I have never been a big fan of the Big Bang Theory, which for me represents an - ultimately - untenable conclusion, arising from a reduced linear approach to scientific interpretation.
Initially, I formed my general reservations in philosophical terms. However, following recent speculation on rainbow gravity and its implications for the Big Bang, I would now be able to articulate better the deeper physical implications of this philosophical position.
What seems to be missing entirely with respect to conventional scientific interpretation is the enormous difference as between analytic and holistic type appreciation of reality!
Unfortunately as such scientific interpretation is synonymous with mere analytic appreciation (of a quantitative nature), the holistic aspect, which is of distinctive qualitative variety, is thereby inevitably reduced in mere quantitative terms.
The analytic approach admittedly however has its great merits, as the wonderful achievements of modern science testify. However it operates best for partial explanations, where a wider holistic background can already be assumed.
However when we attempt to formulate a Theory of Everything (which can explain the ultimate interaction of the parts with the whole system), the analytic approach begins to break down badly.
This is exemplified by the intractable problem in current physics of successfully wedding Quantum Mechanics (relating to short-lived particles at the sub-atomic scale) with the corresponding Theory of Relativity (relating to space time behaviour on a global scale).
And I certainly would not see the Theory of Strings as likely to provide the answer here, as the very postulation of these (partial) strings, already requires the assumption of the (holistic) dimensions of space and time for their meaningful definition!
The Newtonian worldview is based very much on the belief that physical objective phenomena can be successfully interpreted in an abstract impersonal manner (as strictly external to the observer).
Despite the severe problems posed especially by Quantum Mechanics with respect to this approach, modern physics is still strongly motivated by the untenable quest to find a coherent explanation, in a merely detached objective manner, for the ultimate physical secrets of reality.
However momentary reflection on the matter will show that one can never have objective knowledge of the world independent of the subjective mental constructs, that are necessarily used to interpret this reality.
So strictly we can never know reality as it objectively exists (i.e. independent of the inquiring observer).
Rather all such knowledge of reality necessarily reflects a dynamic interaction as between both physical and psychological aspects that are - relatively - external (objective) and internal (subjective) with respect to each other.
Put another way, physical reality cannot be understood in a mere quantitative manner, for attempted understanding of such reality necessarily reflects the dynamic interaction of twin aspects that are - relatively - physical (quantitative) and psychological (qualitative) with respect to each other.
So conventional science from this perspective, thereby represents the attempted reduction of a complex quantitative/qualitative relative interaction (comprising both analytic and holistic aspects) in an absolute quantitative (i.e. merely analytic) manner!
Thus when we attempt to give our Universe an absolute beginning (in space and time) we thereby reduce its operations in a merely quantitative manner.
However, by definition this very approach, is properly suited for relative interpretation of the respective parts with respect to an overall existing system. However it is quite unsuited to providing any adequate interpretation of the overall nature of this system (with respect to its component parts).
One cannot, as a human inquiring mind, form an independent interpretation of the Universe (in a physical sense) as the beginning of all evolution, for any attempt to interpret its nature already presumes the developed mental constructs, that intimately depend on the evolution of this Universe that has already taken place.
Therefore inevitably inquiry about the origins of the Universe must always implicitly embrace the present moment.
This inevitably implies that any meaningful notion of space and time is thereby of a strictly relative nature.
So if we take the movement of time from an earlier stage of evolution up to the present moment, then this can represent a positive direction. However, we can equally trace this time starting from the present moment back to that earliest stage, which is - relatively - represents a negative direction. So rather that just one absolute direction in space and time with respect to evolution (based on sole recognition of the physical aspect) we now have two relative paradoxical directions in space and time (expressing the two-way interaction of both physical and psychological aspects).
So therefore, as the great spiritual mystics of all traditions have recognised, the only permanent reality is the absolute present moment, with all experience of time and space necessarily of a relative nature.
When we look at reality from this enhanced perspective (which is more authentic in terms of the dynamics of experience), all inquiry starts from the present moment, with phenomenal expressions in space and time of an arbitrary contingent nature.
Therefore the Big Bang could not have started 13.8 bl. years ago (in an absolute linear sense), as properly understood all creation takes place now, in the present moment, with phenomenal interpretation with respect to space and time ultimately of a merely relative paradoxical nature.
Now of course I appreciate why there is such strong belief out there in the scientific community with respect to this starting point in time (i.e. some 13.8 bl. years ago). However this comes from attempting to extend an analytic type interpretation to an original overall context, where a distinctive holistic appreciation is properly required!
So far I have couched my argument in epistemological terms, which serves to properly highlight the reduced nature of conventional scientific interpretation.
However it is indeed possible to trace out further the implications of this philosophical position, so that we can eventually begin to appreciate in an enhanced physical manner, why the Big Bang can have had no absolute starting point in space and time.
I have mentioned on many occasions how I formed a great interest in Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity in my late teens.
However, I quickly began to sense that there was indeed an important limitation evident with Einstein's approach.
In other words despite his revolutionary ideas as to the true nature of space and time, Einstein still attempted to understand space and time in a detached objective manner.
However on reflection, I began to realise that corresponding to all the major physical concepts in his Special Relativity were corresponding complementary notions of a qualitative psychological nature.
So not alone are space and time relative in a physical sense, but equally - and very importantly - the very mental concepts through which we attempt psychologically to understand the nature of space are themselves of a relative nature.
Put another way, though Einstein showed that space and time are relative to the observer in physical terms, he firmly believed that the psychological acceptance of this explanation (as scientific interpretation) would be absolute.
Therefore, he believed that universal agreement could be validly reached with respect to his interpretation.
However, implicitly this assumed that only one type of scientific inquiry could be valid (and universally accepted by all). And of course for Einstein this was his strongly held classical belief in an objective form of determinism operating with respect to the physical world.
However, following my initial insight as regards a complementary psychological aspect, I gradually began to realise that there are in fact other valid forms of scientific inquiry, of a relative - rather than absolute - nature, where both physical and psychological understanding explicitly interact.
So this led me to the notion of Holistic Science entailing the complementary interaction of quantitative and qualitative aspects.
This form of science however only properly unfolds at the "higher" stages of psychological development, which in former times has been heavily associated with the spiritual contemplative traditions.
Now, what is fascinating about these stages is that the psychological nature of space and time itself becomes of a strictly relative nature (in a multi-dimensional fashion).
This of course implies that not only is physical space and time relative for each observer but also that the very understanding of such space and time is now also increasingly relative in psychological terms.
This would therefore entail for example in relation to Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity that an important Uncertainty Principle would apply (mirroring that of Quantum Mechanics).
So we now recognise that there are two distinct aspects to the understanding of space and time that are quantitative (analytic) and qualitative (holistic) with respect to each other!
Therefore if we focus on the quantitative physical aspect (as Einstein did) this blots out recognition of the corresponding psychological aspect (in the manner that external and internal polarities increasingly interact at the "higher" stages).
Equally if we focus on the qualitative psychological aspect (as with undue attention to advanced contemplative states), this tends to blot out recognition of the corresponding physical aspect.
This perhaps explains why in the past meaningful dialogue as to the nature of space and time has rarely been possible as between scientists and mystics!
In particular, this would suggest that the phenomenal features of light are thereby relative, so that for example its speed can ultimately vary.
I will deal with this further in the next entry!