Change Limiting Beliefs
Conflicts and otherwise, between Webb and McNamara. For instance, records from a meeting McNamara attended in March of 1963 to discuss Dynasoar contain the following puzzling observation Mr. McNamara raised the question of what would be an optimum test bed for hypersonic R&D during the NASA briefing. Someone at the NASA briefing raised the point that the Space Act provided that space be used for 'peaceful purposes.' Mr. McNamara was very scornful, saying that he was prepared to get the law changed. 130 This supposed-McNamara remark must remain a mystery because no further evidence exists of McNamara attempting to have the Space Act amended. At a minimum, however, it does indicate that Mc-Namara had some type of negative feelings ( scornful ) toward the general concept of space for peace, and possibly even NASA per se, although this certainly did not translate into any amenability toward Air Force space proposals.
Today questions about the existence of intelligent creatures on distant planets have taken on a new degree of respectability, thanks to the explosive growth in astronomical knowledge about stars and planets, and our recently developed technological capability to communicate, in principle anyway, with civilizations on planets orbiting other stars in our corner of the Milky Way. In recent years no book on astronomy appears to have failed to discuss the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETl), but in view of our complete lack of knowledge about the nature of ET, such discussions, despite attempts to present them in a scientific light, are primarily based on speculation and personal belief laced with vast amounts of hope. The SETl program can only be approached from the point of view of pure exploration, not as a scientifically justified experiment in the usual sense of the word.
Before beginning, I should explain that I never quite got the hang of reading blueprints or following building plans. All of my previous observatory designs, stationary and mobile, reflect my personal belief that function takes precedence over form. If something isn't available off the shelf, then I design and build my own. If something doesn't fit, then I get a bigger hammer My usual strategy is to watch the doers and then adopt their most noteworthy ideas. I'm unimpressed with expensive, flashy setups which look great but never get used. I unreservedly borrow'' the best ideas I see in other observatories, and am delighted if other people choose to adopt mine. I devote a great deal of time to astrophotography however, I am devoted to public education in astronomy, and frequently open my observatory to students of all ages. I get a lot of enjoyment out of teaching young people visual observing techniques, and introducing them to the wonders of the universe through computer imaging.
What do I mean when I say this is our origin story Just whom am I referring to A bunch of males who are not only dead but white Is this story accepted and embraced by everyone Of course not. But our knowledge of Cosmic Evolution is not in conflict with the core beliefs of most of the religions, and it certainly isn't necessary to discard or discredit older origin stories to embrace this new one. Even if you go to church, temple, or ashram for the singing and the dancing (that's the part I like), for the comfort of spiritual community, or to receive ancient wisdom, you probably accept that science has clued us in to some big truths about our origins that the writers of our ancient texts could not have known. Except for some Rastas I used to play with in a reggae band, and some Jehovah's Witnesses who've knocked on my door, I haven't met many people who take a seven-day Genesis literally.
Although the arrival of TDRS-1 undoubtedly made the world a more interconnected place, it was to Story Musgrave's intense regret that his fellow humans seemed far more interested in building barriers than bridges. I'm an optimist, he said quietly at the post-flight press conference. I like to think positive, but man is not a social animal. One of my biggest disappointments is the absolute failure of the human being as a social animal. You get back here on Earth and open the newspapers and, every week, there are ten or 12 new wars breaking out all over the world. When I was in space, I never thought about war. I never had one negative thought. It was an incredibly positive experience - there was no time or inclination to think of war or problems, disease or death. I had absolute confidence that this mission would go as smoothly as it did, he continued. This is my career and though I'm not scheduled for another flight as yet, I hope I don't have to wait another 16 years.
In its interdisciplinary nature, astrobiology may be breaking essential ground for the future of all science. Our progress in understanding the universe is hindered by our inability, and or reluctance, to cross the artificial boundaries imposed by our institutionalization of science. But if interdisciplinary work remains a huge challenge, it is not only because of bad attitudes. There are good reasons why we specialize.
Relative to personal spaceflight, Popular Science magazine's editor said it best about the long-term possibilities when SpaceShipOne (see photograph in Exhibit 109) and its White Knight spacecraft won the Ansari X-Prize Some of the boldest, most mind-blowing innovations we've ever surveyed '' Having made history with the first manned private spaceflight, despite a plant fire in 2008, Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites still has a commitment of 1 billion to build a fleet of SpaceShipTwo vehicles, which are powered by a hybrid rocket, partially filled with solid fuel, but no oxidant (www.scaled.com contactus.php). Because this may be safer for his passengers, Sir Richard Branson has ordered five of these vehicles at a cost of 240 million. The latter's Virgin Galactic spaceline has already banked 15.6m in passenger reservations even before that spaceliner has flown a suborbital flight. At a ticket price of possibly 1000,000- 200,000 each, the six people, plus two pilots, will get a few days...
The whole debunking concept, when applied to other people's belief systems, as opposed to specific reports of events or phenomena, is antiproductive. It doesn't lead to greater understanding. The term itself does not connote an effort to win over or convince those who don't agree with you. It's meant to show them to be the idiots they really are. Your beliefs are bunk is a trifle condescending.
Our beliefs and expectations mold our interpretations of experience. This affects what we see and how we remember it. After a while you have a pattern of memories that confirm your beliefs. This can work both ways, of course. If you think, We can find a rational explanation for anything, then you always will.
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