On Hanging Out With Creationists

Some of the comments to my posts on the creationism conference reminded me of a scene from the movie Heat, released in 1995. Al Pacino played Vincent Hannah, a detective for the LAPD investigating a crew of professional bank robbers. Robert DeNiro played Neil McCauley, the leader of the crew. (Short review: Pretty good movie, but marred somewhat by being too long and by Pacino’s occasionally cartoonish overacting. Better the second time through, since you know when you have to pay attention.)

Roughly two-thirds of the way through the film Hannah knows everything about McCauley, but does not yet have enough evidence to make an arrest. McCauley has done his homework as well, and knows everything about Hannah. The two meet for coffee at a local diner, and after a lengthy and tolerably pleasant conversation they exchange the following dialogue:

HANNAH: You know we’re sitting here, you and I, like a couple of regular fellows. You do what you do and I do what I gotta do. And now that we’ve been face to face, if I’m there and I have to put you away, I won’t like it. But I’ll tell ya, if it’s between you and some poor bastard whose wife you’re going to turn into a widow, brother, you are going down.

McCAULEY: There’s a flipside to that coin. What if you do got me boxed in, and I gotta put you down? Cause no matter what, you will not get in my way. We’ve been face to face, yeah. But I will not hesitate. Not for a second.

Go visit YouTube for the whole scene.

That’s pretty much how I view hanging out with creationists. For a while we can sit down together, discuss big questions, and be generally pleasant with one another. I wish that could be the end of the story. But it can’t. They are wrong about really important things, and they must be defeated. So be it.

Comments

  1. #1 SC
    August 20, 2008

    Yup.

  2. #2 Gerry L
    August 20, 2008

    Now for a TV analogy:
    In many sitcoms — the early classics like Lucy and The Honeymooners and some later not-so-good ones — the characters never grew. They never learned. They just made the same silly mistakes week after week after week. Comic behavior but no real surprises.
    More modern sitcoms, maybe from around the time of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, have featured characters who develop through the seasons. They lessons they learn are reflected in subsequent seasons.
    Watching (or listening to) creationsist is like watching a dated sitcom. All that’s missing is the laugh track.

  3. #3 Jim Harrison
    August 21, 2008

    I wouldn’t be so hard on the Creationists. Accepting the theory of evolution is not a matter of absorbing information or even of assimilating concepts to preexisting ideas. It involves incorporating an entirely new way of thinking, something that human beings do very rarely after their teenage years. In fact, though I haven’t seen much empirical work on the subject, I suspect that for the most part adults just don’t do much serious learning of any kind: it isn’t part of our natural history.

  4. #4 Peter Henderson
    August 21, 2008

    I just hope jsason, that because you “hang out” with YEC’s so much you don’t eventually become one ? Some of the most vociferous ones in the UK are ex Atheists, for some strange reason:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2/4336news6-28-2000.asp

    I’m the opposite To White. As I have said before, had I encountered YECism before I became a Christian I would almost certainly now be an Agnostic (probably not an Atheist since Atheism still adopts a faith position, in my opinion). I feel that YECism is almost certainly damaging the church. It’s causing some Christians to doubt their faith (I assume you know all about Glenn Morton) and preventing many non-Christians from seeing Christianity as a viable proposition. It makes Christianity just look silly. Don’t be too hard on the TE’s Jason.

  5. #5 Richard Eis
    August 21, 2008

    -I suspect that for the most part adults just don’t do much serious learning of any kind-

    Learning i’m afraid is something that must be learned… and practised.

  6. #6 SLC
    August 21, 2008

    Relative to “hanging out” with creationists, I am afraid that, unlike Prof. Rosenhouse, I do not suffer fools gladly. I would certainly not want to “hang out” with the clown calling himself Jon S who used to comment on this blog.

  7. #7 John Farrell
    August 21, 2008

    Yikes. For a second there, Jason, I thought you were going to say they actually started telling you ‘we’re going to take you out.”

    ;)

  8. #8 Russell
    August 21, 2008

    Jim Harrison:

    It involves incorporating an entirely new way of thinking,

    I don’t believe this. Evolution is not so different in nature from other scientific theories. Does learning thermodynamics require “incorporating an entirely new way of thinking”? Valence theory of chemistry? Plate tectonics? Yes, evolution is neck-and-neck with quantum mechanics in being one of the two most fundamental theories of modern science. But it doesn’t strike me as all that different from other kinds of science.

    The opposition to evolution comes from something a bit different: unwillingness to drop existing beliefs. And in particular, deeply held faith. And that is what makes the creationists irrational. Entirely apart from their opposition to evolution.

  9. #9 SLC
    August 21, 2008

    Re Russell

    Actually, evolution does differ from quantum mechanics (QM) in that the latter theory is both philosophically and mathematically preposterous. Thus, the following quotes:

    Richard Feynman – If you think you understand QM, then you don’t understand QM.

    Steven Weinberg – QM is a totally preposterous theory which unfortunately appears to be correct.

    Lawrence Krauss – Nobody understands QM.

    Two examples of the philosophical preposterousness of QM.

    1. The two slit problem.

    2. Intertwining.

    An example of the mathematical peposterousness of quantum mechanics.

    1. Removal of infinities in quantum electrodynamics (QE) by renormalization.

    So the question arises, why is quantum mechanics accepted by virtually all the worlds’ scientists? The reason is because, like the theory of evoltion, QM has great explanatory power (e.g. QE computations that agree with experiments to 10 significant digits).

  10. #10 Glen Davidson
    August 21, 2008

    For a while we can sit down together, discuss big questions, and be generally pleasant with one another. I wish that could be the end of the story. But it can’t. They are wrong about really important things, and they must be defeated. So be it.

    There was a time when I didn’t realize that they needed to be defeated. After all, should it really bother me if they believe in pious fantasies?

    Of course not. What I didn’t know then was how many would be driven to try to force their beliefs to be sanctioned as truth (or “possible truth”) by the government. Not all, but far too many do. And I don’t want a theocracy. Many of them wouldn’t either, if they were to succeed.

    If they were in the 10-20% range, with the number stable or declining, I’d just wish them well, as I generally do with them as individuals. Organized ignorance with designs on spreading ignorance is the threat we must fight.

    Glen D
    http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

  11. #11 Nebularry
    August 21, 2008

    Fascinating post. Thanks!

  12. #12 Jim Harrison
    August 21, 2008

    Russell, you write:

    “Evolution is not so different in nature from other scientific theories.”

    I don’t disagree, but then adults don’t understand other scientific theories either. My point is not about the special difficulty of evolution but about the resistance of grown-ups to learning. Of course, confronted with scientific notions that don’t upset their religious or political feelings, people are likely to say, “OK, whatever.” That doesn’t mean they comprehend what they’re hearing.

    Scientists routinely overestimate their intelligibility to others, especially when the others are obviously intelligent people.

  13. #13 heddle
    August 21, 2008

    SLC,

    Actually, evolution does differ from quantum mechanics (QM) in that the latter theory is both philosophically and mathematically preposterous.

    No, it is not mathematically preposterous at all. It is, in fact, on firm mathematical footing. Even renormalization, which is not so much part of QM per se but rather of specific field theories, is not mathematically preposterous but rather mathematically elegant. The difficulty in QM is not the mathematics, it is the interpretation of what is calculated in a rather straightforward manner. As soon as physical reality is related to the square of the sum of complex amplitudes, rather than the sum of the squares, truly bizarre things happen.

  14. #14 RBH
    August 21, 2008

    Russell wrote

    Jim Harrison:

    “It involves incorporating an entirely new way of thinking”

    I don’t believe this. Evolution is not so different in nature from other scientific theories. Does learning thermodynamics require “incorporating an entirely new way of thinking”? Valence theory of chemistry? Plate tectonics? Yes, evolution is neck-and-neck with quantum mechanics in being one of the two most fundamental theories of modern science. But it doesn’t strike me as all that different from other kinds of science.

    I think understanding evolution requires a way of thinking that is strange for (most) humans. It requires thinking in terms of diversity within populations and productive variability rather than in terms of crisp types with some pesky noise.

    Other sciences — physics and chemistry for example — deal with classes composed of identical objects. In classical mechanics, a whole slew of objects are lumped into the class ‘stuff with mass’ and a single law describes the gravitational properties of all of the members of the class. In chemistry, a whole slew of objects are lumped into the class ‘carbon atoms’ and the same behavior is characteristic of every single one of those atoms (isotopes are mere subclasses).

    A whole lot of research on concept formation in humans shows that we preferentially lump objects into classes and then treat all members of the class as being the same. However, understanding evolutionary biology requires that we pay the most attention to the variability within classes rather than to the central tendency of the class. Like linear statistics, it’s all in the variance, and dealing with variance is a weak point in human cognition.

    I’m going to be teaching the basics of evolution this fall, and I expect to spend a whole lot of time just getting that point across. From experience, it ain’t easy.

  15. #15 SLC
    August 21, 2008

    Re Heddle

    Excuse me Prof. Heddle but any mathematician worth his salt would consider the result of setting the computation of the difference of two infinite quantities, i.e. the bare electron mass and a logarithmically divergent integral, equal to the observed electron mass to be mathematically preposterous. Mr. Heddle is apparently referring to axiomatic field theory which is mathematically rigorous (although a mathematician was once heard to remark after listening to a presentation by A. S. Wightman that the latter was rather heuristic). Unfortunately, one cannot calculate anything from axiomatic field theory (the Heisenberg representation of field theory). The calculations of QE are done in the so-called interaction or Dirac representation using Feynman diagrams. It’s not the renormalization that is preposterous, its the handling of infinite quantities that is preposterous (the bare mass of the electron is infinite and somehow becomes finite upon interacting with the quantum vacuum; come on).

    Perhaps, it would be more accurate to state that the computations of QE are preposterous and nobody would pay the slightest attention to them if they weren’t so infernally accurate.

  16. #16 heddle
    August 21, 2008

    SLC,

    There must be a lot of mathematicians who are, according to your definition, not worth their salt. Renormalization is not mystical or fast and loose–it is rigorous and elegant.

    At any rate, your original statement was not that certain Quantum Field Theories were mathematically preposterous, but that Quantum Mechanics was mathematically preposterous. It is not, thanks in large part to von Neumann.

  17. #17 J. J. Ramsey
    August 21, 2008

    SLC: “Perhaps, it would be more accurate to state that the computations of QE are preposterous and nobody would pay the slightest attention to them if they weren’t so infernally accurate.”

    If the calculations are so infernally accurate, and they are consistently so, then that they come across to you as preposterous probably says more about you than it does about the calculations.

  18. #18 SLC
    August 21, 2008

    Re Heddle

    Prof. Heddle apparently has a reading comprehension problem. I specifically stated that the process of renormalization is not at issue. It is the subtraction of infinite quantities that is at issue. Learn to pay attention. Presumably, even if the integral in question was not logarithmically divergent, one would still have to perform the renormalization as it would not be unexpected that the mass of an electron might be affected by interaction with the quantum vacuum.

    Re J. J. Ramsey

    That should have been stated that the computations of QE are preposterous from a pure mathematical point of view. Blithely setting the result of a subtraction of one infinite quantity from another infinite quantity (setting the bare mass of the electron to infinity is a dubious proposition to begin with) to an arbitrary finite quantity is not a mathematically rigorous operation. The procedure of computing the vacuum corrections by Feynman diagrams is only justified by the results. By the way, it is rather fortunate that QE is a renormalizable field theory to begin with. The field theory of weak interactions for instance is not (fortunately, the vacuum corrections of weak interactions are too small to be observable). And of course, the procedure of Feynman diagrams fails miserably for the nuclear forces.

  19. #19 Pierce R. Butler
    August 21, 2008

    Yeah, yeah, when tough guys get together there’s always some chest-thumping.

    I dunno who plays which side in Prof. Rosenhouse’s dramatization of his encounters with creos, but just what are the equivalents of the threshold points of “making a widow” or “getting in the way”, or the endpoint of “down”, here?

  20. #20 heddle
    August 22, 2008

    SLC,

    Nothing here to argue about. You made a statement about QM being mathematically “preposterous”, which is simply not true. Not even close. Not even in the ballpark. The basic mathematical foundation of QM is operators in a Hilbert space, a rather solid and well understood area of mathematics, far from preposterous.

    As I said, the interpretations of QM calculations might be called preposterous, in the sense that they are counter-intuitive, but not the mathematics.

  21. #21 SLC
    August 22, 2008

    Re Heddle

    Let’s cut to the chase here. Computations of vacuum corrections using Feynman diagrams produce the following:

    mu(0) – I = mu

    where mu(0) is the bare mass of the electron, I is a logarithmically divergent integral and mu is the observed mass of the electron. In order to get to mu, one must assume that mu(0) is logarithmically infinite. If Prof. Heddle wants to make a claim that this equation is a mathematically rigorous statement, he is welcome to believe that. I doubt that any mathematician would.

    However, I think that Prof. Heddle is making a good point in his references to Hilbert spaces. I am in complete agreement with him that non-relativistic quantum mechanics is mathematically rigorous. My claim is that relativistic quantum mechanics is not, at least from a computational point of view when computing the vacuum corrections (the issue of vacuum corrections doesn’t even occur in non-relativistic quantum mechanics).

  22. #22 Paul Burnett
    August 22, 2008

    Gerry L commented “…the characters never grew. They never learned… Watching (or listening to) creationists is like watching a dated sitcom.

    “Every new generation is a fresh invasion of ignorant barbarians.” Christian bogus “home-schools” are producing ignorant creationists faster than we can re-educate them.

    (Christian bogus “home-schools” are also producing cannon fodder for the fundagelical revolution-to-come, but that’s a different thread.)

  23. #23 paul
    August 22, 2008

    Jason

    I always wonder why the creationists don’t accept the possibility that “god” created the universe in six days or whatever their dogma requires, but created it so that it appears billions of years old, subject to scientific laws (e.g. evolution) carefully concealing proof of his existence. How could religious faith have any value if some creationist ever succeeded? I’m not really up on fundamentalist theology, so maybe faith is not a big deal to them. But surely they believe that god is competent enough to set up the laws of nature and create the universe (in six days if necessary), no matter how complicated.

    It would follow that the (thoughtful) religious should embrace science, since the more it explains about the universe without requiring the interference of their deity, the more valuable their faith becomes and the happier their god would be with them.

    This seems like an obvious issue, which surely, theologists, believers, and skeptics must have addressed, but I don’t recall you discussing this kind of argument.

  24. #24 bobyu
    August 22, 2008

    Paul: How many faiths do you know of that started with a theological argument, rather than a more or less primitive mythology? If none, there’s your answer.

  25. #25 Jason Rosenhouse
    August 23, 2008

    Goodness! Such heady comments on what was intended as a throwaway post.

    And obviously the film dialogue is more melodramatic than I fancy my encounters with creationists to be. I just though the parallel of two people being pleasant with one another in conversation while harboring a great deal of tension just below the surface was interesting.

  26. #26 Pierce R. Butler
    August 23, 2008

    I just though the parallel of two people being pleasant with one another in conversation while harboring a great deal of tension just below the surface was interesting.

    Yabbut if a given member of the creo gang should, say, scratch his ear in a particular way, better be ready to take out the hit angels in the next booth before they waste your butt with their lightning bolts.

  27. #27 Paul
    August 23, 2008

    Paul: How many faiths do you know of that started with a theological argument, rather than a more or less primitive mythology? If none, there’s your answer.

    I”m not sure that’s the answer. It’s not an axiom that religious fundamentalists must reject science (and of course they don’t when it comes to their cell phones, SUV’s and medical care).

    I’m saying there are no *actual* conflicts between science and religion but given that the believers insist on fighting real science with their confused/uniformed version of science, how about we bring the fight back to them using theological arguments (if it’s possible to prove your god exists scientifically your faith is worthless) rather than the debunking (which, as Jason points out doesn’t convince the fundamentalists, despite being important in public policy debates).

  28. #28 bobyu
    August 23, 2008

    A theological argument that uses scientific logic is still a scientific argument, is it not?
    I expect you will find that all these types of ‘tricky” maneuvers have already been anticipated – after all, trickiness is the creationists stock in trade.

  29. #29 Greg
    August 23, 2008

    I would say the same thing, that the theory of evolution must be defeated. The scientific community has lied to people long enough.

  30. #30 Jason O'Heran
    August 24, 2008

    In all my years following the “endless debate between evolution and creationism”, as you aptly put it, all three main viewpoints – YEC, TE, and atheistic neo-Darwinism – have 0 intellectual value. I am a strongly monotheistic agnostic with OECist/PC leanings. I believe in the God of monotheism for reasons of logic and statistical probability (and the universal constraints on the latter). I am both repelled and attracted by the ramifications of a personal Supreme Being.

  31. #31 Jason O'Heran
    August 24, 2008

    Both neo-Darwinism and and Intelligent Design are internally, logically, and philosophically flawed. And the evidence for the two is ~#*@!

  32. #32 tincture
    August 28, 2008

    Jason O’Heran

    I am a strongly monotheistic agnostic with OECist/PC leanings. I believe in the God of monotheism for reasons of logic and statistical probability (and the universal constraints on the latter).

    You mean V?higur?, right?

  33. #33 Eric
    September 21, 2008

    Jason,

    on your blog http://www.csicop.org/intelligentdesignwatch/designer.html

    you mentioned :
    ” In explaining the origin of the universe, it seems inescapable that there must be something that has always existed. The Big Bang theory puts paid to the notion that our universe in its present form could be the something in question. Nonetheless, we can imagine that the cosmos has always had the capacity for quantum fluctuations and the like, and that certain basic principles of physics are eternal. Curious people will now ask where these principles and quantum phenomena came from, but we must stop somewhere and this at least provides the simplest stopping point we can imagine consistent with what is known about the universe. The great mystery of the universe’s existence is then reduced to the lesser mystery of the origin of something vastly simpler than the universe itself. This represents progress. ”

    I’m really surprised to see your comment on such a basic
    issue in such a casual tone. Do you really think that by
    reducing the whole Universe to the ‘singularity’ before the
    Big Bang will reduce the great mystery of the universe’s
    existence to the lesser mystery….vastly simpler than
    the universe itself ? Almost all cosmologist and physicists have agreed that if the singularity had
    existed, it is a very strange and unknown entity as
    all the known physical (and chemical etc) rules we
    now know of DID NOT apply in that ‘point’ of almost
    infinite density, hugh mass and almost zero volume.
    The physics in that system must be entirely new to us
    and most likely a lot more complicated than we can ever
    imageine. All the known physical laws broke down at
    the singularity. So wneh you said that state was a ‘lesser
    mystery’, did you say so just because it was ‘small’ by
    size, if so , you know little about physics, or were you
    kidding ?
    I think by theorizing the Big Bang and Singularity (although with some scientific support by oberservation)
    scientists have only pushed themselves into more troubled
    waters, and in a situation not much easier than the creationists are in.

    Also you said : ” Nonetheless, we can imagine that the cosmos has always had the capacity for quantum fluctuations and the like, and that certain basic principles of physics are eternal. ”

    What made you think that ? Why do you imagine, dont’t
    we proof rather than imagine (I think you gave the
    impression that just the creationists imagine things)?
    Do physicists all agreed about the ‘quantum fluctuation’
    notion ?

    A scientific reply from you on these two point will help
    clarify the queries that I mentioned here and will be
    much appreciated

    Thank you.

    Eric.

  34. #34 baboo
    September 21, 2008

    Eric,
    Why would or “must” the physics in the system before the big bang be entirely new to us?
    We learn or theorize about new aspects of physical laws all the time, but the origin or causes of what we categorize as laws (as life forms necessarily do) go “back” endlessly in what some might say is the opposite direction of forever. Why “must” their present day effects be entirely different than their timeless causes?

  35. #35 Eric
    September 21, 2008

    Re: Baboo

    I just quoted what is now generally accepted by most
    physicists on the nature of the singularity (if it did
    exist) with such immense density, that the existing laws of physics probably could not have been in effect there.

    I do not understand your statement as it seems
    a little vague.

    It is also generally agreed that even the general theory of relativity breaks down at the singularity (by calculation, and proposed also by Stephen Hawking).
    The proposition that the physical state of the sigularity
    has to be something different from all we know about the
    existing universe is NOT my invention, but rather by
    calculation and deductions by many scientists, as no one
    seems to have arrived exactly at an absolute answer as to
    what ‘matter’ was there inside the singularity, gluon ? quarks ? other yet unknown matter ? other dimensions ? etc….

    All I wanted to say is that Jason got the wrong idea that
    what happened before or at the Big Bang was SIMPLER than
    the existing universe (apparently because the singularity was SMALL !), becasue we know little about what
    had actually happened then, and even if the guess is right,
    i.e. the sigularity did exist as some cosmologists believe,
    the sigularity itself still present a very formidable objecT for us to solve and there is no justification to say
    or assume that the state of matter then was any simpler than the existing world that we know and can be explained by the known physical laws e.g. relativity, quantum mechanics, etc.

    By any stretch of imagination, the singularity should be more weird, mystical and even ‘super’-natural than our existing fairly orderly universe !

    Also one thing I did not mention is that Jason said the pursuit of what happened before the big bang HAS TO STOP SOMEWHERE and he doesn’t seem to be embarrassed with that attitude ! You see, when he attacked creationists on the Designer theory, he said that theory will inevitably lead to infinite regress as one can continue to ask who designed the designer and so on… Now why CAN’T the creationist STOP SOMEWHERE and say that the designer/creator IS the ultimate and eternal and final cause and creator of all things seen, while the evolutionists CAN STOP SOMEWHERE and just say what existed before the Big Bang was always there and there is no need to give any explanation as to WHY or HOW that came into being, and what was BEFORE that etc…., Ah, that will not lead to infinte regress ? So people just ASSUME that
    what was there has always been there ! evidence ? By faith ?

    So the evolutionists can say without shame that the universe is ‘from everlasting to everlasting’, without due justification, and still feels proud and ‘scientific’, while the creationists are uttering nonsense by saying that the designer (or God, whatever people choose) is from everlasting to everlasting, and these narrow-minded creationists are unscientific and should be ashamed of themselves. !

    Can you see the double standard there ?

    That is the problem with Jason and also with many so-called scienfific evolutionists, that they use the same tactics (? knowingly) that they fiercely oppose.

    Eric.

  36. #36 baboo
    September 21, 2008

    Eric replies: “I just quoted what is now generally accepted by most
    physicists on the nature of the singularity (if it did exist) with such immense density, that the existing laws of physics probably could not have been in effect there.”

    But you have an “if” or two there that wasn’t in your initial post. I’m objecting to or questioning the use of “must”be “entirely” new terminology. Physicists also have speculated about more than one type of “singularity” in the causative chain.

    And assuming that something has always been there (or here to be more accurate), is more realistic than to assume that something came from a nothing. Did your God, for example, spring from nothing? You ask for evidence behind either of these assumptions, and there is none except that of existence itself.

  37. #37 Eric
    September 21, 2008

    Baboo replies:
    You ask for evidence behind either of these assumptions, and there is none except that of existence itself.

    You see, Baboo, if the steady-state universe is the model that you accept, then the existence of the universe is self-explanatory, fine. However, since that theory (S-S universe) is now rejected by all cosmologists based on evidence, and Big Bang or some sort of expanding-crunching kind of universe is the vogue of the day, and because there is the inevitable forward time-arrow we see in the universe, the question MUST be answered as to what was the original unvierse like, because the universe is rapidly expanding at an increasing rate ! So the universe not is NOT like the universe before the Big Bang, so we cannot escape the question as to what was at and before the Big Bang, and Stephen Hawking’s notion that time began with the Big Bang is NOT generally accepted amongst physicists, as it is a kind of ‘shut-up’ version of scientific dictatorship, the ‘I said so’ kind of thing, you know.
    (Like he said it is no point asking what is at the south side of the South Pole, but if people say it no point asking what is earlier than God in existence, then that would be nonsense !)

    So, LOGICALLY, we have to dive into asking (and trying to answer) the question as to what ‘eternity’ means, and what was before the Big Bang, etc. Whether it is God, or whatever, you still have to answer the question, and not trying to evade it, based on scientific obersvation of the universe.

    Eric

  38. #38 baboo
    September 22, 2008

    Eric says: “So, LOGICALLY, we have to dive into asking (and trying to answer) the question as to what ‘eternity’ means, and what was before the Big Bang, etc. Whether it is God, or whatever, you still have to answer the question, and not trying to evade it, based on scientific obersvation of the universe.”

    But that’s precisely the point – that there’s still a question or questions about God, eternity and whatever, and that need to answered LOGICALLY as far as possible. You of course are arguing that Jason has settled for evading the questions, and I’m not one to answer that for him, although I didn’t read it that way.

    And it should be clear that I’m not accepting any steady-state model of the universe – only that the cosmos that contains our universe existed before the big bang, and that the causative chain was already adding its links long before that bang.

    Of course scientists have an interest in continuing to ask questions about causation, universal or perhaps cosmic laws, selective applicability of such laws, etc., etc. But we have no reason to assume they are “entirely” different from universe to universe, any more than we should accept that your God is in any way entirely what you seem to believe it is (even though you express doubts here as to believability).
    Scientists live with causative uncertainties quite satisfactorily. Creationists are uncertain only of the minor details.

  39. #39 baboo
    September 22, 2008

    And the evidence I made reference to that there was always something in existence, rather than at some point nothing, is that there is something in existence in the present that we can more easily conceive of having always existed than conceiving of a time when it, or nothing like it, or nothing at all, ever existed – time being essentially a measurement of change, and the present more conceivably always having been a reality than having been something popping up out of nothing – without even a void to pop up into.

    All of which is too uncertain for the creationist imagination of course.

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