Sunday, 6 January 2013

Science As Religion

- Scientific American profiled the Stephen Hawking co-author cosmologist George Ellis quoting him stating that:

“People need to be aware that there is a range of models that could explain the observations... For instance, I can construct you a spherically symmetrical universe with Earth at its center, and you cannot disprove it based on observations... You can only exclude it on philosophical grounds... What I want to bring into the open is the fact that we are using philosophical criteria in choosing our models. A lot of cosmology tries to hide that.”

- Stephen Hawking and his co-author wrote in The Large Scale Structure of Space-Time on page 134 that scientists, "are not able to make cosmological models without some mixture of ideology".

- University of California, Riverside's Phillip Gibbs wrote, "Despite the discovery of a great deal of structure in the distribution of the galaxies, most cosmologists still hold to the cosmological principle either for philosophical reasons or because it is a useful working hypothesis..."

- Even regarding Supernova data explicitly, French astrophysicist Marie-Noelle Celerier wrote that "ruling out the Cosmological Principle" is a valid interpretation of the data.

- The Nobel prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman, author of QED on quantum electrodynamics (of one of Bob's favorite books), lectured, "I suspect that the assumption of uniformity of the universe reflects a prejudice... It would be embarrassing to find, after stating that we live in an ordinary planet about an ordinary star in an ordinary galaxy, that our place in the universe is extraordinary … To avoid embarrassment we cling to the hypothesis of uniformity."

Listen to Bob Enyart discuss the cosmoloical principal at KGOV.

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