Nov 2, 2014

WOW - Ideology


"That which threatens our most basic beliefs is naught but their dark reflection. A new perspective on the fallacious construction of our own temple of thought."

I didn't receive a very enthusiastic response to my WOW project, so I've fallen a bit behind. Since then I've come the the realization that for all the ideological babble I could possible spout - reality remains. Change doesn't happen all at once. My own journey of discovery changes very little in the grand design.

Recently I watched a series of thoroughly thought provoking documentaries called "Zeitgeist." Granted, I didn't agree with everything stated in the films, but I encourage my readers to watch them anyhow. (Currently all three films can be found on Netflix.) The construction of our society and culture doesn't benefit all equally. Taking a step back to acknowledge the faults running through our everyday lives is one step closer to finding a solution.

While this is earlier than I had planned, I'm going to retire my blog. I feel it has served its purpose in allowing me an outlet to lay out the reasoning behind my evolving beliefs and understanding. I hope that it has helped guide others to find more light in the world - as has always been my intent.

If you are looking for more information regarding my MOP posts, I recommend looking here: cesletter.com. My concerns and the subsequent rebuttal from church apologists are laid out very nicely, without being offensive or critical. Remember, being open to learn why other's believe differently than you is not an evil.

Goodbye readers. You will be missed.

Sep 14, 2014

WOW - My Top 3

We are always learning. New discoveries are made everyday all over the world. Of course, I've not been able to remain caught up on all of them, but that doesn't mean I don't come across one every now and then that I find truly amazing. Sometimes it is a glimpse closer to an eternal truth about our universe, other times it is the product of human ingenuity - using our understanding to create artistically or scientifically. Here's a list of my favorite top three discoveries:

1) The Milky Way galaxy alone hosts at least 8.8 billion stars with planets the size of Earth which revolve around their suns in the Goldilocks zone, where life as we know it can exist. Think about this for a second. Suppose only one in a million of these supports life. Thats still 8,800 life sustaining planets just in our galaxy, and there are on estimate one hundred billion galaxies in the observable universe. This makes life rare, but statistically we are not as unique as we might be lead to believe.

2) Voyager 1 left Earth in 1977 and 37 years later is now streaking through interstellar space. This is the first man-made craft to make it past the heliosphere, the boundary where the sun's gravity has little effect. That's a distance of 11.7 billion miles from Earth! While there is so much we still need to discover about our own solar system, consider the amazing prospect of interstellar explorations! And with today's technology, we could probably reach the boundary of the heliosphere in half that time.

3) Pretty much everywhere we look here on Earth, life exists. The discovery of life around deep ocean geothermal vents several decades ago was just the beginning. Recently, scientists have discovered an active ecosystem a half-mile below Antarctic ice! These microbes live off ammonium and methane for survival. Our definition of what life can be becomes more broad all the time. Consider how it might change with the discovery of extraterrestrial life!

What are your top three? Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your responses.

Sep 7, 2014

WOW - Art in Science

There is a natural order to our universe - fundamental forces that shape everything we see. Life, in all its complexity, is still governed by them. This gives meaning to the patterns we find in nature. Logic tells us that organization is unlikely to be random - but rather a result of a greater intelligence's interference. So we assume that there must also be a purpose behind it.

But science teaches us that order can be spontaneous. If there is interference from a greater intelligence, we have not yet detected it. In the right conditions, reactions occur, change happens, and complexity develops - given enough time. The sculpture above will someday become overgrown with coral, form a reef, and house new life. We can assume it was made by someone, but we can only guess at the meaning or purpose behind it.

If our universe is itself a work of art, doesn't it make sense that each of us will interpret it differently? Are we, mankind, the unseen artist's greatest work? History has a way of proving mankind's arrogance in thinking this way. The sun does not revolve around the Earth, nor is the Earth the center of the universe as was once taught. If the universe is like this sculpture, we are like the coral.

At its core, science is a search for understanding. What is the meaning behind our intricately crafted universe? How does it work? Why are we here? All worthy questions, with incomplete answers. There are many theories, usually based on what we hope is true. In essence, its a matter of perspective. Please share your own view on the meaning or purpose of our universe!

Aug 31, 2014

WOW - Sailing Stones


Oh the glamour of real scientific discovery! Sarcasm aside, if you remember, I referenced Sailing Stones as one of my favorite unexplained natural phenomena in an old MOP post - found here. It now appears that the mystery has been solved through scientific observation and experimentation. Yet my favorite part of the video above is the last sentance, "Who knows? There may still be parts of the story yet to be discovered."

I still have the choice to accept the answer provided, or cling to my own theories. But accepting scientific fact for the logical answers it provides need not diminish the wonder of additional discovery. Challenging conventional thought is the hallmark of a great scientist after all.

There is something romantic about the unknown. My last post is proof of my own feelings regarding the mysteries of our universe. However, these feelings can lead to a need for a certain degree of ignorance. The harshness of reality is usually far from poetic. A balance has to be found between the two.

In today's world, it is common and even expected for the average American to question science. The irony being, of course, that no one questions the beneficial results scientific discoveries have on our daily lives. The products of science are embraced, but the methods are deemed misguided, irreverent, or even blasphemous. My question is this: When is it appropriate to question science?

The proof given to support the explanation for the Sailing Stone phenomena is logically sound. I accept their answer. I also accept other scientific explanations I feel have sufficient proof. Is it possible that someday a more convincing argument will come along and I will have to reconsider? Yes. But until then... mystery solved.

Aug 24, 2014

WOW - Primary

Perhaps the most significant wonder which mankind has yet to fully comprehend is the true immensity of our universe. There appears to be no limits from the incredibly small to the utterly immense. We are constantly improving scientific technologies to explore further than ever before. We have found ourselves in a vast, dimly lit room with no indication of its boundaries. But some rules are constant. If by some chance we discover a wall, logic tells us there must be something beyond it.

In reality, science has discovered several walls in definite need of inspection. Due to the nature of light, the further away you look, the further back in time you see. There is no light visible from before the big bang - a theoretical beginning of the birth of the known universe. Also, the gravitational strength of black holes is so great, light cannot escape to give any indication as to what exists behind the event horizon. Yet, just like walls here on Earth, there must be something beyond them.

Let's perform a thought experiment. Given that the known universe is infinite, then the possibilities of what lies beyond any wall we might encounter are also infinite. This means that anything that can exist within the rules of nature, in fact does, has, or will exist somewhere. Also given, we understand so few of the rules of nature. Therefore, it could be argued that the more we understand about how and why things work, the further we are to understanding what limits the laws of nature impose on reality.

There has been literally no feedback for my initial WOW post. I want to hear some of your theories and questions. Eternal truths are bound to become clearer the more minds there are to uncover them. I'll share some of my own questions as examples to get us started:

All matter is in constant motion. Not only is it vibrating on the atomic level, but it is moving in accordance to gravitational influences as well. (The earth spinning around the sun, which orbits as one of many stars in our galaxy, which in turn is moving outward from the center of the universe.) Is absolute stillness possible? If so, how might this change the property at rest? The faster an object travels, the more "weight" it actually has. So would no movement equate to no "weight" or cancel it's existence altogether?

Thanks for reading, and I look forward to your response.