Understanding the bounds of a theory is essential to understanding the theory itself. People often make the mistake of requiring all holes in an explanation to be filled. While it is a noble desire, it is unrealistic. 

Scientific theories have specific bounds. In the case of the Big Bang, the theory only covers the time period from one Planck second after the event itself to the present. It says nothing of what happened inside that first Planck second, as this might even lack any meaning (per the definition of the Planck time scale). It says nothing about what any singularity was or where it came from or if it even existed.

Similarly, Evolution does not explain how non-living matter became living matter. That subject is covered by abiogenesis. And that field certainly does not claim to have all of the answers.

This leads me to the point of discussion. It seems to be common that ex-theists, specifically ones that held a fundamentalist belief that a god offered an explanation for everything, often find themselves trying to fill in all of the holes once they become atheists. They are very unsatisfied with not having everything answered. They see holes in science as a flaw. I know this to be true as I too had this problem 16 years ago when I rejected fundamentalist Christianity. I felt that any natural explanation that lacked the power of my previous theist position was inferior, not realizing at the time that my theist position was built on several logical fallacies and that science needs not offer an alternate explanation to god, as god itself is not an explanation. Using god to fill in the gaps of knowledge is replacing a mystery with a greater unproved mystery.

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"I don't know" is what we start with.  After that comes observation, investigation, experiments, analysis, and lots of sweat.  Some issues, like the Big Bang, may never be fully explained because, even with all the evidence left behind, we remain 13.78 billion years separated from the event.  Other issues, depending on their nature, may be met with a variation on the above theme: "I don't know ...YET!"

And as for those who want to insist that they absolutely have the answer, there is a second variation:

"I don't know ... and Neither Do You!"

True; after "I don't know" comes observation, investigation, experiments, analysis, lots of sweat, ...

...and/or, sometimes, invention. Such as Piltdown, creation science, intelligent design and more.

We remain 13.78 billion years separated from the event/invention.

Neither party yet knows, depending of course on who defines 'know', as Lewis Carrol told us.

And who is to stop a party from insisting that he/she/they know?

Thank you, Gregory.

Are you equating creation science and intelligent design to invention? Assertion would be more accurate....

You conservative folk are so literal-minded. All the good stuff--irony, metaphor, and especially satire goes right past you.

More later; in a few hours I have a writers group to prepare for. Whoops, for which to prepare.

Paraphrased from Winston Churchill: The grammatical rule prohibiting the ending of a sentence with a preposition is a shibboleth "up with which I will not put."

Then there is this snippet of dialogue from Designing Women:

"Where y'all from?"

"We are from a place where one doesn't end a sentence with a preposition."

"Where y'all from, bitch?"


Love it.

Well put, Loren.

"I don't know ... and Neither Do You!"  I love that reply!

If you like that, then you're gonna LOVE what Richard Feynman has to say about not knowing!

And the lengthiest philosophy, with the longest words, comes from philosophers.

And, whatever its starting point, each philosophy ends where the philosopher is.

Not knowing, and saying so, drives some religious folk up a wall.

Is the freedom more surreal than real?

Most sincerely,


So actually, the freedom theists think they have in their absolute belief systems is a false freedom....

I'm wary of adjectives, especially the adjectives 'true' and 'false'.

Responsibility can burden people down, and theists can be free of responsibility.

Freedom from responsibility requires them:

1) to shut down whatever thinking they are able to do, and

2) to obey.

The fundamentalists among today's Republicans do both of these well, which greatly increases their value to Party leaders.

I don't engage with folks whose paychecks depend on taxpayer support, as Big Cosmology's employees do.

If I hear of a petition to Congress to fund folks who are working on the Plasma Model, I will sign it.

I do engage with folks who are free of economic motives.

When I first heard of Georges LeMaitre's genesis-like explanation, I had just quit Catholicism and was doubting all of it.

Though LeMaitre, a Catholic priest, had studied mathematics, I knew how effective Catholic teaching can be at influencing (warping?) normal thinking. As we now know, we humans are able to hold conflicting ideas.

When I started reading of galaxies colliding, I asked "What forces can deflect galaxies from their "paths" away from the singularity and put them on collision courses?"

I put that question to many people in the field and no one had a reply.

When I heard of Alan Guth's inflation, I knew of enough BB problems to comment "How convenient."

With respect to evolution, those of us who follow the creationists know of their "God of the Gaps".

BBCM folk don't plug gaps with god. Many years ago, Stephen Hawking plugged one gap with with insiders' humor, saying "We leave the first few moments to the Pope."

The plugs are now too numerous to detail.

A few of the more fantastic? String theory. branes, multiverses, eleven dimensions.

A few of the less fantastic? Dark energy, dark matter, cosmic microwave background (which follows easily from the plasma model and requires no BB).

Who here does not know that some scientists like laboratory work and other scientists despise it?

Applied mathematicians toast their pure mathematics peers with "Here's to pure mathematics. May it never be of use to anyone."




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