Preface

Still a work in progress - editing and rewriting, now on: A New Worldview - 2014-04-02

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“A religion old or new, that stressed the magnificence of the universe as revealed by modern science, might be able to draw forth reserves of reverence and humility hardly tapped by the conventional faiths. Sooner or later, such a religion will emerge.”  -- Carl Sagan

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One day, some travelers may visit our planet, look through fossil layers here and discover the story of the humans. You and I are writing the story that they will find. Did we leave a trail on our way to the stars ? Or did bad behavior end our story? ...

A Prophecy and A Story:

The Prophecy:

Soon we will meet beings that are smarter than us
  but they won't come from the stars. 
They will come from us. 

Like fish swimming in the ocean, we swim in a vast sea of information. 
Like fish discovering water, we are only now becoming aware of this sea.

That awareness is called consciousness.
It will carry us deep into the nature of thought itself.    — Gareth Harris

The Story:

footprintsonthemoon


Our footprints are on the moon.

VoyagerHighResDNAanimated




Our little probe Voyager is sailing past the edge of our solar system, on its way to the stars. 



We can now look into our own cells and see the DNA of our past - and future. 

Our old worldview doesn’t work anymore. We are now faced with atoms and molecules, stars and galaxies, DNA and evolution, computers and thought. The old three layer cake universe of gods, angels, demons and magic - is simply too childish for the reality science shows us today. It is time to grow up.

Now we are ready, ready to search for a new story of the unfolding galaxies and stars, children and flowers, tears and laughter - and most of all to seek a new worldview here from our place in the middle of space and time - on planet Earth during the summertime of our universe. 

On this journey, our appeal will not be to authorities of the past, magic or the supernatural, but to what nature herself has to show us. While we will rescue some valuable things from the religions and thinkers of our past, this is a journey of fading gods and changing worldviews - of mileposts and shores left behind - a journey not for the faint hearted. As Christopher Columbus said:

"You can never cross the ocean - until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore."

When I go to a concert, I expect to experience great thoughts and emotions. If the performers don't make tears run down my face, I want my money back. Science is an exciting concert too - stunning us with new understandings and wonders. The reason for the title of this site - SentimentalStargazer.com - is to emphasize that science is not cold hard numbers but emotionally exciting experiences. Yes, we will find many miracles - surprises that amaze and delight us - not magic and superstition.

Remember those tales about the explorer who returns from afar only to find the sought after treasure right at home? As we journey out to galaxies and down into cells and atoms, we will find the biggest surprise of all is waiting for us back home.

We have three tasks before us in this undertaking: 
1 - Survey what we know about the world in the year 2014 - our place in space and time - and thought.  
2 - Ask the question:
How is a universe of stars and galaxies, atoms, molecules and DNA different from a world of gods, angels, demons, magic and superstition?
3 -
Compare our answers - As children say when playing doctor: "I'll show you mine if you show me yours." Of course they are talking about their private parts - but then our heart is our most private part, isn't it?

Like Odysseus, our voyage will take us far, out past the Pillars of Hercules and deep into the human heart. We will sail past new sights and sounds, old friends and strangers, deep thoughts and feelings. The view of the world we were taught as children will fade as we make a new one … 

Come, my friends, ’Tis not too late to seek a newer world. ...

Come, my friends,

’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.

Push off, and sitting well in order smite

The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds

To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths

Of all the western stars, until I die.

It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:

It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,

And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.

Tho’ much is taken, much abides; and tho’

We are not now that strength which in old days

Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will

To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

  --  Tennyson

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Next>> The Unfolding

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READER NOTES:

Just like our worldview - this site is a WIP - work in progress.
It keeps changing and may never be finished.
If you see a section that is a little weak, I ask for your help. — Gareth+

About reading this:
DON’T AVOID THIS because you think you don’t have the math or are not smart enough.
 
I promise you that I am not so smart. I just keep going when my curiosity leads me on.
If you are curious, you can do the same. And we can have some fun while learning from each other.

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© Gareth Harris 2013       --------        Contact email: garethharris@mac.com        --------         see also: GarethHarris.com