Date sent: Sat, 10 Apr 2004 15:31:48 -0700 (PDT)

The parts Roger has written are in italics. The parts Toby has written are in normal text.

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Toby: > I will reply further after we deal with first cause.


Summary: The universe is not created to produce humans.


What I'm outlining below is now an axiom -- a given -- of modern science. Mainstream scientists don't question if what I'm saying is so, or not, they quibble about little details around the edges of this story.

Here is how small humans are in a science-based universe.

If you look at the universe from outside the universe,

which YOU can't because you've told me its irrelevant (that means you can't go there even to visulize, or it is relevant.)

you will see a really big place that is filled with really big clumps of gas made of a mix of hydrogen and helium (galaxies). Some of those clumps are slowly transforming part of their mass into condensed matter (white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes).

But this condensing process is slow and messy. The big clumps are composed of smaller clumps, and parts of the smaller clumps condense into stars. The slow parts are the condensing into stars, and the waiting for the stars to finish shining. Stars shine for billions of years. The messy part is the big stars tend to blow up (supernova), and spread "scum" all around them. That scum is all the elements heavier than helium.

To see what this scum is doing to change this basic condensing process, you have to get a lot closer. It's not a big part of what the universe is "doing", so if you just look at galaxies, you won't notice any difference. You have to observe the inner workings of galaxies to see any difference. So... come in... deeper... into the universe.

Get closer and you see this scum (called "metal" by astronomers, called all the elements heavier than helium, or "dust", by laypeople) is permiating the gas clouds around the early stars. The gas clouds continue to have part of themselves condense to make stars, but now the star-making clouds are a mix of gas and metal.

In some cases, as a gas cloud collapses to create a new star, a small part of this scum (mix of gas and dust) clusters around a star in stable orbits. It doesn't get blown away back into the star-forming cloud, and it doesn't get swallowed up in the new star being made. This stable orbiting scum is called planets, moons, asteroids and comets.

Now, to see anything more special than that, our observer will have to get really, really small, and deep inside the universe. We have to pick a *single* galaxy out of trillions and trillions of galaxies. We have to pick a *single* star out of the billions and billions of stars in that particular galaxy.

If we look at the third planet out circling that star, Earth, the "scum" is behaving very oddly from a chemical point of view. What it is doing oddly is filling the atmosphere with highly reactive oxygen gas. (Note further, that as a universe observer, chemistry is just a third order modifier to what scum does. More important are gravity, nuclear energy, plasma and magnetic fields. On the scale of galaxies and stars, chemistry is irrelevant. You would have to be a very clever universe observer to think, "Hmm, this minor chemistry business could produce something interesting to observe.")

Normally, this oxygen would find something to combine with in just a few years at most, and the atmosphere would be composed of the less-reactive gases nitrogen, argon and carbon dioxide. So, an observer could deduce, "something is extracting energy from some energy source and 'driving' a chemical reaction in reverse, and it is doing this in a big way... well, a big way for this little planet, that is." It would take some time and research to discover that solar energy was being employed to break up the carbon dioxide to create oxygen, and leave a carbon-based "scum" on the planet surface (plant life).


That's the size scale issue. A God-like observer is going to have to view what is a minute detail of the universe to even observe life on Earth. Lets look at the time scale issue.

Best estimate today of the age of the universe is 13.5 billion years old, plus or minus less than a half billion years. (There have been some breakthroughs in a couple areas of research during the last year that have slimmed this number down from 10-20 billion years plus or minus five billion years to this current 13.5 billion year estimate.)

Our sun and planets are 4.5 billon years old, and the Sun is likely to keep Earth habitable for another 4.5 billion years. Total: 9 billion years.

Homo Sapiens has been around for three million years. Historic mankind has been around for five thousand years.

Lets, for the sake of argument, presume that homo sapiens will exist as a species for nine million years, and that our universe observer has been given a tip that "Earth is a happening place", but the tipper did not specificy when. What are the chances that the observer would see mankind if he/she just "popped in" to Earth for a day of looking around?

Well, nine million goes into nine billion a thousand times... one in a thousand.

**The point of all this is that it's hard to call our universe an intelligent design for making mankind, or providing mankind suitable habitation.** It's hugely inefficent.

So, back to your question first causes. I can't believe that the first cause of our universe is to produce mankind.

Humans are a serendipidous outcome, serendipidous from our point of view. From the point of view of the universe -- or it's creator, if you insist on a creator -- humans are non-existent. They are a smidgen, of a smidgen, of a smidgen, of what the universe is.

one gets a sick feeling from this reading, why does the author describe everything in such morose terms. he goes well beyond "neutral" terms to scum and such, unhappy and bitter guy to be sure, hardly mainstream

What is the first cause of the universe? I have no idea, but I'm sure it has nothing to do with humanity.

yeah, i remember your telling me man is too insignificant for the creator notice, in fact even if thought we were here he could not find us (not enough time).

somehow, I think you are over-anthropromorphizing -- freud might say you are projecting your father's great power yet mysterious unwillingness or inability to seek you out and really get to know you rather than viewing you as more input into his curiosity about life on the creator.

We are preparing for His presence, we have to overcome our sinful nature as a child grows to manhood before he gets those rewards. But you gotta have a world view, not a potential worldview, or all your chioces are shooting in the dark. That's entertainment, not living

The parts Roger has written are in italics. The parts Toby has written are in normal text.

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