What is the physical Universe?

The observable universe in view around us is exponentially vast, and extraordinary. It begs our declaration of it’s wonder. Due to the beauty shows up on so many levels, an exposition of it’s magnitude is the least we, as men, can do. The endeavor this paper takes is to define what the physical world is, and how it functions? In doing so, there is a natural expectation of the premise at which such an explanation comes from though – man’s finite mind.

Zach Baldwin

Kingdom Society research

December 21th, 2013

DEFINITIONS

As a means of bringing a universal understanding of ideas together for logical agreement, definitions are an important beginning. Webster defines Empirical as: “1. Versed in experiments…; 2. Known only by experience; derived from experiment…”. Webster defines Physical as: “Pertaining to nature or natural productions, or to material things…; Eternal; perceptible to the senses; as the physical characters of a mineral; opposed to chemical…” Science he defines as: “1. In a general sense, knowledge, or certain knowledge; the comprehension or understanding of truth or facts by the mind. 2. In philosophy, a collection of the general principles or leading truths relating to any subject. Pure science, as the mathematics, is built on self-evident truths…” And certainly Mind: “1. Intention; purpose; design. 2. Inclination; will; desire. 3. Opinion. Memory; remembrance. 4. The intellectual or intelligent power in man; the understanding; the power that conceives, judges, or reasons.”i

LIMITS OF MAN’S MIND

The Psalms says this of the mind: “They search out injustice, saying, “We have accomplished a diligent search.” For the inward mind and heart of a man are deep.” (Psalms 64:6) There is no doubt of the potential of the mind, and yet the limits on it instantly also become evident. What defines how much of reality our mind percieves? Or, If our minds are perceiving things correctly in reality at all? Further yet, what defines whether there is a correct form of reality? Is this to be left up to the mind of the individual, or even the election of the masses? Would the majority have to power to define something by agree on how it appears? These questions then, are steps taken to draw a sense of ‘finiteness’ on our comprehension of what is beyond us. It seems clear to suppose that man is, among all other life on Earth, unique; in that, he alone is capable of discerning his own existence, communicate at a level of complexity to permit the formation of elaborate social constructs.

EMPIRICAL SENSES

Defining the empirical perception abilities of man is fairly clear: Touch, Taste, Hearing, Sight, Smell. By these abilities (and the combinations), our exposure is elaborate, and accurate (or at least according to us). But conclusions based on these observations have to pass through the filter of our minds. This means that what we perceive, and is imagined of in our minds, takes on presupposed (or biased) beliefs, or notions. What man knows of himself seems to be clearly vast, and yet, what about what is “undiscovered”? As the desire of man to “discover” the limits of the universe, he struggles with the capacity he has to understand himself.

SCIENTIFIC METHOD

Science holding to a commonly agreed classification of “systematic”, it therefore has to have strict laws that govern it’s power to operate. And, as in the realm of civil policy, ‘who gives the superior the power over society?’ – is he self-appointed, or is his power given by the consent of the people? In much the same way, people define their methods of observing and applying the ideas extracted of the universe. The Scientific Method is traditionally understood in this regard:

1) Make and Observation, 2)Ask a Question, 3) Formulate a Hypothesis, 4) Conduct an Experiment, 5)Analyze data and draw a conclusion.ii

Anne Marie Helmenstine said this concerning science:

“As you can see, there is no ‘proof’ of absolute ‘truth’ in science. The closest we get are facts, which are indisputable observations. Note, however, if you define proof as arriving at a logical conclusion, based on the evidence, then there is ‘proof’ in science”.iii

It’s a field wrapped up in what is ‘predictable’ – which means, all things discovered (and undiscovered) are at least theoretically must fit into a predictable framework by our finite, biased, and empirical minds. The Scientific Method makes advancements based on the foundations of the past. A similar model has been developed in the field of education that has been loosed associated with “Christian Scholarship”. Despite politically-correct discrepancies this might raise – it is a model as logically-concrete as can be had in terms of learning. The model looks like this:

1) Research: “…Students were challenged to investigate events, ideas, and persons in light of the Truth of God’s Word. The Bible was considered the standard, or plumb line of Truth…” 2) Reason: Students were challenged to logically reason every event, person and idea back to the original source… back to the Creator, so they would understand God’s designed purposes for His creation…” 3) Relate: Students were challenged to relate and apply God’s revealed Truth in a practical and purposeful way…” 4) Record: Students were challenged to write, and write well about the things they learned in order to preserve knowledge and information for themselves and for future generations…iv The origins of this model are difficult to pin-point, but a statement made by President Abraham Lincoln has come to be associated with it.

The philosophy of the school room in one generation will become the philosophy of the government in the next.

Much the same way a physical ‘muscle memory’ develops, the brain also is a muscle. If it is permitted to lapse from the act of any serious stimulation – the action then becomes a chore. As a historical construction of technological luxury has arose to an ‘all-time high’ in our present day – it is tempting to let the act of ‘academic labor’ remain in the pre-programmed, computational finesse of the computer.

ELEMENTS

What are the elements present in the universe? The ‘man-developed’ construct of science has laid out the articulated details of 98 naturally-discovered elements in the periodic table. While the modern Periodic Table has a total of 118, many have been created by synthesis in laboratories. These elements are the components that all observable things consist of on a macro visible field of view. These elements have three ‘states’ they exist in: Solid, Liquid, and gas. Thus, they have been observed to have a “melting point”, and a “boiling point” – which signifies their transition into another state. Man has given the term “Molecule” to this state of ‘matter’.

The Bible makes several inferences in regards to elements, though interpretation is suggested, as a message from a potentially 3500 year-old literary source was intended to convey a much more complex knowledge to a people in quite a more elementary fashion: “Then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living creature.” (Genesis 2:7) The implications are evident here though – as to the fact that solid physical elements, and another factor all together: “the breath of life”. This “breath of life” spoken of is referred to in other places in Scripture: When God made the beasts of the Earth (Genesis 1:30), in speaking of the flood that was to come, “flesh” is connected with it (Genesis 6:17), in the ark itself, in which there was again the inference of flesh connected with the breath of life; all life is connected with the breath of life. In Isaiah, God is declaring that He made it (Isaiah 57:16), and in Revelation, two witness’s from God during the days of Tribulation

ATOMIC

At a deeper level, these elements have ‘building blocks’ that form their ability to operate. These building blocks are known in Chemistry as “Atoms”. Atom forms include: Proton, Electron, and Neutron. These smaller units are capable of giving their macro counterparts a great diversity of form. The macro-level characteristics of the molecule takes on distinctly-varied characteristics based on the type of chemical bond of the atoms. There is supposed to be ‘stop’ to the ever-deepening plunge into the element however: “man’s empirical observation construct (science) has entitled this: “Irreducible Complexity”.

A field of study classified in science called Quantum Physic’s is perhaps the members’ combined efforts of observation overstepping the edge of the mind’s logic. Meinard Kuhlmann said this in his article: Quantum Physics: What is Real?, “It stands to reason that particle physics is about particles, and most people have a mental image of little billiard balls caroming around space. Yet the concept of “particle” falls apart on closer inspection.” He then said this, “If neither particles nor fields are fundamental, then what is? Some researchers think the world, at root, does not consist of material things, but of relationships or of properties, such as mass, charge, and spin.”v There are is no way (that we have perceived) to separate the matter smaller then the subatomic-particle level…

PHILOSOPHY BEHIND IT ALL

What has this plunge deep into the sensitive fabric of matter brought to us? Is there an ‘ethical’ law defining whether ‘we could’ resulting in ‘we should’? And if man is able to unravel larger mysteries, haphazardly stumbling onto catastrophically-epic discoveries (such as the Atomic bomb) – is there a factor that is greater then man, matter, and even the laws that organize the natural forms of matter? A factor bringing all these complex objects into into a degree of order. Such an idea as, “that which can detect order, must have had a ore-existing fabricator” is an idea from an inquisitive mind. Albert Einstein, author of the Theory of Relativity, (and one of the most renowned of scientists of our modern age) said this:Logic will get you from A to Z; imagination will get you everywhere.” 

Is there an absolute governing the laws that seen so finely crafting in our universe? What sources does one go to to consider such a notion? Shall he go to his own finite, matter-consisting, potentially-unpredictable mind? Should he go to a congregated group consisting of the same? Should he go to historical records demonstrating the ideas from the exact same brillient, yet emotionally-unstable-at-times individuals. Is it worth considering that as man dominates on the Earth, logically it follows that there is an external force defining the form, complexity, and values that govern life, matter, and reason?

i. Webster, Noah. An American Dictionary of the English Language. 1828 ed. New York: S. Converse, 1828. E-sword.

ii. Harris, William.  “How the Scientific Method Works”  14 January 2008.  HowStuffWorks.com. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/scientific-experiments/scientific-method.htm&gt;  23 December 2013.

iii. Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. “Scientific Hypothesis, Theory, Law Definitions.” About.com Chemistry. About.com, n.d. Web. 19 Dec. 2013. <http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistry101/a/lawtheory.htm>

iv. “The 4-R’s of Education.” Free Babtist Academy Lions. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Dec. 2013. <http://www.fbalions.org/academics/elementary/4%20Rs%20of%20Education.pdf&gt;.

v. Kuhlmann, Meinard. “Quantum Physics: What Is Real?” Scientific American Aug. 2013: 40-47. Web.

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