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Argument of something from nothing

Recently I entered into a debate with a theist over the existence of god(s). I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't do well. Here is the essence of his argument. I started and ended it in parentheses.

(Science AND logic both dictate that we deal with what we know through observation and testing.

Science has observed phenominon(sic) that indicates this universe had a specific starting point.

Science has indicated that, before that starting point, there was nothing - absolute nothing.

Science has observed that the universe started from a singularity.

EVERY test to date has confirmed the "Big Bang" theory, NOTHING has ever provided evidence to counter it (to date).

It is a universal constant and a logical dictate that anything that has a start or beginning MUST have a cause.

It is also a universal constant and logical dictate that it is impossible for something to come from nothing.

By definition, a singularity is NOTHING.

This means that the universe started or came from NOTHING.

Thus, science has already suggested that the creation of the universe was a miracle as it violated BOTH the universal constants of something from nothing and first cause.

Logic also dictates that, for something to come from nothing, there must be a Creator.)

His basic premise is that I must first explain something from nothing before any other issues can be debated.

I will provide a link to the discussion. I would very much appreciate some help in understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each side. `


That's how you learn.

Mistake 1: Science has said nothing about the time before the big bang. There are many theories, including an alternate expanding universe with its arrow of time going in the opposite direction. Don't assume there was nothing. And CERTAINLY, don't assume there was a god sitting around waiting to create the universe. (Theists want to slip that in.)

Mistake 2: Whether it's a singularity is up to debate.

Mistake 3: There are uncaused causes at the quantum level. Radioactive decay is one example. Events can only be understood in probabilistic terms at this level of granularity. Check out "zero point energy". It is the idea that empty space has energy that can be converted into matter, usually a particle and its associated anti-particle. They exist only briefly, unite, and annihilate each-other. This phenomenon has been measured, so there is evidence for it. The current thinking is that the universe may have started from one of these events.

Mistake 4: Cosmologist Victor Stenger has written about "something from nothing". The current thinking among physicists is that the universe has 0 net energy. The positive energy of matter, light, heat, etc, balances out the negative energy needed to pull all that matter apart against its gravitational pull (potential energy). The universe only changed form (if it started from "nothing").

Mistake 5: The definition of a singularity is a situation where known laws break down. Again, there is some debate about whether the big bang was a singularity. Steven Hawking has made different comments on this at different times, if you'd like to look it up.

Some of your conclusions are wrong based on faulty premises.

Assuming a creator is a fallacy, too. It begs the question of how the creator got created. It only moves the problem (and leaves a nice god-shaped gap for God to fill.)

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From the officers:

The ACA Lecture Series continues Sunday, March 8th at 12:15pm at the Austin History Center, 9th and Guadalupe. The building opens at noon. Ryan Bell will talk on "My Year Without God: Now a Permanent Condition."