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Half right

The Herald has a brief editorial, God and the cosmic Big Bang, that rightly criticizes some comments that Richard Dawkins has made against Stephen Jay Gould.  I have to agree with the author since nothing bothers me more than this kind of selective belief.  In question is the comment by Dawkins of Gould, “I simply do not believe that Gould could possibly have meant much of what he wrote in Rock of Ages.” This bothers me as much as Hitchens claiming that Martin Luther King, Jr. was some kind of secular humanist cloaked as a pastor. No Hitchens, MLK Jr. was a Christian pastor whose beliefs (while certainly humanist) were informed by his religion (at least his interpretation of his religion). Claiming MLK Jr. is a humanist first and second only consequentially Christian is a bit disingenious, IMO.

Of course, the author continues his critique by his complete lack of understanding of scientific method by stating that one of Thomas Aquinas’s proofs of God’s existence is proved by the theory of the Big Bang. Not only is this a logical fallacy, post hoc ergo proctor hoc, but makes a number of very basic non-scientific assumptions, specifically that time is a constant (or at least always present) .

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7 Responses

  1. Bad says:

    It’s startling how many people think that the Big Bang is the same thing as saying that the universe started or came from nothing. Simply put, the Big Bang says none of that. While people talk about it being the start of the universe, what they actually mean is the start of the universe as we know it, i.e. a major event, and the first major event of which we are aware.

    But our knowledge of the BB comes entirely from looking and theorizing backwards in spacetime. And when we do that, we eventually reach a point not where there is a definitive beginning of “stuff” but rather which neither our observations or theoretical frameworks can see past. While this makes the universe “prior” to this point a complete and potentially permanent mystery, none of it actually supports the idea of a PHILOSOPHICAL start to anything, which is what theologians like Aquinas were trying to prove.

  2. Skeptigator says:

    I whole-heartedly agree. I’ve never found a good way to explain why thinking about “before the Big Bang” is kind of a false premise to begin with.

  3. Dan says:

    Scientist assume the general public, such as myself, have no clue or are
    less educated or inquisitive then they are.

    They all have lied to us for our entire lives. The so called “sharpest minds” are lying to
    themselves and everyone else. There are holes in your Big Bang theory. There is NO evidence at all for Evolution (macro) and scientists insists they are all right in there theories which they are not. 140 years ago they used to bleed people to cure them and the Bible in Leviticus 17:11 says that blood is life, that was over 2800 years ago.

    Scientist religion of naturalism is so flawed. Lets start with Big Bang and how come no scientist in the world can answer the logical questions posed. They want to force feed us illogical theories.

    Lets see of this is true for big bang theory,

    big bang problem #1: Missing antimatter problem. (baryon number) How much in the universe, ZERO. One exception is not an answer either.

    big bang problem #2: Monopoles problem. Batteries have +/- and at high temperatures greater then the core of a star can create singular poles and the big bang started at infinite temperature and that would be hot enough. Guess how many we find ZERO.

    big bang problem #3: Singularity point problem. The Big Bang DOES NOT even explain the origin of the universe. How did that singular point get there?

    You said “The theory is based on the mathematical equations,” Really?

    big bang problem #4:Known physics breaks down in this situation. General relativity powerful gravitational fields) and quantum mechanics (very small situation) exists separately but there is NO physics currently that can explain both situations at the same time which is what the Big Bang requires. Known physics cannot describe that (big bang) situation so big banger’s take it on BLIND FAITH that if such physics is ever discovered that it would even allow for the theory of the big bang.

    big bang problem #5: Population 3 stars there should be these type of first stars everywhere all over the universe. Any guess to how many are out there…ZERO! All stars have trace amounts of the heaver elements.

    Now I will admit I had help (like Dr. Jason Lisle) for these points but science cannot explain there theories they try to teach the kids. Not mine because we are homeschooling our kids. These are things with no evidence, just assertions based on ignorance.

    We don’t need a PHD to smell a rotting fish now do we.

    It all starts with a scientist’s presupposition and that is why most are mislead into wrong assertions.

  4. Skeptigator says:

    Dan:
    You are right the Big Bang theory has holes, I believe your argument sets up a straw man argument here. I’ve never read anybody say that the Big Bang Theory is complete.

    I’m not familiar with all of the arguments you are putting forth but I will assume for the sake of argument that all 5 problems are truly a problem with the Big Bang theory. So what!?

    To assert that because we do not YET have complete knowledge of the Big Bang it must therefore be discarded and replaced with the story of Genesis.

    Are you aware that the theory of Gravity is just that… a theory. We do not have complete understanding of that very basic component of the universe. By your reasoning we must discard gravity. It’s not real actually that’s not what you said let me rephrase “Scientists are lying about gravity”. I assume you will propose that Jebus is holding us all to Earth.

    By the way, please think through your examples of scientific “misconduct” before you use them. I don’t recall a big movement within the body of Christ that said that bloodletting was an incorrect method of treatment (according some obscure, completely taken out of context verse) and should be discarded in favor of the germ-theory of medicine.

    Oh wait… someone applying the scientific method figured out that bloodletting probably wasn’t as effective as you might think.

    Also, like some many people you pick and choose and completely remove from the context of the story, here is the entire verse in context. It is merely instructing us not to drink blood;

    “And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who sojourn among you, who consumes any blood, I will set My face against that person who consumes blood, and will cut him off from among his people. For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes an atonement for the soul. Therefore, I say to the children of Israel, `No one among you shall consume blood, nor shall any stranger who sojourns among you consume blood.'”

    There is no nice way to say it, I truly feel sorry for your children.

  5. Dan says:

    To clarify there are two types of science, one we benifit from.

    1. Operation science uses the so-called “scientific method” to attempt to discover truth, performing observable, repeatable experiments in a controlled environment to find patterns of recurring behavior in the present physical universe. For example, we can test gravity, study the spread of disease, or observe speciation in the lab or in the wild. Both creationists and evolutionists use this kind of science, which has given rise to computers, space shuttles, and cures for diseases.

    2. Origin science attempts to discover truth by examining reliable eyewitness testimony (if available); and circumstantial evidence, such as pottery, fossils, and canyons. Because the past cannot be observed directly, assumptions greatly affect how these scientists interpret what they see.

    So, for example, how was the Grand Canyon formed? Was it formed gradually over long periods of time by a little bit of water, or was it formed rapidly by a lot of water? The first interpretation is based on secular assumptions of slow change over millions of years, while the second interpretation is based on biblical assumptions about rapid change during Noah’s Flood.

  6. Bad says:

    Dan, you cite what might be references to some important outstanding mysteries, but there will always be mysteries, and nothing that you point out actually invalidates the model of the BB itself: they simply are things we still don’t understand about the finer details and forces involved in shaping the particular universe we got.

    Not all of your points even quite make sense, as stated, except for number 3, which is, in fact, exactly what I was saying: The BB is not, and does not claim to be, an explanation of the start of everything: it is merely the start of the universe as we are familiar with it.

  7. Skeptigator says:

    Dan you make an important distinction. However, what makes for good “Origin Science” as you call it is that it often uses “Operation Science” to understand how other similar events would have happened.

    The example you choose to illustrate your point is an unfortunate one in that Operation Science has shown that given even a relatively short period of time a small amount of water can do exactly what we have in the Grand Canyon. What Operation Science tells us about the behavior of a large amount of water evacuating an area in an extremely short period of time would create a different type of scenario.

    What distinguishes real science from Creation “Science” is that when real science is presented with contradictory evidence it must revise or discard its theory when Creationists are presented with contradictory evidence nothing changes because the Bible says so (or scientists are a bunch of liars).

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