Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cracking the Shell

"Whereas our direct experience of nature is limited, science has enabled us to become aware of the vastness of the world outside us. A colleague's metaphor has us like an embryonic chick, consuming the stored food inside the egg until it is all gone and the world seems to be at an end. But the shell is cracked open and the chick emerges into a new, vastly greater (and more interesting) world." From Quantum Physics for Poets, Leon M. Lederman and Christopher T. Hill.

My newest labor, this book, and after several weeks I'm on all of page 46. Granted, I only read it before I fall to sleep, so it's a few pages read (and reread) at a time. I think it'll go on my Christmas list; don't know how many times I can renew it at the library!

But consider this: what if all of us, together on this planet, are embryonic chicks, consuming all that there is to consume, until there is no more, and then, what? Will we reach the point of no return, our own event horizon?  Will we emerge into "a new, vastly greater world"?

This is what I'll ponder tonight, where on my side of the planet the temperature has warmed up to 41 degrees fahrenheit, (up from 18 a few days ago) and I'm basking in the relative balminess of it all.


  1. It annoys me intensely when I have to re-read pages (to make sure I've understood), but it happens ever more frequently.

    1. As for physics and me, reading and rereading is actually an improvement. I recall a time (most of my life, actually) when my eyes would glaze over if I so much as glanced at the subject.