Sunday, March 15, 2015

How much does "Science" really know?

I just read this article about how scientists have determined that our Milky Way is about twice as big as they previously thought it was. Well that's certainly very interesting news, but it again has me wondering how much "Science" really knows. 

The study of the various types of sciences has become extremely popular these days, and the Internet and TV have science easily accessible to anyone whether they study science or not.  I try to keep informed with various scientific understandings and discoveries, and much of the news and videos I watch tend to state things very matter of factly.  I often hear that "Science says this..." or "Science says that..." as if it "Science" was this all knowing deity that is never wrong.

But apparently it was wrong about the size of our galaxy. Or maybe they were right before and they are wrong now?  How am I supposed to know?  How are you supposed to know?  Should we just assume they always know what they are talking about and just accept it as fact?

And I think that's what bothers me about it.  I feel like too many people are just blindly accepting things that "Science" supposedly says is true as an immutable fact.  In most cases it may very well be a fact, but there are other times when the alleged "facts" fall apart.

This post isn't about the size of the Milky Way. That's just the latest thing that has me questioning how much "Science" really knows about our reality.  It's been my observation that many people have emotional attachments to various beliefs based on scientific teachings that they don't want to let go of.  If something contradicts what they have determined to be true, they will try to find a way to refute it and look for evidence that supports the view they already have (not in all cases, just sometimes).  Evolution or the Big Bang Theory could be examples. They may not want to believe in any sort of supreme deity, but they will support the Big Bang Theory as if it is an absolute fact. A theory that essentially suggests the universe exploded into existence out of nothing.  How can you really know though?  I can understand if you don't want to believe the universe was created by a deity, but isn't it ok to just say you don't know for sure?  With Evolution, if something doesn't fit into the established timeline for a fossil or artifact, they may just try to adjust it so that it does fit with what is established.  Isn't it okay to consider the possibility that the established timeline isn't correct? Maybe the timeline itself should be adjusted? I realize that new discoveries sometimes do change what was previously thought to be true (like the size of the Milky Way), but there are other times when new opinions on a subject are met with hostility (see Ben Stein's film Expelled for examples).

Sometimes science gets politicized, like with "climate change" (formerly known as "global warming," but because that mantra didn't work out to well, they decided to just basically include every kind of weather event).  It's no secret that climate does change, but the issue is that do carbon emissions actually cause climate to change?  I grew up thinking that.  It's what I was taught.  But then I found out not everyone thought that carbon emissions caused "global warming" despite the fact that we continue to be told there is a consensus.  I do not see an actual consensus, only those people who think that carbon emissions are a real problem (and their media lackeys) claiming there is a consensus. In my opinion, the evidence suggests carbon emissions have little or nothing to do with climate change. My opinion is based on what scientists who disagree with the alleged "consensus" on the subject have said, as well as predictions (and fear mongering) about the present day that were made many years ago that did not turn out to be accurate.  It's also based on questionable material put out by people in the "consensus" community such as the Climategate emails.  And the fact that there are those who want to tax and profit from the "consensus" that make it even more questionable to me.  Cui Bono?

I really don't mean to disparage the study of science.  What I've said so far might make it sound that way, but seriously, I don't mean to disparage the study of science. I think it's great and is responsible for many amazing things that has made the modern world what it is. Scientists have made incredible medical advances and traveled to the moon and have sent probes much farther into space.  But, you know, it's not always right about everything (or at least the interpretation of the data isn't always right).  And we shouldn't blindly accept everything we are told because "Science" supposedly says it is true.  We might think the galaxy is one size, only to later find out it is actually another size.  But I doubt many people have an emotional attachment or political reason to believe the galaxy is one size or another, so there isn't much of a reason to question it.  That makes it easier to change what was previously thought to be true into a new truth.

For me, when I read science news, I consider what I've read and make note of it.  I generally assume that it is very likely what I have read is true, but I also consider the possibility it is inaccurate for whatever reason.  I may not know the reason, and there may not be any pertinent reason for me to even question it, but I'd rather be able to stay open to the possibility of eventually coming to a new understanding than determined to cling to an old, possibly inaccurate understanding. So I do not keep any emotional attachments to my understanding of scientific subjects. I may hold a certain view about a certain topic, but ultimately I'm content in saying I don't know the answer for sure. I don't think excessive carbon emissions cause climate change, but that doesn't mean I couldn't be convinced of that again if someone were able to present me with better evidence.

I have my opinions, but I'm open minded and if I don't know something for sure, I'm comfortable in saying so.  Because, you know, you just never know when you're going to find out when the galaxy is bigger than you thought it was.

Maybe Nietzsche was right? Does this quote still apply today?  I think it probably does.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Unearthed Easter Island Statue

I came across this picture of a moai on Easter Island unearthed.  They already looked big, but after being dug out they look so much bigger!

via

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What happened to the records of the 'gods'?

I was listening to Jim Harold's Paranormal Podcast episode titled "Lost Secrets of the Gods" and my mind wandered off on ancient mythology and what might have happened to the secrets of the 'gods' that have since been lost.  To understand where I'm coming from, let me explain how I tend to view ancient mythology.

Before doing that though, let me first describe the other three main viewpoints for interpreting ancient mythology.
  1. Fiction - This camp views mythology as nothing more than fairy tales and fantasy.
  2. Supernatural - This camp views mythology as stories about actual supernatural beings and events.
  3. Aliens - This camp views mythology as stories about advanced alien beings that the human observers simply described the best way they knew how.
The 4th camp, which is the one I would typically associate with, view mythology as something based on real people and events that the observers described (or embellished) the best way they knew how.  

For me personally though, I figure mythology is a mixture of fiction and stories about real people and events.  The people and events in the stories may be embellished or described in a fantastic way, but are nonetheless stories about people and events someone observed.  I view the stories of the 'gods' of mythology as probably stories about ancient or prehistoric aristocratic families.  Families who were somehow able to set themselves up as rulers over other people.  Maybe they were charismatic.  Maybe they looked different or were even members of another species of human from the prehistoric era.  Maybe they were just smarter and were able to gain the respect of others, or, if they were of a more sinister nature, they may have used their wits to manipulate others.  Maybe it was a combination of those things. 

Anyway, the point is I think that at least some of the 'gods' of ancient mythology were real people (and just to be clear, I recognize that some, maybe even most, could be pure fiction).  But if the 'gods' were real people, what happened to their own personal records?  We have stories about them.  But what about their own stories?  Why has no one found the journal of Zeus?  Or the memoirs of Thor?  What about the diary of Venus?

If you look at most of the mythology we have, it's told from the perspective of someone observing the 'gods' and supernatural events.  Sure, sometimes you might have something that was supposedly dictated to someone by a 'god', but that kind of material is usually laws or advice on how to live your life.  It's not really an insight into the day to day activities of the 'gods'.  

When I think back over the various myths that I know, I'm starting to notice they seem one sided.  They seem to be from the perspective of people observing the 'gods'.  But what about the perspective of the 'gods'?  

To get a bit more specific, I started thinking about the story of Krishna in the Indian epic known as the Mahabharata where he pursues an enemy and attacks him with some seemingly supernatural weapon.  The story also mentions aircraft called vimanas and some kind of super weapon that sounds as destructive as a modern nuclear weapon.   I don't know if the story is fiction or if it's a description of an actual event.  But if it is a description of an actual event, where is Krishna's side of the story?  Who was flying the vimanas?  Did the pilots leave no record of that day in battle?  Why is there only one version of the story?

I feel like the explanation is simple for the first three camps I mentioned above.  If you think mythology is fiction, then no further explanation is needed.  If you think it's a supernatural event, then it's easy to explain as something we aren't meant to fully understand or just simply cannot comprehend.  If you think it's aliens doing battle, then you can simply say the aliens have chosen not to give us their side of the story.  

But if we are to assume mythology is based on real people and events, why did those people not leave any records?  At first, I thought the explanation may be difficult.  But the more I thought about it, the more I came up with.

The simplest explanation is that the 'gods' chose to leave no records.  Whereas the stories we have about them were public knowledge and written down, the 'gods' may have preferred to keep their private lives a secret from their subjects.  Perhaps the biggest secret they wanted to keep was that they were really no different from the people that worshiped them.  By keeping their personal lives private, any records from their personal lives have since been lost.  

Another possibility is that their records were destroyed.  Another set of 'gods' may have come and took over and destroyed any records of the 'old' gods in hopes that people would eventually forget them (and for all we know, there may be quite a lot of stories of 'gods' we've never even heard of because of something like that happening).  

One other possibility is that some sort of personal record of a 'god' may have once been known, but was since lost in a fire or something.  Who knows what all was lost when the library of Alexandria burned.  

So I'm not really sure what the answer to the question is.  For that matter, I'm not even sure that ancient mythology is based on real people; it's just that I think it's very possible.  But if any of them were real people, their own stories of their lives seem to have been lost.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Mysterious massive light flash over Russia

A Russian dash cam recorded a massive flash of light in the sky over Russia's Sverdlovsk region on November 14th, 2014.  The flash was so bright it went from darkness to almost daylight in seconds. The color didn't look right for a meteor and the the Russian military did not claim responsibility (at least not as of time the linked article below reported it).  It reportedly made no sound.




In this second video around the 20 second mark it looks as if the source of the light may be on the ground in the distance somewhere.



Read more about it here.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Interesting news and articles - October 26, 2014

I've been a little slack with the news updates lately...and I'm not sure I'm going to be doing them anymore.  I've been rather busy with other things lately, and haven't had as much time for reading, so I don't find as many things to post anymore.  Besides, I initially only intended for the news posts to help keep things interesting in between my already dwindling number of posts that I'd written, but I feel like these news posts are starting to dominate the blog which is not what I intended.

So I'm not necessarily putting the blog on a hiatus or anything...but I don't know when the next time I post something will be.  The blog will stay online though.

Archaeology

New digital map reveals stunning hidden archaeology of Stonehenge

Who's Buried In The 'Magnificent' Tomb From Ancient Greece?

Have they found ‘Dracula’s dungeon’ in Turkey? Secret cells beneath Tokat Castle may have been where Vlad the Impaler was held hostage 

Antikythera wreck yields new treasures

1000-year old Viking treasure hoard found in Scotland

Wreck of WWII German U-boat found off North Carolina

History

New DNA Evidence Confirms Pre-Colonial Contact Between Easter Island and South America

History's Mysteries

Ancient Giants of Delavan Lake

1673: The Original Frankenstein?

Cryptozoology

A white sabre-tooth alive and well and living in China?

Britain’s Bigfoot: Naming the Beast

Mysterious

No Explanation For Boom And Debris Field Over Louisiana

Is it a bird, is it a plane? No - it's a mystery man flying past an Airbus full of passengers as it flew over Macclesfield at 3,500ft

NDE Research

Study: Evidence of some form of life after death

Science

The women with superhuman vision

Siberian exploding holes 'are the key to Bermuda Triangle' - scientists

Time Travel Is Possible: How to Send a Message to the Past

Space

Gun found on Mars by NASA rover? --I'm guessing it's just another rock or collection of rocks.

Humanoid statue discovered on Mars? --Probably an illusion.

Rosetta Stalks Dark Comet in Stunning New Selfie