An Anomaly in the Universe

The sun has sunspots, which are concentrations of the magnetic field that inhibit convection, resulting in reduced surface temperature compared to the surrounding photosphere.  Apparently, there is a similar spot within the universe which is about 1.8 billion light years across and is located around three billion light years away from our solar system.

Currently, this is the largest structure we have found in the universe.  Little energy emanates from this circular area, which contains about 10,000 fewer galaxies than in other areas of the universe.  In effect, it has about 20 percent less matter inside it.  This cold spot within our universe has perplexed scientists since 2004, when it was discovered as an anomaly in the otherwise homogenous cosmic microwave background radiation.  This cosmic microwave background which can be traced back to the Big Bang is spread evenly throughout our universe except this area, which is about 2.7 degrees K cooler than the average temperature in the universe.

The Milky Way is included in a cluster of galaxies called Laniakea.  Due to the uneven distribution of matter just after the Big Bang, the universe has lots of filaments and voids, but this giant void completely dwarfs the scale of all known threads or filaments scientists have seen.

This is an anomaly in the model of an expanding homogenous universe.  Scientists followed up with a new survey using the Pan-STARRS telescope to count galaxies in the area and they found a void in the same location where the Planck satellite detected the cold spot.

Scientists at the University of Hawaii at Manoa used several telescopes to create a three-dimensional map of galaxies that were located less than three billion light years away from the spot.  This survey located a gigantic void with about 10,000 fewer galaxies than expected.   There are other voids in the universe, but this is the largest one discovered to date.  This giant void could explain the colder temperature because as light travels across it, it should lose energy. This could also explain why less energy is emanating from that area.

But we still do not know why there are so few galaxies in this area.  One theory is that this is the origin of the Big Bang.  The Big Bang explosion was so powerful that it blew most of the matter, out of the original entry point, leaving a void.  It also may support the theory that the universe is shrinking since it may show a boundary between the expansion of the universe after the Big Bang and the contraction of the universe which followed when matter passed the cold spot boundary.



President Obama recently reminded us that Islamic extremism should not be criticized since it is no different than the barbaric acts committed during the Crusades or Inquisition in the name of Christ.  This is multiculturalism carried to the extreme.  In other words, we should accept barbaric acts committed by other cultures since we also committed them.

One of the more interesting aspects of humanity is its inability to remain moderate during difficult times.  It seems that we can remain civilized and follow a middle-of-the-road approach as long as the extremists are controlled.  But when the extremists have no consequences, then all hell breaks loose.

Extremists create more extremists.  Moderates have a difficult time existing during these times.  The extremist acts of Sunnis against Shiites and vice versa has been going on for decades without any hope for peace.  They will be seeking revenge against each other for the next hundred years.  And they want to drag the civilized countries into this environment.  Why?

Do you remember the story about the poor man who lived on the wrong side of the tracks who got in a fight with a rich man on the other side?  The poor man had nothing to lose, but the rich man lost everything when he was brought down to the poor man’s level when they both were incarcerated.

It certainly makes sense to respect all cultures, but it makes no sense to give cultures a free pass to behead others in the name of multiculturalism.  The beheading of Christians by Muslim extremists will create Christian extremists.

So what is the answer to extremism?  Well, all the civilized countries of the world, including those in the Middle East and Africa, should unite to form international anti-extremist cells that will arrest and bring to justice in a World Court all the extremists in the world.  These extremists typically are not fighting for a country, so these are not acts of war.  They are simply criminal acts, requiring arrests and criminal trials.  Since we are experiencing more international crimes, it might be beneficial to create a world-wide justice system to deal with these extremists.

If we allow the extremists to continue on without consequences, they eventually will obtain nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction and it will be too late.

Multiculturalism is perfectly acceptable as long as those from other cultures who commit crimes are held accountable by world police and international courts.  The downside is that this could play into the hands of totalitarian governments who would misuse this system to create a police state.  But as long as moderates are in control of this system, it will not only work, but it will provide fair consequences to extremists who break the law.

Should the Federal Government Be Turned Over to Local Governments?

America can still be saved by turning over much of the federal government to the state, city, and country governments.  The primary reason is because the federal government is broken and cannot be fixed.  There are three major problems.

One.  Morale among federal employees is at a record low.  The 2014 annual survey showed that only about half of the federal employees were satisfied with their jobs.  About 72% of the private sector employees were satisfied.  Younger federal employees are even less satisfied because they have to work for incompetent older employees and promotions are not based on merit.

Two.  Our federal government is not innovative and does not offer incentives for employees who are creative.  The Partnership for Public Service’s innovation index score is the lowest it has ever been.  Typically, old guard leadership in the federal government fears new approaches which could make them look incompetent.  These leaders do not have the confidence to welcome new ideas because they believe they will erode their power.

Three.  Customer satisfaction with federal services is at the lowest it has been since 2007.  The American Customer Satisfaction Index indicated that only 64.4 percent of the government’s customers were satisfied with the results.  Any business with this low customer satisfaction would not be able to stay in business.  Part of the problem is that federal employees don’t even know who their customer is.  When asked, they will tell you their customers are:  (1) supervisors, (2) department heads, (3) Senior Executive Service positions, (4) other federal agencies, (5) the executive branch, and (6) the citizens who request assistance.  They never say the American taxpayer is their client and yet that is who is paying them for their services.  The bottom line is that federal employees are generally motivated to satisfy their leaders in order to advance their careers.  “Careerism” is much more important than customer service.

The federal government is broken beyond repair because the system protects itself from repairs.  Even though the federal leadership is poor, the system is the problem.  The only way to remedy this defect is to minimize the damage it is doing to our country.  Transfer the powers and budget for the federal government to local governments.  They will do a better job because they will be more focused on local activities than the federal government would ever be.

Even though the local governments are not perfect, they will be better at addressing local issues.  The local politicians will be motivated to make their neighborhoods a better place to live.  This is called Politics in My Backyard, “PIMBY.”  Even when the local politicians are selfish, they generally will spend money to protect themselves and their families by making the community stronger.

It is important for Congress, with the power of the purse, to start sending more money to local communities and governments, cutting off the weak efforts of an incompetent federal government.  It is time to go local, freezing out the federal government.

Can God Be Proven?

I cannot prove there is a God any more than you can prove that God does not exist.  Atheists typically announce that there is no God, but they rarely admit that there is no evidence for their belief.  Some religious adherents do the same.  But the truth is that neither side, no matter how strong their beliefs, can provide one bit of objective evidence for their positions.

That being said, I believe there is a God.  Why?  I know how little we know, so I rely on subjective evidence.  I know, a priori, there is a God.  I use deduction and inference and intuition.  If we were created, it is logical that there is a Creator.  If there is a design in the universe, then I can deduce that there is a Designer.

You may properly ask who created the Creator and who designed the Designer, and I would tell you that I do not have a clue.  But then I already admitted that I know how little we know.  So since I am so much in the dark on the creation and design of the universe, how can I be so arrogant as to believe in God?

As I said, I have to rely on my intuition that there is a God.  I think, therefore I am aware of my existence.  I think, therefore my instincts tell me that my existence makes no sense unless there were a God.  Why would I have a conscience if there were no consequences?  Why would there be a test without somebody to grade the exam?  Why would we have free will to make poor choices if there were no consequences?  As Christian existentialists might say, “Life is absurd… without God.”

But I also have a practical reason to believe in God, which may be the best reason of all.  One of my favorite stories is about a young boy who was asked by his parents to pick out a puppy.  One of the puppies in the store made eye contact with the boy and started wagging its tail vigorously and came running over to him.  The little boy exclaimed, “That’s the dog I want… the one with the happy ending.”  If I believe in God and act accordingly, then there is a chance for a happy ending.  On the other hand if I do not believe in God, there is no chance for a happy ending.

Even if the odds of there being a God were one million to one, I would still believe in God.  Why?  Because there are no consequences for believing in God and being wrong, while there are significant consequences for not believing in God and being wrong.

These are just some of my musings that I am sharing with you.  If you don’t believe in God, that is your right to choose.  I am such an advocate for freedom of choice that I would never interfere with your decision.  However, if you have not decided yet, I wanted you to have some more information that might be important in making your final decision.

So, is that your final answer?

How Evil Are We?

How evil is homo sapiens sapiens?  If you have to ask that question, then the answer probably will not lead to a happy ending.  Of all the animal species, our species is most likely to make poor decisions based on lust, avarice, envy, anger, and other assorted motivational factors that we cannot seem to control.

Clearly, there are animal predators that attack and kill other animals for food or, in some cases, for sexual conquest; but man is a special predator who kills for revenge or for money or for hate.  As far as I know, no other animal reaches into the depths of evil like our species.  Other animals typically are busy with survival.

But man is a unique species who will even kill for no good reason at all.  Some people will kill just because they can.  They have absolutely no self control.  And there are many young adults who commit murders to prove themselves worthy of being gang members.  They also have no self control.  And there are others who kill because they are on drugs and out of control.  Again, there is no self control.

So, another question pops up on the screen:  how evil can we be?  Society generally has been able to impose punishments on renegade members who would not conform to laws that protect civilizations, but this is becoming problematic as we do not have sufficient police and prisons to accommodate the exponentially increasing numbers of society who have no self control.  Pride in being a good citizen has been eroded by drugs, alcohol, and illicit sex.  Pride in having a good job and being a model citizen has been eroded by a poor economy, poor education, poor parenting, and, of course, drugs, alcohol, and illicit sex.

In Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol,” the author reminded us to beware ignorance and want, but ignorance more than anything else.  All great civilizations should beware ignorance because that is what will destroy civilizations.  And, of course, poor economy, poor education, and poor parenting, along with drugs, alcohol, and sex have taken the entire world population down the path of ignorance.

Democracy and freedom will sink in a sea of ignorance.  Totalitarianism will replace governments throughout the world with an evil that cannot be imagined by most.  As bad as Hitler and Stalin were, they never reached world domination.  The next totalitarian government probably will control the world.

So, how evil can we be?  Well, we are going to find out.  And it will not be a pretty picture.