Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Physicist draws year’s largest ALLELE crowd

ALLELE’s largest crowd of the year gathered Thursday, filling up the entire auditorium and then some. Students, faculty and visitors came to hear Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and cosmologist from Arizona State University, discuss the beginning of the universe, thinking about science reasonably and his book “A Universe from Nothing.”

“If I want you to take away two things from tonight’s talk, it’s that you’re all insignificant and the future will be a miserable place,” Krauss said.

Krauss mainly discussed the probability of a universe that came from nothing.

“The important question is not, ‘Why is there something rather than nothing’, but rather, ‘How did the universe evolve, and how can we find out,’” Krauss said.

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Krauss said it saddens him when schools refuse to teach evolution as fact.

“Why do people feel the need to reject science? Because evolution is a fact,” Krauss said. “Some people would prefer their children not know how the universe really works rather than have the possibility that their faith be threatened. That is a sad reality.”

Krauss then softened the blow of his earlier statement that people are insignificant and the future will be miserable.

“The fact that you are insignificant and the future is miserable is worth celebrating,” Krauss said. “Because we have been placed in this random moment in time and space in the middle of nowhere special. But we have been endowed by evolution with an intelligence that allows us to use our brain to learn about the universe’s earliest moments, learn how life evolved and learn about how the universe will persist in the far future. Instead of being miserable, we should enjoy our brief moment in the sun. We should feel lucky enough to have a conscience. Let us use it as best we can.”

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Krauss’ hour-long lecture left some students in awe of his work and excited about science.

“I’m kind of overwhelmed,” Cameran Beg, a sophomore majoring in chemical engineering, said. “I kind of expected what he’d talk about because I’ve seen him speak before. But this was phenomenal, and I learned quite a bit.”

Krauss signed copies of his book “A Universe from Nothing” after his lecture.

(See also “What is suitable for a science class?“)

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