The Big Bang Singularity

I recently started following a very talented poet/writer. I don’t recall how I came across his blog, but I have really enjoyed his posts. I was particularly intrigued by one of his newer ones that he entitled, “Possibilities? Forget it.” After you read the post, I think you’ll appreciate his choice of words for the title.

I decided not to simply “reblog” what he wrote because (1) it’s not very long, and (2) I hoped by sharing it here, you will be more inclined to comment. However if you want to take a closer look, here is the link to the posting. Now … read and enjoy.

Do you believe in the Big Bang Theory? I’m not talking about the infantile and incredibly irritating television show, to be clear.

I’m no scientist but it seems to me that if everything originated from that singularity ( I mean everything) then everything can be traced back to it.

I just had a glass of water. Why? I was thirsty. Why was I thirsty? Because it’s been a hot day. Why has it been a hot day? Well … this time of year the planet’s relative position to the sun ….. blah, blah, blah, blah, why? why? why? why?

Answer: The Big Bang. You can save a lot of time with those endless kids questions by skipping straight to this at the first mention of the word ‘why’.

Let’s look at it from the other direction. Let’s start at the Big Bang.

Kapow! Light and matter come into existence. One bit of matter hits another bit of matter and then there’s little collisions everywhere. Cause and effect. Cause and effect. Cause and effect. So everyone of these little incidents through the eons leads to a hot day after which I poured myself a glass of water. Along the way planets were formed, species were developed, Kings married Queens, and so on. I delude myself that it is my decision whether or not to drink the glass of water. Rubbish. The events leading up to the inevitability of me drinking the water were set in motion at the Big Bang.

So …… there are no possibilities. There aren’t even any probabilities. Everything is a certainty. If I could feed the whole thing into some sort of super computer I could tell you in advance what colour socks you are going to wear tomorrow (blue, by the way). But, then again, if I was in a position to predict everyone’s sock colour then I should have been in a position to predict that I could predict everyone’s sock colour. I admit that it can all get a bit confusing. But so it was always meant to be. And it is possible that, in an act of civil disobedience, you choose to defy me and pick another sock colour. Have I changed the course of history by making predictions about it? No. That was always going to happen.

I think I might have spoken about this all before. I’m sorry that I am so fucking boring. And predictable.

And if you find all of this a bit depressing then let me assure you that it can get worse. Do a google search for ‘Big Bang Theory’. The first five pages will mention nothing about the nature of reality. All they will want to talk about is that fucking stupid television show.

But maybe that, in itself, is an observation upon the nature of reality.

24 thoughts on “The Big Bang Singularity

  1. Even if you reject the concept of free will (an issue which humanity still doesn’t have enough scientific knowledge to debate intelligently), quantum mechanics has pretty conclusively refuted the idea that reality is absolutely deterministic. So no, what happens right now was not completely predictable in principle even five minutes ago, never mind 13.7 billion years ago.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Completely irrelevantly, I can’t help noticing that your last few post titles sound like a pretty good rant:

    “Humdinger indeed! What do I care? Does he or doesn’t he? Does Melania care?”

    🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love cosmology and thinking about the concept of absolute “nothing” of which I don’t believe is possible. And evidently before the Big Bang there was nothing, although it had to be something…fields, quantum flux, strings and all other things I can’t begin to comprehend. But I love thinking about it.

    I do believe we have free will and even in the evolution of the universe, there are so many variables, total determinism would not exist.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Not total determination, but mostly. Every choice we make is from options not determined by us. The only choice we may have is to select from randomly predetermined options we didn’t cause. If from the time we are born we are exposed to most things without our consent or caring, then the choices that we make are products outside of ourselves and our control. Maybe. Lol. There are some compelling arguments both ways. Sam Harris has some interesting thoughts on this

      Liked by 6 people

    • Mary, have you read Stephen Hawking’s The Grand Design or Lawrence Krauss’s A Universe from Nothing? These books give the current scientific explanation for why the universe exists — the “why is there something rather than nothing” problem. Yes, we do know the answer now, although I think this has been true for only a decade or so. And you’re right, absolute nothingness is not a possible condition. It violates the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, although right now I don’t remember the details.

      Time itself began with the Big Bang, so “before the Big Bang” is a meaningless concept by definition, rather like talking about a point on the Earth’s surface further south than the South Pole.

      Hawking was pretty conservative about the implications. He said this new knowledge does not prove there is no god, it only proves that a god is not necessary to explain the existence of the universe.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I do believe we have free will and even in the evolution of the universe, there are so many variables, total determinism would not exist.

      Here’s how I see the free will issue.

      Imagine that a thousand years ago some scientifically-minded people had set out to discover how the Sun shines. Assuming they were able to gather accurate data, they would quickly have realized that no process known to them could explain it. Fire or any other known chemical process couldn’t generate anything close to enough energy, nor last as long as the Sun had been known to shine. The correct answer — thermonuclear fusion — wasn’t remotely knowable or even imaginable to them. Many, many intermediate stages of discovery and understanding were needed between 11th-century knowledge and the ability to understand nuclear fusion.

      So they would have soberly announced that no matter how self-evident the existence of the Sun seemed to be, it must be an illusion. The Earth was really in darkness all the time, and if we were convinced there was light everywhere during the day, we must be mistaken, since the existence of sunlight was impossible according to the knowledge of physics available at the time.

      Religionists would have jumped in and declared, aha, science can’t explain the sunlight, so it must be a miracle! Only a supernatural explanation — God — could account for it. At this point the first group would become all the more determined to insist that sunlight didn’t really exist, because they would feel that admitting it did would be conceding a point to the religionists.

      They would both be wrong, because they would both be taking an unscientific attitude. In science, “we don’t know the explanation yet” is a perfectly valid stance to take — more valid than the stance that our present inability to explain it means that something obviously real doesn’t exist, or means that something supernatural must be going on. The first group’s position would actually be “religious” in a way — claiming dogmatic certainty about something no human could actually know.

      You see the analogy, I hope. The existence of free will is at least as self-evident as the existence of sunlight at high noon — even people who claim not to believe in free will never behave the way they would if they really didn’t believe in it. It is simply a phenomenon which can’t be accounted for by our current understanding of physics. It’s absurd to claim that that means it can’t exist, or that a magic sky fairy giving us a “soul” is the reason for it. It’s just a phenomenon we’re not advanced enough to understand yet. I’m confident that we will understand it eventually, and probably in a lot less than another thousand years.

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Why would a random singularity set the future in stone? The only thing certain is more randomness until so many events happen to make future random events mathematically predictable.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. OK, I know I’m nitpicking, but Kapow! Light and matter come into existence is wrong. “Light” didn’t exist until the beginning of the age of stars, about 400 million years after the hypothesised BB, and matter only came into being when the early universe cooled from 100 nonillion Kelvin to 1 billion Kelvin. Before that there was only a quark-gluon plasma.

    Nitpicking over, I like his thoughts.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. A lot of people trace the atoms collide with atoms and end up at full determinism. This, I believe is a mistake. You can imagine a connection but is there really a connection? Any claim of “one thing leads to another and we have no choice” is claiming there is a causal chain that can be defined that leads from the first cause to the final effect “Big Bang dot dot dot Whopper hamburgers!” well yes, but … Causal chains are what distinguish correlations from causations. If someone wants to establish a correlation (e.g. kid’s shoe sizes and IQs are closely related) to a causation (e.g. kids with bigger feet are smarter) they are obligated to show a mechanism of how that happens.

    When it comes to our brain functions which are based in brains that have more neural connections than there are stars in our galaxy, such “mechanisms will be hard to prove. Currently, they have not been, so a determination that we have no free will (or that we do have free will) is currently not warranted. We are leaping to conclusions, jumping over long stretches of causal linkages we are assuming are there when we do this. And you know the problem with assuming …

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I do find it startling (and even a bit flattering) that people take anything that I say seriously.

    Because I certainly don’t.

    Though others may argue otherwise I think that providing scientific answers to philosophical questions can lead to an unwarranted level of comfort or discomfort depending upon which side of the room one chooses to sit.

    It would be a mistake, anyway, to imagine me to be anything other than an imbecile in regards to either discipline.

    I do know a thing or two about socks, though.

    Liked by 2 people

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