Category Archives: Science

Physics Professor Wants To Prove God

This fascinating tale is in the Christian Times. It’s titled Tulane Professor Sets Out To Mathematically Prove God’s Existence. Now that’s our kind of story! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

A college professor and former atheist has reportedly announced that he is trying to prove God is behind earth’s Big Bang Theory.

We didn’t know the Earth had a Big Bang theory, but one should always keep an open mind. We’re told:

Tulane physics professor Frank Tipler has reportedly made it his mission to find a connection between the scientific beginnings of the world and God’s creation. “There is a God out there that created everything that is,” the professor of the New Orleans-area college told WWL-TV recently.

Wikipedia has a writeup on him: Frank J. Tipler, which says that he “is a mathematical physicist and cosmologist, holding a joint appointment in the Departments of Mathematics and Physics at Tulane University.” Then they say:

Tipler has authored books and papers on the Omega Point, which he claims is a mechanism for the resurrection of the dead. Some have argued that it is pseudoscience.

Pseudoscience — why would anyone think that? Wikipedia also says:

He is also known for his theories on the Tipler cylinder time machine. Tipler was a fellow of the International Society for Complexity, Information, and Design, a society advocating intelligent design.

An unusual fellow! Wikipedia also has an entry for the Tipler cylinder, if you want to learn about his time machine. Here’s his faculty page at Tulane: Frank Tipler, Ph.D. M’god — he teaches a course in Omega Point theory. Let’s return to the Christian Times:

The professor went on to say that he believes God is the Big Bang Theory, adding that after many years of research, “I realized that the laws of physics gave me no choice but to be a Christian.” Tipler added that although people have described him as crazy or wrong, he still believes that when scientists are talking about the Big Bang Theory, they are really talking about God.

There’s not much else to the story. How could there be? But here’s one more excerpt:

Tipler’s dedication to scientifically proving God’s existence comes after Pope Francis said in late October that evolution and the Big Bang Theory are real and are in line with the existence of God, going against the argument employed by many scientists that say the scientific theories are mutually exclusive to the existence of God.

There’s a lot that we could say, but we won’t. It wouldn’t be appropriate because we haven’t read any of his work. We doubt that we ever will, so we’ll just leave Tipler where he seems to be — on the farthest edge of the fringe.

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Breathtaking British Breakthrough

We always try to keep you informed about the latest technology, and it is therefore our delight to tell you about what we just found at PhysOrg: Britain’s first poo-powered bus takes to the road. The bold font was added for emphasis. Here we go:

Britain’s first bus powered entirely by human and food waste took to the road in Bristol on Thursday. The 40-seater Bio-Bus, running on gas generated by waste treatment, can travel up to 300 kilometres (180 miles) on a full tank — equivalent to the annual output of five people.

It’s good to see that the land of Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin still has the innovative spirit! Then we’re told:

Bath Bus Company is using the poo-powered bus for its A4 service from Bath to Bristol Airport.

[…]

The gas is produced at Wessex Water subsidiary GENeco’s Bristol sewage treatment plant. The company this week became the first in the UK to start providing gas generated from food waste and sewage to the national gas grid network.

They must be so proud! We’re given a quote from GENeco general manager Mohammed Saddiq, who says:

Gas-powered vehicles have an important role to play in improving air quality in UK cities, but the Bio-Bus goes further than that and is actually powered by people living in the local area, including quite possibly those on the bus itself.

Wouldn’t it be thrilling to ride the bus knowing that you were one of those who had provided the fuel? Then they quote Charlotte Morton, chief executive of something called the Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association, who said:

The bus also clearly shows that human poo and our waste food are valuable resources.

So there you are. This is great news! But we can’t help wondering: What would it be like to drive behind that bus? And we have one other thought: Couldn’t a certain think tank in Seattle be harnessed to provide power for the entire world?

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Preachers — the Key to Space Exploration

This comes from the University of Dayton, which Wikipedia says is “an American private Roman Catholic national research university in Ohio’s sixth-largest city, Dayton. Founded in 1850 by the Society of Mary (Marianists), it is one of three Marianist universities in the nation and the largest private university in Ohio.”

The news item at their website is Separation of Church and Space?, subtitled “Research by a political science professor shows opinions on space exploration are influenced by a person’s religious beliefs.” Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us:

Whether you believe the Philae probe’s landing on a speeding comet is a monumental advance or a colossal waste might depend on your religion, according to a University of Dayton researcher.

Many in the space community see the landing as a critical step in colonizing the solar system, such as NASA Planetary Science Division Director Jim Green who said, “I truly believe that a single-planet species will not survive long. It’s our destiny to move off this planet.”

That’s a common viewpoint, and one that we share. Stephen Hawking has said much the same thing. But what does religion have to do with it? You’re about to find out. The news item says:

Yet Evangelical Protestants are much surer Jesus will return in the next 40 years than that humans will make significant strides in space exploration, according to research by University of Dayton political science assistant professor Joshua Ambrosius. “Evangelicals have been hesitant to recognize the discoveries of modern science — from evolutionary origins to climate change,” Ambrosius said. “The data show that this overall attitude extends into space.”

Here’s his page at the university’s website: Joshua D. Ambrosius. Let’s read on:

Ambrosius used data from the General Social Survey and three Pew surveys to compare knowledge, interest and support for space exploration among Catholics, Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants, Jews, Eastern religions and those with no religion. He found Evangelicals, who account for one-quarter of the U.S. population, are the least knowledgeable, interested and supportive of space exploration, while Jews and members of Eastern traditions were most attentive and supportive.

We’re shocked — shocked! The article continues:

He also found that while regular church attendance, along with other measures of traditional religious belief like a high view of the authority of the Bible and belief in creationism, exert a negative effect on support for space exploration, clergy support for science exerts a significant positive effect.

That makes sense — for those who get their information and attitudes about science from preachers. Here’s more:

Evangelicals in particular were twice as likely to recognize the benefits of space exploration if their pastors speak positively about science.

Don’t those people have any other source of information? Moving along:

But these leaders have to contend with oppositional voices like that of Ken Ham, fundamentalist founder of “Answers in Genesis” and the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Ham has made the argument that search for alien life and habitable planets is pointless because God uniquely created Earth and the life on it, and he has also said the search for alien life is “driven by man’s rebellion against God.”

Good ol’ Hambo — dragging humanity down into the slime. One last quote from Ambrosius:

The space community can have success with increased outreach to religious groups with the message that space exploration, for means of discovering life-bearing or sustaining planets or otherwise, does not conflict with their faith and is in their — and the entire human race’s — best interest.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Good luck reaching out to Hambo!

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WorldNetDaily: The Earth Doesn’t Move!

Buffoon Award

We lost another Drool-o-tron™, but not before its blaring sirens and flashing lights alerted us to look at the blinking letters of its wall display. They said WorldNetDaily (WND).

As you know, WND was an early winner of the Curmudgeon’s Buffoon Award, thus the jolly logo displayed above this post. So we said goodbye to the Drool-o-tron™ which, just before it exploded, had locked our computer onto this article: ‘Science shattered': Hand of God suddenly revealed?

What kind of crazy title is that? Let’s get started, with some bold font added by us for emphasis:

In the late 1800s, Albert A. Michelson, the first American to win the Nobel Prize in the sciences, devised an experiment to prove the Earth is moving through space, through a medium for bearing light called the “aether.” If he could show that light was slowed down by being fired into an aether headwind, like a swimmer swimming against a stream,Michelson reasoned, it would prove the Earth’s motion through space. But the experiment didn’t work the way he expected. In fact, it proved the opposite. The world of science was baffled. Was the Earth not moving?

Aaaargh!! Everybody knows about the Michelson–Morley experiment. It wasn’t done “to prove the Earth is moving” — that wasn’t in doubt. It was to study our motion through the aether. To the surprise of the experimenters, the null result demonstrated that the speed of light isn’t changed by a light source’s movement through the aether; it’s the same for all observers, everywhere. It’s now understood that the aether doesn’t exist.

The Michelson–Morley experiment is fundamental to special relativity — although we recall reading that Einstein said he wasn’t aware of the experiment’s null result at the time he wrote his famous paper in 1904. Anyway, back to WND:

Eventually, however, another Albert, with the last name of Einstein, developed a theory called special relativity to explain Michelson’s results. It wouldn’t be the last time, a startling new documentary called “The Principle” suggests, that scientists had to scramble to make their theories about space fit observable facts and experiments that didn’t jive with their prevalent understandings.

Oooooooooh — a startling new documentary! Isn’t this exciting? WND says:

But what if instead of dreaming up wild theories to explain away inconsistencies, the moviemakers suggest, scientists allowed the facts to challenge the underlying assumption itself? What if everything science believes about space … is wrong?

Uh … the experiment’s results did challenge the underlying assumption. The notion of the luminiferous aether was abandoned. Let’s read on:

“The Principle,” which is opening now in select cities around the U.S., boldly challenges the widely accepted Copernican Principle, named after Renaissance astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus. He famously argued Earth revolves around the sun and went further to suggest Earth is in no central or favored place in the universe.

Lordy, lordy. They’re not satisfied with tossing out the aether. Now we understand what overwhelmed the Drool-o-tron™. WND continues:

“Everything we think we know about our universe is wrong,” the movie’s trailer asserts. Citing Isaac Newton, various current astronomers, Einstein himself and even defenders of the Copernican Principle, the documentary makes the case that the data science is discovering indicate the entire known universe is pointing directly at Earth. “We are in a special place,” argues one of the voices quoted in the documentary. “I do believe that the universe was created by God.”

It’s difficult for us to judge after all the blogging we’ve done, but this could be — by far — the wildest thing we’ve encountered yet. Here’s more:

Rick DeLano, writer and producer of “The Principle,” declares the “question of our place in the cosmos is the greatest scientific detective story in all of history.” “The world has been shaped by two great assertions: One places us in the center of it all, and the other one relegates us to utter insignificance. Amazingly, ‘The Principle’ is the first documentary to examine this persistent puzzle at the heart of modern science.”

Didn’t it occur to Rick DeLano to wonder why he’s the first? Moving along:

Strong evidence shows there is a special direction in the cosmos, and it points toward Earth. This is a serious claim that could indicate that perhaps the Bible was true in its account of creation … and they’re ignoring it,” he continued. “Experimentation is supposed to be the acid test of an assumption. Experiment trumps all. In the universe, we are told there are no special places – no up, no down, no left, no right. But every experiment tells us we are indeed in a special place, which the scientific community sees as impossible.”

The article goes on and on like that. We’re quitting here because we’ve seen enough. At the end there’s a video which is a trailer from the movie. We haven’t looked at it, but we suggest that you click over there to do so. Then you can tell us what we’re missing.

Oh, in case you’re worried how we’ll carry on without the Drool-o-tron™, don’t worry. We’ve learned to always keep a spare available, and it’s already on the job.

Addendum: We were reminded that we wrote about this “documentary” several months ago — see Big Geocentrism Documentary Coming Soon.

Copyright © 2014. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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