Replay: Our analysis of “The Great Debate: Is There Evidence for God?”

Traffic’s up after the informal announcement of the publication of our Astronomy and Astrophysics curriculum, so in the coming weeks we’re going to replay some of our more important posts from the archives for our new readers.

On March 30, 2011, Christian theologian and philosopher William Lane Craig debated atheist physicist Lawrence Krauss at North Carolina State University. The topic was, “The Great Debate: Is There Evidence for God?” Video of the rather lengthy event is here. What follows is our analysis of the debate. 

** Written by Sarah and “Surak” **

The two opposing sides of the scientific debate over the God hypothesis were well represented on Wednesday by Dr. William Lane Craig (Christian Philosopher and Theologian from Talbot School of Theology) and Dr. Lawrence Krauss (Theoretical Physicist from Arizona State University). Dr. Craig’s argument was based on the clearly-stated and logical assertion that if God’s existence is more probable given certain information, that information meets the essential criterion for evidence. Dr. Krauss was equally clear in his definition of evidence: it must be falsifiable to be scientific. We find both standards to be very useful.

There was some confusion on the part of the moderator as to whether the topic of the debate was the existence of any evidence for God or the existence of enough evidence to prove God’s existence. We think the moderator erred in his statement of the debate’s purpose, since no one could reasonably argue that there is proof or disproof of God’s existence. As Dr. Krauss correctly stated, science cannot falsify God; so, the question can only be, “Is God likely?”

We will assess the debate in terms of whether or not there is any evidence for the existence of God, although Dr. Krauss tried to set the bar unfairly high with his assertion that a highly extraordinary proposition, such as the God hypothesis, requires extraordinary evidence. However, we think defenders of the God hypothesis can accept and meet this challenge.

Dr. Krauss acknowledges that the big bang is fact and one of science’s great achievements. The big bang theory establishes that the universe had a beginning, and that the universe was created from nothing. There was some debate and confusion about the meaning of “nothing.” It can mean the absence of matter, such as in “empty” space, or it can mean no space, no matter, and no time. The big bang involves the second notion of nothing, which is about as much of a nothing as most human minds can conceive of.

The appearance of our universe from this nothing makes it an undeniable instance of creation – something coming from nothing – as opposed to an example of making, which is something being fashioned from something that’s already there. Science is based on the premise that everything has a cause, especially if it has a beginning. Since the universe had a beginning, it must have a cause, and a reasonable extension of the big bang theory is that the cause must be something greater than and outside of the universe.

The cause of our universe must therefore be a transcendent or super-natural cause. This ultimate cause must include not only the difficult idea that some entity “exists” outside our universe, but also the humanly inconceivable idea that it has as part of its nature the capacity to exist and make other things come into existence. In other words, there must be something that is its own cause and the essence of existence. We humans can never understand such an entity, but it’s the only way to avoid a common patch of logical quicksand that threatens to swallow anyone who attempts to discuss the origins of our universe.

This danger to fruitful discussion is best illustrated by a story that appeared in Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time. One of the greats of science, probably Bertrand Russell, had given a lecture on astronomy. He described how the Earth orbits around the Sun and how our solar system is part of a much larger galaxy. After the lecture, he was approached by a little old lady who informed him that the Earth is really sitting on the back of a giant tortoise. Russell replied, “What is the tortoise standing on?” “You’re very clever, young man, very clever,” said the old lady. “But everyone knows it’s turtles all the way down!” We must accept that at the bottom of any conceivable pile of cosmic turtles, there must ultimately be one that has as part of its nature the power of existence.

There is perhaps only one relevant or useful question humans can pose about this scientifically unknowable causal agent of the universe, “Is it conscious or unconscious?” If the transcendent cause of the universe is conscious, God is the most useful name we can give it. If the cause of the universe is unconscious, then it is some kind of super-nature. The best known and most likely candidate for the super-natural is the ‘eternal multiverse.’

This brings us to what we thought was the best question from the audience: What testable prediction does the God hypothesis make? Let’s examine this question in light of two things that Dr. Krauss said:

  1. Truly scientific evidence must be falsifiable.
  2. The big bang is established fact.

The Judeo-Christian God hypothesis includes a prediction made over 3,000 years ago in Genesis 1 that the universe had a beginning. This prediction ran counter to the theory of an eternal universe that dominated philosophical and scientific thinking until the 1960s. The great physicist and Jesuit priest, Georges Lemaître, developed the big bang theory in part because of his belief in the Genesis account of Creation. This Genesis prediction was testable and turned out to be true.  So, at least one major testable prediction of the God hypothesis meets the standard for scientific evidence.

The Father of the Big Bang, Georges Lemaître

It is not proof of God, but it is undeniable evidence for God that meets even the “extraordinary” benchmark set by Dr. Krauss. The prediction that the universe had a beginning is more than ordinary evidence because it is so ancient. It turns Dr. Krauss’s somewhat derisive comment about Bronze Age peasants back on his own argument: how indeed could such scientifically ignorant people have boldly stated what would three millennia later become astonishing fact?

Apply the same test to the best super-nature alternative: what testable prediction(s) does the multiverse hypothesis make? We are still learning about the different multiverse hypotheses, but there are at least two predictions that we’re aware of. The first involves an explanation for the weakness of gravity, which is by far the weakest of the four fundamental forces of nature. Some physicists predict that gravity is weak, because gravitons – the particles responsible for conveying the force of gravity – escape our universe into parallel universes.

The second prediction is the existence of “ghost particles” from parallel universes. Some physicists believe these particles must exist in order explain one of the great mysteries of quantum physics, the interference pattern observed when electrons pass through a double-slit. Interference is behavior we expect from waves, not particles; moreover, the pattern is observed even if electrons are fired at the double-slit one at a time, ruling out any possibility that two electrons, each going through a different slit, are interfering with each other. The interference pattern must arise, the prediction goes, from the electrons in our universe interfering with ghost electrons in a parallel universe.

Electron interference pattern

There are two insurmountable problems with these predictions. Not only do they contradict Dr. Krauss’ assertion that parallel universes are causally disconnected from each other, but neither of these predictions is testable. The evidence for the multiverse does not rise to the level of the scientific — not because we currently lack the knowledge or technology to perform the experiments, but because they are not falsifiable in principle. Science is limited to the study of this universe. The multiverse idea as it is currently framed is not scientific, it is metaphysical.

It seems that at this time the God hypothesis is superior in evidence to the best “natural” alternative.

The evidence in favor of the God hypothesis is even stronger than what Dr. Craig presented. We at SixDay Science propose that the Genesis 1 account of Creation makes at least 26 scientifically testable statements. All 26 are compatible with modern science and they are in the correct order. A discussion of this is available here. We believe this evidence is so extraordinary that it comes close to being something akin to J. B. S. Haldane’s “Precambrian rabbit” in the sense that a creation story which succeeded in anticipating so much of modern science by 3,000 years is just as out of place in time as a fossilized rabbit in 600 million year old rock.

2 thoughts on “Replay: Our analysis of “The Great Debate: Is There Evidence for God?”

  1. Aquinas’ cosmological argument has me convinced (Feser:

    Trying to wave away the First Cause by speculating about a multiuniverse doesn’t solve the problem, anything that is contingent, must have a cause that is not. Multiuniverses do not explain why they are not contingent, so they just become another turtle in the stack.

    Further, when your toolkit can only detect things from set A, it’s foolish to assert there is no Not A sets. Which Krauss does: materialism is the only thing that exists because if it isn’t material, it doesn’t exist, because science. It’s begging the question, circular and shoddy.

  2. Hello, I have some very important information for you, if you would, please share it with as many people as you can as soon as possible.

    No Well Water is safe or suitable for animal consumption or plant growth, Fluorine is the 13th most abundant element in the earths crust, and water obtained from the ground will be contaminated with very high levels of Fluorides (fluorine + a positive ion). One small glass of Well Water, on average, contains the Fluoride equivalent of one pea sized dab of Fluoridated Toothpaste, this is about 0.7 parts per million of fluoride, however, any amount of fluoride exposure is incredibly harmful for all biological life.

    We have effectively increased our exposure to Fluorides on average by 50,000% when we choose to expose our selves to this water source, that is in comparison to the majority of our evolutionary history of drinking surface waters that contain which contain roughly 500x less fluoride, although, some wells may even be contaminated with levels as high as 12+ ppm.

    I believe that most people do not understand the science of why fluoride’s are so dangerous, so I’d like to explain why, but first I’d like to point out the fact that we are the only life on this planet to dig deep holes in the ground to obtain water to drink, at least deep enough to contaminate our water with high levels of fluoride in this way.

    The safest alternative is distilled water, or rain water (I suggest a collection time during long periods of rain to avoid polluted air contamination), filters like reverse osmosis do not do enough and they hardly filter the majority of fluorides at all because most naturally occurring fluorides are relatively small compounds, but they may help filter many larger fluoride compounds like those which may be additionally added to water supplies by many city water suppliers. Regardless of which fluorides are getting through, distilled water, or rain, will remove them all, except those leached into water droplets through out atmosphere, rain will be especially vulnerable to this and there are about 50 parts per billion of hydrogen fluoride / other fluoride gasses in our atmosphere, but rain collected should contain less than 0.008 parts per million of fluorides on average.

    So, why are fluorides dangerous…?

    Besides specific bond formations that may occur within the body and disrupt normal biological processes, like that of calcium bonds in our bones rather than our teeth due to excessive fluorides in the blood stream, here is the key issue behind fluorides disastrous effects, which continue be disastrous even after bonds like this occur.

    “Electronegativity”, which is the tendency to draw in electron mass, is a fundamental atomic property of all the elements on the periodic table, out of all these 118 elements of the Periodic Table, the element fluorine has the highest Electronegativity, and, more importantly, one eighth of the entire spectrum of Electronegativy for these Elements on the Periodic Table, is a gap between Element Oxygen, and Element Fluorine.

    Let me just repeat that once again…

    1/8th, of the entire spectrum of Electronegativity, for the elements on the periodic table, is a gap, between elements oxygen and fluorine.

    That kind of Electronegative energy, drawing in electrons in a biological system, (which is a finely tuned system of exchanging electrons), will extremely distort functions of biological systems, especially systems that have not evolved to cope with the levels of Fluoride they are being exposed to.

    We are 70% water like most life on this planet, and only throughout roughly the last 100,000 years or so have we begun digging these holes in the ground to obtain water.

    Evolution does not occur rapidly enough for this fluoride contaminated water to really be called “safe” by now, one quick example of the the slow progression of evolution is that we split from Chimpanzee’s / Bonobo’s nearly 7 million years ago.

    There is roughly 500 times less fluoride in natural sources of water like rain, or springs, even rivers and lakes, than there is in this water from holes in the ground. Drinking and using this water for farming, globally, is destroying our bodies, developing a wide spectrum of health issues for us, our pets, and our plants, I’m sure you’ve noticed we are the only wild animals getting cancer.

    A good example of the powerful Electronegativity that the Element Fluorine has is when experiments are done in it’s pure state as a Gas, in this state, it is so reactive, that almost any substance, Glass, Metals, or even WATER, BURN, with a Bright Flame in a Jet of Fluorine Gas, WITHOUT the need for a Spark.

    This incredibly high Electronegativite Energy still lingers even after Fluorine forms a bond with positive ions, and these are what we call “Fluoride’s”.

    Among the wide spectrum of various health Issues fluoride can cause, Cancer is a big one, but i’d like to focus on another not so obvious symptom of fluoride exposure.

    I think it is crucial to understand this particular issue, i’ll start with the fact that we are 70% water, we need a lot of water each and every day, and our body can detect the amounts of Fluoride, along with the minerals that end up in our water as it is processed for use in the blood stream, and if this amount is higher than the natural levels we have evolved to cope with, our brains have evolved a coping mechanism which attempts to put a damper on precious processes such as higher cognitive functions involved with imagination, functions that are involved with implementing new neurons, or functions that strengthen new neurons and neurons already in use for more reliable access. This damper is done as a way to preserve these functions for more significant moments, which will be judged by your conscious thought and with emotions, rather than just allowing these functions to be used all the time, because doing so would damage neurons your trying to strengthen if there are fluorides present in the blood stream. (this is hard for me to explain so I hope you understand.)

    This damper is the reason why cognitive dissonance occurs in the minds of so many people, many of us who are so heavily poisoned by these fluorides would much rather rely on a set of neurons that are already hardwired and therefore reliable, than to risk developing new ones that may be distorted by the presence of excessive amounts of fluorides.

    Stress, Anxiety, and Depression, are emotions that help you to overcome this damper that the Human Brain Implements, these emotions help your conscious mind in ways that get you “worked up” enough to use these higher cognitive functions, it is like forcing your brain to use these parts it’s trying to preserve (imagination and functions that are involved with implementing new neurons) because your consciously telling it that you think what your doing is extremely important. A good example of this, is if your having a discussion with your boss at work and he is noticeably upset because you didn’t do your job right, you’ll stress your self out over this kind of event in order to strengthen particular neurons for more reliable access so it won’t happen again.

    That sort of behavior can cause someone to act impulsively, i’m sure you’ve seen it many times even with your self, we want to stick to a set of reliable and hardwired neurons, as if we know it all and we don’t need improvement on our methods or awareness of particular things… and many times cognitive dissonance will occur as we try to avoid stress, anxiety, and depression, as we are met with concepts perhaps true, which seem counter intuitive to us.

    To make it short, excessive fluoride in the blood stream can literally makes it stressful to try to imagine and develop new ways of thinking… Your brain is telling you not too do something via these emotions, because of fluorides present in your blood stream, and unless you overcome this stress with your conscious judgement of importance, like realization of truth and excitement for learning this truth, cognitive dissonance will occur.

    Money, and other various ways of cultures, will keep us plugging along sticking to Hardwired Neurons doing something we wish we weren’t doing, or preforming a job which barely pays at all, perhaps worthless and unsustainable as well. There are many various ways our cultures promote these bad ideas, among each other in this adversity, must stand up for the rights of our planet, to live sustainability, to do so we must use our consciousness to it’s utmost potential, that means getting off of fluoride as soon as possible…. that’s the first step I believe. Money is evil in the sense that it is a false incentive and provides many unconscious opportunity’s for the destruction of our planet, it will promote the success of particular neurons, meanwhile demoting others, and we rewarded our selves self chemically when we receive “money” for doing a job right, or when we receive / spend / have money, this strengthens those neurons even further, it’s all about money sometimes, and not the actual thing it’s self.

    Rain (Like Distillation) = Averages 0.008 ppm (parts per million) fluoride.
    Surface Waters (For example, Lakes, Rivers, Springs) = Averages 0.05 ppm fluoride.
    Bottled Water = Averages 0.1 ppm fluoride.
    Well Water = Ranges from 0.7 – 12+ ppm fluoride .
    Tap Water = Ranges from 0.7 – 12+ ppm fluoride (In america, the maximum allowance is 4.0 ppm, regulated by the FDA).

    Additionally fluoridated water supplies often use chemicals we’ve never even come into contact with throughout the last 3.5 billion years of evolution here on earth, for example, chemicals like Sodium fluorosilicate (Na2SiF6)and HydroFluorosilicic acid (H2SiF6). Fluoridation of a public water supply is medication without consent.

    Some Of The Easiest Thing And Most Important Thing You Can And Should Do Immediately to avoid the majority of Fluoride Exposure, Is to drink distilled water, and to avoid tea or tobacco, they both contain very high levels of fluoride.

    Distilled water is very inexpensive, it cost roughly $0.88 for a 1 Gallon jug which is available at nearly every grocery store, otherwise you can order it from a water supplier like “Culigan”, for nearly the same price.

    Please start drinking distilled water, or rain water (collected sometime near the end of a storm, during a long duration of rain preferably, to give time to clean the atmosphere and avoid polluted air contamination) as soon as possible, drink, cook, and process your foods with this water.

    Distilled water and rain water, are the process of evaporating water, collecting and condensing the Vapors, which will leave you with 100% uncontaminated (no dissolved solids) h2o.

    If your worried about not getting enough minerals anymore once you switch to distilled water, let me assure you that if you eat acidic fruits, or add some lime or lemon (Organic) to your distilled water, you will be completeeeely fine… and feeling much better than you were before.

    For water with more alkalinity, you can add coconut water to your distilled water, and there are plenty more options out there for you to try, but a proper food diet is all that is necessary, many fruits will contain all the minerals you need in your diet, Banana, Cantaloupe, Water Melon, etc, fruit is incredibly healthy, especially raw fresh fruit, which happens to contain incredibly low levels of fluoride as well, especially if grown organically.

    The breast milk of mammals contains incredibly low levels of fluorides, roughly the same as rain or distilled water, this is an excellent example of the importance to not expose our selves to fluorides, especially precious develop mental stages, and i’d like to add that you’re always developing, especially new neurons.

    Home Water Distilling Units range in Price from 100$ which is sufficient to start drinking, to 1000$ which will be ridiculously efficient, supporting your entire Family and a Home Garden as well, although rain can be very sufficient for a home garden if unpolluted, rain water (<0.008 ppm fluoride)

    If you decide to distill rain, or even reverse osmosis water, you will never have to clean your distillation unit, you will only need to drain the water from the boiling tank occasionally and replace the post filter every 2-5 months.

    Fluorine is in low friction "plastics" such as Teflon which is a molecule comprised of only carbon and fluorine atoms, when Teflon Coated Cookware is Heated, it will release Carbon Fluoride Vapors into the Air or into your Food, do not use Teflon for this reason, and it is well known to cause cancer,

    Aluminum is very dangerous as well, it will increase the toxic build up of Fluorides in the Human Body, avoid aluminum cookware because it aluminum has a low melting point and if scraped, bits of it will end up in your food, small amounts may boil off into water or evaporate like Teflon as well.

    Aluminum is the 3rd most abundant element in the Earth's Crust, and Fluorine is the 13th most abundant element in the Earths Crust: An average of 950 ppm of Fluoride are contained in it. Top Soils contain approximately 330 ppm of Fluorine, ranging from 150 to 400 ppm. Some Soils can have as much as 1000 ppm, and contaminated soils from industrial processes have been found with 3500 ppm.

    Rain water has 0.008 ppm as I've mentioned, and it is what the majority of the water that the Life on this Planet has evolved to cope with, waters are further contaminated when they make contact with the surface of this planet, and the further down those waters go before they are dug up from wells for various human purposes, the more contaminated they are going to be.

    Fluorine that is located in Soils may potentially accumulate in Plants, Especially the Tobacco or Tea plants, i'd like to suggest to you that you avoid exposing your body to these two plants in particular, you can find very credible information on wikipedia about them and their fluoride contamination.

    The amount of uptake of fluoride by Plants depends upon the type of Plant, and the type of Soil, and the amount and type of Fluoride found in the Soil / Water.

    Too much Fluoride, whether taken in from the Soil by Roots, or absorbed from the Atmosphere by the Leaves, retards the growth of Plants and reduces Crop Yields. Growing plants with well water is like pumping the fluoride equivalent of 25 to 100+ tubes of fluoridated tooth paste in with the soil throughout the plants life… that's because well water averages a 0.7 ppm contamination of fluoride… and unfortunately that is what I assume the majority of our foods are grown with at this time.

    With Plants that are Sensitive to Fluoride Exposure, even Low Concentrations of Fluoride can cause Leaf Damage, and a Decline in Growth.

    Although Fluoride was once considered an Essential Nutrient, the U.S. National Research Council has since removed this Designation due to the lack of Studies showing it is essential for Human growth.

    It is important to note that if Fluorides are absorbed too frequently it will cause Calcification of the mammalian Pineal Gland. The Pineal Gland is Biological Filter for Fluoride. It has the most Profuse Blood Flow 2nd only to the Kidneys, with the Highest Concentrations of Fluoride throughout the entire Mammalian Body, ranging from 20,000 ppm to 25,000 ppm.

    Both the Pineal Gland and The Kidneys turn Fluorides from our Diet / Blood Stream (note: Smoking, Vaporizing, Water Vapors in the shower, Air (15-50 ppb) into Calcium Fluorides, which are safer to process out of the body. The Pineal Gland processes built up calcium fluorides to safely exit the body through urine at night, the process involves the molecule n,n-DMT which is produced naturally in the Pineal Gland, many plants contain this molecule, and this molecule is good medicine for decalcification of the Pineal Gland if taken before your sleep as concentrated dried plant matter (nearly boil plant matter containing n,n-DMT, let settle for an hour, scoop off top layer of water and dry it in a glass dish), the urge to urinate will increase and you should wake up to do so accordingly. The molecule n,n-dmt neutralizes the electronegative effects of fluorides in the blood stream by clumping together with fluorides to help them safely exit the body.

    If these two filters cannot handle the Fluorides they are being exposed to, then Fluorides may end up in other calcium deposits throughout our bodies, like our Bones, which can cause Skeletal Flurosis, (which may lead to Arthritis or Joint Pains), this may even be the general cause of Arthritis.

    Calcium is a very important mineral in our diet because of this process of filtration the body use's to get rid of fluorides. Making your own milk with the use of organic almonds and distilled / rain water is a very healthy and sentient animal friendly alternative to cow or goat milk with will most likely be diluted with well waters contaminated with fluorides.

    Dental Flurosis (White spots on Teeth) which may lead to Tooth Decay, is an obvious sign of wider systemic damage.

    An obvious indication of a significant reduction in fluoride exposure to your body is remembering your dreams from each time you sleep, and vividly.

    Another good point on this whole issue… is that you will not find any animals in the wild, with diseases or health issues, like cancer, that you find with humans, or animals kept in captivity by humans.

    You are more than welcome to rewrite this information and share anywhere.

    This information is updated as frequently as I can update it at

    You are experiencing a subjective reality, and there are many others experiencing a subjective reality as well, but we are all the universe it's self, and so we must not activate neural pain networks.

    Much Love,

    – И

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