I was impressed with Lawrence Krauss’s lecture “A universe from nothing” given at the AAI (Atheist Alliance International), 2009. Like most honest people with a belief system, I am happy when evidence is presented which bolsters what I believe. For a while I too used Krauss’s line “because nothing is inherently unstable” as a retort to the question of “why something from nothing”.
Now Krauss has a book out. Jerry Coyne writes it up:
Further, Krauss defines “nothing” as a “quantum vacuum,” without giving us reasons why that would obviously have been the initial default state of the universe. Is that a sensible definition of “nothing”? If not, whence the quantum vacuum? And so on to more turtles. . . http://whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com/2012/04/02/david-albert-pans-lawrence-krausss-new-book/
It also made it to a conservative talk show where the host expressed mockery at the above fact. Paraphrased as “so where did the laws of quantum physics come from eh? eh? eh”.
Conversations with the religious always go the same way, an infinite regression of “where did that come from” culminating in “god didit”. Do atheists really think that filling another one of those blanks will stop the religious from doing this? No, it won’t.
Here’s my advice. Discover the answers because they’re fascinating to know, but don’t discover them because you think it’ll convince the religious out of their delusions. The fundamental flaw of the “where-progression” (I just coined that one for the record) is that it has been wrong for most of human history.
Saying “god” in response to a “why” question was wrong for Ra, the scarab beetle, thor, demons as the cause of disease, the plague, lightning, the planes of the ecliptic, etc.. Then why is it given any shrift when it gets dragged out as a response to the latest point of human ignorance? I used to have problems with the argument of something from nothing or the fine-tuned nature of the universe until I realised that they are the classical religious “reasoning” that has been proved wrong time and time again. Let alone the fact that to use an unexplained thing (god) as an explanation or proof for another unexplained thing is a logical fallacy, akin to saying “we know because we don’t know”, is nuts. It’s like me saying that I don’t know why the moon moves across the sky so it was the work of a cosmic space monkey called Manookalakiki.
Posted on: Sunday, April 15, 2012 7:12 AM