Annotated Bibliography

Is There Evidence of a God in Cosmology?

 

Craig, William Lane., and Quentin Smith. Theism, Atheism, and Big Bang Cosmology. Oxford: Clarendon, 1993. Print.

Theism, Atheism, and the Big Bang Cosmology is a great place for me to educate myself on this topic of debate. This book presents both the theistic and the atheistic interpretation of the Big Bang Theory. The book is a set of essays composed by Craig and Smith create a debate between the idea of God creating the Big Bang or the Big Bang occurring by chance. Each side presents compelling arguments that support their views, and also refer to my other sources. One of the 3 main arguments presented within this debate is strictly about Hawking’s Quantum Cosmology Theory, which seems to be brought up in several other sources of mine. The topics they debate are critical arguments that are consistently brought up among scientists and philosophers of both sides. A weakness I see in this source is that both parties are pushing their theories as hard as possible, and it’s hard not to notice that one of them is “winning” the debate. Another weakness I see is that they are both trying to win the debate, but this does not allow them to present the information as unbiased as possible. This makes it difficult to try and stay as a neutral party in presenting my findings. I am finding that I am having this problem with just about every source I have found, all are supporters of one side or the other. The thing I do like in regards to my research project is that the author compiled the Essays by both authors to create a debate, and his goal is that we as the reader will discover the issues with supporting either a theistic or atheistic cause for the Big Bang.

 

Geisler, Norman L., and Frank Turek. I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2004. Print.

I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist was the first source that I came across, and what sparked my research last week. It not only started my research last week, but helped lead me in my decision to research evidence for or against God in the specific area of the Big Bang. Just the fact that it was my first source is not enough reason for me to choose it as one of my 5 sources though. I chose it because it has a substantial amount scientific evidence that supports the theory that God created the Universe, and did it all in one instant, resulting in the Big Bang. I wanted a source that supports only the theistic approach to Big Bang Cosmology. The weakness I see with this source is that it is not only about the Big Bang, but rather that it contains a compilation of all the philosophical and scientific evidence for a God, the Christian God specifically. This limits me to the amount of information I am able to pull from it, but it does a great job of giving the critical pieces of information on each topic. What I am doing with this source is using it to spark my ideas of how I want to present the theistic side of the Big Bang cosmology. This source connects well with my other sources as it presents arguments that are found in some of my other sources. It also presents the atheistic arguments, and then refutes them with scientific evidence or philosophically accurate logic. Many of the arguments presented are supported by non-theistic believing scientists and philosophers. Probably the most critical reason I chose this source is because it speaks a lot about the Theory of General Relativity by Einstein, and backs this theory up with more scientific evidence and discoveries. The theory of General Relativity is one of the critical arguments I will be tackling from both sides in my final paper.

 

Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. N.p.: n.p., n.d. Print.

Richard Dawkins is in most philosophers and scientists opinion the most popular, and well-spoken atheist of today. He is extremely intelligent, very blunt, and is not afraid the things he believes should destroy the concept of religion. In this book he talks about a huge variety of reasons why people should not believe in a God, and he states that he believes it is essentially unintelligence to believe in a God. He addresses scientific evidence that should lead those who listen with an open mind to believe that no God can possibly exist. Dawkins comments on some of the arguments that religious people present as evidence for a God. In his comments about the evidence religious people present, he states that their evidence is extremely weak, and hardly worth paying any attention to. The problem I see here is that he shows a lot of the weak evidence. He is extremely weary it seems to show the hardcore scientific evidence that would lead many to believe in a God. The other problem I see it that he is extremely biased, so he is unwilling to present the information from the opposite side in a non-tainted way. I chose this piece by Richard because it contains extremely compelling evidence for the belief in atheism, and he is extremely well respected. He quotes many other well established scientists and philosophers on his quest to prove that believing in God is delusional. From this source I expect to find my strongest evidence supporting atheism. I will be presenting his strongest arguments and then using my others to combat that evidence. At the same time I plan to use this source to combat my theistic sources.

 

Science Refutes God: A Debate. Films on Demand, 2014.

Science Refutes God is a video debate between 4 extremely qualified scientists. There are 2 scientist on the “for” side of this statement, and 2 that are on the “against”, there is also an audience that votes before and after. A winner of the debate is declared based on the amount of people whose opinions convert to one side vs. the other. The debate includes philosophical arguments such as morality, which they also try to bring science in to. A large part of the debate contains material on the Big Bang, as well as other things in the world/creation, depending on which side you take. One very interesting question that was brought up by the mediator was this: Out of the elite scientists, 3/5 believe that there is no possible way for a God to exist. But that leaves the other 2. The other 2 study the exact same science, yet believe that there is most definitely a possibility that a God exists, and that God created the universe. How is this possible? How can scientists look at the same evidence and pull 2 different views out of it? Is it one side or the other refusing to accept a fact, or is it just that they are split almost down the middle because neither side can prove nor disprove the existence of a God. One thing that I have to be careful about with this source is to not take the opinions of the debaters as fact. They clearly have a lot of bias on each side, both are trying to win the debate, and in this competition both sides make some opinionated statements that are not exactly science related.

 

Stephen Hawking’s Universe: Seeing is Believing and The Big Bang. NC Video, 1997.

Stephen Hawking is quite possibly the most popular atheist of any recent generation, possibly even of all time. He has made incredible discoveries in the science world, especially in the areas of physics and cosmology. This documentary presents arguments for atheism and the belief that the world couldn’t have possibly been created by a higher being. Hawking shares several of his discoveries that help support this arguments. He has several of his colleagues speak in this video as well. The Big Bang is a large topic of this video, which helps add a lot of scientific content to my final paper. So much evidence supports both sides, which makes it very hard to find a logical path towards truth. That is why my final research question doesn’t exactly have a scientific answer. There is an answer to whether or not God exists and created the universe, but there just doesn’t seem to be any way to prove or disprove it. That being said, the only thing I can do is present the best of both sides, and then choose the most logical conclusion. A weakness I see of this video is that both sides are not presented with the same level of skepticism. This topic has a lot of bias, and it seems to be almost impossible to find someone who will present both sides as unbiased as possible. This source is connected to all of my other atheistic sources, in that its arguments and evidence are contained within all the others. However, Stephen Hawking does not refer to and of my other sources, instead he uses other extremely educated colleagues to strengthen his argument.

-Bryson

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One thought on “Annotated Bibliography

  1. hcelemen says:

    Bryson, I think you found some really good sources here and they provide you with contrasting arguments to help you develop your topic from. I’m also glad that you are fully aware of the weaknesses in these sources. The recurring problem you have it seems from everything I read is that there is undeniable bias in every source. Having a strong opinion about an idea makes it very difficult for people to be unbiased. Your decision to present both sides of the argument as best as possible seems to be the best route to take. However, I think that you may be able to narrow down your topic even further by questioning the implications of these opposing ideas. What will change about religious and scientific ideas if one of these theories (between God and Big Bang being the source of all creation) is somehow proven correct? The answer may stand as the foundation for an individual’s fundamental beliefs, so how strongly would they react once they’ve been proven wrong? I guess what I’m really trying to suggest is trying to connect this back to is the explicit and implicit memory you did your topic on a couple of weeks ago. I think it would interesting if you tried pursuing it towards this route because most people are subjected to different types of memories that can therefore affect and mold their perception of the world. Throughout our lifetime, certain mysteries in our world is often explained with religious or scientific views. Back when religious had greater influence in the people, the things people learned was greatly dictated by what religious leaders found acceptable while those leaning towards more logical/scientific inquiries were seen as heretics. Present day, logic is highly valued and is easily accepted because of the numerous and often times indisputable evidence that backs it. I am curious to see if you could find the difference between the past and present beliefs useful in your paper. And perhaps, you could find how these changes will affect us in the future?

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