Stewart Gault


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What is the most awe inspiring fact you know?

Quite self explanatory really, To say one I love the idea that the carbon atoms in my fingers could have been part of a T-Rex at some point :)

  • May 29 2012: Growing up, my father told me the most important thing in life was to take action. If you are down, take some kind of action even if it is just walking around the block. Take action by setting a goal to change circumstances, take action by making a plan, read a book / learn something new… stand up for what is right... the possibilities are endless… Over the years I have found this to be literally the best advice I ever received. I have especially enjoyed learning that science backs up my father’s advice…
    • May 29 2012: Lucky you. Wise dad!
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      Jun 2 2012: Actions ... taking actions ... great advice. thank you for sharing.
    • Jun 3 2012: I teach this to my kids all the time, but I'm terrible at practicing it. I need to do this more.
  • May 28 2012: That my atoms formed in the bellies of stars. That I would not survive one femtosecond the conditions necessary for my atoms to exist. That my atoms traveled to places far beyond my most extravagant travels within this little planet. That just that makes me one with the universe. That I am an instance, and an instant, of this universe, this matter, this energy, thinking about itself. Thinking! That whatever time I have, I have, and it's astounding.
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    Jun 9 2012: I think it is awe inspiring that we are all here together, right now, at this moment in time and space.
    The probability of a sun and "goldilocks" planet like ours ever forming seems to be really... well, rather small. That Earth has all the right geological and chemical conditions for life to begin also seem to be pretty darned lucky. The odds that self aware forms of life like us could ever evolve seems to be almost (but not quite) miraculous. Yet, here we are. Of course, in a century (or 2 perhaps :) everyone that we know and love will be dead and gone forever. Everyone you every loved, everyone that shaped who you are, or moved you to tears. In several billion years our planet will no longer support life, but the universe will stretch on continually for unimaginable epics.
    When we look around at other people on the street we are looking at the culmination of a truly unimaginable set of circumstances. If we could ever truly understand how awe inspiring this is I imagine we would just drop everything and embrace eachother in the streets... clinging together like life rafts on a vast and endless ocean...
    Knowing all this, it is still nearly impossible for me to chat to the stranger next to me on the bus.
    • Jun 10 2012: Wow! Print this out and take it with you when you ride the bus. When you are on the bus, read it, and pretend a stranger wrote it. Then you will realize what a precious moment you are sharing with that stranger sitting next to you. You might show them the paper, and just tell them look what someone wrote. Life is too short. Make the most of every opportunity.
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      Jun 12 2012: Adam, this is a wonderful view on life, i think we should all print it off and take it on the bus with us
  • May 29 2012: The more we learn the more we realize how little we know.
  • May 29 2012: I guess that the coolest thing I ever learned and that was when I was nine years old and had a telescope that the futher you look out in space that the futher back in time you are looking at because of the speed of light and so on a starry night look up and you will be looking back in time. Been doing that ever since. Anyone can do it. Imagine looking at a star that took thousands of years for its light to reach here. That's looking back into time. Now that is a awe inspiring fact that we can look hundreds if not thousands of years back in time by looking out into space on a clear night.
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      May 30 2012: Love that Terry..that was my first encounter with awe as Dad bought a telescope to track Sputnick when I was 11. .One bitterly cold January night he put the telescope on Andromeda and as I looked at it through the scope , he told me it was so far away and the light took so long to get here to us that it might not be there anymore. I just became suspended, somewhere beyond analysis and comprehension, beyond the precision and math of our nightly collaboration of exact time, declination and azimuth.
      • May 30 2012: Thank you Lindsay for your comment to what I said. Its amazing what a little math and science can do with observation. Even the light from our own sun takes a little over 8 minutes to reach here.
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      Jun 2 2012: And how does that make you feel ? the fact that you can look back in time and see things happening in millions of years ago and millions of light years away ... what does that mean ? I also feel the awww but my mind is trying to make some sense out of it ... what does that tell us ? - by the way thank you for sharing this great fascinating fact
      • Jun 2 2012: Thank you for replying Sina. I will try to answer your questions from the heart as well as the head. I was nine when my father explained to me about the speed of light and how to use that knowledge to look at the universe in other ways. I lived in and still live in a area where you can see the night sky really well even without a telescope so before I had one I would on clear nights just lay outside and was awed by what I seeing. All the different points of light. It was and still is awsome to do that. By knowing that with using the speed of light with distance that I was actually looking by into time as well made what I was already amazied by even more awe inspiring. I know that man has been gazing up at the universe since man has been arround with awe. For a nine year old to be able to realize that for all those objects in space there is distance and with distance comes time, It was a awe inspiring fact. That I could look back into time was awsome. How does that make me feel? More knowledgable about what I am seeing, still awestruck. The fact that we can with our best telescopes look back into time almost to when the big bang happened. For me its like a history book of our universe that we can check out. There are more questions than answers about our universe but with technology and math we are getting closer to understanding it and how it works.But anyway its still something awe inspiring to think about.
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          Jun 2 2012: "its like a history book of our universe" ... I couldn't think of a better way of putting it. Thank you a million times for sharing this wonderful experience. I will view the night sky from this windows you created the next time I have the luxury of watching it outside the light pollution of city.
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    May 29 2012: I think these are a few of the best unmentioned ones, we're only 1% different genetically from chimps, we're all related to the grass in your garden, if an alien in a different galaxy made a big enough telescope to see earth they would see it millions/ billions of years ago, don't think anyone mentioned the moon landing, if you took all the neurons in your body and unraveled them they'd go around the earth 2.5 times and would take 6 hours to send a signal the length of it,
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    May 29 2012: that we know absolutely nothing about dark matter(25%) and dark energy (70%) of which most of the universe is comprised..trhat the part we know only a tiny bit about is such a small part of the universe.(5%).
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    Jun 4 2012: The fact that a map of the universe looks very much like synapses in a human brain.
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      Jun 5 2012: Some time ago I looked through a telescope and thought the same thing... I found it awe inspiring that something on such a large scale looks the same as something on such a tiny scale... I tried to explain this to someone with not much luck... you have just explained it so simply and elegantly. Thank you :)

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      Jun 9 2012: What about all the things that don't look like a brain synapse?

      What about all the other things that look like other things?

      It is amazing we see patterns. Our brain is amazing
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    Jun 3 2012: This is also a realization.

    All reasoning individuals, those that reason everything, question their own belief system continuously. Because they do, they are always in doubt of what is "right".

    All those who believe are never in doubt of what is "right".

    This means that those who live in doubt, are always in a state of weakness. And those who are in a state of faith are always in a state of strength.

    However, it is the reasoning doubting ones who are really strong because they can live in this weakness of strength and discovery. Just the fact that scientists have more cause to celebrate when a theory is disproved and a new paradigm is created.
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        Jun 4 2012: Thank you for your comment.

        I agree with "it is illogical to make any claim about "all" people in any grouping". I really meant to point towards the majority that sustains a major idea, be it science or faith. There may still be a problem with generalization here, however the idea is to find a common distinction between the scientific group (that strictly believes in science) and the other group (that largely accepts science in the paradigm of faith).

        So my understanding was, one would believe in something, only because there are reasons to believe in it.
        Once reasons run out, we turn to faith. As a result, we try to reason away any uncertainty with "faith".

        The advantage of uncertainty is, if we could learn to live with uncertainty, there is a greater chance that we would reach new answers and better questions, opposed to a situation where we do away with uncertainty with faith.
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      Jun 9 2012: Depends if what you have faith in is anything close to the truth or is useful.

      It is nonsense to state a made up an absolute truism like faith = strength.
      Doubt = weakness.

      Questioning has led to science and technology - medicine etc. What good has fundamentalism related to any dogma given humans.

      Certainty about things not backed up with reasonable evidence is delusion. It may be useful, it may not.

      Absolute faith in nonsense is potentially dangerous.

      I suggest what takes us closer to the truth is more useful than believing in nonsense.

      No issue with practical knowledge that can be proven e.g. I have two eyes.

      Faith in claims that are extraordinary without reasonable evidence, without evaluation is locking in ignorance.

      Give me healthy skepticism, reason and evidence any time over fundamentalist claims about what is true or right.

      I will give you that in some circumstances it is better to rely on your intuition and make a snap judgement e.g. in times of immediate danger. The rest of the time you are wasting that brain of yours if you don't question, if you don't reason, if you don't look for evidence etc.

      Your path of believing what you want to believe is true or right without evidence clashes with other equally ignorant assumptions. Sad really if you can not see that this stops us from learning, from dialogue and discussion about what is true and good etc.
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      Jun 11 2012: Guarav - "This means that those who live in doubt, are always in a state of weakness. And those who are in a state of faith are always in a state of strength"

      The opposite is true in my opinion. To have doubt is actually to have great strength.

      Voyages of discovery are seldom made entirely with the comforting assurances of the 'known'.

      “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” (Andre Gide).

      Faith and belief are not strengths. I think they are comforting, homely assurances for those who need to feel emotionally grounded somewhere, and who may NOT actually have the courage to leave that shoreline.
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        Jun 12 2012: Allan, I agree with you whole heartedly.

        I could not have better summaried my sentiments.

        I feel what you call "emotionally grounded" is what I meant by being in a "state of strength"... i.e. feeling strong, perhaps by feeling grounded, comforted or by believing in the fact that there is a god that is omniscient and therefore can protect from everything.
  • Jun 2 2012: The fact that when you walk around in any house, nearly every item was originally just an idea or figment of imagination in someone's mind.
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      Jun 9 2012: Wow Owen, that is really an amazing insight, and something I had never even considered. I will try to use it as my new awareness overlay :)
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    May 31 2012: That there is really something called subconscious mind ..and we can experience a lot of happiness if we program it positively
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    May 31 2012: This world is never 'black and white', it's just shades of grey.
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  • Jun 2 2012: That Honey Badgers exist
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    May 31 2012: If we leave something alone the natural tendency is for it to go from a state of order to disorder as per the laws of thermodynamics. this explains the flawed nature of the entire universe. It has helped me to deal with the imperfections in human condition
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    May 31 2012: 1) Even impossible has the word possible.
    2) You have lost the war even if you have won it.
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    Jun 16 2012: I just figured that a billionaire who had 30 Billion dollars had more money than 39 of the poorest countries put together.

    Also, he had more money than the whole nation of Democratic Republic of Congo earns in an year, and Congo has 72 Million people!!
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    Jun 8 2012: That there are the same amount of numbers between 0 and 1 as there are between 0 and 2
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      Jun 12 2012: Never knew that numbers could exist.
      To my view all is one that you can divide as much as you please.
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    Jun 4 2012: that you are never too old to set new goals or dream new dreams. C.S. Lewis.
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    Jun 4 2012: It is this: the more you know the less you know.
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    Jun 2 2012: That light waves can travel for 13 billion years across the universe with its electric and magnetic fields continually interacting according to Maxwell's equations and they never even get slightly out of synch. It seems to me like the most exquisite example of physical exactitude, following a mathematical description, that I have ever heard of.
  • May 30 2012: I read somewhere that they found worms in Tchernobyl, that ingest radioactive soil and reject a healty medium. That showed me the true strenght of nature and to me, THAT is truly awe inspiring.
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    May 30 2012: Another one that I find awe inspiring is as follows:

    Our "Perceptual Contexts", the way it affects what we are able to see. Just like the limits of our senses ... the way we could only perceive a small part of the electromagnetic spectrum (and perceive that as reality... which, come to think of it, is another awe inspiring fact)

    This perceptual contexts gives us reasoning as follows:
    If we know that the space is expanding, we immediately start thinking that it must be expanding into something. Or what may lie beyond its current expanse?

    This human perceptual context thrills me every day of my life, just as I think.
  • May 29 2012: No matter what you know, or how much you've seen, there is something even better just waiting to be discovered.
  • May 29 2012: The discovery that planets are common in our Galaxy really amazes me. Until two decades ago we had never observed a single planet outside our solar system; until last year we had observed a few hundred of them; and today we know there is around a billion planet in our own galaxy. That makes it really hard to believe we are alone in the universe.

    I'm going to go watch MIB3.
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      May 29 2012: To expand on this, I am always amazed when I think about how many stars there are... there are (quite likely) more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand on Earth. Have you ever been to a Beach? There is a *LOT* of sand. Mathematicians at the University of Hawaii estimated there are 7,500,000,000,000,000,000 grains of sand on Earth. That is 7.5 x 10^18.

      Now, in our galaxy alone (the Milky Way), the most frequently stated estimate is approximately 400,000,000,000 (that's 400 billion) stars, with a 50% error plausible in either direction. So somewhere between 200,000,000,000 and 600,000,000,000 stars in our galaxy. The Hubble Space Telescope can detect about 80,000,000,000 (80 billion or 8 x 10^10) galaxies, however this does not account for all galaxies.

      Assuming that our galaxy has a normal number of stars with conservative estimates (2 x 10^11), and use the amount of galaxies the HST can detect (8 x 10^10)... (2 x 10^11) x (8 x 10^10) = 16 x 10^21.

      Going back to our estimate of grains of sand on Earth, that was 7.5 x 10^18. Dividing (16 x 10^21) / (7.5 x 10^18) = 2133.33...

      That means for every grain of sand on Earth, there are over 2,000 stars in the universe.
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        May 29 2012: Someone also calculated this required the formation of an average of 30,000 stars PER SECOND from the estimated time of the Big Bang.

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    May 29 2012: This is the greatest moment that you and I have ever lived !

    As long as we believe there was a better yesterday or that tomorrow holds for us some guarantee, we are missing out on the greatest moment that we will ever have and that is right now.
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      May 29 2012: YES Mwenjew...YES, YES, YES to this moment:>)

      The most awe inspiring fact I witness in this moment, is that the gardens are beautifully washed with the gentle rains all my humble perception:>)

      Yesterday and the day before were perfectly sunny and I had the opportunity to plant more vegetables. Today is perfectly rainy to water the new seedlings and perfectly awe inspiring is that???
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        May 29 2012: Just sitting here wondering...... who came up with this "weekly number of ratings for a user"

        thumbs up ! ( they cant max these out ) ;-)
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          May 29 2012: HA!!! I still have some thumbs up left for you this week, and THAT my friend, is AWESOME...the MOST AWESOME thing in this moment:>)
  • Jun 10 2012: We experience a model of reality.
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    Jun 7 2012: Loving all the posts thus far...couple of my favorites:

    1. Humankind has experienced 0.004% of the Earth's total history.
    2. The presence of dark matter suggests there may be a multiverse.
    3. We've only explored 5% of the ocean.
    4. Tesla. Was. Awesome.
  • P C

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    Jun 7 2012: Hydrogen formed shortly after the formation of the universe. What began as little imperfections while the universe was small, later created extra areas of density that later evolved into strings of galaxies each of which contain billions (I mean BULLIONS!) of stars.

    Every star goes through a life cycle where through fusion new elements are created, form in their cores, then themselves become the fuel of still denser elements, until we get to iron. At the end of its life, the star has shells of iron, silicon, nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, helium, and hydrogen. Shortly thereafter the balance between heat and gravity swings wiildly until the star dies and explodes. The energy released in the final explosion outshines the rest of the galaxy and simultaneously creates all of the rest of the elements in the periodic table (the supernova elements!).

    But from our perspective, here's where the story gets interesting. The shells explode through one another and mix together. Also the denser elements at the core of the star don't travel as far as the lighter elements. This explain why the inner planets have iron cores and why the Oort Cloud has so many comets that contain water. Somehow the giant gas cloud collapses back into itself again and we get our Sun. While the gas cloud is forming it flattens into a disc. Heavier elements create pockets of density that eventually become gravitational distortions. These distortions spin more slowly than the rest of the disc and eddy forces build up until they spin in opposite direction of the disc. Then one day the center of the new gas cloud becomes dense that gravity implodes it into a new star. Then the shockwaves explode outward clearing out the planetary disc leaving planets made of heavier elements.

    All of the elements the Earth and we are made of were first forged in a previous star. We are literally star dust!
  • Jun 7 2012: A generation is about 30 years. A line of people 67 generations long stretch back to the time of Christ. Not a very long line.
  • MR T

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    Jun 6 2012: Many spiders use a technique called 'ballooning' they stand at the tip of a leaf or other precipice and release a strand of silk into the air, once this strand is long enough and the wind exerts enough pull on the spider, it releases its grip and floats away. Spiders can travel 100's of kilometres this way and as a result are often the first to colonise volcanically born islands.
  • Jun 6 2012: This is another fact that I find mind-boggling: Our human species has been around for at least 400,000 years. And by pure luck, I happen to be living in what is probably our most critical century. In the next several decades, we the have the opportunity to create a global civilization free from hunger, depravity and indignity. And we just might destroy our species; possibly by degrading our environment in some tiny, critical way, like destroying the bees.
  • Jun 4 2012: All my life I've had experienced "out of body" stuff but didn't know it was unusual or natural until I grew up and shared viewpoints with others. When I was stabbed in the heart yrs ago, everything now came to a culmination so to speak, everything which came before was clarified. So I came to know that anger and war is caused by the person/s who made the thought or agreed with the thought already existing. And further, NOT being responsible for that thoughts creation, persistence and thus blames its creation or persistence in time on SOMEONE else. It all starts in the mind and it all ends in the mind. Yet I sense we are ALL within the mind of God and so God is NOT the author of these thoughts which bring about a condition of being separate from each other and the universe as a whole, it is and always has been US. We protect what we create and it applies to our thoughts good or bad. I do know God does not condemn, only we are capable of those type of judgements. We are spiritual in nature, and not a physical body and so we are eternal and changeless and nothing of this world can hurt us, to believe otherwise is seeing ourselves wrongly.
    • Jun 6 2012: To be so positive of that could be considered seeing yourself wrongly as well.
      • Jun 7 2012: Hi Eric you know what I have experienced is self evident, yet when others have also experienced similar events it brings about a condition of understanding simply because there is greater reality or agreement established, there is greater interchange or communication about it established and there is greater affinity or less distance established. May you experience more
        • Jun 7 2012: To experience this first hand would be the only way to not be a skeptic of this. I'm sure many could understand that. I do consider this to be very possible but no one would ever know for sure unless they experience it themselves, mostly because it is very hard to research the science that could explain it.
    • Jun 10 2012: When we are young we are taught the concept of right and wrong passionately and the lessons are re-inforced with punishment quite often. When we are wronged as children we appeal to our parents as they take the role of judges and we want justice to be served and punishment delivered. What is a paradox to the lesson of right and wrong and what I think is difficult to teach is a willing forgiveness. It means that we have to let go of the self concept that we are victims. To remain a victim all our lives is to remain broken, or to become a victim again over and over and to remain in the 'hurt child' ego state. It's very healthy to forgive. It heals. The bigger the injury the harder it is to forgive, but the theory is the same. Religion talks about this but I had to see it from the science of psychology. That's a beautiful story Robert.
      • Jun 11 2012: Hi Greg

        You hit it right on the head, it IS all about forgiveness, I think it's the reason why we are here. To forgive ourselves our brother and God for the imagined wrongs we perceive they have done to us. I think that is the lesson "God is Love and being changeless and eternal, only that, thus Love does not condemn" we are here to learn.
  • Jun 3 2012: I find it awe inspiring that with just a click of a mouse and a few stroke of a keyboard I can communicate with someone across the world. One person, a group, or a global audience is with in reach of listening to my ideas, even though I'm sitting in my home office, possibly in my PJ's. All of this is absolutely dumbfounding and it has only existed for a relatively short period of time. My grandparents never dreamed of this ability and in 30 years what we know about global communication will be completely different from how we view it today.
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      Jun 6 2012: I agree with James. I find myself continually awed by the technology of the last few decades, when I can recall the first time I used a Macintosh 64 computer, or the first cell phones, and even when we moved from casette tape to CD. Video recorders and boom boxes. Now we have internet, broadband, cellphones you can hook on your ear! We have skype so that we not only talk to people across continents, we can see them too! Things we took for granted, like letters and the postal service, are all but obsolete because of email. We do our banking online, we shop online, we talk to people online, we connect to this Global village in a way that our ancestors would not have been able to comprehend. Wow!
      • Jun 10 2012: I see that man has developed the same skills that made him successful as a caveman. Communication skills, hunting and gathering with the advent of the assembly line and now global marketing, job and role specialization of individuals to benefit the collective, tool invention, food production, healthcare, organized education and knowledge, and the benefits of symbiotic relationships.
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    Jun 2 2012: The fact that many of the elements in our bodies were created in the core of the stars billions of years ago ... we were all (and still are) stars ...
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    May 31 2012: That upon reflection I could not select a "single" awe inspiring fact to post. I am in awe of so many things and people and continue to be amazed and inspired each day. Being a TED member contributes to my daily dose of reality and inspiration. Thanks to all of you for making my day more interesting and life more beautiful.

    All the best. Bob
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    May 30 2012: The most awe inspiring fact i know, is that i can be wrong.
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    May 28 2012: I like pretty much everything the Hubble telescope has told us, I love that we're 1% different from chimps genetically, 99% of me is made of empty space,
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    Jun 12 2012: The Peanut, is valuable for over 300 purposes
    • Jun 13 2012: That mazapanes is one of them.
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    Jun 11 2012: The most amazing fact I have ever learned is that quantum mechanics and the physics of black holes prove that universes can indeed appear straight out of nothing, essentially ruling out the role of "God" as an all mighty creator. This may also mean that an infinite number of universes may appear and die out every second!
  • Jun 10 2012: If you walk along a roadside and come upon a swamp with reeds, wind blowing along the top of the reed will create a sound. It will have the impression of a single note, but within that sound is a whole series of other 'harmonic' notes. This is called 'the harmonic overtone series'. Simple folk music uses elements of music theory based on the lower portions of the overtone series. Jazz uses elements of the lower and upper pitches of the harmonics ( 9,#11, b13etc.). Learning about this fact gave me various realizations. 1)Jazz became natural and then I began to accept it more. 2)Man is tuned into nature and resonates on some instinctive level, otherwise music wouldn't have been created. I believe that if we studied the harmonic overtone series and it's patterns we will possibly learn more about physics. I think we could apply what we know or learn about sound to understand light. If we break the sound barrier there is a sonic boom. Therefore if we go faster than the speed of light, there will be an 'explosion' of light. Sound = light. You get what I mean?
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      Jun 12 2012: I liked the evolution-based insight into music. Never thought harmonics that way.

      Only thing is your extrapolation: light and sound are two different waveforms. No physicist, but I don't think you can mirror the two events.
      • Jun 13 2012: The harmonic overtone series is real. It was demonstrated to me on a piano utilizing one of the pedals. The harmonics rang caused by sympathetic vibration. Some people have the gift of perfect pitch. I met a guy in music college that would hear a note and he would perceive it as a colour and then he could name the note's pitch. If you go to 'You tube' and look up 'perfect pitch dog' you will see a German lady training her dogs to play the piano. The dogs appear to have perfect pitch. There was a video called 'Enertanz' where in the middle of it the two dogs played 'The Bird Dance' together as a duet. This is a very creative lady that thinks outside of the box because as we all know, dogs can't play the piano right? But they can. The sound = light concept is a hypothesis. I also use it to draw inspiration about sound mixing and composing as arranging could relate to oil painting. It could generate fresh ideas that are outside the box, for instance you need dark in order to show light and vice versa.
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          Jun 13 2012: the condition you describe there is called synesthesia, seeing colour when hearing a sound
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    Jun 8 2012: That we are in this together. I would not trade that for all of the other things combined. :-D
  • Jun 8 2012: Fun question!

    One thing that awe's me is that the structure and functionality of a human being can ultimately be derived from the structure and functionality of only about 30 atomic elements. And that functionality includes the ability to think about it! Those atoms, they're pretty useful!
  • Jun 6 2012: The most awe inspiring fact I know is an apparent paradox. I came to this thought on my own, during my adolescence, while struggling with the big questions of God, religion and morallity. Since then, I have learned that others noticed it first. The idea is this:

    For humanity to discover the truth about the universe, it was first necessary to believe untruths.

    (You might disagree that this a fact; I consider it a fact.)

    Human civilization and human progress was made possible by our illusions and delusions about the universe. If early humanity had adopted a strictly objective, naturalist attitude, believing only what their senses could definitely confirm, and never had any gods, myths, religions, or stories to explain what we could not possibly know, then human progress would have been impossible.

    There are at least three reasons for this.

    First, in all likelihood we would have concluded that the universe is unknowable, thus stifling human progress.

    Second, belief in an afterlife made this life just barely tolerable. Without the hope of an afterlife, despair would have been the norm and suicide (or just giving up) would have been common. If you doubt this, you have not studied the history of warfare. Wars were made possible because human life was, by our modern Western standards, astonishingly cheap.

    Third, and perhaps most persuasive: Humans are built such that we cannot tolerate the notion that the answers to these questions are unknowable; myths were inevitablle, and shared myths made communities possible.

    Of course, we still do not know the truth. But I think we can all agree that we are progressing toward it.
    • Jun 6 2012: That idea is very very interesting. I must ponder this....
    • Jun 6 2012: But if we first turned to the realist approach rather than believing myths and such wouldn't you think search for the answer through science much sooner. The majority of people wasted there time with myths rather looking for the true answer. Only very few people were interested in science in the last centuries and now look at the progress we've made with thousands searching for true answers.
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    Jun 6 2012: without Bees, we would be absolutely screwed! How can something so small have such an impact on our natural world?
    • Jun 10 2012: I love bees and I fear for them and us.
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    Jun 4 2012: That our futures are not determined by our past.
  • Jun 4 2012: To provoke a thought is to invoke the future.
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    Jun 4 2012: The fact that nobody in this world knows why and how they are placed in Earth.
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      Jun 4 2012: Well, I know how....
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        Jun 4 2012: Please explain, Adam
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          Jun 4 2012: simply put? When a man loves a woman and she loves him...well you know, they put people on Earth. You're absolutely right though. Purpose is a question with near 6 Billion different answers.
  • Jun 3 2012: I am a divine being having a mortal experience.
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    Jun 2 2012: Young children possess the potential for an infinite number of developmental and intellectual possibilities, and thus the future has an infinite number of possible outcomes.
  • Jun 1 2012: That we are living in a hologram and everything we encounter in it is made of an agreement of believes.

    That we humans can heal other humans, or any other living creature for that matter, through their energy field.
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      Jun 2 2012: Matijn- please send some my way!
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    Jun 1 2012: The fact that I know and don't know.
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    Jun 1 2012: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Brave people born in Poverty And War!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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    May 30 2012: Another one is consciousness.

    The fact that we could think about ourselves thinking and see ourselves doing and being someone.
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    May 29 2012: that everyone has the ability and quality and characteristic to consistently give the product of their greatest potential
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    May 29 2012: the most awe inspiring fact I know is, that I think, all the time, about my past, my future, my strengths and my weaknesses... while rationally knowing that I cannot go back in the past (at least till we have a time machine and th world is full of everyday paradoxes).

    Just this, that I know I cannot go back in the past, or in the future to change anything, yet that's where I live ALL of the time.
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    May 29 2012: Good morning,Mwenjew Wewngwa !
    Thank you for shairing a bit about your life in Nairobi!

    I hope all your adventures end in "Badp niko'@
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    R H

    • +2
    May 28 2012: That humans probably came from one set of parents in Africa.
  • Jun 13 2012: The fact of my daughter's birth and existence, which totally changed the way I view the world and life.
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    Jun 12 2012: The most awe inspiring fact I know is that there are 6.6 billion mobile phones and only 4 billion toothbrushes.
    Weird, it always makes me wonder; what do people think is more important in life?
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    Jun 12 2012: Death has no conceren for a mans wealth or social statis he treats us the same.
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    E G

    • +1
    Jun 12 2012: That the most people are idiots .
    • Jun 13 2012: I like what Scott Adams says in "The Dilbert Principle", about idiocy :

      "It's a condition that everyone slips into many times a day. Life is just too complicated to be smart all the time."

      It makes me think that maybe I should try to be kind to the idiots around me, so that they're not too hard on me when it's my turn.
  • Jun 10 2012: The very many more times that babies smile compared to older children and adults. Probably babies are truly free beings, with no fear of some kind of God and/or social rules.
    • Jun 13 2012: Smiles show a willingness to be pleasant and cooperative, they express a sense of joy and well-being, they are a great way of relaxing oneself, and are a great way to flood the body with endorphins. Some adults think they are a sign of submissive behaviour, but that sounds like the theory of a joyless priest or CEO.
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    Jun 10 2012: That all I know could be corrupted data fed by imperfect sensors.
  • Jun 8 2012: the most awe inspiring fact i know is that e^2=m^2c^4+p^2c^2 is the correct equation and that it actually accounts for momentum.
  • Jun 7 2012: The night sky is just some giant in a white room 10 times the size of the universe poking a black blanket with a needle, which explains stars.
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      Jun 7 2012: Ever listen to Incubus? "The sky looks like a backlit canopy/ with holes punched in it."
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    Jun 6 2012: That the universe could be teeming with billions or trillions of unknown lifeforms. Many of which have already disappeared forever after having been sucked up by black holes.
  • Jun 6 2012: Two things:
    - that we are made of the stuff stars are made of
    - that we are caught with sincere wonderment about our kind
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    Jun 6 2012: Imagine if we knew completely what is the story how boring it would be to live it so it is a good enough reason to respect absence of the answer. I believe not being understandable for us is the main essence of life.
    • Jun 6 2012: On the other hand if you did understand then one wouldn't find them selves overwhelmed by LIFE and one may realize that their abilities are far greater than any one has led you to believe. Either one operates from Fear or lack of it. Can you imagine IF people knew with a unshakable certainty they are only just Beings, how differently one would go thru life, it seems people regard themselves as just a body and their lives are dedicated to the preserving, protecting and being a body. A goal worthy of man, NOT!! No wonder we as a whole still haven't learned the lesson yet, as a whole we are brainwashed and still asleep.
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      Jun 6 2012: Nima and Robert,
      What if...we respect absence of the the same time...realize that our abilities are far greater than we may believe at any given moment, which causes us to explore with curiosity in every moment.

      In my mind and heart, I realize that I am an energy being, traveling this earth in a body. I had the wonderful opportunity of a near death experience (head/brain injury), which allowed me to get a peek "outside" the body:>)

      So, I believe we can experience BOTH appreciation for NOT having all the answers all the time, AND the ability to learn, grow and evolve with more and more information in each and every moment. What do you think/feel about this?
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        Jun 6 2012: I think I need a definition of energy being, we'll all agree we're all made of little tiny quarks which are just stable amounts of energy, but beyond that I'm not sure if people are referring to something more when they say energy being.
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          Jun 6 2012: Hi Stewart,
          Yeah....that's it..."little tiny quarks"....that's us in a nutshell:>)

          For me, energy equates to the same thing people refer to when speaking about the spirit, soul, consciousness, etc. To me, it is all simply energy, which fuels the body:>)
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    Jun 6 2012: ..that the next time Venus crosses the face of the sun will be in 2117.
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    Jun 5 2012: Creation of “GOD” by human race and forcing ourselves to believe we are the one who has been created.
    • Jun 5 2012: Before the beginning was a Cause and the entire purpose of the Cause was the creation of effect. In the beginning and forever is the decision and the decision is TO BE. The first action of beingness is to assume a viewpoint. The second action of beingness is to extend from the viewpoint, points to view, which are dimension points. Thus there is space created, for the definition of space is: viewpoint of dimension. And the purpose of a dimension point is space and a point of view.
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        Jun 6 2012: Can you please help resolve my confusion.

        What about unintended consequences. In which case the entire purpose of the cause would become creation of effect A, while there has also been an effect B. In which case it will become impossible for the cause to be the "entire purpose" of cause A.

        Would love to discuss effect, decision, being, viewpoint once we resolve cause. Thanks.
        • Jun 7 2012: you have introduced the concept of TIME, which is a part of the space-time belief, In timelessness we coexist with God. We are changeless and eternal, to BE in or experience that state of being shows you time is an illusion.
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        Jun 9 2012: Before the beginning of what was a cause?

        Are you referring to the cause of the universe around us.

        You are probably misled if you think you know much about the specifics in regards about the cause of this universe. It is still being worked out.

        I guess you may be referring to the nonsense uncaused cause, i.e an argument from ignorance and fallacy of special pleading. I really don't get how people can't see the inherent weakness of this argument.
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      Jun 5 2012: Ah but logically is it not better to believe in God just in case he IS real? If God doesn't exist then your disbelief is founded but nothing happens. If God is real then your disbelief is very bad. Logically which is the better choice? Whether God exists or not?
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        Jun 5 2012: Well surely a god would know you only believed in him/her through fear of hell which surely is just as bad as disbelief and which is at the core of all belief, the fear of death. Though the disbelief of god is humanity's hope that there isn't a cosmological dickhead who created diseases etc etc, btw i think it's called Pascal's riddle, surely it's better to believe because of you're wrong nothing happens and vice versa, but I disbelieve because I live in this world and I see it impossible for there to be a god who can create the entire universe and everything in it and provide humans a planet to evolve on and still somehow make it possible for me to have hayfever which is the most pathetic of genetic allergies, like intelligent design really? when I'm allergic to the outside world during summer, I don't think so.
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        Jun 6 2012: I really wonder about our disbelief in death, while we all know for a fact that that is a reality. We also know that death is inevitable and uncertain.

        We know that it is also uncertain. Hence, it could happen anytime. Just as I type maybe.

        However, we hope that it does not. We grossly overestimate the chances that it would not.

        We grossly overestimate the chances that there is a god. Simply because we like to believe that. The privileged connection with a supreme being is one reason.

        Also, having all the answers, feeling certain, therefore also having access to the answer of death, all these make it a very likable proposition.

        I think this is what makes god such an important part of our consciousness, our being conscious human beings, who can think about themselves thinking.
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          Jun 7 2012: I'm quoting here but I found this to be perfectly stated "Money is valuable and so is time. We know how much money we have so we spend it accordingly. We don't know how much time we have so we must spend it wisely. This makes time much more valuable because you never know how much you have left or when you're going to run out."
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        Jun 9 2012: Adam - No

        Pascals wager has been debunked many times.

        Which god or goddess Adam, and which interpretation of it.

        There have been thousands of gods and goddesses created by humans and billions of different interpretations.

        If there were real gods or goddesses they probably wouldn't be like anything we imagined and probably not interventionist and probably don't think much about life on this speck of a planet.

        Besides how do you believe in something you don't think is real. I can't believe in Santa Claus even if I wanted to.
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          Jun 10 2012: But has God and Santa affected your life or your thoughts in any way?
  • Jun 4 2012: This is more mind boggling than awe inspiring, but it attests to the fact that there are so many phenomena occuring around us constantly that we are not even aware of...

    Try to imagine a new outside of ROYGBIV...
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    Jun 3 2012: Here's something for you to do and see just how amazing your sub conscious is, try walking down your hallway and then try and think about every muscle expanding and every contraction and every bone moving and and socket rolling and every neuro connection firing of signals and every cell respiring and eventually your brain will get sore and you'll have to sit down after all that thinking
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    Jun 3 2012: That mankind got to where it is now in such a comparatively short space of time, and what a mess we've made of the planet in doing so.
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    Jun 3 2012: assuming multiverse has some merit to it, that means somewhere, right now, in this vast cosmos, there's a planet full of pokemon, and I'm not on it
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    Jun 2 2012: 1.) Life.
    2.) That we are able to create life.
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    Jun 2 2012: Being dead is easy. You never hear anyone complain about being dead. Living is hard.
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    Josh S

    • +1
    May 31 2012: Me, my atoms, can change what happens to someone else, different atoms, and consciously change atoms even though i myself am only atoms.
  • May 30 2012: The fact that carbon atoms in my fingers could once more become a T-Rex at some point =)
  • May 29 2012: Likewise..R.H. That is truly amazing and also how we discovered the genetic code...
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    May 28 2012: Fact; without six inches of topsoil and the gift of rain...nothing would live on this planet!
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    May 28 2012: I am still here!(OK it is not very relevant to the whole world but it still makes me feel like i got away with something huge- it almost makes the rest of my goodie two shoes life worthwhile!
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      May 29 2012: Out here in Nairobi, it can be loosely translated as - bado niko ! Love it !
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    Jun 14 2012: This fact are more inspiring to not go to the dentist. Because in the teeths it is Mercury and mercury is what you get cancer of easiest. In fact when you drill in a teeth the meassured mercury levels where up to 3 times higher than the limit before they close down atomic reactors or lab etc.. And this they put in peoples moouth ++ Stupid..
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    Jun 12 2012: 90% of people think they are above average in attractivenss.
    • Jun 13 2012: I really doubt that statistic, sounds like an anecdotal round number to me.
  • Jun 10 2012: Why has mankind for all recorded history blamed God" for every percieved "evil" that has been experienced?

    Here is a question if agreement is the fundamental of reality what could we have agreed with originally for its exisence to come about?

    May I suggest the reading of Abbotts book "flatland", he was a mathemetician in the late 1800's.
  • Jun 9 2012: Center is everywhere !
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    Jun 8 2012: spontaneous combustion is actually possible
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    Jun 8 2012: We are now at 396 ppm CO2.
  • Jun 7 2012: The single trait that best determines the survival of an organism is its utility to human beings
    • Jun 7 2012: We are all just using each other and stepping on each other to get to the top.
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    Jun 6 2012: Don't think anybody mentioned the butterfly effect, kill a butterfly and it won't be alive to push those last few air molecules required to start a tornado away and so changing the future.
    • Jun 7 2012: Or don't kill the butterfly.... and start a hurricane. I shudder to think what happens when I fart!
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    Jun 6 2012: I think string theory is really interesting.

    I hypothesize that the strings, within quarks, vibrate at a rate that can be matched by vibrations other things make. Instruments are prime examples. Whenever they are played, usually, people would admire the musician or at least enjoy its presence. When the mixture of music is just right with lyrics, sometimes that music could really connect with your soul, which is actually the hypothesis I am thinking of, the same vibrations that moves our hearts is the same vibrations that our bodies already produce and it resonates within our bodies, like a large choir singing our favorite tune with all its harmonies.
  • Jun 3 2012: We are just a momentary expression of an ever-changing unity with no centre.
  • Jun 3 2012: The most awe-inspiring fact I know is that many humans believe they are created in God's image and that the world was put here for us to have dominion over when really it is the other way around! It is hard to even call it belief as it is so obviously and flagrantly self-serving that no rational person could really accept it as fact. So call it a convenient delusion.

    Oh, and that elephant seals can slow their heart rate from 100 beats to 3 beats per minute to conserve energy and oxygen during very deep dives (as deep as 1400 meters and for up to 2 hours)! And that in the late 1800s there were less than 25 individuals, and, it seems, all living e-seals have the same male seal as an ancestor. Despite the genetic bottleneck, and thanks to the protection of the Mexican government there are now about 150,000 in the Northern hemisphere.
    • Jun 5 2012: Mike if the statement :they are created in Gods image " is properly understood as meaning if God is abstract in nature then we too share that attribute, in other words we are spiritual beings. Not physical but existing in the mind only as an idea. If we postulate that "God" encompasses everything and there is nothing outside it, then we are as a metaphor ideas in the mind of God. I like to think that God creates only like itself which is abstract or spiritual in nature.
      • Jun 6 2012: Interesting thoughts... I see us as corporeal beings first and foremost. We breathe, eat, defecate, fornicate, ovulate, inseminate, lactate, get sick, heal, and eventually die. Hard to get around most of those things as a homo sapiens. Pretty concrete, not abstract. A lot of humans don't like to think of themselves as animals/mammals. I agree we are special mammals, but not that special. It is hard to know if animals are spiritual. They certainly have emotions and amygdalas, the area of the brain stimulated by spiritual thoughts, or that gives rise to spiritual thoughts. Some animals have developed pre-frontal cortexes. But maybe you are suggesting that when you say that "God creates only like itself which is abstract or spiritual in nature".
        It may be that women were more inclined to mate with thoughtful men who appreciate the beauty and inspiration of the world, thus encouraging the rise of the "spiritual" trait. Hard to know...
        Our brains demand that we make sense of our surroundings and as our awareness and social complexity grew the answers strayed into the speculative. From there it isn't hard to see how the holders of metaphysical "knowledge" became a class unto themselves (shamans, priest, monks). It is pretty easy to sell an idea that you can live forever in a jolly place, when contrasted to the idea that you will rot and become worm food. No surprise that religion (the bureaucratization of spirituality) flourished.
        Whatever the case there is certainly no proof of any god-shaped entities in the universe, and like the Russell's teapot or the Flying Spaghetti Monster the burden of proof lies on the person making the unverifiable claim.
        All that said I cannot disagree that god is an idea, but us? My growling stomach says, "Feed me."
        • Jun 7 2012: You can use your body best to help you enlarge your perception so you can achieve real vision, of which the physical eye is incapable. Learning to do this is the body's only true usefulness.
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        Jun 9 2012: You are welcome to any interpretation you want.
        Lots of assumptions in your statement, some requiring definition.
        You assume some supernatural entity.
        You assume a metaphysical realm beyond mind, matter and energy.
        You assume something called a spirit.

        I guess the there are many ways to understand created in gods image.
        I guess it has been understood in many different ways.
        Not sure why you think your way is correct.
        Do you have special access to the people who wrote down or came up with the mythology?

        Seems a more reasonable explanation is a bunch of desert dwelling tribes had some creation myths they finally wrote down, often borrowing from mithraism and other local mythologies. And none of this is anywhere near the reality of how the universe and life developed, just like thousands of over myths and supernatural beliefs.
  • Jun 2 2012: That humanity would get better no matter what.
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    Jun 2 2012: The fact about our existence and conscious experience. And if you believe in Big Bang theory then the fact that me, you, this house, car, earth and all galaxies were all just one single point with infinite density !! :)
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    Jun 2 2012: The fact that humanity is essentially progressive.
  • Dan F

    • 0
    May 31 2012: That I can only attest to my own existence and it is a fact that makes my existence inspiring to live life to the fullest - to learn, to explore, to contribute, to matter and to enjoy this incredible gift.
  • STV V

    • 0
    May 30 2012: My two year old nephew's talk! and his skill at negotiations!
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    May 28 2012: Humans have a concept of God.