The Age of the Universe

I have just been listening to "In Our Time" on Radio 4 where Melvyn Bragg was discussing the recent finding that the universe is 13.7 billion years old with three eminent cosmologists, Martin Rees, Carolin Crawford and Carlos Frenk.  The programme home page is here.  It was a fascinating discussion, not for the content so much as the manner and the images.  The almost casual talk of this universe and its sheer mind-boggling scale left me feeling decidedly unwell and with an almost queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach.  Partly it was the certainty which all three assumed as if this figure of 13 or so billion was the weight of a bag of apples in a supermarket but it was also the never asked let alone unanswered question – Why?  Why is this universe of billions of objects and immense complexity even existing and more so how do we fit into it and how on earth can we presume such certainty of knowledge?
And then at the very end Carlos Frenk said that this was of course the limit of our knowledge at the moment and we might be just one universe in billions of other much bigger universes about which we had as yet no knowledge.
Melvin Bragg then thanked them all and said that next week he would be discussing "Free Will".  I do hope it is in the context of a multi-billion starred universe!

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About robthill

I am semi-retired ICT Staff Tutor in Dundee, Scotland and an online facilitator. The views here expressed are my own somewhat quirky feelings about the world as I see it, no doubt just as prejudiced as most other bloggers.

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