Home » Cosmology, Humor, Intelligent Design, Physics, Science » What qualifies as science in the wonderful world of Disney

What qualifies as science in the wonderful world of Disney

The scientific enterprise entails:

1. observation
2. hypothesis
3. testing

Consider this passage from the class text of an introductory cosmology class I took once upon a time:

galaxies farther than 4300 megaparsecs from us are currently moving away from us at speeds greater than that of light. Cosmological innocents sometimes exclaim, “Gosh! Doesn’t this violate the law that massive objects can’t travel faster than the speed of light?” Actually, it doesn’t. The speed limit that states that massive objects must travel with v < c relative to each other is one of the results of special relativity, and refers to the relative motion of objects within a static space. In the context of general relativity, there is no objection to having two points moving away from each other at superluminal speed due to the expansion of space.

page 39
Introduction to Cosmology
by Barbara ryden

Let’s say for the sake or argument this is true, an agnostic, science-loving friend of mine expressed the following unease with this claim:

1. we can never observe these galaxies
2. thus we can therefore never test that they are moving faster than the speed of light from us
3. repeatability of the observation? Not even testable in principle
4. things moving faster than the speed of light? We can’t test that directly either!
5. if you add space between two attracting bodies, doesn’t that mean you increase potential energy out of nowhere?

I responded to point 5 by saying, “General Relativity might not implicitly assert the conservation of energy law”, but that didn’t seem to be reassuring to him. I then read this passage in the same book on page 17:

During the 1950s and 1960s, the Big Bang and Steady State models battled for supremacy. Critics of Steady State model pointed out that the continuous creation of matter violates mass-energy conservation. Supporters of the Steady State model pointed out that the continuous creation of matter is no more absurd than the instantaneous creation of the entire universe in a single “Big Bang”.

My agnostic friend just about fell out his chair laughing. We both laughed.

The scenario of faster-than-speed-of light motion can be fit into the Friedmann-LeMaitre-Robertson-Walker solution to Einstein’s field equations of General Relativity, but does that make it true?

Consider Newton’s 2nd law. Suppose we are dealing with a force of 5 Newtons, what are the some of the mathematical (not necessarily physical) solutions to an equation constrained by the assumption that the force is 5 Newtons?

F = ma where F = 5 Newtons
Solution 1:
mass = 5 kg
acceleration = 1 meter/ sec^2

Solution 2
mass = -5 kg
acceleration = -1 meter/sec^2

etc.

Astute readers will notice solution 2, though mathematically consistent with the equation F=ma, is not physically real (in classical or most physics anyway) since it invokes negative mass.

I recall when studying General Relativity the professor assigning us an exercise to analyze geodesic trajectories through a particular solution to the Einstein field equations. This solution yielded incredible possibilities, and I thought to myself, “wow, where can I find such a place in the universe to observe this?”

And then reviewing the solution in class, the professor said something to the effect, “I didn’t tell you, but the solution I gave you describes a wormhole, but I’m not sure wormholes are possible since you need negative mass! This was more an exercise in math.” I and my fellow students had a small laugh, especially after having endured this mathematical exercise. The point being however, just because something is a mathematical solution to an equation of physics doesn’t mean it’s for real.

So with respect to those galaxies which we can’t see, which we will never see, that move faster than the speed of light, we can only postulate their existence as fact via inference. We can’t do it by observation, not by repeatable measurement or direct testing. So is the claim of these unseen entities a scientific claim? It does not accord with 2 of the 3 elements listed above that describe the scientific enterprise. The positivists among us will assert, “well if we can’t see it, we won’t believe it.”

So I would respond, “Ok, so do you believe the unseen galaxies predicted by the Big Bang. You can’t see them, you won’t see them, you can’t verify them, but supposedly they exist, they have properties as galaxies, and to top it off they move faster than the speed of light even though in the lab or anywhere we have access to, we haven’t clocked anything moving faster than the speed of light?”

So is the claim of unseen, unobservable, untestable, unverifiable galaxies a scientific claim? Eh, I leave that to the philosophers of science to decide, but it seems to me if one will admit as scientific the unseen, untestable, unknowable, unobservable, unverifiable entities as existing and having certain properties via inference and without direct evidence, then — well uh — couldn’t we hypothesize all sorts of unseen, untestable, unobservable, unknowable, unverifiable entities as being real via inference, and hence call that hypothesis science? I provided one example of such an entity in the thread: Quantum Enigma of Consciousness and the Identity of the Designer where Richard Conn Henry (a professor at no minor school) argued that Quantum Mechanics suggests God exists. Richard Conn Henry argued God is a permissible construct within accepted physics, and so is consciousness. Whether God is ultimately real is a separate question, but science doesn’t preclude His existence.

Getting back to cosmology, I learned of Alan Guth who speculated the universe expanded briefly at around 1000 times the speed of light in a process called inflation. In fact Andrei Linde speculated Guth understated the inflation speed by a factor of 10^1,000,000. If Guth claims the universe was inflationary, Linde claims it was hyperinflationary. Yikes!

What wasn’t presented in our cosmology class was Guth’s other speculation, which I learned of in a taboo book by William C. Mitchell

Guth is reported to have said, “in fact, our own universe might have been started in somebody’s basement.” Overbye has reported that, Guth and another MIT professor, Ed Fahri, found that, “If you could compress 25 pounds of matter into 10^-24 centimeters, making a mass 10^75 times the density of water…a bubble of false vacuum, or what Guth called a ‘child universe’ would be formed. From outside it would look like a black hole. From the inside it would look like an inflating universe.”

page 229
Bye Bye Big Bang, Hello Reality
by William C. Mitchell

Mitchell further commented of Guth, “can you believe such garbage?” I withhold making such a judgment since Guth is a smart guy, but it seems to me if we admit the possiblity of the universe being created by some tinkerer in a basement, we can surely admit intelligent design of the universe.

On a marginally more serious note, there are a minority of dissenting voices that share some of the reservations about modern cosmology that I’ve hinted of in this thread. One of them is a respected cosmologist by the name of Michael Disney. He argues we have too little data to really form a cosmological model.

Here is an excerpt from Modern Cosmology Science or Folktale

Where Do We Stand Today?

Big Bang cosmology is not a single theory; rather, it is five separate theories constructed on top of one another. The ground floor is a theory, historically but not fundamentally rooted in general relativity, to explain the redshifts—this is Expansion, which happily also accounts for the cosmic background radiation. The second floor is Inflation—needed to solve the horizon and “flatness” problems of the Big Bang. The third floor is the Dark Matter hypothesis required to explain the existence of contemporary visible structures, such as galaxies and clusters, which otherwise would never condense within the expanding fireball. The fourth floor is some kind of description for the “seeds” from which such structure is to grow. And the fifth and topmost floor is the mysterious Dark Energy, needed to allow for the recent acceleration of cosmic expansion indicated by the supernova observations. Thus Dark Energy could crumble, leaving the rest of the building intact. But if the Expansion floor collapsed, the entire edifice above it would come crashing down. Expansion is a moderately well-supported hypothesis, consistent with the cosmic background radiation, with the helium abundance and with the ages inferred for the oldest stars and star clusters in our neighborhood. However, finding more direct evidence for Expansion must be of paramount importance.

In the 1930s, Richard Tolman proposed such a test, really good data for which are only now becoming available. Tolman calculated that the surface brightness (the apparent brightness per unit area) of receding galaxies should fall off in a particularly dramatic way with redshift—indeed, so dramatically that those of us building the first cameras for the Hubble Space Telescope in the 1980s were told by cosmologists not to worry about distant galaxies, because we simply wouldn’t see them. Imagine our surprise therefore when every deep Hubble image turned out to have hundreds of apparently distant galaxies scattered all over it (as seen in the first image in this piece). Contemporary cosmologists mutter about “galaxy evolution,” but the omens do not necessarily look good for the Tolman test of Expansion at high redshift.

In its original form, an expanding Einstein model had an attractive, economic elegance. Alas, it has since run into serious difficulties, which have been cured only by sticking on some ugly bandages: inflation to cover horizon and flatness problems; overwhelming amounts of dark matter to provide internal structure; and dark energy, whatever that might be, to explain the seemingly recent acceleration. A skeptic is entitled to feel that a negative significance, after so much time, effort and trimming, is nothing more than one would expect of a folktale constantly re-edited to fit inconvenient new observations.

Ah, the wonderful world of Disney. Disney wrote a more technical article in The Case Against Cosmology published in the Journal General Relativity and Gravitation..

It should be noted, there is a forgotten article in the Discovery Institute archives by David Berlinski: Was There a Big Bang

Is the big bang model correct? One of my professors, James Trefil, gave his estimate that its about half way confirmed, but he has still some skepticism as he articulated in his book The Dark Side of the Universe.

The answer to the question of the Big Bang is way above my pay grade, but I posted this thread mostly to point out that if we pass off certain unverifiable, unseen, unknowable, unobservable claims as science, by what standard is ID disqualified? After all, according to Richard Conn Henry, quantum mechanics suggests God exists, and if so (though he won’t go so far as I would), imho, ID can then be admitted into to the realms of scientific hypotheses since now we have a theoretical entity with a sufficient skill set to design life.

And finally, with respect to the question of ID being science, in light of considerations above, this passage by Bill Dembski comes to mind:

Thus, a scientist may view design and its appeal to a designer as simply a fruitful device for understanding the world, not attaching any significance to questions such as whether a theory of design is in some ultimate sense true or whether the designer actually exists. Philosophers of science would call this a constructive empiricist approach to design. Scientists in the business of manufacturing theoretical entities like quarks, strings, and cold dark matter could therefore view the designer as just one more theoretical entity to be added to the list. I follow here Ludwig Wittgenstein, who wrote, “What a Copernicus or a Darwin really achieved was not the discovery of a true theory but of a fertile new point of view.”

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

75 Responses to What qualifies as science in the wonderful world of Disney

  1. 1. observation
    2. hypothesis
    3. testing

    You omitted speculative theorizing. There’s a lot of speculative theorizing in cosmology and in particle physics.

    A lot of what you are questioning, I would count as speculative theorizing. Personally, I still count big bang cosmology as speculative theorizing.

    There is a role for such theorizing. It suggests experiments that can be conducted to test these ideas.

  2. Has anyone actually ever seen (or otherwise directly observed) an electron? [And any number of other entities . . . ] KF

  3. KF,

    The difference with an electron and a supposed intelligent designer is we can observe effects of the electron in real time, not so with ID.

    The mechanism of intelligent design of life is no longer in operation today. Even though an electron is not seen, the mechanism of its behavior can be seen in real time. Whereas we don’t see the mecahnism of the intelligent designer assembling the first proteins in real time, and we probably never will. Does this lack of direct real time observation preclude it from being considered science?

    I’m simply arguing if we let some things pass a science (like Guth’s inflation or unseen galaxies), then ID ought to be allowed as scientific speculation as well where by observation may not confirm it but observations in principle can falsify it.

    With respect to the unseen galaxies, the claim can be falsified, or at least seriously cast into doubt if space is shown not to be expanding after all. Disney gave some evidence of this falsification with reference to the Tolman Test at extreme distances.

    ID for biology can be falsified if a mindless OOL experiment succeeds.

  4. PS: For convenience, I have added an in-page anchor that takes the onlooker straight to the exposition on first principles of right reason. Such should be read in the context of the wider discussion on worldviews, foundations and warrant.

  5. SC:

    Pardon, first a note.

    Ah boy, looks like I have been too much on the insomnia power overnight. The last comment belongs elsewhere.

    Yes we may see effects of electrons here and now, but the point that electrons themselves are invisible and not directly observable is material.

    We then factor in the further point that it is routine in many scientific contexts to reconstruct a past, unobserved causal process on traces in the present and known forces that produce sufficiently similar, characteristic effects. The course of life of a river valley is a classic example.

    We may not have seen the designer[s] of life or the cosmos in action, but we know that designers exist and when they act hey often leave characteristic traces.

    FSCO/I is a good example, such as is manifest in this post.

    So, it is highly reasonable to (i) infer to things we do not observe directly in science, and (ii) to infer to causes acting in an unobserved course of events that leave traces that are close to those we see known causes producing.

    That is why I have found that the design inference in the end is quite simple and reasonable as a basic exercise in scientific induction.

    That others may choose to be selectively hyperskeptical is no good reason for me to ignore or abandon so simple and common sensical an approach.

    KF

  6. a few notes:

    The End Of Cosmology? – Lawrence M. Krauss and Robert J. Scherrer
    Excerpt: We are led inexorably to a very strange conclusion. The window during which intelligent observers can deduce the true nature of our expanding universe might be very short indeed.
    http://genesis1.asu.edu/0308046.pdf

    We Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History – Hugh Ross – video
    http://vimeo.com/31940671

    moreover,,

    Hugh Ross – The Anthropic Principle and Anthropic Inequality – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8494065

    Anthropic Principle: A Precise Plan for Humanity By Hugh Ross
    Excerpt: Brandon Carter, the British mathematician who coined the term “anthropic principle” (1974), noted the strange inequity of a universe that spends about 15 billion years “preparing” for the existence of a creature that has the potential to survive no more than 10 million years (optimistically).,, Carter and (later) astrophysicists John Barrow and Frank Tipler demonstrated that the inequality exists for virtually any conceivable intelligent species under any conceivable life-support conditions. Roughly 15 billion years represents a minimum preparation time for advanced life: 11 billion toward formation of a stable planetary system, one with the right chemical and physical conditions for primitive life, and four billion more years toward preparation of a planet within that system, one richly layered with the biodeposits necessary for civilized intelligent life. Even this long time and convergence of “just right” conditions reflect miraculous efficiency.
    Moreover the physical and biological conditions necessary to support an intelligent civilized species do not last indefinitely. They are subject to continuous change: the Sun continues to brighten, Earth’s rotation period lengthens, Earth’s plate tectonic activity declines, and Earth’s atmospheric composition varies. In just 10 million years or less, Earth will lose its ability to sustain human life. In fact, this estimate of the human habitability time window may be grossly optimistic. In all likelihood, a nearby supernova eruption, a climatic perturbation, a social or environmental upheaval, or the genetic accumulation of negative mutations will doom the species to extinction sometime sooner than twenty thousand years from now.
    http://christiangodblog.blogsp.....chive.html

    Here is one of the best lectures I’ve ever seen which addresses the absurdities of the materialistic scenarios that have been put forth trying to account for the creation of the universe:

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory and The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    As to this comment Sal:

    I recall when studying General Relativity the professor assigning us an exercise to analyze geodesic trajectories through a particular solution to the Einstein field equations. This solution yielded incredible possibilities, and I thought to myself, “wow, where can I find such a place in the universe to observe this?”
    And then reviewing the solution in class, the professor said something to the effect, “I didn’t tell you, but the solution I gave you describes a wormhole,

    Eerily similar to the Vilenken “Worst Birthday Present Ever’ paper delivered on Hawkings 70th birthday, the following article speaks of a proof delivered on Einstein’s 70th birthday, which was developed by legendary mathematician Kurt Gödel from a thought experiment. A proof in which Gödel showed General Relativity could not be a complete description of the universe:

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: Gödel’s personal God is under no obligation to behave in a predictable orderly fashion, and Gödel produced what may be the most damaging critique of general relativity. In a Festschrift, (a book honoring Einstein), for Einstein’s seventieth birthday in 1949, Gödel demonstrated the possibility of a special case in which, as Palle Yourgrau described the result, “the large-scale geometry of the world is so warped that there exist space-time curves that bend back on themselves so far that they close; that is, they return to their starting point.” This means that “a highly accelerated spaceship journey along such a closed path, or world line, could only be described as time travel.” In fact, “Gödel worked out the length and time for the journey, as well as the exact speed and fuel requirements.” Gödel, of course, did not actually believe in time travel, but he understood his paper to undermine the Einsteinian worldview from within.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    Godel has been shown to be correct in his ‘intuition’ by at least two different methods that I’m aware of. The implications of following method are very interesting,,

    Physicists continue work to abolish time as fourth dimension of space – April 2012
    Excerpt: “Our research confirms Gödel’s vision: time is not a physical dimension of space through which one could travel into the past or future.”
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-p.....space.html

    From a slightly different point of reasoning this following site, through a fairly exhaustive examination of the General Relativity equations themselves, acknowledges the insufficiency of General Relativity to account for, as is fitting to Godel’s incompleteness work, the ‘completeness’ of General Relativity (4D space-time) as a description of reality.

    The Cauchy Problem In General Relativity – Igor Rodnianski
    Excerpt: 2.2 Large Data Problem In General Relativity – While the result of Choquet-Bruhat and its subsequent refinements guarantee the existence and uniqueness of a (maximal) Cauchy development, they provide no information about its geodesic completeness and thus, in the language of partial differential equations, constitutes a local existence. ,,, More generally, there are a number of conditions that will guarantee the space-time will be geodesically incomplete.,,, In the language of partial differential equations this means an impossibility of a large data global existence result for all initial data in General Relativity.
    http://www.icm2006.org/proceed.....l_3_22.pdf

  7. Yet, despite its failings as to being a complete description of reality, General Relativity (4-D space-time) is found to be far, far, more accurate as a description of Gravity than any other theory ever proposed:

    Einstein’s Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet – Apr. 25, 2013
    Excerpt: A newly-discovered pulsar — a spinning neutron star with twice the mass of the Sun — and its white-dwarf companion, orbiting each other once every two and a half hours, has put gravitational theories to the most extreme test yet.,,,
    “We thought this system might be extreme enough to show a breakdown in General Relativity, but instead, Einstein’s predictions held up quite well,”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142250.htm

    Dark energy alternatives to Einstein are running out of room – January 9, 2013
    Excerpt: Last month, a group of European astronomers, using a massive radio telescope in Germany, made the most accurate measurement of the proton-to-electron mass ratio ever accomplished and found that there has been no change in the ratio to one part in 10 million at a time when the universe was about half its current age, around 7 billion years ago. When Thompson put this new measurement into his calculations, he found that it excluded almost all of the dark energy models using the commonly expected values or parameters.
    If the parameter space or range of values is equated to a football field, then almost the whole field is out of bounds except for a single 2-inch by 2-inch patch at one corner of the field. In fact, most of the allowed values are not even on the field. “In effect, the dark energy theories have been playing on the wrong field,” Thompson said. “The 2-inch square does contain the area that corresponds to no change in the fundamental constants, (a ‘true cosmological constant’), and that is exactly where Einstein stands.”
    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-d.....-room.html

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)

    Thus since General Relativity is so accurate, where exactly is the failing in General Relativity that prevents it from being a ‘complete’ description? I think we find a hint to the answer to that question in this exchange that Einstein had with a philosopher. Einstein was asked (by a philosopher):

    “Can physics demonstrate the existence of ‘the now’ in order to make the notion of ‘now’ into a scientifically valid term?”

    Einstein’s answer was categorical, he said:

    “The experience of ‘the now’ cannot be turned into an object of physical measurement, it can never be a part of physics.”

    Quote was taken from the last few minutes of this following video:

    Stanley L. Jaki: “The Mind and Its Now”
    https://vimeo.com/10588094

    The preceding statement was an interesting statement for Einstein to make since ‘the now of the mind’ has, from many recent experiments in quantum mechanics, undermined Einstein’s General Relativity as to being the absolute frame of reference for reality. i.e. ‘the now of the mind’, contrary to what Einstein thought possible for experimental physics, according to advances in quantum mechanics, takes precedence over past events in time. Moreover, due to advances in quantum mechanics, it would now be much more appropriate to phrase Einstein’s answer to the philosopher in this way:

    “It is impossible for the experience of ‘the now’ to be divorced from physical measurement, it will always be a part of physics.”

    Though many evidences can be brought up to demonstrate the centrality of consciousness as to making any observation in experimental physics, (Wigner’s Quantum Symmetries, Wheeler’s Delayed Choice, Leggett’s Inequalities, Quantum Zeno effect), currently my favorite evidence is a recent variation of the Wheeler Delayed choice experiment. An experiment in which the materialistic/deterministic claim that past material states determine future conscious choices (determinism) is falsified by the fact that present conscious choices effect past material states:

    Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past – April 23, 2012
    Excerpt: The authors experimentally realized a “Gedankenexperiment” called “delayed-choice entanglement swapping”, formulated by Asher Peres in the year 2000. Two pairs of entangled photons are produced, and one photon from each pair is sent to a party called Victor. Of the two remaining photons, one photon is sent to the party Alice and one is sent to the party Bob. Victor can now choose between two kinds of measurements. If he decides to measure his two photons in a way such that they are forced to be in an entangled state, then also Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair becomes entangled. If Victor chooses to measure his particles individually, Alice’s and Bob’s photon pair ends up in a separable state. Modern quantum optics technology allowed the team to delay Victor’s choice and measurement with respect to the measurements which Alice and Bob perform on their photons. “We found that whether Alice’s and Bob’s photons are entangled and show quantum correlations or are separable and show classical correlations can be decided after they have been measured”, explains Xiao-song Ma, lead author of the study.
    According to the famous words of Albert Einstein, the effects of quantum entanglement appear as “spooky action at a distance”. The recent experiment has gone one remarkable step further. “Within a naïve classical world view, quantum mechanics can even mimic an influence of future actions on past events”, says Anton Zeilinger.
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-q.....ction.html

    In other words, if my conscious choices really are just merely the result of whatever state the material particles in my brain happen to be in in the past (deterministic) how in blue blazes are my choices instantaneously effecting the state of material particles into the past?,,, I consider the preceding experimental evidence to be an improvement over the traditional ‘uncertainty’ argument for free will, from quantum mechanics, that had been used to undermine the deterministic belief of materialists:

    Why Quantum Physics (Uncertainty) Ends the Free Will Debate – Michio Kaku – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFLR5vNKiSw

    Of note: since our free will choices figure so prominently in how reality is actually found to be constructed in our understanding of quantum mechanics, I think a Christian perspective on just how important our choices are in this temporal life, in regards to our eternal destiny, is very fitting:

    Is God Good? (Free will and the problem of evil) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rfd_1UAjeIA

    “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell.”
    - C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

    Hell – A Warning! – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4131476/

    footnote as to ‘the now of the mind’ which the philosopher questioned Einstein about:

    “The laws of relativity have changed timeless existence from a theological claim to a physical reality. Light, you see, is outside of time, a fact of nature proven in thousands of experiments at hundreds of universities. I don’t pretend to know how tomorrow can exist simultaneously with today and yesterday. But at the speed of light they actually and rigorously do. Time does not pass.”
    Richard Swenson – More Than Meets The Eye, Chpt. 12

    ‘In the ‘spirit world,,, instantly, there was no sense of time. See, everything on earth is related to time. You got up this morning, you are going to go to bed tonight. Something is new, it will get old. Something is born, it’s going to die. Everything on the physical plane is relative to time, but everything in the spiritual plane is relative to eternity. Instantly I was in total consciousness and awareness of eternity, and you and I as we live in this earth cannot even comprehend it, because everything that we have here is filled within the veil of the temporal life. In the spirit life that is more real than anything else and it is awesome. Eternity as a concept is awesome. There is no such thing as time. I knew that whatever happened was going to go on and on.’
    Mickey Robinson – Near Death Experience (NDE) testimony

    ‘There is no way to tell whether minutes, hours or years go by. Existence is the only reality and it is inseparable from the eternal now.’ –
    John Star – NDE testimony

    Verse and music:

    Luke 17:21
    Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

    Mandy Moore – Only Hope
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_Ez9eASvTQ

  8. The only thing that compares to Darwinism is cosmology. A religious following. Every ‘floor’ of the BB theory is a fudge factor – A contradiction of the theory ‘explained’ away. Except the first floor – redshift=expansion=distance – which has been thoroughly disproven. Think what it means to say ‘These Galaxies are not moving the way we say they should!’ Hmm, what could it be, what could it be (We’re wrong – no not even a consideration) – Mysterious unseen material! in just the right amount and place! Thats it. This discipline is completely off the deep end.

  9. The watershed moments that weren’t. When the complexity inside the cell was observed to a certain resolution. When we turned an extra-optical eye to the heavens and [should have] realized we had been missing the whole show!

  10. Sal -

    Great article! ba77 brought up a paper which is one of my favorites in cosmology – Krauss’ “The End of Cosmology and the Return of the Static Universe”. In essence, Krauss shows that, in the far future, the *data* will indicate a static universe. In other words, the best model for the data in the future, assuming that the current model is correct, will be wrong. What Krauss doesn’t do, but should, is take that as a criticism of modern attempts to make a definitive model. How do we know that *we* are dealing with all of the data? Perhaps we are on the tail end of some *other* equation that we can’t perceive? This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t think about cosmology, but rather that there is no reason at all for anyone to be dogmatic about the science. The math proves that the science for cosmology is unreliable. We should still engage in it, but we should take its advances with a large grain of salt.

    I wrote more about this paper a while ago here.

  11. Ba77,

    Thanks for the Krauss paper!

    JohnnyB,

    Thanks for reading. Nice to hear from you.

    What Krauss doesn’t do, but should, is take that as a criticism of modern attempts to make a definitive model. How do we know that *we* are dealing with all of the data?

    Amen.

    We’re still arguing about how far things are from us:
    http://news.sciencemag.org/sci.....r-all.html

    Or whether the New Horizons mission will show there is or is not a need to revise gravitation theories:
    http://www.nature.com/nphys/jo.....s2428.html

    I trust if the Intelligent Designer intends for us to learn the truth, the universe will be designed to help us make the measurements we need to make to sort things out.

  12. 12
    Chance Ratcliff

    Hi scordova,

    “I trust if the Intelligent Designer intends for us to learn the truth, the universe will be designed to help us make the measurements we need to make to sort things out.”

    And yet obfuscation is employed in design processes. I think we can safely assume that, what we are allowed or intended to know, will be either obvious or discoverable. However there’s no reason to think that we are entitled to know anything and everything. It’s possible that certain ambiguities exist because they serve a purpose, such as one related to the exercise of our free will. It’s also possible, if not likely, that there are aspects of truth that we are not entitled to possess, or conditionally so.

  13. Although there are certainly measurements that need to be taken into account, we can place much confidence in this,,,

    Direct (Distance) Measurements Place Universe’s Age at 13.79 Billion Years – Hugh Ross – May 2013 – podcast
    http://www.reasons.org/podcast.....lion-years

    The Megamaser Cosmology Project. V. An Angular Diameter Distance to NGC 6264 at 140 Mpc;
    http://arxiv.org/abs/1207.7292

    And again I point out that the only places Big Bang cosmology finds discrepancy is when physicists try to artificially impose materialistic explanations onto the Theory to ‘explain away’ the fine tuning. For instance,,

    One of cosmic (Rapid) inflation theory’s creators now questions own theory – April 2011
    Excerpt: (Rapid) Inflation adds a whole bunch of really unlikely metaphysical assumptions — a new force field that has a never-before-observed particle called the “inflaton”, an expansion faster than the speed of light, an interaction with gravity waves which are themselves only inferred– just so that it can explain the unlikely contingency of a finely-tuned big bang.
    But instead of these extra assumptions becoming more-and-more supported, the trend went the opposite direction, with more-and-more fine-tuning of the inflation assumptions until they look as fine-tuned as Big Bang theories. At some point, we have “begged the question”. Frankly, the moment we add an additional free variable, I think we have already begged the question. In a Bayesean comparison of theories, extra variables reduce the information content of the theory, (by the so-called Ockham factor), so these inflation theories are less, not more, explanatory than the theory they are supposed to replace.,,, after 20 years of work, if we haven’t made progress, but have instead retreated, it is time to cut bait.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....wn-theory/

    The ‘big bang’: More data and answers, but what about why? by John Horgan
    Excerpt: Inflation, which was invented more than 25 years ago by the physicist Alan Guth, appealed to cosmologists because it seemed to solve various fine-tuning problems. Unfortunately, inflation comes in many different versions, and it is based on highly speculative physics that so far lack any empirical evidence. Paul Steinhardt, an early champion of inflation, now promotes a rival theory that he says can account for the observed universe just as well.
    String theory suffers from flaws even deeper than those of inflation. Far from making our cosmos seem less arbitrary, string theory allows for more than a googol (1 followed by 100 zeros) different possible universes with dimensions, particles, forces and other properties radically unlike our own.
    http://www.stevens.edu/csw/cgi.....=inflation

    Sean Carroll channels Giordano Bruno – Robert Sheldon – November 2011
    Excerpt: ‘In fact, on Lakatos’ analysis, both String Theory and Inflation are clearly “degenerate science programs”.’
    http://procrustes.blogtownhall.....runo.thtml

    Once again I recommend this following video for gaining a clear insight as to why the source of all these problems for Big bang cosmology arise from the materialistic philosophy itself,,,

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory and The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    ,,,whereas if Theism is allowed its rightful place, in which the universal constants/laws do not arise from a materialistic basis but are imposed onto the material by God, then the fine-tuning ‘problem’ is not a problem in the first place. Frankly, seeing that the entire universe, all matter-energy space-time, is now known to have arisen instantaneously in the Big Bang, I consider it extremely absurd to try to explain the unchanging finely-tuned laws of the universe as somehow spontaneously ‘emerging’ from a material basis!

    “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.
    John Lennox

  14. as to:

    “I trust if the Intelligent Designer intends for us to learn the truth, the universe will be designed to help us make the measurements we need to make to sort things out.”

    Which reminded me of this comment from yesterday:

    What does it even mean in the Darwinian worldview for something to be considered true?

    Comprehensibility of the world
    Excerpt: ,,,Bottom line: without an absolute Truth, (there would be) no logic, no mathematics, no beings, no knowledge by beings, no science, no comprehensibility of the world whatsoever.
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....the-world/

    Do the New Atheists Own the Market on Reason? – On the terms of the New Atheists, the very concept of rationality becomes nonsensical – By R. Scott Smith, May 03, 2012
    Excerpt: If atheistic evolution by NS were true, we’d be in a beginningless series of interpretations, without any knowledge. Yet, we do know many things. So, naturalism & atheistic evolution by NS are false — non-physical essences exist. But, what’s their best explanation? Being non-physical, it can’t be evolution by NS. Plus, we use our experiences, form concepts and beliefs, and even modify or reject them. Yet, if we’re just physical beings, how could we interact with and use these non-physical things? Perhaps we have non-physical souls too. In all, it seems likely the best explanation for these non-physical things is that there exists a Creator after all.
    http://www.patheos.com/Evangel.....#038;max=1

    “It seems to me immensely unlikely that mind is a mere by-product of matter. For if my mental processes are determined wholly by the motions of atoms in my brain, I have no reason to suppose that my beliefs are true. They may be sound chemically, but that does not make them sound logically. And hence I have no reason for supposing my brain to be composed of atoms. In order to escape from this necessity of sawing away the branch on which I am sitting, so to speak, I am compelled to believe that mind is not wholly conditioned by matter”.
    J. B. S. Haldane ["When I am dead," in Possible Worlds: And Other Essays [1927], Chatto and Windus: London, 1932, reprint, p.209.

    And of course this epistemological failure for Darwinists/Materialists has been born out by Boltzmann’s Brain,,,

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: What is worse, multiplying without limit the opportunities for any event to happen in the context of a multiverse – where it is alleged that anything can spontaneously jump into existence without cause – produces a situation in which no absurdity is beyond the pale. For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    And also by Plantinga’s Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism,,

    Alvin Plantinga – Evolutionary Argument against Naturalism – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r34AIo-xBh8

    ,,an argument which is a refinement of the argument from reason

    “One absolutely central inconsistency ruins [the popular scientific philosophy]. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears… unless Reason is an absolute, all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction. They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based.”
    —C.S. Lewis, Is Theology Poetry (aka the Argument from Reason)

    Isaiah 1:18
    Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

    But, on the flip side of asking, “What does it even mean in the Darwinian worldview for something to be considered true?”, we can ask, What does it even mean in the Christian worldview for something to be considered true? Well, I would hope, if you think yourself to be Christian, that this following verse would come fairly quickly to mind,,

    John 14:6
    Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

    Thus I would hold, as a Christian, that we have not really really reached ‘the ultimate truth’ of our science until we have reached Christ through our science. And to that effect;

    If Professor Dyson is correct, then the quest for a unified theory of physics is a fundamentally misguided one,,,,
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....be-doomed/

    I would also hold that the quest is a fundamentally misguided one, but not for the reasons Professor Dyson listed. The reason why I hold the quest for a unified theory of physics to be fundamentally misguided is because they are looking for the answer towards unification, for ‘the truth’, in the all wrong places.,,, by looking for causal power in description instead of agency

    “But contrary to what Hawking claims, physical laws can never provide a complete explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions.
    What Hawking appears to have done is to confuse law with agency. – John Lennox

    Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor.
    Bruce Gordon
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....ent-454084

    Supplemental Note;

    Centrality of Each Individual Observer In The Universe and Christ’s Very Credible Reconciliation Of General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/17SDgYPHPcrl1XX39EXhaQzk7M0zmANKdYIetpZ-WB5Y/edit?hl=en_US

    Verse and Music:

    Philippians 2:8-9
    And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

    Kari Jobe – Revelation Song –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FObjd5wrgZ8

  15. ba77,

    Distances are not directly measured for distant galaxies, we meaure the redshift, and then on the assumption of the Big Bang’s expanding space we assume it has a certain distance. The Tolman test at extreme redshifts cast doubt on the Big Bang, not to mention the hypothesis of expanding space is only “proven” by appeals to evidence which assumes expanding space to begin with, thus the “proof” is circular.

    Yes, the galaxies are red shifted, they could be moving, but it doesn’t mean that expanding space is the reason. We get doppler shifts all the time just from plain old velocity it static (not expanding) space.

    We don’t need the big bang to assert the universe has a beginning. Ross seems to think failure of the big bang would necessarily lead to atheism, but other possible cosmologies are also friendly to theism.

    We can deduce the universe has a beginning from the simple fact that stars can’t burn forever, hence the stars have a finite life, hence the stars and everything else have a beginning. The rest are details.

    But, regarding a technicality, we really don’t know how far things are beyond about 300 light-years, beyond that, the distances are subject to major revision upon future discoveries.

    I won’t venture to say who is right, that’s above my pay grade…

  16. Excuse me Sal, but I really find that to be a wishy washy answer, characteristic of hidden motives,,, YEC do I smell??,,, especially wishy washy coming from someone who thought he had enough of a firm grasp on the mathematics of thermodynamics to correct Dr. Sewell on it. But hey lets see where your Young Earth Creationism vs. Big Bang cosmology goes for you shall we?, I’ll lead off:

    Big Bang Theory – An Overview of the main evidence
    Excerpt: Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time. In 1968 and 1970, they published papers in which they extended Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space.1, 2 According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy.”3
    Steven W. Hawking, George F.R. Ellis, “The Cosmic Black-Body Radiation and the Existence of Singularities in our Universe,” Astrophysical Journal, 152, (1968) pp. 25-36.
    Steven W. Hawking, Roger Penrose, “The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series A, 314 (1970) pp. 529-548.
    http://www.big-bang-theory.com/

  17. To pick up on this:

    static (not expanding) space.

    Yet in Relativity space and time are shown to be two sides of the same coin, and many proofs exist,

    Experimental confirmation of Time Dilation
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....nfirmation

    this is my favorite:

    Amazing — light filmed at 1,000,000,000,000 Frames/Second! – video (so fast that at 9:00 Minute mark of video the time dilation effect of relativity is caught on film)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoHeWgLvlXI

    Sal do you deny Relativity?

  18. No need to be combative ba77, I’m just stating the facts, we don’t know how far things are, we have estimates subject to revision. My motivations are irrelevant to that question. No need to make the discussion personal or to try to demean my knowledge level of math or thermodynamics or statistical mechanics. Simply agree or disagree and state why, that is what we call civil discourse.

  19. Nothing personal just science, Do you deny relativity Sal?

  20. scordova @15:

    Ross seems to think failure of the big bang would necessarily lead to atheism . . .

    I hope he doesn’t actually think this, as it would demonstrate a pretty narrow paradigm of thought.

    First, atheism would not necessarily follow just from the failure of the big bang. Second, there are plenty of other reasons to think that there is a designer, apart from cosmology, such as in biology. That doesn’t necessarily lead to theism, but it most certainly doesn’t lead to atheism either; and it is more friendly to the former than the latter.

    I sure wouldn’t put all my eggs into the Big Bang basket, given all the open issues that still lurk.

  21. Well, I certainly do find it strange that Atheists and Agnostics find the evidence for a Big Bang so persuasive that it has them saying stuff like:

    “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.”
    Stephen Hawking

    On the Origin of Everything
    ‘A Universe From Nothing,’ by Lawrence M. Krauss
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03......html?_r=0

    “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”
    (NASA Astronomer Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, p. 116.)

    Yet we have YEC’s denying it happened.

  22. OT: Steve Meyer and John Lennox on The Michael Medved Show
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....6_12-07_00

  23. Eric,

    Here is a quote from Hugh Ross tying Christianity to the Big Bang

    Belief that the universe was created a finite time ago by a transcendent Creator has been strengthened by evidence yet again. A new piece of astronomical research brings good news for Christians and bad news for anyone denying God’s existence or equating God with the universe itself.

    In the last Astrophysical Journal of 1999, four American and two Ukrainian astronomers strengthened an old proof for the creation event, aka the hot big bang model.

    Hugh Ross

    One doesn’t need the Big Bang to establish the stars (and most of what really counts for the creation of life) had a beginning. The simple fact they are burning out is sufficient to establish it. That fact transcends what ever cosmology one accepts.

    And as you pointed out, the design of life, though not necessarily an implication of God, does imply intelligent design.

    One doesn’t need General Relativity, Friedmann-LeMaitre-Roberston-Walker non-Euclidean geometric solutions or any other of the fancy stuff of the Big Bang to make that simple inference.

    I also think William Lane Craig doesn’t need the Big Bang either to make his case, he only needs to appeal to the finite age of stars. Simple enough.

  24. ba77,

    The time dilation experiments are irrelevant to whether space is expanding.

    Time dilation is a featured proof for special relativity, and even though it exists in General Relativity (since special relativity exists within General Relativity), it is not a proof of the larger claims of General Relativity.

    But at question is not even whether General Relativity is true, but whether the Big Bang Friedmann-LeMaitre-Roberston-Walker solution to the field equations of General Relativity are indeed the correct solutions. There are an infinite number of mathematically correct solutions to the field equations, just like there are an infinite number of solutions to Newton’s second law. At issue is whether the Big Bang solution is the correct one. It can be shown to be false if we have a measurement that refutes expanding space or other aspects of the Big Bang.

    So this discussion isn’t about if GR is true, for the sake of this discussion, it is assumed true. At issue is whether this is true:
    FLRW

  25. So you deny relativity Sal?

    One doesn’t need General Relativity,

    If you stand by that statement, case closed!

  26. So you deny relativity Sal?

    No. Works well in most domains we’re aware of, but I can change my mind can’t I?

    You’re being polemic. Your posts are more like an interrogation than an exchange of information and ideas.

    Seems you really took exception at my skepticism over the possiblity that our distance measurements might be subject to revision. I was merely pointing out Ross’s claim that we made direct measurement of things 13 billion light years away is not really a direct measurement, it assumes the Big Bang expanding space model is true in order for that measurement to be made, and is hence no proof of the Big Bang since it assumes the thing you’re trying to prove. We call that circular reasoning.

  27. So Sal, you don’t deny general relativity, you just deny the 1 in 10^120 expansion of the universe (cosmological constant) attached to general relativity because of ‘circular reasoning’? Okie Dokie now that I know for sure your position, how about looking directly at the expansion of the universe at the 1:00 minute mark of this following video?

    Hugh Ross PhD. – Scientific Evidence For Cosmological Constant (Expansion Of The Universe)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4347218/

    As well, here are the verses in the Bible Dr. Ross listed, which were written well over 2000 years before the discovery of the finely tuned expansion of the universe, that speak of God ‘Stretching out the Heavens’; Job 9:8; Isaiah 40:22; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 48:13; Zechariah 12:1; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 45:12; Isaiah 51:13; Jeremiah 51:15; Jeremiah 10:12. The following verse is my favorite out of the group of verses:

    Job 9:8
    He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.

    Here is the paper from the atheistic astrophysicists, that Dr. Ross referenced in the preceding video, speaking of the ‘disturbing implications’ of the expanding universe (cosmological constant):

    Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant – Dyson, Kleban, Susskind (at least two are self proclaimed atheists) – 2002
    Excerpt: “Arranging the universe as we think it is arranged would have required a miracle.,,,”
    “A external agent [external to time and space] intervened in cosmic history for reasons of its own.,,,”
    Page 21 “The only reasonable conclusion is that we don’t live in a universe with a true cosmological constant”.
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0208013.pdf

    Here are the 9 lines of evidence that came out shortly after the Paper was listed as a preprint on Los Alamos’s website. Evidences which made Dyson, Kleban and Susskind pull their paper from consideration,,,

    I (Hugh Ross) often refer to nine different lines of observational evidence that establish dark energy’s reality and dominance in my talks. These nine are:

    1. radial velocities of type Ia supernovae;
    2. WMAP of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR);
    3. ground-based measures of the CMBR;
    4. Sloan Digital Sky Survey of galaxies and galaxy clusters;
    5. Two-Degree Field Survey of galaxies;
    6. gravitational lens measurements of distant galaxies and quasars;
    7. distributions of radio galaxies;
    8. galaxy velocity distributions; and
    9. x-ray emissions from galaxy clusters.

    In the last several years, astronomers have added seven additional lines of observational evidence, bringing the total to sixteen. These seven are:

    10. Lyman-alpha forest measurements;
    11. polarization measures of the cosmic microwave background radiation;
    12. stellar ages;
    13. cosmic inhomogeneities;
    14. gamma-ray bursts;
    15. evolution of galaxy clustering; and
    16. galaxy cluster angular size measurements.
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/.....rk_energy/

    To be fair sal, instead of you just nitpicking that these evidences are not good enough for you for you to accept the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the universe, could you please list 16 independent lines of evidence from cosmology indicating that the universe was created a few thousand years ago? That would be fair and that would be an exchange of ideas that I could actually respect!

    Verse and Music:

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    But test everything. Keep what is good,

    Sonicflood – Cry Holy
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZW1GbdjAmPU

  28. of related interest:

    Besides the evidence that Dr. Ross listed for the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the universe, this following paper clearly indicates that we do live in universe with a ‘true cosmological constant’. A cosmological constant that is not reducible to a materialistic basis. Thus, the atheistic astrophysicists are at a complete loss to explain why the universe expands in such a finely tuned way, whereas Theists are vindicated once again in their beliefs that the universal constants are truly transcendent!

    Dark energy alternatives to Einstein are running out of room – January 9, 2013
    Excerpt: Last month, a group of European astronomers, using a massive radio telescope in Germany, made the most accurate measurement of the proton-to-electron mass ratio ever accomplished and found that there has been no change in the ratio to one part in 10 million at a time when the universe was about half its current age, around 7 billion years ago. When Thompson put this new measurement into his calculations, he found that it excluded almost all of the dark energy models using the commonly expected values or parameters.
    If the parameter space or range of values is equated to a football field, then almost the whole field is out of bounds except for a single 2-inch by 2-inch patch at one corner of the field. In fact, most of the allowed values are not even on the field. “In effect, the dark energy theories have been playing on the wrong field,” Thompson said. “The 2-inch square does contain the area that corresponds to no change in the fundamental constants, (a ‘true cosmological constant’), and that is exactly where Einstein stands.”
    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-d.....-room.html

  29. To be fair sal, instead of you just nitpicking that these could you please list 16 independent lines of evidence from cosmology indicating that the universe was created a few thousand years ago?

    No, but my inability to do so has nothing to do with the topic of this discussion. I could be wrong on many things, but my being wrong doesn’t mean the Big Bang is true.

    With respect to Dark Energy and acceleration of expansion, isn’t a bit premature to assume accelerated expansion if expansion hasn’t even been established in the first place? As Disney stated, the fact that ugly bandages of inflation, dark matter, dark energy are need to explain inconvenient observations is suggestive the theory may not be fundamentally correct to begin with.

    We:
    1. have no laboratory evidence of space expanding
    2. have no laboratory evidence of superluminal velocities involved in the Big Bang (nor will we ever, even in principle)
    3. no laboratory evidence of dark matter
    4. no laboratory evidence of dark energy
    5. no reason to believe in inflation apart from the need to fix 3 major problem with the big bang, and there is no way to ever test the mechanism of inflation, and we have no way of seeing this historic event anyway

    The “fact” of dark energy could be just as much evidence of the wrongness of the Big Bang theory!

    Here is Sean Carroll’s description of Dark Energy:

    Dark energy has three crucial properties. First, it’s dark: we don’t see it, and as far as we can observe it doesn’t interact with matter at all…Second, it’s smoothly distributed: it doesn’t fall into galaxies and clusters, or we would have found it by studying the dynamics of those objects. Third, it’s persistent: the density of dark energy (amount of energy per cubic light-year) remains approximately constant as the universe expands. It doesn’t dilute away like matter does.

    So…since it doesn’t interact with matter it’s unseen, untestable, unknowable. You’re welcome of course to believe in it as truth, whereas some consider the fact that such an entitity is needed by the Big Bang to reconcile inconvenient observations, is evidence the Big Bang might be false. Thus your 16 lines of evidence could just as well be used to argue that the Big Bang is false.

    Suit yourself what you want to believe about the Big Bang, I chose to wait and see what unfolds. There are brilliant minds on both sides of the debate, and I’m in no position to say who is right, but you seem quite convinced that you are in a position to do just that.

  30. scordova @23:

    Thanks. But that quote from Ross is awfully far from suggesting that absence of a Big Bang entails atheism. For example, I could argue that some particular line of evidence in biology strengthens the case for a design and is “bad news” for materialists, to use Ross’ phrase. But that doesn’t mean that absence of that particular piece of evidence causes the entire edifice to crumble and we end up as atheists.

    In fairness, I admit I don’t follow Ross’ work very closely, as he has a somewhat different goal in mind than what I am interested in. However, I know he is no dummy and I doubt he would make a rookie mistake of thinking that absence of a Big Bang entails atheism.

    Anyway, no big deal. Just wanted to point out that perhaps his position might not be quite as you attributed to him in #15.

    Thanks, as always, for a cordial discussion.

  31. Eric,

    You are correct that the quote wasn’t very strong, but I recall seeing something stronger, and it took me a while to find it.

    Here it is:

    If you prove the Big Bang, you prove Jesus Christ. I want to briefly explain to you how that follows and I want to reveal something to you that leads to that.

    Why Big Bang = Jesus Christ

    It’s something that’s probably more beautiful than anything that you’ve ever seen living here in Illinois . Or for that matter California or where I grew up, British Colombia, which I think is the most beautiful place in the world.

    I want to show you something that far transcends the beauty of even the scenery that we see on this planet Earth. [Shows Einstein's singularity equation.] But, then what could possibly transcend the beauty of equations of physics? For those of you who are starting to break out into a cold sweat, this will be gone in less than a minute and I’ll never show you another one again…..

    http://www.cosmicfingerprints......-universe/

    His proof that Big Bang = Jesus Christ rambles on, and I don’t think he makes his point.

    Btw, Richard Feynman said, “science is a culture of doubt”, that embodies a lot of where I’ve been personally. Human fallibility seems always in evidence, its a miracle we know and learn anything.

  32. Sal, your objections seem very peculiar since I have listed this video twice.

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory and The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    And I just listed a study that shows we live in a universe with a ‘true cosmological constant’ i.e. ““In effect, the dark energy theories have been playing on the wrong field,”,,,

    I certainly don’t consider your response are coherent to what I have posted. In fact its a severe disconnect to what I have written,,, I don’t even think you are reading my posts but are only trying to maintain a YEC religious position.

  33. i.e. Sal you are objecting to pretty much the very same ad hoc materialistic scenarios that were tacked on after observations were made that Dr. Sheldon and Dr. Gordon, both OECs, have objected to.,,, Strange, and you listed no cosmological evidence for YEC! Stranger!,,,, But anyways, to try to find some common ground, you said something that caught my eye,,, in order to try to discredit Dr. Ross you picked this quote:

    Why Big Bang = Jesus Christ

    Now, like you, I do not see the direct connection to Christ, but, reading the entire argument in context, instead of snipping a quote out, I do see a connection to a ‘personal God’. To be fair to Dr. Ross, he most likely views substantiating a ‘personal God’ as creator of the universe as substantiating Christ. i.e. How much more ‘personal’ can God get than Jesus?And to be fair to Dr. Ross, Dr Craig, an OEC, has developed this very same ‘personal God’ argument much more concisely here:

    What Properties Must the Cause of the Universe Have? – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1SZWInkDIVI

    The First Cause Must Be A Personal Being – William Lane Craig – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4813914

    But Sal, since science’s main goal, regardless of what materialists may say, is to relentlessly pursue the truth, and Jesus Christ claims to be ‘the truth’, is there any evidence whatsoever from science that could help substantiate Christ’s radical claim for being ‘the truth’? The answer to that question is, as surprising as it may be for you to hear, yes!

  34. Notes:

    If Professor Dyson is correct, then the quest for a unified theory of physics is a fundamentally misguided one,,,,
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....be-doomed/

    I would hold that the quest is a fundamentally misguided one, but not for the reasons Professor Dyson listed. The reason why I hold the quest for a unified theory of physics to be fundamentally misguided is because they are looking for the answer towards unification in the all wrong places. But lets back up a little and ask ourselves, “why should we even be looking for a ‘unified theory of everything in the first place?”,,,

    In Cambridge, Professor Steve Fuller discusses intelligent design – Video
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nd-others/
    At 17:34 minute mark of the video, Dr. Steve Fuller states:
    “So you think of physics in search of a “Grand Unified Theory of Everything”, Why should we even think there is such a thing? Why should we think there is some ultimate level of resolution? Right? It is part, it is a consequence of believing in some kind of design. Right? And there is some sense in which that however multifarious and diverse the phenomena of nature are, they are ultimately unified by the minimal set of laws and principles possible. In so far as science continues to operate with that assumption, there is a presupposition of design that is motivating the scientific process. Because it would be perfectly easy,, to stop the pursuit of science at much lower levels. You know understand a certain range of phenomena in a way that is appropriate to deal with that phenomena and just stop there and not go any deeper or any farther.”,,, You see, there is sense in which there is design at the ultimate level, the ultimate teleology you might say, which provides the ultimate closure,,”

    In fact one could argue very persuasively that design thinking is hardwired into us and this is why we intuitively know that there is a ‘theory of everything’,,,

    Out of the mouths of babes – Do children believe (in God) because they’re told to by adults? The evidence suggests otherwise – Justin Barrett – 2008
    Excerpt: • Children tend to see natural objects as designed or purposeful in ways that go beyond what their parents teach, as Deborah Kelemen has demonstrated. Rivers exist so that we can go fishing on them, and birds are here to look pretty.
    • Children doubt that impersonal processes can create order or purpose. Studies with children show that they expect that someone not something is behind natural order. No wonder that Margaret Evans found that children younger than 10 favoured creationist accounts of the origins of animals over evolutionary accounts even when their parents and teachers endorsed evolution. Authorities’ testimony didn’t carry enough weight to over-ride a natural tendency.
    • Children know humans are not behind the order so the idea of a creating god (or gods) makes sense to them. Children just need adults to specify which one.
    • Experimental evidence, including cross-cultural studies, suggests that three-year-olds attribute super, god-like qualities to lots of different beings. Super-power, super-knowledge and super-perception seem to be default assumptions. Children then have to learn that mother is fallible, and dad is not all powerful, and that people will die. So children may be particularly receptive to the idea of a super creator-god. It fits their predilections.
    • Recent research by Paul Bloom, Jesse Bering, and Emma Cohen suggests that children may also be predisposed to believe in a soul that persists beyond death.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....god-belief

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

    In fact it was the ‘design thinking’ of Judeo-Christian cultures which was spark which ignited the modern scientific revolution,,,

    Jerry Coyne on the Scientific Method and Religion – Michael Egnor – June 2011
    Excerpt: The scientific method — the empirical systematic theory-based study of nature — has nothing to so with some religious inspirations — Animism, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, and, well, atheism. The scientific method has everything to do with Christian (and Jewish) inspiration. Judeo-Christian culture is the only culture that has given rise to organized theoretical science. Many cultures (e.g. China) have produced excellent technology and engineering, but only Christian culture has given rise to a conceptual understanding of nature.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47431.html

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/32145998

    The very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientists squirm. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way.
    ~ Paul Davies

    “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.”
    John Lennox

    Moreover, abstract mathematical descriptions, just because they may describe something very accurately and as impressive as they may appear to people as accurate descriptions, do not and cannot have causal power associate with them,, That assumption is just as erroneous as confusing a description of a person, however accurate the description may be, with the person themselves! i.e. Kiss your wife and kiss a picture of your wife and tell me if you can tell the difference!

    But contrary to what Hawking claims, physical laws can never provide a complete explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions.
    What Hawking appears to have done is to confuse law with agency. – John Lennox
    http://www.kenboa.org/blog/201.....nd-design/

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    Moreover, as Godel showed in his incompleteness theorem,,,

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8462821

    ,,there can never be a ‘complete’ mathematical theory of everything,,

    Godel and Physics – John D. Barrow
    Excerpt (page 5-6): “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49
    http://arxiv.org/pdf/physics/0612253.pdf

  35. Notes:

    If Professor Dyson is correct, then the quest for a unified theory of physics is a fundamentally misguided one,,,,
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....be-doomed/

    I would hold that the quest is a fundamentally misguided one, but not for the reasons Professor Dyson listed. The reason why I hold the quest for a unified theory of physics to be fundamentally misguided is because they are looking for the answer towards unification in the all wrong places. But lets back up a little and ask ourselves, “why should we even be looking for a ‘unified theory of everything in the first place?”,,,

    In Cambridge, Professor Steve Fuller discusses intelligent design – Video
    http://www.uncommondescent.com.....nd-others/
    At 17:34 minute mark of the video, Dr. Steve Fuller states:
    “So you think of physics in search of a “Grand Unified Theory of Everything”, Why should we even think there is such a thing? Why should we think there is some ultimate level of resolution? Right? It is part, it is a consequence of believing in some kind of design. Right? And there is some sense in which that however multifarious and diverse the phenomena of nature are, they are ultimately unified by the minimal set of laws and principles possible. In so far as science continues to operate with that assumption, there is a presupposition of design that is motivating the scientific process. Because it would be perfectly easy,, to stop the pursuit of science at much lower levels. You know understand a certain range of phenomena in a way that is appropriate to deal with that phenomena and just stop there and not go any deeper or any farther.”,,, You see, there is sense in which there is design at the ultimate level, the ultimate teleology you might say, which provides the ultimate closure,,”

    In fact one could argue very persuasively that design thinking is hardwired into us and this is why we intuitively know that there is a ‘theory of everything’,,,

    Out of the mouths of babes – Do children believe (in God) because they’re told to by adults? The evidence suggests otherwise – Justin Barrett – 2008
    Excerpt: • Children tend to see natural objects as designed or purposeful in ways that go beyond what their parents teach, as Deborah Kelemen has demonstrated. Rivers exist so that we can go fishing on them, and birds are here to look pretty.
    • Children doubt that impersonal processes can create order or purpose. Studies with children show that they expect that someone not something is behind natural order. No wonder that Margaret Evans found that children younger than 10 favoured creationist accounts of the origins of animals over evolutionary accounts even when their parents and teachers endorsed evolution. Authorities’ testimony didn’t carry enough weight to over-ride a natural tendency.
    • Children know humans are not behind the order so the idea of a creating god (or gods) makes sense to them. Children just need adults to specify which one.
    • Experimental evidence, including cross-cultural studies, suggests that three-year-olds attribute super, god-like qualities to lots of different beings. Super-power, super-knowledge and super-perception seem to be default assumptions. Children then have to learn that mother is fallible, and dad is not all powerful, and that people will die. So children may be particularly receptive to the idea of a super creator-god. It fits their predilections.
    • Recent research by Paul Bloom, Jesse Bering, and Emma Cohen suggests that children may also be predisposed to believe in a soul that persists beyond death.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/comm.....god-belief

    Design Thinking Is Hardwired in the Human Brain. How Come? – October 17, 2012
    Excerpt: “Even Professional Scientists Are Compelled to See Purpose in Nature, Psychologists Find.” The article describes a test by Boston University’s psychology department, in which researchers found that “despite years of scientific training, even professional chemists, geologists, and physicists from major universities such as Harvard, MIT, and Yale cannot escape a deep-seated belief that natural phenomena exist for a purpose” ,,,
    Most interesting, though, are the questions begged by this research. One is whether it is even possible to purge teleology from explanation.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....65381.html

    In fact it was the ‘design thinking’ of Judeo-Christian cultures which was spark which ignited the modern scientific revolution,,,

    Jerry Coyne on the Scientific Method and Religion – Michael Egnor – June 2011
    Excerpt: The scientific method — the empirical systematic theory-based study of nature — has nothing to so with some religious inspirations — Animism, Paganism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, Islam, and, well, atheism. The scientific method has everything to do with Christian (and Jewish) inspiration. Judeo-Christian culture is the only culture that has given rise to organized theoretical science. Many cultures (e.g. China) have produced excellent technology and engineering, but only Christian culture has given rise to a conceptual understanding of nature.
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....47431.html

    Epistemology – Why Should The Human Mind Even Be Able To Comprehend Reality? – Stephen Meyer – video – (Notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/32145998

    The very notion of physical law is a theological one in the first place, a fact that makes many scientists squirm. Isaac Newton first got the idea of absolute, universal, perfect, immutable laws from the Christian doctrine that God created the world and ordered it in a rational way.
    ~ Paul Davies

    “Men became scientific because they expected law in nature and they expected law in nature because they believed in a lawgiver.”
    John Lennox

    Moreover, abstract mathematical descriptions, just because they may describe something very accurately and as impressive as they may appear to people as accurate descriptions, do not and cannot have causal power associate with them,, That assumption is just as erroneous as confusing a description of a person, however accurate the description may be, with the person themselves! i.e. Kiss your wife and kiss a picture of your wife and tell me if you can tell the difference!

    But contrary to what Hawking claims, physical laws can never provide a complete explanation of the universe. Laws themselves do not create anything, they are merely a description of what happens under certain conditions.
    What Hawking appears to have done is to confuse law with agency. – John Lennox
    http://www.kenboa.org/blog/201.....nd-design/

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor.
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    Moreover, as Godel showed in his incompleteness theorem,,,

    Kurt Gödel – Incompleteness Theorem – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/8462821

    ,,there can never be a ‘complete’ mathematical theory of everything,,

    Godel and Physics – John D. Barrow
    Excerpt (page 5-6): “Clearly then no scientific cosmology, which of necessity must be highly mathematical, can have its proof of consistency within itself as far as mathematics go. In absence of such consistency, all mathematical models, all theories of elementary particles, including the theory of quarks and gluons…fall inherently short of being that theory which shows in virtue of its a priori truth that the world can only be what it is and nothing else. This is true even if the theory happened to account for perfect accuracy for all phenomena of the physical world known at a particular time.”
    Stanley Jaki – Cosmos and Creator – 1980, pg. 49

  36. Interestingly, at one time, even Stephen Hawking, and even Professor Dyson himself, had realized the deep implications inherent in Godel’s incompleteness theorem,,,

    The nature and significance of Gödel’s incompleteness theorems – Princeton – 2006
    Excerpt: ,,Stephen Hawking and Freeman Dyson, among others, have come to the conclusion that Gödel’s theorem implies that there can’t be a Theory of Everything.,,
    http://math.stanford.edu/~fefe.....el-IAS.pdf

    But apparently Hawking forgot the implications he had conceded to Godel’s incompleteness, and Professor Dyson, if I’m read him right, says we should give up searching for a theory of everything altogether. Yet, I would hold that we should follow the implications of Godel’s incompleteness where they lead, wherever they may lead us!

    Taking God Out of the Equation – Biblical Worldview – by Ron Tagliapietra – January 1, 2012
    Excerpt: Kurt Gödel (1906–1978) proved that no logical systems (if they include the counting numbers) can have all three of the following properties.
    1. Validity – all conclusions are reached by valid reasoning.
    2. Consistency – no conclusions contradict any other conclusions.
    3. Completeness – all statements made in the system are either true or false.
    The details filled a book, but the basic concept was simple and elegant. He summed it up this way: “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.” For this reason, his proof is also called the Incompleteness Theorem.
    Kurt Gödel had dropped a bomb on the foundations of mathematics. Math could not play the role of God as infinite and autonomous. It was shocking, though, that logic could prove that mathematics could not be its own ultimate foundation.
    Christians should not have been surprised. The first two conditions are true about math: it is valid and consistent. But only God fulfills the third condition. Only He is complete and therefore self-dependent (autonomous). God alone is “all in all” (1 Corinthians 15:28), “the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13). God is the ultimate authority (Hebrews 6:13), and in Christ are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge (Colossians 2:3).
    http://www.answersingenesis.or...../equation#

    as to this particular comment:

    “Anything you can draw a circle around cannot explain itself without referring to something outside the circle—something you have to assume but cannot prove.”

    I hold that there are only three candidates to be ‘outside the circle’, to explain why the ‘circle’ of the universe exists. Please note the ‘circle of the universe’ in the following video:

    The Known Universe by AMNH – video – (please note the ‘centrality’ of the Earth within the ‘circle’ of the universe)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

    The three candidates for being ‘outside the circle’ of the universe are 1.Nothing, 2.Randomness, or 3.God.

    As to postulating that nothing created the universe, well that postulation is just simply absurd.

    Not Understanding Nothing – A review of A Universe from Nothing – Edward Feser – June 2012
    Excerpt: A critic might reasonably question the arguments for a divine first cause of the cosmos. But to ask “What caused God?” misses the whole reason classical philosophers thought his existence necessary in the first place. So when physicist Lawrence Krauss begins his new book by suggesting that to ask “Who created the creator?” suffices to dispatch traditional philosophical theology, we know it isn’t going to end well. ,,,
    ,,, But Krauss simply can’t see the “difference between arguing in favor of an eternally existing creator versus an eternally existing universe without one.” The difference, as the reader of Aristotle or Aquinas knows, is that the universe changes while the unmoved mover does not, or, as the Neoplatonist can tell you, that the universe is made up of parts while its source is absolutely one; or, as Leibniz could tell you, that the universe is contingent and God absolutely necessary. There is thus a principled reason for regarding God rather than the universe as the terminus of explanation.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ng-nothing

    Richard Dawkins gets OWNED by a Catholic Priest on his definition of nothing – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgq4Zre4JR4

    Second, postulating Randomness as ‘outside the circle’ crashes head on into epistemological failure,,

    GORDON: Hawking irrational arguments
    Theoretical physicist takes leave of his senses – Oct. 2010
    Excerpt: For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science
    http://www.washingtontimes.com.....arguments/

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory & The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    Last power point of preceding video states:

    The End Of Materialism? – Dr. Bruce Gordon
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as a explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.

    Thus only God provides a coherent answer for what is ‘outside the circle’ of Godel’s incompleteness theorem. But why in blue blazes should scientists have ever been misled to think otherwise?

    This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. And if the fixed stars are the centres of other like systems, these, being formed by the like wise counsel, must be all subject to the dominion of One; especially since the light of the fixed stars is of the same nature with the light of the sun, and from every system light passes into all the other systems: and lest the systems of the fixed stars should, by their gravity, fall on each other mutually, he hath placed those systems at immense distances one from another. This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of his dominion he is wont to be called Lord God pantokrator, or Universal Ruler;,,, The Supreme God is a Being eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect;,,, from his true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent, and powerful Being; and, from his other perfections, that he is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, his duration reaches from eternity to eternity; his presence from infinity to infinity; he governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done. He is not eternity or infinity, but eternal and infinite; he is not duration or space, but he endures and is present. He endures for ever, and is every where present:
    Sir Isaac Newton – Quoted from what many consider the greatest science masterpiece of all time, his book “Principia”

  37. But some may ask “what does all the preceding have to do with finding a unification between Gravity and Quantum Mechanics into a ‘theory of everything’?” Well I’m glad you asked,, The primary conflict of reconciling General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics appears to arise from the inability of either theory to successfully deal with the Zero/Infinity problem that crops up in different places of each theory:

    THE MYSTERIOUS ZERO/INFINITY
    Excerpt: The biggest challenge to today’s physicists is how to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics. However, these two pillars of modern science were bound to be incompatible. “The universe of general relativity is a smooth rubber sheet. It is continuous and flowing, never sharp, never pointy. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, describes a jerky and discontinuous universe. What the two theories have in common – and what they clash over – is zero.”,, “The infinite zero of a black hole — mass crammed into zero space, curving space infinitely — punches a hole in the smooth rubber sheet. The equations of general relativity cannot deal with the sharpness of zero. In a black hole, space and time are meaningless.”,, “Quantum mechanics has a similar problem, a problem related to the zero-point energy. The laws of quantum mechanics treat particles such as the electron as points; that is, they take up no space at all. The electron is a zero-dimensional object,,, According to the rules of quantum mechanics, the zero-dimensional electron has infinite mass and infinite charge.
    http://www.fmbr.org/editoral/e....._mar02.htm

    Quantum Mechanics and Relativity – The Collapse Of Physics? – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6597379/

    In the preceding video towards the end, after lamenting ‘the collapse of physics as we know it’ because of the irreconcilable ‘infinity problem’, one of the physicists states something to the effect.

    “We never know what is going to come out of a singularity”

    As to a unexpected singularity found in the universe, besides the singularities found in the Creation of the universe and in blackholes, a singularity that most people ignore as relevant,,

    A Particle Physicist Looks At The Turin Shroud – Video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbl4EmoH_jg

    THE EVENT HORIZON (Space-Time Singularity) OF THE SHROUD OF TURIN. – Isabel Piczek – Particle Physicist
    Excerpt: We have stated before that the images on the Shroud firmly indicate the total absence of Gravity. Yet they also firmly indicate the presence of the Event Horizon. These two seemingly contradict each other and they necessitate the past presence of something more powerful than Gravity that had the capacity to solve the above paradox.
    http://shroud3d.com/findings/i.....-formation

    Turin Shroud Enters 3D Age – Pictures, Articles and Videos
    https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1gDY4CJkoFedewMG94gdUk1Z1jexestdy5fh87RwWAfg

    Moreover it has been shown that the image on the Shroud requires a ‘quantum explanation’, not a classical explanation, to explain image formation:

    The absorbed energy in the Shroud body image formation appears as contributed by discrete values – Giovanni Fazio, Giuseppe Mandaglio – 2008
    Excerpt: This result means that the optical density distribution,, can not be attributed at the absorbed energy described in the framework of the classical physics model. It is, in fact, necessary to hypothesize a absorption by discrete values of the energy where the ‘quantum’ is equal to the one necessary to yellow one fibril.
    http://cab.unime.it/journals/i.....802004/271

    Of related note: a couple of interesting statements are made in this following paper in regards to ‘getting rid of infinities’ so as to find a coherent ‘theory of everything’:

    You don’t exist in an infinite number of places, say scientists – January 25, 2013
    Excerpt: But the scientists’ biggest criticism of the idea of infinite repetition in both proposals is the assumption that the universe is infinite.,,, (yet, “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” -
    Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin)
    Soler Gil and Alfonseca note that, looking back at the history of physics, situations emerged where infinities seemed impossible to avoid, yet improved theories eliminated the infinities. Currently the two basic theories in physics, general relativity and quantum theory, both predict infinities. In relativity, it’s gravity singularities in black holes and the big bang. In quantum theory, it’s vacuum energy and certain parts of quantum field theory. Perhaps both theories are simple approximations of a third more general theory without infinities.
    Soler Gil and Alfonseca also note that, Paul Dirac once stated that the most important challenge in physics was “to get rid of infinity.”
    While Soler Gil and Alfonseca can’t disprove the proposals of infinite repetition, they emphasize that the point of their critique is to show that the idea remains in the realm of philosophy, mythology, and sci-fi tales, not modern cosmology. They call the speculation “ironic science,” a term used by science journalist John Horgan to describe options that do not converge on truth but are at best “interesting.”
    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-d.....tists.html

  38. As to finding a “a third more general theory without infinities” that he mentioned in the preceding paper, I would like to point something else out that Godel, author of the incompleteness theorem, stated,,

    The God of the Mathematicians – Goldman
    Excerpt: As Gödel told Hao Wang, “Einstein’s religion [was] more abstract, like Spinoza and Indian philosophy. Spinoza’s god is less than a person; mine is more than a person; because God can play the role of a person.”
    – Kurt Gödel – (Gödel is considered one of the greatest logicians who ever existed)
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    and as to ‘God can play the role of a person’, and finding a “a third more general theory without infinities” , I submit the following,,,

    The End Of Christianity – Finding a Good God in an Evil World – Pg.31
    William Dembski PhD. Mathematics and Theology
    Excerpt: “In mathematics there are two ways to go to infinity. One is to grow large without measure. The other is to form a fraction in which the denominator goes to zero. The Cross is a path of humility in which the infinite God becomes finite and then contracts to zero, only to resurrect and thereby unite a finite humanity within a newfound infinity.”
    http://www.designinference.com.....of_xty.pdf

    Philippians 2: 5-11
    Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    Thus we find a very credible reconciliation between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, into a general theory of everything ‘without infinities’, in the resurrection ‘singularity’ event of Christ. Moreover, it is an explanation that relies directly on ‘agency’ rather than on a abstract mathematical description thus avoiding the pitfall of Hawking’s M-theory. Moreover, if one looks at the overall picture of the universe, it certainly seems as if the entire universe was ‘set up’ for such a singularity event to occur:

    The Galileo Affair and “Life’ as the true “Center of the Universe”
    Excerpt: I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by a omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BHAcvrc913SgnPcDohwkPnN4kMJ9EDX-JJSkjc4AXmA/edit

    Verse and music:

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    “In Christ Alone” / scenes from “The Passion of the Christ”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDPKdylIxVM

    Many more details may be picked up here;

    Let There Be Light:
    Isaiah 1:18
    “Come now, and let us reason together,”,,,
    http://lettherebelight-77.blog.....light.html

  39. General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy, and The Shroud Of Turin – video
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

  40. In one of those video clips on the Shroud of Turin, Philip, the particle physicist, Dame Isabel Piczec, prefaces it in a hilarious manner – in no way disrespectful to anyone, least of all Jesus, other, that is, than the materialist Consensus, perhaps.

    She begins with the mandatory perfunctory nod towards the Consensus, by murmuring the appropriate noises to the effect that she wouldn’t dream of confusing scientific matters with religion.

    And then, almost before the last syllable has left her mouth, she bawls in a loud voice, ‘HOWEVER’! then proceeds to synthesise the truths she has discovered concerning the history of Christ’s crucifixion and burial, and her empirical physical findings in relation to the Shroud, in the pursuit of her investigations, as a particle physicist.

  41. ,,, I don’t even think you are reading my posts

    That would be farily accurate because they are tiresome, rambling, and show you have far less understanding of physics that you credit yourself with.

    Example:
    You used the time-dilation speed experiments as proof of General Relativity, whereas they are proofs of special relativity and do not touch on the bolder claims outside of SR that are found only in GR. Special Relativity takes the case of unaccelerated inertial reference frames, GR has accounts for accelerated reference frames and gravity, and you need a different set of tests (which you didn’t cite, but which do exist) to prove the larger claims of General Relativity (accelerated frames) which are not found in special relativity (inertial frames). You better brush up of physics if you want to bloviate about things you don’t understand.

    By the way, it is extremely uncivil in disucussion to accuse someone of stating facts or offering reasoned criticisms because he is somehow deluded by theology. You presume that I’m a YEC because I believe in YEC theology, you are wrong. I’m open to whatever works, and I’m undecided. For that reason, I’m not allowed to write in YEC journals because I refuse to sign theological professions of faith regarding YEC. In their view, I would not be called a YEC but rather some sort of ID/OEC materialist compromiser. I’ve been barred from speaking at talks by YEC because I didn’t pass their theological inquisition and because I’m quite willing to be critical of YEC claims…

    So your accusations about my religious beliefs are false (I would be viewed as somewhat agnostic, sympathetic to YEC, but not convinced on evidential grounds), and your misunderstanding of relativity isn’t really worth my time, and I posted a few responses partly for the sake of readers.

    Yes, I think the universe COULD be young, but that is different than saying the evidence definitely says it is young.

    FWIW, Einstein’s Special Relativity is not the only Relativity out there, there is Lorentzian Relativity which formed a lot of the mathematical basis for Special Relativity, hence the time dilation experiment you referenced is usually described in association with the Lorentz transformation, not the Einstein transformation.

    General Relativity is usually taught as a Geometric Interpretation, but there is an alternative Field Interpretation (which Einstein himself was partial to) of General Relativity. The field interpretation may lead to some interesting results and would be consistent with Lorentz Relativity, and that would lead the way for some physics which have bearing on cosmology. But all this is premature and research into those fields won’t happen with people like you throwing around accusations of religious motivation with the rude insinuation of being willfully deluded, when in fact, the skepticism offered is legitimate on scientific and empirical grounds alone. It is especially tiresome because it is evident you’re just cutting and pasting and not comprehending even what you’re cutting and pasting.

  42. Well Sal, it is clear you are ignorant and have no clue what you are talking about. See two can play that game! :) One reason, among many, why I question your intellectual integrity, besides the heavily accented YEC view you are presenting, is because of your personal attack against Dr. Sewell on these pages with a very distorted view of the second law. You lost all my respect on that score. And I don’t recall a retraction or a apology, just an excuse! For you to come on this site and to pretend nobody remembers the way you openly stabbed him in the back is ludicrous. Now you are denying the Big Bang even happened, twisting materialistic ad hoc explanations around as if they are part of the evidence that led to the conclusion of the Big Bang in the first place, and attacking Dr. Ross by quoting him unfavorably while ignoring the meat of his argument and offering nothing in return, and to top it all off you dismiss a very credible reconciliation between GR and QM by Jesus Christ himself because you think you have gnostic knowledge of GR that I’m not privy to.

  43. Sal you accused:

    You used the time-dilation speed experiments as proof of General Relativity, whereas they are proofs of special relativity and do not touch on the bolder claims outside of SR that are found only in GR.

    Does this test of GR which I listed in post 7 not qualify as a proof for GR?

    Einstein’s Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet – Apr. 25, 2013
    Excerpt: A newly-discovered pulsar — a spinning neutron star with twice the mass of the Sun — and its white-dwarf companion, orbiting each other once every two and a half hours, has put gravitational theories to the most extreme test yet.,,,
    “We thought this system might be extreme enough to show a breakdown in General Relativity, but instead, Einstein’s predictions held up quite well,”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142250.htm

    It might help you if actually read the posts of ‘ignorant’ people before you falsely accuse.

  44. Since you brought up my time dilation cite, let’s look at that more closely at my cite:

    Time dilation
    Excerpt: Time dilation: special vs. general theories of relativity:
    In Albert Einstein’s theories of relativity, time dilation in these two circumstances can be summarized:
    1. –In special relativity (or, hypothetically far from all gravitational mass), clocks that are moving with respect to an inertial system of observation are measured to be running slower. (i.e. For any observer accelerating, hypothetically, to the speed of light, time, as we understand it, will come to a complete stop).
    2.–In general relativity, clocks at lower potentials in a gravitational field—such as in closer proximity to a planet—are found to be running slower.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.....relativity

    Hmm interesting. ,,, Are you saying that they screwed that up somehow or that are you saying that space and time are not related Sal?

  45. Sal, again I’m sorry if I wrote anything to hurt you personally.,,, In regards to humbleness, I’m reminded that whenever anyone claims superior knowledge over another in a matter, such as in math,, I remember this,,

    Is Integer Arithmetic Fundamental to Mental Processing?: The mind’s secret arithmetic
    Excerpt: Because normal children struggle to learn multiplication and division, it is surprising that some savants perform integer arithmetic calculations mentally at “lightning” speeds (Treffert 1989, Myers 1903, Hill 1978, Smith 1983, Sacks 1985, Hermelin and O’Connor 1990, Welling 1994, Sullivan 1992). They do so unconsciously, without any apparent training, typically without being able to report on their methods, and often at an age when the normal child is struggling with elementary arithmetic concepts (O’Connor 1989). Examples include multiplying, factoring, dividing and identifying primes of six (and more) digits in a matter of seconds as well as specifying the number of objects (more than one hundred) at a glance. For example, one savant (Hill 1978) could give the cube root of a six figure number in 5 seconds and he could double 8,388,628 twenty four times to obtain 140,737,488,355,328 in several seconds. Joseph (Sullivan 1992), the inspiration for the film “Rain Man” about an autistic savant, could spontaneously answer “what number times what number gives 1234567890″ by stating “9 times 137,174,210″. Sacks (1985) observed autistic twins who could exchange prime numbers in excess of eight figures, possibly even 20 figures, and who could “see” the number of many objects at a glance. When a box of 111 matches fell to the floor the twins cried out 111 and 37, 37, 37.
    http://www.centreforthemind.co.....hmetic.cfm

    Geometric Principles Appear Universal in Our Minds – May 2011
    Excerpt: Villagers belonging to an Amazonian group called the Mundurucú intuitively grasp abstract geometric principles despite having no formal math education,,, Mundurucú adults and 7- to 13-year-olds demonstrate as firm an understanding of the properties of points, lines and surfaces as adults and school-age children in the United States and France,,,
    http://www.wired.com/wiredscie.....-geometry/

  46. 47
    Chance Ratcliff

    Bornagain77, you might enjoy this documentary about Daniel Tammet, a numbers and language savant. He recited PI to 22,500 decimal places and learned Icelandic in a week.

    The Boy with the Incredible Brain

  47. Amazing video Chance! :) seeing as there is a ‘spiritual’ aspect to stuff like this, people with amazing abilities that is, I’ve collected a few videos along this line:

    Jake: Math prodigy proud of his autism – 60 Minutes – CBS News – video
    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/w.....e1.channel

    Quote of note at the 12:00 minute mark of the preceding video;

    ‘The whole randomness thing, that’s like completely against all of physics’
    Jake Barnett – Math Prodigy

    Attack results in Savant Syndrome, Jason Padgett, Beautiful Mind, The Man who draws pi – Fractals – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCvYKiNW4vQ

    This following man denies the autistic label, but is very ‘gifted’ none-the-less in his ability at math;

    The Human Calculator – Ruediger Gamm – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200252

    Autistic Savant Stephen Wiltshire Draws the City Of Rome From Memory – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4200256

    The boy in this following video rivals, or maybe even surpasses, Nikola Tesla as an example of innovative ideas coming fully formed to the mind without any need for trial and error:

    Bluejay: The Mind of a Child Musical Prodigy – video
    http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7186319n

    Derek Paravicini on 60 MINUTES – Musical Autistic Savant – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4303465

    Kim Peek – The Real Rain Man – MegaSavant [1/5]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k2T45r5G3kA

    This following girl, though written off as severely retarded, reveals that there is indeed a gentle intelligence within her that is trapped behind that wall between her mind and body. A wall that others see only as severe retardation, and nothing more hidden behind that veil of retardation:

    Severely Handicapped Girl Suddenly Expresses Intelligence At Age 11 – very moving video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNZVV4Ciccg

    Music and verse:

    Evanescence – My Heart Is Broken – music video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1QGnq9jUU0

    Psalm 139:13
    For you created my inmost being,,,

  48. 49
    Chance Ratcliff

    Bornagain77, glad you liked it. I’ve watched it a couple of times over the last few years. I’m always amazed by him.

    Thanks for that list! I’ve seen a couple of them, but that is a good list, and something to look forward to. With all those links, I’m surprised I was able to add to your collection. ;)

    One of the interesting things about Daniel Tammet is that he’s otherwise normal, and that’s not typical for savants from what I understand.

  49. Daniel is amazing, walking through the ‘landscape of pi’! Simply amazing! Being faced with such wondrous things sort of puts things in proper perspective doesn’t it?

  50. 51
    Chance Ratcliff

    Bornagain77 @50, yes it does. I wouldn’t mind seeing things the way Daniel does, even if only for a short time. Perhaps someday we will. :D

    I wonder if there are any protein engineering savants out there somewhere. I’m not even kidding.

  51. OT: Kurt Gödel Centenary Full Lectures from the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvbnxT3VL1E

  52. Kurt Gödel: Modern Development of the Foundations Of Mathematics In Light Of Philosophy (1961) – A reading of the best lecture never delivered – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgZ_9gQfitc

  53. Gödel’s philosophical challenge (to Turing) – Wilfried Sieg – lecture video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=je9ksvZ9Av4

    “Either mathematics is too big for the human mind or the human mind is more than a machine”
    ~ Godel

  54. Cosmology is as lost as Darwinism. Ruled by math and oblivious to reality. It is interesting that these two subjects generate so much anger.

  55. What was mind-boggling that when Daniel Tammet consciously tried to beat the bank at blackjack in the casino, he kept losing. When he relied on his intuition, and made COUNTER-INTUITIVE (there.. I’ve said it!!!) decisions/choices, splitting his cards, his intuitive calculations must have been much more complicated and difficult than his earlier, conscious, ‘ratiocinative’ ones, and were eerily successful.

    Or did I misunderstand that?

  56. His mind had quickly adapted to the medley of the card game’s dimensions, making his usual lightning calculations, but matching his memory of the positions of the remaining cards in the pack with his now ‘trifurcated’ hand.

    Was his mind being informed before he understood it? Or did he understand it first? Sounds like the former was his m.o.

  57. Religios-like adherents, explanations – ad hoc-ad nauseum, continuously ‘surprising’ observations. All the signs of a dinosaur theory completely lost.

    Einstein’s Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet – Apr. 25, 2013
    Excerpt: A newly-discovered pulsar — a spinning neutron star with twice the mass of the Sun — and its white-dwarf companion, orbiting each other once every two and a half hours, has put gravitational theories to the most extreme test yet.,,,
    “We thought this system might be extreme enough to show a breakdown in General Relativity, but instead, Einstein’s predictions held up quite well,”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re…..142250.htm

    ‘Pulsars’ are imaginary, any tests done on them are suspect.

  58. 59
    Chance Ratcliff

    Axel @57, it’s hard to say what exactly was going on there. But his mind was certainly modeling the game in some inexplicable way, and his intuitions seemed to be informed by whatever was going on with that model. I couldn’t rule out that luck was involved to some degree, but pulling three 21′s on three 7′s seems a little like a miracle hand. I wonder if he’d be able to play for that sort of success on a regular basis. If so, he wouldn’t be welcome in casinos for very long. ;)

    The Boy with the Incredible Brain

  59. Sal just cross-posted this OP over at TSZ, where we immediately noticed a very basic error.

    This statement is wrong:

    1. we can never observe these galaxies

    See the comments at TSZ for details:

    What qualifies as science in the wonderful world of Disney

  60. Thanks keiths. I noticed Neil Rickert’s cowardly equivocation:

    Evolution has been very fruitful, and continues to be fruitful.

    Darwinian evolution hasn’t been fruitful, Neil. Biology under darwinian evolution can’t even tell us what makes an organism what it is. All it does is say “such and such an organism emerges from the interactions of matter (ie its genome) and energy.”

    Darwinian evolution can just tell us why some organisms are eliminated. It doesn’t say anything about how multi-protein configurations arose.

    OTOH Intelligent Design Evolution, in the form of EAs and GAs, has been very fruitful.

  61. The error is we can see presumably superluminal galaxies that are less than 3.26 x 4300 MpC away, however we cannot see superluminals farther than that. The thrust of the OP however stands. That is a minor amendment.

  62. We are also addressing the amended argument at TSZ.

  63. Sal,

    There is a far more serious error in your OP:

    So I would respond, “Ok, so do you believe the unseen galaxies predicted by the Big Bang. You can’t see them, you won’t see them, you can’t verify them, but supposedly they exist, they have properties as galaxies, and to top it off they move faster than the speed of light even though in the lab or anywhere we have access to, we haven’t clocked anything moving faster than the speed of light?”

    That reflects a serious misunderstanding of general relativity. GR doesn’t forbid galaxies from moving faster than light relative to each other; it only forbids them moving faster than light relative to space itself.

  64. Sal

    The mechanism of intelligent design of life is no longer in operation today.

    The seems like an unwarranted claim. Why not? If there is an intelligent mind directing the chemical assembly of molecules, why shouldn’t that force equally be in action today?

    How would you test whether your claim is correct?

  65. KeithS overreaches:

    That reflects a serious misunderstanding of general relativity. GR doesn’t forbid galaxies from moving faster than light relative to each other; it only forbids them moving faster than light relative to space itself.

    Where did I say superluminal velocities between galaxies are impossible? In fact I quoted Ryden’s explantion:

    The speed limit that states that massive objects must travel with v greater than c relative to each other is one of the results of special relativity, and refers to the relative motion of objects within a static space. In the context of general relativity, there is no objection to having two points moving away from each other at superluminal speed due to the expansion of space.

    And you have a dubious at worst and uneccesary at best claim here:

    it only forbids them moving faster than light relative to space itself.

    I merely pointed out we don’t have lab experiments to confirm this possibility.

    But since you’re quite willing to accept superluminal photons, and if we admit, as a general possibility, superluminal mechanism for photon travel then YECs can have a solution to distant starlight, it just won’t use the FLRW solution, maybe something like the Carmeli-Hartnett-Humphrey’s or some other solution. GR can be a doubled edge sword, eh?

    Thanks for advocating superluminal photons. I’m all for superluminal velocities. Yeah baby!

  66. Elizabeth,

    ID does not require the designer(s) to still be designing today. And it appears no one is designing living organisms from non-living matter- humans are trying- on this planet.

  67. The seems like an unwarranted claim. Why not? If there is an intelligent mind directing the chemical assembly of molecules, why shouldn’t that force equally be in action today?

    Intelligent agencies can decide to stop doing things.

    How would you test whether your claim is correct?

    Maybe you can’t, but there are lots of things in science where we can’t repeat an observation or mechanism like Guth’s inflation. Do you accept Guth’s inflation? Many do, but strictly speaking, it’s not in operation today. That was the issue the essay raised — do these things qualify as science because they are not repeatable observations? They are accepted only via inference (and in Guth’s case piles of unprovable speculation coupled with inference).

    Do you accept Guth’s idea of Big Bang in a basement? If so, that’s ID.

    I have no problem accepting speculation as science, but then, by that standard ID is science. My position is ambivalent on whether ID is science or not, but I’m just highlighting the double-edged sword of insisting on repeatability. It will disqualify many legitimate fields of inquiry.

  68. A Cautionary Tale About Invoking Intelligent Causation in Science

    1) We observe that long, specific sequences of nucleotides in our DNA are needed to encode functional proteins. We find it unlikely that these sequences would occur by chance, and so we compute the probability. Since there are four bases and the gene sequence might be 100,000 bases long, and only a tiny fraction of this astronomical number of possible sequences would result in a functional protein, we compute that the chances of a functional sequence appearing by random mutation are vanishingly small.

    So we conclude that this can’t be happening by mere chance. The only thing we know of that can look ahead at what sequence of bases will be needed to create a functional protein is an intelligent agent, and so we conclude that the best explanation for the information encoded in our DNA is intelligent causation.

    2) Now imagine we’re living 275 years ago in Boston, Massachusetts. We see that during thunderstorms, two out of every ten lightning strikes hits a church steeple. We find this peculiar, and compute the probability that this might happen by chance. We measure the city and find that it covers over 3 billion square feet, and the church steeples cover only 3000 square feet total. This means the chances of lightning hitting a church steeple is only one in a million, and so the odds against the observed frequency of strikes happening by chance are vanishingly small.

    So we conclude that this can’t be happening by mere chance. We see that the lightning leaves the cloud at a high altitude and heads for these church steeples, and so it appears that the lightning bolts are aimed from the clouds toward the steeples. The only thing we know of that can look around from the clouds, identify the church steeples, and aim something at them is an intelligent agent, and so we conclude that the best explanation for lightning hitting our churches is intelligent causation.

    The Morals of the Story
    1) Just because we haven’t figured out how something happens in nature doesn’t mean there isn’t some explanation that we currently have no conception of.
    2) You can always invoke “intelligent agency” as an explanation of anything, because it doesn’t really mean anything except “something that can do anything”.

  69. SCordova,

    I would like to know more about this field interpretation of general relativity. Do you have a link discussing it?

  70. Well Stonehenge is STILL the result of design. And mother nature is STILL good at making stones…

  71. SCordova,

    I would like to know more about this field interpretation of general relativity. Do you have a link discussing it?

    I’ve been reluctant to cite my source which was Tom van Flandern, since, like ID proponents he’s hated by the mainstream.

    He passed away before he was able to finish this essay. It was technical, but it cited a very interesting experiment that hasn’t gotten the attention it deserved:

    http://www.metaresearch.org/co.....ravity.asp

    Here is a quote:

    Lastly, we note experimental evidence from neutron interferometers that purports to demonstrate a failure of the geometric weak equivalence principle, that gravity is due to a curvature of space-time. (Greenberger & Overhauser, 1980) This experiment confirmed the strong equivalence principle (local equivalence of a uniform acceleration and a gravitational field), but its results are incompatible with the geometrical weak equivalence principle because interference effects in quantum mechanics depend on the mass. This is because the wave nature of the neutron depends on the momentum of the neutron, which is mass times velocity. So all phase-dependent phenomena depend on the mass through the wavelength, a feature intrinsic to quantum mechanics.

    Since the experiment confirms the applicability of quantum mechanics even in the presence of gravity, including this non-geometrical mass dependence, the experiment seems to be a step in the undermining of the purely geometrical point of view, and “tends to bother theorists who prefer to think of gravity as being intrinsically related to geometry”, according to the authors.

    I thought the essay was brilliant. I’m not qualified however to judge its correctness, but it was nice to see him reference Einstein’s and Feynman’s affection for the field versus geometric interpretation of GR.

  72. Sal,

    Where did I say superluminal velocities between galaxies are impossible? In fact I quoted Ryden’s explantion:

    You quoted Ryden’s explanation in order to disagree with it:

    I only pointed out there no lab experiments to confirm expanding space.

    If space doesn’t expand, then general relativity is wrong. Yet general relativity is one of the best-tested theories in the history of science. As petrushka pointed out, you’re really veering into crank territory when you start contesting GR.

    But since you’re quite willing to accept superluminal photons…

    Relative to each other in expanding space? Sure. But that doesn’t solve the distant starlight problem, and it doesn’t help YEC.

    Look, Sal — I understand that you’re embarrassed to be wrong on such a basic point of general relativity, but just admit it and move on. Trying to cover up your mistake is only going to draw more attention to it.

  73. The Morals of the Story
    1) Just because we haven’t figured out how something happens in nature doesn’t mean there isn’t some explanation that we currently have no conception of.
    2) You can always invoke “intelligent agency” as an explanation of anything, because it doesn’t really mean anything except “something that can do anything”.

    Well said. But if I may offer a thought. I think, computer like architectures of necessity cannot be resolvable to purely physical explanations as a matter of principle — based on Shannon, and other considerations.

    Finding computer-like architectures in the cell are suggestive of something that acts like an intelligence. Whether an intelligence is really the cause is unprovable, imho, and to that end, I have an essay along those lines of demarcation. I publish it shortly, and you’re part of the inspiration for the essay.

    Thank you for your criticisms. I know I’ll get flak from my side for agreeing with a critic. I get flak from both sides. Oh well….

  74. Hi Sal,

    I think, computer like architectures of necessity cannot be resolvable to purely physical explanations as a matter of principle — based on Shannon, and other considerations.

    The problem I see with this reasoning is that it assumes we have a complete understanding of what is physical, which is certainly untrue. QM phenomena are sufficiently counter-intuitive to convince us that we really don’t understand what’s going on at all (even though the math reliably tells us what we’ll find in the end).

    I get flak from both sides

    I too cannot align my views with either “side”. I observe that part of the problem in the ID debate (like in politics and other tribal endeavors) is that people divide up into two “sides”, even though there are many subtle issues to consider.

    Looking forward to your essay,
    RDFish

Leave a Reply