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The Failed Cosmology of William Lane Craig

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On 10/5/2019 at 6:44 AM, disillusioned said:

Alright, so I've read or skimmed the papers linked to above. They do indeed provide support for a positive cosmological constant. My understanding prior to this discussion was that this is not really in serious dispute amongst most cosmologists these days, but I could be wrong about that. I haven't exactly been keeping up with these things recently.

 

In any event, it is certainly problematic for the Hawking/Penrose theorem if the cosmological constant is indeed positive, which it seems to be. I think Hawking recognized this, which is probably why he eventually rejected his own theorem. But this leaves the Craig argument without much of a leg to stand on. But, of course, he would not admit this.

 

Craig is not a cosmologist, he's an apologist. His motivation is to demonstrate his presupposition of ex-nihilo creation. It makes perfect sense for him to latch onto "traditional" big bang cosmology, because it does seem (at least from a naive perspective) to lend credence to this kind of view. I personally think that there are other problems with the Kalam argument, but we can leave those aside entirely if the the cosmology he bases the argument on is incorrect, which it seems to be. I don't know whether or not Craig knows of the obsolescence of his pet cosmology, but my suspicion is that he wouldn't admit it if he did. He is more concerned with reaching his conclusion than with being technically accurate.

 

I don't mean to suggest that Craig is not sincere in his belief. I think he is. I just think that he is either ignorant on this point, or he is arguing in bad faith. Neither would particularly surprise me.

 

This is a similar question that I asked scientist associates in cosmology concerning the Hubble constant, shown below. The meaning of the Hubble constant is that of a constant rate of expansion of the universe.  This constant is a mathematical constant within what is called the Hubble distance formula. The obvious problem arose in the 1990's when it was asserted that the rate of the expansion of the universe was now accelerating, now called dark energy. The rate of expansion of the universe cannot be constant, the Hubble constant, and at the same time be accelerating. Instead you could call it the Hubble variable. I asked this question of contradiction to mainstream cosmologists and the best answer I got  was something like this.

 

Yes, the expansion of the universe relating to the Big Bang and Inflation is a constant. But a new factor is now adding to this Hubble constant rate of expansion which we now call the cosmological constant.

 

The question could then be asked:  How do you know this increase or decrease in the Hubble expansion rate, or cosmological constant rate,  has not happened in the past, either increasing or decreasing from a constant rate? They had no reply to this question since there now is an indication that the expansion rate in general was less in the distant past based upon a number of studies. One big problem with all of this is that cosmological distances are calculated based upon the Hubble formula and expansion rate and there have been many contradictions concerning the calculated results. As to my own explanation: the universe is not expanding at all. There accordingly is a different explanation to explain the observed cosmological redshifts of galactic spectra, therefore if so the Hubble constant and the cosmological constant would be fantasies

 

An associate of mine turned one of my related scientific papers into a book concerning the subject of the cosmological constant,. I, being one of the co-authors. The book is entitled 'STANDARD AND ALTERNATIVE COSMOLOGY' contradicting the Hubble constant and Big Bang cosmology in general. Here is the link to the book.

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334671279_Press_release_-For_immediate_release_'STANDARD_AND_ALTERNATIVE_COSMOLOGY'_A_new_book#fullTextFileContent

 

Here is the link to the paper

 

https://www.aijcrnet.com/journals/Vol_4_No_9_September_2014/2.pdf

 

 

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7 hours ago, disillusioned said:

Alright, so I've read or skimmed the papers linked to above. They do indeed provide support for a positive cosmological constant. My understanding prior to this discussion was that this is not really in serious dispute amongst most cosmologists these days, but I could be wrong about that. I haven't exactly been keeping up with these things recently.

 

In any event, it is certainly problematic for the Hawking/Penrose theorem if the cosmological constant is indeed positive, which it seems to be. I think Hawking recognized this, which is probably why he eventually rejected his own theorem. But this leaves the Craig argument without much of a leg to stand on. But, of course, he would not admit this.

 

Craig is not a cosmologist, he's an apologist. His motivation is to demonstrate his presupposition of ex-nihilo creation. It makes perfect sense for him to latch onto "traditional" big bang cosmology, because it does seem (at least from a naive perspective) to lend credence to this kind of view. I personally think that there are other problems with the Kalam argument, but we can leave those aside entirely if the the cosmology he bases the argument on is incorrect, which it seems to be. I don't know whether or not Craig knows of the obsolescence of his pet cosmology, but my suspicion is that he wouldn't admit it if he did. He is more concerned with reaching his conclusion than with being technically accurate.

 

I don't mean to suggest that Craig is not sincere in his belief. I think he is. I just think that he is either ignorant on this point, or he is arguing in bad faith. Neither would particularly surprise me.

I agree, Disillusioned.

 

In my opinion Craig is entirely sincere in his beliefs.  But when it comes down to admitting that his much-valued singularity theory is actually falsified by evidence, could he bring himself to do it?  Without it he has no scientific basis for at least two apologetic arguments and possibly more.

 

He loses the KCA, which relies on there being a definite beginning of time and space to introduce the notion of a cause of the beginning of these things.  He also loses a way of identifying certain aspects or qualities this cause must have.  Since all of time and space came into existence at the initial singularity, the cause of the singularity cannot be located anywhere within time and space.  That would violate causality.   Therefore, the causal agency of time and space must have be, in his words, 'timeless and spaceless'.  From there he goes on to argue that an eternal spirit (i.e., God) is the best candidate for this causal agent.  Such an agent requires neither time nor space to exist in and no material body either.

 

But, without Hawking and Penrose's singularity theorem, Craig loses the basis for this argument too.  Perhaps the loss of so much is just a bridge too far for him?

 

As to Craig's ignorance of matters cosmological,here are a few quick examples.

 

He denies that Inflation took place in the earliest moments of the universe, but accepts that dark energy is causing the universe's expansion to accelerate.  Yet both of these seemingly unrelated things are caused by a positive cosmological constant.  Apparently he doesn't understand that both invalidate the Hawking - Penrose singularity theorem.  Denying one isn't enough.  He has to deny both to be consistent.

 

He claims that General Relativity on its own presents a 'complete and concise' description of the universe at a fundamental level.  His words.  Which is a denial that science recognizes four fundamental forces and requires all four to give a proper description of the universe.  The four being, gravity, electromagnetism, the strong and the weak nuclear forces.   Yet, when Craig makes his fine-tuned universe arguments, he uses particle physics to give him examples of the precision to which nature is finely-tuning. 

 

Sorry, but that won't work!  If you deny everything except general relativity (a theory of gravitation) then you can only use GR in your examples of fine-tuning in nature.  But GR won't give you anything to do with protons or hydrogen atoms or the Higgs boson.  GR cannot help you because it only functions on scales larger than the molecular, the atomic and the sub-atomic.  Another contradiction.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, pantheory said:

 

This is a similar question that I have asked scientist associates in cosmology concerning the cosmological constant. The meaning of the cosmological constant is that of a constant rate of expansion of the universe.  This constant is a mathematical constant within what is called the Hubble distance formula. The obvious problem arose in the 1990's when it was asserted that the rate of the expansion of the universe was now accelerating, now called dark energy. The rate of expansion of the universe cannot be constant and at the same time be accelerating. Instead you could call it the Hubble variable. I asked this question of contradiction to mainstream cosmologists and the best answer I got  was something like this.

 

Yes, the expansion of the universe relating to the Big Bang and Inflation is a constant. But a new factor is now adding to this constant expansion rate.

 

The question could then be asked:  how do you know this increase or decrease in the expansion rate has not happened in the past, either increasing or decreasing from a constant rate? They had no reply to this question since there now is an indication that this expansion rate was less in the distant past based upon a number of studies. One big problem with all of this is that cosmological distances are calculated based upon the Hubble formula and there have been many contradictions concerning the calculated results. As to my own explanation: the universe is not expanding at all. There accordingly is a different explanation to explain the observed cosmological redshift of galactic spectra.

 

An associate of mine turned one of my related scientific papers into a book concerning the subject of the cosmological constant,. I, being one of the co-authors. ,The book is entitled 'STANDARD AND ALTERNATIVE COSMOLOGY' contradicting the Hubble constant and Big Bang cosmology in general. Here is the link to the book.

 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/334671279_Press_release_-For_immediate_release_'STANDARD_AND_ALTERNATIVE_COSMOLOGY'_A_new_book#fullTextFileContent

 

Here is the link to the paper

 

https://www.aijcrnet.com/journals/Vol_4_No_9_September_2014/2.pdf

 

 

 

Thanks for this, Pantheory.

 

Would you please take a look at the disclaimer I posted at the beginning of this thread? 

 

If you read it you'll see that what's under discussion here is the cosmology of the Christian apologist William Lane Craig.  What he accepts as being scientifically valid and what he doesn't.  You'll also see that I've clearly outline my personal position as being a neutral and non-committed one.  I do not actually claim to support, agree with or endorse any of the science matters discussed in this thread.  

 

When I point out something that he misunderstands I am not saying or implying that the science in question is actually right and correct.  I am saying that he is wrong in his understanding of it.  In doing that I am not holding up mainstream cosmology as being, 'the right answer'. Instead I am pointing out that Craig's personal take on cosmology is incompatible with mainstream cosmology.   I leave it up to the other members of this forum to make up their own minds as to which position they want to take.

 

So, can you see where what your last message is doing to the intent and content of this thread?  It's taking it off-topic.  Your personal cosmology is not under discussion here.  Nor is mine.  Nor is Disillusioned, Joshpantera's or any other members.  Only Craig's.  Naturally, such items as the Big Bang, Inflation and Singularity theory have to be discussed here - but that's only because Craig dwells upon them in his website.  The fact that they discussed here is not an endorsement of any of them.  

 

This situation is an exact parallel to the many theological threads in the Lion's Den.  Their themes and topics need not be held to or supported by the members debating them.  Do you see that?  I hope so.  To debate something is not to necessarily accept it or promote it.

 

Can I therefore politely request that you respect the intent and content of this thread and not make it a place where competing cosmologies are discussed?  That this thread remain a place where only Craig's cosmology is compared to mainstream cosmology.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter. 

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18 hours ago, WalterP said:

 

He claims that General Relativity on its own presents a 'complete and concise' description of the universe at a fundamental level.  His words.  Which is a denial that science recognizes four fundamental forces and requires all four to give a proper description of the universe.  The four being, gravity, electromagnetism, the strong and the weak nuclear forces.   Yet, when Craig makes his fine-tuned universe arguments, he uses particle physics to give him examples of the precision to which nature is finely-tuning. 

 

Sorry, but that won't work!  If you deny everything except general relativity (a theory of gravitation) then you can only use GR in your examples of fine-tuning in nature.  But GR won't give you anything to do with protons or hydrogen atoms or the Higgs boson.  GR cannot help you because it only functions on scales larger than the molecular, the atomic and the sub-atomic.  Another contradiction.

 

I agree with everything you wrote, but the section above is particularly illustrative of Craig's ignorance. There is no sense in which GR presents a 'complete and concise' description of the universe. I hardly think I go out on a limb when I say that no physicist thinks it does. It doesn't even attempt to.

 

Craig's move from "the universe had a definite beginning" to a timeless, spaceless, personal cause (God) always felt suspect to me, even when I was a believer. It seems to me that even if we grant the definite beginning bit all that we get is a definite beginning. I'm not even personally prepared to say that a definite beginning necessarily implies a cause of any kind, let alone one which just so happens to have all the attributes that Craig wants it to have. But it's certainly the case that if we lose the definite beginning bit then the whole thing collapses.

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Pantheory.

 

The context of Disillusioned's comments were about the relationship of William Lane Craig's cosmology to mainstream cosmology.

 

"Alright, so I've read or skimmed the papers linked to above. They do indeed provide support for a positive cosmological constant. My understanding prior to this discussion was that this is not really in serious dispute amongst most cosmologists these days, but I could be wrong about that. I haven't exactly been keeping up with these things recently.

 

In any event, it is certainly problematic for the Hawking/Penrose theorem if the cosmological constant is indeed positive, which it seems to be. I think Hawking recognized this, which is probably why he eventually rejected his own theorem. But this leaves the Craig argument without much of a leg to stand on. But, of course, he would not admit this."

 

The context of his comments is given in the highlighted section and are entirely within the proper intent and content of this thread.  You are taking them out of context by comparing them to an alternative or competing cosmologies.  Cosmologies that play no part in this thread.  Doing that is taking this thread off-topic.  Please stop doing so.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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2 minutes ago, disillusioned said:

 

I agree with everything you wrote, but the section above is particularly illustrative of Craig's ignorance. There is no sense in which GR presents a 'complete and concise' description of the universe. I hardly think I go out on a limb when I say that no physicist thinks it does. It doesn't even attempt to.

 

Craig's move from "the universe had a definite beginning" to a timeless, spaceless, personal cause (God) always felt suspect to me, even when I was a believer. It seems to me that even if we grant the definite beginning bit all that we get is a definite beginning. I'm not even personally prepared to say that a definite beginning necessarily implies a cause of any kind, let alone one which just so happens to have all the attributes that Craig wants it to have. But it's certainly the case that if we lose the definite beginning bit then the whole thing collapses.

 

Pantheory.

 

Please note the content and context of Disllusioned's latest post.  He is talking about Craig's cosmology and it's relationship to mainstream cosmology - nothing else.  Now please stop taking this thread off topic.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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21 hours ago, disillusioned said:

 

I agree with everything you wrote, but the section above is particularly illustrative of Craig's ignorance. There is no sense in which GR presents a 'complete and concise' description of the universe. I hardly think I go out on a limb when I say that no physicist thinks it does. It doesn't even attempt to.

 

Craig's move from "the universe had a definite beginning" to a timeless, spaceless, personal cause (God) always felt suspect to me, even when I was a believer. It seems to me that even if we grant the definite beginning bit all that we get is a definite beginning. I'm not even personally prepared to say that a definite beginning necessarily implies a cause of any kind, let alone one which just so happens to have all the attributes that Craig wants it to have. But it's certainly the case that if we lose the definite beginning bit then the whole thing collapses.

 

Hello again, Disillusioned.  

 

Looking back I realize that I goofed in my Saturday post.  I should have included links to where Craig actually said the things I accused him of.  Let me set the matter straight right now.

 

 https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/science-theology/the-scientific-kalam-cosmological-argument/

 

Please follow the above link and scroll down to where it says, Exceptions to Singularity Theorems.  This is what Craig writes next.

 

Five possible exceptions to the Hawking-Penrose singularity theorems conveniently distinguish four classes of non-standard models which provide possible alternatives to the standard Big Bang model. The H-P theorem also has the obvious, but implicit, condition that GR is fundamental; that is, it is a complete as well as correct description of conditions within our universe.

 

It seems that I didn't get the quote quite right.  I said, 'complete and concise' but Craig actually says, 'complete as well as correct' when talking about GR.  But he's still wrong.  Even though GR is fundamental, its not fundamental on its own.  It simply cannot give and complete and correct description of conditions within our universe.  For that you would need the other three fundamental forces - electromagnetism and the weak and the strong nuclear forces. 

 

Craig is trying to exclude all mention of quantum mechanics from his cosmology.  Why?  Because the Hawking - Penrose Singularity theorem uses ONLY GR and doesn't use quantum mechanics in any way, shape or form.  But, as I mentioned on Saturday, he then contradicts himself by using quantum mechanics to give him examples of fine-tuning in the universe.  He can't exclude QM in one place and then agree with it in another.  Like this.

 

https://www.reasonablefaith.org/podcasts/defenders-podcast-series-2/s2-excursus-on-natural-theology/existence-of-god-part-14

 

Question: It is a little hard to ponder how fine tuning of the constants and the arbitrary quantities can be embedded into a singularity. For example, it is a little hard to imagine how a singularity could have any entropy at all. Have astrophysicists gotten far in how this works?

 

Answer: No. In fact, what we are talking about here, when I talk about the early universe, I do not mean the singularity. Some of these constants and quantities result from quantum phase transitions that the universe goes through very, very early. You have first this unified theory – some sort of a quantum theory of gravity – in which there are not separate gravitational particles or electromagnetic forces and so on. You just have a unified force. Then you have this so-called “GUT Era”5 where you have a grand unified theory where gravity breaks loose from the other three fundamental forces of nature, and that will then involve this fine tuned gravitational constant. Then you have it break down further into the fundamental forces of nature like gravitation, electromagnetism, the weak force, and the strong force. As the universe goes through these quantum phase transitions, what happens is these finely tuned values just fall out one after another – inexplicably because these are supposed to be indeterminate phase transitions. When I said “from the beginning,” I didn’t mean from the singularity. I meant from the very, very early universe; but in fact they do fall out serially as the universe goes through these phase transitions.

 

He 100% contradicts himself, Disillusioned.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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14 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

 

Interesting video, Josh.  Thanks for posting it.  :)

 

Btw, how are you getting on with the links I posted on Friday?  You'll have seen that we seem to live in a universe with a positive cosmological constant.  Which falsifies the very theory that Craig bases his whole cosmology on.  This one.  https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspa.1970.0021

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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23 hours ago, WalterP said:

The context of his comments is given in the highlighted section and are entirely within the proper intent and content of this thread.  You are taking them out of context by comparing them to an alternative or competing cosmologies.  Cosmologies that play no part in this thread.  Doing that is taking this thread off-topic.  Please stop doing so.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

@pantheory just let it go buddy. Let's not part ways with the intent of Walter's thread. That just derails things and takes us away from the theological verses mainstream science issues we're addressing here.

 

For what it's worth (and I'm sure the other participants agree) IF mainstream cosmology is wrong then it provides a double whammy situation where both mainstream cosmology and christianity are wrong. Point made. Point taken. But let's leave it there and allow the topic to continue. Walter is correct, the other argument can be posted and waged in the science verses religion section and that's fine. Going forward off topic or derailing posts will not be permitted in this discussion. Thanks for understanding. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, WalterP said:

Interesting video, Josh.  Thanks for posting it.  :)

 

Btw, how are you getting on with the links I posted on Friday?  You'll have seen that we seem to live in a universe with a positive cosmological constant.  Which falsifies the very theory that Craig bases his whole cosmology on.  This one.  https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspa.1970.0021

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

Yes, I've gone through the pdf with the "positive" search engine. My thoughts are the same as disillusioned. Either Craig is inherently dishonest or incredibly ignorant. That he has built his entire apology upon a theory long since falsified before even getting started doesn't bode well either way. He should have fact checked himself before launching such a claim in the arena of formal debate. But then again, we're talking about a man who is used to basing his world view on sand foundations anyways, such as presupposing, apriori, that the bible is correct and true and then back peddling to try and find something that might support his apriori, presupposition. 

 

The problem here is the same for all christian apologists. Craig never had a chance of being correct from the outset because his every foundation is built up from sand. No matter how elaborate and / or sophisticated he tries to make the upper levels, the foundation rests on sand. @OrdinaryClay William Lane Craig has failed miserably. Not just a little bit, miserably. What say you? 

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17 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Yes, I've gone through the pdf with the "positive" search engine. My thoughts are the same as disillusioned. Either Craig is inherently dishonest or incredibly ignorant. That he has built his entire apology upon a theory long since falsified before even getting started doesn't bode well either way. He should have fact checked himself before launching such a claim in the arena of formal debate. But then again, we're talking about a man who is used to basing his world view on sand foundations anyways, such as presupposing, apriori, that the bible is correct and true and then back peddling to try and find something that might support his apriori, presupposition. 

 

The problem here is the same for all christian apologists. Craig never had a chance of being correct from the outset because his every foundation is built up from sand. No matter how elaborate and / or sophisticated he tries to make the upper levels, the foundation rests on sand. @OrdinaryClay William Lane Craig has failed miserably. Not just a little bit, miserably. What say you? 

 

I agree, Josh.  Craig has failed on many levels.  If I were to list the ones we've covered so far in this thread, it would read like this.

 

1.  He relies exclusively on just one single theory, one that was falsified by evidence in 1998, almost a decade before Reasonablefaith started up.

2.  He claims that General Relativity is the only fundamental theory science needs to give a complete and correct description of the universe, denying quantum theory.

3.  Yet we know that there are four fundamental forces, three of which (electromagnetism, the weak and the strong nuclear forces) require quantum theory.

4.  Elsewhere in Reasonablefaith Craig mentions the finely-tuned values of all four forces, contradicting his claim that only General Relativity (which describes only gravity) is fundamental.

 

But I have to ask this question.  "Why should we be surprised at Craig's unwillingness to let go of his failed cosmology?"

 

Look at the example of Fred Hoyle.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fred_Hoyle   Even in the face of overwhelming evidence against the Steady State Theory, he continued to reject the possibility that the universe had a beginning.  His primary motivation for doing so was his personal distaste of Theism.  So he was a kind of anti-Craig.  Hoyle and Craig can be seen as diametric opposites of each other.  For Craig, an eternal universe without a beginning is unthinkable and emotionally unacceptable.  For Hoyle, a transient universe with a beginning was equally unthinkable and equally emotionally unacceptable.  

 

In both cases, both men refused to let go of their failed cosmologies, even though it would be rational and reasonable for them to do so.  So Josh, I suspect that what we are looking at in both men is a deep-seated and unyielding irrationality.  Just as Hoyle went to his death believing the universe to be eternal, I suspect that Craig will do the same, believing to his dying breath that only the Hawking -Penrose Singularity theorem is correct and that the universe had a definite beginning.  

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello again Disillusioned and Joshpantera.  :)

 

Just to recap... we're about to dip very lightly into the Hawking - Penrose singularity theory to see exactly where they exclude the possibility of their theory applying in a universe with a positive cosmological constant.  I promise (hand on heart) that this will be the only time in this thread that we touch upon the actual equations.  After that the rest of our journey will be in more-or-less plain English, with various technical terms and concepts explained with diagrams and graphs.

 

Oh... and let's not forget that I also offered the possibility of us entertaining some relevant side-questions.

 

1.  What is the Cosmological Constant?

2.  How is it measured?

3.  Why did Hawking and Penrose make these four assumptions in the first place?

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

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Sounds good.

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On 10/3/2019 at 4:15 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

 

Regardless of what the bible says, the common Christian interpretation of "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" is that God created the universe from nothing. 

 

Well, to begin with “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” is a copyrighted interpretation of what is written in the Torah. 

 

When the scholars and theologians of certain denominations sought to rewrite the Bible to reflect their denomination’s  interpretation of the KJV translation, they were denied US copyright protection of their works due to the KJV version being public domain and therefore any republication of it is no longer eligible for copyright protection by any particular person or group.

 

In such, in order to obtain a copyright on published works in the public domain there has a be a substantial change to the original publication.  Thus, in order to receive copyright protection for their rewritten Bibles they begin with Genesis 1:1 by changing it from “heaven and earth” to “heavens and earth”.   

 

However, the doctrine of Creatio ex nihilo does not claim that God created the universe from nothing.  

On 10/3/2019 at 4:15 PM, LogicalFallacy said:

Creatio ex nihilo. Are you saying that you don't think this is a common Christian understanding? If so may I suggest you look up some doctrines and creeds?

 

What I am saying is that the claim that God created the universe from nothing is a common carnal  Christians’ misunderstanding.  But to suggest that I look up some doctrines and creeds suggests you must believe the physical world had a beginning or do you believe the physical world has always existed?  

 

However, to help you understand here is the Catholic doctrine of ‘Creatio Ex Nihilo” explained, from article in Catholic World Report magazine.

 

What this meant was that God did not use anything at all—no pre-existent matter, no primal chaos—in his creative act.  Creation is not a change from “nothing” to “something.” God does not take “nothing,” as it were, and change “it” into something. 

 

The ancient truth that from nothing, nothing comes is recognized as the first principle of all the natural sciences. All change proceeds from some existing thing or condition. God’s creative act, however, is not a change. God’s causality is so different from that of any of his creatures that he can call forth into being the complete reality of all things.

 

 Such a calling forth is not a change in something. If creation were a change, it could not be the complete causing of all that is. When human beings create things (e.g., works of art, literature, music), we use already existing things; we are not the complete causes of what we create. It is important to recognize that when the verb “to create” is predicated of the activity of creatures it means something quite different from what it means when it is said of God.

 

Creation, thus, is a concept in metaphysics and theology; it is not a subject for the natural sciences.

 

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A gentle reminder to LogicalFallacy and Justus of the context of this thread.

 

What is up for discussion in this thread is the relationship of William Lane Craig's cosmology to the currently accepted mainstream cosmology, which is the Lambda Cold Dark matter model.  Lambda is the symbol used to denote the cosmological constant, which is what JoshPantera, Disillusioned and I are discussing.

 

Therefore, while the 'common Christian interpretation' of creation from nothing does overlap Craig's cosmology, the Catholic interpretation does not and is therefore off-topic.  So, if LogicalFallacy were to respond to Justus about that Catholic doctrine, both of you would be taking this thread off-topic.

 

Please discuss this in another thread and respect the topic of this one.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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On 10/6/2019 at 6:09 PM, Joshpantera said:

 

 

Just as the question of whether the universe is finite or infinite, the question of whether or not the universe had a beginning are amongst the secret things of the universe which are hidden until they are revealed unto man. 

 

While the video is a great example of ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, which is the result of being tossed to and fro by the doctrines of man which is illustrated by the comment starting @ 1:20 approximately.  But I digress since this will probably be construed as an attempt to derail the thread.

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7 hours ago, Justus said:

 

Well, to begin with “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” is a copyrighted interpretation of what is written in the Torah. 

 

When the scholars and theologians of certain denominations sought to rewrite the Bible to reflect their denomination’s  interpretation of the KJV translation, they were denied US copyright protection of their works due to the KJV version being public domain and therefore any republication of it is no longer eligible for copyright protection by any particular person or group.

 

In such, in order to obtain a copyright on published works in the public domain there has a be a substantial change to the original publication.  Thus, in order to receive copyright protection for their rewritten Bibles they begin with Genesis 1:1 by changing it from “heaven and earth” to “heavens and earth”.   

 

However, the doctrine of Creatio ex nihilo does not claim that God created the universe from nothing.  

 

What I am saying is that the claim that God created the universe from nothing is a common carnal  Christians’ misunderstanding.  But to suggest that I look up some doctrines and creeds suggests you must believe the physical world had a beginning or do you believe the physical world has always existed?  

 

However, to help you understand here is the Catholic doctrine of ‘Creatio Ex Nihilo” explained, from article in Catholic World Report magazine.

 

What this meant was that God did not use anything at all—no pre-existent matter, no primal chaos—in his creative act.  Creation is not a change from “nothing” to “something.” God does not take “nothing,” as it were, and change “it” into something. 

 

The ancient truth that from nothing, nothing comes is recognized as the first principle of all the natural sciences. All change proceeds from some existing thing or condition. God’s creative act, however, is not a change. God’s causality is so different from that of any of his creatures that he can call forth into being the complete reality of all things.

 

 Such a calling forth is not a change in something. If creation were a change, it could not be the complete causing of all that is. When human beings create things (e.g., works of art, literature, music), we use already existing things; we are not the complete causes of what we create. It is important to recognize that when the verb “to create” is predicated of the activity of creatures it means something quite different from what it means when it is said of God.

 

Creation, thus, is a concept in metaphysics and theology; it is not a subject for the natural sciences.

 

 

Justus,

 

If you want to discuss these ideas further,  I'd be happy to. Seems like it might be a bit more pertinent to this thread rather than the one we're in right now though.

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13 hours ago, Justus said:

 

Just as the question of whether the universe is finite or infinite, the question of whether or not the universe had a beginning are amongst the secret things of the universe which are hidden until they are revealed unto man. 

 

While the video is a great example of ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth, which is the result of being tossed to and fro by the doctrines of man which is illustrated by the comment starting @ 1:20 approximately.  But I digress since this will probably be construed as an attempt to derail the thread.

 

Justus,

 

I think Disillusioned has come up with an excellent solution and I, for one, would be very happy if you were to take him up on it.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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Dear Disillusioned and JoshPantera.

 

In General Relativity (GR) the symbol used for the cosmological constant is Lambda.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmological_constant

 

Now please follow this link to Hawking and Penrose's 1970 singularity paper.

 

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspa.1970.0021

 

We shall start here.

 

Introduction    (Pages 530 & 531)

 

In this paper we establish a new theorem, which, with two reservations, effectively incorporates all of I, II, III, IV and V while avoiding each of the above objections. In its physical implications, our theorem falls short of completely superseding these previous results only in the following two main respects. In the first instance we shall require the non-existence of closed time like curves. Theorem II (and II alone) did not require such an assumption. Secondly, in common with II, III, IV and V, we shall require the slightly stronger energy condition given in (3.4), than that used in I. This means that our theorem cannot be directly applied when a positive cosmological constant λ is present.

 

Here H & P summarize all of their previous work on singularities, from Penrose’s 1965 paper about black holes (I) and Hawking’s papers (III,IV and V) from 196 to 1967.  Paper number 2 (II) is from 1966, by Robert P. Geroch and discusses Singularities in Closed Universes.  H & P’s 1970 paper incorporates almost all of I through IV, with only two exceptions.  Closed time like curves need not concern us now, but I can explain about them, if asked.  The important exception to all of singularity theory is the second one.  Singularity theory cannot be directly applied to our universe when a positive cosmological constant λ (Lambda) is present.  As we have seen, in 1998 just such a positive value was observed, falsifying singularity theory.

 

H & P go on to say,

However, in a collapse, or ‘big bang’, situation we expect large curvatures to occur, and the larger the curvatures present the smaller is the significance of the value of λ. Thus, it is hard to imagine that the value of λ should qualitatively affect the singularity discussion, except in regions where curvatures are still small enough to be comparable with λ.

 

The above paragraph needs a bit of explanation. H & P expected large curvatures of space-time to occur at and near the Big Bang itself.  They expected that these large curvatures would overwhelm the significance of λ, making it an unimportant factor in the very earliest moments of the universe.  They found it hard to imagine that λ would have a huge value.  So, they couldn’t see how the expected small value of λ would affect their singularity theory.

 

But the salient point here is the historical context in which H & P were formulating their singularity theory.  They performed their work from 1965 to 1969, publishing in 1970 and only working in the classical regime of GR.  At this time the very idea that Inflation could play a role in the very early universe was largely unknown.  Theorists like Alan Guth, Alexei Starobinsky and Andrei Linde didn’t bring their inflationary theories to fruition until late 1979 and the early 80’s and inflation goes further than GR, involving the use of Semi-Classical Gravity.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiclassical_gravity

 

This is a kind of hybrid mix of GR with particle physics.  Since H & P were working exclusively with GR in their singularity theory, they couldn’t have anticipated that inflation would yield a brief period where the value of λ would be tremendously large.  Large enough to totally overwhelm the large space-time curvatures they factored into their theory.

 

In the brief moment known as the Inflationary epoch, gravity is reversed – changing from attractive to repulsive.  Under the normal conditions of GR, gravity only attracts massive objects and only curves space-time in a way that causes these objects to fall together under their mutual gravitational attraction.  But with inflation, that scenario is violently reversed.  Instead of the universe contracting, the universe is caused to expand with incredible speed, carrying all of its contents with it.  In terms of the cosmological constant, λ has a huge positive value, one that H & P did not anticipate.  

 

And this explains why their singularity theory cannot work when λ has a positive value. In inflation, λ causes gravity to ‘push’, while in GR λ can only ‘pull’ or keep a kind of status quo, balanced exactly on the knife-edge between pull and push.  The three types of Friedmann universe, known as Closed, Flat and Open universes are illustrations of these three scenarios.

In Closed universes, λ is negative and only pulls everything together in a Big Crunch.  In Flat universes, λ is balanced exactly at zero and the universe ‘coasts’ forever, ultimately ending in a Big Freeze.  But when λ is positive, we get an Open universe, where space-time is being ‘pushed’ apart by some kind on energy that is present in space-time itself.  These days we call this Dark Energy.

 

geo

 

H & P confirm this in their 1970 paper, when they write this.

The energy condition (3.4) used here (and in II, III, IV and V) has a very direct physical interpretation. It states, in effect, that ‘gravitation is always attractive’ (in the sense that neighbouring geodesics near any one point accelerate, on the average, towards each other). Our theorem will apply, in fact, in theories other than classical general relativity provided gravitation remains attractive.

 

Which means that singularity theory can applies, but only when Lambda is negative or zero, not when it is positive. H & P go on to say this.

 

We note, finally, that in Einstein’s theory (with ‘reasonable’ sources) it is only λ > 0 which can prevent gravitation from being always attractive, the λ term representing a ‘cosmic repulsion’.

 

i.e., gravity only acts normally and attractively, when λ > 0.  That is, when Lambda is positive, exceeding zero.

 

And H & P show this in their equations.

 

P 539 / 540.

 

To incorporate a cosmological constant λ, we would have to replace

 

Tab in the above by Tab + λ K-1gab.

 

Thus, (3.6), as it stands, would still imply (3.4) so long as λ [is equal to or less than]  0.

 

 

Again, H & P stipulate that their theory only implies an initial singularity if λ is equal to or less than zero.  That is, if λ is more than zero and has any positive value, then their theory does not imply the existence of an initial singularity.

 

When we reach the Corollary, H & P write this.

 

(P 544)

 

(3.21) the energy condition (3.6) is satisfied at every point,

 

What this means is that as far as they were concerned, the energy condition of their theory was satisfied at every point in the region of space-time under examination.  Or rather, it would be, provided that λ was equal to zero or had a negative value. 

 

However, since inflation yields a massively positive value, the energy condition is not satisfied at every point.  Even if we ignore the inflationary epoch, in 1998 it was shown that the expansion of the universe was accelerating, indicating that as far back as 5 billion years ago, the universe possessed a small positive value of λ.  Since ANY positive value, no matter how small signals the death knell for singularity, H & P’s theory was falsified just as effectively by Dark Energy as Hoyle’s Steady State theory was falsified by the detection of the CMBR.

 

Finally, H & P write this.

 

We may interpret failure of the causal geodesic completeness condition in our corollary as virtually a statement that any space-time satisfying (3.20)-(3.23) ‘possesses a singularity’

 

This causal geodesic incompleteness is the ‘definite beginning’ which Craig claims that the H & P singularity theory proves.  But, as we have seen in this thread, that proof rests upon a very important condition.  That the cosmological constant Lambda λ in the universe must have either a negative or zero value.  Inflationary theory posits a massively-positive λ in the very early universe and Craig denies that inflation ever took place.  Its true that inflation cannot be observed and has to inferred from other lines of evidence.  But Craig accepts that Dark Energy is accelerating the expansion of the universe today and we can observe this happening, today.  It need not be inferred, we can see it happening.

 

So Craig's position is untenable.  To deny one manifestation of λ but accept another is to be inconsistent.  Therefore Craig’s cosmology is shown to have failed before he even began promoting it on Reasonablefaith.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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Walter,

 

This is substantial, and I want to do it justice. Please bear with me. I will post a reply in the next few days.

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2 hours ago, disillusioned said:

Walter,

 

This is substantial, and I want to do it justice. Please bear with me. I will post a reply in the next few days.

 

Disillusioned,

 

Please take as much time as you need and also feel free to ask me questions.  This thread will proceed at whatever pace suits you and Josh.

 

Many thanks.

 

Walter.

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Just one question for now.

On 10/12/2019 at 6:22 PM, WalterP said:

 

(Snip)

...

 

Which means that singularity theory can applies, but only when Lambda is negative or zero, not when it is positive. H & P go on to say this.

 

We note, finally, that in Einstein’s theory (with ‘reasonable’ sources) it is only λ > 0 which can prevent gravitation from being always attractive, the λ term representing a ‘cosmic repulsion’.

 

i.e., gravity only acts normally and attractively, when λ > 0.  That is, when Lambda is positive, exceeding zero.

 

And H & P show this in their equations.

 

P 539 / 540.

 

To incorporate a cosmological constant λ, we would have to replace

 

Tab in the above by Tab + λ K-1gab.

 

Thus, (3.6), as it stands, would still imply (3.4) so long as λ [is equal to or less than]  0.

 

(Snip)


 

It's the bolded paragraph above that's giving me trouble at the moment. It seems to contradict the rest of what is said about inflation. If inflation posits a very large positive lambda, and results in "repulsive gravity", and if the HP theorem only holds for negative or zero lambda, how can it be the case that gravity only acts normally and attractively when lambda is positive?

 

Am I missing something here?

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1 hour ago, disillusioned said:

Just one question for now.


 

It's the bolded paragraph above that's giving me trouble at the moment. It seems to contradict the rest of what is said about inflation. If inflation posits a very large positive lambda, and results in "repulsive gravity", and if the HP theorem only holds for negative or zero lambda, how can it be the case that gravity only acts normally and attractively when lambda is positive?

 

Am I missing something here?

 

No, Disillusioned.. That's my error.

 

We note, finally, that in Einstein’s theory (with ‘reasonable’ sources) it is only λ > 0 which can prevent gravitation from being always attractive, the λ term representing a ‘cosmic repulsion’.

 

When λ > 0 it prevents gravity from always acting attractively.  When its equal to or less than 0, gravity is not prevented from acting attractively.   Gravity can only act repulsively when λ exceeds zero.  So, by mistake, I'd reversed the meaning of what Hawking and Penrose wrote.

 

Well spotted and thanks for that.  :)

 

Walter.

 

 

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Ok, thanks for clearing that up.

 

The rest seems fairly straightforward to me. I don't really have any issues with any of it.

 

By way of general commentary, I'm pleased to see that the critique of the HP theorem stands independent of inflation. I've been fairly consistent over the past few years in my suspicion of inflation as viable science,  but that's really neither here nor there. Inflation or no inflation,  it seems that the best evidence at the moment indicates that lambda is positive. This is fairly clearly disastrous for Craig.

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