Creationists Weigh in on the Large Hedron Collider (LHC)

However, our guess is that no matter what happens when the beams collide, researchers will use it to justify and/or explain what they believe happened in the moments after the big bang. After all, these scientists have faith that they are recreating big bang conditions; they will likewise have faith that the results mimic the “original” big bang.

The problem is that because the big bang was (allegedly) a one-time event—just like creation in Genesis—no amount of “repeating it” nor any scientific experiments could provide evidence for it. Rather, it must be accepted on faith, and then the results interpreted within that framework. In other words, the LHC experiments will no more confirm the big bang than creationists could confirm Genesis 1 by shining a flashlight on a swimming pool on a dark night, saying, “Let there be light” and leaning over the surface of the deep. (1)

Just today, I watched a special called The Next Big Bang on the History Channel about the LHC. Honestly, I found it more than a bit silly. The scientists, in the naturalistic fairy tales, noted that we know what happened up to a few microseconds from the start of the “Big Bang.” They purported that the LHC will take us back within a nanosecond of the start of the “Big Bang.”

As for me, I wonder how much the 8+ billion dollars that was spent on this essentially worthless experiment, could have been applied to real-world problems, and how many human lives could have been saved with that money. It strikes me as a big effort to show that “God does not exist,” rather than anything useful. Indeed, one person already committed suicide out of fears that another big bang would occur. (2)

(1). http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/09/11/big-bang-or-hot-air
(2). http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=3&art_id=nw20080911094052586C108680&set_id=

Update: Please also see my co-author’s post on the LHC.

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29 Responses

  1. I wrote a post on this last week. Over eight billion dollars for a physics experiment and just to prove that man is god. To coin Bill, “What fools these mortals be.”

  2. The point of the LHC is to experimentally re-create conditions that might have obtained in the first trillionths of a second after the ‘big bang,’ not to say anything about what caused the ‘big bang’. (Assuming that it even makes sense to talk about ‘what caused the big bang’.) Since it cannot peer back beyond the big bang, it clearly cannot say anything about the existence or non-existence of God. In other words, what’s the fuss?

  3. My fuss is over $8,000,000,000 dollars committed to the project. How many human lives might have been saved with this much money? And what is the practical import. To say that it says nothing about the existence/non-existence of God, would probably be at odds with the implicit intentions of the researchers. While I might agree with you on a purely abstract level, I think the intentions of researchers, and others who support this research, may have different aims.

  4. […] Creationists Weigh in on the Large Hedron Collider (LHC) | Intelligent Design and More. […]

  5. My fuss is over $8,000,000,000 dollars committed to the project. How many human lives might have been saved with this much money? And what is the practical import. To say that it says nothing about the existence/non-existence of God, would probably be at odds with the implicit intentions of the researchers. While I might agree with you on a purely abstract level, I think the intentions of researchers, and others who support this research, may have different aims.

    “What’s the fuss?” Callous disregard for others, should be much more than a “fuss!” In my estimation, it should be total outrage, as opposed to a “fuss,” especially when it’s due to man’s self obsession! Yeah, it’s only eight billion dollars, which, as the shrink said, could have helped millions who are suffering around the world, but I wouldn’t expect this to register with material science.

  6. I’m not saying I wasn’t genuinely impressed by what the scientists had designed and created when I watched the special on the history channel. That’s not it at all. I just think that there are more important problems to solve on this planet. Perhaps, at some point in the future, this would be a definite priority. For now, millions are dying each year needlessly, and this research does nothing for those people. I just don’t think that the egos of a few elite intellectuals are more important than the lives of perhaps millions of non-elites who will lose their lives because of a lack of basic necessities.

  7. Well, it’s easy to judge what other people should do with their money, is it not? I try not to get into those sort of things! I’m sure we all can list a bunch of our own government/publicly-funded projects (and wars) here at home that we think were wastes of money.

    I’ve not investigated the matter of a 6000-year-old Earth to really have a strong opinon on that. (I would wonder though what they did about those T-Rex’s on the Ark!) Certainly, one can freely interpret Genesis in different ways (and don’t forget about the re-creation theory: After the Angelic rebellion, the Earth became void and without form for who knows how long? Until God essentually remade it). Or one could possibly surmise that it is only humanity that is 6000 years old, while the Earth is much older. Also, there are lots of other creation accounts by different cultures that are similar, but perhaps provide more data for scientific speculation, as well as other myths of human origin or epochs.

    However, my main concern is in not reading the bible like a science book. I think sometimes Christians will get carried away there – even to the point of losing their faith because they expect the bible to actually be a science book and not the love story it really is!

  8. Mike wrote,

    “However, my main concern is in not reading the bible like a science book. I think sometimes Christians will get carried away there – even to the point of losing their faith because they expect the bible to actually be a science book and not the love story it really is!”

    Yes, I have just recently begun to understand this, once again, and some of my confusion that I went through, over the past year, has started to dissipate! Needless to say, our own government wastes hundreds of billions on wars that it should have never started, and I’m sure a large chunk of this 8 billion is US tax dollar funded. But should we be devoid of concern over how money is wasted while people starve? We can also become fatalistic as believers, because of “end time” prophecies etc, and I don’t believe this is any better than a scientific approach to the bible. May be I’m wrong?

  9. My feeling is that Jesus was concerned with man’s relationship to God, and not man’s relationship to the State. The State represents Worldly Power. The Nation-State is man’s counter-creation where he sets himself up as God. It is the “beast”, if you will, and we all bear it’s “mark”. We are all subject to its propaganda, it’s “false prophet”. So, while things the State does may bother me, and I may speak against it (or for it!) on the basis of being a member, from time to time, I’m reminded of “Come out of her my people”. I’m reminded not to use the same means as the State in order to push agendas or politcal causes (which inevitably end up as a mob-mentality power stuggles, do they not?). I’m reminded of the only means that are available to me – those that are in Christ, which is love for my neighbor as myself.

    So, I don’t think we can enforce a Christian ethic en masse – that is, on the basis of nation to nation (since the relations between those nations are always political and within the realm of Worldly Power). The Christian ethic, to me, is one of neighbor to neighbor. The guy next to me in the trenches. I suspect lots of people don’t agree with me (and thus we get George Bush invading Iraq in the name of freedom), because it evokes a feeling of utter hoplessness of changing the world condition (but not of changing your neighbor’s plight!).

  10. I find the reversal of positions here very interesting!

    Normally, I’d expect it would be the Christians who would be excited about using the intelligence given us by God in order to find out more about His creation, and it would be the naturalists who would say that since we’re only animals, it would be better to attend to material needs and not bother trying to discover “the secrets of the Old One” (as Einstein put it).

    But here, it seems as though the Christians are taking up the need to care for our material needs, and the naturalists (like me) are excited about peering a little bit further into the structure of physical reality.

    What accounts for this irony?

    Oh, and here’s what I found about funding of the LHC:

    The project is an international effort, with the U.S. contribution organized and funded through the Office of High Energy Physics , Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences of the the National Science Foundation (NSF). Following extensive reviews, and in close coordination with other elements of the Administration and the Congress, the DOE and NSF jointly negotiated and signed an agreement and protocols with CERN for U.S. participation in the construction of the two detectors and the 7 TeV x 7 TeV superconducting proton-proton collider.

    The funding agencies exercise oversight of the project through the Joint Oversight Group (JOG). Fiscal and schedule responsibility for U.S. participation is vested by JOG in Host Laboratories. For the detectors, BNL serves as host to the ATLAS detector, Fermilab for the CMS detector, and Fermilab is the Lead Laboratory for the construction issues pertaining to the Accelerator. On behalf of the Joint Oversight Group, the U.S. LHC Project and the U.S. LHC Research Program Officse monitor the detailed status of the construction and the research programs.

    From The Office of High Energy Physics

    Speaking of wasting the taxpayer’s money, I’d be tempted to mention a little out-of-the-way country called Iraq . . . but I wouldn’t want to get political, would I? 😉

  11. As I said on another post Carl, those Naturalists are only trying to get to know their great god Nature through their only means of revelation – Science. It’s simply a religious experience for them.

    Now, how can us Christians possibly compete with that, since our faith lies in a different God, who uses a different means of revelation?

  12. What about the long and venerable tradition, without which modern science would not even exist, that God reveals Himself through “the Book of Nature” as well as through the Bible?

  13. Mike wrote:

    I’ve not investigated the matter of a 6000-year-old Earth to really have a strong opinon on that. (I would wonder though what they did about those T-Rex’s on the Ark!) Certainly, one can freely interpret Genesis in different ways (and don’t forget about the re-creation theory: After the Angelic rebellion, the Earth became void and without form for who knows how long? Until God essentually remade it). Or one could possibly surmise that it is only humanity that is 6000 years old, while the Earth is much older. Also, there are lots of other creation accounts by different cultures that are similar, but perhaps provide more data for scientific speculation, as well as other myths of human origin or epochs.

    I used to think very much like you did on this issue Mike, until I investigated what AIG had to say on the matter. I’ve not fully rejected this issue on either side, but I think AIG makes some compelling cases theologically and even scientifically. As for T-rex, you can look up on AIG what they say about that.

    Carl wrote:

    Normally, I’d expect it would be the Christians who would be excited about using the intelligence given us by God in order to find out more about His creation, and it would be the naturalists who would say that since we’re only animals, it would be better to attend to material needs and not bother trying to discover “the secrets of the Old One” (as Einstein put it).

    While it’s debatable as to whether the war in Iraq will ultimately save a net number of lives, I think an argument can be made in either direction. I think I could understand both positions. However, it’s difficult for me to imagine how the LHC can save lives. While I think Mike has a point about telling other people how to spend their money, I doubt that the individuals who made the money originally had a great deal of say in how the money was spent (just as perhaps the money spent on Iraq?). But as a human being, and I don’t propose that I speak for God on this matter, I view the LHC as a waste of money.

    And I think Carl, we as human beings, do not do nearly enough on a personal level to care about other human beings. I include both Christians and naturalists in this. I also include myself.

  14. Yes, it is written that God reveals himself through what he has made. It is also written that many would observe all that He has made, and deny God the glory, but rather worship what he made!

  15. Carl wrote: “What about the long and venerable tradition, without which modern science would not even exist, that God reveals Himself through “the Book of Nature” as well as through the Bible?”

    Yes, it is written that God reveals himself through what he has made. It is also written that many would observe all that He has made, and deny God the glory, but rather worship what he made!

    Shrink wrote: “I used to think very much like you did on this issue Mike, until I investigated what AIG had to say on the matter. ”

    Thanks, I know I really need to look into it more. Just finding the time is difficult!

  16. Thanks, I know I really need to look into it more. Just finding the time is difficult!

    I understand this very much! And while I think these issues have some importance, I don’t think they have as much importance as the basics of Christianity. Like I say, I haven’t made up my mind on the issues yet either. I think about any of Ken Ham’s books would give you a pretty quick understanding of AIG’s position (such as the Answers Book).

    And I think I understand your position too Carl. I’m actually very curious about these things. At one time, I would have probably been fully for this type of research. It just seems to me at this time that I’ve become more aware of the amount of death and suffering that is in the world, and for me personally, I would like to see more done in that area. Although I do not think we do now, or will ever, have the power to eliminate these things.

  17. Oh, I don’t think the Large Hadron Collider will save any lives. But that’s not the point of the LHC. The point of the LHC is to provide empirical confirmation of some theories about the structure of physical reality. I guess I would have thought that from a Christian perspective, that by itself is intrinsically valuable, because it gives us more information about God’s work.

    From a materialistic perspective, on the other hand, the LHC looks like it might need more justification, since a materialist might well think that since we’re all just animals, the alleviation of animal suffering is more important than playing with expensive toys.

  18. Mike,

    I don’t disagree with you at all, in fact I know that what you said is the truth! I am not a political activist nor believe we can change all the ills of the world. What the shrink wrote speaks for me, also.

  19. Carl,

    I’m not saying it is of no intrinsic value. I just place greater value on other things.

  20. I’ve been an old earth creationist and almost just a deist. After focusing on Darwinism and finding that imaginary evidence is included I’ve been researching YEC more lately.

    Mike said:
    “(I would wonder though what they did about those T-Rex’s on the Ark!)”

    I think the YEC to that is that most animals taken on the ark were babies. In theory dinosaurs were taken on the ark and were known later by ancient groups of people as dragons, thus dragon mythology is nearly as universal as Great Flood narratives. Possible lines of evidence could be pointed to like engravings of dragons that look like dinosaurs and so on. A researcher found soft tissue and apparent red blood cells in a T-Rex bone, yet such anomalies are simply discarded despite possible patterns of evidence.

    As a creationist notes:

    When an animal or plant dies, its DNA begins decomposing. Before 1990,, almost no one believed DNA could last 10,000 years. This limit was based on measuring DNA disintegration rates in well-preserved specimens of known age such as Egyptian mummies. DNA has now been reported in magnolia leaves that evolutionists claim are 17 million years old. Fragments of DNA are also claimed to be in alleged 80-million-year-old dinosaur bones buried in a coal bed and in the scales of a 200-million-year-old fossilized fish. DNA is frequently reported in amber encased insects and plants that are supposedly 25-120 million years old.

    Certainly, one can freely interpret Genesis in different ways (and don’t forget about the re-creation theory: After the Angelic rebellion, the Earth became void and without form for who knows how long? Until God essentually remade it). Or one could possibly surmise that it is only humanity that is 6000 years old, while the Earth is much older. Also, there are lots of other creation accounts by different cultures that are similar, but perhaps provide more data for scientific speculation, as well as other myths of human origin or epochs.

  21. Sorry, I guess I pressed return on the submit comment while I was still writing it.

    I guess I should at least correct that quote:

    When an animal or plant dies, its DNA begins decomposing. Before 1990,, almost no one believed DNA could last 10,000 years. This limit was based on measuring DNA disintegration rates in well-preserved specimens of known age such as Egyptian mummies. DNA has now been reported in magnolia leaves that evolutionists claim are 17 million years old. Fragments of DNA are also claimed to be in alleged 80-million-year-old dinosaur bones buried in a coal bed and in the scales of a 200-million-year-old fossilized fish. DNA is frequently reported in amber encased insects and plants that are supposedly 25-120 million years old.
    These discoveries have forced evolutionists to reexamine the 10,000-year limit. They now claim DNA can be preserved longer if conditions are dryer, colder, and freer of oxygen, bacteria, and background radiation. Measured disintegration rates of DNA, apparently under these more ideal conditions, do not support this. Therefore, the previously measured rates were probably not several thousand times in error. (In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood by Walt Brown :29)

    (On a side note the hydroplate theory specified in that book seems to have some explanatory power.)

    …don’t forget about the re-creation theory: After the Angelic rebellion, the Earth became void and without form for who knows how long?

    The creation of the Sun and the Earth are included in the narrative if I recall correctly. In fact a point of order seems to be that God speaks light into existence and God creates the celestial bodies themselves, therefore the idolatrous imagery typical to those who worship Nature doesn’t make any sense.

    Or one could possibly surmise that it is only humanity that is 6000 years old, while the Earth is much older.

    I used to think the re-creation and “replenish the earth” likely but there seems to be just as much evidence against it as for it. I always thought it funny that those who enjoy science fiction tend to think the existence of powerful aliens more likely than the existence of God. Yet God, angels and “the people of light” would essentially only be extracosmosials (perhaps living in imaginary multiverses!) instead of extraterrestrials, while aliens with the capability to travel faster than the speed of light would have transphysical powers which would seem “spiritual” anyway. Etc.

    At any rate, it seems to me that there is simply no salvaging Naturalism so the answer to the origins of all is ultimately infinite Intelligence.

  22. Hi Mynym,

    “I think the YEC to that is that most animals taken on the ark were babies. ”

    Hmm… Now I’m wondering how one snatches a baby T-Rex (or egg, maybe) under the nose of mama T-Rex! 😉

    “These discoveries have forced evolutionists to reexamine the 10,000-year limit.”

    Instead of questioning the presupposition (the bones are 65 million years old) they question the evidence! (from Eric Kemp’s blog: http://intelligentscience.wordpress.com/2008/07/07/dogmatic-evolution)

  23. Hmm… Now I’m wondering how one snatches a baby T-Rex (or egg, maybe) under the nose of mama T-Rex!

    It seems that one reason that people have a problem with an active God is that it seems to them that if it is allowed that God can do something then He may as well do anything. (I.e. in this instance He could “poof” the animals in the ark, etc.) This view impacts science greatly because it supports philosophic naturalism although it isn’t supportable by science itself. Philosophic naturalism is justified mainly by theological arguments: “God wouldn’t tinker…” “God wouldn’t make a panda’s thumb like this…” “God wouldn’t violate his own natural laws….” “If God did perform a miracle then we can’t know about it because we can’t just say ‘insert miracle here.'” etc. I can see why such views would emerge. We tend to prefer the scientific safety of regularities, etc. In the end the only problem is this, if God did do things and “tinker” or even “poof” things into existence and if anomalies, singularities/”miracles” and catastrophism/cataclysm and so on was prevalent in natural history then we’d be willfully blind in the name of science/saftey/progress and our whole notion of natural history would be utterly incorrect.

    At any rate it says: “Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth.”

    That seems like an odd little story, yet the migratory patterns of animals are rather mysterious to this day when observed scientifically. In fact they are apparently inexplicable based on a pseudo-Newtonian worldview, as is much else in biology. And weird or odd examples may be multiplied based on possible lines of anomalous empirical evidence, see:
    (Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home: And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals by Rupert Sheldrake)

    Many lines of evidence rooted in experiment and empirical evidence indicate that the real issue isn’t how weird or odd biblical narratives seem based on a pseudo-Newtonian worldview but how weird and odd things are in reality based on empirical evidence. Although revelation or the testimony of witnesses as recorded in religious traditions has to be taken on a form of faith that is rooted in language and information instead of sight and observation it seems to me that the Bible is no less odd or wondrous than much of reality that can be observed to this day. Biblical narratives may be wrong but they’re not wrong simply on account of including the miraculous, singularities or assorted anomalies and oddities.

  24. Those are real good points, thanks. And yes, the problem I posed is actually not what the narrative says (the animals came by themselves), so I’m glad you made reference to that.

  25. I actually tend towards Deism and Stoic philosophy myself, probably thanks to my personality. Yet the simple fact is that as a matter of knowledge there is as much “evidence”* that the world is a sort of relational matrix in which intelligent agents send out ripples of cause and effect as there is for the views typical to Darwinism/Calvinism that all is predestined by mechanisms which tick and tock through time like clockwork. True, biblical stories are very odd and I’ve been tempted to go the route of Thomas Jefferson and excise those that seem odd based on the form of naturalism typical to Deism but I don’t have enough knowledge to do that. For one thing naturalism isn’t all it’s supposedly known to be and typically cannot even exclude acts of agency in our own case by filling every “gap” in a mind of synaptic gaps, let alone gradually do away with God by filling every “gap” in the Cosmos that such a mind imagines it has a knowledge of based on images that it tends to invent. If there is a supposed “God of the gaps” who falls outside of the knowledge of man then He still has plenty of space and there is every indication that He always will.

    Deism is also an issue of knowledge, how do we really know that an unmoved Mover would never move again or that it would set in motion a chain of events which would lead to the emergence of persons but would not be transcendentally personal itself? How can we exclude Him from it? If we allow for one singularity then it seems to me that Deistic arguments reduce to personal statements: “Well, after the original Mover I like to think that everything unfolds through time in regular ways like clockwork.”

    *Taking all forms of it together without trying to separate “objective” evidence from sentient beings, etc. The irony of the supposedly perfect objectivity which some seek that eliminates the subjective is that you’d have to be dead to attain it. Sentience is the only form of knowledge that we know of and it is the very thing by which we know that there are probably purer “Forms” of objective knowledge to seek.

  26. Well if all the money for building churches and organizing religious activities were saved, cancer will be cured today, and the LHC would have been experimented decades ago.

  27. Good point Lee. I would also add that part of the difference here is public vs private funding. Although both have to do with religion.

  28. Well if all the money for building churches and organizing religious activities were saved, cancer will be cured today, and the LHC would have been experimented decades ago.

    There seems to be some misconceptions by certain folk who comment! Although I am a believer, I do not attend church nor do I adhere to organized religion as being of anything but man, and I know this is true of other believers who comment here, also. So if these comments are meant to offend, it ain’t working, at least not for me. You can slam organized religion all day, just read some of my posts.

    With that said, this government spends billions on wars and material science every year, whereas religious folk and their denominations pay for their own churches and activities. So, the above argument doesn’t really hold water, does it? Also, as some hardcore scientific types have pointed out on this site, cancer research and the LHC would not even exist if it hadn’t been for Constantine and the state run religion he created in Rome (Catholicism). Actually, for all the complaining I do about organized religion, I, as well as everyone else on this site, would probably still be living in thatched huts if Constantine had not followed through on his little idea!

  29. “Actually, for all the complaining I do about organized religion, I, as well as everyone else on this site, would probably still be living in thatched huts if Constantine had not followed through on his little idea!”

    So, the Catholics are the ones who made this world so great, huh? Jeez, how insular can you get?

    If Constantine hadn’t come along, someone else would have, And, in case you forget, there was a world – with a fairly advanced culture, science and technology – outside the Catholic Caucasian sphere that you refer to.

    As for the $8 bn. spent on the LHC – I am sure it could have been better spent converting a few more peaople to christianity!

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