Most serious philosophical questions should be generated by the inflationary theory of the universe, which, in its scientifically sane part portrays the universe as “inflated” in the earliest embryonic phase at a speed much larger than in its subsequent “expansion”. Unfortunately, even non-scientists may not be troubled by the phrase “emergence by chance”. The general educated public has by now become largely accustomed to a claim which scientists have been making for sixty years, a time-span long enough for the growing up of a third generation of them. The claim, which has no justification in quantum mechanics, is the essence of the standard philosophical interpretation of quantum mechanics put together by Werner Heisenberg and especially by Niels Bohr, in Copenhagen. (This is why it is customarily referred to as the Copenhagen philosophy of quantum mechanics.) Both took a basic consequence of quantum mechanics about the impossibility of measuring certain interactions with complete accuracy for the justification of the following proposition if not plain somersault in logic: an interaction that cannot be measured exactly, cannot take place exactly. And in the same breath they began to celebrate the demise of causality, with the consequent enthronement of chance.

With little or no second thoughts on that incredible somersault, scientists quickly began to assume that “chance” could supply the bits of energy or matter which, owing to the impossibility of exact measurement, could not be accounted for mathematically. The preposterousness – certainly indicative of an erstwhile blow to the human intellect – gained so much scientific respectability that twenty years later Hoyle and Cie could postulate the emergence out of nothing, at every second, of hydrogen atoms in quantities amounting to entire stars. They did not have to fear wholesale indignation within the world of science, already sold on the idea that cheating with energy and matter on a very small scale was an intellectually respectable procedure. Thirty years or a full generation later, the proponents of inflationary theory met with no stunned disbelief as they claimed to “generate” countless universes by their clever-looking mathematics. One of them in fact repeatedly boasted: “The universe could be the last free lunch.” Ironically, the boast was first sounded in precisely those years that saw the definite disappearance of “free lunches,” owing to the realization that unless credits and debits are balanced the whole economy is to collapse.

When a sense of superiority over the real takes on a measure in which the universe itself is engulfed, only foolhardy minds would refuse to sense the replay of a hubris which in the first place was motivated by the lure of “you will become like gods.” A Luciferian undertone may be hiding in Hawking’s recent encomium of the inflationary theory that he ended with the question: “What place then for a Creator?” Those unwilling to entertain this theological perspective still have to face up to a purely philosophical one. It is the frequently voiced admission by several leaders in quantum mechanics, made at times with no trace of embarrassment, that its Copenhagen interpretation has solipsism for its logical outcome…That solipsists keep talking to others, although their philosophy bars them from doing so, is evidence that no philosopher, or scientist for that matter, can completely deny is sane humanity.

Stanley Jaki, The Savior of Science


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