Age of the Universe

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Age of the Universe

Noah’s Ark—Three Layers of Reality

A light shalt thou make to the ark…with lower, second, and third stories shalt thou make it. (Genesis 6:16) We mentioned in the previous posts that Noah’s ark was a microcosm.[1] As we discussed in the previous post, “Noah’s Ark—Three Layers of Being Human,” most structural parallels related to Noah’s ark are based on its tripartite structure —that is, its having three tiers. In Chasidic thought, the three levels of Noah’s ark correspond to three worlds of BiYA—Beriyah (the World of Creation), Yetzirah (the World of Formation), and Asiyah (the World of Action). In this essay, we will investigate how the tripartite structure of Noah’s ark is reflected in the structure of reality. We might say that the totality of existence comprises three layers—physical, informational, and spiritual. The classification of reality into three [...]

When was the World Created?

There is a dispute in the Talmud as to when the world was created. According to Rabbi Eliezer, the world was created in the month of Tishrei, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar when we celebrate the Jewish New Year, Rosh HaShanah. According to Rabbi Yehoshua, the world was created in the first month of the year, the month of Nisan (Tr. Rosh HaShanah, 10b). The Chasidic thought attempts to reconcile these opposite opinions suggesting that both opinions are correct—the world was created in Nisan in thought, whereas in deed, it was created in Tishrei.  The problem with this approach is that for halakhic (Jewish ritual law) purposes of calculating the Jewish calendar, the planets are deemed to have commenced their heavenly orbits in Nisan, not in Tishrei!  How could planets that [...]

Two Beginnings

B’reshit bara Elokim et hashamaim v’et haaretz… In the beginning, God created heaven and earth… Alternative translation: With two beginnings God created heaven and earth… Genesis 1:1   *This is an abridged and updated version of my paper “Towards Reconciliation of Biblical and Cosmological Ages of the Universe” Presented at the Third Miami International Conference on Torah & Science in Dec. of 1999 and published in B’Or HaTorah, 13 (2002) p. 19. Contemporary science places the age of the universe in the thirteen to fourteen billion years range, or 13.787 ± 0.02, [1] to be precise.  This age is derived from both theoretical models as well as experimental data.  (For an overview of theoretical and experimental approaches to dating the universe and our planet Earth see my original paper TOWARDS RECONCILIATION OF BIBLICAL AND [...]

On the Age of the Universe in the Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics

On the Age of the Universe in the Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics[*]  Alexander Poltorak    Abstract   The present paper addresses the apparent discrepancy between the cosmological age of the universe, estimated at twelve to fourteen billion years, and the “biblical” age, believed in the Jewish tradition to be less than six thousand years.  This paper is a sequel to my previous paper, "On the Age of the Universe," presented at the Third Miami International Conference on Torah and Science, which aimed to resolve this contradiction from the point of view of the collapse of the wave function in the Copenhagen interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (QM). Continuing this discussion, I shall now approach the problem from the slightly different point of view of the many-worlds interpretation of QM.     This paper [...]

On the Nature of Time and the Age of the Universe

Presented at the International Torah and Science Conference in Miami International University on December 18, 2005 Alexander Poltorak   Introduction. This is the third in a series of articles, in which I attempt to sketch various approaches to reconciling a cosmological age of the universe currently estimated at 13.75 billion years with the Jewish tradition setting this age at less than six thousand years (5770 as of the day of this writing, to be exact). The first article [1] tackled this problem from the point of view of Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics suggesting that there were two distinct forms of existence—physical and proto-physical—and that the first conscious observers, Adam and Eve, collapsed the universal wavefunction, bringing the world from amorphous proto-physical existence into tangible physical existence.  This approach leads to two distinct [...]

Towards Reconciliation of Biblical and Cosmological Ages of the Universe

Towards Reconciliation of Biblical and Cosmological Ages of the Universe[1] Alexander Poltorak   Abstract Two opposite views of the age of the universe are considered.  According to the traditional Jewish calendar based on the Talmud the age of the universe is less then six thousand years.  The cosmological models of the universe supported by the abundant empirical data place the age of the universe in the twelve billion years range.  Critical examination of both views is presented in the first part of the paper.  In the second part, we consider quantum-mechanical state of matter before and after the introduction of a conscious observer.  Role of the observer’s free will is examined.  The definitions of physical and proto-physical states of matter are proposed.  It is suggested that creation of the first conscious being with [...]




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