We live at an interesting crossroad, a time in which our telescopes are piercing the brilliant reaches of the very birthplace of our universe while our microscopes review the mechanisms by which life itself formed, from which we and all life on this planet do continue to evolve.
In this era science is not just a series of required classes for college degrees, but the very foundation of what makes our world tick. Cell phones cannot ring, vehicles cannot navigate, digital televisions do not transmit nor can we perform complex surgeries without tipping our hat to science. It’s not a club for the intellectually elite nor a conspiracy to undermine God, but the discovery, piece by piece, experiment failed by experiment succeeded to understand how things work and to then apply that knowledge to the improvement of our lives on this none-too-resilient planet.
Humans, this species so capable of immense creativity and at the same time such massive destruction has landed a one ton, mobile robot on the planet Mars, the fourth of its kind.
Curiosity is not just the name applied, but what drives us to do bold, daring things. Curiosity is what took us from continent to continent by hand hewed boat and over thawed land bridge by foot, thousands of miles over the course of thousands of years.
Once again, curiosity has taken us to foreign soil.
The average distance from the Earth to Mars is about 225 million kilometers and yet, we crossed this distance, reaching out through the extension of ourselves in eight months, traveling at a speed greater than half the circumference of the earth every hour.
In two hours Curiosity flew the distance that Magellan’s ships required nearly three years to complete five hundred years earlier, the technology that enables this great feat given birth just sixty years prior.
And yet, more humans are without adequate food and water now than in Magellan’s time, more warfare, more skirmishes, more people killed in war in the past one hundred years than at any time in history.
This is a time in which the religious are perhaps more afraid of losing their foothold in the psyche, in the heart, in the daily regimen of their followers than at any time in history. Not for loss of a need for supernatural guidance—humans have for millennia proved themselves incapable of maintaining healthy, self-imposed regulation—but for the distractions of a busier, less hierarchical world taking away from the time and omnipotent domain once given to God.
The reaction is fear. Fear of change.
In the summer of 2011 Stephan Hawking explained on international airwaves the mathematical evidence for the Universe to have been created not by a greater power, but by the very nature of space and time itself, without intelligence, without design. The same math that enables us to fly from London to JFK, the same underlying principles which govern the function of our microwave oven do give foundation to physic’s claim. If the logic holds, we have no choice but to redefine what God means to us … or stop reheating our left-over food and instead serve it cold.
Look up! Look within.
How does one then seek guidance in Her realm? Do we look further and further back in time to a place where we cannot fully explain and with one finger extended in objection, the other to test the wind and state, “There! How can you explain that?!” Or do we instead look deeper inside ourselves for the common threads of peace which do provide commonalityand seek that place which prefer no explanation for how we feel.
The next decade will likely bring as much change as the prior ten, yet how we behave toward each other, who we thank for what we have and where we place blame will not keep pace. In stark contrast to that which we change around us, on the inside, I believe, we remain very much the same. What comes next will only be understood when we again look over our shoulder to recognize where we have come from.