Einstein’s Estimation of the Age of the Universe

According to Einstein, when objects approach very near the speed of light (one of the boundary conditions of the universe) the passage of time will slow, among other bizarre effects.

The universally accepted theory (proven by atomic clocks) is that if you had two identical twins, and one climbed into a very fast space ship and left earth at near the speed of light on a circular journey around some distant star and back, that the twin that left earth would return as just a few years older, while his brother could be many years older.

A Thought Experiment:

Two twins heard this and built a space ship to test Einstein’s theory. When one of the twins returned from space ten years later, they indeed found that he had aged relatively less, almost not at all. The clock on the ship said only one year had passed while it was 10 years that passed for the twin on earth, during the same time.

The Twims went to Einstein to show him that his theory was indeed true, and ask for more of an explanation. As you can imagine, if this story were true, Einstein would be thrilled and would gladly accept them as honored guests.

As a thought experiment, hypothetically, after some discussion, the twins were satisfied and began to leave, when they turned in unison to Einstein and asked, “How old is the universe?”

To which Einstein replied, “_____________” ???

If both twins were born in the same universe, and now one was 9 years older because of the effects of relativity… Then the universe would be a different age for each twin, therefor, each twin must exist in an independent universe.

If we existed in a single objective universe we would find the universe had a definable, measurable independent reference frame. Only observers can have reference frame relative to another observation point.

All of our science points away from an objective universe existing before an observer existed to experience it. In fact as the Heisenberg uncertainty principle proves, we cannot observe an experiment (or life) without altering the experiment, and without any observation we cannot make any useful conclusions at all!

In quantum physics, the dual slit experiment (great video) showed, surprisingly, that the laws of physics for a particular reference frame could be altered by a choice of observation. When one asks before firing up the electron beam emitter, “Do the laws of physics allow a single electron particle to bend or change trajectory through a diffraction grating?” is an unanswerable question until we know whether the scientist will turn on the detector or not… While this is in a very small size domain, the results are macroscopic.

The popular scientific culture has forgotten, or not known, the significance of the dual slit experiment. Many look to science, and scientific experimentation, as a new god to answer everything and be worshipped, yet peer-reviewed duplicated post-wave-equation-collapse experimentation is the foundation of all modern science. What good is this modern scientific–or “New Athiest”–philosophy if it only ever predicts that the dual slit experiment only forms a double line and that an interference pattern doesn’t happen when it does?! As soon as one leaves the laboratory conditions of forced wave equation collapse–99.9% of our lives–the laws of physics are much different, and past and future electrons can interfere with each other, or an electron can be in many places at once interfering with itself! This is the real independent objective universe we live in–independent in that it is yours personally.

How is it again? that this non-existent artificially labelled and constructed bi- bang-universe that most call “reality” or “the universe”–that is completely different in all time and space for all observers… created the earth and life and humans? Given that it is also one of pur most trusted and verified theories that states it is impossible to create energy or destroy energy in the universe, and that energy can only be transformed, it is far more plausible that consciousness of some kind created the universe. Furthermore, our own consciousness creates our own universe as we experience it day to day–scientifically.

UPDATE: As I continue to think of this scenario, a few other interesting thought experiments can be made as a result: What if Einstein replied, to the question of how old is the universe for the twins that are now different ages, with a question to each twin? “Where were each of you five years ago today?”

Of course, one twin was on the space ship and one was building the spaceship–with the other twin that answered that he was on the spaceship at that very same time!

To Einstein, it may appear that one twin was indeed two places at once, and as far as observation is concerned there is no conflict unless Einstein observes the duplicate twin, which he did not, so he could claim that a person can legitimately be in two places at once. As long as they don’t “scientifically” observe such a thing, lending support to the notion that philosophy is a higher knowledge than science, Idealism is superior to Realism, and that reasoned observation should not be limited to post-wave-equation-collapse experimentation.

Thought experiment #3

Before the twins leave, Einstein asks them to look into his radio telescope.

The twin that went to space looked into the telescope and saw 13.75 billion year old cosmic background radiation. The twin that stayed on earth looked into the same telescope and saw 13.750000009 billion year old cosmic background radiation.

Einstein then showed them how to both look at the same image at the same time. The twin that stayed on earth says, “Look! That temperature variation looks like Elvis!” the twin that went to space won’t see the image of Elvis for 9 more years even though he is looking through the same lens, he looks at a different universe.

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7 responses to “Einstein’s Estimation of the Age of the Universe

  1. Very interesting post. I for one believe that modern ‘scientism,’ as Kant might have called it, has a fixed vision of a universe that is in no way fixed.

    My question for you is do you think what you have said constitutes an argument is support of philosophical idealism?

  2. TheQuantumBuddha

    I do, though I try to shy away from too many labels as they obscure as much as they reveal. The post has been updated since you posted with a further thought experiment coming out of the first.

  3. Yes, very interesting point. The label of “idealism” is, I agree, not that important. More important is surely the fact that science is not revealing the “truth” the way the vast majority of people imagine it is.

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