San Francisco Examiner January 22, 1996 A-12
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Hubble discoveries still show
no start, no end of universe
The Examiner's fascinating report on the most recent discoveries with
the Hubble telescope makes a brief reference to the age of the universe
(“Hubble captures objects never seen,” Jan. 16). In this regard, it is
similar to continuing reports in the media that inform us of astronomers’
search for answers to questions about how and when the universe began.
Such questions, of course, presuppose that the universe – everything
that exists -- had some sort of beginning, prior to which there was presumably
nothing. But is such a supposition scientifically valid? Could there actually
have been a time when nothing existed, from which there subsequently emerged
The emergence of something from nothing, or its reverse, belongs in
the realm of magic, not science. What we experience as beginnings and endings
are simply transformations -- rearrangements of the constituents that comprise
the eternal stuff of the Earth and all that has evolved from it, and of
the rest of the universe.
All of mankind's knowledge points inescapably to all causes being necessarily
grounded in the nature (including the actions) of something that exists.
When we grasp the principle of the primacy of existence, we realize that
the universe (existence) is the ultimate foundation of all causality, and
could not possibly have had a beginning, i.e., a cause emanating from nothingness.
There may well have been a Big Bang or several Big Bangs, in the universe's
boundless history, but prior to each the universe logically had to exist
in some form.
All actions are the actions of entities, of things that exist. An explosion
(big bang) requires something to explode. By definition, there is nothing
more basic than existence, nothing prior to it.
The universe, with its inherent dynamism, has in some form always existed,
and in some form always will. The continuing transformation of the solar
system, science informs us, will lead eventually to its disintegration,
after which all that has comprised it will continue to exist somewhere
in space, in some form, as it always has-- forever.
A search for a cause outside of the universe, i.e., outside of existence,
is a search for a cause from nowhere. A study of cosmic events is a study
of effects, whose fundamental cause, at any moment in time, is to be found
in the nature -- the identity -- of that which exists. Ultimately, a search
for causation is a search for identity. The elements of existence interact
as they do because of what they are. Causality is identity in action.
This fundamental aspect of causality is expressed with profound simplicity
in “The Sound of Music,” in a ballad whose lyrics acknowledge, “Nothing
comes from nothing. Nothing ever could.”
Attempts to learn more about the universe’s alleged origin undoubtedly
will continue to produce much valuable knowledge. But with respect to its
stated goal, such a search is futile, because it is based on an erroneous
reversal of cause and effect, on the largest and most fundamental scale
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