Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Stephen Hawking

I watched a show about him last night. It blended a potted biography with elements of his work towards a universal theory of everything and what happened from the moment of the big bang and all that. I really tried to take it in but the question: 'How do you know?' persistently echoed in my brain. His metallic voice (which, also incredibly, he now controls with just one muscle in his cheek) kept saying things about how he proved stuff about black holes and how he was glad the Pope didn't realise he was trying to explain the creation of the Universe. I keep wondering whether it could all be a big, emperor's new clothes type con. Maybe all the physicists in the world read this mind boggling though strangely credible quantum stuff and none of them has the guts to say...'Hang on a minute; you don't really know what happened 13.6 billion years ago do you?' Or maybe they just think 'I don't want to be the one to say the wheelchair guy has got it wrong.'

Whatever the case and whatever the depths of my ignorance I'd still like someone to sit me down and explain what was there before the universe and how infinite time and space can be possible. Infinity keeps me awake at night.

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