Weird Things Happening

Some weird stuff is going on. Dark stuff.

We can look out and calculate that galaxies are spinning too fast and should fly apart but they don’t. So we think there’s too much gravity.

And so we came up with the notion there’s some invisible undetectable stuff called dark matter making up more than 96% of the universe.

Also weird is this lensing effect astronomers see, caused, they suppose, by said dark matter.

Yet we haven’t seen it directly nor detected it even though it should be all around us.

As I said. Pretty weird stuff going on. Leaves plenty of mystery in science.

When is enough enough?

I’m not old. Sixty five. I look younger, but how much more time do I have? Eighteen years from now I will be the age my father died. Twenty-nine years from now I will be the age my mother died. I still have some time.

Right?

I notice, however, that I think about “the end” a lot more. I think about what I should do.

For example, I’ve loved computer programming most of my years since 30. Should I learn Python? I love amateur photography. Should I invest in a new camera? I like learning about the universe. When is enough enough? I was a religious leader. Should I go back?
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Did I reach the pinnacle somewhere back there and now I have nowhere to go forward, or do I have more to go forward?
Fortunately, probably because of anti-depressants (!) I’m not depressed. I’m positive about the future. But where do I go from here? Forward, or coast? Upward or level out? Should I learn Python, invest in a new camera and learn about the universe? (All stuff I love.)
I guess the answer to those questions is yes, because I love those things. I love my blog. I love Linux. I love programming. I love amateur photography. I do love the mysterious, religious side of life and I do love learning about the universe.

I guess I’m going forward. I answered my own question.

How can we believe in God, but not in alien/extraterrestrial life or vice versa? This seems like a paradox to me.

I don’t see either as being dependent on the other. In other words, you can believe in God and not in extraterrestrial life. Many religious people do in fact hold that view. On the other hand, you can believe in extraterrestrial life and not believe in God. I know many people who hold that view.

So I don’t see a paradox at all. According to the Google dictionary, a paradox is “a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.” I fail to see a contradiction that two different people can hold either view. It’s all theory.

In reality, we do not know for sure that life exists anywhere other than Earth because we have never found any evidence of life, although we continue the search. We have yet to find even a fossil of a microbe from space. However, the laws of mathematical probability suggest that with billions of planets in this galaxy and billions of other galaxies, it is likely that there is at least microbial life somewhere, if not something more advanced. We just haven’t the proof yet.

Similarly, except for subjective experiences, there is no proof that God exists either, although people believe that God exists. Maybe both exist. Maybe neither exists. I suppose it’s a question of faith in either view.

Religion vs. Science – What it's All About

It’s all about proving each other is wrong. It permeates the entire political sphere. It determines policies of U.S. Presidents, the Environmental Protection Agency and so on. It’s about trashing Earth or saving it.
So who is wrong, who is right?
Philosophy 1: God created Earth – perhaps as recently as 4,000 years ago. With the creation the entire fossil record, stars, planets, life, life forms, species, were all created simultaneously.  God created Adam and Eve. We all descend from them.
Philosophy 2: The universe started with something like “the Big Bang” about 14 billion years ago. Life evolved from chemicals and is likely to be found on other planets than Earth.
Religion historically has found science a challenge and – for example – convicted Galileo of heresy for saying the planets orbit the sun. Science has proved religion – in this regard – to be wrong.
However, no one has proved that life has evolved from matter to date. No one has found life on anywhere than Earth. Religion says God created life. Science says chemicals created life. Neither has been proven.
To date – no one has found evidence of life developing on another place than Earth.
They would like to.
That’s what it’s all about.

On Board

Getting on board. I don’t think some people ever get on board the scientific bandwagon.
We have in this world a diverse group of people.
Religions. We have people of all different religions, for example. Many of them accept a non-scientific view of how the Earth was created, or the age of the Earth. I don’t know how they rationalize their viewpoints which contradicts science other than to totally ignore science. Oddly, they all use smartphones connected to the internet and electric light bulbs and flying airplanes and driving cars all created by science.
Flat Earth. There are not many of them but they are a growing number. People who watch YouTube videos and fake science. Many of them are looking for a conspiracy everywhere including World politicians! The ultimate conspiracy theory? They lied to us all along! The Earth is flat. NASA is lying!

Does God want us to become life-long learners?

If we define religion as a sense of wonder of the unknown and unknowable then there is room in religion for more science and room in science for more religion.
We can never know about alternate universes by science. That’s why it’s called theoretical physics. It’s a theory. There is one religion I know, the Vaishnavas of India, that believe the Earth is 4.5 billion years old and there are millions of parallel universes like our own. Some scientists also theorize this to be the case. We have no knowledge what dark matter or dark energy is, why there isn’t more anti-matter, and how life evolved from chemicals. There is room for God in science, and certainly religions would benefit greatly if they were more critical in their thinking.
I really personally have no idea what god wants, but I know that by nature we are life long learners. I’m 64 years old next week and I’m still learning all the time. So if god made us, then he made us like that. Whatever the reason, we seek knowledge and we like to learn. That’s just human.

If we are destined, do we have free will? Even if god gives it, he knows the future, does it automatically mean we won’t ever contradict his future vision?

A man was sitting on the branch of a tree sawing between where he sat and the trunk of the tree.
A man came along and looked up. “Hey,” he said. “If you continue to saw that branch like that it will break and you will fall to the ground!”
The man in the tree said, “Go away, I know what I’m doing!”
The man on the ground walked away and the man on the tree continued to saw. Soon the branch broke and the man fell to the ground. He stood up, looked at the branch, and in total amazement went running down the road looking for the other man. “You must be psychic! You were able to see the future!”
To see the future does not mean you control destiny. We have a choice. God just knows that if you continue on your current path the branch will break and you will fall to the ground. So stop it.
Someone knowing the future does not mean they control destiny.

Dark Perplexity: Garden of Eden or Big Bang?

So which is it? Adam and Eve or the Big Bang?

It’s a dark mystery.

We all know how an atheist would answer, and we all know how a fundamentalist Christian, Jew or Muslim would answer. Trying to argue either side would therefore be fruitless, like expecting to convince a pro-lifer or pro-choicer to accept the opposing view.

Simple acknowledgment will suffice. Both communities are replete with ambiguities. For example:

  • Do we really understand how chemical evolution morphed into biological evolution? Just how did amino acids become DNA anyway?
  • What’s causing the galaxies to accelerate apart rather than slow down and collapse in on themselves? Dark energy? What’s that?  Obviously, astrophysicists don’t know. That’s why they call it dark. Not as in evil, but as in “I have no clue.” All they know is gravity should be slowing it down and it’s not. What’s really happening is a dark mystery.

It goes on and on.

  • There’s too much mass in the galaxy. They call that one dark matter. Instead of flying apart, the outer stars, like ours, remain orbiting the galactic center and we don’t understand why.
  • What is gravity anyway?

I’m sure you realize I don’t have the answers either, but that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

The whole quandary is a dark perplexity.

Is Evolution Fact or Fiction?

Some people believe God created the Earth 6,000 years ago and Adam and Eve along with it. They don’t accept the rather compelling, irrefutable evidence proving the Earth is about 4.543 billion years old. My father saw it. It bothered him so much he rejected religion and called himself an agnostic, which he defined as someone who wanted to believe but couldn’t. He believed in science.
But there are some problems scientifically figuring how aquatics crawled out of the water or how amino acids chemically evolved to produce DNA. All the pieces have not fallen in place. There are also some archeological anomalies here and there that seem to conflict with accepted time frames.
Nonetheless, evolution happened. Or so it appears rationally.
My dog offers pretty good evidence. Dogs evolved from wolves with human help. Even today people create different breeds of dog. Look how many varieties of dog breeds exist today. All descended from wolves due to human intervention and selective breeding. It’s what happens naturally over millions of years in the wild but accelerated in dogs because humans made the decisions rather than natural survival of the fittest.