R.I.P. The Big-K!
(Are YOU on the horns of a cosmological dilemma?)
James P. Steel
Well, it has been over a year now, and the dust has settled. As of May 20, 2019, we have been working with a brand-spanking-new kilogram![i]
Why we needed a new kilogram.In a word, Old Man Kilogram (based on a hunk of metal stored in France with replicas stored in the States and scores of other nations) aged![ii]This is no small matter! Like all old folks, the size of this Platinum-iridium alloy has shrunk by the equivalent of an eyelash (50 micrograms) since 1889! As modern technology depends more heavily than ever on nano mechanics, this is no small matter on our tiny planet. Worse, when we think of a universe which is construed by some to be 93 billion light years in diameter, that one eye lash sized variant in a mere century now represents a phenomenal distance! (Multiply those 50 micrograms times the distance traveled by 93 billion light years!) Do not miss the underlying discussion. The short of it is this, we cannot construct an evolutionary scheme unless we can find a universal constant,because without it we cannot accurately measure or time anything else. The Big-K, as this kilogram has been called, has failed us in the end. We could not rely upon it to be constant! R.I.P.!
How we play the shell game. Even a grade schooler who is interested in science can watch our entire cosmological paradigm crumble into chaos (pardon the pun). Measurement and definition are everything. So, the world’s best metrical minds came together in 2018 and proposed a beautiful marriage between science and philosophy.[iii]In their words (not mine), we needed a constant. After considering alternatives, they married the size of the kilogram to a mathematical equation called the Planck Constant. This is because “once we know the value of the Planck Constant and fix it forever,” we can permanently assign the proper measure to our new kilogram. We’ll call this new arrival Baby K! The weight of our newborn is to be assigned by observing the characteristics of the atoms in the element cesium relative to the speed of light[iv].
Now the problem is this. Our new kilogram has done nothing more than kicking the can down the road. We made the same mistake Einstein made when he arbitrarily inserted the lambda factor into his equation (an act for which he later repented in sackcloth and ashes). This fudge factor accommodated the assumed premise of a singular constant extant within the universe, the foundation of all uniformitarian thought (2 Peter 3:3). The reader needs to understand that theoretical (usually philosophical) scientists are still desperately trying to rescue poor Einstein from his dilemma![v]This represents the stuff of another discussion. The point is that we simply have not found a constant within the universe. The Planck Constant (so-called) is based on a dualistic assumption, a premise that neither the speed of light nor the element cesium changes! And yet, neither has been shown not to change![vi] The Planck Constant simply does not exist. It is a uniformitarian philosophical conjecture. Science has been mulling on this ancient problem since the days of the Stoics.[vii]
So, how did we kick the can down the road with Baby K? Let’s dig out the little red wagon from our childhood and plop a one-kilogram cube (K-cube) on it and store it away for future reference. After a hundred years we discover it has changed in volume. Our solution? We will break our cube into fifty equally sized parts. We will then break each of those fifty cubes into fifty more. We will do this again and again until we have reached an inconceivably small cube. Then (and here’s where we work our magic), we will take the smallest particle into which we can divide our cubes and multiply its size by the exact number of times we performed the operation and voila!, we now have an infinitely more accurate K-cube! No, folks! Nothing has changed except the size of the first piece from which we took our first measurement. The smallest particle of that cube is just as subject to change as the original cube!
Did shifting to this theoretical Planck Constant help us technologically? Yes! We can now measure things more closely with Baby K than we could with Old Man K. We are more articulate in the same sense as defining a hand as 4 inches helps us measure a horse more accurately. But was any new discovery made? Absolutely not. We never solved the issue of change. This is because we have never found the “constant” in the so-called Planck Constant!
Why this matters biblically. The Bible is clear in its first cosmological principle: Jesus Christ is the “Constant” by which our universe functions (Colossians 1:16,17). He permeates His creation, but He is not a part of it[viii]. He did not imbue an aspect of immutability into the creation (as Friar Aquinas claimed[ix]). He simply carries all the cosmological processes forward as He matures the universe toward its final consummation in accordance with His plan. (Read all of Hebrews 1, and especially Hebrews 1:3, and 1:10-13.) Jesus Christ upholds (Gr.: phero / carries forward) the universe and He matures it simultaneously. Of course, the so-called laws of the universe are exquisitely consistent, and that is because our Savior is consistent. However, they are not inherently constant. Has our Lord demonstrated this marvelous ability to carry the laws of nature forward and to interrupt and adjust them at His will? The Bible is replete with arguments to this effect with commonly documented signs in the universe and local miracles.
Is there a problem with seeking a smaller unit of measurement to carry out our scientific pursuits in a more accurate manner? The answer is, of course not. Our problem arises when we use this exercise to subtly propagate the illusion that the universe is self-interpretable, is constant and reliable within itself, and is governed by its own inherent laws. At that point, we have usurped the Word and authority of the One who created and carries forward this marvelous universe.
Now, here is the cosmological dilemma. The wonderful cosmological platform of heaven and earth was lovingly created by this Lord who wants to nourish us and reconcile us to Himself. He entered this very creation in human flesh to provide Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. Jesus Christ is the One with whom we must reconcile both our minds and our hearts. He is the Big-C of the universe. However, He does not leave us an option. Just as Christ alone drives the universe forward, this same Christ insists that He alone is the only true way to God. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6. All roads do not lead to Rome and all religions most certainly do not lead to God. This is because salvation from our sin and its consequence can never be found in a creed or a religion. It is found in a person, and this Person freely and openly invites to come unto Him today. For more information on the gospel, visit us at StandingTrue.com.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” - Romans 10:9,10 in the Bible.
[i]While other units of measurement were also altered at this time, we will content ourselves with looking at the kilogram.
[vii]See James Steel’s New Ecumenism video series from StandingTrue.com. In particular, notice this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L01fO3Pby2o&feature=youtu.be
[viii]The Bible rejects both pantheism and the wildly popular panentheism that has infiltrated Christian thought.
[ix] Victor McCallister from GodsRiddle.org comments: “Scientists use Friar Thomas’ metaphysics as dogma. Their standard second depends on ‘the all things remain the same’ dogma, as does the standard meter. In fact, they define each other in a circle. Yet, we can directly compare the clock rate of distant atoms, clear to the creation era. Atoms consistently blue shift, the closer they shine from Earth.”