THINKING ABOUT THE UNIVERSE
Ancient people tried hard to understand the universe, butthey hadn’t yet developed our mathematics and science. Today we have powerfultools: mental tools such as mathematics and the scientific method, andtechnological tools like computers and telescopes. With the help of thesetools, scientists have pieced together a lot of knowledge about space.
But whatdo we really know about the universe, and how do we know it? Where did theuniverse come from? Where is it going? Did the universe have a beginning, andif so, what happened before then? What is the nature of time? Will it ever cometo an end? Can we go backward in time? Recent breakthroughs in physics, madepossible in part by new technology, suggest answers to some of theselong-standing questions.
Someday these answers may seem as obvious to us as theearth orbiting the sun----or perhaps as ridiculous as a tower of turtles. Onlytime (whatever that may be) will tell.