Sidetracking the Big Bang Theory

In reference to the extreme durability of regressive paradigms, such as the Big Bang Theory (BBT), Samuel Hunt brought this quote to the attention of our discussion group:

"Owing to the waywardness of human nature, it is difficult to find out why people join a given group, but observation of how people speak and write clearly suggests that, when the brain is slowing down, a desire to achieve often gives rise to a need to bamboozle. (Andreski, 1972, p. 68)."

Andreski wrote this mess in support of his pessimistic view of the social sciences. Most all agreed that group membership had nothing to do with how fast or slow our brains work. The idea that achievement gives rise to bamboozlement (to take in by elaborate methods of deceit; hoodwink) as we age is especially silly. Similarly, human nature is certainly not wayward, for it is resistance to change that keeps a paradigm on track.

In fact, the neurological pathways in our brains form a sort of railroad track that becomes evermore embedded the more we use that track. This is why it is increasingly  difficult to get "sidetracked" or "think outside the box" as we age. It is why it is so difficult to give up old habits and to establish new ones. It is why companies trying to be innovative hire young workers. It is why those who have believed for many decades that the universe exploded out of nothing are likely to continue along that track. It is why those who have repeated conventional mantras such as “there is no aether,” “there is no aether,” “there is no aether” for 10,000 times are not likely to utter or believe that its opposite could be true.

It is also why those who never believed in the BBT in the first place are unlikely to start believing in it no matter how long they live. The critical juncture for these two tracks occurs at an early age, when one is considered to have an "open mind." The selection will be determined univironmentally, that is, by the microcosm of the individuals and the macrocosm in which they exist. Because no truly "open minds" can exist, each of us is predisposed toward certain decisions based on the presuppositions we learned still earlier in life. The macrocosm contains peer pressure and financial pressure that helps to guide us along one track or another.

To make a decision, we need to have closure. Thus, once we have chosen an auto or a spouse, we must “close our minds” to other possibilities. Closure reduces cognitive dissonance and makes our lives simpler. For most of us, life would be impossibly inefficient if we had to choose an auto or a spouse each morning. Like Newton’s object once in motion, we favor least motion, which allows us to go humming down life’s track with least effort. We will still have millions of decisions to make, but the ones that have already experienced closure will not need to be among them.

Although it may seem that way, belief in the BBT, like the belief in the 72 virgins, has little to do with bamboozlement. It has everything to do with the reiteration of fundamental presuppositions of which the tracked individual is unaware. That is why "The Ten Assumptions of Science" are so revealing. Even though there are numerous paradoxes and contradictions along the track, the belief in the BBT is purely logical. In addition to subconsciously favoring the indeterministic opposites of "The Ten Assumptions of Science," these derivative assumptions must be ingrained within believers:

1.     Aether does not exist. Aether does not exist. Aether does not exist.
2.     Space is perfectly empty. Space is perfectly empty.
3.     There is a finite particle. There is a finite particle.
4.     The universe is finite. The universe is finite. The universe is finite.
5.     The universe had a beginning. The universe had a beginning.
6.     Time is a dimension. Time is a dimension. Time is a dimension.
7.     There are four dimensions. There are four dimensions.
8.     Space-time exists. Space-time exists. Space-time exists.
9.     Curved space exists. Curved space exists. Curved space exists.
10.            Gravity is a pull. Gravity is a pull. Gravity is a pull.
11.            Fields do not contain matter. Fields do not contain matter.
12.            Light is a particle. Light is a particle. Light is a particle.
13.            Photons contain waves. Photons contain waves. Photons contain waves.
14.            The universe is expanding. The universe is expanding.
15.            Forces exist. Forces exist. Forces exist.
16.            Energy exists. Energy exists.
17.            And many, many more…

Voicing any statement that contradicts any one of these assumptions is sufficient to get one banned from the track to regressive physics and Big Bang nirvana. Within regressive physics, sidetracks cannot use more than tiny modifications of these derivative assumptions. As I have maintained throughout our books and throughout this Blog, each of these derivative assumptions is false. The BBT is the product of a long-standing logical evolution among honest folks who grew up believing that contradictions are a necessary ingredient in philosophy. To true believers, the BBT paradigm is not absurd and certainly not some kind of conspiracy or bamboozlement. It is an outgrowth of what they already know to be true. Replacing the BBT with the IUT (Infinite Universe Theory) will not be easy. We can do the math, but we will not get on the right track without first starting with the correct assumptions.


Andreski, Stanislav (1972). The social sciences as sorcery. Penguin Books. As quoted in: E. J. Pedhazur and L. P. Schmelkin (1991) Measurement, Design, and Analysis: An Integrated Approach.

Borchardt, Glenn (2004). The ten assumptions of science: Toward a new scientific worldview: Lincoln, NE, iUniverse, 125 p.


Westmiller said...

Glenn writes:
"The BBT is the product of a long-standing logical evolution among honest folks who grew up believing that contradictions are a necessary ingredient in philosophy."

... commonly called "paradoxes" or the "inconsistencies" of nature.Rational people consider them logical proof of errors.

There's also the Hegelian version: every thesis *must* have an antithesis. Human progress is measured by the synthesis of black and white, to make everything a vague, incomprehensible gray.

Rick Doogie said...

Great article, Glenn.
I'm always suspicious of anyone who proclaims that "Human Nature" supports their opinions. "Human Nature" is just another non-specific and unscientific weasel-word phrase.
If there is a specific set of natural qualities that make us "human", it would have to be our conceptual abilities and problem-solving skills that help us adapt to less-than-optimal environments. That is where our strength lies.
As we often find, our strength is closely tied to our weakness. It's "a blessing and curse".
One fatal weakness lies in our adaptation to the herd and their less-than-optimal concepts and fantasies, which historically has served us well enough. Because it was an evolutionary advantage for eons, it is that adaptation to herd culture that leads to such an emotional and even violent reaction to any new idea that challenges the common habits and "accepted knowledge" of the herd. It's that familiar knee-jerk reaction to any paradigm shift that doesn't come from the frontal lobes.
That's why you can lay out the plain facts and empirical data in front of someone, and they exhibit an emotional blind spot.
Even those who think they are free of herd influence must be wary of this. Introspection is the only cure, and that is sometimes a painful path.
Once again, I apologize for belaboring the obvious.

Glenn Borchardt said...

Thanks once again Rick.

You sure gave those herds a rough time! Let me temper that just a bit. Everything and every action in the universe arises through univironmental determinism--whether we like it or not. Herds also have many advantages. Just try to sneak up on a herd of deer with two sticks and string and 10 eyes looking at you. I just learned that even the outside ducks in a flock sitting on the water keep watch while the middle ones sleep. Not only that, the outside eyes of the guard ducks remain open while the inside eyes remain closed. This allows half of the duck's brain a chance to sleep.

Every paradigm works the same way, with the scientific one having a clear advantage: observation and experiment. The "herd" in science forms a consensus. For instance, we all agree that water normally runs downhill. It is true that the "herd" supporting the regressive trend in physics appears particularly pernicious. But that is only because we are not in it. Their "logic" and our logic are founded on opposing assumptions. We will develop our own "herd" in which we all agree that the universe infinite. Like all microcosms, regressive physicists exist in a macrocosm that provides the nourishment. That will change. Remember that only a few of the ducks are even half awake. As always, we change the paradigm by pointing out contradictions. Bill just repeated a good one for aether deniers: How can you have a Doppler Effect without a medium?

Rick Doogie said...

Great points.
I have no problem with the herd instinct, we just need to be aware of it when we look at our inner motivations.
The biggest problem I have with herds is "herd think", wherein scientific or religious speculation gets elevated to "accepted wisdom" prematurely and inappropriately. We call it "culture", and people emotionally and violently defend culture, while persecuting anyone who questions that culture.
Most of today's cultures are based on indeterminism, and the denial of causality that goes along with that fantastic way of thinking.
The denial of causality is at the root of all hard-boiled religious fanaticism. And I just gotta wonder what the world would look like without good people having an excuse to do evil.
The problem isn't evil, the problem is the recognition of evil.