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.

5 comments:

cl said...

You said,

"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."

I agree, and to me this proves that as positive statements, neither atheism (no gods exist) nor theism (gods exist) possess genuine empirical support. IOW, they are both illogical, not amenable to logic.

However now, this is not the same thing as calling the denial of the flawed logic of the theist illogical. Denial of flawed logic would seem always logical, regardless of team context.

There is also nothing illogical about the genuine lack of belief in gods. This is different than a positive statement or working assumption that no gods exist. IOW, true ignorance of any or all ideas pertinent to the religious question does not render one illogical. Such a person would be neither theist or atheist.

GCT said...

cl,
"Such a person would be neither theist or atheist."

Um, wrong. Lack of belief in god is atheism. Thank you for admitting that my lack of belief in your god is the logical and rational position, just as I've maintained all along.

bud said...

with all due respect, there is no valid scientific argument that explains the beginning of matter. it is an invalid argument to say "if you give it enough time, it will happen." nothing, according to the law of cause and effect, can not become something. it was not the big bang itself, that proves the creationist's perspective, it is the fact that there wasn't anything that could go bang. scientific laws and logic disprove this creation theory you propose.

"The Big Bang represents the instantaneous suspension of physical laws. The sudden abrupt flash of lawlessness that allowed something to come out of nothing...It represents a true miracle." (I thought the acknowledgement of miracles was exclusively a creation belief.)
Paul Davies, physics and evolution, The Edge of infinity 1995.

"The universe burst into something from absolutely zero...nada. As it got bigger it became filled with more stuff that came from absolutely nowhere."
Discover magazine, April 2002.

"It is only fair to say that we still have a theory without a beginning."
Joseph Silk, Phd. and professor of astronomy, University of Oxford.
The Big Bang, 2001.

"... Astronomers have not the slightest evidence for the supposed quantum production of the universe out of a primordial nothingness."
Sten Odenwald, Phd. and chief scientist with Raytheon STX corp. at the Goddard Space Center.
The Astronomy Cafe, 1998.

These people are evolutionists.

for the first 350 of the 400 years of the modern discipline of science, it was considered to be a way of identifying the creator and His creation. it wasn't until well after darwin's death, that his theory became accepted as a main stream tenet. it seems to me to be quite arrogant of today's darwinistic scientists to say that their 50 years of understanding is correct, while the 350 years of past scientists findings, were wrong.
the interesting connection between the creation of the universe, and the creation of life is that science has disproved both current darwinistic theories. science proves that the first living cell could not have come by random chance, could not have mutated in to different species because of the loss of information in the DNA, and the "something from nothing" fallacy. so science does support the Bible, and it should, because this is where science was born.

Anonymous said...

Bud said,
"with all due respect, there is no valid scientific argument that explains the beginning of matter."

There are gaps in our knowledge and the picture is incomplete.

"it was not the big bang itself, that proves the creationist's perspective, it is the fact that there wasn't anything that could go bang."

Sorry, but this is not proof of your "perspective." The problem for you is that you are guessing that "nothing" was around, but what was really there or not there is unknown. Jumping to the conclusion that you can fill in the knowledge gap with your god is premature and fallacious.

"scientific laws and logic disprove this creation theory you propose."

What creation theory do I propose, which scientific "laws" are you talking about, and how do they disprove whatever it is that you think they disprove?

"These people are evolutionists."

What does evolution have to do with the big bang?

"for the first 350 of the 400 years of the modern discipline of science, it was considered to be a way of identifying the creator and His creation."

Your point?

"it wasn't until well after darwin's death, that his theory became accepted as a main stream tenet."

Incorrect. What Darwin added was natural selection. It was already well known that change over time was happening.

"it seems to me to be quite arrogant of today's darwinistic scientists to say that their 50 years of understanding is correct, while the 350 years of past scientists findings, were wrong."

In science, we accumulate knowledge, so yes, we do have more knowledge and more accurate theories than we did in the past. Once again, though, I have to ask how did this become about Darwin?

"the interesting connection between the creation of the universe, and the creation of life is that science has disproved both current darwinistic theories."

And, I suppose that all those scientists that support evolution know that science disproves it and they are lying to us?

"science proves that the first living cell could not have come by random chance..."

Where do you get such erroneous ideas from? Miller/Urey showed that cells can self-form with the correct conditions. Many other experiments have confirmed this for a variety of conditions. Life can and has self-assembled according to the best evidence we have.

"...could not have mutated in to different species because of the loss of information in the DNA..."

Please understand that you have no clue what you are talking about. What information are you talking about? How do you define this information? Or, are you blindly repeating some Creationist/ID tract that you heard/read somewhere that is full of lies and misinformation? Not only do we know that speciation can occur, we've seen it.

"so science does support the Bible, and it should, because this is where science was born."

Even if evolution were wrong, it would still be incumbent upon you to show how science supports the Bible. Considering that you seem to be accepting the big bang, you have your work cut out for you, since we know it didn't all happen in 7 days.

GCT said...

That was me above. I can't believe I forgot to log into my own blog.