Monday, August 8, 2011

I Yelled at the TV. About Jesus. And Physics.

          Last night Discovery Channel aired the first episode of a 60 part documentary series about life's most mysterious questions. Episode one of "Curiosity" starred Stephen Hawking, discussing whether or not the universe could have come into existence without a designer.

         The only thing I can say for myself is that in my yelling, I never once mentioned his illness or voice. OK, well, they had his computer voice transition into an actors voice about 4 minutes in. The actor was supposed to be what Dr. Hawking would have sounded like sans malady, but the guy sounded like a vaguely British body builder. THAT I made fun of... but I don't think that counts.

           I like science. Between you and me, science and I have even thought about going steady. (LR + E=MC Squared) = LUV 4 EVA. Even though I've moved on, I still have Science's back. So when Hawking made a claim about the moment of creation that totally discounts what we know about time, IT WAS ON. I was all "Jon, hold my hoops".

          So please take a step back; I'm about to drop some knowledge and I don't want to splash any of my geek on you. You CAN. NOT. wash that stuff out.

          I am a Christian. I believe that God created the Universe as we know it, and as we don't know it. I believe He is eternal and infinite, and I believe that though we have free will, we are always inside His grand plan. I believe He won a battle 2000 years ago in a war that hasn't even started yet. And I believe all of these things partly because physics tells me that they are possible. From the Big Bang, to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, to E=MC Squared, to M-Theory and the Multiverse, God is ALL UP IN Science.

        Hawking says that it is possible for the universe to spontaneously burst from antimatter (nothing) into existence in space from an infinitesimally small, infinitesimally dense particle of energy and mass. Since Hawking says that Time started at that moment when the particle began expanding, He can deduce that there was no previous Time for God to exist in, therefore he couldn't have created the universe.

          The problem is... we have no real idea whether or not Time existed before the Bang. Time, (props to my fellow frizz friend, Albert Einstein) is relative to our perception. We perceive Time because we see the universe move around us. We see the sun go down and we know that it has not always been dark; so we can say that there has been a past and there is a present. We can perceive the beginning of Time because the universe is expanding, and we can mathematically count backwards to the Bang. But just because humans cannot count back farther than that, just because we can't perceive Time before the Bang, does not prove that Time (even as we know it) did not exist before the Bang. It only proves that humans, and Science, have limits.

          Burn. So that's One.

          Second,  Hawkins thinks that the Universe is a 2 step process.
  1. There was nothing
  2. There was everything because the laws of nature acted upon an infinitesimal speck
          ( yes, I am aware that this is also the premise of Genesis 1:1)

          Well, then, Dr. Hawking... it would seem there were at least 2 things that existed before the Bang. The laws of nature, and the speck. The speck we can technically call nothing, because the energy and mass of the speck is counterbalanced by it's equal and opposite antimatter. Basically, it's there, but it equals zero, and we can pretend it doesn't exist if we want to. Because it's our party(icle).

          So why did this particle go Bang? Hawking says the laws of nature acted upon it. Which law? I'm not familiar with the "random particles shall explode and become the universe" law. I AM familiar with "objects at rest will stay at rest until acted upon by outside force". (Hi, let me introduce you to God, previously known as "Outside Force"). Why should we think the laws of nature existed before nature, without any designer to determine them? Again, no one knows. We have to take the laws of nature as a package deal. A lot like an act of.... FAITH! Surprise!

       Burn. A Big Burn. A Big Burn about the Big Bang.


1 comment:

  1. Lauren,
    You make me laugh...and you make me think! Thanks. And keep writing!
    Love, Your Mother-in-law