The 8-year old boy who asked his parents how the Universe came about (or words to that effect) is now 89 years old. He is still pre-occupied with this question, having spent the intervening years reading and thinking about the matter, but in a sporadic matter. Having lived through the Stationary State Theory of cosmology, and then the Quasi-stationary State Theory, he is now confronted by the Big Bang Theory.
While not quite as an aside, I am disappointed that not only the media but also some science writers treat theories as confirmed facts.
A cosmogony which claims that something came out of nothing, and which apparently cannot explain the source of the vast energy needed for the explosive expansion which allegedly resulted in the universe we think we know is not convincing. It is less convincing than a Stationary-State universe. The probability of a Big Crunch (and the possibility of Little Bangs and Little Crunches in between) leads me to contemplate Hinduism’s concept of long periods of cyclical expansion and contraction, with short cycles within long cycles.
The Big Bang Theory is so firmly believed in that alternative explanations cannot be contemplated. In physical science, however, previously-held theories have lost their gloss. For example, that all geological change is gradual; or that the end of the last (imputed) ice age adequately explains that belief held by about 70 oral cultural histories about a universal flood; or that ‘punctuated equilibrium’, rather than cosmic catastrophes, explains the sudden emergence of new fully-formed species. The possibility of an advanced human civilisation existing before the Flood cannot be countenanced, because there is no evidence.
A lack of evidence – verifiable evidence, of course – is sufficient to deny (with great certitude) any alternative hypothesis offered as a tentative explanation worth investigating. Thus, consideration of an all-pervasive aether does not fit prevailing explanatory paradigms. That this aether is comparable to Hinduism’s Consciousness as the First Cause would be a sufficient reason for scientists wedded to the current mechanistic material paradigm to reject it outright.
That the ancient Indians reportedly came up with statements about the physical universe which are now being verified by modern Western scientists can be challenging. In any event, the then conclusion about the Michelson-Morley experiment on the existence of the aether is reportedly being queried.
There is already a significant list of events and explanations which apparently cannot be. What of Lysenko’s proposal about the inheritance of acquired physical characteristics? Apparently, Darwin agreed with Lysenko. There is no evidence of a genetic path, right? What of epigenesis?
There is so much we do not know in the physical domain. Yet, we are already looking for a t.o.e. (a theory of everything). Does this cover the mental domain, or the ephemeral domain? Significantly, when a prominent research professor in chemistry was asked why he chose not to investigate whether the boundaries of his discipline could be stretched, his response was reportedly that it would take more than his lifetime to pursue the question.
Add up all the things which cannot be. Reminds me of those eminent people who have sought to prove the non-existence of God. Is it possible to prove absence?