Why is there something rather than nothing?

There I go again! Back to my favorite question. It’s actually a pretty good one I think. Why IS there anything here at all, and what’s more, where did it come from? I can feel the awe whenever I focus on these thoughts. Yes, it’s awe, awesome, even shock and awe, or awe and shock, really really weird.

OK, I’m not the only one who asks such a question. In fact, I bet we all do. But here’s a link where this question is specifically taken up. It’s a rather long article by an Arthur Witherall entitled “The Fundamental Question”. Here’s the first sentence: Many philosophers have expressed a feeling of awe when they come to address what Martin Heidegger has called the fundamental question of metaphysics: “why is there something instead of nothing?”.

And while I’m on a roll here, how about the question of where did it come from anyway? Well, many will say God created it. And then someone else will say, “Who created God?” Cosmologists and astrophysicists are working on this question and I’ve been rereading the fine book by Timothy Ferris entitled “The Whole Shebang”, a very readable book for the layman on how it all got here, including theories of the Big Bang.

BUT, after pouring over this book off and on for the last several years, and also other books of a more or less technical nature, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s almost easier to say, “Forget it! God did it!” than to try to understand the latest cosmological theories of the universe, or as the case may be, universes. In fact there is a thing called nonlocality that has been verified experimentally and means any two parts of this vast universe (or universes?) can under certain conditions instantaneously connect! Forget the speed of light. That’s slow stuff! OK, I’m over the top. Over and out. Time for bed.


But there is more!

  1. Missy’s avatar

    Ever read The Elegant Universe or The Fabric of the Cosmos by Brian Greene? I think he does a good job of writing for the layman as well.

    I’ll have to go back and read the article when I have more time.

    Anyone who doesn’t ask these kinds of questions is not thinking.

  2. Mardé’s avatar

    Right! Thanks, Missy. I’m not familiar with those books by Brian Greene. I’ll look them up. Incidentally, I ordered the Short Stories of Flannery O’Connor via Amazon.

    A Briefer History of Time is an excellent little book for technical principles. That’s by Stephen Hawking with Leonard Modinow. Maybe you know of it.

  3. zgirl2’s avatar

    OOh, too bad. I’ve got a copy of the O’Connor you could have borrowed.

  4. Mardé’s avatar

    Oh, good! Maybe I can cancel my Amazon order because it wouldn’t be delivered for several weeks. Thanks, zgirl2!


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