According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – anon
Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul
The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah
If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer
God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – anon
Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson
We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord
Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater
Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma
It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds
assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

Monday, June 22, 2020

Can God Live Outside of Time? Why Would This NOT Be Important?




"1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. 5The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it." Genesis 1.1-5, NASB



Can God Live Outside of Time?
Why Would This NOT Be Important?

by R.E. Slater


Today I would like to compare the difference between the classical statement of theism vs the more contemporary statement of panentheism (not pan-theism, but pan-en-theism). With one you don't necessarily get the other nor do you need it. And with the other, it is important to see why, based upon historical results, the hypothesis and arguments of classicism simply have been unhelpful to today's contemporary Christian. I will save this last reflection for the end. But to appreciate this reflection we should first go through the details leading to it.


First Statement


Statement: Does God Live Inside or Outside or Time? Can God live both inside and outside of time?

Response: If using the panentheistic system of theology we can then posit God is a relational God (as panentheism attests to) and must therefore live inside of time in order to be a relational God. If God were to hypothetically live outside of time then God has no meaning to His creation because He has no relationship to His creation.

Additionally, if using process philosophy (e.g. process theology) this metaphysical system also requires a God living in relationship to creation (other terms which might be used in place of the word "creation" may be the cosmos, the universe, nature, etc). This means that the Creator-God is both the initiating Prehensive and resulting Concrescent Event to the birth of creation (process theology) as well its enduring provider, sustainer, maintainer, architect, and ends (panentheism).

1. Importantly, what this doesn't mean is that God controls these freewill (sic, limited agency) processes. Creation has inherited God's agency to live or chose as it will, This agency was birthed from the Creator's own Image of agency (e.g. freewill, whether determinant or indeterminant, based upon contextualization).

2. However, what this does mean is that God's Self, or His Image, precedes all, undergirds all, and guides all of creation towards an ends of willing fellowship despite creation's own struggle when receiving the inherent gift of God's freewill of God's Self or God's Image.

Said another way, the teleology of evolutionary creation whether physical or social will always be pointed towards creativity, novelty, uniqueness, value, generativeness, love, mutual benefit, and goodness in deep and complex inter-relationships (sic, holy fellowships) with all else. One might think of this as "process panentheistic teleology".

More articles on Process Philosophy and Process Theology
may be found on this site:

Second Statement

Statement: Is it important to believe God exists outside of Time?

Response: No. Based upon panentheism and process theology God must always be inside of time holding creation together. This would then contradict classic theism's standard position of placing God (i) hypothetically outside of time transcendentally and therefore apart from any relationship to creation, or (ii) casually inside of time relationally in deference to His apparent transcendence which either abandons creation or exists simultaneous with and without creation. Basically, classic theism is a safe argument pretending wisdom though wholly impractical.

Is classical theism important? If so, why would it matter?

To posit God as both outside and inside of time is a theoretical conjecture, known as a theologoumenon.
A theologoumenon is a theological statement or concept that lacks absolute doctrinal authority. It is commonly defined as "a theological assertion or statement not derived from divine revelation", or "a theological statement or concept in the area of individual opinion rather than of authoritative doctrine".
Classic Theism's statement of the possibility of God existing outside of time might otherwise be described as both metaphysically and ontologically meaningless. As such, we might restructure our reply by the following observations:

(1a) If God lived outside of time then there is no God. At least not for us, nor for creation. Nor would we be able to answer this speculation as anything other than hyperbole. The speculation is untestable, unverifiable, and an irrelevant, meaningless classically conjectured theory.

(1b) Moreover, we are on our own. That is, we would experience a Divine Separation or Abandonment from God who Himself would experience a Divine Aloneness or Separation Himself save for the interior fellowship of His own Triune Personhood (commonly known as the Trinity or Triunity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This creedal expression is yet another instance of a biblically imposed theologoumenon).

A Divine Aloneness where all relationality derives its psychological / social / physical beginnings. Expressed in another fashion, since we do not live outside of time, and if God is not present with us in our timeful experiences, we are therefore again on our own in a God-vacated time-filled creation.

(2a) Scientifically, creation is always bounded by time except in the period before the Big Bang. This means that the idea of time being "outside" itself is nonsense. So is the term "infinite" time. It has no meaning. This was discussed in an earlier posting:


SubSection - The Origin of Time and Space





(2b) The only one "time" when there wasn't any time was before the Big Bang in that earlier period when spacetime was crunched down to one dimension. In that one dimension space there was an energy state known as radiation but without any timeful experiences. One could think of this primodial pre-Bang space as an infinite space with no time or with an infinitized time moving in all directions. But as time itself there was no time. Time is dependent upon matter which had yet been birthed in this radiated space of lost time and lost matter.

Importantly then, the "time" before the Big Bang was a "time" that was without both time and matter. It was simply a space inhabited by some kind of superheated and very dense radiation. It is only when this energy burst forth that both matter (first) then time (secondly, as a resulting consequence) were created. The universe instantaneously began the process of "process evolutionary growth" birthing matter which immediately birthed the perception of time in the universe (known as "the aarow of time").

Thus we may think of this pre-Big Bang era as a liquified plasmic space where time either was (i) nonexistent or (ii) everywhere existent as a potentiality in infinite constitution awaiting its birth. Some think of this early pre-inflationary period  as the biblical "void".

(3a) Theologically, as well as scientifically, if God lives outside of time then He exists somewhere where the cosmos isn't. And again, God becomes hypothetically meaningless to the cosmos we know and live within.

Moreover, if creation is sustained by God as classic theism states then God must be always present in its experience. And by extension, if God were to leave the cosmos then the cosmos could no longer exist. A process panentheist would also assent to this same argument. But placed in a panentheistic framework the argument would make more sense as to why it is so critical that God must always be in eternal relationship with the cosmos.

(3b) The reverse argument of whether God is if He is no longer in relationship to creation I think is a good one but without any conclusions. The best we can say is that hypothetically God may exist without creation but then God would exist permanently alone. He would not be able to create creation out of thin air. This is explained in the point (4).

Suffice it say, panentheism is given a bad rap when critics claim of it that God cannot exist without creation. Though I argue God may exist apart from creation He cannot create creation from nothing. This leaves God divinely alone eternally unable to undo what He left. 

Consequently, its more true to approach the argument from bottom up, if you will. That if there is no creation there then is no God. You have a permanent state of non-ness or nothingness. Both God and creation are bound to the other by reasons of how creation came to be... Let me explain.

(4a) Did God create from something or from nothing? These ideas are captured by the expressions of "creatio ex continua," meaning, "creation always was and could never come from nothing." Or, "creatio ex nihilo" which describes classic theism's position of God creating out of nothing." Until quantum physics these philosophical arguments could not be addressed...

In deference to the classic position of ex nihilo creation, the current state of quantum astrophysics says this is not possible. That something could not be created out of nothing. That there must be something there to create something from. Even for God given the initial conditions of the universe. Thus the previous ex continua explanation of a pre-cosmic void of supercondensed, superheated, state of radiation from which all the universe was birthed.

Expressed differently, if there was never any radiation/energy to create from, then there was never a God there to create, or give order (in Hebrew, shalom) to, that energy. Both God and the singularity state of energy must be there together in order for either one to be cosmically bound to the other.

This means that God could not just come inside of time from outside of time and willy-nilly create from nothing to produce something. There must be something there from which God may create, organize, order, re-order... you chose the adjective. And in order for something to be there then God must be there. Each eternally in fellowship, if not in pragmatic dependency, with the other.

Classical theology likes to give itself room to believe in the incredible, but it is not necessary to think incredibly of God unless we wish to make God more mythical than He is real. Thus, the state of astrophysics comes down on the side of creatio ex continua and not creatio ex nihilo.

Lastly, if we carry this idea of creation through all the way backwards into time, then creation itself is as old as God is when using "creatio ex continua" as the guiding conjecture. Neither God nor creation were ever without the other. Each are ancient and anciently related. Now this may upset classists who insist God must be first above all else. However, if He were then how to the cosmos come about? It cannot come from thin air or some "empty void". So then, it must always have been there.

And therein is the struggle. Hypothesizing that something comes from nothing when in this cosmic existence of ours it simply cannot be true. It must be there from which to be birthed. Thus and thus a "biblical void" filled with cosmic radiation quite adequately does the job releasing the ex nihiloist's from the burden of trying to create spontaneous generation from the ether as thought could be done in the Middle Ages. We might call this position as their half-way house though a process panentheist needs no such metaphysical gymnastic feats.

(4b) Consequently, the pseudo-Christian / classical-philosphical argument of time being outside itself is therefore nonsense. Time can never be unbounded from space. Without space there can be no time.

(5) Conclusion. Either God is in time in some manner (not forgetting that God is always existent in all timeful dimensionalities of the cosmos) or we aren't, the cosmos isn't, and neither is God. It is an untenable belief and argument to say God exists outside of time. Whether true or not it is meaningless and subsequently leaves a "godless void" to the cosmological void.


Third and Last Statement

Statement: What then might we conclude?

Response: Most will say for God to be God or, to retain His Godness, we must fully embrace all conjectural possibilities. Though I might not necessarily disagree with these ontological sentiments it also isn't necessary for God to be God, or to be Godful.
For myself, and many others, the more important question is the question of God's "with-ness". Whether the panentheistic cornerstone of relationality is substantially more important than the theistic necessity of transcendency. The first builds on connectedness to creation. The latter build on an ideal of disconnectedness apart from anything meaningful to creation.
Yet this latter set of theologians wants it both ways. To me, I find it a moot question. In fact, I find it creating a whole other set of theological problems by its insistence. How? By approaching God as a distant, perhaps, deigning Creator, God has created in the fellowship between man and God an unnecessary distance that doesn't need to be there. A distance too often separating our guilt driven souls or our prideful hearts from the nearness of God and His Holy presence in our lives in our journey through life's many harms and ills. The last thing we need is to think of God as being "out there" when He is actually "here right now and always with us."

The classical position of theism also puts a disconnection on (i) how we are to think of our responsibilities of earthcare and people care and, (ii) how God is actively with us as He sustains creation. These conditions do thereby inform us as to how God is present with us; how He is present with His holy world; and by His own existential holy presence; and through His existential Holy Spirit infilling us; all in order to caretake one another and His holy creation. God's presence makes our presence meaningful.

Thus, panentheism taken together with process theology make for powerful and complimentary teammates / companions sharing together the larger metanarrative of a deeply meaningful fellowship between Creator and Created. It really is unnecessary to think of this in any other way which might separate, or distance, this inherently divine fellowship from one another. As God is love so too God is present with us. He is never far from us but always with us in every instance of our lives guiding as He can through the mazes of a freewill creation.
38) For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39) nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:38-39 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
Peace,

R.E. Slater
June 22, 2020
rev. June 24, 2020


Image credit: Dark Matter, Berkeley Lab

Dark Matter –“Emerged From
an Eon Before the Big Bang”

Posted on Jan 27, 2019 in Cosmology, Dark Matter, Physics, Science
[comments mine, R.E. Slater]


The Greek god of darkness was Erebus, one of the primordial deities in Greek mythology, born out of Chaos, the primeval void, foreshadowing the contemporary, emerging reality of the dark side of our universe. Enter physicist Sir Roger Penrose, and his Erebon field theory, a novel explanation of dark matter. Despite dedicated searches, no signs of a dark matter particle have turned up.


[sic, The conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC) is a cosmological model in the framework of general relativity, advanced by the theoretical physicist Roger Penrose.[1][2][3] In CCC, the universe iterates through infinite cycles, with the future timelike infinity of each previous iteration being identified with the Big Bang singularity of the next.[4] Penrose popularized this theory in his 2010 book Cycles of Time: An Extraordinary New View of the Universe. - Wikipedia]

Instead, physicists such as Penrose, hope we will be able to find some dark force, a portal into the dark world. Such a “dark photon” would be dark matter’s equivalent of a photon, the way that dark matter particles interact with one another.

“Dark photon searches are simultaneously straightforward and challenging, straightforward because the concept is general and simple enough that designing experimental searches is pretty easy, but challenging because we really have no clue where in the parameter space the dark photon could live,” says CERN Physicist James Beacham.


Sir Roger Penrose

Penrose, reported Physics World, proposes a solution that points to the existence of an aeon before the Big Bang. Correlated noise in the two LIGO gravitational-wave detectors may provide evidence that the universe is governed by conformal cyclic cosmology (CCC) which assumes that the universe consists of a succession of aeons, “the boundaries of infinity,” speculates Penrose of the University of Oxford. “The Big Bang was not the origin of our universe,” he observed.

The apparent noise is actually a real signal of gravitational waves generated by the decay of hypothetical dark-matter particles predicted by CCC from a previous eon that can be seen in the cosmic microwave background – electromagnetic radiation left over from an early stage of the universe in Big Bang cosmology.

Penose argues that a significant amount of this noise could be a signal of astrophysical or cosmological origin – and specifically CCC.

Physicists at the Niels Bohr Institute, writes Hamish Johnston, editor of physicsworld.com, pointed out that some of the noise in the two LIGO detectors appears to be correlated – with a delay that corresponds to the time it takes for a gravitational wave to travel the more than 3000 kilometers between the instruments.


First proposed over a decade ago by Penrose, CCC assumes that each aeon begins with a big bang and proceeds into an unending future in which the universe expands at an accelerating rate. As this expansion becomes infinitely large, Penrose argues that it can be transformed back into the next big bang.

Penrose, Johnston writes, says that a “reasonably robust implication of CCC” is that dark matter consists of particles called erebons. As dark matter goes, erebons are extremely heavy and have masses of about 10–5 g. This is roughly the Planck mass and on a par with a grain of sand and about 22 orders of magnitude heavier than a proton.

When an erebon decays, Penrose states, it deposits all its energy into a gravitational wave frequencies well above the detection capabilities of LIGO, and would be detected and recorded as near-instantaneous impulses that could be mistaken for noise rather than a signal from the birth of the cosmos.

Erebon theory is a novel explanation of dark matter recently invented by Roger Penrose. Erebons are scalar particles of the order of a Planck mass which can only interact gravitationally. When erebons decay, they release their energy as oscillating classical gravitational waves on the order of the Planck frequency. Erebon theory is actually part of Penrose’ Conformal Cyclic Cosmology  (CCC) scheme, which is a competitor to the theory of inflation. Moreover, Penrose claims erebons may have already been detected by accident, quite analogous to the first accidental detection of the CMB.

*The Daily Galaxy, Max Goldberg, via Physics World,  Gizmodo,  Arxiv.org(PenrosePDF) and Physics Forums 



* * * * * * * * * *



Roger Penrose still looks for evidence
of universal rebirth

by Sabine Hossenfelder
August 21, 2018

Roger Penrose really should have won a Nobel Prize for something. Though I’m not sure for what. Maybe Penrose-tilings. Or Penrose diagrams. Or the Penrose process. Or the Penrose-Hawking singularity theorems. Or maybe just because there are so many things named after Penrose.

And at 87 years he’s still at it. Penrose has a reputation for saying rude things about string theory, has his own interpretation of quantum mechanics, and he doesn’t like inflation, the idea that the early universe underwent a rapid phase of exponential expansion. Instead, he has his own theory called “conformal cyclic cosmology” (CCC).


According to Penrose’s conformal cyclic cosmology, the universe goes through an infinite series of “aeons,” each of which starts with a phase resembling a big bang, then forming galactic structures as usual, then cooling down as stars die. In the end the only thing that’s left are evaporating black holes and thinly dispersed radiation. Penrose then conjectures a slight change to particle physics that allows him to attach the end of one aeon to the beginning of another, and everything starts anew with the next bang.

This match between one aeon’s end and another’s beginning necessitates the introduction of a new field – the “erebon” – that makes up dark matter, and that decays throughout the coming aeon. We previously met the erobons because Penrose argued their decay should create noise in gravitational wave interferometers. (Not sure what happened to that.)

If Penrose’s CCC hypothesis is correct, we should also be able to see some left-over information from the previous aeon in the cosmic microwave background around us. To that end, Penrose has previously looked for low-variance rings in the CMB, that he argued should be caused by collisions between supermassive black holes in the aeon prior to ours. The search for that, however, turned out to be inconclusive. In a recent paper with Daniel An and Krzysztof Meissner he has now suggested to look instead for a different signal.

The new signal that Penrose et al are looking for are points in the CMB at the places where in the previous aeon supermassive black holes evaporated. He and collaborators called these “Hawking Points” in memory of the late Stephen Hawking. The idea is that when you glue together the end of the previous aeon with the beginning of ours, you squeeze together the radiation emitted by those black holes and that makes a blurry point at which the CMB temperature is slightly increased.

Penrose estimates the total number of such Hawking Points which should be in the total cosmic microwave background is about a million. The analysis in the paper, covering about 1/3 of the sky, finds tentative evidence for about 20. What’s with the rest remains somewhat unclear, presumably too weak to be observed.

They look for these features by generating fake “normal” CMBs, following standard procedure, and then trying to find Hawking Points in these simulations. They have now done about 5000 of such simulations, but none of them, they claim, has features similar to the actually observed CMB. This makes their detection highly statistically significant, with a chance of less than 1/5000 that the Hawking Points which they find in the CMB are due to random chance.

In the paper, the authors also address an issue that I am guessing was raised by someone else somewhere, which is that in CCC there shouldn’t be a CMB polarization signal like the one BICEP was looking for. This signal still hasn’t been confirmed, but Penrose et al claim pre-emptively that in CCC there should also be a polarization, and it should go with the Hawking Peaks because:


“primordial magnetic fields might arise in CCC as coming [...] from galactic clusters in the previous aeon […] and such primordial magnetic fields could certainly produce B-modes […] On the basis that such a galactic cluster ought to have contained a supermassive black hole which could well have swallowed several others, we might expect concentric rings centred on that location”

Quite a collection of mights and coulds and oughts.

Like Penrose, I am not a big fan of inflation, but I don’t find conformal cyclic cosmology well-motivated either. Penrose simply postulates that the known particles have a so-far unobserved property (so the physics becomes asymptotically conformally invariant) because he wants to get rid of all gravitational degrees of freedom. I don’t see what’s wrong with that, but I also can’t see any good reason for why that should be correct. Furthermore, I can’t figure out what happens with the initial conditions or the past hypothesis, which leaves me feeling somewhat uneasy.

But really I’m just a cranky ex-particle-physicist with an identity crisis, so I’ll leave the last words to Penrose himself:
“Of course, the theory is “crazy”, but I strongly believe (in view of observational facts that seem to be coming to light) that we have to take it seriously.”

* * * * * * * * * *






Penrose Erebons are unstable micro Higgs black holes
in-and outside the LIGO beam splitters.


by Leo Vuyk
July 25, 2017

The LIGO problem

So I assume that the correlated LIGO noise problem is solved by the decay with gravitational effects of small Erebons also called EDMBHs.

EDMBHs could be created by the continuous EM Lightning interference process on earth/planets and the solar flares (gamma rays), but even inside the beam splitters of the LIGO apparatuses, which seems to be a logic proposal for the bulk of UN-correlated noise between the two LIGO locations.

As a consequence, these beam splitters should show short lifetimes, by the little defects inside the glass burnt away by decaying Higgs knots. of 126-375-750 GeV.

However there is more discussion on "correlated noise" between the Hanford and Livingstone detector, which can not be related to beamsplitter damage by decaying Higgs knots, see:
Penrose: Correlated “noise” in LIGO gravitational wave signals: an implication of Conformal Cyclic Cosmology - https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1707/1707.04169.pdf
According to Quantum FFF Theory, around stars (our sun) and even planets a continuous stream of magnetic interference based unstable Dark matter black hole Higgs particles ( or Erebons, masses: 126-750 GeV  and more)  are created which direct decay accompanied by small gravitational "noise"?

Future research however should concentrate on time shifts between the correlated LIGO events, which seem to show "nearly the same time shifts for the three GW events reported to date." . indicating a possible correlation with the main black hole merger location.
see:  On the time lags of the LIGO signals - https://arxiv.org/pdf/1706.04191.pdf
"It is striking that these correlations are maximized by applying nearly the same time shifts as found for the GW events themselves — for all three GW events reported to date."