LISTS FOUR WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE (Jul, 1931)

  • The first is simply conservation of angular momentum. Handy, but not exactly a wonder.
  • For the second one, yeah, the universe is pretty damn big.
  • I’m not sure why the delicate mechanisms needed for insect life are any more wonderous than the delicate mechanisms needed for larger lifeforms.
  • The fourth doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense unless you’re talking about the question of why the universe began with such a low state of entropy (the arrow of time) or possibly the Horizon problem, neither of which I think he knew about.

According to his brief Wikipedia entry J. Arthur Thomson was known for his attempts to reconcile science and religion which I suppose explains the mix of “wonders”.

LISTS FOUR WONDERS OF THE UNIVERSE

Revising the wonders of the universe, Sir J. Arthur Thomson. British zoologist, suggests there are four of them. The first, he says, is the power that keeps stars and planets spinning on their axes. Immensity of space is the second. Third, the delicate mechanisms needed for the life of even the smallest of insects. The orderliness of Nature is fourth.

1 comment
  1. Hirudinea says: July 12, 20122:37 pm

    “I’m not sure why the delicate mechanisms needed for insect life are any more wonderous than the delicate mechanisms needed for larger lifeforms.”

    It’s probably that people consider insects so insignificant that they’re surprised that their biological processes are as complex as ours. (Kind of arrogant if you ask me, it takes a lot to run anything alive no matter what it is.)

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