Tuesday, 2 December 2008
In the Beginning...
Science is something that we, as humans, would have a hard time living without. Science has the power to verify truths (to the best extent possible) and show us what our universe is like. Science has the power to negate positive claims made by theists as well, as many theists are well aware. Because of this, there is a lot of effort made by theists to show how science is compatible with their holy books - especially Xians trying to show how science is compatible with the Bible. One of these arguments goes like so:
1. Genesis says that god created the universe.
2. The big bang shows that the universe was created out of nothing.
3. Therefore science supports the Bible.
This is a horrible argument, however.
I have no qualms with number 1, except for one thing. Genesis goes on to explain how god created the universe, in time scales, order of creation, etc. It gets a lot of things horribly wrong. It's disingenuous of the Xian to take one piece of the passage out and claim that science supports the Bible while brushing the rest of the passage under the rug, hoping that no one will notice.
Number 2 is where the problems really exist, however. The big bang theory actually states that the matter and energy that are our universe came into the forms that we now recognize over a long period of time that started at time t=0. OK, that's a long-winded way to say that the big bang theory does not state that our universe was created or poofed into existence from nothing. What we call our universe came into existence when time came to exist, since we measure time by the speed of light (roughly), and before that time would have no meaning to us, but this does not mean that we know what was there prior to the universe. It's a stretch and a half to conclude that this somehow supports "goddidit" in any way, shape, or form. In short, this is simply not a credible argument, no matter how badly the Xian wishes to shoehorn science into her holy book.