What you suggested “So, let’s just imagine an existence of nothing for an infinite time. It would seem that over an infinite time the probability of ANYTHING happening would be one. Based on this I can visualize a sudden split where nothingness splits into a positive and a negative somethingness” is precisely what taoist philosophy call the manifestation of the Tao(nothingness) as the yin(passive)(matter) and the yang(active) (energy) in the universe.
Quantum field theory states that vacuum energy exists in “empty space” or nothingness.
Vacuum energy is an underlying background energy that exists in space even when devoid of matter (known as free space).
Vacuum energy can also be thought of in terms of virtual particles (also known as vacuum fluctuations) which are created and destroyed out of the vacuum. These particles are always created out of the vacuum in particle-antiparticle pairs, which shortly annihilate each-other and disappear. However, these particles and antiparticles may interact with others before disappearing, a process which can be mapped using Feynman diagrams. It is these fundamental interactions which give rise to all physical forces.
So “empty space” or nothingness has potential for producing somethingness.
Dark energy, found in 1998 is another candidate for nothingness:
The most recent WMAP observations are consistent with a Universe made up of 74% dark energy, 22% dark matter, and 4% ordinary matter.
The exact nature of this dark energy is a matter of speculation. It is known to be very homogeneous, not very dense and is not known to interact through any of the fundamental forces other than gravity. Since it is not very dense—roughly 10−29 grams per cubic centimeter—it is hard to imagine experiments to detect it in the laboratory. Dark energy can only have such a profound impact on the universe, making up 70% of all energy, because it uniformly fills otherwise empty space. The two leading models are quintessence and the cosmological constant
Without dark energy, which acts like negative gravity, the universe would collapse in a big crunch because of gravity! Einstein introduced the cosmological constant to balance out gravity. However, quantum field theory predictions of the cosmological constant presents huge anomalies.
A major outstanding problem is that most quantum field theories predict a huge cosmological constant from the energy of the quantum vacuum, up to 120 orders of magnitude too large. This would need to be cancelled almost, but not exactly, by an equally large term of the opposite sign. Some supersymmetric theories require a cosmological constant that is exactly zero, which does not help. The present scientific consensus amounts to extrapolating the empirical evidence where it is relevant to predictions, and fine-tuning theories until a more elegant solution is found. Philosophically, our most elegant solution may be to say that if things were different, we would not be here to observe anything - the anthropic principle. Technically, this amounts to checking theories against macroscopic observations. Unfortunately, as the known error margin in the constant predicts the fate of the universe more than its present state, many such “deeper” questions remain unknown
Some theorists think that dark energy and cosmic acceleration are a failure of general relativity on very large scales, larger than superclusters. It is a tremendous extrapolation to think that our law of gravity, which works so well in the solar system, should work without correction on the scale of the universe. Most attempts at modifying general relativity, however, have turned out to be either equivalent to theories of quintessence, or inconsistent with observations.
Quintessence, an exotic “fifth element” has been proposed instead of the cosmological constant to account for the accelerating universe.
The new buzz word in cosmology these days is ‘quintessence’, borrowed from the ancient Greeks who used the term to describe a mysterious ‘fifth element’ - in addition to air, earth, fire and water - which held the moon and stars in place. Quintessence, some cosmologists say, is an exotic kind of energy field that pushes particles away from each other, overpowering gravity and the other fundamental forces.
But what is quintessence made of? No one knows for sure. Radiation, ordinary matter and likely dark matter all have positive pressure. They therefore exert a gravitationally attractive force. Anything with negative pressure, the general theory of relativity dictates, would have a gravitationally repulsive force.
For quintessence, the quantum field would have a very long wavelength, about the size of the universe. Its kinetic energy depends on the rate of oscillations in the field strength; its potential energy depends on the interaction of the field with matter. The more kinetic energy, the more positive the pressure - which isn’t so likely for a universe-long wavelength. So for now, potential energy and negative pressure dominates. Hence, quintessence is a repulsive force.
Fascinating stuff, but it is getting queerer and queerer. This is the crisis in physics and cosmology today.