Will we ever know the truth about the universe
Universe Quotes (2152 quotes)
The Known Universe by AMNH
Will Science Ever Determine the Truth about the Universe?
The universe itself is billions of years old, while the earliest human only first appeared a couple of million years ago on this tiny, insignificant spec of dust in this ever-expanding, never-ending universe which in turn is marching through its own life. But, with the advent of the more evolved human, came science, technology, and innovation; we made fire, built a wheel, carved on stone. With the continuous evolution of human evolved science, technology and philosophy. Even in this relatively short existence of ours, we came to ask many questions that even with the evolution and propagation of philosophy, we have failed to answer yet. Religion was one such alternate theory and it was immediately accepted widely, making human the center of everything and put an almighty creator who was watching over all of this creation of his.
Twice a day, seven days a week, from February to November for the past four years, two researchers have layered themselves with thermal underwear and outerwear, with fleece, flannel, double gloves, double socks, padded overalls and puffy red parkas, mummifying themselves until they look like twin Michelin Men. Then they step outside, trading the warmth and modern conveniences of a science station foosball, fitness center, hour cafeteria for a minusdegree Fahrenheit featureless landscape, flatter than Kansas and one of the coldest places on the planet. They trudge in darkness nearly a mile, across a plateau of snow and ice, until they discern, against the backdrop of more stars than any hands-in-pocket backyard observer has ever seen, the silhouette of the giant disk of the South Pole Telescope, where they join a global effort to solve possibly the greatest riddle in the universe: what most of it is made of. For thousands of years our species has studied the night sky and wondered if anything else is out there. Galileo trained a new instrument, the telescope, on the heavens and saw objects that no other person had ever seen: hundreds of stars, mountains on the Moon, satellites of Jupiter. Since then we have found more than planets around other stars, billion stars in our galaxy, hundreds of billions of galaxies beyond our own, even the faint radiation that is the echo of the Big Bang. Now scientists think that even this extravagant census of the universe might be as out-of-date as the five-planet cosmos that Galileo inherited from the ancients.
A few years ago, I was asked why I had such a passion for physics. Without much hesitation, I said that my interest was rooted in the need to know the truth about nature. Richard Feynman believed that knowing the truth about something came with understanding how such thing worked. Once you understand how something works, only then can you know the truth about it. He compared nature to a chess game played by the gods. But how can we tell that we know the rules of the game? How can we be sure that we have an accurate understanding of how something works?
There are no uncharted lands waiting for ships to find their shores, and few if any untasted fruits waiting for human lips. Many grand mysteries of the Universe have been cracked open by science, from the makeup of matter on Earth to the nature of the stars in the sky. The child who marvels at the adventures of Magellan or wonders about how the Universe works might worry: What is left for me to discover?
Robert Lawrence Kuhn is the creator, writer and host of " Closer to Truth ," a public television and multimedia program that features the world's leading thinkers exploring humanity's deepest questions. This article is based on a "Closer to Truth" episode produced and directed by Peter Getzels. Kuhn contributed this article to Space. I began bemused. The notion that humanity might be living in an artificial reality — a simulated universe — seemed sophomoric, at best science fiction. But speaking with scientists and philosophers on "Closer to Truth," I realized that the notion that everything humans see and know is a gigantic computer game of sorts, the creation of supersmart hackers existing somewhere else, is not a joke.