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How can anything come from nothing

  1. Sep 25, 2003 #1

    wolram

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    i have struggled with with theories for creation for one
    reason, and that is they all start with something.
    how can anything come from nothing, is nothing a meaningfull
    word in creation theories?
    i find it totaly ilogical that nothing exsisted befor
    creation.
    the best i can come up with for a psudo nothing is two
    forces that cancel each other.
    our exsistence must prove that absolute nothing is
    imposible?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 6, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2003 #2
    I've had this argument before in the physics forum. When I ask someone to define what existed before BB, they say nothing. I say that there had to be something, because something doesn't spring from nothing, and there it stops.

    No one knows what was before the universe was, but I know it must have been something. People say "nothing" because we can't define it, we have no frame of reference, or conceptualization. I believe it was something.
     
  4. Sep 25, 2003 #3

    wolram

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    well pre BB it is said that no space or time existed, if that
    is so then i cannot see how we could exsist.
    what would no space be? a solid?
    i think this space creation by BB is a way to explain gravity
    and that it leads to a cul-de-sac, if space did not exsist
    before the BB what was the stuff that it came from? maybe
    a no dimentional thing exsisting in nothing.
     
  5. Sep 25, 2003 #4

    Eh

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    Re: nothing

    This gives a lot of people trouble because of the way the English language is. We tend to refiy just about anything. But "nothing" is not some mystical state to wonder about. The word only has meaning as logical negation of "things". It is the same for other words like nowhere, nobody, etc. Only when the word is placed into a sentence does it take meaning, which is as negation. For example, "nothing travels faster than the speed of light".

    As for creation, let's take a look at a statement. The universe was created from nothing. This sentence does not claim that the universe was created from a state of nothingness, but is equivalent to the statement — The universe was not created from anything. Hence, "creation of the universe" becomes a misnomer.

    A little examination of the language we use can clear up some confusion. In the case of nothing, you might say there is nothing to it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2003
  6. Sep 25, 2003 #5
    See but that's one part of BB theory I don't acccept. THe world around us shows that through cause and effect, everything comes from something. The universe is an infinite series of cause and effect steps. To say that the universe just "blinked" into existence, goes against everything else that we DO know and have confirmed about the laws of the universe. Just because we can't prove there was nothing, doesn't mean there wasn't something. It may not have been anything that we could concieve of, but saying it was "nothing" is only a theory for lack of a better description
     
  7. Sep 25, 2003 #6
    what is space? what is empty space? What is nothing? and what constitutes 'something?'
     
  8. Sep 25, 2003 #7

    Eh

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    Space is a property of physical things. In the real world, that "thing" is the gravitational field. Space has no existence independent of it.

    In the ontological sense, anything that exists is considered to be a "thing".
     
  9. Sep 25, 2003 #8
    so if nothing exists does that make it a thing? or does that just mean that it's impossible for nothing to exist because it contradicts itself?
     
  10. Sep 25, 2003 #9
    nothing exist but we can't comprehend it. So trying to explain it is meaningless.
     
  11. Sep 25, 2003 #10

    Eh

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    Correct, it's a logical contradiction. As such it's no more possible than the existence of a circle square.
     
  12. Sep 25, 2003 #11

    hypnagogue

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    Or a particle wave? :wink:

    Anyway, I agree with you, Eh. Saying "nothing exists" does not assert the existence of some abstract thing that we call 'nothing'; rather it asserts the complete absence of existence of any 'things' in the first place.

    Maybe there is some confusion because our concept of 'nothingness' itself is a thing-- after all, we must have some existent concept of 'nothingness' to be able to talk about it, however paradoxical that might be. But a concept is just a concept, just a mental pointer used to refer to something else. In the case of the concept of 'nothing,' it just so happens that the pointer has no referent.
     
  13. Sep 26, 2003 #12
    Ahh but you're missing the point. I'm simply saying that before BB there wasn't "nothing". There was "something" we just don't know what it was, so we say it's nothing.

    For the sake of dicussion, we'll say that there wasn't "nothng", there was alpha existence. What alpha existence was like, we may never know-but it's was there
     
  14. Sep 26, 2003 #13
    Calling nothing something doesn't solve anything. You're back at square one again because in our world of cause and effect, what created this something? nothing?
     
  15. Sep 26, 2003 #14

    hypnagogue

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    Zantra, I was just addressing the notion of 'nothingness,' not your point. The idea that something came from nothing is highly counter-intuitive, but as steersman points out, we have to come to grips with it at some point unless we assume that the Universe is eternal and has no beginning-- which, in a way, is just as counter-intuitive as the alternative.
     
  16. Sep 26, 2003 #15

    wolram

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    to avoid insanity i prefer to think that "space" is eternal
    there is no opposit or alternative for space, so logicaly
    it must have always exsisted, to my way of thinking its
    the people that say space was created who are out to lunch.
     
  17. Sep 26, 2003 #16
    couldn't be that the sapce-time is eternal and the BB just offered some kind on mechanism to bend it and thus to have gravity?[?]
     
  18. Sep 26, 2003 #17

    wolram

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    guybrush, you are thinking along the same lines as i am
    it is far more logical to think of space as eternal.
    what other options are there, no space, null space
    total non exsistence of anything, all highly non intuitive
    and impposible to make "something" from.
    the creation of space by the BB is a gimmick used by
    scientisis to explain gravity, given time im sure this
    theory will be diss prooved.
     
  19. Sep 26, 2003 #18

    Njorl

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    The big-bang theory does not describe the creation of the universe. It might come very, very close, but there is a "wall" of time beyond which it can not describe what was going on. We may push that wall arbitrarily close to t=0, but not beyond. If there was something verifiably extant before the big-bang, then the big bang was not the start of our universe. This is certainly a valid point of argument.

    Asking what existed before the creation of our universe is meaningless. Our universe is, by definition, everything which could conceivably interact with us in some way. What exists outside our universe is manifestly unknowable. Even theoretical predictions are meaningless, because there is no need any supposed extra-universal continuum to be governed by our physical laws.

    It is possible that there could be something "outside" our universe. "Outside" includes before and after. But it doesn't matter. By definition, there can be no interaction with it, and no prediction made about it.

    Njorl
     
  20. Sep 26, 2003 #19

    Eh

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    As I said, "creation of the spacetime" is a misnomer. You can have a beginning of time, but it just means there is no before the first event. In this scenario, there is no time when the universe did not exist.
     
  21. Sep 26, 2003 #20

    wolram

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    As I said, "creation of the spacetime" is a misnomer. You can have a beginning of time, but it just means there is no before the first event. In this scenario, there is no time when the universe did not exist.
    ____________________________________________________________________
    ok EH that is understood, but how can you have a "first event",
    if time does not exsist?
    it is logical to me that something space, time, has to exsist
    before you can have a "first event"
    and yes it is pointless to hypothosise what came before the
    BB if that theory is 100% correct, but if it is found that
    the BB occured in a pre exsisting "something", then science
    can look before it.
     
  22. Sep 26, 2003 #21
    Then I can't accept that scenario. Just because we can't define it, doesn't mean we shouldn't theorize about it. And it certainly doesn't mean we can pretend it isn't there(well I can't anyhow). There is something else out there- beyond the universe. Beyond BB, beyond what we concieve of as the beginning of time. We may not be able to describe it, but it's still out there. And besides- you can't prove me wrong:wink:
     
  23. Sep 27, 2003 #22
    Yes I can. The very semantics of the issue kill any concept of something "outside of the Universe". The word "Universe" means "everything" or "all that exists", as njorl already pointed out. Thus, even to say "outside the Universe" is logically meaningless.

    Also, to the point of the misuse of the word "nothing", I think Eh did an awesome job of conveying the point in his first post on this thread. I thought that this problem was over when we went through it in the E.I.N.S thread, but I suppose newer members have never seen this thread before. I suggest that all who get a chance read at least the first post, since this issue of what the word "nothing" refers to is really a complete non-sequitor.
     
  24. Sep 27, 2003 #23

    wolram

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    i can only agree with MENTAT if the BB is the B all and
    end all of the universe ,but if it had a totally
    different begining then it is not.
     
  25. Sep 27, 2003 #24
    I ascribe to the multiverse theory myself, so the term "universe" to mee seems too limiting. Sure, you can prove me wrong by "theorizing" that there is the universe and nothing else. But I can theorize that the outside of the known universe is coated by a thin layer of green jello, and you couldn't dispute it. Well you could, but not with any degree of certainty.

    That's my point. We're all only speculating when it comes to anything beyond BB or the known "universe". Who's to say someone theory is anymore solid then anyone else's. We can make hypothyses about the known universe based on observation, but anything beyond what we know is just a blind guess. So what we do, rather than make wild guesses, is say there is "nothing" beyond what we know. I prefer to keep an open mind, myself.
     
  26. Sep 28, 2003 #25
    As far as I'm concerned, there are only two theories that make any possible sence. either something has always existed, or space and time just blinked into existence, which is the same thing. as far as creationism goes, god(s) is/are considered a thing/things, which means that nothingness did not exist before.

    Also, it is theorized that before the big bang, the universe was compressed to an infinitesimal size. It is also thought that it was decompressed before the Big Bang, and may have been much like, or exactly like, the universe as it is now.

    It seems likely, from what we observe of planets, and what we know of light waves, that the universe is either expanding, or moving apart. we can tell this because everything seems to be moving further and further away from us.

    I might also say that if space and time blinked into existence, it would likely be exactly the same as if they had existed forever, as no time would have passed before.

    the only thing that can be proven is that something exists. what that thing is may vary.
     
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