Reflections in Cosmology 11: More on Containment, Multiverses and Free Will

Where in a universe is the cosmologist studying the universe? Consider a painter who paints a picture of his studio. The painter stands within the studio and yet does not include himself within the picture in the act of painting the picture. An attempt to portray the act of painting leads to the absurdity of… Read More Reflections in Cosmology 11: More on Containment, Multiverses and Free Will

Reflections in Cosmology 9: On Cosmic Fine-Tuning, Anthropic Principles and Multiverses

Scientific cosmology is slowly revealing a universe that is incredibly fine-tuned. We are beginning to realize that fundamental constants in our universe – the unexplained numbers that seem to occur in nature for no particular reason e.g. the speed of light, the charge of the electron and the gravitational constant – are all ideal for… Read More Reflections in Cosmology 9: On Cosmic Fine-Tuning, Anthropic Principles and Multiverses

An Update on the ‘Allah’ Issue

This Al-Jazeera report/interview provides a good overview of the situation back home in Malaysia. What’s interesting about it is that all three interviewees – Khalid Samad (the Shah Alam MP and PAS politician), Marina Mahathir (a social activist and daughter of our former Prime Minister), and Yusri Muhammad (from the Malaysian islamic Youth Movement) –… Read More An Update on the ‘Allah’ Issue

Reflections in Cosmology 8: The Principle of Containment

According to Edward Harrison, ‘the Containment Principle of the physical universe states: the physical universe contains everything that is physical and nothing else‘. Here, the word ‘physical’ is sweeping, and it includes all forms of matter and energy (shown to be the same thing by Einstein), from quarks to galaxies, cells to organisms and electromagnetic… Read More Reflections in Cosmology 8: The Principle of Containment

Reflections in Cosmology 7: On Faith and the Cosmological Principle

There is a misconception that while religion is faith-based, science is based solely on fact. This is not always the case, as there are elements of ‘faith’ to be found in science as well. A good example of this is in the underlying assumption behind all of modern scientific cosmology – the cosmological principle. This… Read More Reflections in Cosmology 7: On Faith and the Cosmological Principle

Reflections in Cosmology 6: Finite or Infinite Universe?

Early Aristotelian universes were finite in extent, formed by concentric spheres that ended at the sphere of fixed stars. In contrast, the Stoic universe was a finite universe with an exterior void that was infinite. Simultaneously, ideas concerning God and the universe became increasingly grand and inflated. Medieval theology developed far-reaching concepts concerning the nature… Read More Reflections in Cosmology 6: Finite or Infinite Universe?