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Larry Krauss: How to get something from nothing

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Someone reminds us of Lawrence Krauss’ claims that quantum mechanics makes it inevitable that something comes out of nothing just by random processes and that our existence is random and inevitable because of quantum mechanics. See here at BBC News (2014):

Their admittedly controversial answer is that the entire universe, from the fireball of the Big Bang to the star-studded cosmos we now inhabit, popped into existence from nothing at all. It had to happen, they say, because “nothing” is inherently unstable.

This idea may sound bizarre, or just another fanciful creation story. But the physicists argue that it follows naturally from science’s two most powerful and successful theories: quantum mechanics and general relativity.

Here, then, is how everything could have come from nothing. More.

BBC has perfected the art of sounding like they re engaging in serious enquiry when they are true believers engaging in worship.

John Horgan’s 2012 response to such claims in a Krauss book at Scientific American:

I’m nonetheless going out on a limb and guessing that science will never, ever answer what I call “The Question”: Why is there something rather than nothing? You might think this prediction is safe to the point of triviality, but certain prominent scientists are claiming not merely that they can answer The Question but that they have already done so. Physicist Lawrence Krauss peddles this message in his new book A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing (Free Press, 2012).

Philosopher David Albert, a specialist in quantum theory, offers a more balanced assessment of Krauss’s book in The New York Times Book Review. And by balanced assessment, I mean merciless smack down. Albert asks, “Where, for starters, are the laws of quantum mechanics themselves supposed to have come from?” Modern quantum field theories, Albert points out, “have nothing whatsoever to say on the subject of where those fields came from, or of why the world should have consisted of the particular kinds of fields it does, or of why it should have consisted of fields at all, or of why there should have been a world in the first place. Period. Case closed. End of story.”

If you want a more satisfying exploration of The Question, check out Why Does the World Exist? by the science and philosophy writer Jim Holt, to be published this summer by W.W. Norton. Holt is neither foolish nor arrogant enough to claim that he or anyone else has answered The Question. Rather, he ponders and talks about The Question not only with physicists, notably Linde, Steven Weinberg and David Deutsch, but also with philosophers, theologians and other non-scientists. And why not? When it comes to The Question, everyone and no one is an expert, because The Question is different in kind than any other question posed by science. More.

Yes, and if there were more science writing like Horgan’s, we would quit calling it pop science.

See also: Philosopher Ed Feser on physicist Larry Krauss: Scientists should tell Lawrence Krauss to just shut up.

The multiverse: Where everything turns out to be true, except philosophy and religion

But who needs reality-based thinking anyway? Not the new cosmologists


In search of a road to reality

Question: Is Krauss looking to inherit Dawkins’ mantle, promoting atheism as science? One would think so, from recent pronouncements.

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2 Replies to “Larry Krauss: How to get something from nothing

  1. 1
    Andre says:

    Nothing is the stuff that rocks dream of…….

  2. 2
    kairosfocus says:

    Andre, prezactly. Nothing, properly, is non-being. And non-being has no causal capacity so if ever there were utter nothing such would forever obtain. Where a quantum foam with bubbling up virtual particles is patently not non-being. That something now is, indicates that something always was, ultimately being independent of others to enable it and foundational to a world coming into being or continuing. That is, necessary being at the root of reality. KF

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