18 thoughts on “Is the universe

  1. judyt54 says:

    oh my stars, what a question to be hit with at 7 AM.

    I don’t think it’s either. It’s just what it is, and the phrase ‘nebulous’ comes to mind, more than anything definitive. If you start trying to define the shape, then you have to assume edges, and structure. And where the edges ARE…no. it’s too early to visualize a Universe with edges…and if you do, that assumes there is something beyond the universe, and that’s even scarier.

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  2. john zande says:

    Or, wobbly. I propose wobbly.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. shelldigger says:

    I’m going with… too early to tell. Therefore Wobbly.

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  4. Nan says:

    What a way to spend your mental faculties …

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  5. Actually, the great cosmological debate of the 20th century was whether the universe was STEADY (i.e. flat), CLOSED, or OPEN.

    After Albert Einstein’s General Relativity theory was scientifically verified by observational evidence, the debate heated up. Einstein himself favored a static universe and hypothesized a “cosmological constant” in order to accommodate his own theory of gravity. He later described this effort as “the greatest blunder of my life.”

    But, that didn’t stop the pursuit of a static universe. In 1948, Fred Hoyle proposed his Steady State theory (which he stubbornly defended until his death in 2001). However, this pursuit finally ended in 1965 when Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson discovered the Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation which provided evidence for the Big Bang. Consequently, the universe could only be closed or open.

    Then, the closed universe became favored. After Edwin Hubble discovered stellar evidence of an expanding universe in 1931, this theory posited that the expansion was driven by the Big Bang but that gravitational forces would reverse the expansion into a “Big Crunch.”

    However, that theory died too in the late 1990s when new stellar evidence demonstrated that the expansion of the universe was increasing. Now, only the open universe theory is accepted. It states that the expansion will continue until even the fabric of space is torn apart in what cosmologists call the “Big Rip.”

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    • makagutu says:

      In Paul Davies’ book About Time, he writes the Einstein’s cosmological constant may still be rescued.
      Is the issue about a static universe related to the shape of the earth? I thought these are different questions? One deals with whether the universe had a beginning in time and the other is whether the universe is flat or closed- as in spherical-

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      • The so-called “cosmological constant” is completely unknown, and all reference to it in science and elsewhere is pure speculation at this point. It is most closely associated with another unknown feature of the universe known as “dark energy” which is nothing more than a term to describe science’s lack of understanding about why the expansion of the universe is accelerating (ergo, an OPEN universe).

        Paul Davies has done some great scientific work as a physicist, but he also has incurred some criticism for mixing science with philosophy and even religion. Such deviance from strictly empirical methods may be interesting for laypeople, but it is incompatible with science. For example, Davies has been praised by the John Templeton Foundation (which attempts to merge science and religion) and criticized by atheists like Richard Dawkins and Victor J. Stenger.

        The “shape” of the universe isn’t really a relevant question. If we cannot observe all of it (which we can’t), and we cannot fully understand what it is yet (which we can’t), then the question is rather mute. Furthermore, the physical shape of something assumes a three-dimensional structure; however, the universe exists in at least four dimensions (i.e. time, as defined by Einstein’s Special and General Relativity) and hypothetically many more.

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  6. Hariod Brawn says:

    We’d need to consult DeSelby on this one, Mak. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Selby

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