December 21, 2007

"These people are coming after me personally, something I have not done. They're coming after me personally the way the libs do."

Rush Limbaugh versus Mike Huckabee.

47 comments:

Joe said...

What a hypocrite. I stopped listening to Rush years ago largely because of his extremely nasty ad hominin attacks on people he disliked. Even when there was no reason to do so, he would attack their appearance, voice and even children (his attacks of Chelsea Clinton were vile.)

Alan said...

Rush blames the mainstream media with trying to divide the Republican Party. If anyone had divided the GOP is pundits like Rush who has done his best to dumb down the Party. Like yesterday when he schooled his listeners on the big bang theory by challenging Physicist for not knowing the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Or Ann Coulter accusing Huckabee of not being aggressive enough in challenging the scientific theory of evolution.

The amazing thing, they don't get that Huckabee is the kind of candidate their version of conservatism has cultivated--a religious moron.

Revenant said...

Picking a fight with Limbaugh is one of the dumber things Huckabee could have done.

Joe said...

So this is the week Huckabee picks fights that make him look bad?

Is he trying to damage his recent popularity, or does he think this will make him look like a "serious" candidate rather than the fad that he is?

rcocean said...

Rollins is now running Huck's campaign, and his middle name is stupid. Remember Perot and walking around money.

Yep, Huckster keep attacking Rush - that will win over the base! Next, Huckabee attacks Reagan as a Right-wing extremist.

As for Evolution. The MSM and liberal obsession with this topic is both tedious and puzzling. There are many theories of Evolution. There are many definitions of "Evolution". Someone should ask Cooper or Chris Matthews to define Evolution and explain Darwin's and Big bang theory - LoL.

In any case, I can't think of a topic more IRRELEVANT to being POTUS in 2009. Maybe, we should start asking candidates their view on Quantum Physics.

LarsPorsena said...

rcocean:

Let's make it real interesting and
get Hillary's opinion of string theory. After all, Bill has pronounced her a genius.

rhhardin said...

Limbaugh is an entertainer, and his chief gimmick is self-deprecating humor, which is the larger-than-life persona, and it makes him enormously popular in the American tradition.

It also gives him license to mock the left.

It's only when Rush takes up being moralistic about something that he drops the larger-than-life persona, and then his show sucks for as many days as it takes for him to change the topic back to the always funny political left that people tune in for.

Until Rush the left went pretty much unmocked. He fills that void, even today.

Air America failed because the left is not able to poke fun at itself, not because there's nothing amusing about the right.

The Huckabee fight is mysterious to me. Rush doesn't seem to be part of it, except to the extent that he criticizes every candidate on the right for this or that.

ricpic said...

Pay no heed of the knee jerk hate Rush lefties on this thread, folks.

Go Rush, Go!

mtrobertsattorney said...

The problem Rush has with Huck is what he sees as his liberal views on immigration and crime. But probably Huck's biggest sin is his attack on Bush's "arrogance".

I frankly don't know what to make of the Huck. But if he were to get tne nomination for the Republicans and Obama for the Democrats, I think we will be in for some very interesting debates.

AJ Lynch said...

I celebrate Christmas once every month when my Limbaugh Letter arrives in the mail. It never fails to have some hilarious stuff (lampooning assorted Dems like Ted Kennedy and Pelosi of course).

Humor + self-deprecation + irreverence = formula for radio success.

For proof, see Rush, Howard Stern, etc. Though I suspect Stern has since gone off and joined the etsablishment and thus surrendered his irreverence.

Revenant said...

Someone should ask Cooper or Chris Matthews to define Evolution and explain Darwin's and Big bang theory

The Big Bang theory has nothing to do with the theory of evolution. The former describes the origin state of the universe; the latter explains why life on Earth evolves over time.

In any case, I can't think of a topic more IRRELEVANT to being POTUS in 2009.

An understanding of the theory of evolution isn't particularly relevant to the President's job, no. But asking a person if they believe in the theory of evolution is the same as asking them if they think scientific knowledge should be viewed as more trustworthy than religious knowledge, and the answer to THAT question is certainly useful.

James said...

Wow, I just read that transcript Alan linked to . . . The Archbishop wants to bring Christianity into the present day, by acknowledging what most thinking people have long understood - aspects of the religion don't match up with the way things are. Rush wants to attack that, and stay in the Dark Ages. Bravo.

jeff said...

"The Archbishop wants to bring Christianity into the present day, by acknowledging what most thinking people have long understood - aspects of the religion don't match up with the way things are. Rush wants to attack that, and stay in the Dark Ages. Bravo."

One of many reasons I am a heathen is my acceptance that being in a religion doesn't mean I can pick and choose what parts I want to follow. Why some of my fellow agnostics are so insecure that they must continue to attack those who do believe is beyond me.

jeff said...

Joe, or can I call you Moby, which attacks of Chelsea Clinton would you be referring to? I am assuming these happened during the period of time you were listening to his show?

Joan said...

Wow, way to misread a transcript, James. Rush is saying that Dr. Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, shouldn't go around denying things like the virgin birth and the resurrection and saying they're not essential to Christianity -- "hurdles that shouldn't need to be crossed." Rush isn't telling him not to say these things, he's saying don't say them and then claim to be Christian. What's the problem?

From Rush: The Big Bang is as much an article of faith as anything else is in any other religion. Exactly.

Joe said...

jeff,

Back in the mid-nineties, Rush made fun of Chelsea Clinton several times. He mocked her looks and appearance and her relationship with her parents. I have a vague recollection of him doing some of this on his short-lived TV show.

He also spent, and I assume still does so, great energy attacking the looks of Henry Waxman. Why? Just reading Waxman's words aloud are enough to mock him.

Anyone who has listened to Rush for any period of time knows he can get very personal, especially when criticized (or when he's dead wrong.) I'm sure it's entertaining for some, but I find that it undercuts his arguments, some of them quite valid, and it can be offensive. Most importantly, it puts a lie to his repeated public claims that he never does this!

(He goes after celebrities with drug problems, but has a drug problem of his own and suddenly asks for special treatment.)

jeff said...

"He mocked her looks and appearance and her relationship with her parents. I have a vague recollection of him doing some of this on his short-lived TV show."

Yes, he made a off hand comment on his tv show, which got a negative response from his audience and he immediately apologized for. It was completely tasteless and cruel as she was just entering her teen age years. It was also one comment.
Your comments were about his attacks. Multiple ones.

"(He goes after celebrities with drug problems, but has a drug problem of his own and suddenly asks for special treatment.)"

Actually what he asked for was regular treatment. What he got was special treatment. Just not the good type of special treatment.

Extremely nasty attacks are in the eye of the beholder I guess. I am not sure if I remember any such attacks that didn't have some underlying truth to them. To be truthful, I haven't listened to him in over a decade. GHW Bush was president the last time I listened to him. I have had a job since then that doesn't allow me access to a radio in the daytime. However, I did hear him in the early years and I did attend a function where he spoke and his show from then to when I stopped listening to him never changed. So I have to wonder why you were listening to him in the first place?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

jeff wrote:

Joe, or can I call you Moby, which attacks of Chelsea Clinton would you be referring to?

Jeff, I'm guessing that one of the Limbaugh attacks to which Joe refers is the following:

On November 6, 1992, three days after her father won the elections, when Chelsea was still in braces, Rush Limbaugh said the following on his television show: "Everyone knows the Clintons have a cat; Socks is the White House cat. But did you know there is also a White House dog?" He then pointed to a video monitor, which switched to a picture of Chelsea. Limbaugh has claimed that it was a technical error.

I suspect most people considered this attack on Chelsea to be vile, which is probably why Limbaugh felt he had to lie about the "technical error." (Of course, it's not as if Limbaugh needs a special occasion to lie.)

Revenant said...

From Rush: The Big Bang is as much an article of faith as anything else is in any other religion. Exactly.

It doesn't require any faith at all to believe in the "Big Bang". We can observe that the motion of the mass of the universe clearly indicates a common point of origin.

You could, I suppose, claim that it requires faith to think that the universe just came into existence without a creator, but I have to disagree. It is a given that the ultimate cause, whatever it is, had to have had no cause of its own -- otherwise it isn't the ultimate cause. But even if you think believing in a "causeless cause" requires a leap of faith, believing that the universe had no creator requires one less leap of faith than believing that the universe was created by a God, who in turn had no creator.

James said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
James said...

Joan:

What Rush is saying could only be right if you had to believe every event in the Bible actually occurred in order to be a "Christian." Dr. Williams is simply saying you don't have to believe this in order to be a Christian. I think most Christians would agree with that sentiment, as they take many of the stories to simply be allegorical. Insisting, like Rush is, that either you "have faith" in the literal truth of the Bible(even when you think those things are completely impossible) or you're not a Christian, is simply boneheaded and backwards. That's "the problem."

As for your Big Bang comment, Rev has already said everything that I was thinking.

rcocean said...

"But asking a person if they believe in the theory of evolution is the same as asking them if they think scientific knowledge should be viewed as more trustworthy than religious knowledge, and the answer to THAT question is certainly useful."

No, its not the same. Its completely IRRELEVANT - just as their knowledge of String theory or the periodic table is IRRELEVANT.

We're not electing them to teach 10th grade biology, preach at the local church, or to head the Philosophy Department. The POTUS has *nothing * to do with science/Religious knowledge including the Big bang theory, how the earth was created, or Darwinian Evolution. Its no different than asking the CEO of Bank of America or the Secretary of State what they think of Darwin.

Revenant said...

No, its not the same.

It is exactly the same, since the theory of evolution is one of the most solidly-supported, long-standing, and widely-believed theories in all of science.

Its completely IRRELEVANT

A candidate who expresses the belief that the theory of evolution is false has communicated to me not just that he is ignorant of an important scientific theory (which isn't a problem in itself), but that he is uninterested in listening to people who aren't. The latter fact is important to know; it informs me that in any debate in which science plays a part, the candidate's decision will probably be determined not by what is real, but by what his faith tells him should be real.

The POTUS has *nothing * to do with science/Religious knowledge including the Big bang theory, how the earth was created, or Darwinian Evolution.

The POTUS has nothing to do with abortion, either. Do you consider a Presidential candidate's opinion on the legality and Constitutionality of abortion to be "IRRELEVANT", too? And before you say something like "he appoints judges that decide abortion law" or "he can veto laws relating to abortion", I must point out that he also appoints the judges who decide on the legality of teaching evolution/creationism in public schools, and can veto laws related to doing so. Indeed, the President's opinion on evolution is as important as his opinion on abortion, gay marriage, national healthcare, et al.

Joan said...

As I said, way to misread the transcript, James. Rush wasn't speaking to the literal truth of the entire Bible, he was speaking specifically about virgin birth and the Resurrection, which are two key tenets of Christianity. If Christ was conceived in the usual way, he could not be God made Man; if Christ did not rise from the dead, the entire religion is a lie. I think it's pretty simple and I think most Christians would agree with me; these two points cannot be dismissed by anyone who purports to be Christian.

Revenant as usual goes much deeper than I ever could. My point, and I think the point that Rush was making, also, is that the Big Bang itself requires a leap of faith, that something-from-nothing. Whether you label it "God" or prefer not to label it at all, it's there. There is abundant evidence that the Big Bang happened, and science is all about explaining the "how", but not the "why".

But getting back to the subject at hand, it's pretty funny that anyone would accuse Rush of not thinking for himself. I mean, everyone knows that the Dittoheads let Rush do all their thinking for them, right? (heh) Clearly whoever spouted off like that wasn't aware of Rush's positions on the Dubai Ports deal, Harriet Myers' nomination, and the entire immigration "reform" fiasco.

Eli Blake said...

The problem for most partisan Republicans (including Rush) is that Huckabee is causing them a major dilemma. They've patronized religious conservatives sort of like patronizing some crazy, rich old uncle. They need the millions of votes the religious right can deliver but they don't dare let them get too close to the tiller, afaid they will lead the party onto the rocks.

The chosen candidate of most early on was John McCain. When he failed to raise enough money and embarrassingly ran his own campaign into the ground, they changed to Rudy. The threw Fred Thompson out there in an attempt to placate disaffected religious conservatives but when he didn't catch on they went back to trying to sell them on Rudy (which is like trying to talk a lion into eating hay.) With Rudy in open collapse following a string of embarrassing scandals they seem to want McCain again. They don't want Romney but they're willing to back him if they have to.

What Huckabee represents is exactly the face they don't want on the GOP. He infuriates fiscal conservatives (who are more likely to vote for an economically centrist Democrat anyway than are social conservatives most of whose positions are exactly opposite to what Democrats are for). He also brings topics like creationism into the debate that are sure losers. So most hardcore Republicans, whatever they might think about him otherwise, are doing everything they can to puncture Huckabee's boat because they are afraid of a huge landslide loss if he is their nominee.

The only candidate the Republican establishment would be more afraid of if he won the nomination would be Ron Paul.

Lawgiver said...

Rev says,

It doesn't require any faith at all to believe in the "Big Bang". We can observe that the motion of the mass of the universe clearly indicates a common point of origin.

I'm not a cosmologist but from what I've read it does require a certain faith in scientific observations to apply what we know about our physical world to a universe consisting of billions of galaxies. It seems a bit simplistic to dismiss the faith issue by saying, "We can observe that the motion of the mass of the universe clearly indicates a common point of origin." According to wiki, "The Big Bang is not an explosion of matter moving outward to fill an empty universe. Instead, space itself expands with time everywhere and increases the physical distance between two comoving points." There is no common point of origin, rather there are two comoving points. To understand and believe this you have to believe a lot of theories about cosmology, many of which are still debated.

Blake said...

Well, if no one else is going to say it, I will.

It sure shouldn't matter how a President feels about abortion, any more than it should matter how a judge feels about it.

Revenant said...

I think the point that Rush was making, also, is that the Big Bang itself requires a leap of faith, that something-from-nothing.

The point I was trying to make is that it doesn't require any faith at all to believe that "something" came from "nothing", because no matter what belief you have about the universe you ultimately arrive at a primary cause that was, itself, not apparently caused by anything. Where Christianity requires a leap of faith is in its insertion of an additional step into the process.

There is abundant evidence that the Big Bang happened, and science is all about explaining the "how", but not the "why".

Science has done a lot to explain the "why" as well, although the math involved is largely beyond me. Stuff similar to the big bang happens all the time at the subatomic level.

Revenant said...

There is no common point of origin, rather there are two comoving points.

I was trying to simplify things for the sake of space. You're right that the exact specifics of how this is happening, and why, are still being discussed, but the underlying idea is just a common-sense inference from the observable universe.

Maguro said...

"Stuff similar to the big bang happens all the time at the subatomic level".

I'm not sure I understand. How can what's happening at the subatomic level be at all similar to the big bang, which created 25 billion galaxies the size of the Milky Way?

Joan said...

Rev: there's a difference between a "why" that explains the mechanics of a process and the "why" that describes the process's purpose.

Eli: in what space-time continuum was John McCain ever the GOP's nominee? The only primary he won in 2000 was one that allowed independents and dems to vote on the rep ballot. Since then McCain has done much to further alienate himself from conservative Republicans. Your entire scenario is written from bizarro world. Huckabee's problem now is not that he is religious, it's that he's using his religiosity as a shield to deflect discussion of his policies and his past screw-ups. Huckabee can't withstand any scrutiny. There is no way he would ever be the nominee, at least not at the top of the ticket; the only thing he has going for him is his social conservatism. He's an idiot on both foreign and economic policy, he's in bed with the education establishment; he's everything that's wrong with GWB, and then some. Dems may wish and hope for Huckabee to run against, but they'll never get him.

mtrobertsattorney said...

Rev thinks that faith is not required in science. But it is difficult to see how this is true.

Take the principle of causation, the most basic principle of science: A causes B. It was David Hume who pointed out that the principle of causation ultimately rests on custom and habit and nothing more. Why so? Because, while we have always observed in the past that A preceded B in time, and while we have always observed in the past that A and B are close together in time and space, and while we have always observed in the past that A has been conjoined with B, we never observe a necessary connection between A and B. So it is always possible that at sometime in the future, A will not cause B. It is an article of faith, then, to beleive that the laws of physics will always hold in the future.

Then there is the problem of sense perception. All we know about the external world is based on our internal sense perceptions (sense data) that our minds observe. But this raises a problem. Colors, as we percieve them, i.e. the sensation of red, and sounds as we hear them, don't really exist outside of our conscious mind. Colors and sounds in the "external world" are said to actually be waves of a certain frequency, and nothing more. So it is with every other internal sense perception that we are conscious of. It is an article of faith to believe that there is a one to one correspondence between our internal sense images and what we call the "external world".

But don't take my word for it, here's what Hume says:

"It seems evident, that men are carried, by a natural instinct or prepossession, to repose faith in their senses; and that, without any reasoning, or even almost before the use of reason, we suppose an external universe. which depends not on our perception, but would exist, though we and every sensible creature were absent or annihilated. ...
It seems also evident that, when men follow this blind and powerful instinct of nature, they always suppose the very images, presented by the senses, to be the external objects, and never entertain any suspicion that one are nothing but representations of the other. ...
But this universal and primary opinion of all men is soon destroyed by the slightest philosophy. ...
...
...
...The mind has never anything present to it but the perceptions, and cannot possibly reach any experience of their connection with objects. The supposition of such a connection is, therefore, without any foundation in reasoning."

So it is that science is ultimately based on faith and beliefs "without any foundation in reasoning" and there is just no way to get around this. This is just the way things are.

As for the universe "causing itself", if this is true, then there must have been something in existence before the "Big Bang" and that "something" must have contained within it information (or knowledge)of abstact and complex mathematical relations and forms. Moreover, this "something" must itself be uncaused. In a word, it must have necessary existence in the sense that it cannot "not exist". But this, however, is the traditional definition of the God of philosophy.

A explanation that is much more consistent with atheistic belief is that the universe simply sprang into existence out of absolutly nothing--the void. It had no cause. While some might think this to be an adequate explanation, it is nonetheless an excellent example of magical thinking.

rhhardin said...

Rush is not good in science or morality. He's great at mocking the left.

Millions are relieved that somebody else, like them, notices that crazy people are running things. They had thought they were alone.

In school, Rush was setting up practical jokes, not hitting the books.

blogging cockroach said...

as a cockroach i'm all in favor or rush limbaugh
i heard that he slobbers his food and a lot ends up on the floor yum
show me a man who is a slob and i'll show you a friend of the cockroach
anyway i don't know how we got from
rush the slob vs preacher mike to metaphysics

i mean big bangs and a 'primary cause that was itself
not apparently caused by anything' etc etc
some of us could stand a little refresher course in metaphysics
i know i could because i keep forgetting what ontology is

i don't think i could say anything about what went on
before the creation of the universe--
which as i understand it was when the big bang did or did not happen
maybe it happened everywhere because two branes collided in hyperspace
and presto all that hot stuff--and maybe even more not so hot stuff--
and it cooled and here we are
anyway i cant say anything about the first cause of the universe
because i didn't have any ontological status
--ooh now i remember what that means--
and by definition i better shut up

the only big bang i know about is what rush got
with all that viagra in his suitcase
and don't ask me what a 'brane' is

Revenant said...

Rev thinks that faith is not required in science.

I did not say that. I said you don't need faith to believe in the Big Bang.

As for the universe "causing itself", if this is true, then there must have been something in existence before the "Big Bang" and that "something" must have contained within it information (or knowledge)of abstact and complex mathematical relations and forms.

The phrase "before the Big Bang" makes no more sense than the phrase "north of the North Pole", as the Big Bang is the earliest point in time. You are also incorrect in thinking that either the Big Bang or its "creator" necessarily had to contain a lot of information -- or any at all.

While some might think [the universe arising out of nothing is] an adequate explanation, it is nonetheless an excellent example of magical thinking.

Given that we witness particles springing into existence without cause all the time (e.g., vacuum fluctuations) it doesn't require "magical thinking" to believe that someone can spring into existence out of nothing. It definitely can.

blogging cockroach said...

mtrobertsattorney
--hoo boy that's a word--
quotes d hume about 'the slightest philosophy'
sorry but slightest is more than zero zilch nada
which is how much some people know
actually it's most people because they dont teach
such things in school any more
you can get out of hs without knowing a syllogism
from a hole in the ground
now as a cockroach i don't have a problem with holes in the ground
but you know what i mean

anyway, tommy the boy whose computer i use
goes to a fancy exam school and believe me
they teach them advanced stuff
he came in the other day and announced
he wanted to become a metaphysician
when he grew up
i told him it wasnt a good idea
he says why not
i said i didn't think he would get many patients
he said thats all right
i'll just heal myself

Gedaliya said...

Revenant...

You may find this and interesting perspective on the fragility of the Big Bang Theory and the possible consequences of its demise.

blogging cockroach said...

thats an interesting article gedaliya
cosmology's in worse shape than i thought
i mean branes colliding in multidimensional hyperspace
wierd complex geometrical solids in 9 dimensional space
strings 'n things with curled up dimensions
etc etc etc
should be getting close the real deal, you'd think
plus there's some mytee fine math lurking in all that

now someone comes along and tells us it all may be
horseshit
i know my friends the flies would like that
but it just creeps me out
oh well god never said he'd make it easy
for us to psychoanalyze him

in the mean time
i found a meatball on the kitchen floor
left over from the church supper
last sat nite at st eulalia's
which is about as close to god as i'm likely to get
and thats okay with me

Bruce Hayden said...

Before you take Rev that seriously here, you need to read the article linked by Gedaliya which points out the problems with the Big Bang. As scientists continue to understand more about it, more and more questions arise and problems with the current theory. Apparently, the Big Bang is now five layers of theories, some of which have more questions than answers. And, interestingly, there appear to be many more questions today about the theory than there were back when many of us were learning our science in high school and as undergraduates.

And, the question of what was going on before the Big Bang assumes the correctness of parts of this theory that cannot be anywhere near proved. One long term theory has been/was that the universe will ultimately start shrinking due to gravity, and when it implodes back to a Big Collapse, it may start all over again. Whether the universe continues to expand forever or ultimately collapses all depends on the amount of matter involved, and that is still in much debate. And since we don't know what caused the Big Bang, we don't know what will happen if and when it collapses.

Not being a physicists, I don't have to worry about the details here. The world works, as to the physical laws, and that is all that really matters to most of us. Similarly, for millenia, man believed the world was flat. It was irrelevant to man's day to day live that it wasn't flat until we started dealing at distances where the curvature of the planet became relevant.

Somewhat similar is the theory of evolution. Scientists know some, maybe a lot, of the mechanics. But what cannot be proved, and is unlikely to be proved in the next couple of generations is that putting together millions of small evolutionary steps necessarily got us to where we are now.

What we do know now is how single changes can happen. I have before used the example of how tri-color vision in Old World Monkeys (including, of course, humans) occurred. But it takes a big leap of faith to jump from that to that the same process was capable of taking us from pre-life to thinking humans. This involves stringing together millions of these mutations and natural selections. The best that can be said is that the mathematics don't disprove the theory and there isn't a better scientific one generally available. In other words, it is still plausible, and is probably at the present more plausible than the Big Bang theory as we all learned it.

But, again, why does it really matter whether someone does or does not believe it? Most just don't care, because it doesn't affect their lives.

As with the Big Bang, evolution is taught at a high level typically by public school teachers who typically don't know or understand the problems with the theory themselves. So, we now have a couple of generations indoctrinated by liberals on the public dole who are temperamentally in favor of non-religious answers. So, you could argue that the reason that some of these candidates question evolution is because they were educated before such indoctrination became almost ubiquitous.

Personally, I believe that evolution as we know it is likely correct, but that there is a distinct possibility that the Big Bang theory will be significantly revised in the next couple of decades, primarily because throughout physics, when theories start getting really messy, it usually means that we don't understand something critical, and need a new unified theory that cleans this up.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think though that Rush is not the person that a Republican should pick a fight with if he wants the nomination. Democratic nomination, most definitely, just not the Republican one.

Someone once suggested that it wasn't smart to pick a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel. Worse, picking a fight with someone with the Gold EIB microphone and has more listenership than probably the top five newspapers have readership. Besides, Rush is much nearer the mainstream of his party than is Huckabee.

So,what this really shows is how far from the mainstream of his party Huckabee is. And how lacking in judgment.

Maguro said...

Very interesting article. To me, "dark matter" and "dark energy" and "inflation" are all a bit too reminiscent of Ptolemy's epicycles. Their supposed existence saves a beautiful theory and that makes me uncomfortable.

JMTCW

Revenant said...

Before you take Rev that seriously here, you need to read the article linked by Gedaliya which points out the problems with the Big Bang.

If you think that article contradicts anything I've said here, you obviously didn't understand it. You also seem to have been confused by the article's discussion of how the universe expanded AFTER the "big bang"; what is unknown is the manner in which the universe expanded and continues to do so.

Apparently, the Big Bang is now five layers of theories, some of which have more questions than answers.

You could call it one theory, five, or thousands -- each of the five areas the article cites have sub-theories within them, too. The term "Big Bang theory" as generally used (and as it has been used here) refers to the theory that the mass and energy of the universe have a common point of origin; that theory has various aspects to it explaining the various phenomena we observe. Some of those things, such as dark matter and dark energy, have an importance quite apart from the Big Bang; even if we discarded the idea of a common origin point to the universe, we would still need dark matter/energy (or an equivalent substitute) to explain why the universe as it exists today doesn't fly to bits. In other words, while dark matter and dark energy are a big question-mark in modern physics, they aren't particularly a problem to the big bang theory; as the article notes, those concepts could collapse and leave the underlying theories (i.e., expansion and inflation) untouched.

the question of what was going on before the Big Bang

There was no "before the Big Bang". You can't have a "before" without time.

But it takes a big leap of faith to jump from that to that the same process was capable of taking us from pre-life to thinking humans.

How does that take "faith"? Which step is the one that takes the faith? Your argument is akin to saying that while we can prove that humans can take individual steps, it requires faith to believe that one can walk a hundred miles. I guess you could say that it takes "faith" to believe that we and the other forms of life evolved, step by step, from earlier forms of life -- but only in the sense that it takes faith to believe that the world existed 130 years ago. After all, we can't prove that it did. We can only point to a wealth of evidence suggesting that it did. :)

So, we now have a couple of generations indoctrinated by liberals on the public dole

Anyone who equates the teaching of evolution with "liberal indoctrination" has earned themselves place in the Crank File with the other nuts.

ron st.amant said...

My favorite part of the Rush rants was:

"Who is this campaign to decide who is and who is not conservative? I hadn't heard of Huckabee in any serious manner before this campaign began. Believe me, I know who the conservatives are and aren't."


So the real problem is that Mike Huckabee's campaign is deciding who the conservatives are for everyone, instead of Rush deciding it for everyone.

I love the smell of hubris in the morning.

Lawgiver said...

rev says,

There was no "before the Big Bang". You can't have a "before" without time.

And that is where science breaks down. From wiki, "...the known laws of physics break down in a gravitational singularity of a geometric point at the time zero of the Big Bang and that, before then, time as we know it is meaningless."

It's not that you can't have a "before the big bang" rather we don't or can't understand a "before the big bang" using science.

My astronomy professor was a Christian. He saw no real conflict between science and religion, neither do I.

Revenant said...

And that is where science breaks down.

In the sense that a socket set "breaks down" when you ask it to walk your dog, I guess. I would say, rather, that science doesn't offer theories about the unknowable (and, at present, the nature of what, if anything, is outside of this universe, is indeed unknowable).

It's not that you can't have a "before the big bang" rather we don't or can't understand a "before the big bang" using science.

You misunderstood the article, which is understandable given that it was badly worded. Time is a property of the universe. "Before" means "at an earlier point in time". Without time, you can't have a "before", and prior to the "big bang" there was no time, at least from our frame of reference (i.e., the frame we use when saying things like "before the Big Bang").

My astronomy professor was a Christian. He saw no real conflict between science and religion, neither do I.

It would be accurate to say that there are religions which do not conflict with science. There are others which do. For example, religions which believe in "young earth creationism" are in conflict with science inasmuch as the religions in question are objectively wrong about the history of the Earth.

Gedaliya said...

In the sense that a socket set "breaks down" when you ask it to walk your dog, I guess. I would say, rather, that science doesn't offer theories about the unknowable (and, at present, the nature of what, if anything, is outside of this universe, is indeed unknowable).

Oh come on, Rev. The Big Bang theory does rest upon the premise of a "before" the Big Bang. Those who insist there was a "Big Bang," assume that "before" the Big Bang existed a "singularity" in which all "substance" existed in some unknown (unknown to "science") state. This "singularity" was somehow "disturbed" and, then, again somehow, blew. This event occurred a few billion years ago, but "relativistic forces" make precise calculations difficult.

Your use of the term "unknowable" is curious. Your admission that "science" has inherent limitations (there are things "unknowable"), weakens your argument that science is the best tool we have in understanding the world. Ever since Francis Bacon started the entire dismal enterprise, each generation of scientists never fails to crown itself The High Priesthood in a vain attempt to immunize itself from incessant criticism and ridicule.

In the end, "science" (and those who worship "reason"), are both found gasping and wheezing long before the big questions are addressed.

Nietzsche knew that Christianity had power:

Where is the match of this closed system of will, goal, and interpretation? Why has it not found a match? Where is the other goal.

As R.R. Reno observes in this fine piece Nietzsche's Deeper Truth:

Nietzsche's...most lucid and disciplined investigation into the dynamics of faith ends with a mockery of modern alternatives and a grudging affirmation that the human animal was made to worship, serve, and obey. For if we leave our lives simply as we find them, he suggests, then we are doomed to live a nihilism deeper and more threatening than the most unworldly and aggressive asceticism—life without will.

Revenant said...

Those who insist there was a "Big Bang," assume that "before" the Big Bang existed a "singularity" in which all "substance" existed in some unknown (unknown to "science") state.

No, that's not an accurate description of our understanding of the "Big Bang". The universe is indeed believed to have started out as a singularity, but it didn't exist "before" the Big Bang -- it existed AT the "Big Bang". At t=0, everything was at the same point in space; at t>0, it no longer is. In other words, the universe was a singularity for exactly zero seconds.

Now it could very well be that there is some OTHER set of dimensions, including an independent time dimension, that exist OUTSIDE our universe. But we can't say anything about that universe, so far as I know. We can't even say which direction our universe is moving on that time axis; we could be moving backwards in time from their perspective, collapsing INTO a singularity rather than exploding out of one.

Your use of the term "unknowable" is curious. Your admission that "science" has inherent limitations (there are things "unknowable"), weakens your argument that science is the best tool we have in understanding the world.

Not really. Anything that is knowable can be known to science as well. There are just some things which cannot be known or understood by any means at all.

In the end, "science" (and those who worship "reason"), are both found gasping and wheezing long before the big questions are addressed.

Certainly science isn't perfect, but given that its chief rival for "understanding" -- religion -- hasn't managed to understand anything or answer any questions despite having quite a bit longer to do so, I find it a bit that you mock the "gasping and wheezing" of scientific methodology. The swift and reliable pace of advancing scientific knowledge beats all comers.

Nietzsche knew that Christianity had power:

Power and truth aren't synonymous, wouldn't you say? That Christianity is useful in a utilitarian sense doesn't mean that it actually imparts real knowledge to us. For example, when our young are afraid we tell them "we'll always be here for you". That is a lie, but it is a useful lie. Telling a child "well, I'll always be here for you, unless I suddenly die. You never know when that would happen" wouldn't make that child's life very enjoyable, would it?