books by Ron Plachno  




That is something I sometimes hear. But how true is it? I am now 71. Before I reached age 70 my own poll on life I would call interesting. I had heard several people tell me that Christians think that the earth is only 5000 years old. Only, those people, including the two loudest, were not Christians and were saying it to make fun of them. But oddly, even though I am Catholic, before age 70, I had never heard a single Christian say that the earth is only a few thousand years old. In fact, I would have considered this odd since I have a Science degree. My Electronics Engineering College degree is a subset of Physics, and I have about 35 years in Science never once myself finding a conflict between Science and a belief in God. And I still see no conflict there. But what I did hear from Christians, is that in my last two Catholic Churches that I attended, the pastor of each said that the universe was something over 13.7 billion years old. In fact, there is more to each of these stories. The Church before last was a huge Church and likely had over one thousand people there that day. No one objected. I did not hear a murmur, even though I would have found a murmur response interesting. In my latest Church, that I am still going to, the pastor not only said that the universe was more than 13.7 billion years old but also said more that surprised me that he even knew some "more stuff." I will get to it. But I had researched the "more" even before this pastor said it, which was why I was so surprised.

A wise person should ask, "How do you know how old the universe is?" As a person who thinks they are a Physics major, I might answer, "No one ever told me the method, but it would be Easy Peasy." And why? After the Big Bang theory  became the most plausible theory of the Universe, it makes universe timing easy to calculate. "Huh?, you ask?" Well, to a Physics person anyway. You see, the Big Bang theory says that the universe is expanding, and expanding from a singular point source where it must have begun. And so, we know the speed of the expansion today. We, or at least someone, knows where that point source beginning is. And so since we know that speed times time equals distance and we know speed and distance, we can figure out time. Now things might be a bit more complicated. Instead of simple speed it could be speed plus acceleration plus perhaps a surge (acceleration of an acceleration) or more, but none of that would stop or even slow down a real physicist. Nope. I feel certain that is how I would measure age of the universe. And I suspect that was how it was done. After all, the other case, that of asking the universe simply how old it is would be just bad form. Never ask someone or a universe how old they are.

Now that same wise person might then ask, "Okay, then, who first proposed the Big Bang Theory?" "Ahhh.  Good question," say I. Georges Lemaitre, who published the theory in the French Language in a Brussels Science journal I believe in 1927. That was Monsignor Georges Lemaitre, a Catholic Priest from Belgium, that in fact first gave us the Big Bang Theory and along with it the tools to figure out how old the universe is. Hubble who published I believe two years later in 1929 was given credit for the Big Bang Theory, but still today, many on the internet say that Lemaitre was first... if that matters.

Some scream that Lemaitre should not get credit since he published in French in a Belgium Science Journal, sputter, sputter. Well, many did not give him credit but gave it to Hubble. But one famous person knew of Lemaitre among others who knew him. That was Albert Einstein. Einstein at first disagreed with Lemaitre's Big Bang Theory, thinking that the universe was stable except for orbits of course. Einstein supposedly said something at the time that might translate to, "Lemaitre's Mathematics is flawless, but his Physics stinks!" I, for one, who am a huge fan, of Einstein, found that funny and could visualize Einstein saying that. But Einstein, great man that he was, over time did agree with Lemaitre about the expanding universe and the Big Bang theory. I am not certain of Einstein's timing. But if it was before Hubble, then that would make not only Lemaitre before Hubble, but perhaps also Einstein.

And so, what then is my point? Certainly there are some stupid Christians as well as some very bright ones. That also be said for any other religious choice including those who choose to not believe in a God at all. Each has some bright people and some not so bright people. But an overall statement that all Christians think that the universe is 5000 years old, would be not only very mean, but also not very intelligent and not keeping with all of the facts. My advice is do not call any other group names ... since that, like racism ... will always be not only mean ... but incorrect.

Since age 70, one Christian did tell me that she thought the universe was only 5000 years old. I told her no, that it was over 13.7 billion years old. To her credit she asked me if I was certain, and I said "pretty much so." We were interrupted before I could give the Physics answer of "it is just speed times time equals distance." But to her credit, she seemed willing to listen. And that is more than I can say for some others. And there you have it. Further advice... I strongly advise to never argue about evolution versus creationism. Both sides, for my tastes, are wrong, or at least, not simply accurate.


Book Logic Sciece God and Human Intelligence   Book Logic, Science, God, and Human Intelligence

In this book I tried to explore how far Human Intelligence has come, and how far logic can take us beyond that. And my approach was with an open mind trying to be free from at least the normal ideologies that surround us daily. What I found surprised me. Not the answer ... but that many times we are simply asking the wrong questions. We know now more than we used to. Science has gone far. We know a bit about Science and the Universe even though there is much more to know. Regardless of what we believe and wish to believe, we should at least get our thinking and our discussions into the 21st century. Some of the old arguments on all sides no longer seem to make sense, at least to me, when we view them with our 21st century logic. Is this book meant to convince you of anything? No. That would make it just another ideology. The purpose is to do much the opposite ... to get the reader to think about things that perhaps they never thought about before, but armed with at least human intelligence. And then... the new thinking may surprise you ... as it also surprised me at times.


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