Nothing is mere

Poets say science takes away from the beauty of the stars — mere globs of gas atoms. Nothing is “mere”. I too can see the stars on a desert night, and feel them. But do I see less or more? The vastness of the heavens stretches my imagination — stuck on this carousel my little eye can catch one-million-year-old light. A vast pattern — of which I am a part… What is the pattern or the meaning or the why? It does not do harm to the mystery to know a little more about it. For far more marvelous is the truth than any artists of the past imagined it. Why do the poets of the present not speak of it? What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?

More wisdom from Richard Feynman here.

According to one theory, you can find evidence that the universe is finite in size just by looking at the stars in the night sky. If the universe were infinite, then our entire sky would be flooded with light from the limitless multitude of stars.

Here is a fascinating and worrisome article about light pollution. When I first read it, it made me crazy restless. I could not remember the last time I watched a sunset, and here was this journalist telling me that light pollution is endangering our sunsets. Endangered sunsets and extinct starlight. I biked over to the defunct factory building on the edge of the lake. And I watched the sun set.

First image source: here


2 thoughts on “Nothing is mere

  1. Austin Yoder June 15, 2010 / 4:21 pm


    I like this a lot. Have you ever seen Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s “Sermon” on why being a part of the universe can generate religious sentiments even in skeptics and the a-religious? I think you might like it because it jives really well with the Feynman quote you’ve got up there.

    Skimmed the New Yorker article too. endangered sunsets whaaaaa…?!


    • C. Puls June 21, 2010 / 4:07 am

      lovely sermon. thanks always for taking time from your vagabonding and beard-competing and interning to drop a comment here. un abrazo


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