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Offline NotSoGrim

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« on: 29/10/2010 15:11:49 »
It is hard to avoid the fact that an extremely similar process to The Big Bang Theory is on the very first page of the bible.  It is hard for the Skeptic in us to dismiss the power of this basic assumption in being applied to the facts at hand.

I am not disputing the facts, that increase in detail and complexity, that are applied to The Big Bang Theory, but rather trying to apply scientific inquiry to the effect of the this basic assumption could have on us in the application of those facts.

A real strength of the secular scientist is the ability to question our basic assumptions and redirect basic inquiry or fully flush out the thought process.

There seems to be a double-digit percentage of the world that does not believe the scientific community on basic everyday science, i.e. the effect of carbon dioxide on radiating heat.

How can we explain the secular nature of our exploration of everything and not address the seemly, very biblical reference to our theory of the beginning of everything? 
 
How can we discuss this in a direct way?

Is ignoring, dismissing, the subject going to push some away?




 

Offline Don_1

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #1 on: 29/10/2010 16:29:17 »
Sorry, I see no similarities between the Big Bang and Genisis.
 

Offline NotSoGrim

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #2 on: 29/10/2010 16:39:06 »
Sorry, I see no similarities between the Big Bang and Genisis.

An instant on universe which had nothing before. 
 

Offline peppercorn

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #3 on: 29/10/2010 19:07:01 »
Sorry, I see no similarities between the Big Bang and Genisis.
An instant on universe which had nothing before. 

Where was God supposed to be 'sitting' when He said "Let there be light!"?  Not so 'instant on' after all...
 

Offline Bill S

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #4 on: 29/10/2010 20:53:00 »
Quote from: NSG
How can we explain the secular nature of our exploration of everything and not address the seemly, very biblical reference to our theory of the beginning of everything?

The only real similarity I see between Genesis and the BB is that they both describe a major starting point.  Surely, if you argue that the Universe had a beginning of any sort you are going to run into comparisons between it and all the creation stories that have ever been told.  The alternative is an eternal cosmos, and I know that people can draw comparisons between God and infinity/eternity; it happened only today in another forum.  Of course, that could answer peppercorn's (T in C?)question. 
 

Offline namaan

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #5 on: 29/10/2010 21:47:33 »
On a side note, the Qur'an does have a fairly tantalizing reference:

21:30 Are the disbelievers not aware that the heavens and earth used to be one solid mass and We exploded them asunder? And that out of water We made every living thing? Will they not, then, acknowledge the truth?

And really, why the urgent need to avoid appearing religious? It would be less insulting to some of us if you simply wanted to avoid a dogmatic and assumption filled approach to the theory.
« Last Edit: 29/10/2010 22:07:29 by namaan »
 

Offline Bill S

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #6 on: 29/10/2010 22:16:09 »
איפה היית ביסדי-ארץ ... ברן-יחד כוכבי בקר

Ask peppercorn; if he has worked out the answer to his last question, he might have the answer to this one as well  ;D
 

Offline Don_1

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #7 on: 30/10/2010 13:57:34 »
Sorry, I see no similarities between the Big Bang and Genisis.

An instant on universe which had nothing before. 

Who said there was nothing before the Big Bang?

On a side note, the Qur'an does have a fairly tantalizing reference:

21:30 Are the disbelievers not aware that the heavens and earth used to be one solid mass and We exploded them asunder? And that out of water We made every living thing? Will they not, then, acknowledge the truth?

And really, why the urgent need to avoid appearing religious? It would be less insulting to some of us if you simply wanted to avoid a dogmatic and assumption filled approach to the theory.

No need, urgent or otherwise. I am not religious and that's all there is to it.

But since you have thrown in a quote from the Qur'an, let me take you back just a few verses:

[21:24] Have they found other gods beside Him? Say, "Show me your proof. This is the message to my generation, consummating all previous messages." Indeed, most of them do not recognize the truth; this is why they are so hostile.

Strange, don't you think, that proof of the existance of other gods is required, while we are asked to believe  in this One God without any such proof?

Smacks of double standards, doesn't it?
 

Offline namaan

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #8 on: 30/10/2010 14:46:55 »
No need, urgent or otherwise. I am not religious and that's all there is to it.

Then no problemo, at least not in this context. I was responding to NoSoGrim.

But since you have thrown in a quote from the Qur'an, let me take you back just a few verses:

[21:24] Have they found other gods beside Him? Say, "Show me your proof. This is the message to my generation, consummating all previous messages." Indeed, most of them do not recognize the truth; this is why they are so hostile.

Strange, don't you think, that proof of the existance of other gods is required, while we are asked to believe  in this One God without any such proof?

Smacks of double standards, doesn't it?

Not at all, since if you read the whole Qur'an, then you would know that the Qur'an itself claims to be the "miracle" of proof of God's existence.

I should note from experience that I have no interest in entering a religious debate here (gasp!). I am a student of psychology (albeit at an undergraduate level, but...) who at least understands the difference between attitudes, beliefs and behavior. Without making assumptions, if your attitude does not allow for the existence for God, no amount of evidence to the contrary (i.e. change of beliefs) will change your attitudes or behavior. Neither your beliefs in any permanent fashion, due to the effects of rationalization.

Anyway, here's to hoping we all get a little closer to some form of truth!
 

Offline Don_1

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #9 on: 30/10/2010 16:11:57 »
No need, urgent or otherwise. I am not religious and that's all there is to it.

Then no problemo, at least not in this context. I was responding to NoSoGrim.


AH! Right, my apologies.

Not at all, since if you read the whole Qur'an, then you would know that the Qur'an itself claims to be the "miracle" of proof of God's existence.


I must admit I have not studied the Qur'an (nor the Bible or Talmud for that matter). Anyone or anything which claims to be proof of the existence of any god and requires the followers to have faith in God, merely achieves a following of those who have faith in the person or thing, not faith in the god it professes to prove.

I do not have faith or believe in any gods, but I do believe Mankind has invented a great number of them over time. Those who wish to believe are, or at least should be, free to do so.

There can be no scientific proof for or against the existence of any god and I do not believe that science and religion are compatible, as this question implies.

Quote from: namaan
......I have no interest in entering a religious debate here....

Such debates do crop up here from time to time. They become tiresome and get nowhere. So let's drop it and get back to fact!

A student of psychology eh! Stone the crows, after a short while here you'll be able to write a book!
 

Offline Bill S

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #10 on: 30/10/2010 16:36:16 »
The history of the human race is peppered with creation stories, most of which have no apparent connection with the Bible or the Qur'an.  I suspect it would be very difficult to formulate a theory for the beginning of the Universe without someone, somewhere, saying "Ah-ha, that's what it says in the....".   
Did the cosmic microwave background radiation appear when God said "Let there be light".  It might be fascinating to try to tie the two together, if that's what turns you on, but I think science can continue with its speculations and investigations without having to bother too much what links theologists, philosophers etc might make.   
 

Offline peppercorn

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #11 on: 30/10/2010 17:02:09 »
Ask peppercorn; if he has worked out the answer to his last question, he might have the answer to this one as well  ;D

I have the answer to both, but the implications are to great for you mere mortals ;)


However...
The Big Bang is a misleading name for the start of the universe as there was no time previous to the event (unlesss you can get your head around a 'bang' in 4 dimentions).
The comparisons with 'Let there be light' are substantially weakened when this is understood.
 

Offline NotSoGrim

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #12 on: 30/10/2010 17:09:28 »
Sorry, I see no similarities between the Big Bang and Genisis.

An instant on universe which had nothing before. 

Who said there was nothing before the Big Bang?


I guess it would be best to put it backwards. Everything- matter, time, and energy, came after a point in time and the conditions before are not pertinent to our Everything.-BBT    A condition without our Everything could be called nothing.


My point is not to debate religion but to point out what it seems to be pasted over.  The BBT could be perceived in this way.  It seems the most informed tend not see this connection.  I was hoping to have a better way to explain this connection, or at least point it out.  

The BBT is only decades old and it disproved other theories. I hope that this is not held on too tightly.  Being able to change our complete view is hard, ask fire, water, earth, and air.  
« Last Edit: 30/10/2010 17:42:58 by NotSoGrim »
 

Offline Bill S

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #13 on: 30/10/2010 17:25:49 »
Quote from: peppercorn
The Big Bang is a misleading name for the start of the universe as there was no time previous to the event

There was no time in our Universe, and there may have been no time, as we understand it, anywhere, before the BB, but the statement that there was "nothing before the BB" must be a matter of "faith" rather than scientific fact.

Quote
(unlesss you can get your head around a 'bang' in 4 dimentions).

You can't?? There must be more of the "mere mortal" about you than you care to admit. ;D 
 

Offline peppercorn

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #14 on: 30/10/2010 17:31:15 »
Quote from: peppercorn
The Big Bang is a misleading name for the start of the universe as there was no time previous to the event

There was no time in our Universe, and there may have been no time, as we understand it, anywhere, before the BB, but the statement that there was "nothing before the BB" must be a matter of "faith" rather than scientific fact.

Quote
(unlesss you can get your head around a 'bang' in 4 dimentions).

You can't?? There must be more of the "mere mortal" about you than you care to admit. ;D 

Well there's two statements that I haven't made ;D
 

Offline Bill S

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #15 on: 30/10/2010 17:39:11 »
Of course, I should have said "no time" rather than "nothing", but it is only charitable to make some allowance for a mere mortal.
 

Offline namaan

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #16 on: 30/10/2010 20:08:06 »
No need, urgent or otherwise. I am not religious and that's all there is to it.

Then no problemo, at least not in this context. I was responding to NoSoGrim.


AH! Right, my apologies.

Not at all, since if you read the whole Qur'an, then you would know that the Qur'an itself claims to be the "miracle" of proof of God's existence.


I must admit I have not studied the Qur'an (nor the Bible or Talmud for that matter). Anyone or anything which claims to be proof of the existence of any god and requires the followers to have faith in God, merely achieves a following of those who have faith in the person or thing, not faith in the god it professes to prove.

I do not have faith or believe in any gods, but I do believe Mankind has invented a great number of them over time. Those who wish to believe are, or at least should be, free to do so.

There can be no scientific proof for or against the existence of any god and I do not believe that science and religion are compatible, as this question implies.

Quote from: namaan
......I have no interest in entering a religious debate here....

Such debates do crop up here from time to time. They become tiresome and get nowhere. So let's drop it and get back to fact!

A student of psychology eh! Stone the crows, after a short while here you'll be able to write a book!

Oh no! I am about to do something that shouldn't be done in cause of reason...replying to a reply about religion ;). Anyway, not so much to debate with you on anything, but a passing comment rather.

I think adding a bit of flexibility to what it means to have "scientific proof for or against the existence of any god", and by "scientific" referring to the process rather than the institution, we may both more or less agree on the fundamentals here.

So with all the talk of someone here being beyond mere mortal, here's the passing comment. Let's imagine that peppercorn happened to possess such cosmic intellect and such an understanding of programming (not to mention access to a supreme source of computing power) that he is able to create a simulation of a universe that ultimately produces intelligent life...inside the computer. Now in said scenario, peppercorn would be the "god" of said universe in terms of having designed it's framework and initial conditions.

Now, try as they might, the intelligent beings in said universe could try for eternity and understand all that there is to understand about their universe, it's framework, etc...even reverse engineer the source code running their universe. Yet they would never be capable of "scientifically proving" peppercorn's existence. Even if peppercorn had one of the beings write a book on his behalf noting his existence, purely scientifically inclined beings in said universe would not consider it worthy of scientific proof within the framework of the scientific institution.

It isn't an issue of dimensions...they are two exclusive realities. Now, it would be a bit sacrilegious (for the sake of a better word, I assure you) for me push this analogy too far, I certainly do not intent any such scenario. My point is merely that you consider, what is the limiting factor here, the process or the institution? For if I am allowed to put my two cents out there, the Qur'an derives the proof through the scientific process, and in fact says that the humans who will understand the universe best are the scientists.

This has been a passing comment, not an attempt to convert you ;)
 

Offline NotSoGrim

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #17 on: 31/10/2010 00:48:24 »
Quote from: NSG
How can we explain the secular nature of our exploration of everything and not address the seemly, very biblical reference to our theory of the beginning of everything?

The only real similarity I see between Genesis and the BB is that they both describe a major starting point.  Surely, if you argue that the Universe had a beginning of any sort you are going to run into comparisons between it and all the creation stories that have ever been told.   

I am not familiar with all creation myths, but very few have the beginning in an energy state.  I am not asking about your belief, rather the dominate western religious influence, at least through the last generation.  (Western being the great science engine of the last centuries.) If you do not see it, my point, it is there.

There is an interesting story, or a few, about the 'theory based' knowledge person disagreeing with the 'everyday' person's experience.  Are you familiar with the 'warm water freezing faster' story.  A boy noticed that his cubes where freezing faster when put in warm and he asked the scientist why this was happening.  The scientist said the boy was mistaken because the heated water needed to be cooled down further.  It took sometime before the scientist experimented and found out it was actually true.  The scientist then had to change his understanding of water freezing, as it turns out he did not think of all of the other factors involved.  He only started looking after he tried to go beyond those long held assumptions. (This story is recounted by the naked scientist.)

I am a great scientist, or I am a boy with warm water, it does not help to dismiss observations of you beliefs you hold closely.  I am saying the opposite of a religious believer. Could there be an influence?  Let us dismiss them.
 

Offline graham.d

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #18 on: 31/10/2010 10:53:57 »
From the dawn of intelligence, man has probably been trying to fathom how he and the world around him came to be. All the creation myths and today's scientific theories are part of this same human desire for understanding and knowledge. In this sense the creation myths and things like the big-bang theory, or the now largely abandoned steady-state theory, are similar. Each may be aposite to the age in which we live. I think our knowledge today and our ability to reason should be cause to abandon theories that really make no sense or fail the tests of reason, observation or experiment. As has been alluded to, this would dismiss the majority of creation myths, if not all. Why does anyone think that 5,000 year old writings would speak more "truth" than the work developed from all subsequently developed knowledge? Why should there be any need to hang on such ideas other than pure dogma that it ingrained to many people as children who are brought up to simply believe in it.

To answer the original point, scientific theories also can become the accepted view and be hard to challenge but it is in the way of science that such challenges are made. By and large, this is not true of religions. I think most scientists would have as a basic premise that everything they know is wrong even though they may vigiorously defend a particular position. As Feynman once said, Physics is "like peeling an onion" (he used this analogy a lot) and the joy is in getting to the next layer knowing there are more inside. Religions deal in absolutes.

I expect the Big Bang concept will be advanced, changed or even dispensed with at some point but it is a good model for the moment. As alluded to by others, the name belies the complexity of the idea that space and time begin at this point and the explosive analogies beloved by directors of TV programmes do not help in explaining this. In any case it is inconceivable that, unless the world goes through another dark age, that we will really go back to a religious view that is based on speculation, imagination and ancient texts but without any truly testable hypotheses. At least I truly hope not.
 

Offline peppercorn

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #19 on: 31/10/2010 18:55:49 »
Of course, I should have said "no time" rather than "nothing", but it is only charitable to make some allowance for a mere mortal.

True - you should. But you're still quoting someone else not me....
« Last Edit: 31/10/2010 18:58:13 by peppercorn »
 

Offline Don_1

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
« Reply #20 on: 01/11/2010 10:32:44 »
This has been a passing comment, not an attempt to convert you ;)

And I have not taken it as such.

..........the Qur'an derives the proof through the scientific process, and in fact says that the humans who will understand the universe best are the scientists.

There can be no denying Muhammad Himself was a great exponent of, and encouraged scientific research and understanding. He alone among the great religious leaders appears to have had such foresight. Even as late as the 19th C, the Catholic Church sought to denounce and disgrace Champollion, for fear that his cracking of the hieroglyphs would undermine their authority. It has even been suggested they attempted to destroy the Rosetta Stone. If that isn't the height of blocking advance, I don't know what is.

Certainly, science could have its parameters. Anything which is outside of science, if there is anything of the like (such as a deity), could not be explained, proved or disproved by science. But my personal feeling is that all things fall within the parameters of science.

It remains my considered opinion that Man created gods as an explanation to questions he could not (at the time) hope to answer. Perhaps even science itself is still doing it today. Perhaps the latest 'god' is named 'Dark Matter'.

What ever the case may be, we should all be free to follow our beliefs and opinions.
 

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Is the Big Bang Theory too religious?
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