Professor Barth Netterfield’s lifelong journey into faith, physics and astronomy
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Our family discusses this a lot. While we are all cautiously science advocates, the one issue that keeps arising is around the statement, 'the universe is expanding.' I find this statement highly problematic. Any time we put a finite line on something, one can always ask what is on the other side of this line. If the universe is defined as only that which we know, we might be able to say that the masses we know are moving apart. However, if we define the universe to be all that there is, then it must be infinite.
The universe did not have a beginning, nor does it end. Our species runs into the epistemological limitations of the human brain which cannot understand in any profound way concepts like "eternity" or "infinity" and then we impose our limitations on the stupendous colossal dynamic process we call "the universe" when we say "it began" X years ago.
We recognize quantum phase changes and phase changes at the human Newtonian scale. What happened X years ago was a cosmic phase change in which the existing state of the dynamic process metamorphosed into the current physical state with the constants and properties we observe and with which construct our current models. Note: "current" and "model"; not "permanent" and "reality."
The universe is an endless process, like the surface of a Möbius strip.
The recent loss of my dearly loved wife after 70 years of happy marriage has caused me to think deeply about life, death, creation and the existence of something after life.
I wonder what today's science has to say about the idea of a continuous, ether-type of "force" after death. From where does the "spark" of life emanate? Would that same spark endure after death?