Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Odd request from somebody who doesn't know much.

  1. Nov 10, 2003 #1
    Hi. I'm to compare science and religion for some schoolwork that I'm doing in a religion class. I'm to find out how this universe was created in the first place.

    According to what I've been hearing, vacuum isn't 'nothing'. Vacuum is a quantum field where particles can appear for a short amount of time through quantum fluctations. I may be wrong, but this is what I've been hearing.

    Let's assume for a second that the whole universe was just one big fat space of vacuum. Would the so called 'big bang' occur from 'nowhere' or is it likely that all matter existed from the beginning?

    If big bang appeared out of nowhere, could you please tell me a bit about the process and/or possibly recommend some sites for me.

    Something else I've been hearing is that when you look what's happening deep inside matters, you are only able to determine the probability of what is going to happen with it.

    Suppose I'm correct about the last thing I've been hearing. What is believed to really control matter? Is it done very randomly or does it seemed to be controlled in some way? Is the randomness comparable to the irationality of PI?

    From a religious point of view, one could argue that matter is controlled by a God. This is why I'm asking you about it. I'm to be critical against different beliefs.

    Thank you in advance. This will really be of help.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2003 #2
    Whether vacuum is "nothing" depends mostly on how you choose to define that word.

    We can't observe vacuum fluctuations directly, but our theory of vacuum fluctuations predicts that they will have observable consequences for things we do observe, and experiments bear this out.

    In most theories of the Big Bang, matter did not suddenly appear; it existed from the beginning. Whether the Big Bang "appeared out of nowhere" again depends on what you mean by that.

    There are many ideas about the Big Bang, and nobody knows whether any of them are even close to being correct.

    Do a Google search for "quantum cosmology". You'll have to sort through a lot of technical and non-technical material. I know that the talk.origins newsgroup has had discussions of the origins of the universe (that's one reason why it's called "talk.origins"). If you add the qualifier "site:talkorigins.org" to your Google search after the keywords, you'll find whatever they have archived on their site.

    Yes.

    According to quantum mechanics, the dynamics of particles are random, with the probability distributions given by the laws of quantum theory.

    I don't know how.

    One could, but to argue that, one should give evidence in its favor, regardless of what physics does or doesn't say on the matter.
     
  4. Nov 11, 2003 #3
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?