The illogical atheist strikes again

Scientific American recently pondered, Is Lawrence Krauss a Physicist, or Just a Bad  Philosopher?  A very good question indeed considering the fact that the entire premise of Krauss’ recent book “A Universe from Nothing”  apart from being (bad) philosophy masquerading as science[1] is based on the logical fallacy known as “Equivocation.” Equivocation is when you use one word to mean two different things.  This typically results in false and misleading  conclusions – though sometimes the results are ironic and amusing as in Cher’s song “Dark Lady.”    In Cher’s song the fortune teller tells the singer “The man you love is secretly true to someone else who is very close to you.” Normally when you hear the phrase “very close to you” you think of an emotional connection. But by the end of the song, you realize the dark lady was referring to herself, and the “very close” part was physically close – as the two ladies were when the dark lady gave the fortune. The dark lady intentionally misled through the use of an equivocation. Krauss does the same thing – intentionally mislead through an equivocation. Continue Reading

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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

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