year or two ago, but it probably won't be hard to find a similar woo.
The topic: First causes versus causality loops.
I've got a lot of sci-fi fans, so they'll probably know quite well what I'm talking about with causality loops. In Treknobabble, it's called a predestination paradox: A causes B causes C causes A.
Anyway, I bring this up, because I bumped into a theist woo who said that there are no alternatives to a First Cause being God: It's impossible for the universe to be different than his anthropocentric expectations. Many of you probably know many right off hand: Infinite regress, an acausal universe (without a cause), etcetera. I'll leave it up to the guys who study branes, super strings, and rarefied luminous spaghetti fired through a REALLY big particle accelerator to figure out what evidence to look for to settle the issue. Anyway, he objected to all of these, including my suggestion that the universe might be self-causing.
He claimed that such a causality loop would require a deity to jump start it. Star Trek and Doctor Who may rock, but I'm not about to subscribe to their temporal mechanics in the real world. Let's look at how my suggested loop works:
A is caused by C.
B is caused by A.
C is caused by B.
Each event has a cause that's already accounted for. There's no need for anything outside. If something from outside did cause the loop, it seems to me that it wouldn't really be a loop.
As The Doctor said, accurately, "People think of time as a strict progression from cause to effect..." (Though, admittedly, the rest of that statement could be seen as a handwave of unanticipated paradoxes and continuity breaks in the series) That's where the problem lies: This woo was substituting everyday thinking, rather than the necessary creative thinking science requires when you get that far afield. Time has all sorts of potential for unintuitive tangles, and we haven't even researched it that much. We've already shown the world that 'common sense' doesn't necessarily apply. That's where all the weirdness of relativity and quantum mechanics come in. Science lead us to those, not closed-minded woo. Scientists may balk slightly at the absurd, but if the evidence comes in favoring the absurd, we can accept that we live in a universe that allows absurdities. We aren't so arrogant to assume that the universe must always live up to expectations or first impressions.
Woos, on the other hand, seem to have a hard time accepting that the universe isn't ruled by their expectations, like the example above, where the woo couldn't break out of everyday linear thinking. I could go on, but I think I'll save more for later examples that I will link to.