Crisis In Cosmology?

Well, thank goodness there is no crisis in the Cosmos, only perhaps – although there is really no need for there to be – in our understanding of the Cosmos – what we refer to as Cosmology.

“The Hubble constant tells us how fast the universe is expanding. But pinning down a number is tricky”

Hmm… Interesting article, but what exactly does this tell us?

It tells us that we, and the science that we hang so many hats on, actually know very little with any degree of certainty, about anything.  We can observe.  We can measure.  We can build clever instruments to assist us to better conduct those practices.  We can utilise tricky quirks of physics to aid us in those things and we can build mathematical models of how we think things work, what we think is happening, and we can draw conclusions about those things – endlessly, because the models that we build generally seem to fit the things we observe.  But we can never be absolutely certain that we have got it right – that we have it all nailed down to the nth degree – or that we are even close.

That does not stop us from writing books and theses on what we think we know, and the problem is that once these things are in writing it becomes very difficult to back away from those conclusions, even in the face of fresh and convincing evidence that throws them into question.  This is the endless struggle of science.

What was it that Socrates is reputed to once have said?  

“The ancient Oracle said that I was the wisest of all the Greeks. It is because I alone, of all the Greeks, know that I know nothing.”

Maybe if in the pronouncements of Science there was the inclusion of similar words always made – to the effect that “the present conclusions are based on the best information to hand, but future research, future technology, may produce conclusions that differ from this” – the general public could build their personal intellectual world model to take such matters into account, rather than basing their lives and outlook on what are really only someone else’s conjecture – no matter how eminent, talented or qualified that person may be.

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