On 1/25/2012 10:10 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:


On 25 Jan 2012, at 18:04, Stephen P. King wrote:

Hi,

I am 99% in agreement with Craig here. The 1% difference is a quibble over the math. We have to be careful that we don't reproduce the same slide into sophistry that has happened in physics.

I think I agree. I comment Craig below.



Onward!

Stephen

On 1/25/2012 7:41 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:
On Jan 25, 2:05 am, meekerdb<meeke...@verizon.net>  wrote:

It is not at all camouflaged; Lawrence Krause just wrote a book called "A 
Universe From
Nothing".  That the universe came from nothing is suggested by calculations of 
the total
energy of the universe.  Theories of the origin of the universe have been 
developed by
Alexander Vilenkin, Stephen Hawking and James Hartle.  Of course the other view 
is that
there cannot have been Nothing and Something is the default.
"The most reasonable belief is that we came from nothing, by
nothing, and for nothing."
          --- Quentin Smith
I think that we are all familiar with the universe from nothing
theories, but the problem is with how nothing is defined. The
possibility of creating a universe, or creating anything is not
'nothing', so that any theory of nothingness already fails if the
definition of nothing relies on concepts of symmetry and negation,
dynamic flux over time, and the potential for physical forces, not to
mention living organisms and awareness. An honestly recognized
'nothing' must be in all ways sterile and lacking the potential for
existence of any sort, otherwise it's not nothing.


That's the philsopher's idea of 'nothing', but it's not clear that it's even coherent. Our concepts of 'nothing' obviously arise from the idea of eliminating 'something' until no 'something' remains. It is hardly fair to criticize physicists for using a physical, operational concept of nothing. Note that the theories I mentioned do not assume a spacetime vacuum. One may say they assume a potentiality for a spacetime vacuum, but to deny even potential would be to deny that anything can exist.

Brent

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