science . discord . religion . saving ourselves

View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. | NASA Johnson Space Center
View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. | NASA Johnson Space Center

One of the most important things, before any discussion is undertaken, is to define your subject. (Socrates)
So…
Religion
The (Oxford) dictionary states:
The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods:ideas about the relationship between science and religion.
A particular system of faith and worship.

Wikipedia states:
Religion is an organized collection of belief systems, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values.

Science
The (Oxford) dictionary states:
The intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment:the world of science and technology.
Wikipedia states:
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.

They really are quite bland definitions for two that are so often declared as being diametrically opposed! Yet deeper definitions could be considered subjective, as there can be little that is more personal than someone’s faith.

Impasse.

Sorry Socrates.

Perhaps, if we simply state that science and religion both start with a doubt that the obvious is all there is, then we could agree that imagination must invent what might lie behind the obvious.
If we accept that, then we accept that science and religion do start with the same thought.
It is only when imagination develops into reason, that the two begin to branch out; and it is that fork in the road that causes so much argument.

Yet this discord is not just between science and religion; instead it is amplified by numerous disciplines of science (arguing with each other) and numerous faiths (also arguing with each other).

It’s time we all stopped and really took a look around us.

“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

Because we all share this small planet earth, we have to learn to live in harmony and peace with each other and with nature. That is not just a dream, but a necessity.
The time has come to educate people, to cease all quarrels in the name of religion, culture, countries, different political or economic systems. Fighting is useless. Suicide.
His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama

One is science and looks from the outside in, one is religion and looks from the inside out; but essentially they both say the same thing…
We are what we have to save ourselves.

We’re not doing a great job right now!

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by the light, of the silvery spoon

I’m having a do I / don’t I moment.
Do I tell you all about this wonderfully creative silversmith’s products (and run the risk of lots of you getting one!)?
or
Do I not (and thereby not give credit where credit is surely due!)?

Hmm…
My beautiful 1933 Halo Spoon Ring arrived today!

Stunningly hand-crafted from antique solid silver spoons of the Georgian, Victorian and other eras, these wonderful creations are truly unusual and special.

I am thoroughly enthralled with mine – and very tempted to get a second one for my other thumb!

Lovingly designed and crafted by Jan in the UK; find them here

George Frederic Watts (1817 – 1904)

‘It is no exaggeration to say that the Watts Cemetery Chapel is one of the most beautiful, one of the most extraordinary, original, marvellous and magical buildings in the whole of the British Isles!’- Lucinda Lambton

A wonderful day out with a wonderful friend at the Watts Gallery & Chapel.
With a fusion of styles that just seem to work, the chapel is beautiful in winter but I am sure it will be simply breathtaking in summer with the sunlight caressing its stunning architecture and intriguing interior artwork; so I will definitely be going back! A local and national treasure.

Watts and his wife Mary founded the gallery in 1904, and in 2011 it went through a dramatic revamp that has left it standing proud within equally interesting and beautiful grounds. Whilst the gallery is full of Watts’ more well known works such as ‘Hope’ or ‘Time, Death and Judgement’, I was enthralled by the haunting ‘A Sea Ghost’ and, my favourite piece of all, a portrait of Watts by Charles Couzens that has a most luminous, captivating quality about it.

A Sea Ghost by GF Watts 1887 | Copyright Watts Gallery
GF Watts by Charles Couzens 1849 | Copyright Watts Gallery

staring at life

Uueerrggarrghh. It’s one of ‘those’ days today! I feel like I’m staring at life from the outside!

I need input – I’m like Number 5!

Where’s my trading fours partner? Come on over, let’s get some communication, debate, ideas and improv. flowing!

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

From Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost

p.s. ♫ trading fours is a jazz term – a four bar exchange of improvised play between musicians!

boheme-ian poet on a beautiful day

This gentle warmth that caresses my skin oh so tentatively, as if seeking permission to draw the breath of winter from me.

Star born inspiration.

UNESCO state that the main objective of World Poetry Day is to “Support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities”.

Anything that encourages creativity of the mind and soul is a plus in my book!

I am a poet!
What’s my employment? Writing.
Is that a living? Hardly.
I’ve wit though wealth be wanting,
Ladies of rank and fashion
All inspire me with passion;
In dreams and fond illusions,
Or castles in the air,
Richer is none on earth than I.

From Puccini‘s opera La Boheme, Rodolfo.

Words of truth.