For the last few days, my twitter account has been getting spammed by some twit named @lettlander; he seems to be one of those Christians who is infatuated with the First Cause argument. Here’s a small sampling:
@f0xhole @pzmyers @Pipenta something appearing out of nothing isn’t just scientifically impossible – it’s logically self-refuting.
@f0xhole @pzmyers @Pipenta The ONLY way the problem of an infinite regress can be solved is the postulation of an extra-natural element
@f0xhole @pzmyers @Pipenta Besides, you’re perfectly fine with scientifically asserting the universe was uncaused, right? Why not “God”?
@f0xhole @pzmyers @Pipenta Since science and philosophy lead us to a concept of a contingent universe, a non-contingent element must exist
Don’t you just love how these guys pompously dress themselves up as philosophers and scientists to defend the silly notion of a god? But let’s go through those one by one.
1. Something appearing out of nothing is impossible? Tell that to Lawrence Krauss and other physicists. Not only can it theoretically happen, it happens all the time. We must be done already — he’s simply wrong.
2. Since I don’t accept the premise that simple causation is present at all levels, microscopic and macroscopic, no, I don’t have to postulate an “extra-natural element”. The initial cause could have been a quantum fluctuation in nothingness, nothing more. I certainly don’t have to postulate a grand, intelligent cosmic being.
3. Caused, uncaused, it doesn’t matter — show me the evidence for an intelligent agent at the beginning of the universe. I’m not a physicist, though, so I’m neither an authority nor a committed proponent of any particular model of origins, and I’ll heed instead what people like Krauss and Hawking and Stenger say…and they all argue that god is an unnecessary hypothesis.
Why not “god”? Why not a purple space gerbil? Why not snot from the nose of the Great Green Arkleseizure? Even if @lettlander were correct and there was a reasonable logical argument for a necessary first cause, it wouldn’t mean Jesus was the one.
4. On the large visible scale, the scale that we perceive and operate under, it is true that we see a pattern of contingency, where one event leads to another. But on the quantum scale, that is no longer true: science and philosophy lead us to a completely different, unintuitive understanding of how the universe works, and the naive and silly guesses of theologians do not apply.
And isn’t it cute how these kooks blithely reduce their omnipotent, omniscient god to “non-contingent element”? It’s as if they expect that if we acknowledge the possibility of a spontaneous accident, a fleck, a speck and spatter of a singular dot of existence that is not the product of a causal chain, then they’ve proven the existence of the Christian God, the truth of the Bible, and the veracity of their own personal dogma.
Sorry about all that. I couldn’t fit that all in a tweet — although I suppose I could have reduced it to a simple accusation of “bullshit!” It’s just that these presumptuous pseudoscientists who claim science supports their cult leave me cold and contemptuous.