Re: [asa] What causes students to move from faith?

From: Merv <>
Date: Sun Sep 10 2006 - 09:07:35 EDT

Jim Armstrong wrote:
> It occurs to me that one benefit of having such a huge universe is
> that we can see innumerable stars at virtually every stage of stellar
> evolution. That is to say that even though the time frames for any
> significant portion of most of the stages of stellar evolution are too
> long for a given person to observe meaningfully, collectively the
> stars comprise a sampled data set that is dense enough that it does
> not suffer (to my knowledge) from the gaps (missing transitional
> animal) criticisms that the fossil record endures ...
interjection: [but these are now invalid criticisms of the fossil
record, right?] -- just checking. Can't be too careful in an age of
quote mining.
> ...for biological evolution. We have an awfully good snapshot of the
> time-panorama and gives us a way of making some sense of what
> otherwise would be a time scale that we cannot access through
> experiment. It also gives us one independent inference as to the great
> age of the universe, complementing other relatively unrelated ways of
> determing ages of things that tell us in concert of an old universe
> and earth. So perhaps this is another reason for the immensity of the
> university when such a tiny subset would be all that is necessary to
> give us a home and provide for our well-being? JimA
Like you imply, the immensity of our galaxy alone would give us a
generous sample size for study that pertains to age and other things.
The fact that there are billions of galaxies adds another near dozen
magnitudes to God's generosity (on our behalf?). I don't remember who
was credited with this response, but somebody when asked if they thought
there was other intelligent life responded in words to the effect:
"well, God created a whole lot of universe -- if we were the only ones
in it, it would seem a bit of a waste."
Of course, how can we ever know...

Or another favorite quip along those lines comes from Calvin &
Hobbes: "one reason I'm convinced there must be intelligent life out
there is that none of it has tried to contact us." Seems to me
that interstellar distances, let alone intergalactic spans provide
pretty effective quarantine for any other experiments God may have going
out there.

Sorry about these tangential rabbit trails on a thread I haven't been
following. Just some morning musings from merv.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Sun Sep 10 09:06:43 2006

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Sun Sep 10 2006 - 09:06:43 EDT