AstusAleator wrote:The ETC is amazing, and if it speaks to your soul so be it. A quiet moment on a mountaintop does it for me. If someday scientists are able to definitively detail the exact process by which every microscopic function of our existence came to be - would that shatter your belief in a god, your sense of wonder and awe?
Good point; for me the most recent jaw-dropping moment was a few days ago when my friend and I had set up our telescopes in the field outside of town and were waiting for the sun to set. We saw a mockingbird only ten feet away from us, cleaning its feathers. We both froze and lifted our binoculars to our eyes, and watched the bird for several minutes before it flew away. I couldn't believe it wasn't afraid to be so close to us, but it was absolutely wonderful to get to see it so close.
Then the sunset itself was gorgeous - a point sadly missed by most astronomers. The night sky always holds countless wonders, and I was able for the first time to identify several galaxies in the Virgo galaxy cluster. You need an almost perfect dark night to do that! The whole time, I couldn't believe it, each galaxy is millions of light-years across, contains hundreds of billions of stars, and is several million light-years away, and there were sometimes up to five of them at once in my eyepiece! Then add in the fact that, when the light we were seeing left those galaxies, mankind didn't even exist, and the sense of wonder is only deepened.
I know, none of this has anything to do with our topic; I'm just going on about how beautiful the natural world can be. No wonder I am studying to become a scientist, huh?