The Importance Of Being

Discussion in 'General Philosophy' started by orthogonal, Jan 11, 2002.

  1. orthogonal Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    579
    Last evening I began to ponder the following question:

    If matter were evenly dispersed throughout the known universe, what volume of space would have to be "vacuumed" to produce the constituent matter that makes up my body?

    Combining the following two quotes:

    "If the constituents of all the galaxies were spread uniformly through space…they would produce an average density of one atom per ten cubic meters. If you add the intergalactic gas you might double this figure." p.103, Our Cosmic Habitat, by Martin Rees

    "We are each made up of between 10^28 to 10^29 atoms."
    p.6, Just Six Numbers, by Martin Rees

    A conservative answer is thus 5 x 10^28 cubic meters. This is equivalent to the space occupied by 50 million Earth volumes, or 50 Sun volumes!

    Remember that only 10% of the "stuff" of the universe is matter, the rest is dark matter. We are made of the more "exotic stuff". Lastly, bear in mind that every atom other than hydrogen (and a pittance of He and Li) in our bodies was forged in a rather large star that exploded some billions of years ago. As stunning as I find these facts to be, something else that Rees writes makes an even larger impression upon me: "A star is simpler than an insect." Stars are big, but they are rather simple "gravitationally bound fusion reactors." A human is a far more complex and incredible entity than is any star.

    In the past when I've looked out on a clear night sky I've felt an overwhelming sense of awe at the silent spectacle before me. I'm told that on such a clear night one can see as many as 6000 stars with the eye alone. But there are 100 billion stars in our own Milky Way galaxy, which is only one of billions of galaxies in the universe. The universe extends roughly a million times beyond the stars we see when we look up at the night sky. In other words, the clearest night sky reveals to my unaided eye only a pitifully small and parochial sampling of my universe.

    By rights, shouldn't I feel an equal sense of awe and wonder when I look in a mirror, than when I look up at the night sky?

    Michael
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2002
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  3. Chagur .Seeker. Registered Senior Member

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    orthogonal ...

    Were I of a different persuasion,
    I would have to answer:

    "Yes, my child. For you are in My image."

    Damn, I almost hate myself when I think such thoughts!

    Take care

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  5. Counterbalance Registered Senior Member

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    373
    ~~~

    I would say, "yes," orthogonal, if I could add just a few words:

    "By rights, shouldn't I feel free to acknowledge and explore an equal sense of awe and wonder when I look in a mirror, just as I do when I look up at the night sky?"

    You, me, or that star-filled sea of night sky...

    Ain't we something?

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    ~~~

    Thanks for sharing.

    Counterbalance
     
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  7. MuliBoy psykyogi Registered Senior Member

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    Damn straight. All things are equal

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  8. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    I would argue that all things are equal in their inequality.
    Thus, uniquity.
     
  9. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

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    everything is a part of the whole so if u feel awe looking at one part u should feel even more looking at the whole (think that came out right)

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