I don’t challenge the claim that God could exist forever. I do use some clichéd arguments, but that is not one of them. I accept that if a thing can exist independent of time then it can—for the lack of better expressions—exist forever. But God’s complexity, as intelligence capable of controlling the universe, does demand explanation. However, I want to explore whether the laws of physics could exist forever.
I’ll start with a simple question. There is an equation that describes how a ball rolls down a hill. When a ball rolls down a hill, it expresses that equation. When a ball is not rolling down a hill, is the equation still true? I argue ‘yes, the equation that describes how a ball rolls down a hill is true even when there are no balls rolling down hills’. I say that because if the truth of the equation were to switch off when there are no rolling balls then there would be no reason for the same equation to be true next time.
If the equation were to stop being true every time it stopped being expressed then the next expression could be completely different. The first time you roll a ball down a hill it might stop 11 meters away. The second time it might turn into a gazelle and gallop away to the beach. Therefore, I assert that for the simple reason that physical events are repeatable and predictable the equations that describe them are true even when the events aren’t happening.
Physics describes space/time. That is what relativity and general relativity are about. If physics is true even when the thing it describes isn’t happening, then physics would also be true independent of space/time. Physics is eternal.
When science talks about the universe coming from nothing, it is talking about energy, matter, space and time coming from a state without energy, matter, space and time. Physics is still true under these conditions. You can claim that physics is not nothing, and therefore talking about a universe coming from physical principles is not describing A Universe from Nothing. Fine. But the ‘nothing’ that is free of energy, matter, space, time, physics, quantum fields, and potential is a ‘nothing’ that we don’t assume necessarily existed.
So, here’s what I propose: the nothing that science talks about and that the universe may have emerged from should be called the physical nothing and the nothing that people describe to argue against science should be called the philosophical nothing. The ‘Big Bang’ is only about getting ‘stuff’ from a physical nothing. As a final point, as the context of my blog is no secret, I offer one last question: how could God create something from a philosophical nothing; a state devoid of even potential?