Too much of nothing

Well, I finished A Universe From Nothing, and the “nothing” business was cleared up in the end.


Apparently “nothing is unstable” is a fundamental principle which gives rise to the inevitability that out of nothing something will eventually arise. Nothing can’t stay nothing for long, it seems. For me this is still a bit like poetry; I’m not having much luck envisioning total emptiness, bereft even of space. I keep thinking, “How do I begin to think about that?” Krauss himself admits that talking about “why is there something rather than nothing?” can seem a bit like counting the angels on the head of a pin (a favorite pastime of medieval theologians). The difference is, of course, that “physicists can count their angels and can get it right to the nearest angel in a total of 10 billion.” That last phrase is from Richard Dawkins’ afterword.

I’m now listening to Krauss on the Point of Inquiry podcast, hoping he can shed some further light on nothingness for me.

4 thoughts on “Too much of nothing

  1. I believe that nothingness does not exsist. Example, you hold out a hand ,open, palm up, and you could say you are holding nothing. Yet, there is air in your hand, and not to mention the multitude of germs and other not seen organisms that reside there. Or if a begger on the street asks for money, and you have none, you could say “I have nothing to give you”, yet you could had offered help or hope.
    Fianally I say maybe nothingness exsists only in our minds so we can be lazy and do nothing about a moment in our lives.

  2. Well, as I explained in my last post, I’m struggling with the idea that nothingness “exists.” But Krauss is talking about the absence of space, not the thinness of air. It’s not intended to be a metaphor, either, but a real (non) physical situation in which there is simply nothing – no air, no space, no time – and out of this things (must) arise naturally. It’s a pretty difficult concept for three-dimensional beings to get their brains around. It’s not that I don’t believe him, I’m just having trouble picturing it.

  3. Scientists like Lawrence M. Krauss and Stephen Hawking say that as total energy of the universe is zero, so the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Whereas we the God-believers have shown that if total energy of the universe is indeed zero, then it is damn easy to answer the question “Who created God”. Actually this question has already been answered in the following link:

    So all the atheists and atheistic scientists all over the world should know that it is a most welcome news for us God-believers that total energy of the universe has been found to be exactly zero.

    1. Not being a physicist, I’m not going to get into the issue of a zero-energy universe and its implications for those who believe in (a) god. But Krauss at least doesn’t rule out the possibility of a god in his book. He writes:

      “…one cannot rule out such a deistic view of nature. But even in this case it is vital to realize that this deity bears no logical connection to the personal deities of the world’s great religions, in spite of the fact that it (the First Cause argument) is often used to justify them.”

      Of course Deism isn’t what most god-believers have in mind. A deistic god is ultimately unfalsifiable, so it doesn’t deserve much attention from science in the first place.

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