The current atheist-cosmologist ideologues are insisting that the universe can create itself out of nothing BEFORE THE UNIVERSE EXISTED and needing to redefine nothing in order to do it.
The part of that sentence which was derided was the idea of "before the universe existed," which was mocked as a failure of reason on my part.
But lost on the atheist "Brain Trusters" is the fact the sentence wasn't about an idea I was promoting, it was contained in an idea I rejected. An idea embraced by myriads of their atheist brethren.
And there is a lot more wrong with that idea than that there could have been a before, before the universe existed, if the present standard model of physics is, in fact, the last word in such matters, who knows if it is?
The idea I was responding to is most famously given by the celebrity cosmologist Stephen Hawking in his book, The Grand Design.
Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself out of nothing,
That's the most famous statement of the idea but he's hardly alone among celebrity atheist cosmologists in making that assertion. For example, Larry Krauss pushes the same idea with his own creedal formulation of it,
Let's begin by saying that not only would there have had to be a before, before the universe existed in that sentence, there would have had to be a law such as gravity, before there was any matter, space and time for it to have worked through. And the construction of the sentence implies that there were other laws, "such as" gravity in existence before the universe existed. If they existed there had to have been a "before" before the universe existed and, oddly enough, for the universe to be able to create itself and for that to be a definite outcome of this odd situation, that before the universe existed it had the imperative to create itself.
I have lost count how many impossible things are either contained or implied in that sentence, it may have sufficed for the minimal daily requirement of those you're supposed to think before breakfast,
And Hawking is hardly alone in going on about there being a before, before time, atheist cosmologists who hate the idea of an absolute beginning to the universe have all kinds of things happening before the universe began. You can read about them all over the place online, atheists are not shy about asserting many, wildly varied and even self contradicting scenarios of what happend before the universe began. Michio Kaku mentioned three, specifically in the quotation I used from his blog
This gives us a startling picture of the big bang, that our universe was born perhaps from the collision of two universes (the big splat theory), or sprouted from a parent universe, or simply popped into existence out of nothing. So universes are being created all the time. (But Hawking goes one step farther and says that therefore here is no need of God, since God is not necessary to create the universe. I wouldn't go that far. See a previous blog entry on my attitude towards that.)
I know it's asking a lot of an atheist who works in the newspaper racket, or pop music or doing lab work for some kind of ethology outfit in the North West that they understand something as long as four sentences but there are not only three events BEFORE the universe existed, there are two entire systems of multiple universes with, no doubt, jillions of events happening BEFORE OUR UNIVERSE BEGAN. And those are only three of the proposals, cosmologists seem to create new scenarios whenever someone questions their currently favorite one. Not only that but under these desperate attempts to use science to do what science was never equipped to do, kill off God, they must insist that there were universes that began after ours.
As an aside, one of the big brains who didn't quite get that I was pointing out the defects in the idea styles himself "Moe" so I think from now on I'll think of Skepsy, Moe and Simmy as a bottom of the barrel vaudeville act.
As I noted recently, Hugh Everett, the inventor of the idea of "the multi-verse" and those who believe in his denomination of that faith seriously, assert that every time so much as a florescent light flickers that new universes are created. I can't recall which of them came up with the florescent light line, I will, um, "credit" it when I find it. They are asserting that those universes express every possible alternative event possible must be created whenever anything happens in our universe.
I would like to know how they deal with such issues as how is "an event" defined, how is it extracted from the continuity that is time and existence. Is there an equivalent to an elementary particle of which "events" are constructed? Where does the event begin and where does it end so as to have a discrete existence so that its opposite - like an anti-particle(?) - causes its own discrete universe to pop into existence. I would like to know how, if it can't be turned into a discrete "thing" such an "event" can be plugged into their equations - which is the entire substance of their faith. And I would love an explanation of the mechanism of such stupendously fecund causation, in our universe, that such science used to care about, causation would seem to have much more modest powers of creating results.
It is not my fault that scientists have allowed a situation to come into being where idiots who believe they are great supporters and champions of science can be so abysmally unaware of what scientists are claiming, resting on their high school and college intro classes taken as requirements from a half-century ago - which they probably squeaked through with a C - and feeling very conceited and arrogant over their credentialed ignorance. That is what easily 90% of contemporary atheists conceive of as science, if not merely what they've picked up from watching cable TV and, maybe, NOVA.
It is my experience that an informed theist is more likely to have some understanding of what the atheists of cosmology, neuro-sci and the even more obvious current pseudo-scientists are claiming. Of course there are religious people who are as ignorant as your typical blog thread atheist savant, I'm not talking about the bottom of the barrel where that snark came from.
Like it or not, atheists such as Stephen Hawking have claimed the right to write science fiction in equations and to insist that it be considered real because they can make their equations balance. The extent to which they have to invent stuff to make their equations balance doesn't seem to matter to their fellow atheists in science, though some of them are certainly not happy with the idea that such Lords of Creation don't need to deal with things like observation, actual measurement and generating testable theories.
It might be useful for these guys who create quadrillions of universes our of nothing to consider what they're doing in light of the work of William Thomson, Lord Kelvin, I would guess an even more eminent physicist within the science of his time than Hawking is today. He said:
I often say that when you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely, in your thoughts, advanced to the stage of science, whatever the matter may be.
In most of his work, he had a definite "something" that could be observed and assertions about it tested, there was a real thing that he could apply his work in measurement to. In his extensive work with an idea that couldn't be, the luminiferous aether, he went through all kinds of intellectual gyrations to make all kinds of definite assertions about it, its nature, its amazing properties, and even its measurement. I am not certain that it was his work on the ather is what led to some attributing the quote to him, in effect "“There is nothing new to be discovered in physics now. All that remains is more and more precise measurement.” made before Einstein published his 1905 papers which demolished Kelvin's work with the aether, which is, today, believed to not exist. From what I gather, it's entire "existence" in 19th century science is due to some physicists believing it was necessary to make their physics and, thus, cosmology come out at a balance. They may be believed to have been rather quaint, today. I'm sure anyone proposing to revive the luminferous aether would be considered a quaint eccentric. But what we're asked to swallow wholesale is an infinitely, literally infinitely, larger and even less evidenced mass of stuff.
The theistic philosopher, William Lane Craig has pointed out that there is a big problem if these guys want to maintain some of their most cherished physical laws, such as the Laws of Thermodynamics, If the only universe we know is part of an ensemble of universes extending infinitely into the past then at some point in the infinite past, the whole thing would have had to wind down in heat death or some such eschatological outcome. Our universe would have had to have devolved into a static, lifeless, featureless, oblivion. Other than to think it's an interesting idea, I can't claim to have gone far into that one. From what I've heard and read in answer to it, neither have the cosmologists.
It seems to me they can claim that the physics of this universe, of which Laws of Thermodynamics are an integral part, is peculiar to our universe and, therefore, their ensemble of universes extending into an infinite past operates under some other law that preempts that impossible hurdle to our existence, but, then, they created their multiverses out of the physical laws of this universe so that would mean any universe or multi-verse calculated out of those expectations is, in fact, illusory. And if our physics is peculiar to our universe there would be no reason to believe that it had priority over any physics in any other universe or in their imagined ensembles of universes. In which case many of our theoretical physicists and cosmologists are producing nothing but imaginary stuff out of an assumption that the mathematics that can address the observable universe is capable of creating universes through the balancing of equations.
Since there likely are an infinite number of possible relations among numbers and sets of numbers, that would mean they could create an infinite number of imaginary universes, none of which were any more real than the ones you can make out of words to be published in pulp paperbacks with a lurid and weird, adolescent enticing sexy cover painted by some hack artist. Which is what I suspect is happening. They have allowed the habits of theoretical physics, the most esteemed part of physics, to overtake the necessity of science being able to observe what it studies and to test predictions that are made about the things theorists think up. The habits that arise through an excess of esteem and unknowing respect and power granted through those making people get entirely out of hand is hardly an unknown phenomenon.
Now, I'm going to go make breakfast.