William lane craig arguments

(Luca) #102

What is your argument called?


“Although the singularity theorems of Penrose and myself, predicted that the universe had a beginning, they didn’t say how it had begun. The equations of General Relativity would break down at the singularity. Thus Einstein’s theory cannot predict how the universe will begin, but only how it will evolve once it has begun.”–Stephen Hawking


“The observation that the universe is expanding does imply a beginning, because if we extrapolate backward, then at some point in the distant past, everything in our observable universe was co-located at a single point. At that instant, which now goes by the name of the Big Bang, the laws of physics as we know them break down, because general relativity, which describes gravity, cannot be successfully integrated with quantum mechanics, which describes physics on microscopic length scales. But most scientists do not view this as a fundamental boundary to knowledge, because we expect that general relativity will have to be modified as part of a consistent quantum theory. String theory is one of the major ongoing efforts to do so.”–Lawrence Krauss

It would seem that scientists disagree with you.

(Luca) #105

Can you tell me what he is saying in an easier form?
If there is an easier form :rofl:
Edit: He is lawrence krauss.

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #106

Again the question is Did the universe have a Beginning which means for the universe, did it begin with time and space (not in time and space) or out of absolute Nothing?

The answer is Yes, according to the Big Bang Theory. If you want to say that science says that the universe had no natural Source, but its Source is not God that is your prerogative. If you want to be agnostic about the Source of the universe you can do that too.

However it seems to me that you cannot say that science does not support the fact that the universe arose out of absolutely nothing which is what you have been saying. .


Or, did it start out of something but without space and time. The fact that we can’t don’t know which scenario is true kind of punches a hole in your argument dealing with the theory of relativity. As Hawking states, the theory of general relativity can only describe how the universe evolved after the Big Bang. It may be incorrect to extrapolate to the era prior to the Big Bang using relativity.


From my understanding, the theory of general relativity predicts that there would have been infinite density and infinite gravity at the beginning of the universe. What we know from quantum mechanics is that this didn’t occur. Therefore, the theory of general relativity is incomplete as it applies to very tiny distances and will need to be adjusted so that relativity and quantum mechanics work together. This is what Krauss is referring to when he talks about quantum gravity and string theory which are attempts at getting relativity and quantum mechanics to work together.

(Luca) #109

Is general relativity used in the kalam argument?


I would say that it isn’t. The Kalam argument starts with the premise that the universe had a beginning and really doesn’t get into the physics dealing with the Big Bang.

(Luca) #111

I understand thanks!

(Roger A. Sawtelle) #112


You still do not get the point. Einstein’s General Relativity gets us from today back to the Beginning, which is the singularity out of nothing. It does not go beyond the Beginning, but it does say that matter, energy, time, and space were all created at the very some time, in the Beginning which strongly indicates that the universe has a supernatural Source. I wasn’t there to see it so I don’t know for sure.

Einstein’s Theory “cannot be successfully integrated with quantum mechanics, which describes physics on microscopic length scales. But most scientists do not view this as a fundamental boundary to knowledge, because we expect that general relativity will have to be modified as part of a consistent quantum theory.” Quote from Lawrence Kraus submitted by @T_aquaticus

There is a contradiction here in that he says the two views cannot be integrated, and then says that have not been integrated. This could be a minor problem, but there is no indication that it interferes with what I am saying, because the Big Bang is clear that it is the Beginning of the universe.


As far as I am aware, there is pretty definitive evidence that the universe began to exist. I.e., for example, the BGV Theorem. In my opinion the eternal universe is something to finally give up on.

As I said, if the reasoning for the existence of God is as provided in the Kalam, I think the question is wholly justified. I watched the video already (Juan posted it above, and I specifically used this language for that reason.)

I’m simply going to disagree. The only reason why the universe needs a cause is because it ‘began to exist’ according to the KCA. But God never began to exist, so by what function can one apply the idea of causation for God? And remember, the entire reason why atheists want to claim that the universe has always existed is that so they can evade having to explain its cause, because if the universe always existed, it would be senseless for it to be caused. When would it have been caused? Same with God.


I see. I think I can conflate probability with statistics. The reason why on ‘that day’ is pretty simple – that’s when the particle appeared outside of the range of the strong force. It’s all random movement. If you fire a bullet at one direction in space, it might take X amount of time before it hit something. In another direction, it could take a completely different amount of time before it hit something. In the end, nothing occurred that didn’t have a cause. The same with radioactive decay – it can be boiled down to probability and statistics, and in the end of the day, nothing occurred in the atom that can’t be causally explained. The only question is “why did it happen today instead of yesterday? or tomorrow?” and I understand the question. But is such a question even valid?

And my last objection would be that this is quantum mechanics. So, even if the evidence as I see it is actually all wrong (as I see it, the evidence clearly says nothing occurred in the atom that I cannot causally explain), then the argument would remain futile as quantum mechanics, by its nature, cannot explain the beginning of spacetime, since it itself only takes place in spacetime and wouldn’t exist outside of it.

I’m a biology guy, but the classic book on the subject are “The Dancing Wu Li Masters: An Overview of the New Physics” by Gary Zukav which gets a bit into Buddhism, but not annoyingly so. I also enjoyed “Hyperspace” by Michio Kaku.


(GJDS) #115

I agree we are all fascinated by the question of a beginning of the universe. My main pushback to the atheist’s position is the way they blur the distinction between accepted science and speculation. For example, everyone is willing to discuss an age of the universe based on observation, and yet many refuse to accept this requires a t=0, or a beginning.

So I am inclined to view some arguments as ideologically driven - that is forced by some atheists as a means to claim science is somehow against God as creator.

The acceptable position for both theists and atheists is that we do not know beyond what science may demonstrate. From this point, theists accept science cannot say much, and our faith is in harmony with what we know.

Atheists may simply say they cannot accept God as Creator, and they therefor look elsewhere, and seek speculative science for answers.

(John Dalton) #116

From what I’ve seen, there is considerable difference of opinion about that. We seem to know pretty clearly that this universe began. What it came from is another question which I have not seen a conclusive answer to. We don’t have the knowledge of the totality of our reality needed to eliminate the possibility in your last sentence above, or make many other determinations. Put in other words, if the universe began as part of a larger physical reality, than the first premise doesn’t actually apply to the universe itself. We’d have to consider how the larger physical reality arose, or if it were eternal.

To me, the universe hasn’t been shown to “begin to exist from not a material state”. I don’t see how we have the information to exclude this possibility from our physical reality. Nor has it been shown that anything can exist eternally. On what basis is anyone saying that it is possible for something to exist without a creator, while simultaneously asserting that other things must have a creator? That’s a mouthful, so “who created God” works in a pinch in my opinion. If you were to simply assert that “the God of the universe is timeless, etc.”, I agree that the question would be pointless in response. However, if you seek to support the idea by suggesting that some things must be created, while making God exempt from that, all with insufficient evidence, then I believe that it is entirely proper to ask it.

And remember, the entire reason why atheists want to claim that the universe has always existed is that so they can evade having to explain its cause, because if the universe always existed, it would be senseless for it to be caused. When would it have been caused? Same with God.

To be clear, I’m not claiming that–I’m entirely agnostic about the question. I don’t think anyone has the knowledge to make such definite claims, which is my motivation for mentioning the possibility of the idea.

(GJDS) #117

If we accept a beginning, that sets the space-time as a commencement - I need to emphasise this, because if I take your statement at face value, the “what” you refer to would need to be “something” at or before t=0 (or before we can contemplate a space-time).

I cannot see how you would get past this difficulty; seeking an infinite number of beginnings and ends to a universe of some sort (if this is an alternative) makes no sense.

(John Dalton) #118

That’s my impression of the opinion of scientists from reading about the issue. If things were as you say here, then there would be general agreement that the universe arose from nothing at t=0. That does not seem to be even close to being the case.

I don’t see how any of it makes much sense. A physical reality that has simply existed for all time? A non-physical creative force of whatever kind that has simply existed for all time? Either one popping out of nothing for no reason? An endless series, an infinite reality, etc. It’s take your choice, really. My view is that the true face of the situation is certainly beyond our current understanding and probably unfathomable. I don’t blame anyone for trying to reach a more definite conclusion, but suggestions that things are more definite then they seem to be get my typing fingers going :slight_smile:

(Vlad K. I'm an Agnostic Atheist) #119

Carl Sagan said that if you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe. Its a profound and true statement. For example, I can say that when I made a car, I caused it to exist, but did I really? I made a car from various parts, that were, in turn, made from parts taken from the ground, which was, in turn, made by the Universe.

So, I did not really cause the car to exist by making it, I just reassembled various parts made by the Universe.


Nope. It just gets us back to the singularity. Period. It doesn’t say that the singularity had to come from nothing.


Atheists such as myself view t=0 as speculation. It implies that spacetime started at that point, and it may not be true.

“There is something of a paradox in the way that cosmologists traditionally talk about the Big Bang. They will go to great effort to explain how the Bang was the beginning of space and time, that there is no “before” or “outside,” and that the universe was (conceivably) infinitely big the very moment it came into existence, so that the pasts of distant points in our current universe are strictly non-overlapping. All of which, of course, is pure moonshine. When they choose to be more careful, these cosmologists might say “Of course we don’t know for sure, but…” Which is true, but it’s stronger than that: the truth is, we have no good reasons to believe that those statements are actually true, and some pretty good reasons to doubt them.”–Sean Carroll

I would hope by now that you know that I am not anti-theist, nor do I have a dogmatic restriction against accepting that God could be the creator. Instetad, I try hard to figure out what we are ignorant of and try not to make strong claims in areas that have we have very little to no knowledge. I don’t doubt that there are atheists who are just as you describe, but we are hardly a homogenous group.