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Murray Gell-Mann and Science Certainity

Lately, I have been in a weird academic mood. I have received this academic bug that caused me to explore philosophy (Medieval and Modern) and physics. Weird, I know. I have only really wrestled through these academic disciplines in college and bit in seminary. In my current exploration, I have come across a lot of literature, philosophy, and theories. In particular, I have stumbled across Murray Gell-Mann. I read his book: The Creation of the Universe. This by no means was an easy read, but it helped me understand, through a physics lens, secular thought to how the earth was created.

Murray is a physics theorist and works in the field of fundamentals physics. Murray has received: the Noble Prize in 1969, his Yale BS degree at the age of 15 in 1948, and his PHD from MIT in 1951. He has been a Professor at Columbia University in 1954-55, University of Chicago, and California Institute of Technology, where he taught from 1955 until 1993. Now, he is currently the Robert Andrews Millikan Professor of Theoretical Physics Emeritus at Caltech as well as a University Professor in the Physics and Astronomy Department of the University of New Mexico.

Murray is a smart man. Murray’s job description is essentially to cut up particles and interact with the chopped up elements within the particles. Then, he somehow formulates a systematic theory in how particles are developed. He suggests that nature obeys laws and, in Newton’s words, “it is the business of natural philosophy to find them out.” (Natural Philosophy was physics during Newton’s time) The laws are not just some construct of the human mind, although human beings are engaged in an effort to find successive approximations to those laws and finally, perhaps, discover their exact form. Murray wants to get to the essences. He wants to dig to the core. However, he states we can never really get to the core. We only just keep getting closer and closer to the core.

The most perplexing thing about Murray to me is that: here is a brilliant man trying to find meaning and understanding to how the earth functions by deconstructing particles. Murray performs hypotheses and theories to articulate a possible answer, but never a concrete answer. He can only conclude we are approaching near certainty through our probability.

It blows my mind that this man, with his brain power, does not have a concrete answer. Murray argues two major things. First, more does not create more. You do not need something more in order to get more. Second, the universe was created by the laws of motion, gravity, and a lot of accidents. Seriously? That is all you got? You are telling me that we were created by accidents. Our bodies and earth were created by a random change and accidents. Basically I am a byproduct of a bunch of accidents? Murray suggests that our human mind was constructed from neurology and accidents. Thus, that is how we got our complex mind. How uncertain is that? Yet, Murray is soo certain in their uncertainty.

Science can only steer near certainty. This allows for me to ask the question: What if there is something so much bigger outside of the human mind and science? What if the world was not created through many accidents? What if there was a creator who created this complex, but simple world?

About Jeremy Zach

Orange XP3 Specialist | Youth Worker | MDIV | Hot Sauce Addict | Dr. Dre Beats Lover

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