Noted Atheist thinker Sam Harris recently interviewed fellow atheist Lawrence Krauss on his blog in order to help promote Krauss’s new book “A Universe from Nothing.” If you’re interested you can read the whole interview here – http://www.samharris.org/blog/item/everything-and-nothing
As I’ve stated before it is offensive to me when atheists claim a monopoly on reason. I actually find that the more convinced anyone becomes that their own view is correct, the less reasonable they are when faced with a contrary view. The fact that Mr. Harris refers to his non-profit foundation “Project Reason” is in my humble opinion the height of arrogance!
True to form, in reading the interview with Krauss I came across something not only unreasonable but downright deceptive in the way that many atheists approach the top of the origins of the universe and the so called “Big Bang” theory.
Krauss; Empirical discoveries continue to tell us that the Universe is the way it is, whether we like it or not, and ‘something’ and ‘nothing’ are physical concepts and therefore are properly the domain of science, not theology or philosophy. (Indeed, religion and philosophy have added nothing to our understanding of these ideas in millennia.) I spend a great deal of time in the book detailing precisely how physics has changed our notions of “nothing,” for example.
Krauss is saying that science has essentially changed the meaning of the word “nothing”. Is it really possible for a scientific discovery to change the meaning of a word? It’s an interesting debate tactic, don’t like the meaning of a word, just change it.
Essentially Krauss is saying that since he doesn’t like the implications of “nothing”, he has set out change what it what it means, don’t get me wrong, science can change our understanding of a physical concept but it cannot change the definition of a word! And while “something” and “nothing” are physical concepts, they also carry significant theological and philosophical connotations. Any “reasonable” person would know that no amount of linguistic gymnastics (twisting of words) is going to change that. Without really meaning to Krauss has actually strengthened the theistic point of view by getting closer to proving that what we once thought of as “nothing” has the power to become something after all.
This brings me to the so called “Big Bang” theory. Many atheists are surprised when I tell them that I actually support this theory for the creation of the universe and a careful reading of Genesis Chapter One doesn’t contradict it. The central concept of the “Big Bang” theory is that the universe evolved from nothing while the central concept of Genesis chapter one is, wait for it; that the universe evolved from nothing. The two theories share one key ingredient, that before there was something, there was nothing. How the process of moving from nothing to something started remains a mystery but denying the plausibility of an intelligent creator as unreasonable on the one hand while attempting to change the meaning of the words that are central to the debate on the other is not only unscientific, it’s disingenuous, hypocritical and arrogant. Any high school debating coach would slap Krauss on the wrist for even suggesting it.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (BANG!) Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (BANG!) God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5)