By DC Pathak
New Delhi, Nov 27 (IANS): Science is always looking for an equation to confirm a proposition while philosophy rises above the details and reaches empirical deduction through the imagination.
Theories of the universe combine science and philosophy – the latter inevitably bringing the idea of God to fill unexplained gaps in man’s understanding of the universe.
Philosophy felt that time and space had no beginning or end – which was an attribute of God. Science struggles with this interpretation but has already begun to explore space and its lifespan which is a function of time.
It didn’t seal any aspect of the universe beyond the scientists’ stipulation that space was always expanding. They provided “infinity” as part of the equation for advancing space and time. Infinity can also be seen as the answer to what separates the “beginning” from the “end”.
Seen from the presumed “end”, the “origin” point would also be infinitely distant. Infinity is how science conceptually measures “infinity”.
Space and time follow a course. The question is whether this course was irreversible. However, if something has no beginning or end, then theoretically these two terminals must merge to make the process reversible. Infinity is a step towards examining the universe from this angle.
Infinity has been accepted and recognized as an equation of science but has not yet offered an explanation for the reversibility of an expanding universe or retraction in the motion of time. The principle of “uncertainty” is another invention of science which recognizes that in a non-static universe, no position of any element of it could be defined with certainty.
Now, if space is to expand in all possible directions, and time is also to free itself from linear conceptualization, then science should explore how their beginning and end should merge. This fusion would have the effect of accommodating both “infinity” and “uncertainty” and of making the cosmos a constant.
In a sense, the totality of time and space was equated by philosophy with an omnipresent God. What science might envision is a theory that encompasses space and time in a “constant” using “infinity” and “uncertainty” as factors in the proof equation.
Meanwhile, theories like the “evolution” of species, “relativity” and “action evoking equal but opposite reaction,” all deal with parts of the “whole” that the universe was. A fundamental finding is that matter was indestructible – it can only turn into energy – and the fact that ‘stability’ was rooted in high-speed circulatory ‘movement’, as was the case with an atom at inside.
“Relativity” does not destroy the theory of the absolute as it can exist in the cosmological constant. The equality of ‘action’ and ‘reaction’ is part of the interaction of ‘stability’ and ‘movement’. Even the established interdependence of flora and fauna is a fact that is essentially a detail of how life, as a product of ‘evolution’, has been managed.
Science has found answers to many subsidiary questions that arise in a discussion of the universe. Hindu philosophy has used the adjective ‘Anant’ or ‘endless’, for the universe – which also applies to God. Science must establish that a seamless transition was possible between a “beginning” and an “end” with respect to space and time for the universe to live up to this description.
The challenge for science is that if it were working on a “part” of the indefinite “whole”, the experiment would find it inherently difficult to fully explain the latter and to arrive at definitive terms for this purpose.
This limitation of science can be overcome by imagination – Einstein, perhaps the greatest scientist of all time, said “imagination is more important than knowledge”.
In the case of the universe, science must prove that “the end was equal to the beginning”. What is this journey that ends where it began? This may mean that the movement was an illusion and what was seen or felt as a moment in the journey was a point that actually never moves.
“Relativity” explained this at least in part. The thought that what you see is not reality is close to Mayan Hindu spirituality – an illusion or a dream – seen as a manifestation of God.
Could a dream be examined by a person who had woken up to feel which part of the dream envisioned reality. The message was that examining the universe should help focus on “how it was created”.
Time and space are not measurable because they are eternal and free of a beginning or an end and the human effort to examine the universe from within is inherently handicapped, but science has succeeded in obtaining a partial answer in “infinity” and “uncertainty” which she has to use to construct the new equation that would connect the points of “origin” and “termination”.
The remarkable Hindu thought of the Pralaya or the deluge not only defined an end of the universe but also saw in it its beginning. Here again, the proven phenomenon of the “black hole” marks the interconversion of the “visible” and the “invisible”. Scientifically speaking, since an atom had neither length nor width, any amount of matter can theoretically be condensed into “nothingness”.
Scientists have thus found quite a few answers to the enigmas of the universe and have reduced the distance between “thought” and “reality”. The key is to arrive at the interpretation of space and time that establishes their continuum.
Leading scientists of our time have struck a note of confidence and hope that the status of the universe will be defined in scientific terms soon enough – once an understanding of its origin in timelessness has been reached.
Meanwhile, the power of meditative insight into the cosmos revealed by the ancient sages of India deserves new recognition and appreciation by the field of science. The observation that “Rome Rome mein Brahmmand hai” – there is a whole solar world in every particle of the body – has been amazingly proven by the structure of the atom.
Likewise, the claim that someone could become invisible or “antardhyan” is apparently on all fours with the discovery of science that “matter” cannot be destroyed – it can only disappear by transforming into “energy”.
Furthermore, the idea that the human body symbolizing “life” was the product of the five elements of nature – fire, water, earth, air and space – saw the link of assimilation between the cosmos and the manifestation of life .
In short, what the wise philosophers essentially realized was that the universe had no beginning or end and that everything “visible” was part of the invisible “everything”.
The science is to correct this metaphysical equation despite the limitations of the human mind. Philosophy could help science come closer to a solution by stipulating that the cosmological constant symbolized the “singularity” of God – the latter representing the “invisible” whole behind the “visible” universe.
The universe will remain, in human thought, inseparable from God even after science has confirmed that the universe is a continuum. Science and philosophy would describe the same totality of the universe by different names.
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