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Author Topic:   The Ultimate Question - Why is there something rather than nothing?
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1786
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 8.2


Message 346 of 366 (630281)
08-23-2011 3:18 PM
Reply to: Message 329 by IamJoseph
08-23-2011 12:10 AM


Re: Thermodynamics
IamJoseph writes:

It's far more intriguing to confront the reality facing us.

The reality facing us is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed. The fact that there is a vanishing point on the horizon does not mean that there is nothing beyond it. The Universe may not have always been but it did not pop out of nothing. Even if wherever it popped out of is undefinable.

Our entire reality indicates causality. Why would you suspect that it does not exist on the other side of the hill just because you can not see over the hill?

Or are you (and others) suggesting that energy can neither be created nor destroyed except for that one time?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 329 by IamJoseph, posted 08-23-2011 12:10 AM IamJoseph has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 347 by cavediver, posted 08-23-2011 4:08 PM ProtoTypical has responded
 Message 352 by IamJoseph, posted 08-23-2011 8:19 PM ProtoTypical has not yet responded

cavediver
Member (Idle past 1750 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 347 of 366 (630283)
08-23-2011 4:08 PM
Reply to: Message 346 by ProtoTypical
08-23-2011 3:18 PM


Re: Thermodynamics
The reality facing us is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.

This is a good idealisation, but what happens when your definition of "energy" breaks down?

Our entire reality indicates causality. Why would you suspect that it does not exist on the other side of the hill just because you can not see over the hill?

Causality is an internal property of the Universe in those areas with a well-defined time dimension. If there is a minimum time (at the Big Bang), then you have found at least one point in which there is not a well defined time dimension - and hence a point at which naive concepts of causality cannot apply.

Or are you (and others) suggesting that energy can neither be created nor destroyed except for that one time?

Well, you have managed to find a point for which there is no clear definiton of energy, nor a clear sense of causality. So I would have to ask: what do you mean by "created" and "destroyed"?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 346 by ProtoTypical, posted 08-23-2011 3:18 PM ProtoTypical has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 349 by ProtoTypical, posted 08-23-2011 7:20 PM cavediver has responded
 Message 350 by IamJoseph, posted 08-23-2011 7:21 PM cavediver has not yet responded

IamJoseph
Member (Idle past 1774 days)
Posts: 2822
Joined: 06-30-2007


Message 348 of 366 (630294)
08-23-2011 7:12 PM
Reply to: Message 345 by Taq
08-23-2011 11:48 AM


MEDICINE BEGAN IN THE HEBREW BIBLE.
quote:
2,000 years ago, this was true for many questions. Supernatural forces were used to explain the path of the Sun in the sky, why water boils, the fermentation of wine, and lightning. How did that turn out? It would seem to me that the God-of-the-Gaps approach has been a spectacular failure throughout history, so why are you relying on it once again?

Sorry, but your examples as equalization ignores the stand antithesis of it - one cannot keep ignoring and go into denial forever. The supersticious and occult of the ancient world was broken only with the Hebrew bible: it deemed sorcery as a folly, forbidding human sacrifice to please the gods for the first time, initiating the first seperation of occultism and scientific medicine. Consider the multiple pages describing leprosy, for example, the id, treatment, quarantine of contagious and infectious deseases, incurable malignanices and curable ones - it is different in kind and degree from ancient Egypt and the then world. Although there was later some prowess from Greece, this was a later occurence, well after the Greeks translated the Hebrew bible. There was also herbal medicine from Africa & India, but these too were based on traditional, accidental knowledge while also being embedded in occutism. Nowhere do we find the equivalence seen in the Hebrew bible - this is truly the first imprints of what became a science faculty called medicine. The washing of hands before eating was listed as a mandated commandment for the first time, inferring unseen virus and bacteria. We must also acknowledge the ancient Egyptians who used a herb in the eyes to deflect flies and mosquitoes, which was the right direction, but for the wrong reasons.

quote:

The need for proof cannot apply here - it is neutralized by its antithesis also having no proof;

No proof equals no explanation. Period.


Sorry! The sound premise applies - there is no antithetical proof. Period. There is no escape from cause and effect here - it hovers challenging. Its like waking up in the morning and finding a Pink elephant in your bedroom or a car on Mars. WHO DONE IT applies, even if we do not know WHO DONE IT. In the sound premise thought, I have not seen an alternative to creationism, yet I remain open to any counter sound premise. A complexity from random is not science but the escapist, desperate reverse of science: it explains nothing in a finite realm.

quote:
Creationism is a 100% sound premise . . .

False. It is backed by zero evidence, therefore it is the opposite of sound. Even worse, asserting supernatural forces in the absence of an explanation has proved to be a very poor way of finding answers.


Sorry! Consider how the flat earth was overturned - not by merely rejecting it: Galeleo actually had to prove his case - which he did. Not so your rejection! This universe altering paradigm remains standing defiantly at us:

NO ALTERNATIVE TO CREATIONISM.

That is not a demand for proving a negative, as is touted. Its a required demand for disproving the positive premise of cause and effect. It is incumbent.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 345 by Taq, posted 08-23-2011 11:48 AM Taq has not yet responded

  
ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1786
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 8.2


Message 349 of 366 (630295)
08-23-2011 7:20 PM
Reply to: Message 347 by cavediver
08-23-2011 4:08 PM


Re: Thermodynamics
Remember, one mark of a great teacher is to balance the pain with the suffering.

This is a good idealisation, but what happens when your definition of "energy" breaks down?

My definition of energy never breaks down!

Seriously then, there is a change. Receding to the BB and the point where everything breaks down. No time, no space, no energy. There is a change from one reality to another. That other reality is indefinable but I don’t see why it can not exist.

My answer is that the definitions do not break down it is that they no longer apply.

Causality is an internal property of the Universe in those areas with a well-defined time dimension. If there is a minimum time (at the Big Bang), then you have found at least one point in which there is not a well defined time dimension - and hence a point at which naive concepts of causality cannot apply.

I understand.

If you were to picture the Universe in your mind, would you see it from the inside or the outside? As soon as I imagine an outside to the Universe it becomes incorporated.

Well, you have managed to find a point for which there is no clear definiton of energy, nor a clear sense of causality. So I would have to ask: what do you mean by "created" and "destroyed"?

I mean into or out of existence. Whatever the energy was before it was energy, it still existed.

I guess that I am supporting the idea of an oscillating infinite continuum. (edit; and if such a thing exists I think that it answers the question why something rather than nothing.)

Edited by Dogmafood, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 347 by cavediver, posted 08-23-2011 4:08 PM cavediver has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 351 by IamJoseph, posted 08-23-2011 7:26 PM ProtoTypical has not yet responded
 Message 357 by cavediver, posted 08-24-2011 12:35 PM ProtoTypical has responded

IamJoseph
Member (Idle past 1774 days)
Posts: 2822
Joined: 06-30-2007


Message 350 of 366 (630296)
08-23-2011 7:21 PM
Reply to: Message 347 by cavediver
08-23-2011 4:08 PM


Re: Thermodynamics
quote:
Or are you (and others) suggesting that energy can neither be created nor destroyed except for that one time?

Well, you have managed to find


Energy per se has no meaning. This is force driven, resultant from a complex set of intentional or 'result factored' criteria. Crude analogy is that gun powder remains benign unless combined in a specific mode with specifically interacting forces; the energy output in the stars must be of a similar construct. Thus energy action seen in stars must be based on a specific directive program able to always result in a spherical [not square] pattern which is explainable. Ignoring this is akin to saying a sperm cell and an egg causing a specific result [offspring] is a random action. Is it - or that a life frm shall follow its kind?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 347 by cavediver, posted 08-23-2011 4:08 PM cavediver has not yet responded

  
IamJoseph
Member (Idle past 1774 days)
Posts: 2822
Joined: 06-30-2007


Message 351 of 366 (630298)
08-23-2011 7:26 PM
Reply to: Message 349 by ProtoTypical
08-23-2011 7:20 PM


Re: Thermodynamics
quote:
Receding to the BB and the point where everything breaks down.

Plank was right and wrong. The laws [of energy, etc] do not break down - they never existed once, then they emerged [Genesis 1/v2]. This is proven by the example of stars: star making laws never existed at one time - thus no stars at the BB point. I can see no alternative to the premise laws were intentionally constructed; even environment cannot apply here - this never existed at the BB point.

Edited by IamJoseph, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 349 by ProtoTypical, posted 08-23-2011 7:20 PM ProtoTypical has not yet responded

  
IamJoseph
Member (Idle past 1774 days)
Posts: 2822
Joined: 06-30-2007


Message 352 of 366 (630304)
08-23-2011 8:19 PM
Reply to: Message 346 by ProtoTypical
08-23-2011 3:18 PM


Re: Thermodynamics
quote:
The reality facing us is that energy can neither be created nor destroyed.


That contradicts a finite universe. Once there was no energy!

quote:

The fact that there is a vanishing point on the horizon does not mean that there is nothing beyond it. The Universe may not have always been but it did not pop out of nothing. Even if wherever it popped out of is undefinable.


Agreed it could not pop from nothing; thus a universe maker applies with no alternatives apparent. Science - logic!

quote:

Our entire reality indicates causality. Why would you suspect that it does not exist on the other side of the hill just because you can not see over the hill?

Or are you (and others) suggesting that energy can neither be created nor destroyed except for that one time?


Energy never existed once; science! This is what confronts you and what you are avoiding at all costs. Make your preamble the universe is ABSOLUTELY finite, even as an exercise, and let not anything you say thereafter contradict. See where it lands you: head on with Gensis with nowhere else to go!


This message is a reply to:
 Message 346 by ProtoTypical, posted 08-23-2011 3:18 PM ProtoTypical has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 353 by Vacate, posted 08-23-2011 9:14 PM IamJoseph has responded

  
Vacate
Member (Idle past 2707 days)
Posts: 565
Joined: 10-01-2006


Message 353 of 366 (630309)
08-23-2011 9:14 PM
Reply to: Message 352 by IamJoseph
08-23-2011 8:19 PM


Re: Thermodynamics
thus a universe maker applies with no alternatives apparent.

Doesn't making something require energy?

Agreed it could not pop from nothing

When was there nothing?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 352 by IamJoseph, posted 08-23-2011 8:19 PM IamJoseph has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 354 by IamJoseph, posted 08-23-2011 9:41 PM Vacate has not yet responded

IamJoseph
Member (Idle past 1774 days)
Posts: 2822
Joined: 06-30-2007


Message 354 of 366 (630310)
08-23-2011 9:41 PM
Reply to: Message 353 by Vacate
08-23-2011 9:14 PM


Re: Thermodynamics
quote:

Doesn't making something require energy?


The reverse applies: energy requires something, source which produced energy.

quote:

Agreed it could not pop from nothing

When was there nothing?


Everything within a finite universe never exsted before the universe existed. A finite cannot contain infinite or older components, a violation of the finite factor.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 353 by Vacate, posted 08-23-2011 9:14 PM Vacate has not yet responded

  
bluegenes
Member (Idle past 583 days)
Posts: 3119
From: U.K.
Joined: 01-24-2007


Message 355 of 366 (630323)
08-24-2011 12:06 AM
Reply to: Message 344 by PaulK
08-23-2011 8:55 AM


Re: Unanswerability.
PaulK writes:

Well, you are failing miserably.

Indeed, I'm failing to convince the likes of you and IamJoseph that the O.P. question cannot be answered by anything (any-thing). I'm not using the word "answer" in the sense of "reply". No-one would describe anything as "unanswerable" in that sense, because all questions can be replied to. Therefore, it should have been obvious to you that the O.P. is using "unanswerable" in a sense that actually means something.

I'm off travelling for a couple of days, and I suspect that IaJ's presence will take the topic rapidly up to the 500 post mark before I'm back. It's amazing how much mileage we can get out of the subject of "nothing" when we try.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 344 by PaulK, posted 08-23-2011 8:55 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 356 by PaulK, posted 08-24-2011 1:38 AM bluegenes has not yet responded

PaulK
Member
Posts: 14809
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 356 of 366 (630326)
08-24-2011 1:38 AM
Reply to: Message 355 by bluegenes
08-24-2011 12:06 AM


Re: Unanswerability.
quote:

Indeed, I'm failing to convince the likes of you and IamJoseph that the O.P. question cannot be answered by anything (any-thing). I'm not using the word "answer" in the sense of "reply". No-one would describe anything as "unanswerable" in that sense, because all questions can be replied to. Therefore, it should have been obvious to you that the O.P. is using "unanswerable" in a sense that actually means something.

And as I have pointed out, logical necessity would still be a valid answer even by the restrictions you impose. All you have managed in response to that is to show how foolish it is to use a wide sense of "thing" which includes abstractions in understanding the question. Which nicely supports my point regarding proper understanding of the question, but does no good to your case whatsoever.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 355 by bluegenes, posted 08-24-2011 12:06 AM bluegenes has not yet responded

  
cavediver
Member (Idle past 1750 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 357 of 366 (630341)
08-24-2011 12:35 PM
Reply to: Message 349 by ProtoTypical
08-23-2011 7:20 PM


Re: Thermodynamics
Remember, one mark of a great teacher is to balance the pain with the suffering.

Funny you should say that - as soon as I had posted it, I reread it and realised (again) that the problem with "teaching" through a written forum is that all the nuances of voice and expressions are lost. My method of teaching is to encourage my students to find their own answers and help them discover their own level of understanding. Knowing what you don't know is essential to progress. So please understand that I'm trying to encourage rather than belittle.

There is a change from one reality to another. That other reality is indefinable but I don’t see why it can not exist.

No - not necessarily. If there is no "before", then there is no change and no other reality, definable or not.

If you were to picture the Universe in your mind, would you see it from the inside or the outside? As soon as I imagine an outside to the Universe it becomes incorporated.

I picture it from the outside, but with no definition to the outside. I also picture the Universe as a surface, not a volume, so there is no temptation to extend beyond its boundary. My most common picture, which I have shared here many times, is that of a globe. The North Pole represents the Big Bang; the circles of latitude represent spatial cross sections of the Universe at different times, with the growth of the circles as you move south showing the expansion of the Universe. At the equator I can either continue around the globe with a collapsing Universe back to the Big Crunch at the South Pole; or I can let the circles of latitude start to grow again, expanding ever outwards which is a more realistic model of our current understanding.

In this picture, there is obviously no "before the Big Bang". Following the lines of longitude back in time towards the North Pole/Big Bang simply leads you back onto the same lines now going forward in time down the globe. Causality is simply a function of position on the surface. It is impossible to apply this concept to the surface itself.

I mean into or out of existence. Whatever the energy was before it was energy, it still existed.

No - energy is not a "thing". It is simply a measurement, a check on constistency. The "stuff" in the Universe is not "made" of energy. And this energy does not need to come from somewhere else. More later...


This message is a reply to:
 Message 349 by ProtoTypical, posted 08-23-2011 7:20 PM ProtoTypical has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 358 by ProtoTypical, posted 08-24-2011 11:45 PM cavediver has responded

ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1786
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010
Member Rating: 8.2


Message 358 of 366 (630395)
08-24-2011 11:45 PM
Reply to: Message 357 by cavediver
08-24-2011 12:35 PM


Re: Thermodynamics
So please understand that I'm trying to encourage rather than belittle.

And I think that you do it very well. I was just pointing out that I am partially aware of the extent of my ignorance. Blast away

At the equator I can either continue around the globe with a collapsing Universe back to the Big Crunch at the South Pole; or I can let the circles of latitude start to grow again, expanding ever outwards which is a more realistic model of our current understanding.

Is the answer dependant on which one of these scenarios is true?

If the Universe expands to the point of heat death, could that be considered a state of nothingness? Another point where there is nothing to be measured. Does time exist then/there? There is something now and there will be nothing later. So the answer might be that there is something now because it is now. There was nothing before and wait a bit and then there will be nothing again. Sounds about right or at least I can relate to it but it seems to require that everything came from nothing. Would you characterize it that way?

On the other hand, what would the big crunch look like 13 billion yrs later? Would it look like a big bang? Or is there no time after the crunch either? If the Universe does the BB/BC thing, does that answer the question (there is something because there has always been something) or is that an appeal to ‘brute’ fact that has been rejected as an answer?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 357 by cavediver, posted 08-24-2011 12:35 PM cavediver has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 359 by cavediver, posted 08-26-2011 7:12 AM ProtoTypical has acknowledged this reply

cavediver
Member (Idle past 1750 days)
Posts: 4129
From: UK
Joined: 06-16-2005


Message 359 of 366 (630549)
08-26-2011 7:12 AM
Reply to: Message 358 by ProtoTypical
08-24-2011 11:45 PM


Re: Thermodynamics
Is the answer dependant on which one of these scenarios is true?

Well, I suppose so. But as a *theoretical* physicist, I think of that as a secondary consideration. Both scenarios (and all others) need to be understood to get the big picture. The principle tool we use to study the Universe as a whole in General Relativity, and it is essentially a universe-generating machine. Slight tweaks to the parameters fed into the GR mathematics result in the different types of universe we are investigating as possible models of our own Universe. The difference between a recollapsing universe and one with undergoes accelerating expansion is exceptionally minor.

If the Universe expands to the point of heat death, could that be considered a state of nothingness? Another point where there is nothing to be measured. Does time exist then/there? There is something now and there will be nothing later. So the answer might be that there is something now because it is now. There was nothing before and wait a bit and then there will be nothing again. Sounds about right or at least I can relate to it but it seems to require that everything came from nothing. Would you characterize it that way?

Well, you touch on some intersting ideas, some of which are close to some of Penrose's thoughts - and I'll get back to those - but no, I would not talk about nothing - something - nothing.

Let's take a Big Bang to Big Crunch universe. I picture a ball, with BB at one pole and BC at the other pole. The ball floats in nothingness. The nothingness sitting above the BB point is the same nothingness surrounding the ball and is the same as that sitting above the BC point. And it all signifies absolutely nothing. There is no "before" or "after". There is just the ball. All possible times (from T=0 to T=end) are contained within the ball, and from this perspective you are seeing all of them at once.

or is that an appeal to ‘brute’ fact that has been rejected as an answer?

This "brute fact" appeal needs a bit more definition. A universe that has always existed has as much (or as little) need of explanation as a universe that has finite "duration", with a Big Bang and/or Big Crunch. I can (and often do) picture a universe that has infinite past and infinite future using exactly the same ball floating in nothingness as described above. The question of finite/infinite extent of the space-time dimensions is a fairly minor point in the scheme of things, though you might find this hard to believe given the space devoted to such questions.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 358 by ProtoTypical, posted 08-24-2011 11:45 PM ProtoTypical has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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Larni
Member
Posts: 3976
From: Liverpool
Joined: 09-16-2005


Message 360 of 366 (630555)
08-26-2011 8:14 AM
Reply to: Message 359 by cavediver
08-26-2011 7:12 AM


Re: Thermodynamics
The principle tool we use to study the Universe as a whole in General Relativity, and it is essentially a universe-generating machine. Slight tweaks to the parameters fed into the GR mathematics result in the different types of universe we are investigating as possible models of our own Universe.

I never knew this, at all. I thought GR was a bunch of numbers that said: "this is how it is".

You live and learn, eh?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 359 by cavediver, posted 08-26-2011 7:12 AM cavediver has responded

Replies to this message:
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