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Author Topic: God is the new science?  (Read 6294 times)

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Online InkiduTopic starter

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #25 on: August 21, 2008, 07:04:25 AM »
Hmm.   Not nessecarily, Inkedu.  If I take a rubber band, and start stretching it in an open field... if the rubber band reaches it's breaking point, and snaps back, it's not because of the size of the field.  It's because the forces within the rubber band reached the point at which they snap back.

In the 'big bang' example, galaxies are moving against the force of gravity.  If gravity overcomes their inertia, which, in theory, it eventually should?  We'd get a big crunch.  Eventually.


What I'm saying here is, space might be finite, or infinite.  We can't measure infinity... soon as you do, it's finite.  But, the expansion/contraction of the universe (defined by the matter/energy in it) and the size of all of existence are mutually exclusive things.

Wouldn't that expansion contraction imply that it's finite? It means it has an end to how for it goes out? Something going on for infinity doesn't repeat. Look at the Pi sequence.

Offline Kalen

Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #26 on: August 21, 2008, 07:06:17 AM »
Just because you can't swim all the way across the Atlantic Ocean doesn't mean that the rest of it isn't there.  You're mixing up the concept of infinite space with the concept of expansion/contraction.

Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #27 on: August 21, 2008, 10:29:52 AM »
Just because I can't KNOW infinity because I have a begining and an end does not mean I do not UNDERSTAND it, FATHOM it, or CONTEMPLATE it. 

If you want to argue that God exists you're doing a really pissy job.  You should have taken my advice.  I may not be Christian but I do know what I'm talking about.  Look into philosophy and see what the great philosophers had to say about God and proving his existance.  You'd be wise to shut your mouth and listen. 

Online InkiduTopic starter

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #28 on: August 21, 2008, 10:36:11 AM »
You cannot fathom infinity. Hell I bet you think space is black.
I'm not even going to discuss philosophy, because that's not what I set out to discuss. I said I was trying to put a scientific theory to it. I'm not trying to prove God exists. That's still the realm of faith. I'm theorizing where God exists. Not how, or why.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2008, 10:41:47 AM by Inkedu »

Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #29 on: August 21, 2008, 10:39:23 AM »
You cannot fathom infinity. Hell I bet you think space is black.

Look, I do have an education!  I got out of school with honors and I'm almost done with my Associates on the deans list.  I am intelligent, I do know my basics and much more.  I don't think that space is black.  And that statement was over the line, FAR over it!  Space being black has nothing to do with infinity.  AND you can't possibly know what I can fathom and cannot fathom.  Infinity doesn't blow my mind as it seems to blow yours.  And now before I rip you to pieces I'm going to report this to a moderator!

Offline Bliss

Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #30 on: August 21, 2008, 10:45:30 AM »
I have locked this topic until the participants have had time to cool down and return to discussin the issue of it, rather than assumptions, opinions, and threats.

Our number one rule here is Be Civil. Know it. Love it. DO IT.

-Bliss

Offline Vekseid

Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2008, 10:59:32 AM »
Actually, I have to refute that, bub.  Today, you call it electostatic repulsion, and believe in gravity, atoms, and such.  Not that long ago, the earth was the center of the universe, the body was ruled by the humors, and oh yes, the earth was flat.

And could you blame people with such limited observational skills or tools?

Man first thought the Earth was flat. It's a reasonable enough observation - the horizon is three miles away and atmosphere bends light - on uneven terrain it becomes an impossibility to eyeball - hell even the oceans do not perfectly hug the Earth.

But then - even with their limited instrumentation, the Greeks figured the Earth to be a sphere over two thousand years ago.

Of course, they were 'wrong' too. Are you saying that the Greeks were just as wrong as the flat-Earthers?

In the 19th century, it was found that the Earth was actually an oblate spheroid - the Earth has a greater equatorial diameter than its polar diameter.

Of course, the people who discovered this were wrong as well. Are you saying they are just as wrong as the Greeks?  For crying out loud, it's still taught as an oblate spheroid because, frankly, the term geoid has some pretty damned specific uses.

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How do you KNOW that Einstein is right?

The same way that I know Galileo and Newton are both still correct. Aristotelian physics could be likened to the flat Earth, and Newtonian physics the sphere. Einstein's Relativity would be the oblate spheroid.

You see, the thing is, a new scientific theory has to explain previously observed phenomenon. That's why we teach Newtonian mechanics in high school and Freshman and Sophomore physics courses - outside of extreme situations, it still applies.

Of course, relativity is a whole hell of a lot more useful than knowing the Earth is an oblate spheroid. It forms a core of our modern understanding of magnetics, and must be taken into account in modern computers and networks.

Hell. Your very own poster child here had his own theory named after the point I'm trying to get across. That is to say, the first postulate of relativity declares that Newtonian mechanics hold in all inertial reference frames.

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How do you know that some hotshot twenty years from now, some future Galileo or Darwin won't turn everything on it's ear, and prove all of accepted science wrong... again?

When was the first time?

Galileo turned the accepted understanding of the world - Aristotle's declarations - on its head, at least in Europe, but what Aristotle did was not the scientific method. Quite the opposite, even.

What Einstein did was formulate a theory that had been simmering for some time, after repeated failures to find the ether, etc. His work was not done in a vacuum, and a great deal of observation and math was worked out to get him to create his theory.

And any successive theory must likewise encapsulate the results that have shown relativity to be so robust so far.  And, just as relativity is taught at a higher level than Newtonian physics, so would this new theory end up being higher level - thousands of math and physics doctorates are not really breaking much ground. If Einstein is wrong, it is at such extreme levels of observation that we will likely have to create the necessary energy densities to prove it ourselves, rather than watch particles bouncing off of distant black holes or from distant supernovas.

That requires energy levels some six orders of magnitude greater than CERN. Not happening any time soon.

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Faith.

I try to make it a point to understand everything I claim to know. I'm human, of course, and make mistakes, and of course this does not apply to most sorts of social interactions, but it works well enough that, if someone wants me to explain a pretty oddball piece of science, I can usually give it a good shot.

And that understanding, at every level, is potentially useful. This is the key - science saves lives, produces energy, supports billions.

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You have faith in science.  Hell, so do I.  I buy what they're selling, I totally drink that koolaid.

"They"?

The only requirement to be a scientist is that you use the scientific method.

That's it.

Nothing else.

You don't need any education at all.

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But I also accept that in the future, what we hold as fact now might be laughed at by future generations.

There are studies that pass themselves off as science that may certainly earn some chuckles - String Theory is not science, for example, and certainly, people who outright declare that Relativity is the be-all-end-all might get some chuckles, too. But we laugh at Aristotle, and not Newton or Galileo. We mostly wonder how it took Europe so damned long, really...

The holes that a new theory supplanting Relativity need to fill are either incredibly tiny, or occur under seriously extreme conditions.

Although I do like to entertain "The Road Less Traveled" by Turtledove. Certainly an amusing read, but it really is a bit silly.

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I just have faith that what we believe now is the best knowledge we have, it makes sense, and it's true.

So, I'm not 'crowing about faith'.  No matter what or who I believe, it's still a matter of BELIEVING it.  The fact that you believe in science (and I'm on the same page as you, here) means you have faith in what we currently believe.

My statement doesn't change. -Not- having that sort of faith is absolutely useless. You can't live like that, at least, not while remaining sane. This 'faith' demonstrably allows six and a half billion people to affect the world in ways that they otherwise would not be capable of, whether they know it or not.

Religious faith has no such claim.



And bleh. Posting this now 'cause I don't want to lose it >_>

Offline Vekseid

Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2008, 04:43:39 PM »
Overlord's right. We understand it as an idea. We don't understand it as a part of existence. When push comes to shove we need workable numbers. Sure we say the universe goes on forever. Yet some scientists are saying it's like a rubber band and going to snap back. That theory implies that the universe is finite.

Infinity is not a number. You can pipe Graham's number into the Ackerman function and get a ridiculously unworkable number, but -that- is still a number. Infinity is not.

The Universe is often described as finite but unbounded, but, as far as we can measure, it appears to be flat - at least to measurement error. Which does indeed imply an infinite Universe. A lot of astronomers and mathematicians are trying to model various insane geometries so that the Universe would be finite but unbounded again, but so far they've not had much luck.

Granted, we can only perceive our local Hubble sphere, so the strength of our assumptions is limited accordingly.

The very definition of the universe is one uni meaning one. Now a universe holds all that will be, ever has been, and is. In one form or another. Where are they keeping the the other universes. Because if its in this one it kills your point.

... Read what you just said again until you realize what you are saying, then read what I said again until you realize what I am saying.

I don't expect you to understand, much less believe in brane cosmology, I don't have a firm grasp of them either. But on a site like this you should be familiar with the concept of additional dimensions beyond the commonly accepted four, I would think.

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Are you talking about the first day when God separated the light from the dark then on the fourth day created the moon and stars.

God created the -sun- on the fourth day, after the Earth. And yet day and night happen before then anyway.

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Simple Big bang. Now most Big Bangs make a big light.

We're only really aware of one Big Bang, as far as I know. Care to point me to another?

The Big Bang is not an explosion as you are familiar with it. It's still occurring, we are still a part of it.

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Light from dark. Then all the matter released would have formed the firmament and stars.

There was light. Whether or not there was dark is a more difficult question.

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Why would the Bible explain it like that? It's trying to explain the universe to a bunch of people enamored with the wheel. It's spoon feeding primitive man. It goes back to the humans can't comprehend infinity. If we still can't today. They couldn't back then.

Did you even bother reading my post?

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As far as I know.
Bombs still need a fuse lit a button pressed.

Even dynamite left in humid or hot conditions will sweat glycerin and become unstable to vibration, but its still an outside force. I've never seen any bomb go of on its own.

We call such situations (where a bomb goes off on its own) instability. A more appropriate example would be the Oslo nuclear reactor, but I didn't think you'd make the connection. Of course, for all practical purposes, the Sun's core is just one great big self-starting bomb.

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Even starts only go supernova because of the outside, unyielding force of time.

Time is not a force, time is a dimension.

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And everyone agrees time didn't start till after the start of existence.

Read that sentence again until you see your error, please.

And, no. Like I mentioned earlier, cosmologists are beginning to formulate testable hypothesis about 'before' the Big Bang.

Time might not exist in the same manner in such a scenario, it might map differently to our own time - as I mentioned, we could just be a part of a white hole and are thus experiencing proper time backwards, but it is not necessarily impossible to construct a timeline outside of the Big Bang.  It's not necessarily very useful, but, who knows?

Online InkiduTopic starter

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2008, 05:20:36 PM »
I said it was just a theory. Its still fallible. Theories are proved wrong all the time. If I'd known I was going to get torn a new one I wouldn't have posted it. Sorry to have wasted everyone's time.

Offline Vekseid

Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2008, 05:56:16 PM »
There is nothing wrong with challenging your assumptions, or putting them out to be challenged.

Offline CassandraNova

Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #35 on: August 21, 2008, 06:01:54 PM »
"Just a theory?"  In the domain of science, a thoery is defined as a workable model, tested by observation and experimenation, that explains some part of how the world works.  There is no higher praise to lavish on a scientific principle than to call it a theory. Germ theory, theory of gravity, theory of gravity....these are things that are so well-supported as to be at the corner of our understanding of that sliver of reality we are fortunate enough to inhabit.

Offline Trieste

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #36 on: August 21, 2008, 06:09:27 PM »
Though ... theories range from the very well-tested to the very contested. It is high praise, but theories are not laws.

Inertia, gravity ... evolution, the Big Bang. Pangea... upwellings of sulphur versus impact with extraterrestrial debris, and Cambrian explosions... Theories make sense with the information we have, but we can't prove them, and unearthing just one other piece of the puzzle could render them as obsolete as balancing humours as medicinal therapy.

Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2008, 06:12:46 PM »
Though ... theories range from the very well-tested to the very contested. It is high praise, but theories are not laws.

Inertia, gravity ... evolution, the Big Bang. Pangea... upwellings of sulphur versus impact with extraterrestrial debris, and Cambrian explosions... Theories make sense with the information we have, but we can't prove them, and unearthing just one other piece of the puzzle could render them as obsolete as balancing humours as medicinal therapy.

I thought you could prove or disprove most theories with the scientific method?  My science is rusty so I am very not sure of this.  ;D

Offline CassandraNova

Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2008, 06:16:04 PM »
I thought you could prove or disprove most theories with the scientific method?  My science is rusty so I am very not sure of this.  ;D

True, as far as it goes.  However, by the time most of the scientific community has accepted a theory as consensus, it has such a mountain of evidence behind it that to falsify it would require more evidence than I'm even comfortable imagining.  It wouldn't be the act of a single discovery or experiment.

For example, finding a horse skeleton in the Cambian strata would not by itself overturn all of the fossil evidence in support of evolution; but finding hundreds of vertebrae remains scattered throughout without regard for the sequential arrangement of fossil distribution is something else entirely.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2008, 06:17:56 PM »
I've been told you can never actually prove anything, you can only disprove a current model / hypothisis / what have you. You compare your observations and data to how your model says it should work. If it does, your model is still good. If it doesn't, then maybe you're on the verve of uncovering a little bit more of how the universe works.

My knowledge of such things is laymans at best, mind you.

Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2008, 06:20:09 PM »
True, as far as it goes.  However, by the time most of the scientific community has accepted a theory as consensus, it has such a mountain of evidence behind it that to falsify it would require more evidence than I'm even comfortable imagining.  It wouldn't be the act of a single discovery or experiment.

For example, finding a horse skeleton in the Cambian strata would not by itself overturn all of the fossil evidence in support of evolution; but finding hundreds of vertebrae remains scattered throughout without regard for the sequential arrangement of fossil distribution is something else entirely.

So once the scientific method finally proves something true as it stands and the scientific community accepts it, it just takes too much effort to prove it wrong?  I think I need sleep because I'm having trouble grasping this right now.  *laughs*

Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2008, 06:21:42 PM »
I've been told you can never actually prove anything, you can only disprove a current model / hypothisis / what have you. You compare your observations and data to how your model says it should work. If it does, your model is still good. If it doesn't, then maybe you're on the verve of uncovering a little bit more of how the universe works.

My knowledge of such things is laymans at best, mind you.

That makes a lot of sence and I think I've heard something like that before now that I think about it.

Offline Vekseid

Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2008, 06:29:20 PM »
"Just a theory?"  In the domain of science, a thoery is defined as a workable model, tested by observation and experimenation, that explains some part of how the world works.  There is no higher praise to lavish on a scientific principle than to call it a theory. Germ theory, theory of gravity, theory of gravity....these are things that are so well-supported as to be at the corner of our understanding of that sliver of reality we are fortunate enough to inhabit.

I think Inkedu was referring to his own hypothesis. It wasn't even a theory by that definition, but still.

I thought you could prove or disprove most theories with the scientific method?  My science is rusty so I am very not sure of this.  ;D

A quote - I believe from Einstein - is that Mother Nature never says 'yes'. Only 'no' or 'maybe', and if you ask her 'is it -not- this?' she will smile and say 'nice try'.

What that means, though, is that although you can 'disprove' relativity or quantum mechanics, whatever mechanism you replace it with must accommodate all of those previous 'no' answers accordingly, as relativity did with Newtonian mechanics. Now, the thing is, that's a lot of 'no' and 'maybe' answers that need accommodating. "This breaks Relativity!" does not mean that everything we know is wrong. It means that what we had understood to be probably true was in error, under situations that we were not yet capable of observing reliably.

A lot of particle physicists, for example, think that CERN will open up new physics for exactly that sort of reason. It does not mean that Quantum Mechanics and the standard model are thus useless and all of our computers - who function because of our understanding of QM - magically stop working.

Offline ShrowdedPoet

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2008, 06:32:40 PM »
I think Inkedu was referring to his own hypothesis. It wasn't even a theory by that definition, but still.

A quote - I believe from Einstein - is that Mother Nature never says 'yes'. Only 'no' or 'maybe', and if you ask her 'is it -not- this?' she will smile and say 'nice try'.

What that means, though, is that although you can 'disprove' relativity or quantum mechanics, whatever mechanism you replace it with must accommodate all of those previous 'no' answers accordingly, as relativity did with Newtonian mechanics. Now, the thing is, that's a lot of 'no' and 'maybe' answers that need accommodating. "This breaks Relativity!" does not mean that everything we know is wrong. It means that what we had understood to be probably true was in error, under situations that we were not yet capable of observing reliably.

A lot of particle physicists, for example, think that CERN will open up new physics for exactly that sort of reason. It does not mean that Quantum Mechanics and the standard model are thus useless and all of our computers - who function because of our understanding of QM - magically stop working.

Makes sence now!  *eyes Veks suspiciously*  You sound like my philosophy/physics/physical science/algebra/anything else that fits in this field teacher!  Mr. Maloney, what are you doing on E?

Offline Trieste

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #44 on: August 21, 2008, 07:23:40 PM »
I thought you could prove or disprove most theories with the scientific method?  My science is rusty so I am very not sure of this.  ;D

*points to what Veks said* The short version is pretty much that the scientific method is what we use to try like hell to disprove something. if it has been not-disproved over and over and over and over again using the scientific method, then it becomes accepted as shaky might be fact.

The scientific method itself is just the accepted recipe for how to go about things, to make it easier to record and track experiments + observations + results, and to report them. It's there pretty specifically to make reproduction easier - so that someone else can say "I see what you did there" and then go do it, too. We've refined it over the years so that it's pretty difficult for a false result to make it through one or two repetitions of an experiment.

This is also one of the reasons that 'peer-reviewed' journals are considered more solid sources for dissertations and research papers. Because other professionals have gone through and said "Okay, you did it right" or "ur doin it rong NO PUBLISH FOR YOU" ... except not in lolcats speak. Why am I talking like a lolcat? Probably to outweigh the scientificity.

o hai, I fixed ur question

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #45 on: August 21, 2008, 07:58:25 PM »
I'm in ur studiez, disproving ur theories  ;D

Offline The Overlord

Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2008, 11:41:17 PM »
Overlord's right. We understand it as an idea. We don't understand it as a part of existence. When push comes to shove we need workable numbers.

That's pretty much what I was aiming at with my original statement. We understand what infinity means or implies, but it's forever outside our frame of reference. I can contemplate what existence would be like for one of those little weird jellyfish things that swims in the deepest regions of the sea, not even knowing what light is unless someone's deep-sea probe scuttles past with floodlights glaring. Believing the entire universe is an endless wet expanse of perfect darkness. In the same way I can fathom it but not truly understand it.

Think of the standard-issue Christian model of heaven; disregard the clouds and harps and togas and all that culturally juvenile crap, I'm talking about sitting around somewhere forever and ever, amen., etc. We can apply numbers to it to give it a measure of understanding, but it's really an abstraction unless we can actually experience infinity for ourselves.

I realize this is somewhat outside the scope of the original intent in this thread, but I always come to this grey area when someone pretends to claim to understand infinity. We understand the mathematical/conceptual model of infinity, but not the real deal, and I'll contest that with my final breath.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2008, 11:44:45 PM by The Overlord »

Online InkiduTopic starter

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Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #47 on: August 25, 2008, 07:15:20 AM »
That was the point I was trying to make about space being black to human vision. It's not. It's clear, the distance is so great that the human brain cannot even really see it.

Offline The Overlord

Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #48 on: August 25, 2008, 09:25:55 AM »
Well, the way it was put once by an astronomer, if the universe were infinite we'd know for sure, because in a universe with truly no limits, every single possible direction you could look would eventually intersect with a star. In that case the entirety of the sky would be as bright as a star and thus beyond blinding to behold (not to mention scarier than hell).

Space is mostly clear, but this is considering the blackness of space as a color. Itís not a color, space is black for the same reason as a cave is black; it's not that color it's just a nearly complete absence of light. Stars shed their light a long way, but open space between them is impossibly vast as well.

Being as all our observations say the universe is finite, and the greater distance we look is further back in time, it's reasonable to say the black 'backdrop' we see no matter where we look is really a point in time when the universe was not lit at all.

Distance really isn't a factor at all, it's that our eyes just plain suck as Earth creatures go for light gathering. Our instruments show that parts of the cosmos are more lit than we can see at night, but a lot is still 'black'.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2008, 09:27:59 AM by The Overlord »

Offline Vekseid

Re: God is the new science?
« Reply #49 on: August 25, 2008, 11:08:04 AM »
Well, the way it was put once by an astronomer, if the universe were infinite we'd know for sure, because in a universe with truly no limits, every single possible direction you could look would eventually intersect with a star. In that case the entirety of the sky would be as bright as a star and thus beyond blinding to behold (not to mention scarier than hell).

No, actually, the blackness of space is caused by the expansion of space, almost entirely. The Universe can still be infinite - the Universe appears to be flat to measurement error and there are no discernible geodesics with current measurement technology. This creates a lot of mathematical acrobatics to try to explain the Universe as being something other than OMFGHUGE at the very least.  Huge as in, the ~150 billion light-year diameter stretch we are aware of is only a tiny fraction of the full size.

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Being as all our observations say the universe is finite, and the greater distance we look is further back in time, it's reasonable to say the black 'backdrop' we see no matter where we look is really a point in time when the universe was not lit at all.

On the contrary, the CMB is the afterglow - specifically, the point of deionization about 300,000 years after the Big Bang when all of the hydrogen and helium molecules had cooled enough in order to permit the passage of light. The expansion of space has caused that originally rather intense (basically, one neverending star) wavelength to stretch out into the pathetic 2.7 Kelvin we know today.