Philosophy For All London Message Board › The bunniverse
There are lots of creation myths; traditionally the most popular have been those involving supernatural beings that either sprang from some primordial stuff or made everything themselves out of nothing. Of the ones that don't invoke gods some predicate an improbable confluence of unlikely events that went bang; or a set of eternal circumstances that came together because it was bound to happen sometime in forever. There is also the possibility raised by Bertrand Russell that the universe began five minutes beforehand complete with his memories and holey socks.
Whether it’s gods or coincidence there is an appeal to something that we cannot possibly prove; the gods refuse to participate in mortal experiments and beyond the Big Bang is simply too far for us to see. Russell's claim is on the face of it a bit of a laugh, but if we wind back the clock, be it by 5 minutes or anything less than 13.7 billion years, when the size of the universe was theoretically nil, however much smaller than it is now the universe had some size and it had some structure. Either we can squeeze the universe into nothingness or we have to assume some state akin to the holey sock scenario, in which there were pre-existing conditions, you know, branes. Or something.
Squeezing the universe into nothingness raises one of the oldest problems of philosophy, a version of Zeno’s Paradox. At issue is size, some may beg to differ, but I am content to believe that having no size, for a physical entity, is the same thing as not existing. In order for the universe to spring into existence it needed to start with some size and if Zeno were here, I am sure he would ask, why not half that size, or half of half, or half of half of half? To which I would say; Zeno, you have been dead for two and a half thousand years, let it go. With the other options the challenge is to explain where the different components came from; either they were always there or they just happened to pop into existence in a way that caused them to become the universe. Frankly, I wouldn't rule anything out. On the other hand I wouldn't rule anything in unless I had to; I would heed the advice of William of Ockham and not multiply entities beyond necessity.
Of all the theories about how life, the universe and everything came to be, the least cluttered is that the universe popped into existence as a really, really dense pimple of all the stuff we are aware of and perhaps a whole bunch of who knows what else. So squeezing the universe into nothingness it is.
There was nothing, Hey presto, then there wasn't, just like pulling a bunny out of a hat. Having said I wouldn’t rule anything out, it would be a surprise if the universe was a bunny, on the other hand, what if it were lots of bunnies? Imagine bunnies pouring out of the hat in every direction. To make matters worse, every bunny is wearing a hat, out of which is pouring more bunnies, wearing more hats and so on; it’s an explosion of bunnies.
If the universe popped out of nothing as a single field-like thingummy-jig, about the only thing we could say for certain is that it has a staggering capacity for expansion. Immediately after it kicked off any speck of such a proto universe would be indistinguishable from the original single field-like thingummy-jig, it too would be a tiny field-like thingummy-jig with a staggering capacity for expansion, as would any speck of it, and any speck of that and so on.
That though is a hypothetical universe, back to the actual bunniverse.
A feature of bunnies is that they can only run at forty mph, which for convenience we will refer to as b. And since in the bunniverse everything is made of bunnies, nothing can go faster than b. Think of a hat with bunnies running out of it; if the hat is stationary the bunnies are evenly distributed, a bunny-field with wave after wave of bunnies all running at b, shoulder to shoulder at the hat, more widely spread the further from it. However, if the hat is moving, the distribution of bunnies is distorted. At walking pace it won’t make a lot of difference, there will be a bit of bunching in the direction the hat is moving, in the wake the bunnies will be slightly spread out. At higher speeds though it becomes an issue, because the bunnies can’t get out of the way quick enough and it takes more effort to squeeze them together, until at b the bunnies can’t escape the hat at all. There is no force in the whole bunniverse powerful enough to make this happen, the speed of bunnies is impossible for anything but bunnies.
As it happens, the speed of 40mph is coincidental, in the bunniverse even the miles are made of bunnies, defined as 5280 bunnies per mile, and it is simpler to think in terms of bunnies per second; so b, 40mph, corresponds to 60bps near enough. Having said that, a second is defined by 60 bunnies passing; the result is that neither time nor distance are absolute. For example, to a hat travelling at close to b, the bunnies ahead are stacked up; at 60bps an approaching bunny covers much less ‘absolute’ distance. Behind the hat the bunnies are stretched out and a bunny approaching at 60bps from this direction appears to cover much more ‘absolute’ distance. In either case, the ‘absolute’ time the bunnies take to arrive at the hat is much longer. To the hat it doesn’t make any difference; the bunnies arrive at 60 bunnies per second, a second is the time it takes 60 bunnies to arrive and a mile is 5280 bunnies nose to tail.
After the great bunny explosion, when bunnies were proliferating as only bunnies can, the bunny fields around the hats were gruesomely distorted by the colossal pressure of bunnies. As a result the hats are tumbling and turning chaotically, a bit like a variety pack of Catherine Wheels somebody threw a match into. At the head of a tumbling hats bunny field the bunnies are closer together and another hat passing through the field at 60bps will be drawn closer in absolute terms. If the two hat’s angular momentum caused by their tumbling is greater than the repulsive force of loads of bunnies they will settle into an orbit, creating a bunny particle. Since there are hats involved a bunny particle cannot travel at b. A virtual bunny particle, on the other hand, is a pulse of bunnies a bit like a sound wave, caused in much the same percussive way wherever lots of hats are clattering about. Most are little more than ripples, but a sufficiently forceful event will cause a bunny pulse with enough energy to penetrate the bunny field of bunny particles.
Warning: the bunniverse should not be confused with the buniverse, which is made entirely of buns.