July 3, 2012
Theory or Reality?
I chose a book that is on a border line between philosophy and science. It was titled The Illustrated Theory of Everything by Stephen W. Hawking. I constantly think about where humans have come from, not meaning as far as evolution or god but in a universal sense. This book gave me a larger understanding of topics I never even thought my mind would comprehend. One thing I found quite peculiar was how Hawking, at no time was willing to use God as not only a term but perhaps even a factor. In science this is rare to find, but I guess in his mind it must be disproven before it can be considered fact, which is a proper way of looking at anything.
He began his book with a first lecture that discusses where the human race has come from, and where we are currently heading in their search for truth about not only our planet but universe. He began with Aristotle and his theories on how based on observation, the earth must be round. We have all heard the story about how you could see a ships sails before the boat, and this was one of their first clues that the earth must not be flat. I never knew the Greeks were also using eclipses as another way of observation, if the earth were flat it would have been creating an ellipse not a perfect circle. The thought of our universe and an earth centralized theory came next from Ptolemy; but was disproven with Copernicus’s idea that the sun is actually the center of our universe and the planets revolve in circular patterns around it. I found this lecture to be a mild refreshment in the classic theories of astrology, but not interesting as far as philosophy is concerned. He went on to speak of Galileo, Einstein and relativity to Hubble and his amazing advancements in the way we view the night sky.
Edwin Hubble in 1924 was able to prove the Milky Way galaxy is not the only one. This was the first thing mentioned in his second lecture. This lecture...