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Thursday, January 25, 2007

Wired answers (sort of) the big questions

Wired has posted a number of mostly scientific big questions (samples: "Why do we sleep?" "What happens to information in a black hole?" "Why can't we predict the weather?") and attempts at answers. I was pleased by the tentative nature of the answers, and the selection of questions is good. The responses are by various experts. No doubt experts who disagree strongly with the responses could be found.

Here's the last part of Greg Easterbrook's answer to "Where did life come from?"

Did God or some other higher being create life? Did it begin on another world, to be transported later to ours? Until such time as a wholly natural origin of life is found, these questions have power. We’re improbable, we’re here, and we have no idea why. Or how.

Well, I have an answer, found in Genesis 1, John 1:1-5, Colossians 1:15-20, and elsewhere in the Bible. But, as Hebrews 11:3 suggests, it's not a scientific answer. It's an answer of faith.
Easterbrook's scientific answer is great. (This seems to be a page that allows some changes by users, so I can't be sure that it will stay the same. The quotations were what I found on January 24.)

I liked Kevin Kelly's answer to the last question, which is "Why do we still have big questions?" Here's part of what he said:
The paradox of science is that every answer breeds at least two new questions. More answers mean even more questions, expanding not only what we know but also what we don’t know. Every new tool for looking farther or deeper or smaller allows us to spy into our ignorance. Future technologies such as artificial intelligence, controlled fusion, and quantum computing (to name a few on the near horizon) will change the world - that means the biggest questions have yet to be asked.

Thanks for reading.

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