Not Intelligent Design But A Designer Univers
by Ian R Thorpe
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: science, sctientists, physics, quantum, intelligent, design, designer, universe, black hole, atom, matter, energy, creation, CERN, satire, humour, humor
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The argument over whether the universe has a creator, and who or what that creator might be, is among the oldest in human history and will continue as long as humans have enough free time to consider abstracts. Between all the arguments of believers and sceptics, one possibility is almost always ignored. This is the idea that our universe was created by creatures very similar to ourselves, using devices not too dissimilar to those being used by physicists today.
Like many ideas suggested by theoretical physics, this theory of a created universe involves particle acceleration, the kind of stuff that is being done by the pointy heads of CERN with their super whizzbang in a hole under Switzerland. Before the Large Hadron Collider began operating, a few alarmists worried that it might create a black hole that would swallow the world. That was never likely, although it is possible the device could generate an artificial black hole, it would be too small to swallow an atom, let alone the Earth. Or so the scientists say.
How far can we rely on what the scientists say? One unofficial report to come out of the CERN experiment so far says things are going incredibly well and the team are on the verge of learning that many of the theories about the nature of the universe are being proved correct. Thus, the leaker continued, thanks to the Large Hadron Collider we are on the verge of discovering the secrets of the universe.
Another, equally unofficial report says what has been learned from the results of early atom smashing runs shows most of what we thought we knew about the universe is wrong.
The official word coming from the project is "It will be a long time before we have any reliable data but please give us lots more money now."
It should be pointed out perhaps that the physicists have been on the verge of discovering the secrets of the universe but needed lots more money ever since the CERN project started with the Pathetically Small And Inexpensive Hadron Collider (the JET or Joint European Torus) thirty five years ago
To create a new universe would, in theory, require a particle accelerator only slightly more powerful than the LHC, thus it is possible our own universe may have been manufactured in this way by a race of being similar to ourselves.
The possibility exists two reasons. First, black holes may – as any self respecting Trekkie will know, act as gateways to other regions of space and time and perhaps even between dimensions. Second, because gravity apparently has negative energy, if gravity is the force that holds the universe and all matter together no energy input to make a universe. Despite the colossal amount of energy contained in every atom of matter, it is precisely balanced by the negativity of gravity.
Creating a man made black hole then is a piece of cake, according to Dr. Wouder von Wunderbar's book Quantum Physics for Dummies . Every object has a critical radius, called the Schwarzschild radius, at which its mass will form a black hole. The Schwarzschild radius for the Sun is about two miles, 1/200,000th of its current width; for the Earth to become a black hole, it would have to be squeezed into a ball with a radius of one centimetre. This does tend to discredit Big Bang theory which holds that prior to the cosmic event that caused the universe to happen all the matter contained in the 100 billion galaxies of about 100 billion stars each was compressed into a pellet the size of a rat turd. You would get about eight compressed earths into a rat turd.
The black holes that could be created in a particle accelerator would be far smaller than one created by the sun, tiny masses squeezed into incredibly almost infinitely small volumes. Because of gravity's negative energy however it doesn't matter how small such black holes are: they still have the potential to inflate and expand in their own dimensions (rather than gobbling up our own).
Alan Guth of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology first proposed the now widely accepted idea of cosmic inflation – that the starting point of the Big Bang was far smaller, and its expansion far more rapid, than had been assumed. He has investigated the technicalities of "the creation of universes in the laboratory", and concluded that the laws of physics do make it theoretically possible.
But has it already happened – is our universe a designer universe? To avoid discussion straying from the point we must skirt round the idea of a divine designer monitoring and shaping all aspects of life. Evolution by natural selection, and all the other processes that produced our planet and the life on it, are sufficient to for scientific purposes how we got to be the way we are, given the laws of physics that operate in our universe. The purpose of this article is to look at possibilities (or to be quite honest, from my point of view to ask is it worth spending huge amounts of money to decode the secrets of the universe and discover the meaning of life when we do not actually understand what the universe is.
Modern physics suggests that our universe is one of many, part of a "multiverse" where different regions of space and time may have different properties (the strength of gravity may be stronger in some and weaker in others). If our universe was made by a technologically advanced civilisation in another part of the multiverse, the designer may have been responsible for the Big Bang, but nothing more. In other words just as 'science' claims credit for penicillin which was discovered by accident it would claim credit for designing a universe the creation of which had in fact been the result of things going horribly wrong.
If universes are indeed created by manufacturing black holes – which according to physics is the only way to create a universe – there are three levels at which they might operate. The first is just to make a black hole and see what happens without trying to influence the laws of physics in the new universe. Physicists claim they are nearly at this level.
The second level, for a slightly more advanced civilisation than ours, would involve nudging the baby universes in a certain direction. It might be possible to tweak the black holes in such a way that the force of gravity was a little stronger than in the parent universe, without the designers being able to control exactly how much stronger. Superman, you may recall, came from a high gravity planet which may or may not have been in our universe.
The highest level (all your base are belong us) for a very advanced civilisation, would involve the ability to exercise a very precise level of control over the outcome of the experiment, thereby designing it in detail. This would bring universe farming down to the level of playing a computer game like Civilisation or Second life, solipsism on a grand scale, creating a universe in our own image.
An analogy would be with designer babies. Rather than manipulating DNA to get a perfect child, a scientists might tinker with the laws of physics to get a perfect universe. Importantly however, it would not be possible for the designers of these universes to interfere with their babies once they had formed. From the moment of its own Little Bang, each universe would be on its own.
The intelligence needed to do all this may be a tad superior to ours or perhaps even far superior if we look objectively at our dysfunctional world through the eyes of pragmatists rather than the distorting mirror of science, but it would be similar to our own, i.e. not smart enough to figure if a thing works only a bunch of idiots would have to pull it apart to find out how it worked without being sure they could put it back together. In other words a humanoid intelligence rather than that of an infinite and incomprehensible God. And the most likely reason for such an intelligence to make universes is the same for doing things like climbing mountains, or studying the nature of subatomic particles – because we can. A civilisation that has the technology to make baby universes would surely find the temptation irresistible. Thus would the universe makers run up against the bane of all scientists, unintended consequences.
The irresistible compulsion of a certain type of human mindset to meddle with things that are highly dangerous and not well understood was a puzzle Albert Einstein used to raise, that "the most incomprehensible thing about the Universe is that it is comprehensible". On the other hand we must remember that an implement as simple as a comb was incomprehensibe to Einstein so perhaps we should best ignore him.
The people at CERN and the rival project at MIT believe the universe is comprehensible to the human mind because they have managed to delude themselves it runs according to mathematical principles. Therefore they reason, it was designed by intelligent beings with minds similar to our own. The possibility scientists can never entertain is that the universe is because it works. If we accept that all of our physics relies on measuring and classifying things such as time and distance which have no meaning to the universe where only infinity and eternity are relevant, that when we think of our universe as being bounded by the shockwave emanating from the Big Bang that has been travelling from its central point (the universal rat turd) to the outer limits of space at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second) for 13+ billion earth years, distance becomes meaningless.
Now if you ask a physicist what surrounded the rat turd before Big Bang the answer you are most likely to get is nothing. "What, just empty space?" you might well ask only to be told,
"No, all the space and time were compressed with all the matter in the cosmic rat turd."
Space cannot possibly be compressed of course and neither can time so all the physicists arguments along with their claims to have a monopoly on logic and reason fall down right there.
The great British astronomer Fred Hoyle said the laws of physics were so uniquely conducive to human existence that the universe must be "a put-up job". Hoyle was right of course, the laws of physics were created by humans for the same reason as the creation myths of all religions, to make some kind of sense of our existence. The great tragedy of the human race it that we have advanced to a point at which we are in a position to destroy ourselves and all we have done and yet like the most primitive true humans we are still compelled to invent stories to explain our being. The tragedy does not stop there however. Having invented the stories, either creation myths or 'the laws of physics' we are prepared to go to war or expend vast energy and resources in order to prove the fantasies are true. Why can't we accept that the reason it exists is it works.
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