This will be the second part continuing my series in which I will adress the Kalam Cosmological argument for the existence of God. You can find the first part here.
Yesterday I took a look at Kalam’s first premise ” Everything that has a beginning of its existence has a cause of its existence.” today I will give you my stance on premise 2 “The universe has a beginning of its existence.”
The first thing I want to say however is that I’m in no way an expert when it comes to Cosmology. This right here is my layman’s understanding of it and I’m sure that professional Cosmologists can (and have) adressed this far better than I can. With that in mind, let’s get our hands dirty:
First of all I think it is in order to point out that the Kalam proponents try to draw a flawed picture when talking about the Beginning of the Universe. They try to invoke the picture of a Universe beginning from “Nothing”. By this I mean, that they try to paint a picture of there first being “Nothing” and then suddenly we have a Universe. That’s not what Big Bang Cosmologists claims happened.
This is a flawed way to look at these matters because “Nothing” as far as we know never existed. As far as we know there was never a point in time at which time, space and matter/energy didn’t exist.
The better way to look at this phenomenon is that the Big Bang is a temporal boundary and that’s exactly where this premise can be shown to be faulty.
Firstly when we “play the movie backwards” so to speak the earliest stage we can go to is the “Planck Epoch” which went from zero to 10^ -43 seconds. This is as far back as we can go: 10^ -43 seconds. An earlier moment escapes our grasp at the moment.
Now if general relativity holds before this first epoch then we can predict that the Universe begins in a singularity. At this point as far as I know, it is unclear whether general relativity does hold at this level and quantum mechanics will have to be taken into consideration as well when we approach the question of the beginning of the Universe.
The truth is, it is blatantly unclear at this point of time whether the Universe began to exist. This of course won’t stop Apologists from cherry picking expert opinions or selecting data that seems on the surface to support their conclusions.
Oftentimes Dr William Lane Craig will cite the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem in order to support his conclusion that the Universe began. It however does support no such thing.
The paper under discussion clearly states this in the “Discussion” section:
“What can lie beyond this boundary? Several possibilities have been discussed, one being that the boundary of the inflating region corresponds to the beginning of the Universe in a quantum nucleation event.”
It doesn’t sound like the paper advocates for a beginning of the Universe to me. Believe it or not but there are models out there who don’t feauture a beginning of the Universe.
One of those models would be the “Carroll-Chen model” (I couldn’t find a link to a paper unfortunately but this is what it looks like) that basically says that there is a time reversed second Universe which means our past before the Big Bang is the others Universe future.
It isn’t my place to claim whether this model is true or not and you’ll probably be able to find criticism of it (you will in a quick Google search). That however is not my point. My point is that at the moment it is a mystery whether the Universe actually did begin to exist.
Therefore the second premise cannot be claimed to be false but whether it’s true or not is unclear.
Tomorrow I’ll give my take on the rest of the argument.
Goodbye from yours truly,
Rene von Boenninghausen @Renevelation