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Darwinian atheist slams Harvard astronomer on our cosmically unique position

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And guess why? From David Klinghoffer at Evolution News & Views:

Writing in the Washington Post, Harvard astronomer Howard Smith forcefully blunts Stephen Hawking’s assertion that “The human race is just a chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet.” Of course, it’s not only Dr. Hawking who says as much — denying human exceptionalism is close to universal orthodoxy among the socio-academic demographic he occupies. Carl Sagan put the same view a little more mildly: “We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star.”

Smith points out, however, that science considered objectively is much closer to the exceptionalist conclusion.

Sure, but…

Atheists aren’t having any of it. At Why Evolution Is True, biologist Jerry Coyne hits back, complaining that Smith doesn’t confess right up front that he is in fact, as Smith himself has written elsewhere, an observant Jew. Coyne frets that Smith is a “religious Jew who spends his time reconciling science with the mystical tenets of the Kaballah.” Actually from his bio it appears that Smith spends his time working as a “lecturer in the Harvard University Department of Astronomy and a senior astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.” Coyne, a retired academic who spends a fair amount of his own time posting pictures and videos of cute cats, rants … More.

Ranting about religion is socially okay if one is an atheist like Coyne. In fact, organizing persecutions against declared non-atheists is okay. Those are the rules accepted among our opinion leaders, including hordes of compliant church-going dhimmis. They secretly assume that being an atheist and a Darwin defender proves that Coyne is smart. They never stop to wonder what else Coyne has going for him. Unless, of course, Darwinian atheism is the latest new branch of science.

All that said, one rather wishes people did not attach as much importance to being published in the Washington Post. Woodward and Bernstein are long retired and the paper is the hobby of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos. Books will be written about the way in which traditional media like the Post are demonstrating an utter inability to grasp what is happening in their historic areas of competence, such as reading American voters’ opinions, 2016. Never mind sponsoring a serious discussion of the universe.

A person with ideas worth listening to, like Smith, should really publish with people with a better current track record. Just a thought.

See also: Mathematics: “Particle collisions are somehow linked to mathematical ‘motives.’”
“There is a connection from nature to algebraic geometry and periods, and with hindsight, it’s not a coincidence,” said Dirk Kreimer, a physicist at Humboldt University in Berlin.

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3 Replies to “Darwinian atheist slams Harvard astronomer on our cosmically unique position

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    as to this comment:

    “Coyne frets that Smith is a “religious Jew who spends his time reconciling science with the mystical tenets of the Kaballah.”

    Although Coyne, an atheist, apparently strongly believes being a ‘religious Jew’, or a Christian, automatically disqualifies someone from being a real scientist, the fact of the matter is that if anything would ever automatically disqualify someone from being a real scientist it would be if that person were an atheistic materialist, such as Coyne himself proudly professes himself to be.

    Let us be VERY clear to the fact that ALL of science, every discipline within science, is dependent on basic Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and the ability of our mind to comprehend that rational intelligibility. Modern science was born, and continues to be dependent on, those basic Theistic presuppositions:.,,,

    Science and Theism: Concord, not Conflict* – Robert C. Koons
    IV. The Dependency of Science Upon Theism (Page 21)
    Excerpt: Far from undermining the credibility of theism, the remarkable success of science in modern times is a remarkable confirmation of the truth of theism. It was from the perspective of Judeo-Christian theism—and from the perspective alone—that it was predictable that science would have succeeded as it has. Without the faith in the rational intelligibility of the world and the divine vocation of human beings to master it, modern science would never have been possible, and, even today, the continued rationality of the enterprise of science depends on convictions that can be reasonably grounded only in theistic metaphysics.

    Moreover, if we cast aside those basic Theistic presuppositions about the rational intelligibility of the universe and the ability of our mind to comprehend that rational intelligibility, and try to use naturalism, i.e. methodological naturalism, as our basis for understanding the universe, and for practicing science, then everything within that atheistic/naturalistic worldview, (i.e. supposed evidence for Darwinian evolution, observations of reality, beliefs about reality, sense of self, free will, even reality itself), collapses into self refuting, unrestrained, flights of fantasy and imagination.

    Darwinian evolution, and atheism/naturalism in general, are built entirely upon a framework of illusions and fantasy
    Excerpt: Thus, basically, without God, everything within the atheistic/naturalistic worldview, (i.e. supposed evidence for Darwinian evolution, observations of reality, beliefs about reality, sense of self, free will, even reality itself), collapses into self refuting, unrestrained, flights of fantasy and imagination.
    It would be hard to fathom a more unscientific worldview than Darwinian evolution and Atheistic materialism/naturalism in general have turned out to be.
    Scientists should definitely stick with the worldview that brought them to the dance! i.e Christianity!

    To reiterate, it would be hard to fathom a worldview that is more antagonistic to modern science than Darwinian evolution, and Atheistic Materialism and/or Naturalism in general, have turned out to be.


    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test everything; hold fast what is good.

    Moreover, modern science itself reveals that we are far from just being, as Hawking put it, ‘chemical scum on a moderate-sized planet’.

    Hawking’s own area of expertise, which he cut his teeth on, i.e. General Relativity,,,

    “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

    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.

    Hawking’s own area of expertise, which he cut his teeth on, i.e. General Relativity, gives us powerful evidence that humans are not nearly as inconsequential as Hawking, (and Coyne), would prefer to believe.

    In what I consider an absolutely fascinating discovery, 4-dimensional (4D) space-time was created in the Big Bang and continues to ‘expand equally in all places’:

    Where is the centre of the universe?:
    Excerpt: There is no centre of the universe! According to the standard theories of cosmology, the universe started with a “Big Bang” about 14 thousand million years ago and has been expanding ever since. Yet there is no centre to the expansion; it is the same everywhere. The Big Bang should not be visualized as an ordinary explosion. The universe is not expanding out from a centre into space; rather, the whole universe is expanding and it is doing so equally at all places, as far as we can tell.

    Thus from a 3-dimensional (3D) perspective, any particular 3D spot in the universe is to be considered just as ‘center of the universe’ as any other particular spot in the universe is to be considered ‘center of the universe’. This centrality found for any 3D place in the universe is because the universe is a 4D expanding hypersphere, analogous in 3D to the surface of an expanding balloon. All points on the surface are moving away from each other, and every point can be considered central to the expansion, if that’s where you live.

    You Technically Are the Center of the Universe – May 2016
    Excerpt: (due to the 1 in 10^120 finely tuned expansion of the 4-D space-time of General Relativity) no matter where you stand, it will appear that everything in the universe is expanding around you. So the center of the universe is technically — everywhere.
    The moment you pick a frame of reference, that point becomes the center of the universe.
    Here’s another way to think about it: The sphere of space we can see around us is the visible universe. We’re looking at the light from stars that’s traveled millions or billions of years to reach us. When we reach the 13.8 billion-light-year point, we’re seeing the universe just moments after the Big Bang happened.
    But someone standing on another planet, a few light-years to the right, would see a different sphere of the universe. It’s sort of like lighting a match in the middle of a dark room: Your observable universe is the sphere of the room that the light illuminates.
    But someone standing in a different spot in the room will be able to see a different sphere. So technically, we are all standing at the center of our own observable universes.

    In fact, as far as general relativity itself is concerned, centrality in the universe is left completely open for whomever is making a model of the universe to arbitrarily decide for themselves what is to be considered the center in the universe,

    How Einstein Revealed the Universe’s Strange “Nonlocality” – George Musser | Oct 20, 2015
    Excerpt: Under most circumstances, we can ignore this nonlocality. You can designate some available chunk of matter as a reference point and use it to anchor a coordinate grid. You can, to the chagrin of Santa Barbarans, take Los Angeles as the center of the universe and define every other place with respect to it. In this framework, you can go about your business in blissful ignorance of space’s fundamental inability to demarcate locations.,,
    In short, Einstein’s theory is nonlocal in a more subtle and insidious way than Newton’s theory of gravity was. Newtonian gravity acted at a distance, but at least it operated within a framework of absolute space. Einsteinian gravity has no such element of wizardry; its effects ripple through the universe at the speed of light. Yet it demolishes the framework, violating locality in what was, for Einstein, its most basic sense: the stipulation that all things have a location. General relativity confounds our intuitive picture of space as a kind of container in which material objects reside and forces us to search for an entirely new conception of place.

    Moreover, in both General and Special Relativity, the observer himself is given a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements,,,

    Introduction to special relativity
    Excerpt: Einstein’s approach was based on thought experiments, calculations, and the principle of relativity, which is the notion that all physical laws should appear the same (that is, take the same basic form) to all inertial observers.,,,
    Each observer has a distinct “frame of reference” in which velocities are measured,,,,

    The happiest thought of my life.
    Excerpt: In 1920 Einstein commented that a thought came into his mind when writing the above-mentioned paper he called it “the happiest thought of my life”:
    “The gravitational field has only a relative existence… Because for an observer freely falling from the roof of a house – at least in his immediate surroundings – there exists no gravitational field.”

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    And whereas in General Relativity. (and Special Relativity), the observer himself is given a privileged frame of reference in which to make measurements, in quantum mechanics it is the measurement itself that gives the observer a privileged frame of reference in the universe:

    New Mind-blowing Experiment Confirms That Reality Doesn’t Exist If You Are Not Looking at It – June 3, 2015
    Excerpt: The results of the Australian scientists’ experiment, which were published in the journal Nature Physics, show that this choice is determined by the way the object is measured, which is in accordance with what quantum theory predicts.
    “It proves that measurement is everything. At the quantum level, reality does not exist if you are not looking at it,” said lead researcher Dr. Andrew Truscott in a press release.,,,
    “The atoms did not travel from A to B. It was only when they were measured at the end of the journey that their wave-like or particle-like behavior was brought into existence,” he said.
    Thus, this experiment adds to the validity of the quantum theory and provides new evidence to the idea that reality doesn’t exist without an observer.

    “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!”
    – Scott Aaronson – MIT associate Professor quantum computation – Lecture 11: Decoherence and Hidden Variables

    Quantum Enigma:Physics Encounters Consciousness – Richard Conn Henry – Professor of Physics – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: It is more than 80 years since the discovery of quantum mechanics gave us the most fundamental insight ever into our nature: the overturning of the Copernican Revolution, and the restoration of us human beings to centrality in the Universe.
    And yet, have you ever before read a sentence having meaning similar to that of my preceding sentence? Likely you have not, and the reason you have not is, in my opinion, that physicists are in a state of denial…

    I find it extremely interesting, and strange, that quantum mechanics tells us that instantaneous quantum wave collapse to its ‘uncertain’ 3-D state is centered on each individual conscious observer in the universe, whereas, 4-D space-time cosmology (General Relativity) tells us each 3-D point in the universe is central to the expansion of the universe. These findings of modern science are pretty much exactly what we would expect to see if this universe were indeed created, and sustained, from a higher dimension by an omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, eternal Being who knows everything that is happening everywhere in the universe at the same time. These findings certainly seem to go to the very heart of the age old question asked of many parents by their children, “How can God hear everybody’s prayers at the same time?”,,, i.e. Why should the expansion of the universe, or the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe, even care that you or I, or anyone else, should exist? Only Theism offers a rational explanation as to why you or I, or anyone else, should have such undeserved significance in such a vast universe:

    Hebrews 4:13
    “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to Whom we must give account.”

    Psalm 33:13-15
    The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

    Psalm 139:7-14
    Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

    And although General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics both give the observer an ‘unexpected’ privileged frame of reference in the universe, General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, none-the-less, in the much sought after ‘theory of everything’, simply ‘refuse to talk to each other’.

    i.e. The expansion of every 3-D point in the universe, and the quantum wave collapse of the entire universe to each point of conscious observation in the universe, is obviously a very interesting congruence in experimental science, yet it is a very interesting congruence in experimental science that Physicists, and Mathematicians, seem to be having an extremely difficult time ‘unifying’ into the much sought after ‘theory of everything’. (Einstein, Penrose, and Hawking, among many others, have failed at mathematically unifying the two theories).

    Quantum Mechanics & Relativity – Michio Kaku – The Collapse Of Physics As We Know It ? – video

    And yet when the Agent causality, i.e. God, of Theists is rightly let ‘back’ into the picture of physics, as the Christian founders of modern science originally envisioned, (Newton, Faraday, Maxwell, and Planck among others), then an empirically backed unification between Quantum Theory and General Relativity is readily achieved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death:

    Resurrection of Jesus Christ as the Theory of Everything – Centrality Concerns

    Shroud of Turin: From discovery of Photographic Negative, to 3D Information, to Quantum Hologram

    Astonishing discovery at Christ’s tomb supports Turin Shroud – NOV 26TH 2016
    Excerpt: The first attempts made to reproduce the face on the Shroud by radiation, used a CO2 laser which produced an image on a linen fabric that is similar at a macroscopic level. However, microscopic analysis showed a coloring that is too deep and many charred linen threads, features that are incompatible with the Shroud image. Instead, the results of ENEA “show that a short and intense burst of VUV directional radiation can color a linen cloth so as to reproduce many of the peculiar characteristics of the body image on the Shroud of Turin, including shades of color, the surface color of the fibrils of the outer linen fabric, and the absence of fluorescence”.
    ‘However, Enea scientists warn, “it should be noted that the total power of VUV radiations required to instantly color the surface of linen that corresponds to a human of average height, body surface area equal to = 2000 MW/cm2 17000 cm2 = 34 thousand billion watts makes it impractical today to reproduce the entire Shroud image using a single laser excimer, since this power cannot be produced by any VUV light source built to date (the most powerful available on the market come to several billion watts )”.
    The ENEA study of the Holy Shroud of Turin concluded that it would take 34 Thousand Billion Watts of VUV radiations to make the image on the shroud. This output of electromagnetic energy remains beyond human technology.

    Thus General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics, our two most powerful theories in science, both give the ‘observer’ unexpected importance in the universe, and the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead gives us the primary reason why the universe was brought into existence by God in the first place:

    Verse and Music

    Colossians 1:15-20
    The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

    “Alive” – W,Lyrics, By Natalie Grant

    Supplemental note:

    Special Relativity and General Relativity compared to Heavenly and Hellish Near Death Experiences – video

  3. 3
    Pearlman says:

    actually the mantle of science is within YeC not just ID.
    SPIRAL cosmological redshift hypothesis explains why the overwhelming amount of empirical evidence attests to YeC and falsifies all deep-time dependent scientific hypotheses such as NDT and SCM
    so Coyne is a con and or just ignorant of the science.
    ‘Distant Starlight and the Age, Formation and Structure of the Universe’
    aka ‘Distant Starlight and Torah’
    Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1519262205

    The Pearlman SPIRAL vs Standard free cosmology model info-graphic:

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