UNINTELLIGENT DESIGN

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I confess there are times I am intimidated by intelligence. There is a certain sort of very-intelligent person who can adopt a chilling condescension which gets me ducking down like a prairie dog, and I don’t pop back up until they leave the room. This is a pity, for them, for they miss a lot, by being so smart.

This seems especially true in terms of meteorological subjects that involve many variables. The excessively-learnéd may know a great deal about a single variable, but, by dampening discussion with their superior attitude, they do not get input about variables they know less about, or haven’t even considered.

In some ways I prefer the company of the blissfully ignorant, for, in merrily bouncing impractical and impossible ideas about, they, like the proverbial hundred chimpanzees on a hundred typewriters, blunder across genius. Also, they are far happier and have more fun.

There was one occasion, around thirty years ago, when I knew a snide and overpowering individual who, after berating a timid fellow’s interesting idea, must have thought about the idea later, for he adopted the timid fellow’s idea as his own, and I witnessed him ventilate it about a week later among a different group, giving absolutely no credit to the timid one he had earlier berated. He was congratulated for “his” idea, and may have felt he was raised in others estimation, but he shrank considerably in my own.

I tend to hold the view that Truth is out there, free for all, and amazing, and that it is an exercise in vanity to take credit for It’s existence. To take credit would be as if a van Gogh, in painting a “Starry Night”, took credit for creating the stars and the night.

Not that genius doesn’t deserve recognition for seeing Truth, and for in some form communicating and/or replicating It, but Truth was there all along. For example, Bach deserves credit for seeing the mathematics of music, but those realities were there even when men beat drums in caves.

In terms of meteorology I think we are like men in caves, facing Bach’s harmony sung by angels in a vision. We are aware there is majestic perfection involved, but the meteorological violin and oboe haven’t been invented yet, and there is no way to scientifically communicate and/or replicate what we sense. But this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. We just need to be very humble as we try.

I got to thinking along these lines because I have been lurking around the edges of various discussions about “The Quiet Sun”, at various websites. Everyone seems to know that the variations of a variable star must have some effect, as the Sun is the greatest power in the physical solar system, but no one seems to be able to put their finger on exactly what the effect is. I’ve ventured a few ideas, but I’ve discovered that when I venture an idea I swiftly get lambasted by superior intelligence, whereupon I adopt my prairie dog strategy.

Just because I’ve ducked down into my underground doesn’t mean I’ve stopped pondering, and soon enough I poke my nose up, to see if the intelligent people have left the room, and if they have I scurry off to seek my fellow fools, who can be found at assorted websites where intelligence is measured by happiness.

One idea I’ve chanced upon explains why the effect of the Quiet Sun is so hard to see. This idea suggests the effect is hard to see because people are looking for a single “thing”, when in fact the Quiet Sun is affecting every “thing”. Because the effects are occurring at many places at the same time, the effects tend to cancel each other out, or overlap, or to appear as a confusing mishmash.

In Truth, there is no confusion. It is all a splendid harmony. The confusion only occurs in our skulls, when we try to “figure out” something so vast. Therefore it pays to just give it up, from time to time, and just sit back and enjoy the view, or enjoy the ride. However then, as soon as we are refreshed and revitalized, our inquisitive side is bound to reappear, and we then should be able to have some fun, as long as we don’t allow our pride to spoil the pleasures of intelligence.

Because we are facing something that is so vast, involving multifarious manifestations, one thing I thought it might be fun to do is to compile a list of all the things the Quiet Sun “might” be changing. We would be, at this point in our discussion, like cavemen jotting down the notes of angelic music they hear, without attempting to figure out the structures of harmony and rhythm and modulation and counterpoint that Bach understood.

My purpose, or hope, is that, in creating such a list, we would avoid focusing exclusively on any one topic, and thus avoid the myopia of specialization. Then (perhaps) we might be more able to see how the Quiet Sun’s effects mask each other, cancel each other out, or harmonize in peculiar ways.

Furthermore I think that, in order to collect as many ideas as possible, (no matter how zany the idea may initially appear), all so-called “intelligent” people should be banned from the discussion. (Or at least from deriding each other’s ideas).

I’ll begin by sharing a couple of ideas I’ve chanced upon, and then give the floor over to others.

1.) The Quiet Sun has opened the North Pole’s “damper”.

This idea is based upon the hypothesis that, with the planet losing a lot of its heat at the Pole, there may be some dynamic that speeds-up or slows-down the loss of heat. (I have also heard this dynamic described amorphously as a “background”). I originally saw it as an Alarmist idea, explaining how CO2 could make it warmer at the Pole in the winter, but the concept had trouble flying because A.) The Pole has recently been below-normal during the summer and B.) If CO2 “closed the damper”, one would expect less warm air to rush up to the Pole, but in fact we have seen a meridional flow bring more warm air rushing north during the winters, which suggests a “damper” has been opened more widely. However, if these things disprove CO2 “closed” this so-called “damper”, then they might conversely indicate the “damper” was “opened”, and the Quiet Sun seems as good an “opener” as any.

(Intelligent people will want to know how the heck such a “damper” is constructed, which is why they are forbidden from speaking until we get our list completed.)

2.) The Quiet Sun reduces energy available for winds.

The image of cavemen lacking oboes and violins might again be useful, when we consider primitive people did (and do) have drums, and flutes made of reeds. The equivalent instruments used by our modern, (yet still primitive), form of meteorology are thermometers and anemometers. Most people who are looking for effects of the Quiet Sun use thermometers, and expect them to read lower-than-normal, but perhaps they should look at the energy measured by anemometers, and see if they are lower-than-normal.

This idea came up as an ingenious way to explain why the Quiet Sun was failing to chill the planet, as some expected it would. It was suggested that if the Trade Winds slowed even a small amount it would effect the oscillations between El Ninos and La Ninas, making the El Ninos stronger and the La Ninas weaker, and this would make the planet warmer (at least at first.) This would explain the counter-intuitive phenomenon of less energy creating more energy, (because less trade winds create more El Nino conditions).

(Of course intelligent people will….but they have to observe silence, for just a bit longer.)

Now I turn the floor over to others. I only ask that they number their ideas. For example, the next idea should be “3.)” This will help us later on, when we allow the intelligent people in, to begin their usual belittling process of scorn and derision.

However no deriding is allowed, for the first eight hours. The prairie dogs will not surface from their comfortable underground bunkers, unless there are no coyotes lurking, and no shadows of buzzards. I think that if we ban coyotes and buzzards we will soon have a somewhat fantastic garden of ideas.

After eight hours all the prairie dogs can dive for cover, as the intelligent descend upon the garden with their long knives. Sad to say, but they are a fact of science, and of art, and of life.

Strange to say, but the worst of the intelligent are seldom remembered, though they think they are grandiosely trumpeting the fabulous nature of their own brilliance and fame. Copernicus is remembered, Galileo is remembered, Alfred Wegener is remembered, but who remembers the intelligentsia that mocked them, scorned their ideas, and laughed aloud at the very mention of their names? (Even when the scornful are remembered, it is not in a flattering way.)

Perhaps it is for this reason that the best of the intelligent express their skepticism with gentleness, and respect for the dignity of fellow thinkers. After all, in a world when many seldom use the minds God gifted them with, we should be glad to meet people who do use their minds, even if their ideas seem “a bit out there”.

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COOL PICTURE—3 ECLIPSES

Cool Picture BusySun_slifer_960

It seems to me that some pictures deserve to be passed around the web. This picture by Doyle Slifer is one of them.

Three objects are eclipsing the the sun. First is the small airplane. Second is the streams of clouds. Third is the moon. (There is a fourth thing you can’t see; namely, specks of dirt on my computer screen.)

Above and to the left of the small plane is a group of sunspots on the surface of the sun itself.  As the sun rotated, these large sunspots swung around and pointed right at the Earth, in some ways like the barrel of a gun. There is always the possibility the spot will shoot a solar flare right at us, which can mess up our electronics in various ways.  A flare measuring “X-17” knocked out the electricity in Sweden in 2003. So far the largest this family of spots has produced is an “X-1”, and I think the nervous will exhale in relief as this swings away from us and vanishes around the backside of the sun. By the time the sun rotates around again the spots will likely be gone, or greatly reduced.

This group of spots are the largest of the current cycle, and demonstrate that even a “Quiet Sun” can occasionally make a big group. In some ways this is annoying, for once you get back in history our only records of sunspots are those that can be seen with the naked eye.

In the pre-telescope-era records from China, (the records somehow preserved from the zeal of the Red Guard, during Mao’s insane attempt to erase the past with the “Cultural Revolution”,) there are records of sunspots so large they were clearly seen when the sun was a low, orange disc, partially obscured by dust. Some assumed these historical events hinted at very active sunspot cycles,  but now we see they can occur during quiet times.