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Larry Krauss on Ben Carson’s “scientific ignorance”

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Perhaps his silliest statements have to do with our own solar system. Carson claims that our solar system is perfectly ordered—but, in fact, the motion of the planets is chaotic in the long term, and, although we can predict the motion of comets over the seventy-year period he discusses, for longer time horizons, such as millions or billions of years, the complexity of our solar system makes that practically impossible.More.

If it isn’t perfectly ordered, why is there so much life here, but we are forever hearing about endless other habitable planets that turn out probably not to be.

Anyway, fine words from a crackpot cosmologist who thinks all scientists should be militant atheists .

Election season brings ‘em out, we would guess.

Who reads the New Yorker anyway? While I have read some fine articles there, they do publish an awful lot of silly stuff.

That said, Ben Carson should not pretend to be an expert on everything.

31 Replies to “Larry Krauss on Ben Carson’s “scientific ignorance”

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Lawrence M. Krauss in the second paragraph states:

    In the speech, he made statements on subjects ranging from evolution to the Big Bang that suggest he never learned or chooses to ignore basic, well-tested scientific concepts.

    That was Krauss’s first major misstep (of which there are many missteps in his article). Perhaps Dr. Krauss, or one of his atheistic cronies, would like to show us the exact empirical evidence that has established evolution as “a well-tested scientific concept”? Or any well tested empirical evidence whatsoever that has even established evolution as a proper science in the first place?

    There is no real time empirical evidence for evolution period!

    Not one molecular machine, nor even a single protein (M. Behe, D. Axe), has ever been observed being created from scratch by unguided material processes.

    In fact, it is now known, from ‘well tested’ empirical evidence, that a single protein arising by unguided material processes is fantastically improbable.

    Yockey and a Calculator vs. Evolutionists – C. Hunter PhD Biophysics – Sept. 2015

    With no real time empirical basis, nor even a rigid mathematical basis that can be tested against for accuracy as other theories of science have, Darwinism is simply not even a science in the first place but is instead a non-falsifiable pseudo-science that is no better than tea leaf reading.

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    – Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003

    “It is our contention that if ‘random’ is given a serious and crucial interpretation from a probabilistic point of view, the randomness postulate is highly implausible and that an adequate scientific theory of evolution must await the discovery and elucidation of new natural laws—physical, physico-chemical, and biological.”
    Murray Eden, “Inadequacies of Neo-Darwinian Evolution as a Scientific Theory,” Mathematical Challenges to the Neo-Darwinian Interpretation of Evolution, editors Paul S. Moorhead and Martin M. Kaplan, June 1967, p. 109.

    “In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable; and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality.”
    Karl Popper – The Two Fundamental Problems of the Theory of Knowledge (2014 edition), Routledge

    It’s (Much) Easier to Falsify Intelligent Design than Darwinian Evolution – Michael Behe, PhD

    A Neurosurgeon, Not A Darwinist – Michael Egnor
    Excerpt: The fight against the design inference in biology is motivated by fundamentalist atheism. Darwinists detest intelligent design theory because it is compatible with belief in God.
    But the evidence is unassailable. The most reasonable scientific explanation for functional biological complexity–the genetic code and the intricate nanotechnology inside living cells–is that they were designed by intelligent agency. There is no scientific evidence that unintelligent processes can create substantial new biological structures and function. There is no unintelligent process known to science that can generate codes and machines.
    I still consider religious explanations for biology to be unscientific at best, dogma at worst. But I understand now that Darwinism itself is a religious creed that masquerades as science. Darwin’s theory of biological origins is atheism’s creation myth, and atheists defend their dogma with religious fervor.
    – Michael Egnor is a professor and vice chairman of the department of neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

  2. 2
    daveS says:

    If it isn’t perfectly ordered, why is there so much life here, but we are forever hearing about endless other habitable planets that turn out probably not to be.

    Can we first have an operational definition of a “perfectly ordered” dynamical system? If not, then this is just more loose talk from Dr Carson, which is impossible to evaluate.

    Krauss is of course right in that the solar system is chaotic in the technical sense.

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being”
    — Sir Isaac Newton. “Principia Mathematica” (1687)

    as to Krauss’s statement that was highlighted in the OP:

    “Perhaps his silliest statements have to do with our own solar system. Carson claims that our solar system is perfectly ordered—but, in fact, the motion of the planets is chaotic in the long term, and, although we can predict the motion of comets over the seventy-year period he discusses, for longer time horizons, such as millions or billions of years, the complexity of our solar system makes that practically impossible.”

    Actually Dr. Carson has a valid point here. If our solar system were chaotic in the long term, as Krauss himself expects in his atheistic Naturalism, then we should not expect the solar system to have maintained the long term stability necessary for life that it, despite Dr. Krauss’s apparent denial to the contrary, in fact has.

    Of Gaps, Fine-Tuning and Newton’s Solar System – Cornelius Hunter – July 2011
    Excerpt: The new results indicate that the solar system could become unstable if diminutive Mercury, the inner most planet, enters into a dance with Jupiter, the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest of all. The resulting upheaval could leave several planets in rubble, including our own. Using Newton’s model of gravity, the chances of such a catastrophe were estimated to be greater than 50/50 over the next 5 billion years. But interestingly, accounting for Albert Einstein’s minor adjustments (according to his theory of relativity), reduces the chances to just 1%.

    Milankovitch Cycle Design – Hugh Ross – August 2011
    Excerpt: In all three cases, Waltham proved that the actual Earth/Moon/solar system manifests unusually low Milankovitch levels and frequencies compared to similar alternative systems. ,,, Waltham concluded, “It therefore appears that there has been anthropic selection for slow Milankovitch cycles.” That is, it appears Earth was purposely designed with slow, low-level Milankovitch cycles so as to allow humans to exist and thrive.

    Evidence from self-consistent solar system n-body simulations is presented to argue that the Earth- Moon system (EM) plays an important dynamical role in the inner solar system, stabilizing the orbits of Venus and Mercury by suppressing a strong secular resonance of period 8.1 Myr near Venus’s heliocentric distance. The EM thus appears to play a kind of “gravitational keystone” role in the terrestrial precinct, for without it, the orbits of Venus and Mercury become immediately destabilized. … First, we find that EM is performing an essential dynamical role by suppressing or “damping out” a secular resonance driven by the giant planets near the Venusian heliocentric distance. The source of the resonance is a libration of the Jovian longitude of perihelion with the Venusian perihelion longitude.

    “Earth is a precious jewel possessing a rare combination of qualities that happen to make it almost perfect for sustaining life. Lucky Planet investigates the idea that good fortune, infrequently repeated elsewhere in the Universe, played a significant role in allowing the long-term life-friendliness of our home and that it is unlikely we will succeed in finding similarly complex life elsewhere in the Universe.”
    London astrobiologist – David Waltham, Lucky Planet: Why Earth is Exceptional — and What That Means for Life in the Universe (Basic Books, 2014), p. 1.)

    “If some god-like being could be given the opportunity to plan a sequence of events with the expressed goal of duplicating our ‘Garden of Eden’, that power would face a formidable task. With the best of intentions but limited by natural laws and materials it is unlikely that Earth could ever be truly replicated. Too many processes in its formation involve sheer luck. Earth-like planets could certainly be made, but each would differ in critical ways. This is well illustrated by the fantastic variety of planets and satellites (moons) that formed in our solar system. They all started with similar building materials, but the final products are vastly different from each other . . . . The physical events that led to the formation and evolution of the physical Earth required an intricate set of nearly irreproducible circumstances.”
    Peter B. Ward and Donald Brownlee, Rare Earth: Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe (New York: Copernicus, 2000)

    In fact, other solar systems are found to vary widely, displaying ‘startling diversity’ in their makeups:

    Paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Suggests Our Solar System Is Exceptional – Casey Luskin – September 10, 2015
    Excerpt: describes these findings as follows:
    There’s something about our solar system that appears to be unusual. For some reason, most of our bigger planets are far away from our host star, while closer in are smaller, rocky worlds, including Earth itself.
    This is not the case for many extrasolar systems that have been discovered. So-called “hot Jupiters” — huge gas giant planets that nestle close to their star — have been found in a few examples. In other instances, planets slightly bigger than Earth are so close to their stars as to be uninhabitable.
    What this means is that our solar system stands out dramatically compared to other solar systems we’ve discovered and that getting rocky planets orbiting near their star as Earth does, in the circumstellar habitable zone, requires a very exceptional set of circumstances.

    How weird is our Solar System? Is it odd like your quirky uncle, or odd like a leprechaun riding a unicorn? – May 2015
    Excerpt: “It’s increasingly seeming that the solar system is something of an oddball,” says Gregory Laughlin, a planetary scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz in the US.,,,
    Once you get over the fact that planets are as common as stars, you’re faced with their startling diversity. “We kind of always vaguely hoped and expected planets to be common,” Laughlin says. “And that’s absolutely right – they are common. But they are weirder than our own solar system would lead us to expect.”,,,
    “Having nothing interior to Mercury’s orbit and having Jupiter itself – a massive planet on a Jupiter-like orbit – combine to make us unusual,” Laughlin says.,,,
    “Every indication right now looks like we might be rare,” Walsh says.,,,
    “There’s zero evidence that Earth-like environments are common,” Laughlin says. “There’s zero evidence that life is common.”

    In fact, what we thought we knew about solar system formation is turning out to be wrong:

    Our Very Normal Solar System Isn’t Normal Anymore by Robert Krulwich – May 07, 2013
    Excerpt: As of this month, we’ve discovered 884 planets, 692 planetary systems, 132 of them with more than one planet and, strange to tell, almost none of them look like us.,,,
    “Before we ever discovered any [planets outside the solar system] we thought we understood the formation of planetary systems pretty deeply.” We had our frost line. We knew how solar systems formed. “It was a really beautiful theory,” he says. “And, clearly, thoroughly wrong.”,,,
    “It really is something that I find deeply weird,” he (an astronomer) writes. “What does it all mean? I don’t know. I am certain that this single-minded emphasis on planets-in-habitable-zones is making people forget that there is still a lot of weird stuff happening out there and that we still don’t even understand the basics of how we ourselves got here.”

    Moreover, much to the disappointment of Star Trek fans everywhere, the avalanche of recent scientific evidence has found the probability of finding another planet with the ability to host advanced life in this universe is not nearly as likely as astronomer Frank Drake had originally predicted (i.e. the ‘Drake Equation’).

    Carl Sagan – Cosmos – Drake Equation – video

    Contrary to that simplistic list of necessary conditions for a planet to host life in the Drake equation, the actual list of necessary conditions for life is far more lengthy than either Drake or Sagan ever imagined.

    Eric Metaxas – Does Science Argue for or against God? – animated video

    Requirements to sustain intelligent physical life: – Hugh Ross PhD Astrophysics
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. 10^-1333
    dependency factors estimate approx. 10^-324
    longevity requirements estimate approx. 10^45
    Probability for occurrence of all 816 parameters approx. 10^-1054
    Maximum possible number of life support bodies in observable universe approx. 10^22
    Thus, less than 1 chance in 10^1032 exists that even one such life-support body would occur anywhere in the universe without invoking divine miracle

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    corrected link:

    Carl Sagan – Cosmos – Drake Equation – video

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    As to Entropy, i.e. the second law of thermodymanics, in particular, entropy is particularly devastating to atheistic explanations, i.e. just so stories, as to how the universe came to be.
    Since Krauss is an militant atheist, I don’t really blame him for not dealing forthrightly with the question of where the initial entropic order came from for the universe, and for just leaving the question hanging in the air as he did.

    The initial order of the universe, from entropic considerations, is found to be 1 in 10^10^123.

    On the other hand, the fine tuning of the cosmological constant is ‘merely’ 1 in 10^120, and is , by itself, enough to give atheists pause as to how the universe came to be.

    At the 8:15 minute mark of the following video, Richard Dawkins is set straight by Steven Weinberg, who is an atheist himself, on just how big the ‘problem’ of the 1 in 10^120 Cosmological Constant is for atheists:

    “I don’t think one should underestimate the fix we are in. That in the end we will not be able to explain the world. That we will have some set of laws of nature (that) we will not be able to derive them on the grounds simply of mathematical consistency. Because we can already think of mathematically consistent laws that don’t describe the world as we know it. And we will always be left with a question ‘why are the laws nature what they are rather than some other laws?’. And I don’t see any way out of that.
    The fact that the constants of nature are suitable for life, which is clearly true, we observe,,,”
    (Weinberg then comments on the multiverse conjecture of atheists)
    “No one has constructed a theory in which that is true. I mean,, the (multiverse) theory would be speculative, but we don’t even have a theory in which that speculation is mathematically realized. But it is a possibility.”
    Steven Weinberg – as stated to Richard Dawkins at the 8:15 minute mark of the following video
    Leonard Susskind – Richard Dawkins and Steven Weinberg – 1 in 10^120 – Cosmological Constant points to intelligent design – video

    Dr. Hugh Ross weighs in here:

    Hugh Ross PhD. – Scientific Evidence For Cosmological Constant (1 in 10^120 Expansion Of The Universe) – video

    Here is the paper from the atheistic astrophysicists, that Dr. Ross referenced in the preceding video, that speaks of the ‘disturbing implications’ of the finely tuned expanding universe (1 in 10^120 cosmological constant):

    Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant – Dyson, Kleban, Susskind (each are self proclaimed atheists) – 2002
    Excerpt: “Arranging the universe as we think it is arranged would have required a miracle.,,,”
    “The question then is whether the origin of the universe can be a naturally occurring fluctuation, or must it be due to an external agent which starts the system out in a specific low entropy state?”
    page 19: “A unknown agent [external to time and space] intervened [in cosmic history] for reasons of its own.,,,”
    Page 21 “The only reasonable conclusion is that we don’t live in a universe with a true cosmological constant”.

    If atheists find the implications of a 1 in 10^120 cosmological constant ‘disturbing’ because of the Theistic implications involved, then they should be driven completely mad by the 1 in 10^10^123 initial state of entropy of the universe.

    Although the 1 part in 10^120 cosmological constant far exceeds, by many orders of magnitude, the highest tolerance ever achieved in any man-made machine, which is approx. 1 part in 10^22 for a gravity wave detector, according to esteemed British mathematical physicist Roger Penrose (1931-present), the odds of one particular individual constant, the ‘original phase-space volume’ of the universe, required such precision that the “Creator’s aim must have been to an accuracy of 1 part in 10^10^123”. This number is gargantuan. If this number were written out in its entirety, 1 with 10^123 zeros to the right, it could not be written on a piece of paper the size of the entire visible universe, even if a number were written down on each sub-atomic particle in the entire universe, since the universe only has 10^80 sub-atomic particles in it. In fact, it would take trillions upon trillions of universes just to write that number out in ordinary notation.

    1 part in 10^10^123 initial Entropy of the Universe, the Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory and the Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon – video

    “The time-asymmetry is fundamentally connected to with the Second Law of Thermodynamics: indeed, the extraordinarily special nature (to a greater precision than about 1 in 10^10^123, in terms of phase-space volume) can be identified as the “source” of the Second Law (Entropy).”
    Roger Penrose – The Physics of the Small and Large: What is the Bridge Between Them?

    “This now tells us how precise the Creator’s aim must have been: namely to an accuracy of one part in 10^10^123.”
    Roger Penrose (from the Emperor’s New Mind, Penrose, pp 339-345 – 1989)

    “The ‘accuracy of the Creator’s aim’ would have had to be in 10^10^123”
    Hawking, S. and Penrose, R., The Nature of Space and Time, Princeton, Princeton University Press (1996), 34, 35.

    In fact, it is such extraordinary precision that is witnessed in the initial 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of the universe that drives atheism/naturalism into complete epistemological failure in regards to trying to account for why our universe was brought into being at such an extremely ordered entropic state.

    Multiverse and the Design Argument – William Lane Craig
    Excerpt: Or again, if our universe is but one member of a multiverse, then we ought to be observing highly extraordinary events, like horses’ popping into and out of existence by random collisions, or perpetual motion machines, since these are vastly more probable than all of nature’s constants and quantities’ falling by chance into the virtually infinitesimal life-permitting range. Observable universes like those strange worlds are simply much more plenteous in the ensemble of universes than worlds like ours and, therefore, ought to be observed by us if the universe were but a random member of a multiverse of worlds. Since we do not have such observations, that fact strongly disconfirms the multiverse hypothesis. On naturalism, at least, it is therefore highly probable that there is no multiverse. — Penrose puts it bluntly “these world ensemble hypothesis are worse than useless in explaining the anthropic fine-tuning of the universe”.

    Does a Multiverse Explain the Fine Tuning of the Universe? – Dr. Craig (observer selection effect vs. Boltzmann Brains) – video

    A Matter of Considerable Gravity: On the Purported Detection of Gravitational Waves and Cosmic Inflation – Bruce Gordon – April 4, 2014
    Excerpt: Thirdly, at least two paradoxes result from the inflationary multiverse proposal that suggest our place in such a multiverse must be very special: the “Boltzmann Brain Paradox” and the “Youngness Paradox.” In brief, if the inflationary mechanism is autonomously operative in a way that generates a multiverse, then with probability indistinguishable from one (i.e., virtual necessity) the typical observer in such a multiverse is an evanescent thermal fluctuation with memories of a past that never existed (a Boltzmann brain) rather than an observer of the sort we take ourselves to be. Alternatively, by a second measure, post-inflationary universes should overwhelmingly have just been formed, which means that our existence in an old universe like our own has a probability that is effectively zero (i.e., it’s nigh impossible). So if our universe existed as part of such a multiverse, it would not be at all typical, but rather infinitely improbable (fine-tuned) with respect to its age and compatibility with stable life-forms.

    BRUCE GORDON: Hawking’s irrational arguments – October 2010
    Excerpt: ,,,For instance, we find multiverse cosmologists debating the “Boltzmann Brain” problem: In the most “reasonable” models for a multiverse, it is immeasurably more likely that our consciousness is associated with a brain that has spontaneously fluctuated into existence in the quantum vacuum than it is that we have parents and exist in an orderly universe with a 13.7 billion-year history. This is absurd. The multiverse hypothesis is therefore falsified because it renders false what we know to be true about ourselves. Clearly, embracing the multiverse idea entails a nihilistic irrationality that destroys the very possibility of science.
    Universes do not “spontaneously create” on the basis of abstract mathematical descriptions, nor does the fantasy of a limitless multiverse trump the explanatory power of transcendent intelligent design. What Mr. Hawking’s contrary assertions show is that mathematical savants can sometimes be metaphysical simpletons. Caveat emptor.
    per Washington Times

    Of related interest to the initial 1 in 10^10^123 entropy of the universe, is the following:

    Quantum Zeno effect
    “It has been experimentally confirmed,, that unstable particles will not decay, or will decay less rapidly, if they are observed. Somehow, observation changes the quantum system. We’re talking pure observation, not interacting with the system in any way.”
    Douglas Ell – Counting to God – pg. 189 – 2014 – Douglas Ell graduated early from MIT, where he double majored in math and physics. He then obtained a masters in theoretical mathematics from the University of Maryland. After graduating from law school, magna cum laude, he became a prominent attorney.

    Interaction-free measurements by quantum Zeno stabilization of ultracold atoms – 14 April 2015
    Excerpt: In our experiments, we employ an ultracold gas in an unstable spin configuration, which can undergo a rapid decay. The object—realized by a laser beam—prevents this decay because of the indirect quantum Zeno effect and thus, its presence can be detected without interacting with a single atom.

    This is just fascinating. Why in blue blazes should conscious observation put a freeze on entropic decay unless consciousness was and is more foundational to reality than the 1 in 10^10^123 initial entropy is?

    Quote, Verse, and Music

    Romans 8:18-21
    I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.

    Psalm 102:25-27
    Of old You laid the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You will endure; Yes, they will all grow old like a garment; Like a cloak You will change them, And they will be changed. But You are the same, And Your years will have no end.

    “We have the sober scientific certainty that the heavens and earth shall ‘wax old as doth a garment’….
    Dark indeed would be the prospects of the human race if unilluminated by that light which reveals ‘new heavens and a new earth.’”
    Sir William Thomson, Lord Kelvin (1824 – 1907) – pioneer in many different fields, particularly electromagnetism and thermodynamics.

    The Piano Guys – When Stars and Salt collide – Coldplay, A Sky Full of Stars (piano/cello cover)

  6. 6
    Robert Byers says:

    what has this Krauss guy ever patented or discovered? Why is he a science supergero? Carson does real things with his scientific knowledge. Not just guessing and memorizing other peoples work. Carson is hands on and must see things work in real life.
    Judege not lest ye be judged. Know your place if your telling other people to know thier place.

  7. 7
    kairosfocus says:

    BA77, you have brought some excellent issues to the table; unfortunately in a message dominance deeply polarised media culture many are not even going to hear about this sort of balancing factor. And again, we see how Dr Carson (whatever his limitations) has a significant point that is not being squarely faced by his detractors. Just perhaps, it is prophetically and ethically important for him to have stirred the pot at such a time as this. I note how — in an eerie parallel — in Mt 16, Jesus observed, you read the signs of the skies but fail to discern the signs of our times, as he counselled a nation on the brink of a suicidally and willfully blind march of folly [Rome simply was not like the Seleucid Greeks of Judas Maccabeus’ day). KF

  8. 8
    daveS says:


    Do you believe that the solar system is in fact not chaotic?

  9. 9
    Virgil Cain says:

    If the solar system was chaotic I wouldn’t expect to see the planets orbiting in nice neat paths around the Sun. That said there are chaotic elements to the solar system but all of the big players are ordered.

  10. 10
    Virgil Cain says:

    Harvard University is offering a free online course: Super-Earths And Life
    Learn about alien life, how we search for it, and what this teaches us about our place in the universe.

    Please opt for the ($49) certificate so they can keep offering these free courses

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, I believe that we don’t understand the half about our solar system. KF

  12. 12
    ppolish says:

    “DS, I believe that we don’t understand the half about our solar system. KF”

    Exactly KF. Closer to home, theories on how the Moon formed and how Water inundated the Earth are still under serious scientific debate.

    And btw DS – Chaos is guided brahaha. Guided & Purposeful. Maybe I should not laugh:0

  13. 13
    daveS says:


    Exactly KF. Closer to home, theories on how the Moon formed and how Water inundated the Earth are still under serious scientific debate.

    Sure, but this doesn’t have much if anything to do with whether the solar system is chaotic or not. And even if “we don’t understand half about our solar system”, I’m sure the fine-tuning arguments won’t go away.

    And btw DS – Chaos is guided brahaha. Guided & Purposeful. Maybe I should not laugh:0

    Do you have any evidence that chaos is guided?

    BTW, it’s interesting to note that you claim chaos is evidence for design, while others seem to think a non-chaotic solar system would also be evidence for design.

    Heads you win, tails I lose!

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    To add further weight to the Theistic contention that the solar system, and particularly the Earth, were not the result of chaos but were intended by the Mind of God from the moment of creation, it is now found that the ecliptic — the plane of Earth’s orbit projected onto the celestial sphere — is aligned parallel to the plane between the lobes of the cosmic microwave background.

    Why is the solar system cosmically aligned? BY Dragan Huterer – 2007
    The solar system seems to line up with the largest cosmic features. Is this mere coincidence or a signpost to deeper insights?
    Caption under figure on page 43:
    ODD ALIGNMENTS hide within the multipoles of the cosmic microwave background. In this combination of the quadrupole and octopole, a plane bisects the sphere between the largest warm and cool lobes. The ecliptic — the plane of Earth’s orbit projected onto the celestial sphere — is aligned parallel to the plane between the lobes.
    Here is the actual graph of the alignment from the Huterer 2007 paper (worth a thousand words):

    Here is a 2013 paper which confirmed Huterer’s 2007 paper:

    Large-scale alignments from WMAP and Planck – 2013
    We revisit the alignments of the largest structures observed in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) using the seven and nine-year WMAP and first-year Planck data releases. The observed alignments — the quadrupole with the octopole and their joint alignment with the direction of our motion with respect to the CMB (the dipole direction) and the geometry of the Solar System (defined by the Ecliptic plane) — are generally in good agreement with results from the previous WMAP data releases.,,, both the WMAP and Planck data confirm the alignments of the largest observable CMB modes in the Universe.

    Moreover, as if that finding was not spooky enough, besides the orbit of the earth and solar system lining up with the largest observable CMB modes in the Universe, Radio Astronomy now reveals a surprising rotational coincidence for the Earth itself in relation to the quasar and radio galaxy distributions in the universe:

    Is there a violation of the Copernican principle in radio sky? – Ashok K. Singal – May 17, 2013
    Abstract: Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) observations from the WMAP satellite have shown some unexpected anisotropies (directionally dependent observations), which surprisingly seem to be aligned with the eclipticcite {20,16,15}. The latest data from the Planck satellite have confirmed the presence of these anisotropiescite {17}. Here we report even larger anisotropies in the sky distributions of powerful extended quasars and some other sub-classes of radio galaxies in the 3CRR catalogue, one of the oldest and most intensively studies sample of strong radio sourcescite{21,22,3}. The anisotropies lie about a plane passing through the two equinoxes and the north celestial pole (NCP). We can rule out at a 99.995% confidence level the hypothesis that these asymmetries are merely due to statistical fluctuations. Further, even the distribution of observed radio sizes of quasars and radio galaxies show large systematic differences between these two sky regions. The redshift distribution appear to be very similar in both regions of sky for all sources, which rules out any local effects to be the cause of these anomalies. Two pertinent questions then arise. First, why should there be such large anisotropies present in the sky distribution of some of the most distant discrete sources implying inhomogeneities in the universe at very large scales (covering a fraction of the universe)? What is intriguing even further is why such anisotropies should lie about a great circle decided purely by the orientation of earth’s rotation axis and/or the axis of its revolution around the sun? It looks as if these axes have a preferential placement in the larger scheme of things, implying an apparent breakdown of the Copernican principle or its more generalization, cosmological principle, upon which all modern cosmological theories are based upon.

    Moreover, to add even further weight to the Theistic contention that God intended to create the Earth from the moment of creation, it is now also found that the light of the Cosmic Background Radiation is fine tuned in such a way so as to allow intelligent life like human life to discover it. (of note: this particular discovery was a dramatic confirmed prediction that Robin Collins had made by following Gonzalez’s ‘Privileged Planet Principle’ to its logical conclusion)

    The Fine-Tuning for Discoverability – Robin Collins – March 22, 2014
    Excerpt: The most dramatic confirmation of the discoverability/livability optimality thesis (DLO) is the dependence of the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMB) on the baryon to photon ratio.,,,
    …the intensity of CMB depends on the photon to baryon ratio, (??b), which is the ratio of the average number of photons per unit volume of space to the average number of baryons (protons plus neutrons) per unit volume. At present this ratio is approximately a billion to one (10^9) , but it could be anywhere from one to infinity; it traces back to the degree of asymmetry in matter and anti – matter right after the beginning of the universe – for approximately every billion particles of antimatter, there was a billion and one particles of matter.,,,
    The only livability effect this ratio has is on whether or not galaxies can form that have near – optimally livability zones. As long as this condition is met, the value of this ratio has no further effects on livability. Hence, the DLO predicts that within this range, the value of this ratio will be such as to maximize the intensity of the CMB as observed by typical observers.
    According to my calculations – which have been verified by three other physicists — to within the margin of error of the experimentally determined parameters (~20%), the value of the photon to baryon ratio is such that it maximizes the CMB. This is shown in Figure 1 below. (pg. 13)
    It is easy to see that this prediction could have been disconfirmed. In fact, when I first made the calculations in the fall of 2011, I made a mistake and thought I had refuted this thesis since those calculations showed the intensity of the CMB maximizes at a value different than the photon – baryon ratio in our universe. So, not only does the DLO lead us to expect this ratio, but it provides an ultimate explanation for why it has this value,,, This is a case of a teleological thesis serving both a predictive and an ultimate explanatory role.,,,

    Greer Heard Forum: Robin Collins – “God and the Fine-Tuning of the Universe for Discovery” – video

    Of related interest

    We Live At The Right Time In Cosmic History (To see the Cosmic Background Radiation) – Hugh Ross – video (7:12 minute mark)


    Genesis 1:1-3
    In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
    And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

    Proverbs 8:26-27
    While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, when He drew a circle on the face of the deep,

    Job 26:10
    He has inscribed a circle on the face of the waters at the boundary between light and darkness.

    Of supplemental note: The following site is also very interesting to the topic of the centrality of human life in the universe;

    The Scale of The Universe – Part 2 – interactive graph (recently updated in 2012 with cool features)

    The preceding interactive graph points out that the smallest scale visible to the human eye (as well as a human egg) is at 10^-4 meters, which ‘just so happens’ to be directly in the exponential center of all possible sizes of our physical reality. i.e. 10^-4 is, exponentially, right in the middle of 10^-35 meters, which is the smallest possible unit of length, which is Planck length, and 10^27 meters, which is the largest possible unit of ‘observable’ length since space-time was created in the Big Bang, which is the diameter of the universe. This is very interesting for, as far as I can tell, the limits to human vision (as well as the size of the human egg) could have, theoretically, been at very different positions than directly in the exponential middle.

    Verse and Inspirational video:

    Isaiah 45:18-19
    For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens, who is God, who formed the earth and made it, who established it, who did not create it in vain, who formed it to be inhabited: “I am the Lord, and there is no other. I have not spoken in secret, in a dark place of the earth; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, ‘seek me in vain’; I, the Lord speak righteousness, I declare things that are right.”

    The Mountain – Inspirational video

  15. 15
    ppolish says:

    “Heads you win, tails I lose”. That is true, DS, and ignorance of that truth is a poor defense. Feigning ignorance even worse. Just saying.

    BA77, that cosmic alignment, that cosmological “Axis of Evil”, is a dirty little secret for many scientists. They want to dismiss it as a coincidence. Very unlikely coincidence they want to believe. Something that a multiverse can’t explain away.

  16. 16
    daveS says:


    That’s not very good for ID as science, for obvious reasons.

    Can you explain your evidence which shows that chaos is guided and purposeful?

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:


    The main issue on fine tuning is cosmological — laws of nature, cosmos forming circumstances etc — and would be there even if earth-like planets and solar systems were a dime a dozen.

    Likewise, as cited from John Leslie, because of the locally isolated, multiply constrained operating point we address, it is so in the face of even a multiverse, and that has not brought to bear yet what we should experience on such a multiverse, a Boltzmann brain type world.

    The issue on our sol system is its functionally specific cluster of circumstances that make the long term conditions of earth a rarity.

    The potential for destabilisation implied by modern thoughts on planets and ejection or destruction of some planets, are a part of why I said, the half we do not know. And yes, part of what we do know points to nonlinear systems sensitively dependent on initial and intervening conditions. All of which puts “theories” of sol system formation under questions beyond the traditional one. Newton’s philosophically unfashionable tending angels may well make a comeback for all we know. Scott Tremaine of IAS summarises him:

    After Newton discovered his famous laws of motion and gravity, he used these to determine the motion of a single planet around the Sun and showed that the planet followed an ellipse with the Sun at one focus. However, the actual solar system contains eight planets, six of which were known to Newton, and each planet exerts small, periodically varying, gravitational forces on all the others.

    The puzzle posed by Newton is whether the net effect of these periodic forces on the planetary orbits averages to zero over long times, so that the planets continue to follow orbits similar to the ones they have today, or whether these small mutual interactions gradually degrade the regular arrangement of the orbits in the solar system, leading eventually to a collision between two planets, the ejection of a planet to interstellar space, or perhaps the incineration of a planet by the Sun. The interplanetary gravitational interactions are very small—the force on Earth from Jupiter, the largest planet, is only about ten parts per million of the force from the Sun—but the time available for their effects to accumulate is even longer: over four billion years since the solar system was formed, and almost eight billion years until the death of the Sun.

    Newton’s comment on this problem is worth quoting: “the Planets move one and the same way in Orbs concentrick, some inconsiderable Irregularities excepted, which may have arisen from the mutual Actions of Comets and Planets upon one another, and which will be apt to increase, till this System wants a Reformation.” Evidently Newton believed that the solar system was unstable, and that occasional divine intervention was required to restore the well-spaced, nearly circular planetary orbits that we observe today. According to the historian Michael Hoskin, in Newton’s world view “God demonstrated his continuing concern for his clockwork universe by entering into what we might describe as a permanent servicing contract” for the solar system . . .

    BTW, as Newton’s major work is The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, he cannot have been “seduced into” philosophical aspects, he started there. We should not project our prejudices.

    And I will confess freely that simulations in computers are not reality, especially where butterfly effect type phenomena may lurk. With other disturbances that are known or even unknown unknowns.

    Further multiply by the system’s oscillating orbit of the galaxy (thus implying potential interactions with things that are utterly uncorrelated . . . don’t overlook the passing star planetary formation hypothesis . . . and hypotheses or models is a more apt term than “theories”) and you will begin to understand why I think the first point we should take on board is recognition of our limitations.

    Let me clip a bit later:

    The most straightforward way to solve the problem of the stability of the solar system is to follow the planetary orbits for a few billion years on a computer. All of the planetary masses and their present orbits are known very accurately and the forces from other bodies—passing stars, the Galactic tidal field, comets, asteroids, planetary satellites, etc.—are either easy to incorporate or extremely small. There are two main challenges. The first is to devise numerical methods that can follow the motions of the planets with sufficient accuracy over a few billion orbits; this was solved by the development in the 1990s of symplectic integration algorithms, which preserve the geometrical structure of dynamical flows in multidimensional phase space and thereby provide much better long-term performance than general-purpose integrators.The second challenge was the overall processing time needed to follow planetary orbits for billions of years; this was solved by the exponential growth in speed of computing hardware that has persisted for the last five decades. At the present time, following planetary systems over billion-year intervals is difficult mostly because it is a serial problem—you have to follow the orbits from 2011 to 2020 before you can follow them from 2021 to 2030—whereas most of the computational speed gains of the last few years have been achieved by parallelization, the distributing of a computing problem among hundreds or thousands of processors that work simultaneously.

    So what are the results? Most of the calculations agree that eight billion years from now, just before the Sun swallows the inner planets and incinerates the outer ones, all of the planets will still be in orbits very similar to their present ones. In this limited sense, the solar system is stable. However, a closer look at the orbit histories reveals that the story is more nuanced. After a few tens of millions of years, calculations using slightly different parameters (e.g., different planetary masses or initial positions within the small ranges allowed by current observations) or different numerical algorithms begin to diverge at an alarming rate. More precisely, the growth of small differences changes from linear to exponential: at early times, the differences in position at successive time intervals grow as 1 mm, 2 mm, 3 mm, etc., while at later times they grow as 1 mm, 2 mm, 4 mm, 8mm, 16 mm, etc. This behavior is the signature of mathematical chaos, and implies that for practical purposes the positions of the planets are unpredictable further than about a hundred million years in the future because of their extreme sensitivity to initial conditions. As an example, shifting your pencil from one side of your desk to the other today could change the gravitational forces on Jupiter enough to shift its position from one side of the Sun to the other a billion years from now. The unpredictability of the solar system over very long times is of course ironic since this was the prototypical system that inspired Laplacian determinism.

    Fortunately, most of this unpredictability is in the orbital phases of the planets, not the shapes and sizes of their orbits, so the chaotic nature of the solar system does not normally lead to collisions between planets. However, the presence of chaos implies that we can only study the long-term fate of the solar system in a statistical sense, by launching in our computers an armada of solar systems with slightly different parameters at the present time—typically, each planet is shifted by a random amount of about a millimeter—and following their evolution. When this is done, it turns out that in about 1 percent of these systems, Mercury’s orbit becomes sufficiently eccentric so that it collides with Venus before the death of the Sun. Thus, the answer to the question of the stability of the solar system—more precisely, will all the planets survive until the death of the Sun—is neither “yes” nor “no” but “yes, with 99 percent probability.”

    In short, on these models we have had a very happy career in the Monte-Carlo- cum- billiard balls game, though all that stuff about early bombardments and collisions forming the Moon etc give me serious pause in a context where walking about on earth could in principle affect solar system stability.

    Some due recognition of limitations and of the delicate balance implied is warranted.

    And yes, that does smack of fine tuning (in a sense different than that for cosmological laws and circumstances) as at minimum a significant though often unacknowledged candidate.


  18. 18
    daveS says:


    Yes, I withdraw the part of my post #13 referring to fine-tuning. I haven’t identified any contradiction in your making “fine-tuning” arguments about the solar system (as described in the second half of your post) while remaining agnostic about the issue of stability.

  19. 19
    Bob Enyart says:

    Hate to be self-promoting (really) but couldn’t help myself with this from Krauss, whom I’ve had an on-air spat with, re: the solar system, for which we’ve collected a list of materialists origins problems at namely:

    From its physics to its major predictions, the entire theory of solar system formation, the nebular hypothesis, has failed. Real Science Radio quotes NASA’s exoplanet database manager Caltech astronomer Mike Brown who said: “Before we ever discovered any [planets outside the solar system] we thought we understood the formation of planetary systems pretty deeply… It was a really beautiful theory. And, clearly, thoroughly wrong.” Exoplanets, with their masses, sizes, composition and orbital characteristics differ from what had been predicted for decades by the standard model of solar system formation, including with their retrograde orbits, highly inclined orbits and hot jupiters, effectively falsifying that model.

    In addition to Pluto’s youthful complexion lacking that billions-of-years-of-sweeping-up-TNO-dust look, many other impressive scientific discoveries have completely falsified the nebular hypothesis of solar system formation include these (links at RSR):

    – exoplanets contradicting the predictions of the theory
    – that our Sun is missing nearly 100% of its predicted spin
    – that our Sun’s rotation is seven degrees off the ecliptic
    – the missing predicted uniform distribution pattern of solar system isotopes
    – the missing expected uniform distribution of Earth’s radioactivity
    – the contrary-to-expectations fine tuning of the solar system
    – the many contrary-to-expectations transient events in the solar system
    – that proponents try to prop up the theory by claiming ubiquitous planetary catastrophism
    – planetary and star formation problems have seemingly intractable physics problems (consider the Philae landing)
    – contrary to an Oort or Kuiper origin, comets contain earth-like minerals and rounded boulders
    – short-period comets still exist even though they have lifespans of only thousands of years
    – the 1,346 trans-Neptunian objects with known orbits reach perihelion at the ecliptic
    – that Mercury has greater density than can be accounted for by evolutionary accretion
    – that Uranus rotates perpendicularly and Venus rotates backwards.
    So the BBC, Nova, Nye, Lawrence Krauss, etc., wrongly built public confidence in the secular origins nebular hypothesis story. The longstanding claims of solar system formation were invented ad hoc to account for the particulars of our own solar system. Now that thousands of exoplanets are being discovered, the story telling will simply become, as with epicycles and levels of Darwinian selection, shall we say, more complex. 🙂

  20. 20
    daveS says:

    Hey Bob,

    I see a post on your website about the movie “Finding Noah”. Did they find the Ark?

  21. 21
    Bob Enyart says:

    Hi daveS! No spoiler alert here. It’s a one-night-only Fathom Event this Thursday at 7 p.m. at a theater near you. I think you’d enjoy it, no? And Dave, just fyi, Krauss said on our program (as Nasa does, etc.) that it’s the Big Bang’s predictions that have confirmed the theory, so we’ve become somewhat expert on that topic. If you Google: big bang predictions, of over a million relevant pages, our article at kgov is ranked #1 with a rather stunning rundown of the theory’s actual failed predictions. Likewise, try Googling: evidence against the big bang. (We’re trying to corner the market on those two search terms 🙂 )

  22. 22
    daveS says:


    I might pay to see that. Probably some nice scenery at least. Plus Gary Sinise. I’m a little over 100 miles from the nearest venue.

  23. 23
    Bob Enyart says:

    Ouch, 100 miles.

  24. 24
    daveS says:

    Yes, we drive nearly 100 miles here to get to the next town with more than a couple hundred residents.

  25. 25
    Bob Enyart says:

    Dave you being out in the hinterlands
    you might have the time on your hands
    to say if the nebular hypothesis withstands
    the scrutiny that list above demands.

  26. 26
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, My longstanding view has been we don’t know the half about the sol system. Newton clearly worried about instability. For me, there are far too many imponderables to be overly optimistic about stability in fact. And, it is fairly clear we live on a rather unusual and I daresay privileged planet. KF

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, even I have 5,000 “neighbours,” plus of course one volcano. To go to a real town is a 1 1/2 hr ferry ride or a 10 minute puddle jumper trip, to Antigua. KF

  28. 28
  29. 29
    daveS says:

    Interesting link, KF.

  30. 30
    kairosfocus says:

    DS, Yup, as said, we don’t know the half. KF

  31. 31
    bornagain77 says:

    Dr. Ben Carson on Eric Metaxas’s show today! About the Ivy League Professor who called him “Coon of the Year” and about political correctness in general, and how he’s been a crusader against it. TUNE IN! has a list of all the stations and times, OR you can listen right there LIVE via streaming!!!

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