Tuesday, April 1, 2014

COSMOS: Exciting All of Us to Seek True Wisdom

"To believe in a universe as young as six or seven thousand years old is to extinguish the light from most of the galaxy, not to mention the light from all the 100 billion other galaxies in the observable universe." - Cosmos Narrator Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson

Our Hero,
Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson
It's been reported online and in print that the Creation Museum/Answers in Genesis/Ken Ham wants equal time with Neil deGrasse Tyson (NdT) on the COSMOS: A Space Time Odyssey reboot. I imagine that the intense pressure creationists are feeling about being left out of the secular, accurate and free science show must be driving them BONKERS (very unscientific label). Why? Because their 6,000-year-view of the age of the universe, god-directed evolution and theology-based science really negates current actual knowledge of...well...what real science tells us about the 13.8 billion year age of the universe, the randomness of biological evolution and religion-free science.

In the latest COSMOS episode, NdT momentarily takes on but also very directly addresses and refutes the idea that the entire universe is just 6,000 or 7,000 years old as a small minority of evangelical creation scientists claim. How do we know the true age of Earth and the universe? We have many science tools to use, but outside of what geology, biology and fossils tell us, it is what astrophysical science can explain and then reveal that is so amazingly beautiful.  

Because we know, can calculate and then measure the speed of light, something that is constant throughout the Cosmos, we can see way past the Crab Nebula (about 6,000 light years away), and thus see way further back into space-time. Also, as Tyson points out, the Hubble telescope can actually "see" all the way back to the most distant light of the first stars created after the big bang. This light is measured at close to 13.8 billion years. Isn't it wonderful what we humans can know and learn because we use our minds to critically explore and then explain reality.

NdT noted that if the whole universe were just 6,500 years old, that only a very small percentage of our galaxy could then be seen, let alone none of the other galaxies or the rest of the known universe. Such science and logic is delightful and reaffirming for the minds that accept these facts, but for doubters it must be unnerving and explosive to not only find their dogma so openly challenged but because this great science is on FOX television stations, real and actual science can be circulated and shared freely to anyone who tunes in to watch. 

Of course NdT and the producers of COSMOS will not nor should they give any time to the fringe science that is creationism.  That would simply raise its value and sadly for some uninformed minds, make creation science appear equal to real science.  But these are not two sides of one coin because there is no coin here. There is real science and then there is not real science. So it's not that creation science is "less" scientific, it is that creation science just isn't science period.

And it is not just the majority of scientists or those of us who accept and who also trust the scientific method that feel this way. When put on trial, the United States court system has found creationism and Intelligent Design to be a form of theology-based science and as such a violation of the First Amendment which separates State and Church.

Secular humanism, which trusts science as equally and empathetically trusts humans to do the right thing, is a direct threat to anyone who accepts a worldview that requires faith to inform their ideas and actions.  Even non-evangelical faiths such as what can be considered left-of-center Catholicism views secular humanism as dangerous to the firm structure of their religion. In fact, at the same time these "missions of mercy" are feeding the poor, aiding the sick and offering shelter and clothing they are also actively indoctrinating the needy into a very particular theology. Free is NEVER free.

Our Hero,
Dr. Carl Sagan
And it is not that science cannot be challenged. Theories and concepts are being reviewed all the time and when better ones are discovered they are overturned with little public fanfare (excluding the Higgs-Boson and poor dethroned Pluto). That's because the scientific method represents the healthiest way humans can observe and then question reality. Because that's the way real science works, it is not static and it is founded on inquiry, doubt and the questioning of authority.The complete opposite of creationism and Intelligent Design theology.



  

2 comments:

  1. Well when god created everything 6,000 years ago he also created all the surplus stuff just to test our faith like he did with the dinosaur bones. /sarcasm

    It should never be science vs creationism. It should be Xtian creationism vs Moslem creationism vs Hindu creationism vs Native American creationism etc. Let the mythologies duke it out and leave science alone. They don't have anything to do with each other.

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