A recent article in Astronomy has creationists running wild. It’s titled Is the Big Bang in crisis? The first two paragraphs will introduce situation:
A series of powerful observations has made it clear that our universe has expanded for billions of years, emerging from the hot, dense state we call the Big Bang. Over the past several decades, new types of precise measurements have allowed scientists to scrutinize and refine this account, letting them reconstruct the history of our universe in ever greater detail. When we compare the results from different kinds of measurements — the expansion rate of the universe, the temperature patterns in the light released when the first atoms formed, the abundances of various chemical elements, and the distribution of galaxies and other large-scale structures — we find stunning agreement. Each of these lines of evidence supports the conclusion that our universe expanded and evolved in just the way that the Big Bang theory predicts. From this perspective, our universe appears to be remarkably comprehensible.
But cosmologists have struggled — if not outright failed — to understand essential facets of the universe. We know almost nothing about dark matter and dark energy, which together make up more than 95 percent of the total energy in existence today. We don’t understand how the universe’s protons, electrons, and neutrons could have survived the aftereffects of the Big Bang. In fact, everything we know about the laws of physics tells us that these particles should have been destroyed by antimatter long ago. And in order to make sense of the universe as we observe it, cosmologists have been forced to conclude that space, during its earliest moments, must have undergone a brief and spectacular period of hyperfast expansion — an event known as cosmic inflation. Yet we know next to nothing about this key era of cosmic history.
That’s a fair summary of where things are today, and it presents an opportunity for creationists — such as the brilliant article that just appeared at the website of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) — the granddaddy of all creationist outfits, the fountainhead of young-earth creationist wisdom. It’s titled Astronomy Magazine: Big Bang in Crisis?
It was written by one of ICR’s top creation scientists — Jake Hebert. They say he has a Ph.D. in physics, and joined ICR as a research associate the same year that degree was awarded. Here are some excerpts from Jake’s article, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:
The May 2020 issue of Astronomy magazine asks what might have once been seen as an unthinkable question: Is the Big Bang in Crisis? [Gasp!] The article cites four major problems with the model: 1) that the Big Bang implies that 95% of the universe’s content is unknown to us, 2) the inability of the Big Bang to explain the enormous matter/antimatter imbalance in the universe, 3) the nature of cosmic inflation that was “tacked onto” the model years ago, and 4) contradicting values of the universe’s inferred expansion rate.
Wowie — scientists are actually admitting that they don’t understand the universe! Jake is all excited. He quickly mentions the evidence that supports the Big Bang theory, and then he lovingly recites the issues that are not yet resolved. Near the end of that recital he says:
Moreover, Big Bang theorists acknowledge that, by their own reckoning, they do not know the composition of 95% of the mass/energy of the universe. Or to put it another way, they don’t know what the universe is composed of. [They’re fools!] This one simple fact demonstrates the absurdity [Absurdity!] of their claim that they know how the universe came to be.
Their ignorance is so obvious! Then Jake tells us:
A 2004 open letter published in New Scientist had this to say about the Big Bang:
[He quotes the first paragraph of Open Letter on Cosmology:] Big bang theory relies on a growing number of hypothetical entities — things that we have never observed. Inflation, dark matter and dark energy are the most prominent. Without them, there would be fatal contradictions between the observations made by astronomers and the predictions of the big bang theory. In no other field of physics would this continual recourse to new hypothetical objects be accepted as a way of bridging the gap between theory and observation. It would, at the least, raise serious questions about the validity of the underlying theory.
That’s quite an open letter! Jake is excited and ends his article like this:
Creation scientists heartily agree. [Hee hee!] The scientific problems with the Big Bang model are so great that it should have been abandoned by theorists long ago. What is truly perplexing is why so many Christians insist that the Big Bang was God’s means of creating the universe, when it clearly contradicts the Genesis account in so many ways. [It’s blasphemy!]
While we’re on the subject of articles ending, here’s the end of the article in Astronomy — the one that got Jake all excited:
Scientific revolutions can profoundly transform how we see and understand our world. But radical change is never easy to see coming. There is probably no way to tell whether the mysteries faced by cosmologists today are the signs of an imminent scientific revolution or merely the last few loose ends of an incredibly successful scientific endeavor.
There is no question that we have made incredible progress in understanding our universe, its history, and its origin. But it is also undeniable that we are profoundly puzzled, especially when it comes to the earliest moments of cosmic history. I have no doubt that these moments hold incredible secrets, and perhaps the keys to a new scientific revolution. But our universe holds its secrets closely. It is up to us to coax those secrets from its grip, transforming them from mystery into discovery.
Well, dear reader, who is right? The folks at Astronomy, who seem to suggest that we’re well on the way to understanding the universe, or Jake and his fellow creation scientists, who say that only Genesis tells the true story?
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