• Did the Universe Begin, and How? (Interview)

    This is from blog contributor Aaron Adair, whose own blog can be found here:

    I recently had the pleasure of having an interview/conversation on the subject of Big Bang Cosmology and the implications for the universe having an absolute beginning. The question is also wrapped up with theistic claims that a god is a necessary precursor to the universe (or not). Also, some will argue that the Big Bang is just the scientists’ way of avoiding the conclusion that God made everything.

    Now, some details of the very early (observable) universe are well-understood. Other parts aren’t. Also, theoretical arguments can be very technical and the limitations are sometimes misconstrued to reach some conclusion.

    So, in this talk I get to dive into those issues, along with talking about my work and research on science explaining the Star of Bethlehem. You can listen using this link here or watching this YouTube video.

    I want to thank Taylor Carr for the opportunity to have this chat, along with his work getting it up and ready for everyone. We may have another chance to do the same sort of thing in the future, so let him know if that’s a good idea. If you don’t, well… you don’t have to tell anyone.

    Category: cosmologyFeaturedPhilosophyScience

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    Article by: Aaron Adair

    • John Grove

      Inflationary theory says nothing about whether or not the universe had a beginning or not. Physics breaks down at Planck time. What inflationary theory tells us is that there was a “time” when the universe began inflating from a small dense point. That is all that science tells us. It seems many cling to dubious speculations about inflation and read more into it than the facts of what we know.

      According to some physicist like Neil Turok, time did not start at the Big bang. (See ‘Endless Universe, Beyond the Big Bang)

      • D Rieder

        Thanks for the tip, I just ordered the book.

    • Jeff Pinner

      Just a quick thought experiment for all and sundry:

      A particle circling a black hole accelerates as it approaches the event horizon such that it begins to experience relativistic time dilation, and as I see it, accelerates to C as it crosses the horizon, causing time, from an external reference of course, to stop, and its mass to become an effective infinity.

      Now, think about a super-luminal particle going about it’s business. From whatever Heisenberg processes operate upon it, it has slowed to just above C, and it emits a single photon (should be possible, as it doesn’t violate the speed limits), and loses enough energy that it drops to C itself. What happens?

      I’m thinking that it might look a WHOLE lot like what we call a Big Bang…

      • John Grove

        What you described is somewhat similar (but not identical) to what Neil Turok describes in his book “Endless Universe”. In essence, he describes that the big bang came about through the collision of two membrane-thick strings called “branes.” He asserts that the universe sits on one brane, which floats parallel to the other, unseen one. Every few trillion years, the two branes approach each other; when they collide, a flash of radiation annihilates everything in both, kick-starting the creation process all over again..

        • Jeff Pinner

          Glad to know that someone else is thinking along similar lines.

          Thanks.

    • D Rieder

      “Also, some will argue that the Big Bang is just the scientists’ way of avoiding the conclusion that God made everything.”

      And scientists should not only avoid such a conclusion but should argue against it proactively. That conclusion is no conclusion at all. It tells us nothing. It explains nothing. IT requires no thought to promote. It is a lazy and pointless intermediate step. It is as useful as the kids answer to the question, “how do you tie your shoelaces?” when he responds happily and with confidence, “My mom ties my shoelaces.” It tells you nothing about how to tie one’s shoelaces. BTW, I did not make that example up I just can’t remember where I saw it or I’d reference it

      • So much more honest to say “we just don’t know (yet)”.

        Problem is, psychologically speaking, humans love certainty.

        • D Rieder

          You know, Jon…I’m learning this more and more…that some are perfectly willing to overlook obvious flaws in their thinking to “have” this certainty. I’ve been in on some discussions pertaining to the whole…”if there is no objective morality established by a God then nothing we do can ever be meaningful.” And, “If there is no objective morality, then everyone’s opinion is as good as the next person’s and we may as well….rob banks as help the poor.”

          But of course it is flawed thinking and it reflect more on THEIR personality and psychological dependency on certainty even where none exists than any reality.

          Even if there were some objective morality “out there” established by a God, it is crystal clear me anyways, that no humans has found it…or if they have it is purely by chance and indistinguishable from the myriad of other moral belief systems which the same person would reject as immoral. And in the end, they are still depending on their own personal opinion for what they choose to believe and then passing it off as “God’s” objective standards. So if there is a flaw in human reasoning keeping anyone from finding “THE” morality, then that flaw is going to hinder anyone claiming to have found a God’s objective morality. They even forfeit the right to judge God’s standards as moral because with their worldview, they HAVE to evaluate God’s morality based on…God’s morality. But they refuse to see the circularity of their thinking.