Author Topic: How Can Nothing Come from Something?  (Read 2115 times)

Offline SGOS (OP)

How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« on: May 21, 2016, 06:53:15 AM »
I put this under "Science", but I'm not claiming this is science.  I'm just speculating about an age old question, because I had a bit of an odd thought this morning about how something (the universe) can come from nothing.  It's not like the question never occurs to anyone.  We all ponder it from time to time, and we often hear someone suggest that maybe the universe didn't come from nothing.  And that's the odd thought I had this morning, but in one of those new ways where an old thought seems entirely new: 

There seems to be a common assumption that "nothing" is some kind of default state.  Like if the universe didn't exist, it would fall back to a default state of rest and just be nothing.  But why should we automatically assume "nothing" is the default that changes it's state to "something" from time to time, or maybe just once?  Perhaps the default state is "something."  I mean if it has to be one or the other, it's just as likely that "something" is the default, rather than "nothing."  Why would nothing have to exist before something?  It's not like we are putting words in alphabetical order.

Parallel to that notion is the recognition that we only seem to ask, "How does something come from nothing?"  But wouldn't it be reasonable to ask the reverse, "How does nothing come from something?"  If "something" is the default, asking the reverse question is no more or less imponderable that asking how "something" can come from nothing.

I assume that most likely, both are the wrong questions, and the answer we are looking for has to do with something else entirely, but humans tend to fall for the fallacy of "either/or" or "excluded middle," and often distract ourselves from the real questions we should be asking.

By the way, what ever happened to JosephPalazzio?  Haven't seen him for a while, and I don't remember him saying "goodbye."

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2016, 08:28:22 AM »
I think JP is/was working on a paper or something. He could be back. I leave from time to time for a few days, sometimes up to a few weeks, so doesn't concern me.
 
I'm not awake enough to discuss the other part.....

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2016, 08:53:35 AM »
I do think of this every now and again.  But I always end up chasing my tail.  I always end up at the beginning.  Was there a 'beginning'?  Everything I am aware of has an ending and has a beginning.  What if there is no beginning?  How could that be?  I can't wrap my head around that.  So, if there was a beginning, whether it be god, the universe or the system of universe creations, what was before the 'beginning'????  Was there a beginning of the 'beginning'?? And a beginning before that??  Russian nested dolls infinite.  Ohhh.............beginning of a headache. SGOS--don't ask these questions! :))
Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?
Then he is not omnipotent,
Is he able but not willing?
Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able or willing?
Then why call him god?

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2016, 08:57:31 AM »
Ohhh.............beginning of a headache. SGOS--don't ask these questions! :))

Now you know how I feel.   :biggrin:

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2016, 10:08:22 AM »
Too early in the morning for this heavy shit. Gonna have some coffee first....

Offline TomFoolery

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #5 on: May 21, 2016, 10:13:13 AM »
Russian nested dolls infinite.

This has always been my beef with the "Well, something can't come from nothing so, GOD! Ha ha, checkmate!"

It fails to explain who created God or where God existed when there was nothing. So that argument really just adds another step in the process, if you think of beginning as being a concrete thing.

Of course the Christians usually dismiss this with some argument such as "God just always was" or "God is too complex for us mere mortals to understand, so the question isn't important." Bullshit. If God always just "was", then why couldn't the universe be also? Whether it's in some sort of state of flux between something and nothing or matter and antimatter or <insert your own crazy physics here>, I don't see why God fits better, aside from the fact that science is limited by what we can observe and detect, and God is only limited by the human imagination.
How can you be sure my refusal to agree with your claim a symptom of my ignorance and not yours?

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #6 on: May 21, 2016, 10:35:43 AM »
Stumbled over this from Wired:

http://www.wired.com/2016/01/quantum-links-in-time-and-space-may-form-the-universes-foundation/

Quote
IN NOVEMBER, CONSTRUCTION workers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology came across a time capsule 942 years too soon. Buried in 1957 and intended for 2957, the capsule was a glass cylinder filled with inert gas to preserve its contents; it was even laced with carbon-14 so that future researchers could confirm the year of burial, the way they would date a fossil. MIT administrators plan to repair, reseal and rebury it. But is it possible to make it absolutely certain that a message to the future won’t be read before its time?

Quantum physics offers a way. In 2012, Jay Olson and Timothy Ralph, both physicists at the University of Queensland in Australia, laid out a procedure to encrypt data so that it can be decrypted only at a specific moment in the future. Their scheme exploits quantum entanglement, a phenomenon in which particles or points in a field, such as the electromagnetic field, shed their separate identities and assume a shared existence, their properties becoming correlated with one another’s. Normally physicists think of these correlations as spanning space, linking far-flung locations in a phenomenon that Albert Einstein famously described as “spooky action at a distance.” But a growing body of research is investigating how these correlations can span time as well. What happens now can be correlated with what happens later, in ways that elude a simple mechanistic explanation. In effect, you can have spooky action at a delay.

These correlations seriously mess with our intuitions about time and space. Not only can two events be correlated, linking the earlier one to the later one, but two events can become correlated such that it becomes impossible to say which is earlier and which is later. Each of these events is the cause of the other, as if each were the first to occur. (Even a single observer can encounter this causal ambiguity, so it’s distinct from the temporal reversals that can happen when two observers move at different velocities, as described in Einstein’s special theory of relativity.)

The time-capsule idea is only one demonstration of the potential power of these temporal correlations. They might also boost the speed of quantum computers and strengthen quantum cryptography.

But perhaps most important, researchers hope that the work will open up a new way to unify quantum theory with Einstein’s general theory of relativity, which describes the structure of space-time. The world we experience in daily life, in which events occur in an order determined by their locations in space and time, is just a subset of the possibilities that quantum physics allows. “If you have space-time, you have a well-defined causal order,” said Časlav Brukner, a physicist at the University of Vienna who studies quantum information. But “if you don’t have a well-defined causal order,” he said—as is the case in experiments he has proposed—then “you don’t have space-time.” Some physicists take this as evidence for a profoundly nonintuitive worldview, in which quantum correlations are more fundamental than space-time, and space-time itself is somehow built up from correlations among events, in what might be called quantum relationalism. The argument updates Gottfried Leibniz and Ernst Mach’s idea that space-time might not be a God-given backdrop to the world, but instead might derive from the material contents of the universe.

Longer article.....

Point from a layman's mind is we are still learning the relationship of time and space. The something/nothing view is relevant only from a strict material universe point of view that is actually only conceptual- as SGOS basically said. I think. Still too early....

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #7 on: May 21, 2016, 11:05:36 AM »
Stumbled over this from Wired:

http://www.wired.com/2016/01/quantum-links-in-time-and-space-may-form-the-universes-foundation/

Longer article.....

Point from a layman's mind is we are still learning the relationship of time and space. The something/nothing view is relevant only from a strict material universe point of view that is actually only conceptual- as SGOS basically said. I think. Still too early....

Yes, we have a hard time knowing what nothing really is, because we have never experienced it.  For some reason, we feel compelled to think that things have to occur in some kind of order like on a timeline, from simple to complex, but that might be because we know of nothing else.  The concept of "nothing" might not be as fundamental as we think.  It may not be the starting point where things pop into existence.  The idea that first you have nothing, and then something appears in it is what we imagine, but I can imagine a lot of things that aren't reality, so I wouldn't put much stock in what we "imagine", which is just another word for our intuition.  And I'm not a big fan of the "greatness" of intuition to begin with.

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #8 on: May 21, 2016, 11:39:28 AM »
Maybe something cannot come from nothing. Maybe. But that is no argument for God's existence. Because then we are still left holding the bag of magic tricks of where did God come from.  I'd much rather leave the question to science than to magic.
OMNIA DEPENDET ...

Online Mr.Obvious

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #9 on: May 21, 2016, 11:55:55 AM »
All i know is that putting god into The equation solves Jack shit.
But Ah... The stuff to mull over late at night with Beer in hand and friends close by...
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 12:31:40 PM by Mr.Obvious »
E = Mc²

In the end, we are all standing in the dark,
trying to figure out why we are here.
But let us not choose one direction
without proof of where it is headed.

Check your pocket for matches
so we can observe and learn together
as fast friends and relative idiots.

Offline reasonist

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2016, 12:15:43 PM »
Yes, we have a hard time knowing what nothing really is, because we have never experienced it.  For some reason, we feel compelled to think that things have to occur in some kind of order like on a timeline, from simple to complex, but that might be because we know of nothing else.  The concept of "nothing" might not be as fundamental as we think.  It may not be the starting point where things pop into existence.  The idea that first you have nothing, and then something appears in it is what we imagine, but I can imagine a lot of things that aren't reality, so I wouldn't put much stock in what we "imagine", which is just another word for our intuition.  And I'm not a big fan of the "greatness" of intuition to begin with.

The total mass-energy of the universe is....zero. The positive energy of matter is exactly balanced by the negative energy of gravity. Both obviously freely exchangeable. It's difficult for our limited cranial capacity to fathom nothingness and infinity, and yet both exist.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities
Voltaire

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #11 on: May 21, 2016, 01:04:05 PM »
The total mass-energy of the universe is....zero. The positive energy of matter is exactly balanced by the negative energy of gravity. Both obviously freely exchangeable. It's difficult for our limited cranial capacity to fathom nothingness and infinity, and yet both exist.
You're the only person I've seen who has more likes than posts! And I keep giving them to you! Thank you.
OMNIA DEPENDET ...

Offline reasonist

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2016, 01:42:25 PM »
You're the only person I've seen who has more likes than posts! And I keep giving them to you! Thank you.

Lol. Much obliged! Just trying to have common sense.
Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities
Voltaire

Offline Baruch

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2016, 03:19:11 PM »
I put this under "Science", but I'm not claiming this is science.  I'm just speculating about an age old question, because I had a bit of an odd thought this morning about how something (the universe) can come from nothing.  It's not like the question never occurs to anyone.  We all ponder it from time to time, and we often hear someone suggest that maybe the universe didn't come from nothing.  And that's the odd thought I had this morning, but in one of those new ways where an old thought seems entirely new: 

There seems to be a common assumption that "nothing" is some kind of default state.  Like if the universe didn't exist, it would fall back to a default state of rest and just be nothing.  But why should we automatically assume "nothing" is the default that changes it's state to "something" from time to time, or maybe just once?  Perhaps the default state is "something."  I mean if it has to be one or the other, it's just as likely that "something" is the default, rather than "nothing."  Why would nothing have to exist before something?  It's not like we are putting words in alphabetical order.

Parallel to that notion is the recognition that we only seem to ask, "How does something come from nothing?"  But wouldn't it be reasonable to ask the reverse, "How does nothing come from something?"  If "something" is the default, asking the reverse question is no more or less imponderable that asking how "something" can come from nothing.

I assume that most likely, both are the wrong questions, and the answer we are looking for has to do with something else entirely, but humans tend to fall for the fallacy of "either/or" or "excluded middle," and often distract ourselves from the real questions we should be asking.

By the way, what ever happened to JosephPalazzio?  Haven't seen him for a while, and I don't remember him saying "goodbye."

Well said!

The vacuum, as presently understood by quantum field theory ... is where both nothing and something exist at the same time and in the same place.  The vacuum is dynamic, not passive.  So if a gamma ray passes to close to a heavy nucleus ... it can be transformed into a particle/anti-particle pair.  That is how you get something from nothing, but only if you forget about the gamma ray and the massive nucleus.  The intensity of the E/M field close to even an electron, is so intense, that a full spectrum of elementary particles is coming into and out of existence very rapidly close to the electron.  This is happening to electrons passing thru wires in our electronics.  The electrons disturb the fabric of space-time ... which isn't empty.  So in a sense, "nothing" doesn't even exist in a vacuum.  It is an abstract concept without content.  If I am some place, and surrounded by nothing, my mere presence guaranteed that it is something.
שלום

Offline SGOS (OP)

Re: How Can Nothing Come from Something?
« Reply #14 on: May 21, 2016, 03:23:09 PM »
Maybe something cannot come from nothing. Maybe. But that is no argument for God's existence. Because then we are still left holding the bag of magic tricks of where did God come from.  I'd much rather leave the question to science than to magic.

Yeah, there's just too much special pleading, arguments from ignorance, exclusion of any other possibilities, and the requirement of magic in the God plea.  It's a whole stew of fallacious reasoning.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2016, 03:24:56 PM by SGOS »