In the final part of a three part series describing how we cannot trust the words of some leading scientists, I want to focus in on Lawrence Krauss and specifically his book, “A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing.” All book references refer to the latest known paperback edition of Mr. Krauss’s book. This post could get somewhat deep and for that I apologize. I want to keep it as clear and simple as possible.
On page XXIII Mr. Krauss admits that we do not know whether the universe is infinite but he suggests that it could be. The mere suggestion is ridiculous as a true infinite can not be crossed. In other words, if the past is infinitely long, then we would never arrive at today. To illustrate it, let’s say you line up some dominoes on a table. Now choose a domino somewhere in the middle and allow that domino to represent the present moment. Now assume that your line of dominoes goes on to infinity in both directions. Let’s allow the right side of the line of dominoes to represent the future and the left side will represent the past. If we tip the “present moment” domino to the right (the future) and assume there are infinitely many dominoes actually to it’s right, then we can safely assume they will fall for infinity (proof of a possible eternity). Now imagine if the dominoes to the left (the past) continued into the past for infinity. If that were the case, we would never arrive at the “present moment.” As J.P. Moreland puts it, it would be like trying to jump out of an infinitely deep bottomless pit. So this shows that the universe cannot be eternal, it had to have a beginning. To even entertain the notion of an infinite universe is just strange.
Also on page XXIII, Krauss discusses why there is something rather than nothing. He says this question is usually discussed in the religious or philosophical areas. But he claims this question can be resolved scientifically. But in order for him to attempt this he MUST presuppose things that are impossible to explain using the scientific method such as laws of math, laws of logic, metaphysical truths, ethical judgments, aesthetic judgments, and indeed science itself. All of these things are a slave to philosophy. You cannot run an experiment to determine these things. They are explained by philosophical presuppositions. So the point is, science cannot be the only method to discover objective truth. Why? Because the claim itself is not a scientific claim, but a philosophical one! The funny thing about this is at least he admits on page 149 that he assumes the laws of physics. This admission is so huge, that it undermines his entire book!!
Krauss then proclaims that the scientific answers we have obtained “ALL suggest getting something from nothing is not a problem. Indeed something from nothing may have been required for the universe to come into being.” Wow, what a quote. My first observation is to note his admission that the universe came into being. Earlier, he posited that the universe could be infinite. Hmmmm. Secondly, getting something from nothing is just bizarre. On page XXIV, he attempts to define nothing and accuses theologians of constantly changing it definition. Theologians and apologists usually define it as “no thing” or “non-being” or “the absence of anything.” He then says theologians are intellectually bankrupt and outrageously states that “surely ‘nothing’ is every bit as physical as something.” Are you kidding me? This is akin to what atheists accuse theists of doing, and that is using the “God of the Gaps” silliness.
Another important observation is that Krauss always places the word nothing inside quote marks such as, “nothing.” What this means is that he really doesn’t mean “no thing” at all. He claims nothing is defined as “empty space.” But any third grade student knows that space is indeed something! Time is also something which seems to be assumed by Krauss. The following gets a little difficult to process but it’s important: Whatever caused the first event could not have been inside of time. It had to be timeless or transcend time. Suppose an event happens such as a tree blowing and it falls. If this occurs then we know time already exists. Both the cause and effect are in time. Whatever caused the first event had to first create time. Krauss wants to presuppose that time is already there.
On page XXV he calls theists intellectually lazy. That’s just a ridiculous rant such that a twelve year old would do.
On page 143 he admits that science is only interested in the “how” questions and not the “why” questions. THAT my friends is intellectually lazy! Moreover, to dismiss the “why” questions right off the top is to say, “you know what, I’m going to dismiss the possibility of an intelligent designer before anything else.” Absurd and lazy!
On page 161, after determining that nothing=empty space, he just suggests that we should “allow for the merging of quantum mechanics and general relativity….” So all of the sudden out of nowhere these two things just come into existence? He admits later down the page that allowing the rules of quantum mechanics is a “tricky” possibility. Tricky indeed. It seems to this reader that Krauss is trying to trick his audience.
All of these things Mr. Krauss brings up are very interesting to explore and we should never stop exploring them. But it is my belief that based on the best possible evidence and the use of sound logic, the study of these matters will ultimately lead us to God, the uncaused cause. He is uncaused because he has never operated by the limits of time and space. It’s possible he may have entered time, but he is not bound by it. In other words, if a man creates a lake he may enter it to swim but he is not bound to stay in it. The relationship of God and time are similar.
There are strong cases to be made for God being the first cause as opposed to “nothing” being the first cause. Very briefly, design is evidence for a personal cause to the universe. When my wife prepares the supper table, I can see that she has the ability to set it in a precise way. It doesn’t just become that way out of nothing. It took intelligence. It took ability and intention to set the table. Also, there is order and fine-tuning all over the universe. Science has a major problem in this area because science ALWAYS presupposes order before it can explain anything at all. The only way science can explain order is to cite other examples of order. It’s circular. This is very important to understand. Furthermore, information in DNA is great evidence for a creator. DNA isn’t just randomness which would exude no structure. DNA provides information. Information is orderly and provides instruction such as the words in this blog. DNA contains VAST amounts of information similar to the way humans express information as instruction. This is great evidence for a creator.
There are many more ways to think about this subject, but it’s important to see why we simply cannot always take the words of scientists at face value. As we have seen in the three articles, there is usually some hidden “gotcha” presupposition or oftentimes just outright lies. We need to learn to detect these things so that we can become better thinkers.
I hope you enjoyed the three part series. As time moves forward, I want to shift our stance from a defensive one to an offensive one and describe the vast amount of evidence for why someone should believe in God. I will still give defenses anytime the need arises. If there is anything you’d like for me to write about as it relates to Christian apologetics, please let me know! I’m enrolled in Biola University’s Apologetics Program and I have learned a great deal that has been added to my near decade of personal study on these matters.