On 25 January 2012 19:46, meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net> wrote:

>  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.
>

But surely that denial is precisely the point of the "philosopher's
nothing"?  I'm not sure why you would say that pointing to a "negative
potential" for anything to exist is incoherent (illogical,
inconsistent, or whatever).  Of course it's a dead-end, explanatorily
useless, a mystery if you will.  Given that there is something, some
aspect of that something will always have to be accepted as given.
That's the nature of explanation; the philosopher's nothing is what
you get if you push explanation past its breaking point.

David

> 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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