The long and the short of it

There was no “Big Bang”.

Aaahhh, now this sounds and feels right.

As it happens, when I was about to take my O-Levels (not OWLs, Harry Potter fans), I was – of course – wondering about jobs, careers, and so on. I’m a geek, in case that had somehow slipped past you, and I was thinking about astrophysics as a university course. I wasn’t really sure, though, because although it seemed very interesting when I read about it, I wasn’t sure what it really involved, or where it might lead, or…

So, I did what any 16-year-old geek would do. I wrote to Arthur C. Clarke for advice, care of his publishers. He wrote me a very nice hand-written reply, which went astray but eventually reached me; by that time, though, I was already on a different path – which was probably for the best; I don’t think in retrospect that I would have made a very good astrophysicist!

Anyway, that leads me on to an extremely interesting article in Wired: There was no Big Bang, because mass and time convert to length and space. A Taiwanese physicist, Shu Wun Yi, has developed a new cosmological theory, which replaces the ‘Big Bang’ model. I’ll let you read the article for the details, but the essence is that the Big Bang model just wasn’t working; to make the numbers balance, physicists were depending on the existence of “dark matter” – more and more of it. Unfortunately, they haven’t been able to actually locate any. I’ve kept an eye on this kind of headline for years, so I do know that this hypothesis has been dragging on and on, and yet no-one ever finds any of this mysterious matter.

Shun’s theory does away with this completely, replacing it with a model in which the universe contracts and expands, contracts and expands, eternally. Energy is conserved, and Einstein’s theories work, without the ‘placebo’ of vast amounts of completely undetectable dark matter.

In short, there was no beginning. There is no end. There are just cycles.

From a Buddhist point of view, this isn’t news.

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