2016-09-04 This intro page changes from time to time. In fact, they all change.
A love song for a universe that could snuff us out in a heartbeat,
and yet overflows with stunning beauty, majesty and mystery.
pulchra es amica mea = you are beautiful my beloved
— Song of Solomon
DEDICATION: This site is dedicated to my grandfather, George Adams
- another rural carpenter whose inner strength shone like a light.
INTRO: Long ago friends asked for my help. Could I not, as a scientist, priest and atheist show them a more satisfactory worldview than society’s religions with bronze age superstitions and doctrines? So I promised that I would help them build a new worldview of their own. Here is the story I promised - a survey of science since Columbus sailed, written for my curious non-scientific friends.
In worldviews of the past, people were taught that:
1 - the universe is a three layer cake - heaven above, Earth in the middle, hell below;
2 - the Earth is a flat disk of dirt floating on chaotic waters that existed before creation;
3 - you can fall off the Earth’s edge - where dragons live;
4 - the sun goes around the Earth, which is the center of the universe;
5 - stars and planets are lights attached to the sky;
6 - the sun is a fire chariot driven across the sky by gods;
7 - everything is composed of 4 elements - earth, air, fire, water;
8 - we are surrounded by magical beings with superpowers:
- gods, angels, devils, demons - fairies, elves, unicorns, griffins;
9 - these super beings throw lightning bolts and storms; injuries and illness at us
if we don’t appease them with blood sacrifices.
10 - ?? This is laughable. These guys are having a good laugh. Let’s join them.
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Although we now find our ancestors’ worldview laughable and childish, nonetheless many of us still use the superstitions from thousands of years ago.
Today we know about atoms, stars and galaxies; computers, cells and DNA. We now know about the solar system, going beyond the sky, walking on the Moon and sending robotic probes to the other planets. We also understand some biology and microbes as the source of our illnesses.
We need a new worldview based on what we know today.
That is our quest here - to go far, far beyond religion.
Here our appeal will not be to authorities of the past, magic or the supernatural, but to what nature herself has to show us. Although I passed through a background of Christianity and even seminary education as an Episcopal priest, I also passed through the world of physics, astronomy and computing — and then sailed on. … leaving gods and goddesses, angels and demons, elves, fairies and unicorns - far, far behind.
Let’s start with some quotes from Einstein:
"I am a deeply religious non-believer.
This is a somewhat new kind of religion.”
"The most beautiful and most profound experience
is the sensation of the mystical.
It is the sower of all true science."
My own personal quest for Einstein's new kind of religion led me beyond science, religion and society. 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?
Casting off: I used to sail, racing the Olympic catamaran - the Tornado. No matter how often I did it, the moment when moorings to the dock were cast off remained exciting. It is the moment when you separate and commit to a new journey, moving out onto the water. On this journey of the heart we must also cast off, severing connections to what we were taught in the past. This is new water. As Columbus said:
“You cannot cross the ocean if you are afraid to lose sight of the shore.”
As we build our new worldview, we will not use the religious jargon of years past. Instead we will use our daily speech of the 21st century, from people like you and me. We will throw overboard much of what we have been taught and learn new things. Surprisingly, we won’t throw everything out. We will rescue some valuables from religion and take them with us on our journey. — Here we go:
Our destination? : Far, far beyond religion.
The surprise? : We will find that we need both science and myth to go to the stars.
The lesson? : Each of us makes our own worldview, as unique as our fingerprints.
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.
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.
Thus one journeys to the stars.
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2016-08-23: This site is somewhat usable now. Feel free to use it for thought or discussion.
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