Friday, June 7, 2013

Hunting for Creationism - Round 6 - Elements Are Dependable across the Universe

I'm on the hunt for evidence for Creationism/Intelligent Design (hereby C/ID). Here, I set the ground rules and mission. Here, I have an index of my search.

Continuing on icr.org (they have a bunch of arguments). Today's argument, "Elements Are Dependable across the Universe".



The visible energy from the sun is the sunshine that lights the day and the moonlight reflected by the moon at night. The range of visible colors is a very small part of the electromagnetic spectrum. The range of visible light across the spectrum forms the colors we call a rainbow.
Yessir!

Chemicals give off and absorb light at specific points on the electromagnetic spectrum. By comparing the light from various chemicals with the light from our sun, we have learned that our sun is made up mostly of hydrogen. We have also learned which atoms are in galaxies far away. The chemical elements across the universe behave the same as they do for us.
Yessir! Mass spectrometry (wiki link) is more specifically what we use to determine this.

The light from distant galaxies comes from explosions of hydrogen. These are nuclear explosions, which are much more powerful than chemical explosions.
Gravity draws all the sun's hydrogen together creating intense pressure. In the core of the sun the huge forces cause nuclear fusion reactions. Hydrogen atoms fuse together into helium and release huge amounts of energy. This explosive energy does not cause the sun to disintegrate and die, but the universal laws of physics keep the energy of the sun continually in balance.
The same laws of physics that hold our exploding sun together do the same for the stars that light up the night sky.
Again with the "explosion" misconception, but... okay.

Processes today operate primarily within fixed natural laws and relatively uniform process rates, but since these laws were themselves originally created and are daily maintained by their Creator, there is always the possibility of miraculous intervention in these laws or processes by their Creator.
Aaaaand we're off the deep end.

The "evidence" presented by the ICR here, seem to follow a pattern.
  1. State a bunch of scientifically accurate facts.
  2. All of a sudden, blurt out, at the end, some bizarre insane conclusion, that was only arrived at through multiple compounded logical fallacies - or simply plucked out of thin air.
The last bit there is what they're trying to demonstrate, and seems to be more of a digression... so no logical argument is even presented. This is the argument:
  1. Things in the universe are consistent.
... and you're just supposed to know, apparently, how this ties into supporting a creator. The connection is so tenuous as to be non-existent - literally - no connection is even presented.

Apparently, I'll have to re-state what I said in Round 5, because these ICR people are apparently going to make the same errors repeatedly:

When we're investigating a phenomenon, let's say we're trying to figure out what started a forest fire, we frequently have multiple possibilities. The evidence we have initially simply indicates that the forest fire happened, and it had an apparent beginning. As we gather additional data and evidence, other possibilities come to light, and more importantly, some possibilities are more strongly supported than others.
Eventually, we converge on a a possibility that's supported by the preponderance of evidence, above the others.
In the case of the Big Bang "singularity", we do not have a whole lot of evidence to establish any plausible possibilities, let alone which ones are more likely.

It's the same thing here, except we're talking about why the laws of the universe are consistent. Author has simply taken some aspect of the universe, and then (if they had actually completed the argument) stated "magic man done it."

There's no meat to this argument. It's merely an asserted connection, and nothing more. There's almost nothing to refute.

Meta Analysis

If we dig into this "argument" a little deeper, it quickly falls apart, and becomes incoherent and inconsistent.

Why does consistency in the universe indicate a creator? 

In fact, one thing we observe about "creators" in general (creative people) is that they don't like consistency, unless they must do it (a omnipotent creator would not have these restrictions). They love to mix things up. I could make a better argument, given their definition of a god, where the universe should be a diverse mixture of different laws and different interesting things... not the same basic mechanism over and over and over - through 200 billion stars multiplied by 200 billion galaxies. 

Imagine if you were playing a video game where each level was identical, and the game play was the same. My conclusion wouldn't be that some creative mind was responsible, but rather some automatic "dumb" process was at work, instead.

Further, the Earth itself isn't consistent. We have a mind-boggling variety of creatures living in a mind-boggling variety of climates and environments across the planet's surface.

Why would this "Argument from Consistency" only need to apply to the laws of the universe itself, and not Earth? This would appear to be special pleading, that the author has taken one arbitrary aspect of the universe, observes it's consistent, and there you go.

Making an argument for the inconsistency of the Earth would actually make more sense, but that's too easily explained via well-studied natural mechanisms.

This is basically another Retro-Causal Argument, as I had defined in an earlier post:

  1. Defined: "Creator" creates consistent universes.
  2. A universe exists that's consistent.
  3. Therefore, the consistent-universe creating Creator exists.
Whereas, in reality, we don't know that natural mechanisms can't create consistent universes, and we don't know that Creators wouldn't create inconsistent universes. The possibilities are a jumble, and there's no actual evidence that establishes one possibility over another, whatever those possibilities may be.

Conclusion: This non-argument is not supported, as is incoherent.

It's like they're not even trying at this point.


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