Why there is Something rather than Nothing
(John A. Gowan  May 2018)
Why is there something rather than nothing (an ancient philosophical conundrum)? Science can now answer that "something" exists (matter, atoms, rocks, galaxies, etc.) because our universe is asymmetric, lacking antimatter. Antimatter was annihilated during the "Big Bang" - the "Big Bang" was in fact an annihilation event which did not quite go to completion, failing to destroy all the matter. Everything else proceeds from this basic fact: our universe is asymmetric, in that it consists only of matter, lacking its antimatter complement. (Comparable to the religious notion of "original sin").

A much more difficult question for science to answer is: why is there art, religion, philosophy, and science itself, why is there life and consciousness in addition to matter? Excepting life itself, these domains are all products of the human brain; including life, all are emergent products of the information content of matter. How does the human notion of an universal God, of a Heavenly realm, of Divine Law and Justice, arise out of the information content of the periodic table of the elements? The same question applies to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony - and all great works of art. Like all the complexity and beauty of the flora and fauna of our wonderful Earth, these can only be emergent products originating in the information content of atomic matter
(the Periodic Table), created over aeons of time by the evolutionary mechanism of Darwin's great theory.

The universe begins to understand itself, and develops a recursive fractal structure, in that through evolution, we begin to understand evolution and employ it to improve our domestic animals and plants - evolution evolves a secondary (human) creator and sentient evolutionary mechanism (human-directed selection and "genetic engineering"). We are indeed created in the image and likeness of our Creator - we are "mini-creators" but with greatly reduced powers.

The "sufficient reason" (or rationale) for the existence of our universe is the phenomenon of life - a phenomenon that allows the universe to know and experience itself in a specific, particular, and individual mode as well as in the whole, and in fact (toward that end) to produce little (fractal) versions of itself (as in humans). The creative-evolutionary drive/energy of the universe and its information content are principle features of what we call "God". Evolution is directed toward universal self-understanding and knowledge, much as Chardin envisioned.

Science and Religion: Comparing the ancient intuitive religious (Christian) formulation of the world order with the modern scientific view, I suggest the following coordinate/parallel relations between them. For the Holy Trinity: Father - realized as the material multiverse/universe, including spacetime and history, atomic matter (the Periodic Table of Elements), and the forces and charges peculiar to each (including energy and symmetry conservation, entropy, etc., natural law and physical constants) -
"atoms and the void"; Son - manifesting as the biological domain (life anywhere in the universe), and the forces peculiar to it (genetics, evolution), including emergent neuronal properties of brains such as consciousness; Holy Spirit - seen as information and metaphysics, including human mental abstract creations such as language and symbology, art, science, mathematics, technology, philosophy/religion and the self-awareness and "intention" (developmental direction) of the universe, and perhaps the "Akashic Record" and spiritual/karmic domain of immortal souls ("Heaven"). It can be seen that this choice of scientific parameters satisfies the "three in one" mantra of the Christian Trinity: life arises from the information content of "atoms and the void".

Humans are fractal subsets of the universe, through whose agency the universe is trying to understand itself and explore, experience, and enlarge its own creative potential. The universe exists for us and we exist for the universe. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes a universe to create one. As Tolstoy understood: "God is life, and to love life is to love God".