You're assuming the "laws of physics" are some set of physical-like things that need to come into existence before QFT can operate. But the laws of physics are our mathematical models of the way we see the universe operate.
More accurately I assume the laws are hard-codes into the underlying fabric of the universe.
At present we have no evident explanations of what preceded the universe so it is impossible to tell what processes there were or were not. But to explain this universe, as per your syllogism, all it would take is the operations of QFT or some QFT-like process.
Where did the quantum fluctuation come from? Perhaps it was the first thing in the universe. As such, it has no cause and cannot be explained. Therefore the universe cannot be explained.
It appears to me that the OP is inherently defining explanation to mean 'describe how something results from its ultimate cause.'
I accept and have stated that 2nd and greater things can be explained by the things that came before. My specific assertion is that the origin of the universe cannot be explained. I could have been more clear about that in my proof.
I understand that. The problem is that an assertion is not a proof. Your assertion needs to be backed up.
As my proof shows, its simple and straight-forward logic. The first thing in the universe cannot be explained because there is nothing to explain it. Unless you say that the first thing caused itself. That too cannot be explained. Therefore the universe cannot be explained. The logic is evident by definition alone. Its evident as is.
But you don't have a proof. You have a leap of illogic lacking justification and opposed by real-world examples.
Saying my proof is illogical doesn't make it so. And I use a real-world example at the heart of it. Its simple straight-forward logic.
Since we have explanations for other uncaused things, like radioactivity and the Casimir effect, why not for the origin of the universe?
It would be nice to move the discussion forward, but repetitions of original assertions do not merit new arguments.
Surely radioactivity and the Casimir effect can be explained by the laws of physics. That makes radioactivity and the Casimir effect 2nd or greater things and can be explained by the things that came before. It's the laws of physics as a first thing that cannot be explained (in this example).
I to would like to move this discussion forward but we seem to be speaking different languages with all the concern over what certain words mean.
A quantum fluctuation is not a "thing" but a process that happens on its own volition. It's not like you need a loaded quantum fluctuation ready to pop before it happens. I suppose, in a sense, one might argue a quantum fluctuation comes from the void, but, it's not like one was just sitting around waiting to go off.
The process, not the thing, could have produced the first thing in this universe and it could have done so from the void. In this way the first thing in our universe may very well have a cause and may very well be explainable.
I know, the next question is where did the process come from. Might as well ask where the void came from.
I am asking. And quantum fluctuations adhere to the laws of physics, yes? That puts the laws as the first thing in this example. Its the origin of the laws that can't be explained and thus the origin of the universe cannot be explained.
If a corollary of your explanation leads to the conclusion that nothing is ever explained, but you then accept explanations for things other than the universe, you've actually disproven your own hypothesis using a classic reductio ad absurdum technique.
You seem very fixed on this "ultimate" corollary. Technically, you are the one that proposed it. It is not part of my proof. I merely said you had an interesting point and I would think about it.
Logically, cause and effect could be considered to be part of the structure of physical laws of the universe. The laws of physics could have been the first thing and as such their origin is unexplainable. In turn, the origin of the universe is unexplainable.
And of course all non-causal explanation, ones which would be perfectly acceptable are ruled out both by fiat and by some questionable logic in the OP.
Forgive my absence. My wife had surgery and I am caring for her.
Would it help to define "immediate explanations" vs. "the ultimate explanation"? I maintain that 2nd things and beyond can be immediately explained by the things that came before. However this is different than the ultimate explanation of the origin of the universe.
And yes, the logic does lead one to say that ultimately nothing can be explained because ultimately the origin of the universe cannot be explained. Lets call this The Ultimate Corollary. I am in your debt for bringing it to my attention. It's why I come to this board.
However I am not looking for an explanation for the first thing. I'm not challenging anyone to find one. I'm saying that simple logic leads to the conclusion that the universe cannot be explained.