Proof of Purposelessness

Scientists animated by the purpose of proving that they are purposeless constitute an interesting subject for study.

—A.N. Whitehead, Mathematician and Philosopher.

A proof of purposelessness would be the miracle of miracles, in that all teleological fragments constituting a proof itself would be refutation enough.  Yet, today, in the 21st century, when science has revealed a universe of such complexity,we find that many scientists themselves, their denizens on their mad white coat tails, believe that it has no purpose whatsoever.

A bang for your buck.

It began with a bang, and a bang began it. As it is comically called, Big Bang cosmology is an ideological threat for some and an inspirational delight for others. Theologians placidly smirked as evidence for an actual beginning of the universe emerged in the 1920’s and was confirmed a few decades later by the very undertaking that many hoped would deny it, mathematical physics. They’re still smirking.

But what’s this? On a recent Discovery Channel program, a network known for its stunning filmography if not its flaccid intellectual content, Stephen Hawking confidently declares that all that is necessary to create our universe is space and energy. If E=MC^2, I too have no way of debating those necessities. A triviality having been established, it can be translated: all that’s needed to create the universe is the universe. Putting the statement into context though, that G-d didn’t create the universe, all that is necessary becomes everything that needs explaining. And those necessary items need to explain themselves. This is not a circle of thought that is designed to evoke any confidence whatsoever. Physicists now find themselves in a difficult situation, much like that of an interrogator tasked with extracting information from a languid and innocent suspect, at what point will the torture begin?

The torture began. Quantum cosmology is the last hope for an un-caused universe,; it is a hope maintained by a devotion whose piety is eclipsed only by that of the Pope’s devotion to the ubiquity of the body of Christ. It reminds me of a magician exclaiming that the illusion is real and that the real is an illusion. All those real numbers as we track back to the singularity become complex, and time now, represented by the real numbers, now (to use the present twice) is represented by the complex. There is no order in those numbers; they go nowhere.  Before and after become irrelevant, thus time is irrelevant, and the singularity disappears — abracadabra, to take a term from Aramaic.

It must be noted that this is strictly an intellectual construction, it has not been tested and by an almost reluctant turn to the definition, it cannot be. After all, time ALL ON ITS OWN transforms from the real to the complex, an event implying intelligence, and unpredictability. Amusingly, what remains is something like a a sac, not a point, where time and space are directionless and thus irrelevant. Nothing has been noticed, and nothing has been explained. Commenting on the fact that quantum cosmology has ended physics as a practical or useful science, Alexander Vilenkin remarks, melancholic, “sadly, quantum cosmology is not likely to become an observational science.” Astute Dr. Vilenkin. Neither was conventional cosmology.

Mathematician and Philosopher David Berlinski agrees regarding Vilenkin’s assessment of things: “Correct. Quantum cosmology is a branch of mathematical metaphysics. It provides no cause for the emergence of the universe, and so does not answer the first cosmological question, and it offers no reason for the existence of the universe, and so does not address the second. If the mystification induced by its modest mathematics were removed from the subject, what remains would not appear appreciably different in kind from various creation myths in which the origin of the universe is attributed to sexual congress between primordial deities.” The most derisive aspect of this comment is the observation that Quantum cosmology is a branch of “mathematical metaphysics.” This I find amusing.


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