something cannot come from nothing on its own

Discussions about the possibility of consciousness, free will, spirits, deities, religions and so on, and how these might interact with time travel, the Big Bang, many worlds and so on.

Postby Hugh » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:49 pm

The idea in the thread is more like "can something create itself from absolute nothingness?" You don't have to put the poll up, if people want to answer they can just post their reasons why. I haven't seen anyone else jumping in to disagree with what I'm saying. I don't think Hawking would either, but, post up his quote when you get a chance. :)
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Postby Nick » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:22 am

Page 79, first new paragraph, The Universe in a Nutshell:

"We are used to the idea that events are caused by earlier events, which are in turn caused by still earlier events. There is a chain of causuality stretching back into the past. But suppose this chain has a beginning. Suppose there was a first event. What caused it? This was not a question that many scientists wanted to address. They tried to avoid it, either by claiming, like the Russians, that the universe didn't have a beginning or by maintaining that the origin of the universe did not lie within the realm of science but belonged to metaphysics or religion. In my opinion, this is not a position any true scientist should take. If the laws of science are suspended at the beginning of the universe, might not they fail at other times also? A law is not a law if it only holds sometimes. We must try to understand the beginning of the universe on the basis of science. It may be a task beyond our powers, but we should at least make the attempt.

While the the theorems that Penrose and I proved showed that the universe have had a beginning, they didn't give much information about the nature of that beginning. They indicated that the universe began in a big bang, a point where the whole universe, and everything in it, was scrunched into a single point of infinite density."

--Stephen Hawking

That seems pretty direct to me. :P
btw, the italics are his, not mine.
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Postby Hugh » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:33 am

Stephen Hawking wrote:They indicated that the universe began in a big bang, a point where the whole universe, and everything in it, was scrunched into a single point of infinite density.


That's a great quote, to support what I'm saying. "The whole universe, and everything in it" (my bold lettering in quote) was scrunched into a single point. It's still the universe, just very, very small.

Where does he say that the universe created itself from absolute nothingness - as I defined it - into that single point of infinite density?

Who could actually say that there was absolute nothingness, then this point of singularity of infinite density created itself and appeared (out of nowhere, into nowhere, creating a somewhere), then there was a big bang, then we have what we see around us today? All from absolute nothingness? Seems illogical to me.
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Postby houserichichi » Sat Apr 29, 2006 2:03 am

I think that's a very important thing to consider, Hugh. My own response, and it's just that, my own, is that the Big Bang theory doesn't require nothingness and then suddenly a universe appears. If we reverse our current understanding of things (that the universe is expanding) then it must contract. If it contracts then it will continue to do so indefinitely. It's a mathematical certainty that a universe the shape of a sphere (or something homeomorphic to it, which I assume we are) can be shrunk down to a point. The Big Bang theory says what happens to this point and it never implies or requires the need for anything less than this point. It's a very subtle detail and I'm not assuming you don't already know it. Yes, the physics breaks down at scales that small but at least we can visualize things in our head. Whether that point existed "forever" in a loose sense of the word or if it really did spring from "nothingness" we can't say, and big bang cosmologists don't try to explain.

It's similar to the evolution/intelligent design debate - intelligent design attempts (at its core) to explain WHERE we came from whereas evolution attempts to explain what happened AFTER we got here. Similarly, what this thread is centred around is WHERE the universe came from whereas big bang theory details what happened AFTER (assuming it was "never" there to begin with) the singularity came to be. Now, whether there was ever a "nothing" in the first place we can't say and science isn't attempting to.

Excuse any faulty logic - I came up with that on the spot after reading the last 2 posts...I very well could be wrong.
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Postby Hugh » Sat Apr 29, 2006 2:24 am

houserichichi wrote:Now, whether there was ever a "nothing" in the first place we can't say and science isn't attempting to.

Well, I'm attempting to say that logically there couldn't have ever been "nothing" to begin with, what do you think?
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Postby houserichichi » Sat Apr 29, 2006 4:51 am

That's what I thought.

I'm with you on that and always have been!! So it still boils down to what you've been saying - either that little singularity has existed forever OR there's some sort of god that created something from nothing.

Perhaps, since the laws of physics only apply to our universe (we can't necessarily assume it exists "outside" if such a place exists) then maybe causality doesn't apply should we exist in a multiverse.
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Postby Hugh » Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:13 am

houserichichi wrote:I'm with you on that and always have been!! So it still boils down to what you've been saying - either that little singularity has existed forever OR there's some sort of god that created something from nothing.

Or there's another form the universe has pre-existed in forever before, right. Logical.
houserichichi wrote:Perhaps, since the laws of physics only apply to our universe (we can't necessarily assume it exists "outside" if such a place exists) then maybe causality doesn't apply should we exist in a multiverse.

Now you're taking it one more step back with a twist. Our universe sprang from nothingness in a multiverse with no causality?
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Postby Nick » Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:09 am

Hugh, I notice that you picked one sentence out of that quote and used it to support yourself, while ignoring the rest. Here's an idea: Look deeply into the sentences preceding that quote, and you'll notice that he's supporting me. Read between the lines! :!:

On edit: Hell, according to him, you're not even a scientist!
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Postby Nick » Sat Apr 29, 2006 3:38 pm

Sorry to double post, but I thought it might be interesting to point out the definition of singularity.

According to Stephen Hawking, it is "zero size and with infinite mass".
According to dictionary.com, it is "A point in space-time at which gravitational forces cause matter to have infinite density and infinitesimal volume."

Apparently, a singularity has no size by definition, therefore it can exist without time or anything else having to exist. So technically, it is possible for their to be a "time" when absolutely nothing existed, while a singularity brimming with energy is floating around it (because it is nothing).

:D

Also, reading this Question and Answer (it's two paragraphs long) on NASA'swebsite describes a singularity.
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Postby Hugh » Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:12 pm

Irockyou, I think you're focusing on the "time" element rather than the "substance" element that I'm talking about.

First, lets discuss time and the existence of the singularity.

According to the black hole singularity nasa page you mentioned, it says; "At a singularity, space and time cease to exist as we know them. The laws of physics as we know them break down at a singularity, so it's not really possible to envision something with infinite density and zero volume." (Notice how they still refer to it as something?)

Yet, a black hole singularity exists today in our universe, as time goes on all around it. Count ten seconds. It existed during that time. So even if within the singularity there is no time flow, time is still going on "all around it" (and it is still something).

Now, even if the whole universe was at some time a singularity, time would still be going on "all around it" just as it does today outside of the black hole.

Let's now discuss the important aspect of this whole thing, that a singularity is still something. You still have yet to show me a logical quote from Hawking, or any other scientist, that says that the universe came from absolute nothingness, as I have described it. Focus on the nothingness part of it - no singularity, quantum foam, energy, force, God, matter, space, multiverse, imaginary whatever. Nothing.
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Postby Nick » Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:30 pm

You are not listening to the meaning of my words, only the surface. This entire thread you have done nothing but sidestep all of my logic :evil:. Last time I checked, you created this thread, which means it's your repsonsibility to convince me of what you believe, not the other way around.
Hugh wrote: Irockyou, I think you're focusing on the "time" element rather than the "substance" element that I'm talking about.


Substance cannot exist without time, therefore if there isn't time, there isn't substance.

Hugh wrote:According to the black hole singularity nasa page you mentioned, it says; "At a singularity, space and time cease to exist as we know them. The laws of physics as we know them break down at a singularity, so it's not really possible to envision something with infinite density and zero volume." (Notice how they still refer to it as something?)


Notice that they say it has zero volume, which still makes it nothing. They refer to it as "something" because it still has density, but it has no volume. Because it is nothing, time doesn't exist on it.

Hugh wrote:Yet, a black hole singularity exists today in our universe, as time goes on all around it. Count ten seconds. It existed during that time. So even if within the singularity there is no time flow, time is still going on "all around it" (and it is still something).

Now, even if the whole universe was at some time a singularity, time would still be going on "all around it" just as it does today outside of the black hole.


Of course we can count to ten, because more than just the singularity in the black hole exists; there is an entire universe around it. However, before the Big Bang, the Universe was nothing but a singularity. The only "thing" that existed was the singularity, which had no sense of time.

The singularity that created our universe was not something because it must have volume to be something. Time didn't exist because there was nothing around it; it was the Universe. It existed, but it didn't have to come from something else to exist. That is the key point here: It didn't have to come from something to exist.
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Postby houserichichi » Sat Apr 29, 2006 5:48 pm

Gents, be careful...what the nasa page says and what the reality of the mathematics is are two slightly different things.

NASA wrote:At a singularity, space and time cease to exist as we know them. The laws of physics as we know them break down at a singularity, so it's not really possible to envision something with infinite density and zero volume.


I've bolded a few key points. Number one, a singularity is a mathematical phenomenon. When we talk about such things in physics, however, we have to include a few other defining properties (volume, density, and the lot).

Infinity is not a number, thus something cannot have "infinite" density nor can it have zero volume. What it really translates too can be explained with basic calculus - the limit of the volume is zero and the limit of the density is positive infinity. The only things in this universe that are infinitely small are point-particles which may or may not actually be a misnomer.

We can't really say what happened when the universe was a singularity because all physics that we know breaks down (as was bolded in the quote) so we can't say why it blew up and got bigger nor can we attempt to reason what it actually "was".

As far as WHERE the singularity came from....feel free to duke it out because I certainly don't know.[/quote]
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Postby Hugh » Sat Apr 29, 2006 6:49 pm

irockyou wrote:It existed, but it didn't have to come from something else to exist. That is the key point here: It didn't have to come from something to exist.

Your words "it existed" sums it up for me. That's my point. There was something existing there, the singularity.
houserichichi wrote:As far as WHERE the singularity came from....feel free to duke it out because I certainly don't know.

I don't know either, but it must have always existed in some form, either that, or an ever-existing God created it. :)
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Postby houserichichi » Sat Apr 29, 2006 8:02 pm

Or, like you said earlier, universe exists in a multiverse where causality isn't as we know. Alas, the debate is entertainment enough. If I had to make a choice right now, however, I think I'd choose the forever-universe model...just sits better in the pit of me. You?
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Postby Hugh » Sat Apr 29, 2006 8:12 pm

houserichichi wrote:If I had to make a choice right now, however, I think I'd choose the forever-universe model...just sits better in the pit of me. You?

To me, I see a purpose in everything around me. When I do things, I see a purpose there too. There is this vast wondrous universe that I exist in. I know I didn't create myself. I think there is a purpose for everything. I think there is an intelligent design to what I see.

Although it is possible that the universe has always existed on its own, I choose to believe in a forever-existing God, a creator instead. When I think of goodness, kindness, and love, it just sits better in the pit of me. :)
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Postby Nick » Sat Apr 29, 2006 10:08 pm

Hugh wrote:Although it is possible that the universe has always existed on its own, I choose to believe in a forever-existing God, a creator instead. When I think of goodness, kindness, and love, it just sits better in the pit of me. :)


What is it which religious people, thinking that athiests have no sense of goodness, kindness, and love? That is insulting. When I think of the universe, I think of how lucky I am that I exist, and how I should study what has allowed me to exist (the universe). Thinking that I exist because of a freak accident of nature as opposed to an almighty being that has control of my life both before and after I die just sits better in the pit of me :).

Hugh wrote:Your words "it existed" sums it up for me. That's my point. There was something existing there, the singularity.


Really? I thought your point was that the singularity had to come from something else before it existed. But in this quote, you say that all it has to do is exist, and you will be right. Make up your mind! :wink:

I think this thread is over... I have exhausted all of my resources and I'm pretty sure you did to. However, if anything, this thread makes me believe more that the universe has existed a finite time.

Take a look at Hawking and Penrose's paper sometime; you may be amazed at what you see. :wink:
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Postby Hugh » Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:06 pm

irockyou wrote:What is it which religious people, thinking that athiests have no sense of goodness, kindness, and love?

Um, I'm not religious, more spiritual. I don't think that athiests have no sense of goodness, kindness, and love, they do.
irockyou wrote:When I think of the universe, I think of how lucky I am that I exist, and how I should study what has allowed me to exist (the universe). Thinking that I exist because of a freak accident of nature as opposed to an almighty being that has control of my life both before and after I die just sits better in the pit of me :).

We're all free to believe whatever we want to.
irockyou wrote:Really? I thought your point was that the singularity had to come from something else before it existed.

Nope, I never said that. Read through the thread again if you'd like. I said that the singularity couldn't have created itself. It must have always existed, in some form, if it wasn't created by an ever-existing creator. That's been my whole point all the way along.
irockyou wrote:I think this thread is over... I have exhausted all of my resources and I'm pretty sure you did to. However, if anything, this thread makes me believe more that the universe has existed a finite time.

It has for me too. :)
irockyou wrote:Take a look at Hawking and Penrose's paper sometime; you may be amazed at what you see. :wink:

I have. :wink:
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Postby Nick » Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:44 pm

Hugh wrote:Nope, I never said that. Read through the thread again if you'd like. I said that the singularity couldn't have created itself. It must have always existed, in some form, if it wasn't created by an ever-existing creator. That's been my whole point all the way along.


Ohhhhhh... :o... really? That changes a lot of stuff... where once I thought you were completely ignoring what I was saying and "sidestepping" my logic, you actually weren't. What a failure of communication on my part :( !
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Postby jinydu » Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:46 pm

This paper you mentioned by Hawking and Penrose sounds interesting. It has been claimed in this thread that such a paper proves mathematically that the universe began in a Big Bang. But obviously, it is impossible to prove such a thing using pure math alone; they must have assumed the validity of some physical laws. So my question is, proved using what assumptions? And do you have a link?
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Postby Nick » Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:49 pm

I don't know for sure that it is proven mathematically. (though I said it on this thread). You see, I read an "abridged" version of their papers. My math teacher was handing it out in Geo. Hnrs. I mom accidently through out the paper, too, so I can't type it up. :(

Sorry :cry:
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Postby Hugh » Sat Apr 29, 2006 11:54 pm

irockyou wrote:Ohhhhhh... :o... really? That changes a lot of stuff... where once I thought you were completely ignoring what I was saying and "sidestepping" my logic, you actually weren't. What a failure of communication on my part :( !

That's okay, I knew you were missing what I was trying to say. So now, do you agree with it? :)
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Postby Nick » Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:00 am

Hugh wrote:That's okay, I knew you were missing what I was trying to say. So now, do you agree with it? Smile


No, see, the difference is that I thought before you were ignoring what I was saying. However, I still believe that there was a point in time when there was absolutely nothing (no time, energy, matter).

I doubt anything will move me in that position, and I doubt anything will move you from yours :mrgreen:.

I wrote:However, if anything, this thread makes me believe more that the universe has existed a finite time.
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Postby Hugh » Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:15 am

irockyou wrote:I still believe that there was a point in time when there was absolutely nothing (no time, energy, matter).

I doubt anything will move me in that position, and I doubt anything will move you from yours :mrgreen:.

So to finish things off, you believe that first there was absolutely nothing, then a singularity of infinite density created itself and appeared out of nowhere into nowhere, then even though time didn't exist, the singularity changed, exploded, creating time and creating the universe, which followed its own created physical laws to where it is today right?

Okay. :)
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Postby moonlord » Sun Apr 30, 2006 7:40 am

irockyou wrote: However, I still believe that there was a point in time when there was absolutely nothing (no time, energy, matter).


That's a trap when talking about what existed before time. Some say that nothing could ever exist before Big Bang. That's wrong. A point has no need for space or time. Because it has no dimensions in which to change its state, the moment of its creation and the moment it exploded are the same, so we can assume they took place simultaneously. Therefore, we don't need a moment of the Creation. It existed out there from the end of the previous universe. It might even be the same universe. This is, if there will be a Big Crunch.

However, new evidence suggests there will be no Big Crunch, as the universe keeps expanding indefinitely, cooling down in the same time. If this is the case, a possible way to find how did the singularity appear is to try to see what will happen to the universe. It will reach perfection, in the state of a uniform soup of energy. The problem with this model is that it will never reach zero K, so we cannot assume this energy will disappear. Let's consider that after infinite time (that can be reffered to as the end of time) matter will disappear. This rises another problem. There is no point in wondering what will be afterwards, because there is no afterwards.

Now we face even another problem. What is the barrier between matter and energy? As you look at a smaller scale, you will see that the so-called mass of a nucleon is, in fact, made up to 99% of energy. The kinetic energy of the quarks that form it. So we can keep wondering: is there any mass at all, or is it just the energy of even smaller particles? It seems the process can go indefinitely. The problem that arises is if there is/are a/some fundamental particle/particles or, if not, what causes this energy to exist?

You see now how a simple chain of reasoning brings in all the major problems of modern physics. I believe that, if we answer one of them, we will answer all. The modern belief is, anyway, that we cannot determine how the universe is, but we can build models that are equivalent (see the holographic universe theory).

For now, I share irockyou's position, as I don't want to include any ethereal entity in the problem. Apply Occam's Razor and shave off God.
"God does not play dice." -- Albert Einstein, early 1900's.
"Not only does God play dice, but... he sometimes throws them where we cannot see them." -- Stephen Hawking, late 1900's.
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Postby Hugh » Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:04 am

moonlord wrote:It existed out there from the end of the previous universe. It might even be the same universe.

For now, I share irockyou's position, as I don't want to include any ethereal entity in the problem. Apply Occam's Razor and shave off God.

I can understand your position on God, but are you sure you're agreeing with what else irockyou is saying? You're saying that the point "existed out there from the end of the previous universe." That's an ever-existing universe from the definitions I've mentioned isn't it?

What I'm saying is that there could never have been "absolute nothingness" in the past.

Moonlord, do you believe that there was absolute nothingness, no point of singularity, no previous universe, no laws, no energy, matter, density, space, field or time, then the universe created itself from that absolute nothingness, creating time, all the physical laws, energy, matter, space and you and me from there?

Please understand that I feel it's logical to believe in an ever-existing universe (in whatever form you want to) without a creator God. No problem. What I don't think is possible is for everything we see around us to have created itself from absolute nothingness, without an ever-existing creator God to help make it happen.

Just noticed you quote Einstein and Hawking talking about God in your signature line. :)
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Postby Nick » Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:50 am

What I'm saying is that there could never have been "absolute nothingness" in the past.

Moonlord, do you believe that there was absolute nothingness, no point of singularity, no previous universe, no laws, no energy, matter, density, space, field or time, then the universe created itself from that absolute nothingness, creating time, all the physical laws, energy, matter, space and you and me from there?


So to finish things off, you believe that first there was absolutely nothing, then a singularity of infinite density created itself and appeared out of nowhere into nowhere, then even though time didn't exist, the singularity changed, exploded, creating time and creating the universe, which followed its own created physical laws to where it is today right?


You have said that so many times in this thread, Hugh, I could write a book of just your quotes :wink:. Whenever you say it, you make it sound so impossible, as if only a crazy person would believe it.

But just to finish it off, for the last time, yes I do believe that.

Done. :D
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Postby Hugh » Sun Apr 30, 2006 11:00 am

irockyou wrote:You have said that so many times in this thread, Hugh, I could write a book of just your quotes :wink:. Whenever you say it, you make it sound so impossible, as if only a crazy person would believe it.

But just to finish it off, for the last time, yes I do believe that.

Done. :D

Well, just want to make sure. It just seems to me like a much more harder scenario to believe in than an ever-existing something. But, hey, believe what you'd like. :)

Now let's see if moonlord thinks so too. In his last post he said that "It existed out there from the end of the previous universe." He never said it came from absolute nothingness. :wink:
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Postby moonlord » Sun Apr 30, 2006 3:23 pm

That was the case of the first hypothesis. The second does not require any previous universe, but it is still bogus. When I make the head and tail of it, I'll support it more. Right now I incline towards the first.
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Postby Hugh » Sun Apr 30, 2006 4:07 pm

moonlord wrote:That was the case of the first hypothesis. The second does not require any previous universe, but it is still bogus. When I make the head and tail of it, I'll support it more. Right now I incline towards the first.

So you're saying that you incline towards belief in an ever-existing universe. Okay.
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Postby Nick » Sun Apr 30, 2006 8:57 pm

Wait... hypothesis? Where did that come from?

Are you with Hugh or me... your post is ver confusing.. :?
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