Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews

Three newsflashes on human and extraterrestrial life

The normally excellent science reporter of the terrible Haaretz newspaper made a big mistake–or at least, the editor who headed her article did. The headline: CERN to Tackle the Greatest Dark Matter: Why Any of Us Exist. However, it’s not of the editors but the interviewed professor herself who said the blunder: “We still don’t understand how come we exist.” “How come” means “Why.” The reporter got that right.

But the professor should have asked: How can the material world exist? Science only answers how-questions. Religion deals with why-questions.
(The article ends stating that we can only follow this based on faith! Huh?)

The professor is one of the world’s top physicists today. How can such a prominent scientist say such nonsense? But Einstein already 100 years ago told researchers that they should study the philosophy of science. It’s sad.

Reminds me of this great Calvin and Hobbes cartoon:

Calvin: Why are we here?
Hobbes: Because we walked here.
Calvin: No, I mean, why are we on Earth?
Hobbes: Because Earth supports life.
Calvin: No, I mean, why are we alive?
Hobbes: Because we were born.
Calvin: O, forget it.
Hobbes: Gladly.

In another piece of recent non-information, we are told that if we worry about sicknesses, the economy, or climate disaster: don’t worry, there are many planets out there that seem to support life too.

That’s as good a piece of advice as saying: “Worried about human civilization? Go live in a swamp.” No extraterrestrial ecosystem will ever be as friendly for us as the worst mess that we could ‘create’ here.

Calvin and Hobbes creator Bill Watterson also made a cartoon series about that. The conclusion: What use is it to colonize a different planet if we messed this one up. We would also quickly spoil the next ones. Better to clean up our act and our own planet that used to be habitable.

All the above, I quote from memory. That’s also the source of the following very timely wisdom from the same artist: The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that it has never tried to contact us.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to two Dutch survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork, and holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam). He taught Re-evaluation Co-counseling, became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His most influential teachers (chronologically) are: his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim: Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. * Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he wrote hasbara for the Dutch public. His fields of attention now are varied: Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (statistics), Politics (Israel, the US and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight Truth), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), Ecology and Veganism. Sometimes he's misunderstood because he has such a wide vision that never fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what many love about him. Many of his posts relate to affairs from the news or the Torah Portion of the Week or are new insights that suddenly befell him. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, reassure the doubters but make the self-assured doubt more. He strives to bring a fresh perspective rather than bore you with the obvious. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds must be disputed. In short, his main political positions are: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, democracy, anti the fake peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, Science, Free Will, anti blaming-the-victim and for down-to-earth optimism. Read his blog how he attempts to bridge any discrepancies. He admits sometimes exaggerating to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. November 13, 2018, he published his 500th blog post with the ToI. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having a peek outside of your cultural bubble. * NEW: To see other blog posts by him, his overspill blog you can reach by clicking on the Website icon next to his picture at the head of every post. There you may find precursors to later TOI blog posts, addition or corrections of published TOI blog posts, blog posts the TOI will not carry, and some thoughts that are too short to be a TOI blog post. Also, the TOI only allows for one blog post per blogger per 24 hours. Sometimes, he has more to say than that. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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