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The Vastness of Space

I hope everyone had a happy 4th of July weekend. I celebrated my independence from gods by taking the family on vacation to Carl Sagan’s old stomping groups in Ithaca New York. There we took the Sagan Planet Walk and Paced the Space.

We walked from the Sun marker to the marker of the Earth (probably about 50 to 100 feet) in the scaled down solar system (one-fifth billions of the actual size). When I walked back over to the Sun marker, I read that in this scaled model, our neighboring star Alpha Centauri would be located somewhere in Hawaii. So while our solar system is scaled down to ¾ of a mile, the next nearest star would be nearly 5000 miles away.

I can almost hear Carl Sagan’s voice informing me about the vast emptiness of space and how humbling it is, reminding us that the Universe was not created for us, but rather we are simply a part of a great big Universe so immense that our nearest neighbor would take multiple lifetimes to reach.

Religious people often talk about how God made the Universe for human beings. But a glance through a telescope shows just how ridiculous such beliefs really are. Why would a God create our closest star (aside from the Sun) so far out of our reach? What does that tell us about the vastness of the rest of the Galaxy or even the vastness of the entire Universe as we know it through science?

The Sun Marker

Pace the Space

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  • http://myspace.com/scott888 Scott

    Unfortunately most of the public doesn’t care about space and science at all. I’ve even seen some ignorant people claim the space program is a waste of time, even in lieu of my argument that Columbus’s trip across the Atlantic was also a “waste of money” and here we are today living on the other side of the Atlantic.

    Then there’s the argument that too many people are starving to explore space. I call horseshit on that because in developed countries, nobody is really starving due to welfare and in places like Africa, they get aid but continue to starve because those countries are mismanaged by other government that aren’t really in the public’s interest to improve at this time (despite the fact they complain about starving people and the space program).

    Space is so fricken big that if we got fusion powered rockets we might get to the Alpha Centauri system within 40 years. Even with anti-matter rockets, we are still restricted to our section of the Galaxy and we can forget about leaving the Galaxy. Hypothetically a person could travel to the Andromeda and back at 90% the speed of light due to the theory of relativity but they will return to an Earth 4 million years into the future. So not only is space a boundary but so is time.

    Clearly this universe was not made with humans in mind but rather was just a random event.

  • Ralph From Michigan

    I have a few problems with your assessment of the 22 question and answers – most seem to come from the people who provided the questions – they did not sound like people who had any scientific background or even experience in the arguments. Picking these types will assure a reasonable chance of winning your argument. After all, anyone who would say “Finally, I accept the mountains of evidence from multiple scientific fields of study that show that species evolved through a process of natural selection.” doesn’t know much about natural selection, and by reference, evolution. Try arguing with someone like Jonathan Sarfati – you might learn something.

    • http://skepticink.com/dangeroustalk Dangerous Talk

      First, I didn’t pick the people. Buzzfeed did. I just responded to what actual Creations had to say to those who accept the mountains of evidence in support of evolution. If you have a problem with the people asking the questions, take that up with buzzfeed.

      As for Jonathan Sarfati, I have no idea who he is or where he stands on any issue. For the record, I don’t have a science background aside from a few undergraduate classes. But I did learn a few things in those classes and I studied a little bit on my own too. I, however, am no Bill Nye. I would recommend someone like Nye debate your “expert.”