Cosmology

Vid: The prequel to the Big Bang?

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A friend points to a popular overview of current ideas in theoretical physics on pre-Big Bang cosmology, check out “What Happened Before the Big Bang?” a recent episode of the BBC’s Horizon series.

It’s on YouTube in six parts, featuring Michio Kaku, Neil Turok, Lee Smolin, Andre Linde, Roger Penrose, and Laura Mersini-Hougton.

What do you think? Is this science or wishful thinking?

See also:

More demolition teams trying to blow up the Big Bang

Big Bang exploded?: Seriously, is there room for reasonable skepticism about the Big Bang?

For Roger Penrose: “When I say it, it’s science; when he says it, it’sreligion!

For Lee Smolin: Can the laws of physics evolve?

and

Like clouds in our coffee … all these other universes

For Neil Turok: So Stephen Hawking is coming to Canada, sort of

18 Replies to “Vid: The prequel to the Big Bang?

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Made it to the first couple of minutes into part II before I had to shut the video off.,,, Should they not look to a known entity that is transcendent of space-time matter-energy to explain the origination of space-time matter energy instead of postulate unsubstantiated conjectures??? Such as the entity the entity we deal with in ID,, Information???

    notes:

    Quantum teleportation is direct empirical validation for the primary tenet of the Law of Conservation of Information (i.e. ‘transcendent’ information cannot be created or destroyed). This conclusion is warranted because information exercises direct dominion of energy, telling energy exactly what to be and do in the experiment. Thus, this experiment provides a direct line of logic that transcendent information cannot be created or destroyed and, in information demonstrating transcendence, and dominion, of space-time and matter-energy, becomes the only known entity that can satisfactorily explain where all energy came from as far as the origination of the universe is concerned. That is transcendent information is the only known entity which can explain where all the matter-energy space-time came from in the Big Bang without leaving the bounds of empirical science as the postulated multiverse does, or any other materialistic based postulates leave the bounds of empirical science. Clearly anything that exercises ‘transcendent’ dominion of the fundamental entity of this physical universe, a photon of energy, as transcendent information does in teleportation, must of necessity possess the same, as well as greater, qualities as energy is shown to possess by the first law of thermodynamics (i.e. Energy cannot be created or destroyed by any known material means according to the first law). To reiterate, since transcendent information exercises dominion of energy in quantum teleportation then all information that can exist, for all past, present and future events of energy, already must exist.

    etc.. etc.. etc..

  2. 2
    Ilion says:

    from the first video “… It all depends upon how you “definve” ‘nothing.’

    Oh, indeed! If you “define” ‘nothing’ to mean ‘something,’ then the problem surely goes away. As in, it is swept under the rug.

  3. 3
    Ilion says:

    … or, to put it another way, when you “define” ‘true’ to mean ‘false’ and/or ‘false’ to mean ‘true,’ you can “solve” *any* problem.

  4. 4
    toc says:

    I’ve heard it said that “nothing” is not a thing, nor is it the name of anything; it is merely a way of saying, of anything, that it is not something else.

  5. 5
    bornagain77 says:

    OT, Premier Christian TV has a new video up on C.S. Lewis’s Narnia:

    Narnia exclusive!
    http://www.premier.tv/

  6. 6
    Bantay says:

    Good grief! I seem to recall that Mr. Kaku was featured in a Fox News interview, one of those who were so excited about the supposed certainly of life on other planets, or at least any planet that has water..or rocks…but seemingly lacking the hundreds of other precisely defined parameters that must be met for even simple life to exist (obviously, an easily overlooked scientific fact)

    Hmmmm…..somebody needs to read Gonzalez and Richard’s book, “The Privileged Planet”…..ahem….Mr. Michio Kaku…..

  7. 7
    bornagain77 says:

    “Coincidentally’, I just put this on facebook:

    Many
    people think the Privileged Planet Principle only addresses the extreme
    rarity of the conditions necessary for life on earth. This video shows
    there is another level of ‘privileged observation’ on top of rarity,
    that makes the earth ‘extraordinary’ in this universe:

    The Privileged Planet Principle – Gonzalez And Richards
    http://www.tangle.com/view_vid.....777fc2d67a

  8. 8
    bornagain77 says:

    Better link for the Gonzalez And Richards video

    http://www.vimeo.com/9170374

  9. 9
    Heinrich says:

    What do you think? Is this science or wishful thinking?

    Having watches the whole programme, I’m curious to know why you think anyone might not think this was science.

    Oh, indeed! If you “define” ‘nothing’ to mean ‘something,’ then the problem surely goes away. As in, it is swept under the rug.

    Not really – he explains what he means in the second part. It’s still ‘nothing’ but a different sort of ‘nothing’. I suspect there may be a more technical problem behind this, but they didn’t have time to explain it.

  10. 10
    bornagain77 says:

    OT; this site looks to have some very interesting videos on it, some dealing with the beginning of the universe:

    http://www.closertotruth.com/

  11. 11
    UrbanMysticDee says:

    I debated with someone a few days ago about what Krauss, Hawking, and Linde say happened “before” the Big Bang. Standing on the shoulders of commenters before me I reiterate my point re: Krauss:

    If you define “nothing” to mean “quantum fluctuations in empty space” then Borde-Vilenkin-Guth Theorem still says all inflating space-times have to have an absolute beginning in the finite past.

  12. 12
    Bantay says:

    Bornagain, thanx for posting the links to the Privileged Planet videos.

    You know, I wonder when the proverbial “they” will figure it out.

    I mean….Carl Sagan said (whoops) that there must be “millions” of inhabited planets. Strange how out of the hundreds of extra solar planets that have been found, none have the just right parameters for even simple life to exist. In other words, none of those hundreds of extrasolar planet are “earth-like”.

    I just wonder how many non-earth-like extrasolar planet discoveries it will take for the consensus to admit that earth is unique? 20 more? 100? 10,000 more?

    Or when will science popularizers finally admit that there are more requirements needed than just water or a rocky planet(finely tuned at that) for even simple life to exist?

    Or is rare-earth a consensus view already, but just not publicized?

  13. 13
    bornagain77 says:

    Bantay,

    I have also often wondered when ‘they’ will ‘figure it out. And not from just the ‘Privileged Planet Principle’,,,

    Privileged Planet – Observability Correlation – Richards & Gonzalez – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/5424431/

    ,,, but from all the other lines of overwhelming evidence for design in the universe, from the largest scale, to the smallest scale, to everything in between (especially the staggering levels of design found in life),,,

    Intelligent Design – The Anthropic Hypothesis
    http://lettherebelight-77.blog.....is_19.html

    ,,, perhaps the truth of the reality of a infinite God Who cares for us is just much much to wonderful for ‘them’ to believe to be true? And yet as ‘too wonderful’ as it is, it is none-the-less as true as can be. In fact ‘God’ can ‘scientifically be shown to be the ‘source’ of truth. 🙂 ,,, I really have no clue as to the resistance some of ‘them’ put up to the overwhelming evidence we now have for Design. Surely not even a hundred years ago the evidence for God was not nearly as great as it is now, yet I firmly believe that our forefathers, even with such lack of overwhelming evidence as we now have,,, they were much more prudent to seriously consider the guidelines that God has laid down through Christ and to order their lives, and society, to accord as such. And indeed I firmly believe our nation benefited greatly through such ordering. ,,, but as to why men would refuse such a great witness is beyond me,,, truly I find pondering the many mysteries of quantum mechanics to be easier to understand than such stubbornness from supposedly ‘rational’ men as to refuse to believe what has been made clearly evident to them.,

  14. 14
    Bantay says:

    Bornagain77

    You said..

    “I find pondering the many mysteries of quantum mechanics to be easier to understand than such stubbornness from supposedly ‘rational’ men as to refuse to believe what has been made clearly evident to them.”

    Similarly, I find it sad that intelligent people, without a shred of positive evidence, go to great lengths to deny that God exists but are eager to believe that nature has God-like attributes. In other words, they deny miracles, while affirming that nature does the miraculous.

  15. 15
    tyke says:

    Strange how out of the hundreds of extra solar planets that have been found, none have the just right parameters for even simple life to exist. In other words, none of those hundreds of extrasolar planet are “earth-like”.

    I just wonder how many non-earth-like extrasolar planet discoveries it will take for the consensus to admit that earth is unique? 20 more? 100? 10,000 more?

    Bantay, the reason we haven’t found any “earth-like” planets yet is because we don’t yet have the technology that can find them.

    The vast majority of the exoplanets discovered up till this point are far more massive than Earth, and thus are far easier to detect, especially when they orbit extremely close to their host star (which many of them do).

    The first instrument with a realistic chance of discovering a “earth-like” exoplanet (i.e. similar in mass, size and orbit to Earth is Kepler), but even then Kepler is bound to discover many times more gas giants and otherwise larger and more massive exoplanet because of the simple fact that they are far easier to detect in the first place.

    It could be up to another couple of years before we know whether Kepler has spotted an “earth-like” exoplanet, because they need to detect three separate transits of a planet across the face of the star before they can confirm it’s existence, and those transits are necessarily months apart, since anything quicker will be too close to the star to be considered earth-like.

    Thus no one can make any claims as to the prevalence of Earth-like planets in the Milky Way yet, and maybe not for many more years to come. What is true is that we are detecting large planets (the ones we are able to find so far) almost everywhere we look, so there is every reason to believe that we will also find plenty of Earth-like planets once we have that capability.

    Whether or not they harbor life is another matter entirely, but I would be very surprised if they didn’t even exist.

  16. 16
    Bantay says:

    Tyke @ 15

    You said….

    “the reason we haven’t found any “earth-like” planets yet is because we don’t yet have the technology that can find them.”

    I guess opinions vary, and that’s a good thing. For me, I tend to think that “earth-like” means a planet that is able to or presently supporting life. Life is after all, earth’s most distinguishing characteristic is it not?

    It seems to me that those who are holding out hope for life on other planets (or habitable planets) are doing so on faith that those planets exist, and/or that life exists on those planets…not because there is any positive evidence for such planets or other life.

    I wonder then, based on your comments…What will happen in another 3 to 30 years if no habitable exo-planet is found? Will there be somebody to claim that “we just need to wait yet another 3 to 30 years..” or “we just need even better technology….”

    When do we stop making excuses and admit that if the universe appears to be designed for human life on one planet…that it really is?

  17. 17
    tyke says:

    I guess opinions vary, and that’s a good thing. For me, I tend to think that “earth-like” means a planet that is able to or presently supporting life. Life is after all, earth’s most distinguishing characteristic is it not?

    That’s not too far off the mark from the usual meaning, and that is exactly what the Kepler mission is designed to do — find “earth-like” planets — rocky worlds that orbit within the habitable zone of other stars.

    When do we stop making excuses and admit that if the universe appears to be designed for human life on one planet…that it really is?

    But again, saying we don’t yet have the technology to find these tiny “earth-like” worlds many light years away isn’t an excuse, it’s simply a fact.

    Some people claimed that the Kuiper Belt was just a myth because we hadn’t found anything out there in the 50 years since it was first hypothesized, but the simple fact was that we didn’t have telescopes powerful enough to find anything out there. Today we do, and we have racked up over 1,000 KBO’s so far.

    The same goes (only even more so) for finding ‘earth-like’ exoplanets. It’s a technological marval that we can even detect massive Jupiter-sized planets from many light years away–something we have only been able to do for about 15 years. Detecting Earth-like planets is at least an order of magnitude harder than that.

    Kepler is the first ever mission with a realistic chance of finding an “earth-like” exoplanet, and it need at least another year of observations before any detection can be confirmed, and that’s if the spacecraft continues to perform at optimum capacity.

    So we’re a long way from giving up on detecting other earth-like planets, even if Kepler fails to detect one, which is quite possible.

    Thus it’s way too premature to claim that the hunt has failed — it’s barely gotten underway.

    Of course there would come a point when if no earth-like planets continue to be found, the astronomers would have admit failure, but it’s far too early in the game for that.

    Let me ask you — what if Kepler finds one rocky “earth-like” planet next year that is theoretically capable of supporting life? What then? What does that do to your own hypothesis that Earth is the only planet in the whole Universe capable of supporting life?

    It would seem that your position is the one that is far more likely to be disproved — possibly within months.

  18. 18
    Bantay says:

    Tyke @ 17

    I guess it is a matter of definition of terms. Some consider a rocky planet that otherwise cannot support life to be “earth-like”, while I tend to consider “earth-like” to have the finely-tuned characteristics that even simple life requires…as opposed to some lifeless rock in space.

    Does the term “earth-like” inspire hope in little green men? Or do some prefer the term “earth-like” because, if such a planet was found, it would prove that the earth is not the biological center of the universe?

    Can’t the term “earth-like” also refer to a planet that has the required, finely tuned parameters for even simple life to exist?

    Nobody holds a monopoly on the term “earth-like”. Rather than front-load the term “earth-like” to mean just any rock in space (and for that term to imply that there is life on those rocks, when no positive evidence clearly demonstrates it), we should define other planets according to their life-supportability, then let the philosophers duke it out on what the implications of what the science has discovered.

    To answer your question, if Kepler found a rocky planet, I would not immediately jump to the conclusion that it was “earth-like”, or more specifically, “life supporting”.

    After all, there is no good reason to believe that any newly found planet that is life-support capable must have life on it necessarily.

    Additionally, we don’t even have a working theory for a naturalistic origin of life on earth. It is simply disingenuous to remove the problem to some other planet where it cannot be investigated without a thousand additional years of technological advance, if only to protect a naturalistic explanation from critique.

    Next, I would wish to ask those in the know “Does it have the hundreds of other finely-tuned characteristics that even simple life requires?”. If the answer was “no”, then it would seem to strengthen the case of earth’s unique place in the universe as the center of biological activity.

    After all, as long as the number of planets that are duds for life-support are found (which is the way the trend appears today), it seems to weaken the case for those who erroneously appeal to the “vastness” of space and Sagan’s hoped for “millions” of inhabited planets.

    In any case, my position, is that there are multiple levels of evidence that the universe is designed, and that earth is designed for intelligent life to observe, comprehend and enjoy the environment in which it lives. I’m glad you believe it is a falsifiable position…at least as falsifiable as other scientific theories.

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