"Nothing comes from nothing, nothing ever could."
-- The Sound of Music.
I hate The Sound of Music. It's the most smarmy, sappy, namby-pambly P.O.S. ever. Thus, when I heard that Prof. Krauss had overthrown this thesis from the musical, I was elated. I immediately ordered his book from Amazon. I've always been confusesd about this issue. If we think of space and time with nothing in it as nothing, then we have a problem, because I have to imagine galaxies popping into exisence as something coming from nothing. If I think of the existence of space and time itself as part of the 'something' that is in the universe, then I get confused about what I'm thinking about. I should be not thinking about anything. I'm not sure I know how to think about 'nothing' per say. Nor do I know what it means to say that something 'comes' from nothing since 'comes' here seems to imply time itself. If time is part what is 'coming' about, I get confused.
I also don't know what 'potential' means without time of some kind. When I think of something as potential, I think of something that could happen in the future. But what does 'potential time' mean if there is no time? My imagination can't go there. So, I look forward to Krauss's examination of this issue.
While we can trace back time to the beginning of the universe, I don't know nor can I imagine where we go from there. What is a 'potential' law if there is no time? What is 'potential' space? Krauss raises a good point when he asks what philosophers mean by nothing. I mean, absolutely NOTHING! Nothing at all. Can anything be meant by this kind of philosophical nothing? Is it outside of language? I sometimes think that the 'null solution' is the most elegant and thus the most likely, but how do I assign probabilities or think of things as a 'solution' if there is nothing. Evidently there is something, so could there ever have been 'nothing' in this sense? Well, I guess at the outset I'm giving Krauss his point that 'nothing' or 'nonbeing' in this sense is kind of incoherent. So how can it be a problem we have to solve? In fact, my feeling for the problem is beginning to dissipate.