Seriously, the Solar System is Enormous!!!

Today, I want to share a few interesting links related to our topics of science and speculative fiction.

First off, we have a map of the Solar System.  This is no ordinary map of the Solar System, though.  This map is to scale, with the size of the Moon represented as a single pixel and the distances between planets accurately portrayed.  It took me about twenty minutes to explore the entire map, and I strongly recommend reading all the notes.  They get pretty philosophical once you pass Jupiter.  Click here for “If the Moon were One Pixel: A Tediously Accurate Map of the Solar System.”

Next, Michelle Joelle compares J.R.R. Tolkien’s essay “On Fairy-Stories” with William Desmond’s God and the Between.  The important lesson here is that fairy tales and other forms of speculative fiction should not be dismissed as escapism.  They may in fact be tools to help us understand that which transcends the crude, material world we see around us.  Click here for part one of Joelle’s series.  Click here for part two.  And click here for part three.

Lastly, if I gave you the numbers 2, 4, and 8, would you be able to predict what number I’d give you next?  You might assume I’m following a simple mathematical pattern, but that’s not the pattern I’m thinking of.  The video below takes a look not so much at math tricks but at how difficult it is for us to escape our assumptions once they’re made.

2 thoughts on “Seriously, the Solar System is Enormous!!!”

1. Interesting combination! While my essay was mainly aimed at the religious imagination, it definitely has implications for natural science as well – I think there are ways in which our scientism can actually box us into narrow paradigms that disallow higher abstractions of mathematics and make it difficult to process empirical realities that don’t fit the limited scope of a human centered logic.

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1. I completely agree. In order to do science, we have to be somewhat narrow minded, focusing only on what we can prove with evidence, but that is no way to live as a human being. Being human requires a great deal more than science can give us.

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