Tuesday, March 18, 2008

“Much ado about Nothing” (Circular Reasoning III)

I just finished (well sort of) a book called "The Book of Nothing" - I say that I finished it, but I gave up on the last chapter.

It was interesting at first, then it just became a solid noise of blah, blah, blah... I love science and I have a passing interest in mathematics - this book is an exploration, of sorts, into the concept of nothing - zero.

It turns out that in the big picture of human existence on earth the concept of zero is very new. In fact, a few hundred years ago it was considered heretical to propose the idea of nothing of a vacuum. Another thing I learned from this book is that as little as 100 years or so ago, we thought that space was filled with something called "ether". It's amazing how far we've come in our understanding of God's universe in the last 100 years or so.

Barrow, the guy that wrote the book acts like a guy that knows way too much for his own good. The fact of the matter is, for all of the words in his book, he just doesn't get it. I feel bad for scientists that continually look for answers to existence in the "laws of nature". They conjecture what cannot be seen from what they can see.

I'm used to this, I've heard it all of my life, but one good thing about this book is that it allowed me to see inside the mind of just such a scientist. It gives a good look at how someone tries to take God out of the world. It goes back to something I've discussed before that we all do - "Circular Reasoning".

However, this guy takes it to the Nth degree... The reason I finally had to put the book down was because he was 5 or 6 circles into his reasoning and it was just nonsense. The last few chapters of the book are filled with conjectures based on the statements he made in the first half of the book. I believe that you can convince yourself of anything if you spin yourself in enough circles.

As far as I can tell, it comes down to this. There is a force in the universe they are calling the Lambda factor. The Lambda factor was something that Einstein postulated but later refuted. Cutting through pages and pages of droning about vacuums, cosmology and quantum physics, the bottom line is that any time these scientists can't make the numbers match up they pour the difference into the Lambda factor. The Lambda factor, in a nutshell, is a force that cannot be calculated, seen or measured but affects matter, gravity and energy in some fashion. They believe that it's there, but they can't say what it is (exactly), how much there is or how much it affects the other things they can see.

I appreciate a good, healthy curiosity about our surroundings - many, many great things have been discovered because of that curiosity. However, when you look at the facts -over and over and over again over the course of decades and centuries - and still take what you don't know and turn it into something that you are sure you just missed or cannot find yet or cannot be explained then it's not science anymore - it's agenda.

I expected an objective discussion on the facts instead heard a long lesson on circular reasoning. It reminds me of…

Bedevere: Quiet, quiet, quiet, QUIET! There are ways of "telling" whether she is a witch!
Villagers: Are there? What? Tell us, then! Tell us!
Bedevere: Tell me. What do you do with witches?
Bedevere: And what do you burn apart from witches?
Villager: More Witches!
Other Villager: Wood.
Bedevere: So. Why do witches burn?

Villager: Because they're made of.....wood?
Bedevere: Goooood!
Other Villagers: oh yeah... oh....
Bedevere: So. How do we tell whether she is made of wood?
One Villager: Build a bridge out of 'er!
Bedevere: Aah. But can you not also make bridges out of stone?
Villagers: oh yeah. oh. umm...
Bedevere: Does wood sink in water?
One Villager: No! No, no, it floats!
Other Villager: Throw her into the pond!
Villagers: yaaaaaa!

Bedevere: What also floats in water?
Villager: Bread!
Another Villager: Apples!
Another Villager: Uh...very small rocks!
Another Villager: Cider!
Another Villager: Uh...great gravy!
Another Villager: Cherries!
Another Villager: Mud!
Another Villager: Churches! Churches!
Another Villager: Lead! Lead!
King Arthur: A Duck!
Villagers: (in amazement) ooooooh!
Bedevere: EXACTLY!
Bedevere: So, "logically"...
Villager: If...she...weighs the same as a duck......she's made of wood.
Bedevere: and therefore...

Villager: A Witch!
All Villagers: A WITCH!

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"...Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:7-18