The universe & causation?

Kevin R Brown
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The universe & causation?

Okay. I really don't understand this at all...

I know that, in laymans terms, the universe transitioned from one state to another in what we call 'The Big Bang'. Before that, the universe was in another state where likely time & matter didn't really 'exist' per se, is that right?

 

...Uh. The universe didn't have a cause, then? Like, nothing 'spawned' it? Intuitively, that doesn't make much sense, does it? Doesn't much of what we know about physics and relativity essentially demand that everything have a causative element (thus not being infinite)?

Err, if someone knows a very simple answer, I'd really appreciate it (...physics is simply very difficult for me to get my head around. I've been trying to do a bit of research on te nuts and bolts of it while I'm at school, but it's just too hard; my brain doesn't perceive space and time very well).

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"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


Eloise
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Kevin R Brown wrote:Err, if

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Err, if someone knows a very simple answer, I'd really appreciate it (...physics is simply very difficult for me to get my head around. I've been trying to do a bit of research on te nuts and bolts of it while I'm at school, but it's just too hard; my brain doesn't perceive space and time very well).

The simple answer is that high symmetry is, evidently, an unstable state. Near the beginning of time=space in the universe we have high symmetry, as the evolution of the universe progresses toward us here-now symmetries are increasingly more broken, so it's reasonable to posit that the pre universe was in an even more symmetric state and it spontaneously broke, dropping to a lower energy level.

 

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Right. But then, was the

Right. But then, was the universe just 'always' in a symmetrical state to begin with? Or where there a causal event that posited the universe into being in the first place?

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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Kevin R Brown wrote:Right.

Kevin R Brown wrote:

Right. But then, was the universe just 'always' in a symmetrical state to begin with? Or where there a causal event that posited the universe into being in the first place?

Well the problem with that is that there is no always in that state, none of the physical phenomena which give rise to our time arrows exist in that state. There's no unevenness, there is none of the familiar "betweens" of states that mark time and space for us here.

It is probably difficult for you to stop percieving clock time as being absolute, so you aren't even wondering where time and space goes when we get to the singularity but rather percieving it as still there when it's not. I know it's not intuitive, but that's what the evidence suggests, time and space pack up and disappear, they cannot be the absolute way which we have habitually percieved them.

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Another, probably better,

Another, probably better, way to think about this is to say that the universe even now exists in the timeless and spaceless void that would be left if you rewind to the big bang and not in time and space as we might have supposed.

If the "void" is a multiverse then it has it's own many configurations that can be joined by arrows marking the unevenness of the topology, but lets suppose for simplicity that it is just a void and it has no reality at all, all reality is the seemingly consistent history and evolution of our visible universe.

Use the analogy of that universe being like a snapshot taken from infinite angles, each angle corresponds to one time space coordinate in the whole of the existence of the universe. Now at any one of the angles there is an uneven probability it is close to another of the angles, like a ball halfway up a hill, downhill is a more probable future location for the ball than uphill and likewise, an angle from one time-space coordinate in the universe is a vastly more probable angle one iteration of 'advanced' time than others.  And so, just like that, those probabilities produce time and space as we know it... u see?

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Oh, okay. So, in essence,

Oh, okay. So, in essence, it's really meaningless to talk in terms of traditional space-time before the big bang because, well, time didn't exist then as we now know/percieve it.

 

...*Blinks*....

 

 

...Holy fuck. We've come a long way.

Quote:
"Natasha has just come up to the window from the courtyard and opened it wider so that the air may enter more freely into my room. I can see the bright green strip of grass beneath the wall, and the clear blue sky above the wall, and sunlight everywhere. Life is beautiful. Let the future generations cleanse it of all evil, oppression and violence, and enjoy it to the full."

- Leon Trotsky, Last Will & Testament
February 27, 1940


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This is one of those things

This is one of those things I've just had to take as read because it just doesn't intuit.  (I know... bad usage of the word... it just seemed to fit.)

One way that I am aided in coming to grips with the notion of "before" being a nonsense word is by thinking of the limitations of human perception with things that are easier to grasp.  Consider a human sitting next to a fish tank with two anemones.  If they get too close to each other, they're going to have a knock down drag out fight where one will be eventually consumed by the other.  The whole thing will take hours, or even days.  If a human were to look intently at the scene, it's possible that he would occasionally see a single relatively fast movement from time to time, but for the most part, the entire scene would be a series of vignettes, not continual motion -- even though it really is more or less continual.

From there, we can go to thinking of grass growing.  There's simply no way for a human in real time to watch grass grow in any meaningful way.  Technically, we're always watching grass grow if we look at it, but our perception is simply not geared for anything that slow.

So, even with something as intuitive as time, we're not really as in control of it as we'd like to be, conceptually.  From there, we can move to more complex issues, like the way the brain perceives reality -- not as it really is, but as relevant details filled in moment to moment with the best guess our brains can make.  We don't really do any mental work to see static objects.  We just assume they are still the same because we haven't seen movement, and our brain essentially takes it as read.  Until we see movement, there's no significant neural activity in the part of our brain that composes visual images.

If you want to, you can think about how everything is mostly space.  Atoms are mostly space, which makes molecules even more mostly space, which makes things visible to humans almost nothing at all.  In a very real way, the universe we perceive is less "substantial" than the universe of subatomic particles.  It's not so much a matter of a single, objective perspective as an inability to perceive other perspectives.  We know this to be true, and with really powerful equipment, we can demonstrate it empirically.

Once I think about these simple examples of how limited our perception is, it becomes easier for me to accept that my conceptualization of time as a linear flow of events is due more to my perspective than an absolute reality. 

Oh... one last thing.   Have you ever thought about multiple dimensions in terms of math?  Suppose you have five variables, and you want to map all the possible combinations of those variables.  Technically, any such map that humans can draw or build in three dimensions is an approximation of the real map, which takes five dimensions.  We can chart each dimension within our four dimensions quite easily, but there's no way to accurately represent the totality of all five dimensions without "squishing" them all into the ones we work in.  Nevertheless, a simple math problem using five variables can be thought of as a very simple example of five dimensional space.

Ok... now think of time as a mathematical dimension and recognize that the "reality" of it might be substantially different than our perceptual concept.  From there, it's home free!  Smiling

 

By the way, you physicist types, take it easy on me.  I know how atrociously bad these explanations are.  I'm not trying to find the perfect analog.  I'm just explaining how my own brain accepted the concept enough to be able to consider it.

 

 

 

Atheism isn't a lot like religion at all. Unless by "religion" you mean "not religion". --Ciarin

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Eloise once mentioned

Eloise once mentioned "timeless models", so I found this, and sent to my Email crowd with this atheist religiously worded message,

The Timeless Universe -     by A. C. Sturt
http://www.churingapublishing.com/timeless_4.htm

We are living in the part of the cosmos where time works as we observe it , but time is varied in other parts of the cosmos, where the total sum of time is One connected timeless eternal thing. This timelessness, and thermodynamics becomes the science definition of the eternal timeless infinite GOD, of no beginning nor end. God is simply what IS, as all is god, all is One, doing its ageless dance. !!! Buddha and Jesus etc knew they and god are One in the same, and so should you. No more idol(s) of separatism religious dogma. Go science, the real study of g-awe-d ....

Science best explains G-O-D, as in this informative short essay section of many. This is why me and Jesus get mad, and Buddha laughed at superstition dogmatic religion.

Thanks again  Eloise, fix my uneducated words ....


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I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:Eloise

I AM GOD AS YOU wrote:

Eloise once mentioned "timeless models", so I found this, and sent to my Email crowd with this atheist religiously worded message,

The Timeless Universe -     by A. C. Sturt
http://www.churingapublishing.com/timeless_4.htm

We are living in the part of the cosmos where time works as we observe it , but time is varied in other parts of the cosmos, where the total sum of time is One connected timeless eternal thing. This timelessness, and thermodynamics becomes the science definition of the eternal timeless infinite GOD, of no beginning nor end. God is simply what IS, as all is god, all is One, doing its ageless dance. !!! Buddha and Jesus etc knew they and god are One in the same, and so should you. No more idol(s) of separatism religious dogma. Go science, the real study of g-awe-d ....

Science best explains G-O-D, as in this informative short essay section of many. This is why me and Jesus get mad, and Buddha laughed at superstition dogmatic religion.

Thanks again  Eloise, fix my uneducated words ....

Hi IAM, man that Sturt guy is prolific, it could take me an age to swim through all he's written and give you an opinion on it. On a cursory investigation he looks unqualified and he holds a bunch of weird random patents (a thing which is all too often the watermark of a crank loungechair philosopher); so far I don't see much reason to take him seriously. But no matter, It's my own fault, I never gave you any information on where to look for good sources, did I?

Here are some links to reliably scientific sources on the subject of a timeless reality:

Victor Stenger - Links to a collection of his works

Harald Atmanspacher - Links to review of book he helped produce

Julian Barbour - Links to a blog on his book End of Time

Paul Davies - Links to his "Edge" interview on the subject of time.

 Edit: Julian Barbour's Edge interview (highly recommended)

And I've found a Wiki page on it which also looks like it might be helpful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Unreality_of_Time

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Thanks and yes Eloise ... I

Thanks and yes Eloise ... I just pulled that out of the internet library, but found it inspiring  ....  "time" is the eternal question of my awe, yet unanswered nor well understood for me. WOW !!! Thanks for the links, really ... LOL "down under" teacher ....

   Could you fix my summation ??? ....as  me god particle is always confused ....  


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I picked up a copy of

I picked up a copy of Scientific American today because it had a feature on the 'Big Bounce' as they called it. It's an article on 'loop quantum gravity' and is quite interesting.

It says that the universe is constantly expanding and then collapsing and then starting over again and that time has always existed.

You can read the article online here:

 

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=big-bang-or-big-bounce


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Peter, cool. Maybe we are

Peter, cool. Maybe we are the result of a super duper massive black hole eruption never ending bang/bounce ! The almighty power of gravity and eons of endless time! Are black holes a clue this process?    


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Wow, cool, inspector 

Wow, cool, inspector 


Vastet
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inspectormustard

inspectormustard wrote:

 

That's just fucking awesome.

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inspectormustard

inspectormustard wrote:

 

 

This right here?  All about the win.

 

M


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The CERN black hole - 38

The CERN black hole - 38 secs 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXzugu39pKM