URCall: The Big Supernova

From the ICR’s URCall series of videos, hosted by Markus Lloyd. “Where did the first atom come from?” (link)

Transcript:

How did the first atom in the universe appear? The big bang attempts to explain that the Earth sprang into existence from a quantum-mechanical fluctuation, or even out of nothing. But it does not adhere to the law of cause and effect. If it’s impossible for something to come from nothing, then what is that something, or someone, that created the universe? Christians know the answer.

In terms of audio, there’s a weird tonal change in the middle there, from “But it…” to “…the universe.” I suspect that this section was just cribbed straight from Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis to save time, but it sticks out like a sore thumb in this video. As for the visuals the animation used to represent the big bang is gloriously inaccurate in pretty much every way you look at it. The presence of background stars – at least in later frames – suggests it would be better employed as a supernova, and in geometry it also reminds me of a certain scene from Star Wars: Continue reading

Dismissing Inflation

On rare occasion the ICR manages to publish articles on recent news items in an approximately timely manner. Today’s DpSU, “‘Smoking Gun’ Evidence of Inflation?” by Jake Hebert, is one example, attempting to counter the rather inconvenient announcement of evidence supporting the cosmological hypothesis known as inflation.

While quicker than is typical for the ICR, Hebert is by no means the first to comment on this issue. Discovery Institute cdesign proponentsist Stephen Meyer was quoted as saying that

…it’s really odd for people from a Creationist perspective to deny a theory that says the universe began out of nothing physical.

Naturally, many of his fellow creationists have a decidedly different view. Continue reading

2012 in Review: Astronomy

An artist's impression of a planet orbiting a red dwarfAfter a hiatus to allow the showcasing of the January Acts & Facts (which I’m sure you’re all royally tired of by now), the ICR has returned to their 2012 retrospective series. The new article is called The Best Creation Science Updates of 2012: Space Sciences. I predict that the third and final of these articles will be posted on Friday, will be about the “life sciences,” and will include reference to the ENCODE project.

But back to here and now: Brian opens contending that,

This year brought its share of discoveries that confirm biblical creation’s contention that God made the heavens supernaturally and recently.

But before he gets to explaining these discoveries he cannot resist taking a swipe at Lawrence Krauss. Continue reading

One Book, One Dogma

A medieval bulgarian bibleTwo articles in the January Acts & Facts edition argue a similar point. According to them, the young Earth creationist approach of biblical literalism is superior to world-views influenced by observation of the actual universe. The articles aim their attacks primarily at fellow Christians who don’t take the YEC position, but take slightly different angles.

The first is by Jason Lisle, and is called The Two-Book Fallacy. It begins:

The founder of the scientific method, Francis Bacon, taught that God has written two books: the Scriptures and the book of creation (or nature). Today, many professing Christians affirm this view. After all, the Scriptures teach that God’s attributes are clearly seen in nature (Romans 1:20). So we can learn about God through both Scripture and science—the systematic study of nature.

Continue reading

Our Weird Universe

Better instruments have gotten us better data, but it's still not enoughPerhaps the most hypocritical of the arguments used by the Institute for Creation Research that we’ve encountered recently is the claim that the use of what Brian Thomas called “rescuing devices” mean that an argument can be dismissed apparently out of hand. That is to say, should a scientific theory commit the heinous crime of adjusting itself to fit the evidence, it must be flawed.

What makes this hypocritical, of course, is that that kind of thing describes young Earth creationism in a nutshell – we saw an example of that in the very next article. But Thomas did have a point: the classic example of Ptolemy’s model of the solar system shows that modifications to a theory can be a sign of a failed paradigm, but in the same way that not all people who have their ideas dismissed are Galileo, if a theory changes to fit the evidence that doesn’t meant that it’s broken and does not describe reality.

It’s a question of balance between dogma and unfalsifiable pseudoscience, though it’s not properly a spectrum as creationism tends to manage both simultaneously. In his August Acts & Facts article (yes, there’s a point to this post), Jake Hebert asks “Why Is Modern Cosmology So Weird?” The answer, according to him, is that it’s the fault of “ad-hoc” additions to the Big Bang to make it work. And you can probably guess his conclusions from there. Continue reading

Quantum Fluctuations

All those quantums. (What? We haven't had a good sized picture in days...)

In A Universe from Nothing?, Jake Hebert (yes, him again) opens: “Explaining the origin of the universe is an enormous challenge for those seeking to deny their Creator: How could a universe come from nothing?”

His article consists of a botched attempt to refute claims that virtual particles could be the underlying cause of the big bang, which is apparently put forward by Lawrence Krauss in A Universe from Nothing (which has been mentioned a few times over the last year or so), and by Stephen Hawking elsewhere. Continue reading

IEE: Faith and Science

We present a new edition of Ideological Education Essentials! (Otherwise known as 'Science' Education Essentials)

To return to the usual events on Rhonda Forlow’s Science Essentials blog, the series from the week that was was called The Marriage of Science and Faith. She begins:

Have you heard or read all the debate and talk about the difference between science and faith? It hasn’t taken long for atheists and theistic evolutionists to attack organizations like ICR on the blog, at conventions, and in the press with taglines such as “Leave science up to the scientists” and “Keep religion out of science.” While I respect their right to voice their opinion, I believe they’re misled. After all, the fact remains that science incorporates faith! Don’t believe me?

So, “science incorporates faith.” Faith is belief without evidence, and I’m going to need to see some before I believe her on this one… Continue reading