The complex science that explains consciousness: Faith

Consciousness poses a serious, and in fact insurmountable problem for  materialist scientists – which includes of course materialist evolutionists.[1]  Brain researcher Robert Lawrence Kuhn captures the problem succinctly: “Try as I have for decades, I cannot remotely imagine how physical matter can become mentally aware.”[2] By “mentally aware” he is referring to consciousness, which he defines as:

“Consciousness is what mental activity feels like inside. The private inner experience of sensation, emotion and thought.”[3]
Robert Lawrence Kuhn

Which is probably the easiest way to view consciousness.[4] But this easy to understand concept of consciousness masks a fundamental conundrum: matter is not conscious. If matter is all that exists, and thus people are no more than intricately structured matter, why are we conscious?

The problem is akin to the origin of life for such materialists. The origin of life problem, briefly stated, is  how did non-living matter – an arrangement of molecules – become a living creature? The problem of consciousness is very similar:  How does an arrangement of non-consciousness matter become conscious? For  the record, materialists have no answer to either question.

Before looking further into the problem, we need to be clear on how  insurmountable a problem consciousness is for those who believe there is nothing beyond the material world. Famed former atheist turned theist Anthony Flew highlighted the problem through the means of  a thought experiment: Continue Reading

Should Christians believe in a multiverse? 7 Reasons Against

The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
2 Cor 4.2

Non-believers will likely consider the above scripture irrelevant and unpersuasive and will ponder the wisdom of starting an article on the multiverse with a verse of scripture. In so doing they will have confirmed the scripture (blind to spiritual truths) while setting up my two points: First – this is not merely a discussion of physics – but of metaphysics. (Metaphysics being those things that lie beyond the realm of observable physical reality and so strictly speaking, are beyond the realm of the questions that physics can answer.) Second, not only is the multiverse “pure metaphysics”[1] as Christian apologist William Lane Craig puts it, but many scientists seem blind to the fact that they are engaging in metaphysics – not physics – when proposing the multiverse as a “scientific” answer to a number of the problems their theories have. They have fallen into the same error that  philosopher of science and apologist John Lennox chides theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking for: engaging in metaphysics while failing to recognize he is doing so.[2]

Truth in advertising

Having identified multiverse theories as claims that deal with the metaphysical, we can make the following observations: Continue Reading

Dark Matter: The Big Bang’s Missing Link

Black holes – once again a candidate for dark matter. (Above: simulation of merging black holes. Click for animation)

 

“How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”[1]
Sherlock Holmes

Holmes, the famed fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle popularized that statement of logic, and highlighted the power of deductive reasoning for solving problems.  As fans of Sherlock Holmes know this adage is a key tool in the forensic tool kit for catching criminals.  Applied to science, it is also very helpful, but it cannot always be as conclusive with scientific theory as it is when narrowing the field of suspects in a crime. That is because of two ambiguous terms that science has a hard time precisely defining. Those are:

  1. Eliminate the Impossible
    This is a doubly difficult task for science, because it assumes you first have the knowledge to identify all possibilities, then secondly, have the ability to identify (via testing if it’s to be scientific) that which is  not possible. Only then can you know that you’ve eliminated the impossible. But when it comes to cosmology as physicist and creationist John Hartnett quips:

    “To make such a claim, you would have to know that you have ruled out all other possibilities. In such a case—remember this is not a laboratory experiment—you would have to be an all-knowing god.” [2]
    John Hartnett
     

  2. Whatever remains
    We tend to think that “whatever remains” is a single identifiable cause, but in fact, there could be multiple causes that make up “whatever remains”

So before coming out with any definitive statements,  scientists must be sure that they have carefully accounted for each of these two often difficult to identify variables. Unfortunately, that has  not been the case when it comes to  scientific speculation on Dark Matter. In that regard there are a lot of scientists jumping to the conclusion that dark matter exists, and is out there, waiting to be verified (in a lab) by scientists. Why is that? Let’s take a look at why scientists are so intent on proving that Dark Matter exists, and why it’s prudent to be skeptical about their whole approach to the existence of dark matter.

The Problem: The Universe is not behaving as (we think) it should

Scientists have identified peculiar behavior in the outer reaches of the universe. Not all galaxies are moving as they should. To visualize the problem, consider: Continue Reading

Can the big bang explain star formation?


Scientists do not have a feasible theory on how the sun was formed.
Materialist cosmologists are loath to admit it, but the truth is they have no idea how stars like our sun were formed.

In my previous article on the age of the universe I stated that scientists can’t gauge the age of the universe in part because they can’t gauge one of the yardsticks they use as a comparison: the age of stars. They can’t measure the age of stars because they don’t know how stars form. Thus without being able to nail down the beginning point, they can’t know the total time elapsed between the star’s beginning and now. I provided references to a few quotes from scientists to support the contention that they don’t know how stars form such as:

The universe we see when we look out to its furthest horizons contains a hundred billion galaxies. Each of these galaxies contains another hundred billion stars. That’s 1022 stars all told. The silent embarrassment of modern astrophysics is that we do not know how even a single one of these stars managed to form.1

Predictably, the big bang brain washed gang don’t believe their own scientists when it comes to statements that contradict their theory, so a number responded by Googling how stars form, and pointed me, ironically enough, to an article on one of NASA’s sites that I had referenced myself. The irony being that the article specifically points out that one problem scientists have with determining the age of stars is their “ignorance” (their word) regarding stellar evolution.2  Apparently such people didn’t bother to read the article they presented as counter evidence.

But I suspect that in addition to the big bang brain washed gang,  many will find it hard to believe the above statement – that scientists don’t know how stars form.  So let me clarify that statement and provide further evidence here.

First, let’s be clear about the claim I’m making. Notice I didn’t say scientists don’t know how stars work. They’ve known how stars shine since 1920 when the brilliant English astrophysicist Sir Arthur Eddington:

“…argued in his 1920 presidential address to the British Association for the Advancement of Science that Aston’s measurement of the mass difference between hydrogen and helium meant that the sun could shine by converting hydrogen atoms to helium.”3

The process is called nuclear fusion and has been confirmed by the discovery that  emanating from the sun is the by products of the nuclear reaction: the hard to detect particles called nutrinos.4 So scientists know how stars work. They know what makes them shine. What I’m saying is they don’t know how they form. Or to be more precise, they cannot come up with a naturalistic process – which the big bang requires – that would produce the conditions necessary to create a star and ignite a stable fusion process. And in particular they cannot come up with a scenario that would allow for the creation of the first star using only naturalistic processes, and without invoking hypothetical, magical entities. To understand why, let’s look first at the story currently told by scientists on how stars form.

The Current Big Bang Star Creation Story

Here is how stars form according to the big bang theory as outlined by various scientists and the narrator in “The Universe” episode Life and Death of a Star5 Continue Reading

The multiverse and other fairy tales


A picture supposedly of a fairies dancing before a young girl is examined for authenticity in a scene from “FairyTale: A True Story
Cosmologists faced with the difficult problems of the fine tuning of the universe and the origin of the singularity have resorted to the fairy tale of a “multiverse” to save a materialistic worldview.

In 1917 in Cottingley, England, 16 and 9 year old cousins Elsie Write and Frances Griffiths believed in fairies and wanted others to believe too. As evidence they produced pictures (viewable here) of what they purported to be real live fairies.  By today’s photoshop and CGI standards, the fairies in the pictures appear to be  simplistic two dimensional hand colored drawings. But a photo expert of the day declared the negatives had not been tampered with, and the pictures caught the eye of writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of famed fictional detective Sherlock Holmes. Less widely known is Doyle was a believer in the paranormal1, and his beliefs included the existence of fairies. Doyle took the photographs as authentic.

Years later, the girls, now women, confessed the photos had been faked. The question is why had so many, including one so obviously intelligent as the creator of Sherlock Holmes been so quick to believe a fanciful story with little or no evidence? Frances, nailed it on the head in a 1985 interview when she said, “I never even thought of it as being a fraud – it was just Elsie and I having a bit of fun and I can’t understand to this day why they were taken in – they wanted to be taken in.”2

“They wanted to be taken in.” In other words, they wanted to believe. I don’t fault them or anyone for that. Humans are designed to live by faith, and thus it’s natural to want to believe in something. (This includes atheists, evolutionists and scientists who claim to have no faith.3) The problem comes when you believe based on flimsy or no evidence. That’s always the problem with a fairytale – there is little or no evidence. This also distinguishes the Christian faith – for which there is a plethora of  evidences from a variety of fields of study –  from fairytales.  Furthermore, there are a number of sites dedicated to documenting the evidence.4

Segue to the 1980’s. The field of cosmology is in crisis. Scientists realize there are a number of problems with the Big Bang theory. (For a few details see my previous article here.)  Einstein had died in 1955 without completing what he had hoped would be his magnus opus: a completed Theory of Everything (TOE) – a single, elegant, unified theory that explained everything about the universe, including the current holy grail in cosmology: the unexplainable (in scientific terms) origin of the universe. The current explanation – the singularity that is itself the big bang – has been recognized as totally inadequate, contradicting the laws of physics. As physicist Michio Kaku put it:

“The fundamental problem of cosmology, is that the laws of physics as we know them break down at the instant of the big bang. Well people say what’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with having the laws of physics collapse? Well for physicists this is a disaster. All our lives we’ve dedicated to the proposition that the universe obeys knowable laws. Laws that can be written down in the language of mathematics. And here we have the centerpiece of  the universe itself, a missing piece beyond physical law.” 5

To make matters worse, science had discovered that the universe is finely tuned. In an article for the Discovery Center Institute for science and culture, distinguished follow and author Jay Richards explains what fine tuning is:

“Fine-tuning” refers to various features of the universe that are necessary conditions for the existence of complex life. Such features include the initial conditions and “brute facts” of the universe as a whole, the laws of nature or the numerical constants present in those laws (such as the gravitational force constant), and local features of habitable planets (such as a planet’s distance from its host star).

The basic idea is that these features must fall within a very narrow range of possible values for chemical-based life to be possible.”6

In that article Richards, who prefers to take a conservative approach to fine tuning parameters, lists 21 features of the cosmos that are fine tuned. (As opposed to 200 as the number of parameters that Metaxas cites as finely tuned in his popular article.7)  Richard’s  conclusion: the universe is fine tuned and thus designed.

On the other hand, British cosmologist and astronomer royal Martin Rees examines in depth 6 of those finely tuned parameters in his book “Just Six Numbers.” Though the evidence for fine tuning that results in a world like ours is quite apparent, he refuses to believe that means it points to a designer who fine tuned it. Instead he chooses to believe in an solution as fanciful as fairies, and having the same amount of evidence (none): the multiverse: Continue Reading