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Hello Yoder,

Let me first say that I think I understand your point regarding the relationship between the Urantia Book and the Big Bang theory. To illustrate, I will try to summarize your viewpoint and you can correct me if I mess it up somewhere: You believe that since the Big Bang theory implies an uncaused first cause, i.e. a moment of beginning, that it is fundamentally compatible with the UB, no? And that whatever discrepancy might come up between the two, it is best to favor our current scientific understanding over the papers, which would be consistant with an "adult" or "enlightened" perspective of what the papers actually are, since the Urantia Book is fixed in time and science is not.

At first glance I would say this is not an entirely unreasonable position, though it strikes me as a bit defensive. Basically it seems like you're hedging the papers' authenticity or authority in the possibility that you might be wrong about their divine nature. It also reminds me of how I was taught to look at the Bible when I was in Catholic school. We were told not to take things literally and to understand historical context as well as religious when pursuing biblical studies. And this is great! I think that probably is the wisest way to understand the Bible.

But the same does not apply to the papers! If you believe they are what they say they are, then you must realize that the UB is not a volume of mostly independent works by human authors in different cultural contexts at different points in history. It is a coordinated volume of related works by different celestial authors all written in the same context and all written to be studied together as one volume. This means that you have to take an entirely different approach interpreting them compared to the Bible.

I happen to believe that the papers have only now just started to make their mark on this planet and that their real hour is yet to come. I believe that one day, decades or possibly even centuries into the future, the UB will become as an important player in world events as the Bible. I know now that I am not special for having received or read the UB, and that it deals with affairs that are way bigger than me. I hope the UB will bring a planetary spiritual awakening and prepare us for a coming Magisterial or Trinity Teacher Son mission, but I realize it may prompt other, more human, reactions, too. But the more I study and contemplate our future with these papers, the more certain I am that we all just happened to be born at a time when the world hasn't yet realized what it has. One of the biggest messages of the papers is to think cosmically and eternally. The papers have been with us for a little less than a century, and from an eternal perspective, that's less than a blink of an eye.

I bring that up because it seems like you're already treating them like an ancient text. Yes, they do say that the cosmology found within is not inspired and that certain statements related to the physical sciences will stand in need of revision. And exactly which statements that applies to are subject to highly contested debates, which imho is part of the fun of studying the papers.

But it would be a grave error to think that modern cosmology has already supplanted the cosmology provided in the papers. For one thing, I do not interpret the statement that the cosmology was "not inspired" as equivalent to "needing future revision." I interpret that as they are providing us a cosmology which was directly observed by them and passed to us. So, if I am to take the papers for what they are, a revelation, then I must accept the cosmology within them as a basis and go from there.

Also, it's interesting to me that one of the first versions of the modern Big Bang theory was proposed in 1931 by Lemaître. As you know, the authors claim to have taken the highest human concepts up to that time and integrated them in the papers. Probably the most striking example that everyone loves to point to is plate tectonics, which, while also having been proposed in the 1920s and 30s, did not gain wide acceptance in the scientific community until the 1960s. I would have expected the same for Big Bang...

There are numerous things I and others could list and point to you that clearly demonstrate an incompatibility between the UB and BB cosmology. But rather than rehash the same old arguments (please see the threads Bart linked), I will leave you with the following advice: take a look at Paper 15 again and read about the structure of the superuniverses. One passage in particular that has always intrigued me is section 3. The Superuniverse of Orvonton. In that section there is a list of sources of error. I think it would be an instructive exercise to compare those reasons to that which modern science supplies for the same observations.

- quil


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oops i didn't mean to start an argument for or against BB theory...but alternate cyclic models like big bounce and quantum loops do include a "first cause" event. The thing to me is i think it's the linear timebound scientific viewpoint itself that demands a first cause and the physicists have nothing to say about an uncaused cause since that would be entering the realm of metaphysics...handy for them because the laws of physics fall apart in the singularity lol

Even if science accepted God as a First Cause the scientific mindset would still ask where God came from...the first cause can always be moved back in time...anything short of eternity i think "necessitates" it.


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Bart wrote:
Again you repeat the same nonsense. You say: "Hawking has attempted to provide an alternative theory due to the theological implications." WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? Steven Hawking denies the existence of God. Main stream science denies the existence of God.


Hawking has tried to get around the fact that the big bang suggests the existence of God specifically because he doesn't believe in a God. I am not the first person who has said this about Hawking. Hawking himself has suggested the theological implications of the big bang and his desire to have an alternative explanation to avoid those theological implications. I am surprised you are not aware of this.

Bart wrote:
What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to confuse readers into believing that big bang theory proves the existence of God and TUB's cosmology is wrong?


Since the Urantia Book specifically admits to not being inerrant in its cosmology, why would big bang theory in and of itself disturb you? Like I said, the scientific community's estimates for the age of the universe may be off, but it's amazing that they discovered an actual beginning to the universe, despite their previous tendency to believe in a steady-state universe that wouldn't require a first cause.

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quil wrote:
Hello Yoder,

Let me first say that I think I understand your point regarding the relationship between the Urantia Book and the Big Bang theory. To illustrate, I will try to summarize your viewpoint and you can correct me if I mess it up somewhere: You believe that since the Big Bang theory implies an uncaused first cause, i.e. a moment of beginning, that it is fundamentally compatible with the UB, no? And that whatever discrepancy might come up between the two, it is best to favor our current scientific understanding over the papers, which would be consistant with an "adult" or "enlightened" perspective of what the papers actually are, since the Urantia Book is fixed in time and science is not.

At first glance I would say this is not an entirely unreasonable position, though it strikes me as a bit defensive. Basically it seems like you're hedging the papers' authenticity or authority in the possibility that you might be wrong about their divine nature. It also reminds me of how I was taught to look at the Bible when I was in Catholic school. We were told not to take things literally and to understand historical context as well as religious when pursuing biblical studies. And this is great! I think that probably is the wisest way to understand the Bible.

But the same does not apply to the papers! If you believe they are what they say they are, then you must realize that the UB is not a volume of mostly independent works by human authors in different cultural contexts at different points in history. It is a coordinated volume of related works by different celestial authors all written in the same context and all written to be studied together as one volume. This means that you have to take an entirely different approach interpreting them compared to the Bible.

I happen to believe that the papers have only now just started to make their mark on this planet and that their real hour is yet to come. I believe that one day, decades or possibly even centuries into the future, the UB will become as an important player in world events as the Bible. I know now that I am not special for having received or read the UB, and that it deals with affairs that are way bigger than me. I hope the UB will bring a planetary spiritual awakening and prepare us for a coming Magisterial or Trinity Teacher Son mission, but I realize it may prompt other, more human, reactions, too. But the more I study and contemplate our future with these papers, the more certain I am that we all just happened to be born at a time when the world hasn't yet realized what it has. One of the biggest messages of the papers is to think cosmically and eternally. The papers have been with us for a little less than a century, and from an eternal perspective, that's less than a blink of an eye.

I bring that up because it seems like you're already treating them like an ancient text. Yes, they do say that the cosmology found within is not inspired and that certain statements related to the physical sciences will stand in need of revision. And exactly which statements that applies to are subject to highly contested debates, which imho is part of the fun of studying the papers.

But it would be a grave error to think that modern cosmology has already supplanted the cosmology provided in the papers. For one thing, I do not interpret the statement that the cosmology was "not inspired" as equivalent to "needing future revision." I interpret that as they are providing us a cosmology which was directly observed by them and passed to us. So, if I am to take the papers for what they are, a revelation, then I must accept the cosmology within them as a basis and go from there.

Also, it's interesting to me that one of the first versions of the modern Big Bang theory was proposed in 1931 by Lemaître. As you know, the authors claim to have taken the highest human concepts up to that time and integrated them in the papers. Probably the most striking example that everyone loves to point to is plate tectonics, which, while also having been proposed in the 1920s and 30s, did not gain wide acceptance in the scientific community until the 1960s. I would have expected the same for Big Bang...

There are numerous things I and others could list and point to you that clearly demonstrate an incompatibility between the UB and BB cosmology. But rather than rehash the same old arguments (please see the threads Bart linked), I will leave you with the following advice: take a look at Paper 15 again and read about the structure of the superuniverses. One passage in particular that has always intrigued me is section 3. The Superuniverse of Orvonton. In that section there is a list of sources of error. I think it would be an instructive exercise to compare those reasons to that which modern science supplies for the same observations.

- quil


Thank you for your thoughtful and fair post. I disagree with certain parts of it but I appreciate it.

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Hi Yoder:

You may be interested in alternative theories well presented in a book, The Big Bang Never Happened, by Eric Lerner (circa 1992).

Regards, Louis


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loucol wrote:
Hi Yoder:

You may be interested in alternative theories well presented in a book, The Big Bang Never Happened, by Eric Lerner (circa 1992).

Regards, Louis

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Adopting an eternal universe, Lerner's explanation of cosmological evolution relied on a model of thermodynamics based on the work of the Nobel Chemistry prize winner Ilya Prigogine under which order emerges out of chaos.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Lerne ... r_Happened


Why would someone who believes in an uncaused cause to the universe also believe in an eternal universe?

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Yoder777 wrote:
loucol wrote:
Hi Yoder:

You may be interested in alternative theories well presented in a book, The Big Bang Never Happened, by Eric Lerner (circa 1992).

Regards, Louis

Quote:
Adopting an eternal universe, Lerner's explanation of cosmological evolution relied on a model of thermodynamics based on the work of the Nobel Chemistry prize winner Ilya Prigogine under which order emerges out of chaos.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Lerne ... r_Happened


Why would someone who believes in an uncaused cause to the universe also believe in an eternal universe?


Hi Yoder:

This reference I gave is simply an example of a well presented critique to the BB theory in the early 90s.

I cannot see why the notion of an Uncaused Cause is mutually exclusive with the idea of an eternal universe. So, in answer to your question, I would say; Why not? :smile:

Regards, Louis


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Wouldn't an eternal universe make a first cause unnecessary?

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biggest problem with all of the modern scientific cosmologies isn't in discovering or labeling a First Cause or yielding to the philosophy of an Uncaused Cause...it's in discovering that an eternity of temporal universes necessitates Secondary and Tertiary Causes.

when it comes to the theological implications of a First Cause hawking merely side-steps the issue by deifying the Law Of Gravity into a spontaneous and self-existent phenomenon...notwithstanding that in doing so he has violated the scientific approach which observes and asks "how?" and moved into the philosophic arena attempting to ask and answer "why?". His answer is just "because it is"...and this passes for elite scientific thought lol

to the philosopher the fact of creation logically implies a creator...and creation requires a degree of transcendence...the thing created is never more than or equivalent to its creator.


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Yoder777 wrote:
Hawking has tried to get around the fact that the big bang suggests the existence of God specifically because he doesn't believe in a God. I am not the first person who has said this about Hawking. Hawking himself has suggested the theological implications of the big bang and his desire to have an alternative explanation to avoid those theological implications. I am surprised you are not aware of this.
The only 'theological' implication of a big bang theory and ensuing or preceding physical laws according to Stephen Hawking is: "These laws may have originally been decreed by God, but it appears that he has since left the universe to evolve according to them and does not now intervene in it" (A Brief History of Time, p. 122). Why "it appears" so, is not stated. And the God he portrays has nothing in common with the God of The Urantia Book: the infinite creator and all pervading upholder of everything we call real (or for that matter with the God of the Bible or any other religion). And a big bang is totally incompatible with the infinite/eternal cyclical nature of reality as portrayed in TUB:
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105:0.1 To even high orders of universe intelligences infinity is only partially comprehensible, and the finality of reality is only relatively understandable. The human mind, as it seeks to penetrate the eternity-mystery of the origin and destiny of all that is called real, may helpfully approach the problem by conceiving eternity-infinity as an almost limitless ellipse which is produced by one absolute cause, and which functions throughout this universal circle of endless diversification, ever seeking some absolute and infinite potential of destiny.


Yoder777 wrote:
Since the Urantia Book specifically admits to not being inerrant in its cosmology, why would big bang theory in and of itself disturb you? Like I said, the scientific community's estimates for the age of the universe may be off, but it's amazing that they discovered an actual beginning to the universe, despite their previous tendency to believe in a steady-state universe that wouldn't require a first cause.
Again, science did not discover an actual beginning of the universe several billion years ago. Science only proposes a (much criticized) mathematical model of current universe expansion, that suggests such a beginning. The reason, for example, why Stephen Hawking didn’t receive a Nobel prize, is because none of his theories (including the existence of black holes) has been proven.

And, again, The Urantia Book does not admit it contains errors anywhere. It says that its statements regarding the physical sciences "will stand in need of revision" in consequence of additional scientific developments and new discoveries (101:4.2). To stand in need of revision is not the same as being in error.

And while statements with reference to cosmology are never inspired, such revelations are of immense value in that they clarify knowledge by: the reduction of confusion by the authoritative elimination of error. (101:4.5) How can the book reduce confusion by the authoritative elimination of error, when it contains errors to begin with? And where then are these supposed errors? And are you seriously suggesting that TUB’s cosmological concept of a 2 billion year cycle of space respiration now stands "in need of revision" because science has come up with "additional information" in the form of big bang theory? You must be kidding!

Quote:
101:4.2 Mankind should understand that we who participate in the revelation of truth are very rigorously limited by the instructions of our superiors. We are not at liberty to anticipate the scientific discoveries of a thousand years. Revelators must act in accordance with the instructions which form a part of the revelation mandate. We see no way of overcoming this difficulty, either now or at any future time. We full well know that, while the historic facts and religious truths of this series of revelatory presentations will stand on the records of the ages to come, within a few short years many of our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision in consequence of additional scientific developments and new discoveries. These new developments we even now foresee, but we are forbidden to include such humanly undiscovered facts in the revelatory records. Let it be made clear that revelations are not necessarily inspired. The cosmology of these revelations is not inspired. It is limited by our permission for the co-ordination and sorting of present-day knowledge. While divine or spiritual insight is a gift, human wisdom must evolve.

101:4.5 Truth may be but relatively inspired, even though revelation is invariably a spiritual phenomenon. While statements with reference to cosmology are never inspired, such revelations are of immense value in that they at least transiently clarify knowledge by:

1. The reduction of confusion by the authoritative elimination of error.
2. The co-ordination of known or about-to-be-known facts and observations.
3. The restoration of important bits of lost knowledge concerning epochal transactions in the distant past.
4. The supplying of information which will fill in vital missing gaps in otherwise earned knowledge.
5. Presenting cosmic data in such a manner as to illuminate the spiritual teachings contained in the accompanying revelation.


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Big Bang Theory - The Premise
The Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe. Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after that moment there was something: our universe. The big bang theory is an effort to explain what happened during and after that moment.

According to the standard theory, our universe sprang into existence as "singularity" around 13.7 billion years ago. What is a "singularity" and where does it come from? Well, to be honest, we don't know for sure. Singularities are zones which defy our current understanding of physics. They are thought to exist at the core of "black holes." Black holes are areas of intense gravitational pressure. The pressure is thought to be so intense that finite matter is actually squished into infinite density (a mathematical concept which truly boggles the mind). These zones of infinite density are called "singularities." Our universe is thought to have begun as an infinitesimally small, infinitely hot, infinitely dense, something - a singularity. Where did it come from? We don't know. Why did it appear? We don't know.

After its initial appearance, it apparently inflated (the "Big Bang"), expanded and cooled, going from very, very small and very, very hot, to the size and temperature of our current universe. It continues to expand and cool to this day and we are inside of it: incredible creatures living on a unique planet, circling a beautiful star clustered together with several hundred billion other stars in a galaxy soaring through the cosmos, all of which is inside of an expanding universe that began as an infinitesimal singularity which appeared out of nowhere for reasons unknown. This is the Big Bang theory.

Big Bang Theory - Common Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions surrounding the Big Bang theory. For example, we tend to imagine a giant explosion. Experts however say that there was no explosion; there was (and continues to be) an expansion. Rather than imagining a balloon popping and releasing its contents, imagine a balloon expanding: an infinitesimally small balloon expanding to the size of our current universe.

Another misconception is that we tend to image the singularity as a little fireball appearing somewhere in space. According to the many experts however, space didn't exist prior to the Big Bang. Back in the late '60s and early '70s, when men first walked upon the moon, "three British astrophysicists, Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time. In 1968 and 1970, they published papers in which they extended Einstein's Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space.1, 2 According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy."3 The singularity didn't appear in space; rather, space began inside of the singularity. Prior to the singularity, nothing existed, not space, time, matter, or energy - nothing.
.
Big Bang Theory - The Only Plausible Theory?

Is the standard Big Bang theory the only model consistent with these evidences? No, it's just the most popular one. Internationally renown Astrophysicist George F. R. Ellis explains: "People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations….For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations….You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds. In my view there is absolutely nothing wrong in that. What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that."4

In 2003, Physicist Robert Gentry proposed an attractive alternative to the standard theory, an alternative which also accounts for the evidences listed above.5 Dr. Gentry claims that the standard Big Bang model is founded upon a faulty paradigm (the Friedmann-lemaitre expanding-spacetime paradigm) which he claims is inconsistent with the empirical data. He chooses instead to base his model on Einstein's static-spacetime paradigm which he claims is the "genuine cosmic Rosetta." Gentry has published several papers outlining what he considers to be serious flaws in the standard Big Bang model.6 Other high-profile dissenters include Nobel laureate Dr. Hannes Alfvén, Professor Geoffrey Burbidge, Dr. Halton Arp, and the renowned British astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle, who is accredited with first coining the term "the Big Bang" during a BBC radio broadcast in 1950.

Big Bang Theory - What About God?

Any discussion of the Big Bang theory would be incomplete without asking the question, what about God? This is because cosmogony (the study of the origin of the universe) is an area where science and theology meet. Creation was a supernatural event. That is, it took place outside of the natural realm. This fact begs the question: is there anything else which exists outside of the natural realm? Specifically, is there a master Architect out there? We know that this universe had a beginning. Was God the "First Cause"?

from "All About Science" website. So much for the claim here, by one, that BB is either true or acccepted...someone may wish to look up "theory" in Webster's (unabridged of course).


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Let's please not pretend to be astrophysicists. I believe that someone with a strong faith in God should not fear the discoveries of science and should welcome them when they evidence God's handiwork. William Lane Craig, an evangelical Christian, has done just that:

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/creation ... -cosmology

As believers in the Urantia Book, which is not a dogmatic and institutionalized faith, shouldn't we have the same openness to scientific discovery?

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Yoder777 wrote:
Let's please not pretend to be astrophysicists. I believe that someone with a strong faith in God should not fear the discoveries of science and should welcome them when they evidence God's handiwork. William Lane Craig, an evangelical Christian, has done just that:

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/creation ... -cosmology

As believers in the Urantia Book, which is not a dogmatic and institutionalized faith, shouldn't we have the same openness to scientific discovery?


The Big Bang is not a discovery it is a theory and one that is currently being rejected by many astrophysicists, just ask Nigel in the other forum who is one, he has told you about all the physicists who are beginning to reject this theory. Why don't you believe him?

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boomshuka wrote:
Yoder777 wrote:
Let's please not pretend to be astrophysicists. I believe that someone with a strong faith in God should not fear the discoveries of science and should welcome them when they evidence God's handiwork. William Lane Craig, an evangelical Christian, has done just that:

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/creation ... -cosmology

As believers in the Urantia Book, which is not a dogmatic and institutionalized faith, shouldn't we have the same openness to scientific discovery?


The Big Bang is not a discovery it is a theory and one that is currently being rejected by many astrophysicists, just ask Nigel in the other forum who is one, he has told you about all the physicists who are beginning to reject this theory. Why don't you believe him?


Evolution, like the big bang, is "just a theory." In science, a "theory" is accepted precisely for being the best explanation for observable evidence.

Quote:
a coherent group of tested general propositions, commonly regarded as correct, that can be used as principles of explanation and prediction for a class of phenomena: Einstein's theory of relativity. Synonyms: principle, law, doctrine.

Theory, hypothesis are used in non-technical contexts to mean an untested idea or opinion. A theory in technical use is a more or less verified or established explanation accounting for known facts or phenomena: the theory of relativity. A hypothesis is a conjecture put forth as a possible explanation of phenomena or relations, which serves as a basis of argument or experimentation to reach the truth: This idea is only a hypothesis.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/theory?s=t

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Yoder777 wrote:
Let's please not pretend to be astrophysicists. I believe that someone with a strong faith in God should not fear the discoveries of science and should welcome them when they evidence God's handiwork. William Lane Craig, an evangelical Christian, has done just that:

http://www.reasonablefaith.org/creation ... -cosmology

As believers in the Urantia Book, which is not a dogmatic and institutionalized faith, shouldn't we have the same openness to scientific discovery?

With all due respect, Yoder, you have already made up your mind and are [pathetically] masking your opinion in the form of a less-than-sincere question. I and others have provided you many reasons why the UB and BB do not agree and where the potential error lies in rejecting UB's cosmology in favor of the Big Bang. Of course, whenever we do address the merits of the issue you either (a) ignore them or (b) claim that because no one here is an astrophysicist, the subject itself is beyond debate by us ordinary laymen. According to you, because we are not high priests of mechanistic materialism cosmologists, we simply cannot even discuss these issues, unless of course we provide our own theory and win a Nobel prize. What nonsense!

Of course in general Urantia book readers are open to scientific discovery! That's one of the main points of the papers! What many of us are saying is that science has yet to discover things already revealed to us, including its astrophysical cosmology. What's your take on ultimatons? Are they "outdated" science, too?

Just because you may not have the intellectual desire to understand the current scientific cosmological models does not mean the rest of us doesn't, either. You are making too many assumptions about our backgrounds. Maybe this'll stoke your fire which can be translated into a more substantive response-- I think you're being intellectually lazy.

As a student, why don't you actually sit down and try to understand why the cosmologies are different instead of just blindly asserting your belief? To be honest, I don't care so much about what you believe as I do about a well-reasoned argument as to why we should totally ignore significant and important parts of the UB just to fit what the current flavor of the month is for the cosmological origin story that "science" puts forth. In order for this thread to be useful to me, at least, I need to know your reasoning as to why I should reject so much of the UB, on a section by section basis of passages that directly contradict modern Big Bang cosmology. Try to bring up points that haven't already been hashed through before (by reading the previous threads, here and on other forums).

Again, I think you're treating the UB too much like the Bible. You can't just pick and choose-- that is, not if you're trying to live by a logically consistant worldview. The UB is so internally consistant, that to rip out such a large a piece as you are proposing to eliminate and substitute with the Big Bang, that it would absolutely destroy whatever credibility the work has as a revelation. Maybe you don't believe it is what it says it is? That's totally fine with me, because at least that would bring your viewpoint back to something remotely logically consistant. But if you believe this truly is a revelation from celestial authors, well then, you need to really think this one through before you decide what you believe.

Have you even read the papers? Are you at all cognizant of exactly how much your assertion would contradict the book? I mean this in terms of specifics-- how many papers, sections, etc that would be invalidated...

This is a pretty big deal... I'd say orders of magnitude more important than whether Andromeda is 1 or 2.3 mly's away.

- quil


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