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Finite Universe – Exploring the Origins

finite universeHello again, Neil! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. So, we begin with Premise 3 of the Cosmological Argument which states the universe does not exist out of necessity of its own nature. Your question, and perhaps your position, is how do we know the universe does not exist necessarily? For clarification, if something exists out of necessity of its own nature, by definition it is impossible for it NOT to exist. This would imply, that is not a finite universe.

Let’s look at the options.

  1.  The universe is eternal
  2.  The universe is finite

I think you will agree these are the only two possibilities. If one is falsified, the other is confirmed. Since my position is option 2, I will attempt to falsify option 1.

Finite Universe – Counter Arguments

What are the options for an eternal universe? I trust you will accept that our universe is expanding as shown by the red shift observations of Edwin Hubble.

  1. If the universe is eternal and expanding, it could be experiencing a past eternal state of stasis and then at some finite time in the past, this cosmic egg, if you will, cracked and the universe began expanding.
  2. If eternal, the universe could be in an infinite series of expansions and contractions, a so-called cyclical universe.

Let’s look at Option 1, the Cosmic Egg idea. Cosmologist Alexander Vilenkin of Tufts University in Boston along with his graduate student Audrey Mithani, demonstrated that quantum instabilities would cause the “egg” to crack after a finite amount of time thus preventing it from being eternal. The crack would have occurred an infinitely long time ago instead of the approximately 13.7 billion years ago commonly accepted.

Option 2 – Oscillation Theory. If one were to assume an infinite series of big bangs/big crunches, with each cycle the amount of disorder would increase. If this had been occurring eternally in the past, there would be no useable energy in the universe as it would exist with maximum disorder. Obviously we do still have useable energy.

There is a third option, that of eternal inflation. The basis here is that the expansion of the universe is not constant and that “bubble” universes in a multiverse environment are created. Further these bubble universes can go backwards and forwards in time allowing for eternal existence. In 2003 Vilenkin and Guth demonstrated the one of the constants in the mathematical formulas for the expansion of the universe, the Hubble Constant, has a lower limit which prevents inflation in both time directions.

Given this, it is my position that the universe can not be eternal and by falsifying Option 1, the only remaining option is a finite universe, which does not have to exist, and thus does not exist out of necessity of its own nature. As Alexander Vilenkin stated,

“All the evidence we have says that the universe had a beginning.”

Therefore, I maintain that Premise 3 is confirmed.

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