Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

08 Dec 2001, 17:53 p.m.

I don't know the proper superlatives to explain how deeply…

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2001 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I don't know the proper superlatives to explain how deeply Professor Alexei Filippenko's final Astronomy 10 lecture moved me. The hour after I heard him speak yesterday was one of the happiest hours of my life. Jade and I spent our conversation in wonder at the wonder he had awakened within us, awed at our own awe and at the unique, thrilling beauty of human intelligence, and oh, there was more, a thousand lifetimes' worth of wonder.

I used to believe that I would despair if I believed that humanity were the most amazing thing in the universe. Now I believe that I could celebrate that. Now I believe that I could be a happy atheist.

You can also watch the lecture using the lecture webcast archives. Mind-expanding bliss not guaranteed.