"You Mis-Described The Singularity!"

November 2, 2018

 

Ben,

Interesting article (God? Or the Big Bang?). I think, however, that your confusion comes from trying to interpret the singularity as a physical thing. What physicists mean when they talk about the singularity is that their equations end up approaching infinity (dividing by zero). This is a sign that the equations aren't sufficient anymore, at least not on those scales. Phrases like "infinite density" are kind of thrown around a bit loosely. They are nothing more than colloquialisms used so that the general population doesn't have to get lost in the math. But the point of the Big Bang Theory is that the universe began a finite time ago rather than being past-eternal. That is all. I personally don't know any physicists who really think the universe existed with zero size and infinite density at some point in the past (and I met quite a few while obtaining my undergraduate degrees in physics and astrophysics). You must be mistaken. 

 

-Lucas

 

Dear Lucas,

 

Thank you for your insights and comments on my work. Our team has talked about this project for almost a year. We value defending the gospel in the various contexts in which it is brought to question. As a philosophical thinker, I recognize that science is often used to test, examine, and even falsify religious claims. Our ministry has in fact used science to do that very thing. It is a very valid and helpful way to do comparative religious work. 

 

The present argument, however, is not like that. In fact, I am not attempting to use science to falsify science, at all. Rather, I am dealing with questions about the viability of our scientific "models." Specifically, we are asking, can these models be construed realistically? Or is their constructability a matter of pure instrumentalism? This is a question which deals with metaphysical interpretations of the discipline of science as a whole. For this reason, the questions I am dealing with are not purely scientific but are also philosophical in their scope.

 

Therefore what follows is a not a systematic point for point engagement with your insights and questions. Rather it is best read as a fly-over. There are, of course, matters which I will specifically address, but most of what follows is meant to deal in generalities with your inquiry. That said, I’ll begin by addressing your descriptions of the standard Big Bang proposal and the spacetime singularity.  

 

Your description of the classical spacetime leads me to wonder whether your views are mainstream. To put it straightforwardly, the standard model is “past incomplete.” There is no sense in which the worldline may be extended indefinitely. I know that you are aware of this due to your scientific background. Therefore, I must confess a certain sense of befuddlement regarding your comments that the singularity never reaches the state of infinite density which is classically predicted on the standard model.

 

In a narrow sense, the infinite quantities of the singularity are found when we divide the time regime prior to the Planck era with the T = 0 at the singularity. Indeed it is this “zero” spacetime which prevents the Big Bang from being construed locally. That is, if the singularity could possess a finite measure, then that measure could be divided and the Big Bang could be said to happen “somewhere” in the early universe. But that is not what the Standard Model teaches. Rather the correct answer to the question of where the Big Bang occurs is that the Big Bang occurs “everywhere.”

 

That is why when J. Richard Gott and James E. Gunn examine the question of "where the Big Bang happens," they write: "...it is not sensible to ask where the big bang took place. The point universe was not an object isolated in space; it was the entire universe, and so the only answer can be that the Big Bang happened everywhere." [1] 

 

In fact, it is this feature of the Standard Model which is able to posit a single, cataclysmic physical event as the sole cause for the expansion of our universe. Put another way, unless the Big Bang happens everywhere, than the Big Bang is simply a cosmic event that occurs out of a previous event-state. But that would lead to self-contradictory conclusions on the standard model because it would necessitate that the worldline in question was simply not maximally extended to begin with, in which case the Big Bang did not occur out of a space time singularity at all, but rather, out of some sort of an earlier primordial vacuum.

 

It is these sorts of problems which cause me to have a difficult time understanding your inquiry. You seem to be describing a model which posits an expansion of our present universe, but not from a singularity, in the classical sense. Of course, such models have been proposed. And I cite such examples in my article. However, as I also note, most of these models cannot escape from the implications of the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem which holds that any universe which exists, on average, in a state of cosmic expansion cannot be geodesically complete in the past, but must have a beginning, at a singularity, a finite time ago.

 

Perhaps it would be helpful to draw up a definition of a singularity from the technical literature. As you know, there is enormous debate over what these objects are. But the most widely agreed upon definition would be the following: “A maximal spacetime is singular if and only if it contains an inextendible path of finite generalized affine length.” [2] Hence a singularity, as you describe it would simply be a contradiction in terms since any point placed on the edge of a classical spacetime that is maximally extended also necessarily lacks a geometrical structure. Otherwise, if it had a geometry, we could still continue the worldline, in which case, the object in question was not a singularity!

 

For this reason, it is hard for me to understand precisely what it is that you are critiquing. To be clear, I am not suggesting that any current scientist "believes" that our universe "actually" began from a state of infinite density. Rather, I am simply pointing out that that is what the Standard Model predicts. Beyond that, I am claiming nothing further except to say that such a model fails to explain the cosmic creation. And, since the Borde-Guth-Vilenkin Theorem holds that any current or future cosmological proposal must ultimately arise from a spacetime singularity, it appears that there is no way to account for the expansion of our present universe by any naturalistic process or means. 

 

Therefore, we must simply admit that (1) we don't know why the universe is expanding, and (2) we don't really know how old it is either. Obviously these conclusions are radically different from what most scientists "believe." But numbers don't really care what we "believe." They work with determining axioms which are self-evident and indubitable (such as zero divided always equals infinity). In the last analysis, that is all that I am arguing.  

 

In closing, thank you Lucas for your interaction with my article. I think that our discussion will be useful for future inquiriers. Let me know if you have any further questions. Godspeed! 

 

In The One True God,

Ben Fischer <><

 

[1]. J. Richard Gott III, James E.  Gunn, David N. Schramm, and Beatrice M. Tinsely, "Will the Universe Expand Forever?" Scientific American, March 1976, 65. 

 

[2]. Earman, J., 1995, Bangs, Crunches, Whimpers, and Shrieks: Singularities and Acausalities in Relativistic Spacetimes, (New York: Oxford University Press), 36.

 


 

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