Saturday, May 16, 2009

"...nothing rhapsodic..."

I know there were fewer postings this week than usual - time seemed to creep away from me. I cannot plead the excuse that I have several other projects - I always have several other projects. If you want something relevant to read, you might check out my recent post for the American Chesterton Society, which touches on some interesting matters about teaching; there is an excellent quote from Chesterton which may recall some of Jaki's own thoughts.

I was able to get this week's "contents" posting finished; it is for the hard-to-find Cosmos In Transition, which is not usually included in the list of Jaki's essay collections, though of course that is what it is. In fact, it is an exemplar of a related but not linear collection of articles, all exploring some very deep and exceedingly interesting matters about the history of astronomy - in particular, of the study of the "cosmos". I find that I shall have to re-read it in the near future, in the hope of giving you a better introduction - if you have it, or can borrow it from your library, you might read it yourself, and we'll discuss it at a future time.

Since today is Saturday, our "half-holiday" when we touch on the truly important part of our work, which is to laugh at the remarkable truths of science and its even more remarkable students - and since we are speaking of astronomy, I can tell you about a rich trove of humor I have found: a collection of witty answers given on tests in an introductory science class. I make no claims about the link or what else you may find there, but there are several - ah - let us say insights of the first magnitude...

And now, let us hear a first-magnitude - or a totally random - insight from Father Jaki...
There is nothing rhapsodic about Planck's constant so that it may accommodate variable moods that seek solace in the total randomness which is allegedly assured by quantum mechanics.
[SLJ, Numbers Decide 79]

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