Dual Universe: Eternity | Spacetime

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23 Reconciling Religion and Science

The concept of a dual universe arose in seeking how essential concepts of reality in religion and science might be reconciled. The dual universe suggests an approach that brings religious concepts of eternity into science in a way that may resolve basic problems in theology and in science.

The dual-universe concept positions eternity in science in a way that parallels its position in religion. In its proposed role in science, it leaves standing the highly accurate calculations of quantum mechanics but replaces the underlying physical description. Particles remain particles and waves remain waves; self-contradictory concepts such as particles acting as waves are set aside. In bringing together the concepts of eternity and quantized spacetime, it retains the Big Bang evolution of the universe after the first infinitesimal moments of expansion (which are a mystery to us at present).

The proposal is open to the objection that it relies on hidden variables having only a hypothetical existence, but this is a common feature in science and is not insurmountable for a wave theory of quantized spacetime. The gain it achieves by such an approach is an account of the emergence of spacetime before the Big Bang. For this it employs the notion of a dimensionless energy. This concept is consistent with energy conservation and is no stranger than many proposals active in science today for a multiplicity of dimensions or a cornucopia of universes, and may provide a clue to the nature of dark energy and dark matter.

For religion, the dual-universe approach retains eternity as an integral element in the relationship between humanity and a deity. While proposing an atemporal eternity within the interstices of spacetime, it retains the sempiternity of the everyday world. The dual universe thus unites twin concepts of eternity that cause schisms in religion. In one, the deity exists outside of space and time but creates a universe within spacetime. In another, the deity is omnipresent in spacetime and may guide the actions of individuals. The twin concepts of eternity are reconciled in the dual universe model by its assumption that eternity is present throughout the interstices of spacetime and that a dimensionless energy suffusing eternity influences events in spacetime. In this transcendent temporality, spacetime is infiltrated at the most intimate level by eternity. It offers an approach to developing an understanding how a spirituality outside of time might influence events in time.

For religion, eternity is an essential element of reality, typically viewed as a precursor to space and time. It regards statements about reality as incomplete if they are based on spacetime alone. Science avoids investigating eternity, because the scientific world view is rooted in a spacetime that has no connection with eternity. Science relies on spacetime as the arena for experiments to validate or invalidate its theories. It considers theories about reality as untenable if they cannot be verified by experiment. Thus, two major intellectual disciplines seeking to understand reality, have avoided seeking a common ground where they can meet and resolve differences, because they each focus narrowly on a domain of enquiry that the other views with suspicion. The dual universe approach seeks to show that both domains, eternity and spacetime, require consideration together when seeking a theory of everything. It suggests that religious and scientific views of reality can be related, and that the relationship is open to investigation and discussion.

I see no opposition in the dual universe theory to the religious view that a transcendental intelligence created the universe.  Dimensionless energy out of which spacetime emerges can be viewed as transcendental, because transcendental implies beyond space and time. Then the only difference between religious eternalists and scientific cosmologists would be the source of that first step – establishment of a spacetime in which material creation can occur. In one view, it would be initiated by a compassionate intellect beyond space and time; in the other, it would be initiated by a random fluctuation in dimensionless energy. As the alternative narratives start before appearance of spacetime, their conflict cannot be resolved on a factual basis, because discovery of facts depends on the presence of a spacetime, otherwise validating measurements cannot be made. That is, the different world views of theists and atheists cannot be resolved by knowledge of how the universe was created. The initial phase of creation, origination of spacetime, is hidden from us. There is no reason to hold that scientists must be atheists, or that theists cannot be materialists.

In suggesting a solution to the puzzle of two different eternities, the concept of a dual universe has suggested a reconciliation of religion and science and may lead to a better understanding of eternity and the realm of the spirit. It also  may expand our perception of what we might discover in an encounter with an extraterrestrial civilization.

Updated 3/31/2017

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