If Johannes Kepler were alive today, he’d be celebrating the 6,993rd birthday of the universe. The German mathematician and astronomer, considered one of the founders of modern science, predicted in the 17th century that the universe was created on April 27 in the year 4977 B.C. We know now that Kepler’s math was off by some 13.7 billion years — he can thank the Big Bang theory for usurping his claim — but the accuracy of his calculations is less important than the audacity it took to make them.
Daring to assign the universe a birthday in an era in which heliocentrists were condemned by the Catholic church was an act as bold as his claim itself. Forget celebrating birthdays — let’s toast Kepler’s balls.