Allah and the Big Bang Theory

Allah and the Big
Bang Theory
Standard Big-Bang
 The universe, including all of time, space and matter,
began to exist in a cataclysmic event – the ‘Big Bang’ –
about 13.7 billion years ago
Cosmological Argument
 Whatever begins to exist requires a cause of its
beginning to exist
 The universe began to exist
 Therefore, the universe requires a cause of its
beginning to exist
 Since time, space and matter began to exist in
the Big Bang, then whatever caused it must be
timeless and non-physical
 Therefore, the cause of the universe is
Counter-argument 1
 Since there was no time before the Big Bang, it is
meaningless to ask what happened before it
 Response:
 The relation between a cause and its effect
need not be one of temporal priority – it could be
one of causal priority. (Punching bag example.)
 Thus, a timeless cause could have created the
universe with time, rather than in time.
Counter-argument 2 –
creation from nothing
 It is not logically impossible for something to
come from nothing, by nothing. We can
certainly conceive of such a thing (it is not
 Response:
 Logical impossibility is not the only sort of
impossibility. (Physical impossibility,
metaphysical/factual impossibility.)
 If universes can pop into being uncaused, then
why don’t we see anything and everything do
Counter-argument 2
 Rejoinder:
 Things can come to exist without cause.
Radioactive decay, virtual particles, other
quantum mechanical events, are examples.
 Response:
 Fallacy of equivocation: Uncaused in the
quantum mechanical context means that things
occur at random times. It does not mean that
there are no physical causes of their occurrence.
Counter-argument 3 – From
nothing via physical causes
 Krauss: Universe comes from the quantum
vacuum – which is ‘nothing’ - via the operation
of QM laws
 Response:
 1. How can laws operate on ‘nothing’?
 2. The quantum vacuum is far from being
‘nothing’. (Barrow and Tipler.)
Counter-argument 4 – Big
Bang not the absolute
 Alternative models such as the Hawking-Hartle
model, and various ‘oscillating’, ‘quantumfluctuation’ and ‘chaotic-inflationary’ models, all
try to avoid the initial singularity (or beginning)
 But none of these models has found wide
acceptance in the scientific community, due to
various internal problems.
Counter-argument 5 – A
‘gaps’ argument
 Even though the preceding alternative models
have not succeeded, a future model could still
avoid the Big Bang singularity
 Thus, appealing to a supernatural cause is just a
‘God of the Gaps’ argument
 Response:
 A supernatural cause is not being posited merely
to fill a gap in our knowledge – rather, we think
that natural causes can never explain the
universe’s existence. They are in-principle
impotent to do so. Why?
Only 3 ways to explain the
 1. It began to exist.
 2. It has always existed:
 2A. It has existed for infinite time.
 2B. It was once timeless, but then transitioned
into its current state of motion and temporality.
2A. Infinite time
 Impossibility of an actual infinite.
 Set theory counter-argument inadequate.
2B. Timeless to temporal
 If the things needed (the necessary and sufficient
conditions) to cause the transition don’t exist within the
system, the transition can’t occur
 But if the things needed for the transition have existed
eternally in the system, it becomes inexplicable why
transition occurred a finite time in the past.
 Response: A supernatural cause is in the same boat here.
 But if the Cause has will, it can freely choose to go from
existing changelessly, to then creating a physical world
with time.
 On an A-theory of time, this is in fact the only way to
explain the temporal world.
 If the Big Bang theory is right, the world needs a
supernatural cause
 Even if it’s not right, whatever theory replaces it
must itself point to a beginning to the world, since
an actual infinity is impossible
 The cause must be timeless, and must possess will.
It must therefore be living.
Divine Will
 “…all [potential] obstacles in the creation of the
universe and creatures cease being obstacles in
the face of a manifestation of will and regard of
the dominical command and become means of
facility, eternal power creates the universe and
all the species of creatures on the earth as easily
as creating a single tree.”
(Second Station of the Fifteenth Ray – The Shining

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