Universe

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
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
Welcome To The “Big Empty”

Welcome To The “Big Empty”

"Life" Issues, Astronomy, awareness, Big Bang, Biology, Cosmology, Creation, curiosity, Entropy, Evolution, extraterrestrial intelligences, mathematics, Milky Way Galaxy, Nature, physics, quantum physics, Science, Secularity, SETI, Skeptic, solitude, Thermodynamics, Uncategorized, Universe, Wholeness
I have written before about the likelihood of intelligent life in our Galaxy, and how the existence or non-existence of life in the Milky Way relates to human religious sensibilities. Now I want to take a more “global” perspective and approach that same question, not from the relatively parochial standpoint of intelligent life “merely” in our Galaxy, but from the standpoint of intelligent life in the entire Universe.  But the questions I pose here are essentially the same in all respects as the questions I posed in the original “Skeptic’s Collection” column.  Given some realistic-seeming, in fact, most likely optimistic, assumptions about the probability that intelligent life will evolve on any given planet orbiting any given star, how widely separated – across the entire Universe – mu