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Christian
English Major
Writer
Thinker of odd things

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ENG 101, Paper #5 [Friday, Nov. 12, 2004, 9:46 am]

Okay, so I wrote this paper for my persuasion assignment in English 101, and, as always, I'm putting it on the internet for any critiques, if anyone wants to read this huge long thing. I understand that this is on a very controversial topic - all I ask is that if you must disagree with me, at least give me a reason - I really don't care if you simply don't believe the same as me. Don't just say, "That was nice but I don't agree". Show me my logical fallacies or point out the holes the arguements contain.

"Religion in disguise"

How did we get here? That’s a question that has been asked countless times since humans first arrived on this planet. One popular theory that has formulated within the past eighty years is that our world was formed through random chance when our universe exploded from a small spinning ball of matter. Commonly known as the “big bang theory”, it attempts to teach that this world began billions of years ago, although the exact number of years varies depending on which scientist you talk to, or how old your science textbook is.

The big bang theory is dogmatically taught in many classrooms all over the country, and very few science programs or museum displays seem complete without some mention of it. But is this theory really science? What exactly is science? The Oxford dictionary defines it as, “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.” Science is a wonderful tool that we use to learn more about the world around us, by observation and experiment. But how can you “observe” and gather information about an event that supposedly happened billions of years ago? Obviously, you can’t.

In fact, human beings have a hard enough time simply deciphering facts from a few hundred years ago. For example, if I asked you to prove to me that the US once had a president named Abraham Lincoln, would you be able to do so? You would be able to give historical evidences such as documents he had written, pictures, and documented accounts from others who knew him. But can any of those things scientifically prove beyond a doubt that we once had a president named Abraham Lincoln? Of course not. Events that took place in the past cannot be observed or documented today. If they are to be accepted at all, it is solely by faith, based on the evidence for the particular person or event. How can we be so sure about the minute details of something that allegedly took place billions of years ago, when the facts surrounding even very recent events are often very sketchy?

The big bang theory is clearly not scientific fact, since it cannot be documented, observed, or proven using the scientific method. Not only that, but I believe this theory creates many more questions than it attempts to answer. Such as: what caused all the matter in the universe to suddenly come together and start spinning? Where did the energy come from that supposedly caused it to spin? If all of the planets in our solar system exploded off of the same spinning ball, why do the planets Venus and Uranus spin in the opposite direction from all the others? And most importantly, where did the matter come from in the first place, considering The First Law of Thermodynamics states that matter cannot be created or destroyed? The big bang theory may attempt to explain how our solar system arrived at its present condition, but it fails to answer the most basic question of all: How did we get here?

I’m certainly not trying to attack those who believe in this theory. This is a free country, and anyone is free to believe whatever they want about the origins of humanity, be it the big bang theory, creation by God or Allah, reincarnation, etc. My problem is that this theory is categorized as science, and not the religious world view that it is. Obviously it takes faith to believe in a deity such as God or Allah, but I believe that the Big Bang theory requires just as much.

Is it right for the public school systems in America to use our tax dollars to teach children this belief as a fact in their science classes, ignoring other views that require just as much faith to accept? Is it right for publicly-funded museums and television programs to dogmatically state “billions and billions of years ago” as if it were a proven fact? The big bang theory is propagated everywhere - newspapers, TV, schools, museums, libraries, movies, and books. There are many intelligent, educated scientists who believe in it. But that doesn’t make it true. And that certainly doesn’t make it science.

wander -- travel

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