Sean Carroll’s third sleight-of-hand ploy involves his ultimate failure not only to provide positive grounds in favor of the position that he so confidently asserted, but as we shall see, to overtly acknowledge at the conclusion of the debate that the beginning of the universe out of nothing remains altogether unexplained according to naturalistic means. Notice, for example, that near the end of his presentation he conceded that the universe had a beginning in time, that the newly-existent universe obeys laws, and that he offers not even the slightest hinting of a rational accounting of this reality. Take not my word for this. I invite you to read it for yourself.
Near the very end of the debate a questioner from the audience asked him why we should be forbidden from considering a personal agent (God) as the cause of the universe. Carroll replied as follows (2:22):
“This is the kind of issue that tugs at our ability to make sense of these large cosmic questions given our everyday experience with reality. But I will give you a frustrating answer to it by denying your premise. I do not think that if a universe has a first moment in time that means there is any sort of eternal or preexisting conditions or rules or laws or anything like that. It simply means that our best and maybe the correct description of the cosmos is one that had a first moment in time. The question is, can that be self-contained in the sense that I am using it? … Which is that if I write down the equations and the conditions and so forth that describe the universe at its earliest moment, am I done? Are there questions that I might have about that universe that cannot be answered by that formalism? I think there is no obstacle whatsoever to coming up with such models. So I would simply un-ask the question. I would say that, no there aren’t preexisting or eternal rules. There is the universe and the universe has a first moment. And the universe obeys rules during those moments when the universe exists. During those moments when the universe does not exist there are no moments, there is no time, and there are no rules.”