A metaphysical question – Was the Big Bang a random event?

I suspect most of my colleagues would naturally prefer to think of the Big Bang as a random event. But the only way for an event to be both random and miraculous is for there to have been a very large sampling of events. In other words, an event with a probability approaching zero is bound to occur in a population of events approaching infinity. The assertion of randomness implies that there are a large number (approaching infinity) of other Big Bangs in some larger Cosmos.

This is the observationally unverifiable metaphysics of the “multiverse”. From a physics point of view, this is a logical choice: especially considering that there are  plausible mechanisms for Big Bang type events – such as random energy fluctuations in an infinite quantum vacuum. (Note that this involves a leap of faith that the quantum behavior observed in our spacetime also exists outside of spacetime.) The choice of the multiverse is a significant challenge to Occam’s razor since it amounts to postulating the existence of a very large number of unobservable objects to explain the existence of one object.

But physics is not the only source of knowledge about our existence. What does your intuition tell you? Does everything about you and your life appear to be the result of randomness? Can randomness explain everything you see about you? Do you not sense that there is a purpose to your life (even if you’re not too sure what it is)?

Time (entropy) has an arrow. The discovery of epigenetics, the evidence of master genes, and symbiosis and cooperation in biology all argue that evolution is not a purely random process: it, too, appears to have a direction. The logical candidate for that direction is toward the evolution of ever more complex awareness.

On earth, biology mysteriously emerged from the material world of physics and chemistry. Microbiology reveals that the simplest forms of life demonstrate awareness: single cells process information from the environment and from each other and adapt their behavior accordingly. As multi-cellular organisms evolved, the brain developed, making possible the emergence of animal intelligence and awareness.  After the brain evolved to the level of complexity of the human brain (1011 neurons in a network of 1014 synapses), the self-aware human mind with all its amazing capacities mysteriously emerged. And the process continues. (What will mysteriously emerge from the linking of human minds in the network of the noösphere? Doesn’t your intuition tell you that it will be a higher form of awareness – like global consciousness?)

As a self-aware being with free will, I choose to believe that the purpose of the Cosmos is the evolution of awareness. And so I choose to believe that the Big Bang was a purposeful and not a random event. Furthermore, I choose to label all of whatever scientifically unobservable existence there may be outside of our spacetime with the name Spirit.

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