Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Extrapolating From a Basketball

I was a high school teacher at one time and some kid left a basketball in the middle of the basketball court. The gym was empty and quiet and the ball sat motionless on the floor. While the ball might have been motionless, it created mental motion inside my skull.

I started thinking…what if that basketball incorporated our entire universe – our earth, all the stars, planets, space, dark holes, anti-matter, Jay Leno jokes and my daughter’s pasta recipe? What if everything we could imagine, invent, or test using the scientific method was packed inside that ball. Our total existence; including our mental capabilities and scientific potential - what if it all could exist within that basketball?

Since I mentioned the scientific method, science would necessarily be unable to extend its methodology beyond the parameters of the ball and could only examine and test the natural universe that exists within the limits of that orb, despite its vastness from our perspective.

Is it possible that something exists outside of the basketball? The basketball is lying on the floor of a huge gymnasium. Since we can’t see it and can’t test for it and can’t even imagine it, could there be something outside the ball? Could there be bleachers out there? Or lockers? Or smelly gym clothes? Or even a school filled with obnoxious teenagers? And maybe another school down the street filled with obnoxious teenagers?

So even if we could understand the mysteries of our own vast and limitless universe, is it unreasonable to consider the possibility that something else might exist outside or in another realm of existence, another dimension, far beyond our ability to comprehend?

The song by Peggy Lee comes to mind, "Is That All There Is?. Maybe this is not all there is.

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