Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.
Try calculating the volume if that sphere and then compare it to the volume of anything a single person knows a lot about. Makes a serious case for homo-humility.
Exactly why this kind of fact-consideration comes along just now. Putting the notion of the human “here” and “now” into cosmic scale should make us humble even as it makes us marvel that our pink pudding of a brain could be a part of that universe–living matter capable of knowing itself. Fancy that!