“REUTERS – The Nobel Committee in Olso has just announced that this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded, posthumously, to the authors of the Book of Genesis for their groundbreaking contribution to our understanding of the origin and evolution of the universe.”
What a surprise! Only a few years earlier reputable scientists remained dismissive, even scornful, of the theory of Cosmogenesis advanced by these ancient authors (final edits c. 500 B.C.). But with the confirmed discovery of the Higgs Boson at CERN in 2012-2013, things began to change.
Often scientific theories that earn Nobel Prizes are too complicated and arcane for all but a few experts in the field to understand. Not so this time! The ideas contained in Genesis can be understood and appreciated by almost any one. Better yet, they can be easily and briefly summarized:
“…God said let there be light and there was light.” This is the Big Bang itself: energy and the emergence of massless particles like the photon.
“God then separated the light from the darkness.”
We are inclined to view Big Bang as creation ex nihilo. We imagine that once there was nothing and then there was something. But the authors of Genesis gave us a more sophisticated model. Prior to Big Bang, Universe was simply in a state of maximal entropy: “…without form or shape with darkness over the abyss and a mighty wind.”
At Big Bang, a state of maximal entropy was converted to a state of minimal (or at least lower) entropy. Was entropy zero at Big Bang? Actually, it doesn’t matter. There are three possible theories of entropy associated with Big Bang and all three are consistent with the model provided by Genesis:
(1) Entropy was minimal at Big Bang. But according to the Uncertainty Principle, minimal entropy can never be zero entropy any more than maximal entropy can be infinite entropy. Fluctuations in entropy are a part of the fabric of Universe.
(2) Entropy was minimal at Big Bang. But we know from the Second Law of Thermodynamics that all systems tend to evolve toward states of higher entropy. Therefore, the primordial “event” (following Big Bang) must have been an increase in entropy in Universe. Indeed, no event would be possible unless it was at least accompanied by an increase in entropy.
(3) Entropy was not minimal at Big Bang but only reduced.
Regardless of interpretation, the primordial event following Big Bang had to be the distinguishing of order from disorder, of light from darkness. Before Big Bang, Universe was in a state of almost total darkness (mitigated only by fluctuations due to Uncertainty); entropy was maximal. The sudden reduction in entropy associated with Big Bang manifested as light. Therefore, the residual entropy following Big Bang, regardless of its origin or its magnitude, must have manifested as darkness.
The distinction of order (negentropy) from entropy constitutes the primordial distinction in Universe: light separated from the darkness. Therefore, the immediate second stage of Cosmogenesis must be exactly as presented in Genesis.
“Evening came and morning followed – the first day.” The tendency of entropy to increase is a tendency over time. Therefore, the primordial expression of extension is sequence (lower entropy states “followed” by higher entropy states). Sequence is the basic building block of time; from sequence comes interval (‘first’) and then duration (‘day’).
Immediately following temporal distinction (i.e. sequence, interval, duration), spatial distinction emerges. But space is a rotation of non-dimensional (or, if you prefer, one dimensional) extension (i.e. time) caused by and required for the emergence of mass. No mass, no space; no space, no mass!
But space is ultimately a map of the graduated influence that events exert upon another. Graduation arises because massive particles cannot communicate at the speed of light. This may not seem obvious at first but consider Bell’s Theorem.
In 1964, when John Bell discovered that the states of two “entangled” sub-atomic particles were more strongly correlated than their spatial separation would allow, the scientific community concluded that the connection between these particles was “non-local”, i.e. non-spatial, thereby confirming that space per se is a map of correlations among events.
Therefore, the next stage of Cosmogeneis, along with the emergence of space, was the emergence of the Higgs Field, and with it, the emergence of massive particles. These massive particles in turn manifest as “dry land, earth, sea, vegetation, living creatures, animals (and) human beings in our image, after our likeness.”
This last bit is crucial because it begins at least to suggest how universe might have become self-reflective so that portions of that universe (e.g. us) could comprehend the entire universe and understand its origins all the way back to Big Bang.
Consciousness is a non-linear phenomenon. The conscious being must be conscious of something and it must be conscious of itself being conscious of something. Ab initio, consciousness is reflection; it is an image of universe, its likeness.
Now compared to a 700 page college textbook on cosmology, this account might seem a bit, well, ‘spare’. And certainly there are things we know today about Cosmogenesis that even the celebrated authors of Genesis did not know 2500 year ago. But also consider this: it was not until the middle of the 20th Century that we had any complete theory that provided as full and accurate an account of Cosmogenesis as the one provided in Genesis.
Consider too the limitations under with the Genesis authors operated. There were no deep-space telescopes that could look back to the early years of Universe, there were no accepted theories of electro-magnetism, relativity or quantum mechanics, there was no Standard Model of particle physics and most importantly, there were no high speed particle accelerators.
So congratulations to the Nobel Committee: Job well done…and long overdue!