5 Jan 2018           home | science and technology

Chicken-and-egg, Black Holes and Galaxies, Dark Energy and Time

Here is another comment about astrophysics, and about the old chicken-and-egg question — a silly question, I think. Last night I watched a science program on PBS, and the narrator said that scientists were wonder which came first, the black hole or the galaxy around it. The chicken-and-egg was mentioned. And there were some other statements that for me were instructive.

The original chicken developed genetically as a biological unity: biological stuff with all that was to grow into a what we know of as a chicken including its eggs, if it were a hen. The question whether the first chicken was a hen or a rooster appears, but the question whether the first hen was preceded by an egg does not.

The narrator said that scientists were wondering which came first, a galaxy or its black hole. Why can't they see the two as developing together, in relation to each other? Also, a black hole, I'm led to believe, is a negative, a lack of stuff similar to a vacuum, and perhaps, therefore, shouldn't be posited as something-in-itself.

The statements that for me were instructive described the universe slowing down at first in its expansion, and then speeding up. This shift was described as Dark Energy having kicked in — statements accompanied by the confession that scientists don't understand what Dark Energy is beyond energy. (Dark Energy we are told is not to be confused with Dark Matter, but how can we describe the difference beyond these two word-labels when we don't know what either is?)

It's interesting that space and time are being described as having begun together — a unison from 13.799±0.021 billion years ago. This fits with what I've said about time as motion: no motion, no time. Said another way: no space within which motion takes place, no time. The astrophysicists put it together imperfectly with their turgid word invention, "spacetime."


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