There is a theory of sorts called the anthropic principle which supposes the existence of a multiplicity of other worlds, but many are not like our own. Many have different laws of nature, even perhaps different rules of reality. Some may not have rules at all. The idea is that we find ourselves here in this particular world because we wouldn't be anywhere else. Among all the actualities of reality, this one world is where human life precisely as we know it would exist and survive and then ask questions. So we may live in a world of blue skies and cherry sundaes because it fits with who we are.
Some figure the world is sensible because it is both sensible and insensible, and we are just temporarily fortunate to be living in the better part, since life would not come to be elsewhere. One reason scientists and philosophers sometimes resort to the anthropic principle is because in science today causality breaks down at the quantum level. We have learned that events are somehow non-local, meaning that the underlying physics or cause isn't right here in the Newtonian mechanical world of ordinary objects. So the question arises, how do we understand a non-local universe without discovering the non-local world?
The non-local world is invisible to us. It would seem that we can't know anything about it, and some don't want to know. If the anthropic principle explains non-locality then there may not be an answer to why our world is this way. This way may not be anything special. It may be the universe arbitrarily exists as part of an incomprehensible infinitude. On the other hand all the constants and laws of nature may have a deep purpose that we haven't been witness to yet.
Deep within the efforts of human science the hope of finding reasons and making sense of the universe is still alive, but such hopes have taken a real beating in modern times. Our old philosophical faith in a master plan of nature and the search for meaning through science has been severely crippled by our own cosmology. We have come to define the universe as beginning from some kind of void or false vacuum, which erupts into surprising order and symmetry, but then immediately begins to wind down toward only two prospective futures, both of which are dramatically short of any altruistic meaning.
Its not a matter of seeing the glass half empty. We have painted a picture where the universe begins from a nothing and in either one of two possible futures, the complexity and beauty of nature ends up exhausted and spent. In one version of the future the universe ends crushed and melted by its own collapse, drawn into the ultimate black hole and destroyed by heat and density. This big crunch end either remains a dense vacuum, or it might potentially create another Big Bang. Yet, if so, it is said that each new event harbors less initial energy as it explodes. Should the universe not fall backward directly into the same point like state from which time began, entropy would manage to increase each oscillation, until all energy is spent. Thus the order of old, of our present and past, would not be made new and eventually all temporal activity would wind down, and any meaningful evolutionary change would cease. Time, in our own and a more distant future, would finally end fruitless, and lack any greater purpose.
The other possible future, the Heat Death scenario, where the universe expands at a decreasing rate was brutal to everyone who learned it. The universe becomes boring and lifeless by stretching itself too thin; never collapsing, never quite ending, just an ever weakening measure of expansion, and an ever increasing cold. Eventually all the stars burn out and the universe goes dark and frozen. This final stage of near death would continue forever, or so scientists reported, producing dead clumps of blackened star dust. All traces of life would be erased in this frozen wasteland, and yet there would never be even a final nothingness, no peaceful end, just an increasing cold ever nearer to an impossible absolute zero.
Scientists aren't immune to the meaninglessness of such theories, nor were the populace that stood in the background listening. They might as well have told horror stories. This age, this twentieth century paid a heavy price for knowing so much about the past and so little about the future. Science was meant to free us and enlighten us to the true wondrous beauty of nature, and its hidden sensibility, and the universal and natural truth of symmetry, a truth too often lacking in religious ideologies. All our knowledge turned out rather debilitating, in learning existence began from a void and ended up a deserted wasteland, so that no matter what was achieved in the time that we have, there would be no ultimate meaning or purpose to existence. That was the message and we all felt it even if we didn't accept it without question in respect for the miracle that is science.
The Real Future and how it Effects Our Present
It seemed evident for a long time that expansion was just the universe coasting outward as a result of the initial explosiveness of whatever originally caused the Big Bang. Expansion was seen simply as a consequence, not a force. It even seemed apparent that gravitation was nature resisting the initial explosion, as if to say this wasn't suppose to happen. Gravity was pulling the universe back. It seemed like nature wanted things returned back to the way they were before all this turbulence, before a bit of something managed an escape from an odd unstable expression of nothingness.
Scientists intelligently expected symmetry. The void was seen by the brightest not as non-existence, but rather an ultimate harmony or balance with no quantifiable properties. It was determined that gravitational energy is negative to the positive energy of matter, which from a God's eye perspective meant the total energy and mass of the entire universe was equal to zero. The existence of our universe all came down to a flaw in the fabric of an unquantifiable medium which led to a broken symmetry. By chance this tear in timelessness produced the few arbitrary constants, and the rest of physics was related in some way to the perfect symmetry of nothingness.
Now in this new century and new millenium we begin to peer more clearly into the future, freshly armed with evidence that the rate of expansion is increasing. Science is being led awkwardly toward new theories. Now it appears that expansion is not simply a result of the initial big bang explosion release. And so all properties are not simply a consequence of the initial fracture to symmetry. The universe is not simply winding down.
We believed we could decipher the largescale topology of space-time and know its geometry, by determining if the value of Omega is greater than, less than, or equal to, the critical density which in essence is regulating the battle between expansion and gravity, or so we thought. Now, with the speed of expansion accelerating, we realize expansion has its own impetus. This new expansion wasn't caused by the initial explosion. So we wonder, how is the old expansion that was so rapid and powerful at the beginning of time, then decreasing almost to a standstill, related to this new expansion that is accelerating? How might they be the same force?
Here we will now use a model of macro state space to gain a perspective into the cause of expansion, and we can begin to explore the consequences of a four dimensional space-time expanding to become a three dimensional Euclidean space. Below we see the old view and a new view of the expanding universe. Rather than an expansion that turns to collapse and shrinks, on the right we see the path of time begins from one pole, infinite density, and travels directly toward a second pole, a zero density state of flat space. This is called Convergence.
In now presenting the period of Convergence in greater detail, a globe becomes a very useful tool, even indispensable, but unlike the example shown here where time expands away from extreme density as a broken symmetry and away from a false vacuum or perfect symmetry, this new use of the globe's surface will not represent one single universe, but rather the globe becomes a map of all possible spacetime paths.
The upper half of the globe accurately presents the way pathways of time diverge away from one single state; the north pole of time. The lower half of the globe reveals the rest of the story, explaining why time has a definite direction and a consistent nature. All spacetime paths, after diverging away from one pole, are bent inward toward a common single inevitable future, the south pole of time.
We have come now to the very reason why spacetime is systematic and orderly. One specific future is totally and completely inevitable. The universe in its later half of development is no longer diverging outward into a great sea of increasing possibilities, as it was during the Big Bang period. Instead, time is being forced toward a single state. The future being inevitable, shapes the past.
In study of this convergence toward a single state, toward an inevitable physical condition, we can now begin to recognize how our forces of nature are engineered in a way to bring about that specific future. Forces are not just the way nature happens to be, with no purpose or meaning. Instead, spacetime has a destination, and forces guide spacetime along a path toward a goal.
The Future creates the Now
There is nothing more essential or wonderful than comprehending the nature of Convergence. The initial movement toward balance made in the first phase is explosive but short lived. Spacetime reaches the point of descension during the inflation period of the Big Bang event. After the descension point the paths available to spacetime begin to decrease, and spacetime begins then to be directly influenced and shaped by its own inevitable future.
The degree to which the future shapes its past, and our present, is the critical point that needs to be made clear before continuing and revealing the specific predictions of convergence and before exposing the atomic forces within the probabilities. Naturally, this reversal is at first difficult to integrate into one's view of the world. However, here is the reversal that need to be made. Spacetime is not created or forced out from the past, or merely a result of the Big Bang or of past initial conditions. Instead, the future reaches into the past to create the checks and balances which create our present measure of orderliness and symmetry.
An inevitable future; the path toward balance, is why our spacetime is systematic and orderly. It is the cause of order and consistency. It is the cause of all forces and expansion. Space and time are actually bent in that direction. Time does not move only in that direction. Near balance, forces almost equally push toward density order in two other directions, toward both the positive and the negative side of the spectrum. But the pull toward balance is always slightly stronger. So the evenness of forces and the push-pull that results maintains present conditions and allows only a slow evolution toward symmetry.
The good news is that there is more meaning
to the future than we have realized. Spacetime does not collapse inward
in a Big Crunch. Galaxies don't simply decay into cold dark lumps of stardust
in an ever expanding space. Time moves through a sea of possible futures
as if following a beacon toward a future of perfect balance and symmetry.
Its a long way home though. Convergence is a very long and eventful period
Next Page: Time's
Arrow of Many Directions