I should like to focus on nothing””that is, on the various senses of nothing about which scientists, philosophers, and theologians speak””and the danger which follows from a failure to keep distinct these different senses. It may seem strange, but my task here is to make crucial distinctions about nothing….
Lawrence Kraus, however, simply rejects any appeal to notions of “nothing” which are beyond the explanatory domain of the natural sciences. As he said in an interview on National Public Radio in January: “the question of why there is something rather than nothing is really a scientific question, not a religious or philosophical question, because both nothing and something are scientific concepts, and our discoveries over the past 30 years have completely changed what we mean by nothing.” Krauss goes well beyond what most physicists would claim when he says: “the distinction between something and nothing has begun to disappear, where transitions between the two in different contexts are not only common, but required” (183). Indeed, he has a whole chapter on why nothing is unstable. In a way, of course, he is right. The “nothing” he attributes to various cosmological theories is really something. The distinguished French physicist, Ã‰tienne Klein, author of Discours sur l’origine de l’univers (2010), observes that, contrary to Krauss’ speculations, we do not have the conceptual tools to try to explain how something can come from nothing; indeed, “that which pre-exists our universe is never nothing,” since all change starts from a prior something….