Categories
Cosmology Creation/evolution Physics Science

The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself? Part 6

Part 6 of my review of the book: “The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning and the Universe Itself,” by Sean M. Carroll. Part 5 is found here.

The Core Theory

Carroll spends several chapters discussing the quantum mechanical framework for the Core Theory, as he calls it. Quantum mechanics has been an extremely successful physical theory exquisitely predicting with enormous precision some parameters in particle physics. But what many people have heard of quantum theory is more about the various interpretations applied by physicists (e.g. Bohr’s abstract physical description, or, Everett’s many-worlds) to the way the theory might work beneath what we can measure.

Regardless of the correct interpretation it has enjoyed enormous success as a theory of physics in what is called the standard model of particle physics. The second very successful theory is general relativity—Einstein’s theory of gravity. Both work extremely well in their respective domains of operation, but outside that, in the realm of what is called quantum gravity neither operate nor has a theory been found to unite them. But that is exactly what Stephen Hawking and others have been seeking, to have the Universe begin in a quantum fluctuation of a meta-stable false vacuum.

But even though we have this limitation, in the realm of what humans can measure, Carroll has faith and writes:

“What we can do is show that physics by itself is fully up to the task of accounting for what we see.” (p.179)

However he admits that one class of particles not part of the current Core Theory are those that make up “dark matter” in the Universe. Such alleged weakly interacting putative particles are allowed for in the Core Theory because they are so weakly interacting with normal atomic matter that they are hard to detect. I would argue that dark matter and other dark entities are a philosophical construct used to keep the standard big bang cosmology from being discredited.1 Dark matter was first needed to explain the dynamics of spiral galaxies. Now it seems that it is no longer needed, when standard physics is applied correctly.2

Categories
Belief in God Biblical morality Creation/evolution Meaning of life

Richard Dawkins is a hypocrite

As you may have heard Richard Dawkins suffered a stroke and recently was interviewed on the BBC. The interviewer even asked him about whether the stroke caused him to think about the afterlife. He affirmed there that he does not believe that there is anything else. That, in itself, is sad as he does not have too long left in this life.

But when asked about challenging religion and people who hold to religion, he said he only uses intellectual arguments. He said the way to argue is

“to always to do it on intellectual grounds, always to do it using argument, evidence, rather than insult.” (emphasis added)

(Watch between 3:54 – 4.01 mark in the video below) But he even went on in that interview to agree that it doesn’t matter to him if someone feels insulted by what he said.

What a total hypocrite! Previously on several occasions he has said that the way to argue is to use ridicule, which is the same as insults. See the video below.

Categories
Biblical doctrines Christianity

Did Old Testament believers have a concept of the afterlife?

The New Testament gives very specific details and revelation from God on the afterlife. Did Old Testament believers have any such notions?  There are some indications, though not so many.

18002011-BTH-Job-2-11-Job-and-his-comfortersThe book of Job is considered to be one of the oldest books in the Bible. Therefore from the earliest times on record we know that there was some knowledge of the afterlife.

Job 19:25-27 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins [heart] be consumed within me.

Job had the assurance that although he was going to die and be eaten by worms, he would receive a new body (“in my flesh”) and in that body he would see God face to face, i.e. in his conscious mind.