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Friday, September 28, 2007

The tortoise, the biologist, space-time, and flukes

It has been a week of restoration and repair, I note a few extra blisters that have run their course on my hands causing me to winch when merely tapping the keyboard, as well as some already bandaged on my toes and feet causing additional winches when tapping my feet. I must now be careful of the music I listen to for a few more days. So I will write some random ideas and thoughts and notes that I have scribbled on various bits of paper that have gathered in my pockets this past week.
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I think of philosophy as the exercise of mind and imagination. It takes all the amorphous of life and seeks to make some sense out of it, even if this means only gathering together a jello of sorts that for briefly seems to gel and hold together long enough for the mind to catch glimpses of structure and meaning.
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Without imagination, we humans could not make sense of the world. The mind is forever gathering sense data and searching the memory database and then further processes all this with previously constructed scenarios to then produce an ever flowing reality, that which we call the here and now.

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A fellow stopped by the monastery (he was a biologist doing some sort of research on the desert tortoise) and in conversation told of his interest in genetics, and when explaining the human genome, he called it a book, one with over a billion words, and that book fits inside a cell nucleus, that being something like a pinpoint in size, and further he said the book reads itself and can copy itself, doing all that in the crowded space of a pinpoint. And this massive "book" is found in almost every cell! We all agreed that this is all so amazing, yet the most amazing part was to come when he explained how this was all self constructed through chance and happenstance and just plain flukes over a long period of time. Amazing indeed. Of course he scoffed at the idea of a Designer.

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I imagine the Designer outside of what the Designer designed, so is not caught up in the conundrum that humans think when imagining the Designer, like us, within and defined by the Creation.

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Doesn't Einstein's General Theory of Relativity suggest that the Big Bang is the birth of matter and space-time? I would think the Big Bang encapsulates all that we can tinker with, all before can only be of the imagination, such as recent models of pre-Big Bang physics.

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I imagine that truth is all that is, if humans did not exist, if you can imagine that.

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3 comments:

Lucy said...

I came to the desert and was refreshed.

jzr said...

I've come here via Lucy's blog and have found this post a wonderfully soothing cup to sip from. Just yesterday my husband and I were having a talk about much of this ... about things having to make "sense"... about imagination ... about cellular "knowiing" ... about what came before all of us ... whether there is a designer. Thank you for your words!!

Jeff P said...

Bro. Bartleby:

"this was all self constructed through chance and happenstance and just plain flukes over a long period of time"

That's not the way I understand evolutionary biology and natural selection. I'm no expert but I think you'll find some better explanations in many sources, I'm happy to point them out if you're interested.

"I imagine the Designer outside of what the Designer designed, so is not caught up in the conundrum that humans think when imagining the Designer"

I still have great problems with who-designed-the-designer questions. To then jump from that question to an acceptance of the Nicene creed is a bit of a stretch! I'm open to explanation and help there.

"Doesn't Einstein's General Theory of Relativity suggest that the Big Bang is the birth of matter and space-time?"

The central idea of general relativity is that someone in an accelerating frame of reference (such as a rocket ship) experiences exactly the same effects as those normally associated with the force of gravity. Einstein saw a connection between changes in motion (what Newton would have called the action of a force) and the geometry of reference frames. The result of his thinking, published in 1916, was the general theory of relativity--the theory that still stands as our most complete theory of gravitation.--Science Matters, Hazen and Trefil