Here is the comment I left at Wartburg Watch, which went unanswered.
“If time and space were created at the Big Bang, then it would be impossible to assign a “where” and a “when” to that event, right? Therefore, how do you define its beginning? You can’t really say it happened however many billions of years ago, because, by definition there can be no WHEN (and by extension no WHERE) to its “beginning” since time and space didn’t exist until AFTER the big bang. And so, it is impossible to tell ultimately then how old the universe is…indeed, you cannot even say it had a beginning, because something that is absent a time or place cannot be said to have a beginning.”
I suspect it won’t be the last time this question will go unanswered. Physicists are extremely reticent to admit the Platonism inherent in their science; because at the end of it all is a great big fat shrug. At the core of science, I have come to realize–at least as it pertains to the foundational mathematics–is nothing more than Gnosticism in quantifiable form. And this is to say that this is the scientific definition of TRUTH: that what cannot be proven, because it cannot be shown to be actual (like numbers and constants and “laws” which govern), because it cannot be observed, is really the cause of all which exists.
And for the experimental physicists this must be doubly frustrating. I mean, as those who claim that empirical evidence is THE evidence of choice for TRUTH, it must be awfully hard to acknowledge that at the root of the presumption is that what cannot be actually observed is the “objective” standard for how we gauge the veracity our empirical–that is observed–evidence. In other words, we prove observational evidence as a direct function what cannot at all be observed, which is of course how the math reconciles.
Math is nothing more than the abstract quantification of the action of an object (or objects) after it has already happened. Seems a little too convenient to me to be the gold standard for TRUTH. You set your constants by the actions of objects you can only observe after the fact, and then you claim laws which govern…which implies, coming BEFORE. And so you what you are trying to get past the logical smell test is to declare that all which is said to govern is a direct function of purely object-derived actions which I submit can never be rationally proven to have been caused by these laws at all because you can never observe a law before it acts upon an object. Which means that all you can possibly know unless you are declaring some kind of mystic “revelation” or “divine insight” is that objects act FIRST; which means all actions are a direct function of the object’s ability to act; which means that the object, not the math or the “law” is the source of its being.
Does this not raise the eyebrows of a single rational soul? How can we claim truth when by our very standards we can never actually SEE it.
Hmmm…I see a contradiction in terms on the road ahead.
It isn’t then curious why the experimental physicist on the Wartburg Watch, Old John J saw the road..and turned around.
So then, having said all of that, it seems to me that the problem with Young Earth Creationism as touted by the gnostic mystics of pseudo-Christianity and Old Earth Creationism as touted by the gnostic mystics of pseudo-empiricist standards is the exact same problem: the impossibility of actually defining the terms “old” and “young”. For if time is purely relative (and it is) and is nothing more than an abstraction which is derivative of a man’s ability to cognitively abstract (which it is), then it is impossible to declare that old is actually old or that young is actually young because there is no actual reference point. For by definition time is nothing more than a qualification/quantification of the relative movement between two (or more objects)…a different conceptual idea of movement, as opposed to “distance”, or “length”, or even “gravity”.
So the problem then is that there is no other ACTUAL reference (but only a man-contrived abstract reference) by which to gauge the “time” of the universe in order that the universe may be determined to be either young or old. Since the “beginning” of Creation is a singularity, then what is the other reference point by which we measure its time? There is no Y to Creation’s X; no B to Creation’s A. How do you have a measurement of any temporal kind unless you can know the start TIME…that is, you cannot have an AGE unless you know WHEN whatever it is you are temporally defining BEGAN. If there is no WHEN to its beginning, then it cannot have an AGE. And what I am submitting is that since Creation had a beginning literally in a vacuum according to both young and old earthers, as well as agnostic or atheist scientists, it is categorically impossible to declare when Creation began. And if you cannot know when Creation began (further compounded by the fact that it is often said-without any sense of irony by either the Young Earth or Old Earth advocates-that space and time were likewise Created in the beginning…which has a temporal value of ZERO, making time a direct function of NO TIME )…so, again, if you cannot know when Creation began then it is by definition impossible to say just how old or young Creation actually is.
And further, how do you have a beginning from NOTHING at all? How does NOTHING (because both camps assume that God made Creation from nothing) spawn a thing which does not exist? What value can be given to Creation if the material from which it sprang forth is zero? Anything derived from zero is zero…even the mathematicians have to give me that one. That’s just common mathematical sense. A four year old knows that if you start with zero bananas and add a banana you haven’t added ONE banana to zero, you have merely replaced the empty spot on the table with a banana. You can add another banana to get two bananas, but you can’t add one of anything to nothing-to NO banana; to the absence of banana–to make that nothing become ONE banana. Because the absence of banana is understandably infinite. The absence of banana cannot become, by definition, banana.
And the same is true for the universe. The absence of anything cannot produce something by definition because then it becomes a contradiction in terms. The absence of universe cannot ever be created into “universe” without utterly destroying the concept of “nothing”. And if that is destroyed, then so is the idea that God is “first cause”. Because God could not have created something from nothing if nothing did not exist. Except that in order for nothing to exist; for nothing to remain truly nothing, then something by definition could never have been derived from it.
It is a logical sinkhole from which there is no escape no matter how hard one tries. It is not possible. James Jordan tried in the comments thread of the previous post on this topic and failed to bridge the gap of the bottomless, gaping chasm of logical madness. In the end, if you concede NOTHING then you cannot claim that anything can be created out of it. It just doesn’t work. At. All.
But getting back to the notion of time.
As I was saying, you simply cannot determine old or young if you cannot define the “when” of Creation’s start. And it doesn’t matter that the physicists or Old Earth creationists speak of events happening “ten seconds after the big bang” or “one minute after the big bang”. If you cannot say WHEN the big bang was (or WHERE, by extension) then you cannot define what in the hell ten seconds or one minute actually is.
Ten seconds from what? Is my wholly rational question.
Ten seconds after the big bang.
Yes, but when was the big bang?
We cannot say, because our reference time and place for the big bang is “nothing’; or at best is merely “the big bang”. The big bang IS the beginning.
Then how do you know ten seconds passed if there is no start time? If the start time is the big bang…well, that’s not a time. Ten seconds then is merely arbitrary. There is no way to prove that ten seconds is actually ten seconds.
The big bang didn’t have a time, it was “beginning”.
Yes, but how do you define beginning?
How do you define time?
What is ten seconds?
Then how can we know that ten seconds is ten seconds if it impossible to make a distinction between the passage of “time” and the thing from which it sprang?
I tell you readers…this is Looney Tunes.
Aaaaaaand the same argument can be used on the intelligent design folks.
God created the heavens and the earth in six days.
Six days from when?
From when He started.
Yes, but when was that…what time did He start?
When He did. He didn’t start at a time; He created time.
So time had a beginning AFTER God BEGAN to create. Okay…I’ll make it easy on you: Just tell me then when God created time (because, it doesn’t say in the Bible that God created time); that is, how soon after he began to create did He make time? Was it a minute after He began creating? An hour after He began creating?
He began it when He began it.
So the “time” he created time is indefinite?
Yes. Because He just did.
Okay…when was it finished being created? How long did it take God to create time.
I’m not sure…let’s say, an hour after.
So an hour beginning at indefinite time?
Do you not see how that is completely contradictory and logically insane? How can you start to count sixty minutes beginning with an indefinite “moment”? If the beginning moment itself is completely excluded from the time construct, how can it possibly the be the beginning of a sixty-minute cycle of time?
Because I can make the time anything I wa…er, it is a matter of Biblical truth. Time is real, because it’s in the Bible.
No, the Bible says nothing about God creating time. Because that would not make a damn bit of sense.
So let me get this straight. Time has no “time” of its beginning. And therefore Creation itself has no “time” of its beginning. Then how can you show that six days is actually six days? If a day has no beginning (because beginning must be a function of time) then how can you measure it out so that a day is shown to be an actual day. Twenty-four hours from NO TIME cannot possibly be shown to be twenty four hours. Unless you concede that time is merely an arbitrary abstraction devised by man as a means of organizing his observable environment. Do you concede?
No, because “six days” is in the Bible. And the Bible is infallible.
Yes, readers…feel free to scream now. I know I want to.
And so this is the insurmountable problem. “Young” and “Old” are predicated on the idea of a beginning TIME which cannot ever be provided. Since time was either created with the rest of Creation, or it was Created out of nothing, giving the start time as ZERO–as nothing–then there can be, by definition, no actual beginning to Creation.
And if you can’t say WHEN it began, it is impossible to declare how old, or young, the universe is.