Contemplating the Cosmos: Between Heaven and Hell

cosmosThe other day as I took the dog out I saw what we refer to as a “shooting star”. I hurried the dog along and quickly brought my wife outside so that she could witness it. It was small, meaning is was further away than we usually hope a comet or asteroid would be, but we watched it all the same.

Sagan writes of the source of these ‘shooting stars’ very matter of factly:

“In the outermost solar system, in the gloom far beyond the planets, there is a vast spherical cloud of a trillion cometary nuclei, orbiting the Sun no faster than a racing car at the Indianapolis 500.”[1]

This hypothetical cloud of comets has been posited by some scientists because of the proposed age of the solar system. Because the solar system is believed by some to be around 4.5 billion years old, there must be a source of comets because by now, all of the comets within the solar system that orbit closer to the Sun would have been melted by the Sun.[2]

Theories describing an “Oort Cloud” are not surprising. What is surprising is that it is discussed by some within the scientific community so matter of factly, similar to the many theories of evolution. The fact is, the existence of the Oort Cloud is questionable. I will not claim that it does not exist, only that I am skeptical and others should be as well. It has not been proven even by scientific standards.

Worldview amazes me. Worldview is what causes certain people to make certain claims regarding their perceptions of the world. Worldview is the reason individuals can observe the same universe and come to certain conclusions regarding its origin. All people are subject to worldview. This reveals something about the human condition. We are all subject to faith of some sort. I am currently journaling concerning epistemology and my thoughts this morning concerned worldview specifically. I will simply share those thoughts with you here.

“We, as people, tend to justify our worldview according to our worldview. Since worldview directly inspires each one’s interpretation of his perception of the world, it seems odd that any one person can actually believe that worldview can be justified. The scientist justifies his worldview on the basis of empirical evidence even though it is only his own worldview that demands such evidence and by his worldview that such evidence is interpreted in favor of his worldview. In a similar manner, the philosopher, the priest, the artist, the sociologist, the musician, the construction worker etc… all justify their worldviews according to their own worldviews. Many times I am no different. It seems, though, that the only way a worldview might be justified is if that worldview is not justified by certain evidence within the context of that worldview, but instead revealed by a power that is not bound within nature (so that it is not interpreted according to that worldview) and is revealed by a source that dates to the beginning of time, or that exists eternally. In other words, the only justifiable worldview seems to be one whose source transcends both time and space and one that is revealed from that source and one that is taken from that source entirely by faith and accepted wholly so that it might shape an individual’s interpretations of his perception of the world.

Considering this, then, there seems to be a certain inherent benefit to the practice of religion as a search to find God’s revelation. I believe the Christian scriptures to be wholly the word of God and that is why I allow my thinking to be shaped by those scriptures. The Holy Bible, as opposed to other proclaimed ‘scripture’ is rooted in antiquity and based in oral tradition and history that predated even the writing of the Pentateuch. If there were a set of scriptures on the earth by which mankind should allow his thinking to be shaped, the writings of the Holy Bible are the most promising because the origin of these scriptures cannot be dated and they seem to be consistent throughout. These scriptures are not like the Koran or the Book of Mormon and I have read both throughout. The scriptures in the Holy Bible are the scriptures by which I allow my worldview to be shaped.

There seems to be four sources of authority, then, concerning the gaining of knowledge, and I will list them in order of the most reasonable while considering these thoughts on worldview.

  1. Scripture

  2. Reason

  3. Tradition

  4. Emotion”

It amazes me that God has given us the ability to perceive the world. I recognize that interpreting the world that God has created and that we can, by His grace, perceive is a precious practice and we should interpret the world that we have been given with great care. I do not know if there be such a thing as an Oort Cloud, but I do know that I want to discover the world as God created it, and thus I will interpret my own perceptions of the world through the most reasonable and rational of worldviews, through a worldview that sits on a foundation other than self.

[1] Sagan, 86

[2]Scientific Evidences for a Young Earth,” Thomas Kindall, Seattle Creation Conference 2004

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