History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Something from nothing? from Hegelian Geist to in-nature demiurgic powers, to…oops, natural selection fantasies of ‘something from nothing’

February 22nd, 2012 · No Comments


Krauss’s latest book, A Universe from Nothing: Why There is Something Rather than Nothing, explains the scientific advances that provide insight into how the universe formed. Krauss tackles the age-old assumption that something cannot arise from nothing by arguing that not only can something arise from nothing, but something will always arise from nothing.

I find the notion of ‘something from nothing’ amusingly naive–not as physics, but as a rabbit’s foot for atheism. If something can come from nothing then what can’t come from nothing? I am not sure of the physics here yet (and am mindful of critics such as Woit), this approach is going to end up with the same problem as creationism from nothing, at the dawn of the universe. A myth, but here we see that natural divinities could as well spring from nothing. And you can’t cheat here and say that the laws of physics predate that ‘nothing’.
But the idea of ‘god from nothing’ has another tradition, e.g. Hegelian ‘Geist’ as a self-evolving entity that comes from nothing (??), or the various ideas of the ‘natural’ demiurge.
Frankly, I suspect that ‘computational evolution’ that can ‘evolve’ laws of ‘non-random evolution’, are more plausible, if a bit vague as yet, as the false claims for random evolution.
None of this amounts to much, but the ‘new atheism’ doesn’t amount to anything either. It is a two-edged sword. And, in any case, if you think that natural selection can produce ‘something from nothing’ in the biological sense, you are, like Dawkins, too far gone to deal with this question.

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