Nights have presented some of the deepest, most meaningful environments for contemplation and “daydreaming” to humanity; myself included. Like many, many people, I’ve enjoyed studying the starry, nighttime skies.
Combine the absence of clouds and street lights along with the moon in “new” phase, making sure you’re in the countryside where there is peaceful silence with all your electronic stuff switched off, and you’re ready for a stretch of fulfilling life experience. When you look at the numerous galaxies, do you wonder about the characteristics of any planets that could orbit some of the stars in those galaxies? Do you suppose life exists on some of those planets?
Aside from wanting to be a fireman, archaeologist or deejay, a childhood career wish was that of astronomer. My guidance councellor told me that astronomers and astrophysicists must have superlative math skills. Mine were hopelessly bad. She advised that I should concentrate on a different field of study. So I did.
I’ve never been able to shake the fantasy about working as an astrophysicist. Of course the fantasy includes having enormous talent for mathematical workings. For years, I’ve admired the talent and works of Dr. Stephen Hawking.
“My goal is simple. It is a complete understanding of the universe, why it is as it is and why it exists at all.”–Stephen Hawking
How is it that someone can split hairs over particulars of Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity? How does the collaboration with world class scientists like Jim Hartle regarding the universe come up with an hypothesis that there is no boundary in space/time for the universe? How can they get their minds around questions of matter, energy, space and time behavior within the diverse and arcane conditions of intergalactic space?
“We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special.”–Stephen Hawking
I think that there’s something inside our minds that makes us strive to understand our surroundings. Sometimes there are people who go beyond the comfort zone of superstition and conventional thought. Those people spend enormous amounts of time and effort to explore the science and math that light the way to true discovery. Those people have my utmost respect and admiration.
Dr. Hawking has eloquently stated what everyone who has taken the time to contemplate the night sky has probably thought.
“Most sets of values would give rise to universes that, although they might be very beautiful, would contain no one able to wonder at that beauty.”–Stephen Hawking
That statement makes me feel warm and glad that humanity has seen fit to study the workings of the universe. It also makes me feel pity and sadness for those who not only have no interest in such things, but wish to retard and halt such study by young people in the United States.
Humanity will continue to strive for more complete knowledge and improvements, that’s just the way humans are. Whether or not the future generations of American youth will continue to be primary players in this quest is up to us right now.
The Blue Jay of Happiness hopes you not only appreciate nature but strive to understand it, too. Such desire adds to one’s perception of beauty and elegance.