Brainy Quote of the Day

Monday, July 8, 2013

A Golden Age...

From the site: NSBP member, Dr. Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, and colleagues discuss whether or not astronomy is in a golden age with Nobel Laureates Brian Schmidt and John Mather

From Wikipedia: The term Golden Age (Greek: Χρυσόν Γένος Chryson Genos) comes from Greek mythology and legend and refers to the first in a sequence of four or five (or more) Ages of Man, in which the Golden Age is first, followed in sequence, by the Silver, Bronze, Heroic, and then the present (Iron), which is a period of decline. By extension "Golden Age" denotes a period of primordial peace, harmony, stability, and prosperity. During this age peace and harmony prevailed, humans did not have to work to feed themselves, for the earth provided food in abundance. They lived to a very old age with a youthful appearance, eventually dying peacefully, with spirits living on as "guardians". Plato in Cratylus (397 e) recounts the golden race of humans who came first. He clarifies that Hesiod did not mean literally made of gold, but good and noble.

"Good and noble"...I wonder.

I'm not faulting the lecturers nor the audience. For there to be an actual "golden age" as has been defined in several cultural references, there needs to be a recognition of the impact of astronomy as the mother science; it is the oldest form of asking the question why and seeking answers. A primitive form of it is what guided the Magi; our reptilian brains, so conditioned to not accept things "new"; authoritarians threatened by concepts that would challenge their rule typically control public opinion on the emphasis, conclusions or the truth research reveals.

I'm still waiting for the Vatican to clear this little matter up. Not Catholic, it just quite understandably bothers me...

Galileo's indictment (still in effect):

1. The proposition that the sun is in the center of the world and immovable from its place is absurd, philosophically false, and formally heretical; because it is expressly contrary to Holy Scripture.

2. The proposition that the earth is not the center of the world, nor immovable, but that it moves, and also with a diurnal action, is also absurd, philosophically false, and, theologically considered, at least erroneous in faith.

Therefore ..., invoking the most holy name of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Most Glorious Mother Mary, We pronounce this Our final sentence: We pronounce, judge and declare, that you, the said Galileo ... have rendered yourself vehemently suspected by this Holy Office of heresy, that is, of having believed and held the doctrine (which is false and contrary to the Holy and Divine Scriptures) that the sun is the center of the world, and that it does not move from east to west, and that the earth does move, and is not the center of the world; also, that an opinion can be held and supported as probable, after it has been declared and finally decreed contrary to the Holy Scripture.

"...Science is a reliable method for creating knowledge, and thus constantly disrupts hierarchical power structures and vested interests in a long drive [by science] to give knowledge, and thus power, to the individual, and that process is also political."

Fool Me Twice - Fighting the Assault on Science in America, Shawn Lawrence Otto

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