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From: Eric Flesch (ericf@central.co.nz)
Subject: The Importance of Cosmology
View: Complete Thread (5 articles)
Original Format
Newsgroups: sci.physics, sci.astro
Date: 1997/02/15
In an era of unprecedented population growth and resultant social
stresses, the continued health and progress of our world culture
depends on our collective morale.  While we have optimism and a sense
of purpose our chances of success are good.  If we replace purpose
with despair, a new dark age will be upon us.

Until the modern day the role of morale taskmaster lay with religion.
Today science is our beacon, and space is our frontier.  That sense,
the sense of frontier, is an essential component of our collective
conscience and morale.  If the frontier lies open to us, we are
fortified.  If the frontier is closed, we lose our sense of purpose.

Cosmology is our map to that ultimate frontier and our ultimate
destiny.  If the map shows a boundless universe with a limitless
future, then our morale soars.  If the map shows pre-programmed
destruction, we despair.

Today the world looks to our cosmologists for that map.  Through the
maze of cultures and religions, the world's people watch.  Although
billions of years are involved, yet does the end of that road weigh
heavily on our consciousness.  Are we travelling on the road to glory?
Or is it a pointless charade of a road?

The Big Bang prescribes a universe with a beginning, and an ending.  A
road to nowhere.  This view became generally accepted in the mid-60's
with the discovery of the CMBR.  Around that time, Western
civilization entered a state of morale oft denoted a "malaise" and
which is characterized by the pseudo-rationalist doctrine of
"political correctness".   Some say the Vietnam war ushered in this
era, but its social manifestations are that of giving in, surrendering
to perceived realities, and in the process redefining "bad" as "good".
These are the hallmarks of a global reaction to a modern vision of
Ragnarok.  This, of course, is the Big Bang.

Now, if the Big Bang is the correct description of the Universe, so be
it.  If we close our eyes to the truth, we forfeit all.  But the Big
Bang is not a unanimously-held perception amongst the cosmologists.
In fact, a great many of them are engaged in research with a view to
disestablishing it.  However, this does not find its way into the
popular press.

The popular journals and newspapers have the unfortunate but
commercially lucrative habit of simplifying and emphasizing.  This
habit means that the cosmological message for the world's people is
that the Big Bang is the final word, our beginning, and our ending.
Our cosmologists, engaged in their introspective pursuits, are not
noticing or compensating for this skewed resultant message.  

Thus, this is my concern, that the world's morale, the sense of
purpose of Western civilization, is being eroded by one-sided
reporting of cosmology.  Science will die if its supportive economic
platform withers.  Cosmologists have the power to change this!  

If cosmologists re-establish the veracity, the legitimacy, of
questioning the Big Bang picture, and report this dialogue to the
world's media, perhaps even emphasizing the other side of the coin for
a while to rectify past imbalances, then the world's people will at
last see that the final story is not in, and that the "road to glory"
may yet be open.  I expect a major effect, and a stiffening of the old
Western backbone.  People would rediscover a lost sense of purpose.

In line with this is the question of extraterrestrial civilizations
(ETs).   The Fermi paradox is a straightforward disestablishment of
any such ETs, but this simple logical conclusion has been subsumed in
the blather of Sagan-ite airheads.   ETs make great press!   But the
old, and correct, skepticism about ETs holds the natural optimism that
the galaxy is all ours, if only we conduct ourselves with purpose.

The bottom line is, is the Big Bang right or wrong?  The final verdict
is not yet in.  There are serious problems, and the worst of these
appears to be the age crisis, that the Hubble constant appears to
define a universe about 10 billion years old, even as stellar and
galactic structures are requiring about 20 billion years.  If these
differences cannot be reconciled, the recession explanation of the
redshift will be disestablished, and with it, the Big Bang itself.

In the meantime I urge all cosmologists to be mindful of the effect
that their utterances have on the collective morale of the world.  You
fellows are playing a bigger role than you think you are!  Please
remember that your doubts about the Big Bang need to be as prominently
displayed as your evidence for it.  If you do not speak, the world
will not know.  And a great deal may ride on this.  On you.



"...the Universe is not only queerer than we suppose,
 but queerer than we *can* suppose."  -- J.B.S. Haldane

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