Cosmology Faces More Chaos
Most of us have experience with orderly things going to chaos: an unkept room, the garden, our list of things to do. We all work hard to overcome that universal tendency. Clara Moskowitz reported on two cosmologists who think the universe went the other way. She wrote in Space.com, “The universe was in chaos after the Big Bang kick-started the cosmos, a new study suggests.” That means that all the order we see came out of chaos.
It’s probably not a surprise to think that a colossal explosion like a big bang would be pretty chaotic, but actually, cosmologists have worried about the “entropy problem” for a long time. Entropy is a measure of the disorder of a system. For our universe to have the low entropy it has now (organized into stars, galaxies, and planets), it would have had to have incredibly low entropy at the start – where incredibly low means unfathomably low. Can Adilson Motter (Northwestern U) and Katrin Gelfert (Federal U, Rio de Janeiro) really propose chaos after the big bang?
The article tries to explain that they are defining chaos differently than lay people do in common experience – “small changes can cause large-scale effects.” Yet in chaos theory, one cannot predict what will happen – and getting a highly ordered system as a result would seem most improbable. After all, “our universe is no longer chaotic” according to the article. But then the article speculates that the universe could return to chaos in a big crunch – a big bang in reverse. Most cosmologists and astronomers think that the acceleration of the universe rules out such a possibility. It doesn’t help explain the order we see now, anyway.
Suffice it to say, that before one can believe their ideas about the origin and fate of the universe, one should take to heart a disclaimer by Moskowitz, “This period of the early universe is not well understood.”
According to New Scientist in its “Cosmic Accidents” series, the big bang was all a – well, a cosmic accident. Believe it or not, “most physicists regard the quantum fluctuations that created it as having no cause at all,” Stephen Battersby wrote. “Of all happy accidents, this one might be the most accidental.” As to the low-entropy whatever before the bang, he admitted, “What cosmic coincidences preceded our universe’s birth are in the realms of speculation.”
Good grief; Moskowitz titled her display of nonsense, “After Big Bang Came Moment of Pure Chaos, Study Finds.” It found nothing of the sort. It found nothing, only sordid hubris pretending to be science. Be sure to read the 10/03/2010 commentary as a preface to this one. Since Battersby and Moskowitz, Motter and Gelfert have surrendered all credibility and lowered themselves to shaman status, their speculations can be safely disregarded as no better than anyone else’s, and decidedly worse. For they present themselves as scientists – you know, those who know.
If you’re thinking, “Well, the Bible states that things started without form and void, and that sounds like chaos,” consider that chaos can be molded by intelligent design. The creation account is top-down, like a potter taking a formless mass of clay and designing art or dishware out of it. Take the secularist, materialist, evolutionary bottom-up approach on clay without a potter, and try getting the palace of Louis XIV out of it, all orderly and furnished to the hilt. That would be far more credible than getting our universe out of impersonal chaos.
Not only that, the materialist has to account for the origin of the clay out of hydrogen, and the hydrogen out the chaos, and the chaos out of some undefined, unobservable, fantastically-low entropy nothingness that is “not well understood” and “in the realms of speculation.” It’s all speculation. None of it is well understood. Genesis 1:1 sounds downright scientific by comparison.
Suggested Reading: For a scholarly introduction to some of the problems with modern cosmological speculations, read “Was there a big bang?” by David Berlinski (1998), posted at the Discovery Institute. Other apropos essays in his book The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays (Discovery Institute, 2009) include “God, Man, and Physics” (2002) and “The State of the Matter” (2009). These penetrating essays will not convince someone of God, since Berlinski is a non-practicing Jew, but his deftness at exposing the pretensions of the self-acclaimed wise will surely confront the reader with the deep and enduring problems of trying to bring a universe into existence without Him.