The Big Bang, God, Evolution, Creationism, Will Wright, and the Unicorn Test

Okay people, so, some scientists believe in the Big Bang and evolution and not in any sort of God. But what if it is like the relationship between the game Spore or the Sims and their creator Will Wright? I mean…Will Wright programs some rules, and no two people playing Spore or the Sims ever play the same game. What if that’s how God made the world: he made the Big Bang. He made all the rules of science and evolution and natural selection, physics, chemistry, biology. Then he let us all play the game. Is that so far fetched?

I mean, I just don’t understand…if you can believe in a Big Bang that came out of nowhere…that’s a pretty significant event. All this whole, entire universe just coming out of a Big Bang. Isn’t that, like, on the level of there being a God right there…I mean, you’re not impressed and mystified enough, you think there must be some rational explanation for how the Big Bang came about? Like, oh, yeah, there was just a universe’s worth of gas and dust and energy and heat basically in the head of a pinprick, or as Wikipedia puts it, “the universe has expanded from a primordial hot and dense initial condition at some finite time in the past and continues to expand to this day,” oh, yeah, that’s so rational and makes so much sense, yeah, I can understand that, a whole universe from nothing, that’s a piece of cake… you can believe in that and yet the concept of a God is somehow beyond belief or sounds, maybe, far fetched or unbelievable to you? Like, you see “primordial hot and dense initial condition[s]” from which universes are born everyday on streetcorners, do you?

How about this, it’s my Unicorn Test: is the existence of a Unicorn more or less believable than the existance of a Big Bang? I mean, a Unicorn is just a horse with a horn. It is much more easy to conceive of a Unicorn than the Big Bang…even though we have scientific proof of sorts of the Big Bang, that’s just way more cosmic and out there than a Unicorn. I’d say the Big Bang is more miraculous and awe-inspiring than 1,000,000,000 Unicorns. How about a Pegasus? I mean, is a Pegasus any more or less believable than a Big Bang? I mean, a Pegasus is just a horse with wings that can fly. I find it much more easy to conceive of a horse with wings that can fly than a Big Bang where all of a sudden the Universe just comes into being. I would be slightly scared to see a flying horse but would be scared shitless to see all of a sudden a whole UNIVERSE born out of nothing. You might laugh with joy or be in shock at seeing a Pegasus but your mind would not be able to handle seeing the birth of a universe, I believe, thank you very much.

So, if you can believe in a Big Bang, where ALL of the UNIVERSE just appears…is that any more or less believable than there being a GOD??? Please rationally explain to me why one or the other is less believable. I mean…when would you be satisfied that there was a God, if you’re not going to be too impressed with a big bang from which a whole universe was created. I mean, I guess God would have to be pretty impressive…how about if 1000 Unicorns also flew out of a Big Bang…not impressed yet?

How about if 1000 Unicorns flew out of a Big Bang and God came out driving a nice Cadillac that ran on electricity not gas…then would you be impressed enough to believe in a God? I mean…isn’t the concept of a God just that there’s something REALLY HUGE out there that we can’t understand and that could have triggered everything? I mean…the universe itself is so huge, there are rules and patterns, probably tons of patterns we’ve never picked up on and don’t know about…I mean, that expanse of it itself could be God.

It could be a sentient existence as a whole, the huge vastness of it in a cohesive system, could give rise to all sorts of sentience and emergent behavior (or vice versa) that we can’t even comprehend, like an ant or a mouse trying to understand our human languages, the internet, computers, cars, jets, our financial system, mortgage backed securities, pop lyrics, machine guns, nuclear bombs, etc. Like, is it the case that there’s a really good explanation for how that Big Bang got there, you know, really, it’s quite simple you see…science and evolution. BUT isn’t science never really a WHY so much as an observed HOW…and we never really now the WHY of the HOW? Like, oh, here are some rules..why on Earth they are here or the way they are, I have no idea?

Like, we never know the why of the how or even the how before the how. Like, for the Big Bang: There was just some gas and heat…which evolved out of, you know…there was some other stuff before the gas and heat…and that other stuff, you know, just kind of evolved out of some other stuff before that…you know…just, it’s like, totally rational. And now we have cats and dogs and stuff…out of some space stuff that exploded and created a universe and galaxies and rocks and planets and stars…it all evolved out of the stuff that was before that other stuff that came out of that other stuff that came out of that other stuff that evolved out of that other stuff and was naturally selected out of that other stuff and that Big Bang that came out of the Small Bang that came out of the dryer that came out of the fridge that came out of the kiln that came out of that Bigger Bang that came in the Happy Meal before that. You know, science, evolution, it explains everything you need to know! It evolved out of the stuff that evolved out of the Big Bang that came from the evolution before that which evolved out of stuff before that which evolved out of…it all makes perfect sense! But…where does it all begin? What really came before the Big Bang? And before that? And before that? And…

Like I said, give me one rational explanation of where the Big Bang might have come from and why it happened and how it happened to come into being, and how it came to happen and how it came to be, and why that explanation is ANY DIFFERENT from the concept of a God, and how believing in that explanation is any different from what is required to believe in a God, if God is taken to be just sort of the concept of a reason for how and why things exist. It boggles the mind, really.

The Blind Watchmaker

The Blind Watchmaker is a 1986 book by Richard Dawkins in which he presents an explanation of, and argument for, the theory of evolution by means of natural selection. He also presents arguments to refute certain criticisms made on his previous book The Selfish Gene. (Both books are intended to popularise the gene-centric view of evolution.)

In his choice of the title for this book, Dawkins makes reference to the watchmaker analogy made famous by William Paley in his book Natural Theology. Paley, arguing more than fifty years before Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, held that the complexity of living organisms was evidence of the existence of a divine creator by drawing a parallel with the way in which the existence of a watch compels belief in an intelligent watchmaker. Dawkins, in contrasting the differences between human design and its potential for planning with the workings of natural selection, therefore dubbed evolutionary processes as analogous to a blind watchmaker.

Big Bang picture from…crystalinks

Here’s a funny take on the Big Bang and the CERN supercollider project as a fraud

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During My Summer In Alaska….

Boy did I have some real foreign policy experience!  I was dealing with Russians and Canadians left and right!  I once split a moose burger with Vladimir Putin in Fairbanks!  I was an honorary Cossack!  Cool summer nights over reindeer sausage and vodka spent talking about trade, embargos, foreign policy, you know things like that – oh the memories!

I Would Not Hire Sarah Palin To Run My Local Taco Bell: Sarah Palin Katie Couric Interview

Wow. Americans, be very, very afraid. You think this banking crisis is bad. Please, please do not let Sarah Palin become vice president. A heartbeat away from the presidency. She speaks in the worst generalities, in a way that makes it clear that she does not even understand the generalities she is trying to speak of, let alone any salient details. Is this a person we want representing our nation on the world stage? I’ve met so many people in many different walks of life who can understand and convey basic and complex ideas so much more effectively than Sarah Palin.

It is clear that her Alaska executive experience has been an easy deal with no real effort or thought involved other than illegally persecuting people who don’t agree with her thinking and claiming that it’s God’s will to build an Alaskan natural gas pipeline. Her executive experience did not prepare her for the world stage, it did not challenge her, it did not teach her any critical thinking and public speaking skills. Joe Biden vs. Sarah Palin…it’s unthinkable comparison in terms of experience and capabilities.

After witnessing her horrible interviewing skills, the Republican party has been denying media access to her and wouldn’t Iet her go on the post-debate news analysis segments on news shows.   She didn’t know what the Bush Doctrine is.  She claims to have useful foreign experience with Russia because of proximity:

COURIC: You’ve cited Alaska’s proximity to Russia as part of your foreign policy experience. What did you mean by that?

PALIN: That Alaska has a very narrow maritime border between a foreign country, Russia, and on our other side, the land– boundary that we have with– Canada. It– it’s funny that a comment like that was– kind of made to– cari– I don’t know, you know? Reporters–

I wouldn’t hire Sarah Palin to run my local Taco Bell.

Limited Express (Has gone?)–Super Awesome Japanese Postpunk Noise Rock

Limited Express (has gone?) – Spy

WOW. This hails back to the days when American labels like Homestead, SST, Touch and Go, Skin Graft, and Drag City used to put out challenging, energetic records that I could actually get excited about. Remember the time when Drive Like Jehu, Shellac, Polvo, and Sonic Youth were all current bands putting out records? A lot of Captain Beefheart meets Pylon and the Minutemen action going on here? Here’s their myspace page. Also see Doddodo.

limited express(has gone?) — Free Style Riding-Aloha!

Limited Express (has gone?) – Tiger Rock (live)

Doddodo: Japanese Electro/Noise Artist

Doddodo w/ Yoko Higashino (Baby-Q)

WOW. That’s some crazy Japanese electro/hip hop/noise rock. Kind of like some amazing leftover remnant from NY in the 1980s, like if Live Skull were into hip hop and electronics. Kind of like, if Sonic Youth’s Ciccone Youth were actually really good instead of mostly really, really bad.

So loud yet tuneful…possibly my current new favorite band. Some really good hip hop samples thrown in!

When’s the tour with Justice?

Doddodo–unknown track

Here’s a pretty awesome related band: Limited Express (Has Gone?)

Uh oh, this is ALL way more exciting than any music I have seen coming out of the US in years…it feels like music back from the late 1980s–around 1998 or so…

One of her albums, Sample Bitch Story, is available in MP3 form on Amazon.  I think the song Passenger (of Heart) samples Korn…why would I know that???

Thanks Momus!!!

Catch a High Speed Train from San Franciso to Los Angeles? Proposition 1A, November 4th, 2008

Wow, really, high speed rail from San Francisco to Los Angeles?  Estimated travel time of 2 hours and 38 minutes?   I haven’t had time to research all the pros and cons of this…would it disrupt wildlife too much? Would it be a new “Big Dig” or “Bridge to Nowhere“? Not having to drive the “Grapevine” would rule…Imagine saying, “I’d like to go to Amoeba this weekend…the Amoeba in Berkeley!” if you were living in LA, or “the Amoeba in LA” if you were living in the Bay Area…Living in both cities, especially with an EVDO card/AirCard for mobile broadband wireless while on the train would become much more feasible for those so inclined…

Watching History Unfold

Huffington Post, by Jared Bernstein:

Watching History Unfold

You hear that implosion reverberating through financial markets? It’s the sound of decades of conservative ideology collapsing.

The week that just ended revealed the myth of market fundamentalism: the notion associated with mainstream, Milton Freidman’esque economics, and amplified by anti-government conservatives that unfettered markets will provide society with the best outcomes. Such simplicity, such elegance…such nonsense.

Yes. There’s never just a “free market” in a vacuum…it’s not just a miraculous “market” that organically evolves free of government involvement, the government sets up and enforces property laws, the whole set of secured transactions laws, securities laws, financial and banking laws, etc, without which our economic marvels of markets could not exist. The government sets up the underpinnings of the financial and market system…now we’re learning it needs to be there to oversee and regulate more of the system. Because some people are too smart and/or reckless and/or greedy and know how to totally game the system to the detriment of the overall system itself, such as short traders who could potentially have caused the downfall of these big banks (step one, borrow some shares, step two, spread some rumors/get your buddies to all sell, sparking a selloff as share price drops, which sparks more selling and price dropping…step three, profit!!!), greedy companies that got rich off of too many bad mortgages, companies overly pushing mortgage backed securities, etc. And it’s almost like, game over–they pushed the system too far. Wow, some neat invisible hand there! Some great self-regulating free market that is–it killed itself! Well, no, some individuals and institutions killed it–which is why the government needs to step in and regulate the market more. I mean, come on, who ever believed the self-regulating myth anyway? Only greedy people who want to get rid of regulations so they can get rich quick, plunder, and leave the rest of us holding the bag.

As one letter-writer wrote to the NY Times:

With the bailout of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the Reagan revolution has at last realized the robber barons’ dream: privatize the profits and socialize the debt. Nicely done, fellas.
Candida Pugh
Oakland, Calif., Sept. 8, 2008