Big Bang Religion Science

The Big Bang was a Catholic plot. You knew that, right?

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<em>Teapot</em> Cobalt Blue From Ray Cavanaugh at Salvo:

After his ordination [to the priesthood], Lemaître won a scholarship to study abroad and headed to Cambridge University, where he worked with the astronomer Arthur Eddington. He then migrated from Cambridge in the U.K. to Cambridge, Massachusetts, so he could study at Harvard and M.I.T., where he earned a doctoral degree. Returning to Belgium (at least for a while), he was appointed professor of physics at the Catholic University of Leuven. Right around this time, he published the formidably titled paper, “A Homogenous Universe of Constant Mass and Increasing Radiation, Taking Account of the Radial Velocity of Extragalactic Nebulae,” which questioned Einstein’s idea of a static universe.

By the latter half of the 1920s, Lemaître had taken the concept further than Friedmann or anyone else. His contention was that, if the universe is expanding, then it must have been smaller in the past—increasingly so the farther back in time it went, all the way back to a point when everything was packed together into a spectacularly dense particle—labeled a “primeval atom”—which, by exploding, created time, space, and this ever-expanding universe.

Lemaître presented this theory in writing to Einstein in October 1927, when the two first met at a conference in Brussels. As the priest later recalled, Einstein’s response was, “Your calculations are correct, but your physics is abominable.” Lemaître’s work was more or less dismissed by the New York Times, which called his theory “highly romantic.” The encyclopedia Notable Scientists said that Lemaître’s main problem was that his theory “lacked sufficient mathematical backing for widespread acceptance.” Such backing would arrive in the fullness of time. More.

Actually, the principal reason so many pundits hate the Big Bang is its theistic implications. And how dare evidence matter if it isn’t giving them what they need in order to promote their Cool views to their media courtiers?

See also: Big Bang exterminator wanted, will train


How naturalism rots science from the head down

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12 Replies to “The Big Bang was a Catholic plot. You knew that, right?

  1. 1
    harry says:

    Robert Jastrow was the first chairman of NASA’s Lunar Exploration Committee, which established the scientific goals for the exploration of the moon during the Apollo lunar landings. At the same time he was also the Chief of the Theoretical Division at NASA (1958–61). He became the founding director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in 1961, and served until his retirement from NASA in 1981. Concurrently he was also a Professor of Geophysics at Columbia University. In his book God and the Astronomers he sums up the reaction of science to the ever-increasing corroboration of the Big Bang theory:

    For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He 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.

    Yes, “the principal reason so many pundits hate the Big Bang is its theistic implications.”

  2. 2
    jdk says:

    Hmmm. Can you name a “pundit” who “hates the Big Bang”?

    I think it’s pretty much broadly accepted throughout the scientific world. Who is someone who hates it?

  3. 3
    News says:

    jdk at 2, See Big Bang exterminator wanted, will train for an initial list of resources. It’s harder to attack the Big Bang today because the attackers generally need to align themselves with crackpot cosmology Many seem willing to pay the price.

  4. 4
    Axel says:

    One word, jdk :


    …and here is something else for you to chew on, and for the rest of us to savour, particularly bornagain :

  5. 5
    jdk says:

    Hmm. Lewontin doesn’t accept a theistic explanation of the Big Bang, but does he actually resist accepting the Big Bang explanation of the start of the universe? I don’t know hardly anything about him, so I don’t know whether he “hates the Big Bang” or not.

  6. 6
    chris haynes says:

    Are you kidding?
    A fact based person disputing Fr. Lemaitre’s Big Bang? In 2017?
    Good luck finding one.

    But once upon a time top Atheist activists, like Dr. Fred Hoyle, campaigned against the big Bang. In fact, Its very name was their attempt to kill it by mockery. Unfortunately, the facts prevailed.

    Today, its even worse for our Atheist friends. The basic concept of the Big Bang is not even their big problem. Instead they are desperate to give a non-Creationist, but still rational, explanation for the Fine Tuning of the Big Bang.

    Dr.Lee Smolin has summarized the 3 explanations for Fine Tuning:
    1) The Fine Tuning is due to Unknown Phenomena governed by Unknown Laws.
    2) The Multiverse Theory
    3) Creationism

    No 1 seems a bit vague.

    No 2 is untestable, and without supporting evidence. It is, howver, good for laughs.
    In fact, leading Multiverse proponents, such as MIT’s Dr. Alan Guth, say it makes important predictions.
    One of these is that Sarah Palin has won the Nobel Prize, infinitely many times.
    Kid you not.

    No 3, of course, is against the Constitution.
    Federal Judges have say that you cant teach about Creationist Fine Tuning because of the First Amendment which is Freedom of Speech.

  7. 7
    hammaspeikko says:

    Chris, I have never been too convinced by the fine tuning argument. Yes, if any of these constants were slightly different, the universe would be a very different place. If it existed at all. But I have always thought that the fine tuning argument depends on the possibility that any of these constants could be different than what they are. And there is no evidence for that.

  8. 8
    kairosfocus says:

    HP, do you understand the second-level implication of the fine-tuned cluster of constants, laws, parameters, initial values etc being forced to hold the values they have — as you just suggested? Yup, higher order fine-tuning through a super-law of our cosmos that would have in effect programmed C-Chemistry, aqueous medium, terrestrial-planet, cell-based life into the “dna” of the physics of our cosmos. In short, as is so common with attempts to drive out fine tuning, you pushed it out the door one way, only to have it come back with redoubled force from another direction. And BTW, the degree of fine tuning of that super-law will compound that of the individual factors. KF

    PS: Note this, from Walker and Davies, on just how robust this sort of issue is, from fundamental insights of statistical thermodynamics and the study of dynamic-stochastic systems and their phase spaces:

    In physics, particularly in statistical mechanics, we base many of our calculations on the assumption of metric transitivity, which asserts that a system’s trajectory will eventually [–> given “enough time and search resources”] explore the entirety of its state space – thus everything that is phys-ically possible will eventually happen. It should then be trivially true that one could choose an arbitrary “final state” (e.g., a living organism) and “explain” it by evolving the system backwards in time choosing an appropriate state at some ’start’ time t_0 (fine-tuning the initial state). In the case of a chaotic system the initial state must be specified to arbitrarily high precision. But this account amounts to no more than saying that the world is as it is because it was as it was, and our current narrative therefore scarcely constitutes an explanation in the true scientific sense.

    We are left in a bit of a conundrum with respect to the problem of specifying the initial conditions necessary to explain our world. A key point is that if we require specialness in our initial state (such that we observe the current state of the world and not any other state) metric transitivity cannot hold true, as it blurs any dependency on initial conditions – that is, it makes little sense for us to single out any particular state as special by calling it the ’initial’ state. If we instead relax the assumption of metric transitivity (which seems more realistic for many real world physical systems – including life), then our phase space will consist of isolated pocket regions and it is not necessarily possible to get to any other physically possible state (see e.g. Fig. 1 for a cellular automata example).

    [–> or, there may not be “enough” time and/or resources for the relevant exploration, i.e. we see the 500 – 1,000 bit complexity threshold at work vs 10^57 – 10^80 atoms with fast rxn rates at about 10^-13 to 10^-15 s leading to inability to explore more than a vanishingly small fraction on the gamut of Sol system or observed cosmos . . . the only actually, credibly observed cosmos]

    Thus the initial state must be tuned to be in the region of phase space in which we find ourselves [–> notice, fine tuning], and there are regions of the configuration space our physical universe would be excluded from accessing, even if those states may be equally consistent and permissible under the microscopic laws of physics (starting from a different initial state). Thus according to the standard picture, we require special initial conditions to explain the complexity of the world, but also have a sense that we should not be on a particularly special trajectory to get here (or anywhere else) as it would be a sign of fine–tuning of the initial conditions. [ –> notice, the “loading”] Stated most simply, a potential problem with the way we currently formulate physics is that you can’t necessarily get everywhere from anywhere (see Walker [31] for discussion). [“The “Hard Problem” of Life,” June 23, 2016, a discussion by Sara Imari Walker and Paul C.W. Davies at Arxiv.]

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    PPS: Wiki (cited as a handy reference speaking from a known secularist ideology) gives a summary definition of phase space:

    In mathematics and physics, a phase space of a dynamical system is a space in which all possible states of a system are represented, with each possible state corresponding to one unique point in the phase space. For mechanical systems, the phase space usually consists of all possible values of position and momentum variables. The concept of phase space was developed in the late 19th century by Ludwig Boltzmann, Henri Poincaré, and Willard Gibbs.

    (A configuration space, roughly, is a cut-down version where the issue is not path of motion but particular states from fields of possible states, e.g. a digital memory space.)

  10. 10
    hammaspeikko says:


    HP, do you understand the second-level implication of the fine-tuned cluster of constants, laws,…

    Yes I do. But by the same rationale, you and I are also finely tuned for our existence. Any other sperm cell or any other ovum and we would not exist. The probabilities are immensely small. Take it back a few hundred generations and the probability that the exact assemblage of DNA that makes you and I would stagger belief. But the probability of you and I existing are 1. Because we exist.

    Arguing fine tuning of the universe follows the same flawed logic as I used above. The universe exists so arguing it’s probability, which is all the fine tuning argument is, is pointless.

  11. 11
    kairosfocus says:


    but of course, close, coherent adaptation of parts and their information-rich functional organisation towards an evident end is a strong hallmark of design as cause.

    Something, Paley pointed out 200+ years ago when he discussed stumbling over a watch in a field vs a stone. But what is not so well known — too often, in haste to knock over a strawman caricature of his design argument — is that in Ch 2 [only a few pp. away] he put up the thought exercise of discovering that the watch was not only time-keeping but had the additional capacity of self-replication:

    Suppose, in the next place, that the person who found the watch should after some time discover that, in addition to all the properties which he had hitherto observed in it, it possessed the unexpected property of producing in the course of its movement another watch like itself — the thing is conceivable; that it contained within it a mechanism, a system of parts — a mold, for instance, or a complex adjustment of lathes, baffles, and other tools — evidently and separately calculated for this purpose . . . .

    The first effect would be to increase his admiration of the contrivance, and his conviction of the consummate skill of the contriver. Whether he regarded the object of the contrivance, the distinct apparatus, the intricate, yet in many parts intelligible mechanism by which it was carried on, he would perceive in this new observation nothing but an additional reason for doing what he had already done — for referring the construction of the watch to design and to supreme art . . . . He would reflect, that though the watch before him were, in some sense, the maker of the watch, which, was fabricated in the course of its movements, yet it was in a very different sense from that in which a carpenter, for instance, is the maker of a chair — the author of its contrivance, the cause of the relation of its parts to their use.

    [[Emphases added. (Note: It is easy to rhetorically dismiss this argument because of the context: a work of natural theology. But, since (i) valid science can be — and has been — done by theologians; since (ii) the greatest of all modern scientific books (Newton’s Principia) contains the General Scholium which is an essay in just such natural theology; and since (iii) an argument ‘s weight depends on its merits, we should not yield to such “label and dismiss” tactics. It is also worth noting Newton’s remarks that “thus much concerning God; to discourse of whom from the appearances of things, does certainly belong to Natural Philosophy [[i.e. what we now call “science”].” )]

    He goes on to discuss the implication of even a quasi- infinite chain of succession of that process, it still does not explain the contrivance. So, our being biologically unique as individuals is a red herring. The issue is, the whole system of our life from a fertilised ovum in the Fallopian tubes on, is that we are part of a system of cell based life that is riddled with FSCO/I, including in the very process of reproduction. Indeed the genetics involved are a complex information based system.

    And so, we are contingent beings who happen to manifest responsible, rational, self-moved freedom involving rational contemplation. That capability simply does not have an adequate cause in the dynamic-stochastic behaviour of a computational substrate. Indeed, nor can a material substrate account for responsibility.

    All of this cries out for radical rethinking, but this is an astonishingly sheeple-ish age of millions who have been conditioned to blindly follow the decrees of the lab coat clad evo mat scientism driven new magisterium:

    . . . to put a correct view of the universe into people’s heads [==> as in, “we” have cornered the market on truth, warrant and knowledge] we must first get an incorrect view out [–> as in, if you disagree with “us” of the secularist elite you are wrong, irrational and so dangerous you must be stopped, even at the price of manipulative indoctrination of hoi polloi] . . . the problem is to get them [= hoi polloi] to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations,

    [ –> as in, to think in terms of ethical theism is to be delusional, justifying “our” elitist and establishment-controlling interventions of power to “fix” the widespread mental disease]

    and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, Science, as the only begetter of truth

    [–> NB: this is a knowledge claim about knowledge and its possible sources, i.e. it is a claim in philosophy not science; it is thus self-refuting]

    . . . . To Sagan, as to all but a few other scientists [–> “we” are the dominant elites], it is self-evident

    [–> actually, science and its knowledge claims are plainly not immediately and necessarily true on pain of absurdity, to one who understands them; this is another logical error, begging the question , confused for real self-evidence; whereby a claim shows itself not just true but true on pain of patent absurdity if one tries to deny it . . . and in fact it is evolutionary materialism that is readily shown to be self-refuting]

    that the practices of science provide the surest method of putting us in contact with physical reality [–> = all of reality to the evolutionary materialist], and that, in contrast, the demon-haunted world rests on a set of beliefs and behaviors that fail every reasonable test [–> i.e. an assertion that tellingly reveals a hostile mindset, not a warranted claim] . . . .

    It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us [= the evo-mat establishment] to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes [–> another major begging of the question . . . ] to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute [–> i.e. here we see the fallacious, indoctrinated, ideological, closed mind . . . ], for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door . . . [–> irreconcilable hostility to ethical theism, already caricatured as believing delusionally in imaginary demons]. [Lewontin, Billions and billions of Demons, NYRB Jan 1997,cf. here. And, if you imagine this is “quote-mined” I invite you to read the fuller annotated citation here.]

    Arise, ye wretched of the earth, ye indoctrinated sheeple, then throw off your ideological blinkers and chains, and think, really freely and responsibly think!

    As we think, let us ponder the import of FSCO/I, fine tuning, irreducible complexity, the architecture of communication and cybernetic systems, and more.

    Starting, with OoL and cosmology fine tuned towards cell based life, even through the suggestion what if all the fine tuned parameters are forced to that value by unifying super laws.

    (Fine tuning ratcheting up on setting up the cosmos bakery to produce well tempered cosmi not the equivalent of half baked messes or burned hockey pucks is itself telling us something.)


  12. 12
    harry says:

    hammaspeikko @ 10,

    Roger Penrose has calculated the exceedingly small probability of a pure chance occurrence of our low–entropy universe as one in 10^10^123. The double exponent makes that number huge. It is so huge that we can be certain that the Universe coming into being with low enough entropy to allow the emergence, development, and complexification of life forms was not a mindless accident. We can be just as certain of that as we can be that the laws of physics will continue to consistently apply to nature. So except for, I suppose, those who have all their possessions tied down just in case gravity stops working, it is apparent that the Universe was no mindless accident.

    One thinks of an explosion as something that creates entropy, not order. So Big Bang is a misnomer. What happened was more like an “explosion” in a lumber yard constructing a house. It would be obvious that such an event was not a mindless accident. So it is with the creation of the Universe.

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