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If there was ever Absolutely Nothing would there ever be....anything?
Old 04-26-2008, 04:57 PM   #1
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If there was ever Absolutely Nothing would there ever be....anything?

Picture the infinite universe as containing nothing. It has no light, no dust, no particles of any kind, no air, no elements, no molecules, no spirit, no force fields. It's absolute nothingness. In fact, we can call it Absolutely Nothing.



So here's the question: if originally -- bazillions of years ago -- there was Absolutely Nothing, could there ever be....anything? What is your answer and what are the implications of your answer?

I need to know.
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Old 04-26-2008, 05:00 PM   #2
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Will this affect the overall return of my retirement portfolio?
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Old 04-26-2008, 05:09 PM   #3
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Until someone proves otherwise, the evidence is that the total quantity of matter and energy available in the universe is a fixed amount and never more or less.
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Old 04-26-2008, 05:30 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cashflo2u2 View Post
Picture the infinite universe as containing nothing. It has no light, no dust, no particles of any kind, no air, no elements, no molecules, no spirit, no force fields. It's absolute nothingness. In fact, we can call it Absolutely Nothing.



So here's the question: if originally -- bazillions of years ago -- there was Absolutely Nothing, could there ever be....anything? What is your answer and what are the implications of your answer?

I need to know.
Here's my highly unscientific, highly un-mathematical explanation:

Note that 0 = 1 + (-1)

We may (without loss of generality) interpret this as saying that nothing (i.e., 0 in the above equation) is the combination of the universe (i.e., the "one"-verse, denoted by "1" in the above equation) and the negative universe (or anti-universe, denoted by "-1" in the above equation).

Also note that physicists have proven the existence of "anti-particles." For example the anti-particle of a proton is an anti-proton. The particles constitute the universe, the anti-particles, the anti-universe. Combine a particle with an anti-particle and you get a "nothing" particle as predicted by the above equation.

QED
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Old 04-26-2008, 05:30 PM   #5
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Old 04-26-2008, 05:33 PM   #6
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Will this affect the overall return of my retirement portfolio?
If there's nothing, it's really hard to get much of a return on your investments.
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Old 04-26-2008, 06:30 PM   #7
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Picture the infinite universe as containing nothing. It has no light, no dust, no particles of any kind, no air, no elements, no molecules, no spirit, no force fields. It's absolute nothingness. In fact, we can call it Absolutely Nothing.
Sounds like there is no "there" there so it can't be pictured. Once you start to picture it you add spacial dimensions and then you no longer have nothing.
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Old 04-26-2008, 06:44 PM   #8
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Sounds like there is no "there" there so it can't be pictured. Once you start to picture it you add spacial dimensions and then you no longer have nothing.
Quote from Gertrude Stein: "There is no there there" [referring to Oakland, CA]

Sounds like you have just described Oakland.
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:15 PM   #9
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Einstein would say if there were no matter then the only thing there could be is pure energy if the Nothing become something. Matter and energy can and do change back and forth so if there is no matter but later there is then what was there has to be only energy.
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:27 PM   #10
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Sounds like there is no "there" there so it can't be pictured. Once you start to picture it you add spacial dimensions and then you no longer have nothing.

Is that the same as saying that "Nothing" is a noun and therefore must refer to something? I hope not.
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Old 04-26-2008, 07:30 PM   #11
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Look, the title to this board is "Life After Fire" so I thought this was an appropriate place to ask such a question. Plus, I find the denizens of these boards to be highly intelligent, humorous and knowledgeable on many issues.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:00 PM   #12
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You can't imagine absolute nothingness. By imagining nothing you are, in fact, imagining something, and if you're imagining something then something has to be in that something that you're imagining. Kind of like when you're doing nothing (laying around the house, being lazy, etc) you're still doing something. You're forced to give nothingness somethingness.

What you then have is an infinite number, because even 0 is the absence of something, and you cannot go below a 0 sum of anything, at least in real world math. What you're suggesting is taking an infinite number (absolute nothingness) and seeing if something can be added to it. However, that's impossible, because if you can add something to infinity, you're not really at infinity because at that point nothing can be added; you'd always have one more thing that could be added.

So, maybe the better question is "imagine a tiny ball of something, outside of which no time or space exists or matter exists: could the universe have really come from that?" Was this originally supposed to be a kind of theological question?
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:16 PM   #13
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I got a real kick out of reading this thread -- very imaginative answers. The existence of this thread definitely proves that we can have nothingness.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:16 PM   #14
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You can't imagine absolute nothingness. By imagining nothing you are, in fact, imagining something, and if you're imagining something then something has to be in that something that you're imagining. Kind of like when you're doing nothing (laying around the house, being lazy, etc) you're still doing something. You're forced to give nothingness somethingness.

What you then have is an infinite number, because even 0 is the absence of something, and you cannot go below a 0 sum of anything, at least in real world math. What you're suggesting is taking an infinite number (absolute nothingness) and seeing if something can be added to it. However, that's impossible, because if you can add something to infinity, you're not really at infinity because at that point nothing can be added; you'd always have one more thing that could be added.

So, maybe the better question is "imagine a tiny ball of something, outside of which no time or space exists or matter exists: could the universe have really come from that?" Was this originally supposed to be a kind of theological question?
Maybe I made the question a little too theatrical with the imagining part. I am not sure what you are saying about the theory of absence. Basically, are you answering the question saying that if there is something now, then there never could have been nothing? No, it was not a theological question but it could have theologically implications. When you are retired you think about these things.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:19 PM   #15
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Sometimes it's most satisfying to just let the mystery be.......
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:24 PM   #16
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Why “absolutely nothing” rather than just “nothing?”
The qualifier incorrectly waters down the definition of "nothing."
There is something or there is nothing. What’s in between?
The “absolutely” in your phrasing is as unnecessary as the “totally” in “totally unnecessary.”
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:24 PM   #17
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Until someone proves otherwise, the evidence is that the total quantity of matter and energy available in the universe is a fixed amount and never more or less.
Ok. I guess Martha is saying that matter and energy are self existent and there never was nothing. That's an an plausible answer imo.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:28 PM   #18
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Why “absolutely nothing” rather than just “nothing?”
The qualifier incorrectly waters down the definition of "nothing."
There is something or there is nothing. What’s in between?
The “absolutely” in your phrasing is as unnecessary as the “totally” in “totally unnecessary.”
You are absolutely right, oops, I mean you are right.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:29 PM   #19
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Will this affect the overall return of my retirement portfolio?

This is the best answer that ever will be.
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Old 04-26-2008, 08:35 PM   #20
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The closest we've gotten to any kind of original nothingness is the "Big Bang" theory. I think another popular one that hasn't quite died out yet was Carl Sagan's oscillating universe theory, but from what I've come to understand of it, it contradicts itself. Bill Bryson had a little blurb about it in A Short History of Nearly Everything. Hugely entertaining read. Another fascinating book on "something from nothing" is Lee Strobel's The Case For A Creator.

I am suggesting that there is a lot of something now, and the best we can come up with that doesn't involve complete speculation without any convincing supporting evidence (such as some variations of string or superstring theory; 11 dimensions of dancing strings? Abandoning Occam's Razor, much?) suggests that there was a beginning that had something in it. However, no theory can be explained by the purely physical. For example, if there was this tiny ball of "comic beginning stuff: now in easy to explode package!" then how do we get from unexcited cosmic goop that so far has been perfectly content to stay in its tiny ball to an expanding universe? If it's always been in an excited state and it just took a while to hit some sort of critical junction that started the whole show, then energy has been created from nothing, and that would make the baby Einstein cry.
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