“Those who see the cosmic perspective as a depressing outlook, they really need to reassess how they think about the world. Because when I look up in the universe, I know I’m small but I’m also big. I’m big because I’m connected to the universe, and the universe is connected to me.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson
Besides my interest in Religion, Zen, writing, lettuce, cycling, earthworms, rocks, doors, Barbecue, politics, history, woodworking, poetry, beer, and women (I might be old and married but I still look) I am fascinated with Astrophysics. No, I am not a renaissance man, just an old guy with ADD.
The vast majority of people trudging around on this Earth give very little thought to what is above there head let alone how what is above them got there. Honestly, their “thoughts” probably don’t extend beyond their noses but my high school science teacher challenged his students to think beyond Earth’s atmosphere and for whatever reason I got it and got interested in it.
Now in the South in the 1960’s and 70’s any scientific inception, conception, or origination began with GOD! Humans from monkeys? Nope Adam, Eve, dust, rib and GOD! Big Bang Theory and a trillion years? Nope, GOD and six days! Teachers knew the truth and wanted to share the truth but they also knew there was a big difference between the Presbyterian kid who smoked pot in the parking lot (that would be me) and the Southern Baptist preachers kid whose Daddy was at the school weekly railing about something being taught or read that didn’t fit neatly in the context of the one and only Holy document.
I am sure some of you may find this hard to believe but it has taken us Southerns longer to catch up to the rest of the world. Hell there are still a few of us slow pokes fighting the Civil War but that is another post for another time.
What I learned from my science teacher is once upon a time there was nothing. Can any of us imagine the physical experience of nothing. That is assuming one could have a physical experience in nothing. But from that nothing came something, something small, something with energy, something that grew with mass in an expansion of time beyond our grasp. This was the beginning from nothing to the complex. Certainly we can all see how this would cause the Southern Baptist preacher to have an aneurysm in the Principals office.
How we got here is a fascinating examination of luck and timing. Minuscule shifts in variables, left, right, up or down and Earth, as we know it, doesn’t exist. Too much Hydrogen, not enough Nitrogen and Adam and Eve are simply Atom and well Atom.
Neil deGrasse Tyson has written a wonderful book called Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. I won’t go so far as to say that he has dumb downed Astrophysics, there is some pretty heady topics that he covers. But what I will say is this, Dr. Tyson creates order, rhyme and reason and most importantly a chain of events that is easy to follow and sometimes even understand.
Go out tonight and look up into the night sky. Look up and realize that we are floating on a mass of rock in a galaxy we share with other objects, maybe even other beings. Understand that what is above us is just as fragile and delicate as what we are standing on. There is a balance that exist and human’s can either work within that balance or destroy it for our own selfish reasons.
“Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” – Stephen Hawking