I received a really great question concerning gravity after my previous article about Space-time, Quantum Mechanics, and the Cosmological argument for God.
The question was raised:
In addressing “why there is something rather than nothing” your article states:
“Likewise, the related question of why there is something rather than nothing (within the universe) can also be explained. The answer is gravity. Entropy x gravity = clumping. This clumping of matter is what creates stars and planets. Gravity, in other words, is why we have something rather than nothing in the universe.”
Honest questions here:
*Why is there something available to be clumped? You say gravity is the reason for there being something rather than nothing, but if there was nothing for gravity to act upon, there would still be nothing.
*And isn’t gravity a function of mass (mass of a something)?
Maybe you just shorthanded your treatment of this question. What am I missing in understanding this?
Eventually, as any astrophysicist would tell you, these super stars go super nova and explode and create new elements baked in their fiery furnaces. All the natural elements we have identified thus far are known to come from stars. Every piece of matter that exists today was baked up in a star then distributed back out into space in that stars subsequent death.
Meanwhile, the with the recent discovery of dark energy, physicists have a good idea of what is driving the universe to expand exponentially.
My point about gravity being the answer to why there is something rather than nothing is this. If there was no gravity, then there would be nothing acted upon. No effect in other words on the stuff after the big bang. Basically the hot plasma after expansion, minus gravity, would never clump and dark energy would continue to force all that energy apart while entropy would erase it from existence. Nothing would ever come to be.
This causes me to feel that theologians are asking the wrong question about the origin of something with regard to nothing. Because even with all the energy left over from the big bang, without gravity, we would still have nothing. We wouldn’t even exist to ask the question.
How did stuff form after the big bang? Physicists suppose it has something to do with Symmetry breaking.
Most physicists think it was likely a quantum fluctuation (of some kind). Yet the field of quantum mechanics is fairly young and it is not completely understood either. Luckily this is why various branches of cosmology and physics exist–so we can continue to investigate the unknown elements of our universe perchance discover why it is the way it is and how it came to be.
Gradually they are pulling the curtain which veils reality and hides her from us further and further back revealing hitherto unforeseen truths. With each new discovery our understanding of the overall picture of reality grows ever more complete.
Although I can only speak for myself, it seems to me that if religion were true, according to the claims religion makes for itself, then it would be the vehicle to revealing all the truths of reality. Since this is not the case, it makes me highly skeptical of anything religion has to say with regard to reality–the world–the universe–or myself.
Which brings me to the second part.
If so, then gravity would exist whether or not our particular universe did.
As I hopefully showed in the article, the logic behind the Cosmological argument is Newtonian. But modern physics and cosmology goes far above and beyond that type of reasoning. Especially where gravity is concerned.
Modern cosmology suggests that there is a minute vacuum energy to the quantum foam of space. This vacuum energy has recently been tested by Swedish physicists who used a virtual mirror to push a virtual particle out of the vacuum energy and it immediately formed into a tangible light particle. That is amazing. They literally tapped on vacuum energy, the closest thing to nothing there is, with a oscillating magnetic field and got a light photon out of it.
I think I should mention that gravity is also mysterious. It may even be multi-demensional (according to several physics theories). We have only been able to measure it indirectly. But new instruments are being developed which will have the required sensitivity to measure gravitational radiation in the near future (see the Michio Kaku video below). As I understand it, its frequency will tell us a lot about the nature of gravity and how the universe functions/behaves. So I am eagerly anticipating that discovery.
It seems to me, and this gets back to my initial point, if there really were a theistic deity of a power and magnitude such as the type which theologians claim, then this power has to interact with reality (otherwise what good is such a power if it remains forever unknown? It might as well not even exist–if that’s the case). If there is a God, such as the one theists posit, it can be assumed that it interacts with the universe and so should also have observable effects. The fact that we don’t see any, would, it seems to me, suggest there is no such being.