An essay donated by John Burritt
The universe, evolution, & religion
While in college, I asked a professor, after class, ?What was at the outer edge of Space - A little white fence?- (jokingly)? His answer was, ?There is no such thing as a straight line, only an arc of infinite radius.? This has stayed with me for the last 50 or so years. I?ve since concluded that the 4th dimension is TIME.
The biggest problem in understanding the UNIVERSE and EVOLUTION as I see it, is the tremendously huge distances and times involved. The numbers are measured in Billions of Light-years, literally Astronomical, and hard to visualize or comprehend. In the case of the Universe, the numbers are measured in Billions of light-years. In the case of the Evolution, it is measured in Billions of years.
Light travels 186,000 miles per second. It takes 8 minutes for the Sun?s light to reach our eyes, and 5 more hours and that light reaches Pluto (no longer designated as a Planet). After another 4 years 4 months, it reaches Alpha Centauri, our nearest stellar neighbor.
Extending outward some 15 to 20 Trillion Light-Years 1in all directions into the far reaches of the known Universe there are Quasars - Quasi-Stellar objects - and the uniform glow of radiation from the Big Bang. The farthest Quasars are traveling away from us at 90% the speed of light. To look at such objects is to see the Universe as it was billions of years ago. 2
Like the distances in the Universe, Evolution is also measured in very large numbers. Earth was formed 4.6 Billion Years ago. To put everything into perspective, every event has been compressed into a 12-hour clock. 3,4
*Note the huge gap in time that occurs between this event and the next one!
All of the above information, except religion, has been proven through scientific research. There is, however no scientific proof to support religion, plus it occupies an extremely small segment of time compared to the age of Earth. This leads me to think religion is based on the fear of the unknown.
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