Wednesday, July 28, 2021

The First Three Minutes

The Times obituary of Steven Weinberg ("Steven Weinberg, Groundbreaking Nobelist in Physics, Dies at 88,NYT, 7/275/21), recounts how the famed cosmologist was asked by the Nobel Institute about the following quote from his The First Three Minutes: “the more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.” The obit goes on to give his response. “What I meant by that statement is that there is no point to be discovered in nature itself; there is no cosmic plan for us. We are not actors in a drama that has been written with us playing the starring role. There are laws—we are discovering those laws—but they are impersonal, they are cold.” Weinberg was talking about the cosmic yawn, the disconcerting indifference that occurs when consciousness, setting out to ascertain ulterior motives and agency, is mocked. It’s a free country. No one is going to stop you from believing the parking space you have located is part of some divine plan and everything is as it’s supposed to be” as some religionists aver. In the same obit Weinberg says this about religion: “Anything that we scientists can do to weaken the hold of religion should be done and may in the end be our greatest contribution to civilization.” Amen!

"It Ain't Over Until It's Over" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.