TASC - Triangle Association for the Science of Creation

TASC endeavors to show Christians and others in the Triangle area that the facts of science are consistent with the Biblical account of origins and inconsistent with the evolutionary worldview. 

Book Review: A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos, Part 2

November, 2019

Figure 1

The book A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos (Cambridge University Press, 2016, Fig.1), by Geraint F. Lewis and Luke A. Barnes, is one of the most recent and comprehensive books on the fine tuning of the physical laws of our universe. Last month, I reviewed the first six chapters of the book in which they summarized current thinking on the subject. 1 In this article, I’ll review the final two chapters. These chapters give Lewis and Barnes’s views on the various responses to fine tuning they have encountered from people who have read their book or heard them speak. They also lay out their own personal interpretations of fine tuning.

The first six chapters of the book explained how the fine tuning of physics is seen in the masses, electrical charges, and spins of elementary particles; the four elementary forces; the number and type of dimensions in our universe; the geometry of space-time; and the various symmetries and constants associated with physical laws. We also touched upon quantum mechanics, wave-particle duality, coupling constants, radioactivity, the Big Bang, inflation, nucleosynthesis, and more. We now turn to what people think about fine tuning.

Chapter 7: A Dozen (or so) Reactions to Fine Tuning

Here are several common responses the authors have encountered to fine tuning.

Book Review: A Fortunate Universe:Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos, Part 1

October, 2019

Figure 1

The book A Fortunate Universe: Life in a Finely Tuned Cosmos (Cambridge University Press, 2016, Fig. 1) by Geraint F. Lewis and Luke A. Barnes is one of the most recent and comprehensive books on the fine tuning of the physical laws of our universe. The “fine tuning of physics” refers to the discovery that the laws of nature, as currently understood, are just what they must be for life forms such as us to exist. Change any of these laws even slightly, and life as we know it would be impossible. The authors explain the various ways the universe is fine-tuned and then explore what fine tuning may imply. Lewis and Barnes examine particle physics, the funda- mental forces, cosmology, inflation theory, the flatness and horizon problems, the idea of a multiverse, string theory, the nature of the constants in the equations of the laws of physics, quantum mechanics, relativity, dark matter, dark energy, the double slit experiment, and much more. Both authors accept the standard cosmological and biological evolutionary stories including deep time. Nevertheless, even within the Big Bang/inflationary paradigm, fine tuning is seen everywhere from quarks to galaxy clusters. As we shall see, the fine tuning of physics renders naturalistic explanations untenable. Much of the discussion is useful to biblical creationists as the fingerprints of God are clearly seen throughout the created order.

Lewis and Barnes are both graduates of the University of Cambridge (Fig. 2). Lewis holds a PhD in astrophysics while Barnes has a PhD in astronomy. Both men work at the Sydney Institute of Astronomy in Australia. Both men freely acknowledge fine tuning but differ in their interpretation of it. Lewis looks to the multiverse to explain fine tuning. Barnes, a Christian, argues for theism as the best explanation.

The book is accessible to layman yet informative to specialists. The concepts are laid out logically and clearly with an occasional dash of humor.

This review will discuss some of the highlights of the book, chapter by chapter.

The Mystery of 90 East Ridge

September, 2019

90 East Ridge

Fig. 1 - 90 East Ridge indicated by arrows; the Himalayas are circled. 1

Mysteries

  1. Why is there a 3,000-mile-long, underwater ridge 2,3 in the Indian Ocean?
  2. Why does it have a north-south orientation?
  3. Why is it south of and pointed toward the Himalayas?
  4. How did it form?

We will explore these questions in this article.

Clues

One clue is that directly north of the ridge is the most massive mountain range in the world - the Himalayas. We also note that the Tibetan Plateau is also present just north of the Himalayas. This plateau contains much elevated mass also. The average height of this plateau is 14,800 feet, and it stretches 1,600 miles east-west and 620 miles north-south. This is a lot of mass directly north of the ridge!

Another clue is the North-South orientation of the ridge.

A Review of Finding Truth by Nancy R Pearcey

August, 2019

Nancy Pearcey

Finding Truth by Nancy Pearcey is an insightful and critical book for our times. Pearcey shows how to apply five principles derived from the first chapter of Romans to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of non-Christian worldviews. 1 She shows the logical fallacies, inconsistencies, and inadequacies in postmodernism, scientism, evolutionism, naturalism, several religions, and many other “isms.” She shows how alternate worldviews must “borrow” ideas from Christianity in order to make their cases. Alternate worldviews usually fail to explain critical parts of the real world and are often self-contradictory and self-refuting. Pearcy shows how Christianity does provide a basis for understanding all aspects of the real world without contradictions.

Christianity provides a trustworthy epistemology to discover truth. Christianity uniquely maintains a high view of humanity, reason, and creation, thereby providing an adequate basis for all aspects of human life. Finding Truth is essential reading for all high school and college-aged Christians who are being bombarded by secularism daily.

God’s Very Good Design in Animals

July, 2019

Matthew 13:3-8 says:

A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.

That Scripture describes my life. I heard the gospel numerous times when I was a kid and made no real commitment—something seemed to “eat it up” like the birds before I digested it. And then I joined the church, was baptized, and started reading the Bible now and then around age eleven. There was some kind of decision to become a Christian, but it was very shallow and “withered” when things heated up as my faith was tested. I rededicated my life during various revival meetings at church, but they did not last very long either because I kept allowing sports, work, girls, etc. to choke my spiritual life. But the seed finally fell on “good soil” when I was a freshman at North Carolina State University, and I made a true commitment to follow Jesus. This time was different. I began sharing my faith, memorizing Scripture, and really studying the Bible instead of just reading it, etc.

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