Friday, May 21, 2010

Scientists, Can You Trust Them?

Which came first, the planet or the hogwash? Are there any "facts" that they announce as new discoveries that are not grossly exaggerated? Let me give you a some examples:

1. From we have a series of photos of sharks. Next to one photo we have the following comment: "The photographer Jeremy Stafford-Deitsch, who is devoted to educating the public about sharks and shark conservation provided this interesting fact: 'At least 100,000,000 sharks are killed annually many to provide for the trade in shark fin soup…'''

I don't know about you, but I think that would make an awfully lot of shark fin soup! But, it is presented as "this interesting fact". So, how do we relate to a number, such as 100 million sharks being killed each year? If the fishermen were working five days each week of the year and ten hours each work day, they would have to catch and kill 641 sharks every second.

2. From we have this story. "Primeval Planet: Oldest Known World Conjures Prospect of Ancient Life" By Robert Britt, Senior Science Writer. The article tells us that astronomers have discovered a planet that is older than all other known planets. This one is 12.7 billion years old. (Yes, 12,700,000,000 years old.) Then they admit that this discovery will force them to rethink when and how planets form. (If you do a proper search, I would imagine you could find numerous resources where the scientists have previously told us the facts of how planets formed and how old they are.) Then they admit, "The discovery raises the prospect that life may have begun far sooner than most scientists ever imagined." (Again, you can find previously published "facts" about when life began.)

The article tells us that another "expert" who is not involved with this discovery, called the news, "mind-boggling". The real part of this story, that is mind-boggling, are the claimed "facts" and figures.

We are then told that this newly found world is almost as old as the universe and was formed when the universe was only one billion years old - according to the researchers at NASA. The age predictions made as gospel truth are pretty amazing, but that is not all.

The experts then tell us the planet spent the first 10,000,000,000 years in a fairly routine orbit around a fairly typical star. "Then the planet was booted from its stellar orbit and captured by the gravity of another star that was well into its death throes." This fact they know about a planet that is, according the their calculations, 1,302,000,000 miles away from Earth, is too small and too far away to observe, and occurred 2,700,000,000 years ago.

Another expert involved with the project tells us that this planet "formed" in an orbit that is 2-8 times as far away from it's star as the Earth is from the sun.

As we get down further into the story, we find this sentence, "The planet has not been seen or imaged directly, so final proof of its existence awaits further study."

What! You hold a news conference to announce a major discovery, the oldest known planet. You tell us how old it is, how it was formed, that it changed what it rotated around over two billion years ago, what it is made of, how big it is, that its orbit takes 100 years, etc. Then, we find out the one statement of fact in the whole story, you are not sure it even exists!

What is wrong with all of this? It seems like all of these experts have to find some way to get noticed. So, they predict some unbelievable event and promote it as a given fact (such as global warming, the big bang, evolution), or they discover some previously unknown object (though they cannot prove it is even there, like the planet in this story), or they claim to have the biggest (or oldest, or smallest, or furthest) discovery. Part of it is probably ego, but another part has to do with funding. The constant stream of "new" discoveries provides an avenue to go after grants and other funding for their pet projects.

I really do not have a problem with some expert coming out with a new theory or an outrageous claim. I just am tired of all of this being presented to us as fact and absolutely true. If you think you found a planet, tell us that you think you found a planet. Fine, but I don't want to hear that you dated the age of something you are not sure even exists to 12.7 billion years old. I also do not want to hear you state as fact, the age of the universe. Do you realize how foolish that makes you look? Give us a break! Tell us what you KNOW and then what your theories are. It is this kind of outrageous claims that make people doubt just about anything you say.

1 comment:

  1. This is unbelievable! I thought I'd heard it all going to NAU and being force-fed supposed "facts" right and left. Doesn't it seem like scientists are literally just throwing numbers out there? When you get into the billions of years, you kind of lose me...I think that's the intention- sound amazing and incomprehensible and maybe people will be too baffled to ever question it. It all comes down to the fact that, without the Holy Spirit, anything and everything will be more believable than what the Bible professes to be true. They are grasping at straws to find other solutions.