3.1 Cyclic Universe versus Linear Time Concepts 59
Nietzsche learned physics to support his metaphysical statement by phys-ical arguments. If the number of energy centers are ﬁnite, even in the inﬁnitetime and space, then the same conﬁguration should repeat again and again, hestated. While Nietzsche believed that his arguments were against the mech-anistic world view, I think Brush is right and Nietzsche’s eﬀort should beinterpreted as the qualitative anticipation of Poincar´e’s recurrence theorem.The preeminent Argentine writer Jorge Luis Borges (1899–1986) was fas-cinated by the notion of cyclic time:“I eternally return to the theory of Eter-nal Recurrence” . He was, however, well informed about the revolutionin mathematics, and explains how George Cantor’s set theory destroys thebasis of Nietzsche theorem. Cantor, Borges’s Cantor, states that the numberof points in the Universe are entirely inﬁnite, even as the number of pointsin a single meter, or in a fragment of meter. The eternal recurrence has onlya small probability and this probability tends to zero.
As it was mentioned earlier, the most attractive feature of cyclic universemodels is that they don’t have to explain the beginning. There is a recent ex-citement and debate among the leading cosmologists about the cyclic universeconcept suggested several years ago, as it will be discussed in Sect. 3.8.
3.1.2 Linear Time Concepts
Linear time concepts are based on the view that there is a beginning followedby some other events and there is an end. Past, present and future.Zarathustra from ancient Persia may have initiated the appearance of thelinear time concept in the Western thinking. Judaism declared linear timeconcepts and created
: events can be ordered in sequence,from the beginning
via the middle to the end. Christianity and Islam inheritedthis view.Our everyday perspective of time, i.e., remembering the past end expectingthe future is expressed in Fig. 3.2.Linear time concepts have been reﬂected in the notion of an
arrow of time
. Macroscopic physical processes are irreversible, and this irreversibilityis manifested by the
thermodynamic arrow of time
. Later in this chapter weshall discuss how the founders of the laws of thermodynamics, mostly Ludwig
In a much more mythological way, Mircea Eliade analyzed the concept of eternalrecurrence in terms of history of religion .
“In the beginning gods created the heaven and the earth” Genesis 1:1.