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WalterP

The Failed Cosmology of William Lane Craig

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16 hours ago, disillusioned said:

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.

 

Yes, Disillusioned.

 

For those people who have been at all worried by WLC's persistence and certainty, this information should help allay their fears.

 

I'll be waiting for JoshPantera to let me know how he stands re this thread, before moving on.

 

That ok with you?

 

Thanks.

 

Walter.

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3 hours ago, WalterP said:

 

Yes, Disillusioned.

 

For those people who have been at all worried by WLC's persistence and certainty, this information should help allay their fears.

 

I'll be waiting for JoshPantera to let me know how he stands re this thread, before moving on.

 

That ok with you?

 

Thanks.

 

Walter.

 

All good. I'm not in anything like a rush here, so take your time.

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10 hours ago, WalterP said:

 

Yes, Disillusioned.

 

For those people who have been at all worried by WLC's persistence and certainty, this information should help allay their fears.

 

I'll be waiting for JoshPantera to let me know how he stands re this thread, before moving on.

 

That ok with you?

 

Thanks.

 

Walter.

 

Falsified before he even started. That's the big take away I'm seeing which should be understandable to just about anyone. Regardless of his persistence and certainty, WLC is nothing more than a big blow hard. A bluff. 

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4 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Falsified before he even started. That's the big take away I'm seeing which should be understandable to just about anyone. Regardless of his persistence and certainty, WLC is nothing more than a big blow hard. A bluff. 

 

Yes, Josh. 

 

And in the case of dark energy 'pushing' the universe open, that's something we can directly observe happening, unlike inflation, which we have to infer, from indirect lines of evidence.  

 

Which brings me to the subject of where would be best to go next in this thread?  If you recall I offered the possibility of explaining these side questions, so that we can gain a deeper understanding of things.  That is, before I continue with the overarching plan I outlined in my opening post.  We've covered stages 1 through 4 and might be ready to move on to 5.  But, lets just look at those side questions again.

 

1.  What is the Cosmological Constant?  (The 'push' that powered inflation and is now powering dark energy.)

2.  How is it measured?

3.  Why did Hawking and Penrose make these four assumptions in the first place?  (Would help us understand where cosmological observations end and where theory takes over.)

 

Please let me know if any of these are of interest to you.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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2 hours ago, TABA said:

 

14:50 - Penrose: The Big Bang was not the beginning. So there was something prior to the Big Bang. Immediately refuting the foundation of WLC's Kalam based assertions about Penrose and Hawking's singularity. 

 

24:50 - WLC appeals to a pantheistic, not monotheistic conclusion the for the "unity" underlying the "one and the many." And it's pansychism, basically. Not monotheistic, orthodox christianity. But then flounders around unsuccessfully trying to get Penrose to agree with him about this direction, which, is not christianity but a christian heresy presented by WLC as if it lays the foundation in favor of christianity - WLC personal belief system. 

 

45:50 - Penrose goes into the science. 

 

117:00 - WLC, when faced with the science from Penrose himself, shows his ignorance in understanding what Penrose is even talking about. WLC makes appeals to popularity within cosmology to try and dodge the past eternal, or cyclical model assertions that Penrose feels the modern evidence is pointing towards now. 

 

137:00 - No agreement from Penrose on WLC's fine tuned universe assertions. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thank you for this, TABA.  :)

 

Josh has already identified where Roger Penrose has changed his mind, since he Stephen Hawking wrote their singularity theory, back in 1969.  I watched this video a little while ago to see if it was relevant to this thread and took notes accordingly.  It is relevant and I was going to post it here after Josh, Disillusioned and I had dealt with a few side-questions.  TABA beat me to the punch and that's not at all a problem.  We can look at it now.  I consider these three segments to be important.

 

10:30 to 12 :45

According to my notes, on the video,  Penrose talks about what is 'prior to the Big Bang'.  But, he's an old man now and not a very fluent communicator of the very complex matters under discussion.  He doesn't come over very well when trying to explain what he means and Justin Brierley steps around the 12:45 mark, effectively closing him down.

 

19:50 to 22:30

Craig says, 'The mathematically abstract cannot be the source of the physical.  The number seven has no effect on anything.'  He's right.  The H - P singularity theorem is a mathematical abstraction unless it can somehow be related to the physical universe by data or evidence.  In this thread I will be showing how such data wasn't around in 1970, when the H -P theory was published and still isn't around in 2019.  So Craig has scored an own goal here.  There's NO data on the initial singularity itself.  The theory was falsified in 1998 when supernova data was used to show that the universe possesses a positive cosmological constant.   This falsifies the theory because the theory only works if the value of the constant (Lambda) is negative or zero.

 

A note to Disillusioned.

If you recall, at the beginning of this thread I mentioned David Hume. What he has to say is relevant to Craig's comments about the relationship between the mathematically abstract and the physical.  More on that later.

 

31:06

Craig repeats his claim that the being responsible for creating the universe (God) would have to be uncaused, time-less, space-less, immaterial and enormously powerful, ethically good and omniscient.  But he exclusively uses the H - P theory to do this.  In that theory space and time have a definite beginning.  So, the causal agent (God) must be outside of time and space.  That is, time-less and space-less.  Since the H - P was falsified twenty years ago, Craig has no scientific basis for his claim.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

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2 hours ago, TABA said:

 

Thanks for this TABA. I'll be watching this later. 

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4 hours ago, WalterP said:

31:06

Craig repeats his claim that the being responsible for creating the universe (God) would have to be uncaused, time-less, space-less, immaterial and enormously powerful, ethically good and omniscient.  But he exclusively uses the H - P theory to do this.  In that theory space and time have a definite beginning.  So, the causal agent (God) must be outside of time and space.  That is, time-less and space-less.  Since the H - P was falsified twenty years ago, Craig has no scientific basis for his claim.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

Craig is wrong, then wrong again, then wrong again......

 

And he tends to pile one wrong on top of the next from his foundation levels up. His theology lacks depth and understanding. His philosophical comprehension lacks depth and understanding. His comprehension of straight forward science lacks depth and understanding. He's the perfect poster boy for christianity! 

 

😂

 

 

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Hmmm... this is curious.

 

 

Here's another relevant video that's dated Sept 4.

 

Which would mean that it was made prior to the Oct 4 vid with Justin Brierley.

 

WLC seems to misrepresent Penrose's Conformal Cyclic Cosmology in several places.

 

If that were the case, then why didn't Penrose tackle Craig about these misrepresentations, when they met in Brierley's studio?

 

I dunno.

 

Anyway, I offer this up for your interest and can explain some of it, providing that it pertains (mostly) to this thread.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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Alright, I watched the debate and I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting. The format was refreshing.  I'm sick to death of hearing Craig give his well-rehearsed 20 minute introductory speech, followed by his claim that the minutia of his arguments haven't been adequately adressed and moreover that no positive arguments for atheism have been put forth, therefore God exists. He's very adept at playing the timed, formal debate structure in his favor.  In more of a give and take arrangement such as this, the illusion that his arguments are particularly strong suffers,  in my opinion. 

 

I have some comments about the video, some of which are tangential to our main discussion. I'll make these comments, but I don't want to go down the rabbit hole here. The focus is Craig's cosmology.  I'll be happy to discuss other issues further elsewhere.

 

Roughly the first half of the discussion focussed mainly on what Craig called a tripartite description of reality (or something to that effect, I can't recall his exact phrasing). We are to suppose that there are three realms: the physical realm,  the mental realm,  and the abstract realm. Craig argues that in order to explain why all three exist, one must appeal to an ultimate consciousness (ie, God). The abstract, he argues, doesn't function causally, and the physical realm seems to be contingent on the abstract realm. So the source must be from the mental realm. Then he posits a supreme consciousness to solve his problem.

 

This kind of argument is very interesting to me. I think it can be made more in a more coherent fashion than Craig makes it in the video, but in any case my response to it is roughly on par with Penrose's: yes, that could be true, but I don't see any reason to think that it is. Also, there is a simpler explanation. My own view, currently, is that the physical realm is that which exists necessarily. It gives rise to the mental realm via various processes in the brain, the details of which are not currently well understood,  but nevertheless, there it is. Conscious agents then engage in abstraction, thereby giving rise to the abstract realm. Mystery solved, without an unnecessary appeal to God.

 

I can go on about the above at great length if it's of interest to anyone. Elsewhere might be better. Possibly the something rather than nothing thread,  or we could just make a new one. Back on topic.

 

On 10/19/2019 at 11:00 AM, WalterP said:

19:50 to 22:30

Craig says, 'The mathematically abstract cannot be the source of the physical.  The number seven has no effect on anything.'  He's right.  The H - P singularity theorem is a mathematical abstraction unless it can somehow be related to the physical universe by data or evidence.  In this thread I will be showing how such data wasn't around in 1970, when the H -P theory was published and still isn't around in 2019.  So Craig has scored an own goal here.  There's NO data on the initial singularity itself.  The theory was falsified in 1998 when supernova data was used to show that the universe possesses a positive cosmological constant.   This falsifies the theory because the theory only works if the value of the constant (Lambda) is negative or zero.

 

What is interesting to me about this is that Craig argues that abstract entities can't function causally, and then immediately proceeds to give an entirely abstract description of God, which he claims solves his problem. This is very problematic for him,  I think.

 

On 10/19/2019 at 11:00 AM, WalterP said:

A note to Disillusioned.

If you recall, at the beginning of this thread I mentioned David Hume. What he has to say is relevant to Craig's comments about the relationship between the mathematically abstract and the physical.  More on that later.

 

I'm looking forward to this. 

 

On 10/19/2019 at 11:00 AM, WalterP said:

31:06

Craig repeats his claim that the being responsible for creating the universe (God) would have to be uncaused, time-less, space-less, immaterial and enormously powerful, ethically good and omniscient.  But he exclusively uses the H - P theory to do this.  In that theory space and time have a definite beginning.  So, the causal agent (God) must be outside of time and space.  That is, time-less and space-less.  Since the H - P was falsified twenty years ago, Craig has no scientific basis for his claim.

 

Good points here. 

 

One other thing that struck me as interesting was around the 57 minute mark when Craig claimed that he subscribes to a Newtonian view of time. That,  in spite of the fact that relativity does away with ultimate time,  there must nevertheless be some kind of underlying ultimate time. Penrose basically just flatly disagreed, and I'm with him here. This kind of point of view seems extremely naive given modern physics. However, later (around 108) Penrose argued that in the absence of time, temporal order could nevertheless be preserved. I think this is nonsensical. It seems to me to be basically the same thing that Craig was claiming: that there is some kind of time which underlies time. I don't find this coherent at all,  but I'd be interested to see if anyone else does,  and to see how they might defend it. 

 

By way of general commentary, I find Penrose's cyclical model quite appealing. I'm not an expert here by any means,  but a while ago when this was an area of more immediate interest to me I found some of Neil Turok's propositions to be similarly appealing. All of these kinds of models essentially do away with the HP theorem though, so they are disastrous for Craig. If you do away with a definite beginning,  sure, you can still say "God created the whole lot!", but you lose the reason why he had to. The physical realm itself could become the necessary reality, which leads to the kind of view I sketched out above.

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Hello Disillusioned.  :)

 

  On 10/19/2019 at 11:00 AM, WalterP said:

19:50 to 22:30

Craig says, 'The mathematically abstract cannot be the source of the physical.  The number seven has no effect on anything.'  He's right.  The H - P singularity theorem is a mathematical abstraction unless it can somehow be related to the physical universe by data or evidence.  In this thread I will be showing how such data wasn't around in 1970, when the H -P theory was published and still isn't around in 2019.  So Craig has scored an own goal here.  There's NO data on the initial singularity itself.  The theory was falsified in 1998 when supernova data was used to show that the universe possesses a positive cosmological constant.   This falsifies the theory because the theory only works if the value of the constant (Lambda) is negative or zero.

 

What is interesting to me about this is that Craig argues that abstract entities can't function causally, and then immediately proceeds to give an entirely abstract description of God, which he claims solves his problem. This is very problematic for him,  I think.

 

Quite right.  Very problematic.  Since I've already established that Craig relies exclusively on just one paper by Hawking and Penrose to give him the 'definite beginning' he needs as a basis of his apologetic arguments, if we return to that document it can be seen that H & P are at pains to try and link their theory to physical reality.   Without a link between the maths and physical reality, their 1970 paper remains a mathematical abstraction, entirely unconnected to our reality.  Here's what H & P say.

 

Page 538.

 

3. The Theorem

 

We shall begin by giving a precise statement of our theorem. The form of statement we adopt is made primarily for the sake of generality and for certain mathematical advantages. But in order that the theorem may be directly applied to physical situations, we single out the main special cases of interest in a corollary.

 

Page 544.

 

Co r o l l a r y.

 

A space-time M cannot satisfy causal geodesic completeness if, together with Einstein’s equations (3.5), the following four conditions hold:

(3.20) M contains no closed timelike curves.

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

(3.22) the generality condition (3.10) is satisfied for every causal geodesic,

(3.23) M contains either (i) a trapped surface, or (ii) a point p for which the convergence of all the null geodesics through p changes sign somewhere to the past or (iii) a compact spacelike hypersurface.

 

So, for the theory to be directly applicable to physical situations, all four points of the corollary must be satisfied.  The theory remains a mathematical abstraction up until that point.  Furthermore, the four points must be satisfied by data.  Nothing else will suffice.  We now know from the 1998 supernova data that (3.21) is not satisfied at every point.  The energy condition (3.6) is the requirement for the observed cosmological constant to have a negative or zero value.  It doesn't.  Instead, its positive.  Therefore all four points of the corollary are not satisfied and the theory cannot be successfully linked to the observed physical conditions of our universe.

 

But there's a bigger and wider problem for Craig, Disillusioned.  If we look back at the very beginning of the paper, part of the preamble says this.

 

The theorem applies if the following four physical assumptions are made:

(i) Einstein’s equations hold (with zero or negative cosmological constant),

(ii) the energy density is nowhere less than minus each principal pressure nor less than minus the sum of the three principal pressures (the ‘energy condition5),

(iii) there are no closed timelike curves,

(iv) every timelike or null geodesic enters a region where the curvature is not specially aligned with the geodesic.

 

So, what does this tell us?  It tells us that in 1969 Hawking and Penrose were forced to use assumptions to make their theory work.  There was no observed data for them to plug into Einstein's equations.  There wasn't then and there still isn't now.  This was going to be the third of my side-questions.  "Why did Hawking and Penrose make these four assumptions in the first place?"    The answer is that they had to use assumptions because nobody has any observed data from the very earliest moments of the universe's evolution.  Everything we know directly comes from 380,000 years after the Big Bang.  Everything we think we know about earlier than that is based upon inference and not direct observation.  The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) is responsible for the dichotomy between observation and inference.  But I'll need another post to better explain just why that it is.

 

If we accept that our data goes back to 380,000 after the Big Bang and no further, the fallout of this is devastating for Craig.  How on earth can he claim that the definite beginning of the universe is 'scientifically proven' or 'scientifically confirmed' if the very theory in question relies on assumptions and not data?  

 

I'll leave it there Disillusioned and see what you have to say in response.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

 

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On 10/20/2019 at 12:10 PM, disillusioned said:

This kind of argument is very interesting to me. I think it can be made more in a more coherent fashion than Craig makes it in the video, but in any case my response to it is roughly on par with Penrose's: yes, that could be true, but I don't see any reason to think that it is. Also, there is a simpler explanation. My own view, currently, is that the physical realm is that which exists necessarily. It gives rise to the mental realm via various processes in the brain, the details of which are not currently well understood,  but nevertheless, there it is. Conscious agents then engage in abstraction, thereby giving rise to the abstract realm. Mystery solved, without an unnecessary appeal to God.

 

My view is similar. I just tend to allow that the physical realm can have a spectrum of awareness throughout, which is not the mental realm exactly. There is still a physical realm, a mental realm, and abstract realm. And it still runs in the order you've listed above in terms of the view I'm looking at. 

 

1) Physical / spectrum of awareness

2) Mental / central nervous system

3) Abstract / central nervous system

 

This does not point to a supernatural brain at the base of it all, so WLC would be at a disadvantage here as well. Nor any thinking or contemplative thought at the base of it all. Just a physical existence with various levels of awareness's taking place throughout the physical. Awareness's that are involved in the basic interactions that take place within the physical between matter, light, etc., etc. No conscious plan. No conscious agenda. Just awareness taking place in the physical world which has the potential of introducing and giving rise to a (2) mental realm. And if a (2) mental realm does come into existence, per trial and error evolutionary factors, then a (3) abstract realm can come into existence due to the existence of a 1) physical realm and (2) mental realm. 

 

Where I think Craig and others have gone wrong is to mistake or conflate a spectrum of awareness in the cosmos (nature) existing inherent in the (1) physical realm, with central nervous system oriented (2) mental consciousness. It doesn't make any sense to try and put (2) the mental realm ahead of (1) the physical realm. And a lot of spiritual thinkers tend to make this mistake in my opinion. And Craig has fallen in behind these mistakes in both cosmology and philosophy. 

 

Even if Craig was right about the Mental being dominant, that goes off in a pansychism direction. Ultimate reality being mental. The God is omnipresent, so the mental must be omnipresent. That makes everything the mental, everything the god. Now we're into pan beliefs and we've left monotheism and christianity behind. So where does Craig think he's going with the line of reasoning anyways? It brings us further, not closer to christianity whatever the case. And I can imagine that if Craig tried to argue otherwise, he could only dig himself down into a deeper hole in the process of trying. His apologies are extremely liberal and stretch what can even be considered, christianity. 

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On 10/20/2019 at 6:49 PM, WalterP said:

If we accept that our data goes back to 380,000 after the Big Bang and no further, the fallout of this is devastating for Craig. How on earth can he claim that the definite beginning of the universe is 'scientifically proven' or 'scientifically confirmed' if the very theory in question relies on assumptions and not data? 

 

The logical answer is that WLC makes these claims in the same light that he makes claims that the bible is true, for instance. He can't prove that. Nor can he prove that cosmology is reconciled with the bible. 

 

He's a christian apologist. And what we're looking at is the lengths that christian apologist's are willing to go in order to claim, however they can muster, that the bible is true. But what he's done here is very damaging to his cause. He was foolish for trying to fix a religion claim to science, which, is necessarily ALWAYS changing. Did he not understand that whatever scientific theory he picks is always subject to change? And that if it changes, that change can and probably will undermine his religious assertions which have been fixed to a given scientific theory? 

 

It looks to me like WLC fell in behind the Catholic Church claiming that the BBT is evidence for creation ex nihilo. That's even older than any of this. WLC has come in well behind what the CC started trying to latch on to concerning the BBT. Craig may have thought that he had a clever way of detailing what had already been claimedhttp://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/conlaw/vaticanview.html

 

 

Popes have had considerably less to say recently on the subject of the origin of the universe than they have on the subject of human origins.  In 1951, interestingly, Pius XII (who so grudgingly acknowledged the possibility of evolution) celebrated news from the world of science that the universe might have been created in a Big Bang.  (The term, first employed by astronomer Fred Hoyle was meant to be derisive, but it stuck.)  In a speech before the Pontifical Academy of Sciences he offered an enthusiastic endorsement of the theory: "…it would seem that present-day science, with one sweep back across the centuries, has succeeded in bearing witness to the august instant of the primordial Fiat Lux [Let there be Light], when along with matter, there burst forth from nothing a sea of light and radiation, and the elements split and churned and formed into millions of galaxies. (ME, 254-55) 

But the Pope didn’t stop there.  He went on to express the surprising conclusion that the Big Bang proved the existence of God: 

Thus, with that concreteness which is characteristic of physical proofs, [science] has confirmed the contingency of the universe and also the well-founded deduction as to the epoch when the world came forth from the hands of the Creator.  Hence, creation took place.  We say: therefore, there is a Creator.  Therefore, God exists! 

 

So this problem goes back to way before Craig.

 

It's a false scent that started about as far back as the original BBT was conceived by a Catholic Priest. Einstein and others picked up on something that was initially conceived of by a Catholic Priest (for those who are not aware of the origins and history of the BBT): https://www.amnh.org/learn-teach/curriculum-collections/cosmic-horizons-book/georges-lemaitre-big-bang

 

 

Quote

A year later, Lemaître explored the logical consequences of an expanding universe and boldly proposed that it must have originated at a finite point in time. If the universe is expanding, he reasoned, it was smaller in the past, and extrapolation back in time should lead to an epoch when all the matter in the universe was packed together in an extremely dense state. Appealing to the new quantum theory of matter, Lemaître argued that the physical universe was initially a single particle—the “primeval atom” as he called it—which disintegrated in an explosion, giving rise to space and time and the expansion of the universe that continues to this day. This idea marked the birth of what we now know as Big Bang cosmology.

 

 

This history of the BBT is relevant to the discussion and how a modern apologist like WLC came along and tried to further what had been going on since the beginning of the theory itself. Lemaitre tried to keep cosmology and religion separate in statements that he made, but I'm sure that sub consciously it's no coincidence that his cosmological ideas matched "creation ex nihilo." And it's not hard to see how Pope Pius XII came in behind all of this claiming a win for the bible. 

 

So what we're discussing here has far, far reaching implications reaching all the way back to the beginning of the theory itself with it's connections to the Vatican. After all of these years of trying and failing, they are still failing at hammering down a reconciliation between christianity and cosmology! And WLC is nothing more than the current loser in this old process of trying to firm up a reconciliation between biblical "creation ex nihilo" and secular cosmology. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Good call, Josh.  :)

 

Yes, the historical perspective of BBT is absolutely relevant to this thread. Many thanks for giving us an overview of the Catholic position on it.  As I see it, the controversy centres on what both Craig and the Pope are calling, 'proof'.  In this thread I've focused tightly on the Hawking - Penrose singularity theory of 1970, because that's the one paper that Craig relies on to give him that 'proof'.  And, as we've seen, it's anything but the cast-iron proof he claims it is.

 

Btw Josh, in a little while we'll examine two more items that throw a harsh spotlight on Craig's claims.  The first will cover why the very earliest phases of the universe's evolution have never been directly observed, forcing scientists to theorize about it using inference and assumption.  Just as Hawking and Penrose did in their singularity paper.  But, if you can observe something, then you don't need to theorize about what it is - you can see it for yourself.  But since we can't observe the very first instants of the universe, theorizing and inferring and assuming are all we have.  How the hell a bona fide proof can be claimed, without observations and data is quite beyond me! 

 

This brings me on to the second item and I'm hoping that Disillusioned can help us out here.  He's keen to hear what I've got to say about the philosophical underpinnings of science.  Six months ago, on a whim, I ventured into a second-hand bookshop and bought this.  A Short History of Truth: Consolations for the Post-Truth World.  By Julian Baggini.  2017, by Quercus Editions Ltd.  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Short-History-Truth-Consolations-Post-Truth/dp/1786488884

 

When I reached chapter five (Empirical Truths) I just knew that what was written there was vitally relevant to my five years of research into Craig's 'scientific' claims.  Baggini focuses on the work of David Hume.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hume  I won't go into the arguments here, but suffice to say, I was impressed by what Hume had to say about the dichotomy between the realm of the mathematically abstract and the realm of the physical world.  As far as I can see, Craig grossly violates the division between these two realms.  More on that to come.

 

Lastly, picking up what you mentioned about the lengths that apologists will go to, let me acquaint you with a suspicion I have.  If you listen carefully to Craig's dialogue with Penrose he fills in some personal details about his student days.  His philosophical studies were leading him to conclude that his life was empty and meaningless and that the entire universe had no purpose to it.  Into his time of growing despair came two things.  First, his discovery of the singularity theories of Hawking and Penrose.  Second, his encounter with a fellow student, who brought him to the foot of the cross, so that he gave his life to Jesus Christ.  

 

Coincidence?  Or the hand of God, directing him to become a true believer AND arming him with scientific proof that the Bible was true?  Josh, it's impossible to be sure, but if I were to put myself in Craig's place, I'd probably have concluded that God had selected me for the ministry and had given me a mighty apologetic weapon to use - scientific proof that the universe had a definite beginning.  And, as they say, the rest is history.  Since that time Craig's been persistently pursuing, pushing and promoting the divine truth that God set before him, without properly understanding it or seriously testing it.  Ok, this is no more than a suspicion of mine and by rights I should confine myself strictly to the facts and not engage in this kind of speculation.  But I think it needed to be said.

 

Anyway, I'm currently working on some diagrams and graphics that should show why the very earliest moments of the universe's evolution cannot be directly observed by us.  Once we have that on board we can then more readily understand why Hawking and Penrose had to use assumptions and not data in their singularity theorem.  I'll be ready to go in a few days.

 

Thanks again for that historical foundation.  It'll become increasingly relevant and useful when we look into the background of Einstein's General Relativity and why he introduced the cosmological constant in the first place.

 

All the best.

 

Walter.

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On 10/20/2019 at 6:49 PM, WalterP said:

 

So, what does this tell us?  It tells us that in 1969 Hawking and Penrose were forced to use assumptions to make their theory work.  There was no observed data for them to plug into Einstein's equations.  There wasn't then and there still isn't now.  This was going to be the third of my side-questions.  "Why did Hawking and Penrose make these four assumptions in the first place?"    The answer is that they had to use assumptions because nobody has any observed data from the very earliest moments of the universe's evolution.  Everything we know directly comes from 380,000 years after the Big Bang.  Everything we think we know about earlier than that is based upon inference and not direct observation.  The Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) is responsible for the dichotomy between observation and inference.  But I'll need another post to better explain just why that it is.

 

If we accept that our data goes back to 380,000 after the Big Bang and no further, the fallout of this is devastating for Craig.  How on earth can he claim that the definite beginning of the universe is 'scientifically proven' or 'scientifically confirmed' if the very theory in question relies on assumptions and not data?

 

Right, I see the point. 

 

I don't think it's a problem in principle to build scientific theories on the basis of assumptions. It's basically necessary. But the thing is,  when the data comes in,  if it contradicts the assumptions,  then the theory must change. This is fairly clearly the case here. Hawking saw this, I think, which is probably why he changed his mind. It seems Penrose sees it to. Craig, on the other hand...

 

A large part of the problem as I see it is that Craig is not a scientist. When he speaks about science, he does it from the perspective of an outside observer. He relies on the work of others, and there are probably lots of cases where he doesn't fully understand what he's talking about. That's fine; I daresay that most of us here on this site are in a similar boat. The difference is that Craig has his conclusion firmly in mind,  so he has a strong bias with respect to what he is willing to consider, and also that Craig is adept at presenting arguments about sophisticated topics in relatively simple terms. His target audience is not scientists. It's regular people who just don't know any better.

 

The point about the CMB is well-taken. Another nail in the coffin of Craig's cosmology. 

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On 10/22/2019 at 11:35 AM, Joshpantera said:

 

Even if Craig was right about the Mental being dominant, that goes off in a pansychism direction. Ultimate reality being mental. The God is omnipresent, so the mental must be omnipresent. That makes everything the mental, everything the god. Now we're into pan beliefs and we've left monotheism and christianity behind. So where does Craig think he's going with the line of reasoning anyways? It brings us further, not closer to christianity whatever the case. And I can imagine that if Craig tried to argue otherwise, he could only dig himself down into a deeper hole in the process of trying. His apologies are extremely liberal and stretch what can even be considered, christianity. 

 

Yes, this is true. Philosophically, it smacks of idealism. And idealism is hopeless, as far as I'm concerned.

 

Craig spins this argument, of course, into a neat description of the god he wants to get from it. He does the exact same thing with his other arguments. The cosmological argument, if it works (it doesn't), leaves us with a cause of the universe. Craig just asserts that it must be timeless, spaceless, of immeasurable power, personal, etc. No serious justification given. Same thing here. He says there's an ultimate mind,  and then lists exactly the attributes he needs it to have without actually justifying that it must actually have those attributes. Again,  perhaps convincing to his target audience,  but not to a crowd that considers these things more carefully. 

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Ok folks.  Here are a couple of images to stimulate thinking about why the very earliest phases of the universe's evolution cannot be observed.  Please chew on these.

 

 

4imagesofspace.jpg

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Disillusioned,

 

I will get back to you asap.  Promise.  :)

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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On 10/23/2019 at 7:12 AM, WalterP said:

Lastly, picking up what you mentioned about the lengths that apologists will go to, let me acquaint you with a suspicion I have.  If you listen carefully to Craig's dialogue with Penrose he fills in some personal details about his student days.  His philosophical studies were leading him to conclude that his life was empty and meaningless and that the entire universe had no purpose to it.  Into his time of growing despair came two things.  First, his discovery of the singularity theories of Hawking and Penrose.  Second, his encounter with a fellow student, who brought him to the foot of the cross, so that he gave his life to Jesus Christ.  

 

These sort of admissions never get past me. They're up front and center stage. This tends to lay out the foundation for Craig's subconscious mind, and what sort of feed back (self reaffirming) sort of bias his mind would be honing in on. He assumes that there's no purpose and despair via the natural order. Based on that assumption, turns to the supernatural. Develops a life long bias. Fights an up hill battle. Becomes one of christianity's "Biggest Loser" in the process of confirmation bias. 

 

On 10/23/2019 at 7:12 AM, WalterP said:

Coincidence?  Or the hand of God, directing him to become a true believer AND arming him with scientific proof that the Bible was true?  Josh, it's impossible to be sure, but if I were to put myself in Craig's place, I'd probably have concluded that God had selected me for the ministry and had given me a mighty apologetic weapon to use - scientific proof that the universe had a definite beginning.  And, as they say, the rest is history.  Since that time Craig's been persistently pursuing, pushing and promoting the divine truth that God set before him, without properly understanding it or seriously testing it.  Ok, this is no more than a suspicion of mine and by rights I should confine myself strictly to the facts and not engage in this kind of speculation.  But I think it needed to be said.

 

It did need to be said. And the key here is that probably any one of us with our believer caps on might have been tempted in the same way to think we'd stumbled into a personal revelation. Geez, I stumbled into things all the time for a period that seemed like they might be pointing to some great big revelation! But I tested the waters. I kept on it. Over the course of about 30 years since I stopped believing, I have tried looking back to see if I've missed something at times. I've scoured other religions to see if I've missed something there. But it never turns out that I have. They still rank as either wrong or more than likely wrong when I give them a good going over. Craig doesn't seem to want to try and falsify himself or figure out if his ideas are really true or not. That's the main difference. If he had, then the answer is bloody obvious that he's taken a wrong turn on the truth seeking path. 

 

 

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On 10/23/2019 at 6:10 PM, WalterP said:

1024px-CMB_Timeline300_no_WMAP.jpg

 

Therefore, we can only infer a beginning of the universe, it can not be proven or substantiated with observation. WLC can not claim that the universe had a beginning based on science. Because science itself is prohibited from ever making such a firm claim. It's been infer'd, by H-P as a possibility, but that possibility has long since been falsified. And Penrose has completely dropped it and moved on to cyclic universe modeling. 

 

 

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10 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

Therefore, we can only infer a beginning of the universe, it can not be proven or substantiated with observation. WLC can not claim that the universe had a beginning based on science. Because science itself is prohibited from ever making such a firm claim. It's been infer'd, by HP as a possibility, but that possibility has long since been falsified. And Penrose has completely dropped it and moved on to cyclic universe modeling. 

 

 

 

Amen to that, Josh.

 

And the answer to the question I posed about how I can see Mars, the Pleiades, the Andromeda galaxy and Comet Hale-Bopp is directly related to the above.  I can see all these things because the universe today is largely transparent to light and all other forms of electromagnetic radiation.  But, in the very earliest phases of the universe's evolution, it was opaque.  So, no meaningful information can come to us via any kind of electromagnetic radiation.

 

But you mustn't take my word for this.  Doing that would make me into an authority figure and I'm certainly not one of those.  No.  Don't listen to me.  Listen to these sources, instead.  When reading, the key word to understand about the opaqueness of the early universe is the word, 'scattering'.  Photons from the very early universe are scattered many thousands of times, bouncing off free electrons and losing whatever information they were carrying about where they originated from.  

 

http://hosting.astro.cornell.edu/academics/courses/astro201/recombination.htm

Because of the presence of the free electrons, photons were scattered around in all directions and could not travel far before changing their direction. Therefore the universe was "opaque".

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recombination_(cosmology)

This plasma was effectively opaque to electromagnetic radiation due to Thomson scattering by free electrons, as the mean free path each photon could travel before encountering an electron was very short.

 

http://astronomy.swin.edu.au/cosmos/E/Epoch+Of+Recombination

We cannot actually observe the Universe before the epoch of recombination, since the ionised plasma that existed before this time was very efficient at scattering radiation. The result is that information about the early Universe (information astronomers detect in the form of photons) was not able to escape, hiding the early Universe from current observational strategies.

 

https://jwst.nasa.gov/content/science/firstLight.html

After the Big Bang, the universe was like a hot soup of particles (i.e. protons, neutrons, and electrons). When the universe started cooling, the protons and neutrons began combining into ionized atoms of hydrogen (and eventually some helium). These ionized atoms of hydrogen and helium attracted electrons, turning them into neutral atoms - which allowed light to travel freely for the first time, since this light was no longer scattering off free electrons. The universe was no longer opaque!

 

http://burro.case.edu/Academics/Astr222/Cosmo/Early/recomb.html

Now, photons and particles are still closely coupled, due to all the free electrons running around. Electrons scatter photons through Thomson scattering, so that photons cannot free stream. The Universe is opaque, and matter and radiation behave as a single fluid.

 

http://ircamera.as.arizona.edu/Astr2016/lectures/recomb_reioniz.html

Before recombination, light could not travel far before being absorbed and re-emitted by an electron because the density of matter was very high. The Universe was opaque

 

https://wmap.gsfc.nasa.gov/universe/bb_tests_cmb.html

The behavior of CMB photons moving through the early universe is analogous to the propagation of optical light through the Earth's atmosphere. Water droplets in a cloud are very effective at scattering light, while optical light moves freely through clear air. Thus, on a cloudy day, we can look through the air out towards the clouds, but can not see through the opaque clouds. Cosmologists studying the cosmic microwave background radiation can look through much of the universe back to when it was opaque: a view back to 380,000 years after the Big Bang. This “wall of light“ is called the surface of last scattering since it was the last time most of the CMB photons directly scattered off of matter. When we make maps of the temperature of the CMB, we are mapping this surface of last scattering.

 

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

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Thank you Josh.

 

But I fear that your praise is a little premature.  So far I've stressed that no meaningful information can pass through the CMBR 'wall' via electromagnetic radiation.  However, there are three other potential ways of probing back to earlier epochs.  Ways that do not rely on EM radiation.  This graphic follows the same logic as my earlier one, with the universe's origin on the left and our epoch on the right.  So,  when we look back, we look from right to left.  If we look back using EM radiation, our view is blocked by the CMBR wall.  But you'll see that there are arrows that DO penetrate the wall and probe further back in time.  This graphic needs some explanation and I will provide it later, Josh.

 

Thanks.

 

Walter.

 

image.thumb.png.025d53ca1f85aacc54f6d8f9e8a2b87d.png

 

 

 

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