Via xkcd.

There is an additional comment, if you leave your mouse hanging over the original, which reads: "Eäendil will patrol the walls of night only until the sun reaches red giant stage, engulfing the Morning Star on his brow. Light and high beauty are passing things as well."

This is why physics is incomplete without metaphysics. Physics tells you what the rules are; metaphysics is the study of why the rules are as they are. Without philosophy, therefore, physics doesn't understand its own lessons.

Consider this, which suggests that the universe has gone through multiple big-bang events, dying and being reborn. Yet each time, there is less entropy. That is to say, in every subsequent rebirth, there is less chaos and more order.

That's sort of interesting, if you're a physicist. If you're a philosopher, it's hard not to think of the Timaeus.

The universe, he proposes, is the product of rational, purposive, and beneficent agency. It is the handiwork of a divine Craftsman (“Demiurge,” dêmiourgos, 28a6), who, imitating an unchanging and eternal model, imposes mathematical order on a preexistent chaos to generate the ordered universe (kosmos).
We could go forward and note the importance of the Timeaus to neoplatonic, Christian, Jewish and Islamic thinking; we could explore the question of which of these models is most promising. It might be enough, for an internet comment, to note it in Plato: and ask the question, "If this is the rule -- that there is more order and less chaos, on a cosmic scale and across the lives of universes -- why is this the rule?"

It may not be a passing thing at all.

No comments: