Monday, November 12, 2007

Refuting the Big Bang Theory

"Reclaiming Science From Darwinism" by Kenneth Poppe

Chapter 12

A place in space for everything, and
everything in space in its place

One interesting application of the second law of thermodynamics that has most certainly occurred in a closed system is the settling of the cosmos. According to theory, the big bang of some 17.6 billion years ago started it all from a pinpoint explosion of unimaginable force, which first blew atoms into existence, and then blew clusters of matter out into the void of space. This started the expansion of celestial objects one from another that continues to this day. (To get a quick sense of this expansion, get a balloon and with a pen draw a few galaxies and solar systems on the skin. Then blow the balloon up, and as you do, you will see the "universe" expanding.)

Following that immense explosion, particle clouds with sufficient mass began drawing together by increasing gravity and ignited to become stars. Meanwhile, smaller clusters with insufficient mass began losing their heat, cooled, and became planets. (The molten inner core of our Earth is often cited as evidence that our planet was a once hot and violent place that has now been in the cooling process for billions of years.) Besides stars and planets, other big bang curiosities have randomly appeared over time, such as quasars, black holes, comets, moons, and asteroids-all in their respective and expanding locations.

It follows that if the big bang is a totally random process, then the resulting layout of the universe has to be completely accidental as well. If intelligence has nothing to do with physics, how could cosmology be anything but unplanned and therefore unintelligent? Of course this randomness has to apply to our own little corner of the galaxy as well. And yet anything less than "impossible" is too benign a term for the fact that our Earth exists as it is, and that I am here to write this, or

you to read it.

An Explosion of Good Fortune

Many astronomers and physicists who have studied the big bang event, people of faith or not, have marveled that it happened at all. Hugh Ross is among those who have seriously studied the origin and settling of the universe. In his books, such as Big Bang, Refined by Fire, Ross gives many factors of physics so finely tuned that it shows the tenuously balanced structure of our universe. On one such list, Ross includes over two dozen "either/or" factors (either it worked or it didn't), such that if any single one were out of balance, the "bang" would have been a nonevent.

Without getting too technical, here is a sampling of the "luck" to which we owe our existence:

If the electromagnetic forces present at the big bang were either a bit stronger or a bit weaker, any elements with more atomic mass than boron (periodic table element #5) could not have been formed. This means 96 percent of the elements, starting with the carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen in our bodies, would not exist.

If the ratio of the mass of the electron to the proton or neutron were out of balance, either too high or too low, no atoms of any kind would have ever assembled, and obviously no molecular bonding or chemical reactions would have taken, place either.

If the ratio of the number of available protons to electrons was off, either too many of one or too few, electromagnetism

would have nullified gravity, and no objects in space would ever have formed.

And once you add to the list the perfect speed of light, the exact subatomic decay rates, the correct distance between stars, and even the proper total mass requirements of the entire universe itself. .. well, you get the idea.

Here is an analogy that seems to help bring home the idea of the fantastic nature of the big bang. Who can argue that the flying of the Space Shuttle is a delicate undertaking? Any little prelaunch factor out of place scraps the countdown, and once in flight, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, known worldwide as NASA, keeps track of a myriad of transmissions, any one of which could indicate impending disaster. It's true-the shuttle is a flying bomb with seven souls aboard riding on a razor-thin edge of safety. Physicists know that the big bang is similarly fine-tuned, miraculously having managed to avoid either fizzling to a stop or incinerating itself.

"Lucky" Breaks

However, the above list pales in comparison to factors that were necessary to form our own little solar system with our own little planet and its multitude of life-forms. This time Ross has identified 68 separate "either/or" factors, many of which are more easily understood than those governing the universe as a whole. Here are a few phenomena that could lead to either the prevention or extermination of all planetary life. These factors, some simple and some technical, are some of the blessings we take for granted every day.

It's a good thing that through random thermodynamic settling, the Milky Way galaxy attained the right size, shape, and distance from other galaxies. Otherwise, stars like our sun would never have been formed, or would have been incorporated into a different cosmic mass.

It's a good thing our sun is in a single-star configuration. Approximately 70 percent of all stars are binary, trinary, or complex systems that revolve around each other. This causes intense gravitational forces that

make stable planetary bodies of any kind nearly impossible. Fortunately, our sun is one of the remaining 30 percent of "lucky" stars that exists as a single body. It is also the right size, age, location, and strength for our solar system-or else planetary orbits would be unstable, heavier elements drawn to Earth from space could have easily been over- or undersupplied, or luminosity could have been too bright or too weak to power photosynthesis. Even the gravitational forces of the other planets are necessary for Earth's stability. For example, the mass and location of Jupiter is especially fine-tuned to balance the orbits of the four inner with the four outer planets.

It's a good thing our planet revolves about the sun in a relatively circular orbit instead of an exaggerated egg-shaped one like most of the other planets. If Earth's path were too elliptical, the temperature extremes at perihelion (closest point to the sun) and aphelion (farthest point from the sun) would make it difficult, if not impossible, for life to have the necessary flexibility to survive.

The variation in orbital extremes of Earth is only about 1.7 percent from the mean, making its path around the sun a near-perfect circle. Compare that to Mars, everyone's favorite planet for extraterrestrial life, with a 9 percent variation (which is close to the average of all nine planets at 8 percent). Because of Mars' orbital elongation variation over five times as great as Earth's, NASA will have to be very careful as they develop the landing date for a manned Mars mission.

Think about it. Because of the alternating extreme closeness and remoteness to the sun in the orbital path of Mars, an astronaut in a space suit or space station would only have windows of nominal temperatures between hot and cold cycles. It should be obvious most types of Earth life would not survive if our planet were unlucky enough to have such an elongated orbit. And these extremes on Mars are exacerbated because of its slow revolution rate, making the annual trip around the sun in 687 Earth days instead of 365. By comparison, our Earth is "lucky" enough to have a near circular orbit and an optimum rate of revolution that avoid such extremes.

It's a good thing the Earth is tilted at precisely 23.45 degrees on its axis, which gives us the perfect balance of true seasons from the Equator to the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, and on to the Arctic and Antarctic Circles. Imagine if Earth had no appreciable tilt at all, like Mercury at .01 degrees. We would not just lose the refreshing rotation of seasons, but hosts of species would not exist whose life cycles follow the changing climates as you go toward either pole.

What if the Earth were tilted, like Pluto, at 32 degrees past perpendicular, pointing its northern and southern poles almost directly at the sun in their respective summer and winter seasons? If Earth were laid this far over on its side, the annual melting and refreezing of both polar ice caps would play unbelievable havoc with habitats by the wildly fluctuating temperature ranges. And then imagine what would happen to levels of water in the oceans, precipitation rates, and plant and animal life cycles. The violence of seasonal extremes might even negate the possibility of complex terrestrial food webs.

Then there is one other possibility that Earth was "lucky" enough to avoid. It is the "barrel roll" of Uranus spinning on an axis parallel to its orbital plane, rather than perpendicular like the rest of the planets. What difficulties this would present to life here at home can hardly be imagined.

Finally, it's a good thing our Earth is the right size and shape, rotates at the right speed, and is the right distance from the sun. If any of these were out of proportion, a whole host of problems loom. Our atmosphere could be too suffocating or too thin, our day-to-night temperatures could be too hot or too cold, our gravity too intense or too insufficient, our wind velocities too severe or too inadequate, or our air components too heavy on some gases or too light on others.

Also, consider that Mercury completes less than one revolution around the sun for every two rotations on its axis, making one of its "days" equal to less than half of its "year." There is no reason Earth couldn't be like Mercury (though it would be disastrous to life), but instead we properly make 1/365 of our annual journey in close to 24 hours. Overall, you could say we were very "lucky" that the interplay of forces from universe to galaxy to solar system to planet were perfectly fine-tuned. To quote the late Jackie Gleason, "How sweet it is!"

Physics Did It?

Call it a case of "a place for everything in space, and everything in space in its place." I'm impressed. But I know others are not. They say with the possibility of a nearly inexhaustible supply of potential planets in the universe, physics was bound to give us one body with this combination of distance, size, orientation, and motion factors. And in the same manner, life was able to adapt accordingly and settle into this cozy "third rock from the sun." Perhaps, but if so, there are still a host of other "lucky" parameters right here on Earth that still must be perfect. While these did not necessarily govern the physics of planetary origin, they still could severely limit or deny life.

For example, earthquake activity must be within tolerable limits. Imagine if we had the seismology of other planets. Remember how the world properly agonized over the December 26, 2004, tsunami in the Indian Ocean that instantly wiped out over 200,000 lives? There is no reason why such geologic events couldn't be commonplace on Earth. Yet as devastating as it was, the tidal wave did not affect animal and plant life to a disastrous extent, only human life because of the way we live.

Just as earthquake activity typical of other planets could be knocking down our cities as fast as we build them, there is no reason why violent storms could not also make our planet a scene of constant destruction. Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in August and September of 2005 were disasters to Louisiana, Texas, and other parts of the Gulf Coast, and yet the bulk of our country experienced no change at all. However, if Earth had the same ongoing storm as on Jupiter-the red "eye" shown on almost every photograph-we would have a continuous cataclysm cutting a lethal swath across our planet. Instead, we sit rather comfortably here at home. Lucky for us.

Next, consider that Earth's water-to-landmass ratio must not be out of bounds. With the near-complete lack of moisture available on other planets, if anything, shouldn't we be one-quarter water and threequarters land on the planet's surface instead of the reverse? In fact, we should be nearly, if not completely, bone-dry.

And this list goes on. The minerals in the soil must be optimal for all sorts of biological and commercial reasons, the Moon's tidal effects

must not be extreme, ocean salinity and ion concentrations must not be unduly toxic, and ... well, isn't that enough to make the point? Also consider that with respect to tolerance levels, any one of these factors, like those that doomed two Space Shuttle flights, could be so prohibitive to life that the rest become a moot point.

So let's apply a bit of math. If you visit the lottery Web site for multistate Powerball, you will find all the probabilities of winning those multimillions that are sure to bestow peace and happiness. Here, the odds of winning the elusive jackpot are listed as "1 in 146,170,692." You could read this as "one winner for approximately every 150 million tickets sold"-which places you in the ritzy neighborhood of 108 individual purchases to provide hope for success.

By comparison, if we give all 68 of those planetary criteria previously mentioned a 50/50 chance of being in a range tolerable to life-a winor-no-win ticket-and multiply all the 1-out-of-2 odds together, you get a figure upward of 1022. Once again, going back to the strength of exponential numbers, our odds of getting a suitable planet Earth are (22 - 8 = 14): 14 increases of 900 percent beyond what it takes to win a Powerball jackpot. (No wonder they call the lottery a tax on people who aren't good at math.) And then after this, we must face the even more prohibitive odds of getting life to self-organize.

With this lottery example in mind, perhaps now the contrasts in the vocabulary I've been using will make more sense. In case the words went by too fast, let me repeat them. On the random side we have words like unstable, excessive, insufficient, intense, inadequate, difficult, extreme, fluctuating, exacerbating, severe, unbalanced, nonexistent, fragile, erratic, freezing, boiling, prohibitive, noxious, toxic-and, as a fitting end-impossible. And I dare say that if you set foot on any planet outside Earth, one, if not most-if not all-of these factors would negate the possibility of life.

On the other hand, we describe our planetary conditions with words like proper, balanced, refreshing, optimal, flexible, correct, exact, complementary, proportional, and-as another fitting end perfect. As we stand here on Earth, we easily see how all these supposedly fortuitous accidents allow the miracle of life. In the end, how many times can the word perfect be repeated (perfect this, perfect that, perfect everywhere you turn) until your faith in luck runs out and you admit that Someone was tinkering with physics?

Nothing to Shrug Off

As lengthy as the list of fine-tuned factors is, evolutionists shrug them off with the same comment almost every time. Like I earlier said, they would say that instead of a Designer adapting Earth to accommodate life, life adapted to the pre-existing conditions it found on our planet. For example, if Earth had a stronger gravitational pull, our creatures would have developed lighter bodies and stronger legs and wings. Or if Earth's air were one-fourth nitrogen and three-fourths oxygen instead of the reverse, animal lungs would be restructured, plant photosynthesis would follow different pathways, and so on. In fact, they say, our present gravity may actually be deadly, and our air toxic, to life evolving under conditions on another planet.

However, such people seldom realize the depth of this assumption. The fine-tuned features in the majority of these factors are not a matter of alterations but eradication-not just conditions to adjust to but conditions that bring death under any circumstance. First of all, many of the factors from the physics of the universe could completely negate the possibility of carbon-based chemistry, and other conditions on Earth would instantly be lethal to any type of life based on the carbon platform. (The song "Nothing from Nothing Leaves Nothing" comes to mind.) Remember that we are not just talking about whether gravity and air are optimal, but whether we even have a planet, a sun, a solar system, or a universe.

The skeptics also need to realize that some of these factors are more complicated than at first glance. Okay, so the Earth accidentally stopped closer to the sun. Just imagine that birds evolved with Space Shuttle-like heat tiles on their underbellies so they also could fly in the hot sun. If the Earth stopped farther away? Imagine birds with feathers a foot thick.

Yet in what possible location would you place the Earth and still have a water cycle? How far from its present location can you move the planet before precipitation, condensation, and evaporation collapse? (Ask the life that supposedly used to live on Mars.) The amazing water molecule is so essential to organisms that it is everybody's favorite indicator of possible extraterrestrial life. But how could water complete its inter- or intra-cellular travel if it were continually evaporated or frozen? By one estimate, if the Earth's orbit averaged a half of a percent closer or farther from the sun, we would have permanent vapor or permanent

ice. No water cycle, no fluid homeostasis for cellular activities-no life of any kind.

In my opinion, you have to accept Design, even if only by default. But I go even farther and say some "interesting touches" were added. I say there are some amazing displays of technical science included just

at the Artist's prerogative. I call it His "personal signature" on a fine piece of creative work. For example, we get to see only one side of the Moon because its rotation rate. on its axis and its revolution rate around

A Touch of Art

If the Moon's strange synchronous movement does not impress you, here is one you can't chalk up to anything like tidal pull. Who would not admit that solar eclipses are cool? Be in the right place on Earth at the right time and the disc of the Moon interposes itself to be perfectly congruent with the disc of the sun-a total solar eclipse. The alignment is so exact that the massive corona of the sun makes a beautiful halo, and the central darkness gives scientists the best chance to study the effect.

But isn't the perfect overlay a bit odd considering the chance sizes and distances of the two "unrelated" celestial objects? Yet the dazzling display is only possible because of the unbelievable equal ratios of diameters and distances. The Moon has a diameter of 3476 kilometers (2160 miles) and has a distance from Earth of 384,467 kilometers (239,000 miles), for a decimal ratio of .009. By comparison, the diameter of the sun is 1,390,000 kilometers (865,000 miles) at a distance from Earth of 149,600,000 kilometers (93,000,000 miles), a decimal ratio of, you guessed it, .009! In simpler terms, while the sun is about 400 times bigger than the Moon, it is about 400 times farther away-hence the stunning effect of the total solar eclipse, something that to me looks very "planned."

the Earth are exactly the same, a precise 27.3217 Earth days for both. (Check it out by going around your family globe with a ball on a stick. If you walk just as fast as you turn the ball, the "Earth" sees only one side of your "Moon.") Now it is true that tidal pull from a larger object on a smaller object begins to mitigate orbits over time, but no such preciseness exists anywhere else in a solar system filled with planets. Call it a bit of curious mystery thrown in just for fun.

A touch of art also extends to a last point. Any map of the Milky Way galaxy will show our sun and solar system to be about three-fourths of the way to the outer edge from the center of the flat spiral disc.

From a scientific standpoint, this is a stroke of "luck" that provides the perfect location for our "evolving" life-forms. If our solar system

were at the outer tips of the galactic arms, the rotational speed of the "crack the whip" effect would cause a rapid expansion of our planetary orbits, making for rapidly fluctuating conditions on Earth to which life could not adjust. If our sun were toward the center of the Milky Way, the intense gravitational attractions and the constant radiation of supernovae from so many stars in proximity would again make our Earth unlivable.

But the fact is, our sun lies not only at the proper centricity, it also lies in the open area between two spiral arms at the proper co-rotational radius where our speed remains relatively constant and our solar system will not be swept into either adjacent arm. Once again, we should celebrate our good fortune. Yet the artistic piece is that if our solar system could somehow survive in the galactic center or within one of the arms of densely packed stars, the cosmic clutter would prevent us from even looking out into deep space to see those distant wonders. It is as interesting as it is ironic. Darwinists use the very beauty afforded to us as we look into the heavens as justification to reduce our existence to "luck."

Tough Customers

As I said earlier, astronomers and physicists have always had a harder time buying into the random-chance scenario. Knowing what they know, they have not made the best Darwinists because of the weak philosophic argument that everything just fell into place without intelligence. Consider the well-known quote from Wernher von Braun, an astrophysicist of no small repute:

I find it as difficult to understand a scientist who does not acknowledge the presence of a superior rationality behind the existence of the universe as it is to comprehend a theologian who would deny the advances of science. And to show it doesn't take a "rocket scientist" to have the same opinion, hear the words of astronomer Alan Sandage:

I find it quite improbable that such order came out of chaos. There has to be some organizing principle. God to me is a mystery, but it is the explanation for the miracle of existence, why there is something instead of nothing. Or how about Princeton physics professor Freeman Dyson, who said, "As we look out into the universe and identify the many accidents of physics and astronomy that have worked together for our benefit, it almost seems as if the universe must in some sense have known that we were coming."*

Here is a man of longstanding reputation who has earned 21 honorary degrees by applying his knowledge of physics in almost every other scientific discipline, such as astronomy. He has also won the prestigious Templeton Award, given to individuals whose achievements in one professional field have simultaneously advanced the humanitarian benefits of religion. Therefore, I would say Dyson's use of the word almost in the quote above is a shot aimed at the Darwinists with whom he has debated all his life.

To sum it up, it may take faith to "move" mountains. But so many giants of science believe it takes much more faith to "make" mountains through natural processes.As Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, says, "Well, alrighty then." Let's assume we lucked out and got a universe and a suitable planet-perhaps several of them-ready for life. Having won the lottery for life here, many are convinced it has happened elsewhere, and have devoted their lives to prove it. Let's look at the ongoing search for life beyond our planetary home to see what the experts can now saith certainty.

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