Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning

This is a review and commentary on Natalie Wolchover’s June 6, 2019 Quanta Article “Physicists Debate Hawking’s Idea That the Universe Had No Beginning.” I recommend reading Natalie’s article in parallel with this one, because I will drop a few quotes (in italics) to show areas where I think Hartle-Hawking’s idea has some connection with the Neoclassical Physics and Quantum Gravity (𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚) model. By the way, Natalie is a top echelon author on the subject of physics!

In 1981, many of the world’s leading cosmologists gathered at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, a vestige of the coupled lineages of science and theology located in an elegant villa in the gardens of the Vatican. Stephen Hawking chose the august setting to present what he would later regard as his most important idea: a proposal about how the universe could have arisen from nothing.

Quanta Magazine, Natalie Wolchover, June 6, 2019.

The article goes on to explain Hawking’s idea that time had a beginning, and it was therefore nonsense to talk about time before that. The parallel to 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 is that time, as we know it, can only exist for matter-energy enveloped in spacetime æther. So, if we think about a high energy event involving Planck particles (in-core or plasma) there is no experience of time as we know it within the Planck phase, because it has reached the ultimate time dilation, i.e., the “singularity” as it was called in the GR-QM era.

Phase of Matter-EnergyThe Experience of Time
Planck particle, Planck Plasma, Planck photon all based on a particle with the Planck Energy.Time is not experienced in Planck phase. Planck phase is what Einstein called the singularity. It’s not mystical at all, it’s simply matter-energy so dense that it has no degrees of freedom, zero entropy, maximum order, no ability to participate in gravity one way or the other, no mass when bounded by other Planck particles. General relativity does not apply to Planck phase matter-energy.
High energy spacetime
æther, e.g., high gravity.
Time runs slow, per general relativity.

e.g. your battery has a high charge, your deadline is a long time from now, etc.
Low energy spacetime æther, e.g., low gravity.Time runs fast, per general relativity.

e.g. your battery has a low charge, your deadline is approaching fast, etc.
Zero energy,
Zero temperature
It seems from above that we are approaching the answer “time runs infinitely fast”. What would that mean? This is some pretty far out there physics.

I’ll put this line of thought in the queue on low priority. Something to think about in the future. Share your ideas in the comments, please.

The moment a standard matter particle (photon, neutrino, etc.) is created from the Planck plasma is the moment time begins for that particle. An external observer could witness the radiation from such a plasma emission, and therefore be aware that time was elapsing in their frame of reference as that emission continued, but a Planck particle itself experiences no time. You can imagine time ceasing as the ultimate time dilation of Einstein, that time actually stops at the the Planck phase (i.e., Einstein’s “singularity”). The plasma is at maximum entropy and no information can survive in the plasma, including information about time. Time begins for standard matter-energy, including spacetime æther, when standard matter particles are created from Planck plasma. In 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚, time is related to energy. Time is stopped at Planck energy, runs slow at high energy and fast at low energy.

Also, 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 makes use of an absolute mathematical time in conjunction with Euclidean 3D void space. So, external to the plasma there are multiple conceptions of time, but not within any such plasma. However, 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 does not have a single origin like the Big Bang. Instead 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 has many ongoing intermittent plasma emission events from active galactic nuclei (AGN) supermassive black holes (SMBH) and possibly other forms of high energy mergers and events where Planck temperatures are reached and plasma is emitted. So, unfortunately, Hawking’s hope that his idea could stop the “… and what comes before that?” question does not apply in 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚. As a side note, if it is possible for a Planck photon to escape the plasma, it would also experience no time, until which point it transferred any quanta of energy and fell below the Planck energy.

Hawking partnered with Hartle to create the ““no-boundary proposal” which…

…envisions the cosmos having the shape of a shuttlecock. Just as a shuttlecock has a diameter of zero at its bottommost point and gradually widens on the way up, the universe, according to the no-boundary proposal, smoothly expanded from a point of zero size.

In the 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 model, that point of zero size would correspond to the manifold surface of an exposed Planck core and any Planck plasma. This is where photons and other standard matter may emit from the Planck phase and form more standard matter in reactions. In the process of cooling, these reaction products locally inflate from the Planck scale by many orders of magnitude.

Now, here is a fascinating excerpt:

[Borrowing from Feynmans path integral approach], Hartle and Hawking expressed the wave function of the universe — which describes its likely states — as the sum of all possible ways that it might have smoothly expanded from a point. The hope was that the sum of all possible “expansion histories,” smooth-bottomed universes of all different shapes and sizes, would yield a wave function that gives a high probability to a huge, smooth, flat universe like ours.

That description fits well with 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 where smooth expansion of the universe may be the net long term outflow of æther through any closed manifold containing one or more objects or events emitting Planck plasma.


  • In the NPQG model there is no single Big Bang. Therefore the age of the universe must be considered unknown, until a new consensus theory may someday emerge on how and when the recycling universe began. I suspect that the age of our Universe may be boundable at best and never known to a high degree of accuracy.
  • Our universe is not expanding outwards from “the big bang”. Instead active galaxies drive the bang/inflation/expansion cycle in galaxy local processes. It may turn out that some regions expand and others contract. However, net expansion, or outflow of æther may correspond with net inflow of matter-energy over the long term if we are in a fluctuating, but steady-state universe.
  • If the æther is flowing regionally, and in general outwards, away from galaxies, then the aggregate outflow (“expansion”) of the universe may fluctuate. That means that in regions or in the universe as a whole, the balance of matter-energy vs. æther may fluctuate. They are both made from the same fundamental particles and they both carry energy, so this is a straightforward conclusion. It is also possible that a galaxies life cycle may include periods of recycling and periods of pause pause with no emissions/jets over large time scales.
  • The Hubble constant is the GR-QM era’s method of measuring Universe expansion. There is actually a discrepancy in measurement methods for the Hubble constant, which is under investigation by scientists. However, the Hubble constant may be a moot point, because inflation and net expansion or deflation are local phenomena.
  • The concept of redshift from both inflation and expansion needs to be revisited separately in the context of 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚. See

The key meta-level takeaway from this post is that GR-QM era scientists were thinking like a uniprocessor in the 1960-70 era of computers. They hadn’t even gotten to the stage of symmetric multi-processors (SMP) or parallel processing. Much less talk about single threaded synchronous software versus multi-threaded asynchronous threads and processes. Here is the deal: THE UNIVERSE IS PARALLEL AND MULTI-THREADED! The universe is self similar both in time and space if the universe is infinite. If our bubble is finite then there is some interesting variation at the cosmos surface and that is new science to be discovered.

All in all, this was a fascinating article in Quanta by Natalie Wolchover on the ideas related to time and the Big Bang. Even though the Big Bang is incorrect, we can still derive insight from the science as recast for 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚.

J Mark Morris : San Diego : California : June 11, 2019 : v1
J Mark Morris : San Diego : California : July 11, 2019 : v2


Religion Meet NPQG

I have always taken the position that I do not believe in mythical beings, including any conjured gods or supernatural spirits. This rules out the beliefs of religions. Furthermore, I think it is very clear that religions have spawned an incredible amount of toxic behavior throughout history and in the modern world from terrorism to sexual abuse of children – boys and girls, as well as women. It is all a horror. The perpetrators need to be prosecuted under the law, as well as being expelled from the church.

That said, individuals have a right to their beliefs. I only wish we could require all religions to advocate for reduced suffering and improved well being of all individuals, to decry hate speech and violence, and to update their texts to a modern interpretation and guidance.

My father attended religious seminary and had a career in the Protestant/Congregationalist churches including 15 years of ministry. After that he focused on psychotherapy practice and theory because his real aim was to help people. Interestingly, the closest either of us can imagine as a ‘god’ in a natural universe is some form of non-conscious emergent life-force-energy. I think that it may be possible to show that life-force-energy is an emergent process in NPQG. The drive to burn energy. Nothing is better at burning energy than life. See Earth’s environment for proof. The drive to burn energy may not provide much meaning, but it may provide an explanation.

So far I have provided a brief overview of my experience and thoughts with respect to religion. However, when it comes to science, even Neoclassical Physics and Quantum Gravity (𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚) has some curious issues where the behavior has not yet been explained via reverse engineering or science.

There are two unknown scientific possibilities that appeal to my senses of unnaturalness. First, the physics delayed choice experiment and entanglement in general is still a leap of faith I am counting upon, per the advice of Dr. Lee Smolin. 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 is in good position to explain this phenomena because it has myriad potential causal mechanisms to investigate and supposedly pilot wave theories provide a path forward. It appears to me that 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 has energy based memory along with memory for all other conserved dimensions and quantities. While that memory may not be readable without destroying it, clearly it can bounce and ring for many orders of magnitude. I am pondering energy based harmonic wave series that are storable within particles shells and transferable in quanta between particle shells, and implemented by wave functions.

Besides that bouncing, decaying energy, I am open to the idea that while all known particles are limited by local speed of light, c, they may be able to pass some signal at faster than local c. After all, 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 allows for superluminal velocity of Planck plasma that intermittently emits from supermassive black holes and possibly other objects and events. Perhaps there are other ways to achieve superluminality through the spacetime æther. Let’s keep an open mind, and not rule it out a priori.

Second, at this point, I think it is possible that we may be in a simulation, even if it is limited to setting initial conditions. If we are in a simulation, we, you and me, are just as real, and the intelligent operator, Opie, is real too, not mythical. Opie established the initial conditions and may perturb the system at arbitrary absolute times. Even so, we have free will at every conscious moment. See Simulation, What is Possible? for additional insight into this fascinating subject.

What I believe or think, will NOT be relevant to the religiously and mythically impressionable, nor those that exploit them. Yes, exploit. We can now be clear about what is happening in nature given 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚. However, that won’t stop the charlatan narcissists. and unfortunately 𝗡𝗣𝗤𝗚 is rich with science to spin mythical tales about. A unique Satan in every supermassive black hole! Ephemeral wraiths of hell in high energy collisions of neutron stars, black holes, and etc. And the jets, they must be tentacles of the demon!

My primitive imagination will pale in comparison to those who attempt to adapt or design religions and mysticisms for the new understanding of nature. We can hope that old religions will fade even faster and new religions will be unpopular. However, even if established religions motion to adapt, we should ask, as a matter of principle, that they update their existing texts to eliminate hate, violence, discrimination, and other human causes of suffering.

Let’s acknowledge a few more religious dualities. Besides the DOWN or IN into the depths of pressure and extreme temperature (hell), we also have the UP or OUT to the surface of the universe, if it is finite, that is (heaven).

The universe surface would correspond to the cold and ethereal, on the precipice of fading away or decaying. Energy death, resurrection, and rebirth from the faintest particulate ashes and energy into new matter-energy destined to begin the grand loop again. There are some people for which mythical/religious stories are helpful. As long as they are not causing suffering for other individuals, I am ok with that, although saddened for them because life can be so much better.

One of the hallmarks of Cultural Anthropology is that tribal history around the world includes creation myths.. This bleeds over into studies of human nature.  Given that tribes speak of origins in caves, kivas, or even a Mother Tree –  all show humans explaining their identities in terms of an Origin story. Microbiology showed the sperm and the egg which updated how babies originate. And GR-QM era physics has  provided a scientific answer in regard to origin of the universe via one time inflationary Big Bang and expansion.

Frank Morris

In NPQG there may be no origin story. The most parsimonious conception is that the Universe is infinite and that time in the past and future is infinite. Still even if you have an origin story, it is normal to ask well what caused the origin? What was the source of all that energy and matter? It seems more harmonious to me to say everything is infinite.  How would we ever know anyway?

When we consider the grand narratives of major religions with regards to god(s), demon(s), and life they all have dualities to matter-energy-æther recycling on galaxy and universe scales. It is ironic that in their denial of the mystical and religious, scientists missed an enormous clue.

J Mark Morris : San Diego : California : June 11, 2019 : v1
J Mark Morris : San Diego : California : July 11, 2019 : v2

Amazon links to several books authored by my father, Frank R. Morris.