24 July 2007

Big Bang

I'm delighted at every indication that the "Big Bang" model of cosmology is still -- or again -- considered an open question among scientists.

I have a strong prejudice on philosophical grounds against any absolute origins. I can't see how matter could possibly have "begun" in any very strict sense, nor life.

In science, one doesn't get one's druthers, of course. I wouldn't think of demanding that scientists comply with my prejudice that the universe is everlasting (nor with a competing prejudice that it is 6,000 years old, nor with any other).

But one is entitled to a rooting interest where there's an open question. So openness is my cause.

And in a bookstore yesterday, I saw ENDLESS UNIVERSE by Paul J. Steinhardt & Neil Turok.

Steinhardt is a physics professor at Princeton. Turok is a mathematician at Cambridge University across the pond.

The title also the thesis. Ain't it cool?

Apparently, though their theory of how the universe could turn out to be endless references "strong theory," which I tend to distrust on Popperian grounds.

So I might have to choose between my prejudices. Ah, horrid day!

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Knowledge is warranted belief -- it is the body of belief that we build up because, while living in this world, we've developed good reasons for believing it. What we know, then, is what works -- and it is, necessarily, what has worked for us, each of us individually, as a first approximation. For my other blog, on the struggles for control in the corporate suites, see www.proxypartisans.blogspot.com.