I haven’t done one of these for a while, but eldest was on form again.
It’s a thursday catchup as we haven’t seen each other in a few days. The darker nights and the motion of the car tend to be the gentlest lullaby for youngest cub, who is asleep before we hit the main roads. His sister is in full flow.
‘So dad…’ she begins
‘I’ve been thinking about Egypt a lot as we’ve been studying it in school. We talked about the great pyramids of Giza and the curse of the mummy’s tomb. Do you believe in the curse?’
No; I tend to…
‘I don’t believe in the curse. I think it was, wait for this, you’ll like this one; bacteria!’
I’m impressed. Do continue..
‘Well; my friend and I are now scientists who don’t believe in God’
Wait a minute; you go to a Church of England School. You pray every day.
‘I don’t really pray any more; I just think’
Ah so you reflect?
‘No; I just think about things that have happened recently….’
Well it’s fine to challenge beliefs darling; I encourage you to take nothing at face value but, be prepared to come up with an argument, both for and against. And be prepared to respect the views of others, without being dogmatic.
‘That sounds like a lot; I’m only 8. Anyway, a dead body locked in an almost air tight building is bound to generate some bacteria. Either that, or the bodies were coated in something that we can’t detect, that became airborne during the course of decomposition. Once the tomb was disturbed, the entrance of new air caused a reaction and the bacteria was breathed in. Boom’
Are you sure you’re only 8?
‘I told you; I’m a scientist.’
‘What would happen if the Universe shrunk?’
It depends on how quickly it happened; we probably wouldn’t notice. It could be shrinking now.
‘I don’t believe in aliens. Little things running around out there’
Well it’s hard to discount other life forms. The Universe is infinite, and expanding.
Definitely not shrinking. It’s still expanding from the big bang.
‘How many other galaxies do you know?’
Just Andromeda. I think. I’ll have to check when we get home. Think about this; each star that you can see in the night sky is probably a sun. Each of those suns could, potentially have planets orbiting around them. Any one of those planets in the Goldilocks zone, could support life similar to ours. Now imagine this; all the stars that we can see, in the expanse of the sky above us, are a fraction of the stars out there. For scale, it’s not even equivalent to me placing a pea in our garden, but we can only see one-quarter of the pea. To travel to the other side of that pea, would take millions of light years; do you know what a light year is? It sounds like a measurement of time but it’s actually a measure of distance. It’s the distance that light can travel in a year. Light travels at 186,000 miles, per second. PER SECOND. Times that by the number of seconds in a year.
What do you think of that?
‘My friend at school said he rode his dad’s motorbike down the road one night. I don’t think that’s true’
‘Do you believe in mythical creatures?’
I’m a fan of cryptozoology, which is the study of mythical creatures. My favourite was Bigfoot, but you have the Loch Ness monster amongst others.
Yeah; why not.
‘What was so good about Bigfoot?’
Strangely, it was the most plausible of all of the stories, and there was video footage.
‘I’ve seen it; do you believe it?’
No; not really. There’s not enough strong evidence. Where are the bones of the deceased? hair samples? scat?
Scat. Poo. It’s what you look for as evidence of existence. It can tell you loads.
‘I don’t like the sound of that. Maybe it poos out of the other end?’
Which other end?? It’s head?
‘Yes. It could all build up inside and then come out later’
I’m not sure you’ve thought that one through. It would still have to come down and hit the floor.
‘Not for a while though. That’s probably their secret’