Re: Anisotropic Universe

Damien Broderick (
Sat, 19 Apr 1997 22:05:01 +0100

At 11:18 PM 4/18/97 -0700, the Willow wrote:

>Lerner's book. I have problems
>with the idea of a universe infinite in time, though. Intuition says
>there should be a beginning somewhere. Intuition may be wrong, but not
>in any way I can grasp. And it seems to make the Fermi paradox much

An intriguing and incredibly detailed account of these issues, in the form
of a running recursive debate, is THEISM, ATHEISM AND BIG BANG COSMOLOGY,
by William Lane Craig and Quentin Smith (Clarendeon Press, Oxford, 1993),
in which Craig (the god-botherer of the two) argues impressively for `the
impossibility of the existence of an actual infinite' - that is, an
ontologically instantiated one (sorry for the mouthful). They are both
horrid to Stephen Hawking for impeccable reasons, BTW.

Lerner's revised edition of THE BIG BANG NEVER HAPPENED has a post-COBE
intro, which makes what looks to me like a good case for the standard
Smootoid interpretation being blatant codswallop. I don't have the book
handy, but there's some key point about scaling parameters that shocked me
greatly. I've never seen his criticism answered by any of the Bang
hotshots. (George Smoot's WRINKLES IN TIME lists Lerner's book, but calls
him `Learner', which might suggest that he did not actually, you know,
like, *read* the bugger...)

Damien Broderick