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.
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