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May 16, 2005

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I wonder if any of Professor Lee's students were savvy enough to ask him, "Is the word 'noise' a noise?"

Reading this and several other posts on Church of the Churchless recently has brought back reservations I had about one of Brian's earlier books "God's Whisper, Creation's Thunder. Excellent though the book is for the laymans introduction to Quantum physics and cosmology, like so many other texts on these subjects it presents the currently most widely accepted scientific theories as verging on scientific fact and fails to offer even a hint of alternative explanations for the phenomena that these theories are attempting to explain.
Take for example the Big Bang theory which is discussed in the book in relation to a number of different issues with due credit given the originators of the theory and discovery of the Red Shift phenomena. Nowhere, however, are the names of those who disagree with the theory mentioned much less their alternative viewpoints. From this the average reader will quite justifiably assume that the Big Bang theory and the finite time that the universe has been around implied by the theory are the only explanations that have any scientific validily, and that all astronomers and astro physicists are in general agreement, this however is far from the truth and is an example of how the scientific community can rival the major (and many minor) religions in holding bigoted viewpoints. I agree with the general thrust of Brian's arguments regarding faith versus science but the scientific community is also far from blameless when it comes to shutting their eyes and ears to that which doesn't fit with the dominant scientific viewpoint of the day. The reason for their "see no evil" attitude is primarily arrogance and funding, arrogance I'm afraid often comes with the territory in the world of the scientist and Issac Newton and many others like him at the pinnacle of their profession are plain proof of this, and funding well without funding from the major educational instutions much of this pure physics research would founder and many would be quite simply out of a job and having to make a living in the real world. The major institutions only back what they perceive to be "winners" and therefore most likely to produce spectacular discoveries reaffirming what has already been theorized and therefore the vast expenditure of patrons funds is justified and egos duly inflated. Woe betide any scientist who dares step outside the mold, funding cuts and dismissal await them not to mention a complete ban from being published in any reputable scientific review.
Getting back to cosmology, do the likes of Fred Hoyle (eminent astronomer), Hannes Alfven (noble prize 1970 physics),Dr Alton C.Arp, Geoffrery Burbidge, J.Narlikar, and Eric Lerner, get a mention in the scientific press these days, or even in the laymans guides to cosmology, (yours included Brian I believe); hardly likely I'm afraid. Arp's book debunking mainstream opinion on quasers and redshift published back in late 90's called "Seeing Red" did not get a single review in any astronomical magazine that I'm aware of (so good title from Arp's point of view) and yet the emphasis of Arp's work has been on observation rather than pure speculation or theorising. His latest book "Catalogue of Discordant Redshift Associations" 2003 gets scarely a mention. I'm not sure how Burbidge and Narlkar's " A Different Approach to Cosmology,From a Static Universe Through The Big Bang
Towards Reality" is getting on but I'm ever hopeful.
I guess I'm going to get labelled a flat earther by some after this article but essentially I'm in favour of an open mind to all possibilities and lean towards the observation of phenomena preceding a theory rather than trying to prove a theory by looking to find an observation that substantiates it as is so popular in astronomy these days. Bring back the attitude of Galileo to science and I'm sure we will see some truly quantum leaps on the discovery front.

Postscript: A ray of hope gleams; in May last year New Scientist magazine published an "Open Letter on Cosmology" denouncing conventional cosmology and calling for funding of alternative research. Apparently hundreds of scientists worldwide have signed indicating their support.

Even from the point of view of science, this distinction between slow evolution and instantaneous creation is difficult to make out if time is considered as a relative factor.Time, according to theory of relativity, is not absolute and had a beginning coinciding with the creation of universe(ref.Universe in Nutshell by Stephen Hawking).And it will cease to exist when the universe comes to an end. Now, from a viewpoint not limited to our space-time, what will you say- whether the God created this universe in one day, a week or a few billion years? The words would just not carry any meaning.It will suffice to say that- God(if you believe in one)just created the world.

Navyug, we don't exist in a "viewpoint not limited to our space-time," as you put it. Nobody does. If someone did, we couldn't know about it, because that person wouldn't be within our space and time.

So science deals with the world in which we actually exist, not theoretical worlds. In our world, there is essentially unarguable evidence that the universe was born in a big bang some 14 billion years ago and that it has evolved ever since.

Some power produced the big bang. We can call it "God" or anything we like. However, we can't say that this power "just created the world," because it didn't. Our earth world has evolved, along with life.

I'll agree with you that we can conceive of a consciousness beyond time and space which would perceive things differently. Einstein's theories imply that all the events in time and space are simply there--they don't unfold sequentially, as we perceive them.

My point in this post, though, was that many creationists (Christian or otherwise) have the idea that Earth just sprang into being, along with living creatures, and all that. This is obviously a wrong idea. Every fact of science proves that it is wrong.

I firmly believe that we should accept reality as it is, not as how we would like it to be, or imagine it to be. Since a power many call "God" created this reality, to me respecting reality means respecting God. Denying reality means denying God.

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