Friday, September 15, 2017

Friday Science: Let There Be Space 1

"In the beginning, GOD created space and matter. And the matter was formless and unconnected and there was darkness over the face of the soup. And the Spirit of God moved throughout the face of the chaos. Then God said, 'Let there be photons,' and the cosmic background radiation was released. And God saw the light, that it was good." Genesis 1:1-4

1. In the beginning, GOD created space and matter. YHWH said, "Let there be space." And there was space. And the LORD saw the space, that it was good.

God created the smallest cloud of possibilities within a framework of certainties. God created that smallest of nothings with everything in it, and delighted to watch it enfold.

"Before" that moment, there was nothing. There was God of course. "Where" God was--we have no point of reference to say. "When" God was--we have no categories to express. We have no point of reference even to understand these questions.

And when we say there was nothing "here," we mean there was not even emptiness. There was not even zero. There was no space. There was only empty set, which is different than zero. Empty set does not even have zero in it.

We often assume, unknowingly, that God has to follow the constraints of this universe. We think God has to follow our understanding of logic. We act like YHWH had to learn math in universe school just like everyone else.

But God invented our math. YHWH invented our logic. It is difficult for us to imagine how 1 + 1 could not equal 2. It is difficult for us to imagine a world where the syllogism does not work.

What we need to understand is that when God made the universe out of nothing, he made it out of nothing. He invented the rules of math for this universe. They did not exist before. He invented the rules of logic for this universe. They did not exist before.

It was not like someone who stumbles into a kitchen and starts mixing things together. Maybe our creation will taste good even if we mix things with complete randomness. After all, we did not invent the chemical rules that determine how things mix. We did not invent the way our taste buds taste.

Creation was not like that. In creation God not only created the ingredients. YHWH set in motion the laws for how those ingredients combine. The LORD designed and invented all of that. God created all the options.

2. And GOD said, "Let there be everything." YHWH spoke this command at the same instance that he said, "Let there be space." And the LORD saw everything created, that it was good.

It was not yet in heaven and earth form. In fact it wasn't even in space and matter form. In that first moment--whatever we want to call it--what God created was smaller than anything even angel eyes could see. It was smaller than anything science could see. It was a point full of the universe.

That point held the possibility of space. It was not yet exactly space yet. It was all the possibilities of the universe somehow piled on top of each other in a point. It is not a situation that can continue for more than the smallest of instants, a moment about 10-43 seconds long. In such a situation, the very fabric of everything is unstable and unsituated.

In that moment, all at the same "time," God said several things. When YHWH said, "Let there be space," God was also saying, "Let there be length." "Let there be area." "Let there be volume."

GOD also said, "Let there be one." YHWH did something no mathematician can do. The LORD divided nothing by zero and got one. He pressed the omega button and created one from empty set.

So God created length. That length of one was infinitesimal by our understanding. Call it the "Planck length," LP. It amounts to 0.0000000000000000000000000000000016 meters. We abbreviate it as 1.6 x 10-33, which is 1/100,000,000,000,000,000,000th the size of a proton.

3. In that very same moment, GOD said, "Let there be interaction," which allowed not only for two, but for three, four, and all the numbers. He created the possibility for addition and subtraction. He created multiplication and division, which are forms of addition and subtraction. He created exponents and roots, which are forms of multiplication and division. All of math came into existence in that moment, including exotic numbers like e and i and π.

God dictated that these interactions would take place in units. You cannot divide space infinitely. You cannot divide anything infinitely. Space reduces finally to small units of Planck length, and the interactions between things reduce to Planck "packets" of interaction. Light interacts in packets. Space interacts in packets. Gravity interacts in packets.

The key to these packets is another fundamental number. Call it the "Planck constant," h. It is the fundamental unit of information exchange between the smallest units of reality. It is the unit for a quantum of action. It is, by one reckoning, 6.6 x 10-34 Joule-seconds, where a joule is a unit of work.

4. In that very same moment, GOD said, "Let there be the speed of light," c. That is to say, YHWH set a limit to the rate of interaction between things. "Let space contract as necessary for the speed of light to be the same in any framework. Let the past and the future be constrained by the time it takes for light to get from one place to another."

And the LORD saw the Planck length, and the Planck constant, and the speed of light, the three fundamental constants of the structure of the universe. God saw that it was good.

In that first moment, time itself did not quite exist. What we call time comes from the rate at which things interact and change, governed mostly by the speed limit of light. However, Time as we know it did not yet exist. Time as we know it only comes to exist when things become irreversible. We can only speak definitively of the future when we cannot go back to the past.

1 comment:

Martin LaBar said...

Well done!

Thank you.