In the beginning, there was physics. “Physics” describes how matter, energy, space, and time behave and interact with one another. The interplay of these characters in our cosmic drama underlies all biological and chemical phenomena. Hence everything fundamental and familiar to us earthlings begins with, and rests upon, the laws of physics. When we apply these laws to astronomical settings, we deal with physics writ large, which we call astrophysics.

There is a philosophy that says that if something is unobservable — unobservable in principle — it is not part of science. If there is no way to falsify or confirm a hypothesis, it belongs to the realm of metaphysical speculation, together with astrology and spiritualism. By that standard, most of the universe has no scientific reality — it’s just a figment of our imaginations.

… for it is very probable, that the motion of gravity worketh weakly, both far from the earth, and also within the earth: the former because the appetite of union of dense bodies with the earth, in respect of the distance, is more dull: the latter, because the body hath in part attained its nature when it is some depth in the earth.

(Foreshadowing Isaac Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation (1687))

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