Sun, moon, stars…cosmology (I think this calls for more caffeine)

From NPR: “From Nothing, Everything?”

“The best answer we have at this point is that the Universe emerged spontaneously from a random quantum fluctuation in some sort of primordial quantum vacuum, the scientific equivalent of “nothing.” However, this quantum vacuum is a very loaded nothing: it assumes the whole machinery of quantum field theory, the modern description of how elementary particles of matter interact with one another, was already in operation.”

and

“It is obvious that this quantum nothingness is very different from an absolute nothingness. Physicists may shrug this away stating that concepts like absolute nothingness are not scientific and hence have no explanatory value. It is indeed true that there is no such thing as absolute nothingness in science, since the vacuum is pregnant with all sorts of stuff. Any scientific explanation presupposes a whole conceptual structure that is absolutely essential for science to function: energy, space, time, the equations we use, the laws of Nature. Science can’t exist without this scaffolding. So, a scientific explanation of the origin of the universe needs to use such concepts to make sense. It necessarily starts from something, which is the best that science can ever hope to do.”

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