When reading articles about science or watching television programs on scientific subjects, I am reminded of my limited intelligence and learning. Still, they fascinate me, and I enjoy learning something new or trying to understand a complicated subject. I am happy to have my horizons expanded.
One example is a BBC program called What Happened Before The Big Bang? How’s that for an unanswerable question? Of course, too many people in America think that the Earth is the center of the universe (or they are), but the extent of the universe is a mystery. Like adjacent puddles, is ours merely one of many? If the universe is moving through space, where did it come from, where has it been, and where is it headed?
Fortunately, I do not have to understand all this to enjoy the short bit of total time that I spend on this Earth, in this universe, in this...whatever. But, when I think about it, the most-amazing aspect of life is that an animal has evolved on a rock floating through infinite(?) space that is able to ask questions and figure some of the answers. Sadly, stupid people, who become politicians, have also evolved (just not in intelligence)...
Programs or books on cosmology can screw up your mind...if you let them. Humans speak about “time dragging” or a “long life”. This results from the incorrect assumption that humans are significant in the grand scheme of things. Everyday I run into someone, who mistakenly believes that he or she is the center of the universe and thus demands special attention. None have heard of the cosmos and, if asked, would think I was asking about a cocktail.
I do not spend much time thinking about how old or how big the universe might be. Christians make a wild guess and low-ball the figure, but scientists also do not know the answer for sure. Then again, what’s a billion years, give or take a few, when dealing with something patently unknowable (for now).
I hear about tallies of stars, planet, galaxies, and universes--yes, universes--that run into the billions. First of all, who has counted...and how? I buy into the “billions of stars”, but have difficulty grasping that magnitude of universes...especially when scientists do not know how large ours is. I heard the other night that some scientists believe to have discovered evidence to prove that our universe is infinite in size (whatever that means). That would mean that there are billions of infinite universes. Wrap your pea-sized brain around that...
The below link is something for someone that wishes to wrap his or her brain around a tantalizing problem. This is not for Daily Mail readers wishing to learn the latest fabricated gossip about insignificant people. The subject might be more for philosophers, cosmologists, or science majors, but a brief foray into cerebral puzzles can be exhilarating (and confusing). The following is a quasi-book review; it presents enough on the issue to get simple minds moving, to prevent having to buy the book, and to avoid having to read something mind-boggling.
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.