The latest DpSU from guess-who at the Institute for Creation Research – Scientists Don’t Know How Universe Works, Started – is a giant Argument from Ignorance. Specifically his ignorance, as you might expect.
The article consists of a list of things that science allegedly can’t explain. Warning: May cause even more brain damage than usual.
Perhaps no realm of inquiry is as fraught with fantastic speculation as the origin of the universe. Theories of how it could have come about naturally have regularly been proposed and discarded as new evidence surfaces. Ongoing studies seem to have merely widened the gap in understanding how it began—or even how it currently works.
Lets see what he can come up with:
The Anthropic Principle
For example, astronomers have observed that the earth has hundreds of parameters fine-tuned for life.
I would say that ‘hundreds’ is almost certainly an exaggeration. Certainly there are not hundreds of things about the earth that are necessary for life that are all independent of each other. If you counted ‘not too close to the sun’ and ‘not too far from the sun’ as separate then we might get there, but not otherwise.
Also, those points are only relevant for life as we know it – the organisms that live at the bottom of the ocean deriving their sustenance from volcanic vents probably wouldn’t care if Earth was located in the intergalactic medium. And, of course, if the world couldn’t be live on we wouldn’t be here to complain, so the point is moot.
This “anthropic principle” most reasonably implies that a wise Creator deliberately created them for this purpose.
No it doesn’t: it says nothing about the existence of a god at all. God could have just as easily created life in a place that it couldn’t have survived in, but had it survive anyway in defiance of all the disasters etc that kept happening. I wouldn’t put it past Him anyway – you could even ague that this is indeed what He did.
In order to avoid this inference, so-called string theorists invoked the idea of a “multiverse.” They speculated that an infinite number of universes exists, one of which contains the life-friendly earth. However, real science shows only this one universe.
The concept of the multiverse was not invented by string theorists, nor was it invented to solve this alleged problem. Indeed, the string theory version may even be testable…
Some researchers have attempted to explain that life—the evolution of which would directly oppose the laws of nature—came about through various scenarios that would be right at home in the realm of science fiction. One researcher, in true comic book fashion, entertained the idea that heavy radiation bombardment on a distant planet jumpstarted life. But science clearly shows that radiation kills!
Yes, you heard him, “science clearly shows that radiation kills!” If that is all he can come up with against that particular hypothesis I think it’s looking pretty good…
Why Electrons Don’t Collapse Down To The Nucleus
And life is not the only thing that researchers have a hard time explaining from a naturalistic perspective. Even fundamental aspects of the universe are very difficult to explain—such as why electrons don’t collapse down into their atomic nuclei, and why or how electrons apparently inhabit discrete energy levels inside atoms. Thus, researchers use the phrase “quantum mechanics” in place of a realistic and transferrable explanation for these mysterious observations. University of Minnesota physics professor James Kakalios told Scientific American recently that quantum mechanics “has weird ideas and it can be confusing.” But if it is so confusing that physicists can’t explain it to non-physicists, then do they truly understand it themselves?
To be charitable, it has been said on numerous occasions that even the people who study quantum mechanics don’t quite get it. However, they get it much better than Mr Thomas evidently does. This doesn’t mean that quantum physics doesn’t work, or that it isn’t both “realistic and transferrable.”
Communicating science is a difficult business. While there are notable exceptions in the form of scientists who are and were very good at explaining quantum oddities to the public, your stereotypical mechanic-who-works-with-quantums is perhaps not so. I would say that not much of science is understood by the public – but that’s ok, because the creationists don’t like very much of science anyway. I would say that, evolution and quantum mechanics aside, the majority of the public probably don’t relativity, beyond ‘things can’t go faster than the speed of light.’ Personally, I just keep forgetting it. But again, that has no bearing on whether or not it’s actually true.
Gravity is also supposedly another fundamental property of the universe, but there is no consensus on why or how it works, or how it might relate to quantum physics. One researcher proposed the idea that gravity is not an independent force, but is an after-effect of the standard laws of thermodynamics. His ideas have not yet been worked into standard physics texts, and they may never get that far, which shows that considerable doubt and debate reign over the nature of even something as basic a force as gravity.
And? Some guy’s only-recently-published idea isn’t in textbooks ‘yet’ – so? We don’t understand why gravity works, yes, but we do know what it does (for the most part).
Adding to the mix of unexplained phenomena, a team of physicists announced on September 23, 2011, that neutrinos, which have mass, were observed moving faster than light, which has no mass while in transit. But models of the structure and age of the universe depend on the idea that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light! Most cosmologies will have to be totally re-tooled if the speed of light is not a constant, but a variable.
That one again. I suppose he has to drum it out while he still can. There is probably something wrong with the results, and we will know soon enough what that is. I just doubt that it will end up in the news…
The Accelerating Universe
And now, three astronomers have been awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for showing that the universe’s expansion is accelerating—the cause of which is a total mystery. And like all the other mysteries, the proposed solution to this one has received a nifty name: “dark energy.” Dark energy supposedly pulls galaxies apart, despite their gravitational attraction. However, “dark energy is the biggest mystery in science,” according to Meg Urry, Director of the Yale Center for Astronomy and Astrophysics.
The solutions to “all the other mysteries” have “nifty names”? O-kay… Again: so what? Dark energy seems to work – the problem seems to be that it doesn’t in Young Earth Creationist cosmologies, so it can’t exist.
If naturalistic scientific models don’t even accurately describe how basic features of the universe such as atoms, gravity, neutrinos, or light work in the present, why rely on similarly structured models that purport to explain the beginnings of the universe? Even in this age of scientific advancement, the best information about the distant past comes not from physics, but from the eyewitness accounts of those present in the beginning, as recorded in God’s Word.
If evidence that the ICR still follows the old dogma – namely that “if science contradicts scripture, the science must be wrong” – is ever needed, this is it. Additionally, if evidence is needed that Brian Thomas is incompetent and/or holds his readers in contempt, this will do fine also.