The Universe: Still Boggling the Minds of 'Finite Creatures'
Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2001
"As much as we have progressed in science, we are still finite creatures with limited conceptual abilities and imperfect observational tools," said James Sweitzer, director of astrophysics education at the American Museum of Natural History's Rose Center for Earth and Space.
Humbling thought. But add one thing: We are highly curious creatures prone to speculation.
That in mind, we wanted to at least pose the questions that we suspect swirl through the minds of all who have ever been curious, who have ever looked up on a dark night and simply wondered.
How old is the universe? Does it have an edge? And, c'mon, truthfully -- How could it all have begun in some "Big Bang" that originated in a spot smaller than the dots under all these questions marks?
For answers, we pestered Sweitzer and Mario Livio, head of the science division at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.
What a cosmic can of worms. Turns out even the word "universe" is elusive, having three meanings (two of which depend on whether or not you hit the shift key). So we start with the basics. More
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