Message from discussion The Two Impossible Options
From: seanpitnos...@naturalselection.0catch.com (Sean Pitman)
Subject: Re: The Two Impossible Options
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2004 00:14:42 +0000 (UTC)
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dkomo <dkomoNoS...@cris.com> wrote in message news:<404238E5.7349CA04@cris.com>...
> > Now someone may argue that this is simply a ridiculous notion. After
> > all, how could something have no beginning? That makes no sense -
> > right? It even hurts my mind to think about such a concept.
> Does the real number line have a beginning? Does it have an end? No
> math student hurts his mind by thinking about such concepts. Or about
> the infinitely large and infinitely small. Or infinite sets. Or even
> infinite hierarchies of infinite sets.
I'm not talking theoretical mathematics here. I'm talking about a
physical dimension. I'm talking about the universe itself. If you
can wrap your mind around eternity, not just in theory but in
understanding, then you have a much bigger mind than I have. We
humans tend to think of every physical thing as having a beginning.
Even the universe, to include all of space and time with all of its
other real and theoretical dimensions, is felt by many to have had a
beginning in the "singularity" that gave rise to the "Big Bang."
While the universe was contained within this singularity there was no
space or time at all. The question is then, what made this
singularity or what came before? Did this singularity come from
nothing? Or, was it always there?
Again, you get to a point were you must believe in something that you
cannot really understand much less explain any way you look at it.
> In mathematics infinity is a routine idea. In science it is also, if
> for no other reason than that calculus is used extensively in science.
The idea of infinity is certainly a "routine idea" that is often used,
but never fully understood. Like the concept of zero, there is a lot
of mystery when you true try to unpack the idea of infinity or
eternity as it applies to any real physical concept or property.
> > And yet,
> > it is equally difficult to consider the only other alternative; that
> > something ultimately came from nothing. Still one of these two equally
> > difficult or even impossible options must be true because we are in
> > fact here.
> In modern physics there is no such thing as nothing. The quantum
> vacuum is anything but "nothing." It is pure potentiality, seething
> with virtual particles. One theory proposes that the Big Bang started
> as a fluctuation in the quantum vacuum. This is not the creation of
> something out of nothing, as you put it.
Actually, before the Big Bang it is suggested that nothing much is or
even can be known. There were no particles, as we can possibly
understand particles. There was no time. There were no dimensions.
There was only a singularity (a single point of infinite density and
temperature). In dealing with and trying to understand this
singularity of a universe, empirical science simply breaks down and
"theories are rejected or accepted based on simplicity and aesthetic
grounds." Before "Plank Time" (~1e-43sec after the BB), physics simply
cannot explain or even begin to imagine what the universe what like.
"Events before this time are undefined in our current science and, in
particular, we have no solid understanding of the origin of the
Universe (i.e. what started or 'caused' the Big Bang). At best, we can
describe our efforts to date as probing around the 'edges' of our
understanding in order to define what we don't understand, much like a
blind person would explore the edge of a deep hole, learning its
diameter without knowing its depth."
So you see, the suggestion that a quantum vacuum can easily explain
the origin of the Universe is quite a leap of blind faith. Such a
theory cannot really even be tested in any sort of empirical way. In
reality physicists know nothing about the beginning or original cause
of the universe. It truly seems to have come from absolutely nothing.
And, even if the universe came from something or a "special kind of
nothing", one can always ask how that something (i.e., "quantum vacuum
with all of its potentiality and virtual particles) got here?
Sure, you can always say that something always existed, but you must
admit that this is rather hard to envision or fully comprehend.
Certainly it is no harder, or perhaps just as hard, then, to suggest
that an Eternal Intelligence has also always existed? Where, really,
is the difference? Evolutionists always chide Creationists for not
being able to explain how God was created. Well, isn't it just as
valid to ask how a quantum vacuum or the first singularity was created
with all of its evident potential? If you answer that the quantum
vacuum with its necessarily potentiality was/is eternal, then isn't it
just as valid for me to suggest that an intelligent and purposeful
Creator God is/was eternal? Why is your suggestion any more valid or
believable than my suggestion?
> If I were you I'd learn something about modern physics before making
> any more ignorant statements about "nothing." Your argument is
> destroyed at the outset with your erroneous premises.
I have taken a bit of physics and I am aware of the idea of a quantum
vacuum and of the singularity ideas that modern physics proposes as
potential answers for the origin of the universe. I am also aware
that these theories are pretty much entirely based on high-level
imagination and not much more when it comes to understanding such
concepts. The fact is that our human understanding simply breaks down
at some point or another when we try and explain our origins using
either a purely mindless naturalistic model or a mindful supernatural
model. Either way we get to a point were we simply have to throw up
our hands and admit that our minds are just too small and feeble to
even begin to comprehend the great mystery of our ultimate origin. It
is simply beyond us.
Of course, you may be the first to have figured it out and fully
comprehend how it all came to be. If so, I truly stand in admiration.
> > So, where does the weight of evidence leave us? Did we and everything
> > else in the universe come from nothing or did we come from an
> > eternally existent Creator of Everything, known to some as the "Word"
> > who is able to "speak" things into existence from absolutely nothing?
> The idea of an eternally existent Creator of Everything Who speaks
> things into existence is absurd. It's an egregious anthromorphism.
> Speaking things into existence indeed. It makes much more sense that
> the Universe itself, of which our observable local bubble is only an
> infinitesimal fraction, is itself infinite in extent and eternal. It
> has always existed, hence has no need of a Creator.
And you know what, that sounds just as absurd to me as my notion that
a God who stands outside of time could simply speak things into
existence from nothing. Certainly you cannot explain the idea of an
eternal and infinite universe any more than I can explain the idea of
an eternal and infinite God. However, based on how I see this
universe working now, there is far more evidence for a directed
intelligent process at play within this universe than there is for
your notion of a mindless non-directed process of creation.
The universe is indeed so perfectly balanced that even well known
secular scientists, to include many physicists, recognize that this
universe seems to be tailor made to support life. Beyond this, life
itself and the level of functional complexity that is involved and
formed by living things simple do not arise in this universe, beyond
the lowest levels of functional complexity, without pre-existing life
or pre-established levels of informational complexity that are at
least equal or greater than those levels of functional complexity that
are subsequently produced. Informational evolution simply does not
happen in this universe in living or non-living matter beyond the
lowest levels of complexity (complexity not chaos) unless it is
directed by a higher source of pre-established informational
complexity - period.