Saturday, 10 April 2010

The fantasy arguments of the atheists collapse once again...

Mr Anonymouse is back replying to my posts (see the comments boxes).

His arguments are, as usual, largely insulting, abusive and intolerant and replete with religious vilification and bigotry.

Shorn of the usual insulting abuse, vilification and bigotry, there is very little left.

But let us nevertheless examine it.

It centres around the claim that Quantum Mechanics (QM) and a flat universe of zero energy prove that nature produces something from nothing. The implication (he does not state it because it is, in fact, a further illogical assertion) is that there is therefore no God.

That simply does not follow logically at all but let's see where the rest of it goes.

First, let us remember that QM, the Big Bang theory and related theories arose not from scientific observation but from what the participants at the 1926 Solvay Conference called “thought experiments” i.e. from the use of metaphysical logic not scientific observation and induction.



Thus did the Solvay men, in arriving at theories like QM, resort to the very thing atheists like Dawkins disparage: metaphysical logic.

Let us, then, look at the “something from nothing” argument of Mr Anonymouse Atheist.

Alan Guth (born 27 February 1947) is a theoretical physicist and cosmologist at MIT and the originator of the inflationary universe theory. Guth has researched elementary particle theory as applicable to the early universe. Guth formally proposed the idea of cosmic inflation in 1981, the idea that the nascent universe passed through a phase of exponential expansion that was driven by a positive vacuum energy density (negative vacuum pressure).

The universe according to Guth began in the era of quantum gravity, a time when all four forces of the universe — gravity, electromagnetism, the strong (nuclear) and weak forces — may have been unified. Energy boiling out of this unstable stew grew during the brief inflationary period at an ever-doubling rate, then decayed into an electron-quark soup as those forces began splitting apart. The soup's fundamental particles combined into ever-more-complex forms as the universe cooled and expanded.

Professor Alan Guth is not quite so famous for his tidiness...


So says Brad Lemley in "Guth's Grand Guess," Discover, vol 23, April 2002, on the net at:

http://discovermagazine.com/2002/apr/cover.

But Guth backs up his hypothesis by asserting its compatibility with the laws of physics which pre-supposes that such laws were in existence before the coming into existence of the Universe.

Guth was therefore asked: “Where do the laws of physics come from?” i.e. the laws that were followed to make his hypothesis true.

To this question he had no answer,

He has no more answer than does Dawkins to the question "where does free will come from?”.

How could he have?

Science simply can never answer the question, or any similar question as to origins, because it is a metaphysical question.

All that has happened here is that Guth has shifted the question from “Who caused the Big Bang” to “Who caused the laws that led to the Big Bang”.

And that simply does not answer the question of who that was or is.

It was, as ever, a Prime or unmoved Mover, a First or Prior Cause.


An anthropomorphic representation of the unmoved Mover, moving things into being. It is, of course, wholly inadequate a representation since man cannot compass an infinite being like the Prime Mover. Equally, however, it is no worse than any other representation that man might come up with.


This, as Aquinas pointed out 700 years ago, men use the term “God” to describe.

Poof, in a puff of smoke, goes yet another attempt to try to disprove the existence of the metaphysical by physics, an exercise as fatuous as trying to the measure the length of free will under a microscope.

It is no accident that the author of the article titles it “Guth’s Grand Guess”.

Guess, indeed!

Guth also says this:

“...to a quantum physicist, nothing is, in fact, something...Quantum theory also holds that a vacuum, like atoms, is subject to quantum uncertainties. This means that things can materialize out of the vacuum, although they tend to vanish back into it quickly...”

But then is also forced to admit:

“...this phenomenon has never been observed directly...”

Well, indeed!

Neither has anyone ever seen or measured “curved space” or seen or measured the concept “uncertainty”.

And why not? Because these are metaphysical concepts which cannot be measured by Physics.

Back to square one.

Metaphysics requires the use of logic and reason to arrive at its conclusions – something that QM scientists implicitly recognize since that is how they arrived at their theory in the first place – through “though experiments” or metaphysical logic.

Consider the logic, then.

If nothing is something, then there is no nothing, there is only something and so we can't get something from nothing because there never was a nothing, there has always only been something.

And thus we begin to see the intrinsic absurdity of the atheist argument.

To use QM or Guth’s “Grand Guess” as evidence for creation out of nothing without a Prime Mover is internally inconsistent and illogical.

Alan Woods writes:

"Cosmology writer Marcus Chown concedes it will be extremely difficult to finally prove any model of the universe. He is refreshingly honest about the problems involved: ‘The history of cosmology is the history of us being completely wrong’, he told the BBC. ‘I mean, cosmology is the hardest of all sciences; we sit on this tiny planet in the middle of this vast universe, we can't go anywhere and do any experiments - all we can do is pick up the light that happens to fall on us and deduce some things about the universe."

[See "An alternative to the Big Bang" by Alan Woods,
In Defence of Marxism, 30 April 2002]

Well, quite.

And in the future we can confidently expect yet further and newer theories.


If we say that something else conforming to the laws of physics caused the Big Bang we are still stuck with the fundamental question: where did those laws of physics come from?


A recent article states:

"As emphasized by Penrose many years ago, cosmology can only make sense if the world started in a state of exceptionally low entropy. The low entropy starting point is the ultimate reason that the universe has an arrow of time, without which the second law would not make sense. However, there is no universally accepted explanation of how the universe got into such a special state... Present cosmological evidence points to an inflationary beginning and an accelerated de Sitter end. Most cosmologists accept these assumptions, but there are still major unresolved debates concerning them. For example, there is no consensus about initial conditions. Neither string theory nor quantum gravity provide a consistent starting point for a discussion of the initial singularity or why the entropy of the initial state is so low. High scale inflation postulates an initial de Sitter starting point with Hubble constant roughly 10^-5 times the Planck mass. This implies an initial holographic entropy of about 10^10 which is extremely small by comparison with today's visible entropy. Some unknown agent [emphasis added] initially started the inflation high up on its potential, and the rest is history."

["Disturbing Implications of a Cosmological Constant" by L. Dyson, M. Kleban, L. Susskind, 14 Nov 2002. On the net at: http://arXiv.org/abs//hep-th/0208013v1]

Some “unknown agent”, eh?

I wonder Who or What that might be?

See what Phillip Ball has to say:

“In an argument that would have gratified the ancient Greeks, physicists have claimed that the prevailing theoretical view of the Universe is logically flawed. Arranging the cosmos as we think it is arranged, say the team, would have required a miracle [emphasis added]. The problem stems from the observation in 1998 that the Universe's expansion seems to be speeding up. The most popular explanation for this is that there is a cosmological constant - a repulsive force that opposes gravity. So either space is not accelerating for the reasons we think it is, or we have yet to discover some principle of physics, the researchers conclude. Like a guardian angel, this principle would pick out those few initial states that lead to a Universe like ours, and then guide cosmic evolution so that it really does unfold this way. The incomprehensibility of our situation even drives Susskind's team to ponder whether an ‘unknown agent intervened in the evolution [of the Universe] for reasons of its own.’”

["Is physics watching over us?”
Nature News, 13 August 2002 by Phillip Ball. On the net at http://www.nature.com/nsu/020812/020812-2.html]

A miracle, eh?

And Who might provide that, pray tell?

Oh dear, back to a Prime Mover, again.

Whom, as Aquinas told us 700 years ago, men call...er...yes, folks, that’s right:


God



God creating Adam. Physics has not even begun to challenge the existence of God because physics cannot disprove something which is metaphysical. Any fool knows this - but not apparently Richard Dawkins and his mates...

...

6 comments:

TH2 said...

Brilliant post.

I'd like Anonymous to read some of Fr. Stanley Jaki's (physicist, theologian, philosopher and history of science) books and then come back here and comment.

Tribunus said...

Thanks!

Yes, I agree.

Anonymouse? Ready to read Jaki?

TH2 said...

The mouse has scattered away, likely never to be heard from again.

Tribunus said...

Indeed!

Anonymous said...

hmmm..guess you jumped the smoking gun by a couple of years..pity

Tribunus said...

No, mouse, it's 4 years since you squeaked here.

Have you got anything useful to add - or just squeaks?