Jump to content


Photo

Cosmic Citizens


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 oliverrp

oliverrp

    poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 02 November 2012 - 03:53 PM

The author's "big idea" (last part of the article), describes an area where the cosmology of the Grand Universe in the UB could become ingrained in human thought in the future. The "scientific community" certainly has not embraced the book, but I kinda doubt "they" have been very much exposed to it. I wonder if the Urantia Foundation has ever contemplated sending extracts of the book to various scientific and technical persons as a way of introducing the book, minus the God, Jesus, and spiritual content? Recipients could explore those other matters, if interested, separately.


Bob Oliver
From Scientific American magazine.



Cosmic Citizens

By Caleb A. Scharf | October 25, 2012 |Scientific American Magazine



Our remarkable species has existed in its present form for about 100,000 years. That’s about 0.0025% of the total time that we think life has existed on this planet. We, and the vast network of life around us, occupy barely a couple of percent of the volume of this world – its surface, a few kilometers into its subsurface, and some way up into its tenuous atmosphere. The Earth is an end product of the agglomeration of the equivalent of about a trillion kilometer-sized planetesimals that themselves coalesced from the sticky microscopic dust of a proto-planetary disk some 4.5 billion years ago. Altogether that represents about 0.003% of the total mass of that original smear of dust and gas that stretched from a youthful Sun to far, far beyond the orbit of Pluto. Today the Earth occupies about 0.0000000000000003% of the volume of space encompassed by a sphere just large enough to contain the orbit of Neptune. And it would take more than 4,400 of those spheres lined up edge-to-edge to reach the nearest star system and the nearest known exoplanet of Alpha Centauri B.
Our Galaxy, the Milky Way, contains at least 200 billion stars. Seventy-five percent of these stars are not individually visible to the naked human eye, they are too small and faint – smaller and fainter than the Sun. The nearest large galaxy to us, Andromeda, is about 2,700,000,000 times the diameter of Neptune’s orbit in distance, and is moving more or less directly towards us at nearly 70 miles a second. It contains about a trillion stars and will come lumbering into the Milky Way in about 4 billion years time.
Beyond this small cosmic patch lies a 13.7 billion year old universe containing as many as 400 billion galaxies and more than 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 stars and perhaps at least as many planets. In a few hundred billion years the accelerating expansion of space will isolate all these galaxies, stretching the light passing between them to such an extent that no observer in any one galaxy will be able to see the others.
And that, dear reader, is pretty much that.
We are, I’m afraid, an unfathomably microscopic presence amid all of this. But this is our lot, our serving of existence. We can ignore it, we can rail against the injustice of it, and we can invent reasons to disbelieve it. Or we can embrace this vast cosmic wellspring for what it is, our home.
About a week ago I participated in the BBC World Service’s radio show The Forum,talking about black holes, galaxies, and some of the fascinating peculiarities of this universe. I was also asked to come up with a “60-second idea to change the world”. Imagine, said the producers, that you’re president of the planet and that you can address something that bothers you or that you think would make the world a better place – radical or controversial, or just plain unexpected.
Eventually, after much pacing and gnashing of teeth I came up with this.
The essence of the ‘big’ idea is actually pretty simple (and more serious than it might appear). Let’s treat our cosmic environment with the same level of seriousness as we treat all the ordinary stuff right under our noses. And let’s incorporate it into the fabric of our children’s education and our own lives. At school we’re taught grammar by learning about trees, cats, dogs, clouds, cars, and bicycles. We learn algebra with dull exercises about buying candy or sharing apples. Why don’t we do all of this with reference to asteroids, comets, planets, moons, stars, interstellar space, and galaxies? We can also count the moons of Jupiter, the craters of Mercury, the rings of Saturn and the number of stars in the sky. In doing so we’d instill a basic knowledge of our cosmic environment, bringing it to earth, into view. Adults could do the same. Stop making small talk about sports events and discuss something really big and important; supernova, life on other worlds, the fate of the universe. Don’t be bashful.
Why? Well, right now we are dusty little hominids in an unspeakably tiny bit of the universe, and unless we get a proper perspective this may be how we remain. A ready vision of our cosmic existence would help. It might make it just a little easier to be better behaved with each other, be more conscious of our species’ needs and the multitude of natural dangersfacing usacross not just years but millenia and eons. Maybe, just maybe, we’d think a little bigger and find some ways to extend humanity’s use-by-date by stepping out into the void.
In other words, by doing nothing more than applying our remarkable brains to learning a few more facts about the universe around us we might inch a little way closer to true cosmic citizenship. A simple act that could carry us to eternity as well as make our present lives so much better.


About the Author: Caleb Scharf is the director of Columbia University's multidisciplinary Astrobiology Center. He has worked in the fields of observational cosmology, X-ray astronomy, and more recently exoplanetary science. His latest book is 'Gravity's Engines: How Bubble-Blowing Black Holes Rule Galaxies, Stars, and Life in the Cosmos', and he is working on 'The Copernicus Complex' (both from Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux.) Follow on Twitter @caleb_scharf.

Edited by oliverrp, 02 November 2012 - 03:55 PM.


#2 -Scott-

-Scott-

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 1,023 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Canada
  • Interests:Camping, Hiking, Soccer, Movies, Games,

Posted 02 November 2012 - 04:11 PM

Luckily there are scientific minds reading the urantia book out there in the world :). I like the authors intentions though, he seems to recognize the importance of cosmic awareness. Something that the urantia book highlights. :).
If one man craves freedom -- liberty -- he must remember that all other men long for the same freedom

#3 JR Sherrod

JR Sherrod

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 204 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Interests:I am a Lapidary, and Jewelry Artist & Designer. I love reading the Urantia Book, science fiction, and speculative non-fiction. I am a Choral Singer. I was, at various times in my past, a Military Policeman, Police Instructor, Computer Programmer/Analyst, and Post-secondary technical instructor. I love astronomy, aeronautice & aerospace, and planes & rockets of all types. I bicycle and walk for fun and fitness. I am an Advanced Toastmaster - Bronze. I write Autobiographic Self-Help, and Speculative Non-Fiction.

Posted 02 November 2012 - 06:54 PM

"Maybe, just maybe, we’d think a little bigger and find some ways to extend humanity’s use-by-date by stepping out into the void.
In other words, by doing nothing more than applying our remarkable brains to learning a few more facts about the universe around us we might inch a little way closer to true cosmic citizenship. A simple act that could carry us to eternity as well as make our present lives so much better."


The author's "big idea" (last part of the article), describes an area where the cosmology of the Grand Universe in the UB could become ingrained in human thought in the future. The "scientific community" certainly has not embraced the book, but I kinda doubt "they" have been very much exposed to it. I wonder if the Urantia Foundation has ever contemplated sending extracts of the book to various scientific and technical persons as a way of introducing the book, minus the God, Jesus, and spiritual content? Recipients could explore those other matters, if interested, separately.



Bob Oliver
From Scientific American magazine.


I have to admit that on the surface, it might seem like a good idea to begin "...sending extracts ..." of the Urantia Book, but I am 100% opposed to such a move.

The Urantia Book is understandable when considered as a whole. Parts and pieces are tossed around, among readers, especially when studying and discussing on forums such as this one, but we have the whole to derive context, to obtain vision and inspiration, and to discover the values necessary to immortal life. In the case of the author of this article, Mr. Caleb A. Scharf, he uses the term Cosmic Citizens in the context of humanity moving into a cold, dark. empty, uninhabited universe before it flies apart into an ever-expanding, ever-cooling, ever-more-isolated cosmos of ultimate despair. He wants us to begin to see the expanding universe as all our own. We are to become the ultimate masters of a universe we alone inhabit: "...In a few hundred billion years the accelerating expansion of space will isolate all these galaxies, stretching the light passing between them to such an extent that no observer in any one galaxy will be able to see the others. And that, dear reader, is pretty much that."

What he doesn't express is the implied thought that such an expansion will continue beyond that point, until every star will become so separated that no other will be visible, then each member of our solar system will become so separated that each planet, moon, or asteroid will be beyond observation, after which all energy runs down into nothingness. It is a hopeless theory, rife with a fatalistic bravado that says conquer it all, then go down to oblivion and die.

It is the whole Urantia Book which banishes such thinking into the scrap-heap. It will take the entire Urantia Book to re-focus the scientific community toward a future which does not fly apart, grow cold, and die. It is the whole revelation which banishes fear and shines the light of truth upon the never-ending odyssey we will experience as a member of a vibrant, teeming cosmos which will never fly apart and run down.

The hopeless forms of current scientific isolationistic cosmology will eventually give way to the wonder of joyful participation in the immense family of God, but only as the truths within The Urantia Book are discovered within the whole of the book, not through excerpts carved away from the reality-values of the presence of God.

Edited by JR Sherrod, 02 November 2012 - 10:06 PM.

Ah! To be host to God, Himself; and to be enriched beyond measure by that incomprehensible treasure!

#4 oliverrp

oliverrp

    poster

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:17 PM

JR Sherrod: As a fairly long time UBook reader, I couldn't agree more with your comment. Problem is that it slightly misses the point. The point being, how do we introduce a "God book" to scientists who are known to have an aversion to the supernatural, whose job it is to discover and explain the universe without need for God (yes, I know that is an over-generalization and not all scientists feel that way). I just have a feeling that any searching mind, once they read the cosmology (or other topic of their interest) will want to know more about the source of that topic. That is where the whole book comes into play. How many of us have passed the book to folks who read/scan the first page of the Forward (although I usually ask them to start with the Jesus papers), and give the book back in short order. Many people cannot get the message if they won't read the book.

#5 Bradly aka/fanofVan

Bradly aka/fanofVan

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 793 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Midwest USA
  • Interests:Gardening, sustainable agriculture/micro-farming, history, philosophy, behavioral psych, economics (quit laughing), the blues, learning from children.

Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:31 PM

JR - I think you are correct for seekers and religionists both. But I am intriqued by the catalogueing of the scientific aspects - time, space, atomic structures, cosmologies, gravity, light, etc. For science is truly about discovering, viewing, measuring, and manipulating the creative process of Father....science must prove God by elimination of randomness and mindlessness and purposelessness. I can imagine many researchers' minds in illumination by given new ways of thinking about the conflicts within current science. Science is best at disproving prior science, eh? And by discovering anamolies or conflicts for resolution by further scientific discovery. I am pretty strong about the whole text too. But truthfully, almost all come to our Revelation via a specific thread of interest or preconception. Which should lead to the whole by appeal to truth confirmations and then illumination of misconception to an appreciation of the whole.

I think the project described is less about attracting students and more about jolting paradigms within a community that could leap frog some nasty dichotomies and mysteries into new approaches to scientific discovery. I am not so resolute on this as others may be. Interesting concept....and thank you oliverrp for joining us. As boom said, you may find some pretty interesting science folk hereabouts...like to hear their opinion of your idea.
Peace be upon you."

#6 Pike aka Hrvoje Pajk

Pike aka Hrvoje Pajk

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 314 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Zagreb, Croatia
  • Interests:Technology, Travel, Photography, Urantia book, science, hiking, nature

Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:12 PM

Hello

IMHO - TUB has it ways of finding right people.
Patience, the time has not yet come.

Peace to all
Peace be upon you

#7 Bradly aka/fanofVan

Bradly aka/fanofVan

    Poster

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 793 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Midwest USA
  • Interests:Gardening, sustainable agriculture/micro-farming, history, philosophy, behavioral psych, economics (quit laughing), the blues, learning from children.

Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:18 PM

Regardless of agreement or support here, there is nothing to prevent you from such a project. I would recommend several collaborators from various specializations. I have one of a series of books by Dr. Sadler that he developed as topical study guides connecting multiple quotes throughout the Revelation and connecting multiple context in similar fashion. Some may find it heretical and others may find it worthy. I haven't the education to help...unless you need a researcher who has little scientific knowledge? But scientists are kinda picky about source material, eh? Do you think there is a real audience for such?
Peace be upon you."




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users