Tag Archives: LHC

The Cognitive Dissonance is Strong in This One

Watched an awesome video last night on ABC1 TV Compass program called: Christianity: A History – God and the Scientists; do yourself a favour and watch it (streaming video or download, about 50 minutes). The presenter Colin Blakemore (a British neurobiologist at Oxford University and Warwick University)

interviews scholars and churchmen in order to understand how science transformed Christianity over the last four centuries. He shows how scientists born of the Enlightenment realised that the laws of the universe were there to be discovered, not read about in the Bible. He argues that science is the biggest challenge Christianity has ever had to face, and that it will eventually make religion unnecessary. from ABC Compass

It was a very informative show covering some of the history of science particularly how it pertains to Christianity. Despite Christianity actually starting many universities and initially encouraging thinking, they changed their mind quite quickly when anyone discovered something that went against church dogma (Copernicus, Galileo et al). The church doesn’t come across as being very open-minded (but has it ever?) and some of the methods used to dissuade free-thinking and scientific investigation were rather cruel (an understatement, torture methods used during the inquisition were horrendous), As Blakemore points out, the church didn’t always have to actually physically torture people, sometimes the mere threat was sufficient for people to recant their (correct) ideas. Self censorship is a powerful weapon.

The cognitive dissonance shown by some of the people Blakemore interviewed was interesting, the Vatican astronomer seemed fully conversant with all the latest astronomical findings and seemed quite happy to discuss the earth being 4.5 Billion years old, but some how still managed to fit God into the equation. But the greatest cognitive dissonance shown was by Dr Jason Lisle, an astrophysicist and scientific adviser for the Creation Museum! He fully believes the biblical version of creation that God created everything in six days, that dinosaurs roamed the earth alongside humans, including Adam and Eve. I could hardly comprehend it when Lisle replied to one of Blakemore’s questions with

“If we find some experiment that seems on the surface to disagree with the word of God, we go with the word of God”

at about this stage I think a part of my brain melted from the sheer idiocy. The scientific method, which someone with a PhD in Astrophysics should know, does not allow you to disregard results of an experiment just because you don’t like those results; you have to go where the FACTS direct you, like it or not. I could not understand how someone could get a PhD in Astrophysics and be so deluded, as the title of this blog says: The Cognitive Dissonance is Strong in This One. If you just want to watch Blakemore’s visit to the Creation Museum, including the interview with Lisle, check the link, it goes for about 4 and 1/2 minutes. But be warned, the Stupid It Burns!

the_stupid_it_burns.jpg

Blakemore’s visit to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) left me wide eyed with the sheer enormity of the project, that thing is HUGE. People talk about the majesty of some religious buildings, and I agree some churches are architecturally and/or artistically inspiring, but the LHC is truly majestic in its own right.

How could anyone not be amazed with what science can achieve? How can anyone disregard scientific facts and instead accept what was written thousands of years ago by people who knew no better. We know better now, it has been proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that much of what is written in the bible is wrong, that the bible is not a scientific book. So why do so many people still cling to the biblical fallacies, and prefer (misguided) belief over scientific evidence?

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Filed under atheism, Charles Darwin, christianity, creationism, evolution, ID, religion, science

The End of the World is Nigh!

We are all doomed, at least so think some conspiracy theorists.

The Large Hadron Collider is due to be switched on Today (10 Sep 08) and for the first time a proton beam will be sent right around the 27km device. According to Professor Brian Cox, interviewed on Enough Rope last night (transcript, audio and video (excerpt) available here), a second individual beam will be sent in the opposite direction a few weeks later. Then, if all goes well, some time later this year two beams will be simultaneously sent in opposite directions eventually colliding into each other.

The aim – to re-create what happened a billionth of a second after the Big Bang.

Interestingly Brian stated that the collision will produce the hottest temperature ever created on this planet. Also the cooling system creates one of the coldest places in the universe.

… there are colder places in little laboratories but itโ€™s true to say that if there were no intelligent civilisations in the universe then there would be nowhere this cold.

The CERN First Beam web site will be webcasting the startup (can’t imagine it will be overly exciting, it’s not like we will see much – unless they create a massive black hole and we all get sucked into it ๐Ÿ˜€ ), the BBC UK will also be broadcasting the event if you live in the UK and are interested (details from the LHC UK site). I guess other local media will have some coverage on the nightly news.

Update 10/09/2008 12:15 AEST

Has the LHC destroyed the World yet?

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Filed under Big Bang, Large Hadron Collider, LHC