Yes folks, the internet is useful for a few things every now and again.
Yesterday on Facebook I followed a link that my cousin posted with the declaration “This is the coolest thing I’ve seen on the internet.” With an introduction like that, how could I not be curious?
I was led to a web page that, after taking a second to load, produces a virtual tunnel that allows you to put the whole universe in perspective. The above image is the starting screen. In the distance, you see a circle that is designated as 1 meter. Because a human is slightly larger than a meter, the human figure is placed just outside of the circle (now that I look at it, the basketball should be inside the circle…although maybe I’m interpreting this wrong and the basketball is meant to exist on the plane behind the circle thus demonstrating it’s smaller than a meter).
Using the scroll bar on the bottom, you can go from the smallest items in the universe (a Plank length) on the left, to the entire known universe all the way to the right. As you scroll along, you see the known objects that exist at each level. It’s interesting to learn that Mars’s moon Deimos is about the same size as Mt. Everest.
Looking at this model is pretty fascinating, but I have to confess that it also fills me with a certain sense of rage. The fact is that EVERY SINGLE THING SHOWN ON THAT PAGE represents a scientist who was oppressed, derided and probably tortured by some member of the religious community. It’s really a march of pain, agony and suffering through the entire scientific history of the human race.
I’ve made no secret that I’m scientifically inclined, and on a daily basis this is a belief system that you are taken to task for. Occasionally I hear people in the media complain that religion is under assault, and that just makes me laugh. There are no groups who go to churches and DEMAND that the priests teach evolution. However there ARE groups who go to schools and DEMAND that teachers present absurd ideas like Intelligent Design.
This is one of my main arguments in my belief that the US media leans CONSERVATIVE and not LIBERAL. If it leaned liberal, we’d see stories deriding people for forcing their absurd, outdated beliefs on people.
There was a time when you would be tortured for suggesting that the earth traveled around the moon and not vice versa. Look…if we’re going to “set the record straight” and do insignificant things like strip Lance Armstrong of his tour titles, shouldn’t we also tell the truth about what the legacy of religion has been to this world? Copernicus was afraid to publish his thoughts on a Heliocentric solar system because he knew he’d be attacked for them (he authorized their publication on his deathbed). Galileo was placed under house arrest and endlessly persecuted for developing his scientific principals that have alleviated more suffering than any other human being who has ever lived. Both of these great minds were denied the opportunity to refine and improve their work by having open peer reviews with their colleagues.
Thanks religion, thank you for inhibiting the work of our great scholars and slowing the flow of knowledge for the human race.
We are currently living in a pretty exciting time. Science began with Galileo in the 1500’s, but despite the efforts of the powerful religions of the world, it has gained in strength (mainly because it actually works), and we are now at a watershed point. People are abandoning the absurd ideologies of religion like passengers fleeing a sinking ship. Very soon, education will be so prevalent in our world that people will NOT be able to manipulate the ignorant and scare them with stories of eternal punishment as has been done throughout the ENTIRE history of the human race.
Science has won.
So enjoy the Scale of the Universe web page (until some religious group tries to have it shut down in an absurd and offensive misinterpretation of what it means to have “freedom of religion”), but keep in mind the sacrifices of the brave men and women it took to gather all that knowledge. Also, remember the scientific method when you get out to vote tomorrow. Voting against science is like voting against the human race.
For those of you who haven’t already, make sure you do me a favor a pick up my books Beyond Birkie Fever and The Bone Sword over at the Rhemalda Bookshop! If you happen to write a review somewhere, please let me know! Also, add Birkie and Bone Sword to your cart on Amazon.com!