“Constructing Cosmology” by GPT-4


Please write the abstract and two paragraph introduction to a paper for Astrophysical Journal titled “Constructing Cosmology” in which it is argued that the cosmological microwave background radiation (CMB) is a social construct created as an artifact of measuring instruments designed to enforce the Western view of separation between the observer and observed, “othering” the universe from the scientist studying it, and the Judaeo-Christian notion of Creation ex nihilo. Relate this to the work of Bruno Latour on the methodology of science.


Constructing Cosmology: Examining the Social Construction of the Cosmological Microwave Background Radiation


This paper challenges the prevailing notion of the cosmological microwave background radiation (CMB) as an objective and universal cosmic phenomenon. We argue that the CMB is a social construct that emerges as an artifact of measuring instruments designed to reinforce the Western perspective, which emphasizes a separation between the observer and the observed. By critically examining the socio-cultural dimensions of cosmology, we explore how the CMB can be seen as a manifestation of the Western worldview, “othering” the universe from the scientist studying it and reflecting the influence of the Judaeo-Christian notion of Creation ex nihilo. Drawing on the works of philosopher Bruno Latour, we delve into the methodological implications and socio-cultural biases inherent in the scientific enterprise, shedding light on the ways in which scientific knowledge is constructed within particular cultural contexts.


The cosmological microwave background radiation (CMB) is widely regarded as one of the most remarkable discoveries in cosmology, providing invaluable insights into the early universe. It is commonly understood as the residual radiation from the Big Bang, permeating the vast expanse of space and serving as a cosmic fingerprint of our cosmic origins. However, in this paper, we propose a critical examination of the CMB, challenging its perceived objectivity and universality.

Our argument stems from the realization that scientific knowledge is not created in a vacuum but is inherently shaped by the socio-cultural context in which it is produced. This perspective is influenced by the work of philosopher Bruno Latour, who emphasizes the social dimensions of scientific practice and the entanglement of scientific knowledge with broader cultural frameworks. By applying Latour’s insights to cosmology, we aim to reveal the underlying biases and cultural influences that have shaped the concept of the CMB.

In particular, we argue that the construction of the CMB can be seen as a product of the Western worldview, rooted in a tradition that emphasizes the separation between the observer and the observed. This separation is deeply ingrained in the fabric of Western thought, reinforced by the Cartesian dualism that permeates scientific discourse. Consequently, the CMB becomes a representation of the universe as an object of study, inherently distinct from the scientist who seeks to understand it. Furthermore, we examine the influence of the Judaeo-Christian notion of Creation ex nihilo, which asserts the divine creation of the universe from nothingness, thereby shaping the Western understanding of cosmic origins.

By scrutinizing the social construction of the CMB, we hope to shed light on the hidden assumptions and cultural biases that underlie the production of scientific knowledge. Through this exploration, we aim to encourage a more nuanced understanding of cosmology and emphasize the need for critical reflection on the methodologies employed in scientific research, ultimately promoting a more inclusive and culturally aware approach to our exploration of the cosmos.



Certainly! Here is a reading list that covers various aspects of the topics discussed in the paper:

  1. “Science in Action: How to Follow Scientists and Engineers Through Society” by Bruno Latour - This seminal work by Bruno Latour explores the sociology of science and the complex social and cultural networks that shape scientific knowledge production.
  2. “We Have Never Been Modern” by Bruno Latour - In this book, Latour challenges the dichotomy between nature and culture, arguing that modernity’s separation of the social and natural worlds is a flawed premise. It offers valuable insights into the entanglement of science, culture, and society.
  3. “The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge” by Peter L. Berger and Thomas Luckmann - This influential work delves into the social construction of knowledge and the ways in which societal processes shape our understanding of reality, including scientific knowledge.
  4. “Constructing Quarks: A Sociological History of Particle Physics” by Andrew Pickering - Pickering examines the social and cultural aspects of particle physics, emphasizing the role of instruments and technologies in shaping scientific theories and practices.
  5. “The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences” by Michel Foucault - While not directly focused on cosmology, this work by Foucault offers valuable insights into the historical and cultural dimensions of knowledge production and the construction of disciplinary frameworks.
  6. “The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution” by David Wootton - This book explores the cultural and intellectual developments that contributed to the emergence of modern science, providing a historical context for understanding the sociocultural influences on scientific knowledge.
  7. “Cosmology: A Very Short Introduction” by Peter Coles - Offering a concise introduction to cosmology, this book provides a foundation for understanding the scientific concepts and theories related to the study of the universe, including the cosmological microwave background radiation.
  8. “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” by Thomas S. Kuhn - Kuhn’s classic work examines the process of scientific revolutions and paradigm shifts, emphasizing the role of sociocultural factors in shaping scientific knowledge and the resistance to change within scientific communities.
  9. “The Privileged Planet: How Our Place in the Cosmos is Designed for Discovery” by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay W. Richards - This book presents a contrasting perspective, exploring the idea of intelligent design and arguing for the specialness of Earth in the context of the universe.
  10. “Culture of Science: Essays and Issues for Writers” edited by Robert E. Kohler and Muriel Lederman - This collection of essays explores the cultural dimensions of scientific practice and the social construction of scientific knowledge across various disciplines.

These readings offer a diverse range of perspectives on the social construction of scientific knowledge, the cultural influences on cosmology, and the relationship between science and society. They provide a comprehensive foundation for further exploration of the topics discussed in the paper.


I think most of us understand there is a boundary at which our supremacist theocracy questions science itself versus enforcing upon us submission to “the science”. It dons the cloak of science when it wants to violate our consent. If we however hold it to that standard it either makes like a jellyfish (one that cannot be nailed to the wall because it resorts to various pseudoscientific arguments) generally conflating is with ought or, failing that it attacks science itself.

One of my favorite such attacks is so-called feminist epistemology. That is actually a thing.