Wednesday, April 20, 2011

To Know

   Even 28,000 years ago, humanity sought to know.   Recently, attention has focused on the drawings in Chauvet Cave in France.  Here is an example of some of the artwork that can be found there.

   The vast collection of art in Chauvet Cave shows that our ancestors of 28,000 years ago were much like us.  They were exploring their world and in the process art was "invented."  In the intervening gulf of time between them and us, mankind also "invented" science as a way to make sense of the world.  In our era, as we pursue our explorations, the tools that we develop to practice science can also be viewed as a form of art.  The technology that has been developed for the SIM astrometry mission is one of the best modern examples of that.  The various devices, such as the Astrometric Beam Combiner, that are at the heart of SIM, are truly works of art.  The represent the best efforts of our species to know the world. 

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