SQUARING CIRCLES

29 Apr

SQUARING CIRCLES

universe photo: Universe Hubble165x165.jpg
I’ve been thinking.

It doesn’t happen very often because I normally find myself fantasising in a loony sort of way. But today, for a change, I’ve been thinking.

And what’s attracted my attention is the religious thing. The creation debate. There where and what and why of things. Is there a god or isn’t there a god, and if there isn’t where in Hades/Heaven did everything come from?

In the past I’ve accused primitive man for daring to fill in his huge gaps of knowledge by inventing his deities as sort of cosy explanations for what he couldn’t possibly understand. I’ve said he might have looked at the river and wondered what made it flow (not knowing a deal about gravity) and invented a river god. And then, quite contented with that particular creation and being fond of woodland he went on to invent all manner of sylvan deities that controlled the nature around him. And the stars and the moon. Even the sun. Gods proliferated. And they explained everything. Most satisfactory!

I know there aren’t any river or sylvan gods. If they were there I’d have met them and nodded a familiar greeting at them, tried to get them to explain gravity to me…

So I’ve turned to what cleverer men than me have decided and tried to make squares out of circles. In a manner of speaking, that is, the circles being what I see and the squares being what they say actually is.

My problem is none of it rings absolutely true. They say that if you look at the way the galaxies are flying apart and zooming from a particular point in the misty long ago of things there must have been a big bang that kick-started all that frenetic movement. A singularity that exploded, and within that singularity was all the matter in the Universe. That’s an awful lot of matter to occupy something as small as what a singularity sounds it might be.

They play hissing noises on their expensive stereos, their expressions enraptured, and say that’s the sound of the Big Bang still there all around us.

The Big Bang that started everything.

But what made it? The Big Bang was the effect, but what was the cause?

And what was around before that big bang? Was there anything? Or maybe were there other big bangs? Loads of them going back and back through a timeless universe? Or are there other universes with their own big bangs and sometimes stuff spills between ours and them? Is that where ghosts come from? Or aliens? Or nightmares?

They don’t know. They can’t say. Or won’t.

The ancients said it was God. A creator. A mighty force that, to put it simply, waved his magic wand. And when cynics asked where that God came from they couldn’t answer. Not properly. What was there before God? Er … dunno.

What was there before the Big Bang. Er … dunno!

Then I think about the Universe, the way it’s held together by forces of this or that. Where did those forces come from? Gravity? What is it? Everything’s held in a perfect equilibrium by something we can’t understand and certainly can’t explain, unless we point out that apples fall out of trees and a bright bloke called Isaac Newton noticed it. And even brighter blokes can doodle equations on blackboards and prove all sorts of stuff, like e=mc² and not one of us can properly explain what it means, just that we ought not think of travelling faster than the speed of light, because we never will.

If we do our mass will become infinite, which means we’ll become sub-microscopic, and we’d end up being most uncomfortable. Or something like that.

I think I understand that bit until it crosses my mind that I don’t.

I dared say we’re still in the stone-age if we can imagine being looked at from the perspective of the future. There will be even brighter folks there, science-fiction geniuses with huge heads supporting huger brows. We build up theories only for time and a few imaginative blokes/blokesses to knock them down one shiny lovely future day.

Like primitive man and his lovely watery deities. He had his theories and time has knocked them down. We’ve got our theories and I’m prepared to bet that time will knock them down as well. Unless, that is, we find a way of squaring circles.

So where does that bring us?

I guess it’s time for God to enter….

Not an old man with a beard and cruel heart but something, a force, maybe even a teensy weensy little particle, but a power (maybe even an intelligence – who can say?) who would be perfectly happy should we call him/her/it God.

© Peter Rogerson 29.04.15

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