Everybody Believes in the Supernatural

2023 Sep 7

Our universe happens to exist. Most people subscribe to the Big Bang's cosmological explanation of its origin. In this, our universe began in the finite past, bursting into existence from a single point and expanding out to size.

All things naturally physical (including energy and matter), all physical laws of our universe, all space and even time itself did not exist without this singularity. Absent this singular event, nature itself did not exist. Therefore since the event was not of nature, it was by definition super-natural. In the Big Bang model the origin of the universe was supernatural.

Others believe the universe had an infinite past, always existing with its characteristic features. This view would seem to make the issue of origin disappear, but it does not. In our physical world real infinities are never actual because they are unable to exist. Infinity is only a mental concept.

Just as an infinite quantity of events starting from now would have no end event, an infinite quantity of events leading to now would have no beginning event. Note however that in our physical universe all things necessarily are based in time, have sequences and are caused. Therefore, without some beginning event, it is unavoidable that our universe would never have had its existence. (That necessary first event instantiating our universe could never have existed in an infinite past.) Since we do exist and an infinite situation like this is actually impossible, the state of an infinite past then also would be supernatural.

So then because of our universe, everyone believes in at least one great miracle. Of these two ideas (Big Bang, infinite past) most scientific lines of evidence point to the first, so it would be the preferred view.

Mechanistic Causes

Since everything that begins to exist has a cause, the next great question is what was the cause of the Big Bang? We already know it was not natural (of our universe), however, it might still be a mechanistic cause. A huge issue that this cause must also explain is why our universe is constructed with hyper precision to support life.

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Kayaking to Lummi Island

2023 Jul 28

I did an overnight kayak trip to Lummi Island from Larabee State Park. It started with a 4 mile crossing. Crossings like this are not trivial because of the exposure they can present to the effects of bad weather, however, the day was calm and pleasant.

Thursday's kayak track

Along Lummi I found colonies of healthy sea stars (mostly 10 inch purples) and they were dense enough that sometimes they were even on top of each other. There were more there than I had seen in years, and this was very encouraging.

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Hudson's Stay with Us

2023 Jul 2

While Bethany had been in Firefighters Academy, we took care of their dog Hudson. Bethany's academy was intense and so keeping Hudson made Andrew & Bethany's life a bit easier.

We have a significant wooded area very near our house which has a good collection of trails. I had gotten into a habit of walking Hudson there in the morning for his "constitutional". This day (earlier in the year) it was snowing and melting as it landed.

out walking Hudson in snowy rain

I have really come to appreciate the effectiveness of wool clothing for inclement weather, and this day especially showed how well it works. I was completely warm and comfortable without a rain shell (and so was Hudson).

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Bethany's Fire Academy Graduation

2023 Jun 27

Bethany has for quite a while been working toward the goal of being a firefighter. She was recently hired by the Valley Regional Fire Authority (Auburn) and has now graduated from Fire Academy. It is a significant milestone to get your badge, and Andrew pinned it on her as part of the ceremony.

Andrew having put Bethany's firefighter badge on her, with their girls

Kayaking Kachess Lake

2023 May 6

There are three finger-like lakes at the top of I-90's Snoqualmie Pass: the road directly skirts Keechelus Lake, but Kachess Lake and Cle Elum Lake are slightly inland and not visible from the road. This makes Kachess Lake feel very remote. There are a very few houses along the lake and most of it is undeveloped.

kayak with lake and mountains

At the north end is a vigorous waterfall directly fed by snow melt. The day was cool with clouds in the sky, but the air blown down by the waterfall was much colder and I was glad to have my neoprene paddling gloves on. (There were still some patches of snow nearby.)

waterfall with me in drysuit in front

Problems with Standard Cosmology

2023 Feb 4

The standard Big Bang cosmological model is the Lambda Cold Dark Matter (ΛCDM) model. It apparently provides a reasonable account of observed properties of the cosmos, including (from Wikipedia):

  • the cosmic microwave background
  • the large-scale structure in the distribution of galaxies
  • the observed abundances of hydrogen, helium, and lithium
  • the accelerating expansion of the universe

I can accept some aspects of the this model, however, I have doubts this model is correct because I see some serious and (what seems to me to be) fatal problems with it.

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