Home » Mathematics, Philosophy » Berlinski on the Big Bang: “How would knowing more mathematics help, I wonder?”

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

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

  1. “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;

    How Teleportation Will Work -
    Excerpt: In 1993, the idea of teleportation moved out of the realm of science fiction and into the world of theoretical possibility. It was then that physicist Charles Bennett and a team of researchers at IBM confirmed that quantum teleportation was possible, but only if the original object being teleported was destroyed. — As predicted, the original photon no longer existed once the replica was made.
    http://science.howstuffworks.c.....ation1.htm

    Quantum Teleportation – IBM Research Page
    Excerpt: “it would destroy the original (photon) in the process,,”
    http://www.research.ibm.com/qu.....portation/

    Explaining Information Transfer in Quantum Teleportation: Armond Duwell †‡ University of Pittsburgh
    Excerpt: In contrast to a classical bit, the description of a (photon) qubit requires an infinite amount of information. The amount of information is infinite because two real numbers are required in the expansion of the state vector of a two state quantum system (Jozsa 1997, 1) — Concept 2. is used by Bennett, et al. Recall that they infer that since an infinite amount of information is required to specify a (photon) qubit, an infinite amount of information must be transferred to teleport.
    http://www.cas.umt.edu/phil/fa.....lPSA2K.pdf

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

    Ions have been teleported successfully for the first time by two independent research groups
    Excerpt: In fact, copying isn’t quite the right word for it. In order to reproduce the quantum state of one atom in a second atom, the original has to be destroyed. This is unavoidable – it is enforced by the laws of quantum mechanics, which stipulate that you can’t ‘clone’ a quantum state. In principle, however, the ‘copy’ can be indistinguishable from the original (that was destroyed),,,
    http://www.rsc.org/chemistrywo.....ammeup.asp

    Atom takes a quantum leap – 2009
    Excerpt: Ytterbium ions have been ‘teleported’ over a distance of a metre.,,,
    “What you’re moving is information, not the actual atoms,” says Chris Monroe, from the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland in College Park and an author of the paper. But as two particles of the same type differ only in their quantum states, the transfer of quantum information is equivalent to moving the first particle to the location of the second.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....1769/posts

    ,,,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;,,,

    Light and Quantum Entanglement Reflect Some Characteristics Of God – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4102182/

    Researchers Succeed in Quantum Teleportation of Light Waves – April 2011
    Excerpt: In this experiment, researchers in Australia and Japan were able to transfer quantum information from one place to another without having to physically move it. It was destroyed in one place and instantly resurrected in another, “alive” again and unchanged. This is a major advance, as previous teleportation experiments were either very slow or caused some information to be lost.
    http://www.popsci.com/technolo.....-computing

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

    Physicists describe method to observe timelike entanglement – January 2011
    Excerpt: In “ordinary” quantum entanglement, two particles possess properties that are inherently linked with each other, even though the particles may be spatially separated by a large distance. Now, physicists S. Jay Olson and Timothy C. Ralph from the University of Queensland have shown that it’s possible to create entanglement between regions of spacetime that are separated in time but not in space, and then to convert the timelike entanglement into normal spacelike entanglement. They also discuss the possibility of using this timelike entanglement from the quantum vacuum for a process they call “teleportation in time.” “To me, the exciting aspect of this result (that entanglement exists between the future and past) is that it is quite a general property of nature and opens the door to new creativity, since we know that entanglement can be viewed as a resource for quantum technology,” Olson told PhysOrg.com.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....ement.html

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

    Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time
    Excerpt: In the classical world, information can be copied and deleted at will. In the quantum world, however, the conservation of quantum information means that information cannot be created nor destroyed. This concept stems from two fundamental theorems of quantum mechanics: the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem. A third and related theorem, called the no-hiding theorem, addresses information loss in the quantum world. According to the no-hiding theorem, if information is missing from one system (which may happen when the system interacts with the environment), then the information is simply residing somewhere else in the Universe; in other words, the missing information cannot be hidden in the correlations between a system and its environment.
    http://www.physorg.com/news/20.....tally.html

    Quantum no-deleting theorem
    Excerpt: A stronger version of the no-cloning theorem and the no-deleting theorem provide permanence to quantum information. To create a copy one must import the information from some part of the universe and to delete a state one needs to export it to another part of the universe where it will continue to exist. – wikipedia

  2. ,,,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:

    Quantum Computing – Stanford Encyclopedia
    Excerpt: Theoretically, a single qubit can store an infinite amount of information, yet when measured (and thus collapsing the Quantum Wave state) it yields only the classical result (0 or 1),,,
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entr.....tcomp/#2.1

    Zeilinger’s principle
    The principle that any elementary system carries just one bit of information. This principle was put forward by the Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger in 1999 and subsequently developed by him to derive several aspects of quantum mechanics.
    http://science.jrank.org/pages.....z17a7f88PM

    Why the Quantum? It from Bit? A Participatory Universe?
    Excerpt: In conclusion, it may very well be said that information is the irreducible kernel from which everything else flows. Thence the question why nature appears quantized is simply a consequence of the fact that information itself is quantized by necessity. It might even be fair to observe that the concept that information is fundamental is very old knowledge of humanity, witness for example the beginning of gospel according to John: “In the beginning was the Word.” Anton Zeilinger – a leading expert in quantum teleportation:

    ,,,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:

    Quantum knowledge cools computers: New understanding of entropy – June 2011
    Excerpt: No heat, even a cooling effect;
    In the case of perfect classical knowledge of a computer memory (zero entropy), deletion of the data requires in theory no energy at all. The researchers prove that “more than complete knowledge” from quantum entanglement with the memory (negative entropy) leads to deletion of the data being accompanied by removal of heat from the computer and its release as usable energy. This is the physical meaning of negative entropy.
    Renner emphasizes, however, “This doesn’t mean that we can develop a perpetual motion machine.” The data can only be deleted once, so there is no possibility to continue to generate energy. The process also destroys the entanglement, and it would take an input of energy to reset the system to its starting state. The equations are consistent with what’s known as the second law of thermodynamics: the idea that the entropy of the universe can never decrease. Vedral says “We’re working on the edge of the second law. If you go any further, you will break it.”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....134300.htm

    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 ;

    The argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either precedes all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”
    Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.

    Here is Wigner’s experiment:

    Eugene Wigner
    Excerpt: To express this basic experience in a more direct way: the world does not have a privileged center, there is no absolute rest, preferred direction, unique origin of calendar time, even left and right seem to be rather symmetric. The interference of electrons, photons, neutrons has indicated that the state of a particle can be described by a vector possessing a certain number of components. As the observer is replaced by another observer (working elsewhere, looking at a different direction, using another clock, perhaps being left-handed), the state of the very same particle is described by another vector, obtained from the previous vector by multiplying it with a matrix. This matrix transfers from one observer to another.
    http://www.reak.bme.hu/Wigner_.....io/wb1.htm

    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.

    John 1:1-3
    In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made.

    The Word Is Alive – Casting Crowns – music video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5197438/

    Further note:

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy, and The Shroud Of Turin – updated video (notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

  3. 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?

    Ultra-Dense Optical Storage – on One Photon
    Excerpt: Researchers at the University of Rochester have made an optics breakthrough that allows them to encode an entire image’s worth of data into a photon, slow the image down for storage, and then retrieve the image intact.
    http://www.physorg.com/news88439430.html

    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:

    Quantum Theory’s ‘Wavefunction’ Found to Be Real Physical Entity: Scientific American – November 2011
    Excerpt: David Wallace, a philosopher of physics at the University of Oxford, UK, says that the theorem is the most important result in the foundations of quantum mechanics that he has seen in his 15-year professional career. “This strips away obscurity and shows you can’t have an interpretation of a quantum state as probabilistic,” he says.
    http://www.scientificamerican......vefunction

    The quantum (wave) state cannot be interpreted statistically – November 2011
    http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/1111.3328

  4. 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.

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

  6. as to this comment:

    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.

    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!

    In New Scientist today, Lisa Grossman reported on ideas presented at a conference entitled “State of the Universe” convened last week in honor of Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday. Some birthday; he got “the worst presents ever,” she said: “two bold proposals posed serious threats to our existing understanding of the cosmos.” Of the two, the latter is most serious: a presentation showing reasons why “the universe is not eternal, resurrecting the thorny question of how to kick-start the cosmos without the hand of a supernatural creator.”

    It is well-known that Hawking has preferred a self-existing universe. Grossman quotes him saying, “‘A point of creation would be a place where science broke down. One would have to appeal to religion and the hand of God,’ Hawking told the meeting, at the University of Cambridge, in a pre-recorded speech.”

    In her article, “Why physicists can’t avoid a creation event,” Grossman explains that “For a while it looked like it might be possible to dodge this problem, by relying on models such as an eternally inflating or cyclic universe, both of which seemed to continue infinitely in the past as well as the future.” These models were consistent with the big bang, she notes. Unfortunately, “as cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston explained last week, that hope has been gradually fading and may now be dead.” Here are the models in brief and why they don’t work:

    Eternal inflation: Built on Alan Guth’s 1981 inflation proposal, this model imagines bubble universes forming and inflating spontaneously forever. Vilenkin and Guth had debunked this idea as recently as 2003. The equations still require a boundary in the past.
    Eternal cycles: A universe that bounces endlessly from expansion to contraction has a certain appeal to some, but it won’t work either. “Disorder increases with time,” Grossman explained. “So following each cycle, the universe must get more and more disordered.” Logically, then, if there had already been an infinite number of cycles, the universe would already been in a state of maximum disorder, even if the universe gets bigger with each bounce. Scratch that model.
    Eternal egg: One last holdout was the “cosmic egg” model that has the universe hatching out of some eternally-existing static state. “Late last year Vilenkin and graduate student Audrey Mithani showed that the egg could not have existed forever after all, as quantum instabilities would force it to collapse after a finite amount of time (arxiv.org/abs/1110.4096).” No way could the egg be eternal.

    The upshot of this is clear. No model of an eternal universe works. Vilenkin concluded, “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” An editorial at New Scientist called this, “The Genesis Problem.”
    http://crev.info/2012/01/cosmo.....beginning/

    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’,,,)

    Science vs God: Its The Collapse Of Physics As We Know it – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHHz4mB9GKY

    THE MYSTERIOUS ZERO/INFINITY
    Excerpt: The biggest challenge to today’s physicists is how to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics. However, these two pillars of modern science were bound to be incompatible. “The universe of general relativity is a smooth rubber sheet. It is continuous and flowing, never sharp, never pointy. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, describes a jerky and discontinuous universe. What the two theories have in common – and what they clash over – is zero.”,, “The infinite zero of a black hole — mass crammed into zero space, curving space infinitely — punches a hole in the smooth rubber sheet. The equations of general relativity cannot deal with the sharpness of zero. In a black hole, space and time are meaningless.”,, “Quantum mechanics has a similar problem, a problem related to the zero-point energy. The laws of quantum mechanics treat particles such as the electron as points; that is, they take up no space at all. The electron is a zero-dimensional object,,, According to the rules of quantum mechanics, the zero-dimensional electron has infinite mass and infinite charge.
    http://www.fmbr.org/editoral/e....._mar02.htm

    (,,,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:,,,)

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

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

    The argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either precedes all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”
    Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.

    (,,,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,,,)

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy, and The Shroud Of Turin – updated video (notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    (,,,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,,,)

    The God of the Mathematicians – Goldman
    Excerpt: As Gödel told Hao Wang, “Einstein’s religion [was] more abstract, like Spinoza and Indian philosophy. Spinoza’s god is less than a person; mine is more than a person; because God can play the role of a person.” – Kurt Gödel – (Gödel is considered by many to be the greatest mathematician of the 20th century)
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    further assorted note:

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory & The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    The End Of Materialism?
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as a explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism – By Bruce L Gordon:
    Excerpt: Because quantum theory is thought to provide the bedrock for our scientific understanding of physical reality, it is to this theory that the materialist inevitably appeals in support of his worldview. But having fled to science in search of a safe haven for his doctrines, the materialist instead finds that quantum theory in fact dissolves and defeats his materialist understanding of the world.
    http://www.4truth.net/site/c.h.....ialism.htm

    ‘What is referred to as M-theory isn’t even a theory. It’s a collection of ideas, hopes, aspirations. It’s not even a theory and I think the book is a bit misleading in that respect. It gives you the impression that here is this new theory which is going to explain everything. It is nothing of the sort. It is not even a theory and certainly has no observational (evidence),,, I think the book suffers rather more strongly than many (other books). It’s not a uncommon thing in popular descriptions of science to latch onto some idea, particularly things to do with string theory, which have absolutely no support from observations.,,, They are very far from any kind of observational (testability). Yes, they (the ideas of M-theory) are hardly science.” –
    Roger Penrose – former close colleague of Stephen Hawking – in critique of Hawking’s new book ‘The Grand Design’,,, the exact quote is in the following video clip:

    Roger Penrose Debunks Stephen Hawking’s New Book ‘The Grand Design’ – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5278793/

    Verse and Music:

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    Steven Curtis Chapman – God is God (Original Version) -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz94NQ5HRyk

  7. as to this comment:

    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.

    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!

    In New Scientist today, Lisa Grossman reported on ideas presented at a conference entitled “State of the Universe” convened last week in honor of Stephen Hawking’s 70th birthday. Some birthday; he got “the worst presents ever,” she said: “two bold proposals posed serious threats to our existing understanding of the cosmos.” Of the two, the latter is most serious: a presentation showing reasons why “the universe is not eternal, resurrecting the thorny question of how to kick-start the cosmos without the hand of a supernatural creator.”

    It is well-known that Hawking has preferred a self-existing universe. Grossman quotes him saying, “‘A point of creation would be a place where science broke down. One would have to appeal to religion and the hand of God,’ Hawking told the meeting, at the University of Cambridge, in a pre-recorded speech.”

    In her article, “Why physicists can’t avoid a creation event,” Grossman explains that “For a while it looked like it might be possible to dodge this problem, by relying on models such as an eternally inflating or cyclic universe, both of which seemed to continue infinitely in the past as well as the future.” These models were consistent with the big bang, she notes. Unfortunately, “as cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston explained last week, that hope has been gradually fading and may now be dead.” Here are the models in brief and why they don’t work:

    Eternal inflation: Built on Alan Guth’s 1981 inflation proposal, this model imagines bubble universes forming and inflating spontaneously forever. Vilenkin and Guth had debunked this idea as recently as 2003. The equations still require a boundary in the past.
    Eternal cycles: A universe that bounces endlessly from expansion to contraction has a certain appeal to some, but it won’t work either. “Disorder increases with time,” Grossman explained. “So following each cycle, the universe must get more and more disordered.” Logically, then, if there had already been an infinite number of cycles, the universe would already been in a state of maximum disorder, even if the universe gets bigger with each bounce. Scratch that model.
    Eternal egg: One last holdout was the “cosmic egg” model that has the universe hatching out of some eternally-existing static state. “Late last year Vilenkin and graduate student Audrey Mithani showed that the egg could not have existed forever after all, as quantum instabilities would force it to collapse after a finite amount of time (arxiv.org/abs/1110.4096).” No way could the egg be eternal.

    The upshot of this is clear. No model of an eternal universe works. Vilenkin concluded, “All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.” An editorial at New Scientist called this, “The Genesis Problem.”
    http://crev.info/2012/01/cosmo.....beginning/

    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’,,,)

    Science vs God: Its The Collapse Of Physics As We Know it – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHHz4mB9GKY

    THE MYSTERIOUS ZERO/INFINITY
    Excerpt: The biggest challenge to today’s physicists is how to reconcile general relativity and quantum mechanics. However, these two pillars of modern science were bound to be incompatible. “The universe of general relativity is a smooth rubber sheet. It is continuous and flowing, never sharp, never pointy. Quantum mechanics, on the other hand, describes a jerky and discontinuous universe. What the two theories have in common – and what they clash over – is zero.”,, “The infinite zero of a black hole — mass crammed into zero space, curving space infinitely — punches a hole in the smooth rubber sheet. The equations of general relativity cannot deal with the sharpness of zero. In a black hole, space and time are meaningless.”,, “Quantum mechanics has a similar problem, a problem related to the zero-point energy. The laws of quantum mechanics treat particles such as the electron as points; that is, they take up no space at all. The electron is a zero-dimensional object,,, According to the rules of quantum mechanics, the zero-dimensional electron has infinite mass and infinite charge.
    http://www.fmbr.org/editoral/e....._mar02.htm

    (,,,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:,,,)

    THE GOD OF THE MATHEMATICIANS – DAVID P. GOLDMAN – August 2010
    Excerpt: we cannot construct an ontology that makes God dispensable. Secularists can dismiss this as a mere exercise within predefined rules of the game of mathematical logic, but that is sour grapes, for it was the secular side that hoped to substitute logic for God in the first place. Gödel’s critique of the continuum hypothesis has the same implication as his incompleteness theorems: Mathematics never will create the sort of closed system that sorts reality into neat boxes.
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

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

    The argument for God from consciousness can be framed like this:

    1. Consciousness either precedes all of material reality or is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality.
    2. If consciousness is a ‘epi-phenomena’ of material reality then consciousness will be found to have no special position within material reality. Whereas conversely, if consciousness precedes material reality then consciousness will be found to have a special position within material reality.
    3. Consciousness is found to have a special, even central, position within material reality.
    4. Therefore, consciousness is found to precede material reality.

    “It was not possible to formulate the laws (of quantum theory) in a fully consistent way without reference to consciousness.”
    Eugene Wigner (1902 -1995) from his collection of essays “Symmetries and Reflections – Scientific Essays”; Eugene Wigner laid the foundation for the theory of symmetries in quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963.

    (,,,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,,,)

    General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Entropy, and The Shroud Of Turin – updated video (notes in description)
    http://vimeo.com/34084462

    (,,,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,,,)

    The God of the Mathematicians – Goldman
    Excerpt: As Gödel told Hao Wang, “Einstein’s religion [was] more abstract, like Spinoza and Indian philosophy. Spinoza’s god is less than a person; mine is more than a person; because God can play the role of a person.” – Kurt Gödel – (Gödel is considered by many to be the greatest mathematician of the 20th century)
    http://www.firstthings.com/art.....ematicians

    further assorted note:

    The Absurdity of Inflation, String Theory & The Multiverse – Dr. Bruce Gordon
    http://vimeo.com/34468027

    The End Of Materialism?
    * In the multiverse, anything can happen for no reason at all.
    * In other words, the materialist is forced to believe in random miracles as a explanatory principle.
    * In a Theistic universe, nothing happens without a reason. Miracles are therefore intelligently directed deviations from divinely maintained regularities, and are thus expressions of rational purpose.
    * Scientific materialism is (therefore) epistemically self defeating: it makes scientific rationality impossible.

    Why Quantum Theory Does Not Support Materialism – By Bruce L Gordon:
    Excerpt: Because quantum theory is thought to provide the bedrock for our scientific understanding of physical reality, it is to this theory that the materialist inevitably appeals in support of his worldview. But having fled to science in search of a safe haven for his doctrines, the materialist instead finds that quantum theory in fact dissolves and defeats his materialist understanding of the world.,,,

    ‘What is referred to as M-theory isn’t even a theory. It’s a collection of ideas, hopes, aspirations. It’s not even a theory and I think the book is a bit misleading in that respect. It gives you the impression that here is this new theory which is going to explain everything. It is nothing of the sort. It is not even a theory and certainly has no observational (evidence),,, I think the book suffers rather more strongly than many (other books). It’s not a uncommon thing in popular descriptions of science to latch onto some idea, particularly things to do with string theory, which have absolutely no support from observations.,,, They are very far from any kind of observational (testability). Yes, they (the ideas of M-theory) are hardly science.” –
    Roger Penrose – former close colleague of Stephen Hawking – in critique of Hawking’s new book ‘The Grand Design’,,, the exact quote is in the following video clip:

    Roger Penrose Debunks Stephen Hawking’s New Book ‘The Grand Design’ – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5278793/

    Verse and Music:

    Romans 1:20
    For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

    Steven Curtis Chapman – God is God (Original Version) -
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz94NQ5HRyk

  8. 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.

  9. Yeah but evidence and method don’t matter because we need the multiverse.
    Get with the (materialist) program.

  10. 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!

  11. 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.

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

  13. 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.

    Let me try.

    This is great! Materialist Enthusiasts, who argue for an invisible, untouchable, undetectable and spectacularly unlikely first 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.

  14. Flying Spaghetti Multiverse.

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

    Thank you and good night everyone.

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