Posted: Apr 29, 2019 5:15 am
by Spearthrower
Pridefel Knowitelz wrote:Are there any examples of something arising from nothing?

Well, this thread came from nothing. It wasn't there, now it is. :)

In Physics, it would depend on what you called 'nothing'.

According to most physicists, 'nothing' means a vacuum. Martin Rees, the Royal Astronomer and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at Cambridge, made this point quite clearly over the years that when physicists talk about nothing, they mean empty space.

So what is empty space / vacuum? One analogy used is that empty space is for us as water is to a fish. When you take away all the things in the water, what remains is 'no thing' not 'no water'. However, just as with water, vacuums can fluctuate, ripples can propagate, there's an innate elasticity to the medium which can cause itself to do unpredictable (stochastic) things.

This has preoccupied physicists for many years, and there are dozens of experimental and mathematical models simulating this, and for all intents and purposes, we can say with some confidence: yes, something can come from nothing.

Then there's the religious version, particularly in your case the Christian metaphysics.

According to the narrative, God created the universe from nothing. There was no material 'he' used to make the universe, 'he' simply willed it all into existence. This is, of course, basically magic, but setting that aside because Christian theists cannot bear to hear that idea, it still means that theists necessarily accept the proposition that something (the universe and everything in it) came from nothing, it just took their god to make it happen.

Then there's the other problem of where God came from. Again, standard modern apologetics waves this away by saying that God always existed because they want 'him' to be the uncreated creator. Of course, by exactly the same argument, materialists can then say that the universe (not just our local pocket) always existed, and as the universe observably exists, there's no need to go round multiplying entities without adding any explanatory power.

So in summary, basically everyone agrees that something can come from nothing. The answer, regardless of whether you tend towards science, philosophy, or theology is yes.