An often used argument for the existence of God is simply "where did matter come from?" What do you think?

I am a Physics major. I read Steven Hawking and Brian Greene and whoever else I can find, but I still struggle with this question. Where did matter come from? Was there a definite beginning of time in which all matter was created? Or has all the matter in the universe always existed? Or does the truth lie in some other answer? What do you think?

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Physics has to have always existed.

 

Not necessarily.  The rules that allow this universe may very well be able to arise from nothing, or they could have existed forever.  As far as I know, there isn't enough data to conclude either position, although I'd love to be proven wrong on that!

Maybe our ability to understand true reality is closer to that of an amoeba than we think. Physics postulates more dimensions than we can perceive. We see a tiny part of the electromatic spectrum.

There will always be things we don't know and we aren't capable of perceiving. I sit here with ancient fillings in my teeth, I'm sure my head would look like a strobe light to a creature that can see the full spectrum of light with all the radio waves, microwaves and such hitting me right now. You can't know reality you can't perceive. Reality is, the concept of I don't understand but there must be an explanation that I can understand is not true. Questions you can't answer, you can't answer. Religious people fill in the blank with God did it. Just let go of the question until you have enough information to formulate an answer.  

First, this is a fun topic as everyone adds their own ingredient(s) to the soup and you end up with a lot of things to think about.

But, humans are very arrogant, in my opinion, to believe we will ever have the definate answer to this question.

If you think about the immense size of the universe, to the point we can see, and to even think what is even beyond that to what we can't see, I think humans, at our current level of intelligence, fully and accurately understand less than 1% of the universe.

Knowing this, it is absord to believe we have even a slightest accurate thought as to unlocking the secrets of the universe such as where did matter come from.

We don't know...and I am certain that within my lifetime, or even within the next 500 years..we will probably be no closer in actually knowing as we were 100 years ago.

Sure, we may have better, more thought out theories based on our mico-advances we have made in understanding the world around us...but I believe we are no closer to actually knowing.

I believe the universe in very content in not giving up its secrets, especially to the insects that inhabit a very, very small blue planet in the corner of no where that the univere couldn't care less about.

I dunno about your time line, man.  Given the exponential rate of knowledge growth, when not held back by a fundamentalist religion ... 500 years is a damned long time to say we'll learn almost nothing.

 

I'd also disagree that we're no closer to knowing anything than we were 100 years ago.  In 1910 1911 (god dammit) we didn't even have a good model for DNA.  We also didn't have a hadron collider.

I often wonder why people feel that they absolutely have to know the answer to this question when it may well be that we will never be able to know it, if indeed, there even is an answer. And let's suppose, just for the sake fo argument, that there even is an answer, that we would be able to actually comprehend it. I remember thinking years ago, long before it had become a popular theory, that it was entirely possible that the universe was expanding in way that there would be no return, that the expansion's forces were greater than gravity's ability to pull that matter back together again, possibly returning to yet another possible Big Bang infinitely far in the future. I think that notion had elements of religiosity in the sense that people were comforted by the idea that the universe was somehow a closed system; they could  not come to terms with an ever decomposing universe, or infinitely expanding one at least.
The most likely answer is in the terminology that people are using.  The universe doesn't conform to language~ we like to say things like 'beginning' and 'end' but those are merely concepts~ in all likely-hood the universe has no area that could be considered a "beginning"~ example, multiverse theory proposes that when 2 dimensions come in contact, that point in contact is the instance of creation in our universe.  That sounds good, but people will want to say there was nothing before that.  Nothing? well, the universe is a 'set' that could contain something or nothing, but pre-universe there is no set to begin with~ so there really isn't nothing or something, there just isn't. Seems to me that the confusion comes from this loose terminology.  Even in the instance mentioned above, there is still something (other universes/dimensions) just not on a plane of existence that matters to us.  That is a simple answer to the question, but trying to understand it is difficult if you have the wrong mindset.  Was there nothing? No, not really.  Was there something? No, again, not really.

Here is a thought I had about it, it seems like we are still stuck in the mindset that what we can perceive is all about us. Like it's our universe and everything else is nothingness. Wonder if there are just as many universes as there are stars in our galaxy or more. We should not discount the thought of there being a "big bang" happening right now somewhere and creating another universe amongst a sea of universes. Imagine our neighboring universe being so far away that we never develop the technology to ever detect it. This idea expands my thoughts on the definition of a "universe". We might would even need to come up with a new word for a network of galaxies rather than "universe" if the universe made up of other networks of galaxies that are separate from our own. If matter has an infinite past then it is possible that space and other possible galaxies can go on infinitely also. Please understand that I am not saying that this is the case, I only toy with the thought of it being a possibility.

 

Also, when asked where did the universe come from I retort with why did God make everything? At some point he/she was satisfied with nothingness and became bored, or unhappy with it. His needs or wants changed at that time. Since then it has been 13 billion years, plenty of time to change his mind again. Wonder if he got bored again and went on to create another dimension of reality that we have no part of.

 

 

The answer is, "I don't know" where matter came from. That does not mean that the positing of a deity is necessary. it's okay not to know. Theist don't know either where matter came from, they just claim without evidence that God made it. You might then ask, "Where did God come from". If God can be eternal so can matter. This is a species of the First Cause argument. Sam Harris makes this point clearly and often.

nothing isnt nothing anymore!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ImvlS8PLIo

Dr. Krauss at AAI 2009

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