About God by Manuel Lozano Leyva

This post is also available in: Spanish

The God problem is something Physics has a clear view on, especially since the seventies. Even though now Hawking has brought it to light and become even more famous, I think mainly out of commercial reasons, because Physics-wise there’s no novelty. This has been clear since we found out about vacuum fluctuations. They became well known in the seventies. What are they? Spontaneous generation of energy, and thus of energy and matter, as an uncaused phenomenon. There are many of those in physics. Radioactivity, for instance, doesn’t need a cause: it appears spontaneously. From the moment we discover vacuum fluctuations, we can see the idea of God is superfluous or, at least, unnecessary. Something which, with intuition, has been thought for long. The person to best phrase it was Laplace, who was a minister for Napoleon, even though he was shortly kicked out because he wasn’t so good a minister. Laplace showed Napoleon a paper where he had mathematically described the whole solar system. Napoleon didn’t understand a thing and said to Laplace: “I can’t see God anywhere”. And Laplace answered: “Sire, I never had need to make use of such hypothesis.” Vacuum fluctuations show not only that Physics does not need to make use of the God hypothesis but that the greatest thing that is attributed to God, the spontaneous generation of something, the Universe, can be achieved without a cause. And now all we have to do is discuss the fact that a vacuum fluctuation has little energy but the Universe has a lot but, what do “little” and “a lot” mean? That is a purely relative question. I think Hawking is right, even though it’s something we’ve know for long, so his bringing it up obeys mainly commercial reasons.

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