Monday, June 12, 2006

Cosmic origins

8 comments:

Dr. Clam said...

Besides the weak 'metazoan genes predate metazoa' argument, I noticed some time ago that the same kind of genetic clock argument can be used to show 'the single ancestor predates Earth'.
It is a pity that sites like this one muddle up the evidence for panspermia, which is not at all bad, with long-exploded ideas about a continuously existing universe- that is the dead hand of Fred Hoyle working- and a dismal misunderstanding of the second law of thermodynamics. Consider the Belousov-Zhabotiniskii reaction, I say to them: It toils not, neither does it spin, yet Solomon in all his splendour did not exhibit such chaotic complexity!

Marco said...

I am not sure why a continuously existing universe is an exploded idea really. Plus as they point out (somewhere), a continuously existing universe is not necessarily incompatible with "a" Big Bang, rather than thinking of it as "the" Big Bang, as if there isn't room for anything else. I have to completely agree with you as far as the dismal misunderstanding of thermodynamics. Although, I much prefer their use of it compared to the use of that argument to bolster creation science over evolution. My origin theory is that life started somewhere specific and has been spreading via supernovae and the like, and evolving at least Galaxy-wide, if not Universe-wide. However, like these cosmic origins people, it makes even more sense to me if life predated "the" ("a") big bang and seeded the new "universe", continuing previous evolved lifeforms.

Dr. Clam said...

(1) You should read, 'His Master's Voice', by Stanislaw Lem. So should you- yes, you, other readers of Marco's blog. All of you!
(2) Have another careful think about what is implied by 'continuously exisiting' and what is implied by 'the entropy of the universe is always increasing'.

Marco said...

on (2) the following link - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entropy#Entropy_and_cosmology

Seems to indicate that cosmological implications of the second law of thermodynamics, just as the evolutional implications, are neither clear-cut nor obvious.

Dr. Clam said...

The cosmological implications are clear-cut and obvious: it isn't our problem if some cosmologists want to ignore them. I am beginning a quest for sources more basic than wikipedia to find out what the cosmologists are really saying and whether they are nitwits for saying it... will report back in the fullness of time!

Marco said...

I don't think we are ones to take as gospel what has been decided by consensus of the specialists - especially when it is quite impossible to test or model accurately to compare with measured results. There is enough mysterious constructs such as dark matter and dark energy to indicate to me some of the basic assumptions of current theories need to be looked at again. If not "continuously existing", then maybe the beginning was way before the big bang. Super-intelligent beings may have accidentally set off the big bang, destroying evidence of the universe that was there before, but retaining some genetic infrastructure. Because one cannot really know, the imagination is the limit.

Dr. Clam said...

Of course, I have no problem with the Universe existing before the Big Bang, through any finite number of iterations, nor of life getting its start then (see (1)).
It is the notion of the Universe continuously existing that is incompatible with the second law, whether or not cosmologists chose to come up with models that ignore the second law.

Jenny said...

Hey! Maybe the second law of thermodynamics is wrong! Or maybe its not so much a law as a guideline..

the second guideline of thermodynamics?
the second policy of thermodynamics?
the second suggestion of thermodynamics?

heh