Reddit Reddit reviews A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

We found 106 Reddit comments about A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing. Here are the top ones, ranked by their Reddit score.

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106 Reddit comments about A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing:

u/astroNerf · 148 pointsr/TrueAtheism

> The thought of matter spawning out of nowhere for no reason seems.. weird, doesn't feel right, you get what I'm saying?

Quantum mechanics makes no sense to people who evolved in a macroscopic universe.

When we drive to work in the morning and come to a fork in the road, our car does not take one path while we (suddenly car-less) take another path before meeting up again prior to reaching our destination.

TVs and anti-TVs do not suddenly pop in and out of existence all the time.

Despite the fact that I am forgetful, my keys do exist somewhere.

In the quantum world, things are different, particles get separated from their physical properties, only to be reunited later on. Matter does indeed pop in and out of existence constantly. And particles may or may not be a certain way until they are observed.

When the universe was very young, it was very small. Quantum things happen when things are very small. Lawrence Krauss has shown that, for example, the universe could have come about from a physical nothing. Amazon. Also: youtube talk.

The universe consistently surprises us. Most discoveries about how the universe works have led to only more questions. The universe is not obliged to us to make sense.

u/weirds3xstuff · 28 pointsr/DebateReligion

I. Sure, some forms of theism are coherent (Christianity is not one of those forms, for what it's worth; the Problem of Natural Evil and Euthyphro's Dilemma being a couple of big problems), but not all coherent ideas are true representations of the world; any introductory course in logic will demonstrate that.

II. The cosmological argument is a deductive argument. Deductive arguments are only as strong as their premises. The premises of the cosmological argument are not known to be true. Therefore, the cosmological argument should not be considered true. If you think you know a specific formulation of the cosmological argument that has true premises, please present it. I'm fully confident I can explain how we know such premises are not true.

III. There is no doubt that the teleological argument has strong persuasive force, but that's a very different thing than "being real evidence" or "something that should have strong persuasive force." I explain apparent cosmological fine-tuning as an entirely anthropic effect: if the constants were different, we wouldn't be here to observe them, therefore we observe them as they are.

IV. This statement is just false on its face. Lawrence Krauss has a whole book about the potential ex nihilo mechanisms (plural!) for the creation of the universe that are entirely consistent with the known laws of physics. (Note that the idea of God is not consistent with the known laws of physics, since he, by definition, supersedes them.)

V. This is just a worse version of argument III. Naturalistic evolution has far, far more explanatory power than theism. To name my favorite examples: the human blind spot is inexplicable from the standpoint of top-down design, but it makes perfect sense in the context of evolution; likewise, the path of the mammalian nerves for the tongue traveling below the heart makes no sense from the standpoint of top-down design, but it makes perfect sense in the context of evolution. Evolution routinely makes predictions that are tested to be true, whether it means predicting where fossils with specific characteristics will be found or how fruit fly mating behavior changes after populations have been separated and exposed to different environments for 30+ generations. It's worth emphasizing that it is totally normal to look at the complexity of the world and assume that it must have a designer...but it's also totally normal to think that electrons aren't waves. Intuition isn't a reliable way to discern truth. We must not be seduced by comfortable patterns of thought. We must think more carefully. When we think more carefully, it turns out that evolution is true and evolution requires no god.

VI. There are two points here: 1) the universe follows rules, and 2) humans can understand those rules. Point (1) is easily answered with the anthropic argument: rules are required for complex organization, humans are an example of complex organization, therefore humans can only exist in a physical reality that is governed by rules. Point (2) might not even be true. Wigner's argument is fun and interesting, but it's actually wrong! Mathematics are not able to describe the fundamental behavior of the physical world. As far as we know, Quantum Field Theory is the best possible representation of the fundamental physical world, and it is known to be an approximation, because, mathematically, it leads to an infinite regress. For a more concrete example, there is no analytic solution for the orbital path of the earth around the sun! (This is because it is subject to the gravitational attraction of more than one other object; its solution is calculated numerically, i.e. by sophisticated guess-and-check.)

VII. This is just baldly false. I recommend Dan Dennett's "Consciousness Explained" and Stanislas Dehaene's "Consciousness and the Brain" for a coherent model of a materialist mind and a wealth of evidence in support of the materialist mind.

VIII. First of all, the idea that morality comes from god runs into the Problem of Natural Evil and Euthyphro's Dilemma pretty hard. And the convergence of all cultures to universal ideas of right and wrong (murder is bad, stealing is bad, etc.) are rather easily explained by anthropology and evolutionary psychology. Anthropology and evolutionary psychology also predict that there would be cultural divergence on more subtle moral questions (like the Trolley Problem, for example)...and there is! I think that makes those theories better explanations for moral sentiments than theism.

IX. I'm a secular Buddhist. Through meditation, I transcend the mundane even though I deny the existence of any deity. Also, given the diversity of religious experience, it's insane to suggest that religious experience argues for the existence of the God of Catholicism.

X. Oh, boy. I'm trying to think of the best way to persuade you of all the problems with your argument, here. So, here's an exercise for you: take the argument you have written in the linked posts and reformat them into a sequence of syllogisms. Having done that, highlight each premise that is not a conclusion of a previous syllogism. Notice the large number of highlighted premises and ask yourself for each, "What is the proof for this premise?" I am confident that you will find the answer is almost always, "There is no proof for this premise."

XI. "...three days after his death, and against every predisposition to the contrary, individuals and groups had experiences that completely convinced them that they had met a physically resurrected Jesus." There is literally no evidence for this at all (keeping in mind that Christian sacred texts are not evidence for the same reason that Hindu sacred texts are not evidence). Hell, Richard Carrier's "On the Historicity of Christ" even has a strong argument that Jesus didn't exist! (I don't agree with the conclusion of the argument, though I found his methods and the evidence he gathered along the way to be worthy of consideration.)

-----

I don't think that I can dissuade you of your belief. But, I do hope to explain to you why, even if you find your arguments intuitively appealing, they do not conclusively demonstrate that your belief is true.

u/XIllusions · 17 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

You can read or watch "A Universe from Nothing" by physicist Lawrence Krauss.

To very briefly summarize this theory, it appears we live in a zero net energy "flat" universe. All the positive energy (like mass) is balanced by the negative energy of gravity. Such a universe could theoretically spontaneously arise from nothing. Nothing meaning no mass, no particles, no space, no time, no laws of physics.

It's kind of how +1 and -1 form 0 in reverse. You can, in theory, get "something" out of "nothing" if the conditions are right. And it appears that the universe in which we live fits those conditions.

It's also possible the universe has no temporal bounds -- that it had no beginning. In this respect, it makes no sense to refer to a "start" of the universe. Time for the universe could be like the surface of a sphere -- it has no beginning, just a defined surface area. Time is a very strange and non-intuitive thing. For example, we know time "bends, compresses and stretches" as in general relativity.

But of course none of this matters. Not knowing the origin of the universe is just not knowing. It doesn't mean it must be god. Atheists are comfortable not knowing. We simply do not believe there is enough evidence for god/gods.



u/RankWeis · 12 pointsr/Freethought

I bet my dad that since I was bigger, I would fall into the pool before my younger brother did. He took a video camera out and recorded it, and we fell at the same time. I got mad and said that we had to do it again, so we did, and we both fell at the same speed. Then he explained gravity to me, and showed me Galileo's experiments off the leaning tower.

I don't recall ever having another understanding of the world that I believed so much, but turned out to be false - but this is a memory that's stuck with me for decades, so I think that in some way that experience did shape me.

Also, Lawrence Krauss has this book that is really good, although the subtitle question was not suitably answered for me.

u/[deleted] · 10 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Have you actually explored both sides of the spectrum?

What books have you read in favor of evolution? What books on astrophysics? And have you read anything about secular moral philosophies, or evolutionary theories of altruism?

u/Etrigone · 10 pointsr/askscience

You may wish to - if you're not already aware of it and/or read it - look into Lawrence Krauss' A Universe from Nothing - Why there is something instead of nothing. This might help and it's an intriguing read regardless. I've also seen multiple youtube videos of Krauss presenting this.

However, a point for folks to keep in mind is what a physicist calls 'nothing' may not be what they call 'nothing'.

Oh, and spoiler - it's cuz 'nothing' is unstable.

u/Senno_Ecto_Gammat · 8 pointsr/space

This question gets asked all the time on this sub. I did a search for the term books and compiled this list from the dozens of previous answers:

How to Read the Solar System: A Guide to the Stars and Planets by Christ North and Paul Abel.


A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.


A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence Krauss.


Cosmos by Carl Sagan.

Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space by Carl Sagan.


Foundations of Astrophysics by Barbara Ryden and Bradley Peterson.


Final Countdown: NASA and the End of the Space Shuttle Program by Pat Duggins.


An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything by Chris Hadfield.


You Are Here: Around the World in 92 Minutes: Photographs from the International Space Station by Chris Hadfield.


Space Shuttle: The History of Developing the Space Transportation System by Dennis Jenkins.


Wings in Orbit: Scientific and Engineering Legacies of the Space Shuttle, 1971-2010 by Chapline, Hale, Lane, and Lula.


No Downlink: A Dramatic Narrative About the Challenger Accident and Our Time by Claus Jensen.


Voices from the Moon: Apollo Astronauts Describe Their Lunar Experiences by Andrew Chaikin.


A Man on the Moon: The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts by Andrew Chaikin.


Breaking the Chains of Gravity: The Story of Spaceflight before NASA by Amy Teitel.


Moon Lander: How We Developed the Apollo Lunar Module by Thomas Kelly.


The Scientific Exploration of Venus by Fredric Taylor.


The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe.


Into the Black: The Extraordinary Untold Story of the First Flight of the Space Shuttle Columbia and the Astronauts Who Flew Her by Rowland White and Richard Truly.


An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics by Bradley Carroll and Dale Ostlie.


Rockets, Missiles, and Men in Space by Willy Ley.


Ignition!: An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants by John Clark.


A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking.


Russia in Space by Anatoly Zak.


Rain Of Iron And Ice: The Very Real Threat Of Comet And Asteroid Bombardment by John Lewis.


Mining the Sky: Untold Riches From The Asteroids, Comets, And Planets by John Lewis.


Asteroid Mining: Wealth for the New Space Economy by John Lewis.


Coming of Age in the Milky Way by Timothy Ferris.


The Whole Shebang: A State of the Universe Report by Timothy Ferris.


Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandries by Neil deGrasse Tyson.


Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution by Neil deGrasse Tyson.


Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon by Craig Nelson.


The Martian by Andy Weir.


Packing for Mars:The Curious Science of Life in the Void by Mary Roach.


The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution by Frank White.


Gravitation by Misner, Thorne, and Wheeler.


The Science of Interstellar by Kip Thorne.


Entering Space: An Astronaut’s Oddyssey by Joseph Allen.


International Reference Guide to Space Launch Systems by Hopkins, Hopkins, and Isakowitz.


The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality by Brian Greene.


How the Universe Got Its Spots: Diary of a Finite Time in a Finite Space by Janna Levin.


This New Ocean: The Story of the First Space Age by William Burrows.


The Last Man on the Moon by Eugene Cernan.


Failure is Not an Option: Mission Control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and Beyond by Eugene Cernan.


Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell and Jeffrey Kluger.


The end

u/matteotom · 8 pointsr/Catholicism

There's nothing really new here. Before anyone goes out and tries to use these points in an actual discussion, I just want to bring up the counter-points:

~0:18: How does it "shout" that there's a maker?
~0:21: Why does a beautiful creation necessitate a beautiful creator? (Also, define beautiful)
~0:26: Why should I listen to Einstein's assistant? Simply mentioning Einstein doesn't win any arguments
~0:30: Evolution through natural selection actually explains it pretty well
~1:24: "Before the big bang": There was no before, since the big bang was the beginning of time (I'm pretty sure Augustine pointed that out).
~1:28: See here
~2:07: He's defining the world as a "work" so he can say it had a maker
~2:45: It's not that 97% of the world is stupid, it's just that ~90% don't care
~2:55: "I don't know why there's a god instead of nothing." He's just punting the question one step down the line. What's the difference between saying you don't know why there's a god instead of nothing and saying you don't know why there's a universe instead of nothing? At least one can be studied.

I hope I don't get banned for the whole "no anti-Catholic rhetoric" rule.

u/Capercaillie · 7 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

It might seem perfectly reasonable, but physicists (of which I am not one) will tell you that it is not true. For instance, Lawrence Krauss, the preeminent physics explainer of our time, has written a book specifically called A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing. Again, I'm not a physicist, but I do believe what they have to say--they were right about that whole gravity thing, don't you know.

u/shinkicker6 · 6 pointsr/atheism
u/NeutronStarPasta · 6 pointsr/atheism

There's a book on this...

A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing https://www.amazon.com/dp/1451624468/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_WTm4Cb0VWT8S0

u/kzielinski · 6 pointsr/atheism
  1. Cosmology is complicated you are not going to get a simple answer to this. This is part of the challenge in scientific education. The religious side is making shit up so they can make up simple answers to complex questions. Science meanwhile is constrained by reality so it gives complex answers to complex questions.
  2. Seeing as its extinct I don't think it really has a common name.
  3. There's a book on that. Again the answer is complicated. One hypothesis is that the sum total of all energy in the universe is zero, so despite appearances it all still adds up to nothing.
  4. Natural selection the process by which evolution takes place.
  5. Again it's complicated, as we lump a lot of things together under the title morals. Some of them, like altruism, can be shown to be perfectly rational and are demonstrably a good survival strategy under many conditions. Others like our nudity taboo, have no particular value, they are just something our society happens to teach.

    Evolution & the Big Bang are separate subjects. Though for some simple explanations, you might want to pick up Richard Dawkins's The Magic of Reality, its a book aimed at children so it tries to explain things in simple terms.
u/jell-o-him · 6 pointsr/exmormon

Some here will disagree, yet I think your cause is a noble one.

My suggestion would be to keep encouraging her to be a freethinker, question everything, and learn all she can about science. If she can be at a point where she understands that "science is more than a body of knowledge, it is a way of thinking" (Carl Sagan), if she can fall in love with the wonders of the creation of the universe and the evolution of life on this world, then you'll be done, as those things will show any thinking person the absurdity of religion as a moral compass.

If she likes to read, here are some books you might consider getting for her:

  • The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan. An amazing argument for the use the scientific way of thinking in every aspect of our lives.

  • A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence Krauss. How math and science can fully explain the creation of the universe, and a powerful argument against the universe needing a creator.

  • The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins. The subtitle is The Evidence for Evolution. Meant as a book for readers your sister's age. Big plus is that if she likes it, she may want to read The God Delusion and/or The Magic of Reality.

    Edit: grammar
u/DashingLeech · 6 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I'll try at ELI5 level.

Paper is a good analogy, but expand it to 3 dimensions. To see what flat means, you need to know what "not flat" means. Imagine a really large piece of paper covering the Earth. You mark an arrow on the ground then walk off in that direction, keeping in a straight line. Eventually you circle the globe and end up back at your arrow on the ground, approaching it from the tail of the arrow. You then pick a random direction and draw another arrow and do the same thing. No matter which direction you go, you always end up coming back to the same spot.

In this case, the paper is not flat; it is curved. Specifically, it is closed, meaning it loops back onto itself. However, locally it might look flat from any point you are standing. Imagine it on a bigger planet like Jupiter, or around the sun, or even larger. Locally you would measure it as being very flat, within a tiny fraction of a percent. So something that looks flat could actually be curved but with a very large radius of curvature.

But this analogy is only in 2 dimensions, covering the surface of a sphere of really large size. The curvature is in the third dimension in the direction of the center of the sphere (perpendicular to the local surface of the paper).

Imagine it now in 3 dimensions. You are floating in space at leave a real arrow pointed in some direction. You fly off in your rocket in that direction and eventually find yourself approaching the arrow from the tail end. It doesn't matter which direction you point the arrow, that always happens. That is a closed universe in 3D, meaning it is curved in a fourth dimension.

A flat universe would be one where the radius of curvature is infinite, meaning you'd never end up back at your arrow from the tail end.

I think this description is important because there is some disagreement on this. The measurement of the universe being flat within 0.4% does not mean that it is flat; it means the radius of curvature could be infinite (flat) but could just be very large. In fact, if you watch theoretical cosmologist Lawrence Krauss' talks on "A Universe from Nothing" or read the book, if you pay close attention you'll note a contradiction. At one point he jokes about how theorists "knew" that the universe must be flat because that makes it mathematically "beautiful", but then later describes how theorists "knew" the total energy of the universe must add up to zero as that is the only type of universe that can come from nothing, and yet also says that only a closed universe can have a total energy that adds up to zero. Hence is it closed or flat?

I attended one of these talks in person where this was asked and he confirmed that he thinks the evidence is strong that it is actually closed, but really, really large and hence looks flat to a high degree, and that the inflationary universe model explains why it would be so large and flat looking while being closed and zero net energy (and hence could come from nothing).

After going through all of what I know of the topic, including many other sources, I tend to agree with him that it makes the most sense that it is likely just very close to flat but is really slightly curved back onto itself at a very large radius of curvature. That also means our observable universe is only a very tiny percentage of the universe that exists.

u/themandotcom · 5 pointsr/DebateReligion

http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468

If you want peer-reviewed studies, see the references in that book.

u/DarthBartus · 5 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

I really like Lawrence Krauss' explanation - universes with certain characteristics, which our seems to possess, can have zero total energy. As it turns out, empty space acts, as if it didn't want to be empty - in a state of high vaccum, space suddenly starts to boil with virtual particles - particles and antiparticles, that spring into existence and annihilate each other instantly. If that happens in empty space, then it is reasonable to suggest, that in absence of space, such virtual spaces might spring into existence, and if certain conditions are met, rather than instantly collapse, they might expand and be filled with matter, gravity and dark energy, while having zero total energy at the same time.

You might learn more from his lecture, or his book on the subject.

u/The_Dead_See · 5 pointsr/AskScienceDiscussion

The universe certainly does seem to have a 'route of least resistance' trend built in. But when it comes to something as obscure to us as the first moment of time and space, we have no way of telling if the route of least resistance was for there to be something or for there to be nothing.

Intuitively we'd say nothing, but there's no actual way to tell that. Perhaps "non-existence" is a fragile, precariously balanced state and the route of least resistance is for energy/matter to spill out of it. We know what went on microseconds after the big bang, but we have no concept of the first moment or of whatever came before it, if anything. Without knowing that we can't say what the route of least resistance was or if it was followed.

There's a good book that might interest you: A universe from nothing by Lawrence Krauss.

u/DoctorWaluigiTime · 5 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

Given your apparent troll status, I will simply recommend a book for you that addresses your question nicely. A Universe from Nothing (ISBN-13: 978-1451624465
| ISBN-10: 1451624468) by Lawrence M. Krauss gives scientific explanations about how the scenario you question can occur.

You don't have to buy it to read it, as you can check it out from your local library (or if you have an e-reader, borrow it online).

u/theg33k · 5 pointsr/askscience

We actually use the distances between really far apart things in the universe and make a "triangle" just like they were talking about on the surface of the Earth. The math is pretty complicated, but you might enjoy A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence Krauss. It has a pretty good in depth but mostly understandable by mere mortals explanation of how these things are measured and determined.

u/MyDogFanny · 5 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

No. Science does not indicate that the big bang came from nothing. The idea of something coming from nothing is a Christian concept. In the beginning God created... And God created something from nothing.

The astrophysicist Lawrence Kraus wrote a book A Universe from Nothing. It was a great read but unfortunately it fed into the idea of something coming from nothing. What Kraus did in his book was to change the meaning of the word 'nothing' in order to have a title that would sell more books. Kraus' 'nothing' was actually 'something'.

u/mepper · 4 pointsr/atheism

> Clearly something can not be created from nothing, thats a rule of physics I'm pretty sure. If this can't be explained, than wouldn't that mean that some higher power must have put it there?

Who created the higher power, then?

You might find this talk (by theoretical astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss) about how the universe could have spontaneously came from "nothing" ("nothing" is purposely in quotes because it's not really nothing): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-EilZ4VY5Vs . He also has a book on the same topic: http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468

u/Pandromeda · 4 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Lawrence Krauss wrote a book about it, A Universe from Nothing.

It doesn't actually answer the question since no one has yet found an answer. But if the question is really bugging you it is an interesting read.

u/distantocean · 4 pointsr/exchristian

> People seem to tell me to just stop asking these questions because it's impossible to ever know...

It's definitely not that you should stop asking the questions, it's that the only people who are genuinely qualified to answer them are cosmologists. So while it's fun to speculate, the only way to make real progress on these questions ourselves would be to get a PhD in physics. Which I'm pretty sure I'm not going to do at this point in my life. :-)

It's interesting to read what people who actually do have a PhD in physics have to say about these questions, though. That's why I linked you to a few articles/debates in my other reply. And there are plenty of books out there that look at the origins of the universe and how it could have arisen (for example The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself by Sean Carroll or A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krauss).

One thing to keep in mind is that quantum physics is not just counterintuitive but wildly counterintuitive. So even though we may have beliefs like "everything needs a cause", and even though that principle is reasonable in everyday life, it doesn't necessarily apply in quantum physics, where the very notion of causality is debatable. That's why non-physicists (definitely including philosophers and theologians) are just not qualified to answer these questions -- because our intuition leads us astray, and the rules that work for us within the universe fall apart when we're looking at the origin of the universe.

u/Orion5289 · 3 pointsr/atheism

This is an incredibly complex topic, physicists have spent entire careers trying to answer this question. It would be really hard to give him a quick and easy answer. If you are interested in this topic I would recommend reading this book by Lawrence Krauss: http://amzn.com/1451624468

u/spaceghoti · 3 pointsr/IAmA

Hello Dr. Goldberg, and thank you for doing this.

What do you think of Dr. Krauss' lecture and book on "A Universe From Nothing?" Do you think his conclusions follow the evidence, or do you think he's trying to shoehorn the evidence into his conclusions?

u/two_in_the_bush · 3 pointsr/IAmA

All the ad hominem aside, can you explain your perception of the word "nothing"? You seem open to understanding the scientific side of the discussion.

If you're interested in exploring what is meant in science by nothing, there's a great book by Theoretical Physicist Lawrence Krauss, entitled A Universe from Nothing.

I think you'd find it to be a great read.

u/oooo_nooo · 3 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

This is quite the loaded question. First of all, most atheists would not say that "God cannot possibly exist." Second of all, disbelief in the existence of God cannot in any way be called "faith." Finally, the Big Bang itself is where all the materials came from. For more thoughts on this subject, I recommend Lawrence Krauss' book, A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing.

u/hedgeson119 · 3 pointsr/atheism

Check out the Foundational Falsehoods of Creationism.

Check out a copy of the books The Greatest Show on Earth or Why Evolution is True from a library. You can also get one of them for free on Audible, but you will miss out on the citations and diagrams.

See if you can watch or read The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking. I watched the miniseries, it's pretty good. It used to be on Netflix but no longer is.

Cosmos is great, and is on Netflix. If you want to watch videos about Cosmology just type in one of the popular physicist's names, Brian Greene, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss (his Universe from Nothing book is really great, so are his lectures about it), Sean Carroll etc.

Let me know if you want to talk, I'm always up for it.

u/trailrider · 3 pointsr/atheism

Well, you can get Lawrence Krauss's book or check out his Youtube lecture.

u/Semie_Mosley · 3 pointsr/atheism

A good book for you to read is A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence Krauss

It will answer your questions.

u/Deastside · 3 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

There is a great book called A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krauss that goes into great detail.

http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468

u/TheRamenator · 3 pointsr/DebateAChristian

No, the null hypothesis is "we don't know".
God(s) did it is a claim, as is it sprang into existence on its own. There is some evidence for the latter (1, 2)

u/heyguesswhatfuckyou · 3 pointsr/NoStupidQuestions

You should check out A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krauss. The whole book is an attempt to answer that very question.

u/MisanthropicScott · 2 pointsr/atheism

IMHO, the best refutations of the cosmological argument are:

  1. Turtles all the way down. If everything needs a cause, so does god. So, you have the infinite recursion of creator, creator creator, creator creator creator, etc. That's the philosophy 101 answer.

  2. The scientific answer is that it's just flat dead false that every effect needs a cause. Quantum mechanics does not truly follow that rule in the way that we're accustomed at the macro level. The early universe was in a quantum state. A more full version of this explanation can be obtained by watching the one hour video or reading the book "A Universe from Nothing" by Leonard Kraus.
u/DSchmitt · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

You can check out his book on the subject, or one of his lectures.

In brief, no matter or energy, time or space, but we still have a quantum foam. In this quantum foam, time and space, matter and energy can be created without cause. The non-existence of the quantum field can not exist, it always was and always will be. It is not dependent on time and space, matter and energy, and thus doesn't have a beginning or need a cause.

u/in_time_for_supper_x · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

> We have eye witness testimonies.

We supposedly have eye witness testimonies, because almost none of the witnesses (besides the apostles) are named, nor are they alive, and their "testimonies" were recorded many decades after Christ's supposed ascension. Besides that, witness testimonies are not enough to prove that supernatural events are even possible.

> There was a detective who works cold cases, and would convict people of crimes based on people's testimonies. He was an Atheist investigating the case for Christ. He found that the people's testimonies lined up, and he would consider them as viable evidence in court, and he came to the conclusion that it was all real.

There are many authors like this one, who think they have the silver bullet that will prove their religion, be it Christianity or Islam, who eventually engage in all sorts of fallacies and provide nothing of substance. I haven't read this guy's book to be honest (Cold-Case Christianity: A Homicide Detective Investigates the Claims of the Gospels), but I have read other books by Christians who claim that they can prove the "truth" of Christianity. Short summary: they haven't.

The fact of the matter is that these books do not stand to scrutiny. Have you ever read anything written by Bart Ehrman, or other real scholars? They would vehemently disagree with that guy's conclusions.

Bart Denton Ehrman is an American professor and scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is one of North America's leading scholars in his field, having written and edited 30 books, including three college textbooks. He has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring five New York Times bestsellers. Ehrman's work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity.

-- from WikiPedia

You should also read stuff by:

  • Richard Dawkins (i.e. The God Delusion, The Greatest Show On Earth, Unweaving the rainbow, etc.),

  • Lawrence Krauss (i.e. A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing),

  • Sean Caroll

    and other scientists if you want to see what science actually has to say about reality and about how grossly wrong the Bible is when it tries to make pronouncements on our physical reality.

    > Why do you not believe in the gospel accounts? They were hand written accounts by people who witnessed an event, or people who spoke to those people.

    That's the claim, not the evidence. It's people claiming to have witnessed supernatural events for which they have no evidence, and even more than that, all these witnesses are long dead. We have nothing but third hand accounts of people from 2000 years ago claiming to have seen or heard wildly fantastical things for which we don't have any evidence that they are even possible.

    Heck, we literally have millions of people still alive who swear that they have encountered aliens or have been abducted by aliens - this is a much better evidence than your supposed witnesses who are long dead by now - and it's still not nearly enough to prove that these aliens actually exist and that they have indeed been abducting people.

    > Some of the things Jesus spoke about is verifiable today. As I have pointed out about the Holy Spirit guiding people, and people being able to heal and cast out demons in Jesus' name.

    Many of Buddha's teachings are verifiable and valid today, yet that does nothing to prove Buddha's claims of the supernatural. Besides, you first have to demonstrate that there are such things as demons before even making a claim of being able to cast them out. Bring one of these "demons" into a research facility and then we'll talk. Otherwise, you're no different than the alien abduction people or the Bigfoot hunters.
u/Daide · 2 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

About the universe and what happened between t=0 and now? Well, I'd have to say start with Cosmos and you can also go with the documentary Sagan did of the same name. He touches on this subject in both of those.

Lawrence Krauss wrote A Universe from Nothing which goes into how there are explanations on how our universe could come to be without the need of the supernatural.

Victor Stenger has a bunch of books on this topic but I guess I might recommend The Falacy of Fine-Tuning.

u/PrecariousLee · 2 pointsr/TrueAtheism
u/Talibanned · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

Instead of restating what's been said a million times, I would suggest reading books like A Universe From Nothing. Its a great book which explains things in language people actually understand.

u/IRBMe · 2 pointsr/Christianity

> If you don't believe in God, what explanation do you have for the fact that there is a universe.

"The six primary Planets are revolv'd about the Sun, in circles concentric with the Sun, and with motions directed towards the same parts, and almost in the same plane. […] But it is not to be conceived that mere mechanical causes could give birth to so many regular motions. […] This most beautiful System of the Sun, Planets, and Comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being." -- Isaac Newton.

He would perhaps ask a similar question: if you don't believe in God, what explanation do you have for the fact that the planets proceed in such regular motions?

The continuation of Newton's work by French scholar, Pierre-Simon LaPlace, prompted Napoleon to remark on the absence of any mention of a creator in LaPlace's explanations of celestial mechanics; LaPlace famously replied, "I had no need of that hypothesis." Don't fall into the trap of God of the gaps reasoning as Newton did. Admit with honesty when you simply don't yet know the answer to a question and continue searching as LaPlace did.

To answer your question, however:

  • The Late astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist and astrobiologist, Carl Sagan responds.
  • Theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss answers in book form and in a lecture.
  • Theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking answers in a brief video and in a more detailed lecture.
  • Theoretical cosmologist Sean Carroll answers and addresses these exact issues in a debate with William Lane Craig.
  • Theoretical physicist and cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin explains.
  • Matt Dillahunty and Jeff Dee of The Atheist Experience responds.

    > Remember your basic maths/aritmatic, zero plus zero = ? or zero times zero = ?

    I want you to go do some research (you'll actually find it in many of the links I provided above). I want you to go away and find what the sum total energy of the entire universe is.

    Also, while playing with arithmetic, try it with imaginary numbers. If you add imaginary numbers, you only get more imaginary numbers, and if you multiply them, you get even less than nothing, if you see what I'm getting at.
u/Thistleknot · 2 pointsr/cosmology

http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468 says that the Universe is flat. They did it by using geometry measurements on the dispersion of the Microwave Background Radiation (some sort of measurement to test if it was curved).

u/jlew24asu · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion
  1. we dont know yet

    atheists dont know the answer and we are humble enough to accept and admit that. we actively support however, trying to find answers.


    if you really want to dive into this, one of the smartest men on earth (IMO) wrote a whole book on this one topic.

    https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468
u/tau-lepton · 2 pointsr/news

>While something can be used to make something else, we can't make something from nothing. It ain't do-able. Some people think you can, but you really can't make something from nothing and this is both observable, (confirmable), and obvious. You can change stuff into other stuff, but you can't create stuff from nothing. This is fundamental, basic, and important because it means Big Bang theory is incorrect, in so far as it states the Big Bang was the start of everything.

That’s wrong actually, physics is not as simple as you think. Here’s a decent read for the layman https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468

”Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing. With a new preface about the significance of the discovery of the Higgs particle, A Universe from Nothing uses Krauss’s characteristic wry humor and wonderfully clear explanations to take us back to the beginning of the beginning, presenting the most recent evidence for how our universe evolved—and the implications for how it’s going to end.”

u/faykin · 2 pointsr/atheism

In order of likelyhood of pissing off your friends:

.

Christopher Hitchens: "God is not Great"

This is a brutal and unforgiving deconstruction of theism. It won't make you any new friends, and might alienate your existing friends. I really enjoyed it.

Sam Harris: The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason

Another brutal deconstruction, this one is gentler and easier to stomach. Think mail fist in a velvet glove. This is only gentle in contrast to Hitchens.

Lawrence Krauss: A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

A more positive, life affirming approach. Still ruthlessly atheistic, but less evangelical than Hitchens and Harris. Warning: Complex ideas, complex writing, it's not an easy read. Fun, but not easy.

Richard Dawkins: An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

Similar to Krauss' book, but even easier to read. Dawkins does have a reputation for outspoken atheism, which will turn off some readers.

u/SplitReality · 2 pointsr/DebateAChristian

Well as I understand it there are a number of different kinds of multiverses that can exist. The one with the strongest evidence comes out of understanding of the inflation theory which is the currently widely accepted theory that fits with our observations. Inflation caused our universe to expand very rapidly shortly after its creation. After a short while that inflation stopped and created the universe that we see today.

However that stopping of inflation did not happen everywhere. We just happen to exit in a place where it did stop. Our pocket of reality exists in a still expanding...well I have no idea what that is, but whatever it is it is still expanding faster than the speed of light. From time to time other parts of the expanding...umm thing... will stop expanding and another universe will pop out. The point is that all these universes would be moving away from each other faster than the speed of light so there is no way they could interact with one another.

All of that comes as a natural consequence of our current theories of inflation which have substantial evidence to back them up. They are not proven, but they are our best current understanding. Other theories of multiuniverses come from string theory which I believe strive to be internally consistent but aren't backed by any physical evidence or observations.

Edit: I only know this because I just got done reading A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing. I'm an atheist but the book is too preachy for my taste. It's author Lawrence M. Krauss says the book came about from debates with theist and it shows. I wish it had stuck with the straight physics instead of diverging from time to time into discussions like would be found on this subreddit. Still, if you want to know more I'd suggest picking it up.

u/asianApostate · 2 pointsr/DebateReligion

Lawrence Krauss has done ground breaking research on what may have initiated the big bang. I don't know what you are calling the "timeless unknown," but there are forms of energy beyond the outskirts of our universe that can cause "Big bangs." There maybe many universes beyond our ability and instruments.


https://smile.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468?sa-no-redirect=1

>Science is limited by the human mind and the senses through which the human mind perceives the universe.

Science most definitely is not limited to the human senses as our instruments have allowed us to observe much more. Much of science is actually quite contrary to our senses.

Sure it is limited by the human mind but there are many minds in history that have made amazing discoveries that the ordinary minds did not.

Also not a big fan of the word magical to describe things outside of fiction. It is very non-specific and has implications, whether you mean it or not. Very counterproductive in a debate forum.

>There is another way to explore and discover and this is the inner dimension which is ultimately non physical.

What's an inner dimension and what have you discovered about it? The human mind is quite creative and sees patterns where they don't exist and is quite capable of fabrication of whole worlds of things. How will you prove your so called, "inner dimension?"

u/bokehtoast · 2 pointsr/Buddhism

Interesting article! I am actually about to start reading A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss.

u/pngwn45 · 2 pointsr/changemyview

>There is no conceivable mechanism by which the brain could generate consciousness, yet I am conscious.

Yes there is, check out I am a strange loop..

>There is no conceivable mechanism by which the universe and everything came into existence, yet here it is.

Yes there is check out A Universe from Nothing or The Grand Design.

You can argue these all you want, but (here's the important bit), even if there weren't conceivable mechanisms for these things, and even if our prior probability was really low for these things, we have roughly 10^500 times more evidence for our existance, and for our consciousness (ignoring the semantic problem with this word), than we have for things like para-psychology.

If I walked around every day, communicating with others psychically, and, when I ask the neighbor for sugar psychically, she comes over with some sugar, and when I psychically scream "Stop!" everyone stops and stares at me, then yes, I would be a fool to dismiss psychic communication.

This is exactly what happens with consciousness. I notice that people behave exactly as they would as if they are conscious (myself especially). If they weren't conscious, they (and I) would behave differently, so their behavior is a testing mechanism.

This is exactly what happens with existence. I notice that things... exist, and behave as if they exist. If something didn't exist, I wouldn't expect everyone to behave as if it did.

It's all about probabilities. nd with para-psychology, the probability is simply really, really tiny.

>He that will only believe what he can fully understand has either a very short creed or a very long head.

Your leaving out the other half here. While it may be stupid to only believe thing you completely understand (by the way, I believe many things that I only partially understand, advanced mathematics, for example), the alternative, believing everything you don't understand, is far more "stupid. (really, personal attacks, is that necessary)."

u/SanityInAnarchy · 2 pointsr/DebateAnAtheist

> Please provide sources for everything you say

Not everything requires a source. Besides which, you don't provide one.

> 1. The bible- it was written by many different people describing the same events.

Source?

> I don't see how multiple different people could all record the same thing if it wasn't true.

There are many ways:

  • They could each know what the other was saying, and all decide to lie together.
  • They could all be relying on the same misinformed source.
  • The entire account could be unreliable, even the account of who wrote what.

    You have provided no evidence to suggest that these things are not true about the Bible.

    > Also the bible doesn't seem like something someone would make up

    Really? It doesn't? Why is that?

    > William Craig has good arguments for this

    This is not a citation. William Lane Craig has written many things about the Bible. A citation would be a specific quote which we can verify that he actually said -- or, failing that, a transcript of the argument in question. You've provided neither.

    > 2. Risk of athiesm

    You're going to have to be more specific. What, exactly, do you see as a risk here? If you are thinking of Pascal's Wager, it is an absurd false dichotomy -- see my response to your point 4 below.

    > 3. Big Bang theory- how can there be something from nothing

    If you really want to know, there is an entire book no the subject, written by an accomplished physicist. The TL;DR is: We don't know yet whether the question even makes sense, but there's several theoretical models for how this could be the case.

    As an example, in one model, time began with the Big Bang, so the notion of the Big Bang coming from anything is incoherent. So the Big Bang isn't "something from nothing", because as soon as you say "from" in that sentence, you're talking nonsense -- it's as if you asked "What's North of the North Pole?"

    But the short answer is, we don't know how the universe began yet. We have some ideas of how something could come from nothing (and routinely does), but we don't know that this is how the Universe began.

    So, your turn. How can something come from nothing? Because that is exactly what the Bible says God did, right? If not, where did God get the stuff he made the Universe from?

    > 4. What if the devil really is deceiving me

    Good question. What if he is? I don't mean about atheism, necessarily -- what if he's deceiving you about religion?

    Think about it. Would it be beyond Satan's power to produce a book, and influence major historical figures to spread it as a false religion? What if Jesus was really the Antichrist in disguise, and you damn yourself to Hell with every prayer? The Bible itself, in Revelations (chapter 13, I think), talks about the Beast's rise to power, in which he spreads a false religion as a false prophet -- how do you know you're not following a false religion already? Surely, if the Beast had the chance, he would rewrite the Bible to make himself seem like the hero.

    So... I can't help you with your fear about the devil deceiving you, but atheism is certainly no worse off than religion in that regard. You could be deceived by the Devil, or you could be trapped in the Matrix, or any number of things. The only way your mind can function, the only way you can get anything done, is to assume that you are not -- to at least assume that your mind is mostly your own, and begin to reason about what else you can know.
u/NukeThePope · 2 pointsr/atheism

No, a book about the Big Bang will talk about the Big Bang. Any coverage of the universe's origin would be optional.

If you want the OP to read a book, then recommend one that explains this stuff! Probably the most worthy popular book on this topic at the moment is A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krauss, which is explicitly dedicated to this topic.

u/Bakeshot · 2 pointsr/Christianity

Well I was trying to be cordial in correction, but you see this now as an opportunity to play a victim and call us a circle jerk. In fact, that's all you really seem to be doing is telling us that we should "stop hiding behind our beliefs", that there is "no reason to believe in the supernatural", and that we're "sad". I'm trying to reach out, as the 1 Peter verse you so appropriately quoted has said, in a spirit of gentleness and respect, but it seems you'd rather just mock people. The reason we have rule 5 is because there are enough people saying "gOD DON'T REAL" on reddit, and it's redundant to have people constantly coming in and saying:

> Everything we know about our universe can be explained through natural means, including the origin of the universe itself (see this book[1] ).

This sub exists to discuss Christianity. If you'd like to debate the value in a naturalistic philosophy, other subreddits exist for that.

u/ThisIsMyRedditLogin · 2 pointsr/DebateAChristian

You should check out this book. Even if you disagree with it after finishing it, you'll have learned a great deal about the current state of our knowledge of cosmology and where it's going.

u/RedditoryInstincts · 2 pointsr/Physics

Just look at your sentence: What CAUSED the Big Bang. Cause. Causative, Causation, Cause. Whatever "caused" the Big Bang was causative, by literal definition. If X caused Y, X was causative, no matter what X is.

The question, and answer, are a bit confusing because of how physics describes an "empty" universe. Check out A Universe from Nothing.

u/55erg · 2 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Yes, quantum fluctuations - where stuff can pop into existence out of empty space - is proven fact.

It's as exciting as it is disturbing when you think about it. But then the laws of physics don't really care much about our feelings.

Reading up further I would suggest Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Introduction_to_quantum_mechanics

And a good book on the wider subject is A Universe From Nothing by Lawrence Krauss
http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468

u/Battle4Seattle · 2 pointsr/evolution

I believe that a question prefaced with "If evolution simply came out of nothing...", is a subset of the question "Did the universe simply come out of nothing?". The physicist Lawrence Krauss wrote a book called "A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing" that explains how it is possible that the universe did in fact evolve out of nothing. There's also videos on YouTube of him explaining this, and here's one of them.

Once you can wrap your mind around that possibility, it can then be inferred that just about everything else could also come out of nothing, including evolution.

u/BrosEquis · 1 pointr/changemyview

>There was NOTHING and then something was created out of that.
The latter is foolish. There can not be "nothing", no existence of any kind, but if you are an atheist you must believe that it is true. Telling me that there was nothing makes absolutely zero sense and makes you look as foolish as the (religious) creationists you mock.

While I don't refute your view that it's foolish to assert to know definitively that there's a God or not with 100% clarity, I got an issue with this point of yours. It's incomplete. It's possible to have a valid and sound hypothesis of the origins of the universe that does not require a God of any kind.

Read the book A universe from nothing by a leading astrophysicist from MIT. There's also a
video lecture by him discussing this same point. It discusses just how empty empty space is (hint: it's not) and how mathematically provable that our universe could have sprung from nothing.

In the end, you can't prove or disprove the existence of God. You may only adapt a world-view that includes a higher power or not.

I hope you took away that some people aren't as naive as you make them out to be.

u/GardenSaladEntree · 1 pointr/todayilearned
u/JustWantToDie5 · 1 pointr/science2

The whole Universe... came from nothing. Krauss presents a compelling case, relating it to things we know are happening all the time, virtual particles forming and disappearing again, and there's always the theory which looks pretty good so far, that the total energy of the Universe is zero.

Where'd it all come from? a quantum mechanical anomaly, random chance, an accident of something that shouldn't have happened, but did anyway - which is why we're here to see it, but if it hadn't, we wouldn't be. What started it? Nothing, it came from nothing, before it was nothing, really nothing, no time, no space, no matter, no energy, no anything.

u/brojangles · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

I don't have a theory of everything, no, but I am referencing books like Laurence Krauss's A Universe from Nothing amd Stephen Hawkings' The Grand Design


Here is a youtube video of Krauss explaining it.

u/aketzle · 1 pointr/exjw

Very good advice. Another good suggestion on the origin of the universe: "A Universe from Nothing" by Lawrence Krauss. (http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1451528265&sr=1-1&keywords=lawrence+krauss+books)

The "I just don't believe it could have come from nothing" argument is, according to her, the reason my mother keeps going back to the JWs. My husband and I gave her this book to read, but of course she didn't read it. Of course, how you get from, "Maybe we didn't come from nothing," to, "Therefore the JWs have the right religion" is a mind-boggling leap of conclusions to anyone who thinks about it. But then, they're trained explicitly not to do that. :)

u/amateurphilosopheur · 1 pointr/askphilosophy

Here's a quick and dirty summary of some of my favourite arguments against Christianity and related religions:

  1. Evolutionary theory defeats the argument from design/Paley's watch: complex organic design and adaptation - as well as all associated phenomena, such as speciation and diversity - can be explained more successfully in naturalistic terms, via natural selection and the other empirically well-confirmed mechanisms of evolution.

  2. Quantum mechanics defeats the first mover/cosmological/something-can't-come-from-nothing argument: Quantum mechanics shows the universe can in fact materialize from nothing (see [A Universe from Nothing] (http://www.amazon.ca/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468)), and that this kind of creation ex nihilo happens all the time; also, multiverse theory shows our universe may just be one of many. Hence something can in fact come from nothing; and the need for a first cause, God, is specious (it is just as likely that the multiverse has existed forever and will continue eternally).

  3. There are logical contradictions inherent in the notion of an omnipotent, omniscient, benevolent creator (theodicy): for instance, such a god would want and be able to eliminate all evil, yet evil exists.

  4. The ontological argument assumes existence is a property, which (thanks to Kant, Frege, and Russell) we have reason to think [it is not] (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/existence/#FreRusExiNotProInd). Plus - and this may be more damning - the whole argument depends on us accepting a stipulated definition, as well as assuming existing is more perfect (whatever that means) than not-existing; 'definitional arguments' like these aren't all that convincing.

    As you can see, some of these arguments are empirical/scientific in nature while others have more of a logical/philosophical/a priori flavour. I myself tend to find the former more compelling, but together I think they make a knock-down case. In other words, once the two biggest pillars of support for Christianity (complex design, the universe's origin) are removed, what you have left is conceptual issues with the theory.
u/ses1 · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

>In these previous posts, we have one of the world's leading cosmologists, Don Page, (who happens to be an Evangelical Christian) disagreeing with your assessment. We have another, Sean Carroll, who also disagrees.

Okay, let’s play dueling cosmologists! Stephen Hawking thinks the universe had a beginning. Lawrence Krauss wrote a book where he says the universe sprang from nothing.

So this line of argument is pointless.

>Even the BGV theorem states that “almost all” inflationary models of the universe (as opposed to Dr. Craig’s “any universe”) will reach a boundary in the past – meaning our universe probably doesn’t exist infinitely into the past.

You are incorrect, once again. See below.

>Alex Vilenkin further goes on to state…

But Alex Vilenkin also said this: If someone asks me whether or not the theorem I proved with Borde and Guth implies that the universe had a beginning, I would say that the short answer is "yes". If you are willing to get into subtleties, then the answer is "No, but..." So, there are ways to get around having a beginning, but then you are forced to have something nearly as special as a beginning.

This is where the “almost all” comes into play. The Aguirre-Gratton model and the Carroll-Chen model “get around” the BVG but their models fail for other reasons.

And what did Alex Vilenkin think of WLC’s handling of the BVG theorem?

During a debate Krauss basically accused WLC of misrepresenting the BVG theorem. WLC contacted Vilenkin to see if what he thought of the way WLC as using the BVG

Vilenkin: I would say the theorem makes a plausible case that there was a beginning. and I think you represented what I wrote about the BGV theorem in my papers and to you personally very accurately source

Furthermore Vilenkin, and graduate student Audrey Mithani, used mathematics to examine three potential logistical loopholes in the 2003 theorem, strengthening the original premise that the universe did, in fact, begin Or see a more technical paper

>So, I've shown leading cosmologists who disagree with you, and even the V of the BGV trio that you are using to support your claim disagrees.

You’ve shown 2 leading cosmologists who disagree with me and I’ve shown 2 that do agree with me. But I’ve also shown, right out of Vilenkin own mouth and via what he wrote, you are completely wrong about the BVG

>So, how can you claim you have a JTB about the origin of the Universe?

The BVG theorem, to start.

>The truth is, unless you have come up with a theory that harmonizes quantum mechanics with the theory of relativity, then nobody has the math to see past the Planck Epoch.

As Alex Vilenkin says the BVG theorem is independent of this.

>Thus, nobody can make a claim as to what existed or didn't exist prior to the Big Bang.

But we are talking about whether the universe began; it did according to the best data that we currently have.

Once we conclude that it did have a beginning we can then get onto what caused it.

So, your claim that the premises of the KCA are “unsupported” has fallen on its face, and thus the universe must have had a cause.

>This is what WLC claims it states, but as I quoted above that's not what the theory states. It says almost all inflationary models (not any universe as WLC erroneously claims) will reach a space-time boundary (not a "beginning" as WLC claims).

Refuted above by Vilenkin above on two counts. One, WLC represented the BVG well, and two Vilenkin says the universe began - in the last couple of minutes Vilenkin says explicitly that the universe began.

As I said your claim that premises of the KCA are unsupported can be dismissed as unintelligible.

>I have shown how this cannot be a JTB because we cannot have knowledge of what occurred before the Planck Epoch. We can speculate, but currently this is speculation only.

Since we have now established that both premises of the KCA are JTB’s based on what we currently know, therefore, the universe requires a cause.


>….I'm not claiming the Singularity existed for all eternity. Rather, I'm saying we can't know, with our current knowledge, the nature of the Singularity. I'm not saying it's eternal, or that it's not. I'm saying we don't know.

So you take no position. Why does this come as no surprise. But that doesn't matter. We know [JTB] that an infinite regress of causes is impossible, nor can something cause itself into existence, therefore there must be uncaused metaphysical necessity; a MNC.

We have no evidence of anything that existed before the universe. Thus we can say that this MNC caused the universe into existence. Why do I say this? Occam’s razor. We know the universe exists, we know that it must have been caused, we have no reason to think that is any intermediary between the two.

So, space, time, and matter began to exist. What could have caused them to begin to exist.

Whatever causes the universe to appear is not bound by time (temporal). There was no passage of time causally prior to the big bang, so the cause of the universe did not come into being. The cause existed eternally.

And the cause is not material. All the matter in the universe came into being at the first moment. Whatever caused the universe to begin to exist cannot have been matter, because there was no matter causally prior to the big bang.

So what could the cause be? Abstract objects, like numbers, sets and mathematical relations - but they have no causal powers.

Minds, like our own mind, can create things like poems and novels.

>The infinite regression? It may be a problem, sure. It's also not a problem that is solved by adding a deity, because if this deity is eternal, then it also extends infinitely into the past. The only way around this (that I see, at least), is to special plead the problem as not applicable to the deity.

You are confused. An infinite regress of causes is impossible, not an uncaused MN. And it isn’t special pleading since atheists the world over used to say the universe was this MN.

>Not exactly. Not only is the Universe having an ontological beginning (a cause is a different point) something we cannot know, this is dangerously close to being an "MNC of the Gaps".

If atheists accepted the universe as an MN, then it is special pleading on your part to try and disallow it now.

>Further, if the Singularity existed for all of eternity, and the initial conditions were sufficient to cause the universe, then why isn’t the universe eternal?
Why would it have to be eternal, even if the Singularity is?

If you are postulating the Singularity as the MNC why would it “decide” to create the universe ~13.8 billion years ago? If the cause is sufficient from eternity then the effect should happen at that point - from eterinty.

But if this MNC was a mind with a will then it could decide to create the universe ~13.8 billion years ago. Problem solved.

u/creepindacellar · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

this really was a good book, if OP really wanted our best understanding of what "nothing" is, and why it is so hard to come by.


"A Universe from Nothing" by Lawrence Krauss

u/nolan1971 · 1 pointr/explainlikeimfive

You're assuming that we don't have evidence, though. That was more of less true even as recently as the 1980s, but there's been a ton of work done on cosmology since then.

I suggest A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing as a decent starting point. There are other good books on the subject out there as well, but I like Krauss' writing style. Echo of the Big Bang is good as well, even if it's getting a bit dated.

Anyway, I get it. Cosmology (and a lot of physics in general) is unintuitive. Which is why relying on intuitive experience is a Bad Idea™.

u/FattyWantCake · 1 pointr/Catholicism

Your god is 'something'and doesn't provide an answer. Also we've never demonstrated that nothingness is possible, so it's a faulty premise.

The short answer is, we don't know for sure (and regressing one level by saying 'god' is insufficient), but if you want the best current explanation, and to get into the meat of the question rather than the semantics, though, see; multiverse theory and the anthropic principle.

Furthermore, science is a self-correcting mechanism, not the end-all-be-all answer that religion claims to be. Not a 1-to-1 on the claims they make.

Edit: a more nuanced, actual physicist's answer to your question: https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468

u/dog_on_the_hunt · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

Reported? For what? Baffling...

A Universe from Nothing

>One of the few prominent scientists today to have crossed the chasm between science and popular culture, Krauss describes the staggeringly beautiful experimental observations and mind-bending new theories that demonstrate not only can something arise from nothing, something will always arise from nothing.

Of course, that's nonsense and he's been taken to task for his definition of "nothing" – but, yeah, he thinks "the Big Bang started from literally nothing..."

I'm honestly baffled why citing a scientist who premiumsalad claims doesn't exist is a problem for this sub. But, yeah, this will certainly be my last post here. Cheers.

u/Urobolos · 1 pointr/atheism

I enjoyed reading a Universe from Nothing by Lawrence Krauss.

u/TheFeshy · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

Nothing about your claims of "self-evidence" is true in my case.

> These beliefs are ones you cannot help but believe; for example, the belief that you exist.

Descartes? "I think, therefore I am?" That's evidence, not self-evidence (though it is evidence for self.) I find it convincing; but then I have a strong bias. This isn't about sufficiency of evidence though; it's about evidence vs. self-evidence.

But how do you take it beyond that? How do you extend it to observations, to the universe, to reality? There are two choices there:

> Most of us also posses pragmatism as a self-evident belief.

"Most" people don't think about it at all. "Most" people are content to think their smartphones are magic. Scientists aren't most people. I'm no most people. And if you're thinking about this topic enough to have this conversation, you're not most people in this respect either. So let's look beyond the pragmatism of "not thinking about epistemology and empiricism won't get me eaten by a tiger, so why bother" and get on with the conversation.

I do consider the possibility the universe is a simulation, or that I'm a brain in a jar being fed stimulus (Actually it's hard to distinguish that testably from surfing reddit, but I digress.) Why not? But those avenues of thought don't lead very far; I feel I've considered them sufficiently. They haven't lead to useful insights yet (saving perhaps the holographic principle), but I remain open to the possibility. Pragmatism has it's place; you can't philosophies if you don't pay attention to things like not dying, but that's evidence for its necessity, not its sufficiency. Think further.

> Why is the sky blue? Because you see it as blue. How do you know that it actually is blue? You don't, but you [presumably] find it self-evidently more rational to assume that what you see is representative of reality, via pragmatism, or a similar philosophy.

And this is where I differ vastly from your preconceived notions of me. I believe the sky is blue because, when I was nine, I built a crude spectroscope and measured it (It's actually mostly white, by the way, with a small but significant increase in the intensity of blue light over what is expected of black-body radiation. Not counting sunset of course. And neglecting absorption lines - I was in third grade, the thing wasn't precise enough for that!)

So that's evidence the sky is blue (and that I was an unusual kid), not "self-evidence." Although in this case, actually observing the sky with your eyes is still evidence; our eyes may be flawed in many ways, but they are sufficient for distinguishing between at least a few million gradations between 390-700 nm wavelengths. That's quite sufficient for narrowing it down to "blue."

That's exactly what I mean about what people consider "self-evidence" actually being evidence they've seen so often they've forgotten it's evidence. You note the approximate visible wavelength of the sky many times a day; it's actually quite well established by repeated observation that (barring systematic errors in our visual processes) it's blue.

> But, if someone did not share this self-evident belief, they would find it quite irrational to assume that the sky is indeed blue in reality, as opposed to merely in your perception of it.

So let's say this happened - let's say someone said the sky was green. Well, there are two possibilities, and we can distinguish between them by showing them other objects with similar emission or reflection spectra. One is that they see these other purportedly blue objects as green. No problem! They simply use "green" to mean "blue." Half a billion people use azul instead, so this is no big deal.

The other possibility is that every other blue thing we can test looks blue to this person, but they still insist the sky is green. This again leads to two possibilities. One is that the sky really is green just for this individual and most of what we have determined about reality is false. The other is that this person has a psychological condition that makes him believe the sky is green. Do we have to accept that the sky is simply self-evidently green to him? Nope! Science!

Put him in a room, and through one slit allow in natural sunlight, and through another match the spectrum of solar light with artificial light as closely as possible. Vary which slit is which. Can this person regularly identify the "green" sky? (specifically compared to control groups?) If not, we can conclude he sees the sky as green due to a psychological condition, not something indicative of reality. This is surprisingly common - just read up on dowsing for instance. There are people convinced they can detect water with sticks, but every one of them fail in tests to do so at rates above random chance. (Dowsers got away with this in old days because when you dug a well, you'd only have to hit a state-sized aquifer.)

The alternative, if he can regularly identify the sky slit as green, and assuming that other possibilities have been excluded, is that reality really doesn't work the way we think it does. Maybe he's a separate brain in a separate jar. Maybe light waves like certain people better. Maybe what we thought were photons were just faeries and they're screwing with us for fun. Whatever the case, though, we'd now have evidence for it. Not "self-evidence" but actual evidence.

Now, you can argue that maybe reality doesn't matter - maybe that person's psychological condition that makes him see a green sky is just as important as the blue sky. Maybe it makes him happier or donate to charity more or whatever, so we should leave him alone. All fine arguments, but they would be separate discussions.

From your other link:

> I also concluded that by logic, existence itself is uncaused.

That remains to be seen. Well-tested theories still leave open other possibilities; though obviously we haven't yet tested these possibilities. But since your basis for belief, according to the other thread, was on the necessity of an uncaused creation in violation of natural laws, I thought you might be interested to know that there are some hypothesis regarding said creation that fit within those laws.

u/jkirlans5282 · 1 pointr/MastermindBooks

I read The particle at the end of the universe as well, I'd recommend
Lawrence Krauss' a universe from nothing.
http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

u/09112001 · 1 pointr/atheism

The average atheist is a layman just like anyone else, we aren't quantum physicists so we (generally speaking) couldn't possibly explain nor should we be expected to explain the prevailing theories on how "something can come from nothing".... the point of being an atheist is not that you know everything up to and including that a god didn't create the universe, it's that you LACK belief in any god(s) that have ever been proposed due to lack of objective and peer-reviewed evidence to support their purported existence(s).

On that note, in regard to your questions, this might be a good starting point:

http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468/ref=asap_B000AP7AZS?ie=UTF8

u/DiggerW · 1 pointr/atheism

I have not read this book, but I've heard nothing but very positive reviews of it (from other non-believers, granted), and it's written specifically to speak to this question:

A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing, by Lawrence Krauss

u/mhornberger · 1 pointr/DebateReligion

Thanks for your response. My understanding and phrasing came from these sources:

  1. Parallel Worlds: A Journey Through Creation, Higher Dimensions, and the Future of the Cosmos
  2. Many Worlds in One: The Search for Other Universes
  3. The Inflationary Universe
  4. The Hidden Reality: Parallel Universes and the Deep Laws of the Cosmos
  5. Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality
  6. A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing

    Yes, I read all of those. Several of them more than once. I've been reading about inflationary cosmology for a little less than a decade. Wikipedia's page on eternal inflation is also an interesting read, though brief. Regarding ontology, I'd welcome any argument you'd like to make. I'm not an expert in the scholastics, but I've been reading apologetics on and off for a couple of decades. I was treating ontology as being "the study of what there is," to quote the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. If that's too broad for you, please make an argument, or clarify what you're claiming.
u/WalkingHumble · 1 pointr/DebateAChristian

>Single point... a very hot and dense... already existing... single point... which rapidly expanded (the expansion being the Big Bang).

Ahh gotcha, so this is what you're talking about asking for proof the universe began.

Then I'd recommend the following further reading:

A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss
The Grand Design by Stephen Hawking
The Inflationary Universe by Alan Guth

>Universe was not created per evidence.

There's a high level primer here.

u/nietzkore · 1 pointr/DebateAnAtheist

There is no evidence that the universe has a beginning, or therefore a cause. Our universe could be an extension of a multiverse. The universe could be cyclical. The universe could be created by an alien race in another universe, which is sufficiently advanced so that they have complete control over time and space. The universe could be a lot of things. We can make theories about what those hypotheticals are, but we have zero way of testing them right now. That would require reach we don't yet posses.

There is no reason why the answer to those hypothetical situations is better served as "God" rather than any of a billion other possibilities.

Read A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing by Lawrence Krauss or interview a physics professor for more information. Maybe start an /r/askscience thread if you really want to know. The answer to this question is unconnected to whether or not Jesus could walk on water, if Elijah ascended bodily into heaven, or whether Mohammed could spit in a man's eye to heal it.

u/MeeHungLowe · 1 pointr/atheism
u/CallMeObadiah · 1 pointr/atheism

I would like to highlight the bottom part of the book and leave the link to Lawrence Krauss's book A Universe From Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing

http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468

TLDR: "Nothing is unstable, and anytime you have nothing, you always get something, so long as it disappears eventually."

u/Japjer · 1 pointr/NoStupidQuestions

We don't really know. It could be literally infinite, but it's too large to understand.

One interesting take I heard, while reading Lawrence Krauss' A Universe From Nothing was the idea that we're just a microverse within a grand universe.

I can't explain for shit, but picture it like this: you have a massive, single Universe. It's a whirling, unstable realm of probability and crashing dimensions, with an unfathomable size.

In this grand Universe, a eight separate dimensions collide and release a huge amount of energy. It bubbles outward for a hundred thousand years or so, then collapses. A separate location has six dimensions collide, creating some matter and antimatter, expands for a billion years or so, theb collapses. This is happening billions of times per second, with most of those little bubbles forming and immediately collapsing, a few others lasting for a billion or so years, and a very few stabilizing and lasting nearly indefinitely.

Our universe is that last one. Just a single, tiny expanding bubble. A galaxy in a larger universe. There are probably others, but they are so far apart that there is no way to imagine the distance (the nearest stable 'verse could be two trillion 'verse-lengths away).

u/FreakyRiver · 1 pointr/atheism

Regarding #2: I think the physicist Lawrence Krauss actually did say 'something came from nothing', or actually, "A Universe from Nothing".

u/badcatdog · 1 pointr/atheism

I never made that claim.

Probably your bias is so strong that you cannot read correctly. It is blinding you to the simple truth of my words.

I would not use the word "created" for example.

The subject of the early universe falls under the scientific domain of cosmology.

May I recommend "A Universe from Nothing" by professor Lawrence Krauss:

http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468

It tries to make the current scientific understanding of the early universe accessible to the lay man.

u/shankpuppet · 1 pointr/space

If you want your mind blown with some very cool cosmological theories, I suggest reading A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing (Lawrence M. Krauss). He's a famous atheist, but even a believer can read this book just for the science, it's very well-written.

u/AnanymousGamer · 1 pointr/atheism

Glad to help. He references a book of his, maybe you could check that out as well. Enjoy your day!
Book: http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468
P.S. - Good to know you are interested in science. The world needs more rational thinkers and discovering enraptures within it.

u/lurker_joe · 1 pointr/atheism

It is a problem, but I think us atheists have faith that science will some day figure it out, if the answer isn't one that is outside the bounds of human knowledge.

Lawrence Krauss' "A Universe from Nothing" is on my list of books for this summer. It seems to me physics is making way with this, though.

u/johninbigd · 1 pointr/evolution

It's a good question why there is something rather than nothing. I suggest you read this book or at least watch the related YouTube videos.

https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468

u/eddyg987 · 1 pointr/ethtrader

https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468

​

read this book, let me know if it makes any sense. My guess is there is nothing still, like -1 + 1 kind of deal.

u/hurricanelantern · 1 pointr/atheism

>That doesn't explain what was before the Big Bang

There was no 'before' space-time was created by the big bang.

>An alternate reality could have existed with no Big Bang

[Citation Needed]

>so really you can't explain the catalyst for the Big Bang and why it happened.

Not true.

u/iHaveAgency · 1 pointr/atheism

Why is there something rather than nothing?

A deep question that has been asked, and answered, in Lawrence Krauss' book, A Universe From Nothing (Wikipedia entry - Amazon book sales - Krauss Lecture#1 - Krauss Lecture#2 - YT e-book, read by Krauss himself)

u/spin_kick · 1 pointr/space

Winning the lottery 50 times in a row has mathematical odds. Its unlikely, but possible. You dont need the supernatural for it to happen.

The same goes for matter popping into existence. Its entirely possible without a prime mover, intelligent force, space aliens or the flying spagetti monster. (see: https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468)

We dont even know if there was a "beginning". It may have always been. What sign tells you there was a beginning?

You cant go beyond science; its not a "thing"; its a way of observing your environment to learn more through proof. If you need to look for signs, its obvious you are looking for something that isnt there.

u/number1eaglesfan · 0 pointsr/tifu

I'm also Christian, but you might want to read this to understand some things better:
https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468

u/DEEGOBOOSTER · 0 pointsr/DebateReligion

>I don't know any physicist who would say we "came from" nothing at all.

Me neither, but there are influential people out there writing books about the topic. I.E. A Universe from Nothing by Lawrence Krauss (although Krauss is a Theoretical Physicist)

>I should clarify that I mean "something that is self-existent" in the vaguest and most non restrictive way possible: quantum foam or universe generator of a sort of higher order multi verse space, for instance.

Of course :)

u/revericide · 0 pointsr/worldnews

My advice to you is to read a book. The ones I pointed out would be a good start, but if you can't handle actual scholarly works yet, the Bible and Doctor Seuss aren't going to get you terribly far. So try finding a library. Pick up Heinlein, Asimov and Clarke. Then maybe you can graduate on to Jack Diamond and Graeber before tackling Pinker, Sagan and Krauss.

Read a book.

u/feomothar · 0 pointsr/explainlikeimfive

Short answer: spontaneous quantum fluctuations, but i recommend you read
http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468" this

u/Parrot132 · 0 pointsr/atheism

>No physicist said 'something came from nothing'.

  1. Lawrence Krauss is a physicist.

  2. In his YouTube video and related book, both titled "A Universe from Nothing", Lawrence Krauss says exactly that.

  3. Therefore, you lose.

u/moon-worshiper · -1 pointsr/TrueAtheism

Recent Zen realization:

The sound of one hand clapping is a longitudinal displacement wave.

It explains BAO (baryon acoustic oscillation).

Zen explains quantum mechanics, superposition and entanglement.

Another Zen koan that is enlightening every day:

Infinity lies in a flower petal.

The best synthesis of mathematics and Zen is "The Tao of Physics". Capra needs to write a new book to consolidate the findings of the past few decades.
https://www.amazon.com/Tao-Physics-Exploration-Parallels-Mysticism/dp/1590308352

The Zen koan, "First there was a mountain, then there was no mountain, then there was" is like a mini-review of "A Universe from Nothing".
https://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468

It is also a synopsis of Schrodinger's Cat.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/speaking-of-science/wp/2016/05/27/schrodingers-cat-just-got-even-weirder-and-even-more-confusing/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.31a786e1acd5

Physics is finding everything is nothing and nothing is everything, matter plus anti-matter equals nothing. Physics and Zen are on the same perfect circle path, a perfect circle with no beginning or end, with a center with no center.
A center with no center

u/Metsubo · -1 pointsr/quantum

Yes. Dr Lawrence Krauss wrote the answer to that in a book. Here's a video too.
http://www.amazon.com/Universe-Nothing-There-Something-Rather/dp/1451624468
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbsGYRArH_w