What might Einstein think about flat earth theories?


There are plenty of resources available to debunk the proposition that the earth is flat. Some of the ones I think are most helpful are listed  in the resources section below. So “Why even bother addressing this theory?” you might might wonder. I pondered that question myself for a time, and decided I should address it for the following reasons:

1. Creationists are often accused of believing “crazy” things. Some make the charge that we are no different from believers in a flat earth, and some accuse us of believing in a flat earth.  In response, what better way to show creationists in general, (and this writer in particular) doesn’t believe in a flat earth than by debunking it? Doing so also gives the added benefit of distancing creationists from flat earth believers.

2. While many have approached this by providing various evidences of why the earth must be shaped like a globe, and not flat like a pancake as flat earth believers claim, I have not seen any debunkers that approach it this way – namely by looking at the physics of such a system as Albert Einstein might. So for these reasons I throw my hat into the flat earth debunking ring. Since I am approaching this from the stand point of an investigation of the physics as Albert Einstein might investigate it, let me describe the approach he would probably take, and the primary theory we must understand.

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Cosmologists Today: Tilting at Windmills

I am I, Don Quixote!
The Lord of La Mancha, my destiny calls and I go.
And the wild winds of fortune shall carry me onward oh withersoever
they blow. Withersoever they blow.
Onward to glory I go!

So sings the title character of the hit movie and play Man of La Mancha based on the book Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote is the name adopted by Alonso Quixano a likeable, less-than-affluent, well read fellow, well past his prime who lives with his niece in the Spanish village of La Mancha. He reaches a point where all his days “from dawn to dark ” are spent reading his favored books: those of  the tales of chivalry and the deeds of errant knights from days long ago.  However being past his prime, and “with little sleep and much reading his brains got so dry that he lost his wits.”[1].  He was so immersed in the tales that with his waning faculties, he lost the ability to distinguish between what was fact and what was fiction.  To the point where he believed that “the whole fabric of invention and fancy he read of was true…”[2]

And thus Quixano decides to adopt the distinguished name of Don Quixote de La Mancha, become an errant knight and go off in search of adventures to right wrongs and fight injustice. Perhaps the most memorable of which is when he comes upon some windmills which he imagines to be giants, and begins jousting with them from his aging and arthritic horse. It’s from this scene we get the phrase “tilting [or jousting] at windmills” which originally meant to fight against imaginary or unimportant enemies or issues. But as a Yahoo aficionado points out, figuratively it has come to mean “a futile activity.”[3]

Which brings us to the current state of affairs in cosmology. Many cosmologists these days are like Don Quixote – jousting at imagined problems that are a result of their imagined theories in order to obtain great glory. Continue Reading

The Expanding Big Bang Fairy tale

Back in August of 2015, I predicted the Big Bang magicians  (those who promote the big bang and go by various titles such as cosmologist, scientist, theoretical physicist etc.) would eventually propose a new fairy tale to explain yet another unexplained fact recently discovered about the wonderfully designed universe that we live in. That fact is the existence of  rings of galaxies, in concentric circles, spanning the mind boggling distance of 5 billion light years.  The Big Bang theory requires that the universe is homogeneous and isotropic – the same everywhere[1] so you should not see in it structures organized in a geometric pattern like concentric circles. Thus this discovery must somehow be explained and made to fit into the Big Bang theory somehow.

I discussed the discovery of this super structure and the problem it poses in an article titled  The coming Big Bang fairy tale where I also made both the above referenced prediction, and guaranteed we’d see a new fairy tale:

To close, let me borrow from the former president of the men’s warehouse:
Another big bang fairy tale is coming. I guarantee it.[2]

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Pulling Back the Veil – What Cosmologists are Hiding

The Hand of God (nebula) behind the Veil of Science

The Hand of God (nebula) behind the Veil of Science

(Or: Big Bang Magic Part 3:
Pulling Back the Veil on the five biggest questions about the universe)

Contrary to what you may have been led to believe, cosmology these days is not an objective science, devoted  strictly to the scientific explanation of the origin of the universe. There is an agenda that rules cosmology. An agenda that has nothing to do with science as confessed by Richard Lewontin: 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

If evolution is true, Humanity is doomed

Model of the head of Sonny the AI robot from I, Robot

 

Evolution predicts humans will eventually go the way of the Dodo.

I can across an interesting headline in my newsreader the other day:

The beginning of the end: Google’s AI has beaten a top human player at the complex game of Go”[1]

Here is their one sentence summary of what happened:

“Earlier today, AlphaGo, an artificially intelligent  algorithm developed by Google’s DeepMind subsidiary, categorically beat Lee Sedol, one of the best players of the Chinese board game Go”

I remember a similar epic match up back in the day (twenty years ago to be precise) in Philadelphia between IBM’s supercomputer “Deep Blue” and the then reigning world champion chess master Gary Kasparov (mentioned in the article above in passing).  In the first match up, Deep Blue won only 1 of the 6 game series. Not satisfied, IBM wanted to win an entire match, so the engineers went off and made improvements for a rematch.

The rematch came the following year in New York City. As the above article notes, Deep Blue used a “brute force” approach to playing chess, evaluating the strength of various possible chess plays. Brute force is a bit of an under statement: “Deep Blue could calculate over 200 million chess positions per second”[2] according to Smithsonian historian David Allison. Kasparov and Deep Blue split the first two games – winning one each, and tied the next three. Kasparov lost the final game to Deep Blue, giving Deep Blue the match. Kasparov, perhaps like many, couldn’t believe he could lose to a machine and IBM’s refusal to requests for computer logs and a rematch seemed to highlight previous charges he had made earlier in the match accusing the IBM team of cheating – having a human (grand master) help guide the machine.

The difference between Deep Blue’s win and  AlphaGo’s win is that: Continue Reading

Exposing the Big Magic behind the Big Bang

Big Bang timeline, including unknown, magical origin.

The Big Bang is full of carefully hidden magic. Have you spotted it?

The Big Bang theory has been the predominant, scientist favored theory for the origin of the universe for a number of decades. But you probably knew that already. You probably also thought that the Big Bang theory was all science, based on well established facts and observations. If so then the Big Bang magicians have you just where they want you: already believing the illusion they’re selling is 100% science. Like a person going to see a magic show believes he will see magic; a person hearing a story from a scientist believes he will hear science.  Since you already believe what you hear about the big bang is science, pulling off the illusion that it is all science with no magic mixed in is now a piece of cake. Continue Reading

Science and the Paradox of the Unbelievable

Artist's depiction of Earth curving space according to Einstein's theory of General Relativity while satellite GPB orbits
Artist’s depiction of Earth curving space according to Einstein’s theory of General Relativity while satellite GPB orbits
Christians are often accused of believing the unbelievable. But are they the only ones?

Christians are often accused of believing the unbelievable. One of those “unbelievables” is the claim that the universe was created in 6 days. But is that really unbelievable? Even if it were, are Christians the only ones who believe something that’s unbelievable? Consider this: physicists also believe something once considered unbelievable. If that is true, perhaps the belief of Christians is not as wild and crazy as some think.

Physics and the Unbelievable

Consider the well known phenomenon of gravity. Since Newton published his theory of gravity in the seventeenth century, people have believed in the pull exerted by the force of gravity. Newton is widely credited with being the founder of modern science based on his law of gravity and laws of motion.  Newton’s understanding of gravity seems intuitive – of course things are pulled by the force of gravity. Yet scientists today don’t believe his model of gravity.  They say that force is not real; it’s something Newton just made up. There is no pull of gravity.

Which leaves those of us who were taught Newton’s theory of gravity as an unchanging “law” of science in a bit of a quandary. We are now told not to believe in a foundational theory of science given to us by the father of modern science.  Saying Newton was wrong was once considered unthinkable, much less believable. Yet that is precisely what scientists today are asking us to do. Do you believe them? If you do, you too believe a number of things once considered nonsense by modern scientists as demonstrated below. And if you don’t you’re at odds with modern science. 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