Readers: this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020). Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution. More about the Revenge Revolution, a list of earlier revolutions and the author, Entry #1.
Periodically I write a “sense check” to assess whether in the next few years, a revolution in the US is still possible or whether the entire exercise is based on a statistical aberration — i.e., a roughly 50-year cycle between major upheavals in the US. Most recent sense check, Entry #332.
This entry has absolutely nothing to do with the potential for a Revenge Revolution in the US sometime after the year 2020. I thought a diversion would be welcome after Trump’s 4th of July “me, me, me” celebration and his claim the Continental Army guarded the airports. Is anyone really that stupid?
The thoughts in this entry started kicking around in my head many moons ago. Actually, it started the summer between my sophomore and junior years in college.
My job during summers in undergrad was working at a Pepsi bottling plant. The job combined moderate manual labor, some fun — especially when I was “promoted” to lift truck operator — and a chance to work with and learn from a crew of people with whom I had very little in common.
During one evening work session — a bottling plant works lots of overtime in the summer — I was assigned to make sure the bottles coming out of the washer — yes, soda was in glass bottles in those days — were the correct size and had the correct label for what was being bottled — Pepsi, Orange Crush, root beer, etc.
Watching bottles is not the most exciting job in the world so the mind has a tendency to wander. Sometime during the overtime shift, and who knows why, I started to think about events supporting the Big Bang and creation of the universe. Obviously, I’m not the first person to have thought about the Big Bang and I’m certainly no astrophysicist…but it is an interesting topic.
I could buy into the idea of a Big Bang and all the material then shooting off in various directions. All the stuff in the solar system had to get there somehow, right? But as I continued to try and reconstruct what happened, two parts stumped me that night watching bottles come out of the washer — and continue to stump me all these years later.
- Where did the material for the Big Bang come from? Religious beliefs aside, how did the ball of stuff that went boom get put together, let alone then go bang?
- How do we earthlings know the universe is not part of another object — like a chair? Or maybe part of an experiment?
Granted the universe is so large as to be unfathomable. But size is all relative. To humans, a molecule or atom is microscopic. Yet, in the human body there are millions, if not billions of molecules and atoms and other little creatures running around. Size and space are relative so for atoms, molecules and other creatures, our body might look like the universe does to us.
What about time? Let’s pretend we are a gnat. A gnat lives an average of 6-7 days. A human living until age 90, has a lifespan more than 5,000 times longer than a gnat. From a gnat’s perspective, if 6-7 days were the equivalent of 90 years, then a lifespan for humans would be nearly 5,000,000 years. Still very short by the age of the universe but an example of how time is relative.
Could life on Earth be part of an experiment? Could the Big Bang have been part of a science project in some college class with really large people? Could part of the experiment be to determine which objects after the Big Bang grow things, and what conditions are required for things to grow? Before you discount completely the idea of the universe being part of some gigantic petri dish, think again about how many cells are in your body, millions and millions if not billions.
Even though I’ve thought about these ideas over the years, I’ve still not come up with any logical conclusion. Further, I have yet to hear any reasonable non-religious explanation for where the matter for the Big Bang came from or how it went boom.
And even if one buys into a religious explanation, where did G_d get the stuff to start with? If he or she created it, how many more universes are there?
With each Hubbell-like telescope, we learn more about the universe and its components. During early 2019, we saw “pictures” of a black hole. According to a description in MIT Tech Review, the black hole is located…”inside Messier 87 (M87), a galaxy located more than 53 million light-years from Earth. It has a mass 6.5 billion times that of the sun.” Comprehend the relative size and distance of the black hole? You know, think about time in relation to a very long, multi-generation flight between JFK and LAX and size as a big beach ball compared to a grain of sand.
What does all this mean and where do we go from here? I have no idea. As far as progress in trying to understand the Big Bang and the universe, I might as well be back at the Pepsi bottling plant watching bottles come out of the washer. In fact, I might have regressed in some understanding since the more we learn about the universe, the more incomprehensible it becomes – at least to me.
What I do know for certain, there were no airports during the Revolutionary War and the words to the Star Spangled Banner were not written until the War of 1812. Seem to recall learning that in grammar school. Did Fred Trump buy Donald’s way out of grammar school, too? And it’s that kind of stupidity, demonstrated by the president and his hard-core supporters that will lead the US to a Revenge Revolution.
If you have any serious thoughts about the Big Bang, please forward. Thanks for your time.