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“A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking

Originally posted on Stuff Jeff Reads:

BriefHistoryTime

This book has been on my list for a while and I finally got around to reading it. I had high expectations for a couple reasons. First off, I am fascinated by theoretical physics. Wormholes, black holes, quantum mechanics, string theory, all that stuff I find intriguing. But more importantly, as a technical writer, I am very interested in how other writers of scientific and technical information are able to present complex ideas in a manner that is digestible for the lay person. From this perspective, Hawking excels in communicating deep and complicated ideas in a clear and concise manner that we commoners can grasp.

There is a lot of deep information and I could not do the book justice by trying to summarize it. So instead, I will cite a few quotes that sparked some thoughts and questions for me. The first one concerns event horizons associated with black…

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A good, all-round book on the paranormal, parapsychology etc.

English: Hand-colored photograph of Carl Jung ...

Hand-colored photograph of Carl Jung in USA, published in 1910. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know how I missed this survey-style book while doing my doctorate on Carl Jung’s concept of synchronicity. Looking through Daimonic Reality today, I was stuck by how it mirrors many of the ideas I’ve been interested in for almost three decades.

Harpur’s commentary may not be stunning but it’s above average.

The author seems a bit hard on Jung, especially in regard to synchronicity. Harpur says that Jung still adheres to an “inner” vs. “outer” worldview. And that his views about the acausality of synchronicity retain a “whiff” of mechanism because for Jung synchonicity is “organized” by an archetype (p. 155).

I picked up on this causality/acausality issue in my Ph.D. thesis on synchronicity (see Synchronicity and Poststructuralism pp. 162-163). But I cut Jung a bit more slack because I felt he had a difficult job to do, talking about synchronicity from 1928- 1961. Back then, Jung had to choose the right words and categories to be effective. So I think he was a bit of a postmodern, “selling” his concept to a largely skeptical audience. If we view it that way, Jung wasn’t so much limited or confused but rather, pioneering and shrewd. — MC


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Do thoughts really penetrate into matter?

A penny for your thoughts...Dollars for your t...

A penny for your thoughts…Dollars for your thoughts – NARA – 513735 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 


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Time Travel Novels : Arguably The Most Fascinating Topic

Time dilation in transversal motion. The requi...

Time dilation in transversal motion. The requirement that the speed of light is constant in every inertial reference frame leads to the theory of relativity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By Gary J. McCleary

Time travel is arguably the most fascinating topic in all of science fiction. If you are a fan of science fiction consider for a moment your favourite movies, books and episodes of television shows.

Which were the best episodes of Star Trek for example in all of its incarnations? Which episode would you consider to be the absolute best out of all the series? Think about your favourite movies and decide which is best out of straight adventure and exploration, fighting off monsters or the mind bending stories involving time travel.

There are two directions of possible travel, namely into the future or into the past. The truth is that travel into the future is not a problem and can be accomplished in a number of ways some of which are practical and others which are theoretically possible given future advances in technology.

We have…

Time dilation as proposed by Einstein as velocity approaches the speed of light. This has been verified even here on Earth by clocks travelling in high speed flight or in orbit and also by observing cosmic rays.

Suspended animation by freezing or even hibernation which the bears regularly do.

The normal aging process which takes our consciousness into the future at the steady rate of one second per second.

Now factor in things like black holes, wormholes, folded space, string theory etc and we have many possibilities to consider.

time travel using parallel universe.

time travel using parallel universe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now time travel into the past looks on the surface to be impossible because of the many paradoxes that it implies. However the laws of Physics are symmetrical and there is actually nothing in the laws that prohibits backward travel in time.

It is the exploring of the paradoxes that breathes life into the whole concept of time travel. The best known one is of course any variation on the so called ‘grandfather paradox’. This is where the time traveller goes back in time and murders his own grandfather before he gets around to fathering his father which means that the time traveller was never born which means that he never went back in time which means that he never killed his grandfather which means…well you get the picture.

In my Time Travel Novels I have explored many variations on this paradox and others. One explanation is that there are an infinite number of universes so every possibility is allowed for. Another is the theory that an event becomes its own cause so that whatever the time traveller does in the past it was meant to happen in the first place in order to set his existence in motion.

Think about any time travel story that you have ever seen or read and you will realise that they all involve a giant circle which appears to close on itself. The trick is in trying to pick where the break is in the circle.

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/new-age-articles/time-travel-novels-arguably-the-most-fascinating-topic-7134323.html

About the Author

I had a good childhood as childhoods go. I didn’t like school very much and yet I went on to become a high school Maths teacher. After five years of that I returned to university to finish my own full-time study in Applied Mathematics IV. Around this time I began a part-time career as a lecturer in Engineering Studies at the University of Western Sydney.

The groundwork for the person that I am today was always there though because I have always had a love for anything to do with science fiction. After Life Novels

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A Case for Reincarnation

Originally posted on Shamagaia:

'2'_Dharma_Wheel,_The_Wheel_of_Life_at_Sun_Temple_Konark,_Orissa_India_February_2014 Wheel of Life: Sun Temple, Konark Orissa, India 2014

“The Journey of a thousand miles begin begins with a single step.”
Lao Tzu

A healing journey which had begun with Japanese herbal remedies from the super-market, now had me lying on a padded table in the treatment room of a certified Japanese Reiki master. He had been silently removing what I then only had the vocab to describe as, “dirty big knots of bad mojo,” from my energy meridians. Dredging me up from the depths of a sublime state of semi-consciousness, he intoned casually: “You lived a past life in Japan, about one thousand years ago.”

Later that week, after a few pints of beer down at a local bar, I decided to hazard a half-humorous retelling of the Reiki master’s claim to a group of my foreign teaching buddies: bad idea. A couple of them laughed their asses off…

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Scientific Reasons to Believe in an Intelligent Universe

English: Artist's conception of the spiral str...

Artist’s conception of the spiral structure of the Milky Way with two major stellar arms and a central bar. “Using infrared images from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope, scientists have discovered that the Milky Way’s elegant spiral structure is dominated by just two arms wrapping off the ends of a central bar of stars. Previously, our galaxy was thought to possess four major arms.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Author: Lee Hager

Scientists have been working toward a ‘Theory of Everything’ (TOE) for some time. Many scientists feel such a theory would not only be a triumph of human reason, it would also be a way to nullify the existence of God.  Their goal has been elusive, and in fact, much of their research points toward the existence of intelligence working within the universe.

Scientists use terms like ‘accident, coincidence’ and ‘lucky break’ when they explain why life on earth is possible. But how many of these fortuitous occurrences must take place before the evidence demands a different explanation? Let’s look at several scientific discoveries that carry the stamp of intelligent design.

The Big Bang and the Theory of Inflation

Scientists estimate the visible universe came into existence nearly 14 billion years ago during a colossal explosion known as the Big Bang. The name implies that the birth or the universe was a mishap, but let’s look at evidence that tells quite a different story.

Alan Guth first suggested the theory of inflation, which is now supported by research. Guth proposed that when the universe was less than a trillionth of a trillionth of a second old, it experienced an extremely brief, hyper-explosive growth spurt.  Steven Hawking compares it to expanding a small coin to ten times the size of the Milky Way in far less than a second! Hawking explains that if this expansion had been slower, the universe would probably still be cooling.

When an explosion takes place on earth, debris flies erratically, but the big bang caused the universe to expand in an extremely uniform manner. However, the expansion still contained just the right amount of dense irregularities needed for gravity to bring stars, planets and galaxies into existence.  Without this delicate balance of uniformity and irregularity, galaxies that support life couldn’t exist.

The combined forces in the big bang meant that our entire universe came into existence from an infinitesimally tiny amount of ‘source material.’ How small? Research demonstrates it was somewhere between one ounce and a billionth the size of a subatomic proton! Some scientists claim the universe came from nothing. But the Upanishads, written by ancient spiritual sages, said that God made the universe from Self. Evidence supports the Upanishad, but that shouldn’t surprise us. After all, life on earth is reproduced using the ‘source material’ of the parents.

The universe has been expanding ever since the big bang and scientists have calculated the expansion is speeding up.  If that’s the case, what keeps the universe from flying apart?  Although the universe appears to be filled with ’empty space,’ it’s far from empty. Two thirds of the universe is a seething ocean of quantum energy that far outweighs matter. Scientists have been unable to explain why this impossible disparity exists, but they do feel that this ‘dark energy’ opposes gravity and is responsible for keeping the universe stable as it expands. This ‘cosmological constant’ is very finely tuned. Without it, the universe would have either imploded or been ripped apart.

Goldilocks Zone and the Anthropic Principle

In the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Goldilocks wasn’t satisfied until she found the chair, bed and porridge that were ‘just right.’ Scientists liken the placement of the earth in the Milky Way Galaxy to this story since it’s ‘just right’ to sustain life.  If earth was in a star system with two suns, our planet would travel too close and too far from those suns to sustain life.  As it is, the orbit of planets in a one sun system varies from nearly circular to nearly oval. An oval obit causes a planet to experience huge temperature extremes.  However, the earth’s orbit is very close to circular, which allows it to remain within the ‘just right’ temperature ranges that support life.

The earth would be frozen or broiled if the sun’s mass, or the earth’s distance from the sun, weren’t in perfect balance or the earth’s axis wasn’t tilted exactly as it is. This safe zone allows water to remain liquid, and as we all know, water is essential to life. The safe zone is quite small and even minor changes could cause catastrophic problems.

Many scientists ask whether earth was made perfect for us, or are we the only possible result of the conditions we enjoy?However, scientists agree that life is possible only because of the very specific way the universe was formed and the extremely delicate ‘fine tuning’ that keeps it operating.  The ‘anthropic principle’ suggests that the entire universe was purposely prepared in advance with all the necessary elements needed to support the specific type of life that exists on earth.

Carbon is essential to life, but carbon is not among the elements that first appeared after the big bang (hydrogen, helium and lithium).  The formation of carbon demands very specific circumstances that take place within aging stars. However, this process also requires a perfect set of circumstances that will allow stars to explode, scatter their elements and then let the elements reform as new stars and planets.  Physicists estimate this process took 10 billion years to unfold.

The energy levels needed to produce the large amounts of carbon necessary for life are statistically highly improbable, yet this energy was found.Fred Hoyle, the scientist who predicted its existence said, ‘A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.’ Hoyle had been an atheist until his calculations were proven correct.

Life depends on the fine tuning of ten critical properties such as gravity and electromagnetic, strong and weak nuclear forces.  Scientists agree that the tiniest differences in any of these factors would produce an entirely different outcome. There are also thirty or more ‘constants,’ that may also be subject to fine tuning. And remember, these forces and constants have operated harmoniously for billions of years! So far, scientists have been unable to find any laws that would account for these forces being adjusted as they are.

Evolution

It takes only a moment on the internet to find several mathematical equations demonstrating the impossibility of evolution. There are incredible odds against the universe coming into existence as the result of coincidence. The odds against life springing from a collection of chemicals are even greater. Estimates suggest the statistical odds that one single celled organism could come into existence by chance during a period of 5 billion years, is 1 x 10 to the 100 billionth power.

Evolution requires thousands of purposeful intermediate transitional forms that supposedly occur over millions of years.  But even considering the billions of years the universe has existed, it’s still not nearly long enough to accommodate the math. On top of that, scientists have no idea how information was encoded within DNA.  Again they turn to chance, but this additional problem just adds an even greater degree of mathematical impossibility.

Although scientists say the fossil record is quite complete, it contains no transitional forms between ‘kinds,’ ‘types’ or ‘Species.’ During the Cambrian period (500-550 million years ago), an explosion of highly complex life forms suddenly showed up, but they had no ancestors they could have evolved from.  This sudden arrival of complex, unrelated life forms is a pattern that has taken place again and again throughout the history of the earth.

But evolution has an even greater problem: Consciousness. Material realists believe only matter exists. They claim that consciousness is a brain function that evolved from matter and is itself a form of matter. However, quantum physics has quite a different story to tell.

Our Conscious Universe

If you could see the universe at its most elemental level, you would find no separate forms. Why? Everything in the universe is one thing.  Our universe is actually a seething field of interconnected, indivisible energy that’s permeated by consciousness. Everything in the universe, down to the smallest particle, is alive and conscious.

Consciousness also plays an extremely important role in creation. Subatomic particles exist in a state of potential with no set or stable state until they’re influenced by consciousness.  Once a conscious choice is made, all other potential possibilities collapse and the energy appears in a set state as matter. When Genesis tells us ‘And God said, ‘Let there be light.’ And there was light,’ it is quite accurate in the description of thought bringing matter into existence.

Evolutionary scientists tell us that the universe came out of nothing, by accident, and continues to exist through an incredible series of lucky breaks. Quantum physics tells us that all energy is life and life is energy. Scientists agree that energy can transform into matter and matter into energy, but nothing is lost in the process. In other words, everything that’s always been within the universe is still there, and always will be. It’s all alive and will remain alive. So, within the universe we find the consciousness, energy and life force needed to spark the big bang, keep the universe finely tuned and cover the earth with life forms.

Our Shifting Paradigm

Many scientists have turned to evolution because they find no scientific basis to believe in a creator that exists outside the universe.  But many physicists have recently come to the conclusion the quantum model solves that problem. How?  They understand the energy, matter and consciousness filled universe to be one thing; God and the universe are synonymous. This agrees with the teachings of many spiritual sages, but it also creates a problem for religionists who insist God creates and manages the universe from outside it.

Quantum physics offers the opportunity for a vital synergy between science and religion, but each will have to be willing to listen to what the universe is trying to tell them. Regardless of what scientists or religionists do, we are all free to let go of outdated concepts and step into the emerging quantum/spiritual paradigm.

Copyright ©Lee and Steven Hager

Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/spirituality-articles/scientific-reasons-to-believe-in-an-intelligent-universe-4485545.html

About the Author

Lee Hager and her husband Steven are the authors of The Beginning of Fearlessness: Quantum Prodigal Son, a spiritual quest and scientific adventure based on Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, quantum physics and the gnostic gospels.

For more information on the synergy of science and spirituality and a free 6 part video eCourse, ‘Obstacles to Spiritual Growth,’  visit their website and blog at: http://www.thebeginningoffearlessness.com

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New physics almost like mythology in its complexity and incompleteness

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