Home » Intelligent Design » Arthur Stanley Eddington, Darwinists, and Repugnant Notions

Arthur Stanley Eddington, Darwinists, and Repugnant Notions

I have no “philosophical axe to grind” in this discussion. Philosophically, the notion of a beginning of the present order of Nature is repugnant to me. I am simply stating the dilemma to which our present fundamental conception of physical law leads us. I see no way round it; but whether future developments of science will find an escape I cannot predict. The dilemma is this: Surveying our surroundings, we find them to be far from a “fortuitous concourse of atoms”. The picture of the world, as drawn in existing physical theories shows arrangements of the individual elements for which the odds are multillions to 1 against an origin by chance. Some people would like to call this non-random feature of the world purpose or design; but I will call it non-committally anti-chance. We are unwilling in physics that anti-chance plays any part in the reactions between the systems of billions of atoms and quanta that we study; and indeed all our experimental evidence goes to show that these are governed by the laws of chance. Accordingly, we sweep anti-chance out of the laws of physics–out of the differential equations. Naturally, therefore, it reappears in the boundary conditions, for it must be got into the scheme somewhere. By sweeping it far enough away from the sphere of our current physical problems, we fancy we have got rid of it. It is only when some of us are so misguided as to try to get back billions of years into the past that we find the sweepings all piled up like a high wall and forming a boundary–a beginning of time–which we cannot climb over.

A way out of the dilemma has been proposed which seems to have found favour with a number of scientific workers. I oppose it because I think it is untenable, not because of any desire to retain the present dilemma, I should like to find a genuine loophole. But that does not alter my conviction that the loophole that is at present being advocated is a blind alley.

Eddington AS. 1931. The end of the world: from the standpoint of mathematical physics. Nature 127:447-453.

The “way out of the dilemma” that Eddington references, and which he rejects, is: “If we have a number of particles moving about at random, they will in the course of time go through every possible configuration, so that even the most orderly, the most non-chance configuration, will occur by chance if only we wait long enough.”

Eddington was clearly conflicted, and if I understand him correctly, he recognizes that when physics is pushed back to the origin of the universe, design (or “anti-chance”) seems to rear its ugly head in the form of physical law, and he would like to find a way out of this, because he finds the idea repugnant (despite his seemingly contradictory claim that he has no “philosophical axe to grind”).

Here’s an interesting thought (at least to me): When life is pushed back to its origins, design (or “anti-chance”) seems to rear its ugly head. This idea might be philosophically repugnant to some, but what if it is true?

It appears to me that Eddington was desperate to find an excuse to deny that design underlies the physical universe, despite the fact that evidence was making it increasingly clear.

Are Darwinists doing the same thing with the origin of life?

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

49 Responses to Arthur Stanley Eddington, Darwinists, and Repugnant Notions

  1. The whole materialistic philosophy is in a state of denial about the truth.

    1. Materialism did not predict the big bang, Yet Theism always said the universe was created.
    2. Materialism did not predict a sub-atomic (quantum) world that blatantly defies our concepts of time and space, Yet Theism always said the universe is the craftsmanship of God who is not limited by time or space.
    3. Materialism did not predict the fact that time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light, as revealed by Einstein’s theory of relativity, Yet Theism always said that God exists in a timeless eternity.
    4. Materialism did not predict the stunning precision for the underlying universal constants, for the universe, found in the Anthropic Principle, Yet Theism always said God laid the foundation of the universe, so the stunning clockwork precision found for the various universal constants is not at all unexpected for Theism.
    5. Materialism did not predict the fact that the DNA code is, according to Bill Gates, far, far more advanced than any computer code ever written by man, Yet Theism would have naturally expected this level of complexity in the DNA code.
    6. Materialism presumed a extremely beneficial and flexible mutation rate for DNA, which is not the case at all. Yet Theism would have naturally presumed such a high if not, what very well may be, complete negative mutation rate to an organism’s DNA.
    7. Materialism presumed a very simple first life form. Yet the simplest life ever found on Earth is, according to Geneticist Michael Denton PhD., far more complex than any machine man has made through concerted effort. Theism would have naturally expected this.

    Plus, I Find it very interesting that materialism had to invent hypothetical particles to keep the equations of Gravity working properly when Theism would of predicted Gravity as a primary cause and would not have seen a need to invent them. Are not atomic particles the result of various forces acting on energy anyway?

  2. Um . . . I’m sorry? I think you’ve misunderstood something here. All of these scientific discoveries were made in a purely materialistic paradigm. Even then, these are not the kind of things that materialism would be “predicting”, other than that they have been explained in a materialistic sense (not to the satisfaction of all, but that’s not the point here).

  3. I don’t mean to come off as contrary, Phevans, But the materialistic philosophy or paragigm as you call it, does indeed make specific predictions from its premise; chance acting on a “eternal” material base is responsible for all known phenomena we observe. As well, the Philosophy of Theism also makes specific predictions from its premise; a primary cause of “God” who exists in a timeless eternity created all material reality we observe.

    These two viewpoints are diametrically opposed, And when compared side by side Theism is, by far, the stronger premise in its accuracy for what man would actually discover in his pursuit of knowledge.

  4. And materialism once held that life spontaneously generated from non-life.
    Actually, I suppose it still does.

  5. And materialism once held that life spontaneously generated from non-life.
    Actually, I suppose it still does.

    Yeah, it reminds of Frankenstein’s monster or zombies. Pasteur killed it, but some madman injected it with Deep Time and made it rise again to shuffle around and scare the townsfolk.

  6. And a quote for bornagain77 @ 1:

    “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries.”

    Robert Jastrow

  7. So I was reading the wiki article on Eddington, and stumbled upon a paragraph:

    However, recent historical examinations of the case have shown that the raw data were inconclusive, and that Eddington was arbitrarily selective in choosing which results to use. For a detailed account, see predictive power.

    So I clicked on predictive power to see what it is all about. And on that page further down I find a heading Other examples.
    Reading the next paragraph stunned me, yet I am on wikipedia and i shouldn’t be more surprised.

    It reads:
    Other examples of predictive power of theories or models include Dmitri Mendeleev’s use of his periodic table to predict previously undiscovered chemical elements and their properties (though largely correct, he misjudged the relative atomic masses of tellurium and iodine), and Charles Darwin’s use of his knowledge of evolution by natural selection to predict that because there existed a plant (Angraecum) with a long spur in its flowers, a complementary animal with a 30 cm proboscis must also exist to feed on and pollinate it (twenty years after his death, a form of hawk moth was found which did just that). Source: Wikipedia – predictive power

    No more words to be added! Predictive power of Evolution – tssss

  8. Phevans,

    What are you saying? I read your comment several times and haven’t a clue what it means other than you are trying in some way to be contrary to bornagain77′s comment.

    I am not sure I agree with all of bornagain77′s statements but what is it that you specifically object to.

  9. tb

    That is a pretty poor “pediction of evolution” in that anybody with some knowledge of how flowers are generally polinated would be lead to make that same prediction. Silly Wiki

  10. [OFF TOPIC] Anyone read these books?

    The Biotic Message – Walter ReMine
    Not by Chance – Lee Spetner, PhD.

    I just finished Spetner’s book and I really recommend it. Chapter 7 of the book is a masterpiece. He goes over recent studies which strongly suggest non-RM+NS mechanism of change in organisms. He gives examples from African fish studies, “Darwin” Finch studies, tadpole studies, etc. He uses that chapter to explain his own theory of inheritance which accords well with all the observable evidence. It is his Non-Random Evolutionary Hypothesis (NREH). I highly suggest reading it, as it is an ID based theory and seems promising. It is different from both “Front-Loading” and Davison’s PEH, but has commonalities with both as well.

    I think his theory taken with Walter ReMine’s Message Theory paints a highly coherent picture of life and it’s diversification. ReMine’s theory concerns more the intitial conditions, whereas Spetner’s theory focuses on the details of subsequent diversification.

    “The Biotic Message” – Walter ReMine – Available at ARN: http://www.arn.org/arnproducts......php?id=70

    “Not By Chance: Shattering the Modern Theory of Evolution” – Lee Spetner – http://www.amazon.com/Not-Chan.....038;sr=8-1

    Spetner’s theory is something I think you’d appreciate, DaveScot.

  11. In the interest of defending Eddington’s Christian faith, I would like to note that scholar Daniel Graves lists Eddington as a Christian who had a positive influence on Science.

    Daniel Graves is rather austere in whom he would be willing to count as a Scientist of faith. For example, he does not count Newton nor Pasteur in his book on Scientists of Faith. [although he lists them in the link I provided]

    That said, Eddington is to cosmological ID like the Francis Collins or John Polkinghorne are to biological ID. These men ought to be friendly to the idea, but for whatever reason they are held back.

    See:
    GRISDA on Eddington

    Eddington was a deeply religious man and it is hard to determine from his writings whether his scientific work or his religious experience was more important to him. In his popular book, Science and the Unseen World, he discusses the relation between the two. He believed that changes in scientific thought might remove some of the obstacles to a reconciliation of religion with science, but he was wholly opposed to basing religion on scientific discovery. He believed that a personal relationship should dominate our conception of the unseen spiritual world, and that arguments for a deity were irrelevant to the assurance of a personal God for which humanity hungers. After all, we take the existence of our human friends for granted, not caring whether it is proven or not. Eddington took the passage in 1 Kings 19:11,12 as nearest to his own sympathies: the Lord was not in the wind, earthquake, or fire that Elijah saw on Mt. Horeb, but in the still small voice. Philosophers did not like Eddington’s conclusion that ultimate reality is spiritual, but his thoughts have something to say to us today in the Christian world.

    As we saw with the recent events at SMU and a recent newsweek poll, it is people professing the name of Christianity that, numerically speaking, have helped move anti-Design ideas to a place of prominence.

    Eddington strikes me somewhat as one of those.

    Salvador

  12. [OFF TOPIC] Anyone read these books?

    The Biotic Message – Walter ReMine
    Not by Chance – Lee Spetner, PhD.

    I hope to post on ReMine’s work sometime. It’s in the queue of many projects. :-)

  13. Sal, have you read Spetner’s book yet? I bought that one and Genetic Entropy (at your suggestion), but found Spetner’s a better argued read. So if you liked GE, you’ll probably like Spetner’s work. Similar in length and accesibility.

  14. I heard of Spetner’s work, but I am reluctant to buy it because I read somewhere that the math in the book isn’t correct.
    So what do you think about that Atom?

    Thanks!

  15. Regarding ReMine’s book, I haven’t read it, but almost everybody I have ever seen reviewing the book praised it, some were darwinists.

  16. Atom,

    Alrighty, I’ll post on Spetner’s book too. I have read it. Some ID proponents like Gerald Shroeder have been reluctant to endorse it. Great book.

    So, if we can hold off further comment on ReMine and Speter in deference to Gil’s thread, that would be appreciated.

    In the interim, Gil, I and others post a teleological.org. Visit there as I have just put up a thread on Spetner. Hopefully we can continue there rather than clog up Gil’s discussion of Eddington.

    Lee Spetner’s book

    regards,
    Salvador

  17. There are some mathmatical points in the earlier chapters on NDT that may or may not be off.

    For example, he made a claim that Natural Selection could only add at most one bit of information at each step. (Which seemed like an odd claim to me.) Then When I re-read what he had said, he was saying the SELECTION itself (a binary choice of accept or not-accept) could only add one bit.

    I think things like that may lead to confusion.

    But, the most valuable aspect of the book involves no mathematics; it is simply on his theory of inheritance with modification. Like I said, chapter 7 is what made the book worthwhile in my opinion.

    As a side note, he did pretty successfully defend his ideas against a talkOrigins critic here:
    http://www.trueorigin.org/spetner2.asp

    Judge for yourselves who gets the better of the exchange.

  18. Ok, thanks Sal. Sorry for messing up the thread…I just wanted to see if anyone was aware of those two books.

  19. Gentleman!

    Could we please move the discussion to teleogical.

    Please take it to:
    Lee Spetner’s Book

    Salvador

  20. Atom, “For example, he made a claim that Natural Selection could only add at most one bit of information at each step.”

    I think you have it backwards. He said that a mutation must add at least one bit of information. (I’m far from home at the moment, so I cannot quote it directly.)

    Spetner’s book was the first ID book I read several years ago and it opened up my thinking. Hats off to him.

  21. Scordova,
    Though Eddington alluded to the still small voice passage of 1 Kings, I do believe this passage from Paul is more fitting for what we are actually seeing from the avalanche of evidence currently coming in.

    Romans 1:20
    “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made”

    As well, I would like to comment on materialisms failure to make accurate predictions for what man would find at the foundation of the universe and of life.
    An overriding hypothesis in science, such as Materialism currently is, is suppose to give correct guidance to scientists. Materialism has failed miserably in its predictive power for science. The hypothesis with the strongest predictive power in science is “suppose” to be the prevailing philosophy of science. That philosophy should be Theism. Why this shift in science has not yet occurred is a mystery that needs to be remedied to enable new, wonderful, breakthroughs in science.

    The mathematical problem with the hypothetical particles (Dark Matter/Energy)that had to be invented to keep the equations of Gravity from falling apart, may very well be intractable because, “How in the world do you put a number on an indivisible force that very well may arise from indivisible God in the first place?”

    I may be way out in left field with that observation, but I really don’t trust anything materialism tells me anymore after seeing its terrible track record with predictions.

  22. mike1962,

    In deference to Sal and this thread, I’ll keep this short and point you to Teleogical Blog for further comments (though my comments on there aren’t seeming to get through.)

    “Could selection add more than one bit to a genome in one evolutionary step? It can’t if the selection is between only two options.” – Not by Chance p.71, chapter 3

  23. This is perhaps an interesting summation of Eddington’s religion beliefs.

    “The idea of a universal Mind, or Logos, would be, I think, a fairly plausible inference from the present state of theory”.

    This almost sounds like something Freeman Dyson would say. I have noticed that Dyson often refers to God as a Universal Mind or World-Soul.

  24. bornagain

    All those findings did come from materialist science. If that science did not predict those things then what did? Did they spring from no where? It wasn’t theists that predicted any of those discoveries. It was scientists working under methodological naturalism. Scientists are always wrong. All they can do is come to useful approximations of the truth. As new data comes to light they correct or adjust their paradigms/theories accordingly. Do theists do that? Scientific knowledge is necessarily dynamic and provisional. Is theological knowledge the same?

    Don’t get me wrong. There is absolutely nothing wrong with holding religious/spiritual beliefs as a scientist. I just hope you can see that using scientific methods to prove faith is a foolhardy pursuit. I suppose as long as your interpretations of your holy texts were provisional you could keep up with changing views, but I do not think that is healthy for one’s faith or religion in general. Conversely, imposing dogmatism on science would be most unhealthy for science.

    There is dogmatism in science, but even in the case of evolution it is not irreversible and it is far from static.

  25. To my great surprise as I got more involved in the ID debate has been the fact materialist philosophy is well entrenched in Christendom.

    I was too quick to presume it was mostly atheists. Numerically speaking it is not. The case of Eddington is not unique, but in many ways representative.

    That’s the main thing that really took me aback when I learned of Eddington’s personal view.

    It echoes what Phil Johnson said:

    The most peculiar reaction is the hostility which I encounter from many professors at Christian colleges and seminaries. You would be amazed if I gave a list of the evangelical institutions that don’t want me on campus! This is not because I am unpopular there, but because my message is too well received for the comfort level of certain influential professors. I am raising a question that the accommodationist professors had hoped would be buried forever, and they are extremely embarrassed when students start asking them the tough questions about evolution and naturalism. But everyone who steps out on behalf of the truth encounters bitter opposition like that, in the church as well as in the secular world.

    Graves presents Eddington as an honorable, man, however, Eddington like others seemed to be quite reluctant to allow the thought that Design could be strongly evident in the Cosmos.

    The irony is that someone like Frank Tipler (who would probably not regard himself as Orthodox), was more prepared to embrace the Design hypothesis.

  26. As always, very interesting commentary
    Scordova.

    How far does Tipler go in embracing the Design hypothesis? Does he believe that there is biological evidence of design?

  27. Gil said:

    Eddington was clearly conflicted, and if I understand him correctly, he recognizes that when physics is pushed back to the origin of the universe, design (or “anti-chance”) seems to rear its ugly head in the form of physical law, and he would like to find a way out of this, because he finds the idea repugnant (despite his seemingly contradictory claim that he has no “philosophical axe to grind”).

    I think I now understand Eddington’s statement about having “no philosophical axe to grind.” He was writing for Nature magazine. In order to be acceptable in this milieu (and in order to be published in a “peer-reviewed” scientific publication of that era) he was required to declare that he had no philosophical commitment to any intelligent agency being involved in the origin of physics or the cosmos.

    Yet, his skepticism reveals that the evidence was weighing heavily upon him.

  28. scordova,

    When you say, “materialist philosophy is well entrenched in Christendom,” are you referring to loving material things more than God or to the belief that matter is all there is?

  29. JMCD,
    In post #1, I pointed out 7 major discoveries in science that the Theistic philosophy had postulated for thousands of years. Thats exactly what predicted those dicoveries; the Theistic philosophy. The materialistic philosophy, which has also been around for thousands of years did not predict any of those major and foundation discoveries. The materialistic philosophy is the overriding philosophy that is currently entrenched over science. It is the overriding philosophy of which evolution is a subset. I am just pointing out the basic fact that these major discoveries for the universe and “simple” life were only a total surprise for people holding the materialistic view of reality while those holding the Theistic view of reality have been powerfully vindicated in their primary beliefs.
    The philosophy with the strongest predictive power is “suppose” to be the overriding philosophy of science. That philosophy should be Theism. To do otherwise is to bring a proven distorted view of reality into scientific endeavors.

  30. jmcd: All those findings did come from materialist science. If that science did not predict those things then what did? Did they spring from no where? It wasn’t theists that predicted any of those discoveries. It was scientists working under methodological naturalism.

    I believe you are confusing prediction with discovery. The fact that science discovers something does not mean that it was expected or predicted. Sometimes scientists are forced to recognize a reality they did not expect according to their philosophical view. See the original entry of this thread, for example.

    Another example was the way that science resisted the idea that the universe had a beginning. Hoyle fought against this for years. Even Einstein fudged his own equations to avoid that conclusion. Later, when the reality became unavoidable, he realized it was the biggest blunder of his career.

    More recently, the perspective of scientific materialism lead biologists to consider most of DNA to be mere residual “junk” but it looks more and more like that idea is going down. Another failed prediction driven by the materialist perspective was the expectation that there would be only one genetic code for all of life. We now know that this is false.

    Conversely, imposing dogmatism on science would be most unhealthy for science.

    On this point you are quite right, but I hope that you will go all the way and apply it consistently and thoroughly to any dogmatism.

    I would have to respectfully disagree with any idea of replacing a dogma of Scientific Materialism (or Methodological Naturalism) with an assumption of Theism. To be healthy, science needs to build its conclusions on evidence, without taking on any philosophical precommitments.

    The current policy of requiring scientists to assume that naturalism is true is unhealty, but replacing that with an equivalent Theistic assumption would also be a mistake.

    If you can support an idea about the natural world with evidence that is accessible to science, that it quite appropriate, whereever the evidence leads. The overriding “philosophy” of science should be: Follow the evidence and let the evidence speak.

  31. bornagain77: “3. Materialism did not predict the fact that time, as we understand it, comes to a complete stop at the speed of light, as revealed by Einstein’s theory of relativity, Yet Theism always said that God exists in a timeless eternity.”

    Indeed, “God is light” – absolute, pure, undefiled, life-giving. Physical light is the shadow of God.

  32. What I find quite interesting is that it was not until Einstein that we discovered that space and time are related to each other in a way that is bound with the speed of light. We also know that this space-time continuum had a beginning.

    Yet, over 2800 years ealier, David, king of Israel and the writer of many Psalms, expressed in a single Psalm (139, verses 1-16) that God and God’s knowledge was not limited by space, not limited by time, and not limited by light. IOW, God’s knowing does not depend on waiting for sensory information (which would be bound by the speed of light) to reach him.

    Of all the things he could have written, he was inspired to write about light along with space and time. Only know do we appreciate why this would matter to the Creator of a space-time continuum.

  33. ericb

    re “the universe had a beginning”

    To avoid confusion that should be qualified to the observable universe. Even then “the beginning” is really not the beginning of the universe but rather the beginning of where our understanding of the laws of physics is able to describe it. Our theories of physics, you see, are unable to describe the singularity the observable universe was thought to be. We can only describe it beginning in the moment following the singularity. We have no idea and no way of telling what lies beyond or within the singularity or what lies beyond the limits of observation imposed by the speed of light. The universe we can observe today might only be a portion of the universe that actually exists.

    Moreover the big bang theory isn’t quite as robust as most people believe. It’s been fudged to fit the observations. One of the most egregious fudge factors is the so-called inflationary period where the observable universe had to have expanded at an exponentially increasing rate far faster than the speed of light.

  34. DaveScot, I wouldn’t disagree with the technical truth of what you are saying, but I would think it more appropriate to say “Reality is more than this universe” — something that just about everyone agrees on.

    IOW, I would say that the normal use of “universe” is to refer to this observable space-time continuum.

    That is why some speculate about multi-verse, i.e. that there may be other universes. It is also why we say “The age of the universe is …”. We couldn’t make such statements at all if “universe” meant something other than this observable space-time continuum.

    So “the universe had a beginning” is on exactly the same semantic footing as saying “the universe is X years old”.

  35. Reality is more than this universe” — something that just about everyone agrees on.

    That’s absurd. There are a great many realists in the world. In the scientific community it’s a majority.

  36. Eric you stated;
    God’s knowing does not depend on waiting for sensory information (which would be bound by the speed of light) to reach him.

    I just want to point out that this Theistic presumption you pointed out has empirical validation in quantum non-locality. The spooky action at a distance, Einstein alluded too, that defies the speed of light.
    Actually the evidence of quantum non-locality provides a much deeper and compelling evidence that the “truth” of the spiritual realm does indeed have dominion over what we call the physical realm. If you want I’ll send you a paper, I’ve written, that goes through the details and makes a strong argument for the Theistic position of “spiritual realms’” dominion over the physical realm.

  37. bornagain77, I don’t know about Eric, but I’ll take you up on that paper. Is it available by email?

  38. DaveScot: That’s absurd. There are a great many realists in the world. In the scientific community it’s a majority.

    Perhaps you are assuming I’m saying something other than what I am. I didn’t say everyone agrees on what it is that is beyond this universe.

    Even most of the “realists” you mention probably do not maintain that this incredibly-fine-tuned-for-life universe popped into existence from absolutely nothing, being caused by absolutely nothing, and just being unbelievably lucky that it is so well suited for life.

    Skeptic Hume wrote “But allow me to tell you that I never asserted so absurd a Proposition as that anything might arise without cause”. I expect most would agree with the principle that

    Whatever begins to exist has a cause of its existence.

    The typical non-theistic answer, both to the causal need of our universe and the improbable fine tuning, is that there is some (non-theistic) reality beyond this universe that brings universes into existence, perhaps a Great many different universes.

    Whether one appeals to theistic or non-theistic answers, both agree that there is more to reality than this one universe that we can observe.

  39. ericb

    Even most of the “realists” you mention probably do not maintain that this incredibly-fine-tuned-for-life universe popped into existence from absolutely nothing, being caused by absolutely nothing, and just being unbelievably lucky that it is so well suited for life.

    Particles come into and out of existence from nothing. It was predicted by quantum theory and has been experimentally confirmed many times. It has been thought for a long time that the universe is a quantum fluctuation. Given the nature of infinity if quantum universes have been popping in and out of existence forever then one of that infinite number of universes must be just like ours.

    atom

    I ordered Spetner’s book. If I don’t like it you know that means for you, right? j/k

  40. To DaveScot, I think then that we can agree that anyone who holds that there are an infinite number of universes would thereby also concede my point, i.e. “Whether one appeals to theistic or non-theistic answers, both agree that there is more to reality than this one universe that we can observe.” With either type of answer, it also makes sense to talk about the fact that our universe had a beginning.

    DaveScot: Particles come into and out of existence from nothing. It was predicted by quantum theory and has been experimentally confirmed many times. …

    As a clarifying side point, knowing of idea of particles and quantum fluctuations, I was careful to specify “absolutely nothing”. Space is not absolutely nothing. In particular, the experimental confirmation you mention is with regard to the false vacuum of our non-empty space-time.

    “Quantum theory says that space, though it appears to be empty, is actually filled with virtual particle pairs which may “fluctuate” or appear for extremely short periods of time. However, Ed Tryon, the physicist who originated the above much-quoted proposal in a 1973 article for Nature, apparently recognizes a problem with how even this theory could explain creation from true nothingness, since the quantum effects he describes require something more than nothing–they require space, something all physicists now carefully distinguish from “nothing.”

    “Fred Hoyle says, “The physical properties of the vacuum would still be needed, and this would be something.” The space in our universe is called a “false vacuum” because it contains properties that make it much more than “nothing”–it contains quantum particles and is not truly empty. Thus a false vacuum also demands a cause.”

    Excerpt from Show Me God, by Fred Heeren, p. 93.

    True nothing is not merely the absence of matter, but the absence of matter, energy, fields, properties, space, time, and all quantum relationships. A false vacuum that is pregnant with mathematical relationships that can yield short lived particles is not nothing.

    If anything preceded our universe, including (infinite) time, so as to give rise to an “infinite number of universes”, then in that case it is again clear that “there is more to reality than this one universe that we can observe.”

  41. Dave Scot you stated;
    Particles come into and out of existence from nothing.

    I don’t mean to be contrary, but how do you conclusively disprove the fact that the particles may be fluctuating from another universe or even from a higher dimension? To me that seems a very more reasonable proposition for particles coming into and out of existence than to boldly state the absurd proposition that something arose from nothing.

  42. bornagain77, Actually we don’t even need to speculate about other universe’s or higher dimensions, because even taken at face value the idea of quantum fluctuations yielding particles does not claim to create particles out of true “nothing”. That would be a misconception. See my previous post, which was made about the same time as yours. Here is another excerpt:

    “Moreover, general relativity shows that the space in our universe is not just nothing. Einstein wrote: “There is no such thing as an empty space, i.e. a space without field. Space-time does not claim existence on its own, but only as a structural quality of a field.” ”

    Excerpt from Show Me God, by Fred Heeren, p. 93.

    All empirical confirmations concerning quantum fluctuations obviously take place within our property rich, mathematically related space-time, not within “nothing”.

  43. DS, I look forward to your thoughts on it. Just don’t moderate me if you don’t like it. ;)

  44. Atom

    What, me moderate anyone? I’ll have you know I’m a paragon of tolerance and receptive to all opinions no matter how trite, misinformed, or illogical!

  45. LOL. Ok, just don’t throw me in the moderation queue, that’s all I’m saying. :)

    But in all realness, I think that you’ll find some useful ideas in his book, especially dealing with a Front-Loaded perspective.

  46. bornagain

    Quantum field theory predicts particles coming into existence from nothing. Energy may be negative or positive and may manifest in equal amounts. A pair of particles, one negative and the other positive, may spring into existence and continue to exist until they meet, where they cancel each other out to zero again. It’s been experimentally demonstrated beyond any doubt and is used in practical applications.

    So really the net energy is always zero because negative and positive appear in equal amounts in discrete fixed units (quanta). Nothing from nothing is still nothing.

    On a cosmological scale the math works out the same way. Positive energy equals negative energy. The observable universe is all just a quantum fluctuation and will eventually return to the nothing from whence it came. I’m not saying I believe the cosmological interpretation I’m just saying others do and it’s reputedly copasetic with modern physics.

    Can it be proved the particles from nothing aren’t really coming from somewhere? Probably not. This is where Occam’s Razor comes in – it’s not good practice to add things that aren’t needed. Quantum field theory positively explains particles and antiparticles appearing in pairs briefly before cancelling each other back out of existence. It doesn’t need to call upon additional dimensions or whatever to explain the phenomenon. Are additional dimensions possible? Sure. Anything’s possible. It’s possible we’re computer programs in a simulated universe like the movie “The Matrix”. The question is what reason do we have to believe that it might be not just a possibility but the actual state of things? No reason that I know of. Occam’s Razor cuts away the unnecessary here too.

  47. 48

    Dave Scot,
    To me this seems to further the case for the spiritual realms dominion over the physical realm. Just as in quantum non-locality, the “invisible truth” of a probable anthropic requirement is being enforced. Yet, this difference is more exciting since it shows the creation of “material”. For in quantum non-locality the “truth” of a detected entangled particle directly effects its partner particle at faster than SOL limits, I remind you this is not the result of memory.
    It is interesting how they discovered particles coming into and out of existence from nothing. Though I’m not familiar with the details, I’m sure it was deduced mathematically by Paul Dirac, before it was observed in reality. Thus I would further venture that this particle fluctuation is a required condition of “invisible truth”.
    This makes three hard evidences in physics, which i know of, which point to “invisible truths” dominion over the “material” realm.

    1 Quantum non-locality proves that “invisible truth” is an active govenor of the universe.

    2 Particles appearing out of nowhere to fulfill an “invisible truths” requirement, proves that “invisible truth” can indeed create “material”.

    3 The unchanging nature of universal constants throughout the history of the universe proves that “Invisible truth” is not subject to what the material does but dictates what the material can and can’t do.

    I think the evidence for the invisible “spiritual” realms over the physical is getting pretty solid Dave. Would not you agree?

  48. DaveScot: Quantum field theory predicts particles coming into existence from nothing. …

    Quantum field theory is a theory concerning quantum fields, not a theory about true nothing. The fact that the “net energy” is zero, does not mean we are starting from nothing.

    Please see my posts 41 and 43. Space is not the same thing as nothing. The empirical verification you allude to takes place within a space-time continuum, not starting from nothing. It would be incorrect to confuse space with nothing.

    The mathematics of fields is itself an indication that one is still starting with essential relationships and properties. You must first have fields and space.

    An additional problem with trying to apply this concept as an explanation of the universe is that the universe has lasted billions of years, whereas quantum fluctuations are limited to Planck time, an incredibly short interval of time.

    “According to quantum mechanics, once space is created, a quantum fluctuation can produce particles from space (instantaneous creation), but these particles must disappear within an incredibly small fraction of a second, called Planck time (10^-43 second). Every fraction of a second that transpires beyond that first instant of creation adds to the miracle of a universe that, according to quantum physics, never should have lasted beyond Planck time.”

    op cit. p. 222

Leave a Reply