Friday, August 26, 2016

Why I believe in God

Our good friend Neil Degrasse Tyson,
always charming, not always without fallacy
Once upon a time, people believed that the earth was flat, and although enlightened moderns now heartily laugh at that idea, many embrace with equal ignorance the idea that the universe is a sphere. It isn't, of course.

It takes some getting used to, but the universe has four dimensions.

According to the accepted scientific model, it started out as a very small dot but then expanded. That's often thought of as something exploding, but that's really not what's going on.

The universe has no outside, so it can't get any bigger, and in stead of exploding, the universe is imploding.

On the grapevine

Imagine being duct-taped to the ceiling of an elevator shaft, and the carriage is parked all the way up, an inch from your nose. Now imagine that the carriage starts to move down and away from you.

You'll see the top of the carriage getting smaller and smaller, while the outside of the elevator shaft isn't changing. You'll see space being formed between you and the top of the carriage, but you don't see the shaft getting any wider.

Here's the crux: when you look at a star, you are looking down a long shaft to the top of an elevator carriage (the star).

Please let that sink it: a star does not simply sit in flat space, it curves space so that you are looking down a long chute, and the star sits at the bottom of that chute.

When there are two stars relatively close together, space will be curved in a bit of a fork. The two stars will have a joined main chute but each star will sit at the bottom of their own end, kind of like a tree branch that branches in two at the end.

Light from a star travels up its chute into open space, precisely like the juices within a tree branch do.

Stars that run out of nuclear fuel collapse under their own gravity and form a black hole (as it's romantically called).

Black holes sit at the bottom of enormous chutes but you can't see them because they radiate no light. They are surrounded by a so-called event horizon that does allow energy to travel from space into the hole but not the other way around (Hawking Radiation, in case you're wondering, doesn't violate the horizon).

All this energy stacks up at the singularity at the heart of the black hole, and because of relativity, time inside the black hole stands still relative to the rest of the universe. That means that any hypothetical observer inside the black hole would see the rest of the universe unfold in the blink of an eye. Or in other words: all about the universe outside the black hole is instantaneously projected upon the black hole's central singularity like a slide on a screen.

Galaxies of black holes are precisely like clusters of grapes, with pits that contain all the genetic information of the entire vine. And the blossoms from which grapes grow are precisely like stars. We can't judge what the outside of space looks, but inside it looks precisely like the inside of a grapevine.

"Let me sing now for my well-Beloved, a song of my Beloved concerning His vineyard..." ( Isaiah 5:1)
Ian C Whitworth photography
People have long wondered why life produces the shapes it does. In less enlightened times people thought that it all happened by blind accident and that we might as well have evolved into bricks. Now, with the help of science, we can understand that life evolves toward a kind of biological equivalent of maximum entropy.

Life does not evolve as away from an explosion, it grows towards an attractor. It tries to imitate what brought it forth in the same sense in which a roulette ball "tries" to roll off the ledge and onto the spinning number crown below. Simply because that takes less energy.

Once upon a time

When people talk about the evolution of the universe beginning with the Big Bang, they usually take you back in time, from the universe's present size to when it was smaller, and smaller and smaller, until you finally end up in the singularity from which everything came.

But looking at the change of the size of something is only interesting when something is added to that something; when it actually grows (like money on a bank account). The universe isn't growing in that sense; it doesn't get bigger because something gets added.

All the energy that is now part of the universe has been part of the universe since the beginning. Going back in time has no influence on the amount of energy you see, and even when you hit the singularity, all the energy is still there and isn't going to just disappear.

There you have it: the universe is shaped like a condom

I'm pretty sure that my audience consists largely of theists, which is why I'd like to stress that my objections against the Hot Big Bang Inflation Model aren't religious. My covenant is with the truth and my objective mind sees a universe of only phase transitions and no spontaneous generation. If on our trek back in time all energy compacts into a point of such unimaginable qualities, a point of such rage and withdrawal that nothing (including space and time) can exist, and then, somehow stops being just that, it should transform into something and not simply vanish into the howling absence of anything.

The universe today is as far removed from zipping spontaneously out of existence as when we would go back in time, and the whole trek back is a mere smoke screen. Packing all energy in one point doesn't make the universe more likely to disappear. To a universe in which energy conservation is a primary law, "nothing" is a very big word, and I dare say that the myth of spontaneous generation is right up there with alchemy, the ethereal universe and the Trinitarian dogma.

The hypothesis that the universe expands can be readily verified with a big telescope. But the notion that the universe came into existence out of nothing is blasphemy against common sense.

Sure, gravity is negative energy while the strongelectroweak force is positive and that neatly cancels things out, but then in reverse: why would "nothing" spontaneously beget an enormous amount of energy? Why that, and in that specific form? People worry about intelligent design, but I would like to know where the rawest of raw material came from, and what determined what its many baffling and precisely calibrated qualities would be and what it could be turned into and how and why.

Or in the hallowed words of Stephen Hawking:

"What is it that breathes fire into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? Why does the universe go through all the bother of existing?"

Chicken or egg?

Time is a tricky thing, and up until Einstein people figured that the whole of the universe sat within time like an island in a river.

But since Einstein we know that within the universe there exist situations at which time stops (namely inside the extreme gravity fields of black holes, whilst traveling at the speed of light, whilst waiting for one's beer to be served), which means that time sits within the universe in stead of the other way around.

The universe is the river and time is the island. The universe did not start at some point in time; time started at some point in the universe.

Time, essentially, has to do with data preservation. Without it, you can't have a past, present and future. To preserve data, you need particles that follow certain rules and that in some way relate to each other, and since particles arose within the universe, time did too. But not all causality is a function of time, or else time itself could not arise "for some reason" within the universe, and the universe could not even have started from whatever preceded it.

In other words: only when the universe produced particles that could bind into atoms (that's called matter-radiation decoupling), time and space as we know it commenced. Prior to that there was a kind of proto-causality during which the universe was not transparent and had no events going on inside of it.

If anything, that process reminds me not of spontaneous generation but of sexual progeneration. That, you see, happens all the time, all over the place, and according to the same very precise and fundamental principle:

Parturition is a fundamental principle of creation
(and Biblical too: think Exodus out of Egypt)

There are two main lessons to be learned from all this. First: the biggest tree may start out as the smallest seed, but that smallest seed has always contained the whole and complete genetic information to bring about the mature tree entirely. Size, you see, doesn't matter; what matters is the seed-part (Matthew 13:31-32, 17:20).

To seeds, its the information that matters. It must be complete or else it doesn't work, and when it works, the information doesn't change, grow or evolve. All that evolves or grows is the situation in which that information happens to be. It's the result of the information that changes over time, not the information itself. The information contains the change, just like the universe contains time. Not the other way around.

Secondly, everything that has a parent begins its life with its own future adult form fully represented within, and that adult form must closely resemble the parent. What I'm saying is that the Creator is not only the cause of the universe (what everybody is always so hung up about), He is much more significantly the spitting image of what the universe must eventually turn into.

We are not accidentally evolving away from bacteria, we are deliberately growing toward divinity. That means that relatively novel biological principles, such as sexual reproduction, should be expected to closer resemble both the evolutionary attractor and the creative principle.

The implied duality, in which one precedes the other, does not exist; the chicken is the egg
We are persons because our Parent is. We are  conscious and concerned because He is conscious and concerned. Consciousness -- and particularly social consciousness, or rather the consciousness of society as a collective entity -- is not some accidental icing on the cake of the material universe but rather the fruit that the tree was programmed to bring forth from since before it was a seed.

I would bet that there are levels of primitivity beyond the Grand Unification, and that the energetic singularity from which the universe is proposed to have sprang will be shown to have arisen out of the confluence of countless parental agents. I bet that the singularity came about out of a structure that closely resembles our black-hole filled universe.

I bet that some day, personal and social consciousness will be shown to be like gravity in that it arises as the culmination of the countless proto-consciousnesses of all separate cells of one's body. And that these in turn derive from a fundamental quality of atoms. (My God, I never thought I would sound like Deepak, but there it is.)

Decades before gravity waves were shown to exist, Abarim Publications made the prediction that rotating black holes make a Chladni pattern of gravity waves, that acts as the null of the universe. Atoms would want to settle according to that null, and hence form DNA, after the Word of God that has existed from before the beginning.

That Word of which the ancients spoke is living information, and He exists in the realm in which our Parent exists, before there is anywhere else to exist -- so do the math (John 1). He existed before all thing, He is the image of our Parent, and in Him all things hold together (Colossians 1:15-17).

I personally love watching interviews with eloquent and intelligent Atheists, because the competition never ceases to inspire me. But all the time I hear people like Neil Degrasse Tyson, Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins say that Atheism isn't dogma and that they would gladly believe in something that would make more sense. Well, I am not dogmatic either and I would surely be an Atheist if this chicken model wouldn't be much more consistent and plenary. And more fun too.

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