Tuesday, August 17, 2010

No boundaries? Or no possibility?

A friend commented on Stephen Hawking's "no boundary" proposal:
The no boundary proposal means that one can picture the origin of the universe as being like the formation of bubbles of steam in boiling water. Quantum fluctuations lead to the spontaneous creation of tiny universes out of nothing.
My friend points out that it is not really 'out of nothing' as Hawking states. Quantum fluctuations require some sort of space-time and energy, even if they different from our own. So we've only traded one problem (get rid of the idea of a beginning) for another (what caused the space-time and energy that gave rise to the tiny universes?).

Basically, something isn't nothing. And nothing comes of nothing.

By the way, here are some varying definitions of "nothing", as seen by a physicist.