Friday, March 13, 2015

Memories, an appreciation of science

There's a forum, CenterForInquiry that I visit once in a while, it's a space where I can feel comfortable and converse, and let the thoughts ramble on amongst some like minded friends I haven't meet yet.  Well we have met, virtually speaking ;- )  A number of us are of the same age so there's also that generational link.  In any event, this evening I shared something I want to bring over here.  

Any of you old timers remember 60s, 70s all that awesome incoming Earth and solar system science information, Plate Tectonics, geology and Earth’s evolution and Moon’s origin, humanity and the diversity of life and what made it tick? 
DNA was discovered a couple years before I was born and the shocked amazement was still rippling through schools during my grade school years.  It was that transition when it still seemed like many of the big questions about the origins of man and life and the moon and the planets, were still unknowns and speculation.  
Then one by one the scientific discoveries revolutionized understanding.  The first one I remember was Plate Tectonics hitting the headlines and piecing together that story of moving continents in my imagination, then looking into the deepest depths of the oceans;  Leaky and all who followed helping to unravel humans fascinating origins. 
The moon, I can still remember it as the unachievable dream.  At fourteen I was watching as those first steps went down and following visits unfolded and the moon never looked quite the same anymore.  
That Earth rise picture hit me like only the first time for a teenager can, too bad that shared sense of amazed discovery will never come around again. 
Then the Voyagers and the planets finally became real individuals with characteristics we didn’t get close to imagining.  Then holy moly, who’d have thought the moon was a product of a collision; not only that, the moon was intimately linked to, if not the key to life developing here on Earth; and how about those Black Smokers at the bottom of the ocean, wow.  We’re even getting a grasp on billions of year old mineral evolution and its intimate link to life processes.  And you mean, that atmosphere is a product of evolution, wow. 
Astounding, but have we learned anything important, like appreciating our home planet and wanting to nurture her? 
{I'm learning to understand that I probably wouldn’t know about the half of it, if not for my preschool years, when I fit on grandma’s lap, and she’d go through her old Encyclopaedia Britannica (40/50s ? probably way older), and entertain me with mysteries of mammoths and ice ages and dinosaurs, the horrors of polio and Salk’s child-saving and history changing discovery.  Tours of planets when we barely had a clue and questions overwhelmed known facts.  It was fun and I was hooked on wanting to know those answers, like countless generations before.  I have the feeling we fed off each other, she enjoyed the sharing, I enjoyed the hearing and it lasted a nice little while until I outgrew her lap and moved onto other adventures.  
One of the things that's fun getting older is how those forgotten recollections have a way of resurfacing, then they weave themselves into a coherent understanding of the path one has taken, at least if one is a mediative type.} 
If you found that interesting I stepped it up another notch over here:

You, me, we don’t need a scriptural “God” - Knowing Evolution Is Enough!

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