April 15, 2020 | David F. Coppedge

Antimatter Claim Overblown

Talk about taking a ‘possibility’ to an extreme. Does the universe exist because of a fluke?

Whenever you see all the major media and secular journals celebrating over something having to do with origins, watch out. They are probably hyping something that is only a chance of a possibility of a hope of a prospect of a theoretical happenstance that might just conceivably support their preferred equation for our existence: nobody times nothing equals everything. See if that is what is going on in today’s news about a possible answer to the ‘antimatter problem’ in cosmology: why is there so little antimatter in the universe?

For review, realize that a big bang should have produced equal amounts of matter and antimatter. It’s a good thing the big bang theory has this problem, otherwise their hypothetical materialistic universe should have canceled itself out, and no materialist scientists would exist. Big bangers have known about this problem for decades. They routinely refer to it as the biggest unsolved mystery in cosmology. Creation avoids the problem because our Creator knows a universe with a lot of antimatter in it would render it uninhabitable, and he states that he made the earth to be inhabited (Isaiah 45:18). The antimatter problem is cousin to the chirality problem in origin-of-life theories: secular biochemists know that proteins, sugars and lipids of mixed handedness don’t work in living cells, and yet their own worldview posits that equal amounts of left- and right-handed ‘building blocks’ would have formed by natural processes. They have no way to segregate them under plausible natural conditions. Similarly big bangers know of no demonstrable way nature could have favored ordinary matter over antimatter (see RSR statement, containing a video clip from Fermilab with astonishing admissions of ignorance).

Cosmologists are celebrating today with very tentative suggestions that tiny, tiny differences between neutrinos might account for the disparity between matter and antimatter. First, the hype, based on a paper in Nature by the T2K Collaboration (a Japanese team) that published a decade’s worth of data from their detectors that might support a theory for a slight difference (asymmetry) between certain characteristics of neutrinos and antineutrinos, which might confirm a theory called CP violation, which might explain the matter/antimatter asymmetry, at least a little bit of it. For those who want to drill into the details of what was found, Nature‘s News and Views article gives a fair account. (We can spare you the details of leptons, fermions and such things to keep our focus on the tactics being used to support naturalism; a course in particle physics is not required for that.)

Hype Samples

Neutrinos could shed light on why the Universe has so much more matter than antimatter (Nature Editorial). To cover their anatomies, the editors of Nature are avoiding overconfident claims, but use jargon, their presumptive authority and the power of suggestion to tantalize readers.

Time will tell if these preliminary observations hold. But at a time when big investments in high-energy physics are coming under increased scrutiny, this result reinforces the importance of continuing to search for answers to some of the Universe’s deepest mysteries.

Matter–antimatter symmetry violated (Nature News and Views). If everybody can wait 15 more years, physicists might be able to say if their theory accounts for part of the mystery of why our universe is so lopsided in favor of matter over antimatter.

In a mirror world, antiparticles should behave in the same way as particles. But it emerges that leptons — neutrinos, electrons and their more exotic cousins — might not obey this expected pattern.

Strongest evidence yet that neutrinos explain how the universe exists (Imperial College London). This article by physicists who worked on the research is way overhyped. See also the photo of the inside of the detector.

Dr Patrick Dunne, from the Department of Physics at Imperial, said: “This result brings us closer than ever before to answering the fundamental question of why the matter in our universe exists. If confirmed – at the moment we’re over 95 per cent sure – it will have profound implications for physics and should point the way to a better understanding of how our universe evolved.”

Neutrinos may explain why we don’t live in an antimatter universe (New Scientist). Leah Crane pushes the “we’re getting warmer” meme:

We are getting closer to understanding why the universe is made of matter and not antimatter. It may be all down to how neutrinos change flavours.

Even so, she admits, “even if the oscillations do produce the maximum possible amount of CP violation, we’re not sure whether that would be enough to completely explain the imbalance between matter and antimatter.”

Closing in on matter-antimatter asymmetry: T2K results restrict possible values of neutrino CP phase (Phys.org). They’re getting bolder in their teasing that secular cosmologists are getting warmer in efforts to explain the origin of the universe, earth and people without God.

The T2K Collaboration has published new results showing the strongest constraint yet on the parameter that governs the breaking of the symmetry between matter and antimatter in neutrino oscillations.

Flickers of light in a giant, underground tank of water in Japan could explain the entire universe (Live Science). Rafi Letzter is so confident of the news, he thinks the Japanese have found the key to solving the mystery of everything.

Antimatter and matter are so similar, in fact, that it’s a mystery why they didn’t simply cancel each other out in the beginning, leaving nothing behind but a burst of bright light. That suggests that there must be some fundamental differences between the particles, asymmetries that would explain why matter came to dominate antimatter. And we’ve already found one of those asymmetries.

Unasked Questions

— The detector does not register passing neutrinos directly. It only looks for light flashes resulting from very rare direct hits on the water molecules. The flashes depend on theoretical assumptions. While physicists might observe similar flashes under controlled conditions in the lab, what might change over the hundreds of miles between the accelerator and the detector? Recall that physicists did not know that neutrinos could change “flavors” en route from the sun. What other properties of neutrinos are not yet understood, that could call the results and interpretations into question?

— Only 90 neutrinos and 15 antineutrinos were possibly detected by the giant Japanese detector, out of 100 billion billion neutrinos sent from the particle accelerator 295 miles away over a decade. That’s a difference of a whopping 18 orders of magnitude (a hundred quintillion). But most neutrinos pass straight through the earth without encountering any other matter. How can they ensure they got the right neutrinos that were aimed at the detector, and not strays from the sun or distant galaxies?

Because neutrinos have an extremely small chance of interaction, these kinds of experiment take years to gather enough data for scientists to draw meaningful conclusions. It took T2K a decade to detect just 90 neutrinos and 15 antineutrinos — from around 1020 potential neutrino-generating collisions….

— How can the physicists be sure that the apparent asymmetry wouldn’t balance out with more detections? They write about “95% confidence” in the detections, but that confidence depends on assumptions about theory and the accuracy of the data collection methods, which undoubtedly rely on software. Don’t forget the maxim, “There’s always one more bug.”

— The experiment relies on 50,000 tons of “ultrapure water” in the detector. How pure must it be to work correctly? Are we to believe that impurities did not seep into the water over the years? Wouldn’t the “vast array of light sensors” leach other elements into the water over time? What would other particles interacting with the water do to cloud the results? How often does the water need to be changed? How often was it changed, and who followed the workmen around to make sure they did it right?

— The detectors are arranged on a curved wall inside the huge chamber (see photo in Nature‘s “shed light” article). The detectors all have curved surfaces, and there are spaces between them. Some photons might have longer traversal distances and steeper angles before hitting a detector. Might those geometric effects skew the results?

— Can the physicists be absolutely sure that neutrinos generated in a man-made particle accelerator in our time have exactly the same properties as those assumed to come from decay of big-bang particles 13.8 billion years ago in their naturalistic scheme?

— Even if the data were to confirm CP violation in some leptons (neutrinos), the inadequate evidence for it in fermions, which include quarks, protons, and neutrons, remains.

— Even if the evidence seems to confirm possible CP violation in neutrinos, it doesn’t solve the mystery of the universe’s existence. The initial conditions of the big bang would have to be finely tuned to produce natural laws that gave ordinary matter an edge. At base, then, the evidence does not support naturalism, and could be construed instead to support intelligent design.

— It’s a highly profligate theory to imagine that 10 orders of magnitude more matter had to be formed in the big bang, only to annihilate itself at the beginning, in order to preserve what remains today. None of that postulated matter can be investigated empirically. The Nature News and Views piece says,

As suggested by Andrei Sakharov in 1967, CP violation is one of the key ingredients needed to explain why there is a small excess of matter over antimatter in the Universe. This imbalance, at a level of a few particles per 10 billion photons, is ultimately responsible for the existence of Earth, planets, stars and ourselves: if there were equal amounts of matter and antimatter, they would have destroyed each other in the early Universe and annihilated into photons. No matter would have remained.

— Philosophers of science are adept at proving that scientific theories are under-determined by data. Theories are not uniquely capable of explaining data. At the very least, there is always at least one alternate theory that performs equally well. Some can prove that for a given set of data, there are an infinite number of alternative theories that can explain the data (see more at the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Advocates of a given theory are also capable of modifying the theory to fit any recalcitrant data. This means that the interpretation of the data set from Japan is not the only possible explanation. There is inherent bias for the favored interpretation since the worldview assumptions are very strong. Scientists can be guilty of ‘confirmation bias’ in their pronouncements.

Political Science

Like the dark matter detection efforts, these antimatter detection experiments are very costly and work-intensive. It’s true that physics is more of a ‘hard science’ than evolutionary biology or psychology. Granted, one can never know the value of ‘pure science’ at the time; something extremely profitable may come from unexpected findings, like those made by Michael Faraday on electromagnetism that led to hydroelectric power and the telegraph. But Faraday worked under the assumption of an orderly universe created by God for human flourishing. The constantly-failing dark matter experiments, the eternal efforts to find a correct Darwin tree, and these antimatter experiments resting on big-bang theory all stem from a naturalistic worldview. It’s worth asking, therefore, if this is really the best way to spend a lot of time and money when thousands are dying from a pandemic, slavery is still being practiced around the world, and terrorism and war continue to kill the helpless, and deprive poor people of their lives and fortunes.

Animals don’t do science. Like government, science is supposed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Even when given the most favorable slant, these articles cannot be certain anything definitive has been learned yet, and they won’t know, they say, for another 15 years or more after spending millions more on bigger detectors. By then, many will be dead and the rest won’t even remember today’s hyped story. Nature‘s editors justify the work by saying, “at a time when big investments in high-energy physics are coming under increased scrutiny, this result reinforces the importance of continuing to search for answers to some of the Universe’s deepest mysteries.” But those mysteries are naturalistic mysteries! Design advocates are not surprised that our universe is finely tuned for habitation.

An overriding mystery is why anyone would spend money on supporting cosmic evolution. The number of possible questions to investigate vastly outstrips the time and money of every government and every individual scientist on Earth. Science is, by nature, selective. Not every question is equally important. How about turning those particle accelerators and detectors toward a good end that will actually help people, instead of satisfying the worldview bias of materialists who accept the absurd equation that nothing times nobody equals everything? 

 

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