Tag: cosmology

How the universe began…almost.

KuangSi2Some say that in the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. But what do we know about our early universe and how we got here? How do we know that our ideas about the early universe are right? What is dark matter and dark energy and why do we think it exists in the first place?

All of the matter in the universe expanded from a single point. It doesn’t matter much what that means, though. To beg the question is to ask what happened before time began. And because of events that happened during the the inflationary epoch, we can no longer see all of the details of how the universe looked at the beginning of time.

But we won’t ask those questions today. Here we will talk about the current state of cosmology given by The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe — the reigning Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation [CMBR] experiment that gives us our best data from the early universe. Within a year, though, we expect a new and improved data set from The Planck Satellite.

Can God Travel Through Time?

On Divine Intervention and Prideful Ignorance.

I gave up my short career in physics decades ago, after becoming seriously disenchanted with one of its most dangerous applications. Though of course general interest has led me to keep up with developments in the fields over the intervening years. With some amusement at the absurdity of it all, I might add.

Then as the millennium turned, I was prompted to get involved again by way of new theoretics about the nature of consciousness, having witnessed what became the first legally adjudicated ‘Miracle’ of human consciousness ever. Science and medicine had no explanations for what my family and a good number of other people witnessed, so I went looking for possible answers out there on the fringes. There are quite a few of those, including combo theories of cosmology and consciousness so mind-bogglingly complex that they could melt the brains of most people. Including me.

One such theory that caught my attention was developed over a quarter of a century by a Norwegian mathematical physicist named Matti Pitkaanen, who calls it Topological Geometrodynamics, or TGD. It’s definitely a mind-melter, though when I contacted Matti directly I found him pleasantly willing to review the evidence and descriptions of what we’d witnessed, and attempt to explain how this could have been accomplished within the confines of his physical theoretics and application to consciousness. It was the only fringe theory out there that could even have conceivably applied, and once I began to wrap my head around it (once your mind is sufficiently melted it becomes pliable enough to stretch and wrap…) it did begin to make a modicum of sense.

What I liked best about TGD was its reliance upon p-adic primes in its descriptive mathematics. These are infinite numbers, and get around those pesky singularities that crop up at every corner in standard physics, which have been ‘renormalized’ away so conveniently by cheats built into the math. I’ve always considered the infinite (or, if you prefer, eternity) to be all around us all the time – that which provides the counterfactual milieu of our existence inside of and bounded by time. It struck me that approaching the mysteries with a method that embraced the infinite instead of flat denied it might give us a more useful picture of the totality of the reality we inhabit. But that’s just me, of course.

In the beginning, god created…


Life on Earth 2.0 – with graphics upgrade

Note:  Please forgive the re-post – still seems relevant.

Life on earth, in fact all life (as far as we know) is sustained by the razor thin and fragile atmosphere of a relatively tiny random globe in an obscure and nondescript solar system based on a third rate star hugging the inner edge of one immense spiral arm of a generic spiral galaxy in a far flung region of the vast and only Universe we know (although we are beginning to suspect that there may be others – see Multiverse Theory).


Eye On The Sky

*all photos courtesy of NASA

Keep a fire burning in your eye
Pay attention to the open sky
You never know what will be coming down

from Jackson Browne’s For A Dancer

Of the many strange episodes that have played themselves out in the course of my life, one of the more interesting was the two and a half years I spent working on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope (HST) project.