Friday, September 23, 2011

Faster than the speed of light

By now, you've heard about the physicists in Europe who measured the speed of some neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light. There are lots of articles I could've linked to, but this one mentions time travel, and I want to talk about that.

Somebody on facebook asked if it had any implications for arguments for the existence of God. I'm not qualified to answer that question, so I'm going to answer it. That's just the way I roll. I'm a blogger.

Up until now, the word on the streets has been that it's impossible for anything to move faster than the speed of light. There are good reasons for this, which I have read in physics books and which I can't explain from memory. I've glossed over some non-academic and unreliable sources on the internet that say that if it's possible for something to move faster than the speed of light, then time travel is possible. That's what the article seems to be saying that I linked to above. If that's so, then it could spell disaster for the kalam cosmological argument. Lemme explain.

The kalam cosmological argument depends on the A theory of time (i.e. the tensed theory, the dynamic theory, etc.). Backward time travel is not possible on the A theory of time because there's no past to travel back to. Backward time travel is only possible on the B theory of time (i.e. the tenseless theory, the static theory, etc.). So if backward time travel is possible, then the B theory must be true. And if the B theory is true, then the kalam cosmological argument is not sound.

But one could argue backwards. If backward time travel were possible, then it would result in all kinds of paradoxes. But paradoxes like those that would result from backward time travel are not really possible, which means that backward time travel is not possible. But backward time travel WOULD be possible if the B theory of time were correct. Since backward time travel is not possible, the B theory of time cannot be correct. So the kalam cosmological argument could still be sound. One could go on to argue that if neutrinos could move faster than the speed of light, then time travel would be possible, but since time travel is not possible, neutrinos cannot move faster than the speed of light.

Physics. It messes with your head. It'll be interesting to see what happens, 'cause you know this experiment is going to have to be repeated.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Craig, Dawkins, Loftus, and sometimes White

John Loftus wants to debate William Lane Craig, but Craig won't debate Loftus for what seem to Loftus to be lame reasons. William Lane Craig wants to debate Richard Dawkins, but Dawkins won't debate Craig for what probably seem to Craig to be lame reasons. So here's my solution. I think Loftus should approach Dawkins and say, "Hey, I want to debate Craig, but he won't debate me, and Craig wants to debate you, but you won't debate him. So let's go talk to Craig and say, 'Bill, we have a proposal for you. Dawkins will agree to debate you if you will agree to debate Loftus. That's fair, isn't it?'"

Maybe we can find some way to work James White into it as well, because White would like to debate Craig on Molinism. Craig doesn't debate his fellow Christians, though. He debated Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan who both consider themselves to be Christians, but I guess Craig doesn't consider them to be real Christians. I wonder if Craig would ever debate a Mormon. Considering the fact that he contributed a chapter to The New Mormon Challenge, which was subsequently responded to by Blake Ostler, he ought to be willing to debate a Mormon. And considering how many times Craig has attacked Calvinism, it seems like he ought to be willing to debate the issue.

White would also like to debate Norman Geisler. Why aren't deals being made? Surely we just need to find the right incentive to make these debates happen. I don't think Geisler will debate anybody, though. I saw his debate with Ferrell Till a long time ago, and it did not go well for Geisler. I don't think Geisler is cut out for debating.

Personally, I would love to debate Bill Craig. Even though I'd probably get stomped, Craig is a nice fellow, and it would probably be really interesting and fun. Plus, Craig is always crystal clear, which I think would make him an ideal debating partner. I hate having to struggle to understand what somebody is saying. I'd hate to debate James White, though. James White would probably just want to make me look stupid. And since he has such an unpleasant and abrasive personality, I don't think I'd enjoy debating him even if I was the winner. I'm not sure I'd want to debate Dawkins for the same reason. Dawkins is rude and condescending, and I can't stand people like that. Just reading his anti-Christian diatribes is like fingernails down a chalkboard to me. It seems like if he really wants to rescue Christians from their ignorance, he wouldn't write that way. It makes people lose interest in his arguments and not even want to read them.