Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Quote of the Day

In an article entitled "Hitting a Nerve with 'Evolutionists'" speaking of, I assume, "science" and other correspondents in the press:

... most of these correspondents know precious little science, and haven't the stamina to engage in detailed argument. They are simply shocked and appalled that anyone would dream of challenging what they believe to be the consensus of "qualified experts"

- David Warren

I think he's spot on, there.

And I agree with him that panspermianism simply punts the question and never sounded too likely to me, either, due mainly to the temperatures involved.

I like David. I agree with him a lot of the time. Maybe even most of the time. He does get carried away a bit in this article, though, by saying things like:

We can now roughly date the origin of our universe, and 15 billion years more-or-less is proving much too short a time for random processes to produce a non-random result. Verily, 15 billion times 15 billion years is still not nearly enough time.
I'm going to have to pull the reins in here... 15 billion years is a very, very long time, and the whole bit about the amount of time it takes a random process to produce a non-random result really doesn't make any sense at all. It doesn't take a certain amount of time (for a number of iterations, I presume) for a random process to produce any of the results it produces. Otherwise, it wouldn't be random. Each result of a random process is a result, and the term "non-random" really makes no sense at all when speaking of an individual result of a random process. Unlikely, yes. Non-random? No.

I'd venture to say that 4.3 billion years is an unfathomably long time as well, and have no trouble buying the idea that life on earth may have started by random chemical reactions. Or it may not have. I can't imagine how it would have happened, but I can imagine that it could have happened. The problem here is that when you start going down paths like this (stating it wasn't long enough when we have no idea what long enough might be and it has been an incredibly long time), you're guilty of the same short-cutting of logic the "there ain't no God" correspondents make when they speculate about science.

So maybe it is true that there are multiple universes. What does that prove? Nothing at all, as far as God is concerned. All of this merely punts the question of God to another level.

I was watching "The Universe" the other night and was reminded that Gallileo himself was a devout Catholic, and learned that the big bang theory was first proposed by a Catholic priest (Georges Lemaître). Indeed some Catholic scholars acutally thought that it proved God does, in fact, exist -- that there was an "in the beginning".

And so if you go back in the big bang theory to the point of the bang itself, you are left with the question of what caused the bang, or what it even was that banged in the first place (if the word "place" even makes sense in that context). Proposing other universes likewise punts the question of origin to another universe. That road will never end. But you might find some interesting things along the way.

a footnote on how many "iterations of randomness" it would take to produce what we have here on this one planet... a simple question. How many Big Bangs have there been? If eternity goes forever into the future, there's no reason to believe it doesn't go forever into the past.

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