Tag Archives: universe

A rational universe?

Christian apologists are not known for their logic – or rather they are known for their faulty logic. And for their misrepresentation and opportunist use of science. They actually study philosophy and logic and hone these skills so as to argue for the one thing they try to “prove” – the existence of their god.

Their “arguments” are often so mechanical and rehearsed they give them names – eg. “the argument from cosmology”, “the argument from morality”, etc.

An argument local apologists seem to use a lot is the argument from rationality. This is often used childishly to claim that atheists, materialists, etc. (apologists often resort to name calling) have no basis for science because a god is required to confer order on the universe and rationality on our brains.20080501ae2

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Let’s celebrate!

From The Sensuous Curmudgeon this post raises an interesting thought for me; He writes in Born 23 October 4004 BC — Happy Birthday, Universe!:

“According to the Ussher chronology, computed in the 1650s from a literal reading of the Bible by James Ussher, an Anglican Archbishop, the first day of creation began on the night preceding Sunday, 23 October 4004 BC. Presumably that takes into account the missing day caused by Joshua’s commanding the sun to stand still. Because there was no year Zero, the universe will be 6,011 years old this Thursday (we’re writing on Tuesday, 21 Oct 2008).”

Now, I have never heard of any celebrations occurring each October 23rd. Nor, 11 years ago, did I hear of any celebrations for the 6000th birthday of the Universe – the big one!

It seems to me that those people who genuinely believed in “Young Earth” creation would have been partying like mad. (Come to think of it, why didn’t I know about this in my wild youth when I was always looking for an excuse to party).

Perhaps these creationists don’t really take their own claims seriously.

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Fine tuning argument

More and more I hear the apparent “fine-tuning” of the universe being given as an argument to “prove” existence of a god. This goes along the lines that there are a number of critical physical constants underlying the nature of our universe. If either of these had even slightly different values our universe would be very different. Stars and galaxies would not form. Carbon would not be manufactured in the stars and hence life would not occur.

Proponents of this “proof” argue that the chance of our universe having physical constants with these values is impossibly small. Therefore there must have been a divine intelligence to ensure our universe has physical constants with the measured values.

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Scientific dissent from . . . science?

Opponents of scientific evolutionary theory will often refer to the Scientific Dissent From Darwinism list to justify that the theory is controversial and should be discarded, or at least equal time be given to creationist “theories” in school biology classes. There is no doubt that the list is being used to attack scientific theory but its worth looking at the statement professionals on the list have signed up to. It reads:

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.”

Few of the signatories have signed the statement for scientific reasons – rather their motives have been religious (see Who are the “dissenters from Darwinism”?). However, scientists by their nature are skeptics and should always critically examine evidence. In principle few scientists would disagree with the statement. So why has the Scientific Dissent from Darwin list attracted so little scientific support (see Dissenters from Darwinism in context)?

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