Monday, June 3, 2013

An Age for Reason

     Once upon a time there were millions of rocks, asteroids, comets, meteorites, dust, and gas floating around in space. This debris scattered throughout the universe was the result of much older stars exploding at the end of their lives. Stars that had used up all the fuel they once had to produce light and heat. This space debris was composed of approximately 100 types of atoms created in the death throes of stars, some atoms more numerous than others.
     This debris was soon orbiting around a very large newly formed sun near the corner of a recently formed galaxy.  As this debris orbited around this new sun, unavoidable collisions began occurring. These collisions resulted in formation of larger and larger pieces of debris. The gravitational powers of these larger pieces became stronger as they became larger by the collection of more and more space debris.
     After many millions of years the larger sphere shaped pieces that had survived the constant collisions had pretty much swept up and collected all of the loose debris from the orbital paths they traveled around the new sun. Eventually, there were only 8 large ball shaped pieces of debris orbiting this common sun. Some were made up of very solid and dense material, while others were made up mostly of gas and dust.
     During these first years of the third planet from the sun, its physical condition was little more than a ball of hot molten lava, the result of heat generated by constant collisions and explosions. Most of the material collected by the molten sphere began to cluster in layers with some of the heaviest at the center of the planet and the lighter material nearer the surface. The planet seemed to be in the process of refining and separating the various materials it had collected.
     During much of this early formation, many of the comets and meteorites contained large amounts of frozen water - ice. When these collided with the molten planet, they immediately vaporized and joined the atmospheric gases that were collecting just above the molten surface. As this atmosphere of gas and water vapor grew thicker with succeeding collisions of ice containing debris, it began to cool the surface of the molten planet until a solid crust began to form on the surface of the fiery ball like planet.
     The initial formative years of this planet contained no biological forms. The planet was made up of atoms that had been formed into molecules of iron, granite, gold, silica, carbon, nitrogen, etc., by the dying stars from which they came. Some of this material became part of the thickening and cooling crust and atmosphere. This continued to be the case for millions of years while the surface continued to cool and stabilize. Asteroids and comets continued to bombard the planet with additional icebergs and special molecules that also had been formed in the death throes of dying stars. These special molecules are known as amino acids which had been embedded in rocks as they formed in the fiery death of stars. Asteroids that are recovered even today, when sliced open for examination, reveal scattered clusters of amino acids embedded inside the rock.
     Amino acids exist in many configurations and have many cousins. Several varieties of amino acids are necessary to form the much larger DNA molecule which is the key ingredient of all life forms, both plants and animals. Every form of life on this planet contains the power of replication which is contained in the blue prints of their DNA. However, succeeding generations require the DNA blueprints from two sources, the two sets of parent DNA chromosomes in order to reproduce a new strand of DNA and a new life.
     When things on this planet cooled enough for water to begin accumulating from the constant rains, it didn’t take long for life to find a way to begin. Its first forms were crude and primitive single cell bacteria. Eventually the DNA of this crude bacteria became more sophisticated as well exceedingly more complex through the process of evolution until today when we find millions of different biological species, both flora and fauna, scattered all over the planet. Two things have remained constant through millions of years of evolution; all life forms remain dependent upon water, and require the merging of two parental chromosomes in order to reproduce succeeding generations of the species.
     Today there are two types of molecular formations of atoms in this planet, the non-biological which do not reproduce and have remained virtually unchanged since their formation by the stars (granite, silica, gold, iron, carbon, nitrogen, etc.), and the biological formations which have evolved into flora and fauna species which are capable of reproduction but have limited life spans.
     As various biological species evolve, they have adapted behaviors that support their innate will to survive. Among these is the herd instinct. Grouping together provided a common defense from predators or enemies, location and acquisition of food sources, developing communication, and provided easier location of, and access to, available mates. Most biological species of this planet continue to live in groves, colonies, herds, pods, schools, hives, flocks, prides, clans, tribes, cities, etc. Although some species appear to live a solitary existence, they do live in a common geographical areas of their own species; i.e. tigers, bears, whales, etc., all live pretty much solitary lives, but they live in areas where there are many others of their own species.
     Rules of social etiquette developed by each specie vary with the requirements for basic survival and communication. Almost all species have developed some degree of deductive reasoning which has influenced their social behavior, some more than others. Experience has been the greatest influence in honing these deductive skills. While some deductive skills have been acquired by physical experience (birds learn that Monarch caterpillars are not good to eat) other deductive skills are acquired by observation and reason.
Humankind has been at the pinnacle of social development of all the biological species of this planet. 
     Although humans have developed a more complex mental diversity, we still exist in the basic format of all members of the animal kingdom. Anatomically, we have the same basic configuration; a central nervous system (brain), an epidermal organ, 2 eyes, 2 ears, 1 mouth, 4 extremities, a fairly common digestive and cardiovascular system, same requirements for reproduction, etc. We possess almost identical DNA with not only the animal kingdom, but the vegetation kingdom as well. Some vegetation even has a higher genome complex than do humans.
     Humans have long considered ourselves not only at the top of the animal kingdom, but a completely separate and unique life form of which there is no other throughout the universe. How we came up with this notion has been greatly influenced by our own ignorance and superstitions. It has been erroneously reasoned that since we have a superior nature when compared to the animal kingdom, that we possess special characteristics animals do not have. We have considered ourselves an image of a God, therefore we must have a God like spirit which is also eternal. Although we have a limited life expectancy, the same as all other flora and fauna of the planet, we have mistakenly assumed that we have a consciousness (spirit) that will continue forever. Even though there is nothing in the universe which lasts forever.
     100,000 years ago, early man was preoccupied with survival in the same manner as all other animals. He had to experience volcanoes, earthquakes, raging fires, thunder and lightning, floods, as well as many other natural phenomenon. He had no concept of how, why or what had caused them. His initial thoughts were that some unseen power was the cause of these events that threatened his existence, causing him to flee or hide. As he became more familiar with these seemingly disastrous events, he began to give them names. Eventually the name of the disastrous event became the name of the unseen power which was causing them. It was then only a few short steps before every unexplained event had a name of the unseen power that was the cause. These unseen powers were soon bestowed with a ranking, some more powerful or dangerous than others.
     Today, even though the cause of almost all natural disasters can be simply and easily explained to every human understanding, many people still considered them to be caused by, or the will of, a God. Human interpretations and descriptions of Gods today are almost as varied as there are natural disasters and mortalities. Although mankind has become more sophisticated in our understanding of the past, present, and future of the universe we live in, it still clings to the superstitions of mankind from the past 100,000 years.
     The metropolitan area of our community includes 413,000 residents. In this area there are 411 Yellow Page listings of religious groups. This does not include all religious groups, only religious groups with an address and a telephone number. These groups base their convictions of religious truth on information accrued in ancient writings by men with no knowledge of origins of the universe or natural phenomenon. The Old Testament was written between the years 587-BCE to 350-BCE; the New Testament was written between the years 70-AD and 150-AD. Without any corroborating evidence, these prevalent convictions have been the force behind most of man’s inhumanity to man and cultural chaos for centuries, and continues to do so even today; Sunnis vs Shiites, Muslims vs Jews, Muslims vs Christians, Muslims vs Muslims, Catholics vs Protestants, Serbs vs Croats, Spanish Inquisition vs anybody who does not confess, East vs West, etc.
     The variety of creation stories that have developed since the beginning of mankind by superstitious and primitive minds have been accepted as fact by today’s educated people of reason. Religions cling to ancient myths and legends, many of which conflict, as if they were indisputable facts.

Q:  How many Gods does it take to keep a light bulb burning for more than the 3500 religious sects on this planet?

A:  Depends upon where you were born and which religious sect you were indoctrinated in.


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