Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Cosmology of an Open Universe and Isaiah 51

Just a quick Torah and Science parallel:

According to most cosmologists today, our Universe is an "open" Universe, meaning that it will never collapse back in on itself, and instead will expand forever.

This leads to what is called the "heat death" scenario for the Universe.

Basically, since everything loses energy in the form of heat, especially when two things interact, then the Universe will eventually be a huge cold blob of heat, with everything we see now either in a dissipated blob of energy or chunks of cold objects (such as black holes, rocks, and perhaps dark matter if it exists).

In the Midrash Rabbah on Megilas Ruth, it is stated:

"The heavens are destined to disintegrate, as it is said (in Isaiah 51:6):
For the Heavens will dissipate like smoke and the Earth will wear out like a garment."

Now, this cannot be talking about the spiritual Heavens, because those are eternal, therefore it seems to be talking about the physical Heavens, i.e, the Universe.

Smoke is produced by fire, a source of heat, and is dissipated in the air by spreading out indefinitely. This would be analogous to the stars energy, and light, and all hot processes in the universe slowly fading over eons until they are completely dissipated.

Earth wearing out like a garment could be analogous to the planet Earth after being cooled to the point that it becomes a super cold rock. A worn out garment still is mostly the same material, but diminished in its use to the point of uselessness. Earth without any of its internal heat, or energy from a star would be analogous to that, and be a "worn out garment".

So we see that if the Universe truly is an open Universe, as current Cosmology says, then we see a parallel to this idea in Torah.

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