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 • 18 004

  • Moonbeam
    Moonbeam  23 minutes back

    Does the Universe exist? or are we just dreaming it? OR is It dreaming Us? Our minds are like restless children...always needing/wanting to know. If you were just Spirit, only love/God energy and only knew That connection (to Everything) and had constant access to Infinite Intelligence, and then you woke up one day in some dense body on some unknown planet in a childs body with no memory of who or what you were, and whatever you learned was programmed into you by your parents (or whoever raised you) to believe whatever they believed...you'd be pretty lost, too! Psychologists say the human mind is 99% repetitive and often negative (and based in memory) and look what a negative history humanity has had! "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things." - Isaiah 45:7 from the most popular/most sold book ever written, the Bible. What you may not see in the bible and might sound crazy is Earth is a school, one of many in the Universe, where we (our soul, part of our Spirit---in this body) are experiencing duality amongst many other things. If you're aware of reincarnation you probably know you've been here many times, man/woman/saint/sinner and probably every race in many lives in human history. I've done tons of research (mostly metaphysical and theosophical and some scientific, and psychology) on why we are the way we are, and why we are here. Listen to any Near Death Experience and you'll know when we are not in this body (or when we die what we return to) is only love and connection (to Everything), no wonder we're all after love! We've been made to forget we Are That <3 but that's the test. and as Dolores Cannon (a well known author and past life regression therapist, rip) says, "It wouldn't be a test if you had all the answers." It's all a big program, and perfectly designed in every imaginable (and unimaginable way). But yes, Earth is a school and we are simply here, in this programmed matrix, learning. We've been learning since birth, and even not in this body we continue to learn, grow, and evolve closer to the Godhead, the Source. But don't believe me, hell...don't "believe" anyone. DO your own research and find out for yourself like I have. Truth is Subjective. and WE are All here having unique experiences. That's why Buddhists have "no mind" for what happens (a lot of spiritual teachers the same) "I don't mind what happens" ~ Krishnamurti, regardless of what you 'attach' to, or fear, it's all to be learned from. Only Grace sets us free, and even that...we don't have control over. There is no free will, and there is great power and freedom in that realization.  So Relax...Nothing is under (your) control ;) It's in much more capable hands (or energy hands?) lol, love you all and God-bless in your journeys.

    • Art Tyree
      Art Tyree  1 hours back

      "Where did God come from?. . .What created God?. . . If God is eternal (as He states), those questions belong to time and biology, not the existence of God.

      • Andrew Calvert
        Andrew Calvert  3 hours back

        The true answer to the title of this vid is in no doubt, no one really knows why we are here who put us here and for what reason.

          RICHTERNEWS  4 hours back

          It doesn't exist...it's a hologram.

          • Cecil McKeithan
            Cecil McKeithan  5 hours back

            Shame he couldn’t put that much energy into answering how to tend to homelessness etc etc.. Maybe that’s something we could find a real answer to instead of endless babble of something we will never understand at least not in this life time.

            • Harry O
              Harry O  8 hours back

              I don't know either. I think I'll write a book about it too. Cha ching, suckers.

              • Harry O
                Harry O  8 hours back

                It doesn't matter if a God created the universe from nothing or if physics / chemistry created something from nothing. It is always the 'nothing' that has us stumped, be it in a God's hands or on a scientists white board, they still don't know what nothing is, and can't explain it.

                • Harry O
                  Harry O  8 hours back

                  @ 12:00 minutes in he takes it off topic hoping no one realises that he has no idea.

                  • WSCLATER
                    WSCLATER  10 hours back

                    Just another clown trying to convince us about what a clever smarty pants he is.

                    • bonob0123
                      bonob0123  13 hours back

                      Why do pointless talks by philosophers exist?

                      • Neveda alexander
                        Neveda alexander  16 hours back

                        More then one universe more then one god?

                        • Jack River
                          Jack River  16 hours back

                          Cant explain where the creator came from = no creator
                          If you saw a spaceship on mars, you wouldn't think, over a billion years this spaceship arose from Nothing!
                          Just because you can't explain the most logical answer, (where or how the intelligent creators came from or knew how to create) doesn't make it any less of a logical conclusion

                          • FUSUFI 4_I_II
                            FUSUFI 4_I_II  16 hours back

                            I created universes because I wanted to be known

                            • Aaron
                              Aaron  17 hours back

                              I'm an existentialist....naa just kidding Ima nihilist.

                              • c. j. macq
                                c. j. macq  19 hours back

                                I guess great minds really do think alike; like mr. holt, I've never owned a damned cellphone either. or an xbox, a digital assistant or a gun. I currently own no car or microwave and guess what. my life's just fine. and if it wasn't for the fascist govt allowing the fascist corporations to make these overpriced, intrusive and addictive police-state contraptions and gadgets MANDATORY to function in our backward society my life would be even better!

                                • Radostin Vasilev
                                  Radostin Vasilev  21 hours back

                                  Is this TED a comedy show?

                                  • Radostin Vasilev
                                    Radostin Vasilev  21 hours back

                                    Answer me why should God does not exist rather asking me why should He exist?!

                                    • Radostin Vasilev
                                      Radostin Vasilev  18 hours back

                                      @v WHY there is no "god"?

                                    • v
                                      v  18 hours back

                                      there is no "god"

                                  • De Clyne
                                    De Clyne  22 hours back

                                    I don't believe in God - but atheists are some of the most blinded by the idea of Science having the ability to teach us about the world. The world under science is run by theories & yet nothing can be 100% sure. Far from it.

                                    • mrloop
                                      mrloop  22 hours back


                                      • David Keane
                                        David Keane  23 hours back

                                        Silly religion believing that the universe came from nothing... I believe science with the big bang where the universe came from nothing. lolz.. Silly religion.

                                        • responsibleparty
                                          responsibleparty  24 hours back

                                          I do not at all believe we are five Einsteins away from answering why the Universe exists. Religious people may tell you they know, but this is one of the bigger questions that can be asked and we will never be able to answer it without a fundamental paradigm shift in our way of understanding the Universe.

                                          • Rapist Spongebob
                                            Rapist Spongebob  1 days back

                                            Nobody will EVER know.

                                            • Admiral Hood
                                              Admiral Hood  1 days back

                                              Matter is not eternal, especially if you consider the big bang theory. Before the big bang, there was nothing. But there had to have been something? That something is time. Time is eternal. It existed before us. It'll exist after us. Time is god. God is time.

                                              • Carlos Rangel
                                                Carlos Rangel  1 days back

                                                Can you repeat that again BRIEFLY please?

                                                • Neelkamal Tyagi
                                                  Neelkamal Tyagi  1 days back

                                                  "Why" is a question which has meaning only in a Cause-Effect paradigm. Everything in this paradigm has a cause (a "Why"). The moment we give up this paradigm and begin talking about a cause-less (and therefore time/space-less) paradigm this question and all others no longer exist. Logical analysis of concepts in that paradigm is thus not possible because all logic is based on cause-effect, time, space.

                                                  • R. Murillo
                                                    R. Murillo  1 days back

                                                    Very Interesting talk. I wish some time you talk about all Bible Stories are just that? Moses, Abraham are they all myths?
                                                    Christ existence and what he said and talk about are an opinion of one man? with no reality at all? Would be nice to see someone actually creating something out of nothing, no theory a physical matter

                                                    • imabeast7
                                                      imabeast7  1 days back

                                                      it feels and seems as if we are far from mediocre

                                                      • Silent Grove
                                                        Silent Grove  1 days back

                                                        Universe exists so we/it can contemplate its existence. There was a void that held so much potential to know something, that it created itself.

                                                        Oh I did study Physics at university, I just like suggesting metaphysical ideas too.

                                                        It really is an amazing question. That we exist to even ask the question and that we are part of the universe that questions itself is daunting.

                                                        • Waizwaid Arenosa
                                                          Waizwaid Arenosa  1 days back

                                                          That was a complete waste of time. He talked a lot and said absolutely nothing.

                                                          • SSD Durdan
                                                            SSD Durdan  1 days back

                                                            The universe exists because they told you it does and you are not well versed in identifying bullshit...

                                                            • Aware -n- Connected
                                                              Aware -n- Connected  1 days back

                                                              What a waste.To get a better understanding check out Eckhart Tolle, Rupert Spira to name a few people. Check out this site https://herstorytkblog.wordpress.com/ and look under Awakening.

                                                              • jj delamo
                                                                jj delamo  1 days back

                                                                Read this book (now on amazon) - The Theory of Evolution is a Result of Erroneous Extrapolation.  It destroys evolution using Mathematics.  It strengthens your faith in God.


                                                                • Shamir Shakher
                                                                  Shamir Shakher  1 days back

                                                                  If God + Noting = Universe then God = Universe - Noting or Nothing = Universe - God which means God is Universe.

                                                                  • Luba Movie
                                                                    Luba Movie  1 days back

                                                                    I presume we are allowed to ask as many questions as we like while we're here on this planet. That's kind of intrinsic to being alive and having consciousness. I have been quite preoccupied with both the "why" and the "how" of existence at many times throughout my life. I am very suprised to see in the comments how upset so many people were that Jim asked the question at all and/or didn't provide an answer. I'm quite sure the point of the talk wasn't to announce to the global community that Jim knows the how/why of existence. I, for one, was glad to walk through some of the most prominent theories, dogmas, beliefs with Jim and go over a few strengths and weaknesses. Especially where it pertains to scientific theory. There is an incredibly arrogant culture thriving in some segments of the scientific community, the members of which speak about these kinds of questions in terms such as "we KNOW" - ie. Krauss, Dawkins, Harris, etc. Was nice to hear Jim point out what is obvious to me - that the scientific community actually KNOWS very little about the how/why of the origins of the universe. Scientific theories that are clutched on to too tightly basically become religion.

                                                                    • Bruno Pinkhof
                                                                      Bruno Pinkhof  1 days back

                                                                      In the beginning of our universe there was a sphere of dense radiation. The first super atom(Einstein/Bose) condensate has been formed by compressing radiation in the center of that sphere. Our universe is full of much less radiation from the beginning of the big/bang. We can see it when we are using an analog tv. It is that grey/white screen we are seeing.

                                                                      We have to look beyond the edges of our universe to find more.

                                                                      Time existed before the big/bang. It is a living radiation sphere, every atom lives. It pulsates like breathing. It was a cosmic egg of radiation. From Belgium.

                                                                      • Austin Aldrich
                                                                        Austin Aldrich  1 days back

                                                                        Wow, he seriously believes we live in a "stick-and-bubble-gum" and "stupidly constructed" universe instead of an elegant one? He doesn't provide any evidence of this; he just wishes to write off the incredibly razor thin cosmological constants necessary for any matter to exist. Even atheistic scientists admit our universe is incredibly well-constructed. Why else would they even need to invoke a multiverse?

                                                                        • x666x34b
                                                                          x666x34b  1 days back

                                                                          The universe exists because I was lonely.

                                                                          • Obus
                                                                            Obus  1 days back

                                                                            It's a philosophical question. Some were expecting the scientific answer to this question (which would be a huge revelation) from this video. We're probably no where near finding that answer and better off figuring out "how" the universe exists instead of why IMO.

                                                                            • Aaron
                                                                              Aaron  16 hours back


                                                                          • Bruce Winship Wright
                                                                            Bruce Winship Wright  2 days back

                                                                            It is impossible for something to come from nothing.  Therefore, anyone who believes such a thing is clearly irrational or mentally disturbed.  This man, Jim Holt, seems fairly humorous but is clearly irrational.  Take a look at a more meaningful, measurable, and rational view...   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4aHae6p__g

                                                                            • Miguel Cayazaya
                                                                              Miguel Cayazaya  2 days back

                                                                              This man is so confused

                                                                              • Ahdriam
                                                                                Ahdriam  2 days back

                                                                                Just wanted to mention that according to the hebrew bible god didn't creat everything from nothing. Some thing were always existing in a "mess" and he put them into an order

                                                                                • Harry O
                                                                                  Harry O  8 hours back

                                                                                  I wish he'd sort out my kitchen.

                                                                              • No Left Turns
                                                                                No Left Turns  2 days back

                                                                                Sadly we humans are very limited in our ability to understand anything to do with the universe.
                                                                                Mainly because the answers all require the understanding of higher dimensions.
                                                                                There are a few things we do comprehend:
                                                                                1) The net sum of all that exists equals zero
                                                                                2) The universe exists because of an expanding 3D space in higher dimensions
                                                                                3) The universe is infinite and has always been here

                                                                                I believe everything that exists now is because of the 3 rules above.

                                                                                1) The net sum of everything is zero - if you know any math you know that an equation must always be balanced to be correct
                                                                                For every particle of matter, there is an exact particle that is opposite on the other side of a higher dimension
                                                                                Basically, if you take away a higher dimension separating all the matter it would net out to zero

                                                                                2) We all know the universe is expanding - and the further away you go the faster the expansion.
                                                                                When empty space expands it gets hot - that heat has been detected as to be all around us
                                                                                Right now everyone thinks its a remnant of the "Big Bang" - it is not - it is happening right now all around us
                                                                                So that's where energy comes from - empty expanding space
                                                                                The energy created in our 3D universe also occurs on the other side of a 4th-dimensional membrane
                                                                                so the net impact of the energy is zero at the 4th-dimensional level

                                                                                3) There never was a "Big bang" - that stupid theory comes from folks who need a God to kick-start the universe
                                                                                Since 99.9999999999999999% of everything in the universe is nothing
                                                                                there is an infinite amount of nothing and an infinite universe

                                                                                • Mitchivan Taylorov
                                                                                  Mitchivan Taylorov  2 days back

                                                                                  ..five Einstein's..meant five generations genius

                                                                                  • SebaLuk06 -
                                                                                    SebaLuk06 -  2 days back

                                                                                    He still never answered the question of why we exist! Stupid ted talk and waste of time of an Atheist that has no theory at all. At least Einstein had more explanations and he said that the more He believed in science, the more he believe in God!!!

                                                                                    • The samson
                                                                                      The samson  2 days back

                                                                                      Universe exist it was created by god

                                                                                      • fishy paw
                                                                                        fishy paw  2 days back

                                                                                        For everyone thinking he doesn't answer the question "Why does the universe exist?", he does. At about the 13:00 minute mark, he explains that if the Universe was special it would require an explanation (why), but he thinks we probably live in a generic (not special) Universe, then there is no explanation necessary, hence there is no "why". He is effectively saying that asking "why" is meaningless and the wrong question to ask. He goes on to say if we want a reason for existing (a "why"), "we could make the nice bits bigger and the nasty bits smaller".

                                                                                        I agree with him, on both points.

                                                                                        • Nosh B
                                                                                          Nosh B  2 days back

                                                                                          43k liked this? hahahahahah sure they did as you can see by the comments below...

                                                                                          • Adrian stevens
                                                                                            Adrian stevens  2 days back

                                                                                            He sure isn’t an authority on Buddhism