That word signifies a law of the universe — the tendency of all things to decompose, to fall apart, to decay. Eventually, of course, it means the end of the universe itself. We get a glimpse of it in the fall (this is not just physics, it’s biology as well) amid the splendor of the dying maple leaves. It poses a question.
That question was articulated by Leonard Mlodinow, the physicist and screenwriter: “…if the natural tendency of the universe is disorder, then where does the order of life come from?” Einstein loved simple answers to complicated questions, and this one comes from a seven-year-old — “Isn’t God the author of life?” He designed life’s questions to be understandable to the simple. Why not everybody?
Sometimes when we consider the complexities of life, we wonder, what can the uneducated make of it? That may be why Einstein looked for the simplest answer.
As we get into old age, we revisit the mental attitudes of our youth. We see into them though. We understand why we developed crushes, why we became obsessed with certain behaviors, and we now sympathize with those who are going through that now.
Old age is a time of understanding, and I suspect poets like Keats aged prematurely, at least mentally. There are poems I read as a youth that I can now see into, and I am the richer for it. The following is from Keats’ “Ode to a Nightingale”:
Fade far away, dissolve, and quite forget
What thou among the leaves hast never known,
The weariness, the fever, and the fret
Here, where men sit and hear each other groan;
Where palsy shakes a few, sad, last gray hairs,
Where youth grows pale, and spectre-thin, and dies;
He fortunately never lived to go through that, so well-imagined. (He died at 26) But for that, he missed out on some of life’s great experiences.
This is the big escape hatch for the cognoscenti (people supposedly in the know). If you ask an eye doctor with a Ph.D. how the eye was formed, he’ll say by chance over millions of years. I say give nothingness a billion years, and it will not come within a fraction of an inch of the eye, be it human or that of a gnat.
I’ll take you back to the Big Bang. Before it exploded, there was nothing, absolutely nothing. Some scientists with a little sense now say there was a small atom or kernel with possibly minute particles embedded in it. (Ah, at last someone admits things have a cause, an origin.) Then it exploded and the universe was born, at least from an atom if not a Creator.
Yes, since then everything has a cause, and a creator if there’s human or animal involvement. Even the dice, were we able to measure the angle at which they fell and the ergs with which they were thrown, have a cause. But we have ignoramuses who maintain there is no Creator. Sort of lets them off the hook of showing gratitude for a great show.
I no longer feel qualified to criticize the New York Times since I stopped reading it daily when I found they magnified every Trump fault to the size of earth-moving equipment. I am a retired English teacher who could find an occasional grammar fault in the NY Times during my thirty-one years of teaching.
To subject a man to such vilification as the NY Times and the Washington Post did with the purported aim of ousting him seemed to be pure dislike. To me, a man is what he does, not what he says.
The NY Times has many saving features, and I still retain the weekend edition for their redeeming items. As with Trump, all is not lost by a biased sally. I encourage the right thinking staff members who undoubtedly think of their jobs before expressing their views as so many do blatantly in a supposedly unprejudiced medium. Of course I write with little hope of being printed.
Frederick Von Burg, Sr.
Author and Teacher
Brookhaven Labs has begun a two billion dollar construction on what it calls an RHIC (collider) similar to CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. It will put the US in the forefront of nuclear research in the area of human and material composition. I find it easier to call it a cyclotron, which means a circular collider. It will be 2.7 miles in diameter (CERN’s is 5.4 miles), and have an 8.5 mile circumference.
The famed Higgs boson is one of the particles discovered by CERN, a particle that I had hoped would establish a relationship between the spiritual and the material, since it is so immaterial. We now know that what it does is give weight to any atoms that possess it.
Basically what the Brookhaven collider will do is hurl tiny electrons at larger nuclei, so scientists can search the debris for clues to what makes up our atoms besides protons, neutrons, quarks and bosons. See you in a world that has Higgs bosons.
Unless you have perseverance, you are a single wave that washed up on the shore after you die. You’ve got to make an impact, a good one, so people feel you were here. That’s not easy to do, but who wants to do only the easy things?
You learned it as a toddler. If you pestered mommy, sometimes she’d give in. And to get Valedictorian, you had to produce the marks, repeatedly. It is even apparent in Nature, where the bees have to visit flower after flower to get enough pollen for honey.
And what about an eternal reward? It’s people, many unknown to you, who contributed to building a civilization based on speaking the truth to one another, treating others as they would be treated, living up to small obligations laid down by the man whose followers spread out and gave the world the Judeo-Christian principles that have made Western Civilization what it is today. (You can believe Donald Trump.)