But Now You Know

The search for truth in human action

The Big Bang Theory Does Not Represent Science


Cut the Creator some Slack     
(Caption: Cut the Creator some Slack)

Anyone puzzled by how some Americans don’t take science seriously need look no farther than how few scientists, themselves, take the scientific method seriously.

There is no better example of that credibility gap than the Big Bang Theory.

And this is the worst possible place for the flaw to occur, because the Big Bang has become the poster child for “science is smart, religion is stupid”…yet it’s not actually science.

Even my favorite sitcom, wherein some producer had the crazy nerve to try to create a show around the situation of INTELLIGENT people, The Big Bang Theory, assumes its name (apparently) as an attempt to show intellectual, potential viewers that it’s for them, not the common proles.

But the Big Bang Theory is pseudoscience, at best.

Bad

By the rules of hard science, it’s not even a theory. A theory can be tested in a way that would be sure to fail if it were wrong. This, with the Big Bang, is impossible so far. So it doesn’t qualify. It is a hypothesis.

For supposed scientists to refer to it as a theory is akin to Catholic priests and bishops referring to a contemporary televangelist as a Saint. There are strict rules for sainthood, and for scientific theoryhood, and if you just go tossing either word around you discredit the whole genre. Saint Tammy Fae Baker would undermine the concept of Christian sainthood exactly the way the Big Bang Theory undermines the concept of cosmogony as a science.

Worse

But it’s worse than that; the Big Bang Hypothesis is not just treated with the unearned dignity of being a “theory”, but even like a fact, despite having failed even the basic test of prediction.

Original big bang-based predictions of the temperature of the universe, its expansion, and the even-ness of background radiation all failed…but, in violation of the principles of science, bureaucrats just turned around and reverse-engineered new predictions that matched the existing observations. 

But even if they had not, no theory EVER rises to the level of fact, based solely on its matching of predictions. 

To quote Stephen Hawking:

Any physical theory is always provisional, in the sense that it is only a hypothesis; you can never prove it. No matter how many times the results of experiments agree with some theory, you can never be sure that the next time the result will not contradict the theory. On the other hand, you can disprove a theory by finding even a single observation that disagrees with the predictions of the theory.

You don’t have to go as far as Anthropogenic Global Warming, to find scientists treating failed hypotheses as Settled Science, which is denied by not only Stephen Hawking above, but the Fallibilist roots of hard science.

Laughable

But it gets worse, still, when extreme atheists try to trot out The Big Bang as a solution for the Prime Mover paradox.

See, one of the arguments used by Creationists is that everything in the universe apparently needs to be caused by something else. Things don’t just happen out of nothing, there’s always a “cause and effect”. This means that, if the universe ever had a start at all, HOW it could start seems impossible to explain. There has to have been to be a First Event, that was not caused by anything at all, and that should be impossible.

“Science has solved that with the Big Bang”, the claim is made.

But it’s untrue.

In fact, the Big Bang hypothesis brings focus on the very power of the Prime Mover paradox. It appears to have the whole universe go back to a single point, but then does nothing to explain why it was AT that point in the first place. There is no way to explain why the potential for the vacuum fluctuation that (maybe) produced the Big Bang existed in the first place.

If the Creator of the universe were a timeless Christian god, perhaps that’s what caused the Big Bang. Sadly for science, this makes as much sense as anything the mainstream cosmologists have proposed to start it, so far*.

When people stick to the rules of hard science, they have an absolute right to say “see, this produces sounder results and more verifiable Truth than religion”, when it does. The problem is that modern “scientists” quite often are NOT. They don’t stick by those rules, and therefore earn the disdain that people heap on them.

Oh, and let’s not forget that I’m using the criteria of real science to argue this. Among the people who agree with me are Einstein, a Scientific Realist who opposed the instrumentalist pseudoscience of modern quantum physics, Schroedinger, whose famous cat experiment was intended to mock unscientific physics, and the father of modern hard science, Karl Popper whom Stephen Hawking is paraphrasing in his quote, above.

Next time some horrified Discovery Channel /NPR pundit moans quaveringly that “a majority of Americans don’t even believe in science over religion”, or the downright sneering at global warming claims, remember that this is as much the fault of the supposed scientists breaking their own rules, as anything else.

_________________

Superstring hypotheses say the Big Bang is just the collision of “branes” (think membranes) in a much larger, more complex 10+ dimensional universe. But, while this provides the closest thing to a Unified Theory, it’s mostly ignored by the mainstream cosmologists. And, anyway, it does nothing to explain why the whole multiverse exists in the first place.

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May 12, 2009 - Posted by | Philosophy, Religion, Science | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments »

  1. I came here by error but thought I would see it out. Most interesting.
    The Thunderbolts Project, the Electric Universe seems to be able to test its theories in the laboratory, make predictions that prove viable, and speaks in plain language that most conscious humans can understand.
    The EU way is sort of the way the scientific method was taught to us in grade school. As does Wood Allen believe, as explained in ‘Annie Hall’, the BBHypothesis is one big bore with a very depressing ending.
    The point, most significant I believe, is the first law of thermodynamics, known as ‘Law of Conservation of Energy’ which states that energy can neither be created nor destroyed; it can only be transferred or changed from one form to another (of energy or matter).
    But from BBH it seems something came from nothing and eventually will disintegrate to nothing. That doesn’t fit the laws of conservation which leaves it on very shaky grounds.
    The only good that has come out of the BBT is the television programme named after it. Isn’t it poignant that the math-heads in that series are totally bonkers.
    Namaste and care,
    mhikl

    Comment by mhikl | June 19, 2015 | Reply

  2. Hopefully you will find this amusing and educational:


    Mel, a prediction of the BBT is that the universe is currently expanding and that it has been expanding since it began.

    The good thing about scientists is that as a whole when they are proven wrong they will admit it.

    Comment by johnjstantonJohn | February 1, 2013 | Reply

    • Actually, the Big Bang Theory’s “predictions” are, in violation of the rules of hard science, often reverse-engineered from observation, when the previous predictions were different, or even the opposite.

      For example, the “cosmic microwave background radiation” caused by the Big Bang was predicted to be “smooth”. When something assumed to be CMBR was found, it was uneven…which, according to the scientific method, would require throwing out the previous model and starting over with a new one. Instead, the old model was simply reworked to fit, and then it was announced that the discovery of the CMB actually proved the Big Bang hypothesis.

      The reason, in hard science, that you can’t simply rework a failed theory/hypothesis is that, in order to be science, there must be a fundamental principle being presented, and all of the rest must derive automatically from that. When the principle produces the wrong results, there is at least a good chance the underlying principle, itself, was the problem. Tweaking the later equations to change the outcome leaves that fundamental flaw in place.

      This is why Einstein and Shroedinger opposed the bad science of Bohr and Heisenberg. The former were Scientific Realists, along with Popper, von Mises, Pierce, and others. They were the true scientists, working to produce a Theory of Science that would be as accurate and reliable as possible. Bohr and his ilk, on the other hand, were essentially bureaucrats who found that sloppy pseudoscience, tweaking the later parts of a theory to fit results, produced flashier “output” that would bring in better funding…even though it is often proven wrong much later, after the money’s been safely spent.

      Comment by kazvorpal | February 2, 2013 | Reply

      • The fluctuations in background radiation supposedly caused by the big bang is less then 1 ten millionth of a degree. I am pointing that out, because that is basically not a fluctuation, It is the offset of photons at that point.

        Comment by Zagger | July 4, 2014 | Reply

  3. I NEEED A PREDICTION ON THE BIG BANG THEORY

    Comment by mel | July 18, 2011 | Reply

  4. I found this alleged physics quiz in the form of a flash on 7chan. Some of the questions took the Big Bang Dogma as scientific fact, and I stopped taking the test seriously, only giving answers that I thought would humor them. I openly criticized the test for its loaded questions. Sure enough, some sheep from the Church of the Big Bang denounced me as a heretic (well, as a “troll” actually). Of course, I told them flat out that I expected to be denouced.

    Comment by Jojo Bizarro | January 24, 2011 | Reply

  5. I found the book ‘The Big Bang Never Happened’ by Eric J. Lerner very informative along these lines.

    Comment by FreedomBuilder | May 14, 2009 | Reply


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