Wonder. Awe. Mystery.

Posted:
in AppleOutsider edited January 2014
I have been thinking (and reading) a bit about this lately and thought I'd open a topic on the subject.



In this so-called "age of reason" in which (we think) we have so much scientifically "figured out"...I am curious what makes people wonder? What inspires unmitigated awe? What things are mysterious...and wonderfully mysterious to you?



I seldom hear from people about what surprises them. There seem to be no mysteries any more. We have it all sorted out.



What about it?



Is there anything that makes you wonder?



Is there anything that inspires awe in you?



Is there anything that is a genuine mystery to you?
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 39
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Why do most tornadoes spin counter-clockwise?



    Hubble deep space pictures.



    Why the hell do my cats just start running around the room?
  • Reply 2 of 39
    shawnjshawnj Posts: 6,656member
    Boobies.
  • Reply 3 of 39
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ShawnJ

    Boobies.



    ++
  • Reply 4 of 39
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    This sentence of Yann Martel's: "First wonder goes deepest; wonder

    after that fits in the impression made by the first."
  • Reply 5 of 39
    Brilliant thread. These are the things that I wonder at:



    When did we become us? How long have we been like this? Were the most ancient anatomically modern human beings really like us in every way?



    Language (when and what, and did our most ancient anatomically-identical ancestors do it? And what's the difference between music and language, and why do we sing?) Did the first Europeans speak with clicks in their language like the San people still do in Southern Africa?



    What did Europe look like before the trees were all chopped down (often try and imagine how the places where cities are looked like before the cities were built.) What kind of stories did the first Europeans tell each other? How long have people been in North America and how did they get there?



    What's all the weird shit that shamans do? Is that actually real?



    What comes after capitalism and will we good to each other when it happens?



    Loads of stuff. Boobies too.
  • Reply 6 of 39
    Mammals in general.



    Mostly because of their boobies.



    I am in awe of the remarkably simple insights that are available in comparing protein structures to one another. Let's just say that god isn't all that creative.



    I am in awe of time.



    I am in awe of its passage and what it is capable of.



    I am in awe of language, and similarly in awe of the lack of understanding of its full meaning and potential that most of its users have.



    I am in awe of the limited range of human thought.
  • Reply 7 of 39
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Scale is what usually freaks me out, very large or very small. Thinking about the size of the solar system, let alone the universe. Or the size of atoms or subatomic particles. Or boobies, large or small.
  • Reply 8 of 39
    cosmonutcosmonut Posts: 4,872member
    I often ponder on the future:



    Will we ever be able to go at warp speed, and if so how long will it take to accomplish it?



    How will computing and our brain waves merge to co-exist. In other words, will we evolve computers in such a way that we will control all functions of a computer with our brains AND/OR have our brain functions be assisted by the computing power?



    Related to the last ponderance, will we be able to harness the full capacity of our brains so that we all become super geniuses by today's standards?



    There's several others, but that's a good sampling.
  • Reply 9 of 39
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    The vastness of the universe, and our slowly dawning comprehension of the enormous, slow and intricate structures that shape it.



    The specificity of the universe, and our slowly dawning comprehension the the vanishingly slight and incomprehensibly short lived structures that shape it.



    How, under very extreme circumstances, those two poles are united.



    What the night sky must have looked in a world without an electric light or even a dream of pollution, and how that nightly blazing glory shaped mankind's ideas of the divine.



    The possibility of life on other worlds, and what such a discovery would do to our sense of ourselves and our place in the universe.



    The mystery of consciousness.
  • Reply 10 of 39
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    I must admit that this one bakes my noodle:



    If the universe is everything, and the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?
  • Reply 11 of 39
    Quote:

    Originally posted by midwinter

    I must admit that this one bakes my noodle:



    If the universe is everything, and the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?




    I don't KNOW!





    *cue canned laughter*
  • Reply 12 of 39
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,660member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by midwinter

    I must admit that this one bakes my noodle:



    If the universe is everything, and the universe is expanding, what is it expanding into?




    Well, one way to look at it is this:



    Since what is expanding is space/time itself, concepts like "into" don't have any meaning since "into" and "out of" are functions of space/time that are expanding along with everything else.
  • Reply 13 of 39
    Maybe its just the idea of expansion that makes the Universe, such a, universal concept, so to speak...
  • Reply 14 of 39
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Why is there something, anything, rather than absolutely nothing?
  • Reply 15 of 39
    Why is it that Humans, purportedly, only use something like 10% of our brain capacity? Why the hell do we have the other 90% ?
  • Reply 16 of 39
    Quote:

    Originally posted by BRussell

    Thinking about the size of the solar system, let alone the universe.



    Yes, this absolutely does my head in.



    The nearest star to us (after the sun) is Proxima Centauri, and travelling at the speed of light it would take you 4.2 years to get there.



    It would take you 90,000 years travelling at the speed of light to cross our galaxy from one side to the other.



    It would take you 25,000 years to get to the nearest galaxy.



    And some of the stars we see aren't stars, aren't galaxies, aren't clusters of galaxies, but clusters of clusters of galaxies.
  • Reply 17 of 39
    shetlineshetline Posts: 4,695member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by DanMacMan

    Why is it that Humans, purportedly, only use something like 10% of our brain capacity? Why the hell do we have the other 90% ?



    The problem is the oft-repeated "we only use 10% of our brains" meme simply isn't true.
  • Reply 18 of 39
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by DanMacMan

    Why is it that Humans, purportedly, only use something like 10% of our brain capacity? Why the hell do we have the other 90% ?



    Because during the Civil War, when doctors would experiment on brains with electrodes, they'd only get a "response" 10% of the time. Hence, the myth.
  • Reply 19 of 39
    midwintermidwinter Posts: 10,060member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Hassan i Sabbah

    Yes, this absolutely does my head in.



    The nearest star to us (after the sun) is Proxima Centauri, and travelling at the speed of light it would take you 4.2 years to get there.



    It would take you 90,000 years travelling at the speed of light to cross our galaxy from one side to the other.



    It would take you 25,000 years to get to the nearest galaxy.



    And some of the stars we see aren't stars, aren't galaxies, aren't clusters of galaxies, but clusters of clusters of galaxies.




    Howsabout Dark Matter?
  • Reply 20 of 39
    "Only two things are infinite: The universe and Human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe" - Albert Einstein,

    I'm in awe how true that is, and still wondering why is that so
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