Posts Tagged ‘life’

DOES LIFE EXIST BEYOND OUR SOLAR SYSTEM?

October 3, 2014

What is required for life to exist on our planet is extremely complex, intricately balanced and fine-tuned in relation to the size and position of the earth, the sun and other planets, size and position of our moon, our planet’s magnetosphere and various atmospheric layers, the abundance of water, various oceanic and weather patterns and even the temperature, size and properties of the earth’s inner core.  And, this is only a small fraction of the balanced complex reality necessary for our existence.

Because of this, some scientists still insist life may be extremely rare in the universe.  But it appears exo-planets may far outnumber the stars and today, many if not most scientists believe life is probably abundant in the cosmos.  Perhaps few of us stop to consider how truly different, diverse and complex life in the larger universal reality, may in fact be.

Most books and films featuring aliens assume beings more intelligent than ourselves would have superior technology and travel in advanced starships, which isn’t necessarily true.  They are often portrayed as creatures prone to violence and oppression like ourselves, which also isn’t necessarily true.

Human technology arises out of our specific needs for survival. While other forms of life on earth build webs, nests and some even use sticks as tools, what is called “technology” is essentially viewed as being unique to humans. If food was easily and readily available and there was no violence or daily struggle to survive, human technology might not have ever arisen on earth.

Where there is no farming or struggle to eat, there may be no concept of a wheel or plow.  Where there’s no hunting for food and no war, there may be no concept of a knife, spear, bow and arrow or other basic implements at the root of our technology.

Would forms of life more intelligent than ourselves necessarily have any concept of science and education? Would they wear clothing or need to build structures to protect themselves from the elements in a perhaps far less hostile environment?  We can’t even begin to imagine what life would be like without violence and a daily struggle for food, shelter and protection.

At least one scientist has proposed life might exist on giant gas planets, hovering in the atmosphere with no need of a solid surface.  We often assume far too much based on our own tiny window of experience.  The experience of intelligent beings on other worlds may be far different than our own.

We know life on earth is incredibly complex and diverse, even among microbial kingdoms. We can only wonder what it might be like to live on a world far less violent and prone to disease, starvation and death than our own.  Given the abundance and complexity of life on earth and the size and scope of the universe, we can only marvel and remain in awe of the infinite possibilities.

Perhaps a better question is, what might life elsewhere be like?

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

Music Video relating to this article

CAN CHARLES DARWIN BE TRUSTED?

April 3, 2014

Historical people, like the rest of us, sometimes contradict themselves and often change their minds over time.  It is generally fair to conclude what scientists say in their older age represents their true lifetime professional opinion, rather than what they might have said when they were younger.

Human language definition often changes over historical time and words sometimes develop multiple meanings.  To be fair and accurate, one must consider how words were defined when they were spoken, rather than how those same words might be defined today.  Careful historians apply a discipline called “philology” to help understand human language in historical context.

For example, broad-brushing the American founders as “deists”, a consistent bad habit of modern educators, is a historical lie.  The majority ascribed to some form of Christianity and, the very few who claimed to be deists apparently believed God hears prayers and interacts with human affairs.  There is no evidence any American founder was a deist as the term is normally defined today.

Charles Darwin, in the opening sentences of his final revision of “On The Origin of Species”, is humble enough to credit our Creator for being behind whatever universal processes and reality there may be. This edition was published about five years prior to Darwin’s death and thus, it represents a lifetime conclusion.

Some ‘scholars’ today, pretending they can somehow know Darwin’s intentions, claim that he only mentioned God to make his wife and family happy and to otherwise appease the religious leaders of his day.  Because Darwin throughout his lifetime consistently openly debated with religious leaders and others concerning his ideas, such a claim has no historical merit.  One might fairly ask, if we can’t trust Darwin regarding this most fundamental of human beliefs, how can we trust anything else he said?

Perhaps Darwin made no mention of our Creator in his first edition because the overwhelming evidence for creation was agreed to by the vast majority of scholars of his time.  Maybe only after the publishing of his theories had caused considerable controversy, did Darwin then find it necessary to place our Creator where he, like Einstein and Jefferson apparently believed God belongs, far above all human science, reason and understanding.

In a letter published two years before his death, Darwin strongly denies being an atheist, saying his mind was “mainly agnostic but not entirely”.  Because agnostic at that time sometimes referred to distrust in religion and human claims about God, rather than questioning God’s existence, Darwin could attest to our Creator and still remain agnostic but not entirely without contradiction.

Is it fair to pretend one of human history’s greatest scientists can’t be trusted to be honest regarding what he fundamentally believed?  Is it fair to just arbitrarily ignore various words ascribed to Jefferson, Einstein and Darwin because modern liars don’t like what they actually said? Is it fair to speak for historical people, rather than allowing their own words to speak for them?

Can Charles Darwin be trusted?  You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

Video for this article

DO AMERICANS REALLY BELIEVE IN THE CONSTITUTION?

October 13, 2013

Many politicians and other Americans claim to believe in the Constitution of the United States. But, do they really believe in the Constitution or, are they only hiding behind pseudo-patriotic rhetoric while in reality promoting a selfish anti-American agenda?

The Preamble to the Constitution definitively addresses the intent and purpose of the document. Thus, in order to interpret the Constitution correctly, we must first and foremost consider what the Preamble states:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity. . .”

The first thing we learn from the Preamble is that “we the people” are the government. Not surprisingly, Americans who claim to stand for “smaller” government generally back an agenda that appeases a minority and is harmful to the majority of we the people.

The second thing we learn is the Constitution’s authors didn’t believe they were creating a perfect government. Rather, they wanted it to be “more perfect”, better than previous governments. Far too many Americans oppose wise policies because they aren’t perfect, which policies created by imperfect people never will be.

The next purpose stated in the Preamble is to “establish justice”. Many Americans support unjust policies that are against the human and civil rights of minority, working class, poor and other citizens. Many support policies denying American workers and others the right to freely organize and demonstrate against injustice.

The fourth purpose the Preamble states is to “insure domestic Tranquility”. The word “gun” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Constitution. Is it insuring domestic tranquility to allow every Tom, Dick and Harriet to own as many “Arms” as they wish, which today include machine guns, tanks, biological weapons and nuclear bombs?

Next we find “to provide for the common defense”. Defense is just one of several stated purposes of the Constitution, yet many politicians and other Americans today act as if this is the only purpose of government, ignoring the rest of what the document clearly states.

The Preamble then says to “promote the general Welfare”. Yet many Americans oppose universal health care, affordable housing, job programs, infrastructure rebuilding and many other things clearly needed for the general welfare of ourselves and future generations.

Don’t Americans realize that people without adequate nutrition, shelter and health care more easily become ill and spread contagious diseases? Don’t we realize children without a strong educational and moral foundation become our society’s burdens of tomorrow? Don’t we realize unjust policies indiscriminately harm everyone, including ourselves and our own children?

The Preamble says the purpose of the Constitution is to “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity”. Why do so many Americans oppose environmental and other legislation desperately needed to secure the blessings of liberty for our ourselves, our children and our children’s children?

Do Americans really believe in the Constitution? You Decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

Music Video relating to this article

ARE PEOPLE REALLY SINNERS?

July 17, 2010

Why would someone who doesn’t believe in sin carry an anti-war, anti-pollution or pro-peace sign?  If war and other human oppression is just part of a larger “natural selection” process, why do such people consider themselves more righteous than many other people?  If there is no evil, why is it considered morally “wrong” to harm and morally “right” to help our neighbor? 

Why are Rosa Parks and Albert Schweitzer considered morally superior to Bonnie Parker and Adolf Hitler?  Why would all four arise in the same “advanced” modern species? Why is it called “justice” when people imprison other people?  Who gets to decide and, why? 

If babies are born moral and pure, why do we need to be taught how to morally behave?  Why is there a concept of “hatred”?  If we change the word “sin” to “social maladjustment” or “seething mass within”, does it lessen the pain and suffering people inflict on other people?  Does changing terminology change the reality of what men and women do? 

Why do we lie to each other?  Why are there laws against murder, theft and false witness?  Why are there university ethics classes?  Why don’t we automatically love our neighbor as ourselves?  Why did we crucify our greatest moral teacher?  Why do human oppression and civil rights movements exist?  Why is there a song entitled “We Shall Overcome”?  What is it we are trying to overcome? 

If people are born morally “blank” with no predisposition towards evil, as Freud assumed, why are we so self-destructive?  Why do we eat and drink what we believe is harmful?  Why do we abuse both ourselves and other people, often in the face of severe social rejection, lengthy incarceration and even execution?  Why is there a “Nobel Peace Prize”?  Why are adults rewarded for behaving like we believe we all should behave? 

Why is it so difficult to teach children to be what our conscience dictates as “good”, while they are what we consider “bad” quite easily on their own, without any parental reward and, often in spite of repeated punishment?  If it’s against human rights to murder, steal and lie, why do we do so?  If this is not against our reproductive survival, why are Jesus and Gandhi considered exceptional people? 

After thousands of years of education to the contrary, why do even our most educated people continue to add to the pile of global mass pollution, bilk the common masses with complicated financial schemes and, continue to create horrific weapons, even after the horrific evidence of the Great Depression and WWII?  Why didn’t an “Age of Enlightenment” result in peace on earth, instead of even worse wars?

According to modern science and the Bible, our underlying motivations are deceptive and often different than we perceive in our own conscious awareness.  Is it true we “all have sinned” and fall short of moral perfection?  Are people really sinners? 

You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

Music Video relating to this article:

GOD: a perspective

April 4, 2010

Ancient Galilee covered an area of approximately 1,000 square miles. The area of the earth is about 197 million square miles.  Thus, it would take approximately 197,000 ancient Galilees to cover the surface of the earth.

Earth is larger than it’s immedite neighbor planets.  But, roughly 1,400 earths would fit by volume inside of Jupiter, the largest planet in our solar system.  And yet, the sun compromises over 99.8% of the total mass of this same solar system.

Most astronomers believe our sun is larger than an average star.  Yet, our sun is tiny compared to a star called Arcturus.  And, Arcturus in turn, is very small compared to another star known as Antares.  VY Canis Majoris is the largest known star in the universe and next to it in illustration in a typical book-sized drawing, our sun becomes essentially invisible to the unaided eye.

Even this largest of stars would easily fit within the vastness of our own solar system.  But our solar system is but a grain of sand in a Milky Way galaxy of 200 billion stars, which is about only 1/5 the size of galaxy M-31, also known as Andromeda, estimated to be 220,000 light years in diameter.  And yet, M-31 is miniscule compared to the estimated 6 million plus light year diameters of the largest known galaxies.

Space is so vast, that the nearest star to our sun is over 24 trillion miles away and yet, there are an estimated 100 billion galaxies of stars in the observable universe.  Some scientists believe that the currently visible approximately 13.5 billion light year radius, represents an area smaller than a period on this page, compared to the actual size of our universe.  And some scientists believe there may be as many universes as there are stars in our own.

It is fair to say that creation may go on forever and ever.  And thus, someone standing on the shore of the Sea of Galilee today might feel overwhelmed and incredibly insignificant. But this is only part of a much larger or as some might argue, smaller picture.

There are an estimated 10 trillion cells in an average adult human body, perhaps 50 times as many as there stars in our Milky Way galaxy.  And about 100 trillion micro-organisms live in a typical adult human gut, about 100 times as many as there are stars estimated to be in the Andromeda (M-31) galaxy.

About 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atoms are thought to be contained in a typical adult human body.  Atoms are similar in size of our solar system in relation to the sun and and planets, in comparison to the size of various sub-atomic particles within them. And similar to the sun in relation to the planets, the nucleus of an atom contains over 99% of its total mass.

If someone were to illustrate an atom in true scale, showing its protons and neutrons as being about 1.5 inches in diameter, then electrons and much smaller yet other particles, would be less than 0.1 millimeter in size and, the atom itself would be about 6.25 miles in diameter.

Human beings are very large in the light of subatomic particles and, very small compared to the size of the observable universe, thus we are placed inbetween the largest and smallest expressions of creation art.  And, just as a great artist like Rembrant might paint a large mural and yet, pay close attention to the smallest detail of facial expression and slightest variation of color, how much more then, does our Father in heaven, in a grand expression of creation art, pay close attention to the most microscopic realities of creation?

And then, there is the sacrifice of God’s son for the human race on a Roman cross, the ultimate expression of God’s love beyond any and all magnitude of comprehension. Thus, it is no small wonder that no one can deserve God, no matter how righteous, intelligent, strong or otherwise superior to others, we in vain may fancy ourselves to be.

Many people casually assume their religion or viewpoint of God is mainly correct, without ever stopping to consider what and who the known evidence demonstrates God really is and, how little they actually know about either God, life, love or anything else.  Atheists and agnostics pretend the grand design of the universe could somehow magically exist without any Grand Designer, as if a living being as incredibly complex as a fruit fly, could somehow randomly appear on it’s own and magically over time, change into a somewhat less credible human being fancing him or herself as being “educated”.

Thus, we should be quite careful about trusting religionists, scientists and other educators to actually know much more of value than the average truck driver or motel maid.  And, we should be even more careful about passing on to our children what we supposedly know is true about God.

Or otherwise, will the lies we tell our children and mis-information we leave them, come back to haunt us for a very, very, very long time? After all, as the Bible says, let God be true but every man and woman a liar and, there is a most obvious of reasons for the cross.

You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article