Monday, November 10, 2008

worldview at TED


I have engaged in a new lunch time ritual. I have begun to watch talks on TED.com. What is TED you ask? TED is a conference of some of the worlds greatest thinkers from as many different disciples as you can imagine. Physicist, Biologists, Anthropologists, and so much more meet together and discuss their ideas. In this video Lee Smolin discusses his view that advances in the philosophy of government and law coincide with forward movement in astrophysics. Basically he sees a progression of our worldview.

Basically as we have seen in law where it is defined by relationships, our understanding of legal precedent, so physics is no longer about absolutes and about defining objects in terms of their relationship to the world around them. His argument went further in that while Aristotle needed an "unmoved mover" and Newton needed an external constant, all be it a deistic force, we are now free to simply define relationships and no longer need an objective constant.

I have a problem with this. Not only because I am a fan of the bible or because I believe in God, but because if someone says that we are fine to simply define ourselves in terms of relationship and not need a transcendent reference point of meaning, and that is ok, something in me cringes!