Einstein

Encountering The Holy In Hawaii

Encountering The Holy In Hawaii

Albert Camus, Archetypes, Atheism, autonomy, awareness, Biology, Change, community, Compassion, Creation, Creativity, Einstein, Environment, Epiphany, Evolution, Fear, Hawaii, Letting go, Madame Pele, meditation, mindfulness, Mythology, Nature, Rationality, Science, The Divine, Theology, transformation, Uncategorized, volcanos, Wilderness
I had been reading about Rudolf Otto’s concept of the numinous and studying his classic The Idea of the Holy for a few decades, and it all made perfect conceptual sense. But on our recent trip to Hawaii in April of this year (2018), Diane and I actually experienced the Holy, the numinous, on a very raw and visceral level. In The Idea of the Holy, Otto, who coined the term “numinous”, describes it with the Latin phrase mysterium tremendum et fascinans. Literally translated, that phrase means “the tremble-inducing [tremendum, the same Latin root as “tremor”] and attractive [fascinans, the same Latin root as "fascinating"] mystery [mysterium]”.  Despite the title of his book, Otto makes it clear that the Holy is not only, or even primarily, something about which one entertains ideas. Rath
The Sociology Of “Interstellar”

The Sociology Of “Interstellar”

"Life" Issues, Albert Einstein, Archetypes, Art, Article Review, Astronomy, autonomy, Biology, black holes, causality, Christianity, citizenship, civics, Climate Change, community, conservatism, Contact, Cosmology, courage, Creation, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Ecology, Einstein, Enlightenment, Environment, Evolution, extraterrestrial intelligences, Fascism, Fear, God, Human Condition, Ideology, image of God, Imagination, in memory of, mathematics, Milky Way Galaxy, monotheism, Philosophy, physics, Politics, Prof. Stephen Hawking, Relativity, Religion, Science, Skeptic, time dilation, Tolerance, transformation, Uncategorized, Universe, Word of God
This "Skeptic's Collection" column is dedicated to the life, work, and memory of Prof. Stephen Hawking, Lucasian Professor of theoretical physics and cosmology, Cambridge University, United Kingdom. "To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield." -- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, "Ulysses” If you have not seen the movie Interstellar, with Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Mackenzie Foy, and John Lithgow, you should run – not walk – to the nearest theater or streaming service and watch it.  Interstellar is a not just a science-fiction (SF) movie, it is a science-fiction movie, i.e., it does not cut any corners in terms of depicting the actual consequences of near-light travel, e.g., time dilation, black-hole physics, etc.  (In that respect, Interstellar is a cinematic fraternal twin to Dan Si
You Will Get A Real “Keck” Out Of This!

You Will Get A Real “Keck” Out Of This!

Abrahamic Traditions, Astronomy, autonomy, Biology, Change, Christianity, conservatism, Cosmology, Creation, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Einstein, epistemology, Evidence, Evolution, final cause, Fundamentalism, God, Goedel's Theorem, Methodology, Milky Way Galaxy, Paleontology, physics, quantum physics, Relativity, teleology, Theology, Uncategorized
I write this the morning (13 February) after Diane and I had a wonderful, long, and calorie-filled dinner with two very senior people associated with the Keck Telescopes and the other telescopes atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii. It was a memorable evening that still resonates with me. One reason that conversation sticks with me -- aside from having discussed dark energy, blue-sky (black-sky?) projects for exploring the Proxima Centauri system, gamma-ray bursts, gravity waves, black holes, etc., etc. – is that one of the subjects we touched on banged down pretty hard on one of my hot-button issues:  scientific illiteracy in general in the US and the western world, and the need for informed, literate teaching of science to non-scientists. I mean science per se, not just astrono