In the midst of all these shades of Sun, darkness, existence, and time are those shadows created by radiant light. Here is where the Light will dawn in the face of gathering darkness. As some men love the darkness, others search out the lights shining in the night. There, in the borderlands of existence as most people remain unaware, is where the conflict will play out. – Grayson Kirby, the Tower Keeper, Among the Shadows.
The conflict between Darkness and Light is a central theme in Among the Shadows, and throughout much of fiction. This face-off also exists in the physical world.
Paradoxically, Earth sits in one of the darkest corners of the Milky Way Galaxy, in a universe consisting of 99.73% darkness (dark matter and dark energy). A rare, bright blue orb floating in darkness — not the pale blue dot that the great evangelist of materialistic philosophy Carl Sagan often glumly intoned about.
Interestingly, if the properties of dark energy varied as little as one part in 10 to the 120th power, we would not exist. According to math and logic, chance cannot create such precision no matter how old the universe, nor how many fanciful multiverses one conjures.
Even the vast darkness of the universe is ultimately beholden to a bright blue light. As Darkness and Light battle it out on our world, the universe it sits in shows the war can be won.
Hundreds of moons, planets and other bodies in the Solar System, and only ours — Earth and the Moon — have perfect solar eclipses. Astronomers have long noted this strange phenomenon, and the unlikely parameters that cause it. Not only that, but they happen to occur in a time in Earth’s history where they can be observed. Astronomer John Gribben writes:
Just now the Moon is about 400 times smaller than the Sun, but the Sun is 400 times farther away than the Moon, so that they look the same size on the sky. At the present moment of cosmic time, during an eclipse, the disc of the Moon almost exactly covers the disc of the Sun. In the past the Moon would have looked much bigger and would have completely obscured the Sun during eclipses; in the future, the Moon will look much smaller from Earth and a ring of sunlight will be visible even during an eclipse. Nobody has been able to think of a reason why intelligent beings capable of noticing this oddity should have evolved on Earth just at the time that the coincidence was there to be noticed. It worries me, but most people seem to accept it as just one of those things.
Even if we brush this off as coincidence, as some have tried to do, there is another layer to this. Many of the interconnected factors that allow the eclipse to occur, also allow life to exist on Earth. Continue reading
Categories: Critical Thinking, Nature
Tags: Astronomy, cosmos, Earth, eclipse, Guillermo Gonzalez, John Gribben, Moon, physics, solar eclipse, Solar System, Sun, The Privileged Planet, total eclipse