October meeting – How Come We Are Here?
Our member John Mellis poses the question, and will talk about how how science can address metaphysical questions. His introduction…
Itâ€™s often repeated that science is good at explaining how things work, but is incapable of addressing deeper questions concerning the meaning of life, the universe, and â€˜everythingâ€™. Such â€˜metaphysicalâ€™ questions â€“ meaning literally, above physics â€“ are often cited as the exclusive domain of religious belief and explanation. However, recently the ultimate metaphysical question â€“ which could be phrased as: â€˜Why does the Universe exist? Why is there something rather than nothing at all?â€™ â€“ has begun to be addressed by science, and interesting answers are emerging!
In this presentation this question is approached in ordinary language, via recent developments and hypotheses arising from recent discoveries in physics and cosmology. The presentation progresses with reference to scienceâ€™s most current knowledge, and emphasises the excitement and challenge of addressing unknown â€“ but not unknowable â€“ questions using the scientific method. Our understanding of the nature of the Universe, and our place in it, has progressed rapidly in the past 50 years, and in the past 10 years our view has been transformed by astonishing discoveries enabled by new instruments (including the Hubble space telescope).
We’ll be at the Pinewood Hall, as usual, where sympathetic guests will be welcome.