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your cosmology and cosmogony beliefs?(18 posts)

your cosmology and cosmogony beliefs?DougSloan
Sep 24, 2003 7:38 AM
To me, one of the most interesting questions for humans is the nature and origin of the universe. This continues to stump astrophysicists, and I'm fascinated with what they find and can deduce from the information they obtain. Theories abound concerning the age, origins, nature, and destiny of the universe. Even respectable scientists are now entertaining theories of alternate dimensions to explain some unexplainable phenomena, such as the "vacuum/anti-gravity force" theorized.

So, what is your belief, and why? Here are some possibilities:

1. The universe is essentially constant and unchanging (Einstein believed this for a while), with no start or end, and no change in size.

2. There was a single big bang, and the universe has and will continue to expand to infinity.

3. There was a big bang, and the universe has and will continue to expand, but then reverse and collapse, potentially resulting in another big bang -- a cyclical theory.

4. The universe has and will continue to expand, but then it will ultimately merge with other universes beyond our present limits of detection.


1. Can matter, energy, or space be infinite?

2. Can there be a beginning and end to time?

3. Will we ever answer these questions?

I believe 4, andOldEdScott
Sep 24, 2003 7:58 AM
as far as infinity goes, why not? It's in no way more difficult to comprehend infinite Being than it is to comprehend an alpha and an omega. Either is beyond our waking ability to fathom.

Sure we'll answer these questions. When we swallow a big enough dose of Acid, or when we're dead, cf Tibetan Book of the Dead, Egyptian Book of the Dead.
re: your cosmology and cosmogony beliefs?mohair_chair
Sep 24, 2003 7:59 AM
Until someone can tell me what was there before the universe was created, I find it hard to accept any explanation about the beginning. After all the universe is everything, right? The universe is all that is. Everything that exists exists in the universe, so what can the universe possibly expand into?

But on the other hand, the universe does exist and it had to come from somewhere, so where did it come from? (I'm sure someone will chime in with "God," to which I ask, where did God come from?). It's all so overwhelming, which is why a hedonistic life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll is so appealing.

So, to answer your subquestion "will we ever answer these questions?" I will have to say no.
don't know....don't think i'll ever know...fine with that (nm)ColnagoFE
Sep 24, 2003 8:00 AM
I vote for #3.Jon Billheimer
Sep 24, 2003 8:34 AM
And no, regardless of Old Ed's near-infinite appetite for good acid and bad philosophy, I don't think we'll ever have an answer for certain critical questions. Whether it's in our hardwiring or the limiting properties of language some questions are simply unresolvable.
Alot to ponder in the morning... but here's a crackPdxMark
Sep 24, 2003 8:40 AM
Evenings with friends and alcohol is a better way to discuss this...

But, I've been leaning toward the cyclic BB theory (#3), with a dash of #4 accepting other universes (but possibly not merging). I seem to recall that the cyclic BB theory has been written about recently, so there's some theoretical support for it, and it addresses the nuisance issue of there being just One BB. Whenever there's one cosmological anything I tend to get suspicious...

As for infinite matter, energy or space... Matter and energy are one in the same, so we're just down to infinite space or matter/energy. If by space we mean what is IN our universe, I think we have to say it's not infinite because we know it's bounded. The same would therefore apply to energy/matter in our universe.

But if by space we mean that into which our universe is expanding, then I think it could be infinite. That means the possibility of an infinite number of universes would apply too, each carrying a finite amount of matter/energy.

Again, if references to time are relative to our universe, I think it is finite within each BB cycle. Outside our universe and it's current BB cycle, I think time, like space, is infinite.

Ever is a long time, as in forever, as in over infinite time. If we were to be here forever, I think that human beings could answer these questions. But I think we won't be. I don't think we'll even be around to watch our Sun incinerate the Earth. We will collapse our global environment, and human existence, long before we have the chance answer these questions. My one hope is that the environmental collapse happens after my friends & family are gone...
3/3...I think. nmsn69
Sep 24, 2003 8:42 AM
I like green and blue around the eyes, and ruby lips...rwbadley
Sep 24, 2003 9:28 AM
oh oh, I thought you said cosmetology. Never mind ;-)

What a huge topic for a small discussion.

The mass of the matter between the stars and planets is greater than that contained within the stars and planets. This would seem more like an ocean with a few chunks of material floating around in it. At some point the galactic navy will be testing their new sonar, and we will all be in trouble...

I have a difficult time to fathom the concept of infinite, especially as it pertains to time and space. When did the universe begin? 15 billion years ago? What was here before that and where did all the matter come from? When will it end and how? collapse back on itself? Why?

I don't think we will figure it all out, I'm not sure we're meant to. If we could figure out our own mess just here on earth I would be impressed.
You left out perhaps the most popular choiceSpoiler
Sep 24, 2003 11:30 AM
5. In the beginning God created Heaven and Earth. Thing's end when God decides to end them.

1. Sure, if God makes them infinite
2. Yup
3. They'll be answered for us.
How they know the universe isn't infinite in space and time...Lon Norder
Sep 24, 2003 1:21 PM
If it was, the night sky would be white, because in every direction there would be a star, however distant.

A good book on cosmology is Wrinkles in Time by George Smoot.

Not only will the universe continue to expand, but the rate of expansion is increasing due to a mysterious force called "dark energy".
Called Olber's Paradox...Lon Norder
Sep 24, 2003 1:31 PM
Everything I need to know about the universe...The Walrus
Sep 24, 2003 5:45 PM in the new Rivendell catalog that just arrived today.
Remember, you asked for it!bicyclerepairman
Sep 24, 2003 8:26 PM
The predominant force working in my known universe seems to be ignorance. As far as my personal cosmology, should consciousness survive the body after death (which I'm not sure about), I've had the intuition that the experience will not be categorizable or comprehensible by any existing belief or wisdom tradition. A possibility I've wondered about is that, post mortem, one gains the ability to perceive the outwardly rippling consequences (think of a stone thrown into a still pond) of ALL of one's acts and interactions while alive. At this point they can only be witnessed....not mitigated, relieved, altered, etc....only watched and felt. In this afterlife universe, the dominant force is knowledge. But, of course, it is too late.
sort of like grading your own SAT? nmDougSloan
Sep 25, 2003 7:16 AM
After you graduate from college nmPdxMark
Sep 25, 2003 9:38 AM
deep. heavy. groooovy. nmJS Haiku Shop
Sep 26, 2003 8:00 AM
And now, a word from Joseph Conrad:bicyclerepairman
Sep 28, 2003 9:07 PM
Just ran across this today...

"Droll thing life is--that mysterious arrangement of merciless logic for a futile purpose. The most you can hope from it is knowledge of yourself--that comes too late--a crop of unextinguishable regrets."

i Heart of Darkness
yo, snoop douggy-do(u)g:JS Haiku Shop
Sep 26, 2003 7:53 AM
3. There was a big bang, and the universe has and will continue to expand, but then reverse and collapse, potentially resulting in another big bang -- a cyclical theory.


1. Can matter, energy, or space be infinite?

matter, no. energy, no. space, yes.

2. Can there be a beginning and end to time?


3. Will we ever answer these questions?


I have this information on good authority.

BTW as passionate as I am about my cosmo(logical) beliefs, until we achieve lifetime interstellar travel, anything beyond planetary "physics" is purely assumption.


Put that in your monkey and smoke it!