A Fundamental Flaw in the Thesis: A Universe from Nothing

PART I

Most of the modern physicists maintain that the universe has actually originated from nothing, thus requiring no supernatural agency for its creation. Here their logic is something like this: as they have found that the total energy of the universe is zero, so they have argued that no outside agent was at all necessary to provide the initial input energy for starting the universe; therefore, it can simply originate from nothing. If the total energy of the universe were having some very big non-zero value, then it would not have been possible for them to maintain the same thing that the universe had actually originated from nothing. Because in that case they would have to explain as to where all the energies of this universe had come from, because all those energies cannot simply come from nothing. However, the total energy being zero, this problem no longer bothers them. Although the total energy of the universe is always zero, still there are lots of energy in this universe, all originating from nothing in the form of positive and negative energy, thus keeping the total energy of the universe always zero. The same thing can be said about matter also. As the total matter of the universe is zero, so they say that all the matter of the universe can simply come from nothing, because zero does not have to come from anything. But what shall we have to say about space and time? Can nothing generate so much of space and time that we find in this universe? Or, was there some supernatural agent that had actually provided space and time to our universe? Or, would they say the same thing about space and time also that as the total space as well as the total time of the universe is indeed zero, so space and time can simply come from nothing? Was it then that space had actually originated from nothing in the form of positive space and negative space, thus keeping the total space of the universe always zero? Was it the same case for time also? Can it also be said about time that it has actually originated from nothing in the form of positive time and negative time, thus keeping the total time of the universe always zero? If there are negative space and negative time, then where are they? Are they in this universe? If they are not, then how come so much of space and so much of time have simply come from nothing? Scientists believe that from nothing, nothing comes. The universe started with zero energy and zero matter, and its total energy and total matter always remain zero. Neither any extra energy nor any extra matter added to, or subtracted from, the initial zero value of them. So, from nothing, nothing has actually come. But if there is neither any negative space nor any negative time in our universe to counterbalance the positive space and the positive time respectively, then there is a real problem here. This is because here nothing has given rise to something really positive.

To remove this imbalance in the quantity of space and time, scientist Victor J Stenger has proposed in an article (The Other Side of Time, 2000) that there is another side of time, opposite to our time axis. As our universe goes on expanding from zero time to positive infinity, so in the other side of time there is another universe that goes on expanding from zero time to negative infinity. If in our universe space and time are considered to be positive space and positive time, then in the universe located in the other side of time space and time can be considered to be negative space and negative time, thus keeping the total space and the total time always zero. Two objections can be raised against this proposed solution. First of all, this can never be verified, and Stenger himself admitted that: “…this scenario cannot be proven, just presented as a possibility that provides a non-supernatural alternative to the theistic creation.” This is tantamount to saying something like this: we suffer lots of injustice in our earthly life. All this will be properly compensated for in our heavenly after-life. Even if it is true, it can never be verified, and therefore it will purely be an act of faith if we accept it as true and live accordingly. So, we cannot accept Stenger’s proposal as a viable solution here, because it will also be an act of faith. The second objection is that initially both energy and matter were zero when the universe originated from nothing and that the total energy and the total matter of the universe always remain zero in this very universe. We have not gone to the other side of time for seeking a solution to any possible imbalance that could have arisen in the totality of these two entities. So, why should we have to go to the other side of time for setting right the imbalance that is definitely there in case of space and time? Why cannot the total space and the total time of this universe always remain zero in this very universe itself? Perhaps there is some substance in this universe that helps keep the total space and the total time of the universe always zero. At least Einstein’s general theory of relativity suggests something like that. At one place Einstein has written about GR: “When forced to summarize the general theory of relativity in one sentence: Time and space and gravitation have no separate existence from matter.” If time and space and gravitation cannot have any separate existence from matter, then the total matter of the universe being always zero, the total time, the total space and the total gravitation of the universe should also always remain zero. Therefore we can say that there is definitely some substance in this universe due to the presence of which the total space and the total time of the universe always remain zero. And so, we need not have to go to the other side of time at all for setting right any imbalance or asymmetry that can be there either in case of space or in case of time. Due to the presence of this substance we can say that the universe starting from nothing with zero space, zero time, zero matter and zero energy will always contain zero total space, zero total time, zero total matter and zero total energy, thus not showing any asymmetry or imbalance anywhere.

But what is this substance? Whence has it originated? What are its properties? These are the questions that are to be answered by the scientists only. As a layperson, I can say this much only: so long as scientists will fail to provide a suitable answer to this question, science will remain incomplete.

PART II

I.

When scientists say that the universe can simply come out of nothing without any divine intervention, they think of the universe in terms of its energy content only. In the book ‘The Grand Design’, page 281, scientist Stephen Hawking has written that bodies like stars or black holes cannot just appear out of nothing, but a whole universe can.1 The message is very clear from this: The total energy of a whole universe is zero and that is why it can come out of nothing; but stars or black holes will fail to do so, because their total energy is not zero. But universe means not only its energy; universe means its space-time as well. So if we now apply the same logic to space-time as well, then we can say that the total space-time of a whole universe must also always have to be zero, because in that case only a whole universe can appear out of nothing. Here my question is: How does the total space-time of an ever-expanding universe always remain zero?

As the universe appeared out of nothing, so initially there was no space, no time, no matter and no energy. Scientists have successfully shown how the total matter-energy content of the universe has always remained zero. But we are not satisfied with that explanation, we want something more. We also want to know how the total space-time content of the universe has always remained zero. And it should always remain zero if the universe has actually appeared out of nothing. Otherwise scientists will have to explain as to whence appeared the extra residual space-time that was not already there at the beginning.

If stars or black holes cannot appear out of nothing simply because their total energy is not zero, then can a whole universe appear out of nothing if its total space-time is not zero?

The last question above will further boil down to this one: Do the physicists think that energy cannot just appear out of nothing, but space-time can, supposing that the total space-time of the present universe is not zero?

Or, do they think that like life, mind and consciousness, space and time are also emergent entities only, and therefore, not directly coming from big bang nothing?

II.

Something can appear out of nothing provided that the totality of that something always remains zero. Actually anything can come out of nothing if this condition is fulfilled. This is the principle which some scientists have relied upon when they have proposed that our universe could have arisen out of nothing due to a quantum energy fluctuation in a void. They have found that the total energy of the universe is exactly zero. The total energy being zero, the total matter will also be zero due to matter-energy equivalence. If the total matter as well as the total energy of the universe is zero, then why should they have to come from anything at all? They could have come from nothing as well. So these scientists have proposed that our universe has simply appeared out of nothing. But when they have proposed this theory, they remained totally oblivious of the fact that universe means not only its matter and energy, universe means its space-time as well. So, if the universe has actually appeared out of nothing, then just like matter and energy, space-time also has appeared out of that primordial nothing. So like matter and energy, the total space-time also should always remain zero.

However, if it is the case that space-time has not directly appeared out of nothing, then the total space-time need not have to be zero. No sane person on this earth will ever say that the total number of human beings in this universe must always have to be zero, because no sane person believes that human beings have directly appeared out of nothing. However if ‘x’ has directly appeared out of nothing, then logic and common sense dictates that the totality of that ‘x’ must always have to be zero.

Here it may be objected that there is a law of conservation of matter and energy in science, but that there is no such conservation law for space-time. So there is no violation of conservation law if nothing generates so much of space-time. Even if it is conceded that this is a valid objection – here I must say that I do not think so – it can still be pointed out that there is one more reason that can be given as to why the total space-time of the universe should always remain zero. This reason we find in Einstein’s general theory of relativity. As per GR space, time and matter are so interlinked that there cannot be any space-time without matter. Similarly there cannot be any matter without space-time. If there cannot be any space and time without matter, then the total matter of the universe being zero, the total space-time of the universe should also always be zero. So we can say that GR alone gives us sufficient reason to conclude that if the total matter of the universe always remains zero, then the total space-time of the universe should also always remain zero. Here the question becomes quite irrelevant as to whether the universe has originated from something, or from nothing.

So from GR we come to know that the total space-time of an ever-expanding universe should always remain zero, but we do not know yet how it does actually remain zero.

If science cannot give any satisfactory answer to this question, then the naturalistic world-view of modern science will prove to be inadequate for explaining the real world.

Reference:

  1. The Grand Design by Hawking and Mlodinow, Page 281.

 

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11 thoughts on “A Fundamental Flaw in the Thesis: A Universe from Nothing”

    1. Can you show me where I have mentioned God in my entire article? If you cannot, then I will have to presume that you have created a straw man out of nothing for your own convenience. I really feel sorry for you.

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  1. Hey guy, I’d like to say that I enjoy reading your articles, even though I think they’re flawed, it gives me a better understanding of how you, and others like you, view reality.

    That guy up there shouldn’t be so hostile towards you, but c’mon, we all know you’re implying ‘god did it’. I think this is a pretty straightforward ‘god of the gaps’ argument. God’s on the mountain. We got to the top of the mountain, no god. Gods in the sky. We flew up there, no god. Gods in space, etc.

    I’d like to ask, what is your definition of God? Because even if I climb your mental hurdles to get to your conclusion, it still doesn’t get me to a sentient, all-powerful entity, much less the God of Abraham, or any other personal gods.

    You, through your articles, are trying say that not only does a god exist, but it should be the logical conclusion to be reached. I say it should not. Here’s a very simple reason why.

    No supernatural occurrence has ever been recorded or proven. But, consistently, over the years, supernatural explanations have been replaced with natural ones. Happens every single time. That would lead any reasonable person to conclude that any gaps in our understanding of the universe will be explained by natural causes, not magic.

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    1. Thanks for your comment. I presume that you have read my article “A Fundamental Flaw”. But can you show where I have mentioned God in that article? So how can you say I am implying God did it?

      You have written: “But, consistently, over the years, supernatural explanations have been replaced with natural ones. Happens every single time. That would lead any reasonable person to conclude that any gaps in our understanding of the universe will be explained by natural causes, not magic.”

      Hume has already shown where lies the flaw in such arguments. From our past limited observations we cannot make any prediction about our future observation. If in the past we have observed that whenever A has occurred, A has always been followed by B without any single exception, then from this we jump to the conclusion that in future also whenever A will occur, it will inevitably be followed by B. But from our limited number of observations of A being followed by B we cannot come to the conclusion that A is the cause of B. This conclusion could be reached if, and only if, it were possible for us to observe for all time to come that whenever A had occurred, B had also occurred after A and that there was not a single instance when A had occurred but it had not been followed by B. Even philosophers like Bertrand Russell or Karl Popper could not do anything to counter Hume’s argument. So you can always hope that “any gaps in our understanding of the universe will be explained by natural causes, not magic”, but only the future can tell whether your hope will be fulfilled or not. Here you cannot pretend to be a fortune-teller or omniscient so that you can correctly predict the future.

      You can read my article “Is there any need for the supernatural?” here:
      https://sekharpal.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/is-there-any-need-for-the-supernatural/

      In that article I have shown that although atheists can afford to be close-minded, scientists cannot. This is because as scientists they are supposed to provide explanations for all the events, phenomena and effects in nature and that therefore they have to keep their mind open to the possibility that they may not always be able to explain everything purely naturally.

      You have asked about what is my definition of God. In reply I will say that God cannot be defined, but God’s attributes can only be described. Here is the article:
      https://sekharpal.wordpress.com/2016/07/14/god-cannot-be-defined-gods-attributes-can-only-be-described/

      One person has asked me to describe an experiment by means of which God’s existence can be demonstrated. I have to write to him that although God’s existence cannot be demonstrated in this way, yet nonetheless God’s existence can be detected. I have also written to him that it has already been detected by science. I am preparing an article on this. As it is not yet complete, so right now I cannot give any reference to it.

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  2. I completely miss the point of your article. What does it matter whether Krause is right or wrong? It does not get you anywhere near a creator if he is wrong.
    You are obviously not a physicist and yet you pretend to debunk Krause thesis. Unfortunately for you, the only way to discredit a scientific theory is more science, not less.
    Krause has at least the merit of taking all known facts about the universe and trying to make sense of them in a manners that is consistent with current theories and our understanding of the reality. He may very well be mistaken and the future may show that the measurements he used are in fact wrong. So what ?
    Even if he is completely wrong, you would not get an iota closer to demonstrating a divine creation, for that you would need to explain how to distinguish a universe created by divine fiat and one created from nothing. And then demonstrate that a divine creator is even possible.

    In the comment section above you write that Hume has shown that we can never claim that there will never be a supernatural cause to phenomena that we observe because we cannot predict the future.
    You write that:
    “If in the past we have observed that whenever A has occurred, A has always been followed by B without any single exception, then from this we jump to the conclusion that in future also whenever A will occur, it will inevitably be followed by B. But from our limited number of observations of A being followed by B we cannot come to the conclusion that A is the cause of B. This conclusion could be reached if, and only if, it were possible for us to observe for all time to come that whenever A had occurred, B had also occurred after A and that there was not a single instance when A had occurred but it had not been followed by B. “
    First of all the proposition that “This conclusion could be reached if, and only if, it were possible for us to observe for all time to come that whenever A had occurred B had also occurred after A (…)”

    Is completely false, it says nothing of the sort. Even if I know that A is inevitably followed by B for all eternity it does not result nor prove that A causes B. C can cause A and then B even though A and B are completely independent from each other.
    But here we are talking about the universe and the universe is the reality that we experience. Logical demonstration does not necessarily say anything about reality.
    For example, if A is sex and B is pregnancy then we can demonstrate that even if B does not always follow A, A always precede B and it can be shown that in fact A causes B.
    You are trying to prove the existence of god by logical legerdemain when if he existed in reality, it could not possibly have made it so difficult to demonstrate its existence needs to be demonstrated by philosophical acrobatics.

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    1. In my article ‘A Fundamental Flaw’ I have not tried to prove the existence of God at all. Elsewhere I have tried to prove it and I have already written a lot on this topic, but not in this article. You cannot by any direct quote show that I have mentioned God anywhere in my article. So here your accusation against me is false and baseless.

      In this article I have merely tried to point out that if the universe has really come out of nothing as claimed by Krauss, Hawking et all, then not only its matter and energy, but its space-time as well, has come out of nothing, because universe primarily means not only its matter and energy, but its space-time as well. That means the universe started from zero space, zero time, zero matter and zero energy. So it is quite logical to expect that the total space, total time, total matter and total energy of the present universe will always remain zero, as otherwise one will have to explain as to whence appear the extra space, extra time, extra matter and extra energy that were not already there at the beginning. Is there any divine storekeeper somewhere out there that keeps a store of space, time, matter and energy at some place and from where it supplies them to our universe as and when necessary? As that cannot be the case, so the total space, total time, total matter and total energy of the present universe should always remain zero if it has really come out of nothing.

      Scientists have already shown how the total matter-energy content of the present universe always remains zero. But they have never thought that they will also have to show as to how the total space-time of an ever-expanding universe always remains zero. Victor J Stenger was the only scientist who has thought about this problem and offered a solution in his article ‘The Other Side of Time’ (2000), although his solution cannot be accepted due to its non-verifiability. In my article also I have mentioned about it. That means up till now there is no satisfactory explanation as to how the total space-time of an ever-expanding universe always remains zero. Not knowing the answer as to whether the universe as a whole is really a nothing or not, still these scientists are claiming that the universe can spring out of nothing.

      We can always hope that the future will be just like the past. If in the past we have observed that A has always been followed by B, then we expect that in future also we will find that whenever A occurs, it will be followed by B. But as per Hume it may not be the case, because for limited number of cases only we have observed that A is followed by B, not for all the cases for all time to come. So it is in no way established that A causes B. So in future it may so happen that A occurs, but that it is not followed by B. It may be the case that in our past endeavours we have always become successful. But our past successes do not give us any guarantee that in all our future endeavours also we will be equally successful.

      No one on this earth can claim that he/she is omniscient. No one on this earth can claim that he/she knows with absolute certainty that there is no God. However scientists can come to know that there is no God if they can show that everything in the universe, including its origin also, can be explained by natural means without invoking any kind of God. This is a very lengthy process indeed, but at the end of this lengthy process one can with some certainty say that this universe does not need any God.

      However I have already shown that the origin of the universe has not been explained properly by the scientists.

      If scientists ultimately do not become successful in explaining everything of nature by natural means, then how will they convince us that this universe does not need any God?

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