Cosmogony

From Academic Kids

In space science and astronomy, the term cosmogony is also used to refer to theories of creation of the Solar System, for example, the Solar Nebula.

Cosmogony [Gr. Kosmogonia from Kosmos the world and root of gignesthai to be born] is the coming into existence, the creation and origination of the universe. It is also the study of these aspects. So a cosmogony is an account of how the Universe came to be; hence, the creation story in the book of Genesis is one such cosmogony, and there are many others, both scientific and mythological. This contrasts with cosmology, which studies the Universe at large, throughout its existence.

Because our scientific knowledge is based on 'sense data' (experience and experiments etc.), which cannot probe beyond the Planck time (10-43 s), there are limitations to our ability to find evidence of the nature of the origin. Here our laws break down. Because of this, scientific cosmogonies are challenged by metaphysics and theistic belief systems, through three classical paradoxes of "causation," "conservation," and "time regression".

These Paradoxes (discussed by the likes of Kierkegaard, Wilde, and Leibniz) are:

  1. reconciling a doctrine of causation (similar to the 13th century proof of God posed by Thomas Aquinas);
  2. reconciling the conservation law ("something for nothing");
  3. reconciling issues of temporal (as in Zeno's paradoxes) and logical regression.

Although the laws of physics lose experimental support at the Planck time (10-43 s) modern science has sought to clarify the nature of these paradoxes, so far with only limited success. For example, one can apply the current understanding of grand unified theories (GUTs) -- both quasi-classical (such as general relativity) and modern (such as quantum, superstring, and M-theories) – in thought experiments to these three primary cosmogonic paradoxes. While these result in some inconsistencies and lack completeness in a mathematical sense (being based on axioms that are 'merely' self evident, but not certain beyond Cartesian doubt) these paradoxes can nonetheless be analyzed rationally using the subatomic applications of quantum cosmology, particularly through the employment of the Schrdinger wave equations.

In each case, where general relativity fails as the curvature of space-time invokes singularities from its equations at t=0, the statistically "grey" nature of quantum cosmology tends to allow a scientific rationale to account for each paradox, and in so doing allows for a scientific perspective on previously theistic turf. For example, application of quantum "fuzziness" (per the Wheeler-DeWitt application of subatomic position and momentum equations to universal radius and expansion), avoids boundary issues, for example as developed in the Hawking-Hartle Wave Function.

A scientific examination of cosmogony using existing physical models would face many challenges. The equations used to develop models of the origin do not in themselves explain how the above equations, for example the Schrdinger equation, came to be to allow quantum fuzziness in the first place. This equation is based on differentials, which assume a continuum, where in our universe, affected by the Planck length and other minimum scales, this continuum has only limited meaning, about which philosophy remains in a state of semantic flux.

See also


ca:Cosmogonia de:Kosmogonie fa:كيهان زايي fr:Mythes et cration du Monde nl:Kosmogonie pl:Kosmogonia ru:Космогония sv:Kosmogoni

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