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The Enigma Of The Universe : Steady State Theory of Prof. Hoyle

Published: 22.01.2015

As we have already discussed, there are mainly two basic assumptions of the Steady State Universe:

1. The universe is expanding.
2. New 'matter' is created in the universe.

The following two facts result from this theory:

3. The universe is beginningless and endless with respect to time.
4. The space of the universe is infinite.

The following four facts asserted by Jain view regarding the Loka and Aloka are worth consideration in this regard:

1. The space (substance) is itself immovable, and hence, it cannot expand.
2. No real substance can be created from non-real substance; the total amount of pudgala (matter) in the universe remains constant (here matter includes energy also).
3. The Loka and Aloka both are eternal-beginningless and endless with respect to time.
4. The space (substance) is infinite in extension; the Lokākāśa (including Dharmāstikāya and Adharmāstikāya) is finite, Alokākāśa is infinite.

Now, we can easily compare both-the Steady State Theory and the Jain view-on the basis of the fundamental facts.

 It can be easily seen that the fundamental assumptions (no. 1, 2) of the Steady State Theory are not acceptable to Jain philosophy, whereas the two facts (no. 3, 4) asserted by the former are also asserted by the latter. As far as the third fact is concerned, it is totally agreed to by the Jain philosophy. There is slight difference regarding the fourth fact: Whereas the Jain philosophy propounds that space is infinite, but that a part of the infinite space, which is inhabited by other substances and which is called Loka, is finite, the Steady State Theory, without making any distinction between the inhabited and uninhabited spaces, asserts space to be infinite.

Now, let us consider the second fundamental assumption of the Steady State Theory. This is totally against the Jain View. It is quite strange to note here that the theory has to assume the most illogical and incomprehensible idea of creation of 'new matter'. It is a well-known and well-established logical fact, that anything or any substance cannot be created out of 'nothing'. There must be something or some inscrutable stuff which is the 'eminent cause' of creation of anything or any substance.. This has been clearly expressed by Lincoln Barnett.[1]

The propounding of 'creation of new matter' by the Steady State Theory is thus untenable not only on the basis of common sense logic, but is also against the most fundamental principle of modern science, which is called "principle of conservation of mass and energy". According to this principle, "The total amount of mass-energy in the universe always has been and always will be the same. Mass may be converted into energy and vice-versa but the total amount of mass-energy does not change." Thus wherever we see creation of mass and energy or destruction of mass and energy, it is only the change of the form and not new creation or destruction of the existing mass or energy. In the changed form, still the total amount remains the same-it is conserved.[2]

Thus, whereas the fundamental law of physics asserts that no "new mater can be created", the fundamental assumption of the Steady State Theory has to accept that every moment new matter is created in the universe.

 It is implied that if the above assumption is accepted, then we will have to give up the fundamental principle of physics, viz., the principle of conservation of mass and energy. This is not acceptable to any scientist.

The fact which is established by the principle of conservation of mass and energy in the field of modern science is propounded by the doctrine of 'persistence-through-mode' in the Jain metaphysics. It would be better to say that the Jain doctrine is even applied to a wider domain, as it asserts that all substances, not only pudgalāstikāya, always persist in spite of continuous creation and cessation, whereas the principle of conservation of mass and energy is confined only to the domain of physical substance (i.e. pudgalāstikāya). As we have already discussed, the Jain metaphysical doctrine asserts that every real substance (sat) persists with respect to its substancehood, but undergoes change with respect to its mode hood, as the creation and cessation of only modes take place, but no substance can ever be created or destroyed. Thus, in Jain logic, there is the aphorism-nāsadutpādaḥ,[3] which means there is no creation of anything non-real (asat); or in other words, the Jain philosophy boldly denies the concept of creation of new matter from nothing. Thus, the assumption of creation of new matter made by the Steady State Theory is also made untenable on the basis of the Jain view.

Thus, we can say that this assumption is neither consistent with the common sense logic, nor with the fundamental principle of modern science nor with the Jain metaphysical view. Actually, the Steady State Theory has to make such an incomprehensible assumption only because it has to explain the phenomenon of 'expansion of the universe', which itself is not at all a well-established and non-controversial theory. Thus, to explain one theory, which itself may not be true, the holders of the steady-state-theory have to conceive of another fanatical assumption. We can also say this in another way that the theory of 'expanding universe' is such that it cannot be explained without making such an assumption which is just similar to the famous unreal imagination of 'horns on hare'. The holders of the theory make a funny argument-"This suggestion (that new matter is being continually created) is, of course inconsistent with the conservation of matter, but since required creation rate turns out to be only about one Hydrogen-atom in a litre every billion (=1012) years, no observation is contradicted, but only an extreme extrapolation therefrom."[4] From this quotation, it becomes clear that the holders of Steady State Theory do accept that their assumption of creation of new matter is inconsistent with the fundamental principle of conservation. Nevertheless, their contention is that the quantity of new creation is so small that it is negligible. But can it be considered really negligible, when we take into account the infinite time? It should be noted here, that since the theory accepts the infinity of time, million years are just nothing in comparison to infinity. And therefore, in the past which extends to infinity (according to the Steady-State-Theory itself), infinite number of such Hydrogen-atoms must have been created. How this number can be regarded negligible?

Again, if the space is considered infinite but not expanding, then the volume of such space which is also infinite would remain the same, but the number of newly created Hydrogen atoms would become infinite times infinite with the flow of time, and always would go on increasing. But as the volume of the space would remain the same, the result would be that the density of hydrogen atoms per litre would become infinite. This is obviously not consistent with the actual observations, and hence, it is proved that the assumption of new creation of matter is possible only if the space is expanding. The Steady State Theory considers space to be infinite and still expanding! It is inconceivable that how an infinite space can expand. On the other hand, if the space is assumed to be finite, then the density of hydrogen atoms in the finite space would become infinite on account of the creation of infinite number of hydrogen atoms and the volume of space remaining the same. This is not consistent with the actual observations. Thus, if the space is considered expanding, it can neither be considered finite nor infinite. There is no third possibility. Hence, the theory of expanding space itself becomes untenable, and consequently, no such assumption like creation of new matter is required.

On the basis of the whole discussion, we can conclude that the first two assumptions made by the Steady State Theory are not correct. Besides this, we have already discussed the evidences given by other scientists against this theory. Among, them, the name of Dr. George Gamow is prominent.[5] And more recently, Prof. Martin Ryle has criticized it.[6] Thus, till now, the Steady State Theory has always remained doubtful on the scientific criterion. We suggest here if the theory of 'Steady- State-Universe', abandons the assumption of 'expanding universe' (by suggesting some other explanation of the phenomenon of red-shift of spectral lines), there is no necessity to assume the 'creation of new matter at all'. In that case, the theory will take a form, which would be not much dissimilar to the Jain theory of universe.


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Title: The Enigma Of The Universe Publisher: JVB University Ladnun English Edition: 2010 HN4U Online Edition: 2014

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Adharmāstikāya
  2. Aloka
  3. Alokākāśa
  4. Asat
  5. Dharmāstikāya
  6. Jain Logic
  7. Jain Philosophy
  8. Loka
  9. Lokākāśa
  10. Pudgala
  11. Pudgalāstikāya
  12. Science
  13. Space
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