Surprise is a light in our brain that goes “on”, and while on connects us to the AH HA moments of discovery which are the true learning exercises throughout our lives. From our earliest moments we delight in discovery provided for us by those common elements in all our lives. Smell, taste, touch, and our senses all develop to accommodate our new environment. I believe one of our first spontaneous reactions to life is to clap our hands in delight at each new discovery; we clap our feet also until toddler age.
As we grow older we gain some sophistication in the “delight” and “surprise” departments. Not all moving objects and pretty colored lights thrill us as much as they once did. We begin to look for more stimulation. We begin to crawl; to expand our universe beyond mom, her breasts, and the crib. This process of surprise and delight should never end. It is one of the things in life that refresh humanity like none other.
But here is what happens.
Santa Claus, the tooth fairy, and all our childhood heroes are introduced into our lives at our most impressionable ages. We learn that the triumph of good over bad means we get more presents. We learn that the reward for pain, the loss of a tooth for example, is compensated for by a coin of the realm. This system of naughty and nice, no pain no gain, and other ways of compelling compliance through award and punishment remain with us for the rest of our lives.
Until we begin to grow up. We finally notice dozens of Santas in malls at Christmas time and bust our moms and dads buying presents and stuffing them under the tree. We lose our naïveté and so begin our lifelong slide into cynicism. We become hip to the game of myth belief and realize we are being played by the very people we trust the most, our parents and our institutions, and we forget that our deception is for a good cause, the betterment of society.
People are incredibly resilient. As Jeff Bridges said in his famous “Starman” movie of the 70s, (sorry for the paraphrase) “you humans are amazing. You are at your best when things are at their worst.” People everywhere are becoming bored. We are tired of war (at least I hope so), we are tired of big business controlling everything that big government doesn’t control, and we need a transformative event. We need some new discovery or invention which revitalizes our imagination as a nation and will unite the world as Buckminster Fuller suggested a half a century ago, and that will encourage a worldwide recognition and appreciation of our life on spaceship Earth.
Well, I think that moment is about to be revealed. We have learned over the last millennia how little we really know about the universe we live in. Today, advances in math and science and astrophysics are solving the riddles of the universe at a ferocious rate. 1500 years ago the concept of our universe was that Earth was in the center and everything revolved around our planet. 500 years ago it was common knowledge that if you sailed too far across the ocean, and reached the edge, you would simply fall off the world. Within the last hundred years we busted up the atom and discovered the true building blocks of the universe, and in just the last year we have discovered proof of the “God” particle.
The Higgs Bosun mystery has been with us for about 50 years. It wasn’t until technology caught up with theory, and engineering caught up with technology, that we were able to produce the equipment necessary to prove the theory. The recent data pouring out of the Large Hadron Collider in CERN may have provided the information necessary for our gigantic computers to crunch out those forces which were present at the birth of our universe.
This information, coupled with the astrological data being provided by the new Hubble telescope, should be enough to tie up the loose ends still remaining concerning the birth of the universe.
Folks, the surprise is that it won’t be long before we are the gods we dream about; unfortunately, that technological advance will not include a corresponding growth in empathy and understanding necessary for the survival of humanity. It may take another couple universe sized evolutions over many more billions of years to straighten out humanity.
If you Google the God particle you may come across this entry:
“My friend and collaborator Ainissa Ramirez, a Yale University materials scientist and TED Talker, likes to call herself a science evangelist and her passion and expertise at science education is unparalleled. So this week, with the announcement about the discovery of the Higgs Boson, was both exciting–because of an amazing opportunity–and frustrating–because she thought the science world largely blew it. Here’s her guest post about this defining moment in the history of modern science.
By Ainissa Ramirez, Yale University
Here’s what you need to know about the God Particle.
The Higgs boson (Higgs is a guy’s name, BTW, and a boson is a particle that’s smaller than an atom) is the biggest scientific discovery of the 21st Century. Period.
This discovery is up there with Copernicus.
If we did not find the Higgs boson, everything that we understood about how the universe works would have been wrong. We would have had nice equations that describe things we observed in the world, but they would have been crap. That would have been $10 billion flushed down the toilet with the creation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) and we would have gone back to the drawing board with our tail between our legs after fifty years of an aimless pursuit.”
Fortunately this does not appear to be the case. Math and science appear to join forces and collaberate when it comes to the birth of our universe. Only religious doctrine seems to be out of phase with new realities.