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David Dana-Bashian Exchange

I agreed to critique a presentation by Young-Earth-Creationist David Dana-Bashian, a very intelligent and well-read man, who understands physics much better than I do.  His presentation was titled "16 Nearly Impossible Issues for Evolutionists To Answer".  I got thru less than half of it.
What I read addressed 3 issues:

  1. (Basis):  Does the Universe Exist? --- Yes!
  2. Did the Universe Always Exist? --- No!
  3. Did the Universe Cause Itself To Exist? --- No!

  4. -all of which he answers in detail, though possibly not to everyone's satisfaction.  He concludes that there was no Big Bang.

It would be ridiculous for me to post his presentation, and present my whole critique, plus his responses, my counter responses, etc.  So I will begin at what appears to be the most relevant starting point after I gave up my effort to critique.

This interchange ends with me accusing him of misleading truth seekers, and him denying it.

Referring to the time immediately following the Big Bang, David said:

David I said that someone may say that the physics breaks down, and my response is that one cannot then use the laws of physics in the argument.
Cary Are you saying one can't argue for a point beyond which the laws physics break down without using the laws of physics?
David Yes.
Either the laws of physics hold or the laws of physics do not hold.  If the latter, then no one can employ the laws of physics, at all, and any conversation incorporating them ceases to have any meaning and thus should be abandoned completely.
Cary Then the universe and the laws of physics are both eternal.
David I think that you're appreciating some of the difficulties that evolutionists, in the broader sense, would find themselves.  If the universe and the laws of physics were both eternal, then the universe would have completely dissipated an infinite time ago, disagreeing with the state of the universe as it is observed now.  But saying that the laws of physics weren't valid for some time, for example, only between the Big Bang and some years after the Big Bang, would be as unscientific as saying that 2+2 =4 except when I'm teaching arithmetic.  As Dana Carvey playing the Church Lady would say, "How convenient!"
Cary All of that is irrelevant to the fact that you just implied that the universe and the laws of physics are both eternal - which means neither was created by a God or anything else.
David But nothing, including the laws of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and/or whatever else, could apply to something that doesn't exist (yet).  However, if something that never previously existed comes into existence, then it conforms to the properties that it has upon its coming into existence, which we ascribe to the laws of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and/or whatever else.

Whoever believes that everything has always existed must, of necessity, hold that everything must have always conformed to the laws of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and/or whatever else, even though the present state of the universe contradicts that view. But such difficulties vanish if the universe didn't always exist (viz, that it has existed only for a finite period of time).  Thus issue #2.
Cary This too is irrelevant (red herring) to the fact that you just implied that the universe and the laws of physics are both eternal - which means neither was created by a God or anything else.  You just dumped a creator-God to defend a position that started out as a defense of creator-God theory.
David










David
No, I did not imply what you said I implied.  As I said before, nothing, including the laws of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and/or whatever else, could apply to something that doesn't exist (yet).  However, if something that never previously existed comes into existence, then it conforms to the properties that it has upon its coming into existence, which we ascribe to the laws of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and/or whatever else.  That's no red herring or any other logical fallacy.

In issue #2 I asked the question "Did the universe always exist?" and answered it "no" with the explanation that otherwise we wouldn't be here, the universe would have already dissipated an infinite time ago.  Therefore the universe did not always exist.

Since the universe did not always exist, in issue #3 I asked the question "Did the universe cause itself to exist?" and answered it "no" with the explanation that otherwise the universe would have had to have existed before it existed to cause itself to exist, or, alternatively, that the universe would have had to have both existed and not existed, at the same time and in the same context.  Since either formulation would violate logic, the universe did not cause itself to exist.

Therefore the universe has no material cause, because the same logic would also apply to any subset of the universe.  Therefore there are only two alternatives.  Either the universe has no cause, which would be unscientific, or the universe has a cause, but it must be immaterial.

Then I supplied a list of immaterial causes - fairies, leprechauns, gnomes, Flying Spaghetti Monster, God, you add to the list, with the further statement that only God has any testimony.  That's as far as anyone can go in an empirical world.
Cary OK, let's assume I made an error in accusing you of dumping a creator-God.  I'm not sure that was an error, but let's assume it was.
You said:
"If something that never previously existed comes into existence, then it conforms to the properties that it has upon its coming into existence."
Then the properties of the thing that comes into existence can never change.
You have the same properties now as you had as an embryo.
The properties of a living thing are not changed by death.
David To say that something conforms to the properties that it has upon its coming into existence does not imply that the something never changes.  According to our observations, everything material conforms to the laws of thermodynamics.  So everything material eventually deteriorates completely.
Cary So everything that comes into material existence conforms to the laws of thermodynamics.  Therefore this universe came into existence conforming to the laws of thermodynamics.
But there was no Big Bang?
How does that work?
David The problem for the evolutionist isn't in holding that the universe, throughout its entire existence, is subject to the laws of thermodynamics.  Rather the problem is in holding that universe has always existed, for if so, then those same laws of thermodynamics would demand that the universe must have completely dissipated an infinite time ago.  Since the universe is still not completely dissipated, therefore the universe has not always existed.

Again, according to the Jeans Instability Criterion, the most stable configuration for the universe would have all of its mass/energy co-located in an infinitesimal.  But that's the starting point before a Big Bang, so it never should have expanded, ergo, no Big Bang.

So one must find another hypothesis than the Big Bang.  The Scriptural narrative reads nothing like a Big Bang but rather that everything was created in situ out of nothing by a Creator God.
Cary So the first moment when all the laws of physics were operative was the moment of creation.  Fine.
Why did the universe start expanding from that moment, rather than collapse into a black hole?
David 1.  "So the first moment when all the laws of physics were operative was the moment of creation."
The laws of physics, which, in and of themselves, cannot influence anything, are just well-supported human descriptions concerning material behavior.  We believe that the laws of physics have always been valid but become operational on something material only once that material begins to exist.

2. "Why did the universe start expanding from that moment, rather than collapse into a black hole?"
It's speculation on my part, but my understanding is that most scientists hold that the universe is expanding, for various reasons, such as the Big Bang (which never could've occurred) or red shifts (even though there are hypotheses besides expansion), but that contraction and the older possibility of steady state, while regarded as very minority views, haven't been ruled out completely yet.  What would be the cause of past or current behavior would still be a mystery.  Currently there seems to be no consensus on whether the universe would continue to expand indefinitely, or slow to a steady state, or contract in a big crunch.  For me, whichever behavior is correct would be a secondary consideration.
Cary 1. Is that a yes?
If not, please reword the statement as a single clear statement such that you can give it a yes.

2.  "It's speculation on my part..."
Fine.  It looks like it's expanding, but relatively speaking, it could as easily be contracting from its original dimensions.
Steady state is proven wrong by red shift.
Whether expanding, or contracting, how does your theory account for red shift?
David








David
1.  "Is that a yes?"
If you mean, would I say that the statement  "So the first moment when all the laws of physics were operative was the moment of creation."  at face value is true, I would say, yes.  If my understanding about that statement turned out not correct, then I would revisit that assessment.

2.  In response to your request for my explanation of a redshift, I'm not in the business of speculation.  One might say that the universe, upon its creation, might have immediately commenced expansion sufficient for a redshift, but that's only speculation.

I only critique existing claims and don't produce any alternatives, any more than a movie critic is not expected to produce a movie.  In the current context, I critiqued the Big Bang, and I think, successfully.  If the Big Bang never could've occurred, as I contend, then those who think that a Big Bang is responsible for a redshift would need to propose other hypothes(e)s that wouldn't run afoul of the laws of physics.

So far there has been no refutation to the critique.  Maybe the refutation would come one day, just as a refutation might come to any other critique.  However, that day has not yet arrived for this particular critique.
Cary So you criticize man's most sensible efforts to explain reality, yet propose no alternative, because you're not in the business of speculation.
Despite your superior intellect, I see no way to respect your integrity.
David Then I suppose that you wouldn't respect the integrity of a movie critic either.
Cary A movie critic makes esthetic judgments for the benefit of those who like his taste.

You are posing as a helper of truth seekers, while obscuring truth with complicated material that cannot be seen as erroneous without more effort than most people have time for.
David









David









David









David
"So you criticize man's most sensible efforts to explain reality, yet propose no alternative, because you're not in the business of speculation."

It remains to be seen whether a Big Bang, which has had its scientific critics over the years, is truly one of "man's most sensible efforts to explain reality". See John Gideon Hartnett's papers, for example.

In any event, no one should ever formally propose any speculative alternative to anything.  Rather, any alternative, like any claim, must have sound reasons for acceptance and none for non-acceptance before such formal proposal.

Until then, any alternative or claim should not be formally proposed.  My own claim of no Big Bang, which I have been circulating for some time on an informal basis, must receive the same rigorous scientific scrutiny as any other claim before it would be formally proposed.

Further, if any formally proposed claim, no matter how sound it had appeared to be, is later shown to be false, then it should be retracted immediately, even if no alternative should appear on the horizon, since it never should have been formally proposed in the first place.  Numerous attempts to prove the so-far unproven Riemann hypothesis have already suffered that fate, and, with some effort, one could come forth undoubtedly with many other such examples.

You may recall that the upshot of the first third or so of the main text of Karl R. Popper's "The Logic of Scientific Discovery" is to the effect that, in science, no one can prove anything, but one can disprove many things, by repeatable counterexample.  I would also add that disproof can take the old-fashioned form of showing internal and/or external contradiction(s).

Also consistent with that part of Popper's work is that a hypothesis critic is not expected to produce hypotheses, any more than a movie critic is not expected to produce movies.  In that spirit I have made my "16 Nearly Impossible Issues for Evolutionists To Answer" presentation.

As for published refutations with no alternatives, I would mention just one, namely, John Doyle's 1978 "Guaranteed Margins for LQG Regulators" (see http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?  doi=10.1.1.362.8807&rep=rep1&type=pdf).  Note that the abstract says "There are none" and, though the end of the paper says "It may, however, be possible to improve the robustness of a given design by relaxing the optimality of the filter with respect to error properties ...", the paper itself produces no alternative.

I am not aware of any alternative that has ever been produced, even after more than 40 years.  Yet Doyle's paper has been quoted by many scientists in the field, myself included, because its conclusions, which have never been refuted, are relevant.

Previously you gave hearty approval to statements in Michael Crichton's "Alien's Cause Global Warming" such as  "The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus."  So do I.  I do not seek to be great, but, nevertheless, I am a scientist who breaks with the consensus, namely, that regarding a Big Bang, not for no reason but for sound reasons, I think, which I have put forth and have had informally reviewed by many people from many walks of life, with no refutation, so far.

If my claim is upheld, then I will have shown that the hypotheses of a Big Bang is a bad hypothesis.  Since a bad hypothesis is worse than no hypothesis, we ought not to repeat or follow it but rather to reject it, even if there is no alternative on the horizon.

If my claim is upheld, then we ought to return to the drawing board, even if the drawing board has nothing.  After all, once upon a time there was no Big Bang hypothesis.
Cary If Don Stoner couldn't convince you of error, There's no way I can with my limited understanding of physics.

Yet I still accuse you of posing as a helper of truth seekers, while obscuring truth with deliberately over-complicated material.  Since neither of us can prove our point, it's a common sense issue.  I therefore invite you to publish our exchange anywhere you like, and request your permission to publish it on my website for the benefit of truth seekers.
David Don and I have never discussed my disproof of the Big Bang.  Ever.  At all.  Even in the slightest.

I have proven my point to you to the degree that it is possible to prove a point.  If you have an appropriate scientific journal and a contact point, then I would submit my disproof.
Cary If you choose to leave my request for permission to publish this interchange unanswered, we're done.
David You have my permission to publish this interchange wherever you want to publish it, even if I never come to know what any response might be.

David corrected some errors I had made in this post, and again asked for further criticism in a step-by-step, "no guesswork" fashion.  I refused, and then thought of a final response:

Cary











Cary
Your contradiction of Big Bang hypothesis is based on the idea that the laws of physics remained as they are now from the first moment of creation.

Don said this:
"I have already spent an inordinate amount of time with DDB arguing about his carbon-transport-by-supernova argument (an argument for a young earth -- and based on the faulty assumption that the universe must always have been much like it is right now, rather than radically different in the past).  He wasn't really interested in listening then (and is still making the same arguments in the post you have sent me), so I see little point in wasting any more time."

Against which, you say:
"Either the laws of physics hold or the laws of physics do not hold."
...
"To say that something conforms to the properties that it has upon its coming into existence does not imply that the something never changes."

YES IT DOES!  My 2 simple examples of erroneous logical conclusions drawn from your statement proves that it does.
"You have the same properties now as you had as an embryo."
"The properties of a living thing are not changed by death."
And your whole criticism of BB is based on the idea that it doesn't and can't.  But rather than focus on this core issue, you write volumes of possibly perfectly true stuff that doesn't address this issue.  That's why Don and I both conclude that talking to you (at least on this subject) is a WASTE OF TIME.

David, as expected, had more after that, very polite and even humble, but still dodging the issue.



I thought that was the end of it, but David sent me another email saying:
"I think that it would be only fair for you also to publish my last response to you, rather than just state your comment about it."

So fine, here it is:
David I had thought that our dialogue had ended.  In any event, Don and I did have a dialogue more than 3 years ago on what he calls carbon-transport-by-supernova.

I don't know of any other secular transport theory.  I would have thought that Don would hold to such a theory, in some form. Maybe he doesn't.  I don't know.

However, Don called the argument that I made an argument for a young Earth.  Not at all.  The argument never did, and does not now, attempt to show an age.

Now, for the sake of that argument I did assume, because one must make some assumption, a generous 20 billion years, and showed that all of the Milky Way galaxy supernovae that would have ever existed in that time within 100 ly of the Earth still could not account for Earth's carbon.  It's not even close.

Don said that I assumed that the universe must always have been much like it is right now, rather than radically different in the past.  Yes, and I always say so.

Such an assumption has, as its basis, statements like "the present is the key to the past", which evolutionists regularly seem to assume for all processes for just about everything else.  In my presentation I have also stated other assumptions, as well, and implied, if not outright stated, that the calculation depended on all of the stated assumptions being true and that changes in the assumptions would change the calculation.

I have had a running set of conversations on such topics with a PhD in physics from Purdue whom I have known for many years.  So far I haven't seen a better set of assumptions, amenable to a calculation, but I am always on the lookout.  If such becomes available, no matter what the source, I would try to recalculate, if possible.

Don had, and still does have, my attention, since he said that I was off by a factor of 90 billion I had asked Don for his calculation, or estimate, or whatever would have been a better word, a number of times.  After a while I stopped asking because he didn't seem interested, but I would always welcome whatever work he has done.

I might have continued on by addressing your (Cary's) further comments, but maybe I would run afoul of writing "volumes of possibly perfectly true stuff that doesn't address the issue".  But I may not be correct.  I don't know.  At this point I remember Job pleading for an umpire.

Don has stated terrific information, at the right time, like the rough endoplasmic reticulum ribosomes on 17 June 2014, which rescued part of my presentation that day in Villa Park.  Cary, I greatly appreciate your edits on my notes.

I'm sorry to hear that you both seem to consider any further communication a waste of time, because I don't share that opinion at all.  But my door will remain open.