I just finished watching the “Richard Dawkins Foundation for Research and Science” video of Lawrence Krauss (who appears to be a theoretical physicist and Star Trek fanatic (I think he’s authored two books that has the word “Star Trek” in the title)) talking at an “Atheist Alliance International” conference, where he discusses the origin of the universe, and some other fun physics stuff. This talk really interested me since I’m half way through reading Stephen Hawking’s awesome “A Brief History of Time”. That book is wonderful simply for its ease of read, and its ability to densely pack history, theory, and explanations of modern physics.
Yeah, so the Krauss talk is really interesting since it touched on (obviously) a lot of what “ABHoT” touched on, but also updated it with newer observations and understanding.
One problem I have with the talk, for which I can almost certainly forgive since he’s the expert and I’m not, is the fact that he isn’t very careful with his words. He uses “impossible” and “prove” and “we know for sure” a little too loosely. My one issue was with his treatment of dark matter (not to be confused with antimatter), which has not been observed, but is believed to exist because general relativity predicts its existence in order to account for the weight of stable galaxies. I stumbled upon a book in chapters (which I have not read)…a year or two ago, written by a physicist (John Moffatt) from Waterloo (woo Canada! Represent) who talks about his own theory involving a modification of general relativity, which accounts for galaxies without invoking dark matter. Again, I’m not a physicist, but MOG (MOdified Gravity, as the theory is called) seems to be a pretty compelling theory since it doesn’t invoke unobversable (currently) matter which composes 23% of the known universe….
However, hopefully the LHC will create this dark matter, or won’t, and at least bring it into the realm of empirical science.
Ha, I did like his quick quip about String Theory (which used an xkcd comic, no less)
Reminds me of a book by Lee Smolin, that I have not read.