One person's thoughts may change the world
Kepler was a scientist born in 1571. Actually his name is Johannas Kepler. He was a scientist during the 17th century scientific revolution. Actually he is a product of one of my most favorite scientists, Nicolaus Copernicus. Copernicus wrote a book called De Revolutionsibus Orbium Coelestium. This book took on the Universal notion of Ptolemy geocentric system. In short Copernicus said, “The earth is not the center of the universe” along with the mathematics to prove it. Strangely enough, the Ptolemaic system was accepted in Islamic astronomy, well perhaps not, because the reigning notion was God created man, so earth must be the center of the universe. Kepler created the eponymous laws of planetary motions. Plainly put, if it wasn’t for Kepler and his mathematic calculations, Newton (Isaac Newton) may not have come up with the theory of universal gravitation.
Interestingly enough, Kepler also incorporated religious arguments and reasoning into his work, motivated by the religious conviction and belief that God had created the world according to an intelligible plan that is accessible through the natural light of reason. To which makes sense if you believe in God. To some extent, even when you try to wrap your head around the universe or your perception of what it is in the given time period you’re in, your believe in God has to have a logical order to it. That is, if you’re a scientist who believes in God.
Now, with all that being said, this is really not about Kepler the scientist. It’s about Kepler the Telescope, which has found more than 60 planets and 2300 candidates. Kepler the telescope is pointed at a patch of sky, not bigger than your fist, and in every since of the word, not a very unusual patch of sky. In addition to that, it’s a local patch in our galaxy. Prior to Kepler the telescope, there were 500 exoplanets that had been discovered across the sky. The universe is full of planets of all shapes and sizes.
So what does this mean for you, me and the other 7 billion of us? Although I believe Jesus Christ as my personal savior, I’m starting to have a totally different view about God. A while back, I wrote another blog about the significance of man, and it was a picture of Saturn with a fuzzy dot of earth in it, taken by the satellite Cassini. In it I spoke of the significance or the insignificance or significance of man in the universe based upon the size of the earth compared to Saturn in the picture. The distance between the two? 796 million miles. If you have science center with a telescope, I recommend going to look at Saturn, it’s a magnificent sight.
Man, with all his petty misconceptions, opinions, believes, dis-believes, religions (your God, or my God), love, hatred, wars, petty fighting over minuscule resources, vanity, selfishness, greed, famine, hunger, exploitation, etc… Does man really understand his significance, or perhaps his insignificance in the universe? Does it really matter since our understanding of the universe is something that we cannot grasp anyway? As I grow more mature in this life, it’s really boiling down to two camps. Get as much as you can get, or get as much religion as you can get. There are differences between the two, but, even those lines can get blurred. Add politics to it, and, you get what the United States has, which is gridlock. Unable to agree upon anything, even when you agree upon something.
At times, I wish I didn’t understand what I seem to lack to have an understanding of anyway. Sounds confusing? We are 93 million miles away from the sun. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second, which takes almost 8 minutes to get here from the sun. Neither the sun nor the earth is the center of the universe. The earth is about 4 billion years old. Our sun is a star amongst millions of other stars in a galaxy called the Milky Way, to which is again, is unimaginably big. Our galaxy is one of millions, perhaps billions of other galaxies, which are so far away that we see the universe as it was not as it is. In essence, the universe may not even exist at all in the form we are currently viewing it. Yet, that doesn’t change my faith one bit, but it does make me start imagining things. Why is the universe so big, and how come man’s role in it is so insignificant? Hmmm…..
I don’t pretend to have the answers to those kinds of questions and even though I have a rudimentary knowledge of those wonderful galactic things, I have no effect upon them. Not one iota. So the answer to my confusing postulate is: I can only affect or effect change on what I can verbally articulate to, write, touch, or to be touched by. Seeing is only important as local to the space around me. I can see Saturn through a telescope, but I cannot effect change upon it. It’s too big, and too far away. I can see a picture of the earth from a satellite or the international space station, but, again, it’s too big.
Kepler the telescope has found many what may be an abundance of planets out there. Some of those planets may even have life on them. It further changes the perception of the significance of man, and his role in the universe. Man has progressed his understanding of said universe, yet lacks the will to govern himself fair and equitable for everyone on the planet, thus he reduces his role in the universe to insignificance. And, I can only initiate change in that small space I occupy on this planet. And it all starts in my heart, in my soul, and within me….