Re: [asa] Critical review of Dawkins' Book by the "Liberal Media"

From: D. F. Siemens, Jr. <>
Date: Wed Dec 27 2006 - 13:14:39 EST

On Wed, 27 Dec 2006 11:14:23 -0500 "Alexanian, Moorad"
<> writes:
> A cyclical universe, or anything cyclical for that matter, is in a
> delicate state of equilibrium, which undergoes reversible changes.
> However, all our experiences indicate that all that exists is in a
> state of irreversibility. Accordingly, a cyclical universe requires
> much more fine-tuning that our present universe does. Therefore,
> everything evolving in time is the only rational thing to have. Of
> course, this is not to say that Darwin's view of one family tree for
> all living things is correct.
> Moorad
I think we need to make some distinctions. The unconditional cyclicality
of Hinduism does require a closed circle with no changes ever. But there
has been a theory of cyclicality, Big Crunch following Big Bang, that is
not as tight. If my memory serves, George showed that the cycles would
eventually lead to an open-ended expanding universe. In any event, the
cycles do not have to repeat exactly. This applies also to my
interpretation of process theology, for the material for the beginning of
the universe we now know must have come from an earlier universe that
collapsed, a cycle that has been repeated in the past, with the god-stuff
hopefully doing better each round.

I don't see how any of these notions of cyclicality involve us in "a
delicate state of equilibrium, which undergoes reversible changes." This
seems more a description of oscillatory phenomena, a sequence that can be
represented by a simple abab rather than one with a more complex
abcd...abcd..., or even an abcabc. As I think about the water cycle, it
can be reduced to evaporation and condensation only by ignoring a lot
else that goes on. I recognize that someone may deny that this is a cycle
because, if it deviates from a perfect circle, it is not cyclical, but
this is not the way most of us use the term.

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Wed Dec 27 13:19:29 2006

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Wed Dec 27 2006 - 13:19:30 EST