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Big Bang Anybody?

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triknighted posted on Thu, May 24 2012 6:42 PM

I am gravely disappointed that nobody has offered an ample mathematical solution to Achilles vs. the Tortoise. Noble effort though, my friends. Onward and upward.

I was recently watching a Discovery special on the Big Bang theory, and after a couple of drinks and a few detailed discussions with others, I have found that I do not believe the Big Bang ever happened. My reasoning is thus: no matter the precision in digressing the causation of material currently in our universe, a point arrives where the scientists give up (as far as I'm concerned) and say that the Big Bang happened out of nothing.

So . . . these scientists say that there was nothing, then the Big Bang happened, and then the scientists go on to explain the glories of the universe in detail without discussing how something came from nothing!

Here's my critique: if nothing is nothing, then there is no possibility of something coming from it, because there is nothing. I don't know how we came into existence, other than the possibility that the universe never had a beginning and has always been and is infinite, but that's why I'm asking the Mises community.

Any ideas?

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First thing that came to mind was Lawrence Krauss' speech:

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan
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Not to hijack this thread, but I believe I provided a complete solution to Achilles vs. Tortoise.  

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Physics isn't really my thing but,

I'm pretty sure when the physicists are using these terms, they are not making metaphysical /  philosophical propositions in the sense you are implying -they are just words used as units of measurments like "gram" or whatever.

It is a very specific system dealing with a very specific set of things - if it actually does stray from it's scope you have point - otherwise don't dwell too much on words like "positive", "negative", "something", "nothing", etc - just treat them as you would any other word  in relation to the system in place.

Ex:

-If I had a ball in my hand and said I have somthing in my hand

- and when I removed the ball from my hand and I said I have nothing in my hand

- you could dispute the fact that I have "oxygen molecules" in my hand or whatever; but that is obviously not what I was talking about- and in context you would be wrong.

I was probably talking about a certain framework of a certain set of expectations in relation to"holding things".

Once again:

Once the physist crosses the line into a type of philisophical scientism (in the sense that Mises, Husserl, etc may speak of) - you would be correct; there is indeed an issue there; and it is a common error many people make, especially social scientists and psychologists (to psychologize: probably due to some massive uneccessary inferiority complex).

 

EDIT

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Friedmanite:

Not to hijack this thread, but I believe I provided a complete solution to Achilles vs. Tortoise.  

I'm curious to see it, Friedmanite, but the thread is too long. Can you copy and paste it here? No worries about a thread hijack. Even though I stated my stance, I'm fascinated by others' solutions.

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Blueline976:

First thing that came to mind was Lawrence Krauss' speech:

Do you know which part he's talking about the universe coming from nothing? I watched a considerable amount, and while he's entertaining, I want to watch that part specifically.

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At least Howstuffworks.com is honest about their lack of knowledge:

"What existed before the big bang? It's still an open question. Perhaps nothing. Perhaps another universe or a different version of our own. Perhaps a sea of universes, each with a different set of laws dictating its physical reality."

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vive la insurrection:

Once the physist crosses the line into a type of philisophical scientism (in the sense that Mises, Husserl, etc may speak of) - you would be correct; there is indeed an issue there; and it is a common error many people make, especially social scientists and psychologists (to psychologize: probably due to some massive uneccessary inferiority complex).

I think you're spot on, Vive. This might actually be a conundrum that nobody can ever answer. I have a feeling it will be a lot shorter than the Achilles thread lol.

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triknighted:
So . . . these scientists say that there was nothing, then the Big Bang happened, and then the scientists go on to explain the glories of the universe in detail without discussing how something came from nothing!

Except, physicists don't make the claim that something can come from nothing. Have you heard of M-theory? If not, MIchio Kaku explains it well here (I don't recall which part specifically, but it's a cool documentary and he touches on it somewhere):



Ultimately, it's just another step backwards (what preceded branes?). Mises states in the Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science that, due to the praxeological and logical character of the mind, there is always an ultimate given for every science--it's the reason why humans cannot conceive of a beginning or end to the universe for example. This is not to say that there aren't advanced beings that can perceive that something can come from nothing or an ultimate beginning/end.

By the way, thanks for the variety of questions from Physics and Mathematics and so forth. The questions are very interesting and they provide a cool variety to the community.

I'd answer the Achilles vs. Tortoise one, but I pretty much agree with Aristotle's answer (because a continuous line is geometrically different from a line divided into parts, the lines are physically different). I'm not certain about how the paradox is set up, but I believe the solution to it is the same as the solution to the dichotomy paradox: People don't walk the way Zeno describes; going from A to B is an interval not a point by point business (AKA Zeno did point out an impossibility, but his example doesn't apply to how one moves from point A to B). I suppose Zeno can be forgiven for not knowing Calculus, though (Newton was around at a time different from Zeno).

If I had a cake and ate it, it can be concluded that I do not have it anymore. HHH

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that's why I'm asking the Mises community.

Oh, I see. Because we're qualified astro- and quantum- physicists and not just amateur economists and philosophers.

:|

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There are so many ways to look at it.  The Big Bang could look like "something from nothing to us" because of our own size or our matter polarity.

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triknighted:

I am gravely disappointed that nobody has offered an ample mathematical solution to Achilles vs. the Tortoise. Noble effort though, my friends. Onward and upward.

I was recently watching a Discovery special on the Big Bang theory, and after a couple of drinks and a few detailed discussions with others, I have found that I do not believe the Big Bang ever happened. My reasoning is thus: no matter the precision in digressing the causation of material currently in our universe, a point arrives where the scientists give up (as far as I'm concerned) and say that the Big Bang happened out of nothing.

So . . . these scientists say that there was nothing, then the Big Bang happened, and then the scientists go on to explain the glories of the universe in detail without discussing how something came from nothing!

Here's my critique: if nothing is nothing, then there is no possibility of something coming from it, because there is nothing. I don't know how we came into existence, other than the possibility that the universe never had a beginning and has always been and is infinite, but that's why I'm asking the Mises community.

Any ideas?

Scientists used to think the universe was infinite. However, they were forced to give this view up by the evidence. Einstein, for instance, wanted to believe in the infinite universe, and was forced by Hubble's discoveries (well, okay, Slipher's discoveries, Hubble only has the credit) and the subsequents verifications from other angles of that discovery.

There had to have been a big bang or something that was in fact the beginning of the universe.

Especially when relativity came along and what was discovered is that not only did all matter begin at this early point in time, but time itself came into existence at this point, meaning that there is a complete break-down of things like causality at the point of the big bang.

So yes, as far as the physical evidence goes, all they can say is everything came from nothing. But, after all, that leaves a lot of room for a concept of God, practically demanding it. Science ultimately discovered many proofs for the idea of God as the unmoved-mover, an argument for God going back thousands of years, indeed going back to Aristotle's writings.

Autarchy: rule of the self by the self; the act of self ruling.
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ThatOldGuy:

triknighted:
So . . . these scientists say that there was nothing, then the Big Bang happened, and then the scientists go on to explain the glories of the universe in detail without discussing how something came from nothing!

Except, physicists don't make the claim that something can come from nothing. Have you heard of M-theory? If not, MIchio Kaku explains it well here (I don't recall which part specifically, but it's a cool documentary and he touches on it somewhere):



Ultimately, it's just another step backwards (what preceded branes?). Mises states in the Ultimate Foundation of Economic Science that, due to the praxeological and logical character of the mind, there is always an ultimate given for every science--it's the reason why humans cannot conceive of a beginning or end to the universe for example. This is not to say that there aren't advanced beings that can perceive that something can come from nothing or an ultimate beginning/end.

By the way, thanks for the variety of questions from Physics and Mathematics and so forth. The questions are very interesting and they provide a cool variety to the community.

I'd answer the Achilles vs. Tortoise one, but I pretty much agree with Aristotle's answer (because a continuous line is geometrically different from a line divided into parts, the lines are physically different). I'm not certain about how the paradox is set up, but I believe the solution to it is the same as the solution to the dichotomy paradox: People don't walk the way Zeno describes; going from A to B is an interval not a point by point business (AKA Zeno did point out an impossibility, but his example doesn't apply to how one moves from point A to B). I suppose Zeno can be forgiven for not knowing Calculus, though (Newton was around at a time different from Zeno).

Thanks buddy. These questions have been bugging me, and I know how knowledgeable and intelligent most people are on this forum, so I thought I'd see everyone's thoughts.

As for String Theory, I watched the video but I don't understand how they came up with it. That's where I believe science meets its limit: when the scientists cannot experience what they are working with, there is no empiricism, and thus no science.

It's interesting. One thing we know is that we are not meant to know--right now--if the universe had a first event of any kind. The best we can do is assume that it is infinite. I just think it's interesting how so many philosophers squabble over ethics, metaphysics, epistemology and scientists argue about whether or not parallel universes exist, if there is a Theory of Everything, so on and so forth, yet these same intelligent minds often quickly give up the search for what happened before their illustrious Big Bang supposedly happened, or if the universe has always been, why it has always been, how it has always been. And it bugs me that many scientists quantify nothing as though it is a substance of some kind.

I have to admit, I think the Objectivist approach to the universe is probably the most sound I've heard and read about in all my years.

Here are some links I'm currently reading. If anyone wants to weigh in, feel free. I think this is fascinating.

http://objectivistanswers.com/questions/4054/is-the-universe-infinite-in-time

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=7755

Basically, the Objectivists say that existence exists, that we know. Check.

From this, we know that nothing does not exist, for the universe is everything. Check.

Then nothing never existed, which means the universe has always existed. Here's the tricky part. We know things through causation. I am on Earth. Earth came together from dust particles in our solar system, which formed from nebula in the galaxy, which formed from nebula and energy in some vacuum, right? That's where is breaks down.

I see science as a brilliant tool--similar to mathematics--which summarizes what we can comprehend, but not the ultimate truth of things. It's like a kid beating Mortal Kombat on his Super Nintendo. When the game's over, he can say he accomplished something, but does he really? No. Forgive the awkward example, it's what came to mind.

Any thoughts on the Objectivism links I provided?

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Anenome:

 
 

Scientists used to think the universe was infinite. However, they were forced to give this view up by the evidence. Einstein, for instance, wanted to believe in the infinite universe, and was forced by Hubble's discoveries (well, okay, Slipher's discoveries, Hubble only has the credit) and the subsequents verifications from other angles of that discovery.

There had to have been a big bang or something that was in fact the beginning of the universe.

Especially when relativity came along and what was discovered is that not only did all matter begin at this early point in time, but time itself came into existence at this point, meaning that there is a complete break-down of things like causality at the point of the big bang.

So yes, as far as the physical evidence goes, all they can say is everything came from nothing. But, after all, that leaves a lot of room for a concept of God, practically demanding it. Science ultimately discovered many proofs for the idea of God as the unmoved-mover, an argument for God going back thousands of years, indeed going back to Aristotle's writings.

So it goes back to Aquinas. I completely understand, but then take God as the uncaused cause instead of the universe itself. I don't think we need to resort to religion to questions the metaphysics of God, though the ecclesiatical inquiries during Descartes's and Aquinas's would certainly help.

Taking God to have been the uncaused cause, did He have a first experience? If not, how is it that he is infinite? Most people say, "Because he is God," but that doesn't help us understand it. Then people say, "Well, we're not meant to know." True, because if we were meant to know, we would know; but that doesn't mean we're meant to not know. Then people say, "It's too complex for us to solve." On this, they might be right. But it doesn't stop my faith that we can figure it out.

One thing I never understood about atheism is its ironic resorting to faith--albeit a type contrary to theism. Athiests believe there is no God. Whether or not it is due to a lack of evidence, they believe there is no God; they don't know. Even many of these scientists who say the Big Bang occured are atheists, so they form their stances on something that doesn't make sense (matter ex nihilo) and claim to know God doesn't exist because they've never experienced God. See the hypocrisy?

Scientist: "There is no evidence of something ever coming from nothing; in fact it is completely illogical and impossible; but the Big Bang had to have occured because there's no other explanation. We know this, and because we know this, we know God doesn't exist because we have never experienced God and the Big Bang happened anyway." Seems like they're begging the question and should readily admit they just don't know and possibly can't know.

Wouldn't atheists be agnostics if they were being honest with themselves and constantly seeking the truth of the matter? I think a degree of agnosticism is needed when considering the origin (if there was such a thing) to the universe.

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Caley McKibbin:

There are so many ways to look at it.  The Big Bang could look like "something from nothing to us" because of our own size or our matter polarity.

No, that relativist approach won't work here. Either the Big Bang happened or it didn't. The concept of something from nothing is not dependent on perspective; it either happened or it didn't, and we know it is impossible, therefore we can safely say that we deductively know that the universe did not come from nothing, however the paradox continues because there must always be a first cause, but there is no such thing as an uncaused cause.

I think I'm scratching the edge of the maze and realizing I'm really just a rat with a blindfold on. . . .

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