Creation – Intelligent Design – Big Bang debate continues

The post on Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled” is by far the most read blog post I’ve ever written.  Below are a couple of comments I added to the discussion myself, which I thought were too good to leave buried 20 comments deep in a long thread.  So here they are as their own post, and the debate continues.

Let me suggest what an answer (to the question “where did the material of big bang fame come from in the first place?) might sound like. As we go back billions of years in time, to before the Big Bang occurred, the origins of the universe begin with what’s called a quantum singularity. In layman’s terms, a “singularity” is a situation when all the natural laws as we know them no longer apply. So the problem is, to be an atheist and believe the earth is a random consequence means putting your “faith” in a supernatural event that cannot be proven scientifically. If it’s outside the realm of natural laws, it’s supernatural. God creating the universe would also be outside the boundries of the natural world we know, thus making that event supernatural. To believe in creation, or to believe in Big Bang/ evolution, one must put faith in supernatural events that cannot be proven, only conjectured.

Here’s the problem with “random.” Random always creates disorder. If my wife came home one day, and all the leaves falling from the tree in our front yard were lined up in straight rows, with an equal number of leaves in each line, she would know that I must up to something. Leaves falling randomly from the tree are scattered on the ground in no particular order. In other words, disorder. The scientific terms for this include minimum energy and maximum entropy. Minimum energy means potential kinetic (motion) energy has all been released, and maximum entropy means the most disordered, scattered, energy release has occurred. Random events flinging big banged particles through the cosmos would not eventually lead to order. Look at crystaline structures, the muscles in the human body, something simple like gas exchange in the lungs. Random promotes disorder; maximum entropy as a result of using energy up. Cannot create our universe, regardless of how many billion years you wait. More time only makes it worse, not better.

As much fun as we’re having here, please also read “Jesus’ Example, Samaritan woman” because that’s in keeping with the true spirit of spreading the gospel message. That’s what the world needs.

10 thoughts on “Creation – Intelligent Design – Big Bang debate continues

  1. “If it’s outside the realm of natural laws, it’s supernatural.” Big mistake here. When we say that we don’t have the physic to explain the early time period of the universe that is just an admission of lack of knowledge. That is an inevitable reflection of the fact that our process of knowing the world is a dynamic one. Our knowledge increase with time (and interaction with reality). To say we don’t know something now is in no way a claim that it is impossible to know it. We always hope that with time we will know those things we don’t know now. To think otherwise is arrogant – it is a claim that something is unknowable just because you say so. To claim that an event is supernatural is to claim something you have no way of knowing.
    And, of course, it makes you look silly when our normal process of investigation reveals to us the nature of the completely natural event.

  2. You should learn a little about quantum physics. Time does not exist at a singularity. Go read up on black holes and their event horizons. There is no “before” in a singularity.

  3. In response to Ken: I don’t believe I ever said there was anything impossible to know. I said there were things none of us knew. Creationists believe God created the material the universe is made of. In other theories, matter randomly occurs and accumulates, as well as energy, and this build up led eventually to the big bang. Scientifically speaking, both event are unreasonable, so both require some type of faith.

    al-Kafir: I’m having dinner this evening with my wife, and preaching Sunday morning. All next week we’re preparing to put on a play. I’m gonna’ miss that book on black hole event horizons. Let me know how that one turns out.

    Aw, what the heck – you know the existence of black holes is theoretical, and cannot be proven right?

  4. How can “Scientifically speaking,”/i> something be unreasonable.” Surely, if something happens we accept that – and then set out to find how/why it happened. That is, if something happened it is a natural phenomenon, it has a inherent logic, it is (in principle) capable of being understood. Surely, the way you use the term “supernatural” implies the opposite – incapable of being understood because it has no inherent logic or reason.

    By my reckoning “supernatural” things and phenomena don’t exist. Nothing exists outside the natural.

    Your desire to put the beginning of our universe “outside the realm of natural laws, it’s supernatural” is a desire to put investigation of this “out of bounds.” But, in fact, humanity keeps on pursuing the investigation. This doesn’t stop because you rule the phenomenon to be “supernatural.”

  5. “if something happened it is a natural phenomenon” -ken
    Yes, the beginning of the universe happened. The material making up our universe at some time came into being. But according to the natural scientific laws we are governed by, as we understand them at this time, that isn’t possible. Matter does not spontaneously create itself from nothing. We can either chose to believe God created the universe, or in some other scientific theory which cannot be supported in light of natural laws we hold to be true. In either case, you are believing in an event that’s impossible as we define possibility. Not a problem for Christians; we believe God does things all the time that defy human understanding. Things impossible to us are not impossible (nor anything close to it) for God to do. If you do not believe in God, then explaining the origin of the universe gets kind of sticky, because you are trying to prove with scientific principles and theories events that cannot scientifically possible occur. ACCORDING TO MODERN SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES REGARDING MATTER AND ENERGY, THE MATERIAL OF THE UNIVERSE SHOULD NOT EXIST. But it does. According to logic and reason, God does not exist. The universe exists; why can’t God?

  6. “But according to the natural scientific laws we are governed by, as we understand them at this time, that isn’t possible.” – the emphasis is the key. (actually scientific laws are only man-made reflections of the order in reality – to the extent that we understand it at the time).

    Where we have a gap in our knowledge you can be silly and claim that “god did it” (God of the gaps) or you can be scientific and say “I don’t know – but let’s get stuck in and find out.”

    Believing in a god or not – humanity at this stage cannot explain the origin of the universe (t=0) although we can go back to microsecond times. (To me that is an amazing achievement in itself).

    Let’s be honest and say we don’t know. Let’s put our effort into finding out (which admittedly is going to take a while because we do not yet have thy physics to understand such high energies).

    Making sweeping statements like “THE MATERIAL OF THE UNIVERSE SHOULD NOT EXIST” is extrapolating your ignorance to an explanation for a situation you don’t understand.

  7. “Let’s be honest and say we don’t know.”

    In the first place, I think it’s down to me and you Ken. We’re the last ones standing.
    In the second place, that’s the smartest thing I’ve heard in the discussion yet. We don’t know about the very beginnings of our universe. Now, I think a whole lot of big bang and/or evolution people would disagree with you there, because many of them claim to know. Even believing in Old Testament creationism doesn’t go all the way back to when/if there was nothing. In Genesis 1, God moved over the face of the waters. Where did the water come from? So, we agree. Neither the theists nor the atheist KNOWS the exact origin of the universe. So…you and I found something to agree on, and there’s no one else left following this anymore. I guess it’s time to put this debate to rest.

  8. “because many of them claim to know.”
    That is not at all confirmed by my reading.
    Can you point me (by reference) to any reputable scientist claiming to “know”, or have scientific evidence to prove such knowledge? No? Will learn from that!
    All I get is the confirmation that our physics cannot handle that question. We have not yet been able to investigate such high energy systems.
    However, what I do get, is that we are “on to it.” No-one is claiming that it is unknowable.
    In the meantime, I repeat that it is arrogant to claim knowledge of such events. And, as far as I know, it is only the religious side which claims that knowledge.

  9. big bang? theory is that all the matter in the universe came from a single point of energy, smaller than an atom,,or its also called a singlarirty [which no one knows what that really is,,] anyways , if e=mc2,, then doesnt m=e/c2,, wouldnt this be the equation for the big bang,, matter from energy?,, but just where did the energy come from? a universe consisting of energy, where energy is converted to matter? where maybe intelligence evolved , to be able to create enough energy to convert to all the matter in our universe, big bang? crazy,, i know , or is it? intelligent design? god? , ok,, but where would that universe come from? oh, well,,

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