The Universe

A reader of the Dilbert Blog left a comment with this question: If the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into? The universe is “everything” by definition. Therefore, the universe can’t be expanding because it already occupies all space.

I scratched my head over that for a week. Today I broke down and googled it. Technically, the only thing that is expanding is the “visible universe.” And by visible, we mean visible from the perspective of people on earth under the right set of conditions.

Suddenly I found it amusing and typical that we humans commonly refer to the tiny bit of the universe we could potentially see as if it were the same as the entire universe. That is soooo us.

I wonder if anyone would ever become a cosmologist if that branch of science was described accurately as “a study of the crap we can see.” Whoever decided to start calling it a study of the universe, despite all evidence to the contrary, was a marketing genius.

Now that you know the real definition of the universe, as opposed to the piddly visible part, I have another question for you: When you do a push-up, are you really pushing yourself up, or are you shoving the universe away?

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