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what it’s about

what it's about

hdthefog; dark energy matters references dark matter and dark energy in the universe.  Neither of these “dark” elements were have known to exist a hundred years ago and are not visible.  As it pertains to the question of whether there is a God or Supreme Being, dark energy matters.

Because the image is hard to read, this is what it says:

Dark Matter is matter that emits or reflects minimal to no light, but does have a gravitational influence, Evidence for dark matter appears to be present in

  • the motions of stars in galaxies
  • the orbits of galaxies in galaxy clusters
  • the temperature of intracluster gas in galaxy clusters
  • the gravitational lensing of distant galaxies

Some possible types of dark matter include:

  • Massive compact halo objects (MACHOS): these are large objects like brown dwarfs and jupiter-sized planets that exist in the halos of galaxies.
  • Weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPS): these are subatomic particles that have extremely small masses, but exist in great quantities. Neutrinos are an example of such a particle.

DARK ENERGY is the term used for a possible unseen influence that may be causing the universal expansion to accelerate. Recent observations of supernovae have produced a value for an acceleration that implies a universe that is about 70% dark energy.

We are in a new age of exploration.  The discovery of dark matter and dark energy is relevant to understanding what propels the universe; what inherent forces influence the activity that creates planets, stars and ultimately resulted in the formation of what we call “life”.  We don’t think about the unseen forces that propel life and how interdependent these forces may be.  For instance, we do not think about the role that either gravity or electricity play in blood circulation throughout the body.  There are atoms that combine to make molecules, e.g. O2 and H2O, these molecules are essential to life.  Organisms are composed of cells and if a cell is deformed or malfunctioning, the development of the organism will be compromised e.g. an extra chromosome during fetal development = Down Syndrome.  There are contingencies and natural algorithms that conduct the world that we observe around us and these phenomena occur throughout the universe.  As more information is gathered, continually unraveling the mysteries of the universe, we are finding answers to questions that many never previously thought to ask. Whether one chooses to believe that it all started with “a big bang”, it’s quite apparent that the milky way and the numerous other galaxies are not the work of a anthropomorphized floating entity that concerns itself with the daily goings-on of the 7 billion people on Earth now and the billions of people that have lived in the past.

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the chicken and egg

Which came first: the chicken or the egg?  If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

My take:

The chicken came first.  The tree makes a sound.  These are not mysterious to me, although philosophically stimulating to many.  I say the chicken came first because something had to incubate the egg.  Adaptation and evolution would explain the disparity concerning origin, because as each generation of species adjusts or adapts to their environment, the offspring evolve.  Thus, the offspring possess traits that the predecessor does not.  This is to say that the chick that we know today is not the same as the original offspring.  Therefore, over the scope of time, whatever would have been born of the organisms that originated in the oceans, including chickens, would have to be the product or offspring of something else.  The fact is that all organisms have to go through an infancy and then a reproductive phase as a fact of life.  In order for an egg to exist, it would have to come from something that reproduced (re i.e. again and produce i.e. create) a virtual copy of itself.

As for the tree in the forest: I get it. If no one is there to receive the vibrations, is there a sound?  Similar to Schroedinger’s theory of the cat being both dead and alive, as it is neither until it is observed and declared to meet the criteria of one or the other.  The thing is, the definition of sound is independent of human observance.  I realize that even time is a human-conceived concept, but it is based on observable scientific law.  I would liken this  question to be equivalent to asking whether time passes if you aren’t looking at the clock.   There are pre-existing criteria that define both “time” and “sound” that are met whether there is a human to observe and acknowledge them.

How do the bugs get into the ceiling light?  I never looked it up, but I would imagine that since bugs are attracted to light, and heat is used to incubate eggs, and light produces heat, that insects are laying eggs in or near the lights that eventually hatch.  I could look this question up to find someone else’s answer, but that one satisfies my common sense.

My point is that it can be that simple to come to a reasonable explanation without listening to and spreading the dogma of whichever doctrine to which one subscribes as opposed to simply being true to oneself and recognizing that many of us take for granted that what we learned growing up is the truth–simply because it’s what we were taught.  We take for granted that, no matter what extent, a good amount of what we believe is what was recited to us and committed to our memory over time.  Unless you stop, question, identify and test what you have come to believe, you will continue to believe what is most familiar or comfortable but not necessarily what makes sense.

someone thought of all this

I had a conversation in which the other person, in an effort to offer assurance, told me to remember that I was put here for a purpose.  Told me to remember that I am special.  Told me to consider all the plants and animals and how much thought went into creating this.  Soon after that, I had to interject and reveal that I am not a believer.  There was a pause.

Humans consider themselves an intelligent life form.  What makes us intelligent has everything to do with our brains.  Neurology is the study of the brain and it is a rapidly developing field of study, as we still do not completely understand how it works.  The fact is, however, that it can be studied because there is a science to how it works–concrete concepts, processes, chemical activity that can be seen and measured.  We understand that every thought, movement and vital function is initiated by our brains.  A fetus develops a brain within the first 3 weeks of gestation.  The brain develops from cells- the smallest life form, and atoms- the smallest particle of matter,  which have electrical charges.  So, God thought of atoms, assigned electrical charges and then initiated the elaborate process of combining atoms to make molecules, then various molecules to make cells, then various cells to make tissues and then tissues to make the brain organ.  So if God created our brains, which we rely on to formulate thought, how did he choose the material?  If God created our brains, what is his brain made of?  How does his brain work? If God thought of and then created the universe and everything in it, then his brain precedes the universe.   If he created atoms and cells, etc. the question remains, who created him ( I say him because it’s not relevant whether God has a gender; that again, is a point of disconcertion since gender is a function of reproduction)?  That the concept is so complex and continues to elude our understanding, is more reason not to believe that it’s a simple as: God.  This is to say that it took thousands of years for Man to learn that we exist on a planet that revolves around a star that is part of a galaxy that is part of one of many universes.  Surely, it can’t be so simple as: God.  From the study of science we learned the laws of the universe: gravity, energy, inertia, centrifugal force, et al; science explains cause and effect.  In our lives we constantly witness causal relationships and patterns. Understanding the laws of the universe brings order to chaos and clarity to confusion.

To credit God is to deny the laws of nature.  It is to say that a woman really CAN become pregnant from immaculate conception.  If God is in control, what’s the deal with in vitro fertilization?  Are we creating people that God doesn’t want to exist or does he not mind, since he gave us the brains to discover the procedure?  And when the procedure doesn’t take, is it because he thinks that reproductive clinics could use more money and that people desperate for a child can afford to pay? Is this to suggest that cells become people because God initiates fertilization and cell division?  When people are born with deficits, deformities and congenital disorders, does that mean God was having a bad day?

I was put here [on Earth] because my parents had sex and my mother became pregnant and decided not to abort.  There was no immaculate conception  or stork.  There was, however, an exchange of bodily fluids contained in the reproductive organs, secreted for the purpose of reproduction.  I am born no more special than any of the other 7 billion people that roam the Earth; special is highly subjective.  And in what regard am I special?  Do I have a talent that no one on Earth possesses?  Is special no longer a superlative?   If everyone is special, who is not special–what is the point of reference? Are we all winners?  If everyone is a winner, then there was no competition, because to compete is to compare and rank.   There is, of course, functionality in believing that oneself is special or telling yourself that you are a winner, no matter what.  Stephen Hawking is special.  Martin Luther King was special. Mother Theresa was special.  Gandhi was special. Even Hitler was special. Everyone can’t be special.  To be special you have to do special things.

If God wanted me to fulfill a purpose, why didn’t I get a heads up?  Why keep me guessing, risking me dying before the purpose is met?    If I purchase or create something for a purpose, then I will use it for that purpose– otherwise it is a waste of time or money.  If I build a house, it is either to live in or to profit from.  If I buy a car, it is to drive.  I can think of some people that wasted their lives being non productive and making poor decisions or that were simply horrible human beings; was that their purpose?  That would mean that omniscient God created all the injustices in the history of humanity; but of course, we conveniently draw the line.  God wanted Beyoncé  (she’s one of those that always thanks God for her success) to be a major celebrity but did not want the tsunami of 2004–but then again, natural disasters are a “sign of the times(end of days)”.  God wanted the United States to be a WASP nation (In God We Trust) but he did not want slavery or the massacre of the natives.

Someone did think of all this.  A lot of people thought of all this.  A lot of people have thought about all the wonder in the universe from atoms to black holes to amoebas.  People continue to think of all this.  People think.  Dark matter and dark energy do not think.  Atoms and elements do not think.  They exist, they interact and they conduct themselves according to the laws of the universe.

in memory of Pluto

Remember Pluto?

Quite often, science will give us incomplete or inaccurate information and hastily we accept it only to have to retract e.g. prescription drugs, child safety equipment, the planet Pluto…but that doesn’t mean that we should simply discredit the field of study or not give it its propers.  The beauty of science is that we are offered theories, laws and theorems to explain how they derive said theories and laws.  This way, we can actually follow the train of thought.  Because science has theories and theorems there is room for alternate hypotheses to be tested and then replace prior theories.  Science is alive, like spoken language, it is open to interpretation within reason.  Science allows room for improvement.  This is how Pluto gets dropped as a planet.  Science offers a definition of what it means to be a planet and for a substantial period of time, Pluto seemed to have met the criteria.

Science, like Math, is not something we invented; they are comprised of the laws of nature and the universe- that which precedes our existence.  When it comes to faith, no such logic applies.  The faithful have ongoing debates about how to interpret a book that does not have life.  There are people fighting and losing lives over words scribed thousands of years ago.  It’s almost comical because, no one can ever possibly have the exact interpretation because these holy works are compilations of subjective anecdotes.  People do not realize why there are specific rules and restrictions.  Example: the ten commandments.  the history channel did a 10 part documentary on the commandments.  They served a practical purpose.  Don’t have sex out of wedlock (primarily females) because there were no condoms or paternity tests at a time when lineage determined your socioeconomic status and women were considered property.   This was also a time when females started having babies as early as age 14.  Life expectancy was short and the roles of men and women were black and white.

There is more solidarity in investing in the sciences and I’m not referring  exclusively to technology.  The search for God is one that invokes the use of math and science.  So many people can recite Bible verses but can’t read a book.

Interestingly enough, after I typed this, prior to publishing it, I saw an episode of Bill Maher (Friday, April 5, 2013) relevant to this post.  Ironically, the issue of science not always being right was laid on the table as evidence that we should not invest so much stock in science.  The discussion included intelligent design (creationism) vs. evolution.  To begin, it’s funny that instead of calling it what it is they spin  it much like a garbage man is a sanitary engineer.  A more important point was wherein lies the debate.  I was happy to hear the example I’ve used, that while at one point Man thought the Earth was flat, it was science that disproved that belief.

“Have the humility to believe people who know things you don’t!” – Bill Maher 2:30     episode 277
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xvT1nTvF5ps

I love this episode because it speaks to exactly the issue that I am addressing: arguing with science and not knowing when to accept truth.

question everything; accept facts

The truth is that religion discourages thinking and demands that you forfeit logic and go on all faith-no matter the cost-blind obedience:

This was the case as Abraham was directed to offer his son as a sacrifice in order to demonstrate faith and obedience.

Galatians 3:6-9  Consider Abraham: “He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”  Understand, then, that those who believe are children of Abraham.  The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.”  So those who have faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Psalm 33:4-6 For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.  The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.  By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth.

and the Q’uran:
[21:23] He is never to be asked about anything He does, while all others are questioned.
and
[21:24] Have they found other gods beside Him? Say, “Show me your proof. This is the message to my generation, consummating all previous messages.” Indeed, most of them do not recognize the truth; this is why they are so hostile.

Of course, it only makes sense for a religious work to self-promote and discourage doubt, less it be ineffective.  In order to suspend disbelief we are given viable examples of when having faith gives a person [an inner] strength to deal with tribulation.

The the word which was transcribed by the hand of Man, susceptible to flaws in transcription, handwriting interpretation, language interpretation (this includes dialectic and colloquial changes) as the book was reproduced time and time and time again.  From the production of one version to the next there was room to be reinterpreted to satisfy alterior motives.  A present day example is the Shiite and Sunni interpretation of  appropriate Muslim female attire.  And if something can be understood and implemented in so many ways, who is to say which is right? Apparently culture and ancestry–outside forces, determine how the text is to be understood and applied in daily life.  So the sanctity of your soul is contigent upon how well you adhere to what turns out to be Man-made standards of conduct.  And by Man-made I also mean made by men and need to emphasize that, it was only within the past century that women began the steps to becoming less than second class citizens-baby-making property…at least in the United States.

Know this: When the Bible (and other works) were written, the majority of the population was illiterate.  The literate people happened to be the wealthiest people, with few exceptions. The wealthiest people happened to be the monarchs/pharaohs/emperors, religious figureheads and those born into wealth.  It so happens that the wealthiest people were also the bureaucrats instituting laws based on religious works that only few could read founded by revelations very few had had.  With the heads of state and heads of church are also of the elite class, ‘best believe that there will be modifications and accommodations made to the rules on their behalves.  Examples are the rules about premarital and extramarital affairs and the double-standard by which these acts are judged.  It’s always a bit more horrific when your daguhter, not son, conceives at 14 years old.  Males might even get a secret high-five.  And women get a ‘scarlet letter’, should they step outside of marriage–it’s only because women walk away bearing the seed of deceit while men just wipe it off.

Also consider that it was not so easy to get a copy in your language if you didn’t speak the most common language.  An example- if you spoke French and lived in Rome, the Bible would be found in Latin.  Not to mention that books were luxuries that manyh people couldn’t afford–remember, most people cannot read.  There was a good number of thousands of years were education was not available universally.

So far, there are 2 barriers for you actually having access to the words by which you desperately try to live.  So, like the majority of fellow followers, you receive your religious guidance by word of mouth.  If you are older than 10 years old, you should know, like the game of ‘telephone’, the story is never the same on the other end.  But let’s just say that it is.  So far, the Bible has managed to be the unadulterated word of The Supreme Spiritual Being that made man in his own image (does that mean God has an anus?  Why would he need one?  Or hands and feet?  Where is he walking?  Oh! I guess the clouds)  and created the Heaven (which we later found out to be one in many galaxies in a massive universe) and Earth (the formation of which science offers ample explanation and evidence).  This unadulterated word should only have interpretation since there is only one God.  Why would God play his children against each others for thousands of years?  The lesson is lost with each “holy war”.  Holy shit, what a contradiction!

So, God has allowed Man to fight and murder in his name, ruthless and relentlessly since the fall from grace in the Garden of Eden.  With this in mind, knowing that generations upon generations have been misled by the guise of a religious institution.  So many people continue to be taken advantage by their religious leaders or spiritual guides, so many people that fall victim to cults… People remain vulnerable because everyone wants comfort of believing there’s more to this life which, for some people, is heaven on Earth, but for the majority is HELL.

The Jehovah’s Witnesses have a precise number for the number of people to be admitted to Heaven.  The problem is, that number was formulated in the 20th Century.  No matter how faithful one might be, if you’ve lived since that time, the odds are against you.  And does that number apply to innocent babies or people outside of the US and the Western Hemisphere, who are also the children of God, although they may be unfamiliar with Jehovah’s Witnesses? There are more people on the Earth at this moment (7 billion) than those to be admitted to Heaven. 144,000 was the number deemed for the anointed.  20,000 people died in the tsunami 12/25/04.  Again, the odds are against you.

How could one so passionately believe in something from which they are so far removed?  Like Kwanzaa…WTFIT? But really, there are so many religions, denominations, sects, etc that it seems obvious that they can’t all be right.  They can, however, all be wrong.  Despite the good intentions people have abused religions to the utmost.  There are wonderful lessons to be learned among the teachings of all religions.  The stories may be figurative or they may be figments of someone’s imagination.  Perhaps they are drunken revelations or pipe-talk or a culmination of philosophical works cloaked with spiritual references or maybe they are as good as the Brother’s Grimm and Aesop’s Fables.   The bottom line is that you should not have to subscribe to the words in a Bible in order to have a moral compass.

a little common sense goes a long way

At some point, you have to follow the train of logic.  If the concept of evolution makes more sense and answers a lot more questions than any holy book one might read…I’m inclined to believe there might be something to it.  In watching the Science and History Channels, I have to give myself credit for my own deductive reasoning.  I’m not suggesting that I specialize in these fields of study, but that, since science and math are laws of nature that can be studied, like anything that you study, they need to be applied and reapplied by way of deductive reasoning.  To the question of “how do the bugs get inside the lighting fixture, anyway??” I say: because insects lay their eggs on or in the fixture. I have never looked this up because it satisfies logic; if bugs are attracted to light, if eggs usually require some heat to hatch, since you can’t see the bugs getting in…since they can’t get out..  There are so many questions that we could find the answer to if we just gave it a bit more thought and admit to ourselves that there really is so much we do not know, without forsaking how much we can still learn. An example would be the chicken and the egg.  The chicken came first because it has to incubate the egg.  The problem lies in the pretense that God made all creatures as they are (otherwise there would have to be some process of evolution for a chicken to exist in the first place).  Because one mustn’t deny the Almighty, we forgo what makes the most sense and chalk it all up to a conundrum.  If a tree falls a forest, of course it makes a sound whether or not there is any human ear to receive the resulting sound waves.  Only in matters of quantum physics, might one see it fit to argue whether reality exists outside of the human imagination, but the fact remains that if a tree falls in the forest, you don’t have to hear it in order to see it lying on the ground and can therefore use deductive reasoning and prior experience of what happens if something so large falls to determine that it did, in fact, make a sound. The more background knowledge, the more angles at which yo have to evaluate any circumstance; for that, you need an open mind. Our mind needs to be ready to receive another puzzle piece.  It happens that, the same as we look in the refrigerator time and again– as though something will appear, we tend to try to make sense of nonsense and make fit what does not fit.

Ethics in Science

On the Science Channel, there’s even promo states that it[science] “sometimes goes too far” .  e.g. Russia:  what woman would volunteer to bear the child of an ape?  But then, it’s not science, in and of itself that goes too far, but humans, with how they choose to incorporate and experiment with it.  It comes down to money and mental illness.  Both of which explain why a woman would volunteer to bear an ape.

Ethics are the boundary—an apparently diminishing one.  Ethics change with knowledge.  When you learn that what you deem to be so inappropriate, either has no effect on your life, or that what you believed was actually incorrect, you put away your gavel and open yourself to learning even more.  Gay marriage: if it has no effect on the sanctity of your marriage why cast your nose up against someone else’s decision?  Why would you be so concerned with who someone else is sleeping with?  Apparently heterosexuals aren’t professionals in the marriage arena—in the US more than half of marriages end in divorce—and it’s not a secret.  People are already rampantly defiling and defying the sacred vows they took  notwithstanding gay rights.  So, after you come to terms with the fact of the matter, rather than your feeling toward the matter, you decide to move aside and not stand in the way of someone else’s natural right to choose a partner with whom to share their life and intimacy.

Stem cell research and cloning.  If you believe in God and His creation of the human soul, cloning is definitely a no-no.  The stigma attached to it is that it is not natural—like homosexuality.  But, unless the definition of natural has changed, homosexuality is quite natural, it’s just not productive. In fact, if the whole premise of coitus is to copulate and procreate, then homosexuality can serve as a method of birth control.   Still, if something is not natural, it cannot fall under the rules of God, and therefore it is ‘the other’– which we most commonly correlate to the devil/evil or other dark forces.  As for cloning, how can a person be a real person not having been spawn naturally, as the result of the wonderful bond between a man and a woman that commit themselves—their lives to each other?  Then came along artificial insemination.  Ideas change when your own personal needs change such as when you find out your church-going teenager is expecting a child and you stop lending judgment to the parents of children that do not go to church yet have managed to keep it tucked in.  Then again, there are even the people for whom, not even that reality check is enough to wake them from their fog.

our regularly scheduled programming

Jean Pierre’s”The Universe” is like science class for adults. I also like Michio Kaku as a teacher. We have the option of using cable to broaden our scopes, rather than to “keep up with the Kardashians”. There is an obvious misplacement of interests. We would rather be distracted by garbage. We learned in school and then forgot; learned in college and then relearned in the workforce…but it doesn’t stop there. There are lessons to be learned that are not taught in either arena. Rather than watch “nickjr”. why not have children watch “pbskids” (which doesn’t have commercials trying to sell you anything between programs and all the programs are blatantly educational but still entertaining). We feel like we are missing out on something and trying to live vicariously. Of course, there are those of us watching religious programming all day—again, highly limiting. There is so much more to learn. The history and science channels are relatively unbiased and offer vital information for everyday life. Filling your head with superficial garbage, being constantly distracted by sex and glamor—spending time watching other people live their lives –wanting to have their lives, be they real or make-believe, wasting the time we could spend investing in our own lives and of those around us.