Saturday, April 30, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

Religious Studies: The good god guide and a response from a religious scientist.

4/22/11. Scientists are asking:  exactly what is religion, and what is it for?

http://www.economist.com/node/18584074

My friend Tom sent me the following email in response to this article. Tom is a chemist --- and a firm believer in science and religion.

Steve,

Well I guess scientists should start looking somewhere, but I honestly do not think studies like this will generate much findings, other than the spiritual mystery that is beyond scientists ability to study.  A year ago I was asked to write an editorial piece for apaper back East that would help the lay person better understand the origins of universe, based on current astrophysical findings, in relation to this mystery.  The editor did not publish it because, even with the effort I made, it could not be understood by him enough to print.  I am not sure if we have discussed this, but if we have please forgive the repetition.  If one studies time, Einstein’s “theory of relativity” (now a confirmed law), the big bang expansion models, the age of the universe based on the most recent supercollider  energy of condensation and space background temperatures, all the visible mass in the universe (including even all those small neutrinos, cosmic rays, & electromagnetic radiation convertible mass), the astrophysics’ models come together in an astounding finding.   I found a presentation a few years back delivered to the American Academy for the Advancement of Science brightest scientists by a Director of US Dept of Energy programs that is coordinating all of the deep space probe findings, super-accelerator particlestudies, as well as many other related studies.  After making a considerable effort to understand this and other presentations, as well asreading some of Einstein’s original works to truly understand relativity,the appreciation of the finding was awe inspiring.  The Director had to discuss each program he was coordinating.  He had the courage to begin each section with a passage from the Genesis creation story, because the findings were uncanny, if not suggestive beyond one’s imagination. It took me quite a bit of time before I reached the place where I actually felt I had enough background to understand the significance of each finding and how it fit together.  I think the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation studies are perhaps one of the important keys to the puzzle.  The first major finding was that cosmic forces are so well “fine tuned” to create an almost impossible balance of “critical density” that enables the entire universe to “stay together”.  On earth, our meager study of natural laws, in an experimental environment, teach use that such an extraordinary balance does not happen by chance, but requires considerable effort somewhere and somehow of systems working in concert to come about.  The second most astounding discovery has to do with what scientists now call “dark energy” and “dark matter”.  Anything in the universe that is “physical” is visible because it produces some type of electromagnetic radiation, so we can see it and measure it.  The “dark energy and matter” is, in effect, invisible and is beyond scientists' ability to study it, over than just knowing that it is there, because if it were not there then everything (from subatomic particlesto galaxies) would not hold together.  The Director ended the presentationat a point where everyone who understood the astounding significance of the findings was now probably very silently awaiting his conclusion.  Not knowing where to go from here he simply ended by saying: “The fact that dark energy and exotic dark matter now comprise 95% of our universe, while galaxies of bright stars that fill the heavens are less than one percent, is a good lesson, compelling humility.”   The scientists there were among our brightest, and this was no little error in the model.  All our observations, all our theoretical modeling, and all our confirmed natural laws are telling use that ALLwe can study is encompasses no more than 1% of what exists.  Science can never tell us anything about the other 95%, because it is invisible, thus inaccessible to any physical measurement.  We can only know that it is just there – everywhere.   I believe deeply in science, but I also believe in the God of your forefathers.  I think heaven is very real, if not more real than what we “see” around us.

Kind Regards,

Tom                 

David Eagleman: The Possibilian

4/22/11. The profile of a neuroscientist who studies time and the brain.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2011/04/25/110425fa_fact_bilger

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ralph Waldo Emerson - Quotation

4/14/11.

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the
affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to
endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a
redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because
you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.


This poem resonates with the life of my Uncle George Horwich (1924 - 2008)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Monday Quotations

4/11/11.

"Psychologists treat other people's theories like toothbrushes - no self-respecting person wants to use anyone else's."

--- Walter Mischel (1930 -   )


"It is often stated that of all the theories proposed in this century, the silliest is quantum theory. In fact, some say that the only thing that quantum theory has going for it is that it is unquestionably correct.”

--- Michio Kaku (1947 -    )


"We are more heavily invested in the theories of failure than we are in the theories of success."

--- Albert Bandura (1925 -    )

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Do You Get an 'A' in Personality

4/7/11. Sometimes personality assessment when done in a therapeutic manner, brings insight to help start effective therapy for couples and individuals.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703806304576242690486216416.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read

Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday Quotations

4/4/11.

"There are elements which, if added to one's experience, make life better; there are other elements which added to one's experience, make life worse. But what remains when these are set aside is not merely neutral:  it is emphatically positive...The additional positive weight is supplied by experience itself, rather than by any of its contents."

--- Thomas Nagel (1937 -   )


"'I think, therefore I am' is the statement of an intellectual who underrates toothaches. 'I feel, therefore I am' is a truth much more universally valid, and it applies to everything that's alive."

--- Milan Kundera (1929 -  )


"Happy the hare at morning, for she cannot read
The Hunter's waking thoughts.
Lucky the leaf
Unable to predict the fall."

--- W. H. Auden (1907 - 1973)

"When we reflect on the shortness and uncertainty of life, how despicable seem all our pursuits of happiness? And even, if we would extend our concern beyond our own life, how frivolous appear our most enlarged and generous projects...hurried away by time, lost in the immense ocean of matter."

--- David Hume (1711 - 1776)


"I don't want to achieve immortality through my work; I want to achieve immortality through not dying. I don't want to live on in the hearts of my countrymen; I want to live on in my apartment."

--- Woody Allen (1935   )

Friday, April 1, 2011

Bernard Lewis: "The Tyrannies are Doomed"

4/1/11.

The West's leading scholar of the Middle East, Bernard Lewis, sees cause for optimism in the limited-government traditions of Arab and Muslim culture. But he says the U.S. should not push for quick, Western-style elections.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703712504576234601480205330.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop