Earth Science

Teaching Gravity in a 21st Century Classroom

First, two pictures of gravity. I don’t mean the effects of gravity. I mean gravity.

P2110722 Gravity is not mathematics.  It’s either here in these pine cones or it doesn’t exist.P2110571 Water carries heat and cold. Heat operates steam heating systems, and energizes clouds and ocean currents. Cold provides water for salmon, through the midst of hot grasslands. It also carries gravity.

P2110095Notice how it stills it. Notice how differently rock embodies it. Notice how differently you, as a human, read that. Gravity they are. Gravity is also linked to time. Here’s a pool of it. Gravity, I mean, but also time.P2110650 Light travels in straight lines, says physics, but then that means everything else doesn’t. These mosses on Turtle Mountain, for example. Look at them bend, where the light is not.P2110697 They, too, are pools of gravity.P2110698 Physical science has worked out theories of how gravity bends space and thus light, although travelling in straight lines, bends, to follow space. The math works, but, come on, isn’t that overly complicated?P2110702 What is that space? Look at it below. The answer is right there.P2110711 The answer is here.P2100946 Ah, life, yes, that’s a different thing than gravity. It’s a different thing than steam rising, rain precipitating, or stone eroding, and far different than space bending around a star. We have the math to prove it. But look. Here’s a pool of gravity. Look how it turned red, and now is filled to the brim with time.P2100972 Here’s a pool below it, closer to Okanagan Lake, in which time is still held by water.P2100975 Look at this trunk of time, powered by gravity. Remember: gravity doesn’t “fall”. It’s “there.” P2110284 It’s here. Look how now it is contained by the molecular forces of water molecules. That’s how weak it is.


Weak it may be, but look how it pools in this bunchgrass, in these amplified water droplets, these extensions of molecular water tension in time, powered by gravity.


Is that not bending light? And look below: is light not always stopping, because that’s what happens when it hits the earth? Are these not the flashes as it meets gravity?

P2110814Does not water, the core of life, carry them? Is that not time? Look at the grapes below, from a bunch too immature two months ago for the birds, a bunch at the end of the vine that bloomed late, with every flower on the cluster blooming separately.  That is many times at once, each in its surface tension, and all there, or, rather, all here now.


I have learned not to be diverted by usefulness. Usefulness is a powerful social force, but presence is stronger.


It might be as weak as gravity, but look at it at work:


Can you read that? Well, your body can. It knows where food is in the spring. It knows where power is, and differing intensities and combinations of light and gravity and all the other forces of the earth. Scientific theory puts it like this:

periodicThat’s beautiful and real and powerful and socially useful, but it’s not this:


And until it is that, or this …


… (for example), then it is not this.  This is gravity:


Humans live in it. Ideas of God bound within alchemical machines live here:

P2000675 P1930714 P1920539 P1820802 Look at this piece of time trying to get through that mess.P1830404

Scientific thought is an incomplete project. If you are a teacher of science, I urge you towards bringing it back to the world. Here’s the first step. Here’s your new classroom, your new black board, smart board, white board, projector, chatroom and smartphone app:


A Chemistry Teacher Climbs the Farwell Dune, Cariboo Chilcotin Grasslands

Please. Your life depends on it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.