Welcome To My Journey Into The Interdependence Of Consciousness, Science, And Religion

Einstein Was Busy Pondering That Other Anomaly-A Fifth Force Of Nature

apartment 1Introduction (Volume Two-Feeling, Understanding and the Divine)

In the classroom of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s (and beyond), emotions were naturally, as well as artificially, stimulated, while tradition and social norms were either ignored or violated. In the midst of all that change, a normal kid (that’s me) stuck out his thumb and hit the highway. Not long ago, I turned my old journal chicken scratching into real paragraphs. The “fog of old age” is inevitable for people who live past their prime. For me, these rewritten memories represent a small, but savored victory.

Conceptually, my journals are divided into three parts 1) drifting and seeking; 2) more disciplined seeking—feeling, understanding, and the divine; and 3) the call to share divine freedoms.

Aug. 1976

My mind is dead or dying. I can’t write! My thoughts are stale and redundant. I have a foul taste in my mouth, and only one comforting thought: I can still enjoy the mountains and feel at peace with nature.

Back in Deadwood, it was the same old stuff, and then the cast of “Godspell” came to town. The New York City theater troupe was on tour. C.S.’s brother, Denny, an entertainer himself, became friends with some of the cast members and got all of us invited to the cast party. The troupe had rented three cabins in a beautiful spot in the Black Hills, south of Deadwood. C.S. and I really I enjoyed their performance and looked forward to going to the party. When the time came we even took our new puppy with us.

Sept. 1976

Black Hills’ Cabin Party

The cast, a bunch of talented kids, was pretty laid back when it came to partying, but that was the way I liked it. For the most part, we sat around picnic tables talking, eating, and drinking. I was going for another beer when I strolled past a couple of cast members who were in a heated discussion. The female was drinking vodka straight from the bottle. They were talking astronomy; a subject I had never heard discussed in Deadwood before. At first I thought they were talking about exploding stars, but it soon became apparent that they disagreed on the origin of the universe. It wasn’t a religious argument, though. They were arguing about two opposing theories in astronomy. One said that the universe had a beginning; the other said it did not.

After I got another beer from the cooler, I sat down in the empty chair next to the girl. It was fun listening to them. I knew a little bit about what they were talking about, but they knew a lot more. When I got to speak, I told them that I found the subject fascinating, and that I had the best seat in the house.

“So,” Tom shot back at Sara, “you’re telling me that all the stars and galaxies are speeding away from the Earth at close to light speed. That’s really hard to believe. How do you know that anyway?”

“No,” replied Sara, “I said distant galaxies are speeding away from us at close to light speed. The stars aren’t going anywhere by themselves. They’re held in place by gravitational attraction. It’s the light from the receding galaxies that tells us the universe is expanding. That light is red shifted. It’s like the sound of a passing train whistle; when a train passes a stationary observer, the pitch of the whistle drops, as the sound waves lengthen. It’s the same with receding galaxies; only it’s light, not sound, that tells us the speed and direction of the galaxy. The red wavelengths of galaxies flying away from us are extended, and that shift in extension can be measured.”

“But you still haven’t told me how you know that.” replied Tom. “How do you know red- shifted light means galaxies are moving away from us?”

“Because,” said Sara, “forty or fifty years ago, the astronomer Edwin Hubble figured out how to measure the distances. When Hubble’s distances were combined with Vesto Sipher’s measurements of different galaxies’ spectral line shifts, the linear velocity distance law was deduced. Applying that law to the known red-shifted light of distant galaxies resulted in a perfect straight line graph of the galaxies–the longer the red-shift, the more distant the galaxy, the more distant the galaxy, the greater the recession velocity.”

“You’re going to have to do better than that to convince me
,” replied Tom. “All that tells me is that when W, X, and Y come together, Z follows. How am I supposed to know that Z is a galaxy moving away from me at the speed of light, or close to it? Why couldn’t those red-shifts be caused by something else? In fact, Hoyle, Bondi, and Gold, all astronomers and physicists alike, suggested that they might be caused by the continuous creation of matter; matter created out of empty space. They called their theory the “steady state theory” and, in their view, stars and galaxies are born, go through life cycles, and die out. New stars and galaxies then replace them, continuously. That’s why the universe looks the same today as it always did, or ever will. According to the steady state theory, the universe is not evolving.”

“That’s ridiculous!” said Sara, “matter can’t be created from nothing.”

“Why not?” Tom replied, “Where did the ‘Big Bang’ come from anyway? Where did the ‘exploding energy’ come from? What exactly existed before the ‘bang’ occurred? If everything started with a ‘bang,’ wouldn’t the distant galaxies, the oldest galaxies, be clustered together? When they were created the universe was much younger, smaller, and, according to your theory shouldn’t first generation galaxies be grouped together? You know there not. The universe is expanding uniformly. And what about quasars? It’s their red-shifts that have made them such enigmas. If they really were that far away, then, according to your theory, they must be emitting as much energy as 1000 Milky Way galaxies. How can an object packaged in a body much smaller than a galaxy emit so much energy? Those objects cannot even be imagined, red-shifted spectral light or not. If you ask me, Einstein should have stuck to his original cosmology. He was much closer to the truth when he looked at his equations and saw a static, spherical universe, a universe where moving in a straight line meant you would eventually return to your starting point. A bunch of red lines have kicked us out of that universe.”

God, it had been a long time, way too long for me; I really missed conversations like that—the kind of talk that, if you were really lucky, you might find in a bar full of university students, but hardly anywhere else. In Deadwood, conversations with more theory than facts, more questions than answers, just didn’t happen. I looked at the steady state theory guy, Tom, and said, wasn’t it Einstein who said, “The static universe was the biggest blunder of my life?” Before Tom could speak, Sara jumped into the conversation with the answer.

“Well, not exactly,” she said. “It’s true that Einstein didn’t immediately accept the idea of an expanding universe, but he was distracted by another problem, one that kept him from pursuing the implications contained in his own equations, implications that supported the experimental data that Hubble had already gathered. The problem was that Einstein was too busy to notice. The Russian physicist, Alexander Friedmann was the one who finally concluded, after his own investigation of Einstein’s field equations, that we were living in an expanding universe. Meanwhile, Einstein was still pondering that other anomaly that followed from his equations, the one that suggested there was a fifth force in nature, a force that hadn’t been discovered yet.

In addition to the four forces– electromagnetic, nuclear, weak, and gravity another force was needed to keep the universe from collapsing in on itself. Newton had the same problem, as Einstein, but he solved it with the hypothetical method. He reasoned something like this: in an infinite universe where stars were distributed uniformly, there would be no overall center for the universe to collapse into; therefore there would be no collapse. But that explanation wasn’t good enough for Einstein, so he postulated a fifth force, a force that was repulsive rather than attractive, a pushing force to balance the pull of gravity. As it turned out, in an expanding universe, that force wasn’t needed because the expansion itself kept the universe from collapsing. The fact remains, though, that Einstein’s equations suggest that there is another force in nature. Someday, maybe, Einstein will get credit for yet another incredible discovery. If that turns out to be the case, I suspect, as blunders go, Einstein’s preoccupation with the static universe concept won’t seem so stupid.”

Glancing over at C.S., I could tell I was in trouble. She was sitting alone and I was sure she thought I was ignoring her. I told Sara and Tom that I had to go to the bathroom, and then went to see how C.S. was doing. By the look on her face, I could see that she was not in the best of moods. “Can I get you a beer,” I said. “I’m going for another one.”

“Yeah,” came the reply, “and while you’re at it how about bringing that hunk of a man you’ve been talking to back with you, or perhaps it was that darling little girl you were talking to. Well? Don’t give me any bullshit, either. You looked like a kitten going after mother’s milk. You embarrassed both of us. Haven’t you heard the word discreet before?”

“We were just talking, that’s all,” I said. “What did you expect? This is a party. If it bothered you that much, why didn’t you come over and join us? You probably would have gotten bored, though. We were talking about astronomy.”

“You didn’t have to tell me that,” C.S. shot back, “From all the way over here, I could see the stars in your eyes. Why is it that guys drop to their knees and become asses, especially some guys, when a new skirt shows up? Why is that, anyway?”

“Shit! That’s not fair,” I said. “She, Sara, is an intelligent, not to mention talented, girl. You know, every once in a while it’s nice to talk to someone different, especially when she knows what she’s talking about.”

“What the fuck is that suppose to mean?” C.S. shouted. “You don’t like talking to me? Or is it that talking to me doesn’t make you drool. Shit, next time we talk remind me to hold up one of your Playboy centerfolds. The problems of the world ought to get solved with that conversation!”

“Fuck this. Go get your own beer!” I said. “I’m going for a hike.”

“Take the puppy,” C.S. shot back. “Do something useful. Don’t worry about me. The party is just getting started.”

Holding on to the dog, I walked past Sara who rose to get a better look at the puppy. I was embarrassed. I told her the puppy and I were going exploring. She nodded, and handed me her fifth of vodka, “Here, take this,” she said, “I think you need it more than I do.” I thanked her and took a swig. “Yeah, I think you’re right,” I replied, and then I walked on, holding the bottle in one hand and the puppy in the other. I never looked back.


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