No, I have not suddenly fallen among the creationists – the headline is a quote from “The left Hand of Darkness”, a superb novel by Ursula K. LeGuin [1]. So it looks like we need a better word for all of the earth and the planets and the moons and stars.. Oh wait. We have one: It’s Cosmos [2].

But it is a cosmos unfinished: It was born in the Big Bang – not an explosion, despite the name, since ‘explosion’ means that matter violently expands into the surrounding space. The Big Bang was an expansion – it was when space came into existence. And, as one of my favourite podcasts reminded me some time ago, the process isn’t [3] finished – like they say, the universe itself keeps on expanding and expanding, and that’s a pretty awe-inspiring thought if you ask me.

And of course that means more room for awesomeness.

  1. It’s a strange thing – LeGuin’s stories with  rather plausible ideas of time dilation and hermaphroditism are dismissively called  “soft fiction” or “social fiction” while writers like, say, Niven or Pournelle are called ‘hard sf’ writers while they go on and write about FTL space ships – the idea of Faster Than Light travel is about as scientific as the tooth fairy.
  2. As the Bad Astronomer Phil Plait reminds us, today would be Carl Sagans 75th birthday
  3. And propably never will be.