Virtual particles are often cited as evidence that things can come into existence from nothing, since they pop into existence out of the quantum vacuum. But do they even exist?
It seems many religious apologists are obsessed with the BGV Theorem, seemingly convinced that it provides irrefutable evidence that physical reality has an absolute beginning at the Big Bang. But does the BGV Theorem really show that the universe definitely began to exist?
I've been quite interested in the physics behind the apparent "fine-tuning" of the universe recently, so I decided to invest in what appears to be a well-regarded review of the subject.
Carroll explores what our intuitive understanding of time is, and how physics in the form of relativity and thermodynamics offer a deeper understanding of how time's arrow arises. Beginning with the simple observation that eggs can be made into omelettes but omelettes can't easily be made into eggs, Carroll takes us on a scientific roller-coaster all the way to the multiverse.
This book is a collection of Hawking's thoughts and reflections on ten "Big Questions" touching on the existence of God, the origins of the universe, and the future of the human race. Not everyone will agree with Hawking's conclusions, but his engaging prose and novel ideas are certainly worth the read.
Here is one of my recent articles in a nice, condensed visual form. While baryon asymmetry is an intriguing unsolved problem in modern cosmology, it does not endanger the Big Bang theory in any significant way.
While it's always healthy to be sceptical about things and to re-examine the evidence supporting your science, it seems a worrying number of people are taking this far too far. The bottom line is that there is a wealth of evidence that supports the Big Bang theory which no other known theory can explain.
This is why I say that the universe must contain time. The universe is best thought of as a static 4-dimensional shape of which slices are all we can perceive. What really bites is that we all perceive different slices of this 4-dimensional shape, and how would that be possible if the universe were only 3D?
While I can find no fault with the deductive validity of this argument - the conclusion certainly seems to follow from the premises - I'm afraid this is as successful as the argument gets. Not just one, but both of the premises commit logical fallacies which they hide in the vagueness of their formulation.
It is not difficult to find online forums and blog posts that proclaim facts and arguments as if they were certain. People of all philosophical alignments will do this. Theists will proclaim what they believe to be indisputable facts like: "Something must have caused the Big Bang", and atheists are often guilty of prophetically declaring their favourite origin story for the universe: "Quantum fluctuations produced the universe" or "Many-worlds explains fine-tuning".