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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Fly me to the Moon

I love the incredible diversity of beliefs, which span the sea of humanity.
If one had time to interview every living person on the globe, they would certainly find plenty of similar themes, but I bet the final count would show nearly as many belief systems as we have people.

I don’t know if this is how it has always been. I think it’s normal to look back fondly on past times and say “ooh, they had it real good back then. Life was so simple.” But I’ll bet there were early humans who believed in a little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Enough said.

Some of the big questions:
Is there a God? Does Heaven exist? Do we really meet 76 virgins in the next world – I really hope not. What about aliens? Are there others out there in the impossible reaches of space? Are we reincarnated? Is our last incarnation really as a dog? Did a dog, Coyote, create the starry sky by tearing open the creator’s bag as he ran, scattering flowers everywhere in a big mess, instead of the intended careful patterns? What about ghosts and demons and angels and exorcisms?

Some of the small questions:
Was Kennedy really shot by one pin-head from the window in the book repository? Did a flying saucer crash land outside of Roswell, NM? Did Atlantis exist? Did the Titanic really hit an iceberg, or was it torpedoed? Did the U.S.S. Eldridge slip into another universe before reappearing hundreds of miles away, blah, blah? What about Bigfoot and the Black Dog of Britain, and ancient astronauts coming to Earth and leaving evidence of their arrival?

Hang on a moment. What was that last one?
Oh yeah, ancient astronauts.
Did you know that there are a whole lot of folks who believe fervently that ancient astronauts came from somewhere out in the cosmos and helped us build pyramids and maybe even influenced the development of life here on our little piece of stardust. Yet, there are also a lot of folks who believe there’s no way we sent our own astronauts to the moon – essentially that this was all filmed in some studio somewhere.

So what’s real and what isn’t? Is it reasonable to believe that we sent humans out into the pure vacuum of space in a thin tin can, flew them all the way to the moon and landed them nearly perfectly, then got them all the way back? What’s the alternative – that this was a hoax perpetrated by the government to try to beat the Russians in a high-stakes game. What’s more difficult: Flying to the moon on the power of a computer system little better than a pocket calculator, or creating a perfect hoax in which many thousands of people would have to be knowing conspirators?

Look at it from this angle: You can’t even keep a decent secret anymore without some CIA guy or gal getting outed and the entire Congress moaning about being “out of the loop.” Our best agencies, made up of pros who deal daily with secrets, struggle to keep our simplest computer networks safe from basement hackers. We have voter fraud and corruption, thieving involving trillions of dollars, adultery and everything in between, not only rampant within the ranks of our politicians, but even expected. Those with their own self-interest at stake; who’s very lives will be destroyed if their little secrets are revealed, can’t even keep the skeletons in their closets.

And that’s the biggest evidence there is, really. Ask yourself, with human nature the way it is, what seems more likely? Do we really need to question whether it is possible for our government to lie and cheat? Of course not. Radiation pills given to pregnant women and the Tuskegee study on Syphilis in black men suggest we are truly capable of some bad stuff – even now, in our modern times. Just look at recent history. The government is made up of a lot of educated folks, and they can be great liars. But they are not very good at keeping secrets.

So is it possible for these people to keep such a massive secret for so long, with so many of them in the loop?

Frankly, I think it would be easier to fly to the Moon.

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