|WMAP Cosmic Microwave Background Map - NASA|
I've seen one argument in particular cropping up lately, as I cruise for my daily fix of the nerdish in arguments over differing cosmologies. The argument is particularly prevalent among Young Earth Creationists in "debate" (which it can only loosely be called) with those who consider modern cosmology to be accurate, though it is by no means their invention, nor is it their sole province. The argument goes something like this:
Party A: You believe that the Big Bang began the universe, so what caused the big bang? or You believe that life began from nothing, so how did life begin?
Party B: The big bang "began" when a quantum singularity that contained all matter and energy in the universe began to expand. or Life began with the first self-replicating molecular systems.
Almost invariably, either no answer or the above justifications are given. Party A then declares that the answer (either involving the term unknown, or not existing), is not really an answer. Science doesn't know that, and therefore, science is thoroughly flawed, and should be discarded to the limits of whatever Party A's cosmology considers. Party A considers themselves to have won the debate in that instance, and therefore patiently waits for an act of contrition and conversion from Party B.
However, an answer was given. "I don't know yet" is an acceptable answer in science. If it wasn't, there would be no more scientists, and no call for multi-million dollar or even multi-billion dollar projects like the CERN LHC or the International Space Station. Saying that "Science is wrong about X, therefore they cannot possibly know about Y" is a little bit like saying "Modern Medicine cannot treat prion diseases effectively, therefore it cannot assess nutritional impacts, either"... which, by the way, is an actual argument I've had to counter.
There are so many things wrong with this argument, that you could write a book on it. For one thing, assuming that God must be the answer to question X, stated or otherwise, is an appeal to tradition. It presupposes a need for intervention in natural systems for certain things to take place. That, as a viewpoint, is fine, if you are some manner of determinist, but even then, it applies only to philosophy. Science has determined that there are physical laws at the mechanical and quantum level. It has determined the value of the bulk of those laws, and it has determined a sort of backward-forecast of the early universe, by looking at the modern evidence in light of those laws. You cannot expect science to tell you what happened before there was a physical universe for it to operate in, any more than you can point a calculator at the wall and ask it what colour it is.