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Man and the Universe

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Man and the Universe - The Origins of the Universe Contents Introduction Man's Changing View on the Universe Religious Perspective Christianity Theory for the existence of God - Intelligent Design Buddhism Scientific Perspective Big Bang Conclusion Introduction Man has asked many questions throughout time about the origins of the universe. At first, many cultures used myth to explain the unexplainable, yet as cultures evolved, philosophers started to doubt these myths and looked for other explanations to answer these questions. These were the first disputed scientists. When these philosophers first asked questions, scientists and astronomers such as Nicholas Copernicus and Galileo Galilei started making observations on the universe leading to new scientific theories on the universe. Today, there are many theories to support the creation of the universe. This report will look at Man's changing view of the universe from the religious perspective to the scientific theories of the creation of the universe. Man's Changing View of the Universe In ancient times the stars amazed mankind. Since the first man looked to the sky and saw the stars, man has wondered what was out there. They looked for patterns in the stars to help predict the seasons and major events - they used it as a celestial calendar. Monuments, known as Celestial Observatories such as Stonehenge were built to record the passing of seasons using the stars. The Egyptians used the rising of the star Sirius to predict the rising of the Nile. Counting the phases of the moon helped the people predict harvest season or major ceremonial events. ...read more.


that exhibit features, which in any other circumstance we would attribute to intelligence."1 There is a search for "signs of intelligence" such as physical properties of an object that show a designer. Though many call ID a scientific theory, many scientists dispute this as ID cannot be tested by experimentation. Intelligent design includes four main concepts. The first concept is that of irreducible complexity - put forth by Michael Behe. He defines this as "a single system which is composed of several well-matched interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, wherein the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning."2 Using the analogy of a mousetrap - the mousetrap is made up of many small well designed components that work together, but if only one component is missing the mouse trap will not work. Due to this complexity it there has to be some transcendent being who was created it. Critics argue that under this concept the parts of the system have always been needed, so therefore could not have been added in sequence, as is the reason of evolution. Also this concept does not take into account that evolution also changes and removes parts, not only adding parts. Behe himself has admitted that his "argument against Darwinism does not add up to a logical proof."3 The concept of specified complexity was put forth by William Dembski - a mathematician, philosopher and theologian. His theory was that when an object shows complexity and specification simultaneously, it is said to exhibit specific complexity, therefore produced by intelligent cause rather than natural selection. ...read more.


Many scientists tried to find this radiation, but it was not until Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson experimented with a new microwave receiver that they found evidence of CMB. They have been able to observe that the radiation has become redshifted, further proving the expansion of the universe. Using the Big Bang model scientists have calculated the ratios of certain light elements (helium-4, helium-3, deuterium and lithium-7) in the universe to those of ordinary hydrogen, known as the abundance of primordial elements. These abundances are predicted using a single parameter, ratio of photons to baryons. The measured abundances agree with the predicted amount. This is strong evidence as it is the only way to explain the relative abundances of light elements. Scientists have observed the evolution and distribution of galaxies. Many formations were created after the Big Bang. Many galaxies have evolved - those further away look different from those close by, as well as newer galaxies looking different from older ones. This evidence goes against the state-steady theories, further supporting the Big Bang. Though the Big Bang is widely accepted today, there are some who doubt it. The Big Bang theory cannot account for everything that has been observed. Many exotic physical phenomena such as dark matter, dark energy and cosmic inflation, rely on conditions that have not been observed to be able to fit with the Big Bang model. Conclusion In concluding, the Big Bang theory is the widely accepted model by the community due to the strong evidence that supports it. While the religious cosmology is also accepted by some, many now see it not as the real creation of the universe, but more as a metaphoric creation which holds many moral lessons for the believers of that religion. ...read more.

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