Ancient Knowledge: The Answer to Science's Unanswered Questions

Posted May 7, 2012 by Fallensoul in Open

commented on May 16, 2012
by slowlygetnthar



You see, we learned that our universe is not static, that space is expanding, that that expansion is speeding up and that there might be other universes all by carefully examining faint pinpoints of starlight coming to us from distant galaxies. But because the expansion is speeding up, in the very far future, those galaxies will rush away so far and so fast that we won't be able to see them -- not because of technological limitations, but because of the laws of physics. The light those galaxies emit, even traveling at the fastest speed, the speed of light, will not be able to overcome the ever-widening gulf between us. So astronomers in the far future looking out into deep space will see nothing but an endless stretch of static, inky, black stillness. And they will conclude that the universe is static and unchanging and populated by a single central oasis of matter that they inhabit -- a picture of the cosmos that we definitively know to be wrong.

Now maybe those future astronomers will have records handed down from an earlier era,like ours, attesting to an expanding cosmos teeming with galaxies. But would those future astronomers believe such ancient knowledge? Or would they believe in the black, static empty universe that their own state-of-the-art observations reveal? I suspect the latter.

... When we learn that astronomers of the far future may not have enough information to figure things out, the natural question is, maybe we're already in that position and certain deep, critical features of the universe already have escaped our ability to understand because of how cosmology evolves. So from that perspective, maybe we will always be asking questions and never be able to fully answer them.

extract from ted talk by Brian Greene (cue 18min)

  • slowlygetnthar May 16, 2012

    You are right. There are universes within universes. Cool. Never saw it that way before, nor had I thought long about ancient structures being oblong or elliptical.

    Over the past few years, (mainly through examining silver jewelry work from around the world) I have also noticed how many cultures depict spiral shapes~like nautilus shells (polynesian cultures) and concentric circles that look almost like spirals (W. African cultures). This conversation will make me look again at these. To me, circles and spirals have long represented holism, unity, full circle, and evolution of perspective....hmmm....maybe this all ties back in with the spiral round universe....*home*

  • charliet May 15, 2012


    Ever since I was a kid I have always wondered why the atom, building block of all things, resembles a small universe, kinda neat. Ancient man never built square, everything was round or oblong. The only thing that had corners were spear points, but those were conceptualized from the horns or canine teeth of the animals around them.

    Round, oblong, eliptical is everywhere in the universe, square is uncommon but present.

  • slowlygetnthar May 15, 2012

    I was also recalling a film I once saw, back in the 1980's, called _SPACE IS ROUND_ or something along those lines. It had very little narrative, but was an exploration of spaces--homes, work tools, dance areas, communal compounds, architecture--in W. Africa, and the traditional view of the world of people represented in these spaces. [corners were places where dark energy/spirits could dwell, but not in curved space]...
    Maybe because it was a loooooong movie, it left an impression on me.

    Your idea of the universe makes sense to me because so many of the fundamental/seminal items in our world are round...seeds, eggs, our heads (electromagnetic receivers), our planets, our eyes (receptors), the horizon, our sun, our moon ...and on and on... so why not the universe, too?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 15, 2012


  • slowlygetnthar May 14, 2012

    Charliet, I tend to envision the universe like you do, maybe shaped more like a galaxy. Because everything we conceptualize has a center~ our chakras, nuclei in cells, atoms, hailstones......it only seems natural there would be a center to it.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 13, 2012

    "Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.[1]"

    1.^ "... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. It was a discovery that nature generally acts regularly enough to be described by laws and even by mathematics; and required invention to devise the techniques, abstractions, apparatus, and organization for exhibiting the regularities and securing their law-like descriptions." —p.vii, J. L. Heilbron, (2003, editor-in-chief) The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science New York: Oxford University Press ISBN 0-19-511229-6

  • charliet May 12, 2012

    I never really keep track of names, seems a waste to keep trivial information.

    Everything you speak of is theory, we cannot say for sure that there is no center. Ponder this, why does every galaxy or black hole etc have a center? Why wouldn't the universe have a center. Seems to be common to find centers. If there is no beginning and there is no end there is nothing.

    If we could travel beyond the universe and observe it in its entirety I theorize that we would see a massive swirling formation, with a center. Visualize a large whirlpool in the water, it is the universe, there are many smaller whirlpools within this large whirlpool, these are the galaxies.

    Natural order has given us the answers, we only have to accept. Theory is fine but common sense makes it all work. To much theory can cloud the picture.

    Obviously we will never agree, I see things differently than you.

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 12, 2012

    "Maybes" are conjucture, which is far less than theory base on science.

  • slowlygetnthar May 12, 2012

    Maybe it is a mobius strip~~no beginning, no end, like the Tao te Ching...

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 12, 2012

    Your example speaks of a pebble dropped into a lake. This creates a center. Where is the center of the Universe?


    We have observations that say that the radius of curvature of the Universe is bigger than 70 billion light years. But the observations allow for either a positive or negative curvature, and this range includes the flat Universe with infinite radius of curvature. The negatively curved space is also infinite in volume even though it is curved. So we know empirically that the volume of the Universe is more than 20 times bigger than volume of the observable Universe. Since we can only look at small piece of an object that has a large radius of curvature, it looks flat. The simplest mathematical model for computing the observed properties of the Universe is then flat Euclidean space. This model is infinite, but what we know about the Universe is that it is really big.

    You see infinity can be observed threw quarks. They have a strong interaction with each other and there for would allow an infinite number of them to be joined. How ever the scale is so small billions would fit on a pin head. Never the less it expresses the fact that infinity is possible.


    There is no centre of the expansion, the universe is simply expanding at all points. Observers in any galaxy see most of the other galaxies in the universe moving away from them.

    Can you name a source for the concept of an edge to the universe or name some of "the scientist's who believe" ?

  • charliet May 12, 2012

    dustproduction - I have heard Hawkings many times. Are you suggesting there is no limit? How do you prove this?

    I cannot disprove that there is no limit or prove that there is. I look to what we can know and to natural occurrences, these indicate there are limits to everything we can measure. I theorize that there is a limit and side with the scientist's who believe that expansion will reach a limit and stop. Most feel that it will then return to its beginning, the big Q is how long before that limit is reached and how quickly will it return. My bet is billions of years.

  • slowlygetnthar May 12, 2012

    I like this image of the pebbles and water. It is also the one I use when describing what holographic film looks like! Hmmmm...this leads me back to the universe as a hologram....

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 12, 2012

    RE: "....reaches a point where the rest of the lake (space) overcomes that expansion and returns to the center of the source."

    This suggest a limit to space which is not only expanding but doing so at an increasing rate.


  • charliet May 11, 2012

    That of which you speak is millions/billions of years away. If the human race is still in existence then our current technology would look to our future selves as stone age technology looks to us today

    Expansion has to reach a point of return. Because space is not an "empty" void it would behave much the same as water. If you where to drop a pebble into a lake to replicate the "big bang" the result is an expanding circle, but at some point the outward force reaches a point where the rest of the lake (space) overcomes that expansion and returns to the center of the source. Have you ever noticed that when this happens it expands again, only more subtle. As beings of energy and spirit we would survive this and begin again, if we desired.

  • slowlygetnthar May 11, 2012

    Moreover, Fallensoul, it is breathtaking to think of the night sky with stars farther away? Would they not seem far away for a long, long time? When would we no longer see them? Or would we be moving at the same speed, thus, they would remain constant?

  • Anonymous Icon

    dustproduction May 10, 2012

    We do not "rely" on anyone now to explain the universe. It is nice that some do, that's all.
    We operate everything from cars to computers with a minimal understanding of how they works.
    We operate our bodies in the same manner. No clue.

  • slowlygetnthar May 09, 2012

    Maybe we will evolve on other levels, simultaneous to the expansion of the universe, and we won't have to rely entirely on astronomy, physics, and sciences for explanations about our universe.

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