Hello Don and Madhudvisa dasa I read the post "When the Universe was Dark" dated 24 May 02:00gmt. It is very unusual to find such high quality arguments put forward by a religious person and I enjoyed the discussion. Rather than complicate the responses in the usenet groups I am sending this by email, but feel free to reply by email or include it in your usenet discussion. The earlier part of the discussion was not seen by me. This same message is being posted to both Donl (sorry that is as much of your name as I have) and Madhudvisa dasa . In discussing the big bang and evolution, my view is that the big bang is not consistent with very many observations and is therefore not to be taken as anything like scientific fact, while evolution is very firmly established as at least a major factor in the behaviour of living things. Of the idea that the universe is fractal and therefore there should be little bangs also... Yes, it is true that the universe is to a large extent fractal but not perfectly so. The degree to which this is true goes beyond anything in accepted knowledge. I have found that there are processes which cause extremely similar repetitions on scales which differ by a ratio of 34560 to 1. This ratio is found to correctly predict the relative spatial seperations of the sequence... universe, galaxy, star, giant planet, moon, x, y, z, atom, baryon. The scales labelled x, y, z are less obvious in their appearance but do seem to have some discreteness. eg z is a scale of about a micron which is the typical scale of cells and certain other lesser known phenomena. There is also some similarity on certain other scale ratios, such as 12 to 1 and 2880 to 1 but not enough to fool anyone. There are also differences at all of the above scales. It is likely that even greater similarities exist at scale differences of the order of 10^40, but we cannot observe these. I have done much research in this area and made many successful predictions which cannot be explained by existing "accepted" theories such as the big bang. More information is available by email. One of the things about fractal similarities at different scales is the question of how different aspects of the function change with scale. In the universe when the distance factor changes by the scale factor 34560, the time factor for oscillations changes by 37557.7 which is a slightly different amount due to the fact that the presence of more concentrated energy leads to space stretching slightly. However although most processes happen more rapidly at smaller scales, the process of creation does not. It happens at exactly the same rate, which is the Hubble rate. What do I mean by this?... By creation I mean that every scale in the universe that I mentioned above causes the creation of the next smaller scale (although all larger scales influence it). eg stars form as a subprocess of galaxies etc, so that atoms form baryons. I am unsure whether there are at present much smaller scales than the baryon. This may be the level at which creation is occurring in our part of the universe. Anyway, although I do not believe in the big bang theory, there is a partial sense in which it is true. In the same sense it is true that creation continues on all scales within the universe, but at a very slow rate (the Hubble rate) of 10^-18 per second roughly. I have arrived at this idea that creation still continues on many scales myself, and note that Fred Hoyle has arrived at a similar idea, probably from very different methods. Therefore, I suggest, little bangs do occur, but extremely slowly. While I do not believe that there is inherently anything about life which does not obey the laws of physics I do accept that this in an act of faith. Certainly, presently accepted physics does not, and I would maintain cannot, explain how life works. This is a shortcoming of present physics rather than the scientific method. It must be accepted that life is extremely complex in its variety of structure and even if a very simple law (which I believe does exist) is behind everything, the calculations can still be exceeding difficult and therefore may be beyond our reach for a very long time to come. So far I have managed to avoid the metaphysics side of your discussion. Maybe I should have kept it that way, but here goes anyway... On science vs absolute science there is a sense in which I wish to agree with you both. We cannot build any structure of belief without a foundation or axioms. Water is wet would be axiomatic in the sense of being part of the definition of wet. The best science is that which contains the fewest axioms and ones which just feel right. They do become articles of faith. Euclid showed the structure very clearly. You may argue that Euclid is maths not science, but for the greeks I believe that Euclid was intended to be applied to the "real world" just as Einstein's relativity is intended to be. Einstein also was fairly clear on his axioms, but they are not quite as absolute in that many people want to ask "why is the speed of light constant in all reference frames?" Other areas of physics such as quantum physics are much more messy with their axioms and as a result suffer from problems of interpretation. Having said all that, history shows that beliefs held as acts of faith will almost always come to be seen as silly later on. This applies to science and religion. In my view science is just a religion (or several of them if you like). It is the nearest one to my own beliefs. Therefore, although we must have foundations to our beliefs, which we may call faith or "absolutes", there will from time to time be some question about these. If well chosen, then the times will be far apart, but this only makes the change more difficult. There has been much written about paradigms in science recently, and I agree that a paradigm shift is imminent. Interesting times. The same goes for religion in my view. You can say that Krishna said something and so it doesn't have to be checked or tested, but how do you know that he did, or that you should listen to Krishna rather than one of thousands of other religious leaders? Is the test of the pudding in the eating? Is it inconceivable that at some future time the teachings of Krishna may prove inadequate? What if someone else claims to be the Supreme Personality of Godhead; do you listen to them? There are many others who do claim this. Surely you must accept that you are in the same boat as the scientist in always being wise to consider that you may have made a mistake? Best wishes Ray Tomes Thank you. Hare Krishna! Madhudvisa dasa (email@example.com) /sudarsana All glories to His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada!