Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Deeper Things: The Universe And Eveything In It

     Sometimes, I like to close my eyes and imagine that I can feel the spinning earth, a thousand miles an hour counter clockwise, hurtling through space. I am awed by the vastness of space and humbled in my own insignificance when compared to it. Scientific theory and conjecture can go a long ways towards explaining the universe, but in the end there is always one crucial question that mankind has no answer for. Why is any of it here?
     Why are there trees? Why is there dirt? Why are there stars in the night sky? The how is simple deductive reasoning. The what can be discerned from experimental observation. Why any of it exists in the first place is the mystery.
     Even the most scientific mind would be tempted to evoke the word God to explain the unexplainable, but that only leads to more questions. Even the creator of the universe is going to have his own creation story. How was God made? Trying to follow that line of logic is like following Alice down the rabbit hole.
     Our ability to think abstractly has allowed us to form insights on virtually everything. The big bang theory states that all matter at one time was compressed into a ball so small it could fit on the head of the pin and then do to some unexplained phenomenon became unstable and exploded forth creating everything we see then today. This is plausible enough. Life forms can evolve and exist on planets that meet a very specific set of criteria. It is undeniable. All matter consists of atoms containing basic components. This is scientific fact. We even have concepts (quantum mechanics, super string theory) that break down the universe to its very smallest pieces and explain what matter it is and how it works.
     It was while reading about anti-matter that I had an epiphany. There is so much anti-matter spread out through the vastness of space that is in exact and equal contrast to all existing matter. They are, in fact, two halves of the same coin and would cancel each other out if ever combined, thus creating a barren universe. It occurred to me that the secret of the universe may be that it exists as a juxtaposition to nothingness. As the concept of nothing is only understandable when compared to something then so the idea of existence is only made real by it’s opposite, non-existence. The answer to why is why not.
     It is no less baffling to say the stone under my foot is there because the idea of it not being there makes it a possibility, but it adds balance to the equation. The physical world is based upon the premise of balance, that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. It is only a theory, but it is beginning to make sense to me.

1 comment: