Sunday, August 1, 2010

No Beginning No End

Spiral Galaxy M100
Beginning with a three-week stay in the local hospital, this summer, despite maddeningly perfect weather, has been horrible. Sparing the details for another day, suffice to say I have embraced the suck and up is the only direction that remains.

While being buffeted by the winds of ick, drama and heartache, a Tweet came over the Twitterbox a week and a half ago that buoyed me in a surprising weightless way. One of my science-centric Twitter pals put up a link to an article about a theory gaining traction in the astrophysics world--did you know I moonlight as an astrophysicist? No?--that describes the Universe as never having a beginning. This mathematical--I'm assuming it's mathematical, probably some other stuff, too--theory says the Universe has always been here.

Now, I don't know about you, but that little piece of information changes everything. Always is a long time, like forever, right? Considering that the Universe has always been here takes some pressure off. I suspect that I'm not going to articulate this the way I would like. Nevertheless, it seems the subatomic particles that make up everything were always here and by some logic will always be here.

Maybe love, forgiveness and beauty are immeasurable representations of the immeasurability of the universe. Maybe the Classical beginning-middle-and-end manner of seeing everything from careers to relationships to lives to screenplays is handy, but not essential to the cosmos. Maybe the fact that my refrigerator is full and it becomes increasingly challenging to see the back of it really doesn't matter in this scheme of things.

Anyway, if you want to read more about this theory--not such a new one it turns out--head to the Technology Review Blog over at MIT. Be sure to read the comments--those that you can understand--too.