In answer to your question, J Thompson from Florida State University, yes I'm afraid I'm an atheist. Why you might ask? Well in answer to that question I could give a multitude of different answers, most based on perceived, logical analysis. There may, however, be a much simpler answer and it is to do with an event that occurred during my childhood. You see the school scene, in the 'Onward Christian Soldiers' chapter, is pretty much autobiographical. The events described occurred pretty much exactly as described, to me, when I was about 6. After that day I believed in very little that required faith of any kind and that included the teachers.
Ok, the email I would like to respond to here is from Mr. P. Robins.
Among other things he rhetorically asks.
“Do you really believe there is no such thing as escape velocity?”
Yes, I can see that one might get that impression from the book, however I don't think my position on this is really that simple. 11.168 Km/s. That's the speed that you would have to impart onto a golf ball, for example, for it to continue its journey away from the Earth, potentially forever. It is necessary to ignore, for the purposes of this thought experiment, the logistical problems in achieving that and of course the effect of the atmosphere. The fact is however, provided you can supply sufficient force to overcome the effects of gravity and a way to sustain that, then you can leave the Earth at any leisurely pace you choose. You are doing this every time you go up a flight of stairs, but of course they soon run out. So when broadcasters, each time a rocket is launched, state that the vehicle has to obtain some velocity or other to achieve ‘escape velocity’ they are, perhaps inadvertently, misleading the listener.
To achieve a stable orbit around the Earth you need to be travelling, relative to the earth, no slower than about 8 km/s but in that case you would not have escaped the Earth, you would simply be in orbit around it and still under the influence of the Earth's gravity, just like the rest of us.
You may have noticed a button that links to a new, well new to me, writer I have discovered, Naomi Claire Wallace. As a science fiction writer I can definitely enjoy the process of being taken to another world. As a result of her book 'By Page' I now feel that I was once a 16-year-old girl incorporated into the,now extinct, US government house page program in Washington DC. It is beautifully written and really quite captivating. I can't recommend this book highly enough!
Mark Angelo Lusardi
Ok Henry Simmons from fraud USA states in his e-mail to me "if it is the case that all subatomic particles were created in the big bang then is that not reason enough to laugh at the Stardust c**p"
Yes you make a good point. There is far too much nonsense being spoken in the name of popularising science. I personally feel that this does more harm than good. It assumes complete ignorance on the part of the general public and is therefore condescending and often misconceived if only for that reason alone. In the book, Adriana merely notices that the majority of atoms in a human body are in fact hydrogen atoms. Stars destroy hydrogen as it is their primary fuel. They certainly don't make it and, as you rightly point out, not a single one of the subatomic particles that all matter consists of, was created by a star. The general consensus, in modern science, is that there was, in fact, a big bang about 13,700,000,000 years ago. All of the energy and potential matter arrived at this time. Soon after this the subatomic particles formed and as the universe cooled these began to form the first atoms, the vast majority of which would have been hydrogen atoms. These, in part, are the same atoms that, organised as they are, are responsible for typing this.
Mark Angelo Lusardi