# Berlinski on the Big Bang: “How would knowing more mathematics help, I wonder?”

January 25, 2012 | Posted by News under Philosophy, Mathematics |

At *Ricochet*, Claire Berlinski hosts her father, mathematician and philosopher David Berlinski, on a topic he could hardly be expected to resist: What Really Happened at the Beginning of Time – principally because the topic forces one to take philosophy seriously:

What happened before the Big Bang. This is what Nunov Yerbiz would like to know. Me too. No one knows. The Big Bang marks the point at which physical theories start to stutter.

Physicists often say that space and time began with the Big Bang. But as Mr. Yerbiz notices, this is hardly a coherent position. To ask for the time that time began is a little like asking for the length of length. The measure has been applied to itself. The Vise is at work here too.

In order to say that space and time began, physicists must renounce the old, comfortable sense that while things may begin or come to an end, beginnings and endings make sense only against the context of an antecedent temporal flow. If the Vise is evident, so is the ladder. Climb it up, the physicists say, and then give up what you is troubling you. Not so easy to do. How would knowing more mathematics help, I wonder? Are these sorts of questions mathematical? They appear all over again when physicists argue that space and time are not even fundamental physical categories. The jiggling fundaments lie elsewhere; and from them, space and time may be derived. That may be so within a particular theory, but the theory must be understood against the background of what can only be called the instinctive human sense that whatever the derivation in theory, space and time remain fundamental. Kicking away this ladder involves kicking away the very intuitions by which things are in the first place judged. Better to give the theory a kick, no?

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“Coincidentally’, I just posted this on facebook a couple of seconds ago:

From the best scientific evidence we now have, from multiple intersecting lines of evidence, we now have very good reason to believe that the entire universe came instantaneously into origination at the Big Bang. Not only was all mass-energy brought into being, but space-time itself was also instantaneously brought into being at the Big Bang!!! Thus it logically follows that whatever brought the universe into being had to be transcendent of space-time, mass-energy. Yet the only thing that we know of that is completely transcendent of space-time, matter-energy is information. Thus the question becomes did information bring space-time, mass-energy into being?,,, simple enough question, but how do we prove it? It turns out that quantum teleportation breakthroughs have shed light directly on this question!,,, Here are a few experiments establishing the ‘information theoretic’ origin, and sustaining of this universe,;

The following experiments establish quantum information’s dominion over energy and mass;

,,,The following articles show that even atoms are subject to ‘instantaneous’ teleportation:,,,

,,,These following experiments show that the teleportation of information is ‘instantaneous’, thus demonstrating information’s complete transcendence, and even interacting dominion, of space and time;,,,

Here is another interesting experiment which demonstrated quantum information’s dominion over space and time (over Time specifically);

,,,Whereas these following experiment shows that quantum information is ‘conserved’,,,

,,,Moreover, when the quantum wave state (superposition), which is defined as infinite information, collapses to its particle state, it yields only a single bit of information:

,,,moreover, encoded information, such as we find encoded in computers, and yes, even such as we find encoded in DNA, is found to be a subset of ‘conserved’ quantum information:

The following proof shows that consciousness precedes the collapse of the ‘infinite information’ of the quantum wave state to the single bit of the ‘uncertain’ particle state ;

Here is Wigner’s experiment:

i.e. In the experiment the ‘world’ (i.e. the universe) does not have a ‘privileged center’. Yet strangely, the conscious observer does exhibit a ‘privileged center’. This is since the ‘matrix’, which determines which vector will be used to describe the particle in the experiment, is ‘observer-centric’ in its origination! Thus explaining Wigner’s dramatic statement, “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”

In my personal opinion, even though it is not hashed out in all the details yet, all this evidence is about as sweet as it can get, in experimental science, as to providing proof that Almighty God created and sustains this universe.

Further note:

additional note:

It is important to note that the following experiment actually encoded information into a photon while it was in its quantum wave state, thus destroying the notion, held by many, that the wave function was not ‘physically real’ but was merely ‘abstract’. i.e. How can information possibly be encoded into something that is not physically real but merely abstract?

The following paper mathematically corroborated the preceding experiment and cleaned up some pretty nasty probabilistic incongruities that arose from a purely statistical interpretation, i.e. it seems that stacking a ‘random infinity’, (parallel universes to explain quantum wave collapse), on top of another ‘random infinity’, to explain quantum entanglement, leads to irreconcilable mathematical absurdities within quantum mechanics:

The Big Bang is most likely the point where this universe branched off from the Multi-verse. This universe’s time and space would have been created along with this universe.

Except there isn’t any evidence for a multi-verse and there is evidence that contradicts the premise.

Yeah but evidence and method don’t matter because we

needthe multiverse.Get with the (materialist) program.

as to this comment:

That’s a pretty confident statement seeing that it was made without any reference to any hard physical evidence whatsoever. Nor from the best of my knowledge is there any hard physical evidence in existence for this imaginary conjecture (Peter Woit; Not Even Wrong), and, in fact, there is mathematical proof working against this imaginary conjecture!

Furthermore, multiverses were originally conjectured in string theory (and now M-Theory) to try to find a ‘mathematical’ theory of everything in which General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics could be unified, yet we find that mathematics itself shows that such a hypothetical ‘closed box of mathematical logic’ cannot be ‘complete’ without God making it ‘complete’ in the first place:

notes:

(,,,The ‘mathematical endeavor’, to unify General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics, has been fraught with extreme difficulty. Here is, I believe, the main ‘mathematical difficulty’,,,)

(,,,Moreover, this extreme ‘mathematical difficulty’, of reconciling General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything’, was actually somewhat foreseeable from previous work, earlier in the 20th century, in mathematics by Godel:,,,)

(,,,Moreover when we allow consciousness its proper role in quantum mechanics:,,,)

(,,,We then find a very credible reconciliation between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics which, very unlike the multiverse conjecture, actually has some very impressive empirical evidence backing it up,,,)

(,,,Thus, when one allows God as the ‘prime mover’ of math, as Godel clearly indicated must ultimately be done to keep math from being ‘incomplete’, then we find that there actually exists a very credible reconciliation between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into a the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything’! Yet it certainly is a ‘Theory of Everything’ that many dogmatic Atheists will try to deny the relevance of.,,, As a footnote; Godel, who proved you cannot have a mathematical ‘Theory of Everything’, without allowing God to bring completeness to the ‘Theory of Everything’ in the first place, also had this to say,,,)

further assorted note:

Verse and Music:

as to this comment:

That’s a pretty confident statement seeing that it was made with no reference to any hard physical evidence whatsoever. Nor from the best of my knowlege is there any hard physical evidence for this imaginary conjecture (Peter Woit; Not Even Wrong), and, in fact, there is mathematical proof working against this imaginary conjecture!

Furthermore, multiverses were originally conjectured in string theory (and now M-Theory) to try to find a ‘mathematical’ theory of everything in which General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics could be unified, yet we find that mathematics itself shows that such a hypothetical ‘closed box of mathematical logic’ cannot be ‘complete’ without God making it ‘complete’ in the first place:

notes:

(,,,The ‘mathematical endeavor’, to unify General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics, has been fraught with extreme difficulty. Here is, I believe, the main ‘mathematical difficulty’,,,)

(,,,Moreover, this extreme ‘mathematical difficulty’, of reconciling General Relativity with Quantum Mechanics into the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything’, was actually somewhat foreseeable from previous work, earlier in the 20th century, in mathematics by Godel:,,,)

(,,,Moreover when we allow consciousness its proper role in quantum mechanics:,,,)

(,,,We then find a very credible reconciliation between General Relativity and Quantum Mechanics which, very unlike the multiverse conjecture, actually has some very impressive empirical evidence backing it up,,,)

(,,,Thus, when one allows God as the ‘prime mover’ of math, as Godel clearly indicated must ultimately be done to keep math from being ‘incomplete’, then we find that there actually exists a very credible reconciliation between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity into a the much sought after ‘Theory of Everything’! Yet it certainly is a ‘Theory of Everything’ that many dogmatic Atheists will try to deny the relevance of.,,, As a footnote; Godel, who proved you cannot have a mathematical ‘Theory of Everything’, without allowing God to bring completeness to the ‘Theory of Everything’ in the first place, also had this to say,,,)

further assorted note:

Verse and Music:

Didn’t someone at UD (IIRC, Ms O’Leary) link to a Horizon programme about this very question? As I recall, there were a few ideas being kicked around, and at least one group was claiming there was data that backed their theory up.

Great! Thank you for the link.

“Physicists who argue that it is possible invariably fudge on the matter of nothing by

identifying nothing with something, such as a listless and empty quantum field, or some other universe from which our universe has tunneled in grateful relief. Physicists such as Vic Stenger have made the something for nothing switch with all the aplomb of stage magicians releasing a flock of doves from their underwear.”(emphasis mine)

That reminds me of many other similar operations, I would say.

” Expressing himself nicely in precisely ninety-four words, he finds himself suspicious of words themselves.”

Ehm… dFSCI to deny dFSCI?

“Haakon Dahl asks for a better definition of the philosophy of physics. Philosophers of physics do not do experiments in physics nor do they create theories within physics. I suppose that they take whatever is left over. Whatever it is, there seems to be a lot of it.”

Great!

“The Big Bang marks the point at which physical theories start to stutter.”

“Kicking away this ladder involves kicking away the very intuitions by which things are in the first place judged. Better to give the theory a kick, no?”

Definitely, some theories deserve a good kick.

” It is the common beliefs of mankind against which physical theories are judged, just as it is the common judgment of mankind against which art is assessed. The ladders cannot be kicked away. They are unkickable. Some of our beliefs may need to be given up;

but not all and some never.”(emphasis mine)

“Mathew Bartle asks whether physicists ever pay any attention to philosophers. If not, what does philosophy add to physics? But this is to distort the history of thought. Einstein thought very seriously about philosophy in reaching the conclusions that he expressed in his theory of special relativity; so did the great figures in quantum mechanics. The stuff is everywhere and no matter their vigorous contempt for philosophy, the physicists are covered with it.”

We are all covered with it. Luckily.

“Mathematics has none of the arbitrariness we expect of a human artifact. Shakespeare made Hamlet and he might have written to see or not to see, instead of to be or not to be. No mathematician can do as much for mathematics. But then there is the stunning remark: ‘It may be, in the end, that our biggest obstacle in understanding the cosmos is that we didn’t make it.’ Wonderfully put.”

Wonderfully put.

“I have nothing intelligent to say on the question.

It happens.”

I happens to great people.

Berlinski, as usual, is the best!

This is great! ID Enthusiasts, who argue for an invisible, untouchable, undetectable and spectacularly unlikely Designer and who present the results of evolution as “evidence” for His existence, complain that there is no evidence for a multiverse.

This complaint would have more force if multiverses didn’t emerge naturally and without being called for from every recent cosmological theory.

It would also help if the low-information Big Bang wasn’t exactly the kind of universe we’d expect to see hive off from a multiverse.

You have fun with your theories and I’ll have fun with mine, but I promise you that I will never present the results of evolution as evidence for the multiverse.

Meanwhile, if there IS a multiverse and the Big Bang DOES mark the point where this universe broke off from the multiverse, then all of Dr. Berlinski’s questions have been answered:

What happened before the Big Bang? The multiverse already existed, it just hadn’t created this particular universe yet.

What about space and time? No problem, they’re a part of the universe and came into existence when it did. No problems with “the length of length”.

Problems with physics? Our physics is the physics of this universe and concerns itself with how this universe works. Our physics began with the Big Bang and doesn’t apply to the multiverse. We don’t have to kick away the ladder of physics.

Berlinski didn’t mention Occam’s Razor, but since we know that this universe came into existence from something, William of Ockham’s principle would be satisfied by knowing it happened again and is happening all the time.

True, the explanation is not as simple as, “Goddidit”, but it’s much more satisfying, what with the scarcity of believable Gods.

Well, I must say that dmullenix’ s “answer” is almost as funny as Berlinski’s essay.

Let me try.

This is great! Materialist Enthusiasts, who argue for an

invisible,untouchable,undetectableandspectacularly unlikelyfirst cause and who present the results of supernatural speculation as “evidence” for it’s existence, complain that there is no evidence for a designer.Seriously can you not see the hypocrisy of your very own conclusions — you have just unceremoniously booted scientific methodology (appealing to a multiverse) out of the window, and in the very next breath you have the audacity to point fingers at ID’s “lack of a designer”.

Do you not see that after all this time of atheists pointing fingers, it is science itself that has guided you to a force outside of “nature” to account for matter, energy, laws and reality itself. Wake up.

Flying Spaghetti Multiverse.

It has a nice, familiar ring to it, doesn’t it?

Thank you and good night everyone.