I occasionally like to watch television shows about the universe on the Universe Channel. Actually, it is not called the Universe Channel. It is called the Science Channel, but it has a lot of shows about the universe. One of the most recent I have followed is a program called “How the Universe Works.” Imagine my surprise when I discover, after tuning in, that the universe doesn’t work at all.
All it seems to do is explode and its various parts run into each other. It is more like watching “The Three Stooges,” than anything else.
I watched an interview with a scientist at the edge of Meteor Crater in northern Arizona, for example. It interested me because I have been to Meteor Crater, although they wouldn’t let me look at it up close unless I paid them. I didn’t pay them because I was too cheap, and also quite surprised to learn it is privately owned by the Barringer family.
Daniel Barringer, a mining engineer, was the first to suggest the crater had been caused by a meteor impact. That probably didn’t take much thinking. How could it have been caused by anything else? Some tried to say it was the result of a volcanic explosion, but Barringer was having none of that. A meteor it was, he said, and so it was.
The impact happened in the Pleistocene epoch, when woolly mammoths roamed the earth. There is no evidence any of the wooly mammoths were hit by the impact, but some of them must have heard it. Perhaps a mammoth family was nearby at the time, tucked into bed when the meteor hit.
“Good heavens, Wilbur,” Mrs. Mammoth might have said to her husband. “What in the world did you have for supper?”
If the universe were working properly, at least from our standpoint, meteor strikes like that wouldn’t have happened. The Laws of the Universe probably would have included an ordinance against it.
The scientists on the universe shows are very sure of themselves. For example, they say, “The sun is a very hot and dangerous place.”
I don’t think I would need a degree in astronomy to figure that out, would you?
Also, we are informed that except for our little niche of our solar system, everything in the universe is too far away to ever be reached.
However, they also tell us that there have to be planets out there which are of a nature to support life as we know it. That’s an easy thing to say, because you can’t prove it. With their telescopes, all they see is stars exploding and things running into other things.
It’s sort of like watching this presidential campaign, which is finally over, thank goodness.