Social Scientist. v 2, no. 17 (Dec 1973) p. 32.


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HARIHARAN POONJAR

Materialism and the 'Mysteries5

IF there is any real mystery in the universe, it is about matter itself. There is no mystery behind the universe. The concept of mystery arises out of the contradiction between knowledge and ignorance. One cannot think of a condition of absolute knowledge, the so-called omniscience of the idealists. The greater the perception of reality by the human mind, the greater is the awareness about what is left to be known. This is true both about microcosmic and macrocosmic reality. The inward infinity of the atom and the outward infinity of the universe are equally baffling.

No wonder that new vistas of research are always opening up in cosmology and atomic physics. The cosmo logical consequences of Einstein's theory of gravitation are today confronting the physicists and the philosophers. They are confronted with unusually new and involved physical relationships in understanding the universe. No one thought of gravitational waves before Einstein. Today no scientist doubts their existence. The two competing theories about the origin of the universe, the Big Bang theory and the Steady State theory are adding to our wonders. And now scientists talk about black holes (dead stars) in the universe which can never be known because they do not let out any radiation. Einstein had even proposed the concept of a finite but limitless universe! If the matter in the universe is distributed in a more or less



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