William Lane Craig's Science of Cosmology

Yes, I mean just the three dimensions of space and one dimension of time of my 3D world during the present moment in time - now. For me, this is the full extent of reality as perceived in the synapses in my functioning brain.


Explain how?

@Patrick, how can something containing energy be empty? The fluctuations described by E=mc^2 emphasize the very opposite of empty space. Where there is energy, there is the potential for matter.

OK. First let me explants about Carroll-Chen. This model did not offer any real way to detect a pervious infinitely contracting universe - the model was really little more than a possibility argument to avoid the BVG theorem. However, unlike M-theory, multiple universes and so on it was still a serious model of mathematical physics that put itself, if not so much in empirical harm’s way, at least in the way of internal mathematical consistency and boarder issues in physics; namely entropy and transition states. Carroll-Chen was fatally flawed as it could not transition from a contracting to an expanding state and even if it could someone overcome this deficiency (which it could not) it would still have to deal with high entropy at the beginning of the expanding state. The mathematical physics that made Carroll-Chen mathematically possible also made it physically impossible. The transition and entropy problem were integral to the model: both problems could only be resolved by removing the contracting stage which left our standard FLRW inflationary expanding universe. If Carroll-Chen could overcome its fatal difficulties the expanding part of our universe would STILL be standard Big Bang cosmology. The recent Planck Satellite results have confirmed standard Big Bang cosmology. If the Carroll-Chen cosmology was not internally problematical the recent results would have confirmed the expanding part of Carroll-Chen and silent on the rest. Empirical results can, and do satisfy, more than one model it is not always either/or.

I have no idea what you mean about the results explaining the origin of the universe. Where does the energy and empty space come from? These might be the origin of the inflationary period but not their own origins. I sure you realize that energy and empty space (a cosmic egg scenario and is not really empty) cannot be pass eternal and are the results of the Big Bang. I think that you are making a similar fatal scientific/philosophical mistake like that Krauss made in his book “A Universe from Nothing” in which he confused relativistic-quantum-fields with nothing. Krauss latter, in an attempt to save face (see the pattern), said he meant the physicist’s nothing and not non-being. However this directly contradicts his earlier comments and Dawkins who claimed the book “was the final nail in the coffin for religion” and “this could potentially be the most important scientific book since Darwin’s On the Origin of Species.” There is a great bit on this issue here https://www.reasonablefaith.org/writings/popular-writings/science-theology/the-scientific-kalam-cosmological-argument/

Note the quote from physicist/philosopher D.Z. Albert

“Krauss is dead wrong and his religious and philosophical critics are absolutely right”

You seem to be making a similar mistake.

I have no wish to keep harping on about the scientific and philosophical failings of Carroll and Krauss. Carroll has not been the same since his debate with Craig (which was quite an embrassisment for Carroll, as expected Carroll failed on the philosophical issues but he was also taken apart on the physics – like Krauss) and the failure of Carroll-Chen. I posted some comments on the Carroll/Craig debate on Carroll’s site and was immediately banned at the IP level. He has been promoting some odd multiverse, non-truth type of cosmology. Put Luke Barnes Carroll debate in you search engine – Carroll has nothing left and I felt quite sorry for him. The other sad thing is that I just checked Amazon and “A Universe from Nothing” has excellent reviews, averaging 4.5 stars despite being a complete, incoherent mess.

Can you at least apologize for claiming that Craig does not understand “physics, entropy, and quantum mechanics…the theologian and philosopher, is getting squeezed in by science” It is Krauss and Carroll who have been chewed up and spat out by the science, not Craig.


I have no idea about what he means by empty space either. He may be thinking along the lines of a particleless quantum field - these are not-empty as they are still quantum stuff (no particles does NOT equal empty). @Patrick’s own definition of empty space contains energy (thus non-empty, a contradiction) so I think Patrick is going down the same route as Krauss. Not wise in my opinion. See my last reply to Patrick on the issue.


Thank you for the link which I just read . If you think that this article is any threat to the Kalaam, then God help you.

And confirmed inflation. This is what explains the origin of the universe without a singularity. Slow roll inflation gets rid of the singularity. Empty space expands, empty space has finite energy in it, big bang is starts from there. Ethan Siegel explains it much better than me.

That’s the great thing about being an agnostic atheist - I really don’t care if God created the universe or not and certainly am not expecting any help from God on any of life’s problems. But I am happy to be around for this as I have been reading about inflation since Guth proposed it in 1980. Seemed like an interesting conjecture back then, never thought it would be proven true about the origin of the universe. Also I walked by the horn antenna today in my hometown. Still pigeon crap in it. (Note Penzias and Wilson thought the noise might be from reflections off the pigeon nesting in antenna so they cleaned antenna of pigeon nests and crap)

Does this need to be greatly updated because of Planck as many if not most of the models are now strongly disfavored and only slow roll single field inflation is strongly favored? I feel the whole philosophical debate is now moot by Planck. Why am I not correct in assuming the philosophical debate is now moot?

Patrick I think like Kruass

Patrick I think I will leave it here. I have no idea if you are serious, trolling or engaging in a campaign to recover some of the scientific legitimacy you have lost. The articles you have linked to say nothing about the origin of the universe, the BVG theorem, the Kalaam argument or more ‘exotic’ physics (M-theory, loop quantum gravity etc.). As I said I don’t know if this is misdirection or a real failure to under the physics in question. I am sadly inclined to think it is the former as the Segal article, although at a popular level, is clear and accurate and backs up none of your statements.

You have still not taken back the your claim that Craig “does not understand the physics” despite ample proof that this is not the case. But that is a flaw in your character not mine.

My understanding of the physics is just fine. I have kept up with the new findings and consider myself up to date on the subject. Regarding Craig and the Kalam argument, it is moot. Our understanding of how the universe began is nearly complete and represents a major triumph of modern science of the past 50 years.

Out Krausses Krauss. I really did not think it was possible. Congratulations.

Reading this thread, It is fairly clear that Craig did understand the physics, apparently much better than me. Also Krauss has not been honest. That was a very revealing exchange:

It normally doesn’t work to pin someone down for a retraction (does not work). It usually only makes sense in much higher stakes situations (like I currently am in :frowning:). In this case, just point out this thread the next time @Patrick or anyone else makes this claim again. Honestly, I think @Patrick got the point, and doesn’t plan on making that claim again.

I’ve known @Patrick for a couple months now. Just offer him an olive branch, be kind to him, and move on. Looks like you one handily.

This however is not helping things. Be a gracious winner.

Dear Dr. Swamidass. While dealing with the comments of Dr. Patrick Trischitta I have shown him nothing but the greatest courtesy. My links have been pertinent to the issues discussed; Carroll-Chen cosmology, BVG theorem, mathematical extensions of General Relativity and/or the standard model of particle physics. I also calmly, non-technically, explained what the issues are and why certain mathematical models fail. Although these issues are well-known among experts in these areas, I was also careful to quote both a leading physicist (Vilenkin) and a leading philosopher (Albert) to back up my claims. Carroll was very dishonest in the debate with Craig about the Carroll-Chen model and wider issues in cosmology. It pretty much was a slam dunk for Craig who (personal conversation) really enjoyed it and it remains one of his favourite debates. But sadly, as this is a highly technical area which most do not understand. People just take the word of whoever backs up their world-view; or take the word of the physicist (who was wrong) over that of the Christian philosopher (who was right). Similarly, as I (and D.Z. Albert) also pointed out Kruass’ book “A Universe from nothing” is a complete mess but this has not stopped it getting great reviews. Carroll and Krauss have faded away. The Kalaam is still going strong and later results have only validated Craig further.

Yes I was defending Craig. I do not know him personally but I have always been impressed with both the depth and reach of his knowledge. My educational background is in the philosophy of mathematics/set theory. Recently he wrote a monograph “God and Abstract Objects” which deals extensively with mathematics and its philosophy. I might disagree with some of his points, but he gets no technical/philosophical details wrong and shows nothing, other than complete mastery of the material. The same applies to his understanding of time, cosmology and relativity. I think Craig has over-emphasized some aspects of the neo-Lorentzian interpretation of Special Relativity but he gets nothing wrong. Dr. Trischitta joins the gang of voices (like Carroll and Kruass) who berate Craig for being a mere ‘apologist’, ‘philosopher’ or ‘theologian’ without saying what exactly he gets wrong. What is worse Dr. Trischitta also claims that he knows Craig’s work well, while oblivious to his published work in these areas. I am just sick of it.

Dr. Trischitta has also claimed on this series of postings that the recent Planck results have invalidated the Kalaam, explained the origin of the universe and blown mathematical physics away. He first produces a few paragraphs from a research paper which do not have anything to do with these issues. I politely pointed this out, thinking nothing of it other than a misreading. However he also produces a superb popular article by Ethan Siegel (thanks Patrick), which cannot be misread and he still claims it backs up his point. This is the Krauss comparison; Dr. Trischitta is either dishonest or is contradicting himself but can’t see it (empty space containing energy indeed).

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I’m not reprimanding you. You won. It was fun to watch and I’m. Impressed by your knowledge in this. What is your background again? Do you have training in physics?

Thank you. You are right. Let me go back and fix that. No annoyance on my end just trying to help you out :slight_smile:

I’m going to invite Sean over. and see if he has anything to add (i don’t see how you can say he has faded away with a straight face. I’m sorry) While i agree with much of what you say i think you are misrepresenting the debate a tad. I encourage everyone to watch if you havent. It’s also worth pointing out the KCA is a very controversial argument, even among Christian philosophers and cosmologists (same can be said of the BGV) Personally, i prefer contingency arguments. So I don’t think it’s safe to say it’s on solid ground. It’s intriguing but not yet convincing IMO. As far as Dr. Craig is concerned he knows his stuff. He always puts in the work and I’m glad to see he is now taking the time to learn the relevant biology. Something I’ve always felt he has struggled with. That’s the conclusion I came to after taking his classes any way. This is all I have time for at the moment. I’ll be back.

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Krauss may have faded away (temporary, I hope) for a very different reason. But Carroll is going strong after his book “the Big Picture”.


Dr. Craig and his Kalaam agrument is not relevant to physics nor cosmology but is confined to philosophy and theology. It is pretty much moot in the discussions of science which is neutral on such matters.

I like Krauses’ books “A Universe form Nothing” and his followup “The Greatest Story Ever Told - So far”

I also like Atheist Ethan Siegel who last five articles are superb.

I am willing to discuss science with you, but not theology nor philosophy as I find them both quite boring.

And I am not dishonest. Also I really don’t care what you think of me personally as I live my life not giving a hoot what “theman8469” thinks of me.

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I would like to add this. This is a blog by Christian Physicist Aron Wall. He covers a lot of the relevant material in this series.

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Won what? Certainly not the next Nobel Prize in Physics. To bow to your superior cognitive abilities, I offer you a free subscription to Atheist Ethan Siegel website:

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I never accused you of racism, I expressed concern that your model could be used for racism purposes. (I still have that concern if Adam is placed in a fixed place and late (<5000 years ago). Also note that I couldn’t offer any retraction because my account was suspended. Remember that?

Proclamation: Dr. Swamidass is no racist. He is a kind and compassionate physician, a highly respected practicing scientist, and a tenured Professor at a fine secular university.

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