Ho hum. Every few months, some scientist who almost certainly has an animosity towards belief in God will stand up and make an announcement that his/her research has somehow disproven God or the need for God, etc., etc. And every time these types of claims arise, people with cooler heads usually look at the claims and show them for the nonsense that they are. (Of course, true adherents never understand that the arguments have been discredited, but that's why certain arguments like the Argument from Evil continue to pop up as supposedly air-tight arguments against the existence of God.)
Today, a good friend who is an atheist posted an article which seems to fall into that category on Facebook. The article is entitled "Origin of the Universe Riddle Solved- and,er, It Wasn't God" Claim Canadian Physicists. According to the article:
A group of scientists led by Prof Mir Faizal, at the Dept of Physics and Astronomy, at the University Of Waterloo, Canada, has positively applied the theory to the very creation of existence itself. Prof Mir Faizal: “Virtual particles contain a very small amount of energy and exist for a very small amount of time. However what was difficult to explain was how did such a small amount of energy give rise to a big universe like ours?”
Okay, but aren't virtual particles something? Apparently not. After mentioning the minimum length scale, doubly special relativity and inflation theory, the authors of the study make a statement that is ... er, stunning.
Just to make things more complex Dr Mir says we have been trying to answer the question ‘how did the universe come from nothing?’ all wrong. According to the astonishing findings, the question is irrelevant as the universe STILL is nothing. Dr Mir Faizal said: “Something did not come from nothing. The universe still is nothing, it’s just more elegantly ordered nothing.”
Wait a minute, so I am supposed to believe that the universe is nothing? Oh, excuse me, I am supposed to believe that it is elegantly ordered nothing. Of course, if we redefine what "nothing" is, then the universe can be "nothing." But in all common understandings of the term "nothing", the universe is not nothing.
But even Dr. Mir does not believe the article's title. The article adds,
When asked if the amazing findings and the convincing if complex solution disinterested the need for a God figure to kick start the cosmos Dr Mir said: “If by God you mean a supernatural super man who breaks his own laws then yes he’s done for, you just don’t need him. But if you mean God as a great mathematician, then yes!”
Notice the condescension that arises in this statement. God is the "supernatural super man who breaks his own laws." Ah, yes, Dr. Mir is one of the people who believes God is nothing more than the "big daddy in the sky" who is believed by us lowly barbarians who don't understand how science has made God irrelevant. But it is like the old joke about the scientist and God. That joke reads:
God was sitting in heaven one day when a scientist said to Him, “God, we don’t need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing – in other words, we can now do what you did in the beginning.” “Oh, is that so? Explain…” replies God. “Well,” says the scientist, “we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of you and breathe life into it, thus creating man.” “Well, that’s very interesting… show Me.” So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil into the shape of a man. “No, no, no…” interrupts God, “Get your own dirt.”
Well, given what little bit shows up in this article, the authors will have to do a lot of talking to convince me that the universe is nothing let alone that God had nothing to do with kick-starting it. But at least we're on the same page when the author acknowledges that God, as the author of mathematics, must remain in the picture for anything to make sense. This author just kicks the can down the road -- the scientist doesn't need to use God's dirt, but he does need God's laws.