An essay donated by Susan Humphreys
Part 3 of 4:
Nothing comes from Nothing: A broad-ranging
discussion of God, Logos, Deism, Gnosticism,
Evil, Physics, Energy, and the Golden Rule:
This topic is a continued from the previous essay.
The argument for why God doesn’t exist from Physics.
Some religious folk simply ignore this argument with the claim that God is above this world, he is greater and all powerful, not bound by the laws of this world.
The problem here is that we (human beings) and everything in this world are bound by the laws (what I call Principles) of this world and all of these Principles are interconnected. If God were to interfere with any one of these Principles (such as the spinning of the earth on its axis, in order to cause the sun to stand still to give his favored group an advantage over their opponents) he would cause a ripple effect, bring about changes in all the other Principles that govern our Universe, making them null and void. In Philosophical terms this is because Principles are necessary and contingent.
- Necessary means they have to exist in order for things to happen.
- They are contingent in that they are dependent on the circumstances around them for the form they take.
All arguments have to start somewhere, with some initial basic assumption or assumptions. If this/these assumption/s are faulty the argument fails. If the assumptions are grounded on sound theories/ideas the argument might, if well made, hold together.
This is my explanation of the Physics as I, a non-Physicist, understand the concepts and explained in a way that I hope other non-Physicists can understand what I am saying. A real Physicist might have problems with my explanations.
Initial Assumption. The Universe is a closed system, although a VERY BIG one! It seems that all Principles/Theories that explain how our world works are dependent upon their applying to a closed system. There can be NO outside interference. Nothing unknown that can alter conditions making the Principles null and void. There can be no unknown entity (God) outside of the Universe that can stick a finger into the works to change conditions on a whim.
To change one thing would cause a whole cascade of changes in all other things, since everything in this Universe is connected. This is one of the fundamental teachings of Environmental Science, all things are connected even if we don’t see or fully understand the connections. I might add there are some religious groups that also grasp this concept of things being interconnected, and see everything as holy.
This fits with the philosophical argument about Perfection. If God interferes with the affairs of one person than he causes a cascade of effects for other people, some effects will harm others and a Perfect God wouldn’t harm anyone. This is the dilemma the Diests recognized, a Perfect God can’t harm anyone, and one of the reasons why they decided God can’t interfere in the affairs of men.
Assumption 2. The Universe is made up of energy, what I call AO particles for Alpha and Omega particles. In the Bible God says, I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.
These AO particles are the building blocks of the Universe, what everything is made from. These AO particles are the “something that was without effect and useless until it took form” mentioned in Genesis 1.These AO particles form the Logos of the Gospel of John.
This is based on the principle that energy in a closed system, is never lost or gained, it simply changes shape. According to Wikipedia: “ In physics, energy is a property of objects, transferable among them via fundamental interactions, which can be converted in form but not created or destroyed.”
I call those “fundamental interactions” Principles.
The problem with the Wikipedia definition is how do objects get the property, called energy? How do they acquire it? Do some objects have more of this “property” than other objects? Can objects lose this property over time? As in, can an object have a lot of it when young and less of it when old? We know old folks don’t have the same amount of energy as young folk. If so where does it go? We also know about nuclear radiation, and half lifes, that the nuclear bonds breakdown over time and throw off particles (called radiation) into space. Are these thrown off particles still “energy”, even though they are no longer attached to anything, just free floating?
To the layman, non-Physicist, energy is defined as the ability to do work. It is this ability to do work, to bring about change that makes that “formless void” in Genesis usefull. Physicists have a technical definition for “work” but I don’t think we need to go into that here.
What else can we say about Energy? Does it have substance. What is meant by substance? I define substance as something that we can touch or hold in our hand. A proper term for substance might be Matter. Remember I am not a Physicist so I say “might be” to show this is my understanding here.
Energy seems to be different from Matter. But Matter contains Energy. Is energy concrete? This is a layman’s term, it means something solid, substantial, not ephemereal (like a ghost). No, we can’t hold energy in our hand, we can hold objects in our hand, and objects contain energy but we can’ hold raw energy in our hand. Does it have mass? There is a technical definition here, but for the layman I think I can define this as something that fills a space and has weight. By its self no, only when energy is contained in a physical object or compacted together in some way does it appear to have mass.
How do we know Matter contains or is Energy. Human beings are capable of doing work, rocks are capable of doing work (breaking windows, rolling down hills), work is done by energy.
We know the chemical composition of all things, and chemicals are the same whether they are in a human or a block of wood and we know chemicals are made up of atoms. All that we see is made up of atoms and atoms are combined energy, those little AO particles.
What we have is all we will ever have. This means at least for me, that energy must in some way combine and recombine into different “forms” and if it can do that than it must also be able to uncombine back into no form.
Assumption 3. Energy appears in four forms.
A. The AO particles that are frozen, dormant, unattached, just floating around in the Universe, unable to do anything. The formless void of Genesis 1. The Logos of John.
B. Matter, all that we see, feel, touch. There are two kinds of Matter, I like to use the words Beings and Things or living and non-living Matter. I use the words Beings and Things because many folks call God a Being without any concept of what “Being” means.
“Being” is both a verb and a noun, which causes confusion for many people. When used with a little “b” (being) it is a verb for the action (the Process) of existing. I talked about definitions for existing earlier in the Philosophical argument. When used with a big “B” (Being) is a noun (a form of Matter) that means something has presence and life. Something that has life is able to breathe (take in and process gases), take in and process nourishment, and eliminate waste products and procreate (make more copies of its self). Not to get to technical here but Viruses create a problem with this definition, some consider them non-living organisms even though they have all the characteristics of living organisms.
Matter are combined AO particles, or bonded particles, bonded with a Principle called a nuclear bond. The bonds are strong, not easily broken apart but over time they do break down. Rocks for instance are pretty solid Things. Overtime wind and water and weather, freezing, heating and erosion (all Principles) will break rocks apart, releasing the energy (those AO particles) from the rock, forming the sand and gravel and dirt we walk on.
A little atom of hydrogen (an AO particle) floats all alone and unloved around the Universe when two cute little oxygen particles float by, bumping into the hydrogen particle and they decide to get together, forming H2O a water particle. Water is a real party animal and it attracts more water particles, the mist we feel in the air, then more and they become rain drops, creeks, streams, rivers and oceans. Then the heat of the sun evaporates the water, breaking the bonds that hold it together, and water vapor rises where it joins up again with…….
If I take two kernals of corn from my garden, non-hybrid of course, and I take one of those kernals to a laboratory and ask them to do a full chemical analysis and give me a list of the chemical composition of the kernel they could, in theory do that. If I take their list, their recipe so to speak, to another lab and ask them to put the chemicals together and to give me back what they create, I would in essence have something identical to the kernel of corn I started with in its chemical composition. BUT, if I plant the item from the lab in the garden along with that other kernel from my garden what will happen? The kernel from the garden will sprout and produce a new corn plant. The stuff from the lab won’t sprout, it will simply rot.
There is something in living things (Beings) that sets them apart from non-living Things. We are more than just our chemical components.
Theologians called this something a soul. But they declared that only humans had a soul, and some even believed that only white humans had a soul. There was something seriously wrong with their thinking, their theology! They couldn’t say why humans had it and animals and plants and bugs and slime molds don’t have the same thing!
What is this something that sets living things apart from non-living things and people apart from other living things? IF all matter is made up of energy what makes the energy in non-living things different from the energy in living things? The answer is in the next form that energy takes.
This topic continues in the next essay.
Originally published: 2015-FEB-20
Last updated 2015-FEB-20
Author: Susan Humphreys