Lawrence Krauss & Marcelo Gleiser on Something from Nothing

June 3, 2012

It's the great existential mystery:  Why is there something rather than nothing?   Now, some physicists claim they may finally know how the Big Bang could pop out of nothing,  though a new book by Lawrence Krauss has sparked an intellectual brawl about science, religion and philosophy.  Steve Paulson talks about our modern creation story with Krauss and fellow physicist Marcelo Gleiser.

You may also listen to the UNCUT interview with Krauss here.


It's good to be confident, but when Krauss' confidence spills over into what sounded like the pure hubris of a 3 yo, I believe that goes too far. It was amusing to listen to after a while, because it was clear he was completely blind to his own belief system: that science can KNOW, and that physics is not 'man-made' but that 'mathematics were dictated by the universe' (quoting a friend).

Just listened to the interview with Krauss yesterday. I didn't feel that his book was as carefully written as it could have been. The article linked below seems to go a long way to bridging one of the gaps in his discussion.

What struck me most was Krause's arrogance and his demeaning of any other discipline. Can you imagine how drab and bleak life would be if his ilk were all we had. I would like to hear Rabbib Jonathan Sacks debate Krause.

It is useless to try to balance truth (science) with wishful thinking (spirituality). "Science is a way to keep from fooling ourselves" - Feynman. Science and mathematics are mysterious, amazing, beautiful, and effective.

If you think that science = truth you're deluded. Thankfully few of even the most pedestrian science workers think that. Science is a methodology for seeking to acquire knowledge. Many of us think it's the best way but that doesn't make it *the truth*.

BTW much of the knowledge you cling to now as science was discovered because 5 or more decades ago, scientists were able to work free from the pedantic and dogmatic thinking of much of the masses.

"You wouldn' t have any particles, all the radiation and so, there's literally nothing in it. But that nothing is actually quite complicated because of quantum mechanics and relativity. It turns out empty space is a boiling, bubbling brew of virtual particles, popping in and out of existence in a time so short that you can' t even measure them."

So nothing = there's literally nothing in it yet nothing = virtual particles popping into existence. Therefore virtual particles = literally nothing. Fail.

If he said "prior to the universe we have today there were virtual particles" that would at least be congruent.

So in this nothing there are already the laws of QM? Interesting so again we come to the question of how. A quanta is a unit of energy so where did that energy stem from?

The only truth here is "we don't know." Any person who can't bring themselves to accept that isn't IMO really seeking knowledge.

Krauss has been openly criticized by his book reviewers for clearly equivocating on what he means by nothing. If his philosophy is "To the best of our knowledge" I'm worried about America. Science is secular America's new religion, without the robust philosophical grounding it needs to stand on.

Even if we accept the definition of “nothing” as given by the scientists, and even if we accept that the universe has actually originated from that “nothing” as described by them, still one question remains unanswered there. As the universe has originated from nothing, so not only its total matter and energy, but its total space-time as well have originated from nothing. So not only its total matter and energy, but its total space-time also should always remain zero, because space, time, matter and energy-all the four of them have originated from nothing. Scientists have successfully shown how the total matter and energy of our present universe have always remained zero, but they have totally forgotten to show how the total space-time of this universe has also always remained zero. As the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, so the pertinent question will be: How does the total space-time of an ever-expanding universe always remain zero?
If scientists say that the total space-time need not have to be zero, then my next question will be: One entity originating from nothing should always remain zero in its totality (matter-energy), whereas another entity similarly originating from nothing need not have to (space-time) – how will they justify their reasoning here?

The theory that the universe can simply come out of nothing due to the quantum energy fluctuation in a vacuum has one major flaw in it. Scientists are treating this quantum vacuum as nothing, and they are claiming that the entire space, time, matter and energy of our present universe have spontaneously appeared from that quantum nothing. Scientists remain quite logical in their argument when they show that the total matter and energy of the universe are zero. The totality of both of these two should always remain zero if they have actually originated from nothing. We expect from the scientists that they apply the same kind of logic to the entire space-time also, because as per them the total space-time of our present universe has also appeared from nothing. So by the same kind of logic the entire space-time of our present universe should also always remain zero. As the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, so the pertinent question will be: How does the total space-time of an ever-expanding universe always remain zero?
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