08 May 2014

cosmically uncontrolled

I’ve been thinking about the conversion of Saul in Acts 9, in particular where he is literally led by the hand after being blinded by the light.  He is not in control.

I’ve also been watching the wonderful TV show Cosmos, in which Neil deGrasse Tyson picks up the mantle of Carl Sagan.  I especially liked the most recent episode, “The Lost Worlds of Planet Earth.”  Our friend Neil takes his ship of the imagination to the ocean floor, and he explores the deep time of the past.  Earth has been many different planets—and still is.  It will continue to evolve into different planets in the future.

Life on Earth has, at times, been a questionable proposition.  Asteroid strikes, toxic gases spewing from beneath the surface, ice ages, and other events that we would call hazardous have been part of the biography of our planet.

The scientist Stephen Jay Gould once spoke of the 60 trillion contingent events that eventually led to the emergence of Homo sapiens.”  (I’m not sure where he got that number, but it’s probably as good as anything else.)  The episode of Cosmos mentions the effects of the Sun and the other planets.  The gravity of Venus and Jupiter affect the Earth’s orbit.  A multitude of other factors have had, and continue to have, their say. 

Ultimately, we have very little control.

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