TED Conversations

TEDCRED 10+

This conversation is closed.

Is there any difference between belief in the Big Bang and religion?

According to religion, God gave us the universe; according to science, Chance gave us the "Big Bang". In society today we can choose between a modified Intelligent Design (Deism) where the odds are so stacked against a physical cause of the universe being “coincidental i.e. Chance” as to border on fantasy.

Instead the BB, a pseudo-religion, wants society to pay homage to astrophysicists and mathematicians who bring us the “God” of Chance.

“Religion is a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances…”*.

There is very little difference between religion and mainstream belief in the BB.

Even when we see old galaxies literally a few hundred million years after the BB "which shouldn't be there"---oh wait---we can appeal to another "adjustable parameter", if we are to believe in the sanctity of the BB at 13.7 billion years ago..

Astrophysicists try to determine the nature and purpose of the universe and they rely on the supernatural agency of Chance. They also engage in devotional and ritual observances. These are conferences and articles where the assembled are required to profess their faith in the BB

“He (Dr. Tom van Flandern) opened his abstract with the words, ‘The Big Bang has never achieved a true prediction success where the theory was placed at risk of falsification before the results were known.’”.

I was wondering if others would find the devotion to Chance as the causal mechanism of the universe any different from Deism as the cause of the universe.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 1 2011: Hey Steven, I've enjoyed your comments in this and other threads and I'd love to chat about evolution with you. I have been on both sides when it comes to neo-evolution.

    Just to be clear we're talking about the idea that humanity has somehow moved beyond the normal pressures of evolution by basically creating our own environment and are therefore not under the pressures of natural selection anymore but are evolving in a fundamentally different way from other species. Presumably we are at a point where we may be able to manipulate our biology not just through the creation of our environment, but directly through genetic engineering and other technologies.

    As far as evolution goes, I think it makes perfect sense excluding two groups: bacteria and humans. I think we have a lot in common actually! Both of us speed up adaptation by unlimited exchange of information, unhindered by generation time. While bacteria do this in the usual way by sharing DNA (but asexually by exchanging plasmids), humans do this by exchanging ideas (or memes if you prefer).

    I do think that humans have got something unique going on in the way of cultures, and its definitely a gap because we don't even understand how it works now, let alone how it evolved with us! I think that an understanding of the brain and of consciousness is the last BIG frontier of biology. I'm not convinced that the answer is in the neurons: I don't think that cell biologists will figure it out. We are looking for some sort of pattern...maybe physics has the answer. With the genetic material, it was at least a debate between protein or DNA. With consciousness, we don't even know where to look.

    If our consciousness is what defines the human species and we don't even have a scientific mechanism of how it works or where it is exactly, then I think that is the biggest gap in understanding our evolution. Do you agree or did you have other ideas about links?
    • thumb
      Nov 1 2011: I agree with you on everything that you have said i believe with have similar ideas and thoughts on the subject and i love reading your posts but i also wanted to talk to you about specific human only genes but i need to do my research to remember the specific ones and ill have to get back to you on that but i do have a hypothetical question for you if you could use gene therapy to add any genes to yourself what would you do?
      • thumb
        Nov 1 2011: The first thing I would do is remove all of the genetic predispositions for disease. I might stop there though...what about you?
        • thumb
          Nov 1 2011: i am a bit of a mad scientist and if i could simply add new genes and not worry about side affects i thing i would so a lot after eliminating disease i would have to work on increasing strength then increase all of my senses and i would love to work to give myself neurogenesis, and limb regeneration bit crazy i know but I have always wanted to be a superhero lol if these where possibilities and i believe one day they will be alot of people will be tempted to go that way and that would be true neo evolution
        • Nov 3 2011: Hi Letitia!

          What is your take on selective abortion of girls in societies like India and China brought about by the misuse of sonograms?
      • thumb
        Nov 3 2011: I think its a good reminder that all of the technological advances we make get used in a cultural context. I don't think the science is to blame here since these societies are still able to (and do) get rid of unwanted girl children after their birth, but it is unfortunate that improved technology contributes to this issue. Ethics will obviously be a major concern for the use of genetic engineering on humans too.
    • thumb
      Nov 1 2011: Letitia,

      May I suggest a book, The Adventure of Consciousness by Satprem about the life and philosophy of Sri Aurobindo. Perhaps if you look at the whole instead of the parts it will make more sense.
      • thumb
        Nov 2 2011: Thanks for the suggestion Craig, I will look that up!

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.