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A neutral thread about big bang vs creation (at least by intention)

 
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 08:24 am
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:
The big bang theory appeals to those who value facts about physical phenomenon as the most important information to form a coherent understanding from; we can say that they think "how" is a more important question than "why".

This ignores the history of cosmology. Astrophysicists rejected the Big-Bang idea when Alexander Friedman and George Lemaitre first suggested it in the 1910s and 1920s. They preferred cosmological theories according to which the universe had existed eternally. Subsequently, Hubble discovered the red-shift in the spectrum of galaxies, which forced cosmologists to accept the expanding-universe model. Later, the 3K background radiation forced them to accept that this expansion began with a Big Bang. It didn't matter if the model appealed to astrophysicists or not. The universe is what it is; if we don't find it appealing, that's our problem, not its.

Cyracuz wrote:
Creation appeals to those who value the emotional impact of ideas and feel more inclined to seek coherency that way.

How does modern cosmology fail to appeal to us emotionally? The universe is awesome such as it is, such as cosmologists have discovered it to be. Creation, by contrast, downgrades it into some kind of celestial app, invented by some kind of celestial Steve Jobs. How petty and arrogant of us humans to bring the universe down to our level like that! This idea doesn't emotionally appeal to me at all. (Not that emotional appeal matters either way---see above.)
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 09:37 am
@Thomas,
Quote:
It didn't matter if the model appealed to astrophysicists or not.


I think it did. Facts are like letters. You can build many different words from the same letters. The model is a construction of facts.

Quote:
Not that emotional appeal matters either way


To those who favor the beliefs you discard, I think it does. It's either that or they are idiots, and I know and have met enough of them to know that they are not idiots.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 11:08 am
@Cyracuz,
Either you don't know how empirical naturalism works, or you are ignoring for the sake of argument. The only model one can "constuct" must account for all the data, must pass the test of falsification and must be successfully predictive. So it does not in fact matter whose beliefs one discards if those beliefs involve a model which they've "constructed" which doesn't meet those criteria. For scientific purposes, anyone whose "belief" doesn't meet those criteria is indeed an idiot, no matter how clever they may be in any other area. What Thomas specifically described is how the "big bang" model met those criteria--it hasn't been falsified, it accounts for all the data, and it has been successfully predictive. Anyone insisting on any other cosmogony is being, scientifically speaking, an idiot. It doesn't matter how highly you are able to praise their intellect in other subjects.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:09 pm
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:
I think it did. Facts are like letters. You can build many different words from the same letters. The model is a construction of facts.

As Setanta pointed out, you appear to misunderstand how constructivism works in epistemology. While constructivists do believe that all facts are human constructions, they emphatically do not believe the reverse, that all human constructions are facts. Some human constructions, indeed most of them, contradict empirical observations, and hence aren't facts. Some examples of such empirically-demolished constructions are the various eternally-existing universe models that astrophysicists have tended to believe in until about 1925.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:16 pm
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:
To those who favor the beliefs you discard, I think it does. It's either that or they are idiots, and I know and have met enough of them to know that they are not idiots.

No need to get personal. Whether they are idiots or not, they are wrong at best and unintelligible at worst.
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:28 pm
According to a recent BBC programme, the Big Bang Theory does not account for all the data. Several alternatives are currently under investigation including "the Big Bounce Theory" .
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:57 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
While constructivists do believe that all facts are human constructions, they emphatically do not believe the reverse, that all human constructions are facts.


That's what I'm saying. The big bang theory is a human construction; not fact. To claim it is "truth" is a matter of belief. Granted, this particular belief is founded in empirical observation and scientific inquiry.

Quote:
No need to get personal. Whether they are idiots or not, they are wrong at best and unintelligible at worst.


They don't care. They find no connection to the cosmos via the ideas of science, and therefore discard them. They can't believe in them because they get no emotional resonance. They get that from their religion.
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 12:59 pm
@fresco,
Is that the programme you tried to link earlier? I found that programme by searching the web. It was very interesting, and I was delighted to see that many of today's leading researchers no longer believe in a big bang, at least not as an explanation of the origin of anything.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 01:20 pm
That the "big bang" may be falsified does not mean that anyone else can rush in to substitute their favorrite imaginary friend superstition. One can have one's own beliefs, one is not entitled to one's own facts.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 01:49 pm
@Cyracuz,
Cyracuz wrote:
That's what I'm saying. The big bang theory is a human construction; not fact.

The two are not mutually exclusive. By contrast, we know for a fact that the creation myths of the Hindu, the Vikings, and the Judeo-Christian tradition are false. We know it for a fact because they contradict empirical observation.

Cyracuz wrote:
Quote:
No need to get personal. Whether they are idiots or not, they are wrong at best and unintelligible at worst.

They don't care. They find no connection to the cosmos via the ideas of science, and therefore discard them. They can't believe in them because they get no emotional resonance. They get that from their religion.

Fair enough if they're honest about it. I have no quarrel with anyone who says, "we don't care about being factually wrong, we only care if our story sounds good". I just haven't heard many people say that.
JLNobody
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 04:07 pm
@Thomas,
But some traditions do say that while their narratives may not be literally true in the sense that scientific descriptions are true they may serve as metaphors of truth.
0 Replies
 
Cyracuz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 31 Jan, 2012 04:12 pm
@Thomas,
Quote:
By contrast, we know for a fact that the creation myths of the Hindu, the Vikings, and the Judeo-Christian tradition are false.


I think that to judge those myths on the criteria of our science is an error. An error made both by those who state their falsehood as well as those that swear the myths are true. They should not be taken literally, something some who believe and all who seek do disprove are doing.

Quote:
I just haven't heard many people say that.


It shines through sometimes when fanatical religious believers ignores questions that they cannot answer. It is not because they know that if they answer it, they will reveal a crack in their belief system, as is often assumed by those posing such questions. It is because those questions simply aren't relevant to the personal criteria they have for accepting reality.

0 Replies
 
fresco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 1 Feb, 2012 01:02 am
Without going back through the thread, let me summarize my position.

The word "reality" is as nebulous as the adjective "good".

In scientific scenarios, "reality" is about "what works" in terms of prediction and control, and the most successful/elegant/simple model which does that job prevails for a limited lifespan or range of application.

In psychological and sociological scenarios, "reality" is about "what works" as a basis for expectancy for individuals and groups, and such expectancies are embodied in the abstract permanence of words which are contextually agreed tokens of social exchange. Thus religious stories constitute "reality of being and behavior" to interacting believers, in the same way as banknotes constitute the "reality of money" in secular transactions. .

The reason that the "Big Bang" has been superficially attractive is that it appears to combine elements of "scientific reality" with some versions of "creationist reality". But that superficiality ignores the point that scientific paradigms have a limited epistemological range and lifespan due to empirical-counter evidence, whereas religious stories are impervious to such empiricism. Indeed the "permanence of words" is enshrined in such word magical doctrines as "In the Beginning was the Word"/ "The Koranic Words of Allah" etc.
0 Replies
 
 

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