God and the James Webb Space Telescope

The James Webb Space Telescope is really having a powerful effect on creationists. We previously wrote Creationists and the James Webb Space Telescope, followed soon thereafter by Discoveroids and the James Webb Space Telescope. They were all declaring that their faith was strengthened by what was being revealed.

But that was nothing compared to what we just found at the creationist blog of the Discovery Institute, titled James Webb Telescope Goes Live: Stephen Meyer Reports, and it has no author’s by-line.

Wowie! You know who Stephen Meyer is. His Discoveroid bio page says that he’s one of their senior fellows and currently the Program Director of their Center for Science and Culture — that’s their creationism shop. A report from him is important, so pay attention! Here are some excerpts, with bold font added by us for emphasis, and occasional Curmudgeonly interjections that look [like this]:

On a new episode of ID the Future [Ooooooooooooh! A Discoveroid podcast!], radio host Michael Medved sits down with Cambridge-trained philosopher of science Stephen Meyer to hear exciting news about the newly active James Webb Space Telescope, a telescope dramatically more powerful than the already extraordinarily powerful Hubble Space Telescope.

Exciting, isn’t it? Then they say:

The James Webb telescope was launched by NASA last Christmas and has begun returning a stream of dramatic images. Download the podcast or listen to it here. [Link omitted!]

We know all that, but what does Meyer say about it? They tell us:

As Meyer explains, thanks to Webb we can now see farther into the distant universe than ever before, and the farther a telescope can see, the further into the past it can see. The Webb telescope can see far enough to witness galaxies from the very early universe.

We know that too. Oh wait — here comes the good stuff:

Meyer says what Webb is revealing, and what astronomers and physicists have uncovered in the past several decades, point ever more insistently away from atheism and toward theism.

BWAHAHAHAHAHA! What does Meyer think the Webb Telescope is showing us — an image of Yahweh at his work-bench, with a sign on it that says “Deity at work, do not disturb!”? Anyway, now we come to the end:

For more on the topic, check out Meyer’s recent essay in Newsweek, “How Science Stopped Backing Atheists and Started Pointing Back to God.”

The Discoveroids in Newsweek? Goodbye cruel world! The end is nigh! All is lost!

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17 responses to “God and the James Webb Space Telescope

  1. “First, scientists have discovered that the physical universe had a beginning. This … contradicts the expectations of scientific atheists, who long portrayed the universe as eternal and self-existent—and, therefore, in no need of an external creator.” I find it amusing that if you go back to pre-Christian times, things were the other way around. Lucretius thought that the world had a beginning, roughly 1000 years before his own time, because the oldest historical information he had was that concerning the Trojan War. Aristotle, however, believed as I understand it in an unmoved mover, and also in an infinitely old universe.

    The choice between continuous creation and big bang was not resolved until the 1960s, and it’s true that Georges Lemaitre, who proposed something like our present big bang theory, was a believer, but I’m not aware of unbelievers having tended to prefer continuous creation. Is there any evidence for this?

    The rest of Meyer’s article is very old stuff. Fine tuning, and the complexity of biochemistry.

    By the way, does anyone know anything about the DI’s funding, apart from the connection with Ahmanson, which SC has mentioned?.

  2. Once again, we hear:
    The laws of nature are fine tuned to make life.
    Life is too complicated to arise from the working of the laws of nature.

    Which is it? Does God fine tune nature, or does God have to intervene over above the tuning of nature?

  3. sallyhawksworth

    Great question, TomS. Sadly I don’t think anyone at the Discovery Institute can provide an answer for you.

  4. chris schilling

    Why have ‘laws of nature’ if you need supernatural intervention to actually get anything done?

  5. Why, or how, would the super-natural resort to design, that is, restrain their actions to the constraints of nature, when super-natural means “beyond the constraints of nature”?
    How could we detect their actions if they are acting within the fine tuning of nature? Or not?

  6. “The atheist is unable to account for the logical, orderly state of the universe. Why should the universe obey laws if there is no law-giver?” –answersingenesis 😀

  7. ” Natural laws exist because the universe has a Creator God who is logical and has imposed order on His universe (Genesis 1:1)” –answersingenesis

    Everyone knows that if you put a Bible verse in parenthesis then the preceding statements are infallible.

  8. @richard
    I am not denying that God is the lawgiver of natural laws. What i am questioning is the soundness of the inference to that conclusion. (And, by the way, questioning the denial of evolutionary biology and other sciences.)
    What about the complexity of the eye, for example. The eye operates by following the laws of optics, etc. It is formed by following the laws of development and the codons in DNA. And those have evolved. If one denies such things, then one is in the position of denying the laws of nature, as far as anyone knows today. And that denial undermines the argument for there being laws of nature.

  9. @TomS Creationists can have things any way they want it. If they want laws of nature, they go it. If they want miracles, they got it. Put them both together and that’s two things they got. A lot better than only one thing.

  10. Dave Luckett

    The difficulty is at least partly semantic, specifically the word “law”. In the everyday sense it means “a rule enforced by a human agency”. In the scientific sense it means “an invariable principle arising from the intrinsic properties of matter, energy, time and space”. Ham is using “law” in the former sense and misapplying it to the latter.

    I would like to think that Ham is so stupid that he sees nothing wrong with doing that. I am not, alas, so charitable. I think Ham knows his deceit, in one or another part of his fractured mind, and excuses himself on the grounds that he is bolstering the faith of others, even as he deliberately misleads them.

    I have said it before, and I’ll say it again: I don’t think the day will ever come when Ham has to face the judgement of the man he calls God. I certainly don’t think that even so disgusting a hypocrite as Ham should be consigned to the everlasting flame, the fire that is never quenched, the worm that never dies. Yet nevertheless, I would like to be present when Jesus the Galilean tells Ken Ham what He thinks of him.

  11. Retired Prof

    Dave Luckett says Ham “excuses himself on the grounds that he is bolstering the faith of others, even as he deliberately misleads them.”

    “Having faith,” in the words of Mark Twain, “is believing in something you just know ain’t true.” A good description, in my experience among persons of a variety of faiths. In other words, the only way anybody can bolster the faith of others is to mislead them, though some do it only because they are themselves misled. However, I suspect DL is right about Ham’s culpability.

  12. Richard Feynman cautioned against fooling oneself, observing that oneself is the easiest person to fool.

  13. Since being under the control of a single owner in 2018, Newsweek has been bleeding credibility and good staffers, and it didn’t have much of either to start off with. It’s not quite the National Enquirer, but give it time.

  14. Stephen Kennedy

    @ Paul
    Georges Lemaitre was a brilliant mathematical physicist who proposed what became known as the Big Bang Theory on the basis of solutions he found to Einstein’s Field Equations. He completely compartmentalized his scientific work away from his religious beliefs as a Catholic priest. When the Pope used the finite age of the Universe implied by Lemaitre’s work as an argument against Atheism, Lemaitre wrote a letter to the Pope asking him to stop saying such things since the mathematical proofs that the Universe was expanding was purely a scientific finding that had no religious implications.

    On another matter, If the Universe works because it had been given just the right physical constants from the beginning, that would be a strong argument for Deism not Christianity and we know how Hambo feels about Deism and its role in the Enlightenment.

  15. @Stephen Kennedy
    Yes.
    And about deism. The famous deist, Voltaire, expressed pride in his use of the watchmaker analogy.

  16. @Stephen Kennedy, “Lemaitre wrote a letter to the Pope asking him to stop saying such things”; I didn’t know that, but completely in character. “on the basis of solutions he found to Einstein’s Field Equations”; he also invoked the increase in red shift with distance in support of this in 1927 (Ann. Sci. Soc. Bruxelles, 47, p 49), ahead of Hubble’s 1929 paper, PNAS 15, p 168

  17. I just consulted this book
    The Atom of the Universe: The life and works of Georges Lemaitre
    By Dominique Lambert
    Copernicus Center Press, 2015

    It covers the issue of Pius XII’s mentioning L’s ideas, and L’s reaction. It seems that L did not directly contact P, but
    “The evidence is that he spoke with Fr. O’Connell, and possibly Msgr. Angelo Dell’Acqua of the papal Secretariat of State …” p. 349