Monday, January 08, 2007

Response to sitter downers

On the latest Sitter Downers podcast there was a comment about how the Big Bang was even more unbeleivable than the God theory of creation. This is the email in response:

Guys, It is your friendly Scotsman here again with feedback on the latest show: (Oh Dear...). Sorry for the length, I'm not expecting you to read it all out on air but perhaps Tom could read some of my points!

Apart from the atrocious quality of the show and the fact it was not picked up by iTunes, it was a really really good one so thanks.

I was shouting at my iPod all the way to work today - fortunately I drive - and really wished there was some sort of remote "slapping" button for podcasters. I'm not really promoting violence here, it is just a manifestation of my frustration at the comment about the belief that a god of creation is more likely than the current theories about the origin of the universe.
Torri and Adam, you stated (and I'm paraphrasing slightly) that the creation of the universe without any cause is laughable and ridiculous. Maybe it is, but the big-bang theory is backed up by observation of the state of the current universe and experiments based on promoted ideas and hypotheses; if the experiments or observations contradict the theory then we start again with hypotheses which actually fit the facts, we do not change the facts to fit the theory (as religious people always do - "of course snakes can talk...").

Thousands of physicists, astronomers, cosmologists, mathematicians etc looked at the evidence around them and have come to a conclusion about the likely origins of the universe. They are the first to admit they may be wrong and every scientist worth his or her salt is actually trying to prove that what they know is wrong. If they can't (i.e. every experiment simply confirms their theory) then it is more likely it is the truth. It is how science works. Scientists talk to each other and confirm or refute each others ideas, if an idea/hypothesis/theory is proved wrong, it is simply discarded (unlike religious "truths") as new evidence is discovered. Of course there are objective truths but human fallibility must always enter into the equation when we try to discover them. I think that is what Tom was trying to say in the latter part of the podcast but remember, science allows us to get closer and closer as each new piece of the universal jigsaw is built.

Your alternative is based on the conclusions that a tribe of desert dwelling nomads came to 3000 or so years ago when they looked at the world around them and concluded (without the benefit of science, the scientific method or any technology whatsoever) that some omnipotent being who lives outside of space and time created all that we see around us just for their benefit. For the past 3000 years theologians and religious believers have been trying to squeeze every newly discovered round pegged fact into this square shaped belief to cling onto this delusion. It is getting harder and harder and this is why for the past 250 years or so religious belief has been slowly but steadily declining in the developed world.

Please Adam and Torri, can you answer this (admittedly long) question: If the idea that the universe was created out of nothing, without any cause is ludicrous, then why is the idea that an omnipotent, omnibelevolent, "creator" who has always existed out of space and time, who created the entire universe of billions of galaxies with billions of stars complete with quasars, black holes, dust and gas clouds millions of light years across, who selected one galaxy, one little star in an outer arm of that galaxy, selected one little planet orbiting that star, created on that planet billions of plants, animals, bacteria, microbes and viruses and then selected one particular species, gave them (and only them) "free will" just to see if they would believe he exists or he will ensure they are tormented for ever, any less ludicrous? Oh, and add to that he chose one people as his favourites, chose one sex as being over the other and one priestly sect as being more righteous! How vain is that to think the entire cosmos was made just for us?
How did he do it by the way - did he just wave his magic wand and "poof"! the universe came to be? Perhaps he used a Big-Bang!

It is the ultimate answer to anything; "let's not bother finding out the truth - God did it!". If everything needs a creator, who (or what) created the creator? It becomes an infinite regress to previous creators.

I (or you) cannot prove that the god of the Jews did not create the universe, just as I (or you) cannot prove that Zeus or Odin or Brama or Buddha or any ancient god did not create the universe when you postulate they live outside of it - you might as well accept the Matrix films as fact. We can only go by what is observable, testable and likely and that (currently) leads us to the Big-Bang theory. If there was a creator and they did not use this method then he sure as heck made it look like it!

One other question for you. Are you "Young earth creationists", "Old earth creationists", "Intelligent designers" or what? Do you think the bible should be read literally or metaphorically or a bit of both?. If the latter how do you decide which is which? If the former then why are you not stoning your unruly children (Deuteronomy 21:18-21) or keeping slaves (Leviticus 25:44), if the median then it is not fact.

Thanks again guys for keeping me entertained, Tom you really need to stop being so bloody British and this weeks episode was a good example. Even Adam and Torri agree with this, you are too nice sometimes. If you need any help, give me a call.

Kind regards

Sean Slater


Anthony said...


I'm a fellow listener to The Sitter Downers, and I just wanted to recommend a sermon series that discusses the subject. I've mentioned it to The Sitter Downers a year or so ago, but it didn't really take.

It all comes down to what authority and level of accuracy you allow in how you approach the bible. I believe this series by Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church, Seattle does a fair attempt:

In the Menu, click on Sermons, Books of the Bible, Genesis.


Sean said...

Thanks Anthony, Sorry for the delay but I have had some trouble with my P.C.

Anyway, thanks for the links. I really don't have time/interest/inclination to look at one individuals take on an ancient text. It might of course change my life but so might a great number of things. Even if it changes my life, it would not necessarily conform to the "truth" of anything.

I've read the Bible, I've looked at it from differing points of views and I've come to the conclusion it is a load of tosh. Sorry but I will not waste any more time (I've only got one life!) on this rubbish.

Thanks anyway.