(or, A Debate With Stephen Hawking in his Absence)
EMPIRICAL VERIFICATION OF EVOLUTIONARY AND BIBLICAL COSMOLOGICAL MODELS – microcosmos
Why empirical verification is necessary in science
In 1931 the Austrian mathematician Kurt Gödel drew the incompleteness theorems, according to which the formal systems of logic and mathematics are semantically inadequate and do not allow strict proof (or refutation). As a simple example we could point out the impossibility to resolve the Zeno's puzzles - Achilles (the fastest runner in the world) could not catch up with a tortoise if she only started a few strides in front of him. Hitherto, no one could refute the assertions of the philosopher of Elea in theory, but in practice even a small child can easily cope with a similar problem. Therefore, today it is not enough to create a scientific formulation, but there should be certain corollaries, that allow an empiric verification of its genuineness.
The most significant blemish of the Christian view on the Creation remains the circumstance that this view is based primarily on the critics of the evolutionary theory, and does not develop its own theory which should be subject to verification. In this article we will try for the first time to present the Biblical model that allows for its corollaries to be deduced theoretically with the aid of physics and mathematics, as well as to be verified by observation, experiments, computer simulations , etc.
The main question of philosophy is: “Which one is primary – matter or consciousness?”
Friedrich Engels successfully divided the great diversity of idea-based systems of mankind into two main groups: “Has God created the world, or the world has always existed?”, asked Engels. Depending on how they answer this question, philosophers have flocked into two large camps. Those who assert that the Spirit is primary to nature and, consequently, accept some kind of Creation of the world, have built the idealism camp. The others, who see nature as primary [to consciousness/spirit], have contributed to the formation of the various schools of materialism”. Below we will discuss how dialectical materialism and Christianity relate to these two diametrically opposite view-of-the-world systems of thought in order to see to what extent each of these views is supported by scientific evidence.
A) Dialectical Materialism
According to this philosophical position, matter is eternal, uncreatable and indestructible, and consciousness has come into existence only at a later stage in the development of matter. Vladimir Lenin asserts that “There is nothing in the world except for moving matter”, and many contemporary scientists completely agree with him. The American astronomer Carl Sagan opened his famous television series with the words: “The Cosmos is everything that has been, is or will ever be”. Sterling Lamprecht gives a more extended definition of naturalism: “"a philosophical position, empirical method that regards everything that exists or occurs to be conditioned in its existence or occurrence by causal factors within one all-encompassing system of nature.".
According to Charles Darwin the factors of biological evolution are brought down to mutability, heredity and natural selection. However, if we consider things in a strictly naturalistic manner, we could relate his doctrine also to the evolution of the inanimate nature. Russian physicist Andrei Linde (currently working in Stanford University) proposes the idea of the "chaotic inflation". It states that the quantum fluctuations of vacuum permanently lead to the origination of mini-universes. They evolve in isolation, and initially they are inflated by inflation processes, while later on – they evolve according to the classical hypothesis of the Big Bang (fig. 1).
Fig. 1 Linde's model of chaotic inflation is illustrated as a tree-like structure, consisting of an infinite number of multiplying "bubbles" (inflationary universes). Each newly obtained universe could "sprout", thus forming new mini-universes. (The change in colour presents "mutations" in the physical laws against the parent universes.)
With each appearance of a new world what is observed is mutability in the laws and the constants of the matter. The accidental recurrences of some of them are regarded as a type of heredity. The natural selection is also in force, since it preserves the physical structures - atoms, molecules, celestial systems, that, with the combination of appropriate parameters, are stable. Further, on planets of suitable conditions, evolution determinately leads to the evolvement of living, and at some places, of conscious creatures.
But if Darwinism could be applied to animate and inanimate nature, then we have to accept it as a universal dialectic-materialistic concept, which preconditions the self-organization of the universe. It is curious to note that exactly this philosophy is one of the pillars on which authoritarian communist regimes were founded and continue being founded. Therefore, the fact that this philosophy is now accepted in a New Europe without criticism and it is being used as a foundation for scientific paradigms and for morality and ethics norms prompts legitimate concern.
As in contemporary scientific theories vacuum appears to be some kind of a proto-matter giving the beginning of everything else, we will say a few words on this. What is understood as vacuum in physics is an enclosed space devoid of all matter, i.e. devoid of any atoms, molecules, protons, neutrons, etc., as well as of particles conveying interaction – photons, gravitons, etc. However, vacuum has some ‘end energy’, physical fields therein maintain their forces, the so called virtual particles constantly come and go, fluctuations occur, etc. The quantum theory allows for the existence of multiple states of vacuum, it being (thereby) accepted that cosmic or cosmological inflation is due to various transformations between such states.
The American physicist of Ukrainian origin Alexander Vilenkin equates the initial vacuum with the “nothing”, stating further: “Nothing is the condition of non-classical space-time … an area of unlimited quantum gravity; a rather bizarre state in which all our notions of space, time, energy, entropy, etc. lose all their relevance”. Elsewhere, he however acknowledges: “The nature of the primary condition is too much a speculative subject even by cosmological standards”.
And the researcher of philosophical ideas in cosmology Chris Isham adds: “Conceptual issues in quantum cosmology are so serious that many professional physicists assume that its entire agenda may turn to be entirely erroneous”.
The Big Bang Theory
It is well known that the Big Bang theory rests on three observation pillars - the expansion of the Universe, the cosmic background radiation, and the abundance of light elements. The classic formulation of this concept, however, was not in the position to cope with a number of challenges that it faces, for instance the problems of the cosmic horizon, the flatness of space, magnetic monopoles etc. At the end of 1979 Alan Guth and Henry Tye, in one of their articles, developed the so called inflation cosmology, which eliminates the pointed difficulties standing in front of the standard cosmological model. According to them, shortly after the Big Bang, the energy of the Universe was carried by an inflatonic field with negative pressure. Thanks to this field for a period of about 10-36 to 10-32 seconds, the Universe inflated exponentially more than 1030 times. The field gradually released the energy it contained in the form of almost homogeneous sea of particles and radiation, and later on the Universe evolved according to the conventional scenario (see Table 1).
Time elapsed after the Big Bang
Years before our age
Big Bang (singularity)
13,7 (13,82) billion years
10-36 to 10-32 sec.
Quark - gluon plasma
Quarks unite in protons and neutrons.
Synthesis of hydrogen and helium atoms.
1 to 3 min.
Formation of light elements up to boron.
380 thousand years.
The Universe becomes transparent. Cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR) is released.
200-500 million years.
Birth of the first stars and protogalaxies.
13,5-13,2 billion years.
3,3 billion years.
Formation of mature galaxies, quasars and of the oldest stars in the Milky Way.
10,4 billion years.
8,1 billion years.
The Sun System originates, including the Earth.
5,6 billion years.
As in this part reference will be made to the coming into existence of micro-cosmos, we will limit ourselves to the period up to around 380 thousand years after the Big Bang.
Let us remember Hawking’s conclusion at end of the Great Design: "Because there is a law like gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing. Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the universe exists, why we exist. It is not necessary to invoke God to light the blue touch paper and set the universe going."
In the latter statement however there are several unsustainable premises:
In the first place, vacuum is being equated to “nothing”, because of the fact that it does not contain matter which is rather misleading especially for people that do not deal with physics. As we noted vacuum has certain energy, virtual particles constantly come and go in it, etc., which means that vacuum, strictly speaking, is definitely “something”, as opposed to absolutely “nothing”. If vacuum is something, then vacuum too requires explanation for its coming into existence.
Secondly, we are told of a “law such as the law of gravity” which brings the Universe into existence. We will shortly see how problematic is the position according to which there is any kind of firmly established “law”. Here, we will only cite Heinz Pagels who asks a similar question: “Yet this unthinkable void converts itself into the plenum of – a necessary consequence of physical laws. Where are these laws written into the void?”
Thirdly, it remains also unclear where space and time come from. In his book “A Universe Out Of Nothing”, Lawrence Krauss tries to further develop Hawking’s premise by overcoming the difficulties pointed, but, in our opinion, he is not particularly convincing.
To put it differently, Hawking and Mlodinow have totally failed to answer the question “why there is something instead of nothing?”, as they try to persuade their readers, but they have only shifted things towards the unfathomable primary vacuums.
Now let us look at those three premises in greater detail.
The first of them is that matter has come into existence out of vacuum, and in the beginning there was a process of inflation.
(To visualize things better we will return to Table 1).
Singular cosmic beginning requires rigorous solution, which inflation is still not in a position to give, because it is still not well integrated in String theory, therefore it is not part of the merger of the quantum mechanics and the General theory of relativity.
No one could say how the inflaton field arises with a suitable form of the potential energy for inflation to emerge. We don't know the exact parameters of the primordial explosion - when it happened, how long did it take, what quantity of energy it converted into particles and radiation, etc. Therefore, there is no way to avoid the impression that physicists just tailor their concepts so that they coincide with the astronomic observations.
But the most significant problem here is the following: Theory states that the initial Universe was made entirely of high energy radiation, creating spontaneously particles and antiparticles. Around one microsecond after the explosion the temperature dropped below 1013К. Quarks and antiquarks decelerated and were caught by the strong interaction which stuck them together in groups of three - forming barions and antibarions, respectively. According to the statistical law, however, it is expected that their number should have been equal and the inevitable collisions between them would have led to complete annihilation. The energy of the resulting radiation would have gradually dissolved with the expansion of the Universe, wherefore no new couples of particles would have been born i.e., no substance could be existent today.
Russian physicist Andrey Sakharov assumes that in that epoch there was a violation of the so called СР-symmetry (charge-particle symmetry), which resulted in disbalance - for every billion of antibarions there are a billion and one barions. After the big firework was exhausted, the surviving barions turned into protons and neutrons, from which later on all atomic nuclei were built.
The point is that there should have been lepton asymmetry in which the number of the surviving electrons was exactly the same as the number of the produced protons (so that atoms are electro-neutral), which is a statistical absurdity.
(It is necessary to make the following clarification: If there existed just a slight predominance either of the positive or negative charges, they would have repulsed with a power that exceeds 1036 times gravity and they would have ruptured all structures in the world that we know, excluding atomic nuclei, because in the nuclei the strong interaction is about a hundred times greater than electromagnetic one.)
To put it differently, at least for now, the concept of the birth of the world out of vacuum is unconvincing for the fact that it fails to offer a sufficiently good rational explanation of the coming into existence of matter.
Secondly, the issue of laws arises.
In this respect, two sub-questions are brought up:
а) Is it possible for a matter which is in the state of absolute chaos to come by chance to its contemporary level of order.
What will happen, though, if the so called "undetermined mutability" (according to Darwin) acts at the level of fundamental constants, laws and interactions? Let us try to imagine a world in which everything changes in a totally chaotic way. In this world some of the characteristics of the elementary particles might be constant, while others might transform permanently. For example, if the electric charge changes arbitrarily, it could take absolutely random values: +1; –1; +7/8; +14/3; –112/27, etc. The same is assumed also for the mass, the spin, the magnetic moment, etc., we should assume even a qualitative (evolutionary?) transformation of particles into something different from what they are in reality. The law of gravity now could be written as follows:
and in a short while:
then it could change into some other type, etc. (Due to the lack of durability, in that case we could not talk about laws neither.) Having in mind the delicate balance of all forces in nature, it becomes absolutely clear that with whatever metamorphosis of the interactions, everything will fall apart "before our eyes". In such a world neither any stationary or dynamic structures could be created, nor could they be stable in time. If, in the primary matter that builds our world, a similar "undetermined mutability" existed, it would lead to an absolute chaos, which is not capable of producing any arrangement or organization whatsoever.
Here we will make one clarification. Some scientists state that the new string theory offers a powerful conceptual paradigm, which has the potential to respond to the question: "what is the reason for the elementary particles to possess exactly these observed properties". Therefore, let us say a few words on that. The strings can perform an infinite number of resonance wave oscillations, which means that they should generate an infinite row of elementary particles with all sorts of properties. In that case we can ask, why there exist only those limited number of observed particles, which, as we have noted in chapter ІV, resemble the elements of a perfect meccano (construction set), allowing the assembling of our world? The response given by the string theory is that there are at least six (or seven) additional dimensions of space, which at microscopic level are rolled into the so called Calabi-Yau shapes(fig. 2). (Named after Eugenie Calabi and Shing-Tung Yau, who have discovered them in mathematics even before their meaning for the string theory is known.)
Fig. 2 a) One of the possible Calabi-Yau shapes. b) Big enlargement of an area in space with the additional dimensions in the form of miniature Calabi-Yau shapes.
The additional dimensions have a great influence on the way the strings oscillate, and, as a result,on the properties of the particles. But the equations show that there are an infinite number of Calabi-Yau shapes, and each of them is as valid as all the rest. That is to say that we come to a dead-end again - how were those shapes, which generate exactly the necessary elementary particles, selected? Or the question is only shifted, but not solved.
We will remind however, that the string theory fails to meet the verification and falsification criteria and it remains a purely speculative research field, thereby failing to yet achieve the status of scientific quality. In his work on the history of quantum gravity Carlo Rovelli point out: “So, where are we, after 70 years of research? There are well-developed tentative theories, in particular strings and loops, and several other intriguing ideas. There is no consensus, no established theory, and no theory that has yet received any direct or indirect experimental support. In the course of 70 years, many ideas have been explored, fashions have come and gone, the discovery of the Holly Graal has been several times announced, with much later scorn.”
Hawking and Mlodinow, citing this very problematic strings theory, say that it predicts the possible existence of 10500 universes. But even if such hypothesis turns true, this will not still mean that those universes actually exist. And, as we shall be convinced in a little while, the number [of universes] stated is absolutely insignificant for the purpose of ‘saving’ Hawking and Mlodinow’s theory of the emergence of some orderly world.
b) The second sub-question on the issue of laws is: “what is the statistical probability for the accidental coming into existence of any stable and well-ordered universe?”
The fundamental constants, the characteristics of the elementary particles, etc., are measured with analogue quantities, therefore they allow for an infinite (∞) number of values of their settings. Let us assume that a system of n elements is required for the existence of such a world. Generally, the possibility for each member of the system to have exactly the appropriate parameters is 1/∞, and for all n elements - 1/∞n. Even if the system has an endless number of stable configurations, the probability to have any one of them formed by chance is:
∞/∞n = 1/∞n-1
(Where n is a whole positive number bigger than one. Presently we can say that for our world n has a value of around 100, because presently there are at least one hundred parameters whose value has to be precisely adjusted.)
If we assume that n-1=k, the expression will take the form: 1/∞k, i.e. this probability is on a certain degree less times smaller than infinitely small (fig. 3).
Fig. 3 Possible configurations of the values of parameters that ensure working (stable and functioning) conditions from I to ∞. Systems І, ІІ, ІІІ and so on, may be like other worlds, similar to the physical structures being formed within them.
To put it differently, for systems that allow an endless number of values for their parameters, a peculiar paradox occurs. Although they could possess countless working conditions, even then the probability to reach any one of them by chance is smaller than infinitely small or, in practice, it could never be fulfilled.
We will once again make a short detour to give readers who are not experts in mathematics some clarification. In theory, statistical laws allow for the realization of events with insignificantly small probability. However, practical experience shows that such events never happen. Therefore, some scientists assume that for each event there is a certain "probability threshold", under which its realization is unlikely. But, as unconceivably small, as these relations might be, such as for example 1/10500; 1/1065 720 etc., still, there are other people who argue that such probabilities could be materialized. However, when we get a probability 1/∞, it is infinitely smaller than the smallest probability that we could write or even think about. That is why we hope that even to such "optimists" a probability of 1/∞ most surely will show an absolute "prohibition" for a certain event to be realized in practice.
There arises the question whether it makes sense to raise 1/∞ to some power, since the 1/∞ ratio actually tends to zero and shows a total inability for an event to happen? We should follow, however, the rules in mathematical theory, according to which the total probability for two or more events to happen is equal to the product of the probabilities for each of them to be implemented separately. When a total probability 1/∞ to some power is achieved, this, according to us, shows more than an absolute impossibility for the realization of something.
The above tells us that the 10500 universes are an immaterially small number. But even if their number is increased to an infinite value, calculations cited here allow us to understand that still no chance materializes for the coming into existence of a world like ours.
With living organisms the variations are limited, since their components (DNA, proteins, etc.) are built in strictly determined number of discrete units (nucleotides, amino acids, etc.). But in fact, there appear to be negligibly small, practically unrealisable probabilities for an accidental formation of the protocell, which is able to realize all processes of life. To put it differently, in the highlighted areas, the existing dynamic and statistical laws forbid the self-arrangement of matter.
Figure 3 allows us to make another important conclusion, namely, that no evolutionary processes are possible either in dead or in living nature.
According to the definition, The system is a multitude of elements that are in relations and connections between each other and form a certain unity, a wholeness. All elements of the system are interdependent, i.e. each of them affects the rest, and vice versa - they also have an impact on it. The structure of the system determines its internal form of arrangement, i.e. it is an expression of the order existing therein. The full description of the order in the complexly organized systems is studied by a comparatively new science, called taxiology (logic of order), which is being developed as one of the most fundamental and important logical theories. But its basic principles and categories are studied through too complicated extensional mathematical logic and theoretical computation methods. Therefore, we shall not examine them here, but will apply an extremely simplified approach, which will allow us to make conclusions regarding the possibility for an evolution of hierarchically structured systems.
A principle known as "all or nothing" is valid with them, referring to the fact that the structure must be composed of suitable elements, which should be arranged in the correct order, so that the action of the system is not disturbed. If we change the parameters even of a single one of them, or we totally remove it, or we change places of some of the elements, a disturbance will occur in the functioning of the system that will destroy it or take it out of use. Therefore, either everything is fine and the system functions in a normal way, or otherwise, it is as if nothing is fine and the system is terminated.
This principle forbids the gradual "evolution" of one structure into another. Could a small mechanical watch gradually transform itself into a clock? Let us presume that one of its gears has grown bigger, as for a clock. Then, it will be incompatible with all the mechanisms of the small watch and the latter will not tell the time correctly, or will not be able to work at all. Let the other parts also transform and become as for a clock. While one part of its mechanisms is for a small watch, and the other - for a bigger one, its function will be considerably disturbed or could not be realized at all. The watch/clock will work normally only when either all its parts are small, or all parts are big.
And what will happen if one of the parts of the watch is replaced by a computer part? For example, a transistor is put in place of a gear. It is absolutely sure that the watch will go out of use now. On the other hand, even the computer will not realize its function even when we have assembled all the computer parts, and only one part is left from the watch.
Based on the aforesaid we could make the following conclusion: when one object is gradually transformed into another object of the same type (but different in some way - by size, by model, etc.) the function is hampered, or even ceased. And when an object of one type is transformed into an object of another type the function cannot be realized at all. Therefore, either "everything" is in line and the system is functioning normally, or even if one thing is not in order, it is as if "nothing" is in order and the function is broken.
Of course, the relations between the elements of the systems in nature are significantly more complicated; we have taken these examples only to illustrate the principle "all or nothing". By analysing Fig. 3 we could make the following conclusion regarding the possibility for an evolution of the systems with an infinite number of values of their parameters: Neither gradual nor saltatory ("quantum") transition of one working system into another is possible.
In the first case, i.e. with a gradual transition, if one of its parameters changes its value, it will not be in accordance with its other parameters any more, and the system will get out of order. But, the other system will not be fit to work until all its necessary parameters are completely built. As we have clarified, here the principle "all or nothing" applies.
The second case, of the "quantum" (sudden) transformation, is also impossible to be realized. The probability for all parameters of the system to suddenly change and to acquire exactly the necessary values of the parameters of any other functioning system is smaller than infinitely small (according to the calculations above – 1/∞k).
At the beginning we already mentioned that every metamorphosis in the parameters of the micro-world (characteristic of the particles, intensity of interactions, etc.) makes atoms unstable and results in their being destroyed. In other words, the atoms and the other chemical elements are discrete structures, which cannot pass one into another through a series of intermediate forms, but they require strictly calculated design. We could think about the celestial formations - planetary, stellar, galactic in a similar way.
As it is well known, proteins have a very important role within living creatures. They build the cell structures, perform catalytic functions, participate in the realization of the genome, etc. But one part of them are species-dependent. Therefore if a mutation occurs, that will lead to the formation of a different protein, its action will not be in unison with the work of the other proteins. In that way the genetic mutations impede the synchronization of the systems in the organism and for that reason, in fact, they appear harmful for the individual, i.e. they do not assist the individual in the fight for existence. In other words, the principle "all or nothing" does not aid the gradual evolution of organisms and there are no new data for “quantum-driven” (i.e. sudden) emergence of new species.
Theoreticians propose two different explanations for the course of the evolutionary process in biology. The first one is called "phyletic gradualism". According to this point of view, the present living creatures have gradually evolved from earlier and simpler organisms. In that case, however, we should observe constant lines of transitional forms among the species, as well as among higher taxa. It is inexplicable why this line of intermediary links is missing not only with the contemporary organisms, but also with the fossils. In that direction, N. Heribert-Nielsen, Director of the Botanical Institute with the University of Lund, Sweden, has made a very indicative statement. After 40 years of investigations in the area of paleontology and botany, finally, he was forced to say: "It is not even possible to make a caricature of an evolution out of paleo-biological facts. The fossil material is now so complete that … the lack of transitional series cannot be explained as due to the scarcity of the material. The deficiencies are real; they will never be filled.".
The second view is known as "punctuated (discrete) equilibrium". This term denotes a hypothetical process, with which mutations in the species should be made saltatory and to have a quick evolution in small populations. S. Stanley calls this "quantum" (in this case "sudden") emergence of new type. Such an imaginary process could explain the universal absence of transitional structure, but there are no genetic proofs of it whatsoever.
Here is the evaluation that two famous evolutionists - J. Valentine and D. Erwin give to this concepts: "We conclude that … neither of the contending theories of evolutionary change at the species level, phyletic gradualism or punctuated equilibrium, seem applicable to the origin of new body plans".
From the consideration made we have come to the following conclusion: Intermediate states are: (a) unstable – in atomic and celestial structures, and (b) non-functioning – in living organisms. This means that the concept of a universal Darwinian evolution of systems in non-living and living nature alike is definitively unacceptable.
The third issue in Hawking and Mlodinow’s book pertains to the emergence of space and time.
Chris Isham devotes plenty of focus on the fact that, as of now, it remains unclear what the theory of quantum gravity should look like and on what data it should be based. According to Isham, the main difficulties with building a quantum theory of gravity, and, hence, with quantum cosmology, ensue from the fact that “general relativity is not just a theory of the gravitational field—in an appropriate sense, it is also a theory of spacetime itself; and hence a theory of quantum gravity must have something to say about the quantum nature of space and time.”.
We will discuss this issue in more detail in the last article of our series.
B) Christian Theism
(To be continued): http://kosmos-21.blogspot.bg/2015/09/contemplations-on-grand-design.html
REFERENCES AND NOTES
 Engels, F., Ludwig Feuerbach, International Publishers, New York, 1974, p. 21
 Lenin, V., Materialism and Empiro-criticism, see 5 Time and Space.
 Lamprecht, Sterling Power, The Metaphysics of Naturalism, Appleton-Century-Crofts, New York, 1960, p. 160
 Vilenkin, A. “Birth of Inflationary Universes” – In: Physical Review, 27, 12, 1983, р. 2851.
 Vilenkin, A., E. P. S. Shellard Cosmic strings and other topological defects, Cambridge 1994, р. 49.
 Isham, С. Quantum Cosmology and the Laws of Nature, Berkeley 1993. р. 77.
 A year earlier (1978) Russian physicists Genadiy Chibisov and Andrei Linde arrive at the idea of inflation, but upon their detailed analysis they come to the realization that it has many problems and they decide not to publish their research.
 Hawking, S., Mlodinow, L. “The Great Design”, Bard Publishing Ltd, Sofia 2012, p. 214
 Op. cit.: Vaas R. Time before time. Classifications of universes in contemporary cosmology, and how to avoid the antinomy of the beginning and eternity of the world. p. 11.
 Rovelli, C., Notes for a brief history of quantum gravity – www.arxiv.org gr-qc/0006061.
 Hawking, St., Mlodinow, L. “The Great Design”, Bard Publishing Ltd, Sofia 2012, p. 143
 Paul A. Moody, Introduction to Evolution /New York: Harper and Row, 1962/, p. 503. /Synthetische Artbildung, 1953/.
 James W. Valentine and Douglas H. Ervin, “Interpreting Great Development Experiments. The Fossil Record.” An article from Symposium published in Development as an Evolutionary Process, Alan R. Lias, Inc., 1987, p. 96. Symposium article, in Development as an Evolutionary Process, Alan R. Lias, Inc., 1987, p. 96.
 Butterfield, J., Isham C., Spacetime and the Philosophical Challenge of Quantum Gravity