|The Current Car-wreck
Over the millennia, the central question of scientists, meta-physicists and theologians alike has been “where did we come from”? In ages past, religion had it's varied answers, and more recently, science has picked up the mantle.
It has been particular mission of a number of scientists to discredit any idea of the origins of the universe or mankind that include a deity. Stephen Hawking's “Brief History of Time” had a forward written by Carl Sagan that expressed that the purpose of the book was to re-imagine a creation “without a Creator” or at least a universe with nothing for a “Creator to do”.
More recently astrophysicist Lawrence Krauss has published “A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Instead of Nothing” which has ventured down this same trail. With the forward by Richard Dawkins, it was hailed as being akin to the publication of Darwin's Origin of Species as far as the revolutionary ideas that were presented. Krauss has been busy on the lecturer circuit promoting the book, and having panel discussions with Dawkins about the content. Krauss claims to have provided an explanation in terms of quantum mechanics how the universe came to be all on its own.
The short explanation of his theory is that the seemingly “empty” vacuum of space is really full of dark energy (which happens to be pushing the galaxy apart at an increasing rate), and that the Uncertainty Principle, in conjunction with the dark energy, gravity, and what we know of quantum mechanics allows for particles to just randomly pop into existence “out of nothing”.
At this point, even a scientific layperson would have some questions. Namely, if we are talking about “nothing”... why are we starting with the presence of dark energy, the existence of gravity, time and cosmological theorem already present before we see the appearance of “something”? The presence of gravity would also necessitate the existence of the Higgs-Boson fields, and there is a quality of “mass” already in existence. Couple that with the fact that Krauss is counting on lots and lots of dark energy in existence before there is “something”, and all of a sudden his “nothing” isn't quite so “nothing” any more.It might be analogous to me promising to make a cake magically appear "from nothing", and when I was called upon to demonstrate my supernatural prowess, I pulled out the flour, water, butter, sugar, and eggs, mixed them all up, put the batter in a pan, cooked for 90 minutes, and asked everyone to validate that something truly extraordinary had happened.
In a discussion at University of Arizona with Dawkins, Krauss simply poo-poos how his “nothing” is really full of lots of “somethings” and never deals with the obvious questions “where did the dark energy/ gravity/ etc come from? So, in short, Krauss doesn't actually explain anything coming from nothing... he presupposes an existing universe, just different from what we visibly see around us right now, as the precursor to the “big bang”. Even then, his primordial universe is subject to the same rules of quantum mechanics that we are familiar with, which puts him out of odds with most astrophysicists.
Although dark energy is seemingly the magic stuff that makes everything happen in Krauss' cosmology, there is a more pessimistic and macabre aspect to it all. Krauss and Dawkins acknowledge that the dark energy is pushing out all of the galaxies of the universe away from each other with a far greater force than the gravitational pull of the galaxies could hope to counter. Consequently, the inflationary rate of the universe is accelerating. It is a dismal enough thought to us that the other galactic systems will always be moving away... but even more so to imagine that they are picking up speed as they go!
There will be a day in the distant future, the say, when dark energy has pushed all the galaxy and stars so far from each other, that looking into the night sky, there will be nothing but empty blackness. There will be no evidence that there ever was a “beginning” to the universe, nor anything for any observer to prompt them to think that there was anything other than complete solitary isolation.
Yet at this moment, we live at such a time that we can see the universe spreading out in front of us, which gives us pause to reflect upon the beginning. And we live in a place that seems to be tailor-made for us as life forms, with just the right amount of gases in the air, and temperatures across the land masses. A thin veneer of liquid water, the oceans, to help mitigate extreme temperatures around the planet. Jet streams to carry evaporated water around the globe, to then be cooled, condensed, and fall as precipitation on dry lands. A moon to cause tides, and seasons, caused by the slight tilt in the planet's axis. A magnetic field and an ozone layer, to protect us from lethal radiation coming from our sun.
On a cosmic and biological level, there are hundreds of small variables which have worked in conjunction to bring us to where we can look up, and comprehend the universe as it was created. The smallest change in any of them would mean that this planet would have either never formed, or at least never have been habitable.
And looking at all of these, the best minds in science can only come up with that it spontaneously happened by itself? To live on a planet such as ours, with such conditions, while 99.9999999% of the rest of the universe is unihabitable in its natural state, it is clear that we hit the jackpot on the cosmic lottery. And the odds weren't even a trillion to one. It was a trillion, trillions to one. But here we are.
Krauss, Dawkins, Hawkings, and the late Carl Sagan, can only comprehend that, in their “no-god-at-any-cost” mentality, that it all happened on its own, from magic stuff that came from somewhere they don't care to speculate on, and it came out just right for us. But without being able to explain the mechanism why things would just “pop in to existence”, or where the all of the supposed incredients came from, then we aren't really talking about science anymore. They are just grasping at wild speculations to get around the simple postulate that creation was created by a Creator.
“In the beginning, God created...” is the finish line for cosmology and astrophysics. As we learn more about the Higgs-Boson particle, dark energy, and quantum mechanics, we are still speeding toward that end. Krauss and Dawkins, however, would rather crash the car in a fiery wreck, then cross that line.