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Monday, September 03, 2007

Materialist myths: "Copernican revolution" strikes again

A recent riff on the Copernicus demoted humans theme:

Prominent anti-ID physicist Lawrence M Krauss announced to Richard Panek earlier this year in the New York Times Magazine,
“We’re just a bit of pollution,” Lawrence M. Krauss, a theorist at Case Western Reserve, said not long ago at a public panel on cosmology in Chicago. “If you got rid of us, and all the stars and all the galaxies and all the planets and all the aliens and everybody, then the universe would be largely the same. We’re completely irrelevant.”

Panek thinks "the ultimate Copernican Revolution" may be that we will never understand the universe, explaining,
Science is full of homo sapiens-humbling insights. But the trade-off for these lessons in insignificance has always been that at least now we would have a deeper — simpler — understanding of the universe. That the more we could observe, the more we would know. But what about the less we could observe? What happens to new knowledge then? It’s a question cosmologists have been asking themselves lately, and it might well be a question we’ll all be asking ourselves soon, because if they’re right, then the time has come to rethink a fundamental assumption: When we look up at the night sky, we’re seeing the universe.
Not so. Not even close.

By now, the pattern is pretty obvious. It wasn't Copernicus who demoted humans. It is these folks, ripping off Copernicus' brand. By some irony or other, the talk I gave recently at the Fairview Library in Toronto was part of a series called the Copernican Lectures. And I think that materialism is THE impediment to understanding the universe. It makes things that were merely difficult before ... impossible.

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