The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, June 17, 2011

In the beginning... what?

I have to stop watching the Science, Discovery, and other channels like it. It's addictive and has side effects. Mostly headaches caused by theoretical conundrums.

Take the Big Bang, for instance. I grew up thinking that the Big Bang theory pretty much summed up what happened. I could grasp it, it made some sense, it could even be reconciled on religious terms. But I was younger and not nearly as skeptical as I am now.

Since man first emerged as a sentient creature, he has wondered how it all came to be. Well before he had a clue as to what it all was, he wanted answers to that question. I, and many others, think this was how religion began... with that simple question, "How did it all start?" I think the answer is not all that important myself. At least, not as important as the question itself.

I know so very little that pertains to the physics involved. I wasted only a few months in college (and that was in two obscure junior colleges) before giving up and never took a physics course. My understanding of these things is that of a layman. In other words, I really do not understand the theories. Doesn't stop me from having an opinion (or opinions) about the beginning of time as we know it.

We all know a little about the Big Bang Theory, don't we? In the beginning, there was a singularity and then... "for no particular reason"... it blew up. And when it did, time began. That's the simple description. There is, of course, very complex math which provides the tentative proof of this and explains it in detail for those who have the background and education to understand it. I don't understand the math involved, it is way over my head.

Still, I think I grasp the concepts of the newer theories... except one. The ones I grasp are variations of the Big Bang. One of these is that the universe expands until it reaches a limit and then collapses down to that singularity which become critical again and boom another big Bang and a new universe. The other I like is that the universe expands until it reaches a critical point and then becomes the Big Bang for a larger universe which expands until it happens again. Think of universes inside of universes or vice versa. I like this better than the expand and collapse model mainly because the universe's expansion is not slowing and, in fact, may be increasing in velocity.

The one I don't understand at all is the one that involves multiverses. Something about a kind of bumping together which triggers the bang which becomes our universe.

There are many sticky things involved, not the least of which is the concept of time. I like to think of time as our fourth dimension. Things must exist with depth, width, height, and time. I mean, something could exist for no time but not in any universe we could perceive. Did time exist before the Big Bang? Or did it start with it?

None of it really matters, though, in the great scheme of things. At least, not to you and me. It won't make it any easier to pay our bills, increase our retirement accounts, or find us true love. Beyond those, nothing is important.

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