On May 4, 11:48 am, John Clark <johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, May 3, 2012 Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Why would focusing on one issue be a distraction from the other?
>
> Because Human Beings do not have infinite time to deal with, so time spent
> focusing on issues that Krauss correctly describes as sterile (not leading
> to new ideas) is time not spent focusing on profound issues that are quite
> literally infinitely more likely to give birth to new knowledge.

That is the same logic that assumes that everyone who downloads a free
mp3 is taking money out of the pockets of musicians. It presumes that
everyone who wasn't doing one thing would automatically be doing the
other.

> There are
> several ways to define "nothing" but if you insist it means "not even
> having the potential to produce something" then contemplating the question
> "why is there something rather than nothing?" is a obviously a complete
> waste of time and does nothing but inflict needless ware and tear on
> valuable brain cells.

So you agree that it is impossible to have something come from
nothing.

> However it now looks like if we work very hard
> science may actually be able to answer questions like "why there is stuff
> and not empty space,

Not if the answer is just going to be that empty space is full of
stuff and stuff is mostly empty space.

> why there is space at all, and how both stuff and
> space and even the forces we measure could arise from no stuff and no
> space". Those are enormously deep questions and that is where we should be
> spending our limited time, not "impotent and useless" navel gazing.

I think of them as incredibly shallow questions. They are like the
easy problem of consciousness. Making a big deal out of what terms we
use to describe stuffness and non-stuffness. What do you find deep
about them?

>
> > Is there some threat of the international science budget being siphoned
> > off into philosophy?
>
> Yes.

Communists? Witches?

>
> > > If the nothing of a vacuum is really full of potentials,
>
> If you insist on the strictest definition of "nothing" which is not even
> the potential of producing anything, then even God Himself could not
> produce something from nothing; and this line of thought is quite clearly
> leading precisely nowhere.

That's why it's complete hype to claim that the universe comes from
nothing. It's a slogan to sell books.

>
> > how is it really different from stuff?
>
> You want to know how the potential is any different from the actual? As
> Krauss says in his book (which you have not read)

I haven't read the Koran either, but I get the gist.

> that's like asking how
> the potential human being any random male and female have of producing
> together is any different from a real flesh and blood person. Your problem
> is that your brain is caught in a infinite loop trying to figure out how a
> nothing without even the potential to produce something can nevertheless
> produce something.

I'm not stuck in a loop at all. I only point out as a fact that the
universe could not come from something. It's a very straightforward
argument, which you apparently agree with except that someone has
written a book with a title that suggests otherwise. I'm not trying to
figure out how something comes from nothing, the book in question is.
I understand that causality is something that comes from sense, not
the other way around, so I don't have to waste my time redefining
'nothing' to include a proto-universal universe.

> If you're too busy spinning your wheels to read
> Professor Krauss's book your only hope is to at least try to squeeze in a
> little time to read the 2 articles I mentioned in my last post and repeat
> below for your benefit, they're a sort of readers digest condensed kiddy
> version of the book, but that's far better than "nothing" by any meaning of
> the word.
>
> http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-consolation-of-p...
>
>  http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-mad...

There is nothing surprising in either of these articles.

Craig

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