Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Trash Can Fire on the 405!

While I was driving yesterday, I had the radio tuned to the local news channel.  On came the local traffic report:
"Traffic is slow on the 405 South folks.  A trash can caught on fire. Lots of looky-loos and rubbernecking going on." 
I said out loud, "No lady. The trash can did not CATCH on fire.  It was SET on fire."
No one else was in the car with me, but that didn't stop me from talking out loud.   Just for the record, I heard you're not crazy if you talk to yourself; it's when you start arguing with yourself that you need the men in white coats to come and take you away.  Well...they may be on their way because I argued with myself.  A bit. In my head.
Wait a minute.  Let me think about this. Can ANYTHING actually just CATCH on fire?  Does it have to be SET on fire?  Nothing just ignites into flame, right? Or am I forgetting something? Let me think here...Oh yeah! What about spontaneous combustion?  You know, those gasoline mop-up rags you leave in the garage near the sunny window?  One hot August day and POOF! insta-flame, right?  That wasn't SET...or wait, was it?  Actually, it wasn't set by a human, but it was SET.  It took flammable material plus heat to equal fire.  The fire was "set "or started by those factors.  Replace the hot garage with a cold garage or rags that are dry and oily with rags dripping wet with plain ol' water and you get no flame, no fire, nothing.  So SOMETHING cannot come from NOTHING. Fire does not start on its own.  A trashcan on the 405 does not "catch fire" - it is SET ON FIRE -- usually, by a ill-tossed cigarette or wayward teen or destructive pyromaniac or some kind of heat plus combustible material combination.
And then as I continued to think more about this, sifting and sorting the concept around in my mind, something else I had heard on the news today popped into my head.  Once again, I spoke outloud.  In my car.  Alone.
OK, before you think I am crazy and have me committed, let me explain why I am getting fiesty with Bill Nye, just in case you are out of touch with the news lately.
Bill Nye the "Science Guy" recently made a video that told parents to stop teaching their kids creationism.  Here's a quote from the video:  "I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world that's completely inconsistent with the world we observe, that's fine. But don't make your kids do it. Because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need engineers that can build stuff and solve problems," he said.  Nye ends his video by saying there is "no evidence" for creationism.
I didn't launch into a debate with Nye in my car over Creationism.  (Keep the straight jacket on the hook.) I did find it personally offensive that Nye implied that kids who are raised to believe in Creationism will grow up to be ignorant scientific fools who stare blank-faced into petrie dishes and fail IRS audits, but I didn't rant and rave.  I just yelled out "How about that Bill Nye Science Guy!" And here's why I was taking ol' Bill to bat:
I suddenly made the connection between a trashcan "catching" on fire versus a trash can being "set" on fire and how that could be an analogy for evolution vs. creation.
Evolution assumes that something came from nothing.  "Catching on fire"
Creationism assumes that something was created by Someone.  "Set on fire"

Take the Big Bang Theory for example. Read about the Big Bang Theory Here
Here's how Wiki describes the theory ---The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that explains the early development of the Universe.[1] According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the Universe to cool and resulted in its present continuously expanding state.  OK, but where did the Universe come from?  How did it start?  Where did all that "expanding stuff" and heat come from?  Trace it back, back, back and eventually the universe has to start somewhere with something, right?  How did that something get there in the first place before it all came together into a giant BANG-up moment?

Creationists say God created the world and mankind.  God is the only being, the only "thing" that has always existed.  He was not created; he has no beginning and no end. He created the universe, gave it a beginning, and set it in motion.   What about the evolutionists?  What do they say about how it all got started?
Here's an article with some evolutionary ideas about how the earth began: How Did Life on Earth Get Started?
By the way, it is important to note that the scientists in this article, the ones who are probing these tough questions and running these in-depth experiments, obviously did not grow up being taught Creationism by their parents.  Evidently, these scientific experts must have been fed a steady diet of evolutionary theory as children which stimulated their brain and drove them toward careers in science, physics and engineering.  They are literate, voting, tax-paying smart grown-ups now. Meanwhile, the "Kids of Creationists", let's take Johnny for example, dropped out of Biology 101 at the local community college after he set fire to his hair with a bunsen burner.  He now lives at home with mom and and dad and delivers newspapers a few days a week, but holds on to hope that "God has a plan."   When relatives and friends ask what happened to Johnny, his Creationist parents reply, "He set his hair on fire in science class!  Who knew hair could burn?  And what is the point of using a bunsen burner anyway?" (Although it should be noted that one of Johnny's Aunts, the lone evolutionist in the family, tells it a little differently.  She insists "Johnny's hair caught on fire in science class" and leaves it at that.)

Basically, the Scientists in this article believe that something can come from nothing.  And here's an article that explains how that works:  Nothing Comes From Nothing
Bottom line, this scientist says that not everything is "cause and effect."  She says if you go back, waaaaaaay back to the starting place, "the beginning" you will either get to God (Creationism) or matter/energy (Evolution).  I'll let her take it from here...
If the big bang or God caused the universe, what caused them? Yet if the creation of the universe is also the creation of time, then it is meaningless to think in cause and effect when they are not applicable if time does not exist. Neither God nor the big bang require a cause according to the quantum factor which allows “effects to occur that have no cause.” (p. 102, Davies), at the subatomic level. Bizarre, certainly, but conceivable.
Conceivable?  Hmmmmm...the jury is out.
Bizarre.  Yes.
But maybe I just can't understand complex quantum physics because I was raised by Creationists.    Bummer.  So since I am working with a scientifically stunted brain here (Thanks Mom and Dad!) I will move from the world of science to one I am more comfortable with - music.  I will use a song from the Sound of Music to make my point about the concept something from nothing:  (Go ahead and sing it if you know it!)
"Nothing comes from nothing.  Nothing ever could."  Wow, that's pretty profound there Sister Maria.  

One final point to ponder...If I told you that I knew for a fact that the trashcan on the 405 just burst into flame without anyone or anything setting it; if I insisted it just created its own combustible material and ignition source and burst into a ball of flame at 11:11 AM this morning, would you believe me?
No, you'd think I was crazy.  And since I argue with Science Guys who are not in my car, I just might be.  But why is it Bill Nye thinks we're stunting our kids mental growth and tax-paying ability when we tell them that this big, beautiful, efficient and amazing planet was created by God and didn't just burst to life out of nothingness?  If I can't believe that about a trash can on the 405, why should I believe it about our entire universe?  Doesn't it take at least as much faith (if not more!) to believe that all this something came from a whole lot of NOTHING than to believe God started it all?  Don't you need a good dose of faith in order to believe that "effects can occur without cause"? 
I'm going to stick with faith in a divine Creator.
Bill Nye can be thankful I don't have any kids.

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