A few years back Little Nicky had some good sessions in which I tried to impart some common sense to science heads (I do not call them science dicks because because that might imply they have dicks. Not having a dick is not a shortcoming in female scientists of course but the one arguing with me an generally behaving like the most fanatical member of a crazy Californian religious cult were all men)
One of the things Little Nicky liked to wind them up about was the question of what exists beyond the universe. Science
dicks heads you see like to claim that before the big bang all the matter in the universe was compressed into a pellet the size of a mouse turd (i.e. slightly larger than Brian Cox’s brain). Ask them what was outside the mouse turd, a void, an infinite raspberry jelly,a graveyard for dead scientific theories and they would say “Nothing, all the space and time and science and jelly and cheese and typewriters and bubble gum were in the mouse turd. Nothing existed outside it. And then it went bang and started expanding like a giant pink bubble (that was coz of the bubble gum) and it gets bigger and bigger.
Why scientists, who are supposed to be clever, are too dim witted to get their heads round the meaning of infinity is like the origin of life, the nature of human consciousness and the question “Why does Dom Joli have a career on television”? a mystery.
Little Nicky would try to explain the idea of this shock wave emanating from Big Bang being the end of the universe was stupid. If you travelled from the centre of the universe to this notional wave and carried on you could keep going forever, a million billion zillion times further than you had already gone.
“You don’t understand science,” they said. Funny that, because it turns out I was right and the science heads were wrong.
An episode of Horizon on BBC 4 this weeks showed scientists are slow but they get there in the end, years after the rest of us have moved on.
It is one of the most baffling questions that scientists can ask: how big is the Universe that we live in?
Horizon follows the cosmologists who are creating the most ambitious map in history – a map of everything in existence. And it is stranger than anyone had imagined – a Universe without end that stretches far beyond what the eye can ever see.
And, if the latest research proves true, our Universe may just be the start of something even bigger. Much bigger.