An Internet poster writes “we have calculated the times to make it possible to make a planet from dust clouds .... We have shown how scientists are wrong when they believe that it takes billions of years to make a planet and we can now show why. ... we have shown that a cloud can produce an Earth in six days just like the bible says.” which is wrong in a number of ways.
First of all, scientists don't say it takes billions of years for clouds to collapse into planets. Often the process is kicked off by the inhomogeneity of a interstellar shock wave whereby a whole planetary system can form in just a small fraction of a billion years. And scientists believe what they have seen in hundreds of planetary systems, and many thousand of gas clouds, dust clouds and stars. The empiricism of science is a very different that the epistemology of “Faith is the substance of things not seen” because our understanding of the behavior of star, clouds and planets is based on a comprehensive theory of matter, energy and gravity which is tested and not found wanting both in heaven and on Earth. So no faith is required when scientists (and others) say for scientific reasons that current scientific theory is the best model of the behavior of reality within the domain of applicability.
Secondly, the Bible does not say that the Earth accreted from a dust cloud in six days. Genesis chapters one and two, has two different stories of creation. The first is Earth-centric where the millions of galaxies and hundreds of millions of stars in our own galaxy are an afterthought. The second, beginning at about the second paragraph of chapter two, is Man-centric where the rest of life on the planet, including Woman are afterthoughts. The two accounts of creation differ as to the order of events and nowhere is there description of nucleosynthesis, celestial dynamics or unifying physical theory. Thus, Genesis cannot be taken as a literal collection of facts, let alone a physics textbook.
Thirdly, while literal reading of both accounts of creation is contradictory, mainstream Christianity doesn't require literal reading of either account. Most Christians have moved on from the Bible as an absolute guide for their ethical and spiritual lives -- for example, the Bible explicitly endorses the practice of slavery to the point of codifying rules to follow for the keepers of slaves and the rules for slaves to follow. Relying literally on the Bible as a source of moral instruction makes the murder of children acceptable. Magic is throughout the Bible, in our daily lives not so much and so again the Bible is not actually used by most Christians as a guide to how to get advice from the stars or the dead or to have God's wrath fall on your enemies.
Finally, lying to children that your moral and spiritual authority is backed by science is stupidly dishonest. Eventually, each and everyone of those children is going to be able to learn the correct science that was distorted and presented to them as something stronger than faith to prop up their faith in some backwater sect's authority. The very concept that science “proves” a religion is equivalent to saying that empiricism is better than faith for knowing things about the world. When the distorted scientific claims are shown to be wrong, the lesson that has been taught is to distrust the purported religious authority.
Now I will show why this 6-day claim is so very, very wrong.
One problem with the 6-day-formation-of-Earth-from-dust-cloud is that by leveraging physics it requires many more miracles than the traditional physics-free account of creation. Since it takes six days for the cloud to collapse, plants and animals created during those days would have nowhere to live until the Earth was done collapsing. Another example is that the spherical, irrotational cloud of dust would need to have been specially created as it is very much unlike the types of dust clouds we actually see in the universe. Finally, in Newtonian theory, any homogeneous, nonrotating spheroid of dust remains homogeneous as it collapses; but its deformations grow so if the Earth formed in six days as you suggest, the cloud would have to be much more perfect than the Earth is today. This makes God look stupid. In most versions of Christianity, making God seem stupid is blasphemous and thus a poor position for an advocate of a particular Christian sect to take.
The other big problem is that the model doesn't actually result in the formation of an Earth-like planet. The mass of the Earth is about M = 6×10^24 kg. Assuming the time to collapse is t = 6 days = 518400 seconds, we can calculate for a sphere of constant density dust, that t is about √( (3 π / ( 32 G ρ₀ ) ). So the initial dust cloud density would be ρ₀ = 3 π / ( 32 G t²) = 0.016 kg / m³. So the initial radius of the dust cloud would be r₀ = ( 8 G M t² / π²)^(1/3) = 443 million meters. The current radius of the Earth is about r = 6 million meters. So the difference in energy between the two states is E/M = (0.6 G M) ( 1/r - 1/r₀ ) = 39500 kJ/kg. Because we have been told to assume dust with no pressure until the Earth forms all-at-once at the end, there is no mechanism in physics for this energy to escape and so it all shows up as heat. If we assume the dust was iron at absolute zero, this energy is much more than the 7800 kJ/kg required to heat and vaporize that mass of iron. If you assume that most of the sphere is not iron and that it actually fuses into iron when it collides (which physics does not support), then the heat content of the newly formed object can be much higher. So instead of forming the Earth, the dust cloud collapses in 6 days to form a hot, Earth-mass of vaporized iron atoms at a temperature of many thousands of degrees, killing, cooking and vaporizing all the plants and animals which your religious authority claims were created during those six days.
This lying authority figure has tricked children into the blasphemy of claiming that God is stupid.
Newtonian dust collapse from http://www.ictp-saifr.org/schoolgr/Lecture1Creighton.pdf
Adapted from http://www.physforum.com/index.php?showtopic=44705
One of the ring leaders states that he’s a rational scientist, educated through the Rational Science Academy. This is the link provided for the academy.
I think they're Bill Gaede followers.
Pseudoscience and irrationality will always be with us.
If you think this is misguided as a matter of law, please comment about it. I for one, believe that the Constitutional right to petition the government and federal law that limits the Government's ability to get attorney's fees (but not costs) render the petition flawed in parts, but stand by the sentiment that crazy conspiracy theories should not form a basis for harassment by lawsuit.
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
"We petition the Obama Administration to:
Mandate the AG to seek sanctions, costs, and attorneys' fees to recover taxpayer funds used to defend birther lawsuits.
Hundreds of repetitious and frivolous lawsuits have been filed challenging President Obama's status as a natural born citizen. These lawsuits have clogged up the courts and cost the taxpayers millions of dollars in court costs and attorneys' fees.
We, the taxpayers, respectfully petition for an Executive Order or directive to the Attorney General to seek to recover taxpayer funds expended in defending frivolous Birther lawsuits by requesting sanctions, costs, and attorneys' fees in each and every pending or future case."
Less than a week to go before the deadline.
Tomorrow is "Children's Day," celebrated (largely in Japan) every year on the fifth day of the fifth month.
So I celebrated by eating at a Mexican restaurant called Mamita's on Beach Street.
It is also the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla that our chef at Japantown's Benihana seemed enthused about.
Today turned out to be far windier, foggier and colder than anticipated. So I did not stop for the new options for sundaes at Ghiardelli Square.
Mom: How do you want your steak cooked? Medium? Medium well?
10-year-old girl: Medium rare.
Mom: (slightly wary) With pink in the middle?
Girl: I like pink.
This is just one of the hundreds of musical instruments and thousands of pieces of art and antiquities on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art — a ridiculously special museum on the ridiculous scale of New York City. While admission is provided as part of many tour packages, the you would cheat yourself if you tried to leave this to a single trip. While it is possible to walk through all the galleries in a day, you won't have time to stop and enjoy everything. Even the Director's audio tour is broken into two ninety-minute segments and skips whole wings and doesn't even direct you to walk through three-fourths of the galleries.
Families should establish a plan in cause the adults wander off, and there are a lot of stairs. Six half-day visits would not be a totally unreasonable plan and may prevent the art from overwhelming you.
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