As if the Sea should part
And show a further Sea-
And that-a further–and the Three
But a presumption be-
Of Periods of Seas-
Unvisited of Shores-
Themselves the Verge of Seas to be-
I’m a stargazer, and I have a nice telescope. Unfortunately, the beautiful images from the Hubble space telescope have spoiled me. And now the James Webb space telescope is enabling us to look even farther into the Universe and back in time. You may find it odd, but as a science-fiction writer I often think about the space-time reality of the Cosmos.
One of my axioms is, “Very few things have not been thought before.” Some years ago, I came to the conclusion that when I die I will either blink into oblivion or awaken in paradise. I thought I was quite clever until I read Plato’s Apology which chronicles Socrates’ trial for treason. Interestingly, Socrates said that they could put him to death, but he would either blink into oblivion or awaken in paradise and get to meet his hero Homer, the writer of the Iliad.
Perhaps the exceptions to my axiom are the 20th century theories of quantum mechanics and relativity. Quantum mechanics describes the unimaginably small subatomic world. We used to think that the atom was the smallest building block of matter. The word atom comes from the Greek words “a” and “tom” which means cannot be cut. We now know that atoms are composed of protons and neutrons in the nucleus and electrons swirling around the nucleus. And even these tiny particles are composed of quarks and perhaps even smaller building blocks of matter conceived as vibrating “strings” of energy. Does it ever end??
In the early 1900s, Albert Einstein conceived of relativity which describes the very large aspects of the universe such as planets, the sun, the stars, galaxies and beyond. Einstein also showed that time is a dimension of the universe just like the spatial dimensions. He is also famous for the equation E=MC2, which means that matter and energy are interchangeable. Just like quantum mechanics, Einstein’s theories have been proven over and over through scientific experimentation.
Most recently a deep field photograph from the James Webb telescope showed what is called gravitational lensing predicted by Einstein. Massive bodies like stars and galaxies actually bend the fabric of space and the light from distant galaxies appears curved.
Imagine a blanket held at the four corners and stretched taught by handsome lifeguards. Now, place a bowling ball on the blanket, and what happens? The bowling ball rolls to the center and tents the blanket downward. The earth is massive, and as a result, its gravitational effects warp or bend space and time just as galaxies bend in the fabric of space-time. And you thought it was just gravity that held us to the ground!
I’m at work on the third novel of my Stellar Trilogy. Each of the first two installments, “Epiphany” and “Mantis,” are standalone works, and describe a future where technology enables humans to bridge the vast distances between stars. The novels are at Amazon and with my publisher (store.bookbaby.com). If you like my Focus essays you should try my novels.
Einstein said that the speed limit of the universe is light which travels at 186,000 miles/second. The fastest spaceship that humans have yet produced is the Voyager which has left our solar system for interstellar space. It is traveling very fast, but even reaching the closest star to our own would take 50,000 years. I imagine that God separated the stars so that humans cannot mess up someone else’s neighborhood until we are mature.
You might find these science concepts impractical. Although I find them intriguing, I am grounded in the practical aspects of life. And I find hope in a future where we overcome our petty squabbles and evolve into the beings that God intended us to be.
Right now, we are struggling with an energy crisis produced by Joe Biden, his handlers and Democrats. Climate alarmists have been screaming for decades and demand that Americans suffer and reduce carbon emissions while China, India and a host of other countries horribly pollute the world. Have you looked at pictures of Beijing’s smog?
But there is hope in knowledge and applied technology. Stars shine and radiate energy through a process called nuclear fusion. This is not nuclear fission utilized in today’s reactors. Nuclear fusion requires 1,000,000° temperatures and massive pressure which exist in the sun’s core. Obviously, physical materials cannot contain a fusion reaction. Work is advancing on electromagnetic containment devices which will allow controlled nuclear fusion of hydrogen. And since water is composed of H2O, we will someday have oceans of clean energy. And someday we will go to the stars.
You doubt me? Think about the advances in knowledge and science in the last 500 years or even the last 50 years. We walked on the moon 50 years ago and the first iPhone was just 15 years ago. Yes, it is “A Brave New World,” a title used by Aldous Huxley, but created by William Shakespeare in his play “The Tempest,” arguably the first science-fiction work.
Unfortunately, we will probably always have corrupt politicians, dishonest media and inadequate leaders. But we must not give up.
My new church is doing a series based on Nehemiah and focuses on starting over.
Nehemiah was a trusted Jewish servant of the Persian king Artaxerxes in approximately 450 BC. By Nehemiah’s time, the Babylonian Empire had been destroyed by the Persians, but the Jews remained enslaved. Nehemiah was saddened by the plight of his people, his homeland and Jerusalem. He fasted and prayed, accepted responsibility for his people’s sins and asked God to come into their mess.
Courageously, Nehemiah asked for permission to return to Jerusalem and it was granted by the king. He subsequently rebuilt the wall and ultimately the Jews would rebuild the temple which would last until Jesus’s time.
I find a fascinating analogy with our present mess in the United States. We must accept responsibility for electing old Joe, Democrats and swampy Republicans. We must start over, pray and ask God into our mess. It worked for Nehemiah. The Chronicler said it best recording the words of God in 2 Chronicles 7:14. Look it up.