Cosmology

Atheists want to banish the Big Bang because it promotes theism—a romp through the history

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File:Lemaitre.jpg
Original Big Bang theorist, priest

We’re not doing this just because it makes atheists mad. Honest. It’s instructive:

Atheists are just as likely as anyone to resist research findings that challenge their views. Here’s the romp in four short posts:

The “I hate the Big Bang” Cosmology Club

Cosmologist Christopher Isham:

Perhaps the best argument in favor of the thesis that the Big Bang supports theism is the obvious unease with which it is greeted by some atheist physicists.

Still under construction: A No Big Bang Universe

Stephen Hawking has been arguing against the Big Bang at recent public appearances, and has himself proposed various alternatives. (He has also made his atheist leanings quite clear in recent years.)

The Big Bang: Are the fireworks still on despite the downpour?

The Big Bang is not direct proof of God’s existence, but if God exists and did create the universe, we might expect something like that. And something like the ensuing reaction of world-famous atheists in science as well. They have put a great deal of effort into developing alternative models that would point away from God. The problem is that for sixty years and more, the evidence has favored the Big Bang.

Manufacturing doubts about the Big Bang

Here’s a sample from the news desk of Nature, which gives some idea of the available no-Big Bang fare in the light of recent results from particle physics: In “Higgs data could spell trouble for leading Big Bang theory,” we learn first that the most recent research, as of March of this year in fact, “was seen as in line, for the most part, with the standard theory of cosmology” (the Big Bang). That’s probably why we didn’t hear much about it.

But, we are also told, “a controversial analysis,” putting together different data streams, “paints the prevailing theory in a dim light.” That striking news deflates, a paragraph later, to the fact that a paper was posted the previous week by an astronomer who “is no novice when it comes to making controversial cosmic claims.”

12 Replies to “Atheists want to banish the Big Bang because it promotes theism—a romp through the history

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    I find it very interesting that the materialistic belief of the universe being stable, and infinite in duration, was so deeply rooted in scientific thought that Albert Einstein (1879-1955), when he was shown his general relativity equation indicated a universe that was unstable and would ‘draw together’ under its own gravity,,,

    Einstein and The Belgian Priest, George Lemaitre – The “Father” Of The Big Bang Theory – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhLQ_b3bKdI

    ,, added a cosmological constant to his equation to reflect a stable universe rather than entertain the thought that the universe had a beginning. Einstein finally ended up calling the cosmological constant, he had added to his equation, ‘the biggest blunder of his life.’

    Cosmological constant
    Excerpt: Einstein included the cosmological constant as a term in his field equations for general relativity because he was dissatisfied that otherwise his equations did not allow, apparently, for a static universe: gravity would cause a universe which was initially at dynamic equilibrium to contract. To counteract this possibility, Einstein added the cosmological constant.[1] However, soon after Einstein developed his static theory, observations by Edwin Hubble indicated that the universe appears to be expanding; this was consistent with a cosmological solution to the original general-relativity equations that had been found by the mathematician Friedmann, working on the Einstein equations of general-relatvity. Einstein later referred to his failure to accept the validaton of his equations; when they had predicted the expansion of the universe in theory, before it was demonstrated in observation of the cosmological red shift, as the “biggest blunder” of his life.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....nt#History

    Einstein’s Greatest Blunder – The Cosmological Constant
    Much later, when I was discussing cosmological problems with Einstein, he remarked that the introduction of the cosmological term was the biggest blunder of his life.
    — George Gamow, My World Line, 1970
    http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/~jpl/cosmo/blunder.html

    But then again mathematically speaking, Einstein’s ‘fudge factor’ was not so much of a blunder after all. A number of observations including the discovery of cosmic acceleration in 1998 have revived the cosmological constant.
    In the late 1990’s a highly modified cosmological constant, a constant which is termed ‘Dark Energy’, was reintroduced into general relativity equations to account for the accelerated expansion of the universe, and (I believe) to help explain the discrepancy between the ages of the oldest stars in the Milky Way galaxy and the age of the universe. Far from providing a materialistic solution, which would have enabled the universe to be stable and infinite as Einstein had originally envisioned, the finely-tuned cosmological constant, finely-tuned to 1 part in 10^120, has, upon refinement, turned into one of the most powerful evidences of the design of the universe for life. The most finely tuned constant, from many finely-tuned universal constants of the universe, which are necessary to be almost precisely as they are in order for biological life to be possible anywhere in the universe.

    Cosmological constant
    Excerpt: the measured cosmological constant is smaller than this by a factor of 10^?120. This discrepancy has been called “the worst theoretical prediction in the history of physics!”.[14]
    Some supersymmetric theories require a cosmological constant that is exactly zero, which further complicates things. This is the cosmological constant problem, the worst problem of fine-tuning in physics: there is no known natural way to derive the tiny cosmological constant used in cosmology from particle physics.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....redictions

    And this quote-unquote “‘worst problem’ of fine tuning in physics” shows no signs of ever letting materialists have any room to try to ‘explain it away’:

    Dark energy alternatives to Einstein are running out of room – January 9, 2013
    Excerpt: Last month, a group of European astronomers, using a massive radio telescope in Germany, made the most accurate measurement of the proton-to-electron mass ratio ever accomplished and found that there has been no change in the ratio to one part in 10 million at a time when the universe was about half its current age, around 7 billion years ago. When Thompson put this new measurement into his calculations, he found that it excluded almost all of the dark energy models using the commonly expected values or parameters.
    If the parameter space or range of values is equated to a football field, then almost the whole field is out of bounds except for a single 2-inch by 2-inch patch at one corner of the field. In fact, most of the allowed values are not even on the field. “In effect, the dark energy theories have been playing on the wrong field,” Thompson said. “The 2-inch square does contain the area that corresponds to no change in the fundamental constants, (a ‘true cosmological constant’), and that is exactly where Einstein stands.”
    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-d.....-room.html

    Also of note, this was not the last time Einstein’s base materialistic philosophy had severely misled him. He was also severely misled in the Bohr–Einstein debates in which he was repeatedly proven wrong in challenging the ‘spooky action at a distance’ postulations of the then emerging field of quantum mechanics. This following video highlights the Bohr/Einstein debate and the decades long struggle to ‘scientifically’ resolve the disagreement between them over quantum mechanics:

    The Failure Of Local Realism or Reductive Materialism – Alain Aspect – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/4744145

    “We are all agreed that your (Einstein’s) theory is crazy. The question which divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct. My own feeling is that it is not crazy enough.” -Niels Bohr

    My feeling is that Bohr might have found the following experimental proof from quantum mechanics ‘crazy enough to have a chance of being correct’.

    Quantum physics says goodbye to reality – Apr 20, 2007
    Excerpt: They found that, just as in the realizations of Bell’s thought experiment, Leggett’s inequality is violated – thus stressing the quantum-mechanical assertion that reality does not exist when we’re not observing it. “Our study shows that ‘just’ giving up the concept of locality would not be enough to obtain a more complete description of quantum mechanics,” Aspelmeyer told Physics Web. “You would also have to give up certain intuitive features of realism.”
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/27640

    Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables – Scott Aaronson
    Excerpt: “Look, we all have fun ridiculing the creationists who think the world sprang into existence on October 23, 4004 BC at 9AM (presumably Babylonian time), with the fossils already in the ground, light from distant stars heading toward us, etc. But if we accept the usual picture of quantum mechanics, then in a certain sense the situation is far worse: the world (as you experience it) might as well not have existed 10^-43 seconds ago!”
    http://www.scottaaronson.com/democritus/lec11.html

    Perhaps atheistic materialists should start some of these taking basic Theistic propositions, propositions such as God creating the universe and sustaining the universe, more seriously than they have in the past?

    Music and verse:

    Hebrews 1:3
    The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word.,,,

    Phillips, Craig & Dean – When The Stars Burn Down – Worship Video with lyrics
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPuxnQ_vZqY

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    Here’s a radio recording of Fred Hoyle disparagingly naming the creation event of the universe as ‘The Big Bang’: (He personally favored the ‘steady state model)

    History of the Big Bang – Simon Singh, PhD – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....2g#t=2340s

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    The ‘Big Bang’ is really a wrong word picture for capturing what went on at the creation event of the universe, for the creation of the universe was certainly not anything like we would normally envision an ordinary explosion to be like:

    “The Big Bang represents an immensely powerful, yet carefully planned and controlled release of matter, energy, space and time. All this is accomplished within the strict confines of very carefully fine-tuned physical constants and laws. The power and care this explosion reveals exceeds human mental capacity by multiple orders of magnitude.”
    Prof. Henry F. Schaefer – The Big Bang and the God of the Bible – quoted from video lecture

  4. 4
    carlg says:

    In addittion to the above examples in the early sisties reading books on astronomy they all talked about the 2 models, big bang and steady state as if they had an equal likely hood of being correct. Also one got the distinct impression that the steady state was more likely. This inspite of the fact that the big bang was inaccord with general relativity and Hubble has produced a great deal of empiricle evidence. The steady state model was an ad hoc proposal. In 1967 the discovery of the black body radiation, now referred to as the background radiation unseated the steady state model. Almost immediatly an ossillating universe model was propossed and gained widespread advocacy among many scientists. When the evidence for an accelerating expansion ended the ossillating idea, The notion of multiple universes took over. This has the advantage of being irrefutable, which as Popper pointed out makes it extremely scientific.

  5. 5
    scordova says:

    Many lump Eddington in with the atheists. That’s historically inaccurate:

    http://press.uchicago.edu/ucp/…..85363.html

    Eddington supposedly didn’t like big displays of God’s power. Not that I’m saying his view is logical, but he was not an atheist by most accounts.

  6. 6
    JWTruthInLove says:

    If theists and atheists want to banish big bang (since it promotes both atheism and theism), then why does the big bang still exists?

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    Quote of note;

    ‘Amazing fine-tuning occurs in the laws that make this [complexity] possible. Realization of the complexity of what is accomplished makes it very difficult not to use the word “miraculous” without taking a stand as to the ontological status of that word.’
    – George Ellis

    Cosmology and Ultimate Causality – George Ellis – video
    https://vimeo.com/20681475

    George Ellis was a colleague of Stephen Hawking and mathematician Roger Penrose. As a team, Hawking, Penrose, and Ellis were instrumental in refining General Relativity to a point to reveal that not only did mass-energy have a absolute (singular) beginning in the Big Bang, but that space and time also had an absolute (singular) beginning:

    “Every solution to the equations of general relativity guarantees the existence of a singular boundary for space and time in the past.”
    (Hawking, Penrose, Ellis) – 1970
    http://www.leaderu.com/real/ri9404/bigbang.html

    Big Bang Theory – An Overview of the main evidence
    Excerpt: Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time. In 1968 and 1970, they published papers in which they extended Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space.1, 2 According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy.”3
    Steven W. Hawking, George F.R. Ellis, “The Cosmic Black-Body Radiation and the Existence of Singularities in our Universe,” Astrophysical Journal, 152, (1968) pp. 25-36.
    Steven W. Hawking, Roger Penrose, “The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series A, 314 (1970) pp. 529-548.
    http://www.big-bang-theory.com/

  8. 8
    scordova says:

    Here is someone from the Discovery Institute who might be part of the I hate the Big Bang club:

    Was There a Big Bang by David Berlinski.

  9. 9
    Barb says:

    JW@6: I haven’t seen too many theists who want to abolish the Big Bang theory, as it could be construed as pointing to a creator (think about Genesis 1:1). It’s still around because it’s currently the best explanation for why the universe exists.

  10. 10
    scordova says:

    I haven’t seen too many theists who want to abolish the Big Bang theory

    You will if you hang out with some of the UD folks at conferences like this one:
    http://creationicc.org/

    There were 4 UD participants at the last conference:
    me, johnnyb, bevets, and Walter ReMine — even Jason Rosenhouse of PandasThumb was there!

    although Walter really is neutral on the topic of the Big Bang. I’m somewhat negative on the Big Bang, but I could fit in the ultra-skeptical neutral camp.

    I don’t think any one the planet can successfully make a case one way or another.

    One prominent theist/scientist that rejects the Big Bang:
    John Hartnett

    He asked me to consider being his student. On reflection I decided I couldn’t leave the USA to have the privilege of studying under his guidance.

  11. 11
    bornagain77 says:

    Hmm, Lead off talk at that conference?

    7:00 PM to 8:30 PM
    Genesis, Biblical Authority & the Age of the Earth
    Ken Ham
    http://creationicc.org/iccschedule.php

    Here is a debate where one can judge for themselves who has the better grasp of the facts. Both theological facts and scientific facts:

    Hugh Ross vs Ken Ham – TBN Debate
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zgueGotRqbM

    To me Hugh Ross is logical, rational, and patient, whereas Ken Ham is,, errrr, well judge for yourself what Ken Ham was like.

  12. 12
    scordova says:

    Hmm, Lead off talk at that conference?


    Ken Ham

    I’m skipping that talk, waste of time. 🙂

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