We sit here Sunday night after a feast of pork chops, chicken thighs and pie (in no particular order) and I’m happy. Dishes done, floors swept, songs sung and children whipped and put to bed. Nothing like a good old-fashioned Orem city Sunday. Family city USA strikes again. Paige reads about the creation of the earth from her geology book while her dad reads about the creation of the earth in the scriptures and I look through photos on my laptop computer. Faith vs. Fact vs. Photos. Or belief vs. belief vs. photos. Or Fact vs. Fact vs. Fact. All truth is relative right? Or maybe not. I once read a fake article that got me all excited about the Pope’s new ideas about truth, only to get my excitement handed back to me swiftly by a smarter friend than I who showed me it was a hoax. Such a good hoax though.
So, tonight the earth, round and rough, floats along through the sky like a racquetball in a rec center with no walls. No one around but random chunks of space-rock to knock it out of place and potentially kill a bunch of little species. Neil deGrasse Tyson told me about a space-chunk that passed closely and might come back around in twenty years to kill us all. Wikipedia says once every 80,000 years we can expect a big asteroid to get us. I’m not sure where we are on that countdown but I sleep easy and the stars are my friends, not my worries.
The crust is only 1 percent of the earth’s mass – a little plastic wrap on the outside of a balled-up bunch of corn bread. I’d never thought until tonight how the earth has never cooled down since it was formed. Fires from below burn deeply and will continue to burn like the testimony of a small Jehovah Witness woman until hell freezes over. And if hell is in the outer core those two things are going to occur at approximately the same time. But, no one wants to invite the outer core to the party – the poor kid is made up of iron, oxygen and sulfur. Just your basic rotten egg of the core world.
Uncle Marion on the other hand, caught here by the Google car, one sunny day on Lamplighter Lane in Logan, Utah, is always invited to the parties. I was sad to see my high school car, which had been featured on google maps prominently on the side of my mother’s house until just recently, get replaced by a more up-to-date photo of my Volkswagen van. The quality of vehicle hasn’t diminished at all, but the last living record of old Chester has fallen prey to progress and updating.
One of the most important things ever formed on this earth has got to be 80s dancing. No matter how much molten rock was smashed together and wrenched around in the first 30,000 birthdays of the earth, there was a little dancing gnome hidden in the works whose only job was to make sure to plant the technicolored seed of 80s dancing in the hearts of one or two well-placed kids. The same heat that burns in the outer core, the same nuclear heat that had to be jumpstarted in the 21st century’s greatest film the Core, that heat burns in the feet of every kid who has ever been lucky enough to stumble upon Area 51 in Salt Lake on a Thursday night.
And a truer representation of the creation than the picture above couldn’t be found. So, to start a new week, to create our own little worlds with burning cores and tiny crusts, let’s cruise along with this cool thought from Neil himself:
Exploration of the unknown might not strike everyone as a priority. Yet audacious visions have the power to alter mind-states—to change assumptions of what is possible.
– Neil deGrasse Mike Tyson