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Poking God with a stick

The disrespectful Parker space probe

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Beach  Male  Somerset 13-Aug-2018 10:43 Message #4722901
Using the process of nuclear fusion to shine over the last 14.7 billion years, our local star, Sol, has been an object of worship for as long as humans and hominids have been around … yet to just say that life on Earth relies on this enigmatic ball of fire remains a massive understatement.

EVERYTHING in our own solar system relies on this thing and much of the radiated and stored energy we find in everything, (save from splitting the atom), comes direct from this life giving beacon that has been radiating existence since the birth of the solar system.

And now, as of yesterday morning, we humans are sending a probe to within a few million miles of its surface, (or at least its atmosphere) … and I’m thinking, “Shouldn’t we have told Sol we were coming?”

Heck. Shouldn’t we have asked for the invitation first?

A mysterious and mighty solar deity worshipped or, at least, influential to most of the civilisations it has inspired throughout human prehistory, (Mesopotamian, Indus Valley, Ancient Egyptian, Mayan, Chinese, Ancient Greek, Persian, Roman, Aztec, Incas), suddenly finds itself being photobombed by an upstart civilisation totally underwhelmed by its magnificence!

They, (whoever they are), say “You should never meet your heroes”

But what about your Gods?

And are there things in this life that we really should steer away from exploring?

Is it healthier, (or more romantic), to allow ourselves to believe in myth, magic, UFO’s or fairies at the bottom of the garden or should we continue disassembling and deconstructing our world to discover exactly how everything ticks … all in the name of science and discovery?
zodiac1  Male  Flintshire 13-Aug-2018 12:06 Message #4722906
What about your Gods ?

sod God, to me God is nothing more than nature

zodiac the atheist.
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 13-Aug-2018 12:23 Message #4722908
Some people want to reduce everything to the lowest and smallest denominator, others explore with open hearts and a sense of wonder, I've never forgotten seeing an astronomer being interviewed who was bouncing up and down in her chair like an excited child explaining how we're all made of star dust. We could do with more of the latter and less of the former, one of the things the reductionists with their need to catagorise, name, file and move on is that they are indulging in magical thinking too, magical power of the most basic kind, the power of the name. I've yet to encounter a magical sysetem that dosen't see names as a way of having power with or over something, with a name comes a description, with a description comes understanding, its not always a bad thing its in the hands of the person who knows to use the name wisely. A good example of this is a medical diagnosis, some will get a diagnosis and learn about their condition will make active choices about how to live with it or be rid of it, being able to name it as given them power, others will get a diagnosis and use it as an excuse and let it have power over them and be passive recipents of whatevers dished out to them.

Whenever I think of reductionist thinking I get an image of a hoarders workshop with lots of broken bits and pieces, things waiting to be fixed, piles and boxes of nuts, bolts and screw and loads of tool, but its all components, theres nothing whole and working, its a place where possiblilites come to die. When I think of reductionists themselves I see people who are afraid, afraid of the hugeness around them, the fleeting momment of our lives, people who fear they will be forgotten and make no mark.

Yes there are things we should leave well alone, just because we can do something dosen't mean we should, messing about with our genes and the genes of others are things we should think very very carefully about.

What about my Gods, exploring the sun, well to me the sun is a symbol of the divine rather than the entirity of the divine. How do you know the sun isn't inviting us to visit, just because its not sending deckle edged cards inviting us for cocktail and nibbles, dosen't mean its closed to visitors?
Victoriana11  Female  Buckinghamshire 13-Aug-2018 13:24 Message #4722916
that last sentence really tickled me W/hen
tumbled  Male  Gloucestershire 13-Aug-2018 17:53 Message #4722954
A bit of advice for anyone wanting to go to the sun. Go at night. It is a bit cooler then. But you might have to take a torch with you, as it will be dark.
SQL  Male  Devon 13-Aug-2018 21:07 Message #4722993
Beach - 13-Aug-2018 10:43

EVERYTHING in our own solar system relies on this thing

That's debatable - what about the organisms and other life around the thermal vents in the absolute dark of the Pacific ocean floor?

Also I don't recall the Christian Church putting the sun up as a god (or even a prophet).

Regarding 'disassembling everything' you will have to live for several centuries if not millennia before Homo Sapiens ever gets near that goal.

NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 13-Aug-2018 22:44 Message #4723004
to shine for 14.7 billion years
That would be before the Big Bang 13.8 billion years. The Sun is somewhere in mid-life and considered to be approx. 5 billion years old.
Would I be right in assuming that you consider the Sun to be a God?
People believe in all sorts of Gods, for instance the Duke of Edinburgh is considered a God by some people.
Beach  Male  Somerset 13-Aug-2018 22:56 Message #4723006

Thank you for your marvelous, text book, demonstration in the art of being pedantic. I'll try to reply to your points as best I can. :-)

Thermal Vent Ecosystems

I'd argue that the kinetic forces that work upon, (and within), the earth are driven by the very elements that the earth was, originally, blessed with when, as a molten blob, the material ejected from our newly formed star, (Sol), first coalescing and forming an early version of our earth … though it was not the earth you and I have come to love because, as a further act of mischief, another blob of Sol had formed as a similar early planet … (I think we have given it the name THEA), and that planet, according to those in the know, collided with our early earth, (Earth MK1), knocking a big chunk of it out and back into space … to eventually form our Moon.

So … even before delving into the wonders of deep ocean thermals, I’d be answering your point by saying, “HOW ON EARTH, (My little joke), would we even have such deep ocean thermals save for the gift, (the original material), that Sol, our wonderful little local star, granted us way, way back during the early formation of our solar system.

You wouldn’t have a planet earth without Sol … thus you wouldn’t have oceans, thermal vents or exotic organisms using an alternate, Sol free, source of energy either!

I could give you times and dates re the above but, in an effort to make my posts ‘Easy to read and Hermit friendly’, I’ve chosen to keep my text light and fluffy.

The Christian Church

Well … The Christian Church and Christian teachings, etc, arrived a little late on the scene because God, apparently, allowed the earth to develop “for ages”, :-) first creating single celled life, then multicellular life, then all the cool ocean creatures … some of which eventually crawled to land to eat plants … creating a massive land based explosion of life ...and then, God created dinosaurs … who lived for an awfully, awfully, awfully long time!

Thankfully, though, a massive meteor, (that our sun had made earlier), eventually struck the earth and, thanks to that, fortuitous, calamity, we mammals had a chance to crawl out of our little holes in the ground … and evolve into you and me! YIPPEE!!!

Only then did we, over a 6 million year period, evolve into upright hominids, learn to make tools … and eventually gain dominion over the planet!

Those, “in the know”, state that with the whole life of the earth viewed as a 24 hour clock, Humans didn’t actually arrive until the 23rd hour, the 59th minute and the 59th second of existence … which is why I suggested that God arrived a little late to the party.

And because he was late, Christianity had to BORROW much of its teachings from earlier religions. For example, the story of Moses is a recycled story … originally told in the EPIC OF GILGAMESH, (around about 2100 years before God put JC on this earth). The accounts of THE FLOOD, which Christianity also borrowed, was also recorded in The Epic of Gilgamesh, a poem regarded as representing the first EVER account of writing ever recorded).
Beach  Male  Somerset 13-Aug-2018 22:56 Message #4723007
Point being, (though you won’t wish to hear it), the whole premise of the Christian teachings, (including references to THE SUN, The one God, have been borrowed from concepts and ideas created prior. Ask Ra, the ancient Egyptian God if you don’t believe me. :-)

Yep. It was the Egyptians who came up with the idea of one God, (a primeval, cosmic, creative force) … though, as we all know, they, kind of, branched out and had Gods for everything later. (It’s complicated)


OK. I confess. I thought your pedantic quizzing had got me on that one … until … I realised you had skewed your comment by taking my direct question, aimed at our lovely Midsummer readers, and mated it with my earlier comment about EVERYTHING relying on our little local star.

The question I asked regarding deconstructing stuff was a philosophical one addressed at my dear readers and NOT even directly relevant to Sol, the general thrust of the thread or a question musing over Homo Sapiens ‘disassembling everything’.

THAT remark, (of yours), was maliciously pedantic! :-)
Beach  Male  Somerset 13-Aug-2018 23:03 Message #4723009
Hi NotHermit,

I, personally, don't believe the sun to be a God but, historically and throughout prehistory, the sun, the stars and the heavens have held such an allure in the eyes of a majority of early, ancient civilisations.

I think it is a, breathtakingly, amazing thing ... to send a piece of human technology to, literally, brush the surface of a heavenly body that mankind has been in awe of for the whole of prehistory.

Not bad for a planet of upright apes! :-)
Beach  Male  Somerset 13-Aug-2018 23:10 Message #4723010
Ah. Yes NotHermit.

My apologies. I mixed up the age of the whole universe with the age of the solar system. (I, generally, write it as 4.7 billion years),

Sorry for the error ... and thanks for the heads up! :-)
Beach  Male  Somerset 13-Aug-2018 23:12 Message #4723011
Actually no!

I just slipped a "1" in front of my usual 4.7 billion years.

I can get away with calling that a "typo" error. :-)
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 14-Aug-2018 00:02 Message #4723013
That's cool, interesting post, yes the Sun is amazing, 860,000 miles across (approx.).
All the nuclear reactions set off by sheer mass, and the life cycle of the stars producing different elements.
You did get one little thing wrong.

How could a Meteor kill all the dinosaurs?
Beach  Male  Somerset 14-Aug-2018 00:54 Message #4723015
Thanks. NotHermit,

"How could a Meteor kill all the dinosaurs?"

Ahhh. Do you mean I should have used the term asteroid rather than meteor? :-)

You do, don't you!!! lol

OK. But ... though it was an asteroid that entered earth's atmosphere, it did detonate and vapourise over the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico so using the term meteor isn't so near off the mark ... Is it??!! Ha ha.

Beach  Male  Somerset 14-Aug-2018 01:03 Message #4723016

No. I can't get out of this one because earlier in the text, I stated that there was a meteor "that the sun had made earlier".

Ah well. Time for bed. :-)

Night all.
NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 14-Aug-2018 20:08 Message #4723083
There is actually a difference between Meteor and Meteorite.
A Meteor is no more than a speck of dust, burns up in the atmosphere (shooting star).
Meteorite is a lump of rock that would land and cause damage.
Meteors are no good against dinosaurs.
You need a very large meteorite, an asteroid would usually do.
In the film Meteor although factually incorrect, they just liked the word Meteor, they thought it sounded better.
Still a good OP Beach, some of the previous probes to the outer planets (and moons) have been outstanding.
You probably know about them already, if not take a look.
johnlock  Male  Essex 15-Aug-2018 16:46 Message #4723135
Odin says that it's Ok to send a probe near the sun!

SQL  Male  Devon 29-Aug-2018 16:59 Message #4724475
Beach - 13-Aug-2018 22:56

Thank you for your marvelous, (sic) text book, demonstration in the art of being *pedantic. I'll try to reply to your points as best I can. :-)*

Well you might like to call it that but I would say it's just giving you the fact which I think you have overlooked. I haven't read all you (rather excessive) text but let me pose a question for you.

You say the earth was created from a "a molten blob, the material ejected from our newly formed star, (Sol)". But the sun is a hydrogen based body with a solid (probably iron) core: where did all the cobalt, nickel, zinc, lead, silver, gold etc. in the earth's crust come from?

NotHermit  Male  Derbyshire 30-Aug-2018 00:27 Message #4724542
Hi SQL the sun does not have an iron core,
The sun is all hydrogen and helium.
The life cycle of a star can produce elements up to iron.

Because our sun is not a large star, it will probably be a single cycle star.
It will complete its cycle (hydrogen to helium), become a red giant star, and collapse on itself.
Timmee  Male  Hampshire 7-Sep-2018 11:23 Message #4725072
One thing that surprised me when I heard it was about the photons generated in the heart of The Sun. They take 8 minutes to travel 93 million miles to us from the surface of the sun. The wierd thing is that apparently The Sun is so dense that the photons can take thousands of years to travel from where they were created up to the surface of The Sun. Something like that tells you everything is more complex than you first think.

There's a lot of strange stuff we know and a whole load of stuff we don't know. The trick is to take it on board, marvel at it, but not to jump to silly conclusions about unconnected stuff just because a particular thing is baffling and strange. And if that is true for the bizarre jumps of one's own mind, then it seems sensible to impose a similar filter when it comes to swallowing whole silly ideas from men wearing robes & unforms, and quoting from ancient books.
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 7-Sep-2018 18:42 Message #4725083
What you mean like musty old physics professors?
Mancloud  Male  West Yorkshire 8-Sep-2018 14:22 Message #4725122
A very interesting post Beach, it's a long time since I have read one, and on the whole good responses too.
Beach  Male  Somerset 8-Sep-2018 21:23 Message #4725148
Thanks, Mancloud.

Appreciated. :-)
Timmee  Male  Hampshire 10-Sep-2018 11:07 Message #4725216
"What you mean like musty old physics professors?"

Touche Hen! Nicely done. :-)
Jeff  Male  East Sussex 10-Sep-2018 21:21 Message #4725243
Beach: "Is it healthier, (or more romantic), to allow ourselves to believe in myth, magic, UFO’s or fairies at the bottom of the garden or should we continue disassembling and deconstructing our world to discover exactly how everything ticks … all in the name of science and discovery?"

It is much healthier to try to find out how everything ticks - and one finds that nature has plenty of "magic" without believing in myths etc.

The bouncing around of photons inside the sun is akin to molecules of nitrogen and oxygen bouncing around a room, yet the facts and statistics about this commonplace phenomenon are astonishing.

WH's mention of "musty old physics professors" was not a "touche", nor "Nicely done". On YouTube I often watch physics lectures by professors, and the ideas can be fresh, whether recent or originating hundreds of years ago! Just as WH's subject of history can be expressed in a fresh way.

Although possibly a joke, WH illustrates her prejudice against people who are very good at subjects that she doesn't understand, using ad hominem reasons that Timmee has in the past correctly objected to in principle.

Rather like in thread "Hunting for the other 96 percent" WH wrote "Seriously though, us non scientists get accused of magical thinking, but to a non scientist scientists engage in just as much of it, its just their excuses for why theres are theories and not magical thoughts make peoples eyes glaze over and their brains unravel beforfe the scientist get to the end of the explaination."
On that subject some years ago I tried to persuade WH to draw a square of 9 dots then increase it to a square of 16 dots, then increase it to a square of 25 dots, to see a wonderful (magical!) mathematical relationship of the 3+3+1 then 4+4+1 added, but she persistently refused to draw any dots to look at. Someone having a phobia of maths should not dismiss people who can use it, often for understanding of what is going on in this world and for the benefit of mankind.

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