Wednesday, September 10, 2008

DON"T PANIC

The Large Hadron Collider will not bring about the end of the world, scientists say, because the collisions they will produce in a controlled environment happen all the time and the world is just fine. They will now simply be able to produce and observe the collisions for study.

This idea of repeatable and observable occurrences, and that nothing happens that has not occurred before is a basic concept for science. In fact, there is just one event in the history of the universe that had no precedent: its creation. That is precisely what scientists hope to learn more about with the LHC.

A distinction needs to be made before any further discussion of the Big Bang: between science and Scientism. Science is a method for learning about the universe through observation based on the belief that the universe is orderly and predictable. Scientism is a cultic offshoot from science and no longer a method but rather a system of faith-based belief: a religion. They no longer rely on facts and observation, but on “scientific consensus.” They have replaced knowledge with dogma.

For Scientism, the big bang is an uncomfortable fact. If there was once nothing, and then, an instant later, matter and energy existed, it begs for a Prime Mover. It looks incredibly like the origin explanation of just one faith: creatio ex nihilo.

Scientism, on the other hand, believes in another singular event: the spontaneous generation of not only life but its gradual progression through chance to the complex variety of life that exists today. It has never happened again in the millions of years since, but they accept that singular event with a faith that is an amazing testimony to their ability to believe in the impossible.

As far as the LHC, don’t panic. Singular events like that simply don’t happen, but just in case keep a towel handy.

1 comment:

  1. have you called Derek to see if they are still with us? or Roger? or anyone else close enough to be sucked in by the black hole?

    ReplyDelete

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