The Q&A session of the International Conference on the Origin of Life and The Universe held by TBAV (Technics & Science Research Foundation) in Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel, August 24th 2016 - 2
The Q&A session of the International Conference on the Origin of Life and The Universe held by TBAV (Technics & Science Research Foundation) in Conrad Istanbul Bosphorus Hotel, August 24th 2016 – Part 2
GUEST 1: My question for the first speaker. With respect to your beneficial talk about the creation of universe. Can you tell us something the Doomsday, I mean the end of the world. How it is going to be?
DR. JEFF ZWEERINK: I can give you some of the speculation that we have out there. There is a few things. One, we know that at some point, at least here on Earth, the Sun is going to get large enough it will encompass the Earth. Yeah, that’s about 7 billion years out so I’m not too worried about it today but life here on Earth will clearly end at some point in time. What’s intriguing though is that when scientists finally detected the Higgs boson, based on the mass that we measure for the Higgs boson and the mass that we measure for the top quark, there are some calculations that show that the very fabric of space-time in which we live is unstable. Now it’s unstable on the time span of billions years. But what will happen is that the universe will decay to a lower energy state and where that happens it will then propagate out from that region at the speed of light in so it will just the whole fabric of the universe will just decay to something else where life is no longer possible. Now that could happen, it could be happening and coming towards right now and we don’t know or it could happen in a hundred billion or trillion years. You know there is, there’s no way to specify that given the data we have at this point. But I find it remarkable that the scientific data we have indicates that this universe is by no way eternal. I find it very consistent at least with the words of the Bible we’re taught about a new Heaven and a new Earth. And I’m not sure how the Quran handles that but I find that a very theistic world view that this world is temporal and it has a beginning and an end.
PRESENTER: Next question?
GUEST 2: I would like to ask my question in Turkish, so could you please... Thank you. I would like to hear the views of the speakers on the reason why many scientists still defend the theory of evolution even though it has already been refuted by scientific evidence. I mean, for example, why is it still being taught at schools? What are their thoughts on this issue? Thank you.
DR. FAZALE RANA: The idea of why do many, again, scientists embrace the evolutionary paradigm. I think largely as I pointed out on my talk philosophical in nature. Because many scientists have bought into this idea of methodological naturalism. And once you buy into that, then, any idea of a Creator’s involvement in the origin of humanity, let’s say, is simply off the table. It’s not a valid explanation. Regardless of what the data says, that means you can’t falsify evolution, you can’t prove another theoretical framework that involves the work of the Creator. And so when you see shared features, if the only explanation is evolution then it must reflect common decent. If you see fossils then the only explanation is there must be an evolutionary history of life. So scientists are merely choosing to interpret the data in an evolutionary framework but then they’ll turn around and will say “that’s now constitutes evidence” so the reasoning in the circular way. As opposed to actually objectively evaluating the evidence, there’s no way to falsify evolution in the current construct of science. There is no way I know of how to falsify but you can show prediction after prediction after prediction that is falsified. But you can’t falsify because there’s not another alternative that can take its place, that’s permitted by the scientific community. That’s why, the sponsoring organization of this event is doing really an important work by merely highlighting that there are problems and highlighting that again there are philosophical components to the case for evolution. And this is not a trivial issue. I really appreciate what Dr. Babuna said. Because I would resonate very strongly with that I think the more I thought about implications of human evolution the more I’m becoming disturbed by that. Maybe I’m just becoming a cranky old man but I’m really very disturbed by what I see is the implications of evolution.
Would you like to add something Dr. Babuna?
DR. OKTAR BABUNA: Well, I can explain it like Mr. Adnan Oktar always repeat it. There is a Darwinist dictatorship in the world. So they won’t allow as you said, in the universities, in academic places, to talk against Darwinism. If you do that you get fired, you can’t become professor. Even in the schools in Turkey in the school books, we see always evidences, not evidences, so called evidences to support Darwinism. But if you want to talk about the emergence of the proteins, the structure of the proteins, or want to just show the fossils, nothing, no interpretation, you’re not allowed to do that even in Turkey. In all Islamic countries... But the thing is, with the scientific struggle, this will come to an end. We definitely are sure about that. This is a Darwinist dictatorship but in 5-10 years, the world will change. Because it cannot go on like this. Because of these pervert ideologies, there is war, terrorism, violence and lack of love. Everywhere, in the entire world. Wild Capitalism... For example, United States is one of the richest country in the world. 600.000 homeless people are living on the streets. I lived in New York. This is the richest city of the world, I see homeless people lining on the streets, and there are billionaires living in Manhattan, nobody cares about that. This is because of Darwinism. Selfish-struggle. ‘You have to struggle for survival. If you’re strong you’ll survive. If you’re weak, you’ll get eliminated’. This is given in the subconscious minds of the people. But this scientific struggle, an alliance of the Christians and Muslims and scientists, this will come to an end. Because it doesn’t make any sense and people started to understand [that] Darwinism doesn’t make any sense. According to most recent polls in Turkey, 95% of the people do not believe in Darwinism anymore. Although, Darwinism is being taught in the schools. But it was not easy. Mr. Adnan Oktar and us distributed 8 million copies of Evolution Deceit on the streets free of charge, 100.000 copies of Creation Atlas, to entire universities of Europe and The United States. So, it’s coming down slowly and it will come to an end, we believe.
PRESENTER: Ok. Next question? Please.
GUEST 3:All the friends in audience are Turkish, therefore if you permit me I will speak in Turkish.
First of all, let me say that I have no problem with my origin. I don’t have any problem with my origin. Those who have any would certainly search for and find their answer. What catches my attention is that there are a high number of fossils here. Many years ago, there were a large number of trilobites in Kanlica Hills in Istanbul. At the time, I was in first grade at the Technical University. I took a course called paleontology. Distinguished professor Malik Seher was an elderly gentleman. He would give lectures on paleontology. I never liked that course. They would display many fossils. Once, they took us to Kanlica. I was late but I was still able to see the fossils. Of course, besides paleontology, there is stratigraphy and geology, which are crucial as they show all the layers. But I did not study them; I did not study anthropology or archeology either. But what I have seen is that, except for stratigraphy and some part of paleontology, those fossils indicate certain layers and those layers provide information related to geological ages and even the resources in these regions. Ms. Zuhal said that they sent them to museums. She also stated that they did not have any commercial value. Yes, they might not have any commercial value at the time but we have a lot to learn from those fossils. Firstly, as I have just said, it is possible to figure out the natural resources. Though, there are very effective seismological methods right now. It is possible to detect with great precision what lies underground. Secondly, biomimetics, that is biologically inspired materials; we can develop new technologies with the information these fossils provide us. It is not only limited to fossils, but all biological life forms. I have seen that these four branches I have just mentioned, one of which I have really been interested in due to some of my biological studies, are wonderful, great fields of study. However, they have never transitioned into technological methods and their studies have been merely limited to forms. Of course, this was convenient for archeologists and anthropologists but we were late to realize it. The examples given were mostly from Western resources, the Torah and the Bible. The Torah and the Bible hold great significance in our belief and the prophets to whom these books were revealed are among the great prophets. Nevertheless, our Prophet (saas) has a saying, a prayer: “My Lord, may You teach me the mystery of the things.” Things mean matter. It is not materialism. Learning the mystery of things, “Veritas”, is written on the gate of Harvard University. It is an invaluable guide. Unfortunately, our distance from the knowledge of the mystery of things, the material science and the technology they give rise to determine whether we are advanced or backward. What should be done about this? … One of the means is visual learning. As the elders say, “essence of certainty”; it is not sufficient. There is a lot that we cannot see with our eyes or hear with our ears. After that comes “knowledge of certainty”. But in order to gain knowledge, one must be familiar with the methods of science. I read a 400-year-old book. Miftahul Uloom, the keys to knowledge. It is impossible to internalize the knowledge without knowing the keys to knowledge. There are now very sophisticated devices both in Turkey and many parts of the world. I have used many of them. Electron microscope has been mentioned in the morning session. The biggest and most powerful electron microscope in the world is now at Osaka University in Japan, and is of the same height as this hotel. That microscope existed 25 years ago as well, but it has been renewed. Due to lenses and other reasons, errors occur in the experiments including those conducted there. Nevertheless, these experiments bring us closer to the truth. But we try to find the existence of God in some experiments, such as the one conducted in Switzerland. Of course, it is great that those experiments are conducted, as they will surely produce good results. However, there is no need to waste billions of dollars for that experiment in order to prove the existence of God. ... But all we aim is to reach the truth called ‘veritas’. There is a lot of information on this issue in the Islamic resources as well. Hazrat Ali (ra) says, “Teach me one letter and I will serve you for 40 years.” There are also many who have followed this reasoning in the Western world. A very distinguished professor of mine passed away last week. Professor Can Kan. He had the intelligent ability, the ability of thinking to discover what happens in matter without any need for experiment. If you do not incorporate this ability in your researches, which is even written in the book by Ibn Khaldun some 800 years ago that was also translated into English. It is taught as a course book at Harvard.
PRESENTER: Yes, please.
GUEST 4:I would like to ask a question to the first speaker. I will ask it in Turkish. According to the Big Bang theory, the universe emerged and continues to expand in a spherical form after the explosion. Thus, the center of this sphere is exactly where the explosion took place. That is, the very center of the universe is exactly where the explosion occurred. Except for the rogue heavenly bodies, all systems are a part of other systems that revolve around them. That is, planets revolve in star systems, systems in galaxies, galaxies in their own galaxy groups and those groups maybe around other centers. Maybe all these systems revolve around the center of the universe where the explosion occurred. I do not know, it is just my opinion. It may be my personal theory. And we know that this expansion is decelerating. What slows down the universe’s expansion, which started with the effect of the explosion, must be an object or a structure residing at the center of the universe. So, will the universe start to shrink after the expansion completely halts? What do you think about this issue?
DR. JEFF ZWEERİNK: Oh yes. This is a very common question and the one that I’ve had to think how to explain, because the way cosmologist look at this is different. It’s kind of counterintuitive. But the picture I would have as imagine looking at the surface of a balloon. And if you paint a bunch of dots on the surface of a balloon, when you blow it up all of the dots move away from everyone. So if you look at anyone dot, and then measure the distances, you’ll find that everything is moving away from that dot. And if you move to another dot, that’s exactly the same phenomenon is true. And so if you restrict yourself just to the surface of the balloon, it’s expanding, everything is moving away but there is no center, again if you just stay on the surface of the balloon. And so that’s the picture, that’s a two dimensional picture of how scientists look at our universe. That our universe is three dimensional but it’s the surface, and it’s growing and getting larger. There is no place where there is a center to the universe. And as bizarre as that sounds, that’s the best explanation. At some level you get used to it, you don’t entirely understand it. In that sense, there was a long-standing question of will the universe eventually slow down and stop, of the expansion slow down and stop. Recent measurements have shown that while the universe did slow down for a while early in earth’s history, it’s actually, the expansion is getting faster and faster and so it will just expand forever into the future. And it will never collapse back on itself. So the picture is that the universe is expanding, everything is moving away from everything else. There is no center, so it’s not as there’s a center or an edge, you can move throughout the universe forever and you’ll never hit a boundary. And it’s going to expand forever. In fact the expansion will get faster and faster over time. So that’s what the best scientific evidence says at this point. The short answer to your question “is there a center”, no there is no center. Even though we’re expanding. There is no center and there is nothing we’re expending into. It’s just the fabric of the universe is getting larger. And that’s what we talk about when we talk about the expansion of the universe.
PRESENTER: Thank you. Please.
GUEST 5: I will ask a physics-related question again. Do the dark matter and dark energy have a role in the formation of the universe? As a second question; what kind of importance do the dark matter and dark energy constitute in the continuation of the order of the universe? Thank you.
DR. JEFF ZWEERİNK: Dark matter and dark energy both do play a very critical role in how the universe behaves. They are part of the fabric of the universe that was created in the beginning as much as stars and galaxies are. Dark matter is... there’s mass in the universe that doesn’t give off any light. That’s why it’s called “dark matter”. Astronomers are not known for being real creative in their names. So dark matter is very important for forming galaxies and clusters of galaxies because it can start to clump before the normal matter can. So it actually plays a very critical role in making the galaxies and clusters of galaxies and actually, eventually stars and planets. Our galaxy itself has a lot of dark matter. There’s dark matter flowing through your body right now, through whole room right now. So it plays a very critical role in how the universe develops. Similarly with dark energy, dark matter is probably a particle of some sort we’re trying to figure out what that is that’s actually one area of research that I’m actively engaged in right now. Dark energy is something a little different. It seems to be a property of space and time itself. And it’s just, we don’t know what it is. What we know is that its effect is that the larger the universe gets the more it wants to expand. So we can mathematically describe that but we really don’t know what it is.
GUEST 5: Can we say that dark matter contracts matter while dark energy allows it to expand in the universe and the balance between these two great powers maintains the existence of the universe? Is it correct? Do you agree with me?
DR. JEFF ZWEERİNK: Yes. Dark matter is mass and so it’s got gravity and will cause things to contract and want to clump up. That’s its character. Dark energy is a property of space that the larger space gets the more it wants to expand. So they are very integral in helping us understand the dynamics of the universe. I wouldn't say they help hold the universe together because they're part of the fabric of the universe just as much as electrons and protons and neutrons are. But they are critical in the universe’s ability to host life. I mean they play a very critical role in getting from the earliest moments of the universe to having a star like the Sun, with a planet like the Earth, with a moon like the Moon that can host life.
PRESENTER: Let’s take one last question. Please.
GUEST 6: I have a question regarding evolution. When we say Darwinism, we immediately say materialism as well. As you mentioned in the presentation, Darwinists somehow conceal the signs leading to faith and the delicate balances. They can connect every subject to the evolutionary process. How can the issue of ‘soul’ disprove evolution in one response? How can we prove the existence of soul? Thank you.
DR. FAZALE RANA: In my view, I don’t know that we can directly measure scientifically the soul. But I would agree the idea that there is an immaterial part to our makeup is completely contrary to a materialistic view. But we can kind of indirectly, scientifically dance around that question. For example, the idea of consciousness, human beings have this capacity for consciousness. That has no known explanation, we don’t know how to account for consciousness, whatsoever. Human beings seem to have this capacity for symbolism which again I see as a manifestation of a spiritual nature that human beings possessed. Because it seems to separate us from other creatures. In Christian theology, and I don’t know if there is something that corresponds to this in Islam, so I’d love to hear that kind of a conversation, but there is that concept called “The Image of God” that human beings possessed. And it doesn’t mean that we are little Gods but what it means is that we have certain attributes that flow out of our spiritual nature. So that we have a creativity, advanced cognitive ability. Which would be a manifestation of symbolism but we are inherently moral creatures...That we have a sense and the desire for justice. That we have a desire to connect to our Creator in some capacity. We have the sense that there is more to reality than what we see. And again, these are things that are difficult to measure scientifically, but something like symbolism and something that we can measure. So when we make measurements that dance around the concept of the soul, we see a lot of evidence that indicates humans are somehow unique. But I don’t know that we can, at this point in time with our understanding, really provide a scientific evidence for soul. But again there is a lot of things that suggest that we as human beings are much more than physical entities. I have not studied this much, maybe Dr. Babuna you have, but in the United States a number of Christian apologists who try to defend the Christian faith are very enamored with near-death experiences, where people clinically die but yet still have these things happening to them but they come back and describe with vivid detail. Actually I had a friend who had two near-death experiences and clinically died twice. And the way he described these were extremely vivid. As if he was describing walking down the street to go to the store. And people who have near-death experiences report on things that there is no way they could have known. But they are able to report on things that were happening to them, during the attempts to medically revive them. Then they again would have no awareness or understanding of, because they were clinically dead. So this is again a provocative line of evidence that suggests there is something that is immaterial about us. That we’re more than just a physical makeup. I don’t know if Dr. Babuna would like to add comment.
MODERATOR: This is like another topic for another panels.
DR. OKTAR BABUNA: I would like to talk about the essence of the matter actually. I will give a scientific explanation first. As I stated in my talk also, there are only electric signals travel in the brain. And we don’t know there is a counterpart outside because nobody can exit his brain and test what is outside actually. There is a famous quantum physicist, his name is Fred Alan Wolf. And he says: “existence of the soul is inevitable”. He also says: “whatever is the matter made from it is not from the matter”. So quantum physicists know this fact very well actually. There is no color outside, no sound outside, but we have these perceptions. And we have this evidence every night in our dreams actually. In our dreams, our eyes are closed, there is no outside world, right, and there is no matter outside, but we have sound, touch, taste, smell, everything. But we see people have never seen before, we are in environments we have never seen before, we have actually a different memory, and different consciousness in our dreams most of the time. Sometimes we fly. This is against the law of nature. But the laws of nature are different in our dreams and we don’t think “why are we flying? I couldn’t fly.” We never judge that in that way. So God shows us actually, every night, Allah is the Creator of these perceptions, and this is perceived by our soul. This is a metaphysical being. It is without a hand, without an eye, without an ear, can hear, can see, can touch, can taste and smell. Dreams are very powerful evidences and scientifically also. Electric signals, the movement of the sodium ions, potassium ions, in the lipid barriers generates this 3-dimensional world, the sound, the beautiful ladies like you... It is evidence of God’s existence. And God tells us, also in Christianity, in Islam in the same way, in the Bible and Gospel, breathed His soul, so we carry the soul of God. But that makes us shadow beings. God is absolute being, humans are the shadow beings. This is scientifically, logically, and from the point of religion, this explanation makes a lot of sense, I think.
MODERATOR: Thank you very much, everybody.