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Do we live at a special time in the history of the universe, for making science observations?

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

Our Jonathan Bartlett (johnnyb) wrote recently at Answers in Genesis:

Lawrence Krauss and Robert J. Scherrer surprised the cosmology world in 2007 when they published an essay titled “The Return of a Static Universe and the End of Cosmology.” The paper showed that, assuming the truth of the current big bang model, in the far future (hundreds of billions of years from now) many evidences for the big bang itself will be gone, preventing future cosmologists from even being able to detect evidence for it.

The conclusion that Krauss and Scherrer come to after this examination of the present and future state of cosmology is that we live in a very special time in the universe. We live in a time when it is possible to make the needed observations to tell us what the big bang was like. If we lived in some other time, the data would point to incorrect conclusions about what the universe is really like and about the history of the universe.

Move along, folks. It gets really confusing at this point. Krauss is a naturalist atheist and a prolific one at that, so you’d think… Bartlett suggests,

A better path is appropriate humility toward the limits of what we can observe, what we can know, and what we can prove. This is expressed much more carefully in a paper on the same topic from three decades earlier by Rothman and Ellis. Having more of a philosophical background (as opposed to Krauss’ stated antiphilosophical stance, as demonstrated in Ross Andersen’s article “Has Physics Made Philosophy and Religion Obsolete?”), Rothman and Ellis pointed out that it might be that “our theories reflect not so much the features of the Universe but rather the age in which they were invented.” If only present cosmologists would maintain such humility at the task before them.

Lawyer and historian Edward Sisson helps us understand the underlying currents of self-interest that get in the way:

The person who says “I know the answer” will get attention from others — and as a practical matter, payment and support. The person who says “you do not know the answer, and neither do I,” does not get either — even if the first person is wrong and the second person is correct.

See also: Cosmologist Larry Krauss explains a universe from nothing to an astrophysicist


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

This is a special time in terms of observing the collapse of Darwinian evolution. The gap between what is observed and what is claimed is growing wider every day and evolutionary adherents are beginning to look like crazed cultists for whom no amount of evidence is sufficient to dent their faith. Florabama
How on earth did people ever get by before science came along? Are humans the only form of life on earth that "do science"? Mung

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