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Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Newton's Clockwork Universe


In Newton's day
the universe
was sort of clockwork. Scientists
imagined God as maker, setting it
in motion. That was it. His bit then done,
the laws of science took control
and He retired to watch.

I wish that I'd lived then - before
this quantum stuff destroyed that pretty scene.
I could have managed in a world like that,
nothing too mind-bending, a lack of useless tatt.
I see myself hypothesising
that the simple frame, the clockwork world
inferred a clockwork God -
no, not retired, but active then as now.

From time to time
we'd have to wind Him up a bit...
but what of that? At least
I would have understood
the way He worked and what
He was about.

In later days we might have thought
up-dating Him to batteries.
But for the then, mankind would know
the blessings of a clockwork will
and of a body that itself
at times could be rewound.

Why did those ancients,
on to such a useful thing,
stop short of the whole hog?

18 comments:

Daydreamertoo said...

I read a book called Blasphemy by Douglas Preston about finding God at the point of collision in a particle beam collider over 2 years ago. He stated that even God didn't know everything, he created us but, even he didn't know what started it all off. He just knew that humans we supposed to prevent the universe from heating up, somehow. Utterly fascinating, sci-fi thriller. Now, today the scientist's at CERN are making a news conference to say, they 'think' they have found the 'God' particle. In the Hadron Collider. How about that!
Thsi reminded me of that novel though, because your God too, needs someone behind him to wind him up occasionally too, meaning, there is someone pulling his strings too. How coincidental is that :)
Great, thought provoking read (as you can tell ) LOL

Mary said...

All those early important discoveries turned out to be just the framework. 500 years from now (if the world still exists) I wonder what humans will think of the 'important' discoveries of the 20th & 21st century.

Brian Miller said...

it is interesting the news coming out on the finding of the god particle...and it is rather scary to me because we will def muck with it and that can not be good...smiles...agree with mary too...i wonder what from now will be looked back at in 100 years....

Eileen T O'Neill ..... said...

Dave,

This made me remember those good old-fashioned grandfather clocks. Ticking reassuredly, and keeping accurate time.
I love the idea contained within your poem of having had a chance to turn back time, if only for real with those hands. I used to try it, but it never really worked:)
I hate the tampering with particles and God, to simply prove or unsettle what???

Eileen

manicddaily said...

Ha! Well, the fact is that reality never really conformed to clockwork, did it? In the sense of premature death and disease. I think that's why the searching doesn't stop - man's questioning mind, and the lack of answers to the big questions. I mean, even someone with strong faith has to fall back on God working with "mysterious ways" in the face of tragedy and loss, and, of course, evil.

Your poem, of course, deals with this in a more whimsical fashion, and is charming and graceful too, as you are - and I know you are dealing more with the crazy physics of it all - but these are such difficult questions. k.

manicddaily said...

Ha! Well, the fact is that reality never really conformed to clockwork, did it? In the sense of premature death and disease. I think that's why the searching doesn't stop - man's questioning mind, and the lack of answers to the big questions. I mean, even someone with strong faith has to fall back on God working with "mysterious ways" in the face of tragedy and loss, and, of course, evil.

Your poem, of course, deals with this in a more whimsical fashion, and is charming and graceful too, as you are - and I know you are dealing more with the crazy physics of it all - but these are such difficult questions. k.

manicddaily said...

Ha! Well, the fact is that reality never really conformed to clockwork, did it? In the sense of premature death and disease. I think that's why the searching doesn't stop - man's questioning mind, and the lack of answers to the big questions. I mean, even someone with strong faith has to fall back on God working with "mysterious ways" in the face of tragedy and loss, and, of course, evil.

Your poem, of course, deals with this in a more whimsical fashion, and is charming and graceful too, as you are - and I know you are dealing more with the crazy physics of it all - but these are such difficult questions. k.

manicddaily said...

Sorry, Dave - did not mean to post twice! The physics of the Internet. k.

Tabor said...

So many universes running on so many different time tables. We truly are just a gear in a gigantic clock.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Eileen's remark is just what I thought Dave. I love this - it is an anachronism in a way. We still have a wind up wall clock which lasts for eight days, then we have to rewind as it has got slower and slower.

ds said...

LIke Brian, I saw the news this morning of the discovery of the "god particle" and wonder what it all means. But the gears of the clock keep turning...

Ygraine said...

Why indeed?
Life would would have been so much simpler now.
A clockword world would have suited me just fine! :)

haricot said...

Not everthing on ancient science was better than the modern one, I think, but at least the former had awe for God and was connected tightly with nature.

Ella said...

Your poem reminded me of my grandparents chime clock! It still works! Better craftsman ship or better parts...I wonder?! Maybe both...
I found it intriguing to read :D

Dave King said...

Daydreamertoo
Fascinating... are you suggesting, by any chance, that great minds...
What occured to me, reading your comment, was the idea - broadly believed, I think - that no one knows everything that is to be found in Microsoft's Windows. Not even Microsoft could give you a complete run-down of what it can do. Much thanks for this. As I said, fascinating.

Mary
Framework, yes, but no less important for that, I think. As today's discoveries will prove vital for those to come. It's any suggestion of finality that will always be blown out of the water.


Brian
I agree with you. We will muck with it. Goes without saying!

Eileen
I think what we have to remember is that the so-called God particle is being so called by scientists who don't believe in God. Ergo, they don't mean by it what a believer or an agnostic will naturally take them to mean.

manicddaily
Yes, you are right, of course, the universe was only ever clockwork in terms of the movements of the planets and other heavenly bodies.

Thanks for a thought-provoking response - which I actually received three times. (Not that it matters. Are you. like me, having unreal problems with Blogger?)

Tabor
How true! We need a modern Atlas to push our on to a different track, perhaps. (Bet if we had one, we'd get him to do it and all - just to see!)

The Weaver of Grass
I sympathise with your clock, it sounds just like me! Yes, you are right, it is an anachronism - as I am. I was told by my inspector just before I retired that I was a dinosaur because I wanted still to get mt hands dirty in the classroom. Dinosaur/anachronism, not much different, would you say?

ds
The trouble is, no one really knows what it all means. Lots of theories about what it might mean. No one now even knows what "means" means!

Ygraine
Here, here. I'm with you. I rather suspect it would have suited most of us.

haricot
Exactly. Precisely. You have it! Thanks for that.

Ella
Both, I'm sure. It was made before the advent of the throw-away society. Thanks. and a warm welcome to you.

manicddaily said...

Dave- did you hear (I'm sure) about the Higgs Bosun discovery? Pretty cool. K.

A Cuban In London said...

Why did they, indeed? I love the idea of winding Him up. :-)

Great poem. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

chromosome translocation said...

Great poem, such an interesting poem it is. I love it! Your choice of words and how you deliver it makes it perfect.