Welcome to Tuesday Morning Apologetics (TMA). We’re talking about the Kalam Cosmological Argument (KCA):
1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.
Our focus is now on the second premise of the KCA. Which has lead us to a little excursus exploring a challenge to Naturalism. It’s the difficulties presented with the idea that there is an actually infinite number of Events occurring during any Finite Interval AND we are able to traverse them all. Thus, moving on to the next Finite Interval.
Last week I gave a list of ways to avoid the problems I presented in Parts 2 and 3 of this series (obviously, anyone is allowed to add to the list. Those are just the ones I came up with). I should also mention that these problems are the kinds that can't be ignored. They need to be addressed somehow in order for a worldview to be viable. And that’s where I think Naturalism struggles.
Let’s look at the first way to avoid the problems.
1. Finite Intervals do not contain an infinite number of Events.
First of all, it has yet to be demonstrated that in our Physical World there are a finite number of Events contained in any Finite Interval. We are now able to watch photons, or light particles, moving through space in slow motion and there doesn’t seem to be any “jumps” we get when we look at a movie or a video game, for example, in slow motion or frame by frame. To get a sense of what I’m talking about you should consider watching the YouTube videos I’ve provided in the SOURCES below. My fellow gamers will probably get more out of this reference than others.
When playing fast paced games requiring quick reactions, the ideal “frame rate” is 120 Frames per Second (FPS). A “frame” is a still image. When the still images are different than the previous one(s), we get motion. Just like a flip book(1). To say that a game is running at 30 FPS means that the monitor or TV is showing 30 still images every second. If we’re talking about 120 FPS, then we’re talking about 120 still images every second. The higher the FPS, the smoother the motion. For the purposes of this illustration, “frames” are like “Events”.
There are a few reasons why I brought up the "speed of light in slow motion" thing. The first reason is because we are looking at those photons at 1 trillion FPS. If the Events occurring in reality every second were fewer than 1 trillion FPS, then we would never be able to get to photograph things at 1 trillion FPS.
But let's just say that we somehow figured out a way. If we could, then when we watched the video we would see the photons in the same location for some number of frames and then we would see the photons jumping to a new location then staying motionless for a number of frames and then jump again to stay motionless for a number frames and so on. It would be a series of jumps, no smooth transition.
The second reason, light is ideal for thing for doing this kind of investigation because it’s the fastest thing in the universe. Generally, the faster something is moving, the bigger the difference is seen between frames. Unless there are a ton of frames per second, which appears to be the case so far with the number of Events in reality.
Basically, at the very least, we know that the physical world can run up to 1 trillion Events per second. And there’s no evidence yet (as far as I know) to suggest that there is a finite number of Events.
What if it had been shown that there are a finite number of Events? On Naturalism, how does this come about? What physical process determines which Events exist and which do not? Is there something that makes it physically necessary that there be only a finite number of Events? What about the Intermediate Value Theorem?
We know the frame rates for video games are dependent on two main things:
1. System hardware.
2. How well the game code is optimized and developed for graphics performance.
Both of those things are beyond the game itself. Game motion and frame rates point to things that transcend the game. Naturalism is limited to the “game” that is our Physical World. And proud of it. But, if it were to be the case that we discover that there are a finite number of Events contained in any Finite Interval, it would only go to point beyond the Physical World. It would only go to further undermine the explanatory power and scope of Naturalism. Therefore, our first way to avoid the problems in Part 2 and Part 3 undermines Naturalism. But, what about the second way to avoid the problems? That’s for next week.