Creation from nothing/chaos

GermanMike
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Creation from nothing/chaos

Hi people,

 

I tried to start a discussion with a theist where our universe came from. I think this could be also a nice discussion on this board. Therefor I will repost an edited version of that message here.

 
Many theists say that nothing could develop from nothing. Maybe because they don't have an understanding about the 'nothing'. Nothing is basically chaotic and already the ancient Greek believed in a Creation from chaos.

Martin Luther got it right when he did a mistake while translating the bible into German. He translated the words that you know as 'And the earth was without form, and void" into "Und die Erde war wüst und leer".
Leer and void are really synonymical while 'wüst' carries a connotation of chaotic, which the Latin word from the Latin word 'inanis' from the VULGATA didn't have.

But he still was right according to modern physics. An absolute vacuum is chaotic with pseudo-particles appearing and disappearing continuously.

When it comes to the universe I think that the existence of our universe is 'borrowed' from chaos.
The chaos prior to the universe was perfect and from inside a cosmotic (ordered [cosmos is the antonym to chaos]) universe/existence it is barely imaginable. It was neither structured spatially (in nice forms) nor temporally. That it wasn't stuctured temporally means that the idea of causality didn't apply to that (non-)state.
Out of a chaos everything can arise, yes even a God, but a structure as simple as a singularity would arise much more likely than a highly intelligent being as long as it would return to the state of ulimate disorder in the end.
And just from this moment on - from the arise of structure until its end - it is possible to apply the idea of time to that cosmos.
So even if we have no measurements of the state prior to the universe, we know by now, that our universe will die a death of entropy - a death of chaos.
Just as my considerations predicted. And there where we don't measure our universe (the absolute vacuum) we also measure chaos.

Therefor I firmly hold the believe that our universe came from chaos.

In Germany at funerals we have the saying
"Mensch, bedenke dass du Staub bist und zum Staub wiederzurückkehren wirst!"
"Man, keep in mind that you are dust and that you will return to dust"

applied to the universe that would mean:
"Universe, keep in mind that you are chaos and that you will return to chaos"

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Yellow_Number_Five
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GermanMike wrote: Hi

GermanMike wrote:

Hi people,

I tried to start a discussion with a theist where our universe came from. I think this could be also a nice discussion on this board. Therefor I will repost an edited version of that message here.


Many theists say that nothing could develop from nothing. Maybe because they don't have an understanding about the 'nothing'. Nothing is basically chaotic and already the ancient Greek believed in a Creation from chaos.

 Indeed. Very few scientists or atheists contend that the universe arose ex nihlio or from literally "nothing" - that is sctricly the domain of theists. The concept of "nothing" in such terms is quite broken. Nothing is not the void, not lack, not the absence or opposite of anything - in a very real sense to define or describe nothing in such terms is to refute the definition.

Quote:
But he still was right according to modern physics. An absolute vacuum is chaotic with pseudo-particles appearing and disappearing continuously.

When it comes to the universe I think that the existence of our universe is 'borrowed' from chaos.

Quite right. What is often described as "nothing" or the "void" or "empty" is anything but. 

 

Quote:
Therefor I firmly hold the believe that our universe came from chaos.

And there is no shortage of respected cosmologists who would agree with you.

 

I've written faily extensively on this in the past:

 

Yellow wrote:
There was never literally nothing. That would violate the first law of thermodynamics and overturn all of physics as we understand it. Somthing NEVER comes from literally nothing.

It is theists who insist upon a creation ex nihlo, from literally nothing. Are you now positing that God didn't create the universe from nothing, that He didn?t simply say "Let there be Light" and make it so, or that God Himself must have had a creator? No, I think not. The theist position IS one of creation ex nihlo, an atheist wouldn't be caught dead believing something that foolish.

What baffles me, is that you?ve actually answered your own question here, and are simply too thick to realize it. You've simply projected your own problems onto the atheist, which is sadly typical.

Atheists are very well aware of the first law of thermodynamics, and it is this very concept that makes what theists propose, a creation ex nihlo, ridiculous.

Creation ex nihlo is a classic failure of human perception.

No painting comes to exist without a painter, no building is built without an architect, etc. Seems logical enough, but do these people create from literally nothing or is it more accurate to say they assemble existing materials? For no painter starts with nothing - they start with blank canvass and paint. No builder starts with nothing, they start with brick, mortar and blueprints. Something never comes from literally nothing.

Looking at things from the perspective of a First Cause argument, which theists are quite fond of, for something to exercise influence on the universe this causal agent must have already existed. Something nonexistent can't serve as a causal agent; thus causality must assume existence. Theists arguing for a creation of the universe ex nihlo, however have their logic backward - that existence assumes causation.

What the atheist can offer is a scientific explanation that meshes with conventional logic.

If we take matter-energy to be eternal, uncaused - as our best science seems to suggest (see the first law again), then existence is simply axiomatic. The universe just is, and the Big Bang becomes more or less a transitional event. The universe as we know it began with the Big Bang, but the matter-energy was always there, it must have been - to say otherwise turns all of physics as we understand it on its head.

We know that matter-energy is conserved - always, in every instance we have ever observed or theorized about. It is but a simple and very reasonable extrapolation to then say that matter-energy has always been, and it is empirically evident. There is no need to postulate a creator or a creation ex nihlo.

Not only does science point to existence being axiomatic, but simple logic does as well, because "nothing" is an incoherent concept. "Nothing" is not lack, not empty, not the void, not darkness, not the absence of anything, because the absence of anything would still be something. So again, the concept of creation from literally nothing makes no sense, because "nothing" quite literally cannot exist.

In the end, the theist is reduced to demanding to know why there is something rather than nothing, but this too begs the question, because it presumes that nothing or non-existence ought to be the natural state of things. This is like presuming the sky is supposed to be green and then citing the fact that it is blue as evidence for a Creator.

A scientist does not ask "why is there something rather than nothing", but rather "why SHOULDN'T there be something rather than nothing". There isn't anything about the universe that suggests it shouldn't be here and be exactly as we observe it be.

All of that aside, current quantum theories may in fact have room for our universe coming from what would be perceptually (not literally) nothing. Such theories included the universe arising from a quantum vacuum fluctuation that propagated itself, proposed by Ed Tyron in the early 1970s and a variation upon this proposed by Alex Vilenkin in the 80s that was dubbed quantum tunneling.

The most lucid theory going at the moment was proposed by Stephen Hawking and James Hartle, and is often dubbed the ?no boundary proposal?. Their view provides a description of the universe in its entirety, viewed as a self-contained entity, with no reference to anything that might have come before it ? pretty much what I?ve laid out above. For Hawking, this description is timeless, for as one looks at earlier and earlier times, they find that the universe is not eternal, but has no creation event either. Instead, at times of the order of Planck time (10-43 seconds), our classical understanding of space-time is reduced to quantum soup. In Hawking's exact words:

"The boundary condition of the universe is that it has no boundary.' The universe would be completely self-contained and not affected by anything outside itself. It would neither be created nor destroyed. It would just BE." - A Brief History of Time (New York: Bantam, 1988), p. 136.

Smolin's theory of fecund universes illustrate what I'm trying to describe quite well, I think. He essentially theorizes that each black hole is the begininning of a new universe, and there is evidence to support this. What we believe happened at the big bang and what we observe to happen at black holes are quite similar.

In the end, naturalistic explanations of why we are here are infinitiley less ad hoc than supernaturalistic ones, and that's what should concern us as critical thinkers.



German Mike wrote:
"Universe, keep in mind that you are chaos and that you will return to chaos"

Take that, silly universe Eye-wink

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

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GermanMike
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The 'no boundary proposal'

The 'no boundary proposal' is also what I think is what we can surely know about the universe.

That's because physics is a descriptive science, which gives answers to what happens not why it happens. But a theist won't be satisfied with those answers and therefor atheist also have to be prepared for some answers that go beyond what physics strictly can know.

And from this point this creation from chaos theory seems the most logical to me. Especially as it doesn't need to have energy and mass exist 'forever'. Chaos has potential for everything and every arising order as long as those orders are finite.

This hypothesis also meets the bounded universe we see now, as time is just logicall within an order. For this reason we can't overstep the times of creation nor the times of end. This planck-time is indeed an un-overstepable point of measurment as the very end can't be predicted. We don't even know wether matter is stable or wether energy is, and my prediction from this creation from chaos hypthesis is: It's not.

You concluded that because matter/energy is conserved it always was, I say it needn't be. The prior perfect chaos could give rise to any finite order - the universe/order we live in is accidently one in which we have entities like matter/energy which are conserved. Those can't exist in an perfect chaos - nothing can exist in a perfect chaos - because they would bring order to it / as anything else would bring order to it.

One reason that the chaos needs to be perfect / any arising order needs to be finite / is that if a perfect order could arise we couldn't have been. This is eyes a reasonable anthropocentric conclusion. If there could have arisen one stable order, stable things aren't living things. They are things like two pitch black spheres orbiting each other forever in a pitch black space. As we know that we live, we know that such an order never arose and as the chaos outside our oder is timeless such an order would have arisen if it could arise.

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Cpt_pineapple
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I agree that Theism goes


I agree that Theism goes beyond physics, like you said, it is the how, not the why.  This is why I think science is compatiable with Theism.

 

The formation of the universe could be irrelevant to the God debate. It could explain HOW the universe came to be, but not WHY. 

 


Yellow_Number_Five
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Why must there be a "why"?

Why must there be a "why"?


GermanMike
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Final disprove for God

You don't think something evil and just when you go to the kitchen to take a yogurt you realize that you just disproved the idea of an eternal God.

As I just reasoned, eternal orders need to be perfect orders - perfect orders need to be dead. 

Even if such a dead God would exist he can't interact with an imperfect order as those interactions would destroy his perfection and therefor would ultimatly end his dead existence.

 

As long as no one rebuts this argument I request platin membership of the squad.

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Cpt_pineapple
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Yellow_Number_Five

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Why must there be a "why"?

Why not?

But seriously, I see no reason why there shouldn't be a why.

 

It is human nature to wonder why

 

[edit:clarity] 

 

 

 

GermanMike wrote:

You don't think something evil and just when you go to the kitchen to take a yogurt you realize that you just disproved the idea of an eternal God.

As I just reasoned, eternal orders need to be perfect orders - perfect orders need to be dead.

Even if such a dead God would exist he can't interact with an imperfect order as those interactions would destroy his perfection and therefor would ultimatly end his dead existence.

 

As long as no one rebuts this argument I request platin membership of the squad.

 

Look up Pantheism.

 

Many theories are compatiable with something eternal. Multiverse for example. They do not nessecarly need to be 'perfect' since they are constantly spawning new, choatic universes.


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Capt_Pineapple

Capt_Pineapple wrote:

 

Look up Pantheism.

 

Many theories are compatiable with something eternal. Multiverse for example. They do not nessecarly need to be 'perfect' since they are constantly spawning new, choatic universes.

For most people I've met the eternal character of God is a defining character of a God. A finite superiour being would disqualify by most definitions to be God.

Pantheism in this universe means that such a pantheist deity would be as transient as the universe itself. 

In the Multiverse theory an eternal God can interact with our universe because actio = reactio. It's not a coincidence that modern physics talk more likely about interactions than of forces, because when ever something makes another thing to move or to change it is also affected by this action.

If God, even in another, perfect, universe interacted with us he would be affected by us. His perfection would be destroyed by us and this very interaction would destabilise his universe and ulitamtly annihilate him.

So you might still speak about fairys, about Q's (from Star-Trek) but Gods in the sense that they are commonly understood are impossible. 

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Yellow_Number_Five
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Cpt_pineapple

Cpt_pineapple wrote:

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Why must there be a "why"?

Why not?

But seriously, I see no reason why there shouldn't be a why.

 

It is human nature to wonder why

 It is indeed our nature to wonder why, but it is poor form to ascribe a "why" in the sense of a purpose to how things came to be as they are. As I said above.....

In the end, the theist is reduced to demanding to know why there is something rather than nothing, but this too begs the question, because it presumes that nothing or non-existence ought to be the natural state of things. This is like presuming the sky is supposed to be green and then citing the fact that it is blue as evidence for a Creator.

 

I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world. - Richard Dawkins

Atheist Books, purchases on Amazon support the Rational Response Squad server.