I always have thought since I first heard the Kalam cosmological argument as it often is used along with the fine tuning argument that it just didn’t make much sense. Then again, I have never thought many purely deductive arguments made any particular sense. Considering that a major proponent of the KCA (Kalam cosmological argument), William Lane Craig (Read my article Deductive Idiot part 1 and part 2), I decided writing a series of articles addressing the fine tuning argument (rather the supposedly tuned constants which by no means are tuned) would be a very interesting endeavor. The reason I will not address the KCA in much detail is because no deductive argument can tell you anything that is not assumed in the premises. The KCA says
Everything that begins to exist has a cause.The universe began to exist. Therefore the universe has a cause.
To be honest the logic is sound but the conclusion is true only if the two premises are true. Does everything that exists have a cause? William Lane Craig nor any of the many others that use the KCA to “prove” god exists have apparently never cracked open a physics text for at least 50 years and I will give you an example showing that each premise is false.Addressing premise one
Everything that begins to exist has a cause
The emission of a photon when an electron drops from a higher energy state to a lower one is a spontaneous event, in other words the photon that began to exist had no cause. This shows premise one to be false and that proponents of the KCA are less than honest.Nuclear decay is also another uncaused event. Some may claim that since quantum theory can predict nuclear decay it isn’t an uncaused event. This belies an unfamiliarity with physics. Quantum theory does predict nuclear decay and does so with a very high degree of accuracy only it predicts an average rate of decay but says nothing as far as any atom in particular. That makes the emission of a photon in nuclear decay an uncaused event which shows premise one to be false.
Addressing premise two
The universe began to exist.
This is a bit harder to show to be false as it is based(by William Lane Craig et al) on the big bang which is established as true beyond any reasonable doubt. There is nothing in the big bang theory that requires it to be the beginning of the universe. This also means that the second premise is also false. This is all I will say about Craig’s version of the KCA as I already said that a deductive argument says nothing more than what is assumed in it’s premises. Both premises have been shown to be false.
In this installment of my series on the untuned constants I want to address what has plagued some physicists and countless Christian apologists that claimed their version of god was proven by this. I am speaking of the large number puzzle found by the mathematician and theoretical physicist Hermann Weyl in 1919. This was the first of the anthropic coincidences (leading to the fine tuning argument) so I thought it deserved to be addressed first. This was the ratio of the electromagnetic force to the gravitational force between the electron and the proton. This ratio is 1039. That means the electromagnetic force is much stronger than the gravitational force 9for the electron/proton ratio but realize that each particle has mass and a defined charge). As the argument goes, if the gravitational attraction were not so much smaller than the electromagnetic, the universe would have collapsed long before there were stars much less life. Even physics texts speak about gravity being such a weak force, unintentionally lending some credence to the argument, but is it true? A few of you might have noticed that I mentioned the electron and proton both have defined masses and electric charges which should let you know that I am going to show this constant isn’t constant as it depends on both the charges and masses. I really don’t want to bother my readers with maths but it is sadly unavoidable so I promise to keep it simple. The ratio uses both Columb’s law and Newton’s law of Gravitation. Wikipedia (used for convenience) gives Columb’s law as
The scalar form of Coulomb’s law is an expression for the magnitude and sign of the electrostatic force between two idealized point charges, small in size compared to their separation. This force (F) acting simultaneously on point charges (q1) and (q2), is given by
where r is the separation distance and ke is a proportionality constant. A positive force implies it is repulsive, while a negative force implies it is attractive. The proportionality constant ke, called the Coulomb constant (sometimes called the Coulomb force constant.
and it gives Newtons law of Gravitation as
Every point mass attracts every single other point mass by a force pointing along the line intersecting both points. The force is proportional to the product of the two masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them:
- F is the force between the masses,
- G is the gravitational constant,
- m1 is the first mass,
- m2 is the second mass, and
- r is the distance between the masses.
In the ratio the distances cancel out so we are left with Ke/Gm1m2 where e is the electron.
Before I even attempt to show that this constant isn’t a constant, I have to ask why the ratio is for an electron/proton combination. The electron is a fundamental particle but the proton isn’t. A proton is made of three quarks while an electron is, well – an electron. Now back to the math fun. If instead of a ratio between an electron/proton we look at the ratio of an electron/electron pair we find it inst 1039 but 1047. Not exactly showing the ratio is a fine tuned constant but contradicting what I said about gravity not being weak. Now let’s look at two particles of unit charge with similar masses of 1.85 x 10-9. Now the two forces are equal and it still looks bad for the fine tuned constant and the weakness of gravity. But wait, I am not done. Let’s again use two unit charged particles but with the most fundamental mass possible (the Planck mass). Now gravity is 137 times stronger than the electromagnetic force.
Seems that the death knell can be sounded for this fine tuned constant which is neither constant not finely tuned. Not to mention the oft quoted foolishness that gravity is the weakest force (which is even said by lots of scientists). And finally, the KCA can be seen as the piece of deductive idiocy it really is . In the following weeks I will be writing more articles on the fine tuned constants which will be seen to be not finely tuned as some can vary without any effects on life while others sure enough will cause some unwanted effects but they can be cancelled out by changing a different constant.