Claims by prominent and not-so-prominent physicists that the universe can create itself from nothing are not exactly new. Indeed, such claims have been made since the discovery of quantum mechanics, or at the very least since Bohr and Heisenberg formulated their interpretation of quantum mechanics, which is sometimes referred to as the Copenhagen Interpretation . A similar theory was invoked by Fred Hoyle in his support for a steady state condition of the universe (which amounted to a rejection of the Big Bang theory, whose name he coined). This condition he held as a means of rejecting the beginning of the universe in time, a rejection which Hoyle made for explicitly metaphysical and theological reasons: namely, as a rejection of theism .
Unfortunately for the steady-state theorists and big-bang deniers, the weight of empirical evidence points to the universe’s having a beginning, thus vindicating Fr Lemaitre’s “Big Bang” theory. They are therefore forced to try a different approach to “proving” that there is no Creator, an endeavor which is more metaphysics than physics, even if that former word is considered a “dirty” word among most physicists today . The result involves far more philosophical speculation than physical science, albeit speculation dressed in the language of mathematics and presented as the latest of theoretical science. And while one or two of these competing theories may ultimately prove to be true—none is really testable at this time, and some cannot be testable at any time —too often the theory leads to philosophically (and especially metaphysically) shabby conclusions, which conclusions are rarely warranted by the actual empirical science in which physicists are principally trained.
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