Anti-Realism ‘Theory’ Considered Breakhrough

Earlier this year to explain the origin of the universe, Hawking invokes “M-theory” which is really not a theory at all but rather a collection of different unproven ideas. In science daily, they claim they have the magic to create something out of nothing, naturally…

“The scientists and engineers have developed new equations that show how a high-energy electron beam combined with an intense laser pulse could rip apart a vacuum into its fundamental matter and antimatter components, and set off a cascade of events that generates additional pairs of particles and antiparticles.”

“But in a strong electromagnetic field, this annihilation, which is typically a sink mechanism, can be the source of new particles,” Nees said, “In the course of the annihilation, gamma photons appear, which can produce additional electrons and positrons.” A gamma photon is a high-energy particle of light. A positron is an anti-electron, a mirror-image particle with the same properties as an electron, but an opposite, positive charge.”

This isn’t exactly creating something out of nothing, is it? No, because that is going against natural law. So in turn, they do what Darwinian evolution does, you invent something and go from there without explaining how it got there in the first place. What created a high-energy electron beam to zap into existence, events that supposedly created particles and antiparticles?

Do you really call that science? Should these scientists be removed from their post? In Kentucky back in 2007, astronomer Martin Gaskell found himself as the leading candidate for directing the new observatory at the University of Kentucky. He claimed that evolution and the Bible were reconcilable (which they are not) and also suggested to his students to read intelligent design papers. This like creating something out of nothing became hype. Hiring a ‘creationist’ could be an embarrassment to the University, the establishment and special interest groups suggested. So the process of his removal was on!

Gaskell’s is taking the University to court with an allegation that the university violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act for discrimination against him because of his religion. The university did admit in a legal brief, that concerns over Gaskell’s views on evolution (it wasn’t dogmatic enough) played a role in the decision to chose another candidate.

Gaskell has a doctorate in his field, plus he had published extensively on various subjects such as black holes in space, and developed an observatory at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln atop a campus parking garage — an innovative approach UK (who rejected his hire based on his religious views) eventually would also use.

So there you have it, as long as scientists view evolution or naturalism as a dogma, you can invent anything, even zapping things out of nothing and calling it a major breaththrough, but when you have conducted real observations and nobody had a problem with your work before, but when an important job comes along, you are questioned because of doubts about your view on evolution and then rejected as a result.  This is the movie “Expelled” all over again!

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37 thoughts on “Anti-Realism ‘Theory’ Considered Breakhrough

  1. “special interest groups ”

    There you go again !

    What on Earth are these ‘special interest groups’ ?

  2. A special-interest group is a bunch of people who care about nothing except for one narrow issue, and promote that interest to the exclusion of everything and everyone else.

    For example, creationism.

  3. “Earlier this year to explain the origin of the universe, Hawking invokes “M-theory” which is really not a theory at all but rather a collection of different unproven ideas. In science daily, [sic] they [sic] claim they have the magic to create something out of nothing, naturally”

    Michael, please explain what the Science Daily article has to do with M-theory. Throwing around sciencey sounding terms does not impress anyone that you have any any idea what you are talking about. In fact, we note once again your refusal to set out any qualifications you might have for holding forth on any area of science from A-theory to ZZZZ-theory.

    One indication is that Michael has gullibly ascribed far more to the Science Daily article than was contained therein. Scientists have known for decades that particles can be created from empty space. This is the basis of the Casimir-Polder force, which pushes two small closely spaced plates together when more particles are created outside the plates than between them. This goes on constantly right in front of Michael’sa face; he merely is oblivious to it.

    The particles created in the University of Michigan experiment are more numerous with more energy, because of the greater disruption produced by the laser beam. But not different in kind. Michael seems to fall for the hyperbole of the popular press without any conscious thought or knowledge whatever.

    So much for —

    This isn’t exactly creating something out of nothing, is it? No, because that is going against natural law.

    No wonder people laugh at creationists. But we shall give Michael a chance to redeem himself Ready?

    Michael, define “NOTHING” as used in your statement above.

    I thought not.

  4. Anti-Realism ‘Theory’ Considered Breakthrough

    Michael, please let us know what “theory” you are referring to. M-theory has nothing to do with any other statement made in this post. The only other specific theory mentioned in the post is biological evolution, which has nothing to do with anything else in the post,or with the cited Science Daily article—which seems to describe the only “breakthrough” in the title of the post.

    Secondly, please let us know in what way whatever theory you mean is “anti-realism.”

    For that matter, please describe what scientists mean by a “realistic” theory.

    Once again — Michael has no idea what he’s talking about. Quod erat demonstrandum.

  5. @Olorin:

    ah sorry, I should have asked ‘who’ instead of ‘what’, and ‘what is that special interest then ?’

    And what is so ‘special’ ?

  6. No, Eelco; my bad.

    Apparently it was not obvious that my intent was sarcastic—to impale creationism ass meeting the definition of a “special interest group.”

  7. No no, I got the sarcasm (completely warranted !) …

    I’m just trying to work out what kind of people Michael is talking about.

  8. Over at EducateTruth.com, I am still having a debate with Creation Scientist Sean Pitman…It has moved to the T-Rex soft tissue argument.

    He makes the argument that Kinetic chemistry indicates that there could be no tissue surviving for 68 million years.

    Granted, my argument may have been a bit weak at first, but I think I am picking up momentum. — I pointed out a new study from last October that indicates that Biofilms may contribute to the preservation of the tissue. (Please note, this is not the “tissue-are-really-biofilms” argument).

    Also the study seems to back up Schweitzer’s hypothesis that the sandstone envoirments the fossils were in equilibruim to the fossils permitting the preservation. Sandstone is part of the key. She said that mudstone tends to not produce fossils with tissue.

    Sean Pitman just mentioned that biofilms didn’t help fossil fish keep their tissue….He cited fossil fish from the Santana Formation…. I am like “REALLY!? The Santana Formation seemingly was an ancient lake! Not to mention, it has lots of mudstone!! In other words, he didn’t harm the combined hypothesis of biofilms contributing as well as sandstone envoirments…I feel like he actually strengthened it!!

    I wonder how he will answer! :P

  9. Kris, one of the things that is truly hilarious is that, although creationists have no respect for the sciences at all, they will cling to any scintist wo comes up with a finding that they like.

    Isn’t it strange how some scientists can be so pig-headedly wrong, and others invincibly correct?

    Sometimes the same scientist appears on both lists of the creationists. Wondrous strange.

  10. Olorin,

    The thing about Sean Pitman is that he has said that if his perceptions about God and the Bible are wrong, then he will leave the Seventh-Day Adventist church and give up on Christianity all together.

    His words: “Personally, if I ever became convinced that there really is no scientific merit behind the literal seven-day creation week or the worldwide nature of Noah’s flood, or if Darwinian-style evolution one day made good sense to me, I would leave behind not only the SDA Church but Christianity as well.”

    “I, personally, would have to go with what I saw as the weight of empirical evidence. This is why if I ever honestly became convinced that the weight of empirical evidence was on the side of life existing on this planet for hundreds of millions of years, I would leave not only the SDA Church, but Christianity as well…”

    There is one SDA there that is criticizing him over those statements. He goes by the name “Professor Kent” on the threads, and…he apparently is not crazy about “Creation Science” despite being a creationist. He told Sean Pitman that he may be setting up Seventh-Day Adventists for another “Great Disappointment.” (referencing the Great Disappointment of 1844 when the Millerites named for William Miller predicted Jesus would come back).

  11. Kris, Pitman’s sentiment is shared by many others, especially teenagers. This is why creationism has been called a prime source of atheists.

  12. Olorin,

    You are right.

    Oh, by the way, Pitman completely avoided my last comments on how dinisaur tissue can be preserved and went straight to another comment of mine he thinks is weaker.– I’m guessing I may have won that round? *shrugs*

  13. Olorin / kris,

    I have been reading this blog (and your comments) for some time now and I find what you say very helpful and enlightening, thanks very much and please keep up the good work.

    I have been content to sit back and read but the latest comments have struck a chord with me.

    Some time ago I made a statement not too dissimilar to the Pitman one quoted above. Since then I have seen the light and now identify myself as an Atheist, having been a Creationist for much of my life.

  14. Even though Michael will never be convinced, it is gratifying to know that some (mostly silent) readers understand.

    However, both Kris and I are here to tell you that science and religion are not exclusive—only science and creationism.

    Creationism actually demeans God, by portraying him s a petty stage magician.

  15. @Olorin:
    Of course there are lots of scientists who are also religious, but most keep science and religion apart. The methods really are quite different, and I would say exclusive (the methods, that is).

  16. Olorin,

    You say, “Michael, please explain what the Science Daily article has to do with M-theory.”It’s funny some think you don’t get it. Is this all you can come up with? That statement had nothing to do with science daily rather it’s has to do what Hawking said in his book. Here is is again…

    “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing,” he writes. “Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist.

    Because there is gravity the universe can and will be create itself from nothing? Come on Olorin, this guy is one of most intelligent men in the world who believes in many of the things you do and he uses “because” and “will” and “spontaneous creation” for his best evidence? Is this why your asking me to define what is “nothing”? lol What was produced to create the particles and space plates that you say can be moved by a naturally created outside force and what created that force?

  17. Eelco,

    Martin Gaskell did keep his view on intelligent design and religion in general apart as there was no evidence he had actually tried to influence anyone at the university or observatory about his views! Quite frankly, no scientist should fear openness about the evidence. The University feared that an ID proponent hired there would get media attention that they didn’t want any with those views to get so they rejected him for the job as a result. This would be a clear violation of the law in the United States.

  18. Michael, if Gaskell suggested to his students to read intelligent design papers, then he suggested them to read religious papers. So no, he did not seperate science and religion in that case, as ID is a religious idea.

  19. @Michael: “That statement had nothing to do with science daily [sic] rather it’s has to do what Hawking said in his book. Here is is again…”

    Exactly my point. The subject of the post was matter creation by laser beam. This has NOTHING TO DO WITH M-THEORY. You may have been thinking about Steven Hawking when you were writing about vacuum disruption. But the post concerned vacuum energy, not M-theory..

    Non-sequiturs such as this are typical of Michael’s posts. I guess we should not be surprised that he can’t even see them when they are pointed out.

  20. @Michael: “[Hawking] uses “because” and “will” and “spontaneous creation” for his best evidence? Is this why your asking me to define what is “nothing”? lol

    Hawking’s words are not “evidence.” They form an assertion, which requires evidence to uphold it. Michael is here guilty of a category error.

    The reason for asking Michael to define “nothing” is to determine whether he knows what he is talking about or not. Specifically, is Michael equivocating between the “nothing” that physicists create matter from, and the “nothing” from which God created the universe?

    As to the definition, some Christian sects believe that God created the universe from a “nothing” that did have some form of amorphous stuff in it, and God then organized this stuff into what we now call matter and energy. For some physicists, “nothing” does have extent; for others space is not an attribute of nothingness.

    So Michael sneers at the question as puerile, when the characteristics of “nothing” are actually an arcane inquiry for both scientists and theologians. Once again, Michael evinces his ignorance by dismissing an important question with an idiotic “lol.”

  21. @Michael: “Because there is gravity the universe can and will be create itself from nothing? Come on Olorin, this guy is one of most intelligent men in the world who believes in many of the things you do….”

    Once again, if Michael could define “nothing,” he might have some handle as to what Hawking is talking about in this context.

    If Michael had even read descriptions of Hawking’s works, he would know that Hawking does not propose creation from “nothing’: by gravitation. Rather, gravitation created our particular universe[1] from a “bulk,” a multi-dimensional construct, when two “branes” collided within the bulk. The evidence that Hawking adduces for this theory is the strength of gravity in relation to the other fundamental forces. This is his evidence—not a bare “because” or a wanton “will” from thin air. That’s why we call Stephen hawking intelligent, and Michael … not so much.

    .

    PS: There are some “beliefs” that Hawking and I share. And others we do not. But we are talking science here, not religion.

    ==============

    [1] Don’t wax wroth, Michael. This is not the same as the “multiverse” theory which splits the universe at every quantum event.

  22. Eelco,

    You say,

    “Michael, if Gaskell suggested to his students to read intelligent design papers, then he suggested them to read religious papers. So no, he did not seperate science and religion in that case, as ID is a religious idea.”

    You forgot one very important item that is very key to this case, he was not in the workplace! None of his research papers for work such as the ones on black holes had anything to do with religion. Rather he was giving speeches on his own time to college students around the country. He even believes in evolution (but believes it has flaws which is why he suggested ID reading) and is trying to convince Christians that evolution is compatible which is incorrect. It’s a major difference and what you are suggesting, separation means, religious scientists are not allowed on their own time to express their viewpoints otherwise they can’t hold important jobs concerning science at Universities. But that suggestion is not legal here, people have rights of freedom of speech and religion and you can’t deny someone a job on those grounds.

    Also, let’s take Jerry Coyne and Michael Behe. Recently they have been engaging in a debate about adaptive evolution. Coyne argues the evolutionist side and Behe the intelligent design side. Behe responds to Coyne. So tell me, what is religious in Behe’s response taken from Evolution News

    One of Coyne’s objections…

    2. In relatively short-term lab experiments there has simply not been enough time to observe the accumulation of complex FCTs, which take time to build or acquire from a rare horizontal transmission event.

    Behe responds…

    “Furthermore, although complex gain-of-FCT mutations likely would occur only on long time-scales unavailable to laboratory studies, simple gain-of-FCT mutations need not take nearly as long. As seen in Table 1, a gain-of-FCT mutation in sickle hemoglobin is triggered by a simple point mutation, which helps code for a new protein binding site. It has been estimated that new transcription-factor binding sites in higher eukaryotes can be formed relatively quickly by single point mutations in DNA sequences that are already near matches (Stone and Wray 2001). In general, if a sequence of genomic DNA is initially only one nucleotide removed from coding for an adaptive functional element, then a single simple point mutation could yield a gain-of-FCT. As seen in Table 5, several laboratory studies have achieved thousand- to million-fold saturations of their test organisms with point mutations, and most of the studies reviewed here have at least single-fold saturation. Thus, one would expect to have observed simple gain-of-FCT adaptive mutations that had sufficient selective value to outcompete more numerous loss-of-FCT or modification-of-function mutations in most experimental evolutionary studies, if they had indeed been available.”

  23. Eh, Michael, you wrote ‘his students’, but now your are saying these were ‘college students around the country’.

    So, not his students then ? What is it: his, or others ?

    And you have not answered my earlier question: who are these ‘special interest groups’ you keep going on about ?

  24. If only Michael had read a little further into Martin Gaskell’s views. According to the Louisville, KY Courier-Journal online Dec. 10, 2010):

    “Gaskell has said he rejects the brand of creationism taught at the Creation Museum in Northern Kentucky, which presents a literal interpretation of the Bible. It says the Earth and all life were created a few thousand years ago in six 24-hour days and disputes the scientific consensus that both developed gradually over billions of years.

    Gaskell, in his lecture notes, calls such creationism ‘very bad scientifically and theologically’ and said it ‘actually hinders some scientists becoming Christians.’”

    .

    But, more to the point, Michael simply assumes that Gaskell is correct in alleging he didn’t get the job because of his views. As noted more fully over in Pharyngula on Dec. 13, the “leading candidate” for any job is the person who gets the job offer. There is—especially today—a surfeit of leading candidates for every job. Many positions have five or more fully qualified aspirants. Gaskell may believe he didn’t get the job because of his religious views or activities, but this may or may not be true.

    Apparently we shall find out. Both sides’ motions for summary judgment having been denied, his case will proceed to trial.

  25. Eelco,

    You say, “And you have not answered my earlier question: who are these ‘special interest groups’ you keep going on about ?”

    In one of the e-mails reported in the media, “An astrophysics professor, Moshe Elitzur, told Cavagnero that the hire would be a “huge public relations mistake,”

    Does he sound like he’s part of a special interest group rather than just a scientist? Three other biology professors and a geology professor also repeated the theme, that hiring Gaskell would be a “disaster” and an embarrassment to the university, even though Gaskell disagrees with the young-earth position of the Creation Museum. Who were they trying to please? Most of the general public in the United States certainly wouldn’t have objected to his hiring…

    “Moshe predicts that he would not be here one month before the (Lexington) Herald-Leader headline would read: ‘UK hires creationist to direct new student observatory.”

    Also, you say science and religion can’t be mixed? Andy McIntosh, is an intelligent design proponent who doesn’t do that. He has written papers against Darwinian evolution. How has this affected his work, let’s take a look…

    “A team of scientists from the University of Leeds have developed a technology which is based on the beetle’s spray mechanism. They say it may lead to improvements in the automotive and health industries…The university’s professor of thermodynamics and combustion theory, Andy McIntosh, who led the research team, said: “Nobody had studied the beetle from a physics and engineering perspective as we did, and we didn’t appreciate how much we would learn from it.” -BBC

    Congrats to Andy McIntosh on his amazing discovery! No, Eelco…A scientist can openly disagree with Darwinian evolution and still produce great science! You didn’t answer my question about religious content in Michael Behe’s response to Coyne.

  26. You still haven’t told me who these ‘special interest groups’ are. One person (Moshe Elitzur) is not a group.

    Then, if Gaskell does not support one type of creationism (YEC) but does support another type of creationism (ID), he still is a creationist, and therefore religious. There are lots of types of creationists … as I said: so many creationists, so little time.

    Michael: “Also, you say science and religion can’t be mixed? Andy McIntosh, is an intelligent design proponent who doesn’t do that. ”

    If he is a ID proponent, he does do just that !! ID is religious.

    Michael: “A scientist can openly disagree with Darwinian evolution and still produce great science! ”

    Of course, unless he/she comes with religious arguments, like creationists do. That is the whole point !

    Michael: “You didn’t answer my question about religious content in Michael Behe’s response to Coyne.”

    I do not know enough about this, so cannot answer yet. I do like to note that you have not answered many, many of my questions in the past (sometimes repeated 10 times or more), so you are being very hypocritical here.

  27. Eelco: “I do like to note that you have not answered many, many of my questions in the past (sometimes repeated 10 times or more), so you are being very hypocritical here.”

    For example, Michael has refused to divulge his readership numbers despite repeated reminders over a period of almost a year.

    For the benefit of any possible new lurkers, in February 2010, Eelco had estimated a low readership for this blog. Michael denied Eelco’s claim. Eelco then challenged Michael to produce numbers to support his denial. Since then, Michael has remained curiously silent on this point. Can we take this protracted silence as acquiescence to Eelco’s claim? Hmm?

  28. Eelco, you do not understand Michael’s concept of a “special interest group.”

    The common understanding of a “conspiracy” requires not only multiple people, but people who act together in furtherance of a goal that they have collectively decided upon. Creationists are endemically conspiracy theorists, perceiving a conspiracy in anyone who opposes their views.[1] And a conspiracy requires some kind of group, which goes by the name “special interest group.”

    Therefore, anyone who opposes hiring Martin Gaskell MUST BE, IPSO FACTO AND BY DEFINITION a special interest group. Where more than one person opposes the hiring of Martin Gaskell, they MUST BE acting in concert with each other, even though they may not even have known of each other’s existence previously, or share any other opinion on any subject.

    So, we must appreciate that Michael’s appellation of “special interest group” upon someone has no more significance than that that person opposes one of Michael’s beliefs. It is nothing more than a mental reflex, a bunch of born-again neurons within the lower reptilian brain that react to opposition in the same way that other neurons react to contact with a hot stove.

    That is, crying out “Special interest group!” is a defense against the intolerable pain of dissent.

    ============

    [1] Actually, they seem to be conspiracy theorists in almost every aspect of life. Scratch a creationist and you will find a person who believes climate change is a hoax, who is certain the government is covering up UFO sightings, who denies the Holocaust, who claims that JFK was … Well you get the idea. It seems to be part and parcel of the mentality.

  29. Thanks Olorin, that is clear now !

    Of course I am well aware of the fondness for conspiracy theories amongst creationists, but you’ve connected this to his ‘special interests groups’ (or rather, conspirators), a connection I failed to see.

  30. As long as we’re at it, we can connect up two more items of Michael’s tortuous terminology: The singular form of “special interest group” is “liberal.”

  31. Olorin: “The singular form of “special interest group” is “liberal.”

    The (North-)American term ‘liberal’ is always entertaining: in my home country this sits on the right-hand side of the political spectrum, while it seems to be considered on the left-hand side in the US.

  32. Eelco, maybe it depends which side of the road you drive on. I’ve been there several times, and the bicycles, at least, are all over.

  33. You’re right about the bicycles, and maybe I should just say ‘on the left/right of the political spectrum’.

  34. It is amusing that Michael’s conception of a “liberal” is so parochial. Not to mention ignorant.

  35. Eelco,

    You quote me as saying, “Michael: “Also, you say science and religion can’t be mixed? Andy McIntosh, is an intelligent design proponent who doesn’t do that.”No, the last part of the quote is not what I said. The NY Times also published more of the e-mails from the University.

    “Clearly this man is complex and likely fascinating to talk with,” Ms. Shafer wrote, “but potentially evangelical. If we hire him, we should expect similar content to be posted on or directly linked from the department Web site.”

    “Dr. Cavagnero recalled reading Ms. Shafer’s e-mail and said he discussed Dr. Gaskell’s faith with the department chairman at the University of Nebraska, where Dr. Gaskell worked at the time.”

    When you interview for a job in the United States, one doesn’t ask about his or her religious beliefs nor does the employer do a background check on ones religious beliefs in order to qualify or disqualify a person for a job. The University of Nebraska was his previous employer and they didn’t have a problem with his job performance even though they may have disagreed with his personal views. The University of Texas (another government school) hired him after his UK rejection and they did not go into his religious background or ask him if he was a creationist nor did they disqualify him for being a theistic evolutionist or “potentially evangelical” as a result. The fact of the matter is, I do not agree with Dr. Gaskell’s beliefs either on different grounds of course than yours but you have no basis in defending what UK did to Dr. Gaskell for a job and then reject him on that basis, its against the law on both counts what UK accomplished.

  36. Micheal: “No, the last part of the quote is not what I said. ”

    Eh, I just copied-and-pasted that … you did write that.

    Michael: “When you interview for a job in the United States, one doesn’t ask about his or her religious beliefs nor does the employer do a background check on ones religious beliefs in order to qualify or disqualify a person for a job. ”

    But that is not the issue, of course. The issue is that he is trying to sell religion (ID) as science during his lectures. That is not OK.

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