All posts by Wintery Knight

https://winteryknight.com/

How the WMAP satellite confirmed nucleosynthesis predictions and falsified atheism

Christianity and the progress of science
Christianity and the progress of science

Prior to certain scientific discoveries, most people thought that the universe had always been here, and no need to ask who or what may have caused it. But today, that’s all changed. Today, the standard model of the origin of the universe is that all the matter and energy in the universe came into being in an event scientists call “The Big Bang”. At the creation event, space and time themselves began to exist, and there is no material reality that preceded them.

So a couple of quotes to show that.

An initial cosmological singularity… forms a past temporal extremity to the universe. We cannot continue physical reasoning, or even the concept of spacetime, through such an extremity… On this view the big bang represents the creation event; the creation not only of all the matter and energy in the universe, but also of spacetime itself.

Source: P. C. W. Davies, “Spacetime Singularities in Cosmology,” in The Study of Time III, ed. J. T. Fraser (Berlin: Springer Verlag ).

And another quote:

[A]lmost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.

Source: Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time, The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 20.

So, there are several scientific discoveries that led scientists to accept the creation event, and one of the most interesting and famous is the discovery of how elements heavier than hydrogen were formed.

Nucleosynthesis: forming heavier elements by fusion
Nucleosynthesis: forming heavier elements by fusion

Here’s the history of how that discovery happened, from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) web site:

The term nucleosynthesis refers to the formation of heavier elements, atomic nuclei with many protons and neutrons, from the fusion of lighter elements. The Big Bang theory predicts that the early universe was a very hot place. One second after the Big Bang, the temperature of the universe was roughly 10 billion degrees and was filled with a sea of neutrons, protons, electrons, anti-electrons (positrons), photons and neutrinos. As the universe cooled, the neutrons either decayed into protons and electrons or combined with protons to make deuterium (an isotope of hydrogen). During the first three minutes of the universe, most of the deuterium combined to make helium. Trace amounts of lithium were also produced at this time. This process of light element formation in the early universe is called “Big Bang nucleosynthesis” (BBN).

The creation hypothesis predicts that there will be specific amounts of these light elements formed as the universe cools down. Do the predictions match with observations?

Yes they do:

The predicted abundance of deuterium, helium and lithium depends on the density of ordinary matter in the early universe, as shown in the figure at left. These results indicate that the yield of helium is relatively insensitive to the abundance of ordinary matter, above a certain threshold. We generically expect about 24% of the ordinary matter in the universe to be helium produced in the Big Bang. This is in very good agreement with observations and is another major triumph for the Big Bang theory.

Moreover, WMAP satellite measurements of mass density agree with our observations of these light element abundances.

Here are the observations from the WMAP satellite:

Scientific observations match predictions
Scientific observations match predictions

And here is how those WMAP measurements confirm the Big Bang creation event:

However, the Big Bang model can be tested further. Given a precise measurement of the abundance of ordinary matter, the predicted abundances of the other light elements becomes highly constrained. The WMAP satellite is able to directly measure the ordinary matter density and finds a value of 4.6% (±0.2%), indicated by the vertical red line in the graph. This leads to predicted abundances shown by the circles in the graph, which are in good agreement with observed abundances. This is an important and detailed test of nucleosynthesis and is further evidence in support of the Big Bang theory. 

“An important and detailed test”.

For completeness, we should learn how elements heavier than these light elements are formed:

Elements heavier than lithium are all synthesized in stars. During the late stages of stellar evolution, massive stars burn helium to carbon, oxygen, silicon, sulfur, and iron. Elements heavier than iron are produced in two ways: in the outer envelopes of super-giant stars and in the explosion of a supernovae. All carbon-based life on Earth is literally composed of stardust.

That’s a wonderful thing to tell a young lady when you are on a date: “your body is made of stardust”. In fact, as I have argued before, this star formation, which creates the elements necessary for intelligent life, can only be built if the fundamental constants and quantities in the universe are finely-tuned.

Now, you would think that atheists would be happy to find observations that confirm the origin of the universe out of nothing, but they are not. Actually, they are in denial.

Here’s a statement from the Secular Humanist Manifesto, which explains what atheists believe about the universe:

Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.

For a couple of examples of how atheistic scientists respond to the evidence for a cosmic beginning, you can check out this post, where we get responses from cosmologist Lawrence Krauss, and physical chemist Peter Atkins.

You cannot have the creation of the universe be true AND a self-existing, eternal universe ALSO be true. Someone has to be wrong. Either the science is wrong, or the atheist manifesto is wrong. I know where I stand.

Positive arguments for Christian theism

How the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation falsified atheism

Christianity and the progress of science
Christianity and the progress of science

Prior to certain scientific discoveries, most people thought that the universe had always been here, and no need to ask who or what may have caused it. But today, that’s all changed. Today, the standard model of the origin of the universe is that all the matter and energy in the universe came into being in an event scientists call “The Big Bang”. At the creation event, space and time themselves began to exist, and there is no material reality that preceded them.

So a couple of quotes to show that.

An initial cosmological singularity… forms a past temporal extremity to the universe. We cannot continue physical reasoning, or even the concept of spacetime, through such an extremity… On this view the big bang represents the creation event; the creation not only of all the matter and energy in the universe, but also of spacetime itself.

Source: P. C. W. Davies, “Spacetime Singularities in Cosmology,” in The Study of Time III, ed. J. T. Fraser (Berlin: Springer Verlag ).

And another quote:

[A]lmost everyone now believes that the universe, and time itself, had a beginning at the big bang.

Source: Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose, The Nature of Space and Time, The Isaac Newton Institute Series of Lectures (Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press, 1996), p. 20.

So, there are several scientific discoveries that led scientists to accept the creation event, and one of the most interesting and famous is the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Here’s the history of how that discovery happened, from the American Physical Society web site:

Bell Labs radio astronomers Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson were using a large horn antenna in 1964 and 1965 to map signals from the Milky Way, when they serendipitously discovered the CMB. As written in the citation, “This unexpected discovery, offering strong evidence that the universe began with the Big Bang, ushered in experimental cosmology.” Penzias and Wilson shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1978 in honor of their findings.

The CMB is “noise” leftover from the creation of the Universe. The microwave radiation is only 3 degrees above Absolute Zero or -270 degrees C,1 and is uniformly perceptible from all directions. Its presence demonstrates that that our universe began in an extremely hot and violent explosion, called the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago.

In 1960, Bell Labs built a 20-foot horn-shaped antenna in Holmdel, NJ to be used with an early satellite system called Echo. The intention was to collect and amplify radio signals to send them across long distances, but within a few years, another satellite was launched and Echo became obsolete.2

With the antenna no longer tied to commercial applications, it was now free for research. Penzias and Wilson jumped at the chance to use it to analyze radio signals from the spaces between galaxies.3 But when they began to employ it, they encountered a persistent “noise” of microwaves that came from every direction. If they were to conduct experiments with the antenna, they would have to find a way to remove the static.

Penzias and Wilson tested everything they could think of to rule out the source of the radiation racket. They knew it wasn’t radiation from the Milky Way or extraterrestrial radio sources. They pointed the antenna towards New York City to rule out “urban interference”, and did analysis to dismiss possible military testing from their list.4

Then they found droppings of pigeons nesting in the antenna. They cleaned out the mess and tried removing the birds and discouraging them from roosting, but they kept flying back. “To get rid of them, we finally found the most humane thing was to get a shot gun…and at very close range [we] just killed them instantly. It’s not something I’m happy about, but that seemed like the only way out of our dilemma,” said Penzias.5 “And so the pigeons left with a smaller bang, but the noise remained, coming from every direction.”6

At the same time, the two astronomers learned that Princeton University physicist Robert Dicke had predicted that if the Big Bang had occurred, there would be low level radiation found throughout the universe. Dicke was about to design an experiment to test this hypothesis when he was contacted by Penzias. Upon hearing of Penzias’ and Wilson’s discovery, Dicke turned to his laboratory colleagues and said “well boys, we’ve been scooped.”7

Although both groups published their results in Astrophysical Journal Letters, only Penzias and Wilson received the Nobel Prize for the discovery of the CMB.

The horn antenna was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990. Its significance in fostering a new appreciation for the field of cosmology and a better understanding of our origins can be summed up by the following: “Scientists have labeled the discovery [of the CMB] the greatest scientific discovery of the 20th century.”8

It’s the greatest scientific discovery of the 20th century.

In the New York Times, Arno Penzias commented on his discovery – the greatest discovery of the 20th century – so:

The best data we have [concerning the Big Bang] are exactly what I would have predicted, had I nothing to go on but the five books of Moses, the Psalms, the bible as a whole.

Just one problem with the greatest scientific discovery of the 20th century: atheists don’t accept it. Why not?

Here’s a statement from the Secular Humanist Manifesto, which explains what atheists believe about the universe:

Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.

For a couple of examples of how atheistic scientists respond to the evidence for a cosmic beginning, you can check out this post, where we get responses from cosmologist Lawrence Krauss, and physical chemist Peter Atkins.

You cannot have the creation of the universe be true AND a self-existing, eternal universe ALSO be true. Someone has to be wrong. Either the science is wrong, or the atheist manifesto is wrong. I know where I stand.

Positive arguments for Christian theism

Elizabeth Warren likes to paint herself as a victim, but is she telling the truth?

Elizabeth Warren says she was the victim of discrimination, but was she?
Elizabeth Warren says she was a victim of discrimination

Everyone knows that Elizabeth Warren claims Native American ancestry, and that she publicized a blood test showing that she has very little Native American ancestry. But that’s not the only time she’s made claims like this. In the past, she claimed that when she was pregnant and working as a teacher, that her male boss hired a replacement for her. Is she telling the truth? Let’s see.

The Daily Caller explains what she’s been saying:

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly claimed on the presidential campaign trail that she was pushed out of her job as a special needs teacher after one year because she was “visibly pregnant” — but she told a different story in 2007.

The Democratic senator today portrays herself as a victim of discrimination; however, in 2007 she linked her departure to lacking proper credentials for a permanent teaching position.

Warren said during a September presidential debate that she “made it as a special needs teacher. … But at the end of that first year, I was visibly pregnant. And back in the day, that meant that the principal said to me — wished me luck and hired someone else for the job.”

She similarly said at a campaign rally in May that she would “probably” still be teaching today, “but back in the day, before unions, the principal, by the time we got to the end of the first year, I was visibly pregnant. And the principal did what principals did in those days: They wished you luck, showed you the door and hired someone else for the job.”

Well, did things really happen like she says they did?

Surprisingly, this one is pretty easy to decide, because there are records of hiring and firing for the county where she worked.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

The Riverdale Board of Education approved a second-year teaching contractfor a young Elizabeth Warren, documents show, contradicting the Democratic presidential candidate’s repeated claims that she was asked not to return to teaching after a single year because she was “visibly pregnant.”

Minutes of an April 21, 1971, Riverdale Board of Education meeting obtained by the Washington Free Beacon show that the board voted unanimously on a motion to extend Warren a “2nd year” contract for a two-days-per-week teaching job. That job is similar to the one she held the previous year, her first year of teaching. Minutes from a board meeting held two months later, on June 16, 1971, indicate that Warren’s resignation was “accepted with regret.”

[…]Warren’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the board of education records.

Just to re-cap the last time she claimed to be a victim, let’s go back to the Daily Caller article from above:

Warren has already faced scrutiny for laying claim to Native American heritage for years. For example, Warren listed herself as “American Indian” while applying for a legal license in 1986.

A genetic test showed that Warren possesses a minuscule fraction of Native American DNA. Republican Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is actually more Native American than Warren is.

And she doesn’t like people asking about it. She gets very angry when people ask her for evidence, and insists that people should just believe her because she claims it. Like Rachel Dolezal, that white woman who claimed to be black. For some reason, the same people who thought that a white woman claiming to be black was morally wrong are perfectly find with a white woman claiming to be a Native American. She’s going to be the Democrat nominee!

It’s very popular on the secular left these days to try to convince people to support leftist policies by lying about being a victim. And this will work on a large segment of the population that only listens to progressive news media, and doesn’t check the facts for themselves. We should probably make a plan to have an influence on our neighbors before the election by sharing the truth about her claims of victimhood.

Why don’t men go to church anymore? The decline of male church attendance

Church sucks, that's why men are bored there
Church sucks, that’s why men are bored there

I most recently spent half a year at a PCA church, and then another half a year at a Southern Baptist church. I attended Sunday services as well as Wednesday night Bible study. I am now looking for a new church. For now, I just look around for a sermon I like and listen to that. In this post, I’ll explain why I think men don’t like church.

There are three areas where churches fail to attract men:

    1. Apologetics
    2. Feminism, sex and marriage
    3. Policy and current events

Apologetics

The PCA church discouraged me from becoming a member of the church because they said that conversion to Christianity due to reason and evidence was contrary to their teachings, and a “red flag”. Their words. I didn’t try to fight them on it, because they are Reformed Presbyterian, and this is their actual view. Their approach to apologetics was “pre-suppositional”, which is to say, they try to convince people to become Christians by asking them to assume that the Bible is infallible, without any argumentation or evidence. Naturally, this doesn’t work, so they aren’t trained to answer any serious questions from non-Christians. (1 Pet 3:15-16)

The Reformed Baptist SBC church is led by people like Russell Moore and Al Mohler, who take the “magic words” approach to evangelism. I.e. – they think that people become Christians just by speaking Bible verses out of context to them. So, when the atheist asks “do you have any evidence for God’s existence?” or “do you have any evidence for Jesus’ resurrection?”, their response is to quote Bible verses to the atheist, which have nothing to do with those topics. Christianity has lost so much influence in the culture under their approach, which is not even Biblical. (Mat 12:38–41)

These approaches to evangelism are not used in any other area of human endeavor. No one replies to questions about auto mechanics, or software engineering, or gardening, or cooking, by spouting Bible verses. In literally every other area of human endeavor, the laws of logic and supporting evidence are seen as assets when making claims to know something about the world to someone who disagrees with you.

Feminism, Sex and Marriage

First wave feminism simply asked for women to be given the same liberty and opportunity as men. That was good. But later versions of destroyed all distinctions between men and women. By destroying femininity, feminism directed women away from the traditional life plan of marriage, children and home-making.

Feminism changed how women voted. Today, about 75% of young, unmarried women vote for policies like taxpayer-funded birth control, taxpayer-funded abortion, no-fault divorce, affirmative action for women in schools and in the workplace, taxpayer-funded daycare, public schools, single-mother welfare, social security, etc. These policies and programs raised tax rates, and grew government, making it easier for women to have children without having to choose a marriage-ready man she wasn’t attracted to. Instead, she could choose men she was attracted to, and just use government programs as a substitute provider if it didn’t “work out”. Thanks to feminism, we have a 42% out-of-wedlock birth rate, and it’s rising. Few female college graduates are debt-free. About 5% of women emerge from college as virgins.

Under feminism, the traditional male roles and virtues were deemed “sexist”. Women were shamed for choosing early marriage, large families, and stable men who were good at being husbands and fathers. Instead, women today chose men based on appearance. They spend their 20s and early 30s giving men who will not commit to them premarital sex. The men who are getting sex thrown at them have no interest in Judeo-Christian values, chastity, fidelity, commitment or raising children. Women mistake the men’s willingness to have sex and cohabitate as signs that they are close to marriage. But in fact, chasing the hot bad boys just eats up the chastity, youth and beauty that could have made them interesting to the marriage-minded men they scorned. Later on, they realize that they’ve wasted their 20s on bad boys, but by then they are not attractive for marriage.

What has the response been to feminism from pastors and churches? They accept the anti-male, anti-marriage policies, that came out of feminism. They accept the promiscuity, and the marriage-delaying that came from feminism. Today, pastors just try to bully the men who were passed over to marry the women who had previously rejected them, despite the higher risk of divorce caused by the women’s past behavior.

Policy and current events

Most pastors are anti-intellectual, and they believe that this is a virtue, since they are focused narrowly on what the Bible explicitly says. Because of this, they aren’t able to understand which laws and policies allow Christianity and Christian families to flourish. I agree that what the Bible speaks about is of the highest importance. But we need to understand how to achieve the goals that the Bible states, as well as how to counter the forces that threaten the achievement of those goals.

For example, Christianity thrives when marriage thrives. Christianity is passed on from parents to children. Anything that threatens marriage, or interferes with parental authority, weakens the influence of Christianity. So, policies like higher taxes, no-fault divorce, SOGI laws, all harm the Christian family, while policies like lower taxes, protections for Christian businesses, protection for Christian schools (statements of faith, moral codes), etc. are all good for Christian families. But most pastors never talk about policies or laws, because they don’t think about how to defend the Christian worldview, how to educate Christian children, how to promote marriage, how promote Christian moral values in the public square. Even protecting the right to life of unborn children is ignored.

As the churches lose relevance, it becomes tempting for pastors to accept what the secular left promotes as good and true and beautiful. The big one is pastors pushing for redistribution of wealth by the secular government as a solution to “poverty”, even though the Bible only sanctions voluntary charity. This diminishes the cultural relevance of the church and elevates the secular government. SBC leaders like Russell Moore champion amnesty for refugees and unskilled illegal immigrants, not realizing how it will harm Christian institutions and values down the road to import large numbers of people who will eventually vote for policies like higher taxes, bigger government, etc.

Hundreds of young transgender people seeking help to return to original sex

Thinking about transgenderism
Thinking about transgenderism

I know that in my office, the people on the left are very adamant about gay rights. And they basically equate disagreement with gay marriage and transgenderism with racism. But what if some people who are in those lifestyles aren’t happy with their choices, and are looking for someone to talk to about getting out of it?

Here’s a story from UK Sky News about transgender people with regrets:

Hundreds of young transgender people are seeking help to return to their original sex, a woman who is setting up a charity has told Sky News.

Charlie Evans, 28, was born female but identified as male for nearly 10 years before detransitioning.

The number of young people seeking gender transition is at an all-time high but we hear very little, if anything, about those who may come to regret their decision.

[…]Charlie detransitioned and went public with her story last year – and said she was stunned by the number of people she discovered in a similar position.

“I’m in communication with 19 and 20-year-olds who have had full gender reassignment surgery who wish they hadn’t, and their dysphoria hasn’t been relieved, they don’t feel better for it,” she says.

[…]Charlie says she has been contacted by “hundreds” of people seeking help – 30 people alone in her area of Newcastle.

That story from Sky News didn’t really drill into any details, but I found a good case study at the Daily Signal:

Two years ago, I was a healthy, beautiful girl heading toward high school graduation. Before long, I turned into an overweight, pre-diabetic nightmare of a transgender man.

I won’t place the full blame on health care providers, because I should have known better. But they sure helped me do a lot of harm to myself—and they made a hefty buck doing it.

[…]The first step was to find a therapist who would write me a letter to start me on male hormones.

I soon found a therapist who said she would help me, and I told her I wanted to start the hormones on my 19th birthday, which was only five weeks off. She required only a one-hour appointment each week.

That’s hardly enough time to get to know someone. Yet those five hours got me an official letter that unlocked the doors for me to get hormone therapy and become a “man.”

[…]But by this time, I’d seen the promotional videos. I was convinced that my gender is what was “off,” and the therapist guided me along and made me feel like a sex change is what I needed.

By this point, my friends were also encouraging me to transition… Others were too afraid to say anything against it, because after all, it was 2017. I never got pushback from anyone.

In reality, of course, I was not a boy, and hearing otherwise was the last thing I needed. I was simply insecure about being tomboyish and a lesbian in public.

My therapist never once tried to sit down with me and figure that out.

[…]Not once did she tap the brakes to keep me from gender transition.

The doctor prescribed testosterone injections:

The injections of male hormones started to have their effect, but not in the way I expected. I started gaining more and more weight. My skin started to get more and more puffy and discolored. My blood started to thicken.

The doctor’s office was running bloodwork for me every three months, and it actually said I was now pre-diabetic—something that was totally new for me.

My gender-transition doctor said not to worry, but I decided to see another doctor for a second opinion. He said my thickening blood put me at risk for a heart attack or stroke.

I did this to myself for almost a year. During that time, I gained 50 pounds and was miserable.

This part was the most interesting to me:

I started feeling regret.

Unfortunately, I was stuck: I had already declared to everyone that this was who I was. I had changed my gender, and I had forced people to play along with it and call me by a new name: Jaxson. At work, men had to be OK with their former female co-worker now using the same restroom as them.

Everyone was walking on eggshells around me—and people fell in line for fear of what might happen if they objected. (Employers are already being sued over this kind of thing, after all.)

Indeed. People are losing their jobs when they disagree with transgenderism these days:

But the Department for Work and Pensions panel ruled that Mackereth’s biblical view of gender conflicts with fundamental rights:

Irrespective of our determinations above, all three heads, belief in Genesis 1:27, lack of belief in transgenderism and conscientious objection to transgenderism in our judgment are incompatible with human dignity and conflict with the fundamental rights of others, specifically here, transgender individuals.

“Without intellectual and moral integrity, medicine cannot function and my 30 years as a doctor are now considered irrelevant compared to the risk that someone else might be offended,” Mackareth said.

Having Christian convictions about male and female is no defense to being terminated in the UK. The Democrats have already passed the “Equality Act” in the House, and that would bring this level of persecution of dissenters to America.