Resurrection, Holy Grail and Dark Matter

Let me ask you a hypothetical question. What would you first type into time machine if you had one? Would it be some date in the past or in distant future? Would you go to meet neandertals or perhaps to take a photo of a T-Rex family from the distance? Or perhaps you'd go to see some historically relevant times or to meet famous people from the past? Well, there is no doubt for me - one of my first time travels would definitely be 33AD, April 1st. The time of Christ and his last days, the time of the last supper, his death and resurrection. I have no idea how would I be able to hide my Nikon and smartphone but I am sure I would find a way. Every tourist trip requires a camera, doesn't it? However there would be other challenges, and in this case, even if I would try to dress accordingly and mingled into crowd, understanding old Aramaic which was spoken by most of Jesus followers or old Hebrew, Latin or Greek used officially among Jewish people or within Roman administration and army would be pretty hard. But it would not be really impossible to understand what really happened with Jesus Christ in those couple of days even without knowledge of old languages.

The Last Supper by Fritz von Uhde*

Indeed, it would be one amazing trip, but in reality, building such time machine is pretty much impossible according to all we know about how our universe works. On the other hand we have one equally powerful tool we can use to explain different events and not just those placed in old history. The name of the tool is Occam's razor and basically it is one great principle in philosophy and science stating that the most simplest explanation of some event is usually the right one. Sure, it's not the real tool per se, but in many occasions and events it's the only one we got. Let's try it with 'Last Supper' - which table order is more simplest and more probable - the one coined by Leonardo da Vinci with Christ and all apostles sitting by just one side of the long table in a large chamber, almost like they were posing for some time tourist photo, or the more modest one in more modest room with all of them occupying entire smaller table, like in above Fritz von Uhde painting? There is no doubt that Occam's razor is winning this one big time and that Fritz is way more accurate with portraying this event. Simply put, Leonardo made it too complex to the point of being truly not real.

Should I dare to try Occam's razor with the resurrection as well? I guess it might go beyond pristine politeness, considering that one of the major worldwide religion was hugely based on that single event but still, if we test it on crucifixion and events after it, especially during Sabbath and within the tomb, bribing Roman guards, if there were any, and stealing the body looks like the most simplest explanation of the entire event. Adding divine element along with the fact that genuine Jewish beliefs went without single disturbance by entire occurrence is what seems to be way too complex explanation.

The Resurrection Maker, King Arthur and Sagrada Familia

But to be completely fair, Occam's razor allows complex explanation to be the right one too, but only when it's describing the event and all of its aspects better than the simple one. I am not sure if this is the case here but if you think that divine explanation is the only complex one for the resurrection of Jesus, you will be very wrong. Yesterday I finished a novel called "The Resurrection Maker" by Glenn Cooper and believe it or not he pretty successfully tried to merge the divine with exotic science and the most mysterious property of the universe we know as dark matter. If you add to the plot an extraordinary history thriller with characters as big as King Arthur and Antoni Gaudi themselves then this is one bit of fictitious work that deserves not to be missed.

Basically, I intended for this post to be a book review of the sort but I also want to keep my reviews relatively free of spoilers and I found that if I continue with this one by entering into plot and twists it would be not entirely possible without thorough dive into dark matter and dark energy physics along with details from the novel, so ultimately I decided to write about it later this year, maybe in my next post. Regarding the book and especially because it is already presented by Glenn Cooper in his prologue and also relieved by the book's title and cover, I can tell you this much - the basic motive behind the story is about the idea that holy grail, or to be precise holy chalice, used by Jesus and his disciples during last supper, was made out of the exotic alloy, created in early stage of the universe out of ordinary and dark matter combined. The author speculates with superstring theories and one of its properties of multidimensionality and multiverse and with fictitious possibility to use this alloy in order to create a breach between our universe and the next one floating close to ours, within vast and probably infinite multiverse void. At this point of understanding the physics of dark matter or to better say of not understanding what it really is, the void in the knowledge is providing novelists this kind of freedom to use it to describe legends, myths and stories from ancient history and Glenn Cooper did the great job with this book. Not perfect I dare to say, especially in the realm of predictivity of the story and how the novel ends, but I fully get him why he created the ending like he did. If he dared to try to explain even more about how one resurrection maker really works it would take him into even more speculative writing and this could be too much for one science fiction thriller what this book in the end represents.

Alleged tomb of Jesus under the church of the Holy Sepulchre

One thing is for sure, if I get to the Occam's razor again and looked the resurrection explanation in this book, it is indeed one hack of the complex solution for this historical event. Honestly, if I would have to create alternative ending for "The Resurrection Maker", I think I would definitely change how the portal works and perhaps create better explanation for why Jesus staid forty days on Earth after resurrection and before his final ascension to the heaven, or in this case another universe on the other side of the portal. Nevertheless and regardless of what I think of, it looks like there is no way to simplify the story to the point of being acceptable for the Occam's razor and it is definitely way too complex and walks on the edge of impossibility, to say the least. Which is completely opposite if we are talking about entertainment and educational aspect of the book and for both of them it deserves full five stars.

However and at the very end, I have to admit that even though the divine explanation as described in the Bible and all the gospels looks way too simpler than the one in the book, this might be only because we simply don't possess all the knowledge about our universe and maybe in the future when we learn more about the physics of the dark matter within the realm of multiverse and extra dimensions, what is simple and what is complex could be turned upside down and not just in this case.

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