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2010-12-08 23:21:18|  分类: 他科之璞可以攻玉 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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1. 1。 The Science of the Universe 宇宙科学的

The term "cosmology" has several different connotations, ranging from a society's world-view to the scientific study of the universe at large.所谓“宇宙论”有几个不同的内涵,从一个社会的世界观到整个宇宙科学研究。 I shall deal only with the latter meaning of the term, but even then it is far from obvious what cosmology is, exactly.我将只处理一词后者的意思,但即使如此,它是从宇宙学什么明显的远远的,没错。 We may provisionally define it as the attempt to understand the universe in scientific terms, which in practice means those of the mathematical-physical sciences.我们可以暂时定义为试图了解宇宙中的科学术语,这实际上意味着对数学,物理科学那些它。 The keyword is the domain of cosmology, the universe, and it is this domain which makes cosmology as most peculiar science, for the reason that the universe is a most peculiar entity.关键字是宇宙学,宇宙的领域,是这一领域最奇特这使得作为科学宇宙学的原因,宇宙是一个最奇特的实体。 It is so basically because it is unique and all-encompassing, features that are not shared by any other domain of science, a point to which I shall return later on.所以基本上这是因为它是独特的,全方位的,不是由其他任何科学领域,一个点,我将回到稍后共享功能。 For the moment, let us loosely define the universe as everything in space and time, including spacetime itself, although we should of course restrict this "everything" to what has physical existence and can be subjected to scientific analysis, at least in principle.目前,让我们松散的定义在时间和空间作为宇宙的一切,包括时空本身,虽然我们当然应该限制这种“一切”到什么有物理存在,并且可以进行科学分析,至少在原则。 The universe, rigidly understood as the totality of everything, includes after all phenomena that are beyond the power of physics, such as thoughts and human emotions, and it is obviously not with such things the cosmologist is concerned.宇宙,严格的总体了解的一切,包括所有的现象,超出后,如物理思想和人类情感,权力是,它显然是与宇宙学家担心这种事没有。 He or she is concerned with the structure and composition of the physical universe, that is, the geometrical structure of space and the matter and radiation distributed in it, as well as the temporal evolution of this largest possible physical system.他或她的结构和物理宇宙的组成,这方面,空间几何结构和有关事宜,并在它的辐射分布,以及这个最大可能的物理系统的时空演化。 To get a reasonable picture of what cosmology is about, we should add that although, in principle, its domain has no limitations in space and time, in practice cosmology deals only with the large-scale features of the universe, typically of galactic or extra-galactic magnitude: atoms, butterflies, and mountains are all parts of the universe, but they are of no interest to the cosmologist.为了得到一个什么样的宇宙观是关于合理的图片,我们应该指出,虽然在原则上,其域名只与宇宙的大尺度特征在空间和时间的实践宇宙学交易,没有任何限制,典型的星系或额外银河系的大小:原子,蝴蝶,山是宇宙的所有部分,但他们没有对宇宙学家的利益。

The point of mentioning these characteristics of cosmological research is twofold, namely, first to indicate that the "universe" is a difficult and peculiar concept that is widely different from any other scientific domain; and, secondly, to indicate that this understanding of the nature of cosmology is a relatively modern invention which cannot easily be applied to earlier periods.在宇宙学研究的一提的这些特征点是双重的,即首先要表明,“宇宙”是一个特殊的困难和广泛的概念,从任何其他科学领域的不同;第二,以表明这个本质的认识宇宙学是一个比较现代的发明,它不能很容易适用于较早时期。

Before going on to 20th-century cosmology a brief look at the earlier centuries and millenia may be useful, if for nothing else then to increase the confusion.然后在到20世纪宇宙学在前面简单介绍一下世纪和千年可能是有用的,如果没有别的然后增加混乱。 Cosmology is not only a peculiar science because of its subject, but also because of its history, which is not shared by any other science.宇宙学是不仅是因为它独特的科学主题,而且也因为它的历史,而不是由任何其他科学共享。 It is, paradoxically, one of the oldest and one of the youngest of the sciences -- and yet the paradox is easily solved when it is realized that it simply stems from different meanings of the term "cosmology" used at different times.这是矛盾的,其中一个最古老和最年轻的学科之一 - 但很容易解决的矛盾时,意识到这只是从对“宇宙论”在不同时期使用不同的含义造成的。 There is, roughly speaking, two kinds of cosmology, of which one is the attempt to make sense of the world at the largest possible scale, and the other is the more limited study of the astronomical environment of the earth, meaning anything from the planets to quasars.还有就是,粗略地讲,两个宇宙论,其中之一是企图使在可能的最大规模的世界的意义种,而另一个则是地球的天文环境更加有限的研究,从行星什么意思到类星体。 The first kind necessarily relies on philosophical reasoning and invites speculation, whereas the other relies on observation and invites mathematical model-making.第一种必然依赖于哲学的推理,并邀请投机,而在观察并邀请其他依赖数学模型制作。 It is in the first sense that one can claim cosmology to be perhaps the oldest of humankind's proto-scientific activities, for speculations about the structure, creation and meaning of the world are to be found as long back in time as one can trace intellectual history.它是在第一感觉,人们可以声称宇宙是可能是人类的原始科学活动的最古老的的结构,创造投机的世界的意义,并要找到作为一个只要回时间可追溯思想史。 We still find this kind of all-encompassing cosmological thought in Plato and Aristotle, but from that time onward cosmology changed gradually to become part of astronomy, which basically meant the motions of the planets, including the moon and the sun.我们仍然认为这种无所不包的宇宙论思想柏拉图和亚里士多德样,但是从那个时候起,逐步改变成为宇宙学,天文学,这基本上是行星的运动,包括月球和太阳的一部分。 As a result of the successes of Hipparch, Eudoxos and Ptolemy, cosmology in the old sense almost vanished from the scientific discourse and was relegated to philosophical and religious discussions.作为对Hipparch,Eudoxos和托勒密,几乎从科学话语感消失了旧宇宙的成功结果,被降级到哲学和宗教的讨论。 In other words, cosmology became incorporated into astronomy, and since this science dealt with the visible part of the universe, and the solar system in particular, cosmology in the grander sense was not much cultivated.换句话说,宇宙学变成融入到天文,因为随着宇宙的可见部分处理这个科学,特别是在宏大的宇宙学意义上的太阳能系统没有多少耕地。 Nor, for that matter, could it be cultivated scientifically, for the observational material was all too limited and uncertain to allow anything but philosophical speculation.也没有,对于这个问题,难道是培养科学,为观测材料太有限,允许什么,但不确定的哲学思辨。 It was only after the stars, and then the galaxies, moved to the forefront of astronomical research in the nineteenth century -- and after the spectroscope had given rise to a new astrophysics -- that an observationally based cosmology became a possibility.只是在天上的星星,然后星系,激动地天文研究的前沿在十九世纪 - 和分光镜后,引起了一个新的天体物理学 - 宇宙学的基础,一个观测上成为可能。

The other element in the new cosmology of this century was of course Einstein's general theory of relativity, or, more generally, physical theories of spacetime.在本世纪新的宇宙学的另一个因素是当然爱因斯坦的广义相对论,或者更一般地,时空的物理理论。 It was the fusion of extragalactic observations and the mathematical models based on, or inspired by, the theory of relativity that transformed cosmology from a philosophical subject to something aspiring scientific status.它是银河系外的意见和融合的数学模型的基础上,或由相对论的理论从一个哲学主题宇宙学的东西有抱负的科学地位的启发。 If one wants a date for that transformation, I would say that 1930 is a good choice, for it was then that the expanding universe became a reality through the combined efforts of theoreticians and observational astronomers.如果一个人想为这种转变的日期,我会说,1930年是一个很好的选择,就在那时,宇宙膨胀成为通过理论家和天文学家观测的联合努力成为现实。 The real watershed in cosmology I would uhesitatingly place in 1917, the year that Einstein published his "Kosmologische Betrachtungen" and thereby provided, for the first time, a powerful mathematical theory for the entire universe.真正的分水岭在宇宙学的地方,我uhesitatingly 1917年,今年是爱因斯坦发表他的“Kosmologische Betrachtungen”,从而提供了第一次,一个强大的整个宇宙的数学理论。 What was still missing in this first phase of 20th-century cosmology was physics in the ordinary sense, that is, the physics of matter and radiation: The introduction of nuclear physics into cosmology marked another watershed in the development of the science of the universe, but that only came later, in the 1940s.是什么还在这个20世纪的宇宙学的第一阶段缺少的是一般意义上的物理,即物质和辐射物理学:参加核物理导论标志着宇宙学中的另一个宇宙的科学发展的分水岭,但只来了以后,在20世纪40年代。 Since then, cosmology has been guided by three approaches, sometimes in isolation and sometimes in fruitful collaboration, namely astronomical observations, mathematical model-making, and physical theory; to these three elements should perhaps be added a fourth, namely the qualitative philosophical arguments to which I will return in a while.从那时起,宇宙一直遵循三种方法,有时单独,有时在富有成果的合作,包括天文观测,数学模型制作,以及物理理论;在这三个因素也许应该加上第四,即定性到哲学论证我将返回一段时间。 And there may even be added a fifth component, the advance in instrument technology which after all is the basis of all astronomical observation.而且甚至有可能是增加了第五个组成部分,在仪器技术进步这毕竟是所有天文观测的基础。

Without going in detail one can say that the broad trend since the 1950s has been an increased importance of observations and physical methods, whereas very little progress has taken place in the area of mathematical spacetime models, and the role played by the philosophical element has been steadily decreasing.如果没有一个详细的准备可以说,20世纪50年代以来的大趋势,而一直进展甚微的观测和物理方法越来越重要,已在数学领域出现时空模型,并通过元素的哲学发挥的作用已得到稳步下降。 The models and conceptions of spacetime, which by and large means relativistic models, are of course of crucial importance, but it is remarkable that they all stem from the theory that Einstein produced in 1915 and which a decade later was developed into the Friedmann-Lema?tre equations, still the basis of almost all realistic models of the universe.时空的模式和观念,这大体上是指相对论模型,当然是至关重要的,但值得注意的是,他们都从理论茎产生于1915年,爱因斯坦后来进了弗里德曼-勒梅特发展十年方程,仍然是几乎所有的宇宙现实模型的基础。

Given the practically unanimous opinion that Einstein is the true founder of modern cosmology -- an opinion with which I agree -- it may be of interest to ask if the theory of general relativity constituted a revolution in cosmology also in the strong, Kuhnian sense.鉴于几乎一致认为,爱因斯坦是现代宇宙学的真正创始人 - 意见与我同意 - 它可能感兴趣的问,如果广义相对论构成了强大的,在宇宙学库恩意义上的革命也。 I shall not try to answer this question here, but want to point out that Einstein's pathbreaking work (as far as cosmology goes) included both revolutionary and evolutionary elements.我不打算在这里回答这个问题,但要指出的是,爱因斯坦的开创性工作(只要宇宙云)既包括革命和进化的元素。 Those of revolutionary significance are easy to identify, but it may be of some importance to point out that Einstein, in spite of all his novelty, was also a chain in a larger historical process and that he received inspiration from earlier physicists and philosophers; I am thinking not only of Ernst Mach, but also of much earlier inspiration that Einstein acknowledged, such as the correspondence betweeen Newton and Bentley and the Newton-Leibniz dialogue.革命意义上的容易识别,但它可能具有某种重要性,为政府指出,爱因斯坦,在他所有的新奇尽管如此,也是在一个更大的历史过程链,他收到从早期的物理学家和哲学家的灵感,我我想不仅马赫,也更早的灵感,爱因斯坦承认,如牛顿和Bentley之间和牛顿,莱布尼茨对话信件。 So Einstein's work was undoubtedly of revolutionary importance, but it also showed the kind of conceptual continuity that we know from other cases of revolutionary science.因此,爱因斯坦的工作无疑是革命的重要性,但它也表明了这种连续性的概念,我们从科学的其他案件的革命知道。 To speak with Gerald Holton, we may say that although Einstein put cosmology on an entirely new track, the themata of his endeavour can be found much earlier, not only in Newton but as far back as Aristotle's discussion in De Caelo concerning the finitude of the universe.说话杰拉尔德霍尔顿,我们可以说,虽然爱因斯坦提出的轨道宇宙学一个全新的,力求themata他可以发现要早得多,不仅在牛顿,但早在亚里士多德的Caelo讨论有关的有限性的宇宙。

2. 2。 Historiographical Topics 史学话题

It is far from obvious what kind of science cosmology is and, therefore, how it shall be classified in a historical context.这显然是远从宇宙学什么样的一种科学,因此,应当如何在历史语境中分类。 As mentioned, there is a long tradition of classifying it as a subfield of astronomy, but although this is reasonable in many ways, it is not an unproblematic classification because cosmology has been considered a somewhat illegitimate child of astronomical research for a very long time.如前所述,有一个列为它的天文学子领域有着悠久的传统,但是,虽然这在很多方面合理的,它不是一个没有问题的分类,因为宇宙学已经考虑了很长的时间内有所天文研究私生子。 Perhaps it makes as much sense to say that cosmology is a branch of physical science, or an intermediary between physics, astronomy and philosophy; or, which to my mind sounds even more reasonable, to single out cosmology as a science that is relatively autonomous and therefore deserves its own place in the annals of history of science.也许它使尽可能多地说,宇宙学意义上是一种物理科学的一个分支,或一间物理,天文和哲学的中介,或者,这在我的脑海里听起来更合理的,因为这是一个相对独立的科学和宇宙学挑出因此,值得其在科学史册自己的一席之地。 It is probably this hybrid nature of cosmology, a science that seems to belong everywhere and nowhere in the established classification system, that is responsible for the weak interest which historians of science have shown the area.这可能是这个宇宙学,一门科学,这似乎属于既定的分类系统无处不在,无处,这是对弱者的权益,而科学史家表明该地区的负责混合性质。

And a weak interest is in indeed.而衰弱的兴趣是确实。 It is not too much to claim that modern cosmology is a distinctly underdeveloped part of the history of science, especially if compared with such areas as quantum theory, relativity, solid state physics and particle physics.它没有太多要求,现代宇宙学是一个科学史的一部分明显落后,特别是如果作为量子论,相对论,固体物理和粒子物理等方面的比较。 I suppose that one of the reasons, though not the only one, is that historians of physics do not really count cosmology as belonging to their specialty, that historians of astronomy feel the same way, and that historians of philosophy simply do not have the knowledge and interest necessary to understand the field.我想这是原因之一,但不是唯一的,是物理学历史学家并不真正算是属于他们的特殊宇宙学,天文史学家认为有同样的感觉,哲学史家,而根本不具备的知识要了解和兴趣领域。 It has thus been left, to a high degree, to scientists' and science journalists' more or less amateurish writings, which have very little historical perspective and are clearly objectionable from the point of view of professional history of science.它也因此获得左侧,是一个高度,对科学家和科学记者或多或少业余的著作,其中有历史的角度非常小,并清楚地从专业的科学史的角度反感。 There are valuable and interesting reviews written by astronomers and physicists, but these have more the character of retrospective surveys than proper historical works and fail completely to contextualise the subject.有天文学家和物理学家书面宝贵和有趣的评论,但这些都更合适,比历史追溯调查工作性质和完全不contextualise主题。 To put it differently, there is no Abraham Pais, Max Jammer or Silvan Schweber among the cosmologists, not even a Jagdish Mehra.若要换种方式,没有亚伯拉罕派斯,最大干扰器或西尔万Schweber之间的宇宙学家,甚至没有一个杰格迪什梅赫拉。 Perhaps physical cosmology is too new a field for including this kind of historically perceptive scientist-historians, and if this is the case we have to rely on the historians of modern science to provide a richer, more detailed and more critical account of the development of cosmology than the quasi-history now existing. Perhaps物理宇宙学是太新的领域,包括这一历史洞察力的科学家,历史学家的一种,如果是这样的情况下,我们必须依靠现代科学的历史学家的发展提供了更丰富,更详细,更重要帐户比准现存历史宇宙观。

At any rate, it is a fact that 20th-century cosmology has only been subjected to historical scrutiny in very few cases, and then mostly for the period before 1940.无论如何,它是一种20世纪的宇宙学只受到历史的严格审查,极少数情况下,大多是1940年以前时期的那么事实。 More comprehensive, scholarly histories that cover also the postwar development are largely limited to two works, which were both published in 1965 and must now be regarded as dated, if still useful.更全面,涵盖了战后的发展也受到很大限制学术史的两个工程,均发表在1965年,现在必须被视为过时,如果仍然是有用的。 I am referring to John North's Measure of the Universe and Jacques Merleau-Ponty's Cosmologie du XX eme Siècle , both of which are impressive in their comprehensiveness and philosophical attitude, but which unfortunately were completed just before that magic year of 1965, when the cosmic background radiation was discovered.我指的是约翰北的测量宇宙和雅克梅洛一庞蒂的Cosmologie杜二十电磁辐射末世 ,这两者都是态度令人印象深刻的全面性和哲学,但不幸的是,完成之前,神奇的一年1965年时的宇宙背景辐射辐射被发现。 It is ironical that this is the year often said to mark the rennaissance of cosmology, or the start of physical cosmology, and that North and Merleau-Ponty just missed it and therefore gave accounts which later scientists must find curiously one-sided in their mathematical and philosophical orientations.它讽刺的是,这是今年常说,纪念宇宙学rennaissance,或物理宇宙学的开始,而北美和梅洛庞蒂just missed因此给了它和帐目,后来科学家必须找到他们的数学奇怪的片面和哲学的方向。 For good reasons, the big bang models play a minor role only, whereas recent historians would undoubtedly give this area a much more prominent place.有充分理由,大爆炸模型只扮演次要的角色,而近期的史学家无疑将使得这个地区更加突出的位置。 The description of the past depends on the present, which is the reason why history is constantly rewritten, and this is nicely exemplified by the mentioned works.对过去的描述取决于目前,这也是为什么在不断改写历史的原因,这就是很好的例证上述作品。

But we live in 1996, more than thirty years after the new cosmology came into existence, and it is certainly time to take another look at the whole development of modern cosmology, a look which will build on the scholarship of North, Merleau-Ponty and others, but also go beyond this and will inevitably be coloured by the events during the last three decades.但是,我们生活在1996年,三十多年后,新的宇宙形成之初,它是在一定的时间来采取了现代宇宙学的整体发展再看看,一看这将会建立在北,梅洛一庞蒂和奖学金其他人,但也超越这一点,将不可避免地受到事件的颜色在过去的三十年。 The problem is only that no-one has done so, and that the history of postwar cosmology is still largely the arena of physicists, astronomers and journalists.这个问题,只是没有人已经这样做了,而战后的历史在很大程度上仍是宇宙的物理学家,天文学家和记者的舞台。 This neglect is all the more puzzling because cosmology -- in the older and more restricted sense of the planetary system -- has traditionally ben a central part of the history of the physical sciences.这种忽略更令人费解,因为所有的宇宙 - 在行星系统的老年人和更受限制的感觉 - 一本传统的物理科学史的核心部分。 I am thinking of such classics as Duhem's Systeme du Monde , Koyré's From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe and Kuhn's The Copernican Revolution , and all their predecessors.我想到这些经典的迪昂的Systeme杜世界报封闭的世界 Koyré的从宇宙的无限和库恩的哥白尼革命 ,和他们所有的前辈。 Hundreds or thousands of scholarly works have been devoted to ancient cosmology, to Dante's poetic vision of the medieval cosmos, to Copernicus' revolutionary break with the geocentric system, and to Kepler's attempt to understand the planetary orbits.数百或上千的学术著作一直致力于古宇宙论,但丁的诗歌视野的中世纪宇宙,以哥白尼的地心说体系的革命喘口气,开普勒试图了解行星轨道。 The result is that we know far more of how the heliocentric system of the "world" came into existence than of the emergence of the big bang idea in modern cosmology.其结果是,我们知道,更多的是如何对“世界”日心说体系开始存在比在现代宇宙学大爆炸的想法出现。 And yet it would be difficult to argue that the 20th-century picture of the evolution of the universe is less of an intellectual achievement, or is less revolutionary, than the picture constructed by Ptolomy, Copernicus and Kepler.然而,这将是很难说的宇宙演化20世纪的图片是一个智力成果少,或者是少比Ptolomy革命,哥白尼和开普勒构建的图片。

At this point I may mention that there are presently attempts to remedy this situation, and that valuable work has been made in a few areas of postwar astronomy, space-science and cosmology.在这一点上我可能会提到,目前有企图改变这种情况,宝贵的工作已在战后天文学,空间科学和宇宙学领域取得了一些。 Thus the history of radioastronomy -- which includes important cosmological applications -- is thoroughly well known thanks to the efforts of Mulkay and Edge, Sullivan, and others, and also the development of X-ray astronomy has been detailed by a few authors.因此,射电天文学史 - 其中包括重要的宇宙论的应用 - 彻底众所周知的感谢,Mulkay和EDGE,沙利文等人的努力,也是X射线天文学的发展已被一些作者详细。 As regards cosmology proper, I have studied the period from 1920 to 1970, and a comprehensive work focusing on the controversy between big bang and steady state models will appear this fall.至于正确的宇宙观,我已经研究了从1920年至1970年,一项全面的工作大爆炸论,稳态模型的争议重点将出现在今年秋天。

The historiography of modern cosmology is faced with all the classical problems that face history of modern science in general.现代宇宙学史学面临的所有面临整体上的现代科学史上的经典问题。 I have already alluded to the problematical relationship between the historian's kind of history and the kind of history written by scientists who have participated in the development.我已经提到的历史学家之间的一种历史和历史上的谁已经在写有问题的科学家参与发展的关系。 There is a well-known tension between practitioners' historical outlook and the one argued by professional historians, although the gap between the two groups is by no means unbridgeable, such as we know from histories of modern physics and biology.从业人员之间存在的历史风貌和由专业的历史学家争辩说,一位知名的紧张,虽然两组之间的差距绝不是不可逾越的,比如我们从现代物理学和生物学的历史认识。 One aspect of the so-called practitioners' history (although not one exclusively to find in such) is the temptation to streamline history, to write it so as it fits with the most modern views and, consequently, ignore the false trails and blind alleys that may seem so irrelevant to the road that led to modern knowledge.一个方面,所谓的从业者的历史(虽然没有一个专门找到这样)是诱惑,精简的历史,这么写,因为它最适合现代的意见,因此,忽略假小径和死胡同这可能似乎很无关的道路,导致了现代知识。 I don't need to emphasize that this is bad history, if history at all, and that its main purpose is to celebrate modern science rather than obtain understanding of how science has really developed.我不需要强调,这是不好的历史,如果在所有历史,它的主要目的是为了庆祝现代科学,而不是如何科学已经取得真正发展的认识。 Now cosmology is full of those false trails and blind alleys and even today one cannot be absolutely confident that the standard hot big bang model is the final answer, so it is especially important that the development of this field is treated with historical sensitivity and with due respect for the historically important events, whether these fit with modern beliefs or not.现在,宇宙学是那些虚假创新和盲目的小巷,甚至今天也不能绝对相信,标准热大爆炸模型是最终的答案完整,所以它是特别重要的是,这一领域的发展是符合历史的敏感性和适当处理尊重历史的重要事件,无论这些与现代的信仰或不适合。 In short, we should not be concerned with which models and observations were right or false, as seen from a later perspective, but with what people in the past thought was promising and interesting.总之,我们不应该关心的是模式和观测是正确的或虚假的,因为从后来的角度来看,但以过去认为人们是有希望的和有趣。

To mention but one example of an anachronistically distorted perspective, very few modern accounts of cosmology give Edward Milne's research programme of the 1930s much attention.但一提的anachronistically扭曲的角度举例来说,现代宇宙学很少账目足以爱德华Milne的20世纪30年代非常关注的研究计划。 If mentioned at all, it is judged to be a rationalistic fancy which led to no real progress and therefore can be safely ignored or ridiculed.如果提到的,它是理性的判断是一个幻想,而导致没有实质进展,因此可以放心地忽略或嘲笑。 Indeed, most modern astronomers and physicists will have a great deal of difficulty of appreciating Milne's non-relativistic, deductive cosmology and may ask why it should be recalled in any detail when it after all turned out to be a failure.事实上,大多数现代天文学家和物理学家将有欣赏Milne的非相对论,宇宙论的演绎难度很大,并可能会问,为什么要在任何时候详细回顾之后被证明是失败的。 But this is precisely where the different perspectives of scientists and historians come in: for the historian there can be no doubt that Milne was a key person in modern cosmology because of his dominating importance during the critical phase of cosmology in the 1930s and 1940s.但是,这正是科学家和历史学家的不同观点进来:对于历史学家不可能有任何疑问,米尔恩是因为他的统治期间,宇宙学在30年代和40年代的关键阶段的重要性,在现代宇宙学的关键人物。 Instead of focusing on the end-result of his programme, on his reputation after 1950, we should simply stick to the facts of the past, and these show clearly that the agenda within theoretical cosmology during the 1930s was set by Milne and those who followed him.而是把重点放在最终的结果,他计划在1950年以后,他的信誉,我们应该简单地坚持过去的事实,并明确指出,在这些宇宙学理论在20世纪30年代的议程是由米尔恩集展示和那些谁遵循他。

There is a related danger, also known from other branches of history of science, and that is the temptation to trace history backwards in time in order to find precursors of those ideas which today are recognized to be fundamental in cosmology.有一个相关的危险,还从科学史的其他部门知道,那是诱惑的时间推算历史倒退,以便找到那些被认为有今天的宇宙学的基本思想前兆。 One such idea is the notion of the big bang, and because of the prominent role played by this idea in modern cosmology it is tempting to think that it also played a prominent role in prewar cosmology.一个这样的想法是大爆炸的概念,因为在现代宇宙学这个想法很容易让人以为它也发挥了突出的作用在战前宇宙学起的突出作用。 But one should be very cautious and keep to reading the texts in their historical contexts and not with an eye on later knowledge.但我们应该非常谨慎,并坚持在他们的历史背景下阅读的文本和对后世的知识的眼睛没有。 For example, it has been claimed that the big bang concept was discussed by the philosopher Henri Bergson as early as 19xx, before Georges Lema?tre gave voice to the idea in 1932 and developed it scientifically.例如,它一直声称,大爆炸的概念是由哲学家柏格森讨论只要19XX年年初,在乔治勒梅特表达了这个想法在1932年和科学发展它。 Not only is this claim misplaced -- one could as well claim that the originator of the big bang idea was Moses, or whoever wrote the Genesis of the Old Testament -- it is also a claim which was made only because the big bang became an interesting notion many years later, and it is a claim that doesn't explain anything or make us understand the history of cosmology any better.这种说法不仅是错误的 - 人们可以同时声称,大爆炸的思想发端人摩西的,还是谁写的旧约创世纪 - 这也是这是作出说法只是因为大爆炸成为很有意思的看法多年后的今天,它是一个声称没有解释任何东西,让我们了解宇宙的任何更好的历史。

Let me mention one more example of a rather different type, namely the important universe model proposed in 1932 by Einstein and de Sitter, describing a universe with zero pressure, zero space-curvature, and zero cosmological constant.请允许我提一个一个相当不同的类型,即宇宙模型的重要建议在1932年由爱因斯坦和德西特描述了零压力,零空间的曲率和零宇宙常数的宇宙,更多的例子。 As is well known, the Einstein-de Sitter universe is continuously expanding, corresponding to the distances between galaxies varying as the time in the power of 2/3, or, put differently, with an age of the universe equalling 2/3 of the Hubble time.众所周知,爱因斯坦,德西特宇宙正在不断扩大,相应的作为之间的权力时变星系的距离的2 / 3,或者,换句话说,任何一个对宇宙相当于2 / 3岁哈勃时间。 The Einstein-de Sitter model is a typical big bang model, with a zero radius at the beginning of time and then following a monotonous expansion, and because of its simplicity it often figures in modern discussions of cosmology as a big bang exemplar.在爱因斯坦德西特模型是一个典型的大爆炸模型,在一开始的时候一半径为零,然后按照一个单调的扩张,因为它简单,往往在讨论现代宇宙学作为一大爆炸的典范人物。 And yet it would be misleading to believe that either Einstein or de Sitter presented their model as a big bang theory in 1932.然而它会误导相信无论是爱因斯坦或德西特提出在1932年作为大爆炸理论中的模型。 When we look at what is actually in that paper, instead of interpreting it in accordance with later knowledge, we realize that the authors have nothing to say at all about the big bang features and that they do not even state the variation of distance with time.当我们在什么是真正在该文件中解释,而不是在按照它与后来的知识,你看,我们认识到,作者们在关于大爆炸的所有功能没什么可说的,他们甚至不随时间变化的状态距离。 A historically correct view of the Einstein-de Sitter universe anno 1932 is obtained by reading what is in the paper and analyzing the text within the context of the early 1930s, and not by rationalizing what might have been in it or was implicitly in it.作者:爱因斯坦德西特宇宙纪元1932年历史的正确的观点是通过阅读获得的文件是什么和分析,而不是那些可能发生的合理化,在它还是隐含在它内的30年代初上下文的文本。

Before leaving the historical part of my paper I want to point out that what little there has been written has almost been completely devoted to either cosmology's scientific aspects or its philosophical implications.临走时,我的文件历史的一部分,我想指出的是,很少有什么被写入几乎已被完全致力于要么宇宙的科学方面或它的哲学意义。 This emphasis on the scientific and intellectual aspects is perhaps reasonable enough, but it shouldn't make us forget that it is only one approach among many and that there are other, valuable approaches which until now have scarcely been investigated at all.这种对科学和知识方面也许是合理的足够重视,但它不应该使我们忘记,这仅仅是一个在众多的做法,还有其他的,直到现在几乎没有进行调查的所有有价值的方法。 Think about solid-state physics or particle physics, for example.想想固态物理,粒子物理,例如,。 The development of these fields have been dealt with not only from a scientific point of view but also from broader, social and institutional points of view, and that with the result that we know a great deal about the history of these disciplines and the interaction between intellectual and social factors.这些领域的发展已经处理了从科学的角度来看,不仅而且从更广泛的角度,社会和体制问题,而且其结果是我们非常了解这些学科之间的相互作用的历史和大量智力和社会因素。 How different with cosmology!如何与宇宙一样! We are sorely in need of research in these non-scientific aspects, which includes such questions such as funding, public appeal and responses, disciplinary interactions and tensions, education and training, the geography of cosmological research, and networks and school-building in cosmology.我们迫切需要研究在这些非科学的方面,这包括诸如资金,公开呼吁和响应,纪律和紧张的互动,教育和培训,对宇宙学研究地理,网络和宇宙学的学校建设等问题。

3. 3。 Philosophy of and in Cosmology 哲学和宇宙学

Cosmology has its philosophical appeal in common with quantum mechanics, but in a rather more direct and fundamental manner: cosmology is in part philosophical, and the great questions concerning the origin and structure of the world (not to mention its end) has always been an integrated part of cosmological thought.宇宙学量子力学的哲学有其共同的上诉,但以一种更直接和基本的方式:宇宙学的一部分,是在哲学和结束)重大问题的有关它的起源和结构的世界(更不用说一直是宇宙论思想的一个组成部分。 So whereas one can easily deal with the history of quantum theory without entering philosophical topics, this is hardly possible in the history of cosmology.因此,而一个可以轻松应付了量子理论的哲学主题的历史,而无需输入,这是几乎不可能在宇宙学的历史。

It will be useful to distinguish between two kinds of philosophy related to cosmology, one which can be called philosophy of cosmology and another philosophy in cosmology.这将是有益的区分两种类型的哲学的宇宙论与宇宙论,一种可称为宇宙学和哲学的另一个理念。 The first kind consists of philosophical analysis of an existing scientific field, its subject-matter, methods and possibilities of obtaining true knowledge, and is typically the work of professional philosophers of science.第一类包括哲学分析现有的科学领域,其题材,方法和取得真正的知识的可能性,通常是专业哲学家的科学工作。 Philosophy in cosmology, on the other hand, is the kind of spontaneous philosophical considerations that enter cosmology as a living scientific field and which is part of the history of that field; it may deal with many of the same questions as those of philosophy of cosmology, but it intervenes directly in the scientific discourse and is often the work of the scientists themselves, although philosophers may also have a word in the process.哲学的宇宙论,另一方面,是作为一个自发的生活而进入科学领域的宇宙观,这是该领域的历史的一部分一种哲学思考,它可以处理作为宇宙学哲学的许多同样的问题,但它直接干预的科学论述,而且往往是自己工作的科学家,哲学家虽然也可能在这个过程中的话。 This distinction is known also from some other areas of science, for example in early quantum mechanics where Heisenberg, Bohr and others used philosophical arguments in their attempts to understand the new theory, whereas philosophers' interest in the theory came somewhat later and played very little role in the scientific process.这个区别是已知也从科学的某些其他领域,例如,在早期量子力学在海森堡,玻尔和其他人在试图用哲学观点来理解新的理论,而哲学家在理论的兴趣,来到有点迟,发挥很少科学过程中的作用。 Compared with quantum mechanics the situation in cosmology is, roughly speaking, that philosophy in science played a greater role in cosmology whereas philosophers of science has only been insignificantly interested in the questions of cosmology.与量子力学相比较,在宇宙学的情况是,粗略地讲,在科学哲学的科学已经发挥,而只在不显着宇宙学的问题感兴趣的哲学家,在宇宙学方面发挥更大作用。

One of the classical philosophical problems is simply whether the concept of the universe has any physical meaning or if it is just an idea, and this problem obviously depends on another one, namely, what is to be understood by the "universe."古典哲学的根本问题之一是对宇宙是否有任何概念的物理意义,或者它只是一个想法,而这个问题显然是靠一个又一个,即,什么是由理解“宇宙”。 I started by mentioning that "universe" normally means the totality of physical things, but many scientists would add a further clause, namely, that these things have to be causally connected; since cosmologists happen to be situated on earth, this means that the universe, according to this view, is that part of spacetime and its physical constituents that are accessible in principle to observers on earth.我一开始提的是“宇宙”通常指的是物理的东西的总和,但许多科学家将进一步增加一个条款,即,这些事情都要有因果联系;因为宇宙学家恰巧是坐落在地球上,这意味着宇宙根据这种观点,是时空及其已在原则上地球观察员无障碍的有形成分的一部分。 This is an empirically reasonable definition which limits the universe to a spatial radius of the order of cT, or about 10 billion light years, but it is clearly a definition that ignores the multitude of things outside this radius.这是一个经验的合理界定,限制了宇宙的CT,或约10亿光年为半径的空间,但它显然是一个定义,忽略了门外半径千头万绪。 According to most cosmological models there is a cosmic horizon outside which galaxies recede from us with velocities larger than that of light, and which are therefore unobservable even in principle.根据大多数宇宙模型是有地平线外的宇宙星系后退速度从我们比光速大,所以即使是在原则上无法观察。 Yet these objects too belong to our universe, in the wider sense, and we therefore have to accept that cosmology deals with objects that are unobservable in principle, which of course is a philosophically controversial claim, especially to empiricists.然而,这些对象也属于我们的宇宙,在更广泛的意义,因此,我们必须接受对象,原则上是不可观察的,这当然是一个有争议的主张宇宙学哲学的交易,特别是经验主义。

Cosmological knowledge seems to be conditioned by principles or assumptions that are themselves completely unverifiable insofar as they can only have a limited inductive support.宇宙知识,似乎是有原则或假设本身就是完全无法验证的,只要它们只能有一个有限的归纳支持有条件的。 The most important of these assumptions is the Cosmological Principle which includes the postulates of spatial homogeneity and isotropy and which lies at the heart of all models satisfying a Robertson-Walker metric.这些假设中最重要的是宇宙学原理,其中包括空间均匀性和各向同性的假设并在所有满足一个罗伯逊,沃克度量模型的核心。 This principle, together with the relativistic field equations, determines models of the complete universe, which is a satisfying feature, but it also makes rough predictions about regions of the universe which are beyond observation.这一原则,与相对论场方程在一起,决定了完整的宇宙,这是一个令人满意的特征模型,但它也使对宇宙的观察有些地区超越粗略的预测。 These predictions or knowledge-claims are postulates that can never be verified and so their reliability must remain a matter a faith.这些预测或知识的索赔是永远无法验证其可靠性,因此必须保持一个问题一个信念准则。 They are consequences of the Cosmological Principle, but this principle can only be verified in the observable part of the universe and its extrapolation beyond this part rests on faith, not knowledge.它们是宇宙学原理的后果,但这种原则只能进行核查的宇宙观测的一部分,这部分外推其超越信仰,不是知识之上。 Still, there are different kinds of faith, and to say that a claim is a matter of faith does not imply that it is either irrational or completely arbitrary.不过,也有各种不同的信仰,并说,一个声称是一个信仰问题,并不意味着它可以是不合理的或完全任意的。

If the universe is the totality of things, then, as a consequence, it is also unique: there exists only one universe, not because we have empirical evidence for it, but because the concept of the universe is defined as it is.如果宇宙是事物的整体,那么,作为结果,它也是唯一的:只存在一个宇宙,不是因为我们有这方面的经验证据,但由于宇宙的概念定义为它是。 Yet many physicists speak of this or that universe, or about many universes, as though a universe was the same kind of object as an electron or a bottle of wine.然而,许多物理学家讲这个或那个宇宙中,还是对许多宇宙,宇宙仿佛是作为一个电子或一瓶葡萄酒同类对象。 In some cases such parlor is innocent: when the scientists speak of "universes" they often really mean "models of the universe," and there are obviously many cosmological models seeking to describe the one and only universe.在某些情况下,这种客厅是无辜的:当科学家们讲的“宇宙”,他们往往真的是“宇宙模型”,并有很显然,许多寻求描述宇宙的唯一的宇宙模型。 However, in other cases physicists refer to the idea of multiple universes, either so-called bubble-universes or other theories involving causally isolated regions of spacetime.但是,在其他情况下物理学家所谓的多重宇宙的想法,无论是所谓的泡沫或涉及因果关系的宇宙时空隔离地区的其他理论。 The idea of multiple universes has its own philosophical problems, but I just want to mention that the way in which scientists use the term "universe" is often loose and confusing: There is nothing wrong with theories of multiple universes, but if one insists on calling such spacetime-regions "universes" one should invent a new word for the totality of things, which is the ultimate domain of cosmology.多个宇宙的想法有自己的哲学问题,但我只想提一提的方式,科学家使用“宇宙”往往是松散和混乱:有什么用多宇宙理论的错,但如果一个人坚持弄不好时空,地区的“宇宙”一要发明的事物的整体,这是宇宙的最终域的新词。

In any case, whether adopting the wider or more narrow point of view, from an empirical point of view the universe is unique.在任何情况下,无论采取从实证角度看的角度更宽或更窄一点,宇宙是独一无二的。 There is only one universe about which we can have empirical knowledge, and this, as I said, makes the domain of cosmology different in principle from other domains of science.只有一个宇宙,我们可以有哪些经验知识,而这,正如我所说,使宇宙学从其他科学领域的原则,不同的域。 To speak philosophically, science is nomological , meaning that it normally deals with objects or events which can be generalized or repeated and in this way be subjected to explanations by law; but there is only one universe, the big bang is a non-repeatable event, and it makes no sense to generalize cosmological knowledge which is supposed to be valid for the entire universe.说话哲学,科学是法则 ,这意味着它通常由法律处理的物体或事件,可概括或重复和解释以这种方式受到,但只有一个宇宙,宇宙大爆炸是一个非重复事件,这是没有意义的概括宇宙学的知识,应该是整个宇宙是正确的。 In other words, cosmology seems to be non-nomological and therefore, according to some scientists, in need of its own methods of inquiry.换句话说,宇宙似乎是不法则,因此,根据一些科学家,在自己的调查方法需要。 This kind of philosophical argument was for example discussed by Hermann Bondi in the 1960s, when he argued that there are no, and can be none, cosmological laws and neither can the most general features of the universe be explained.这种哲学的一种说法是由赫尔曼邦迪讨论了20世纪60年代,当他认为,有没有例子,可没有,宇宙学法律,也不能在宇宙中最普遍的特点加以解释。 For to explain something amounts to demonstrating that it is a special instance of some general class, and there is no general class of universes, and for this reason Bondi argued that all that cosmology can possibly do is to describe or record the universe.对于一些数额解释表明它是一种特殊的一般类的实例,也没有宇宙一般类,基于这个原因,邦迪认为,所有的宇宙学都不可能做到的,是宇宙的描述或记录。

I just mention this as an example of how philosophical reasoning may enter cosmology and I would like briefly to mention another example from the same period.我刚才提到的是如何可以进入宇宙的哲学道理,我想简略地提到同时期另一个例子例子。 The basic epistemological question in cosmology is if it is possible to have reliable knowledge af the universe.在宇宙学的认识论的基本问题是,是否有可能有可靠的知识自动对焦宇宙。 In other words, why should we believe that the cosmologists' mathematical models represent the real universe, most of which is forever hidden from us?换句话说,我们为什么要相信宇宙学家的数学模型,代表了真正的宇宙,其中大部分是永远从我们的隐藏? There have been periods of optimism and pessimism in the more recent history of cosmology, and in the years about 1960 it seemed to some cosmologists that pessimism was warranted by the incapability to decide observationally between the big bang and steady state models.目前已在最近的历史宇宙学的乐观和悲观的时期,大约在1960年似乎悲观一些宇宙学家认为是由无能保证决定之间的大爆炸和稳态模型的观测上。 William McCrea, a leading British cosmologist, argued that even in principle we cannot predict the behaviour of a remote part of the universe and that, the farther away the region, the less precise will our predictions be.威廉麦克雷,英国著名宇宙学家,认为即使是在原则上,我们无法预测宇宙的一个偏僻的行为,而且,距离越远的区域,将我们的预测不准确的是。 He formulated a cosmological uncertainty principle of the same fundamental nature as the one known from quantum mechanics, namely, that there will be an uncertainty in cosmological knowledge proportional to the redshift, which meant that it would be meaningless to try distinguishing between cosmological models which only differ at very large distances.他制定了从量子力学,即已知的一对相同的基本性质的宇宙不确定性原理,将有一个在宇宙知识的不确定性成正比的红移,这意味着,这将是毫无意义的尝试之间的区别,只有宇宙模型相差很大的距离。 If the universe is fundamentally unpredictable and unexplainable it would seem that cosmology is not really a science, and this was indeed the conclusion drawn by McCrea and some other prominent cosmologists of the period.如果宇宙是根本无法预测,它似乎无法解释宇宙学是不是一个真正的科学,这确实是由麦克雷和一些其他著名宇宙学家期间得出的结论。

The same period witnessed an interesting discussion between astronomers, physicists and philosophers concerning the scientific status of cosmology and, more specifically, which of the two competing world-models was the most scientific one, that is, preferable on methodological grounds.同一时期,发生之间的天文学家,物理学家和哲学家关于宇宙学的科学的地位,更具体有趣的讨论,其中的两种相互竞争的世界模式是最科学的一个,那就是关于方法的理由更可取。 This is a topic I have dealt with in detail in my forthcoming book, and today I shall merely point out that such a question obviously must rely on some methodological demarcation criterion, that is, on a philosophical and not a scientific principle.这是我处理过,在我即将出版的细节,主题,今天我只想指出,这些问题显然必须依靠一些方法划分标准,即在一种哲学,而不是一个科学的原则。 It was generally agreed that some degree of testability is a minimum requirement for a theory being scientific, and the steady state theoreticians emphasized in particular Popper's idea of falsifiability as the overriding methodological criterion.与会者普遍认为,一些测试性度是一个被科学理论的最低要求,而稳态理论家特别是波普尔的证伪思想强调,作为压倒一切的方法标准。 Indeed, the steady state model is a prime example of a Popperian theory because it yielded precise predictions and in this sense was eminently falsifiable.事实上,稳态模型是一个理论,因为它产生了波普尔准确的预测,在这个意义上说是最好的例子显然证伪。 From a methodological point of view the rival big bang theory was much more of a mess and didn't live up to Popper's standards of a good scientific theory.从方法论的角度对手大爆炸理论是很大的混乱越来越没有辜负了良好的科学理论波普尔的标准。 The fact that it turned out that this methodologically unsatisfactory theory was nonetheless a better and truer theory than the steady state theory invites two comments.事实上,它原来,这是理论方法上仍然不理想,比稳态理论更好,更真实的理论邀请两点意见。 The one is that man-made methodological criteria can never decide which theory is true, and which false, but only be recommendations of how to secure progress in science; a methodologically ugly theory may well turn out to be correct, as it happened with the big bang theory in the mid-1960s.一个是人为的方法标准不能确定哪个理论是正确的,哪些假的,但只能是如何确保在科技进步的建议,一个丑陋的理论方法上很可能变成是正确的,因为它与发生big bang theory in the mid-1960s. Well, it has later been improved and today it is not as ugly as it was. The other comment is that the controversy between the two world-models in no way contradicts Popperian falsifiability; Popper emphasized the vulnerability of theories as a positive feature, not because such theories are likely to be correct, but because their refutation represents knowledge of what is not the case and thereby makes it easier to find a better theory. It was in this way, by being refuted, that the steady state model played an important role in the progress of cosmology.

There are many more interesting philosophical problems in cosmology, such as the questions of the anthropic principle and the problem of creation in big bang theory. These have been much discussed during the last couple of decades, both by philosophers and cosmologists, but -- as one would rather expect -- without any satisfactory solution. As far as the anthropic principle is concerned there seems to be a growing consensus that this is not, after all, a scientific meta-principle of any real worth. And in spite of much discussion and many ingenious suggestions, the ultimate question of the creation of the universe seems as far from a solution as ever. But time does not allow me to go into these problems and I will leave the matter with these loose remarks and go on to another philosophical problem related to modern astrophysics.

4. 4。 The Epistemic Status of Cosmological Objects

But time forces me to be selective and I would like instead to end with discussing a suggestion made by the Canadian philosopher Ian Hacking, who is known in particular from his book Representing and Intervening , where he argues for entity realism when we are able to manipulate and make tools of theoretical entities; for example, we have reason to believe that electrons really do exist because we can use electrons in a variety of ways, make them behave as we want, and manipulate them in experiments. That sounds fine enough, should one doubt that electrons exist, but Hacking places so much emphasis on experiment that he is unwilling to accept that some astrophysical quantities, such as quasars and black holes, can be granted the same ontological status as electrons. In fact, with regard to distant and exotic astronomical objects he argues for what he calls a "modest anti-realism," that is, that we can never have knowledge of their existence. Hacking argues that extra-galactic astronomy is not a real science, because the hallmark of science is active experimentation and interference wih objects, whereas astronomical objects are non-manipulable and can only be observed, not experimented with; for this reason he believes that astronomy and astrophysics consist in model-making and must necessarily do so, and that astronomical knowledge is therefore less reliable and of a different kind than knowledge obtained from laboratory science.

Although he does not mention cosmology, it follows that if we have reason to doubt the knowledge claims about quasars, black holes and gravitational lensing, then we have even more reason to doubt cosmological knowledge, for the universe is surely not an "object" which can be scrutinized in the laboratory. By thus picturing astronomy and cosmology as areas between speculation and science, Hacking indirectly follows the pessimistic tradition of McCrea and others. Incidentally, the suspicion that astrophysics is not a proper science goes much farther back in time and was espoused by Auguste Comte in his Cours de Philosophie Positive in the 1830s, when the French philosopher claimed that we could never have positive knowledge about the sun or the stars. Well, Comte turned out to be seriously wrong, and I would say that Hacking's philosophically based contemporary doubts are not much better. They have been severely criticized by the American philosopher Dudley Shapere, and I shall only mention a few reasons why skepticism or anti-realism about astrophysical objects is unwarranted.

The main problem seems to be Hacking's claim that secure knowledge is limited to those objects that can be reproduced or interfered with in laboratory experiments. Of course one cannot experiment with a quasar, and even less with the universe, but this is not an unusual situation in science and doesn't give ground for anti-realism. This is in fact a situation shared by all those sciences which deal with the past, which not only include astronomy but also palaeozoology and a good deal of geology; we cannot experiment with the past, but this doesn't mean that it is inaccessible to us, only that we cannot interfere directly with it and have to rely on those traces from the past that happen to survive today. Because we cannot experiment with the past, we have to interpret the traces in accordance with some assumptions such as a principle of uniformitarianism, which in the case of physics implies that the laws of nature were the same in the past as they are today. It is in this way that we have gained reliable knowledge about dinosaurs and the formation of rocks, and there is no difference in principle between knowledge about the past of the earth and knowledge about distant astronomical objects. The traces from astrophysical objects arrive to us on earth in the form of signals, usually electromagnetic waves, and then they can be analyzed in the laboratory. To picture modern astronomy and cosmology as simply mathematical model-making in the style of Ptolemy or Copernicus is to give a highly distorted picture and ignore the vast amount of experimental work which is routinely done in modern astrophysics.

As far as cosmology is concerned, Hacking's anti-realism might have been reasonable in the 1950s and early 1960s, but it just doesn't fit with the later development and in particular not with the famous discovery of the cosmic background radiation in 1965. This radiation came from the universe and was detected on earth, not produced in the laboratory, and all what astronomers could do was to try measuring the radiation; because it was observation rather than experiment Hacking would perhaps not be willing to admit it as convincing evidence of the big bang, but the existence of an isotropic, blackbody-distributed microwave radiation can surely not be doubted. Although we cannot manipulate with the radiation, but just have to accept it as it is, we can use it to obtain knowledge, to make predictions, and to correlate theoretical knowledge; so the radiation from the heavens is far from a passive signal, it functions as a tool and since it has proven a very useful tool there is all reason to admit that it was caused by a real event, most likely the decoupling between matter and radiation in the early history of our universe.

To make a long story short, there are all kinds of problems in cosmology, some philosophical and some scientific, but this is hardly surprising in regard of the wildly ambitious aims of this science. Scientific cosmology is less than 100 years old and the remarkable thing is not that there are so many problems, but that we have some reliable knowledge of the universe at all and that progress does take place also in cosmology. Moreover, this knowledge has been acquired not by using some special kind of reasoning, but essentially by following established rules of scientific inference, including a heavy dose of nuclear and subnuclear physics. The fact is not only that we can have knowledge about the universe, but that we do have such knowledge; of course this knowledge is highly incomplete, but what else could be expected from a science with the entire universe as its domain?

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