A Message for All Ages: “Blue”

In this message, I showed this two minute video: “Blue” by Tech Insider.

The video shows us that a word for the color “Blue” usually develops much later in most languages than do words for “Black,” “White,” “Red,” “Green” or “Yellow.”  So, the question is “Can people without a word for ‘Blue’ in their language actually see the color we know as ‘Blue’?”  The video answers this question by presenting convincing evidence that people have great difficulty in distinguishing Blue from other colors when they have no word for Blue in their language.

This suggests several things – any one of which would be sufficient for a brief “Message for All Ages” – pick the one that suits your situation best…

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This is beautiful and fascinating video was created by Ron Miller, a former art director for NASA: he digitally superimposed scale images of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune over the same landscape, showing us how big the other planets would appear if they were as far away as the earth’s moon is from us.  (By the way, if the sun were shown from this distance, we’d be completely enveloped within it – a little too close for comfort.  …And, if Jupiter really were as far away as the moon, we’d be experiencing tides several HUNDRED times greater than we do now – among many other unpleasant effects!)

Now, this obviously cannot happen – this video is an intellectual and artistic exercise, not reality, and Jupiter isn’t effected one bit by our seeing it in this new way.  But, it enhances our understanding of the truth of our existence and of our relationship to Jupiter and the rest of the Solar System in many different  ways.

And so to does looking at the Holy Scriptures from different points of view enhance our understanding of The Faith: we see new things, and have a fuller and more comprehensive appreciation of our relationships with each other and with God.

Continue reading “Perspective”

The Thermian’s Dilemma, or Galaxy Quest as a Cautionary Tale About Fundamentalism

I agree with the author of this post: Literalism does diminish our faith, reducing its beauty and depth, making it less resilient in the face of adversity, and requiring one to ignore or gloss over anything that is contradictory – turning the faith into a pale and poor parody of itself.

The use of the great movie “Galaxy Quest” to illustrate this point is brilliant.

expressionist coffee

tumblr_nox34umQs01r3oqygo6_1280I loved Galaxy Quest as soon as I saw it. As a fan of Star Trek in all of its incarnations (OK, maybe not Star Trek 5 so much), I recognize almost all of the players in the movie: the geeked-out fans, the trapped actors longing to move beyond their stereotypes, land the viewers of the movie who like science fiction because maybe, just maybe there really is something more out there than just what we know. But I’ve noticed that there is a moral to the tale of Galaxy Quest that lies underneath the trappings of its science fiction.

If you remember the story (and more pertinently if you don’t), the story is this: Galaxy Quest was a 1970’s TV show which is seen by an extraterrestrial race (the Thermians) who have no concept of fiction. As such, when they come under attack from General Sarris they see the…

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