posted on TVFs site
There are only four options here:
We might also have more than one of these true simutaneously or none true depending on how we define "beginning" and "end" and "universe" but that would be splitting hairs.
Number 4 seems exceedingly odd but that is because it would be number 3 in reverse. My preference is number 3 because it has a "direction" while yours is number 2 which you prefer because it requires no "miracle". I wouldn't say we can rule out an alternative (by logic) because our understanding of logic itself is unsettled. Hence, as a tool it is unreliable at its extremes ... particularly when it is called upon to examine itself ... which is what one is doing when examining the concept "universe".
I choose "direction" criteria rather than "miracle" because of entropy (the observed directional aspect of the universe which is overwhelminly, scientifically documented from every conceivable angle). It is the strongest indication against a universe infinite in both temporal directions. We have then to discover a logic of "miracle" which is does not offend our sense of rationality.
On the other hand, you must posit a way to get around entropy by resorting to "scales" or other places where entropy is reversed so that the universe can go on indefinitely. There is no experimental evidence to support the scales hypothesis. Rather, the preponderance of evidence (at the quantum scale) is that a search for even lower scales is impossible. To me, such lower scales are equally miraculous. They are 'deus ex machina' to retain number 2's viability with respect to "experimental observation" (not necessarily big bang which may be a flawed conception but of entropic observations which cannot be flawed).
This is philosophically evasive. You would assert the same for my part, i.e. "ex nihilo" is evasive because it denies what to you is a logical absolute. I assert that "miracle" is less evasive than "scales" because it does less violence to Newton's "Rules of Reasoning in Philosophy" particularly ...
In experimental philosophy we are to look upon propositions inferred by general induction from phenomena as accurately or very nearly true, notwithstanding any contrary hypotheses that may be imagined, till such time as other phenomena occur, by which they may either be made more accurate, or liable to exceptions.
This rule we must follow, that the arguments of induction may not be evaded by hypotheses.
Thus, the argument of iniduction is for a beginning which is what conservative "mainstream" advocates. The "scales" that you posit are the contending hypothesis which must be presently rejected because it conflicts with the argument of induction (a "beginning" or, as you put it a "miracle"). This does not mean your hypothesis is falsified. Rather, it is set aside till other evidence surfaces which would make the present "argument of induction" appear to be falsified. And, in fact, this is what mainstream physics has done.
To make it acceptable to them you must show "observational evidence of entropic reversal". This has never been done before in the history of physics, but then ... it's history is quite brief.
Well, this is the greatest news I've ever heard in my 55 years ... bar none. Free energy, just around the corner! I'm gonna' quit my day job tomorrow ;o)
Well, that's what I'd do if the 2nd law failed. I'll bet that they can't get it to power even a mechanical sea horse going up and down in your mother's aquarium with fifty years of development.
Nature doesn't show us something that's everywhere the same without meaning it. The 2nd law is undoubtedly final and that gives the universe a directional character obviating the "no beginning" condition of MM.
Entropy is about things falling down gradients or dispersing uniformly through an equipotential making them unavailable for "work". It's about matter falling into clumps and sending photons to spread out uniformly filling space. It's about the increasing unavailability of energy which is thought to be of finite quantity in the observable universe (Standard Model). Now, perhaps over times longer than the supposed duration of the Standard Model universe ... maybe things will change ... but that's what Newton wouldn't accept as a working model. He would say that what is here and everywhere else apparent should be taken as the "inductive argument" over which other hypothesis should not be placed.
No, I don't think that TVF should abandon his model. But he knows that it will not become mainstream thought in his lifetime even if it were, in reality, correct. The best he can do is keep the idea alive and perhaps someone will pick it up and carry it forward till the matter is resolved one way or the other. And that's all anyone with a different hypothesis can hope for.
Because the dark matter situation cannot be resolved by appeal to other pieces of matter, it is necessary to question the logical foundations of gravity. Foremost among them is the proposition that matter attracts matter. This self-evident truth is predicated on the observation that things tend to drop when released from the hand and the orbit of the moon overhead.
What's wrong with it? Basically, we have no way of knowing whether it is matter gravitating toward other matter or whether matter is just being "condensed" out of space like oil and water unmixing. That is, whether matter is pulling itself together or is being pushed together by space (or some other factor). Because of the Casimir effect, we should not reject empty space as an entirely passive player in existence.
Because the universe is an intensely logical animal, I propose that it is part both. Matter attracts other matter by some mechanism we call gravity and is also pushed into clumps by empty space by some mechanism for which we have no name. If space is indeed pushing matter around, we can see why clusters of galaxies have velocities exceeding those of the virial theorem. Conservation of linear momentum guarantees that velocities we expect from one force will be exceeded when we add the other unnamed force (and of angular momentum in the case of spiral galaxies). Galaxies and clusters of galaxies are being compressed.
And ... this process would scale with the amount of space around matter. If the mean distance to another star is 10 light years, there are about 1000 cubic light years of space around each star in the Milky Way. If the mean distance between galaxies is 1,000,000 light years, there are about 10^18 cubic light years of space per galaxy. This translates into about 10^7 cubic light years per star within a galaxy if we consider about 10^11 stars per galaxy. This means that the amount of space outside the galaxy per star is 10^7 / 10^3 = ~10,000 times greater than that within. i.e. this unnamed force increases with scale.