Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lawrence Krauss, atheistic theoretical physicist and cosmologist -- best thing to happen to my Christian faith in a long time!

Lawrence M. Krauss, the atheistic theoretical physicist and cosmologist is the best thing to happen to my Christian faith in a long time! How so?

Last night I watched Krauss's Ratford lecture on his theory of an independent, spontaneous universe that could spring into existence all on its own: Click here: Lawrence M. Krauss || A Universe from Nothing || Radcliffe Institute Why would watching this lecture strengthen my faith in the Biblical account?

Yesterday I was engaged in an online conversation with a humanist who was obviously impressed with Krauss, and though I was familiar with Krauss and his views on the universe, I thought it best to watch the lecture posted on Twitter by the person I was dialoging with. As I started the video, I felt butterflies in my stomach and a little empty. With a cold chill, I asked myself, "What if this guy is right?"

I try to always have an open mind when I listen to people, especially those who are smarter than me. More than once I've wondered, what if Carl Sagan was right and the universe is all there is? I've stayed up at night with a cold fear gripping me, considering that I all think is wrong. Thankfully, Krauss reassured me of my belief in God. What could an atheist do to reinforce my belief in God?

If you've read Krauss or watched his material, you know he's an enjoyable speaker. He uses humor and sarcasm well. I really liked his lecture delivery. I could see myself having a cup of coffee and a few laughs with him. And while I was willing to postpone judgment and put my beliefs on hold, the more he talked, the more my understanding of a Biblical cosmology made sense.

First of all, when Krauss says, "from nothing" he isn't delivering promises of an empty universe from scratch. His theory allows for "virtual" pre-existing particles to fluxuate, to be "spewed forth" which based on observations of already existing matter, "could" spring into existence in and out so fast, these mini universes can't be observed. So for Krauss, before the Big Bang, particles, energy and some sort of gravity existed. The Biblical "In the beginning" proceeds particles, energy, light or time. Therefore, Krauss has not eliminated the need for a creator, because in his vacuum of space, there is still the container of space and the elements of quantum physics and gravity. In the Genesis account of Creation, we don't even have space, it is the complete absence of any matter. Krauss hasn't provided a something from nothing universe. He tries to flip the age old question of, "Why is there something rather nothing" around to say that we should ask, "Why is there nothing rather than something?" but he says, if that were the case we wouldn't be here to even ask these questions without explaining his meaningless turn of the phrase.

Secondly, modern particle and quantum physics research being conducted today is under controlled lab environments, guided by intelligent scientists. A laboratory experiment is vastly different from an uncontrolled, hostile universe. Again, attempting to measure the effects of particles in an accelerator assumes they already exist. Biblical creation says God spoke the very elements of the universe into existence, by His choice. Krauss's "plausible" theory of a spontaneous universe is a strawman argument that is based on such circular reasoning that it is amazing that he has an audience. He used so many "ifs" saying "if we have this, or if we allow that" that none of his reasoning or arguments were ever convincing, because his entire theory was overly dependent on the opposite of what complete emptiness is.

Third, according to Krauss, the laws of physics are an accident. The complexity and necessity of the Laws of physics, all needing to be in place before the universe could unfold in the Big Bang, just happened on accident after the Big Bang. That is far more fantasy than possibility. He wants to assume there was "quantum mechanical gravity" before the Big Bang, and then circle around and say the Laws of Physics happened after the Big Bang, all by accident.

Lastly, it is clear that Krauss is actually a nihilist, not an objective cosmology. His "take away" points were: You are more insignificant than you thought, and the future is horrible. Everything is pointless in his theory, no pun intended. He repeatedly says we know what we know, and we know we don't need anything supernatural to create what we see. Krauss thinks by saying the question "Why" doesn't matter, that we should take him at his word. He drives home his point that asking "Why" is irrelevant, but he offers nothing compelling to persuade us that "why" is unimportant. I agree that science can provide a "what" and often times a "how" in the physical universe, but to say that "why" is unimportant is doublespeak and smoke and mirrors. Krauss knows that the "why" question is beyond the scope of his science, and "why" is the basis for reality, so he thinks he is defusing the the power of the Theistic argument by hamstring his opponents by slyly and stealthily removing their ammo. Metaphysically, he is acting disingenuous and deceptive.

Overall, having intelligent thinkers like Krauss on the scene helps our faith in several ways. It seems the more he tries to disprove the necessity of a creator, the more he proves the case of the Anthropic principle and Intelligent Design. Also, I like the fact that whenever I am confronted with theories like Krauss's, it makes me rethink my beliefs, keeps me sharp, and makes me have to work hard to make sure I can communicate what I believe and why.

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