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Constant God = Constant Physics

My Musing

Right now, I am 34,000 feet above ground looking out of my window, flying on American Airlines to Fresno. I am very thankful that the laws of physics are constant. For a brief moment, I am picturing what I would feel if this plane suddenly dropped out of the sky like a rock! Maybe that is why I have to keep my seat belt fastened; it’s not turbulence, it’s that the laws of physics might change!

The Big Question

Here is my question, “Why are the laws of physics constant?” If everything evolved from nothing, as famed physicist Stephen Hawking is proudly proclaiming in his newest book, then laws that we know today are not a constant. Yet we base our lives and our safety, or dare I say “put our faith,” in the fact that these laws will not change.

This is just one more piece of evidence that, without God, we can’t know anything.

,

Leave48 Responses to testConstant God = Constant Physics

  1. Michael Fisher October 11, 2010 at 7:18 am #

    “This is just one more piece of evidence that, without God, we can’t know anything.”

    No, it’s proof that without the consistency of the laws of physice you can’t know anything. Knowledge, by definition is something that you learned which you remember — which is a process itself dependent upon the consistency of the laws of physics, therefore that consistency is a predicate condition to claiming knowledge of any kind about anything — including any god or gods.

    Which means that you can’t use that consistency as proof OF a god, as that consistency is logically prior to any knowledge of god.

  2. Joseph Conkle October 11, 2010 at 8:59 am #

    Malachi 3:6 – “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”

  3. Jay Liemowitz October 11, 2010 at 9:28 am #

    Constant physics = Constant God.

    Couldn’t I just as easily make this claim, using the same “logic”.

    Doesn’t God operate consistently according to you? Doesn’t God operate based on certain constant “laws” if you will. You’ve asserted here that God cannot lie, that he can do no evil. So then, what determined that God should remain constant? I suppose by your logic, God is subject to a Super-God, who keeps God operating consistently?

    This shows how your reasoning is flawed and why your conclusions can’t be trusted. Your entire premise is based on the following false dichotomy: God exists, or the universe operates randomly with no patterns or constants. There’s simply no reason to believe these are the only choices, and you’ve not even attempted to provide one.

    Also note that you are using the constancy of nature as evidence for your God, yet in the past, you’ve also used the supposed non-constancy of nature as evidence for God. The bible claims that miracles are or were evidence for God. That is, that when nature doesn’t operate the way we know or believe that it should, that is evidence that God intervened directly. When Jesus performed miracles, this was used as a sign that he was the son of God. When Joshua commanded the sun to stand still, this was supposedly a sign that he the Israelites served the one true God.

    So which is it? Is nature constant, thus proving God keeps it so? Or is nature not constant due to God’s occasional interruption of nature?

    Jay

  4. Joshua Powell October 11, 2010 at 10:03 am #

    I think the point is not that physics PROVES God, but rather that eternal constancy of laws of physics is unproven and unprovable. The existence of God would certainly explain constancy of laws of physics, but without God, such constancy is no more than an baseless assumption. If you leave God out of it, then the laws had to come from somewhere else, and what’s to say that those laws can’t be changed by whatever instated them in the first place? After all, they claim everything else is evolving… why should they assume gravity isn’t? Maybe one day it will be a repulsive force. Won’t that be fun?

  5. Charles Haley October 11, 2010 at 10:28 am #

    Isn’t one of the arguments against Radiometric Dating is that we have no way of knowing if decay rates have been constant?

  6. Henry Fiorentini October 11, 2010 at 11:26 am #

    Look, we don’t know why there is uniformity of nature/why there are certain patterns that don’t seem to change in our universe; that’s because we’re human, there are things we don’t yet know, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to know (Stephen Hawking’s goal of a “theory of everything”) Saying that it’s because of God or a god is saying that it works by magic.

    And I agree Michael, we can’t know anything without a framework to support coherent knowledge. That framework is the consistency in observable reality. And unless Eric is assuming that God exists to begin with (circularity), he cannot say that ultimately this framework is from God, meaning that God is the only reason we can know anything.

  7. Henry Fiorentini October 11, 2010 at 11:36 am #

    Also, the laws of nature aren’t some immaterial puppeteer telling matter what to do; they aren’t some non-physical entity that exists independently of the universe, they are simply the observed patterns by which things happen in the universe. We see these laws as separate in the same way that we might think of youth as something separate from the body that can be taken away (like in some movies and cartoons). They are both simply properties of the physical thing.

  8. Andrew October 11, 2010 at 11:37 am #

    @Michael

    I think you’re missing the point. If there is no God and there are no absolutes, as most evolutionists and humanists claim, then the laws of physics should be relative too and subject to change at any moment. While I’m sure this post wasn’t intended to be used as irrefutable proof that the God of the Bible exists, it is certainly a valid point, and is just another piece of evidence that, without an absolute standard (Which I believe is God), we can’t really know anything.

  9. Mike Ayala October 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    Hi Eric,

    There’s going to be a big change in the consistency of the laws of physics as we know and observe them today when the heavens melt with fervent heat and with a loud noise – the Big Bang in the Bible – and when Jesus says, “Behold, I make all things new.” What will the scoffers and nay-sayers say then? Most likely something like “Ouch!”, but with a lot more pain and agony in it.

    God bless and protect you during your travels.

    Mike Ayala

  10. Jeff Brace October 11, 2010 at 3:26 pm #

    What makes your senses reliable if everything is based on evolutionary chance?

  11. Mike Ayala October 11, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    Duane October 8th at 11:15 am
    Creation vs. Evolution At The County Fair

    Hi Duane,

    Thank you for your response. I appreciate your sincerity. The reason why I asked how you came to your conclusion about the timing of the death and resurrection of Jesus is because I suspected this particular confusion over the reference to the Sabbath. The subtleties of the text would not be misunderstood by anyone from that culture in the day in which the gospels were written. Without a proper understanding of the distinctive cultural features, one could easily misunderstand the text.

    If you study God’s instructions pertaining to the Passover and the feast of First Fruits, you will quickly find out that in this cases there is more than one Sabbath. The Passover is keyed to solar events. That’s one of the reasons why the date varies from year to year.

    The neat thing about the feasts of Israel is that of those feasts fulfilled so far in the big plan of God for Israel and the world, Jesus fulfilled each one on the day of the feast. Jesus is the Passover Lamb. Jesus was sacrificed for the sin of the world on Passover; Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection from the dead. Jesus rose on the feast of First Fruits. If it sounds contrived – well, it is, but it is contrived by God to be signposts pointing to Jesus and who He is.

    I hope you were blessed by your time in the Scripture. I pray the Lord will do a wonderful work in you.

    Grace and blessing to you.

    Mike Ayala

    PS: I think it was you who mentioned the simple answer to the scribal error which has so captivate some. Most likely it is merely the fact that at the time these passages were scribed, in the written form of the Hebrew language of that day the Yod (10) was very similar to Lamad (30), and it does not take much damage or blurring to confuse the two. There is a small family of similar errors in the transcription of the Scripture which are well known and understood and are of no doctrinal significance. So well done for your unbiased observation.

    It is interesting though that some are grabbing at straws to find fault with the Scripture. There have been many folks far more brilliant than all of us put together who have tried to disprove the Scripture, and they have all failed in their attempts. Ironically, many have become hard-core evangelists as a result because they were honestly seeking the truth, and they admitted to themselves that they had no basis to doubt the word of God.

  12. Michael Encke October 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm #

    Actually, the consistency laws of Physics can perfectly give evidence of God if you start with the hypothesis that the God of the Bible created the universe the way He said he did in His Word.

  13. Nigel McNaughton October 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    Let me guess Eric, you haven’t read Hawking’s book have you? You also make absolutely rational connection between anything Hawking has said and the idea that laws are not constant.

    And as always you ignore that the Christian world-view is the one that states that God can and has changed the laws at his whim at anytime.

  14. Carl M October 11, 2010 at 9:01 pm #

    I am very thankful that the laws of physics are constant.

    Except for the maximum speed of light, right?

    Or the decay of radioactive elements, correct?

    These are two examples of “constants” that contradict a 6,000 year old Universe.

    If everything evolved from nothing, as famed physicist Stephen Hawking is proudly proclaiming in his newest book, then laws that we know today are not a constant.

    Your conclusion does not follow from the premise (and the premise itself is a strawman). If a system is in a state of consistancy it does not follow that it has always been so or will remain so indefinately into the future.

    Yet we base our lives and our safety, or dare I say “put our faith,” in the fact that these laws will not change.

    Welcome to life. Besides, it is not as though we have an option of exiting the ride if we don’t like how the machinary of the Universe works.

  15. Paul Robertson October 11, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    You still didn’t give an answer to the question. All you did was skirt around the fact that you can’t use consistency as proof OF a god.

    So WHY are the laws of Physics constant? From the Creation point of view the answer is simple: Because God created the whole process/system of laws and maintains them.

    And just as you said that it can’t be proof OF a God, it also CAN’T be proof of Evolution.

  16. Eric Hovind October 12, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    Michael, The problem is that the evolutionism or atheistic world view can not account for the consistency that we see in the laws of physics. The world is constantly changing and evolving. How do you get consistent laws from that worldview?

  17. Jay Liemowitz October 12, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Eric said “Michael, The problem is that the evolutionism or atheistic world view can not account for the consistency that we see in the laws of physics. The world is constantly changing and evolving. How do you get consistent laws from that worldview?”

    I see several problems with this statement off hand.

    First, related to what I posted yesterday, you can’t account for the consistency of God either. Your line of reasoning is yet another case of special pleading; you define the rules of the game, then in the next sentence, go on to tell us why you are not required to follow those rules. You say “nature’s consistency requires a Regulator” and I can just as easily reply “then so should a consistent God”. So in the end, you have only deferred that question to “why is God consistent”, a question which you exempt yourself from answering.

    I’ve seen presuppasitionalists claim that consistency “just is” part of God’s nature. I fail to see then, why this so called account for nature’s consistency could be considered any account at all. The final answer given is “it just is”. Yet you wouldn’t accept a similar answer from an atheist, e.g. nature “just is” consistent. Ultimately, you’re simply asking atheists to answer a question that you yourself cannot answer, and claiming this as some sort of victory.

    Second, disregarding my objections above, having AN answer is not the same as having the CORRECT answer. For example, any given version of String Theory can account for the existence of gravitons, but without some experimentation to demonstrate which version of string theory is the one that correctly describes reality, nobody will know which one is the correct answer, or if string theory in fact contains that answer at all. Providing “an answer” is useless, without being able to test that answer, which you, again, exempt God from.

    You believe that it would be impossible to have consistent laws of nature if there were no God, yet you fail to demonstrate why this should be the case. Could you please detail why you think consistency of laws of nature is impossible if the God of the Judeo-Christian bible is a myth? I await your answer.

    One last note: It occurred to me that you probably do not even realize that you are utilizing special pleading in your argument for God, yet you and other theists do this rather often. Many claim that nothing could exist without a God to create it, yet when asked “then how does God exist” they usually retreat into a justification for why what they just said doesn’t have to apply to their pet answer. I hypothesize that this is because you are being taught from a very young age that questioning God, or questioning the tenants of your religion is forbidden, so the natural reaction is to simply shut off any religious tenant from requiring an explanation.

    Jay

  18. Jay Liemowitz October 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm #

    Eric,

    About a year ago, on your old blog, you asked for atheists to give a review of a series of sermons by Andy Stanley, and that in return, you would send them a free copy of “Beginnings”.

    I provided a lengthy review, but I never followed up with address and info to receive my free copy. If your offer is still available, I think I’d like to take you up on it.

    Jay

  19. Jennifer Preston October 12, 2010 at 3:51 pm #

    @Joshua Powell

    Gravity IS actually repulsive on the quantum scale. Gravity only attracts things for the very large. Einstein explained why in his theory of relativity which says that space and time are not independent of each other but combined to form space-time. large objects warp this space-time, creating curves in it which other large bodies fall into.

    Einsteins theory says that the Earth warps space-time, and also that each and every one of us warps space-time, so that is why we are pulled into the Earth. But gravity is the weakest of all the forces.

    At the quantum level, when you are talking about quarks etc. Wikipedia the Standard Model of Particle Physics to find the rest, gravity starts to be a repulsive force.

    Scientists don’t really understand gravity or why anything in the universe has mass but that doesn’t mean they’ll never know. The LHC in geneva is smashing hydrogen atoms together to create the conditions less than a billion-th of a second after the big bang. This will reveal the origin of mass in the universe.

    How? It all comes down to Einsteins equation E = mc^2. Energy is created by mass, but at the right energies, mass can also be created by energy. The more energy, the heavier the particles you can create from smashing the atoms together. Whatever gives stuff mass is heavier than anything we’ve dicovered so far, and previous particle accelarators haven’t had the energy to discover them, but the LHC does.

    Used in the right way mathematics can be a very useful tool. Einstein predicted black holes. And yes we know there are black holes out there. If you look at the stars at the centre of our galaxy and observe their orbits, they appear to be orbiting something. For the record, the speed of light doesn’t even come into this. You can work out the size and mass of the thing they are orbiting just by knowing the orbits of, about, the nearest 100 stars to it. It turns out it is very very very very very small with infinite gravity. Walla, black hole.

    E = mc^2 is a result of the theory of relativity which tries to explain gravity by the warping of space-time. This result depends on c being constant and never changing. What relativity also says is that time slows down near large objects. This has actually been proven true. They have to account for this time difference for GPS to work accurately. If you want to be really specific, then time goes faster at your head than it does at your feet.

    Physics lesson over.

  20. Stephen Holshouser October 12, 2010 at 8:01 pm #

    Carl M,

    You said, “Except for the maximum speed of light, right? Or the decay of radioactive elements, correct? These are two examples of “constants” that contradict a 6,000 year old Universe.”

    Who said that these were constants? You’ve heard of the experiments where they have sped light up and slowed it down in the lab, haven’t you?

    The decay rate is only an estimate, which can be thrown off entirely by external forces. With radiometric dating or carbon dating, you have to know exactly how much was in it to begin with (you take a guess), and then assume that it decayed at the same rate the entire time with nothing affecting it (you take another guess).
    When we test samples of a known age we get incorrect dates that are tremendously over-estimated… When we test samples of unknown age, we get extremely old dates which are assumed to be correct… Now do you see the huge flaw in this system?

    Sincerely,

  21. Stephen Holshouser October 12, 2010 at 9:10 pm #

    Jay L,

    You said, “You believe that it would be impossible to have consistent laws of nature if there were no God, yet you fail to demonstrate why this should be the case. Could you please detail why you think consistency of laws of nature is impossible if the God of the Judeo-Christian bible is a myth? I await your answer.”

    It is so simple… you either have the finely-tuned universe and the dependable laws that govern it create themselves from nothing and set themselves up, or there was an infinitely Intelligent Designer (the One described in the Bible) who brought it all into existence with order and for a specific purpose…

    Only one of these answers is not an embarrassment. Only one of these answers is not an insult to any rational thinker. If you can’t see it, no one here can help you, but that doesn’t mean that you are hopeless… The Lord can remove the scales from your eyes and then it will be so obvious to you.

    The Bible teaches the eternality of God, which you seem to dub as being a cop-out. I want to be able to comprehend that too, but we simply do not have the capacity to. By definition, the finite cannot comprehend the infinite. I would guess that your beef is not with the logic of an eternal being that created everything, but your problem is with God, Himself.

    You said, “…having AN answer is not the same as having the CORRECT answer. …Providing “an answer” is useless, without being able to test that answer, which you, again, exempt God from.”

    Though you have been given ample proof and evidence in this life of the Lord Jesus Christ being your Creator, the Bible teaches that there will be a coming Judgment Day that will convince all of this fact. So, if you end up at the Judgment in front of Jesus after you die, you will know that the Bible’s proclamation was correct (my hope is that you will believe before then)… if evolution is right, then you won’t know anything at all because you will cease to exist… what a thought,, Jay, where will you be 75 years from now? Take care sir, SH

    PS. Way to bash on Eric and then ask him for some free stuff! : )

  22. Stephen Holshouser October 12, 2010 at 9:31 pm #

    To the atheists;

    It amazes me to see the effort you put in to this debate that ultimately doesn’t matter, according to your world view. I bet most of you are intelligent and maybe even above average… if you would just direct the same critical attack toward your own theory (or even half as much), you would make minced meat out of it.

    Until then, the strawmen that you make for creationists are still far superior to the best explanations that evolutionism has to offer.

    Are there any of you that are ready to defect to the good side? What say you?

  23. Jon Richt October 12, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    The problem here is that the Creationist can not account for the consistency of physical law. According to him/her, God interferes with the natural order as it suits him. He can do what He wants when He wants and for no other reason than He wants it done.

    The devout Christian has no basis upon which to assume the sun will be shining tomorrow morning.

  24. Jay Liemowitz October 13, 2010 at 7:54 am #

    Steven H said “Who said that these were constants? You’ve heard of the experiments where they have sped light up and slowed it down in the lab, haven’t you?”

    These experiments only show a change in the phase velocity, or group velocity of the light wave, not the speed of a photon through a vacuum, which is always equal to c. Also, a medium is always used to facilitate this change in speed, so this in no way contradicts special relativity which only deals with the speed of light through a vacuum. Look up phase velocity of light and do some reading. It’s a fascinating topic indeed.

    Also note though, that you’re claiming that the laws of physics in at least a few respects is now, NOT constant, which, correct me if I’m wrong, is the exact opposite of what this entire post is attempting to use as evidence for God. Strange tactic.

  25. Jay Liemowitz October 13, 2010 at 8:30 am #

    Steven H replied to me: “It is so simple… you either have the finely-tuned universe and the dependable laws that govern it create themselves from nothing and set themselves up, or there was an infinitely Intelligent Designer…”

    These are most definitely not the only two choices. There are thousands of creation legends, and many viable scientific models of the origins of the universe.

    You continued: The Bible teaches the eternality of God, which you seem to dub as being a cop-out.”

    I find it a cop-out because the same argument could be used for the universe (or meta-verse or multi-verse). The claim that everything had to have been created is a claim YOU as a Christian are making, not me. Yet, just as I outlined above, the very next paragraph in your reply states that there is at least something that didn’t require a creator. You call that God. So yet again, you are defining the rules of this discussion, and then exempting yourself for following those very rules.

    In short, this is what I hear you saying. “Everything that exists requires a creator. God did not require a creator, but he exists anyway.” And, for some reason you claim that my belief is the one that’s embarrassing.

    Your argument isn’t consistent with itself.

    Note, lastly, that the claim that God is outside the realm of space and time, and thus, not subject to the rules of operation inside space and time, is directly contradictory to the claim that God is logical; it’s directly contradictory to this entire post. You’re in essence claiming that God is illogical in at least the this area. One of the rules of logic Eric likes to trot out is that A can not be A, and not A, at the same time and in the same way. Yet if God is not subject to time and space, then this rule would not apply to him. So God, according to you, is not logical.

    Why would I believe these arguments you provide, when your own arguments are their own best refutation?

    P.S. if Eric chooses not to honor the agreement from his previous blog about sending me free material, I would completely understand. It was over a year ago after all, so I wouldn’t blame him for that one bit. :-)

    • CSE October 13, 2010 at 10:09 am #

      Jay,
      We will be sending you the Beginnings DVD. :) We want to honor our word, and we apologize if your post was missed. You will receive an email with further instructions.

  26. Mike Ayala October 13, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    Carl M
    October 11th at 9:01 pm

    Hi Carl,

    Would you please supply how and in what way the speed of light and radio active decay contradict a 6,000 year old Universe? I have never considered the thought that radio active decay could do so, and I would be greatly interested how that might be so.

    Grace to you.

    Mike Ayala

  27. Geno Castagnoli October 13, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

    Mike Ayala wrote:
    PS: I think it was you who mentioned the simple answer to the scribal error which has so captivate some. Most likely it is merely the fact that at the time these passages were scribed, in the written form of the Hebrew language of that day the Yod (10) was very similar to Lamad (30), and it does not take much damage or blurring to confuse the two. There is a small family of similar errors in the transcription of the Scripture which are well known and understood and are of no doctrinal significance. So well done for your unbiased observation.
    #######

    Geno comments:
    Keep in mind, the claim is the Bible is INERRANT. That means absolutely NO errors of ANY kind. It doesn’t mean: “no errors except some minor scribal errors.” It doesn’t mean: “Only a few errors that don’t do much damage.” It doesn’t mean: “No errors that are of doctrinal significance.”

    Any error, no matter how minor or insignificant is sufficient to destroy claims of inerrancy.

    Do I agree there are no doctrinally significan errors in the Bible? Yes.

    Do I agree any errors in the Bible are (most likely) scribal? Yes.

    Do I agree there may be translational errors in the Bible? Yes. (Translating large documents from one contemporary language to another is virtually impossible, let alone translating it over many centuries of linguistic …. er…. evolution.)

    The fact is there ARE (minor) errors in the Bible and those errors refute claims of inerrancy.

  28. Geno Castagnoli October 13, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    Stephen Holshouser
    The decay rate is only an estimate, which can be thrown off entirely by external forces.
    #######

    Geno asks:
    Name them and please provide the impact each of these external forces has on the decay rate.

    So far as I know, there is a seasonal variation in the order of 0.1%. Since this variation is seasonal, over a years time it cancels out.

    The only other factor I know of that can significantly impact radioactive decay rates is a nuclear chain reaction which, as I pointed out before leaves its own evidence of having taken place.

    As I understand it, Dr. John Woodmorappe was able to use heat to change decay rates. Unfortunately, the decay rate was stable until the temperature reached 200,000,000K (about 360,000,000 F). I shouldn’t need to explain what would happen to anything exposed to that kind of heat.

    BTW, with regard to the seasonal fluction, YEC needs a change of the AVERAGE decay rate on the order of 200,000,000%. Therefore, we can consider this a case of 0.1% down and only 199,999,999.9% to go.

  29. Julie Collins October 13, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

    besides arguing with people who quite plainly do not want to listen to the truth, i will just post my comment.

    i completely agree that the laws of physics throught time in a (assumed) 13-21 billion years cannot be proven to always be the same. not only that, but is the laws of physics the same everywhere? scientist will tell you yes, and if the answer is yes than god is the only reasonable explination, but if the answer is no, than we cannot trust physics at all and we are back to knowing nothing about astronomy. it is a hard answer for evolutionist.

  30. Carl M October 13, 2010 at 9:09 pm #

    @ Stephen Holshouser

    Who said that these were constants? You’ve heard of the experiments where they have sped light up and slowed it down in the lab, haven’t you?

    The speed of light in a VACUUM is always 299,792,458 m / s. It is not called a constant for giggles.

    The decay rate is only an estimate, which can be thrown off entirely by external forces.

    Not the type of “external forces” which exist in nature.

    With radiometric dating or carbon dating, you have to know exactly how much was in it to begin with (you take a guess), and then assume that it decayed at the same rate the entire time with nothing affecting it (you take another guess).

    Do you think your description of “guess” is accurate or are you trying to misrepresent something?

    A measurement of decay is taken, then an inference is drawn that this decay continues indefinately. This inference can be cross-checked with multiple isotopes and ischron analysis. That is the type of “guess” I am comfortable with.

    When we test samples of a known age we get incorrect dates that are tremendously over-estimated… When we test samples of unknown age, we get extremely old dates which are assumed to be correct… Now do you see the huge flaw in this system?

    The only flaw I see is the claim that the occasional erroneous sample invalidate all samples. Are you seriously suggesting that every single sample is wrong? That not a single sample is genuinely x-million years old? You may debate the accuracy of applying a date to a single object and claim the margin of error is large (debatable) but to claim all samples are wrong is a statistical impossibility.

  31. Carl M October 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm #

    @ Jeff Brace

    What makes your senses reliable if everything is based on evolutionary chance?

    JB, your senses are reliable due to natural selection (and perhaps a little sexual selection).

    But more accurately, you senese are not really that reliable. Eyes can be decieved by optical illusions, sounds are misheard, touch can be illusionary, and smells can go unnoticed.

  32. Stephen Holshouser October 13, 2010 at 9:16 pm #

    Jay,

    You said, “These are most definitely not the only two choices. There are thousands of creation legends, and many viable scientific models of the origins of the universe.”

    Okay, describe one that IS viable.

    You said, “…that you’re claiming that the laws of physics in at least a few respects is now, NOT constant, which, correct me if I’m wrong, is the exact opposite of what this entire post is attempting to use as evidence for God. Strange tactic.”

    You are confusing the laws of physics (constants) with the things governed by them.

    You said, “The claim that everything had to have been created is a claim YOU as a Christian are making, not me. Yet, just as I outlined above, the very next paragraph in your reply states that there is at least something that didn’t require a creator. You call that God…. In short, this is what I hear you saying. “Everything that exists requires a creator. God did not require a creator, but he exists anyway.””

    Yes, you are correct, this is what the Bible and logic tells us… everything had to have a creator except God. I never said that you or I or anyone else would be able to grasp the eternality of God… In fact, we cannot. We and everything else we can think of had a beginning except for God. Jay, whatever you believe the universe came from you can ask, “and where did that come from?” an infinite number of times. At some point you will realize that there has to be an Infinite, Eternal Being that has brought it all into existence, One who has no beginning and no end. You either come to that conclusion or reject it and make the foolish assertion that everything came from nothing… there is no other option.

    You said, “A can not be A, and not A, at the same time and in the same way. Yet if God is not subject to time and space, then this rule would not apply to him. So God, according to you, is not logical.”

    No, He has given us logic that we may function in His creation and that we might know Him. However, I fully concede that He is beyond our logic and greater than our ability to reason out. Faith to accept and believe that which we cannot see, test, or demonstrate is a big part of Christianity… much like you, Jay, cannot see, test, or demonstrate what evolutionism teaches, but you still believe it… you just happen to be tragically wrong. Why am I so sure about that? It is precisely because God has done miraculous things despite the natural physical laws that we are bound by… the Bible is full of things that are simply impossible except for a Person more powerful than the physical laws we live under.

    sorry for the long post, take care SH

  33. Carl M October 13, 2010 at 9:43 pm #

    @ Mike Ayala

    Would you please supply how and in what way the speed of light and radio active decay contradict a 6,000 year old Universe?

    LIGHT

    Even Young Earth Creationists agree that the known Universe is huge – “billions of light years” huge. Okay, so light (and the entire EM spectrum) needs more than 6,000 years to travel from far away objects to Earth. One way around that problem is to claim that light once travelled faster than 300,000,000 m/s. And we aren’t talking small scale change but a million times faster. But ‘c’ is a physical property of the Universe interlocked into many processes eg E=mc^2.

    RADIOMETRIC DECAY

    Two issues with this one.

    Firstly, every single sample measured to be more than 6,000 years old has to be wrong. Every single one.

    Secondly , short-lived radionucleotides only exist in nature when associated with an existing decay process. Original native short-lived nucleotides have all decayed. That is, a signficant period of time has passed since the Earth formed into the solid we know today.

  34. Mike Ayala October 14, 2010 at 8:40 am #

    Hi Geno,

    It looks like you have a simple misunderstanding: It is the word of God which is inerrant. The Bible is the name associated with the compilation of the 66 books penned by forty authors over about 6000 years. The physical paper pages and binding in whatever language one has it is subject to intentional hostile interception and jammimg. However, the errors in transcription are identifiable.

    Please make a list of the errors in the Scripture of which you know which cause you any concern.

    Thanks, and God bless you.

    Mike Ayala

  35. Geno Castagnoli October 14, 2010 at 9:54 am #

    Mike Ayala (to Geno):
    It looks like you have a simple misunderstanding:
    #####
    Geno responds:
    I think there may be a misunderstanding of what I was trying to communicate.
    #####

    Mike wrote:
    It is the word of God which is inerrant. The Bible is the name associated with the compilation of the 66 books penned by forty authors over about 6000 years.
    #####
    Geno comments:
    Except that the time period is more like 2500 years, we agree. With the understanding that it is interpreted and has been translated by fallible man. Therefore, the message could be misunderstood by well-meaning and sincere people.

    CSE, however, goes a bit farther. The CSE Statement of Faith opens with:
    “We believe that the sixty-six books of the Bible are the written Word of God. The Bible is divinely inspired and inerrant throughout”

    (Geno notes: The Bible is not the “Word” of God. God’s “Word” is our Savior, Jesus Christ. The Bible is the “word of God”, not His Word. It may be splitting semantic hairs, but to me it is a significant point indicating what may border on bibliolatry.)

    While many creationist ministries temper that position by pointing out inerrancy applies only to the “original autographs”, CSE (so far as I know) has a more stringent stance. In fact, if I recall correctly (from one of Kent Hovind’s presentations I attended) it is the position of CSE that the KJV is inerrant. It is also worth note that none of the “original autographs” are known to exist.
    #####

    Mike wrote:
    The physical paper pages and binding in whatever language one has it is subject to intentional hostile interception and jammimg.
    #####
    Geno replies:
    I don’t think the errors are necessarily hostile. When translating from one language to another, it is not unusual to have things…. such as idioms of speech…. that simply do not translate well. There is also the fact that languages …. um ….. evolve. Example: What did Shakespeare mean when he wrote: “Get thee to a nunnery.”? Try reading Chaucer or Beowulf.

    It’s ridiculous to think a compilation of 66 (or more) books written by dozens of authors over a period of millinnea and subjected to multiple language translations will be perfectly preserved.
    #######

    Mike wrote:
    However, the errors in transcription are identifiable.
    ####
    Geno answers:
    But they are STILL errors. As such, they refute claims of inerrancy.
    #####

    Mike wrote:
    Please make a list of the errors in the Scripture of which you know which cause you any concern.
    ######
    Geno comments:
    There are any number of web sites that list multiple errors/contradictions. Some of these are silly; some are nit-picking; but some are reasonable and valid.

    The minor translational and copy errors of the Bible do not cause me any concern. They are expected (by me). What concerns me is the claim of inerrancy. To paraphrase St. Augustine….

    Such claims cause those outside the faith to point at minor points and laugh the Bible (and its believers) to scorn at the peril of the souls of those we would like to see saved.

  36. Jay Liemowitz October 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    Stephen Holshouser replied to me, “Okay, describe one [theory of the origins of the universe] that IS viable.”

    I’ll just go ahead and throw out Steinhardt and Turok’s cyclic model, M Theory, and . But my main objection to your reasoning will be found below.

    You said, “You are confusing the laws of physics (constants) with the things governed by them.”

    No I’m not. c, the speed of light through a vacuum, IS a constant (that’s why we give it a letter designation); it is a scientific law. You are claiming that at least this law is not constant, which is in direct opposition to Eric’s initial claim.

    I will grant that you could, in theory, still remain consistent if you beleived that there were some, yet undiscovered, underlying law of physics that dictates how fast c is at any given time, but that c does not necessarily always equal 299,792,458 m/s. But you said nothing in your post that would indicate such a belief. You simply claimed that the speed of light could change; that a known and demonstrated law of nature was not constant.

    You said, “Yes, you are correct, this is what the Bible and logic tells us… everything had to have a creator except God.”

    Then why make the initial assertion that everything requires a creator, when that is not what you believe? All you are asserting is that the Universe requires a creator, yet you give no reason why this should be so. This is the point I dispute, and this is the point that is most often misunderstood by Christians when an athiest retorts with “then what created God”.
    As I stated above, it’s a classic example of special pleading. You make a blanket statement that you expect your opponent’s logic to abide by, then continue on to make a case for why your own logic is not required to abide by the statement you just made. You are attempting to constrain me to a set of responses with which you do not constrain yourself, e.g. I’m not allowed (by you) to claim that the universe has always existed but you are allowed to to claim that God has.

    Here is the point: the universe may have always existed in one form or another. I see no reason to assume without question that an absolute, void, nothingness (even void of physical constants) is the initial, default state of all that is. Logic alone does not dictate this to me, and most interestingly, IT DOESN’T DICTATE THAT TO YOU EITHER, as you believe that God has always existed, uncaused.

    You continued “At some point you will realize that there has to be an Infinite, Eternal Being that has brought it all into existence”

    I agree that it seems that at some point there must be an infinite, eternal something that brought it all into existence. I dispute that it should nessecarily be called a “being”.

    In the end, the only thing we’re disputing is whether the first cause was a sentient, intelligent agent. I see no reason to assume it was, as the only intelligent agents I have witnessed have been on this tiny planet, in this tiny corner of this insignificant galaxy. As far as I can tell, you are completely unjustified in attributing human characteristics to the eternal, default state of existence.

    I believe that there are a set of eternal constants, a default state of nature, that for reason unknown to me, has given rise to what we call the universe, and possibly others. In the same way I don’t attribute an intelligence to the physical forces that give rise to weather patterns and snow flakes, I see no need for an intelligence to give rise to galaxies and quasars.

    Jay

  37. Stephen Holshouser October 14, 2010 at 4:32 pm #

    “Geno asks:
    Name them and please provide the impact each of these external forces has on the decay rate.”

    There is a short read at creationwiki.org about radiometric dating problems. It answers your question and gives a list of wild radiometric dates. It’s funny that you talk about seasonal “variation” of 0.1% as if radiometric dating were accurate enough to tell which 24 hour day in time a rock was formed, but at the same time dates can be taken from the same rock and differ by billions of years… now that is science!

    You should watch Dr. Hovind’s # 1, 7 and 8 (at least 2 of those I think) creation seminar DVDs for the problems with carbon and radiometric dating, along with ample evidence that the earth is not millions/billions of years old.

    Isaiah ch. 53

  38. Stephen Holshouser October 14, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    Carl M.,

    I said, “The decay rate is only an estimate, which can be thrown off entirely by external forces.”

    You said, “Not the type of “external forces” which exist in nature.”

    If water flow and heating and cooling don’t exist in nature, then you are correct.

    You said, “The only flaw I see is the claim that the occasional erroneous sample invalidate all samples. Are you seriously suggesting that every single sample is wrong? That not a single sample is genuinely x-million years old?”

    I would say yes, they are all wrong, or at least have NO WAY to be verified. If you sample rocks of known age and get massively over-estimated dates, how can you assume dates to be correct for rocks that you don’t know the age of? How do you know any of the radiometric dates are right?? Then again, how do you know any of them are wrong?

    Whether you call the assumptions in radiometric dating inferences or assumptions or conclusions or deductions, it doesn’t change the fact that it involves several unverifiable GUESSES. Why would you want to claim that to be solid, fundamental, testable science?

    My question for you (and whoever else) is this;

    Who or what made, and continues to make, the natural laws of physics behave like they do? What brought them into existence and Who or what currently holds them in place?

  39. Jon Richt October 14, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    I see. The Bible can be in error, but the word of God can not.

    Cute.

  40. Richard Donaghan October 14, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    Reposting from my deleted comments of “not going to say”:

    Matter in our universe exists as far away as 15 billion light years.

    The universe was created in 6 days.

    Therefore matter would have to travel millions of times faster than the speed of light to reach those distances in the timeframe allotted.

    However, we now know that the speed of light is an unsurpassable constant of velocity.

    Thus, the laws of physics have changed!

    If God created the laws of physics, he’s perfectly capable of changing them to send matter that far away to meet the 6 day “deadline.”

    Now since we have proved that the laws of physics have changed granted our presuppositions that God created them and created the Very Big Universe in 6 days, this worldview presents absolutely no basis for the laws of physics to remain constant in the future. God can simply change him at his whim.

    What if he wakes up one day and thinks, “Gee, you know, I haven’t really been getting along with the gravitational constant recently, I think I’ll just get rid of it.” ?

  41. Richard Donaghan October 14, 2010 at 8:07 pm #

    Based on the presupposition that “God’s word is inerrant” this is the only possible outcome. We can gather from the Bible that he did create the Universe and he did so in 6 days. We can also presuppose from your worldview that he is responsible for the laws of physics, and that he is responsible for holding them constant or changing them when he feels appropriate.

    So then, the only outcome is that the worldview does not present a future that is guaranteed to resemble the past!

  42. Richard Donaghan October 14, 2010 at 8:09 pm #

    After all, if God is responsible for holding them constant, this also grants him the possibility of being able to change them, or by inaction allowing them to change.

    This in itself means the laws of physics are not guaranteed to be constant because we cannot know God’s will in the future.

  43. Jennifer Preston October 15, 2010 at 7:54 am #

    Funny, I would’ve thought my comment about the LHC would’ve caused the most controversy, since it recreates the conditions present less than a billion’th of a second after the big bang.

    I did ask CSE about the LHC 4 weeks ago. So far no one has come back to me. So what is the LHC actually doing? It is recreating the conditions less than a billion-th of a second after the big bang, but if this website is correct, the big bang never happened, what conditions is the LHC supposed to be creating. What about the possibity they could discover extra dimensions? This would be significant evidence in favour of string theory. What about the results of particle accelerators? Are they even accurate, in which case we can’t trust the LHC results? Or are they being interpreted wrongly?

    I also notice nobody is saying anything about Einstein’s theory of relativity. Relativity goes against a lot of the creationists arguments. It seems madness to me, a mathematician, that a creation science website, so intent on proving the big bang never happened could forget to slaughter the two of the most important science subjects of all time. Or is it that they can’t? Come on CSE, I need some answers.

  44. Jennifer Preston October 15, 2010 at 8:00 am #

    Sorry, I meant if particle accelerators aren’t accurate, why, and this would mean we can’t trust the LHC results. Fast typing

  45. Richard Donaghan October 15, 2010 at 2:03 pm #

    Jon Richt:

    I like that. Especially when it is argued that the Bible IS the word of God, and treated as its equivalent. After all, what is the word of God contained in if not the Bible?

  46. Carl M October 15, 2010 at 9:36 pm #

    @ Stephen Holshouser

    Carl M.,

    The decay rate is only an estimate, which can be thrown off entirely by external forces. ….. If water flow and heating and cooling don’t exist in nature, then you are correct.

    Water flow! Don’t be ridiculous.

    Heating and cooling? If a sample is affected by heat it would form an new closure event and produce a younger date. You need the process to be going in the other direction.

    I would say yes, they are all wrong, or at least have NO WAY to be verified. If you sample rocks of known age and get massively over-estimated dates, how can you assume dates to be correct for rocks that you don’t know the age of? How do you know any of the radiometric dates are right?? Then again, how do you know any of them are wrong?

    Statistical analysis provides tools for dealing with the issues you mention.

    Who or what made, and continues to make, the natural laws of physics behave like they do? What brought them into existence and Who or what currently holds them in place?

    You are falling into the same type of thinking as the most superstitous villager living in the shadow of a volcano applying human-like qualities to the rumbles and eruptions of the volcano.

    So the answer to you question is therefor – no entity is controlling the “natural laws of physics”. We know of no entity which bought them into existence (from a scientific standpoint). And no entity is “holding them in place”.

  47. Duane October 16, 2010 at 6:12 am #

    “My question for you (and whoever else) is this;

    Who or what made, and continues to make, the natural laws of physics behave like they do? What brought them into existence and Who or what currently holds them in place?”

    That is begging the question. You are presuming a who. Even the Big Bang does not presume that the universe did not always exist.