The Problem with Kalam

A favorite apologetic for many Christians is the Kalam Cosmological Argument.  This apologetic is stated as:

From Matt Slick:

Cosmological Argument

  1. Things exist.
  2. It is possible for those things to not exist.
  3. Whatever has the possibility of non-existence, yet exists, has been caused to exist.
    1. Something cannot bring itself into existence since it must exist to bring itself into existence, which is illogical.
  4. There cannot be an infinite number of causes to bring something into existence.
    1. An infinite regression of causes ultimately has no initial cause, which means there is no cause of existence.
    2. Since the universe exists, it must have a cause.
  5. Therefore, there must be an uncaused cause of all things.
  6. The uncaused cause must be God.

Thomas Aquinas (1224-1274) had a version of the Cosmological Argument called the Argument from Motion.  He stated that things in motion could not have brought themselves into motion but must be caused to move.  There cannot be an infinite regression of movers.  Therefore, there must be an Unmoved Mover.  This Unmoved Mover is God.

Although he is stating this as originating from Thomas Aquinas, it dates back far earlier than that, all the way back to Aristotle.  In fact, the modern name Kalam Cosmological Argument betrays a simple fact:  Kalam refers to Islamic teachings.  Herein is are my major argument against this apologetic.  It originated with Aristotle, which relates back to greek mythology:

In the beginning there was an empty darkness. The only thing in this void was Nyx, a bird with black wings. With the wind she laid a golden egg and for ages she sat upon this egg. Finally life began to stir in the egg and out of it rose Eros, the god of love. One half of the shell rose into the air and became the sky and the other became the Earth. Eros named the sky Uranus and the Earth he named Gaia. Then Eros made them fall in love.

As you can see there, the cosmic egg is a just as valid as the Biblical account of Waters from Waters, firmament, etc.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

 And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.

 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place,and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.  God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

Do either of these sound like how the universe actually started?

From Space.com

In the first second after the universe began, the surrounding temperature was about 10 billion degrees Fahrenheit (5.5 billion Celsius), according to NASA. The cosmos contained a vast array of fundamental particles such as neutrons, electrons and protons. These decayed or combined as the universe got cooler.

This early soup would have been impossible to look at, because light could not carry inside of it. “The free electrons would have caused light (photons) to scatter the way sunlight scatters from the water droplets in clouds,” NASA stated. Over time, however, the free electrons met up with nuclei and created neutral atoms. This allowed light to shine through about 380,000 years after the Big Bang.

This early light — sometimes called the “afterglow” of the Big Bang — is more properly known as the cosmic microwave background (CMB). It was first predicted by Ralph Alpher and other scientists in 1948, but was found only by accident almost 20 years later.

So, if you are a Christian (or Muslim) trying to argue that the Cosmological argument proves god, explain to me why your creation myth has no connection with how the universe actually started?  In fact, light was not even the first thing, it took over 380,000 years before light was even possible.  In fact, using this argument creates four HUGE problems:

  1. Your own creation myths have no relation to present theories as to how the universe began.
  2. You have no way to linking your particular god to the first mover, or uncaused cause.
  3. The violates the law of parsimony, by introducing a far more complicated solution, namely a timeless, spaceless, unchanging god that can create the universe out of nothing.
  4. By using this apologetic, you are ACTIVELY refuting your own personal god.

This fourth point is important.   Accepting the universe started with the Big Bang, followed by no discernable interaction for billions of years, eliminates the need for a personal god.  This apologetic really works against the concept of a god that answers prayers, cares about our sins, or interacts with the universe in any way.  This lack of the need of a personal god also works against the fine tuning argument.  If your deistic god started the universe and set all of the laws in motion and disappeared…you would have the universe as you see it now.

More on Kalam and other deistic apologetics.

For me, the most confusing aspects of the Kalam Cosmological are the abandonment of the Bible (or at least the old testament) and the first statement of any cosmological argument, namely that thing begint to exist.  First off, lets look into the abandoment of the Bible.

The first line of the Bible is “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.”  This, somehow, relates to Big Bang.  You can accept the Genesis at face value, or you can accept the standard model.  I suppose you could come up with convoluted interpretation of Genesis, but reading the actual words on the page “God created the Heavens and the Earth” I can’t help but contrast this with how the universe actually started.  The Earth began to form billions of years after this universe began.  Heck, even light was not possible for 300,000 years!  While you have apologetics that cling to the first cause, first mover, etc. accepting any of these explicitly forces the speaker to reject the Biblical Earth creation narrative.  Accepting both accounts as true is like finding a square circle or a married bachelor.  A 6 day creation that also took billions of years, in the opposite order, is logically impossible.  There is also a misunderstanding of what begins to exist actually means.

Strictly speaking EVERYTHING came into existence at the same time, at T=0, the first instant of the big bang.  Energy and matter CAN NOT be created or destroyed, only change from one to the other, or the patterns can change.  Everything is the universe is the same age AS the universe.  It just has been changing forms and states for that entire time.  The matter in your body, stars, the electricity that powers your computer, all came into existence when the universe began.  I repeat:  NOTHING has come into existence since the universe began.  The whole concept of first cause or first mover is nonsense.  The universe started all at once and will eventually end up as all heat.  In all of those trillions of years, not a single atom will come into existence that was not there at the big bang, well, at least all the elemental particles that make up atoms was there.

 

 

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