I'm interested to hear the thoughts of the community on this. I'm not quite sure I agree with the merit of his first premise. Sure, it's axiomatically stable, but as a factual statement, I don't think it holds much more water than the argument that something cannot come from nothing, as it, in a similar form, lacks an ability to be demonstrated. I agree with it, but I feel like this shifts the burden of proof unnecessarily. I think then, that it creates a house of cards of his argument, as the conclusion is negated if the premise is brought to question. 

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

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It seems like much ado about nothing.  Isn't the bigger issue the fact that a god concept is such a farce to begin with?  In what manner does an entity created something as immense, unintuitively diverse, self destructive, evolutionary, etc. as the universe?  Who cares about the chicken and the egg argument, when the chicken is being said to have created something so ridiculously large, imperfect and overdesigned for its purpose?  Think of the earth as a single electron inside the egg, with the rest of the egg being the universe.  Why would the chicken create an egg, if all it cared about is that single electron buzzing around inside the egg.

Hell of it is, "nothing" may not be all that nothing after all!  Physicist Lawrence Krauss has a fascinating piece on how something may have come from nothing.  I recommend it highly.

I couldn't finish watching the video because while he started off well, he committed a basic fallacy and was then talking rubbish.

In general, the kalam cosmological argument seems pretty airtight to me, and I can't see how people can disagree with it. We have good evidence for steps 1 and 2 therefore step 3 is logically valid.

For people who accept the reality of biological evolution, there is some seriously unclear thinking on this chicken and egg stuff here.

While long-ingrained habits (of speech in this case) have long half-lives, chickens were not the first (oldest) species to package their young in eggs.

Therefore, the egg came before the first chicken.

If you ask me whether the chicken or the chicken egg came first, I will suggest that you look for and ask a paleo-linguist.

While you're doing that, I might look for some porn to read or view.

I did know this, but had never connected it together until you stated it that way. My normal and rather frivolous answer was that the chicken like creature that laid the egg came first.

The first fallacy I'm referring to is around 2:20 in the video where he says that nothing really begins to exist since energy (which makes matter) can't be created or destroyed. This is a composition fallacy (a table can be destroyed even if the atomic particles making up its structure aren't).

I'm not sure why people are referring to "nothing" when talking about the kalam argument. My understanding is that the argument is this:

1) Everything that begins to to exist has a cause of its existence

2) The universe began to exist

3) Therefore the universe has a cause

None of these points refer to "nothing".

Point (2) has good supporting evidence and is generally accepted by science.

While I can't prove point (1), it is consistent with everything we know. I can think of nothing which exists that does not have a cause, although we do not always know for certain what that cause is.

Point (3) logically follows from points (1) and (2). At the moment, the big bang is the most widely accepted theory for the cause of the universe, so I would say that science supports point (3) as well.

As for Park's point that the universe is a set and not an object, I kind of agree but don't really see the why you can't talk about the universe as a discrete object as well. A town could be descibed as a set of things or a discrete thing, as could a person. Neither of which have the properties of their components.

I also agree that the idea of a creator tends to end up as an infinite regress, although I am open to the idea that there is an unknown natural process that does not require a cause. Occam's razor suggests that such a process is more likely than a creator since it makes fewer assumptions.

According to the article below, and I can find other similar articles, the big bang theory is generally accepted within the scientific community, is well tested, and explains a range of observed phenomena. I do not think you have any good reason not to accept this.

It also states that the universe is 13.77 billion years old, clearly showing that empirical evidence indicates the universe had a beginning. These are not thought experiments, these are scientific facts based on the most up to date information that is available.

I don't think a reasonable person would say that these things are absolutely true, as it may be the case that future information shows them to be false. However, based on what we do know, the 2nd premise is true.

lucas: "...these are scientific facts based on the most up to date information that is available."

If the most up to date information includes any mathematics, the big bang folk have forgotten that mathematical statements approximate physical reality.

For instance, a differential equation that accounts for the earth's density variations is beyond the current art. Solving such an equation is beyond the capacity of today's computers.

The NASA folk who sent vehicles to the moon had data available to make mid-course corrections to their mathematics. The folk who "ride" mathematics back in time have no data for mid-course corrections.

Some big bang enthusiasts make the unsupportable claim that both space and time originated when their universe did.

I've backed up my claim that the 2nd premise is generally accepted by science.

Your argument appears to be that maths is sometimes wrong therefore the big bang theory is wrong if it uses maths. This is very poor reasoning.

many of the highest level cosmologists do NOT infact except the second premise

I'm surprised you say this as in the video you linked to, Alan Guth says (around 12.10) that the universe can't go infinitely into the past although it can into the future. Therefore I say this means he accepts the 2nd premise. At the very least it says that the universe has not always existed (which I think is just restating the 2nd premise).

As far as the concept of "nothing", I don't think we can say anything as we have no "nothing" to observe or empirically test.

I get the feeling I'm really missing some steps in your reasoning, as you believe things which I find contradicted in the video you recommended, and both you and Tom are making arguments against claims (about space/time) that I have not made.

Don't worry about the length of response. Your paragraphs are ok for the total length and after reviewing some of my own posts I'm trying to become much more brief myself.

On point 1. The key word here is "exist". Kalam proponents never define what they mean.  Nothing ever begins to exist(has physical presence) objectively. There are simply atoms being assembled into new objects. Another issue is with the word "cause". Cause is what something does not what something is.

On point 2. The universe is a concept; a relation between matter and space. And concepts don't expand. Point 2 is an attempt at reifying a concept into an object.  Since something coming from nothing violates the Law of Causality, the only conclusion we are left with is that matter and space are eternal.


I've previously not commented on whether space and time started at the big bang. From what I've seen of experts interviewed on the subject, we don't know, and the english language starts to have trouble even describing what we don't know.

The video was quite interesting and certainly raises some new points for me regarding the 1st premise. It also exposes how the argument does not logically lead to theism and shows how unfounded any religious implications are, but that is fairly obvious anyway. It was certainly not a solid refutation of kalam in my view.




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