I am ever so grateful to Bill Westmiller, whose comments are in bold. The quotes marked TSW are from "The Scientific Worldview":
TSW: Fifth Assumption: Conservation
"Matter and the motion of matter neither can be created nor destroyed."
"... which has never yet been contradicted in any observation or experiment, scientific or otherwise"
BW: Sounds like an "unmitigated truth" to me.
BW: True, but I think Thales of Miletus deserves primary credit (even if his writings weren't preserved) for rejecting mysticism and advancing the primary scientific idea of conservation.
TSW: "The conventional use of the matter-motion term energy to describe conservation might be admirable, if it did not end up being philosophically misleading."
BW: If energy is definitively matter in motion, it must also be conserved. The conservation of energy *must* entail the conservation of its terms: matter and motion.
TSW: "The creation argument ... assumes something can be created out of nothing."
BW: It seems silly now, but primitive humans certainly recognized the creation of some thing (spear heads) from another thing (flint). What baffled them were the cosmic things that must have come into being in the same fashion as their spear heads, but they didn't know what the other thing was that it might have been made from, nor by whom. So, rather than simply admitting ignorance, they gave the Maker a label: "God" and the other thing a label: "Void". It made it so much easier to demonstrate their superior wisdom (rather than ignorance) to their children. It worked for millennia.
BW: The only other point I'd make is that a philosopher needs to be careful about repudiating "creation" per se ... when it is creation of one material form from other material forms. The Big Bang is an illogical, infinite, mathematical reduction of the evidence of current cosmic expansion. But there does need to be an alternative theory that conforms with the cosmic evolutions that are evident in nature, while remaining consistent with conservation.
BW: In UT [Bill’s “Unimid Theory”], it's "The Perpetual Rip" of a central cosmic mass that regularly passes a threshold of angular velocity and generates components of "our cosmos" from the residue of the radiant and material emissions of adjacent cosmos - multicosms - far beyond our light cone, to infinity. The theory has NO correlation with the parallel multiverses of James or Everett.