Cosmology Intelligent Design Physics

At Forbes: Ethan Siegel offers to tell us how the universe popped into existence from nothing

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With no underlying intelligence. And if he can do that, he can magic you a million dollars. Would come in handy, no?

In the context of physics, it’s impossible to make sense of an idea of absolute nothingness. What does it mean to be outside of space and time, and how can space and time sensibly, predictably emerge from a state of non-existence? How can spacetime emerge at a particular location or time, when there’s no definition of location or time without it? Where do the rules governing quanta — the fields and particles both — arise from?

This line of thought even assumes that space, time, and the laws of physics themselves weren’t eternal, when in fact they may be. Any theorems or proofs to the contrary rely on assumptions whose validity is not soundly established under the conditions which we’d seek to apply them. If you accept a physical definition of “nothing,” then yes, the Universe as we know it very much appears to have arisen from nothing. But if you leave physical constraints behind, then all certainly about our ultimate cosmic origins disappears.

Ethan Siegel, “Ask Ethan: How Did The Entire Universe Come From Nothing?” at Forbes

Well, if we leave physical constraints behind, we are certainly not operating in the only universe we know.

But thanks to Ethan for an entertaining close to the evening.

4 Replies to “At Forbes: Ethan Siegel offers to tell us how the universe popped into existence from nothing

  1. 1
    polistra says:

    Ethan is the court jester of science. Like other “influencers”, he knows how to gratify the nobility and mock the peasants. That’s all he does.

  2. 2
    AaronS1978 says:

    What’s amazing is he doesn’t realize you have to do redefine nothing as some thing for him to be right if you don’t give them that he can’t be right it’s a matter of semantics

    What a joke

    By the way as a physicist huh? Well I can completely imagine a space with absolutely nothing in it, no particles, no waves, nothing, just complete still.

    Must be smarter than Ethan apparently that’s something he can’t do

  3. 3

    I would argue that the laws of logic, the value of pi, etc. exist because, despite their being insubstantial, they can be used as tools in a physical universe. But laws of physics that apply to physical materials that don’t exist? Gravity that does not result from matter or have any matter to affect?

  4. 4
    BobRyan says:

    I have no problem with the idea of the universe starting from a state of nothingness. A blank canvas to create the laws and mathematics of the universe by something with far greater intelligence than man could ever hope to achieve. God put the laws in place first, including energy. We cannot create energy nor can we destroy it, yet it exists as an eternal force.

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