This intro to an Evansville Courier Press editorial caught my eye:
Maybe we’re overstating it, but it seems that the more we learn about the universe — and we are learning a lot — it seems the less we know.
Well, now, that’s the beauty of it all, isn’t it? With the scientific method, curiosity, and a sense of wonder, the universe is like a cornucopia of puzzles to solve.
Specifically prompting this editorial:
Astronomers have discovered a distant galaxy — 5.7 billion light-years fitting anybody’s definition of “distant” — that spits out new stars at, well, an astronomical rate.
The galaxy is creating about 740 new stars a year, compared to about one a year for our own Milky Way.
Astronomers are nicknaming the galaxy Phoenix because, at 6 billion years old, it was thought to be dead, but it came back to life in a way that gave scientists new mysteries to puzzle over.
The universe is vast, and we are small; but we’re getting bigger. Compare the first couple million years of human progress versus the last five hundred or so. (Unless you believe that humans have only been around for 6,000 years, in which case, this discussion is probably already blasphemous.) If we can hold it together long enough to travel faster and get a foothold on other planets, our species could really make something of itself. Right now, however, we’re kind of making a mess of our nest on the planet Earth; and it’s an open question how long we’ll have the resources to continue progressing.