I got my August issue of scientific American last week. In it is an article providing a different take on the origin of the universe?
Many of you probably know that the current hypothesis on the origin of the universe is George Gamow's Big Bang hypothesis (the term is borrowed from Fred Hoyle....Hoyle, in a BBC interview, was making fun of Lemaitre/Gamow's view that the universe began in a cosmic egg, exploded and expanded, as Alexander Friedman and Edwin Hubble contended; Hoyle believed in what he called the Steady State hypothesis...that the universe has always been around). The Big Bang hypothesis says that 13.7 billion years ago something the size of a particle emerged from nowhere and got incredibly hot and exploded.
In its explosion light was created. Light particles (Photons) sped off (into space and time the bang created, that is, the universe of space, time and matter did not exist before the bang) and eventually congealed into quarks and electrons.
Quarks combined into protons and neutrons, and before the first three minutes of the universe was over protons and neutrons combined into nuclei.
As Alan Guth tells us, the universe underwent an inflationary period where it sped off at a speed greater than the speed of light (186, 000 miles per second...what forces produced that inflation; why didn't gravity lead to the collapse of the emergent matter back into its singularity?).
The universe remained plasma (free floating nuclei and electrons) for the next 400, 000 years. Thereafter, nuclei captured electrons and formed the first simple element, hydrogen (hydrogen is composed of a nucleus of one proton circled by one electron).
For the next few million years the universe was composed of a cloud of hydrogen and some helium. Apparently, at some point space occurred in the cloud of hydrogen gas. Each clump of hydrogen was acted on by gravity and in its core hydrogen began fusing into helium and stars were born (and releasing energy in the form of heat and light...).
The newly formed stars clumped into galaxies. At present we have over 200 billion galaxies; each galaxy containing billions of stars. Our Milky Way Galaxy contains over 200 billion stars; it takes light, travelling at the usual speed of light 100, 000 light years to go from one end of our galaxy to the other.
(Quiz: if the universe has existed for 13.7 billion years and light travels at 186, 000 miles per second, how many miles has light travelled from the big bang to the present? If you can come up with the right answer in three minutes you are smart.)
The first generation stars were massively huge and lasted only a few million years and exploded in supernova. During their explosions the ensuing heat formed the other elements on Chemistry's periodic table (there are 92 such elements but we have created additional ones in laboratories).
The newly formed elements, in time conglomerated to form additional stars and planets. Our sun and its nine (or eight, is Pluto a planet?) planets were formed from exploded giant stars about 4.5 billion years ago.
There are other types of stars, such as pulsars, quasars, white dwarfs, brown dwarfs etc. (Our sun is scheduled to die in five billion years, not in a supernova but by merely expanding and incorporating its nearest two planets, Mercury and Venus and then sloughing off its outer portions and what remains is a white dwarf that will glow for a while and then flicker out and exist as a piece of rock in space...is Jupiter a planet or a brown dwarf, if not why not?)
Some exploded massive stars have their cores fall into their selves to form either neutron stars or black holes.
In the case of neutron stars all the elements are compacted into neutrons and the ball spins at an incredible speed (how are neutrons different from protons; clue, one has positive electrical charge and the other is neutral; yet the neutral one can lose some particles and become a proton!).
In black holes the elements are compacted into what we do not know, called singularity because our current laws of physics cannot understand it. Black holes have event horizons, sort of like a circle drawn around them that whatever enters them cannot escape, even light cannot escape from black holes event horizons.
As you probably may have noted that the big bang hypothesis did not answer the question: where did the universe come from? It is not enough to say that something came out of nothing and nowhere and formed our universe.
What existed before the particle came out to explode? And what made it hot? How did it create space, time and matter? There are simply too many unanswered questions regarding the origin of our universe.
About six years ago, building on Stephen Hawkins and Roger Penrose's writings on black holes, I hypothesized that our universe is probably a black hole, a bubble into which evil persons are relegated and shot out into space and they stay in it until they learn to become loving persons and then they escape from the bubble and return to what I called our original home.
The physical universe, I believe is a black hole where unloving persons imprison their selves. That is correct, if you are on earth, in spirit you judged yourself as an unloving, evil person and sentenced you to go live in body and deny your true self, loving spirit. You live as an evil self-housed in body.
The prison sentence requires you to struggle to realize your true self, a loving spirit self and love all people and when you have done so you have served your sentence and you leave the prison, planet earth and return to our true home, unified spirit self, aka heaven. I believe that, sooner or later, religion and science will interphase.
My hypothesis was in the nature of philosophy for I am a philosopher, not a physical scientist.
Well, in this August issue of scientific American, a trio from England's Imperial University theorize that something existed before the big bang; as they see it, there is a four dimensional universe that exists out there and that universe has four dimensional stars; those stars explode in supernova and produce our three dimensional universe and its three dimensional stars (what are the three dimensions of our universe?).
More importantly, these physicists speculate that our universe is a black hole of sorts. They used Plato's cave analogy to make their point.
In case you have not studied the philosophy of the Greek philosopher Plato, he said that we are like folks in a cave. In the cave is a flame of light. That light produces shadow of us and whatever else is in the cave on the walls of the cave. But we do not really know what lies outside the cave since we are not outside it.
At some point someone left the cave and saw a world of light outside it, a world filled with stars, planets, moons, animals, trees etc. and returned to tell the cave dwellers about the incredibly complex and beautiful world he saw outside the cave.
The cave dwellers who are adjusted to the world of darkness and shadows they live in did not believe him. Indeed, some of the bringers of light (knowledge) were killed.
(Was Jesus Christ, a bringer of light, albeit in a poetic form, not killed by the cave dwellers called human beings? How many prophets of God have people living in darkness killed?)
The point that Plato was making is that there are other worlds other than the world we live in; Plato believes that occasionally philosophers like me bring information on those worlds to human beings living in darkness and shadows and human beings adjusted to darkness do not believe them.
Plato is encouraging folks to wonder if other universes exist. Some of us, philosophers do wonder what exists before the big bang and speculate on it.
It is now interesting that astrophysics and cosmology is getting into to the speculation as to how the universe came into being. The writers of the said article in Scientific American being physicists naturally have mathematical equations for their views.
The article alluded to String theory, Brane...the ideas that our universe is a spun off from another universe called Bulk; to the existence of dark matter and dark energy...the universe is composed of about 25% dark matter and 70% dark energy...dark matter actually is what holds things together, not gravity, as we had thought, and dark energy is what makes the universe expand at an exponential rate...and yet we do not understand what these, 95% of the universe are; we are only beginning to understand only five percent of the universe!
In sum, the article is saying that those in a black hole cannot see beyond the black hole's event horizon to see that there is another world outside the black hole; since it sees our universe as a black hole of sorts, we cannot see beyond the parameters of our universe to see that other universes exist, some with four dimensions and others more dimensions, ad infinitum.
The same issue of Scientific American talked about how a blow to your head, how an accident could turn you into a savant (genius). An injury or blow to the human brain, say meningitis, could make the individual suddenly develop a certain talent, such as do incredible mathematical multiplications without thinking about it or perform artistic works, such as play music without learning about music.
The article suggests that perhaps all knowledge is already somewhere and that the human brain accesses it and certain brain configurations access that house of knowledge more than others. If so how can we operate on human brains to make averagely intelligent persons perform at higher levels of intelligence?
I suggest that folks expand their minds a bit by reading these two articles and while at it start reading scientific articles. You could subscribe to the journal, Nature and start reading interesting stuff.
July 28, 2014