Seeking assistance related to age of universe

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MarcAntony

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I would like to apologize in advance for bringing what is sure to be a worn out topic to the table, but I have come here to settle an office discussion on science and religion (in this case, Christianity). A quick disclaimer is that I am sensitive to Christians and am not seeking to shake the foundations of their faith, but at work, and in my private life, I am constantly being argued on the discussions of space, science, and physics.

I'm not educated in any of these subjects, but have come to love and be highly interested in them. I record and watch every single one of History Channel, Discovery, and NatGeo's space and universe series :D and love discussing them with friends and professional colleagues. Most of the time the discussions are great, but I apparently did not realize I was irking some of the Christians in the room until recently.

To make a long story short, one of my colleague's who asserts the universe is 5,000 years old linked me these two articles as his 'proof', I guess you could say. In any event, I feel that until I answer them, I'm worried about continuing to discuss all of this stuff and am even avoiding the topics when its brought up. So I come here hoping to attain a solid, scientific, and respectful rebuttal, which will allow me to resume talking about my favorite topic. Below are the two articles and thanks in advance.

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v25/i4/lighttravel.asp

http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v26/i3/galaxies.asp
 
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MeteorWayne

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Unfortunately, if you are speaking to someone who believes what is on those sites, no amount of science will change their mind. Faith outweighs facts.
 
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nimbus

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"Naturalistic cosmologists will undoubtedly find a way to fit this new evidence into the atheistic big bang model. "

If this is the kind of rhetoric your debate pals are using, you are probably better off approaching debate on fundamentals of impartiality rather than specifics of cosmology.
 
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MarcAntony

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nimbus":34wfpdac said:
"Naturalistic cosmologists will undoubtedly find a way to fit this new evidence into the atheistic big bang model. "

If this is the kind of rhetoric your debate pals are using, you are probably better off approaching debate on fundamentals of impartiality rather than specifics of cosmology.

Yeah, I know its rhetoric, but I was hoping to be able to just diffuse his stance with facts and reality. Its just one guy, really, who is doing this and he really is a nice guy. Everyone else is extremely interested in truly respectable discussion.

Hopefully you can forgive me for even linking it here. I winced as I hit the submit button - I really did.

But hey, now I can at least say that I honestly did try to give his "theories" a chance to be debated :roll:
 
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nimbus

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There's no offense to apologize for, even if it were him posting that rhetoric, so long as you argue in earnest and don't deny or spin evidence with arguments like in that quote above..

I suppose there should be ways to transparently link from A to Z, from fundamental principles of brass tacks investigation to advanced cosmology, but I don't know enough about cosmology to give you such a roadmap myself.

If Newton had witnessed relativistic phenomena, it would not have been judicious to call his work to date in question and attempt to supplant it all with some supposedly divinely inspired System of the World. Science is precisely about that.. Going back and forth between hypothesis and testing. Religion doesn't deal with pragmatic reality but theology. That's the first priority I see with your friend.. Getting to the bottom of what motivates his curiosity instead of trying to disprove what sounds like theological doctrine. That's if you want to play it as safe as possible..

Just my 2c - I don't know your friend, so take it with a big grain of salt.
 
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a_lost_packet_

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MarcAntony":3ttwx5cc said:
...So I come here hoping to attain a solid, scientific, and respectful rebuttal, which will allow me to resume talking about my favorite topic. Below are the two articles and thanks in advance.
I have encountered similar difficulties as you have. And, I am a Christian who also happens to defer to science in matters scientific. I have no problem with that at all. But, some do and I find myself unable to fathom their disregard for evidence staring them in the face. There is no fundamental contradiction between my beliefs and science.

I may not be able to give you the points you seek. However, it is probably a foregone conclusion they will dismiss even the most irrefutable scientific evidence simply on a whim. So, it may be that one must demonstrate their arguments are invalid to begin with - Flawed on the most basic level.

On to your conundrums then..

Where is the argument supporting their points here? There is none at all. There is not one point on the entire page that seeks to support their argument. Not one. It consists only of arguments that seek to cast doubt on the Big Bang and none that seek to scientifically support Genesis. One does not seek to support an argument by simply pointing out the deficiencies of a counter argument. That's nonsensical.

The argument represented on that page also includes classic fallacies such as the "False Dilemma" (If our understanding of the CMB and Light is not complete then Genesis must be true even though no evidence is presented to substantiate Genesis' validity.) and "Poisoning the Well" (If Science can't explain this then it can't explain anything.)

Also, the page neglects to present any ideas that Science does have regarding any possible discrepancies. As far as I know, there is nothing concerning the CMB that has been found to falsify standing scientific theory or cosmology in respect to the Big Bang. In fact, the discovery of the CMB CONFIRMED that which was predicted by Science. How is that somehow a refutation of Science? That sort of argument makes absolutely no sense and I am not surprised to see it on such a website which seems to host a great deal that makes little sense.

Are there questions to be answered concerning the natural world? Sure there are. Science is an excellent way to seek answers to those questions. Ask your coworkers to give up their GPS doodads if they don't believe in Science because without relativity and our understanding of light and the effects of gravity, they wouldn't work!

After tracking down the article: Why galaxy cluster is too grown-up for early Universe and reading blurbs, here and there, not worth pasting it's pretty apparent that there isn't anything here that truly falsifies the Big Bang model. It only requires us to acknowledge the observation and see where it fits within current cosmology and, if necessary, modify it. How is that falsification of the Big Bang? When one discovers new knowledge, surely one must acknowledge it, right? That's sort of the whole reason behind the word "acknowledge." The Big Bang is not falsified here. It is only the prior prediction that such complex structures would not have been thought to be able to form in such a way. That doesn't mean the Big Bang is somehow completely false. Certainly, in the broader sense, it doesn't cast aspersions on Science, does it? After all, without the knowledge we have gained from Science, we wouldn't have been able to detect this filament of galaxies in the first place.

Besides, the Big Bang is not "fact." It's a theory that appears to have withstood the test of time, in one shape or another, but one can't go back and observe or measure it, can one?

Cosmology is a favorite for crackpots because it is not an experimental science, per se. I can make the claim that it all started with a terrible accident involving a sno-cone a goat and wood chipper that led to the Universe that we see today and one would be hard pressed to refute it if I offered nothing measurable, observable or even detectable as proof yet somehow claimed it was still so. What I absolutely can not do is use Science to support such an argument. Science has rules and one of them is "You can't just make stuff up." As you can plainly see in the above links, the author of the articles knows fully well that he can not enter into presenting Scientific proof for his primary idea because it would be easily Scientifically refuted.

Zealots insist for some unknown reason that Science is as static as religious dogma. It is not. Science, like all knowledge, changes based on new revelations. Even religious interpretations change, why can't Science?

Again, what we have here in the above link the classic fallacy of a False Dilemma implying that because Science doesn't know "Everything at Once" (That Science is not omniscient) that their particular interpretation of Genesis must somehow have more validity. Yet, they offer not one shred of scientific proof which supports their argument. We also have the classic "Poisoning of the Well" implying that because Science is dynamic, it must some how be flawed and that because an observation upsets a specific prediction that somehow that means that all Scientific predictions are false.

Science and religion don't talk much. It is not that they are completely incompatible. It is that Science, specifically Cosmology and Physics here, has enough of its own problems addressing the Physical World and measuring, observing and making predictions regarding how it all works. Science does not address Religion because Science is not in the business of measuring that which can not be measured. Similarly, Religion should not attempt to address Science because Religion does not address the Physical World with any degree of Scientific accuracy at all. The two approaches use an entirely different language. Religion is concerned with topics that lie outside the scope of Science just as Science is incapable of addressing the foundations of Religious beliefs. They are fundamentally incompatible in their most basic methods. But, for the individual, they do not have to be. Oil and water don't mix either but, if one adds the proper solvents, the appropriate emulsifiers and surfactants, they can get along quite amiably.
 
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MeteorWayne

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Nice post a_l_p.

It really is wonderful to have you back with your patience (which hasn't been burned out by the recent bozoflux) and eloquence!
 
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MarcAntony

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Thank you very much. That is precisely the information I was hoping for and very well put.
 
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a_lost_packet_

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MarcAntony":2ocxgpk4 said:
Thank you very much. That is precisely the information I was hoping for and very well put.
I hope it serves you well in some capacity. At least, it may offer you an avenue of pursuit when dealing with the problems they present to you. Science has a host of answers for many questions, usually succinctly described across a span of publications, some with holes, some that allow for none. But, they all speak the same language and can be refuted and falsified within its boundaries. It's no use trying to falsify an argument by speaking Latin when your opponent only speaks Greek.

Be advised, there are many here that can give very detailed explanations regarding the CMB, the speed of light, expansion, inflation and the like. If I took enough time and worked at it hard enough, even I may be able to eventually crank out something that would serve in that capacity and withstand close scrutiny. But, others here already have the necessary information at hand and are used to dealing with it in detail. So, I leave that task up to them.
 
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a_lost_packet_

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MeteorWayne":1dz56j2v said:
Nice post a_l_p.

It really is wonderful to have you back with your patience (which hasn't been burned out by the recent bozoflux) and eloquence!
Thanks. That makes me want to actually live up to expectations. ;) Sheesh, this forum posting business is tough stuff!
 
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SteveCNC

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Back when I was still into the church and it's teachings I always questioned when the talk of creating the heavens and earth etc. in 6 days . What is a day to God anyway ? Assuming there is a god , then he's not from this planet so doubtful a day to him would be the same as us . Since those types of clear definition aren't included in the bible or at least not the bible we see these days .
 
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