By: Dr Irengbam Mohendra Singh
I received emails from an American lawyer who “loved my article” and another from a Dane who didn’t like my article, both as educated response to my article – “Scientists are nearer to proving non-existence of God”.
The American writes: “I was on Google news and saw your article. I had to tell you that I love reading your article. Although I am an attorney by trade and not schooled in the hard sciences I love the process of discovering new truths. As an atheist, you encapsulated my views on why religion has too large a margin for error to be true. I just wanted to say I enjoyed the read, keep it up.”
The Dane writes:
i just read your http://kanglaonline.com/2012/01/scientists-are-nearer-to-proving-non-existence-of-god/
WHY ARE YOU SO HELLBENT ON TRYING TO PROVE GOD DOESN’T EXIST?
extrapolating god’s existence from whether or not a human concept of a neutrino can
be identified or measured is really stretching it
It is amazing how different people presented with the same scientific results
can interpret them with such diametrically opposing points
you refer to a creation without a creator?
if you propose god doesn’t exit, maybe you should start avoiding use of this term??
Einstein had been unable to find a place for God in space (sky) – the eclectic choice where God was believed to live for generations. It was quite a disappointment for me.
The famous American scientist, Carl Saga writes in his book, Demon-Haunted World:
There is much that science doesn’t understand; many mysteries still to be solved. In a universe of tens of billions of light years across and some ten or fifteen billion years old, this may be the case for ever. Yet some New Age and religious writers assert that scientists believe that ‘what they find is all there is’.
The scientific way of thinking is at once imaginative and disciplined. Science invites us to let the facts in, even when they don’t conform to our preconceptions. It counsels us to carry alternative hypothesis in our heads and see which best fit the facts. This kind of thinking is also an essential tool for a democracy in an age of change.
I studies for B Sc degree in physics and biology in Naini Tal, but was taught hardly anything about Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. Later in life in the 1990s when semi-retired I began to read books. Still the theory of relativity was written in scientific language and was not understood.
The theory of relativity is famous for being incomprehensible. In essence, it means that time and space, and gravity have no separate existence from matter. Matter is continuous fields in space-time.
The dominant view in physics is that the physical world is four-dimensional, philosophically, and as a mathematical model that can be proved by calculus. “Space” appears to be three-
dimensional, with the assumption that we can locate anything in the universe using three
coordinates – occupying a certain position in our three-dimensional continuum.
By “space” we mean space beyond the Earth’s atmosphere – a three-dimensional and boundless expanse in which objects and events occur, and have relative position and direction.
Space and time is closely connected with the scientific picture of the world. For example: with the speed of current technology it will take four years to reach Mars from Earth.
We exist in space-time. Space is endless and time is endless. The flow of time is beyond human control. We have the power to neither halt nor prolong it. We can not go back in time either, as they do in science fiction movies.
In the physical model, the spacetime (or space-time continuum) is usually interpreted with space as being three dimensional and time as the fourth dimension ie the universe has three dimensions of space and one dimension of time.
The word “universe” is often taken to mean “everything that exists at the present time”.
To say that space has three-dimensions (length, breadth and depth) is like saying that the surface of the earth is observed only in two-dimensional slices of horizontal planes though having three dimensions with three coordinates – latitude, longitude and elevation from sea level.
According to particle physics and theory of relativity, at least ten dimensions of space existed at the beginning of the universe (with the Big Bang, about 13.7 billion years ago from an initial spacetime singularity).
However, we can directly observe only three dimensions of space plus time dimension, known as spacetime. The other six are mumbo-jumbo or, rather incredibly compact dimensions of space.
Recently, I have been studying cosmology when I read a book by Richard Dawkins – Modern Scientific Writing (2008) in which he simplifies everything in any scientific discipline though he is a zoologist by profession.
Richard Dawkins is a British evolutionary biologist and ethologist. He is the most outspoken atheist in the world and believes that religion is incompatible with science. He is well known for his criticism of creation and intelligent design. He was the University of Oxford’s Professor for Public Understanding of Science from 1996-2008.
Modern physics is essentially mathematical. It also makes considerable use of time ie mathematical time, replacing part of the Newtonian (17th century) conceptions upon which our knowledge of the universe was built.
Cosmological science needs theoretical physics like the Big Bang. The term “cosmos” comes from the Greek word meaning “order”, as opposed to chaos. Cosmology (study began in Greece, 6th century BCE) is the study of the nature of the universe.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) expanded his Special Theory (that applies to all phenomena with the exception of gravitation, published in 1905), to include the effects of gravitation on the shape of the space and the flow of time.
His theory, referred to as the General Theory of Relativity or, simply as General Relativity (abbreviated, published in1915), proposed that “matter” causes space to curve.
In cosmology, the term matter includes visible and invisible ‘dark matter’ and ‘dark energy’- currently poorly understood forms of mass and energy.
In cosmology, gravitation is the dominating force, overwhelming all others because of the vast mass of the cosmos and the expanding universe.
Richard Dawkins explains: Einstein spotted that although gravitation manifests itself as a force, it may also be understood in a completely different way in terms of ‘warped geometry’.
The rules of geometry we learned in school were established in Greece, referred to as Euclidean geometry after Euclid, who wrote it down. One of theorems that can be proved by Euclid’s axioms is that the three angles of any triangle add up to two right angles (1800).
This theorem works only on a flat surface eg on the Earth’s surface on a map, but it does not work on the curved or warped surfaces such as a globe, on which a triangle can contain three
right angles (2700).
He explains: If a flat triangle (ie it lies in a plane such as a blackboard) is drawn around the sun the three angles will be equivalent to 1800. Euclid’s geometry applies to this situation.
But if a flat triangle is drawn round the sun, the angles add up to a bit more than 1800.
The sun’s gravitational field distorts the Euclidian geometry of space in its vicinity ie the sides of the triangle are the straightest lines possible in the curved geometry.
Einstein himself, thought that the answer will be slightly greater than 1800, even though the triangle is flat, because the sun’s gravitation would warp the three dimensional geometry
Before Einstein almost everybody believed that space was flat with Euclidian geometry. But Einstein’s theory of general relativity proposed that a gravitational field can warp three-dimensional space, necessitating the use of non-Euclidian geometry to describe it.
Pilots and navigators are well aware of this and have to use different geometrical rules while flying to cope with the earth’s curvature.
Einstein thought the cosmos was static and finite, which he called “cosmological constants”, adding that the velocity of light was also constant (186,202 miles per second).
He was however, proved wrong by Hubble’s expanding universe, He admitted his “greatest blunder of his career” in favour of the Big Bang on February 3 1931, in the library of Mount Wilson Observatory in Los Angeles.
He expanded Newton’s laws of gravitation by adding that space and time were also affected by gravity, in a flexible spacetime beyond earth by matter that will bend space in and out, or leave it flat where there is no gravitational pull.
It is also true that the sun’s gravity also bends light rays passing near it and thus distorting the angles because of unstable sides of the triangle.
But the space is irreducibly curved and the straightening of the light beams will not restore Euclid’s geometry. This warping of space around the sun is tiny but measurable.
Arthur Eddington, the English astronomer, accompanied by Einstein, found during the total solar eclipse occurring on May 29, 1919 in Brazil and Africa, the position of the background stars appeared to change, thus demonstrating that the light from the stars was influenced by the sun’s gravitational field. That finding confirmed Einstein’s general theory of relativity (1915).
Furthermore, Einstein demonstrated that space is linked to time in a manner that makes it natural to consider space and time together as spacetime. Time itself cannot exist in the absence of matter and space. Space has three dimensions and time has one, making four dimensions in all. So he proposed that it is spacetime that is warped.
Even the much smaller earth’s timewarp is measurable by the fact that clocks tick slightly faster at higher altitude eg on a mountain top than at sea level.
The question I want to ask now is, as there are so many stars, gas and dust, which form the observable universe with about 10¯50 tonnes of visible matter, all of which combine to form a very stronger gravitational field, what would be the overall shape of the space?
Einstein set out to answer this question in 1917, two years after he first presented the theory of relativity. By applying the idea of warped space to cosmology he introduced several important features.
He postulated that the sun’s rays would be bent or curved by gravitational tug. That is, space could be either flat or curved inwards or outwards.
As the stars like the sun create small distortions, in Einstein’s mathematical model of the universe the curvature accumulates so that, averaged out over billions of light years, the shape
of space resembles a three-dimensional version of the surface of a sphere – hypersphere.
As the microwave radiation from space is so uniform it indicates that as far as we can see out there the space is fairly regular in shape though the universe has positive and negative curvatures. The space is also flat surface, which according to cosmologists, is within observable accuracy of about 2 per cent.
The reader might be surprised to know that there are many who are anti to the theory of relativity. These underground (faceless and nameless) “dissidents” bring out theories to prove that Einstein is wrong. But they are just hot air.
It is partly because Einstein was agnostic and kept his disbelief in God away from the ignorant public, saying that he did not believe in a personal God. Secondly, Einstein’s theory found no evidence of God’s presence in the cosmos.
It is a new front in the war against science that is based on “facts” while religion is based on “faith”.
The writer is based in the UK
Email: [email protected]