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The AstronomersCosmology, the Universe, & Evolution
Cosmology, the Universe, & Evolution
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Theoretical physicist Lawrence M. Krauss joined John B. Wells (email) to discuss the origin of the universe and how it could have arisen from nothing. "We now can see a plausible way in which a universe can come from absolutely nothing without any creator," he said, adding that the aspects of our universe which can be measured are consistent with that conclusion. The word 'nothing' is a scientific term (not a philosophical one) that refers to empty space, or an area with zero total particles, Krauss noted. This space is not actually empty but is instead "a boiling bubbling brew of virtual particles—particles that fall in and out of existence at a time scale so short that you can't measure them," he explained. Space can pop in and out of existence and is where the dominant energy of the universe resides, Krauss revealed. The very laws governing the universe may have arisen spontaneously as well, and may be completely different in other universes, he added. Krauss spoke about the difference between science and philosophy/religion, pointing out the unique role of science in probing empirical information about the world. While he believes it is presumptuous to say categorically, "There is no God," Krauss admitted there is no physical proof to suggest such a being exists. He further asserted that there is no evidence for intelligent design in biological life and in the universe. The Earth is teaming with diverse life forms of all different kinds, none of them designed, Krauss said. The amazing diversity of life on this planet arose solely by natural evolutionary mechanism without any celestial guidance, he declared. Krauss also talked about how dark energy may dominate the future of the universe, causing it to expand at a rate faster than the speed of light, as well as his expectation that Earth-like planets will be discovered within our lifetime, and perhaps some will even have life on them. Biography: Prof. Lawrence M. Krauss is an internationally known theoretical physicist with wide research interests, including the interface between elementary particle physics and cosmology, where his studies include the early universe, the nature of dark matter, general relativity and neutrino astrophysics. He has investigated questions ranging from the nature of exploding stars to issues of the origin of all mass in the universe. Wikipedia There are two very different senses in which the term Cosmology is used. Physical cosmology is the scholarly and academic study that seeks to understand the origin, evolution, structure, and ultimate fate of the universe at large, as well as the natural laws that keep it in order.[1] The subject matter of this field is studied using scholarly methodology, including the scientific method and reason. It is studied by scientists, such as astronomers, and theoretical physicists; and academic philosophers, such as metaphysicians, philosophers of physics, and philosophers of space and time. Modern cosmology is dominated by the Big Bang theory, which attempts to bring together observational astronomy and particle physics.[2] In contrast, religious cosmology (or mythological cosmology) is study in the humanities, of the historical, mythological, religious, and esoteric literature and theories about eschatology (i.e. the end of the world), including such theories, as for instance apocalypticism. Although the word cosmology is recent (first used in 1730 in Christian Wolff's Cosmologia Generalis), the study of the universe has a long history involving science, philosophy, esotericism and religion. Related studies include cosmogony, which focuses on the origin of the Universe, and cosmography, which maps the features of the Universe. Cosmology is also connected to astronomy. However, they are contrasted in that while the former is concerned with the Universe as a whole, the latter deals with individual celestial objects. Disciplines In recent times, physics and astrophysics have played a central role in shaping the understanding of the universe through scientific observation and experiment. What is known as physical cosmology shaped through both mathematics and observation the analysis of the whole universe. It is generally understood to begin with the Big Bang, followed almost instantaneously by cosmic inflation - an expansion of space from which the universe is thought to have emerged ~13.7±0.2×109 (roughly 13.5--13.9 billion) years ago.[3] Physical cosmologists propose that the history of the universe has been governed entirely by physical laws. Between the domains of religion and science stands the philosophical perspective of metaphysical cosmology. This ancient field of study seeks to draw intuitive conclusions about the nature of the universe, man, a supernatural creator, and/or their relationships based on the extension of some set of presumed facts borrowed from spiritual experience and/or observation.
Added on Nov 27, 2012 by lonewolf
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