Perplexities, theories, and quandries of the mind and universe

Latest

Freedom Of Speech – An Opinion, A View, or A Belief

This article is something that hits home to me, and it should hit home to anyone who reads this, too.

Over the holidays one of the characters on my girlfriends favorite TV show, Duck Dynasty, was surrounded with controversy when an interview was aired. Now let me all give you some context. The Duck Dynasty crew live in the southern state of Louisiana. They are also a very religious folk. And that is perfectly okay.

Phil, who is the father of the three boys that the show follows closely, stated that he is against gay marriage. Phil stated that the bible references marriage as a bond between a man and a woman. This is Phil’s own opinion, this is his own belief. And as an American he is entitled to believe whatever he wants. As an American he can voice his opinion. His opinion is not the law. His opinion is not a decree stating what should or should not be. It is just an opinion. I myself could care less what anyone else thinks, because at the end of the day my belief’s are my own, and no one else. Everyone else should sit back and do the same. If someone voices their opinion, sit back and let them. Now I know that everyone else is giving their “opinion” on what they think of Phil, and that’s okay. But remember if you can voice ‘your’ opinion about Phil, then certainly Phil can voice his opinion about what he wants. Don’t go around “voicing your opinion” by saying “so-and-so shouldn’t voice their opinion”. That’s hypocritical. And that is something that should not be tolerated. Now just remember these are just one person’s views. He is not taking action and harming people who embrace same-sex marriage, unlike that of Mother Russia. And since Phil is taking no action against anyone, no one should take any action against him. Instead you all should riot against Russia, especially with the Olympics coming up.

This brings me to my next hot topic, abortion. Abortion is all about opinion and personal beliefs. However this is MY OPINION on the subject, and this is my opinion alone. My only action is taking to this blog to voice my opinion. Abortion is a right that should be given to the mother, no matter what the case. It is not up to any man, doctor, or religious group to determine whether or not abortion should be allowed. In fact, in most of my research, I have determined that most people who are pro-life (anti-abortion) reference the bible as their source of when life begins. That’s okay. That’s your opinion. However the bible is a religious document. The First Amendment states a separation of church and state. Now these waters can get a little murky, but in “my opinion” the government should never make the act of abortion illegal because they would be crossing the threshold of church and state. It should be up the individual, not the governing body, to decree such a belief.

And that is my opinion. Feel free to voice yours below. Just remember, don’t tell me I can’t voice my opinion. Because I can. And I will. Have a nice day.

Advertisements

On Space Exploration

On a summer night in 1969, for the first time in human history, a group of men left the Earth and set foot on a heavenly body. Humans landed on the moon. We didn’t just step over the line that marked what was possible and impossible. We flew over that line, and the next line too.

But what has happened since then? Just stop and think about it.

Done thinking? Good. Let me throw some facts at you. NASA was first established in 1958, (although it was more or less made to absorb the NACA, which was founded in 1915) to conduct non-military actions in space. NASA wasn’t the first to send something into space, but they were the first to land a human on the moon, which happened in 1969. It took them only 11 years to accomplish this ungodly feat. We didn’t stay there long though. In 1972 NASA sent their last Apollo mission to the moon, and no one has walked on a heavenly body since.

It’s been 41 years now. Just imagine what NASA, or any other space agency for that matter, could have achieved if they had stuck to a vigorous program of space exploration. Today we have a handful of rovers exploring Mars, and many other probes and orbiters flying around the solar system. They are all un-maned however. It just begs the question as to why. If it took only a decades worth of testing, training, and planning to get to the moon, we could have certainly placed a man on Mars, or maybe even some other body in the solar system. By all means, just having rovers on Mars seems to be a bit of a let down. We have amazing technology roaming the red planet. Why can’t we have those same robots running around on the Europa, a moon of Jupiter, where we believe a liquid ocean is present beneath the surface, or Enceladus, a moon of Saturn with similar properties to Europa. What about Triton, another moon of Saturn. Sure it my have liquid methane, but who is to say some form of life isn’t living in it (perhaps even a silicon based life-form, not a carbon-based one like all of Earth’s creatures).

Then there are the Voyager probes. The first one is just now leaving the Solar System. The second isn’t there yet, but give it time. The first was launched in 1977. With the technology and power we have now we could have explored far beyond Pluto, which I still consider a planet.

So why explore space? Well for one there is an abundance of raw, natural resources out there that we could tap. Just imagine if we pulled in an asteroid, just one out of the thousands out there in orbit. These things are massive, some are the size of modern cities. They contain iron, nickel, and many other metals. One asteroid could supply building material for years to come.

Titan, which I mentioned earlier, has an absurd amount of lakes full of liquid methane and ethane. The moon is much colder than Earth, so those fuels are dense. On top of that, Cassini found evidence in June of 2012 that there may be subsurface oceans of liquid water. Cases for liquid water also exist on Saturn’s other moon Enceladus, which I mentioned above.

As for Jupiter’s moon Europa, liquid water is almost a guarantee, but it lies below hundreds or thousands of feet of ice. The case with Europa is unique though. Jupiter causes immense tidal forces to occur to Europa. These forces heat the core of the moon, and create a stable supply of heat and energy. With that in mind, the recipe for life is there, it’s just a matter of if it has been blended into a soup of microorganisms.

And what is space exploration without mentioning aliens? Think about this. If you were on Pluto, listening to the radio, you would be hearing songs that were popular not too long ago. You could catch the World Series of the early 2000’s. Maybe someone out there, farther away, is listening to the first broadcast of the World Series or the famous speeches from King George. But what if they misinterpret our logical form of communication for some kind of odd space interference.

And what if we have misinterpreted their signals? Or worse; what if we have missed them all together. Sure we have dishes and towers trying to find signals from ET. But what if we put more effort into it. I forget the technical term, but consider this. When you are using your computer, chances are you aren’t using 100% of its computing power. Just imagine what could be done if everyone put their unused computer processing power to use sifting through data that could contain an alien language. Maybe they have taken steps we have not to try to explore space.

Ah, the power of “what its” and the “what could have been”. In any case, I hope this compels someone to take a deeper look at things. Their own life. Their own “what ifs”. And maybe, just maybe, this will fall on the eyes of a future space explorer.

 

Sources include: NASA, Astronomy Magazine

How Many ‘Senses’ Do We Have?

We have all heard the basic notion that everyone has five senses: the power to see, hear, taste, smell and the sensation of touching. I’m also sure that most of you have told someone clumsy that they “have no sense of balance”. Wait wait wait… That would bring our total number of senses up to six, correct? So what else out there can our body sense?

All of our senses are subject to distortions and disturbances. Have a drink and your sense of balance and sight goes haywire, along with your sense of taste ( only if you get too many drinks in, which I suggest you don’t). Our hearing declines with age, along with our sight, taste, and smell. Our ability to touch is something we have no control over, unlike other senses. We can avoid smells, close our eyes, plug our ears, but we cannot turn off our sensation of touching. So does this make it one of our ‘senses’, because our mind has no control over it? Also, on a quantum level, particles never ever touch. So in theory when we touch something we are not actually touching anything. Quite strange.

We all have a sense of balance. Some of us more-so  than others. It is something we can hone to near perfection, and also something that can dissipate without proper usage. Yet balance is something we can all relate to, like sights and sounds. And we can all clearly identify if someone other than our self is off balance. This makes it a unique trait. Because unlike sight and sound we can help others correct for it without the need of other devices. We can see those who lack a sense of balance and make amends for it. A sense of balance just seems like an integral part of human nature to me.

Also, what about time. All of us have a sense of time. And unlike our other senses, we all have a nearly (depending on age) equal sense of time. And to all of us, time moves forward. It is a sense that remains very constant in our daily lives. However it is not something we can detect in others. Yet we all know it is moving forward, at a constant pace.

So this brings our total to 7. How many other senses do you think we have? Let me know!

A Thought on Multiverses

So I was contemplating the thought of a multiverse this week (for those of you who don’t know, a multiverse is a scenario in which our universe is just one part of many more universes). A lot of ideas sprang to mind, most notably revolving around string theory, the big bang, and black holes. String theory states that there are many more dimensions than the four we experience (up/down, forward/backward, left/right, and time), somewhere around 9-11 dimensions! So what can those dimensions be?

There are a few theories out there that say our universe lies on one of an infinite number of sheets. These sheets could be one of the dimensions that we do not see. When these sheets collide a huge amount of energy is released, aka The Big Bang. This energy spreads over the sheet creating the universe we live in.
Now here is one of my crazy ideas. Lets say that the sheet we live on is not infinite in size. After so many billions of years the energy waves should bounce around and interact with each other. I don’t know if this is possible to find, but it sounds plausible.

Next are black holes. If we live on sheets then maybe these black holes are tears in the fabric and connect our sheet to another. Perhaps a black hole on our sheet has such a strong gravitational attraction that it pulls nearby sheets closer. Then they touch. And bam, another Big Bang is born. All the matter that a black hole has ate has to go somewhere, and the perfect place for it to go is a different universe.

These are just a few wild speculations that I have thought of over the last few days. They are in no way a complete theory on anything. Just a wild guess on the nature of the universe. I’m just an amateur astronomer after all!

 

Quantum Consciousness

I was reading about some weird physics theories online. Quantum Consciousness came up. It states that classical physics cannot currently account for consciousness and being self aware. Now physics is supposed to be the rules of the universe. Yet it can’t explain how people are self aware. Weird right!!! However quantum mechanics may be able to explain this phenomena. Problem is we don’t have a good grasp on quantum mechanics.

We just recently found the higgs-boson particle that is supposed to give mass to atoms. So, let me throw some facts your way. The matter we see, the particles that make up you and me, only account for about 5% of the universe. Mind. Blown. So what accounts for the rest of the universe? Dark matter and dark energy! These are two things that we cannot see with our eyes, our telescopes, or anything else. However we know that it is out there because it has mass and gravity as well. Dark matter bends light due to its mass. When the light reaches us it’s distorted. Yet when we look for the object causing the distortion nothing is there.

English: A pie of pie chart illustrating the c...

English: A pie of pie chart illustrating the cosmological composition of the universe. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So back to the higgs-boson. If we just found, and I mean literally just found, as in within a year, the particle that gives us our mass, then there are hundreds of other particles out there that give dark matter it’s mass. And we haven’t found a single one of them. So how on Earth are we supposed to understand the quantum mechanics that are going on in our own head?
I don’t really have an answer, and I can’t really expand too much more on the subject because I simply don’t know enough about it yet. But I do find this theory fascinating. Hopefully you do to. If you know of any good links or books on the subject feel free to comment!

http://photonsandprotons.wordpress.com/

Are We God?

Ok, so this is my first ever blog post. I’m still rather new to this concept so bare with me here.

I came up with this strange idea while I was watching “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman” on the Science Channel. I forget exactly what episode, but I started thinking to myself; what if god isn’t one of us, what if god is all of us?
Let me lay out my reasoning behind this idea.

We, as a society, picture god (or multiple gods) as rulers and creators of the universe. They do as they see fit. They have the capacity to build the cosmos, create galaxies, stars, and planets. It is within their own power to bring forth life and let it prosper. They also have the power to destroy, to create chaos, to bring balance and justice to an otherwise delusional place. So basically god can do everything, right?

Well can’t we as humans practically do everything, if not individually, but as a whole? Think about it. We humans are nearly the ruler of every living thing on the planet. Sure, we can’t control the weather, but we can control what lives and dies in the harsh drought or the hurricane. We work together to save many species, to protect ourselves and other living things around us. We strive to bring animals back from the brink of extinction. We can create new ecosystems, hell we can even genetically engineer new life.

With this great power comes the opposite side of the coin as well. We humans, as a society, also destroy. We have the power to wipe out a small forest, to dam a river, to flatten mountains, to annihilate entire areas of world. All with the press of a button. We also slowly seep away the natural resources of our Earth. We pollute. We eat. We destroy. We contaminate. And every single one of us is involved.

So with all this power to create and destroy, doesn’t that kind of make us god in a sense? Think about it. We can do as we please (albeit with enough money and resources). We can give, and we can take. And both of those come out in our nature.

On another note, where does the concept of god come from? Is it something we all naturally think of at a certain point in life? Almost every civilization, past and present, has some sort of deity they worship. So is this thinking of god something that we will just naturally do? If the concept of god is within us then who is to say that we, ourselves, are not the god in our heads?

Once again this is just a take I had on the concept of god(s) and our role in his/her/their identity. Are we, as a species, a god? Does god even exist? I am by no means trying to imply that god does exist. Nor am I saying god is false. This is just a concept of the mind. Something to think about, whether you believe or not.