Thus, your position for the origin of the universe has not and cannot
solve that primary problem: first cause. Therefore, your position is also
reduced to the same position as any other religion. At least religion
recognizes that a cause must have been present for an effect to occur. As
others have pointed out, this is a totally consistent position because the
theological position is that God is eternal having no beginning nor end,
thus not needing a cause to exist or come into existence.
You can dress up all the esoteric math you want, the fact of the matter is
that if you have nothing, and do nothing, it doesn't matter how long that
nothing sets there, nothing will happen. If one postulates that something
must happen without a cause, then one of the fundamental tenets of science
and logic has just been suspended. But, that is the primary element of the
Big Bang theory of modern cosmology that essentially states: nothing +
nothing + lots of time = everything.
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
Wrong. I encourage you to read about Hawkings "Vacuum Fluctuations". This
from a NASA website:
"Zero Point Energy (ZPE), or vacuum fluctuation energy are terms used to
describe the random electromagnetic oscillations that are left in a vacuum
after all other energy has been removed. If you remove all the energy from a
space, take out all the matter, all the heat, all the light... everything --
you will find that there is still some energy left. One way to explain this
is from the uncertainty principle from quantum physics that implies that it
is impossible to have an absolutely zero energy condition."
More here on Vacuum Fluctuations from Hawking: Taken from :
"There are something like ten million million million million million
million million million million million million million million million (1
with eighty [five] zeroes after it) particles in the region of the universe
that we can observe. Where did they all come from? The answer is that, in
quantum theory, particles can be created out of energy in the form of
particle/antiparticle pairs. But that just raises the question of where the
energy came from. The answer is that the total energy of the universe is
exactly zero. The matter in the universe is made out of positive energy.
However, the matter is all attracting itself by gravity. Two pieces of
matter that are close to each other have less energy than the same two
pieces a long way apart, because you have to expend energy to separate them
against the gravitational force that is pulling them together. Thus, in a
sense, the gravitational field has negative energy. In the case of a
universe that is approximately uniform in space, one can show that this
negative gravitational energy exactly cancels the positive energy
represented by the matter. So the total energy of the universe is zero.
(Hawking, 1988, 129) "
Big bang doesn't state that nothing + nothing ... It states that the
universe is expanding PERIOD. Based on the theory, if everything is
expanding, we must assume that it was once all together (non-expanded). The
question becomes "where did all that stuff come from that eventually
Enter: The Conservation of Mass-Energy (See Hawking above)
The above should not have read (See Hawking above). The quotes I gave were
not Hawking's, but Hawking's theory taken from two websites.
Here is another great site on Vaccum Fluctuations:
But even here you are describing phenomena in the existent universe, not
the condition prior to the postulated origin of the universe. Even in this
case, you have a problem in that you have no way that a pre-universal
singularity could have existed in stasis for an infinite amount of time
prior to the big bang.
No, not at all. You have created an even greater problem for yourself
because now your cosmic egg could not exist in stasis. If it could not
exist in stasis it had to have an origin. If it had an origin, you have no
modern theory of cosmology.
By your commentary above, you have not addressed the issue of origin at
If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough
Au contraire, good buddy...rather than not addressing the subject it
appears you haven't read the literature (or at least followed where
present research seems to be heading)...
It's really worth reading simply because it makes an incredibly amazing
story far beyond the science fiction writers' imaginations.
Poorly worded, not precisely what Hawking says. There is positive and
negative energy which cancel except for the quantum fluctuations...as I
said before, it's truly mind-boggling but seemingly the wave of the
future :) direction on the way towards a "theory of everything"...
Try Greene for an approachable introduction before tackling Hawking.
That's why I said it's not what Hawking has written. Zero is zero and
the resulting is actually an intrinsic part of the "fabric" of space.
There's nothing more to take out, yet there's "something" there anyway
in a _very_ rough transliteration. As I said before, the world of the
quantum is so far removed in behavior from the macroscopic world in
which our senses operate that it is simply not possible to extrapolate
on the basis of what one "knows".
Have you read any of the suggested works or even seen the PBS Nova
series "The Elegant Universe" that scans over Greene's book? The
concepts are novel but as noted before, seeming to get closer to the
underlying way things really are w/ yet a long way to go. But, so far,
there's been no need to invoke the man behind the curtain. Maybe we'll
end up there, maybe not, but to invoke cloture on the subject is
premature at best.
No, it's not a contradiction in the strange world of quantum theory. It
only appears that way by trying (as did the NASA blurb) to state the
situation in a brief nontechnical form as best as one can. To try to
present the argument in detail is simply too much to even attempt on a
One simply must read at least a popularization (which is why I keep
harping on Greene) in order to have any clue of what the state of
affairs currently is, but it's not possible to apply macro-scale
concepts on the scale of quantum effects, particularly when systems are
massive enough yet on those scales such that gravitational effects can't
It's that separation of modern physics in particular from what "seems"
normal that I believe is much of the basis for the lack of communication
between the current philosophers and scientists--the one simply doesn't
understand the realm of the other sufficiently in depth to make
meaningful contributions any longer whereas at one time the two were
:) touche (sorta')
Only when trying to verbalize it, though, which is a fundamental
For physics we have a language that expresses things quite precisely.
It's the task of trying to turn that language into everyday English
where the translations fail because the results are so foreign to
(It's hard enough to come to grip w/ the "wave-particle duality"
conundrum and these kinds of effects are even more mind-boggling. At
the risk of repeating myself, reading about this stuff is more
entertaining than any science fiction ever thought of being at their
I had the reverse problem when trying to understand Einstein's universal
speed limit - the speed of light. The everyday experience of say two
cars racing toward each other tells us that the combined speed is the
total of the two speeds of the cars or:
vt = v1 + v2
So, if the two cars are traveling each at the speed of light or C, the
combined velocity should be C + C or two times the speed of light.
Old Einstein corrected this when he added the relativity factor to the
equation so that the more precise formula is:
vt = ( v1 + v2) / ( 1 + (v1 x v2) / ( C x C) )
Say the two cars are hurtling toward one another, each at the speed of
light. What's the combined speed? - The speed of light!
The math takes the mystery out of it.
Where the math is simple enough for most folks to follow, it really
helps (_IF_, of course, one can ever get any of the folks one runs into
to actually look at it :( ) as in your example. But, stuff has gotten
so complex it's not many that have the mathematical sophistry to be able
to read it, what more comprehend so we're left w/ trying to make words
take the place which is difficult at best. As noted earlier, that's
mostly what's left the philosophers behind, unfortunately.
Dang, I could almost have wished for it, but can't claim credit. :(
Moral of story is _never_ trust an auto-correcting editor... :)
(Look for "Spelling Checker" on google...it's quite a nice bit o'
work...I forget the original author (or authoress, as the case might be). )
Actually, Mark, I think if you read through all the various responses
by those defending the Rational/empiricist method their argument (if I
understand it) boils down to this:
1) R-E cannot completely answer questions of First Cause, so our
answer will always be "I don't know".
2) No other system that might posit a different approach is valid
because it does not fit into our R-E method of confirmation. That is,
we R-E devotees refuse to even consider another means of acquiring
knowledge absent a way to confirm it via our R-E methods ... which
would make such a system R-E in any case.
3) Anyone who accepts the possibility of an answer via a system of
type 2) above is inherently: "irrational" and an "idiot" (both of
those terms were used specifically in this thread along with some
other fairly lowbrow invective).
This line of thinking is - as you point out - far more religious than
its adherents here will admit. But ... the good news is that they are
not particularly representatives of all or even most practitioners of
the R-E disciplines. There are a goodly number of serious practicing
scientists, mathematicians, engineers,et al - people whose very work
is grounded in R-E methods of doing things - that happen to also
happily be theists or people of faith in some form. I count myself
among them and have met a great many more, and read even still more
over the years.
Now, majority or minority rule on this matter is irrelevant. Reality
is what it is, whatever we may think about it. But I find it telling
that this harsh, abrasive stand from the R-E defenders we've witnessed
here is a relatively new thing. It has come about (this is an
*opinion*) at the same time as we've seen an ascendancy of very vocal
radical atheism poking its head up in the culture at large. Methinks
they protest too much ... perhaps they're worried we theists may end
up being right at some level, I dunno. What I do know is that secure
thinker don't need the level of vitriol displayed here (and other
places) of late.
Notice that at no point in this thread did I describe my personal
belief system in any detail, nor did I try to "convert" people to
theism. I merely suggested that the snotty condescension directed at
people of faith from literally the first post onward was unwarranted
and bad manners and tried to lay examples of how thoughtful people
could be led to theistic conclusions. This alone invoked shrieks of
"irrational idiot" or words to that effect. Religious indeed ...
Tim Daneliuk firstname.lastname@example.org
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