Posts Tagged ‘Time’

Star Dust

Posted: February 26, 2012 in Philosophy, Science
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Life as star dust

We are all star dust.  If you accept our current scientific understanding about the origin of the universe, then you accept the concept of the Big Bang, that event that took place some 13 plus billion years ago in an enormous creative explosion that began the universe.  During the approximately first 9 billion years, during the great expansion of the universe, some of the matter that was created began to coalesce into stars that burned and whose gravity attracted more matter and more matter so that in some cases, these stars became so big they exploded in great super nova propelling throughout their region of space not just hydrogen and helium, but heavier metals like carbon, nitrogen, iron,  and all the other elements.  As these were constrained by gravity, they too began to coalesce into asteroids and planets and be captured by other stars.  In some cases, as stars coalesced together, they became great “attractors” of other stars whose vectors placed them in great spiral orbits about a central point which became a black hole that did not explode.

The energy that made all this possible in addition to the creative process itself was based on fusion within the stars that created cosmic radiation.  Too close to the central black hole and the radiation was very powerful.  All stars and their planets were bathed with this intense radiation.  Further out, planets that orbited stars were not bombarded by this heavy radiation from the center of the galaxy, but they might be from the star or double star they orbited.  But, if they were the right distance from their star and the galaxy center, the radiation was acceptable and the planet was warmed so that hydrogen and oxygen could combine into a liquid form, water.

In this just right place, the earth was formed about 4 billion years ago.  As it cooled and the oceans formed, another mysterious event took place.  Some of the chemical elements formed together and over time, they acquired a structure that supported a replication of the structure.  Eventually, these replicating chemical structures took on a form we call “life” and eventually “human life” as we understand it today.

This is the chain as we understand it today from the birth of the universe to the evolution of life as we know it on this particular collection of star dust floating just the right distance from a star we call our sun which is just at the right distance from the galaxy center.

So here we are, particles of star dust originally particles from the big bang, products of the creative forces that began with the Big Bang.  From dust we came and back to dust we will go.

So where is “God” in all this?  Next I will address how I have come to understand what that means to me.


Imagine for a moment a petri dish with agar.  That is one of those round clear dishes with a jelly like material that bacteria can use for food.  If you put a couple bacteria in the dish it will multiply until eventually it consumes all the agar.  Then, it dies and the dish can no longer support any bacteria at all.  This is not unlike a cancer that grows until it consumes its host.

The world is like that round petri dish.  The agar is like all its natural resources.  Humans are like the bacteria.  Eventually, if we don’t find a way to limit population and even reduce it, we will consume all its natural resources and like a cancer, both our host and the human race will die off.

Is this so hard to understand?  The world has a cancer and it is us.
How long will it take to either stop the cancer or be the end of Humans?  Maybe the host, earth, will solve the problem with dramatic climate change.  Maybe it will vomit out a super volcano and solve the problem.  Maybe humans will become sane and intervene before it is too late.  Today I would not bet on that solution.

Our culture is based on GROWTH. How much will the stock market grow?  How much can I own?  How can we grow our business?  How can we increase our memberships in our organizations; grow our budgets; pay bigger salaries to ourselves?  How can we grow up?  How much can we consume, eat, wear, etc.  Without growth, so our current “religion of capitalism” dictates, the world stagnates; our standard of living declines; the future is bleak.  We live in a culture where the blind lead the blind.

Since each of us is a short-timer in the history of this planet, we probably won’t suffer any catastrophic cataclysm.  So, we can just continue to ignore any responsibility we might have for the situation and leave it to some future generation to suffer the consequences of our lack of concern or action.  Like I say, “Its all about me.”  Its all about me, right now, who cares about the future that we won’t be around to see?

Time Compression (poem)

Posted: January 29, 2012 in Philosophy, Uncategorized
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Life Times
By Cecil Denney

There was a time when a year seemed like a life time.
I think it must have been when I was one.
There was a time when my age reached nine.
That year the year was a much shorter one.

When I was seventy, one year went by like a flash.
I was sixty only one seventh of my life ago.
So it occurs to me that time is a miss-mash,
measured by life-times that seem so slow.

Does it not seem that time speeds up as you grow old?
To wait a year when your only one
Is to wait for a very long time as you are told
It is just a short time till your two my son.

But to wait a year when you are seventy in years
is to wait but a brief spell,
for seventy one arrives amid birthday cheers
so quickly its hard to tell.

And history plays tricks on you as you age as well.
As a teen times past were “like ancient history.”
But at seventy one you can not seem to tell
how close they have become. Its such a mystery.

That war long past now seems so current to me
but to the young, it seems so, so long ago.
I think I measure time in lifetimes you see,
which now seems to measure everything I know.

Its not the clock’s seconds and hours that measure time.
Its not the day or month or year that matters.
Its how long you have lived your life sublime.
Now my thought of time is left in tatters.

As “ancient history” grows closer to me
as measured by life times ago
I marvel at times variability you see
as I older and older I grow.

So think for yourself how time affects your thinking
and see if you don’t agree with me
that time is measured by life experience, linking
us with the past more closely. Don’t you agree?

Time Compression

Posted: January 28, 2012 in Philosophy
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I was watching the PBS show “The Mannor House” with my wife when she said “I used to think World War I was ancient history.”  She just demonstrated what I call the Time Compression that comes with age.  If you talk to someone in their latter years, they will tell you that time just seems to fly by.  In contrast, notice how long it seems to a young child until Christmas.  Our perception of time changes as we age.

I believe that we experience time, not in seconds, hours, days, months, and years.  I think the basic unit of time for the human experience is LIFETIMES.  Consider the fact that waiting a year for a one year old is asking them to wait a lifetime.  In contrast, when you are 20, waiting a year is only 1/20th of a lifetime and at 70, 1/70th of a life time.  Hours, days and months are compressed because they are experienced as smaller and smaller pieces of our lifetime. This experience of time has another outcome.  As we grow older, things in the past seem to get closer.

Take the example of someone who was born in 1970.  When they were 10 years old, 1960 would be two(2) lifetimes ago.  When they were 20, 1950 would be two(2) lifetimes ago.  By the time they were 70, 1900 would be two(2) lifetimes ago.  As we age, history that at one time seemed ancient is now perceived as not so long ago.  That is how I figure our perception of time is experienced in units of a lifetime.  Time seems to move faster while historical events seem not so far away.  Think about it and I think you will agree how we experience time.