In this lecture we’ll explore a brief history of 20th century cosmology, and some recent surprising developments. These will include the evidence for the expansion of the universe from the big bang 14 billion years ago, as well as open cosmic questions such as dark matter and dark energy. Also, we will speculate about concept of multiple universes (or “multiverse theory”), the various different kinds of potential multiverses, what evidence we have or could have for such a thing, and the implication that multiverse theory can serve as a naturalistic alternative and counterargument to the theistic “argument from design” (and related anthropic principle) often used to argue for the existence of God. The lecture will be followed by a (hopefully vigorous) Q&A session, so come curious and ready to discuss!
Matt Lowry is a high school and college physics professor with a strong interest in promoting science education and critical thinking among his students and the population in general. He is a self-described skeptic, someone who believes in Carl Sagan’s adage that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” In addition to his normal teaching duties, he is currently working on his BA in philosophy, with the hopes of eventually researching the philosophical borderlands between science, non-science, pseudoscience, and religion. He muses on these and other topics at his blog, The Skeptical Teacher.