The Instigator
Con (against)
8 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Does the Universe have a scientific justification for a 'beginning'?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/28/2011 Category: Science
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,397 times Debate No: 19544
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
Votes (3)




The first round will be as usual, as acceptance, and the rest of the rounds will follow suit in normal debate fashion and structure.

As the instigator of this debate, I would like to clear up some key issues that will serve as fundamental benchmarks throughout this debate:
First, the definitions of the following:
1> Beginning: As a start; commencement [1]
2> Universe: As the totality of known or supposed objects and phenomena throughout space; the cosmos; macrocosm. [2]

For the whole of this debate, the following will always be presupposed and assumed in construction of points:
1> This debate does not concern itself in any form with the interpretative values of religion, or concern itself with God in any form. The principles and values as debated in this round will not infringe upon personal beliefs concerning religion, but as according to scientific justifications.
2> The 'Universe' as imposed in this resolution will refer not to the existence of our known time or space of being, but exactly according to the definition, and referring to the whole of the cosmos itself; not the present condition, but the conceptual value of the 'universe'.
3> For the basis of arguments, it is agreed upon that the KCA will not sufficiently provide for the justification or fundamental premises for any argument; we look to not whether or not it is probable that it has a cause, but whether or not the 'universe' itself has a beginning.

As these will be extended for all rounds in the purpose of this debate, I eagerly await my opponent, and wish PRO the best wishes.




I would like to thank my friend, EthanHuOnDebateOrg, for instigating this debate. "Deos the Universe have a scientific justification for a beginning" is an important question I answer with an astounding yes.

I am not going to argue what that beginning is or was, nor will I argue that it was G-d. All what I simply will do is show that the universe had a cause, and thus had a beginning.


Since I am claiming that the universe not only has a scientific justification, I technically have the Burden of Proof. However, this round is for acceptance ONLY so I shall follow the rules as CON wished.

Debate Round No. 1


I appreciate my opponent's acceptance, and look forward to an interesting and eventful debate with my friend, Mr. Infidel.

As I have already specified for the rules in the context for this debate and resolution, scientific justification itself will be the premises for which arguments may be judged, and furthermore, must be tangible in their correlation. By imposing such a regulation, I merely hope to develop a different outlook upon this subject, which is so commonly debated with logical justification providing for the basis of points. I hope that PRO will agree to such terms, and now will introduce a few points of consideration as points.

Again, I feel it necessary to reinstate an objective fact as such: that showing that the universe had a cause, or a beginning, falls sadly short of what the specifications of this debate explicitly state, unless it is by a form of TANGIBLE scientific justification, for which present day physics or quantum mechanics may provide premises for. Looking to Pro's statement: "I am not going to argue what that beginning is or was, nor will I argue that it was G-d. All what I simply will do is show that the universe had a cause, and thus had a beginning.", I thus feel it absolutely imperative for both sides of this debate to establish such an agreement for the debate, for otherwise there exists no point to such a debate.


Ineptitude of Quantum Mechanics/General Relativity; 'Planck Time'
Now, when looking to the assertion of whether or not our 'universe' has a beginning, we look to a few fundamental, yet key issues when providing for scientific justification. Special relativity and quantum mechanics can be unified, but there is no satisfactory synthesis of general relativity and quantum mechanics; this provides the intrinsic obstacle to justification of the 'beginning' of the universe.

In order to provide for any form of scientific justification, we must first have it in our inherent capacity to make accurate assertions about the beginning of the universe. Yet, the basis of all quantum mechanics as well as general relativity theories reaches to a specific moment from where there may be no adequate or accurate predictions about the occurrences beyond: 'Planck Time'. Max Planck devised the original quantum theory about 1900 to explain spectrums of black bodies, from which resulted his fundamental constants of Planck density and Planck time.

The Planck density, dPI, and the Planck time, tPI, are defined in three fundamental constants of nature, Planck's constant h, the gravitational constant G, and the velocity of light c. Now without venturing further into quantum mechanics, we can immediately already find the basic issue for which justification falls short: the Planck time is about 10 to the -43 power seconds short of the beginning of the universe.

Indeed, all of cosmological science, including but not limited to relativity and quantum mechanics, are based off of such a constant. The occurrences and even substantial entities before such a time can not be scientifically justified, only provided for by vague theories proposed by cosmologists that follow a certain 'logical' flow. Present day physics, however, is flawed in just such a conception; there can be no plausible justification by scientific grounds to provide for anything beyond such a moment in time, yet also where the 'beginning' of the universe lies. Before the Planck time, the structure of space-time itself is uncertain, much less the accurate justification of a 'beginning'.

Chirs Isham, acknowledged physicist states concisely, "Our current understanding of space and time leaves much to be deseired. There is no real evidence justifying the use of the Einstein equations [of general relativity] or quantum mechanics, or even physics in of itself at subatomic scales or instances before the Planck time."

This can thus explicitly show that speculations about the 'beginning' of the Universe is just that: a "speculation", with no form of tangible scientific justification, for which the underlying issue is that there inherently exists none. Now, attempts by cosmologists concerning justifications for the 'beginning' of the universe can be obviously seen to have a dependency solely upon a logical or theoretical basis, instead of what our resolution states, 'scientific justification'.

Theories such as the infinite temporal theory, or others merely go to implement the very fact that I have been trying to bring through; that mere speculation or logical basis for a proposition may not hold ground by any standard in the presence of scientific justification.

By proving such, I have not only upheld my burden of proof, but have also gone on to explicitly show that there will, at the present, never be a true form of scientific justification for the grounds and specifications of this debate.

Friedmann Models
Now, an interesting issue that I would like to evaluate in the form of an example of Friedmann's models would be the validity of the latter argument above. The Friedmann models, along with many other cosmological models which are used by many as 'scientific' justifications for the beginning of the universe, are inherently flawed in their construction and impeded by the concept that I have introduced above.

Such models mustn't be stretched too far; every model is limited in validity once we fall into the inescapable reality of Planck's scientific vagueness that is insufficient to provide for the 'beginning' of the universe. As an example the Friedmann models expand, and give Hubble's formula, but tell us nothing about the formation of the galaxies, or the universe, for that matter. It contains a completely uniform expanding (or contracting) distribution of structureless matter; the material of the Universe is there in the model, yet the cause or the formation of such entities are not provided for, as is common with that of other models as well, for there exists no justification.

Our present day conceptual principles of the universe and its beginnings are shrouded in our ignorance for the ability to justify by any form of science, whether it may be conceptual physics, quantum mechanics, or even relativity. The basic flaw exists in such a presence, and circumvention of any specification in the context of this debate to provide for the cause of the universe can only further serve to implement this base point of consideration, for which science so depends upon. Cosmic time and space relations are skewed beyond such a point; there may be no justification for any form of theory of the beginning under such a scientific manner, for that cause.

The universe is homogenous in its construction; and all models are exactly isotropic. The key basis for all cosmological models and theories are thus flawed and shadowed in their construction. By proving such, I have thus provided the grounds for which this debate stands, and I await further developments on PRO's part.


I would like to extend a thank you to my friend, EthanHuOnDebateOrg on this interesting discussion. His arguments are well-thought-out and I appreciate that.


I agree with my partner's definitiions of beginning and universe. However, my partner forgot to define justification. My definition of justification would be "reasonable." Thereby, the resolution is written as such "A beginning of the universe, according to science, is reasonable."

The Kalam Cosmological Argument

"It is agreed upon that the KCA will not sufficently provide for the justification or fundamental premise for any argument; we are not looking to whether or not it is probable that it has a cause, but whether or not the universe itself had a beginning." Although I agree to this, I shall defend premise 2 with a SCIENTIFIC justification, namely, the argument from entropy. This shows that because the universe is not run down, it is inevitable to conclude that the universe had a beginning. This will be justified through pure science.

1. Whatever begins to exist has a cause.
2. The universe began to exist.
3. Therefore, the universe has a cause.

Becaue point 3 says that the universe has a cause, we know that it had to have had a beginning. I will not argue who (or what) that "beginning" was; rather, I will support the resolution that the universe must have had a beginning and a cause.

Whatever begins to exist has a cause.

Indeed, to deny this fact would be quite foolish. Premise 1 is confirmed in virtually every area of our senses. Even quantum fluctuations are caused conditionally in that they depend on the existence of a pre-existing quantum vacuum. Indeed, if premise 1 is to be false, then nothing prevents just anything and everything from popping into existence anywhere and everywhere at any time. However, this does not happen--the universe exhibits regular law-like behaviour.

Indeed, premise 1 is a logical necessary truth, the denial of which is self-contradictory. David Oderberg argues:

We are asked to countenance the possibility of the following situation: the nonexistence of anything followed by the existence of something. The words “followed by” are crucial — how are they to be interpreted? What they cannot mean is that there is at one time nothing and at a subsequent time something, because the nonexistence of anything is supposed toinclude time: to say that at one time there is nothing whatsoever is self-defeating because it is to say that there is a time at which nothing exists — hence something did exist. But it is hard to see how else we are supposed to understand “followed by”; or when the denier of the causal principle says that it is possible for something to come from nothing what are we to understand by “from”? Again it cannot have a causal sense because something is supposed to have come into existence uncaused. All that appears to be left is a timeless contradiction — the existence of nothing and the existence of something. [1]

The Universe Began to Exist

Premise 2 is going to be the heat of my argument. If I can prove premise 2, I win this debate. This is because if the universe began to exist, we can indeed have a scientific justification for a "beginning" of the universe.

Point 1: Entropy

The universe cannot be infinitely old because it has not "run down." (Entropy is that nature tends from order to disorder in isolated systems.) [2]

Sub point a: If the universe was infinitely old, it would have reached a state where all usable energy is gone.

Sub point b: Because we are not in this stat, the universe is not infinitely old and thereby had a beginning.

Point 2: The problem of an infinite

If premise 2 is false, then it follows that the universe never began to exist. However, if the universe never began to exist then there must have been an actual infinite in duration. However, this assumes that the existence of an actually infinite sets in re is possible. However, an actually infinite set cannot exist in reality; therefore, 2 must be true.

Therefore, the universe has a cause

And because this is true, the universe must have a scienticic justification for a "beginning."


[1] David S. Oderberg, "Traversal of the Infinite, the “Big Bang” and the Kalam Cosmological Argument", Philosophia Christi 4 (2002): 305-36 quoted from the debate "Kohai-vs.-Contradiction on the Kalam Cosmological Argument.";

Debate Round No. 2


Once again, I appreciate all arguments made by Mr. Infidel in this debate, and thank him for his time invested in this debate.

Now, as we look to PRO's specified definitions, there becomes apparent an issue that I feel is imperative to clear in the purpose of this debate. As I have not specifically defined justification, we then look to PRO's definition, "reasonable". However, as such, the definition he proposes is, in fact, too deviating from the inherent meaning. Now, as I took it as an intrinsic assumption that we understood the definition of 'justification', but PRO feels that it is nevertheless an impacting aspect upon this debate, I would like to propose a more valid definition, as such:

Justification: the act of justifying; proof, vindication, or exculpation. Indeed, by applying this to the specific context of the resolution, we immediately find that it will be taken to mean scientific proof or vindication. Looking to such grounds as provided and validated by a reliable source, I hope that my friend, PRO, may accept this definition for the better purpose of this debate.

Furthermore, I would also like to provide a inherent definition of 'scientific', for it is also a pivotal factor in this debate, and PRO does not provide for such in his case:
Scientific: regulated by or conforming to the principles of exact science. Now looking to just such a point, providing certain logical arguments backed up by or justified by certain scientific principles are not adequate if it does not conform to the very idea of an 'exact' science.

'Kalam Cosmological Argument':
Looking to my opponent's points on this argument, we find in retrospective that it is valid under the specifications of this debate if my opponent, as PRO, is able to provide for sufficient grounds on which SCIENTIFIC justification for any argument exists, even including the Kalam Cosmological Argument. And yet, when we take into consideration this very point, we run into a few issues that impede his justification on this topic: The Kalam Cosmological Argument is most definitely valid to serve the very purpose of justifying that there is a specific beginning, we find that the only reason that I imposed just such a regulation is that there is no way of specifying or justifying such with SCIENTIFIC ways.

However, as PRO asserts that there is, we will look further for justification. Now, PRO's arguments concerning his assertions that whatever begins to exist has a cause is unfounded in its presupposition, for it provides no tangible correlation with the context of this debate, under which only scientific premises and justifications may be taken. Looking to such a point of consideration, I never ascertain that the universe does not or has a probability to not have a beginning, or a cause, for to assert such a statement would be inherently absurd, for all the reasons PRO states. And yet, this does not go specifically to implement or support his case, for we find no scientific relation for the justification of such a point.

Looking further, we encounter his supposed 'scientific' justification by entropy. Indeed, the conceptual ideology of entropy is merely a subjective context in which it states that all substances have a natural tendency to go from a state of order to disorder. And even so, I would not be contradicting or refuting the very concept of entropy, but merely pointing out the obvious and prevalent fact that there is no form of justifiable 'exact' science for which entropy may be experienced. To say that entropy exists merely is reinstating a fact of nature for which it is universally accepted because of its hypothetical truth.

This concept is merely exemplified in the fact that all substances have a natural tendency to deteriorate into misorder, and yet there is absolutely no exact scientifical justification for such. Thus applying this to his fundamental sub point a of his first point as well as the correlating sub point b, we find that entropy in of itself is not a tangible scientific fact for which we can provide adequate justification for.

Now, PRO's inherent point 2 rests upon the subjective and conceptual fact that there is a problem of the infinite; in other words, he refers to the infinite temporal theory, for which there can never be infinite points of time, thus vindicating a beginning. Once over, I beg to differ, for I have provided specific specifications and certain regulations for this debate that exclude such a theory, for the crucial yet pivotal issue that it is a logically found concept, and yet for which there is no way for scientific justification to be proven. Looking to such an issue, I will provide a concept for which scientific justification rests upon in its intrinsic nature:

*In order to justify scientifically something, an individual must provide for a hypothesis that may be tested for its validity.

In the same context, merely saying that by experimenting one would never reach the inherent concept of infinite does not provide justification or a reason for which the infinite concept is justified scientifically. Looking to such a concept, his point 2 also falls short in its warrant for justification.

Now, we look to my case, for which there are numerous issues for which I feel are imperative to establish:

1> An inquiry would be whether or not my opponent as PRO feels that clash is round 3, which provided him with the reason for which he did not refute ANY of my arguments or my points

2> That such fundamental values exemplified in the examples and concepts of 'Planck time' provide a foundational difference principle and obstacle for which science is impeded in this field.

By ascertaining that there is scientific justification for such a matter would be not only logically contradictory, but also flagrantly fallacious in its conception. Looking to such points of consideration, I await PRO's further responses, and thank him for such time and effort.


Forfeit. Extremely busy with school and personal stuff. I am sorry I could not finish the debate. I will quickly go through the rounds so you won't be kept waiting.
Debate Round No. 3


This has been a short debate, although I would've wished otherwise; but it really has been great reading a truly well thought out argument on my friend, Mr. Infidel's part. I hope to debate him sometime in the future again, and it has been truly a pleasure.

Due to such an unfortunate circumstance, my arguments may be extended, and I thank PRO once again for his thoughtfulness.

Vote CON!


Please vote con.

Thank you for an interesting debate.
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Chthonian 6 years ago
Mr. Infidel, Your references in round 2 do not work. I think the semicolon at the end of them is interfering with linking to an active website. You may want to repost them in the comments section.
Posted by Mr.Infidel 6 years ago
Ok. I will provide a scientific justification.
Posted by EthanHuOnDebateOrg 6 years ago
oh, and this would basically include theories or justifications by logical or other means that do not have premises of scientific justification for its support.

Posted by EthanHuOnDebateOrg 6 years ago
Oh, Mr. Infidel, ... I would like to clear up an issue which I feel is fundamental in this case and on which we will provide the basis for points:

This debate concerns itself mainly with the scientific justification and the ability to provide plausibility for arguments in such a manner. Thus for the purpose of this debate, I hope that we can presuppose that all theories proposed by cosmologists, such as the infinite temporal theory, or the infinite regress theory can be disregarded, unless they provide tangible scientific justification.

Thank you so much for your understanding, and I hope that we can both agree to such terms in this debate, as I feel it would provide a different approach to this topic than most other debates on this.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Maikuru 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: PRO forfeited.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con essentially conceded the debate by granting that the universe had a beginning, only with the 10^-43 of history in doubt. "Justification" means reason to believe it happened. Pro responded with the completely false argument that everything must have a beginning. Science now acknowledges many uncaused events. Arguments tied, Pro loses Conduct for forfeiting.
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Only because of the forfeit.