As you may recall, in The God Delusion Richard argued that the “First Cause” argument is intellectually bankrupt, for it doesn’t explain the “cause” of a complex God who could create everything. In response, the dimmer or more mendacious theologians say that God isn’t complex at all, but simple. (Some theologians, however, just punt and say that God is the One Thing that Doesn’t Need a Cause.) It is this “simple god” argument that Dawkins takes apart halfway through the video. And, of course, even if God were simple, his appearance in the cosmos still needs an explanation. It just won’t do to say that God is the one thing, among all other things, that doesn’t need a cause. If he was hanging around forever, pray tell us, O theologians, what he was doing before he created the Universe.If he just said that theologians cannot explain the cause of God, then I would agree.
Finally, physics has dispensed with the idea of causation; the discipline has no such thing as “a law of cause and effect,” and some physical phenomena are simply uncaused.
But then the argument is that God requires a causal explanation, and then nothing else does!
How could Dawkins and Coyne think that "physics has dispensed with the idea of causation"? Does some textbook say that?
All my textbooks say that events are caused by events in the backward light cone, with causation propagated by differential equations.
All of our modern science theories are based on causality. From what we know, everything has causes that are earlier in time.
If you ask what caused the big bang, then no one has a good answer for that. You can say that there is no singularity. You can say that the singularity had no cause. You can say that the big bang is just an energy release in some larger multiverse. You can say God caused it. You can say turtles caused it. You can say a lot of things, but the subject is so far removed from the domain of established science that it is all just wild speculation.
Dawkins' speech was at something called the "2016 Reason Rally". Those guys must have a funny idea about what "reason" is.
Neil deGrasse Tyson now says that he does not call himself an "atheist" because that term is now understood to include various other ideologies. He has a point. If you called yourself a Baptist, then people would expect you to have views in line with the big Baptist organizations, rather than expect you to conform to some dictionary definition. Likewise atheist is not just someone who denies God, according to many today.
Meanwhile, Scott Aaronson posts a Trump-hating rant:
From my standpoint, Hillary does have four serious drawbacks, any one of which might cause me to favor an alternative, were such an alternative available: ...One of his arguments is that Trump proposed a temporary ban on Muslim immigration.
Again, though: I regard Trump as an existential threat to American democracy and rule of law, of a kind I’ve never seen in my lifetime and never expected to see.
No, Islam is the existential threat, and Trump recognizes that. Aaronson posted that before the recent gay bar shooting.
Here is more Trump-hating:
Ms. Whitman, according to one of the people present, did not stop at comparing Mr. Trump to Hitler and Mussolini.Okay, maybe Islam and the Trump-haters are the existential threats.