Refuting Atheists, Yet Again.
Atheist ‘uktelemacher’ has posted this video as a response to my previous blog post where I tried to refute Hawking’s statement that the universe could create itself from nothing. My refutation is below the video.
Oh, where to begin.
I didn’t think this video would have any substance after opening with the strawman that the Genesis account is a ridiculous explanation of how the universe came to be. Yes, we know some people take the apple and the snake quite literally, but this emotional plea against the egregious ignorance of a few dim-wits is quite obviously a tempest in a teapot that will be a waste of 2 brain cells to try to address.
Somewhere near the beginning of the video, I was given some idea as to what kind of dishonesty and/or ignorance I would be dealing with; the lady in the video mocks Craig for contradicting himself in denying the existence of an actual infinite, in virtue of the logical contradictions such will necessarily impose (see Hilbert’s paradox), yet gleefully describing the initial singularity, which allegedly supports the premise of the KCA, as a “state of infinite density”. Presumably, video lady means that one cannot deny an infinite regress while
accepting infinite density; is the concept of infinity logically coherent or not. Oh that Craig, wants to have his denial of infinite regress cake and eat his infinite density too! Unfortunately for the lady, when something is infinitely dense,
it simply means that its measurements are zero; infinite density means “nothing”. And this is exactly what the KCA aims to show; a creation ex nihilo via God. So, no, no contradiction there, lady.
Lady in video then accuses proponents of the KCA of engaging in wordplay; she makes the old retarded claim that if everything has a cause, then God must have a cause. She then accuses apologists of arbitrarily defining God as an uncaused entity to escape the first premise of the KCA. But this is ridiculous on its face; no one is arbitrarily assigning powers to God as one would see fit; we are talking about the Christian God here who is definitionally omnipotent; this isn’t about my action figure being better than yours; God, if He were to exist, would be by
definition, uncaused. So this particular tripe can only obviously be owed to her philosophical misapprehension of that which she tries to argue against.
Then, video lady says that, as far as up-to-date cosmology is concerned, the singularity doesn’t have much evidence going for it, which leads most cosmologists to adopt other theories such as loop quantum gravity (or string theory), which does away with the singularity and posits the idea of a big-bounce –the idea of an oscillatory universe where the first cosmological event is a remnant of the previous universe’s collapse. But the Borde- Guth-Vilenkin theorem already answers this by saying that, even if our universe was in fact an oscillating one and can inflate eternally to the future, it cannot do so infinitely to the past. There has to be some point where it began. Video lady tries to
circumvent this, rather disingenuously it seems, by misquoting Alan Guth as saying that an infinite inflation towards the past was possible. Mr. Guth, although himself an atheist, has made it quite clear that an absolute beginning of the universe (or multiverse, if you prefer) would be inescapable on the theorem.
She again quotes Mr. Guth in his book as saying that a causeless creation ex nihilo was possible, but let’s not forget that this “nihilo” is nothing short of Hawking’s; an ocean of fluctuating quantum energy still governed by descriptive laws –which I’ve argued is hardly a “nihilo”. In fact Guth writes in his own book
— a part which was interestingly ignored by video lady– “and yet the state of nothingness cannot be identified with absolute nothingness” (maybe because an ocean of fluctuating quantum energy governed by physical laws is STILL required, perhaps?).
Even if video lady is right that Quantum loop theory or another such theory –which has yet to be proven or even shown to be likely true– is able to do away with the singularity, this in no way refutes any of the premises in the KCA simply because it does not give us solutions to the logical incoherence of an actual infinity. It in no way shows that things can go existing uncaused.
Video lady then says that we have no reason to trust our intuitions when it comes to quantum particles, like we normally do for things at the macro level. Presumably, this was again to imply that quantum particles are able to, unlike objects at the macro level, pop into existence uncaused. But, again, this is false on account of quantum particles only able to pop into existence out of pre-existing material, i.e, fluctuating quantum energy and physical laws. Why she cant seem to grasp this is beyond mind-boggling. She then shows a video where Richard Feynman says that particles on the quantum level behave differently from objects at more macro levels — and it’s supposed to be some wonderfully new thing that invalidates the first premise of the KCA. But rather than solidify her point, it just ends up repeating the same ignorant assertion that
somethings can exist uncaused. Again, until video lady can show us good arguments for us to distrust our modal intuitions about existing things needing a cause for their existence, then it seems to me we have prima facie evidence –that’s confirmed by human experience– to do the exact opposite.
To sum up: I see no sound refutation of any of the premises of the KCA. I see no solutions to the logical incoherence of an actual infinity. What I do see are some sloppily constructed strawmen and red herrings. Therefore, the KCA, in my mind, stands unrefuted.
Oh yeah, it’s hardly any surprise many cosmologists who’ve been quoted by Craig, or other apologists, don’t agree with divine explanations of the origins of the universe. Since science needs to presuppose naturalism when using the scientific methodology, it isn’t a surprise a lot of scientists have been pushed towards adopting naturalism itself as a philosophy. This does not obviate apologist’s use of their theories as evidence for theism. To argue otherwise would be to run smack, head first, onto a fallacy.