Walking the Cat . . .

Because life's kinda like that . . .

Thomas Edison, the lightbulb & God . . .

with 4 comments

I was watching National Treasure, the Nicholas Cage movie, the other day when a particular segment of dialogue caught my attention.  Two of the characters were talking about how to go about stealing the Declaration of Independence when Cage’s character said, “Thomas Edison tried and failed 2000 times to invent the light bulb.  When asked about this, the inventor said, ‘I didn’t fail.  I discovered 2000 ways how NOT to invent a light bulb.'”

 It could be God, good scientist that He (She?) is, didn’t give up after several (dozen? hundred? thousand?  You pick a metric) attempts and didn’t throw everything away and start again, from scratch.  I good scientist never throws anything away and God, after all, is “The First Scientist”.  His method may have been a bit primitive; being the first at anything means you don’t have anything to use as a reference.

I know there are some who would say, “What about evolution?  Isn’t that proof of experimentation?”  Well, yes and no.  Within the context of the Universe as we know and understand it, evolution could be seen as proof of experimentation but it could also be an “accident”, an “unintended consequence” that resulted in this universe’s classification of “failure”.

Oh, I almost forgot . . .I don’t want anyone to get the idea I’m espousing any kind of religious theory, here.  All this talk of God, evolution, experimentation, etc. . .is simply a “hypothetical construct” designed to place these questions in some kind of context.  I do not believe in “God” in the accepted sense of that word, not do I believe the supposed “theory” of Intelligent Design.  Intelligent Design is not a scientific theory.  It is a religious argument first put forth, officially, by Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica) some four hundred years ago.  It was formulated as a way of “filling in the gaps” between what we (at the time) understood about the physical world and what we didn’t understand and, according to the Catholic Church, could never understand.  It was, in essence, a myth created to explain how thing worked; the same way early man sued stories to explain where storms came from, or lightening, or earthquakes, or anything else the cause of which was not readily apparent.  The Church, it seemed, had a rather short-sighted view of human beings’ ability to acquire knowledge and, given the Church’s penchant for curtailing that ability, had every reason to believe their view would prove the correct one.  I didn’t.  But I digress. . .

I started this post with a question.  How many times did God try to create the Universe before He (She) came up with this one, the one that worked?  It’s an intriguing question.  I wonder if there’s an answer?

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4 Responses

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  1. So very often it is the question that matters, not the answer.

    Maurice A. Barry

    February 2, 2013 at 6:16 am

  2. Ah! But the answers are what sparks the conversation . . .

    stevewthomas

    February 3, 2013 at 12:48 pm

  3. “How many times did God try to create the Universe before He (She) came up with this one, the one that worked?”

    Your questions assumes that this is the only universe and that it works, neither of which, in my view, can be assumed at all. To the latter, as I understand it, the machinations of this universe may very well be failing on a time scale so long humans can barely perceive it. If the most current theory I am aware of holds up, then eventually “Dark Matter” will use it’s effect on gravity to push all things in the universe further apart until the very universe itself ends in “The Big Rip”, So unless the purpose of any and all universes is to end horribly destroying all life therein, then I assert that this universe doesn’t actually work at all. It seems that the universe we know is much like a tree-house built by a child, as it is destined to collapse of its own weight.

    Joshua Stephen Thomas Sr.

    September 1, 2015 at 11:50 am

    • You may wish to re-read the post. I do say, in part, “. . .God, good scientist He (She) is, didn’t throw everything away and start from scratch…”, thereby implying (or inferring, I can never remember which is which) the existence of more than one universe. As to whether this one “works”, I would say that, for our (humankind’s) purposes, it works “well enough”, for the time being, anyway. Whether it continues ad infinatum or collapses “like a treehouse built by a child”, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Thanks for the comment and the read. -S-

      stevewthomas

      September 1, 2015 at 12:39 pm


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