WHAT IS THE COSMOS MADE OF? The changes that have taken place
in our understanding of the makeup of the cosmos is incredible. When I
graduated from college in 1959, the cosmos was made up of atoms and parts
of atoms that were observable in the laboratory. Binding energy particles
like neutrinos had been mathematically predicted, but really not observed.
In the 1980s it became obvious that there was matter in the cosmos that
had not been observed, but which held the cosmos together. Called dark
matter, this material's nature still is debated, but it is obvious
that it exists in some form. In 1998 it became apparent that the cosmos
is accelerating in its motion; and within the past three years experimental
evidence does not leave any doubt that this is in fact happening. The Space
Telescope Science Institute has just released this picture of the cosmos:
|.03%||Heavy Elements--elements created by nuclear fusion that we and our planet are made of.|
|.3%||Neutrinos--particles with very small masses that permeate space.|
|.5%`||Stars--gaseous balls ignited by gravitational pressure, producing nuclear fusion.|
|4%||Free hydrogen and helium--gas floating in interstellar space.|
|30%||Dark Matter--unseen matter that holds the cosmos together.|
|65%||Dark Energy--undetermined force of the cosmos that expands and accelerates the cosmos|
We would suggest that this picture speaks highly of the complexity of the cosmos, a complexity that denies chance and speaks highly of how special a place we live in.
--Reference: USA Today, June 4, 2001, page 7D
REMINDER OF MATERIAL FOR THE VISUALLY IMPAIRED. We would like to remind our readers that this bimonthly is available free of charge for people who have vision problems. We provide the bimonthly read on cassette tapes. We do have a few of our other booklets as well as our whole lecture series on cassette tapes. All we need to start sending this material is a request and an accurate address. Send it to us at 1555 Echo Valley Drive, Niles, MI 49120.
MORE ON NEANDERTHAL DNA. One of the areas where there is considerable controversy is on the nature of Neanderthal man. In the past several years, there have been releases of scientific studies showing that the Neanderthals were genetically very different from modern humans, causing many people to suggest they were ape men or some in-between species. Recent reports of mitochondrial DNA studies of early Australians show that they differ from modern humans as much as the Neanderthals did. No one feels that the early Australians were a different species than modern man, and this strongly suggests that the Neanderthals were not either. Our position is that the early man studies that have been made and the fossil finds that have been published all show racial variations similar to those on the earth today, but not different species. If a Pygmy and a Swede can be the same species, it seems fairly obvious that Neanderthal and modern man can be also.
--Reference: Scientific American, March, 2001, page 24.
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