A retired elementary particle physicist Victor J. Stenger, contrary to contemporary cosmology, still stands firm in a possibility of eternal universe.
In his talk given on November 7th 2012 at the Boulder Socrates Café, “How Can Something Come From Nothing?”, Stenger echoed Bertrand Russell’s 1948’s objection rose in a debate with Frederick C. Copleston while discussing the cosmological argument. Stenger contended,
A common question I get from religious believers is “How can something come from nothing?” They seem to think it’s the final clincher proving the existence of God—or at least some form of supernatural creation. Of course, they don’t say how God came from nothing. Or, if they do, they claim God always existed and so did not have to come from anything. But then, why couldn’t the universe have always existed? In fact, modern cosmology suggests that it did—that the universe is eternal. (Stenger 2012: n.p underline original)
After taking a similar Lawrence Krauss’ route on “nothing” and contending for multiverses, Stenger concluded his talk,
“So, how can the multiverse have come From Nothing? Since the multiverse always existed, it didn’t have to come from anything.”(ibid)
On March 17th of 2012 in New Scientist, a magazine with the aim of keeping us up to date with science and technology news, Stenger explained that we should have found evidence from astronomy and physics if God were its creator, but we don’t he wrote. He went further to inform us that “modern cosmology suggests an eternal ‘multiverse’ in which many other universes comes and go”(Stenger 2012: 47)
Should we tell Stenger that a month earlier, 14th of January, in the same magazine, Lisa Grossman reported the “Death of eternal cosmos: From the cosmic egg to the infinite multiverses every model of the universe has a beginning”? Should we tell Stenger that on 1st December 2012, New Scientist’s magazine cover story stated that: “Before The Big Bang: Three Reasons Why The Universe Can’t Have Existed Forever”? No. Don’t tell Stenger.
Grossman And Chown: What We Should Not Tell Stenger
Back in January 14th, in New Scientist magazine featuring Hawking’s 70th birthday, Grossman’s article, Death of the eternal cosmos: From the cosmic egg to the infinite multiverse, every model of the universe has a beginning, ironically began,
YOU could call them the worst birthday presents ever. At the meeting of minds convened last week to honour Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday – loftily titled “State of the Universe”’ two bold proposals posed serious threats to our existing understanding of the cosmos”
Grossman reported that cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston went through different models and concluded that space-time can’t possibly be eternal in the past and that all the evidence that modern cosmologist have say that the universe had a beginning.(Grossman 2012: 6-7)
Truth never sleeps. Just in case Stenger missed that issue nor follows updates in modern cosmology anymore, New Scientist’s cover story of 1st December 2012 went deeper than Grossman’s article, giving three reasons why the universe can’t have existed forever.
Chown’s article, In The Beginning: Has the cosmos existed forever, or did something bring it into existence? explained that “until recently an answer[to settle the question whether the universe has away been here] seemed as distant as ever”(Chown 2012: 33). He went further,
However, earlier this year, cosmologists Alex Vilenkin and Audrey Mithani claimed to have settled the debate. They have uncovered reasons why the universe cannot have existed forever.”(ibid)
Chown reported that Vilenkin went through singularity theorems/eternal inflation; “[u]niverses have always been inflating from the vacuum and always will”], cyclic universe; “4D universes repeatedly collide together in a fifth dimension crating a big bang events” and emergent universe; “[t]ing universe has existed forever but blew up to its present size”, and showed the flaws in forever.(Chown 2012: 34-35)
So, should we update Stenger on what modern cosmology says on this issue? Should we tell him eternal cosmos is dead? You decide.
Question: Would I be wrong in thinking that Stenger’s faith in eternal universe has nothing to do with science but with religion?
Chown, Marcus (2012) “In The Beginnning: Has the cosmos existed forever, or did something bring it into existence?” in New Scientist of 1 December 2012: 2893
Grossman, Lisa (2012) “Death of the eternal cosmos. From the cosmic egg to the infinite multiverse, every model of the universe has a beginning” in New Scientist of 14th January 2012: 2847
Stenger, Victor J. (2012) “The God Hypothesis” in New Scientist of 17th March 2012: 2856
___________________ (2012) “How Can Something Comes From Nothing?” November 7th 2012 Talk at the Boulder Socrates Cafe.
Coverphoto: New Scientist 1 December 2012, Before big bang: New Scientist 14th January 2012 & Andrew David’s Bertrand Russell