(no subject)

Glenn Morton (GRMorton@gnn.com)
Fri, 19 Apr 1996 19:33:39

William W. Cobern wrote:

>What caught my attention however was an extended
>discussion of Adolf Grunbaum's assertion of an
>"uncaused" beginning of the universe. Grunbaum
> apparently argues that modern physics is not *silent*
>about causes of the universe prior to the Big
>Bang, it actually rules them out. In other words, what
> happened before t=0 or what caused the Big Bang are
>questions based on assumptions that are
>actually denied by the model to which these questions
> are posed. At first this struck me as a physics version
>of the biology claim that the modern
>theory of evolution rules out any teleological question
> about (say) what drives evolution. If so, then I would
>expect this physics assertion to be
>just as pre suppositionally loaded as the assertion some
> in biology make that life is inherently without purpose -
>based on evolutionary theory.
>However, I don't know enough about the Big Bang theory
> to respond to Grunbaum's claim, and also I have not read

I do not claim expertise in General Relativity (hereafter
called GR) but am merely a person who has read several
mathematical texts on the subjet. Thus I am most eager to
be corrected by by superiors.

The claim that physics rules out questions about what
happens prior to the Big Bang can best be explained by
noting that time is not separate from space in GR. In
order to explain this I am going to drop down to special
relativity. I know there is a little math but please plow

Measure the location and time of any 2 events (such as my
sneezing and your saying "God Bless You"). I can measure
my x,y,z location and the time of my sneeze. I can measure
your x,y,z location and the time of your response. You can
do the same. Relativity says that no matter who observes
these two events, no matter how fast they are moving, no
matter how strong is the gravitational pull of the planet
they are on, the separation between these two events is
CONSTANT, IF one defines the interval as (Lorentz interval)

interval^2=c^2 (change in time)^2 - (separation in space)^2

This interval is the same for everyone, but everyone
measures different spatial separations and different time
separations. To illustrate this Joe may read his watch and
see that there was a 50 billionth of a second separation
between my sneeze and your "God Bless You" and that we are
1 meter apart. The Lorentz interval Joe measures is Square
root( 224.6-1) = 14.95 meters.

Sally might see only a 40 billionth of a second separation
of the two events, but she measures an 8.9 meter
separation (I hope I did my math right). But the Lorentz
interval is 14.95 for her also.

This means that time and space are very similar.

At the time of the Big Bang, when there was no space, there
was no time either. This means that you can't ask what
happened before t=0 because that assumes that t=0 is an
arbitrary time. It assumes that time was before t=0.
Relativity says there was no time before t=0.

Foundation,Fall and Flood