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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Albert May Have Been Right

 – It Appears God Doesn't Play Dice With the Universe
by Tom King (c) 2010

In order for Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity to work, he had to force the equations a bit to fit what physicists believed about the universe at the time. To do this Einstein added a factor he called the cosmic constant represented by the Greek capital letter “lambda”. He later abandoned the idea of the cosmological constant and called it the biggest blunder of his life. Scientists have lately returned to the useful idea of the cosmological constant to explain what they are calling “dark energy”. Dark energy is the the unexplained force that is causing the increasingly rapid expansion of the universe.

Big Bang Theory predicted that the force of gravity would cause the expansion caused by the original big bang to slow and eventually reverse itself. When scientist Brian Schmidt of the Australian National University in Canberra and astrophysicist Adam Riess of Johns Hopkins surveyed distant galaxies to find out the rate at which the universe was slowing, they discovered to their immense discomfort that the speed at which the universe was expanding, in point of fact.

In the absence of a plausible reason for this expansion, the team “discovered” dark energy in 1998. Dark energy is a name for the force that is increasing the speed of expansion of the universe. Like the cosmological constant, dark energy is a name for something cosmologists don't understand. The more researchers looked at the data, the more it proved that what they were seeing was true. Something was pushing apart the universe faster and faster. A key expected consequence of the Big Bang Theory was missing in action.

Scientists, in an effort to resolve the problem, have retreated to Einstein's discarded idea that the vacuum of space has energy that acts repulsively – the cosmological constant. The multi-verse believers call it an accidental condition unique to our peculiar universe that probably doesn't exist in other parallel universes as though that somehow explains things. Either way, the point is the universe is being pushed apart at a steady rate – not too ffast and not too slow – and physicists and cosmologists don't know why.

I think do.

I can only think of one force in the universe powerful enough to be responsible for pushing apart galaxies.
Unfortunately, the scientific community has a bit of a blind spot there. Carl Sagan once complained that if God existed, he would give us irrefutable evidence of his existent. What if he has and we're just ignoring it because it's not the sort of evidence we expected?

As CS Lewis said in his classic Chronicles of Narnia, “He's not a tame lion.”

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