A Universe from Nothing: Not that hard to understand.

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by paddoboy, Feb 3, 2017.

  1. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,932
    Nobody has demonstrated that the universe must have come from nothing. If current beliefs, models and (fairly hefty) extrapolations are correct, then the universe may have come from nothing. However, (a) we have only fairly tenuous constructions to lead us to that hypothesis, so it could be found later to be wrong, and (b) Krauss's views on matter originating from vacuum fluctuations in physical fields don't really get us much further, for the reasons Yazata and I have given (i.e. physical fields =/= nothing).

    Nobody needs to be forced to take a stand on an esoteric thing like this, when so much is perforce unknown and probably unknowable. In my opinion a good scientist should be cautious here and talk only of models and possibilities. This is not a religion, demanding adherence to dogma from true believers.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,932
    Yes quite right I misread you. See my other post.
     
    paddoboy likes this.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    Sure it could, but at this stage......
    No one's demanding anything...read my first few posts before I was trolled..
     
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement



    to hide all adverts.
  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,932
    Good, I'm relieved. You seemed to me to be demanding earlier that people like me should either come up with an alternative or accept the origin from nothing hypothesis. I'm pleased I was wrong to think that.

    My position remains that this is getting into metaphysics and is dangerous territory in which to make scientific claims of any kind.
     
  8. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,919
    My math.
    0+0=0
    Not 0+0=infinity.

    I can not offer any science (who has on this subject) to contribute but like all others indulging in speculation, indeed the authors of any papers to suggest something from nothing is reasonable and the author of the book presenting a prospect that we can accept the notion a universe can come from nothing, I also can speculate, but for anyone to claim that such speculation is scientific is/are, in my view, attempting to have us conclude something that perhaps suits their religious or philisophical beliefs.

    Something from nothing must have us seeking God for irrespective of any equation that magically "proves" something from nothing is possible all our observations indicate otherwise.
    Something from nothing is not possible. Something from nothing is supernatural.
    I have often said the big bang theory takes us back to a point of creation yet stops before offering any machinery for that profound instant.
    It is our best model but add this notion of something from nothing and the ready acceptance of that notion by mainstream (if indeed mainstream doth accept this notion) it seems reasonable to conclude we are dealing with mere philosophy supportive of the folk who believe in God.

    So now there are folk who seek to provide equations that show something from nothing is possible.

    If such equations are to be relied upon perhaps a physical experiment in support would be appropriate lest we start to believe that our imagination can create reality.

    Consider the old expression garbage in garbage out and then consider that in the small matter of creation of the universe that our miniscule knowledge may not even amount to garbage.
    But certainly any equation that can prove such a supernatural result must be considered garbage.
    It disturbs me that such speculation is called science when it is clearly more related to philosophy.
    Something from nothing is unhealthy speculation.
    I find more credibility in the notion that aliens visit us in UFO,s and of course I regard that notion as utterly ridiculous.
    And I do not care who is pushing this notion or what his credentials I accuse them of not knowing the different between philosophy and science.
    I am sorry that my post is mere opinion but it would seem no worse than the action of authors presenting philosophy as science.
    Alex
     
  9. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,539
    The fact that nobody currently knows why there is something rather than nothing! What's so hard about admitting that?

    Is it fear that if people don't embrace Krauss or speculations like his, then theistic creationism will somehow have been justified? That's what you seem to be implying with your "then what is left?" and your occasional references to ID.

    Imagine that we want to explain some mysterious phenomenon. And suppose that somebody proposes an explanatory hypothesis, let's call it A. Now suppose that A suffers from obvious defects, not least of them absence of supporting evidence, fundamental circularity and ambiguous and inconsistent use of important terms.

    What should we do? Just ignore the difficulties, accepting and believing A because it's the only hypothesis that we currently have? That seems to be your argument. (Turtles, all the way down.)

    Or should we acknowledge that we don't currently have any satisfactory hypotheses, try to learn from our experience with A and try to invent a better hypothesis that doesn't suffer from the kind of defects that A suffered from?

    Explanatory hypotheses proceed from initial assumptions. But in the case of the 'something from nothing' problem, if we are starting with nothing in the strongest sense of total nonexistence, then we have ruled out any initial assumptions. Reality is just popping out of nowhere (literally). So not only will the theorist have to invent new hypotheses, he or she will have to invent a whole new way of reasoning in theoretical physics that doesn't assume the truth of quantum field theories or any other beliefs of physics. He or she will have to start with no initial assumptions at all, not even logical or mathematical ones.

    I don't see how it can be done. That's why I suspect that this is a problem that science will never be able to answer.

    A scientific answer to the 'something from nothing' question seems to me to violate science's methodological naturalism. Science concerns itself with what happens within the world of nature. It addresses the contents of the natural world and how those contents interact. (Often trying to give mathematical formulations for those interactions.) The problem of why there is a world of nature at all doesn't seem to be that kind of problem. That new question addresses the world of nature's relationship to something else, even if we call it 'nothing'. (Calling it 'nothing' just puts extremely severe constraints on how we can conceive of it.) That's why this is a metaphysical rather than a physical problem.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
    dumbest man on earth likes this.
  10. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,827
    Grok'd!
     
  11. gmilam Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,663
    As Frank Zappa would say, this is the "crux of the biscuit". God, big bang, cyclical universe, whatever... All these roads lead to the same dead end. (Which has seemed obvious to me since before I reached puberty.)

    As Yazata said, I suspect this is a problem that we will never be able to answer.

    Grok on!
     
  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    Again, I'm demanding nothing, simply asking for an alternative.
    I disagree...I believe that Professor Edward Wilson is much closer to the truth.

    On the subject of "speculation" ...as we all should be aware, science makes heaps of reasonable authoritive speculations, such as reasonably asserting what is inside the EH of a BH, based on current data and GR....assuming the large scale nature of the universe is isotropic and homogenous, based on data, just to name two.
     
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,932
    OK, I realise you don't get what Yazata and I have been saying and you never will. The argument is out there on the thread for others who may understand it. I'm content to leave it there.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  14. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    That's not the question I asked.
    I'm saying basically, something from nothing is the only scientific answer we have.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Not at all. I could very well ask, that your apparent disagreement with Krauss is more based on the fact that he has been less then complimentary about philosophy, as has Professor Wilson. And again for the umpteenth time, any ID solution is not scientific, so no, certainly no fear there.

    I am totally at a loss as how you are able to equate the önly hypothesis"aspect, with "turtles all the way down"myth.
    Also with the difficulties aspect, perhaps you should accept the fact that the universe has no interest as to what may offend your's or anyone's elses sensibilities. There are many examples of accepted science that defy sensibilities, and intuition...the expansion of spacetime itself is one. Do you understand that mechanism? Gravity and curved spacetime...do you understand that mechanism? Likewise something from nothing.
     
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Hi Alex........I suspect your "problem" is the same problem as Fred Hoyle had.
    He rejected the BB, [despite the overwhelming evidence] because it invoked a beginning...and obviously leaving the door open for some ID and deity.
    I actually see it as a strength in science, that despite that obvious extrapolation of a beginning, science/cosmology, went with the way of the evidence and the BB and a beginning irrespective of what the church would obviously infer.
    But what is the alternative? An eternal universe? One that has existed forever? Isn't that similar though to the criticism we pour on ID and a deity, in the assumed omnipotent, all powerful notion of such a being? Being eternal or infinite, creates just as much difficulty and ability to understand.

    On the something from nothing aspect, again the strength in that science, is that it seems the only scientific choice, even though this is how any religious deity is also supposed to have brought everything into existence.
    As I mentioned to Yazata, we accept spacetime expansion also, but doesn't that also seemingly defy sensibilities? Gravity...how? why?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!



    These are all still problems in cosmology, but we don't reject them wholesale just because we have not yet worked out the mechanism.
    Can you see where I'm coming from?
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2017
  16. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    Sure I do, I simply just disagree.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     
  17. Yazata Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,539
    It's a question that I asked.

    What's so hard about admitting that nobody knows why there is something rather than nothing?

    'Something from nothing' is a metaphysical assertion. Do we really have any "scientific answer" that justifies the assertion and explains it?

    I don't think that we do. We have people trying to redefine the word 'nothing' to mean quantum fields or something like that, and we have them producing explanations that are dependent on the mathematical apparatus of quantum field theory. That's a derivation of physical reality from pre-existing laws of physics and from minimal initial physical assumptions. Attempting that might indeed be an interesting and valuable intellectual exercise in theoretical physics. But it doesn't explain where those initial assumptions come from.

    So all of this thrashing around doesn't even seem to be addressing the ancient question that it purports to demolish: Why is there something rather than nothing? Any suggestion that it does looks to me like intellectual dishonesty.

    I think that David Albert made some very cogent (and in my opinion quite devastating) criticism of Krauss' thesis in his New York Times review of Krauss' book. I don't think that blurting that Albert is a philosopher and philosophers are "morons" is a convincing reply to those criticisms. (Albert is a noted philosopher of physics at Columbia University who has a Ph.D. in theoretical physics.) Krauss has to do better. Unless he can produce convincing replies to Albert's criticisms, those criticisms stand.

    If the idea is that people need to accept the truth of a clearly faulty hypothesis just because it's the only hypothesis that we happen to be aware of at the moment, then we would be putting ourselves in the position of believing any sort of bullshit that catches our attention. I think that it's a lot smarter to conclude that if our only hypothesis (at the moment) can't survive criticism, then we should admit that we don't presently have an answer and let that motivate us to go searching for a better hypothesis.
     
  18. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    That's your opinion. I along with many professionals, see it obviously entirely differently.
     
  19. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,949
    The science community, in general, acknowledges that 'we don't know' is a perfectly valid scientific answer.

    It wouldn't be science if we created theories based on zero evidence. It would be faith.

    'God did it' would be as valid an explanation as any other.
     
  20. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    The science community also acknowledge that we have no conclusive evidence for life elsewhere off the Earth, but most accept we are not alone.
    The thing is plenty believe we do have evidence.
    Not as far as needing a scientific answer, no it isn't.
     
  21. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,949
    We have no scientific evidence at all, let alone conclusive.

    Yes. This would be a belief, not a scientific stance.

    Evidence of what existed before the BB? That would be intriguing evidence indeed. One of the characeristics of the BB is that it does divulge any hints of what preceded it.

    And belief is a synonym of faith.

    The point is, it is no more or less scientific than any other answer for which there is no evidence.
     
  22. Xelasnave.1947 Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,919
    Good morning I hope you survived the downpour , I did.
    Thank you for your well considered reply.
    I suggest the alternative as you ask would be not to speculate as I see no harm in saying we don't know.
    Science offers that propositition in many cases.
    We do but that acceptance is driven by observation.
    I see a difference between problems arising from the theory and as I called the something from nothing notion speculation.
    Early man wrote much of the bible upon speculation and I simply say science must avoid speculation or at least resist the temptation to put forward a hypothesis as a scientific paper.

    It is not my intention to shoot the messenger here and I see where you are coming from it is just that I think introduction of such speculation moves the matter into philosophy.

    I doubt we will ever have an answer but speculation should not be our fall back position.

    I see no problem with an eternal infinite universe but that is mere opinion, I know it is, however the papers the book supporting something from nothing, I think the authors have lost the understanding they toy with opinion.
    Thanks again stay dry.
    Alex
     
  23. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    21,225
    The quantum world, virtual particles, etc,
    A belief based on much logical extrapolation....how about the assumptions that the universe over large scales are homogenous and isotropic?

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    I'm speaking of quantum mechanics etc...virtual particles, quantum fluctuations, uncertainty principle and its applications in one of the articles I presented.
    Even in science, some reasonable faith is needed Dave.
    I disagree...In actual fact, its simply adding another layer, as per the Sagan video...an infinite omnipotent being?

    Anyway thanks to yourself, exchemist, Alex, and Yazata for providing interesting alternatives/discussions.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

     

Share This Page