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Top lines of evidence supporting intelligent design: #1 The Big Bang

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This image represents the evolution of the Universe, starting with the Big Bang. The red arrow marks the flow of time.
Big Bang/NASA

From ENV:

If the universe had a beginning, then it had a first cause. And if it had a first cause, then it makes sense to ask what kind of first cause is necessary to explain the origin of the universe. It must be:

A cause outside of the universe

Capable of generating all the matter and energy in the universe

Capable of generating all the order we see in inherent within the universe (more on this coming up).

That’s quite a job description — one that no known material cause or set of material causes appears capable of accomplishing. The need for such a powerful and intelligent first cause strongly suggests a purposeful design behind the origin of the universe. More.

The fact that the Big Bang supports design is the principle reason it is unpopular. That explains both the pettifogging arguments against it and the weird cosmologies, destructive to science, now promoted in order to avoid it.

But the biggest question today is whether evidence still matters the way it used to.

See also: Big Bang exterminator wanted, will train

The Big Bang: Put simply,the facts are wrong.

As if the multiverse wasn’t bizarre enough …meet Many Worlds

But who needs reality-based thinking anyway? Not the new cosmologists

Question for multiverse theorists: To what can science appeal, if not evidence?

Thank you for the confirmation and explanations, KF. Much appreciated. Axel
The strongest science backs a big bang SPIRAL over The SCM version. how they match up: SPIRAL vs SCM info-graphic: www.researchgate.net/publication/317415683 either way ID wins. Pearlman
Axel, there are variant spellings, the most common here at UD is ABDUCTION, and yes it is about inference to the best (current) explanation. In the modern sense of "induction" it is a form of inductive reasoning, where premises support but do not guarantee the truth of, a conclusion. here, cases c1, c2 . . . cn are observed as facts and are puzzling until unified and made sense of by some explanation e. Typically e1, e2, . . . em are available, and by some reasonable cirteria we choose the best, some eb. A typical choice is factual adequacy, coherence, explanatory scope and power: elegantly simple but not simplistic and not an ad hoc patchwork. It is arguable that scientific theory formation is abductive and so inherently inductive and provisional. We can argue that worldviews choice on comparative difficulties is also a grand abductive argument, though of course when a given worldview is inherently and inescapably self referentially incoherent that in effect eliminates it as necessarily in material part false. Another problem is ruling of arbitrary datum lines that rule out inconvenient though well warranted facts or locks out hypotheses that would otherwise be serious contenders. Methodological naturalism locks out inconvenient design inferences for example. KF PS: The vacuum sharply reduces heat transfer by conduction or convection, and the mirror coating reduces radiation. Thus we have a reasonably effective barrier to heat transfer mechanisms. kairosfocus
'Adduction is an indirect logical method based on the preponderance of circumstantial observational evidence taken as a whole.' That sounds like 'inference to the best explanation', bubbagyro. Or is it? The more I ponder the question, the more it seems to me that God appears to have made our universe (integrated, coordinated, personal and essentially-spiritual universes), to be open to rational understanding, partially, but no more; and we've now come close to the 'no more' bit, at least, in terms of quantum-scale discovery. But perhaps I reached my limit when I learned about the vacuum in the inner container keeping the content of a thermos flask, hot or cold Axel
ET, new to me, just added it to my wish list links! KF kairosfocus
TWSYF @ 12 - to repeat, I don't know. I don't have a belief, simply because I haven't seen any evidence that is strong enough. I'd prefer to keep an open mind. Bob O'H
ET, the issue is to explain level 1 laws, constants, values etc.
I agree. Have you read Walter Bradley's chapter (on that very subject in Signs of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent Design? It looks like it is time to find it, dust it off and present its finer points. He does a good job. ET
rvb8, please buy a vowel. Creation predicts a beginning, a known point of origin. When "the big bang" concept was first introduced it was denounced because it favored the Creationists. ET
That the universe had a known point of origin, at a roughly known, testable date is scientific fact. It is supported by two irrefutable pieces of evidence; one, the 'red shift', or 'Doppler effect'. All pointing to one universal central singularity, we can point our telescopes at. Two, detected and detectable cosmic backround radiation. These two rock solid, (Nobel lauriette) tested, pieces of evidence alone should silence creationists. What happened before singularity? Your god is an idea I suppose. But testing for that idea is utterly impossible, and therefore, that old religious standby, 'faith' steps in. There are untestable, (as yet) multiverse theories, and purely speculative, theoretical mathematical models for posibilities. But we will die before this mystery (which creationists have already answered), will be solved. rvb8
ET, the issue is to explain level 1 laws, constants, values etc. That exports the issue of blind chance and/or necessity and/or design to level two. Where level two will be just as much fine tuned. KF kairosfocus
Design and luck are not the only choices. Law is the third option.
Not when the question pertains to those very laws, as it does in this case. ET
JDK, kindly notice that ever since Plato in the Laws bBk X, design thinkers have discussed blind chance, mechanical necessity and intentionally directed configuration -- "art" or "design" as relevant causal possibilities. In Plato's case, this was in the context of the first cosmological design inference on record, one of philosophical character. The issue with the origin of the cosmos we observe is that we have every reason to see extremely high contingency in the set of parameters, laws, values, constants etc that make it up, and if such are more or less forced in our case, that simply exports the fine tuning up one level. This is Robin Collins' cosmos bakery problem: a bakery has to be just so to produce well tempered loaves, as opposed to half baked messes or burned hockey pucks. It turns out that relatively minor shifts in many parameters connected to the physics of the observed cosmos would lead to something radically hostile to C-Chem, aqueous medium life on terrestrial planets in galactic habitable zones. This is Leslie's lone fly on a patch of wall swotted by a bullet, as opposed to finding a patch carpeted with flies so that a bullet hitting anywhere in the zone would hit something. In short the observed cosmos, the only such, exhibits a coherent, complex functionally specific, fine tuned organisation of its physics that makes it amenable to the sort of life we enjoy. This needs to be squarely faced. KF kairosfocus
Bob O'H @ 7: Of course you don't know how the universe came into existence. None of us do. We have beliefs based on what we think is the best explanation of empirical evidence. I am interested in learning what your belief is and why. How do you BELIEVE the universe came into existence and why do you hold that BELIEF? Truth Will Set You Free
jdk @ 10: Good point. Any positive evidence for law-like processes (sometimes called "necessity") giving rise to a universe? Truth Will Set You Free
Design and luck are not the only choices. Law is the third option. jdk
Without Design as an explanation all that is left is sheer dumb luck. And there isn't any positive evidence for that ET
The Big Bang cosmology is not a "Theory". It is an Hypothesis based on Adduction. Adduction is an indirect logical method based on the preponderance of circumstantial observational evidence taken as a whole. bubbagyro
TWSYF @ 5 - my answer is a simple "I don't know". Because I don't know. But I'm not sure how the "best explanation based on what we know about the universe" has to be one for which there is no positive evidence. Bob O'H
News, Thanks for the further explanation. Is there evidence showing that a significant number of cosmologists dislike the Big Bang theory (while reluctantly accepting it)? Now if you just mean something like the sentiment expressed by John Ellis about the state of particle physics: "If you write down the Standard Model, quite frankly it's a mess", then I could understand if even some Big Bang proponents feel the theory is very ad hoc or even ugly in its current state. I believe that at least some of the multiverse theories are consistent with the BBTs, so advocating for the multiverse does not necessarily indicate that one is attempting to refute BBTs. daveS
Bob O'H @ 2: You understand, of course, that this is not a "has to be" type of argument. It is an inference to the best explanation based on what we know about the universe, i.e. physical constants, mathematical rules, fine tuning, etc. It takes a mind to understand those things, so many of us (not all, of course) think it took a mind to create them. I am curious to know what your inference to the best explanation is. How did the universe come into being and why do you believe (have faith) in that explanation? Truth Will Set You Free
DaveS at 1, the Big Bang is not overwhelmingly popular. It is overwhelmingly accepted on the basis of evidence, which is an entirely different matter. News
Read this post by William J Murray, Bob : https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/intelligent-design/science-is-intelligent-design/ Axel
Hang on, we don't know of any cause that could create the universe, so it has to be intelligent? That makes no logical sense. Evidently we don't know of any intelligence that could create a universe. Bob O'H
The fact that the Big Bang supports design is the principle reason it is unpopular.
I was going to say that certainly among cosmologists and scientist working in related fields, "the" Big Bang theory is overwhelmingly popular. I put quotation marks on "the" because there are many variants; currently the Lambda-CDM (CDM = cold dark matter) theory is in vogue I gather. On the other hand, apparently there is a poll which made the rounds a few years ago indicating that only 20% of Americans at large are very confident or extremely confident that the universe began about 13--14 billion years ago with the Big Bang. That actually seems appropriate to me. I believe that the Big Bang theory is likely the best thing going at the moment, but that belief is based largely on trust in what the experts say. I don't know enough of the science to evaluate the theory myself. For example, for all I know, dark matter could turn out not to exist. Therefore, I'm a bit reluctant to say I'm very/extremely confident that the BBT is "true". daveS

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