A Journey Through the Known Universe

Via the American Museum of Natural History: "The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world's most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010.


  1. Disgusted American says

    when I am counter commenting on a website..usually to a buy-bull beater…..I usually gave a link to Hubble deep field on youtube….in a universe this Huge..too large for our brains to even comprehend….no space god – cares what us humans are doing with our hoo-hoos and pee-pees…its man made bs to keep the sheeple in line, and the coffers full $$

  2. nic says

    @disgusted american,

    i agree completely. if there is a god (or gods) who can create such infinite magnificence, i can’t imagine he/she/they give a rat’s about where i stick my dick or where i let someone else stick his dick.

    if there are superior beings who want to punish evil-doers, they will be going after the presumptuous bigots who profess to know what “he” is thinking.

    this is my conundrum. if i believe there is a god or gods who wish to punish lesser beings, then that supreme entity does not deserve my allegiance or respect and is ipso facto not a god(dess) this is my problem with the god of the bible. he gets into a bitch fight with satan over the allegiance of job. who can respect a vain god who demands reverence? of course, that lets the truly evil among us off the hook (the war-mongers, the hypocrites, the cheneys of the world; the pat robertsons, the dobsons, and on and on).

    oh well, while i do not know what to believe, i do know what not to believe. that’s why i’m not an atheist, but rather an agnostic. have a terrific holiday season, andy and all the towlies. let’s celebrate family and community, in short, humanity — the milk of human kindness.

  3. SF_Scottie says

    Absolutely stunning. This reminds me of the opening to the movie “Contact” (but much better done) – which my partner and I had recently just watched (his first time, one of my all-time favorites). When watching this, I find myself almost drifting off acknowledging of how insignificant we really are on this planet.

    Really great points made above guys.

    I sometimes really believe that if those who are so-called “religious” are too scared to comprehend that they (we all) are just part of a grain of sand on a large beach. It scares them too much to think that.

    Oh well.

  4. Bobby says

    That was moving and it almost made me tear up. I have no idea why, but maybe the beauty and the insignificance of it all and the realism that the only significance is what our personal views are.

    I agree with Disgusted and Nic. I have a “feeling” of there being something more, a “god” if you will, or “gods”, but I don’t think those beings are micro-managing our lives or blessing us with this or cursing us with that. We are simply specs doing what specs to and shit happens to specs sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t.

    I wish the religious zealots and those who want to control us, to force us to a will that really isn’t their own but a manufactured one that “they” believe everyone should adhere to would evolve. They’re parrots who can’t reason for themselves so they fall back on what they’ve been taught and what they’ve learned never to venture any further or to ever grow at all.

    My belief in “God” is that he-she-it-they designed us to be exactly as we are, the rest is up to us.

    Happy Holidays to everyone and thank you Andy for such an incredible spec in cyper-space for us to come and visit and sometimes be amazed and inspired.

  5. Chitown Kev says

    Great posting Andy and great (if somewhat expected) comments.

    Tank, yeah, I feel you but when many people (including myself) look at the world or the universe from this POV you do begin to wonder. Nothing wrong with that.

  6. TANK says

    But why don’t people wonder about gods and not just a god, kev? Is it because it’s an accident of upbringing and history? Sure… Why not several billion gods? Team god! There’s nothing wrong with it, it just has nothing to do with…the video.

  7. Bobby says

    How can anyone look at something so incomprehensibly vast and not consider “creation” and the possible lies we’ve been told about it and how the world is somehow special in all that vastness?

    By the way, even the Bible says there are other Gods, but the Biblical God is supposed to be the only one worshipped.

  8. TANK says

    Because, bobby, “creation” by a self aware deity is simply not something that can be deduced or inferred from the vastness of the universe. There is no evidence that can be brought to bear on answering that question one way or the other with the resources of science (that troublesome thing which got us that video…aye? LOL!). There is no difference between your god existing and not existing (none whatsoever). There is no question that god answers.

    I am truly disgusted that the vastness, beauty and internal regularity of the universe isn’t enough for most people, and that there is so much left to discover doesn’t fill them with wonder. No, they want more than the universe…they’re not satisfied with it, and instead what something that they can easily categorize and understand. And it’s sickening. It cheapens a truly remarkable feat–that we can come to grips with it, explain it, and make predictions based upon those explanations.

    And the last bit just makes an arbitrary point even more arbitrary. And no, bobby, you’re just plain wrong about the new testament, anyway. Christians don’t believe in odin and zeus. It’s so sad to see believers try to twist an already tenuously meaningful set of propositions into meaninglessness. They just don’t understand that there’s nothing that they believe when they do this…it’s the ultimate nonbelief (noncognitivism).

    This video needs an impressive quote. One of my favorites is from richard feynman.

    “A poet once said “The whole universe is in a glass of wine.” We will probably never know in what sense he meant that, for poets do not write to be understood. But it is true that if we look at a glass closely enough we see the entire universe. There are the things of physics: the twisting liquid which evaporates depending on the wind and weather, the reflections in the glass, and our imaginations adds the atoms. The glass is a distillation of the Earth’s rocks, and in its composition we see the secret of the universe’s age, and the evolution of the stars. What strange array of chemicals are there in the wine? How did they come to be? There are the ferments, the enzymes, the substrates, and the products. There in wine is found the great generalization: all life is fermentation. Nobody can discover the chemistry of wine without discovering, as did Louis Pasteur, the cause of much disease. How vivid is the claret, pressing its existence into the consciousness that watches it! If our small minds, for some convenience, divide this glass of wine, this universe, into parts — physics, biology, geology, astronomy, psychology, and so on — remember that Nature does not know it! So let us put it all back together, not forgetting ultimately what it is for. Let it give us one more final pleasure: drink it and forget it all!”

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