Yes, Yes I Know,
I'm A Bastard!
How are you? I hope everything is alright with you.
I have a tiny, little, insignificant correction to make with regards to your response to: "Four questions from a High-School Teacher." At least I think it's a correction but, not being a physicist by profession, I might be wrong.
|Basically, it is possible, in a complete vacuum, for pairs of oppositely charged particles to manifest themselves from nothing, and to assimilate back into nothing. Since they are oppositely charged, no energy is used for their creation and no energy is lost in their assimilation. This phenomenon is called a "singularity."|
The fact that two particles are of opposite charge by no means imply that you need no energy to create them, only that the law of conservation of charge is preserved. If a positron and an electron are colliding with each other, the result will be a 100 percent energy transformation of their masses into energy, according to the familiar E=mc2. Scientists have been able to concentrate energy into such a tiny space as to "create" a positron/electron pair.
What I think you are referring to is the "quantum foam" or the "unspecified" structure of even empty space. Heisenberg said that you cannot accurately measure the position and velocity of anything, this includes an absolute vacuum (which would have velocity and change of velocity = 0) This means that even a empty region bubbles with activity on a very, very, microscopic scale. The so called Planck-length is about 10E-33 meters, making it almost neglectable. Within this extreme scale, the law of conservation of energy is not valid. Energy can be created as long as it disappears "before nature is looking."
How this corresponds to a growing universe, I don't know. I guess you'll have to ask Victor Stenger about that.
I hope you'll forgive me for pointing this out but out of all of life's pleasures, I like nitpicking the most.
From: "Positive Atheism" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Grahn, Johan"
Subject: Re: Yes, yes I know. I'm a bastard!
Date: Tuesday, October 24, 2000 10:42 AM
Yeah, I thought I was getting that one aspect a little wrong (or incomplete, at best) but I still am not all that practiced at taking a complex subject and reducing it to language that the rest of us can understand (I am a writer and you'd think that would be my job, but we're talking particle physics, here!). I'll keep trying to present the sophisticated ideas of Stenger and the others in a crude and rudimentary form, as this is my level of education and understanding. He talks of the positron-electron pair and talks about it materializing out of nothing. He also talks about the universe requiring no energy to start, and then links the two in his hypotheses. If he wasn't so busy, I'd see about asking him if he's ready to put all this into a concise form that most people can at least grasp -- although his book Not By Design is relatively easy to follow if you learn how to skip over the equations.
The bottom line for me is Dawkins's observation that to use a god to explain the existence of the universe only complicates the explanation: if the unverse is so vast and complex that it needs a creator to explain it, then all the more would the creator need to be even more vast and even more complex (or at least more powerful) than creation. So, positing a god by pointing to "creation" provides us with no solutions to our questions.
My spin on this is that to use the word creation begs the question. Before we can talk about "creation," we need first to cough up a creator. The undisputed existence of a creator is the only way to know, for sure, that something has been created.
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