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As a result of a conversation on another blog I was motivated to Google for the following scientific hypothesis:

The “popping into being” idea is that the probability of a universe popping into being is not (quite) zero, therefore it’s gonna happen.

Its One Of Hawking’s

Hawking explains the “popping into being” theory in “Stephen Hawking Says Universe Created From Nothing” (2007)

It’s an entertaining read. The theory is based on work done by:

Richard Feynman a brilliant physicist at the California Institute of Technology. He proposed that a system got from a state A, to a state B, by every possible path or history.

Each path or history, has a certain amplitude or intensity, and the probability of the system going from A to B, is given by adding up the amplitudes for each path. There will be a history in which the moon is made of blue cheese, but the amplitude is low

Come Again ?

So non-existence is posited merely as a state which can be moved freely from or to and this movement is achieved by traversing all possible paths, including the one in which Invisble Pink Unicorns tap dance on tables at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. You are expected to take this seriously, even once you swallow the concept of non-existence as a valid state.

Non-existence as a state is a logical contradiction. Its like asking where you want the immovable object put.

Hawking goes on:

The picture Jim Hartle and I developed, of the spontaneous quantum creation of the universe, would be a bit like the formation of bubbles of steam in boiling water.

The idea is that the most probable histories of the universe, would be like the surfaces of the bubbles. Many small bubbles would appear, and then disappear again. These would correspond to mini universes that would expand, but would collapse again while still of microscopic size. They are possible alternative universes, but they are not of much interest since they do not last long

As I understand this, Hawking is talking about the expansion of the Universe fom a singularity. Which seems to me that Hawking wants to have his Invisible Pink Unicorn and eat it too. If the Universe is non-existent, where did the singularity come from ?

Perhaps I misunderstand the article. I am happy to be corrected.

Science. Yairs. *Cough*

So there you have “popping into being”. As might be expected from an untestable and highly entertaining idea from the realms of pure creativity it is full of preposterous nonsense and downright contradiction.

But because this fairy story is labelled “Science” many swallow it without bothering to read the fine print. And for many on the Left, or fanatical atheists like Stepehn Hawking and Richard Dawkins, anything that ejects God from the room is axiomatically justified.

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4 Comments

  1. I’ll try one take: The universe can pop into being if space-time is either existent as a state or non-existent. Like the bubbles in boiling water, space-time would be contained in some other essence which has within it the probability of creating space-time. We are so looked into space-time psychologically and physically that we cannot imagine, measure or understand whatever is “outside” space time (even that description is misguided because ‘outside’ is a space-time term…but that’s all we have…)

    • baraholka1
    • Posted December 20, 2009 at 9:57 pm
    • Permalink

    Hiya Scott,

    Thanks for popping into being on BTWT and taking the trouble to comment.
    In regard to that ‘other essence’ ,where did it come from if it is not God?
    In regard to the limitations of language in regard to ‘outside’ space-time, I get the argument but I see it as a linguistic means of avoiding the debate.
    AIUI the argument it says: “since space-time only exists within the Universe then time and space cannot exist outside the Universe so it is meaningless to talk about where the Universe is expanding into or what came outside or before it.”

    But nevertheless its here and its expanding. Attempts by some (not you) to short-circuit the debate by the linguistic device of claiming space-time nomenclature as irrelevant or not applicable to the discussion do not answer any questions and so leave the central point unaddressed.

    Where did the Universe come from ?

    By the way, I take it you feel my understanding of Hawking’s argument is fundamentally correct ?

    Regards,

    Barra

  2. The problem with a God concept is that unless you go with religious dogma, it’s as undefined as anything outside space-time. I don’t think it’s meaningless to think about, though — I think that it has to expand our thinking about the nature of reality. That also would explain why quantum mechanics is so weird and counter-intuitive, even apparently contradicting every day experience. There are factors involved that we’ve not yet figured out how to investigate. It may seem totally outside science now, but a few hundred years from now, who knows? Maybe sooner.

    • baraholka1
    • Posted December 27, 2009 at 12:48 pm
    • Permalink

    Scott,

    The fundamental question is about Origins.

    Where did the singularity come from that quantum mechanics acts within to cause Universes to appear in which Moons are made of Green Cheese (as Hawking notes) , or Invisible Pink Unicorns (for that matter) tap dance on tables at the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe ?

    Hawking hates God and would like to explain Him away Scientifically.
    But the explanation he has come up with does not dispel the problems of Origins nor is it more believable or logical than any fairy tale you may care to mention.

    Belief in God does not require adherence to religious dogma. It does require belief in ‘another essence’, which you have already assesnted to. Postulating the existence of God is a perfectly valid scientific hypothesis. One which is far more logically sound that Hawking’s moons made of Green cheese.

    And, Scott, your faith in Science is religious. “It will all be exaplined eventually…” Of this I have faith.

    Do you believe in Universes containing Invisible Pink Unicorns ?


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