Sunday, 29 January 2017

Unicorn multiverse, a more rational multiverse and Ockham's razor (updated 2017)




I grew up in a rational world of cause and effect in which the only supernatural events were those attributable to our Creator, e.g. the Resurrection of Christ and the creation by God of the universe from existential nothingness.

Also, everyone I knew  adhered to the Oxford English dictionary definition of the universe:
All existing things; the whole creation; the cosmos 

image credit: beforeitsnews.com
Since the confirmation of the Big Bang model for the origin of the universe there have been attempts to skate around the conclusion that every single entity in creation, from a quark to a human being, ultimately originates with an uncaused first cause – God. In this sense everything is spiritual or supernatural. Nobody can pretend that anything is truly secular.  Moreover, this God has made us in God’s image,  having concepts of love, justice, truth and beauty regardless of gender, physical appearance, health, sexual preference, intelligence, race or creed. 

It has also become established that the probability of morally aware, truth seeking sentient beings like us emerging out of nothingness is zero without invoking a Creator with the properties of personhood. This follows from the unimaginable degree of fine tuning of the physical constants, initial entropy conditions and much else to allow life of any kind to exist anywhere in the universe.  For human civilisation to emerge there are innumerable extra conditions, such as protection from cosmic rays, the availability of the minerals for technology, visibility of an ordered firmament, fertile soil and a freely available abundance of water in liquid form. It all had to be done by an act of will which also imbued humans with the imago dei.

For some obscure reason (the italics are to vent my exasperation)  certain people, including some who purport to base their life on logic and reason, refuse to accept this state of affairs. Instead they have resorted to desperate hypotheses, the most well known of which is the multiverse.

 The implication is, if you can’t stomach living in one universe having a Creator who has made one universe tailored to  achieve the birth of humanity (it is now beyond reasonable doubt that our universe had to be precisely the size and structure it is for humanity, and any other sentient moral beings, to exist) then why not imagine there are an infinite number of eternal universes of which we happen to be one?  That removes the need for  a God since the whole ensemble of universes is eternal, i.e. self existing and having no beginning. And we don’t have to worry about relating to or praising or satisfying or understanding any deity.

Quite apart from the infinite multiverse concept being wholly against the foundation on which the exponential growth of peer reviewed science rests this leads to absurd conclusions, i.e it is invalidated  by reductio ad absurdum.

For example, the unicorn. 

It is necessary to be clear on just what infinity means. The OED defines ‘infinite’ as greater than any assignable quantity or countable number. This means greater than any number or quantity you can imagine. It means that you can multiply infinity by itself an infinite number of times and the result is still infinity, since both results fit the definition. It is also defined mathematically as any number divided by zero.Infinity divided by infinity is meaningless.

To dispense with God (again, why in the name of God would you want to dispense with God and reduce reality to a meaningless conglomerate of energy configurations with epiphenomena giving the illusion of consciousness and meaning?) you also have to invoke eternity, which is infinity applied to time.  An eternal infinite array of ‘universes’ would have to have existed forever, otherwise you would have to invoke a Creator to start the whole show and, heaven forbid, you would then have to try to understand this God.Even if it did last forever it would still be necessary to  explain why it existed at all.

It is not surprising that the use of the words ‘infinite’ and ‘eternal’ to describe reality is going to lead to bizarre and unscientific conclusions.  Applied to a hypothetical ‘multiverse’ it means that any conceivable event or being or set of laws can occur at any time in any place without anyone having to explain it. If one accepts the multiverse fantasy unicorns would be inevitable, along with anything you care to imagine, from Santa Claus to a flat earth.

 Every conceivable thing happens and it happens an infinite number of times. There are an infinite number of yous who have lived identical lives an infinite number of times in an infinite number of universes and this will continue for eternity. There are also an infinite number of yous with one extra atom, and an infinite number with two extra atoms, etc. etc. ad infinitum.

There are also an infinite number of different worlds in which the concept of an infinite multiverse does not exist. Since first publishing this post in August  2016 I have come across a paradox which someone on a computer forum said had been proposed by his nine-year old son immediately on having the idea explained to  him. The paradox took the following form. If there is a universe for every possibility, this would include  a universe for which there are no parallel universes. I thank the Lord that the rising generation loves truth enough to spot the absurdity of such concepts.

I was also reassured watching a YouTube video in which Philip Ball, ex editor of Nature, I think, was asked about the multiverse concept by a member of the audience. He said it was not even wrong! Hopefully the idea will be dropped from peer reviewed research along with papers proposing the earth is flat.

Even if we cheat and accept that our own universe started at the observed point 13.8 billion years ago, if we regard this as a purely random spontaneous irrational godless creation out of 'nothingness' (the term is sometimes incorrectly used to denote the vacuum filled quantum energy) then anything goes; there are no constraints. If a whole universe can come out of nothing, so can a unicorn. Even within our own universe the laws could break down at any point, say in the place you are now sitting, and so permit crazy things to happen without need of explanation - unicorns, vampires, tooth fairies  or anything you care to imagine can happen if you bring in infinity.

Not surprisingly, if the whole ensemble of universes is eternal it does not obey the second law of thermodynamics because it would by now have decayed into total disorder.

The whole idea is an offense against the cherished foundational principle of Ockham's Razor (after William of Ockham, a priest, philosopher and scientist, 1285-1349. It is also spelt 'Occam'.) . This states that 'entities are not to be multiplied beyond necessity' (Oxford Dictionary of Philosophy). In formulating a new scientific theory always look for the simplest explanation. Western science has advanced since the Christian universities were set up in medieval England and Europe by sticking to this principle. The infinite eternal multiverse violates this principle.

I

There  are more rational concepts of a 'multiverse' which really mean one universe with parts that are separated but which  interact in some way that enables us to detect them indirectly. They are finite in time and space and must have been created, being regimes of the same universe with the same laws as the one we know. They only need to be invoked if we find aspects of our observable universe which could be powerfully explained by assuming such additional regimes. For example, one could postulate that  the Big Bang singularity generated more than one expanding pocket of space-time during the initial inflation stage. It would necessitate invoking extra dimensions beyond the space-time realm in which we live our material lives and construct our scientific theories.

If we are to continue sticking to the Ockham's razor principle we should be looking at our universe as imaginatively and creatively as possible. There is plenty in the real universe to explore and stretch our minds: over 95% of it is either dark energy or dark matter, the Standard Model of elementary particles  is incomplete, quantum phenomena seem beyond reductionist physics, consciousness has been shown beyond reasonable doubt to exist beyond the body, no testable theory of biological evolution exists and life has not even been defined. No doubt some powerful theories will be revealed to us and these may allow undreamed of technology when applied.

If you want to believe in an eternal, infinite ensemble of universes (i.e. return to an ancient, pre-Christian view of reality) rather than a rational loving Creator and just the one magnificent tailor-made universe you live in, no one can stop you. But please do not claim it is rational.

 See also
Hold onto the truth


John Sears, author
2077: Knights of Peace.

Reach me via cosmik.jo@gmail.com

Friday, 27 January 2017

The teleological argument for God's existence


Structurally the argument is simple

/1/ The universe looks designed or imbued with intelligence.

 

/2/ Therefore there is a designer or a creator who imbued his creation with intelligence.



Aristotle, an early pupil of Plato’s academy in Athens (387 BC – AD 529), envisaged a race of people living underground with no knowledge of the land and sky above. He imagined them emerging from underground for the first time. They would be thunderstruck by the immense complexity, order and beauty of the living world, the ocean, the sky, the moon and the stars. It would be impossible to imagine it all existing without the intervention of an intelligent mind. In his Metaphysics he stated that ‘there must be a first uncaused cause, a living, intelligent, immaterial, eternal and most good being who is the source of order in the universe.’


Plato himself reasoned that there must be a God, not only because of the existence of the soul but ‘from the order of the motion of the stars and of all things under the dominion of the mind which ordered the Universe’.


The Holy Bible has verses too numerous to quote here about the works of God’s creation.


Today we have even more cause to discern intelligence and purpose in the universe. Until only a few decades ago scientists thought that the universe would finish up with living beings by chance. The exact opposite is the case. The  initial conditions of the universe were fine tuned to dozens of decimal places. Had they been out by an almost infinitesimal amount life could not have evolved.  See A universe built for life, but how much life?  We can also see how uniquely placed and endowed is our home planet, how events seem to be orchestrated to allow the potential for life to be realised in the thin film of air, soil and water that envelopes it – not only realised but created to be aware of the cosmos, to be curious about  its origins and to be able, because of Earth's rare position in the Milky Way and clear skies, to probe into its point of origin. See Our precious planet.


In the field of the life sciences this natural idea of a purpose behind reality has been obfuscated due to the unscientific sanctification of Darwin. Now, mercifully, the meaningful complexity of living systems at the sub-genetic and sub-cellular level, together with the networks of relationships between plants and animals in nature, reveal intelligence that can no longer be denied. Darwin showed us that evolution happens but the idea that no guiding intelligence is involved has had its time. The very fact that biochemical engineers who are ardently copying the systems of nature have to employ  mental resources, computational power and money to such a large degree that  they have to be spread over dozens of talented research teams working for decades just to simulate the simplest living system, shows that even over hundreds of millions of years these systems could not have evolved by random mutation and selective pressures. See for instance ENCODE turns DNA junk into treasure; and The fittest survive: but how? 

 Recent discoveries in quantum biology concerning photosynthesis, bird navigation and the sense of smell are revealing that the natural world is interconnected, coordinated, hierarchically organized and computed by some agency sophisticated and complex to a degree beyond human imagining. Scientists can no longer hide their heads in the sand, clinging to a 19th - 20th century reductionist world view.

Quantum physicists, elementary particle physicists and cosmologists have encountered fundamentally inexplicable phenomena and some have put forward irrational theories to explain them. This echoes the ancients invoking arbitrary gods to explain thunderstorms, earthquakes etc. However, providing faith in one rational God and the truth which he embodies remain, new theories will be created that get ever closer to, but never reach, absolute truth, since this is beyond scientific investigation or logic.

I recently started reading Improbable Planet by Hugh Ross. This is densely packed with a wealth of evidence pointing to layer upon layer of cosmic and terrestrial choreography culminating in our living planet and human civilisation, with its high dependence on fossil fuels and elements manufactured in stars then herded into our local stellar then solar then planetary environment in the necessary amounts. The moon-earth system alone appears uniquely suited to life and the result of astounding celestial engineering.

How the design process occurred or is occurring no mortal being can possibly know or envisage. Perhaps it occurred or is occurring outside of space-time and appears as ongoing in our mode of existence. When experimentation takes place in nature it is a manifestation of God composing a masterpiece and knowing when he has reached the desired perfect goal. 

John

author 2077:Knights of Peace

See also

Cosmological argument for the existence of God
Ontological argument - on the radio!
The doctrine of chance

For an academic exposition  on the existence of God by W.L.Craig (a brillliant Christian philosopher who is also an expert on cosmology, quantum mechanics and elementary particle physics) listen to the podcasts on this website. The students ask searching questions, ones which you may ask yourself, and he attempts to deal with them.

John
Reach me at cosmik.jo@gmail.com

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Solar powered green communities for refugees




The problem of displaced populations

The basic objective is to give victims of IS, jihad fascism and corrupt governments a source of hope by building a series of green communities on the shores of deserts.  These could also house climate change refugees.Moreover, they could form a knowledge economy with R&D laboratories, making it a desirable destination not only for the desperate but for researchers and innovators  in any country.  As large ecoprojects they could stimulate world economic growth without damaging the environment or contributing to global warming.
 
Tens of thousands of people are being driven to benevolent regimes with problems for both the migrants and the host countries which could lead to conflict and social instability. It has been estimated by the United Nations that there are around 60 million displaced persons in the world as a whole. Since last publishing this post I have seen a figure of 65 million.  With chaos prevailing in the Middle East and Levant and climate change displacing those living in low lying coastal and river cities this figure could grow rapidly.


Immediate measures

These victims of human sin and folly have to go somewhere now, while super communities are just an idea. It could take 5-10 years to turn the idea into reality. The very first step is to start putting money and expertise into the present refugee camps. Equally important, if not more so, is the provision of hope, because without this no human being can survive spiritually, i.e. at all.

The realization that a well funded international operation was underway to provide a pleasant environment with plenty of accommodation, fresh water at the turn of a tap, power at the throw of a switch, sanitation, education, employment, culture, entertainment and places of worship would remove the sense of despair and desperation presently felt by many victims.

But what about the pressing problem of mounting queues at borders and understandably desperate measures resulting in death, injury and the break up of migrant families? 

To reduce these queues the border controls of the destination countries and of those which the refugees have to traverse must be made  sufficiently  tight to discourage most would-be immigrants from even trying to beat them.The emphasis in the short term needs to be on improving the refugee centres and providing victims of oppression, violence, corruption, economic incompetence and climate change with the hope of a better life in the kind of community being proposed here. Exceptions are no doubt possible but it would be wicked folly to pretend that indiscriminately allowing in large floods of immigrants to a nation or city would not  cause great practical  and social problems, such as
 
  • Infrastructure overload (water, drainage, power, roads, railways, airports, seaports)
  •  Strained welfare systems (demands on health service, support of the poor, disabled, elderly and unemployed)
  • Growth in bureaucracy needed for extra translation, allowance for cultural differences and expanded security controls
  • Strain on police and secret service needed to prevent terrorism and crime
  • Restriction of employment opportunities for the indigenous  population
  • Unwanted and oppressive cultural change
  • Hostility  by locals if the influx is  sufficient to raise these problems above a critical level.
This is not to say that a certain amount of immigration cannot be mutually beneficial but allowing huge numbers into a country indiscriminately can be bad for both the native people and the immigrants.

A free society

In the west we take for granted the 4 freedoms listed by the US President Roosevelt in 1941
  • Freedom of speech and worship
  • Freedom from want and fear
It would be made clear to the refugees that these are important to westerners and that only a society built on these values is stable and prosperous in the longer term. These freedoms can only be available when they are not abused and in a society that has trust running through it by default. No democracy can survive and thrive without trust being the norm throughout parliament, business, banking, welfare services, the military, the police, the security services, the  civil institutions, the church and every conceivable aspect of society.

Anyone wanting to join the community would have to swear an oath of citizenship which reflected these ideals. This means accepting their sanctity and this can only derive from God’s presence in humanity, so anyone who seriously wants to live in this kind of society must believe that humanity has been sanctified by Christ.  Many victims of Islamic, Hindu and Atheist suppression, as well as many not being particularly oppressed, are now turning to Christ and would be sure to be attracted by a community in which Christ, love and truth are held sacred and in which public prayer is not only not suppressed, but common, reverent and joyful. 

Freedom of speech  is not a problem in a Christian society and indeed it goes with freedom of choice. Free will is important. One cannot become a child of God without freely accepting the living God into one’s soul and that means submission to Christ. Other religions could be present but measures would have to be taken to prevent them stifling the Christian beliefs on which freedom and democracy are founded. There could even be Mosques and temples for minorities ((e.g. for Hindus, Buddhists and Atheists), and they would be guaranteed freedom from harassment and protection under the law. Presumably these believers would be present in a Christian society mainly  through family connections or conversions but economic immigration into the community by non-Christians would be discouraged and all members of the community would have to swear not to act against the 4 freedoms of Roosevelt listed above,

Once  such a community was made to work on a Christian foundation others could be set up under, say, Islamic principles. It would not be a democracy as understood in Christian societies but operate under Sharia Law. While the values characterizing such a society would be anathema to many westerners they should be satisfying to Muslims. Although freedom would be difficult at least the inhabitants would have secure lives. So why deny them the chance? Hindus, Buddhists , Jews and Sheiks might be more likely to incorporate the 4 freedoms into their super communities because their religions are less prescriptive. This needs a lot of thought but this is how I see it at this time.


Power and fresh water

The power would come from mirrors focusing solar energy onto boilers which would generate steam to drive electricity generating turbines. The energy produced during daylight hours would be used to


  • power the city
  • power electric vehicles
  • power agriculture (irrigation system and farm technology)
  • purify seawater
  • pump seawater
  • produce molten salt from the seawater
  • power the sewage and waste disposal system

The molten salt would serve to produce steam for the turbo-generators at night. Any surplus electricity could be fed into a national or transnational energy grid.

See, e.g., the
Ivanpah solar power facility for an example of this kind of technology.

Fresh water would be a by-product of the solar power generation and would enable the city to be located in a desert which was either near the sea or above a salt water aquifer. 




Your comments to me by email to cosmik.jo@gmail.com would be more than welcome.

Location
 
What are the criteria for the siting of such a city? 

If solar thermal power with energy storage based on molten salt is stipulated the site must be near the  sea or underground salt water and in a place where strong sunlight is the norm. Large amounts of fresh water would be needed to keep the city green and well fed with irrigated crops. Being close to the sea would provide both salt and freshwater after desalination without long distance pumping. Combined with the need for sunlight this narrows down the location to equatorial or sub-equatorial. 

Also Africa has large reserves of underground fresh water for which solar power could be used for pumping without purification. See, e.g.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-18875385

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2133339/Massive-underground-reserves-water-Africa.html

To avoid having to disrupt settled communities it would have to be built in an area of low population density and to minimize the cost of the land it would use terrain of little agricultural value. This strongly suggests a desert location.

It would have to be near a large seaport so that materials could be brought in from around the world. Being near an airport would also be desirable. These ports could of course be built from scratch but this would add to the capital cost and to the time scale. Pre-existing roads and railways would be an advantage but providing the ports were close these would not be too much of a problem to build.
Probably the biggest location problem would be political. The site would have to be within the borders of a country led by a person or persons not hostile to its objective of providing a place for those fleeing extreme Islamic regimes or corrupt regimes with strong tribal cultures and run on democratic principles with  the four freedoms listed above. There would also have to be internationally funded security forces.

One possible location that seems to me, with very limited information and understanding of the geography, cultures and socio-political systems involved, is on the coast of Tunisia. It has had a chequered history since the Arab Spring, its population is 99% Sunni Islam (same as IS but I suspect the latter is not welcome there) and before the IS attack on UK tourists a few years ago it was a successful tourist centre for westerners. It might be pleased to have the opportunity to host an international project of this kind. Tunisia has an airport at Houmt Souq on Jerba Island in the Gulf of Gabes with rail links to the south and southwest. It also has a seaport so the super communities could be located in the desert terrain nearby, even on the mainland coast, and have good transport links for both people and trade.

Image result for australia
Since the last publication of this post it has occurred to me that Australia has a large northern coastline bounding subequatorial desert. There is also a great deal of advanced infrastructure and transport links. Moreover, the chances of security being a problem are probably less than in N. Africa, the Middle East, Arabia or the Levant.
       
This are just  suggestions to stimulate discussion so please contact me at cosmic.jo@gmail.com if you have ideas or information on this. I hope you feel impelled to act in some way because millions of families and individuals are desperately in need of help.

First steps

How do you get a project like this started and pushed through to the unstoppable phase?  You need to locate, enlist and lead individuals committed to the realization of such a city and having access to finance, resources and relevant contacts, perhaps with experience of crowd funding. People with knowledge, skill and experience in areas such as the following would have to be brought rapidly into play, in many cases aided by software, including AI and expert systems:
  • project control 
  • urban planning and environmental design
  • transportation and design of integrated air, road and rail networks
  • IT and communication infrastructure
  • civil engineering, architecture, urban ergonomics
  •  power engineering, solar thermal technology
  • sewage system design, and water purification
  • permaculture, agriculture and irrigation
  • security against hostile attacks, e.g. from ‘Islamic’ State
This is to give an impression of the range of activities and skills which will have to be initiated and used as quickly as possible because lives are being lost or ruined as countries in the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia experience the real force of evil in and on society.

The types of organization I envisage being involved are: Private individuals (e.g., wealthy philanthropists), large international charities, Churches, think tanks and government departments devoted to international development, universities and private corporations. 

 Apart from the people it is designed to help there could be numerous spin offs:
  • Improving individual, corporate and political relations
  • Technology and expertise gained by the implementation itself
  • Trade opportunities for the countries and companies involved
  • A new tourist destination for the future
  • A centre of R&D expertise for scientists and engineers worldwide
  • inspiration for other green projects around the world
Above all it needs a few committed leaders having the ability, with God’s will, to make it happen.


Immediate action needed: build  new refugee camps and expand the present ones NOW.

People are being uprooted by ISIS in Syria and Iraq who can only be described as under satanic influence, convinced that evil is good and bad is evil, a tendency which is beginning to emerge in the western world as values once held sacred are systematically undermined from within.

Whether you think you believe in the Christian God or you are a modern, decent Muslim  or you believe in some other idea of God, or you are wholly indifferent to the question of God, or if you think there is no God or that you are your own God,  you can’t afford to ignore the plight of these brutally displaced families, even for reasons of self interest or the well being of your children. In the long term the supercity will hopefully deal with the problem of long term migration to Europe and other parts of Christendom (sorry, the West)  brought about not only by aggressive Islamic expansion  but  by tribalism in African nominally Christian countries and the climate change caused mainly by the West, China, India and Japan.

Refugee camps with sound prefabricated houses, electricity,  sanitation and medical facilities are  needed immediately. There is excellent building and infrastructure technology available  as a result of aid undertakings around the world. The Salvation Army and other charities have enormous experience and competence and would be well able to work in cooperation  with the armed forces using their expertise in logistics and providing security for those building the refugee camps and those living in tents while waiting.

Once there are some key decision makers rounding up support and organizing resources I feel sure that money would flow into this international emergency project, which over time would morph into a supercity project.

This is an emergency and one can’t afford to skate around the truth, which is that Christian migrants will be easier to house than Moslems, not because all Moslems are problematic but because it is difficult to tell which ones subscribe to the concept of a democracy. 

If you are someone with expertise, leadership ability, access to resources and relevant contacts, please act NOW to save not only these victims of evil but to help prevent the social disintegration and street violence that could easily become endemic to the comparatively secure,  comfortable,  free and blessed world which westerners  have inhabited in recent decades.

My aim is to find the necessary initiators and put them together with a sense of commitment. I do not want any money or recognition or acknowledgement. Seeing the idea adopted in some way would be its own reward.  Or maybe some individual somewhere will feel called to initiate a project along these lines independently in which case there is no need even to contact me.

If you or your employer want to get involved in some way please send me an e-mail saying how you think you may contribute or even take a lead and I will do my best to start the ball rolling.

John Sears


Sunday, 8 January 2017

God's amazing universe: 1. Space and Time


Prior to the discovery in the 20th century of the Big Bang creation event it had been assumed by people of all faiths that the universe was, is and so always would be eternal. It was not created. It just is. Some still cling to this belief.

Big Bang Star Hyperspace Wars
The only real creation metaphor, story, poem or myth that refers to the universe being created by God, rather than fashioned out of eternally existing chaos by various gods, was Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

According to Hebrew scholars the expression 'the heavens and the earth' is ancient Hebrew for everything, i.e. the universe. It is extraordinary that some 3 thousand years ago the author of Genesis could make this statement and others equally prophetic. He was writing in a pre-science culture. Genesis is not written as a scientific document. It is written poetically and historically to yield, when read with humility and after prayer, divine truths about humankind and its relationship to God.

It is now established by theory and observation that not only did all energy and matter originate from one infinitesimally small point which then expanded at an unimaginably high rate to give us the stars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies which we see today on Hubble photographs, but something else had to be created. Mass and energy cannot exist without somewhere to exist in. They have to have extent; so God provided the three dimensions of space. For things to exist they had to have space to extend in. But for things to happen there needed to be time. Only with coexistent matter, energy, time and space could God bring about humanity and the universe we see today, 13.8 billion years later.

Our space-time realm is well named. Even what sight and touch deem solid, like the wall in front of you or the chair you sit on, is actually ethereal, consisting of well over 99.99% space permeated by configurations of energy. Things have been set up to give us the experience or illusion of living in a solid world. You could call it a stage, as did Shakespeare ('the world is a stage on which every man must play his part').
.
The Oxford Dictionary of Physics defines space as a property of the universe that enables physical phenomena to be extended into 3 mutually perpendicular dimensions. So it is not just an empty expanse. It is a property in the same way as mass and gravity. Like other properties it is a concept or metaphor which allows mathematicians to describe the way the world works and calculate what happens under certain conditions.

The universe is often visualised as the surface of an expanding balloon. This, however, is only a 2-dimensional representation of a 3D space. It  is visualised in this simple way just to show how space expands with time - that is, as the balloon is blown up all positions on its surface get further and further apart. The billions of galaxies etc. of the real universe would be represented here as dots on the balloon's surface. The  start of the Big Bang would correspond to the balloon before it started to be inflated. Our Milky Way galaxy would be one dot and, like all the other dots, could be considered a centre of the universe but not, in any visual sense, the centre. However, as future posts will strongly suggest, we could well be the only centre with conscious observers. If that is the case, then humankind can go back to thinking of itself as the centre of creation.



How fast is this space-time regime expanding? According to the theory of inflation, which is not yet proven and during which all kinds of strange things have been surmised, in the first extremely small fraction of a second it grew from virtually nothing to a diameter of 10 metres. After that it expanded at a lower and slowing rate until about 5 billion years ago it started to accelerate. Today, 13.8 billion years after the creation event, it is expanding faster than light. When Einstein said that nothing can travel faster than light he was talking about entities inside the universe, not the edge of  the theoretically observable universe itself, some 46.5 billion light years from earth in any direction. At this distance the stars are receding faster than the light they emit, so no information from them can reach us.

Recently it was determined that the space which we and everything in our universe inhabit is flat and infinite. All this means is that two parallel lines never meet and the Euclidian geometry  taught at school (e.g. the Pythagoras theorem) is correct on any scale, providing there are no local gravitational fields to bend the space.

The balloon analogy seems to contradict this until you remember that the curvature of the balloon surface does not apply to the real universe for which the balloon is serving only as a 2D simplification so that we can visualise the expansion that continues as time proceeds.


Although space has the mathematical property of being infinite the actual universe has a boundary at 46.5 billion light years (see above).   This boundary is equal in all directions so the universe is spherical even though the space within it is flat in its geometrical properties. Anything setting out from beyond that distance would never reach us and so is beyond any conceivable scientific observation.





John Sears

cosmik.jo@gmail.com











John Sears


I am a layman who follows science. As far as I know the above is factually correct. Please let me know if you find an error or have issues.
cosmik.jo@gmail.com