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(Talk to Leisure World Astronomy Club)


John L. Dobson, February 26, 2003, Hollywood


Two nights ago I gave a talk to the old folks at Leisure World, two thirds of

the way to San Diego. Some of them are as old as I am, so I was careful, and we

had lots of fun.


After making fun of the Big Bang through a great deal of laughter, I

replaced it with my recycling model, handling all the problems and pointing out

the observational evidence that hydrogen really is recycling from the

observational border. Then I pointed out that this model predicts that the

Universe must be set up on frustration or it couldn't go on like this.


Finally, after telling them that the notion of energy had not arisen in

Europe till 1845, I went back a few thousand years to those older physicists who

said that the whole Universe is made of energy. I said that their word for the

Universe was Jagat, the changing, but that they were smart enough to see that

underlying the Universe there must be an existence not in time and therefore

changeless, not in space and therefore infinite and undivided.


Then they asked, "If what exists is changeless, how do we see change?"

And they said, "It can only be by mistake." So they studied mistakes. That

caused a great deal of laughter in that crowd of eighty older folks. So I explained

that those old physicists said there are three things you have to do to mistake a

rope for a snake. First, they pointed out, you must fail to notice that it's a rope.

That's the veiling power of the mistake. Then, they said, you must jump to the

conclusion that it's a snake. That's the projecting power of the mistake. And

finally, you must have seen the length and diameter of the rope or you never

would have mistaken it for the length and diameter of a snake. And the crowd

laughed again when I told them that you can't mistake your friend for a ghost

without seeing your friend.


Seeing the nature of the underlying existence in the mistake is called the

revealing power of the mistake. And I told them that inertia is the changeless

showing through, electricity is the infinite and gravity is the undivided.


I even explained to them why the mistake gives rise to hydrogen. It's

because the gravitational plurality keeps up the electrical duality through

Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, and the electrical duality keeps up the

gravitational plurality through Pauli's exclusion principle.


When the talk was over one of those ladies told me that that was the best

lecture she's heard in her life. So she must have been able to understand it. And

one of those scientists told my friend Bob, "I've heard lots of lectures. That's the