Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Healthy Sense of Wonder

When I signed up for this class, I really didn’t know what it would be about. Sure I could read the title of the course but I didn’t know how it was going to be spun into educational lectures. I’m glad to see that the purpose of the course is to use science to evaluate why people believe in things that defy natural laws. I also imagine this is to the disappointment of anyone who thought this course might validate some of their, let’s say, “less than scientific” world views. But have heart believers; for there is such a thing as a healthy sense of wonder. Many things in the universe are concrete, and science can easily explain them, but the foundations of these things are often on shaky grounds. I’m surprised (But also not surprised) that people seek magic in an already mind blowing world. Have you ever heard someone pose the thought “Isn’t it crazy that the universe created something that could ponder its own existence?” If that seems like mumbo jumbo to you than I ask you to think critically about the scientific reality of our functioning brains and the measurable truth of how all things in the universe are built from non-thinking, non-feeling atoms. It’s amazing to me that 1 + 1 = 2, that is that non-thinking + non-thinking = thinking. The universe as it already is, measurable and all – is magical. No one should fear that being skeptical will reduce the level of wonder in the universe, just like how no scientist who is studying the universe with earnest should have a closed mind. I think it’s important for us to constantly evaluate why we believe what we believe and whether those thoughts could hold up to the tests of time. I do not want to believe in the UFO attached to a string, I do not want to believe in photo shopped fairies, I do not want to believe in what the preacher preaches simply because he says so. No more blind faith. Live with your eyes wide open so that you can see how fantastic the colors are! How fantastic it is that there are colors at all! You may not know all the answers, and that might be scary, but you don’t need to fill in the gaps to see as clear as day that this world is magic and that great things are happening. You should believe that there is more than what meets the eye, because everything that’s already in your field of vision is screaming with complexities. But if you try to write in the answers that haven’t been revealed to you yet, than you’ll lose heart every time you are contradicted and you might find yourself denying the truth when it looks you right in the face.

Image result for contemplating the universe


  1. I really enjoyed reading your post It prompted me to share my opinions. First of all, I wanted to let you and any other readers that I almost always look for a scientific explanation. I have been a nurse for 37 years so it is reasonable to say that my career is based on scientific answers. But, I do believe in some of those less than scientific points of view. Our family is currently going through probable loss. My daughters boyfriend's mother is dying from metastatic cancer. The hospice nurse posed the question, " Is she waiting for someone"? This woman is unresponsive and has not taken food or fluid in 3 days. They feel that there is some reason she won't let go. Science tells us that she should have died days ago yet... Don't get me wrong. I will never believe in aliens until I see one and it' spacecraft with my own eyes. Even then, I may remain skeptical. But, there are those who believe and who am I to question their beliefs. I will admit to pondering whether we are actually alone in this vast universe. I know it was not discussed in your post, but I do believe in one thing that I need no evidence of. This is the belief in my God. He asks for our faith and that I try to do everyday. I would be lying if I said that I haven't questioned my faith. I also believe that evil exists and in the afterlife just to throw a few non-scientific situations out there.
    Yes, the universe is magical in itself. In your post you spoke of the human brain and I,like you always look for answers. I will close this lengthy post with one miracle of a story about the human brain. I cared for a young man who was shot execution style in the back of the head. The bullet traveled right through his brain. The doctors said there was no hope. He would remain in vegetative state as long as he lived. He would never wake up. His family never ceased. They prayed at his bedside everyday, day and night. You know what I am going to say. He woke up! Totally alert and oriented. He remembered every detail of the shooting. He required very little physical therapy and, within short time, he walked out of the hospital. Miracle or not? I have my answer.

  2. I am one of those people who tries to not believe things blindly and there are certain things I don't, but there are also things out there that just have no explanation and just must either be believed or forgotten. For example, I went on vacation to Baltimore and I visited a fort that was supposedly haunted. I personally believe in spirits and ghosts, but I'm also very aware of hoaxes to gain popularity. So I figured I would keep an eye out, but wouldn't hold my breath. I was in a basement room that was used to hold artillery and I took a series of four photos. Three of them were just of the room, but one had a single ball of light. I did not change the angle and there was no evidence of dust in the other photos. So I have no rational explanation for the photo and I simply choose to believe.