Has the universe always been here in some form, or did something create it at some point?

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This is the Andromeda Galaxy - it looks a lot like our own I'm told - not that I've ever stepped back far enough to check out the similarities - but there are many many more like it to show that our galaxy is just one collection of spinning matter in what is an immeasurable expanse of space and 'stuff'. The interesting thing about our Milky Way galaxy (named after the famous chocolate bar) is that it's not actually big... it seems big because we're so small, it's relative, it is not huge, it is not immense and it may or may not be infinite. The incredible amount of galaxies that make up what we can see of our universe may in fact be just one cloud amongst many universes .

These steller bodies are moving, colliding and collapsing all over the shop and there's evidence to suggest that the universe has been doing so for billions and billions of years, and perhaps forever. There's no need to mystify the idea of time, because before we were intelligent enough to acknowledge and measure the movement of heavenly bodies we were happy to hunt by day, sleep by night, and die when we got too old to pump blood through our brains. Eternity isn't a supernatural concept best left for gods to calculate... like the size of the universe, it's relative albeit conceptual. The universe simply was and is and always will be - no matter how many pigs fart methane into the atmosphere of our little blue green orb.

Douglas Adams joked that the universe is so big and so randomly chaotic that chances are somewhere somehow there are lifeforms growing that could be useful to any interstellar hitchhiker. One planet somewhere surely has shifting spanners growing from trees, and animals that could easily be used as mattresses. I think it's amazing that this planet was lucky to have a temporary run of life on it long enough for its inhabitants to actually design and use a shifting spanner themself. When you consider the incredible numbers of planets spiraling and circling throughout this vast cosmos you must entertain the thought that for some bursts of time a planet would be in the rolling in the right place at the right time with the right conditions to allow moss to gather on it.

Now, if I were lucky enough to have been born into a planet that had the 'golden' measurements of being close enough to a sun, and protected by various larger planets around it, I'd feel very fortunate, and I do. This particular planet probably isn't the first to have encountered such idyllic conditions but you have to stand in awe of the probability factors involved when you happen to be on it. Of course, it seems like someone created it only because you aren't one of the impossible inhabitants that couldn't have possibly lived on the multi-billion other planets that can't sustain life.

You're bloody lucky to be alive and I seriously don't blame anyone for inventing a god to praise to concerning the delights of simple existence. Every culture we know of usually does this very thing. It's perfectly natural and normal to sing to the sky in appreciation, because most of the people we share the planet with don't seem to really appreciate existence enough to really marvel at it with the wide-eyed wonder it deserves.

Many people I've spoken to recently say that there must be a god, because the scenery here is bloody tremendous and a lot of female boobs look really really good. But this planet actually looks like crap compared to watching the Wallom beasts swimming through the molten mountains of Somtranus V in the Andromeda galaxy (pause). We have no basis of comparison and of course every type of vegetation filled crevasse looks quite interesting to us. The rock and continents have been shifting and eroding for billions of years to make many varied and interesting formations. It's a weather beaten planet that has evolved wildlife and vegetation over an unbelievable amount of time. It's when we try to fit it into the mythical six days and six thousand years of bible time that everything looks like it's science fiction.

And boobs look wondrous because if our programming didn't allow them to be then we would have died off ages ago. Of course boobs don't look appealing to all mankind, but that's ok... there's enough of us who do to keep the population rolling along until we collide with another planet and simply cease to be. Somewhere, sometime, another species will come into being that appreciates the landscape around them and may even have mammary glands that the other gender finds appealing.


Eek said...

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that you somehow managed to get a few boob remarks into a blog about creationism.

I am surprised, but I probably shouldn't be. :P

How do you explain the absolute ugliness of the male penis then??

Anonymous said...

Cute rave, but OK I'll nibble the bait. I'm probably taking you too seriously, but ... Are you saying that scientific evidence now disproves "big bang" cosmology, or that the evidence now leads to a different model to better explain the data? (I sure would have thought that would be publicised in a way that even I couldn't miss!! )

Anonymous said...

Our understanding of the universe this world and everything on it and our understanding of ourselves and our thinking process and our mind is always changing. It's impossible to know everything all at once. "

Example of the cow:

"One person sees a cow the other kills the cow and a third cooks the cow and a forth eats the cow a fifth wears the cow and a six gives the cow away to a mate as a gift. Not to mention each and every step that it takes to make that cow into a pair of boots or a purse or a belt."

And that's just our very simple understanding of a cow and that took thousands of years for just a few cultures that had cows to see.

Now the universe is a little more complicated than a cow.

mothpete said...

Are you sayingthat scientific evidencenow disproves "big bang" cosmology, or that the evidence now leads to adifferent model to better explain the data? (I sure would have thought that would be publicised in a way that evenIcouldn't miss!!)

Not at all, but there's good reason to think that the big bang is plural and that it will happen again in a long long time and has done many times before. I am saying that science doesn't lend to the idea that there was once nothing and then 'puff' something. The I dream of Jeannie scenario, or god, or magic man scenario just isn't rational. God comes into the picture if you believe there was once nothing and then something, because that's what a book said that was written before toilet paper came out on rolls.

Science has no reason to believe there ever was 'nothing' and I personally find it more believable to think there was always 'something' rather than 'nothing then something'. But as I said in my article, I empathise with people who prefer to believe that a magic man breathed the universe out in a verbal sound 6000 years ago - that's a pretty easy way out, and is much more fun.

The continuously expanding and collapsing universe idea is based on two basic principals:

1. Gravity and attraction are the fundamental forces governing all matter.
2. The amount of matter in the universe is constant.

Anonymous said...

FWIW... Physics has identified "fundamental forces" other than gravity. If memory serves correctly, physicists currently identify four, one of them being gravity, but I'm happy to be corrected. Also, I think you'll find that science says that it's the combined total of matter and energy that's considered constant at this point in the history of the universe (e = mc2, stellar creation of matter and all that).

My understanding of what I've read of astrophysics is that science currently leads us as far as the singularity that was at the origin of the current "big bang", where there is doubt that the current laws of physics applied. My understanding of what I've read about the philosophy of science is that ideas about anything beyond that singularity are non-scientific speculation. In the language of Karl Popper, as far as I understand, they are not currently disprovable.

mothpete said...

What I'm thinking is that magic doesn't exist. Personal opinion and philosophy granted. Looking at the universe in the simple way in which I have done is looking at it in the same way that if I drop a rock, it never hovers in the air. If you crush it, then the sand will equal the matter it already had, if you melt it, the matter will still be equally proportioned. People can't walk on water and the planet is moving and spinning. I didn't really harbour on the idea that these things disprove god, but they certainly don't disprove my invisible pink unicorn either. I was really throwing an idea out there that it's imaginable that this creation is arguably not actually created. It's just moss gathering on a rolling stone.

Anonymous said...

(I was going to add for the sake of the 'observers' the obvious point that Christians would say that the 'something' that always existed was God.)

Have you read any of Ravi Zacharias' stuff yet? I'd be interested in your overall reaction to 'Can Man Live Without God'. I found it convincing and quite powerful, but I'm already basically a 'convert' to his perspective.

mothpete said...

No worries. I'm not really arguing and I'm hoping not to sound dismissive. I am not 'read up' enough to really go to much further. I was just putting it out there as I see it at the moment. Exploring at bit and seeing what other people think... so thanks for your thoughts and I'll add that book to my list of 'one day reads'... as long as it can be downloaded ;-P

I suppose I could write off the universe as god, but I'd have to say that 'he' would be a bit passive, in my opinion.

tina FCD said...

I like your observation on the universe. Some of these interesting blogs people put out could be a book...

Anonymous said...

One of the knottiest problems in all of cosmology (with deep implications for theology and metaphysics) is why our universe is structured the way it is and what that particular configuration of laws and constants of nature means. As you will see in reading this brilliant summation and classification of the numerous answers to the question — “Why This Universe?” — there are many well-thought out answers but little consensus among the experts about which one is the most likely to be true. Here we see science on the borderlands between, say, physics and metaphysics, between empirical evidence and theoretical speculation. In the 15 years of publishing Skeptic magazine, I believe this is one of the most important articles we have ever published. Enjoy.
—Michael Shermer, Publisher

DOWNLOAD "Why This Universe"
article by Robert Kuhn (PDF)

Anonymous said...

One possible explanation for the appearance of the universe (assuming it began) is a vacuum fluctuation. If you haven't heard of this, have you heard of virtual particles? The former gives rise to the latter. Particles can--and have shown to--pop into existence from out of the blue. The important thing about this, though, is that their energy always totals zero. In other words, they don't add to or take away from the universe's energy. A negative charge pops up simultaneously with a positive charge. No harm done.

This phenomenon has been cited by some physicists and/or cosmologists as being a reasonable answer to the question of where the universe came from, and especially the question of why matter is not uniform. Unfortunately, at this point, it really is just speculation. All we can say for certain is that it appears--from the movement of galaxies--that everything was once clumped together.

As fascinating as knowing about what actually occurred 13-15 billion years ago is, it's not something to get hung up on, especially for atheists, since this particular argument from origins isn't necessary for debate. It's just really interesting to think about. :)

Anonymous said...

"if our programming didn't allow"

who's doing the programming?

Anonymous said...

The big bang and the world always being there are only therios they havnt actuly been proved they just seem like logical therios (and i can't really say which 1 is right) when studied, and as for boobs lol there not nessicerely nice (what about gay people?) they just look nice to sum people (like me lol) like for exsample a dog will normally be attracted to another dog but we don't find a dog attractive (well sum messed up people probaly do), i don't think there is even such thing as attractive its just what people are attracted to, i don't believe in god, when i see the bibble i just see man made written all over it, and i would find life only being uniqe to earth very unlikly, i dno about ufo's an stuff but there will be sum life out there sum where intelligent or not just because sumthings alien doesn't really mean green slime and abductions an ufo's and stuff, i like this guy as his logic relates a lot to mine, sum people never think properly i don't really have a prob with religes people buts its so anoying how sum of them think that all good and evil is based on believe in god and call atheists stupid becuz we don't believe what they believe, and even if there is a god why would he condem lots of good people to hell to be burned in everlasting flames and reapetly riped apart by demons just because we didn't believe in his existence when there is absulotly no proof of him what so ever, and in the bibble it sais the world is only 6000 yrs old? what about all the fosils, did he put them in the ground for a laugh or somin? if the god from the bibble is real then hes pretty pathetic for all that, and i don't really know what happans when u die but ur consiness is caused by the brian and when u die ur brain dies so i think logicly ur consiness would just sease i know its hard to imagen but u never know, my dads died during surgery before but was resusitated (brought bk within 15 mins or somin) an he sais it was just blank nothing no consiness no memory it was instant to him but if u died u would even know anythin there would be nothin u would'nt even be able to think