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Quantum 16 – A Nuclear Anniversary and The Clock of the World

Quantum this week remembers the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   But we begin with John Hume – 


And then a recap on last weeks China episode–   including the extraordinary story of the University of New South Wales, censoring one of its own lecturers for supporting Hong Koong students.

This week there was this devastating explosion in Beirut –

This is a chilling photo  – A man smiles on his way to annihilate 100,000 people in a plane named after his mother….

Screenshot 2020-08-07 at 05.48.31


The Man in the High Castle is an excellent Amazon drama which looks at nuclear war and what might have happened if the Nazis and Japanese had won the war…

Hiroshima and Nagasaki have dominated much of the worlds culture since 1945 – none more so than in Neville Shute’s despairing brilliant novel – On the Beach – showing Melbourne as the last place on earth to be wiped out by nuclear fall out….


And much music also reflects on the end of the world –


With nuclear war, Covid 19, climate change it does seem as though we are living in apocalyptic times… What should our attitude be?  Dave Rubin – has one solution.

“In a time when the standard of living has never been higher, we are acting like the world is coming to an end. Whether you’re a baby boomer addicted to watching cable news, a Millennial hooked on Twitter conflict, or a Zoomer who comes home from school fearing the end of the world because of climate change, I’m here to tell you to cool your jets.. Psychologists have a word for this behaviour…catastrophising. When we catastrophise, we engage in an irrational thought process that leads us to believe something is far worse than it actually is.” Dave Rubin – Don’t Burn This Book – p. 196

I prefer the biblical answer…

Rom. 8:18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay a and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.

The creation is groaning, but God is sovereign and we live in the hope of a renewed world.

Finally there is this beautiful song – The Clock of the World…I love the line about keeping perfect holy time.

Somewhere bells are ringing, somewhere someone’s marrying
Or a casket someone’s carrying – A crowd somewhere is gathering
Somewhere a bell is marking what is passing and sublime
Like the clock of the world keeping perfect holy time
I am listening for a church bell and I know somewhere it rings,

See you next week…..

Feel free to keep sending me news and ideas – and pass this on to whoever you think it may help.

And you can support Quantum here –


  1. The atomic bombs simply had to be dropped in these Japanese cities, in order to remove the total and utter brutality that the Japanese inflicted on all they conquered and tried to conquer. Their total humiliation and treachery of their PoW’s and nazi style torture and fighting methods, meant that the ‘greater good’ of both bombs had to happen, in order that they ended their extreme evil regime. Interesting that they do not talk about it, and is not taught within their history lessons, and will bury their heads in the sand, rather than ‘lose face’…

    Interesting also that Japan (whose main religion is ancestor worship..) now wants to build nuclear weapons, and be removed from the list of those not permitted since WW2. They have the uranium and plutonium, and the technology, and look on it as defence against China, who according to Japan, has some 300 nuclear missiles aimed at their islands..!

  2. John Hume is to be commended and remembered for his genuine abhorrence of violence for political ends.
    Sadly, the Good Friday Agreement was a misguided attempt to bring peace to Northern Ireland without any recognition of the great spiritual need in all communities. We released murderers from jail thinking such an act would change the hearts of evil men. Sadly, but inevitably, it didn’t work.

  3. David,
    When you talk about the justification for the use of Atomic bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, you fall into the same trap as many others regarding the war in the Pacific. True the bulk of the force fighting the Japanese was American, but saying that the rest of the allies were utterly exhausted and played very little part in the final stages of the war is far from the truth. The British and Commonwealth put together a large fleet in support of the Americans, of which my father was part, meaning that he didn’t get home until late in 1945, being demobbed in 1946.
    I quote from Wikipedia: “The British Pacific Fleet (BPF) was a Royal Navy formation that saw action against Japan during the Second World War…… The British Pacific Fleet’s main base was at Sydney, Australia, with a forward base at Manus Island. One of the largest fleets ever assembled by the Royal Navy, by VJ Day it had four battleships and six fleet aircraft carriers, fifteen smaller aircraft carriers, eleven cruisers, and numerous smaller warships, submarines, and support vessels.
    And it wasn’t just the Navy that fought through to the end. The army was deeply involved in the war against the Japanese in Burma right up to VJ Day. Read George Macdonald Fraser’s ‘Quartered Safe Out Here” for a harrowing record of what the Army had to go through.
    Not for nothing are these men known as ‘The Forgotten Army”.

  4. VE Day had ended the war in Europe. I had just turned 19 in July and was travelling east over India
    heading for what we thought was the big push against Japan , and the news came through that the atom bomb had been dropped. After a short time in Burma my unit went to Singapore and I saw and spoke with released POWs and was there during the War Crimes trials .

    Think of Pearl Harbour – and then feel sympathy for the Japanese!

  5. One of the problems I have with critics of these bombs being dropped is that they presume that civilian lives are more valuable than military lives (handily forgetting that our armed forces during the war were mainly civilian recruits taken on to fulfil wartime roles). Both Hiroshima and Nagasaki were legitimate military targets, hence why the Japanese capitulated so rapidly after they were dropped. Critics also forget the vast number of civilian casualties involved in liberating France (something that to their credit that the French have never held against us). D-Day alone killed at least 60,000 French civilians from what I’ve read.

    Yes there was terrible loss of life but had the war dragged on for months the total death toll on both sides would be much higher. So it really was what is called the Devil’s alternative, in that whatever you choose people will die. In which case choosing the smaller number of deaths is always the right thing to do.

    1. John, could you give the source please for your 60,000 civilian deaths in the D-Day campaign? Also I guess from your last sentence that the bombing of _Nagasaki_ was _not_ the ‘right thing to do’.

  6. Re the John Hume item , Hume had great support from the Americans for two main reasons .

    Firstly , the Irish – American vote was important in some key US states in a bygone time when the Democratic Party actively courted the core White population of the country.

    Secondly, the US wanted Ireland in NATO and the Dublin Govt told Washington that there is no possibility of this until a United Ireland is achieved.

  7. “The creation is groaning, but God is sovereign and we live in the hope of a renewed world.”.

    I like that very much, balanced between acknowledging the realities without ‘catastrophising’.

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