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Thread: The Grand Design

  1. #1

    Default The Grand Design

    Just finished reading it. It was great. Here is a good excerpt from it:

    In the early universe- when the universe was small enough to be governed by both general relativity and quantum theory- there were effectively four dimensions of space and none of time. That means that when we speak of the ?beginning? of the universe, we are skirting the subtle issue that as we look backwards towards the very early universe, time as we know it does not exist! We must accept that our usual ideas of space and time do not apply to the very early universe. That is beyond our experience, but not beyond our imagination, or our mathematics. If in the early universe all four dimensions behave like space, what happens to the beginning of time?
    The realization that time can behave like another direction of space means that one can get rid of the problem of time having a beginning, in a similar way in which we got rid of the edge of the world. Suppose the beginning of the universe was like the South Pole of the earth, with degrees of latitude playing the role of time. As one moves north, the circles of constant latitude, representing the size of the universe, would expand. The universe would start as a point at the South Pole, but the South Pole is much like any other point. To ask what happened before the beginning of the universe would become a meaningless question, because there is nothing south of the South Pole. In this picture space-time has no boundary- the same laws of nature hold at the South Pole as in other places. In an analogous manner, when one combines the general theory of relativity with quantum theory, the question of what happened before the beginning of the universe is rendered meaningless. This idea that histories should be closed surfaces without boundary is called the no boundary condition.
    Over the centuries many, including Aristotle, believed that the universe must have always existed in order to avoid the issue of how it was set up. Others believed the universe had a beginning, and used it as an argument for the existence of God. The realization that time behaves like space presents a new alternative. It removes the age-old objection to the universe having a beginning, but also means that the beginning of the universe was governed by the laws of science and doesn?tneed to be set in motion by some god.

  2. #2
    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Grand Design

    The idea of a unified theory being a natural condition when the universe was small is interesting. As far as the "beginning," I have long believed that time is infinite in both directions. It is easy for someone to conceive of an endless future, but for some reason people have trouble with an endless (i.e. no beginning) past. To me, it's just not that complicated.
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  3. #3

    Default Re: The Grand Design

    Where you been Spider? I was starting to think you took your gift certificate and ran to a basketball site!!

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Grand Design

    A religious scientist would argue that the "Laws of Science" were created by God

    Coachsparky, I hope you don't mind if I ask you a personal question. I know you have strong religious beliefs of your own. However, a lot of your postings- as well as your signature- lean towards debunking religion. What's up with that?

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    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Grand Design

    Quote Originally Posted by quinn14 View Post
    Where you been Spider? I was starting to think you took your gift certificate and ran to a basketball site!!
    No way, Quinn. I sold my dental practice and am working as an employee for the purchaser. We've been very busy with the transition merging our two practices, and I haven't had much time during the day to log on.
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  6. #6

    Default Re: The Grand Design

    Quote Originally Posted by Spider View Post
    No way, Quinn. I sold my dental practice and am working as an employee for the purchaser. We've been very busy with the transition merging our two practices, and I haven't had much time during the day to log on.
    Not sure whether to say congratulations or not. Let me just say good luck and I hope it all works out.

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    Ancient Arachnid Spider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quinn14 View Post
    Not sure whether to say congratulations or not. Let me just say good luck and I hope it all works out.
    Definitely congratulations. It will allow me to ease into retirement gradually and be free of administrative responsibilities. So far I'm very happy with it.
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  8. #8

    Default Re: The Grand Design

    Quote Originally Posted by arm-spin View Post
    A religious scientist would argue that the "Laws of Science" were created by God

    Coachsparky, I hope you don't mind if I ask you a personal question. I know you have strong religious beliefs of your own. However, a lot of your postings- as well as your signature- lean towards debunking religion. What's up with that?
    No arm-spin, not debunking "religion" but debunking the narrow, close minded religion of the bigots who believe that the Bible is the one and only word of God. It is actually the words of men interpreting their impressions of what they believe the God of their limited understanding wanted at the time. True religion allows a person to grow.
    Last edited by coachsparky; 03-15-2011 at 12:54 PM.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator UGLY's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Grand Design

    Of course sparky is vastly intellectually superior to the majority of the world, so he has a full and flawless understanding of all things spiritual and religious

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