Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Quantum Fluctuation and Something from Nothing

Hello Fellow Genesis Haters! A person commented on my last article and left me with an AiG article to read, so I thought I'd go ahead and refute it. It's another one about the origins of the universe. Read here.(Most of what we will focus on is over half way down the page). Also, leave a comment and let me know if this makes sense.

"Theories that the universe is a quantum fluctuation must presuppose that there was something to fluctuate—their ‘quantum vacuum’ is a lot of matter-antimatter potential— not ‘nothing’."

Note the double negative at the end. So, is the quantum fluctuation nothing or not? The quantum vaccum could count as something. Then the universe would be eternal. The Quantum vaccum might be eternal and unchanging, who knows?

Now for the next part of the article that caught me off guard:
"If QM was as acausal as some people think, then we should not assume that these phenomena have a cause."

Victor Stenger has written an article on whether quantum events are caused, and they may not be.

We all know how Radiometric Dating Works: Certain atoms, like Uranium, spontaneously change into lead. They do this based on statistical laws, so they may not be caused at all. Some decay sooner, and some decay later. No one knows why they do what they do. So it's reasonable to suppose they are not caused.

Now, even if they were caused events, this would not upset me at all. Subquantum forces may have started the universe. Then, we would only have to say that the laws of nature are eternal.

Another bone I have to pick with Safarti:

"Also, if there is no cause, there is no explanation why this particular universe appeared at a particular time, nor why it was a universe and not, say, a banana or cat which appeared."

Why didn't a cat appear? Well, I suppose that it might be because it is highly improbable, or because vacuum fluctuations only produce energy particles.

Why did this universe appear at one particular time? This is a good one. My answer is that firstly the vacuum of space is eternal. With that in mind, quantum fluctuations would have happened all over the universe. Since these fluctuations act on statistical probability, we know that somewhere lots of this would have happened at once. (NOTE: I am leaving the realm of science and going into speculation with this next bit. I do not know for sure, and I am taking an educated guess.) Now, once all of these particles collected together via gravity, they formed the singularity of the big bang. Matter formed afterward.

What does this guy think he's getting away with, who is he fooling? He is refuted with common sense and a few google searches. This is pathetic.

[Keep in mind that I am not saying this view of the universe's origin is correct, only that his criticisms are incorrect. There are a lot of models for the universe, such as the brane hypothesis.]


Anonymous said...

I don't know why when you take out the double negative, you add a negative at the same time to write "some people do not think".

Also, a double negative really only applies to two negatives regarding the same clause or the same thought. In the statement that you quote, the first negative is about the factual universe, and the second negative is about people's subjective assumptions. It sounds like the author was saying that if the facts point to an acausal universe, then our assumptions should do the same.

In my opinion, the author probably means that our thoughts should line up with the facts. Since a lot of people's thoughts do not line up with the facts, this appeal would make sense. As far as saying that our assumptions should line up with the facts, well, if they are factually based, why would we still go on calling them assumptions? This does not fit the Euclidean definition of an assumption. An assumption is something you must make before you can understand or express any facts. An assumption does not agree with facts, but it is a mental starting point from which to activate logical thinking.

AIGBusted said...

Well, he's saying that if Quantum events are not caused, then we should not assume they are caused. It's a tautolgy. A statement that means nothing.

Anonymous said...

I read the original article. The author mentions two phenomena for which quantum physicists attribute causes to or assume causes for: "... one would need to find Raman bands appearing without being caused by transitions in vibrational quantum states, or alpha particles appearing without pre-existing nuclei, etc. If QM was as acausal as some people think, then we should not assume that these phenomena have a cause."

So he is saying that if quantum physics in general does not deal with causes (the assumption that his opponent makes), then quantum physicists should not be assuming that Raman bands or alpha particles have causes either, yet quantum physicists DO look for the causes of Raman bands and alpha particles. Even quantum physics does not truly deal with acausal phenomena, or at least not strictly with acausal phenomena.

The sentence does make sense in context.

AIGBusted said...

Just because some quantum events have causes does not mean all do. As stated before, the fact that quantum events behave in a statistical way, with nothing we know of to influence them, suggests these events may be uncaused. In any case, even if they are caused, it would mean nothing to this theory of the universe's origin.

Anonymous said...

Agreed: Just because there are some causes in quantum physics does not mean that everything in quantum physics is causal. Even so, the author is making a good point that we shouldn't simply refer to quantum physics as the study of acausal phenomena, when phenomena in quantum physics need to be considered on a case-by-case basis as to whether or not we investigate causality.

His point is "If QM is as acausal as some people think, then we should not assume that these phenomena have a cause." In other words, the fact that assumed causes in QM are being investigated for certain phenomena (such as the two he cites) prove that QM as a whole is not as acausal as some people think, even though a lot of QM may be the study of "acausal" phenomena. If some people think a lot of QM is acausal, they are probably correct; but if some people think that all of QM is acausal, then they are stretching the truth and should reconsider based on this argument.

I don't want to go into the author's points about the origin of the universe here. It seems that you fiercely attacked the statement as meaningless, when really in context it is meaningful after all. Perhaps if you went back and re-read the article, you would find that some other points that you originally thought were meaningless actually do have meaning after all as well.

AIGBusted said...

Sure, Mr. or Ms. Anonymous! TO be honest, I was tired when I wrote the article. I should revise it in the next couple of days.

Anonymous said...

That's pretty much the first thing I tell creationists on their blogs: Google it. Their source material seems limited to a few sites, all of which already support their beliefs. Of course, in my experience, they never actually take the advice. And they also ignore any links you post (or even delete them from the post; that's happened to me a few times).

AIGBusted said...

I agree Jon. It would be great if they would start citing peer reviewed papers and link to them as well. That would be what a real scientist would do. Unfortunately, you will learn that creationists are very unscientific in their approach.

Amy Blackwelder said...

I agree with all of modern science and especially everything Steven Hawking has discovered. Something from nothing (whether you view nothing as No Thing or as an eternal quantum vacuum) Either way makes sense to me. But contrary to modern conclusions that this means atheism is absolute, I have my reservations to conclude such.

Even in ancient spiritual teachings, such as Rumi and Kabbalah, (we are talking 500 years prior to modern science), the ideas of something from nothing, evolution, big bang, a vacuum of energy, and many other concepts existed. Different words, but same concepts.

I believe we are all here to learn from each other whether in science or spirituality, whether from west or east.

Amy Blackwelder said...

Another point I would like to bring up is that Gravity is the map of Space (as said by Einstein and supported by M-Theory as seen when there are no mechanisms to keep gravity onto a single brain, though there are mechanisms to keep the other 3 forces and all particles on a single brain -very interesting, but different topic) ...and so whenever we have Space, we have something. We have Gravity. But is the quantum vacuum that which is without space? or does it actually exist within some sort of space?
More of a question really, not that we would have the absolute answers...but something to consider.