Science Saved My Soul

Awesome Video

We Come From Outer Space ?

Pretty interesting find by ‘Students’ at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in West Virginia.  Could be the precursors of life on earth really did come from space. We are all Aliens..:-)

“The beginnings of the beginnings of life, the fundamental building blocks of DNA and RNA, have been detected in cosmic clouds near the center of the Milky Way galaxy, student researchers at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) announced Thursday.

Using the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to look closely at the Sagittarius B2 molecular cloud, students detected the radio signals generated by rotational transitions of two prebiotic molecules, cyanomethanimine and ethanamine, key to the formation of DNA and the amino acid alanine.

“Finding these molecules in an interstellar gas cloud means that important building blocks for DNA and amino acids can ‘seed’ newly-formed planets with the chemical precursors for life,” NRAO’s Anthony Remijan said in an advisory.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/03/01/student-researchers-discover-building-blocks-of-dna-in-cosmic-cloud/

Carl Sagan Day

Today, the 9th of November is Carl Sagan’s birthday.  He would be 77 years old.

Carl Edward Sagan (November 9, 1934 – December 20, 1996) Carl was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences. He published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books. He advocated scientifically skeptical inquiry and the scientific method, pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

Sagan is best known  for the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote and for his popular science books.  The book Cosmos was published to accompany the series. Sagan wrote the novel Contact, which was the basis for a excellent 1997 film of the same name, staring Jody Foster.
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Energy And Life From The Stars

Science20.com is reporting on a Nature article

“Astronomers are reporting that organic compounds of unexpected complexity exist throughout the Universe – which means they can be made naturally by stars.

Researchers write in Nature that an organic substance commonly found throughout the Universe contains a mixture of aromatic (ring-like) and aliphatic (chain-like) components, compounds so complex that their chemical structures resemble those of coal and petroleum.”

“Not only are stars producing this complex organic matter, they are also ejecting it into the general interstellar space, the region between stars….”  Here

Going to Wikipedia to research the above mentioned organic substances we find:

“They are also found in the interstellar medium, in comets, and in meteorites and are a candidate molecule to act as a basis for the earliest forms of life.”  Wikipedia  Here  My emphasis

I wonder how this will effect oil and coal research, stellar physics, etc…and further down the road, creationism, earth origins, and so on.
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Metal Working Before God Created The Earth??

If you believe in a evangelical fundamentalist God

What in modern times is the country Armenia, was in ancient times a very valuable resource for mankind…it is thought that much of mans knowledge of metallurgy was gained here around the ancient city of Metsamor.  It was occupied from around 7,000 BC to perhaps 1700 AD and was an astronomical site as well as metallurgical.

Excavation of the ruins has discovered a very large metal industry including a foundry with 2 kinds of blast furnaces.  The foundry is known to have extracted and processed gold, copper, and several types of manganese, zinc, strychnine, mercury, and iron.  Metal from the foundries of Metsamor found their way to Egypt, Central Asia and China.

Several Huge underground caves have been uncovered that are believed to have been storehouses for base metal, as well as a grain storage for winter months.  The first iron in the ancient world may have been forged here.

It is believed that metal working got its start there about 5,000 BC…one more blow to the Young Earth Creationists who STILL believe the earth was formed by a Mesopotamian god around 4000 + BC, and Tubal-Cain invented metal working well after the creation, but before the “Flood” on or about 2400 BC

There are many very ancient human sites around the Armenia/Turkey area going back at least 9,000 to 11,000 years or more.  The whole Babylonian/Turkey/Armenia/Iran/Iraq/Israel/Egypt area is the largest cradle of human civilization…although humans were not originally from there, when we migrated out of Africa to the areas they were found to be very conducive to human life.

Pretty cool chart about the petroglyphs and early writing in the area
http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/Images/countries/Turkish%20pics/alphabetbig.jpg
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Luner Eclipse Tuesday Morning

First day of winter and we have a astronomical event to look for.  Hoping for a clear night sky in my neighborhood.
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From The Christian Science Monitor
“The lunar eclipse early Tuesday morning will be the first total lunar eclipse to occur on the Winter solstice since 1638. The Winter solstice is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere.”  Full Story »
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True Nature of Heavenly Causes

Quote of the Day:
“Philosopher Paul Churchland points out that throughout history people have expressed doubt that science will ever be able to explain some phenomena. The first-century astronomer Ptolemy (c. 85–165), the greatest astronomer of his age, said science would never be able to capture the true nature of heavenly causes because they were inaccessible. He didn’t have Newton’s inspiration that the laws of physics are universal, meaning they apply both on Earth and in the heavens. The nineteenth-century philosopher Comte (d. 1857) similarly argued that we could never know the physical constitution of stars. He didn’t know about atomic spectra. As late as the 1950s, most people were still expressing doubt that life could be explained purely materialistically and believed instead that some life force was needed. With the 1953 discovery of the structure of DNA and the great success of the theory of evolution by natural selection, science saw no need for, and indeed no evidence for, a special force of life.”

By Victor J. Stenger, Mr. Stenger is emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Hawaii and Visiting Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Colorado. On the Skeptical Inquirer here:
http://www.csicop.org/sb/show/thoughts_and_matter/

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Scientific Knowledge

For over a millennium Christianity arrested the development of science and scientific thinking. In Christendom, from the time of Augustine until the Renaissance, systematic investigation of the natural world was restricted to theological investigation—the interpretation of biblical passages, the gleaning of clues from the lives of the saints, etc.; there was no direct observation and interpretation of natural processes, because that was considered a useless pursuit, as all knowledge resided in scripture.

The results of this are well known: scientific knowledge advanced hardly an inch in the over 1000 years from the rise of orthodox Christianity in the fourth century to the 1500s, and the populace was mired in the deepest squalor and ignorance, living in dire fear of the supernatural—believing in paranormal explanations for the most ordinary natural events.

This ignorance had tragic results: it made the populace more than ready to accept witchcraft as an explanation for everything from illness to thunderstorms, and hundreds of thousands of women (and some men…and some say the number is up to 3 million) paid for that ignorance with their lives. One of the commonest charges against witches was that they had raised hailstorms or other weather disturbances to cause misfortune to their neighbors. In an era when supernatural explanations were readily accepted, such charges held weight—and countless innocent people died horrible deaths as a result.

(Now a sane and rational person would realize from the lack of  any real evidence that there were no witches and not buy into this crap, and the so called ‘men of God’ would know that a real God would not sanction what they were doing to thousands of innocent people.  Logic dictates that the leaders of the Catholic Church knew there was  no God so they weren’t bothered by how evil  the deed was they were doing. I don’t think there is any way that theistic apologia can rationalize  the things they did in ‘God’s’ name ).

Another result was that the fearful populace remained very dependent upon Christianity and its clerical wise men for protection against the supernatural evils which they believed surrounded and constantly menaced them. For men and women of the Middle Ages, the walls veritably crawled with demons and witches; and their only protection from those evils was the church.

When scientific investigation into the natural world resumed in the Renaissance—after a 1000-year-plus hiatus—organized Christianity did everything it could to stamp it out. The cases of Copernicus and Galileo are particularly relevant here, because when the Catholic Church banned the Copernican theory (that the Earth revolves around the sun) and banned Galileo from teaching it, it did not consider the evidence for that theory: it was enough that it contradicted scripture.

Given that the Copernican theory directly contradicted the Word of God, the Catholic hierarchy reasoned that it must be false. Protestants shared this view. John Calvin rhetorically asked, “Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?”

Who Indeed…

Words in parenthesis and italics are mine.

Adapted from Freethoughtpedia Here

“Saint Augustine… laid down an important principle … that if a scriptural text contradicts science, you must give it an allegorical interpretation.”

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Of course all of you out there in webland know that ALL of the fundagelical organizations lie lie lie in just about everything they do…and they somehow think this is OK.

First Known Binary Star Discovered to be a Sextuplet System

In ancient times people with really good eyesight could look at the Big Dipper at night and see that one of the brightest stars in the handle was actually two stars. The two stars, Mizar and Alcor, were the first binary stars, a pair of stars that orbit each other, ever known. This knowledge of stars goes back many thousands of years.  It is known that the city of Babylon had what could loosely be considered astronomers in its halcyon days.

Since that early time men have built mighty telescopes and explored and plotted the universe and discovered many things about our humongous worlds within worlds within worlds. These modern telescopes have since found that Mizar is itself a pair of binary’s, revealing what was once thought to be a single star is actually four stars orbiting each other. Many consider Alcor a fifth member of the system, in orbit far away from the Mizar quadruplet.

Now two astronomers at the University of Rochester have made a surprise discovery; Alcor is actually two stars gravitationally bound to the Mizar system making the whole group a sextuplet.  This makes the Mizar-Alcor sextuplet the second nearest such system known.  Considering that Alcor is one of the most studied stars in the sky makes the discovery all the more surprising.

Can you imagine living on a world close to these stars and looking up into the sky.  What a wonderful sight that would be.

You can read the whole story HERE at Science Daily

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