Intelligent Design

Illusion of Knowledge III

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In Illusion of Knowledge I and II we discussed epistemological categories.  In particular, we analyzed what it means to “know” and whether there is a difference that makes a difference between scientific conclusions supported by “direct” observations and scientific conclusions based upon inference.  We also discussed how certain we have to be about a conclusion before we can say that we “know” it is true.  We used the Standard Model of cosmology (expanding universe, Big Bang, dark matter, dark energy) as the launching point for our discussion.

I have always been careful to say that it is not my purpose to disparage the Standard Model.  This is an exercise in epistemology (about which I have something to say), not cosmology (about which I must defer to others). 

Some may ask, why does Barry keep coming back to these questions about the nature of knowledge on a blog devoted to discussing ID?  The answer is these questions recur throughout all scientific inquiry, and it is important to know the difference between what we “know” and what we “think we know” based upon inferences.  In my opinion, much of the Neo-Darwinian edifice is constructed upon a foundation of inferences (inferences compelled by metaphysical, not scientific, commitments) masquerading as undisputed facts.  To assess NDE critically, we must be able to distinguish between facts and inferences.

Many commenters claimed that even though the Standard Model is based upon inferences and key elements of it (e.g., dark matter and dark energy) have not actually been directly observed, we nevertheless know that it is true as certainly as we can know anything is true. 

My question is, will these commenters still say that after reading New look at microwave background may cast doubts on big bang theory?

 

53 Replies to “Illusion of Knowledge III

  1. 1
    jpark320 says:

    Sounds cool, too bad my speciality is biology, though ID and Astrophysics are the sciences I like to read for entertainment.

    Could someone explain the significance of this paper? Is it good enough not to be ignored or will it just be swept under the rug?

  2. 2
    mentok says:

    If they can ignore Halton Arp’s findings then they can ignore anything. A major problem of big bang cosmology is the concept of space as a substance which can expand. It’s counterintuitive and based purely on a mathematical construct alone. From actual observation and actual data we find nothing to indicate that space is a substance which can expand or contract. What is space? It is not matter so how do they believe that it is something which can move? As far as I am concerned space does not move because there is nothing to move. Objects exist within space, but space itself is pure vacuum and therefore has no properties which can cause space to move anywhere. Space is everywhere. The concept of space expanding leaves us with the conundrum of where and what is space expanding toward? If we can go the edge of the expanding universe and move faster then the universe is expanding what will happen when we go past the edge of the universe? If space doesn’t exist outside of our universe bubble then what does? If the universe has an edge that means there has to be 2 sides to that edge. One side would be within the universe the other side would be outside the universe. But if there is no space outside of the universe then there can be no end to the universe because an end demands something exists outside of the universe i.e something which will be overtaken by the expanding universe. So the theory is a contradiction. Space cannot be expanding because there needs to be an area for space to expand onto. So since space is not a quantifiable substance and expanding space is self contradictory, why is the theory accepted as fact? The only logical theory of space is that it is infinite and pure vacuum, not a substance which can actually move.

  3. 3
    Lurker says:

    BarryA,
    I always hear people saying “science knows this or that” as if science is a person with a mind. No, science is a collection of individual ‘expert’ opinions. When I point out they are appealing to the majority, a logical fallacy, I get accused of playing games. I then ask how the person knows the minority opinion isn’t actually correct. After all, Darwinism and BB Theory were minority opinions at one time. I don’t get a satisfying answer to any of these questions really because everyone, including the ‘experts’, has their own subjective opinion about evidence, falsifiabilty, inference, etc.

  4. 4
    Lurker says:

    adding to my comment above…

    We only have individual opinions on any particular subject. Groups don’t “know” anything. So we’re left with 1) appealing to some group of opinions for our knowledge/truth or 2) appealing to our personal opinion. I’m often told both are the wrong way to go about discovering knowledge because both are wrought with potential problems that can lead to error. What do you say BarryA?

  5. 5
    BarryA says:

    Lurker writes: “So we’re left with 1) appealing to some group of opinions for our knowledge/truth or 2) appealing to our personal opinion. I’m often told both are the wrong way to go about discovering knowledge because both are wrought with potential problems that can lead to error.”

    None of us can be an expert on every subject or even many subjects. There is so much to know that the proportion of total knowledge that any one person can master is infinitesimal. Therefore, we must usually be content to rely upon the expertise of others.

    Consider my recent discussion of cosmology. I had 8 hours of college astronomy 24 years ago, and since then I have read a considerable amount about the subject in popular treatments. As I hope I have made clear in my posts, however, this does not make me even remotely qualified to judge the merits of the controversy over the Big Bang. On the other hand, I am satisfied that a controversy does in fact exist, not on the basis of my personal investigation of the facts, but because cosmologists who are obviously highly qualified dissent from the Standard Model. You are right. The fact that these cosmologists are in the minority does not mean they are necessarily wrong.

    I never expected to have my views about the epistemological status of the Big Bang confirmed so quickly, but serendipitously a group of expert cosmologists using the very latest equipment especially designed to investigate the Big Bang chose this very week to announce findings that cannot at this time be fit within the theoretical framework of the Standard Model. Does this mean the Big Bang is doomed? Of course not; a place may yet be found for these anomalous findings. It clearly means, however, that it is too early to say the theory is confirmed.

    I don’t know that I can give you a fully satisfactory answer to your question, so I will just leave you with a few pointers:

    1. Have the courage to address your opponents’ real position, not a caricature of it.

    In his magisterial work “Summa Theologiae” Thomas Aquinas started each section by expounding various objections to his position. Only then did he answer the objections and set forth his conclusion. Some have said that far from attacking a straw man caricature of his opponents’ objections, Aquinas presented his opponents’ own arguments more forcefully and eloquently than they could. Aquinas was not afraid of the truth. He let logic and evidence lead him whichever way it would.

    2. Make up your own mind.

    Once when I was a teenager I decided to dispute the fifth point of Calvinism with my father. (I did not know enough to know that was what I was doing, but you’ll see what I mean). We were in the car and from the back seat I announced, “I no longer believe ‘once saved always saved.’” I was shocked when instead of telling me to shut up and believe what I was taught my father said, “Have you studied it through?” I said that I had (I thought I had but I really hadn’t), and he said, “Well, OK.”

    I said “aren’t you going to try to talk me out of it?” and I will never forget his reply. He said, “I want you to be a thinking man, and every thinking man has to make up his own mind. I can’t think for you and I won’t try. If you have a position and you can’t meet your opponent’s argument, you must work harder, and if you do that and still can’t meet your opponent’s argument you must change your mind.”

    In that moment my father simultaneously liberated me and placed a great burden on me. He liberated me from servitude to authority. He taught me that I am not bound by what he or anyone else believed or said. I have the freedom to make up my own mind. The burden is the flip side of the freedom. From that point on I could no longer rest on platitudes, prejudice and received wisdom. I had to think things through for myself. Yes, I frequently came to the same conclusion as the received wisdom (the fact that it is so often true is, of course, why it is “received”), but I had to think, and that’s hard work. By the way, when I really studied the issue, I concluded the Bible teaches the perseverance of the saints after all.

    3. Be tolerant – but not too tolerant.

    “Fiddler on the Roof” is one of my favorite movies. In the movie Tevye, a very traditional Jew, is faced with three crises precipitated by his daughters’ choices for husbands. For the first two daughters he agonizes through the pros and cons and finally decides to support his daughters. But when the third one decides to marry outside his faith he says, no; he cannot bend that far. That is a true picture of tolerance. Love compels us to bend a long way, but the same love imposes a limit on how far we can bend.

    4. You don’t have to have a position about everything.

    Our time and talent is a scarce resource. Judge carefully how you spend yours. Investigate the important things, and on everything else have the humility to say “I don’t know.”

  6. 6
    DaveScot says:

    In my opinion, much of the Neo-Darwinian edifice is constructed upon a foundation of inferences (inferences compelled by metaphysical, not scientific, commitments) masquerading as undisputed facts.

    I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you! 🙂

    Elsewhere, those sound like my words saying that the Standard Model is as true as anything we know is true. I’d like to point out that’s not what I said. I said expansion of the universe is as true as anything we know is true. Expansion is based on direct observation. No inferences. Expansion is a prediction of the Standard Model not the Standard Model itself.

  7. 7
    sagebrush gardener says:

    BarryA

    Have the courage to address your opponents’ real position, not a caricature of it.

    Someone on Slashdot brought up this point the other day and put it very well, I think:

    Welcome to the wonderful world of the straw man argument, where
    answering people’s points is too hard, so you just pretend they said
    something stupid instead and tell them how stupid they were to say it.

    Haeleth (414428) on Slashdot

    I’ve seen plenty of this on both sides of this debate (and others). It’s easier to pretend your opponent said something stupid than to try to understand and deal with the actual point they were trying to make. Or as Solomon said:

    A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.

  8. 8
    mentok says:

    Proofs for expanding spacefrom thaat wikipedia article:

    Edwin Hubble demonstrated that all galaxies and distant astronomical objects were moving away from us (“Hubble’s law”) as predicted by a universal expansion.[1] Using the redshift of their electromagnetic spectra to determine the distance and speed of remote objects in space, he showed that all objects are moving away from us, and that their speed is proportional to their distance, a feature of metric expansion. Further studies have since shown the expansion to be extremely isotropic and homogenous, that is, it does not seem to have a special point as a “center”, but appears universal and independent of any fixed central point.

    Halton Arp and others have proven the above false. Hubble actually had two theories on red shift. Arp proved that the one mentioned above is wrong and that the other one is correct i.e redshft is intrinsic to an object and not due to the distance and movement.

    In studies of large-scale structure of the cosmos taken from redshift surveys a so-called “End of Greatness” was discovered at the largest scales of the universe. Until these scales were surveyed, the universe appeared “lumpy” with clumps of galaxy clusters and superclusters and filaments which were anything but isotropic and homogeneous. This lumpiness disappears into a smooth distribution of galaxies at the largest scales in much the same way a Jackson Pollock painting looks lumpy close-up, but more regular as a whole.

    That is a purely speculative idea based on the above misinterpretation of redshift.

    The isotropic distribution across the sky of distant gamma-ray bursts and supernovae is another confirmation of the Cosmological Principle.

    Again the distance is based on erroneous redshift interpretation. And also from Eric Lerner:

    “The largest angular scale components of the fluctuations(anisotropy) of the CBR (cosmic background radiation) are not random, but have a strong preferred orientation in the sky. The quadrupole and octopole power is concentrated on a ring around the sky and are essentially zero along a preferred axis. The direction of this axis is identical with the direction toward the Virgo cluster and lies exactly along the axis of the Local Supercluster filament of which our Galaxy is a part. This observation completely contradicts the Big Bang assumption that the CBR originated far from the local Supercluster and is, on the largest scale, isotropic without a preferred direction in space. (Big Bang theorists have implausibly labeled the coincidence of the preferred CBR direction and the direction to Virgo to be mere accident and have scrambled to produce new ad-hoc assumptions, including that the universe is finite only in one spatial direction, an assumption that entirely contradicts the assumptions of the inflationary model of the Big Bang, the only model generally accepted by Big Bang supporters.)”

    For more on this from Lerner see http://www.spaceandmotion.com/.....Theory.htm

    The Copernican Principle was not truly tested on a cosmological scale until measurements of the effects of the cosmic microwave background radiation in the dynamics of distant astrophysical systems. As reported by a group of astronomers at the European Southern Observatory, the radiation that pervades the universe is demonstrably warmer at earlier times.[2] Uniform cooling of the cosmic microwave background over billions of years is explainable only if the universe is experiencing a metric expansion.

    Bsed on erroneous redshift interpretation. Also see http://www.bigbangneverhappene.....paper4.pdf

    So what we have is a theory which is based on no actual observation or experiment that space is a substance which can move or “expand”. The expansion theory is almost completely based on interpretation of redshift as distance + velocity. This is why Arp is ignored. His proof (and others) showing that objects in space which are physically connected yet have vastly different redshifts prove that redshift cannot be used to determine distance nor movement. Yet because almost 100% of modern cosmology is based on redshift as distance + movement, and Arp’s findings discredits pretty much all of it, he is ignored, fought against, and blackballed.

  9. 9
    orion says:

    Many commenters claimed that even though the Standard Model is based upon inferences and key elements of it (e.g., dark matter and dark energy) have not actually been directly observed, we nevertheless know that it is true as certainly as we can know anything is true.

    However, we do have direct evidence of dark matter see NASA
    Finds Direct Proof of Dark Matter

  10. 10
    DaveScot says:

    Mentok is confused. It was Halton Arp who was proven wrong.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halton_Arp

  11. 11
    jerry says:

    This might not be the time to do it but since we are talking about how we know, it might be worthwhile delineating just what is the overwhelming evidence and inferences made for neo Darwinism. We cavalierly dismiss NDE but yet the biological community professes it intensely. Just what is their evidence and how much of their conclusions is based on inference as opposed to actual observation. Maybe we should take the Aquinas approach and make the strongest case for NDE we can before presenting what we think is a better explanation.

    I spent a couple weeks recently watching a Berkeley course on evolution (available as a webcast on their site) that they give as part of their introductory biology course. It was interesting, I learned a lot but it was also instructive that there was nothing concrete presented to support NDE after micro evolution. All the evidence that was presented was circumstantial but it was very persuasive information. It would be hard to argue against some natural mechanism causing the diversity of life after seeing the presentations but no concrete evidence of an actual mechanism was presented, only assumed.

    The current thread is focused on cosmology but it might be useful to devote some future threads to this topic.

  12. 12
    BarryA says:

    Orion, it depends on what you mean by “direct evidence.” I mean actually observing dark matter or dark energy. That has never happened. The researchers in the article you cite mean making inferences from observations of the interaction of the galaxy clusters. This is clear from the following sentence: “These observations provide the strongest evidence yet that most of the matter in the universe is dark.” If they had actually physically isolated and observed dark matter, they would have said, “we have physically isolated and observed dark matter.” They would not still be talking about “evidence,” strong or otherwise.

  13. 13
    BarryA says:

    Jerry, I agree. It is, however, too much of a task to take on all of the evidence for NDE in a single post. We have to take it a piece at a time. In my recent post entitled “Homology and Homoplasy,” for example, you will find that I was careful (I hope) to give an overview of the standard NDE account that would not be objectionable to the most ardent Darwinist. Then I pointed out some of the problems with the theory.

  14. 14
    David Heddle says:

    Mentok:

    “From actual observation and actual data we find nothing to indicate that space is a substance which can expand or contract.”

    Except, that is, for the actual observations that we actually make and the data that we actually take. (Not to mention scripture: It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens; I marshaled their starry hosts. (Is. 45:12)

    I am amazed at how common the theme on this blog is centered around what amounts to a conspiracy among scientists. I was a professional research scientist long before I was a believer, and we never had any meetings about how we would undermine Christianity. Of course, maybe that’s just another good argument for predestination. Maybe, even though I wasn’t yet saved, as part of the elect I had a cross or some other mark the other scientists could see, so they knew to stop conspiring when I was around, kind of like the toys in Toy Story.

    As for how many commenters will still believe the standard model after reading the paper you linked too, I surely do. The evidence for the big bang is overwhelming. It is not limited to the cosmic background, but if it were, I would still place in on ground that is as solid as many other cherished theories in physics. Does it still face challenges? It does—cosmology is a complicated field that, unlike ID, actually does experiments, which is the only reason there is a paper with a surprising result. Since we see no real experiments that, for example, set out to prove something is designed, or set out mathematically demonstrate that it is designed, it may be that a experiment with a contrary result should, to people in the ID mindset, cause an immediate paradigm shift. But that is because the ID community is only versed in playing science, not doing science. In real science, sometimes experiments present surprising and conflicting results. The same thing happens in General Relativity, particle physics, nuclear physics, etc. We don’t abandon successful theories because of a single result, at least not until the conflict is firmly established and alternatives are ruled out—and then we would first look to modifying the standard model to accommodate the new data. The Big Bang has survived many challenges—in some cases it was modified (inflation) and in some cases the experimental problems, such as a lack of super nova remnants, is demonstrated, over time, not to be a problem. What will happen with the missing microwave shadows? It is way too early to say.

    Of course, maybe cosmologists are meeting at this moment to plot how to save the big bang theory by any means possible so that the Christians can’t gloat.

  15. 15
    P. Phillips says:

    No, David, the evidence is not overwhelming; it is lamentable:

    http://metaresearch.org/cosmology/BB-top-30.asp

    http://www.holoscience.com/new.....e=stb9s0ye

    # # # # # # # #

    In the mid-1980’s, astronomers discovered these four quasars, with redshifts about z = 1.7, buried deep in the heart of a galaxy with a low redshift of z = .04. (The central spot in this image is not the whole galaxy but only the brightest part of the galaxy’s nucleus.) When first discovered, the high redshift quasar in the nucleus of a low redshift galaxy caused a panic. To save the redshift/distance conviction, gravitational lensing had to be invoked despite Fred Hoyle’s calculation that the probability of such a lensing event was less than two chances in a million!

    A change in brightness of the quasars was observed over a period of three years. Arp’s explanation is that the galaxy has ejected four quasars, which are growing brighter with age as they move farther from the nucleus. The lensing explanation is that the bending of the light varies when individual stars pass in front of the quasar. If the lensing explanation were correct, the quasars should brighten briefly and then fade as the star moves out of alignment.

    >> Hubble Space Telescope picture, in false color, of the Einstein Cross. At the wavelength of redshifted hydrogen Lyman alpha emission there is connecting material between the quasar D and the central galaxy core.

    With access to the primary data, Arp was able to show (above) that the high-redshift quasar was connected to the nucleus of the low redshift galaxy. The image shows trails of material from ejection and the tendency for orthogonal ejection from the parent galaxy.

    >> Theoretical calculations by Peter Schneider et al. of what gravitationally lensed quasars should look like. If resolved, the luminous isophotes should be extended by a factor of 4 or 5 to one along a circumference.

    Instead of being extended along the circumference, the well resolved quasars are extended toward the galactic nucleus. They are not gravitationally lensed images.

    Arp reports other professional scandals associated with the Einstein Cross. One is that the central galaxy would need so much mass concentrated in its central region that it should outshine by 2 magnitudes the supposedly brightest objects in the universe— conventional quasars. As an authority on galaxy classification, Arp points out that the central galaxy in the Einstein Cross is in fact a small, dwarf galaxy! There is no way it could satisfy the gravitational lens requirement.

    But perhaps the major scandal is the suppression, by peer review and editorial connivance, of papers that show flaws in accepted theories—and the consequent misuse of billions of dollars of public funds in ill-advised experiments and wasted telescope time. When the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was being developed, Arp and a number of his colleagues were of the opinion that “what was needed was a wide field optical survey of the dark sky from above the earth’s atmosphere (a space Schmidt). That would have revealed the crucial relationships of different kinds of objects to each other. We would not now be in a position of looking at exceedingly faint objects in a tiny spot in the sky without the faintest notion what they really are.” The space Schmidt was estimated to cost between 10 and 20 million dollars. The HST cost between 3 to 5 billion dollars!

    # # # # # # # # #

    OK, you are scientist, if you would, feel free refute the above without using emotion or personal attacks. Use a sophisticated, mathematically based argument and I shall listen.

  16. 16
    P. Phillips says:

    Answer to BarryA you wrote:

    “Many commenters claimed that even though the Standard Model is based upon inferences and key elements of it (e.g., dark matter and dark energy) have not actually been directly observed, we nevertheless know that it is true as certainly as we can know anything is true.

    My question is, will these commenters still say that after reading New look at microwave background may cast doubts on big bang theory?”

    Answer: are you kidding? Of course they will! See David above. See Dave Scott’s statement on Arp; yes, their take on ID and Bill Dembski is pretty accurate. You note that for black holes Wiki has no alternative views, and their Plasma Cosmology entry is disputed. Hubble himself had enough humility to point out the alternatives; see my earlier post on Carl Sagan’s remarks on Arp. Sagan was an honorable scientist in that respect.

    Now, I don’t think the concept of “random” adaptation of life, even bacteria, is verified. Resistant bacteria, as Spetner points out, *lose* information.

    Of course, will our lives change and people become any more civil or humane or compassioniate if Darwin is overthrown or Big Bang? Will Utopia result? Of course not; I think the common adversary that has made all our lives much more difficult is the neo-Marxist, materalistic ideology, and there must be an interfaith alliance, even of agnostics, to combat it.

    But I believe dissent must be allowed for good science. I haven’t read credible challenges to Bill’s or Behe’s work; just hissing.

    http://www.amazon.com/Alternat.....38;s=books

    Please all of you buy Bill’s THE DESIGN REVOLUTION.

    http://www.amazon.com/Design-R.....0830823751

    [You don’t have to buy from Amazon; maybe Bill sells autographed copies!]

    The above books is:

    Revealing Look Into Subjectivity in Science, July 7, 2000

    Reviewer: W. R. Buckley “college professor” (Indianapolis, IN USA) – See all my reviews
    (REAL NAME)

    Many readers are shocked to learn that there exists an orthodoxy within the scientific community that viciously attacks theories outside the mainstream, as well as those scientists daring to research “heretical” ideas. The objectivity inherent in the scientific method cannot control human biases and machinations, however. Science has its share of fanatical, dogmatic defenders of “accepted truth” whose inquisitorial skills are neatly disguised through technical jargon and reductionist logic. Richard Milton succinctly exposes this world and deflates the popular myth that all science is conducted objectively.

    This excellent book reveals how theories once summarily (and often cruelly) dismissed by the scientific establishment were later definitively proven through experimentation, demonstration, and replication (i.e., the scientific method). The author also presents many currently heretical theories that, despite repeated experimental validation, remain condemned by the scientific orthodoxy. Lovers of open-minded investigations will appreciate this book’s reminder to search for ulterior motives when evaluating criticisms of someone’s research. Fairness and objectivity, the author suggests, are essential in evaluating any theories. Be alert, though, when subjectivity taints the scientific ideal.

  17. 17
    P. Phillips says:

    To clarify, by “their take”, I mean Wikipedia’s entries.

  18. 18
    ThePolynomial says:

    Mentok writes:
    As far as I am concerned space does not move because there is nothing to move. Objects exist within space, but space itself is pure vacuum and therefore has no properties which can cause space to move anywhere. Space is everywhere. The concept of space expanding leaves us with the conundrum of where and what is space expanding toward? If we can go the edge of the expanding universe and move faster then the universe is expanding what will happen when we go past the edge of the universe? If space doesn’t exist outside of our universe bubble then what does?

    Mentok: The wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....n_of_space may be of use to you. It’s a little hard to understand (noooo kidding), but it may be a good place to begin to understand the mathematical concepts that lie behind the notion of an expanding universe. One thing that is important to note is that the universe is not expanding out from a single central point–all distances are changing, and the universe has no center. It also has no edge.

    The easiest way to think about this (although, admittedly, it is not really accurate) is being on the surface of a balloon. This is a 2-dimensional surface (you can only walk on the surface of the balloon, not move up from it), embedded in a 3-dimensional space. There is no edge to this surface, and if you blow up the balloon, points can expand away from each other without expanding towards an edge. This metaphor does give the impression of a “center,” even though the center’s not actually in the space we’re talking about, so it’s not really accurate, but it’s a half-decent start.

    Yes, this way of thinking about the universe is very counterintuitive, but that doesn’t mean it’s contradictory.

  19. 19
    DaveScot says:

    David

    I think you’re being a bit unfair to ID. The data it relies on has already been gathered by observation and experiment and continues to be acquired by continuing observation and experiment. Just because the researchers involved are not specifically trying to test ID theory doesn’t mean they are not doing just that. For instance, Harvard University launched a research program to understand how life emerged from a primordial soup. I consider abiogenesis the Mt. Everest of complex specified information. That kind of research has been going on a long time. Its success would be tantamount to falsification for biological ID. It’s continued failure keeps ID a viable hypothesis. SETI is another research program with the potential to falsify or even verify ID. It’s continued failure is also grist for the ID support mill as it serves as evidence weighing against Copernican Mediocrity. Every bit of data that contributes to the improbability of organic life in the universe weighs in favor of ID for it is only intelligent agency through teleological means which can routinely defeat almost impossible odds and bring about things that are physically possible but practically impossible without intelligent agency. Other research is exploration of the solar system where high instrumented spacecraft are sent to examine comets and Mars and moons in the solar system where it’s thought life or its precursors might be able to form. The lack of success in finding those precursors also weighs in favor of ID. Just because the researchers are hoping for evidnece against ID doesn’t mean it’s not ID-relevant experimentation. And I’m here to tell you that said space exploration and SETI play no small role in my conviction that ID is the best current explanation for the molecular machinery of life. Intelligence is the ONLY demonstrated means whereby molecular machinery of the kind and complexity of ribosomes and DNA can be synthesized. There isn’t a shred of evidence that this can happen ANY other way.

  20. 20
    DaveScot says:

    David

    Now that I think about it even experiments and observations in cosmology are relevant to biological ID. You see, it serves to establish bounds for abiogenesis. In the good old days when it was thought the universe was infinitely old and unchanging, impossible odds could be beaten by infinite timespans. Thanks to cosmology we now know that there are finite bounds on the time and space that abiogenesis hypothesis are constrained by. How familiar are you with astrobiology and the Galactic Habitable Zone? Taking infinite time and space away from abiogenesis wool-gatherers is probably the worst setback they ever had. Spontaneous generation is really in no better shape now than it was back when they thought mice spontaneously generated in grain bins and maggots spontaneously generated in rotting meat. 😛

  21. 21
    David Heddle says:

    DaveScot,

    I agree—and you may or may not know I have long called for biological ID to focus on abiogenesis rather than evolution. I fully support the Harvard research program with the expectation that it will lead to nowhere—but who knows? In the same way I support archeology in the Holy Land, even though in principle it could point to biblical error.

    What I disagree with is the notion that ID is in any sense an experimental science like cosmology. I agree that the more “real” science we do, the more it will strengthen the ID viewpoint. In cosmology, anti-IDers like Susskind have acknowledged that if things like the String Landscape theory don’t pan out, it will be very hard to answer the IDers. So in my own niche, cosmological ID, I feel the same way. We have no cosmological ID experiments, we have only the real science, which is cosmology, but the results of cosmology will either push us more into the ID camp or will tend to “falsify” it. Detection of another universe, with different physics, will completely falsify cosmological ID.

    I also see as nonsense the idea that papers against a certain theory constitute proof against the theory or, at the very least, are evidence that scientists conspire against attacks on the status quo. The microwave problem is being taken seriously, its publication bears that out—and it will either stand or fall on its merits, but it won’t be swept under the rug. People who think the scientific community simply refuses to acknowledge their wikipedia links because of sinister motives are deluded, and inasmuch as they may be spokesmen for the Christian community, I find them to be an embarassment.

    It grieves me when I read that things such as “go into the lab and show how a flagellum evolves” are consider by IDers as proof that ID is science. They aren’t—while at the same time lack of progress in verifying evolutionary pathways is support for an ID position, it is not experimental proof thereof, not even close. The way IDers talk about ID “experiments” reminds me of a Scientific American spoof many years ago, before the four-color theorem was proved. They printed a very complicated map with thousands of small, complicated shapes and said that it could not be colored with just four colors, and they dared the readers to try.

  22. 22
    P. Phillips says:

    ThePolynomial, since you’re up to reading difficult papers, read this on Lorentzian relativity. Again, there are different interpretations, perhaps the more unorthodox more credible. There is in fact contrary evidence to the “standard” model of “expanding space”.

    If any one here is qualified to respond to specifics, feel free. Again, perhaps “God” is not a mathematician. I don’t see any thorough debunking of the dissidents; I see the same tone used to dismiss critics of Darwin.

    http://metaresearch.org/cosmology/gravity/LR.asp

    http://www.holoscience.com/new.....e=9kpgc4td

    Tom Van Flandern responded to an earlier post by Dave Scott and on Einstein:

    DaveScot is correct in the context of the geometric interpretation of general relativity. The field interpretation, which uses a physical rather than mathematical basis, indicates this bending takes place by refraction in the light-carrying medium caused by a density gradient in that medium near masses.

    The only thing wrong with [his] comment is that light has neither a rest mass not a relativistic mass. Instead, light has momentum that is a function of frequency. As such, light waves are similar to water waves which do not have a definable mass either, but do carry momentum and can knock you down. Otherwise, [he] is technically correct that gravitational forces cannot affect light. Instead, light is bent by refraction as it passes through the gravitational potential field (another name for the light-carrying medium). Gravitational forces affect the density of that medium near masses, which in turn bends the path of light waves.

    Einstein himself said sensible things. He has been deified to justify the nonsense perpetrated by a few modern relativists, who have found it is easier to get published and funded under the guise of “confirming Einstein”. “Black holes” are a classic example. Einstein wrote a paper in 1939 proving that no such thing could exist in physical reality. But nobody today cites that paper. The whole geometric interpretation of GR (“curved spacetime”) is another example. It was just a quaint mathematical coincidence in Einstein’s day, but was developed by Misner, Thorne and Wheeler in the early 1970s, and has become today the exclusive understanding of GR taught in schools.

    Time is a measure of change. If there were no matter, there could be no change and therefore nothing to measure.

    Space is a measure of distance. It must all be filled at some minute scale or it would not exist either.

    The Big Bang is a dead cosmology, having now 50 problems (at last count) and rising, several of them fatal to the theory. But a theory requiring a miracle at its origin was necessarily only a mathematical concept at best because miracles are not allowed in deep reality physics.

    In Le Sage “pushing gravity”, our current nest physical model for the origin and nature of gravitation, gravitons do not come from matter but have independent existence. Depending on definitions, gravitons could be considered matter too, but then gravitons are a type of matter that does not have gravity because they cannot attract themselves or one another.

    -|Tom|-

  23. 23
    DaveScot says:

    David

    I don’t really agree with you on the flagellum experiment. A hypothesis is given that the only way for the first flagellum to come into being is through intelligent agency. The hypothesis may be falsified in principle by demonstrating a non-intelligent way in which it can be created. Failure to falsify does not, of course, prove ID because failure to find an unintelligent mechanism doesn’t mean one does not exist, it only means one was not found. Fortunately this situation is not uncommon in scientific inquiry and it’s why a means of falsification alone is sufficient to establish scientific validity of a hypothetical explanation. It is also one of the reasons why all conclusions in science are tentative in nature (some being more tentative than others). Thus the hypothesis that flagellar evolution requires intelligent agency at some point is indeed a valid scientific hypothesis.

  24. 24
    DaveScot says:

    The amusing thing about the ID/flagellum brouhaha is when one wonders what the real concern of mainstream science is:

    1) the hypothesis is incorrect but the means of falsification is too difficult
    2) the hypothesis is correct and falsfication is only possible in principle

    Either beliefs being correct means the attempt to falsify the hypothesis will fail. No one wants to fail. I wonder which belief is more common? 😆

  25. 25
    BarryA says:

    David Heddle writes: “I also see as nonsense the idea that papers against a certain theory constitute proof against the theory or, at the very least, are evidence that scientists conspire against attacks on the status quo.”

    I am not aware of anyone who has said this, at least on this post and its comment thread. Perhaps you would care to elaborate.

    My point is simple and obvious. A university with a reputable cosmology department issues a press release with the following heading: “New look at microwave background may cast doubts on big bang theory?”

    Can you imagine a reputable university issuing a press release with the following heading: “New look at evidence casts doubt on the long-held notion that the earth orbits the sun?”

    Neither can I. This simple thought experiment demonstrates (conclusively in my view) that the Big Bang theory and Copernican Heliocentrism are in different epistemological categories.

    I never said anything about a conspiracy. I don’t know where that came from.

  26. 26
    P. Phillips says:

    Does anyone else reading this thread find it interesting that Dave Heddle didn’t respond to me? David, if you refute the Einstein Cross observations, how do you do so? Dave Scott does too, so what the hell! But I was interested in a thoughtful, considered, reasoned response. Orr debated Dembski, for example.

    Well, at least he didn’t get personal. In the event, as Wallace Thornhill wrote, but not regarding this thread, but these comments:

    “The primary line of argument for black holes is that

    1)we see things that are very heavy, very small, and dark

    2) We have a number of other lines of evidence that make us think General Relativity is right, and

    3) General Relativity demands that anything that heavy and small *has* to form a black hole.

    “That’s not good enough for anyone, of course, it’s just a place to start. As for the mass, this is deduced from the motion of stars around them, so if you don’t even believe that stars orbit each other because of gravity then that doesn’t help much.”

    Thornhill replied:

    “It’s instructive to witness the way the same old fallacies and invalid ways of looking at things pop up in these discussions. It is a good indication that the training of our physicists leaves a helluva lot to be desired. And in most cases it leaves the physicist unfit to judge which concepts apply in deep space and on the Sun.”

    Now, if he does respond on “Arp proved wrong”, which is absolutely false, I’ll post it here. I don’t think ID proponents or Big Bang opponents will confince anyone; and I don’t believe that even if the orthodoxy is overturned, life will become better. The degradation of the species had been set in motion, and I have no idea how to combat it, other than on an individual level, and by this I mean the enviroment created where in the worst impulses of humanity are given free reign. Dalrymple, much more civilized and subtle than “angry” conservative commentators appeals to me:

    http://www.city-journal.org/ht.....to_be.html

    http://www.manhattan-institute.org/ourculture/

    Anyway, back to more important things. Best wishes even to the ones who believe they’re on their way to a Theory of Everything!

  27. 27
    Patrick says:

    An “organized” conspiracy on a large scale? Doubt it. An internal emotion-based conflict affecting the practice of science at an individual basis? Perhaps:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/.....3/5788/750

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/.....3/5788/752

    “Another Nobel laureate, David Gross of the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), compares anthropic thinking to a disease. “I inoculate myself by emotional intensity against it because it’s very contagious,” he says.”

    “Landscape advocates reject such criticisms, contending that opposition to anthropic reasoning is largely emotional. “There’s no substantive scientific debate,” Susskind says. “The nature of what is going on is different emotional reactions to some facts and some interpretations of those facts that we’ve discovered.”

    Joseph Polchinski “told cosmologist Sean Carroll a decade ago, if astronomers ever found evidence for a nonzero cosmological constant, he’d give up physics—because that would signal the need to invoke the anthropic principle.”

    “And I said nobody believes that,” Polchinski recalls. “And when I said that, I knew I was lying. I knew that the evidence was mounting for the anthropic principle.”

    Fortunately he didn’t allow emotion to rule his decisions:

    Dismayed by the anthropic implications, Polchinski was reluctant to publish the results, but [Raphael] Bousso [now at UC Berkeley] insisted. “We totally agreed on the science,” Polchinski says, “but he was the one who really said, ‘Look, we’ve got to publish this.’”….“Lenny [Susskind] came along and said, ‘Look, we can’t sweep this under the rug; we have to take this seriously,’” Polchinski says. “If this is the way things are, science is only going to move forward by thinking about it, not by pretending it’s not there.”

  28. 28
    David Heddle says:

    P. Philips,

    I did not answer your post because I did not read them. I scanned them, and once I found them to be links to bizarre sites and popularized books I dismissed them out of hand. There are many posts that I simply don’t want to take the time to respond to–if you want to take that as a sign of the strength of your argument, feel free.

    Science is debated, for the most part, in the peer-reviewed literature, not by posting links to “metaresearch.org” and “holoscience.com”.

  29. 29
    P. Phillips says:

    David,

    Ah, a man without prejudice!

    I excerpted the relevant facts above, and you just dismiss them based on the source. That is your right, excercising your free will.

    Yet you acknowledge I.D., despite its difficulties in obtaining access to mainstream publications, and you are of course very well of the difficulties of plasma cosmology being published in the “peer-reviewed” literature. After all, that’s how Einstein, the patent clerk, made such a “big bang”, in peer reviewed literature. And when Arp was denied time, and publication of his work, the peers were of course showing how wise they were!

    http://www.haltonarp.com/?Page=Abstracts

    Alas, I posted this link below on a civil debate, neither opponent convincing the other, but it was a pleasure to read nontheless.

    http://www.bib-arch.org/bswbOOexodus.html

    http://www.cosmologystatement.org/

    Relevant excerpt:

    # # # # # #

    Today, virtually all financial and experimental resources in cosmology are devoted to big bang studies. Funding comes from only a few sources, and all the peer-review committees that control them are dominated by supporters of the big bang. As a result, the dominance of the big bang within the field has become self-sustaining, irrespective of the scientific validity of the theory.

    Giving support only to projects within the big bang framework undermines a fundamental element of the scientific method — the constant testing of theory against observation. Such a restriction makes unbiased discussion and research impossible. To redress this, we urge those agencies that fund work in cosmology to set aside a significant fraction of their funding for investigations into alternative theories and observational contradictions of the big bang. To avoid bias, the peer review committee that allocates such funds could be composed of astronomers and physicists from outside the field of cosmology.

    Allocating funding to investigations into the big bang’s validity, and its alternatives, would allow the scientific process to determine our most accurate model of the history of the universe.

    # # # # # #

    To everyone other than David, do consider that once again today we evidence that any dissent against orthodox dogma is not considered unless it is “peer reviewed”. And when the peers deny access, thus creating a Catch 22, just as the Neo-Darwinians do, well, the thought police have indeed won a great moral victory, ensuring against corruption of the credulous.

    Arp has been published, here’s a link to his monographs. So has Peratt. As to Metaresearch, several of those papers were published as well.

    Thornhill has presented to the IEEE. When his work predicted Deep Impact’s results, and not “peer reviewed” papers, your answer is what? He hasn’t published in The Journal Science?

    http://www.rense.com/general58/darkage.htm

    Of course, when so many agree amongst themselves, it is not a conspiracy, but a campaign.

    EXCERPT:

    # # # # # # # # # #

    Most recently, on October 3, 2003, the Hubble telescope photographed a galaxy (NGC 7319) known for its dense clouds obstructing all objects behind its core. In front or close to the front of the galaxy’s core is a strongly redshifted QUASAR. This means that the quasar is NOT at the outer regions of the universe…but NEARBY. Its redshift has nothing to do with velocity or distance – it is just an intrinsic, and yet unexplained, QUALITY of the quasar. And that means that the astronomers’ assumptions about redshift, and everything that logically followed, are FALSE.

    (This image may be viewed at

    http://www.thunderbolts.info/t.....galaxy.htm

    This revelation, so devastating to cherished theory, has not gone unnoticed. A group of distinguished astronomers, including Halton Arp himself, presented a paper on this very subject to the American Astronomical Society meeting in January 2004. The paper has also been submitted to an astronomical journal, with a peer review committee recommending heavy “editing” before publication. Permission to publish has yet to be granted.

    There is more to this story, and the facts grow increasingly unsettling. Halton Arp has been delivering critical information to astronomers for many years, and has paid a heavy price. Eventually, the astronomical community DENIED Arp further telescope time, forcing him to leave the United States to carry on his work (he is now affiliated with the Max Planck Institute in Germany.) The people responsible for these actions no doubt felt they were justified in ostracizing Arp for the “greater good.” But the evidence is becoming clear that this is yet another black mark on science that will not be easily removed.

    Recently, dozens of top scientists, including Arp, Eric J. Lerner, and Michael Ibison authored an open letter to the scientific community, arguing that the dominance of big bang theory “rests more on funding decision than on the scientific method.” They write: “Today, virtually all financial and experimental resources in cosmology are devoted to big bang studies. Funding comes from only a few sources, and all the peer-review committees that control them are dominated by supporters of the big bang. As a result, the dominance of the big bang within the field has become self-sustaining, irrespective of the scientific validity of the theory.

    “Giving support only to projects within the big bang framework undermines a fundamental element of the scientific method — the constant testing of theory against observation. Such a restriction makes unbiased discussion and research impossible…” (Source: http://www.rense.com/general53/bbng.htm)

    Members of the general public need to fully understand the enormity of the stakes here. This is not just an issue for academicians fascinated by cosmology. The issue will affect the direction and quality of education for decades. It will also affect the ability of teachers to attract and inspire new students. And it will affect the path of space age exploration, involving BILLIONS of dollars in public expenditure. How would John Q. Public feel if he knew that his tax dollars are being spent to perpetuate a discredited picture of the universe?

    It must also be noted that major universities, laboratories, and research institutions are currently in rapid transition to something called “Internet II.” The stated purpose of this project is to “facilitate the research and education missions of universities” and their affiliated institutions. That sounds benevolent enough, but as Servado Gonzalez writes in his article “Kiss Your Internet Goodbye”: “Internet 2 will be fully controlled by the state. In order to access it, or to have e-mail access, you must be a member of, or be affiliated to, any of the government-authorized organizations and have a sort of security clearance. Internet 2 will be out of the reach of the general public…” (Source: http://www.rense.com/general36/inter.htm).

    It is now clear that the Establishment is taking deliberate measures to insulate itself from criticism by “outsiders.” If you are a member of the general public who wants to stay abreast of scientific research and discoveries – including new images from space – you will be increasingly denied the ORIGINAL DATA. What you will get is information filtered through politically and financially motivated organizations. What will happen to the TRUTH in this scenario?

    Science may have lifted mankind from the abyss of the “dark age,” but it also has the power to pull us back in.

  30. 30
    mentok says:

    you wrote:

    Mentok: The wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M.....n_of_space may be of use to you. It’s a little hard to understand (noooo kidding), but it may be a good place to begin to understand the mathematical concepts that lie behind the notion of an expanding universe. One thing that is important to note is that the universe is not expanding out from a single central point–all distances are changing, and the universe has no center. It also has no edge.

    The theory of expanding space is based on the theory that the matter in the universe is expanding outward. That theory is based on misinterpretation of redshift and other misinterpretations. They cannot explain how space itself is expanding. This is because space is not a quantifiable substance. They cannot and do not try to prove that space is a quantifiable substance which can move. They conflate matter and space. If space is pure vacuum how can it expand? Expansion means going from a dense state to a less dense state. A pure vacuum has no density and therefore cannot expand. There is nothing to expand. Besides that where wopuld space expand into if it could expand? It would be expanding into something. A ballon expands because there is space around the ballon for it to expand into. If space didn’t exist outside of the ballon then what does? The theory makes no sense but it is promoted because it is part of big bang cosmology which is the establishment position. Countless careers, and reputations and grants are at stake if big bang cosmology were to fall.

  31. 31
    P. Phillips says:

    For what it is worth, I replied to David Heddle, and it has not posted; maybe the spam filter got it.

    But let me try an abbreviated reply. From the Cosmology statement:

    Supporters of the big bang theory may retort that these theories do not explain every cosmological observation. But that is scarcely surprising, as their development has been severely hampered by a complete lack of funding. Indeed, such questions and alternatives cannot even now be freely discussed and examined. An open exchange of ideas is lacking in most mainstream conferences. Whereas Richard Feynman could say that “science is the culture of doubt”, in cosmology today doubt and dissent are not tolerated, and young scientists learn to remain silent if they have something negative to say about the standard big bang model. Those who doubt the big bang fear that saying so will cost them their funding.

    Even observations are now interpreted through this biased filter, judged right or wrong depending on whether or not they support the big bang. So discordant data on red shifts, lithium and helium abundances, and galaxy distribution, among other topics, are ignored or ridiculed. This reflects a growing dogmatic mindset that is alien to the spirit of free scientific inquiry.

    Today, virtually all financial and experimental resources in cosmology are devoted to big bang studies. Funding comes from only a few sources, and all the peer-review committees that control them are dominated by supporters of the big bang. As a result, the dominance of the big bang within the field has become self-sustaining, irrespective of the scientific validity of the theory.

    Giving support only to projects within the big bang framework undermines a fundamental element of the scientific method — the constant testing of theory against observation. Such a restriction makes unbiased discussion and research impossible. To redress this, we urge those agencies that fund work in cosmology to set aside a significant fraction of their funding for investigations into alternative theories and observational contradictions of the big bang. To avoid bias, the peer review committee that allocates such funds could be composed of astronomers and physicists from outside the field of cosmology.

    Allocating funding to investigations into the big bang’s validity, and its alternatives, would allow the scientific process to determine our most accurate model of the history of the universe.

    # # # #

    And lastly:

    Most recently, on October 3, 2003, the Hubble telescope photographed a galaxy (NGC 7319) known for its dense clouds obstructing all objects behind its core. In front or close to the front of the galaxy’s core is a strongly redshifted QUASAR. This means that the quasar is NOT at the outer regions of the universe…but NEARBY. Its redshift has nothing to do with velocity or distance – it is just an intrinsic, and yet unexplained, QUALITY of the quasar. And that means that the astronomers’ assumptions about redshift, and everything that logically followed, are FALSE.

    This revelation, so devastating to cherished theory, has not gone unnoticed. A group of distinguished astronomers, including Halton Arp himself, presented a paper on this very subject to the American Astronomical Society meeting in January 2004. The paper has also been submitted to an astronomical journal, with a peer review committee recommending heavy “editing” before publication. Permission to publish has yet to be granted.

    There is more to this story, and the facts grow increasingly unsettling. Halton Arp has been delivering critical information to astronomers for many years, and has paid a heavy price. Eventually, the astronomical community DENIED Arp further telescope time, forcing him to leave the United States to carry on his work (he is now affiliated with the Max Planck Institute in Germany.) The people responsible for these actions no doubt felt they were justified in ostracizing Arp for the “greater good.” But the evidence is becoming clear that this is yet another black mark on science that will not be easily removed.

    Recently, dozens of top scientists, including Arp, Eric J. Lerner, and Michael Ibison authored an open letter to the scientific community, arguing that the dominance of big bang theory “rests more on funding decision than on the scientific method.” They write: “Today, virtually all financial and experimental resources in cosmology are devoted to big bang studies. Funding comes from only a few sources, and all the peer-review committees that control them are dominated by supporters of the big bang. As a result, the dominance of the big bang within the field has become self-sustaining, irrespective of the scientific validity of the theory.

  32. 32
    P. Phillips says:

    To clarify, I meant that Dave Scott ignores me too, and that’s fine. My posts are not peer reviewed. Well, God Bless David Heddle, he certainly “peer reviewed” me! Really, no hard feelings, I have to laugh.

    David, does the lack of peer review stop you from reading Theodore Dalrymple or the Pope’s statements on “logos” today? I suspect peer review in the wrong hands is very much a “sword”. I do see the tactics of intimidation used as “acting without reason”.

    From Reuters:

    Benedict several times quoted the argument by Emperor Manual II Paleologos that spreading the faith through violence is unreasonable and that acting without reason — “logos” in the original Greek — was against God’s nature.

    At the end of his lecture, the Pope again quoted Manuel and said: “It is to this great ‘logos’, to this breadth of reason, that we invite our partners in the dialogue of cultures.”

  33. 33
    P. Phillips says:

    Here’s a better excerpt, and let me know when the entire text posts! (No, I’m not Catholic but I appreciate wisdom):

    http://www.catholicnews.com/da.....605188.htm

    The pope’s main point, developed in an academic style, was that in the Western world the growing separation between faith and reason has resulted in a “dangerous state of affairs for humanity,” in which society tries to construct a system of ethics without taking religion seriously and individuals try to make moral choices based solely on the subjective conscience.

    He said this was partly the result of a long process of “de-Hellenization” of Christian theology, in stages marked by an overemphasis on Scripture, a reduction of the Gospel to a “humanitarian moral message” and the creation of a gulf between theology and scientific empiricism.

    The pope said his broad-brush “critique of modern reason” did not aim to turn back the clock or ignore the progress made and the new possibilities opened for humanity. But the church also sees dangers, he said, and believes they can be overcome “only if reason and faith come together in a new way.”

    When the West invites others to a “dialogue of cultures,” it should do so with the understanding that religion is an essential part of its own culture, he said. But in fact, he said, it is widely held in the Western world that the only authentic knowledge is scientific knowledge, and that religion is a purely subjective experience.

    “The world’s most profoundly religious cultures see this exclusion of the divine from the universality of reason as an attack on their most profound convictions,” he said.

    The pope said the West needs to recover the rightful place of philosophy and theology, so that it can say — like the Byzantine emperor who debated the Muslim scholar — that “not to act reasonably … is contrary to the nature of God.”

    The Vatican underlined the academic character of the pope’s address by noting on the text handed out to journalists that a later version would be issued, complete with footnotes.

  34. 34
    Patrick says:

    Philips, your comment was indeed in the spam filter. Also, try to use the blockquote tag so it’s easier to follow your comments.

  35. 35
    P. Phillips says:

    Sorry; e-mail me how to use “block quote”; is that the thick double line that goes down the middle? How do you do that?

    Anyway, when/if I hear from Wallace Thornhill, he may not have comments, probably I’m done!

    Thanks, Patrick!

    Have a great evening, everyone 🙂

  36. 36
    P. Phillips says:

    Oh, on my long quote, it should read:

    Yet you acknowledge I.D., despite its difficulties in obtaining access to mainstream publications, and you are of course very well aware of the difficulties of plasma cosmology adherents being published in the “peer-reviewed” literature. After all, that’s how Einstein, the patent clerk, made such a “big bang”, in peer reviewed literature. And when Arp was denied time, and publication of his work, the peers were of course showing how wise they were.

    To everyone other than David, do consider that once again we see today evidence that any dissent against orthodox dogma is not considered unless it is “peer reviewed”. And when the peers deny access, thus creating a Catch 22, just as the Neo-Darwinians do to proponents of Intelligent Design, well, the thought police have indeed won a great moral victory, ensuring against corruption of the credulous.

  37. 37
    sinclairjd says:

    The following site responds to critics of the Big Bang such as the ones raised in the comments section of this post:

    http://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/RelWWW/wrong.html

    I also recommend Hugh Ross’s book “Creator & the Cosmos”, which has an appendix dedicated to assembling the evidence for a Big Bang.

    I understand the frustration of a thoughtful critic such as P. Phillips with respect to getting a hearing. But it is going to be difficult when he is asking the reader to fact check extremely complicated subject matter from first principles. That would probably take months, since one has to independently verify everything the author says. Hence I suggest the above site (especially Ned Wright’s). Are there intuitively simple reasons to doubt the Big Bang? That would be a much better approach.

    I am interested as to whether P.Phillips developed his skepticism through exposure to theorists such as Arp & Lerner, or whether his initial skepticism came through a philosophical commitment such as young earth creationism.

  38. 38
    DaveScot says:

    P.Phillips

    The biggest problem with Arp’s analysis is that today there are tens of thousands of quasars with known redshifts discovered by various sky surveys. The vast majority of these quasars are not correlated in any way with nearby AGN. Indeed, with improved observing techniques, a number of host galaxies have been observed around quasars which indicates that those quasars at least really are at cosmological distances and are not the kind of objects Arp proposes.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N....._redshifts

    I would put to you that Arp isn’t being denied peer review. He is failing to pass peer review. He isn’t failing to pass peer review because of a conspiracy but because his idea is wrong.

  39. 39
    John A. Davison says:

    I do not believe that any of the basic cellular organelles ever had simpler precursors. Nor are they capable of being improved in any way. Yhey may only be degraded. The whole notion of gradualism collapses when their structure is examined.

    Behe’s irreducable complexity is right on and is not subject to debate. I know of not a single cellular organelle that could conceivably have functioned other than in its now universal state and I don’t think any evidence exists to the contrary. This conclusion follows directly from the evidence from histology and comparative cytology. The cilia that line our upper respiratory tract are morphologically and functionally indistinguishable from those that function to feed the oyster. While there may be differences in their proteins, the function remain exactly the same. It is to propel small particles. The notion that the same structure could have evolved separately in animals as distantly related as a mollusc and a vertebrate is absurd. They were both just reading the same blueprint at the time cilia first appeared in their respective evolutionary lineages. This conclusion is also in complete accord with the Prescribed Evolutionary Hypothesis so it should surprise no one that I present it here.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davisonand basic structure

  40. 40
    John A. Davison says:

    I bet that the Big Bang will prove to be a Big Bust. It is inconceivable to get this much order in the universe out of an explosion. Besides, explosives require ingredients and the BIg Bang didn’t have any as I understand it.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  41. 41
    mentok says:

    Dave in that section you quote there is no reference to that data. I did find this though:

    http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7997

    http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8333

  42. 42
    mentok says:

    Dave from that quote:

    The biggest problem with Arp’s analysis is that today there are tens of thousands of quasars with known redshifts discovered by various sky surveys. The vast majority of these quasars are not correlated in any way with nearby AGN.

    I find that a strange predicament since quasars are supposed to be the result of an active AGN. From wikipedia:

    “The scientific consensus is that quasars are powered by accretion of material onto supermassive black holes in the nuclei of distant galaxies, making these luminous versions of the general class of objects known as active galaxies. No other currently known mechanism appears able to explain the vast energy output and rapid variability.”

  43. 43
    Karl Pfluger says:

    Mentok,

    You’re misunderstanding Dave’s Wikipedia quote. The word ‘nearby’ in that quote means ‘near to us’, not ‘near to the quasar’. If you reread it with this in mind, you’ll see that there is no contradiction with the idea that quasars themselves are AGNs at cosmological distances.

  44. 44
    mentok says:

    Karl if that is the case then that is irrelevant. There are many quasars which have been proven to be connected to galaxies which are at different redshift. This proves that redshift cannot be used as cognate with distance and movement. Since we know that redhift is intrinsic in those quasars instead of based on movement therefore none of the distances theorized by redshift are reliable as accurate. They can come up with as many arguments as they like but so far they have all been defeated, even if they refuse to admit it or even read the refutations. They don’t care. What can you do? Anyways I’m through discussing this topic, there have been numerous links to experts and people can decide for themselves.

  45. 45
    DaveScot says:

    No Mentok. The quasars that Arp identifies are what’re generally called the exception that proves the rule. There are thousands upon thousands of quasars which conform to Hubble prediction and a few anomalous ones that do not. How does Arp explain the fact that the vast majority of objects classified as quasars do not conform to his intrinsic redshift hypothesis?

  46. 46
    DaveScot says:

    The “Big Bang” is misleading by name alone. It wasn’t an explosion.

    I refer all who think of the big bang as an explosion to:

    Misconceptions about the Big Bang

  47. 47
    John A. Davison says:

    Well then how about getting something for nothing or is that wrong too?

  48. 48
    John A. Davison says:

    Thank God I was not “prescribed” to be a cosmologist. It is hard enough trying to maintain my sanity as an evoloutionist.

    “Nothing is so firmly believed as what we least know.”
    Montaigne

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”
    John A. Davison

  49. 49
    DaveScot says:

    The Big Bang theory goes back as far as a singularity where all the matter/energy in the observable universe was compressed so much that it had no physical dimension. We have no theory of anything beyond that such as where the singularity came from and what else might have existed at the time or before. Our physical theories break down at the point of singularities.

    It wasn’t matter/energy that suddenly came into existence in an explosive expansion. It was empty space that suddenly came into existence in an “explosive” expansion. As far as we know the matter/energy was always there. It was empty space that didn’t exist. There was no such thing as distance. At the instant of the Big Bang what was an infinitesimally small distance became a measurable distance, kept growing, and is still growing today. The farthest back we can actually make direct observations is about 300,000 years after the big bang (if memory serves) when the energy in the universe became dilute enough so that it was transparent to light. We can detect that light today as a microwave glow that comes from every direction and is nearly perfectly homogenous. At that time the observable universe was approximately 1000 times smaller than it is today. The source of the inhomogeneity is unknown. If it weren’t for that matter in the universe would be perfectly distributed and there would be no structure at all. The source of the inhomogeneity might be a creator or creators if such existed. Whether or not the structure was present in the singularity is unknown since our physical model of reality breaks down at that point we don’t if structure can exist or not in a singularity.

    So in answer to your question about something from nothing it’s yes, no, and unknown. Yes, it appears empty space came from nothing where no empty space existed before that. No, matter/energy didn’t come from nothing, it was there as far back as we can determine packed into a dimensionless point. It’s unknown if the singularity came from nothing.

    Not a good answer I’m afraid. Any or all of it might be wrong too as everything from time zero to 300,000 years is pure inference.

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    P. Phillips says:

    Dave Scott, your reference to Arp is only one footnote:

    7. The first instance of observing the host galaxies around quasars was announced in 1983 by Gehren as published in the Proceedings of the Twenty-fourth Liege International Astrophysical Colloquium. p. 489-493.

    As Jastrow wrote in God and the Astronomers, about Big Bang believers: “When the scientist has scaled the mountains of ignorance, he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

    It does not address The Einstein Cross. How do you explain that? You have not cited Arp’s own papers or books, e.g., SEEING RED. Have you read the work? What specifics, for example below, do you dispute?

    Abell clusters of galaxies with higher redshifts are distributed right down the spines of both the Virgo cluster and its southern-hemisphere twin, the Fornax cluster. A complete sample over a large region of the southern sky showed that the strongest x-ray cluster concentration had the two brightest galaxies (M83 and Cen A) at its center, despite much larger redshift for the x-ray clusters. In general, x-ray clusters appear more commonly with redshifts of about 0.06 than chance allows, which in Arp’s interpretation marks them as young and intrinsically redshifted.

    Supporting data includes cooling flow measures, which indicate that at least 100 solar masses per year are being lost from these clusters. This implies 100 billion solar masses in a billion years. Where is it going? The obvious possibilities can all be ruled out. BL Lac objects, at redshifts intermediate between quasars and cluster galaxies, are apparently progenitors of clusters of galaxies. Normal galaxies within certain redshift ranges tend to align on the sky in strings, with the lowest redshift galaxy near the center. For example, 13 of the 14 brightest northern hemisphere spiral galaxies in uncrowded fields fall on well-marked lines of galaxies that have concentrations of fainter, higher-redshift galaxies. And there are anomalous faint, blue, often active galaxies that fill out clusters in the redshift range between 0.2 and 0.4. These apparently evolve into the higher luminosity, lower redshift objects seen at 0.02

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    P. Phillips says:

    The last main observational area deals with the quantization of redshifts. In essence, redshifts do not take on all values with equal ease, as they must if they are caused mainly by the velocities of the observed objects. For example, redshifts near 0.061, 0.3, 0.6, 0.91, 1.41, 1.96, etc. occur more frequently than chance permits. Smaller redshifts too occur at preferred periodic intervals, as Tifft has shown in a study confirmed in an independent sample by Guthrie and Napier. The existence of preferred values for redshifts proves that either we are at the center of a series of expanding shells, or redshift does not indicate velocity. Arp cautions that faint quasars with high redshifts do not continue to show this effect, perhaps because the form of the relationship changes at great distances from us (as faintness would suggest). Also, much of the spread that exists around these preferred redshift values is apparently due to the speed of ejection, which can be up to 0.1 c. The average redshift of a quasar pair generally falls closer to a preferred redshift value than does either individual redshift. BL Lac objects show the same quantization, but to a less pronounced degree, as befits their relationship to quasars. Figure 8-16 shows a striking set of bands and gaps for galaxy redshifts in the x-ray cluster Abell 85 that illustrates the redshift quantization effect at a glance.

    Arp’s strength is observational extragalactic astronomy. With theory he is less proficient, but has enlisted the aid of Narlikar, Hoyle and others. The concept of mass increasing with age has no adjustable parameters (the characteristic age being given by the measured age of our own galaxy), yet allows prediction of intrinsic redshifts for objects from K-effect stars to quasars, with results better than an order of magnitude. The Big Bang with many adjustable parameters cannot do as well. Redshift, then, indicates youth. And the slope of the Hubble diagram comes directly from our own galaxy’s age. Since luminosity evolves with mass squared, the apparent brightness-redshift relationship is coincidental, and not an indicator of distance. I am no doubt biased here by seeing simpler theoretical explanations for Arp’s observational constraints than his variable-mass theory can provide. But Arp concedes in places that theories need to evolve with discoveries, something that the Big Bang stopped doing at a fundamental level a generation ago.

    Some of the most entertaining reading in this book is provided by Arp’s interactions with his colleagues and with referees and journal editors. Arp spices up these exchanges with a bit of his own philosophy. Despite its pessimism, I wonder how any of us could have evolved a philosophy much more optimistic if we had been in Arp’s shoes. Anonymous referees frequently use abusive language such as “ludicrous”, or unwarranted generalizations such as “bizarre conclusions based on an extreme bias of the authors wishing to find non-cosmological redshifts”. It was not infrequent to find referees suggesting that the implications should have been used to prove the observations wrong! A Nobel laureate and former teacher is quoted as saying “Arp did not get anything right in my course. I should have flunked him but I could not bear to have him repeat the course with me.”

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    P. Phillips says:

    Sinclairjd, I find big bang cosmology inelegant, despite the mathematics. I believe in Occam’s razor; conceiving “dark energy”, “dark matter”, inflation, et al. indicates “epicycles”.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....concept%29

    DaveScot cites Wiki; so do I. Plasma and Electric are *not* complete; the creators are rather humble — we do not know the origin of the Universe; we are not seeing its creation. But Plasma and electrical forces are simpler explanations of *observerd* phenomenon without resorting to convolutions of the “standard model”. See the Deep Impact predictions; pretty wonderful.

    Wallace Thornhill presented his findings on comets (see above) to the IEEE. The IEEE also published a paper in which electrical effects can be observed, providing warning for earthquakes. Thus, a model exists that explains and may save lives. The link is below.

    http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/dec05/2367

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