Creationist Wisdom #603: God and the Big Bang

Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in the Rockford Advocate, about which we know nothing other than the fact that they’re located in Rockford, Illinois, that state’s third-largest city. It’s titled God can be found if you know where to look . They have a comments feature.

Technically, what we found isn’t a letter-to-the editor. It’s a column, written under the byline of the “City Scribbler” — whoever that is. We’ll treat it as a letter. Excerpts from the Scribbler’s column will be enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!

Once upon a time, close to 14 billion years ago, this massive ball of high-density material began to expand. With a flash of light, it got hot — like really hot. Then it cooled. This process, known as inflation, continued, and the ball left remnants we know today as the cosmos. There you have it. That’s how our universe began. Thank you for reading.

Aaaargh!! Unlike the Genesis account, according to the Big Bang theory the universe didn’t begin with a “flash of light.” The universe didn’t become sufficiently transparent for light to be observed until millions of years after the expansion began — see Chronology of the universe. As for inflation, that is suggested as an extremely brief moment after the beginning, when the expansion was faster than light — see Inflationary epoch. And then there’s that claim of a “massive ball,” which we’ll overlook.

The Scribbler isn’t off to a good start, but that’s okay, we’ll stay with it. Then he says:

Not so fast. That’s just the short version. We aren’t here to debate the Big Bang anyway. But the beginning is usually a good place to start, especially when many atheists claim that no scientific evidence exists to prove the existence of God. … What is generally accepted among nonbelievers is that measurable proof must exist to claim something as fact. “If you can’t show it, you don’t know it,” they say. Without anything demonstrable, the idea that some “supernatural being” who “magically spoke things into existence” is patently absurd. Now, God is not a “supernatural being,” per se. But, let’s not digress yet. For the sake of argument, let’s stick to the Big Bang.

Yes, the Scribbler is doing so well with the Big Bang, he should continue. Let’s read on:

The Scribbler is not a physicist. [We’re shocked — shocked!] But, it is clear that the theory transcends anything scientific. At the end of the day, it defies what physics can explain. Sure, there were black holes and this ball is believed to have formed from a singularity inside one of them. Still, there is no way to know what there was before the big ball, or the black hole for that matter, came into existence. Nothin’ from nothin’ leaves nothin.’… except when a somethin’ just appears out of nowhere for no apparent reason and without a catalyst.

There’s that “ball” again. The Scribbler thinks it existed along with some black holes, and then came the Big Bang. He continues:

Again, stick to science for now. That’s what devout atheists (excuse the paradox) do when debating creationists. Science, after all, has determined the origin of thunderstorms and how cancer attacks healthy cells. But, look out. This is where the debate hits a brick wall at 90 mph. It is a when a Christian finds himself scratching his head.

Then he gives us an imaginary debate between a Christian and a scientist. This should be good:

“Where do you think science came from?” “Who do you think gave doctors the ability to identify cancer?”

God, of course. There’s the dagger that pokes a giant hole in the atheistic argument, right? Wrong.

“Yeah, but the Bible says…”

Forget it. Save it. It doesn’t matter what the Bible says to a nonbeliever armed with assertions like, “You can’t use the Bible to prove the Bible,” or “There is no evidence to prove God gave us science.”

“So, we can’t use the Bible to prove the Bible?”

That was a bit chaotic, but it ends with a good question. Here’s the Scribbler’s response:

Of course we can. But, start with this: Atheists are right. We won’t find God at the end of a telescope, in an equation, under a microscope or in the hip pocket of our favorite blue jeans. Why? Because God can’t be measured. Thousands of scientific experiments have proven that. Yet Christians still bask in fallacy when debating atheists.

Did you get that? Thousands of experiments have proven that you can’t measure God. We’re not aware of even one attempt at such a measurement, but that’s not important. The Scribbler moves along:

X must be true because you cannot prove X is false. In structured debate, this is called an argument from ignorance (ad ignorantium). It happens when one assumes a conclusion is fact based on the lack of contrasting evidence.

Wikipedia has an article on the Argument from ignorance. The Scribbler’s Latin has a grammar error — it’s argumentum ad ignorantiam. The fallacy an attempt to shift the burden of proof: “If you can’t prove I’m wrong, then I’m right!” Anyway, the Scribbler is close enough — except he says that scientists use that fallacy. Here’s another excerpt:

The existence of God — the true creator of the universe — can’t be proven using the same method that shows 6+6=12, or the reason frogs can breathe in and out of water. When science attempts to do so, it’s left with the conclusions and philosophical anecdotes that erroneously claim evolution is true, and that the universe sprung from some spontaneous, yet still fully unknown atomic phenomena.

Aaaargh!! We’ve never even heard of a scientist who claims that because God’s existence can’t be proven, evolution and the Big Bang are therefore true. The Scribbler is imagining things. All that science does is say is this: We have evidence to support our theories, and our theories lead to useful results. So we’re sticking with what works. Your claims are interesting, and when you have some evidence to support them, we’ll be happy to look at it. End of argument.

We’re only about halfway into the Scribbler’s column, but the rest is all bible stuff about God. You can click over there to read it, if you like, but we’ve already discussed his claims about science, so this is where we’re going to stop. It’s a nice addition to our collection.

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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12 responses to “Creationist Wisdom #603: God and the Big Bang

  1. I’m going to be charitable and assume that the Scribbler suffered a minor stroke when penning his nonsensical column and thus give him a pass.

  2. Why? Because God can’t be measured. Thousands of scientific experiments have proven that.

    The existence of God — the true creator of the universe — can’t be proven using the same method that shows 6+6=12, or the reason frogs can breathe in and out of water.

    Well, at least The Scribbler has put to rest any thought of unveiling the grand Intelligent Designer of the Dishonesty Institute, and Bill Dembski can now put his jumbled math to rest, Luskin and Klinghoffer can STFU.

  3. “Once upon a time, close to 14 billion years ago”
    At least our scribbler is not a YECer. That’s something.

    “We aren’t here to debate the Big Bang anyway.”
    How sensible! There is not much to debate because the thing happened. Of course our scribbler’s description is a bit …. unfortunate, but let’s be charitable. Not that lay men get it right and I’m not sure if I do.

    “some “supernatural being” who “magically spoke things into existence” is patently absurd.”
    I can only nod in agreement.

    “Now, God is not a “supernatural being,” per se.”
    Very interesting – a natural god gives rise to all kind of questions. A pity our scribbler chooses not to pursue this path. Actually our scribbler rejects the idea a bit further:

    “Because God can’t be measured.”

    “it is clear that the theory transcends anything scientific.”
    Eh? How exactly?

    “At the end of the day, it defies what physics can explain.”
    Eh? Why can’t physics explain the Big Bang at the end of the day? Is our scribbler aware that there are several theories that do exactly that?

    “Sure, there were black holes and this ball is believed to have formed from a singularity inside one of them.”
    No, our dear scribbler definitely is not a physicist. This simply doesn’t make sense.

    “Again, stick to science for now.”
    Excellent advise! Now only if our scribbler would take it and read some Wikipedia pages, just as an introduction …..

    “The existence of God can’t be proven using the same method that shows 6+6=12”
    No – but if our scribbler likes it I can show him that 6 + 6 excellently can equal for instance 5. But that’s math – in physics the word evidence means something quite different.
    A question. English, unlike Dutch, has such a nice distinction between evidence (ie empirical data confirming a hypothesis and/or theory) and proof (a demonstration that something is correct given a few axioms). Why do so many apologists get this wrong?

  4. For all the reasons cited above, it is evident that the Scribbler has ridden a few times too many on the Scrambler.

  5. “God is not a “supernatural being,..” “…God can’t be measured. Thousands of scientific experiments have proven that.”
    He doest contradicteth himself., doth he not?

  6. Doctor Stochastic

    From the title, I thought the article may have referred to the Immaculate Impregnation. Preceded by a swan song, drinks, some dancing,….perhaps by one of the Zanes.

  7. Without anything demonstrable, the idea that some “supernatural being” who “magically spoke things into existence” is patently absurd. Now, God is not a “supernatural being,” per se.

    Ahem. Then why have creationists tried to redefine science to embrace supernatural explanations for natural events? If God isn’t supposed to be supernatural “per se,” why would this be necessary?

  8. Rikki_Tikki_Taalik

    “The existence of God — the true creator of the universe — can’t be proven using the same method that shows 6+6=12, or the reason frogs can breathe in and out of water.”

    He apparently can’t be proven or demonstrated with prayer either. If we look at the most religious states in the U.S., where the bulk of praying to the god of the majority is sent aloft, where prayers are highest per capita for the sick and dying, where monuments of stone engraved with the ten do-and-do-nots and in-we-trust are erected regularly, where prayers are wailed for financial relief, where theocracy is pushed heavily into government, we find this god answers as if he is not there.

    Instead we find the worst rates of poverty, the worst health statistics and outcomes, etc. One would think the opposite should be the case, and rhetorically speaking, the streets should be paved with gold.

    There’s something wrong when you can’t show a statistically significant positive outcome for prayer. Or perhaps their deity wants to hide so badly, demanding the purest of faith while rejecting his promises to answer prayer that effectively you are on your own. Something is not quite right here and I’m pretty sure it’s not …

    “Because God can’t be measured”

  9. And the sky fairy looked around at what he/she/it had created and said “Oh bugger, I’d better try again” and off she/he/it went to a distant corner of the universe to try. And that, children, is why there’s no evidence of the sky fairy around here.

  10. Dave Luckett

    I love that this loon thinks God isn’t a supernatural being. An argument between him, and FL, the loon on Panda’s Thumb right now, would be worth sending out for pizza to watch, because FL reckons God is so supernatural. (And the Universe is so six thousand years old, too.) Betcha it’d end with threats of eternal damnation all around, if it could be brought on.

    Alas, with these flakes, the opposite rule from the usual seems to apply. Normally, you’d say that fanatic opposes fanatic, and that Freud’s narcissism of small difference applies. But somehow or other, the siege mentality that creobots (rightly) apply seems to kick in, and the enemy of their enemy is their friend. Anybody who despises science travels with them. For the nonce.

    Of course, that would last for about two heartbeats after they achieved hegemony. Then the fanatics would turn on each other with ravening fury, just as they always did before we climbed out of that cessput, four or five centuries ago.

  11. mnbo, “Why can’t physics explain the Big Bang at the end of the day?”

    Well, physics usually gets out of bed at 5 am, grades some papers, goes for a vigorous jog, comes back and eats a bowful of granola (sometimes with some fresh fruit) before heading off to teach classes. And that doesn’t end until six or so, often with physics missing lunch entirely, so when he comes home he’s really just too tired. Catches up on her DVR, eats a microwaved meal, and goes to bed early.

    I recommend catching up with physics some time on a Sunday afternoon. That’s when she gets caught up on her reading, maybe does a little light gardening and is most often in the mood for conversation.

  12. God is not supernatural, per se
    I wonder whether this writer is confused by the Latin expression, per se. It means, roughly, of (or by or through) oneself, and it doesn’t quite seem to fit where it appears here. What it is supposed to be
    distinguishing about the ways that God is supernatural,