5Ws of the Universe

Who, Why, What, Where, and When


Starting in the Planetarium at 2pm March 3, 2003

hopefully a dialog and not a monologue

The  two nonscientific Ws : Who and Why

Who? are you, are they, are them, is he, is she, is God or Gods.  Your answer to this question will determine whether it is even sensible to ask why!  Who is tied up with personhood and identity.  In a totally existential world view who and why are most likely nonsensical.

Why?  for what purpose?  What is the self motivating interest?

Purpose Questions, Religious and human Philosophy (not science)

The Three Scientific Ws: What, Where, and When, Knowledge but not wisdom resides here.

What? Some, WMAP, claim it is 4% baryonic, 23% Cold Dark Matter , dark matter, (scientific) (artistic), and 73% Dark Energy.  As for me I am not too sure about the 23% Cold Dark Matter give me MOND, maybe!

Where? 38 degrees 58 arc minutes north 77 degrees west of Greenwich (Takoma Park, Maryland, planetarium in the United State of America), Earth third planet from Sol, outer Orion arm in the Milky Way Galaxy the second largest disk galaxy in the local group and outlying member of the Virgo super cluster, in the universe where the fine structure constant currently is approximately 7.297352533(27)x10-3.

When? 13.7 billion years after creation according to WMAP.  First stars formed after only 200 million year not a billion or so after creation as previous thought.   Having a beginning has spawned a lot of human philosophical and religious thought see the creationism link in Wikipedia.

How Questions, dealing with mechanism and answerable by experiment and observation (science).

Science in the Wikipedia
Philosophy of Science in the Wikipedia

The Demarcation Problem in Science, what is science and what is not science.
Issac Newton in his work "Mathematica Principles of Natural Philosophy" clearly understood that why, purposes, were not part of experimental philosophy,  see the translated quote in theWikipedia article on the book, Hypotheses non fingo ("I feign no hypotheses").

Where does Mathematics fit in?  I thinks that mathematics is the self consistent abstraction of reality.  What do you think mathematics is?  I do not think it is a science, directly since you can not answer its questions by appealing to what, where, and when generally.  I thinks it is very useful, a type of language, the Queen of the sciences, in a patriarchal view of things.  Mathematics has "proofs."  Science has mearly plasubility arguement and hopefully is an approximation method had arrives closer to the truth as it changes and evolves in time.

Philosophy of Mathematics in the Wikipedia
Other uses of  Why, Who, What,  Where, and When:
Faith in Science
Navigating Uncertainty
This stuff is written by Dr. Harold Williams, last up dated  8:23PM on March 31, 2008.