Wednesday, April 26, 2006
By Richard E. Noble
They tell me that Albert Einstein is the modern day father of a new concept of the Universe. I am told that Albert has said that the Universe is ‘finite’ but yet ‘unbounded’. This supposedly means that the Universe is limited in the amount of matter (planets, stars etc.) but, because space is curved, you can take off in any supposed direction and never fall off or come to the end. Space is curved, it seems, because of the basic properties of matter, Gravity, Electromagnetism, the Weak forces, and the Strong forces.
The problem with this theory, my interest in philosophy tells me, is the notion that in this theory Space is considered to be ‘nothing’ or a non-entity.
Space according to Einstein’s theory has no attributes other than those donated to it by matter. In other words, if we can imagine removing all of the matter (stars, planets and whatever) from the heavens, the heavens will disappear also, and we will then have “nothing”.
If we put all of the matter in the Universe into one spot, as it is proposed in the Big Bang theory, what happens to the Strong Forces, the Weak Forces, Electromagnetism, and Gravity? Since there is no other matter for the Big-Bang-matter to interact with then the forces that comprise ‘Space’ no longer are, and Space should have disappeared, and if there is no ‘Space’ then where is the Big bang matter that now comprises the Universe? (Carl Sagan’s answer: “It is everywhere.” ?)
What happens to ‘motion’? What happens to whatever is surrounding the tiny ball which is to be the predecessor of the next Big Bang? Is this ball of matter stationary or in motion? If it is stationary, what is it stationary in? And if it is moving, what is it moving in? What keeps it functioning wherever and however it might be? If it is everywhere, what keeps it there?
Space, it seems, has no discernible effect on matter, and as of yet has not been detected by any of man’s science, but yet it has to be, for without it matter can not function, or exist. My mind can conjure Space without Matter, but it cannot conjure Matter without
Space. Space may not be aether as once thought, but it does seem to me that it must be more than just a phenomenon or attribute of Matter. It may not figure mathematically, or as a part of the study of physics but it certainly must be considered conceptually, and metaphysically. Space, I think, must be considered something in and of itself, philosophically, but what it is, I have no idea. But THAT it is, seems to me to be unquestionable, and objective and not subjective as Sartre and others contend.