I’ve been reading/watching all interviews I can find on the topic, but I’ve come up short answering my question. I fear I HAVE understood Laurence Krauss and that it IS as I fear. I really need to know what he means when he says “something can come from nothing”.
When pushed on the “nothing” he goes into elaborate explanations of how our idea of the properties of space void of matter has evolved.
Is he really doing anything other than conveniently borrowing the ambiguity of colloquial language for only half of the sentence? Switching context mid sentence is a great way to make puns, but not to inform the public! A lot of people are walking around thinking the something from nothing issue is truly solved! The real mystery is how something came from everything. How that infinite mass, space, time somehow produced finite quantities and restrictions in the form of physical laws. How did the finite ever emerge from the infinite? How can limitations ever derive from the limitless? In this interview with Sam Harris (whom I greatly respect), Sam pushes him on that and he seems to steer away. Can this really be true? Can a secular physicist, one of the supposed last proponents of honesty and truth really be wilfully misleading the public with intellectually dishonest word play??
He claims the definition of nothing changed. I cannot accept this on any philosophical grounds. The fact he has to say this adds to my fear that he truly is misleading the public. The scientific definition of nothing NEVER changed, we just didn’t REALZE there was something there! Leaving the colloquial possibilities aside, “nothing” can never refer to anything, so the second “something” is found, you don’t announce that “nothing was something” (except for a catchy news article title), you say “we found something”! When modern detectives re-investigate cold cases from before the DNA era and find DNA evidence, they don’t say “we found evidence from nothing”, they say “we found DNA evidence!”. When we find something we didn't know was there we never try to say that the definition of nothing changed! Shouldn’t Laurence Krauss be saying “we found that previously unknown supersymmetric quantum fields cause matter to actualise”? I suppose that wouldn’t be catchy would it. Is his desperation to free people from the various trappings of religion driving him to get people to believe a lie?
My life obsession is to find the truth of the matter! When I see supposed truth advocates mislead the public I really can’t see how that is any better than telling kids there is santa or telling people that a god wants you to do x or y. I really hope he isn’t doing what I suspect because it makes me combined sad/mad! The truth is always the best! I see the best position for science (and life) is to excitedly share what is learnt and to acknowledge what we don’t know with the wonder that accompanies a mystery. That wonder excites us to learn more and to reduce the scope of the mystery. We all know that an infinitely applicable explanation (like god did it) is not really an explanation, but lying to steer people away from this is just wrong! Please tell me I’m wrong and have misunderstood him!
Am I right to feel lied to or is this all a bunch of rabble about “nothing” ;)?