Archive for the ‘Cosmology’ Category

Some Cosmology and Plans

So I said I would have one last post on cosmological evidence for Creation and life on other planets. But as I was looking over my notes, I realized that there is really just a lot more about how fine-tuned and perfect the Earth’s position is, some stuff about our sun’s flares and red dwarfs, our moon, other phenomena and plate tectonics. And while that’s all very interesting (not really, unless you like cosmology, unlike me), it really doesn’t disprove evolution in any way or affect the debate. So…I’m going to skip past it. If you want to know what my notes say, comment or something and I will write about it. However, there just really isn’t anything. Well, there is one more comment on cosmology that I’d like to make, so here goes.

The first substance typically required for life to exist is something that most would expect to hear: good ol’ dihydrogen monoxide. Or simply put, water. If water stays liquid long enough on a planet, supposedly life will evolve like it did on Earth (according to evolutionary scientists, the first cells were birthed in water, and then worked their way up to multicellular organisms, then plants, which eventually made their way to dry ground).  However, there are twenty-six elements necessary for a human to survive, and sixteen for bacteria. Intermediate life forms sit somewhere between the two. That’s a lot of elements, even though it may not sound like it. The basic building block for living organisms is typically carbon. We are carbon-based life forms.

Is it possible, though, that maybe a different-based life form could exist? Couldn’t life forms exist with a different element for a base? Well, as interesting a concept it is, it simply wouldn’t work. Chemistry is one of the better understood fields of science, and scientists know that you can’t get certain atoms to stick together in sufficient number and complexity to give you large molecules the same way carbon is able. And you can’t get liquids to dissolve as many chemicals as you can with water, so the water is necessary as well.

So that’s it for cosmology (yay!). There will continue to be science posts, but they will be shorter. I plan to mix science posts, some historical posts (which I will get to eventually), Bible studies, and personal and random posts all together on this blog. If you have any suggestions of things to write about, please let me know. I’m also considering posting my story I wrote online, because I am actually thinking about writing a sequel to it. I have no storyline for it yet, and I’m somewhat terrified of posting my story online because I’m not a very confident writer, but maybe somebody will critique me, which would be fantastic. And mildly depressing because I hate seeing how bad I am at writing, but I guess it’s part of learning how to write, so I will just have to be confident that I shall improve. I’m also planning to figure out the language of Quenya, so if random phrases that look weird start popping up, I’ll try to remind myself to translate, or you can go look it up yourself if you’re curious enough.

Now I just have to figure out how to learn Quenya…


Read Full Post »

Wow, how time flies. Could be the fact I had two major tests to study for in two days. Fun, right? Fellow high schoolers, please sympathize with me.

Anyway, in my last post, I discussed some more fine-tuning and theories concerning cosmology. In this post, I want to get down to the subject of the possibility of life on planets elsewhere. There are four different locations I want to examine for the possibility of life elsewhere: stars, spiral galaxies, elliptical galaxies, and irregular galaxies.

An expieriment known as M13, performed by Drake and Sagan in the mid-1970s, a message of greeting was beamed to a globular cluster of more than 250,000 stars. This message would take 22,000 years to reach the M13 cluster. Why did they do this? Because they believe it to be possible for a star to support life. So what exactly is the possibility of life on just one star?

So beyond hopeless that a person would have to be hopeless to resort to such desperate measures.

First, we need to understand exactly what a globular cluster is. They are among the most ancient things in our galaxy, and because they are so old, they are low on heavy metals such as carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, and helium. Earth is mostly iron, oxygen, magnesium, and silicone. Then sulfur. Supposedly, the Big Bang produced mostly hydrogen and helium. The heavier elements were synthesized in stars. These stars would have eventually exploded into supernovae, and the elements would be expelled into intersteller medium. They would then coalesce into other stars, where heavier elements would be synthesized. This would occur over and over with more heavy metals produced each time. Now, you’d need these elements to create a terrestrial planet like Earth. But beause these stars in globular cluters are so old, they are composed almost completely of hydrogen and helium, and are not going to have planets accompanying them. There may be dust grains or boulders, but that’s it. Not to mention that stars are so packed with stars that a planet would be unable to have a stable, circular orbit around them. The gravitational pull of the stars would create elliptical orbits that would take a hypothetical planet into extreme heat and then extreme cold, creating detrimental situations for life.

So that throws stars out of the running. Now we have the different types of galaxies. Spiral galaxies are like the Milky Way, dominated by a central spherical bulge and a disk with spiral ‘arms’ extending from in the nuleus in a spiral pattern, so that the result looks much like a pinwheel. And Elliptical galaxy is egg-shaped, and an Irregular galaxy is just what it sounds like: a disorganized and distorted mess (bet you never would have guessed that, huh?).

So what is the probably of life forming in each kind of galaxy? Galaxies have various degrees of star formations, where interesteller gases coalesce to form star clusters, and massive stars that blow up as supernovae. Plaes with active star formations are dangerous because that is where you have superovae exploding frequently. In our galaxy, this occurs mostly in the arms, where there are also hazardous giant molecular clouds. But we are safely situated between arms Sagittarius and Perseus. We are also far from the nucleus of the galaxy, which is extremely dangerous. There is a massive black hole at the center of our galaxy, and the Hubble telescope has found a black hole at the center of nearly every nearby galaxy. The black holes are extremely dangerous because while most are inactive at any given time, whenever something gets too close or falls in, it gets torn up by strong tidal forces. High energy such as gamma rays, X-rays and particle radiation is released in copius amounts. Anything in the inner region of the galaxy would undergo high radiation levels, which are obviously very dangerous for life forms. The center is also more dangerous because there are many exploding supernovae.

To make it more complicated, the composition of a spiral galaxy changes. Heavy metals congregate at the center because of the vigorous star formation in the past, whereas the outer disk formation of stars has been going on slowly over the years, so there is a smaller supply of heavy metals. Therefore, the outer regions of the disk are less likely to have planets. The thin disk of our galaxy helps our sun stay in its desirable circular orbit. An ecentric orbit could cause it to cross spiral arms and visit dangerous inner regions of the galaxy.

Based on this information, I think that it is very clear that that there is a miniscule safe zone in spiral galaxies. Call our position luck if you like, but I prefer to think we were put there by Somebody who knew what He was doing.

Neither of the other galaxies even need much attention. Elliptical galaxies look amorphous and egg-shaped, and their stars have random orbits. The stars visit every region, including dangerous ones, where a black hole may be active. Plus they lack the heavy elements necessary for planet formation. Elliptical galaxies = no way.

So what about Irregular galaxies? These are even worse than Elliptical. They are distored and get ripped apart because of supernovae that are exploding in every direction. There is absolutely no safe place for a planet to exist. Not to mention a newer threat would be gamma ray bursts, which make lights go off and are more powerful than supernovae. Need I repeat that these are even worse than Elliptical galaxies and deserve no attention when it comes to possible planetary life?

Obviously, we are in a very special position. The chances of life on stars or in another galaxy, or even in a Spiral galaxy, are very unlikely. The fact that you’re alive is a very, very special miracle, and certainly not chance. The fact that you are alive, on a planet in a distinctly perfect position, goes against what the Copernican Principle said. We are a privileged planet, we are a unique race, and we are truly blessed to be living.

In my next post, I’m going to look at a little bit more on fine-tuning, this time focusing specifically on our planet, the sun, and the moon.

Hmm… now I’m in the mood to watch Star Wars and laugh at the fact that they somehow can explode in huge blasts of flame when there is no free oxygen in space…

Read Full Post »

Well, it’s been over two weeks since I last wrote, and for this I apologize. I’ve had a very difficult two weeks, and just haven’t been able to make myself sit down and write. So, I guess it’s about time I make myself do something, especially since I haven’t had school all week and there are two feet of snow outside, so there just isn’t really much to do.

In my last post, I discussed the remarkable fine-tuning of our planet, how perfectly designed it is. But what I left off with was a question: Could life exist on another planet somewhere else, or are we just really lucky? There is too much information to put in one post, so I will have to split up the information between two. I will post the next within a week, hopefully.

Let me look at what exactly chance means, in cosmological terms. Oxford physicist Roger Penrose said that one parameter, the ‘original phase-space volume’, would have to be accurate to one in 10 billion to the 123rd power. This number has more zeros than the number of elementary particles in the universe (and if you don’t know what that means, it means that there are a lot of zeros).

Let me give an example. I go to my church every Tuesday to practice in the high school worship band. Now, suppose I get there, and on the floor, spelled out in Hershey Kisses (one of my favorite candies, in case you haven’t figured that out), is Good luck playing, Stephanie! Now, I could assume one of two things: 1) Random chance arranged these delectable pieces of chocolate, or 2) our lovely leader, Brad, came in to make me feel special (though, how he knew that Kisses were my favorite is beyond me). Any normal, rational person would agree that Brad arranged them, not that they just sorta appeared there in such an improbable arrangement.

There is something called an Anthropic Principle observed in cosmology, but it’s the Weak Anthropic Principle I’d like to look at. This says that if the universe weren’t fine-tuned for life, then we humans would be unable to observe it, so it could be argued that fine-tuning requires no explanation. This is difficult to understand, so allow me to give another example. You’re standing, blindfolded, before a firing squad of fifty highly-trained marksmen, all of whom are aiming their M16s at your prone chest, waiting to be given the order to end your life. You hear the order to fire, and while your heart skips a beat in your chest, it continues to beat (if rapidly). You felt nothing; you’re still alive! Now when you ask them what happened, would you be okay with the answer, “If they’d shot you, you wouldn’t even be here to comment, so just shut up and be glad you’re alive”, or would you want an answer? Was it a mock execution? Conspiracy? What happened? Obviously, some questions should be answered.

I’d like to look at a theory that explains where universes could come from. The first one is called Inflationary Cosmology. This concept was introduced by André Linde of Stanford, and the model is based on advanced principles of quantum physics. Linde proposes that a preexisting superspace is rapidsly expanding, and a small net of this space is blown up by a (theoretical) inflation field, like bubbles forming in an infinite ocean of detergent.  This is Inflationary Cosmology. Now, in the “Chaotic Inflation Theory”, enormous amounts of universes are randomly appearing, thanks to quantum fluctuations at various points in superspace. Each universe created has a beginning and is finite in size, while the superspace endures forever and is infinite in size.

Regardless of which multi-universe gnerator you pick, it will have to have been with the right components and parameters to exact specifications. 1) For a generator, you would need a mechanism to supply energy for the universes reated. This would be the inflation field. 2) You would need a mechanism to form the universes. This would be Einstein’s equation of general relativity, which would cause the universes to continue forming and the ‘ocean’ to continue growing. 3) A mechanism would have to exist to convert energy to normal mass/energy in our universe. 4) There would have to be a mechanism to allow variation in the physics of other universes. The candidate for this is the Superstring Theory.

The Superstring Theory says that the ultimate constituents of matter are strings of energy that undergo quantum vibrations in ten or eleven dimensions of space-time. Six or seven of sthese dimensions are ‘rolled up’ to an extremely small size (called ‘compactified’ in String Theory terms). Their shape determines the modes of vibration of the strings, whih would in turn determine the types and masses of fundamental particles and charateristics of the force between them. So they woul dhave different constants of physics and laws governing the forces.

So what is the chance of all of this happening? Theoretical physicist Michio Kaku said that “not a shred of experimental evidence” has confirmed the existence of Superstrings.

Oh, and to make the theory worse, there is one more thing. 5) The right background laws must be in place. Why? Well, for example, without the principle of quantization, all electrons surrounding an atom would be succked into the nuclei. And in case that doesn’t make sense: that would be bad.

There is one more issue with fine-tuning that I want to look at. If water stays liquid long enough on another planet, supposedly life will evolve like it did on earth, since evolution supposedly began in water. So something people ask is whether or not life forms could be based on different elements, instead of carbon. This would not work. Chemistry is one of the better understood areas of scientists, and scientists know that you can’t get certain atoms to join in sufficient number and complexity to give you molecules the same way carbon can. And as a side, you can’t get other liquids to dissolve as many chemicals as you can with water.

The last theorem I want to touch briefly is called the Copernican Principle, which emphasizes the Principle of Mediocrity, which says that our planet isn’t special, that we’re just another planet. However, the Copernican Principle takes it a step farther by saying that our metaphysical status is as insignificant as our astronomical location. We have no purpose, we’re not special, and we don’t occupy a privileged place in the cosmos. The problem is that this is a myth, much like the flat-Earth myth. Scholars in Columbus’ time knew the Earth was round. Greeks knew it was a sphere, and they’d known it for over a thousand years at that point. It’s nearly impossible to discover somebody after the time of Aristotle who believed that the Earth was flat. You couldn’t finish Middle Age schooling without the knowledge that the Earth is round.

So, our planet is special, I think we can agree. However, is it possible that there are other special planets out there? Could there be planets like ours, or even ones more evolved than ours? In my next post, I’m going to look directly at the possibility of life on stars, or in other galaxies.

Read Full Post »

“Well it could come about in the following way. It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved by probably some kind of Darwinian means to a very very high level of technology and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. Now that is a possibility, and an intriguing possibility, and I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, of molecular biology, that you might find a signature of some sort of designer. And that designer could well be a higher intelligence from elsewhere in the universe. But that higher intelligence would itself have had to of come about by some explicable, or ultimately explicable, process. It couldn’t have just come into existence spontaneously. That’s the point.” -Richard Dawkins

And he certainly makes an interesting one. Some of you may have heard this before, and that wouldn’t be surprising. This quote comes from the movie “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed”, and it is by far the most galvanizing statement in the film. Richard Dawkins, leading evolutionist of this day, whose works will certainly be remembered for years, is admitting that intelligent design is possible?

I am now going to focus my entire attention on the physics of cosmology, the study of the universe. My goal is to explain just how perfectly the universe is balanced in order to sustain life, and then to explain the possibilities for life on another planet that could theoretically exist elsewhere. If Dawkins thinks that its possible for another life form to have seeded our race on Earth, then it must be terribly important to examine. In the next posts, I want to stress how fine-tuned our universe is.

The stability of our planet can be described using another. Suppose a scientist was to land on Mars, and he found an enclosed, self-sustaining biosphere that had a control panel to control life. The oxygen ratio is perfect, the temperature is at exactly 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity is fixed at 50%, there is an air-replenishment system, a energy production system, and even waste disposal. Every dial has many, many settings, and if you adjust just one even a fraction of a millimeter, everything is thrown out of whack and the system becomes unbalanced and no longer works. Obviously, you’d infer that somebody had built this miraculous biosphere.

In the 1950s, Fred Hoyle, an English astronomer, spoke of the very exacting process of how carbon and oxygen are produced at a certain ratio within stars. If you change their resonance states of carbon, the materials needed for life to survive will not be synthesized. If you make just a 1% change in the nuclear force, there would be a 30-1000 fold impact on the manufacture of oxygen and carbon in the stars. A change in the balance of these conditions would be detrimental to life, as stars provide the carbon and oxygen necessary for life on planets. Conditions on Earth itself would become much less ideal.

According to Robin Colins, who has a Ph.D in philosophy and began work on a Ph.D in physics, it would be like this: Suppose a radio dial spanned the universe. One inch increments would represent billions and billions of inches. The dial would represent the range of force strengths in nature, gravity being the weakest and the nuclear force binding protons and neutrons in the nuclei being the strongest (ten thousand billion billion billion billion times stronger than gravity). If you were to move the dial but one inch, gravity would increase by a billion. Animals of near-human size would be crushed. And here’s the clincher: A planet with a gravitational pull one thousand times stronger would have a diameter of only forty feet. The diameter of our Earth, at the equator, is 7,926.41 miles. To make this even worse, gravity is only one dial, and there are at least thirty physiological or cosmologic parameters that have a very specific, very narrow calibration within the fraction of an inch that allows the Earth-and even the universe, in the grand scheme of things-to sustain life.

Something often discussed in cosmology, and one of the greatest problems facing cosmology and physics, is called the cosmological constant. This constant is found in Einstein’s equation for general relativity. The value of the constant is unknown; it could be either positive or negative. Atheist Stephen Weinberg said that according to principles in physics and Einstein’s information, the cosmological constant should be a very large number. He adds: “If large and positive, the cosmological constant would act as a repulsive force that increases with distance, a force that would prevent matter from clumping together in the early universe, the process that was the first step in forming galaxies and stars and planets and people. If large and negative, the cosmological would act as an attracting force increasing with distance, a force that would almost immediately reverse the expansion of the universe and cause it to recollapse.”


Despite the idea that it should be large, it is actually extremely small. The fine-tuning of the universe and this constant has been estimated to one in one hundred million billion billion billion billion billion, a ten with 53 zeros.


The cosmological constant would be like attempting to hit a specific atom on earth with a dart from space. If you combine the concepts of gravity and the cosmological constant, it would be like hitting a certain atom in the whole known universe.


Other positions of certain forces are remarkably tuned. The difference in mass between neutrons and protons, for instance. If the mass of the neutron was to be increased by one seven hundredth, nuclear fission in stars would stop, which would be catastrophic, to say the least. If the electromagnetic force was slightly stronger or weaker, life would cease to exist. Or consider nuclear force. If it was to be decreased by fifty percent – 1 in 10,000 billion billion billion billion – the force would be too weak to prevent the repulsive force between positive protons in nuclei from tearing apart all atoms but hydrogen.


The last thing I’d like to comment on in this post is the many-universe theory. Hydrogen has to be converted to helium in a very precise, very stately manner in such a way that seven thousandths of its mass are converted to energy. If we lower the value from .007 to .006, no transformation would take place, and the universe would be hydrogen. If it was raised from .007 to .008, bonding would be so fruitful that hydrogen would have been exhausted years ago.


But what if there are many universes, all with random dials? We could just happen to be in the right universe, and it wouldn’t have to be a big deal. We got lucky. Really lucky. This is one argument to deal with fine-tuning, and quite honestly, seems rather desperate. Scientists such as William Lane Craig, Pokinghorne, davies, Clifford Longley, and Rees have said that this theory is “a metaphysical guess” that just goes “well beyond what sober science can honestly endorse”, that the calculations made are “highly arbitrary” and the theory is simply not amendable to direct investigation.


In my next post, I want to look directly at the possibilities of life on another planet. Are we really lucky? Are we the result of chance, or is it possible that it’s much more complicated than scientists are admitting?

Read Full Post »

“Therefore, the universe has a cause.”

The third piece of the Kalam argument really sums up everything.  I’m going to try to keep everything flowing together, but this particular piece of the argument has different aspects to look at scientifically to prove a point, so it may seem to jump around a little. I apologize for this if it does indeed occur.

Based on the Kalam argument and the evidence I’ve presented, we can assume that whatever begins to exist has a cause. We found that the universe indeed had a beginning. Does this mean that we can believe it also has a cause?

Because I just had a wonderful time this past weekend throwing snowballs at people, I’d like to use them in an example. Suppose I throw a snowball at the back of a certain somebody by the name of Talan. I turn away, acting like the innocent angel I am, and he’s spinning around asking who did it. If I said “Nobody”, he probably wouldn’t accept that, and would then throw me into a snowbank.

I threw that snowball for a reason. He may not know why (it was for the look on his face, I’m sure. Priceless), but he would know that I did it.

So what can we deduce about this supposed cause? The cause/creator of space and time must be uncaused, beginningless, timeless, spaceless, immaterial, and a personal endowed with free will and omnipotence. I’m going to assume for a moment, based on this description, that such a being would be God. God is a paradigm in this Kalam argument. He’s beyond it. He’s causeless, beginningless. So how did he become exempt. We have to remember that the Kalam argument says “Whatever begins to exist has a cause”, not that everything has a cause. God didn’t begin to exist; He has always been, so He doesn’t need a cause. So how can scientists believe that the universe is timeless and causeless, but that there is no way a Being can exist who exists without cause and is eternal?

Scientists would also argue, if they were for a moment to even consider the fact that God might exist, that there could have been more than one creator. So why only one? Well, one principle that holds in the scientific comunity says that we should not multiply causes beyond what is necessary to explain the situation. This is universally accepted in scientific methodology, called Ockham’s Razor.

Another roadblock people find here when it comes to God is, how do we know He’s not an impersonal Being? We have to look at two ways of explaining situations. Scientific explanation is explaining a phenomenon in terms of certain initial conditions and natural laws, which in turn explain how these initial conditions changed (evolved) to create the phenomenon under scrutiny. Personal explanation is explaining a topic by means of an agent and that agent’s volition of will. There are three reasons to use personal explanation over scientific.

Reason #1: There can’t be a scientific explanation for the beginning of the world. It can’t be explained in terms of earlier conditions and natural laws leading up to such an event. But a personal explanation – one including a Creator – is possible.

Reason #2: If the universe is beyond time and space, it would be unable to be a physical reality, so it would also have to be nonphysical and immaterial. Only two things can fulfill these criterion: abstract objects such as numbers or mathematical entities, and a mind. Abstract objects do not have the ability to cause things, but a mind can be a cause, so it makes sense that the universe could be the product of a disembodied mind that chose to bring it into existence.

Reason #3: If the universe were a mechanical consequence that would occur when conditions would be met, and they were met for all of eternity, then the universe would exist from eternity past. For example, water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius. If the temperature were below 0 degrees from eternity past, then any water that was around would be frozen from eternity past. It would be impossible for water to just begin to freeze a finite time ago. So once the conditions were met, aka it was cold enough, the water would freeze. If these conditions were met eternally, or even in the future since the eternity past, then it would exist from eternity past, and the effect would be co-eternal with the cause. It just doesn’t make sense.

The last argument that some people will attempt to address would be, couldn’t the Creator stop existing? If He transcends the universe and is above the laws of nature, if He created these laws and can manage them however He so wishes, what could eliminate Him?

In my next post, I am going to look at the uniqueness of our earth through physics in cosmology. It has been admitted by Richard Dawkins that life on earth could have been the product of some other race or people or organism planting our seed to create us. I’m eager to see what the chances are of another planet that can support life coming into being.

Read Full Post »

The second part of the Kalam argument says, “The Universe Had A Beginning.” In this post, I’m going to examine exactly what an infinite past would entail, the history of the Big Bang, and the inflation theory, all of which can contribute to this Kalam argument.

In order to have an infinite past, there would have to be infinite past events, so we can infer that the past must be finite. Allow me to give you an example. I really like chocolate, and let’s say I have an infinite supply of Hershey Kisses. Now I don’t know how this would happen, but for some reason, I give you all of them (you must be a very convincing person). So now you have an infinite amount of Hershey Kisses, and I have none.

But say I number all the Hershey Kisses, and being the generous person I am, I give you the ones that are even numbered, while I keep the odd numbered ones. Now we both have an infinite amount of Hershey Kisses.

In another scenario, say I’m really greedy, but somebody’s forcing me to be generous. I give you three Hershey Kisses, while I have the remainder, which is still infinity.

In all these cases, an identical number has been subtracted from an identical number, yet the results have been different each time. This is why in transinfinite mathematics, you cannot subtract infinity from infinity to get zero. It just doesn’t work that way.

Infinity is just a concept, not an actual materialistic number. It does not apply to the real world. You can’t have infinite events in the past because you’d run into the same problems given in the examples found above.

The Impossibility of Traversing the Infinite says that you can keep adding one to infinity for forever to try to near infinity. It’s a paradoxical situation. You can never reach infinity because it will just go on for forever. So an infinite past would be a paradox in itself, and rather impossible. It would mean somebody would manage to count down all the negative numbers and arrived at zero. That’s nonsensical. It’s not even mathematical.

Now one question that could come about from this argument would be, Wouldn’t this unravel an eternal God? The thing we must understand about God is that He created time and space. He works outside of both. A second to Him is a thousand years, a thousand years a second. Time does not affect Him. God did not endure an infinite amount of time; He existed in eternity outside of it.

We must now examine the history of the Big Bang. In the year 1915, Albert Einstein developed his theory of relativity, and applied it to the universe as a whole. He found that this did not allow for a static universe, but instead one that should be exploding or imploding. To make the universe static, he had to change his equations by adding a factor that would allow for the universe to be static.

In the 1920s, Russian mathematician Alexander Friedman and Belgian astronomer George Lemaître developed a model based on Enstein’s theory. They predicted that the universe was expanding. This means that if you went far enough back in time, you would get to the origin. Astronomer Fred Hoyle derisively called this the Big Bang, and it stuck.

Also in the 1920s, scientists found evidence that supported these mathematical models. In 1929, American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered that the light coming from different galaxies is too red, and that this is a universal feature of all galaxies in the sky. Hubble explained that this is an effect produced by galaxies moving away from us. He theorized that the universe is rapidly flying apart.

In the 1940s, George Gamow predicted if the Big Bang did happen, the background temperature of the universe would be but a few degrees above absolute zero. In 1965, two scientists accidentally discovered that the universe’s background radiation is really 3.7 degrees Fahrenheit above absolute zero. There is no explanation for this, but that it is a vestige of a very early, very dense state of the universe, as predicted by the Big Bang model.

The last piece of evidence I’d like to look at leads up to and examines the inflationary theory. Heavy elements such as carbon and iron are synthesized in stars and exploded through supernovae into space. But very light elements such as deuterium and helium can’t have been synthesized in stars because a more powerful furnace would be needed. Because of this, the Big Bang could have forged them, as it rose to a temperature of about 100,000,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

Most scientists add the inflation theory to the Big Bang. The Big Bang was not chaotic and disorderly, but rather a fine-tuned event with precise initial conditions. The is strong evidence that the Big Bang was designed. Because theorists don’t want to say this, they use inflation.

Inflation says that in the very early history of the universe, the universe went through a period of extremely rapid “inflationary” expansion. It then settled down to slowly expand, the way we observe it to do today.

However, there are probably fifty different inflation models, and nobody knows which is correct. There isn’t even a test to see if inflation has occurred.

But this inflationary period happened a microsecond after the Big Bang occurred, so it doesn’t really alter the origin of the universe. This produces a ‘singularity’, a state at with the space-time curvature, along with temperature, density, and pressure becomes infinite.

Based on the three different aspects covered in this post, we can see that it’s not possible for the universe to have an infinite past. It had to have had a beginning.

In the next post, we’ll examine the last part of the Kalam argument: “Therefore, The Universe Has A Cause.”

Read Full Post »

The next area of science I would like to explore when examining the case for a Divine Creator is Cosmology. This isn’t necessarily a smooth transition from the previous post, but in order for many of the other topics that are going to be discussed to make sense, I must go in a particular order, and this is next on my list.
According to Neo-Darwinists, there was an explosion everywhere. Atoms and even nuclei of atoms were split at a temperature of over 100,000,000 degrees Celsius. The universe was made in just about three minutes.
An argument that is often thrown around is called the Kalam argument. This argument consists of three parts and was formulated by al-Ghazali: “Whatever begins to exist has a cause. The universe began to exist. Therefore, the universe has a cause.”
While not directly related to cosmology itself, it is an important topic to look at. Scientists often say that life was created without a cause. That evolution happens without cause. That the universe appeared without a cause. So this argument is a significant one to examine. I plan to look at it one section at a time, with different posts for each section. Today, I plan to step through the first part: “Whatever begins to exist has a cause.”
Atheists believe that the universe appeared from nothingness for no cause whatsoever. One of their ideas is that the universe was formed from a vacuum. “Quantum theory…holds that a vacuum…is subject to quantum uncertainties. This means that things can materialize out of the vacuum, although they tend to vanish back into it quickly. Theoretically, anything…can pop into existence by means of this quantum quirk, which physicists call a vacuum fluctuation. Probability, however, dictates that pairs of subatomic particles…are by far the most likely creations and that they will last extremely briefly…The spontaneous, persistent creation of something even as large as a molecule is profoundly unlikely…In 1973, assistant professor at Columbia University named Edward Trion suggested that the entire universe might have come into existence this way…”
The subatomic particles mentioned are called ‘virtual particles’. These are theoretical, but if they were indeed real, it’s impossible for them to come out of nothingness. The quantum vacuum is not nothingness. It’s fluctuating energy, violent activity with a detailed physical structure, and can be described with physical laws. These particles are thought to originate by fluctuations of energy. So it’s not an example of coming into being of nothing or without a cause. The vacuum and energy are the cause of the particles. But where did the vacuum come from? Take a deep breath and see if you can wind your mind around this: if quantum physical laws operate within the domain described by quantum physics, you can’t use quantum physics to explain the origins of that domain. You need something beyond the domain to explain the beginning/origin of the domain.
I’ll write on Part 2 at the beginning of next week: “The Universe Began To Exist”.

Read Full Post »