http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/01/what-happened...

 

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/has-physics-m...

 

Stephen Hawking claimed that "philosophy is dead". I personally know someone who would disagree, my old philosophy professor at Rutgers, Tim Maudlin. As an undergrad at Rutgers, I took two classes under Maudlin, Metalogic and Metaphysics (I didn't do well in either of them). He is almost certainly the smartest person I have ever met. His classes were difficult, especially the Metalogic class, which was well beyond me. I should have dropped the class when I had the chance (which was before having gotten back any work, so I had no idea how badly I was really going to do in the class, or perhaps more relevantly, how hard he was going to grade). At one point in one of his lessons, he asked if there were any questions, and I responded that I was sure I did if I could come up with a coherent way of asking any of them. He said, "well, let me know!"

 

He was also a Monty Python fan, much to my pleasure. About to give us our first test, I moaned and asked, in my best Python imitation, "How long is it?" He responded appropriately: "That's a rather personal question!"

 

In any case, here he is in a lovely article where he almost single-handedly takes on the prevailing opinion that philosophy no longer has any place in the world of physics. And a second article with Krauss courtesy of AnneT. Enjoy!

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Ok, but even if I bought your hypothesis (and I don't), you still have unexplained (and probably unexplainable) philosophical questions. In the question, "why should there be something rather than nothing?", substitute for "something" and "nothing" the following: attributes of any kind, natural or not, and no attributes; conditions of any kind, metaphysical or not, latent or not, and no conditions; fundamental cosmological constants and no fundamental cosmological constants; potential and no potential. You seem to be adding more questions than answers. Any way you slice it, the philosophical questions remain.

 

Just to make it clear, once you started in with "metaphysical conditions", you made me think that you really don't know what you are talking about.

"Why is there something rather than nothing?"


Why would one assume there was a time when there was nothing?

If there was a “bang” at all, it was probably a small local one which we will someday understand as the “beginning” of our neighborhood part of the infinite cosmos .  

I’m of the notion that there has always been “stuff”,  and that the infinite existence of “stuff”  stretches as far into the infinite past as it does into the infinite future.  It just gets rearranged once in a while in both large and small ways.

Yeah Asa, I'm inclined to believe something of the same sort, but it is still a philosophical problem how something has always existed rather than that nothing has ever existed.

It's very interesting speculation though! But that's just the point. Even theoretical physics still needs philosophy to draw the distinctions between those things which are clearly indicated through empirical evidence, and speculation. I suspect much of the math which supposedly necessitates all kinds of conclusions about the universe (and particularly about other universes) falls under the category of speculation.

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