To Infinity and Beyond

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I love the Buzz Lightyear’s call in Toy Story, “To infinity and beyond.” But what can be beyond infinity? Isn’t infinity by its very nature, unending? If I said that I was going to live forever; then you couldn’t ask me what will happen after that. There would be no, “after that”. As somebody said, “forever is a very long time.” Now that’s not true, is it? Forever, isn’t a time at all. Forever, is another way of saying infinite.

 

If you limit something, time, space, this blog; then it is not infinite. I can here you cheering that this blog isn’t infinite.

 

It used to be that people saw the universe as infinite. Then some clever scientists came up with the idea that space might be looped/bent back on itself in a doughnut shape; tasty. Actually, I am being deliberately difficult; not like me at all. Science has many opinions on whether the universe is infinite or not. Many of them state something like: ‘The Universe’ is made up of all the ‘matter’ thrown out by the ‘Big bang’ so it can only be as big as the furthest it has reached/expanded since ‘The big bang.’ Umm, fair enough. But I think us non-scientific folk, include all the ‘emptiness’ that this ‘matter’ is expanding into, when we talk about ‘The Universe.’ I think what most people mean by ‘The Universe’ is everything ‘out there’, not just the bit that matter has reached so far. After all, what we really mean when we say, is the Universe infinite? Is this: “Is there an end point out there? If it were physically possible for me to fly straight out at limitless speed, would I come to a wall, or an edge; would I go around in a circle and end up back where I started?” Really, we are like those first explorers who set out across the oceans asking: “Will I fall off the edge?” Fortunately, we don’t have cartographers, writing: “Here there be dragons,” on the edges of the map of the Universe. We leave that to the Sci-Fi writers. My map of the Universe has this written at the edges, “here there be ET.”

 

The incredible thing about the universe is the balance of it all. The perfect way in which forces operate. Gravity, light, heat, all the different types of radiation. The way these forces have shaped and enabled the complexity of the universe and the very life we live. Many scientists have become and remain Christians on the basis of the what they have discovered and observed.

 

Those scientists who look at the universe and see random chance, remind me of those who would look at an iPad and say: “What an amazing thing, look how time and random chemical and physical reactions can produce really useful technology.” Of course, Apple might take exception to that viewpoint. Would anyone seriously argue that an iPad could come about randomly, even given millions of years for it to happen? Yet it is argued that a much more complex thing, a biological cell containing DNA (1 gram of DNA contains 215 million gigabytes of information), that’s much more data than contained in an iPad, came about by random chance. I find it as hard to believe that life in all its complexity is a chance accident. After all, would you think that your, house, phone, iPad, car, PC, office building, the infrastructure of our country or anything else man made came about by chance?

 

I have heard it suggested that an infinite number of monkeys typing on an infinite number of type writers could produce the works of Shakespeare. What utter rubbish; that could only work if it were monitored and every time the first few words of Shakespeare were randomly produced it was saved to one side. Then we wait for the next bit, a few million years later, add that etc. An intelligent brain would need to be involved. The reason such absurd suggestions are made is because they cannot be tested. I’ll make a challenge, a really easy one. This is not for something complex like Shakespeare or an iPad or a biological cell. Find me an Ikea white ceramic plate that has been randomly formed by chance anywhere in the known universe. With Ikea printed on it. Not the whole works of Shakespeare. Just a simple white plate, circular. If complex things can come about by chance, so can this. Think about it for a moment is it any more likely that life in all its complexity would spring spontaneously into life than a plate appears spontaneously? After all we only think life makes sense and is a natural thing to happen because it is here; we live it. But what is there about chemistry and physics that would make you see life as any more a natural progression than a plate, an iPad, a robot, a sock? I don’t see the logic beyond one very obvious reason; it is an explanation of this: ‘How did we come into existence?’ We know how iPad’s, socks, plates etc. came about, intelligent beings created them; us, well not me personally, but humans. But we fail to grasp that the much greater complexity of human life could possibly be by intelligent design. How ignorant and silly of me to suggest such a thing.

 

When science is able to create a single cell organism out of the chemicals that they say it sprang from spontaneously; I will take their argument seriously. I am not talking about taking things containing DNA and splicing them. I can build Lego models from blocks intelligently designed by others. I am talking of the base chemicals only. For those who don’t know, that cannot be done. There is no evidence to back the theory.

 

Don’t see me as anti-science; I am not. Science at its best is an exploration and understanding of the Universe God gave us. It enables us to harness the physical world, fight disease, and make life easier. At its worst it can destroy and contaminate. I am pro the best in science.

 

Well, it’s been a while since I last watched Toy Story. Maybe it’s time to strap on that firework and roller skate and shout: “To infinity and beyond.”

 

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