The Laws of Nature and Creation of the Universe ex Nihilo

Document Type : Research Paper


Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Mofid University, Qom, Iran


The idea of “creatio ex nihilo” entered the arena of natural science with the advent of modern cosmology in the mid-twentieth century. This idea, that is, the creation of the universe out of nothing, seems to be a consequence of the widely accepted Big Bang Theory which implies the temporal finitude of the world. In order to avoid the theological and metaphysical implications of such an idea, some scenarios and scientific models have been proposed. According to one of the scenarios, the creation ex nihilo of the world is a causal physical phenomenon, and, hence, can be explained scientifically by appealing to the laws of nature.In this essay, I aim to discuss and criticize this idea.To fulfill this aim, in the introduction some achievements of modern cosmology will be very briefly introduced. In the next three sections, the notions of existence and nothingness, creation,scientific explanation, and singularity will be explored.It will be shown that what philosophers mean by these notions isradically different fromthe naïve ideas of some scientists. Hence, applying these notions to physical models of the origin of the universe is completely misleading.This work concludes that no scientific explanation appealing to the laws of nature can possibly explainthe creation of the universe out of nothing.


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