I hope you get my attempt at humor in the titles to these articles. They refer, in my version of phonetic spelling, to Tonto’s frequent answer to The Lone Ranger’s questions. And as the titles suggest, the articles will consist of random collections of questions. They range from pure silliness to more serious issues of philosophy and science. Some I’ve thought about for years, some are more recent, and I won’t be surprised if I think of new ones as I write. The creative process is like that. It’s also possible that I’ll answer my own question while trying to verbalize it. The creative process is like that too. I really hope that it happens. If it does, I’ll write about my answer as well.
So please grant me a resounding “No, my slow friend. There are no stupid questions!” And as The Joker said: “Here… we… go!”
1. This one has bothered me for years. Astronomers say that the universe is approximately 14.5 billion years old. They also say that it began in The Big Bang and has been expanding ever since. In addition, they say that since light takes time to travel over a distance, we see distant stars as they were when the light we see left them. So light that left a star a thousand years ago will show us the state of that star as it was a thousand years ago. Okay, I can except that. But these same folks are now claiming that their cutting-edge telescopes now allow them to see the very edge of the universe – nearly 14 billion light-years away. They say this distance also allows them to see back in time to right after The Big Bang. They even claim to have pictures of what they call ‘infant galaxies’ to prove it. This brings several questions to mind:
a. Call me stupid but, if the universe was so much smaller that far back in time, wouldn’t objects whose light left them at that time appear to be much, much, MUCH closer to us?
b. Could an ‘evolving’ physics have allowed objects to travel so much faster back then than they can now?
c. Could the speed of light itself have ‘evolved’ over time?
d. What does the universe look like from the edge?
e. What would you see looking out from the edge?
2. According to the religious, Man is nothing but ‘dust in the wind.’ If that’s so, then how did we manage to create so many Gods?
3. According to the religious, Man’s creations are nothing but ‘dust in the wind.’ If that’s so, then what does that say about all those Gods we’ve created?
4. According to the religious, Man is God’s favorite creation. If you were one of the countless possible creatures in the universe, wouldn’t that just piss you off? Maybe that’s why some people fear alien invaders.
5. Science has shown that we aren’t, in fact, at the center of the universe. We actually inhabit an inconspicuous little planet, circling a back water system, in a run of the mill galaxy, amongst billions of other galaxies. Doesn’t our true greatness lie in our ability to recognize these facts and get on with it anyway?
6. Let’s say we live in some highly advanced technological society where all our food can be ‘replicated’ from ‘raw atoms’ or some such. Does killing for food then become immoral no matter how much we like to kill or chomp?
7. Considering the messy ways in which we reproduce and eliminate bodily wastes, does this mean that God has a really twisted sense of humor?
8. Why do people insist on asking what’s wrong with me when they know very well that they have neither the time nor the patience to have me list all of the things that are wrong with me?
9. With all the abuse they have to take from the ‘normal’ people, why would homosexuals want to be called ‘gay?’
10. Why don’t lesbians refer to themselves as ‘gay?’ Aren’t they happy? Okay, I know that’s two questions.
11. We’ve got ones, tens, hundreds, thousands, millions, billions, and trillions. What’s next? At the rate we’re blowing through money, I think we’d better find out soon. And to think that people made fun of Carl Sagan!
12. If time is money, then what is money – from a philosophical perspective? Perhaps it represents the part of my life, time which I’ll never get back, that has been spent earning my money. Could it be that money, and the property it buys, actually equates to life? Okay, I know that was two questions, but you won’t catch me telling someone who’s been robbed of his property that ‘at least you have your life.’ Especially not if that person is too old to re-earn all that he’s lost!
13. If no ‘place’ existed before The Big Bang, then ‘where’ was God standing when he caused it?
14. If heaven is such a great place, then why aren’t even the most religious people in a hurry to get there? Is that doubt I smell? Alright already with the bitching about multiple questions.
15. If heaven is the opposite of hell, then do the people there have to wear long johns under all those robes?
16. Did all of the people who figured out how to drive in winter last year move away, to be replaced by a new crop from the Caribbean?
17. Were the people who named the city of Islamabad trying to tell us something?
18. Aren’t terms like ‘military intelligence’ and ‘religious freedom’ kind of oxymoronic?
19. If Man is such a terrible sinner, so riddled with faults that he should strive to correct, then why would the desire for perfection be considered one of his greatest sins?
20. The host of PBS’s Wild Chronicles said that I have a greater chance of being struck by lightning than being bitten by a shark. I wonder if he meant me as a member of the total population, me as a member of the smaller population that occasionally spends time in the ocean, or me as a member of the smaller still population that happens to be in the ocean at a given moment?
Okay, that’s it. I’m tired and my brain hurts. I’ll post more questions later. After all, “I gotta million of ’em!”
I want ice water.