Belief in God Cosmology Creation/evolution Physics

The Unreality of Time

Under book

In their book “The Singular Universe and the Reality of TimeRoberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin argue for the reality of time in the same way Lee Smolin does in his book “Time Reborn2. Smolin is a theoretical physicist and Unger a philosopher. Unger presents in the language of natural philosophy. His terminology is a bit opaque at times, which makes him sometimes difficult to follow but Smolin is much clearer, certainly from a physicist’s point of view. He uses the language of physics, though his naturalistic belief system is strongly evident.

Smolin bookIn “Time Reborn” Smolin cannot conceive of a universe created by an extant Creator, who imbued it with immutable laws. His mindset seems to be one that is shocked by the idea that this universe was prepared in a just-right state such that we can exist in it. And this occurs even when he is thinking in evolutionary terms. So to him the idea that the universe occurred just once with initial conditions and laws that allow life to exist is too shocking to contemplate. His answer is ‘evolution’. This universe evolved from a prior universe and its laws evolved along with it.

Cosmology Creation/evolution Physics

Is mathematics intrinsic to the Universe?

That is an important question. Is mathematics a convenient construct — a human invention — that we humans use to describe nature? Or is mathematics more fundamental — intrinsic to the Universe — mirroring the divine ordered creation of a reasonable logical Creator?

Immutable laws

Theoretical physicist Lee Smolin in his bookTime Reborn” argues that what he calls the Newtonian paradigm is a myth. What he labels the Newtonian paradigm is the attempt by theoretical physicists, beginning with Sir Isaac Newton, to describe the Universe with immutable laws, using a mathematical description. Those laws are unchanging in time, as reflected in the idea that Newton understood the laws of nature as the result of Divine creation and hence that they are unchanging in time. Newton wrote:2

And from true lordship it follows that the true God is living, intelligent, and powerful; from the other perfections, that he is supreme, or supremely perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, he endures from eternity to eternity; and he is present from infinity to infinity; he rules all things, and he knows all things that happen or can happen.

From this standpoint he understood the laws of nature as the special creation of God. These resulted concomitant with the special creation of the Universe itself. The Universe is not the result of blind chance acting on some initial conditions and evolving accordance with those laws.