Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fractally Weird: Or the Awesomeness of Science

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine posted as his facebook profile "with all of the advances in our modern age we've made everything so mundane. How interesting it would be to live in a world where the functioning of the earth was a complex interplay between the gods and men, where spells and divinations hold weight, and where the most simple of objects can hold hidden secrets about the course and function of the universe" And while I disagree heavily, I understand the point he is making. Often it seems like science is just the boring old truth, why cant we have magic and mysticism and all that fun stuff they used to have.

We have things far far weirder and more fascinating than we could come up with on our own. The vastness of the universe is really fractally weird, its weird alone and only gets weirder the closer you look at it. weird at any magnification. That is what's so awesome, we live in this awesome universe that creates these amazing and weird patters and self organizes to create stars, planets, galaxies, nebulas, and life. we know some of the rules that control it but not all of them. The universe is this immensely complex system that creates the most beautiful structures we have ever seen and by processes much more interesting than the decree of gods.

IT may be interesting to live in a universe where the functioning of the earth is a complex interplay between gods and man, but i think it is much more interesting to live in a universe where everything is a complex interplay between everything else. where everything is connected to each-other in the great cosmic dance that is going on every second of every day.  The universe we live in where you and I are connected by a genetic relationship spanning back the eons, and are related in turn with every living thing we see, which was created from the matter of this hunk of rock we live on called earth, which in turn was created out of stardust in the formation of the solar system. which in turn was created going back far enough, at the same time as everything we can see in the universe was, out of the furnace of the big bang.

How could the ego-centered view of an interplay between just gods and men compare with the great cosmic interplay between everything that is going on always without thought or care for man itself except so-far as man is a part of the cosmos, and as far as we know, the only part of the cosmos that has been able to contemplate the nature of the universe. And even better we can get rid of the idea of gods or super-beings watching down and manipulating things because, and this is totally awesome, the universe is self-regulating, we don't need something else to tweak things, the universe does its own tweaking to itself.

This should sum up some of these ideas for you.

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