- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
In Genesis Was Right, amateur historian Stephen Barr examines the ...
In Genesis Was Right, amateur historian Stephen Barr examines the characteristics of civilization and demonstrates how they have become so integral to civilization that any change - especially one that may prevent a downfall - has become nearly impossible. In Barr's critical glimpse into the history of our civilization, in thirteen chapters he scrutinizes the life processes of the universe, the life stages within our galaxy, and those of mankind's very civilization. The earth's slow stages that we barely perceive are paralleled by our civilization's slow stages. We react to this in various ways that are the changing characteristics of our societies.
With the onset of global warming and the shortage of petroleum, raw materials, and fresh water, Barr's comprehensive look at the history of our civilization will encourage others to learn from the mistakes of those who came before us and reexamine our current lifestyle, ultimately building a better future for our world.
There never was a "CREATION." There is merely continuation.
When an egg is fertilized, life is not created, does not begin. Life merely assures itself that it is going to continue. Likewise, the life of the universe is carried out in many cycles that occur throughout its extent, cycles that are the models for the existence of all of its lesser parts. Beyond this, however, we really do not know much about the universe, which is so vast that our comprehension of it is an exercise in creative imagination. As far as we know, or can guess, the universe has always been here, for its beginnings lie so far back in the span of time that it is wholly incomprehensible to us. No matter how far back we even try to imagine the universe's beginning, however, there's still the problem of what was before.
Consequently, for all intents and purpose, it is easier to accept a universe that is infinite in both time and extent than to determine a first cause. Indeed, throughout the farthest reaches imaginable, time and extent become the same because no matter how fast we may travel at the farthest imaginable "edge" of the universe, we keep traveling. The time in which we travel is absorbed by the very nature of infiniteness itself, and so that time becomes the distance traveled. And the infinite goes on.
We are victims of our own world-bound conception if we think that the whole universe began with our "Big Bang." Such a belief imparts a finite size to the physical universe, which presents a problem. How can the physical universe be present within a universe that is infinite in time and extent? Not only is the universe infinite in time and distance, but also in its physical aspect. The Big Bang is only the product of an act of fertilization if you will, an assurance that the physical universe is going to continue to exist. For the physical universe is not unlike the infinite number of finite parts of which it is comprised. To maintain its "health" - its uniformity of matter - there must be continuous mixing and rebirth. Galaxies spreading out from a big-bang event move among others that are spreading from other big bangs, some still traveling from a long ago big-bang event but slowed because of intergalactic gravitational forces. This intermingling of galaxies from various big bangs constitutes an act of fertilization. Soon a gravitational anomaly, or centroid, will develop and a coalescence of galaxies and other unstructured matter will begin: A collapse is in progress as this gravitational force grows by its own collection of matter - absorbing galaxies, black holes, gas and dust clouds, etc. - until a limit is reached. That limit is determined by the vast pressures built up by the tremendous gravitational forces in the center of this shrinking ball of matter. The coalesced whole then explodes and another big bang has occurred.
This universe can best be understood if we imagine it in the form of a model. Picture a cubic foot of space cut from the air of a foggy day. Each water droplet represents a galaxy, and this space would be a section of the universe viewed from an immense distance, its many galaxies looking as thick as a fog. The dynamics of the universe can be seen within this fog, for all the droplets are in motion. Now imagine flashes of light where big-bang events occur and the thin areas of fog as where a coalescence has occurred. The dynamics of this universe is the antecedent model that permeates all of its parts down to the very atomic particles of which it is made.
Two things must be taken into account within this scenario: time and extent. The material of the universe, like the universe itself, is infinite. Because a big-bang event concerns a finite amount of that material, it cannot encompass the whole of the infinite universe. Therefore, big-bang events are limited to a maximum amount of material, but because of this mixing and reconstitution of material, a fairly uniform consistency of matter is maintained throughout the infinite universe. This may seem fairly simple, and it is, but it must be placed in the context of the universe's rhythm, which is so vast that its cycles are not apparent to us. The rhythm is measured in units of time beyond our knowledge, and indeed, by applying our Earthbound standard of time as measurement, the rhythm is lost in the huge numbers of our units required to estimate its length. Indeed, it is difficult to conceptualize the universe almost like a living thing with its fantastically long rhythms of coalescences, collapses, big-bang events, expansions, etc. - all going on at the same time in different places.
So what we deem our creation - the formation of the Earth with the solar system - was in fact merely part of the ongoing "life process" of the universe, which is quite rapid when viewed from the infinite perspective of the universe. Remember, however, that all things in the universe - galaxies, systems, stars, planets - have a lifespan. Those life spans are part of the rhythm of the universe's life process, a process that is not evident to us at all, an ignorance that allows us to have a sense of permanence and solidity.
Only the universe is everlasting, however. It is when a coalescence begins that a finite part is defined. This definition is necessary in order to maintain the "life spark" of the universe. Without that spark, the material of the universe would lose its universal similarity and degenerate into a vast collection of incompatible parts. So when the amalgamation explodes as a big bang, it is an act of rebirth of a part of the universe. Since the universe is infinite, then there are an infinite number of coalescences and big-bang events. Thus the universe "lives" and its continuance is defined by those life spans that are in turn defined by coalescences and big bangs: aging, death, and rebirth.
In fact, coalescence begins just after a big bang occurs. The force of gravity that created a big-bang event begins immediately. For as soon as there is matter, there is gravity. As this matter goes spinning off in all directions, the act of "creation" continues. Most of these spinning masses become galaxies, and not only are there stars in galaxies but all manner of material, constituting a kind of infinite detritus. There are clouds of gas, black holes, dust and other larger particles (themselves a product of coalescence), all reacting to gravitational forces. Almost any form of matter imaginable is created by a big-bang event as the initial protons, neutrons, and electrons become the atoms that constitute matter by the process of coalescence. They combine into every possible configuration of the elements (1), which then combine in the almost limitless varieties of molecular compounds that make up the universe's matter. This matter ranges from dust to huge globs, and some of the latter become hot spots that can produce stars.
Ib The Earth
The Earth is our mother, the giver of life as we know it. However, we have only recently begun to know her many manners and idiosyncrasies and still apparently lack the level of familiarity with her that would move us to treat her with respect. Like the universe, she too is vast. Not nearly as vast as the universe, of course, for she is but an infinitesimal speck within it, but nevertheless vast in her relationship to us as individuals. We only recently abandoned the notion that our earth is the center of the universe, and more recently still, we have photographed the earth from beyond her confines, allowing us to see her in her wholeness and as a celestial body. However, we still find true comprehension of her difficult. We still do not see Earth as a finite world, accepting with understanding the limits of our immediate locale.
But the earth, as predicated by the universe itself, lives and therefore has a lifecycle. Her size and her long cycle of life, or her slowness of evolution relative to the length of a human life, fools us into considering her static and permanent. Our societies, religions, political boundaries, and engineering decisions are based on this assumption, and simply because the life rhythms of Earth are very long in proportion to our lives. The rate at which continents move is measured in millimeters per year and so doesn't seem to have an impact on us in any noticeable and immediate way. This creation of crust, which is most noticeable as seafloor spreading along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and its subsequent subduction along both coasts, is a part of our Earth's life dynamic. That is, just like the coalescences and big-bang events of our universe, crust creation with subsequent remelting during subduction is evidence of the life-cycling of our planet. Here are the pulsations of the living Earth, and when they end, Earth will become a cold, dead planet no longer able to provide the dynamic conditions required for life as we know it. Until then, however, crustal movements will continue to slowly, and therefore imperceptibly, alter conditions for life on the surface of the Earth, and these slowly changing conditions play an integral part in evolution. Only rarely, when these movements erupt in a burst of activity, are we reminded that the Earth will have her way regardless of any measures we may take. Yet even volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, glacial advances, rising seas, and etc. do not give us a clue to the fact of Earth's vitality. These events seem either furious or relentlessly unstoppable, giving rise to several emotional responses, ranging from acceptance of the trouble they have caused as just part of life, to anguish at not having been sufficiently propitiatory to God (the event was a "reminder"), to determination to restructure in such a way to withstand any future similar event. These events are usually fairly infrequent over the course of human observation and so are deemed chance occurrences, acceptable as mere chance events with which no connection is made with the slow changes of an ageing Earth.
Even the weather, which can change on a daily basis and so is of daily concern to us, isn't usually the subject of planetary disposition. We still see it as a local or regional phenomenon for which only local or regional measures are taken to try to mitigate its sometimes disastrous effects. We are only now beginning to realize that weather is more than just a surface characteristic of the Earth, that weather is in fact highly sensitive and influenced by changes in oceanic currents from the movements of tectonic plates. Weather also reacts to those slow rhythms of our planet as she lives out her life in the solar system. For example, her axis of rotation precesses - the direction of her axial tilt (23 1/2 degrees) rotates every 25,800 years or so - slowly moving the centroid of solar and lunar gravitational forces around on the globe which has some effect ons the movement of tectonic plates which are of varying sizes. This movement of the "point of gravitation" therefore influences oceanic tides and tectonic movements accordingly, and in turn tides, variation of land mass shapes, and tectonic movements all influence weather, which can result in "unpredictable" weather including ice ages. We make long range weather forecasts, but those forecasts are premised on the short-term changes in tides and the assumption that the precession remains as it is - and since tectonic activity seems imperceptible to us and so we do not include that parameter or assume it an outcome of other forces.
Ic LIFE - GENERAL
The continual big-bang events throughout the universe assure a continuous creation of every conceivable combination of atoms into untold varieties of molecules. Our understanding of matter indicates that the number of possible atoms is finite, and in fact, their combination into molecules and molecular chains, including even those of tremendous complexity, is still a finite, albeit a very large, number. These combinations include all possible permutations of matter, ranging from the nonliving to those molecular constructs with the potential to become living matter in so far as we understand the difference. But "living" and "nonliving" are subjective terms, based merely on how we wish to categorize the world around us. In actuality, there is no real "death" as long matter exists.
The universe is infinite in time, extent, and material; and in this sense, the universe can be considered static or permanent. Static and permanent are indeed fit descriptions from our very limited perspective, but the universe is in constant movement via acts of "revitalization." Since the matter of the universe constitutes a singularity, which means there is no other with which it can interact, it must utilize continual coalescences and big bangs, as we have seen, in order to maintain viability. These local big bangs serve that purpose of revitalization, and taken in their whole throughout that singularity, such occurrences constitute "rebirth."
All forms of existence share in this necessity for revitalization or rebirth. Being part of the universe, they can only share in its periodic revitalizations. All forms therefore have life spans, spans of existence, and the lifespan of the infinite universe itself is continued within those finite portions in which coalescences and big-bang events occur. All other finite forms have definite spans of existence that are dictated by the very process of renewal taking place in the universe of which they are an integral part. Thus nothing is static or permanent, for all are subject to the requirement of having a lifespan. Only time and extent are permanent, which of course are the constants in which the universe exists.
We define "life" or "living" in terms wholly relative to ourselves. Our definition is within the context of self-perpetuation. That is, life perpetuates itself by consuming matter, then converting it to maintain bodily functions and carrying out a method of reproduction in order to perpetuate life's various forms. What we tend to fail to see is that this is the regular process of all parts of the universe. We tend to view things around us in reference to ourselves, not realizing that the rates at which the life processes are carried out by the universe's many parts vary by extremely wide margins. Thus what is living in the universe seems nonliving to us because our view of time represents only an extremely short segment of a long lifespan.
So the universe, which has an infinite lifespan, assures its continuance with never-ending coalescences and big-bang events and the resultant mixing of matter. The expanses of time these cycles take are so vast that our knowledge of them has no connection with our knowing of their span and therefore they seem static or nonliving. Each area of coalescence and big bang represents one of the universe's "cells," and it is the pulse of these cells that make up the living universe.
Galaxies are the largest attributes of our universe, and within many galaxies, the act of creation continues, though with matter types (elements) already determined by the big-bang event we deem the Big Bang. The galaxy is the universe in microcosm, however, and the stages of its lifecycle can be easily seen. In a galaxy's early life, creation continues in great gas clouds that produce stars. The explosive forces and gravitational wrenchings that accompany this act slough off random chunks that become comets, planets, planetoids (or asteroids), etc. The creation of these stars and other chunks of aggregate stuff gives them velocities that propel them through space. Some wander until stopped by colliding with something else, and some join with others by being captured in the orbit of a star, and some wreak havoc on a system by passing close enough to cause some sort of damage. Even the stars produced can vary to a great degree, from white dwarfs to red giants, and some even pulse with varying brightness as if they have a heartbeat.
Excerpted from GENESIS WAS RIGHT Or A REALLY Inconvenient Truth by Stephen M. Barr Copyright © 2010 by Stephen M. Barr. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.