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The Failed Cosmology of William Lane Craig


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34 minutes ago, WalterP said:

 

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.

 

 

I don't think you need to be sorry; it's a complicated topic. I'm looking forward to looking at the no boundary proposal. In the past,  I've found it to be fairly appealing.

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THE  FAILED  COSMOLOGY  OF  WILLIAM  LANE  CRAIG     Disclaimer   Please be aware that I do not necessarily endorse, support or promote the theories I am about discuss and exp

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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

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Hello guys.  :)

 

I've decided that it would be of some help to put the Open Inflation, Four Form & Cosmological Constant paper in its historical context.  That's because Hawking's No Boundary solution to the problems caused by the initial singularity and the Open model of Inflationary theory are two quite different beasts.  It’s important to realize the chronological order in which they were published.  Here we go.

 

1965

Roger Penrose mathematically proves that a collapsing massive star MUST become a singularity.  (See image hp1.)   None of the matter and energy of the star can escape its own Past light cone and so it has nowhere to go but into the singularity.  The singularity has zero size and since space and time are different aspects of the same thing (space-time) in general relativity, where there is no space, there is also no time.  Therefore, all the matter and energy of the collapsing star appears to go 'nowhere' and seems to vanish from the universe. 

Please note that this is Penrose's mathematical conclusion. In reality we cannot tell if this is so because the singularity is hidden from us by the event horizon.  

 

1966.

Stephen Hawking realizes that the equations of general relativity have no preferred direction in time, so he flips Penrose's singularity calculations through 180 degrees, reversing the direction of time.  (See image hp2.) This leads to space-time and matter and energy emerging from a singularity.  While mathematically valid, Hawking's conclusions create a problem.  When scientists use a Light Cone (please see Wikipedia example) they can use the Past history of something to calculate its Future. 

 

In Classical Newtonian and Einsteinian physics, if you have sufficient knowledge of something's Past light cone you can calculate what it will do in its Future light cone.  In Quantum physics, you can do the same, but only in terms of probabilities.  When Penrose proved that time and space cease to exist at a singularity, he destroyed the Future light cone of the collapsing star.  The matter and energy appeared to go 'nowhere'.  When Hawking proved that time and space can emerge from a singularity, he destroyed the Past light cone of the emergent matter and energy.  This matter and energy appeared to come from 'nowhere'.

 

The singularity was a big headache for scientists because it seemed to violate classical cause-and-effect, with something coming from nothing.   If something has no Past, then all predictability breaks down.  You have no past to use to make any predictions about the future. To restore predictability Hawking decided to do away with light cones altogether. He did that in 1983.  But now, please fast forward to...

 

1980.

Alan Guth and Andrei Linde separately publish Inflationary theory.  This appears to solve the paradox of something-for-nothing by balancing the positive energy of matter and energy with its negative gravitational energy.  Guth’s famous quote, ‘The universe is the ultimate free lunch’ was his way of compressing the notion of a zero-energy universe into a neat soundbite.

Inflationary theory is a hybrid mix Classical Einsteinian physics with Quantum physics, called semi-classical physics.  It does so in way that is totally incompatible with Singularity theory.  (Explanation as to why this is will follow.) Therefore, any larger theory that incorporates Inflation must also be incompatible with Singularity.  As we will see, this becomes significant from 1998 onwards.    

 

1983.

Working with Jim Hartle, Hawking publishes the No-Boundary Proposal. Please look up the Hartle-Hawking State on Wikipedia.  The geometry of the equations changes the nature of space-time in such a way that a singularity is avoided.  Therefore, the space-time boundary vanishes.  I cannot claim to understand how this works or how predictability is restored, but apparently this is so.  Anyway, we now move on to…

 

1998.

Stephen Hawking and Neil Turok publish Open Inflation, the Four Form and the Cosmological Constant.  This paper combines the No-Boundary Proposal with the Open model of Inflation.  The timing of publication is very interesting.  It was submitted in March 1998.  Later that year…

 

May 1998, Adam Reiss’ team publish a paper about the accelerating expansion of the universe.

https://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9805201

May 1998, Brian Schmidt’s team publish a paper about the accelerating expansion of the universe.

https://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9805200

December 1998, Saul Perlmutter’s team publish two papers about the accelerating expansion of the universe.

https://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9812133

https://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/9712212

 

Perlmutter, Reiss and Schmidt would go on to win the 2011 Nobel prize for science for showing that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.  The scientific community concluded that because of this accelerating expansion, the value of the universe’s cosmological constant cannot negative or zero, it must be positive.

 

So, Hawking and Turok published just months before the news of an accelerating universe broke.  They were working on the premise that the universe’s cosmological constant was either negative or zero.  Hawking and Hartle’s No-Boundary solution to problems thrown up by singularity theory were no longer needed because the 1970 paper by Hawking and Penrose is invalidated by a cosmological constant with a positive value.  

 

There’s no need for a No-Boundary solution to restore predictability if the very theory that destroys predictability (Singularity theory) can’t be applied in this universe. If the problem goes away, who needs a solution to it?

 

I’ll stop there and wait for any questions that arise from this post.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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Hmmm... couldn't seem to attach image hp2 on that post. 

 

I keep getting a message telling me that I can only post 20kb of images.  It also seems that my quota of available memory for posting images is going down and down.  Can you help me out here please, Josh?

 

It's pretty darned difficult to explain this stuff without being able to post decent-sized images.

 

Anyway, this link...  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_cone ...will help you understand what I was saying, up above.  Penrose destroyed the future light cone of the collapsing star's matter and energy by swallowing it up in the singularity, which has no size and time.  Hawking did the opposite, destroying the Past light cone, leading to matter and energy emerging from the singularity, which has no size and time.  

 

Thank you,

 

Walter. 

 

 

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On 4/2/2020 at 6:17 AM, WalterP said:

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.

 

Yes, some public and some were private. But this was a pressing issue a few years back. 

 

On 4/4/2020 at 12:18 PM, WalterP said:

Hmmm... couldn't seem to attach image hp2 on that post. 

 

I keep getting a message telling me that I can only post 20kb of images.  It also seems that my quota of available memory for posting images is going down and down.  Can you help me out here please, Josh?

 

It's pretty darned difficult to explain this stuff without being able to post decent-sized images.

 

Let's see if @webmdave can do anything about the image issue. 

 

On 4/4/2020 at 12:18 PM, WalterP said:

Anyway, this link...  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_cone ...will help you understand what I was saying, up above.  Penrose destroyed the future light cone of the collapsing star's matter and energy but swallowing it up in the singularity, which has no size and time.  Hawking did the opposite, destroying the Past light cone, leading to matter and energy emerging from the singularity, which has no size and time.  

 

Thank you,

 

Walter. 

 

300px-World_line.svg.png

 

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  On 4/2/2020 at 11:17 AM, WalterP said:

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.

 

Yes, some public and some were private. But this was a pressing issue a few years back. 

 

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

 

Thank you for getting webmaster Dave on the case, Josh.  I appreciate it. :)

 

Well, Craig's use of the BGV to argue for an absolute beginning of Inflation is a real **** up.  However, it's not relevant to this thread, because as I mentioned on Saturday, Inflationary theory and Singularity theory are very different things.  Mutually exclusive actually.  As I will show when I go on to explain The Hawking - Turok Open Inflation theory.

 

So, if you're interested to know how and why Craig screws up with the BGV I could defer that until I've tackled Hawking -Turok Open Inflation.  Or I could start up another thread. One that would run in parallel with this one, but be devoted exclusively to explaining why Craig inadvertently argues FOR and inflationary multiverse.  Please let me know.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

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4 hours ago, WalterP said:

So, if you're interested to know how and why Craig screws up with the BGV I could defer that until I've tackled Hawking -Turok Open Inflation.  Or I could start up another thread. One that would run in parallel with this one, but be devoted exclusively to explaining why Craig inadvertently argues FOR and inflationary multiverse.  Please let me know.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

Either way, very interesting stuff you're documenting. BAA would be proud of this!!!

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Thank you Josh. :)

 

When you write things like this, I rue not having met with him.  

 

Walter.

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Disillusioned and Josh,

 

Below is a link to a non-technical explanation of this 1998 paper by Stephen Hawking and Neil Turok. 

 

 

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

 

http://www.ctc.cam.ac.uk/outreach/origins/inflation_four.php 

This explanation comes from the Stephen Hawking Centre for Theoretical Cosmology.

 

This linked page becomes relevant to our thread in the third paragraph.  If you recall, Hawking and Penrose published their singularity theory in 1970.  A decade later Alan Guth and Andrei Linde published Inflationary theory.  So, this 1998 collaboration between Hawking and Neil Turok is an attempt to do two things – to solve the problem of an initial singularity and to blend that solution with Inflation. 

 

In 1970 Hawking and Penrose mathematically proved that a singularity must exist as the ultimate boundary to space-time.  They used Light Cones to do this, showing that the singularity occurs at the apex of the cone.  Therefore, all of time and space in the universe appeared to originate from that apex.  The big problem with that conclusion was that because space and time began with the singularity, it had no past history.  It simply came to be, without prior cause.  In fact, since everything came from the singularity, then everything had no past history. The universe appeared to come from nowhere and nowhen.  Without prior physical cause.

 

This is what Hawking frequently refers to in his science papers and books as the problem of predictability.  In science the past and the present are used to make predictions about the future.  This general rule applies to almost every branch of science.  But if something has no past, then nothing can be scientifically predicted about its future. Stephen Hawking and Jim Hartle solved this problem by removing the singularity from their calculations.  Their solution, known as an Instanton, fills the green area in the diagram and is labelled, E. 

 

Now for the twist in the tale!

 

As we now know, just a few months after Hawking and Turok published this paper, the news of the universe’s positive cosmological constant became known.  The terms and conditions of Hawking and Penrose’s 1970 singularity theory are violated by a cosmological constant with a positive value.  That 1970 paper could no longer be used to prove that an initial singularity must have existed.

 

Predictability problem solved!

 

But there’s another point that’s very relevant to this whole thread.  By hitching his wagon to Open Inflationary theory in this paper, Hawking tacitly signaled his rejection of the singularity theory that he and Roger Penrose published in 1970.  Both authors of the paper that William Lane Craig relies upon have discarded and abandoned it.  Interestingly enough, Hawking abandoned singularity theory just a few months before the discovery of the universe's positive cosmological constant.  So he and Turok were actually ahead of the game, in a manner of speaking.  

 

In a future post I will explain exactly how Hawking’s acceptance of Inflation signals his rejection of singularity theory. 

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

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JoshPantera wrote...

 

You're keeping his work alive! 

 

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

 

Many thanks Josh.   I can't replace BAA,  but I hope to follow the path the blazed.  :)

 

Btw, when it comes to blunders and misunderstandings by WLC, I'm saving the best till last.  Once you guys are happy to move on from today's post I'll go on to explain exactly how Hawking's acceptance of Inflation signals his out-and-out rejection of his 1970 singularity paper.  When that's been covered I'll get to WLC's last and worse **** up.  

 

Thank you,

 

Walter. 

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Hello again Disillusioned and Josh.  :)

 

 

 

At long last I'm getting my act together and making good on what I said months ago - showing how Hawking's acceptance of Inflationary cosmology signals a rejection of his own work on Singularity Theory.

 

The next step is to look at this paper, by Visser and Barcelo, originally published in 1999, but updated in 2000 and 2008.

 

https://arxiv.org/pdf/gr-qc/0001099.pdf

 

Energy Conditions and their Cosmological Implications

 

Energy conditions are mathematical formulae used in General Relativity and other areas of cosmology.  The Hawking - Penrose Singularity theorem of 1970, upon which WLC bases his whole cosmology, relies upon a number of them.  But the most important is the Strong Energy Condition or SEC.  Here's what Visser and Barcelo have to say about it.

 

P.5.

 

Though the SEC violations we are talking about here are most commonly used in building models of cosmological inflation, perhaps the most serious long term issue is that the singularity theorem we use to prove the existence of a big bang singularity in FLRW cosmologies depends crucially on the SEC.

 

Not only do SEC violations permit cosmological inflation but they also open the door to replacing the big bang singularity with a “bounce”, or “Tolman wormhole”. In fact it is now known that generically the SEC is the only energy condition you need to violate to get a bounce, and that it is still possible to satisfy all the other energy conditions at and near the bounce.

 

(In counterpoint, if one replaces the SEC by strong enough inhomogeneity assumptions then it is possible to prove that certain classes of chaotic inflationary models must nevertheless possess a big-bang singularity.)

 

So, there are three takeaway points of interest to us.

 

1

Hawking and Penrose's Big Bang Singularity... 'depends crucially on the SEC.'

So, if Hawking were to accept a cosmological theory that violated the SEC, then that would signal his rejection of his 1970 singularity theory.  

 

2.

If the SEC is violated by inflation (it is, but more about that later) then there is no longer a singularity to demarcate a complete and absolute beginning of time and space at the Big Bang.  WLC loses his main gambit... 'everything has a beginning'.  Nor can he use the H - P singularity theory to disallow the possibility of a cyclic universe.  Bouncing universes are back on the table.  

 

3.

Even though WLC relies upon the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin paper to assert that even chaotic inflation must have had a singularity at its ultimate beginning, according to Visser and Barcelo, this is only possible...

 

...if the now-violated SEC is replaced by a strong enough inhomogeneity assumption

 

...and even then this wouldn't hold good for ALL models of chaotic inflation.  Only some of them.

 

 

Now that we can see that the SEC is the lynch-pin for singularity.  Pull that pin out and everything crashes down.  In my next post I'll show that two things, now widely accepted in cosmological science, pull that pin.  WLC denies one, but accepts the other.  Stephen Hawking accepted both.  Roger Penrose accepts one, but denies the other.

 

These two things are familiar to us by now.  Cosmic Inflation and the Cosmological Constant.

 

More to follow.

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

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Hello Josh and Disillusioned.  :)

 

This post is a bit of a detour from where we’ve been going recently in this thread.  I’m making it on the back of something that cropped up in Josh's  ‘Did the universe begin???’ thread.  Synchronously, I noticed this new entry in the physicsforum site.

 

https://www.physicsforums.com/threads/bgv-theorem-and-penroses-conformal-cyclic-cosmology.994703/

 

If you follow the Wiki BGV link and click on the link for reference 3, you’ll be taken here.

 

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=WN02DwAAQBAJ&dq=bgv+theorem+physics+-god&redir_esc=y

 

Here we see a selection of excerpts from WLC's book, The Kalam Cosmological Argument : Scientific Evidence for the Beginning of the Universe. 

 

Please scroll down to the list of Contents and then select Science Excerpt, page 12.

 

If you go down to page 18, the key section begins about midway down; “In 1970, however, Stephen Hawking and Roger Penrose proved…”

 

Please read from there until 2.33 Exceptions to the Hawking – Penrose theorems.  There’s no need to read any further because we now know that the H – P theorem cannot be used to prove a definite beginning of the universe.

 

So there we have it. 

 

Everything that we’ve covered in this thread, since October last year, is confirmed by WLC himself.  In his own words.  In his own book.  His cosmology and his arguments depend entirely upon that one paper, The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology, published in 1970 by Hawking and Penrose.

 

But we know that with a positive cosmological constant accelerating the expansion of the universe, he cannot use that theorem to prove that the universe had a definite beginning.  This is the first domino of Craig’s apologetic arguments to fall.  After that, his dominoes just keep falling. 

 

Because he can’t prove that the universe had a beginning, he can’t argue that it must have had a cause of its beginning. 

 

Because he can’t argue that it had a cause of its beginning, he can’t argue that the causal agent was the Christian god. 

 

Because he can’t argue that the causal agent was god, he can’t claim that Genesis 1:1 is confirmed by science. 

 

Because he can’t prove that the universe is ‘singular’, he can’t argue that it is finely-tuned for life.  

 

Because he can’t argue for fine-tuning, he can’t argue that the universe is intelligently designed.

 

Because he can’t argue for an intelligent designer, he can’t argue that this designer is the Christian god.

 

Thank you,

 

Walter.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for this video Josh.  :)

 

For the record, I have no problem at all with causal finitism.  My position on the matter is exactly the same as the one I hold to regarding the BVG.  I have no problem with there being a true, definite and absolute beginning of Inflation.

 

There are two reasons why I'm not bothered by causal finitism and/or the BVG.

 

1.  The Big Difference between the BVG and H-P.

 

Both of these things, when applied to cosmology are obliged to toe the Copernican line.  The CP underpins all of cosmology.  So, if a Christian apologist declares that they will not accept it, then they can kiss goodbye to using the BVG.  That theory is formulated on the basis that the CP and they can't have it both ways.

 

They can't use the BVG to claim an absolute beginning and also claim that the beginning of our universe is that absolute beginning.  To do that would be to raise our status above all other inflated regions, elsewhere in the multiverse.  That is a violation of the CP.  The CP requires that our status be exactly the same as any other observer's, anywhere else in the multiverse.

 

So, the amount of elapsed time since the absolute beginning is unknowable.  The number of regions like our universe that have been inflated since that absolute beginning is also... unknowable.  When the CP is properly applied the BVG gives no help and no answers.  All that can be safely said is that an absolute beginning is theorized to be necessary.

 

See the difference, Josh?

 

WLC tried (and failed) to use Hawking-Penrose singularity theorem to mathematically prove an absolute beginning.  But the BVG is not a mathematical proof.  It is theoretical physics, not mathematics.  Such a theory requires empirical evidence to support it.  But we can only obtain such evidence from within our observable universe.  Borde, Guth and Vilenkin used evidence from within our universe to infer that the inflationary process had an absolute beginning.  

 

That's the difference.

 

The H-P singularity theorem is a proof but the absolute beginning theorized in the BVG is an inference. The H-P fails because it can't be applied to a universe like ours, with a positive cosmological constant.  The BVG fails because it only infers that the inflationary process must have had an absolute beginning.  The BVG cannot be used like a proof because it isn't one.  That's because what it refers to is theoretical.

 

So, if a Christian apologist wants to use the BVG with the CP in an argument, I have no problem with that.

 

 

 

2.  Causal Finitism, the BVG and the H-P Fail to Identify the Uncaused Cause.

 

Putting all of the failures outlined above in section 1 aside, even if we accept that there is an absolute beginning of the future-eternal inflationary process, how do you get from there to the identity of the uncaused cause of this process?

 

The simple answer is... we don't.  None of the three methods listed above will do that.  The BVG and the H-P are scientific theories and, by definition, are therefore agnostic about the identity of this cause.  There's nothing to be gained by invoking them because science is silent about all matters outside of its remit.  Science could say something meaningful about events and phenomenon that occurred after the absolute beginning of time and space.  But not about what came before that.  (Using the words 'before' and 'after' in an improper way.)  

 

So, turning from science to philosophy, what can Causal Finitism do to identify the Uncaused Cause?  The answer here is... nothing.  The reason for this is the opposite to that of the BVG and the H-P.  Instead of silence, the problem with Causal Finitism is too much noise!

 

Any of the Creator deities from human history could have been that uncaused cause.  Jesus, Allah, Ahura Mazda, Yahweh, Brahma, etc., etc.  There need not have been just one uncaused cause.  Two, three, four or more separate and distinct uncaused causes could have collaborated in the creation of an absolute beginning of everything.  Hyper-intelligent aliens, pan-dimensional super beings or entities beyond our comprehension could have done it.  Or, we could be living in a fantastically detailed simulation and while there might have been an absolute beginning of everything, nothing our senses tell us about reality is reliable.  So causal finitism is as unreliable as everything else we experience.  It can't be used to tell us anything meaningful about reality because all of reality is an illusion.

 

The Christian apologist is seeking a very specific answer.  An absolute beginning caused only by Jesus.  But that one, desired answer is drowned out in an ocean of noise from all the possibilities of causal finitism.  They have no way of silencing all the other, equally valid answers.  

 

Thank you.

 

Walter.

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, WalterP said:

 

The Christian apologist is seeking a very specific answer.  An absolute beginning caused only by Jesus.  But that one, desired answer is drowned out in an ocean of noise from all the possibilities of causal finitism.  They have no way of silencing all the other, equally valid answers.  

 

Agreed, and this is one thing that used to bother me about WLC's argument even when I was still a Christian.

 

He goes to great lengths to argue that the Universe must have had a definite beginning, and therefore a cause (an argument which, as we've seen, fails utterly). Then he waves his hands a bit, and abruptly declares that the Christian God is the only entity which could possibly fit the bill as said cause, all the while very much ignoring a plethora of other possibilities.

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