A multiplicity of Centers - Part #1
Earlier when mentioned that Edwin Hubble observed the galaxy clusters were moving away from us on all directions, we find ourselves at the center of the cosmos.
When Hubble made this discovery we no longer lived within the medieval world view. We had already learned from Copernicus that Earth is not a fixed point at the center of the Universe. Earth is one planet moving around one star, which itself is one of the three hundred billion stars of the Milky way Galaxy, which in turn is one of a trillion galaxies in the wide Universe. Thus we have certainly learned that the Earth is not a fixed center around which all the planets and stars revolved. Now – this new revelation placing us at the center of the cosmos expansion of the galaxy cluster. Our Virgo Supercluster was not moving and all the other superclusters were moving away from us.
What Hubble discovered did not fit our modern culture’s preconceptions but in fact disrupted them. He offered no philosophical justification for/against the data: we happen to find ourselves at the very center.
Hubble’s discovery is instead the completion of the Cosmological exploration that Copernicus started. Copernicus initiated an investigation that removed the Earth from the center then removed the Sun from the center and then removed everything from the center. –NOW enter an immense evolutionary cosmos, a cosmos that is centered on its own expansion – and, NOW we must deal with the seeming paradox at the heart of the data. Presented two discoveries that seem in conflict:
The paradox is this: How can we be both at the center and 15 billion light-years away from the center?
We have difficulties with this discovery – we have been formed in a culture firmly rooted in the Newtonian world view. We are nevertheless stuck with Newtonian consciousness because it forms the foundation of our major institutions. We need to reinvent our very minds so that we do not distort the discoveries by holding them in Newtonian categories that are unable to touch the truth we have discovered.
To give a single example that bears on our discussion of the center: When we hear that the Universe began in a great fifteen billion years ago, we picture this is something like a Fourth of July fireworks explosion. First there is just empty space, then there’s this great explosion of colors in all directions. We are forced into picturing the birth of the Universe in this way because Newtonian cosmology regarded the Universe as a giant fixed space inside of which things move about together and gather together and so forth. The shaping of our minds in childhood already compels us to picture the birth of the Universe as an explosion taking place in an already existing space.
But this understanding of the Universe beginning is both false and utterly misleading. The birth of the Universe means not only the birth of not only the birth of all the elementary particles of the Universe and not only the birth of all the light and energy of the Universe, it also means the birth of the space and time of the Universe. There is no pre-existant Newtonian space into which the Universe explodes forth. Space and time explode together with mass and energy in the primordial mystery of the Universe’s flaring forth.
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