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Are Singularities a Part of Science?

Denyse O'Leary
Photo source: Science Uprising.

In the “Does God Exist?” debate at Theology Unleashed between theist neurosurgeon Michael Egnor and atheist broadcaster Matt Dillahunty (September 17, 2021), we now look at questions from the audience on whether singularities are really a part of science and whether atheism is really a belief system that can make predictions.

Note: Singularities are like the Big Bang or black holes. They involve concepts like zero and infinity that don’t really work as operators in typical math tasks. That confounds the mathematics in which scientists express ideas.

Readers may recall that the debate opened with Egnor explaining why, as former atheist, he became a theist. Then Dillahunty explained why, as a former theist, he became an atheist. Michael Egnor then made his opening argument, offering ten proofs for the existence of God. Matt Dillahunty responded in his own opening argument that the propositions were all unfalsifiable. When, in Section 4, it was Egnor’s turn to rebut Dillahunty, Dillahunty was not easily able to recall Aquinas’ First Way (the first logical argument for the existence of God). Then, turning to the origin of the universe, Egnor challenged Dillahunty on the fact, accepted in science, that our universe began in a singularity (where Einstein’s equations break down). He accused Dillahunty of using science as “a crutch” for his atheism. Then they discussed the Second Oldest Question (after “Why is there something rather than nothing?”) If there is a God, why is there evil?

And then, what is the true origin of our sense of morality? Besides, what if Dillahunty isn’t really an atheist anyway? Egnor has come to doubt that. Egnor and Dillahunty then took questions. The questions included a perennial, Why is there evil?, once again, and Egnor defended the traditional view that evil is the absence of good. And how can God show both justice and mercy without contradiction? But now … the new questions …

A partial transcript, notes, and links to all previous portions of the debate follow:

At this point, podcast host Arjuna Das is taking questions from the audience:

Arjuna: Question for Michael. What scientific paper mentions or declares supernatural things, like your assertion on singularities, as part of a hypothesis of science? [01:58:30]

Michael Egnor: Every scientific paper that gives a mathematical description of singularities with the field equations of general relativity — because singularities in the field equations of general relativity are areas, are circumstances, in which the equations blow up. They go to infinity. Singularities are mathematical expressions in those equations. So any paper that has singularities or that discusses or describes singularities in the field equations of general relativity is discussing extra-natural objects. [01:59:30]

Read the rest at Mind Matters News, published by Discovery Institute’s Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence.