Universe is Contingent


Supporting Arguments:

Continency of Universe

(1) All Naturalistic Phenomena Are Consintingencies

Karl Popper:

"Empirical facts are facts which might not have been. Everything that belongs to space time is a contingent truth because it could have been otherwise, it is dependent upon the existence of something else for its' existence going all the way back to the Big Bang, which is itself contingent upon something."(Antony Flew, Philosophical Dictionary, New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979, 242.)

(2)Universe is not a Necessary Outcome

Paul Davies:

"You might be tempted to suppose that any old rag-bag of laws would produce a complex universe of some sort, with attendant inhabitants convinced of their own specialness. Not so. It turns out that randomly selected laws lead almost inevitably either to unrelieved chaos or boring and uneventful simplicity. Our own universe is poised exquisitely between these unpalatable alternatives, offering a potent mix of freedom and discipline, a sort of restrained creativity. The laws do not tie down physical systems so rigidly that they can accomplish little, but neither are they a recipe for cosmic anarchy. Instead, they encourage matter and energy to develop along pathways of evolution that lead to novel variety-what Freeman Dyson has called the principle of maximum diversity: that in some sense we live in the most interesting possible universe."

"Some scientists have tried to argue that if only we knew enough about the laws of physics, if we were to discover a final theory that united all the fundamental forces and particles of nature into a single mathematical scheme, then we would find that this superlaw, or theory of everything, would describe the only logically consistent world. In other words, the nature of the physical world would be entirely a consequence of logical and mathematical necessity. There would be no choice about it. I think this is demonstrably wrong. There is not a shred of evidence that the universe is logically necessary. Indeed, as a theoretical physicist I find it rather easy to imagine alternative universes that are logically consistent, and therefore equal contenders for reality." First Things: Physics and the Mind of God: The Templeton Prize Address (1999)

(3)Space and Time constituet parts of space-time.

Dr. Sen Odenwald,Astronomer Nasa

Astronomy Cafe

ibid What is the relationship between space and time?

"Mathematically, and in accordance with relativity, they are in some sense interchangeable, but we do know that they form co-equal parts of a larger 'thing' called space-time, and it is only within space-time that the most complete understanding of the motion and properties of natural objects and phenomena can be rigorously understood by physicists. Space and time are to space-time what arms and legs are to humans. In some sense they are interchangeable, but you cannot understand 10,000 years of human history without including both arms and legs as part of the basic human condition.

This means that the one reality designated as "space/time" the four coordinate system, is the prior condition under which we find space and time. that means that both space and time are contingent upon space/time.

(4) Space and Time contigent upon "field"


Q:Which came first, matter or physical laws?

"We do not know, but matter is derivative from energy, and energy is derivative from 'field' so in some sense, the physical laws that determine the quantum dynamics of fields must have been primary, with matter as we know it coming much later."

"field" is syonimous with space/time

Dr.Sten Odenwald,NASA

This is a very complicated question to answer...and frankly we do not yet fully understand how to answer it. According to Einstein's theory of General Relativity, which is our premier way of explaining how gravity works, there is no formal distinction between the description of what a gravitational field is, and what space-time is. Essentially, space is what we refer to as 3 of the 4 dimensions to a more comprehensive entity called the space-time continuum, and this continuum is itself just another name for the gravitational field of the universe. If you take away this gravitational field...space-time itself vanishes! To ask where space comes from is the same as asking, according to general relativity, where this gravitational field came from originally, and that gets us to asking what were the circumstances that caused the Big Bang itself. We don't really know.

Can space exist by itself without matter or energy around?

No. Experiments continue to show that there is no 'space' that stands apart from space-time itself...no arena in which matter, energy and gravity operate which is not affected by matter, energy and gravity. General relativity tells us that what we call space is just another feature of the gravitational field of the universe, so space and space-time can and do not exist apart from the matter and energy that creates the gravitational field. This is not speculation, but sound observation.

(5) No meaningful concepts of space/time at the point of expansion and beyond event horizon.

Odenwald, NASA

"As I have mentioned in a previous question, we do not know what the state of the universe was like at the Big Bang and beyond. Our best guess at this time suggest that time and space as we know these concepts will become rather meaningless as the universe enters a purely quantum mechanical state of indeterminacy. Cosmologists such as Stephen Hawking suggest that the dimension of time is transformed via quantum fluctuations in the so-called "signature of the spacetime metric", into a space-like coordinate so that instead of 3-space and 1-time dimension, space-time becomes a 4-dimensional space devoid of any time-like features. What this state is imagined to be is anyone's guess because as humans trained to think in terms of processes evolving in time, our next question would then be, What came before the Hawking space-like state? There is no possible answer to this question because there is no time in which the concept of 'before' can be said to have a meaning. The question itself becomes the wrong question to ask.

In other words, for all practical purposes space, time, energy, and all physical phenomena are nothing at point 0, they are all, contingent upon the Big Bang, which the prior condition to the all. Some atheists argue that energy is inside the singulairty forever, waiting to come out, that is ridciulous. As the evidence above says, it's all produced in the Big Bang itself.


Astronomy Cafre

Why do the laws of physics break down in singularities?

"Because particular quantities that define the physics ( velocity, density, mass, size) no longer have any finite meaning. The relevant quantities either become 'zero' or infinite with nothing in between in a mathematical sense."

The prior conditions for Matter/energy, time and all physical phenomena is space/time (field) and the prior conditon for that is the big brang, and the prior condition for is singularity, and beyond that we do not know.

(7) Most advanced Theories, such as Super STrings posit nothingness as the original condition.


Beyond the Big Bang

Written by Sten Odenwald

Copyright (C) 1987, Kalmbach Publishing.
Reprinted by permission

Theories like those of SUSY GUTS and Superstrings seem to suggest that just a few moments after Creation, the laws of physics and the content of the world were in a highly symmetric state; one superforce and perhaps one kind of superparticle. The only thing breaking the perfect symmetry of this era was the definite direction and character of the dimension called Time. Before Creation, the primordial symmetry may have been so perfect that, as Vilenkin proposed, the dimensionality of space was itself undefined. To describe this state is a daunting challenge in semantics and mathematics because the mathematical act of specifying its dimensionality would have implied the selection of one possibility from all others and thereby breaking the perfect symmetry of this state. There were, presumably, no particles of matter or even photons of light then, because these particles were born from the vacuum fluctuations in the fabric of spacetime that attended the creation of the universe. In such a world, nothing happens because all 'happenings' take place within the reference frame of time and space. The presence of a single particle in this nothingness would have instantaneously broken the perfect symmetry of this era because there would then have been a favored point in space different from all others; the point occupied by the particle. This nothingness didn't evolve either, because evolution is a time-ordered process. The introduction of time as a favored coordinate would have broken the symmetry too. It would seem that the 'Trans-Creation' state is beyond conventional description because any words we may choose to describe it are inherently laced with the conceptual baggage of time and space. Heinz Pagels reflects on this 'earliest' stage by saying, "The nothingness 'before' the creation of the universe is the most complete void we can imagine. No space, time or matter existed. It is a world without place, without duration or eternity..."

Since We have already showen that nothingness as a putative state is impossible, this leaves us with an origin dependent upon an impossibility, one in which nothing should be able to materialize or emmerge, and this impossible state is the prior condition to all space, time, energy, matter, space/time, big bang, singularity, the works. At this point it seems obvious and most reasonable that since science cannot tell us what is the other side of that "nothing" that it would most reasonable to assume that it is some eternally existing first princepel which gives rise to all that is.


If space exists, what is it?

This is the single most important question in modern physics. Einstein himself said that so far as his general relativity is concerned, space ( actually space-time) and the gravitational field are the SAME THINGS. We see it as something that is empty because, in modern language, we cannot see the quantum particles called gravitons out of which it is 'manufactured'. We exist much like the raisins in a bread, surrounded by the invisible but almost palpable 'dough' of the gravitational field. In many respects there is no difference between the field that we are embedded in and the apparently solid matter out of which we are made. Even at the level of quarks, over 95 percent of the 'matter' that makes up a 100 kg person is simply locked up in the energy of the gluonic fields out of which protons are fashioned. The rest is a gift from the way quarks and electrons interact with a field called the Higgs field which permeates space. We are, really and truly, simply another form of the gravitational field of the universe, twisted by the Big Bang into a small family of unique particle states.

(10) Mememological Aggregation Axiom shows us that wholly congingent sitautions are wholly contingent

Dr. Robert Koons UT (Logician)

1) Every wholly contingent fact has a cause. (facts that are partly or wholly necessary need not)

2) Applying aggregation axiom, anything of a kin dk = such a thing as arrgigate of all kinds.

3) Aggreagates can't exist unless all parts exist (which means necessary aggregate must have Necessary parts, contingent aggregate must have contingent parts. The result is necessary and contingnet facts which means contingent aggregate as a whole). 4) Absolutely necessary facts cannot be caused, therefore, wholly contingent facts (those whith only contingent parts) can be caused.

5) Causal principle can be thought of as empirically supported (effects not limited to a particular region of space/time in the case of physical laws for example, :. we have reason to suspect that all contingent facts have causes).

For an explaination of the fact token/type situation I turn to Dr.Koons himself: www.leaderu.com/offices/k.../lec7.html

Phl 356
Western Theism
Spring '98, University of Texas

LECTURE #7: Contemporary Versions: My Argument

Facts are the kinds of things that make declarative sentences, like "Caesar has died", true. Facts enter into cause and effect relations with other facts. We can distinguish between "types" and "tokens", to use terms introduced into philosophy by C. S. Peirce. Each individual penny is a token, and the property or kind of penny-hood is a type. Each penny is a token of one and the same type, which is multiply realized in different places at different times. My argument concerns fact-tokens, not fact-types. For example, we can use the phrases "that Caesar died", "Caesar's dying" or "Caesar's death" to refer either to a fact-token, the particular, actual occurrence that constituted the ending of Caesar's life, or to a fact-type, the kind of occurence in which the individual Caesar dies. Thus, the token of Caesar's death includes the actual thrust of Brutus's blade, and that very token would not have existed had Caesar died in some other way, of old age, for example. In contrast, the type, Caesar's dying, could have been realized in many different ways, including the actual assassination and the non-actual dying in old age. My argument focusses on the actual token I call the cosmos. This token includes all of the wholly contingent fact-tokens in the world as parts -- had the slightest detail been different anywhere at any time, the particular token I am calling 'the cosmos'would not have existed. It would instead be replaced by a different token. The fact-type, the existing of a universe, could have been realized by many different possible tokens.

For an explaination of Meremology I again turn to Dr. Koons:

"My argument focusses on the particular token that actually realized this type.If we assume that every fact has a cause, then there could exist no uncaused fact. Instead, I assume that every wholly contingent fact has a cause. Facts that are partly or wholly necessary need not, and indeed cannot, be caused. Since facts are concrete, actual things, we can talk meaningfully about the parts of a fact. Consequently, I use the principles of the mathematical theory of mereology, the theory of the part-whole relation. The most important principle of mereology is the aggregation axiom. This axiom states that, if there are any things of kind K, then there is such a thing as the aggregate of all the K's. For example, there is such a thing as water, so we can talk meaningfully about the aggregate or "mereological sum" of all the world's water. I assume that an aggregate cannot exist unless all of its parts exist. This means that a necessary aggregate must have only necessary parts, since if an aggregate has a contingent part, then that part might not exist, which would mean that the aggregate would not exist either. Aggregates are not like bodies or institutions, which can go on existing without the same parts. However, a contingent aggregate can have necessary parts. If we glue together some contingent and necessary facts, the resulting aggregate is contingent as a whole. I assume that an absolutely necessary fact cannot be caused. If a fact is caused, then all of its parts are caused. So, any fact that contains a necessary fact cannot be caused.

Therefore, it is only wholly contingent facts that can be caused. A wholly contingent fact is a fact that has only contingent parts.I argue that the causal principle should be thought of as empirically supported. We find that a wide variety of facts are caused. This includes conditions both small and large (from atomic physics to astronomy and cosmology), both recent and ancient, both transient and long-lasting. We even discover that many everlasting conditions have causes. For example, the fact that the physical world is approximately Newtonian is caused by certain features of general relativity. Similarly, the ideal gas laws are caused by the underlying dynamics of the gas molecules, and Brownian motion is caused by atomic collisions. In these cases, the effects are not limited to a particular region of space or time. Thus, we have good empirical reason to believe that every fact that can be caused, that is, every wholly contingent fact, has a cause.