The further and continuing adventures of the girl who sat in the back of your homeroom, reading and daydreaming.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Made From Stardust
The man who was probably the first to point out in mass media that we -- and everything else -- are made out of stardust has returned to that stardust. Astrophysicist Benjamin F. Peery, late of Indiana and Howard Universities, was 88.
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Ego vadum perussi vestri prandium
"I saw to what extent the people among whom I lived could be trusted as good neighbors and friends; that their friendship was for summer weather only; that they did not greatly propose to do right; that they were a distinct race from me by their prejudices and superstitions."
Henry David Thoreau
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Farewell to a brilliant mind, but as to "first"? Depends on your definitions of "star" and "mass media" I guess...
"...till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." Genesis 3:19
wv: equall...all men and women may be created equall, but what they do with their dab of dust afterwards varies wildly.
I would have to argue that considering Genesis as a self-consistent narrative, the starts are merely "lights in the sky," placed there by the same Creator who brought forth land -- and therefor dust -- from the waters. Forsoothly, we're told man is molded from that same clay; but it is not the same material as the stars, or at least not pointed out to be.
It is as at least as uplifting and inspiring a narrative as an astrophysicist assuring us were are made of the stuff of stars, but it's not the same story.
...OTOH. to say we are, in metaphor, made of the common clay and to say we're built of stardust, I'd have to agree that those are indeed congruent and the astrophysicist is expanding and restating an old, old truth. His actual insight is that the clay -- and all else -- is made from bits of stars. One would have to already know what Man was made of to take the next step.
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