TED Conversations

Raymond Blais

This conversation is closed. Start a new conversation
or join one »

Why are we not putting all of our efforts into discovering our universe and our place in it?

Most of us have what we need, so why are we so absorbed with things that lose value quickly and in our mortality which can best be understood with discoveries that have yet to be made.

+5
Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • Aug 11 2013: Throughout the history, there have been many prophets, religious leaders, scientists and even novelists who tried to "understand" the universe as they saw it. Of course, they have become better and btter with the accumulation of past knowledge and better instrumentaion and experiments, but the universe is so vast and not completely observable or be comprehensible by an infinitessimal tiny "component"; i. e. the intelligence of any human being. For example, can an ant become knowledgeable of how the mother earth, it lives on, look like?
    More importantly, not every person is MADE WITH THE ABILITY OF THINKING OF ANYTHING BEYOND THE NEED AND COMFORT FOR HIMSELF. For many religious people, they have already "learned" or believed that the universe is consisted of a "present world" and an "after-life world"; hopefully the paradise or heaven, which is all they want or feel worthwhile to learn. I don't believe that you or I can change their mind regardless what is the reason of any persuasion.
    • thumb
      Aug 11 2013: Hi Bart,
      I think an ant has a certain amount of knowledge (or maybe it's instinct/intuition) about the earth it lives on. Otherwise, how can an ant find a tiny crumb of food left on a picnic table? They DO instinctively find little crumbs of food and carry the food back to their nest. So, there seems to be a certain amount of knowledge or instinct involved in that process, and they seem somewhat familiar with their surroundings.

      I agree with you that some folks believe they have already learned all there is to learn (religion is a good example), and don't want to explore any more. Interesting concept you present....perhaps it is "all they want or feel worthwhile to learn"......feel worthwhile to learn.....are you suggesting that some people may get to the point where they say, I've learned enough....I am not worth learning any more? Very interesting and quite possible.....good point!
      • Aug 11 2013: Hi. Colleen.
        Thank you for your comment. My comment about the ant is applied to the concept of the view of the whole earth, not the part of the earth it lives in. Analogously, I hope that what Raymond said about the "universe" is the entire thing, at least a gross picture of it, otherwise we have already understood the earth , which is a part of the universe, quite well indeed.
        The second point you asked is quite legitimate. Let me reiterate that when I said "many religious people" certainly meant as part of the religious people. Many scientists are also religious, some of them are even experts in astronomy/physics. However,there are also some people, even in TED Discussions, they frequently raised questions about the modern theory on the universe, some even suggested teaching of the "Intelligent Design", or Creation Theory in schools. Of course, for many religious fanatics, they are thinking about the unverse is exactly as I described,.
        • thumb
          Aug 11 2013: I think I got your point with the ant Bart:>)

          There are some people who only explore their own little part of the world, and there are some folks who like to explore as far as they can go, physically and emotionally.....yes?
        • thumb
          Aug 18 2013: I think it funny that people think that all believes in God are so closed minded. I do think that some can't except that fact that we can not fully understand our Universe without taking the time to think. An yes most religious individual are stuck in the doctrine unable to embrace change.
    • thumb
      Aug 11 2013: i agree our human brains maystruggle to comphend the quantum and cosmic scale of the universe and all its complexity.

      still i suggest we keep trying.
      • thumb
        Aug 11 2013: I agree Obey....because exploring our universe and our place in it seems SOOOOO enjoyable:>)

        Nice to "see" your smiling face Obey, and I recall how and why it was created.....love it:>)
        • thumb
          Aug 13 2013: hi colleen. nice to see you too.

          ill stick with r&d, not art.
    • thumb
      Aug 12 2013: It comes down to; do you want to believe in a fixed universe where everything important is known or do you want to believe in a vast changing universe that we have only begun to explore.
      • Aug 12 2013: I certainly believe the latter case. Also, I didn't mean that we should quit exploring the evidence of the ever expanding reality of the "universe". (or "multiverse"?) I am only saying that considering our conception of the ever expanding dimension of the unverse, we are currently lagging far behind the pace of distance and speed of our advances (such as we have manmade spacecraft landiing only as far as Mars) in science and technology.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.