Narrative Expands To Fill Cosmological Space

How to lose my interest quick,

Tim Maudlin: That depends on the given theological account. The biblical account of the origin of the cosmos in Genesis, for example, posits that a god created the physical universe particularly with human beings in mind, and so unsurprisingly placed the Earth at the center of creation.

That statement has to read into the Genesis account because nowhere is it stated as such. Theologian past and present may do so, and you can argue with them over that, but one shouldn’t make definitive statements without at least a cite to back up the assertion.

Modern cosmological knowledge has refuted such an account. We are living in the golden age of cosmology: More has been discovered about the large-scale structure and history of the visible cosmos in the last 20 years than in the whole of prior human history. We now have precise knowledge of the distribution of galaxies and know that ours is nowhere near the center of the universe, just as we know that our planetary system has no privileged place among the billions of such systems in our galaxy and that Earth is not even at the center of our planetary system. We also know that the Big Bang, the beginning of our universe, occurred about 13.7 billion years ago, whereas Earth didn’t even exist until about 10 billion years later.

We have no such thing as precise knowledge of the distribution of galaxies, nor how many of them are beyond the range of our technical ability to see them, so how would we deduce the center of the universe?

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