Al-Ghazâli Among Contemporary Cosmologists

Wiki

Circa a millennium ago Persian philosopher Abu Hamid Muhammad Al-Ghazâli stood against Aristotelian view “[t]hat the heaven as a whole neither came into being nor admits of destruction, but is one and eternal, with no end or beginning of its duration”(Aristotle Heav II.1.283b[1]).  Al-Ghazâli contended that every being that begins to exist has a cause for its beginning. The universe, contrary to Aristotle, is not eternal. The universe is a being that began to exist and thus possesses a cause for its beginning (Al-Ghazâli 1947: 203).

Al-Ghazâli argued that time began to exist with the universe. He contended,

Time is generated and created, and before it there was no time at all. The meaning of our words that God is prior to the world and to time is: He existed without the world and without time, then He existed and with Him there was the world and there was time. (1978: 38)

Avoiding a daunting implications of a cosmic beginning for the role of a Creator (Hawking 1988) many philosophers and scientists who favored a naturalistic worldview were not persuaded by philosophical arguments for the beginning of the universe. They could hide behind the possibility of eternal cosmos. New reasons are being uncovered and proof emerging in contemporary cosmology that shows that the universe, as argued by Al-Ghazâli, cannot have existed eternally. Alexandra Vilenkin representatively concluded, “There is no escape, they [cosmologists] have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning” (Vilenkin 2006: 176). Vilenkin stated that all the evidence that cosmologists have points toward the a beginning of the universe (Grossman 2012: 7)

Faced with contemporary proof from cosmology of cosmic beginning Peter Atkins and Quentin Smith accepted that the universe began to exist a finite time ago. Circumventing its daunting implication they both hold a profound stance of a self-caused universe. Atkins hold that “[s]pace-time generates its own dust in the process of its own self-assembly.” (Atkins 1994: 143) and Smith argued:

My Kalam cosmological argument has for its conclusion that the beginning of the universe’s existence is self-caused. “B is self-caused” does not mean the same as “B causes B” but means the same as “each part of B is caused by earlier parts of B, B’s existence is logically entailed by its parts’ existence, and the basic laws instantiated by these parts are caused to be instantiated by earlier parts that also instantiate these laws. (Smith 2007: 184)

The major problem with Atkins’ and Smith’s stance is that it assumes the existence of the universe or part of the universe to explain its beginning. For space-time to generate its own dust, it must first exist. When we assert “A caused B”, we assume that A exists; then it caused B. Nonexistent space-time cannot generate existing things. Ex nihilo nihil fit.  Though different from Atkins’, Smith’s earlier parts of B, in a similar vain, assumes the existence of parts of the universe to explain its later parts.

Al-Ghazâli’s proof of the existence of God, a spaceless, timeless, nonphysical and immaterial being, as the cause of the beginning of the universe no longer rely on philosophical arguments alone. It seems to be enjoying  support of its long challenged premise from contemporary cosmology.


[1] Aristotle On The Heavens, II,1,283b

Atkins, Peter (1994) Creation Revisited. Harmondsworth, Penguin

 Al-Ghazâli (1947) Bulletin de l’Institut Francais d’Archaeologie Orientale 46 1947: 203) cf Nasr(1993) An introduction to Islamic cosmological doctrines. Trans. Seyyed Hossein Albany : State University of New York Press

____________ (1978) in  Averroes: Tahafut al Tahafut (The Incoherence of the Incoherence). Averroes & Simon Van den Bergh(trans.) Gibb Memorial Trust; REP edition

Grossman, Lisa (2012) “Death of the eternal cosmos. From the cosmic egg to the infinite multiverse, every model of the universe has a beginning” in NewScientist of 14th January 2012: 2847

Hawking, Stephen (1988) A Brief History of Time New York: Bantam Books.

Smith, Quentin (2007) “Kalam Cosmological Arguments for Atheism” in The Cambridge Companion to Atheism Ed. Michael Martin (2007)

Vilenkin, Alexander (2006) Many Worlds in One. New York: Hill and Wang

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48 thoughts on “Al-Ghazâli Among Contemporary Cosmologists

    • Excellent dismantling of Craig’s oft-corrected standard talk during these ‘debates’. Craig isn’t concerned with what’s true or he would account for these targeted criticisms. But he doesn’t account because his fans are impressed by the context rather than the content and he continues to be a star in theistic circles. He is a failure but most people have no clue why. This video explains it very well and reveals the duplicity Craig relies on to sell his product to the gullible.

    • Quantum cosmologist Christopher Isham is very correct that:

      “Perhaps the best argument in favor of the thesis that the Big Bang supports theism is the obvious unease with which it is greeted by some atheist physicists. At times this has led to scientific ideas, such as continuous creation or an oscillating universe, being advanced with a tenacity which so exceeds their intrinsic worth that one can only suspect the operation of psychological forces lying very much deeper than the usual academic desire of a theorist to support his/her theory. (Isham 1988: 378)”

      I presented you with a lecture by Alex Vilenkin and you wish me to learn cosmology from that video above? I am not interested in polemics and rhetoric nor ad hominem(attack on the person of Craig). I care-less. I want to know if it is true, as Al-Ghazali argued, that the cosmos began to exist. As I study, I find that it is true that all evidence so far points to a beginning of any expanding space-time cosmos. Do you wish to challenge this?

      NewSceintist January 2012

          • I mean pulling out a quote from 1988 and trying to say its still relevant in such a fast-changing field as cosmology is hilarious…. and very silly 🙂

            1988, Prayson? You are aware how “ancient” that is in regards to cosmology. Please, do try and keep it relevant.

          • If I pull out a quote from 1859’s Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and try to say its still relevant in such a fast-changing field as biology, would that be hilarious and very silly?

          • Depends. Darwin wasn’t aware of many things, cell biology for instance, so yes it is possible something from Darwin himself could be seen today as silly.

          • Nope, doesn’t work because the mechanism by which evolution proceeds is too narrow. It doesn’t mention natural mutation. There’s also sexual selection, which Darwin never spoke about. It’s why the peacock baffled him so much. He couldn’t understand why a species would waste so much energy on such an elaborate display. It seems rather obvious, but he didn’t get it at the time.

      • Yes, i will challenge it. Inflation began to exist. How many times do i have to say this? That is more or less agreed on. Inflation, Prayson, doesn’t = the Universe. Understand?

        The simple fact is this: we DON’T KNOW what was going on before inflation. Everything breaks down… but there were things going on BEFORE. Get it? Please, watch the video. Guth explains it very well. Penrose explains it very well. Vilenkin is all through the video… watch it, learn what he actually says! Expand your mind. Here are the cosmologists in their own words!!

        The question posited at the very end is interesting: why are 99.999999999999% of cosmologists atheists? Because the “philosophy” is wrong.

        • John, I told you I am not interested in polemics. Would you change your mind if I presented you will reason and a list of contemporary cosmologists (+ atheists philosophers) who agreed that space-time began to exist?

          Why do I need a commentary(clips) of what Vilenkin said while I can take the whole lectures and read his 2011-2012 works?

          • Ahhhhh, so you’re not even going to watch the video. You’re not actually interested in hearing what the cosmologists (the world’s leading theoretical physicists, not just, but including, Vilenkin) really say… the same cosmologists you’re quoting! That’s being incredibly disingenuous. It shows me you’re not at all serious about actually learning anything, but then again, I already knew that. In fact, I knew I shouldn’t have engaged you in this article. Clearly you didn’t write it to learn, to explore, to enhance your understanding of modern theoretical physics which has multiple models, but rather to delude yourself into thinking your position is solid.

            Alas, if you won’t listen to Nobel Laureates in physics, why would you listen to me?

          • How would I know about her polemics and name calling if I have not watch it. I could not finish the last quarter, but if you wish I would, because instead of polemics and rhetorics why not take lectures from cosmologists named?

          • In that case, i’m glad you did watch a bit, would urge you to watch to the end (which is vitally important to this whole discussion), and apologise.

            To your point, Vilenkin is just one cosmologist, and as i have already pointed out to you, he’s already moved on from the BGV. Parts of it have been falsified. It doesn’t work.

            You cling to these tiny (already outdated) snippets and present them as some overarching truism, when they’re not. Again, although there are multiple models, the simple fact is “we don’t know” what was going on before inflation, or before the Big Bang (or Big Bounce, depending on which model you’re looking at). We don’t know is the honest answer.

          • No. Inflation only interests me to the point of understanding it.

            Here’s a simply WONDERFUL video on “Before the Big Bang – Loop Quantum Cosmology Explained”

            I would urge you to watch this and show it to those you care about.

          • But Vilenkin goes through different models. John I am suprised that you are so ready to give me homeworks to watch but does not return the same courtesy.

            I thought you, who is claiming that Vilenkin is beyond BGV theorem, would be more than eager take his lecture on the question if the cosmos began to exist. Are your words not going against you that you are not willing to learn something but keep holding your belief?

          • Thanks, watching it now, but it says it right at the beginning: no models are complete. We have no answer that works. Hence, “we simply don’t know” is the only honest answer. Again, Vilenkin is just one cosmologist. Parts of the BGV (which is now quite an old theory) have already been falsified. Why not address other cosmologists? Are you avoiding them deliberately? Quantum Loop Gravity is what’s more relevant today. It’s the cutting edge. Solve the riddle of quantum gravity and we can start to solve the mysteries of the universe.

          • “We don’t know” what was going on before inflation, before the bang (if the singularity model is still applicable, which it’s looking like it’s not) is the only honest answer.

            Please, look at the video on Quantum Loop Gravity. It explains the period before the bang. It is the best (cutting edge) theorem we have right now. Is it correct? “We don’t know.”

            Repeat it after me: We Don’t Know 😉

      • If you’re going to use Velenkin (as Craig does for the bits he like but ignores and ridicules the man as dishonest for the bits he doesn’t like) then it is rather important to understand the whole of his idea, which stands contrary to the use Craig (and you) would have the man and his reputation play in religious apologetics. THIS misunderstanding is intellectual dishonesty at work and it rests fully on the shoulders of those who continue to misrepresent the theoretical physics Velenkin has proposed when the corrections are pointed out time and again… by Velenkin!! Why aren’t apologists listening? Why aren’t apologists adjusting? Why aren’t apologists changing? I presume because cosmologists as a populated field of scientists understand the science and find no use and offer no support for the theistic argument from it. For that you need a religious believer first… someone dedicated to supporting theology than seeking what’s true and then coming to a conclusion.

        • I think it is you(who is also an apologist -a person giving a defense) that Craig misrepresented Vilenkin is wrong. I have read the complete mails(from Vilenkin to Kraus and from Vilenkin to Craig). In Vilenkin to Craig mail, Vilenkin wrote:

          “I think you represented what I wrote about the BGV theorem in my papers and to you personally very accurately. This is not to say that you represented my views as to what this implies regarding the existence of God. Which is OK, since I have no special expertise to issue such judgements. Whatever it’s worth, my view is that the BGV theorem does not say anything about the existence of God one way or the other. In particular, the beginning of the universe could be a natural event, described by quantum cosmology”(September 6, 2013)

          Vilenkin rejects that his paper implies existence of God but stated that Craig did represented his view of his paper and to Craig personally very accurately.

          I think calling Craig dishonest is dishonest.

          • Very thin ice. I’ve read these emails. What Krauss was saying, correctly i think, is that Craig only uses Vilenkin to a point and is “dishonest” by not adding the caveat that Vilenkin never posits a beginning to the universe (which Craig implies he does, because without that the KCA is bunk), just a beginning to inflation. It’s a play on words… but we’re all used to these dishonest word-plays. It’s all Christian philosophers have. Be nice if they ever did some actual research.

          • Sadly I think Craig is not using Vilenkin to a point, but he correctly present that his view aimed to show that the universe began to exist. Vilenkin, like Smith and Atkin, accepts the beginning of the space-time without viewing it as pointing to existence of God.

            It would be nice if we all actually research and take complete lectures of what these cosmologists are saying.

          • Good lord, man, how many times do i have to explain this to you? Inflation began; that is more or less agreed upon. This DOES NOT MEAN the universe began to exist. Saying it does is FLATLY WRONG.

  1. @Walk this way

    I only know of two possibilities. Either an eternal process caused it, or an eternal being.

    The only important word in your sentence is “I”.

    And as you have no evidence for either we can politely dismiss your speculation. Thankyou…

  2. I use ‘order’ as it is defined as; 1) an authoritative direction or instruction.

    Not being a scientist, when I see ‘chemical reactions’ I tend to think about what chemical processes are going on inside me since our bodies contain at least detectable traces of 60 chemical elements.

    It interests me to learn about the complex chemical reactions happening inside me. In learning I ran across the infamous “chicken and egg problem” at Wiki en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_or_the_egg

    or, “Which came first, X that can’t come without Y, or Y that can’t come without X?”

    and at ideacenter.org I read,

    Which came first? DNA needs enzymes to replicate, but the enzymes are encoded by DNA. DNA needs protection of the cell wall, but the cell wall is also encoded by the DNA. The answer is that neither came first for all are required in DNA-based life. These fundamental components form an irreducibly complex system in which all components must have been present from the start. Biologist Frank Salisbury described the problem as one which essentially requires the extreme difficulty of overcoming the hurdle of building an irreducibly complexity:

    “It’s nice to talk about replicating DNA molecules arising in a soupy sea, but in modern cells this replication requires the presence of suitable enzymes. Furthermore, DNA by itself accomplishes nothing. Its only reason for existence is the information that it carries and that is used in the production of a protein enzyme. At the moment, the link between DNA and the enzyme is a highly complex one, involving RNA and an enzyme for its synthesis on a DNA template; ribosomes; enyzmes to activate the amino acids; and transfer-RNA molecules. … How, in the absence of the final enzyme, could selection act upon DNA and all the mechanisms for replicating it? It’s as though everything must happen at once: the entire system must come into being as one unit, or it is worthless. There may well be ways out of this dilemma, but I don’t see them at the moment. Frank B. Salisbury, “Doubts about the Modern Synthetic Theory of Evolution,” American Biology Teacher, Sept. 1971, pg. 338.”

    • Everything that has been suggested for ‘irreducible complexity’ has been shown to be false (so far) by actual biology. This notion you present is not an answer to any scientific hypothesis but a synonym for “Gosh, this looks complex. Therefore it must be ‘evidence’ for a creative interventionist Designer – blessed be His name”. And from this ‘answer’ we supposedly get to Jesus.

      Look, if you want to learn about biology, don;t turn to religion, If you want to learn about physics, don’t turn to religion. If you want to learn about anything about religion, then don’t turn to science. Science is neither a friend nor a compatible companion to any form of Oogity Boogity. I’m surprised after all this time you still think otherwise when all the evidence stands against such a belief.

      • (“biological instructions”, “instruction book”, “enzymes read the information”, “translated into the “language”, “This language tells the cell’s”)

        Notice these specific words and word phrases below used to explain DNA at the genome.gov/25520880 website.

        “”We all know that elephants only give birth to little elephants, giraffes to giraffes, dogs to dogs and so on for every type of living creature. …(DNA), which contains the biological instructions that make each species unique. DNA, along with the instructions it contains, is passed from adult organisms to their offspring during reproduction.

        Each DNA sequence that contains instructions to make a protein is known as a gene. The size of a gene may vary greatly, ranging from about 1,000 bases to 1 million bases in humans.

        The complete DNA instruction book, or genome, for a human contains about 3 billion bases and about 20,000 genes on 23 pairs of chromosomes.

        DNA contains the instructions needed for an organism to develop, survive and reproduce. To carry out these functions, DNA sequences must be converted into messages that can be used to produce proteins, which are the complex molecules that do most of the work in our bodies.

        DNA’s instructions are used to make proteins in a two-step process. First, enzymes read the information in a DNA molecule and transcribe it into an intermediary molecule called messenger ribonucleic acid, or mRNA.

        Next, the information contained in the mRNA molecule is translated into the “language” of amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. This language tells the cell’s protein-making machinery the precise order in which to link the amino acids to produce a specific protein. This is a major task because there are 20 types of amino acids, which can be placed in many different orders to form a wide variety of proteins.””

        ***

        So, for it to be rightly called a language, it must contain the following elements: an alphabet or coding system, correct spelling, grammar (a proper arrangement of the words), meaning (semantics) and an intended purpose.

        Scientists have found the genetic code has all of these key elements. “The coding regions of DNA,” explains Dr. Stephen Meyer, “have exactly the same relevant properties as a computer code or language” (quoted by Strobel, p. 237).

        Recent studies in information theory have come up with some astounding conclusions—namely, that information cannot be considered in the same category as matter and energy. It’s true that matter or energy can carry information, but they are not the same as information itself.

        The same principle is found in the genetic code. The DNA molecule carries the genetic language, but the language itself is independent of its carrier. The same genetic information can be written in a book, stored in a compact disk or sent over the Internet, and yet the quality or content of the message has not changed by changing the means of conveying it.

        Lee Strobel writes: “The six feet of DNA coiled inside every one of our body’s one hundred trillion cells contains a four-letter chemical alphabet that spells out precise assembly instructions for all the proteins from which our bodies are made . . . No hypothesis has come close to explaining how information got into biological matter by naturalistic means” (Strobel, p. 282).

        Werner Gitt, professor of information systems, puts it this way: “The basic flaw of all evolutionary views is the origin of the information in living beings. It has never been shown that a coding system and semantic information could originate by itself [through matter] . . . The information theorems predict that this will never be possible. A purely material origin of life is thus ruled out” (Gitt, p. 124).

        ***

        I don’t think I ever implied, ““Gosh, this looks complex. Therefore it must be ‘evidence’ for a creative interventionist Designer”, as you insinuate in a condescending manner. You seem to come off as an intelligent fellow (sometimes) but mocking God, and me, is a tell.

        • Right, and the paris japonica – a type of cabbage – has a much larger genome than we do. Your point is…?

          My point is that complexity does not indicate irreducibility. This is a religious belief and not a scientific one. Yes, you can find religious people with doctorates to pretend otherwise but that doesn’t alter the fact that there is no compelling scientific argument to support irreducible complexity. None. Zero. Zip. Nada. The argument is wholly religious to support the notion of a Designer – blessed be His name – and has nothing to di with the reality we share.

          • I don’t get it. You keep talking about ‘irreducible complexity’, which I never mentioned. Although science tells us it’s complex, they know how it works. They know the systems and processes, they just don’t know how it came about, they have a theory but they can’t build it or replicate it.

            The point of my first post above is that everything going on to make a human must be present at the same time. All the systems and processes to make any living thing must be present to make the living thing.

            The point of my second post is that ‘information systems’ and devices that read the ‘language of the information’ needs a programmer. No hypothesis has come close to explaining how information got into biological matter by naturalistic means.

            I looked up Irreducible complexity at Wiki and here’s the first sentence. “(IC) is an argument by proponents of intelligent design that certain biological systems are too complex to have evolved from simpler, or “less complete” predecessors, through natural selection acting upon a series of advantageous naturally occurring, chance mutations.

            This is wrong. Mutations do NOT “form new species.”

            It’s believed mutations are the raw materials on which natural selection works to cause evolution. So in a way mutations are to evolution what gasoline is to the engine of your car. But it would not make sense to ask “at what point does gasoline take you to another city?”

            The reason this is important is that it is a common misconception about the theory of evolution that a new mutation can suddenly result in a new species … or even that the theory is about an accumulation of enough mutations that we have a “new species.” Instead, the birth of a new species is more a theory clearly understood as the *branching* or *splitting* of an existing species into two. After all, everything you see, all the diverse species, all started from a single cell in dirty water millions of years ago, right?

            So if the question is “at what point does *evolution* form a new species?” then the answer is: at the point where two isolated populations of the same species have “evolved” (accumulated enough different genetics) to the point where they are no longer able to cross-breed. At that point the one species has *branched* or *split* into two species. That is called speciation.

            Yet even speciation is speculation, there is no proof. Sure isolated species change, but there is no evidence of a bird changing into a lizard. Just like the genome.gov website states, “We all know that elephants only give birth to little elephants, giraffes to giraffes, dogs to dogs and so on for every type of living creature.”

  3. Prayson, just because we have no clue about the universe prior to its massive expansion doesn’t mean we get to fill this in with speculation and call it ‘cosmology’. Why is it anathema to religious believers to honestly admit – as scientists do all the time – that they don’t know? Why is this so difficult? Perhaps practice might help.

    • Who is “we” in those having no clue? Which religious believers do have difficult to admit that scientists are clueless? And how is that related to Al-Ghazali case that the universe began to exist?

      • The ‘we’ I use is all of us. None of us has a clue what preceded the massive expansion. So to presume that we can know anything at all about what preceded it is pure speculation, meaning that imaginings of either a creator or beginnings are without evidence. There may be many other possibilities (like a bottleneck contraction of what came before). So to presume a creative cause as an arbitrary ‘beginning’ is not cosmology; it’s religion. The Kalem argument remains simply another case of using the god-of-the-gaps fallacy.

        • I find it strange you represent everyone, including those like Atkins, Lawrence Krauss, Smith, would disagree with you.

          Al-Ghazali’s argument does not commit god-of-the-gap because it does not fit God in unknown gap in knowledge. If it is true that space-time began, then it is common sense to deduce that its cause must be beyond space-time. If material and physical beings began then the cause is not material nor physical.

          It this common sense that Stephen Hawking on his prerecorded speech played on his 70th birthday, said that “[a] point of creation would be a place where science broke down. One would have to appeal to religion and the hand of God.” (Grossman 2012: 6). This is common sense, unless one contend like Smith and Atkins that universe is self-cause or like Lawrence Krauss’ redefining nothing which is something or more against common sense hold that it began without a cause.

          If time began, then it is meaningless to state that we could know what preceded the beginning of time(and space) because there was no time to be preceded. There is no gap to be filled. Do you know what is god-of-the-gap fallacy?

          • No, assuming a causal agent is not ‘common sense’.

            Think of the question this way: Does a circle (defined by axiom) require a necessary creative and causal agent? Where does a circle begin (if we first assume that everything has a beginning and an end)? Well, it all depends where you start measuring.

            The same is true for space-time; we can only start measuring it as far back as the evidence will allow us. To assume that there was no space-time before this point of measurement is an error of assumption. We – meaning all of us – have no clue what preceded this arbitrary point of measurement because we have no data to work with. That’s why it’s important to recognize that we have no data to work with prior to this point and to then appreciate why sticking a causal creative agent called ‘god’ into this knowledge void for space-time to ‘begin (to fit with the starting assumption) replaces this ignorance with another god-of-the-gaps argument. Again, the correct answer is “I don’t know,” and not, “therefore we must have a causal agent outside of space-time for space-time to have a beginning.”

          • It look like you fail to understand what contemporary cosmology is bringing on the table. The beginning of space-time means that there was no “before” space-time began because there was no time, no space, no physical objects, no material. That is why Hawkins stated it as the break of science.There is nothing physical, or time to be observed.

            I still do not know where in Al-Ghazali argument you claim to assume unknown. Imagine it is year 1000 in Tildeb-island which has only herbivorous. Tildeb found out a half eaten deer by unknown animal. Say we also know that it was not until 1005 that 2 lions were introduced in Tildeb-island. Do you agree that Tildeb use common sense to reason that cause of half eaten deer as not a lion?

          • Prayson, the BGV Theorem does not say “the universe had a beginning”, but rather that inflationary models cannot go infinitely into the past, and require physics other than inflationary models to describe the boundary condition. All Vilenkin has ever said is by his estimates Inflation had a beginning, which is not to say the universe had a beginning. Don’t put words in the man’s mouth. Craig does that enough for everyone.

            The BGV is not even a prevailing theory and elements of it have already been falsified. There’s a very good video on this interviewing leading cosmologists who explain this falsification. If you like i can try and finds it. Vilenkin (who’s not even considered a leading cosmologist these days) himself has already moved on and is working with Jaume Garriga, stating: “[We are] exploring a picture of the multiverse where the BGV theorem may not apply.”

            There are multiple models for what “might” be going on before inflation and NONE state a beginning. None, Prayson.

            Current theoretical research into the idea of spacetime ‘torsion’ contends our universe might in fact exist inside a black hole and the Big Bang was instead a sort of Big Bounce where matter decays into familiar electrons and quarks, antimatter decays in dark matter, and dark energy is the outward force of the torsion itself.

            String theory is different again. M-theory different again.

            Simply put, Tildeb is correct in saying the only truthful response to anything pre-inflation is “we simply don’t know.” Inserting “god did it,” is god of the gaps at its most outrageous.

          • John I provided bibliography for my readers to do their own reading. I did not claim anything about BGV theorem but what contemporary cosmologists state about what they are unfolding.(I noted you are echoing Lawrence Krauss’ misleading […]-quoted mail from Vilenkin. I wondered if you have read the missing […] parts which Krauss left out, or you are innocently passing forth false information again)

            Take this lecture given by Alex Vilenkin on Hawkins 70’s birthday(2012) and judge for yourself: “Did the Universe have a Beginning?”

  4. WalkTheWay, first a quibble: begging the question means you don;t have to ask it. Because you have to ask it, you mean ‘Raise the question’. Sorry if this comes across as pedantic but I thought you’d want to know.

    As for your claim Order always comes from intelligence. No exceptions have ever been found., this is just factually incorrect. Lots of examples, such as the order of chemical reactions.

    • Great post.

      Science has confirmed that the universe has a beginning. The logic goes that because of the doppler effect found in cosmic background radiation, we know that space is expanding. If space is expanding, then it must had a starting expansion point.

      Science has also confirmed that the universe has an end. Our telescopes find dying stars all the time. Our sun has a very definite lifespan. When the sun goes, life on earth as we know it will cease as well.

      This confirmation of the finiteness of the known universe begs the question: “What caused it all?” After all, if the universe were eternal, such a question wouldn’t be necessary. But we know that finite things have causes/sources.

      I only know of two possibilities. Either an eternal process caused it, or an eternal being.

      Belief in an eternal being is a simpler explanation than belief in an eternal process. After all, belief in an eternal being also explains the order found in the universe. Order always comes from intelligence. No exceptions have ever been found. Even the genetic code (a set of instructions) begs the question, who created the instructions.

      God has revealed Himself with enough clues in creation to know of His existence, but He also hides Himself enough so that we may sense our unworthiness of Him, as Paul wrote, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

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