Yesterday as I was doing some of the chores that dog my weekends, I listened to two podcasts by my two buds....Wayne Jacobsen and Brad Cummings. Disclaimer....they aren't real life buds, although I have exchanged a few emails with Wayne. I feel like I actually know them simply because they let me (and everyone else) eavesdrop on their 45 minute(ish) conversations centered around their beliefs, their lives, their thoughts and their relationship with God. It is sort of like sitting in a coffee shop...or a living room....listening to two guys shoot the breeze.
I've got to start taking notes when I listen to podcasts because things often catch my attention that would make a great subject for a blog post. Unfortunately, I often forget these ideas shortly after I hear them. I intend to revisit already listened to podcasts....and have on the rarest of occasions.....but I know it's very unlikely.
But I do remember one of the things Wayne talked about in the "Oh Wow!! Oh Wow!! Oh Wow!!" podcast….and it will be the subject of this meandering post.
The title of the podcast alludes to the last words Steve Jobs spoke….as he was dying of a long bout with pancreatic cancer. During this life, he never claimed to be a Christian. (Although I'd be really interested to know what his perspective is now) He was more into zen things...a Buddhist, if I'm not mistaken. His last remarks on this side of the veil certainly pique the curiosity. He was either delusional (his family claims he was not) ....or he was hovering in that place I suspect we all inhabit when we are dying....one of those "thin places"....where this world and the next world overlap.
Wayne talked about a series he is watching on the Science Channel....Through the Wormhole, hosted by Morgan Freeman. It's a scientific show but it is not hostile to religion. One of recent shows was about Black Matter....queue Twilight Zone music in your head....and even more alarming....Black Energy....turn up the volume of the music.
What is black matter?
The more we peel away the layers of nature the more we realize that something is missing. Something big. An enormous chunk of the universe seems to be invisible.
Scientists have termed this mysterious, unseen part of the universe "dark matter" and, despite years of research, they still understand relatively little about it.
….it seems likely that dark matter largely comprises "extraordinary matter," new forms of matter composed of new types of particles. Cosmologists hypothesize that dark matter may actually be made up of particles that were produced shortly after the big bang. Scientists have dubbed these subatomic particles WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles). WIMPs may be part of a supersymmetry of particles — meaning each known particle has a "superpartner," such as axions and neutralinos, which many scientists point to as probable candidates for making up dark matter
Recent observations have led to the important conclusion that, while the Earth may be round, the universe is actually flat. But scientists estimate that dark matter makes up only about 23 percent of the mass necessary to produce a flat universe, leaving more than 70 percent of the necessary mass still unaccounted for. Today, NASA scientists hypothesize that 72 percent of the universe is composed of dark energy, a different substance that we know even less about. This substance exerts a negative pressure on the universe, causing it to expand at an accelerated rate.
Much remains unknown about dark matter and dark energy — two substances unlike anything previously recognized in our universe that nevertheless make up the vast majority of it. But new advances in technology used to detect dark matter, as well as particle accelerator experiments, will likely bring scientists closer not only to answering the question "What is the universe made of?" but also to actually understanding that answer.
And another take on the Black Matter by Mark Trodden
We look out at the universe, we measure large parts of it, and we try to weigh it, try to figure out how much of the energy in the universe is in different kinds of matter and particles. The amazing thing you find is that most of it is not in the kind of stuff you and I are made of, protons and things like that. It's in a kind of matter that doesn't shine, it doesn't give off radiation, you don't see it in your normal telescopes, it's made of particles, that's what we think from studying how it interacts, but it's a particle that we haven't found yet. So, dark matter is some sort of heavy particle, it's out there in the universe, it's the majority of massive matter in the universe, it's responsible for galaxies forming, and we're still trying to figure out what it is.
They ended the podcast with a short conversation about prayer…and praying without ceasing and keeping that “oh wow” wonder as we live our day to day lives. Brad Cummings “encouraged people to have a good conversation with the unknown 95% of the universe”…the missing chunk….our Father who art in heaven…..God.