RECIPROCAL SYSTEM DATABASE Status Report: An Aperiodic Blog

January 30, 2013

Review and Critique of “Big History”

Filed under: Science — transpower @ 9:11 pm

Prof. Christian is a fine professor and speaker; we have his Big History course from the Teaching Company.   Before giving a critique based on the principles of the Reciprocal System, let’s recognize that he and other such deep historians are making an excellent effort at attempting to integrate scientific knowledge from many different disciplines.  Quite naturally, they rely on mainstream, conventional science–and that’s where the problems begin.  So here we go:

1.  In our view, there was no Big Bang; the notion that all the matter and energy in the universe are concentrated into an infinitesimal dot at the beginning is quite absurd.  However, Prof. Christian does say (rather parenthetically) that the universe begins with the creation of space and time, and we certainly agree with him there.

2.  The next threshhold is star formation.  Of course, he says that stellar energy generation comes from the fusion of hydrogen, whereas we say it comes from the fission of heavy elements.  He then follows the conventional line and says that the heavy elements are formed from supernova explosions.  This we do not agree with.  Heavy elements are formed all the time from lighter elements by the process of neutrino capture.  By gravitational segregation, they settle in the center of stars, and that’s where fission begins, the  real source of stellar energy.

3.  He goes onto discuss life, and says that this involves an increase in complexity.  He states the first two laws of thermodynamcs, and then says that non-uniform energy flows are the cause of complexity.  Actually, according to the Reciprocal System, entropy overall in the universe does not increase or decrease–the universe is cyclic and there is no heat death.  Life forms from a combination of material and cosmic (inverse) atoms, with the cosmic atoms in control.  Conventional biology does not explain the demarcation between life and non-life; the Reciprocal System does.

4.  After that he discusses the evolution of man, stating that man’s difference from other animals is in “collective learning.”  This is true, but it’s an aspect of our ability to reason.  Furthermore, he does not discuss the ethical differences between men and animals; we are supposed to follow the Golden Rule, whereas animals cannot and do not.

We’re in favor of Big History, but we wish that the historians would incorporate the principles of the Reciprocal System, rather than just rehashing the conventional, rather illogical, views of “modern physics.”  Let’s hope for the future!



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