The Big Bang, Children’s Fairy Tales and the Human Genome
Although not a scientist, I still occasionally opine on things scientific… without ever using any sort of scientific method. Oddly enough, science sometimes does the very same thing, itself. That’s how we got theories like the flat earth, the sun rotates around the earth…and the current poster child, The Big Bang Theory.
Some say that there’s a number of glaring scientific deficiencies in astronomical theories. Not being a scientist, though, it’s not something for me to expound on. I work on logic, with lots of intuition liberally applied.
How did we get here?
It has been my observation that scientists sometimes violate their own rules. That is, they simply fail to observe (and measure). So, just how is it possible that something so basic to the scientific process is so completely ignored? Well, Robert Lanza, a scientist himself, offered up an explanation of sorts, “We have failed to protect science against speculative extensions of nature, continuing to assign physical and mathematical properties to hypothetical entities beyond what is observable in nature.”
Speculative extensions of nature and hypothetical entities, those are big words. What exactly did he mean by that? Speculative extension of nature has to do with the fact that science has pushed beyond what’s observable in nature. When that happens, you can no longer observe…so they speculate and hypothesize instead…and then pass it off as valid scientific theory. So, today, cosmological theories dealing with such things as black holes, singularities and dark matter, are just that – theories, and speculative theories to boot. None of them are based on observation and so none of them have followed the scientific method.
Aside: Einstein, himself, published a scientific paper saying that the existence of black holes would violate his Theory of Relativity. Other scientists have since concurred that gravitational collapse is impossible.
Even scientific geniuses like Einstein recognized the struggle to find certainty in their own work. As Einstein stated, “The human mind, no matter how highly trained, cannot grasp the universe.” In other words, the fundamental laws of nature are beyond man’s ability to comprehend them. Yet, it didn’t keep Einstein from trying (The Theory of Relativity, for example).
By definition, theoretical science produces theories, not proof. Part of the problem is that these theories are generally based on mathematics and their formulae exist only on chalkboards, rather than being based on experiments performed in the laboratory as one might expect. Worse, these very formulae use fudge factors like eternity, dark matter or Einstein’s infamous “cosmological constant.” Einstein, himself, referred to the problem with math, as follows: “As far as mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”
So, what we wind up with is theories in search of some relevant facts. This is exactly backwards when compared to the proper process of scientific inquiry. Accordingly, even the scientists working on these theories often decry the state of affairs. For example, with respect to singularities, Professor Andrew Strominger of Harvard University, said that, “A singularity is when we don’t know what to do. What’s so embarrassing about singularities is that we can’t predict what’s going to come out of it.” That’s because scientists can’t even say for certain what a singularity is. I mean they believe that it exists because its part of their formulae, but no one has ever observed a singularity. As for The Big Bang Theory, Michael Turner, a cosmologist at the University of Chicago, stated, “If inflation is the dynamite behind the Big Bang, we’re still looking for the match.” In other words, as Prof. Strominger admitted, there are a lot of things that scientists don’t understand, and yet, strangely, they still describe them in a very precise way. That explains Richard Dawkins statement to a recent TED conference that now he has proof that evolutionary theory is correct. The implication is that he must not have been certain in the past even though he said that he was.
Aside: Of course, since the Big Bang had a match there must also have been a match lighter. So science has developed some new, exotic theories to try and explain away the problem (see below).
The theory of everything
So, now that you understand a little bit of the process as to how science works, let’s tackle what Einstein and Stephen Hawking spent their whole careers searching for (in vain) – the Theory of Everything. Again, I’m not a scientist so I come from a totally different point of view. For me, such a theory can only be valid if it explains the basis of life. After all, a theory of everything, by definition, must explain how life operates and where it came from.
Back in the nineteenth century, world-renown microbiologist Louis Pasteur helped develop the Law of Biogenesis. Today, Pasteur has been relegated by many to the dustbin of science, although his theory is as valid today as it was then. What’s so important about his work is that Pasteur proved that it was not possible for life to have evolved from a bunch of dead chemicals (read: primordial soup). Life could only come from life. Even George Wald, an ardent evolutionist, eventually admitted that it had been scientifically proven that spontaneous generation of a living organism was impossible.
So, any theory which deals with the origins of the universe (e.g. The Big Bang Theory) has to allow for the evolution of life, especially that of man. Needless to say, The Big Bang Theory does not provide such an explanation. Darwin, you understand, simply said that we evolved, randomly mutated as it were. Richard Dawkins expounded on Darwin’s theory saying that,”… life has no higher purpose than to perpetuate the survival of DNA….”
So, for Dawkins, DNA is superior to man, and why not. DNA is a miracle. There are trillions of cells in our body each encoded with DNA instructions on how to operate and grow our bodies. Bill Gates has said that, “DNA is like a computer program, but far, far more advanced than any software we’ve ever created.” More importantly, the work of Russian molecular biologist Pjotr Gariaiev, who was part of The Human Genome Project, has shown that DNA is self-organizing, self- directing and self-replicating. Further, neuroscientist David Eagleman duly noted that the brain’s neural circuitry uses algorithms undreamt of in modern science. So our bodies are operated by a “living” biological system whose programming is far more advanced than any supercomputer. So, in one sense, Dawkins is right in that the level of sophistication of DNA virtually makes it a life-form unto itself.
Aside: Yet, Dawkins never explained who created DNA. Inexplicably, science has been unable to identify the origins of DNA or the intelligence behind it. Up until recently, most scientists even said that DNA was 90% junk – in other words, useless.
All of which brings us to consciousness, which is the nothing short of the trade secret of cosmology. Physicist Max Planck said, “I regard consciousness as fundamental. We cannot get behind consciousness. ” Yet, cosmologists usually eschew research on consciousness. Why? That’s a big question but, for starters, consciousness infers Intelligent Design which is totally incompatible with evolutionary theory. Then, there’s all the sacred cows in cosmology which would have to be jettisoned (along perhaps with peoples’ careers). I, for one, wouldn’t lose any sleep over it, but I sincerely doubt that the scientific community would ever allow such a thing to occur.
The end of science
So, what we’re stuck with are a bunch of theories that have never been observed, let alone proven. For example in his much-discussed book, The End of Science, John Horgan talked about the limitations of science as it goes into areas that are unobservable (e.g. what lies beyond space and time). In order to remain relevant, science seems to feel obliged to try and go further back – back beyond The Big Bang. Otherwise, what we would all be left with is the incredible miracle of the universe instantaneously appearing out of nothing, and from nowhere. Oddly enough, the only people who might believe such a miracle would be the creationists, because that’s what they said that God did.
Accordingly, we now have a bunch of new theories that attempt to explain that while The Big Bang really was the beginning of our universe, it was not the very beginning of life. Life apparently came from other worlds (the Multiverse). However, if true, that only changes the question of how our universe was created to a question of how the Multiverse was originally created. Since that question will most assuredly never be answered, it will make it possible for anyone, indeed everyone, to espouse their favorite theory. Since science will presumably not address the issue of life having to be created by life, it might even lead some people to posit that DNA might be some artificial form of intelligence, and that it created itself! Are you listening R.D.?
As shocking as that may seem, what’s more shocking is that Dawkins has actually admitted that DNA might have been the result of an “intelligent designer.” Really, he said that? Yes, in an interview with Ben Stein. Check it out for yourself on YouTube. It sort of harkens back to the Directed Panspermia theory of Francis Crick who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the molecular structure of DNA.
My conclusion is that the objections to Intelligent Design by scientists are usually based on ideology, rather than science. As I’ve always said there are many different disciplines in science but really just two kinds of scientists – those that believe in a Creator and those that don’t. Accordingly, science has developed a series of cosmological theories that I believe really have only one point – that the universe does not have an intelligent designer. Unfortunately, for some, DNA cannot be explained away in the usual fashion. Genetics is moving so fast that it’s beginning to eclipse science in other disciplines, like cosmology and biology, with respect to the origins of man.
So that’s my take on everything from the Big Bang to the human genome. Like I said, my thinking is not scientific – but maybe that’s a good thing. After all, what would children’s books say if there was no Big Bang Theory. I might have to read a fairy tale to my kids entitled Once Upon a Bang-less Night.
“Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature. And that is because, in the last analysis, we ourselves are part of nature and therefore part of the mystery that we are trying to solve.”
– Max Planck, physicist