A question from a reader

"I have a simple belief: because anything exists, eternality must exist. Because something coming from nothing is impossible. So, just wondering if your nothing is actually a something? Say, gravity, for instance? Would like to hear your thoughts." - James Franklin (Name changed by editor)

3 comments:

  1. James: We don't know if "something coming from nothing is impossible." That is a human intuition, but many things in our universe do appear to emanate from nothing. For example photons emanating from the carbon filament in a light globe are emanating from a place where previously no photons existed. Particles emanating out of a quantum void appear to be coming from nothing. We don't understand what "nothing" is. We no longer understand what "something" is. It is certainly not what we thought matter was fifty years ago. I can't give you any answers. Right now you are asking questions that can't be answered by science.

    But of one thing I am certain. These questions were not answered by itinerant preachers and corrupt priests thousands of years ago at a time when humans believed that the Sun traveled around a flat Earth and that the sky was a solid dome with waters above it to colour it blue.

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    Replies
    1. You might want to try discussing this on the Lawrence Krauss Facebook page. They have over 4,000 members, many of them of a scientific mind. Click here.

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  2. "Because something coming from nothing is impossible."

    It seems common for theists to just assume that there must have been "nothing" at some point in the past. They also seem to assume that this "nothing" can somehow include God. I see no basis for such assumptions.

    If you think God must have created the universe, simply because you have no other explanation, then ask yourself _how_ God created the universe. Then you realise that simply saying "God did it" doesn't actually explain it anyway. It's just a placeholder to stop you asking more questions. You might be right, but you'd have no way to know. If you think there's a good chance you are right, then you're just underestimating the number of possibilities. It's a bit like someone from the stone age attempting to guess the exact mass of a proton.

    Instead of declaring God to be the answer to all of life's unanswered questions, it is more rational to wait until we have a better understanding, and then form rational and informed beliefs based on evidence and reason, rather than wild speculation arising from our ignorance. Theistic claims and ideas might be comforting, but we have no way of determining whether they are true.

    We currently do not know what preceded the universe, or even if it makes sense to ask. None of us like to live with unanswered questions, but in cases where the truth is unknowable, I'd rather be honest and say "I don't know" than believe someone's random guess that cannot be tested in any way.

    Anyone can make wild guesses and bold claims, but the truth will be determined by evidence and testing.

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