Why does the universe exist? | Jim Holt

  • Published: 02 September 2014
  • Why is there something instead of nothing? In other words: Why does the universe exist (and why are we in it)? Philosopher and writer Jim Holt follows this question toward three possible answers. Or four. Or none.

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Comments • 19 183

  • hadcat
    hadcat  28 minutes back

    All that just to admit that God created it all! Why did he not just admit it in the first place....waste of time for something I already know.

    • Student
      Student  2 hours back

      I come to this side of YouTube when I want to procrastinate but not feel like I'm procrastinating.

      • Patinho
        Patinho  2 hours back

        I am serious: the clues to the answers to these questions (and when we will be able to truly contemplate them) are here: www.aetherius.org

        • Christopher Hailey
          Christopher Hailey  2 hours back

          It the universe did not exist then we would not be able to have this video.

          • Nugget of Truth - Eric King

            This produced interesting ideas.

            • Sean Karl
              Sean Karl  3 hours back

              I stopped the video after 10 seconds to make this comment. I did this because I think that the person presenting this talk should have either said "I don't know" or "I don't fully understand the question" After that he should have sat down and kept his mouth firmly shut.

              • R L
                R L  3 hours back

                an experiment or a mistake.

                • JohnLoydon
                  JohnLoydon  4 hours back

                  I know the answer

                  • kibogong cornelius
                    kibogong cornelius  4 hours back

                    We all have theories in our own minds.. He didn't answer the question

                    • Alex Swage
                      Alex Swage  4 hours back

                      Jim Holt is idiot moron

                      • DJ-Muhkari
                        DJ-Muhkari  4 hours back

                        Blank + nothing = the world... Hmm it sound to me your trying to say Unknown something+nothing = the world. Because even "blank" have to be something. If blank is nothing then you're saying that nothing + nothing = everything and to me that will mean that 0+0<0

                        So that opinion is pretty modest compensation for God😂

                        • Doctorshockstudios
                          Doctorshockstudios  5 hours back


                          • AngryHateMusic
                            AngryHateMusic  5 hours back

                            TED is mostly SUCK!

                            • Tom C
                              Tom C  5 hours back

                              TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.


                              • ReaktorLeak
                                ReaktorLeak  6 hours back

                                Is the the chicken-and-the-egg time? are we just yolks?

                                • Noreen O'Driscoll
                                  Noreen O'Driscoll  7 hours back

                                  He is saying HOW the Universe (perhaps) exists not WHY... AS jmckinney149 says below he could have just said he doesn't know:)

                                  • Akkash Covers
                                    Akkash Covers  10 hours back

                                    Why does Universe exist?

                                    For us to live in.

                                    Why do humans exist?

                                    To Love each other.

                                    Why does God exist?

                                    Well He defines the word existence..

                                    • Om Hande
                                      Om Hande  11 hours back

                                      its harsh... but he is a fool

                                      • Jake Townsend
                                        Jake Townsend  13 hours back

                                        Lol at the end his way to combat his insecurity of not astonishing them with his lame proposal is that he never owned a cell phone, he thought that would give him the emotional reaction he was looking for hHahahHHHHahhaHHhH

                                        • jennifer86010
                                          jennifer86010  13 hours back

                                          All the scientists say the same thing: First there was nothingness and out of nothingness came the entire universe. They make the assumption that there was first nothingness. They got this notion from the Bible, and from the assumptions of the Big Bang theory. But perhaps nothingness did not exist before the Universe. Perhaps what they assume was nothingness, was actually 99.9999999999% empty space (which gives the illusion of nothingness) and within that nothingness existed the entire universe, tightly packed into a tiny tiny

                                          particle that contained all the matter in the universe, and at a certain point it became so dense, with so much gravity that it exploded into the big bang, creating everything we see today. Since we see black holes throughout the universe, and understand that they consume matter and reduce it down to an infinitely small particle of tremendous density, we can run the movie backward to the existence of nothingness (which was actually a giant black hole that appeared to be nothingness, but actually contained all the matter in the universe, waiting to explode.

                                          Once it reached it's maximum gravitational potential, it exploded. This explosion is still continuing, and since we see that space and time are curved, perhaps the universe is moving back toward a state where all matter will come together and condense back into a black hole and revert back to a state of perceived nothingness, with the single particle going through another cycle, waiting to explode again into everythingness.

                                          Perhaps the universe cycles through these periods of matter, time and space as we know it today, then reverts back to all matter, time and space existing only within the tiny particle, which then eventually explodes back into being the expansive universe. For mankind to limit the story of the universe to only two aspects (nothingness and everythingness) is naive.

                                          Such a belief illustrates the smallness of man's imagination. It's akin to defining God. Humans can only contemplate God, but to think they can define God, or explain God is as ridiculous as an ant explaining what a human is. This theory of everything exploding from a small particle, then eventually reverting back into a small particle, and so forth is as good a theory as any other within the scientific community today.

                                          Even if mankind eventually discovers answers to these mysteries, it won't matter, because humans are on their way to becoming extinct, along with everything else on Earth, since the sun will destroy earth in another 5 billion years, and nothing, especially humans, will be left. It will be as if the earth and all life on it never existed at all.

                                          • Jake Townsend
                                            Jake Townsend  14 hours back

                                            This guy..... 😑

                                            • jennifer86010
                                              jennifer86010  14 hours back

                                              2:04 "Any Einsteins in the audience tonight?" If comedian Albert Brooks was in this audience, he could have raised his hand, because his theatrical name is Albert Brooks. His given name is Albert Einstein. With a name like that, no wonder he changed it. Imagine if he said anything right, it wouldn't be intelligent enough. If he said anything wrong, he wouldn't deserve the name Albert Einstein. So Albert Brooks is much more workable.

                                              • Teresa Ciupryk
                                                Teresa Ciupryk  15 hours back

                                                To humble mankind. But it's not working. Drew

                                                • J. Mcd.
                                                  J. Mcd.  17 hours back

                                                  so i can pop an adderall, then get to explain the universe on tedtax

                                                  • ytrebiLeurT
                                                    ytrebiLeurT  17 hours back

                                                    The answer is quite simple - for pleasure ...

                                                    • Andreas Andreotti
                                                      Andreas Andreotti  18 hours back

                                                      Early morning reflections by Orion while eating breakfast and enjoying a cup of coffee.

                                                      Let's play with thoughts for a while, shall we?

                                                      There are endless debates about how everything was created,
                                                      both religious and scientific. Lets forget about the religious. They are so stupid and ridiculous. Let us have some reflections on the scientific ones.
                                                      The universe, the earth, life on earth, if there are lives on other planets, when the dinosaurs and other animal species arose and when they disappeared, how it all began and when it will end! We read many thick books to find answers to all kinds of existential questions. We start asking the questions in a proper way such as What? When? Where ?, How? Why? and instead of a definitive answer, new questions pop up that lead to more questions but no definitive answer!
                                                      Generations earlier than ours, asked the same questions. The future generations will ask the same questions. And what if future generations they find the answer? Neither we nor our ancestors should be present to pay tribute to them!
                                                      In other words, we continue to play with the idea and state that we, I mean literally WE, were not present from the beginning of the universe until our existence on earth. To be exact, we're talking about 13,772 billion years, that is 13,772 × 1,000,000,000 years of absence. According to the bettors, the Big Bang took place for such a long time ago. In comparison with the giant number above, our existence on planet earth is like a drop in the ocean. Big Bang means expansion thus the universe is still expanding but this will not be perpetuated. Enormous forces of Gravity will intervene and the universe will begin to shrink again.
                                                      Here we have three terms to choose from: The Big Freeze, The Big Rip or The Big Crunch.
                                                      In other words, back to box one, back to the start again! Maybe for a new Big Bang explosion. If this is to take as long as it needed to expand, ie 13,772 × 1,000,000,000 years and more, then we are not present again during this endless time to be able to follow this spectacular development.
                                                      So, back to: Let's play with the idea.
                                                      What happened during the Big Bang expansion and what will happen during the process the universe should reach the final stage of collapse? Try to compare it with our insignificant existence. Is there something to worry about?
                                                      Things happened for billions of years while we were absent and things are going to happen for billions of years while we are gone forever.
                                                      Why do we need to be tormented and anxious when everything is going to turn into dust and maybe start from scratch again!
                                                      And then, who knows we maybe thrown in for a little while in this huge new process to catch a glimpse of the big event!

                                                      • Greg Meadows
                                                        Greg Meadows  22 hours back

                                                        One day, Jim Holt will kneel before Jesus and proclaim him King. Just because you can't understand the nature of God doesn't mean you should joke about it. He's not as smart as he thinks he is.

                                                        • Delwar Jahan
                                                          Delwar Jahan  24 hours back

                                                          So.. he made everyone stupid for 17 minutes. Like that is NOTHING.

                                                          • Rafael Alvarez
                                                            Rafael Alvarez  1 days back

                                                            Does GOD know where he came from?

                                                            • Colas Graveline
                                                              Colas Graveline  1 days back

                                                              Nothing means nothing. You can't do anything with nothing. The only thing I can see it be, is limitless. Infinitely nothing is still nothing. We would not exist, it's impossible.

                                                              • Cryptoctopus The First

                                                                dispense with the ontological argument or the contingency argument by "not a good argument". Sorry pal, not an argument.

                                                                • Amal Kiran
                                                                  Amal Kiran  1 days back

                                                                  He took 17 minutes express his ignorance?? It's a waste of time

                                                                  • rocky balboa
                                                                    rocky balboa  1 days back

                                                                    Because God said so puto!

                                                                    • Mike Tsaprounis
                                                                      Mike Tsaprounis  1 days back


                                                                      • Angel Littleton
                                                                        Angel Littleton  2 days back

                                                                        There is an exact model of understanding right in front of you that hints at the answer actually. Every species of animal or creature is in a tier of understanding. A beetle has a ceiling and once it reaches that ceiling it can't comprehend beyond that ceiling, a rat has a ceiling of understanding and once it hits that ceiling it can't understand beyond that ceiling, an elephant has a ceiling of understanding and it can't comprehend beyond that ceiling.....and it's appropriate to think that humans also have a ceiling of understanding and our comprehension will never exceed that ceiling and no equation will get you past that because it's a physical limit. We call "god" anything beyond our ceiling of understanding. I solved the entire dilemma without needing any math just looking at the consistent tier of comprehension that exists all around us and nothing breaks that tier. Nothing. Everything adheres to a tier of comprehension.

                                                                        • ReaktorLeak
                                                                          ReaktorLeak  7 hours back

                                                                          Can't wait until the robots are in charge!

                                                                      • GronkMusic
                                                                        GronkMusic  2 days back

                                                                        Opens with: "why does the Universe exist?"
                                                                        Ends with: "the Universe is just there."
                                                                        There was literally no reason for him to have opened his mouth.

                                                                        • AestheticNIro
                                                                          AestheticNIro  2 days back

                                                                          I feel like we have always existed.

                                                                          • GronkMusic
                                                                            GronkMusic  2 days back

                                                                            Astonishing arrogance, a puny mind aggrandising himself.

                                                                            • 88Doug
                                                                              88Doug  2 days back

                                                                              We are now all dumber.

                                                                              • Moon Child Wild
                                                                                Moon Child Wild  2 days back

                                                                                He talked a lot but didn't say much.

                                                                                • dsounds1
                                                                                  dsounds1  2 days back

                                                                                  This was one big, discounted package of BlaBla.

                                                                                  • shawarmageddonit
                                                                                    shawarmageddonit  2 days back

                                                                                    Okay, so the ending was abrupt and kinda anticlimactic, but geez, what's with all the dislikes, people?

                                                                                    I mean, what did you expect??

                                                                                    • Derrick D.Randomideagenerator

                                                                                      How about there is nothing and everything simultaneously but materialization is time dependent. Changes in time result in changes to the degree of nothingness or everythingness of the universe. So why does the universe exist because in this time there is something, simultaneously the universe does not exist in different time dimensions. Infinite time dimensions equals infinite unviverses which means the universe both exists and does not exist, and if so the question in the video is meaningless.

                                                                                      • Derrick D.Randomideagenerator

                                                                                        Answers are dependent on questions. Questions are dependent on reailty. The universe equals reailty. Therefore the universe cannot be a question. If there cannot be a question there cannot be an answer.
                                                                                        An answer is no answer

                                                                                        • Derrick D.Randomideagenerator

                                                                                          no answer is an answer

                                                                                          • N Krishnamurthy
                                                                                            N Krishnamurthy  2 days back

                                                                                            All those assembled here, those who watch this video: are they going to be here a hundred years henceforth? This impermanency - why should it matter what this impermanency discusses, debates now?

                                                                                            • Derrick D.Randomideagenerator

                                                                                              "Why does the universe exist?" ad infinitum = nothing

                                                                                            • KongofPip
                                                                                              KongofPip  2 days back

                                                                                              Everything happens for the best of all possible reasons, in this the best of all possible worlds.