Skip to comments.A Brief History of Intolerance in Modern Cosmology
Posted on 01/23/2009 8:11:29 AM PST by GodGunsGuts
A Brief History of Intolerance in Modern Cosmology
by Dr. Jerry Bergman
January 21, 2009
A review of some recent well-documented cases of intolerance in the cosmology field illustrates a common problem in science. Many relate to the Big Bang theory, such as the case of Geoffrey and Margaret Burbidge and Halton Arp. None of the accounts involved Intelligent Design advocates or creationists. This selection removes this compounding factor from the evaluation, but the cases have direct relevance to both Intelligent Design and creationism because both groups face the same resistance. It was concluded that it is critical for science to advance that new ideas must be evaluated on the evidence and not because they challenge established science. This problem has persisted during the entire history of science, the most well known example being Galileo...
(Excerpt) Read more at answersingenesis.org ...
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Any thoughts on the Cosmologists who question the Big Bang (and what would seem to be the fanatical persecution of the same)?
Peer review? Why that's ONLY for those already in agreement with whichever prevailing orthodoxy reigns supreme.
Gotta problem with that? Then you just don't understand how science *works*. Obviously, you must be an idiot, and all your ideas are just so many idiot offspring, not falling too far from the tree...
Here on FR when discussions turn to religion and philosophy vs. the current pronouncements of scientific theory, to say, “That's not scientific” or some such is a pejorative that the utterers appear to think renders all dissent futile.
Here that sort of thing provides fuel for debate but when the person saying it can put a choke hold on one’s career by restricting research facilities and therefore the mother's milk of publication, peer review, then it's quite a different story.
It’s a conspiracy. Cosmologists are part of the bigger conspiracy of scientists who want to make ignorant people look dumb.
Hostility may follow, but I doubt to the extreme of the Intelligent Design issue.
There is a difference.
Evolution biology is a historical science much like anthropology, archeology and Egyptology. They do not have a complete record to view - i.e. not every thing that ever lived left a fossil and an artifact. So in these disciplines, the theory is the paradigm to explain the quantization of the historical continuum and is "the" test for any evidence which accumulates thereafter. Intelligent Design questions the paradigm per se claiming that "certain" features are best explained by an intelligent cause.
One could argue that physical cosmology is a historical science as well. But physical cosmology proposes many blueprints (theories) which fit the physical evidence. However, unlike evolution biology, there is no single paradigm theory for physical cosmology. Theories include imaginary time, multi-verse, multi-world, ekpyrotic, cyclic and many more. The "paradigm" in that field consists of this universe's physical laws, physical causation and physical constants themselves.
However, if a scientist questioned that paradigm, e.g. denied the second law of thermodynamics, he might expect not only extreme skepticism but hostility as well.
In his fascinating essay, Refereed Journals: Do they ensure quality or enforce orthodoxy?, Tipler questions whether revolutionary theories (e.g. relativity) would have ever made it through the peer review process.
That is an interesting question because truly whenever a scientist assails a paradigm as opposed to a theory, he effectively attacks the entire discipline and therefore should expect the defense to include self-righteous indignation.
Conversely, as cosmologist Delaporte once noted (paraphrased): science has grown so large and become so specialized that there are precious few big thinkers these days. Or to put it another way, there are precious few scientists who are truly qualified to peer review a revolutionary theory.
I do understand the value of peer review however I strongly aver that every scientist should have an outlet for his theories, no matter how revolutionary they might be - and that he should never be punished for thinking outside the box, i.e. the paradigm.
The Founders should have specified "Freedom of Thought" instead of letting it be inferred from "Freedom of Speech." However, in their defense, they probably did not anticipate the pervasive "political correctness" of today's world.
A final point: the big bang theory itself is the most theological statement ever to come out of modern science (Jastrow.) Genesis 1 and John 1 both declare "In the beginning."
All physical cosmologies require space and time for physical causation. In the absence of time, events cannot occur. In the absence of space, things cannot exist. None can obviate the need for God the Creator, the First Cause of "all that there is" who is neither time bound nor space bound, uncreated.
No matter how far back they theoretical push the historical record (e.g. multi-verse theories) - they are always relying on space and time for physical causation. Without speaking of God, they can never say how much less why there is something instead of nothing at all.
When my brothers and sisters in Christ theologically question the big bang, they are discounting this important argument. Nevertheless, we must all declare the Truth as we have received it.
I agree with Jewish physicist Gerald Schroeder - God's revelation in Scripture and in Creation agree when one considers relativity and the big bang/inflationary model. From the inception of this universe to now, six days have elapsed relative to the inception - though from our space/time coordinates, billions of years have elapsed. The two are not mutually exclusive, they are relative. Or to put it another way, Genesis 1 is written from the Creator's perspective - not the perspective of a creature. In my view, the perspective of Scripture does not change to man's until Adam is banished to mortality.
The inquisition lives on. What will be next, house arrest? Too bad so many people assume white labcoats confer objectivity. Indeed, it would seem the field of science is one of the last bastions still capable of fooling the public into believing they are immune to human frailty. But alas, I suspect the days of being able to rely on naive public trust are rapidly coming to a close.
Excellent reply. But I am a bit confused by what you mean by “So in these disciplines, the theory is the paradigm to explain the quantization of the historical continuum...” Could you elaborate?
You know I do, right? I think alot of the creationists’ ideas on cosmology are nonsense and have said so more than once but never have I suggested that they or their sources not be allowed to publish along side the big bang, etc. theories.
Why should someone with academic degrees be told he can no longer look through a telescope just because he thinks he sees a young universe or something? If the Emperor has no clothes, putting blindfolds on the crowd won’t dress him.
Something can’t be created from nothing; which leads us to either conclude that something always existed or the whole thing is a collective illusion, or something like that. :)
I subscribe to the "something always existed" angle. Matter and energy can be converted back and forth, manifested in various forms of each, but can neither be created nor destroyed.
2 Peter 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.
Time dilation addressed in Scripture thousands you years before science got there....... again.
Needs to be repeated often and to the evos, although you'll no doubt be accused of stretching things, twisting Scripture, not being literal, being too literal, whatever, to invalidate your comment.
ABG-Anything But God.
I find it by far the best explanation to reconcile the difference between what God tells us and what we observe.
Thanks for putting it so concisely.
But that's exactly what they're doing.
I don’t have time to go into any kind of depth at the moment, but I’d be curious to find out which creationist ideas re: cosmology you categorize as nonsense.
A continuum is coherent whole.
A quantization is one instance in the continuum.
The geologic record is a historical record which has captured certain quantizations, e.g. the remains of certain creatures became fossils which are contained in the geologic record.
Likewise, the geologic record contains artifacts, records and structures left by humans which evidently existed long ago.
The historical sciences look at these quantizations of the historical record as data points (quantizations) in their blueprint, theoretical continuum.
Darwin's tree of life is "the" theoretical continuum into which one of the fossils would be fit.
Archeological theory concerning the Mayans is "the" theoretical continuum into which one of the artifacts would be fit.
In these historical science disciplines, the theory is not merely one alternative explanation but rather "the" paradigm for the discipline.
Egyptology, for instance, presupposes a linear progression of Egyptian civilization in its theoretical continuum.
Another way to look at it would be to envision a big blueprint (tree of life) into which the scientist fits whatever he finds. The historical scientist is focused on the data.
Physical cosmology - like physics and chemistry etc. - works differently. They don't have a paradigm theory. Theories (more than one usually) are built to explain what is observed.
It is a fundamental difference:
4. Biologists' views of the relation of biology to physics
Many biologists consider physical laws, artificial life, robotics, and even theoretical biology as largely irrelevant for their research. In the 1970s, a prominent molecular geneticist asked me, "Why do we need theory when we have all the facts?" At the time I dismissed the question as silly, as most physicists would. However, it is not as silly as the converse question, Why do we need facts when we have all the theories? These are actually interesting philosophical questions that show why trying to relate biology to physics is seldom of interest to biologists, even though it is of great interest to physicists. Questioning the importance of theory sounds eccentric to physicists for whom general theories is what physics is all about. Consequently, physicists, like the skeptics I mentioned above, are concerned when they learn facts of life that their theories do not appear capable of addressing. On the other hand, biologists, when they have the facts, need not worry about physical theories that neither address nor alter their facts. Ernst Mayr (1997) believes this difference is severe enough to separate physical and biological models: "Yes, biology is, like physics and chemistry, a science. But biology is not a science like physics and chemistry; it is rather an autonomous science on a par with the equally autonomous physical sciences."
A lot of the heavyweights appears not to buy the big bang idea: http://www.cosmologystatement.org