Home » Intelligent Design » German “brights” try to stifle free speech

German “brights” try to stifle free speech

I’ll have plenty more to say on this very topic later (as I had intended to write about it), but – coming on the heels of the Guillermo Gonzalez case – here is a post I just received:

Hi,

some minutes ago I postet something on my blog that might interest you:

We also made an english abstract as you can see:

Here we present an investigative report about how the German branch of the so called „brights” movement tried intentionally (and partly successful) to stifle free speech on german universities. We had the luck to have access to websites where their concerted actions got prepared and afterwards commented. Their actions and comments show that they are not far from the threat that they want to fight against: „fundamentalism”, or at least a popular/particular view of „fundamentalism”. This contribution shows how narrow and loaded with ignorance thinking can be amongst so called „brights”. The investigators found also hints that attempts to stifle free speech are not just made by a brand of activistic atheism and show connections to members of a scientific respectable organization. Evolution-critics who feel that they are at least protected by the right for „free speech” should carefully examine our contribution. They may easily face mechanisms and thinking like it is documented here.

With best wishes,

Christoph Heilig

Why am I not surprised?

Anyway, I posted updates to the Gonzalez case yesterday. Incidentally, when I first started tracking this story a week ago, I picked up 604 Google hits on “Guillermo Gonzalez” + tenure. This morning, I got 34, 5000. So if anyone thought that it could all just be kept under wraps, well, dream on. I wonder when the deadtree media will start getting it all wrong. (Although, in fairness, they have started to get a few things right.) More later.

Oh, and just for fun, at the ID Arts site I have just put up cartoons, spoofs, and humorous graphics related to the intelligent design controversy …

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23 Responses to German “brights” try to stifle free speech

  1. I am under the assumption that the German brites are a very different cup of tea than thebrites.org. The latter, of course, are beloved satirists.

  2. Wow, 34,5000. Is that a new math? :-)

  3. It wa a stuck key. As i write this (8:08 Toronto time), it is 37 500.

  4. Hi O’leary off topic;

    I’m in the middle of your book (By Design or By Chance) right now Denyse. In fact it is sitting right beside me. I just want to thank you for sharing your wise and understanding heart with us all, it truly is deeply penetrating to the core of each controversy and subject you examine.

  5. I’ve been thinking of the amazing intellecutal acheivement of understanding how proteins are made from DNA coding, and I feel a little sympathy in the fears some have of religious tests/parameters creeping into biology.

    God may have done it but if you say God did it and leave it at that nothing is learned.

    So the idea of limiting biological investigation to natural causes is not without merit.

    The problems start when the the investigation starts transcending biology (or physics or whatever) and starts trying to tell us what life’s purpose is and how to treat others.

    That’s when people like Dawkins and things like the Brights start popping up to create boogymen with regard to religion to advance a philosophy capable of justifying anything all the while flying falsely under the flag of science.

    The ironic things are that these advances in biology would lead one quite naturally to conclude there is Creator but for the non-scientific yapping of the “Brights” and that religous involvment in science is that foundation for these advances in biololgy were done post “Origin of the Species” by devout Christians (Pasteur and Mendel).

  6. In Reply to tribune7

    So the idea of limiting biological investigation to natural causes is not without merit.

    Ahh, but what is your definition of natural causes. For most people that means purely “materialistic causes” so let me point out a few facts.

    1. Materialism did not predict the big bang, Yet Theism always said the universe was created.
    2. Materialism did not predict a sub-atomic (quantum) world that blatantly defies our concepts of time and space, Yet Theism always said the universe is the craftsmanship of God who is not limited by time or space.
    3. Materialism did not predict the fact that time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light, as revealed by Einstein’s theory of relativity, Yet Theism always said that God exists in a timeless eternity.
    4. Materialism did not predict the stunning precision for the underlying universal constants, for the universe, found in the Anthropic Principle, Yet Theism always said God laid the foundation of the universe, so the stunning clockwork precision found for the various universal constants is not at all unexpected for Theism.
    5. Materialism did not predict the fact that the DNA code is, according to Bill Gates, far, far more advanced than any computer code ever written by man, Yet Theism would have naturally expected this level of complexity in the DNA code.
    6. Materialism presumed a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA, which is not the case at all. Yet Theism would have naturally presumed such a high if not, what very well may be, complete negative mutation rate to an organism’s DNA.
    7. Materialism presumed a very simple first life form. Yet the simplest life ever found on Earth is, according to Geneticist Michael Denton PhD., far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. Theism would have naturally expected this.
    8. Materialism predicted that it took a very long time for life to develop on earth, Yet we find evidence for photo-synthetic life in the oldest sedimentary rocks ever found on earth (Sarah Simpson, Scientific American, 2003). Theism would have expected this sudden appearance of life on earth.
    9. Materialism predicted the gradual unfolding of life to be self-evident in the fossil record, The Cambrian Explosion, by itself, destroys this common myth. Theism would have expected such sudden appearance of the many different fossils in the Cambrian explosion.

    The hinderance to these breakthroughs that materialism presented is well known. In fact this “natural causes” excuse you use for keeping a Theistic perspective from science is in all likelihood preventing a more thorough explaination of gravity at this very moment since scientists have been cornered in inventing “dark matter” to account for gravity. This would be unwarrented from a Theistic perspective.
    I find it much easier to accept looking at gravity as preceding material particles since a complex interaction of various forces allows the “material” particles to have a reality in this universe in the first place. Why indeed should forces be treated as arising from “material”?” This is a blatant flaw in logic forced on us by the materialistic philosophy.

  7. Ahh, but what is your definition of natural causes.
    What can be measured.

  8. Folks

    Here is an interesting discussion on what lurks behind that innocent-looking term “natural causes.”

    Let’s just say that ever since at least Plato, we have understood that events may be caused by one or more of chance, necessity and agency. The second of these is in effect speaking of forces of the phyical world and their extensions which are more or less deterministic, e.g. where air, fuel and heat meet we have a fire.

    Cicero, circa 50 BC. aptly summed up the still unmet — after 2057 years — challenge for materialistic views:

    Is it possible for any man to behold these things, and yet imagine that certain solid and individual bodies move by their natural force and gravitation, and that a world so beautifully adorned was made by their fortuitous concourse? He who believes this may as well believe that if a great quantity of the one-and-twenty letters, composed either of gold or any other matter, were thrown upon the ground, they would fall into such order as legibly to form the Annals of Ennius [an epic poem used in Roman education in those days]. I doubt whether fortune could make a single verse of them. How, therefore, can these people assert that the world was made by the fortuitous concourse of atoms, which have no color, no quality—which the Greeks call [poiotes], no sense? [Cicero, THE NATURE OF THE GODS BK II Ch XXXVII, C1 BC, as trans Yonge (Harper & Bros., 1877), pp. 289 - 90.]

    Chance and/or natural regularieties are incapable of explaining the sort of fuctionally specified, complex information commonly met with in issues addressed by ID. Not news — CIcero is 2057 years ago.

    Therein lieth one deep problem for evolutionary materialism in our day.

    Cheerio :-)

    GEM of TKI

  9. In reply to tribune 7
    Information , which is “spiritual” by nature can be measured. Thus spiritual is to be considered a natural cause by your definition.

  10. Kariosfocus — great post as always

    bornagain77–the point I’m getting at is that science is a tool that must be used properly. It has limitations. There are things it addresses very well. There are things it can’t address.

    And science, when used properly, points to a Creator as you noted.

  11. Information , which is “spiritual” by nature can be measured.

    If it can be measured, it’s not spiritual.

  12. 12

    Reply to tribune7
    If it can be measured, it’s not spiritual.

    Tribune7, LOL, you are probably going to me BUT…. who are we to presuppose the “spiritual realm” cannot be properly measured prior to investigation. Remember, false presumptions are the number one error impeding science.
    Information is easily proven to be “spiritual” and separate from the material realm on which it is conveyed. Information can also be, somewhat, easily and effectively quantified (measured). For instance we can easily measure how much information (memory) our computer stores.
    We can hold a book, a CD, or a flash drive, but are we truly holding the information? NO, of course not. The information itself is easily seen to be completely separate from the material on which it is imprinted and its true reality can also easily be seen to reside solely in the “spiritual” realm.
    This brings me to how memory “information” is actually stored in our brains.

    Neuro-physiological (brain/body) research is now being performed, using a new scientific tool, trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). This tool allows scientists to study the brain non-invasively. TMS can excite or inhibit normal electrical activity in specific parts of the brain, depending on the amount of energy administered by TMS. This tool allows scientists to pinpoint what is happening in different regions of the brain (functional mapping of the brain). TMS is wide-ranging in its usefulness; allowing the study of brain/muscle connections, the five senses, language, the patho-physiology of brain disorders, as well as mood disorders, such as depression. TMS may even prove to be useful for therapy for such brain disorders. TMS also allows the study of how memories are stored. The ability of TMS for inhibiting (turning off) specific portions of the brain is the very ability which reveals things that are very illuminating to the topic we are investigating.
    When the electromagnetic activity of a specific portion of the brain is inhibited by the higher energies of TMS, it impairs the functioning of the particular portion of the body associated with the particular portion of the brain being inhibited. For example; when the visual cortex (a portion of the brain) is inhibited by higher energies of TMS, the person undergoing the procedure will temporarily become blind while it is inhibited. One notable exception to this “becoming impaired rule” is a person’s memory. When the elusive “memory” portion of the brain is inhibited, a person will have a vivid flashback of a past part of their life. This very odd “amplification” of a memory indicates this fact; memories are stored in the “spiritual” consciousness independent of the brain. All of the bodies other physical functions which have physical connections in the brain are impaired when their corresponding portion of the brain loses its ability for normal electromagnetic activity. One would very well expect memories to be irretrievable from the brain if they were physically stored. Yet memories are vividly brought forth into consciousness when their corresponding locations in the brain are temporarily inhibited. This indicates that memories are somehow stored on a non-physical basis, separate from the brain in the “spiritual” consciousness. Memory happens to be a crucially integrated part of any thinking consciousness. This is true, whether or not consciousness is physically or spiritually-based. Where memory is actually located is a sure sign of where the consciousness is actually located. It provides a compelling clue as to whether consciousness is physically or spiritually-based. Vivid memory recall, upon inhibition of a portion of brain where memory is being communicated from consciousness, is exactly what one would expect to find if consciousness is ultimately self-sufficient of brain function and spiritually-based. The opposite result, a ening of memories, is what one would expect to find if consciousness is ultimately physically-based. According to this insight, a large portion, if not all, of the one quadrillion synapses that have developed in the brain as we became s, are primarily developed as pathways for information to be transmitted to, and memories to be transmitted from, our consciousness. The synapses of the brain are not, in and of themselves, our primary source for memories. Indeed, decades of extensive research by brilliant, Nobel prize-winning, minds have failed to reveal where memory is stored in the brain. Though Alzheimer’s and other disorders affect the brain’s overall ability to recover memories, this is only an indication that the overall ability of the brain to recover memory from the consciousness has been affected, and does not in any way conclusively establish that memory is actually stored in the brain.
    In other evidence, many children who have had hemispherectomies (half their brains removed due to life threatening epileptic conditions) at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, are in high school; and one, a college student, is on the dean’s list. The families of these children can barely believe the transformation; and not so long ago, neurologists and neuro-surgeons found it hard to believe as well. What is surprising for these people is that they are having their overriding materialistic view of brain correlation to consciousness overturned. In other words; since, it is presumed by Materialism that the brain is the primary generator of consciousness; then, it is totally expected for a person having half their brain removed to be severely affected when it comes to memory and personality. This is clearly a contradiction between the Materialistic and Theistic philosophies. According to Materialistic dogma, memory and personality should be affected, just as badly, or at least somewhat as badly, as any of the other parts of the body, by removal of half the brain. Yet, as a team of neuro-surgeons that have done extensive research on the after effects of hemispherectomy at John Hopkins Medical Center comment: “We are awed by the apparent retention of the child’s memory after removal of half of the brain, either half; and by the retention of the child’s personality and sense of humor.” Though a patients physical capacities are impaired, just as they were expected to be immediately following surgery; and have to have time to be “rewired” to the consciousness in the brain, the memory and personality of the patient comes out unscathed in the aftermath of such radical surgery. This is exactly the result one would expect, if the consciousness is ultimately independent of brain function and is spiritually-based. This is totally contrary to the results one would expect if the consciousness were actually physically-based, as the materialistic theory had presumed. In further comment from the neuro-surgeons in the John Hopkins study: “Despite removal of one hemisphere, the intellect of all but one of the children seems either unchanged or improved. Intellect was only affected in the one child who had remained in a coma, vigil-like state, attributable to peri-operative complications.” This is stunning proof of consciousness being independent of brain function. The only child not to have normal or improved intellect is the child who remained in a coma due to complications during surgery. It is also heartening to find that many of the patients regain full use, or almost full use, of their bodies after a varying period of recuperation in which the brain is “rewired” to the consciousness.

    II Corinthians 5:1
    For we know that if our earthly house, this tent (Our Body), is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

    In other developments, Dr. Olaf Blanke recently described in the peer-reviewed science journal “Nature” a patient who had “out of body experiences (OBE)”, when the electrical activity of the gyrus-angularis portion of the brain was inhibited by higher energy TMS. Though some materialists try to twist this into some type of natural explanation for spiritual experiences, by saying the portion of the brain is being stimulated, it is actually a prime example clearly indicating consciousness is independent of the brain; for the portion of the brain is in fact, being inhibited, instead of stimulated ! This patient, Dr. Olaf Blanke described, should be grateful that consciousness is independent of the brain. If consciousness were truly dependent on the brain for its survival, as materialist insist, then the patient would have most likely died; at least while that particular portion of the brain was being inhibited. Obviously, that portion of the brain which was inhibited in the patient, is the very seat of the brain’s consciousness.
    Yet, more evidence for the independence of consciousness is found in Dr. Pim van Lommels’ study of sixty-two of his cardiac patients who had near experiences (NDE’s). NDE’s are the phenomena of someone being physically for a short time; yet, when they are revived, they report they were in their spiritual bodies, outside of their physical bodies and taken to another dimension. Dr. Lommel’s research found no weakness in the Theistic presumption of a spiritually independent consciousness. He and his colleagues published their research in the peer-reviewed journal (Lancet, Dec. 2001). Not only did their research not find any weaknesses in the Theistic presumption; their findings severely weakened or ruled out all Materialistic presumptions that had been put forth such as anoxia in the brain, release of endomorphines, NMDA receptor blockage or medications given. Their findings also ruled out suspected psychological explanations as well; such as a coping mechanism brought on by the fear of imminent or fore-knowledge of NDE. They even had a patient in the NDE study who identified the exact nurse who took his dentures while he was in cardiac arrest. This is something only someone who was conscious of the operating room, even though he was physically , could have seen the nurse doing (Many NDE report floating above their bodies, observing the operating room from the ceiling, before going to another dimension). In other similar studies, cases in which was extracted at the time of the NDE did not support the anoxia or hypercarbia theories. It is also established that the administered to the patients, such as painkillers, appeared to inhibit and confuse rather than cause the NDE. The combination of all data from recent and retrospective research provides a large amount of evidence, which can no longer be ignored or explained away. The fact that clear, lucid experiences were reported during a time when the brain was proven to be devoid of activity (Aminoff et al., 1988, Clute and Levy 1990, de Vries et al., 1998), does not sit easily with the current scientific belief system of materialism. In another fascinating study (Kenneth Ring and Sharon Cooper, 1997) of thirty-one blind people who had a NDE, twenty-four of the blind people reported that they could see while they were out of their physical bodies. Many of them had been blind since birth. Likewise, many deaf people reported they were able to hear while they were having a NDE.
    So, in answer to the question: “Is consciousness a physically or spiritually-based phenomena?”; we can, with the assurance of scientific integrity backing us up, reply that consciousness is indeed a spiritual phenomena capable of living independently of the brain, once the brain ceases to function. Dr. Lommel illustrates in his paper that the real purpose of the brain is as a mediator of the physical world to the spiritual consciousness. He compares the brain to such things as a television, radio and cell phone, to illustrate the point. The point he is trying to make clear is this; the brain is not the end point of information. It is “only” a conveyor of information to and from the true end point, our spiritually-based consciousness which is independent of the physical brain and able to live past the of our brains.

    Genesis 2:7
    And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

    The hard evidence makes it clear the presumptions of Materialism have been proven to be false at both the level of the universe’s reality and at the level of consciousness in human beings. Whereas the Theistic presumptions of universe’s cration of the consciousness’ ability to live separate from the brain are both strongly supported by the hard evidences that have been brought forth by recent discoveries in science. Now, having established that Materialism has an extremely shaky foundation to begin with; let us take a hard look at a one of the more famously documented Near Experiences. The NDE of Pam Reynolds.
    This is the account of that NDE.
    A team in Phoenix specializes in an extreme form of neurosurgery called hypothermic cardiac arrest that has been created to allow operation on aneurysms deep in the brain. A 35-year-old woman undertook this surgery. Her eyes were taped shut to prevent them from drying out. They put electrodes in the auditory section of the brainstem and put molded speakers in her ears which played a constant beep, a setup designed to gauge responsiveness in the brainstem. These speakers prevented her from hearing anything in the room besides the beeps. They cooled her body to 60 degrees, which lowered her metabolic rate enough so that the surgeons could operate for a long time deep in the brain. They then rerouted her from a femoral artery into a heart-pump, though they had to switch legs because the first vessel was too small, thereby prolonging the surgery. When the EEG was flat and the brainstem stopped responding, she was by most standard medical criteria . flowed out into the heart-pump and back into the body. Next they shut off the pump and tilted the table up so that all the drained out of her brain. Only then was it safe to open her skull to clip off the aneurysm. The time of anesthetization in this procedure is about 90 minutes.
    The woman reported leaving her body and hearing a D-natural buzzing sound. She watched the surgery and was puzzled by what appeared to be an electric toothbrush which one member of the team was using on her head. She also reported hearing the woman doctor say, “These vessels are too small. We can’t use them for the pump.” At that point, she got distracted, saw the light, went through a tunnel, saw a deceased grandmother and a few other deceased relatives who told her she had to go back. As she was coming out of the surgery, she had a cardiac arrest and they had to shock her twice to get her back. When the procedure was all over, she described to the neurosurgeon everything she saw, including the strange electric toothbrush and the box that it came in with several different attachable heads. It turned out she had accurately described a Midas Rex saw, which is used only for this procedure, and which makes a buzzing sound. So, with this case we have an example of someone who was visually and auditorally isolated, had a flat EEG, and should not have been able to think, and yet she commented that she had never thought so clearly in her life.
    The paragraph below is a quote of the same event from an anonymous writer in a NDE newsgroup:
    Such is the case of Pam Reynolds who is quite well known in the NDE community. She was having surgery performed to remove an aneurysm from her brain. Her body was cooled to below 60 degrees F. and all of the was drained from her body. Her EEG and brain stem response showed no activity, the definition of brain in many states. During all of this, she reported rising from her body and seeing the operation performed below her. She also reported contact with “The Light” and many of her deceased relatives in heaven. Remember, she had no brain activity whatsoever. Even hallucinations register brain activity. It is interesting that upon recovering she recounted accurately many details of her operation, including conversations heard and a description of the surgical instruments. It has been postulated by a NDE skeptic, that Pam overheard the sounds in the room and generated a “mental map” of things around her. What the skeptic failed to acknowledge though is that instruments were inserted into Pam’s ears that generated clicks to measure brain stem response. Her brain stem response throughout the surgery was inactive. If conversations were heard, her brain stem response should have registered them.
    According to Pam, she was present, above her body, viewing the whole surgical operation; her consciousness, memory, personality; her whole individuality intact. She proved this with an accurate, detailed description of the instruments, conversation, and procedures used during the surgery. At the same time, science, using scientific monitoring instruments, was proving that her body was . No brain response, no heart response, no response of any kind. Obviously, the brain, nor any other organ of the body, was needed to sustain her life, and this account is just one example of the hundreds that exist in the NDE literature.
    I believe this is as conclusive as proof gets. Clear, solid proof that man is a spiritual “being” inhabiting a physical body. To me it is clear that the philosophy that has held true in its predictions throughout all the evidences we have examined in this paper is the true philosophy we should follow as the truth. That philosophy is Theism.

  13. 13

    In reply to Tribune7

    Is Information “spiritual” or material in nature?

  14. Is Information “spiritual” or material in nature?

    Material is a synonym for information: see http://encarta.msn.com/thesaur.....ation.html

    But as per this discussion we don’t have to consider information to be either/or.

    You could have material information that can be measured and spiritual information — a song that strikes you soul in a certain way, perhaps — that can’t.

    If you can measure it, it would fall in the purview of science tracing each event to a natural cause until one can no longer find a natural cause.

  15. Does information have to either “spiritual” or material? ID speaks to non-matierial causes but do these causes have to be spiritual?

    Regarding Bornagain77′s comments in 6 above. I think that it is a mistake to say that many ideas in modern science conform to theistic world view of the universe. For one thing, science is fleeting, and if one thing changes, e.g. our understanding of QM, are your going to say that the new idea is also consistent. That makes even me, a Christian, role my eyes and say “oh brother”. Certainly some things point to God, but I wouldn’t take it too far.

    A few of the points seem silly. For example, when an object with mass traveles at the speed of light, clocks will stop in the rest frame of the object. So for God to be timeless, does that mean he is traveling at the speed of light? Does God even have mass?

  16. Is Information “spiritual” or material in nature?

    Bornagain77, it looks my answer is caught in the filter.

    Probably because I put in a link to to the Encarta thesaurus showing (cough cough) material to be a synonym for information. :-)

    Anyway, it’s probably best not to think it as either/or.

    If the information content of something can be measured it’s natural. If the information content of something can’t be measured — the effect of a particular song or image or word on your soul — it’s spiritual.

    Perhaps my use of “natural cause” was not the best way to frame my thought. The ultimate cause of anything is God who is supernatural.

    But in attempting to find an answer to a particular event via science it is best to assume during the course of the exercise the answer is natural.

    The dangers are the asumption that science is the ultimate authority or that all answers can be found via science.

  17. 17

    Reply to Drdan;

    Now it is extremely interesting to me me that you as a “Christian” would object to the timeless property of light as silly evidence for God, when in many places God is referred to as light. I also want to point out that all positive afterlife experiences mention the “supreme being” as giving off brilliant light. I also want to point out that the most reasonable explanation for how the image was imprinted on the Shroud of Turin is that it was imprinted by some type of supernatural light that came directly from the body itself.
    The questionable carbon dating was refuted in 2000 by Marino and Benford if you want to look it up.
    So I find the timelessness of light to line up very well with my Christian beliefs.

  18. Light is not timeless since a photon is massless

  19. Just because I don’t agree with you does not mean I’m not a “Christian”. Those are interesting points that you make about the analogy between God and light in the bible. Perhaps there is some deeper meaning to it that has escaped me. However, I stand by my reasoning. Light travels at a fixed speed, c, in a vacuum, however, it is not “timeless”. That is an ambiguous statment to me.

  20. DrDan

    You make an error about the nature of light. A photon at rest theoretically has no mass. None have been observed at rest. They do have energy and mass is equivalent to energy (e=mc^2). This was proved in a famous experiment where light from a distant star was seen bending very close to the surface of the sun during a solar eclipse. Gravity would have no effect on a massless particle.

    Speaking of solar eclipses I haven’t read “Privileged Planet” but I’d be very surprised if Guillermo Gonzalez didn’t note that the angular size of the moon is almost exactly the angular size of the sun. Even more coincidental is the timing. The moon is slowly retreating from the earth so this angular equivalence wasn’t there in the distant past nor will it be in the distant future. Conveniently it was equivalent just when an intelligent form of life appeared that could further science by the observations it enables.

    A photon travelling in a vacuum is pretty much timeless. Confirmation of the big bang was accomplished by observing light that has been around almost since the beginning of time. Said light was at the predicted wavelength (some 1000 times longer now than 14 billion years ago due to the expansion of space) and very nearly uniform in every direction also as predicted. It’s called the Cosmic Microwave Background or CMB for short. When the ancients said God was immortal, made of light, and is everywhere at once they sure picked the appropriate form of matter for such an entity.

    If you really want to know something spooky… the very tiny differences in CMB uniformity conform to what is known as “pink noise” in the audio world. These tiny differences are what caused matter to be clumpy (planets, stars, and galaxies) instead of spread evenly. Sound waves, when the universe was so tiny and compressed that sound waves could propagate across it from end to end, are thought to have caused the universe to take shape out of what would otherwise be a homogenous distribution of matter and energy. So when the ancients said God spoke the universe into existence they appear to have nailed that one squarely on the head too. I’ve written about this several times in the past on this blog. Here is one of those from almost two years ago. One can almost say with scientific authority that we’ve heard the echoes of the voice of God in the CMB inhomogeneity. You can listen to it yourself in these audio files constructed from CMB data. More explanation can be found here.

  21. 21

    DrDan

    I did not mean in any way to imply that you are not a “Christian”. I’m sorry if I came off that way. I was just surprised that you would not connect the fact that time, as we understand it, comes to complete stop at c with the presumption of the eternal nature of God being outside of time and space.
    In defence of this position I hold, I refer you to this months issue of reader’s digest where Einstein himself, in the article “Boy Genius”, refers to his theory of relativity as a “Theory of Eternity” to a dutch diplomat.

    If Einstein could see the connection I think I’m more than justified in making the same connection.

  22. DaveScott,

    You are right that a photon has no rest mass. Of course, because E-mc^2,
    therefore,m=E/c^2, it has a relativistic mass which can be affected by gravity.

    No harm done bornagain77. Sorry I took offense at something you didn’t actually say.

    I think the problem with saying that light is timeless is one of terminolgy. I’m not an expert in cosmology. Therefore, for DaveScott to say that light has been around since the big bang is somewhat perplexing. So, the universe pops into existence. A huge amount of energy is released, and matter coalesces, somehow. DaveScott, are you saying that the same photons that formed 14 billions years ago are still around today? Photons interact with matter, that matter heats up and re-radiates the energy away. Its called black body radiation. The sun heats up the earth and and earth re-radiates in the infared. Likewise the young universe was very hot, and as it has cooled (due to expansion), it has re-radiated that heat. The tempature of the universe is currently such that it re-radiates in the microwave.

    So, back to my original question. When you (DaveScott or bornagain) say light is timeless, do you mean that a photon cannot be destroyed, or that in the reference frame of something traveling the speed of light (with respect to a “stationary” observer), a clock will not move forward?

    I still think the analogy of God and light is profound. Light (or more generally, electromagnetic radiation) has been around since the beginning of time, and so has God (longer actually). I really like that analogy. I will revisit those passages in the bible that compares God with light and probalby gleen new insight about the nature of Him.

  23. 23

    DrDan

    This is a very interesting subject, when I, bornagain77, refer to light as timeless, I’m refering to the fact that for the photon, at c, time as we understand it comes to a complete stop and does not pass. Yet, it is interesting that you bring up the First law of Thermodynamics (energy can neither be created nor destroyed) in that since energy is proven the most foundational of “material” building blocks in this universe (i.e. all material particles are reducible to energy) we in effect have a foundational building block for our reality that is not subject to time in its most basic characteristics. As well, at c, distance is shown to shrink to zero in direction of travel for the object. Where did the photon go? It disappeared from our reality at c yet it certainly still has a reality somewhere? To me this is fairly strong evidence for a “higher” dimension which gave rise to this one. You may disagree with me right now but as I collect more evidence this presumption of Theism is becoming more plausible.
    I just got a book in the mail called The Physics of Christianity by Frank Tipler hopefully it will shed more light (pun intended) on this thoroughly facinating subject.

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