Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

According to astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, the universe has never truly been empty

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Well, probably not, but …

How is this possible? It’s like the Universe itself doesn’t understand our idea of “nothing” at all; if we were to remove all the quanta of energy from our Universe, leaving behind only empty space, we would immediately expect that the Universe would be at absolute zero: with no energetic particles anywhere to be found. Yet that’s not the case at all. No matter how “empty” we artificially make the expanding Universe, the fact that it’s expanding would still spontaneously and unavoidably generate radiation. Even arbitrarily far into the future, or all the way back before the hot Big Bang, the Universe would never truly be empty. Here’s the science of why.

No matter how clearly in your mind you’re capable of envisioning an empty Universe with nothing in it, that picture simply does not conform to reality. Insisting that the laws of physics remain valid is enough to do away with the idea of a truly empty Universe. So long as energy exists within it — even the zero-point energy of the quantum vacuum is sufficient — there will always be some form of radiation that can never be removed. The Universe has never been completely empty, and so long as dark energy doesn’t decay entirely away, it never will be, either.

Ethan Siegel, “The Universe Has Never Truly Been Empty” at Medium

But wait. If it was truly empty, it would not exist, right? What we mean by the “universe” is everything that exists. So, if it’s “empty,” nothing exists.

Of course, it could always exist as an abstract idea but then it must be the abstract idea of a Being in another dimension.

Or are we missing something?

In 2019, Ethan Siegel also wrote about nothingness, explaining “how we can “get a universe from nothing.” That must have been a different nothing.

See also: Must We Understand “Nothing” To Understand Physics?

10 Replies to “According to astrophysicist Ethan Siegel, the universe has never truly been empty

  1. 1
    Seversky says:

    If there had ever been truly nothing, there would still be nothing, even if it’s something we cannot imagine. Conversely, since there is something, there must always have been something, even if it wasn’t the Universe in which we find ourselves.

  2. 2
    AaronS1978 says:

    Yeah god, and you might as well say god if you believe in laws that constantly exist out side of matter that shape the universe

    Furthermore everything he mentions above is by no means provable and purely hypothetical

    They been pushing that perspective of perpetual existence for a longer time now. Cyclic universes to m theory and nothing pivotal has come from it

  3. 3
    polistra says:

    Why does anyone still listen to Siegel?

  4. 4
    BobRyan says:

    Siegel, much like Hawkings did, uses circular reasoning, which is no reasoning at all.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    Siegal claims, basically, instead of God, that zero point energy has always existed.

    Small problem for Seigal and other atheistic Materialists, no one can seem to detect this zero point energy, virtual particles and/or this ‘quantum foam’, that Siegal believes must have always existed.

    People who believe in virtual particles usually point to the Casimir Effect as supposedly definitive proof for virtual particles (and/or zero point energy, and/or quantum foam).

    What is the Casimir Effect?
    The Casimir effect is a small attractive force that acts between two close parallel uncharged conducting plates. It is caused by quantum vacuum fluctuations of the electromagnetic field.
    The effect was predicted by the Dutch physicist Hendrick Casimir in 1948. According to quantum theory, the vacuum contains virtual particles which are in a continuous state of fluctuation (see physics FAQ article on virtual particles). Casimir realised that between two plates, only those virtual photons whose wavelengths fit a whole number of times into the gap should be counted when calculating the vacuum energy. The energy density decreases as the plates are moved closer together, which implies that there is a small force drawing them together.

    Yet, the Casimir Effect is not definitive proof for virtual particles and/or quantum foam. Far from it.

    As the following article states, ““Casimir effects can be formulated and Casimir forces can be computed without reference to zero-point energies.,,, In fact, the description in terms of van der Waals forces is the only correct description from the fundamental microscopic perspective,[20][21] while other descriptions of Casimir force are merely effective macroscopic descriptions.”

    Relativistic van der Waals force
    Alternatively, a 2005 paper by Robert Jaffe of MIT states that “Casimir effects can be formulated and Casimir forces can be computed without reference to zero-point energies. They are relativistic, quantum forces between charges and currents. The Casimir force (per unit area) between parallel plates vanishes as alpha, the fine structure constant, goes to zero, and the standard result, which appears to be independent of alpha, corresponds to the alpha approaching infinity limit,” and that “The Casimir force is simply the (relativistic, retarded) van der Waals force between the metal plates.”[18] Casimir and Polder’s original paper used this method to derive the Casimir-Polder force. In 1978, Schwinger, DeRadd, and Milton published a similar derivation for the Casimir Effect between two parallel plates.[19] In fact, the description in terms of van der Waals forces is the only correct description from the fundamental microscopic perspective,[20][21] while other descriptions of Casimir force are merely effective macroscopic descriptions.

    Seigal, and other atheistic materialists, simply have ZERO empirical evidence for ‘quantum foam’. In fact there is much evidence that argues agains its existence.

    GRBs Expand Astronomers’ Toolbox – Nov. 2009
    Excerpt: a detailed analysis of the GRB (Gamma Ray Burst) in question demonstrated that photons of all energies arrived at essentially the same time. Consequently, these results falsify any quantum gravity models requiring the simplest form of a frothy space.

    Quantum Foam Paper Suggests Einstein Was Right About Space-Time Being ‘Smooth’ – January 2013
    Excerpt: It appears Albert Einstein may have been right yet again.
    A team of researchers came to this conclusion after tracing the long journey three photons took through intergalactic space. The photons were blasted out by an intense explosion known as a gamma-ray burst about 7 billion light-years from Earth. They finally barreled into the detectors of NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope in May 2009, arriving just a millisecond apart.
    Their dead-heat finish strongly supports the Einsteinian view of space-time, researchers said. The wavelengths of gamma-ray burst photons are so small that they should be able to interact with the even tinier “bubbles” in the quantum theorists’ proposed space-time foam.
    If this foam indeed exists, the three photons should have been knocked around a bit during their epic voyage. In such a scenario, the chances of all three reaching the Fermi telescope at virtually the same time are very low, researchers said.?So the new study is a strike against the foam’s existence as currently imagined,,, “If foaminess exists at all, we think it must be at a scale far smaller than the Planck length,”

    Confirming Einstein, scientists find ‘spacetime foam’ not slowing down photons from faraway gamma-ray burst (Update) – Mar 16, 2015
    Excerpt: Albert Einstein formulated the general theory of relativity, one of the theory’s basic assumptions: the idea that all light particles, or photons, propagate at exactly the same speed.,,
    The researchers analyzed data, obtained by NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, of the arrival times of photons from a distant gamma-ray burst. The data showed that photons traveling for billions of years from the distant burst toward Earth all arrived within a fraction of a second of each other.
    This finding indicates that the photons all moved at the same speed, even though different photons had different energies. This is one of the best measurements ever of the independence of the speed of light from the energy of the light particles.,,,
    One of the attempts to reconcile the two theories (Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity) is the idea of “space-time foam.” According to this concept, on a microscopic scale space is not continuous, and instead it has a foam-like structure. The size of these foam elements is so tiny that it is difficult to imagine and is at present impossible to measure directly. However light particles that are traveling within this foam will be affected by the foamy structure, and this will cause them to propagate at slightly different speeds depending on their energy.
    The fact that all the photons with different energies arrived with no time delay relative to each other indicates that such a foamy structure, if it exists at all, has a much smaller size than previously expected.
    “When we began our analysis, we didn’t expect to obtain such a precise measurement,” said Prof. Tsvi Piran, the Schwartzmann University Chair at the Hebrew University’s Racah Institute of Physics and a leader of the research. “This new limit is at the level expected from quantum gravity theories.

    NASA telescopes set limits on space-time quantum ‘foam’ – May, 28. 2015
    Excerpt: At the smallest scales of distance and duration that we can measure, spacetime—that is, the three dimensions of space plus time—appears to be smooth and structureless. However, certain aspects of quantum mechanics, the highly successful theory scientists have developed to explain the physics of atoms and subatomic particles, predict that spacetime would not be smooth. Rather, it would have a foamy, jittery nature and would consist of many small, ever-changing, regions for which space and time are no longer definite, but fluctuate.,,,
    Chandra’s X-ray detection of quasars at distances of billions of light-years rules out one model, according to which photons diffuse randomly through spacetime foam in a manner similar to light diffusing through fog. Detections of distant quasars at shorter, gamma-ray wavelengths with Fermi and even shorter wavelengths with VERITAS demonstrate that a second, so-called holographic model with less diffusion does not work.
    “We find that our data can rule out two different models for spacetime foam,” said co-author Jack Ng of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. “We can conclude that spacetime is less foamy than some (quantum) models predict.”
    The X-ray and gamma-ray data show that spacetime is smooth down to distances 1,000 times smaller than the nucleus of a hydrogen atom.

    Troubled Times for Alternatives to Einstein’s Theory of Gravity – April 30, 2018
    New observations of extreme astrophysical systems have “brutally and pitilessly murdered” attempts to replace Einstein’s general theory of relativity.
    Excerpt: All attempts to directly detect dark matter and dark energy have failed, however. That fact “kind of leaves a bad taste in some people’s mouths, almost like the fictional planet Vulcan,” said Leo Stein, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology. “Maybe we’re going about it all wrong?”,,,
    “The business of alternative gravity theories is a messy one,” Archibald said. Some would-be replacements for general relativity, like string theory and loop quantum gravity, don’t offer testable predictions. Others “make predictions that are spectacularly wrong, so the theorists have to devise some kind of a screening mechanism to hide the wrong prediction on scales we can actually test,” she said.

    Stephen Hawking Says Nothing Existed Before Big Bang; Christian Astrophysicist Hugh Ross Responds – By Michael Gryboski – Mar 5, 2018
    Excerpt: Ross responded that while Hawking was correct that “time has a beginning,” nevertheless “the beginning of time demands a Causal Agent capable of creating time independent of time. It is not enough to simply speculate that imaginary time also exists.”,,,
    ,,,the (quantum fluctuation) model that Hawking is proposing for the origins of the Universe is problematic in light of modern astronomical observations.,,,
    “Recent observations showing that the images of distant quasars and blazars are not blurry, but rather are sharp, constrain the size of these quantum space-time fluctuations. The fluctuations are not large enough to escape the need for a Creator who creates space and time or for the universe to have a finite age.”

    So once again, we see that the supposed scientific evidence that Atheists depend on to support their worldview simply does not exist anywhere save for in their unrestrained imaginations.

  6. 6
    Pearlman says:

    wishful thinking by those wishing to rationalize their denial of the designed and created actuality.
    even the Dark Matter (and Dark Energy) are mythical fudge factors that are required to live in their cozy deep-time dependent, confirmation bias reinforced, box, to opt. out of facing the one reality.
    reference Pearlman YeC.

  7. 7
    Querius says:


    Do you believe in causality? Science is based entirely on causality. Without causality, we could know nothing. So, what was the cause of the Something you’re referring to?

    I ask this because your “Something” sounds like it’s eternal, all powerful (everything in the universe came from it) and causeless . . . sorta like God, right?


  8. 8
    Querius says:
  9. 9
    Querius says:

    Now, if we just wait long enough for the above post . . . letters will appear spontaneously in the something of “post space” and evolve into a universe of brilliantly crafted information.

    Right? 😉


  10. 10
    Querius says:

    Seems like we’ll need to wait millions of years for any reply.


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