Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

When science becomes religion, science journalists write the scriptures

arroba Email

Asked at Aeon, “Are we part of a dying reality or a blip in eternity? The value of the Hubble Constant could tell us which terror awaits”:

What determines our fate? To the Stoic Greek philosophers, fate is the external product of divine will, ‘the thread of your destiny’. To transcendentalists such as Henry David Thoreau, it is an inward matter of self-determination, of ‘what a man thinks of himself’. To modern cosmologists, fate is something else entirely: a sweeping, impersonal physical process that can be boiled down into a single, momentous number known as the Hubble Constant.

The Hubble Constant can be defined simply as the rate at which the Universe is expanding, a measure of how quickly the space between galaxies is stretching apart. The slightest interpretation exposes a web of complexity encased within that seeming simplicity, however. Extrapolating the expansion process backward implies that all the galaxies we can observe originated together at some point in the past – emerging from a Big Bang – and that the Universe has a finite age. Extrapolating forward presents two starkly opposed futures, either an endless era of expansion and dissipation or an eventual turnabout that will wipe out the current order and begin the process anew.

That’s a lot of emotional and intellectual weight resting on one small number.

Corey S. Powell, “Fate of the Universe” at Aeon

Bet on them all being wrong. That’s probably the only thing that has happened lots of times before.

Here are quite a few negative results that seriously question the atheistic cosmologist's belief in "quantum foam' and/or vacuum energy
GRBs Expand Astronomers’ Toolbox – Nov. 2009 Excerpt: a detailed analysis of the GRB (Gamma Ray Burst) in question demonstrated that photons of all energies arrived at essentially the same time. Consequently, these results falsify any quantum gravity models requiring the simplest form of a frothy space. per reasons Quantum Foam Paper Suggests Einstein Was Right About Space-Time Being ‘Smooth’ – January 2013 Excerpt: It appears Albert Einstein may have been right yet again. A team of researchers came to this conclusion after tracing the long journey three photons took through intergalactic space. The photons were blasted out by an intense explosion known as a gamma-ray burst about 7 billion light-years from Earth. They finally barreled into the detectors of NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in May 2009, arriving just a millisecond apart. Their dead-heat finish strongly supports the Einsteinian view of space-time, researchers said. The wavelengths of gamma-ray burst photons are so small that they should be able to interact with the even tinier “bubbles” in the quantum theorists’ proposed space-time foam. If this foam indeed exists, the three photons should have been knocked around a bit during their epic voyage. In such a scenario, the chances of all three reaching the Fermi telescope at virtually the same time are very low, researchers said.?So the new study is a strike against the foam’s existence as currently imagined,,, “If foaminess exists at all, we think it must be at a scale far smaller than the Planck length,” - per Huffington post Confirming Einstein, scientists find ‘spacetime foam’ not slowing down photons from faraway gamma-ray burst (Update) – Mar 16, 2015 Excerpt: Albert Einstein formulated the general theory of relativity, one of the theory’s basic assumptions: the idea that all light particles, or photons, propagate at exactly the same speed.,, The researchers analyzed data, obtained by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, of the arrival times of photons from a distant gamma-ray burst. The data showed that photons traveling for billions of years from the distant burst toward Earth all arrived within a fraction of a second of each other. This finding indicates that the photons all moved at the same speed, even though different photons had different energies. This is one of the best measurements ever of the independence of the speed of light from the energy of the light particles.,,, One of the attempts to reconcile the two theories (Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity) is the idea of “space-time foam.” According to this concept, on a microscopic scale space is not continuous, and instead it has a foam-like structure. The size of these foam elements is so tiny that it is difficult to imagine and is at present impossible to measure directly. However light particles that are traveling within this foam will be affected by the foamy structure, and this will cause them to propagate at slightly different speeds depending on their energy. The fact that all the photons with different energies arrived with no time delay relative to each other indicates that such a foamy structure, if it exists at all, has a much smaller size than previously expected. “When we began our analysis, we didn’t expect to obtain such a precise measurement,” said Prof. Tsvi Piran, the Schwartzmann University Chair at the Hebrew University’s Racah Institute of Physics and a leader of the research. “This new limit is at the level expected from quantum gravity theories. - per physorg NASA telescopes set limits on space-time quantum ‘foam’ – May, 28. 2015 Excerpt: At the smallest scales of distance and duration that we can measure, spacetime—that is, the three dimensions of space plus time—appears to be smooth and structureless. However, certain aspects of quantum mechanics, the highly successful theory scientists have developed to explain the physics of atoms and subatomic particles, predict that spacetime would not be smooth. Rather, it would have a foamy, jittery nature and would consist of many small, ever-changing, regions for which space and time are no longer definite, but fluctuate.,,, Chandra’s X-ray detection of quasars at distances of billions of light-years rules out one model, according to which photons diffuse randomly through spacetime foam in a manner similar to light diffusing through fog. Detections of distant quasars at shorter, gamma-ray wavelengths with Fermi and even shorter wavelengths with VERITAS demonstrate that a second, so-called holographic model with less diffusion does not work. “We find that our data can rule out two different models for spacetime foam,” said co-author Jack Ng of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. “We can conclude that spacetime is less foamy than some (quantum) models predict.” The X-ray and gamma-ray data show that spacetime is smooth down to distances 1,000 times smaller than the nucleus of a hydrogen atom. - per physorg Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity – April 30, 2018 New observations of extreme astrophysical systems have “brutally and pitilessly murdered” attempts to replace Einstein’s general theory of relativity. Excerpt: All attempts to directly detect dark matter and dark energy have failed, however. That fact “kind of leaves a bad taste in some people’s mouths, almost like the fictional planet Vulcan,” said Leo Stein, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. “Maybe we’re going about it all wrong?”,,, “The business of alternative gravity theories is a messy one,” Archibald said. Some would-be replacements for general relativity, like string theory and loop quantum gravity, don’t offer testable predictions. Others “make predictions that are spectacularly wrong, so the theorists have to devise some kind of a screening mechanism to hide the wrong prediction on scales we can actually test,” she said. https://www.quantamagazine.org/troubled-times-for-alternatives-to-einsteins-theory-of-gravity-20180430/ Stephen Hawking Says Nothing Existed Before Big Bang; Christian Astrophysicist Hugh Ross Responds – By Michael Gryboski – Mar 5, 2018 Excerpt: Ross responded that while Hawking was correct that “time has a beginning,” nevertheless “the beginning of time demands a Causal Agent capable of creating time independent of time. It is not enough to simply speculate that imaginary time also exists.”,,, ,,,the (quantum fluctuation) model that Hawking is proposing for the origins of the Universe is problematic in light of modern astronomical observations.,,, “Recent observations showing that the images of distant quasars and blazars are not blurry, but rather are sharp, constrain the size of these quantum space-time fluctuations. The fluctuations are not large enough to escape the need for a Creator who creates space and time or for the universe to have a finite age.” https://www.christianpost.com/news/stephen-hawking-nothing-existed-before-big-bang-christian-astrophysicist-hugh-ross-220309/
This leaves the atheistic cosmologists in quite the pinch in regards to ever giving an adequate explanation for why the universe in expanding in such a finely tuned (1 in 10^123) way as it is. Whereas the Christian Theist is, once again, found to be sitting quite comfortably in regards to the evidence we now have in hand. The following site list several verses that speak of God 'stretching out the heavens'
Bible References to God Stretching Out the Heavens http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/Nave-html/Faithpathh/stretch.html
The following verse is my favorite out of the group of verses:
Job 9:8 He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.
Might it be too obvious to point out the fact that, since God is real and the entire universe is firmly in His control, then the 'fate' of humanity, and the fate of the entire universe, is not nearly as bleak and dire as the author in the OP portrayed it to be?
Romans 8: 18-23 I consider that our present sufferings are not comparable to the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the revelation of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not by its own will, but because of the One who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until the present time. Not only that, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.
Indeed, we have a firm hope in Jesus Christ that death will not have the final say in our own personal lives
1 Corinthians 15:55-57 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Mandy Moore – Only Hope (Official Music Video) – ( A Walk to Remember Soundtrack) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qReHGDNKC0c
Of supplemental note: People who believe in vacuum energy, usually point to the Casimir Effect as supposedly definitive proof for vacuum energy (and/or zero point energy, and/or quantum foam).
What is the Casimir Effect? The Casimir effect is a small attractive force that acts between two close parallel uncharged conducting plates. It is caused by quantum vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field. The effect was predicted by the Dutch physicist Hendrick Casimir in 1948. According to quantum theory, the vacuum contains virtual particles which are in a continuous state of fluctuation (see physics FAQ article on virtual particles). Casimir realised that between two plates, only those virtual photons whose wavelengths fit a whole number of times into the gap should be counted when calculating the vacuum energy. The energy density decreases as the plates are moved closer together, which implies that there is a small force drawing them together. https://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Quantum/casimir.html
Yet, the Casimir Effect is not definitive proof for virtual particles and/or quantum foam. Far from it. As the following article states, ““Casimir effects can be formulated and Casimir forces can be computed without reference to zero-point energies.,,, In fact, the description in terms of van der Waals forces is the only correct description from the fundamental microscopic perspective,[20][21] while other descriptions of Casimir force are merely effective macroscopic descriptions.”
Relativistic van der Waals force Alternatively, a 2005 paper by Robert Jaffe of MIT states that “Casimir effects can be formulated and Casimir forces can be computed without reference to zero-point energies. They are relativistic, quantum forces between charges and currents. The Casimir force (per unit area) between parallel plates vanishes as alpha, the fine structure constant, goes to zero, and the standard result, which appears to be independent of alpha, corresponds to the alpha approaching infinity limit,” and that “The Casimir force is simply the (relativistic, retarded) van der Waals force between the metal plates.”[18] Casimir and Polder’s original paper used this method to derive the Casimir-Polder force. In 1978, Schwinger, DeRadd, and Milton published a similar derivation for the Casimir Effect between two parallel plates.[19] In fact, the description in terms of van der Waals forces is the only correct description from the fundamental microscopic perspective,[20][21] while other descriptions of Casimir force are merely effective macroscopic descriptions. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_effect#Relativistic_van_der_Waals_force
Bottom line, atheistic cosmologists simply have no physical/material mechanism to explain why the universe is found to be expanding in such a finely tuned (1 in 10^122) fashion as it is. Whereas, on the other hand, the Christian Theist expected, via numerous bible verses, the heavens to be 'stretched out' by God Himself. bornagain77
First off, there are good scientific reasons to believe that the cyclical model is incorrect. As Bruce Gordon explains in the following video, "And if there were a pre-Big Bang state and you had some bounces, then that (1 in 10^10^123) fine tuning (for entropy) gets even finer as you go backwards if you can even imagine such a thing.”
“An explosion you think of as kind of a messy event. And this is the point about entropy. The explosion in which our universe began was not a messy event. And if you talk about how messy it could have been, this is what the Penrose calculation is all about essentially. It looks at the observed statistical entropy in our universe. The entropy per baryon. And he calculates that out and he arrives at a certain figure. And then he calculates using the Bekenstein-Hawking formula for Black-Hole entropy what the,,, (what sort of entropy could have been associated with,,, the singularity that would have constituted the beginning of the universe). So you've got the numerator, the observed entropy, and the denominator, how big it (the entropy) could have been. And that fraction turns out to be,, 1 over 10 to the 10 to the 123rd power. Let me just emphasize how big that denominator is so you can gain a real appreciation for how small that probability is. So there are 10^80th baryons in the universe. Protons and Neutrons. Now suppose we put a zero on every one of those. OK, how many zeros is that? That is 10^80th zeros. This number has 10^123rd zeros. OK, so you would need a hundred million, trillion, trillion, trillion, universes our size, with zero on every proton and neutron in all of those universes just to write out this number. That is how fine tuned the initial entropy of our universe is. And if there were a pre-Big Bang state and you had some bounces, then that (1 in 10^10^123) fine tuning (for entropy) gets even finer as you go backwards if you can even imagine such a thing.” Dr Bruce Gordon - Contemporary Physics and God Part 2 - video – 1:50 minute mark - video https://youtu.be/ff_sNyGNSko?t=110
As well, the cyclical model was seriously brought into question with the results of the Boomerang experiment.
Refutation of Bouncing (Oscillating) Universe - Michael Strauss – video (12:00 minute mark) https://vimeo.com/9195703 ??Evidence For Flat Universe - Boomerang Project http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/boomerang-flat.html http://www.lbl.gov/Science-Articles/Archive/images1/omegamomegal3.gif updated boomerang - picture https://uncommondesc.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/t1_cos_combined1.gif
Moreover, and more importantly, the existence of a 'true cosmological constant', (no matter what the number turns out to be (67 or 73) for the expansion rate), is evidence for God. Don't take my word for it, in the following article three atheistic astrophysicists argued against there being a 'true cosmological constant' since if we lived in a universe with a 'true cosmological constant' then, in their opinion, that would mean “Arranging the universe as we think it is arranged would have required a miracle.,,,”, and they also stated a true cosmological constant would indicate that, “A unknown agent [external to time and space] intervened [in cosmic history] for reasons of its own.,,,”
Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant – Dyson, Kleban, Susskind (each are self proclaimed atheists) – 2002 Excerpt: “Arranging the universe as we think it is arranged would have required a miracle.,,,” “The question then is whether the origin of the universe can be a naturally occurring fluctuation, or must it be due to an external agent which starts the system out in a specific low entropy state?” page 19: “A unknown agent [external to time and space] intervened [in cosmic history] for reasons of its own.,,,” Page 21 “The only reasonable conclusion is that we don’t live in a universe with a true cosmological constant”. http://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/0208013.pdf
Astrophysicist Hugh Ross comments on the ‘disturbing implications’ that “dark energy” had given those three atheistic astrophysicists at the 6:09 minute mark of the following video
Astrophysicist Hugh Ross – Incredible Astronomical Discoveries & Dark Energy – 2018 video https://youtu.be/c9J9r7mdB6Q?t=367 Of note, as Dr. Ross noted, Dyson, Kleban, and Susskind withdrew their paper from consideration when the empirical evidence for a 'true cosmological constant', (fine tuned to 1 in 10^122), became overwhelming.
Also of note: Atheistic astrophysicists also imagine that the expansion of the universe is driven by 'dark energy' which they believe to be 'vacuum energy' and/or 'zero point energy'
Vacuum energy is an underlying background energy that exists in space throughout the entire Universe.[1] The vacuum energy is a special case of zero-point energy that relates to the quantum vacuum.[2] - per wikipedia Vacuum Energy, or Einstein’s Blunder If Las Vegas were taking bets on dark energy, the odds would favor a concept known as vacuum energy or the cosmological constant. In essence, it suggests that space itself produces energy, which is "pushing" the universe outward.,,, Today, physicists explain the cosmological constant as the vacuum energy of space. In essence, this says that pairs of particles are constantly popping into existence throughout the universe. These "virtual pairs" consist of one particle with a negative charge and one with a positive charge. They exist for only a tiny fraction of a second before they collide and annihilate each other in a tiny burst of energy. This energy may be pushing outward on space itself, causing the universe to accelerate faster. https://hetdex.org/dark_energy/what_is_it/vacuum_energy.html
Small problem for atheistic cosmologists who believe that vacuum energy is driving the expansion of the universe,, no one can seem to detect this zero point energy, vacuum energy, and/or ‘quantum foam’ that they believe to be driving the expansion of the universe. bornagain77
Mandy Moore - Only Hope (Official Music Video) - ( A Walk to Remember Soundtrack) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qReHGDNKC0c bornagain77
Bet on them all being wrong. That’s probably the only thing that has happened lots of times before.
Haha! Exactly. And the imminent collapse of the human genome from an unsustainable genetic load will easily block the evolutionary thumbsuck from ever happening. -Q Querius
On the timescales involved, it's not a fate we need worry about. If we are still around in some far distant future - a big "if" - we will probably have evolved into something largely unrecognizable and which we almost certainly wouldn't like. Seversky
"... and begin the process anew." Just how certain are you the process will begin anew? (As if that were something to put your hope in anyway.) If it just ends in a big crunch with no new bang, it wouldn't be the first time physicists were wrong about something. But it would be the last. EDTA

Leave a Reply