Friday, November 18, 2011


The laws of physics (as we know them today, thanks to Albert Einstein) insist that there is one constant in the universe, and it isn’t necessarily death or taxes: it is the light-speed barrier. According to Einstein, c (the standard abbreviation for the speed of light: ~186,000 miles/second) is absolute. And so it is. Or so it was…
Two separate experiments seem to demonstrate that neutrinos (sub-atomic particles with neutral electrical charge) in fact break the cosmic speed-limit. What does this mean?

The first conclusion is that it means all our science is wrong. This is perhaps too radical, but when fundamentals are proved inadequate, it is hard to see why such a conclusion would not be jumped to. Yet when Einstein’s mathematics showed that Newton was not 100% precise in all cases, this did not mean Newton was “wrong”—only incomplete.

Still, the history of science in the last century has demonstrated one thing in complete clarity: what we think we know is nowhere near so certain as what reality is in itself.

Atoms were once supposed to be the fundamental building-blocks of all matter: yet they themselves, as it turns out, are made up of an almost infinite range of smaller particles.

I could go on, but you would be better served by watching NOVA’s series “The Fabric of the Cosmos” with Brian Greene (or, better still, reading his book). What is clear is that, as Shakespeare’s Hamlet told Horatio (Hamlet, I, v, 166) there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in [our] philosophy.

This is not a bad thing—why should we think we can easily and simply explain and understand the reality of Reality? If we believe the universe is expanding (and accelerating, at that), in what is this expansion taking place? We have no answers. We talk about “multiverses,” series of parallel universes, yet we doubt the possibility of a Being beyond this cosmos. Why?
Peter Kreeft, borrowing a turn of phrase from C S Lewis, titled one of his books Chance—Or the Dance? I am happy to accept that any cosmic “dance” has steps far more complicated than I could ever learn. But that is not a bad thing.  God is GOD, after all...  And don't we ALL hope, one day, that we can travel (like the star-ship Enterprise) at warp-speed??

1 comment:

  1. Tongue-in-cheek, but the only time I would even be interested in
    traveling at warp-speed is the trip destination "to heaven"
    where all knowledge is known and the veil of unknowing if lifted.....