Journal Article

Why the Big Bang Singularity Does Not Help the Kalām Cosmological Argument for Theism

J. Brian Pitts

in The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science

Published on behalf of British Society for the Philosophy of Science

Volume 59, issue 4, pages 675-708
Published in print December 2008 | ISSN: 0007-0882
Published online December 2008 | e-ISSN: 1464-3537 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axn032
Why the Big Bang Singularity Does Not Help the Kalām Cosmological Argument for Theism

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The cosmic singularity provides negligible evidence for creation in the finite past, and hence theism. A physical theory might have no metric or multiple metrics, so a ‘beginning’ must involve a first moment, not just finite age. Whether one dismisses singularities or takes them seriously, physics licenses no first moment. The analogy between the Big Bang and stellar gravitational collapse indicates that a Creator is required in the first case only if a Destroyer is needed in the second. The need for and progress in quantum gravity and the underdetermination of theories by data make it difficult to take singularities seriously. The singularity exemplifies the sort of gap that is likely to be closed by scientific progress, obviating special divine action. The apparent irrelevance of cardinality to practices of counting infinite sets in classical field theory and Fourier analysis is noted.

Introduction

The Doctrine of Creation and Its Warrant

Cardinality and Sizes of Infinity

Modern Cosmology and Creation

Tolerance or Intolerance toward Singularities?

Leibniz against Incompetent Watchmaker?

Induction from Earlier Theories' Breakdown?

Stellar Collapse Implies Theistic Destroyer

Stacking the Deck for GTR

Quantum Gravity Tends to Resolve Singularities

Vicious God-of-the-Gaps Character

Fluctuating or Inaccessible Warrant

Big Bang Cosmology Not Especially Congenial to Faith

Journal Article.  13580 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Science ; Science and Mathematics

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