Darwin’s theory of evolution is sometimes suggested as being counter to religious beliefs.  This simply is not true.  The “monkey trials” may have made good drama in “Inherit the Wind” and may have made William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow more famous, but evolution and the Bible work hand-in-hand.

Clearly, God made finches and there is nothing in the Bible that indicates that finches cannot adapt to their environment.  The continuous improvement of species is part of God’s nature.  The survival of the fittest is not invalidated in the Bible.  Darwin’s evolution fits nicely in the palm of a Creator’s hand.

The part of man’s evolution that is evil is not Darwin’s theory, but it is man’s humanness.  The changes in society over the years, which have progressed: (1) from satisfying basic needs, (2) to addressing society’s needs as most important, (3) and finally to today where individual’s needs are paramount, may be explained by Darwin’s theory of evolution, a process of changing from a worse to a better state, thrown into reverse.  This theory might be renamed “evilution,” the process of changing from a better to a worse state.

“God bless America” became “God bless me.”  Then, it became “Bless me.”  Now, it is only “Me!”  The survival of the fittest may apply, promoting those who are willing to do whatever it takes to make their lives better.  These are usually the mean and evil spirited of our species.  All of our species are endowed with a generous amount of humanness, but as generations pass, there are more who have hardened hearts. 

And our species has adapted to a new environment where everybody focuses on themselves.  All aspects of society change, as well, adapting to this new world.  If it is all about the individual, marriages become disposable, family life is less important, laws restricting people from doing what they want are eliminated, and religion and ethics take a back seat to individual rights.

Analyzing the last paragraph, you might say that America has emphasized and supported frontier individualism, so why is individualism a bad thing?  Well, it is not the same type of individualism.  The 21st century individualism is not the same as the18th, 19th, and even 20th century individualism. 

Today’s individualism is “all about me.”  How you look, how many expensive toys you have, your car and house status are the important traits.  The old individualism was being able to survive in a difficult environment on your own or with family.  That is not an issue today.  The old individualism was individualism with a conscience.  That is not the case today.

So, who cares?  As long as people do what they want and don’t hurt anybody what’s the problem?  If they like dope, let them smoke dope.  If they are “try-sexual” and want to try anything with anybody, then let them because they aren’t hurting anything.  If our country is deep in debt, don’t worry about it.  We can print more money.  That doesn’t hurt anybody.  All these things may not hurt anybody immediately, but eventually we are no longer conscious of our conscience and our social systems are destroyed.

In other words, the system of democracy will evolve by adapting to these changes in our society until it is destroyed, which is the unfortunate end result of all systems.  Thus, man’s systems will all fail through “evilution” or entropy because of the humanness of man.  God’s system will not fail because evolution is part of God’s natural progression of improvements and there is no failure in the created world. 

Why do we know our universe was created?  Most scientists believe that evidence proves that there was a Big Bang.  The Big Bang was our view of the creation of our universe.  Only the Creator saw the creation from the other side. 

How do we know that the created universe will never fail?  Most scientists believe that in our closed universe that matter and energy can neither be created nor destroyed.  In other words, our created world cannot fail or be destroyed.  Energy can transform to matter and vice versa, but the total amount of energy and matter in our universe will always remain the same. 

But man’s governmental systems will all fail, whether they are democracy, oligarchy, theocracy, socialism, communism, or totalitarianism; it is important to remember that our lives are short and our afterlives are long.  Live the short life as best you can, but focus on the much more important afterlife.

Evolution generally leads to an improvement and more control since it is a scientific process that was part of creation.  Typically, those adaptations which serve the species better are passed on to subsequent generations.  “Evilution,” on the other hand, leads to chaos and failure since it is mankind’s perversion of systems.

If our species creates “evilution” during our lives, does what we select in life follow us into the afterlife?  If we focus on ourselves during life and are still thinking about ourselves when we die, then that is all we will carry into the afterlife.  Can you imagine “evilution” forever?  Can you imagine what it would be like living with yourself for eternity?  If you are thinking at death and you do not believe in God, then you will certainly be lost in a chaotic environment that you cannot possibly imagine during your life, but that you certainly will imagine through your worst nightmares when you die. 

As Jesus said, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”  If you believe in God and are thinking about God, then God’s evolution could also be found in the afterlife.  Nobody knows exactly what will happen in the afterlife, but God’s world is a controlled, peaceful world following His natural processes, perhaps including evolution.  By continuing to believe and think about God, you may evolve and develop in His universe. 

We all know we are sinners during our lives, but does this humanness follow us into the afterlife?  Does it follow us even if we believe in God?  If we are sentenced to living like in the movie, “Ground Hog Day,” for the rest of eternity that could be worse than a death sentence where we just stopped thinking.  I believe that God’s world has plenty of room for adaptation and evolution, so that we can develop into a better thinking entity or soul.  Otherwise our humanness in life, even though forgiven at death by God, would follow us into the afterlife where perhaps God could no longer forgive it, especially over eternity.

Some of the early Christian Gnostics believed that shedding your bodies and material things would free individuals from the created world, restoring a lost union with God.  They did not believe that humanness would follow man into the afterlife since it would be left behind in the material world.

The discovery of one’s true self can result from the teachings of Jesus.  In effect, you become one with God.  And some of the Gnostics believed that anybody could be the son of God, just like Jesus, simply by following the teachings of Jesus and uniting with God.  In other words, when you entered the afterlife, if you were thinking of God as the truth, then you would merge into God as another son like Jesus.

Why were the Gnostics dismissed and the other books about Jesus, primarily Gnostic, not included in the Bible?  Well, the Gnostics believed that religious truth could be discovered by individuals without the help of religious leaders.  The First Council of Nicaea, a council of Christian bishops convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine in AD 325, had no use for Gnosticism because it opposed organized religion and its leadership.  The Nicaean Council attempted to reach consensus of what Christianity would be from that point forward, of course, leaving out all the Gnostic books and theology.

The Gnostics were early existentialists similar to Soren Kierkegaard who believed that the individual with a conscience would be going one-on-one with God in the afterlife and that religious leaders were irrelevant for this future event.  In effect, entering the afterlife was a mystical experience with your individual thought process taking you where it led you.  If you linked with God, then you would have control over the situation; whereas if you were separated from God, then you would be lost forever in a deep, dark pit of chaos.

The Bible mentions two separate judgments:  first, at death when God’s grace grants you passage into Heaven based on only your belief; and the second, where your actions may be judged with appropriate consequences.  Some theologians believe that the second judgment is really only evidence that you do, in fact, believe.  In other words, if you truly believe in God, then you will follow God’s law and your conscience and act accordingly.  But the Bible references consequences administered after a final judgment before God, much like a trial with punishment.       

God creates everything and then man makes choices during his life of the creations in front of him.  God does not make him choose from this menu; he does that on his own.  That’s called “free will.”  Man makes decisions and then there are consequences waiting around the corner.  Nobody knows for certain what the consequences will be, but it will certainly be chaotic and out of control.  When we dive into the afterlife, nobody has a clue exactly what is going to happen, but it will be a surprise.  If you do not have a strong belief in God, you will be caught in a giant rip tide that will take you out to sea.

We can speculate that there may be two paths:  one to Hell and one to Heaven.  Hell could be chaos with an escalation in punishment depending on some “evilutionary” theory of consequences, but nobody knows.  The best approach in the afterlife might be to follow the path of Jesus to Heaven, the controlled universe which offers peace for eternity, hoping for continual improvement through evolutionary development of our souls.  It also would be very helpful if we left our humanity behind when we entered God’s kingdom. 

Bottom Line:  “Evilution” should never deter you from the straight and narrow path of Jesus.             

Ethics Can Be Found in Moderation

There are two extremes in ethics.  There is autonomy where morality is based on reason alone, and there is theonomy where ethics comes entirely from God.

Extreme positions are generally wrong.  Notice that I didn’t say that these positions are “always” wrong.  That later statement would be extreme, while the former is more moderate and more likely to be true.

The extreme position of autonomy is problematic because man can be highly illogical and very unreasonable during chaotic and confusing times.  It makes little sense to place so much stock in man’s logic.  But logic always seems logical to the logician.

The excessive theory of theonomy starts to break down if you believe that man has any ability at all to make choices in life.  If morality emanates only from God, then man has no choice in the matter.  If theonomy is true, then predestination also is true.  This would leave man with no power to make decisions much like a robot following only the programming.

The balanced ethical theory is heteronomy where morality is derived from a set of values provided by religion or (meaning and/or) philosophy.  This is a practical approach to ethics, avoiding the polarizing forces of autonomy with “no God” and of theonomy with “all God.”

Heteronomy is practical because it follows a belief that humans, who are typically selfish and self-centered, make bad choices on a daily basis.  Man is capable of making good decisions, but left to himself, he is less interested in doing the right thing for humanity and is more interested in making his life more comfortable.

Autonomy is less practical since the proponents of this philosophy, usually atheists and agnostics, many times think that all men are reasonable.  “All” is one of those pesky extreme words that can get you into trouble.  There are too many examples in history showing that man can be very unreasonable.

Theonomy also is less than realistic.  God may be omniscient and omnipresent and omnipotent without dictating everything that we do.  If everything were predetermined, then we wouldn’t need to think.  We could stop planning for the future, trying to make better lives for ourselves.  We could just place our lives on autopilot and let everything, including food, fall into our hands.

However, most people believe that life offers choices with consequences for our decisions.  We go through life making choices and our ethics based on religious and philosophical teachings leads us to making the right decisions.  But make no mistake.  We are making the choices using God’s moral compass.  This is different than us making the choices by ourselves (autonomy) or God making all our choices for us (theonomy).

Some great philosophers have relied heavily on man’s logic in being able to determine what is right and what is wrong in this decision-making process.  The problem with this is that life is usually going from stable to unstable (entropy), leaving man to make decisions when under stress with fog and friction around.  Man usually loses his balance and drops his reasoning under these circumstances.

If you read the Beatitudes in the Book of Matthew, you will see that the moral teachings of Jesus go way beyond anything that we would impose on ourselves.  Would we think it unreasonable to lust for a beautiful woman?  Would just the thought of being with her be something immoral by our logic?  The ethical values of man by himself will never equal the ethical values set by religion or philosophy.

And as we employ this ethical balancing approach, we can be further guided by great moral teachers of Jesus, Muhammad, Confucius, Buddha, and others.  But a good rule of thumb is that if you feel like you are entering a gray area where you are uncertain whether the decision is morally correct, then it is generally best to not take that action.  If it doesn’t feel exactly right, then it probably isn’t.  Intuitions pave the path to hell.  Human instinct is not a good substitute for the moral teachings of religion or philosophy.

Man cannot make good ethical decisions by himself.  He must allow the good spirits or Holy Spirit to enter his conscience and lead him into making good decisions.  This cannot be done by man alone or only with God.  It can be done only through a unification with God or your higher being.  This oneness with God is critical both during life and during the afterlife.

Aristotle in Nicomachean Ethics stated that “… excess and defect are characteristic of vice, and the mean of virtue.”  This famous Greek philosopher, born in 384 BC near Athens, Greece, branded ethics with his “golden mean.” 

Mean is defined to be a middle point between extremes.  Aristotle explained that virtue, which he claimed should be an end goal for man, is like the mean since virtue also “aims at what is intermediate.”

Since man is endowed with generous amounts of free will, we are constantly bombarded with choices.  Moral virtue must have a quality of aiming for the middle between two extremes.  For example, if you enjoy wine, then there may be no problem with drinking a glass of wine at a party.  You would be missing the mark if you abstained from all wine or if you drank ten glasses.  However, if you were an alcoholic, drinking even one glass of wine might be a bad decision. 

The moderate path, which is determined on a case-by-case basis and may vary because of individual differences, leads to pleasure and righteousness.  The point is that you must control and moderate your behavior.  You limit yourself to the number of glasses of wine that represent temperate drinking for you and the circumstances that develop. 

You may have to learn how many glasses of wine you can drink through your experiences.  And the number of glasses that you allow yourself to drink may depend on whether you have eaten, what you are going to do after the drinks, and any number of other facts. 

For example if you are the designated driver, then you should not have any glasses of wine.  If you are driving home after the party, you probably should limit yourself to one glass of wine.  If you are already home, then you may consume two glasses of wine.  But you will know your limitations, and you need to impose them on yourself.      

Sometimes, it is referred to as “doing the right thing.”  We should constantly improve our selves so that we make better choices.  Seek moderation and balance in all that you do.  Society offers laws, customs, mores, peer and family pressure, but we have our own sense of balance within our conscience.  We must use all the tools (nature and nurture) to find peace and harmony in the righteousness of ethics.  You have arrived when you follow the moderate path when nobody is looking.  You do the right thing because it is the right thing. 

Moderation is included in Homo sapiens genetic makeup.  Otherwise, our species would have gone extinct centuries ago.  Extreme approaches to life would have placed mankind in jeopardy, exposed to larger and stronger predators.  Man had no hard shell or claws or speed or dagger teeth.  All we had was our ability to reason and a propensity to follow a moderate path.  Both of these qualities saved us from extinction.

We learn temperance from bad experiences that establish good habits.  We reason that since a lion ate our friend yesterday who jumped down from a tree without looking around, we should habitually survey the area around the tree before climbing down.  We also adopt moderate habits from societal pressures and laws which impose consequences.  But along with that learning process of nurture, we also have the innate process of nature.  They work together, side-by-side.

So, why do we make bad decisions?  Well, we have free will.  We can do anything that we want, and most people want to satisfy themselves.  “It’s not about you; it’s about me.”  If having sex with one partner is pleasurable, think what it would be like with multiple partners. 

Extremes occur more often in today’s world because we do not have the leveling effect of large predators outside our doors waiting for us.  In fact, the predators of today’s society are our own species who will take whatever you have if they want it.  These individuals are vice-ridden with no consciences.  It is difficult maintaining a moderate existence around these people.  They want to either infect you with their evil or destroy you.  And these predators come in all shapes and sizes.  Some are Chief Executive Officers of corporations, some are politicians, some are religious leaders, some are criminals locked up in jails, and some are murdering family members as you read this sentence. 

But there is hope.  All Homo sapiens have the ability to be righteous.  Religion is important in this process of creating an ethical world for us to live in.  A belief in a creator is important for several reasons:  (1) if you have to answer for your sins, then fear of punishment may moderate your behavior, (2) creation implies the ability to destroy, so a creator who made us could also destroy us for our transgressions (although, I would rather be destroyed than have to live with myself or other sinners for eternity), (3) there are laws given by the creator that we should follow in order to please the creator, (4) the creator gives us the feeling that we are being watched, so we do the right thing, and (5) we do the right thing because it is the right thing to do since we are unified with the creator and have become more like him.  When faced with daily problems, many Christians ask, “What would Jesus do?”  Then armed with that answer, they try to emulate Jesus, their role model, as best they can. 

As long as you are making an effort to follow the moderate path and live a righteous life every minute of every day, then you are making progress and should continue that course.  God help us if we don’t.   

Global Warming

Global warming has been a tennis ball bashed back and forth by both liberals and conservatives.  And as usual, they are both wrong.  Or perhaps, I should be sensitive and say that they both are partly correct.  But indicating that they are both partly correct is dangerous because the public has a tendency to forget the word “partly” and only hear “correct.”

Global warming may be a misnomer.  The initial warming probably will turn into global freezing.  As the ocean currents which maintain a worldwide equilibrium are interrupted by global warming, the temperatures become colder.  So the liberals are incorrect.

But the conservatives do not tell the truth either.  The increases in carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide have definitely had an adverse impact on our environment.  However, if you examine the earth’s history, volcanic activity has pumped out a devastating amount of these elements that has made much more of an impact on climate and our environment than manmade emissions. 

The real question is what is the elephant in the environment that nobody is talking about?  The big ticket item is methane ice located at the bottom of our oceans.  When the seas warm, this methane is released into our atmosphere.  Methane is much more hazardous to our environment.  Within a short period of time, it could reflect the sun’s rays, blocking our life support system.  Earth could become a frozen planet.   This may have been what happened during the Permian extinction when so many species were wiped out.

The global warming could be a triggering event that warms the seas to such an extent that the methane ice starts melting; however, that does not seem to be happening.  As the polar ice has melted, the ocean’s temperature has not dropped significantly.  But global warming could be disrupting the major ocean streams, which regulate the temperatures throughout the world.  This may create climate changes, causing more drought and violent storms.  Some areas may become deserts while others may be flooded. 

It is not likely that the global warming described by both liberals and conservatives will be our reality.  Global warming will more than likely lead to colder temperatures, which is different than what both left and right wingers are saying.  The more accurate prediction is that we will be exposed to more violent climate changes, which could significantly impact our lives, but probably will not lead to global extinctions.

However, that being said, it is possible that the climate changes might cause a shifting in the tectonic plates as the weight of ice is lifted at the poles and redistributed as the weight of water elsewhere on the planet.  Tectonic activity can result in an increase in volcanism, which could lead to runaway global warming which could easily trigger the melting of methane ice.  Now, that could lead to global mass extinctions.   

Looking Back in Time

Scientists have estimated that the universe is about 13.77 to 13.82 billion years old from the Big Band to today.  The low end of this estimate was provided by National Aeronautics & Space Administration’s Wilkinson Microwave Aristropy Probe, while the upper end of the time was offered by the European Space Agency’s Planck spacecraft.  Both these estimates were based on maps of the cosmic microwave background radiation prepared by NASA with 13.772 and ESA with 13.82 billion years.

Scientists have also examined the age of star globules in deep space and find them to range from 11 to 18 billion years of age.  The average age would be about 15 billion years old, which does not make sense because the stars could not be older than the universe itself.  Even the discovery of a galaxy estimated to be 13.2 billion years old, using the Hubble Telescope, does not seem possible.  The light from that galaxy at that age could not be seen today since it would have been long gone. 

The images of stars in deep space have been traveling at the speed of light, while the universe has been expanding at a far lesser speed.  This means that the light from early stars would have long passed us.  The stars that we could see would be quite a bit less than 11 billion years old. 

Further, this is only an examination of the stars that can be seen as there may be a portion of our universe that is unobservable.  Those galaxies that are invisible to us would be closer to the origin of the universe.

Is there any possible explanation for these deep field stars appearing to be older?  Well, there might be.  Instead of examining our universe as if it were expanding, what would it look like if it were contracting?  If all the galaxies were shrinking at the same rate, we would not detect any contraction from our perspective.  However, the red-shift would explain the movement of galaxies away from each other as they got smaller in size. 

The older globules of stars will shine less brightly not because they are older, but because they are smaller than their original sizes.  Determining their age by the brightness of their light will be difficult because they may be quite a bit smaller than when they were first created.  The estimated ages of older star groups that we can see may be distorted by the misconception that they have remained at their original size, when, in fact, galaxies and their stars have been decreasing in size since about a billion years after the Big Bang.  This may make these stars six billion years old or less.       

Free Willy

A popular movie, “Free Willy,” had as its premise that a boy found out that his friend, a killer whale, was going to be killed by the aquarium owners, so the boy took action to free the killer whale named Willy.  There are some, including seals, that might have sought a different outcome. 

What about Willy’s future?  When we free Willy, will he join Sea World or will he return to being a vicious predator in the wild?  Whenever you free an animal, you are giving it choices or free will.  Will nature take over and determine Willy’s course or will Willy make his own decisions?  At the risk of appearing anthropocentric, is our species better than other animals?  Does man have an awareness that killer whales do not?

Does our species, Homo sapiens, have free will?  Or is everything that we do based on deterministic behavior?  The answer depends on whether there is a Creator or not.  If there were a Creator who set us free to make choices, then we are acting on free will.  But if there were no Creator, then we would have no free will.  What better way to prove whether there is a God or not?

If you ask people if they have free will, most will tell you yes.  The majority of defendants in criminal trials knew the difference between right and wrong and made decisions to break the law.  But what if our decisions were made based on a complex deterministic formula that was ingrained in our brains?  What if scientists could make computers that made decisions based on a complex hard drive that analyzed all the factual input?  What if we could build a computer that was conscious and had a conscience based on its programming?  Is free will an illusion?  These are very interesting questions.

To arrive at a satisfactory answer, we must search deep inside ourselves.  The captain of your body is that entity looking outside your eyes at the world.  As your senses perceive things, this input is directed to your brain.  Is that where the captain hangs out?  Or is the brain separate from the captain’s innermost thoughts about awareness and integrity?  Are consciousness and conscience in the brain or are they somewhere else?

If they are just part of the brain, then when you die, your awareness of what is around you will also die.  In effect, after you die, you will not be thinking anymore.  You will be brain dead and “dead” dead.  There will be nothing else and certainly no afterlife.  This actually would be a good thing for everybody.  There would be no heaven, but most importantly, there would be no hell.  In effect, there would be no consequences for poor decisions made during your life.  And there should be no consequences because everything was predetermined by your programming.  You had no choice and there was no mens rea in any of your crimes, no matter how egregious or perverted.  Everybody sins, so we all would benefit from this complete termination.

The problem with this is that it does not match one of our laws of physics:  the law of conservation of mass and energy.  This rule provides that all mass and energy must remain constant within our closed universe.  This implies that mass and energy can neither be destroyed nor created.  So, our consciousness or conscience may be transformed into other matter or energy, but it cannot be destroyed.  Thus, our thinking cannot be destroyed.  It will continue on in some fashion in our universe.

This First Law of Thermodynamics also seems to prove a Creator.  If all mass and energy is contained in a closed system where creation cannot occur, then logically there must be something outside the boundary line or otherwise there would be no edge to the system.  And unless you believe in spontaneous generation, something outside the universe must have caused the birth of the matter and energy within our universe.  Most scientists refer to this event as the Big Bang.

So if there were a Creator, then we were given free will.  We actually know it because we feel it.  We agonize over decisions, while other animals react instinctively.  We feel guilty about decisions that we make, while other animals go on to the next meal.  One of the downsides with having free will is that there are consequences that come with those decisions.  The freedom to choose is also the freedom to make mistakes and to suffer consequences.

The final icing on the case for free will is quantum mechanics.  In effect, all the Newtonian theories of physics and Einstein’s theory of relativity go flying out the door of our universe as the quantum world takes over with its chaotic rules.  Instead of an electron being in one place, it may be in many places at the same time.  Instead of small particles being limited to the speed of light, they may travel faster than that.  The quantum world is a random world with many possibilities that are not held down by the material world of gravity.

The quantum physics is certainly a world of free will.  Very little is predetermined in this strange world.  Quantum mechanics proves the existence of free will.  We may not understand it, but we know it exists.  More importantly, we think there is a good chance that it will exist after you die.  That’s when it starts getting scary.  What will we be thinking after death?  Are there consequences that we will have to face after death?  What happens when you are freed into the afterlife?


Several decades ago, scientists started examining life forms that could survive in extreme environments, called “extremophiles.”  Most extremophiles are microbes, the most primitive of life forms.  Microbes are very good at adapting to extreme environments where more complex life forms would have no chance of survival.

Microbes could have been the earliest life form on earth, living around hydrothermal vents deep in our oceans.  Astrophysicist, Dr. Steinn Sigurdsson, quipped, “There are viable bacterial spores that have been found that are 40 million years old on Earth — and we know they’re very hardened to radiation.”  

In 2013, scientists found bacteria, buried a half-mile deep in a lake under the ice in Antarctica.  This could be analogous to what we may find someday on Jupiter’s moon, Europa, which has a large lake covered with thick ice. 

There is volcanic activity on many moons circling Jupiter and Saturn that could be candidates for harboring extraterrestrial life.  The volcanism is caused primarily by the contraction and expansion of the moons by the gravity of either Jupiter or Saturn.  But one of Saturn’s moons, Tritan, has radiation at its core that is also causing heating and volcanic activity.

These recent discoveries about volcanic activity on the moons have given hope to scientists that there may be primitive forms of life, living near hydrothermal vents on billions of moons throughout our galaxy.  And the universe would be wide open to a great variety of life forms.

Not all extremophiles are unicellular.  Some complex life forms like the Pompeii worm, the Antarctic krill, and phychrophilic Grylloblattidae are also extremophiles.  These forms of life can exist in extreme temperatures or acidity on earth.  They may also be able to survive in the extreme environments on the moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Jupiter’s moons.

Io has volcanic activity caused by strong gravitational tugs during this moon’s elliptical journey passing near Jupiter and its neighbor moon, Europa.  This expansion and contraction of Io creates heat, which fuels a volcanic machine exploding in geysers, spewing straight up for miles and bubbling in pools of lava flows.  Extremophiles are notorious for finding niches near this type of volcanic activity. 

Europa is covered with about ten miles of ice.  Scientists believe that there may be a large body of water under this ice cover, estimated to be up to 100 miles deep containing more water than all of earth’s oceans.  There is a chance that unicellular extremophiles are living in this lake or even more complex animals since this moon has an environment with water, minerals, and a stable climate.  This moon is also likely to have thermal vents from gravitational volcanism.

Ganymede is Jupiter’s largest moon, about twice the size of earth’s moon.  There is evidence that it has a magnetosphere, which probably is produced by liquid water with dissolved electrolytes.  This moon may have a large body of water covered by ice like Europa, providing an environment supporting life.  Furthermore, gravitational volcanic activity would be expected on this the largest moon in our solar system.

Callisto is about 40% ice, most of which is found in the outer covering of the moon.  When meteors have crashed into this satellite, it may have caused fracturing allowing liquid to flood the surface and then freeze as ice.  This may be evidence that there are sources of water under Callisto as well.

Jupiter has about 67 moons, some of which were formed when asteroids were captured by Jupiter’s large gravitational draw.  Some of these moons may also be candidates for life, but we do not know much about them at this time.

Saturn’s Moons

Titan is Saturn’s largest moon, larger than the planet Mercury.  This satellite has an atmosphere made up of nitrogen, methane, and ammonia.  It is a strange environment with methane rain forming rivers and lakes of methane.  Extremophiles may be able to exist in methane even with temperatures at the surface of – 290 degrees F.  This gas rich environment may form a protective covering, allowing extremophiles to survive.

Enceladus is a volcanically active ice moon.  When its volcanoes erupt, ice particles, water vapor, and organic compounds are blasted into orbit and eventually are incorporated into Saturn’s E ring.  Scientists could not understand how Saturn’s outermost ring kept collecting ice particles.  Now they know it comes from Enceladus.  This moon may be another potential environment for extremophiles to live.  The combination of volcanic activity, water, and organic compounds is very compelling for life.

Saturn has over 60 moons and scientists do not have much information on them yet.  However, many of them are icy satellites with a potential for gravitational volcanic activity.  Water and volcanic activity make scientists think of hydrothermal vents in oceans on earth which attract many extremophiles.

Uranus’s Moons

Titania is Uranus’s largest moon, which is about 50% ice.  We know very little about any of the moons circling Uranus, but we speculate that the gravitational pull on these moons would have the same volcanic impact as we know occurs on the moons of the interior planets.  The combination of water and volcanic activity is a recipe for life, especially near hydrothermal vents.

Oberon is the second largest moon on this third largest planet in our solar system.  The density of this moon indicates that about half the moon consists of ice.  The size of this moon, which is only about 34 miles less in width than Titania, along with its potential for volcanic activity may make its environment suitable for life.

There are over 20 moons that we know about that orbit Uranus.  Any of these moons that have similar volcanism and water may also be candidates for having life.  We may find more moons circling Uranus with better telescopes.

Neptune’s Moons

Triton is the largest moon orbiting Neptune.  Triton has water, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, and nitrogen that are all frozen at the surface which has temperatures of almost 400 degrees below zero.  There is evidence of volcanic geysers and dark eruptions that interrupt the pinkish “melon skin” of its surface, which is believed to be methane ice.  Life is not impossible on this moon since it has the ingredients of water and volcanism.

We have discovered thirteen moons around Neptune so far, but we expect to find more as our telescopes are improved. 


Is there life on other planets or moons throughout the universe?  Well, with billions of suns in our galaxy and billions of galaxies in our universe, the odds are pretty good that there is primitive life not only scattered throughout our universe, but throughout our galaxy.  Just in our solar system alone, there may be over a hundred moons that could harbor simple life forms.  Earth is probably not very unique in having extremophiles. 

However, our planet may be very fortunate to be located in the “Goldilocks zone” where complex life can develop.  The environment on earth may be “just right” to nurture more complex organisms.  We may have won the lottery by living on a one-in-a-billion planet.  In fact, our planet might be the only planet in the Milky Way Galaxy with environmental attributes perfect for multicellular life. 

But as unique as our environment might be in the Milky Way, there might be billions of similar earths with complex life forms throughout the universe since there are about 170 billion galaxies in our observable universe.  However, the actual number of galaxies currently existing in the universe may be more difficult to determine, since all the galaxies we are viewing are from the past, not from the present.  The galaxies in the deeper fields, which are billions of years old, may not exist today.  We know that galaxies merge with each other, and some may even disappear inside supermassive black holes.

We can only speculate on how many extremophiles exist in the universe.  But it is likely that there is a pretty large number of them, scattered throughout the cosmos and maybe even throughout our solar system.  

Is It All About You?

I’ve always wondered why multi-millionaires wanted more money.  Even when they reached the end of their lives, they wanted more.  Did they expect to take it with them?  Was there a bank in the afterlife that I did not know about?

Abraham Maslow described a hierarchy of needs, culminating in self-actualization.  Few people today even attempt to reach that pinnacle.  Is it because the majority of people have different needs than what Maslow described?

Currently, most people have only material needs.  They want more expensive houses, cars, furniture, clothing, or jewelry.  They want to be beautiful and look better than others.  They want to be desired.  They want all the latest electronic toys, pads, and pods. 

The majority of people today do not need any spiritual fulfillment.  Even those who attend church are more interested in making business connections and socializing.  If you asked them a theological question, they would stare at you as if you were an alien.  But if you asked them if life were all about them, they might consider that a compliment.  Some would not be shy to answer that it was.  Or they may say that it is all about them and their families.  It sounds better when you include your family, but it is the same result.

This is important because most people, including those who attend church regularly, will not have anything to hold onto if something bad happens during their lifetime or, more importantly, during their afterlife, which conceivably could go on forever.  If you are thinking after you die, you better have a powerful belief in something.  If your entire philosophy or belief system is all about yourself, you will have no chance of surviving the anguish of self torment.  I cannot imagine a worse scenario for hell than to have to live with yourself for eternity.

Reality in today’s society is based on a material world.  Your possessions are your reality.  Everything is objective and predetermined.  People who embezzle, steal, cheat, assault, or even murder have convenient excuses.  All their actions were determined in advance by the way they were raised or were not raised.    They can say that  it was beyond their control.  It was in their genes to do these things.  Or it was the poor environment they came from.  They didn’t make choices to take these actions.  Right!

Philosophy, religion, and humanities has no place in this modern world.  The classical physics of Sir Isaac Newton, dating back to about 1665, is still the basis for scientific realism.  However, there is a new science in town, but very few understand it, much less, have adopted it – quantum physics.  The quantum world is so different from our present material world that it cannot be accepted.  You cannot see it.  You cannot touch it.  It cannot stay still in one location. 

Yet, it is the harbinger for a new paradigm in science.  The new reality is a subjective world with choices being made with proper consequences.  How could your awareness or consciousness of life be found in your brain and be removed by a surgeon?  Your conscience also is not something that is found in a section of the brain.  These are not material things that can be acquired or traded.  They can only be enhanced by our internal development.  Your innermost subjective thoughts must be released and be allowed to grow.  These are the thoughts that will keep you company during hard times during life and during all times during the afterlife. 

God cannot be seen in our universe, so He is not real to most Newtonian scientists.  However, just like we know that there is dark matter and dark energy within our universe, we know there is a God.  The invisible 96% of our universe is known to exist because they are the missing pieces in the mathematical formula holding our universe together.  Without these important pieces of the jig-saw puzzle, our universe would fly off in many directions. 

God is the invisible piece that is missing from the creation of our universe.  We know that nothing can be created or destroyed within our universe, so any creation had to occur outside our universe.  The Big Bang was probably the creation event, so that had to occur outside the universe.  By definition if there is a creation, there is a Creator.  And the Creator has to be outside our universe.

It is easy to see why God did not fit in the old Newtonian world of physics.  He and His heaven were invisible just like dark matter and dark energy.  God was not part of the material world.  And if it were all about you, then there certainly would be no room for God.

If the afterlife is all about you, this may be he most dangerous belief imaginable.  There is nobody who can deal with the afterlife by themselves. It would be like traveling in a spaceship beyond the event horizon into a black hole.  The unknowns would blow you away.  You need Jesus, God, or something to hold onto or you will be marooned in deep, dark space.  I believe in both Jesus and God with all my heart and soul because I know that I would be lost without them to guide me.


What You Think Is What You Get

In the movie “Ghostbusters,” the quartet of “busters” knew that whatever they thought would become a monster that would destroy them.  Ray tried to solve the conundrum by thinking of “the most harmless thing… something that could never, ever possibly destroy us… Mr. Stay Puft!”  Unfortunately, that did not turn out well for the Ghostbusters as the gargantuan marshmallow man climbed up the high-rise to attack them.  Only their memories of campfire marshmallow toastings saved them.  If our species is left with just its thoughts and nothing else, a good ending is not on the horizon.

One of the famous quotes of the 70’s and 80’s was:  “What you see is what you get.”  I just changed one word to come up with what I think may be the solution to the Theory of Everything:  “What you think is what you get.”  After coming up with the brilliant theory of relativity, Albert Einstein spent the rest of his life attempting to make the connection between gravity and quantum mechanics.  Scientists are still working toward coming up with the Theory of Everything, but if a genius like Einstein could not do it, perhaps it cannot be done.  But “What You Think Is What You Get” may be as close as humans can get to the solution.

First of all, we can only see about 4% of the universe.  About 96% of our universe is dark matter and dark energy that is not visible.  We have a limited understanding of the universe that we can see.  We have a very limited understanding of dark matter.  We do not understand dark energy at all.  In summary, we just do not know very much about the universe that we live in.  So, “What you see is what you get” is not going to help us with the Theory of Everything.  It would be analogous to early man’s belief that the world was flat.

Therefore, man’s imagination must come into play.  What if our universe does not exist without a perceiver of our universe?   Was there even a universe before man existed?  Did an electron exist before scientists observed it?  This is not as simple a question as you might think because quantum mechanics tells us that the electron may be an infinite number of possible electrons moving in excess of the speed of light in an undulating wavelike cloud.   An electron only has a fixed existence when somebody is watching.  See:  Fred Alan Wolf, the author of Taking the Quantum Leap, on pages xiv and xv in the Forward to Amit Goswami’s The Self-Aware Universe – how consciousness creates the material world.  This is similar to the question:  If a tree falls in the woods without anybody around, will it make a sound?

In effect, the universe that we see is not reality.  Reality is the big picture that God sees.  The only way we can attempt to perceive reality is through our imaginations.  If we free our minds from the tethers of our senses, we might move closer to the truth.  Of course, we will never know with any degree of certainty that our thoughts were universal reality.  However, our slice of reality may be reality for us at that particular moment in time.  Which circles back to –  What You Think Is What You Get.”

Wolf wrote in The Self-Aware Universe that:  “The universe does not seem to exist without a perceiver of that universe.”  He goes on to say that at some level that seems to make sense, but unless we are extremely anthropocentric, the universe and the rules of physics must have existed before our species entered the world stage.  We know that many things have been happening in the universe since the Big Bang over the past 13+ billion years, so it would be foolish for us to ignore all this activity. 

So rather than ignore all this time, we should consider it as something else we cannot see.  We can only see the present, which also is a very limiting factor.  We might remember a small slice of the past, but as we get older, we even forget most of that.  In summary, the reality of our material world is based on 4% of the universe that we do not even understand and a millisecond that is like a snapshot in time, similar to the fixed position of an electron.

Material realism cannot explain our self-consciousness any more than it can explain quantum physics.  Thus, we surmise that the material realism that we see is not what we get.  It is our thought processes and consciousness that will come closest to reality.  So am I saying that because a farmer believes that he saw aliens in his barn proves that aliens have landed?  No, but aliens may be a reality to that farmer.  Everybody is different and our thoughts are like the random positions of electrons in their orbits.  Scientists, over the decades, have worked hard to come up with rules of physics that cannot be broken.  Even Einstein thought that he could come up with an airtight rule that would connect all the dots in the universe.  Maybe the true reality in our universe is that it is random and chaotic without any Theory of Everything that ties it all together.

Perhaps the only reality is the individual reality you choose to make in your thoughts.  After all, your consciousness is probably completely different than my consciousness.   In other words, your reality is probably completely different than my reality.  But that is not a problem as long as you do not allow your perceptions of reality cross over into somebody else’s reality field, thus interfering or harming others.  For example, if your reality allows you to be king of the world so that you can take other people’s property, you have crossed the line.  Your actions based on your reality all have consequences.  There is no problem with making decisions in life based on your perception of reality as long as you fully appreciate the consequences and act accordingly.

That is why world religions have been so successful.  Religions provide consequences.  And in those cases where individuals have completely ignored religious beliefs, society has imposed laws with punishments.  Of course both religion and law have been corrupted by the humanness that is part and parcel of our species, but the best we can do is to impose self limitations.

But the most interesting question is what happens to our consciousness after our bodies give out and start decomposing?  Does our awareness continue beyond the grave?  And if it does, where will our thoughts take us?  Of all the religions and philosophies that I have studied, Christianity has the most promise for the afterlife if we are still thinking.  If we are not thinking after we die, none of this matters.  In fact, that would be the best result possible.  We would no longer be thinking and eternity in hell would not be possible. 

But if we are still aware after we die, Christianity removes the guilt-trip that we might otherwise impose on ourselves since Jesus died to take away the sins of the world.  Jesus has a familiar human face that we would welcome since the face of God might take on grotesque shapes or forms only limited by our creative juices.  Even if we face Judgment Day, Jesus can be our role model and guide us through this mine-field.

The reality of the afterlife would be “What You Think Is What You Get.”  All your phobias may attack you like a pack of wolves.  Because of our weaknesses as humans, it is not likely that you can handle this by yourself.  You must rely on Jesus or something that includes a powerful belief.  During life, you may believe in yourself and your abilities, but believe me:  this is not likely to work in the afterlife.           

Four-Door Afterlife

“Let’s Make a Deal” was a game show that had three curtains or three boxes for contestants to select in order to find the best deal.  The audience offered loud suggestions as to which one to pick.  But they had no clue which had the better prize.  Yet, they were perfectly willing to shout out their strong opinions based on nothing.  Would you listen to the uninformed masses before making an important decision?  

Frank Stockton wrote “The Lady or the Tiger,” a short story about a man who loved the princess of the king, who was allowed to select between two doors:  one door concealing his punishment with a fierce tiger waiting behind it or the second door which had a beautiful lady waiting for him to marry.  The princess knew what was behind each door.  The young man looked up as if to ask the princess which door to select.  She gestured with her right hand, letting him know which door she wanted him to pick.  But was it the tiger or the lady waiting for the young lad?  Would the princess allow her lover to spend the rest of his life with somebody else?  Or would she rather that his life be ended if she could not have him?  Would you listen to an informed individual who has an agenda?  Your life is full of choices, and, of course, consequences.

Stockton indicated that the lady was beautiful and of an appropriate age, but he never made it clear what kind of personality the lady possessed.  She could have been a latent mass murderer, who within a year would hate the young man so much that she would grab a yard-long machete in each hand.  Never assume that what is waiting behind any door is something good forever.  Most portals may relate to some form of punishment.

Perhaps death also offers choices.  There may be four possibilities, doors, or portals into the afterlife, only one of which would be clearly without punishment. 

Door Number One. You die and there is nothing else after death.  Everything terminates.  You stop thinking and feeling.  After life, there is nothing.  This is the only door that would not have any punishment waiting.  You die, and everything is concluded.  There is nothing else.  When trees fall in the woods after that, it really doesn’t matter whether they make a sound or not since it will be absolutely irrelevant to you.  You will no longer exist.

What if our universe does not exist without a perceiver of our universe?  If your subjective perception of the universe stops, then does an objective perception of those who remain behind still exist?  If your existence is gone, why would you even care about an objective universe?  It would have no impact on you. 

This is perhaps the best scenario for everybody since there is no pain or punishment involved.  However, Door Number One probably does not exist because of a law of physics called the conservation of matter and energy.  In our universe, matter or energy is neither created nor destroyed.  In other words, your existence cannot be destroyed.  Existence may transform from matter to energy or it may remain matter that decays, but existence cannot terminate since that would violate a principle of physics. 

There may be other unseen universes where this conservation rule is not inviolate.  We simply do not know.  However, I believe there is at least one universe where existence can be created and destroyed, because without it, there would be no starting point.  It is difficult for me to even imagine that things exist without creation. 

The definition of existence presupposes that there was a nonexistence prior to existence.  Otherwise, you are relegated to believing that there has always been existence in our universe, and we know that is not true if you give any credence to the Big Bang theory.

However, these theories are based on subjective perceptions, which could be completely misleading.  The perceived realities of our universe are based on only about 4% of matter that can even be seen or understood.  The other 96% that we cannot see may be the basis for a true reality.  An analogy would be when man believed that the earth was flat based on what he was able to see.        

But was there even a universe before man existed?  Did an electron exist before scientists observed it?  This is not as simple a question as you might think because quantum mechanics tells us that the electron may be an infinite number of possible electrons moving in excess of the speed of light in an undulating wavelike cloud.   An electron only has a fixed existence when somebody is watching.  We circle back to that question:  If a tree falls in the woods without anybody around, will it make a sound?

Door Number One may never exist once we do not exist. 

Door Number Two.  You die and your body and thought processes, which are all matter, are transformed through decay into other matter and energy.  In effect, your thinking emanates from your brain, so the brain matter degrades into something else. 

Nobody knows what thinking matter can become.  Does the thought process terminate with the decaying of the brain?  Or is the thought process matter that is transformed into other matter or energy that is also thinking?  Nobody knows.  But if the thought process is matter that decays, it will be less than fully operational.  Your thinking would be dysfunctional.  This is not a good scenario as your hellish nightmares could punish you for eternity.

Door Number Three.  You die and your thought processes, which are all energy, do not decay with the brain matter.  Your thinking or consciousness can continue without a body or brain.  But without senses to provide input to your thought process, you would have to rely entirely on yourself for entertainment and the creation of thoughts.  Generally, this would not be a good scenario as most of your thoughts would torture you.  Any guilt you carried into this prison would haunt you forever.  How would you like to be trapped inside yourself, living with yourself for eternity?

Door Number Four.  You die and are still thinking, but you focus on your religion or faith.  In order for this to be effective, you must have an unshakeable belief that cannot be distracted by nightmares or chaos.  Of all the religions, I selected Christianity because Jesus died so that all our sins could be forgiven.  We put ourselves in His hands and if we are true believers, we will not carry any guilt into the afterlife.  And, we have the friendly face of Jesus who will act as our guide, rather than a faceless God that our imaginations might turn into a monster. 

As you read the Beatitudes in the Bible, you start to understand the genius of Jesus.  He knew that our thoughts were the key in the afterlife.  Our thoughts would either become our hellish prisons lost in their chaotic quicksand or would become our heavenly peace ignoring the darkness tugging from all directions.

This fourth door may still lead to thoughts that will punish you.  There are many possibilities of what Judgment Day is and it may even vary from individual thinker to the next.  But if you believe in Jesus as your savior, He will not allow your prior sins to punish you.  Your only punishment would come from the tests of whatever Judgment Day has in store for you.  But as long as your faith in Jesus and God is foremost in your thoughts, you will survive the tests.  This is the same for other religions or beliefs.  But your faith must be powerful to survive Judgment Day.  

If you pass the tests, perhaps God will also let you pass out of our universe, where nothing can be created nor destroyed, into God’s universe where He created everything.  Then at that point, you could be granted termination so that you would not have to suffer yourself or anything for eternity, which could be pure Hell. 

Many believe that God will take them into Heaven, His universe, which is certainly possible.  But eternity could be dangerous for humans even in Heaven.  Even God was lonely with eternity, so He created our universe.  Every eternity that I can imagine has a dark side for humans.  I could never rise to the level of either Jesus or God, so I would have an eternity of anguish that I was not worthy of their universe.  Even though all my past sins are forgiven, eternity is a forever future examining and dealing with all my weaknesses.  I truly am not worthy of an eternity in their Heaven.  I may be worthy to enter God’s universe temporarily, but remaining forever probably would be overstaying my welcome.  Why would anybody want to have consciousness forever?  Only Gods or want-to-be Gods would ever desire this.  If you are humble and recognize your humanness, you will not ask for eternal awareness.  Only a conceited and selfish human would ever desire eternity.

As I said, the best of all worlds is Door Number One because there is no more pain.  Door Number One is the only portal that you pass through without any punishment.  So God may be able to let you pass through Door Number One as your reward for passing the Judgment Day tests through Door Number Four.

Supermassive Black Holes Imprints on Galaxies

Scientists believe that most, if not all, galaxies have supermassive black holes in their centers.  These giant black holes are now being considered as significant features in the development of galaxies.

One of the interesting relationships is the mass of a nuclear black hole relating to the mass of the galaxy.  Each central black hole’s mass is about .5% of the mass of the galaxy.  Another interesting fact is that the sigma formations of stars on the edge of galaxies have about the same speed as stars deeper inside the galaxy that are closer to the black hole.  This seems to suggest that the black hole and all the stars within the galaxy were imprinted with something other than gravity, since gravity of the black hole has no impact on stars that far from it.

It is also interesting to note that the speed of stars within each galaxy correlates with the mass of the central black hole.  In other words, as the supermassive black hole goes from about one million times the mass of our sun to over one billion times the mass of our sun, the speeds of the stars within those galaxies increase in relationship to the higher masses.

So what is this imprint?  We do not know, but it may be that soon after the Big Bang about 18 billion years ago, supermassive black holes were formed in the center of each spiraling cloud of dust and gas.  As the clouds were compacted and swirled around the black hole like a whirlpool, the temperatures reached millions of degrees, which may have lit up compressed balls of gas, creating the first stars.  The imprint of the black hole on stars may have related to its size.  We just do not know.

As the black hole fed off the clouds, it formed a quasar until at some point it may have pushed the remainder of the universe away from itself.  In effect, it stopped feeding on the clouds, allowing the development of stars and solar systems throughout the remaining portion of the galaxy.  The supermassive black holes could have been the spark of fire for the rest of the galaxy with successive stars being born in clouds as compression continued to occur with that same imprint.

Very little is known about black holes or dark matter since we cannot see it.  We can only see how it impacts stars and clouds racing around it.  Physics cannot explain it because at the event horizon, time and rules of physics, as we understand them, come to a complete halt.  Perhaps the laws of quantum mechanics come into play.  Again, we just do not know.

Generally, when scientists find relationships between things like supermassive black holes and the remainder of their galaxies, it is not just a coincidence.  That is why it seems that an imprint emanated from the nucleus of the black hole as it reached out and touched the remaining portions of those galaxies.

There are also stellar black holes created when stars bigger than our sun die and create a supernova.  Scientists have seen these whirling around the supermassive black hole of the Milky Way galaxy.  Since the mass of the galaxy’s black hole retains the same proportion to the mass of the remainder of the galaxy, it is possible that as stellar black holes or mass from the rest of the galaxy contributes to the increase of mass of the supermassive black hole, the supermassive black hole must expel some of its mass as seen at the poles of quasars.  This would keep the scales of mass balanced.

Again, it seems to be more than a coincidence that black holes, stars, and the nucleus are centers for elliptical orbits around these objects.  Something typically is in the center and it played a role in the creation of everything within its environment.  Perhaps the imprint was provided at birth.

Einstein spent the last years of his life searching for the link between gravity and quantum mechanics.  Wouldn’t it be interesting if the theory of everything could be found in this theorized imprint.  In other words, the approximate 96% of the universe that cannot be seen could be the quantum world that has mass included in the world of gravity.  The quantum world could be found in both dark matter and dark energy.

Yet, the two worlds may exist simultaneously differing primarily in our perspective.  Gravity may be operating within the 4% of the universe that is visible, while the most significant part of our universe is out of sight.  It would be like examining the earth from the moon and then on the ground.  Earth looks very round and smooth high above it in space.  However, when you are at the base of the Alps, it looks very uneven and rugged.

The imprint on the solar systems, galaxies, dark matter, and dark energy may be the same.  The merging of gravity with quantum gravity may occur because they all share the same imprint.  They look completely different depending on your perspective, but they actually fit rather neatly together, forming the perpetual-motion machine of our universe.

In summary, the action of gravity creating elements through supernovas and Big Bangs, alternating with quantum mechanics through dark energy and Big Crunches may be part of the theory of everything that we have been seeking.  The Big Crunch probably would even look like a continuation of the Big Bang from our macroworld perspective.

But the fact that the current activity is accelerating, makes us look closer at the possibility that we are in the Big Crunch as dark energy continues to shrink our universe at an accelerating rate.  If the 4% of the universe that can be seen has the same imprint and remains proportional, then the shrinking would look like an expansion from that perspective.