Question:

I have an issue I’d love for you to weigh in on if you can please? I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the 3 part debate between Dr William Lane Craig and Prof Krauss? (if not, the are on YouTube). If so, can you please shed some light on responding to Krauss in his attempts to disprove God? He constantly cuts off Craig and continuously pushes science, science, science but quite often says he “doesn’t know anything” or “how do you know”….please shed some light!!!      [editor’s note:  I requested clarification from the questioner, and here is his clarification]        Yes sir, basically that quantum theory (I’m not a physicist) proves that there’s no need for a creator and that life isn’t fine tuned for anything.   Dr Craig couldn’t really respond because Krauss kept cutting him off.  I think he basically gave up because he never interrupts anyone during his debates and Krauss is obviously cut off from the religious viewpoint. He also claims that we can be 1 universe in a “multiverse” which, last I heard, the multiverse theory was a load of garbage. These are my 2 main points, can you respond?   Thank you very much for even acknowledging my issue

Answer

I am sad that Mr. Krauss was so rude. This does not argue well for his philosophy, although it might be a bit of a stretch to blame his rudeness on his atheism.

As for his arguments, it is absurd to claim that the existence of quantum mechanics proves that there is no creator. There is no conceivable way that quantum mechanics could disprove the existence of God. Perhaps he said something like this, which would make at least a little bit of sense: “Our knowledge of quantum mechanics reduces the strength of one of the arguments for the existence of God.” Even if I do not agree with this statement, I believe that it is a reasonable one–one that can be defended. So…. Applying the Golden Rule, I will proceed by assuming that Mr. Krauss made this somewhat reasonable claim.

His argument, then, is probably that the existence of quantum fluctuations shows that “something can come from nothing,” and therefore this weakens the argument that the existence of the universe proves there is a Creator. I can concede that there is at least a miniscule amount of validity to this argument. The apparent reliability of the Big Bang model in explaining cosmology seems to prove that the universe was created at an instant of time, from nothing. This creates a strong argument, given the law of causality, that the universe was caused by a Creator–and thus God. This is known as the cosmological argument. In fact, William Lane Craig invented a more recent version of the cosmological argument known as the Kalaam cosmological argument. He said this: Everything which begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore the universe was caused. Therefore a causer of the universe exists, and this causer, by definition, is God. In my opinion, quantum mechanics does not weaken this argument at all, or, at best, it weakens the argument only very slightly. It appears to be true that quantum mechanics, which is a very effective theory, does allow matter to be created “out of nothing” by quantum fluctuations. However, such fluctuations can only occur in a universe within which such quantum fluctuations can occur. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that quantum fluctuations can occur when there is literally no universe at all. Quantum mechanics tells us that what we think of as a vacuum is, in effect, not a true vacuum. However, this is where Krauss’ argument becomes weak. In order for a quantum fluctuation to occur, there needs to be a vacuum within which such a fluctuation can occur. Here is the bottom line, the existence of quantum mechanics DOES NOT remove the argument, scientifically or otherwise that, on the most basic level, something cannot begin to exist from nothing.

 

Apparently, Krauss used the well-tried multiverse theory to “prove” that there is no God. I think you are going a bit over the top to call this theory “a bunch of garbage.” Probably you should choose your words a bit more carefully there. However, you are on to something, which is that this is a very questionable theory. This is not a proof of anything at all for a few reasons. First of all, the multiverse theory is speculative on the highest order. In order for a theory to be “scientific” it must be both confirmable by experiment and it must be possible to disconfirm it by experiment. The multiverse theory meets neither criterion. There is no conceivable means to test whether there is another universe out there. It is also impossible to do an experiment to disprove this “theory.” I believe that the source of this questionable, highly speculative “theory” is more a philosophical need of atheists than any sort of scientific experiment or scientific evidence. This theory says that it is “natural” for universes to come into existence spontaneously. How will we test this theory? Who will we disprove it? Can we even conceive of a way to test this? The answer, simply, is no. We should call this the multiverse speculation rather than the multiverse theory. It is the product of wishful thinking.

 

Why this wishful thinking? For a couple of reasons. It was created, not because of evidence, but as a response to the cosmological argument. Second, it is required to create a reasonable response to the argument from design. There is a vast array of aspects of the universe which defy the claim that the universe we exist in was created by a random accident. This is known as the teleological argument. The fact is that there are dozens of parameters, essential to how the universe we live in functions, which, if changed only extremely slightly, there would be no stars, no galaxies and no life. The atheist has to either argue that we are mindbogglingly lucky, or that there are an infinite number of universes and we just happen to live in the right one. This is the reason the multiverse theory was created–not because of scientific evidence for such multiverses. Facts which can be included in the list of teleologically-significant scientific discoveries are many. If the force of gravity was different by less that one part in a million, million, million, million, million (which is the probability of winning the big lotto four consecutive times, approximately), then there would be no stars and galaxies. If the nuclear weak force or the nuclear strong force, or the electromagnetic force or the ratio of protons to electrons, or…. were different by very small quantities, then there would be no galaxies, no stars and, certainly no life. I suggest you look at a power point at my web site which lists a number of these teleologically-relevant facts. http://www.evidenceforchristianity.org/power-point-science-god-and-the-bible/ as well as a power point and notes on the existence of God. http://www.evidenceforchristianity.org/power-point-the-existence-of-god/

 

In my opinion, Krauss’ arguments amount to a smoke screen. He is aware of both the cosmological and the teleological arguments. He has no scientific, philosophical or any other kind of evidence to support his claim that there is no God, so he throws out the irrelevant existence of quantum mechanics and the highly speculative questionably scientific, unproven multiverse theory as a means whereby he hopes to throw us off the track. It is a rhetorical rather than a scientific argument, in my opinion.

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