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Creation-Evolution Headlines on why our solar system is said to be bizarre

As Creation-Evolution Headlines (June 3, 2012) reports on Science magazine’s recent nomination of eight biggest mysteries of the universe (1 June 2012: Vol. 336 no. 6085 p. 1090, DOI: 10.1126/science.336.6085.1090-a), including “Why is the solar system so bizarre? ”. CEH offers

Kerr said that Pluto has been partially explained as a member of a previously undiscovered population of trans-Neptunian objects. “The mysteries of the remaining eight planets,” i.e., all of them – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – “are proving more recalcitrant,” he said. Before space probes, planetary scientists expected to find patterns that would support a general theory of planetary origins. That hope has evaporated:

Then CEH riffs,

What? Science doesn’t have the answers? These are BIG mysteries. Some of them are the very questions for which TV animators for the Science Channel, NOVA and National Geographic offer solutions that are neat, simple, and wrong. We deceive students by teaching simplistic, wrong answers without revealing that scientists have only partial answers, if any. What distinguishes science, whose root means “knowledge,” from other methods of human inquiry that also have more questions than answers?

Batters get three strikes and are out. Planetary scientists are zero for 8 as far as observations meeting predictions (even worse when moons like Io, Enceladus and Titan are included). Astronomers and cosmologists are not batting any better. In any other human endeavor, a zero score would be called utter incompetence.

More.

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2 Responses to Creation-Evolution Headlines on why our solar system is said to be bizarre

  1. Thanks for this excellent article. Wouldn’t it be amazing to see candid admissions like this in high school textbooks? But they are probably afraid that facts like this could be misused by anti-evolutionists so they simplify it to give students the impression that science has or certainly soon will be able to solve all these mysteries just like they have solved others in the past. Perhaps, but perhaps not.

    I find it intriguing that even though there are so many problems in understanding our own solar system which we can observe and even visit, we think we can accurately understand the universe and galaxies billions of light years away. However, to me at least, given that we can’t even figure out the mysteries in our own backyard that don’t fit with our pet theories, I find it highly doubtful that our theories about the distant universe, meaning both physical distance and historical distance, can be trusted to be accurate. Seems pretty arrogant to me and also, it seems the more we do learn, the more surprises we find, which again calls into question the accuracy of our theories. Researching is a good thing, but claiming to have answers, even when some things do fit certain aspects of our theories, seems presumptive to me. Even the Big Bang has many unsolved problems and is propped by various theory saving ad hoc assumptions including the a priori assumption that the universe is unbounded and that there is no center of the universe which obviously means that our universe, solar system, and planet cannot possibly be special in any sense of the word or near the center of the universe. This article is a good reminder that perhaps we don’t even know what we think/hope we know. It calls for more honesty and humility by cosmologists and even the historical sciences in general.

  2. 2

    Oh com’ on. Don’t you know it’s ok to teach false things as long as it teaches the right basic idea?

    Eugenie Scott will set you straight.

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