International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Towers of Babble
Harold Toliver

How answerable discourse is to reality varies by kind and occasion as well as by individual user. Lack of knowledge about the extremely large and small before the 20th century made theories of the cosmos and microcosm speculative and unreliable. Until that point, prevailing assumptions about the universe and the planet’s place in it were out of line with what astronomy, geology, evolutionary biology, and physics were finding to be the case. Together with relativity, these disciplines made possible the first plausible master narrative from beginning to a projected end and from particles to galaxies. Both discourse and math could accommodate the extremes of the radically revised universe but only by going beyond the normal human range. The gaps between science, philosophy, and common sense expanded much as the cosmos itself was doing.

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