(I had started this quasi-essay earlier this year, and it got abandoned via life's usual and unusual distractions. I was going some more places with it, but can't remember where in time or space they were. How ironic!)

What's It All About, Alfie?

Abstract: Impressionism

Warning: Entropic Spoilers Ahead

< begin pseudo science rant >

Is trying to figure out a theory of everything more apropos for than for physicists, philosophers or theologians just because of the name? But, more realistically, because this community, this family, has for a decade ++ explored, in different ways the diversity that surrounds us physically and metaphysically, I will engage our minds. Consciousness, too, is a mystery. Scientists do not like to delve in the mysterious, that's for their uninvited cousins, the meta-physicians, or for hack writers, myself included.

I attempt my exploration, hopefully with humility and an open mind into the deep matters, microscopically and macroscopically, before time, during, and to where it may or not end. But, alas, every human being, including me, has a world view that was shaped and shapes cognitive choices. Shouldn't our looking at the morning's sunrise and nighttime's Orion's Belt put our puny selves into perspective? No, we are all we have when we are alone, unless something replaces our spirit.

Time Has Arrived When?

Time has come today,
Young hearts can go their way:
Can't put it off another day,
I don't care what others say;
They say we don't listen anyway,
Time has come today, hey!
--Joe and Willie Chambers

Was there a beginning of time, or did it always exist? Without some kind comparative measuring device such as celestial bodies or clocks --  it seems an illusion. Of course a human being's subjective sense of time can be varied for a while, time seeming to go faster or slower, until one examines one's physical changes after some passage of time, and that empirically proves that through time matter changes.

The time scale of the universe is very long compared to that for human life. It was therefore not surprising that until recently, the universe was thought to be essentially static, and unchanging in time.

However, many people were unhappy with the idea that the universe had a beginning, because it seemed to imply the existence of a supernatural being who created the universe. They preferred to believe that the universe, and the human race, had existed forever. --Stephen Hawking

While we are considering who those unhappy people might be, probably fellow physicists, we also have to be defining our terms in order to have a meaningful discussion that is fair enough to glean truth like gophers eating Midwestern leftover corn. Scientists embrace the scientific method, with theories having reproducible experiments or indisputable mathematics to prove them. The original Laws of Physics are now considered "classical" ones. Those whose specialty is with supernatural beings and phenomenon have to cling tighter to faith and inductive reasoning, and chase after the scientists with prophetic word and subjective seasoning.

What's a Matter U

Images of broken light,
Which dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on across the universe.

Thoughts meander like a
Restless wind inside a letter box,
They tumble blindly as they make their way across the universe.

Jai Guru Deva. Om
Nothing's gonna change my world... 
--John Lennon, Paul McCartney

Let's jump into one of those wormholes and get into our Peabody's Institute Way Back machine and talk to Antoine Laurent Lavoisier. What did you learn Antoine? "Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed."

Oh! And by the way, thanks for developing scientific laboratory experimental regimens. What's the problem, Rocky?

"Mr. Peabody, Jean Paul Marat's not happy with the Academy of Sciences not accepting him and his phlogiston views and even more because he collects taxes via the General Farm. But, by the time his outrage causes his arrest and guillotining, Marat will be taking a long, I mean real long soothing bath."

None of this examination of the universe, (the system that one happens to observe and what surrounds it) could go forward sensibly (or for some, more confusedly) without the Big Bang and CERN's Large Hadron Collider revealing the Higgs bosun or "God Particle." Malcolm Fleschner wrote a fun piece on it for The Daily News, "Culture Shlock: A particle of faith" where he notes, "science geeks haven't been this excited about something so small since they first saw Princess Leia wearing that skimpy gold bikini in Return of the Jedi, and about the name, "God Particle." it "...stems from the fact that, much like God, the the Higgs boson's existence has never been conclusively proven, yet it is presumed to have been around since the beginning of time. Also like God, the Higgs boson has a large collection of ardent followers who get very angry at non-believers."

Boson (Bosun is Boatswain) was coined by Quantum Mechanics Paul Dirac, who also said, "One could perhaps describe the situation by saying that God is a mathematician of a very high order, and He used very advanced mathematics in constructing the universe;" though another opinion of his was harsher against religion especially when it is tied with the State.  This constant needing God, or not, in understanding it all is pertinent to my research here into the Big Picture. Later Peter Higgs in 1964 postulated the need for this particular particle while investigating mass-less fields, it has taken). And half a decade later his appeals to spend whatever was necessary to find it have come true.

Start Button

The Big Bang and the First Singularity

Steven Hawking, who was the first serious proponent of the idea of a grand start of everything out of a singularity, believes strongly that there had to be a beginning especially in regards to the Second Law of Thermodynamics (Energy of all types changes from being localized to becoming more spread out, dispersed in space, {entropy}). Proven by cosmological observations showing that galaxies were moving away from each other. Some who embraced the Steady State in the late 40s still thought expansion was happening without there necessarily being a beginning.

Devouring Time, blunt thou the lion's paws,
And make the earth devour her own sweet brood;
Pluck the keen teeth from the fierce tiger's jaws,
And burn the long-lived phoenix in her blood;
Make glad and sorry seasons as thou fleet'st,
And do whate'er thou wilt, swift-footed Time,
To the wide world and all her fading sweets;
But I forbid thee one most heinous crime:
O, carve not with thy hours my love's fair brow,
Nor draw no lines there with thine antique pen;
Him in thy course untainted do allow
For beauty's pattern to succeeding men.
Yet, do thy worst, old Time: despite thy wrong,
My love shall in my verse ever live young.
--Wm. Shakespeare, "Sonnet 19"

Astronomers might observe that energy changes when a star goes nova; Though there is the Theory of Relativity, to contend with and which did take a genius like Albert Einstein to get; when we stop to consider if we traveled faster than light (9 × 1012 km) to that event, and returned, nobody we knew would be waiting for us at the spaceport. We have to additionally throw physicist Michio Kaku's String Theory out there like we were fly fishing with eight lines (I don't know what kind or how much bait), and bring Quantum Mechanics into our cosmic tune-up mix. The latter gives reason to why the same forces that keep our feet on terra firma do not rip us asunder (and over). I could queue up a Mike & The Mechanics song at this time, but would be only peripherally relevant.

Age: It's All Relative

The Meaness Meaning of Time

Okay, we know the universe is old, ancient, vielle, I need another word to date it; proof is in the Milky Way and beyond pudding: The spread out galaxies, whose stars' visible (and detectable) spectrum takes light years to reach our eyes. M31, the Andromeda Galaxy is the farthest seen by the naked eye. But what about infinity, forever, eternity. Well math has to deal with infinity to provide results in certain cases, but does it by something concocted by Georg Cantor and explained by Oxford University student, Katherine Korner, "we can't count all the real numbers - there are uncountably infinitely many".

Ramble On, And now's the time, the time is now, to sing my song.
I'm goin' 'round the world...
--Jimmy Page and Robert Plant

And, if I am rambling, well, it is because there is that space time continuum to blame. Theologians enter the picture here: where is God in a finite universe if He is infinite or outside of time? Wait, there is space and time, either or, or both could be finite or infinite. Some philosophers, who cling to logic like Linus' blanket, will rule out any divergence from one or the other. Let us sort this out, maybe Professor William Pickering, a Kiwi who was part of the JPL and our space missions and who once said, “A popular fantasy is to suppose that flying machines could be used to drop dynamite on the enemy in time of war...” can help.

PhD A. Garrett Lisi, physicist and surfer stumbled on a researcher's math for an E8 Theory of Everything, an eight-dimensional mathematical pattern with 248 points of which he said, "The moment this happened my brain exploded with the implications and the beauty of the thing," says Lisi. "I thought: 'Holy crap, that's it!'"

The First Existentialist

Before Albert Camus and Jean Paul Sartre were pondering what's the worth of continuing the painful grind of life, the suffering Job knew, and thus relied on the Creator and His power, and hoped for Divine Justice. Evidenced in the verses after his observations in chapter 9 verses 2 through 12 (from the public domain, The Bible in Basic English):

If a man was desiring to go to law with him, he would not be able to give him an answer to one out of a thousand questions. He is wise in heart and great in strength: who ever made his face hard against him, and any good came of it?

It is he who takes away the mountains without their knowledge, overturning them in his wrath: Who is moving the earth out of its place, so that its pillars are shaking: Who gives orders to the sun, and it does not give its light; and who keeps the stars from shining. By whose hand the heavens were stretched out, and who is walking on the waves of the sea: Who made the Bear and Orion, and the Pleiades, and the store-houses of the south: Who does great things not to be searched out; yes, wonders without number.

See, he goes past me and I see him not: he goes on before, but I have no knowledge of him. If he puts out his hand to take, by whom may it be turned back? who may say to him, What are you doing?

The End of the Cosmos

Six o'clock, TV hour, don't get caught in foreign tower.
Slash and burn, return, listen to yourself churn.
Lock him in uniform and book burning, blood letting.
Every motive escalate, automotive incinerate.

Light a candle, light a motive, step down, step down.
Watch a heel crush, crush, uh oh, this means no fear,
Cavalier, renegade and steer clear,
A tournament, a tournament, a tournament of lies.
Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives and I decline:

It's the end of the world as we know it,
It's the end of the world as we know it,
It's the end of the world as we know it,
And I feel fine, I feel fine.
          R.E.M., "It's The End Of The World"

Most people prefer the physicist's version of the 'End of the World' to that of the theologian's. This is, unless of course, the latter are of the liberal bent, and I am one to let everyone come to their own conclusions. I might point them in one direction, but the astronomer/philosophers will look in another ----- way out there. They've changed their views of everything collapsing on itself to a view of ever continuing expansion. (If this was Wikipedia, they'd be clamoring for citations.)

While with the Carnegie Observatories in Pasadena, California, Edwin P. Hubble measured the redshifts of a number of distant galaxies in 1929. Their relative distances was calculated measuring the apparent brightness of a class of variable Cepheid stars in each galaxy. The redshift of distant galaxies increased as a linear function of their distance. This meant that the universe had to be expanding.

Summing Up

(If that really can be done in this short a venue)

Here is what Saint Paul was inspired to tell us regarding Jesus Christ of Nazareth and His crucial role in everything

Colossians 1

15. He is the image of the invisible God
the firstborn over all creation.
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities —

16. For everything was created by Him,
in heaven and on earth,
the visible and the invisible,
whether thrones or dominions
or rulers or authorities —
all things have been created through Him and for Him.

17. He is before all things,
and by Him all things hold together.

18. He is also the head of the body, the church;
He is the beginning,
the firstborn from the dead,
so that He might come to have
first place in everything.

19. For God was pleased to have
all His fullness dwell in Him,

20. and through Him to reconcile
everything to Himself
by making peace
through the blood of His cross,
whether things on earth or things in heaven. Holman Christian Standard Bible


New Year 2015 Update:

Check this NYT opinion piece by best-selling author Eric Metaxas here.

< end apologetics rant >


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