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Discussion 1 to Talk Back 83
These are boundary conditions in the universe

by: Gord Barker

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You are asking a series of open ended questions phrased in a dichotomous form that assumes that a quick, glib answer is possible. When dealing with difficult topics like the beginning or end of time or other universes, absolute statements that the situation is one way or another cannot be made. Within the sphere of religious belief however, these absolute statements are made all the time, which highlights one of the major differences between these two thought processes.

Take your first question, “who created God”. This assumes, for example, that you are ruling out natural processes. If you can say “who” did this, then who created that entity and so forth. (Back to the “turtles all the way down” argument). To a logical non-believer this question makes no sense, and to a believer with the accompanying absolute frame of reference, then this question doesn’t need to be asked.

Likewise the question about the Big Bang is a nonsense question since this event is a point of reference created by our own mathematics that helps us explore the high energy physics that were apparently in place around the time the universe was created. We make no claim that the Big Bang actually happened, in fact there are many theories about this, like the Big Bounce, the entire range of multiverse theories, steady state, etc. The process could be cyclical moving between a Big Bang and a Big Crunch. If you consider Hawking’s Imaginary Time theory, the cyclical Big Crunch/Big Bang points may never actually occur.

Statements like “the universe created itself” is a difficult concept to accept since we have no experiments that show spontaneous activities. There has always been a cause, so claiming there are events that do not have a cause calls for extraordinary proof, not a sound byte.

“Time has always existed”. Well, maybe. The jury is still out on that one. See Hawking again about his imaginary time theories.

“Something outside of time caused time into existence”. So here you have declared that time is finite and bounded by either some unspecified time boundary or by some unspecified spatial boundary, created an entity who can create time and decides to (for an unspecified reason) . I am an entity and my wife says that occasionally, I operate outside of time, but I don’t know how to create it, so I can’t even begin to understand the characteristics of this guy or how he/she/it/they were created. Apply Occam’s razor to this an you should probably come to the conclusion that your answer is a nonsense statement.

The problem with these types of question/answer arguments is that you are dealing with concepts that involve boundary conditions in the universe. This is an area that our models don’t cover well (surprise, surprise). The only approach to this type of question is mathematical and to convert the math into simple English to apply classical logic and argument to will get you nowhere fast. In addition, you are arguing with one of the faithful who will not apply rigorous experiment and mathematics to their belief system. I know of no experiment that shows any indication of a supernatural entity existing in the known universe.

If you tell me he’s hiding in a Level I multiverse more than a Hubble’s volume away so that we can’t see him, I will probably begin to think you are pulling my leg.