Krauss: Lack of comfort means we are on the threshold of new insights. Surely, invoking "God" to avoid difficult questions of " how " is merely intellectually lazy.
Answer: Not at all. In the quest of origins, ALL possible mechanisms need to be scrutinized and put on the table and compared one to the other. In regard of origins, its an easy play. We have basically just TWO possible mechanisms to explain our origins: Either there was a conscious intelligent mind beyond the universe, or there was not.
There are not many options. Essentially, just two. Either human intelligence owes its origin to mindless matter, or there is a Creator. It's strange that some people claim that all it is their intelligence that leads to prefer the first to the second.
Any proposal falls in either one, or the other category. We cannot give us the luxury to brandmark the God hypothesis a priori " intellectually lazy ". Why ?!! Just because you don't like the idea, and try to poke holes in this possible option? The best methodology to make meaningful inferences and conclude the best, most accurate world view is based on the current wealth of knowledge of operational and historical sciences, philosophy, and theism. Disposition to analyze the evidence as much honest and unbiased as possible, permitting it to lead wherever it is. An unbiased starting point for inquiry of world views and explanations of origins is essential in order to come as close as possible to gain a realistic understanding of reality that includes physics and metaphysics. That means proper understanding of science, philosophical and theological explanations and searching for truth without eliminating possible theistic implications a priori.
Krauss: When it comes to understanding how our universe evolves, religion and theology have been at best irrelevant.
Answer: Religion, Philosophy, and theology ARE relevant when it comes to figure out quests of origins. And that includes the metaphysical question about the origin of the Universe. Science can at best explain us how things work, and up to a limited degree, how things MIGHT have come to be, but it cannot deal with questions beyond the observable universe.
Krauss: They often muddy the waters, for example, by focusing on questions of nothingness without providing any definition of the term based on empirical evidence.
The definition does not require much brainpower to be elaborated or defined: Nothing is simply the absence of any thing. Wiki : Nothing is a concept denoting the absence of something, and is associated with nothingness. the state of nonexistence .
Krauss: Indeed, the immediate motivation for writing this book now is aprofound discovery about the universe that has driven my own scientific research for most of the past three decades and that has resulted in the startling conclusion that most of the energy in the universe resides in some mysterious, now inexplicable form permeating all of empty space. It is not an understatement to say that this discovery has changed the playing field of modern cosmology. For one thing, this discovery has produced remarkable new support for the idea that our universe arose from precisely nothing.
Answer: If we define nothing as the absence of anything, then the assertion that the universe arose from precisely nothing is hogwash and pure irrational nonsense. Nothing is the absence of anything and has no properties, not potentiality, it can't change the state of nothingness. That's OBVIOUS to any average intelligent mind.
Krauss: Guth realized that, as the universe itself cooled with the Big Bang expansion, the configuration of matter and radiation in the expanding universe might have gotten "stuck" in some metastable state for a while until ultimately, as the universe cooled further, this configuration then suddenly underwent a phase transition to the energetically preferred ground state of matter and radiation. The energy stored in the " false vacuum" configuration of the universe before the phase transition completed-the " latent heat" of the universe, if you will-could dramatically affect the expansion of the universe during the period before the transition. The false vacuum energy would behave just like that represented by a cosmological constant because it would act like an energy permeating empty space. This would cause the expansion of the universe at the time to speed up ever faster and faster. Eventually, what would become our observable universe would start to grow faster than the speed of light. This is allowed in general relativity, even though it seems to violate Einstein ' s special relativity, which says nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. But one has to be like a lawyer and parse this a little more carefully. Special relativity says nothing can travel through space faster than the speed of light. But space itself can do whatever the heck it wants , at least in general relativity. And as space expands, it can carry distant obj ects, which are at rest in the space where they are sitting, apart from one another at superluminal speeds.
Answer: sounds smart, educated and sciency. But to be honest, i don't understand anything about this blaaaab.
Krauss: As I have described already, the laws of quantum mechanics imply that, on very small scales, for very short times, empty space can appear to be a boiling, bubbling brew of virtual particles and fields wildly
fluctuating in magnitude. These " quantum fluctuations" may be important for determining the character of protons and atoms, but generally they are invisible on larger scales, which is one of the reasons why they appear so unnatural to us . However, during inflation, these quantum fluctuations can determine when what would otherwise be different small regions of space end their period of exponential expansion. As different regions stop inflating at slightly (microscopically) different times, the density of matter and radiation that results when the false vacuum energy gets released as heat energy in these different regions is slightly different in each one. The pattern of density fluctuations that result after inflation arising, I should stress , from the quantum fluctuations in otherwise empty space-turns out to be precisely in agreement with the observed pattern of cold spots and hot spots on large
scales in the cosmic microwave background radiation. While consistency is not proof, of course, there is an increasing view among cosmologists that, once again, if it walks like a duck and looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck.
And if inflation indeed is responsible for all the small fluctuations in the density of matter and radiation that would later result in the gravitational collapse of matter into galaxies and stars and planets
and people, then it can be truly said that we all are here today because of quantum fluctuations in what is essentially nothing.
Answer: This is probably the essence or core assertion of the book, and essentialy makes as much sense as a quacking duck :=P .
Krauss: If we are all stardust, as I have written, it is also true , if inflation happened, that we all, literally, emerged from quantum nothingness. After all, in such a universe, space expands exponentially, so that if the density of energy remains the same, the total energy within any region will grow as the volume of the region grows . What happened to the conservation of energy? This is an example of something that Guth coined as the ultimate "free lunch. " Including the effects of gravity in thinking about the universe allows objects to have-amazingly -"negative " as well as " positive" energy. This facet of gravity allows for the possibility that positive energy stuff, like matter and radiation, can be complemented by negative energy configurations that just balance the energy of the created positive energy stuff. In so doing, gravity can start out with an empty universe-and end up with a filled one.
The net energy of the universe is zero
I have heard scientists say that if the net energy of the universe is zero, then the universe need not have a cause of its beginning to exist because nothing really exists, so that we do not have the absurdity of something’s coming from nothing. This attempt to draw metaphysical implications from the zero net energy hypothesis is a bad joke. It’s like saying that if your debts and your assets exactly cancel each other out, so that your net worth is zero, then there is no cause of your current financial condition. The suggestion that nothing exists is absurd. Not only do I undeniably exist, but according to the hypothesis the positive and negative energy exist. So as Christopher Isham, Britain’s premier quantum cosmologist, points out, there still needs to be “ontic seeding” to create the positive and negative energy in the first place. "Net energy is zero" is what is called a construct. It's like "the average family with 2.4 children". It's not an actual object you can point to, but something you get when you run the calculations for positive and negative elements. Do you know what you have when you have positive and negative elements? Elements. That's not nothing, that's something. Something that 1) doesn't have to exist and 2) logically cannot exist eternally. So we're back to the same question. If non-physical causation is a non-starter for you, either offer an explanation that's physical that doesn't suffer from those problems of offer an explanation as to why non-physical explanations are so repulsive. for someone who does not have an a priori commitment to the Big Bang (and inflation theory), it is not at all clear that the universe’s total energy would be exactly zero. In fact, it seems extremely unlikely.
Quarks and anti-quarks form via matter-antimatter pair production. Because of their nature, these particles instantly annihilate each other. However, during the Big Bang, a slight asymmetry in this pair production resulted in approximately 1 extra particle of matter for every 10 billion produced. It turns out that this 1 in 10 billion ratio of “leftover particles” happens to be the exact amount of mass necessary for the formation of stars, galaxies, and planets. As much as 2 in 10 billion, and the universe would have just been filled with black holes. As little as 0.5 in 10 billion, and there wouldn’t have been enough density for galaxies to form.
The matter-antimatter asymmetry problem
Researchers have observed spontaneous transformations between particles and their antiparticles, occurring millions of times per second before they decay. Some unknown entity intervening in this process in the early universe could have caused these "oscillating" particles to decay as matter more often than they decayed as antimatter.
Krauss: The answer to the ancient question "Why is there something rather than nothing? " would be that "nothing" is unstable .