Dr. David Morrison is the Director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute and Senior Scientist for Astrobiology at the NASA Ames Research Center. He holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from Harvard and is internationally known for his research on small bodies in the solar system, including advocacy for developing plans to defend the Earth from impacts by comets and asteroids.
A Fellow of CSI, he has written extensively on such fringe science topics as Velikovsky, cosmic catastrophes, UFOs, the creation science movement, and most recently the climate crisis caused by global warming. For the past two years he has been the primary scientist critic of the widespread fear that the world will end in 2012, and of the doomsday sleaze artists who use the Internet, blogs, and cable TV to frighten people for profit.
Dr. Morrison's discussion largely centers around the hoax of 2012.
David Morrison is director of the Carl Sagan Center for Study of Life in the Universe at the SETI Institute, former director of the NASA Lunar Science Institute, the senior scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute where he participates in a variety of research programs in astrobiology -- the study of the living universe.
Dr. Morrison obtained his doctorate in astronomy from Harvard University. He is the author of more than 155 technical papers and has published a dozen books. He has been a science investigator on NASA's Mariner, Voyager and Galileo space missions. Morrison is recipient of the Dryden Medal for research of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Sagan Medal of the American Astronomical Society for public communication, and the Klumpke-Roberts award of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for contributions to science education. He has received two NASA Outstanding Leadership medals and he was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Rank for his work as director of space at NASA Ames. Morrison was a founder of the multidisciplinary field of astrobiology, and he provides on-line answers to questions from the public sent to "Ask an Astrobiologist," found at: http://nai.arc.nasa.gov/astrobio/
Morrison is perhaps best known for his leadership since 1991 in defining the hazard of asteroid impacts and seeking ways to mitigate this risk. Asteroid 2410 Morrison is named in his honor.
Independent U.S. government agency established in 1958 for research and development of vehicles and activities for aeronautics and space exploration. Its goals include improving human understanding of the universe, the solar system, and Earth and establishing a permanent human presence in space. NASA, previously the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), was created largely in response to the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik in 1957. Its organization was well under way in 1961, when Pres. John F. Kennedy proposed that the U.S. put a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s (seeApollo). Later unmanned programs (e.g., Viking, Mariner, Voyager, Galileo) explored other planets and interplanetary space, and orbiting observatories (e.g., the Hubble Space Telescope) have studied the cosmos. NASA also developed and launched various satellites with Earth applications, such as Landsat and communications and weather satellites. It planned and developed the space shuttle and led the development and construction of the International Space Station.
multidisciplinary field dealing with the nature and existence of and search for extraterrestrial life (life beyond Earth). Astrobiology encompasses areas of biology, astronomy, and geology. The principal areas of astrobiology research can be classified as (1) understanding the conditions under which life can arise, (2) looking for habitable worlds, and (3) searching for evidence of life.
In a discourse it matters little what words mean "in your opinion". If you actually care about being taken seriously, you will have to use words at least close to their usual definition, which, it seems, you do not care to do.
As the most simple consequence of your disregard for definitions, it seems that little of what you say makes much sense, since most likely none of us can tell what you actually mean by any of the words that you string together.
Having said that, it strikes me that you are actually trying to say something moving and important.
May I interpret your reply in such a way that you bemoan the plight of the Chinese people? That seems rather unreasonable to the outside observer. China has a very long continuous history, much of which is violent and much of which would be about as insufferable for any modern person as the European middle ages would be if we had to relive them. In comparison, what is happening in modern China is, on more than just one level elemental progress. As someone who has lived in a communist state in his youth, I happen to have first hand understanding of the limitations that come with the current Chinese political system. As a keen observer of modern China I also happen to have some idea of what the driving forces behind the changes are and, IMHO, much of that has nothing to do with any particular political system at work but is fundamentally governed by Chinese demographics and Chinese historical reality.
If there is something one can learn from the study of nature, it is that laws of numbers are uncaring. Much of China's reality is ruled by the incredible number of its people and the resulting needs that have to be satisfied if further suffering is to be avoided. That is not an excuse for the egregious human rights violations that are being reported from China, of course. The explanation for those, if one needed any (but one does not), would simple be history. Societies do not turn on a dime. They change slowly and it takes many generations to make ultimate progress in humanity. We can be disgusted with that, if we want to, but we can't change it.
As for the universe... it simply does not care. And if you happen to look for the ultimate implementation of the Myth of Sysyphus, it can be trivially found in musing over the question why there is suffering in the world or why God (or the universe) can possibly allow it to happen. The trivial answer is the correct one (neither care) and if you can't live with it, you have just picked the stone that you will roll up that hill for the rest of your own eternity.
Meanwhile China is driving itself from the 19th century into the 21st at breakneck speed. We can either follow or we will be crushed. I, for one, like to follow. It's one of the most amazing spectacles of human history ever witnessed. Luckily, for me, I can watch from the stands and do not have to be part of the race. I doubt I would make a happy figure in it, if I had to.
"How could the basics of mathematics, physics, chemistry, literature and history answer the basic existential predicament of human sufferings?"
They don't. Humanism does that by attempting to prevent human suffering.
What a grounding in science, literature and history does for you is to make the distinction between the highs of human intellectual and emotional achievement and utter nonsense like any sort of fundamentalism (political, religious, spiritualist, puritan, economic etc. etc.) as transparent as the vacuum of deep space (and in there you can really see forever!). That includes dismantling of the particular myth that teaches that "human suffering" is some elevated form of being which needs to be philosophized about ad nauseam. It doesn't. It needs to be minimized as much as possible, and where it can't be removed from our life fundamentally, e.g. in case of the loss of a loved one, it has to be integrated into the "normal" state of human existence, so that it does not create additional fear, shame and guilt beyond the unavoidable emotional trauma.
From such a grounded physical, emotional and intellectual platform you can then go on to actually muse about important problems (that have an actual impact in the real world) and leave those early childhood traumas behind that have most people stuck in endless search for "meaning". The world is simply what you make of it. And, of course, you can't make any sense of the world, if you are not willing to observe it. Which brings us back to the need to study math and science to understand the world and literature and history to understand ourselves, since literature is how we express ourselves and history is the list of avoidable mistakes that we made in the past.
"How could capitalism and bureaucracy be responsible to men's mental and spiritual freedom?"
How does the Library of Alexandria fit into a pea?
It doesn't, but that question is about as meaningful as yours. Neither capitalism, which is merely one of many possible forms of ownership and production, nor bureaucracy, which is a (mostly primitive) form of organization, have any "responsibility" for men's mental and spiritual freedom.
Mental freedom is a function of the shaping of people's psychological inhibitions by their social environment. It starts with the conditioning by mom and dad and the diverse social groups people are part of, which includes the pressures that local, regional and global politics puts on them. That shaping can be free or restrictive and tends to be relatively free in what you like to call "capitalism", although what I believe you really mean are probably democratic and somewhat meritocratic political systems of the late 20th and early 21st century. Please correct me if I am wrong, but that's what I find most people, especially in the US, mean, when they are talking about "capitalism".
Now, if you also happen to have smart parents, live in a tolerant neighborhood and end up in a good school with motivated teachers which is free of violence, you got the necessary conditions for a good start. Take one of the last requirements away and chances are that you will have to either stay within the box they put you in or that you will have to break with family and friends at some point in your life to emancipate yourself.
About that "spiritual freedom"... I find that the people who talk about spirituality the most are usually the ones who seem to have the least of it. If you need instructions from self-help books, an organized form of religion or some self-proclaimed teacher, you are definitely missing it yourself. I tend to look at spirituality as something that one simply has, a deeply felt resonance with the universe. It makes you sing like a harp when being struck by beauty. I always had that, I never felt the artificial need to search for it. Which, incidentally, leaves me more time to look at the universe and simply enjoy. And, what do you know, the last time "I sang" was only a couple of days ago when reading a paper on gravity as a thermodynamic theory. What a beautiful insight that is... Einstein kept looking for it all his life. The deep reverence he held for both, gravity and thermodynamics finds a natural explanation in a theoretically stunningly beautiful formal resemblance of the largest scale phenomenon and the most general known laws of the universe.
And there you have it.
Wonderful video! It's nice to see someone taking the pseudoscience peddlers and fearmongers to task. I've posted this on my Facebook in hopes that some of my friends that take this crap seriously will watch, too.
"...how can we teach discernment when confronting with an new age of deception?"
Judging by my own experience in high school, that's actually fairly easy. Pretty much every high school teacher in Europe and most parts of the world outside of the US is quite qualified to teach his or her students the basic techniques of judging the quality of information.
Independent thinking based on facts and questioning the source are, of course, only possible to people who actually have the basics of mathematics, physics, chemistry, literature and history down. Failing that, the human mind is set adrift in an ocean of meaningless noise.
This is a very good video. It is too bad that the sound is so uneven. I am a retired high school physics teacher, and have had students question me about all kinds of crazy crackpot ideas over the years. We have to just keep educating students and promoting critical thinking.
I just don't know how to speak on this people should really try to understand this subject but as us being that ignorant we get lured into believing such contraptions that are far more unimaginable for us to comprehend nowadays.
Why is it that some people believe in the most outrageous and exotic things, and when presented with hard evidence, real science that you actually can check for yourself, they say it is all prepared to look convincing? I really do not get that...
There are even people out there claiming that the planet isn't a spheroid, and oh yes they have hard proof and ofcourse there is also a conspiracy to cover that up...
No wonder no government on the planet is capable to keep a tight budgetplan on course, lol
I hope this video will help though...
Sir, I agree with all you say, have been inside Uxmal, invited in 88, been to most ruins, and caves, at night even
Palenque, Tikal, San Andres, Monte Alban all at night, this guy is an idiot in the vid
I also worked with Mayans in 80's Guatemala and live El Salvador since 1994
the math is correct
I am where the safest place to be, yes even by the ocean, we rise up
meditation will tie all you ignorant 'sheeples' to the same universal energy
so all you idiots, I will ask
have you tried macrocosmic orbit meditation?
I am engineer
I am blessed to be so enlightened
and a note, Mr. Xavier S., is also close to correct
have a nice day