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Duane Elgin

Thanks for the important questions Jon,
In that spirit, I question your assumption that “the universe is by definition everything.” This assumption is now being strongly questioned by scientists developing multiverse or multiple universe theories. For example, if I go to the “Google Scholar” search engine, it lists nearly 13,000 references regarding the “multiverse.” See: https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=multiverse&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C5 Also, in publications such as “The New Scientist,” different views of the multiverse theory are regularly featured and discussed. This does not mean the multiverse is “real” or “proven” but it does suggest that we keep an open mind regarding whether there is a larger context within which our universe resides. The assumption that “the universe is by definition everything” may be outdated if “everything” is now beginning to include the possibility of a multiverse.
In terms of energy, it is well-established that particles are constantly popping in and out of existence at the quantum level. This does not mean they are coming from “outside” the universe, particularly since 95 percent of the known universe is invisible. However, it does open the door to discovery and curiosity as to where this activity is originating.
You say that Brian Swimme is “not a scientist.” However, his education and background suggest otherwise. He received his Ph.D. (1978) from the department of mathematics at the University of Oregon for work with Richard Barrar on singularity theory, with a dissertation entitled Singularities in the N-Body Problem.[1] Swimme was a faculty member in the department of mathematics at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, 1978–81. He describes himself as an evolutionary cosmologist.
I agree that we need to be careful to not fall into the trap of treating quotes as data. However, in that same paragraph you offer the statement that the physicist, Dr. David Bohm “was regularly fooled by charlatans.” I am interested in the actual data that supports this important assertion.


You also say that “particles coming into existence this way are balanced by anti-particles, and hence the sum energy or matter is zero (nothing is being taken in).” I have had the understanding that there is, in fact, a slight but significant asymmetry in the universe such that there are more particles than anti-particles and this provides the basis for the physical universe we live within. See, for example, the Stanford article: https://www.slac.stanford.edu/pubs/beamline/26/1/26-1-sather.pdf which states that, “If we work out what the Universe was like one billionth of a second after it began, it turns out that for every billion particle-antiparticle pairs there was just one extra particle. To that particle we and stars owe our existence.”