Starting simple and building up complexity over time

44


Discussion by: Axulus

I have often heard Richard say that the universe had a simple beginning, and that starting simple and building up to something more complex over time is a far simpler explaination than positing that something complicated popped into existence (or has always existed).   However, from what I understand, the universe as a whole was in its most complicated/ordered state immediately after the big bang. The universe is getting less complicated and more disordered over time as per the second law of thermodynamics, as entropy increases. There may be some local instances of increasing order (life, for example), but the universe as a whole gets more disordered/less complicated from one moment in time to the next. The universe is at a far simpler and more disordered state than it was before life existed anywhere.

The fact that the origin of the universe was so well ordered is still one of the biggest mysteries in cosmology. Am I missing something here in regards to the point Richard is trying to make?

Also, please don’t mistake me for trying to slip in a God as an explaination here, I am an atheist here and fully understand that a God is not an explaination at all, but rather a supernatural non-argument to disguise the fact that we don’t have an answer. I’m just trying to better understand Richard’s point and whether or not that point is consistent with the fact of a complicated universe at its origin.

44 COMMENTS

  1. My scattered thoughts:

    The second law of thermodynamics comes into play. Closed systems (like the universe) tend towards increased entropy. Meanwhile, open systems (like living things) fight the universal trend towards entropy by using energy to order particles.

    The starting point of the universe is a singularity. It is where the question starts to have an answer. This is because the laws that govern the universe are not necessarily “holding” before the big bang. It is ok to say that we do not know. Many see this as a weakness. I see it as a strength. We can rank our answers according to confidence. Certain answers have a high level of confidence; certain a low level. We are honest when we do not know.

    The other side of the fence has equal confidence in everything they say because any one card that falls brings the whole house down.

    So, while the universe trends towards increasing entropy, the life within it maintains order by “swimming upstream” against the current of entropy. It is magnificent.

    • In reply to #2 by crookedshoes:

      My scattered thoughts:

      The second law of thermodynamics comes into play. Closed systems (like the universe) tend towards increased entropy. Meanwhile, open systems (like living things) fight the universal trend towards entropy by using energy to order particles.

      The starting point of the universe is a singularity. It is where the question starts to have an answer. This is because the laws that govern the universe are not necessarily “holding” before the big bang. It is ok to say that we do not know. Many see this as a weakness. I see it as a strength. We can rank our answers according to confidence. Certain answers have a high level of confidence; certain a low level. We are honest when we do not know.

      The other side of the fence has equal confidence in everything they say because any one card that falls brings the whole house down.

      So, while the universe trends towards increasing entropy, the life within it maintains order by “swimming upstream” against the current of entropy. It is magnificent.

      Patterns of molecules (like humans, or even the first replicating compunds ever to evolve) that have the ability to to reproduce themselves do so as an emergent property (epiphenemona, just like the ‘characters’ that arise in Conway’s Game of Life). When you say “swimming upstream” you give the impression that these patterns are “doing something”, when a better explanation is that “they are happening”, just like the Game of Life characters “happen” rather than “do”. Not slapping you down, just helping you explain. :)

      • In reply to #41 by ClayFerguson:

        In reply to #2 by crookedshoes:

        My scattered thoughts:

        The second law of thermodynamics comes into play. Closed systems (like the universe) tend towards increased entropy. Meanwhile, open systems (like living things) fight the universal trend towards entropy by using energy to order particles.

        The starting point of the universe is a singularity. It is where the question starts to have an answer. This is because the laws that govern the universe are not necessarily “holding” before the big bang. It is ok to say that we do not know. Many see this as a weakness. I see it as a strength. We can rank our answers according to confidence. Certain answers have a high level of confidence; certain a low level. We are honest when we do not know.

        The other side of the fence has equal confidence in everything they say because any one card that falls brings the whole house down.

        So, while the universe trends towards increasing entropy, the life within it maintains order by “swimming upstream” against the current of entropy. It is magnificent.

        Patterns of molecules (like humans, or even the first replicating compunds ever to evolve) that have the ability to to reproduce themselves do so as an emergent property (epiphenemona, just like the ‘characters’ that arise in Conway’s Game of Life). When you say “swimming upstream” you give the impression that these patterns are “doing something”, when a better explanation is that “they are happening”, just like the Game of Life characters “happen” rather than “do”. Not slapping you down, just helping you explain. :)

        I think the point crookedshoes is making, is that life, – powered by inputs of Solar energy, does “swim upstream” against the general flow of the universe towards greater entropy.

        crookedshoes -The second law of thermodynamics comes into play. Closed systems (like the universe) tend towards increased entropy. Meanwhile, open systems (like living things) fight the universal trend towards entropy by using energy to order particles.

        This is describing the exchange of “energy and entropy” according to second law of thermodynamics, between the Earth and the Sun! It is “just happening”, but it is happening in a particular way, according to the laws of physics.

  2. Obviously this is a question for physicists, of which Professor Dawkins isn’t one. But I am, so let me try to help.

    from what I understand, the universe as a whole was in its most complicated/ordered state immediately after the big bang. The universe is getting less complicated and more disordered over time as per the second law of thermodynamics, as entropy increases.

    The first mistake is to suppose more entropy means less complexity and less order, and that’s simply not true. Entropy is not disorder or simplicity; it is a measure of how uninformative are survey results of how many particles are at each energy level if you’re interested in the energy of each individual particle. (It’s also a measure of how quickly energy is accumulated with rising temperature; it can be shown the two definitions are mathematically equivalent.) Plenty of processes simultaneously increase the entropy and order of the same matter, such as snowflake formation. And the natural rise of complexity is, if anything, driven by the rise in entropy. This is because a rise in entropy goes hand in hand with useful work being done; as the Sun’s entropy rises, our food chains are driven. As for the universe as a whole, it turns out the best measure for how “entropic” it is isn’t its total entropy (that keeps rising), but its entropy to square radius ratio (which may well fall over time). The early universe is likely to have been at high relative entropy, but since then it’s fallen through the floor.

    The fact that the origin of the universe was so well ordered is still one of the biggest mysteries in cosmology.

    There are a lot of theoretical wrinkles to iron out, yes. The reason for this is that gravity has its own thermodynamics principles, but we’ve not fully elucidated them yet (partly because we still don’t know much about quantum gravity), and nor do we know whether this means the early universe had to obey the second law in the form we currently understand it. When we first looked at black hole thermodynamics, we discovered entropy needs to include a term proportional to the squared Schwarzschild radius in order to obey the keeps-increasing rule, even though such a term doesn’t seem to correspond to how complex or ordered matter is. So whatever the thermodynamics of an early universe where gravity was as strong as the other forces, the usual analogies to explain what entropy is would there be all the more suspect.

  3. You appear to have identified complexity and order as the same, but is this correct? The atoms in a crystal or a Bose-Einstein condensate are in highly ordered states, but is this complexity? My naive understandingI of a Bose-Einstein condensate is that it is a group of atoms all sharing the same (lowest) energy state and behaving like a single atom. If I were to look at this system, I would say it is highly ordered and its behavior is very simple. The theory that explains it is very complex.

    Thermodynamics addresses the average properties of a system so as you observed it is possible to have local properties that are at odds with the average properties of the system,

    Hopefully someone can clarify how this fits together and what errors I’ve committed.

  4. In reply to #3 by Jos Gibbons:

    Nice account, thanks.

    …as the Sun’s entropy rises, our food chains are driven…

    This is the start of an easier answer for me. On earth, bathed in a high radiant energy flux, we are not a closed system. Like a pan of water on a stove, complex circulation patterns (sometimes multiple convection cells) are formed as the most efficient way of “aiding” the energy flux. Localised complexity could be considered the inevitable result of thermodynamics maximally speeding the heat death of the universe.

  5. However, from what I understand, the universe as a whole was in its most complicated/ordered state immediately after the big bang.

    What do you mean ‘complicated’? Homogeneous and smooth, yes, but extremely chaotic with high energy density. At a given time of the origin of the universe, no table of elements to speak of, therefore no life. Sounds about as simple as it can be for a biologist. So from that standpoint, yes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAIwBnDc7o0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NUVLoxownmM

    To quote, “left alone, energy always seems to go from being concentrated, to being dispersed”. That’s pretty much the story of the universe from the beginning.

    I think it is a bit more subtle than ‘complicated’ and ‘simple’.Entropy, thermodynamics all play a part in the evolution of the universe. It’s all mind blowing stuff, for sure :)

  6. Taking your example of the universe, in the very instant of creation there was extreme temperature, when the universe cooled down sufficiently it is thought that a single “unified” force came into existence, as the early universe inflated this single force separated into the strong and weak electromagnetic forces, and soon after some of the elementary particles appeared.

    A simplistic explanation, and probably not entirely accurate, but the important thing to note is that we are going from a single high energy state to that with forces and then particles, so we go from simple… to more complex, the information content is going up, and the more particles we have the higher the information content becomes, because we have more stuff to keep track of, complexity is increasing inexorably.

    So we go from a simple (ordered) state and are moving towards a disordered (complex) state and if you think about it, if you go from a single thing to many, then you increase the information content of the system.

  7. wel i’m no quantum physicist, i’m not even sure how to spell it..

    our universe worked because the fundamental constants of phsyics have values which can lead to a big bang, and the resulting formation of elements, planets and stars. maybe these values are the only possible values which would imply some underlying order which we dont yet understand but given each generation can explain more with science than the previous, one day there will likely be an explanation

    maybe the chances are astronomically against a universe forming with the values of fundamental constants which allow for stars, planets and life such as ours to exist. maybe there are millions of failed universes where things like plancks constant had other values and as a result the conditions were not right for the big bang to occur so those failed universes didnt last and whatever processes ocurring in the void kept churning away until after an astromical number of failed unvierses, a universe with coherent laws of phsyics resulted.

    there’s good books on this;
    leon lederman
    A Universe From Nothing – Lawrence Krauss; Broch
    The Cosmic Code: Heinz R Pagels

  8. on the al jazeera interview richard got a question something like this, around 43mins in

    Richards response was something like ‘quantum physicists understand these processes quite well, they assure us science has a some possible explanations but we cant discuss about the origins of the universe because we dont have expertise in quantum physics, we just have to trust the experts”.

    Which is probably true, but rings a little bit too closely to “we cant discuss religion because only priests and bishops have the understanding needed”. And indeed that is the inference made by the interviewer ..

    I think it’s worth pointing out that are essential differences between saying
    “that something can only be explained by a quantum phsyicist” and “something can only be explained by a high priest”

    even though quantum physics explains things in a domain that we cant witness, relate to directly or have intuitive ideas about, quantum physics came through scientists being empirical and looking at facts in association.

    Quantum physics explanations for the origin of the universe are put forward by people who are commited to scientific reasoning, they are testable, even if we dont yet know how to test them, the maths may be difficult but there is no secrecy behind the methods, they are available for review by any parties willing to question them

  9. You wrote that God dropped into existence or always existed. But Christians do not believe that God came into existence from nothing.This is a typical question that I hear over and over again and I used to ask too:” It is unlikely for the Universe coming into existence from nothing. It is unlikely for life coming into existence from non living material. So it must have been created. But what is the probability for God coming into existence from nothing? Who created God?”

    The answer shocked me. “Nobody created God, He did not come into existence from nothing. He always existed.”

    Although I can not imagine how something can be eternal without beginning, there must have been something that has no beginning and always existed. And because of the law of termodinamics and because of the entropy the only logical answer is that there must have been someone very intelligent at the very beginnig and created everything. Because observation proved that the matter is not intelligent to create a life.

    So idea of God coming into existence is stupid, but the idea of eternal God is only logical explanation of compexity.

  10. A book I find interesting is GOD: The Failed Hypothesis by Victor J. Stenger. In it he argues the universe did NOT begin with an order, or the beginning began with maximum entropy. How can this be? “For our purposes, an expanding universe could have started in total chaos and still formed localized order consistent with the second law” (p. 118). I like the simplistic example he uses: “Suppose that whenever you clean your house, you empty the collected rubbish by tossing it out the window into your yard. Eventually the yard would be filled with rubbish. However, you can continue doing this with a simple expedient. Just keep buying up the land around your house and you will always have more room to toss the rubbish. You are able to maintain localized order – in your house – at the expense of increased disorder in the rest of the universe” (p. 118). The universe is expanding, providing for more space to dispose of the rubbish. “Parts of the universe can become more orderly as the rubbish, or entropy, produced during the ordering process is tossed out into the larger, ever-expanding surrounding space. The total entropy of the universe increases as the universe expands, as required by the second law. However, the maximum possible entropy increases even faster, leaving increasingly more room for order to form.”

    At the beginning, the entropy of the universe and the maximum entropy for the universe were the same – the universe was really small. The universe may be a closed system, but it is an expanding system, there is more room for more rubbish. This universe began with no structure or organization, it was a state of chaos.

    Live a good life,
    Masubi

  11. Either that bit of inane “logic” OR there is no god. The actual logical answer is that there is no god. You see when something exists, it leaves evidence. So, other than your strong desire for the god thing to be true, what evidence do you have? NONE.

    You have mistaken “logic” for “rationalization”. The only way that the god thing can exist in your mind is to give it the property of being eternal. That is not logic it is making shit up to satisfy your own mind’s needs.

    In reply to #11 by Robert Kubik:

    You wrote that God dropped into existence or always existed. But Christians do not believe that God came into existence from nothing.This is a typical question that I hear over and over again and I used to ask too:” It is unlikely for the Universe coming into existence from nothing. It is unlikely for life coming into existence from non living material. So it must have been created. But what is the probability for God coming into existence from nothing? Who created God?”

    The answer shocked me. “Nobody created God, He did not come into existence from nothing. He always existed.”

    Although I can not imagine how something can be eternal without beginning, there must have been something that has no beginning and always existed. And because of the law of termodinamics and because of the entropy the only logical answer is that there must have been someone very intelligent at the very beginnig and created everything. Because observation proved that the matter is not intelligent to create a life.

    So idea of God coming into existence is stupid, but the idea of eternal God is only logical explanation of compexity.

  12. Christians do not believe that God came into existence from nothing… He did not come into existence from nothing. He always existed.

    Spare us the Kalam Cosmological Argument. You can see a zillion of our refutations of it here: http://old.richarddawkins.net/discussions/507717-the-kalam-cosmological-argument

    Also, both of these claims about a god requires its existence to be unexplained. If we must believe in something unexplained, it had better be something we have to believe in because we know it’s there, like spacetime.

    there must have been something that has no beginning and always existed.

    Why? Because you don’t accept an infinite regress? Even though you believe in a god of infinite power. What about closed causation with time travel? What about a universe that doesn’t even have a cause/effect, past/future structure?

    because of the law of termodinamics [sic] and because of the entropy the only logical answer is that there must have been someone very intelligent at the very beginnig and created everything. Because observation proved that the matter is not intelligent to create a life.

    I assume you mean “not intelligent enough”. Your argument boils down to, “dumb matter didn’t do it, therefore smart non-matter did”. YouI may as well claim yellow non-matter does what pink matter hasn’t been observed doing yet. Putting aside the success of abiogenesis research, which suggests matter did make life, you forget that your precious thermodynamics argument can only justify a low-entropy explanation. A mind, or anything with one, isn’t low-entropy because of the information inside it; every bit of information has entropy k ln 2.

    the idea of eternal God is only logical explanation of compexity.

    The 11-D eternal universe in M-theory alone is proof there are other possibilities. It doesn’t even require us to concede magic; that hypothetical structure is justified by completely separate physical arguments.

  13. In reply to #11 by Robert Kubik:

    You wrote that God dropped into existence or always existed. But Christians do not believe that God came into existence from nothing.This is a typical question that I hear over and over again and I used to ask too:” It is unlikely for the Universe coming into existence from nothing. It is unlikely for life coming into existence from non living material. So it must have been created. But what is the probability for God coming into existence from nothing? Who created God?”

    The answer shocked me. “Nobody created God, He did not come into existence from nothing. He always existed.”

    Why, exactly would you think that is an answer. It answers nothing, just assumes something for which you have absolutely no evidence.

    Although I can not imagine how something can be eternal without beginning, there must have been something that has no beginning and always existed. And because of the law of termodinamics and because of the entropy the only logical answer is that there must have been someone very intelligent at the very beginnig and created everything. Because observation proved that the matter is not intelligent to create a life.

    So idea of God coming into existence is stupid, but the idea of eternal God is only logical explanation of compexity.

    No, as you can tell from some of the other posts, it is not the only explanation. Indeed, it’s not an explanation at all, just a surrender to the question. The classic, “I don’t know how so goddidit.”

  14. JHJEFFERY,

    It is also logical explanation. If I see a computer programm I know it was created by a programmer also I did not see him creating his programme. And DNA is like computer programme containing a lot of information in digital code. So logical conclusion is that an intelligent programmer created the programme encoded in DNA.

    But the topic of this discussion is the Universe so I am leaving as I am not educated enough in the physics.

  15. If I see a computer programm I know it was created by a programmer also I did not see him creating his programme.

    I am looking now at a computer program called Google Chrome. I can produce plenty of evidence that it was created by some programmers at Google, although I did not see them creating it.

  16. In reply to #16 by Robert Kubik:

    JHJEFFERY,

    It is also logical explanation. If I see a computer programm I know it was created by a programmer also I did not see him creating his programme. And DNA is like computer programme containing a lot of information in digital code. So logical conclusion is that an intelligent programmer created the programme encoded in DNA.

    But the topic of this discussion is the Universe so I am leaving as I am not educated enough in the physics.

    Robert

    Your capability for wish-thinking continues to amaze me. All of the Xians who wander onto this site are wish-thnkers, but I think you must be superior to all of them. What you have just postulated is Paley’s Watchmaker argument–an argument that has been addressed many times, by many different philosophers, as well as RD and numerous posters on this site. It is really very tired and shopworn. Paley is walking on the beach and sees a watch. He knows that there must have been a designer behind it because it is relatively complex and functional. He seems to have been oblivious to the sand in which he found it. Does sand look like it was designed?

    And no, saying we don’t know how the universe was created, therefore godditit is not logical. It is not even intelligent. It is intellectually lazy. You don’t know the cause so you make one up. Then you give it characteristics (mostly anthropomorphic) and start worshipping it. If that qualifies for logic or intelligence in your book–get another book.

    But we do not a lot more about the origin of DNA than you think.

  17. Just to piggyback on your excellent post:

    The hallmark of something that is designed is manufacture. The computer program, the watch, whatever the item; if it was designed, it was assembled.

    The hallmark of living things , which are not designed, is SELF ASSEMBLY.

    In reply to #18 by JHJEFFERY:

    In reply to #16 by Robert Kubik:

    JHJEFFERY,

    It is also logical explanation. If I see a computer programm I know it was created by a programmer also I did not see him creating his programme. And DNA is like computer programme containing a lot of information in digital code. So logical conclusion is that an intelligent programmer created the programme encoded in DNA.

    But the topic of this discussion is the Universe so I am leaving as I am not educated enough in the physics.

    Robert

    Your capability for wish-thinking continues to amaze me. All of the Xians who wander onto this site are wish-thnkers, but I think you must be superior to all of them. What you have just postulated is Paley’s Watchmaker argument–an argument that has been addressed many times, by many different philosophers, as well as RD and numerous posters on this site. It is really very tired and shopworn. Paley is walking on the beach and sees a watch. He knows that there must have been a designer behind it because it is relatively complex and functional. He seems to have been oblivious to the sand in which he found it. Does sand look like it was designed?

    And no, saying we don’t know how the universe was created, therefore godditit is not logical. It is not even intelligent. It is intellectually lazy. You don’t know the cause so you make one up. Then you give it characteristics (mostly anthropomorphic) and start worshipping it. If that qualifies for logic or intelligence in your book–get another book.

    But we do not a lot more about the origin of DNA than you think.

  18. I believe that everything is cyclical. It starts simply, becomes more complicated, then back to simple. Here is the cycle as I see it, though I am not a physicist. Atoms are gathered by gravity in a singularity that compresses their structure until it crosses a currently unknown threshold (one of those repelling barriers on an atomic level) causing a big bang which allows matter to be expelled beyond the gravity of the singularity. It would be a finite amount of mass that would cause this reaction, and seems highly unlikely to me that all the matter in the universe is the exact amount needed to cause this reaction, so this would lend me to believe that more matter exists at a range beyond our ability to detect it, probably going through similar cycles (some was probably in a state of approaching the singularity during the big bang itself so would have collided with the expelling matter so would be a part of what we see today). So the big bang happens, instilling enormous amounts of energy on the atoms it expels, which gets redistributed with all the typical laws we can observe on atoms today as they collide with each other and gather due to gravity and react due to their varying energy levels. Eventually the mass will be attracted to another singularity, if not the same one, and follow the same cycle. This would also lead me to believe that life is a perfectly natural condition of atomic reactions and would be started in the same circumstances every time. I don’t believe in magic at all, I think EVERYTHING happens naturally due to the natural inter-reactions of atoms, even our own seeming complexity, and yet you see the evolution of the parts of the universe itself, every bit of matter working towards its most “survivable” state.

  19. In reply to #21 by Randomknight:

    Atoms are gathered by gravity in a singularity that compresses their structure until it crosses a currently unknown threshold (one of those repelling barriers on an atomic level) causing a big bang which allows matter to be expelled beyond the gravity of the singularity.

    The repulsion you’re thinking of doesn’t undo the compressing effect of gravity; it only slows it down. Think of neutron stars, or black holes; in neutron stars, gravity overcomes electron degeneracy pressure; in black holes, it overcomes neutron degeneracy pressure. Your idea of how a Big Bang happens also fails because it doesn’t involve the conformal expansion of space-time, which we know has happened from a radiation analysis.

    It … seems highly unlikely to me that all the matter in the universe is the exact amount needed to cause this reaction, so this would lend me to believe that more matter exists at a range beyond our ability to detect it, probably going through similar cycles

    What if we have less mass than is needed? Then it wouldn’t happen once, would it?

    So the big bang happens, instilling enormous amounts of energy on the atoms it expels

    So we have matter that undergoes internal conservative forces and subsequently expands outwards with far more KE than it initially had? Crunching the numbers says that can’t happen.

    which gets redistributed with all the typical laws we can observe on atoms today as they collide with each other and gather due to gravity and react due to their varying energy levels. Eventually the mass will be attracted to another singularity

    The radius would oscillate about an equilibrium, but the amplitudes wouldn’t be high enough for your proposed Big Bang mechanism to work. The system wouldn’t disassemble itself; as I said above, it doesn’t have the energy for it.

    This would also lead me to believe that life is a perfectly natural condition of atomic reactions and would be started in the same circumstances every time. I don’t believe in magic at all, I think EVERYTHING happens naturally due to the natural inter-reactions of atoms, even our own seeming complexity, and yet you see the evolution of the parts of the universe itself, every bit of matter working towards its most “survivable” state.

    This is one of those “A therefore B” non-sequiturs that is so unfathomable I don’t even know where to begin explaining what’s wrong with it. The physical oscillations you conjectured above simply don’t imply the inexorability of specific chemical reactions.

  20. As has been pointed out, order and complexity are separate variables. But that aside, you might find this video, “Into the Cool,” illuminating (http://www.intothecool.com/videos.php). I think the authors take their theory a bit too far in the sense of concluding that the purpose of life is to dissipate energy, but that’s just my opinion.

    Another intriguing theory that offers some insight into the seeming conflict between biology and the Second Law is Christopher Langton’s Edge of Chaos theory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edge_of_chaos.

    Hope you find these helpful. BTW, wondering if being an atheist is consistent with the notion that “we don’t have an answer” – seems to me the unknowing is better aligned with agnosticism. IMO atheism is as non-scientific as any dogma that claims to know about things beyond the reach of human beings’ external perception (in other words, beyond the reach of the scientific method).

  21. In reply to #2 by crookedshoes:

    The second law of thermodynamics comes into play. Closed systems (like the universe) tend towards increased entropy. Meanwhile, open systems (like living things) fight the universal trend towards entropy by using energy to order particles.

    I’ve always been a bit confused by this open/closed system notion – isn’t the universe and everything in it just one huge closed system? Cordoning off a bit of the universe, calling it “open” and offering this as an explanation seems a bit arbitrary to me. What am I missing?

  22. The delineation between an open and closed system is something that really matters to a Biologist. I am not so sure it hits home with the Physics or Chemistry folks, so I cannot speak for them.

    When you “cordon off a bit of the universe”, what you are really doing is defining your system. The system is what we define as being open or closed. It can be as simple as a blade of grass or as complex as the universe. Here’s the thing: open systems receive energy and can use that input of energy to “swim against the current” of entropy.

    It is a favorite scam of the creationist / IDer to claim that evolution violates the 2nd Law. This is one of the reasons that it has come to mean a lot for Biologists. They manage to ignore the giant ball of energy that lights our sky and provides the inout energy necessary for life to exist.

    So, a blade of grass can order molecules and “live” due to the input of energy from the sun (it is an open system). The universe receives no input of energy from anywhere (that we know of), so it is considered a closed system and overall it has a tendency towards greater disorder.

    In reply to #24 by conspirator:

    In reply to #2 by crookedshoes:

    The second law of thermodynamics comes into play. Closed systems (like the universe) tend towards increased entropy. Meanwhile, open systems (like living things) fight the universal trend towards entropy by using energy to order particles.

    I’ve always been a bit confused by this open/closed system notion – isn’t the universe and everything in it just one huge closed system? Cordoning off a bit of the universe, calling it “open” and offering this as an explanation seems a bit arbitrary to me. What am I missing?

  23. In reply to #22 by Jos Gibbons:

    In reply to #21 by Randomknight:

    Atoms are gathered by gravity in a singularity that compresses their structure until it crosses a currently unknown threshold (one of those repelling barriers on an atomic level) causing a big bang which allows matter to be expelled beyond the gravity of the singularity.

    The repulsion you’re thinking of doesn’t undo the compressing effect of gravity; it only slows it down. Think of neutron stars, or black holes; in neutron stars, gravity overcomes electron degeneracy pressure; in black holes, it overcomes neutron degeneracy pressure. Your idea of how a Big Bang happens also fails because it doesn’t involve the conformal expansion of space-time, which we know has happened from a radiation analysis.

    Actually, I was thinking more of a critical mass effect that would have been caused by crossing a threshold beyond what we have been able to determine, beyond electron degeneracy pressure, beyond neutron degeneracy pressure. The Critical Mass or Big Bang would have resulted in all the laws of matter and energy that we currently observe, but the Big Bang itself would not follow current observable laws because we haven’t observed that much mass again in one singularity.

    It … seems highly unlikely to me that all the matter in the universe is the exact amount needed to cause this reaction, so this would lend me to believe that more matter exists at a range beyond our ability to detect it, probably going through similar cycles

    What if we have less mass than is needed? Then it wouldn’t happen once, would it?

    Absolutely, would not have happened at all if there was not enough mass, so my assumption was that there was more than enough in existence to cause the reaction.

    So the big bang happens, instilling enormous amounts of energy on the atoms it expels

    So we have matter that undergoes internal conservative forces and subsequently expands outwards with far more KE than it initially had? Crunching the numbers says that can’t happen.

    But could it happen if such a Critical Mass was possible? And by crunching the numbers do you mean using the same laws that we currently observe? Because they wouldn’t apply to the Big Bang itself, only to the matter and energy that was expelled by it. I’m not referring to the Critical Mass effect as an explosion either, just the precursor to the phenomena that we observe today. Perhaps I was over-generalizing in my original statement.

    which gets redistributed with all the typical laws we can observe on atoms today as they collide with each other and gather due to gravity and react due to their varying energy levels. Eventually the mass will be attracted to another singularity

    The radius would oscillate about an equilibrium, but the amplitudes wouldn’t be high enough for your proposed Big Bang mechanism to work. The system wouldn’t disassemble itself; as I said above, it doesn’t have the energy for it.

    Again assuming that our observed laws all apply to the Big Bang itself. If our observed laws applied to the Big Bang, it never would have happened, this is why I believe there is an unknown threshold that involves nearly our current universe in mass before causing a Critical Mass effect. I realize this is conjecture, but mathematically what I am asking is IF it happened the way I said it did, what would be different than what we currently observe? If it happened the way I said it did and other “universes” exist beyond ours, then we could be in the gravity well of another from any or all sides. It would in part explain why the expansion of the universe is increasing, though I would not have expected it to be entirely uniform, depending on what gravity wells of other forming massive singularities were affecting our universe of parts of it.

    This would also lead me to believe that life is a perfectly natural condition of atomic reactions and would be started in the same circumstances every time. I don’t believe in magic at all, I think EVERYTHING happens naturally due to the natural inter-reactions of atoms, even our own seeming complexity, and yet you see the evolution of the parts of the universe itself, every bit of matter working towards its most “survivable” state.

    This is one of those “A therefore B” non-sequiturs that is so unfathomable I don’t even know where to begin explaining what’s wrong with it. The physical oscillations you conjectured above simply don’t imply the inexorability of specific chemical reactions.

    I think you are right, this is a different point for a different discussion and is not as related as it appeared when I wrote it, you can happily ignore it as rambling. Thank you for your observations.

  24. In reply to #22 by Jos Gibbons:

    In reply to #21 by Randomknight:

    Given the presence of actual physicists on this site, I wouldn’t have the nerve that Randomknight is displaying in describing his attempt at understanding cosmology. And if I knew more physics myself, I doubt I’d have the patience displayed by Jos Gibbons in responding. Kudos to Jos for taking the time to share with us.

  25. In reply to #27 by OHooligan:

    In reply to #22 by Jos Gibbons:

    In reply to #21 by Randomknight:

    Given the presence of actual physicists on this site, I wouldn’t have the nerve that Randomknight is displaying in describing his attempt at understanding cosmology. And if I knew more physics myself, I doubt I’d have the patience displayed by Jos Gibbons in responding. Kudos to Jos for taking the time to share with us.

    I apologize if you feel I’m wasting your time with a lack of knowledge, I can merely rely on those more intelligent than I to help me understand things beyond my scope. I am saying that I believe that the universe is not a singular entity because it goes in cycles and it happens by a commonplace, repeatable action. It makes more sense than a singular, non-repeatable, action. Everything happens because of commonplace and predictable, repeatable actions. Particular environments may be rarer than others, but as long as the environments and the elements in them are repeated, so will the reactions. Why would the formation of the universe be something that could never have happened before or ever happen again? I feel like we’re thinking in too small a scope to consider this is the only possible matter in existence because it’s all we can see.

  26. In reply to #28 by Randomknight:

    No, no. I must apologize to you, not the other way round. Not a waste of time at all, but interesting speculation. And since JosG replied, I’ve been pleased to read what you both wrote. I didn’t mean to put you down, and in fact I want to thank you for asking, and getting an answer from someone way better educated in this field than I am.

  27. In #26 Randomknight suggests the Big Bang may not have been subject to modern laws. In fact, it’s even suggested the Big Bang couldn’t have happened under modern laws. That’s actually not true, but I don’t have the technical resources on this website to explain the math of either that or what a law-changing Big Bang would even be like. (It does throw up some headaches.) In any case, a Big Bang is actually the only way the universe’s past could have gone that’s consistent with the evidence and general relativity, and all quantum corrections are likely to add is “oh btw it had a finite size rather than being a point”. However, I suppose we can’t say anything too definitively yet since the theoretical underpinnings of quantum gravity are far from complete. That’s what people like me are working on fixing now.

    In #28 there’s this further chestnut:

    the universe is not a singular entity because it goes in cycles and it happens by a commonplace, repeatable action. It makes more sense than a singular, non-repeatable, action. Everything happens because of commonplace and predictable, repeatable actions. Particular environments may be rarer than others, but as long as the environments and the elements in them are repeated, so will the reactions. Why would the formation of the universe be something that could never have happened before or ever happen again?

    The only sense I can think of in which that is universally true is that, if an identical setup were prepared, you’d get the same outcome (including quantum effects, “outcome” is here a probability distribution). In other words, the laws are the same across spacetime. That’s not to say everything that happens once happens frequently, although such “many bangs” accounts do occur in, for example, M-theory. However, be cautious about the idea of a Big Bang/Crunch cycle within our own spacetime pocket; our universe apparently won’t enter a Big Crunch, which would make this the “last” universe in its sequence (why even suppose there were earlier ones?). But then I’m reminded of another mechanism that’s been proposed to allow a different kind of cycling. It involves an exception to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, though.

  28. In reply to #30 by Jos Gibbons:

    In #26 Randomknight suggests the Big Bang may not have been subject to modern laws. In fact, it’s even suggested the Big Bang couldn’t have happened under modern laws. That’s actually not true, but I don’t have the technical resources on this website to explain the math of either that or what a law-changing Big Bang would even be like. (It does throw up some headaches.) In any case, a Big Bang is actually the only way the universe’s past could have gone that’s consistent with the evidence and general relativity, and all quantum corrections are likely to add is “oh btw it had a finite size rather than being a point”. However, I suppose we can’t say anything too definitively yet since the theoretical underpinnings of quantum gravity are far from complete. That’s what people like me are working on fixing now.

    Actually, if the modern laws could explain the Big Bang, I would be excited to hear them, and if they fit my ideas then all the better for my mind making sense of things. I was under the possibly mistaken assumption that the reaction of the Big Bang itself put all of the energy into all the matter around us that allows for Entropy in the first place, but itself opposed the idea. My conjectures would follow the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, and this would be how the energy is redistributed, but I thought it opposed the idea of Entropy. Forgive me, I try to read about all this and my understanding is limited.

    In #28 there’s this further chestnut:

    the universe is not a singular entity because it goes in cycles and it happens by a commonplace, repeatable action. It makes more sense than a singular, non-repeatable, action. Everything happens because of commonplace and predictable, repeatable actions. Particular environments may be rarer than others, but as long as the environments and the elements in them are repeated, so will the reactions. Why would the formation of the universe be something that could never have happened before or ever happen again?

    The only sense I can think of in which that is universally true is that, if an identical setup were prepared, you’d get the same outcome (including quantum effects, “outcome” is here a probability distribution). In other words, the laws are the same across spacetime. That’s not to say everything that happens once happens frequently, although such “many bangs” accounts do occur in, for example, M-theory. However, be cautious about the idea of a Big Bang/Crunch cycle within our own spacetime pocket; our universe apparently won’t enter a Big Crunch, which would make this the “last” universe in its sequence (why even suppose there were earlier ones?). But then I’m reminded of another mechanism that’s been proposed to allow a different kind of cycling. It involves an exception to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, though.

    You’re correct in how I view it. I don’t believe our little space-time pocket is the only one, and since matter is effectively escaping this one, I don’t think it could ever cause a big crunch itself, but eventually enough matter will be caught in the gravity of another singularity, or several, somewhere, to repeat the cycle. I can call it “commonplace” because I imagine space-time as infinite. If it were finite, then my ideas would be far less likely, and if this is the only one, then I am out-to-lunch. I also consider that all the matter floats freely in whatever particular last direction it was heading until again affected by gravity, so our universe, along with others could very well intermingle, collide, etc with others as a whole, much like the galaxies in our own visible universe, just at this particular moment we are far enough away from the nearest one to not detect it or view the effects of it.

  29. In reply to #16 by Robert Kubik:

    JHJEFFERY,It is also logical explanation. If I see a computer programm I know it was created by a programmer also I did not see him creating his programme. And DNA is like computer programme containing a lot of information in digital code. So logical conclusion is that an intelligent programmer created the programme encoded in DNA.But the topic of this discussion is the Universe so I am leaving as I am not educated enough in the physics.

    It might be logical if you are naive and ignorant about science in general and evolution in particular.

    Yes, DNA is complex, but it is not designed. We can look at the animals that arise from DNA and see clear evidence that the organism was not designed. There are obvious design flaws, there are obvious hold overs from previous iterations, and there is wealth of evidence supporting evolution, so much evidence that evolution can be considered a fact much as we consider gravity pulls masses together a fact.

    Once the fact of evolution was established science then tried to determine how it worked. Our best theory is Natural Selection. Natural Selection is not random. Death is the gatekeeper and it is very definitely not random.

  30. In reply to #21 by Randomknight:

    I believe that everything is cyclical. It starts simply, becomes more complicated, then back to simple. Here is the cycle as I see it, though I am not a physicist. Atoms are gathered by gravity in a singularity that compresses their structure until it crosses a currently unknown threshold (one of those repelling barriers on an atomic level) causing a big bang which allows matter to be expelled beyond the gravity of the singularity. It would be a finite amount of mass that would cause this reaction, and seems highly unlikely to me that all the matter in the universe is the exact amount needed to cause this reaction, so this would lend me to believe that more matter exists at a range beyond our ability to detect it, probably going through similar cycles (some was probably in a state of approaching the singularity during the big bang itself so would have collided with the expelling matter so would be a part of what we see today). So the big bang happens, instilling enormous amounts of energy on the atoms it expels, which gets redistributed with all the typical laws we can observe on atoms today as they collide with each other and gather due to gravity and react due to their varying energy levels. Eventually the mass will be attracted to another singularity, if not the same one, and follow the same cycle. This would also lead me to believe that life is a perfectly natural condition of atomic reactions and would be started in the same circumstances every time. I don’t believe in magic at all, I think EVERYTHING happens naturally due to the natural inter-reactions of atoms, even our own seeming complexity, and yet you see the evolution of the parts of the universe itself, every bit of matter working towards its most “survivable” state.

    You are right that there is not enough mass in the universe for it to oscillate. Our universe is flat, therefore it will, as far as we can tell, expand for infinity. (Neglecting possible sign changes of dark energy.)

    Aside for “wanting” an oscillating universe, is there any legitimate reason why you would suppose the radical idea that matter exists in near/singularity states? I think I’m getting a sniff of religion here.

  31. In reply to #33 by astrophysics:

    In reply to #21 by Randomknight:

    I believe that everything is cyclical. It starts simply, becomes more complicated, then back to simple. Here is the cycle as I see it, though I am not a physicist. Atoms are gathered by gravity in a singularity that compresses their structure until it crosses a currently unknown threshold (one of those repelling barriers on an atomic level) causing a big bang which allows matter to be expelled beyond the gravity of the singularity. It would be a finite amount of mass that would cause this reaction, and seems highly unlikely to me that all the matter in the universe is the exact amount needed to cause this reaction, so this would lend me to believe that more matter exists at a range beyond our ability to detect it, probably going through similar cycles (some was probably in a state of approaching the singularity during the big bang itself so would have collided with the expelling matter so would be a part of what we see today). So the big bang happens, instilling enormous amounts of energy on the atoms it expels, which gets redistributed with all the typical laws we can observe on atoms today as they collide with each other and gather due to gravity and react due to their varying energy levels. Eventually the mass will be attracted to another singularity, if not the same one, and follow the same cycle. This would also lead me to believe that life is a perfectly natural condition of atomic reactions and would be started in the same circumstances every time. I don’t believe in magic at all, I think EVERYTHING happens naturally due to the natural inter-reactions of atoms, even our own seeming complexity, and yet you see the evolution of the parts of the universe itself, every bit of matter working towards its most “survivable” state.

    You are right that there is not enough mass in the universe for it to oscillate. Our universe is flat, therefore it will, as far as we can tell, expand for infinity. (Neglecting possible sign changes of dark energy.)

    Aside for “wanting” an oscillating universe, is there any legitimate reason why you would suppose the radical idea that matter exists in near/singularity states? I think I’m getting a sniff of religion here.

    Because all mass has gravity, so over infinite time will gather with other mass that it can, it just seems to be the most likely state. Larger amounts of mass will have a stronger gravity, so the more that gathers, the more likely and further reaching it is. No religion here. :) I would expect the majority of mass to be in singularities, and it may very well be, even in our universe, though I am ignorant as to what the real mass amounts would be. All of my conjecture is purely based on patterns of what I see in the universe itself right down to the behaviour of atoms, and when you see a pattern, it starts to make sense how things happen or fit together, you can see a continuation of the pattern, a repetition. Doesn’t mean that my observations are correct, but it does open it up to discussion, I would love to hear ideas that specifically debunk what I see, but this isn’t really my discussion, it was more Axulus wondering if things were following the pattern he was seeing. I would be curious to know what he thinks. A cyclical pattern of regathering mass and redistributing it makes more sense, and it fits my knowledge of the universe, hence why I am here discussing it with people more intelligent than I to see if it could even possibly be true.

  32. In other words, you think having some mass present makes a Big Crunch inevitable. Nope. I suggest you read up on the Friedmann equations to understand why “a lot” of mass is needed to achieve this.

  33. In reply to #35 by Jos Gibbons:

    In other words, you think having some mass present makes a Big Crunch inevitable. Nope. I suggest you read up on the Friedmann equations to understand why “a lot” of mass is needed to achieve this.

    No, I believe a lot of mass is necessary, but you also have to remember that I believe there is more mass out there that will eventually be interacted with, and some of that mass would likely end up back here at some point through the same process. I’m thinking on a multi-universe scale, as if our universal space is just one of countless others, not just from the point of the mass in our observable universe alone. Why would mass and energy following the same laws not have condensed to cause a big bang elsewhere in all space over all time? Like you said previously, it comes down more to probability equation (hopefully I’m using that in the correct context). If it happened once it is probable because it would have followed some set of laws that exists everywhere, and since the universe has infinite space and time to work with, it will happen again. How long? How far will our escaping mass travel before encountering more mass? How many other universes exist around our “void” and in what state, what distance? I have no idea. I tend to think in terms of infinite time and space, so I think of what will happen over infinity, and how could everything repeatedly happen over infinity, because in my opinion, the probability of us being the first or last of something seems highly unlikely. To me something just happening once anywhere that is following a set of particular laws is unlikely, since the same laws will apply somewhere else that has the same environment. Take your understanding of how things works Jos, and apply it to mine. Try to think of a way that yours is completely incompatible with this concept and if you can’t, try to think of ways that it could.

  34. In reply to #36 by Randomknight:

    In reply to #35 by Jos Gibbons:

    In other words, you think having some mass present makes a Big Crunch inevitable. Nope. I suggest you read up on the Friedmann equations to understand why “a lot” of mass is needed to achieve this.

    No, I believe a lot of mass is necessary, but you also have to remember that I believe there is more mass out there that will eventually be interacted with, and some of that mass would likely end up back here at some point through the same process. I’m thinking on a multi-universe scale, as if our universal space is just one of countless others, not just from the point of the mass in our observable universe alone.

    The best supported physical model is the Heat Death model. Given the universe’s current state, the universe will keep expanding until everything else vanishes beyond the observable universe, and our galaxy ends up abandoned within an Einsteinian sphere. Eventually, entropy is total, all the reactions possible will simply run out of energy, and time simply stops because no matter can interact with any other matter any more. Remember that gravitational pull is being countered all the time by dark matter.

    Multiverse theory is far from confirmed, and in any case it’s a big jump to assume a multiverse would collapse even if it existed.

  35. In reply to #34 by Randomknight:

    In reply to #33 by astrophysics:

    Because all mass has gravity, so over infinite time will gather with other mass that it can, it just seems to be the most likely state. Larger amounts of mass will have a stronger gravity, so the more that gathers, the more likely and further reaching it is. No religion here. :) I would expect the majority of mass to be in singularities, and it may very well be, even in our universe, though I am ignorant as to what the real mass amounts would be. All of my conjecture is purely based on patterns of what I see in the universe itself right down to the behaviour of atoms, and when you see a pattern, it starts to make sense how things happen or fit together, you can see a continuation of the pattern, a repetition. Doesn’t mean that my observations are correct, but it does open it up to discussion, I would love to hear ideas that specifically debunk what I see, but this isn’t really my discussion, it was more Axulus wondering if things were following the pattern he was seeing. I would be curious to know what he thinks. A cyclical pattern of regathering mass and redistributing it makes more sense, and it fits my knowledge of the universe, hence why I am here discussing it with people more intelligent than I to see if it could even possibly be true.

    Your reasoning is relatively sound, but the universe has not chosen to conform by it. The universe is currently expanding at an accelerating rate. In order for it to contract, we would need a mass density that would be able to counteract the effects of expansion, slow the universe to a halt, and then reverse the cycle. Doesn’t seem that mass exists, even on the assumption that much of the universe is composed of dark matter.

    Apologies for the religion comment.

  36. In reply to #37 by Zeuglodon:

    In reply to #36 by Randomknight:

    In reply to #35 by Jos Gibbons:

    In other words, you think having some mass present makes a Big Crunch inevitable. Nope. I suggest you read up on the Friedmann equations to understand why “a lot” of mass is needed to achieve this.

    No, I believe a lot of mass is necessary, but you also have to remember that I believe there is more mass out there that will eventually be interacted with, and some of that mass would likely end up back here at some point through the same process. I’m thinking on a multi-universe scale, as if our universal space is just one of countless others, not just from the point of the mass in our observable universe alone.

    The best supported physical model is the Heat Death model. Given the universe’s current state, the universe will keep expanding until everything else vanishes beyond the observable universe, and our galaxy ends up abandoned within an Einsteinian sphere. Eventually, entropy is total, all the reactions possible will simply run out of energy, and time simply stops because no matter can interact with any other matter any more. Remember that gravitational pull is being countered all the time by dark matter.

    Multiverse theory is far from confirmed, and in any case it’s a big jump to assume a multiverse would collapse even if it existed.

    I agree with you in what we can observe, that is what will happen for a finite period of time, because the matter in this space/universe will be undergoing the reaction you describe, but I say finite because I believe other matter (a multiverse), exists so will eventually be interacted with. I never said the entire multiverse would collapse, individual parts would until reaching the critical mass point of a Big Bang, then spreading out to a cooling point until gathered by the gravity of more mass in a cycle. We know a great deal about matter in our own universe, how it interacts on a small scale (compared to what I consider the infinity of space/time) in the bounds of what we can observe. Still more to learn, but we know a great deal. Is there any reaction that has only ever happened once that we know of? Are there any conditions in the universe that we can observe that show anything only happening once? The only thing I can think of offhand, is the Big Bang. That may make perfect sense to you, but it makes no sense to me. Whatever condensed to make this universe possible, could have happened anywhere at anytime in all of space-time, as well as here. Saying that this is the only universe in existence is like saying we’re special and our little section of space is special, no other space beyond ours can act like ours did and form a Big Bang. So I expand the scope of my ability to visualize the known universe not as a single entity, but as one amongst many that could have formed in the same way, except I allow for them running into one another occasionally, free floating without resistance just as galaxies do now until running into or being pulled in by gravity of another, Big Banging when reaching a critical mass, etc. Our known universe fits within that belief, and acts just as it should, a youthful Big Bang with a big void around it because it has been gathering every bit of mass within its gravity for who knows how long that is showing every evidence of expanding back out in all directions until affected by something else. Most of the comments people are making to me I am finding refer to our universe as the only one. Does no one else find it unlikely that the Big Bang was a once-only-ever deal? I’ve searched for others, I haven’t run across any that describe a multiverse in this particular way that I do, but I am not well-read, I may have thought of something that someone else has already published material on.

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  38. It’s disappointing to find this sort of discussion largely dominated by scientific ideas which largely deal with facts or possibilities which certainly will be resolved factually at some point – this is rather like rendering unto Mammon…of course, these issues, however technically complicated their answers, deserve respect and, when justifiable, theose answers should replace Mumbo-Jumbo. But wanting to know why there is, say, Evolution, is not to disparage the Theory of Evolution, it’s asking a quite different order of question, one which some of us think, rather as one might quote Godel, is not explained by Evolution. Similarly with Big Bangs, multiverses and so on. One ought not to confuse the process with the cause. I loathe the anthropomorphism of religion but sometimes find science’s idea that proving facts with facts is all we need to do a tidge shortsighted. Yes, I think we should employ Ockham’s Razor whenever we can but has String Theory in its field offered any more economy than God in its? Science ought, at the least, to be displaying less bigotry than religion and should constantly remind itself that knowing all the facts isn’t likely to mean we’ll have run out of questions.

    • In reply to #43 by jburnforti:

      It’s disappointing to find this sort of discussion largely dominated by scientific ideas,

      Why should it be disappointing, unless you have some preconceptions requiring supernatural magic and a god?

      which largely deal with facts or possibilities which certainly will be resolved factually at some point – this is rather like rendering unto Mammon…of course, these issues, however technically complicated their answers, deserve respect and, when justifiable, theose answers should replace Mumbo-Jumbo.

      Of course they should!

      But wanting to know why there is, say, Evolution, is not to disparage the Theory of Evolution, it’s asking a quite different order of question, one which some of us think, rather as one might quote Godel, is not explained by Evolution.
      Similarly with Big Bangs, multiverses and so on. One ought not to confuse the process with the cause.

      “Why?” questions, about “ultimate first causes”, will always produce “how?” answers, – right up to the point where they reach a frontier of knowledge and the honest answer becomes, “We do not know”.
      “Why?” is a question of anthropomorphic subjective human objectives and aspirations! Nature does not do “WHY?” only “HOW?”.

      I loathe the anthropomorphism of religion but sometimes find science’s idea that proving facts with facts is all we need to do a tidge shortsighted.

      If you have a better method which is not simply anthropomorphic projection, please explain it!

      Yes, I think we should employ Ockham’s Razor whenever we can but has String Theory in its field offered any more economy than God in its?

      It is open to anyone to explain in terms of Occam, why an infinite regression of creator gods, is any sort of credible explanation.

      Science ought, at the least, to be displaying less bigotry than religion and should constantly remind itself that knowing all the facts isn’t likely to mean we’ll have run out of questions.

      Continuing to find new questions, is not the same as believing without evidence, that ALL answers are possible.

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