“For God so loved the (kosmos) that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
This week, my family is diving into a unit on the Solar System & Space. This past week, the Church began the season of “lent”, which recognizes our origins and size in this great and mysterious universe. This past week, the popular scientific television show “Cosmos” returned to a giant set of ratings. I’d heard it advertised, and knew people were looking forward to it, and after seeing the ratings I knew I should probably check it out. I’m glad I did.
This post definitely will not serve as a “summary” of thoughts, as the show is best seen as a “conversation starter”. Tons of statements/revelations throughout the show did a great job of revealing just how much of our universe is unknown/unexplored/mysterious. Although I do think they treated as “solid fact”, things that it seems like they’re simply assuming based on scientific evidence available. Here’s just one example:
In the opening description of his “Spaceship of the Imagination“, where he points through the bottom hole at how “The earth looked 250-Million Years ago” (Pangea) stated definitively. Then he points through the top viewing hole at how “The earth might look 250-Million Years from now”. Even with all of the scientific data available, we don’t know “exactly” what the earth looked like from space precisely 250-Million years ago. Their choice to not use conditional words like “probably”, or “could have”, shows they just might have an agenda that goes beyond the stated “Question Everything” motto mentioned in the introduction. Especially since it’s a “Spaceship of the Imagination”, not an actual time-machine.
I’m not a professional scientist, nor was I there when I believe God created the universe….so my ability to speak on either is limited to my faith/belief system. I do think it’s a show worth watching, simply because of it’s desire to reveal just how amazing our world/universe is. As Christians, we would “high-five” that kind of revelation any day of the week. Just understand, and explain to any kids watching, we probably have different beliefs about how it all started….and why it all started/continues. That we’re more than just “space dust”. We are the living, breathing, images of a very complex and creative God.
The first episode begins with an awe-inspiring journey into the depths and reaches of our ability to see via telescopes. To recognize just how vast the viewable universe is….it’s a bit ridiculous, really. Our observable universe is so crazy big!!! Awe-inspiring at very least. Our God is an awesome God. Unfortunately, going through the history of our understanding of the cosmos, the show spends quite a bit of time illustrating how ignorant and self-confident the early church was, punishing/torturing scientists who claimed the earth was not the center of the universe. While the story might have been worth mentioning, I don’t think animations of priests lighting fire to scientists did any favors to the relationship/conversations between faith & science.
Also note, because it’s based on scientific observations, the show begins with the “best assumption” of a “Big Bang“. This theory was proposed first by a Catholic priest who observed that the universe was constantly expanding. If we were expanding, it only makes sense that if we go back far enough in time we must have originally been only a tiny speck. But again, this theory is presented as fact and part of the pretty nifty “timeline” of humanity’s existence in the known universe as a calendar year. (On their timeline of a calendar year with January 1st being the “Big Bang”, we began to exist close to midnight on December 31st.)
Obviously “Cosmos” and I have different opinions on how it all began, and how the development/creation of all things went about. But I still think, for the actual current scientific observations being made, and getting glimpses of a universe that loudly proclaims a God that is larger than our imaginations…it’s a show very worth checking out.