Thursday, 21 February 2013

The Universe Is A Zero Sum Game

One question which seems to baffle creationists most is how can you get a Universe from nothing. I'm going to explain that now, so if you're a creationist who values your ignorance because it makes you think asking questions like that means you are cleverer than scientists who obviously have never thought of that before, stop reading now.

Ignoring the obvious questions, "How can you get a god from nothing, and what did it make everything out of when there was nothing to make it from?" creationists settle for the most infantile of all 'answers', "It must have been magic!". And of course it goes without saying that there must have been a magic man to do the magicking and that magic man must have been the locally popular one that mummy and daddy told them about.

This comes from the arrogant assumption that the Universe should be easy to understand without needing to learn anything and from the resulting ignorance about the nature of the Universe and in particular that the Universe is actually made not of 'stuff' but of energy. 'Stuff' is made of energy, as Einstein showed. Everyone can quote Einstein's e = mc2 and yet creationists in particular seem incapable of understanding what it means.

e = mc2 is the relationship between energy and matter and shows how they are the same thing. In fact, it shows that matter is simply a form of energy. 'c' being the velocity of light, which is very large, means that it takes lots of energy to make a small amount of matter and a little bit of matter contains lots of energy. Basically, that's why atom bombs are powerful.

So where did all this energy come from and why does it show how you get a Universe from nothing?

Well, the Universe appears to be made of four fundamental forms of energy which manifest as four basic forces:
  1. The Strong Force - which can hold a nucleus together against the enormous forces of repulsion of the protons.
  2. The Electromagnetic Force - manifests itself through the forces between charges and the magnetic force. Fundamentally, both magnetic and electric forces are manifestations of an exchange force involving the exchange of photons.
  3. The Weak Force - a force involving exchange of elementary particles in the atomic nucleus.
  4. Gravity - an attractive force proportional to the mass of an object.
Both the strong and weak forces have a very short range, while the electromagnetic force and gravity have a theoretically infinite range, but the important thing for understanding the fundamentals of where the Universe came from is that the first three in this list together total the force of gravity. Gravity is a negative force totalling the sum of the other three forces.

Gravity is actually a very weak force but it acts over a theoretically infinite distance. Consider Newton's apocryphal apple clinging to it tree by the nuclear forces holding the molecules of its slender stalk together and yet able to resist the entire gravitational force exerted by Earth. Yet everything that has mass has gravity so the sum total of the Universe is, well, massive.

One explanation for what happened in the initial 10-43 seconds is that a quantum fluctuation large enough for relatively weak gravity to become stripped away from the other three forces and 10-43 seconds was enough for this to cause a hyperinflation in which almost unlimited positive and negative energy could be created but always totalling zero. This Plank Time is the minimum time that can exist so the instant the Universe came into existence, it was immediately 1*10-43 seconds old.

The sum total of all the energy in the Universe is zero.

The Universe is literally nothing. Not something, but nothing has come from nothing!

It's a bit like borrowing from a bank. The Bank lends you $1000. You now have $1000; the Bank has -$1000. You both have an asset which you can use (the Bank can actually sell your debt as an asset because it represents a bit of your future earning that the bank now owns and you can use the $1000 for whatever you borrowed it for) and yet no wealth was created by that transaction.

What followed after this initial 10-43 seconds is now very well understood and can be read in the first part of my blog, What Makes You So Special?

So when creationists ask how the Universe came from nothing, all they do is betray the ignorance upon which their superstition depends. That they are primed to ask these sorts of questions by the pseudo-scientists who feed them this ignorance in return for money speaks not so much of their credulous gullibility as of the criminal dishonesty of those cheats who sell them the stuff.

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  1. The problem is that talking to a creationist is the equivalent of talking to a brick wall (I know; I've tried). In fact a brick wall is probably smarter and more responsive.

  2. Ignoring creationists, I have always had a hard time grasping the quantum physics that explained the beginning of the universe. Suddenly, your article has made it easy to understand. Well written (as usual), but in this case, an old scientist like me gets to understand something new.

  3. Evolution is not science. Neither is this article. You can't offend the first 2 laws of thermodynamics and make up fairy tales about how information and matter arose from nothing.

    1. I don't suppose it's even worth asking you how you arrived at that conclusion and where the data you used to prove it may be seen or how the experiments were conducted, and I know you won't be able to explain what you imagine is the link between the Laws of Thermodynamics and evolution.

      But I will, just so people can laugh at your scientific illiteracy and your idiocy in posing as an expert from a position of almost complete ignorance and hoping no one will notice.

      Sorry to be so unkind but you have to learn somehow.

    2. It doesn't violate the 2nd law as entropy remains the same globally...

    3. Poor Craig was obviously just chanting a protective mantra he's been taught. I doubt he even knows what the big words mean.

  4. I believe in creation but I don't think that means you cannot ask or try to understand how things came to be from nothing. Just saying "I just did" or "It must be magic" is just something that people who don't care say. Things are "magic" to people until they are explained through science.

    Maybe I'm a unicorn though because I believe in evolution and a god. I do find the idea that the universe is actually nothing fascinating. Are we just a thought or dream or are we part of some experiment that appears to be on the quantum level to someone who's observation and consciousness makes us exist and will cause that existence to cease once the eyes look away?

    In all seriousness I do believe there is a god. But I have never been satisfied with the answer by anyone else that believes too that things are the way they are "just because". I've always wanted to know how things work and don't believe that asking questions or seeking answers is wrong. I love science but I don't push anyone to share my belief that this place is here by intelligent design. The belief in a god is not license for ignorance or arrogance. In fact it's contradictory to the belief itself.

  5. I don't think anyone ever thinks what they mean by 'nothing', let alone the idea that there was once 'nothing'. For there to have once been 'nothing', 'nothing' would have needed to exist and yet the only way to come close to a definition of 'nothing' is in terms on non-existence. For there ever to have been 'nothing' 'nothing' would need to both exist and not exist simultaneously. Clearly that can't be possible.

    The other problem is that people then take that illogical definition and project properties onto it, claiming that this or that can't come from 'nothing', yet, by definition, there is nothing to examine about which to determine anything.

    And why, despite the logically untenability of 'nothing', do people then assume that this must be the default state of existence? By why logic do people conclude that there must have been 'nothing' before there was something? It's even more preposterous to assume that anything, even 'nothing' can exist before time because existence only means anything in terms of occupying space through time.

    I'd be happy to share your belief in an intelligent designer and then look for ways in which its existence better explains the Universe if you can produce a single piece of definitive, authenticated evidence of the existence of such an entity rather than the circular assumption that some things superficially designed therefore the only explanation is the locally popular god. Meanwhile, since I see nothing wrong with the natural explanations science has and is discovering to explain the Universe, I see no reason to suppose such a thing exists.

  6. univerce from nothing - looks like the quantum magic. Read the papers of emergent quantum mechanics - 2017 Vienna about the real physics.

    1. How embarrassing for you that you had to remain anonymous!

      But thanks for the tip. Next time I'll remember to pop forward in time 4.5 years to make sure what I write it up-to-the-future.

      Have you anything constructive to say, Manuel?


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