[1923 - 2018]
[ Author Bio ]
Creationist interpretations of contemporary physical cosmologies offer pseudo-explanations.
In Grünbaum (1989, 374, 390), I objected to Narlikar's (1977, 136-137) designation "event of 'creation'" for a supposed first cosmic instant t = 0, which he imports into the big bang cosmology of the general theory of relativity (GTR). Narlikar (1992, 361-362) does reject a theological construal of the creation." But, endeavoring to justify his secular creationism, he now points out that, in the GTR, the usual derivation of matter-energy conservation from Hilbert's stationary action principle cannot be extended to include the putative first instant t = 0. Narlikar reasons that this "breakdown" in the derivation of energy conservation at t = 0 qualifies the putative initial event as the "creation event." I argue that this inference is multiply fallacious.
In this hard-hitting article, Grünbaum critically evaluates the persistent claim that theism can help solve moral crises while secularism only exacerbates them. More specifically, Grünbaum considers two theistic claims: (1) theism is normatively indispensible for the acceptability of moral imperatives; and (2) theistic belief is motivationally necessary, as a matter of psychological fact, to assure such adherence to moral standards as there is in society at large.
"I conclude that neither the big bang cosmogony nor the steady-state cosmology validates the traditional cosmological argument for divine creation. But, as we see, that argument dies hard."
William Lane Craig's kalam cosmological proof, Grünbaum argues, "disingenuously makes much of a relativistically impermissible Big Bang model" in order to generate the metaphysical intuition that "out of nothing, nothing comes", which he needs in order to make his proof cogent.
In earlier writings, I argued that neither of the two major physical cosmologies of the twentieth century support divine creation, so that atheism has nothing to fear from the explanations required by these cosmologies. Yet theists ranging from Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes and Leibniz to Richard Swinburne and Philip Quinn have maintained that, at every instant anew, the existence of the world requires divine creation ex nihilo as its cause. Indeed, according to some such theists, for any given moment t, God's volition that the-world-should-exist-at-t supposedly brings about its actual existence at t.