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Older vintages: From New Scientist (1996) on the dubious idea of something from nothing

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This image represents the evolution of the Universe, starting with the Big Bang. The red arrow marks the flow of time.
Big Bang/NASA

From David Darling at New Scientist:

But, as far as I am concerned, the fact that the Universe was an incredibly weird place 10-43 seconds after “time zero” is no big deal. What is a big deal—the biggest deal of all—is how you get something out of nothing.

Don’t let the cosmologists try to kid you on this one. They have not got a clue either—despite the fact that they are doing a pretty good job of convincing themselves and others that this is really not a problem. “In the beginning,” they will say, “there was nothing—no time, space, matter or energy. Then there was a quantum fluctuation from which . . . ” Whoa! Stop right there. You see what I mean? First there is nothing, then there is something. And the cosmologists try to bridge the two with a quantum flutter, a tremor of uncertainty that sparks it all off. Then they are away and before you know it, they have pulled a hundred billion galaxies out of their quantum hats. More.

Come to think of it, that was the same year David Berlinski’s “The Deniable Darwin” was published in Commentary.*

Since then, New Scientist has doubled down on crackpot cosmology:

2016: Metaphysics special: Why is there something rather than nothing?

In part because nothing is not what you think it is. Also don’t forget the multiverseMore.

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* I (O’Leary for News) remember that article because a poli sci prof made me a photocopy at the time and said, read this and get back to me: What do you think?

I read it and told him: Darwinism is in big trouble conceptually. Because neither of us then realized the extent to which Darwinism is a religion among its adherents, we were unprepared for the irrational response to the infidel Berlinski, and everyone else who has questioned it since. But I’ve certainly been having fun with it.

See also: Why we need Many Worlds: A Boltzmann brain existing is more probable than a universe existing  (Nautilus)

One Reply to “Older vintages: From New Scientist (1996) on the dubious idea of something from nothing

  1. 1
    kairosfocus says:

    News, all of these are signs and trends of our increasingly and suicidally irrational times. Let’s focus on the logic of being, reflecting yes, ontology. Nothing = no + thing [ontos means thing BTW], so, nothing, properly, denotes non-being. That which utterly is not: not space, time, matter, energy or abstracta. A loop on a chalk-board to denote the empty set, then erase the loop, the board, the eraser, the space. Were there ever utter non-being such would “forever” obtain as it hath not causal capability to initiate much less sustain a temporal-causal order. That, manifestly, a world is, entails that something always was. Arguably, ultimately a world-root independent of external, enabling on/off causal factors. That gets very uncomfortable for evolutionary materialistic scientism (especially once one reckons that the world contains reflective, responsible, rational, morally governed creatures), and so the sort of floundering around we see is understandable. Cognitive dissonance in the face of incoherence is a force to be reckoned with. KF

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