Alex Filippenko and colleagues have caused a stir by observing that the law of physics can now explain the Big Bang without one common element: God. The University of California (Berkeley) professor observed that . “With the laws of physics, you can get universes.” Before we replace the statement on our money to read “In the Law of Physics, We Trust” there is a fallback. If the law of physics can explain the Big Bang, God may have still invented the law of physics.
Filippenko was speaking at the SETICon 2 Conference at a panel called “Did the Big Bang Require a Divine Spark?” The answer, he insisted is no: “The Big Bang could’ve occurred as a result of just the laws of physics being there. With the laws of physics, you can get universes.”
Under quantum mechanics, random fluctuations can produce matter and energy out of nothingness. Panelist Seth Shostak, a senior astronomer at the non-profit Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Institute also agreed that “Quantum mechanical fluctuations can produce the cosmos.” Shostak seemed to offer an ray of hope for a super being substitute in the form of a giant kid from another universe:
“If you would just, in this room, just twist time and space the right way, you might create an entirely new universe. It’s not clear you could get into that universe, but you would create it . . . So it could be that this universe is merely the science fair project of a kid in another universe. . . I don’t know how that affects your theological leanings, but it is something to consider.”
I am not sure religious scholars will be quick to embrace Bobby The Giant Kid With The Science Kit as a substitute for God. It totally messed up the Sistine Chapel ceiling.
Filippenko and Shostak could be looking at the same reaction as the Science Guy — only greater. Bill Nye, the Science Guy, was virtually stoned when he suggested in Texas that the Moon does not generate its own light despite what the Bible says. Filippenko makes Ney look like a heretical piker. First he affirms a theory that our universe came into existence 13.7 billion years ago when we all know that the Earth can be no more than a few thousand years old. Then he posits a theory that seems markedly different from the following:
First God made heaven & earth 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters. 3 And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.
Legend has it that Galileo was convicted by the Vatican for merely stating Eppur si muove (“and yet it moves”). He was found “vehemently suspect of heresy.”
It is unclear when Filipenko and Shostak will be called upon to “abjure, curse, and detest” those opinions.
Regardless of the outcome, I for one am not about to buy all of those Bobby, The Giant Kid With the Science Kit, decorations and gifts. I find that Quantumas has already become totally commercial.