Thursday 14 August 2008

Because I don't know about it therefore it doesnt exist

Gentle reader I was challenged the other day by a passing "person of faith". In the summer we have have a plethora of missions one of which "New Horizon" had as a guest speaker this year Dr John Lennox Oxford mathematician and Christian apologist. This has had the side effect that we now have "people of faith" who now have a scientist who can be waved at recalcitrant heathens like my self as proof that both god exists and there is a scientist that can prove it.

Now I have no great problem with Dr Lennox he is a fine mathematician, he writes a good book, I may not agree with what he says but he is being horribly misrepresented by those that listened, well I assumed they listened but I feel very probably they didn't. (If you are interested there was a very good debate here between Dr Lennox and Professor Richard Dawkins)

According to the book waver who accosted me as an out an proud atheist, it was ALL explained by Dr Lennox. The world's beginning is explained by the bible Dr Lennox and he is a scientist says so. Evolution doesn't exist Dr Lennox and he is a scientist says so... are you seeing a pattern develope here? To cut a long story short what I was challenged to was "how could the universe be created out of nothing". Now I have no answer for that but I do like to keep my finger on the pulse of what is going on, but for some time there has been head scratching about virtual particles, quantum perturbation, Willis Lamb in 1955 proved the existence of virtual particles that appear out of "nothing" (He got the nobel prize for it) He was able to show that matter in the form of "virtual particles" pop in existence and whilst cannot be observed directly their effects can be seen and measured. These virtual particles appear because of quantum perturbation. Now there is a theory that posits the "big bang" was in fact a massive quantum perturbation where there was more virtual matter than virtual antimatter created so there was a "bang" of sorts and because there was more matter our Universe was the matter that was left behind. I am not pushing this as truth, the maths that promotes this is very hard and I don't pretend to understand all of it. However I have given it the time of day and as we as a species learn more and do more experiments the balance of probability will push one theory of what happened more than another and I will watch this with interest. But there is very little to gain in the static world of the supernatural explanation. I have no interest in a following a supernatural reason because it never changes.

But I was told this is totally wrong and instantly dismissable because "Dr Lennox didn't mention it at all and he is a scientist and nobody I know has heard about it but you" Now to me this means "because I don't know about it therefore it doesn't exist" and this is meant to convince me?


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