Tag Archive: inheritance

Antimatter: The Real Giant Leap

One Small Step for Man, one Giant Leap For Mankind

When Armstrong said those words (except I missed out the ‘a’), it looked like men & women would be walking tall on all sorts of astronomical bodies in a continuation of the Apollo programme.  As we no know, things didn’t quite work out like that though, and the Moon is still the only place we’ve been except our dear Earth – although unmanned and earth-based exploration continues in great leaps and bounds.

CERN Makes Antimatter Last

But although announced with a small fanfare, the news that CERN has made antimatter atoms in the form of anti-hydrogen last for getting on for half a second made me blink twice.  See BBC News item here.

It’s my guess that this is the real “small leap for mankind” that will eventually lead to the real “giant leap”.

We are now talking the Star Trek language that everyone understands;  antimatter, containment fields, annihilation.  Soon we’ll have dilithium crystals and the stock market to sell them in!

Consequences of Antimatter Creation

But seriously, it’s one hell of a leap.  The big puzzle is why matter (and thus ourselves because we are made of it), is here.

Why is there any of it, anyway?

… …  because in every experiment that we’ve done, matter and antimatter cancel each other out!    Exactly!

So the physical laws that we’ve invented or discovered, right back to the Big Bang, all say that we should not be here.  Any of us.

Current physics says that our universe  should only contain the energy from the mutual annihilation of matter & antimatter.  But there is also matter, which is tightly rolled up bits of energy….

Self-evidently, we are here, which means that matter had a slight excess over anti-matter just after the Big Bang.

So I think that somewhere within the physics of our creation of antimatter, lies the answer to the matter/antimatter conundrum, of that I’m sure.

We’ve made a few atoms so far and watched them annihilate with matter on contact.  The next steps will be to make and keep zillions indefinitely until they are needed.  What for?

Starships perhaps?


Now suppose we make these starships.  Our current selves are very destructive, both towards our environment and ourselves.

  • We live on our Earth, us in the West consuming like locusts while those less well off try a rapid catch-up.
  • We have never had a year without a major loss of life through conflict, disease or other disaster.

In short, though we may well have the technology and explorative urge for interstellar travel in the future, our present state of intense animality leaves us unsuited to such endeavours.  It’s unlikely that any expedition would arrive at its destination intact.  They’d self-destruct.  It’s what people do.

We must change ourselves before we can aspire change our location in the universe, or else our present location (the Earth), will be a blackened desert.  Un-departable.

Soka Gakkai

Today is exactly  the 80th anniversary of the Soka Gakkai.

It’s a Buddhist organisation with its philosophy wrapped up in its name of  “Value Creation Society“.

Let us all use three words as tenets, a true mantra for a civilised survival on Earth for generations to come.

When the time arrives for the Earth’s ultimate destruction, if we haven’t made a “Value Creation Society” that would allow our escape, then we are quite simply, stuffed.

So join the millions of Soka Gakkai Buddhists today as they celebrate their inheritance from one man, then another and another.

Makiguchi was his name and he died for his principles in a Japanese gaol in 1944.  He and his disciple Toda were hounded by the animality of the times and only Toda was left at the end of WW2.

From him, and then Ikeda, the Soka Gakkai  owes its existence, and we all need such principles if the magic of antimatter creation and containment is to mean anything in the future.  It’s a truly wonderful thing.

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Accent Changes, Gay Changes.

While watching John Barrowman’s fascinating documentary on BBC TV last night (“The Making of Me”, BBC One), I noticed the remarkable change in his accent when he talked to his parents and was reminded of my own Geordie twang and how it becomes stronger when I occasionally return to my cultural roots in pitmatic Ashington!

Barrowman is proudly gay and references are made to this during the Dr Who & Torchwood shows with his Captain Jack character.

Last night’s show was interesting as both he and it struggled to find the answer to some gay questions, such as nature or nurture..  You know, whether being gay is inherited, or acquired somehow, or is all in the mind.

The answer, if that’s the word, is that there are several answers, all of which are out of the gay person’s control.  Some reasons are gene inheritance, womb conditions, the number of previous males that a gay man’s mother might have had, parental infuences, cultural environment during childhood.

A lot of the answer(s) seemed to hang on the presence or otherwise of testosterone in various places.

So from a man’s point of view, the show was very good and severely challenged the catholic, muslim and other weirdly homophobic religions attitudes which basically state that a gay man is possessed by a devil and should be tortured until he becomes straight.

However, notable by omission was any investigation into lesbian, creation, if you like.  The general result for a man was that being gay meant that you have a lot of feminine tendencies, fuelled by testosterone or testosterone rejection effects in the womb.  Maybe there’s a gene, but not always, or one that’s been found, yet.

Being lesbian could be seen to be trending to male tendancies but no investigation was done to research this, because if the same testosterone-type arguments were used, the results would be pointing the wrong way.  The causal relationship if applied that way would imply that all women are gay.  But this can’t be true so therefore a shed load of extra work needs to be done before dogmatic statements are bandied about.  Maybe there’s a gene….. etc etc.

What is important, is that these people are just people.  They do not need help, they do not need persecuting.  Actually, they do not need to be researched and should be let alone…..

….but on the other hand, we humans have an insatiable curiosity, especially about anything to do with sex, so maybe it’s just tough.  That’s why in this country we also have laws that protect the individual.

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