Sunday, July 16, 2017

A New Particle Discovered at CERN

About a week ago, an experiment at CERN announced the discovery of a new particle, the Ξcc++ (pronounced Ksigh-see-see-plus-plus). Many people who have read about this discovery have asked me about its significance and if I was involved. So, this post will deviate from the usual discussion of the relationship between Christianity and science and focus on the discovery of the Ξcc++ with a few additional observations in my conclusion.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Is Fine-Tuning a Fallacy?

Victor Stenger was a theoretical particle physicist who wrote many books critical of God, religion, and the case for God from scientific reasoning. A regular reader of this blog asked if I would critique some of his writings and ideas including his 2011 book The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning: Why the Universe is not designed for us. I have always felt that if one wants to determine what is true, then one should understand the best ideas from opposing views of any issue and, consequently, I have read books by many critics of Christianity including Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, and Stephen Hawking. I haven't read much of Stenger's work so I thought this would be a great opportunity to assess his ideas.

In his book The Fallacy of Fine-Tuning, Stenger claims that arguments theists make about fine-tuning can be easily refuted. Following the tone of my blog, I will try to discuss this issue in a non-technical way. The astrophysicist Luke Barnes wrote a long technical article refuting Stenger's claims which I highly recommend. In response to Barnes' article, Stenger wrote an article, which caused Barnes to write a further rebuttal on his blog. The general consensus among scientists who have studied this question is that Barnes' arguments are stronger than Stenger's and the universe does appear to be fine-tuned. For those who want to read the technical articles on this topic, I refer you to the links in this paragraph. For those who want a less technical discussion, including some of my original thoughts on Stenger's arguments, please continue reading.