Cosmic Connection - Introduction: Why Does Cosmology Matter?
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In the first episode, Eric Lerner introduces the podcast series and
describes what will be discussed. What is the connection between the
cosmos and us?
A big part of the connection between cosmology and
society is that, over the centuries, people have generally projected
their ideas about society onto the structure and history of the
cosmos—and conversely have used ideas about the cosmos to understand
what is happening, or even what should happen in society. There is also a
real scientific connection. We ourselves are a product of cosmic
evolution—our sun and earth emerged from this process and biological and
social evolution are also part of the evolutionary processes occurring
in the universe. Learning in an accurate way about cosmic evolution can
help us understand the evolution of our own society in the here and now.
We’re not separate from the cosmos—we’re part of it.
Since we are part of the universe, the physical processes we observe in
the universe are the same ones that can occur here on earth on a much
smaller scale. In the hugely important effort to harness fusion energy
as the next source of energy for humanity, what we learn from cosmic
phenomena are the key to success. Indeed, the very existence of fusion
energy was first discovered in the search for the source of energy of
the sun and other stars.
The Big Bang theory tells a story of a universe that was “wound up” at
the beginning by a giant explosion and has been running down like an old
watch since then. A universe whose future is preordained as one of
expansion and cooling to nothingness, to a state of final equilibrium.
But once we realize that the Big Bang story is simply not true and not
supported by scientific evidence—which we detail in our video
series—then we are looking at a very different story. We are instead
looking at a universe that observations tell us is “running up”, a
universe characterized by accelerating evolution.