The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Why is there something and not nothingness?  (Read 3921 times)

Offline Alan McDougall

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1285
  • Thanked: 14 times
    • View Profile
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« on: 23/06/2008 08:57:24 »
Something instead of nothing?
Why is there something instead of nothing? The interesting conclusion of this ultimate puzzle is that, we can be sure of, it that at least something exists. There is a Universe, we see people, and things, and light, and while we may debate what it means, how it came into being, and how it works, we can be sure that there is at least `something'.

Many physicists search for the most elementary laws of physics, and believe that a law is more likely to be true, when it is simpler, more elementary. Some think that at some moment, humans will understand how the Universe and everything works, and, even more, that we find out why the Universe is necessarily as it is. I cannot believe that, indeed, I believe humans cannot ever give a satisfactory or final answer to this ultimate of all questions.

Why is there something instead of nothing?

With nothing, I mean the un-existence of everything. No people, no earth, no milky way, no universe, no laws of nature, no space, no time a total non-existence of everything. A mindbogglingly, brain-, brain-numbing and brain- twisting overwhelming concept, terrifying, frightening, too awful to contemplate and impossible think about, without going insane and totally beyond understanding of any human genius.

Making a mathematical model of nothing is actually easy. (Take an empty set, with no operations on it, and nothing else.) Nevertheless, one thing we can be sure of: this nothing is not correct: we do not have “nothing”, but definite and absolutely do indeed have ‘SOMETHING’.

Nothing is the very most basic of all concepts. 

Some people may argue that the universe was created in the Big Bang ( but whom and what pressed the button of the big bang in the first place, so to speak?) , and that positive matter and positive energy are actually negated by the simultaneous creation of negative matter and negative energy. However, this doesn't answer the other question, where do matter, energy and laws of physics then come from in the first place?

Does this question have an answer? If something exists because it either was a modification of something or else, Something or Somebody else created it, then what caused that to exist? It seems that our logic is unable to deal with the question; indeed, I think the question shows there is a limit to our understanding of things by the very best minds of the human race.

There are simply mysteries out there that will never ever be solved by mere limited humanity. You see the universe has a strange Goldie locks condition about it, i.e., it cannot be too hot, or too cold etc, etc, etc, but it has to be just  absolutely correct, precise and right or life would not have come into existence and we would not be around to contemplate, debate or dialogue on this ultimate enigma.

We would not exist. Life hangs on and depends on this knife- edge of harmonies conditions that have to be sustained over countless billions of years, for us to have come into existence and continue to exist. Makes one think, does it not

Alan
« Last Edit: 23/06/2008 17:53:29 by Alan McDougall »


 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #1 on: 23/06/2008 20:07:49 »
It seems to me that you are asking why 1 = 1 instead of 0.  'Something' and 'Nothing' preclude each other, so if there is nothing the question cannot exist, for it is something.

You, and many other people too, I am sure, do not think that humans are/will be capable of working out how the universe and everything works, but that's your opinion.  There are a lot of other people who would disagree.

The simplest mathematical model of nothing is 0.  Sets and operations do not exist, so don't need to be qualified.

It's not just some people who argue that the universe was created in the BB - the vast majority of people who have spent the time investigating the issue think this, and they do so because everything they have learned points towards that solution.

Saying that life hangs on and depends upon any such knife edge, implying that it still does so just seems odd to me.  To be sure, there seems to have been a very fine balance of things at the BB but once established the various factors were stable - there seems to be nothing precarious about the state of things now.
 

blakestyger

  • Guest
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #2 on: 23/06/2008 21:43:35 »
That's interesting because I read recently that the total weight of the Universe is zero. Could it be that its total energy is also zero and that there are other totalities (gravity?) that are also zero? So could it in some sense be true to say that in some respects, in a manner of speaking, there is 'nothing'?
 

lyner

  • Guest
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #3 on: 23/06/2008 21:44:27 »
Alan
Quote
Nothing is the very most basic of all concepts.
Actually, 'Nothing' is a very sophisticated idea and came along quite late in the study of Mathematics. You can do a lot of Philosophising without getting on to the subject of Nothing.
Space - as opposed to matter- is definitely not nothing but people can easily confuse the two.
 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #4 on: 23/06/2008 22:02:16 »
Quote
That's interesting because I read recently that the total weight of the Universe is zero. Could it be that its total energy is also zero and that there are other totalities (gravity?) that are also zero? So could it in some sense be true to say that in some respects, in a manner of speaking, there is 'nothing'?

Weight only applies to mass in a gravitaional field, so saying that the total weight of the universe is zero might be correct insofar as the universe is the total of everything, so there is no external force of gravity by which to weigh it.  However, the universe certainly seems to have non-zero mass, and as mass and energy are interchangable you couldn't say that the universe's energy is currently zero.

I suppose that if all the mass and energy in the universe were to be converted into two out of phase photons, the total energy could be said to be zero, but it isn't, so it can't, so there is.
« Last Edit: 23/06/2008 22:03:49 by LeeE »
 

Offline einsteinium252

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #5 on: 25/07/2008 18:48:53 »
If you delve deep into what everything 'is', you eventually find that the universe is basically information.
Einstein proved that mass can be converted into energy.  Energy is the building block of our universe and operates very differently from matter.  But when energy is matter, it suddenly takes on the laws of nature we apply to matter (Newtonian physics, relativity, etc...).  The properties that make energy and matter exist in time and have spatial relationships had to be logically created to act that way and no other way.  Something had to use wisdom to impart information into the particles to make them act the way they do.  The idea of information and logical intelligence is a purely human one and can't be directly applied to the universe in a way we would think of as discernment, mental logic and intelligence.  However, if you look at the blueprints for the interactions in the universe, it becomes apparent that there has to be information guiding interactions for there to be order from disorder in evolution (cellular life from goo, planetary systems from hydrogen and fusion, etc...).

I believe that as humans delve deeper into high energy particle physics, the underlying reason for the presence of the information will eventually be found.  When we do, I think that it will make it possible to understand why the information is there in the first place and what, or who, put it there.  Thusly, why there is 'something' as opposed to 'nothing.'
 

Offline Alan McDougall

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1285
  • Thanked: 14 times
    • View Profile
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #6 on: 25/07/2008 19:02:10 »
One can not describe nothingness to say nothing "IS" makes it out to be a something.

I would say in the absence of existence???

The ??? denotes an absence that is impossible to describe
 

Offline KALSTER

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #7 on: 25/07/2008 19:32:53 »
Quote
Why is there something and not nothingness?
Ever heard of the newbielink:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle [nonactive]?
 

Offline Alan McDougall

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1285
  • Thanked: 14 times
    • View Profile
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #8 on: 25/07/2008 19:53:41 »
Quote
Ever heard of the Anthropic Principle?

Who has not you should ask?
 

Offline KALSTER

  • First timers
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #9 on: 25/07/2008 20:06:22 »
Well then, that provides a good enough answer to me. Things exist because they do...

PS: Do you make a distinction between "why" things exist and "how" things exist?
« Last Edit: 25/07/2008 20:09:06 by KALSTER »
 

Offline Alan McDougall

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1285
  • Thanked: 14 times
    • View Profile
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #10 on: 26/07/2008 02:59:49 »
KALSTER

Quote
Well then, that provides a good enough answer to me. Things exist because they do...

PS: Do you make a distinction between "why" things exist and "how" things exist

There is only "Existence" to answer the "why" or "how" I would have to be god taking this supreme entity also exists. But as for me I can give no logical answer other than saying I can pinch myself and conclude I exist.

"I think therefore I am"

The ultimate state is simply

          "AM"
 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #11 on: 26/07/2008 23:11:10 »
How things exist is science, why things exist is religion.
 

Offline Alan McDougall

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1285
  • Thanked: 14 times
    • View Profile
Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #12 on: 27/07/2008 07:02:17 »
LEE

I like your quote!!

Regards

Alan
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Why is there something and not nothingness?
« Reply #12 on: 27/07/2008 07:02:17 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums