Class Warfare Blog

September 14, 2019

Sometimes a Blurb is Enough, Part ???

Filed under: Religion,Science,Uncategorized — Steve Ruis @ 7:35 am
Tags: , , ,

I see a great many books recommended by Amazon.com based upon my reading tastes (as indicated by my searches and purchases, I assume). This one caught my eye: Genesis and the Big Bang Theory: The Discovery Of Harmony Between Modern Science and The Bible. This is the blurb accompanying that title:

A ground-breaking book that takes on skeptics from both sides of the cosmological debate, arguing that science and the Bible are not at odds concerning the origin of the universe.

The culmination of a physicist’s thirty-five-year journey from MIT to Jerusalem, Genesis and the Big Bang presents a compelling argument that the events of the billions of years that cosmologists say followed the Big Bang and those of the first six days described in Genesis are, in fact, one and the same—identical realities described in vastly different terms. In engaging, accessible language, Dr. Schroeder reconciles the observable facts of science with the very essence of Western religion: the biblical account of Creation.

Carefully reviewing and interpreting accepted scientific principles, analogous passages of Scripture, and biblical scholarship, Dr. Schroeder arrives at a conclusion so lucid that one wonders why it has taken this long in coming. The result for the reader—whether believer or skeptic, Jewish or Christian—is a totally fresh understanding of the key events in the life of the universe.

* * *

Why the author had to go to Jerusalem on his “thirty-five year journey” is mysterious. The creation didn’t take place there, Genesis is available on the Internet as are several tons of discussion of it, so. . . ?

I have not yet read this beast, but it is a common approach of apologists to establish a correspondence between what we perceive as reality and their scriptures. Since their scriptures have a poor track record in such comparisons it is easy to scoff, but I decided to give this a go. I will report back.

Of course, there are a few minor foundational issues with all such comparisons. While one may establish that the order of the steps of creation as described in scripture is the same as actually occurred, in scripture the process by which they occurred is magic, something that has never been observed. As a colleague of Daniel Dennett put it (approximately) is that “real magic is fake and fake magic is real.” And any sort of physical explanation for a manifestation of nature must include not only the event but the process by which is occurred and “God did it” is not so much an explanation but an admission that one doesn’t know why or how it happened. And, it would be much more convincing if the scriptural account differed from reality and later, our view of reality had to be corrected due to mistakes being made and it came into alignment with scripture. This never happens. More often apologists claim that scripture corresponds with reality perfectly and then we find errors in our picture of reality and this is followed by some other apologist claiming that scripture was in perfect agreement with the new reality. (Note that Christian scripture corresponded exactly with Babylonian cosmogony and then Aristotelian cosmogony and then modern cosmogony (apparently), all three of which are vastly different. But I get ahead of myself. As I said I will attempt to read this book and report back.

For those who object that Yahweh “speaking” the universe into existence shouldn’t be characterized as magic, I offer this definition: magic (noun): the power of apparently influencing the course of events by using mysterious or supernatural forces. If the scriptural creation account is not mysterious and didn’t involve supernatural forces, then it was a natural thing and we don’t need a god to account for it, so scriptural creation is magical, almost by definition.

6 Comments »

  1. Tacky magic act about sums up the Resurrection.

    Yahweh did his best David Copperfield impression, with Jesus performing the role of long-haired, compliant assistant. But instead of sawing him in half, or sticking him in a box and driving sword after sword through it — hey presto! — disappear the Messiah altogether, and have him reappear somewhere else three days later!

    The fun of magician’s feats is in trying to work out how they did it, but in the Gospel’s case, we can reasonably conclude the answer to be more prosaic: it made for a neat story to impress the credulous of that time (and apparently still does for some to this day).

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    Comment by chris schilling — September 14, 2019 @ 9:13 am | Reply

    • And just how does a god die? It was commonplace in the “dying and resurrecting god” mystery cults but not in Judaic scripture. And, in fact, he is not described as actually dying (until the dramatizations we know as the gospels were produced) which means the whole thing was a show for the rubes. A magically created being is “sacrificed” in a ritual that didn’t involve any actual suffering (gods don’t suffer) or dying (gods don’t die) so the rubes would by into the Big Con. (Give us your obedience and money now and we will reward you, guffaw, when you are dead! And … guffaw … we will punish your enemies, too! Ha!)

      On Sat, Sep 14, 2019 at 9:13 AM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 14, 2019 @ 12:49 pm | Reply

  2. Haven’t read this book yet. I’ve read 3 of Schroeder’s other books and they are superb. You can probably skip them since you don’t believe in purpose.

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    Comment by John Branyan — September 14, 2019 @ 5:03 pm | Reply

    • Too late and I have already started, He writes well but then I got to this clunker … “The difference in perceived time is called relativistic time dilation, the dilation that makes the first six days of Genesis reassuringly compatible with the 15 billion years of cosmology.” The saving grace is that e-Books cannot be thrown against the wall. Since he is a physicist, it is hard for me to say he doesn’t understand relativistic time dilation but either he does not, or as an apologist he is willing to lie about it. Relativistic time dilation can only be addressed using numbers. The numbers needed to make 15 billion years (5500 billion days) shrink to 6 are not only fantastic but nowhere in evidence. To presuppose that the ejecta of the Big Bang were flying so fast (at 99++++%) of the speed of light) that time was compressed to that extent is madness.

      This is a common creationist trick: see time can be compressed, so 15 billion years was actually much shorty than that and six days is about right!

      Most of the first third of the book was recapitulation of the history of physics and it was well covered, but grasping at physical fig leaves to cover immense time gaps isn’t becoming. It simply plays to the readers lack of understanding of the actual subject. It is like showing a child who has just learned to jump that “See, I can jump, too! (You demonstrate.) And I can even jump to the moon.” The kid might just believe you, since you are an authority figure and obviously much more capable than is he.

      On Sat, Sep 14, 2019 at 5:03 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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      Comment by Steve Ruis — September 16, 2019 @ 12:21 pm | Reply

      • He explains the time dilation stuff in his first book, “The Science of God”.

        Are you a physicist?

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        Comment by John Branyan — September 16, 2019 @ 12:29 pm | Reply

        • He explains what time dilation is in this book also but then claims that it is why the six days of creation took 15 billion years, which is ludicrous if you look at the numbers required for such a conclusion. I have an undergraduate minor in physics, but that is irrelevant to my argument. We have ample evidence of time dilation. Our communication satellites have to be corrected for the time difference between their position in the earth’s gravity well and ours. We have flown atomic clocks around the earth and the one making the trip showed an amount of time different from its stationary twin that stayed behind. But the amount of time was fractions of a second. To get “Twin Paradox” like phenomena (one trip travels into space and the other stays home, with the one returning being significantly younger than the one stationary), one has to be traveling a sizable fraction of the speed of light (0.5 c and up) or be at a smaller fraction for a longer time. The numbers the author is implying just are not credible, which is why I will be shocked if he actually comes up with some. I will have to continue reading to see if he tries to redeem his argument.

          On Mon, Sep 16, 2019 at 12:29 PM Class Warfare Blog wrote:

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          Comment by Steve Ruis — September 17, 2019 @ 9:23 am | Reply


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