David Albert: Flat Universe

In his debut My Word! column for Home Education Magazine, the Sept/Oct 2000 issue, author and homeschool advocate David Albert chose to write about “A Flat Universe and the Nature of Science“:

About a month ago, a homeschooling mom with an obviously precocious ten-year-old, wrote to me with a problem:

“We read in The New York Times that scientists have now discovered that the universe is flat. Among the implications of this cited is that the Big Bang theory (of the creation of the universe) is almost certainly wrong. I wondered wryly what they’ll do down the street at the brand-new, multi-million dollar Space Center at the American Museum of Natural History, which is very cutting edge and has a whole room dedicated to Big Bang. Today’s Times carries an article about physicists who have reportedly proven that light can be accelerated beyond the speed of light, thereby calling into question all of Einstein’s theories.

“So how do we go about teaching our gotta-know-it-all kids even the basics of something like physics when suddenly some of the underlying assumptions have gone kaflooey? When every book that’s out there is almost certainly wrong? Where do we begin? I don’t want to give them materials that they’re going to have to unlearn. Where do we find educational materials that are as timely as needed?”

So there it was staring me in the face, a subject for my inaugural column for Home Education Magazine. But where to begin? My first impulse was to giggle.

Read David’s entire first HEM column online, free, at the link above.

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