Part 1 looked at the reason why the question of God ‘s existence cannot be satisfied by an appeal to the imagination alone.
Part 2 looked at the different approaches to the question of creation by Philosophy, Religion, and Science.
Part 3, below, is a look at some of the scientific weaknesses of The Big Bang Theory,our modern Creation Myth
Photo Description: (Note- I added the “You are here” sign) Timeline of the universe. A representation of the evolution of the universe over 13.77 billion years. The far left depicts the earliest moment we can now probe, when a period of “inflation” produced a burst of exponential growth in the universe. (Size is depicted by the vertical extent of the grid in this graphic.) For the next several billion years, the expansion of the universe gradually slowed down as the matter in the universe pulled on itself via gravity. More recently, the expansion has begun to speed up again as the repulsive effects of dark energy have come to dominate the expansion of the universe. The afterglow light seen by WMAP was emitted about 375,000 years after inflation and has traversed the universe largely unimpeded since then. The conditions of earlier times are imprinted on this light; it also forms a backlight for later developments of the universe. Wikipedia media
Modern Myth Making
Before getting into why The Big Bang Theory has such a hold on the modern imagination, this post will look at the Cosmology as a science and some of the weaknesses of the Big Bang Theory.
While I have been working on my current series of posts, God Is Not A Unicorn, I thought it might help my case if I referred you to some heavy hitters in the field of Physics who could back me up – at least at the scientific end of my argument. Some time this week I will add a new post with a bibliography from scientists who are trying to give the general public a deeper insight into the troubles surrounding our current understanding of physical reality. For now, in this post, I give you Carver Mead.
Carver Mead is a pioneer in the field of microelectronics. He’s been trying to wake up the Physics community for a long time about the need to rethink the way we model the physical world. He is very soft spoken, but if you listen carefully to what he is saying you will find it is mind blowing.
ISSCC 2013 Plenary The Evolution of Technology Carver Mead, Professor Emeritus, Caltech, Pasadena, CA, USA
Confusion over what Einstein’s Theories of Relativity actually revealed about the true nature of space and time created a major storm of controversy in the early part of the 20th century and continues, though more quietly, to this day. Most people think that Relativity has been “proven” by science and that only cranks would continue to think there is something to debate.
What is not known, by the general public, is that later in life Einstein himself began to reflect on what he had accomplished and expressed some doubt that he had, in fact, been correct about some interpretations of his theories ideas concerning the true nature of time and space.
The Original Sin
Einstein’s original sin, centered on his use of the discovery of the speed of light and the fact that it seemed to be constant no matter which reference frame it traveled in. This means that no matter how fast a light source travelled, the maximum speed light that was emitted from that source had a fixed upper limit. There are other interpretations that could be imagined about the nature of light, space and time from that discovery, but it was Einstein’s interpretation that world came to accept as the true one. Let us see why.
The Heat Death of the Universe was first proposed by Lord Kelvin in the late 19th century. It is a conjecture that the universe is expanding and will continue to expand until all the thermal energy of the universe is expended causing all physical processes to cease.
This faulty and uninspiring mental image of the universe has been a part of the cultural milieu of the scientific community for so long that it has become a part of the popular culture’s understanding of Reality and is rarely challenged.
This apocalyptic vision originated from the observation of physical and chemical processes under specific, local conditions and then extrapolated to include the fate of the entire universe.
“It’s just the abyss, dear. Try not to gaze into it”
We call this kind of analysis empiricism, which is a bottom-up approach to knowledge. While empiricism is a powerful scientific tool, it has its limitations.
the theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience. Stimulated by the rise of experimental science, it developed in the 17th and 18th centuries, expounded in particular by John Locke, George Berkeley, and David Hume.
Physics gives us knowledge when observing concrete (physical), local systems. We can control and submit these local systems to scientific experimentation. We fail sometimes to realize how little we can observe about the universe. From our tiny perch on this small planet whirling about in the vastness of space what can we really know for certain about the fate of the universe?
We talk about mechanical (scientific) time, psychological time (time as our minds perceive it), and physiological time (the time of bodily processes). But are any of these things really Time with a capital T?
Psychological TimeandPhysiological Time
Time seems to fly by when we are enjoying something and it seems to slow down when we are standing in line or at work. We are often startled to see that our mind’s estimate of the current time does not match the clock. We don’t trust out minds to tell us the correct time or even the correct passing of time. We tend to dismiss psychological time as not real.
But, whether time seems to go fast or not, we cannot escape our biological clock. It keeps on ticking to its own time, whether we like it or not. And since physiological time appears to have some one to one connection with mechanical time – we think that is more real than psychological time.
Mechanical (Scientific) Time
As communication and transportation technology grew over the past two centuries, reliable mechanical time became increasingly important to our everyday lives. We rely on our clocks and by extension, our computers and phones to tell us the correct time. We plan our days and our nights by the dictatorship of clock time. It is so much a part of our mental framework that we often confuse clock time with Time itself.
Mechanical or scientific time is clock time. We measure space in yards or meters, but we don’t confuse the measuring stick or other device such as our car’s odometer with the road we are measuring or the houses we pass by. Space is something we think is separate from its measurements. So, why is it that don’t we think more expansively about Time?
What happened to philosophical time?
Philosophical time belongs to a branch of philosophy called metaphysics. Many scientists and secularists believe metaphysics is an illusion or a construct of the brain. Science replaced metaphysics and anyone who challenges that fact is considered anti-scientific. To them, if metaphysics belongs anywhere it should be studied as a psychological disorder.
But is this true? Has science truly and finally replaced metaphysics? Is philosophy dead?