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Darwin's Black Box


pseudovillain
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I was talking to my dad (who is quite fundie) and said that people have to severely twist facts to not accept evolution. He said it was the other way around, and that people who don't believe in creationism are twisting the facts.

 

He then went on to talk about creationist books, and he said that Darwin's Black Box (I think by Michael Behe) raises a lot of questions that have not yet been answered by scientists. I'm sure this is a load of bullshit, but I'm not sure where to look. Any help here would be appreciated.

 

In the same discussion, he ended up giving me this ridiculous book called Starlight and Time, which is supposed to explain how we can see starlight from billions of lightyears away in a 6,000 year old universe. The book claimed that, instead of an infinite universe with 4 dimensions, the universe began inside of a white hole, which is how the light from the stars was able to get to the earth (which was inside of the white hole, causing time to move very, very slowly on earth). It said that the idea of there being 4 dimensions and the universe having no bounds of any sort was a baseless assumption. Apparently, scientists didn't want to entertain the idea of the earth appearing at the center of the universe because that was too improbable and we'd all have to believe in God.

 

Now, I'm pretty sure that saying that the idea that there are 4 dimensions is a baseless assumption is, like what my dad said about Darwin's Black Box, a load of bullshit. But again, I'm not sure where to look for information on this.

 

Any help would be appreciated.

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Having not read Behe, or any other creationist books for that matter, I can't give you any specifics. But I think it is safe to say your assumption is correct, it is a load of bull shit.

I'm sure you can find many specific points that they bring up on either talkorigin and/or panda's thumb (I would check talk origins first, but if your dad brings up the new Politically Incorrect Guide check out panda's thumb)

 

As for the "infinite universe," Hawking is the only one I know of that purposed and defends the idea. Sure, to some that is like saying God is the only one, but I think I saw recently I saw some study that talked about new evidence for "Big Bang" which doesn't purpose an infinite universe.

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I found this critique of DBB. The reviewer in this article found *six* fallacies in Behe's argument, without working up much of a sweat.

 

Fallacy #5, the "conspiracy of silence", made me go :twitch: (I think we need a new "law" in the spirit of Godwin: First party to invoke a conspiracy theory loses.)

 

As for Starlight & Time, I'd invoke Occam's Razor. We can explain the current universe without generating new Weird Science hypotheses. Credibility-wise, the "white hole" silliness is right up there with talking snakes.

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As for Starlight & Time, I'd invoke Occam's Razor. We can explain the current universe without generating new Weird Science hypotheses. Credibility-wise, the "white hole" silliness is right up there with talking snakes.

 

Unfortunately, Occam's Razor isn't gonna do anything for dad, since he's convinced he's right. And considering he's convinced Starlight and Time is good science... I'm not even sure why I bother. I mean, the book has a forward by Ken Ham. There goes the credibility without even opening the book. (It loses a lot more credibility by saying the Bible talked about red shift. :rolleyes:)

 

They're only looking for evidence to support what they already believe.

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Did he explain how a 'white hole' could account for the appearance of star distance, or did he just say it did? If not, ask, and if he doesn't answer, infer that shoddy science is meant to dupe people into believing what they wanted to in the first place.

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Pretty much any reputable astrophysicist will tell you that space is curved along a fourth dimensional axis by gravity. This is how we can get gravitational lensing.

 

Point out also that he's using kettle logic. He's drawing from several different books that have contradictory premises and conclusions. For example, Behe and Dembski are proponents of Intelligent Design, and they wholly support old-earth evolution except in a few rare instances, though their objections are themselves questionable. If he's mixing these arguments with young earth creationism he's pretty obviously grasping at straws.

 

The evolution-supporting scientific community is quite cohesive on central issues.

 

Evolution-deniers such as IDers and YECs are not.

 

EDIT: Also, the idea that the universe was infinitely large was tossed out of the airlock ages ago. If the universe was infinitely large and light from faraway distances could reach Earth (either though infinite age or the instantaneous-light theory of Creationism), the sky would be blanketed with an infinite amount of light and other forms of radiation.

 

We need a forum astrophysicist.

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Oh man, I swear, that book ('DBB') is in every freaking bookstore I go to for some reason. I haven't read it though. for interest, here is a general review of the book

 

(and ken ham, hehe i used to have some kind of e-book by him.. it was.. weird.)

 

I'm sorry I'm not any help, but good luck!

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EDIT: Also, the idea that the universe was infinitely large was tossed out of the airlock ages ago. If the universe was infinitely large and light from faraway distances could reach Earth (either though infinite age or the instantaneous-light theory of Creationism), the sky would be blanketed with an infinite amount of light and other forms of radiation.

 

That was my understanding as well. The universe is finite, but boundless. It's like walking on the sureface of the Earth. From there, it appears flat, but you can continue walking in a line and eventually (assuming you can walk on water) end where you started. There's no "edge" (boundry) but still a finite amount of space.

 

If Hawkin's theory is correct (that's where I first heard about this), the universe would look kind of like a donut...

 

:thanks:

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