March 26, 2021 | Jerry Bergman

How to Get Everything from Nothing

According to Mainline Science, Nothing Evolved into Everything!
Science fails to get around the greatest problem in evolution

 

by Jerry Bergman, PhD

The cover story of the latest issue of Science Focus announced in bold letters they had the  answers to the greatest mysteries of the universe.[1] The lead article that caught my attention asked, “Why is there something rather than nothing?”[2] This is a “bedrock question” in science.[3] The article was adapted from the author’s best-selling book, What a Wonderful World: One Man’s Attempt to Explain the Big Stuff (2013).[4] Marcus Chown also has a YouTube video on his idea that the universe came from nothing, explaining how nothing created everything.[5]

The only empirical evidence that the universe came from nothing is the well-documented finding that the universe is expanding. If the expansion event is reversed, it brings us back to the primordial egg that started it all. The conundrum then is, where did the primordial egg come from? The solution accepted by many leading cosmologists is, it came from nothing. Thus the reasoning is that nothing ultimately created everything.

A famous cartoon by Sidney Harris mocks the religion of materialism.

Halt! Violation

The most serious problem is this explanation violates the first law of thermodynamics, which says matter can neither be created or destroyed. This absolute law, the best affirmed law in science, acknowledges that matter cannot be created or destroyed by natural processes. Einstein’s equation E=mc2 modifies this law to state that the total amount of energy and matter in the universe remains constant, merely changing from one form to the other.[6]

Furthermore, the law states that the universe itself is a closed system, so the total amount of matter+energy in existence has always been the same throughout all of history. The forms that matter and energy take, however, are constantly changing.

To postulate that nothing created everything, one must somehow get around this first law of thermodynamics. One must also conclude that somehow, not only matter popped into existence, but space, time, and energy did as well. Concurrently, the four natural forces believed by mainstream physics to hold matter together, namely gravity, electromagnetism (electricity and magnetism), the strong and weak nuclear forces, must also somehow pop into existence. All of these eight realities must first exist for the universe to exist.

Some would classify the universe as the only “infinite system” and, therefore neither closed, isolated, nor open. Others counter that the entire universe must be an “isolated system” separate from the environment of ‘hyperspace’ because it is expanding and, therefore, it cannot be infinite. Still others argue that only the observable universe must be considered an “open system” affecting and affected by the unobservable universe.

How are the problems of the nothing produced everything claim solved?

In short, materialists solve these problems by ignoring them or obfuscating. Professor Chown, in answer to “Why is there something rather than nothing?” explained: “In the beginning, according to the standard picture of cosmology, was the ‘inflationary vacuum.’ It had a super-high energy density and repulsive gravity, causing it to expand.”[7] Obvious questions in response to this claim include where did the super-high energy density come from? Furthermore, what is an inflationary vacuum? By definition, a vacuum is space devoid of matter, from the Latin adjective vacuus for “vacant” or “void.” Thus, an inflationary vacuum is an oxymoron, a figure of speech containing two words that contradict each other, like being alone together, or giant shrimp. Likewise, repulsive gravity or antigravity, defined as a hypothetical force opposing gravity, has been sought for eons but never found.[8] This last concept is also explained by the plasma cosmology notion that claims gravity is not a fundamental force but is actually an electromagnetic phenomena which, of course, can be either an attractive force or repulsive force. This idea is also problematic.

Chown continues: “This vacuum was unpredictable. At random locations, it decayed.” How can space devoid of matter decay? Chown continues, speculating that the “tremendous energy [which popped into existence] of the inflationary vacuum had to go somewhere. [Why didn’t it just remain energy?] And it went into creating matter and heating it to a blisteringly high temperature into creating big bangs. Our universe is merely one such Big Bang bubble in the ever-expanding inflationary vacuum.” The conundrum that has to be asked is, “How can a vacuum create energy?” And what evidence exists to assume that many Big Bangs existed that have created multi-universes? The idea has never been proved, and indeed cannot be proved.[9] One of several reasons the multiverse cannot be proved is because the universe includes, by definition, everything that exists, including the universe-generating system, whatever it is.[10]

The Multiverse and QM Escape Plots

Furthermore, we are not even able to view the end of the universe we live in, and, assuming the multiple universes are separate, we are thus unable to view their origin and demise as well. The main reason the multiverse concept was developed is because the known universe is fine-tuned to an improbably high degree to support life. If many universes with different parameters exist, it is consequently more likely that one of them evolved to support life.

Furthermore, Chown speculates, the entire process could have started “with a mass equivalent to a bag of sugar.” My issues with this statement include “Where did the bag-of-sugar mass come from? and “How do we get a universe with 100 billion galaxies, each with 100-million stars, as postulated by cosmologists, from a mass the size of a bag of sugar?” What we need is a universe, not a mass the size of a bag of sugar! Chown merely retorts with: “quantum theory permit[s] matter to pop into existence from nothing.”[11]

After this it gets more bizarre. In answer to “Where did the laws of physics come from?,” Chown responds, from the “deep symmetries of space and time.” These symmetries can occur in “an entirely empty universe.”[12] The Oxford dictionary defines symmetries as the “quality of being made up of exactly similar parts facing each other or around an axis.”[13] This does not make sense. It may be that cosmologists are referring to the definition used in science, namely “symmetry as an “object that is invariant under some transformations.”[14] Actually, neither definition makes sense. Having taught physics and cosmology at the college level for many years, this bizarre esoteric language ignores the main question, “How did nothing become something? In conclusion Chown opines, “maybe the transition from nothing to something was not such a big deal.”[15]

Ignoring the Big Questions

Such logic of the explanations of how nothing became everything obviously involves numerous contradictions and word-salads. Chown’s explanation is not a crackpot idea by some fringe pseudoscience writer. Nonetheless, it is baffling how the most eminent cosmologist, the late Steven Hawking, wrote that the explanation Chown offered was to him totally convincing. As Hawking explained, it answered what he considered the most important questions that humans can ask, namely:

1) “Is there a God?”

2) “How did the universe and life begin?” and

3) “Does intelligent life exist elsewhere in the universe?”

Hawking notes the first two questions can be answered either by religion or science. He explains that religion was an early attempt to answer where all matter and life came from until science began developing about 200 years ago. Now, he informs us, science has shown religion to be wrong. In Hawking’s words, “science provides better and more consistent answers, but people will always cling to religion, because it gives comfort, and they do not  . . . understand science.”[16] Furthermore, Hawking believes that we do not need ‘God’ to explain either the existence of the universe or of life; all we need is gravity.[17] Gravity explains everything. The question, then, is how did gravity come into existence?

Cover of Lawrence M. Krauss’s best-selling book. From amazon.com.

One of the leading cosmologists of our generation, Lawrence Krauss, produced a 202-page book defending “a universe from nothing.”[18] Krauss, referring to his materialism (a belief common among scientists) says that science tells us “a universe without purpose or guidance may seem … to make life itself meaningless.” Krauss responded by saying “one person’s dream is another person’s nightmare.” He adds that “it does not really matter either way, and what we would like for the universe is irrelevant.”[19] Of course, for most people it is very relevant because a universe created from nothing, in contrast to a universe created by intelligence, has profound implications for life. The afterword to Krauss’s book by Richard Dawkins promotes the idea of a universe from nothing as being, at least to him, invigorating, adding the universe will eventually

flatten into a nothingness that mirrors its beginning. Not only will there be no cosmologists to look out on the universe, there will be nothing for them to see even if they could. Nothing at all. Not even atoms. Nothing.[20]

This is the atheists’ worldview. Bleak, without an enduring purpose or ultimate meaning. In the beginning was nothing and in the end will be nothing as well, nothing for all of eternity; a view in stark contrast to the monotheistic Christian, Muslim and Jewish worldviews.

Summary

The choice is either intelligence created the universe or, somehow, by some unknown so-far-unexplainable means, it came out of nothing. The unbridgeable gaps evolution faces include from non-life to life, from prokaryotes to eukaryotes, from asexual life to sexual life, from invertebrates to vertebrates, and from simian primates to humans. The greatest gap is from nothing to everything strictly by blind evolutionary processes operating via undirected chance over deep time. In contrast, the worldviews of the major monotheistic religions are purposeful. Christianity adds the promise of eternal life in heaven by repentance from sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16; 1 John 2:25).

“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22) —Ed.

References

[1][1] Chown, Marcus. 2021. “The Universe’s 7 biggest mysteries (and why they’re unsolved).” Science Focus. Issue 359, February 16; the magazine comes from Great Britain and I just received my issue mid-March 2021.

[2] Chown, 2021, p. 47

[3] Hedin, Eric. 2021. Canceled Science. Seattle, WA: Discovery Press, p. 43.

[4] Chown, Marcus. 2013. What a Wonderful World: One Man’s Attempt to Explain the Big Stuff. London, UK: Faber & Faber.

[5] Chown, Marcus. 2013. “How the universe came from nothing.” NewScientist Live. YouTube video, December 5.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ow8iX6RNDd8

[6] Moskowitz, Clara. 2014. “Fact or Fiction?: Energy Can Neither Be Created Nor Destroyed. Is energy always conserved, even in the case of the expanding universe?” Scientific American, August 5. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/energy-can-neither-be-created-nor-destroyed/

[7] Chown, 2021, p. 47.

[8] Siegel, Ethan. 2018. “Is Anti-Gravity Real? Science Is About To Find Out.” Forbes, October 26. https://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2018/10/26/is-anti-gravity-real-science-is-about-to-find-out/?

[9] Goff , Philip. 2021. “Our Improbable Existence Is No Evidence for a Multiverse. Experts in probability have spotted a logical flaw in theorists’ reasoning” Scientific American January 10. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/our-improbable-existence-is-no-evidence-for-a-multiverse/

[10] Hedin, Eric. 2021. Canceled Science. Seattle, WA: Discover Institute Press p. 14-15

[11] Chown, 2021, p. 47.

[12] Chown, 2021, p. 47.

[13] Oxford Languages. https://languages.oup.com/google-dictionary-en/

[14] “Symmetry.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symmetry.

[15] Chown, 2021, p. 47.

[16] Hawking, Stephen. 2018. Brief Answers to the Big Questions. New York, NY: Bantam Books, p. 25.

[17] http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2010/09/02/god-did-not-create-the-universe-gravity-did-says-stephen-hawking/]

[18]  Krauss, Lawrence M. 2012. A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather than Nothing. New York, NY: Atria Books.

[19] Krauss, 2012, p. 181.

[20] Afterword by Richard Dawkins in Krauss, 2012, p. 188 (see Ref. 15).

 

B.C. cartoon by the late Johnny Hart


Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology for over 40 years at several colleges and universities including Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.

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