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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Wise Augustine

From a review in Zocalo Public Square of Before the Big Bang: The Prehistory of Our Universe by Brian Clegg:
But according to Clegg, the greatest problem with the Big Bang theory isn’t with the particulars, but rather with the fundamental (and universal, if you will) element of time. After cautioning that thinking about time “tends to twist the mind into pretzel form,” Clegg asks a perplexing question that resonates in the title: what came before the Big Bang? Here, supporters of the Big Bang theory come up empty-handed, and Clegg hints that a non-astrophysicist may know best. In his Confessions, ancient Greek philosopher St. Augustine proposed that before creation, there was no time as we know it, “no past and no future” but simply “always the present.”

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