Solving the 12 Greatest Mysteries of All Time

My next 12 blogs will explore the greatest mysteries of all time.  Each week I will select one of the 12 greatest mysteries of all time and explore it to see if we can find an answer to it.  The list of mysteries we will investigate include the following: world-of-mysteries

  1. Is there a God?
  2. Is there other sentient life in the universe?
  3. Is there life after death?
  4. Can we defeat death and achieve immortality?
  5. Where are the tombs of Genghis Khan, Buddha, Alexander the Great, Jesus and Attila the Hun?
  6. Who killed the Lindbergh baby, the Black Dahlia, Nicole Simpson and Jon Ramsey Benet
  7. Will humanity destroy itself?
  8. What is the purpose and meaning of life?
  9. What is life?
  10. Do weapons prevent or create violence?
  11. Where is the Arc of the Covenant?
  12. Can we solve all the mysteries of existence?

Before we start examining each of these mysteries, we need to define not just what makes a mystery but what makes a great mystery.  A simple mystery can be defined as:

  • The condition or quality of being secret, strange, or difficult to explain
  • A person or thing whose identity or nature is puzzling or unknown

(From http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/mystery )

GodHowever, I am not merely concerned with mysteries here, but “Great” mysteries.  Mysteries surround us every day and make our lives interesting.  They preserve us from boredom and provide mountains of speculation for idle minds to ponder. Without mysteries, life would be bland and boring.  Mysteries are the spice of life.  They are the salt and pepper of existence.  Hardly a day goes by that we are not confounded and confused by yet another mystery.  If I were to list all the mysteries we encounter each day, it would number in the thousands.  But “Great” mysteries that is another story!  They are fewer and much more enigmatic.  To be a “Great” mystery, I submit a mystery must meet the following six characteristics:

  1. It is still unsolved
  2. The mystery has perplexed humans for hundreds if not thousands of years
  3. The mystery is still of great importance to the human race
  4. A universal desire or curiosity exists to solve the mystery
  5. There is high ambiguity concerning facts and issues
  6. Solving the mystery appears to be beyond the ability of science to answer or resolve

I submit that my list of the 12 greatest mysteries of all time meets the above six criteria.  Thus, I deem each of these as worthy of our time and energy.  Each week, I will review the existing evidence and like Sherlock Holmes will provide an objective and unbiased analysis of deductive reasoning to help shred the mystery.   Together we will unlock the secrets and pull back the cloaks of invisibility that have prevented us from finding the keys to each mystery.  (Listen to the Raven Song by Wendy Rule from her Album)  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But we will go beyond Sherlock Holmes and employ inductive as well as deductive reasoning to each mystery.   We will surpass the great Sherlock Holmes himself, since Sherlock Holmes was like a one handed boxer.  He only knew how to use deductive reasoning.  His power came from his unprecedented ability and skills in applying such reasoning to the mysteries that he confronted.  Nevertheless, he totally ignored the skills and tools that inductive reasoning could have provided.  With inductive reasoning, Sherlock would have been fighting with two hands instead of one.

Deductive reasoning happens when a researcher works from the more general information to the more specific.  Inductive reasoning works the opposite way, moving from specific observations to broader generalizations and theories.  Two examples may help to explain the difference:

An example of a deductive argument:

  1. All men are mortal.
  2. Socrates is a man.
  3. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.

An example of an inductive argument:

  1. The average male is taller than 26 inches
  2. John is the name of a male
  3. Most Johns will be taller than 26 inches

In deduction we move from general observations to specific conclusions, from “all” men to one man, namely Socrates.  In induction, we go from specific observations, namely the “average” height of a male to generalizations about the “average” height of all males named John.

immortalityOne method is not better than another method.  By using both methods, we have a more powerful set of tools with which to attack the greatest mysteries of existence.  I will make the argument that unless we can adequately administer both sets of tools to these problems, we have no chance of solving them.

“My mind,” he said, “rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.” ― Arthur Conan DoyleThe Sign of Four

Join me in the next 12 weeks, as we contemplate, reflect, dissect, analyze, study, scrutinize and deconstruct the greatest mysteries of the universe.  Where greater minds have gone, we will go.  Where more stupendous intellects have thought, we will rethink.  Where geniuses have dithered and faltered, we too will hesitate and disagree.  In the end though, the mountain will be a mountain again and you will come to see the answer and secrets of existence that once stood invisible before you.  I promise your life will never be the same again for undertaking this journey.  Death-is-not-the-greatest-loss-in-life

But a word or two of caution:

This journey or quest requires “Intellectual Courage.”  This is the rarest form of thinking and contemplation.  Few people ever use it.  It is the exact opposite of “Invincible Ignorance.”  Intellectual courage requires a person who can:

  •  Flaunt convention
  • Withstand the indignation and slander of friends
  • Eschew tradition
  • Regard all knowledge as ephemeral and transient
  • Remain skeptical of scientific evidence
  • Laugh at the egoism of “Experts”
  • Think openly about all religious beliefs and concepts
  • Disdain all premises of “Invincible Ignorance”
  • Believe in at least three contradictions at the same time
  • Never accept never

If you think that you have these abilities, you are welcome to go on this journey with me.  Together we will look for the answers to the Greatest Mysteries of all time.  If you feel that you do not have these abilities, it is not too late to turn back.  Better to abort the mission now then to find out later that you are in over your head.  Many a person who thought they had intellectual courage fell victim to the Charybdis and Scylla of Certainty and Conviction.  Only those with Intellectual courage can afford to have their world views become chaotic and uncertain.  My mother used to say that “ignorance is bliss.”  So it is for many people but not for the Intellectual Hero.  mystery

Time for Questions:

 Do you have enough mysteries in your life?  Are you courageous enough to challenge convention?  Can you stand in the face of criticism and intolerance?  What are your greatest mysteries?  How do you think we should go about solving these 12 mysteries?  What if we do?

Life is just beginning.  (Have you ever wondered what this meant?) Perhaps my poem will explain.

No, no, no cheating

No, no, no swearing

No, no, no losing

No, no, no stealing

No, no, no lying

No, no, no praying

No, no, no meaning

No, no, no crying

No, no, no dying

No, no, no mourning

No, no, no ending. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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