THE SEARCH INTO THE ORIGIN
OF UNIVERSE SHOWS
THE LIMITATION OF HUMAN KNOWLEDGE
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Big bang is a well known cosmological model in theoretical physics and is proposed by some prominent cosmologists to be a possible description of the origin of universe. As the name big bang indicates, cosmologists describe that the universe that we observe at present is in a transient state of continuous expansion from a primordial hot and dense initial condition. Georges Lemaître first proposed this concept and he called it as 'hypothesis of the primeval atom' and later it was termed as the big bang theory. Over the years scientists are trying to gather scientific evidences to justify this theory. However, there are several questions about origin of universe which Big Bang theory doesn't address. For example, what caused the initial singular point to start expanding? From where the initial singular point came? and what was there before big bang? Thus there is a need that the modern way of understanding the reality should be examined thoroughly. Furthermore, in this article, the theory of subjective evolution is explained as an alternative approach to understand the reality as it is.
Since the beginning of the modern scientific era, scientists are continually trying to understand the origin of life and origin of universe. Scientists wonder how the universe developed into what we see/observe today. Great scientists including Albert Einstein, Edwin Hubble and in recent times Stephen Hawking and Sir Roger Penrose have sincerely carried out scientific research to understand the mysterious reality of origin of universe. Thus there is a continuing development of several concepts. Many hypotheses have been proposed to explain the origin of universe. Unfortunately, none of the theories about origin of universe are conclusive. Scientists often raise several questions on each of these existing concepts to establish their limitation in explaining the origin of universe.
Big bang cosmological model is generally a popular hypothesis in modern science. However, most of the time people present the credibility of this model insufficiently and incorrectly. Most of the scientific world is under the impression that big bang theory describes the origin of universe, which is not correct. The big bang hypothesis tries to explain that the universe which we see now came from an initial singular point (a very tiny and dense state). But what caused the initial singular point to start expanding? From where the initial singular point came? and what was there before big bang? All these questions, it seems have not yet been addressed by the big bang theory. Another major problem scientists often face by accepting big bang is that it has concepts, which are completely different and cannot be objectively explained in the way scientists accept the truth. One such concept in big bang is the earliest state of universe where none of their present scientific theories can be applied. Furthermore, in this earliest state, scientists think that all the existing fundamental forces are unified. To study this scientists are trying to find out a so called theory of everything (TOE) which will unify all the four known fundamental forces.
Four Fundamental Forces
There are four fundamental forces which modern science has figured out. Those are strong forces, electromagnetic forces, weak forces and gravity. Strong force is the force which holds nucleus together. It is named as strong force because it is a force which can hold the nucleus together against the tremendous forces of repulsion due to the protons, which is very strong.
Electromagnetic force exists between charges, which follow Coulomb's Law and magnetic force between the magnetic poles. All electromagnetic forces follow Lorentz force law. The existence of weak force was first invented from radioactive decay such as beta decay. This force is a weak interaction by which a quark (subatomic particle) can change to another quark, or a lepton to another lepton. This is also known as 'flavor changes' in scientific literature.
A force which is always attractive and acts along the line joining the centers of mass of the two masses is known as gravitational force. Gravity is the weakest force among the four fundamental forces. Sir Isaac Newton proposed the universal law of gravitation to describe gravitational force. In simple words, a theory that can unify these four fundamental forces (strong forces, electromagnetic forces, weak forces and gravity) is known as TOE in technical literature.
Technical Difficulties in Developing TOE
Standard Model of Particle Physics
Using standard model of particle physics, one can study three of the four known fundamental interactions and the elementary particles that take part in these interactions. Scientists believe that this theory can explain all known matter (all subatomic particles such as quarks and leptons) as well as the forces by which the subatomic particles (constituents of all known matter) interact with each other. The forces this theory deals with are electromagnetic forces, weak forces and strong forces. However, it is mentioned in Science magazine that "the standard model of particle physics is an unfinished poem". Furthermore, the major difficulty is how to include the fourth fundamental force called gravity.
Gravity is a Troublesome Force for Scientists
Theory of general relativity published by Albert Einstein in 1916 explains gravity. This theory unifies special relativity and Newton's law of universal gravitation. According to this theory, gravity is a property of spacetime. Science is still struggling to answer why gravity? Whatever we have in science on this topic till now are all abstract concepts and there are many questions which can be raised.
Modern science has failed to figure out the force which is opposite to gravitational attractive force. If there is attraction there must be repulsion. Without repulsion the name attractions has no meaning. If there is no repulsive force then how the mass is such widely spread or dispersed all over the universe in the form of planets, meteoroids and so forth and so on. One of the Japan Times's most popular humor columnists, Amy Chavez said "… have you ever considered why gravity pulls downward rather than, say, sideways? To imagine sideways gravity, imagine a light breeze blowing. Sideways gravity would be advantageous to Japanese students: no more hair hanging in their eyes …".
Einstein proposed the idea for a static universe by introducing a cosmological constant ΛE into his field equation. The constant ΛE (= 4πGρ/c2) is also known as cosmological constant of Einstein's universe, where G is Newtonian gravitational constant, ρ is the energy density of the matter in the universe and c is the speed of light. According to this concept given by Einstein the universe is dynamically stable and it is neither expanding nor contracting. The radius of Einstein's universe or Einstein's radius is RE, which is given as equal to ΛE-1/2. This is proposed by Einstein to avoid the dynamical effects of gravity which would cause universe to collapse. After Edwin Hubble's discovery, which explains that there is a relationship between redshift and distance, Einstein was forced to declare that his cosmological model and use of cosmological constant for supporting the same was his biggest blunder.
Because of the fact that the scientists don't know the force opposite to that of gravitational attraction they have proposed the concept of big bang to explain the origin of universe. They say that from an initial singular point, explosion force helped mass to disperse all over the universe. Science has no answer when one asks; what caused the big bang? and what is the nature of that initial explosion force?
Experiments in Large Hadron Collider and God Particle
In May 2008, Science Daily published a news item with the title "Large Hadron Collider Enables Hunt For 'God Particle' To Complete 'Theory Of Everything'". Scientists have built a Large Hadron Collider, which they believe will help them understand the interactions of the fundamental forces of nature. They also hope this will enable them to resolve the puzzle of why gravity is the weakest fundamental force.
This topic is discussed in one of the weekly online meetings on July 20, 2008 by His Holiness Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja, Ph.D. (BMP) of Bhaktivedanta Institute. BMP has explained that "There are many serious problems with this new theory. The biggest problem is that theories of particles are inherently defective because they can't explain continuous phenomena. Particles, or quanta, refer to discontinuous phenomena. So how can we expect that this theory can be used to describe continuous phenomena like gravity? Gravity, as defined in the theory of general relativity, is not quantized. Acceleration is not defined as a quantized phenomenon. Although gravitons have been proposed for special relativity, mathematical problems arise when applied to general relativity which deals with accelerated systems or gravity."
Domain of TOE and Limitation of Present Scientific Approach
It is believed by many scientists that TOE will link all known physical phenomena. But the domain of TOE which we have seen before includes only four fundamental forces. Then we must check whether all physical phenomena come under the domain of these four fundamental forces or not. Furthermore, we must examine seriously whether the process that present science has adapted to understand things is a valid process.
Conscious Bodies Violate the Laws of Physics
We often observe that living bodies or conscious bodies violate the laws of physics. We can take a simple example: it is possible to accurately predict the projectile motion of a dead bird by utilizing the laws of mechanics, but we have no way to predict the motion of a living bird by any mathematical law.
All of us are witnessing the presence of living entities and matter in our own life. We notice that living entities perform certain activities which are absent in matter. We witness that life exhibits different qualities such as free will, thinking, acting, intelligence, knowledge, pleasure and pain, birth, death, fear, fearlessness, nonviolence, equanimity, satisfaction, austerity, charity, fame and infamy. Moreover, we also notice that life exhibits some supernatural (beyond the laws of physics and chemistry) activities that we do not find in matter. The cow eats the grass and transforms it into milk, a mother has spontaneous love for her child and a small seed of banyan tree has the intelligence within to transform itself into a huge banyan tree. There are many similar examples. Scientists must provide an explanation about the means by which they can use the four fundamental forces to explain the physical behavior of living bodies. When we say 'Theory of Everything' it must include everything. If something is excluded then use of the name everything is meaningless.
Mathematics and Beyond
Science develops certain theories, which they use to calculate different parameters such as forces. Scientists not only measure some features to get the results, but they plug those features into an equation. They feed certain suitable numbers to the parameters in the equation to get certain desired output. This is the general practice science has adapted to explain the entire reality.
This very approach is quite questionable. How we can use this method to equate the qualities that a living being exhibits such as free will, thinking, acting, intelligence, knowledge, pleasure and pain. When we talk about qualities such as beauty, motherhood, friendship and so forth we can't insert any numbers into an equation to explain them. But we all know that such things exist and we experience them everyday in our own life. Scientists have to think seriously that whether the limited approach based on numbers feeding to an equation will help us to know the full extent of reality.
The Limitation of Human Knowledge
One of great philosopher David Hume is well known for his great contribution on the topic 'what are the limitations of human knowledge'. Hence, David Hume is also known as 'geographer of human reason' which is termed by well known philosopher Immanuel Kant.
David Hume divided the propositions into two categories, such as 'relation of ideas' and 'matter of fact'. According to Hume, 'relations of ideas' is restricted to mathematics, geometry and pure logic. He explained that 'relation of ideas' say nothing about reality. The reason he has given for that is that such statements based on relations of ideas are essentially tautologies.
Tautologies are propositional formulas those are true under any possible valuation. 'Relation of ideas' are itself true by definition and thus don't need any verifications. We can take a simple example to understand the same. We should not check the correctness of 2 + 2 = 4 as they are true by the definition of four, meaning of plus and equal. Saying 2 + 2 or 4 is just a repetition of the same and Hume called it as tautologies which explain nothing about reality. They are not even mind constructs but they are true by their own definitions. For more clarification, generally examples such as "all bachelors are unmarried" and "all triangles have three sides" are referred in literature. They are not meaningful propositions but merely a repetition of what they are being defined for.
'Matter of fact' includes those which can be verifiable by sensations and we must experience the same to know that it is true. For example sky is blue, sugar candy is sweet, and things like that are fact proposition, because we know what we must experience with our senses to come up with these statements.
Present scientific approach is following these two propositions, 'relation of ideas' and 'matter of fact'. Thus scientists without a proper investigation, have presumed that all propositions which are neither 'relations of ideas' nor 'matters of fact' are unverifiable and hence non scientific. Hence, modern scientists by considering that all metaphysical concepts such as soul and God are all outside the purview of human knowledge have categorized them prematurely as mere belief.
For example the statement 'God exists' is not a 'relation of ideas'. If one is denying the statement that 'God exists' it doesn't create any contradiction. In accordance with this concept, the statement 'God does not exist' does not contradict the concept of God. God and existence are not the same and we cannot determine God's existence by simply considering the meaning of that statement. This is because God is a reality which does not come up from tautologies.
Similarly, we can check carefully whether the study of existence of God comes under the domain of 'matter of fact'. What short of sense observations can lead us to accept the existence of God? Generally the assessment is considered based on causation. Hume explains that causation itself is not a meaningful proposition. Causation is not a 'relation of idea' and we can see that from the example that negation of the statement "rising sun causes the rooster to crow" when negated does not provide a contradiction. Furthermore, the original cause can't be traced back by any sense perception and thus is not a 'matter of fact'. We see simply one thing happens and the other thing follows. Thus, we often believe that one is causing the other. However, it is perfectly possible not to believe it. David Hume had given the well known billiard ball example to establish the same.
We see a billiard ball moving in a straight line towards another ball. Suppose motion in the second ball should by accident be suggested to us, as the result of their contact or impulse. May we not conceive that a hundred different events might as well follow from that cause? May not both these balls remain at absolute rest? May not the first ball return in a straight line, or jump off from the second in any line or track? All these suppositions are consistent and conceivable. Why then should we give the partiality to one, which is no more consistent or conceivable than the rest? Thus all our reasoning a priori will never be able to show us any foundation for this preference.
It is general tendency found among the scientists to reduce the principles causing the natural phenomena, to a greater simplicity. Thus, they resolve the many particular effects into a few general causes, by means of reasoning from analogy, experience, and observation. When we inquire what are the causes of these general causes we will find the limits of their entire discoveries. Thus, we shall never be able to satisfy ourselves by any particular explication of scientists. These famous theories and hypothesis are products of speculations and therefore cannot provide us any conclusive answer to understand reality. Gravity, forces, protons, quarks, photons, electrons and so forth and so on are some of the concepts provided by scientists based on limited approaches to reality. They are happy if by some means they can trace up the particular phenomena to, or near to, these general principles. Hence we must carefully understand these facts so that we can question the scientists about their non ending deluding approach for understanding the reality.
Theory of Subjective Evolution an Alternative Solution
Modern science is trying to understand everything within a limited objective vision. The scientific theories are not proposed by dead matter such as atoms, molecules, stones and so forth and so on. Also, scientific theories are not written in the sky. We can see that all the scientific theories are the product of the thoughts coming from the subject or scientist who is a living human being. His Holiness Bhakti Madhava Puri Maharaja, Ph.D., serving director of Bhaktivedanta Institute (BMP) has given a very nice example in this connection. BMP argued that in past in the western world people found that earth is fixed and sun is moving around the earth. Later when some scientists claimed by their arguments and observations that sun is fixed and earth is moving around the sun we all accept that. The motion of sun and earth is not changed in all these years rather our conception about the motion of sun and earth has changed and we are seeing that in different way. Hence, our conception about an object and the object itself are one and the same. When our conception about an object is changed we see the same object in a different way. Thus, the conception of the scientists plays a vital role in the development of scientific theories.
According to big bang theory entire universe is coming from a tiny singular point. We never see any such singular point in the physical world. And thus it is a mind concept. It is coming from the mind of the scientist who proposed it. All such mathematical concepts are mind concepts only and we don't find them in the physical world. For example we can't find any circle or straight line in the physical world which perfectly follows the equation of circle and straight line respectively. Those are only mind concepts of subject or living being. The scholars in the vedic tradition studied these topics very deeply. They have not neglected the subjective side of the reality which modern science has deliberately neglected. Modern science even doesn't accept the existence of mind even though scientists are using it every day. They don't accept the existence of mind because we can't see, smell, taste, touch or hear mind. For scientists the reality is limited to that which can be observable to our cognitive senses like, eye, nose, tongue, ear and skin.
Due to such limited approach scientists couldn't understand the finer truths of reality which are much beyond the reach of our senses. On the other hand, vedic scholars not only could study the finest reality such as soul, consciousness and God but they were able to raise their own consciousness to such a high degree that they can see the presence of consciousness behind entire existence.
We see so many wonderful forms in the universe such as men, animals, insects, trees, etc. How have such wonderful forms manifested? In Vedas rivers, mountains, earth, water, fire, air, ether, and everything is described as are under the control of conscious beings. The expert teachers in the vedic tradition have developed such a vision that they are seeing consciousness everywhere and nothing material. The details on this topic can be found in a nice book entitled Subjective Evolution of Consciousness written by Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaja.
It is very hard to describe the reality within the limited scientific terminology and within the limited so called scientific way of looking into the reality. The scientific language that has been developed was developed only for the objective science to study molecules, chemicals, physical laws and things like that. So that whole language is directed to the object of consciousness rather than to consciousness. How we can use that language to explain what they have neglected? It is difficult to describe the reality limited to those words because they have the wrong words. Hence we can't use those same terminologies to explain what consciousness is, because they have deliberately neglected that part.
But vedas are not like that. vedas are dealing with both conscious and unconsciousness side (or the material side). So there, we have to use the terminology of the vedas, atma, Paramatma, Bhagavan and all those things. These all terms are referring to conscious world and have meaning and substantial content. Hence we have to introduce a new terminology within the scientific world. According to vedas the entire universe originated from the supreme conscious being or God. If one wants to study the origins then a different approach is needed and vedas can help us providing a proper direction for the same.
 Gravity and its effects on teaching. The Japan Times Online, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008.
 In George Gamow's autobiography, My World Line (1970) he quotes Einstein: "Much later, when I was discussing cosmological problems with Einstein, he remarked that the introduction of the cosmological term was the biggest blunder of his life."
 Phalguni, Banerjee and P. Suresh, Kumar. Life and its deeper reality. Science and Scientist – Inquiring into the Origin of Matter and Life. Newsletter, Bhaktivedanta Institute, October, 2007 (www.scienceandscientist.org).
[This article is presented by Sushen Krishna Das, Ph.D. from Bhaktivedanta Institute in Anand Agriculture University on 30th July 2009, M J College of Commerce, Bhavnagar on 1st of August 2009 (in Hindi), Sir Bhavsinhjii Polytechnic Institute, Bhavnagar on 1st of August 2009 (in Hindi), Government Engineering College, Bhavnagar on 1st of August 2009, Atharva Group of Colleges, Mumbai on 5th of August 2009 and Siddhant Group of Colleges, Pune on 10th of August 2009 during the West India Tour, July-August 2009]