Creationism and other anti-science movements

Post Reply
User avatar
Suranis
Posts: 15107
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:04 am

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#101

Post by Suranis » Thu May 11, 2017 4:42 am

This isn't on topic but Its one of the things that regularly put my teeth on edge.

This is a story in the Independent, a Major British newspaper. Its about a scientific conference being hosted by the Vatican. You can read about it if you want, but I want to focus on the title

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/scien ... 25706.html
Pope Francis invites scientists to the Vatican after Catholic Church realises the Big Bang is real
Gee, really?
The conference – which runs through the week – is part of an increasing admission by the church that scientific theories were real and not necessarily in contradiction with theological doctrine.
Which has been the Catholic position for centuries. Glad that the Indo has noticed.

Oh and the guy who formulated the Big bang theory was a Catholic Priest and a Jesuit. I don't think the Indo realises how stupid they look mentioning that in their article and saying the Church has just noticed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lemaître


"The devil...the prowde spirite...cannot endure to be mocked.” - Thomas Moore

User avatar
Mikedunford
Posts: 8908
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#102

Post by Mikedunford » Thu May 11, 2017 10:27 am

Yeah, the Independent is usually my paper of choice, but that was a particularly boneheaded headline.

The Church in general, and the Jesuits in particular, have been very strong in astronomy and cosmology for centuries - since at least the late 16th century, if not longer. And, yes, that includes the period of the Galileo controversy.


I believe that each era finds a improvement in law each year brings something new for the benefit of mankind.

--Clarence Earl Gideon

User avatar
DejaMoo
Posts: 3677
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2011 1:19 pm
Occupation: Agent of ZOG

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#103

Post by DejaMoo » Thu May 11, 2017 12:54 pm

This topic always makes me think of my favorite quote, regarding how the RC Church heirarchy views creationism:
The Bible itself speaks to us of the origin of the universe and its makeup, not in order to provide us with a scientific treatise but in order to state the correct relationships of man with God and with the universe. Any other teaching about the origin and make-up of the universe is alien to the intentions of the Bible, which does not wish to teach how the heavens were made but how one goes to heaven.
-- Pope John Paul II
Too, also, growing up Catholic, and attending parochial school, I was very baffled in my early years, trying to reconcile the account of evolution the nuns taught us in science class with the biblical creation story in religion class. Being too young and awestruck of the teachers to ask them to explain it, I came up with my own explanation: the dinosaurs, etc., happened on one continent, Adam and Eve were on another.

Hey, that works when you're seven years old. :P



User avatar
Sam the Centipede
Posts: 5580
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:25 pm

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#104

Post by Sam the Centipede » Thu May 11, 2017 1:30 pm

DejaMoo wrote: :snippity:
Too, also, growing up Catholic, and attending parochial school, I was very baffled in my early years, trying to reconcile the account of evolution the nuns taught us in science class with the biblical creation story in religion class. Being too young and awestruck of the teachers to ask them to explain it, I came up with my own explanation: the dinosaurs, etc., happened on one continent, Adam and Eve were on another.

Hey, that works when you're seven years old. :P
I didn't suffer a Catholic education but friends who did said that their teachers (who were nuns or monks) responded to any theological paradoxes or conflicts between doctrine and obvious reality with the statement "it's a mystery". And that seems to be a core Catholic construct, as when the members of the sect are recommended to contemplate various "mysteries" when saying the rosary. My interpretation (or misinterpretation) of the line is that they're saying "oh wow! this apparent contradiction is so hard to explain, it's a mystery, and its incomprehensibility shows how amazing our god is!" Whereas we rational outsiders think "no, that's nonsense".

So they make a virtue of the incoherence of their ideas and its incompatibility with observable reality. The fundamentalist approach is different: it redefines reality to fit with theology and doctrine. The post-Enlightenment, non-fundamentalist, non-Catholic approach is to ignore the inconsistences between theology and science, and get on with life 6 days a week and say some prayers on Sunday.

You pay your money, you take your choice.

Of course Suranis is right in pointing out that the Roman Catholic church has not been and is not anti-science. And I agree that it was poor of The Independent not to realize that. But it is not reasonable to expect the rest of us to keep up with exactly what crap each different sect of the various Abrahamic cults believes, and what bits of reality they accept. One might think they could all get together and ask their god to sort it out for them all, perhaps on a holy website instead of in a holy book, with an FAQ section, but they all have any number of intellectual contortions to explain why the actions of their god are entirely consistent with it not actually existing.



User avatar
ZekeB
Posts: 14235
Joined: Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:07 pm
Location: Northwest part of Semi Blue State

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#105

Post by ZekeB » Thu May 11, 2017 1:50 pm

Sam the Centipede wrote:I didn't suffer a Catholic education but friends who did said that their teachers (who were nuns or monks) responded to any theological paradoxes or conflicts between doctrine and obvious reality with the statement "it's a mystery". And that seems to be a core Catholic construct, as when the members of the sect are recommended to contemplate various "mysteries" when saying the rosary.
"It's a mystery" is a far better answer than some otherwise made-up male bovine hovno. I was taught that dog made man. Man being the gender as we use it. Woman was made from the rib of a man. Of course man had one less rib than a woman because if this. Man's anatomy is different from a woman's, at least it was the last time a got a peek a few years ago. Though I couldn't count ribs, she was too ticklish.


Mnoho lidí se za našeho prezidenta stydí.

Žluté vlasy se k oranžové tváři nehodí.

User avatar
RoadScholar
Posts: 6617
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:25 am
Location: Baltimore
Occupation: Historic Restoration Woodworker
Contact:

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#106

Post by RoadScholar » Thu May 11, 2017 11:00 pm

I even came up with a "bridge idea" for Adam and Eve once. The "poof" version says they were the first man & woman, of any kind, ever, period. Science says hominids, proto-humans-- neanderthalensis, erectus, habilis, and branches known and unknown-- then sapiens arose over millons of years. And that is essentially factual.

Why is it necessary to insist that the Bible story categorically requires that the Science be wrong, and vice-versa?

It doesn't.

Why not say Adam & Eve were the first true humans with souls, worthy of a relationship with the Divine, in the eyes of the Creator? That even explains where Cain got his wife... she, not quite yet human, married into the first family created in God's image.

The story covers the moment when we stopped being animals. OK, fine. That's not a totally ludicrous idea, is it?

Now, I don't put much stock in that creation myth myself, but at least this interpretation allows the Biblicists to maintain the gist of their creed without ridiculously claiming that Adam rode his own pet dinosaur less than 10,000 years ago.

I'm all for anything that could circumvent pointless philosophical hostility. It's a battle without any conceivable purpose or resolution.


The bitterest truth is healthier than the sweetest lie.
X3

User avatar
mmmirele
Posts: 2280
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:17 pm
Location: Xenu's Red Mountain Trap

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#107

Post by mmmirele » Fri May 12, 2017 12:52 am

OK, the "Alliance" "Defending" "Freedom" aka the lawyers in the soulless office park that backs up to the 101 freeway in Scottsdale, have sued the Department of the Interior, the National Parks Service, the Grand Canyon National Park Superintendant and whatnot because Andrew Snelling, Ph.D, was denied a permit to take samples from the the Grand Canyon National Park.

From the Cincinnati paper:
Andrew Snelling claims that National Park Service, tasked with evaluating the scientific merit of research proposals in parks, along with the Department of Interior and several employees for the agencies violated his constitutional rights when they denied his request to collect rock samples from the Grand Canyon.

According to the suit, Snelling's research is primarily focused "investigating geological phenomena from the perspective of one who believes in the truth of the Old and the New Testaments," according to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Arizona.
:snippity:

Snelling submitted peer reviews from three creationists, but the Grand Canyon National Park people put his proposal out to its usual reviewers and they were pretty scathing:
Karl Karlstrom, Ph.D. with the University of New Mexico said Snelling proposal, in part, was not "well written, up-to-date or well referenced" and "I suspect his research application... is motivated by his faith that the Cambrian strata were deposited during Noah's flood, which is the creationist (and certainly not the scientific) explanation for Grand Canyon strata."

Peter Huntoon, a former professor at the University of Wyoming, said the park should adhere to "your narrowly defined institution mandate...that ours is a secular society as per our constitution" and argued creationists have already decided the answers to their proposed questions.
Lots, lots more in the story: http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/20 ... 101546936/

Here's the lawsuit: http://www.adfmedia.org/files/SnellingComplaint.pdf

Interestingly, the ADF doesn't provide a link to the exhibits, but some nice person got the whole enchilada and put it up on Dropbox:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/d9xg9yoquefsm ... s.pdf?dl=0

Of course, our obnoxious, dumbass congresscritter Trent Franks (R-Arizona but the Grand Canyon is less than 6000 years old) had to get involved (exhibit M). Seriously. *facepalm*

I'll be curious to see how the Department of the Interior handles this under the new regime.



User avatar
RTH10260
Posts: 15900
Joined: Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:52 am
Location: Near the Swiss Alps

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#108

Post by RTH10260 » Fri May 12, 2017 10:05 am

From Scientific American (SciAm), out of todays email inbox
SciAm Newsletter wrote:The Ongoing Battle for Evolution Education
Monkey Trial

Don’t Monkey with Education

May marks the 50th anniversary of the repeal of the infamous “Monkey Law,” which prohibited the teaching of evolution in Tennessee public schools. Adopted in 1925, the law led to the trial of John T. Scopes, a 24-year-old science teacher who was convicted of teaching evolution in his classroom. The verdict was later overturned, but the fight between religious fundamentalism and biological theory continues in American classrooms today.

In honor of the demise of the Monkey Law, we’re offering a free download of our January 1959 issue with the article, “A Witness for the Scopes Trial.”

For more, purchase our ebook Evolution vs. Creationism: Inside the Controversy and our special edition The Story of Us, which lays out why humans are, despite what some may tell you, descended from apes.
___________________
Note: imbedded links transcribed, cannot guarantee they work for non-subscribers of the newsletter



User avatar
Slartibartfast
Posts: 6982
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#109

Post by Slartibartfast » Tue May 23, 2017 11:07 pm

Suranis wrote:This isn't on topic but Its one of the things that regularly put my teeth on edge.

This is a story in the Independent, a Major British newspaper. Its about a scientific conference being hosted by the Vatican. You can read about it if you want, but I want to focus on the title

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/scien ... 25706.html
Pope Francis invites scientists to the Vatican after Catholic Church realises the Big Bang is real
Gee, really?
The conference – which runs through the week – is part of an increasing admission by the church that scientific theories were real and not necessarily in contradiction with theological doctrine.
Which has been the Catholic position for centuries. Glad that the Indo has noticed.

Oh and the guy who formulated the Big bang theory was a Catholic Priest and a Jesuit. I don't think the Indo realises how stupid they look mentioning that in their article and saying the Church has just noticed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georges_Lemaître
Sorry to take so long to reply to this, but life was happening pretty fast for a bit.

While you are totally right about Lemaître, my problem with the Pope on this is that it elevates the Big Bang to a status it doesn't deserve, scientifically speaking. You can't deny evolution unless you are scientifically illiterate. You can't deny the Big Bang has some big problems (like how does something 300 billion trillion kilometers across happen in the blink of an eye, relatively speaking). The big bang is built on assumptions and hasn't made testable predictions that have been confirmed like general relativity. The evidence might eventually prove me wrong, but I don't think that the big bang theory will end up as good science.


"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
---Sun Tzu (quoting Thomas Jefferson)
nam-myoho-renge-kyo---Thomas Jefferson (quoting Slartibartfast)

User avatar
Suranis
Posts: 15107
Joined: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:04 am

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#110

Post by Suranis » Wed May 24, 2017 1:03 am

The conference isn't about the big bang, that was just stupid headlining by the newspaper.


"The devil...the prowde spirite...cannot endure to be mocked.” - Thomas Moore

User avatar
Mikedunford
Posts: 8908
Joined: Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:42 pm

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#111

Post by Mikedunford » Wed May 24, 2017 2:02 am

The alternative to 300 billion trillion kilometres in the blink of an eye is 300 billion trillion kilometres that have always been there. Which also has some difficulties.


I believe that each era finds a improvement in law each year brings something new for the benefit of mankind.

--Clarence Earl Gideon

User avatar
Slartibartfast
Posts: 6982
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#112

Post by Slartibartfast » Wed May 24, 2017 2:22 am

Suranis wrote:The conference isn't about the big bang, that was just stupid headlining by the newspaper.
Then my peeve is at the newspaper, not the headline. Sorry, Frank!


"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
---Sun Tzu (quoting Thomas Jefferson)
nam-myoho-renge-kyo---Thomas Jefferson (quoting Slartibartfast)

User avatar
Slartibartfast
Posts: 6982
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#113

Post by Slartibartfast » Wed May 24, 2017 2:23 am

Mikedunford wrote:The alternative to 300 billion trillion kilometres in the blink of an eye is 300 billion trillion kilometres that have always been there. Which also has some difficulties.
Either way, that's a big twinkie.


"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
---Sun Tzu (quoting Thomas Jefferson)
nam-myoho-renge-kyo---Thomas Jefferson (quoting Slartibartfast)

User avatar
RoadScholar
Posts: 6617
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:25 am
Location: Baltimore
Occupation: Historic Restoration Woodworker
Contact:

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#114

Post by RoadScholar » Wed May 24, 2017 5:08 am

The primordial expansion doesn't violate the light-speed limit, so I don't see the problem.


The bitterest truth is healthier than the sweetest lie.
X3

User avatar
rpenner
Posts: 1252
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:08 pm
Location: Silicon Valley, California
Contact:

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#115

Post by rpenner » Wed May 24, 2017 1:27 pm

Slartibartfast wrote:The big bang is built on assumptions and hasn't made testable predictions that have been confirmed like general relativity.
Assumptions: The laws of physics, whatever they may be, are the same everywhere and everywhen. At large scales, the distribution of matter is the same everywhere. General Relativity is a good summary of the behavior of space, time and gravity. Relativistic Quantum Physics (later the Standard Model of Particle Physics) is a good summary of the behavior of matter and energy.

Motivation:
From the general behavior of gravity, little fluctuations in density tend to grow over time. From the Friedmann equations describing the GR evolution of a homogeneous non-empty space-time without edge, the later universe is cooler and less dense than at times in the past. So the Big Bang model is the hypothesis that the observable universe is consistent with the universe once being in such a uniform, hot and dense state that our incomplete human knowledge of the laws of physics is not able to describe it well.

Predictions:

At all times in the past, the overwhelming statistical trend will be for matter which is not part of our own gravitationally bound system (galaxy or as it turns out cluster of galaxies) to be retreating from us and this recession caused by the expansion of space should be at first order proportional to distance. Hubble's original discovery has been confirmed in detail by repeated studies. Further that this is General Relativity-predicted cosmological redshift rather than some non-GR light phenomenon is confirmed by the fact that supernovae in remote galaxies are time-dilated consistent with the known behavior of space and time and gravity.

https://arxiv.org/abs/0804.3595

At at early times until a certain time in the past, the matter in the universe was too hot to remain unionized and thus was plasma and significantly opaque to light at all frequencies (as opposed to atomic and molecular gases which have limited absorption spectra). So all times later than this would be filled with photons emitted by this hot black body. Following the laws of GR, this radiation would cool over time as the universe expanded. This has been confirmed in detail. Today, this is the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation has been shown to be greatly uniform and consistent with a thermal distribution to high degree. Further, for very remote galaxies we can see evidence that it was hotter in the past.

Noterdaeme, P., et al. "The evolution of the cosmic microwave background temperature-measurements of TCMB at high redshift from carbon monoxide excitation." Astronomy & Astrophysics 526 (2011): L7. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?clus ... 0284069603 (Figure 4)

If we posit that at one time it was so hot that unstable free neutrons were likely to be formed by electron-proton collision, then as that cooled only light isotopes should be primordial products of that nucleon sea. Details of how it cooled will be revealed in details of the isotope ratios. The primordial isotopic composition of the universe has been confirmed to be consistent with the understanding of a cooling plasma of protons and neutrons. (There is as yet an unexplained problem with Lithium abundance.)

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1412.1408.pdf

The Big Bang model and observation is not consistent with the universe being made up of just protons, neutrons and electrons. Something else heavy and clumpy like matter is needed if our understanding of the laws of physics is good. That hypothetical other matter, dark matter, has been confirmed in the behavior of galactic clusters, spiral galaxy rotation rates with respect to radial distance, gravitational lensing of the bullet cluster and in other ways.

https://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0608407
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1503.05282.pdf

Finally, as the Big Bang model is a single hypothesis for all these predictions, the details from multiple lines of otherwise unrelated evidence should be consistent with a single set of parameters. This has been confirmed in detail.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1502.01589



User avatar
Slartibartfast
Posts: 6982
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#116

Post by Slartibartfast » Wed May 24, 2017 1:40 pm

RoadScholar wrote:The primordial expansion doesn't violate the light-speed limit, so I don't see the problem.
If you are referring to inflation, it isn't enough to account for the formation of structures 3 gigaparsecs across in 14 billion years (a ridiculously short age for the universe, in my opinion) and it is a phenomenon that has never been seen in a lab and can't be tested in a lab --- at least not yet. It is an epicycle. It explains the formation of what used to be the largest known structures but there is no (testable*) explanation for what caused inflation, so it's just a bit of math that saves the theory. It may be true, but I wouldn't bet on it.

* i.e. scientific

How you (correctly) argue the counter-orthodoxy is something I've been thinking about all through following y'all Qaeda, the birthers, the Sandy Hook truthers, the 9/11 truthers, the moon landing deniers (now with extra Paraclete), the cintelligent designists, and all the way back to the people who believe Planet X** is coming real soon. While you can't contradict the scientific consensus (because you can't be a little bit scientific any more than you can be a little bit pregnant) without extraordinary evidence, outside of that any argument that respects the evidence (all of the pertinent evidence, mind you) and is couched as a hypothesis or an opinion is fine. Thanks for giving me a chance to talk about this crap.

** Is this now Planet IX because of Pluto's demotion? DAMN YOU, NEIL DE GRASSE TYSON!

Rpenner,

I'm going to need to do some research to reply to your post... (especially important as you are clearly more of an expert on this topic than I am since I might be arguing pieces of the counter-orthodoxy that are no longer scientifically viable in light of evidence you know but I don't).

In the meantime, how would you characterize your confidence in the Big Bang theory relative to your confidence in general relativity, Newton's law of gravitation, and evolution?


"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
---Sun Tzu (quoting Thomas Jefferson)
nam-myoho-renge-kyo---Thomas Jefferson (quoting Slartibartfast)

User avatar
Foggy
Posts: 25617
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:00 pm
Location: Fogbow HQ
Occupation: Dick Tater

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#117

Post by Foggy » Wed May 24, 2017 2:50 pm

rpenner wrote:Assumptions: The laws of physics, whatever they may be, are the same everywhere and everywhen.
Huh? What did he say? :confused:

Everywhen, in my minimal understanding, would mean that the laws of physics - and theoretically, the laws of chemistry - predated the Big Bang. Where is the evidence for that, I wonder. :think:

This is why I'm an agnostic, not an atheist. Who or what created the Big Bang and the laws of Nature, and in which order? They didn't just happen. This question is simply never going to be answered by Earthlings. Some facts are absolutely unknown and unknowable. :towel:


... and how does that make you feel?
What is it you are trying to say?
:think:

User avatar
rpenner
Posts: 1252
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:08 pm
Location: Silicon Valley, California
Contact:

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#118

Post by rpenner » Wed May 24, 2017 3:48 pm

Slartibartfast wrote:In the meantime, how would you characterize your confidence in the Big Bang theory relative to your confidence in general relativity, Newton's law of gravitation, and evolution?
Confidence in a scientific observation is about the integrity of the observation process and applicability. Thus I am confident in consistently repeatable observations of laboratory experiments while less so of most astrophysical phenomena, but still more so than eye witness testimony and reports of observations of one-off events like someone claiming a wildly different value of G during a solar eclipse.

Confidence in a scientific hypothesis is about the width of its domain of applicability and the precision of its predictions within that domain.

My confidence in the Big Bang model, as described above, is precisely as strong as my confidence in General Relativity. The Lithium abundance doesn't strike me as necessarily condemning the model while the concordance of estimated parameters (particularly in Dark Energy being observationally indistinguishable from a non-zero value of Einstein's cosmological constant) strikes me as strongly signifying the Big Bang model is correct.

My confidence in evolution is higher (as the generic mechanism of natural selection leading to common decent with modification) is basically a theorem given populations of replicators with heritable traits which impact survival and/or reproduction and completely consistent with the known biochemistry of DNA-based replicators here on Earth. The success of genetic algorithms finding solutions to problems in high-dimensional search spaces strikes me as confirming the math-like nature of the mechanism of natural selection while my knowledge of details of DNA replication makes the theory more plausible than just relying on the 1859 edition of Origin of Species.

My confidence in Newton's Universal Gravitation is shattered by the success in General Relativity explaining gravitational time dilation, Shapiro delay, gravitational lensing and the precession of the perihelion of Mercury, the details of the decay of binary neutron stars and the LIGO detection of gravitational radiation. So while I am confident in the precision of Universal Gravitation within a domain of slow-moving, low-mass objects, the domain of applicability of General Relativity is much larger.



User avatar
RoadScholar
Posts: 6617
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:25 am
Location: Baltimore
Occupation: Historic Restoration Woodworker
Contact:

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#119

Post by RoadScholar » Wed May 24, 2017 4:06 pm

Something else heavy and clumpy like matter is needed if our understanding of the laws of physics is good. That hypothetical other matter, dark matter, has been confirmed in the behavior of galactic clusters, spiral galaxy rotation rates with respect to radial distance, gravitational lensing of the bullet cluster and in other ways.
Isn't it still a possibility that an unknown feature of the universe is acting like extra mass? I mean, until we find direct evidence of dark matter qua matter?


The bitterest truth is healthier than the sweetest lie.
X3

User avatar
rpenner
Posts: 1252
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:08 pm
Location: Silicon Valley, California
Contact:

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#120

Post by rpenner » Wed May 24, 2017 4:11 pm

Foggy wrote:
rpenner wrote:Assumptions: The laws of physics, whatever they may be, are the same everywhere and everywhen.
Huh? What did he say? :confused:

Everywhen, in my minimal understanding, would mean that the laws of physics - and theoretically, the laws of chemistry - predated the Big Bang. Where is the evidence for that, I wonder. :think:
By "laws of physics" I mean the actual rules of behavior of observable phenomena, not the incomplete human understanding of the same. Nevertheless, I have high confidence in the best human understanding of the behavior of observable phenomena in very wide domain of applicability (which doesn't yet include the Big Bang event itself). So experimental evidence of new physics, in my view, is going to be found in the corners of either high precision testing of that predicted behavior in common situations or the safaris to realms of much less commonly tested physics.

The Big Bang model, as I described it, does not entail the Big Bang event itself. Our knowledge of the laws of physics do not yet permit us to confidently extrapolate history to what was before and speculation as to what the laws of physics were back then abounds with little evidence to guide us. So the Big Bang itself is never modeled by the Big Bang model as we can only extrapolate back to a state when the whole of the visible universe was filled with matter much hotter than stellar interiors.

Chemistry of molecules does not survive into stellar interiors (where there are no molecules or neutral atoms), let alone the Big Bang, but elements of general chemistry such as reaction rates, thermodynamics and chemical potential survive until the failure (if any) of quantum field theory. So the (most fundamental) human-understood laws of chemistry don't just go away because it is too hot for atoms to exist.
Foggy wrote:This is why I'm an agnostic, not an atheist. Who or what created the Big Bang and the laws of Nature, and in which order? They didn't just happen. This question is simply never going to be answered by Earthlings. Some facts are absolutely unknown and unknowable. :towel:
I don't question that many things are unknown, but as it comes scientific theories limiting themselves to descriptions of phenomena (rather than assertions of fundamental mechanisms for such behavior) I would not know where to draw a line past which are things absolutely unknowable.

But in my confidence that quantum mechanics represented the true behavior of observable phenomena, I have some confidence that a fundamental mechanism explaining the "why" behind quantum phenomena is unknowable, because if it is fundamental it begs the question of how you know it is finally fundamental. And if you can't answer that question how can you say to "know" the claim of a fundamental mechanism.



User avatar
rpenner
Posts: 1252
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:08 pm
Location: Silicon Valley, California
Contact:

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#121

Post by rpenner » Wed May 24, 2017 4:26 pm

RoadScholar wrote:
Something else heavy and clumpy like matter is needed if our understanding of the laws of physics is good. That hypothetical other matter, dark matter, has been confirmed in the behavior of galactic clusters, spiral galaxy rotation rates with respect to radial distance, gravitational lensing of the bullet cluster and in other ways.
Isn't it still a possibility that an unknown feature of the universe is acting like extra mass? I mean, until we find direct evidence of dark matter qua matter?
I don't think direct observation is required in scientific confirmation, which in any case is provisional acceptance. The General Relativity prediction of loss of momentum and energy from binary systems was matched with precision to observations of decaying orbits of binary neutron stars and this was widely seen to confirm the existence of gravitational waves (don't call them gravity waves) hypothesized by GR to carry such momentum and energy long before reports of direct observation at LIGO.

Astrophysically, if it gravitates like matter and clumps like matter, then it's matter and only some details remain to be worked out. The particle physics people would like more details, certainly, because they hope to fit it into a revised model of particle physics (the most boring of which is called the Minimal Supersymmetric extension to the Standard Model, MSSM). But because we don't have a box capable of trapping it matter with the properties of purported dark matter, such matter is hard to work with at greater than natural abundance, particularly if it is too massive to be formed at current particle accelerators.



User avatar
Tiredretiredlawyer
Posts: 6163
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 2:56 pm
Location: Animal Planet
Occupation: Permanent probationary slave to 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 1 horse

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#122

Post by Tiredretiredlawyer » Wed May 24, 2017 4:50 pm

So THIS is where rpenner hangs out! I haven't drunk the quota of beer necessary to have even a glimmer of understanding his posts, but I am up to the challenge!


"The people must know before they can act, and there is no educator to compare with the press." - Ida B. Wells-Barnett, journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, feminist and founder with others of NAACP.

User avatar
Foggy
Posts: 25617
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:00 pm
Location: Fogbow HQ
Occupation: Dick Tater

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#123

Post by Foggy » Wed May 24, 2017 5:03 pm

I do believe that the laws of physics, chemistry, and mathematics are identical everywhere in the Universe.

I do believe in the Big Bang theory, to the limited (very limited) understanding I have of it.

I do believe there is life on other planets, but unless there's a way to travel FTL, we'll never have contact with our alien brethren and sistren.

I do believe that the Sun will eventually go Red Giant, and expand beyond the orbit of the Earth, so unless we can travel FTL, in very large containers, our long-term future is ... bleak.

And I do believe in Russian pee hookers. :blink:


... and how does that make you feel?
What is it you are trying to say?
:think:

User avatar
listeme
Posts: 5170
Joined: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:09 am

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#124

Post by listeme » Wed May 24, 2017 5:38 pm

Foggy wrote:I do believe that the laws of physics, chemistry, and mathematics are identical everywhere in the Universe.

I do believe in the Big Bang theory, to the limited (very limited) understanding I have of it.

I do believe there is life on other planets, but unless there's a way to travel FTL, we'll never have contact with our alien brethren and sistren.

I do believe that the Sun will eventually go Red Giant, and expand beyond the orbit of the Earth, so unless we can travel FTL, in very large containers, our long-term future is ... bleak.

And I do believe in Russian pee hookers. :blink:
We could start our own church* with this catechism.

*Socials every other Sunday, margaritas and thai food.


We're used to being told it's our fault that men don't listen to us.

User avatar
Slartibartfast
Posts: 6982
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:52 pm

Re: Creationism and other anti-science movements

#125

Post by Slartibartfast » Wed May 24, 2017 10:40 pm

SCIENCE FIGHT!

I've been wanting to do this with someone who has the chops to beat me (if I'm wrong :towel: ) for a long time!

Let's dance!
rpenner wrote:
Slartibartfast wrote:The big bang is built on assumptions and hasn't made testable predictions that have been confirmed like general relativity.
Assumptions: The laws of physics, whatever they may be, are the same everywhere and everywhen.

Agreed.

At large scales, the distribution of matter is the same everywhere.

There is no evidence of a scale at which distribution of matter is uniform. In fact, in all the scales we have observed (sub-atomic, human, solar system, galaxy, galactic cluster and up to galactic filaments) matter is decidedly clumpy. This is a very dubious assumption, in my opinion.

General Relativity is a good summary of the behavior of space, time and gravity. Relativistic Quantum Physics (later the Standard Model of Particle Physics) is a good summary of the behavior of matter and energy.

I would say that they are our best understanding given the current evidence.


Motivation:
From the general behavior of gravity, little fluctuations in density tend to grow over time.

Yes, but for them to grow to 3 gigaparsecs in the time that the universe has existed according to the Big Bang theory there would have had to have been more than "little fluctuations" in the density. Not to mention that, in general, characteristic time scales correlate with size. I'm trying to put together a chart to visualize this, but, intuitively, if a star has a lifespan of billions of years, does it really make sense that the universe, over 18 orders of magnitude larger, should have a lifespan less than one order of magnitude larger? I don't think so.

From the Friedmann equations describing the GR evolution of a homogeneous non-empty space-time without edge, the later universe is cooler and less dense than at times in the past.

I'll accept this as true, but you are making an assumption that the Friedmann equations are a map which accurately describes the territory which I will not accept a priori.

So the Big Bang model is the hypothesis that the observable universe is consistent with the universe once being in such a uniform, hot and dense state that our incomplete human knowledge of the laws of physics is not able to describe it well.

Well stated. Essentially you are saying that the red shift, or the expansion that is inferred from the red shift,
rather, can be extrapolated backwards to a state where our understanding of the laws of physics breaks down, i.e. something we can't, at least not yet, produce in laboratory conditions.

I, on the other hand, will not extrapolate beyond our understanding of the physics. There are other plausible explanations of observations besides the Big Bang and while I'm not necessarily a proponent of any of them, the plasma cosmology, based on the work of Nobel Laureate Hans Alfven is the most intuitively appealing to me. Essentially he suggests that the same plasma phenomena seen in laboratories, the magnetosphere, and the solar system play a significant role in galaxies, interstellar clouds and all the way up to the largest structures in the observable universe.

The gripping hand is just a gratuitous science fiction reference in this case.
:towel:



Predictions:

At all times in the past, the overwhelming statistical trend will be for matter which is not part of our own gravitationally bound system (galaxy or as it turns out cluster of galaxies) to be retreating from us and this recession caused by the expansion of space should be at first order proportional to distance.

There are some issues with using red shift to measure both distance and velocity as well as alternatives (tired light)
that explain the red shift in other ways. This amounts to an assumption that the Hubble expansion is the correct interpretation of the red shift. Now, I will admit that the Hubble expansion is a very plausible interpretation of the red shift, but it's not the only one.



Hubble's original discovery has been confirmed in detail by repeated studies.

Hubble's discovery, i.e. that (apparent) speed is proportional to (apparent) distance is well-established evidence, yes, but Hubble's explanation for it has not made any predictions that can be verified that I am aware of.


Further that this is General Relativity-predicted cosmological redshift rather than some non-GR light phenomenon is confirmed by the fact that supernovae in remote galaxies are time-dilated consistent with the known behavior of space and time and gravity.

https://arxiv.org/abs/0804.3595

I lack sufficient expertise to argue this, so I will just point out that the validity of the Hubble expansion does not imply the validity of the Big Bang, which, as you said, is an extrapolation far beyond the data.


At at early times until a certain time in the past, the matter in the universe was too hot to remain unionized and thus was plasma and significantly opaque to light at all frequencies (as opposed to atomic and molecular gases which have limited absorption spectra). So all times later than this would be filled with photons emitted by this hot black body. Following the laws of GR, this radiation would cool over time as the universe expanded. This has been confirmed in detail. Today, this is the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation has been shown to be greatly uniform and consistent with a thermal distribution to high degree. Further, for very remote galaxies we can see evidence that it was hotter in the past.

Noterdaeme, P., et al. "The evolution of the cosmic microwave background temperature-measurements of TCMB at high redshift from carbon monoxide excitation." Astronomy & Astrophysics 526 (2011): L7. https://scholar.google.com/scholar?clus ... 0284069603 (Figure 4)

Not everyone would agree. From a paper by Eric Lerner (a plasma physicist and author of The Big Bang Never Happened).
Recent measurements of the anisotropy of the CBR by the WMAP spacecraft have been claimed to be a major confirmation of the Big Bang theory. Yet on examination these claims of an excellent fit of theory and observation are dubious. First of all, the curve that was fitted to the data had seven adjustable parameters, the majority of which could not be checked by other observations[40]. Fitting a body of data with an arbitrarily large number of free parameters is not difficult and can be done independently of the validity of any underlying theory. Indeed, even with seven free parameters, the fit was not statistically good, with the probability that the curve actually fits the data being under 5%, a rejection at the 2 s level. Significantly ,even with seven freely adjustable parameters, the model greatly overestimated the anisotropy on the largest angular scales. In addition, the Big Bang model's prediction for the angular correlation function did not at all resemble the WMAP data. It is therefore difficult to view this new data set as a confirmation of the Big Bang theory of the CBR.

The plasma alternative views the energy for the CBR as provided by the radiation released by early generations of stars in the course of producing the observed 4He. The energy is thermalized and isotropized by a thicket of dense, magnetically confined plasma filaments that pervade the intergalactic medium. While this model has not been developed to the point of making detailed predictions of the angular spectrum of the CBR anisotropy, it has accurately matched the spectrum of the CBR using the best-quality data set from COBE[27]. This fit, it should be noted, involved only three free pamenters and achieved a probability of 85%.

Since this theory hypotheses filaments that efficiently scatter radiation longer than about 100 microns, it predicts that radiation longer than this from distant sources will be absorbed, or to be more precise scattered, and thus will decrease more rapidly with distance than radiation shorter than 100 microns. Such an absorption was demonstrated by comparing radio and far-infrared radiation from galaxies at various distances--the more distant, the greater the absorption effect[5,7]. This work was done using an IRAS sample limited to flux of more than 5.24mJy at 60 microns. More recent results, reported here for the first time(and to be published in greater detail elsewhere) extend this demonstration of absorption .

If long wavelength radiation is being absorbed or scattered by the intergalactic medium (IGM), then this effect should be constant for all wavelengths longer than about 100-200 microns. Absorption at one wavelength in this range should be the same, for a given galaxy, as absorption at another wavelength. The recent observations of submillmeter, 850micron, wavelengths by the SCUBA survey[41] is an opportunity to test this prediction.

From "A Technical Paper on Plasma Cosmology and Big Bang" at http://bigbangneverhappened.org


With seven parameters you can make an elephant dance the ballet. Just sayin'.



If we posit that at one time it was so hot that unstable free neutrons were likely to be formed by electron-proton collision, then as that cooled only light isotopes should be primordial products of that nucleon sea. Details of how it cooled will be revealed in details of the isotope ratios. The primordial isotopic composition of the universe has been confirmed to be consistent with the understanding of a cooling plasma of protons and neutrons. (There is as yet an unexplained problem with Lithium abundance.)

https://arxiv.org/pdf/1412.1408.pdf

Gross violation of 4 paragraph rule under sekrit button due to no direct link to the page (really old website design). It is a critique of the light isotope ration predictions of the Big Bang.
Sekrit Stuffs!
Big Bang Nucleosynthesis (BBN) predicts the abundance of four light isotopes(4He, 3He, D and 7Li) given only the density of baryons in the universe. These predictions are central to the theory, since they flow from the hypothesis that the universe went through a period of high temperature and density--the Big Bang. In practice, the baryon density has been treated as a free variable, adjusted to match the observed abundances. Since four abundances must be matched with only a single free variable, the light element abundances are a clear-cut test of the theory. In 1992, there was no value for the baryon density that could give an acceptable agreement with observed abundances, and this situation has only worsened in the ensuing decade.

The observational picture has improved the most for 7Li and D, and there is now no assumed baryon density that will provide a good fit to just those two abundances alone. In 1992, there were no measures of D abundance at high redshift and therefore at remote times. The "primordial" value for D abundance was calculated back from the present-day observed values of 1.65x10-5 relative to H by assuming the D was destroyed by recycling through stars. Delbourg-Salvador et al, for example[14] calculated that the primordial value was perhaps 6x10-5.

However, since 1998, D abundances have been measured in five high redshift QSO absorption line systems. Since the same systems show low abundances of heavy elements known to be created by stars, they are assumed to be close to a "primordial" or early- galactic abundance. The weighted average of these abundances is 2.78+-0.29x10-5,[15] much lower than the values that had been anticipated by BBN theorists a decade ago. According to BBN predictions, this range of D abundances would correspond to a range of baryon/photon number density h of from 5.9-6.4x10-10.

Lithium abundances in metal poor Pop II stars are also considered to be a measure of pre-galactic or at least early galactic abundances and exhibit a remarkably small variation (about 5%)[16]. Lithium abundances as a result can be very accurately measured as 1.23+0.68-0.32x10-10, relative to H, where the errors are 2 s limits[17]. BBN prediction based on 7Li abundance imply a firm upper limit on h, the baryon photon ratio, of 3.9x10-10, which is completely inconsistent with the prediction based on D.

A "best fit" h to these two abundances alone would be 4.9x10-10. Since this would predict values that are excess of 4s from observations for both 7Li and D, this pair of observations alone would exclude BBN at beyond a 6s level.

There is no plausible fix to this problem, which has been recognized by BBN theorists, but not ever as a challenge to the validity of the theory itself[15,17-20]. Attempts to hypothesize some stellar process that reduce the 7Li abundance by a factor of 2 or more are rendered totally implausible by the observed 5% variation in existing abundances. No plausible process could reduce the 7Li abundance so precisely in a wide range of stars differing widely in mass and rotation rates.

The situation becomes considerably worse for BBN when 4He is also considered. There are extensive measurements so 4He abundances in low-metallicity galaxies, yet the estimates of a minimal, or "primordial " value for 4He vary considerably, for reasons we will consider in section V. These various values determine a percentage of 4He by weight of 21.6+-0.6[21], 22.3+-0.2[22], 22.7+-0.5[23], 23.4+-0.3[24], or 24.4+-0.2[25].

By comparison, the BBN prediction for 4He abundance with the "best fit" value of h=4.9x10-10 is 24.4, which would be compatible only with one of the estimates[25] of primordial 4He from observations. It should be noted that this highest value was only obtained by arbitrarily excluding several of the galaxies that have the lowest 4He abundances and is therefore not an unbiased, statistically valid estimate. For the other cited values, the BB prediction is excluded at between a 3 s and 10 s level. Indeed, a value as high as 24.4 is excluded at a 3 s level on the basis of even individual low-metalicity galaxies, such as UM461(21.9+-0.8)[21].

While there is considerable controversy over interpretation of measurements of 3He abundances in the present-day galaxy, these measurements only add to the difficulties of BBN. Measurements indicating an abundance of 3He/H of 1.1+-0.2x10-5[26] make this an upper limit on the "primordial" value, since it is generally agreed that stars, on net, produce 3He. For BBN, this in turn implies that h>6.0x10-10, making worse the conflicts with the observed values of lithium and 4He.

Even ignoring 3He, the current observations of just three of the four predicted BBN light elements preclude BBN at a level of at least 7 s. In other words, the odds against BBN being a correct theory are about 100 billion to one. It is important to emphasize that BBN is an integral part of the Big Bang theory. Its predictions flow from the basic assumption of the Big Bang, a hot dense origin for the universe. If BBN is rejected, the Big Bang theory must also be rejected.

Recently, Big Bang theorists have interpreted precision measurement of the anisotropy of the CBR as providing a direct measurement of the baryon density of the universe[15].(The CBR will be examined in more detail in section IV). These calculations imply h=6.14+-0.25 x10-10, a D abundance of 2.74+-0.2x10-5, a 7Li abundance of 3.76+1.03-0.38x10-10 and a 4He abundance of 24.84+-.04 %. While much has been made by Big Bang advocates of the agreement with D observations, overall this makes matters still worse for the validity of BBN, for the 7Li value alone is now excluded at a 7 s level, and the 4He is excluded at a 2 s level even for the highest estimate and at between a 4 s and 12 s level for the other estimates. Very conservatively, this increases the odds against BBN, and therefore against the Big Bang itself, being a valid theory to above 2 x10-14 to one. The overall discordance with observation is summarized in Fig.1.




The Big Bang model and observation is not consistent with the universe being made up of just protons, neutrons and electrons.

But is the assumption of something in the universe beyond protons, neutrons, and electrons (and radiation, neutrinos, etc.) not multiplying entities beyond necessity? What great need, beyond saving a pet theory, do these completely hypothetical particles serve?

Something else heavy and clumpy like matter is needed if our understanding of the laws of physics is good.

If our understand of the laws of physics are good and the Big Bang is correct, you mean. If we don't assume the validity of the Big Bang, we don't have to explain how something basically homogeneous became unmistakably clumpy.


That hypothetical other matter, dark matter, has been confirmed in the behavior of galactic clusters, spiral galaxy rotation rates with respect to radial distance, gravitational lensing of the bullet cluster and in other ways.

https://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0608407
https://arxiv.org/pdf/1503.05282.pdf

The person who measured the spiral galaxy rotation rates, Vera Rubin, wasn't so sure:
"If I could have my pick, I would like to learn that Newton's laws must be modified in order to correctly describe gravitational interactions at large distances. That's more appealing than a universe filled with a new kind of sub-nuclear particle."[

She felt, later in her life, that we should have found some kind of evidence if dark matter actually existed and, as implied in the quote, leaned towards modified Newtonian dynamics as the leading theory.



Finally, as the Big Bang model is a single hypothesis for all these predictions, the details from multiple lines of otherwise unrelated evidence should be consistent with a single set of parameters. This has been confirmed in detail.

https://arxiv.org/abs/1502.01589

I've pointed the shortcomings of this "fit" out above, but too, also, as a mathematical modeler, I am very wary of top-down models with lots of parameters that aren't based on well-established laws of physics. It is, in my (in this case expert)
opinion, something that should be viewed with much skepticism, especially when theory has gotten out so far ahead of experiment.
The Big Bang theory has created a situation where the field of cosmology filled up with people who's livelihood depended on complicated mathematical theories that are based on the unquestioned assumption of the Big Bang. Without the feedback of rigorous experiments, this has resulted in an orthodoxy developing which helps prevent challenges to itself. Peer reviewers for cosmology journals (who are cosmologists), tend to lack the expertise necessary to vet plasma cosmology papers and plasma journals tend not to publish articles on cosmology. There should be a great scientific debate on this with all sides being tested on their merits and compared, instead we have belief in the Big Bang being viewed as evidence of scientific literacy and Vera Rubin's work being hailed (in numerous obituaries) as having confirmed the existence of dark matter.

Anyway, like I said, I've wanted to have this argument for a long time, so thanks!


"Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat."
---Sun Tzu (quoting Thomas Jefferson)
nam-myoho-renge-kyo---Thomas Jefferson (quoting Slartibartfast)

Post Reply

Return to “Science & Technology”