Einstein, a pillar of modern physics made of papier mâché2 *


My Singapore’s speech


“For a new vision of the universe and of the meaning of life.”

Orazio Guglielmini


Part two

The history of the universe has many endings – big crunch, big rip, big freeze, big bounce, etc., – but not a single beginning. No one dares to go beyond Max Planck’s wall or, more easily said, beyond the Big Bang. Everything started at this moment. But the Big Bang is not the beginning of the universe. Absolutely not. It’s ridiculous just to think that the Big Bang appeared out of nothing. Another kind of stationary universe. When this event happened, between thirteen and fourteen billion years ago, billion plus billion less, the universe was only halfway through its journey.

**      (slide 5, spaceship)

Therefore, in this second chat, the real beginning of the universe,I am going to talk to you about the real base of our cosmology, and in order to make it clear and convincing, I’ll take you first to the Big Bang and after there where all began. For this purpose, I have constructed a spaceship, a very fast spaceship, the fastest in the world. Our spaceship goes faster than light. Light goes 300 hundred thousand kilometres per second, the speed of our spaceship, guided by the mind, goes faster: 14 billions years per second and even more.

Einstein tells us that there is nothing in the world that goes faster than light. Wrong, it’s not so. The mind goes faster than light. After all, our mind, or our brain, if you prefer, is made of the same stuff as the universe. Our body is an extension of the body of the universe and our mind is a legitimate child of the elements that compose it. We are simultaneously matter and spirit, with this difference: first comes matter and then the spirit, first the elements and then the mind. Differently said, no one can say that where the physical reality ends, there begins the mental one, because, as the world is made, there is not one without the other. Therefore, where my mind is, there is also my body and vice versa. If I think of Biella, the town where I come from, there is my body and my mind at the same time. We are a little universe in miniature.

Ok then. Let’s go on board of our brand new spaceship. Are you all sitting comfortably and safely in your chairs? Not here in the Singapore’s hall, but in our spaceship? Yes? Good. I am going to take you exactly there, there where the Big Bang happened. Let’s go!

Not so bad, eh? We have arrived! I told you we were very fast.

(slide 6, the Big Bang)

Let’s proceed now with order. What you are seeing in this moment on the screen is the Big Bang. Each of us can imagine it as he wishes. In any case, the Big Bang event happened and we have plenty of evidence of its existence and happenings.

(slide 7, the rest of the Big Bang)

Instead, what you are seeing now, are the rests of the Big Bang. You can still see, here and there, hotbeds, cosmic dust, clouds of smoke, ruins, wreckage, craters, mountains, chaos and it is tremendously hot, but not here in our spaceship, fortunately. With time, all this chaos you see around, will disappear and once it has disappeared no one can say anymore how, where and when the universe began.

However, once this cosmic happening has been conceived, we realize that the Big Bang is not the true beginning of the universe, but only an event caused by the first proto-element. If my calculations are correct, its age is not 14 billion years, as is usually thought, but at least twice more, 28 billion years, billion plus, billion less, 14 before the Big Bang and 14 after.

One of you may ask: Is ours the first Big Bang? And the answer is: We don’t know. It could be, but then it couldn’t or could be the trillionth of the trillionth Big Bang.

Now that you’ve taken a good look at what is left of the Big Bang, let’s go to the very beginning of the universe, to the very start of the Big Bang. Have another quick look, because from here, in a few minutes, we will travel to the real source of the universe. Our spaceship is ready to take us there.

Wow, we have arrived!It was very quick our trip, wasn’t it?

(slide 8, nothingness of nothingness)

Well, for the first thing, let me welcome you to the primordial nothingness of nothingness. It’s called precisely like this, the very base of the universe: nothingness of nothingness. Here, as you see, it’s all dark, you can’t see anything. This is the primeval world: zero matter, zero particles, zero light, zero life. Thesize of the primeval world could be seen both as big as the tip of a pin or infinite on each side you look. Here, if we can call it so, is the kingdom of the total and absolute nothingness.

(slide 9, the proto-element)

At a certain point, from nothingness of nothingness, the primordial universe arose spontaneously. Just like that: spontaneously, naturally, freely. And, you wouldn’t believe it, it’s all there, at the start, in this white spot you see on the screen. Of course, the universe didn’t appear all at once, but it started with this Lilliputian particle of matter you are seeing on the screen. Voilà how it all began, with an embryonic speck of physical substance. The magic of this primal particle, which we will call the first proto-element, is just like in the embryo. In the embryo there is the whole human being, so in the first proto-element there is the whole universe.

This primordial event is essential for us if we want to understand the world in which we live and give a reasonable sense to it. In fact, without a beginning, the universe makes no sense. It is absurd, inconceivable.

(slide 10, the unsurpassable abyss and the philosophers)

According to philosophers, at this precise point where we are now, there is an unsurpassable abyss, something that remains forever dark on one side and illuminate on the other side, as you see on the picture in front of you. In philosophical jargon we call it Arthur Schopenhauer’s scientific and philosophical wonder, Martin Heidegger’s existential anguish, Jean-Paul Sartre’s nothingness and Albert Camus’s absurd. Unfortunately, I have no time to explain all this philosophical stuff. It will be, perhaps, for another time. Now we have to go on with the birth of the universe.

Some of you may ask: How did it all happen? In this regard, I want to tell you two stories. The first talks about the second half of the life of the universe and the second story talks about the first half of its existence.

Let’s start with the second half. It’s easier. It speaks of facts, of true things as we ourselves are. Now, beginning from homo sapiens, and going backward along the cosmic evolution, we find homo habilis,an ancestor of our species. He existed two and a half million years ago. Before homo habilis came, among other things, the dinosaurs and before the dinosaurs came the Cambrian period 540 million years back in time, and before the Cambrian period came the formation of the Earth four and a half billion years ago. Going backward in this manner, next we meet the Sun, then the Supernova that gave birth to the Sun and with the supernova we are already in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Going even further back in time, we’ll arrive at the Big Bang and so doing we can also demonstrate that our universe has its own history as we human beings have our own history.

With the first half of the universe, we cannot proceed as we have done with the second half. Here, in the first half of its life, we must proceed as palaeontologists do: with science, with intuition, with induction and deduction, in a logical and philosophical way, but not, unfortunately, with empirical facts. These are missing. What I mean is this. For palaeontologists it’s enough to come into possession of only one piece of evidence – a limb, a bone, a skull – of the missing animal and then they are able to construct the whole body of the species in question. We can’t do the same thing with the universe. We have no reports, nothing from this period of its life. Starting from what we know of our existing universe, we must build the life of the first half we don’t know. And that’s what we’ll do. We will proceed in a rational way and step by step we’ll arrive at its very beginning. Of course, we are obliged to follow a strict line of thought, I would even say that our line of thought is in sintony with science and philosophy.

In the third speech, I will talk about “Between nothingness of nothingness and the proto-element”.


*       See the first post.

**      Don’t pay attention to the words “slides” that you will find along this writing. It was supposed to be a conference, but, unfortunately, didn’t happen.

© Francis Sgambelluri



  1. By Tony

  2. By email@francis-sgambelluri.com Sgambelluri

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