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Aug 07 2011

Live by the science, die by the science

This is a wonderful video debunking the Kalam Cosmological Argument. What I really like about it is that it takes the tortured rationales of theologians like William Lane Craig, who love to babble mangled pseudoscience in their arguments, and shows with direct quotes from the physicists referenced that the Christian and Muslim apologists are full of shit.

(via Skepchick.)

(Also on Sb)

52 comments

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  1. 1
    Owlmirror

    On Sb, PZ ends the same post with “… full of crap”.

    Poopyhead accommodationism. . . !!!

  2. 2
    Ing

    Has anyone given Shiloh the new site address yet?

  3. 3
    Le Havre en Chêne

    Owlmirror:

    I’m impressed that NatGeo can cope with “crap” (unless they’ve invested in a load of fainting couches).

  4. 4
    Glen Davidson

    Nothing about evidence running out prevents people from thinking, or anyway, rationalizing.

    Their thoughts are caused, but clearly not by evidence, merely by human bias.

    Perhaps they should learn that their own thought ought to be caused by meaningful evidence.

    Glen Davidson

  5. 5
    MadScientist

    Unfortunately she’s wrestling with pigs. All forms of the ‘cosmological argument’ including the Kalam nonsense is far more easily dismissed by simple logic. In absolutely all of these nonsensical arguments they claim that there must be a Prime Mover (an idea predating Jesus), and yet the magical god is exempt from the requirement. Basically any Prime Mover argument is self-referential and inconsistent and therefore nonsense.

  6. 6
    Steve Zara

    This is excellent – really great argument showing the hypocrisy over infinities and singularities at the start. Lovely logical arguments to do with nothingness as well, and the closed time-like curve beginning idea is one of my favourites! A very useful well-made video.

    This has got to be the definitive Kalam-crusher! Thank you so much for posting it.

  7. 7
    feralboy12

    On the one hand you have people bending their very remarkable brains to gain some understanding of the origin of the universe; on the other you have people pretending they already understand it.
    Gah. I kept waiting for Craig to tell us it was turtlenecks all the way down…

  8. 8
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Shiloh, here Shiloh. Watch the video Shiloh. Learn something Shiloh.

  9. 9
    David B

    Hmm

    The good person said ‘There is scientific evidence that the universe evolved from a hot dense state’

    I know what she means, of course, but how many times have I seen atheists on discussion boards telling theists that cosmological origins have nothing to do with evolution, and nor does abiogenesis?

    I take their point, too.

    Evolution is one of those words like theory, which can be used technically or…less so.

    One thing to be sure of is that theists, when confronted with an atheist using either ‘evolved’ or ‘theory’ in a non technical way, that use will be quote mined by ardent AiG dweebs in order to deflect from an actual point that is being made in discussions.

    David

  10. 10
    Shplane, Spess Alium

    Honestly, it’s pretty damn sad that atheists still feel the need to argue against such blatant bullshit. The fact that an argument that could be utterly annihilated by a three year old is such a common idea is absolutely disgusting.

    why are people so stupid
    why

  11. 11
    'Tis Himself

    I’m impressed that NatGeo can cope with “crap”

    I’m sure NatGeo views Thomas Crapper with appropriate admiration.

  12. 12
    Physicalist

    Very nice video: informative and accurate. (And I’m picky when it comes to singularities and what-not.)

  13. 13
    Patricia, OM

    Because sweet baby Jezus, son of the almighty Poofdaddy commanded them to be so stoopid.

    Nerd – You know you are just sitting there waiting for Shiloh to splain to you that gawd made science to fool humans to do the debbils work, so there, forever and ever, agerbil.

  14. 14
    David B

    I further not that, as I work through the otherwise excellent video, she uses ‘theories’ in a way that does not seem consistent with something that often comes up in discussion with theists.

    When the theists claim that evolution is ‘just a theory’, atheists like me tend to respond that ‘theory’ means something that is well established, as opposed to hypothesis.

    I’m happy with fuzzy definitions myself, and with taking different definitions of words according to context.

    But when atheist use the terms loosely, that usage does tend to get quote-mined inappropriately.

    David

  15. 15
    Shak

    I detest the adverts on the new site
    At the top of the recommended ad list is IDvolution.org A website run by IDers with language so ridiculous Orwell would shit himself in terror

  16. 16
    Nom de Plume

    I just will never understand why theists feel the need to dip their toes into science. Theists, science is not your friend. It doesn’t like you. Actually, it’s not even that it doesn’t like you, it’s just that it’s indifferent towards you.

    In a strange way, I have more respect for the folks who are unapologetic creationists, and simply don’t bother with any halfassed pseudo-scientific rationalizations. Unlike their “intelligent design” brethren, they have no need for that hypothesis.

  17. 17
    David Utidjian

    feralboy12:

    I kept waiting for Craig to tell us it was turtlenecks all the way down…

    Haha FTW!

  18. 18
    'Tis Himself

    The goddist keep saying “nothing comes from nothing.” I considered this point some months ago.

    A universe with a first being requires that at least this first being simply came into existence. However, to assume ex nihilo nihil fit (nothing comes from nothing) guarantees the conclusion in advance. By definition, the first being cannot be caused by another being. If it were, it would not be the first being of the chain. However, to assume that the first being must be caused (which is what ex nihilo nihil fit amounts to) is to assume that a necessary being must exist. This is the very issue in question.

  19. 19
    'Tis Himself

    On the SB thread, the first comment is about the presenter’s hair and cleavage.

  20. 20
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    Nerd – You know you are just sitting there waiting for Shiloh to splain to you that gawd made science to fool humans to do the debbils work, so there, forever and ever, agerbil.

    Yeah, sure, Hey!. Me waitin’ for Shiloh? (Has naughty mellowed out with the tankard of grog I sent?) I think I’ll stick with Rizzoli and Isles, and dah Closer (too much Chitown influence). Fiction, but honest fiction.

  21. 21
    Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right.

    PZ, you need a “Like” button!

  22. 22
    Inaji

    ‘Tis:

    On the SB thread, the first comment is about the presenter’s hair and cleavage.

    How terribly relevant.

    Christ.

  23. 23
    Biomedikal Gangsta

    Beautiful, simply beautiful. It will be hilarious to watch whatever contrivance the miserable “Dr.” Craig employs in order to squirm, whine, and obfuscate his way out of this massive refutation of his laughable failure of an argument. As another poster pointed out, methinks his response will deal more with the shocking (shocking!) cut of her shirt than the fact that his favorite pet argument for the existence of ghawd was so easily demolished.

  24. 24
    Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right.

    In this case, “evolved” is being used as a sloppy synonym for “developed.” I’m trying to catch myself and use the latter when it’s a case of a single thing changing over time.

  25. 25
    Markita Lynda, healthcare is a damn right.

    Nom de plume, you know why theistic apologists do appeal to science. They want to wrap their favourite myths in the legitimacy of science.

  26. 26
    Abelard

    KCA is the last desperate gasp of Aristotelianism to prove its relevance in a post Galilean world. Someone needs to tell Craig and the theists that Aristotle’s causes are history not philosophy.

  27. 27
    Ing

    David interestingly has no refutation but just is here to be a whining little obtuse douche.

  28. 28
    Marcus Ranum

    I like the way that Craig spins it that “nothing begins from nothing” as a dodge around the “where did god come from?” question (that even an 8-year-old would ask) – but he still isn’t able to dodge around the “if you’re assuming ‘god was always there’ why not assume that universes come from the fact that nothingness is unstable?” All these cheesebrains are trying to do is distract everyone from the big assumption that they’re trying to slip in when nobody notices: assume there’s a god. Unfortunately, it’s not working.

  29. 29
    Ing

    I want to see someone use the KCA but replace God with “Cosmic Pilot Light”

  30. 30
    Ing

    ERROR ERROR!

  31. 31
    Owlmirror

    David interestingly has no refutation

    Or rather, is not interested in offering a refutation, because as far as I can tell, he agrees with the video presenter.

    but just is here to be a whining little obtuse douche discuss the semantics of the terms “evolution” and “theory”.

    FTFY

    ============

    I recently read From Eternity to Here, by Sean M. Carroll, and I noticed that he used the term “evolution” a lot, to refer to entropic systems changing over time, and in “the evolution of the universe”. It appears to be as much a technical term in the physics of complex systems as it is a specialized term in biology.

    The confusion already exists when discussing science; I think we just have to be aware of it, and emphasize what we are referring to.

  32. 32
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Must say, 2 opposable thumbs up!!

    Great thinking & argumentation, wealth of sourcing. This woman has clearly done her research. Reminds me of that woman who, in the discovery in re: Dover, found, “cdesign proponentsists”.

    Anyone remember the name of the woman who gave us that most delicious of transitional forms?

  33. 33
    Ing

    Oh shit.

    I misread David as that one jackass apologist flea that keeps showing up and didn’t read the second point.

    I put things into a context that didn’t exist. I’m an idiot sorry.

  34. 34
    AusieMike

    Surly in the US as well as here in Australia there are laws that do not allow people to peddle shit and baloney as if it were true.

    I am probably naive but could we not just start taking them to court? (for fun!)

  35. 35
    AusieMike

    Ha Ha Ha….Check this out. On the topic of stupid religious practices…

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-08/burj-khalifa-residents-told-to-fast-longer-during-ramadan/2828816

  36. 36
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    I understood like… none of that, and that’s okay, because the argument has clearly been told.

  37. 37
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    Nerd of a Redhead:

    Shiloh, here Shiloh. Watch the video Shiloh. Learn something Shiloh.

    While this video has some interesting ideas, Professor Stephen Hawking agrees with me that the universe is fine-tuned for human life, and we need to be able to explain why it is fine-tuned. Until you are able to do so, God, which I know you can’t disprove, and so I believe in him.

    Also, you can’t get something from nothing, no matter how many times you explain in simple terms that virtual particle pairs form from nothing all the time. Where did the zero-point energy come from, if not God?

    (How’d I do?)

  38. 38
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    (How’d I do?)

    Not bad. I felt it needed a tad more whining about the ebil scientists who ignore my need for a creator.

  39. 39
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Nerd of Redhead:

    Also about NDEs. Or has he dropped the whole idea of NDEs proving Jebus?

  40. 40
    RahXephon, un féminist nucléaire

    I love seeing ol’ WLC getting a good smack down.

    By the way, I’m not sure who made this video, but does anyone else think the woman in it looks like Julie Benz, of Buffy/Angel fame? *is a huge Buffy/Angel nerd*

  41. 41
    Waffler, of the Waffler Institute

    [pointless pedantry]

    ‘Tis said (#19):

    On the SB thread, the first comment is about the presenter’s hair and cleavage.

    Actually just the cleavage:

    Nice cleavage, Radiohead and refutation of theists–who could ask for anything more?

    ‘Radiohead’ refers to the music.

    [/pointless pedantry]

  42. 42
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    Cause obviously if a woman shows her cleavage she’s asking to be hit on by strangers on the Internet…

    (I don’t even WANT to check out the YouTube comments, no doubt they’re just as crass… if not moreso)

  43. 43
    Steve Jeffers

    Oh it’s way easier to debunk William Lane Craig’s argument than this.

    See if you can see the flaw in his argument:

    1. It’s impossible for there to be anything that’s “infinite”, the mere idea that anything infinite exists is manifest bullshit. My whole argument rests on the impossibility of something infinite.
    2. A being of infinite power, I’m not saying it’s Jesus (forgive me, Baby Jesus, creator of the universe) created the universe.

    A person with basic reading comprehension can see the flaw in that quite quickly.

    There’s no such thing as dogs and then a dog ate my homework, therefore Jesus.

    Time was when you could only get on a theology course if you passed exams. Nowadays, you get to study, and indeed teach, theology if you just show up, and even then they have trouble filling the courses. I guess William Lane Craig showed up.

  44. 44
    miller

    I’m always impressed by the large number of independent refutations of William Lane Craig’s arguments. This video hit upon many of them, but couldn’t possibly catch them all. My personal favorite is Craig’s use of the Infinite Hotel to argue that infinities are impossible, when the correct conclusion to draw is that our intuitions on infinities are wrong.

    @Owlmirror
    “Evolution” is a technical term in physics referring to the change of the state of a system over time. It’s short for “time-evolution”.

  45. 45
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Infinite Hotel:

    Isn’t it a stretch of the term infinity to assume than an infinite amount of anything can be full, because once you start putting something into infinity then infinity is just as empty (or full) as it began?

    Basically what I’m saying is messing around with infinity is just screwed up…

  46. 46
    Phalacrocorax, z Třetího Světa

    Katherine Lorraine said:

    Isn’t it a stretch of the term infinity to assume than an infinite amount of anything can be full, because once you start putting something into infinity then infinity is just as empty (or full) as it began?

    Let me see… If you add a finite quantity of something to an infinitely empty space, you’ll still have as much room available as in the beginning. However, the quantity of something occupying space definitely increased, so that it is fuller now.

    On the other hand, if you add an infinite amount of something, then you may well fill up all your space.

    Basically what I’m saying is messing around with infinity is just screwed up…

    Infinities can be our friends if we know how to use them. Sometimes it is more practical to pretend that something goes on forever than to deal with the strange things that happen in its beginning or in its end.

    I don’t think infinities are friends of theologians or philosophers, though.

  47. 47
    Donovan

    I wonder. If Penrose is correct (and if, and if, and if… I know) and the expansion of our universe will spawn the beginning of other universes, is there a law of some sort that dictates the time vector, or more accurately asked, is time a vector or a scaler, does it have other possible directions?

    Obviously, if time has no necessary direction, then in the infinite number of future universes, one should, well, would intersect with the beginning of our universe. We can think of one universe with a time direction parallel to ours, but reverse, or one that goes off on a time vector 30 degrees, then one off at 70 degrees, and one that comes back at us at 80 degrees. Once our universe is able to give birth to our great, great grandmother, the infinite regression problem is solved. This spiral of universe creation need not have a beginning, because time exists only within the universes, so with no time, there can be no eternity and no “before” this incestuous Dr. Who universe circle. Since time as a vector would be a dimension, time would not be moving any more than space is. Positing a beginning of time would be like positing an edge of infinity (and knowing where it is to 8 decimal places).

    Right now, I am sitting in my mom’s basement thinking how very clever all this is, dreaming of all the women that will want to come over and roleplay with me (but nobody touches my dice) once they see I’m smarter than Einstein.

    Actually, I really want to know why such an idea won’t work. As I said, I want to know what theories of time prevent this. I would love to hear any other guesses, but unless you have some evidence or links to peer reviewed papers, don’t start telling me that the ideas you pull from your ass are inherently better than the ideas I pulled from mine.

  48. 48
    Kevin, 友好火猫 (Friendly Fire Cat)

    @Donovan:

    If the infinite universes expanded they wouldn’t actually ever intersect one another, it’d be like blowing up several balloons at the same point. They’ll expand and bump against each other, but never more than that.

    Wait! Maybe infinite universes bumping together is what causes…

    No, I lost it.

    But I’ll come roleplay with you :D “I’m a level 15 Paladin with a Helm of Invulnerability.”

  49. 49
    Donovan

    On the other hand, if you add an infinite amount of something, then you may well fill up all your space.

    On vacation, you go to the famous Infinity Hotel. You ask for a room, but the clerk says that the Infinite family is having a wedding at the hotel, and all the rooms are taken by the infinite number of guests. You sigh and head for the Super 8, but the clerk calls you back and says he has an idea. He will move Room 1 to Rm 2, Rm2 to Rm 3, and so on. So now he can add 1 to infinity.

    This won’t work, though, since you’re the Eternity family also having a wedding, you say. You also have an infinite number of family members all coming to this wedding. The clerk, now on a role, says, “Aha!” He moves Rm 1 to Rm 2, Rm 2 to Rm 4 and Rm 3 to Rm 6, Rm 4 to Rm 8 and Rm 5 to Rm 10, and so on until he’s placed the entire Infinity family into the infinite number of even rooms, allowing the Eternity family to occupy the infinite number of odd rooms, and has now doubled infinity.

    ****I did not come up with this, but I cannot remember who did. Please offer a citation if you know it?

  50. 50
    a_ray_in_dilbert_space

    Donovan,
    There are a few processes in our Universe that are asymmetric in time–mainly having to do with decays of hadrons containing the strange and b mesons. In addition, there is the concept of entropy, which, although an inherently statistcal concept, is overwhelmingly likely to increase in time. In a sufficiently small system, though, the last would not give much of an indication of the direction of time. (That is, if you see two particles collide on film, you won’t be able to tell whether the film was running backward or forward. However, if you see the “break” on a billiards table, it is obvous.)

    The arror of time is one of its mysteries.

  51. 51
    Ing

    @ARIDS

    I had a physicist explain it to me that there’s no real time arrow, it’s just that since the universe favors increases in entropy it’s very unlikely that enough “things” will go against that flow to be noticeable. That it was possible for the Twin Towers to spontaneously reassemble, but since the entropy is so stacked against it and there’s so many particles involved the odds of all of them doing it at once makes it unlikely.

  52. 52
    Rich Woods

    @Ing #54:

    Quite so. A similar approach is to say that it is possible to walk through walls. The main problem is that it is very, very unlikely that all of the particles in your body will find themselves at the same far end of the wave function at the same time. And frankly, you wouldn’t want it to be a half-and-half arrangement…

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