'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

04 October 2010


Science began as soon as animals began to test and try to manipulate their surroundings to assist them to gain food, attract a sexual partner or shelter from the elements. Trial and error are the foundations of science, just like evolution. Of course man himself does more then the ape who used rocks and sticks to extract food, branches to protect himself or his family from foe, or rain, or sun.
"The true science and study of man is man."  Pierre Charron - moralist, Paris, 1541- 1603

"Science is nothing but perception."  Plato

"The whole of science is nothing more than a refinement of everyday thinking." Albert Einstein

From the religious meditations of ancient civilisations came observation. Observation led to the recognition of regularity and patterns. Astronomy and its associate astrology revealed the sequences of the universe in Egypt, South America and China. The Sun and the Seasons predicted fertility and counted out days, events and added measurement to the laws of nature. Mathematics became necessary to describe such phenomenon and thus further predictions are made. To observe, ponder, define and then to anticipate - To have an idea, test, consider and test again - To compare and advance - These are the elements by which we have managed to understand and proceed along our accelerating evolution.
The study of nature is a process passed from one to the next, even though it may skip generations.-   Democritus (460-370BC) theorised that the ultimate reality was the atom. Swirling in the void, these solid, minute, invisible and indestructible entities combined in an infinite number of patterns to present images to the senses. Little remains of his writings, but it was Epiicurus (342-270BC) who adapted his theories, but his in turn were also lost, but written down by Lucretius (99-55BC) in his great work 'De rerum natura' (The nature of the Universe). A six part poem,  which discusses atomic theory, perception, sexual psychology, institutions, language, art and the evolution of the universe, the earth and man.
          In the West we have often credited the Greeks with much of our scientific foundation, however much of the beginnings of this had been learned in Egypt. Although not established until the Greek Ptolemys, the great Library of Alexandria was perhaps the greatest think-tank of the ancient world and the fathers of geometry and astronomy had the benefit of the collected wisdom of that Ptolemaic vision, but the sources go further back then that. Man is forgetful and much is lost. What Copernicus thought about the planets revolution around the sun with that great star being the centre of our solar system had already been recognised by Pythagoras in the sixth century BC and some hundreds of years before that in Egypt and each time it was abandoned in favour of more religiously favoured egocentric explanations. We do however advance and appear to do so more rapidly today then makes many of us comfortable.
The Cosmos
The Egyptians created the 24 hour day and also discovered the 365 day year ( which turned out to be 365 1/4 days) probably around 4,500 B.C. The Babylonians were able to predict the apparent motions of the Sun, the moon, the planets, the stars and even eclipses. Around the fourth century BC the Greeks built a model to interpret these motions, with the stars fixed on a celestial sphere which rotated about the spherical Earth every 24 hours, and the planets, the Sun and the Moon, moved in the ether between the Earth and the stars. In the second century AD with Ptolemy's system the planets moved in circles upon circles around the Earth. In the sixteenth century, Copernicus’s heliocentric system, could not match the accuracy of Ptolemy's system. It was only with the aid of the telescope in the early seventeenth century that Galileo discovered moons orbiting Jupiter, so why couldn’t the planets orbit the Sun? At the same time, Kepler discovered that the planets moved in ellipses, not circles. Newton later showed that elliptical motion could be explained by gravitational force, and also concluded that the Universe must be infinite. In the nineteenth century, astronomer and mathematician Bessel measured the distance to the nearest star was about 25 million, million miles, whereas the Sun is only  93 million miles. Kant and others suggested that the observable stars of the Milky Way were a lens shaped galaxy with others beyond. In the 1920's Hubble established that there were distant galaxies and they were moving away from us. This expanding universe found an explanation in Einstein's General Theory of Relativity: Einstein introduced the cosmological constant to balance the gravitational force and keep the galaxies apart, but believed it to be a ‘blunder’. (now perhaps being confirmed) From this the Russian, Friedmann in 1917 worked out  that the Universe had been born at one moment, about ten thousand million years ago at the point from which the galaxies are fleeing. The British astronomer Fred Hoyle called it the "Big Bang''.  In 1965 Penzias and Wilson discovered a cosmic microwave background radiation, the afterglow of the Big Bang, and so it goes on.

"We think of the stars as mere bodies and as units with a serial order indeed but entirely inanimate; but we should rather conceive them as enjoying life and action." Aristotle

From Big Bang to just Big:-
Within our Galaxy there are four hundred thousand million stars (400,000,000,000) and throughout the universe about a million stars exist for every grain of sand on our planet and that is impressive and daunting.
I have thought that as everything has a balance or an opposite, and like a positive and a negative, they can come together and cancel each other out, so too it is conceivable that god or whatever you may like to call the prime mover split nothingness in two and created the universe. Distance or linear dimensions give us matter and time is only another measure of moving from one  point to another, so perhaps we are only a thought in the mind of a creator. Matter and time drawn from nothing and it may possibly end with a return to a state of nothingness and an end to time or ???
Always there was and is  God  -  Allah  -  The Force  or  The Unknown   (perhaps)

Period -Years BC
Time begins and the universe is here
Big Bang?
Big Bounce?
Big Bump?
13,700 Million
or more
midnight the first day 
Let there be light
This universe begins with an explosion, expands and continues to do so at about a million miles and hour until a possible Big Crunch when all collapses back to the infinite smallness of the beginning and matter and time no longer exist or then again, as more recently thought, it continues to expand forever until it dissipates. Opinions change, develop and continue to provoke argument amongst those of us who know so little.
Pre Cambrian
4,500 Million
3 pm 
and seas and earth and lights in the firmament and plants upon the earth.
Our Solar system begins as a swirling mass of gas which gravity draws together in lumps. The Earth begins to form and the earth cools from liquid to a hard crust. Water condenses to seas. Seaweeds and soft bodied invertebrate animals appear. Sounds a bit like Genesis.
600 Million
10.48 pm 
and let the waters bring forth creatures.
Seas form and retreat. Volcanic activity shapes and reshapes the surface. Sea worms, jellyfish, starfish sponges and trilobites up to 18 inches. Such a slow process of evolving accidents and survival without thought.
500 Million
11 pm
Sand and mud build up on the  ever changing sea floors. The first vertebrates appear with bones and armour. Life becomes stronger, but development begins to accelerate. If one can call millions of years acceleration.
440 Million
11.03 pm
Mountain Ranges begin to form. Leafless plants begin to grow on the land. Sea Scorpions grow to 9 feet and large coral reefs develop. Sounds like nature is becoming beautiful as we understand it.
400 Million
11.12 pm
Land Areas increase and become green with 40 ft. trees and eventually ferns. Fish and 20 ft. sharks evolve and life leaves the sea in the form of invertebrate millipedes, mites, spiders and wingless insects.
350 Million
11.18 pm
Sea beds rise and land sinks to swamps. Coal comes from this period. Giant 100 ft. trees, amphibious 15 ft. Salamander-like animals live in swamps. Reptiles breed on land and insects develop wings.
270 Million
11.28 pm
Climate varies and earth movements occur. Deciduous plants appear. Land animals, particularly reptilian become dominant.  At 250 Million years the first Asteroid Extinction.
225 Million
11.33 pm
Deserts and shrub covered mountains in a hot dry world. Carnivorous fish shaped Ichthyosaurs evolve in the sea as do flying fish and early lobsters. Reptiles dominate and then come warm blooded mammals. Six inch dinosaurs appear as do flies, termites and cockroaches.
180 Million
11.38 pm 
and fowl that may fly above the earth
Climate becomes wetter and lakes and rivers form. Eroded mountains are hills and conifers, treeferns and cycads with flower like cones surround large reptiles and the first birds, Archaeopteyx, with feathers from scales and Pterosaurus with wings of skin. 84 ft. Diploducus weighs 35 tons and can only survive in swamps. Mammals remain no bigger then rats. .
135 Million
11.44 pm
River deltas and large mountains arise. The climate is mild and the seasons bring flowers. Sea reptiles and giant turtles. Dinosaurs dominate and birds develop wings similar to today or strong swimming sea birds. Mammals while still remaining inconspicuous, develop placental mode of growth.
70 Million
11.52 pm 
and the beasts of the earth and cattle and every creeping thing
Tropical and volcanic with the development of the Atlantic and Indian oceans. Flowering plants and deciduous plants dominate. Many reptiles and the dinosaurs are extinct  around 65 Million years with the next Asteroid impact.  The mammals are now free to develop and whales adapt to life in the sea. Early elephants, horses pigs, cows and monkeys appear
40 Million
11.55 pm
Earths crust moves and a cooler climate diminishes the tropical forests and promotes grasslands and the spread of grass eating mammals. Dogs, cats and bears evolve and a tail-less primitive ape appears.
25 Million
11.57 pm
Movements of the Earth's crust join Europe and Asia and push up the Himalayas. Mild damp climate promotes growth of large cedars, maple and oak trees. 60ft. sharks elephants grow and spread and apes migrate.
11 Million
11.58.28 pm
Continents and oceans begin to take present form. Giant sharks become extinct and most animals are similar to what we know today. The apes thrive and Australopithicus walks upright on the open country and may be our ancestor.
1 Million
7.2 seconds to midnight 
and man after His image
Extreme climate change with successive ice ages and only hardier plants survive. Ape like creatures have grown more intelligent and use stone implements to cut and skin animals and thus the transition to man.
10 Thousand
less then a second to midnight of that first day
The ice retreats, seas rise, forests and vegetation spread and man learns to dominate the animals and the land. Civilisation evolves and soon written history is set down. We have truly arrived. Now we arrogantly begin to destroy in milliseconds what took so long to evolve.
5,000 Million from now and beyond.
10 am the following day
Our Sun explodes and our Solar System comes to an end.
And possibly in a couple of days or 30 Billion years from now the universe sucks itself back into a black hole and ends in the Big Crunch or it expands forever until energy runs out and blackness reigns in the Big Chill.
But are we alone?
Electrode 2011
from Dani Ploeger 
An Anuform® anal electrode connected to a modified Peritone EMG sensor registers the activity of my sphincter muscle. Anuform® and Peritone are readily available medical devices for the treatment of incontinence problems. I fake the orgasm of an anonymous subject who took part in an experiment into the nature of the male orgasm in 1980. I attempt to replicate the subject’s sphincter muscle contraction pattern, which was registered during masturbation and orgasm in the experiment. I repeatedly perform the same pattern. The data is projected onto a screen in the form of graphs and is used for digital sound synthesis. The Basement, Brighton (UK), September 2011. Camera: Barbara Droth

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