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Science can't explain the big bang - there is still scope for a creator - Comments

entreri100404's Avatar Comment 2 by entreri100404

"Although science can state a great deal about what followed after the big bang, it cannot in fact explain how "something" (the energy of the universe compressed into a volume the size of a golf ball) arose from nothing beforehand. "

What if the universe is cyclical, and infinite?

Think that's a cop out? But an infinite God isn't? What a blatant apologist.

"But as long as science cannot explain how our universe evolved from nothing, scientists should not be so quick to dismiss the "soft form" of creationism."

Yes. Yes they should. In the same way they should dismiss any far-fetched hypothesis that is presented without a *shred* of evidence (apart from the odd photo of a fishing lure) to support it.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:11:00 UTC | #299536

Chris_The_Positivist's Avatar Comment 1 by Chris_The_Positivist

These people just dont get it.... You can't suppose a god at the beginning of the uinverse any more than you can suppose an awesolmely powerful hamster from an alternate dimension, who ran really fast on his wheel, until it broke, spun off and exploded into what we see as the universe!

Seems pretty pointless to suggest either in the scientific classroom doesnt it. The hamster hypothesis has as much evidence as the god one i.e. none!

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:11:00 UTC | #299534

navolent's Avatar Comment 3 by navolent

We're not quick to dismiss the "soft form" of creationism. We're quick to dismiss the people who are quick to accept the "soft form" of creationism with no evidence.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:14:00 UTC | #299541

kaiserkriss's Avatar Comment 4 by kaiserkriss

What a retard!!I'm embarrassed to call myself a geoscientist now.

Still I should not be surprised since MANY geoscientists working in very specialized subjects in the oil patch are die hard "earth crated in 6 days" fundamentalists.. jcw

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:14:00 UTC | #299542

eljeffe's Avatar Comment 5 by eljeffe

still haven't found that orbiting teapot....

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:15:00 UTC | #299544

Mat's Avatar Comment 6 by Mat

If you don't know something - i.e. what was going on before the big bang - the scientifically honest (actually, just the plain-old-honest) thing to say is "We don't know."

Saying "Well, it could have been God" is simply irrelevant - why not the Hamster, then? All we can really say is "dunno, sorry." Maybe we'll never know - maybe there never will be proof. But there has to be proof of some kind before we can say "well, this looks like a feasible explanation."

I'd be prepared to bet my (vanishing) pension that The God Hypothesis will not get the proof.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:16:00 UTC | #299545

Chris_The_Positivist's Avatar Comment 7 by Chris_The_Positivist

Amen to that!

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:20:00 UTC | #299546

heafnerj's Avatar Comment 8 by heafnerj

[quote]Although science can state a great deal about what followed after the big bang, it cannot in fact explain how "something" (the energy of the universe compressed into a volume the size of a golf ball) arose from nothing beforehand. [/quote]

The big bang model doesn't address "where it all came from" only "how it behaved after it got here." Nowhere does the model state that "something came from nothing." It's hard enough getting my students (I teach astronomy and physics) to understand these two points without "grownups" reinforcing the misconceptions. The term "big bang" has inherent problems and should be eliminated from the scientific lexicon. It was initially means as joke and not for public consumption.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:25:00 UTC | #299551

Tezcatlipoca's Avatar Comment 9 by Tezcatlipoca

So "soft" creation vs "hard" creation...

a hand job with vs without lotion(qm)

Wtf! Agree with 314555 Mat. Why pick that particular totally unsubstantiated mind fart. "Everyone" knows it was the FSM...

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:28:00 UTC | #299554

Eventhorizon's Avatar Comment 10 by Eventhorizon

And this man teaches science

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:29:00 UTC | #299556

Diacanu's Avatar Comment 11 by Diacanu

Just by the headline..let me guess...God of the gaps, right?

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:30:00 UTC | #299557

DamnDirtyApe's Avatar Comment 12 by DamnDirtyApe

Science certainly did a good job of explaining Black holes recently.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:30:00 UTC | #299558

JemyM's Avatar Comment 14 by JemyM

Science can explain how the idea of God came to be and how the Bible was created. Let's teach that in school for a generation so we get rid of this crap already.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:32:00 UTC | #299562

Inside centre's Avatar Comment 13 by Inside centre

I think the key thing here is the when and where creationism rears it's ugly head.

If you want to reject all evidence to the contrary and believe that the world was created in any particular ridiculous manner that's entirely up to you. If you want that belief to impact on the way you live your own life, that too is fine. Shame to waste it in such a manner but that is up to you. But, if you hoist your position onto others without evidence, especially if those others are school children in a classroom setting, that is a serious issue.

It doesn't really matter how 'hard' or 'soft' the belief is, if it's not evidence based, it's not in any way science. Therefore keep such concepts out of a science lesson.

Rant over with, going to relax (or 'chillax' as my students call it) with a cup of tea.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:32:00 UTC | #299561

root2squared's Avatar Comment 15 by root2squared

We should not dismiss the concept of intelligent-design lessons in school, says Thomas Crowley


Again? It's like playing whack-a-mole. Beat one fundie down, and another one pops up.

Can't blame em', I guess this is their best argument.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:33:00 UTC | #299563

Eventhorizon's Avatar Comment 16 by Eventhorizon

Diacanu

Pretty much. Only this one's a science teacher

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:35:00 UTC | #299565

InfuriatedSciTeacher's Avatar Comment 17 by InfuriatedSciTeacher

Wow... so because we can't suppose what preceded the Big Bang we should include the possibility that everything was created in science classes...
Presumably the process of creation destroyed the creator' because there's certainly no evidence for his/her/its continued existence. The entire premise is absurd, and admittedly outside the realm of science. Since by definition we can't possibly know what is outside our universe, any attempt at an answer is pure conjecture.


EDIT: I noted upon re-reading that my statement sounds rather similar to NOMA in concept. I am ONLY suggesting that this is outside science because it is also outside the realm of observability.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:36:00 UTC | #299567

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 18 by aquilacane

Perhaps something cannot come of nothing and we just have to accept that nothingness is impossible. perhaps existence is the only existence possible. There is no creator because there is nothing to create; matter has always existed. If matter could come from nothing then the potential of matter must have existed before matter and; therefore, the existence of potential rules out the existence of nothing. I am strongly becoming convinced that nothingness is impossible. I can't have nothing but I can not have something.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:46:00 UTC | #299578

AmericanGodless's Avatar Comment 19 by AmericanGodless

This argument for opening science classrooms to religious speculation is incoherent and self-defeating.

"Sir Michael Reiss says: 'Some students have creationist beliefs. The task of those who teach science is ... to treat such students with respect'." [Treat the student with respect, yes. Also respect the student's right to have private beliefs. But the science teacher has no business respecting the portrayal of such beliefs as having anything to do with science.]

"..it cannot in fact explain how "something" (the energy of the universe compressed into a volume the size of a golf ball) arose from nothing beforehand." [Victor Stenger, in "God, the Failed Hypothesis", holds that the sum of our "something" may actually all cancel out and add up to nothing. The point is that a creative agent, at this point in our investigation, is not only unnecessary, but a hinderance to further research -- we don't even know yet what all of our "something" is.]

"..life's increasing complexity - including the very recent appearance of modern man - is also consistent with (but not proof of) the possibility of some special creative agent existing." [But a special creative agent is consistent with anything from intelligent design to a moon made of green cheese!]

"..(the reasoning being that, if God is responsible for creating the big bang, then the incarnation and resurrection would be child's play by comparison)." [As I said.]

"This could be used to make a case against outright dismissal of the concept of creationism and intelligent design in the science classroom." [Wrong. It is the very heart of the case for dismissing them from the science classroom.]

"..they cannot be considered science until they make predictions that can be falsified" [then why drag them into science class?]

"And the subject certainly does not warrant arrogance from those who seem to think that scientific materialism is the only logical option for the 21st century." [Scientific materialism is the unifying theory of science, and has no credible counter-examples. Until supernaturalism makes some credible predictions that resist falsification, material naturalism is indeed the only logical option for science.]

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:48:00 UTC | #299579

Tagred's Avatar Comment 20 by Tagred

4. Comment #314552 by kaiserkriss on January 7, 2009 at 10:14 am

What a retard!!I'm embarrassed to call myself a geoscientist now.

Still I should not be surprised since MANY geoscientists working in very specialized subjects in the oil patch are die hard "earth crated in 6 days" fundamentalists.. jcw

Here here, i too am ebarrassed, as Earth Sciences is an area that should turn you against the very idea of a deity creating planets, life etc.

I was never religious, but my geology training at uni most certainly gave me the evidence and impetus for enquiry into how things came about, and if there were any latent doubts they were utterly destroyed by my study.

I'm somewhat disturbed to here that there are many geoscientists out there who could believe in a creationist world view, it beggers belief (pardon the pun).

I don't consider myself very intelligent but come on, the most basic concept of geology should help you understand that there is a perfectly natural non-deity reason for how the universe is/was and evolved.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:49:00 UTC | #299583

Styrer-'s Avatar Comment 21 by Styrer-

How sad and depressing it is to see that an academic of such standing has been apparently so badly affected by his experiences with US fundie students that he is unable to see the arbitrary veneration of a non-theory he's buying into. To provide creationism with even the slightest patina of respectability by introducing it to young minds in science classes as a possible account of the universe's origins is academically unworthy, and I am afraid this professor really needs to receive immediate professional censure.

I hope he receives it in spades.

Best,
Styrer

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 10:54:00 UTC | #299588

blakjack's Avatar Comment 22 by blakjack

I have long held the view that the concept of a creator who designed the physical laws of the universe – the ratio of the mass of the proton to the electron, the laws of quantum theory, the “theory of everything” - and so on is not totally absurd. I don’t happen to think that such a creator is necessary as the universe simply wouldn’t work if the laws are not precisely as they actually are. However, I am quite at ease with a person who says that his idea of god is one who set up the rules and everything else – including evolution – automatically follows.

What I am desperately unhappy with is the religious who claim that “such and such” is the “will of god” and woe betide those who don’t agree. Contraception is not a god-decreed evil; the prohibition of eating pork might have been a good idea in hot Middle Eastern countries centuries ago (where the meat would go off quickly and produce a risk of illness) but that idea didn’t come from god. Telling primitive people that “god says” was doubtless a good way of getting the naïve to follow the sensible guidelines. Religion might have been useful in the past but it is long past its sell-by date – and dangerous in the modern world.

Jack

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 11:08:00 UTC | #299599

xmd's Avatar Comment 23 by xmd

God of the gaps. That's the worst possible argument for a religious to use...

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 11:11:00 UTC | #299604

Baron Scarpia's Avatar Comment 24 by Baron Scarpia

This could be used to make a case against outright dismissal of the concept of creationism and intelligent design in the science classroom. However, if included at all, it should still take only a small amount of total class time to discuss. And it is essential for any teacher to point out that, even if "soft creationism" and "intelligent design" are true, they cannot be considered science until they make predictions that can be falsified.

Hark! What's that I hear? The sound of backpedelling? Surely not!

I propose the following hypothesis - the universe was in fact created by me. This is more reasonable than saying that God did it, as I plainly exist. (I assure you I'm not a computer program created for a Turing Test)

As this hypothesis is no less than absurd than saying that God did it, time should be spent on science lessons debating it. Of course, just like forms of creationism, it should be noted that no evidence has been produced whatsoever to back up my claims to divinity. But nevertheless the hypothesis should be put forward in science lessons.

Professor Crowley, if you have no evidence for a position... well, it's rather hard respecting it, that's all.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 11:13:00 UTC | #299605

daveau's Avatar Comment 25 by daveau

Doesn't M-theory allow us to go back to before the big bang? And isn't it being suggested that the "something" being created from "nothing" was possibly the result of a collision between two membranes? (for our universe, anyway)

At least this is a reasonable hypothesis which can be subjected to the scientific method, unlike creationist theory.

(Edited for spelling.)

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 11:15:00 UTC | #299607

Ygern's Avatar Comment 26 by Ygern

This is a disingenuous and dishonest article both on the level of the pseudo-scientific claim (still scope for a Creator? Which theory would that be, I can't for the life of me think of it?) and its sly insinuation that gullible Believers are somehow being browbeaten or victimised by science teachers who agree with Richard Dawkins.

I'd be rather surprised if they were treated any differently to other students; and almost certainly are taught with great tolerance, patience and care. But no, the fact that they have been led to believe in superstition over science should not be "respected". You know why? Because that gives people the false impression that their superstitious belief is one with a shred of merit.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 11:16:00 UTC | #299608

Santi Tafarella's Avatar Comment 27 by Santi Tafarella

I've been an agnostic for many years, and Thomas Crowley has not said anything ridiculous in the article.

He is, of course, correct in saying that young earth creationism should be kept out of the classroom, and that evolution is well-established as a scientific theory, and should be taught as such.

But he is also equally correct in saying that "Although science can state a great deal about what followed after the big bang, it cannot in fact explain how "something" (the energy of the universe compressed into a volume the size of a golf ball) arose from nothing beforehand.
This yawning logical gap leaves open the possibility that something else may be going on."

There's nothing wrong in stating the obvious to students: There are mysteries about the universe's existence that science has (thus far) been unable to shed clear light on, and may prove unable to do so. Some posit that a Mind---or God---accounts for these mysteries.

A teacher who says this could then discuss the problems of infinite regress with students etc.

Obviously, questions of ultimate concern (whether god exists, where did the universe come from, how life began etc. etc.) are mysterious, and should not be dealt with in dismissive ways.

There may be a lot of things that those of us who are agnostics and atheists have gotten fundamentally wrong.

A little humility would suit us better, and is in keeping with the Enlightenment.

Keep questions open, and keep thinking.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 11:16:00 UTC | #299610

debacles's Avatar Comment 28 by debacles

I think I'm going to have a nervous break down soon. I have to deal with creationists co-workers who ask me to answer false questions in only one sentence and unless I can they invoke God. I have to deal with my chiropractor sister who will argue about why vaccinations are bad, and then ignore me when I bring her the studies that prove otherwise. I have to deal with evolution teachers in university who are surrounded by creationist nonsense and because of it assume I'm making a Lamarckian mistake everytime I try to point out something he forgets to mention. I have to deal with my non-creationist friends who believe every conspiracy theory propaganda piece they find on the internet. Ignorance is permuating every facet of my life and I can't stand it. And now we have a professor of Geosciences who doesn't have enough comon sense to notice simple logical fallacies. And don't even get me started on YouTube.

I think I just popped a vain.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 11:19:00 UTC | #299611

Baron Scarpia's Avatar Comment 29 by Baron Scarpia

27. Comment #314623 by Santi Tafarella

No. I'm sorry, no.

This article fails because of the 'God of the Gaps' argument. Can't explain something? Say 'God did it'. There. Problem solved.

Except it isn't. It isn't because you'll never know when science will end up explaining it.

In order to introduce something into the science classroom, it MUST be testable. There MUST be evidence.

Please come up with evidence that God exists. I take it, since you're an agnostic, that you can't.

Newsflash - neither can anyone else.

The correct thing to say to science students would probably be 'We cannot currently explain how the universe was created.' There. That's it. That's all you need.

If you wish to go further, you might try outlining various theories, but these theories must be backed up with some kind of evidence. Of which theism has none.

In fact, suppose God did create the universe. How? How would we even be able to recognise this? How do you test for a supernatural claim? What other supernatural claims have been tested and proved correct? (Hint: none)

Really, theism should be kept out of the science classroom because it isn't science.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 11:28:00 UTC | #299615

dac74's Avatar Comment 30 by dac74

More gap worship. Anyway, as everyone knows, the universe was created by Baal.

Wed, 07 Jan 2009 11:29:00 UTC | #299617