Sunday, September 23, 2012

CNN's Randi Kaye gives Lawrence Krauss a blank check

And helps him fill in the amount.  So Lawrence Krauss is part of the new dispensation of atheists, preferring the term anti-theist.  That is, realizing that you can't prove a negative, and that science has been a poor tool in proving there is no God, it's time to change the terms.  Which is what he did in this interview.  The question has always been simple: why is there something instead of nothing?

Well Dr. Krauss and company have an answer: the universe could come from nothing, all it needs is the laws of nature!  Anyone who made it past kindergarten will, of course, see the flaw in that one.  Where did the laws of nature come from?  Don't they constitute something?  Dr. Krauss seems to use the phrase "laws of nature" in the same manner that religious folks speak of God.  Dr. Kruass explains that empty space is a bubbling cauldron of particles just waiting to do something. How do you define nothing as having something like particles?  Later, Dr. Krauss explains that we can remove particles from empty space and it still has weight.  Is this the empty space he means when the he says the universe can come from no things, or is it the later empty space devoid of particles?  If so, does empty space automatically have particles and they have to be removed?  If so, who did the removing?

Dr. Krauss then makes a jab at religious people saying that most don't believe silly things like a man being eaten by a whale or a priest turning a wafer into Jesus, so they just put those silly things aside because they want to believe.  The questions that could have been asked there are legion, for they are many.  Do you have stats, what constitutes many?  What about the beliefs of other religions?  He said the major religions but only gave examples of Christianity (Catholicism particularly).  What of the others?  Also, Pew Research has found that a significant number or atheists admit to praying, and that some (around 6%) believe in a personal God. Is it possible they find a universe of nothing but matter to be silly, and does that mean anything?  If the fact that religious people don't necessarily believe what they should about religion is supposed to mean something, wouldn't the fact that atheists don't believe what they should about atheism mean something too?

Of course the biggie could have been asked: Dr. Krause, you already seem to believe that the universe is merely material, and that nothing beyond the material exists, so you are confining your examination of all creation to the physical sciences.  Do you have any evidence that this assumption and this practice is correct?  Plus, of course, it could have been asked: Dr. Krause, you say there is no evidence for purpose in the universe, could you define that?  Or, how about this: Dr. Krause, you seem to be saying everything could come from nothing but then talking about things that appear to be something (particles, laws of nature).  Is it possible you are redefining terms like 'nothing' based on a more narrow field of study, the practice of which has no proof for being valid (see question about assuming a material creation above)?  Dr. Krause, is it possible that you are using terms like 'nothing' in ways that apply only to the physics lab, and not to the average person who hasn't already concluded that all creation is only material, and there is nothing else?  Kudos to my wife, who is more scientifically inclined and whose Dad is a chemist, for pointing out that he really was using definitions based solely on mathematical and physical premises, rather than the broader understanding of such terms.  

All of these could have been asked.  But they weren't.  All CNN host Randi Kaye could do was hand him a blank slate with such piercing questions as wouldn't some think that a universe out of nothing is as weird as God creating it?  Or my favorite, so you're saying there is no God?  He's a bleeping atheist.  Duh.  This is why atheism not being the majority viewpoint is so puzzling.  When this is the crack journalism that brings it to the masses, you'd think everyone would believe in atheism.  As it is, perhaps everyone else is more perceptive than Ms. Kaye, and wiser than Dr. Krauss.

Note: I'm no scientist.  But those are the questions I would ask simply as I went down and listened to the different points Dr. Krauss was making.  I'm not saying there are no answers to my questions.  I'm saying at least I would have asked them.

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