Perfect Unicorns

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I am old enough to remember an advert for CDM. It was a good advert and I enjoyed it because I was a great fan of CDM; it was my favourite chocolate. It still would be if I had not become a diabetic and therefore unable to eat it. CDM, of course, is, and was, ‘Cadbury’s Dairy Milk’. However if you were to mention ‘CDM’ to professor Brian Cox, or any astronomer, they would smile and wax lyrical, not about the best chocolate in the world, but about the best theory so far to explain the evolution and composition of the universe. It stands for ‘Cold Dark Matter’ and, along with its companion explanation of Cold Dark Energy, is invoked to make the mathematical equations they use in their calculations work.

Now, I do not pretend to be an astrophysicist and mathematician. My Maths stopped at O-level GCE at 16 – though I passed it! Today that would be GCSE level. All that to tell you that I have to take some of the things I write about here from what I learn from others and not from my own practical experience. Mind you, we do this with most things like this about which we learn; nobody knows everything, not even the team on ‘Eggheads’ (BBC television quiz show).

The experts tell us that CDM (from now on referring to Cold Dark Matter, not chocolate) fills about 90 percent of the universe. It was a product of the Big Bang which exploded the universe into existence some 13.8 billion years ago (that’s American billions which astronomers use and is the equivalent of a thousand million; our fine British billion is a million million and therefore a thousand times bigger – it’s not much that we have which is bigger than the Americans!). But there’s one huge snag with it, nobody has found any evidence for it! You can’t see it. You can’t detect it. The only thing you can do with it is slip it into calculations to make them work. And they do; so it must be there even though its absence is a huge embarrassment. They are spending umpteen dollars, probably in the millions, trying to find it. They want their calculations to work. If they don’t, the Big Bang Theory could well be a big flop, and then they would be left with the alternative explanation of creation of ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,’ (Genesis 1:1) and ‘we can’t have that, can we’?

The Unicorn 25Perfect mathematical equations are just that: perfect equations, no more, no less. They do not necessarily indicate what is there, only that it would be nice if it was there. Ideas of perfection do not prove or indicate existence, for ‘perfection’ is not a predicate of existence, be that of God or of CDM, or anything else for that matter. It is absolutely possible to draw up a concept of a perfect unicorn: its shape, body mass, horn, glint in its mischievous eye and playful nature, and so on, but the perfect unicorn does not, and never did, exist. Remember ideas of perfection, no matter how well wrapped up they are in fancy equations, scientific jargon, or philosophical and theological theorems, prove nothing about the reality being considered. We need not fear clever men who try to kid us that they have the universe wrapped up. Only God has that!

Graham Fisher

BiBloS 02-July 2015 smallThis article is from BiBloS, a teaching resource of the British Bible School. To read more articles or download the whole of Issue 2, click here.