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10 hours ago, sdelsolray said:

 

Yes, WLC should not be underestimated.  However, he should certainly be disparaged for his disingenuousness, lying, fallacious reasoning, gish gallops, presuppositionalism and cognitive bias, among other reasons.

 

Hello sdelsolray.

 

As a newbie here I won't be disparaging Craig for anything more than making mistakes in his understanding of cosmology.     

 

Walter.

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9 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Welcome Walter!

 

The cosmological discussions have toned down somewhat. It's just what happened. But I'd like to see them ramp up again. We've hardly been following the latest news from cosmology and you just gave me a kick in the ass to try and stay abreast on the latest from observational and theoretical cosmology. What's new with inflationary theory, etc., etc. Thanks for calling attention to this. 

 

Hello Joshpantera.  :)

 

I'd be very happy to engage in cosmological discussions in this forum.  But there's a point I'd like to make from the outset.  Unlike your good friend BAA, I'm not a dedicated Inflationist or out-and-out supporter of Inflationary theory.  He was and that's fine.  But I'm not.

 

I understand inflation fairly well, but my p.o.v. on which theory best describes the origin of the universe is one of, wait-and-see.   In my opinion there are many possibilities and still much to discover and investigate.  I'm therefore adopting a quietly noncommittal approach.  I won't rule out anything or promote anything on any other basis than the available evidence.  

 

Many thanks.

 

Walter.

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9 hours ago, ficino said:

Welcome from me too, Walter. And I too miss Born Again Athiest (so he spelled it). A Mensch, and always seeking to expand knowledge.

 

As for cosmology -- I have just begun reading John L. Mackie's The Miracle of Theism. If anyone here would like to respond to Mackie's arguments against natural theology, i'd welcome hearing your thoughts.  

 

Hello Ficino.

 

Hmm... BAA was an Athiest and not Atheist?  How interesting.  Quirks like that makes me rue not meeting him, even more.  

 

I'm not familiar with Mackie, but after looking up that book I saw the name David Hume crop up in a precis of it.  The main thrust of my case against William Lane Craig hinges upon his misunderstanding of theoretical physics and cosmology.  However, once I've made that case, I bolster it further by making use of Hume, citing from this book.

 

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Short-History-Truth-Consolations-Post-Truth/dp/1786488884

 

Chapter 5, to be exact. 'Empirical Truths'.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, disillusioned said:

Welcome Walter! Glad you're here. 

 

BAA was a friend. I'm sorry you never got to meet him. If there are topics raised by him that you want to discuss,  I'm game. Or if there's anything else, for that matter. I always like a good cosmological discussion :).

 

Hello disillusioned and thank you for the greeting.

 

It seems that BAA wasn't just held in high regard here for his erudition and logic.  I can see that he was genuinely loved.  Would that we had met!  :( 

 

Yes, I see that you are up for a good cosmological discussion.  

Your name has featured in many of the threads where BAA was active, disillusioned.  For what it's worth, it's been a real pleasure to go back through them and see what passed between you, him and the other members.  For the last three months I've been carefully checking, noting, copying and re-checking the content of those threads.  Quite a goldmine!

 

:)

 

Walter.

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Hello WalterP and a warm welcome to our community!  I think you’re going to be a valuable addition to the group and I look forward to hearing from you on a regular basis!  I’m GLAD your introduction is as long as it is: I love it when new people join us and especially when they tell us about their background, both in Christianity and their journeys away from it.  

 

It also occurred to me while I was still in the faith that the benefits of being Christian or theist were indistinguishable from effects that can be created entirely within the human mind.  Believers do good and believers do bad, just as non-believers do.  Believers succeed and fail, just as any human does.  There’s no doubt that theistic faith has motivated people to achieve great things (also horrific things, needless to say), but I concluded as you did that it’s all faith and no God.  

 

I wish I had known BAA as well as some of  us here were fortunate enough to have known him.  But how fortunate we are that the thoughts of this mortal atheist are still available after his death to you and me.  There really is a form of life after death. 

 

I’m interested in science and cosmology too, but I’m not nearly as well-informed or as articulate as some others around here.  

 

Anyway WalterP, welcome again, congratulations on the journey you’ve made, and thank you for joining up and sharing with us!

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Also regarding our friend @bornagainathiest, according to Christians he is now either burning in Hell or has simply been annihilated because of his “rebellion”, depending on which Christians you ask.  And yet, strangely, his words have been allowed to live on to inspire and motivate the rest of us to carry the torch, encouraging others along the same path. Seems careless of a deity, if you ask me. 

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4 hours ago, WalterP said:

 

Hello Joshpantera.  :)

 

I'd be very happy to engage in cosmological discussions in this forum.  But there's a point I'd like to make from the outset.  Unlike your good friend BAA, I'm not a dedicated Inflationist or out-and-out supporter of Inflationary theory.  He was and that's fine.  But I'm not.

 

I understand inflation fairly well, but my p.o.v. on which theory best describes the origin of the universe is one of, wait-and-see.   In my opinion there are many possibilities and still much to discover and investigate.  I'm therefore adopting a quietly noncommittal approach.  I won't rule out anything or promote anything on any other basis than the available evidence.  

 

Many thanks.

 

Walter.

 

Yes, I'm not married to inflation either and neither are most of the other members who participated in those discussions. The reason BAA was so laser focused was because of inflation's high status. And I agreed with him that we may as well be looking at whatever the leading theory happens to be. I've been all over the map looking at alternative theories. 

 

Here's something to add to the reading list. BAA and I exploring the implications of inflation and the Ekrpyrotic models: 

 

Quote

...I'm pleased to see that my understanding of the infinities in Turok and Steinhardt's Ekpyrotic model is on target.  If each brane is exponentially expanding forever, then it's inevitable that patterns of matter and energy in certain regions of space will begin to repeat themselves.  That, allied with the idea that Ekpyrosis is eternally cyclic also points to a multiverse in all but name.

 


 

What I wasn't aware of was Turok's reliance on String theory to make Ekpyrosis work.

Back in 2013 there may have been more optimism that the LHC would find evidence for String theory, but since then that hope has very much faded.  The Standard Model of particle physics has been nicely completed with the discovery of the Higgs boson and various predictions of Quantum Chromodynamics (the theory of quarks) have also been nicely confirmed.  But there's been no evidence for strings at all.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zip!

 

As far as I'm concerned this is a major problem for Turok and Steinhardt.

Ok, their idea works well on paper and many of the results from satellites and telescopes can be interpreted as confirming Ekpyrosis, but without any evidence for strings, their case is significantly weaker than of Inflation.

 

To explain further...

Inflation proposes that during the Inflationary Epoch one or more scalar fields of energy were responsible for the ultra-brief, super-luminal expansion of the early universe.  These scalar fields are also deemed to be responsible for the symmetry-breaking that 'broke' the one, unified super-force into the four Forces we see today.  Namely, the Weak and the Strong nuclear Forces, the Electromagnetic Force and the Gravitational Force.   It is assumed that all four were once unified and have since broken apart.  

 

Evidence for this comes from ElectroWeak theory, which unifies the ElectroMagnetic and Weak nuclear forces.  That was demonstrated by Weinberg, Glashow and Salaam in the 1960's.   https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1979/salam-facts.html

Furthermore, Alan Guth's breakthrough in formulating Inflationary theory came after he closely studied the Grand Unification Theory (GUT) of the three non-Gravitational forces.  Lastly, the Higgs boson itself is a scalar boson.  So it has the potential to behave in a way that would fit with Inflation's predictions about the scalar fields operating in the very early universe. https://atlas.cern/updates/physics-briefing/scalar-boson

 

To my mind Josh, this body of evidence now far outweighs anything that Ekyrpotic theory can muster.

 

 

He was exited about PIPER and PIXIE:

 

https://pcos.gsfc.nasa.gov/physpag/presentations/physpag-meeting4/Kogut_IPSAG_WedPM.pdf

 

https://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/pixie/

 

https://arxiv.org/abs/1105.2044

 

https://room.eu.com/news/will-piper-be-successful-in-confirming-inflation-theory

 

The take away was that either way, both models likely lead to repetition. But, with it's dependency on string theory the Ekyrpotic Model seems to have lagged behind and more than likely not going to progress whereas inflation has been in better position to move forward. That's where we had left it. Perhaps some of this needs revisited and updated. 

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Welcome Walter! So glad to have you here with us! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I related to so much of it. Most of us can here at Ex-c so we truly understand.

 

Looking forward to hearing more from you!! 😊

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On 9/24/2019 at 4:13 PM, TABA said:

Also regarding our friend @bornagainathiest, according to Christians he is now either burning in Hell or has simply been annihilated because of his “rebellion”, depending on which Christians you ask.  And yet, strangely, his words have been allowed to live on to inspire and motivate the rest of us to carry the torch, encouraging others along the same path. Seems careless of a deity, if you ask me. 

 

Hello TABA and thank you for the warm welcome.

 

BAA certainly seems to have left an inspiring legacy in this forum.  Even though I never met or knew him, the affection with which he's remembered by his friends here is a wonderful thing.

 

:)

 

Walter.

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15 hours ago, Margee said:

Welcome Walter! So glad to have you here with us! Thanks so much for sharing your story. I related to so much of it. Most of us can here at Ex-c so we truly understand.

 

Looking forward to hearing more from you!! 😊

 

 

Many thanks Margee.  :)

 

As well as looking back through BAA's posts I've also taken the time to read and digest the Testimonies section.  Agreed.  There's a great deal I can relate to there.

 

Thank you again.

 

Walter.

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23 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Yes, I'm not married to inflation either and neither are most of the other members who participated in those discussions. The reason BAA was so laser focused was because of inflation's high status. And I agreed with him that we may as well be looking at whatever the leading theory happens to be. I've been all over the map looking at alternative theories. 

 

Here's something to add to the reading list. BAA and I exploring the implications of inflation and the Ekrpyrotic models: 

 

 

He was exited about PIPER and PIXIE:

 

https://pcos.gsfc.nasa.gov/physpag/presentations/physpag-meeting4/Kogut_IPSAG_WedPM.pdf

 

https://asd.gsfc.nasa.gov/pixie/

 

https://arxiv.org/abs/1105.2044

 

https://room.eu.com/news/will-piper-be-successful-in-confirming-inflation-theory

 

The take away was that either way, both models likely lead to repetition. But, with it's dependency on string theory the Ekyrpotic Model seems to have lagged behind and more than likely not going to progress whereas inflation has been in better position to move forward. That's where we had left it. Perhaps some of this needs revisited and updated. 

 

Hello again Josh.

 

Thanks for bringing me up to speed.  Actually, when I began reading back through BAA's posts, I started with his last ones.  So what you've kindly cut and pasted for me here was one of the first I came across.  Yes, I'd certainly enjoy discussing the Inflationary and Ekpyrotic theories.  However, I've made the claim that William Lane Craig has made a fundamental error in his understanding of cosmology.  So perhaps justifying that claim should be my first order of business.  To do this I'll be delving into General Relativity and the Singularity theorems of Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose.

 

When it comes to doing that, can I ask for your advice, please?  Which would be the best section for me to present my case against WLC?  The Science vs Religion section seems right, but maybe somewhere else?  I ask because of two reasons.  First, the error WLC has made will have a profound knock-on effect on his apologetic arguments.  So, that goes beyond the bounds of science and into religion and theology, right?  Secondly,  I see that BAA often dueled with a Christian called OrdinaryClay and this person has been active here recently.  I suppose it's only right and proper that he should be able to challenge me, don't you think?

 

So which section is best?  I'd appreciate some advice on that question, please.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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3 hours ago, WalterP said:

When it comes to doing that, can I ask for your advice, please?  Which would be the best section for me to present my case against WLC?  The Science vs Religion section seems right, but maybe somewhere else?  I ask because of two reasons.  First, the error WLC has made will have a profound knock-on effect on his apologetic arguments.  So, that goes beyond the bounds of science and into religion and theology, right?  Secondly,  I see that BAA often dueled with a Christian called OrdinaryClay and this person has been active here recently.  I suppose it's only right and proper that he should be able to challenge me, don't you think?

 

So which section is best?  I'd appreciate some advice on that question, please.

 

Thank you.

 

Science verses Religion is where we generally discuss technical cosmology (in layman's terms). But the Lion's Den is fair game and if you want to ask OC to join in, that would probably be the best place to include him or other christian members. 

 

If you read backwards through BAA's history then you likely read through his positions on WLC's dependency on a fixed "beginning" of the universe. Especially near the end of his time on the forums. We were getting laser focused on the possibility of past eternal cosmological situations. The situation of the source material for the material in the universe now having no fixed beginning, but simply transferring from some previous state and condition into the myriad states and conditions now, to put a philosophical tune to it. No creation ex nihilo in short. 

 

Anyways, I look forward to diving into this with you and everyone who's interested in the exchange. 

 

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50 minutes ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Science verses Religion is where we generally discuss technical cosmology (in layman's terms). But the Lion's Den is fair game and if you want to ask OC to join in, that would probably be the best place to include him or other christian members. 

 

If you read backwards through BAA's history then you likely read through his positions on WLC's dependency on a fixed "beginning" of the universe. Especially near the end of his time on the forums. We were getting laser focused on the possibility of past eternal cosmological situations. The situation of the source material for the material in the universe now having no fixed beginning, but simply transferring from some previous state and condition into the myriad states and conditions now, to put a philosophical tune to it. No creation ex nihilo in short. 

 

Anyways, I look forward to diving into this with you and everyone who's interested in the exchange. 

 

 

Thanks for the helpful reply, Josh.  I'll opt for the Lion's Den and then if OrdinaryClay wants to participate, he can do so.

 

Yes, I've gleaned that eternal cosmologies were a hot topic with you and BAA.  But that's not the area I'll be going into. 

 

This fixed 'beginning' you mention is WLC's use of one particular science theorem, published in 1970 by Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose. 'The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology'.  This theorem appears to give WLC  exactly what he needs to claim that this universe had a definite beginning.  On that foundation he builds various apologetic arguments, including the Kalam Cosmological Argument.  But I will show that WLC cannot use that theorem to prove that this universe had a definite beginning.   He has made a fundamental error in thinking that it gives him this proof.  It doesn't.

 

I'll need to do some preparation for this and so I'll probably open a thread in the Lion's Den some time next week.  Btw, do I need to inform the Moderators of this, Josh?  Being new here I'm not up on the protocols and procedures.

 

Thanks again.

 

Walter.

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2 hours ago, WalterP said:

This fixed 'beginning' you mention is WLC's use of one particular science theorem, published in 1970 by Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose. 'The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology'.  This theorem appears to give WLC  exactly what he needs to claim that this universe had a definite beginning.  On that foundation he builds various apologetic arguments, including the Kalam Cosmological Argument.  But I will show that WLC cannot use that theorem to prove that this universe had a definite beginning.   He has made a fundamental error in thinking that it gives him this proof.  It doesn't.

 

Well this keeps getting more and more interesting as you post! 

 

2 hours ago, WalterP said:

I'll need to do some preparation for this and so I'll probably open a thread in the Lion's Den some time next week.  Btw, do I need to inform the Moderators of this, Josh?  Being new here I'm not up on the protocols and procedures.

 

Thanks again.

 

Walter.

 

Sounds just fine. Do you want to limit the amount of people participating or do you prefer leaving it open to everyone? 

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PMFJI, but isn’t it still generally accepted that the universe had a definite beginning, i.e. the Big Bang? 

 

The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model for the observable universe from the earliest known periodsthrough its subsequent large-scale evolution.”

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang

 

 

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11 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Well this keeps getting more and more interesting as you post! 

 

 

Sounds just fine. Do you want to limit the amount of people participating or do you prefer leaving it open to everyone? 

 

I don't think limiting it would help, Josh.  Providing I can make my case without getting too sidetracked I reckon it should be ok.

 

Walter.

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11 hours ago, TABA said:

PMFJI, but isn’t it still generally accepted that the universe had a definite beginning, i.e. the Big Bang? 

 

The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model for the observable universe from the earliest known periodsthrough its subsequent large-scale evolution.”

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Bang

 

 

 

No, you're not jutting in, TABA.  Yours is a perfectly understandable reaction.

 

You see, when it comes to these matters, the devil is in the details.  If you read my posts from yesterday I don't say anything against the Big Bang and don't challenge it in any way.  Instead I picked up on JoshPantera's point about William Lane Craig's cosmology having a fixed beginning and then said that the theorem he uses to 'prove' that beginning doesn't actually allow him to do that.  So, the apologetic arguments WLC makes that rest on that theorem have no real foundation in cosmology.

 

This theorem, in fact.  https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspa.1970.0021

 

Try  thinking about it like this, TABA.  Suppose you buy a piece of land and build a house, a garage and a swimming pool on it.  Years later someone points out that there was a restrictive clause in the contract that was overlooked by you.  This clause prevents anyone building anything on that land.   Then a court might rule that you had no legal right to build there and that all of your buildings have to be demolished.  

 

Now hold that thought and transfer the idea over to what I've been saying about WLC using that theorem to make his apologetic arguments.  All I'm saying is that he's made a mistake in his understanding of what that theorem allows him to claim about the beginning of the universe.  He thinks it 'proves' there was a fixed beginning.  But he's wrong and I can show how and why he's wrong.

 

So, I'm not denying anything except WLC's right to use legitimately use that theorem in his apologetic arguments.  I'm not denying the Big Bang or anything cosmological.  If you go back to the land deal analogy - the land still exists, you and your buildings still exist and the court still exists.  The only thing that has changed is how you can use that land.  Due to your misreading of the contract you thought you could build there - but the restrictive clause says you can't.  So you have to demolish.

 

Does that help explain things?  I hope so.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

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