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We are stardust that's animated by sunlight. All of the atoms that make up our bodies and our world were once part of a star - probably parts of several stars. All the elements other than Hydrogen were forged in those stars; the lighter elements via the nuclear fusion fueling those stars and the heavier elements when those stars exploded as supernova, scattering stardust into space

The stardust drifted thru space until gravity coalesced it into a whirling mass that became our sun and its planets. The energy from the sun - sunlight - is what feeds us and animates us. The food we eat is built of stardust and photosynthesis, the photosynthesis of course being run by sunlight.

Interestingly enough, the stardust and the sunlight have a common origin: Gravity. Gravity is what makes a star in the first place, drawing together the Hydrogen and other elements into a sphere and compressing the sphere until its nuclear fusion engine ignites. It's the force of gravity that generates the pressure that presses positively charged protons (Hydrogen nuclei) together with enough force to cause them to fuse into Helium, releasing energy that we call starlight/sunlight. It's gravity that eventually fuses Hydrogen and Helium to make Lithium - and generating more starlight/sunlight. It's gravity that keeps this fusion process going making more and more light elements, generating more and more starlight/sunlight - until the star runs out of fuel.

Now if the star is heavy enough (has enough internal gravitational force), when the fuel runs out, the star collapses with such force that the star totally explodes into a supernova, the force of the explosion making even more elements as well as scattering the resulting stardust out into space where gravity can eventually pull it together again to make a new star and its planets.

It seems that heaven and earth were created by Gravity. But wait - that's supposed to have been the doing of God! Could it be that Gravity and God are the same? Let's check this out below the orange wormhole.

o    Created the heaven and the earth. As discussed above, definitely due to Gravity.
      Yes X   No _

o    Created all the plants and animals, including humans. They are all due to sunlight animating stardust, which of course is due to Gravity.
      Yes X   No _

o    Sets the course of the moon and stars, planets and comets. Yep, definitely Gravity at work.
      Yes X   No _

o    Located everywhere. Well, for sure Gravity is everywhere - on the earth, in the water, in the sugar bowl, inside your mouth and at the furthest star.
      Yes X   No _

o    Works in Mysterious Ways. The scientists can tell you how much gravitational force there is in a location, but they haven't got a clue as to how Gravity works - or why everything in the universe is attracted to everything else in the universe. The way in which Gravity works is a mystery.
      Yes X   No _

o    Violating the LAW does not go over well. Well, if you violate the Law of Gravity, you'll fall on your face.
      Yes X   No _

o    Causes the rain to fall on the just and the unjust. For sure Gravity is what causes the rain to fall. But wait, you say - what about causing the clouds to form in the first place and moving the clouds over the just and the unjust? Well, it's sunlight (caused by Gravity!) that evaporates the water to make the clouds, and again it's sunlight that provides the energy that we experience as the wind that moves the clouds around.
      Yes X   No _

o    Is Love. Where there is love, there is attraction, not repulsion or neutrality. For sure Gravity is a attractive force.
      Yes X   No _

I think this proves it - Gravity is God! And here I thought God was dead or lost or something. It turns out He was just operating under a different name.

Of course Gravity doesn't run a gated community called Heaven. Gravity doesn't listen to prayers (let alone answer them!). And Gravity doesn't have any kids to send here to save you. Your salvation/liberation is a do-it-yourself project. Luckily clear instructions have been provided by previous Gravity generated beings. But remember, all the things created by Gravity are subject to decay; you better diligently work on your liberation. Best wishes for success in that project.

------

Originally published by me as We Are Sunlight Animated Stardust at http://leighb.com/...

6:53 PM PT: Wow!  Community Spotlight - thanks!  And thanks for all the great comments below.

Originally posted to lbrasington on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:52 AM PST.

Also republished by Progressive Atheists and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You lost me at "gravity" (7+ / 0-)

    since, as you admit,  it is a mysterious force and nobody knows how it works . . ..  seriously, that's not science, it's magic!

    •  So then does "magic gravity" (0+ / 0-)

      let black holes turn grey?

      Live Free or Die --- Investigate, Incarcerate

      by rktect on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:11:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  "It's like magic!" (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean, bitpyr8, annan, IreGyre, ER Doc

      That's what my non-technical step-son tells me every time I help him fix a computer problem just by talking to him over the phone and having him describe the problem and me telling him what to do to resolve the problem. After it's fixed he always tells me, "It's like magic."

      As Clarke's Third Law says: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

      But if the cause be not good, the king himself hath a heavy reckoning to make, ... there are few die well that die in a battle; ... Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; — Shakespeare, ‘Henry V’

      by dewtx on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:26:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Snark? (6+ / 0-)

      I hope

      Because, unlike the Great Sky Father, "gravity" is directly observed in action... it's effects can be quantified and predicted  ... different observers make  exactly the same observations ... and using the "laws" deduced from these observations NSA throws instrument packages at comets at a distance of some hundreds of millions of miles -- and hits them.

      And as for "not knowing how it works" ... "not knowing WHY' it works might be a closer approximation of what theoretical physicists think --

      Me ?   Stephen Hawking left me behind talking about "space/time" being "distorted" by "mass".  But the math and science undergraduates seem to understand the argument, just fine.

      Compare this to "one is three,incorporeal and eternal,  and it has both male and female characteristics -- I've got it all in a book, right here."

    •  Oh, c'mon! (Snark?) (0+ / 0-)

      Science is (1) an (incomplete) body of knowledge, and (2) a method for knowing. Not knowing everything about gravity does not mean that it is "not science."

      Did you ver notice how har it is totype accurately on an iPad?

      by RudiB on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:23:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  and another corollary: is it god or gravity that (7+ / 0-)

    is all-powerful?

    Well, looking at life and death, you can be certain that gravity always wins in the end, whether you're a bird, a tree, a sea-creature, or one of us.

    Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

    by p gorden lippy on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:33:50 AM PST

    •  but gravity is the weakest force (5+ / 0-)

      in the universe, albeit one with apparently infinite reach..
      So then, what of the weak and strong nuclear forces? Are they the Uber-god, if highly localized?

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:49:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They are the angels dude (8+ / 0-)


        "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

        by Pescadero Bill on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:56:47 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  so strong they only act locally, as explained so (9+ / 0-)

        ably by Feynman in his lectures, though strictly speaking he was comparing electric force to gravity. Now that electroweak theory and quantum chromodynamics have unified the non-gravity forces, one can say that they all cancel each other out over anything beyond quantum-scale distances.

        So while there can be catastrophic local events, like a bolt of lightning to darken your day, it's the long, slow, inexorable toroise force of gravity that grabs us in the end.

        Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

        by p gorden lippy on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:57:22 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  ah, then what of entropy? (4+ / 0-)

          I thought that was the death sentence for the universe, so is entropy the Devil? an Anti-God? Just a consequence of liberal degeneracy?
          Fearful, superstitious minds want to know!

          Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

          by kamarvt on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:37:23 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  yeah, and what of the acceleration of expansion? (0+ / 0-)

            So many mysteries, so little time.

            Thanks god for enthalpy, or something.

            Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

            by p gorden lippy on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:41:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The banana peel o f (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pvasileff

            the gods gravity.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:17:37 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, entropy is the Devil (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Habitat Vic

            Also, every single thing that causes pleasure is the work of the Devil.

            God, therefore, wants you to sit on a bicycle seat while wearing nothing but polyester and listen to the mellifluous voice of Mitch McConnell and the sublime logic of Random Paul.

            And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

            by Pale Jenova on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:52:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The Three (or four) Laws of Thermodynamics (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kamarvt

            One:  What goes in, must come out or stay in there.  Lots of mathematics on that one, but basically bookkeeping.
            Two:  There's no such thing as a Free Lunch.  Every process is less than 100% efficient.  Everything will cost you, even if it's just a little bit.
            Three:  It all ends up on the Basement Floor.   This is what entropy is -- disorder at the lowest energy level.
            Four:  You really have to give a shit.  Has to do with creating reliable means to measure what's going on in the first three laws.  Sometimes called the "Zeroeth Law"

      •  we need a unified field theory (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        p gorden lippy, mookins

        a way to map each force into
        some underlying force.

        we mapped electromagnetism into the weak nuclear force.

        we just need to map EM-W into Gravity

        Einstein couldn't do it, but,
        the break throughs in amplitudohedrons may help

        •  Einstein operated mainly in ignorance of (8+ / 0-)

          the strong and weak forces. His unified field theory was indeed a doomed attempt to treat quantum events as fields a la gravitation and electromagnetic fields. It was partly motivated by his refusal to accept a probabilistic rather than a deterministic universe.

          The TOE (theory of everything) you call for is certainly the single most sought-after grail in the history of physics. Whether amplituhedrons get us there remains to be seen. I await a single prediction from amplituhedral approaches that surpasses what The Standard Model gets us to. I'm prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

          One of the main complaints about string theory is that it never could lead to anything testable, and therefore was all smoke, mirrors, and incredible math signifying nothing. Amplituhedrons, OTOH, seem at least to be able to bring intractable problems within reach of solutions. I remain skeptically optimistic, if I may be so bold as to put a quantum superposition on my two-state mind-set.

          Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

          by p gorden lippy on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:51:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I believe in uncertainty. If there's anything I'm (7+ / 0-)

            sure of, it's doubt.

            You can't make this stuff up.

            by David54 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:19:17 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I can't judge Einsteins' work (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            eyesoars

            I feel inhibited, much like I can't judge Feynmans
            work or Hawking.

            What I like about Amplitudehdron's is it offers the promise of a radically simple math notation.

            some problems are very intractable in Cartesian math but almost ridiculously simple in Polar coordinates.

            Tensors give you a simple approach to really big stacked information  and Solitons let you hack away on tough
            problems of the physical world easily.

            Perhaps this is the approach and that in a few years
            some truly bright PhD candidates will take these tools
            into the problem space and we will see something
            really beautiful like Maxwells Equations or
            Special relativity  but, both of these required some
            truly elegant math tools also, and, I suspect,

            Amplitudohedrons are a tool for elegant analysis.

          •  Amplituhedrons won't... (0+ / 0-)

            They look to be a great simplifier, allowing better analysis of things we sort of grasp now but can't compute.

            They themselves won't bring us anything, but they are a new and powerful tool for future workers.

            •  exactly as Feynman diagrams eliminated pages (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              eyesoars

              of equations and skipped right to the heart of the matter.

              Similarly, 500 pages of Feynman diagrams may be contained in a single amp diagram, so there is the possibility that it represents a means to solve otherwise intractable problems. We shall see.

              Fear is the mind-killer - Frank Herbert, Dune

              by p gorden lippy on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 12:23:41 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

      •  gravity is a lot like God. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        davis3792

        In addition to being the weakest force in the universe, we humans have no idea what gravity is or how it actually works. Gravity is a lot like God in that regard.

    •  Well, there's always escape velocity (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      p gorden lippy, Pale Jenova

      If you can achieve it.


      "We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." - Louis Brandies

      by Pescadero Bill on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:03:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Gravity is all-powerful around here. (0+ / 0-)

      No matter how hard I try, Gravity is winning the battle of the sagging body parts. ;-)

      "May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." - George Carlin

      by Most Awesome Nana on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 11:56:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Okay, I'm sold. (11+ / 0-)

    But I'm still not convinced that Jesus is a mushroom.

    Hey, this means that Satan must be the key to anti-gravity! That would be dead useful. I'm gonna go play with circuit boards inside a pentagram while listening to Led Zepplin backwards. I'll let you know if I start to levitate!

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 08:49:24 AM PST

  •  Gravity? Just another liberal atheist myth. (12+ / 0-)

    The true believers know that that it's intelligent falling.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:00:43 AM PST

  •  Creationists fail to understand (fill in the blank (9+ / 0-)

    or many many blanks).  For example, they fail to understand that science is a system by which we explain natural phenomena while they take a 3000 year old text and attempt to fit natural phenomena into the worldview of nomadic Bronze Age shepherds.  For this reason, they never can present a coherent worldview or a systematic explanation of why things are the way they are.

    For that matter, most of them, as the recent Nye/Ham debate illustrated, still cannot grasp the concept of a scientific theory.  However, for your fave Creationist here are a couple of fun questions to ask them the next time they are foaming at the mouth over micro/macro evolution.

    Most hybrids are fertile, such as the red wolf is the offspring of coyote/gray wolf matings.  Why can't a mule reproduce?  (remember they have to answer this in the concept of "kinds" and not Linnaeus.)

    My fave question which is a two parter is, does a dog and a fox share a common ancestor or are they completely unrelated?  If unrelated, how can you determine this since it is clear coyotes, wolves and dogs are related?
    If they share a common ancestor why can't foxes and dogs breed if wolves, coyotes and dogs can all breed?
    (I am leaving jackals out of the equation for clarity sake since dog/jackal hybrids are still a matter of some controversy I believe)    

    •  to be fair, they weren't all shepherds (6+ / 0-)

      somebody had to make all that bronze. And a few of them were studying cuneiform, while others were begetting all over the place. (And living for seven hundred years, natch. Proof that industrial civilization and capitalism shorten life spans by a factor of ten or more, and that a lotta begetting is apparently really, really good for you.)

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:42:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Baramins (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      basket

      Dogs and foxes and wolves are members of the dog "kind," and descended from the pack that was on the ark.

      Creationists accept the fact of microevolution, which accounts for antibiotic resistance in bacteria  and the divergence of foxes and dogs and wolves from the unitary dog kind in less than four thousand years, with the stipulation that they remain true to their kinds as bacteria and dogs.  They just balk at the nonsense that macroevolution can turn a monkey into a man, for they are nothing at all alike.

      As to the interfertility, if you were a noble german shepard would you breed with a fox?  Those things howl like banshees and stink like horse blankets.

      o caminho d'ouro, um pinga de mel

      by tarkangi on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:44:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Those nomadic Bronze Age shepherds were smart (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davis3792, tarkangi


      Entlord said:

      For example, they fail to understand that science is a system by which we explain natural phenomena while they take a 3000 year old text and attempt to fit natural phenomena into the worldview of nomadic Bronze Age shepherds
      .

      Hey, those nomadic Bronze Age shepherds were pretty smart.  Probably smarter than most of us 21st century Internet surfers.  Considering how little data they had available to them, their scientific theories were not weak at all.

      •  to be fair, most of their notions were borrowed (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radmul

        from surrounding civilizations.  After all, the most recent archeology seems to suggest that the ancient Hebrews were themselves originally Canaanites and not a wave of new settlers at all

      •  I love the way their technology evolved (0+ / 0-)

        Fires for pottery.

        Hotter fires for better pottery.

        Fires so hot, the enamel sweats copper that can be hammered into tools.

        Fires so hot, copper melts and can be cast.

        Low grade arsenical bronze from arsenic bearing copper ore.

        High grade arsenical bronze from deliberate enrichment.

        A kaleidescope of bronzes, trying every alloying agent under the sun.

        Tin bronze dependent on long distance trade networks for a reliable supply of tin.

        Ultimate and sudden collapse, for reasons not at all well understood; but for two thousand years the sheep herders did pretty well for themselves.

        o caminho d'ouro, uma pinga de mel

        by tarkangi on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 09:56:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Barney's not in the bible (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Da Rock

      Tiny point, I know.

      But.

      I never quite understood why the bible tells us about all this stuff the sky guy created, but fails to mention dinosaurs. Or any other prehistoric creatures.

      If "it's all in the bible", where's Barney? C'mon, if people walked the Earth with dinosaurs, why didn't anybody notice them? And write it down?

      Peace on Earth was all it said.

      by BobBlueMass on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 10:11:28 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  i ran into a sr level family research council (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvasileff, 6412093, 88kathy, Chi, mungley

    guy on the metro once and i just said

    "I am okay with the idea of GOD creating some
    very very powerful, but simple rules for the universe
    and then standing back across a few billion years
    and letting them run, and that out of a very simple,
    set of tools some truly beautiful things can be created.

    A child's spirograph is just some paper, some pins,
    and some plastic gears, yet a determined 3rd grader
    can build truly beautiful creations with some time
    and effort and trials.  

    "

    really startled the guy

  •  Gravity is also the #1 cause (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    p gorden lippy, pat bunny, mungley

    Of Darwin Awards.

    It is a truly impersonal love.  Don't fuck with Gravity.  It will just cause another baby to be born.  You can die as far as gravity (God) is concerned.  It's a big universe.

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 09:53:14 AM PST

  •  And secessionists (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    p gorden lippy, tarkangi, mookins, mungley

    are confusing cosmopolitanism and revolution.

    (Sorry -- it's been a long week...)

    :)

  •  If you want to argue that God == the Universe (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tarkangi, 6412093, myrmecia gulosa

    then you get all sorts of theological freebies.

    E.g. It solves the Problem of Evil. "God" so-defined is immensely powerful -- powerful enough to produce everything we can see -- but not literally omnipotent. So a "God" that is just Nature is off the hook for Evil.

    This was more or less the position of Spinoza. (It got him condemned for atheism.)

  •  "Gravity Junior"? (0+ / 0-)

    No?

    Great diary!

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:13:33 AM PST

  •  The Fall of Man? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvasileff

    Gravity's evil brother Ytivarg.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:15:36 AM PST

  •  But what if we are all computer simulated? :) (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TheDuckManCometh

    I mean, if Nick Bostrom is right, we may all just be waiting on a reboot.

    (Someone will google this)

    Good diary.  

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:34:39 AM PST

  •  You wrote this diary with great gravity n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 10:49:26 AM PST

  •  From an old National Geo (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mookins

      "Planet Earth is a minor planet of an insignificant solar system off at the edge of a vast galaxy in the midst of an immeasurable universe". This kind of diary is very humbling and very necessary as we rush to and fro in our oh so important lives. Comprehending the vastness sometimes takes a chemical like LSD to free us from this business into a sense of just how insignificant we truly are in the realm of the universe. Much easier and more comfortable for the masses to believe we are special and chosen by a god who looks just like us.

    •  Reminds me of an old animation clip where (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobatkinson

      four friends go sit on a hill at sunset; the accustomed world below fades from view,  the stars come out, whirling and dazzling.

      And the friends too, have left their accustomed aspect for the wonder before them- the're now only silhouettes against it, one looks wordlessly over to another, witnesses of something beyond words.

      As what they witness grows greater, the witnesses become less, leave their world for the wonder.

      It's like what one of the Romantics said, "The beauty of an oak tree reveals itself only to a humble man."

      And yeah I'm pretty sure the clip was an acid documentary!

      •  LSD was good for that too (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mookins

        Was able to see right inside a Beech tree one glorious day while high on LSD. Transported into a different level of consciousness where that sort of thing was possible. Fantasy? I remember the experience as vividly as anything I've ever lived through but it is not something that is possible to live while tied up to the ground. LSD is the anti gravity of the soul.

  •  Heavy, man... n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pimutant, lbrasington, BobBlueMass

    "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

    by RonV on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 11:32:43 AM PST

  •  "We are stardust, we are (5+ / 0-)

    golden, and we've got to get ourselves back to the garden."

    Gravity bless Joni Mitchell.

  •  An episode of Carl Sagan's Cosmos focused on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Guyer

    this theme. Sagan, along with Star Wars, Star Trek, and my High School Physics teacher are the reasons I chose to study astrophysics at University.

    However I think the Diarist, or at least those commenting here, conflate Creationist and Christians. The vast majority of Christians are not Bible literalists.

    While studying and researching supernovae for my thesis, I had a spiritual experience. Peering into deep space, I had this profound feeling that God was staring back at me. Creation was staring back at me. So while the Diarist would consider it snark, the creative forces in the Universe embodies what I call God.

    When I'm writing, when I'm creating art, I feel a connection to this creative force. Any artist can empathize with this feeling. Some choose to call it by differing names. I feel my worst when I'm consciously or unconsciously opposing this creative force.

    And while I'm at it, I'll also tie Jesus into this. In Jungian psychology, there exists two aspects of particular aspects of the male and female personality: animus and anima. It is said that the more balanced these two aspects are, the more self-actualized, the more enlightened the individual becomes. To me (and others that I've read), Jesus was and is to this day one the more perfectly 'balanced' or enlightened humans to exist. The ideal 'androgyne' who could love both men and women equally, who understood the power of love, the power of forgiveness.

    In short, the two primary 'commandments' of a) Love God above all else, b) Love everyone else...really, for me is "Love all of creation, love the beauty in the universe, love the process by all of this wonder is created." And then "Love your fellow humans..simple as that."

    So yes, God is gravity, but God is also the strong and weak forces, the electromagnetic forces, sunlight, dark matter, dark energy, life.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

    by JWK on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:05:28 PM PST

    •  A word on spiritual experience... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Guyer

      I wanted to add a note about spirituality.  Every religious and spiritual teaching speaks of enlightenment.

      Degrees of spiritual enlightenment are well-documented in Buddhism, Hinduism, Kabbalah, Christian mysticism, Islam, etc.  One may not choose to pursue such levels of enlightenment, but these experiences do exist and many have attained unique wisdom from such pursuits.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

      by JWK on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:11:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gravity is just negative energy. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pale Jenova, lbrasington

    Postulate follows, beware.

    It balances the positive energy of the universe (particles we call matter) that was created out of nothing in a vacuum a long long ^ time ago. Just like 'empty' space can quantum create a pair of anti-particles, energy and anti-energy were created by a very improbable quantum fluctuation in the infinite universe a long time ago. But if you have eternity to wait, anything can happen. Si?

    And gravity can form a 'black hole' singularity, and pretty much annihilate matter, this is just the recombining the positive and negative quantum energy state, resulting in nothing. Which is back to where it came from.

    Someday this will all cancel out, and the state of the universe (well, at least 'our' universe) will return to zero to balance the quantum books. And if we are the high point of the entire universe, well, keep waiting.

    And some theoreticians have postulated that we all will be 'reborn' some day, since every thing that is possible to happen, will happen again at the end of time, as the thread of time, space and matter unwinds.

    Explain to me great scientists, why the major forces have a duality, one positive exactly matches a negative. They must be perturbations in a field or dimension we do not understand. (Well, not yet)

    And one last nagging question. Does the speed of light have the value it has because it is limited by space-time, or because it is really the speed of time?

    Answer me this. What is the speed of time. We have all seen it fluctuate.

    I've said too much, I must beam up.

    •  Yeah - this is good (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Da Rock

      I've thought the same thing the last year or so.  I remember asking my freshman physics teacher Why everything in the universe is attracted to everything else - and he said we don't know, but we do know the parameters of the attraction and can use that knowledge to send people to the moon (this was in 1967).

      I've continued to puzzle over the why of gravity ever since - and my latest theory is exactly what you propose: gravity is the opposite of all the "unexplained" energy in the universe (e.g. the energy of inflation after the big bang).

      As for time, it's just an illusion!  Do illusion has speeds?  Check out my page on the time illusion at http://leighb.com/....

      •  I can refute that (0+ / 0-)

        I used to stand next to the head cheerleader in high school hoping she would be drawn to me.

        No matter how close I dared venture -- it didn't work. She wound up with the quarterback.

        Sigh.............

        Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. Frank Zappa

        by Da Rock on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 01:46:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  As George Carlin said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BobBlueMass

    "I have decided to worship the sun. Because, unlike God, I can see the sun."

    And if the sun was created by gravity, well, there you go.

    Alas, poor Flying Spaghetti Monster. You never knew who made those noodles clump together. :)

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 02:48:18 PM PST

  •  Or we are in a huge computer simulation: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau

    I know this hypothesis has been around for a while, but when some of our top institutions are investigating it, I find it both incredibly fascinating and unsettling at the same time.

    Here's a great article describing the science and research:

    http://discovermagazine.com/...

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities" Voltaire.

    by JWK on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 03:12:35 PM PST

    •  Or it might be (0+ / 0-)

      a hologram, and we're all Flatlanders.

      •  The map is not the terrain (0+ / 0-)

        This is why people need to think twice about naming models and concepts after analogies used to intuit about them.

        •  Depends on how much (0+ / 0-)

          of perceived existence is illusion of projection and information processing in life/consciousness, and the number and nature of all those extra dimensions we don't perceive. It might all be a 'boundary phenomenon'. Which would beg the question of what boundary, of what sort of thing. And possible answers to that can be very weird.

          But then again, I've also encountered theoretics that speak to the nature of time and movement, which would have the universe (as a boundary phenomenon) being re-created in toto right there on the boundary between moments of time/shifted coordinates (same thing). Which makes just getting up off the couch to grab a snack one of the most amazing feats in the entirety of existence, as our particles/atoms/molecules and such move through space-time. Making physical manifestation moment to moment mostly a matter of habit.

          Weird physics/astrophysics ideas come and go with some regularity, and none of them seem to have much to do with what we consciously experience as 'reality'. Just sayin'... §;o)

          There are three kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves. - Will Rogers

          by Joieau on Mon Feb 10, 2014 at 08:20:20 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, not really (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, tarkangi

            This "holographic universe" is an analogy (a piss poor one at that) to build intuition about a mathematical trick used to perform some calculation.  You could easily use another analogy, say to generalized coordinates.  

            If anyone asks why I'm so tolerant of creationism, it's because it's not like magical thinking is alien in the secular community. Pop sci writing is rife with it. The "universe as a computer program" is one example (which, anyone who admits as much must admit Abrahamic creationism as one possible configuration).  Embracing the "holographic universe" analogy is another.  And I don't say "magical" just to be dismissive.  I say magical to categorize things outside of the observable scope, and therefore outside of the scope of science.  A mathematically elegant creation myth is still just that, but I'm not going to hold it against anyone if they find said myth personally impressive enough to believe.

  •  Not to nitpick (0+ / 0-)

    But cosmology is the study of the large scale structure of the universe and/or space-times in general.  What you're describing is actually astrophysics.

    •  Picking your nit (0+ / 0-)

      it's the creationists that are doing the conflating.  Me, I'm just noticing that gravity does a lot of what God is supposed to be responsible for.  The original title of this article is "Sunlight Animated Stardust."  But there have been a few articles I've come across since the Nye/Ham debate that have used the phrase "confusing cosmology with evolution" - so I chose that title because I thought the diary might get more hits with it.  Advertising, I guess.

      •  Sure (0+ / 0-)

        There are plenty of no names that are playing fast and loose with the little knowledge they have (though I doubt you'll find much confusion at AIG or ICR).  But while the Big Bang is a cosmological concern, nucleosynthesis is a matter of astrophysics.  But as I said, it's nitpicking.

      •  Also (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Joieau

        if you take all the fundamental interactions, not just gravity, then I think you'd get a complete picture of what God is supposed to be responsible for.  But then again, any interaction that's ever happened was mediated via gravity, electromagnetism, the weak interaction or the strong, or some unification thereof.  

  •  I do have a sense of humor... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    myrmecia gulosa

    ...but not about this.

    The fundies won the war between themselves and the modernists.  The modernists, you see, wanted to acknowledge the truth of science, to declare peace between science and religion, kinda like how the Catholic church has in recent years.

    Why does this bother me so much?  Because the fundies deny certain things WE KNOW TO BE TRUE.

    How do we know?  Because it's measurable and observable.  There is no possible dispute with the answers.

    The age of the Earth, for instance.  We're currently on a rock that's around 4.5 billion years old.  We know this by using radiometric dating on not only terrestrial stuff, but lunar stuff and meteorite stuff.  We use uranium-lead dating and lead-lead dating methods.  All of this is mature technology, the physics is understood, everything's got a lock on it.  Down pat.  Anyone can come up with the answers if they have the instrumentation and the samples.

    We know we live inside a vast, expanding bubble of cooling gas.  How do we know this?  Anyone with a radio telescope can hear it, the cosmic background radiation. The remnants of the Big Bang are all around us.

    Evolution is a fact.  It's been demonstrated in the lab, it's been demonstrated as an on-going process in the natural world.  Genetic evidence of our links to the neanderthals has shown how we've evolved. No conjecture involved, no disputations on the shape of fossils, no claims about strata, just hard fucking science of the stiffest, hardest sort.

    Now, theistic evolution and cosmology I have no gripes with, since Christians who hold to these views also accept the totality of modern science, they just put their own spin on it.  

    Fundies deny what cannot be denied. It's a mental illness with terrible implications for our society and our educational institutions.  Just their minor victories in local elections have had devastating results.

    Also keep in mind that these fundies have other, even nastier plans for the rest of us.  Their opposition to science is but a tiny step in their desire for a theocratic totalitarian state.

    So laugh it up.

    Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

    by rbird on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:01:46 PM PST

    •  Fundies don't have to deny anything (0+ / 0-)

      Hell, they don't necessarily have to appeal to magic, though appealing to magic (as Ken Ham does) makes it easy.  You simply have to:

      1. Assert that an "ongoing process" was at some point in history not, ongoing.
      2. Reject parsimony when explaining away all the evidence that it was ongoing in the past (i.e., tree rings, strata, ice cores, WMAP data, etc.).

      Think of creationism as a game in which you come up with the most twisted yet internally consistent explanations that permit your religious cosmogony to survive.  And that is precisely the game creationists like Ham and the AIG--or the boys over at the Discovery Institute--play today.

    •  Also, very curious (0+ / 0-)

      Why does it matter to you that fundies don't buy the scientific consensus concerning origins?  Why is "peace" defined by assent to Humani generis alone acceptable?  The vast majority of the Muslim world embraces creationist origins; is it impossible to live with such societies?

      •  Because they force their beliefs on others... (0+ / 0-)

        ...at least the ones in the USA do.  There have been religious schools since before the founding of the nation.  The churches who run them determine what's taught there.  But that isn't enough for the fundies to have their own schools, they must enforce their beliefs on all our children.

        Go read up on Dominionist thought before responding.  They really do want a theocratic state to replace the US government.

        I also wonder at people who don't realize that the principles of particle physics, quantum mechanics, and relativity underlie their cell phones, their tablets, their computers, all the everyday things they take for granted.  That same fucking knowledge is behind how we determine the age of the universe, the existence of the Big Bang, the age of the Earth, and even a fair amount of the evidence for evolution.  This ain't the 19th century any more.  It isn't even the 20th century.  A significant amount of our knowledge of the universe is spectacularly hard, based on science we know without a doubt is true because it has been observed to be true.  This even applies to quantum mechanics.  Superposition ain't just a thought experiment about cats who are alive and dead at the same time, it's an OBSERVED PHENOMENON.

        Don't believe me, do a google, check it out.

        Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

        by rbird on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 05:08:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Already read up (0+ / 0-)

          You're not talking to a layman, and you know as well as I do that dominion crackpottery has snowball's chance in hell of ever taking root.

          While I can certainly understand being annoyed at the rejection of naturalism at the root of the scientific process, I also understand that said adherence is minimally methodological.   You don't have to care whether or not a model reveals the God's honest truth in all its glory, you just have to care if it works to solve the problem at hand.  Or, as you put it, if it allows you to take things like smartphones for granted.  

          Now there's an argument to be made that creationism has a societal impact in the sense that it correlates with poor outcomes in math and science, though considering that there are non-trivial, successful science programs in countries like Iran suggests a more complicated story.  Personally, I'd be less offended by the fact that a handful of American kids are exposed to creationist myth than the fact Americans in general perform poorly in math, science and computation compared to their peers.

          •  You're too sanguine about it... (0+ / 0-)

            ...and here's why.

            First and foremost, fundamentalists already have considerable political power in this country.  One of our two major parties is in thrall to them.  When a faction inside this powerful political movement says they want to turn the USA into a theocratic state, I think we should pay attention.

            I hate to go all Godwin on you, but Hitler in the 1920s was considered a joke.

            Savonarola was an itinerant preacher with no real following. Lorenzo de'Medici  brought him to Florence on the advice of Mirandola.  Look what happened.

            Lenin was considered a minor troublemaker at one point.

            The Red Scare here in the USA.

            Or the Civil War.  The fire-eaters contributed to the intransigence of the the South in the years leading up to the outbreak of violence.  Never a large segment of the white Southern population, nevertheless, the fire-eaters "materially contributed to the outbreak of the Civil War."

            The satanic ritual abuse scare of the 1980s was laughable, but a lot of innocent people ended up in prison.

            Or clinic bombings...doctors murdered...forced closure of clinics.  You say we can't take Dominionists seriously.  I can remember thinking the same thing about the anti-abortion movement in the early 1980s.

            Or this, from my own personal experience.  I was involved with my university's international business club when I was in grad school.  We had a speaker from Yugoslavia at one of our meetings.  I asked him about the rumblings of violence and the discussion of independence in various areas of his country.  This is right before, less than a year before the Yugoslav civil war broke out.  You know what he said to me?  "Oh, that's just talk.  Don't take it seriously.  How could there be a civil war?  Bosnians live next to Serbs, Croats live next to Bosnians.  We're so mixed together, there's no possibility of a civil war."

            I'll close with this.  Remember when everyone hailed Obama's election as a sign of a post-racial America?  Gee, no one's saying that now.

            I only respond twice to people.  We're at my maximum. You can post a response, but I won't respond to it.  I give you the final word.

            Join Essa in a revolt against the gods. Continue the fight, Causality.

            by rbird on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 08:59:06 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Not all fundamentalists are dominionists (0+ / 0-)

              Let's dispense with that category error right now.  Second, dominionists haven't implemented their program on any scale worth commenting upon.  Not a single state, not a single city, not a single village.  Hell, not even a single backwoods compound.  There isn't a single high profile reconstructionist involved even in the Uganada debacle.  On the other hand, I live in a world where nearly a billion people live under some measure of theocracy of a national scope or worse.  So no, I'm not being sanguine about this.  I'm just not going to massively inflate the threat of a particular group of crackpots for no good goddamned reason.

              I suggest you do the same.

  •  This is OUTRAGOUSE! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lbrasington, rduran

    How can ANYBODY  be stupid enough to confuse Evolution with the study and application of beauty treatment? These people are ridiculo......Oh wait...not cosmetology but cosmology?  Never mind.

    "Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience." Mark Twain

    by Urbee on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 04:44:05 PM PST

  •  Hmp (0+ / 0-)

    You forgot the most powerful force of all.

    Levity

    Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

    by Deep Dark on Sat Feb 08, 2014 at 07:10:22 PM PST

  •  God is gravity (0+ / 0-)

    I've been saying this for years, and roundly ridiculed for it, but consider.

    Early ape-people knew that something caused lightning, and the name they gave that unknown thing we would translate as “god”. Other than the name and the fact that it caused lighting, no one knew anything about its actual nature and for millennia charlatans were quick to take advantage of that fact.
    Finally, when somebody figured out what the cause of lightning really was,  people had a choice: the honest path was to give up their old wrong ideas of what god, the cause of lightning, was like: stop sacrificing sheep, instead build lightning rods and batteries for 'god' as it really is, and progress into a bright new future.

    The less honest path was to keep the name and change the meaning. Instead of continuing to say god is "what causes lightning", they made up a new name to go with that description, and a new description to put with the old name 'god'.
    For millennia, 'god' had been the thing that caused lightning. Suddenly, it didn't mean that anymore, as if 'what you eat' is not 'food' anymore, what you eat is 'rocks and dirt', and 'food' is some other thing. Now the 'thing that causes lightning' is 'electricity', and 'god' is something else entirely. And so on into superstition and stagnation.

    This renaming keeps happening with each mystery, as microscopes let us describe accurately the 'demons' and 'gods' that cause disease, and so on, giving us the “god of the gaps'.

    Imagine a history where people had the courage to take the honest path, simply accept  that the real nature of  their 'gods' was tiny particles and electromagnetic fields, and more modernly, gravity and  quantum fields.  Imagine.

  •  A few quibbles (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BeninSC, radmul

    Stars don't make Lithium through normal fusion (or at least main sequence stars don't produce any that survives).  

    Much (most?) of the Helium around today is primordial - having formed in the Big Bang.

    One of the most common elements in a human body, Hydrogen, was formed in the Big Bang.

    Current Cosmological Theories suggest Gravity will ultimately lose to Dark Energy.

    The modern theory of gravitation is called General Relativity it isn't a force, rather it is an affect on the fabric of spacetime (talk about unknowable ;)

    But sure, God & Gravity can be likened one unto the other poetically

  •  every "fact" leads to a question (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau

    It seems to me that in the big scheme of things we really "know" very little. We certainly don't understand gravity although it's great fun to try.
    In this sea of unknowns, I find Jesus' ways irrefutable. He didn't offer an explanation for scientific mysteries, he simply loved people,and put other people before himself. That love, if we could attain it would make so many of our political conflicts irrelevant.

  •  Nitpicks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joieau

    A large fraction of the hydrogen and helium in the cosmos has never been in a star.

    Helium and a little bit of lithium originally came from Big Bang nucleosynthesis, not from stars.

    It appears that fusion in stars and supernovae could not produce all of the heavier elements. Some astrophysicists think that gold and several other metals were made more in neutron star mergers. Although nearly all of the two colliding stars falls into the resulting black hole, a hundredth of a stellar mass of heavy metals can be flung outward from each such merger. We are working out further details and making more observations.

    Starlight comes from nuclear fusion, which comes from a combination of gravity to create pressure and high temperatures, electromagnetism and the Pauli Exclusion effect to keep stars from collapsing to black holes, the strong force and the Pauli effect to create atomic structure, quantum tunneling, and the weak force to allow up and down quarks to change from one kind to the other, thus allowing neutrons and protons to change from one kind to the other, with emission of neutrinos, positrons, and gamma rays.

    In the proton-proton process, hydrogen fuses to deuterium, which fuses to helium. In the CNO process, absorption of a succession of four protons and conversion of two of them to neutrons results in emission of an alpha particle, that is, a helium nucleus.

    Lithium is not stable in stars. Any lithium present when the star forms is burnt, absorbing a neutron and then coming apart into two helium atoms. At much higher density and temperature, lithium is created again through helium fusion along with beryllium. In sufficiently hot stars, beryllium is formed faster than it decays, allowing fusion with a third helium atom (triple-alpha process), making carbon.

    From carbon the CNO process makes nitrogen and oxygen. Further fusion with helium creates neon and magnesium, then fusion of nuclei mostly creates silicon, then iron and nickel, with each product roughly double the atomic weight of the round before, mostly 16 (oxygen) to 28 (silicon) to 56 (iron). Fusion of iron absorbs energy, leading to core collapse and supernova explosions.

    There are other kinds of supernova, such as white dwarfs accreting hydrogen from a companion supergiant star until a runaway fusion reaction starts.

    In the 19th century, electricity and magnetism, previously thought to be separate forces, were unified by Clerk-Maxwell. In the 20th century electromagnetism and the weak force were unified by Abdus Salam, Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg. There are conjectured theories to unify the electroweak force with the strong force (Grand Unified Theories, or GUTs) and gravity (Theories of Everything, or TOEs), but we have a lot more work to do in order to verify any of them or come up with something better.

    This summary obviously omits much detail on every point.

    None of these nits affect your basic point, that you can view God as Nature. I don't see the point of doing so, since that adds nothing to Nature, and doesn't help us in any way. But I am a Buddhist. The Buddha taught that cosmology and metaphysics have nothing to do with real religion, which is about dealing with human suffering. Well, I see that the clear instructions you link to are in fact Buddhism.

    Certainly equating God and Nature does not help with understanding the Bible, or attempting to make nice with Creationist Fundie haters. To them, you are just another lousy atheist, like Deist Thomas Jefferson and others among our Founding Fathers.

    Back off, man. I'm a logician.—GOPBusters™

    by Mokurai on Sun Feb 09, 2014 at 09:23:32 AM PST

  •  and since everthing that matters holds mass (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rduran

    God must be Catholic too.

  •  How Do You KNOW Gravity Doesn't Have Kids? (0+ / 0-)

    A very nice summary.

    And, it's a good thing you didn't get it wrong. Otherwise, you'd be flat on your face!

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