AIG Reacts to the Cosmic Inflation News

By now you have heard the big cosmology news. If not, here’s a press release from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics: First Direct Evidence of Cosmic Inflation. We know you’re going to read it, so only a few excerpts will be sufficient:

Almost 14 billion years ago, the universe we inhabit burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang. In the first fleeting fraction of a second, the universe expanded exponentially, stretching far beyond the view of our best telescopes. All this, of course, was just theory.

Researchers from the BICEP2 [Background Imaging of Cosmic Extragalactic Polarization] collaboration today announced the first direct evidence for this cosmic inflation. Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time. These waves have been described as the “first tremors of the Big Bang.” Finally, the data confirm a deep connection between quantum mechanics and general relativity.

Huge news, rumors of a Nobel prize, headlines everywhere. Here’s a bit more:

When asked to comment on the implications of this discovery, Harvard theorist Avi Loeb said, “This work offers new insights into some of our most basic questions: Why do we exist? How did the universe begin? These results are not only a smoking gun for inflation, they also tell us when inflation took place and how powerful the process was.”

That’s enough. And now for some amusement. Creationists are aghast, and the creation scientists at Answers in Genesis (ol’ Hambo’s online ministry) have already posted an article to explain why the cosmologists are all wrong. Here it is: Has Cosmic Inflation Been Proved? We’ll give you some excerpts, with bold font added by us, but we’ll skip their description of the announced discovery. After that they say:

Biblical creationists know from Scripture that the universe did not begin in a big bang billions of years ago. For instance, from God’s Word we understand that the world is far younger than this. Furthermore, we know from Genesis 1 that God made the earth before He made the stars, but the big bang requires that many stars existed for billions of years before the earth did. So how do we respond to this announcement?

They have the bible, so they already know the scientists are wrong. Now they tell us why:

First, this announcement may be improperly understood and reported. For instance, in 2003 proof for cosmic inflation was incorrectly reported and a similar erroneous claim was made last year.

We’ve omitted their links, which are to older AIG articles. You can click over there to chase them, if you like. Let’s read on:

Second, the predictions that are being supposedly confirmed are very model-dependent: if the model changes, then the predictions change. Inflation is just one of many free parameters that cosmologists have at their disposal within the big bang model, so they can alter these parameters at will to get the intended result.

Yeah — those gull-durned secular scientists don’t have to worry about evidence. They can just change their models and make up any theory they want. AIG continues:

Third, other mechanisms could mimic the signal being claimed today. So, even if the data are confirmed, there may be some other physical mechanism at play rather than cosmic inflation.

They don’t even hint at that those “other mechanisms” might be, nor do they offer any scripture quotes that might explain it. In fact, that’s where their article ends. What they’re saying, in effect, is: Pay no attention to those scientists! Thanks, AIG, that’s good advice.

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

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45 responses to “AIG Reacts to the Cosmic Inflation News

  1. They don’t even hint at that those “other mechanisms” might be, nor do they offer any scripture quotes that might explain it.

    Flatulence of theological origins?

  2. As this fully sinks in it the AIG crowd I’m expecting a meltdown of epic proportions.

    Then there will be the fun of the Discoveroids claiming ID predicted this well in advance if today’s news.

  3. Scientists predict and research the truth, creationists simply deny the truth.

  4. Stephen Kennedy

    Faulkner is a true disgrace to his profession. Claiming that the Big Bang Theory is highly model dependent and can be changed at will to agree with observations just by altering assumptions about the model is nothing but a lie. The fact is that the Big Bang Theory has changed little in 30 years but keeps getting confirmed with every new observation. The same is certainly not true for the wholly babble that he sets up as the only source of knowledge.

    Since Georges Lemaitre first proposed the Big Bang Theory in 1927, the 1965 discovery of the CMB is the only thing that compares with today’s announcement. Real astronomers all over the world are thrilled by what we have learned about the Cosmos and its origins while Faulkner lies for his masters at AIG.

  5. Yeah, although he does appear to have a legitimate degree just like Hambo’s other pet “scientists”, I think that Danny boy is so bible soaked and delusional that one cannot consider seriously much of what he says about almost anything . . . especially about astronomy or cosmology.

  6. There seem to be a diminishing number of gaps in our knowledge of the Cosmos to provide hiding places for deities and intelligent designers, whoever/whatever she/he/they are. . . . . blessed be them. Of course, there will always be nooks and crannies in our knowledge to provide cover for them, so the charlatans with their side shows will always be able to mine the rubes for money.

  7. The only things that inflate in AIG’s world are their egos. Millions of scientists world wide have to be wrong about astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, and biology. What chutzpah!!

  8. First, this announcement may be improperly understood and reported.

    The p-value was 5 sigma, so suck it, Ham!

  9. Stephen Kennedy

    The astronomers who did this work hauled a sophisticated telescope and other heavy detection equipment all the way to the South Pole and made observations for three years under conditions so harsh it is barely possible to imagine them, but that is what it took to get the data. It is disgusting to hear Hambo’s “pet astronomer” sitting in his office in Kentucky claim that there has to be a failure in the astronomers’ ability to understand or communicate what they have discovered or they must be wrong for no other reason that their findings do not agree with bronze age mythology.

  10. YECs running around like headless chickens (my third comment attacks AiG’s nonsensical response to the story, which is at odds with the Coppedge response also linked to)?
    http://forums.bcseweb.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=3467&sid=71e47e2c6bc5f15b7c3d665c4911c868

  11. “Faulkner is a true disgrace to his profession”. He reminds me of Jason Lisle. Who by coincidence previously worked at ‘Answers’ ‘in’ Genesis.

  12. Stephen Kennedy

    This is the day that all YECs dreaded but were confident would never come. Telescopic observations made in the present (That makes it operational science Hambo) have provided indisputable evidence of cosmic inflation and by extension the reality of the Big Bang Theory. All of the scientific objections to the Big Bang Theory that they have constructed over the years such as the homogeneity problem, the horizon problem, magnetic monopoles and the flatness problem have suddenly come crashing down like a house of cards.

    AIG’s response was pathetic in its inanity. Jason Lisle at ICR is probably running for the hills and Kent Hovind is probably glad he is in jail and does not have to deal with it, while all Ray Comfort can do is try to eat another banana and hope it goes away. These guys made claims of truth for so long and now they are all caught footed and speechless upon being proved wrong.

  13. Charles Deetz ;)

    Stephen Kennedy says:

    “This is the day that all YECs dreaded but were confident would never come.”

    At least Ken Ham can stand by his point that dinosaurs did not have feathers. No way science can beat that one, the Bible is safe still.

  14. I don’t claim to understand all the complexities involved. But Faulkner is supposed to be an ‘expert’. And – so far – has come up with nothing but dishonest inanities.

  15. @SK: “Since Georges Lemaitre first proposed the Big Bang Theory in 1927”
    No, Soviet-commie Alexander Friedmann was the first – in 1922.

  16. Coming up later TODAY on the BBC is Part 2 of a TV programme entitled ‘Fossil Wonderlands’, introduced by Professor Richard Fortey, which is about feathered dinosaur discoveries from China. Not sure whether it will get shown in the US at some point.

  17. A bit OT but related to Soviet-commies and space — Putin’s grab of Crimea has certainly made access to the ISS dicey.

    Think maybe we retired the space shuttle prematurely?

  18. Charles Deetz ;)

    @Ashley Shhh about the feathered dinos. It is about all Hambo has got left.

  19. I’ve spent much of the day wondering how organizations like AiG are going to survive this latest breakthrough. On the other hand, they survived the discovery of the Higgs boson.

    It’s been a bad couple of days for the creationists, hasn’t it?

  20. realthog, Hambo will survive nicely. Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the fundies who he feeds on. He has a plethora of pet mouthpieces with advanced degrees to help with the con. The sad thing is, some of Hambo’s pets may actually believe the nonsense that they feed their target audience of knuckle-draggers.

  21. Stephen Kennedy

    They survived the Higgs boson but they never had a lot of their prestige and credibility invested in it since it is not clearly central to origins and they never really made an issue over it. On the other hand, opposition to the Big Bang theory has been a centerpiece of the YEC’s war on science for decades since they see it as the ultimate origins issue.

    While the scientific community has accepted the Big Bang since 1965, outfits like AIG not only claimed it was unbiblical but marshaled what seemed to them and their followers an impressive array of scientific arguments that proved the Big Bang theory wrong. A lot of their credibility as “creation scientists” was tied directly to their arguments against the Big Bang theory. Their celebrity “scientists” like Jason Lisle were put front and center to attack the Big Bang, An awful lot of the credibility of creation science rested on disproving the Big Bang.

    Now, in a single day, observational, repeatable experiments, carried out in the present , (which they claim is their gold standard for scientific validity) have swept away all the scientific arguments they have concocted over the years against the Big Bang. They have had their pants pulled down in front of the entire world. Whatever credibility creation science might have had with the general public is now gone.

  22. I think you miss a big problem with this convincing YECers. This is hard for us laymen to understand. I believe it is credible without understanding most of it, but if I believed AIG I would still not understand most of it and thus it would not change my thinking, especially since “they” will say it means nothing. In other words, I believe what the science community says and discount AIG, but not because I can see for myself or understand much of what is now in evidence.

  23. Karen you are probably right. You can lead a creationist to the facts, but you can’t make them think. (I am sure I picked that line up somewhere, forgive me for not remembering where)

  24. It’s one of Ray Comfort’s lies in reverse, I think.

  25. Speaking of Ray, if God made the banana specifically for man, why are there still monkeys?

  26. Biokid rails—

    “The only things that inflate in AIG’s world are their egos. Millions of scientists world wide have to be wrong about astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, and biology. What chutzpah!!”

    Chutzpah? Please let’s not understate things here. The wider context is that it’s nothing short of unadorned effrontery of an especially brash variety, fuelled by contemptuous scorn for, and wilful disregard of, any uncomfortable facts and evidence. It is ignorance on stilts, proudly carried by conceit on steroids.

    Not that any of those guys ever seems to feel even the slightest twinge of embarrassment over being repeatedly caught, unpantsed, with several self-inflicted bullet-riddled feet wedged firmly in their mouth. They will weather this storm with their customary aplomb, i.e. in rickety vessels of feigned knowledge and contrived pseudo-explanations while grinning insanely about their epistemological infallibility.

    Rant over.

  27. mnb0 points out, regarding the origin of the Big Bang theory:
    > Soviet-commie Alexander Friedmann was the first [to propose it]– in 1922.

    Don’t say it too loud, please! Soon we will be hearing that Big Bang cosmology is inseparably linked with Communism and Stalinism, just like we already know that the theory of evolution and Nazi ideology are more or less identical.

  28. realthog notes

    It’s been a bad couple of days for the creationists, hasn’t it?

    Actually, it’s been a bad couple of centuries for creationists.

    But: using even the most rigorous empirical evidence in an argument with a YE creationist is like firing a pea-shooter at Godzilla. Creationism persists, not for want of conclusive evidence to refute it (that evidence has been available and growing for nearly two hundred years), but because Creationists are immune to empiricism. And not only do they not see that as a problem, they actually boast about it as a point of pride. Witness Ham’s response, in the debate with Nye, to the question of ‘what would make you change your mind?’, to which he responded, in effect, nothing, because anything that contradicted scripture could never be acceptable to him.

    The OE and ID creationists are immune, but perhaps in a different way; they cherry pick the evidence for what they can use and plug an ‘Intelligent Designer(s)’ into gaps arising from evidence they toss out. And quite a few of them long ago semi-appropriated Big Bang theory as ‘evidence’ of a Grand Old Designer to ‘engineer’ this miraculous event of cosmic oogity-boogity.

    So this latest finding is wonderful news for science, but I wouldn’t look to it to have any significant effect on the creationists other than to generate their usual spurt of obfuscating ink, like a riled octopus.

    But the pestilence of creationism will soldier on regardless, have no fear.

  29. H.K. Fauskanger warns

    Soon we will be hearing that Big Bang cosmology is inseparably linked with Communism and Stalinism, just like we already know that the theory of evolution and Nazi ideology are more or less identical.

    Actually, you’re prediction is spot-on accurate. The common denominator, in what passes for minds in Creationists, is atheism, which is for them the absolute radix malorum.

    So the stronger the empirical evidence that science accumulates, the less room for oogity-boogity–and that is sufficient, for the Creationists, to oppose science and reason on principle. And not just in spite of any strong empircal evidence, but actually because of it.

    So it will always be whack-a-mole with these folks. IMHO, the only ‘fight’ worth the candle isn’t about ‘beliefs’ (why should anyone really care that someone else has odd beliefs?), but about ‘actions’: block by whatever means necessary Creationist legislation to mess with education and political power, of course, is the priority. After that, there is nothing to be done with such folk apart from holding them up to the ridicule they deserve and enjoying the circus.

  30. If people at AiG still believe in Noah and the Flood, this announcement is not going to cut any ice with them. They’ll stick to their pathetic book of magic no matter what.

  31. realthog says: “I’ve spent much of the day wondering how organizations like AiG are going to survive this latest breakthrough.”

    They’re going to thrive! They love having “enemies” (especially non-violent ones like scientists) so they can tell their followers that they’re under assault, and their money is needed to spread the word and keep the faith.

  32. @SC

    They’re going to thrive! They love having “enemies” (especially non-violent ones like scientists) so they can tell their followers that they’re under assault, and their money is needed to spread the word and keep the faith.

    I understand all that part, and indeed I understand the various history lessons that have been repeated to me, but my perhaps ill explained point is this:

    Organizations like AiG depend on new recruits. A good number of the people they might expect to recruit are going to look at such “explanations” as “the astronomers must have misinterpreted the results” and think twice. There are even going to be a few creationists who’ll start having doubts.

    And, yes, obviously there’s going to be some of the Nyhan/Reifler backfire effect (the stronger the scientific evidence, the more that morons will reject it) going on, which will benefit AiG; but at a loose, licking-my-finger-and-sticking-it-up-in-the-wind guess, this will be more than outweighed by the number of youngsters for whom the latest news, and AiG’s pathetic reaction to it, will be a distinct turnoff.

  33. Frankly, if you want to see the excitement of a REAL scientist, you need to see the look on Andrei Linde‘s face when told the news about the BICEP2 experiment.

  34. Pete Moulton

    Karen McKown writes: “In other words, I believe what the science community says and discount AIG, but not because I can see for myself or understand much of what is now in evidence.”

    Not being a cosmologist, nor even a physicist, I’m in that same boat with you. I don’t understand most of this, but the cosmologists who do understand it seem at this point to accept the conclusions, and I’m prepared to accept their opinion. Why? Because the authors published their work. In essence they’re saying, “Here’s exactly what we did, and here are the data we acquired. If you want to challenge our conclusions, and have evidence to support your position, then have at it.” That’s the scientific method in action, and no creationist or other godbot can refute it without doing the work. Sitting on the sidelines and whinging that you don’t believe the evidence–but have no evidence of your own to contradict it, nor any viable alternative theory–is meaningless.

  35. Realthog, remember that only several days ago, scientists found evidence for “the waters of the deep” (that the earth’s mantle contains a substantial amount of water). They rejoiced! The Flood is proven!

    Now this. God is such a practical joker, isn’t he?

  36. @Garnetstar

    True, and the “subterranean waters” story is much easier for the AiGers to spin, since most of their flock will have no clue about the internal structure of the planet and be assuming this is just water in deep caves.

  37. @Gary – that’s a great video. I was going to post a link but see that you have already done so. I think it makes the case that the theory is not some sort of atheist plot, but is genuine science, better than any amount of words could ever do.

  38. AiG: “Biblical creationists know from Scripture that the universe did not begin in a big bang billions of years ago…

    Once again I read this differently than most fellow “Darwinists.” First, note that the above excerpt completely undermines the “scientific” YEC strategy that was so carefully crafted by Henry Morris et al (with crucial background work by George McCready Price). It provides more evidence than ever for my contention that YEC peddlers, particularly AiG, in recent years have been “slouching towards Omphalos.” Of course, being pseudoscience peddlers, they’ll still try to have it both ways, and will continue to fool uncommitted evolution-deniers-on-the-street.

    The absolute worst thing we can do is ridicule their apparent belief that the earth is young, that “kinds” originated independently, etc. When they say they “know from scripture” they are admitting that the evidence does not matter. They are also leaving a huge hint that they might not personally believe what they want the “masses” to believe.

    But wait! Discoveroids claim that only the evidence (their cherry-picked part at least) matters, and that reading the Bible as a science text is silly (Behe’s exact word). And when someone asks (*) they either admit the billions of years, of earth and its life, and occasionally common descent, or just play dumb to placate YEC followers.

    No, this news will hot give AiG heartburn; they have plenty of other misrepresentations they can and will peddle. The Discoveroids might even spin it in their favor.

    Here’s another excellent opportunity to alert the public to the “big tent” scam. One that I’m sure will be squandered just like the others.

    (*) Which is unfortunately very rare, because most critics prefer to take the bait and keep the topic just where the Discoveroids (and AiG) want it, which is on the bogus “weaknesses” of “Darwinism.”

  39. I’m not trolling for the title of Designated Nitpicker here, but the sentence,

    “Their data also represent the first images of gravitational waves, or ripples in space-time,”

    is a commonization. What was actually detected was the _residual effect_ of the purported gravity waves, and not the waves themselves. At least that’s how I understand things. It is still a monumental achievement, of course.

  40. @Frank J,
    But I am unable to desist from pointing out that much of what they say is not found in the Bible: that the Flood changed the face of the Earth, such as carved the Grand Canyon; that modern species are the production of the few “kinds” on the Ark. And that they, being heliocentrists, allow modern science to inform what is in the Bible.

  41. Stephen Kennedy

    Looking at the AIG facebook page has convinced me that I was a fool to think this momentous discovery by astronomers would have any impact on YECs. There is basically post after post calling scientists stupid, deluded and tools of satan. They proudly declare that their beliefs in YEC dogma are stronger than ever despite what any scientists says. These people who undoubtedly lie at the extreme low end of the IQ distribution are convinced that they are smarter than the astronomers who performed this research.

    They are impervious to reason and trying to educate them is pointless.

  42. Stephen Kennedy says: “Looking at the AIG facebook page has convinced me that I was a fool to think this momentous discovery by astronomers would have any impact on YECs.”

    Welcome to the real world. Adult creationists are immune to evidence, logic, and doubt. They are unshakably convinced not only that they’re correct, but that those who don’t agree with them are evil. That’s why, when they’re in power, they have no problem slaughtering those who don’t agree with them. The handful of charlatans who may know better are happy to ride the gravy train.

  43. @ SC,

    Sadly, yes.

    Who was it who remarked that someone who hadn’t acquired a belief by reasoning, couldn’t be convinced out of it by reasoning?

  44. TomS: “But I am unable to desist from pointing out that much of what they say is not found in the Bible..”

    Sure, like any pseudoscience peddler, if they don’t find what they want, in evidence or scripture, they make it up. The most charitable interpretation for the Grand Canyon thing is that they found the young earth part in the Bible – never mind that Biblical OECs insists that that part is not to be taken literally. Then they use cherry-picked evidence from the Grand Canyon that appears to validate their conclusion. They seek and/or fabricate. As do the Discoveroids, but not to validate any old or young earth alternative “theory” but just to promote unreasonable doubt of evolution.

    Which I why I quote John Paul II at every opportunity. He was well aware that “Darwinists” do not play those games. And probably painfully aware that anti-evolution activists do nothing but that.

  45. I have just scanned this – but am none the wiser for doing so (yet no doubt some/most CMI supporters will hail it on their facebook page or below the article itself as a ‘wonderful refutation’):
    http://creation.com/big-bang-smoking-gun