Friday, September 18, 2009

Occam's Razor

Occam's Razor put simply states: "when you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better."

So, the most predominate theory today to explain the impossible knife-edge odds of the cosmological constant being what it is, and for the universe and life to exist as it does, is the Multiverse theory. A multitude of universes exist, all with differing physical laws to cover the gamut of chances that one so finely tuned as ours could exists.

How does this stack up against a theory of God's existence? I really don't see how God is any more complex a theory than an explanation of multiverses where all existences must exist.

First of all, if you have a case such as our universe where it is "so" finely-tuned, with the incredible odds, then bizarre events with much more favorable odds than the cosmological constant should exist as well. Goodness, what events would those be? Dream up just about anything and the odds would be more favorable. How about something like maybe anti-gravity rules the universe every second Tuesday of the month (move over Microsoft), or everything thing starts spinning backwards for no reason at all, or something really simple like atomic bonds no longer bond.

Or God.

The point is which is the simpler explanation? The simpler explanation is not always correct, but it is the course suggested by Occam's Razor. Certainly the route of the scientist is to follow the empirical, I can understand that, and there may seem to be not much empirical about God (I may disagree) but what do we have in hand to show proof of a multiverse? It could be an explanation. That's it. The same could be said of God.

For a multiverse to exist, than it must also be that the timeline of our lives radiate out with every passing moment in all directions, and every choice, breath, and flutter of an atom, creates a new time-line, and a new reality, a new you, a new world, that exists from that moment on along with all other possible moments. Is this some how more acceptable or more likely than God?

It seems to me that in a universe as ours where there is such precision, and order, where there is not otherwise an array of bizarre events that baffle the mind, "God", of some sort, is the better explanation. An intelligent cosmos. If you wish, "Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." Frankly, I think there is evidence for God or some form of an intelligent cosmos. We recognize this evidence when we are awed by the interconnectedness, the order, the odds that all of this presents. (Please, I am in no way speaking of the intelligent design movement [which isn't])

Listen. It has taken the likes of history's greatest minds and scientists to figure out how small portions of the universe works! They ought to be the first to understand that they are the students of a greater mind, or entity if you will. There is a reason why there is beauty and elegance in a working successful equation. Who is this professor above all? I don't quite know, but I think we would do well to listen, and learn the lesson plan, and understand that the structure of the cosmos is a whole lot smarter than us.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009



Emmy was the newest. They all had similar interests. At least a connection of interests, somewhere along the way. Kinda like "A" relates to "B" and "E" and "F"; "F" relates to "C" and "B"; "D" relates to "A" and "F"; "B" relates to "D". All very confusing to figure out, but the inter-connections were there and worked in the real world. Kind of a 9 degrees of separation kinda thing.

Emmy knew Taylor, Taylor knew Emmy and Kate, and of course Kate knew everyone but Emmy. Hey, it all worked. They were all friends.

Of course there were rules. Rules of etiquette. Never be overbearing, or make it too long. Don't go too deep. Forget religion, avoid politics...the killer of friends. Keep it light and airy. Don't stir the pot, or trouble the waters.

But then it happened. Someone broke the rules. Ducked below the surface. Discovered there was more underneath than above. It was thought to be Marta who Kate had brought into the group early on. Yes, it was Marta.

This, of course, brought up a disturbance; a disruption in the proper order of things. The cohesion of the group was threatened. A break-up seemed emanate. A crisis was at hand. Accusations flew back and forth. But Kate, diplomatic Kate, managed to calm things a bit. Talk things down. She was trusted. Slowly arguing was quieted and discussion ensued. Logic was the way to deal with this she said. There was only two possible solutions. One, reform Marta. Bring her back to the surface. Two, ban Marta, de-friend her and let her go.

But Emmy, the neophyte, realized a third way. "There is a third way." Emmy said, "What if we dropped below the surface too? Maybe Marta's right. Maybe there is more worth seeing!"

Well this was near blasphemy! Everyone knew what would happen. The cohesion would be torn apart! Friendships would dissolve. Conflicts would reign. "Not if we did it together! As a group! As friends!" said Emmy. They treaded the same waters for a great long time, but eventually, one by one they came around. It would be a new challenge. An adventure. And what was life if not an adventure? And what was adventure without a bit of risk?

Thus, my friends, they grasped each other's hands, gently at first, then with great firmness, and dropped below the surface.

Oh, the places you'll go, the things that you'll see....

1 Friends Request........1 Phonebook Request
1 Friends for life Request.......17 Other Requests

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

In the Fields of Abraham

Into the fields of Abraham we ventured forth
Unawares of who we were
Or where we were
Or from whence we had sprung
Ignorant even of our purpose there.

The glory fields of our Father, forgotten!
By His own hand.
Wayward children were we, and yet remain.
Washed upon the shores of a new dream
Pure and innocent and clean.

We had not fallen; we had not scuffed our knee,
We had humbled ourselves to test our legs.
We were to create anew, but knew that not,
So we felt our way, and therein lays our glory.

We felt the summer breeze among the cottonwoods
And watched their glory fill the air
With a wintry scene.
We quenched our thirst from sparkling rivers
And rejoiced in the warmth of the Sun
With other creatures.

Some grew confused in their lack of knowledge
Some rejoiced in its wonderments
Some souls lost their vision
Others did not.

The Sun yet shines, the snows still fall
The mountains are still there to be climbed
And the deserts to be crossed.
Time still remains, the final chapter not yet written.

Linger a while, do not go too quickly,
Though our visit be brief.

It is harvest time in the fields of Abraham.
Gather up the good grains, gather the warm winds,
Nourish yourself.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kicking a finely-tuned can down the road

We live within the context of our own lives. Properly done, this is not a bad thing. It is perhaps the best thing we can do. Perhaps it is what we are meant to do. But there is more.

For there to be life on Earth, there is an infinite number of things that must be just so. If any one of these things, these properties, are altered, we would not be. Say, the dynamo within our planet that sets up a shield that keeps solar radiation at bay, or Jupiter where it is, our helper, collector of the solar systems rocky flying debris, or the properties of water-ice. Finely-tuned. But this is nothing!

For life to exist, the universe must exist. In fact life may not be the point at all. For the universe to exist, the laws of physics must be in place and favorable. There is a thing called the cosmological constant, a number, a formula, that describes an unknown factor that keeps the stars in place. If off in the least, all of what we know, planet, stars, galaxies, the universe itself, would fall in on itself in a instant, and we never would have been. This number is such a knife-edge, the odds of its being just so is an impossible number; one of those "10s to the power of" with thousands of zeros after it. Finely-tuned.

Tis trivial! For the big bang, the birth of the universe, to have happened, take this impossible number and make it seem as an ant crawling on a star. "This" knife-edge number is beyond belief! Something like a trillion zeros. Finely-tuned.

And so what do scientist say? Well, there are some possibilities here. 1) it is all in place by accident. Their conclusion to this is that the numbers are so incredible that to be by accident is just absurd! 2) Design. Their conclusion is rejection because they see no designer. Someone turning all the knobs, I guess. 3)Necessity. Rejection because they see no underlying universal law to make it so. 4)Multiverse. The idea that this is but one of an infinite number of universes, from perhaps an infinite number of big bangs, or not, an thus all possible universes exist, all trying out differing laws of physics, and by chance we are the goof-ball that has the right laws for life to arise. But there must be an infinite variety here to cover every instance of chance, so we exist in other universes as well, living Baazaro lives, doppelgangers if you will. Any possible scenario you can think of exists somewhere in this multi-plexing reality. (Hmm, so God must exist somewhere, and Martha Stewart really is the anti-Christ somewhere)...Most scientist now think this to be the case.

But one of them pointed out that this is just kicking the can down the road, like the idea that life on Earth came from Mars on a fragment of flying rock. But where did life on Mars come from? Thus the idea of multi-verses wilts when one realizes that to make the big bang, the birth-father of all these multiverses, a single set of physical laws must be in place. And likewise, how did this set of laws arise.

Here is my humble, infinitely insignificant, opinion:
A mix of necessity, and God. The first is easy, the second a bit tougher. If it weren't by necessity, it wouldn't be here. The words random and chance simply indicate a situation where all the variables are too complex to understand the development of the result. As mind boggling as this is, the simple fact is, "it", existence, exists. Why God? A personal bias I suppose, but for necessity to happen I feel there must be a basis of logic, reason, and meaning. Meaning runs smack into the God issue. For us "meaning" can only be met and grasped within the context of our own lives. To grasp the grand meaning is probably beyond our capacity; which leads me to our view of God.

To my mind we have on occasion, every now and then, an experience of God. At least many people do; not all. During these events we open a door and find that piece of the sacred within us, and are connected to the experience of the divine "All", our greater Self. It is a stunning experience of spiritual beauty. What we take away from this experience says a lot about us and our context. Many will interpret and misinterpret this experience through the flavors of their lives. In the context of a certain religious faith, perhaps the arts, perhaps science. The point being it is my belief that we do not understand what God is. We view him through the context of our lives; but we are ants looking at a rocket. I think we could do better. Understand more. We must do this by erasing what we think we know, opening up our eyes, and seeing anew. What exactly "is" God. We need to look at what is before us. See what is there for us to see, as best we can, and expand our vision as science has done over the ages; as the universe itself is doing this very moment.

Look how far we have come in science. It seems to me science is now bumping into a barrier. The barrier of its own context. What is on the other side? Necessity? Meaning of some sort? A new form of science where awe is a variable and beauty an attribute? Let us see if we can find a new door to open, and take a peek through.
Perhaps this is all the more true for religion.