39 Replies to “Kirk Durston takes on Larry Krauss on whether the universe could come from nothing

  1. 1
    Querius says:

    Brilliant video!

    Lawrence Krauss doesn’t understand Nothing. “Nothing” is non-existence. Something else that has the property of non-existence is the Easter Bunny. So, it’s logically equivalent to assert that the universe was caused by the Easter Bunny as it is to claim it was caused by nothing.

    Another one of his videos that I also enjoyed was

    What Caused God?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaRsb23BZ1o

    -Q

  2. 2
    Querius says:

    Thinking of Krauss’s stupid book, I’m reminded of this riddle:

    What’s greater than God?
    More Evil than the devil?
    Wealthy people need it?
    Poor people have plenty of it?
    And if you eat it, you’ll die?

    -Q

  3. 3
    martin_r says:

    Universe created by Nothing….

    Materialism/Darwinism … such a stupid non-sensical religion …
    Could there something more stupid to believe in ?

  4. 4
    chuckdarwin says:

    At 7:06 into video: “Why ‘absolutely nothing at all’ caused the origin of the universe is nonesense:”

    At least Krauss can spell………..

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Chuckdarwin quips that “At least Krauss can spell,,,”

    Maybe so, but alas, Krauss apparently can’t do basic arithmetic, (which is, needless to say, a major shortcoming for anyone who claims to be an expert in theoretical physics)

    2+2=5? (Lawrence Krauss vs William Lane Craig)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOrlIOm6eGM

    Here are a few previous refutations of Krauss

    On the Origin of Everything – ‘A Universe From Nothing,’ by Lawrence M. Krauss
    By DAVID ALBERT – MARCH 23, 2012
    Excerpt: “Krauss seems to be thinking that these vacuum states amount to the relativistic-­quantum-field-theoretical version of there not being any physical stuff at all. And he has an argument — or thinks he does — that the laws of relativistic quantum field theories entail that vacuum states are unstable. And that, in a nutshell, is the account he proposes of why there should be something rather than nothing.
    “But that’s just not right. Relativistic-quantum-field-theoretical vacuum states — no less than giraffes or refrigerators or solar systems — are particular arrangements of elementary physical stuff. The true relativistic-quantum-field-­theoretical equivalent to there not being any physical stuff at all isn’t this or that particular arrangement of the fields — what it is (obviously, and ineluctably, and on the contrary) is the simple absence of the fields! The fact that some arrangements of fields happen to correspond to the existence of particles and some don’t is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that some of the possible arrangements of my fingers happen to correspond to the existence of a fist and some don’t. And the fact that particles can pop in and out of existence, over time, as those fields rearrange themselves, is not a whit more mysterious than the fact that fists can pop in and out of existence, over time, as my fingers rearrange themselves. And none of these poppings — if you look at them aright — amount to anything even remotely in the neighborhood of a creation from nothing.”
    He goes on to sum up the situation with the following sentence:
    “But all there is to say about this, as far as I can see, is that Krauss is dead wrong and his religious and philosophical critics are absolutely right”
    David Albert has a doctorate in Quantum Physics and he teaches at Columbia
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03......html?_r=1

    Not Understanding Nothing – A review of A Universe from Nothing – Edward Feser – June 2012
    Excerpt: A critic might reasonably question the arguments for a divine first cause of the cosmos. But to ask “What caused God?” misses the whole reason classical philosophers thought his existence necessary in the first place. So when physicist Lawrence Krauss begins his new book by suggesting that to ask “Who created the creator?” suffices to dispatch traditional philosophical theology, we know it isn’t going to end well. ,,,
    ,,, But Krauss simply can’t see the “difference between arguing in favor of an eternally existing creator versus an eternally existing universe without one.” The difference, as the reader of Aristotle or Aquinas knows, is that the universe changes while the unmoved mover does not, or, as the Neoplatonist can tell you, that the universe is made up of parts while its source is absolutely one; or, as Leibniz could tell you, that the universe is contingent and God absolutely necessary. There is thus a principled reason for regarding God rather than the universe as the terminus of explanation.
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2012/06/not-understanding-nothing

    Scientists Should Tell Lawrence Krauss to Shut Up Already – Edward Feser – September 28th, 2015
    Excerpt: From the point of view of the main arguments for God’s existence, it is a mistake to think that the place to look for evidence of God is within the domain investigated by science. Rather, the place to look is somewhere more fundamental—at what any possible science must itself presuppose.
    The Rules of the Game
    Think of it this way: you can’t find out why checkers boards exist by looking at the rules of checkers themselves, which concern only what goes on within the game. The rules tell you how each piece moves, how the game is won, and so forth. But why are the pieces governed by these rules, specifically, rather than others? Why do any checkers boards exist at all in the first place? No scrutiny of the rules can answer those questions. It is impossible to answer them, or indeed even to understand the questions, unless you take a vantage point from outside the game and its rules.
    Similarly, what science uncovers are, in effect, the “rules” that govern the “game” that is the natural world. Its domain of study is what is internal to the natural order of things. It presupposes that there is such an order, just as the rules of checkers presuppose that there are such things as checkers boards and game pieces. For that very reason, though, science has nothing to say about why there is any natural order or laws in the first place, any more than the rules of checkers tell you why there are any checkers boards or checkers rules in the first place.
    Thus, science cannot answer the question why there is any world at all, or any laws at all. To answer those questions, or even to understand them properly, you must take an intellectual vantage point from outside the world and its laws, and thus outside of science. You need to look to philosophical argument, which goes deeper than anything mere physics can uncover.
    http://www.thepublicdiscourse.com/2015/09/15760/

    Is Lawrence Krauss a Physicist, or Just a Bad Philosopher? By John Horgan | November 20, 2015
    Excerpt: That brings me to South African physicist George Ellis. When I interviewed Ellis last year, I asked him if Krauss’s book answers the question posed by its subtitle. Ellis responded:
    Certainly not. He is presenting untested speculative theories of how things came into existence out of a pre-existing complex of entities, including variational principles, quantum field theory, specific symmetry groups, a bubbling vacuum, all the components of the standard model of particle physics, and so on. He does not explain in what way these entities could have pre-existed the coming into being of the universe, why they should have existed at all, or why they should have had the form they did. And he gives no experimental or observational process whereby we could test these vivid speculations of the supposed universe-generation mechanism. How indeed can you test what existed before the universe existed? You can’t.
    Thus what he is presenting is not tested science. It’s a philosophical speculation, which he apparently believes is so compelling he does not have to give any specification of evidence that would confirm it is true. Well, you can’t get any evidence about what existed before space and time came into being. Above all he believes that these mathematically based speculations solve thousand year old philosophical conundrums, without seriously engaging those philosophical issues. The belief that all of reality can be fully comprehended in terms of physics and the equations of physics is a fantasy. As pointed out so well by Eddington in his Gifford lectures, they are partial and incomplete representations of physical, biological, psychological, and social reality.
    And above all Krauss does not address why the laws of physics exist, why they have the form they have, or in what kind of manifestation they existed before the universe existed (which he must believe if he believes they brought the universe into existence). Who or what dreamt up symmetry principles, Lagrangians, specific symmetry groups, gauge theories, and so on? He does not begin to answer these questions. It’s very ironic when he says philosophy is bunk and then himself engages in this kind of attempt at philosophy.
    http://blogs.scientificamerica.....ilosopher/

  6. 6
    bornagain77 says:

    George Ellis mentions that Krauss believes in “a bubbling vacuum”.

    People who believe in “a bubbling vacuum”, (i.e. virtual particles, quantum foam, and/or zero point energy), usually point to the Casimir Effect as supposedly definitive proof for “a bubbling vacuum”.

    What is the Casimir Effect?
    The Casimir effect is a small attractive force that acts between two close parallel uncharged conducting plates. It is caused by quantum vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field.
    The effect was predicted by the Dutch physicist Hendrick Casimir in 1948. According to quantum theory, the vacuum contains virtual particles which are in a continuous state of fluctuation (see physics FAQ article on virtual particles). Casimir realised that between two plates, only those virtual photons whose wavelengths fit a whole number of times into the gap should be counted when calculating the vacuum energy. The energy density decreases as the plates are moved closer together, which implies that there is a small force drawing them together.
    https://math.ucr.edu/home/baez/physics/Quantum/casimir.html

    Yet, the Casimir Effect is not definitive proof for “a bubbling vacuum”. Far from it.

    As the following article states, ““Casimir effects can be formulated and Casimir forces can be computed without reference to zero-point energies.,,, In fact, the description in terms of van der Waals forces is the only correct description from the fundamental microscopic perspective,[20][21] while other descriptions of Casimir force are merely effective macroscopic descriptions.”

    Relativistic van der Waals force
    Alternatively, a 2005 paper by Robert Jaffe of MIT states that “Casimir effects can be formulated and Casimir forces can be computed without reference to zero-point energies. They are relativistic, quantum forces between charges and currents. The Casimir force (per unit area) between parallel plates vanishes as alpha, the fine structure constant, goes to zero, and the standard result, which appears to be independent of alpha, corresponds to the alpha approaching infinity limit,” and that “The Casimir force is simply the (relativistic, retarded) van der Waals force between the metal plates.”[18] Casimir and Polder’s original paper used this method to derive the Casimir-Polder force. In 1978, Schwinger, DeRadd, and Milton published a similar derivation for the Casimir Effect between two parallel plates.[19] In fact, the description in terms of van der Waals forces is the only correct description from the fundamental microscopic perspective,[20][21] while other descriptions of Casimir force are merely effective macroscopic descriptions.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_effect#Relativistic_van_der_Waals_force

    Krauss, and other atheistic materialists simply have ZERO empirical evidence for ‘a bubbling vacuum’. In fact there is much evidence that argues against its existence.

    GRBs Expand Astronomers’ Toolbox – Nov. 2009
    Excerpt: a detailed analysis of the GRB (Gamma Ray Burst) in question demonstrated that photons of all energies arrived at essentially the same time. Consequently, these results falsify any quantum gravity models requiring the simplest form of a frothy space.
    http://www.reasons.org/GRBsExp…..ersToolbox

    Quantum Foam Paper Suggests Einstein Was Right About Space-Time Being ‘Smooth’ – January 2013
    Excerpt: It appears Albert Einstein may have been right yet again.
    A team of researchers came to this conclusion after tracing the long journey three photons took through intergalactic space. The photons were blasted out by an intense explosion known as a gamma-ray burst about 7 billion light-years from Earth. They finally barreled into the detectors of NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in May 2009, arriving just a millisecond apart.
    Their dead-heat finish strongly supports the Einsteinian view of space-time, researchers said. The wavelengths of gamma-ray burst photons are so small that they should be able to interact with the even tinier “bubbles” in the quantum theorists’ proposed space-time foam.
    If this foam indeed exists, the three photons should have been knocked around a bit during their epic voyage. In such a scenario, the chances of all three reaching the Fermi telescope at virtually the same time are very low, researchers said.?So the new study is a strike against the foam’s existence as currently imagined,,, “If foaminess exists at all, we think it must be at a scale far smaller than the Planck length,”
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....49734.html

    Confirming Einstein, scientists find ‘spacetime foam’ not slowing down photons from faraway gamma-ray burst (Update) – Mar 16, 2015
    Excerpt: Albert Einstein formulated the general theory of relativity, one of the theory’s basic assumptions: the idea that all light particles, or photons, propagate at exactly the same speed.,,
    The researchers analyzed data, obtained by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, of the arrival times of photons from a distant gamma-ray burst. The data showed that photons traveling for billions of years from the distant burst toward Earth all arrived within a fraction of a second of each other.
    This finding indicates that the photons all moved at the same speed, even though different photons had different energies. This is one of the best measurements ever of the independence of the speed of light from the energy of the light particles.,,,
    One of the attempts to reconcile the two theories (Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity) is the idea of “space-time foam.” According to this concept, on a microscopic scale space is not continuous, and instead it has a foam-like structure. The size of these foam elements is so tiny that it is difficult to imagine and is at present impossible to measure directly. However light particles that are traveling within this foam will be affected by the foamy structure, and this will cause them to propagate at slightly different speeds depending on their energy.
    The fact that all the photons with different energies arrived with no time delay relative to each other indicates that such a foamy structure, if it exists at all, has a much smaller size than previously expected.
    “When we began our analysis, we didn’t expect to obtain such a precise measurement,” said Prof. Tsvi Piran, the Schwartzmann University Chair at the Hebrew University’s Racah Institute of Physics and a leader of the research. “This new limit is at the level expected from quantum gravity theories.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-03-e.....-foam.html

    NASA telescopes set limits on space-time quantum ‘foam’ – May, 28. 2015
    Excerpt: At the smallest scales of distance and duration that we can measure, spacetime—that is, the three dimensions of space plus time—appears to be smooth and structureless. However, certain aspects of quantum mechanics, the highly successful theory scientists have developed to explain the physics of atoms and subatomic particles, predict that spacetime would not be smooth. Rather, it would have a foamy, jittery nature and would consist of many small, ever-changing, regions for which space and time are no longer definite, but fluctuate.,,,
    Chandra’s X-ray detection of quasars at distances of billions of light-years rules out one model, according to which photons diffuse randomly through spacetime foam in a manner similar to light diffusing through fog. Detections of distant quasars at shorter, gamma-ray wavelengths with Fermi and even shorter wavelengths with VERITAS demonstrate that a second, so-called holographic model with less diffusion does not work.
    “We find that our data can rule out two different models for spacetime foam,” said co-author Jack Ng of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. “We can conclude that spacetime is less foamy than some (quantum) models predict.”
    The X-ray and gamma-ray data show that spacetime is smooth down to distances 1,000 times smaller than the nucleus of a hydrogen atom.
    http://phys.org/news/2015-05-n.....antum.html

    Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity – April 30, 2018
    New observations of extreme astrophysical systems have “brutally and pitilessly murdered” attempts to replace Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
    Excerpt: All attempts to directly detect dark matter and dark energy have failed, however. That fact “kind of leaves a bad taste in some people’s mouths, almost like the fictional planet Vulcan,” said Leo Stein, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. “Maybe we’re going about it all wrong?”,,,
    “The business of alternative gravity theories is a messy one,” Archibald said. Some would-be replacements for general relativity, like string theory and loop quantum gravity, don’t offer testable predictions. Others “make predictions that are spectacularly wrong, so the theorists have to devise some kind of a screening mechanism to hide the wrong prediction on scales we can actually test,” she said.
    https://www.quantamagazine.org/troubled-times-for-alternatives-to-einsteins-theory-of-gravity-20180430/

    Stephen Hawking Says Nothing Existed Before Big Bang; Christian Astrophysicist Hugh Ross Responds – By Michael Gryboski – Mar 5, 2018
    Excerpt: Ross responded that while Hawking was correct that “time has a beginning,” nevertheless “the beginning of time demands a Causal Agent capable of creating time independent of time. It is not enough to simply speculate that imaginary time also exists.”,,,
    ,,,the (quantum fluctuation) model that Hawking is proposing for the origins of the Universe is problematic in light of modern astronomical observations.,,,
    “Recent observations showing that the images of distant quasars and blazars are not blurry, but rather are sharp, constrain the size of these quantum space-time fluctuations. The fluctuations are not large enough to escape the need for a Creator who creates space and time or for the universe to have a finite age.”
    https://www.christianpost.com/news/stephen-hawking-nothing-existed-before-big-bang-christian-astrophysicist-hugh-ross-220309/

    So once again, we see that the supposed scientific evidence that Atheists rely on to support their worldview simply does not exist save for in their unrestrained imaginations.

    2 Corinthians 10:5
    Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

  7. 7
    OldArmy94 says:

    By resorting to critiquing spelling, Chuckdarwin concedes that Krauss has nothing to offer.

  8. 8
    AaronS1978 says:

    @ chuckdarwin
    Lol
    Grammatical errors can happened to the best of us

    And sometimes the computer likes to choose the wording for us

    It’s called a mistake
    Mistakes happen

    But believing in nonsense, using word play to support your nonsense and redefining definition of “nothing” to support the that nonsense is not a mistake

    That’s willful blind ignorance trying to stamp out a view they don’t agree with because of bias

    A mistake is forgivable
    Krauss’ willful ignorance is not

    Btw ChuckyD
    “Why ‘absolutely nothing at all’

    Isn’t that a grammatical error to have the apostrophe there, all I did was copy n paste what you typed

    By the way I admit, I suck when it comes to grammar only because I’m lazy and don’t like to proof read.

  9. 9
    kairosfocus says:

    Is anyone prepared to argue that utter non-being has plausible causal adequacy to be source of the observed cosmos? On what grounds that do not amount to utter absurdity? KF

  10. 10
    chuckdarwin says:

    re Bornagain77
    Edward Feser critiquing Krauss on physics? Seriously?

    re OldArmy94:
    Krauss’ work stands on its own, he doesn’t need me to re-hash it.

    re AaronS1978:
    You need to pull out your old 4th grade grammar book. “Why ‘absolutely nothing at all’ caused the origin of the universe is nonesense” is a quotation within a quotation. Those are not apostrophes, they are single quotation marks.

  11. 11
    AaronS1978 says:

    Oh I’m terribly sorry Chuckie D I didn’t see that second quotation “My bad”

    Truly my mistake

    By the way
    I’m pretty sure you know where you can shove that fourth grade grammar book of yours… It starts with an A and you sit on it all day

  12. 12
    Belfast says:

    @aaron @8
    …..“don’t like to proof read.”
    I’m the same, I’m afraid that proofreading today is a lost rat.

  13. 13
    Jack says:

    “Come from nothing.”

    Let’s be accurate about what they mean. They mean that the universe came from a quantum foam of potentia. Which obviously is not “nothing” in the strict sense. I think their arguments are unfounded and wishful thinking, but let’s be clear that when they say “nothing” they don’t mean absolutely nothing. They’re deceptive for using the word “nothing” with respect to the issue, and should be taken to the woodshed because of that. (The popularlizers like to sell books.) But don’t be naive enough to think that they don’t understand that their “nothing” is something.

    Beyond that, the merits of their quantum foam idea should be mercilessly scrutinized.

  14. 14
    bornagain77 says:

    Chuckdarwin asks, “Edward Feser critiquing Krauss on physics? Seriously?”

    This is an interesting question for Chuckdarwin (CD) to ask for several reasons.

    First, CD critiqued a minor grammatical error as if it rendered Dr. Durston entire argument against Krauss null and void.
    Yet, when I pointed out that, in all ‘seriousness’, Lawrence Krauss stated that 2+2=5, (and he even had 2+2=5 emblazoned on his tee-shirt for crying out loud),,,

    2+2=5? (Lawrence Krauss vs William Lane Craig)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOrlIOm6eGM

    ,,, when I pointed that fact out, and when I further pointed out that such an elementary, even purposeful, mistake in basic arithmetic on Krauss’s part is a major shortcoming for anyone who claims to be an expert in theoretical physics, CD acted as if that ‘purposeful mistake’ that Krauss made did not matter in the least, and simply ignored it as if nothing was seriously amiss with Krauss’s ability to reason coherently about basic arithmetic.

    I’m sorry CD, it simply does not work that way. Unintended mistakes in grammar are easily forgiven, since everybody makes them. Yet, ‘PURPOSEFUL” mistakes in basic arithmetic, especially for a theoretical physicist, are a different matter entirely. Such a ‘purposeful’ mistake rightly and justifiably raises ‘serious’ concerns as to Krauss’s ability to even practice theoretical physics in a rationally coherent manner in the first place.

    I mean really, if you can’t even get 2+2=4 right, then why should anyone on God’s green earth trust any else you have to say as to how the entire universe might have come into being? “Seriously?”

    If you can believe that 2+2=5, then we have every right to ask, “what other logically incoherent nonsense are you capable of believing to be true?”

    Another reason that it is interesting that CD asked this question, “Edward Feser critiquing Krauss on physics? Seriously?”, is that, besides listing Edward Feser’s critique of Krauss, I also listed David Albert’s critique of Krauss. And Dr. Albert has a PhD in quantum physics, and teaches at Columbia University. And I also listed George Ellis’s critique of Krauss. And Ellis’s shoelaces, as far as theoretical physics is concerned, Krauss is not worthy to tie.

    But instead of acknowledging such heavyweight criticisms of Krauss by leading theoretical Physicists, CD ignores them completely, and acts as if I did not even list their critiques of Krauss, and CD instead ‘picks’ on the philosopher, i.e. on Edward Feser. (it is interesting to note that both Albert and Ellis, in their critiques of Krauss, also found Krauss to be, among other things, philosophically illiterate)

    The funny thing about Krauss, (and CD), mocking philosophers is that if anyone ever needed basic lessons in philosophy, especially how philosophy relates to science, it is Atheistic Naturalists, (especially those Atheists who practice theoretical physics).

    For primary example, since Krauss is apparently so mathematically inept as to, in all ‘seriousness’, claim that 2+2=5, then Krauss would do very well to humble himself and take a philosophical lesson from Dr. Feser in the philosophy of mathematics, as mathematics has, historically, been applied to the universe.

    KEEP IT SIMPLE – by Edward Feser – April 2020
    Excerpt: Mathematics appears to describe a realm of entities with quasi-­divine attributes. The series of natural numbers is infinite. That one and one equal two and two and two equal four could not have been otherwise. Such mathematical truths never begin being true or cease being true; they hold eternally and immutably. The lines, planes, and figures studied by the geometer have a kind of perfection that the objects of our ­experience lack. Mathematical objects seem immaterial and known by pure reason rather than through the senses. Given the centrality of mathematics to scientific explanation, it seems in some way to be a cause of the natural world and its order.
    How can the mathematical realm be so apparently godlike? The traditional answer, originating in Neoplatonic philosophy and Augustinian theology, is that our knowledge of the mathematical realm is precisely knowledge, albeit inchoate, of the divine mind. Mathematical truths exhibit infinity, necessity, eternity, immutability, perfection, and immateriality because they are God’s thoughts, and they have such explanatory power in scientific theorizing because they are part of the blueprint implemented by God in creating the world. For some thinkers in this tradition, mathematics thus provides the starting point for an argument for the existence of God qua supreme intellect.
    https://www.firstthings.com/article/2020/04/keep-it-simple

    But hey, Krauss, (and CD), don’t have to take Dr. Feser’s ‘philosophical’ word for the fact that the applicability of mathematics to the universe reflects a ‘divine Mind’. But they can take Wigner’s and Einstein’s word for it. Eugene Wigner and Albert Einstein are both on record as to regarding it as a ‘miracle’ that mathematics should even be applicable to the universe in the first place.

    Eugene Wigner even went so far as to critique Darwinian evolution in the process of calling it a miracle,

    The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences – Eugene Wigner – 1960
    Excerpt: ,,certainly it is hard to believe that our reasoning power was brought, by Darwin’s process of natural selection, to the perfection which it seems to possess.,,,
    It is difficult to avoid the impression that a miracle confronts us here, quite comparable in its striking nature to the miracle that the human mind can string a thousand arguments together without getting itself into contradictions, or to the two miracles of the existence of laws of nature and of the human mind’s capacity to divine them.,,,
    The miracle of the appropriateness of the language of mathematics for the formulation of the laws of physics is a wonderful gift which we neither understand nor deserve. We should be grateful for it and hope that it will remain valid in future research and that it will extend, for better or for worse, to our pleasure, even though perhaps also to our bafflement, to wide branches of learning.
    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~matc.....igner.html

    Einstein went one step further than Wigner did and even chastised ‘professional atheists’ in the process of calling it a miracle.

    On the Rational Order of the World: a Letter to Maurice Solovine – Albert Einstein – March 30, 1952
    Excerpt: “You find it strange that I consider the comprehensibility of the world (to the extent that we are authorized to speak of such a comprehensibility) as a miracle or as an eternal mystery. Well, a priori, one should expect a chaotic world, which cannot be grasped by the mind in any way .. the kind of order created by Newton’s theory of gravitation, for example, is wholly different. Even if a man proposes the axioms of the theory, the success of such a project presupposes a high degree of ordering of the objective world, and this could not be expected a priori. That is the ‘miracle’ which is constantly reinforced as our knowledge expands.
    There lies the weakness of positivists and professional atheists who are elated because they feel that they have not only successfully rid the world of gods but “bared the miracles.”
    -Albert Einstein
    http://inters.org/Einstein-Letter-Solovine

    One final note, it is interesting to note that both Albert and Ellis, in their critiques of Krauss, chastised Krauss for being philosophically inept.

    “But all there is to say about this, as far as I can see, is that Krauss is dead wrong and his religious and philosophical critics are absolutely right”
    – David Albert

    And please note the nature of Ellis’s critique of Krauss in particular,

    “Who or what dreamt up symmetry principles, Lagrangians, specific symmetry groups, gauge theories, and so on? He does not begin to answer these questions. It’s very ironic when he (Krauss) says philosophy is bunk and then himself engages in this kind of attempt at philosophy.
    – George Ellis

    George Ellis is, basically, critiquing Krauss for not having a coherent philosophy of mathematics.

    So again, in all ‘seriousness’, it would serve Krauss, (and CD), very well to, instead of mocking philosophy, to humble themselves and take a few lessons in philosophy from Dr. Feser, who, in my honest opinion, is an excellent teacher of philosophy. (Of note: Edward Feser is a professor of philosophy at Pasadena City College.)

    Verse and quotes:

    John 1:1
    “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God”

    What is the Logos?
    Logos is a Greek word literally translated as “word, speech, or utterance.” However, in Greek philosophy, Logos refers to divine reason or the power that puts sense into the world making order instead of chaos.,,,
    In the Gospel of John, John writes “In the beginning was the Word (Logos), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). John appealed to his readers by saying in essence, “You’ve been thinking, talking, and writing about the Word (divine reason) for centuries and now I will tell you who He is.”
    https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-the-Logos.html

    ‘the Word’ in John1:1 is translated from ‘Logos’ in Greek. Logos is also the root word from which we derive our modern word logic
    http://etymonline.com/?term=logic

  15. 15
    AaronS1978 says:

    Hey ba77
    Remember according to Chucky D (D is for dipsh@t)
    A theoretical astrophysicist is completely allowed to discuss the authority of the Bible and then tell everybody who believes in it and religion that they are complete buffoons

    Nobody may argue with him about the beginning of the universe because he’s a professional scientist who is also professional atheist!!!!!!!!

    Even though Lawrence Krauss has literally no professional authority in arguing the Bible, religion, or philosophy (which he does all the time) he is completely allowed to do so! while Edward Fesser, because Chuck D’s authority on ALL things said so, is most certainly not allowed to because he’s just a philosopher that happens to be professional in very field Lawrence Krauss criticizes all the time

    Nothing hypocritical there, nothing at all

  16. 16
    Querius says:

    In one of his videos, Kirk points out that time (or more precisely space-time) came into existence at the big bang.

    – Without TIME, nothing changes. Everything is “frozen in time” when time is not running.

    – NOTHING does not have the property of causality. Nothing cannot cause anything at all. Kirk says that when his kids were small, there once was a big crash from upstairs. “What’s going on?” he shouted. “Nothing,” came the response. So how many adults here believe that “nothing” caused the big crash?

    I’ve been watching some of his other videos and they are great! Check them out here:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqxKrkPZYueCjHoClH5xkaw

    -Q

  17. 17
    Querius says:

    No takers for the riddle @2? Lol

    -Q

  18. 18
    kairosfocus says:

    Jack, that is precisely why they should not use the term nothing. The root of reality is an unbounded past q-foam. That’s a pretty strong claim, and it runs into serious issues. It is not at all the same as what has been trumpeted. KF

    PS: Some food for thought:

    In physics, particularly in statistical mechanics, we base many of our calculations on the assumption of metric transitivity, which asserts that a system’s trajectory will eventually [–> given “enough time and search resources”] explore the entirety of its state space – thus everything that is phys-ically possible will eventually happen. It should then be trivially true that one could choose an arbitrary “final state” (e.g., a living organism) and “explain” it by evolving the system backwards in time choosing an appropriate state at some ’start’ time t_0 (fine-tuning the initial state). In the case of a chaotic system the initial state must be specified to arbitrarily high precision. But this account amounts to no more than saying that the world is as it is because it was as it was, and our current narrative therefore scarcely constitutes an explanation in the true scientific sense.

    We are left in a bit of a conundrum with respect to the problem of specifying the initial conditions necessary to explain our world. A key point is that if we require specialness in our initial state (such that we observe the current state of the world and not any other state) metric transitivity cannot hold true, as it blurs any dependency on initial conditions – that is, it makes little sense for us to single out any particular state as special by calling it the ’initial’ state. If we instead relax the assumption of metric transitivity (which seems more realistic for many real world physical systems – including life), then our phase space will consist of isolated pocket regions and it is not necessarily possible to get to any other physically possible state (see e.g. Fig. 1 for a cellular automata example).

    [–> or, there may not be “enough” time and/or resources for the relevant exploration, i.e. we see the 500 – 1,000 bit complexity threshold at work vs 10^57 – 10^80 atoms with fast rxn rates at about 10^-13 to 10^-15 s leading to inability to explore more than a vanishingly small fraction on the gamut of Sol system or observed cosmos . . . the only actually, credibly observed cosmos]

    Thus the initial state must be tuned to be in the region of phase space in which we find ourselves [–> notice, fine tuning], and there are regions of the configuration space our physical universe would be excluded from accessing, even if those states may be equally consistent and permissible under the microscopic laws of physics (starting from a different initial state). Thus according to the standard picture, we require special initial conditions to explain the complexity of the world, but also have a sense that we should not be on a particularly special trajectory to get here (or anywhere else) as it would be a sign of fine–tuning of the initial conditions. [ –> notice, the “loading”] Stated most simply, a potential problem with the way we currently formulate physics is that you can’t necessarily get everywhere from anywhere (see Walker [31] for discussion). [“The “Hard Problem” of Life,” June 23, 2016, a discussion by Sara Imari Walker and Paul C.W. Davies at Arxiv.]

    more on the anthropic principle from Lewis and Barnes https://uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/hitchhikers-guide-authors-puddle-argument-against-fine-tuning-and-a-response/#comment-729507

    Note, these are absolutely general phase space issues. And, we are facing Boltzmann brain issues as well, it is overwhelmingly more likely to have a BB delusional world fluctuating in quasi-infinite time etc, than the sort of going concern fine tuned world we inhabit. As credibly embedded creatures, and yes that points to the saw off the branch on which we sit issue.

  19. 19
    kairosfocus says:

    Q, of course, 0, zip, nada, nyet. KF

  20. 20
    William J Murray says:

    IMO, the term “quantum foam” is just a way of “materializing” informational potential.

    Although they are not talking about a true “nothing,” it must be stated clearly that there is no such thing as “nothing.” It’s an absurd concept, like a square circle.

    Potential necessarily exists because “nothing” cannot “exist,” and the existence of any particular thing is concomitant with the potential for all possible things. All possible things exist in that potential, and it seems that it is consciousness that “actualizes” potential into experience.

    The only question is if there are limitations to what a consciousness can draw from potential into experience.

  21. 21
    Querius says:

    Kairosfocus @19,
    Correct. The riddlle also shows Krauss’s stupid misuse of language in when he writes a book about nothing.

    William J Murray @20,
    How can “information potential” exist outside of time? Did time exist before the big bang? Can time exist without space (i.e. Space-time)?

    I prefer referring to the Easter Bunny as an example of nothing or non-existence because an object that’s both a square and circle in 2D can indeed exist in 3D (projections of a cylinder with the same length as its diameter).

    Quantum Mechanics does indeed force us into accepting the fundamentals of reality as being information/measurement, consciousness, causality, entanglement, conjugate variables, space-time, probability, along with chaos and likely others. But there must be more because the interaction of these do produce the material universe . . . or a holographic universe.

    The only question is if there are limitations to what a consciousness can draw from potential into experience.

    Good question. Consider for a moment what Jesus said as recorded in Matthew 17:

    Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

    Is that really just a metaphor? Jesus (and Peter) walked on water, turned water into wine, entered a room through locked doors, and performed many miracles such as healing with the explanation of “Your faith has made you well.”

    Specifically addressing limitations, Jesus also said
    https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Asking-In-Jesus-Name

    There’s your potential.

    -Q

  22. 22
    chuckdarwin says:

    re BornAgain77
    #14
    This is my last post on this subject but I wanted to point out that Krauss’ famous T-shirt “2 + 2 = 5” is an inside joke among physicists and engineers (one I’m sure that Durston, as a physicist, is familiar with, but fails to contextualize). To quote Thiago Gasparino, an electrical engineer posting at Quora on the Krauss-WLC debate:
    “Every measurement we do has rounding errors. In Physics (also Engineering and other fields), when we say ‘2’ of a measure, it means anything between 1.5 and 2.5. When we say 2.0 it means anything between 1.95 and 2.05, and so on.
    So, the whole quote is ‘2 + 2 = 5 for very large values of 2’. This is what [Krauss] means, he is referring to rounding errors. I know this because this is what physicists and engineers mean when they say this. It’s an inside joke, it’s funny if you understand it.” (https://www.quora.com/What-does-Lawrence-Krauss-mean-when-he-says-2+2-5)
    It is unfortunate that Christian apologists like WLC don’t have much of a sense of humor. But I suppose if I were facing the eternal wrath of a humorless God, I’d be more circumspect too. Ciao……..

  23. 23
    Querius says:

    Chuckdarwin @22,
    You’re forgetting about precision. This is the difference between counting and measuring. The 1.5 and 2.5 in your example have two significant digits. There are several ways of signifying precision in measurements including scientific notation. The erroneous 2 + 2 = 5 is assumed to be counting, not measurement.

    -Q

  24. 24
    bornagain77 says:

    CD, that is a lame excuse. Krauss knew exactly what he was doing during the debate and did not make any caveats whatsoever during the debate, or after the debate, about rounding errors when Dr. Craig challenged him directly on the fact that “2+2=4” follows from the axioms of Peano arithmetic,” (And even your own citation trying to cover Krauss’s behind, is not even from Krauss, trying to clear up any misunderstandings he may have conveyed in the debate about claiming 2+2=5, but is instead from someone who “holds no advanced degrees’)

    William Lane Craig vs. Lawrence Krauss debate
    Excerpt: He (Krauss) says, “But 2+2 does not necessarily equal 4!” (Yet) “2+2=4” follows from the axioms of Peano arithmetic, which are necessary truths. I cannot believe that he would deny logically necessary, mathematical truths in order to avoid theism.
    https://www.reasonablefaith.org/media/debates/the-craig-krauss-debate-at-north-carolina-state-university/

    At least Krauss can claim to be ‘woke’ on mathematics, (2+2=5) way before being ‘woke’ on math was even cool! 🙂

  25. 25
    William J Murray says:

    Q @21 said:

    I prefer referring to the Easter Bunny as an example of nothing or non-existence because an object that’s both a square and circle in 2D can indeed exist in 3D (projections of a cylinder with the same length as its diameter).

    3D objects are not squares or circles, which are 2D objects. There’s no such thing as a square circle.

    Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

    This has been my experience and observation over decades of experimenting with my idealism reality theory. The results are miraculous, indeed.

  26. 26
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @25,

    Do you not understand what a 2D projection of a 3D object is?

    To put it another way, imagine a cylinder passing through a 2D planar surface. The 2D intersection of the cylinder and the 2D plane will have different shapes depending on its orientation. It can be a circle, a square, or an infinite number of shapes in between.

    -Q

  27. 27
    kairosfocus says:

    CD, we are aware of the joke and it is a fail, as the tails are such that 2 + 2 gives 5 on certain cases fails. Generally, giving integers is not a sign of error-bar values but exact units, and worse the context is the natural numbers, N not Q or R. The truth is, Krauss tried to evade the force of a self-evident truth by diverting context. AKA, red herring led off to a straw man. KF

  28. 28
    William J Murray says:

    Q: yes, I do understand. Do you?

    The cylinder is never a square or a circle, much less a square circle. A visual image of a 2D circle morphing into a square, or vice-versa, from a perspective, regardless of what is causing it (the cylinder), is not a square circle. There’s no such thing as a square circle. You can never observe a square circle.

  29. 29
    William J Murray says:

    Q asks:

    How can “information potential” exist outside of time? Did time exist before the big bang? Can time exist without space (i.e. Space-time)?

    Space and time do not exist as we normally think of them; again, this is supported by multiple lines of evidence, including the results of repeated quantum experiments. We do not live in a “space-time continuum, and it is nonsensical to think in terms of space-time being “created.” For a thing to be created, under the traditional concept of space-time, space-time must already exist. It’s a true self-referential absurdity to say space-time “was created” or “began.”

  30. 30
    Lesia says:

    William J Murray @28,
    It seems that you need to add more context in order to state the nonexistence of a square circle.

    If you choose the taxicab metric on the plane, your circles will start to look as squares 🙂

  31. 31
    Querius says:

    William J Murray @28,29

    yes, I do understand. Do you?

    No, I don’t think you understand space-time. Otherwise you would have answered my questions:
    • How can “information potential” exist outside of time?
    • Did time exist before the big bang?
    • Can time exist without space (i.e. Space-time)?

    Instead, you ducked the questions.

    But please feel free to enlighten us on where Einstein went wrong on space-time. Back up your theory, because simply making assertions in this case is better termed “science fantasy.”
    Since you don’t understand 2D projections, a step down in dimensional representation, let’s try it one more time from a fourth linear dimension as perceived in 3D.

    How would a tesseract appear in 3D minus the perspective distortion shown in most illustrations?

    -Q

  32. 32
    William J Murray says:

    Q said:

    • How can “information potential” exist outside of time?

    This is a vague, virtually incoherent question. What do you mean “exist?” What do you mean by “outside” of time? What do you mean by “time?”

    Did time exist before the big bang? • Can time exist without space (i.e. Space-time)?

    What does it mean for “time” to “exist?” What does it mean for “space” to exist? Where would “space” exist, if not in some pre-existing or higher-dimensional “space,” ad infinitum? IOW, where would you create “space?” What would you create it out of? Where was the stuff you created it out of in the first place, if you hadn’t created “space” yet? What does it mean to “create” time? What was the situation before “time” was created? If there was no “time” before time itself was created, how could there be a “before” time was create so that at some point time itself could not exist, and then be created?

    These are incoherent questions because space-time is an intrinsically incoherent concept because they necessarily, ultimately depend on infinite regression, even if you throw in God. The concept of “outside of space-time” requires a space-time outside of spacetime for God to exist in and for God to create anything.

    There’s no such thing as a actual space-time continuum. There is only the sequential, orderly physical experience we have mistaken for such.

    Lesia said:

    It seems that you need to add more context in order to state the nonexistence of a square circle.

    Yes. The context I need is a listener who understands basic logic, apparently.

  33. 33
    William J Murray says:

    Q asks:

    How would a tesseract appear in 3D minus the perspective distortion shown in most illustrations?

    Like a bas relief of Charles Howard Hinton.

  34. 34
    Querius says:

    William J Murray,

    Evasive at all points. You forgot to ask what I meant by “is.” Buy a dictionary and look up the words. Then explain to us where Einstein went wrong by your theory.

    -Q

  35. 35
    Querius says:

    (Crickets from William J Murray)

  36. 36
    William J Murray says:

    Q,

    The point of my questions was to show that your questions depend on a particular ontological perspective for them to even make sense as meaningful questions. And, they are incredibly vague even from the old perspective. What is time? What does it mean for time to “exist?” Can you even answer those questions from your ontological perspective?

    I ask because, as far as I know, even physicists can’t answer those questions.

  37. 37
    Querius says:

    William J Murray,

    You evaded my points by asking me to answer a bunch of term questions for you, at which you can then take potshots. No thanks. Look up the English words in a dictionary. Then, explain to everyone where Einstein went wrong by your theory.

    -Q

  38. 38
    William J Murray says:

    Q,

    Unfortunately, I have no idea what you are talking about when you ask me to “explain to everyone where Einstein went wrong by your theory.”

  39. 39
    Querius says:

    Of course you don’t have any idea what I’m talking about. All you would have to do is scroll back to where your wrote:

    We do not live in a “space-time continuum . . . ”

    So what’s you’re theory to replace Einstein’s space-time (later to be completed by Minkowski)?
    You might want to review http://einstein.stanford.edu/S.....time2.html

    For a thing to be created, under the traditional concept of space-time, space-time must already exist. It’s a true self-referential absurdity to say space-time “was created” or “began.”

    Current scientific evidence indicates a beginning for space-time called “the big bang.” Please explain why the big bang theory is “a true self-referential absurdity.”

    Waiting expectantly for even more unsupported assertions . . .

    -Q

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