Kalam Cosmological Argument

The Argument

  • The universe came into existence.
  • Something can’t come from nothing.
  • Therefore something caused the universe to come into existence.
  • The cause cannot be a natural phenomena, since such phenomena are part of the universe.
  • Therefore, the cause of the universe must be beyond the universe, that is, supernatural.

The argument is defended in modern times by William Lane Craig

Big Bang Theory

  • The Big Bang Theory seems to support the idea of the universe coming into existence:
    • A tiny speck of super-dense, super-hot matter and energy appeared 13.8 billion years ago.
    • Something can’t come from nothing
    • Thus something caused the speck.
  • The Big Bang Theory is based on Einstein’s well-confirmed theory of gravity, General Relativity. According to the theory:
    • Time flows at different rates, e.g. slower on Earth than on GPS satellites
    • Space expands and contracts, e.g. in gravity waves and the expansion of the universe 
  • View Big Bang Theory

Criticism of the Kalam Argument

  • Time began at the Big Bang, per the Big Bang Theory..  Thus at no time did the universe not exist. So the universe has always existed.
  • Stephen Hawking from The Origin of the Universe
    • “The problem of what happens at the beginning of time is a bit like the question of what happened at the edge of the world, when people thought the world was flat. … However, when one combines General Relativity with Quantum Theory, Jim Hartle and I realized that time can behave like another direction in space under extreme conditions. This means one can get rid of the problem of time having a beginning, in a similar way in which we got rid of the edge of the world. Suppose the beginning of the universe was like the South Pole of the earth, with degrees of latitude playing the role of time. The universe would start as a point at the South Pole. As one moves north, the circles of constant latitude, representing the size of the universe, would expand. To ask what happened before the beginning of the universe would become a meaningless question, because there is nothing south of the South Pole.”