Sunday, 28 October 2012

Things Christians say, part 37: Something from nothing?

A weekly series of responses to the things Christians say to atheists, based on the video reproduced here on 30th January 2012.  The aim is to tackle one every weekend, to give both a moderate, polite response to each question ('Piano'), followed by a more forceful rebuttal of the same question ('Forte'). 

It doesn't make any sense - you're saying that something came from nothing?


Interestingly, it is now quite well established that the things that we perceive as 'something' are rather precisely balanced by anti-somethings.  I'm not talking about matter and anti-matter, but something a little more subtle.

Matter and energy are closely related.  Mass doesn't come in negative quantities but believe it or not energy does.  And it turns out that the negative energy in the universe is rather accurately equal to the positive energy (which includes the energy that is tied up in matter.

In other words, our obvious somethings can indeed come from nothing.

Sometimes common sense doesn't work as our intuitions predict, but that doesn't mean that we are wrong.  Try going on a children's roundabout and throwing a ball to someone on the other side and see whether you can work out how the flight path of the ball makes sense.  With a bit of practise you would find that it did.  You have to do the same thing in physics.

This might be quite tricky physics that is not obvious to the ordinary reader - not that any of my readers are ordinary.    But I have much more trouble with theological arguments about the Trinity than I do about something coming from nothing.

Read some Lawrence Krauss.  You might enjoy it.



It doesn't make sense.  You're saying that God is three and yet one.

Where do arguments like that get us?

Anyway, wherever all the 'somethings' in the universe came from, you still have all your work in front of you to demonstrate that it was your particular God was involved.

Last episode: Faith is evidence of things unseen
Next week:  Aw - that's sad.

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