Atheists Moving Away from 'Big Bang' Theory

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by dianetavegia, Aug 22, 2003.

  1. dianetavegia

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    Christian Astronomer: Atheists Moving Away from 'Big Bang' Theory

    By Jim Brown
    August 22, 2003

    (AgapePress) - A Christian astronomer says his ministry is attempting to resolve the misconceptions many fellow believers have about the "Big Bang" theory.

    Dr. Hugh Ross is the founder and president of the California-based ministry Reasons to Believe. He says many Christians mistakenly believe the Big Bang is a chaotic explosion where the universe comes into existence out of nothing from some natural or material causal effect. But Ross says that is exactly the opposite of what the Big Bang theory is about.


    Dr. Hugh Ross
    "The Big Bang tells that the causal agent is a transcendent entity working beyond matter, energy, space, and time," Ross explains. "That immediately puts the Big Bang creation event beyond the natural realm -- and what I've noticed is that astronomers are not deceived by it. They recognize that the Big Bang theory is a theistic model, not an atheistic model."

    Ross says for 50 years, astronomers fought as hard as they could against the Big Bang model because of its philosophical and theological implications. He says the only astronomers that are still holding out against the theory do so, by their own admission, because of their atheistic worldview.

    According to Ross, Geoffrey Burbidge -- an astronomer at the University of California-San Diego -- expressed concern that the mounting evidence for the Big Bang was causing his peers in physics and astronomy to rush off to join what Burbidge called the "First Church of Christ of the Big Bang." He says Burbidge, who is an atheist, sees that as something that is repugnant and, consequently, has been trying to promote models to get around the Big Bang implication.

    Ross says astronomers have a consensus today that the Big Bang theory is not going away, and the evidence for it is getting stronger and stronger as every month goes by.

    © 2003 AgapePress all rights reserved

    http://headlines.agapepress.org/archive/8/222003b.asp
     
  2. Ransom

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    dianetavegia said:

    He says Burbidge, who is an atheist, sees that as something that is repugnant and, consequently, has been trying to promote models to get around the Big Bang implication.

    That about says it all, doesn't it?

    I'm sure a number of BB readers don't believe in a Big Bang of any kind, let alone the theistic model Ross advocates. Nonetheless, the above proves Paul's point that the natural man is so prejudiced against God that he will find any excuse to avoid God . . . in this case, abandoning an established scientific model of the origin of the universe that is all but taken for granted, just because it has theistic implications.
     
  3. HankD

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    Actually, the Big Bang is a hard pill for anyone to swallow and that may be why folks are moving away from it.

    We are told that before the Big Bang there was The Singularity.

    No one knows what it was but it was about the size of a pea.

    So here it is, the Singularity (first cousin to a garden pea), in complete darkness, in a perfect vacuum at absolute zero, no one knows how when or where, caused by nothing or nobody became everything and everybody by a Big Bang no one saw or heard.

    Versus “in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth”.

    Each requires a measure of faith and credulity.

    HankD
     
  4. Brett

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    I agree that the Big Bang does indeed require a leap of faith in order to belief. But I'd really like to see a scientific journal that says that the cause of the Big Bang was a "transcendental entity". Frankly, I doubt one exists. While I of course do believe that God created the universe - and probably used the Big Bang to do it - a "transcendental entity" is not within the realm of science, and no reputable scientist would rely on such an explanation for a natural phenomon.
     
  5. Gina B

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    I saw a small part of a special on TV yesterday talking about some molecular or dna dating deal and how evolutionists can't get around the proof it offers that the first female existed less than 250,000 years ago, and it wipes out the thought of humans evolving.
    Anyone else see it and have any clue what they were talking about?
    Gina
     
  6. mdkluge

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    Gina wrote:
    This undoubtedly refers to mitochondrial DNA dating of "Eve", the most recent commo female ancester (in the matriarchal line) of humans. She is by no means the first female. This has absolutely nothing at all to do with "the thought of humans evolving."
     
  7. Gina B

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    Ok M.D. I'll take your word for that.
    Gina
     
  8. Ben W

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    If there are Astronomers that are Athiests, and they do not want to accept the Big Bang theory promoted by evolutionists, what is it that they believe caused the world to come into being?
     
  9. HankD

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    Here is a model of their view (at least the one they held a few years ago):

    If you sat down a bunch of monkeys at typewriters (Word Processors now) and let them randomly type away, given enough time, eventually one of them would type the complete works of Shakespeare.

    That combined with the view that the laws of physics, thermodynamics, etc are without a law-giver explains the origin of the universe and life.

    Random chance circumstances combined with universal laws of physics are being played out in this corner of the universe to produce ???? (whatever this place and we are).

    When you ask - how can there be a law without a law-giver they ask in return "why must a law imply a law-giver?"

    HankD
     
  10. mdkluge

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    Ben W. wrote:
    Over the past half century or so the most prominent alternative to Big Bang cosmology is the Steady State Cosmology of the late Sir. Fredrick Hoyle.

    In order to understand Hoyle's ideas, one needs to understand one of the approximations made in standard Bib Bang Cosmology. Known as the Copernican (or Cosmological) principle, this approximation/presumption states that over sufficiently large scales (containing many galaxies) the universe is both homogeneous and isotropic. Homogeneity means that the universe looks basicly the same anywhere. There is no privileged position. Isotropy means that the universe looks basically the same in every direction about some point. (If the universe is both homogeneous and isotropic about some point, then it must perforce be isotropic about every point. Conversely it can be shown that if the universe is isotropic about every point, then it is also homogeneous).

    Observationally the universe does appear to be (at least to a good zeroth approximation) isotropic about our local cluster of galaxies. We do not, of course, have direct observational data of isotropy about points outside of our local group of galaxies. On the other hand there is nothing that observationally requires that the universe would not be isotropic on a large scale about points outside of our local cluster of galaxies.

    Homogeneity is, then, somewhat more weakly observationally supported than is isotropy about us. If one wishes one may take homogeneity as a cosmological postulate. (One is free, of course, to develop nonhomogeneous cosmologies, as many cosmologists have done over the past 75 years.)

    Some have tried to justify the postulate of homogeneity by simply assuming that we have no privileged place in the universe (just as Copernicus found that the earth was not privileged in standing still). If this Copernical principle is granted, then if the universe is isotropic about us it follows that it must be isotropic about every point, and hence must be homogeneous.

    Personally I find this pseudo-philosophical justification for homogeneity wanting. It is anthropocentric to argue that the rest of the universe is isotropic about each of its points because WE experience the universe as isotropic about our location. Perversely the Copernical Principle in trying to denying any privileged position for us unduly emphasizes our own position. I do not agree with the philosophical justification for the Copernical principle, although, since it is both simple and uncontroverted by observation I take it as a reasonal presumption as a first approximation in obtaining the universe's large-scale structure.

    In the standard relativistic Big Bang the assumptions of homogeneity and isotropy, together with General Relativity, are found to yield a small number of possible structures for the universe. I shall not describe them here except to note that there is no static, stable solution (unless one introduces the so-called "cosmological constant", which I shall not consider here). The universe has to be either expanding or contractiing, and observation of red shifts (rather than blue shifts) indicate that it is not contracting.

    But this implies that while the universe is homogeneous in space, it is not homogeneous over cosmological time. That is, the large scale structure of the universe changes over time. The mean density of the universe must have been higher in the past.

    Fred Hoyle did not like this. His aesthetic sense required not only spatial homogeneity, but also temporal homogeneity. He wanted to extend the cosmological principle to a "perfect cosmological principle".

    By assuming suitable injection into the universe (whether from some other universe or created from nothing) of matter at a suitable rate he found that it was possible to have a universe consistent with General Relativity which looked the same on sufficiently large scales at all times. The "Steady State" universe was born.

    The Steady State can deal with gallactic red shifts and most observed aspects of the universe, at least for relatively small red shifts. However, it does require a redshift-distance relationship disagreeing with observation at large red shifts. Also it does not easily account for the cosmic microwave background radiation observed since 1965. For these and other reasons the Steady State universe has fallen into disrepute and most astronomers reject it.

    One should say a word about Fred Hoyle. It is true that his aesthetic considerations, rather than observational evidence, led him to the Steady State universe. It is also true that part of his personal aesthetic was his atheism, and that that probably unduly influenced him in sticking to his Steady State model even after the evidence was in that it was not supported by observation. However, while Hoyle vehemently did not like Big Bang cosmology (he was the author of the derisive caption "Big Bang"), he nevertheless made worthy contributions to Big Bang Cosmology. Among them was the prediction (before it was observed) of cosmic microwave background radiation. He also made important contributions to the theory of nucleosynthesis (manufacture of atomic nuclei heavier than that of hydrogen) in the early stages (prior to stellar formation) of the Big Bang.
     
  11. Gina B

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    This forum is for baptists only. There are a couple of non-baptists posting. Not only that, but there is usually a 3 page limit enforced in this forum, and I'd like to see this topic continue, as I have some questions myself for M.D. Kluge.
    So... would someone care to restart the current discussion on bbc/ssc in a forum that's open for all christians to post on since it cannot continue here? Once you do let me know and I will post a link to it from here. Thanks!
    Gina
     
  12. Paul of Eugene

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  13. Gina B

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    Thanks Paul. I've been reading a little bit on this site just for entertainment lately(no idea how credible, accurate the info all is but it's interesting): http://ganymede.nmsu.edu/dept/index.html
    Gina
     
  14. UTEOTW

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    First, I thought this was a fellowship forum and things this devisive to stir debate were to go on other parts of the forum. Am I wrong?

    Second, I can be farily certain that you want to advance a young universe position but do you realize that in doing so you have posted an article from Hugh Ross who believes in a billions of yoear old universe? I hardly think you would agree with him. In addition, the only "evidence" we get to support Ross's assertion is a quote from a scientist closely aligned with Fred Hoyle (see MDK above) who believes in a steady state universe. We get nothing to support the assertion that scientists are abandoning inflation in droves.

    I am not sure what the Shakespeare and monkeys statement has to do with an alternative theory to inflation, but I can think of one alternative. Go to Google and search on "Ekpyrotic Universe" if you are interested.

    This really is not the right place to get into any debate about the Big Bang itself. We can leave that until the proper forum is reopened.
     
  15. HankD

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    Who is causing the debate? There is no debate, I answered the following question Ben directed at me (along with the with the monkey/typewriter Shakespeare analogy).

    Please note he asked concerning "atheists"
    I answered: Chance and the fixed laws of the physics. This is what I was taught and believed years ago as an atheist. There is no debate, he wanted an answer and I gave him mine since he directed the question to me personally.

    Do you have an alternative answer for Ben concerning the atheists view of the origin of the universe in your own words that we can all understand?

    HankD
     
  16. Gina B

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    Hank, there doesn't have to be a specific forum open to discuss the issue. It's still a topic that many are interested in, and that forum was a bit above most of us to jump into and understand.
    There are a number of Christian evolutionists, so it's not a matter of not fellowshipping if a Christian evolutionist and a Christian young earth creationist or someone in the middle to ask each other questions. I saw no debating in this thread, and in fact already asked for the discussion to be taken elsewhere so it can continue as this forum is mostly dedicated to new news and most topics don't last more than a few pages.
    Gina
     
  17. Johnv

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    Evolution is a bioligical theory. The Big Bang is an astronomical theory. The two fields are not related.
     
  18. HankD

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    OK Gina,

    I'm not sure of the where to make the disctinction between discussing the news and our own opinions concerning the validity of said news.
    I'm sure you will let me know when I've crossed the line [​IMG]

    BTW johnv, IMO they are related, they are both about "origins".

    The origin of the universe.
    The origin of life.

    HankD
     
  19. InHim2002

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    Thanks for that info Mark - interesting!
     
  20. UTEOTW

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    I'm just giving my opinion that this is the kind of topic that leads quickly into debate and I think there are (or were in the case of this topic) more appropriate places on this forum for debating than a fellowship forum. I think, my opinion, that some of the above posts were "debating" and that course could have been predicted just by seeing the first post.

    It's a good question, and I have to answer no. I do not think I could give a reasonable answer in language we can all easily understand because it is too complex of a subject and I have neither the expertise nor the eloquence to do it. Plus, I'd rather not try and speak for atheists.

    But I must disagree with the original premise of the question. There has been no evidence presented that scientists are fleeing the Big Bang theory. My unsupported opinion is that the vast majority of scientists, especially those who have some relevent study in the field, both atheist and Christian, accept that Inflation is the best explanation of the data we have. I am open to changing that opinion. With the right data, of course.

    As far as alternate theories, I tried to send you in the direction of Brane Theory. It does not replace the Big Bang so much as it replaces the infinite density of the beginning with two colliding membranes. As I said, if you are interested in brane theory, search on "Ekpyrotic Universe." I've given you most of what I know on it. ;)
     

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