Creationists and Cosmology, Part 3

ONCE again we bring you the view from the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — truly the fountainhead of creationist wisdom. They are making another audacious excursion into the realm of cosmology. Verily, their brilliance has no bounds.

We’ve written before about such creationist forays. See: Part 1, about an earlier effort by ICR; and Part 2, about an article at Answers in Genesis

ICR has an awesome new article at their website titled Origins Breakthrough of 2009: Cosmology. Here are some excerpts, with bold added by us:

The standard model of universal origins involves a colossal cosmic explosive event over 13 billion years ago that distributed all the matter and energy necessary to produce the planets, stars, and galaxies in evidence today. But the “Big Bang” has proven to be an ill-fitting explanation for observed phenomena, and 2009 turned out to be another year in which basic evolutionary cosmological assumptions were brought into question.

Oh? The traditional sources of science news must be suppressing this news about trouble for “evolutionary cosmological assumptions.” Let’s read on:

The Big Bang model presumes an edgeless and Godless cosmos and requires that most of the universe be made up of “dark energy” ― which happens to be undetectable and invisible. Evolutionary astronomers proposed this energy in order to add more than double the observable mass of the universe. Only in this way can they explain why the expansion of the universe is accelerating, when calculations based on detectable matter and energy indicate it should be slowing.

Not necessarily godless, but as Pierre-Simon Laplace reportedly said to Napoleon: “Sire, I had no need of that hypothesis.” Otherwise, yes, dark energy is proposed (but not by the non-existent cadre of “evolutionary astronomers”) to explain the increasing rate of expansion which has been recently observed. We continue:

But the universe appears to have edges and a center, and the earth appears to be near that center.

What? Here’s more:

The possibility that earth resides in that [center] position, however, suggests that it was specially placed there, a concept contradictory to a naturalistic cosmology because it points to a transcendent entity acting with purpose. But the implications for earth’s special placement near the center are consistent with the earth-centeredness of God’s activities as revealed in Scripture.

Amazing! Moving along:

Temperature measurements collected in 2009 also contradict the Big Bang, which predicts uniform evenness in the cosmos. The data show that the universe is lopsided ― half of it has a smooth temperature, but the other half is patchy.

ICR provides a footnote for that claim, but it’s to an earlier ICR article so we’ll ignore it. We note, however, that if there were such an observable asymmetry, it would be striking evidence that we are not in a central position. Here’s another excerpt:

This discovery forced Big Bang cosmologists to try and patch the model with more ad hoc speculations. Several cosmologies that factor a Creator into the equation, however, accommodate the data with far fewer assumptions than the Big Bang.

Yes, they have a point. The assumption of a Creator is sufficient to explain all observations. Here’s the article’s final paragraph:

Science seems to be confirming that a Creator was necessary to have brought earth’s particularly life-friendly place in this universe into being. Genesis 1 — “in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” — continues to offer the most sensible Cause for the origin of all things.

So there you are. Now you understand everything.

See also: Creationists and Cosmology, Part 4.

Another update: See ICR: “Proof” that the Universe is Young.

Copyright © 2010. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

11 responses to “Creationists and Cosmology, Part 3

  1. Couple of things. Its not Dark Energy, its Dark Matter that doubled the mass of the universe, and this has been more of less proven by gravitational lensing and the slight fact that galaxies would fly apart if it weren’t there. Second, I’m fairly sure evolutionary cosmology doesn’t exist. Third, where exactly to they propose that they’ve found the edge of the universe. It’d be like saying you’ve found the edge of the earth and walked off it, but I wouldn’t put it totally past these guys to claim that too.

  2. Sigh* I have given up wasting neuron activity on discussing science with religious creationist fanatics. I am a faithful person, don’t get me wrong, but creationism asks us to stop using the brains that God gave us. The bible is about WHY God made the universe. Science’s job is to discover the HOW. The two can work together (just ask the Jesuits).

  3. a Creator was necessary to have brought earth’s particularly life-friendly place in this universe into being.

    There are a few problems for YECs with the “life-friendliness”:

    A “life-friendly” place is one in which the speed of light and a whole bunch of other parameters are very nearly constant – at the present, local values – which means that the universe really is billions of years old.

    God does not need the universe to be “life-friendly” in order to create life. This means that the “God hypothesis” does not explain “life-friendliness”.

  4. TomS says:

    God does not need the universe to be “life-friendly” in order to create life. This means that the “God hypothesis” does not explain “life-friendliness”.

    If the universe is hostile to life, then life requires a miracle. But if the universe is friendly to life, then it required a miracle to create it. The creationists win either way.

  5. TomS, nice point! I hadn’t seen before that the fine-tuning argument is inconsistent with young-earth creationism, but you’re right — if the fine-tuning argument is valid, then God cannot be messing around with constants in the way that some of the young-earth models assume that He is.

  6. So much hogwash; so little time.

    Let’s cut straight to the the chase — let them show how their Creator-based Cosmological theory predicted the observed CMBR black body frequency distribution — which Big Bang Cosmology predicted many years before it was observationally discovered.

    Let them also show how their theory predicts the observed angular power spectrum of the CMBR, which again fits extraordinarily well with the predictions of the Inflationary variant of Big Bang Cosmology.

    Just because current cosmological theories can’t currently explain every minor observational anomaly does not mean that the “Sha-zammm” Theory of Cosmology is correct by default. All scientific theories are subject to revision in the face of new evidence — that’s how science converges on scientific knowledge. Increasing expansion of the the universe requires dark energy to explain the observed phenomena within the framework of General Relativity. It’s that simple. And more importantly, it’s testable, which makes it a scientific hypothesis…..

    … unlike appealing to the existence of an supernatural omnipotent being to provide ad hoc explanations of phenomena, which is compatible with ALL possible observational results, and is thus not a testable hypothesis.

    Science is constrained by reality, the explanatory model, and testability, whereas supernaturalism is free to wave whatever Magic Wands it wishes for explanations.

    For an example of the difference, check this out:

    http://map.gsfc.nasa.gov/resources/camb_tool/index.html

    It’s a wickedly cool interactive tool to “Build your own Universe” and compare the Angular power spectrum properties of the resulting CMB with those observed by WMAP:

    Note the parameter in the lower right corner called “Flatness.”

    You can play with the various parameters (including how much dark matter or dark energy there is) of your universe, and the tool shows you how a universe with those parameters compares to the observed CMB angular power spectrum of the real Universe.

    Lastly, if you press the “Answer” button, there’s another button that appears, which drives the parameters to the values the WMAP team found were the “best fit” for the observed angular power spectrum of the CMB.

  7. Now I’m not an evolutionary cosmologist, nor do I play one on television, but the statement “But the universe appears to have edges and a center, and the earth appears to be near that center.” seems contradictory to what I’ve been taught. I have no doubt there’s a center but I have always read the Earth is not even near the center of the Milky Way much less the center of the universe. Is it possible the ICR could have made a mistake? And is it possible they add the evolution tag to things to make them sound eviler?

  8. curtis says: “I have no doubt there’s a center …”

    Current thinking is that there really isn’t a center. Put another way, every observer appears to be in the center. It looks the same everywhere. Minor lumps, of course. You’re right, we’re not in the center of this galaxy.

  9. Where is the “center” on the surface of a sphere? What points on a sphere’s surface are boundary points (“edge”)

    Where is the “center” of an infinite plane? What points are boundary points?

    Now apply the same questions to a 3 dimensional space …..

    That said, every point in space is at the center of it’s own Hubble volume, which defines its observable “Universe.”

  10. retiredsciguy

    ICR says, “But the universe appears to have edges and a center, and the earth appears to be near that center.”

    You know, ICR is right on this point — but the key word is “appears”. No matter where an observer is in a boundless universe, it would appear to that observer that he is at the center.

    And it “appears” to us that the universe has an edge — at least, the observable universe. If the universe is 13.7 billion years old, the “edge” of the *observable* universe will “appear” to be 13.7 billion light years away — in any direction.

    Therefore, the universe will appear to have an edge, and we will appear to be at the center — no matter where we are.

    But ICR, it has nothing to do with God’s favor — or disfavor.

    All that aside, I have to agree with Doug Pruden above — it is a waste of neuron activity to discuss science with religious creationist fanatics. Science is based on reason; religious fanatics’ beliefs are not.

  11. Crudely Wrott

    Mumbling mendacity murmurs:

    The possibility that earth resides in that [center] position, however, suggests that it was specially placed there, a concept contradictory to a naturalistic cosmology because it points to a transcendent entity acting with purpose.

    No. The possibility, whatever measured or imagined magnitude it might be, does not, can not suggest s**t.

    Now, if it could be shown that the Earth really, really, really is at the center of the Universe (this assumes, of a geometric and metric certainty, that edges are known else one would lack a necessary end point to measure to/from) then maybe that would point to an Invisible Supernatural Spook (ISS) doing things on purpose. Satisfactory evidence is lacking.

    When one takes the measure of the heavens by eye it all appears to go round us. When one takes a less casual measure, even going so far as to put artificial eyes far from our personal points of view, it appears that we are merely moving about in small spirals, elliptically wandering, shepherded by diverse forces, near all of them too weak to sense bodily. The contrast between the two vantage points has long been the source of confusion for those who think the sky starts “way up in the air” and that all the little lights are the same distance away.