Evolution

Climate Change, SETI, And Dr. Fermi

Climate Change, SETI, And Dr. Fermi

"Life" Issues, activism, Astronomy, autonomy, awareness, Big Bang, Challenge, citizenship, civics, Climate Change, community, conflict, conservatism, Cosmology, Creation, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Current Events, Discernment, doubt, Education, Environment, Evidence, Evolution, faithfulness, Fundamentalism, Human Condition, Hurricanes, Ideology, Milky Way Galaxy, Paleontology, Politics, Rationality, Science, Secularity, SETI, The Big Blue Marble, Thinking, Uncategorized, Universe, Weather and Climate, Wildfires, Windstorm
The recent report on the findings of climatic research into the causes and probable evolution of climate change – a more accurate term than “global warming” – prompted me to consider a possible answer to Enrico Fermi’s classic question “Where is everybody?” Multiple generations of science fiction writers have projected a future in which the Milky Way Galaxy fairly teems with life, rather like Times Square on New Year’s Eve or the tavern in the first Star Wars movie  – so much so that the late Prof. Stephen Hawking has publicly counseled SETI investigators to – not literally STFU – but certainly to exercise due caution in broadcasting the existence of intelligent life on earth to every corner of the Galaxy. (Not that we have a choice by now:  earth’s electromagnetic emissions by now com
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
Rhesus Monkeys, Cantaloupes, And Donald Trump

Rhesus Monkeys, Cantaloupes, And Donald Trump

activism, autonomy, awareness, bigotry, causality, Challenge, Change, Christianity, Church, citizenship, civics, conflict, conservatism, constitution, critical judgment, culture, Current Events, Discernment, Education, Enlightenment, Environment, epistemology, Evangelicalism, Evolution, Executive Branch, faithfulness, Fascism, Fear, Fearless, Freedom, Fundamentalism, God, history, justice, Presidency, Presidential Pardon Power, progressive politics, Rationality, Religion, Religious War, remembrance, Renaissance, Resistance, Science, Scripture, Secularity, separation of Church and State, Skeptic, social justice, Theodicy, Theology, Tolerance, Trump, Uncategorized, Universe
This is an excellent article on presidential power to levy tariffs and to grant pardons. But the article opens out onto an issue that dramatizes why Donald Trump is not a President within the liberal-democratic, rights-centric, Enlightenment-based nature of the American, in fact, the entire Western, political culture. In fact, not only is Trump not a part of that system, he is as alien to that political tradition as, say, a rhesus monkey is alien to a cantaloupe:  they are simply radically different kinds of things. The structure of the Constitution incorporates certain aspects that the Framers selectively imported from the European, especially British, Enlightenment and deliberately built in, and that they intended in 1787 to be the strengths of the Constitution. These stre