Can You Get Something For Nothing?

“One creates from nothing. If you try to create from something you’re just changing something. So in order to create something you first have to be able to create nothing.” -Werner Erhard

One of the oldest adages in existence is you can’t get something for nothing, as over a million websites will tell you, including not-so-subtly, cartoonstock.

And, most often when people bring this up to me, it’s in an attempt to prove the existence of God — and the insufficiency of the Big Bang — by pointing to the Universe.

Image credit: chaospet.

Well, let’s take this question as seriously as our knowledge allows us to. (And by that, I mean physically, rather than philosophically or theologically.) In physics, can you get something for nothing? And if so, what can you and can’t you get?

In many ways, yes, you can. In fact, in many ways, getting something when you have nothing is unavoidable! (Although you can’t necessarily get anything you want.)

For example, take a box and empty it, so that all you’ve got is some totally empty space, like above. An ideal, perfect, empty vacuum. Now, what’s in that box?

Did you guess nothing? Well, it turns out that empty space isn’t so empty.

One of the consequences of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle — that you can’t know a quantum state’s energy exactly for a finite duration of time — means that when you’re talking about very short time intervals, there are large uncertainties in the energy of a system. Over short enough timescales, the energies are large enough that particle-antiparticle pairs wink in-and-out of existence all the time!

“That’s crazy talk,” you say. Prove it!

And they did.

Take two identical, uncharged, parallel metal plates, and put them close to one another. The vacuum fluctuations in between the plates cause there to be a pressure pushing the plates together. This isn’t the gravitational force or an electromagnetic force, but a force due to empty space itself.

This experiment — first done in 1948 but repeated many times (under many conditions) — was a rousing success, and has many immediate, far-reaching and fantastic consequences.

Image credit: thinkquest.

Black holes decay!

The space near a black hole is, of course, filled with these particle-antiparticle pairs, just like space everywhere else. But create a pair close to the event horizon, and one of the two can fall in! The other one, being outside the event horizon, can escape, carrying energy away, and becoming real. These particles that escape are known as Hawking radiation.

They provide the seeds for all the structure in our Universe!

When the Universe inflates, or expands exponentially (before the Big Bang), these quantum fluctuations also expand, and get stretched across the Universe faster than they can annihilate one another. These fluctuations show up as regions with slightly more (for positive fluctuations) or less (for negative ones) energy, which then grow into structure (like clusters, galaxies, and stars) and voids as the Universe ages.

Image credit: CLEF-SSH.

And if you start with enough energy, you can take all of the real matter and antimatter pairs that exist, and create more matter than antimatter, giving us a Universe where we have something, today, rather than nothing.

Now, that’s what we know we can get, even from nothing. But there are many things we can’t do, either practically or theoretically: violate charge or energy conservation, decrease the total entropy of the Universe, or figure out where our initially inflating Universe came from. (Yet!) But we definitely can get something for nothing; quantum field theory not only allows it, it demands it. But it remains to be seen whether we can get everything for nothing. If we ever figure it out, I’ll make sure you’re among the first to know!

Comments

  1. #1 Randy Owens
    February 2, 2011

    The other one, being outside the event horizon, can escape, carrying energy away, and becoming real.

    And here, I was totally expecting that to be a link to this recent XKCD. Sure fooled me!

  2. #2 Kym
    February 2, 2011

    Is there any reason why the antimatter particle of the pair should form preferentially on the near side to the event horizon? If not, then wouldn’t matter and antimatter be added at roughly equal rates both to the black hole and to the rest of the universe? Wouldn’t they be more or less stable systems?

  3. #3 Scott Brickner
    February 2, 2011

    The obvious difference between the experiment showing the Casimir effect and the universe at the time of the Big Bang is that those metal plates are in an existing space-time framework. In what sort of a space-time framework did the Big Bang take place, and how did that come to exist?

  4. #4 Lloyd Hargrove
    February 3, 2011

    Kind of like Scott’s asking, the described effect requires “space” to initiate which is technically not the same thing as “nothing” since “space” is and has energy while “nothing” is not and has not. A supposed pre-universe condition of nothing at all has no space and perhaps not even a singularity (which is something). “Nothing” has no energy and by definition does not exist at all. Perhaps this is why our current physics become as yet insufficient at “zero”.
    Call this comment a something for nothing if you wish.

  5. #5 crd2
    February 3, 2011

    Ethan:

    Getting something from nothing makes me think about the cold fusion experiments by Fleishmann and Pons. How they claimed to get more energy out then put in along with an excess of tritium. I would love it if you would do a write up on the topic. I am wondering what you think about the experiment. After all it kinda goes against everything we think we know about physics and the Universe we live in.

  6. #6 Morgan
    February 3, 2011

    @2: sure, Hawking radiation would be a mix of matter and antimatter, but both would carry energy away from the black hole and cause it to evaporate. Antimatter doesn’t have negative energy.

  7. #7 Yossarian
    February 3, 2011

    OK, still don’t get this. If both matter and antimatter particles have mass then why doesn’t the black hole expand rather than dissolve?

    Why doesn’t Hawking radiation lead to the universe having one extra particle and the black hole having one extra particle?

  8. #8 Kym
    February 3, 2011

    @6. But doesn’t each antimatter particle that radiates away from the black hole have, on average, a corresponding matter particle radiating away elsewhere. Whether they annihilate together or separately the net energy when they do annihilate (on each side of the event horizon) is zero, isn’t it?

  9. #9 David
    February 3, 2011

    your usual level of fantastic. thanks for a great post.

  10. #10 Eric Lund
    February 3, 2011

    @Yossarian: Remember that mass is a form of energy: E = mc^2. So if one of the virtual particles escapes and becomes a real particle, that much energy is lost to the black hole. The process is not that important for stellar mass black holes: it would take several orders of magnitude longer than the lifetime of the universe for such a black hole to dissolve by Hawking radiation. However, certain cosmological theories over the years have predicted the existence of microscopic black holes, for which Hawking radiation is a significant effect.

    @Kym: Although the particles being radiated away from the black hole are a mixture of matter and antimatter, they are also being radiated in different directions at different times, so there is no guarantee that the escaping particles will annihilate each other (remember, they have to have an initial radial velocity close to c to get out). Even if they do, the resulting photons will generally not be directed toward the black hole (momentum as well as energy must be conserved; yes, photons have momentum, but that’s a different post).

  11. #11 cgauthier
    February 3, 2011

    I was totally thinking the same thing as #7/8. I’m certainly no physicist, but the black hole swallowing one of the pair of spontaneously created particle/anti-particle should add mass to the black hole, right? Right? I know much of this stuff is counter-intuitive by nature, but this seems… I don’t know. Entanglement and all the other weird quantum things I’ve ever heard of are weird enough, but I can somehow accept them. That added mass = dissipation, is infinitely more perplexing to me.

  12. #12 Doug
    February 3, 2011

    “That added mass = dissipation, is infinitely more perplexing to me.”

    The black hole didn’t gain mass, a particle escaped — antimatter is just matter traveling backward in time. You see it as falling in, but the particle sees itself escaping. :)

    (Don’t ask me what happens when normal half of the pair falls in and the anti escapes — I don’t have a smart-ass answer for that one…yet).

    The problem with QM is epistemological – our standard language describes events common to our experience; it’s entirely inadequate to explain things beyond our experience like QM or heaven or anything else outside The Matrix we live in…

  13. #13 cgauthier
    February 3, 2011

    To be fair, I notice you link to Wikipedia, but, again, non-physicist here. Numbers, letters and squiggly lines, arranged in some esoteric code, are no explanation for the layman.

    The article does mention something about the black hole losing energy when the escaping particle/anti-particle escapes, but I don’t see how that counteracts the addition of the other particle/anti-particle’s mass.

    And if it happens to be the anti-particle which is taken into the black hole, the energy from the annihilation w/ the black hole’s matter should still remain in the black hole, right? And either way, particles and anti-particles should be entering and escaping the hole at proportions that are roughly 50/50, right? I mean, it’s either heads or tails.

    I don’t know. I just don’t think the understanding of Hawking Radiation should be taken for granted. And I don’t think the Wikipedia article does a great job at explaining it to the laymen*.

    *Or, I could be much denser than your typical laymen. Perhaps so dense, that, as virtual particle/anti-particle pairs are separated at my event horizon and I absorb one of each said pair, I lose mass and will eventually dissipate.

  14. #14 cgauthier
    February 3, 2011

    The black hole didn’t gain mass, a particle escaped — antimatter is just matter traveling backward in time.

    I’ve never, ever, ever ever heard that explanation for antimatter ever ever. Sorry, and not to call you a crank or liar, but I need a bit more confirmation on that idea. Wikipedia says nothing about antimatter being “matter traveling backward in time”.

    When matter/antimatter annihilate, are the gamma rays created travelling forward, or backward in time? Or both? That sounds even more ridiculous than what I was originally questioning.

    Any second opinions?

  15. #15 cgauthier
    February 3, 2011

    Also, Doug, I know that language is a poor substitute for the math, regarding QM, but I’m pretty sure language is all there is to descibe Heaven. You know, seeing as how QM has math and real experimental results and heaven was invented as an idea, using language, and has no phenomena to see or math to measure it by.

  16. #16 Ciaran
    February 3, 2011

    My understanding of how the black hole is dissipating energy is that the energy to create the particle/antiparticle pair comes from the black hole’s gravitational energy. Normally they’d annihilate and return the energy but when one is captured by the black hole and the other escapes, the black hole only gets half the energy back.

    This is probably a grossly simplified explanation as I’m not a physicist.

  17. #17 Vicki
    February 3, 2011

    If I understand this, mathematically, a positron can be modeled as an electron moving backwards in time, and the equations work out. Richard Feynman worked on this. At one point, he suggested that all the matter in the universe might be a single electron moving backward and forward; later he said he had proven to his own satisfaction that there had to be at least two particles.

    However, I am not a physicist, and I hope one of the physicists here will give more detail.

    Meta: Wikipedia can be a good starting place, but it’s far from complete (even if it aspires to that). The absence of something from Wikipedia doesn’t mean it’s invalid.

  18. #18 Tom
    February 3, 2011

    Since the Casimir force arises from the exclusion of electromagnetic modes from the space in between the conducting plates (they have to be conducting), I think it’s fair to say that the Casimir force is an electromagnetic force.

  19. #19 Gerald
    February 3, 2011

    Great comments and further inquiry. I am in the camp of using the ideas, metaphors and the thinking process of physicist to help regular people in the real world make better decisions. The big point I take away from this is that is never a state of “nothing.”

    Energy exist everywhere in the universe (even down to the strings of string theory) and so something is always possible to create by tranforming the energy that is always there. This has parallels in life from the inventiveness of the entrepreneur to “reinventing” ourselves when it appears all was lost.

    Scientist, like Brian Greene, who was recently in our area are also advocating that science become more a part of our everyday lives in improving the quality of our thinking.

    My book, The Art of Quantum Planning, attempts to break this ground for businesses and organizations. We can’t all be physicist, but we can think like them a lot more than we
    give ourselves credit for. This kind of thinking will help us continue to create a new and better world, right here on Earth.

  20. #20 Ian Kemmish
    February 3, 2011

    Of course, you can’t get more out of a black hole via Hawking radiation than fell into it in the first place (the black hole evaporates as soon as the two quantities become equal) so it’s not really something for nothing is it? More like a capacitor or a battery.

  21. #21 Calliopejane
    February 3, 2011

    There is in fact about a 1% probability-preference for matter over anti-matter, it is NOT in fact 50/50. Scientists are just beginning to understand how that comes to be: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=muons-mesons

  22. #22 Gary Allan
    February 3, 2011

    Great!. The pictures are excellent; I teach physics in HS, and I can use the pix with the story very nicely when I get to QM. I already tell them about virtual particles and Casimir effect, but I always need better illustrations to go with the talk and better talk to go with the pix (I’ll cite your site, when I get there)

  23. #23 TheBlackCat
    February 3, 2011

    About the more general particle/anti-particle formation, does that require energy to be present, or can it happen in a case with no background energy? I originally thought that it required energy, but the bit you mentioned about Heisenberg seems to imply that it can happen even without energy (since even if there is no energy on average the uncertainty means there still can be some locally). Is that correct or am I missing something?

  24. #24 Pierce R. Butler
    February 3, 2011

    When the Universe inflates, or expands exponentially (before the Big Bang)…

    Uh, wut?

    Last I heard, “before the Big Bang” is either nonsense (time itself being one product of the BB) or unknowable (BB considered as a cosmic Reset erasing all prior information).

    And is there, as another science blogger recently stated, something in common between vacuum energy and “dark” energy causing the universe to expand?

  25. #25 Chuck Nance
    February 3, 2011

    It is very simple, nothing interacting with nothing produces nothing, not something. It is impossible for something to come from nothing. That is the law of logic. Defy logic and you have entered never never land.

  26. #26 Chuck Nance
    February 3, 2011

    It is not possible to produce something from nothing. Based on logic is won’t work. Nothing interacting with nothing equals nothing.

  27. #27 Marc
    February 3, 2011

    Hey Chuck, did you miss the part where the Casimir effect was demonstrated experimentally? The real, actual world really, actually works this way.

    In the face of disconfirming evidence, don’t you think you should reassess your position?

  28. #28 Owlmirror
    February 4, 2011

    It is very simple, nothing interacting with nothing produces nothing, not something. It is impossible for something to come from nothing. That is the law of logic. Defy logic and you have entered never never land.

    The problem is that you are conflating two conceptually different things: “Nothing at all — no space, time, energy, or physical laws”, and “a vacuum in which the laws of quantum mechanics operate”.

    Or in other words, you are committing the logical fallacy of equivocation. You may be doing so inadvertently, but you are doing it nonetheless. Science has both evidence and correct logic.

    In order to make your argument work, you have to show that there really was “nothing at all” before the big bang — no space, time, energy, or physical laws whatsoever.

    Good luck with that!

  29. #29 Marc A
    February 4, 2011

    “Hey Chuck, did you miss the part where the Casimir effect was demonstrated experimentally? The real, actual world really, actually works this way.

    In the face of disconfirming evidence, don’t you think you should reassess your position?”

    I think physicians should be more careful in their explanations. This whole idea that something can come from nothing doesn’t just defy god, but it defies science. Something coming from nothing should be an observation we’re still trying to untangle and explain. It’s a fact that it seems as though something comes from nothing, but if you have any appreciation for logic and reason, you should open your mind to a possible explanation. I don’t see why hidden(from us) dimensions can’t account for the possible interaction that leads to the “spontaneous” creation of antimatter/matter particles. Doesn’t dark matter alone open you up to a possible explanation for the effect in question? I know it seems far fetched, but isn’t it more far fetched to say something comes from nothing? I hate when people try to draw attention to science with counterintuitive facts about reality, because those aren’t realities…they’re the next deep questions we need to answer. It’s great when the idea that something comes from nothing is presented as a question to be answered…which implies it isn’t really nothing. Something comes from something. Open your mind up to an explanation, otherwise you chose faith over wonder.

  30. #30 wisnij
    February 4, 2011

    John Baez explains a little more about Hawking radiation here, and says that the usual particle/antiparticle explanation is not so great, or at least not obviously connected to the actual theory. To summarize (if I’ve understood it correctly) the curvature of spacetime near the black hole means that the lowest energy state near the hole is different than the lowest energy state far away — what we normally call “vacuum”. From far away the area near the black hole appears to be at a higher energy state, and is thus emitting energy.

  31. #31 Thomas M
    February 4, 2011

    Hey the Casimir Force!
    I’ve got a question about that one. I was reading about this one crazy magnetar thing and it said that magnetars have such strong magnetic fields that they polarize the vacuum…huh? Is that related to the Casimir Force? I mean, since the plates have to be conductive, I thought it might be what the article was referring to, somehow. Is it?

  32. #32 Steve
    February 4, 2011

    Non-physicist here. Do vacuum fluctuations have what might be described as a wavelength? Does the distance between the two plates matter and could they be pushed together faster than gravity could account for?

  33. #33 troels.jakobsen
    February 4, 2011

    It’s misleading to conclude that we get something from nothing when the conclusion is based on a misconception about “empty” space being nothing.

    A vaccuum is in reality never empty but necessarily has a minimum level of energy, which is what is manifesting as virtual particle pairs. So we’re not getting something from nothing but something from something.

  34. #34 AL
    February 4, 2011

    It is very simple, nothing interacting with nothing produces nothing, not something. It is impossible for something to come from nothing. That is the law of logic. Defy logic and you have entered never never land.

    “Law of logic?” What the hell? Are we talking about inference rules for grammatical statements, or are we talking about the ontology of the universe here? Because “laws of logic” refer to inference rules, not stuff about it being “impossible for something to come from nothing.”

    Or are you suggesting that your claim that it is impossible for something to come from nothing is some sort of tautology (based perhaps on simply defining nothing to mean “that from which something cannot come”)? If so, hopefully you understand why arguments from tautology are vacuous — a tautology is the nothing from which no inference of substance comes.

  35. #35 Shane Norman
    February 4, 2011

    Thanks Ethan just the answer I needed. Are we any closer to understanding the state of affairs before the planck time? Do you think string theory or loop quantum gravity have any future as explanations?

  36. #36 Raskolnikov
    February 4, 2011

    Frankly, I’m not convinced that the vacuum has particles popping in and out of existance. Even in the Casimir effect, you have to introduce plates or something else to even measure it. How’s that for a vacuum? Come on!

  37. #37 Frank Van Bragt
    February 4, 2011

    about hawking radiation :

    It makes no difference if the matter particle escapes and the ant-matter particle falls in or otherwise. The black hole loses energy.
    Imagine 2 electron-positron( anti-electron) pairs being created through quantum fluctuations at the edge of the event horizon. In one pair the electron falls into the black hole and the positron escapes.
    In the other pair it’s the reverse. The net result is that now there is an extra electron and a positron with each a mass of about 0.5 MeV/c² (antiparticles don’t have anti-mass). Schould those two particles ever meet eachother they will anihilate producing a pair of gamma rays with a combined energy of about 1MeV. Conservation of energy tells you this energy has to come from somewhere : the black hole.
    Since mass and energy are equivalent the black hole lost mass.

  38. #38 claschx
    February 4, 2011

    There is an alternative explanation to the Hawkins radiation, seen as quantum tunneling effect through the event horizon of the black hole. As a particle approaches the e.h. from the “inside” the possibility of that particle being in the “outside” increases. The particle-antiparticle explanation is just complementary to this.

  39. #39 melior
    February 4, 2011

    I confess this struck me as amusing:
    @14

    To be fair, I notice you link to Wikipedia, but, again, non-physicist here. Numbers, letters and squiggly lines, arranged in some esoteric code, are no explanation for the layman.

    Learning is like a baby drinking milk; it requires at least a tiny bit of participation on the part of the baby.

    It only takes a few seconds of time to notice that the section linked carries the heading “Calculations” and is by necessity likely to contain the mathematical details. Another second or two of scrolling down the page would have led you to the section titled “Analogies” which includes the math-free, layman-friendly bits you were (ostensibly) looking for.

    Mathematics is the natural language of our universe, and it’s quite often not hubris, arrogance, or an attempt to obfuscate when physicists use it while trying to explain physical concepts. In fact, almost anyone willing to try can actually learn quite a lot of the math basics from wikipedia by clicking on some of the words they aren’t familiar with until they reach their comfort level, and working back up from there. You might even find the experience nourishing!

  40. #40 unbound
    February 4, 2011

    As we continue down the statistical side of physics, I continue to have a nagging question that rattles around in the back of my head.

    Are we really sure that this stuff is random? In the Casimir plate described above, we can measure some force between the plates. But the plates are isolated to the best of our ability and understanding of that isolation. Are we certain that the plates are isolated from all possible outside effects?

    A few hundred years ago, noone understood light outside of the wavelengths we can see. It seemed like magic (or randomness) that some animals could see things when there was no light (that we could see), or easily see things that looked to be near-perfect camouflage to us.

    I understand we are able to use the principles of quantum mechanics to do work today, but ancient peoples were able to figure out how to make bronze and other combined metals without understanding the atom too.

    Root of the question is this: Are things at the quantum level truly as random as we think, or are there additional forces at work that we have yet to perceive and account for?

  41. #41 eric
    February 4, 2011

    Marc A: Something coming from nothing should be an observation we’re still trying to untangle and explain.

    Dr. Siegel DID explain it to you. The universe does not make a distinction between “nothing” and “equal and opposite virtual particles.” The two states are equivalent, and on a the scale of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle a “piece” of the universe can flip back and forth between the nothnig state and the something state. Get it out of your head right now that the nothing state is the baseline and the something state is a deviation from this baseline; they are quantum mechanically equivalent.

    The Casimir plates do not create this effect, they simply measure the pressure from it. Take away the plates and it still happens: you just have no way of measuring it any more.

    The bit about QM demanding that we get something from nothing is obvious once you grok that the two states (vacuum, equal and opposite virtual partices) are equivalent. For a microscopic space to remain “nothing” for all time and never produce virtual particles would be like flipping a (fair) coin every nanosecond for the entire age of the universe and always getting heads. That ain’t going to happen.

    Now for something completely different…

    crd2 @5: Getting something from nothing makes me think about the cold fusion experiments by Fleishmann and Pons…After all it kinda goes against everything we think we know about physics and the Universe we live in.

    Pons and Fleishman claimed to have produced fusion. Fusion (and fission) does not create something from nothing, it merely converts mass into energy. The sun does that all the time, as do physicists using particle accelerators.

    What makes the P&F claim extroadinary was that they claimed to have produced fusion using a benchtop electrochemical setup, and without the emission of gamma rays. The first claim was extroadinary from an engineering perspective, while the second contradicts the quite extensive understanding we have of tritium fusion. Both claims proved to be irreproducible.

  42. #42 Marc A
    February 4, 2011

    “Dr. Siegel DID explain it to you. The universe does not make a distinction between “nothing” and “equal and opposite virtual particles.” The two states are equivalent, and on a the scale of the Heisenberg uncertainty principle a “piece” of the universe can flip back and forth between the nothnig state and the something state. Get it out of your head right now that the nothing state is the baseline and the something state is a deviation from this baseline; they are quantum mechanically equivalent.

    The Casimir plates do not create this effect, they simply measure the pressure from it. Take away the plates and it still happens: you just have no way of measuring it any more.

    The bit about QM demanding that we get something from nothing is obvious once you grok that the two states (vacuum, equal and opposite virtual partices) are equivalent. For a microscopic space to remain “nothing” for all time and never produce virtual particles would be like flipping a (fair) coin every nanosecond for the entire age of the universe and always getting heads. That ain’t going to happen.”

    I’m afraid you’re not getting the point. I understand how these two things can be considered one in the same in the framework of a theory, but the fact that you’re able to distinguish the two things you say are equivalent makes them unequivalent in “some regard”. I know that’s vague, but I think I’m being intellectually honest. By the way, the uncertainty principle is based on reality, not the other way around.

  43. #43 Paul
    February 4, 2011

    The reason mass is only lost to a blackhole in hawking radiation, never gained (for the quantum mechanics version of never that has some infinitesimal caveat) is that above the limits of heisenberg uncertainty the conservation laws apply. A photon is welcome to turn into a shower of electrons, but it’s going to have to collapse back into the equivalent of a photon pretty fast. If a virtual particle is pulled into some neighboring system (in this case, a black hole), then all of its virtual partners are going to have to do something to keep the ledger balanced: this may mean reforming into a particle with less energy than they began with, or “stealing” energy from some other system. It’s like musical chairs: while the music is playing the particles dance around, but once the time is up, you’ve got to find a seat.

    Normally when a particle and an antiparticle meet, you get a flash of energy. This doesn’t happen in the vacuum, because the energy produced is just offsetting the energy used to create the pair. So when the blackhole pulls one of a vacuum pair in, the pair has a fixed amount of time to account for the energy that created them. The easiest way for this to happen is for one of the pair to find an instance of its antiparticle to collide with. Again, normally this would create a tiny explosion of energy and no mass would be lost, but because this interaction is “balancing the ledger”, it occurs with a blip, some particle inside the blackhole no longer exists, and the previously virtual particle that escaped from the black hole has enough energy to continue existing.

    Now, either particle is welcome to sacrifice itself for the other. But there particle escaping is heading out towards empty space, and the particle being pulled into the black hole is headed at high speed for a very dense grouping of matter. So the one inside the blackhole is far more likely to find a partner, so hawking radiation will tend to leak from a blackhole for thermodynamic type reasons.

    If an action can’t be balanced within the limits set by Heisenberg, it just doesn’t occur. So if you had a blackhole full of only antimatter, more antimatter would never fall in. Virtual particle pairs on the edge would always fall matter end in, or else re-annihilate. It’s a bit odd that the actions of the particle are dictated by events in the future, that you can pay the energy cost after the event has occurred, but that’s QM for you.

  44. #44 eric
    February 4, 2011

    Marc A: I’m afraid you’re not getting the point.

    I think you got my goat up with your “something from nothing defies science” comment in @30. This is not the case. It does not defy sience at all; it is perfectly explained by scientific theory.

    QM without extra dimensions is perfectly adequate for explaining what’s going on. You are right that the two states are detectably different, but this does not prevent the flip from happening. And in fact QM allows all sorts of other equivalent-but-detectably-different flips, too. A >1.022 MeV xray can spontaneously convert into a positron and electron. Solar neutrinos can oscillate (i.e., flip) their flavor. Weird? Yes. Counterintuitive? Yes. Unscientific and defying explanation? Not at all.

  45. #45 TheBlackCat
    February 4, 2011

    I understand how these two things can be considered one in the same in the framework of a theory, but the fact that you’re able to distinguish the two things you say are equivalent makes them unequivalent in “some regard”

    We are able to distinguish them because we try to impose our own macroscopic views on a system they don’t apply to. You are conflating how we conceptualize phenomena that is utterly alien to our experiences with how the phenomena actually is.

  46. #46 D'n
    February 4, 2011

    As Hobbes would say, the “something can’t come from nothing” is an arbitrary decision. Until we have proof of this statement it cannot be taken as fact.
    The real problem with this Casimir effect is that it takes vacuum (zero energy) and converts it into energy. When anti-matter and matter collide they create an explosion which releases energy. This would violate the conservation of energy and matter as “empty space” would quickly fill up with excess energy from the explosions.
    So this effect must be understood in a different way. For instance, why does it happen between two plates? Is it possible that the Casimir effect is due to the uncertainty principle acting on the matter within the plates?
    The other option is that we discover the law of conservation of matter and energy is wrong. This true is an arbitrary definition rather than a statement of empirically proven reality. It is possible that Newton was wrong about this, in the same way that he was wrong about the universality of stable space-time.
    Of course if the law is incorrect, and the big bang was created from this effect, then each point of “space” in the universe is a potential new big bang waiting to happen (which would likely be very dangerous). This doesn’t make the theory (that the law is incorrect) false, but it does question it.

  47. #47 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    February 4, 2011

    @ Vicki:

    mathematically, a positron can be modeled as an electron moving backwards in time, and the equations work out.

    AFAIU some of the early particle descriptions (Dirac’s equations) could be interpreted such. Not generally, no, since CP violation and what not appears in actual physics.

    @ Pierce R. Butler:

    Last I heard, “before the Big Bang” is either nonsense (time itself being one product of the BB) or unknowable (BB considered as a cosmic Reset erasing all prior information).

    If you follow the link labeled “inflation”, Ethan walks you through all that, and IIRC the vacuum/dark energy relation (or look it up in Wikipedia, it’s there IIRC), in a series of posts.

    Money quote:

    “But when inflation came along, all of that changed. No longer could we extrapolate all the way back to a singularity. If we wound the clock of the Universe backwards, we would discover something remarkable. At some point, about 10-30 seconds before we would anticipate running into that singularity, the Universe instead would undergo inflation (in reverse, if we’re looking backwards), and we have no evidence for anything that came before it.

    The Big Bang, instead of being a singularity, is the set of initial conditions of an extremely hot, dense, expanding Universe that exists immediately after the end of inflation.”

  48. #48 tmaxPA
    February 4, 2011

    Are things at the quantum level truly as random as we think, or are there additional forces at work that we have yet to perceive and account for?

    The answer is that things at the quantum level are entirely random. If there were any “forces at work” beyond statistical randomness, recognized or not, hypothesized or not, the results would be non-random. Unknown forces would produce unknown results, not random results. “Random” does not mean some particular pattern we don’t recognize or understand. Mathematically, it means no pattern at all. And the results of empirical experiments confirm that it is random, not simply “unpredicted” but “unpredictable”.

    Such is my understanding.

  49. #49 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    February 4, 2011

    @ Thomas M:

    they polarize the vacuum…huh? Is that related to the Casimir Force?

    Indirectly.

    Vacuum polarization in QED is virtual particle pairs that the field creates and annihilates, which shows up in the theory and is AFAU called self energy of the photon. (Disclaimer: have not studied quantum field theory.)

    Vacuum energy is the zero point (lowest state) energy of all particle fields self energy (so not only photons but all other bosons _and_ fermions).

    @ Steve:

    Do vacuum fluctuations have what might be described as a wavelength?

    Yes, those fluctuations are the virtual particle-antiparticle pairs, and particles have all sorts of wavelengths associated to them.

    The distance of the plates matter which can be realized by asking what happens if you separate the plates to infinity (no effect). I’m sorry but the gravitation question makes no sense to me, this is a non-gravitational effect.

  50. #50 Nomen Nescio
    February 4, 2011

    The real problem with this Casimir effect is that it takes vacuum (zero energy) and converts it into energy.

    that’s not a problem, that’s a solution. the problem is the notion that vacuum has zero energy, because zero is a certainty and Heisenberg rules certainties out. randomly created then rapidly uncreated energy blips fuzzies the edges of that zero so that it’ll fit into the uncertainties demanded by quantum mech; this solves a problem.

    it only seems to create a problem because we’re trying to grok a quantum-scale phenomenon with macroscale intuitions. that doesn’t work. the very small just doesn’t make that kind of sense, and trying to make it so will only give you a headache while misleading you to the wrong conclusions.

  51. #51 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    February 4, 2011

    @ Raskolnikov:

    I’m not convinced that the vacuum has particles popping in and out of existance. … How’s that for a vacuum?

    That is what is observed, and so that is how we nowadays understand vacuum, filled with fields and so particles. How else could it be? :-D

    @ unbound, tmaxPA:

    Are things at the quantum level truly as random as we think, or are there additional forces at work that we have yet to perceive and account for?

    “Random” is meaningless without context, I believe you mean stochastic.

    But quantum mechanics is deterministic as well (takes states deterministically to states) so truly stochastic but not “truly random” or “unpredictable”.

    Quantum mechanics denies hidden variables, and besides testing for a LUCA in biology this is among the best tested facts we have. (Bell test experiments at something like 10^-20 uncertainty; I haven’t checked though. Universal common ancestor test is ~ 10^-2000 uncertainty … Evolution rocks!)

  52. #52 Laughing Man
    February 4, 2011

    When you get life from non-life, then we’ll talk, Ethan. M’kay?

  53. #53 Jonn Mero
    February 4, 2011

    Delightful!
    And since I think I understand it I presume I don’t?

  54. #54 Michieux
    February 4, 2011

    Is the Werner Erhard you cite at the beginning of the article the same Werner Erhard who created EST? And who said this about L. Ron Hubbard: “I have a lot of respect for L. Ron Hubbard and I consider him to be a genius and perhaps less acknowledged than he ought to be?” If so, what strange bedfellows you keep.

  55. #55 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    February 4, 2011

    @ Marc A:

    This whole idea that something can come from nothing doesn’t just defy god, but it defies science.

    You have got that backwards. We currently observe something, and the idea that when we go back in time we suddenly “get nothing from something” is _the_ counter-intuitive but at times correct statement. But as Siegel explains here, or Vic Stenger in his books, those states are the same type of physics, just observationally different, so no problem.

    Oh, and that “defy god” doesn’t happen, since we have no evidence for gods.

    the fact that you’re able to distinguish the two things you say are equivalent makes them unequivalent in “some regard”.

    This is trivial but non-consequential here. Colors can be distinguished by wavelengths so they are nonequivalent (not the same). But equivalently they are equivalent (photons with wavelengths).

    @ Chuck Nance, Marc A:

    Defy logic and you have entered never never land.

    counterintuitive facts about reality, because those aren’t realities…

    You are both wrong. Science has nothing in common with common sense and philosophical logic.

    Common sense is formed by evolution and observation of some phenomena at mesoscales, while science handles all phenomena at all scales (in principle). The first thing you learn at university, at least in physics, is to dump the old bad mindset and learn actual physics. (Well, ideally, some never learn…)

    Philosophical-religious logic (aka “truth”, or worse, “Truth”, in the vernacular) is contingent on context (say, either plane geometry or hyperbolic geometry, either christian gods or hindu gods), while results of science method (facts and theory) are observed to be universal.

    Facts and theories, while having quantifiable uncertainty, beats common sense and/or truths hands down.

  56. #56 rob
    February 4, 2011

    Billy Preston can teach you all you need to know about nothing from nothing.

  57. #57 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    February 4, 2011

    @ Laughing Man:

    When you get life from non-life, then we’ll talk,

    Ludicrous, because a) this is spontaneous generation not spontaneous creation, so biology not physics b) spontaneous generation was rejected hundreds of years ago, replaced by evolution at the time of Darwin and Wallace.

    Not that it pertain to the subject, m’kay. But we currently know _too much_ about chemical evolution and how it gets systems to biological evolution. The number of potential pathways is too large to zero in on any one specific, it is an embarrassment of riches akin to the recent Kepler results pointing to many paths to planetary systems.

    [In fact, I'm looking forward to the constraining of chemical evolution pathways that will take place when we first get to know habitable exoplanets and their environments, later no doubt now (since we found other habitable planets, yay!) inhabited planets and _their_ environments. If we are lucky we can zoom in to how it happened on Earth. If not we will get to know the large number of ways life gets started.]

  58. #58 Cody
    February 4, 2011

    @Laughing Man

    When you get life from non-life, then we’ll talk…

    Here is one promising hypothesis. (That video really took the wind out of what I thought might be the unanswerable question of abiogenesis.)

  59. #59 Kevin
    February 4, 2011

    @LaughingMan…funny…every time I talk to theists about abiogenesis, they move the goalposts to “you can’t get something from nothing.”

    Take your goal post shifting and place it where the sun don’t shine.

    Chemistry. Life from non-life is chemistry. That’s ALL it is. A chemical reaction that took place about 300 million years after the Earth formed. You don’t need scientists with beakers to have chemical reactions, you know. They happen all the time. Organic AND inorganic. In nature.

    Just because we haven’t teased out the precise equation, that does not then allow you to insert “god did it” there.

    And please don’t start about “odds”. The odds of life arising from non-life on Earth is 100%. A dead-shot certainty. Because we are evidence that it happened.

    Just chemistry. Nothing more. Nothing less.

  60. #60 Laughing Man
    February 4, 2011

    The odds of life arising from non-life on Earth is 100%. A dead-shot certainty. Because we are evidence that it happened.

    The Bible is the Word of God. It says so in the Bible, so it’s 100% true. (Same argument, different topic.)

    So tell me, why isn’t it that we are the evidence that alien life seeded this planet as many evolutionists claim?

  61. #61 Laughing Man
    February 4, 2011

    BTW, if “we’re the evidence” that abiogenesis happened, could you please recreate that in a lab for me? Thanks. I’d appreciate it.

  62. #62 Nomen Nescio
    February 4, 2011

    So tell me, why isn’t it that we are the evidence that alien life seeded this planet as many evolutionists claim?

    shuffling abiogenesis off onto some other planet doesn’t make abiogenesis not happen, y’know. (and who are these “many” who hew to panspermia, anyway? i’d like to ask them for their evidence. seems to me that unless they have some, the notion is subject to Occam’s razor.)

  63. #63 Doug
    February 4, 2011

    “If I understand this, mathematically, a positron can be modeled as an electron moving backwards in time, and the equations work out.”

    It makes more sense on the Feynman diagram (where time direction arrows are reversed for anti-matter), for example:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Beta_Negative_Decay.svg

  64. #64 Laughing Man
    February 4, 2011

    i’d like to ask them for their evidence.

    Their evidence is as follows:

    *ahem*

    “we are evidence that it happened”

  65. #65 Tom
    February 4, 2011

    @ Marc A

    The Casimir plates do create the effect. Because they conduct, that places a restriction on the electromagnetic modes that can appear between them (so yes, Steve, the separation matters). QM tells us that an unoccupied mode has a nonzero energy, and a nonexistent mode has no energy. The difference gives us the Casimir force. You need the plates to get rid of the EM modes.

    Another really neat thing is that if you put an excited atom in such a cavity, you can affect its relaxation rate. If the emitted photon isn’t supported, the atom won’t decay.

    Defying god (or not) just doesn’t enter into the discussion. At all.

  66. #66 greame
    February 4, 2011

    For those still kinda confused about the whole black hole/radiation/virtual particles deal, I’ll suggest “The Black Hole War” by Leonard Susskind. He does a great job of explaining a lot of these ideas in terms a layman can understand. It does take a bit of patience to get your head wrapped around it. And even after reading it twice, I can’t say I have my head fully wrapped around it, as I couldn’t really explain it myself. But I’m understand a lot more of it now then I did a year ago before reading it. His other book “The Cosmic Landscape” is a great one too. His theory on “where our universe lies in existance”.

    Fantastic post btw! Saw this one through Pharyngula. I’ll have to visit here more often, Ethan.

  67. #67 greame
    February 4, 2011

    @15
    “I’ve never, ever, ever ever heard that explanation for antimatter ever ever. Sorry, and not to call you a crank or liar, but I need a bit more confirmation on that idea. ”

    This is actually correct, I think. Again, check out Black Hole War by Susskind, it does go into a bit of detail on this. And you have to remember that “backwards in time” doesn’t really mean you know, the particles traveling back to the 1800′s. You have to take into consideration the whole four-dimensional spacetime. In “forward” time, particles spin a specific direction, and like particles always spin in like direction. When it’s spinning in the opposite direction, its “going back in time”. Imagine a video tape of a person walking. Playing it one way, you can easily see that the tape is going forward, as the person is making recognisable movements. Play that tape backwards, and you can again easily tell the tape is running backwards, because the person on the screen is walking backwards. But if you “watch a video tape” of particles, there’s not really any way to tell if the recording is going forwards and backwards, unless you know before hand. Either way.. I don’t recall all the specifics, but I’ll see if I can look them up tonight and we can get some clarification on it.

  68. #68 ng
    February 4, 2011

    Laughing Man is a troll you sillies :)

    (hence, the name)

  69. #69 Marc A
    February 4, 2011

    Thanks for the replies. I think our disagreement is simply my intuition (possibly false) telling me God doesn’t play dice. The evidence seems to bear that reality, but I have a hard time believing that’s the end of the story. You guys seem to have a better grasp of the actual science in question(I jumped to this board from Pharyngula), but I think you’re underestimating my appreciation for the “realities” imposed by QM.

    “Oh, and that “defy god” doesn’t happen, since we have no evidence for gods.

    the fact that you’re able to distinguish the two things you say are equivalent makes them unequivalent in “some regard”.
    This is trivial but non-consequential here. Colors can be distinguished by wavelengths so they are nonequivalent (not the same). But equivalently they are equivalent (photons with wavelengths).”

    Ok…I was using the example of God to get under your skin and make you think about what you’re saying. I believe it still holds. Einstein didn’t disprove Newton, and whoever comes up with a better explanation for why an anti-particle/particle “appears” at a certain(but not that certain, I know, Heisenberg) time and space wouldn’t disprove QM. It would be a refinement. I think it’s a legitimate question. It might never be answered, but we’ll probably never detect other universes(wtv that means)…it doesn’t mean there aren’t any.

    Yes…we perceive different wavelenghts of light as different colors, but those different wavelengths of light being emitted are different for particular reasons. We can explain why this is so…so that’s not a very good example.
    I guess I should make one thing clear before we go on. I don’t believe in anything being actually random. I believe everything that seems random is simply pseudo-random(has an explanation).

    I seem to be overstepping according to you. I’d love to know why. Should I just take a QM class and shut up?

  70. #70 Bryson Brown
    February 4, 2011

    Those who insist on treating the problem as unsolved because space and physical laws are involved here are missing a deeper point about the spontaneity of existence. We have no reason to believe a state of (absolute) nothing is privileged–it’s not even clear if such a condition is possible. By contrast the existence of actual things does show that the existence of something is possible. People interested in a serious take on these questions should have a look at Adolf Grunbaum’s exchange with Richard Swinburne over his article, “The Poverty of Theistic Cosmology” in the British Journal for Philosophy of Science: Grunbaum, BJPS

  71. #71 Bryson Brown
    February 4, 2011

    I see the link got stripped. Here it is in plain text:

    http://bjps.oxfordjournals.org/content/55/4/561.abstract

  72. #72 Mark Robson
    February 4, 2011

    Chuck Nance (No 26) is, of course, correct when he says, ‘It is impossible for something to come from nothing.’ And there is no observational or experimental evidence to contradict this. These ‘particle-antiparticle pairs’ have never ever been detected, and they certainly have never been shown to ‘wink in-and-out of existence’. (Or perhaps you can tell us which experiment detected a single particle coming into existence from nowhere.) These particles are pure fiction – they are a wholly mathematical invention. I thought that physicists are supposed to rely on facts, not mathematics, to tell them what is possible.

    If physicists cannot explain the Casimir effect without resorting to unsubstantiated creationism (which is exactly what asserting ‘particle-antiparticle pairs wink in-and-out of existence all the time’ is) then physics is in a very sorry state.
    Tom (No 19) is most probably correct when he says, ‘I think it’s fair to say that the Casimir force is an electromagnetic force.’
    I have a fundamental question: can the Casimir effect be (re)produced with plates of different materials ? As it seems that only metal plates are mentioned – what about plastic, glass, wood etc ? Because if there was some real vacuum force there it would certainly act on two wooden plates. And if you can’t produce the effect with wooden plates – only metal ones – then it suggests that the force is indeed electro (and/or) magnetic in nature.

  73. #73 NJ
    February 4, 2011

    Mark Robson @ 73:

    blah, blah, blah

    Ah, another non-scientist here to explain science to us. Gee, too bad we went to all that trouble to get degrees in our fields, when all we had to do was ask Mark!

    From Wikipedia:

    In the original calculation done by Casimir, he considered the space between a pair of conducting metal plates at distance a apart. In this case, the standing waves are particularly easy to calculate, since the transverse component of the electric field and the normal component of the magnetic field must vanish on the surface of a conductor.

    So, there was an actual reason to use metal plates. And if they are uncharged and non-magnetic, then there go the “electro (and/or) magnetic” rationales.

    And as the description notes, the vacuum is not nothing; there are neutrinos in there, there are photons in there, etc. I’m not trained in the details enough to step through the math, but it is certain that all of these objections have been addressed in the literature.

    Your problem, Mark, is that you are fixated on the idea that reality conforms to your personal feelings, as a sort of argumentum ad definition, to coin a phrase. It’s like people saying Pluto has always been a planet, so if astronomers redefine the term ‘planet’ to exclude Pluto, then they don’t understand the topic.

  74. #74 Nomen Nescio
    February 4, 2011

    Chuck Nance (No 26) is, of course, correct when he says, ‘It is impossible for something to come from nothing.’

    that only sounds right because it’s in English, not mathemathics. try proving it formally.

    it seems to us to be right because we’re using macroscopic-scale experience to intuitively grasp the world. but the world does not, fundamentally, cater to our intuitions; we know that quantum mechanics works in a number of ways that stand such intuitions thoroughly on their head before kicking them out the window — without either opening it first or breaking the pane in the process. (tunneling FTW.)

    why should we assume that a quantum-scale “vacuum” works and operates the way a macro-scale “vacuum” intuitively seems to? nothing else on those scales does. photons pass through two slits at once, electrons escape potential traps they simply don’t have the energy to climb out of, nothing can be said with certainty to be specifically there and moving precisely thattaway at exactly this speed because those basic properties do not simultaneously exist, and things have “spin” even when they lack a spatial dimension in which to be “turning”… how is particle-antiparticle pair creation and annihilation any stranger, really?

    we know quantum mech works. we’ve proven it, to the point that everyday technology now relies on it. the fact that it makes no sense to macroscopic intuition is one of which the universe seems supremely heedless. just give up trying to force it all to make sense on that level, because it won’t.

  75. #75 Owlmirror
    February 4, 2011

    Chuck Nance (No 26) is, of course, correct when he says, ‘It is impossible for something to come from nothing.’

    Technically, he’s committing a logical fallacy. And so are you.

    And there is no observational or experimental evidence to contradict this.

    Well, we have never seen any “nothing at all”, and there is no observational or experimental evidence to suggest that “nothing at all” can exist, let alone has ever existed.

    These ‘particle-antiparticle pairs’ have never ever been detected

    Ah. When you don’t like the observation or the experiment, you assert that it didn’t happen.

    Because you, of course, are God, and magically know everything?

    (Or perhaps you can tell us which experiment detected a single particle coming into existence from nowhere.)

    What part of “particle-antiparticle pairs” — as in, not single particles — did you fail to understand?

    These particles are pure fiction – they are a wholly mathematical invention.

    Because mathematical inventions can have real effects?

    I thought that physicists are supposed to rely on facts, not mathematics, to tell them what is possible.

    Because mathematics is not factual? 2+3=5 is not fact?

    Since they did indeed rely on facts about the real world, they are indeed describing what is possible about the real world.

  76. #76 Sphere Coupler
    February 4, 2011

    I have a slight disagreement here, Ethan…

    I see what you did there.
    .
    .
    .
    “Now, that’s what we know we can get, even from nothing. But there are many things we can’t do, either practically or theoretically: violate charge or energy conservation, decrease the total entropy of the Universe, or figure out where our initially inflating Universe came from. (Yet!) But we definitely can get something for nothing; quantum field theory not only allows it, it demands it. But it remains to be seen whether we can get everything for nothing.”
    .
    .
    .
    You can not get something FOR nothing.
    You can however, get something FROM nothing.
    There is a cost, there is always cost, and that cost is change.

    While the differentiation is slight it does bare a significant relevance in the direction of a mindset.

    Rush is right.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=096LhjGNNCk

    “Nothing” can be described as 100% identical in totality as its only quality.
    If all that exist is the same , all broken down to the minutest ingredient, then it is impossible to distinguish anything, a subset of nothing can not be distinguished from the whole of nothing.
    There is nothing to compare, there is nothing.

    From a Universal viewpoint “Nothing” was abundant.

    Total “Nothing” can not be defined. There is no gauge to measure to acquire information or provide constraints from within “nothing”.

    The word nothing, CAN be defined: State of nonexistence; a condition of nonexistence, or the absence of any perceptible qualities.

    All the gold in the Universe can’t buy you “nothing”.

    And if I may add conjecture,

    Space is created by mass, whether this be real or virtual.

    “Nothing” induces virtual particles, Virtual particles create virtual space, Virtual space allows for the creation of real particles, Real particles allows for the creation of real space.
    From a geometric viewpoint, Interaction is inevitable.

    “God does not play dice” Einstein said, and if he had the anonymity of the Internet, he might have concluded (because he has no roll/role).

  77. #77 Mike peralta
    February 5, 2011

    This may have already have been answered. The question arose that if a particle escaped a black hole through the hawking effect then doesn’t the black hole gain the mass of the particle that did not escape? A: the black hole consists of both mass and energy . For the virtual particle-antiparticle to turn real and for one to escape the event horizon enough energy must come from within the black hole and approach the event horizon where the particle-antiparticle are forming to 1. Form the mass for both particle and antiparticle. 2. Give the particle or antiparticle escaping enough energy to escape just outside the event horizon. Since mass and energy can interchange due to e=mc^2 subject to various constraints (momentum, various particle physics rules,etc) the equilibrium between mass and energy will fluctuate to Allow for the smaller mass/energy of the black hole.

  78. #78 Mike peralta
    February 5, 2011

    Space is replete with structure that supports all the physics we know about and the physics we don’t know about. The question remains: Who created that structure and all the physical laws and structure in our physical universe?( And the big bang too.) I believe it is God. There is no logical contradiction in believing in God and believing in the laws of physics. We must just allow for God to intervene as needed for those things outside the realm of science such as the initial creation of space, mass/energy, and everything else we see in this physical universe.

  79. #79 Sphere Coupler
    February 5, 2011

    Mike peralta;

    If you need a God of the gaps to give you that warm fuzzy feeling to soothe your intellect, then that is fine for you, it just isn’t using your intellect to the highest degree, it is a cop out, you choose not to investigate and if there is, was or will be a god, I think it would be very disappointed with your reasoning.

    If we allowed for a god to intervene for those things we do not understand then we would never, ever make any progress.

  80. #80 Mike peralta
    February 5, 2011

    Let me clarify. Belief in God and in the laws of physics or science are not logically mutually exclusive. I myself firmly believe in God and make substantial progress as a semiconductor modeling engineer. Creating many physical models using physics and math and the scientific method. I believe in science to describe the physical realm. I believe in God to explain the spirit realm and the creation of the physical realm — since among other things science has no answers on how space, mass/energy came into existence in the first place. In fact science opposes creation of space/mass/energy due to conservation rules. My personal belief is seek truth no mater where it takes you — if genuinely done it will lead to both God and scientific discovery –and that is true progress. Btw In case you are wondering i have a Ph D in physics from the univ of Arizona, BSEE , and a BS Applied Math. I love science. And I love God. But I love God more.

  81. #81 Sphere Coupler
    February 5, 2011

    Well Mike, if it works for you then more power to ya.I was not wondering about your credentials, I can tell from your written speech that you have attained a certain level of accumulated education, though a Ph D, a BSEE and a BS is in no way an indicator of superior intellect.

    You have your beliefs and if they are not harmful to others then I see no pressing reason for you to change,
    Personally, I find it more acceptable to me and conducive to discovery to remain neutral in this matter of relying on a god for answers to the mysteries of life, so perhaps we could agree to disagree.

  82. #82 Knative07
    February 5, 2011

    I am glad I don’t believe in god, because then I don’t have to look like I am talking out of my ass about shit I have no clue about to “disprove” theories that contradict my worldview. It just seems easier to just say, “You know what? I trust the science.”

  83. #83 Sphere Coupler
    February 5, 2011

    The coupling of Diversity in thought is the key.

    While some choose to take the established Academic route, their are others that excel didactically, just as there are those who can compartmentalise exploratory procedures, there are those who take neither a theistic nor an atheistic point of view.
    The Maverick comes in many flavors.

    Knative07;
    Yes it’s easy to say “I trust the science” and perhaps even easier to state one’s belief in a god, however, the easiest route is a standard, it is the disturbance of the standard that leads to discovery.

    I remain skeptical, yet work within protracted, fruitful models derived from the scientific method.

    I trust that science is ever changing as time progresses.

  84. #84 Sphere Coupler
    February 5, 2011

    I meant autodidactically,(my bad ;?) derived from,

    (…link in buffer)

  85. #85 Hannes
    February 5, 2011

    I am a Black Hole, but I do not eat – because I don’t have to. I simply create my own lunch outside.

    In my diary:

    Looking back into my past I can see the creation of nothing from something.

    If I look further back into the past there is more of nothing.

    Therefore I must be the Creator of everything in the future.

  86. #86 Hannes
    February 5, 2011

    http://arxiv.org/pdf/1102.0570:

    Dust in the early Universe: Evidence for non-stellar dust production or observational errors?
    Lars Mattsson

    Observations have revealed unexpectedly large amounts of dust in high-redshift galaxies and its origin is still much debated. Valiante et al. (2009, MNRAS, 397, 1661) suggested the net stellar dust production of the quasar host galaxy SDSS J1148+5251 may be sufficient to explain the large dust mass detected in this galaxy, albeit under some very special assumptions (e.g., ‘closed box’ evolution and a rather high gas mass). Here it is shown that since accretion of essentially pristine material may lower the efficiency of dust formation significantly, and the observationally derived dust-to-gas ratios for these high-redshift galaxies are remarkably high, stellar dust production is likely insufficient. A model including metallicity-dependent, non-stellar dust formation (‘secondary dust’) is presented. The required contribution from this non-stellar dust component appears too large, however. If all observational constraints are to be met, the resultant dust-to-metals ratio is close to unity, which means that almost all interstellar metals exist in the form dust. This is a very unlikely situation and suggests the large dust-to-gas ratios at high-redshifts may be due to observational uncertainties and/or or incorrect calibration of conversion factors for gas and dust tracers.

  87. #87 Pronoein
    February 5, 2011

    Awakening article!
    Imagine a gravity cannon made of an arrangement of blackholes creating a one-way tunnel of lagrangian points.
    Particles and antiparticles pairs would be ejected (not captured) in a single direction, so we would have a sequential random output of particles or antiparticles that could be harnessed to the left or the right according to their nature and this way create a generator of matter and antimatter: unlimited matter and energy.
    Also, during the casimir effect, why matter and antimatter pairs are not created and then desintegrate, liberating energy?
    Also, yhere does the energy to transform energy of the void into matter comes?

    could it be that occasional rays disturb the nothing like water surface divided by a advancing ship, and if the perturbation reaches a threshold, it can reach the energy levels required to forme matter?

    Also, why the creation of antipairs would be short lived during the casimir effect? can’t there be long lived antipairs that should accumulate?

    @36: “Conservation of energy tells you this energy has to come from somewhere : the black hole.”
    First of all I find it misleading to state that the whole event is happening “into” the black hole; by definition, half the event is outside, otherwise no half of the pair could be emitted. If each half consume 0.5 MeV/c² to exist, the black hole provides only the energy for its captured half, and the outside provides for the other half. So precisely speaking, both the black hole and the surrounding space are loosing energy (but gaining matter), which means that everything is slightly more matterish-centripetous and less energetic-centrifuge. But that’s just modes of the same “existence” thing, mass remains the same, only its distribution changes.

    @39: are you saying that some sort of symmetry principle make a particle near the e.h. attracts its reflect, making it realer until it is really?

    @44: “If an action can’t be balanced within the limits set by Heisenberg, it just doesn’t occur.”
    Why? What’s the concrete mechanism? Which forces are acting and reacting to forbide this event?
    Are you saying because all the parallel universes are all occupied with antimatter, there is no easy room for more existence of antimatter, as easy and thus probable than existence of the opposite: entry of matter.
    Thus, when an unavoidable future of some particle has in every possibility the same outcome, it becomes real and calls a simultaneous exactly similar quantum of reality that becomes anti-real. There is a mysterious symmetry. Why stable things would emerge from chaos? Become stability and chaos are the same? Things happening because of this or its exact contrary, it’s the same result. Every thing has two possible roots. Branching pasts, branching futures…
    Symmetry of yes and no, good and bad, nothing and something, matter and antimatter.

    @45: you could as well be describing the concept of avatars of a single bigger entity, like a toolkit “particles + energy” with several isotropes. Why do the fundamental states of matter (particles) have several appearances?

    @46: are you saying that it is possible to distinguish things through the mind that aren’t really there? Like a strange illusion, impossible but neverendingly convincing?

    @47: not Newton but Anaxagore.

    @56: are you saying that common sense and philosophical logic aren’t dealing about the same reality than science? While I agree that they not equivalent, some subsets can have common grounds with science.

    @75: «things have “spin” even when they lack a spatial dimension in which to be “turning”»
    how do you know they lack spatial dimensions? what about tiny looping dimensions created by their own mass?

    «just give up trying to force it all to make sense on that level, because it won’t.»
    I don’t understand the rationale leading to this conclusion.

  88. #88 sherifffruitfly
    February 5, 2011

    Confirming that Mr. Physicist dude doesn’t believe in any conservation laws.

    That, or he’s just playing specious semantics games.

  89. #89 donsands
    February 5, 2011

    From Dr. RC Sproul:

    “Scientists are fallible and may occasionally make arrogant statements that go far beyond the realm of their own expertise.

    Recently I read an essay by a well-known Nobel Prize winning physicist (whose name will remain unstated so as not to embarrass him) who argued that the idea of “spontaneous generation” be abandoned in science once and for all. Spontaneous generation means that something comes into being with no cause. It comes from nothing. So far, so good. I was pleased to see a scientist debunk the myth of all myths, that something can come from nothing. This myth is still pervasive in the scientific community with respect to “chance.” Chance is given credit for creating the universe. However, such a prodigious feat is beyond the capabilities of chance. Why? Chance can do nothing because it is nothing. Chance is merely a word we use to explain mathematical possibilities. It is no thing. It has no power. It cannot produce, manage, or cause anything because it is nothing. It is spontaneous generation by another name.

    I was glad the physicist repudiated spontaneous generation. My gladness abruptly turned to astonishment when the scientist said, “We must have a new model. We must speak in terms of gradual spontaneous generation.” I couldn’t believe what I was reading. “Gradual spontaneous generation”? How can something gradual be spontaneous? How can something spontaneous be gradual?

    Our scientist wanted to debunk the myth that something can come suddenly from nothing and replace it with a better myth that something can come gradually from nothing.

    I use this illustration only to show that even the most astute scientists can nod. They can fall asleep at the switch and be suddenly very unscientific in their pronouncements. To believe in gradual spontaneous generation of anything is to leap not by faith but below faith to credulity. Such a concept defies both aspects of the scientific method: rational deduction and empirical observation. Not only is the idea in violation of reason (breaking the Law of Contradiction), but it is impossible to observe empirically. What microscope or telescope is strong enough to observe anything doing something gradually spontaneously?”

    Don’t know if this is exactly what you are discussing, but it’s good truth and logic.

  90. #90 adsense hack
    February 5, 2011

    I was glad the physicist repudiated spontaneous generation. My gladness abruptly turned to astonishment when the scientist said, “We must have a new model. We must speak in terms of gradual spontaneous generation.” I couldn’t believe what I was reading. “Gradual spontaneous generation”? How can something gradual be spontaneous? How can something spontaneous be gradual?

  91. #91 ng
    February 5, 2011

    Mike, I thought you were a pantheist/deist, but the website that your name links to is a weird collection of mp3s about Jesus, Hell, and the Rapture. I think you’re kinda misrepresenting yourself, because the claims that Jesus was more than human, Hell exists, and that a Rapture will occur are all unsupported by what we currently know about reality.

    Please don’t respond to this with a dump of verses from your preferred translation of the Christian Bible, tia

  92. #92 Lyra
    February 5, 2011

    I’m not expert in physics, but I have studied logic, and I hate, hate, hate, hate it when people use ‘logic’ to insist that the cosmos must be one way or the other. I hate it.

    Logic, real logic, alone cannot tell us whether something can come from nothing or not, just like it couldn’t tell us if the orbits of the planets are perfect spheres or if the sun orbits the earth. That’s not what logic is. When people run around acting like it can, like we can sit in a room in our house and reason out the laws of nature without actually looking at reality, we end up with incorrect conclusions that cloud our understanding for centuries or more.

  93. #93 Citizen of the Cosmos
    February 5, 2011

    @53 Laughing Man

    When you get life from non-life, then we’ll talk, Ethan. M’kay?

    Life is made out of atoms, which are not alive in any way. There you go.

  94. #94 dsichel
    February 6, 2011

    adsense hack @ 91 – you’ve got a definition mismatch.

    Not ‘spontaneous’ in the sense of ‘sudden’, but rather in the sense of ‘happening without an external cause’.

  95. #95 mua semiyun d00ktor
    February 7, 2011

    asdasd

  96. #96 mua semiyun d00ktor
    February 7, 2011

    asdasd

  97. #97 mua semiyun d00ktor
    February 7, 2011

    asdasd

  98. #98 mua semiyun d00ktor
    February 7, 2011

    asdasd

  99. #99 Mark Robson
    February 7, 2011

    I will ask more clearly this time: can someone direct me to a reference – book, article or website even – in which a scientifically valid, verifiable and repeatable experiment demonstrated ”particle-antiparticle pairs wink[ing] in-and-out of existence . . .”
    My ‘personal feelings’ on this are that, as I was told decades ago, matter (and energy) cannot be created or destroyed – so I didn’t think that it was possible for ”particle-antiparticle pairs [to] wink in-and-out of existence all the time.” So I’m glad that Dr Siegel, NJ (No 74), Owlmirror (No76) and others have seen verifiable proof of this – or else why would they believe such a thing – and so I would like to see this proof for myself. I also have related questions:
    1) is there a minimum density of vacuum you need for the particle-antiparticle pairs to appear ?
    2) given that in any time interval there will be more shorter time periods, both sequentially and concurrently, is it more likely that you get more heavier (greater mass) particle-antiparticle pairs ?
    3) are there any plots of the mass/charge/speed distributions of the particle-antiparticle pairs ?
    4) are there any differences of mass/charge/speed of the particle-antiparticle pairs in Hawking radiation compared with the lab measurements ?
    5) is there an increased rate of particle-antiparticle pair production the less dense a vacuum becomes ?
    6) surely some particle-antiparticle pairs must appear in the vacuum of particle accelerators – does this cause many problems, and if so: how are they overcome ?

    @NJ (No 74): Yes, I did read that the metal plates were uncharged and non-magnetic (so that there were no electro (and/or) magnetic forces acting) but if Casimir had used an insulating material for the plates he would also calculate the magnetic field on the surface to be zero. There is no magnetic field on a glass plate – is there ? I was simply asking (again): can the Casimir effect be (re)produced with plates of different materials ? My thinking was that if the Casimir force only acts on metal plates then a further explanation is needed to explain how the particle-antiparticle pairs only act on metals and not on anything else. Wouldn’t that be an entirely new type of force – a force that only acts on uncharged and non-magnetic metals ?

    @Owlmirror (No76): Yes you’re right – I should have said ‘particle-antiparticle pairs’ and not ‘single particle’.

    However you clearly don’t understand maths. Your equation: 2 + 3 = 5 is, of course, fact – mathematically and in the real world, but the equation 2 – 3 = -1 is only a fact mathematically. You simply can’t do that in the real world – try it: start with any 2 identical objects, then take 3 of those objects away to leave you with minus 1 of the objects. Therefore the perfectly accurate mathematical equation cannot be applied to the real world – the maths has failed and you can’t use that mathematical rule to tell you what the real world is like.
    Next try 2a x 3a = 6a^2. Let ‘a’ stand for apples: take 2 apples and multiply them by 3 apples – not only will you not get 6 apples squared, you will not even get 6 apples, you will only ever get the 5 apples you started with. The maths has failed again and you can’t use the mathematical multiplication rule to tell you what the real world is like.
    What about imaginary numbers ? e(exp)[ i x theta ]: take the number ‘e’, raise it to the power of ‘i’ (the imaginary number) x (the angle) theta. What do you get, and what does that represent in the real world ?
    Maths is a very valuable tool that can be used to confirm that a theory is correct, but mathematical rules alone are never proof that something can, does or will happen in the real world.

  100. #100 Laughing Man
    February 8, 2011

    #94

    Life is made out of atoms, which are not alive in any way. There you go.

    Fine. Then you’re not alive, either. Give me all your stuff since you don’t need it not being alive and all.

  101. #101 Brian Dean
    February 8, 2011

    What if I posit that the Cashmir effect and Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle apply to physical things. Therefore, something coming from nothing means that it doesn’t have a physical cause. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t have a non-physical cause (such as mind, or something else).

  102. #102 OKThen
    February 8, 2011

    Ethan says, “This isn’t the gravitational force or an electromagnetic force, but a force due to empty space itself.” Hmm, these words are not precise enough.

    Of course his meaning depends on your definition of “empty space”; but quibbling about the meaning of “nothing” is not my point.

    Wiki says, “When this field is.. studied using quantum electrodynamics, it is seen that the plates do affect the virtual photons which constitute the field, and generate a net force… The Casimir effect can be understood by the idea that the presence of conducting metals and dielectrics alters the vacuum expectation value of the energy of the second quantized electromagnetic field.”

    So is the Casimir field a QED field, the second quantized electromagnetic field?

    Thus, does Ethan more precisely mean that the Casimir field “isn’t the (classical)gravitational force (of Einstein) or an (classical) electromagnetic force (of Maxwell), but a (quantum mechanical) force due to empty space itself (which can be expressed by QED (alone), or perhaps also with QCG and some future Quantum Gravity)”?

    Ethan or someone, please further clarify, the meaning is unclear. Thanks.

  103. #103 Dan L.
    February 8, 2011

    Chuck Nance, Marc A, Nomen Nescio, Mark Robson, please please please listen to Lyra@93:

    I’m not expert in physics, but I have studied logic, and I hate, hate, hate, hate it when people use ‘logic’ to insist that the cosmos must be one way or the other. I hate it.

    Logic, real logic, alone cannot tell us whether something can come from nothing or not, just like it couldn’t tell us if the orbits of the planets are perfect spheres or if the sun orbits the earth. That’s not what logic is. When people run around acting like it can, like we can sit in a room in our house and reason out the laws of nature without actually looking at reality, we end up with incorrect conclusions that cloud our understanding for centuries or more.

    You can’t tell you anything about the world that you didn’t put in. A priori reasoning is by definition tautological. You can get something for nothing in a vacuum, but not in logic.

    You simply can’t reason the universe into “behaving properly.” The universe will do what it does and all you can try to do is keep up. And that’s why this sentiment from Marc A is very unscientific:

    I don’t believe in anything being actually random. I believe everything that seems random is simply pseudo-random(has an explanation).

    WHY don’t you believe in randomness? It seems to me that this is an ontological presupposition — something you believe to be true of the universe purely because it makes more sense in light of the framework you use to make sense of the universe. But why are you so sure of your framework? Why make assumptions when it’s so much more fun to be surprised? (OK, so it takes a little more work to consider multiple possibilities than to decide that one MUST be true…the solution is to just not be lazy.)

    laughingman@53:

    When you get life from non-life, then we’ll talk, Ethan. M’kay?

    I think we can agree dried fruit is non-living. Eat some dried fruit. Your body will use the material from the dried fruit for cellular growth and division. Living human cells from non-living organic matter. Easy as pie and almost as delicious.

  104. #104 NJ
    February 8, 2011

    Mark Robson @ 97:

    I was simply asking (again): can the Casimir effect be (re)produced with plates of different materials ?

    In your preferred search engine, type “Google Scholar”.

    In the search box, type “Casimir effect dielectrics”.

    Examine references.

    The topic is waaaaaaaaaaay out of my field, but the references shown appear to support my contention back in #74:

    it is certain that all of these objections have been addressed in the literature

    It seems clear from your reply to Owlmirror’s post @ 76 that you are stuck at the level of concrete thinking, which explains a lot. Any adult who would use “2 apples times 3 apples doesn’t give you 6 apples” as an argument is pretty much beyond hope of serious thought.

  105. #105 Dan L.
    February 9, 2011

    NJ@102:

    It seems clear from your reply to Owlmirror’s post @ 76 that you are stuck at the level of concrete thinking, which explains a lot. Any adult who would use “2 apples times 3 apples doesn’t give you 6 apples” as an argument is pretty much beyond hope of serious thought.

    I was about to make an apples^2 joke, then I went and looked at Mark’s post and realized he had already talked about apples^2 and wasn’t joking.

    That’s pretty scary.

    Mark, if I have 3 groups of 2 apples, how many apples do I have? How did you get the answer? Multiplication makes perfect physical sense if you don’t try to force it not to (as you did in your example).

    On the subject of imaginary complex numbers, the complex plane is basically the same as R^2. Every complex number corresponds to a point on the coordinate plane.

    I can’t tell you what e^i*theta is if you don’t tell me what theta is. e^i=-1 makes perfect physical sense: it’s (-1,0) on the coordinate plane. The derivation of interpretation of the term “e^(i*theta)” is actually quite beautiful.

    But besides simply being points on the coordinate plane, complex numbers can be used to quite accurately model the flow of heat through a material or the transmission of vibrations through a medium. Try doing that by adding integers.

  106. #106 Dan L.
    February 9, 2011

    OKThen@100:

    Thus, does Ethan more precisely mean that the Casimir field “isn’t the (classical)gravitational force (of Einstein) or an (classical) electromagnetic force (of Maxwell), but a (quantum mechanical) force due to empty space itself (which can be expressed by QED (alone), or perhaps also with QCG and some future Quantum Gravity)”?

    Ethan or someone, please further clarify, the meaning is unclear. Thanks.

    Imagine a tub full of plastic balls of different sizes. In it is a box with holes on all sides — the holes are big enough for the smaller plastic balls to get in, but not the larger ones. We’d expect the pressure on the outside of the box to be greater than the pressure inside the box because the box can only let a particular fraction of the nearby balls inside.

    The balls are virtual particles and the box is the Casimir plates. The net inward pressure on the box is the Casimir effect. The big difference is that with the real Casimir effect it’s not the “size” of the virtual particle (it doesn’t have a size in any straight-forward sense) but the wavelength — only certain wavelengths can “fit in the box.” Obviously, this is a really rough analogy, but does it help at all?

  107. #107 Dan L.
    February 9, 2011

    Follow up:

    The trick works fine if you just consider virtual photons. Imagine a universe that looks like this:

    ::::::::|…|::::::::

    Where dots are virtual photons (they’ll act just like regular photons) and the pipes are the Casimir plates. The virtual photons have essentially random velocities relative to the plates. There’s fewer photons between the plates because only certain frequencies of photons can exist between the plates (similar to why a guitar string makes a particular note).

    The virtual photons that hit the plates are absorbed by the electrons in the plates, and when that happens the plate also picks up the photon’s momentum — basically, it gets bumped. The photons get re-emitted in a random direction. This means the plate gets bumped again, but this time in a random direction. Since the direction is random for every bump from an emission, the emission bumps cancel each other out. But the bumps from the absorptions aren’t random — there are two bumps from outside the plates for every one bump inside the plates. This effect provides a net force pushing the plates together.

    Looking at it this way, the force pushing the plates together is basically electrostatic repulsion, the same reason you can’t walk through walls.

    I’m a bit of a dilettante, real physicists please correct anything I flubbed.

  108. #108 OKThen
    February 9, 2011

    Thanks Dan L. and yes yes.
    But my question remains, which type of phenomenon is Casimir effect:
    — QED (involving photons real or virtual)
    — QCD (gluons real or virtual)
    — Quantum Gravity (gravitons real or virtual)
    — Quantum Weak (W, Z real or virtual)
    — some new (force) quantum phenomenon

    Silence of Ethan and the experts suggest that Casimir effect is a QED phenomenon.

  109. #109 Sphere Coupler
    February 9, 2011

    OKThen;
    I wrote a couple of pages of explanation, then realised that someone reading what I wrote would be more confused than if I just said;

    In the Casimir Effect it is realized that it is a coupling effect of QED to QFT by the difference in quantum amplitude/probability amplitude(density) of zero point energy.

    Yet, even that is general and far from complete.

  110. #110 Sphere Coupler
    February 10, 2011

    And then there’s this…

  111. #111 OKThen
    February 10, 2011

    Sphere Coupler
    107 and 108 do help.
    Though I don’t quite understand how QFT is different than QED but I’m researching QFT online, starting with wiki.
    Thanks.

  112. #112 Sphere Coupler
    February 10, 2011

    Might I suggest Manifestations

  113. #113 Jon
    February 12, 2011

    I’m a laymen. Ahhh! My field of choice is computer programming. We use pseudo-random numbers. Real world turbulence can produce ‘true’ randomness. I’ve always not trusted this idea that it’s ‘true’. Maybe it’s because when I first started with computers I thought that the pseudo-random numbers were truly random. Hey, I was a new student and can you blame me that I thought rand() gave random numbers? Anyway, if everything in the universe is connected, how can something be random unless it’s isolated from everything else? If you had access to the entire universe and could monitor all of it then nothing would be random unless there were elements of it completely isolated from everything else in the universe. How is that possible? Anyway, the complexity of turbulence prevents us from predicting it, but if that’s our only reason for claiming it’s truly random, then that’s a lacking explanation. If we were god or had perfect knowledge then we could understand the exact positions of all particles and forces and nothing in turbulence would be random to us since we could perfectly predict the position of every existing thing.

  114. #114 Jon
    February 12, 2011

    And one more thing. In my physics 101 class we were taught nothing can be created or destroyed. If this is true, then how can particles appear and disappear at quantum scales? How can something appear from nothing or become nothing without being created or destroyed? How am I confusing this?

  115. #115 Jon
    February 12, 2011

    Lastly (my final comment before I leave), why do the even replies have a selection background and the odd replies do not? This confused me when I was reading the replies because I kept thinking that the odd replies were responses to the even replies. I don’t know why it’s this way, but I just thought I’d leave this (somewhat critical) comment about it.

  116. #116 NJ
    February 12, 2011

    I’ll take a crack at a couple of these, Jon…

    why do the even replies have a selection background and the odd replies do not?

    I’ve always assumed it was for readability. The comment threads are linear, instead of the branching types found elsewhere, which means they can get long. It also explains the common use of posters handles and comment numbers in replies.

    In my physics 101 class we were taught nothing can be created or destroyed.

    You kinda answered this in the prior comment:

    when I first started with computers I thought that the pseudo-random numbers were truly random.

    Things tend to get simplified in lower-level classes. One of the things that makes QM so hard to learn is that it is often counter to our macro-scale intuitive sense of how the world works. But the results speak for themselves.

  117. #117 A
    February 15, 2011

    You can’t create something from nothing because “nothing” can’t exist.

  118. #118 OKThen
    February 17, 2011

    Sphere Coupler # 110

    The Wiki manifestation link is very helpful. Not just the manifestation section; but the whole entry.

    Halfway through my read, I came to the conclusion that all particles are virtual, then in the Feynman diagram section it says, “It is sometimes said that all photons are virtual photons.”

    As well I suppose, it can be said that only virtual gravitons have been observed and maybe real ones can never be observed.

    Thanks again for all the links.

  119. #119 YOS
    February 21, 2011

    In my physics 101 class we were taught nothing can be created or destroyed. If this is true, then how can particles appear and disappear at quantum scales? How can something appear from nothing or become nothing without being created or destroyed?

    Simple: they do not appear from “nothing”; they appear from the zero-point energy, the quantum vacuum. This is not a true vacuum because it is “stuffed” with energy, and this energy occasionally realizes as virtual particle-antiparticle pairs. That is, they are not “appearing” or “disappearing,” but simply changing form. Heisenberg, who actually did know something of philosophy, thought this might be the hule prote of Aristotle.

  120. #120 Jon
    February 23, 2011

    Commeht 117 said:
    “Simple: they do not appear from “nothing”; they appear from the zero-point energy, the quantum vacuum. This is not a true vacuum because it is “stuffed” with energy, and this energy occasionally realizes as virtual particle-antiparticle pairs. That is, they are not “appearing” or “disappearing,” but simply changing form. Heisenberg, who actually did know something of philosophy, thought this might be the hule prote of Aristotle.”

    Then we’re not getting something for nothing. This would undermine the whole premise of this article – the idea that things are created from nothing. If things are in fact being created from something then there’s no instance of getting something from nothing and therefore I don’t see the point to this blog post.

  121. #121 Jon
    February 23, 2011

    And another point. At the end of the blog it’s stated that having more matter than anti-matter means they haven’t combined to result in ZERO and therefore we have something rather than nothing. But the problem with this is that in order to have ‘created’ the matter and anti-matter particles you had to have something, right? So before all of these matter and anti-matter particles were created we had SOMETHING. So ZERO is SOMETHING. It’s only when they recombine that you get ZERO, but ZERO is not NOTHING! If NOTHING is ZERO and ZERO is something, then what we have no is somethig then what we have now is also NOTHING!

  122. #122 Jon
    February 23, 2011

    Sorry I mistyped. If what we have now is SOMETHING and ZERO is SOMETHING (because you can’t create the matter and anti-matter particles without something) and NOTHING is ZERO then what we have now is also NOTHING!

  123. #123 Sphere Coupler
    February 28, 2011

    OKThen

    If I may point out a slight but critical correction…

    You said;
    “As well I suppose, it can be said that only virtual gravitons have been observed and maybe real ones can never be observed.”

    Truth of the matter is, virtual gravitons have been calculated…not observed.

    conjecture;
    Slightly off topic, It may be realised that SUSY is not a companion sparticle as the community has come to distinguish the theory, though it may very well be a precursor value of the virtual field from which a virtual particle arises, inducing real space, from which real space enables real particles.

    But at this point that evaluation may be meta-physics, though I somehow *feel* and think SUSY is valid in some respect.

    If the above has any merit then it will take a great deal more initial collision of the center of mass-energy to produce such a field.

  124. #124 altın çilek
    March 1, 2011

    Then we’re not getting something for nothing. This would undermine the whole premise of this article – the idea that things are created from nothing. If things are in fact being created from something then there’s no instance of getting something from nothing and therefore I don’t see the point to this blog post.

  125. #125 Martin
    March 20, 2011

    I agree with comments 34 and 122. A pre-existing vacuum consists of space and time, both of which can be measured and, per Einstein, warped, slowed down, shrunken, expanded, etc.

    This is not nothing, in the sense that people mean when they state “out of nothing, nothing comes.”

    So it seems like this blog post is essentially saying: “You CAN get something from nothing. Just start with a little something, see, and then…”

  126. #126 Mark
    June 5, 2011

    You may want to re-word that as getting something from something. In all the theory’s like martin says you just need a little something. So something from nothing is impossible, in science in math, which neither can exist apart from each other, if so you negate the basis of both. The “components” themselves are something, i think the venture involves the aspect of how our system came about and what the universe is actually doing and what it may do is the basis of the theory’s no one has ever suggested that everything started as nothing, that would be ludicrous.

  127. #127 Curtis
    June 11, 2011

    To me there is a flaw in the logic resting on the Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle stated above as paraphrased here: that you can’t know a quantum state’s energy exactly for a finite duration of time, therefore at short time intervals, there are large uncertainties in the energy of a system. So, the energies are large enough that particle-antiparticle pairs wink in-and-out of existence all the time.

    If we are trying to answer the question “can we get something from nothing,” isn’t energy, a presupposed entity, something? Is energy not just a book keeping system about how things tend to relate to one another? What is time? It is the interval between events. What “events” if there is nothing? Therefore it is nonsensical to apply HUP to this situation. You are presuming that the area of “nothing” is surrounded by something. This does not answer our question about the origin of matter or energy.

  128. #128 Neil Bates
    June 11, 2011

    No. But that “vacuum”, with laws, 3 + 1 dimensions and possible curvature, laws etc, isn’t really “nothing” and shouldn’t be called that in the first place. It is “something”, real nothing is the absence of all being, no laws or propensities, or even geometric properties like number of dimensions etc.

    Indeed, given the implicit formability and existence – even if we call it “virtual” – of the particles we find, it’s really the same existence question anyway as for the tangible universe. So that so-called-vacuum and its existence, especially as existential selectivity (the old “why the universe like this instead of some other way” – not just “why is there something instead of nothing” overall), stands in need of justification, of explanation.

    Note also, that this “vacuum” needs “time” to define things like “chance that creation of a universe will occur per time unit per cubic volume of this space” etc. Hawking’s celebrated analogy of a sphere with a north pole and “no further north” is misleading, since causal connection and not being able to graph continued past history is the real question. And again, the real issue is the existence of that “entity” even taken as a whole, not just whether it needs to have all causal chains resolved within itself. (Science writers, just FYI: a lot of what you write is philosophically challenged. And BTW this means “philosophy the conceptual framing process” not the popular red herring of a speculative subject matter per se. Not an insult, OK, just tighten up.)

  129. #129 Lena
    August 31, 2011

    And how did you do this? You had to set up an experiment using your brain, provided you have one, and try to show that it all came about with no help from you (intelligent life). Plus there is something. There’s air. Something coming from nothing? Good job. Good job

  130. #130 John Smith
    September 4, 2011

    As per the linked article: “Empty space is not really empty”.

    From that, this dishonest blogger infers something coming from nothing. Hahahaaaa

    I find it rather comical of how blind and desperate the faith of the militant atheist is. This particular case is one where he distorts scientific theory to further a political – albeit futile – cause.

    You’re an embarrassment. Stop tarnishing science with your stupidity.

    I would like to see you debate Craig. Put your money where you mouth is.

  131. #131 NJ
    September 4, 2011

    JS@129:

    I find it rather comical of how blind and desperate the faith of the militant atheist is. This particular case is one where he distorts scientific theory to further a political – albeit futile – cause.

    And a quick scan of the original post finds no reference to either atheism or politics.

    So how on Earth did Johnny get these ideas? From the voices in his head, of course! I am led to believe that there are efficacious meds for this.

    You’re I’m an embarrassment. Stop tarnishing science the internet with your my stupidity.

    FIFY.

  132. #132 Tamara
    October 13, 2011

    I can follow the discussion for the most part, have some opinions, can in no way offer logic to argument…but thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you. :)

  133. #133 Wow
    October 14, 2011

    “(because you can’t create the matter and anti-matter particles without something)”

    It’s not creating matter and anti-matter particles. It’s creating virtual particles that, as far as the universe is concerned, doesn’t exist.

    It’s easy to create something that doesn’t exist from nothing.

  134. #134 Amin
    October 18, 2011

    “For example, take a box and empty it, so that all you’ve got is some totally empty space, like above. An ideal, perfect, empty vacuum. Now, what’s in that box?

    Did you guess nothing? Well, it turns out that empty space isn’t so empty.”

    Doh! That is not nothing. There was box and little minute “things” that u cannot see. There is always something there …

    … as are ur later examples.

  135. #135 Amin
    October 18, 2011

    “It’s not creating matter and anti-matter particles. It’s creating virtual particles that, as far as the universe is concerned, doesn’t exist.

    It’s easy to create something that doesn’t exist from nothing.”

    This comment from “Wow” – is plain silly. Something already exists to create what you termed as “virtual” particles. It is not from nothing.

    And it is impossible to create something from nothing.

  136. #136 Robert Harvey
    November 4, 2011

    Ok, I will admit that most of the language spoken here is waaaaaaay above me and I have no experience or education with any of this. So, allow me to make my comment from a very “average Joe” perspective. I am intrigued by the idea of actually being able to get something from nothing, even that nothing is in itself “something”. My issue with the cardboard box idea or two metal plates is that you still used something to get something. I cannot and may never believe that if there was at one time complete zero, nothing, not a vacuum or particle or force or microscopic thing or ANYTHING…then nothing would ever come out of that. I would love to hear someone sometime explain how complete and utter nothingness can create anything without something external causing a vacuum or implosion or matter/antimatter etc. I may be an idiot but I can with all my heart say that if you put nothing into a time capsule and bury it for a gazillion years then unbury it, there will be nothing. If you find something then SOMETHING had to be inside that time capsule whether seen or not. The trick might be the time capsule itself causing something to happen but you get my point. No matter how much time passes you simply cannot get something from nothing and if you do, something made it happen. Again, Im an average joe so I cannot debate this intelligently, and I hate to beat a dead horse, but no matter how you slice it, absolute nothingness produces…absolutely nothing.

  137. #137 Josh
    November 10, 2011

    So in other words, vaccuum fluctuation models made no advance over the arguments put forward by those who believe in God. The “something out of nothing” is really just fancy language but not literally something out of nothing. The origin of the universe still seems to be best explained through a metaphysical route. I’m just saying, let’s be honest with ourselves. If it’s not a fact indicating something from nothing, then don’t call it that; no doubt there will be those who will be mislead into believing the wrong thing.

  138. #138 Wow
    November 10, 2011

    > So in other words, vaccuum fluctuation models made no advance over the arguments put forward by those who believe in God

    If by “other words” you mean “wrong words”, then yes.

    Casmiir effect. It’s been measured.

    That’s more than any God botherer has managed with god, miracles or JC.

  139. #139 Wow
    November 10, 2011

    “This comment from “Wow” – is plain silly.”

    Nope, that comment from me was accurate.

    You just think it’s silly.

    “Something already exists to create what you termed as “virtual” particles.”

    Space with nothing in it existed.

    But space with nothing in it is the nothing you’re creating virtual particles IN, not WITH.

  140. #140 Wow
    November 10, 2011

    > I cannot and may never believe that if there was at one time complete zero, nothing, not a vacuum or particle or force or microscopic thing or ANYTHING…then nothing would ever come out of that.

    That’s fine. You’re not required to. The Universe will continue to exist.

    “I would love to hear someone sometime explain how complete and utter nothingness can create anything without something external causing a vacuum or implosion ”

    I would love to hear someone sometime explain how something external existing can create something from complete and utter nothingness.

    To hear the explanation, you’ll need some serious postgrad work on theoretical physics.

    It’s possible to do so.

    Feel free.

    But lets hear you explain your alternative theory: how does something exist when there’s complete and utter nothingness? How could it create something when there’s complete and utter nothingness?

  141. #141 Wow
    November 10, 2011

    “Doh! That is not nothing. There was box and little minute “things” that u cannot see.”

    No, there’s a lot of air that you can’t see and nobody calls it “nothing”.

    That nothing in there contains nothing that it is possible EVER to see, since it doesn’t exist for long enough to change the universe one iota.

  142. #142 DSG
    November 12, 2011

    Wow, I think peoples points are that it’s very possible that our current understand of “nothing” is just wrong. Or at most, misleading. Saying that we can, in absolute certainty, observe a perfect void of all reality is like a person back in 1532 that humans will never fly.

    The problem with saying the math proves that Physics allows something to come from nothing is that math & physics are something. Especially when we know that our current Physics model breaks down in things like Black Holes & the Big Bang. We understand that there must be larger laws we are unaware of to explain those events. The problem is that that simply takes us another step back. How did those laws form? I think that trying to say we can demonstrate that reality came from (true) nothingness, ie: no physical reality, no laws, no physics, no math, is just as ludicrous as saying God just made it. The only difference between the two is that people who believe in metaphysical reality are willing to admit that there is no FINAL physical explanation, It doesn’t make then disagree with science. It may , however, make them disagree with people who say “I can explain it all”.

  143. #143 Amused observer
    November 19, 2011

    We don’t know the true nature of “nothing”. We don’t even know if it really “exists”. Likewise, we don’t the true nature of “god”, or even if he really “exists”. Therefore, we can’t absolutely prove, or absolutely disprove, anything, we have no place to start. The above so called proof requires the prior existence of quantum effects, and forgets that there is no absolute proof that the quantum effects existed before the big bang. Yes, there is also no absolute proof they did not exist, but that’s the problem, there is no absolute proof. Anything less than absolute proof may be highly suggestive of an answer, but it will never be able to settle the question once and for all due to the holes left in it by not being absolute.

    Both points require belief and faith because they don’t yet have enough facts to become absolute truth, and are therefore much more philosophical/theological positions, than they are scientific ones. This endless foolishness of using science to try and prove or disprove theology or atheology is doomed to failure because science cannot and will not disprove god’s existence until we know everything about everything (because as long as there is one thing we don’t know he will have a place to hide).

    And of course, once we do know everything, we will BE god…

  144. #144 John
    November 26, 2011

    We DO know the true nature of Nothing.
    The simple equation Nothing + nothing = nothing is understood by any 1st grader.

    Space is not nothing and that is clear to any physicist. Principles are also not nothing as one principle merged with another principle can make a new principle.

    This isnt semantics..its bafoonery and completely transparent when used by atheists because the driving force behind all their articles are to eliminate God.

    Somehow physicists have proclaimed themselves priests of the universe—yeah, like Im gonna learn the meaning of life from a bunch of nerds who spent high school lunch period with a grilled cheese mushed into the head and apple sauce in their hair.

    These guys have officially left the building with the multiverse theory. At least they finally admit the odds of our universe. But now their odds include universes where 10 million suns are all lined up to spell “This is the awesome multiverse I created to avoid worshiping God”–because like it or not– thats what an infinite amount of universes will produce…including one with a God.

    If people thought logically and without bias, no one would ever listen to these guys again. They are the freakin OJ jury on steroids. Whats next elephants on unicycles? The Mind of God has always the simplest explanation for reality..you have to be a drug addict, murderer, fool, hyper arrogant, severe daddy issues, or a physicist to deny what is plain to everyone else in history.

    Someone once said they know that something created the universe and that something was nothing. Now, it seems they want to redefine what Nothing is so its not actually nothing

  145. #145 Elijah Adams
    December 19, 2011

    ok im trying to understand this stuff but i have a question: can u posibly email me a list of all posible things u can make from nothing and maybe how to make each of these things if ANYONE can do this it would be great i hope u all get jobs as the best phisisists in the world and find out if its posible to make everything from nothing

  146. #146 Wow
    December 20, 2011

    It doesn’t last very long, Elijah.

  147. #147 Matt
    December 29, 2011

    Yeah, how can ANYTHING come from nothing?

  148. #149 SimpleSkeptic
    January 13, 2012

    If there are actually minute particles and anti-particles popping in and out of existance at a nearly unmeasurable time scale, does the box really ever have nothing in it? In reality, it sounds like “nothing” has been redefined to mean “lots of immensely small particiles that hop in and out of existance in our time and space.”

  149. #150 Marco
    July 2, 2012

    “Did you guess nothing? Well, it turns out that empty space isn’t so empty” …. well then that isn’t nothing is it…..?

  150. #151 wow
    July 2, 2012

    Yes, it is nothing. Any measuring device possible even theoretically to build would read nothing there.

    It’s the only nothing it’s possible to get in a universe with space and time.

  151. #152 simona
    Amsterdam
    August 31, 2012

    we cannot create nothing because we live in something (space and time)

  152. #153 Chelle
    September 1, 2012

    That’s right ‘Simona’ and it has physical properties, otherwise gravity would not work, there is something.

  153. #154 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    However, when the audience are not physicists, they will be using this definition of nothing:

    noth·ing/ˈnəTHiNG/
    Pronoun:
    Not anything; no single thing: “I said nothing”.
    Adjective:
    Having no prospect of progress; of no value: “he had a series of nothing jobs”.
    Adverb:
    Not at all: “she cares nothing for others”.
    Synonyms:
    pronoun. none – anything
    adverb. not at all – none – never – not a bit – not in the least

    Which EVERYONE has come across.

    If you’re talking to cosmologists and theoretical physicists, you’re talking about mathematically nothing.

    Which nobody has EVER seen.

  154. #155 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    The topic of the thread is pretty specific about what the nothing it talks about.

    And it shows that the “common sense” idea that “you can’t get something from nothing” is wrong. Ergo, it is no proof in and of itself that God exists.

    And, since we don’t have any absolutely nothing around, we can’t prove observationally the Big Bang, but we can show that it is possible from the physics we know about to get something (the universe) from that nothing (absolute).

    Not even that level of proof is available to those who wish to put a magical Creator in the limelight.

  155. #156 chelle
    September 1, 2012

    “And it shows that the “common sense” idea that “you can’t get something from nothing” is wrong.”

    No, Ramona talked about something else, that you can’t create nothing to begin with, so it is hopeless to start saying that something came out of ‘nothing’. The moment you can shield of the inside from that vacuum box off from gravity that your Vacuum would be more empty, but still it there would be something, Aether. That is what Einstein also said:

    “Thus, once again ,,empty” space appears as endowed with physical properties, i.e., no longer as physically empty, as seemed to be the case according to Special Relativity. One can thus say that the Aether is resurrected in the General theory of Relativity, though in a more sublimated form.”

    A. Einstein, Grundgedanken und Methoden der Relativitatstheorie in ihrer Entwicklung dargestellt, (Morgan Manuscript) Einstein Archives 2070.

    and

    “According to the general theory of relativity, space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space, not only would there be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense.”

    A. Einstein, Aether und Relativitaetstheorie, Berlin: Verlag von J. Springer, 1920.

  156. #157 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    “No, Ramona talked about something else, that you can’t create nothing to begin with”

    How do you know that? Because I didn’t see that as what she was talking about.

    PS

    “Mr. Deity and the Really Hard Time”

    http://videosift.com/video/Mr-Deity-and-the-Really-Hard-Time

  157. #158 Chelle
    September 1, 2012

    She said ‘we’ as in ‘we humans’ who live ‘in’ SpaceTime. We can not make the physical stuff that applies gravity to go away, we can’t create an absolute void. Yes we can clear all the visible matter out of a box and create a ‘vacuum’ but at the end of the day that box is still filled with an Aether that could fluctuate.

  158. #159 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    “She said ‘we’ as in ‘we humans’ who live ‘in’ ”

    Who the hell says we created the universe?

    She’s as nuts as you are…

  159. #160 chelle
    September 1, 2012

    “Who the hell says we created the universe?

    She said:

    “we cannot create nothing because we live in something (space and time)”

    Wow, are you now also hearing voices?

    Perhaps it is the time to look for help to treat your illness.

  160. #161 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    Indeed, like I said “who the hell says we created the universe”.

    Nobody.

    How do you manage to prove me right then pretend you’ve found a gotcha?

  161. #162 Chelle
    September 1, 2012

    Than why do you feel the need to accuse her of being nuts?

  162. #163 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    At least you’re admitting you’re nuts.

  163. #164 Chelle
    September 1, 2012

    Perhaps I’m nuts for debating with you, but not when I talk about Aether:

    “According to the general theory of relativity, space without ether is unthinkable; for in such space, not only would there be no propagation of light, but also no possibility of existence for standards of space and time (measuring rods and clocks), nor therefore any space-time intervals in the physical sense.”
    A. Einstein, Aether und Relativitaetstheorie, Berlin: Verlag von J. Springer, 1920.

  164. #165 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    The aether has been disproven by the Michelson-Morely experiment.

  165. #166 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    Even Einstein thinks you’re wrong:

    “All our attempts to make ether real failed. It revealed neither its mechanical construction nor absolute motion. Nothing remained of all the properties of the ether except that for which it was invented, i.e., its ability to transmit electromagnetic waves. Our attempts to discover the properties of the ether led to difficulties and contradictions. After such bad experiences, this is the moment to forget the ether completely and to try never to mention its name.”
    (The Evolution of Physics Einstein 1938)

  166. #168 chelle
    September 1, 2012

    “Even Einstein thinks you’re wrong”

    No he does not. He does not say that there is no Aether, he only spoke of failure to make it real, and to give up and forget looking for it. That’s like how Newton said in 1721 that a watch could never measure time precisely, or how Ernest Rutherford said in 1933 that anyone who looked for a source of power in the transformation of the atoms was talking moonshine.

  167. #169 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    ““Even Einstein thinks you’re wrong”

    No he does not. ”

    Yes he does:

    “All our attempts to make ether real failed. It revealed neither its mechanical construction nor absolute motion. Nothing remained of all the properties of the ether except that for which it was invented, i.e., its ability to transmit electromagnetic waves. Our attempts to discover the properties of the ether led to difficulties and contradictions. After such bad experiences, this is the moment to forget the ether completely and to try never to mention its name.”
    (The Evolution of Physics Einstein 1938)

  168. #170 chelle
    September 1, 2012

    He does not say that it does not exist, his problem is discovering it.

    It is a similar discussion as finding Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

  169. #171 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    Nope, he says it doesn’t exist. That it existing caused only problems in explaining the evidence:

    “All our attempts to make ether real failed. It revealed neither its mechanical construction nor absolute motion. Nothing remained of all the properties of the ether except that for which it was invented, i.e., its ability to transmit electromagnetic waves. Our attempts to discover the properties of the ether led to difficulties and contradictions. After such bad experiences, this is the moment to forget the ether completely and to try never to mention its name.”
    (The Evolution of Physics Einstein 1938)

    You, on the other hand, insist that evidence comes secondary to your screed.

    “this is the moment to forget the ether completely and to try never to mention its name.”
    (The Evolution of Physics Einstein 1938)

    Pity, despite your fawning attitude to his quotes when they support your screed, you ignore adamantly anything that goes counter to your personal wishes.

    In short: you’re a crank nutcase.

  170. #172 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    Mind you, even in the statements of Einstein you gave shows that your compuslive lying has been 100% active all along:

    “But this ether may not be thought of as endowed with the quality characteristic of ponderable media, as consisting of parts which may be tracked through time. The idea of motion may not be applied to it.”

  171. #173 chelle
    September 1, 2012

    Einstein published the theory of General Relativity in 1916 and in 1920 he said:

    “According to the general theory of relativity, space without ether is unthinkable”

    Now who are you trying to fool, when he says in your quote:

    “Our attempts to discover the properties of the ether led to difficulties and contradictions.”

    It is finding it, that is a useless task, but now we have the computer technology that he couldn’t dream of back in 1938, nowadays you can create virtual mediums with CFD

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computational_fluid_dynamics

    Wow it’s time to grow up.

  172. #174 Wow
    September 1, 2012

    And in 1938 he said:

    “All our attempts to make ether real failed. It revealed neither its mechanical construction nor absolute motion. Nothing remained”

  173. #175 Chelle
    September 2, 2012

    “Nothing remained”

    Now guess what the Higgs Field is, and the Higgs Boson, which should be a Scalar boson, this should mean that the Higgs-field is not like a Magnetic-field and it would be unrelated or dependent to any direction, you could than think of it as a pressure field in a water aquarium that gives mass to some particles. And we found it, or have you been Hitchhiking around the Universe these last couple of years and just got home?

  174. #176 Wow
    September 2, 2012

    “Now guess what the Higgs Field is”

    A scalar field. Like height.

    “and the Higgs Boson”

    A force carrying particle.

    Neither are the aether.

  175. #177 Chelle
    September 2, 2012

    “Now guess what the Higgs Field is”
    A scalar field. Like height.

    You are still not getting it, it is the friction with the Higgs field that gives them mass, you can’t get any friction going with ‘height’, perhaps today you are ‘high’ instead of drunk, but then again it is a substance in your blood that makes you feel this way, blurring your thoughts and vision, just like the light that we emit into space affects the Aether and makes it look as if stars are moving away us.

    “and the Higgs Boson”
    A force carrying particle.
    Neither are the aether.

    The Higgs boson itself is a vibration in the Higgs field, which can be created if enough energy is put into the field, like dropping a pebble into a pond.

  176. #178 Wow
    September 2, 2012

    “You are still not getting it,”

    That’s because the “it” you want me to get is nonsensical rubbish.

    The Higgs Field isn’t the aether.

    The aether doesn’t exist.

    You quotemine to pretend that there is some gravitas behind you insane ramblings, when all that’s behind it is just a plain old arse.

  177. #179 Wow
    September 2, 2012

    “just like the light that we emit into space affects the Aether and makes it look as if stars are moving away us.”

    Light doesn’t interact with the higgs field, it’s massless.

    Moron.

  178. #180 Chelle
    September 2, 2012

    “The aether doesn’t exist.”

    You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

    Take care.

  179. #181 Wow
    September 2, 2012

    Man who fart in church sit in own pew.

    Take medication.

  180. #182 Chelle
    September 2, 2012

    “Light doesn’t interact with the higgs field, it’s massless.”

    If so than gravity can’t curve light because it’s massless.

  181. #183 Wow
    September 2, 2012

    The higgs field is not the gravitational field, moron.

  182. #184 Chelle
    September 2, 2012

    Once again you need to resort to using an insult to cover up your own lack of knowledge. It is a pity.

  183. #185 Wow
    September 2, 2012

    Once again you have nothing other than irrelevant “proofs”.

  184. #186 Wow
    September 2, 2012

    I guess what you’re saying is that the higgs are the same as gravitons because you’re a moron?

    You have, as always, the causal link the wrong way round.

  185. #187 chelle
    September 2, 2012

    “I guess what you’re saying is that the Higgs are the same as gravitons”

    No, imho particles are temperature related. Replace mass with temperature container, and see for example the Sun as one giant cold spot, because it contains so many little cold spots. Now everything goes from warm to cold, we all look for a place in the shades to cool down. Fermions are particles that are open and Bosons are shielded off, and can carry the cold (shade) from one place to an other without losing it. Next you have to imagine the Aether as a static vibrant fluid that can transfer temperature freely but with a relative constant pressure, this would be the Higgs Field. A fermion that has mass 1 or temperature 1 and that is open, will gradually move towards the place that has temperature -1 but by doing so it will lose heat to the medium, thus the medium get’s warmer around it and it’s acceleration towards the cold spot will stay the same. Now imagine photons that are closed off, these particles can’t mingle their temperature with the Aether (Higgs Field) so they won’t change in temperature and are hardly affected by colder temperature fields (Gravity), but gravity goes in a circle around one spot (Sun) so the gradient is curved and light will be bent. Now the Aether disperses an overall a temperature of 2.725 K (CMB). And a massive particle can never move at the speed of light, because it will always lose energy because it is open, not like a photon that generates a shell and that can keep it’s temperature. The relation between the temperature of the Aether and the core temperature of the particle will define the energy of a particle. And yes there might even be very small graviton-bosons that carry a little bit of coolness far into space, along with the photons, so gradually the Space around the Sun and the Milky Way is being wider and wider cooled down, affecting the photons that are approaching us. Thus the further the field around us gets to be chilled, the more energy the incoming particles relatively lose, creating Red Shift.

    If you don’t like it, than that’s ok. There is still a lot work to do on the Virtual Aether and Organisms, to try and prove if this is possible.

  186. #188 Wow
    September 2, 2012

    “imho particles are temperature related”

    They’re not.

  187. #189 Chelle
    September 2, 2012

    You are right, I have taken temperature here more as a popular term to describe an excitement level within the Aether and the Particles.

  188. #190 Wow
    September 3, 2012

    And, since the aether doesn’t exist and temperature doesn’t apply to virtual particles, it’s wrong.

    It wasn’t your opininon anyway, you’re desperately making stuff up with science words in it to pretend that you’re right and that the gravitons are the same as higgs.

    Your statement barely makes it to sentence, never mind hypothesis (and a long way from scientific hypothesis). And you’re already wedded to the idea as shown by your use of “my opinion”. Maye you’re hoping that, since everyone is allowed their opinion but not their own facts, that by stating it as your opinion, nobody will be allowed to deny them.

    Sorry, your hypothesis attempt is an attempt at explaining a factual event or truth about the universe.

  189. #191 chelle
    September 3, 2012

    Wow at September 2, 7:47 am

    “I guess what you’re saying is that the Higgs are the same as gravitons”

    Wow today at 12:32 am

    “… and that the gravitons are the same as higgs.”

    Go take a course at comprehensive reading, or stop drinking you idiot.

    I give up on you.

  190. #192 Wow
    September 3, 2012

    ” you’re desperately making stuff up with science words in it to pretend that you’re right and that the gravitons are the same as higgs.”.

    “I guess what you’re saying is that the Higgs are the same as gravitons because you’re a moron”.

    I can read perfectly fine.

    It’s you who seems to have the problem. It seems to be one at least five years old too:

    http://www.ukskeptics.com/forum/showthread.php/4416-General-Relativity-was-an-aether-theory

  191. #193 chelle
    September 3, 2012

    Here is a book that you might want to read:

    http://www.amazon.com/Einstein-Ether-Ludwik-Kostro/dp/0968368948

    Ludwik Kostro studied physics and philosophy at the “Sapienza” University and the Gregorian University in Rome from 1963 to 1970. In 1975 he joined the University of Gdansk, until 1994 as a Lecturer and Assistant Professor in the Physics Institute and from 1994 onward as a Full Professor in the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, of which he served as Director. He is presently Director of the Department for Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science at the same University. Since 1988 he has been a member of the Editorial Board of the journal Physics Essays (Ottawa, Canada).

  192. #194 chelle
    September 3, 2012

    Or to a more basic paper:

    ALBERT EINSTEIN’S NEW ETHER AND HIS GENERAL RELATIVITY

    Albert Einstein’s New Ether and his General Relativity:
    http://www.mathem.pub.ro/proc/bsgp-10/0KOSTRO.PDF

  193. #195 chelle
    September 3, 2012

    And here is an interesting review of Ludwik Kostro’s book by John Stachel in Physics World

    http://tinyurl.com/Einstein-Aether-review (pdf – 3.7 Mb)

  194. #196 Wow
    September 3, 2012

    And Nasif Hahle studied in similarly numerous universities.

    However, he still can’t do simple sums:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/12/open-thread-51/

    The aether doesn’t exist, but this is a hobby horse you’ve been riding for well over 7 years:

    http://www.ukskeptics.com/forum/showthread.php/4416-General-Relativity-was-an-aether-theory

  195. #197 Wow
    September 3, 2012

    And Nasif Hahle studied in similarly numerous universities.

    However, he still can’t do simple sums:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/07/12/open-thread-51/

    Also this idiot ignores that in 1938, Albert said:
    “All our attempts to make ether real failed. It revealed neither its mechanical construction nor absolute motion. Nothing remained of all the properties of the ether except that for which it was invented, i.e., its ability to transmit electromagnetic waves. Our attempts to discover the properties of the ether led to difficulties and contradictions. After such bad experiences, this is the moment to forget the ether completely and to try never to mention its name.”

    So, the paper you linked to contains his investigation in 1916.

    Guess what: he found it didn’t exist.

  196. #198 trey
    October 13, 2012

    your still not getting something from nothing in any hypothesis. Now the explanation of God existing would be in fact asking one to believe something from nothing…well..firstly to provide a mother to God for example we end up in an infinite chain of mother’s mother etc. In order to break the chain of infinity you would feasibly have to come to a beginning “mother” that had no preceding parent. Secondly i think a professor summed it up best by saying “God fits outside both finite and infinite” in which he expanded upon, and i won’t do here because it’s lengthy, my point also being, maybe just maybe there are things in the universe that we can’t comprehend or explain.

  197. #199 Wow
    October 14, 2012

    “maybe just maybe there are things in the universe that we can’t comprehend or explain.”

    Why does that have to be God?

  198. #200 gordon
    ma
    November 17, 2012

    the problem is the word “thing”. There is no such thing as a thing. At the atomic level that which is ‘stuff’ is made up of 99.99% empty space but is filled with abstract information, relationship, and all other abstract value concepts (none of which are measurable in our dimension). Nothing is nothing so nothing is something…”and the spirit returns to him who gave it”

  199. #201 Oscar
    November 17, 2012

    Can’t have a cause of the universe’s creation.

    Before the universe there was no spacetime.
    So there was none of what we call time.
    So there was no causality.

  200. #202 Oscar
    November 17, 2012

    Hey trey!

    The only number neither smaller nor bigger/as big as infinity are multiples of the square root of minus one.

    In other words, what you’re saying is that god is imaginary.

    [note: technically the only numbers bigger and smaller than any real value are products or combinations of real and imaginary numbers, or even roots of negative numbers.
    Note: this is based on the assumption that ∞i=/=∞

  201. #203 edwould
    Sri Lanka (for know)
    December 6, 2012

    Science dumbass whose trying to learn speaking:
    Is there any contradiction that in the vacuum experiment the two metal plates were pushed together while the universe is pulling outwards? Sorry if this seems flabergastingly stooopid to the better initiated.

  202. #204 jon
    usa
    December 16, 2012

    how would proving the big bang theory help mankind and wouldnt it be a lot cheaper to just lie to us either way its been done before and im pretty sure it will happen again

  203. #205 jon
    usa
    December 16, 2012

    until the big bang can be recreated (at full scale) then it will stay a theory. good luck

  204. #206 jon
    toon town
    December 16, 2012

    If we can create something (energy in some form or another) from nothing. Why are we not powering the world with this? I was just wondering because nothing is cheap and readily available

  205. #207 jon
    toon town
    December 16, 2012

    if you can turn nothing into something. can you turn something into nothing?

  206. #208 Wow
    December 16, 2012

    Ever seen the INSIDE of a brick, jon?

    If not, the inside of a brick will remain a theory.

    (NOTE: breaking a brick creates at least two new surfaces. That doesn’t show you the inside of a brick)

    And we can’t turn nothing into something. We don’t have any “nothing” left.

  207. #209 Nothing
    Nowhere
    February 25, 2013

    Something/nothing concepts probably are the convex and concave of the same curve. We seem to be describing something when we say nothing.

    Maybe nothing is something like antimatter that interacts with something matter.

    Also- if all physics break down prior to the Big Bang, it seems like thought/perception of such things would be impossible unless you were outside of the universe. Wasn’t this godels problem?

    And then you have that whole Cartesian dualism problem.

    My view on this is like being born- while you can deduce your history based on evidence- you cannot really know what anything was like before you were born.

    Why should the universe be different?

    Maybe it was just born.

    If it was- nothing in it will ever know or understand anything prior or outside it unless other universes exist and can interact with this one.

    At a certain point there’s an infinite regress which is probably due to faulty logic, faulty math or an inability to comprehend anything that’s not bananas.

  208. #210 derp
    September 15, 2013

    This comment thread was every bit as interesting as the blog itself, until the self righteous, argumentative, self declared, scientists of personal opinion decided to jump in (ever since it’s akin to a Facebook comment thread following a Miley Cyrus joke). Thank you for the article, maybe change the title so the people that miss the point altogether don’t get so butt hurt and go on and on about nothing forever.

  209. #211 Lunard Lewis
    September 21, 2013

    Why does Siegel call something nothing? Inside the box is space. Space is something not nothing. Take all the molecules out and you still have space. Something, not nothing. Something is not nothing, and nothing is not something.

  210. #212 Josh
    September 21, 2013

    Gravity question. I don’t know a lot about physics, but I was curious about something that seems like a problem to me. How is it that the gravitational pull between the moon and earth can create such massive amounts of energy to move such large amounts of water (the tides) and do this again and again every day for millions of years? It seems like you are getting something from nothing here. How can gravity create all this energy and nothing really change other than the moon just going around the earth at the same speed and distance.

  211. #213 Wow
    September 22, 2013

    No more a problem than the energy required to lift the mass of the kangaroo for one jump being more than they could possibly eat by jumping the distance from plant to plant to get it has seemingly led to the logical extinction of the kangaroo.

    The energy is being borrowed from elsewhere when the tide goes up, then paid back when the tide goes down.

  212. #214 Wow
    September 22, 2013

    Lunard, that’s the point of Ethan’s post.

    That nothing isn’t nothing, it just has “nothing” (layman) in it.

    Then it does have something in it.

    Then nothing again.

  213. #215 Spike
    United Kingdom
    October 4, 2013

    So where did God come in? Hahaha not really! Just joshin’ wiv ya! Very impressive ta

  214. #216 Wow
    October 4, 2013

    He was invented as an explanation of things.

    Or, rather, evolved from the pantheistic explanations of gods for rain, trees, certain groves, waterfalls, illness, childbirth, crops, etc when people started to realise “Hey, a tiny god for each of those doesn’t actually EXPLAIN anything about why they happen or not.” but at this time, the idea of there being no such thing as god, no person doing things to make things happen, the next thought was “There must be a big god in charge of all these little things who set it up and makes it all keep going”.

    Remember: we’re still tribal here. EVERY organisation had had someone in charge.

    Now we’re beginning to realise that God doesn’t explain anything either.

  215. #217 Udaybhanu Chitrakar
    November 21, 2013

    Even if it is admitted that the present universe has actually come from nothing (as defined in this blog), this fails to prove that there is no god. If there is a god, then definitely there will be the hand of that god behind the creation of the universe. So non-existence of the theistic god will be established only when it is shown that the origin of the universe can be explained without invoking any kind of god. But the theistic god is also said to be all-pervading, everywhere. So, if this god does really exist, then he will be behind the vacuum created by the scientists as a background. Therefore when the scientists are saying that the vacuum is real, and that there is nothing behind that vacuum as a background, they are also assuming that the theistic god does not exist. So their starting premise is that theistic god does not exist. Staring with this premise they then proceed to show that the origin of the universe can be so explained that it will require no hand of god for any kind of intervention at any time. From this they then conclude that no creator is actually needed for the origin of the universe.
    But their reasoning is circular here. This is because they have already started from the premise ‘god does not exist’. So first of all they will have to correctly establish that the vacuum created is a real vacuum, that there is no presence of god behind that vacuum as a background. For doing this, it is necessary for them to show, not by assuming that the vacuum is a real vacuum, but by some other means, that the origin of the universe can be explained without invoking any kind of god. So long as it is not done, their reasoning will remain circular here.

  216. #218 Udaybhanu Chitrakar
    November 21, 2013

    Here I do not mean to say that there is really a god. What I mean to say is that here the procedure adopted by the scientists is not full-proof. It may be the case that there is really no god. In that case if the scientists adopt some other means instead of assuming that the vacuum is a real vacuum, then also they will be able to show that actually no god is required for explaining the origin of our present universe. But in this case we can be absolutely certain that there is no god. The present procedure fails to give us this absolute certainty about the non-existence of god.

  217. #219 Wow
    November 21, 2013

    “Even if it is admitted that the present universe has actually come from nothing (as defined in this blog), this fails to prove that there is no god.”

    Even though this is NEVER what is claimed of science, people STILL whine about how “This doesn’t prove there is no god”.

    The point is that if you want to claim a god exists, you need to prove that claim.

  218. #220 Wow
    November 21, 2013

    “If there is a god, then definitely there will be the hand of that god behind the creation of the universe.”

    Why?

    Why must god go and create a universe?

    Maybe it saw it already here and is watching? After all, I didn’t create the TV, but I watch Corrie on it.

  219. #221 Wow
    November 21, 2013

    Lastly, the likelihood there is a god as described by ANYONE EVER is so vanishingly small you’d be better off considering the actual fact that there was a dude once who had a sleigh that flew through the sky and gave presents to kids all over the world in one night.

    I.e. “There is no God” is absolutely defensible, whereas “there is a god” is not.

  220. #222 Wow
    November 21, 2013

    “So non-existence of the theistic god will be established only when it is shown that the origin of the universe can be explained without invoking any kind of god. ”

    That can only be established as required if you can prove that the only way universes can be created are by gods.

  221. #223 Udaybhanu Chitrakar
    November 21, 2013

    Scientists can show that something can come from nothing, and they can also show that our universe has also come from nothing. Then they could have stopped there. But they will not stop. Instead they will introduce god here and start an unnecessary debate by saying that no god is actually required for the origin of the universe. It is as if their first concern is not to do science, but to prove by any means that god does not exist. So what atheists are generally supposed to do is now being done by the scientists. When they will do that, we will have to point out to them that their reasoning is circular. That is all.

  222. #224 Wow
    November 21, 2013

    “Scientists can show that something can come from nothing”

    They have shown how this can happen and have shown that it does happen. So creating a universe from nothing can happen too.

    “But they will not stop. Instead they will introduce god here and start an unnecessary debate”

    No, YOU are the one whinging on here and introducing god. Nobody else is.

    Scientists no more introduce god than they introduce the tooth fairy.

    “by saying that no god is actually required for the origin of the universe.”

    Yes, when godbotherers whine about god, then this is used to say “There is no need for a god to create a universe: we CAN get a universe from nothing”.

    Or do you think God goes round pushing those plates together whenever the demonstration of the Casmir effect is made?

    Because if not, then there’s no need for god to create something from nothing.

    Therefore there’s no need for a god is proven by science.

    That is not proving there is no god, just that, as in all other places “GODDIDIT!” claimants have had their assertions tested and been found wrong.

    You know, illness, lightning, thunder, rainbows, and so on.

  223. #225 Wow
    November 21, 2013

    Is the problem that you want to be able to use the existence of the universe as proof god exists, but do not want how the universe can be created out of nothing to be used to refute your claim?

    If how the universe can be created from nothing cannot be used to show the lack of a god, the existence of the universe being created from nothing cannot be used to say god exists.

  224. #226 Udaybhanu Chitrakar
    November 22, 2013

    Please go to your posting of November 10, 2011. There the last sentence of the last paragraph reads like this:
    “How could it create something when there is complete and utter nothingness?”
    So, here you are also admitting that some minimum something is required to begin with, as otherwise the outcome will be nothing again, not something. Some scientists love to define this minimum something as nothing, but they cannot compel everybody else to accept their definition. For doing this they will have to be dictators like Hitler, Mussolini, Franco, Stalin. Are these scientists having some sort of dictatorial temperament or power? If not, then other people are always free to challenge their assertion that our universe has actually originated from nothing.

  225. #227 Wow
    November 22, 2013

    “So, here you are also admitting that some minimum something is required to begin with”

    Nope, explicitly says right there nothing exists.

    “Some scientists love to define this minimum something as nothing”

    Yup, nothing is defined as nothing and when it comes to existing, nothing is a minimum: you can’t get less existing than not existing.

    It seems god bothereres love pretending words have no meaning.

    “but they cannot compel everybody else to accept their definition. For doing this they will have to be dictators like Hitler…”

    Whereas you god botherers trying to get us to accept your definition of nothing as being “God” are just like Torquemada, Hitler, Stalin (all Christians, note), Koresh, Ron L Hubbard and J Smith, right?

    No, isn’t saying to people a word means something merely how people communicate?

    Oh, I think it is.

    The problem seems to be with you godbotherers that communication is not allowed, only abject genuflection to your ideas.

    “If not, then other people are always free to challenge their assertion that our universe has actually originated from nothing.”

    You are allowed to challenge it.

    However, you can’t just claim to have won because you challenge it, you have to show how you’re right.

    Something you completely failed to do on every turn.

  226. #228 Bob
    November 23, 2013

    God will punish you for eating so heavily from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Quantum Mechanics is only building another tower of Babble to come tumbling down. These mental structures trying to undue gods creation for power and profit will come to no good end. Prove all you want in the end you will crawl to the LORD. LOL Don’t you just love the Christian sentiments. Makes one want to projectile vomit.

  227. #229 Wow
    November 23, 2013

    Lunacy.

    Not just for the new moon any more.

  228. #230 Udaybhanu Chitrakar
    November 28, 2013

    “How could it create something when there is complete and utter nothingness?”
    If I am not wrong, then this question expresses your bewilderment about how something can be created from complete and utter nothingness. If something cannot be created from pure and utter nothingness, then by what kind of logic can something come from pure and utter nothingness? Perhaps by some divine logic.

  229. #231 Wow
    November 28, 2013

    “by what kind of logic can something come from pure and utter nothingness? Perhaps by some divine logic.”

    But divine logic would have to come from somewhere and you’ve already presupposed that:

    “something cannot be created from pure and utter nothingness”

    Ergo, that divine logic can’t exist.

  230. #232 Wow
    November 28, 2013

    If you *are* wrong, then your conclusions are incorrect by even your assertion.

    Seems like “I could be wrong” is only ever used by people who intensely refuse to believe that is the case…

  231. #233 aco
    November 29, 2013

    Big questions:

    1. Why did even existence have to exist? would not it be easier if nothing ever existed?

    2. Laws of thermodynamics disagree with one great scientific discovery: universe had a beginning, how can any ‘law’ that the universe works by disagree with itself?

    3. where did the laws of physics come from? if it is true that there were no laws of physics before the big bang, then that must also mean that there was no time, which then points to the fact that something can infact be eternal.

    4. when it is impossible for the nucleus to hold together, then how does it manage to do it? answer: colossians 1:17

    5. how did the bible writers manage to write over 100 scientific facts many thousand years ago, that were only discovered in the last 100-50 years? for example atoms, the expanding universe, air/wind circuits, accurate information about the deepest parts of the ocean, or how did they even know that the star cluster pleiades has tight gravity while orion has almost no gravity and is falling apart, and the accurate explanation of how the universe began and what it consists of, now confirmed: time space matter, or how did they know that there was an ice age not so long ago, also how did they even know that air has weight? many many more …

  232. #234 Wow
    November 29, 2013

    Re:

    1: Where does it say that?
    2: Nope, that law doesn’t preclude the universe existing.
    3: They emerged as a consequence of existence. Rather like intelligence emerges as a consequence of a sufficiently complex central nervous system.
    4: That doesn’t answer it.
    5: They didn’t write 100 unknown scientific facts that only became discovered in the las 100-50 years.

    Atoms: Democritus. Not in the bible.
    Expanding Universe: Not in the bible.
    Deepest Ocean: Nope, no cracken that lieth in the deeps.
    Plieades/Orion: You have that 100% the wrong way round.
    Creation: Which version? You have two. Neither agree with each other.
    What it consists of: Bats are birds??? Not according to the bats…
    Ice age: Where?
    Air: Democritus again.

    Many many more: You mean like a flat earth sitting on pillars? You mean like rainbows never existing until after a flood?

    And many, many more.

  233. #235 aco
    November 29, 2013

    ahhh.. if you want to have a serious debate i am in, but else .. dont waste my time mr wow. i’ll give you an example of what i am talking about, a long one, THANK YOU if you read it to the end :) you are awesome

    Time and Space:
    Most people read the very first verse in the Bible, without giving it another thought. However a closer examination of this verse reveals that the author of Genesis verbalized exactly the same sophisticated principle that scientists use thousands of years later. Science expresses the universe in five terms: time, space, matter, power and motion. So does Genesis 1.

    ————————–

    Atoms:
    All matter is composed of atoms. Only in recent years has science discovered that everything we see is composed of things that we cannot see- tiny invisible particles called atoms, made up of electrons and protons, which are really not solids, but positive and negative charges of electricity. Whether he specifically understood it or not, the author of the books of Hebrews wrote about atomic structure, nearly 2000 years before it was discovered by scientists.

    —————————

    Gravitational Properties of Constellations:

    God asked Job

    “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion?” (Job 38:31).

    “In the last century astrophysicists have discovered that the stars of Pleiades move in unison with each other, and are thus gravitationally bound. They have also discovered that the stars of Orion are free agents that are not gravitationally bound! Interestingly, the three stars that comprise Orion’s belt appear to be closer together than the outer stars in the constellation, but are actually farther apart! (they appear closer together because of the 2-D plane we see them in)”. [7a] All Emphasis Added

    ————————–

    By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. [Hebrews 11:3] [Emphasis Added]

    ——————————

    “In the beginning (time) God created (power) the Heaven (space) and the Earth (matter)… And the Spirit of God moved (motion) upon the face of the waters.” [Genesis 1:1,3 … written some 3450 years ago].

    ———————————–

    An Expanding Universe:
    The prophet Isaiah who lived almost 3,000 years ago stated

    “It is He that . . . stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in.” [40:22]

    Scientists are beginning to understand that the universe is expanding, or stretching out. At least seven times the Scriptures clearly tell us that God stretches out the heavens like a curtain.

    ———————————–

    Air Has Weight:
    The fact that air has weight was proven scientifically only about 300 years ago. The relative weights of air and water are needed for the efficient functioning of the world’s hydrologic cycle, which in turn sustains life on the earth.

    When He imparted weight to the wind and meted out the waters by measure [Job 28:25] [Emphasis Added]

    ———————————-

    Many, many stars…

    Before people thought that there were only about 4000-5000 stars, as they could not find any more at the time, but then again, God gives incredible knowledge:

    God said to Abraham ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ (Genesis 15:5)”.

    ‘As the host of heaven (stars) cannot be numbered, nor the sand of the sea measured, so will I multiply the descendants of David My servant (Jeremiah 33:22).

    “Therefore from one man, …were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore. (Hebrews 11:12)”

    ———————————

    First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics:
    The 1st Law of Thermodynamics states that matter can be neither created nor destroyed, and that the amount of matter in the universe remains constant. If the First Law is correct, which every scientific measurement ever made has confirmed, then the universe could not have created itself, it must have been created in the past, no further creating must be going on, and no loss of creation is occurring. The Bible is the only religious book that correctly portrays the First Law by 1) its description in Genesis of a Creator who is no longer creating, and 2) a Creator who is “upholding all things by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3)” .

    Genesis 2:1 says (after creation):

    “Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them.”

    The Hebrew word used in the above quote is the past definite tense of the verb “finish” indicating an action completed in the past. The creation was “finished” — once and for all. That is what the First Law of Thermodynamics says. It states that neither matter nor energy can be either created or destroyed. There is no “creation” ongoing today. It is “finished” exactly as the Bible states.

    The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, which states that all systems degenerate from order to disorder, was regarded by Albert Einstein to be the premier Law in science. Again the Bible is the only religious book to accurately describe this Law:

    “For the heavens will vanish away like smoke, the earth will grow old like a garment… (Isaiah 51:6)”,

    and also a New Testament rendering:

    “You, Lord, in the beginning laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of Your hands. They will perish, but You remain; and they will all grow old like a garment; (Hebrews 1:10-11)”

    —————————————–

    The Hydrologic Cycle:
    The Mississippi River, which is just one of thousands of rivers all over this planet, dumps over six million gallons of water per second into the Gulf of Mexico. The answer to where all that water goes lies in the hydrologic cycle, or circulation of the earth’s water… something that was not fully accepted until the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, although the earliest literature indicating an understanding of this cycle was apparently around the third or fourth century BC.. Aristotle demonstrated only a vague understanding of this process… though he recognized that rain came from clouds, he incorrectly postulated that air turned into water and vice versa.

    Either way the Bible accurately portrays of this cycle 2500 years before it was widely accepted. Note the following passages:

    For He draws up the drops of water, they distill rain from the mist, which the clouds pour down, they drip upon man abundantly. [Job 36:27,28]

    The One who builds His upper chambers in the heavens And has founded His vaulted dome over the earth, He who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth, The LORD is His name. [Amos 9:6]

    It has only recently been learned that most clouds are formed by ocean evaporation, but again the Bible had it right centuries ago:

    “All the rivers run into the sea, yet the sea is not full; to the place from which the rivers come, there they return again [Ecclesiastes 1:7]“.

    The complex nature of how water is supported in clouds despite being heavier than air is clearly implied when God declared to Job [Emphasis Added]

    “Do you know how the clouds are balanced, those wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge (Job 37:16).

    ——————————————-

    Air Currents:

    The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north; The wind whirls about continually, And comes again on its circuit. [Ecclesiastes 1:6]

    The Bible describes the circulation of the atmosphere, and includes some principles of fluid dynamics.

    —————————-

    Adam And Eve:
    The Genesis account of creation asserts that all humans descended from the same parents, Adam and Eve. There is now considerable debate in the scientific community over recent genetic studies which indicate that all men have a common father, and all women have a common mother. In fact, the latter claim is sometimes called the Eve hypothesis. Some scientists are skeptical about these studies, and even those who are supportive would not generally accept the Genesis account; however, Bible believers should expect further research to add yet more evidence supporting these hypotheses.

    ——————————-

    The End Times

    Since Ernest Rutherford, who received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1908, is credited with splitting the atom only in 1917, it is quite impossible for people in the first century, to have known anything about the Atom Bomb. However they certainly described it well, speaking about the sky burning up and the earth itself melting. Peter certainly believed this to be true, warning people about this phenomena in a verse quite startling in its clarity.

    “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.” (2 Peter 3:10-12)

    The prophet Zechariah also gave us a chilling message…

    “Now this will be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth.” [Zechariah 14:12]

    While the Apostle John described the sun becoming black as sack cloth and the moon becoming like blood

    And I saw when he opened the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the whole moon became as blood; [Revelation 6:12]…

    which describes the phenomena that would result from massive amounts of dust and debris blown into the sky by multiple nuclear bursts. John went on to say…

    “And the atmosphere was pushed apart like a scroll when it is rolled together” (Revelation 6:14).

    In a nuclear explosion the atmosphere rolls back on itself It’s this tremendous rush of air back into the vacuum that causes much of the destruction of a nuclear explosion. John’s words in this verse are a perfect picture of an all out nuclear exchange… The whole world will be literally shaken apart!

    God Bless.

    If you would like to continue reading on more facts please visit: http://www.eternal-productions.org/101science.html

  234. #236 aco
    November 30, 2013

    also I want to add to the comment #235 that the chance of the universe NOT being created by God is giving 10 monkeys one laptop each, and them punching the keyboard with their fists, and accidentaly, each of them writes one page long story, with accurate big and small letters, punctation ETC… ;)

  235. #237 Wow
    November 30, 2013

    i’ll give you an example of what i am talking about, a long one

    Time and Space:

    So where under that section is your proof? You’ve just said “People reading Genesis haven’t read it PROPERLY”. Begging the question.

    Atoms:
    All matter is composed of atoms. Only in recent years has science discovered that everything we see is composed of things that we cannot see-

    WRONG.

    Already told you: Democritus.

    Apparently, despite your exhortation and expectation of failure for me to read your blitherings, you didn’t bother reading any of mine, you had already a spiel set out you were damn well going to make, come hell or high water!

    And you don’t note where the bibble mentions atoms, just “Hebrews said…”. Well maybe the greeks told them about it, not God.

    Unless you think God (Apollo?) told the greeks first.

    Air Has Weight:
    The fact that air has weight was proven scientifically only about 300 years ago.

    WRONG. Pre-Socratic Greece had already proof that air has weight.

    The Water Thief. A water ladle. Check it out.

    Gravitational Properties of Constellations:

    God asked Job

    “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion?”

    God thinks that the Pleiades isn’t bound and therefore cannot be the creator of it.

    “In the beginning (time) God created (power) the Heaven (space) and the Earth (matter)… And the Spirit of God moved (motion) upon the face of the waters.”

    Meaningless drivel. What the hell are you saying here?

    God said to Abraham ‘Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if you are able to number them.’ And He said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ (Genesis 15:5)”.

    So you count each star. You’ll fail.

    Still not saying that there are more stars than are visible. Just that an ancient man who hasn’t moved even to manage the number “zero”, never mind “thousand” cannot count a number more than a few dozen.

    This is “a lot”, not a specific number of stars. And we knew there were a lot of stars 10,000 years ago.

    An Expanding Universe:
    The prophet Isaiah who lived almost 3,000 years ago stated

    “It is He that . . . stretches out the heavens as a curtain, and spreads them out as a tent to dwell in.”

    LOL!

    Yeah, a tent-dwelling tribe knows that tents will expand and get bigger and yet not be moving itself…!

    ROFLMAO!

    If the First Law is correct, which every scientific measurement ever made has confirmed, then the universe could not have created itself,

    Ahh. Seems like you never read the fucking article, you moronic bonehead.

    YES IT CAN.

    Air Currents:

    The wind goes toward the south, and turns around to the north;

    Nope, doesn’t do that. Crack open a book on weather. Not a book of fiction, please.

    There is now considerable debate in the scientific community over recent genetic studies which indicate that all men have a common father, and all women have a common mother.

    WRONG.

    The minimum pool for the mitochondrial eve’s pregnancy to have resulted in us and our genetic diversity is AT LEAST 30,000.

    That’s rather skipped over in your “reading” of the science.

    The End Times

    However they certainly described it well, speaking about the sky burning up and the earth itself melting

    The number of atom bombs we have ever produced, or could produce in a million years, all exploded together, would not cause that event.

    the elements will be destroyed by fire

    You can’t get rid of elements with chemical processes, such as fire. So, wrong.

    their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth.”

    So leprosy and other necrotic diseases. Not atomic holocaust.

    While the Apostle John described the sun becoming black as sack cloth and the moon becoming like blood

    The moon ALREADY “becomes like blood” in a lunar eclipse and the sun won’t go black, it’ll become a white dwarf, but not before removing the earth from existence.

    which describes the phenomena that would result from massive amounts of dust and debris blown into the sky by multiple nuclear bursts

    Anything thin enough to make the moon still visible would have almost no effect on the sun’s appearance. A thick cloud cover before the storm would put a thicker cloud up than all out nuclear war and that happens regularly, blotting out the sun.

    “And the atmosphere was pushed apart like a scroll when it is rolled together”

    So is it pushed apart or rolling together? The claim in this quote is that they are the same event, being analogised, but you wish to have them serial statements, never connected to the same point in time.

    All of your apologetics is post-hoc reworking. And ignores what science has 100% proven wrong in the bible. Such as the clade of the bat. The worldwide flood fakery. Waters above the earth. Two creation myths. Two myths of humanity’s creation.

    And so on, and so on.

    If you would like to continue reading on more facts please use the brain you think your god gave you.

  236. #238 Wow
    November 30, 2013

    Ethan, how the FK do you get quoting done under this new frigging system?

  237. #239 Wow
    November 30, 2013

    “also I want to add to the comment #235 that the chance of the universe NOT being created by God is giving 10 monkeys one laptop each”

    Nope, it isn’t.

  238. #240 Wow
    November 30, 2013

    “Note the following passages:

    For He draws up the drops of water,”

    Uh, it’s water vapour, not water droplets.

    You’d think the dude who had “created” the hydrological cycle would have known that.

  239. #241 aco
    November 30, 2013

    1st of all I did read your comment to the last letter.

    1. Here: “In the beginning (time) God created (power) the Heaven (space) and the Earth (matter)… And the Spirit of God moved (motion) upon the face of the waters.” [Genesis 1:1,3 … written some 3450 years ago].

    2. At the time the Bible said that everything was made of atoms, there were many theories, none fully accepted at the time, there were choices, but the Bible seems to write the correct one. That is my point.

    3. Here: By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. [Hebrews 11:3] [Emphasis Added]

    4. Air has weight was discovered .. by greeks? GREEKS had many theories covering everything both wrong and right, none of them were proven and by the way..:

    source: http://www.nature.com

    The Discovery of the Weight of the Air

    A. N. MELDRUM

    THE discovery, in the first half of the seventeenth century, that the air has weight is associated with things of immense importance, for instance, the invention of the barometer and the refutation of the dogma—dear to the false science and the false philosophy of the day—that “Nature abhors a vacuum”. In a new edition of the “Essais de Jean Rey”, reviewed in NATURE of July 9, an attempt is made to assign this discovery to Rey, and, so far to regard Torricelli, Galileo, Pascal, and Descartes as his disciples. Without claiming to be an authority upon Rey or upon Galileo, I would direct attention to the statement, made in “Galileo—his Life and Work”, by J. J. Fahie, that Galileo’s way of determining the specific gravity of the air was first described in his letter to Baliani dated March 12, 1613. Rey’s “Essais” was published in the year 1630.

    5. The water thief? We are talking about air having weight.

    6. God correctly stated that is bound, but used the sentence as a form of question, he has already bound it, but asks Job if he can do it. Anyone in 1st grade could understand this.

    7. What I am saying is that the creation is clearly described here. time space matter motion power… etc.

    8. 10.000 years ago we did not know that there were more stars than we could see. you do know when the telescope was discovered? not the one that can see the moon, or jupiter, but the one that can see the almost infinite number of stars 13 billion light years away? Get your facts right, thanks.

    9. at the time, yes I guess the writes were in each their tents, but imagine, if you lived at the time they did, with the knowledge they had, then this is a perfect demonstration, do not expect them to say “well you know the universe is expanding at approximately “insert speed” per hour and yeah..”

    10. If you feel anger starting to take over you, lift your hands over your head so that you cannot type anything mean, take one deep breath and exhale. :)

    11. You really do only read atheistic propaganda? Do you not know that pilots in second world war discovered the air circuit? It is a fact now, and yes, ask anyone with knowledge about weather, they’ll say it does exactly what the Bible says.

    12. Why are you writing your own false facts? or whatever? do you think that a scientific study is lying?

    13. I agree. But I did not say that the end time is now, either; but in a million years, do not exaggerate, please.

    14. Leprosy and other? I dont think that leprosy instantly does that… no. It takes time for leprosy and “other” to do just that.

    15. that event has already happened before, in 17th century in america. lasted for a full day, and without any nuclear warheads being blown.

    16. have you ever seen an atomic bomb explode, on tv?
    and also do you know what a scroll is? and how it is opened/closed?

    everything that has wings is classified as birds. only because someone makes up new species and classifies them by “that and that” does not make it something else. it is a bird-type. or would you prefer insect?

    science does not have anything against the bible nor does the bible have anything against science, if you have an example show me, but with full proof of your claim, not any theory, such as evolution.

  240. #242 aco
    November 30, 2013

    again, for comment 239: yes it is.
    again, for comment 240: remember who he is explaining it to; he is not explaining it to us, but to people that had no knowledge near us, whatsoever, would they understand it if he said vapour? no.

  241. #243 Wow
    November 30, 2013

    “again, for comment 239: yes it is.”

    Again, no it isn’t. Casmiir effect shows that you can get something from nothing.

    No god needed, unless he’s pissing about pushing plates together to troll scientists for no damn reason.

    Do you follow Loki? Is that it?

    240 shows that the bibble is wrong: it claims DROPS OF WATER is lifted.

    No, it isn’t.

    And what YOU Are doing is just going “I’m going to interpret what this says IN LIGHT OF WHAT HAS BEEN SHOWN TO BE TRUE, then claim this PROVES the bible was right!”.

    This is not valid nor even partially honest.

  242. #244 Wow
    November 30, 2013

    “1st of all I did read your comment to the last letter”.

    Nope you did not.

    Democritus.

    “1. Here: ”

    Is not proof of your statement “I’ve read every word”.

    “2. At the time the Bible said that everything was made of atoms, there were many theories,”

    So the bibble is no more accurate than any of those others that, for example, the pre-existing Greek philosophers had.

    Moreover, they had already had the idea that life grew from simpler organisms that are the origins of all life on earth and that this life started in the margins of the waters of the earth.

    Since this was 3000 years ago and science says that this is possibly true only now, that proves that the biblical creation of life is wrong, correct?

    After all, that’s YOUR “logic” chain to prove the bible right.

    Or does it only work when it comes to a conclusion you like?

    “3. Here: By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God”

    By testing that faith, we discover it’s a load of hokum.

    “4. Air has weight was discovered .. by greeks?”

    Yes.

    “5. The water thief? We are talking about air having weight.”

    Yes, and the water thief was used to prove it by pre-socratic ancient greeks.

    “6. God correctly stated that is bound”

    No he didn’t. The quote says NOTHING about the Pliaedes being bound. Moreover, they are not chemically bound. So it’s wrong there.

    “7. What I am saying is that the creation is clearly described here. time space matter motion power… etc.”

    You’re saying that, but it doesn’t follow from the things you wrote.

    “8. 10.000 years ago we did not know that there were more stars than we could see.”

    So? The passage says that there are not more stars than can be seen. Just that you can’t count them if you’re the first human on the planet.

    “9. at the time, yes I guess the writes were in each their tents, but imagine, if you lived at the time they did, with the knowledge they had..”

    …that what they wrote wasn’t about the expansion of the universe, but about how the sky was above you like the tent roof was. That the sky went down to the ground like the tent walls do, but much further away.

    Like a dome of the sky.

    Oh, that’s right: the bibble says that, doesn’t it!

    “10″

    ROFLMAO!!!!

    “11. You really do only read atheistic propaganda? ”

    There’s no such thing, just like there is no a-philatelist propaganda. Do you only see propaganda and “opinions” when truth and fact are mentioned?

    “12. Why are you writing your own false facts?”

    I’m not. Why do you think that facts you don’t like must be false?

    “13. But I did not say that the end time is now, either;”

    Irrelevant. What’s relevant is what you DO claim, not what you don’t.

    “14. Leprosy and other? I dont think that leprosy instantly does that”

    Your quote doesn’t say how long it will take. So again, irrelevant.

    “15. that event has already happened before”

    a) no it didn’t.
    b) the universe didn’t end

    “16. have you ever seen an atomic bomb explode, on tv?”

    My dad worked on those explosions. I have a photo he’s taken of one. So what was your point?

    “and also do you know what a scroll is? and how it is opened/closed?”

    Yes, which is why your quote is fantastically wrong. Obviously YOU don’t know how they work.

    “everything that has wings is classified as birds”

    Insects?
    Sanity towels?
    Politics?

    No, it was classified as that because the passage was written by people writing down the passed-on vocal stories of pre-literate stone-age tribesmen who didn’t know what the fuck was going on and got it entirely wrong with regards to bats.

    Something that if the message had been from god, would not have been so catastrophically wrong.

    “science does not have anything against the bible nor does the bible have anything against science”

    Just like that other work of fiction: The Lord Of The Rings. Or Harry Potter. Or The Ring Saga. Or Gilgamesh. Or any other work of fiction.

    But when it shows that there’s no need for your god as you imagine it to be, then you have a problem with it, don’t you?

    “but with full proof of your claim, not any theory, such as evolution.”

    Ah, so you get to decide what isn’t acceptable as a claim.

    Why not evolution?

    IT DEFINITELY HAPPENS.

    And it can explain all life on earth FAR better than some designer, even a psychotically maniac one.

  243. #245 aco
    November 30, 2013

    I am not doing anything wrong, the bible was translated from hebrew, that is hard to translate; If it is read in hebrew it makes much more sense.

    Casmiir effect takes place in ‘free space’ and nothing is mostly defined as no space at all for free movement or even existence, therefore casmirr effect cannot be taken seriously, only a false attempt to disprove us; and I do not follow anyone called loki nor do I know who he is.
    if you wish to argue even more I can just add that He created us a little bit lower than Him, I believe that He imagined this world into existence by his word / thought; and we are created in his image which means that we are got something that he has, but on a lower level for ex. you can right now create your own world in your mind and everything is able to be done in that world, so therefore he created this world in him, as it is stated. We live in him, whatever he says happens, same as you can imagine a world into existence in your mind, same he did to us and everything, but on a more advanced level.

  244. #246 Wow
    November 30, 2013

    “I am not doing anything wrong”

    What meaning of the word “wrong” do you mean?

    Evil? No.

    Incorrect? Hell yes.

    “the bible was translated from hebrew, that is hard to translate”

    And that means you have the retranslation right? No, I think you need to prove that your interpretation is correct a priori, not merely by taking what YOU know and saying “It says X, but it *really* means Y, which science agrees with, therefore the Bible MUST be from God!!!!1111!!1!”.

    “Casmiir effect takes place in ‘free space’ ”

    But not CAUSED BY “free space”.

    Read the topic before posting your reams of elephantaine shit on the thread, or pop along to where this tripe is at least condoned:

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-you-are-responsible-for-what-you-say/

    “therefore casmirr effect cannot be taken seriously”

    By edict from you, right?

    “only a false attempt to disprove us”

    Ah, persecution complex. Wondered when that would turn up…

    “and I do not follow anyone called loki nor do I know who he is.”

    Ah, so how do you know the Norse Mythology is not the correct information and that you’re being trolled by Loki, the trickster god of that mythos?

    “I believe that He imagined this world into existence by his word / thought”

    Feel free to believe that codswallop.

    But believe doesn’t make truth.

    Pop along to an opinion blog or faith blog with your tripe and leave science to the science blogs.

    Do I come to YOUR place of worship and berate the pastor with “Bullshit! Rubbish! HOGWASH!!!”?

    No?

    Then be at least humanly polite and do the same courtesy of others here.

    I shall sacrifice a black cockerel to Satan for you.

  245. #247 aco
    November 30, 2013

    you need to involve other false gods, casmir effect requires free space in order to work. that did not exist before creation.

    I came here for an intelligent debate but you need to use big letters and insulting words in order to feel control; call me back when you would like a real argument; don’t forget that I told you about Romans 14:11 when you die.

  246. #248 Wow
    November 30, 2013

    “you need to involve other false gods”

    So you admit that your god is as false as these others!

    Well done!

    “that did not exist before creation.”

    Creation by a false god? What? Or do you mean before the big bang? Well there wasn’t any time until the big bang happened, so therefore no “before” to worry about.

    “I came here for an intelligent debate”

    Well, that’s wrong for a start: no you weren’t. You were here to complain that your personal identification of god must be right and every other identification must be wrong “because they’re false gods!”.

    Greeks knew of atoms and the evolution of life long before those sections in the bibble and their gods included the Titans, Zeus, Apollo et al.

    Since your only assertion for your god being the right one is the “accuracy” of the mythology of it, they beat yours, therefore your god must be the false one and the real ones are Zeus and so on.

    PS we’ll all die. It’s a downer, but we’re here for practically no time at all before we learn we’ve already got our return ticket punched.

    Which leads many people to grasping at any old shite to pretend that it’ll never end.

  247. #249 aco
    November 30, 2013

    Im so sorry you got the wrong image of God, He is not someone sitting in the skies throwing lightning swords at us or hitting us with a hammer, like greek mythology says.

    Why do you think thousands and thousands of people that were revived after death turn to Christ and make a testimony of heaven/hell? Many on any video broadcasting site like youtube, feel free to search it up.

    Heard of Illuminati, satanists? Why do you think it is always the evil ones trying to destroy christianity in reality, why not the muslims or hindus?

    I like most christians am not afraid to get into a debate, most christians fear that they will lose faith if they get beaten by an atheist or any other religious person but I cannot simply because I no longer believe in God, I now know that He exists, since He has shown himself in various ways several times. I can swear on what ever you want that these stories are true; One night at about 02.00 I noticed my cat was lost, the window was wide open and since it is an indoor cat, would not survive long, since it was cold outside, I think it was rainy also, many cars driving in the streets etc… Then after searching for 1.5 hours I asked God to bring it back, and strange enough I had no doubt that it would happen, at all. For me the only question was when, about 1 minute later my mother suddenly went out on the balcony and saw it on the busy traffic street. Later I asked her what made her do it she said that she just ‘felt like’ doing it and didn’t know why. I never told her that it was God either, but all in one after asking Him, the cat was back home in about 2-3 minutes.

    Before, when I felt like my faith was dropping, I was in a car, back seat, and told Him to boost my faith by turning on the radio in the car, and after saying that, someone asked the driver to turn it on and it was on seconds later. It really shook me.

    I also have the example when I asked him to give me happiness since I was really angry at someone, after some 15 minutes I found myself wanting to run around the house 30 times because of this happiness, also I no longer felt any hate towards the person I was angry at. That kind of happiness is not the happiness when you receive a gift for christmas or a new playstation it felt awesome

    This was my last comment to you, simply because you twist what I say, turn it around, insult, and cannot talk like a normal person. Bye.

  248. #250 Wow
    November 30, 2013

    Im so sorry you got the wrong image of God.

    He’s a fiction. As real as Gandalf.

    Now, this thread is about quantum fluctuations and virtual particles. If you want to continue to spout religionist bullshit, please go to the thread provided for the nonscience you spout:

    http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2012/09/23/weekend-diversion-you-are-responsible-for-what-you-say

    Whining on here about impoliteness means fuck all if you’re going to ignore the hosts’ wishes.

    Because that’s the height of impolite.

  249. #251 Dr Hans Schwantz
    GROSSE POINTE SHORES
    December 13, 2013

    It is no shame to admit we simply do not understand where life came from or the universe for that matter, how it did and why.

    Many good theories from both science, religions and philosophy try to answer these questions but we simply do not know for sure if the answers are true or not.

    My personal opinion is that something so beyond our understanding is responsible for all of the universe and life’s origination and existence. Just like humans once said and believed that no one would ever fly like the birds do and yet a few years later not only did we fly like the birds but we broke the sound barrier. My point is that the theory and materials existed for flight even though it was thought that and believed that we would never fly. We did when the time was right to understand it.

    Regardless of the processes like evolution, flight,, nature, biological etc., there still has to be something that started it all and the question remains where is it, what is it, and why? to name a few.

    That is why humans are constantly looking for answers because we want to know.

    No one on this earth knows for sure and that is why we must all keep an open mind, always, whenever someone states they know the answers to these big questions that have been asked for centuries.

  250. #252 Wow
    December 13, 2013

    Sorry, “Dr”, the mythology department is over in the next building.

    There’s shame in walking into the wrong building and then spouting bollocks.

    Or at least any decent human would feel shame for it.

  251. #253 Cheryl
    Denton, TX
    January 1, 2014

    The problem I see is that someone is trying to explain the creation of something from nothing but doesn’t use nothing as the foundation. Energy, vacuum fluctuations, etc., are not “nothing.” They are Physics in motion, carrying out a detailed plan of their Creator. Also, an empty box does not explain nothingness. To have nothingness, you cannot have something that can contain other things. In other words, you cannot have the box! You cannot have the Universe that has Scientific rules — creating the “box” that can hold things — and still have nothing!

  252. #254 Wow
    January 1, 2014

    ” Energy, vacuum fluctuations, etc., are not “nothing.”

    However, they can arise from nothing.

  253. #255 Rubin Sarmell
    Brazil
    January 31, 2014

    “Nothing” is also part of our reality! Using these plates reveal
    the actual energy. Which simply can be described, as an energy that fills the “empty” space-time. Energy that occurs, and disappears, in and out, of our reality. If we can use this for daily life energy purposes, is yet to be seen…

  254. #256 RU
    Birmingham
    February 6, 2014

    ‘space’ itself, x,y,z did not exist before existence. So how can you even call that empty? Not to mention the laws of physics. This is flawed.

  255. #257 Kelly
    UK
    May 10, 2014

    For example, take a box and empty it, so that all you’ve got is some totally empty space, like above.
    =======
    The first error is the assumption that space is empty.
    It is not empty, but is Spacetime.
    Time is created by the interaction of particles
    https://medium.com/the-physics-arxiv-blog/d5d3dc850933

    Without that energy coming from somewhere else, there can be no spacetime as we know it – no space just ABSOLUTE nothing. If it is suggested that it is Quantum Energy – where does THAT Energy come from?
    Energy can not be created nor destroyed, only transformed or transported ti (another universe/s)?

  256. #258 Kelly
    UK
    May 10, 2014

    If space were “nothing”, it could not be bent.
    We know that spacetime can and is bent by mass.
    The heavier the mass, the more spacetime is bent.
    When we look at galaxies spinning, we have realised that there is a lot of hidden mass.
    We know quantum foam produces some kind of answer, but are still adamant that space is “empty”.
    E=MC^2 But if E=0 then there can be no virtual particles either because some energy would be necessary to create them.
    The answer is clear; energy has always existed and created our spacetime and universe, but we do not wish to admit it.

  257. #259 Logic Dictates
    UK
    May 30, 2014

    The answer to the question”CAN YOU GET SOMETHING FROM NOTHING” posted by ethan has to be logically No! if the word “nothing” means absolutely nothing then there is nothing there to make something,but we do have something the universe including life on earth so “something” has always existed therefore something is ETERNAL there’s never been a time when there was nothing.You need energy to create something so energy has always existed.This does not prove God exists but allows him to exist.He must be outside the space time continueum so to ask where did he come from is an INVALID QUESTION he is the first so he must have always been there other wise you CAN get something from nothing which is impossible as just stated.phew!!

  258. #260 Aaron J. How
    Victoria, B.C., Canada
    June 5, 2014

    You say that there is an energy field but where does that come from?

  259. #261 Phievalon
    USA
    July 10, 2014

    We live in a universe that appears to begin
    Fourteen billion years ago
    And if what we are told can be believed
    It came from nothing with nowhere to go
    By nothing I mean no thing
    Not some thing we call nothing
    And no thing includes everything
    By which I mean every thing

    And not just things, this list un-includes
    All sorts of anythings that could be used
    All matter and energy, just for a start
    All forces and fields, and every last quark
    Every boson and muon and gluon and screwon
    Every photon, electron, and every neutrino
    Every dimension, pretension; every physics casino
    Every force and attraction every quantum fluctuation
    Every black hole, and every Hawking Radiation

    Just keep making lists until physics is gone
    Take it all away; the music and the song
    Leave a bunch of nice concepts all floating in space
    Then take away space and take away time
    Take away every single physicist’s mind
    Leave nothing to chance
    Leave no thing behind

    Leave a bunch of laws with nothing to rule in
    A bunch of ideas with no one to think them
    A bunch of theories with nothing to test
    Nothing to attract or repel or connect
    Nothing to be and nowhere to go
    Leave no thing and no where
    And start with zeee-ro

    See, we dream about nothing, but we all make mistakes
    Our nothing is something because we’re really awake
    We think of nothing as if it were actual
    When the fact is that nothing can’t be factual
    Since nothing is the something we’re trying to think
    It feels like a subtle ridiculous prank
    Our thinking is something instead of a blank

    If we want to believe that it all came from nothing
    We try to grasp nothing
    As a nothing something
    So here’s a solution to get us to zero
    To help us to grasp how it all began
    To give us a little conceptual grammar
    To see this fine “naught” that preceded the Bang

    Nothing is less than whatever we’re thinking
    It’s absolute absence; complete nonexistence
    Without potential or possibility
    A one-sided equation of zero to infinity
    It can’t be even thought of at all
    It can’t be considered, imagined, conceived
    It can’t be denied, ignored, or believed
    Nothing is never minus nil minus naught
    Nothing is complete and utter without
    “Nothing is exactly what rocks dream about”

    And from this, we’re assured,
    Without even a blink,
    That all that is and all that we think,
    Suddenly happened without any Cause;
    That the universe and all of it’s beautiful laws
    Simply happened
    Without a reason or rhyme;
    Every iPhone, quad-copter, chainsaw, & time
    Just happened to happen
    By chance or by shuffle
    By what Dr Seuss would call a kerfluffle

    Our eager physicists can’t get nothing right
    They all start with something to show us the light
    They all start with something since nothing’s elusive
    And end up with conclusions much less than conclusive
    But we have to have nothing to precede the start
    And nothing’s a difficult thought to impart

  260. #262 Daniel Colvin
    United States
    July 26, 2014

    Great article, but I guess I just don’t understand how experiments that prove you can get ‘something from nothing’ is still valid, when they had to create the experiment and an atmosphere to get the end result, which to me still shows that something had to exist or be created first. Even with “particle-antiparticle pairs that wink in-and-out of existence” could they possibly be winking in and out from one existence to another existence? How can we know?

  261. #263 steve clough
    lennox head
    July 31, 2014

    sounds a bit like a capacitor to me

  262. #264 Huayue
    Nanjing, China
    August 20, 2014

    empty space is not really empty, and I guess there is no such thing called nothingness, existence is eternity.

  263. #265 X Silva
    September 9, 2014

    The quantum vacuum is a type of something. It has properties. It has energy, it fluctuates, it can cause the expansion of the universe to accelerate, it obeys the (highly non-trivial) equations of quantum field theory. We can describe it. We can calculate, predict and falsify its properties. The quantum vacuum is not nothing.