Monthly Archives: February 2016

New Clues from Astronomy

This week I offer some incredible new clues from astronomy. I find each fascinating. None proves the existence of God. To prove the existence of God you need the overwhelming evidence from biology of radical new technology and new coding, “orphan genes,” in each species. In astronomy, since we can only measure our universe, there will always be those who claim (with absolutely no scientific evidence to back it up) that there are other universes and we “just got lucky,” so to speak. But let’s look at these amazing new clues.

The first made recent headlines. Scientists claim to have detected “gravity waves.” We know, from Einstein’s theory of General Relativity, that matter bends space, and apparently the massive collision of two black holes over 1 billion light years away rattled space so much that it was detected. The point is that, if this is true, and most scientists seem to think that it is (although some suspect error or even fraud), it is a major confirmation of Einstein’s theory. Since the equations of General Relativity require a singular beginning, a “big bang,” then this confirmation of General Relativity is further evidence that our universe had a beginning, exactly as claimed by the Book of Genesis perhaps 4,000 years ago.

The second item is a scientific paper on the number of “terrestrial planets” in the universe. Using a very broad definition of terrestrial planet (basically any planet at least one-half of the diameter of Earth and not more than 10 times as massive, and not taking into account many factors required for a planet to be potentially habitable), the study estimates there are 700 quintillion of them – that is 7 followed by 20 zeros. That’s not surprising. What is surprising is that the study found that these Earth-like planets should mostly be in much larger, spheroid galaxies, and not in a spiral galaxy like our Milky Way. They call this a “mild violation” of the mediocrity principle, also sometimes called the “Copernican Principle,” even though Copernicus never claimed the Earth was ordinary. The bottom line is that this is one more quality of Earth that seems special, to add to the long list I go through in Chapter 13 of Counting To God (right distance from the star, right distance from the galactic center, right type of star, right ingredients, the right moon, right solar system, and on and on).

Before giving you the last item, I can’t help but note that the paper above actually claims “the case for Extragalactic SETI remains strong.” (Meaning they think there is a strong case that there is intelligent life in some other galaxy.) They claim this simply by citing other papers, and they totally ignore the abysmal failure of every scientist in the world to come up with even a “mildly plausible” way that life could have arisen by chance. When I went to school, to find out the probably of something occurring, you would multiply the number of chances (here at most the number of terrestrial planets) by the likelihood that any of those chances would succeed. For the latter number, the chance of life forming anywhere in the universe at any time by accident, the best number I have seen, from Yale Physicist Harold Morowitz in the 1960’s, is one in a number with one hundred billion zeros. So that number overwhelms a number of Earth-like candidates with that has a mere 20 or so zeros. In other words, life couldn’t have formed by chance, there is no explanation for life without God, yet the strong Atheist beliefs of these scientists prevent them from recognizing that, and cause them to make frankly idiotic statements about life on other galaxies and pass that nonsense off to us as “science.”

The third item also relates to the so-called mediocrity or (falsely named) Copernican Principle. There is a movie, now available on DVD, called “The Principle.” It’s a little confusing, and perhaps deliberately a little hard to follow, and it has a few things in it that are wrong, and a few crazy statements by Atheist scientists, but I did find two of its key points stunning. First, some astronomers believe galaxies are not distributed randomly in space, but statistically are much more likely to be found in various shells around the Earth, each separated by 250 million light years. That is mind-blowing; if true then the entire universe is symmetric around the Earth, and this phony mediocrity principle is destroyed. The second claim is that the leftover radiation from the Big Bang, what is called the cosmic microwave background radiation, is aligned with the plane of the Earth and the other planets around the Sun. If true, that precise alignment would not appear to be by chance. This second claim is made by distinguished MIT physicist Max Tegmark and others. I intend to try to learn more about these amazing claims that Earth may actually be – yes, believe it or not, as they used to say – the center of the universe!

Thanks for reading! And please, please, spread the good news of science.

Something From Nothing – Revisited

I am saddened by the confusion over the scientific evidence for God, and particularly saddened that many Atheists deliberately create confusion. This week let’s return to a question I asked about a year and a half ago: Why does anything exist?

I think it’s obvious that if you start with absolutely nothing – no time, no space, no energy, no matter, no laws of physics – you can’t create anything. So, to me, there is clearly no nontheistic reason – no explanation without God – for why anything exists. It just does. By itself, this doesn’t prove that God exists, it just proves that existence is an unshakable mystery.

Yet one Atheist has published a book claiming that you can get something from nothing. Believe it or not, A Universe From Nothing is actually the title of his book. But what he does is disingenuous, and that is sad. He doesn’t start from nothing, he assumes the existence of the quantum field.

What scientists call the “quantum field” is the foundation of our reality. It is a high energy field, and, as I explain in Chapter 14 of Counting To God, described by fantastically complex mathematics. It appears to consist of pure thought – ideas in the mind of God. Clearly the creation of the universe is connected to events at the quantum level – the subatomic level – of reality. But what caused the quantum field to exist? You can’t seriously just assume the existence of the quantum field. How does energy described only by fantastically complex mathematical patterns and equations pop out of absolute nothingness?

There are other problems with his pseudo-science theory, beyond falsely claiming that the quantum field is “nothing.” First, while “virtual particles” – particles that exist for fantastically small periods of time, less time than it takes light to cross a hydrogen atom, and then disappear – do exist, there is no scientific evidence that stable particles can pop out of a quantum field. So that’s another blatant, unacknowledged leap of faith. Second, even if you could get a stable particle from the quantum field, how could an entire universe, with the mass to create hundreds of billions of galaxies, suddenly pop out? Third, even if that event happened, how could it all be so finely tuned as to create the beautifully complex universe we now observe?

The truly sad part is that many people seem to think this quantum field nonsense makes sense. I have met many people who will tell you they think the universe popped out of a quantum field, and that therefore God is unnecessary. Where exactly did the quantum field come from? It makes no sense to say that the quantum field always existed, and then the universe suddenly popped out, sort of like a cosmic egg that finally hatched. If time and space have no beginning, so that the quantum field existed in the infinite past, then, even assuming that there is some small possibility that at some point a universe will pop out, our universe would have “popped out” an infinitely long time ago. Any probability, no matter how small, becomes a certainty when multiplied by an infinite period of time.

The truth is that ALL of these pseudo-science theories that attempt to avoid creation don’t work. The “steady state” theory collapsed in 1965 when Arno and Penzias discovered the radiation from the Big Bang. The “infinite multiverse” theory was disproven in 2003 by the Borde-Guth-Villekin singularity theorem – the past can’t be infinite. The perpetually oscillating universe theory – a universe that somehow contracts and expands forever, creating an infinite number of “Big Bangs” – would run out of energy (second law of thermodynamics).

We are left with the truly astonishing scientific conclusion that our universe was created. What caused that – what was the first cause? This doesn’t automatically get you to God, but it does prove, in my view at least, that something just exists, that there is something outside space and time that is uncaused, that caused our universe to exist. To me, that’s sort of like the first punch in the face of Atheism.

The second punch, a knockout punch, is that our universe is astonishingly fine-tuned. In so many ways, from the precise settings of the constants of physics, to the number of dimensions of space, to the mind-boggling ordering of the universe at the Big Bang, to the laws of physics, to the nuclear resonance levels within atoms, and on and on, the universe at least unquestionably looks like it was perfectly designed for life. This is commonly accepted among Atheists.

So our universe was somehow created, there can’t be an infinite number of past universes, and our universe is perfectly designed. To me, those are knockout punches.

And yet the public reads the titles of these nonsense books and thinks there’s a “scientific” explanation without God for existence.

I’ve been a little behind on my blogging, but hope to get back into it this year. If you have questions, or suggestions for blog posts, please comment on my Facebook author page.

Thanks for reading.