William Lane Craig takes another crackpot shot at intelligent design by a creator in this short video:
Again, Craig is either sadly ignorant of contemporary physics or he is just dishonest. He begins with the preposterous claim that “the single most significant physical evidence that a creator god created our universe…is the remarkable discovery that the universe is not eternal in the past but began to exist…”
So many things wrong with that statement. First, even if it were true that we discovered the universe had a finite beginning, that in no way implies there was a creator. If there were a definite beginning and we didn’t know how that came about, the assertion of a creator is no more than god of the gaps and not to be taken seriously. Moreover, there are theories based on actual science, such as quantum field fluctuation, that could explain a sudden appearance of the universe without recourse to empty metaphysical speculation. You might remember his gross distortion of Vilenkin’s mathematical formula showing a finite beginning to the universe which he dishonestly used to support Intelligent Design, but failed to mention that most physicists don’t support that theory and Vilenkin himself proposes quantum field fluctuation as the origin.
Of course, it is not true that we have “discovered” that the universe was not eternal in the past. He brazenly lies about the science to maintain his claim of creationism or intelligent design which he repeats every time he advocates for it, including in his lightweight attempt to rebut my demonstration of the illusion of fine-tuning. A telling sleight of hand is his constant conflation of “universe” with “physical existence” or matter and energy. Almost all physicists support some version of our universe as alteration of a prior state, not a new creation. He obscures the true question of the origin, if any, of physicality, which includes all states prior to our universe. That our universe appeared 4.6 billion years ago tells us nothing at all about origins.
He moves on to utter nonsense about Einstein and relativity:
“What Einstein’s theory predicted was that the universe cannot be a static, eternal, in effect timeless entity. Rather the universe was either going to be in a state of a cosmic expansion or collapse. And in either case this cannot be extrapolated to past infinity. It predicted that the universe, and time and space itself, must have had a beginning in the finite past.”
I would be extremely difficult (a testament to Craig’s rhetorical skill) to pack more errors into four short sentences. Actually, Einstein held out for the longest time for the theory that the universe was static (steady state), which was the origin of his cosmological constant. He also saw the universe itself as timeless, with time being our subjective playing out of the universe. For Einstein there was no such thing as past, present, and future, but a static existence outside time resulting in what appears to us as a mechanically deterministic universe. This could not possibly preclude past infinity because time itself didn’t exist, rendering the question of finite/infinite past as nonsensical. Within our perception of time we see the universe play out as inflation from a singularity which began what we perceive as space and time. Note that this implies alteration at the big bang, not creation.
From this he concludes with what is really just a repetition of his initial disinformation:
“In the 1920’s, observational astronomy began to uncover evidence for these purely theoretical predictions that Alfred Einstein’s theory had made. So that today the prevailing view among contemporary cosmologists and astrophysicists is that the universe is not in fact infinite in the past, but that time and space, matter and energy are finite and came into being at some point a finite time ago.”
Again, he repeats the conflation of universe and physical existence and goes on to misstate the prevailing view of physicists. While most, but not all, believe time, space and matter began with the big bang, they originated from an energy state prior to inflation. Again, the issue is one of alteration, not of creation.
In a way, I do agree with his parting statement:
“And I think this is the most powerful evidence to come out of science for the existence of a transcendent cause of the universe, which brought the universe into being.”
Yes, but unfortunately for Craig it is no evidence at all.