Evidence For Atheism

“…absence of expected evidence can indeed be evidence of absence, like the absence of any bat guano in your attic.”

Question, often asked of atheists by Shockofgod:
What is the proof or evidence that atheism is accurate and correct?

Answer:

Sometimes an apologist will hit upon a question which is not easily answered off the cuff and, by asking it repeatedly, give the impression that there is no good answer and the opposing position is unsupported. You can usually tell such a question by the fact that it’s asked with almost exactly the same wording every time. The above is Shockofgod’s personal weapon. Obviously, asking tough questions is a valid persuasive technique, but if they’re intended to be tough then one may need time to answer them the right way. A written response can be a great help, especially when you’ve read it before being asked the question verbally.

The question is hard to answer as is because atheism itself is the absence of a certain type of belief, not the presence of an equivalent belief. It feels wrong to advance the lack of a belief as correct, let alone proven.

What we need to sort out beforehand is the position of atheists (or at least the majority of them) on the existence of gods and the truth merit of religions. This can be defended, as “what atheists think”, far less awkwardly.

This attempt is probably not definitive, but here goes: the atheist position is that there is no available, substantive evidence for the existence of any god. Therefore it’s likely that there isn’t one.

Now that we have a defined position, what evidence or proof can we offer? It’s hard to support a negative like this, but “available substantive evidence” narrows the field a bit. It essentially means significant evidence which we’ve actually got. There might well be evidence which is not available, like God’s signature in three-inch letters on the surface of Ganymede. There’s plenty of “evidence” which is not substantive, like claims of personal experience and unverified miracle stories. Neither of these is a good reason to abandon atheism. Available substantive evidence for a god, on the other hand, would be good reason.

Therefore the evidence (proof is going too far) is the appearance that there is no such evidence for gods. If it did exist, and were substantive and available, it would be paraded around the world. Whichever god it supported would be vindicated. So it’s very unlikely that evidence is available and substantive and yet appears as though it’s not there.

Another possible piece of evidence for the likelihood of the absence of gods (remember, the position on gods is a statement of probability) is precedent. Unsubstantive “evidence” for gods often takes the form of supposedly impossible things, everything from the beginning of the universe to the diversity of life to Peter Popoff’s inexplicable knowledge of his audience members’ business. As Tim Minchin says in his brilliant beat poem Storm, every such mystery which has been solved has turned out to be “not magic”. Evolution explained the diversity of life brilliantly. Popoff’s earpiece, through which his wife fed him information, was revealed by James Randi. Such cases speak well for the chances that many remaining mysteries will soon be solved. Most importantly, gods seem less and less likely to be necessary in the areas where we have no good natural explanation yet.

Finally, we must address the possible impression of an overreach or a non-sequitur. Why does the absence of good evidence make it likely that there are no gods? Because gods as described by religions which have them (a) have visible, even obvious effects on the world and (b) want people to believe in them. (One or both is usually true even for deistic gods.) The lack of available substantive evidence suggests that either they aren’t both true, or there isn’t a god. Of course theology has reconciled this many times over, but not in ways with any evidential support behind them.

The evidence for atheism, in short, is the lack of available substantive evidence for gods when there probably should be a lot. On hearing that response, an apologist will probably retort in one of two ways:
1. Argue despite any clarification you make that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, in which case it’s helpful to remember that absence of expected evidence can indeed be evidence of absence, like the absence of any bat guano in your attic.
2. Actually present some supposed evidence for the existence of a god, in which case the discussion will then be about that.

In any case, the unanswerable question isn’t.

SmartLX

73 thoughts on “Evidence For Atheism”

  1. No, that’s just a link back to here. Maybe it’s a weird pingback from somewhere else, I don’t know.

    This is an example of how he uses his question, as he did when he called The Atheist Experience: with great repetition (if you can endure the whole 15 minutes over two parts, count as you go along), and strong resistance to any attempts to criticise or even analyse the question. This is to quiet any suggestion that the reason for not answering the question directly and immediately is not simply that the real answer is, “None.”

    That’s why I think a better way to engage such people is with a straight answer, any straight answer, for instance, “The apparent lack of evidence for gods.” If you get that far, the argument is then about why that is or isn’t evidence for atheism, and he’s out of the groove on his broken record and the exchange is less grating.

    Update: Turns out Shockofgod never actually called The Atheist Experience. He claimed he had, as shown here, but the recording linked above is from a Florida talk show unrelated to TAE. I apologise for propagating the false claim.

    At least one person has called TAE to ask Shockofgod’s question, though. This is a full recording of the most famous, if not the only, example. Shockofgod’s followers on YouTube have blatantly misrepresented the encounter, as you can easily see by searching YouTube for “shockofgod atheist experience”.

  2. I’d like to give a shout-out to Conservapedia user Ash243x, who referred to this piece as he criticised the same question in the Talk section of the Atheism article, and for his trouble was banned by the administrator Conservative.

    Whatever your personal stance on these matters, Ash, we salute you.

  3. I will have to be quick here as I have little time to answer yet feel compelled to comment.Your argument here is convincing yet equally week.

    1. You make the assumption god/a god wishes to leave evidence of existence for all to see.

    2. You fail to distinguish between religion and faith. Religion is a human construct and simply provides a platform for a particular group of people to come together based on their own position – religare “to bind”. This coming together of opinion may be seen in any group of people who wish to express an particular standpoint as a group. (Atheism itself fits this description). Faith is somewhat more personal.

    As I say I have little time and must now go, however I have enjoyed what little I have read on this site and if as you claim you are a student of science and thus non bias investigation I would look forward to a reply.

    Namaste

  4. Namaste to you too Jai.

    1. I simply use the premise that gods (as believers describe them) want people to believe in them. (Have you ever heard of a god who didn’t?) The two easiest, most straightforward ways to make this happen would be to present plain evidence for their own existence or to use their great power to manipulate people’s brains directly and make everyone believe.

    Neither has happened, so in order to explain the lack of evidence and the lack of universal belief apologists present various explanations, such as that God is testing our faith. I do not deny that one of these explanations may be true. I do however ask people to consider whether these explanations, which use the existence of a particular kind of god as a premise, are more likely overall than the much simpler explanation that there are no gods and believers are trying to rationalise.

    While the lack of evidence for gods is certainly not proof that atheism is justified, I do think it is evidence that supports this conclusion.

    2. My argument applies to individuals with their own beliefs as well as to religious groups which share common beliefs. As long as the beliefs themselves are essentially theistic, we can fairly safely assume that the gods in question (a) have great influence over the universe, and (b) desire our belief. These are the only two premises required by the argument.

  5. Hi LX

    Thank you for your reply.

    I would like to expand a little on my comment above if you would be so kind as to allocate a little further time to the discussion. First I think it important to clarify my position and current understanding of yours.

    I have never had a direct experience of God (I am certain this is also your position), however I have read and enjoyed reading many religious/spiritual texts of various kinds and engaged in many discussions with both, shall we say believers and non believers (I believe this to be true of you also). I have never met nor in any other way engaged with a supposed or self proclaimed prophet (I live in the UK and assume you live in the US so I am not sure on this one, you may have, as I am assuming you live in the US and in the land of the free there appears to be more of everything).

    The above assumptions accepted I can say that our only experience of God is via the religious works of organised and motivated tellers for want of a more appropriate description.

    My proposal is as follows: The teller has been contacted directly by God and by means of conversation or publication asserts his experience and subsequent message. We as spectators have no evidence for the tellers claims and no personal experience with which to corroborate such claims. Is it not the credibility of the teller which comes into question as opposed to that of the deity? Although we are confronted with yet another uncorroborated claim we are still left in a position of unknowing. After all, as you state, were it the wish of the omnipotent God for all to believe it would not be beyond such a God to make this so. Nor indeed would it be beyond the easily excited mortal to wish to share his experience with all he encounters. In short, perhaps God really does not mind if you or I believe at all.

    Assuming that the question of God exists prior to our encounter with the teller we are non the wiser and unable to assert any position with true confidence.

    Here is an example of a divinely indifferent god like figure I came across recently [could be slightly off topic but interesting non the less, if not only from the point of view of a phycologist]. http://www.illuminati-news.com/00363.html

    Your thoughts and or expansions are welcomed.

    Truly with the best wishes, J

  6. Hello again,

    Returning to my computer after being distracted from my thoughts by the world around me I would like to clarify the 2nd point of my original comment.

    The religious man requires support for his beliefs garnered via his chosen church/ism. The man of faith has no such needs and therefore most likely didn’t even enlighten us to his experience unless of course we were perceptive enough to ask the right question.

    I leave this open for now as I really am being pulled away…

    Thank you agin for your time. J

  7. Hi Jai.

    I’ve had no direct experience of God either (though I actually have had one or two people write to ATA claiming to be seers or prophets). Many believers, however, would say that you and I have experienced God in some way, but we denied it, repressed it or were so hardened by skepticism that we didn’t notice. It’s irrelevant, because this is merely a possible explanation for a lack of evidence, not positive evidence in and of itself.

    The idea of an indifferent god is also an alternative explanation for the lack of evidence and widespread revelations among heathens, but it’s slightly more powerful in context because I’m actually trying to make a positive case for the absence of gods. By my logic, an indifferent god is more likely to exist than a god who desires belief (though there’s still no evidence for one, and not likely to be any). That doesn’t matter very much, because very few people who believe in gods think those gods are indifferent. At worst, the argument applies to the gods in the vast majority of theist beliefs, and theist believers.

    The “Hidden Hand”, the Creator’s self-proclaimed mouthpiece interviewed in your linked article, claims several times not to care if people don’t believe him, but then he says things like, “If my presence here ends up benefiting just one Soul during the process, it will have been worth the effort.” His purpose is to get the message out to those chosen few who will believe him, which means the Creator who sent him really isn’t so “divinely indifferent”. In fact, the Hidden Hand only uses that phrase to refer to himself.

    Any divine revelation whatsoever, whether personal or written, is at least partly intended to increase human belief, because by its very nature it reveals the god’s presence. (It might be a private message telling a preacher to shut up, but of course we wouldn’t hear about that).

    In your extra post you hit upon a very important point: a man of faith does not need external support for his beliefs, or in other words does not care if his beliefs are unsupported. His faith does not therefore provide support or evidence for the rest of us, however valuable he might think his “testimony” is. The credibility of the witness is indeed at stake, because to retain his or her credibility the rest of us must accept not only the existence of a god, but the particular significance of the witness in that god’s eyes. As for the credibility of the god itself, it simply has none.

  8. Hello again,

    I have a few more points/clarifications for you to consider. Here we go.

    My role here is not to provide evidence for the existence of Gods or validate any prophet or teller, I simply dispute your stated evidence for Atheism.

    Since my proposal above states that the teller has had an experience and we have not, the question is the credibility of the teller for our sake as he has had the experience and needs no further support to convince himself. The use of the words “a man of faith does not need external support for his beliefs, or in other words does not care if his beliefs are unsupported.” Suggests that the teller has imagined the experience as opposed to him seeking external support, neither you nor I can possibly know this to be true. As an Atheist and in defence of your own beliefs you have branded the man as dishonest when in fact it is still possible he is simply unable to provide you with the same experience he has witnessed through no fault of his own in fact I am sure if he could he would provide you with such an experience nevertheless he cannot and should not consequently be automatically dishonest.

    Should yourself and the theist be brought to make the case for atheism and theism respectively at the very least the theist can call upon the eye witness account of the teller (in law the use of experts is common, neither the jury, defence, prosecution or indeed the judge are able to confirm or deny the evidence given by such an expert at the time of hearing due to the nature of being an expert and the specialist knowledge implied his credibility alone provided by virtue of his experience and/or qualifications validates his evidence for the purpose of the court. Of course in this example his testimony can be cross referenced at a later date). You in contrast bring no evidence whatsoever and your case stands or falls on the credibility of the teller.

    In this example the weight of evidence is clearly if favour of the theist although I agree it is not nearly enough to be conclusive.

    Assessing the credibility of a teller, prophet or scripture is little help in reaching a conclusion on the existence of God since the message if it exists at all is ripe for the misinterpretation, misrepresentation and manipulation of the messenger. The same can be said for any science based upon experimentation which you do not have the experience, equipment or understanding to reproduce for yourself.

    I think it would be fair to accept here that the atheist nor the theist has enough solid evidence to support his belief and both are based in faith.

    WIth love

  9. Jai, I’m not being quite as harsh on your “teller” as you seem to think. I don’t doubt that many like him honestly believe that they’ve experienced God. When I say his beliefs are unsupported, I mean externally; they’re not supported by any measurable evidence, i.e. anything he could actually share with someone else. He’s convinced, so from his own perspective he has support, but to others all he has is a story. He’s not lying or dishonest, it’s just that he may well be wrong.

    I disagree with your characterisation of the “teller” as an expert witness. By definition, an expert witness has qualifications or experience which are respected by the court and are independent of, and recognised prior to, the case being tried. This man’s experience is the case being tried, and if it cannot be corroborated then he cannot possibly be regarded as qualified before the trial even starts. He is merely a material witness, and his incredible claims would be treated with extreme skepticism in any courtroom. (Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but only an expert witness is presumed correct until proven wrong, and only in his/her chosen field.) With no hard or even circumstantial evidence, the case for theism would fall flat and the “counsel for the atheists” would not need to produce any contrary evidence.

    You must have known that I would reject the statement that atheism is a belief and a faith. Before I respond to this, would you please volunteer your definition of faith, and tell me exactly what you think atheists believe in?

  10. Hi LX

    Harsh you are ! Although I agree not without cause. If he is not a lier he is delusional or incompetent. A harsh judgement but surely fair given the implications of his claim.

    I feel I have more than confirmed my original assertion that your evidence is weak (not week as I previously mistyped).

    Your statement “…in order to explain the lack of evidence and the lack of universal belief apologists present various explanations, such as that God is testing our faith. I do not deny that one of these explanations may be true.”
    Agrees with my position. Also noted you think it less likely than the gods relating to the premises set out in your addressing the question of evidence. Nevertheless you accept the possibility which is enough to determine the evidence “weak” as opposed to “strong”. The credibility or indeed sanity of the prophet or teller remains the core of the argument.

    Yes I was certain you would reject the statement that atheism is a belief which is supported by faith. I was also certain that your response would be centred around the definitions of these two words. I am also, for the most part certain that I will not have the last word here for reasons I will come too in time.

    Rather than offer my definition I think it would be more fitting to explore the possible definitions so as to avoid the inevitable philosophical traps which such questions give rise to.

    In your preamble above you state the position of the atheist as;

    “The atheist position is that there is no available, substantive evidence for the existence of any god. Therefore it’s likely that there isn’t one.”

    This does not discount the possibility of a God rather it uses the assumption that absence of (expected) evidence is evidence of absence. I feel we have covered this in depth above.

    Your site however has a slightly expanded definition of Atheism each of which I will cover below:

    1. “Strong” Atheism the assertion that there is no God.

    2. “Weak” Atheism this is the position at first glance most aligned with your own stated definition for the purpose of your response to the question of evidence for atheism. To quote the nice man in the video “as far as I know there is no God”. (I hope the nice man is you its nice to put a face to name). “Weak” Atheism leaves sufficient room for a God to exist.

    Although Atheism has been described in terms of “weak” Atheism for the purpose of many a discussion, this broad definition applied elsewhere in language reveals its philosophical malleability for example as one philosopher wrote it would allow the space shuttle, dogs and cats to termed Automobiles given that they all propel themselves.

    So for the most part the commonly accepted definition of an Atheist is one who asserts there is in fact no God. Since there is no evidence his assertion is a belief. It is my understanding that this is the definition of Atheism which gives rise to the opening question on this page.

    That covered. Faith is simply the hope that a belief will at a later date be confirmed.

    (Just for fun, I hope not to upset you. The case of the Courtroom would most certainly not be lost for the theist as 90% of humanity believe in a God and therefore the Atheist has only a 1 in 10 chance of finding a judge sympathetic of his views. Which make the odds of finding sympathetic jury staggering. All irrelevant as the Atheist would be required to swear on the holy bible which the notion he later put forth would be nullified).

    And on to my assumption that I will not get the last word here. I base this on the understanding that belief is directly related to our actions in so much as we do not act unless we have faith our actions will be successful. Since your actions have been to actively seek and offer support from and for Atheists, I understand that there is a gain in this for you. Therefor I am for the most part convinced that your reasoning is derived only from your desire, hope or faith that in the end Atheism will prevail or indeed that you will prevail in supporting Atheism.

    If i am wrong and your have simply chosen Atheism as a lure to engage with people like me for the sake of mental masturbation as my uncle puts it then well done! (nothing wrong with a group w*nk, back to back of course).

    J

  11. Hi again Jai. It’s not so important to have the last word, but a reply of that magnitude deserves at least some acknowledgement.

    There’s a big difference between being wrong and being stupid, or clinically delusional. Many who think they’ve experienced God are smart enough to know how crazy they can sound when they talk about it, but are thoroughly convinced themselves and must speak what they think is the truth. I sympathise with these people.

    Likewise, there’s a big difference between being wrong and being dishonest. I maintain that a person can be both perfectly sane and honest, and yet believe mistakenly that God has paid him or her a visit. There is no reason why some intrinsic mental failing or weakness is required for this to occur; simply a set of extraordinary circumstances.

    I wouldn’t say that my argument is weak, which is what you originally said, because the point of the argument is merely that a god is not likely to exist. My evidence for the absence of gods (i.e. the lack of evidence for gods) is weak evidence in a way. It belongs in the category of circumstantial evidence; while it makes a clear inference, there are other possibilities (e.g. an indifferent god) which would explain the same evidence. It must therefore be weighed against those other possibilities in terms of probability, rather than establishing a fact on its own merit. Direct evidence would be better, but direct evidence of this particular negative would require an impossibly exhaustive search of the universe.

    I am by definition a “weak atheist”, as are most atheists. It’s unfortunate that the definition of “strong atheism” – a belief or assertion that there are no gods – is the more widespread definition of atheism in general. It misrepresents so many of us.

    My attempt to present positive evidence supporting atheism is above all a response to a particular amateur apologist’s annoying and semi-nonsensical question. If the implications of the lack of evidence for gods had enough of an impact on someone, it might push them towards “strong atheism”. That’s far from my goal, which was simply to argue that the odds are against conventional theism and that’s therefore the position that needs to present evidence.

    That’s a good point about the hypothetical trial, but while the judge is very likely to be a theist he isn’t nearly as likely to believe in exactly the same god as your witness. For the judge to be biased towards believing the witness, he or she would have to share the witness’ beliefs down to the denomination or the story would contradict the judge’s own faith. As for swearing in, many countries allow atheists to take an affirmation instead of a religious oath.

    I disagree with your definition of faith, if only because people can have faith in things they know will never be confirmed, for instance that particular people they don’t like will go to Hell. (In not all theologies can those in Heaven see into Hell.) I have a desire for atheism to “prevail” or at least spread, and I have confidence that it will do well based on its recent track record. Faith, to me, is belief without evidence, and faith with evidence is confidence. Belief only applies to atheism the same way it applies to any opinion; you believe in an opinion of which you’re not certain, but you can have good reasons to believe.

    I run the site for two reasons. Firstly, if there’s evidence or a good argument for a god I want to know about it, because it would be important to know. Secondly, it sucks when the minority you’re in has so many misconceptions and stigma attached, and here I can help to dispel them. One of the biggest misconceptions is that atheists have never considered any of the common arguments for God, and have no response to them. I put paid to that myth, as do many others.

    Finally, the nice man in the videos isn’t me. It’s Jake, who created both versions of the site.

  12. Hello again

    For the purpose of this reply the numbers I assign will deal with each paragraph in your previous reply. First however I will reveal my purpose in visiting your website which was to engage in a discussion which would demonstrate to my daughter that when unable to settle a dispute via reason and logic alone it becomes necessary for the unreasonable to resort to the dispute of definition of language used, to continue the defence of an assertion. I apologise if your feel I have mislead you here, were you to understand this I could not have succeeded. Nor could I have succeeded without your rather skilful assistance. I hinted at this purpose in my last post

    “Although Atheism has been described in terms of “weak” Atheism for the purpose of many a discussion, this broad definition applied elsewhere in language reveals its philosophical malleability for example as one philosopher wrote it would allow the space shuttle, dogs and cats to termed Automobiles given that they all propel themselves.”

    Interestingly this is the only area you have chosen not to respond to. I will expand below.

    2. Your sympathy is not required as you quite rightly assert the view that they are wrong is in the minority.

    3. I accept as a standalone statement. Applied to your wider argument and using one of your own tool for dispute the “extraordinary circumstances” imply unlikely. Given that your are the minority your require the majority to be a mixture of the extraordinary, mentally ill and dishonest.

    4. Here you use the “weak atheist” view or the broad definition. This stance allows you not to take any particular position until you have identified the most useful. A more accurate description of the weak atheist is the agnostic and is joined by the hypothetical weak theist who has a belief in God but understands he may be wrong. Both are without (sufficient) knowledge to make an assertion as to the existence or non existence of Gods or God.

    5. It is indeed unfortunate that the majority of philosophers are aware of the problems with broad definitions and for your purpose that the majority of Atheists are unaware of its power.

    6. Looking back over our discussion we have established that the main argument here is the credibility of the man who asserts he has direct evidence [a witness who testifies that he saw – take form your handy link] of God – The eye witness. Theism has your own definition of Direct Evidence and not just one eye witness but many.

    7. Here you expand the definition of theism to include any and all religions the more narrow definition refers to the monotheistic religions and so my odds are greatly increased.

    8. Here you have managed to argue with the dictionary definition of Faith and confidence http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/confidence http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/faith. Well done.

    9. Your reasons are truly the very best of reasons and I wish that your path brings you to your desired destination.

    10. Say hello to Jake for me I admire you both.

    I fully accept that according to my argument I have also been unreasonable also a requirement in order to explain this cunning use of broadening and narrowing definitions.

    In the spirit of the website I will now Ask the Atheist. I choose here not to respond to your answer please don’t think me rude after all we have been through. I have come to feel I would most likely very much enjoy your company, you have my email you are truly welcome to the benefits of my hospitality should you ever find yourself in England. I will read with interest any reply posted here but any further reply on my part could damage my relationship with my family who are all board to death of my musings.

    Much Love.

    J

  13. There’s rather a lot in there with which I disagree, and I’m sure you can see why, but since your purpose in this thread was apparently perpendicular to mine rather than directly opposed, I’ll let it lie and move on to the new question you’ve just sent through. Nice talking to you.

    That said, if anybody else thinks there’s something in Jai’s last email that I shouldn’t let stand, say so.

  14. God will not be needed if every phenomenon in this universe can be ultimately explained without invoking any kind of God. As science has not yet finished its job, so we are not yet in a position to declare that there is no God. There is at least one phenomenon in this universe that will forever defy natural explanation, and for which supernatural explanation will be needed. And it is this: Any entity placed within space and time cannot have any lack of space of time if it is not artificially deprived of them. But as per relativity theory we find that in case of light both space and time become non-existent for it, although it is not in any way artificially deprived of them. This can never be explained in a natural way, and here, and here only, we will need God.
    For further reading please see:
    i) Who will tell us how space and time are non-existent for light?
    (http://prespacetime.com/index.php/pst/article/view/436/434)
    ii) The Necessity of God & the Uncreated Whole
    (http://www.scigod.com/index.php/sgj/article/view/227/264)

  15. I agree that we’re in no position to declare with absolute certainty that there is no God, but as I’ve argued we can still say it with some degree of confidence.

    Space and time are not non-existent for light. Light moves across a set amount of space in a given amount of time. It has a tiny amount of weight, and thus is capable of exerting force on objects in spacetime. Light behaves in different situations as either a particle or a wave, either of which requires a presence in both space and time. Gravity bends light, so that for instance we can see stars behind Jupiter, which means light is affected by mass.

    When your source Himangsu S. Pal refers to the “values” of time and space becoming zero for light, he presumably means that time slows down for objects moving at close to the speed of light, until it hypothetically stops dead at the speed of light. The problem with this is that it’s impossible for anything but light itself (and related electromagnetic radiation) to actually travel at the speed of light, because it would take infinite energy to achieve. Even light itself doesn’t always travel at “the speed of light”; by simply shining it through a body of water or glass it’s possible to slow it to 65%-75% of its natural speed, which easily puts it at a speed where time affects it as it moves through space.

    So, time and space do exist for light, and Pal’s premise is not just apparently nonsensical but flat out wrong. His other argument about The Whole also rests upon it, so he’s got nothing. Even if Pal’s ideas about light were correct, all it would mean is that there was no explanation for its behaviour now, not that we would never find an explanation.

    Even if we did never find a natural explanation, God or a similar entity would only be necessary to explain the phenomenon, assuming He’s the only thing we’ve thought of that can. It wouldn’t mean that God actually exists or is the true reason for the phenomenon, because it’s always possible that there’s an alternative explanation we haven’t thought of, or aren’t capable of thinking of. We would still be inserting God into a gap and making an ultimately unsupported assumption. It’s far too early to think about doing that at this stage.

  16. You have written: So, time and space do exist for light, and Pal’s premise is not just apparently nonsensical but flat out wrong.

    So do you mean to say that space and time do never become non-existent for light, although Einstein’s equations show that they will become non-existent? If your answer is a yes here, then you should be bold and courageous enough to openly declare that Einstein’s theory of relativity is flat out wrong. Here you can say that space and time do become non-existent for light in ideal condition only and not in other cases, that is, only when light is traveling in a vacuum. But this position can neither be held. Michelson-Morley experiment trying to measure the relative motion of earth and ether with an interferrometer was conducted in normal condition, and not in ideal condition, that is, not in vacuum. But they got the null result. This experiment is called the most failed experiment in the history of science. Lorentz formulated some equations in order to explain the null result of Michelson-Morley experiment, and these equations are known as Lorentz’s transformation equations. This was in the year 1904. One year later we got the same equations from another scientist. He was none other than Albert Einstein. As Michelson-Morley experiment was conducted in normal condition, and as Lorentz’s equations were formulated to explain the null result of Michelson-Morley experiment and as Lorentz’s equations also show that space and time will become non-existent for light, so from all these we can conclude that in normal condition also space and time will become non-existent for light. So when light will travel from point A to some other point B, distance between A and B will become zero for light, but it will remain non-zero for others. This is the gist of the theory of relativity.

    I will request you to read another article by Dr. Sacha Vongehr in Science 2.0 (The Fundamental Nature of Light). He is an atheist and he is also a scientist. In one place he has written: “For the light itself, the whole universe is only zero millimeters long”.

  17. Thanks for pointing me to the article. So apparently, when light is actually travelling at the speed of light, it does not exist relative to itself, and it can’t otherwise be distinguished from its “relativistic contributions” so what we see is actually something intrinsic to relativity. Something related to light exists in some capacity, or we would see nothing. Einstein was right, but what he determined is only true in a specific case.

    So how does this affect your argument? You claim “This can never be explained in a natural way,” but in Vongehr’s article he mentions that both quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity offer their own explanations why it is so. Neither of these systems relies on anything supernatural, even if Einstein occasionally said poetic things about God. Even if this weren’t true, and we had absolutely nothing to say about it, it wouldn’t mean that we would never find a natural explanation. Pal’s premise may have some merit, but his conclusion is still wrong.

  18. Perhaps you have not understood the main point of my argument. Einstein’s equation shows that if any entity in our universe can attain certain specific speed (in this universe this specific speed is 300,000 km/sec. that happens to be the speed of light), then space and time will become non-existent for it. But what is the reason that attaining that particular speed will cause space and time not to exist? Einstein’s equations merely inform us about this very peculiar phenomenon, but it does not give us any explanation for it. Let us take any two points A and B in space and let us suppose that they are separated by an infinite distance. Now Einstein’s equation shows that even an infinite distance will also be reduced to zero for the light. So how are the two points in space having an infinite distance in between them brought so close together that they ultimately merge together and become one point in space? Does Einstein’s equation provide any explanation for it? No, it merely states the fact. That’s all. But we want this explanation from science.

  19. Einstein’s theory does provide explanations for a great many things, being after all one of our best attempts at a Theory of Everything, though I don’t know whether this phenomenon is something it explains or merely reveals. In subjects like this the reason why something is so can be easily conflated with the reason we discover it is so, or the two can be one.

    Regardless, at best you’ve only established that we don’t have an explanation for the phenomenon yet. As I’ve said all along, and Stenger wrote, you turn to the supernatural when there is no chance that an explanation will ever be found. How can you justify that claim here?

  20. There is no apparent or inevitable reason that space and time will have to be non-existent for the light. Actually there is no apparent or inevitable reason that space and time will have to be non-existent for any entity at all. They are not non-existent for any other entity of this universe. So it is quite reasonable to suppose that for the light also space and time could have been not non-existent. But in our universe we find that it is not so, that they are non-existent for the light, and that in consequence the light has the properties of spacelessness and timelessness. But these two properties of spacelessness and timelessness are actually the properties of The Whole. The Whole is defined in this way: It is that entity outside of which there cannot be anything; neither any space, nor any time, nor any matter. It is absolutely unnecessary here to know as to whether such an entity can, or does, actually exist. But it is sufficient to know that only this entity can have the properties of spacelessness and timelessness simply by default, that is, not from any outside source. The Whole is neither in space nor in time, because being The Whole it cannot have anything outside it. Thus it can have neither any space nor any time, and thus simply by default it is spaceless and timeless. Nothing else other than The Whole can be spaceless and timeless in this way. Now we can ask the following questions about the light: Is the light The Whole? Can we say about the light that there is nothing outside it? Can we say about the light that it is placed neither in space nor in time? Now we know very well that the answer to all these questions is a big ‘NO’. The light is only one entity among many other entities of this universe either created by someone, or originated from something. So the light can in no way be called The Whole, and therefore it cannot have the properties of spacelessness and timelessness simply by default. If we find that not being The Whole it still possesses the properties of The Whole, then we can conclude that it must have received these properties either directly from The Whole, or through some intermediate source that must have received these two properties from The Whole only, because The Whole only, and nothing else, can have these properties by default.

    So the phenomenon that space and time become non-existent for the light forces us to conclude that The Whole exists.

  21. If The Whole lacks space and time, then it is by default. That is, its cause lies within The Whole itself. But if the light lacks space and time, then that cannot be by default, because it is not the case that the light is neither in space nor in time. Therefore here the cause lies not within the light, but outside it.

  22. None of this has anything to do with establishing that we will NEVER know why light does what it does, which is the prerequisite (according to Pal’s quote of Victor Stenger) for invoking the supernatural. Therefore there is no need to do so.

    Meanwhile, you’ve sidestepped into another kind of argument completely. You appear to be attempting to establish a necessary outside cause for light, with a view to invoking God as that cause. Like the universe itself, though, the nature of the cause (if any) might share certain properties with what we understand a god to be, but that doesn’t make it an actual deity.

  23. Yes, you can always console yourself by hoping that one day science will definitely know why light does what it does. But that is only a hope, and nothing else than that. Because you do not know whether your hope will at all be fulfilled or not. It is like climbing a mountain peak. So long as you are not at the peak, you do not know whether you will be able to reach there. But once you have reached there, you know with certainty that you have done it.

    I can tell you one thing with full confidence. Even if scientists are given an eternity for finding a natural explanation for this mind-boggling case of light, they will never be able to find it.

    I do not know whether you have studied quantum theory. The funniest thing of all in quantum theory is the fact that without assuming that there were always the quantum laws when there was nothing at all, scientists cannot give any explanation for the origin of the universe. Will you please explain how this scientific world-view differs from the theistic world-view? In the theistic world-view it is assumed that when there was nothing, there was God, whereas in scientific world-view it is assumed that when there was nothing, there were the quantum laws. But nothing is said about the origin of these quantum laws. It is also not explained as to how there can be anything at all when there was nothing at all. So as per the theists there was always God and there will always be God, and as per the scientists there were always the quantum laws and there will always be the quantum laws. Therefore it seems that none of them, that is, neither the theists nor the scientists, can do anything without having something inexplicable in their respective world-view. And therefore we can further say that none of their world-view is better than the other. But in spite of that we cannot raise our voice against science, because we are living in an age of scientific hegemony. However I will like to give you one more information in connection with the above. The question “Who Created God?’ has already been answered By Himangsu S. Pal, and that can be read at : http://www.scigod.com/index.php/sgj/article/view/76/85, whereas the question “Who created Quantum Laws?” has not yet been answered by any scientist so far. So which one of the two world-views (or systems) appears better to you than the other, the one that has at its beginning the already-explained God, or the one that has at its beginning the inexplicable quantum laws?

    You have written: “Meanwhile, you’ve sidestepped into another kind of argument completely.” Atheists will claim that there is no proof or evidence for the existence of God. But when we will try to give any proof or evidence, we will have to get such remarks from them that we are sidestepping into another kind of argument completely. This is also nothing but one form of hegemony.

  24. Regarding the quantum laws, I have composed a piece, and I am presenting it here:

    In olden-golden days the saying was: When there was nothing, there was God. When there will be nothing again, there will still be God.
    But then came the scientists, and changed everything. The above saying also changed to this: When there was nothing, there were the quantum laws. When there will be nothing again, there will still be the quantum laws.
    These quantum laws are spaceless, timeless, changeless, immortal, all-pervading, unborn, uncreated, everlasting and immaterial. Only that these quantum laws lack consciousness.
    These quantum laws are spaceless, timeless and immaterial, because when there was no space, no time and no matter, there were still these quantum laws. (Alexander Vilenkin’s model)
    These quantum laws are all-pervading, because these laws act equally everywhere.
    These quantum laws are scientists’ God.
    Amen.

  25. I fail to understand why you refuse to understand one very simple thing. Nothing placed within space and time can have any lack of space and time if not forcefully or artificially deprived of them. This is true not only for light, but for each and every animate and inanimate entities placed within space and time, that is, placed within the universe. This is also true for human beings as well. Despite that if we now find that light lacks both space and time, then it can be said that its cause cannot be another entity placed within our universe. Let us suppose that entity A of our universe has caused space and time to not exist for light. Then the question will be: First of all what caused space and time to not exist for entity A? This question will arise for entity A also, because entity A is also placed within space and time. If we now say that entity B of our universe has caused space and time to not exist for entity A, then the question will merely shift from entity A to entity B now: First of all what caused space and time to not exist for entity B? In this way we will find that there is an infinite regression, and that there is no answer to our original question: What caused space and time to not exist for light? That is why I have written in my posting of December 8th, 2012 that “Even if scientists are given an eternity for finding a natural explanation for this mind-boggling case of light, they will never be able to find it.”

    If you do have money, then only you can give some money to somebody else if you so wish. But if you yourself do not possess any money, then how can you think of giving any money to others? Similarly we can say that if an entity does have some particular property, then only it is possible for that entity to cause another entity to have the same property. But if the entity itself does not possess that property, then how can it cause the second entity to have that property?

  26. Since you ask, Udaybhanu, the difference between positing the previous existence of quantum mechanics and positing the previous existence of a god is that we have evidence for the existence of quantum mechanics now. With no indication that the behaviour of that system has ever changed or ever will change, the simplest and most likely state of affairs is that it never has changed. Similarly, if we already knew there was a god based on available evidence, it would be reasonable to suppose he had a part in the development of the universe – but we don’t, so it isn’t.

    And yes, despite your derision, I stand by the statement that there is no available substantive evidence for the existence of any god. What you have is arguments, and excuses for not presenting evidence, not evidence itself, and what you have is not convincing. I’m curious, did Pal’s work convince you, or did you only discover it after you began to believe? Are you aware of any atheists it has convinced, besides any conversion claims by Pal himself?

    As explained in several rebuttals of the ontological argument for God, existence is not a property according to Kant, so some of your second-last paragraph may be misguided. Regardless, how do you or Pal know that nothing can be removed from space and time if not forcefully or artificially? What else do you know of that has been physically removed from space and time? Abstract structures like a person or a political party can cease to exist in this world, but the physical components of which they are made persist according to conservation of matter and energy. We have no precedent, and no way of knowing whether it needs an agency or even a cause – assuming, of course, that what quantum mechanics suggests about the existence of light is actually true.

    Finally, there are countless examples of an entity without a certain property giving that property to others, so I can’t think why you accept this idea. For example:
    – A person who is not dead can kill another person, given a motive.
    – A prisoner can free another prisoner while staying imprisoned, given the opportunity.
    – Radiation, or a radioactive object such as a fuel rod, does not have cancer but can cause it in living things.
    – A man can make a woman pregnant.
    – Water is not explosive or even flammable, but acts as the catalyst in several different explosive reactions.
    – A rock which is entirely round and blunt can be struck against another rock to create a primitive but very sharp stone knife, without becoming any sharper itself.

  27. God may be defined in this way: It is that inexplicable in a system, the existence of which is accepted by the upholders of that system without raising any question about its origin.

    If this definition is accepted, then we can say that quantum laws are scientists’ God, because scientists cannot give any explanation for their origin, but despite that they have to accept that these quantum laws were already there. But if atheists and scientists can ask the following question about God that “If God created the universe, then who created God?”, then we can also ask the same question about the quantum laws that “Who created these laws?”, or that “whence arrived these laws?” Who is supposed to answer these questions? Scientists? Or, theists?

  28. You have also written that so far I have given no evidence, but only some arguments. Now what sort of evidence do you want? Or, what sort of evidence will convince you that there is really a God? If I say that God-theory can actually predict something about the observable universe that has been verified and found to be correct, then will that convince you? Yes, God-theory can make total six predictions about the universe out of which four predictions have already been found to be correct. If God is imaginary, non-existent, then how can we make correct predictions about the universe from that imaginary God? Will you please explain?

    Here I will mention just one prediction out of six, and it is this: Traditionally God is said to be spaceless and timeless. Existence of such a spaceless and timeless being in this universe implies the relativity of space and time. Science has also found that space and time are not absolute, they are indeed relative. So here we see what God-theory predicts has been confirmed to be correct by the scientists.

    About traditional God it is being said that He is spaceless, timeless, changeless, immortal, all-pervading, unborn, uncreated, everlasting, without having a beginning, without having an end and not composite. Pal has shown that all these attributes of God can be scientifically explained with the help of Einstein’s special theory of relativity. If God is really imaginary, then is it not nonsensical on the part of the scientists to offer us a theory that can explain God? Are these scientists not contradicting themselves here? Are they conscious that there is such a big contradiction ( or a big hole) in their scientific world-view ? Are they conscious that their science is not fully God-proof? Are they conscious that their science is not against God, but rather supportive of God? Yes, if we find that with the help of a scientific theory we can scientifically explain God, then we will say that science is supportive of God.

  29. You have written: “Regardless, how do you or Pal know that nothing can be removed from space and time if not forcefully or artificially?” Here you have totally misrepresented my point. So your next question is also a misrepresentation of what I have intended to say: “What else do you know of that has been physically removed from space and time?” Actually what I have written is this: Nothing placed within space and time can have any lack of them if not forcefully or artificially deprived of them. So here there is no question of the removal of anything (here, the light) from space and time. The light remains within space and time, but the thing is that they become non-existent for the light. You place an infinite space in front of the light, but due to some mysterious reason this infinite space will be reduced to zero for the light, as a result of which the light will have ultimately no space to exist. What is true for space is also true for time. So it is a fact that space and time cannot exist for the light. But what is the reason that they cannot exist for the light only whereas they can, and do, exist for each and every other entity placed within our universe? How will the scientists explain this most extraordinary, absurd and bizarre fact about the light?

    Yes, it is true that the scientists have found that there are quantum laws in our universe. But from the mere fact that there are quantum laws in the universe, how do they jump to the conclusion that these quantum laws are eternal? Are these scientists pretending to be all-knowing God?

  30. I reject your definition of a god. It might work for a deistic god, but a theistic god is required to do more than serve as an origin and universal explanation. A theistic god intervenes, and generally has a personality of some sort.

    In any case, scientists do not assume quantum mechanics have always existed. The idea that they have is one possibility, which appears likely (because, as I said, they exist now and do not appear to ever change) but is far from confirmed or taken as read. The question of the origin of quantum mechanics (if any) is still very much open. Scientists are in no hurry to have an answer to that question which is unsupported by evidence, as with any question. If you MUST have an answer now, you might say it was God, but you couldn’t then back it up.


    A prediction is defined as a fore-telling. “God-theory” did not predict any part of the theory of relativity except by coincidence, or a theologian would have been credited with its discovery instead of Einstein. Rather, elements of theology have been shoehorned into similar concepts already discovered by scientists, in the hope that they will appear prescient.

    Of your six predictions, do the formal, factual descriptions of any of them pre-date the scientific discoveries which supposedly confirm them, or are they all just shoehorned woo cobbled together after the fact? I’ve gone into predictions and prophecies in some detail here, and #4. Shoehorned is a common reason why many of them fail as persuasive evidence for divine foreknowledge. Theology shoehorned into relativity and quantum sounds more impressive than saying that Isaiah 40:22 predicted the spherical Earth, but it’s no more convincing if you don’t already believe.

    If unicorns existed, they could be explained very simply using evolutionary theory: perhaps a species of horse or pony was isolated during the last ice age, and a predilection for headbutting caused it to slowly develop a horn, like a rhinoceros or a narwhal. So you see, the fact that a hypothetical entity can be explained by science does not at all support the idea that it exists; it merely makes for a useless but diverting intellectual exercise.

    You’ve missed my point about light too, you know. You write, and this time I quote directly, “Nothing placed within space and time can have any lack of them if not forcefully or artificially deprived of them.” Okay, how do you know that? How do you know, for example, that something placed within space and time can’t also lack them if naturally deprived of them? Light naturally travels at “the speed of light”, after all, so whatever is happening seems to occur quite naturally. The phenomenon remains unexplained, but there is no indication that the real reason has to have anything to do with intelligent agents or the supernatural.

    Besides, it must be said, to claim not only that the world’s scientists will never find a satisfactory explanation, but that you already have one, is the very height of hubris.

  31. I have written that God-theory can make at least six predictions out of which only four have already found to be correct. So it appears that there are at least two predictions that predate scientific discovery, because no scientific discovery has yet been made that can confirm that these predictions are correct. Here I am giving the list of all the six predictions (The list is compiled from various writings of Pal):

    a) Space and time must be found to be relative (For this the reason is that God is spaceless and timeless, that is, for God space and time are unreal whereas for us human beings they are very much real);
    b) Time must have to be unreal by some means or other (Here the reason is that God is timeless);
    c) Immortality must be found to be written somewhere, in some scientific theory or law or equation (In this case the reason is that God is immortal);
    d) Distance from any point of space to every other point of space will be zero (Here the reason is that God is spaceless and all-pervading at the same time);
    e) Volume of the entire universe must be found to be zero (Here the reason is the same as that of d) above); and
    f) Everything in this universe must be ultimately reducible to one thing (Here the reason is that God is one).

    Out of these six predictions first four of them have already been found to be correct. But for the last two we cannot say so. So you cannot say about these last two predictions that they have been “shoehorned woo cobbled together after the fact”. About the second prediction also you cannot say that it has been shoehorned woo cobbled together after the fact, that is, here the prediction has not been made after knowing the fact. This is because here the fact was already known to the mystics. All the mystics all over the world had repeatedly and unanimously said about time that it was unreal. So in only three cases above your objection is valid, but in the other three cases it does not apply.

    Let me discuss just one prediction here. If God is really there, then there is some sort of timelessness in this universe, because we say that God is timeless. If there is timelessness in this universe, then we can legitimately expect that there will be some explanation for this timelessness also. And we find that there is really such an explanation. Science has shown that at the speed of light time does really stop, and in this way a state of timelessness can be reached.

  32. Ah, so the six predictions were in fact formalised and disseminated by Pal himself. According to Pal’s self-made bio, he only started seriously writing about God and what you call “God-theory” in 1970, more than 30 years after quantum theory and more than 50 years after Einstein’s general relativity. Therefore, nothing he wrote predicted any element of either one; he merely described God in terms reminiscent of the scientific theories, such that exotic facts about the universe also applied to his hypothetical God.

    Incidentally, it appears from the same bio that Himangsu S. Pal’s sometime pseudonym is Udaybhanu Chitrakar. Either you are Pal, praising yourself in the third person with a sockpuppet, or you’re an anonymous fan who’s adopted the same name online to support him. You might want to clear that up for us.

    Regardless, concerning your chosen prediction: firstly, a timeless God need not have caused any timelessness at all in the universe (we thought everything was affected by time until last century, despite mostly believing in eternal gods). Secondly, the existence of timelessness in the universe does not imply the existence of any particular type of timeless entity, let alone a creator god, any more than the existence of matter implies its deliberate creation. This is an example of imbuing a hypothetical God with an exotic quality shared by real phenomena in an attempt to draw a line of causality.

  33. You have written: “Therefore, nothing he wrote predicted any element of either one; he merely described God in terms reminiscent of the scientific theories, such that exotic facts about the universe also applied to his hypothetical God.”

    So you mean to say that God-theory has been entirely built up based on the existing scientific theories as currently known to us, and that there is nothing new in it. Therefore you also mean to say that existing scientific theories have already shown that volume of the entire universe is zero, and that everything in this universe is ultimately reducible to one-thing. This is because God-theory makes these two predictions also. So will you please explain which particular existing scientific theory has already shown that volume of the entire universe is zero, and which particular existing scientific theory has already shown that everything in this universe is ultimately reducible to one-thing? This is because I do not know of any such theory that has shown these things. So if you do know, please enlighten me also.

    Regarding time, I think you do not know all the facts. Or, it may be the case that you know the facts, but you are deliberately trying to suppress the facts. So I will have to write in some details on this subject, and it may take some time.

  34. Udaybhanu, or Himangsu or whoever you are, perhaps I should have said nothing in Pal’s work predicted any known element of relativity or quantum. The predictions he claims have been confirmed were facts already known before the specific predictions were made. The predictions which have not yet been confirmed may instead be purely made up, or semi-educated guesses based on science, scripture or both. Regardless, until they are confirmed, they are not evidence for or against the existence of a god. They are speculation, and may be untestable.

  35. Still haven’t got a straight answer on whether you’re him, but anyway…what if the reason that space and time are relative is the very nature of spacetime itself? Pal assumes that the cause is some entity which had to act upon space and time, despite the fact that this isn’t at all assured. To some extent he presumes the external agent he is trying to establish as necessary. This is terrible logic, even if you try to label it transcendental or presuppositional.

  36. You have written: “what if the reason that space and time are relative is the very nature of spacetime itself?”

    No, space and time are not relative due to their very nature. You can ask any physicist and he will say that it is due to a very peculiar property of light that space and time are relative in the universe. Speed of light always appears to be the same from whichever frame of reference it is observed. If a car is running at a speed of 80 km/hr, and if another car follows it at a speed of 60 km/hr, then the second car will see the first car fleeing from it at a speed of 20 km/hr only. If the second car increases its speed, then eventually it can overtake the first car at some time. But in the case of light the picture is entirely different. Light has a speed of 300,000 km/sec. Now let us speculate that someone is following a light beam at a very high speed of 200,000 km/sec. I know that it is almost impossible to attain such a high speed, but I have already said that it is just a speculation. Now here one may think that the person will see the light fleeing from him at a speed of 100,000 km/sec only. No, it is entirely wrong. The person will always see the light fleeing from him at a constant speed of 300,000 km/sec. The person may increase his speed to 200,000 km/sec, to 250,000 km/sec, or to any speed still higher and higher; but in every case the picture will remain the same, light always fleeing from him at a constant speed of 300,000 km/sec. Due to this very peculiar property of light space and time in our universe are relative. Therefore if the presence of light is the cause that makes space and time relative, then light must have to be present prior to the moment space and time originated from the big bang.

  37. Light is a product of matter; it must emanate from something. Therefore light cannot have preceded the matter in the universe. It could have come about at the moment of the Big Bang, at the same time as all the matter did, or immediately afterwards. Therefore the relativity of space and time would be due to the nature of space, which is that it has matter in it. If time and space were not relative at the moment of the Big Bang, or they were relative FROM that instant, how would you be able to tell?

    Even if light did exist in some form before the beginning of the present universe, it would not establish that there was also a god there. It would establish that there was light, and there would be no known explanation. That would not be a reason to jump to the conclusion of a divine origin, which itself would be even harder to explain.

  38. If light was not already present at the moment when space and time originated from the big bang, then they were not relative from the very moment of their existence. This much has been said, and nothing else has been suggested. So either scientists will have to modify the theory of relativity a bit, saying that space and time were not always relative; or they will have to admit that there is a transcendental cause that makes space and time in our universe relative. I cannot guess what the scientists will ultimately do, but I can at least show that it would be logically incorrect to say that space and time were always relative without at the same time positing a transcendental cause for their relativity.

  39. That’s the thing, though: if light is a natural property of spacetime via the matter it contains, it can have existed from exactly the same moment as spacetime did (if linear time is actually applicable at that point). So there’s no need for anything to change as a result of Pal’s argument, or you would think this would be a much larger conversation than him and the few who bother to listen.

  40. “In physical cosmology, the photon epoch was the period in the evolution of the early universe in which photons dominated the energy of the universe. The photon epoch started after most leptons and anti-leptons were annihilated at the end of the lepton epoch, about 10 seconds after the Big Bang. Atomic nuclei were created in the process of nucleosynthesis which occurred during the first few minutes of the photon epoch. For the remainder of the photon epoch the universe contained a hot dense plasma of nuclei, electrons and photons. About 380,000 years after the Big Bang the temperature of the universe fell to the point where nuclei could combine with electrons to create neutral atoms. As a result, photons no longer interacted frequently with matter, the universe became transparent and the cosmic microwave background radiation was created and then structure formation took place.”

    The about quote is from Big bang Timeline (Photon Epoch). It can be searched from Google. So as per above, photon epoch began 10 seconds after the big bang, and it lasted for 380,000 years. So it is not correct that space, time and light emerged almost simultaneously from the big bang. There was at least a gap of 10 seconds.

  41. Leptons are the group of particles which includes electrons, which also travel at the speed of light and therefore effect the same relativity as photons.

    Regardless, even if there wasn’t something traveling at the speed of light at the instant of the big bang and the theory of relativity had to be revised as a result, it still wouldn’t necessitate a god. Relativity would be a product of the very early properties of the universe instead of its initial properties, and therefore an emergent property of the universe, and that would be that. Otherwise, space and time were always relative for some other reason besides light, and there’s no reason to jump to the conclusion that it was a god.

  42. How do you come to know that electrons travel at the speed of light? You should have a knowledge of some basic physics at least.

    However, I have put the question to NASA scientists. There is a website “Ask the Astrophysicist” where any question regarding the origin of the universe and other relevant topics can be put up. But getting a reply from them generally takes two to three weeks’ time. Up till then we will have to wait.

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