Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How Do We Educate GOOPr Morons?

Well, wouldn't you know it wouldn't take long for assorted fundagelical know-nothings to try to defend the moron Paul Broun, a current member of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee who actually has rejected 90% of modern science. (See, e.g. To remind readers, Broun insisted that the Big Bang Theory, Embryology and Evolution are all "lies from the pit of Hell".

Now, let me make it abundantly clear here, especially for the occasional fundy readers who have difficulty parsing complex notions, and even the principle of basic free speech - that I've nothing against Broun saying whatever he wants to his congregation, and that he's entitled to whatever whacko beliefs he has in the context of that congregation. But he's not entitled to use his office as a member of a congressional Science, Space &Technology Committee to mouth bullshit and half-cracked, stupid theories of "creation".

Anyway, let's deal with Mr. "Straight Talk" Fundy and some of his comments. He bloviates:

"Evolution is an enabler of atheism. Evolutionary scientists likely would not admit that their goal is to give an alternate explanation of the origins of life, and thereby to give a foundation for atheism, but according to the Bible, that is exactly why the theory of evolution exists."

Well, I hate to disabuse this poor,  uninformed cuss but the theory of evolution is an "enabler" of nothing. It stands on its own scientific merits as I noted numerous times before and even showed the predictions which it confirms, including the presence of essentially the same cytochrome-c sequence in chimps and humans, the combination of the 2p and 2q chromosomes in apes to the '2' chromosome in humans, and the evolution of the foraminfera - for which we have a FULL evolutionary record.

Sadly, this guy's deficiency of education is also apparent in confusing evolution - the theory for the DEVELOPMENT of life via natural selection, with Abiogenesis - the theory of the ORIGIN of life. I mean - if a would-be critic isn't even able to tell evolution from Abiogenesis, what the hell use is his critique? It's just plain old garbage - useful only to flush down a toilet. Either you learn the differences between the scientific areas you're critiquing, or you shut up.

So, given he doesn't know dogshit about evolution, let's move on to the big Bang, where he babbles:

"So, what about this "Big Bang" crapola? Well, in view of the incredible order in the universe, it is difficult to draw any conclusion other than existence of a supernatural, superintelligent Being behind it all."

Hardly! THAT is an assumption which has to be proven. Meantime, his appeal to this "incredible order" in the universe again breaks down because his monumental ignorance. He refers to an "order" which manifests in about 0.001% of the cosmos but ignores the other 99.999% where NO order is evident, and indeed, for which something like 73% is dark energy and another 20% dark matter! (The rest being hot, ionized plasma).

Of course, if one has his or her head only in bibles there's no doubt there'll be no familiarity with the basic implements and instruments of modern cosmology. If this character had even the limited ability to read outside his one book, he'd learn about the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe and other devices which have disclosed the dark energy in the cosmos.

One's only conclusion is that if some "supernatural' entity created the cosmos, he or It must've been BLIND! To have created so much DARKNESS, in dark energy and dark matter!

WTF good is a blind creator?

The blogger, having failed in his arguments has no choice but to use red herrings, i.e.

"As one scientist said, "You can lead a skeptical astronomer to order but you cannot make him think." Even the agnostic, Immanuel Kant , wrote: "Two things fill the mind with ever new and increasing admiration and awe, the oftener and more steadily we reflect on them: the starry heavens above and the moral law within me."

Well, first NO scientist I am aware of would've made the critical statement about skepticism, the fundy invokes above. The reason is that skepticism is a healthy and integral part of science. In fact, no one can truly claim to have a scientific temperament if he doesn't also have a skeptical mind. He must question all claims, and also the evidence, if it doesn't pass muster.  As for Kant, let's bear in mind he lived hundreds of years BEFORE the discovery of dark energy and dark matter (in the 1990s), so obviously would have been enthralled by the perception of superficial order. Meanwhile, the fundies' favorite book as a reliable repository of scientific knowledge FAILS because it can't pass the most rudimentary science test!

Consider the initial major error in Genesis,(Gen.:1: 1-5)

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day”

It is clear that the “light” referred to in the last three sentences is none other than the SUN. However, it is clear from reading each line through that the Earth was supposedly made BEFORE the Sun. (E.g. Earth without form, darkness upon face of the deep).

However, this is physically impossible! We know from modern astrophysics that the solar proto-nebula had to collapse first to yield the SUN. (No planets, since they had yet to spin off the collapsing nebular cloud – it hadn’t cooled enough to allow it). As the proto-solar nebula collapsed it also began spinning and gained angular momentum. This angular momentum was then transferred to regions of the nebula that cooled and separated from the whole, and these regions became separate clouds of dust and gas that aggregated into the planets.

Under a combination of electrostatic attraction (between larger charged particles) and gravity (attracting the whole mass from the center of the cloud) each planet was formed as what we call a “planetesimal”. As more angular momentum was transferred – the planetesimal’s (each one) acquired their own spin (in a period of revolution) and specific shapes. The giant planets (e.g. Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus) garnered more spin momentum than the more dense, terrestrial planets. Thus Jupiter’s planetesimal ended up as an oblate spheroid with diameter of about 88,000 mile and rotating rapidly with a day of ~ 10 hours. Earth meanwhile ended up as a relatively spherical orb with diameter of ~ 8,000 miles and day approaching approach 24 hrs. Mars ended up in a similar shape to that of Earth and a diameter of 4200 miles and day ~ 24 hours.

Thus, the Earth spun off about 1.1 billion years after the solar nebula fully collapsed, and it could not have come BEFORE the Sun. Indeed, the absence of the central mass of the Sun, or ~ 10 ^33 kilograms, would have meant the Earth- if made with no Sun present- would instantly have been hurled into a direction toward the constellation Hercules at 12 miles per second with no central mass to keep it in check.

  Hamstrung he then babbles more balderdash:

 "Modern astronomers are again faced with the evidence of God for a Creator of the cosmos .  

Alas, given the majority proportions of dark energy and dark matter we are faced with NO such evidence. One must wonder what ale or spiked pale beer or moonshine this guy is drinking to entertain such fantasies.  

And to top it off we behold this nonsense:

 "Ironically, the Big Bang theory does not explain the "bang." It takes current conditions and attempts to count backward in time. It assumes that all natural laws have remained the same since the beginning of the universe, but even then it cannot explain how energy could reside in a singularity or what made it explode.  

First, the term "Big Bang" does not refer to a "bang" in any literal sense. There could have been no "bang" because there was no space for it to have exploded into. Hence, it is not an explosion but an expansion. This expansion was initiated by the eruption of negative (vacuum) energy. In its inception, from negative vacuum energy, then space-time was actually created too.  (Let's also be aware that the initial singularity is actually a kind of misnomer.  It technically refers to a point inside the light cone of a point in de Sitter space.  However, the point itself and its light cone are in fact the 'big bang' of the Friedmann model for which the scale factor goes to zero. But it is not 'singular').

 Second, the reference to "current conditions" only applies strictly to THERMODYNAMICS or a thermodynamic basis. (As shown in the Appendix of Steven Weinberg's 'First Three Minutes'. Thus Weinberg uses the fact that the radius of the universe is inversely proportional to the temperature, T, and hence the mass density rho(t) is inversely proportional to R(t) to the 4th power).

Thus, we can - from thermodynamics- arrive at the original temperature (or fairly close to the instant of inception) by taking the current 2.7 K microwave background and extrapolating back using black body radiation principles and basic statistical mechanics.  

Third, obviously it can't have assumed all natural laws "remained the same since the beginning of the universe" because the temperatures back then would not have allowed it! In the earliest instants we had temperatures of over a trillion degrees K so how could any natural laws exist such as recognized today? The ambient temperatures wouldn't even have been cool enough to permit the formation of extended matter or mass systems, or even ATOMS! Thus, Newton's law of universal gravitation wouldn't even have applied! Of course, none of Newton's law of motion would have either!

 His last complaint discloses further entrenched ignorance. Again, the Big Bang was not an "explosion" but an expansion which also initiated space-time. The energy resident in the initial singularity has to be treated in two parts, one applicable to conformal space-time and the other non-conformal. Interested readers might want to get hold of the excellent paper: 'Universe Before Planck Time - A Quantum Gravity Model' in Physical Review D, Vol. 28, p. 756 where T. Padmanabhan shows how the universe could be incepted from an initial quantum fluctuation.

 This is possible when the conformal part of space-time is treated as a quantum variable.   Padmanabhan does this beautifully, by using a quantum harmonic oscillator model and using integrals related to the 'action' (J) as a function of time. He then solves for the 'expansion factor' S(t) using two separate energy equations from which he's able to track the energy associated with the singularity.  

For those who might not be able to get hold of his paper, my 2009 blog on vacuum energy and fluctuations is still available:  

What we can see from this is that fundy bloggers who know nothing about quantum mechanics, cosmology or evolution need to keep their comments confined to their good books and refrain from expostulaing on things beyond their ken, for which they have not one scintilla of background.  

Hey, that's good advice for Paul Broun too!

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