Author of the Month

A Simple Explanation
By Mike Knowles

To be honest, I'm somewhat disappointed with the Big Bang Theory. The biggest problem is what caused the Big Bang and what happened before. Efforts to dismiss those questions by claiming time didn't exist before the Big Bang smell suspiciously like a cop out. The proponents of this view have clearly taken a leaf out of religion. When some great disaster occurs and people ask why God would allow something like that, the standard response is that it's all part of God's master plan. And, being his children, we're not privy to that. When they proposed the Big Bang theory scientists neatly painted themselves into a corner. Faced with answering questions they couldn't answer, some scientists decided they'd simply ignore them. Perhaps hoping they might go away. Or that we might take their patently desperate explanations at face value.

Fortunately, help is at hand. In the shape of an idiot savant called Hubert. Hubert has come up with an explanation so simple that any question of what happened before simply doesn't exist. If you'll excuse the pun. Let me stress here and now that Hubert's theory is only that: a theory. Hubert doesn't give a toss whether you believe it or not. That's entirely your choice. Hubert's theory is based on the concept of Absolute Nothingness, or AN. To explain his theory, Hubert describes AN as nothingness to the power of nothingness. Hubert would like to stress that AN is not space itself. Because even space contains something. No, unlike space, AN is an absolute vacuum. Now, according to Hubert, Absolute Nothingness cannot exist simply because there's nothing there to exist. Indeed, to even say it exists would be an absolute contradiction in terms.

"Remember," said Hubert, "no cosmologist has yet discovered the existence of AN out there. In fact the entire universe appears to contain at least something." Hubert went on to point out that his theory is self-proving. The fact that the universe exists proves that AN doesn't. There are those, said Hubert, who will object to this line of reasoning. "In that case," he said, "let them provide conclusive proof that my theory is impossible." At this point I must warn any protestors that Hubert is a hard taskmaster. In his definition, "conclusive proof" means proof that no reasonable person can refute. In other words, every reasonable person on earth would have to agree that it was impossible. Hubert said he wanted me to stress this point because it applied to all the other theories he was about to put forward.

Hubert then went on to argue that if AN couldn't exist, then its opposite must. In other words, Absolute Something-ness, or AS.

"You mean the universe?" I said.

Hubert shrugged, stating he preferred to think of the universe as a part of AS. So what is AS? Hubert said he didn't know. But he speculated that AS might either be consciousness or it might contain consciousness. A state of absolute consciousness. Hubert reckoned consciousness was nothing more than energy. Hubert, explained there are different types of energy - mechanical, electrical, chemical, etc. So why not conscious? Hubert acknowledges that there are those who'd dismiss this theory. Indeed, there are some who would question the very existence of consciousness. But they don't worry Hubert one little bit. In fact, he said they were entitled to their views and he would hope they'd extend the same courtesy to him. Unless one of them could find conclusive scientific evidence that Hubert's theory was false, they'd have to accept that it was a possibility no matter how unlikely that possibility was.

Having dealt with his detractors, Hubert said he chose consciousness because in that way AS could be aware of itself. To paraphrase Descartes, "I'm aware therefore I exist." And even if AS had no self-awareness, according to Hubert, even the existence of a one-cell organism would be enough to keep things ticking over. "Ah!" I cried. "What happened before life was created?" Hubert wasn't phased. He said that when talking about AS, we're talking about something that is absolutely infinite. Infinity to the power of infinity. Therefore some form of life must always exist within it! From the simplest to the most advanced. The sheer audacity of Hubert's theory was beginning to numb my mind. The possibility that it could be that simple was utterly unacceptable. I was just glad I wasn't Stephen Hawking. Imagine someone with an intellect like his being forced to accept that the most fundamental question of all is so simple that any dork could grasp it!

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