Ex nihilo, nihilo fit! (out of nothing, nothing comes!)
I have, for many years, been interested in and fascinated by the concept of time. I have written several documents on that interest, primarily for my own consumption. The concept of time (as mortals conceive of time) is extremely interesting both from a Scriptural point-of-view and from a Physicist’s point-of-view. The two views are mutually compatible in fascinating ways. As an example, in both cases an absolute limit is imposed upon them toward further/continued studies or experimentation by Man (see Evidence Of An Unimaginable God herein ). One example of that compatibility, which is also the basis for this document, is as it pertains to origins, or more specifically, the “nothingness” that necessarily has to precede the origin of our universe.
There is a fascinating book---Before The Beginning ---by Martin Rees (an associate of Stephen Hawking) wherein he tries to explain a “beginning” through science. Immediately, however, one begins to raise the question ---“How can there be anything “before the beginning”? Although Dr. Rees is an avowed atheist, he has unwittingly attached to his book a title that is reasonable and correct, because his book involves material in the space-time world we live in.
Explication: We can say “Before the beginning” of a tournament, as an example, there is planning and preparation that takes place “before the beginning” of the tournament. However, as applied to the origin of the universe with matter or material, and/or life, the beginning is inappropriate because before the actual origin of material or mass or life, there was (or IS) the Triune God only! There was (or IS) the Spirit, and nothing else! The Spirit simply IS! ----- The Triune God IS!! Not the Triune God “was” or “became” etc.
Scripture alludes to nothingness as stated in John 1:1---“In the beginning, God created --- ”, philosophically and logically implying that just preceding God’s act of creating, there was nothing! God is a Spirit (eternal and non-material), thus existing outside of time and Man’s 4-dimensional material existence. I am totally satisfied with that implied Scriptural address of nothingness!
Science, via Cosmology, uses a similar phrase to that of John 1:1 --- “In the beginning, a ‘particle’--- ” (The singularity, associated with the Big Bang theory, which originally “contained” the entire Universe and exploded into the Big Bang). Of course the existence of the “particle” negates the condition of nothingness --- a problem for the theory which will be addressed later in this document.
So what is “nothingness”? That term will hereto forward simply be referred to as “nothing.” I can’t even think nothing, because as I am thinking nothing, I am thinking of the fact that I am thinking of nothing! R. C. Sproul has very effectively described nothing as --- “Nothing is what sleeping rocks dream about”! The world-famous mathematician-philosopher and atheist, Liebnitz, alludes to nothing as he seemingly and frustratingly asks: “Why is there anything instead of nothing?” That is an excellent and disturbing question for a thinking person who cannot possibly accept the being of a Creating God!
So, I ask again, what is nothing? Webster’s dictionary describes nothing as: “the quality of non-existence” That’s acceptable! Can nothing be represented by an absolute vacuum or a void within an immense container? No! Even that volume or void within the container acts as a medium to transmit radio waves, light , magnetic lines etc (that is: light, magnetic forces and gravity travel unimpeded through a nothingness), so it is NOT nothing! A vacuum is yet a medium for transmitting light, gravity etc.
The phenomenon of nothing became a major problem to the theory of the Big Bang. According to the theory of the Big Bang, the particle called a singularity (about 10-30 centimeters in diameter or one pentillionth the diameter of a single atom) mentioned earlier in this text, exploded about 17 billion years ago and the exploded material became our Universe with its stars, galaxies, planets etc (for a comprehensive description of this theory go to your Internet). These cosmological entities were then distributed throughout the volume of our Universe. “BUT HOLD ON,” said Stephen Hawking! “There was nothing for the Big Bang to explode into. The Big Bang would have to create its own nothingness or space to explode into”. In other words, Stephen Hawking demanded the Big Bang would have to produce its own space and vacuum, because nothing was nothing! Of course the advocates of the theory weren’t about to accept a refutation of the theory which had already gained significant support, so they made amendments to sustain it.
But the concept of nothingness posed a frustrating concept, even to the imaginative atheist. It was seemingly impossible to attach any kind of theory that could apply to starting with nothingness, and then evolving into something. This frustration is so well expressed in the following quotation by Professor Heinz Pagels, Executive Director of the New York Academy of Sciences; Adjunct Professor of Physics at Rockefeller University; a theoretical Physicist:
“The unthinkable void converts itself into the plenum of existence --- a necessary consequence of physical laws.
— Where are these laws written into that void? What tells the void that it is pregnant with a possible Universe?
— It would seem that even the void is subject to law, a logic that exists prior to space and time”
Here, Professor Pagels, refers to nothingness as an “unthinkable void” To me, the quote is dripping with frustration! I believe the quote may well represent the frustrations of all atheists as they observe the Creation surrounding them.
believe the answer to the question ---What is nothing? ---is completely and
uniquely answered by considering the antonym for nothing. The antonym for
nothing is everything, or
APPROPRIATE SCRIPTURAL ADDENDUM
“For by Him were
(Notice particularly, how God, who is outside of time, uses the present tense --- He IS before all things ---.)