Home » Cosmology, News, Physics » Beginning of universe betrays “the very foundations of science”?

Beginning of universe betrays “the very foundations of science”?

Hadn’t hear that one till now. Further to “The Big Bang: How did one of the best attested theories in science become so unpopular?”, a friend reminds me of another classic instance of Bang-o-phobia, found in Jonathan Wells’s Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent
Design
, pp. 137–38:

In 1938, German physicist Carl F. von Weizsächer gave a talk in which he referred to the relatively new idea of the Big Bang. Renowned physical chemist Walther Nernst, who was in the audience, became very angry. Weizsächer later wrote:

“He said, the view that there might be an age of the universe was not science. At first I did not understand him. He explained that the infinite duration of time was a basic element of all scientific thought, and to deny this would mean to betray the very foundations of science. I was quite surprised by this idea and I ventured the objection that it was scientific to form hypotheses according to the hints given by experience, and that the idea of an age of the universe was such a hypothesis. He retorted that we could not form a scientific hypothesis which contradicted the very foundations of science.”

Weizsächer concluded that Nernst’s reaction revealed “a deeply irrational” conviction that “the world had taken the place of God, and it was blasphemy to deny it God’s attributes.” (Carl F. von Weizsächer, The Relevance of Science (1964), pp. 151-153.)

Of one thing we can be sure. The Big Bang theory was entering the world of big, high science as one really unloved puppy.

  • Delicious
  • Facebook
  • Reddit
  • StumbleUpon
  • Twitter
  • RSS Feed

15 Responses to Beginning of universe betrays “the very foundations of science”?

  1. In Newton’s theory of gravity both time and space are held to be be distinct entities which are/were considered infinite in his equations(s),,

    Newton: belief and contradiction
    http://www.marxist.net/sciphil......htm?8.htm

    But in Einstein’s theory of gravity space and time are held to be two sides of the same coin, i.e. 4-D space time, in which the presence of mass is said to ‘warp space-time’ (or perhaps it is more correct to say that the warping of 4-D space-time signifies the presence of mass?):

    Space-Time of a Black hole – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f0VOn9r4dq8

    But anyways, since time and space are two sides of the same coin in Einstein’s equation, mathematicians were able to work out some implications and found that, from Einstein’s equation, that the universe would draw together. I find it very interesting that the materialistic belief of the universe being stable, and infinite in duration, was so deeply rooted in scientific thought, despite the second law, that Albert Einstein (1879-1955), when he was shown that his general relativity equation indicated a universe that was unstable and would ‘draw together’ under its own gravity,,,

    Einstein and The Belgian Priest, George Lemaitre – The “Father” Of The Big Bang Theory – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4279662

    ,, added a cosmological constant to his equation to reflect a stable universe rather than entertain the thought that the universe had a beginning. Einstein ended up calling the cosmological constant, he had added to his equation, the ‘biggest blunder’ of his life.

    Cosmological constant
    Excerpt: Einstein included the cosmological constant as a term in his field equations for general relativity because he was dissatisfied that otherwise his equations did not allow, apparently, for a static universe: gravity would cause a universe which was initially at dynamic equilibrium to contract. To counteract this possibility, Einstein added the cosmological constant.[1] However, soon after Einstein developed his static theory, observations by Edwin Hubble indicated that the universe appears to be expanding; this was consistent with a cosmological solution to the original general-relativity equations that had been found by the mathematician Friedmann, working on the Einstein equations of general-relatvity. Einstein later referred to his failure to accept the validaton of his equations; when they had predicted the expansion of the universe in theory, before it was demonstrated in observation of the cosmological red shift, as the “biggest blunder” of his life.
    - per wikipedia

    “Much later, when I was discussing cosmological problems with Einstein, he remarked that the introduction of the cosmological term was the biggest blunder of his life.”
    — George Gamow, My World Line, 1970

    David Berlinski at “Socrates in the City” speaking on ‘Einstein’s Blunder’ – podcast
    http://intelligentdesign.podom.....4_17-07_00

    In 1968 and 1970 Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose, further refined General relativity to show that both space and time (or 4-D space) must also have had a beginning.

    Big Bang Theory – An Overview of the main evidence
    Excerpt: Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose turned their attention to the Theory of Relativity and its implications regarding our notions of time. In 1968 and 1970, they published papers in which they extended Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity to include measurements of time and space.1, 2 According to their calculations, time and space had a finite beginning that corresponded to the origin of matter and energy.”3
    Steven W. Hawking, George F.R. Ellis, “The Cosmic Black-Body Radiation and the Existence of Singularities in our Universe,” Astrophysical Journal, 152, (1968) pp. 25-36.
    Steven W. Hawking, Roger Penrose, “The Singularities of Gravitational Collapse and Cosmology,” Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, series A, 314 (1970) pp. 529-548.
    http://www.big-bang-theory.com/

    Of note:

    “When this paper was published (referring to the circa 1970 Hawking, Penrose paper) we could only prove General Relativity’s reliability to 1% precision, today we can prove it to 15 places of decimal.”
    Hugh Ross PhD. Astrophysics – quote taken from 8:40 mark of the following link
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF1xSErF_f4

    To reiterate, when astronomer Edwin Hubble published empirical evidence indicating a beginning for the universe, Einstein ended up calling the cosmological constant, that he had added to his equation, the biggest blunder of his life. But then again mathematically speaking, Einstein’s ‘fudge factor’ was not so much of a blunder after all. A number of observations including the discovery of cosmic acceleration in 1998 have revived the cosmological constant. In the late 1990?s a highly modified cosmological constant, a constant which is termed ‘Dark Energy’, was reintroduced into general relativity equations to account for the accelerated expansion of the universe, and (I believe) to help explain the discrepancy between the ages of the oldest stars in the Milky Way galaxy and the age of the universe. Far from providing a materialistic solution, which would have enabled the universe to be stable and infinite as Einstein had originally envisioned, the finely-tuned cosmological constant, finely-tuned to 1 part in 10^120, has, upon refinement, turned into one of the most powerful evidences of the design of the universe for life. It is the most finely tuned constant, from many finely-tuned universal constants of the universe, which are necessary to be almost precisely as they are in order for biological life to be possible anywhere in the universe.

    Cosmological constant
    Excerpt: the measured cosmological constant is smaller than this by a factor of 10^-120. This discrepancy has been called “the worst theoretical prediction in the history of physics!”.[14]
    Some supersymmetric theories require a cosmological constant that is exactly zero, which further complicates things. This is the cosmological constant problem, the worst problem of fine-tuning in physics: there is no known natural way to derive the tiny cosmological constant used in cosmology from particle physics.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C.....redictions

    And this quote-unquote “‘worst problem’ of fine tuning in physics” shows no signs of ever letting materialists have any room to try to ‘explain it away’:

    Dark energy alternatives to Einstein are running out of room – January 9, 2013
    Excerpt: Last month, a group of European astronomers, using a massive radio telescope in Germany, made the most accurate measurement of the proton-to-electron mass ratio ever accomplished and found that there has been no change in the ratio to one part in 10 million at a time when the universe was about half its current age, around 7 billion years ago. When Thompson put this new measurement into his calculations, he found that it excluded almost all of the dark energy models using the commonly expected values or parameters.
    If the parameter space or range of values is equated to a football field, then almost the whole field is out of bounds except for a single 2-inch by 2-inch patch at one corner of the field. In fact, most of the allowed values are not even on the field. “In effect, the dark energy theories have been playing on the wrong field,” Thompson said. “The 2-inch square does contain the area that corresponds to no change in the fundamental constants, (a ‘true cosmological constant’), and that is exactly where Einstein stands.”
    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-d.....-room.html

    Thus, far from time and space being infinite duration and size, we find space-time to have had a definite beginning in the past, moreover we find space-time to currently be expanding as the universe grows older (which is something that should rightly have also been ‘predicted’ from Einstein’s concept of space and time being two sides of the same coin). Moreover, we find that the expansion of the universe was predicted in the Bible:

    Hugh Ross PhD. – Scientific Evidence For Cosmological Constant (Expansion Of The Universe)
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4347218/

    Here are the verses in the Bible Dr. Ross listed, which were written well over 2000 years before the discovery of the finely tuned expansion of the universe by ‘Dark Energy’, that speak of God ‘Stretching out the Heavens’; Job 9:8; Isaiah 40:22; Isaiah 44:24; Isaiah 48:13; Zechariah 12:1; Psalm 104:2; Isaiah 42:5; Isaiah 45:12; Isaiah 51:13; Jeremiah 51:15; Jeremiah 10:12. The following verse is my favorite out of the group of verses:

    Job 9:8
    He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea.

    Einstein, as brilliant as he was, also flubbed quantum mechanics, but that is for another thread.

  2. In 1968 and 1970 Steven Hawking, George Ellis, and Roger Penrose, further refined General relativity to show that both space and time (or 4-D space) must also have had a beginning.

    It is easy to show that neither space nor time exists. Essentially, space does not exist because it would lead to an infinite regress. In other words, distance is a perceptual illusion. Time does not exist because a time dimension makes motion impossible. Surprise!

    In “Conjectures and Refutations”, Sir Karl Popper compared Einstein to Parmenides who, with his pupil Zeno, argued against change and motion. Popper wrote that spacetime was “Einstein’s block universe in which nothing happens.” Spacetime physics is no better, in the physical sense, than Ptolemaic epicycles. They explain nothing.

  3. “You may dazzle the mind with a thousand brilliant discoveries of natural science; you may open new worlds of knowledge which were never dreamed of before; yet, if you have not developed in the soul of the pupil strong habits of virtue which will sustain her in the struggle of life, you have not educated her, but only put in her hand a powerful instrument of self-destruction.”

    - St. Rose Philippine Duchesne

    Reminds me of Einstein’s droll ‘bon mot’:

    ‘I do not know with what weapons WWIII will be fought, but I do know that WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones…’

  4. as to:

    It is easy to show that neither space nor time exists.

    Well, while it is tempting to write off space and time as merely illusions,,

    Surreal Animation Of Time
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDnt-JnatxY

    ,,,it is a bit too simplistic to just write off space and time as illusions so quickly, especially given the fact that General Relativity is confirmed to (almost?) the same level of accuracy as Quantum Mechanics (QED):

    Einstein’s Gravity Theory Passes Toughest Test Yet – Apr. 25, 2013
    Excerpt: A newly-discovered pulsar — a spinning neutron star with twice the mass of the Sun — and its white-dwarf companion, orbiting each other once every two and a half hours, has put gravitational theories to the most extreme test yet.,,,
    “We thought this system might be extreme enough to show a breakdown in General Relativity, but instead, Einstein’s predictions held up quite well,”
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....142250.htm

    “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”
    (Berlinski, D., “A Scientific Scandal?: David Berlinski & Critics,” Commentary, July 8, 2003)

    But you right, the ’4-D space-time’ of general relativity, although being confirmed to a stunning level of precision as to making accurate predictions in science, does suffer the embarrassment of being called an ‘illusion’ from findings in Quantum Mechanics (which is our most powerful theory in science).

    LIVING IN A QUANTUM WORLD – Vlatko Vedral – 2011
    Excerpt: Thus, the fact that quantum mechanics applies on all scales forces us to confront the theory’s deepest mysteries. We cannot simply write them off as mere details that matter only on the very smallest scales. For instance, space and time are two of the most fundamental classical concepts, but according to quantum mechanics they are secondary. The entanglements are primary. They interconnect quantum systems without reference to space and time. If there were a dividing line between the quantum and the classical worlds, we could use the space and time of the classical world to provide a framework for describing quantum processes. But without such a dividing line—and, indeed, with­out a truly classical world—we lose this framework. We must ex­plain space and time (4D space-time) as somehow emerging from fundamental­ly spaceless and timeless physics.
    http://phy.ntnu.edu.tw/~chchan.....611038.pdf

    Bohemian Gravity – Rob Sheldon – September 19, 2013
    Excerpt: Quanta magazine carried an article about a hypergeometric object that is as much better than Feynman diagrams as Feynman was better than Heisenberg’s S-matrices. But the discoverers are candid about it,
    “The amplituhedron, or a similar geometric object, could help by removing two deeply rooted principles of physics: locality and unitarity. “Both are hard-wired in the usual way we think about things,” said Nima Arkani-Hamed, a professor of physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., and the lead author of the new work, which he is presenting in talks and in a forthcoming paper. “Both are suspect.””
    What are these suspect principles? None other than two of the founding principles of materialism–that there do not exist “spooky-action-at-a-distance” forces, and that material causes are the only ones in the universe.,,,
    http://procrustes.blogtownhall.....vity.thtml

    Alain Aspect and Anton Zeilinger by Richard Conn Henry – Physics Professor – John Hopkins University
    Excerpt: Why do people cling with such ferocity to belief in a mind-independent reality? It is surely because if there is no such reality, then ultimately (as far as we can know) mind alone exists. And if mind is not a product of real matter, but rather is the creator of the “illusion” of material reality (which has, in fact, despite the materialists, been known to be the case, since the discovery of quantum mechanics in 1925), then a theistic view of our existence becomes the only rational alternative to solipsism (solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one’s own mind is sure to exist). (Dr. Henry’s referenced experiment and paper – “An experimental test of non-local realism” by S. Gröblacher et. al., Nature 446, 871, April 2007 – “To be or not to be local” by Alain Aspect, Nature 446, 866, April 2007
    http://henry.pha.jhu.edu/aspect.html

    There are some other nuances, to be sure, that also go to undermining space and time as the absolute frame of reference for describing reality, but just writing off space and time as illusions is far too simplistic in its approach in my opinion. Moreover, I feel the word “illusion” was a bit too strong from Dr. Henry to describe material reality and would myself have opted for his saying something a little more subtle like; “material reality is a “secondary reality” that is dependent on the primary reality of God’s “Mind” to exist.” The following comment from a blogger on UD reflects fairly closely how I, as a Christian, view reality;

    “I do believe in the physical, concrete universe as real. It isn’t just an illusion. However, being a Christian, I can say, also, that the spiritual realm is even more real than the physical. More real, in this sense, however, isn’t to be taken to mean that the physical is “less” real, but that it is less important. The physical, ultimately, really derives its significance from the spiritual, and not the other way around. I submit to you, though, that the spiritual reality, in some sense, needs the physical reality, just as a baseball game needs a place to be played. The game itself may be more important than the field, but the game still needs the field in order to be played. The players are the most important part of the game, but without bats, balls, and gloves, the players cannot play. Likewise, without a physical, concrete reality, the spiritual has “no place to play”. Love, without a concrete reality, has no place to act out its romance; joy has nothing to jump up and down on, and consciousness has nothing to wake up to.”
    - Brent – UD Blogger

    Also of note:

    Physicists continue work to abolish time as fourth dimension of space – April 2012
    Excerpt: “The rate of photon clocks in faster inertial systems will not slow down with regard to the photon clocks in a rest inertial system because the speed of light is constant in all inertial systems,” he said. “The rate of atom clocks will slow down because the ‘relativity’ of physical phenomena starts at the scale of pi mesons.”
    He also explained that, without length contraction, time dilation exists but in a different way than usually thought. “Time dilatation exists not in the sense that time as a fourth dimension of space dilates and as a result the clock rate is slower,” he explained. “Time dilatation simply means that, in a faster inertial system, the velocity of change slows down and this is valid for all observers.,, Our research confirms Gödel’s vision: time is not a physical dimension of space through which one could travel into the past or future.”
    http://phys.org/news/2012-04-p.....space.html

    Albert Einstein – Special Relativity – Insight Into Eternity – ‘thought experiment’ video
    http://www.metacafe.com/w/6545941/

    Thus all in all, space and time of relativity are very useful tools for describing the temporal reality we currently live in (and even highlighting the ‘eternal dimension above this one) but we must not ever forget that they are merely tools and are secondary to God as the primary source of all reality.

    Verse and Music:

    Acts 17:28
    “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
    as even some of your own poets have said,
    “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

    Chicago – Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBuUUBrC9eQ

  5. In the physical realm, only particles and their absolute properties exist. Everything else is either abstract or nonsense.

    Space is an illusion because there is no space to put it. A time dimension is nonsense because it requires motion in time and thus a velocity in time. And velocity in time would have to be given at v = dt/dt which is nonsensical.

    Is it that simple to smash down the two main pillars of modern physics? Yep. Strange, isn’t it?

  6. Mapou, whatever!

  7. At Hawking’s 60th birthday symposium the Borde-Guth-Vinenkin theorum showed the universe had a definite beginning stated as: there is no ‘before’, before the big bang. Vilenkin at the 70th b’day reconfirmed it with another paper.

    Must be a creation of some sort. There has to be a first cause. We don’t get something from nothing, even though Krauss, Stenger, et. al. claim we can.

  8. bornagain77, like I said, you’re on a mission.

  9. Mapou, it is ironic that you would accuse me of ‘being on a mission’ when if one were to take your position literally, instead of taking the more sober and nuanced position I roughly outlined, one would have to throw general relativity, which undergirds much of modern science, completely out of the picture altogether. I’m pretty sure you don’t mean to advance your position, of considering time and space to be merely illusions with no caveats for their allowance in science, to that extreme level do you? (and if you did who but the naive would take you seriously?) But if you do (and I would not put it past you), would not that make your position, at least how it appears to me in how you have expressed yourself thus far, to be the one that is ‘being on a mission’?

  10. OT podcast – Ave Maria Radio is a Catholic radio network out of Michigan that promotes dialogue about important issues. Dr. Meyer discusses the key differences between evolution and intelligent design with host Al Kresta:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....38;index=1

  11. The big bang theory isn’t science! It’s creationism in a cheap tuxedo formulated to usher in the theocracy apocalypse!

  12. bornagain77 @9:

    Mapou, it is ironic that you would accuse me of ‘being on a mission’ when if one were to take your position literally, instead of taking the more sober and nuanced position I roughly outlined, one would have to throw general relativity, which undergirds much of modern science, completely out of the picture altogether. I’m pretty sure you don’t mean to advance your position, of considering time and space to be merely illusions with no caveats for their allowance in science, to that extreme level do you?

    Eventually, yes. Right now I’m just asking for a reinterpretation of both classical and quantum physics which is long overdue. Nontemporality, for example, explains why quantum interactions are probabilistic. Nonspatiality explains weird stuff like entanglement and double slit experiments. And it gets much deeper than that.

    (and if you did who but the naive would take you seriously?)

    I don’t really care all that much. In my opinion, this stuff will be mainstream sooner or later. However, it would be nice if I could get a few rebellious spirits like me to see the light so that I can at least have a conversation and iron out some of the kinks. It’s lonely in the gutter. :-D

    But if you do (and I would not put it past you), would not that make your position, at least how it appears to me in how you have expressed yourself thus far, to be the one that is ‘being on a mission’?

    I don’t deny it. We are all on a mission. This is why we discuss things.

  13. Rebellious spirits are two a penny, especially in the US. The churches there seem to be full of them.

    Rebellious spirits who can back up what they claim with knowledge and evidence – now, they’re the guys who end up with Nobel prizes.

  14. “On the other hand, I disagree that Darwin’s theory is as `solid as any explanation in science.; Disagree? I regard the claim as preposterous. Quantum electrodynamics is accurate to thirteen or so decimal places; so, too, general relativity. A leaf trembling in the wrong way would suffice to shatter either theory. What can Darwinian theory offer in comparison?”

    Some fossils?

  15. The beginning of universe is only one problem that supposedly betrays “the very foundations of science”? Another problem that scientists have to contend with is the source of dark energy.

Leave a Reply