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RECENT POSTS IN THIS TOPIC

William Orem: on 8/4/08 at 19:08pm UTC, wrote i've always had an intuitive discomfort with the idea that the universe...

johny radio: on 7/31/08 at 22:17pm UTC, wrote i've always had an intuitive discomfort with the idea that the universe...

Gene: on 6/19/08 at 16:13pm UTC, wrote nothingness is the word we use for what rests over the horizon of retro...

William Orem: on 6/18/08 at 0:08am UTC, wrote There’s good work coming out of Caltech this month supporting the idea...


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Blogger William Orem wrote on Jun. 18, 2008 @ 00:08 GMT


There’s good work coming out of Caltech this month supporting the idea – familiar to readers of FQXi Community – that the universe in which we live is the result of a spontaneous quantum fluctuation. This is the scenario often referred to in the press as “creation out of nothing,” a catchphrase that makes me cringe. Indulge me for a moment on this.

To put it flatly,...

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Gene wrote on Jun. 19, 2008 @ 16:13 GMT
nothingness is the word we use for what rests over the horizon of retro causality. it's not what it is, it's just what it looks like!

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johny radio wrote on Jul. 31, 2008 @ 22:17 GMT
i've always had an intuitive discomfort with the idea that the universe formed out of "nothing"; how could something come from nothing?

'“the peach trees are” has meaning, which, when you think about it, cannot be demonstrated.'

-why can't it be demonstrated that the peach trees are?

-does it matter if they are georgia peaches. does it matter if they are ripe?

'“Three of the peach trees are”'

-does not say the the other peach trees aren't.

i'd rather have the three silver coins in my pocket, than any number peach trees, unless the peach trees aren't.

my goal in life is to be a married bachelor.

'spacetime, which we offhandedly refer to as “nothingness...”'

-physicists refer to spacetime as nothingness? or the media does? is it true that spacetime cannot exist without gravity?

your non-christian readers need an explanation for "creation ex nihilo". you scientists keeps forgetting that not everyone is christian. but it sounds latin to me, so i'm guessing it comes from italy. the universe came from italy?

the pope does not want hawking to study the beginning of the universe, because the church is afraid we won't find god there, and that would be bad for business. that's why the pope said martians are god's aliens. i rue the day when a crucifix lands on mars.

Stick It In Your Ear

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Blogger William Orem wrote on Aug. 4, 2008 @ 19:08 GMT
i've always had an intuitive discomfort with the idea that the universe formed out of "nothing"; how could something come from nothing?

My point. If "nothingness" is thought to do *anything*, then the term no longer has the meaning it was originally given (granting for the moment that such a meaning is coherent).

-why can't it be demonstrated that the peach trees are?

Because any attempt to demonstrate the proposition will result instead in demonstrations of specific attributes: the peach trees are here, in my hand; the peach trees are made of hydrocarbons; the peach trees are clearly visible to you and me both; and so on. The sentence claims something *other* exists than the attributes, of which it lists none. Or, to say it in another way, it claims that if we removed all attributes from the peach trees something would still remain: their essence. This is an assumption often made by medieval, but dismissed by modern, philosophers.

-does it matter if they are georgia peaches. does it matter if they are ripe?

Nope.

'“Three of the peach trees are”'

-does not say the the other peach trees aren't.

True. So what has been said? If existence were a predicate like other predicates, we could presumably assign it to some peach trees and not others. But then we wind up with, "These peach trees are, but those aren't."

i'd rather have the three silver coins in my pocket, than any number peach trees, unless the peach trees aren't.

I love this. Anyway, you do have peach trees in your pocket. The only reason you don't feel them is that they aren't.

-physicists refer to spacetime as nothingness? or the media does?

Oftentimes the media does. Cosmologists, for their part, talk about universes emerging from nothing as a kind of shorthand for a quantum situation we don't yet understand.

is it true that spacetime cannot exist without gravity?

Other way around, I think. Mass warps spacetime and results in the phenomenon we call gravitation, so gravity cannot exist without spacetime.

Could spacetime exist without mass? I posed this one once in a previous blog. It seems conceivable that there are universes (assuming we live in a multiverse) that have three spatial dimensions but contain no mass. But the spacetime would still have a certain energy associated with it, which would be equivalent to mass . . .

your non-christian readers need an explanation for "creation ex nihilo".

"Out of Nothing." It's not specifically Christian, just Latin.

you scientists keeps forgetting that not everyone is christian.

Mea culpa

but it sounds latin to me, so i'm guessing it comes from italy. the universe came from italy?

Any point can be considered the center of the universe, so I suppose we could choose Italy.

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