Creationists and Cosmology

FOR weekend contemplation, your Curmudgeon has scanned some recent articles posted the highly esteemed creationist website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR). They never disappoint.

We present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from Science Still in the Dark about Dark Energy, which appears at ICR’s website. The bold font was added by us, as are the red comments [that look like this].

Evolutionary astronomers [whatever they are] have a problem. The universe is expanding at an ever-increasing rate, but if general relativity is an accurate cosmological model, and if the universe is made up of the kinds of matter and energy that are directly detectable (like atoms and light), then its expansion should be slowing. Astronomers “fixed” this problem by theorizing that “75% of the energy density of the universe exists…as dark energy.” This non-detectable dark energy allows the man-made model [hee hee] to match astronomical observations.

Once again we see creationists reacting with horror and revulsion at the idea of modifying scientific theories to make them consistent with verifiable observations. For the curious, here’s some reasonably reliable information about dark energy. It’s an hypothesis to explain the recently-observed — and quite unexpected — fact that the universe seems to be expanding at an increasing rate.

Let’s go on with the ICR article:

At the urging of mainstream cosmologists, millions of government dollars are being spent trying to detect and characterize dark energy, whose supposed existence is only one of the assumptions required to make standard cosmological models “work.”

What’s wrong with that? It’s one of the least objectionable things the feds spend our money on. We continue:

Another of these assumptions is the Copernican principle, which holds that the universe has no edge and no center. It assumes that there are no unique places and that the position of the earth is therefore not special.

Suddenly, we suspect the author is veering wildly off the track. Here’s more:

If this principle is rejected, however, then the same general relativity equations used in the standard model could describe a universe that does have a center and edges. When this bounded universe is fed into the same astronomical equations, “dark energy” is no longer required. [Really?] The trade-off for this solution, however, is admitting the possibility that earth is uniquely positioned, as though it were specially placed by an entity outside the universe.

Everything started going badly for the creationists with ol’ Copernicus. Then Galileo, then Darwin … If only they could get back to the way things used to be.

By the way, does an earth-centered universe resolve the dark energy problem? We doubt it, but we haven’t done the math. Somehow, we suspect that ICR hasn’t either. Moving along:

To evolutionary scientists [them again], this concept is anathema. “To entertain the notion that we may, in fact, have a special location in the universe is, for many, unthinkable. Nevertheless, that is exactly what some small groups of physicists around the world have recently been considering.”

That sentence ends with a footnote linking to this article in Scientific American: Does Dark Energy Really Exist? Or does Earth occupy a very unusual place in the universe? It appears to be the principal inspiration for the ICR article. It’s interesting, but in our humble opinion, it doesn’t justify ICR’s spin on it. That “special place” is inside a very large void, but it’s not the center of the universe. ICR has to refer to something a “creation physicist” (D. R. Humphreys) wrote in 1994 — before it was observed that the universe’s expansion was accelerating — to suggest that earth is near the center of the universe.

The ICR article ends like this:

The question remains: will scientists, and those who trust their words, follow the data all the way back to God as being the One who placed earth just where He wanted, and who spreads out the heavens Himself?

If that’s where the data lead us, the answer is yes. Unfortunately, evidence of the increasing expansion of the universe doesn’t do it for them. But jeepers, their creation “science” articles sound so scientific!

Update: If you liked this, then check out Creationists and Cosmology, Part 2.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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6 responses to “Creationists and Cosmology

  1. Submitted for your approval, the Darwin Finches give a creationist planetarium video the MST3K treatment (warning: coarse language).

  2. James says: “Submitted for your approval …”

    Thanks for the submission. Approval withheld. But others are invited to click on that link.

  3. You’re no fun anymore!

  4. James says: “You’re no fun anymore!”

    Whatdja expect from a Curmudgeon?

  5. All cosmological researches should be conducted keeping in view of the following philosophical facts:
    It has been stated in Bible (John I-1) “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,”
    Mohammedans hold that God uttered ‘Kun’ (i.e. ‘Came into being’) and the creation came into being (Holy Quran, Sur. Bakr (II.117).
    In Chhandogya Upanishad it is written

    [Babbling deleted]

  6. Anirudh Kumar Satsangi, you haven’t found the right site. Rant elsewhere, please.