NY Times: Cosmologists Have Lost Their Brains
Naked brains floating in space, disconnected from reality – this describes the minds of some modern cosmologists, accused Dennis Overbye in a shocking article in the New York Times January 15. While attempting to be sympathetic to the smart guys who can cover a blackboard with equations about higher dimensions, it was clear he was about to call these guys nuts. His title: “Big brain theory: have cosmologists lost theirs?”
Some of the ideas being seriously proposed by cosmologists include: disconnected observers in space (of which you might be one, imagining you really are here on Earth); universes bubbling off in all directions all the time; universes that make observers in a snap; reincarnation; and the possibility of a quantum fluctuation leading to a bang that would destroy us and the universe in a flash.
If Bob Berman already thought cosmologists were clueless (see 09/29/2007, 10/06/2004), this article would surely push him over the edge. Overbye himself said, “If you are inclined to skepticism this debate might seem like further evidence that cosmologists, who gave us dark matter, dark energy and speak with apparent aplomb about gazillions of parallel universes, have finally lost their minds.”
Yet the article describes the opinions of leaders in the field: Alan Guth, Andrei Linde, Leonard Susskind, Lisa Dyson, and others, who debate their paradoxes and imaginative scenarios in all seriousness, run impressive calculations, and deduce alternate realities that could not be scientifically tested even in principle. If skepticism was the key to the Age of Reason, has the time come to turn skepticism against the skeptics?
Those curious about what possible rationale any scientist could defend for such notions as brains floating in space in bubbling universes where time runs backward can dig into the article for its discussion of the Boltzmann paradox, quantum radiation, dark energy and other quasi-rational or quasi-realistic elements of their tales. One will look hard for any baby of observable science, however, in the metaphysical bathwater (cf. 02/18/2007).
After centuries of the Age of Reason, attempting to describe nature in rational terms, it would seem natural philosophers (now called scientists) have created a new metaphysics more speculative than ever. Have the boundaries of science and reason been left far behind? Has any accountability to evidence been jettisoned? Linde, after discussing the possibility of reincarnation in modern cosmological speculations, says, “People are not prepared for this discussion.” One wonders who can claim to be on the right side of the looking glass.
Linde, who just happens to be a Hindu, just happened to find a way to make reincarnation a part of “science” – not that one’s religion should in any way be used to critique one’s adherence to the rules of science now, Ms Scott. Those rules, of course, no longer require empirical evidence. Anything goes – even Eastern mysticism – so long as one is not a creationist.
Evolutionists used to ridicule creationists with a silly what-if question: “If there is a God, how do you know he didn’t create the world just five minutes ago, complete with our memories of past lives?” They also ridiculed the Biblical statement that God will roll up the universe like a scroll in the last days. Read the NY Times article; we rest our case. You will never find anything in the Bible nuttier than this.
Ten years ago it seemed that creationists were on the defensive. Bible-believing Christians seemed to have a lot of explaining to do: the light-distance problem, apparent age, etc. Now it seems that the only ones with their brains still inside their skulls are those who believe Genesis 1:1.
This article is another reason we suggested some of these cosmologists take up truck driving (02/21/2005, 11/07/2007). It was a very charitable suggestion, for them and their students – and for reporters like Overbye who are apparently disturbed about what has become of science. Apparently they have lost it. Cosmology has imploded. The Enlightenment is dead. The only hope is an escape to reality. A little fresh air, some country scenery, some exercise, wouldn’t that be a good rehab after too much academia? At the motel, you might pull out that book in the dresser.
Ask yourself if this 300-year quest to explain the world by human reason instead of revelation has worked. It is indeed possible that all the technology and convenience of modern civilization would have developed anyway, because most of the productive (not merely speculative) nature philosophers and scientists were Christians (see online book). Other great civilizations took technology to impressive lengths without Enlightenment assumptions (i.e., that man is emerging from the Dark Ages of belief into the Age of Reason). You now see the comic conclusion of rational man’s theater of the absurd (11/29/2004). Here is where reasoning out of the human imagination alone has led (01/17/2007 commentary).
Does anyone envy these people? (Apart from the salaries they make at ivy-league institutions without having to work, that is.) Have they developed anything to help you live, to improve your marriage, your relationships, your goals and aspirations, and your mental health? Are you more physically fit and morally upright after dreaming about bubbling universes, dark matter, dark energy, dark everything, chaotic fluctuations that go bang in the night, and floating brains? Maybe God lets man go as far as he can on his own to make His point. A godly grandmother praying for a prodigal child seems to have more of a grip on the Age of Reason than these poor, pathetic souls who wander in the dark and think they are the wise ones. Without apologies for repeating a trite Christmas card slogan, wise men still seek Him.