1. Does God exist? Episode 1:
The universe had a beginning, therefore a cause
1:15 The claim: Something cannot come from nothing does not need to be proven
3:15 Virtual particles do not come from absolutely nothing but require a quantum vacuum
7:36 Premise two: The universe began to exist
9:35 Scientific reasons to conclude that the universe has a beginning
16:32 Further scientific evidence why the universe cannot be past eternal
18:35 Philosophical reasons why the universe nor quantum effect potentials cannot be past eternal
The Kalaam Cosmological Argument is well known, but still strongly disputed.
Whatever begins to exist, has a cause. While premise one seems obvious to most people, I have seen many times, atheists demanding to prove that something cannot come from nothing.
Rabbits do not come out from the magician's hut from nothing. We know there is a trick involved.
As Descartes famously said: Nothing comes out of nothing
Being - can do something
Non-being - can't do something
Being can create being
Non-being can't create being
Something can do something
Nothing can't do something
Causes can cause things
No causes can't cause things
Something can exist somewhere
Nothing can't exist somewhere
Something can be sometimes
Absolutely nothing can't be sometimes
Existence can create existence
Non-existence can't create existence
Consciousness can create consciousness
Non-consciousness can't create consciousness
If there was nothing, there would still be nothing.
Since there IS something, there must always have been something.
Absolutely nothing, as the absence of anything, can't do something. It has no potentialities, it is the contrary of being: Non-being. 0 x 0 = 0. That is inductive reasoning which does not require empirical demonstration and testing. Nothing has no ontological value to be taken seriously as a possible explanation of anything, since, its the absence of any being, it cannot produce being.
If there is is no logical contradiction contained within the concept of 'nothing' then it could, in principles, and in fact, exist. The state of non-being could be. But then , we would not be here to talk about non-being. And since we ARE here, non-being has never been, but being has always been. In time, and in eternity. An eternal being without beginning, and without end, exists.
The Law of Cause and Effect is the most universal and most certain of all laws. Every material effect must have an adequate cause.
Hawking in his last book before he died wrote: Spontaneous creation is the reason why there is something rather than nothing, why we exist, why the universe exists, is not necessary to invoke God, that set the universe going.
Lawrence Krauss wrote in his book: A universe from nothing, following: Indeed, the immediate motivation for writing this book now is a profound 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. But when we continue reading, it becomes clear that the nothing which Krauss describes is not in fact absolutely nothing. He goes on and writes:
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. It can be truly said that we all are here today because of quantum fluctuations in what is essentially nothing.
If we are all stardust, as I have written, it is also true, if inflation happened, that we all, literally, emerged from quantum nothingness.
Luke Barnes, a non-creationist astrophysicist who is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy, University of Sydney, Australia, is scathing about Krauss and those who argue like him:
First and foremost, I’m getting really rather sick of cosmologists talking about universes being created out of nothing. Krauss repeatedly talked about universes coming out of nothing, particles coming out of nothing, different types of nothing, nothing being unstable. This is nonsense.
The word nothing is often used loosely—I have nothing in my hand, there’s nothing in the fridge etc. But the proper definition of nothing is “not anything”. Nothing is not a type of something, not a kind of thing. It is the absence of anything.
Virtual particles are subatomic theoretical entities, and it's not even clear that they actually exist as opposed to being merely theoretical constructs.
These particles, if they are real, do not come out of anything. The quantum vacuum is a sea of fluctuating energy, an arena of violent activity that has a rich physical structure and can be described by physical laws. These particles are thought to originate by fluctuations of the energy in the vacuum.
"So it's not an example of something coming into being out of nothing, or something coming into being without a cause. The quantum vacuum and the energy locked up in the vacuum are the cause of these particles.
And then we have to ask, well, what is the origin of the whole quantum vacuum itself?
Premise 2: The universe began to exist. How do we know this? Many claim that we cannot know it.
Where does the universe come from? There are following possible answers to the question of the origin of the universe:
The Universe is eternal; it always has existed and always will exist; There are various proposals, like oscillating universes, multiverses, infinite regress and so on.
The Universe was created by something that was also created, with an infinite number of events going back in creation.
The Universe is not eternal; rather, it created itself out of nothing; or
The Universe is not eternal and did not create itself out of nothing, but instead was created by something (or Someone) outside of itself.
How can we know that the universe most probably had a beginning?
Scientific reasons to conclude that the universe had a beginning.
The Hubble constant describes the relationship of the expansion rate of the universe, and the distance to distant galaxies.
In 1917, Einstein came up with a term called the cosmological constant.
Later, Friedman, and Belgian priest Lemaitre discovered that the value, assigned to the cosmological constant, to get the outward force of expansion, and the contracting force of gravity, are balanced just right, and incredibly fine-tuned.
There is a vast range , basically infinite number of possibilities and values for the cosmological constant and LeMaitre introduced this evidence to Einstein in a Taxicab ride, and he said:
The best explanation faced the evidence is an expanding universe starting with a beginning of that expansion. That's the birth of the Big Bang theory.
In the sixties, Hawking started to investigate Black hole physics. The gravitational forces of black holes are so intense, they bend space in a way that not even light can get out.
So o Hawking rationalized: Why do we not apply what we know about black holes and general relativity to the universe itself?
If the universe is expanding, that means that everything was more compacted back in time until getting to a limit.
So, starting in 1968, Hawking attempted to elaborate the singularity theorem pointing to a beginning of the universe.
Another point is that the energy had to be positive in order for an expansion to be able to occur. But, according to quantum physics, where things are very small, energy would not have been positive but fluctuating between positive and negative energy.
While fluctuating, this quantum vacuum energy field would by a lucky accident meet the right conditions and forces and permit the universe to enter a period of very rapid expansion, called inflation, and cause the universe into existence.
These ideas brought also forward new ideas, like the multiverse. If these virtual particles were fluctuating theoretically without a beginning. But, in 1994, two physicists, Borden and Vilenkin. provided proof and showed that even a chaotic inflation model would require a beginning.
Then, in 2003, they came up with a model, called the Borden-Guth-Vilenkin theorem. It is based on special relativity, and what they showed was that
even if the universe is expanding infinitely into the future, it must have had a starting point in time. The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin theorem is independent of any physical description of that moment. Their theorem implies that even if our universe is just a tiny part of a so-called “multiverse” composed of many universes, the multiverse must have an absolute beginning.
Vilenkin is blunt about the implications: It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape, they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning
(Many Worlds in One [New York: Hill and Wang, 2006], p.176).
Arvin Borde, Alan Guth, and Alexander Vilenkin were able to prove that any universe which has, on average, been expanding throughout its history cannot be infinite in the past but must have a past space-time boundary.
In 2012 Vilenkin showed that models which do not meet this one condition still fail for other reasons to avoid the beginning of the universe. Vilenkin concluded, “None of these scenarios can actually be past-eternal.” “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”
And as well in 2012, an article in the magazine New Scientist : Death of the eternal cosmos From the cosmic egg to the infinite multiverse, every model of the universe has a beginning, stated: One shows that a problematic object called a naked singularity is a lot more likely to exist than previously assumed. The other suggests that the universe is not eternal, resurrecting the thorny question of how to kick-start the cosmos without the hand of a supernatural creator.
continuing: As cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston explained last week, that hope has been gradually fading and may now be dead. He showed that all these theories still demand a beginning. “ The universe can’t possibly be eternal in the past,” says Vilenkin. “There must be some kind of boundary.”
Late last year Vilenkin and graduate student Audrey Mithani showed that the egg could not have existed forever after all, as quantum instabilities would force it to collapse after a finite amount of time.
Further scientific evidence why the universe cannot be past eternal:
Entropy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics: Disorder and the Unavailability of Energy
Further scientific evidence that the universe had a beginning comes to the 2nd law of thermodynamics or the law of entropy. This law says that in a closed universe the finite amount of energy is winding down, moving towards a time when all energy will be expended.
The second law of thermodynamics relates to a concept called entropy. The directions associated with the second law—heat transfer from hot to cold, for example—are related to the tendency in nature for systems to become disordered and for less energy to be available for use as work.
As entropy increases, less and less energy in the universe is available to do work. Eventually, all fuels will be exhausted, all temperatures will equalize, and it will be impossible for heat engines to function, or for work to be done. Entropy increases in a closed system, such as the universe.
But in terms of the universe, and the very long-term, very large-scale picture, the entropy of the universe is increasing, and so the availability of energy to do work is constantly decreasing.
Eventually, when all stars have died, all forms of potential energy have been utilized, and all temperatures have equalized there will be no possibility of doing work.
Philosophical reasons why the universe nor quantum effect potentials cannot be past eternal
Let's suppose you start counting the steps of the walking man. Count, and add one step after the other. 1,2,3,4 and so on. The man keeps walking, and you keep counting his steps. Whenever he stops, the number of steps that you count is finite. The man can walk a thousand years or a billion years. The number of steps he walked is always finite, never infinite.
Now imagine that our man started walking back past in time, reached now, and stops. Now, this point of time in the present is a point of time future to all past. Correct? In other words, we are future to yesterday. Now, some have suggested that the universe is eternal. But this present moment in time can't represent an actual infinite number of events added one to another proceeding from the past.
Time has proceeded forward from the past as one event is added onto another to get us to today. But we know that whenever you pause in the count as we've done right now, that you can't have an infinite number of past events. Which means that there is not an infinite number of events that goes backwards from this point in time.
Only a finite number of events did pass. Which means the universe is not eternal. Which means the universe has not existed forever and ever with no beginning, but in fact, had a beginning.
In the next video, we will give a closer look in order to attempt to find out about which agency is the best candidate to explain the cause of the universe.