Philosophy

Article

Time, Space and Reality

Canon Peter Green

Some time ago I had a shock. I was reading, in the Mathematical Gazette for March 1931, Sir A. S. Eddington's presidential address to the Mathematical Association in 1930. And quite suddenly I came on the statement that the number of protons in the universe is either 7 or 14 with 78 noughts after it. My breath was taken away. Readers of R. L. Stevenson's story, Providence and the Guitar, will remember the maiden lady who, after hearing what the Commissary said when he was woken up in the night, felt her maiden modesty so outraged that she doubted if she ranked any longer as a maiden lady. I felt just like that. I felt that my philosophic modesty had been so outraged that I doubted if I ranked any longer as a humble student of philosophy. Sir Arthur has certainly not counted them. Then how in the world does he know that they are what he says they are?