As mentioned previously, I am following a book club type format for this book over on another blog. I was going to just participate over there but I have a lot more to say than I want to shove into their comments, so I figured I'd do a normal long form post over here and then just talk about 1 or 2 main points over there. I'm sticking to my normal format of bold for section heading, regular text for summary, and italics for my commentary.
Basically a very quick introduction to big bang ideas with a little history of it. It mentions Albert Einstein's cosmological constant and a few other interesting facts. It mentions that we now pretty much all agree that the universe has a beginning, which naturally leads to wonder what caused the beginning of the universe. It also mentions Anthony Flew, who used to be "the world's leading academic atheist" until 2003 when he announced he was a theist. It briefly talks about why he changed his mind, I hope they go into that more as it sounds very interesting, if they don't touch on it might I will have to put it on my list of things to look up later.
Kalam Cosmological Argument
1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause
2. The universe began to exist
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
What has actually been said I don't have much of a problem with, of course what was in this section doesn't talk about how we connect this to God at all. That is where the garbage starts to come in as far as I usually see.
"Given the powerful theistic implications of the big bang model, the New Atheists have been eager to find an alternative explanation"
I have never seen an atheist try to claim the big bang didn't happen. This is just deceptive garbage.
In the 60s and 70s some cosmologists postulated that the universe infinitely expands and contracts. This theory is plagued with problems.
Yup, that is how science works, you come up with an idea and then test it out as best you can. This idea seems to been false.
Stephen Hawking popularized a theory that "rounded off" time at the beginning of the big bang by using imaginary numbers. "The problem is that imaginary numbers don't translate to the real world."
I don't even know what that quote is supposed to mean, but imaginary numbers show up in the real world all the time. Honestly, after reading that sentence, I want to just stop reading this book, it is pure garbage. It is so fucking dishonest! They also put "imaginary numbers" in quotes, implying they are bullshit. Just for the record, here is something I found with a quick google search about how imaginary numbers are used in real life.
Who Made God?
The atheists ask what caused God, but the point is that God is eternal. The argument only applies to things that begin to exist and God didn't begin to exist because he is eternal. Besides, if God was caused by something, then that thing must be caused by something and we have the same infinite regress problem. Since infinities are impossible this doesn't make sense.
Saying God can be eternal and the universe (or multiverse) can't be is special pleading. Infinite regress is not a problem if you are not afraid of infinities. You can have an infinite chain of causes provided you have an infinite amount of time in the past.
Kalam and the Judeo-Christian God
Sam Harris said that even if we accepted that the universe had to be created by an intelligent being, this would not suggest the God of the bible. We agree, but Kalam reveals that the universe was made and that someone made it
Wrong, it shows that there was a beginning of the universe, it does not show anything about an intelligent creator.
I'm pretty disgusted with this book right now. It has constantly misrepresented the arguments of the prominent atheists. It is possible that they are just mistaken about things, but I think they are purposefully misrepresenting their opponents for their own ends. They also said some pretty ridiculous things about math in this chapter that really irks me to read (for those new here, I am a mathematician).
The next chapter is "How Did Life Begin?". I'm sure it will be a hatchet job on abiogenesis. I'm not sure if I will do it, it partly will depend on if there is any interesting discussion over on apologetics 315 which is why I started this. Also, if anyone is reading along and wants me to continue please speak up. That could sway me.