Krauss tackles how we got here and where we’re going

Les Fraizer

By A Contributor

Can something be created from nothing? The author boldly titles his book “A Universe from Nothing” where the first law of dynamics states energy and matter cannot be created or destroyed. This begs the question. If our spirit contains something, what happens to it at death? People have different answers. I believe I have a spirit by my definition. Water can be converted into steam and the energy created by two billiard balls colliding is changed into sound. Krass said he wrote the book to show how our universe might have originated. Our universe could have started as a small region of space, which was essentially empty and grew enormously into lots of matter and radiation. He says we may never have enough empirical evidence to resolve the problem.

Many think God, according to the bible, created life and matter.

“In the beginning the word already existed, the word was with God and the word was God.” Political stereotypes are ingrained in us and like many stereotypes they have an element of truth in them that reflects our moral values, especially those we derive intuitively according to the book. We use intuition to make decisions and then rationalize them with snap decisions, which are not based on reasonable calculations. Political stereotypes of liberals about conservatives include thinking they are gun lovers, bible believers, anti-socialistic and against fair taxes for the very wealthy. I think we would turn public fire, police protection research and the army into private programs if we had no socialism. 

Reasonable calculation would help spread democracy though free and open exchange of information and services across international borders.

This would give people more voice to speak to power and special interests easing many problems in the United States today.

The fact that beliefs are so heavily laden with emotional baggage should help us consider the position of others and be skeptical of our own.

For example, take the magazine “Skeptical Inquirer.” It tells us to be curious but skeptical. This is necessary for advancement because biological evolution is continuing but technological or mind evolution is moving a million times faster. At this rate we will need to find faster transportation to populate other planets.

I believe our destiny depends on our ability to increase the pace of improvement of human characteristics to keep pace with technology. The presence of our weak backs and lowering of moral values are examples where this has not occurred; stereotyping can cause polarization in politics. 

Conservatives look at liberals as favoring big government, tax increases, socialism and over protection of our environment.

It seems to me government should be small enough to encourage private enterprise but large enough to fulfill the statement in the Declaration of Independence that guarantees every citizen the right to pursue happiness.

This includes encouraging everyone who wants to work and will work to a good education, health, safety in the work place, food and protection of life and property.

One theory states that life came into being because of the right chemistry and electricity in the water creating a cell able to reproduce from energy in the environment. Will this ever be duplicated or has it been done on other planets?

Krauss thinks we would find answers if we could determine what is in empty space. Personally, I don’t think life exists other places. If it did we would have made contact.

In order to understand parts of this book, I had to study physics, science, biology and other fields. Most were new to me. While there is a lot of technical language in places, I found much of it to be interesting information. The technical language included quantum mechanics, equations, quarks, geometric quantities, protons and others.

C.S. Lewis, an Oxford professor, wrote if there is something from nothing, we may never have enough evidence to prove it.

Anti-matter, according to Wikipedia is considered positive energy. Energy is the ability of a physical system to do work on other physical systems. I ask how can there be force from nothing?

Eugene Mallove, scientist, claims a team of scientists produced a greater than unity output in replicating experiments.

I think this is an area that should be extensively pursued to find something from nothing.

Perhaps the splitting of the atom and finding the God particle will add information for scientists.

To me, evolution, which cannot be duplicated, relies on observations and not duplication. This is far less reliable, although we have to accept observations because they are the best evidence we have of how natural law works in many cases. In the short run, scientists have worked with genes in fruit flies to alter color in offspring. We are able to clone sheep.

What does the future hold for humans? Global warming evidence comes from observations, yet many scientists tell us it is real. With ice and snow melting in the arctic and the oceans rising elsewhere, we are better off to error on the side that makes sacrifices now rather than possible disasters later.

Krass stated empty space contains energy. Richard Feynman, physicist, says we have no knowledge of what energy is. We must keep an open mind to accept observations and experiments to use new knowledge to our benefit.

Krauss does not listen to any of this negativism and helps enlighten us to possibilities that something can come form nothing.

Les Frazier is emeritus professor at Kansas State University.

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