Could there ever be nothing?


#41

Modern physics views nothingness as being unstable. No space and no time, no dimensions, no matter, no energy (or no forms of energy other than potential energy) with the space that we currently see, the visible universe, being infinitely small, essentially zero, that’s how nothingness is seen.

Of course, people will say that there were laws before that (although there can’t be a before if there was no time).

Anyway, I don’t know the answer. You will have to consult the mathematics of the big bang if you want to know more.

I myself have played a little bit with the mathematics of the Robertson-Walker metric, and I have more or less gotten the first few minutes in Gamow’s scheme, but before the first few minutes, like the infinitesimal times modern cosmology discusses I know only as a story, not as math.

I don’t know that people will ever really get time zero though, so even if they got to something like 10^-30 seconds or whatever, God might still be as ‘safe’ as if they couldn’t get back to last month.

At one point, Steven Hawking wanted to have the early universe be a regular singular point, but he ultimately abandoned that idea. I don’t know whether or not he still clings to imaginary time.

There are other ideas for doing without God, but I don’t have any real confidence in them any more than I think that any of the theoreticians grasp the nature of quantum mechanics.

While I occasionally investigate cosmology etc., I still pray, think about the afterlife, and think about heaven and God.

I rather doubt that anybody reading this will ever live in a world where these things are really understood.

In my opinion, you don’t need to worry about any of these things, you really don’t.


#42

The concept of God has much more behind it in terms of philosophy and reasoning than merely first movement arguments. Think in terms of actuality of potential, or perhaps the necessity of the metaphysical.

But, if you want to deny causality prior to than he Universe, why would we at all have causality now to lead to us two talking like this? What was the cause in the first place and what was its qualities?

I do not want to argue, just things to think about.


#43

I’m not actively denying causality before the beginning, I’m asking why one would assert causality should necessarily apply. Since we don’t know the answer, all we can say is “We don’t know the answer”. That is science. To push beyond that to assert that there is some form of logic that can impose an answer is to move into philosophy, if not outright into theology itself.

Where I rest my laurels, as it were, is simply on the fact that there is no way of knowing what happened before time began, or even, at a more basic level, if that is even a coherent and sensible concept. That’s where my problem with invoking a prime mover comes from. Without knowing whether one is even necessary, it seems to be a less parsimonious explanation than “nothing caused the universe”. That’s not to say that there’s any more evidence for my statement than “God made the universe”, it’s just that I have yet to be convinced of the necessity.

On either side of the debate, I’m afraid our world views are all colored by fairly human prejudices. The world we observe obeys a pretty strict causality (though QM can to some extent flip cause and effect to some degree) and so we build philosophies, religions and even scientific theories based upon those notions. But reality is not bound in even the tiniest degree by our beliefs or prejudices, and I see no grounds to make assertions about an epoch that, if it existed at all, may have been so radically different from anything we understand, or can even imagine, that all the grand proclamations and prognostications since the first human stared up at the stars and began musing about where he came from, somehow carry any weight.


#44

So, you are moving causality down to a law of sorts of the Universe, as opposed to a philosophical observation into the nature of reality?
Why would it matter if it is scientific?

Why do you focus on only the “prime mover” argument?
We live in a world where potentiality becomes actual. A metaphysical reality is a sort of necessity.
I do not want to argue. This thread is about nothing. I just want you to think about it.


#45

I think I’d rather be compared to Anselm than to Kant… :wink:


#46

We are fairly sure the Universe started at one point. Before then there was nothing then all at once there was everything.


#47

This I simply don’t buy. It seems at best circular, and most certainly presumptuous.


#48

But do we know that? We know the Observable Universe had some kind of a starting point, and really that’s all the Big Bang ultimately says; that at some point around 13.8 billion years ago the universe was very hot and very dense and then began to expand. We can invoke mathematical tools like imaginary time to try to give some sense as to whether this was a “starting point” or not, but ultimately we are not at a place where we can say whether the Big Bang was the beginning, whether there was something before it, or anything.

Some hope that by getting closer to a comprehensive universal set of physical laws we can ultimately determine whether hypotheses like multiverses actually exist, but such a unified set of physical principles still seems a long way off.


#49

I agree. Atheism ultimately cannot provide meaning to a person’s life. If life’s destiny is ultimately cosmic dust or fog and nothing else, then in that big picture, whatever a person does in this life, becomes meaningless. Without God, there is no hope!


#50

I’ll say this is been a fun discussion. I certainly don’t worry about it but it is interesting to read the comments. Although it still can make my head spin thinking about it.


#51

If an omnipotent God cannot fail to exist or will Himself out of existence, then maybe even He has at least one limitation and not all that powerful? I’m only saying this tongue in cheek, so don’t blow a gasket.


#52

LOL! No worries… no gaskets blown. :wink:

No… the fact that God cannot be what contradicts His nature does not imply that He is not omnipotent. It merely states what is obvious: “God is not ‘not God’…” :wink:


#53

I feel the opposite. For me life is rare and precious, and I only get one shot at it, so I’d best make what I can of it.


#54

The current models shows the universe is about 13.8 billion years old and that there was a beginning of the universe. Since there was a beginning the theory is there at one time was no universe. So at one time there was nothing where there is now a universe with something in it. I dont think we will ever prove multiverses unless we find a way to measure those multiverses.


#55

By and large the current models speak of the observable universe. The problem, simply put, is that the models break down at something approaching T=0 (or more accurately, before the Planck Epoch). Extrapolation would suggest that there was a T=0, in otherwise, where time (and the spacial dimensions) began, but that’s only one possibility. Multiverse advocates might suggest that a possible pre-Planck Epoch might represent something else (ie. a collision of higher dimensional branes), those that advocate for a cyclical universe, Big Bangs, then, at some point, either a Big Rip or a Big Crunch, and the whole thing begins again. Some have floated “baby universes” that form out of pre-existing ones.

The best the model can say at this point is “The universe was extremely hot and dense about 13.8 billion years ago, and then began to expand and cool”, with the inflationary model adding an addendum that early on, there was a period when the expansion sped up rapidly, increasing by orders of a magnitude the size of the universe in very short order, and also leading to a great cooling (this is where the postulated Dark Energy comes in as the force that lead to this rapid expansion and cooling), also having the side effect of “evening out” the distribution of matter and energy in the universe.


#56

What was his refute I need it so badly!


#57

Life is too rare and precious to be the product of a sequence of random events. I see the hand of God in life creation.


#58

You ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet. B-b-b-… baby you ain’t seen n-n-nothin’ yet…


#59

This has to be one of the more tired strawmen. No one is claiming purely random processes lead to the formation of life.


#60

That’s a complete straw-man.


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