DOI: 10.14704/nq.2014.12.4.777

Did the Universe Emerge from Nothing? Reductive vs. Holistic Cosmology

Robert W. Boyer


Consensus’ big bang theory is frequently associated with a reductive view of the universe as emerging from an infinitely dense, infinitesimally small singularity or even nothing (ex nihilo). But wouldn’t nothing mean no potential, energy, temperature, information, or random quantum fields to bang out when the ‘right values’ of ‘unstable nothing’ arose? Let us instead consider a coherent alternative, in which the universe emerged within an infinite eternal unified field that cannot be ‘banged out of.’ It can be called a singularity in the sense that it is the singular totality, and ‘nothingness’ in that it transcends all ‘things’—but not literally nothing. This paper summarizes progress in cosmological models toward a holistic account in which the entire universe phenomenally emerges within infinite eternal ‘space-time.’ The shift from reductionism to holism has immense implications for the origin and structure of nature—as well as our phenomenal relation to it as conscious beings with real minds and free will—consistent with ancient Vedic cosmology.


inflationary cosmology; reductivism; nothingness; unified field; Vedic cosmology

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