Eternal Wisdom at Play

I have been listening to Father Robert J. Spitzer’s conferences on various physics theories about the universe, theories not only hinting, but demonstrating, that the universe has a beginning, thus necessarily a transcendent, metaphysical, cause. The contents of these lectures may be found in his book New Proofs of the Existence of God (2010), and on the Magis Reason and Faith Institute’s website, as well as in other interviews and lectures recorded in 2011.

The ones I preferred are the Gonzaga University lectures (April 5 and 6, 2011). They are the most detailed and the most lively and there are more matters discussed in the period of questions.
Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJBLp7cOt90
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HmVvx51zsqg

The first part is on physical theories (see a few highlights in the notes below).

The second part is on anthropic coincidences, what is called the “fine-tuning” of the physical laws. There is a “huge improbability” (10 to the 10 to the 123 against) that all the 17 generative cosmological constants would fall randomly in the minuscule range of values necessary to allow the emergence and sustaining of life forms.

A few years ago, I read about the “Rare Earth” theory and the narrow range of values required in our solar system to sustain life. I was happy to have the additional information about cosmological constants.

Moreover, the way in which the lecturer presents the subject is very accessible for a moderately educated public to grasp, and very agreeable for the philosophically inclined mind: William of Occam could not have dreamed a thinner razor blade to reduce the answers to the question.

While listening to all these examples and comments on the minutely fine-tuned constants of the universe, I was imagining Eternal Wisdom at play (Proverbs 8:30), winking at all these beautiful minds and asking, like Fr Spitzer does: “Which choice is more reasonable at the end of the day?”

And I join Father Spitzer in his exclamation at the awesome panorama: “I am glad for the entire extravaganza. It just really is a comfort to know that God did not underestimate the intelligence or the love that we would have in viewing that universe.”


Notes

Georges Lemaitre
(http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Lemaitre.html)
We owe to Georges Lemaitre, a Belgian priest, the discovery of  the primordial Atom theory (1927), based on Hubble’s observations that the universe is expanding. Einstein, skeptical at first, accepted it in 1933.

Fred Hoyle
(http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Hoyle.html)
Lemaitre’s “Atom theory” was scornfully called in 1950 the “Big Bang” by Fred Hoyle, who still did not believe it at the time. He did change his mind though, around 1980:

Would you not say to yourself, “Some super-calculating intellect must have designed the properties of the carbon atom, otherwise the chance of my finding such an atom through the blind forces of nature would be utterly minuscule?” Of course you would…. A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature. The numbers one calculates from the facts seem to me so overwhelming as to put this conclusion almost beyond question. (Fred Hoyle. “The Universe: Past and Present Reflections.” Engineering and Science, November, 1981)

The BGV theorem
The Borde-Guth-Vilenkin singularity theorem was developed in 2003 by three leading cosmologists: Arvind Borde, Alex Vilenkin and Alan Guth. The BGV theorem has since become widely respected and accepted within the physics community.

The theorem is based on Hubble’s law of expansion of the universe, stating that the apparent recession velocity of a galaxy is proportional to its distance from the observer (the constant of proportionality is known as the Hubble constant).

The BGV theorem holds independently of any physical description of the very early universe before Planck time. In fact, it can support a wide variety of inflationary cosmological models, or completely different physics of a universe within a multiverse. So that even if our universe is just one part of a much grander set of universes called the multiverse, the multiverse itself then would require a beginning. The BGV theorem remains consistent with higher dimensional cosmologies based on string theory. The higher-dimensional bulk spacetime cannot be eternal in the past, even if it might be in the future. If there cannot be eternal inflation in the past, there must be a beginning, or singularity. The only assumption made by Borde, Guth and Vilenkin which is essential to all models is that the cosmic expansion rate must be greater than zero.

“It is said that an argument is what convinces reasonable men and a proof is what it takes to convince even an unreasonable man. With the proof now in place, cosmologists can no longer hide behind the possibility of a past-eternal universe. There is no escape: they have to face the problem of a cosmic beginning.” (Vilenkin)

Book of Proverbs 8  (Douay-Rheims translation)
17 I love them that love me, and they that in the morning early watch for me, shall find me.
19 For my fruit is better than gold and the precious stone, and my blossoms than choice silver.

23 I was set up from eternity, and of old before the earth was made.
24 The depths were not as yet, and I was already conceived; neither had the fountains of waters as yet sprung out.
25 The mountains with their huge bulk had not as yet been established, before the hills I was brought forth.
26 He had not yet made the earth, nor the rivers, nor the poles of the world.
27 When he prepared the heavens, I was present. When with a certain law and compass he enclosed the depths,
28 When he established the sky above, and poised the fountains of waters,
29 When he compassed the sea with its bounds, and set a law to the waters that they should not pass their limits, when he balanced the foundations of the earth,
30 I was with him forming all things, and was delighted every day, playing* before him at all times,
31 Playing in the world: and my delights were to be with the children of men.

* “Playing” translates the Latin ludens. “Rejoicing”, from the Greek euphraino (Septuagint) is used in most other English translations.