Presentation on theme: "Allah and the Big Bang Theory. Standard Big-Bang Cosmology The universe, including all of time, space and matter, began to exist in a cataclysmic event."— Presentation transcript:
Standard Big-Bang Cosmology The universe, including all of time, space and matter, began to exist in a cataclysmic event – the ‘Big Bang’ – about 13.7 billion years ago
Cosmological Argument Whatever begins to exist requires a cause of its beginning to exist The universe began to exist Therefore, the universe requires a cause of its beginning to exist Since time, space and matter began to exist in the Big Bang, then whatever caused it must be timeless and non-physical Therefore, the cause of the universe is supernatural
Counter-argument 1 Since there was no time before the Big Bang, it is meaningless to ask what happened before it Response: The relation between a cause and its effect need not be one of temporal priority – it could be one of causal priority. (Punching bag example.) Thus, a timeless cause could have created the universe with time, rather than in time.
Counter-argument 2 – creation from nothing It is not logically impossible for something to come from nothing, by nothing. We can certainly conceive of such a thing (it is not contradictory). Response: Logical impossibility is not the only sort of impossibility. (Physical impossibility, metaphysical/factual impossibility.) If universes can pop into being uncaused, then why don’t we see anything and everything do so?
Counter-argument 2 continued Rejoinder: Things can come to exist without cause. Radioactive decay, virtual particles, other quantum mechanical events, are examples. Response: Fallacy of equivocation: Uncaused in the quantum mechanical context means that things occur at random times. It does not mean that there are no physical causes of their occurrence.
Counter-argument 3 – From nothing via physical causes Krauss: Universe comes from the quantum vacuum – which is ‘nothing’ - via the operation of QM laws Response: 1. How can laws operate on ‘nothing’? 2. The quantum vacuum is far from being ‘nothing’. (Barrow and Tipler.)
Counter-argument 4 – Big Bang not the absolute beginning Alternative models such as the Hawking-Hartle model, and various ‘oscillating’, ‘quantum- fluctuation’ and ‘chaotic-inflationary’ models, all try to avoid the initial singularity (or beginning) But none of these models has found wide acceptance in the scientific community, due to various internal problems.
Counter-argument 5 – A ‘gaps’ argument Even though the preceding alternative models have not succeeded, a future model could still avoid the Big Bang singularity Thus, appealing to a supernatural cause is just a ‘God of the Gaps’ argument Response: A supernatural cause is not being posited merely to fill a gap in our knowledge – rather, we think that natural causes can never explain the universe’s existence. They are in-principle impotent to do so. Why?
Only 3 ways to explain the cosmos 1. It began to exist. 2. It has always existed: 2A. It has existed for infinite time. 2B. It was once timeless, but then transitioned into its current state of motion and temporality.
2A. Infinite time Impossibility of an actual infinite. Set theory counter-argument inadequate.
2B. Timeless to temporal If the things needed (the necessary and sufficient conditions) to cause the transition don’t exist within the system, the transition can’t occur But if the things needed for the transition have existed eternally in the system, it becomes inexplicable why transition occurred a finite time in the past. Response: A supernatural cause is in the same boat here. But if the Cause has will, it can freely choose to go from existing changelessly, to then creating a physical world with time. On an A-theory of time, this is in fact the only way to explain the temporal world.
Summary If the Big Bang theory is right, the world needs a supernatural cause Even if it’s not right, whatever theory replaces it must itself point to a beginning to the world, since an actual infinity is impossible The cause must be timeless, and must possess will. It must therefore be living.
Divine Will “…all [potential] obstacles in the creation of the universe and creatures cease being obstacles in the face of a manifestation of will and regard of the dominical command and become means of facility, eternal power creates the universe and all the species of creatures on the earth as easily as creating a single tree.” (Second Station of the Fifteenth Ray – The Shining Proof.)