Some Big Bang Questions to Bake Your Noodle
The trouble with beginnings and ends is that they literally can’t exist
As I sat there drinking my cappuccino, a twenty-three-year-old Ph.D. student started explaining how scientists knew for sure that the universe was expanding.
Her explanation included theories like bending space and was so utterly complex that I couldn’t understand most of it.
And I thought, surely we don't need PhDs to work out some shit for ourselves.
Questions of Space
For the universe to be expanding (please correct me if I am wrong here), it would need to have both a center and an edge.
By an edge, I mean there would have to be a point where the universe has ‘gotten to’ so far. In other words, there would need to be more space for it to expand into. And, if that new space is there, what makes it not a part of the current universe?
There would also have to be a center because expansion has to occur from out of a point, right?
When I blow up a balloon, it has to expand from the deflated balloon outward. The balloon gets bigger based on the distance from the center to the outside.
If there is no center, there is no way of measuring the size, and thus, no increase in size means no expansion. Excuse me if I miss something here.
This is what I mean when I say beginning and ends can’t exist.
For something to begin, there has to be something before it; otherwise, it is infinite.
For something to end, there has to be something else after it. Otherwise, it is infinite.
And, if there is something else before or after it, it’s not a beginning or an end, is it?
Let us assume that there is a centre of the universe.
Where is that centre? Is it the Statue of Liberty, The Big Pineapple in Queensland, Australia, or the downstairs toilet in the West wing of the Kardashian's mansion? What is the exact centre point of the universe out of which everything is expanding? Do we think that Earth is the centre of the universe, out of which everything is expanding?
Questions of Interdependence
You couldn’t have been born without your Mother and Father.
They couldn’t have been born without their parents, and they couldn’t have been born without their and…
Well, you get the picture. How far back does the chain go?
Since you were ‘born’, all that has entered your body is oxygen, food, and water. The fact that you have grown considerably in size means your entire body is made up of those external elements. Without the air, the water, the food, you wouldn’t exist. The air couldn’t exist without the trees, which can’t exist without water and soil. Soil can’t exist without rocks and the wind.
If you look closely enough, each of these chains of reliance goes on and on and on. You cannot say at some stage ‘…and this was where the chain started.’ These chains apply to both time and space and are never-ending.
If your mind could fathom it, you would find that everything is dependant on everything itself for its very existence.
Take one thing out of the chain — from a billion galaxies away or a billion years back, and you wouldn’t exist — nothing would.
But what is really going to bake your noodle is that if you weren’t a part of that chain, nothing else in the universe could exist. Or, to put it another way, if you didn’t exist, there could be nothing else in the universe whatsoever. The entire universe is reliant on your existence for its existence.
So, given that nothing can exist without everything else, there is not a single object that could have arisen without everything else already being in existence.
If everything else had to exist for anything to appear, how could there ever have been nothing?
Of course, if you look at the universe as something more relative, like a solar system or a galaxy, it’s not hard to prove that this is expanding.
But doesn’t the word universe imply ‘one — uni’?
Doesn’t it imply the whole — everything?
Just because I blow up a balloon does that mean you can look at the balloon expanding and assume the whole universe is expanding? I’m not trying to say here that scientists don’t know what they are talking about.
But I often believe that if you can’t explain an idea in layman’s terms, it’s probably gone through quite a few hoops and wires to make it work.
It also feels like humans are the equivalent of an ant sitting on a leaf trying to work out what the earth is.
We still seem obsessed with this idea of beginnings and ends, while we believe infinity is a ‘supernatural’ concept.
I think we have got this the wrong way around. We are so stoned on the idea of relativity that infinity seems impossible.
But if you think logically, infinity is a much more rational concept than the idea that the universe began at some point. We don’t need a lab and millions of dollars of corporate funding to tell us that.