Post of the Day
August 17, 1999

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Re: Controversy: Evolution and the Christian

Author: DoctorJoe

Do you accept the 'big bang" theory? Do you accept t the possibility of an infinitely expanding universe or does the requirement for Armageddon force you dismiss that theory in favor of the the ultimate collapse of the universe?

First, a quibble: the known mass of the universe is ~70% short of the critical requirement for collapse, so that theory is looking unlikely currently. But even if it weren't, collapse would occur only after billions of years (maybe 20 billion). It seems likely Armageddon would occur before then. Most likely a fatal asteroid would hit the earth before then (i.e., other natural occurrences could more likely be involved, narrowly assuming that Armageddon would have to strictly derive from natural occurrences.)

"Cosmology gives a great example of the tenacity of the philosophy of scientists overriding what the data most clearly points to."

Cosmology gives a great example of the tenacity of the philosophy of scientists overriding what the data most clearly points to. Of all religions, only those associated with the bible call for a creation (a beginning) of space-time and of the universe. Immanuel Kant's philosophy helped to greatly popularize Darwinism by postulating a static, infinite universe, which would give all the time necessary to beat the infinitesimal odds of the creation of life. When the big-bang theory was introduce, scientists fought against it, because it would limit the time available for evolution.

Insurmountable proof came in for the big bang, so scientists (Gamow, et al.) proposed an oscillating universe. Although probabilities for the formation of life within each bounce are still vanishingly small, with an infinite number of bounces available, the probability becomes high--we're just in that lucky bounce. Some scientists embraced Buddhism, some forms of which claimed an oscillating universe.

But further insurmountable evidence came in that the expansion of the universe was not elastic, and the number of bounces could not be infinite--only a dozen or so at most. And the mass turned out to be just too low for oscillation. Worse yet, Hawking et al. proved that conditions carried back to the big bang incontrovertibly showed that time and space originated at the big bang, pointing unmistakably to the necessity of a Cause beyond the space and time of our universe.

Scientists then turned to a host of assumptions about the first tiny fraction of a nanosecond to attempt not to give credence to a creation of the cosmos as depicted in the Bible ~4000 years earlier (and contradicting all other creation stories of non-biblical religions). They invented a quantum gravitation theory that relies on a suspension of the physical laws as we know them in that first brief moment so that they could invent their own laws (spontaneous generation of the universe) that would eliminate the need for a first Cause. To give evolution enough time to work in, they propose an infinite number of parallel universes--ours just happens to be the lucky universe.

"What this brief history highlights is that scientific theory that relates to life is highly driven by philosophy"

These kind of hand-wavings are motivated purely by philosophy and can never be tested (beyond consistency with the production of our universe). A particle accelerator would have to be a trillion miles long to reach the kind of energies necessary to explore what happened in that first brief moment. Ain't going to happen.

What this brief history highlights is that scientific theory that relates to life is highly driven by philosophy. Darwinism has now been proclaimed for over one hundred years. Huge setbacks have occurred: the loss of infinite time and space for it to occur in, the realization that cells are not made of some mysterious protoplasm, but are rather complicated beyond Darwin's wildest imaginings at a microscopic level, a fossil record that refuses to show gradual appearance of new forms and disappearance of old forms--(indeed showing the opposite ever more strongly the more it is examined), the lack of any new forms appearing after man in the fossil record, etc. But none of these setbacks will cause scientists to discard their fundamental premises.

What is at issue is authority. If naturalism is true, then science is and must be the ultimate authority of all life, because all life would derive solely from nature, and science is the methodical study and observation of nature. Since all fields must vie for authority or shrink away and die, science cannot admit any fundamental limitations to its reach (as revealed knowledge or spiritual realities or supernatural intervention, in short, God, would impose), otherwise its authority would be limited. Any kind of specious speculation is better than that, or so the scientist thinks.

Mankind, because of pride, wants to be able to understand all, control all, and make his own way. This is best summed up by proponents of humanism. Certainly some scientists will be able to see where the data points, but many struggle mightily against God, forming ever more fanciful theories in an effort to deny Him.

The historical record does not suggest that scientists would automatically turn to God if the data points to Him (which, by and large, cosmology does).