the best argument in favor of the thesis that the Big Bang supports
theism is the obvious unease with which it is greeted by some atheist
Well, wrong on all counts.The idea of something existing before time is merely amusing like all self-contradictory statements, as "before" is a category which presupposes an arrow of time. So everything said about that period of Not-time is highly speculative. You can populate it with all kinds of imaginary beings, be it Brahma or YHV, his bastard son (conceived and born out of wedlock, if the reports are true) and a person symbolizing the immaterial Greek logos.Of course such stuff can't be refuted, except by the inane "Were you there?". I'd prefer Wittgenstein's,"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent."
My goodness, you must live on energy drinks. It wore me out reading your comments. I apologize for not reading them all. After the first eight or nine I saw that they were pretty much all the same. I also looked at your blog and I am so sorry that you had to watch your mother suffer so. I was with my mother as well, when she died. It's a profound experience, one I'm glad that I didn't miss. Although my mother didn't have to endure such misery. Again, I'm sorry for your loss.Good luck on your journey.
I live on very good Thai food and fruit juice, am a fast typer, and live in a different time zone. And I'm retired. No doping involved.As for writing "much all the same", well, as an exercise in patience I was replying to 37 of your snippets of Xian standard woo, of a rather limited breadth. There weren't many original themes to converse about. So it seems I mirrored your repetitiveness.Strange, isn't it? You write a blog, and when someone replies, you complain. Not that one could say that you get an awful lot of response...Thanks for the condolences on my Mum's death in 2010. Like you, I was glad to be beide her, to watch her wither away, and give back all the motherly care she had towards me. All her children are atheists, but we gave her a Catholic burial, because that was what she wanted. You know, contrary to those tales of persecution, atheists have no problem condoning religious ceremonies for those who want them, as long as they don't interfere with other people's rights.We don't want them for ourselves, we don't want them to be obligatory for non-believers, but if you want to be cremated beside river Ganga - be my guest.
Steff, I'm curious, why do you care what I believe? Wouldn't you be better off trying to find even one "proof" that this could be a material universe? That always puzzles me about atheists. I mean, that's what I would want if I was in your position. Evidence. Support. Findings of science that would say, "Look! Here's how we know that this is a material universe only.It seems as though atheists have such a low "good enough" threshold that they say to themselves, "Well I know that there isn't any physical evidence indicating that matter has always existed or that matter can create itself, in fact the evidence points away from these things. But I'm a believer in materialism and even though there isn't any evidence right now for what I believe, I will wait (or even die waiting) until it IS discovered LEST I make the mistake of appealing to god of the gaps."Don't you think that's odd?
Finally something like a conversation! Wonderful. (1)Why do I care what you believe?Well... actually I do not care what you believe. I have a certain anthropological interest in religions, as I've lived and worked in some religious countries, namely India (Hindu), Pakistan and Indonesia (Muslim), Sri Lanka and Thailand(Buddhist), and Singapore, which is a mixture of all these religions plus Christians. You write a blog about atheists, and, being one, I try to correct factual errors and misinterpretations. I really don't want to know if you're Baptist, Anabaptist, Revivalist or whatnot. The diversity especially of the protestant part of Christianity makes such questions pretty difficult.(2) "Wouldn't you be better off trying to find even one "proof" that this could be a material universe?Why should I? All I see are material phenomena, even such Aristotelian mysteries like magnetism and electricity. As an IT man, I know a bit about physics, especially the "invisible parts". There is no supernatural force involved in those tiny hi-tech gadgets we all use.My approach is practical: confront me with a real problem, and I'll solve it by thinking, testing, and experimenting. Up to now, and that's something I share with the scientific community, I did not have to invoke supernatural powers to get a gadget running. I mean, of course I have watched people scolding their iPhones, and praying that their printer do their bidding. But the problems they were trying to solve with such appeal to the supernatural were, in fact, physical things like an empty battery or a disconnected cable.I must say that I'm pretty disinterested in finding a proof that the material universe exists, and can be manipulated by physical means. Until now it's always been that way. In fact it is you who says it is otherwise, and I still have to see a simple shred of evidence (much less proof) for that.What brings you to the position that a world that works perfectly after matter rules, has in fact a superstructure that looks rather primitive, feudal, and iron-age. I mean, in our daily lives, we've abolished kings and such dictators, because they often are wrong, and it's better to rationally produce a consent.(3)I really don't want to accuse you of fallacies, but in my universe, he who says that something exists has the burden of proof. There is abundant evidence that the universe is material. You say, there is more to it than that - OK, prove it.(4) I must say, I'm pretty disinterested in the question if matter is eternal or not. It's of no practical value. I've read a bit about the intricacies of such innocent sounding notions like "everything" and "nothing", and it made me very cautious towards the use of those words. It seems that you should get a bit of a deeper understanding. The notion Nothing is especially tricky, when used in another sense that "there is nothing on the table". Which is a perfectly wrong statement, regarding the atmospheric pressure of all the gas molecules above the table, the pressure of photons from sol, gamma rays from far away. So the idea of there being nothing at all - although intuitively imaginable - is not something we can observe. This is a problem for rather specialized physicists, who come up with different explanations. Then someone runs a big collider, and one or the other theory collapses.(5) It seems to be a matter of honesty. I can live with the idea that I don't know what happened 15 point something billion years ago. I can live with such a vacuum, and can afford to patiently wait until some group of cosmogonists comes up with an answer, and don't have to fill it with fantasies.Enough for tonight, it's already 2:45 am.
“Well... actually I do not care what you believe.” Mmm, it doesn't seem that way when you mock the most important thing in my life. =====I really don't want to know . . .”Well, I'll give you some background anyway so you have a bit of a feel for who you're talking with. I'm a follower of Jesus who attends a protestant congregation. Denomination is not important to me as long as it holds the Bible as authoritative for relationships, both with others and with Creator God. I'm certainly conservative, fundamentalist (my definition) and evangelical. I tend to be an asshole, and combative, but you could already see that by my blog posts. I'm a retired (since 2001) marriage and family therapist who considers himself to be a high functioning sociopath. That means that it takes a lot of effort to be nice, or to not offend people when they purposely mock things that I care about. I've endured years of childhood physical and sexual abuse, fifty years of crippling arthritis, the death of our only biological child, several bouts of cancer, and five major surgeries. I've been in a relationship with Wendy for 45 years, married for 40. I'm a retired (since 2001) marriage and family therapist. I still do pro bono work (average three to seven clients a week). My wife and I are raising 7 special needs adopted children, 5 are still at home, so my time is limited. Nevertheless, I'm up for a talk with you - for awhile - if you like.=====Why should I? It just seems like something that an intelligent person would want. As you say, you're a fixer, someone interested in science, and as you know, science is nothing if not a search for cause.====="All I see are material phenomena," All you “recognize” are material phenomena. I think you say in one of your comments on a different post that “God has been eliminated from almost every area of life,” or something to that effect. You might have even used lightening / electricity as an example. The thing is Steff, God hasn't been eliminated from anything. Without God placing everything (laws of logic, mathematics and physics) as they need to be at Planck time, not only wouldn't there be electrical charge, without Creator God there wouldn't be any universe. When you say you haven't seen a shred of evidence, you are simply not aware that your materialist world-view keeps you from recognizing evidence for what it is. =====“What brings you to the position that a world that works perfectly after matter rules, has in fact a superstructure that looks rather primitive, feudal, and iron-age. I mean, in our daily lives, we've abolished kings and such dictators, because they often are wrong, and it's better to rationally produce a consent.”I don't know what that paragraph means. See if you can explain it to me without being patronizing. It's good practice.
(1)Well, Rod, thanks for the bio info.I guessed much of it from what you say in the other blog of yours. There are interesting parallels, by the way, I've been battling cancer for twelve years now, and work three month a year pro bono with Cambodian street kids in Phnom Penh.(2)I have to excuse my sloppy language. What I wanted to say was that, seen from a point outside Christianity, all the denominational differentiation is rather meaningless, and that my replies are not aimed at your conversion. Like you. I'm more preaching to the lurkers, the occasional reader. Like in that old form of scientific presentation, the discourse.(3)You say I'm mocking the most important thing in your life. Well, I must say that the existence or not-existence of whatever deity (and I was confronted with quite a lot of different ones) is pretty far down my list of priorities. Far behind caring for my family, my people, even humanity. In all practical things western people behave, as Nietzsche already observed over a hundred years ago, as if god were dead. We don't expect him to interfere in our everyday lives.I've seen different in India and especially Bali, where the devout will bring daily offerings to the demons who - in their world view - keep the bridge or other infrastructure intact, and decide over economic success. It's still done.But not so in my world, where we employ engineers whom we trust. And in fact, the rate of falling bridges tends to be a little in favor of the engineering fraction.I mention this only as an example of people for whom "the invisible" is full of forces which cannot be understood, only appeased by daily care and offerings. In their life, gods are omnipresent. and they ask the same question as you: How can one not see the gods?These are people ( gentle, polite, friendly, and excellent farmers)who behave like their gods live, every moment of their life.Unfortunately they weren't so successful in developing medical treatment, they had to adopt it from foreigners who boldly researched all the mysteries ascribed to the action of gods. They are practical people, and have a good health system. So, as far as health is concerned, they will not burn some incense, but drive their sick to the next hospital instead, just as western people do. That is a point where once the gods (and priests)were exclusively responsible, and now it's the doctors. This I mean by "gods in gaps". Their natural habitat, the gaps, get smaller.
4)"Without God placing everything (laws of logic, mathematics and physics) as they need to be at Planck time, not only wouldn't there be electrical charge, without Creator God there wouldn't be any universe"Rubbish. The Planck time unit is a formula that relates the gravitational constant G, the relativity constant c, and the quantum constant h in such a way as to produce a (very short)time unit. There are no laws of physics contained in that formula. All those constants are the result of measurements.You play the old canard of the "strong Anthropic principle": "As we're here, the universe must have been made for us. There are other universes with other natural laws thinkable, in which our life would be impossible, so someone must love us and have chosen to create this universe."That is, excuse the strong words, Kindergarten logic.We can only live in this universe. In another universe with different constants, we would not exist to notice it. Maybe someone else - it can't be known. We only know this universe.Now, it can really not be said that the universe - approximately 4x10 to the 22nd suns and at least as many planets is a "life-friendly" place because we can inhabit about a third of one tiny planet's surface. The rest is merely vacuum and extremely hostile to life, full of deadly radiation, catastrophes and eruptions.I would not expect otherwise from a product of a random process, but for you, as a believer in a benevolent loving god, it should pose a problem.(5)My last paragraph... Now come on, you can't be as naive as you pretend.I'm a child of the Kantian enlightenment, and thus my motto is "non serviam". No king above me, no ultimate authority, no submission under a will. Instead elected officials, separation of powers, checks & balances, rational discourse, lawful contracts which bind both parties, and can be checked rationally.In other words, a secular society.And there is no place for an absolutist Lord to whom (or better: to whose followers) I have to submit. Absolutism is always wrong. Now, I will by no means interfere with the spiritual gymnastics of someone who practices Yoga, Meditation, or prayer. Whereby I use the word gymnastics in a positive, sportive way. It's pretty unimportant how one manages to blend out everyday noise and get into a clearer state of mind. If that is what you mean by religion, wonderful.But, sadly, religious practice is not confined to such.
"There is abundant evidence that the universe is material." Yes but there is zero evidence that a material universe can bring itself into existence out of nothing.=====“You say, there is more to it than that - OK, prove it.”I can't do it. Not to someone in your spiritual state. Your Creator says that we must first repent before he will reveal Himself to us. It's His way or no way.===="I must say, I'm pretty disinterested in the question if matter is eternal or not. It's of no practical value." So if:Either matter is eternal ORThe Creator of matter is eternalis a false dichotomy, what other options are there?====="Then someone runs a big collider, and one or the other theory collapses."Anyone in the Higgs Bossen crowd knows they are not and will never be working with “nothing.” Are you familiar with the Borde, Guthe Vilenkin Theorem? These men, every one an atheist, say they've proven that any expanding universe, be it ours or ones that are theoretical like the dozen or so Atheist Origin of the Universe Mythologies require a definitive space / time boundary, a beginning, a Big Bang creation event. Vilenkin describes “nothing” by saying that until the Singularity, the universe had a radius of zero. No electrons, no quantum particles, no vacuum (which is far from nothing) Literally nothing existed. Does it make any difference to you when it's an atheist who gives you this evidence? Or does this evidence still mean nothing to you? ====="I can live with the idea that I don't know what happened . . .”I'd describe that as believing atheism by faith. And that is what seems amazing to me; that atheists are satisfied with that. It's certainly easier to live like that than some sort of obsession but . . .
I wrote: if there is more to it than that - OK, prove it.”You reply:"I can't do it. Not to someone in your spiritual state". I can assure you that, after years of analyse my mind state is absolutely OK. It's only that if I hear someone say there is proof for something unusual, I usually want to see it.If the answer is: "believe first, before I tell you the arguments", then, sorry, that's not even evidence. It's hot air. And I've heard it from at least three other major religions. "Believe in my irrational stuff as truer than science, but not in theirs"So if:Either matter is eternal ORThe Creator of matter is eternalis a false dichotomy, what other options are there?You lose me there. Sounds surrealistic to me, Dada lyrics. Matter has been in existence (with more or less the same properties) for a pretty long time. It's very likely that this will continue for the foreseeable future.You like to tote those philosophical absolutes around as if they were proof for anything. Nothing, Everything, eternal, omnipotent... that's just pretentious stuff. Half the children whom I care for in Phnom Penh have missing feet and legs. That is something important. A good prostheses maker is , a guy from California who donates a months pay every year is. Not what happened in the year -15,600,000,000 BCE.
Oh, Rod, another one of that Craig fallacies...(1)Few Physicists are truly "familiar" with the intricacies of the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem, note my correct spelling. It's pretty complicated, and, as far as I can see, just another one of the legion of hypothesis about the first microseconds of the big Bang. Craig uses it as if it were scientific consensus, which it is not. A false appeal to authority.(2)But even if it were like you presume, and there really was a point in time when there was truly nothing.What makes Craig think that this transition from nothing to everything needs a cause? I mean, going back in time to the great bang, we've spent the last two seconds in a pretty small universe governed by quantum mechanics, which is pretty counter-intuitive, and by no means linear and causal. So why should the transition from nothing to everything need an outside cause? At a point where no physical laws exist, no constants are fixed, no space, no time? Causation is something that needs a fully developed physics that allows for it. Causation is a physical concept. No physics, no laws, no causation possible. (3)Remember: truly nothing, not nothing plus a creator, as Craig postulates. But even if there were a point when there was nothing, and that nothingness needed some kind of impulse to become everything, why should that be an act of "creation"? Does the mountaineer "create" an avalanche? No. An avalanche follows pretty simple rules of development, which the mountaineer doesn't have to know. He just triggers it off. Snow in the mountains is an avalanche in waiting. So, the same might be true for that Nothingness that you like so much. Nothingness might just as well be a universe in waiting. That's as valid a theorem as the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin one. Look it up.(4)Lastly, even if there was a causateur, then surely not YHV, who gives a totally different account of how he did it all. Surely not quantum mechanics, big bang, etc. He starts hovering over the waters. So whatever he did, it presupposes the existence of H2O, something that happened on earth about 11 billion years after the big bang.I've never understood why fundagelicals jump on that big bang as proof for their god, who claims to have made the earth in 6 days. It's such a different story... You see, even if all that causation business were true, and a cause were needed, and that cause were something not-physical, then it might point to something vaguely deist, a principle, whatever.Not to desert dweller folklore gagged up with a savior, heaven & hell, and a basically animistic personalized logos.Now, a deistic deity doesn't interfere, doesn't want reverence, doesn't prescribe bodily mutilation, does not judge or condemn.For all practical reasons, a deistic god can be treated as non-existent. You know, like Spinoza's. I'm satisfied with that. As I said, gods are pretty deep down my to-do list.
“and work three month a year pro bono with Cambodian street kids in Phnom Penh.” I see below, your reference to missing limbs of the street kids. What is the cause of that? And beyond that, are the issues of street kids there, far different than those of street kids here?====="Far behind caring for my family, my people, even humanity." Ya, I used to be like that. Those who are “forced” to interact with me are very grateful that Jesus changed me. I'm not suggesting that you're an awful person. I'm saying that I was a much worse human being in my pre Christian days. Like the saying goes, “I'm not who I should be, and I'm not who I'm going to be. But thanks to God alone, I'm not who I used to be.”=====“and they ask the same question as you: How can one not see the gods?” So what does that mean to you? An analogy for what I've heard from previous atheists is, Because there are millions of knock-off Rolex watches, therefore there aren't any genuine Rolex watches. Because there are trillions in counterfeit currency, there isn't any real currency. Because some beliefs are false, all beliefs must be false, except atheism of course.You haven't noticed anything new, you know. These other religions make up a large part of Biblical discourse. Just because you or I believe something doesn't make it true. We must examine what's before us. ====="You play the old canard of the "strong Anthropic principle":" I'd say so, yes. Besides the fine-tuning that you allude to, I find this example helpful. Imagine an aircraft carrier weighing 100,000 tonnes. If the weight of the ship was balanced to 10 ^ 1,230 (the cosmological constant) it could not be off by more than billionth of a trillionth of the mass of a single ELECTRON on one side or the other, or the ship would capsize. Your calling it a canard reminds me of Richard Dawkins' comment that the universe is “more or less finely tuned.” Ya, more or less. Eisnstein says it better, “The incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it's comprehensible.” =====a "life-friendly" place because we can inhabit about a third of one tiny planet's surface. I didn't say life friendly. I said, life-supporting. ====="I would not expect otherwise from a product of a random process, but for you, as a believer in a benevolent loving god, it should pose a problem." Not at all. As you've already stated, If the universe was any different, we would not be here to observe it. And to brush that off as not important, the fact that everything required for the universe to be like this was in place at Planck time, well, I disagree. I think it's far more of a problem for the materialist. Matter doesn't do anything that the physical laws don't demand that it does.=====
(1)I live in Bangkok, Thailand, so Phnom Penh, Cambodia is just around the corner. I got in contact with these people when I worked in Cambodia, 7 years ago. "I see below, your reference to missing limbs of the street kids. What is the cause of that?"Well, land mines, thesauros. Estimates go as high as 4 million un-detonated devices still in Cambodian soil today. Of the 14 million Cambodians, 400,000 are amputees.Many of them are children. There is no "social net" in Cambodia, and competition on the labor market is fierce.(2)"Ya, I used to be like that."I bet you didn't. You seem to equal a life without god to having no social skills, no empathy, no compassion, no sincerity, no discipline, no control over basic instincts. I can assure you that this is not a necessary or even common equation. Atheism is not an "empty slate" as you make it sound. There are elaborate discussions since the 18th/19th century on how to live without god, and most of the results of these discussions - all the equality debates - have found their way into theology as well, and are shared by - as it looks - a majority of Christians world wide.(3)Rolex watches... I pointed to the friendly Balinese animists, who describe everything that happens as the result of competing demons as an example for the dangers of basing gods' existence on gaps in science. I'm not alone in that concern - it is basically a position of many Christian scientists. (4)About the "strong Anthropic Principle" most everything has already been said. Your (small)aircraft carrier example is a bit off, unlike you, I'm not at all impressed by very small units and very big numbers... It's the idea that because you want to have a meaning, the universe has to have a meaning, an objective, namely: producing you. If the universe was of a kind that would not enable you to live in it, it would nevertheless exist, only minus humans. On a universal scale, not much of a difference. Of course I'm glad that I exist. Which, by the way, is the result of a long chain of random processes, starting with my conception, and going back through the history of my ancestors. You really believe that gazillions of stars and planets and black holes, nebulae and whatnot only exist for 15.6 billion years to enable the existence of the human species on one tiny planet for a few million years? What hubris, really.And, don't cite Einstein for such anthropocentric drivel. He was full of admiration for the wonders of the world, but he did not ascribe them to an anthropomorphic deity, like you do. (5)"Matter doesn't do anything that the physical laws don't demand that it does."What? So the physical laws are something different from the universe? That is pure animism. There must be a ghost that makes that apple fall.
"In other words, a secular society. And there is no place for an absolutist Lord to whom (or better: to whose followers) I have to submit." You don't have to submit to me or any other follower of Jesus. You will however bow your knee to Jesus; either now voluntarily or later under absolute power. On the other hand, you're free to make that choice. Oh sure, there is a nasty consequence, but at least you're warned of it far, far in advance. There will be no surprises.====="But, sadly, religious practice is not confined to such." That's true. I wonder though if you understand why it's true. Chris Hitchens is on record as saying, “Religion poisons everything.” Mmm, not so much. Human nature poisons everything, including religion. Including even the most counter cultural world-view every presented to the human race. That of Jesus the Christ. ====="If the answer is: "believe first, before I tell you the arguments", then, sorry, that's not even evidence. I've given the example in one of my other posts:Atheist: Show me the Pacific Ocean.Christian: I can'tAtheist: Why not?Christian: Because we're in Montreal. In order for me to show you the Pacific Ocean you'd have to move from your present position.Atheist: I won't do that. First you show me the Pacific Ocean and then I'll move from my present position.Like I say, It can't be done. And again, I should think that you'd be more interested in seeing some proof that your “rational world-view” is possible from a scientific perspective, than worrying about what you call and irrational world-view.====="Matter has been in existence (with more or less the same properties) for a pretty long time."15 billion years, give or take, is a long, long ways from infinity. The fact is, the material infinite only exists in theory and the infinite only exists as a mathematical concept. If matter isn't eternal, and it's not, then the immaterial Creator of matter must, it seems to me, be eternal. It's been a long time since these two options have been known, and no one has come up with any alternatives
(1)So this is it in a nutshell:"You will however bow your knee to Jesus; either now voluntarily or later under absolute power."And my answer is: non serviam.And I spit on any tyrant that uses "absolute power". In your perverted world of unlimited, unassailable tyrants who want "love" and absolute submission, I'd take the existentialist position:OK, the dices are weighted, the rules are all against me, I can only lose - but I'll accept the challenge and I'll resist to the last moment, as it's the only way to keep my humanity.Don't ever try that stunt on me again.(2)Pacific Ocean...What a horrible example. Why do all these jokes involve an idiot on one side? Who in his right mind wouldn't accept an argument that is based on perspective, and the line of sight?But you claim that there are arguments that can only be understood if the premises are accepted.So you want me to accept as a fact that your god exists before you can tell me arguments that speak for it.Which means, you only have reassurances for weak believers, nothing convincing.(3)I'm not worrying about the foundations of my world view. I don't have to add a not-rational component . I would, reluctantly, if all of a sudden batteries would only work in temples, and cars were powered by prayer. Which, as you know, is very, very unlikely.(4)"The fact is, the material infinite only exists in theory and the infinite only exists as a mathematical concept."Well... and in Theology, where all of a sudden the "mathematical concept" is an eternal attribute of a deity...That Mr. Craig can't imagine the timewise infinity of material things - in his example he compares time (days) to books in a library, which can be counted, and parts taken away, which should result in a lesser number of books, so they can't be of infinite number. That is pre Cantor mathematics of the late 18th century. Infinity cannot be treated like a "real number". And days are not objects that can be destroyed. You cannot subtract Nov.12th,1844 from the timeline. So the antiquated math argument is absolute moot.(5)"If matter isn't eternal, and it's not, then the immaterial Creator of matter must, it seems to me, be eternal."Kindergarten logic again. There is no such symmetry. There are no pairs of opposites: that something exists is not proof that its opposite exists. That's mystic thinking: "good needs bad".
"Half the children whom I care for in Phnom Penh have missing feet and legs." So only one of these things can be important? Come on. You sound like someone who doesn't want to know the answer because a universe with a beginning is like the kiss of death to the atheist world-view. And I know that you're smart enough to know that.====="Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem," Do you have reasons to disagree with their conclusion? Or does it fall into the same category of those who find the “Big Bang repulsive.”?====="What makes Craig think that this transition from nothing to everything needs a cause?" I can't speak for Craig. But as for you and I, we have only consistent, reproducible observation, testing and verification that compels us to believe that a material beginning requires a cause that's external to the material thing that begins to exist. That of course is the scientific method of knowing. Most atheists express dependence on the scientific method of knowing. Not you?====="and by no means linear and causal." Well, again, please give me an example of where a quantum event came about uncaused out of nothing.====="At a point where no physical laws exist, no constants are fixed," You've just presented the Singularity as a very good working definition of a miracle. Thank you.“Causation is something that needs a fully developed physics that allows for it.”Didn't you just say above that quantum mechanics happen without these things in place?“No physics, no laws, no causation possible.”No MATERIAL cause is possible. And yet something material did happen. In fact EVERYTHING material happened. Again, thank you. You've just reiterated my point – three comments in a row. I'm not mocking. I'm saying, “Good for you. Now you're following the evidence.====="Nothingness might just as well be a universe in waiting. That's as valid a theorem as the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin one. Look it up." Oh, Steff. That's just desperate. C'mon, I've thought quite highly of you up to this point. Don't wreck it. I'd even rather hear your appeal to “We just don't know,” instead of this stuff.====="Lastly, even if there was a causateur, then surely not YHV, who gives a totally different account of how he did it all." Well, if you think you understand what the author in Genesis is saying, good for you. On the other hand, The Bible says that the universe has a definitive space/time boundary, a beginning, a Creation Event. So does Big Bang cosmology.The Bible says that humans were made out of the dust of the earth. So does science. Every single atom of your body that is not hydrogen or helium was created in the fiery interior of a massive star. The supernova explosion disperses these elements throughout interstellar space, where they become the building material for new planets. When Earth formed out of such materials -- iron, manganese, calcium, silicon, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, etc. -- organic chemicals, then cells, then organisms, then humans were able to evolve.====="it might point to something vaguely deist, a principle, whatever." Yes, it certainly might. And if it does, then atheism is wrong. Yes?"a deistic god can be treated as non-existent." Except that you and I and the universe wouldn't be here without a supernatural Creator.
"So only one of these things can be important?"Of course not, but there are pressing tasks and less pressing ones. And sometimes, especially in the field of science, one has to wait until the specialists come to conclusions.I'm a cancer patient. To me, progress in therapies is personally important. My life depends on it. But I have to patiently wait that pharmaceutical research produces results. How wonderful it would be to fantasize that a cure for my morbus Hodgkin was already at hand. It is, however, not, regardless what I may wish.Now, cosmogony. That Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem. Here are their conclusions:(http://arxiv.org/PS_cache/gr-gc/pdf/0110/0110012v2.pdf)"What can lie beyond this boundary? Several possibilities have been discussed, one being that the boundary of the inflating region corresponds to the beginning of the Universe in a quantum nucleation event ".This “quantum nucleation event” refers to a paper Vilenkin wrote in 1982) which discusses the universe coming into being through quantum mechanics. The authors continue:"The boundary is then a closed spacelike hypersurface whichcan be determined from the appropriate instanton. Whatever the possibilities for the boundary, it is clear that unless the averaged expansion condition can somehow be avoided for all past-directed geodesics, inflationalone is not sufficient to provide a complete description of the Universe, and some new physics is necessary in order to determine the correct conditions at the boundary .This is the chief result of our paper. The result depends on just one assumption: the Hubble parameter H has a positive value when averaged over the affine parameter of a past-directed null or noncomoving timelike geodesic.The class of cosmologies satisfying this assumption is not limited to inflating universes. Of particular interest is the recycling scenario , in which each comoving region goes through a succession of inflationary and thermalized epochs. Since this scenario requires a positive true vacuumenergy ρv, the expansion rate will be bounded by Hmin = p8πGρv/3 for locally flat or open equal-time slicings, and the conditions of our theorem may be satisfied.One must look carefully, however, at the possibility of discontinuities where the inflationary and thermalized regions meet. This issue requires further analysis.Our argument can be straightforwardly extended to cosmology in higher dimensions. For example, in the model of Ref.  brane worlds are created in collisions of bubbles nucleating in an inflating higher-dimensional bulk spacetime. Our analysis implies that the inflatingbulk cannot be past-complete.We finally comment on the cyclic universe model in which a bulk of 4 spatial dimensions is sandwiched between two 3-dimensional branes. The effective (3+1)-dimensional geometry describes a periodically expanding and recollapsing universe, with curvature singularities separating each cycle. The internal brane spacetimes, however, are nonsingular, and this is the basis for theclaim  that the cyclic scenario does not require any initial conditions. We disagree with this claim.In some versions of the cyclic model the brane spacetimes are everywhere expanding, so our theorem immediately implies the existence of a past boundary at which boundary conditions must be imposed. In other versions, there are brief periods of contraction, but the net result ofeach cycle is an expansion. For null geodesics each cycle is identical to the others, except for the overall normalization of the affine parameter. Thus, as long as Hav > 0 for a null geodesic when averaged over one cycle, thenHav > 0 for any number of cycles, and our theorem would imply that the geodesic is incomplete."Sorry, can't see any mention of creators or such. Nor that the authors think there was absolute nothingness before that event.
What a layperson willfully misreads about such an advanced discussion piece is of no concern. Nor are your 18th century ideas about physics, causation, and such. Get an education about quantum mechanics, if you want to follow the discussion, and forget about Aristotelian mover logics. The world is a lot more complicated than you would like it to be.Yes, I wrote that, even if all of Craig's assumptions were true"it might point to something vaguely deist, a principle, whatever."Yeah, big ifs...
There is nothing there that I'm not agreeing with. The cyclic and brane theories are not workable with what we know. And why would you pick something from 1982?=====Sorry, can't see any mention of creators or such.Of course not. They're atheists. But they're the most honest atheists that I've ever read.====="Nor that the authors think there was absolute nothingness before that event."So what does "A radius of zero" mean to you? That is was only one proton wide and one proton equals zero? Not hardly.And let's go with this hot dense speck atheists so desperately wish existed. Where was it prior to space / time coming into existence?