On Exploring the Final Frontier

My Exploring series ends with a salute to what some call the final frontier.

Star Trek fans know these abbreviated words:

Space: The final frontier
To explore strange new worlds
To seek out new life and new civilizations
To boldly go where no man has gone before

The universe is a big place. Think about Earth as that pale blue dot in our solar system – which is only a speck in the Milky Way galaxy – which is a very small portion in a changing and expanding universe.

Long-time readers here realize my fondness for the programs studying deep space. Not only have I used those images as my headers, but I find deep space to be mesmerizing, invigorating, awe-inspiring, majestic, and more.

Watch this video, and then, tell us what thoughts come to your mind when you see images from deep space.

On Exploring the Sun

Happy 2014! My regular posting schedule returns next week.

After exploring light and nature, the next logical thought is that big, glowing object in our daytime sky.

Humans once thought Earth as the center of the universe … that is everything revolved around our pale blue dot in the dark sky. Although some still believe that, most of us have bought into the fact that our sun is the center point of our solar system.

In some ways, the sun starts our day, then ends our day … although we don’t set the clock that way. It’s the foundation of biological life on our planet, and has served as a source of inspiration from some.

The sun puts on quite a show. Thanks to the dedicated personal at NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, we are able to observe the sun’s beauty through different wavelengths. Also, thanks to Jim who made me aware of this video.

What are your thoughts about the sun and/or the video?

On Exploring Pollination

Nature is home to countless wonders, there’s time for one more. For all living things, reproduction is about the continuation of the species - and this also true for plants. Enjoy this exploration of the pollination world with fabulous slow-motion photography. Sharing your thoughts after viewing.

On Exploring Nature

This is episode 4 of this holiday’s Exploring series. With yesterday’s focus on light, there is a logical connection between light and nature. After all, light is the foundation for life as we know it on Earth … and nature is the center stage for each of our lives.

Nature is all around us. We interact with it, sense it, we explore it, and even ignore it. Thankfully, not everyone chooses to ignore it. As a matter of fact, they share what they’ve learned with anyone who is willing to learn.

Nature is a fascinating place and even linked to numbers. After watching this video, share your thoughts in the comments. Do you have a favorite pattern in nature?

Flashbacks: On Grandness Around Us

Earth and the universe provide countless wonders. I uncovered flashbacks so you can enjoy some of the grandness around us. Enjoy, visit as many as you want, and I hope you comment on the post you visited.

Flashbacks: On Science

I have a science background, but I pride myself in having understandable explanations. At least one of these will enlighten you. Enjoy, and I hope you comment on the post you visited.

On a Letter

Long-time readers know about my interest in the religion and science interchange. To newcomers, seeing the Categories > Religion and Science in the sidebar reinforces my point.

Recently, I was purging files from my classroom days. Some of the things I rediscovered were interesting enough to save for possible incorporation into posts – so here is one.

Context: Students had just informally (and individually) answered questions about common misconceptions in science. Next, they discussed answers in a small group, thus free to change any answers. I concluded the activity by leading short discussion of each answer. Two of the 33 questions were about evolution, but this post focuses only on one of them.

Lesson Goal: Misconceptions exist and they come from a variety of sources.

A question: (True/False) Humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time.

Answer: False – Research indicates 60 million years separated dinosaurs and humans.

Later that day, this note (below) appeared on my classroom desk.

September 9, 1994

Today you made the statement that there is scientific evidence that dinosaurs and men did not live at the same time. There is none. On the contrary, there is only evidence against it. There is not even any evidence that Earth was around 20 million years ago.

Your argument might be that scientists have dated the footprints of animals in mud, which has turned to stone at billions of year ago. It is virtually impossible to do so unless you compare the footprints to that of a species and have the guess of the time of this species. But there is nothing to date. There is the absence of rock.

As for evolution itself, it cannot stand the question of life in the equation X times Y equals Z. We are trying to find X. Y is filled in with how we interpret physical evidence found. Z is filled with God, so for X, I get from the Bible.

You (Atheists) have decided that you don’t want to follow the Bible, so you fill in Z with your own philosophy. Your X is based on your Y. Your Y is based on your X. Since your equation never equals out, your Y is dynamic.

Unless you repent your sins and become a Christian, you will find out on the Judgement Day that I and right and you are wrong. When God asks you why he should let you into heaven, what will you say? I know what I will say.