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The Failed Cosmology of William Lane Craig

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On 2/13/2020 at 4:32 PM, WalterP said:

My Comments

 

Here Penrose goes further than just accepting a positive cosmological constant.  He declares that it appears to be a necessary ingredient of Conformal Cyclic Cosmology, his own theory to explain our universe. 

 

More than that, his discarded singularity theory, which he and Stephen Hawking published in 1970 had a definite beginning of space and time - the initial singularity.  Penrose's CCC theory is the total opposite.  In CCC our universe is merely one iteration in an eternal and unending cycle of universes.  In CCC there is no beginning and no end.

 

This is where Craig seriously messed up in a nut shell. He latched on to a theoretical cosmological model prematurely, as if that particular cosmological model was the end all and not subject to change going forward.

 

He was treating it as if it were something like Genesis 1, set in stone like religious texts, and unchangeable thereafter. But obviously it was never set in stone because it's not a creation myth, it's a scientific theory, and therefore subject certainly to change over time. He puts all his eggs in one basket. And then pays the price because the theory was falsified and Penrose moved right along to CCC theory, which, is completely opposed to his older work with Hawking. It's not even applicable at this point for Craig to be trying to do what he's trying to do with it. 

 

Craig made rookie mistakes every step of the way. And has paid the obvious price for making the mistakes. Will he learn from any of this? 

 

On 2/13/2020 at 4:32 PM, WalterP said:

In 2016 William Lane Craig interviewed Roger Penrose and the Conformal Cyclic Cosmology was a topic of their conversation.  

 

As far as I know the subject of the positive cosmological constant was not discussed.

 

 

If it's not discussed, then Craig will not likely learn anything from it. But it's much deeper than just that. Even if it is discussed (which it should be), Craig has shown himself to be willfully ignorant and intellectually dishonest. Walter, take a look at comparing what Craig has done here against the "Dunning-Kruger Effect": 

 

https://www.zmescience.com/science/the-dunning-kruger-effect-feature/?fbclid=IwAR2ul2eNQQVBZnXka34S5eJR43xnWzHPKT5L04zVLcY0km9gzmEfgfr-EWw

 

I do think that you should try to get this information through to Penrose if you can. Or at least someone else who can use all of this information in a debate with WLC. Because even though he's likely to dig in his heels (per the link above), the public deserves to see a detailed analysis of where exactly Craig is wrong and why. We can only reach so many people here. And this deserves mass exposure. 

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I do think that you should try to get this information through to Penrose if you can. Or at least someone else who can use all of this information in a debate with WLC. Because even though he's likely to dig in his heels (per the link above), the public deserves to see a detailed analysis of where exactly Craig is wrong and why. We can only reach so many people here. And this deserves mass exposure. 

 

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Hello again Josh.  :)

 

You say that the public deserves to know.  I dunno.  In this forum there are how many members?  Several thousand?  But you, me and Disillusioned seem to be the only ones with what it takes to grasp what's involved. 

 

Please don't think for a moment that I'm being elitist here!  No.  It's just that a combination of intense interest, dogged persistence and science knowledge is needed to 'get' these complex and subtle concepts.  Without wishing to sound rude or obnoxious to the other members, only we three seem to have these necessary qualities.  I'm sorry for any offence caused, but that's just how it seems to me.

 

As far as I can tell Josh, this thread is hyper-specialized and is of interest only to those members with the above qualities AND a keen interest in Christian apologetics.  If that's so within Ex-C, then I really can't see how a detailed and difficult-to-understand analysis of Craig's failed cosmology is going to be of much interest to the wider public.

 

Just calling it as I see it.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

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That's true, people aren't jumping in much. But the question to ask is how popular are Craigs debates? They seem to reach a pretty big audience. In those debates it could be pointed out that, simply put, Craig is basing his claims on old, falsified theoretical cosmology. An opponent can pin him down with this in front that audience if the info makes it to one of the potential opponents. 

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That's true, people aren't jumping in much. But the question to ask is how popular are Craigs debates? They seem to reach a pretty big audience. In those debates it could be pointed out that, simply put, Craig is basing his claims on old, falsified theoretical cosmology. An opponent can pin down with this in front that audience if the info makes it to one of the potential opponents. 

 

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I take your point Josh, but there's still a catch.  As I will now illustrate with an excerpt from a fictional debate.

 

Christian:   'Science proves that the universe had an absolute beginning, just as described in the book of Genesis.'

 

Skeptic:   'That's false.  You make that claim on the back of a refuted and discarded theory of cosmology.'

 

Christian:   'Please explain how this theory has been refuted.'

 

Skeptic goes on to explain about...

 

The Riemannian equations of the space-time manifold in the Hawking - Penrose singularity theory.

How conformal geometry allows the complete mapping of the space-time curvature in the presence of extreme gravitational fields.

The necessity of non-Euclidean geometry when describing Friedmann's solutions to general relativity.

The use of diffeomorphic equivalence relations in the calculations of the stress tensor.

How the causal relationships between different points in a Minkowski space-time are used in the H - P theory.

How the coordinate vectors of an asymptotically flat space-time converge into a 'conformal infinity'.

 

Six hours later, having laid the groundwork, the Skeptic launches into the main thrust of his argument.  He goes on for the next six hours to cover...

 

The extrapolated projections of how the three kinds of Friedmann universe are expected to evolve.

The use of E=mc2 when it comes 'weighing' the mass-energy content of the universe.

The gravitational potential of dark matter and how this affects the rotation curves of galaxies.

Why the observed abundance of only baryonic matter cannot explain how our universe is expanding.

The theorized nature of the quantum vacuum and how its ground state is never zero.

Why the point values of dark energy are not diluted by cosmic expansion.

 

Finally, the Skeptic closes his argument with an hour-long explanation of the universe's positive cosmological constant and how this refutes the H - P theory.

 

That's one way a debate could pan out, Josh.  The Christian puts the Skeptic on to the back foot again and again by repeatedly asking him to explain why this and why that and so on.  If the Skeptic tries to keep things simple by claiming that the H - P theory has been refuted, all the Christian has to do is toss the ball back to him, asking him to justify his claim.  How has it been refuted? 

 

The onus is then on the Skeptic to say how and that means diving into the complexities of the theory.  As far as I can see it's a unwinnable debate for the Skeptic. A debate is won if an argument can be kept simple enough for the audience to understand.  If they can't follow it, then the debate is effectively lost.  It doesn't matter if the Skeptic has the truth and the facts on his side.  So long as the Christian outflanks the Skeptic with tactics like this, they can't lose.

 

Is it fair or moral to do this in a debate?  No, of course not.  But that doesn't stop deeply-committed believers from doing whatever it takes to bring new converts into the kingdom of god, does it?  Are you familiar with the 'Gish Gallop', Josh?  Same kind of thing.  A tactic to win by tying up the opposition and preventing them from making their arguments properly.

 

Ok, enough from me.  Over to you for your thoughts and reactions.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, WalterP said:

I take your point Josh, but there's still a catch.  As I will now illustrate with an excerpt from a fictional debate.

 

Christian:   'Science proves that the universe had an absolute beginning, just as described in the book of Genesis.'

 

Skeptic:   'That's false.  You make that claim on the back of a refuted and discarded theory of cosmology.'

 

Christian:   'Please explain how this theory has been refuted.'

 

Skeptic goes on to explain about...

 

This is where a citation to a pdf paper cataloging all of the citation can be given. I see atheists in debate tell their opponents and the audience where an exhaustive research can be found online or in book form and then paraphrase the points made. Richard Carrier does this all the time. He has exhaustive research and evidence in this or that book. You can't be expected to pull it all out every time a christian asks you to explain. 

 

So that's one way. A book, an ebook, or pdf can be created cataloging everything you've discussed in this thread. And made available to anyone wanting to utilize the information in citation form. 

 

2 hours ago, WalterP said:

The onus is then on the Skeptic to say how and that means diving into the complexities of the theory.  As far as I can see it's a unwinnable debate for the Skeptic.

 

That's if the skeptic allows Craig to turn the burden of proof around on the skeptic. It's Craig who's taken an old 1970's cosmological theory as if it were proven, when it never was. Not only was it not proven, but it was falsified. There's citation for all of that. The skeptic needs to hold Craig's nose in his own burden of proof requirement. 

 

2 hours ago, WalterP said:

Christian:   'Science proves that the universe had an absolute beginning, just as described in the book of Genesis.'

 

Skeptic:   'That's false.  You make that claim on the back of a refuted and discarded theory of cosmology.'

 

Christian:   'Please explain how this theory has been refuted.'

 

Christian: Science proves that the universe had an absolute beginning, just as described in the book of Genesis.

 

 Skeptic: Where exactly has science proven that the universe had an absolute beginning? Let's start with you proving your claim before we discuss Genesis. 

 

Christian: Hawking - Penrose Singularity Theory. 

 

Skeptic: Was that theory ever proven? And if so, can you cite when the theory was proven?

 

*Of course it never was proven, instead it was falsified. Tough luck on the christian proving their claim and satisfying the burden of proof for the claim. The skeptic hasn't had to put forward any positive claim yet. No reason to at this point. The christian's against the ropes unable to satisfy his own burden of proof.

 

Skeptic: If the theory never was proven to begin with, then what sense does it make to claim that science has proven anything that can be related to Genesis? 

 

Where does the christian go? Dig heels in anyways despite failing to prove their own claim when challenged to prove their own claim? Recant the claim and apologize for making it? 

 

@LogicalFallacy

 

You wanna look this over and see what you think. 

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Ok Josh,

 

I'll cede your points about how the Skeptic should interact with the Christian. But I wonder if you are looking to me to prepare this e-book or pdf for wider dissemination?   

 

I certainly had no idea or intention of doing such a thing when I joined this forum.  When I found Ex-C and read through BAA's many threads I realized that there was a ready audience here for my research into WLC's misuse of the H - P singularity theory.  The subjects of Christian apologetics and of Cosmology are very popular here.  My research happens to cover both of those bases and so it's a perfect fit for the audience here.

 

But taking my work elsewhere?  I'm really not at all sure about that.

 

Respectfully,

 

Walter.

 

 

 

 

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Jolly good show in any event! Cheers to you for putting all of this information up for reading and consideration. What you do beyond sharing it here is entirely up to you, of course. But if I get into a debate with some Craig fan, they'll be getting a link to this thread. That much is certain.

 

 

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Many thanks Josh!  :)

 

Imo, providing a link to this thread is ok.  But only up to a point.  I stand by what I wrote yesterday about keeping things short and sweet in a debate.  Well, my actual words were these...

 

A debate is won if an argument can be kept simple enough for the audience to understand.  If they can't follow it, then the debate is effectively lost.  

 

Anyway, what I mean to say is that there's a hell of a lot of complex information in this thread and simply directing the Craig fan here may not be the short, sharp hammer blow you want.  There's too much here to take in easily, spread across five pages.  It's not a problem for me because I knew what I was dealing with before I joined Ex-C.  It's not a problem for you and Disillusioned either, because you guys are fairly well grounded in things cosmological. But since the Craig fan is likely to have received their understanding from reading WLC's discourses at Reasonable.com, they'll probably have just as faulty understanding of cosmology as he does.

 

So, what to do about that?  Well, as far as I can see, if you want to win the debate, you have to keep things as simple as possible. See my quote, above.  Giving them all of this thread to slog through won't do that.  But for starters, what about hitting them with this six-liner?

 

1. WLC's claim that science 'proves' the universe had an absolute beginning relies completely upon Hawking and Penrose's 1970 Singularity Theory paper.

2.  https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspa.1970.0021 The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology.

3. This paper's proof only applies if the universe has a cosmological constant with a negative or a zero value.

4. The universe has been observed to have a small, but positive cosmological constant.  https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.07482

5. Therefore WLC cannot use Hawking and Penrose's 1970 Singularity theory as a proof that the universe had an absolute beginning.

6. The terms and conditions of Hawking and Penrose's proof are violated by the universe itself.

 

...and on the seventh day Walter rested, for he saw that all he had made in the six days was good.  ;)

 

Seriously tho' Josh, these six lines should be enough.  The Craig fan can follow the links under their own steam or Google 'cosmological constant' for themselves.  The info's all there for them to find.  If they quibble over anything, then you can direct them to this thread and hit them with more data. The whole kit and caboodle.

 

That sound ok to you? 

 

Walter.

 

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In my opinion, it is impossible to fully understand and appreciate any physical phenomena without first being able to "do the math". One university professor I studied under went so far as to say "Any scientist or engineer who uses an equation that he cannot derive from the most fundamental mathematics and physics, should be charged with criminal negligence - unless a loss of life is involved - at which point he should be charged with and convicted of murder, then punished to the maximum penalty allowed by law."  Since this teacher was a Ph.D. and the author of our textbook on classical dynamics (plus several more advanced texts) I considered him qualified to make such a statement. For over 40 years I followed his advice, and this kept me from participating in some very big and expensive mistakes.

 

I scanned, but did not read, several of the links given in post #1 and did not see a single equation, and certainly no basic derivations by William Lane Craig. IMO this disqualifies him from meaningful discussions of the theories and concepts used in his assertions, and he is guilty of "intellectual" criminal negligence. My professor from decades ago would describe WLC as "an arrogant and dangerous babbling fool".

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On 2/25/2020 at 7:29 PM, WalterP said:

1. WLC's claim that science 'proves' the universe had an absolute beginning relies completely upon Hawking and Penrose's 1970 Singularity Theory paper.

2.  https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspa.1970.0021 The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology.

3. This paper's proof only applies if the universe has a cosmological constant with a negative or a zero value.

4. The universe has been observed to have a small, but positive cosmological constant.  https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.07482

5. Therefore WLC cannot use Hawking and Penrose's 1970 Singularity theory as a proof that the universe had an absolute beginning.

6. The terms and conditions of Hawking and Penrose's proof are violated by the universe itself.

 

...and on the seventh day Walter rested, for he saw that all he had made in the six days was good.  ;)

 

This is brilliant! 

 

Good enough for Genesis 1, good enough for the simplicity of the debate as I see it. 

 

On 2/25/2020 at 7:29 PM, WalterP said:

Seriously tho' Josh, these six lines should be enough.  The Craig fan can follow the links under their own steam or Google 'cosmological constant' for themselves.  The info's all there for them to find.  If they quibble over anything, then you can direct them to this thread and hit them with more data. The whole kit and caboodle.

 

That sound ok to you? 

 

 

This is firm. The conclusion is that the only honest answer to the question of "Did the Universe have a fixed beginning?" is that it's inconclusive from a scientific stand point. We can't prove that it didn't, but we can demonstrate that science has not proven that the universe ever did have a fixed beginning. So no correlation between the creation account in Genesis 1 and modern cosmology can be made in the terms that WLC has tried making. His fans can try and digest that! A dead end assertion on Craig's part. 

 

On 3/11/2020 at 11:12 AM, Misosthriskeia said:

I scanned, but did not read, several of the links given in post #1 and did not see a single equation, and certainly no basic derivations by William Lane Craig. IMO this disqualifies him from meaningful discussions of the theories and concepts used in his assertions, and he is guilty of "intellectual" criminal negligence. My professor from decades ago would describe WLC as "an arrogant and dangerous babbling fool".

 

Yes, exactly. Thanks for reading and giving your two cents. Craig is leading a pretty large misinformation campaign. The old term, "liar for the lord," has been taken to a new depth with this guy. 

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In my opinion, it is impossible to fully understand and appreciate any physical phenomena without first being able to "do the math". One university professor I studied under went so far as to say "Any scientist or engineer who uses an equation that he cannot derive from the most fundamental mathematics and physics, should be charged with criminal negligence - unless a loss of life is involved - at which point he should be charged with and convicted of murder, then punished to the maximum penalty allowed by law."  Since this teacher was a Ph.D. and the author of our textbook on classical dynamics (plus several more advanced texts) I considered him qualified to make such a statement. For over 40 years I followed his advice, and this kept me from participating in some very big and expensive mistakes.

 

I scanned, but did not read, several of the links given in post #1 and did not see a single equation, and certainly no basic derivations by William Lane Craig. IMO this disqualifies him from meaningful discussions of the theories and concepts used in his assertions, and he is guilty of "intellectual" criminal negligence. My professor from decades ago would describe WLC as "an arrogant and dangerous babbling fool".

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Hello Misosthriskeia.   :)

 

(Is that a modern Greek name or a Koine one?)

 

You make an excellent point about the lack of understanding that comes from not being able to do the math.  I agree.  It applies to Craig.  However, your point is a two-edged sword, that cuts both ways.  It cuts Craig down to size, but it also cuts me down to size too.  Like Craig, I cannot do the math either.  On the face of it that should disqualify me from making any meaningful discussions about the Hawking - Penrose singularity theory. 

 

But upon further examination that need not be the case.  I do have sufficient understanding to accurately report what H and P say about the limitations of their theory.  I don't need to fully understand and appreciate the physical phenomenon of space-time singularities to show where H and P say that their theory cannot apply.   And that's what I've endeavoured to do in this thread.  

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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JoshPantera wrote...

 

This is firm. The conclusion is that the only honest answer to the question of "Did the Universe have a fixed beginning?" is that it's inconclusive from a scientific stand point. We can't prove that it didn't, but we can demonstrate that science has not proven that the universe ever did have a fixed beginning. So no correlation between the creation account in Genesis 1 and modern cosmology can be made in the terms that WLC has tried making. His fans can try and digest that! A dead end assertion on Craig's part.

 

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Yes Josh. 

 

A dead end assertion and his Kalam Cosmological Argument is dead in the water because of that positive cosmological constant.  

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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Hello Disillusioned and Josh. :)

 

I've just found something of interest and thought I'd let you guys know, asap.

 

As you know I've been able to show that Roger Penrose has changed his mind about Singularity theory and has embraced the discovery of a positive cosmological constant.  Today I was looking through a listing of Stephen Hawking's science papers...

 

http://www.hawking.org.uk/publications.html

 

...and found this.  https://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/9803156.pdf  Open Inflation, the Four Form and the Cosmological Constant.

 

I haven't had a chance to look through it carefully yet, but a quick once over tells me that it could be very interesting indeed.  This paper was first published in April 1998, just before the discovery of a positive cosmological constant was announced, but is shown in its revised, 2008 form. Anyway, if things pan out I might be able to demonstrate that both Penrose and Hawking changed their thinking about the initial singularity.  This would mean that they both discarded their 1970 paper, The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology.  

 

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

 

If this is so, then WLC hasn't a leg to stand on.  He'd be relying on a theory that has been refuted by evidence and rejected by its authors.

 

I'll get back to this thread when I've completed a proper read-through.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

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Hello guys.

 

I have news.

 

The paper,  Open Inflation, the Four Form and the Cosmological Constant, which I mentioned in my previous post is more complex than at first glance and will need some careful explanation on my part if I'm to convey it's meaning to you with clarity.  That will have to wait for a little while.  For now I'd like to acquaint you with my current findings, which have to do with the evolution of Stephen Hawking's thinking about the cosmological constant.  From the mid 1960's through to 1984.  

 

http://www.hawking.org.uk/publications.html 

This link gives all of his published science papers, lectures and books, but in reverse chronological order, with his last paper first and his first paper last.  So, I'll present the salient information as a timeline, in the proper chronological order.  I've highlighted the dates for the sake of clarity and my explanatory notes will be preceded by a 'W'.  

 

https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.14.57

Gravitational Collapse and Space-Time Singularities

Roger Penrose

Phys. Rev. Lett. 14, 57 – Published 18 January 1965

 

W. This is Penrose's seminal paper where he shows that a very massive star undergoing gravitational collapse must form a gravitational singularity. 

 

https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.17.445

Singularities in Closed Universes

R. P. Geroch

Phys. Rev. Lett. 17, 445 – Published 22 August 1966

 

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspa.1966.0221

The occurrence of singularities in cosmology

Stephen William Hawking

Published:18 October 1966

 

W. Here Hawking reverses the time direction equations of Penrose’s 1965 paper to show that in general relativity an expanding universe must be preceded by an initial singularity.

 

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspa.1966.0255

The occurrence of singularities in cosmology. II

Stephen William Hawking

Published:20 December 1966

 

https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspa.1967.0164

The occurrence of singularities in cosmology. ɪɪɪ. Causality and singularities

Stephen William Hawking

Published:30 August 1967

 

W. The three above papers by Hawking, the one by Geroch and Penrose's paper are all incorporated into the one below.  This is the paper that WLC's cosmology is based upon.  The essential point to remember is this.  For the H – P singularity theory to apply in our universe, the cosmological constant MUST have a negative or zero value.  Any positive value negates its applicability.  Which means that Craig cannot use it to ‘prove’ that the universe had a definite beginning.

 

 The Singularities of gravitational collapse and cosmology. S.W. Hawking (Cambridge U.), R. Penrose  (Birkbeck Coll.). Jan 1970. 20 pp. Published in Proc.Roy.Soc.Lond. A314  (1970) 529-548, DOI: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/pdf/10.1098/rspa.1970.0021

 

 

Why Is The Apparent Cosmological Constant Zero?  (talk). S.W. Hawking (Cambridge U.). 1981. Published in In *Muenchen 1981, Proceedings, Unified Theories Of  Elementary Particles*, 167-175

 

 Abstract

 

The apparent cosmological constant is measured to be zero with an accuracy greater than that for any other quantity in Physics. On the other hand one would expect a large induced cosmological constant unless the various contributions from symmetry breaking, etc., were balanced against each other to better than 1 part in 1040 It is suggested that this puzzle can be resolved by assuming that quantum state of the universe is not chosen at random but contains only states with a very large Euclidean 4-volume. In this situation the actual value of the cosmological constant is unobservable. There are solutions of the Einstein equations with a large cosmological constant which appear nearly flat on large length scales but which are highly curved and topologically complicated on very small length scales. Estimates are made of the spectrum of these topological fluctuations and of their effects on the propagation of particles.

 

W. A decade later, even though Hawking is still supporting the idea that while the apparent cosmological constant is zero on very large (i.e., cosmic) scales, he posits the idea that it may actually be very large at Planck length scales.  He speculates that some other physical phenomenon would be needed to cancel out this large value and bring it down to the zero it appears to be on cosmic scales.

 

 

The Cosmological Constant Is Probably Zero. S.W. Hawking (Cambridge U.).Print-84-0116 (CAMBRIDGE). Feb 1984. 5 pp. Published in Phys.Lett. B134 (1984) 403, DOI: 10.1016/0370-2693(84)91370-4

 

Abstract

 

It is suggested that the apparent cosmological constant is not necessarily zero but that zero is by far the most probable value. One requires some mechanism like a three-index antisymmetric tensor field or topological fluctuations of the metric which can give rise to an effective cosmological constant of arbitrary magnitude. The action of solutions of the euclidean field equations is most negative, and the probability is therefore highest, when this effective cosmological constant is very small.

 

W. Three years on, Hawking suggests that the apparent cosmological constant may not be zero after all. So, he has shifted his position. He still requires some mechanism to adjust its value to keep its apparent value very small, but he doesn’t commit himself as to whether it would be a very small negative or positive value.  Providing that it is a small negative value, the 1970 H – P singularity theory would still be viable. Any positive value would mean that the H - P theory doesn't apply in our universe.

 

Disillusioned and Josh, at this stage I'd just like to ask if you have any questions about what I've written here.  Please let me know.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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4 hours ago, WalterP said:

W. Three years on, Hawking suggests that the apparent cosmological constant may not be zero after all. So, he has shifted his position. He still requires some mechanism to adjust its value to keep its apparent value very small, but he doesn’t commit himself as to whether it would be a very small negative or positive value.  Providing that it is a small negative value, the 1970 H – P singularity theory would still be viable. Any positive value would mean that the H - P theory doesn't apply in our universe.

 

Disillusioned and Josh, at this stage I'd just like to ask if you have any questions about what I've written here.  Please let me know.

 

Where is the citation for the currently held data on a positive cosmological constant? And why would that be questionable to Hawking aside from a personal bias drawing him towards holding ground on the 1970 theory as still valid? Hawking is known for personal bias. Remember the black hole fiasco? He seemed more stubborn to admit when he's wrong or likely wrong, than Penrose apparently is. 

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Hello Josh.

 

To answer your first question, here's some information that I posted in this thread on Oct 4. 

 

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So, the $64,000 question that’s now screaming to be answered is this.  “Do we live in a universe with a cosmological constant of a negative value, of a zero value or of something else?”  The answer to this question will tell us if Hawking and Penrose’s theory applies to our universe or not.  I will let the following links supply the answer to the big question.

 

https://arxiv.org/abs/1706.07482

http://physics.princeton.edu/~steinh/lambda16.pdf

https://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Carroll2/Carroll2_2.html

https://www.edge.org/response-detail/27194

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

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5256042/

https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1711/1711.06890.pdf

https://cds.cern.ch/record/485959/files/0102033.pdf

 

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These links are, more or less, up to date.  They confirm that our universe has a positive cosmological constant, invalidating the H - P singularity theory and destroying WLC's cosmology, which is based solely upon that theory.  

 

However, the original findings are these, dating from 1998 and 1999.

 

https://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9805201 Observational Evidence from Supernovae for an Accelerating Universe and a Cosmological Constant

https://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9805200 The High-Z Supernova Search: Measuring Cosmic Deceleration and Global Curvature of the Universe Using Type Ia Supernovae

https://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9812133  Measurements of Omega and Lambda from 42 High-Redshift Supernovae

 

When the same result was found by different teams this was enough to convince the scientific community that the cosmological constant had a small positive value.

 

Now to your second question.

 

Yes, I know that Hawking could be stubborn, but I don't think that's what being displayed here.  Please remember that the information I've posted in this thread about Roger Penrose dates from well after that 1998/9 watershed moment.  Penrose's Conformal Cyclic Cosmology theory adopted the positive cosmological constant years after it was generally accepted by the majority of scientists.  

 

Also, prior to 1998 almost everyone expected it to be zero.  So, Hawking was simply following the crowd in treating it as zero in all of his papers prior to 1998.  If he had maintained that it was zero, in the face of the 1998 evidence, then that would have been sheer stubbornness on his part.

 

The final point to take into account Josh is that so far I've listed Hawking's relevant science papers from 1966 to 1984.  The accusation of stubbornness can't leveled at Hawking for his work in this period because the discovery of a positive cosmological constant didn't happen until 1998.  As far as I can see this puts Hawking in the clear.  Why wouldn't he hold to his 1970 position on the cosmological constant's value until contradictory evidence comes to hand?

 

Does that explain things?

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

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On 2/24/2020 at 3:21 PM, Joshpantera said:

 

 

 

Skeptic: Was that theory ever proven? And if so, can you cite when the theory was proven?

 

*Of course it never was proven, instead it was falsified. Tough luck on the christian proving their claim and satisfying the burden of proof for the claim. The skeptic hasn't had to put forward any positive claim yet. No reason to at this point. The christian's against the ropes unable to satisfy his own burden of proof.

 

 

 

Hello gents, no physicist am I, nor philosopher of science. But I thought a scientific theory is not, strictly speaking, proved. I thought it 'shows its mettle,' as Karl Popper put it, the more times it successfully predicts outcomes that are then verified. I.e. it's predicted outcomes of experiments that are verified, but it's not the theory that is verified. ???

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Hello Ficino.  :)

 

I can understand your confusion, but there's no need to worry.  Disillusioned, Josh and I are all well aware that the only scientific theories that are proved are mathematical ones.  Please note that I was taking the part of William Lane Craig in my dialogue with Josh because Craig does assert that science proves that the universe had a definite beginning.  If you go to the start of this thread I explain that Craig misuses a 1970 science paper by Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose in which they present a mathematical proof for a definite beginning of the universe - the initial singularity. 

 

In this thread I've been at pains to explain that Hawking and Penrose set down very precise limits under which their proof would be viable.  In 1998 one of those limits was found to be violated and so their proof does not apply to this universe.  It can't be used as WLC has been using it - as the basis for the Kalam Cosmological Argument.  The proof was refuted even before Craig started up his ReasonableFaith forum.  

 

Does that help to explain things?

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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@WalterP: cool, thanks!

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Hello Disillusioned and Josh. :)

 

I have some more news.  Over the past week I've checked all of Hawking's published science papers from this listing, which I think is complete and exhaustive.  

 

http://www.hawking.org.uk/publications.html 

 

In none of them does he openly embrace or accept the universe's positive cosmological constant.  But rather than this being a case of stubborns on his part, I think there's another reason for this.  Back in the 60's and 70's Hawking and Penrose reasoned that all of physics breaks down at the initial singularity, leading to a breakdown in predictability.   Hawking worked with Jim Hartle on the problem of restoring predictability and found a way of eliminating the initial singularity, which they called the No-Boundary Proposal.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hartle–Hawking_state

 

This mathematical solution restored a degree of quantum predictability, allowing them to calculate certain probabilities about the origins of the universe.  This was much better than the situation with the Hawking - Penrose singularity theory, where ALL predictability broke down completely at the initial singularity.  So Hawking was satisfied with this and stayed with his No-Boundary Proposal until his dying day. 

 

Because Hawking believed that he had restored predictability to the science of cosmic origins he effectively discarded the 1970 singularity theory that he and Penrose had worked on.  I know this to be so because I recall him saying so in his book, 'A Brief History of Time'.  

 

What I'll do over the next few days is to find that quote from that book and cite it in this thread.  I'll also explain about how the paper I've linked to below is relevant to our discussion of William Lane Craig's (failed) cosmology.  

 

 https://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/9803156.pdf  Open Inflation, the Four Form and the Cosmological Constant.

 

The quote from Hawking's book will be easy enough for you guys to follow but the above science paper will need some careful explanation.

 

Thank you,

 

Walter.

 

 

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Ok Disillusioned and Josh.

 

Here are the relevant extracts from Hawking's book, A Brief History of Time.  https://www.fisica.net/relatividade/stephen_hawking_a_brief_history_of_time.pdf

 

Chapter 3, The Expanding Universe. Pages 28 & 29.

 

"All of the Friedmann solutions have the feature that at some time in the past (between ten and twenty thousand million years ago) the distance between neighbouring galaxies must have been zero. At that time, which we call the big bang, the density of the universe and the curvature of space-time would have been infinite. Because mathematics cannot really handle infinite numbers, this means that the general theory of relativity (on which Friedmann’s solutions are based) predicts that there is a point in the universe where the theory itself breaks down. Such a point is an example of what mathematicians call a singularity. In fact, all our theories of science are formulated on the assumption that space-time is smooth and nearly fiat, so they break down at the big bang singularity, where the curvature of space-time is infinite. This means that even if there were events before the big bang, one could not use them to determine what would happen afterward, because predictability would break down at the big bang."

 

"In 1965 I read about Penrose’s theorem that any body undergoing gravitational collapse must eventually form a singularity. I soon realized that if one reversed the direction of time in Penrose’s theorem, so that the collapse became an expansion, the conditions of his theorem would still hold, provided the universe were roughly like a Friedmann model on large scales at the present time. Penrose’s theorem had shown that any collapsing star must end in a singularity; the time-reversed argument showed that any Friedmann-like expanding universe must have begun with a singularity. For technical reasons, Penrose’s theorem required that the universe be infinite in space. So, I could in fact, use it to prove that there should be a singularity only if the universe was expanding fast enough to avoid collapsing again (since only those Friedmann models were infinite in space)."

 

My comments.

This is what William Lane Craig has seized upon, Hawking's declaration that the universe must have begun with a singularity.  The emphasis on 'must' is Hawking's, not Craig's nor mine.

 

"During the next few years I developed new mathematical techniques to remove this and other technical conditions from the theorems that proved that singularities must occur. The final result was a joint paper by Penrose and myself in 1970, which at last proved that there must have been a big bang singularity provided only that general relativity is correct and the universe contains as much matter as we observe. There was a lot of opposition to our work, partly from the Russians because of their Marxist belief in scientific determinism, and partly from people who felt that the whole idea of singularities was repugnant and spoiled the beauty of Einstein’s theory. However, one cannot really argue with a mathematical theorem."

 

My comments.

Here Hawking refers to the 1970 paper that contains the mathematical proof Lane misuses to assert that science proves the universe had a definite beginning.

 

"So in the end our work became generally accepted and nowadays nearly everyone assumes that the universe started with a big bang singularity. It is perhaps ironic that, having changed my mind, I am now trying to convince other physicists that there was in fact no singularity at the beginning of the universe – as we shall see later, it can disappear once quantum effects are taken into account." 

 

My comments.

There it is in b&w.  Hawking changed his mind about the initial singularity.  Like Penrose he discarded the findings of their joint 1970 paper.  Penrose did so because of the 1998 discovery of a positive cosmological constant, which violated the terms and conditions of their proof.  Hawking did so, not because of the cosmological constant, but because he and Jim Hartle found a purely mathematical way of excluding the singularity from their calculations - the No Boundary Proposal.

 

However, the plot thickens when we take a close look at this paper. https://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/9803156.pdf  Open Inflation, the Four Form and the Cosmological Constant.

 

Disillusioned and Josh, before I go into that I'll pause and await your replies, questions, comments. etc.

 

Thank you,

 

Walter.

 

 

 

 

 

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I don't have a lot to add, but just a brief note for people who may be struggling to follow the minutia of this discussion:

 

Hawking and Penrose wrote a paper, as theoretical physicists do,  which was based on certain assumptions. Their paper was very influential,  and had some profound implications. Most pertinently, that the universe had a definite beginning.

 

Later,  though, the best available evidence led both Hawking and Penrose to the conclusion that the key assumption on which their paper was gounded was incorrect. So they both did what good scientists do: they ammended their views. They moved on. They even rejected explicitly the implications of the paper which had made them famous.

 

Craig, on the other hand, has married himself to the conclusions of that same paper, the conclusions of which the authors of said paper have both since explicitly disavowed. Moreover, Craig has no specific expertise in this area. His argument is worse than dead on arrival.

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10 hours ago, WalterP said:

"So in the end our work became generally accepted and nowadays nearly everyone assumes that the universe started with a big bang singularity. It is perhaps ironic that, having changed my mind, I am now trying to convince other physicists that there was in fact no singularity at the beginning of the universe – as we shall see later, it can disappear once quantum effects are taken into account." 

 

My comments.

There it is in b&w.  Hawking changed his mind about the initial singularity.  Like Penrose he discarded the findings of their joint 1970 paper.  Penrose did so because of the 1998 discovery of a positive cosmological constant, which violated the terms and conditions of their proof.  Hawking did so, not because of the cosmological constant, but because he and Jim Hartle found a purely mathematical way of excluding the singularity from their calculations - the No Boundary Proposal.

 

I never bought the singularity theory any ways. That's one of the things that I first discussed with BAA. And back then there were problems with past eternal inflation. But the two of us looked into it deeper and found that the door isn't by any means closed on that, either. Or at least the door wasn't closed at the time.

 

And it really doesn't matter whether it's inflation or something else, whatever the case it seems very clear that some sort of past eternal scenario is necessary in order for existence itself, and our experience of ourselves, and the universe to be happening right now. Our philosophy discussion about something = something outlines this very well.

 

So the next question is how the No Boundary Proposal fits into the situation....

 

 

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Disillusioned,

 

Thanks for the reply.

 

"I don't have a lot to add, but just a brief note for people who may be struggling to follow the minutia of this discussion:"

 

I'm sorry that things are getting complicated, but I can't really help that.  However, I'm open to any ideas you might have to make things easier. You too Josh.  Please let me know, guys.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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I never bought the singularity theory any ways. That's one of the things that I first discussed with BAA. And back then there were problems with past eternal inflation. But the two of us looked into it deeper and found that the door isn't by any means closed on that, either. Or at least the door wasn't closed at the time.

 

And it really doesn't matter whether it's inflation or something else, whatever the case it seems very clear that some sort of past eternal scenario is necessary in order for existence itself, and our experience of ourselves, and the universe to be happening right now. Our philosophy discussion about something = something outlines this very well.

 

So the next question is how the No Boundary Proposal fits into the situation....

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

That's right Josh.

 

As we will be seeing, the Hawking - Hartle No Boundary Proposal was taken by Hawking and Turok and grafted onto Inflationary theory.  I've found a nice, one-page explanation of how they did this and I'll be using that in this thread.  

 

There are two further points of interest to whet your appetite.  First, any and all models of Inflation violate the equations Hawking and Penrose used in their 1970 singularity theory.  I'll explain how this works.

 

Second, when it comes to past eternal inflation Craig cites the Borde, Guth & Vilenkin paper that says that even this type of inflation MUST have had a beginning. I know you're familiar with this because I've read your discussions on this with BAA.

 

But guess what?  Craig blunders again in the way he uses the BGV to argue for an absolute beginning of past eternal inflation.  He inadvertently argues for the existence of an Inflationary Multiverse - something which he usually strenuously denies.  Who'd have thought it?  I'll explain where and how he trips up when we come to this topic.

 

Anyway, next up is the No-Boundary Proposal + Open Inflation, as described here.

 

https://arxiv.org/pdf/hep-th/9803156.pdf  Open Inflation, the Four Form and the Cosmological Constant.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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