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14 July 2009

Telescopes in the Year of Astronomy

In celebration of the International Year of Astronomy, Scientific American put up this little piece (that you can get to by clicking the title of this blog post). I urge you to look at the slide show as well. All too often, when people think of telescopes, they think of just optical scopes. Well, there are a lot of different types of telescopes out there. It's amazing how much we have found out about our universe, the way it formed, what its ultimate fate is, and our place in it. And to think that at one time, we thought all of it centered around us (well, quite a few folks still think that, and hundreds of years of science won't tell them different...).

Speaking of which, a facebook "friend" of mine made a post that I really think is worth repeating, since it's like she took the words straight from my brain!
I believe that religion was a precursor to what we now rely on: science and the scientific method to make determinations regarding our natural world. Is science perfect? No. Can it be manipulated? Yes. But, the basis for scientific thinking and inquiry, is REASONING. Intelligent REASONING. I'd rather the human mind work through reason to find truth as far as the human mind has the capacity to. Many people of faith believe that scientific theory regarding say, evolution, makes more sense than not. Though, many tend to insert a "god's" hand in that process in some way. I've contended in the past several times, that religion will in fact, "die" some day. Maybe not in the near future, but it will. You can't keep the human mind from expanding beyond what is ultimately, unreasonable.

Where religion was a means to attempt understanding of the natural world before before real scientific inquiry, it has now become a means in which people of power, stay in power. Keep the masses ignorant and afraid. Keep them ignorant, and afraid. Keep them in the yoke of religious ridiculousness, and you'll have paying servants for as long as you need them.
How appropriate. I can only hope that religion will eventually die, and we can move beyond these childish superstitions (to quote another really smart and famous guy).

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