Problems with the Laws of Physics

Thanks, Webmonk and others, for pointing out the howler in that article that alleges that scientific observation might destroy the universe: The scientist was quoted as denying that we was referring to causality, but the reporter ignored his own source and went on to assert causality all through the story! (Why didn’t I notice that?) Still, the truth remains that science is becoming far less materialistic, common-sensical, and reductionistic than it used to be.

Frank Sonnek points out a better article that illustrates that point, how the very concept of a scientific law is up for grabs. The writer says that the very notion that there are laws that govern nature derives from Christianity, which gave birth to modern science. He also gets tangled up himself, saying that we must not allow ourselves to invoke a divine providence, that we have to find a solution from within the system, even though that is proving impossible!

Destroying the Universe through Scientific Observation

According to Quantum mechanics, observing a system changes it. Now scientists are worried that by observing “dark energy,” we may have shortened the lifespan of the universe.

Please read that linked article. And contemplate this sentence:

Some mathematical theories suggest that, in the very beginning, there was a void that possessed energy but was devoid of substance. Then the void changed, converting energy into the hot matter of the big bang.

Sound familiar? But what is most striking in this article is how contemporary science is no longer working with conventional logical categories, how it has become as mystical and as unbounded as any theology. It is also quite culture-bound: Postmodernists do believe “we create our own reality,” so why should we not be able to deconstruct reality through our perception? This may also herald the rise of a new worldview, with affinities to Hinduism, a new monism of mind and matter. But these scientists think intelligent design is beyond the pale.

End of the Stem Cell Debate

The “Washington Post” had a startling front-page headline this morning: Advance May End Stem Cell Debate. Two mainline scientific journals have published breakthrough and now accepted findings showing how ordinary skin cells can be turned back into stem cells. No embryos or human eggs are harmed in the making of these stem cells.

Says one scientist, “This is a tremendous scientific milestone, the biological equivalent to the Wright brothers’ first airplane.” Credit–and a future Nobel Prize–goes to James Thompson, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

I predict that Pro-deathers will STILL call for the “harvesting” of developing infants. They have been using the prospect of commodifying, industrializing, and desacralizing human life for this noble humanitarian cause to give moral legitimacy to abortion. They will find a way to continue that line of propaganda.

Meanwhile, this breakthrough, which eventually will save untold numbers of lives, is something else to be thankful for!

“Katrina without the Water”?

I flew over Atlanta a couple of weeks ago and looked down on lakes shrinking and going dry. Atlanta has as little as 80 days of water left. Smaller places in Georgia are already trucking in water, but that is hardly an option for a huge metropolis. Not just Georgia, but other areas in the south, including here in Virginia, are facing a water crisis. So is the southwest, parts of the midwest, and countries around the world. Read this. Part of the problem has been an absence of hurricanes! The governor of Georgia is leading prayers for rain. Good for him, despite wide-spread mockery. But what will happen if the faucets run dry?

DNA as Language

The “Washington Post” published a fascinating story on the latest findings in DNA research, which finds that genetic replication is far more complex than anyone dreamed just a few years ago. What struck me in the article were the descriptions of genetic processes as language, with the article full of terms such as “code,” “letters,” “transcription,” “translation,” “read,” “instruction,” “message” and even references to what can only be sentences and punctuation marks.

I’d like to hear even a conceptual explanation of how such embedded language could be a random development. It seems to me that language implies a Speaker. Meanwhile, this is more evidence that God created the universe by means of language, His Word.

Stupid Scientist Tricks

We blogged on the old site about how the discoverer of DNA’s double helix structure, James Watson has fallen off the eugenics deep end. This articletells how his partner in the discovery, fellow Nobel laureate Francis Crick, theorized that life may have come to earth via alien spores sown by comets. (But that doesn’t even explain anything! Where did THAT life come from?) He also wanted to experiment on prisoners. Other distinguished scientists have also been, shall we say, crackpots:

Kary Mullis, after grabbing a piece of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, dove head first off the platform, expounding on the virtues of LSD and astrology and expressing his doubts about global warming, the ozone hole, and H.I.V. as the cause of AIDS. . . .

Sometimes the wandering from one’s home turf extends all the way to the paranormal. In 2001, when officials of the Royal Mail, the British postal service, issued a package of stamps commemorating the centenary of the Nobel Prize, they sought the counsel of Brian Josephson, who shared the prize for physics in 1973 for his superconductivity research. Physicists across Britain recoiled when an official pamphlet accompanying the stamps predicted that quantum mechanics might lead to an understanding of mental telepathy.

Of course, this New York Times article also includes distinguished scientists who supported creationism. The point is, scientists are human, subject to foibles, blindspots, and confused worldviews.