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Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Persistence of Light and Truth

Einstein had a difficult time making the Law of Propagation of Light compatible with his Principles of Relativity. In fact, he had to develop a Special Theory of Relativity just to try to make the behavior of light fit in with the other known laws of physics. The problem is that light displays such different physical properties than all other matter. Is light made of particles or is it just pure energy? How does movement in wave lengths fit in with the way Newton's apple comes tumbling down? For example, light is bent by the powerful gravitational field of certain large objects. Yet, that damn apple seems to fall straight down to earth. It sure is much easier to weigh apples or anything except a beam of light.

If light is particles what about the light of distant stars? Did those particles travel millions of light years from a distant star? Light particles traveling though the vacuum of space? We know the light of a distant star is bent as it passes close to the Sun. This can be proven by comparing the location of certain stars during a solar eclipse with the locations of those stars at other times. What about all the particles coming from our Sun that get reflected off everything we see? How much does the light coming from an electric light bulb weigh? Where do light particles end up? Piled up in the back of our eyes? Not hardly.

So we must conclude that light is only pure waves of energy, very much like electricity. Forget the particles notion. See what I mean about the issues Einstein had about physical properties and the properties of light? The truth is somewhere in between particles and wavelengths. The problem is we start to bump up against Renée Descartes and his doubts. I think therefore I am. I think about light therefore I define my world in terms of light. Dogs define their world mostly in terms of smell. Snakes mostly define their world in terms of heat. What do humans use to define their world?

Truth seems to have properties similar to light. The truth is sometimes hard to see but it is there and it needs a medium to travel through. It seems certain very large objects also have the ability to bend the truth as it passes near them. You can try to weigh the truth but uncertainty often remains.

There are times when we can all agree on the truth of a particular statement. Someone states, "the sky is blue", although there may be differences of opinion about the particular shade of blue, we all agree it is some shade of blue, as opposed to red, green or black. Those who really get it wrong are labeled color blind.

At other times we simply find ourselves unable to agree on the truth of easily observable phenomena. Billions of people have learned that there are fossil remains of dinosaurs, mollusks, and plants embedded inside rock formations clearly formed hundreds of thousands of years ago. Most of these people can agree that dinosaurs lived on earth more than one hundred thousand years ago. The rock formations around the fossils easily prove this. However, some people look at these same formations and still arrive at the conclusion that earth cannot be more than ten or twenty thousand years old. Some members of both groups have used their eyes to observe the sunlight reflecting off the actual rock formations yet arrived at widely different estimates of the age of those dinosaur fossils.

Before you dismiss this discrepancy as a minor disagreement made to support the existence of God in some way, stop and think about it. Disagreements about easily observable phenomena can have a tremendous impact on our world. What happens when people ignore certain scientific facts in order to uphold the ideas in a particular ancient textbook? Some of these people then decide that science should not be taught to their children. When other educated scientists dispute the concepts in ancient textbooks, the textbook believers suddenly become willing to murder those who disagree with the book's teachings. Things we clearly see can be terribly distorted by things we are fervently taught to believe.

There are many wonderful teachings in the ancient books, they just did not get the part about the age of earth correct. No need to start a war over this understandable discrepancy, right?. But then one group says their ancient book gives them the right to take all the land from another group that reads a different ancient book. An organization in yet another place supports this land grab, as long as that group will support their right to believe the earth is less than twenty thousand years old. It all starts to pile up in a tremendous amount of very questionable shared beliefs. All these different belief systems often obscure the truth we desperately need to make critical life decisions. The obvious truth we observe, such as when sunlight is reflected from an object, gets lost in the process

As long as this strange charade is allowed to continue, thousands or perhaps millions of lives are extinguished prematurely. These may happen for lack of proper medical treatment or bloody warfare. Soon we are all faced with the threat of global epidemics or world wars.

People continue to believe certain words in a few ancient textbooks for very specific reasons. In the case of most other outdated textbooks, people quickly come to understand that the authors simply did not have enough understanding to reach the truth about some phenomena. When people acknowledge the observable truths, certain parts of ancient books start to become irrelevant. When specific teachings in certain books become irrelevant, the actions based on those teachings are also proven wrong.

Massive institutions depend on the words written in a few ancient textbooks. They concentrate money to support beliefs that wholly contradict observable truths. These institutions use those concepts to control the lives of millions of people. This unquestioned control is essential for the future of these large organizations. In other words, easily observable truths must be carefully concealed and denied or the institutions will start to crumble into obscurity. Until this happens we are forced to believe false explanations and some teach these lies to each successive generation of children.

Some want to use the government to force children to learn lies about our world. It almost seems like the advances of people like Curie, Einstein, or Newton are receding into the past to be forgotten.

When humans are forced to not believe easily observable truths this causes great confusion in their daily lives. This cognitive dissonance can and does grow into greater problems. Debilitating mental illness and violent warfare are two such significant problems that now threaten the human race. It is imperative that the easily observable truths be acknowledged and the ancient textbooks discredited or the future of the human race is almost certainly extinction from warfare, disease or both.

There can be no doubt that some groups will fight violently to be allowed to continue teaching certain passages from ancient textbooks. These groups must be gently made to recognize that not all the teachings in these books have been proven wrong through observation. However, there are enough errors in the ancient textbooks for us to determine one truth for certain. These books were written by humans, just like you and your neighbors, just like every book ever written. The easily observable truth in this case is that humans sometimes make mistakes. That is surely one truth we can all observe every day and agree on, without further argument.

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