Astronomy +

Astronomy has been called the first science; it’s also the first philosophy.

As Abraham Maslow might have said, when we have enough rabbits to eat and pause our worrying about the smilodons stalking us, we may look up and see the amazing sun, moon, and stars. As soon as we start asking why they’re the way they are, we soon ask why we’re the way we are, and from there there’s no stopping, unless the smilodons return.

Following my natural, untutored interest, I took courses in astronomy at the local children’s museum, attended regular planetarium shows, and joined the astronomy club.

When I add the “+” to astronomy, what I mean is that for me it probably started there, but soon encompassed insects, rocks and fossils, magic tricks, and more. Philosophy became a pack basket for all the questions. It never answered them, but was a reliable companion every time I returned to visit them.

As a teenager, I was inspired by books such as George Gamow’s One Two Three … Infinity and J. D. Williams’s The Compleat Strategyst: Being a Primer on the Theory of Games of Strategy.