March 19, 2010 | David F. Coppedge

The Whole Universe Is Crazy

Suppose you engaged a mental patient about the origin of the universe.  He tells you that it banged and it whooshed and it crunched.  He elaborates and says that there’s lots of universes out there crashing into each other all the time.  “Yep, that’s how it happened, and that’s how we got here.  I’s sure ’bout it.  Know how I know?  Cuz anything can happen!  I got proof—the sun is up.”  Could that be any crazier than what Space.com reported about cosmologists with PhDs believe, in the most prestigious universities of the world?  “The Big Bang: Solid Theory, But Mysteries Remain,” Clara Moskowitz reported.  She takes us beyond the old simple Big Bang into the world of modern cosmology.
    Crazy may be in the eye of the beholder, but here is what her article claimed.  Picture yourself as a rationalist from the 17th century hearing these ideas for the first time:

  • A popular picture of the early universe imagines a single Big Bang, after which space blew up quickly like a giant bubble.  But another theory posits that we live in a universe of 11 dimensions, where all particles are actually made of tiny vibrating strings.  This could create a universe stuck in a cycle of Big Bangs and Big Crunches, due to repeat on loop.  Which scenario is closer to the truth remains to be seen….
  • However, what caused the Big Bang, what happened at that exact moment, and what came immediately after it, are much more open to debate.
  • A dominant idea that connects the dots between the Big Bang and the universe we find today is called inflation.  This is the notion that during the first roughly 10 to the minus 34 seconds (0.0000000000000000000000000000000001 seconds), the universe underwent exponential expansion, doubling in size at least 90 times.  During this early stage, matter was in a much different state than it is now.
  • “Inflation is easily the most popular theory in cosmology,” said theoretical physicist Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario, Canada.  “It’s a good theory, but it has some weak points.  It can’t describe the moment of the Big Bang.
  • And inflation has other problems, in some people’s view.  Because of quantum fluctuations, different parts of the universe could inflate at different rates, creating “bubble universes” that are much larger than other regions.  Our universe may be just one in a multiverse, where different scales and physical laws reign.
  • It means everything and anything that can happen, will,” [Paul] Steinhardt [Princeton] told SPACE.com.  “So basically everything could be a prediction of inflation.  This to me is a fundamental problem and we don’t know how to get away from it.”
  • Others say that while inflation may not be complete yet, it’s still the most useful thing we’ve got to describe the origin of the universe.
  • M-theory requires the universe to have 11 dimensions.  So far, we can only detect four dimensions – three of space and one of time.  But maybe the other seven are hidden, proponents say.
  • “If you have another brane living in higher dimensions, it’s extremely likely to move and slam into our own brane,” [Burt] Ovrut [U of Pennsylvania] said.  “You have a brane with exactly the structure of our real world, and other branes that are likely to hit us, and all of the energy of colliding universes would come into play.”

What’s really alarming is that the article said that there’s a 100 per cent consensus about these beliefs.  Watching the battle of the branes, with today’s biggest brains arguing for inflation and multiverses, it might appear the whole world has gone crazy.  And they’re dead sure about these things they can never know.  They believe that observations may help, but can’t hurt: “not finding the [gravitational] waves wouldn’t really blow a death knell to either theory, since some versions of inflation don’t require gravitational waves,” Moskowitz ended.  “Either way, it should be exciting.”  Funny farms are exciting places.

When people cease to believe in God, they don’t believe in nothing; they believe in anything (G. K. Chesterton).  This is “the most useful thing we’ve got to describe the origin of the universe,” they said.  Why?  Only because they have ruled out a Creator.  The founders of science (who were Christians, for the most part) would be appalled at the recklessness of these theories.  No evidence required; no possible way to test them; invented “notions” presented as evidence; everything becomes a prediction and nothing qualifies as a potentially falsifying observation.  Don’t be deceived just because these guys are good at math.  Even some idiot savants have that ability.  We’ve come full circle from the Sumerian myths to modern cosmology, where consensus counts more than evidence, and you can make up a story and foist it on the populace, the crazier the better.  In the beginning, God sure has a welcome sound about it right now.

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Categories: Cosmology, Dumb Ideas

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