Neutrinos at CERN travel faster than lightspeed, perhaps.

News of the (apparent) phenomenon of faster-than-light travel by neutrinos reported by CERN this month (Sept., 2011) comes while I’ve been thinking of the notion that the world is being drawn into the future by an attractive force, rather than being pushed from behind by cause-and-effect. The latter is the scientific position; the former is essentially a religious/metaphysical perspective. What the attracting force may be, is a mystery: call it love.

If it is true that neutrinos can travel faster than light, then our 400-year-old scientific worldview, constructed as it is on a foundation of cause leading to effect in a reliable and predictable way, is in doubt. It would be possible for effect to precede cause (because faster-than-lightspeed travel is travel backward in time), which would make nonsense of the entire construct. And that could only lend credibility to the alternative, much older, religious perspective, that there is telos and meaning and purpose in the unfolding of the universe, and that we are being drawn toward a destiny. It could be another Copernican moment.

“Unfolding” may be the apposite verb here, in that it does not necessarily imply a development along a linear time line. It may be that cause and effect coexist in some synergistic way. If that were the case, the future would not be pre-determined or “known” in some sense, as a place existing ahead of us along a linear time line. It would be where we always already are. And yet it would also be where we ought to be.