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Scientific theories, intelligent design and story time

gbt.jpgAt the end of this post, I am going to share one of the coolest moments in my life as well as the unquestionably dorkiest moment in my life. Both of which I was reminded of when, over the weekend, I stumbled upon an article talking about how some scientists happened upon another test which Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity passed.

This article called to mind my post from last week wherein I bitched about the teaching of Intelligent Design in the science classroom. While I think ID is utter hogwash, I have no problem with it being discussed in religious circles. I may not believe the beliefs of others and, while I’m an asshole who might mock them for said beliefs, I also stand behind their right to believe what they will. But that doesn’t change the fact that ID is not science. The Theory of Evolution, meanwhile, is science and, using the scientific method, it can be tested. And so far, it passes all tests.

Anyway, the article I mentioned talks about a unique situation in space, where two pulsars (massive remains of dead stars) happen to live incredibly close to each other (they’re only twice the distance from each other as the Earth is from the moon). This gave scientists a unique opportunity to test a prediction of General Relativity, and the prediction matches the observed results. As one of the scientists notes, “It’s not quite right to say that we have now ‘proven’ General Relativity. However, so far, Einstein’s theory has passed all the tests that have been conducted.” And that’s the difference between evolution and Intelligent Design - evolution has passed tests while ID hasn’t passed shit.

And yes, for those who are physics wonks, I realize that this same argument could be used to belittle string theory. But while we don’t have any tests for the key components of those various theories yet, they originate from scientific ideas and principles, not religion. And it’s because of the fact that they remain untested that it’s not only right, but necessary, that they be taught and studied as mere possibilities at this point. But again, they’re based and rooted in science. Intelligent Design is not.

Anyway, on to my self-indulgent story time. This article was also heartwarming to me because (a) it’s about pulsars, which I studied in my “I’m gonna be an astrophysicist days” and (b) it resulted from observations taken at the Green Belt Telescope (the “GBT”) in West Virginia. I spent a weekend at the GBT, and we got to work with a smaller radio telescope on the same campus and this is what led to the two moments I mentioned above.

One of the coolest moments of my life — we were using this little telescope to record some data and, as we studied what had been recorded, we realized that we had picked up this weird motion that we couldn’t account for. After a few hours of mucking around with the data, we eventually realized that what we had observed and recorded was the rotation of our galaxy. That moment of realization was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced, awesome in the truest meaning of the word. It’s that aspect of scientific study that I miss the most in my post-scientist days.

The dorkiest moment of my life — we then decided to point the telescope all the way to the ground, and our whole group got in front of it. The human body gives off tiny amounts of radiation which a strong enough telescope, like this one, can pick up. So we took the “image” (a time-based graph) of the data of our collective radiation and made it into our own group photo, and eventually put that image on t-shirts. Yes, Maude, I’m a card-carrying fucking dork (in fact … we also made laminated “astrophysicist” wallet cards that summer, too. …holy hell, it’s a wonder I’m not still a virgin living in my parents’ basement).

| Comments (12)


I personally call it 'String hypothesis' not String theory, as it has yet to undergo any testing.

It is on a bit of a different level than ID though. I find the concept of invoking the 'super' natural to explain something beyond our grasp to be a bit arrogant and a bit insulting to the big guy. After all, if God (or the Flying Spaghetti Monster) created all of nature in the first place, how can there be anything 'super' natural? Isn't it a bit bold to assume that we are capable of understanding everything in the Universe at this point in time? Our little brains can't even sort out most of the crap on our own planet yet - there is nothing supernatural about all of the stuff that we don't get. And for the record, we kind of 'get' evolution pretty well.


The reason is elementary: the Discovery Institute and other ID proponents leave out the Triune God, Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. Hence, Richard Dawkins can make the case for “aliens” seeding the earth.

The Quest for Right, a series of 7 textbooks created for the public schools, represents the ultimate marriage between an in-depth knowledge of biblical phenomena and natural and physical sciences. The several volumes have accomplished that which, heretofore, was deemed impossible: to level the playing field between those who desire a return to physical science in the classroom and those who embrace the theory of evolution. The Quest for Right turns the tide by providing an authoritative and enlightening scientific explanation of natural phenomena which will ultimately dethrone the unprofitable Darwinian view.

"I am amazed at the breadth of the investigation - scientific history, biblical studies, geology, biology, geography, astronomy, chemistry, paleontology, and so forth - and find the style of writing to be quite lucid and aimed clearly at a general, lay audience." ― Mark Roberts, former Editor of Biblical Reference Books, Thomas Nelson Publishers.

The Quest for Right series of books, based on physical science, the old science of cause and effect, has effectively dismantled the quantum additions to the true architecture of the atom. Gone are the nonexistent particles once thought to be complementary to the electron and proton (examples: neutrons, neutrinos, photons, mesons, quarks, Z's, bosons, etc.) and a host of other pseudo particles.

To the curious, scientists sought to explain Atomic theory by introducing fantastic particles that supposedly came tumbling out of the impact between two particles, when in fact, the supposed finds were simply particulate debris. There are only two elementary particles which make up the whole of the universe: the proton and electron. All other particles were added via quantum magic and mathematical elucidation in an attempt to explain earthly phenomena without God.

Introducing the scheme of coincidence, which by definition, "is the systematic ploy of obstructionists who, in lieu of any divine intervention, state that any coincidental grouping or chance union of electrons and protons (and neutrons), regardless of the configuration, always produces a chemical element. This is the mischievous tenet of electron interpretation which states that all physical, chemical, and biological processes result from a change in the electron structure of the atom which, in turn, may be deciphered through the orderly application of mathematics, as outlined in quantum mechanics. A few of the supporting theories are: degrading stars, neutron stars, black holes, extraterrestrial water, antimatter, the absolute dating systems, and the big bang, the explosion of a singularity infinitely smaller than the dot of an “i” from which space, time, and the massive stellar bodies supposedly sprang into being.

The Quest for Right is not only better at explaining natural phenomena, but also may be verified through testing. As a consequence, the material in the several volumes will not violate the so-called constitutional separation of church and state. Physical science, the old science of cause and effect, will have a long-term sustainability, replacing irresponsible doctrines based on whim. Teachers and students will rejoice in the simplicity of earthly phenomena when entertained by the new discipline.

The Quest for Right. http://questforright.com

Thank you for that post. It was unintentionally hilarious.

My roommate the theoretical astrophysicist would like to hug you. She's going to want a picture of her own radiation now.

I.. Wow. I want to say something super profound, but can't seem to stop laughing.

This part especially warms my heart:
As a consequence, the material in the several volumes will not violate the so-called constitutional separation of church and state.

So, am I misunderstanding the meaning of the word constitutional? I was under the impression that if something is in the constitution it is by definition, constitutional.

Tom Cruise is that you?

So let me make sure I have this right (because, you know, I'm on that "quest" for it and all): If we can't explain it, we should just stop searching for actual answers, because it is easier to simply conclude "G-d did it."

Sweet. I can now conclusively state that religious = lazy. Good to know.

The several volumes of The Quest for Right do not state that "God did it." Rather, it shows with great complexity how the earth was created. If you are actually on a quest for truth, you will love the series. http://questforright.com

Sorry, what was that link again, buddy? Seem to have misplaced my pen...er....mouse button....eh, never mind. You know what, I'm cool with natural selection.

Seth, I had no idea you had a murky past in astrophysics. Cool stuff! My husband has a physics degree, and a definite interest in the astronomical side of things. In fact, he's out gawking at stuff through his homemade telescope as I type. I get more excitement from the life sciences myself (admitted nature-geek), but I can just imagine how thrilling it must be to be made vividly aware of the whole Milky freakin' Way rotating under our feet, as it were.

*Cue Monty Python's Galaxy Song....*

*ignoring the nonsense*

I am a closet Bio nerd. Yes, before I went to law school, I worked in a genetics lab... tracking and decoding E. coli genes. Fun! I think the reason we both aren't virgins living in our parent's basements is that we decided to go to law school instead. ;)

RhymesWithSilver -- your roommate can hug me any time.

MO(meaux) -- yup, I've got quite the murky astro past, complete with a physics degree of my very own (dunno if your husband actually uses his, but mine collects quite a bit of dust in the corner, apparently doing some sort of quantum filth experiment).

three elle -- so wait. you're suggesting that being a law student/lawyer is the key to a long and healthy sex life? ...good luck at your new law job next fall.

Wait, is quest for life dude serious? This isn't like "God hates shellfish" photos? What's funny is that I foolishly clicked the link and read through all the creationism bs and strawman's arguments and came to a list of "State Adopted Textbooks of Florida." As backwards as Floridians appear on quizlaw, at least all the state textbooks have *science* titles like chemistry, biology, and *science*. It warms the cockles of my heart to know they haven't fallen for any "truth" bs... for now.

Oh, he's serious. He wrote the series, so I suspect he has quite a bit to gain from the sale of said books. Notably, you can order a special boxed edition of volume 1, and he will autograph it and enclose a personalized note!