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22.11.05

Bad Astronomy

I'm in no way a trained astronomer (I actually don't even like astronomy -- for whatever reason stargazing doesn't appeal to me all that much). So when someone tries to use astronomy to prove a philosophical point and even I can see that they're wrong, there's a problem. I'm reading a book about Deep Ecology, and I came across this line from founder Arne Naess:

Modern astronomy, which I have followed since the 1930s, indicates that the universe is growing, and I feel that I am growing with the universe; I identify with the universe -- the greater the universe, the greater I am.


Unfortunately for Naess, the sense in which the universe is growing is quite different from the sense in which a person's growth is a desirable thing. The universe is not growing in the sense of developing and becoming richer. It's growing in the sense of expanding. All that's happening is that its bits and pieces are getting farther apart.

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