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10

The Big Bang’s a Theory. Really?

01 Dec 2010

Laurie and the kids wanted to head to Flagstaff to cut down this year’s Christmas tree and though I wasn’t feeling very well I decided anything beats the bed or couch these days so off we went, my wife at the wheel.

We made it to the same tree farm we used last year and though the pickins were pretty slim we found a tall skinny thing we thought would look good in the entry way and Ben and Stacy felled their first tree ever as a couple—all two feet of it.

On the way home we stopped for hot chocolate and then on a complete whim from my lips to Laurie’s ears we made a sudden right turn and headed for the Lowell Observatory.  I’ve read and talked about it but had never visited, which was about to change!

It was about an hour until sundown so we went on a tour, watched a movie and visited the planetarium as we waited for the stars to come out and our chance to look at Jupiter through their multi-million dollar telescope.  It was definitely a sight.  Then we gazed at two stars and the gases erupting from them; causing one to glow blue, the other red.

My son, Ben asked the astronomer to go into detail about the gases, “You tell us they are hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and others, are you or is science 100% sure?  I mean we can’t prove it for fact can we?”  The young lady smiled and said, “No.  We can’t guarantee exactly what the gases are or their make up.”

At that I jumped in, “Every lecturer, astronomer and movie at this place says the earth and other planets happened via the Big Bang.  Just like the gases guess, this is just a theory right?”

She paused then grimaced a bit, “Yes, that would be correct.”

“Then why, if the Big Bang is just a theory do you all teach that it’s fact?  It’s not a fact.”

She shrugged her shoulders as if to say, “That’s above my pay scale.”

I walked away thinking about the events of the several hours spent and concluded that I had just seen a glimpse of what’s going on in our public schools and universities every day.  We have seen generations of Americans trained in schools-of-thought that have altered the path of this country forever and most have taken the theories (lies) as fact and have become people with ideals they were never destined to be or own.

If you question or argue your beliefs in school (or in public) these days you’re just a crazy whacky conservative and/or Bible-thumper (since most teachers are liberal).  Why can’t you have a divergent opinion while others admire and even approve of you because you are willing to question, argue and make your case?

Personally I believe in God and that He created the world—as He created all things.  Do I believe days then were the same as ours?  Nope.  Don’t care. What will knowing this change?  Do I believe He created this planet via an explosion in His mind or a carefully crafted surface full of exact mountain ranges and oceans?  Not sure.  Does it matter?

I laughed as Congress took a full week to argue about food inspection but couldn’t even read the pages of a $700 billion giveaway.  We’re like that.  We get caught up in fighting about the little things but take our eyes off the prize and in the end we’re the ones who lose out.  How sad.

I’m done now; I think I’ll go water my skinny tree.  We can argue about who made it later.

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Comments

December 1, 2010 5:14 pm Reply

Very good point, Darrell. One of the many reasons I miss listening to you each morning here in TN. Mornings haven’t been the same since you left. Thanks for the great blog.

December 1, 2010 7:54 pm Reply

Hi Darrell, I agree with you on most subjects, but in this case I am afraid you are allowing your religious dogma to cloud your thinking. One reason a specific creation story is not part of our public (taxpayer supported) school system is… Which creation story would be the ONE chosen to teach? There are hundreds of practiced religions… What if the one chosen was not your religion? We tach the scientific explanations, even if all the answers are not present they are supported by good science, a lack of information does not mean we fill it in with a God did it story (again who’s God?) I agree with your comment “Why can’t you have a divergent opinion while others admire and even approve of you because you are willing to question, argue and make your case?” public debate is welcome. But I would not go so far as to call ‘General Relativity’ (the basis for “The Big Bang” lies. It is the best explanation for the creation of the Universe without invoking any particular “God” story. Just for fun I did a brief search and found 45 different creation stories in about 2 minutes my guess is that I could find many more if I did a longer search. I understand that you are a Christian and you are usually very open minded… Would you like all 45 creation stories to be part of the ‘science’ class where your son goes to school? Each one would have to hold the same weight and an equal standing. Religious study belongs in a religious school not a public school, and that way ‘You’ control which Religion your children will be exposed to as ‘Truth’. No matter how sure ‘You’ are of your religion, the other 1000 religions practiced around the world today are ‘Not’ sure of ‘Your’ ‘Truth’. “The Big Band” does not require “God”, you are free to add “Your God” to it as are the other 1000 other religions. But lets not teach those in public school. We wouldn’t have time for Math. Thanks Darrell. I love you Man! Stay kind and be well.

December 12 2010 15:36 pm

If the big bang is a theory and creation is a theory they both must be excluded, taught, or only mentioned and move to a different topic.
since you can't be sure of the theory, you would only present the idea that some people think x y or z happened by unknown physical forces of elements called the "big Bang". and for creation you present that some people think x y or z was done by the power and design of a being commonly referred to as "god"

then you move on to what IS and let parents teach which "theory " is correct.

December 1, 2010 9:18 pm Reply

This sounds similar to global warming/climate change as well. ??? A theory taught as though it were fact. And facts, such as history lessons, get twisted and changed with opinions until they are no longer true.

December 2, 2010 7:30 am Reply

Darrell, I couldn’t agree with you more. Unfortunately, in our society’s quest for open-mindedness, it seems that many have become extremely narrow-minded. Anything is plausible for them, unless it is tied to traditional beliefs and values. Our society has become so humanistic that if we cannot explain it, it simply must not exist. The very idea that there is something beyond the human experience on Earth is absurd – unless you are talking about life on Mars. Randomness, chance, and alien life forms are logical; God is not.

P.S. I miss listening to your daily show on the FM dial in Phoenix – those were great days!

December 3, 2010 10:20 am Reply

I think a large part of the problem here arises from a confusion of terms. Think of it this way: In common parlance, “copy” generally means to duplicate someone’s work, or a duplicated version. In journalism terms, “copy” is understood to mean the written content of an article or the recorded content of a broadcast. It has nothing to do with duplication or copyING. If someone were to hear you say “I’ll send the copy,” they might assume you were sending work that was not originally your own, or that you meant a duplication of some work, and in both cases, that probably wouldn’t be what you meant.

In the same way, in general terms, “theory” means, more or less, a guess. A hypothesis, if you want to sound fancy about it, and that’s entirely the correct way to use it in conversation, but it’s not how it’s used in “shop talk.” In scientific terms, “theory” more closely means a painstakingly evaluated and corroborated explanation of the hard facts as we best understand them. It’s a collection of facts, explained. To the best of current scientific understanding, the “big bang” (or expansionary universe) is both theory AND fact.

That said, you’re entirely correct on the “it doesn’t matter” front. My husband is extremely fond of saying “I don’t care how God did it; all that matters is whether he did.” (Obviously, he believes he did.)

Also, it might console you to know that my father, a sixth-grade teacher, was the most opinionated and conservative person I have ever known. You would have gotten on extremely well.

December 9, 2010 9:55 am Reply

I say why not allow students to compare and contrast the creation vs. evolution argument. Of course that would mean using a Bible in schools (Oh the horror), and other religious tomes would be welcome as well. Why would someone do such a things you ask? If you look at creation vs. evolution what you will find is that creation is evolutionary in that no component came before what was necessary to support it (i.e. light, water, & soil before plants). But that’s crazy talk, I actually fear when my son starts school for fear of how dumbed down the curriculum’s will be by then so that no one has to experience failure until college, but that’s another rant… Miss you on the FM dial in the Valley of the Sun, your show got me listening to the station and although someone is on the air from 9-12, they didn’t replace you.

December 23, 2010 5:08 pm Reply

yeah yeah. just a theory. then again, the age of the planet is likely just a “theory” right! See, the difference between science and”superstition” (read: every freaking religion on earth) is that science continues to challenge and question itself, and when new and better information becomes available, the texts change to reflect that. Religions on the other hand, have historically been willing to murder individuals who bring any information about the world around us that does not fall into the very narrow categories of their superstitious dogma. furthermore, for those of you who think that if the universe began with a big bang, that it would have been in the bible, consider this. You go find yourself an illiterate goatherd who’s willing to listen and try to explain algebra to him. just algebra. I bet you walk away with a better appreciation for what god would have been up against trying to explain quantum theory.

December 24, 2010 12:42 pm Reply

Merry Christmas Darrell! We miss you on KTAR, and wish you the best! I hope to hear you again on the waves here in Phoenix. Take care of yourself!

December 25, 2010 5:52 pm Reply

I think a large part of the problem here arises from a confusion of terms. Think of it this way: In common parlance, “copy” generally means to duplicate someone’s work, or a duplicated version. In journalism terms, “copy” is understood to mean the written content of an article or the recorded content of a broadcast. It has nothing to do with duplication or copyING. If someone were to hear you say “I’ll send the copy,” they might assume you were sending work that was not originally your own, or that you meant a duplication of some work, and in both cases, that probably wouldn’t be what you meant. In the same way, in general terms, “theory” means, more or less, a guess. A hypothesis, if you want to sound fancy about it, and that’s entirely the correct way to use it in conversation, but it’s not how it’s used in “shop talk.” In scientific terms, “theory” more closely means a painstakingly evaluated and corroborated explanation of the hard facts as we best understand them. It’s a collection of facts, explained. To the best of current scientific understanding, the “big bang” (or expansionary universe) is both theory AND fact. That said, you’re entirely correct on the “it doesn’t matter” front. My husband is extremely fond of saying “I don’t care how God did it; all that matters is whether he did.” (Obviously, he believes he did.) Also, it might console you to know that my father, a sixth-grade teacher, was the most opinionated and conservative person I have ever known. You would have gotten on extremely well.

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