What, Exactly, is Nothingness?

From Issue: R&R Volume 26 #4


What do scientists mean when they speak of “Nothingness”?


That seems like a simple question. The Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary defines “nothing” as: “something that does not exist b: the absence of all magnitude or quantity” (“Nothing,” emp. added). To the average American mind, “nothing” is an understandable and understood concept. Yet those in the evolutionary community are attempting to redefine nothing. In a recent article about the theoretical branch of physics known as string physics or string theory, Dr. Michio Kaku suggested that string theory can explain the existence of the Universe. Dr. Kaku said that “a string is concentrated energy from which everything else is made. A string is so tiny that it can’t be seen with any of our instruments” (“In Tune…,” 2006, p. 30). Dr. Kaku also suggested that string theory could inform us about the events that allegedly happened before the Big Bang. These strings certainly seem to contain a wealth of potential.

In the article, he was asked, “if strings create everything, what created the antecedent space and time?” His response to this question was that “the probable answer is that space, time, and everything around us comes from nothingness” (p. 30, italics in orig.). Dr. Kaku was then asked, “Nothingness is actually filled with physical reality?” To which he matter-of-factly responded, “That’s right. We think nothingness is actually chock-full of interactions” (p. 30).

Observe the sleight of hand that took place in Dr. Kaku’s answers. If there ever were a time when nothing (zero matter or energy) existed, then nothing would currently exist. Knowing that, Dr. Kaku and many of his fellow string theorists say that the Universe came from nothing. Yet, when asked to define nothing, they simply say that nothing was actually filled with something. Let’s get this straight: the Universe came from nothing, but nothing is really something? One is reminded of Alice’s encounter with Humpty Dumpty in Wonderland in which Humpty stated: “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.”

Simply changing the definition of nothing to something will not overcome the problem that atheists have for explaining the existence of matter. In truth, string theory, the Big Bang, and every other materialistic theory falls woefully short of explaining the existence of the Universe. The most accurate statement that has ever been made on the subject was written some 3,500 years ago: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).


“Nothing” (no date), Merriam-Webster On-line Dictionary, [On-line], URL:

“In Tune with ‘Strings’” (2006), Advance, Winter.


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