"The idea for this book can be traced to an incident that took place in my undergraduate astronomy class at university many years ago.
The lecturer began with the Big Bang, a theory to which, despite extensive examination, I have never quite warmed. His opening statement to us was that ‘before there was anything, there were particles floating around in the universe. I raised my hand and when called upon, asked (logically, I thought then), ‘What universe? If there was nothing, then there was nothing. I don’t understand.’
Accordingly, he revised his statement to say that there were sub-atomic particles in existence, to which I again asked, politely, ‘Where did they come from?’ His answer was, ‘Miss Cooper, you are an English major—why are you in this class?’ I replied that I was in university to learn [I was very young] and therefore was truly interested to know where these particles came from.
Whereupon he walked to the door, opened it, pointed down the corridor and said frostily, ‘This is an Astronomy class. We begin with the Big Bang. If you want to know where the particles came from, the Theology Department is down the hall, and the Philosophy Department is upstairs.’
Until that moment, it had not been my understanding, nor my experience, meagre as it was, that astronomy, philosophy, theology and literature could be unrelated. And, as the performance of the Astronomy professor did not convince me otherwise, I have persisted in the belief that they are not.
It still seems to me that none of the traditional components of the trivium or quadrivium is so far removed from another, or from the other arts, that the effort to understand one does not benefit all.
And I am still convinced that enquiry is the passport to genuine understanding..."
~ From the Author's Preface to Felicity & Barbara Pym http://amzn.to/K83lDJ
Causes Harrison Solow Supports
Lupus Foundation of America
Museum of Tolerance