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Chaos and the Big Bang

  1. Apr 30, 2006 #1
    I often wonder how much our ancient ancestors, or at least the elite among them, knew about the origins of the universe. We tend to mock ancient accounts and call them myths. But how many of those myths may in fact be flowery, encoded or corrupted descriptions of the theories we know today.

    I find it interesting that the Greek myths of the origin of the Universe in some ways sound similar to the Big Bang theory. What we call the singularity, the Greeks called Chaos. We know that the Universe as we know it came forth out of the singularity just as the Greeks explained in their history that the Universe was created out of chaos. Chronos (time) and Gaea (matter) were the first to "emerge".

    I wonder if anyone in the world of physics has ever studied the ancient histories and looked for enough similarities to see that not only did the ancient people (at least maybe only the elite) know what we know today, but had already solved some of the problems we haven't.
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  3. Apr 30, 2006 #2


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    If you think about the world, ignoring all the science you have learned, you come up with the question "Has it always been here or did it start sometime?" Although Kant, for example, found both alternatives unbelievable, most people seem to find the beginning one more reasonable. And then you have to say, "But what was there before?", sort of a chicken-and-egg dilemma. It's not at all unreasonable to say that what came before differed from what we see know in being disorderly. Our world has day and night, regular seasons, land and water, and so on. So you imagine a state in which all that is confused, and credit some deity with bringing order out of chaos.

    None of this has anything to do with modern science, which didn't embrace the big bang hypothesis until the evidence of the microwave background came along, Weinberg's old book The First Three Minutes may be out of date but its aura of down to earth practical attention to the physical evidence is a welcome alternative to vague hand waving.
  4. Apr 30, 2006 #3
    Your's is a good question.

    Have a look at how the Chinese came up with a floating, 360 degree compass many thousands of years before the western version of one. This shows an intimate knowledge of the planet, in some respects, that was not realized in the west until thousands of years after the first Feng Shui/lode stone compasses of China.

    https://w3.usc.edu/display/MatthewCarter/Feng+Shui+and+Classical+Japanese+Religion [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  5. May 1, 2006 #4


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    Except that "chaos" has nothing to do with a "singularity". You are really saying "one groups says it came from A, the other says it came from B- see, they are both saying the same thing!" without paying any attention to the differences between A and B. If anything, a "singularity" is the exact opposite of "chaos".
  6. May 7, 2006 #5
    You really can't say that. You don't know what the person who chose the word Chaos was thinking. Who is to say that the person who chose this term was thinking of the word in the sense of uncreated vs created?

    I realize there are some people who are very arrogant and would become very upset if it was ever proven that the present knowledge of the universe was known to the ancients or some of the ancients.

    To say that one came from A and the other from B one would almost have to prove without a shadow of doubt that A and B are really something different. Without that proof, it is equally possible that A and B are just two sides of the same coin.
  7. May 7, 2006 #6
    It would be nice to see, but it can't be done without a log-in name and password. Is there a more open site to view this?

    There is also the famous Piri Reis maps made in 1513 that gives a very accurate and correct layout for the Americas, Greenland and Antarctica (which was undiscovered in 1513). It could have been copied from some other source, possibly Chinese.

    http://www.prep.mcneese.edu/engr/engr321/preis/piri_r~1.htm [Broken]

    Again, what did the ancients know that we are just rediscovering now?
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  8. May 7, 2006 #7
    But what we call modern science, could just as well be ancient science. Did we just recently discover such things as the big bang or were they already known to the ancients, then the knowledge was either lost in time, or hidden in fabled myths and is now being rediscovered?

    What implications would our modern science have to face if it turned out our ancient ancestors knew what we are just learning now?
  9. May 9, 2006 #8


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    There is no serious claim that any of this is true. We know the speculations of the early civilizations back to the origin of writing and they did NOT include anything seriously corresponding to the big bang. Nor did they understand basic ideas of science such as conservation of energy or quantum uncertainty.

    You come up with a specific prediction and we'll see. Till then this is all just blue sky guess work.
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