The Genesis Model:
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.- the author of Genesis said that.
Gen.1:2-3, KJV (Thomas Nelson, Pub. 1972).
The Intuitive Transcendental Model:
When the mind opens, and reveals the laws which traverse the universe, and make things what they are, then shrinks the great world at once into a mere illustration and fable of this mind. What am I? and What is? Behold these infinite relations, so like, so unlike; many, yet one. I would study, I would know, I would admire forever.- Ralph Waldo Emerson said that.
Divinity School Address, Harvard Divinity School (July 15, 1838).
I am not trying to answer the great question posed in the title, Is Space = God? I am trying to raise it. Further, I am getting way ahead of my development plan, rough as it is, for this blog. But let's proceed anyway.
We remain at the carrefour of winter mysteries wrapped in spring enigmas, not yet in view, I think, of Emerson's famous refulgent summer, where the 'grass grows, the buds burst, the meadow is spotted with fire and gold in the tint of flowers.' Ibid. Emerson's address to the divinity school senior class, all seven or eight members of it, as quoted above, helped establish a transcendental view in favor of 'individual, intuitive thought and the role of nature in helping man to understand the divine,' and in opposition to the 'primacy' of authoritarian mechanisms. Harvard gazette (Walsh, February 16, 2012). This elevation of individual intuition over the established framework of institutional tradition was considered so radical that Emerson was not invited to the Harvard campus again for 30 years. Ibid.
Thank goodness for counterbalances all around, such as the next one.
The Scientifically-Generated Physical Model:
A story logically begins at the beginning. [And] In the very beginning there was a void - a curious form of vacuum - a nothingness containing no space, no time, no matter, no light, no sound ... But this story is about the universe, and unfortunately there are no data for the Very Beginning. None, zero ... Now, where were we? Oh, yes ... [then] it happened. The nothingness exploded. In this incandescence, space and time were created.- Leon Lederman, with Dick Teresi, said that.
The God Particle. If the Universe Is the Answer, What Is the Question? (1993; p.1).
Don't you just love it? The drama and suspense of it all? Steven Spielberg, Ben Affleck and Stanley Kubrick, move over. God is coming through. Or maybe not.
Here is how this post came about (re-posting part of this from my other blog, Random Walk): In Robert Oerter's blog post, Collins vs. Stenger, the professor, a physicist, has continued his posts about possible scientific Fine Tuning of the universe. Robin Collins and Victor Stenger are both physicists. The idea is that certain physical parameters are both highly improbable and extremely critical for the emergence of life in this universe.
I supplied various comments on that subject on the professor's blog, and on a previous post on this blog, Is the Whole Word Just a Code?, because the subject relates to the possibility of God's existence, a subject I took up last October on Random Walk in a three part post I called The God is Possible Argument. (My previous post on this blog, incidentally, was prompted by some very interesting comments advanced by Alan on Edward Feser's blog post, Craig versus Rosenberg. Alexander Rosenberg is a philosopher at Duke. Wlliam Lane Craig is a theology professor at BIOLA. My grandfather studied at BIOLA back in the first part of the last century, but that's a story for another time.)
While doing all this commenting and blogging, the following thought occurred to me: If space is something that can expand, then space is a "thing" with describable properties. If so, then this changes the question about fine tuning of parameters to a question about what space itself is. It also raises the interesting question of what space is "in"? In Aristotelian terms, this would put space back into the category of having (or being) substance, and as such, space itself could be the ground of all being. To put this last step into a form that St. Thomas Aquinas might have said or used, this ground of all being we are accustomed to calling God.
In this form, this approaches a classical proof of the existence of God. Yes? No? As TxLostWolf suggests (on my other blog), this argument may fit the Prime Mover form. If space is substance, it would also be essence. If the causal series per se terminates with space itself, then the argument would also fit the Uncaused Cause form. Yes? No? Either way, would not Space = God under this, the Genesis model of the source of all matter and energy which emerged from space itself?
The reader may find this Universe Forum (produced for NASA by the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) a helpful resource in re-visualizing the Big Bang as something other than a point-in-space explosion. In particular, here is a page entitled Brief Answers to Cosmic Questions. I found these two Q & A's illuminating with respect to the possible physical explanation (understanding) of space itself, as I applied it above:
Q: Do we know where, in space, the Big Bang took place?
A: It's a common misconception that the Big Bang was an "explosion" that took place somewhere in space. But the Big Bang was an expansion of space itself. Every part of space participated in it. For example, the part of space occupied by the Earth, the Sun, and our Milky Way galaxy was once, during the Big Bang, incredibly hot and dense. The same holds true of every other part of the universe we can see ... Artists may find it more dramatic to draw a "fireball" expanding into space, but as far as we know, there would have been no such "ball."
Q: Does the term "universe" refer to space, or to the matter in it, or both?
A: Just a hundred years ago, scientists thought of the universe in terms of matter. Space was just the "emptiness" in which matter lived ... Today, the situation is reversed. During the twentieth century, scientists learned that space is not "nothingness." First, Einstein showed that space has structure: It is flexible and can be stretched ... Later, scientists found other properties of space. For example, matter and anti-matter are routinely created in the laboratory from space itself (and an energy source); the kinds of particles that can exist reflect the structure of space. In fact, there is now evidence that space itself MAY possess some slight amount of energy of its own, of a form previously unknown. If so, space may actually have weight!
If this is the way it is, then Space is some "thing" from which all physical things, as we know them, actually came, mediated by the initial operation of the Big Bang. Under such a scenario, can we not reasonably view Space, which has structure and properties, as the immediate ground of all known being?
-- copyright 2012-2013 by c emerson --