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Random Issues, May Edition

May 25, 2006

kr’s note: a familiar face has returned.

1. As you might have noticed, I’ve been reading a book titled “The Whole Shebang: A State of the Universe(s) Report”. It deals with current theories and developments in cosmology (no, not the study of makeup, buffoons), something that I’ve been fascinated in ever since I read “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawking. Once I finish the book, I think I’ll write a post about how I’ve had to read this book quite slowly, since very often I have to put the book down and ponder over the import of what was said. A lot of it, especially the scale in terms of billions of light-years to define distances in the known universe (and let’s not even get to the theories that there may be other universes…) is a great reminder to remember how insignificant this world and our lives are: all the things that we worry about for days and years on end are cosmologically pathetic, having no import on the course of the universe. What’s amazing about this book is when one thinks about verses in the Qur’an that talk about the majesty and splendor of the heavens and then compares it to modern scientific discoveries, it essentially reconfirms what the Qur’an talked about 1400 years ago. Of course, there’s the famous verse, “Verily the creations of the heavens is greater than the creation of mankind, but most of mankind knows not,” among many verses that deal with the topic. Even our classical scholars seemed to have been quite privy to this field of cosmology, even if it was theoretical: the great scholar, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi writes in his exegesis, Tafsir al-Kabir, that the term “lord of the worlds” implies that God has the power to create a thousand thousand universes each with its own physical laws and types of creation. Anyway, the point of this is that I’ve been spending some sleepless nights pondering over some of these questions, and I figure what better way to combat insomnia than to perhaps share it with everyone else…:

a. If the universe is expanding, then what is it expanding into? If one says space, then space itself is expanding, so what is that space expanding into?
b. If light from stars that are millions or billions of light-years away reaches us now, then how do we even know if those stars exist today?
c. Where exactly are we in the universe? Is there any relative direction, any point of reference? And what happens if the universe itself is a giant sphere shaped object, and all that we see is simply the outer layer of the sphere?
d. They estimate that only 10% of the universe is theoretically visible, out of which we can currently see about 3%. The rest, they believe, is composed of dark matter. So if it doesn’t transmit light, then how do we know it even exists? And if it does exist, how we do know if it exists? Can something exist without us being able to ever comprehend that it exists?
e. Relativity tells us that space is curved, that the earth is sitting in the “basin” of space time with the moon orbitting it like a roulette ball. How does one visualize that?
f. Science fiction theorizes that time-travel may exist.  One might ask: if time travel does exist, then how come we don’t have visitors from the future in our midst? And if I were to enter a wormhole and go back in time to exactly 2 minutes before I entered the wormhole and prevented myself from entering the wormhole…. where does that leave me =).

That’s just the start. I have too many sleep-depriving questions gleaned from this book.

2. To restore back the insanity that is the norm in all of our lives, I found this video, a tafseer on podcasting if you will, to be particularly fascinating:

3. Finally, a public service announcement. The Don, Suhaib and I found out that the theater in Woodridge has $3 student admission on Wednesday nights. We saw MI:3 tonight. $3 can’t be beat… especially if you’re broke like me.


From → Uncategorized

  1. NAVEEEN! You were truely missed.

  2. Salam bro, three bucks is sick!  Now on to some of your points….
    b.  Astronomers have written that definitely we do see the light from stars that are already dead by the time we see the light.
    d.  If we don’t comprehend something or know it exists, I think that definitely does not deny its existence.  Case in point, Allah. 
    I’m dying to read that book although Harrison’s is the bigger priority right now.  

  3. Anonymous permalink

    haha that stupid ninja…
    and you finished that book? hope it doesnt keep you up

  4. Anonymous permalink

    Thanks šŸ™‚

  5. Hi, we’re having a Xanga-wide Religious discussion on NFC. Christians, Muslims, Atheists, Agnostics, welcome! Make sure you let your opinion be heard.SPEAK YOUR MIND!From Part 11) Why are the Hell’s of the Egyptians and the Zoroastrians considered Myths? While the hell of Christianity (fire and brimstone) is not? Weird huh?2) What is your opinion? Should HELL be a place of punishment for those who are evil on earth? Or should HELL be a place for non-believers of Jesus? From Part 21) Assignment: Compare and Contrast the differences in Afterlife. Some religions grant admittance into heaven only if you believe that their Lord is the one true God. Other religions grant admittance into heaven based on your individual merit. What are the benefits of each strategy? 2) Why does the Apostle of Love offer no mercy, no forgiveness, to those in hell? A person of Good and Moral character can go to hell simply for not accepting Christ. Eternal Damnation seems extremely cruel and unusual punishment doesn’t it?

  6. Is that you in that video?

  7. Anonymous permalink

    I’ve actually wondered about point A myself, and there was a part in Watchmen when one of the characters referred to the stars we see as “old photographs”. I liked that description.

  8. Anonymous permalink

    that video pretty much killed the post .. irrespective of the questions you posed being rather interesting… when are you coming over?? and don’t tell me you’re too poor to pay for gas .. the only thing that’s broke is your game.

  9. Azam Hussain mentioned whatever points I was going to bring up.About the $3 movie, you forgot to mention that you need a student ID, that the movie theater is almost like a restaurant with tables and waitresses that come around to take your order if you want to eat anything, and has some really nice reclining chairs. Oh yeah, scrap Da Vinci code, lets watch X-3 this Wednesday.

  10. great stuff to ponder on =)

  11. Anonymous permalink

    ur a fob. i ‘read’ brief history of time on my ipod.

  12. ‘As you might have noticed, I’ve been reading a book titled “The Whole Shebang: A State of the Universe(s) Report”.’SHE BANG! SHE BANG!Sorry.

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