In Search of The Origin – I
In essence, science is a perpetual search for an intelligent and integrated comprehension of the world we live in. [ Cornelius Bernardus Van Neil ]
The Fundamental Philosophical Questions:
Who am I?
Where did I come from?
Where was I before I was born?
Where do I go when I die?
These are some of the questions that keep on lurking in our brains since our existential eternity. As a little kids, we asked our parents these same questions – and got some very interesting answers! Even as adults, these questions still keep on poking our brains. We are intrigued, and there seems to be no logical and satisfactory answers to these nagging questions.
In our quest to understand the Origin of the Universe, and the emergence of ‘Life’, we have two possible approaches to follow; Faith, and Science. The ‘Faith Rooster’ provides an easy ride – just hold on to your Faith. On the other hand, applying a Science based approach presents the prospects of a bumpy ride into an uncharted territory – But, the reward may well be the ultimate prize, The Truth.
Following on our quest for the Truth, we have come to recognize, as a given fact, that the Universe burst into existence in an extraordinary event that initiated the Big Bang almost 14 billion years ago. It is very probable that in the first fleeting fraction of a second, the Universe expanded exponentially, stretching to its fullest. As for the state ‘prior’ to the Big Bang, or the state immediately after the Event, we are still trying to figure out.
We have questions, and we are trying to seek out the answers.
It is our quest to understand ourself better.
But, before we indulge any further in this primordial quest, It may be a good idea to review, rather bluntly, the present state of our current Knowledge base
The Present State of Our Knowledge
We are the product of a culture where ‘Conquer‘ is the most commonly applied balm to sedate our bruised ego. Self-glorification and unjustified illusion of self-grandiose have been embedded in our heads right from our very childhood. When we were finally able to send the first rocket to penetrate the Earth’s Electromagnetic Belt, and achieve the orbital height, we had a media blitz proclaiming our Conquest of Space. We even had the Conquest of Moon.
Being the product of such a culture, no doubt we believe that we have achieved marvels and have reached the height of scientific advancement.
It is understandably difficult to breakaway from this mindset and realize that whatever we have come to know so far is not enough to justify our overblown self-glorification. Only with factual analysis do we come to realize that our scientific and technological advancements can hardly afford us a peek at our own backyard – our Solar System. We are in no position to proclaim the ‘conquests‘ of space, or of extra-terrestrial bodies.
But, nonetheless, collectively we are progressing towards a better understanding of the world around us. As long as we keep in sight the fact that our knowledge is just our best understanding of the laws governing the interactions of the forces of nature at a given space-time, we remain on the right track. We fall on our faces when we indulge in boasting our very limited understanding of the natural phenomena – observed from within the narrow perspective of a very limited reference frame, as Universal Laws in all reference frames. And, in our egoistic insistence, the defence of those Laws becomes an issue of national pride.
We need to understand that learning and acquiring the knowledge is an ongoing process, and our knowledge at the present is the cumulative sum of all the research and work done by the previous generations of humans. With this understanding, it is not that difficult to realize that no single generation, let alone a single person, can be justifiably credited with the invention of Calculus or with the discovery of the Laws of Gravity.
With this understanding, we will come to realize that ‘Greatness’ is not in perjury or in outright theft of previous generation’s work. It may induce a false sense of national or racial superiority, but the result is a mental state that can only be defined as the “Skulls filled with Cement and Mortar”.
An open mind to seek out the knowledge will open up new vistas for the humanity, and usher in a new era of progress, peace, prosperity and harmony – We just need to open up our minds and let the light shine.
The quest for knowledge, of course, begins with the ‘Premises’ and ‘Theories’. But, the foundation for those theories rests on the prior base of cumulative knowledge, accumulated by our previous generations. As long as we do not put the stamp of Fact, Truth, and Laws on our premises and assumptions, we remain on the right path in the pursuit of knowledge. It is the self-induced infection of the ‘ego-virus’ and the ‘self-righteousness’ that retards the advancement in the field of science.
With an open mind and acceptance of this fundamental fact that very little we do know, and that our knowledge is only our best understanding of the Laws of Nature at a given point in time, we will succeed in moving out of this fossilized swamp that we have confined our self in, and march forward to marvel the enormous Universe that we are a minuscule part of. We may even have an understanding and realization of the ‘Multi-Verse‘ system, of which our ‘Uni-Verse‘ is a small part of.
With the constricting walls around our brains removed, and with due respect to all the ‘famed’ and ‘not-so-famed‘ brains of our human-family, we may proceed in our quest to understand the Universe (and the system of ‘Multiverse‘) and it’s Origin, the Universal Energy and, of course, The Origin of ourselves.
With a mind open to logical reasoning, we may proceed in our quest to understand our Origin, and the Origin of the Universe.
In the process of deductive reasoning, we rely upon some fundamental facts, and take them as postulates or axioms to build upon them in order to arrive at a logical conclusion. In our quest to understand our own existence, and the Origin of this World that we are a part of, we take as axioms/postulates some facts as a set of ‘given truths’.
These foundational facts are:
We do exist at the present moment – Let’s skip the philosophical indulgence, “I think therefore I am . . .”
Earth is a planet that orbits its star, Sun – It has been since the 17th century that Earth has quit being the Center of the Universe.
We, as a Human specie, are on this Earth for at least 400,000 years – The discovery of four hundred thousand year old human skeletons has put to rest the ‘Faith Belief’ in our 4,000 year tenancy on the Earth.
Based on our observations, visible facts, scientific evidence, and analytical data, we can – quit safely – further conclude that:
Planet Earth is one of the planets of star ‘Sun’, which, in turn, is one of more than 100 billion solar systems in the Milky-Way Galaxy – Which itself is one of more than 200 billions Galaxies contained within ‘our’ observable Universe.
We can further conclude that the Universe is a highly dynamic world; The entire system of Galaxies, including the contained solar systems within them, is orbiting, rotating, and moving in ‘some’ direction at a very fast speed.
As for the matter of coming into Existence, or Emergence of this Universe, we can only hypothesize and arrive at some logical conclusions – We are not in a position to state our theories as ‘Facts”.
Whether it was a Big-Bang, a Static State that just ‘was’ since ‘ever’ (A State of Continuum), or just a gradual Emergence and Expansion of the Energy-Matter that since ‘ever‘ has been evolving and ‘self-propagating‘ – We don’t know for a fact and, in all probability, shall never be able to prove either way with certainty.
But, in our quest to understand The Origin, we definitely have a choice to make; we can either rely upon our faculties for deductive and inductive reasoning, OR we can take a ride on the familiar ‘Faith Rooster‘ – The only problem is that the Faith Rooster has only 4,000 years span for the back trip, and it cannot go backward any further, since it may fall over the cliff of a ‘Flat Earth‘.
In selecting the process of Logical Reasoning, we have at our disposal our understanding of the scientific facts, and our capacity for deductive and inductive reasoning to help us guide in our search for the truth – The truth about The Origin.
With an open mind, and keeping in focus the fact that all our knowledge at any given moment is just our best understanding at a given time point, we may proceed to investigate further.