[EAS]Ascent of Science

pjk pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Wed Feb 27 18:17:35 EST 2002

Subject:   Ascent of Science

(from NewsScan Daily, 27 February 2002)

      Or maybe it is -- but we'll need more research to learn the
answer.  Scientist Brian L. Silver writes:
      "When we gaze at distant galaxies, or at the birth of a far-off 
supernova, we are watching objects and events as they were billions of
 years ago. And all this is being done from the Earth and some
satellites  mainly confined to the solar system -- a ludicrously
limited platform on  which to put our instruments.
      "Cosmologists have ventured to construct theories explaining the
 history of the universe. One of the tests of a theory is whether it
can  assimilate new facts naturally. The Big Bang theory was capable
of doing  this with the CBR (cosmic background radiation) and with the
ratios of  hydrogen to helium, and hydrogen to deuterium. It should be
remembered that  we are dealing with events that happened some 15
billion years ago under  conditions far removed from anything man can
create or observe today. The  miracle is that the theory is moderately
successful, but the theoreticians  would be the first to admit that it
is not successful enough."

See http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0195116992/newsscancom/ for
 Brian L. Silver's "The Ascent of Science" -- or look for it in your 
favorite library. (We donate all revenue from our book recommendations
to  adult literacy action programs.)

In this vein let me also recommend Jacob Bronowski's "Origins of
Knowledge and Imagination."


Thomas Carlyle, surveying the multitude of galaxies, addressed the
question of life in the universe:
"A sad spectacle. If they be inhabited, what a scope for misery and
folly. If they not be inhabited, what a waste of space."

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