St. Patrick’s Day is stupid… Today should be Make Out with a Scientist Day

Proving once again that scientists are totally awesome, researchers discover first tremors of the big bang, proving, among other things, that the earth is more than 6,000 years old…

A few days ago word came out that a scientific discovery of enormous magnitude had been made, and today we know what it was. Scientists studying cosmic microwaves at the South Pole BICEP2 facility, it would appear, have, for the first time ever, captured images of gravitational waves, or “ripples in space-time.” The story would be awesome in and of itself, as it gives us insight into what have been called the “first tremors of the Big Bang,” but the brilliant folks at Stanford took things one step further and added an incredibly touching human element. They sent a film crew along with Assistant Professor Chao-Lin Kuo, one of the scientists behind the discovery, to the home of Professor Andrei Linde as they broke the news to him that his long held cosmic inflation theory had finally been proven. It’s truly one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

At the end of the piece, when Linde reflects that he’d thought that perhaps he’d believed this theory of his, “just because it is beautiful,” it almost brought a tear to my eye.

Here, courtesy of the New York Times, is the theory of cosmic inflation in layman’s terms: “The theory proposes that, less than a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang, the universe expanded faster than the speed of light. Tiny ripples in the violently expanding mass eventually grew into the large-scale structures of the universe.”

If you want to know more, an MIT physicist going by the name of derpPhysics just left the following links on Reddit, along with a pretty detailed breakdown of what all of this actually means. Here are the links: the yet to be published journal article, the supplementary materials, the press conference.

I just wish my old friend, renowned University of Michigan physicist Dick Crane, had been around to see it.

Oh, and in another blow to the anti-science folks who still exist among us, it looks like people are beginning to turn on anti-vaxxer Jenny McCarthy. (I knew, when I heard that the Measles were making a comeback, it was just a matter of time.)

And I meant what I said in the headline. We need a day set aside for people to show their love for the scientists among us. And it might as well be on March 17, as St. Patrick’s Day is the worst thing to happen to the world since the formation of our universe.

[note: Maybe it’s just me, but I couldn’t help but think, when watching the beautiful video above, that someone could easily prank a distinguished scientist like this… How cruel would that be?]

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71 Comments

  1. Posted March 17, 2014 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    Probably the only post today to make the Linde McCarthy connection. I take some pride in that.

  2. Posted March 17, 2014 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    Seriously, science is fucking awesome.

  3. Posted March 17, 2014 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    I should add that I don’t have any issue with the Irish. (Some of my best friends are Irish.) I also like drinking. I just hate St. Patrick’s Day and what it’s come to be in America. The Irish deserve better… We all do.

  4. Elliott
    Posted March 17, 2014 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    The NYT piece references another Stanford professor. I wonder why one got the visit by camera crews and one did not.

  5. EOS
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Could you connect the dots for me and explain how evidence of a “big bang” proves that the earth is more than 6000 years old?

  6. Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I thought you were in the scientific field? It should be quite easy for you.

  7. anonymous
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Nice response, Peter.

  8. EOS
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I haven’t read any cosmic inflation evidence that would lead a scientist to that conclusion.

  9. Meta
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I don’t know that any meaning can be attached, but I find it interesting that this announcement was made as the gay-hating Fred Phelps, the founder of the Westboro Baptist Church, started his descent into the afterworld. Perhaps humanity is ready to turn a corner.

  10. Mr. Y
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Lest we forget, there are evil scientists too.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/photos/uncategorized/2008/07/15/drhorribleneilharris.jpg

  11. Dan
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    We have known the age of the Earth for many decades.

    This discovery proves a lot about our universe’s nature, but it doesnt really have much to do with the age of the Earth. Among the many implications of this discovery, it more or less proves that there is vast space outside of our observable universe (our cosmic horizon), and maybe the most important aspect is that it links gravity and quantum mechanics

  12. Eel
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    We’re not lacking in ways to prove the age of the earth. Christ, there are trees on earth older than EOS believes the earth to be. I think Mark’s point was that this is just one more nail in the coffin of anti-science creationist nut jobs like EOS.

  13. Dan
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    There will never be a final nail in that coffin. No amount of scientific evidence will change the minds of people that believe the Bible is a text book.

  14. Pocket Beaver
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Dan’s right. In fact, studies have shown that when people are presented with evidence that contradicts their beliefs it just reinforces those beliefs. Arguing with true believers, whether they are religious or atheist, is pointless.

  15. Posted March 18, 2014 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    I think that people working in the scientific field are qualified to answer the question of how old the earth is.

  16. EOS
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    This is not a nail in the coffin. Science and Christianity are not incompatible. The Big Bang is consistent with the Biblical account of creation. Science is limited. It cannot explain how matter came into being, merely that it exploded , albeit very quickly, at some point in time. Science can’t even explain what force caused the explosion.

  17. EOS
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    If you had even a rudimentary understanding of science you would realize that this discovery doesn’t contradict Christian beliefs at all.

  18. EOS
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Eel,

    What scientific evidence “proves” the age of the earth?

  19. Dan
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    thats not completely true.

    there have been observations of virtual particles that pop into and out of existence all the time, at quantum scales. They can produce mass from essentially nothing.

    This new discovery actually suggests that because there is this “vacuum” in space outside of our observable universe, that there is essentially an infinite amount of these virtual particles. And they could be producing “big bangs” in adjacent universes all the time.

    http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/tech/science/columnist/vergano/story/2012-02-04/lawrence-krauss-universe/52951768/1

  20. anonymous
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I happen to agree that there could be both a creator and a big bang. What I don’t agree with you on, EOS, is the ridiculous notion that the earth is 6,000 years old, created in one week’s time, and populated with fully formed humans at the outset. That’s nonsense, and it’s no surprise that people are abandoning religion in droves.

    Also, I prefer Hump a Postdoc Day.

  21. EOS
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Really? An omnipotent God is unbelieveable, yet you choose to believe that virtual particles pop in and out of existence, and at one point, so much mass was created from nothing that a huge explosion occurred to create the universe. Later, chemicals in the primordial soup self assembled into membrane bound cells that contained about 400 genes of an average size of 10,000 bases, in highly specified sequences, in order for the first life form to come into existence. I don’t have enough faith to be an atheist.

  22. Dan
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    It’s science

  23. EOS
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    No. It’s an untestable hypothesis.

  24. Dan
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    the hypothesis of “virtual particles” has been tested and proven to exist, and that they can and do lend mass to other particles.

    I think if you opened up to the idea that the universe is almost 14 billion years old, and there is almost infinite possibilities of particle interactions, that it would not seem such a crazy hypothesis.

    you should check out Cosmos

  25. Posted March 18, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    EOS works in the scientific field.

  26. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    The epistemology of science doesn’t require “proof” in the sense you are using it, you can never ‘know ‘ something is true scientifically, but more or less likely in a spread of probability. The probability of the hypothesis given the observation, and its likelihoods. The likelihood of a bronze age existential heuristic written by semetic mystics is able to better cash out geology than the contemporary study of geology does isn’t zero, it is just vanishingly small. Of course this conversation is nearly gibberish, but at the very least the manhandling of the word ‘nothingness’ is terrible, particularly phrases like “essentially nothing”, like there was something next-to nothing. Nothingness never Is other than what secretes from the finitude of the human being.

  27. Frog Bottom
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Someone should go to Kirk Cameron’s door and tell him that he was right, and that the Bible has been proven to be factually accurate.

  28. Posted March 18, 2014 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Useful reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_of_the_gaps

  29. EOS
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    “the hypothesis of “virtual particles” has been tested and proven to exist, and that they can and do lend mass to other particles.”

    Agreed. But to extrapolate from their existence that they are sufficient to account for an explosion that created the universe and all subsequent life forms is wildly speculative.

    I’ve seen Cosmos. Carl Sagan said we are all stardust.

    God said that he knows us all by name, He knit us in our Mother’s womb, that we were created for a purpose, and this world is not our home.

  30. EOS
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I reject a “God of the gaps”. God is in control of all, whether or not science can explain it.

  31. Posted March 18, 2014 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    No. It’s an untestable hypothesis.

  32. Mr. Y
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Setting aside the distraction that is EOS for a moment, this really is an important day for the scientific community. Discoveries of this kind don’t come along very often, and, when the do, we should all stop and take notice.

    As for it being an “untestable hypothesis”, I don’t that EOS would be satisfied unless he could see a new universe started in a flask, and actually see organisms evolve into human beings. And, if he were to see it with his own eyes, he’d probably accuse the scientists responsible of being witches. It’s a losing proposition to debate him. Just be happy that science continues to march forward, in spite of all the foolishness.

  33. Posted March 18, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    “God knits us in the womb.”

    That’s truly the stupidest thing I’ve heard all day.

    And today, I’ve heard a lot of stupid things.

  34. Posted March 18, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Debating EOS is a winning proposition. As for the “untestable hypothesis,” I was simply quoting her own words above, to point out that she uses a double standard for her own beliefs. (I don’t know if EOS is male or female; I assume female because there are more women than men.)

  35. Posted March 18, 2014 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m giving $20 to the National Network of Abortion Funds.

    If a woman is raped (in any way we define it) and becomes pregnant, I’d call “the knitter” a fucking sadist.

    http://www.fundabortionnow.org/

  36. EOS
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I never claimed that God is a proven scientific fact. But the fact that He exists is the truth. That George Washington was our first president can’t be proven scientifically either. The mechanism by which the universe came into existence is a non-testable hypothesis for everyone and all beliefs – no double standard at all. The scientific method can’t be used to prove historical events. Doug, you disappoint me. Usually, you are one of the few on this site that can articulate a well reasoned argument. Didn’t bring your “A” game today.

  37. EOS
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Peter,

    Psalm 139

  38. Posted March 18, 2014 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I have to disagree. On March 17, the year of our Lord 1972 at about 10:39 PM the most wondrous thing EVER* happened when I showed up on the scene. :) So you could think of it as my birthday instead of St. Patrick’s Day. If it was not my birthday, I would probably think the same thing but let me say that it was cool to be a kid and think all of the fuss was about you!**

    *I’m just kidding. Although my parents and grandparents were all super excited…they wanted a girl and there I was.
    **I’m afraid I’m NOT kidding. I’m an only child and I just presumed…. :)

  39. Posted March 18, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Actually, I didn’t make an argument. I just pointed out that you were making the “God of the gaps” argument (which you were), and that it was pertinent. The phrase was coined by Christians, by the way. I also pointed out that “God is in control of all” is an untestable hypothesis, and that if you reject others’ statements by that criterion, you should apply it to your own. I don’t quite see how it’s a “historical event.”

    As for the creation of the universe, science, in general, says, “We don’t know what happened, let’s try to learn more”; you seem to be saying, “We don’t know what happened, therefore God did it.” The first approach seems more fruitful to me. I’m perfectly happy if some God did it, but we can’t know, so let’s try to learn more, shall we?

  40. Posted March 18, 2014 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday, Patti! I just looked it up; you share a birthday with Shemp Howard and Nat King Cole!

  41. Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    Happy birthday, Patti. I’m glad that God, in his infinite wisdom, knitted you.

  42. EOS
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    This whole thread is insane. Mark started it thinking that evidence for a Big Bang somehow proves the age of the earth. I made no “God of the gaps” argument. Science can describe all the processes that a fertilized egg undergoes as it develops into a mature organism. But no scientist is able to create life. That scientists can study the universe with the expectation of physical constants that are uniform is itself an argument for design. An explosion doesn’t typically result in increased order and homogenicity. That we have the intellectual capacity to study our surroundings allows us to admire the handiwork of God. You seem to be saying that if we can explain a process, then that would exclude God as the cause of that process. We can both agree to continue to pursue scientific evidence and gain better understanding of the universe.

  43. Posted March 18, 2014 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    No, if we can explain a process, that means that we can explain a process; it neither includes nor excludes God as a cause. But if we can’t explain a process, and therefore fall back on God as an explanation, that’s the “God of the gaps.” The fact that no scientist is able to create life just means that they can’t; it doesn’t mean that God can (or can’t, for that matter). It’s not a pejorative term, by the way; it was coined by Christian theologians. I’m not convinced by it, myself; I see no reason to plug the unknown with another unknown.

    I’m afraid that I don’t know how old the universe is, so I can’t comment on that.

  44. stand your ground
    Posted March 18, 2014 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    In the state where I live, the professor could have opened the door and shot the Asian man who had knocked to give him the news that he’d likely won the Nobel Prize.

  45. EOS
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 4:25 am | Permalink

    I don’t “fall back” on God as an explanation where Science is lacking. My worldview includes God in all processes. That some Christian coined the term God of the gaps does not necessitate that all Christians accept it.

  46. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 4:52 am | Permalink

    It is obviously “god of the gaps”, you deploy your bronze age existential heuristic in order to explain any observation, and maintain that those questions that cant be explained by science today are explainable when you deploy your bronze age heuristic. This search for explanation is exactly what makes creationism nonscience, science is in the game of predictive power, creationism makes zero predictions. The circularity of the false-xtian pseudoscience position is clear, although I definately think it is also fallacious hopefulism to think, as Mao did, that we will come to know everything we did not know. There are indeed ‘brute fact’ known unknowables, like the rate at which single carbon atoms decay, or known unobservables like dark energy which can only be known by inference.

  47. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    “…admire the handiwork of G-d blah blah blah” Theological naturalism is precisely the debunked idea. Paley was killed off by Hume before Paley put pen to paper for his absurd ‘watchmaker’ analogy, the only thing remarkable about Paley is his postmortum longevity. We catagorically do not only see order when there is a designer, snowflakes for instance. The watch is a singularly bad analog to biological life, watches never excrete, they do not convert chemical energy, they show no progression of forms, they never reproduce, they are in essence nothing like biological life. The arguement from analogy fails, catastrophically. Paley was also arguing against Epicurean metaphysics, not evolution by natural selection, so its also false dichotomy.

  48. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    The only thing you have going for you (theocratic fascists) at all is that evidence does not flow across entailment. The evidence for the methodological naturalism which undergirds actual scientific inquiry in the fields of biology, geology, astrophysics and so on, does not entail that metaphysical naturalism is also true. One would need an arguement for metaphysical naturalism, and unfortunately certainty is not possible in the sciences (see Agrippa’s trilemma). No object of thought can be ‘known’ with metaphysical certitude, because metaphysics cannot be instantiated in the same way epistemology is, in fact, metaphysics may not be instantiable at all. So because evolution or astrophysics is true, it does not entail there are no gods/goddesses, just that they play no part in scientific methodology.

  49. EOS
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Thom,
    There is a lot of truth in what you write. Science can arrive only at the best naturalistic explanation for a given phenomena. The philosophical underpinnings preclude even the consideration of a supernatural existence and certainly, cannot dispute that which is outside its realm.

    A snowflake certainly shows “order”. It’s a crystalline structure. But there is no information contained in that order. Contrast that with the sequence of DNA bases in a given gene. The order of the bases is not a random, repeated design but one that conveys specificity to the production of structural and enzymatic proteins.

  50. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    ‘Inference to the best explanation’ is also different from the predictive power of properly scientific hypothesis, which predicts the unlikely instead of offering explanation for phenomena (called ‘over-fit’). There may be a unique single solution to a puzzle, like the tree of life hypothesis, which is confirmed by the observation of ribosomal RNA in every biological cell on earth. This confirmed observation gives Darwin’s theory the actual predictive power over his nearest real compeditor, Lamarck, who thought in terms of various independant beings (the Horse, the Fish etc) developing over time, making a plausible ‘inference to the best explanation (which is false)’.

  51. EOS
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    The goal of science is not to discover the truth, but to postulate a model that is helpful in making future predictions. Truth is essentially irrelevant to science.

  52. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Here-in lies the real difference between science and this false theology, in science once a theory is debunked it dies. No one is seriously studying phrenology or Lamarckian evolution, they are debunked (and yet Paley is alive and well in political false-xtian fascist ideology). Why? well it is not because these ideas dont provide some plausible explanation of observed phenomena, but because they predict nothing. Phrenology was a scientific theory which died, it failed to predict but only to explain, where-as creationism was never a candidate for truth tracking in the physical sciences as it neither predicts nor does it actually explain.

  53. EOS
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    But the fact that God exists and He created the universe has not been debunked. You, yourself, conceded that earlier.

  54. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Religion is an existential hermeneutic phenomenology deployed in order to meaningfully arrange one’s being-there and being-with while thrown into the historico-temporal horizon of being-in-the-world. It is different from science, but not worthless, philosophy is different from science and is also is not worthless. A properly religious worldpicture however has no interest in the problematics of scientific epistemology, it has ‘truth’, the truth of a self evident existential hermeneutic rooted in one’s lived expirence.

  55. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    EOS, do you walk in Christ today? Are you filled by His spirit? Do you have rest in Him? Are you rooted to His word? Do you have the fruits of His spirit? Have rest in Christ today EOS, He will provide comfort. Let revival in Christ begin with you EOS, may it be so in Christ’s name. Scientific epistemology is of no concern, nor are the lineaments of babylon modernity. Take on the new nature of Christ today EOS, leave behind the old nature for good.

  56. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Doug Skinner- I don’t see EOS making a “god of the gaps” argument here at all. There is a difference between gaps in scientific knowledge and NECESSARY gaps in scientific knowledge. I say “necessary” here in order to acknowledge that science is NECESSARILY limited. It is entirely reasonable to fill in the necessary gaps in science with faith. Filling in the necessary gaps in science is not anti science at all. It does require a basic understanding of the necessary division between faith and science! Elliot does a good job of laying out why someone would become a person faith but it would take a lot of studying to understand what he is talking about….It is odd when you say that it is not a pejorative to call something a “god of the gaps” argument. You seem to be arguing that it is not a pejorative because the term was coined by by Christian Theologians. A weird statement/ argument on your part, if you understand the theologians that coined the term used the term to identify arguments for god’s existence that they thought were not good arguments!!!

    I don’t know if eos has a grand agenda or not but it did also strike me as strange that Mark would make it seem in this post that the recent discovery in cosmic inflation theory has any sort of relevance to disputes over how old the earth may or may not be.

  57. double anonymous
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Confirming that the Earth was created 4.5 billion years ago as the result of the big bang doesn’t prove that it’s older than 6,000 years old?

  58. Posted March 19, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    I don’t quite follow you, Frosted Flakes. You say that EOS did not use the “god of the gaps” argument; and then go on to say why you want to plug the gaps in science with faith. I don’t see the connection.

    Science is limited because it’s based on human observation and analysis, which are both limited. Faith doesn’t help with either of those, although it may help you with other things. Why not just leave the gap as a gap, and admit we don’t know something? (Thom may recognize the legacy of Sextus Empiricus here.)

    You’re right, “pejorative” wasn’t the right word. I meant to say that it wasn’t an anti-Christian, or anti-religious, term. I wasn’t using it pejoratively, myself; I just disagree with it.

  59. EOS
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    Stephen Jay Gould proposed “Non-Overlapping Magisteria” whereby science and religion have independent and non-overlapping spheres of teaching and influence. He believed that science governs all materialistic things while religion is concerned only with the spiritual and moral. But since most religions have an explanation for the existence of all things, there is necessary overlap. Prayer, miracles, and healings are all instances where religious belief impacts the natural world.

    I don’t see a God of the gaps at all. I see a God whose influence encompasses all, where the science realm contains only a small subset of the whole.

    DA, The evidence that was observed concerning the Big Bang does not have a time frame. They observed it this year and can only confirm that it happened sometime in the past.

    Thom, Do you walk in Christ today? Are you filled by His spirit? Do you have rest in Him? Are you rooted to His word? Do you have the fruits of His spirit? Have rest in Christ today. He will provide comfort. Let revival in Christ begin with you. May it be so in Christ’s name. Take on the new nature of Christ today, leave behind the old nature for good.

    That’s my hope and prayer. Scientific epistemology is a concern due to the fact that many who are weak in the faith think that it is possible for science to replace God. As a follower of Christ, I need to boldly proclaim the gospel throughout the entire world to bring as many as possible into the kingdom of God.

  60. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Gould is fun, you would also like Plantinga. Well constructed, probabalistic epistemological veridical processes will never replace the primacy of the perception of the everyday veracity of the lived expirence of the subjective agent in the lifeworld of their concern. Unfortunately your catagorically incompatible fascist plutocratic political ideology corrupts your specific religious commitments, making it a false xtianity, one utilized in disseminating rightwing totalitarianism.

  61. Thom Elliott
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I prefer Shiva or a couple of particular Buddhas to Christ myself in general, although I do like the Christ of Mark, the eschatological, mystical Christ. While Buddhism is not compatible with science either, it is a particularly effective existential hermenuetic which fills in the aporias in the historical transition from the roughly theological ancient worldpicture to the degodmotized, mechanized world of degenerate modernity. Plutocracy undergirded by godless objectivist libertarianism is a catagorically modern form of egoistic philosophy which has no relationship with the teachings of Christ.

  62. EOS
    Posted March 19, 2014 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Plantinga is someone who I will investigate further. Thanks.

  63. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 20, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Double anonymous–thank you for your very Efficient rebuttal. I think I do not get out enough. I researched young earth creationists in the last few days and I am embarrassed to admit I did not realize that there is a large group of people who believe the earth and UNIVERSE are only 600o years old. I always assumed a small group of people believed, despite evidence otherwise, that the LIFE on earth was created 6000 years ago. I did not see the direct connection to the evidence for inflation and big bang having much to with biological life on earth. Thanks for pointing out my error in a hilarious but somewhat embarrassing way, oh well!

  64. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 20, 2014 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    Doug skinner–When I said it is reasonable to fill in the NECESSARY gaps in science I meant to say that science can’t handle first causes, ultimate beginnings, free will, supernatural intervention….Science has no chance of answering some questions…

  65. Posted March 20, 2014 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Oh, I agree that science can’t answer everything. Like all human activities, it’s limited by our own limitations. Where we disagree is that I don’t see the need to fill in the gaps. I prefer to admit that I don’t know something, rather than make up stuff. Maybe we’ll find answers later; maybe not.

    Meanwhile, happy spring!

  66. Posted March 20, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    I like the the scatological, mystical Christ.

  67. Posted March 21, 2014 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Belated thanks for birthday wishes! I am glad that God knitted me too, although She dropped the stitch in a few places and sort of overstitched around my ass and thighs but that’s okay.

    I also share a birthday with “Bobby Ewing” (Patrick Duffy) from Dallas. I can only surmise that his parents were as creative as mine!

  68. Posted March 22, 2014 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    I like the original title to this post:

    “scientists-discover-first-tremors-of-the-big-bang-proving-among-other-things-that-the-earth-is-more-than-6000-years-old”

  69. Philip
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 2:43 am | Permalink

    I agree it’s perhaps the most significant scientific breakthrough of the past 50 years. Better than the Higgs Boson.

    Having said that, however, what’s wrong with St Patrick’s Day?

  70. Philip
    Posted April 7, 2014 at 3:11 am | Permalink

    All that is, including the laws that govern our universe, came into existence in the big bang.

    No known law preceded it so no natural universal law could have caused it. On the other hand it is a perfectly acceptable hypothesis that God, acting in eternity, in accordance with His nature and His law could have willed the singularity into existence as the first act in His creation of our universe.

    What law known to us could, for example, account for the expansion of the universe from a singularity smaller than an atom to 50 per cent of its current size in less than a twinkling?

    I’d suggest the law of miracles. It may now be that the age of miracles is past but the big bang is proof that it was once was, if only for a instant.

  71. Meta
    Posted March 26, 2015 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    A database of Michigan’s schools with the worst vaccination rates, a few of which are in Ann Arbor.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2014/12/database_michigan_vaccination.html

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