Thursday, 5 November 2009

REPOST Some rather interesting questions has this rather interesting first post that I'd rather like to go through and answer because behind the silly misunderstandings there is some real science to be explained here. So here we go, original in bold as ever:

I just want to ask you some questions. I'm assuming you're an evolutionist.

A what? I'm not an evolutionist, it's not a creed to believe the theory sported by the most evidence.

By the way, I'm not a Christian, I'm just arguing for the sake of rationality.

Wouldn't mind if you were, if you're intelligent, have done basic research and can construct a coherent argument then you can debate no matter what you believe.

1. The law of Physics says Energy cannot be created or destroyed, how therefore can you justify the Big Bang?

This is a fantastic question. It's really deep to ask how something can come from nothing. And the answer is from quantum physics. We have observed in accelerators and similar experiments, that not only can you make something from nothing but it happens all the time. Empty space creates particles all on it's own. Which Raises two questions, why isn't the universe full of these things, and what happened to the conservation of energy? Well these particles dont hang around for long, one of them is made of anti-matter, it's basically the opposite of a real particle, they will destroy each-other if they meet (insert sci-fi/fatasty analogy of your choice). What about energy, they both have energy, so where did it come from? Simply speaking one is totally the opposite of the other, including energy, so all that's happened is that some energy has been made, with some anti-energy to balance it out. Author's note, the correct scientific term for this is negative energy... but I just cant make myself write that, it just sounds too New Agey, so I'm going to call it anti-energy, but if you ever hear a real scientist talking about negative energy, that's what they mean. We've seen this loads of times in experiments. But how does this help us.

Well, the universe acts in the same sort of way, there aren't particles of anti-energy waiting to destroy everything, but there is a very large amount of negative energy in the fabric of space. Do you remember from school that gravitational energy, the energy from being high up, is negative? If two things are near by they have some anti-energy because of gravity. If you let them fall they dont get all their kinetic (movement) energy from nowhere, they gain even more anti-energy from gravity. So: in the beginning there was no space and no time and no matter and no energy. This is the big bang, it's not a flash of light in a dark room you should imagine, you should imagine being inside a room smaller than a pea that explodes out, except there's nothing outside the room. The point is that this doesn't violate conservation of energy, because for all the energy you put into making matter and making it move and be hot and all that kind of stuff, an exactly opposite amount of anti-energy is made from the gravity and bending of space and a few other exotic things I dont really understand. The message is that the universe was made on credit, and unless there is a big crunch the debt isn't really going to be paid off. Like a lot of people all the debt gets shifted from one form to another so much that it never really gets paid off for good. So good question, long answer.

2.The probability of Earth being created by Chance is so astronomically small, that it is too improbable to count as evidence.

Evidence of what? I'm not quite sure what you mean here. So I'm going to answer a similar question that gets asked a lot. The odds by chance of the universe being arranged in such a way as we could be here right now doing this is minute, is it not sensible to think that it was therefore rigged? To answer this we have to think a bit about probability and specialness. For me to win the lottery is very very improbable, it's so improbable that if I buy one ticket and win it is more sensible to suggest that I rigged the lottery than that I won for real. There is a problem though when we talk about things that happened in the past. The odds of the lottery numbers being 12 18 26 35 40 44 49 last week were the same 587,320,272 to one as they were every other week. Just this time they came out. We shouldn't be shocked when improbable things happen, they must happen, otherwise they'd be impossible things. Never confuse what is impossible with what is merely very improbable, said someone very wise, no idea who, might have been me … might have been Jack Sparrow now I come to think of it, but whoever they were they were very smart. What makes the two examples different is that one is special and the other is not. Me winning the lottery is something we should doubt because there's some significance to it happening that does not apply to any other similar event, me winning the lottery has a significance that Dave from Milton Keynes winning it because you're talking to me. To Dave's friends of course him winning the lottery should doubted but mine is entirely believable. This difference is because it's easy to spot any particular thing in the past, to find Dave from Milton Keynes AFTER the result, but to predict it before? That's hard. So we shouldn't be surprised when we see improbable things in the past, everything has a small chance of happening, it's only surprising if it's in some way special or predicted.

So the universe earth etc. The existence of a planet here that could harbour life with 2 arms and twitter is shockingly small, I mean tiny. No really think of the biggest number you can, now think ten to the power of that number and then say … factorial (thanks to PBH), that much to one is how improbable this life is. But, that's like saying it's improbable that Dave won the lottery, we only noticed life it after life began … sort of by definition. Imagine we wound the universe back and started it up a stupid number of times, most of them would collapse in a second, most of the rest would never get galaxies and stars, most of the rest would be so inhospitable to life that it didn't evolve. So we want to ask is the universe something we should be surprised by. Is it special in some way. Now the fact that we are here now isn't special, we'd think the same thing if we were a long time ago in a galaxy far far away, same for being 2-armed apes, we'd think we were just as special if we were caterpillars with the power of thought. The only thing to ask is – is the existence of conciousness special, does it need an explanation or is it just something we noticed after the fact that we wouldn't have predicted before.

The idea that humans are vital to the universe is a natural and pervasive one. But life is so small and the universe is so vast that we really are insignificant, the universe does not require us for any of the day to day running of the place, leaving weird quantum stuff aside, the universe did fine before life and will do fine after it ends. So do I think life is significant? Not really, but that's not a very strong argument. There is however another suggestion from the many world's theory, not a scientific fact by any means, but a very real possibility, if I was a betting man I'd take … 10 to 1 odds on it being true, but I've no evidence of any strength to back up that instinct. This is the idea that there are many universes and that each one is slightly different. So there are unimaginably vast numbers of universes without life, and every once in a while, an impossibly rare universe has life, and that universe gets noticed, and the others dont. So it's not surprising that the universe is fine tuned to include us, if it didn't, we wouldn't notice.

This post is too long as it is so here's a sneak preview of the questions I'll answer later.

3.Even Darwin said, If there are not hundreds of transitional fossils found, my theory is incorrect, and today, we have even less transitional fossils than in Darwins time.

there are

4.Evolution cannot create complex objects or facilitate the change from a simple organism to a complex organism because small and random changes are insignificant unless they are part of a whole.

it can

5.Evolution is a constant process, so why are things not evolving today?

they are

6.If Evolution is not a constant process, and we have reached the climax of organisms and will not evolve further, what determined our stage to be the last stage?

false premis

7.The process of Carbon Dating is unreliable because so many assumptions are made that affect calculations.

it's backed up by many other tests.

8.Archaeological layers in the earth, as defined by Evolution are incorrect due to the fact that they are based on Carbon Dating, and the process of cyclic layers is not taken into account.

we have many many tests, and wtf are cyclic layers?

9.There is not one example of genetic mutations that add and enhance a species, therefore evolution is unfounded.

there are many, e. coli and nylonase are examples

Oh, and by the way, I answered each of your questions. Used logic. Maybe you should consider it. Your main incorrect assumptions were: You know better than God, You know the entire human race and all of their deeds, You are not taking responisbility for what we have done oh and You havn't done your research.
It's been interesting but logically unchallenging.


BTW, comment plz as ever. How is my writing? I'm doing this stuff for two reasons, first I enjoy it, but I'm publishing because I love telling people about science. So how am I doing for explanation? Too much jargon? Too little jargon? Not accurate enough? Not clear enough? Inconsistent? I really appreciate all feedback.

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