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By Thomas F. O'Neill

Something To Ponder Evolving Time

Over the past 6 months I have been spending a lot of my pastime reading Albert Einstein’s personal letters online. When I read his writing I find that there was a much deeper dimension to his personality than his Relativity theory. What intrigued me most about the letters was how spiritual he was. He wrote,

"A human being is a part of a whole, called by us _universe_, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest... a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."

Albert Einstein died in 1955, and since his death, we have come a long way in our technological advancements and in our knowledge of the Universe. However, we have a long way to go as human beings in widening our circle of compassion.

There are also those who have chosen to ignore our empirical understanding of the cosmos. I say this because of today’s debate between the Christian Fundamentalists who are espousing the Intelligent Design theory as being the ultimate biblical truth against the empirical evidence of Evolution. Some religious conservatives have also made claims that Einstein believed in the biblical creation story.

What I have found is that Einstein did believe in God and in an intelligent design within the universe. He did not however believe in the intelligent design theory that the Christian Fundamentalists want taught in the public school system.

Science should be an empirical method of discovery for students not a religious conviction. To say that God created everything in the universe without a method of studying the claim is not science but rather an emotional and irrational stance against Science. It is one thing to believe in God, to devote ones life to that belief, and to have a blind faith in the assumption that God is the ultimate designer of our Universe, but where do you go from there and where is the scientific method of study?

In one of Einstein’s letters he wrote,

"The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge."

One of Einstein’s achievements was measuring the distance within our Universe by the speed of light. He discovered that light has a constant speed of approximately 186,282.397 miles per second. In veiw of this discovery it can take Millions and in some cases Billions of light years for the light of distant stars to reach the earth. The universe that we perceive is the universe of the past not the present.

When we look at the sheer vastness of our Universe with the Billions of Suns and Planets it is a statistical certainty that we are not the only intelligent life in the Cosmos. When we measure the birth and evolution of the universe on a scale of a 24 hour period humanity would have been born 10 seconds ago. Therefore, some intelligent life in far off galaxies could have had an evolutionary head start in terms of Millions and in some cases Billions of years before life as we know it existed on earth.

Some scientist would also go as far as to say that in far off galaxies intelligent life my have evolved without a DNA structure which is essential for intelligent life to exists on our planet. There could be intelligent life in distant galaxies that evolved far beyond our comprehension because of their lack of DNA and due to the vastness of the universe incapable or unwilling to visit our planet.

When you also consider how far evolved we have become as human beings in only three and a half million years we can presuppose that some intelligent life in the universe evolved far beyond our comprehension. Some intelligent life could have possibly evolved into what some Philosophers and Spiritualist would describe as spiritual beings due to billions of years of evolution.

    This is also where science, spirituality, and Philosophy are beginning to merge and compliment each other in our pursuit for knowledge.
    However, today’s Christian Fundamentalists would argue that it takes as much blind faith to believe in evolution as it does for the Godly people who believe in the biblical creation story.

I personally do not believe in the Judeo-Christian creation story nor do I believe entirely in the Darwinian evolution theory. I do however believe in evolution per se because of the scientific evidence that supports it. I do not see evolution as being contradictory to the Intelligent Design theory but rather evolution can be an intricate part of the Universes Intelligent Design.

Einstein also wrote in one of his letters,

“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble minds."

Today’s Scientists recognize intelligent patterns within nature. That is why we continue to rely on Science and continue to develop scientific methods to help us gain greater insights in understanding nature’s intelligent design.

Humanity is also pushing to better itself with each generation. It is within that desire for self improvement that we have evolved to where we are today and will continue to evolve, socially, physically, consciously, and spiritually, for countless generations. With each generation humanity is gaining a deeper self-knowledge and becoming more self-aware of the essence of who we are as human beings.

The intelligent design of our own being is also a reflection of the intelligent design within all of nature. Empirical evidence has revealed to us that there is an evolutionary order to all life which some Scientists believe is an intricate part of nature’s intelligent design.

With love,
Thomas F. O’Neill

Click on author's byline for bio.

Yahoo Screen Name for chatting online: introspective777
Other writings of Thomas F. O'Neill can be found at the links below under the Screen Name Introspective.


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Reader Comments

Name: John I. Blair Email:
Comment: Thomas, I so admire you for respecting your own ability to consider and decide for yourself! So many are all too willing to give that God-given ability away and seek comfort in being told what to think. This is one of the best articles you've contributed to Pencil Stubs thus far. I look forward to reading your column in the future.



Name: leocthasme Email:
Comment: Great Article. There are many scientists who probably believe in a God, even though sometimes some scientific advancements might make a god unnecessary. On the other hand many 'so called' Christians who spout Bible Phrases without looking to see what the 'phrase' relates to, like to see scientific advancement tossed aside "stem cell research" for one. This God Creature, has given us our brains so thet we can develope scientific advances. Have these Christians who hate science ever wondered why Humankind, or Human Beings are the only 'Animal' on planet Earth that has a mind to think with? Sure animals can think but they can not advance their thinking further than self survival. Has any animal ever envented a 'wheel' for instance? Has any animal ever invented a refrigerator so that it can store its hunt for a time when hunting is not so good? God given 'brains' were meant for Humans. Even though sometimes brain power leads to bad decisions, wars, and man made evolutions 'global warming'. AT the time of the so called 6 day creation that the pulpit pounders like to spout about it was (if they read correctly) a pasage of time explaind by days, but not necessary a day period. After all it was not until the end of the 6th day account, that God finally put man on earth. In other words everything leading up to the 6th day creation of MAN had to be in place for the man to survive. So the story about creation was only a tale of What God Had done befor he put mankind here. In no way does God have to relate 'HOW HE DID IT' In fact there is one passaqge in the bible which suggests that a day in the life of God is like a thousand years. Or a long, long time. So whatever happened before the first man ever saw the sun come up and the sun set (a day) he would have had no idea how many days God had to use to get the world in order. So far scientists have been unable to find another planet like this one which fits man to a tee, water, vegitation, oxygen to breathe. Intellegent Design? Well sure, if this God Creature had in mind that man had to survive on this planet, it took an abundance of intellegence to set the planet at just the right angle so there would be growing seasons, one for the north and one for the south. It must have been some sort of Intellegent Design to make this the only planet in this solor system that can even support life. All the rest are inconclusive as to whether or not life can survive on them or not. Look at all the work mankind had to do just to put a space station in place so that maybe a half dozen men or women can survive on it, and even then it has to be supplied by earth resources, so far it has not grown any vegetables or produced enough water, it has oxegen supplied by earth tanks of oxygen. And a possible filtering system which regenerates the spent oxygen. And this so far has been going on for years, much less 6 days. Let's face it, time as humans know it, and space as we know it are not necessary functions of the interaction of energy and matter. scace is only necessary if something occupies it. if not then space is only a virtual reality. Time need not be a function of the Universe. Sure, science says all this happened from the explosion of some little compact pea, 'big bang' but they never said where that little pea came from. Evedently the interaction of energy and matter is timeless. Thus any passage of time in this universe is in no way relative to the Universe. Evedently it just goes on and on. NO beginning, np end. The time we as humand get to spend here is like zero compared to the time science thinks this Universe has existed. The one problem with scientists is that as men they can only see a passage of time as it relates to the solar system we are bound to. That time has little to do with the vast expance of a timeless Universe. So, science has put a time limit on how fast we might get from here to wherever in the universe, 'the speed of light'. Which we are told that if we could overtake it we would surpass our actual existance. In otherr words if we went one mile faster, or even one foot faster, we wouold not exist. We would have overtaken 'time ' so to speak. In any event my thinking is that time is only necessary here on earth, because we see days 'sunup and sunset', months, 'Moon phases', Years 'once around the sun' and so on. If we were on Venus it would be longer days and lesser years and no months. On Mars, shorter days and longer years, and two month configurations (two moons). So how do we gage time? Even if we do find out how to travel to some distant galaxy, how will we tell time there? Leo C.



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