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Sunday, November 27, 2016

HOW MANY ARE THERE?

I was reading Scientific American at the golf course and came upon an article indicating the world has 3 trillion trees.  Well, I did a check and another article said 5 trillion.  So my interest was piqued on how many there were of everything:
    • Here we now get into really big numbers, for there are around 5 times 10 with 30 zeros  bacteria currently living on Planet Earth.  Microscopic life began 4 billion years ago.  Early Homo sapiens, us, came to be maybe 200,000 years ago.
  • Now to really mess with your mind, there are ten times more viruses than bacteria in your body.  That's not all, something called archaea, once thought to be bacteria, was only discovered in the 1970's.  Then there is the eukaryotic kingdom to which we belong.  Why no virus?  'Cause it is not a true living organism (virus to the right below):
  • Skipping off into outer space, we have long been taught that our Sun is nothing special, and, if anything, below average.  Turns out our Sun is brighter than 95% of stars we see in the sky.  Take these numbers with a pound of salt, for they keep changing, but, for now:
    • Our Milky Way Galaxy has 100 billion stars.
    • There are 10 trillion galaxies in the Universe.
    • Thus, we have 1 followed by 24 zeros stars in our observable space.
    • A science blog indicates that our galaxy alone has 10 trillion planets, which seems like an exaggeration, but this same paper indicates that there are also 1 followed by 24 zeros planets in our Universe.
It is conceivable that we are the only site for intelligent life in all of space around us.  The odds of this being the case would be one 1 followed by 24 zeros, or, maybe only 23 zeros, or 22.  Surely, then, there must be other civilizations, some billions of years older than ours.  But that takes me back forty years when I worked for NASA on the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence.

As this is Sunday, not a trick question, but how many Heavens are there?  I, myself, don't think there is any.  However, many of our best minds in history have given this question great thought, and the consensus is that there are THREE Heavens.  In Genesis 1:1;2:1 God created "heavens and earth."  Note the plural.  The Heavens, apparently, according to this source, are:
  • The firmament, or vast solid dome above the atmosphere.
  • Outer Space.
  • A location beyond the stars where God, holy angels, spirits of men and creatures dwell.
So, then, where is Purgatory?  Turns out that The Bible never mentions this exact wording.  Hmm...I wonder how many Catholics are now puzzled.  But this is the kind of logic biblical scholars generally use:  To claim that Purgatory does not exist because the exact word does not appear in Scripture is a failure to understand Scripture.  They say, a good example is that The Bible is itself never mentioned in The Bible.  Anyway, there are several references to a third place after death, the other two being Heaven and Hell.  

There is a kind of shedding of sins, atonement and purification process that occurs in this vague intermediate site or sites.  I have co-opted one by suggesting that 15 Craigside might be a likely location, although I'm more and more feeling that our second floor is, frighteningly, more specifically that focal point.  Of course, you need to be dead to get into Purgatory, but maybe we only think we're alive.

By the way, how many of you will be going to Heaven, if there is one?  According to this analysis, worldwide, maybe 10%.  Why?  Click on that link.  As you will someday go to Heaven if you make Purgatory, that means 90% of Humanity will end up in Hell. Frankly, I wouldn't be too concerned if I were you, for there has yet to be a recent confirmation from anyone who ever went to Heaven or Hell.

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